Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, November 23, 2015

Miracles Everywhere!

Friends and family! 

This week has been full of miracles. I mentioned last week that the work here in Coulee Dam has been a little slow, but in just one week, after praying for miracles, we have managed to pick up three new investigators and several potentials. 

Miracle #1: Last Monday was, as usual, p-day. P-day lasts until 6:00, and then we are expected to proselyte until 9:00. We usually have a hard time getting into doors, though, because the people around here love their Sunday and Monday night football. We decided to look through a list of potential investigators left by some missionaries a few years ago to see if any of them would be interested. Elder Coy and I felt that we should visit one person in particular named Vicki. We had never met her before, but we went anyways. When we knocked on the door, it took a few minutes for her to answer; but when she did, she immediately came out and started crying. Apparently, she has been going through some really rough times lately and had been praying all day that God would send someone to help her. When she saw "people of God" on her front step, she was amazed at how quickly and how directly her prayer was answered. Vicki is a strong believer in God, but the rest of her family is not. She said through tears that this is something she and her family needs. She even said that though we couldn't come in to talk to her right then, that we had to come back later and tell her everything we know. Vicki is more than a golden investigator; she's straight up platinum! On our way back to the car, Elder Coy reminded me that visits like that don't happen very often. When we came back to visit her on Thursday, she had read  the Introduction to the Book of Mormon and 3 Nephi 11, just like we had asked her to. She had loads of questions as well, and we did our best to answer them. We will meet with Vicki again later this week, so Elder Coy and I are doing our best to prepare ourselves to teach her. It is amazing how Heavenly Father had been preparing Vicki to receive the gospel. Elder Coy and I didn't receive some grand revelation, either, just a small prompting to visit a particular person. That is the best part about being a missionary. Because of our calling and obedience to the rules, God has promised us that we can expect miracles like our visit with Vicki. 

Miracle #2: On Wednesday, we were looking through our area book and came across a teaching record for a man named Dean that had been taught in Ephrata but had then moved to Grand Coulee. It was from a few years ago, too. The missionaries hadn't been able to find this "Dean" person. It had a sticky note on it that said "no address or phone number, good luck!" So Elder Coy and I, being the geniuses we are, decided to look it up in the phone book and by so doing found him immediately. We drove to his address and gave his door a knock, when out stepped a Hispanic guy that we see every week at the food bank. Turns out that the guy that we see at the food bank every week is Dean! We didn't know that his name was Dean, and we had no clue that we was so interested in the church. We visited him a few times over the course of the week and he told us that he knows that God wants him to join the church. He has narrowly escaped death and serious injury so many times in his life, and he gives credit for that to God. He also explained that every time he feels like he no longer needs God in his life, he runs into the Mormon Missionaries, whether he's in Everette, Ephrata, or Grand Coulee. It's like God has been saving him and really wants him to listen to us. He had been taught all of the lessons by the missionaries in Ephrata a few years ago, and so I asked him if baptism was still something he was interested in, and before I even finished the question, he said  "oh yeah, I still want to get baptized." Dean is an awesome guy, and he said that he will work towards baptism after Dec. 1st because he's really busy. We are so excited for Dean!

Miracle #3: Last Thursday we were on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. Both of the companionships stayed here in Coulee Dam. I was with Elder Oliver, and lets just say that if being a missionary was a sport, he would be playing for the pros. He never let anyone get away without sharing the gospel. If someone was a block away and headed the opposite direction on the other side of the street, he would catch up to them and ask if we could introduce ourselves. Elder Oliver and I got along super well. We also taught really well with each other. For some reason, everyone in town was outside and walking around on a Thursday morning, so we managed to pick up 5 new potential investigators and placed 2 Book of Mormons in 4 hours. Elder Oliver taught me so much about missionary work, and that the only reason we should be out here is because of the love we have for the savior and our brothers and sisters. Elder Oliver is a Spanish missionary, though, so I don't know if we'll ever be companions. Bummer.

Yesterday we visited with one of those potential investigators, an older lady named Becky. She was really nice. She invited us in and made us hot chocolate, and was open with us about her feelings of what we were teaching her. She also had two little neighborhood native girls running around the house that thought it was funny that we were both named "Elder." We gave her a Book of Mormon and she invited us back on Thursday.

Unfortunately I don't have any really funny stories this week, other than that Elder Coy and I helped our ward mission leader slaughter his Geese on Saturday. So that was fun. I don't have any pictures though, sorry! :)

Thank you all for your support and prayers! They are really making a difference here! It's amazing how even in a small place like Coulee Dam there are still people that are willing to hear the gospel. Above all, please keep praying for our investigators!

Until next week,
Elder Moser

Monday, November 16, 2015

Temple Trip and Craziness

Friends! Family! Other people!

The work is slowly progressing here in Washington! Getting new investigators is not easy in small secluded towns, but we have managed to meet a few new people within the last week. Also, I always notice the stupid grammatical errors in my letters after I send them, but ain't no one got time for spellcheck. So please forgive me.

Last Tuesday, I were on exchanges with the Omak Elders again. But this time, I was with Elder Colunga. So far, I've gotten along really well with every missionary I have had to work with, and Elder Colunga was no different. Most of our day was spent tracting, trying to follow up with investigators that weren't home, and trying to stay warm in the freezing weather. There isn't any snow yet, but the wind will kill you. Anyways, our day was extremely average until our dinner appointment came. We were scheduled to eat with a young couple with two kids, and they totally forgot until we knocked on their door. They were also in the process of putting up a Christmas tree and all that jazz, so we caught them at a bad time. I felt bad, but we helped them get set up and they made us some spaghetti anyways. I spent the rest of the time talking with the family and making pretend soups with their 3 year old son, Owen. It was a blast. 

When I was back in Coulee Dam that night, I needed to do laundry but didn't have any quarters, so Elder Coy and I ran back to the store to get some. While we were standing in line, I noticed a man with a bag full of liquor shots staring at our tags. He came up to us and explained how he had taken a tour of temple square the previous week with his family and was very impressed by the Mormon Church. He said that he was especially interested in missionary work, and while he was there he learned how we are called, what we do, etc. He finished by saying that we are doing a "dang" good job and that he hopes to see us around town. Heavenly Father prepares everyone in different ways and it is so cool to see how he gets you to cross paths with those that are willing to hear your message.

Elder Coy had an ear infection Wednesday night, which was not fun for either of us. We were in by 5:00 because he had a really bad headache, so I basically just sat around and watched some church videos. Missionary apartments are not designed for entertainment. They are only for studying, sleeping, and eating. And in our case, we don't even have a trash can. So trying to keep your mind from turning into mush when you have to stay inside is rough. That is why missionaries have to stay engaged in the work. If you don't get out and teach, things will get boring quickly. 

Friday was our zone temple trip! We had a member, Brother Bond, drive us all the way down to the Columbia River Temple in Kennewick. Going to the temple as a mission zone is a special experience. The spirit is extra strong. It's also nice to have the opportunity to interact with the other missionaries, because being a missionary in Coulee Dam means that the nearest companionship is an hour away. Going to the Temple is something that we only get to do every 6 months, so I was grateful for the opportunity. 

That night, we met with a man  who Elder Coy had met while knocking doors before I came here. This was only Elder Coy's second time seeing him, because he works odd hours. He is an amazing guy. He told us about how a little while ago, he and his girlfriend used to drink, smoke, and do every drug imaginable; but one morning, he woke up and told his girlfriend that he didn't want to live like that anymore. So that day, he drained all of his alcohol and threw away all of the drugs and paraphernalia. He also tacked a sign to a tree that says, "there is always hope", and its been there ever since. He said that it was that easy for him to quit abusing drugs and alcohol, and that he is now devoting his time to helping others in the community to do the same. He is the perfect example of action. If we all acted on our promptings the way he did with his to change his life, imagine how much better our lives would be! God has already shown miracles in his life, and I can't wait to teach him tomorrow about the plan our Heavenly Father has for him.

On Saturday, Brother Bond went with us to help move a family in town. It took a few hours of heavy lifting, and by the end of the first load, Elder Coy's elbows were toast. So in order to make it to our dinner appointment on time, Brother Bond and I summoned the strength of 1,000 oxen and moved 2 washers, 2 dryers, a canoe, and all manner of miscellaneous heavy things in record time.  After that, we had to rush to Sister Bashor's house to make it on time. Sister Bashor is a sweet old lady with a thick Ecuadorian accent that the missionaries found a few years ago. She made us some delicious chicken and rice stuff. She said that next time she will make pasole, and I'm pretty amped about that. 

We met some strange people this week, including one lady that was drunk and wanted us for something other than the gospel, and a man that is a recent convert but won't come back to church because the bishop stole 375 million dollars from him. Yep. 
Road to Omak looks like the Washington most
people envision.

Thank you all for your support and prayers! Please keep our investigators in your prayers as well!

Road to Omak.
Elder Moser

Zone Temple Trip.  I got moved to the back...the joys of
being above average height.

One Month Down

November 9, 2015
Friends and family!

The weeks are flying by here in Coulee Dam! I can't believe it is already p-day again. And also, I just wanted to give a shout out one time to my awesome mother for sending me a sweet sweet package. Literally, soo much candy. So just like Elder Groberg, promise you will still love me if I come back looking like an elephant.

Last Tuesday, I had my first exchange. I stayed with Elder Mendoza up in Omak, and It went pretty well. Except for the fact that Elder Coy didn't tell me to bring sheets. That Monday night I slept on a bed with no sheets or pillow, so I unzipped the liner out of my jacket to use as a blanket that would cover both halves of my body in their frigid apartment, McGyver style. It was great. The next day, it was on the schedule to help a family move out of their house. Since Elder Coy didn't tell me I needed service clothes, either, I was trying to avoid scratching up my church shoes too badly. The family did pay us in giant burgers from a restaurant in town, though, so that was great too. But when we finally got out tracting and teaching, I learned a lot from Elder Mendoza. He talked to everyone he saw and always made sure he left them with some spiritual message or card. We even got a few potential investigators! To bad I won't be in Omak to follow up with them.

The next day, Wednesday, we saw somewhat of a miracle happen. Elder Coy and I were at Safeway so that we could meet with a guy that works there, Mike, and set up an appointment. I left to go to the bathroom, and when I came out, Elder Coy told me that a lady went to Mike's register to buy a huge bottle of Spiced Gin, and that he had said a silent prayer for her to drop it on her way out. On our way back out, guess what we saw in front of the car? A bunch of glass shards and a stream of Spiced Gin running down the pavement. God is awesome.

Thursday was spent tracting in the town that I live in, Coulee Dam. It went very well! We always count the the number of quality gospel conversations that we have (or OYM's for Open Your Mouth) each day with the goal of at least 10 per day, and we had 7 before lunch. The people were home and willing to talk! Unfortunately, they were all happy with their religion, have already been "churched", etc. But at least we are sowing seeds! One family did seem interested, though, and we gave them a Book of Mormon and they invited us back for a day this week. I love it when people except us, especially when they have kids, because I know that the gospel can make their lives so much better! We also tracted in Wilbur and contacted 2 more families that invited us back! I really hope that these families progress, because the hard part of the mission field isn't knowing what to teach, it's finding people to teach.

Friday was interesting. We went to Electric City to visit some inactive members, the Fields, and invite them back to church. They were probably in their 80's. Apparently, the wife hasn't been active for 60 years. Wow. But they were very kind and invited us in to talk to them. They weren't interested in coming back, but Brother Fields, in the middle of the conversation, asked us, "Do you believe in Sasquatches?" To which Elder Coy said that he had actually felt a Sasquatch pelt at a guys house in Naches, and that the man that owned it had shot it himself. Brother Fields continued to talk about all of the times that he had seen Sasquatches when he worked in Alaska, with sister fields confirming that she had seen them too. Pretty weird, right? It got weirder. He then told us about all of the space ships that he had seen in his life right there in Washington, and even showed us some diagrams of a spaceship and different species of aliens that a friend of his who was abducted drew for him. When we finally got out of their, Elder Coy and I looked at each other thinking, "what just happened?" 

We ended the day with a visit to V's house, an investigator that is a lot like Jynx from the District videos. As soon as we walked through the door, she said that she wanted us to know that she wouldn't join the church, but that we were welcome to visit any day of the week. I was kind of bummed, but she is still reading the Book of Mormon, and she changes her mind every week... so I guess we just have to give her time.

On Saturday, we visited the "Undunkables", an older couple living in a trailer by the Columbia River. They have been talking to missionaries from all different religions for decades, but have still not made up their mind. We decided to talk about the holy ghost this time, and for the first time, they seemed genuinely interested. Even Hubert, the man who looks for every opportunity to change the subject to politics, participated and even testified about the Book of Mormon. Who knows, maybe they will be the next to be baptized.

Yesterday, we had interviews with President Lewis, and he told me that after talking to some of the members in the ward, they would have thought that I have been out for 6 months. Little do they know, I'm just faking it until I make it. But genuinely :) President and Sister Lewis are awesome. They are the nicest people, and they are starting to feel like family.

One last thing: Elder coy and I listened to a talk by Bill Carpenter about his conversion story. See if you can find it on Youtube and listen to it. It is amazing!

Until next week!

Elder Moser

Coulee Dam Chapel.

Outside our apartment.

See our warming blankets.

My study area.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Monday, Nov 2, 2015

Friends and family!

It has been a cold, rainy week here in Coulee Dam, but the spirit is keeping us warm!

To be honest, things have been kinda slow here. Most of our week has been spent visiting less actives and recent converts and tracting. Tracting here is very interesting, because there are such varied beliefs. Some people are hardcore atheist that tell us to go away, others are devout catholic, some are Native American and just don't give a rip, and the list goes on and on. Most of the people that we have come across are really friendly as well. Some let us into their homes even if they don't want to hear our message.

I have met some really great people, though. One recent convert that we frequently visit, V., is an older black lady that lives with her little dog, Earl. Her relationship with Earl is funny. Every time we visit her, her dog starts yapping away and she spends most of the lesson threatening the dog, like "ooohh, Earl, Imma slap you!" I love teaching her, because the work is a little slow right now, and she is one of the few people that we get to teach regularly.

To be honest, I don't really know what to talk about next, because so much happens every week that it isn't fair that we have to cram it all into one weekly letter. I guess I'll start with last P-Day!

Last Monday, Elder Coy and I took a tour of the dam. It was pretty cool. There were about 8 of us in the tour, and they put us all in a van that was being followed by a vehicle with some armed guards.

We saw a bit of the inside of the dam, which contains who knows how many miles of tunnels, and 15 or so pumps that each pump about about one billion gallons of water per day.  The tour guide said that the dam is the Largest in North America, the 2nd biggest concrete structure in the world, and contains enough concrete to build an interstate from Seattle to Miami, or a sidewalk that wraps around the equator twice. Its so big that the engineers and workers ride bikes everywhere! Other than the tour, the rest of Our P-Day was pretty chill. We are the only missionaries in the area, so we spent most of our day by ourselves relaxing and cleaning our apartment. And eating some overpriced tacos from a taco truck in town.

We actually got to travel quite a bit last week! We had about 200 miles left for the month, so we used them as much as we could to visit the smaller less-traveled towns. We hit up some of the smaller towns like Wilbur, Coulee City, and Nespelem.

Long road to nowhere....or .
We even picked up a few potential investigators along the way that invited us back, something that I hadn't seen yet in the mission field. I am most hopeful for someone that we met while tracting in Grand Coulee (confused by all of the town names yet?). She said that we could teach her because she is actually in the process of looking for a new church. She has been doing an "online church thing" for the past few weeks and says that it just isn't doing it for her, so we need to get over there before the Jehovah Witnesses snatch her up.

Nespelem Town Hall
I met a lot of cool people this week and I probably don't have enough time to talk about them all. But I have to tell you about one guy we met, an inactive guy name Brother C. We decided to meet him and invite him back to church. Brother C. is a big guy with a Harley, beard, and tattoos everywhere. But when he invited us into his house, we saw his ENORMOUS Beanie Baby collection. So. Many. They were actually his wife's, but they were displayed in the living room for all to behold. We talked with him for about an hour and a half on everything, from his time spent in the Air Force to the gospel of Christ. He is still a believer, but he doesn't want to travel all the way to Coulee Dam for church. That is the way it is for most of the inactives up here, unfortunately.

I have seen and smelled a lot of marijuana in the past few days. One lady we tracted was growing it right in her flowerbed in front of her house. Some places you can just smell it. It smells pretty nasty, like skunk sagebrush. Blehg. We were out tracting last night and we asked one guy that was outside if he had ever talked to the missionaries before, to which he replied, "No... I'm blazin! Hahaha" so that was pretty much a quality conversation. 

I fasted yesterday that Elder Coy and I would get into someones house to talk to them about the Gospel. Yesterday was also the day that we went up to Naspelem, a really small/ghetto reservation town, so I really didn't think that we would make it into anyone's house tracting. But the first door we knocked on let us in without hesitation! It turns out that the man that answered the door was a missionary from Wenatchee that had moved to the reservation to start a christian church there. Being a missionary, he was pretty set in his ways, and we could tell that he wanted to bash - but we just testified to him what we know to be true, and that is something that you can't argue. It is cool to see how heavenly father answers prayers. He answered my prayer pretty much instantly, but in a way that he knew I needed. We didn't really get to teach that missionary, but now I know what to study for the future, some of those being things that I have never even thought of before. 

I wish I had time to write about everything, but I don't. So here is a summary:
Some of the cutest kids I have ever seen are here and they love the missionaries.
Coulee Dam is full of great people.
The church is true.
The book is blue. 

I love you all!
There were no humans in this weeks photos so this is
 me being cheesy.

Elder Moser