Saturday, December 19, 2015

He knows each and everyone of us

Well another week has come and gone, and it was a great fun week. The assistants stayed with us almost this whole week to get ready for the Christmas conferences, so it was fun talking and hanging with them. I am enjoying the office very much and I am getting pretty good at all of the stuff that I need to do. In fact just this upcoming week I am in the process of renewing 3 visas and 2 are going to be done with the new procedures, but I am honestly very calm now and now I don’t worry too much. We prepared for the Christmas conferences most of the week on top of our normal tasks we have to do. With Christmas being on Friday, we have had to move up on transfer preparations which are on the Monday following Christmas. We need to have everything done beforehand. This is going to be a big transfer with 17 coming in and 9 going home.

First off, Sunday was great we had 7 investigators at church it was really good. We are only currently teaching a few of them so we have a lot of work of ahead of us. A lot of them were friends of members or family members of active members. Our ward mission leader, Pedro, is on fire, he talked about the ward mission plan, he is awesome and is a huge help with the work. He goes with us on a lot of our lessons and is just a big help. While we were out early in the week we met Leia. Later in the week we had a meeting with her, she is super cool and we had a really good lesson, we talked about eternal families and she really really liked it. We talked about the Book of Mormons we set up another appointment with her, and we are going to go back to see if she read the Book of Mormon.

We had a good FHE with a few different families in the ward. We talked about “A profile of a prophet” by Hugh B Brown. I really like this talk. Here is a really good story that happened prior to that FHE.

God really knows each and everyone of us and knows our sorrow and our pains, and knows how to lift us up. At this time in the mission, the mission is awesome, the office is awesome, but the missionary work lately has been tough. This whole week has been tough as far a missionary work has gone. A lot of our appointments have fallen through and it has just gotten me down in the dumps. Anyways as we went to the FHE, and as we were walking down the street I was feeling really down, and as we approached the house for the FHE a song came on the radio really loud in the house next door. This was the same song that helped me out so much back in eighth grade when I was going through my weird depressed stage, when mom would have to come pick me up from school because all I wanted to do was sleep, and we would go to Wendy’s, it was a song that helped me out a lot during that time. Anyways when I heard this song it was a moment for me that really clicked, God knows us so well, he knows me so well! and what I needed at that moment. Out of all of the songs that have ever been made in the whole wide world that song would be played in a country that is thousands of miles away, a song that is really old, in a house right next to me, I was like I know God knows me and loves me, and this is how simple it was for him to lift me up and cheer me up, it made my week!!! I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father!

So the mission Christmas conference was similar to last year and was a blast. We went to the office and got all the stuff for the conference. President gave a great spiritual message, then he went over our ward’s missionary plan, that he is going to use for all of the wards in the mission, titled “UM” POR FAMÍLIA EM 6 MESES, (A Family in 6 months). Then we did the white elephant gifts. Super fun, I love playing that game. I ended up getting a mug with the Floripa logo on it. We had a ton of fun seeing everybody, some companions I haven’t seen in a long time. Our zone made matching skirts and ties, we have great unity. We played the normal Xbox games, board games, checkers, and ping pong. So I realized I will definitely need the gym when I get back! After playing tennis on the Xbox Kinect and finally beating my mission President, my shoulder is super sore just from playing. I am SOOOOO out of shape. But I did beat the President (2 out of 3), which no ever does, so my mission is accomplished. The unwritten rule is whoever beats him gets to pick the next area he gets to serve in, however the Mission President said I would choose the office! hahaha.

Mom I just want to say that I am very grateful that you always write me a TON of questions, I know it means you worry, care, and love me so much!!!!!!! But truthfully I am very healthy, so don’t worry anymore.

We are going to President's house on Christmas eve (what they celebrate here more than the actual day) and then Christmas day with a family in the ward and having a BBQ!

I can’t wait to talk with you all on Christmas day, one of my last two calls before I see you in person. We will do Google Hangouts at noon our time in the office.

Love you all very much! Remember to always do the little things! Share the Gospel!

Besos, Tchau, Tchau,
Elder JT Moore

At the Christmas Conference
Elder Cardenas playing checkers against President
Checkers at Christmas Conference
Me and Elder Sulivan
Me and Elder Blanchard
Christmas Conference
Me and Elder Fernandez
The mug I won during the white elephant
The Guaratuba Crew
Elder Cardenas cool gift
Christmas Conference
Our matching skirts and ties
Ward Mission Plans
The Office "Elv"ders

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Enjoy the Ride, because it's the Ride that is Fun!

Another fast week that has passed in the mission. I am getting more comfortable more and more each week with things I have to do here in the office. The only things that gets me a little nervous is that an American is coming directly from Provo, so I will have to register her here in Floripa. Usually the 1st one is done in Sao Paulo but since she just got her visa at the end of her time in Provo she will just come straight here. E. Betts will already be gone so that will be some fun. We are getting ready for transfers. There is still a lot of things I need to do better, organization, planning, and patience. There are a TON of computer things I need to learn, man Dad, I wish I had learned a lot more things about computers from you before I had left. Little did I know, how much I would be needing these skills. Also I have learned that I just have to strive to do Heavenly Father's will no matter what, because he knows what's best for me. Also to love people more, love them no matter what, even with all their defects because we all have them, and you just have to see them for who they can become and not who they are at the moment. Dad always says the mission is like a roller coaster, and here in the office it has been a bumpy ride with a lot of ups and downs, right now I am on a little down slope, but honestly it is very small and I know I am going to have a big climb coming up, so I am so excited!

Today we are going to be making a video entitled "District 3 - The Office". In "Preach My Gospel" there are videos, entitled District 1 and 2, that are used to teach us different aspects of missionary work. So we here in the office decided we would make one showing what missionaries in the office do. I truly didn't realize everything that the missionaries did in the office until I was called here. To be honest, I thought they didn't do much, how wrong I was about that! There is so much work that is done to make things easier for all of the elders and sisters. I don't think everyone realizes how much is done behind the scenes, so that is why we are making the video. It will be funny also, since we all have a lot of fun and joke around here in the office.

So we have been working with this one family here, and a while back we set a challenge with them on reading the Book of Mormon and who can finish first. This past week they came to church it was so awesome to see them there, it had been quite a while since they had gone and when we checked on their reading one of them was on 1 Nephi 17 and the other on 1 Nephi 15. We were so excited for them. It is so true when we are reading the Book of Mormon daily and working to get better at it we will automatically get better, and we will start doing the things we need to do. It is so simple. I loved that talk by President Uchtdorf that you talked about in the email dad. We just need to keep the gospel simple and it is very simple. I think we complicate it and that is when we get messed up. Our Presidents email this week was also awesome, he talked about simplifying the missionary worked and it helped me a lot.

So the funny story for the week was that we smashed a cake into Elder Betts face for his birthday on Wednesday that was pretty fun and funny!" The new word/phrase that I learned this week was liberação de bagagem. I learned it with the missionaries going home, I guess it translates to liberation of baggage I guess is how you say it. It is how much weight they are able to bring home on the plane.

So the big decision this week was whether or not to resole one of my pair of shoes, or buy a new pair. With the exchange rate right now, I went with buying a new pair of shoes. They are very nice and comfortable, I will still probably resole one of my other pair of shoes, and I will be good to go for the rest of the mission.

So just a few things I ask for this week, 1. Send a big handshake to the Godinhos they are a awesome family. 2. Include in your prayers that this ward will be prepared to make the change and catch fire with missionary work. 3. Please read as a FAMILY “Preach My Gospel” especially chapter 9, the importance of members!! and share it with other members in the ward. 4. For Family Home Evening this week please study this talk,

Have a great week! Do the little things, love one another, do missionary work it’s the best medicine!
Happy anniversary Mom and Dad!
Love you all very much,
Elder JT Moore

E. Betts and I working hard
Our District, just having fun!
Just working!
My new shoes
Now to wear out these new kicks

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everybody! So today we saw some people dressed in Halloween costumes, pretty cool to see it. So this week was a lot more calmer and I am understanding a lot more, I was able to do a lot more in the office and prepare for the future. To be honest working in the office creates stress, frustration and annoyances at times, but there are also great times of counsel with the president where the spirit is super strong, and we learn so much, it is so great being out here on the mission and having spiritual experiences daily, which makes all the difference! I also really saw this week how much the President loves us missionary and how he truly cares about each and every one of us. I enjoy being a representative of Jesus Christ and feeling the spirit. So on Wednesday it was a little stressful in the office, but then it was great to get out and work. We went and visited a family that is investigating the church and we were going to teach them about the Book of Mormon. We had left them with the assignment to read Moroni 10:3-5, and when we talked to them they had read Moroni 10: 3-5 and actually the rest of the chapter. It was awesome to hear them talk about what they had read, they definitely believe it. You can tell when people have a true desire it is just super apparent on their faces. I am super excited for them, they are going to keep progressing, they have a lot of obstacles that they will have to overcome, and it will be a while for them to be ready to be baptized. This week is going to be the week of the member missionary work, we are going to be bringing a bunch of members to the visits with them. Member missionary work is great, and it truly helps the investigators with feeling comfortable at church and other activities.

The ward had a great activity on Sunday roughly translated into English as "The day no one missed", it was a super awesome success and we had a lot of visitors and investigators. There was like 20 people in Gospel Principles class. It was great activity, and a key opportunity to talk to members and visitors.

So it is weird that E Betts goes home on this next transfer! It's crazy that we both got here in Brazil on the same day and we both were in Criciuma, and now he is almost home, crazy how fast time flies by! The mission goes by so fast!

Funny story for the week: Okay so E. Keller and Fernandez were calling all the areas this week to find out about the apartments of the missionaries. He called this one missionary and here is the discussion they had. All in Portuguese okay
Keller: Hello Elder....... hows it going..
Other Elder - Doing good here and what about you?
Keller- Doing good I have some questions for you guys that I needed to know. How many bathrooms do you guys have. In Portuguese there is banheiros (bathrooms) and batismos (baptisms).
Other Elder - Well me and my comp just got here and right now we don't have any, but we are working really hard and we are excited and now we can get one...
Keller (Look of confusion on his face) - Wait... What Elder?... (Sudden realization of what each Elder was talking about) hahaha

New word of the week: alfândega it means custom house. So E. Betts bought a map of Floripa and they have a museums of the custom house, so yeah that is how I learned the new word.

I want you all to watch/read His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox

Love you all very much! Remember to always do the little things!

Besos, Tchau, Tchau,

Elder JT Moore

Have to love the view of the Floripa Bridge
My desk in our appartment
Our living room
Most excitement we have as missionaries is buying new ties

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Small little miracles in our lives

Third week in the office and I am still learning and still have a LONG way to go. Its getting better each week, I am learning more, but I know I can do better and at times. I don't get everything done that I have planned in the day and it frustrates me, but a lot of times during the day I will get random calls from someone where I have to buy a bus ticket really quick or other random things that aren't planned, "but come what may and love it". I am enjoying it a lot here but I want to make things a lot more organized and efficient in my work in the office and outside in proselyting.

So as I have mentioned before many times I am eating very good, in fact to good here, we eat out a lot. I need to buy more healthy food, but its hard because we don't have a lot of time here in the office. I am afraid if I stay here in the office too long, they will be rolling me off the plane at the end of my mission and I won't be able to run up and give you all hugs. I really am getting really fat because of all the food. To counter that I have begun to work out almost everyday!

The new word I learned this week is soluços - it means hiccups. I had the hiccups at the beginning of the week and they wouldn't go away, so that is how I learned that word!

Here is a really simple but cool experience we had this week. So E. Betts and I just got finished with a doctors appointment and on the way back E Betts was like lets go this way, I never went this way before, lets see if its faster. Turns out as we are headed home that way, we find a new family that moved into the ward from another ward on the island. He is actually from St David in Arizona and she is from Sao Paulo. They were in the middle of the move and their car died, and it was raining, and their little baby was sleeping in the car, and their cell phones didn't have any credit to call anyone. We were able to help them out, and we also called one of the counselors in the bishopric who came and helped get their car started. So that was Awesome! Like one thing I love about the mission is how many little miracles like that happen in our lives daily, it wasn't something big, but it shows how the Lord is always with us. One thing I know is that when we are living in accordance with the way the Lord wants us to live, then we are worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and it will manifest itself in our lives! I think a lot of times missionaries and members a like take those things for granted. However every member in the church can and should be having these small little miracles happen in our daily lives.

So the scripture I'd like to share this week is Alma 42:4 We are here to repent and to serve God! Also verse 30 don't make excuses, let the justice, mercy, and long-suffering in our hearts and we need to HUMBLE UNTO the DUST!

So Jacob and I see each other like every week since we are in the same zone, it is pretty crazy that two friends from Surprise, Arizona are thousands of miles away from home in a foreign country and we are literally like 10 miles or less away from each other. #CRAZYWORLD #FLORIPAISBEAUTIFUL #LOVEDOINMISSIONARYWORK

The gospel is really simple, the simple truths are what the Savior wants us to know, these are the things that we need to know to be able to return to live with our Heavenly Father. The Atonement is REAL and Jesus truly knows us and what we go through during our lives.

Love you all,

Elder JT Moore

E. Keller, Cardenas, and I
Trying to do a pyramid
E. Betts, Cardenas, Me, and Keller looking at the Island and Mainland
Me and E. Keller
Climbing to the top
Looking down on Floripa
Looking down on the Island
I am becoming the Elder on the left haha #FATTYELDERPROBS

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Still lost but learning

This week it has been super cold and cloudy which is unusual for Floripa. It is my second week in the Office and I am understanding a lot more this week, I still have a lot to learn but it's a good first step. These two weeks here in the office have flown by! I am enjoying it, the most stressful part of the stuff I am in charge of is with the visas of everyone, but besides that I am getting confident with the other things. Somethings I am still lost with and others I understand perfectly. I am trying to get better organized and figure out ways to do tasks more easier and quickly. So while we are here in the office we look for every opportunity to share the gospel. The other day we were at the federal police station, and we were talking to this one guy while we were waiting and he asked what we believe in. I explained about the restoration and the plan of salvation very simply and he had a lot of questions about the plan of salvation and honestly I am so grateful for the plan of salvation and to know the plan that God made for me and each one of us individually. How each one of us can have complete happiness, I am so grateful for this knowledge and the privilege to share it with others right now and for the rest of my life.

There are a ton of funny events that occur here in the office. Our quartet is super hilarious, everybody has a great sense of humor. We are always with different companion since we split up for lessons when someone has to run errands. We have a lot of fun and there are a lot of funny moments together.

In the short time I have been here I have met a few awesome ward members. There is one family in the ward that are super awesome and help us out a ton, also Pedro our ward mission leader is cool and super funny! I am still very lost when it comes to our area, since we don't get to get out as much as other areas, and our area covers part of the island and across the bridge on the main land. We have been working with a few part member families, trying to bring those that are less active back, and teaching their other family members who are not members. We have visited them a couple times this week they are awesome. We are helping teach everything to them. We are trying to get them to read the scriptures as a family. We are also teaching a young family with 2 little kids, they are impressive. The mom downloaded the gospel library app, and has read a lot.

So the scripture this week that I would like to share is Alma 41:3, 8 and 10. The path is made we just gotta do it and follow it to have eternal salvation. Important to have good works, desires, everything starts in the heart, we need to have a change in our NATURE to truly become more like our Heavenly Father.

Feliz Cumpleanos Yaya!!! Espero que has tenido um bom dia!!

Love and miss you all very much,

Elder JT Moore

Minions outside of our Office
Visiting a family in the Ward
View from our apartment
The Office, Doing what we do best!!
The AZ boys
Feliz Cumpleanos Yaya!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Welcome to "The Office"

So first week in "The Office" and sometimes it is overwhelming, but it is really fun and I'm enjoying it. Doing missionary work is harder, especially the week of transfers because everyone is leaving and arriving, and E. Betts is trying to train me at the same time. At times it is a little stressful because everyone calls to ask for bus tickets for district meeting and stuff like that, but we also have lots of fun. I am learning quickly and getting the hang of things and E. Betts is helping me a lot and teaching me quickly. I know from the last gen. conf. that the Lord qualifies those he calls, so that will sure be the case here! One thing that is cool about working in "The Office" is getting to have a lot more contact with President and getting to pick his brain and learn from him.

Yes I am doing lots of exercises, because honestly we eat really good here. We don't eat at the members homes because of time, but like every lunch this week we either ate out at a restaurant or somebody bought something really good and brought it in, it is ridiculous, I really have to be careful that I don't get fat!

So we are suppose to leave the office at 4 pm, but this week we have stayed later because of all the paperwork and the new missionaries that got here. However on normal weeks we should be proselyting from 4-9 pm. Like I said we don't get to eat with the members, which stinks big time. Because that was one of the big ways to make the friendship and connection with the members and get to know them and them trusting us. It feels like I had gotten the hang of everything and how to get an area and members pumped up about the work, and now I got thrown a change-up and have to learn how to hit it, but it will be a fun task to figure out.

So funny story of the week: So our quartet of Elders are Elder Betts, Cárdenas, me and we were heading to the bus station to pickup Élder Da Silva's who has a broken foot. But, on the way there, we get a call from one of the assistants, who was already at the airport escorting some missionaries, telling us that a sister from Argentina didn't have her passport. She only had roughly 20 minutes to get her passport, and to get through the gate. So, we get to the bus station, take a taxi to the office to get her passport, and then take the same taxi to the airport. So E. Betts runs out of the taxi to try and find the sister, to give her the passport. But, right in front of the sliding glass doors of the airport, his foot decides that it wants to get stuck on a rock or something, he stumbles, but it looks like he is going to catch his balance, be he continues to stumble as he goes forward to the sliding glass doors. For a split second, we are thinking "HE IS GOING TO BREAK THE GLASS!" Luckily he didn't break the glass. But it made a LOUD sound, as he face planted into the glass, and everything from his shirt pocket went everywhere, EVERYONE in the airport was looking at him. We waited for him to get back to the taxi and make sure he was fine, then we all started busting up laughing, it was so funny!!! Oh, don't worry, the sister got her passport and got on her plane without any problems.

So I will talk more about the "missionary work" next week, just pray for all of the members and investigators in all my past areas, and this area as well. Also, please do missionary work at home and help the missionaries out!!!!

Eu amo vocês.

Élder JT Moore

Quick tour of "The Office"
Our Quartet in "The Office"
Our work area
Out of the "Office" for the night
Me, E. Betts, and Cardenas eating out.
View from our apartment
The view of  the Hercilio Luz Bridge from my window
Our District

Monday, October 5, 2015

Lágrimas de Tristeza

So here is the crazy news, both Elder Keller and I are getting transferred. We are both headed to the office in Floripa. E. Keller is the new AP and I’m the new executive secretary. E. Betts will train me, and we will be in a quadruple companionship of secretaries with E. Cardenas and E. Da Silva as the foursome. It will be a lot of work, but should be a ton of fun! I don't have a ton of time today, but I did do a few audios on the bus ride from Joinville to Floripa. We left at 7:10 this morning and got here at 10:10. I will have more time on Saturday, which will be my P-day now. It is already crazy here with the new missionaries arriving tomorrow and I am completely lost! I am a little nervous and don’t want to mess us, but I know that the Lord will qualify those he calls. It kind of stinks that I won't get to do a lot of normal missionary work, but we will see how it goes.

So General Conference was awesome, I learned a ton on the Sabbath, and on Fasting. My favorite talk was by Elder Larry Lawrence on Saturday, “What Lack I Yet”. It was what I was needing. There was a ton that were great, I also like the talk about the surfers and the net, . It seemed a lot of the talks were about the Sabbath day, keeping the commandments, and prophets and apostles, and save money.

I am so sad to leave Joinville, we really loved the ward and the members, and I think they really loved us too, and our companionship was starting to really find success. It was a really fun and exciting time in the mission, and I am sad E. Keller and I only had one transfer together. We both thought we would be in Joinville until at least Christmas. So I will see E. Keller all the time here in the office and he has the same P-day as me, so, we will still be able to get together and hang out and talk football, hahaha. There will be four new Elders in our place in Joinville, E. Chavez, Luz, and Choate is going to train someone there. So Sonia is doing well, we taught her about the sacrament, and she went to conference and loved it. Also Lucas and Eli and their family are doing awesome they had an awesome experience this week with prayer. They are so ready, I am excited for them. There are a lot of families that we are really going to miss in this area, we will have to visit them if you come and pick me up.

So the new word I learned this week was Fubá which is cornmeal hahah. I learned it because of a recipe Irma Godinho shared with us, and made for us they were awesome.

My favorite scripture and one that honestly I really like is Hebrews 13, it talks about Jesus Christ did most of his important things outside of the walls of the city, and we need to help the people that are outside the church or those that left the church. We need to get them to come back and rescue them.

What I have learned a lot during the mission is all of the little miracles that happen, and just how much the Lord works in our lives each and every day.

I love you all very much, and miss you a ton! Make sure you reread the conference talks and do missionary work,

Elder JT Moore

Our District
Saying bye to the Godinho Family
Saying bye to Anderson and Sarah
Saying bye to the Zanella Family
Saying our goodbyes
Saying bye to Joinville
Look he we saw in Floripa, E. Blanchard
We are sad to leave Joinville