Washington Yakima Mission

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Living the Life "Sunyside Up!"

April 25, 2016

Sunnyside is the best. It's hot, it smells like cows, and we always practice our Spanish on the little Mexican kids running around. The work here is absolutely crazy. There is so much going on and we always have lots to do. I've only been a District Leader for a week, and I've already had a baptism interview! It's so exciting! The district is absolutely on fire as well. Between the 4 companionships, we have 12 on-dates for the near future. 

This week has been the craziest/best week of my mission thus far. I'm with my new companion, Elder Johnson, a member of the Sunnyside Ward.

He got a call on Monday asking if he would be ready to serve by Wednesday and serve for 5 weeks. He's been set apart and everything as a full time missionary, an let me tell you. He doesn't need an MTC. Elder Johnson is the best. There is so much going on in this area that we can barely keep up, and we are going hard until the end of the day because we know that God is preparing people for us. The other Elders before us didn't leave very good records of the area either, so we are working super hard to figure everything out. Elder Johnson has been going out with the missionaries for about a year now, and is waiting on his own mission call. I swear, he's training me. But this is probably the best pre-mission training anyone could have. It's pretty unique being companions with somebody who's family lives in the ward you are serving in. I feel like I'm going to get to know them pretty well. Haha. :)

We have seen sooo many miracles in the few short days that we have been together, it has been crazy. I guess I'll start with some of the awesome people that we are teaching!

Right now we have 4 people on date for baptism in May, all of them being super solid. We have been teaching a younger lady named Rosa, and she is just the best. When we teach her, she teaches us. She tells us things that she has learned from her own scripture study and prayers, and then just spews gospel doctrine. She's also super loud and hilarious. She says a lot of things that are so funny that we are going to start a book full of Rosa quotes. Anyway, she's done it all from the Air Force to being a travel agent, but she hasn't been baptized yet. She did come the baptism for one of the sister's investigators on Saturday, though, and she really liked it. She also came to church for the first time yesterday, so we are pretty pumped.

We also have a couple on date named Ricardo and Tanya, and they are very nice yet quiet people. We haven't been able to see them for a few days, but they are on date for May 14th. We have to get them married, but they are willing. They also have 2 kids, so we are excited to help there family grow in the gospel!

The last on date has a story behind it. On Friday, we had a dinner at a family's house that we all really like. For some reason, they were lagging behind, even though they are usually right on. The dinner appointment ended up being a lot longer than we first expected, and we were kind of panicked about missing our appointments. We were really late to our first one, and ended up staying so late that we didn't have time for the people that we were going to try by afterwards. So we went straight to our 3rd appointment, when we had the feeling that we should stop by a recent converts house to see if her daughter was interested in talking with us. When we went to their house, they let us right in and sat us right down, and the daughter, Michele came over and talked with us. We talked to her for a bit, and then I just felt like I should ask her if she had talked with the missionaries before. She told us that she had, but then had stopped because of some complicated circumstances. Then she told us that she had been praying just a few hours before asking God which way we should go. We shared our testimonies with her and told her to listen to the spirit, because it is from that gentle influence that we learn life's greatest lessons. We stayed for probably 30 minutes and the spirit was the strongest I have felt for a long time.  Anyway, by the time we left, Elder Johnson and I were so pumped, we felt like sprinting around the entire city. It was just an awesome night. 

Too much is going on in this area to have time to explain it all. But I know that the work is truly being hastened. So many of God's children have been prepared for us to teach, and it is just the best being part of the greatest work on earth. It's those moments when I find myself testifying to a person that I just met and then feel the incredible amount of love that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for them that make the mission worth it. I could stay out here forever.

I love you all!
Elder Moser

(Pictures from Training Meeting 4-19-16 taken from  Mission Mom's blog.)

Sunnyside and Transfers! (again)

April 18, 2016

Right now I'm sitting in the Yakima Mission Office with the Sunnyside Spanish Elders. A lot of crazy stuff happened up to this point, but for now, here's my email:

Sunnyside is awesome. There is a ton of work to do, and we are teaching several people, 3 of which are on date for next month! It's been a huge shift from Coulee Dam. I knew every street, every car, every store, and everyone in Coulee Dam, so I feel like I'm back to square one in terms of experience. But I'm excited! This place is completely opposite from my last area in pretty much every way. The ward here is pretty big, and we are teaching a lot of younger people. The Hispanic community is also massive. Have you seen McFarland? Because that is where I'm living. We'll see how much Spanish I pick up by the end of the transfer!

This past week has all been a blur with meeting so many new people and taking on some new responsibilities. It's a long story, but President Lewis called us last night to tell me that my companion of 4 days is going home, and since there are no other Elders that can take his spot, I will be companions with a Sunnyside local for the rest of the transfer. He's 19 and just turned in his mission papers, but he will be set apart as a full time missionary for the next few weeks. We took him out with us to some lessons a few days ago, and he's pretty cool. He's also been going out with the missionaries for about a year, and so all of the missionaries that have served in Sunnyside are pretty jealous that I am going to be companions with him. It's a super unique situation, but then again, every part of my missionary experience thus far has been pretty unique.

Also, Elder Coy, my trainer, is in my district and I am his district leader. Missions are funny :) 

I would write more, but I don't really know what's going on right now. 

Heave a good week, everyone! 
Elder Moser

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

6 Months Down and Transfers!?

April 11, 2016

Oh. My. Goodness.

I hit my six month mark this past week. Where does the time go? It feels like years ago that I started my mission, but it just feels like weeks at the same time. Anyway, tons of stuff happened this week with transfers, springtime, and all the other stuff, so here we go!

Our investigators are doing so well! Even though May and Dean didn't come to church yesterday, Vermont came for the first time. Of course, every time we have an investigator come for the first time, something goes wrong. Yesterday the microphone was popping really loudly for the first 10 minutes, and Vermont was just chuckling the whole time. So at least he got a little bit of entertainment :) We also taught an awesome couple this past week, Rod and Sherri. They are so nice and sincere in there desire. I really wish that I could be here to see them progress. It's also been so sweet to see the members here get excited after realizing that we are teaching people that are like them.

Hey, here's a story that I don't have a place for: On the drive back from district council, we saw some guy lying on his back in the middle of a construction zone with a worker lightly kicking his foot to see if he was alive. At first we thought he had gotten hit by a car, but then we saw the perfectly balanced beer can in his hand. Reservations are funny. Later that day, we were walking out of Safeway after using the bathroom and some drunk guy who had just gotten out of the hospital was trying to get a ride back to Nespelem. We told him that we couldn't because it was a church owned vehicle, and he said, "Hey man, I'm a 7th day Adventist!" We proceeded to have a very interesting conversation with him, and after we left, we realized that it was probably the guy that we saw passed out on the side of the road. Haha. And by the clothes (or lack thereof) he was wearing, we're 90% sure he escaped from the hospital. so there's that.

Saturday was just awesome for us all day long. We were busy all day teaching people and inviting them to church. That evening, as we were walking up to Vermont's house, some people having a barbecue next door called us over. We were prepared to gracefully back out of a drunken Mormon Bash, but they actually just wanted to feed us. And only one of them was drunk! The 4 friends sat us down and just wanted to talk. Then the drunkard, Bill, said "Hey guys, lets listen to what Macklemore and Justin Timberlake have to say over here." So then we started teaching them about the restoration,right then and there, over capri-suns and fried chicken. They had tons of questions about things they've heard about the Mormon church, and when we answered them, they really seemed to get it. After teaching them for a while, Bill ran to the neighbors house to invite them to the party, and when Vermont pulled into his driveway, they ran and got him, too! So by the end of the night we were basically teaching the entire block about the restoration. It was the coolest thing ever. And they said that we were cool enough that we could come back later, so that's pretty neat.

Flexing for the camera.
I hope you all have your seat belts on, because this gringo is getting transferred for the first time! President Lewis called us Saturday morning and told me that I'm headed south to Sunnyside (down by Yakistan) to be a district leader. My new companion will be Elder Harris, who came out with Elder Folkman. He said that we should get along great because he's a goof. I'm pretty excited. Apparently, Sunnyside is super flat, super warm, and the hispanic community is massive, so Elder Harris and I will have a very interesting time together. Haha.  The mission is definitely groovin. Elder Folkman and I are trying to tie up every loose end before I leave. We also borrowed a members old guitar, and we are going to sing "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul" for some members as a thank-you. It's getting there. Elder Folkman really wants to learn how to sing. And he's definitely improved, but... You know. I wish you could see some of our practices. They probably look really funny. Try explaining to a weight lifter how to keep your soft pallet up while singing those high notes. It kinda feels like I'm teaching him a foreign language. haha. I'm kinda nervous about leaving for Sunnyside. I just haven't known any other place. But I've been told that the work down there is on FIRE. Being a district leader should be fun as well! We'll see how everything goe​s. 

I love Coulee Dam. The people here are just awesome. They have seen me grow as a missionary, and I have seen them grow as a ward. I've really seen things come alive, both figuratively and literally. It's really hard not to become attatched to an area when you are there for 6 months and the ward is Tiny. I almost feel like I'm leaving for the MTC again because we are all so close. Sunday was especially rough. I was kind of tired of seeing people cry by the end of the day. Even the food bank lady cried when I told her I was leaving. May and Dean just got angry, but they will have to forgive me. I never thought that I would be serving my mission in a place like Coulee Dam, but it's easy for me to see now that this is where I was supposed to be. I'm definitely coming back someday :)

Your favorite Dam Elder,
Elder Moser
Saying goodbye to Coulee Dam....But I WILL be back!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Conference Weekend!

April 4, 2016

This week was great. Not a whole lot was accomplished near the end of the week due to general conference, but it was general conference. And it was off the chain. 

This upcoming week could be my last here in Coulee Dam. I'm not going to go off on that because if I do I'll probably stay for another 4 transfers, but it's still a weird thought. We had a barbecue after district council at the Chandler's house, and we put together a transfer prediction sheet like we do every transfer. And for the first time, people were predicting me to go somewhere. Haha. 

On Saturday we watched the General Priesthood Session with a returning less active member of the ward who has recently been ordained an Elder, and afterwards we showed him how to consecrate oil. It was awesome and the spirit was definitely there. 

General conference was seriously awesome. I especially loved President  Uchtdorf's talk about commandments. I think that is something that we should all take a closer look at; what the commandments are to us. The commandments are not an anvil that we are beat upon by the "hammer of obedience" to turn us into something we are not. Rather, they are a set of guidelines that will set us free and turn us into what we have the potential to become, what God want's us to be. When thought of that way, I would do anything Heavenly Father would ask of me, because after all, he knows best. It makes things like the Word of Wisdom, the law of chastity, tithing, and every other commandment fall into place, and I wish that I could help those I teach see what they gain when they follow them, and not what they lose. What they lose is literally nothing in comparison to the blessings they will receive in return!

We taught some good lessons this week. We taught Vermont last Monday, and he is making good progress. He said that he would be baptized, but we did not feel that we should push for a date. We also taught the older guy with a sweet car, Bob, and his wife, Lela, about the plan of salvation. They recently had a daughter pass away and so we were so happy to share what we knew with them. We also put in an order for a large print Book of Mormon because they are anxious to read for themselves. A while back, I mentioned meeting a guy named Irv. He wasn't interested, but he likes talking. So we stopped by last night to see how he was doing, and he let us in without any hesitation. He ended up asking a lot of really good questions, and we taught him the entire plan of salvation and the restoration. It was really cool to finally teach him. He also showed us his robot collection, so that was pretty sweet. Dean and May did not come to conference even though we really pushed for them to come. They got "busy". Oh well, they can always watch it online. :)

I hope you all loved general conference. Do everything you can to act on the promptings you felt while listening to our inspired leaders. And try not to be to angry when your dad makes you wear the Chewbacca costume. :)

Elder Moser

Salty Bread and Wenatchee Wisdom!

March 28, 2015

Hey everyone!

Not much has happened this week, but a whole lot has happened. I don't know. But it was awesome!

Before tasting our bread...
Last P-day Elder Folkman and I tried to make bread. Long story short, we McGyvered it to the point where a recipe that was supposed to make 4 loaves only made 2. We knew something was wrong when we took it out of the oven and each loaf weighed like 10 pounds and was salty as a sailor. Many tears where shed. Many cups of flour were wasted.
After tasting our bread!

 We had Zone Conference again in Wenatchee last week. It was awesome. They talked alot about how we can, through little things, become better missionaries. Unfortunately, a lot of the time we think that there are only two options: perfection, or giving up. But that isn't true! This life is all about practice, and practice makes perfection. Not in this life, but eventually. They likened it to Mount Hood. No one can climb it in one giant step, but everyone can get there eventually and each at their own pace. I'm so grateful for the Saviors atonement that makes this possible by literally flipping our weaknesses into strengths little by little and keeps us looking forward with hope. This life would be pointless without it. 
Wenatchee Zone Conference

Slouch (who from now on I will call by her other name, May) and Dean came to church yesterday! The talks were amazing, and they really enjoyed it. We were so happy to see them there. It has been amazing to see how they have progressed since I first met them back in November. The repentance process truly can overcome anything and any fear. Their steps to the summit of Mount Hood are getting bigger and bigger :)

I know that this is kind of a short email, but just know that it was a good week. We taught lots of lessons and committed May and Dean to baptism for an undefined date. I'm excited for what this next week will bring! I love you all!

Elder Moser
Saying thank you to our cooks

Wenatchee Zone!