Washington Yakima Mission

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

An Email

December 5, 2016

This week was tight. As in we were really busy and had a fun time figuring out how we were going to see everyone we wanted to see. 

Monday was a fun day! We spent half of it trying to get our Frisbee off of this little ledge thingy in the gym, but with some creative thinking and a lot of tape, we finally got it down. We also taped a camera to a really long pole to get some sweet basketball action shots. It was a good time :)

I can't remember if I mentioned this in my last email, but Elder Bird and I arranged a song to sing at the Christmas gathering this week. Were singing "Samuel the Lamanite" and "Go Tell It on the Mountain" in this really cool compilation. I'll also be accompanying on the guitar. We practiced it last p-day for those of us who could make it, but the whole zone will be here today to sing. Should be fun!

The Iron Chef challenge. Yes, that is a coconut. S'pretty cool.
For FHE last week, we had an Iron Chef challenge. Without having much Idea of what I was doing, I used my mission-gained cooking skills to whip up some coconut rice stuff, and the rest of the team made some meat taco things. We came in second place, but our presentation was on point. Just saying. Especially for being a bunch of YSA's.

I should also mention here before I forget: I finished my first journal EVER last week. I'm feeling pretty good about myself.
The Yakima Stake does a live Nativity every other year, and this was an on year. It was super good! 45 minutes of some incredible costumes and set design, and some really great musical talent. It was also fun seeing some of my member friends from Sunnyside that came to watch it! Randal and Kristie (a part member family) came, and Rodney and Carolyn came to the Nativity as well. They loved it! Now we just need to get them to church!
Hightlights of the week:
1. Eating at Red Robin twice, and Miner's of Yakima once.
2. Eating a waffle/chicken sandwich at said Red Robin.
3. A group of fighter jets flying over the stake center while we were doing leadership planning. It was deafening from inside the building!
4. The Finches giving us a full-size Christmas Tree to set up downstairs while they are in the Galapagos Islands for 2 weeks. 

On Saturday, we had ZTM. I gave a training on comp unity. Just in case you might care, here's some things you can do TODAY to increase your comp unity!
1. Serve your Companion
2. Openly communicate. It's everything.
3. Use your companionship to improve by setting goals and holding each other accountable.
4. Recognize that you are part of the problem, if there is one.
5. Share the load. Don't just take the whole responsibility, and don't just give it all to your companion. 
A Better word to use than unity is harmony. Why? Because different companions bring different "notes" to the song of missionary work, but if played correctly, it can be much more beautiful than one hand could ever play :)

That night, we took Jerald with us to a lesson with a LA. It was an incredible lesson. The guy we were teaching, Ammon, has been through a rough life, and actually contacted us to come visit him. He was addicted to drugs for several years, and it has been hard for him seeing the rest of his family serve missions, stay active, raise families when he hasn't had those opportunities. We were so glad Jerald was with us, because he testified of what the church has brought into his life. Jerald doesn't have quite the same past Ammon does, but they hit it off right away when they found out that Jerald was baptized on Ammon's birthday, and he used his personal experiences to testify that we can always get back on our feet. It was incredible, and the spirit was super strong. It is so cool watching Jeralds experience the joy first hand that comes from sharing the gospel! Ammon was so glad to see us, and we hope to move his records into the branch soon!

I am quite amazed that I've stayed healthy. I've never had to stay in for any amount of time. I don't even get tired, and it's been months since I've used the vitamins. I have no doubt that Heavenly Father is blessing me with the strength I need to fulfill my calling, and I am constantly praying for that strength. The injuries will probably resume once I get home ;) Sidenote: With all of the biking areas in this mission, and with all of the exchanges I go on, I have never had to ride a bike as a missionary. Not even once. Does God know us or what? haha.

You are all probably tired of reading this by now. Be free. Live life :)
Peace and blessin's,
Elder Moser

​The legendary head shop-vac after a Finch Fresh Fade.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Incinerated Turkeys and the Spirit of Elijah

November 28, 2016

If you are reading this right now, it means that you survived trying to eat yourself to death last Thursday


I'm emailing at a computer at the library right now. I hate doing that, because there's a little timer thing at the bottom of the screen that makes me feel like I have no time to write, even though I still get 1.5 hours like always. So here we go!

Monday was really fun. We played ultimate Frisbee and Basketball with the zone, and by the time we were down, we were so worn out. Afterwards, we went down to Zillah for the YSA's FHE to play some football under the lights at Zillah High School. We had a good time, even though President Finch knows some killer plays. We had a great turnout, and there lots of non-members and less-actives there! With some hot chocolate and socializing at President Winters house afterwards, it was a perfect day. I slept like a baby rock that night.

On Tuesday, I was on exchanges with Elder Nielsen from SLC. We had a fun time and tried some new things. For example, we started off our day proselyting on the YVC campus across town. It wasn't super successful because class had just started, but we and the other YSA sisters have an idea to start a hot chocolate stand and pass out the Light the World cards with free hot chocolate. Sounds fun to me! 

Wednesday was Zone Conference, and it was a blast. Elder Bird and I were in charge of conducting the role-plays for the new Christmas initiative, which was super fun, and the whole conference was just upbeat and exciting! Right afterwards, I was on exchanges again with AP Elder Cannon from Springville. We are pretty much the same person. We have both learned a lot of the same things on our missions, and both have a lot of the same goals in life and crazy bucket list items. I think I may have found my travel buddy when I ride my bike across the US :) We had such a fun time, and saw miracles pretty much right away! That night was dinner with the Tew family in our ward, and their youngest son had brought over 2 friends; one member and one non-member. Somehow, we got on the conversation of family history. When Elder Cannon and I were talking about it, the non-member friend, Martin, didn't seem too interested. He was just staring down at his phone the whole time. When we left, however, we discovered that he was actually making a Family Search account and had even started working on his tree right then and there! His two member friends blew me away with their testimonies of family history work and knowledge of the subject. Spirit of Elijah, anyone? 

That night, we also taught Jerald about family history work, and he already knew pretty much everything. Apparently, he does family history work during his breaks at work, and already has some names reserved for the YSA temple trip on the 14th. Jerald is making huge steps! He was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday, and has even applied for BYU. This guy means business! It has been a ton of fun to take him out to lessons, too. We took him out to a lesson last week, but the guy cancelled last minute... So we went to Chipotle instead because our dinner fell through :) Good times.

Thanksgiving was amazing. Our original plan was to eat with a recent convert in the Ward, Kevin, but his oven went on clean cycle while he was out of the house, and... well, it incinerated it. Haha. So some members invited all of us to eat with them last minute. We also had dinner with the Bishop's family and had a good time listening to his stories about getting stuck in the jungle of Guatemala with his pregnant wife several years ago. So funny. 

Well, that timer is still stressing me out. So I'm gonna leave you all with some homework: 

Watch the new video on LDS.org called Light the World. It is a beautiful video about how we can learn of the savior and come to know him when we do what he did: Serve. Watch it and cry, folks. Do it. 

Peace and blessings,
Elder Moser

Zone Conference November 2016

The blue ties were carefully coordinated by the Zone Leaders. Pretty sweet, right?

The Agenda

​Exchanges with the AP's

Yakima Valley 4ever

November 21, 2016

I love this area. I've been serving in the Yakima Valley for almost 9 months now. After this transfer, I'll only have 9 left! But I have loved serving the people here. I feel like I know every member in the valley which is pretty awesome, actually.

I am so lucky to serve in the Cottonwood Canyon Ward and YSA. This past week has been one of those reminders, and I've realized the bond that I've developed with the members. I have learned so much on my mission, and now Elder Bird and I are in a position where we can just work hard and apply those things! It is the best.

Here's a miracle: Last week we had a lesson with Tim where he complained for about a long time about how the ward doesn't care about him as a person and only wants him to get baptized. He also told us that they don't really communicate with him unless they need something from him. We did our best to help him understand what is really going on, but Heavenly Father did the rest of the work. During the last 10 minutes of our visit, his wife got a text from our WML's wife asking how their family was doing. We thought it was a funny coincidence, but the next morning Tim called us and told us that since we left, about 5 other families had called/texted him out of the blue to see how they were doing. He was kind of blown away by that. It was a perfect example of how we are not alone in this work, and that we only control a small portion of it. Heavenly Father inspires us and others to fulfill his purposes and change lives, and that is why missionary work works!
It's truly humbling to think about.

We met a few cool new people last week. At one house, we stopped because we realized that it had 3 front doors, and 3 doorbells. We decided to ring each one, and behind the 3rd one, right when we though no one was home, was YSA aged guy named Ric. Long story short, he's cool and we've started teaching him. And his Grandma is a best selling author of Amish Christian novels, so top that. We also found a young family that invited us back for a lesson this Tuesday. I'm super excited, because the father, Clay, and I get along really well and he has a lot of great questions that I've had myself. We also had another lesson with JC. He explained that he just feels imperfect and inadequate, and we explained to him that we all are inadequate, which is why we need a savior. It really made sense to me as we explained to him our quest to become like the savior through a life of repentance. This gospel is seriously beautiful and perfect! 

We took our Jerald twice last week, and he loved it. Even when people don't answer the door, he still just loves missionary work. He is such a champ! We should all try to be like Jerald when it comes to missionary work!

I went on exchanges last week with Elder North in Zillah last week, and it has to have been the funniest exchange I have ever been on. Boy. Oh. Boy. The highlight of the night was when we went over to a single elderly lady's home to have dinner. She had invited her youngest son, Jeff, to come eat with us so that we could actually come inside, but he wasn't there when we showed up. So Sister Pattingale started getting really upset with her son. From outside her quaint little home and over our muffled laughs, we heard a long string of borderline cuss words that reminded me of that one scene from A Christmas Story. She started calling the whole ward directory to see if someone could come eat with us, and it was so funny hearing her talk over the phone. "Well if you hear a boom from across the field, it's Jeff's head flying over the moon!" Haha, she is so spunky. Luckily, she found someone to eat with us, and he was there a few minutes later. His name was Brother Bergener, and he is actually from Blackfoot. In fact, his dad was the mayor when he lived there. He also served his mission in Yakima back in the 70's. We had a good time talking about the high school and everything else, and he was a character himself. I wish I had enough time to give all the details of that dinner, but it was just too jam-packed with comedy gold. 

Elder Bird and I tracted into one older couple last week that seriously disagreed with us. As soon as they opened the door, they just started talking about how Joseph Smith was a false prophet and that we were lost. The only thing that I could do was bear my simple and loving testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I've thought back to that day, and I've realized how much I've grown since the start of my mission. Experiences like that don't weaken my faith. They don't discourage me or leave me thinking what I could have said to persuade them otherwise. Instead, they boost my testimony that the elect are out there. Even Jesus Christ was rejected by his own when the truth was right in front of them. I can't force my testimony into others. Instead, I can love them. And if they reject or mock me, I feel it a privilege to feel an ounce of what the savior must have felt when He was rejected. It is a privilege to be a missionary!

Peace and blessings, 
Elder Moser

Yakima Stake correlation meeting

Splits with Elder North

From Sister Lewis' blog:
Elder Moser:
I’m grateful for the Gospel. It’s everything in my life. It brings me happiness. When all else isn’t there, it’s still there.
I’m grateful for my family. I love my family even more since being here. We all love each other.
I’m grateful for nature, especially forests.

Guns and Grills

November 14, 2016

This week has been fun.

The Yakima Zone is tight. Last Monday, we had a rad Barbecue here at the Finch Pad. We played dunkball, volleyball, and finished off the night with Elder Nielsen's specialty burgers. It was off the chain! Our zone is just the coolest. After the party, we had our first lesson with a referral that we got a few weeks ago, Reetha Pool. She is an elderly lady who's husband passed away a few years ago and is experiencing a lot of medical problems. The highlight of the night was when we pulled into the driveway of her house with our member, when her redneck son (coming from the neighboring house) Came out with no shirt, sagging pants, AND a pistol (an impressive display of multitasking) to see what was going on. He wasn't angry or anything, he just wanted to see what was up. Or something. But I guess there's some truth to what the people say about gun toting... uh... people. But our lesson was good. She told us that she isn't looking for a church, but she invited us back anyway. That night, we had FHE with the YSA, and we played chair soccer with like 50 people. It was super scary. 

Tuesday was aight. We used a bunch of miles going out to Tampico to help Joe, an investigator, stack wood. Really, though, he just wanted to talk about the election and the last days. It's hard to get anywhere with him, but he's a cool guy. 

Wednesday was transfers, and I saw my only surviving companion, Elder Folkman, again! We had a blast reminiscing about the olden days in Coulee Dam. I love that guy. He's serving in Naches now, so our areas are both super spread out and they touch. Maybe we'll cross paths again someday when we get lost out there! The Yakima Zone received 5 new missionaries (new to the zone, not mission) and we are excited to have them. Already they are killing it! I think on Wednesday night alone we got 5 new on dates!

Some things I learned:
1. Ferrets are like rat-snakes, and they be nasty
2. Awkward moments are a part of my daily life now, and it's pretty awesome. 

JC Tried to drop us last week. We just got a text from him saying thank-you, but that he didn't want to convert. We went over to his house the next day and had a good talk with him. He just told us that he feels like the whole YSA is way ahead of him spiritually, and he basically doesn't feel good enough. We just explained that he will always be good enough for the savior's help, and that it's ok if he doesn't feel ready now. One thing that he can't deny is the spirit he's felt at church, in our lessons, and when he reads and prays. So we are continuing our lessons with him :)

Jerald came out with us last week to a lesson with a less-active in the YSA, and he loved it. He is so gung-ho about missionary work that it's crazy. He also brought him to church for the first time in a year, so that was awesome. It is so cool seeing these recent converts jump right in and becoming active and helpful tools in the Lords church!

Alright, I have a lot of emails to write today, so I'm gonna leave it there. Love you all!

Elder Moser
Transfer Site November 9, 2016

Elder Lucio (Ft Elder Nielsen)

Elder Olson

Finch p-Day BBQ

​Also, I discovered that my camera has a long-exposure setting, 
so here's me shooting lightning out of my hands. 


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2016

This past week has been one of some incredible experiences and tender mercies that I will never forget. It has been a week of reminders of how amazing the calling to be a missionary is!

So we have this investigator named Max. We haven't been able to get a hold of him for over a month and he stopped coming to church and to the YSA activities, so we just moved on. At FHE last week, he surprised us by coming to the activity! We were happy to see him! apparently he's been looking for a job and has been staying here in Yakima. We're glad that he decided to come back, and before he left, President Finch invited him to our house for a special YSA dinner this Tuesday. Some amazing things are happening in the YSA branch. President Finch is making some big changes. He's been offering (and sometimes pushing) free haircuts and white shirts for all the guys in the branch, and lately I haven't even recognized some of them at church! Everyone is cleaning up! The size of the Branch is also growing, too. President Finch does an incredible job. 

Elder Bird and I joined Coby Johnson, my old companion down in Sunnyside, for a last meal with his family before he headed down to the MTC on Wednesday. Other than the fact that my steak was definitely rarer than I wanted and I will never do that again, it was fun. We have had a great time together. I am lucky to have gotten the chance to serve with him and know that he will help change a lot of people's lives! Friendships made on a mission is a very special thing. Everything you do is a team effort. Both of you strive to follow the spirit. Both of you feel the same joy or disappointment that comes from another's agency. But you become best friends.  As one missionary puts it, "the spirit welds hearts together."

Jerald was baptized on Thursday last week!Sunday, we received a referral for a guy in his 20's named J.C. He moved from the Philippines with his family when he was 13, and said that he is looking for some direction in life. We had an awesome first lesson about the Book of Mormon and he's already read the first few chapters and understands pretty well. He committed to prepare for baptism on the 26th of November, so yeah. We're pretty excited. The crazy thing is that we first met Jerald the day of Maseo's confirmation, so hopefully there's a pattern here :) The Lord doth provide!
 I got to do the confirmation. It was awesome, because Jerald is really in tune with the spirit and we could all feel it very strongly. Maseo also passed the sacrament for the first time that day, so I was just.. like... Giddy. Or something. It just made me super happy to see my friends growing in the gospel. And both Maseo and Jerald are so solid. Jerald even talks alot about how he's preparing to serve a mission in a year! :) That same

It was an awesome service, and one of the most stressful, too, because the person who we asked to give the talk on baptism was MIA. So I had the privilege of giving an impromptu talk on baptism. luckily, I got rid of my butterflies by the time I was up to sing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives," so I guess it was a blessing. After the actual ordinance, Jerald was glowing. He said that for the first time in his life, he felt completely at peace. That 

This week I learned that:
1. Trying to testify when the outside of a person's house smells like rank chicken poop is hard.
2. Trying to testify to a guy that is chewing and keeps spitting into a liter of tobacco-spit is equally as hard.

Cottonwood Canyon is still going forward. We are still working with Tim and trying to help him towards baptism. We are doing a lot of finding, and are seeing some cool miracles come as we act on our faith to find.

I hope everyone is enjoying the fall weather! Love you all!

Peace and blessin's,
Elder Moser

Outback with the Johnson fam :)

​This is the best picture we could get with the Lower Valley District.

Cottonwood in the Fall

October 24, 2016

Buckle in.  

On Monday, we had a police officer from Zillah come and show the YSA how to do some wicked self-defense for FHE. It was super fun. Jerald and Maseo were defense partners, and it was so funny watching them try to beat each other up. I wish I had pictures :) Speaking of the YSA, things were going well. Maseo was ordained a Priest in church yesterday, and also gave a talk in sacrament meeting about his conversion story. It was awesome. Maseo is someone who just gets it. He gave on of the most beautiful talks I've ever heard, and it has been the coolest thing ever to watch him grow in the gospel. It was Jerald's first time at the YSA branch, and we were glad it was such a good sacrament meeting! We met with Jerald yesterdayafter church and had a lesson on temples. Jerald was actually in the Tri-Cities with his non-member cousin on Saturday, and he told us that they decided to visit the temple grounds. He said that while he was there, he got his answer to everything he had been wanting to know. The feelings he had while on the temple grounds confirmed to him that the Book of Mormon is true, the church is true, and that this is something that he wants to do in his life. He explained it as goosebumps, and said that his cousin felt the same way but didn't know what it was. Jerald had the opportunity to explain to her that what she was feeling was the Holy Ghost. Jerald will make a great missionary!

Elder Bird and I have been doing a lot of finding this week, but also a lot of teaching. I think that we are starting to find the balance between the two. Yesterday, while out tracting, we drove down a long driveway that led to the top of a hill way out in the boonies with one house at the top. Before we even got to his door, an older guy named David came out and welcomed us inside. David is probably the nicest guy I have ever met. It's unreal. We talked about his family, about his life, and then introduced what the gospel could add. He was very accepting and invited us back. The thrill of finding and teaching our brothers and sisters never gets dulled. It only gets more and more exciting! We even got a referral this morning for a sweet old lady named Reetha. Sister Akins form the neighboring ward met her at a bus stop and they had a conversation about the Plan of Happiness, since Reetha's husband died a few years ago. We are super excited to meet her! Miracles.

Yesterday was Coby Johnson's mission farewell. We got permission to go to his farewell from President Lewis, which made me super happy because we are like brothers. I often look back to the times that we had back in Sunnyside and the things that we learned together. It was a period of growth for both of us. I hope he remembers the miracles we witnessed together when he's living in a mud hut eating leaves in Mozambique. :)

Something that has been on my mind lately is faith. I've been able to tell that most of us have the faith to expect and see miracles; But I wonder if we all have the faith not to see miracles. It sounds counterproductive, but when we have the faith to keep working even when God's will is difference than what we thought it would be, then that is when we will see the miracles. Real faith is understanding that God can lead you to those people who are ready--But that that day might be tomorrow. Real faith is going out into the boonies and finding people to teach, even if those people don't want you around. Real faith doesn't change God's will; it empowers us to act on God's will, whatever that may be. 

These emails home are always kinda frustrating because I just want you all to experience missionary work. It's hard, it makes me tired, and it is the best thing in the world.

Love you all!
Elder Moser
Interviews with President Lewis 10/19.

We also made 50 gallons of Apple Cider with the YSA.
We somehow ended up with 6 gallons in our freezer,
so if anyone wants some... :)

​Apparently, you can make murder legal if you put up a sign.
People love their fruit.

This whole valley smells like apples still.