Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, January 25, 2016

Rainy Days and Late for Meetings

Note from the Editor:  Last Thursday evening, I got an email from Sister Lewis with only this picture attached.  It made me very happy.  I have been telling Nathan how I watch her blog and look for pictures of him and that some time he should just hold up a "Hi Mom" sign.  I got this one!  :-)

Dear Family, 

This week was probably the hardest week I've had on my mission so far. Nothing terrible, but everything was going so slowly. BLEHG.

The whole week was just one disappointment after another. By the end it was actually getting pretty funny, because it seemed like literally everything was against us. On Tuesday, we had a pretty average day planned out. Some finding, some follow-ups, and an appointment at 6:00 with a lady named Mandy who we had been trying to teach for months. It was about 10:30, and we were about to go in for a lesson with one of our investigators, Jaime. Right before we were about to get out of the car, I got a call asking if we were on our way to the Trainer Trainee meeting in Quincy (over an hour away). 


We told him that we hadn't been told anything about it and asked him when it started. "30 minutes ago."


We didn't have time to go back to the apartment or nothin'. We DROVE for our lives. We didn't take our suites or anything, because we didn't have time. We were only going to make the last hour of the meeting as it was. On the way down, we were frantically looking for a text, missed call, or anything that said anything about the meeting, and we didn't have any. We got there with an hour left of the meeting in our regular proselyting clothes. It was pretty embarrassing. Elder Coy always talked about how the phone sometimes doesn't get texts, but now I know that he was telling the truth. And it really messed us up. I don't know if it has anything to do with the geography of the Coulee Dam area, but we really need a new phone. We had to hurry home as fast as TiWi would allow to make it back in time for Mandy's lesson. The GPS was guiding us, and it was dark outside. I started noticing how I didn't recognize any of our surroundings, and when we looked at our GPS, it was taking us clear up to Spokane or something. Piece of junk. We ended up having to travel the long way to Coulee Dam across Pinto Ridge, and then we noticed that we would not make it with the gas we had in the tank. So then we had to drive all around Coulee City for a station. It was while I was standing outside filling up in the rain that Mandy called and cancelled on us. What an experience. So that is the story about how one of my worst missionary fears came true. The other one is drowning in the font, but I think that one is a little bit better.

The rest of the week was full of cancelled appointments. Even Selena cancelled on us! But there is always good with the bad. Because one of our appointments didn't go through, we met an older black man walking home from work. We talked to him for a bit, and he invited us back. His name is Vermont, and he's pretty cool. He used to drive a taxi in Seattle, but moved over here recently to be closer to nature. We met with him yesterday, and we had a great lesson with him about prophets. He, just like everyone else here, is a talker, so it was hard to bring up gospel subjects sometimes. We might have to start role-playing tying random subjects into the gospel in our morning studies. haha. But it shoes how Heavenly Father's timing is way better than ours. We asked to find people to teach, and because an appointment didn't go through, we did!

We did run into one other family that we are excited to teach. They let us in instantly, and for a second, I thought that I was in a members home. It was a young couple with two little kids, and I was honestly looking around for pictures of the Provo Temple or something. It was weird being in a house so normal for once! They are already Christian, so we hope that our lesson with them will go over well.

The other day, we tracted Nespelem. Now I know why missionaries don't go out there very often. We knocked on a few doors, and then talked to this one drunk native guy that warned us about how some people over there put spells on people and worship the devil and all of this other spooky dooky stuff. Not the best place to spend any amount of time.

The highlight of this week was inviting Jaime to be baptized, to which he accepted. He's going to have to stop smoking, which will be hard for him, but we gave him a Spanish Book of Mormon that he can finally read. We went to teach him yesterday, and he had his other Cuban friend over that speaks very broken English. He was crazy. haha. He said that he was the holiest man on earth because he is baptized in the shower everyday. We didn't question that, but we definitely doubted. We also had a worldwide training broadcast by the general authorities on Wednesday, and that was awesome. It really kept us going for the rest of the week and reminded us that we are on the Lords time. This is what stuck out to me: Sometimes I feel like if I'm faithful enough or if I have a strong enough testimony, I can push the Gospel into peoples hearts, but Elder Bednar gave an excellent training on the difference between bringing the gospel unto the heart and into the heart. It takes more faith to realize that we can only bring it unto the heart, and that it is the spirit's job as felt by the investigator to bring it into the heart. It was what I needed.

That was pretty much our week! I feel like I have been tested as a trainer this week, but I have a feeling that this next one will be better. Either way, it's sure to be an adventure! Have a good week!

Elder Moser
From Sister Lewis' blog:  "These are missionaries in our northern parts who are training new missionaries this transfer.  The new missionary training lasts 12 weeks.  New missionaries are paired with our best Elders and Sisters for this 12 week training.  It’s a great honor to be a trainer.  These trainers are our best examples and teachers.  They set the stage for the next 18 months or 2 years for their trainees."

Me and Elder Folkman of Montana


January 18, 2015
Things have changed again!

Elder Coy is officially in Ellensburg. I'm gonna miss his stupid jokes and his experience in the mission field, but I know he's in good hands. I am officially training a brand new missionary! His name is Elder Folkman, and he's from Big Fork, Montana. He's awesome. I'm lucky to have a greenie that doesn't need much work :) We're pretty excited about being companions. This area has lacked member trust for a while, and so we will be doing everything we can to establish that trust again and get the work moving once more. It's interesting being a trainer after only 12 weeks, but now I know that you learn a lot more from training than you do from being trained. I have to rely on Preach my Gospel in order to train, so I'm learning a lot more than I thought I would. Elder Folkman has a desire to work hard and teach people, so it is awesome. Time to hit the pavement. 

We just got back from helping an older gentleman in our area, Mr. Skordas,  move a freezer out of his house, so that's why we are emailing a little bit later than usual. Afterwards, his son thanked us and made us these really tasty omelette things and we talked to Mr. Skordas about water skiing and mountain biking. He's 75 years old, but he still water skis every year. He even went mountain biking in Moab recently! We talked about his bike and he told us to invite him if we ever hike the trails in this area on a p-day. Elder Folkman and I really like hiking as well, so we're definitely going to do that!

This week has been a hazy blur with all of the changes, but last Wednesday was the day of exchanges. As I was waiting for my companion to arrive, the Elders from Moses Lake said that the lady that brought them wanted to talk to me. So I went over to talk to her. Turns out that a friend of our family's while we were living in New York, Sister Tolley, lives in Moses Lake now! You can't escape running into people you know in this tiny world :)

The past few days has been full of tracting and introducing Elder Folkman to investigators and members. Our first day together was awesome. The sun was out, the people were talking to us, everything was going great. One lady when we knocked on her door came right outside and started asking questions as if she had been waiting for us. She explained that she has a brother in Texas that is a member of the church, and she had lots of questions about prophets and the Book of Mormon. We taught her the restoration right there on her porch (she lives alone), and she really seemed to get it. She asked for a Book of Mormon so that she could "read and find out for herself." Perfect. Took the words right out of my mouth :) We didn't have any lessons planned for that day, so it was awesome being able to teach right away with Elder Folkman. After that, we came across another man cutting down a tree, and we asked him if he needed any help. He accepted, and then right away started talking about how his Dad had joined the church 20 years ago. HE said that it changed his dad's life, and that he could really use something like that in his own life. We got to teach him about the atonement and the gospel of Jesus Christ right there in-between moving tree branches and interruptions of the chain saw. He really appreciated it, and gave us his phone number so that we could talk to him again. It shows that any opportunity is a teaching opportunity. Never be afraid to talk to someone in any situation, because you may have been put in their path just for that reason. That's why we can't miss our chance to talk to anyone! 

Our investigators have been either sick or gone this past week. Satan is really working hard on them right now, haha. But that just means that they have great potential, so we will meet with them as soon as we can! The only one that we were able to teach is Jaime, the cuban guy. We went over to show him the restoration video, and he made us approximately 1 1/2 metric tons of rice and carne asada stuff. Elder Folkman looked at me, trembling with fear, and asked if he was going to get fat on his mission. 

"Yes. Yes you will."

The lesson went well, but he is progressing pretty slowly. We also need to get him a Spanish Book of Mormon so that he can read. We'll keep working with him, though!

I'll leave you all with our greatest creation: The peanut butter cookie and jelly sandwich.
Have a good week everyone! :)
Elder Moser

Elder Folkman!

​We were literally talking about working out at the gym 5 minutes
before this picture was taken.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Preaching and Teaching Like It's My Birthday!

January 11, 2016

Hello everyone! It's been a good week!

Last Tuesday, Elder Coy was scheduled to have a Leadership Training Meeting in Yakima. They cancelled the meeting last minute because of garbage weather, however, and so Elder Coy called for an emergency exchange that night with the Omak Elders since the meeting was rescheduled to when we were going to do it. It wasn't until we were halfway up Disautel pass that we realized that it was a bad idea. Missionaries aren't really kept in the loop as far as worldly things go, and weather is one of those things, so we didn't know about the freezing rain. When we made it up the treacherous roads, we waited at the pass for at least 45 minutes and they still weren't there. Then the thought came to us that two Texans were driving in this weather. Oh no. We decided to head down the other side of the pass until we got cell service back, and then we called them. No answer. We called the senior missionaries, the Chandlers, and asked if they could check on them. They weren't home. It was past curfew, and they still weren't at the pass. But then we got a call from them saying that they got stuck in a lesson and had a member take them up, which is why we didn't notice their car coming down. Phew. Exchanges were a good experience, but the drive back up to the pass the next night had dense fog and more freezing rain. The weather here is killer. 

While Elder Coy was at his training, I was on exchanges with Elder Quast and Kneip in Ephrata. It was awesome seeing how much we had all grown from the MTC! Elder Quast's area is a walking one, though, so that was interesting. I was so tired of walking in slush by the end of the day. 

We spent Friday night at the Zone Leader's apartment, and then headed back to Coulee the next day for a Zone Training Meeting. These meetings are always awesome, but the spirit was felt so strongly at this one. We could all feel it. Elder Bonzo did a training about charity and why we MUST have it in missionary work. He told us to imagine ourselves being President Lewis and having the option to pick from 4 different missionaries: Persuasive, knowledgeable, faithful, or consecrated. In 1 cor 13:1-3, it talk about these kinds of missionaries, and explains that unless we teach like Christ did, full of love and compassion, we are nothing. It was so good that I used some of it in my talk on "member missionary work" in church on Sunday

Funny story of the week: Saturday (my birthday!) was transfer calls, and so while we were setting up for the training we got a call from president Lewis. I finished my training this past week, and so Elder Coy is being transferred to Ellensburg, and I was called to train one of the 12 new missionaries coming in on Wednesday. President said that "If a missionary can be trained in Coulee Dam, they can be a good missionary anywhere." Looks like I'll be staying in Coulee Dam for 12 more weeks! I'm excited to train this new Elder. I won't know who he is until Wednesday, but I know that we can make things happen here in Coulee Dam! Hopefully our ENORMOUS collection of yarn, knitting looms, and brownie mix won't make him think that we're part time grandmas- but hey, there's not much to do here in Coulee. 

The week has been relatively slow because of all of our traveling and lack of time spent in our own area, but we managed to find a new investigator, Jaime. I have no idea how people like Jaime find their way to Coulee Dam, but he's from Cuba and very interested in God. He has a lot of health problems, and he finds comfort in learning about Christ. There is somewhat of a language barrier, but we have copies of everything in Spanish for people like him. I'm excited to see where the gospel will take him! He's a super nice guy, and while we were there he made us eat a giant plate of "Cuban Style Spaghetti" which was basically an incredibly tasty monstrosity with every type of meat in it. It was funny, because we had a dinner appointment right afterwards at Sister Bashors house, and she made us Ecuadorian Spaghetti. I'm getting so cultured up in here. 

Thanks for all of the birthday wishes everyone! Have a good week!
Giant snow pile in the middle of the road.

Sister Bashor

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Car Camping and Holiday Fun!

January 4, 2016

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone had an awesome week off from school and maybe work! Our week was suuuper slow because we couldn't proselyte on Thursday or Friday, but it was interesting nonetheless. And cold. It's been down in the single digits a few times this week, which just happens to make the best tracting weather because people almost always let us in! 👍
Deer blocking the door to an investigator.

Because we couldn't proselyte on Thursday, we did as much service as we could. We were on exchanges with the Zone Leaders, so we made some brownies to take to people. Not special brownies, because that has a different meaning in Washington, but delicious. We took them to people that have helped us in the past or fed us for dinner. The night before, we were still with the Zone Leaders, and we were out tracting in 15 degree weather. They were from Arizona and San Diego, so obviously they loved it! Even though we were tracting at 8:00, we still got into a few homes. I think that a lot of people around here are kind of lonely, so they will talk to whoever comes to their door. Even if it's the Mormons. Works out perfectly for us!
"2013 road kill, 'possum."

We weren't able to meet with any of our progressing investigators this week because most of them were out of town and the others were busy. It's like they want to spend time with family or something. But hopefully we'll be able to meet up with Selena and Amia this week to help them with a baptismal date. 

On Saturday, Elder Coy and I decided to tract on the reservation in Nespelem. We were looking for a former investigator, Cassandra, but we ran into her mother instead. Her mother, Jay, was very open to our message and so we taught her about the restoration. Afterwards, she agreed that she would bring her daughter to the next lesson, because she believes that we could really help with the problems their family is going through. It was perfect! The rest of our time tracting was pretty sketchy. You know you're in a wholesome place when every time you knock on the door someone looks through the window and asks if it's the police. That honestly happened more than once! I can't really blame them because we do wear all black and Elder Coy is a big guy, but still. One guy let us in after we told him that we were the missionaries, but was so crazy that as soon as we came in we wanted to leave. He was speaking English, I think, but it was hard to understand most of the time. I was looking around for other exits in case he blocked the door, but Old Shifty Eyes stayed clear. Pretty sure he suspected that we were the police.

Story of the week: We were headed home from Brother Land's house Monday night, and the driving conditions were terrible. Elder Coy had me drive because I have more experience on icy roads. There was a really dense freezing fog as well, so I couldn't see more than 15 feet in front of the Jeep.  We were literally in the mists of darkness. I was following the GPS, and it told me to go straight at a 3 way intersection. However, when we were at the intersection, the road in front of me disappeared. It was gone! I tried to turn on to the other road, but we didn't make it and
The Wilbur area is notorious for 24 hour fog and white-outs.
It can go days without seeing the
This was taken before the fog started getting thick!
got stuck in a snow bank. It turns out that some roads up there are not used often enough to be plowed, and the GPS wanted me to go down one of those roads. Long story short, after trying to dig the jeep out for a while with no cell service, we realized that we would have to sleep in our car. It was pretty cold outside, but we said a prayer that we would be safe and turned on the car every hour or so to keep the heat in. Thanks mom for always telling me to bring a coat when driving in the snow! The next morning we walked 2.5 miles to the nearest house, Brother Churchill's, because we still didn't have any cell signal. He was surprised to see us walking at that time of day in the middle of nowhere, but luckily we caught him just as
The frost build up on our antennae from staying overnight.
he was pulling out of his driveway headed to Wenatchee. He brought us in for breakfast and then towed us out and told us that he too had gotten stuck there a few weeks ago.  If we had been any later, he would have driven away in the opposite direction and we would have had to walk to find another house. Heavenly Father watches out for the missionaries, even when we make stupid mistakes, and I am so grateful for that! We have snow tires now, so hopefully that's the last time I'll have to sleep in a car while on my mission.

Have a good week everyone! Don't get stuck in any snowbanks! 

Elder Moser

Here is to 2016!

Dec. 28, 2015

This week was a week of firsts. First Christmas in the mission field, first time skyping home, first (and last) time cutting my companions hair, all the good stuff. I'm learning a ton!

Last Tuesday, I was on exchanges with Elder Boren from Texas. Together, we tracted for several hours, had 20 oyms and 4 people invite us back. It seems like whenever I'm in another Elder's area on exchanges, we meet lots of cool people and I'm always bummed that I won't be there to talk to them again. I also realized how much I've changed since leaving the MTC. I remember that my first time tracting in Yakima, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or what I was going to say to people. But I've really felt the influence of the spirit as explained in Doctrine and Covenants 100:6; "For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say... And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say." When we're out talking to people, I no longer get nervous. I'm excited! And whenever I don't know what to say, my companion does. Sharing the gospel two by two is an amazing thing, and displays a unique kind of unity with the spirit that can't be replicated to that extent in any other setting. It's just the coolest. Exception: Being an English missionary at a Spanish appointment. We had one later that day and I was in the dark. I felt bad for leaving Elder Boren to go at it alone, but that ain't the language they taught me in the MTC.

Wednesday was district council, as usual, and the drive up to Omak was so pretty. Oh man. I wish I could have enjoyed it more, though. I would have if Elder Coy wasn't behind the wheel on roads you could ice skate on. haha. I give Elder Coy a hard time, but he's getting a lot better :) All this snow is really making me miss skiing, though. I keep having dreams about it, but I know that a consecrated missionary would leave those thoughts and desires back home with all of his other stuff. So if anyone catches me muttering "consecration" over and over again, I'm probably thinking about skiing.

The rest of the week was really unproductive as far as missionary work goes. We made brownies and delivered them out on Christmas day to our investigators and tried to shovel people's walks on Christmas Eve, but President Lewis told us not to proselyte Christmas Day at all or Christmas Eve after 6:00. Instead, on Christmas we had a zone gathering here in Coulee Dam. We helped the Senior Missionaries, Elder and Sister Chandler, make breakfast, watched the best two years, and I got a package from my Grandparents.  It was a good morning. After that we went straight to Brother Bond's house and I got to see my family's faces again! We had a good skype call. The rest of the night was spent trying to cheat while playing farkle, and I actually won one. Take that, brother Bond.

Funny story of the week! While we were standing at the little pull off at Disautel pass with the Omak Elders about to start Exchanges. We were about to say a prayer, when Elder Colunga screams "OH SHOOT!" We looked behind us and a giant snow plow was charging us, shooting snow 20 feet high into the trees! We all jumped, but the plow slowed down and then just went around us. This week I also learned that apparently, Texans are afraid of snow plows. Deathly afraid.

It has been a great week. I'm learning a lot about life and meeting lots of new people. I love being a missionary, and I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of this gospel. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are living individuals that care about us and love us. I'm so glad that I have the opportunity to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and I know that Joseph Smith truly was a pamphlet.

Tote zins to ya!
Elder Moser
Elder Coy is eating healthy!

Bishop Graham gave us a "shoot the bear" game.