Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, October 26, 2015

Coulee Dam

I'm finally in my first area with my new companion!
This is the only picture I have of Elder Coy presently.
My new companion is Elder Coy and we have been assigned  to the Coulee Dam area. It is a 3 hour drive north of Yakima, and is a pretty cool place. Our area is the biggest in the Yakima mission. We cover 10 small towns north of Coulee Dam on the way to Omak, about an hour drive. Because our area is a lot of back country, we even get to drive a Jeep! Unfortunately, its a soccer mom Jeep Compass. Pssh. Anyways, we get 1600 miles a month. We are almost out of miles for this month, which means that we have had to stick to tracting the areas closest to us. These areas get tracted alot, though, so we haven't had a lot of success. I cant wait until our miles renew so that we can finally go up north. 
It is really interesting to be a missionary in a tiny community like Coulee Dam.
Coulee Dam from city.

Firstly, the Coulee dam is the biggest dam in the world (or America, I'm not sure). It blocks the Columbia River and is a mile long and 550 feet high, and our apartment is only a mile from it.

Secondly, we live on an Indian Reservation, so on my first day here we were proselyting to a lot of Native Americans.

Elder Coy taught me how to make balloon poodle! 
Thirdly, there are dear everywhere up here. They aren't afraid of people, either. They are almost domesticated.
The deer listen better than the people when I proselyte.

We came upon this place while tracting.
And lastly, the ward here is tiny! The chapel is only 2 columns of six rows, and there are probably only 20 active members. The ward members here have to drive quite a ways to go to church, so that explains some of it, but it is still weird.

Thank you all for writing me and praying for the missionaries! We all thank you for your support!

Tote zins to ya

Elder Moser

Mission Home

Hello, everyone!

I have gone through so many changes in the past week. I feel like every time I get used to one thing, it changes. But that's ok, change is what the mission is all about!

Elder Quast and I woke up at 3:00 am Tuesday morning to check out of the MTC.
MTC district Sister Training Leaders and District Leaders
We were up packing until 2:00 that morning, so as anyone would guess, I was really looking my best. Something about wearing a suit that early in the morning is just unholy. Anyways, we got onto a bus, which took us to a train, which took us to the airport. I was really looking forward to calling my family, but there were 21 missionaries flying into Yakima that day, so all of the phones were being used.
Loading the train.  Look at all those missionaries!
I wanted to call my family in Seattle, but unfortunately, our plane was late getting there so we didn't have time. Bummer. Well, there's always Christmas, right?


To get to Yakima I rode a bus, then a train, then a plane, then another plane, then a tuck!  

Our plane into Yakima was a tiny twin prop plane that was full of almost just the missionaries. When we landed at the glorious Yakima Airport, President Lewis, his wife, and several other people from the mission office were there to greet us with hugs (just the men, of course).
That is one thing that I have noticed while being here. Everyone - the AP's, the President, missionaries that you just met - gives you hugs. I really felt welcome, it was like I was just adopted into a new family. And in several ways, I was! President Lewis drove us back to the mission home where we put away our stuff, had a much needed lunch, and then sent us off on exchanges to do some good ol' tracting.
Food!  Glorious, tasty food!
Tracting honestly wasn't that bad! I really enjoyed it. Nobody was answering their doors, so Elder Taele and I helped a guy that was outside stacking wood in his backyard. He invited us to sit and talk with him, so we did. we were there for probably 45 minutes just talked about Jesus and a little bit about our religion. He really appreciated all that we missionaries do, but he wasn't interested in our religion because he already has his own.

Green x 23
After that, Elder Taele let me introduce ourselves to an older guy outside doing some yard work. We started talking right away about religion when he noticed our tags, and so I asked him' "are you religious at all?" He just stared at me for a few seconds and then said,"Well, yes! I'm in your ward!" Elder Taele totally set me up. He said I did a good job, but he got a good laugh out of it.

Writing letters home

Parting with my first companion, Elder Quast.

Monday, October 19, 2015

MTC Adventures

Hello, everyone!

I have less than 24 hours left spent in the MTC! I can't believe how much faster this week went. It almost felt like a normal week, which is weird, because it has been soo hard. Our district has been hit with adversity from every angle the past seven days, which is making us believe that we will accomplish a lot when we leave for the field tomorrow.

Speaking of leaving, Elder Quast and I have our flight plans! We leave the MTC at 3:15 a.m. tomorrow morning, which is pretty ridiculous because the flight from SLC to Seattle is only an hour, and then the flight to Yakima is only 30 mins. I am so excited to get out into the field!! All of the investigators that we have been teaching have made me want to stay! We finally got both of our "investifakers" (people who are role playing investigators, but real people with real stories from the outside world) to commit to baptism, which is awesome, but it makes me want to see it all the way through. I want to go to their baptism, I want to be there when their families get sealed, and I want to help them continue in their path towards Christ. It is so awesome. The hardest part about leaving, though, will be saying goodbye to our district. The 10 of us have grown so close the past two weeks. Probably too close to be honest. Sometimes we get laughing so hard we can't focus on anything else for the rest of the lesson, but that is ok. I have definitely made some good friends here that I hope to see again. Best wishes to my sisters in the Arkansas, Bentonville mission and my Elders in the Wisconsin, Milwaukee Mission! Hurrah for Israel!

Yesterday was a great sunday. Sister Stirling, Sister Peterson, and I sang "How Great thou Art" in sacrament meeting with Elder Balukoff on cello and Elder Schauerhamer on Piano. It went really well for only a day of practice! Yesterday was  typical day of laughing and spirituality for district 24C. But this story makes it a little bit more hilarious. We were sitting in class waiting for our branch president to show up, and we were all to anxious to just sit their. So we had the brilliant idea to put the garbage can up on the top of a shelf and play horse with a crumpled up piece of paper. For added difficulty, Elder Schauerhamer also was standing on top of a desk with an oscillating fan to blow the paper away. At that time, two Elders from our district were in a separate classroom studying for a lesson, so when they walked through the door, Elder Schauerhamer reached around the door to blow the fan in their faces. Except it wasn't the Elders. Good ol' Schauerhamer was blowing the fan directly into the President's face as he showed up 15 minutes early. It was legendary. Their was an audible "oooh" from our whole district as we silently sat down and put everything away. It was kind of like that scene in the best two years. Yeah, that one. But President Jamison was cool about it. He just sat down and talked to us about how it is a good thing to have fun while on a mission. What a good guy. We also watched an MTC talk that night from Elder Holland called "Missions are Forever". He is the most passionate speaker I have ever witnessed. And he is hilarious. I would recommend everyone to watch that video if it can be found somewhere. 

We went to the temple for the second time as a district today. It was amazing. I am amazed by how many people the Provo Temple can handle! Its like an ordnance factory up in there! Its awesome! I am really going to miss being with my district, but I am excited to see where my mission takes me next. Well, I know it will be Yakima, but you know what I mean. I'm also going to miss hating the dryers on P-Days and playing basketball during gym time. I have learned so much here, and I am so grateful that I have experienced the MTC in the way I have. I have been on a spiritual high for daaays, and I really hope I can keep that going throughout my mission.

I'm almost out of time, but I'll be writing you all from Yakima next week!

Peace and blessin's,

Elder Moser

Handwritten Letter Home

October 14, 2015

Dear Mom, Dad, and those who don't write me,

I am sitting in class right now and I have some free time, so I thought that I would write you all. I know that you probably read my e-mail at dinner or something, but the MTC is seriously awesome! It can get really stressful, but everything is fine when you remember that Heavenly Father doesn't expect perfection, especially in teaching, and I am so grateful for that.

Speaking of teaching, Elder Quast and I just finished teaching a non-member about the Restoration. It was our 3rd lesson with him, and I feel like he is really opening up to us.... We even got him to pray for the first time in 40 years. He said he felt good, and Quast and I were like "Yesssss!"  I think missionary work has changed a lot in the past few years. All that we have to do is love the person and tell them things that will help them feel the spirit. It is so great!

Elder Q and I are loving being Zone Leaders. We got a super dumbed-down flip phone that can only receive calls, so we're basically the coolest kids (I mean "Elders") on campus. We also get to meet the incoming district today and give them a tour of the MTC, all while acting like we actually know things.  But to be honest, I still only know how to get to my dorm, the cafeteria, and my classroom.  But they don't have to know that.

The dorm arrangements are perfect.  We get along with our roommates (Elder Roundy, the gentle giant, and Elder Lloyd, the hipster skater kid turned missionary.)  They are both hilarious and super friendly. They also play basketball with us at gym so they are kind of just part of our district.  Elder Lloyd is really small and Elder Roundy is Huge, so they make a funny companionship.

Hope to hear from you soon, with you being my mother and all!

Nath....ELDER Moser (That happens a lot.)

Coming To You Live From the MTC!

Last meal....Thai Food.

Group hug given moments
before entering MTC

     Elder Nathan S. Moser entered the MTC  on October 7, 2015.  Before entering the MTC grounds, the family stopped for lunch and then met cousin Heather Houghton near the Provo temple grounds for pictures.  At 1:02 p.m. on October 7th, Nathan was "kicked to the curb," as we affectionately called it, to be escorted into the MTC.  He was all smiles standing by his luggage as we drove away but as his mother, I could not stand the thoughts of him standing alone at all.  We made it the 100 yds or so to the stop light and did a u-turn to make sure he had been taken care of. Which of course, he had.  All was well.  This was our first letter a few days later:

 October 12, 2015 @ 5:19 p.m.

Wow. I cant believe that I only have 725 days left as a missionary. Where does the time go? Well, to answer that, it goes nowhere in the MTC. Absolutely nowhere. It feels like I've been at the MTC for MONTHS now, for two reasons: 1) I have felt every possible emotion in the past 5 days and 2) my district is tight like unto a dish now. It really is crazy how little time it took for us to bond, its like we knew each other in the pre-existence and now we are just catching up!

Fun fact: I'm writing this letter with only an hour left of p-day because half of it was spent trying to get our whites to dry (we waited an hour and the machine was running, but never got hot), and the other half was spent trying to get my SD card out of the computer with our Sister Training Leader's tweezers because the card was too "small" or some other bogus reason like that. So sorry if I don't send any pictures of our district, our temple trip, or my companion. Not my fault.

My companion! I finally met my first companion, and his name is Elder Quast, and we get along really well. He's from Phoenix, AZ and is one cool dude. I mean, Elder. He's headed to Yakima as well, which we leave for on the 20th. We actually just met some really nice Spanish speaking elders headed to Yakima while Elder Quast and I were yelling at the dryer! They are really nice and we feed off of each other's excitement to leave. Not that the MTC is bad, because it isn't. The food is... well, edible, but the MTC is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. The spirit here is so strong when you look out and see all of the other missionaries walking two by two with those black name tags. It is the most amazing feeling to know that this is exactly where we are supposed to be. Ahhhh. I love it.

My first day here was pretty interesting. It started with tearing up as my family kicked me to the curb, then quickly went to standing in several lines where I was handed keys, cards, books, things, keys, things, and other things. Then my escort (whose first name is also Nathan, BTW) took me to my room where I dropped off my stuff, and then to the classroom where I made awkward conversation with the other emotionally numb missionaries in our district thinking "wait... so like, is this happening?" After a brief introduction with our teacher, Brother Holmes, we all went to a meeting for all of the new missionaries that arrived that day (500 of us!!) where we met the mission president and his counselors. The meeting was great, but the best part is when we sang that "Army of Helaman" song, because the words were changed from "and we will be the lord's missionaries" to "we ARE NOW the Lord's missionaries to bring the world his truth." I'm literally tearing up writing that. What is happening to me. The rest of the day was filled with study time and basic role playing, which was different. But i'm getting better at it. 

The thing that I've learned here that has had the biggest impact on me is that Missionary work is NOT about the missionaries. At all. We don't turn people to Christ by teaching good lessons; in fact, we don't turn them to Christ at all, the spirit does. We just try to give them as many opportunities as we can to feel that spirit, because that is what makes the change. And it's true that we will be the biggest convert if we lose ourselves in the work, but if our only goal is to be converted, we won't get there. We have to become like Christ, completely selfless in every single way. We watched a movie last night at a fireside called "The Character of Christ" and that is what I learned. David A Bednar explains it better than I ever could, but it was the answer that I have been praying for for a long time. I have wanted the atonement of Jesus Christ to become something personal in my life, and watching this talk did that for me. It felt similar to when you realize that the sun isn't just part of the sky, but rather an comprehensibly large ball of burning gas that is actually there in space, keeping you alive. Maybe Jesse will get that analogy ;) I felt it again that day when my MTC branch took the sacrament, which Elder Quast and I passed around. It just felt so personal. I wish that everybody could understand how important and real and life saving the atonement is, because for the first time in my life, I have. 

Have I mentioned how amazing the MTC is? I have felt the spirit more strongly than I ever have before, and have made friendships that will last a long, long, time. By the way, Elder Quast and I were called to be Zone Leaders over the two districts in our branch, which is fun, because we are only pretending that we know what we're doing. 

Well, I will send another letter next week, because I'm almost out of time here. 

Pray for the missionaries! I love you all!!

Elder Moser

Mid Week, we received a text from our recently released Stake President, Robert Jenks, who was also in the MTC with his wife preparing to serve a couples mission to an island ...somewhere. (sorry) His text read:   "Sister Moser, look who Sister Jenks  and I just visited with.  He looks good."  **Tender mercy!