Washington Yakima Mission

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Rich People and Effective Planning!

July 25, 2016

Life is good in Yakima! Cottonwood Canyon is very different than any other area I've served in for a few reasons. For one, There are no real neighborhoods in our area, just countryside. And secondly, there are some rich people out here. Like really rich. For example, we found a home in the middle of a square mile property with a giant fence going around the whole thing. The fence had automatic gates that opened with a password every half mile or so around the property, and the guy also has a landing strip and plane hangar. Yeah. Another house we saw had 4 big wind turbines in the back and a big solar panel set up in his backyard. But the people are great and easy to love!

Our week started off on a high note.  Elder Jarvis and I had the awesome opportunity of taking President Lewis out with us on Monday night. He was with us for the last three hours of the night, and we had been preparing for a few days before hand so that we would have a few solid appointments that night. Unfortunately, pretty much everything fell through Sunday night. With Sunday being the day before Monday, we were like "oh darn." We spent the next 24 hours stressing out about who we would go see and how we were going to fill our three hours with El Presidente, but we couldn't get anything to work. When President Lewis came to pick us up on Monday night, we just pretended to know exactly what we were doing, and let me tell you, the Lord will provide! We stopped by three different people, all of whom opened there doors and met with us. We had some awesome lessons, and it was really cool seeing President Lewis in action! He also came back to our apartment that night to see how we planned for the next day. Let me tell you, it's incredible how easy it is to stay focused when the President is standing over your shoulder!

Even though President might think we are awesome, that isn't the reason he went out with us. Some Missionary Department Trainers from SLC were in our mission, and they went out with some missionaries and sent him out with us to see how missionaries plan, teach, find, etc. On Wednesday, the Department Trainers held a Mission Leadership Conference here in Yakima for all of the leadership, and it was seriously the best. The energy they had was incredibly high, and they answered so many questions that I've had about planning, teaching effectively, and fulfilling my purpose, and it was all so simple. Something that Elder Jarvis and I really took from that meaning was how to plan. I mean really plan, not just fill time. I learned that if we are ever struggling as missionaries with finding, teaching, and baptizing, there is a 95% chance that we are not planning correctly. And if we aren't planning correctly, it's because we don't have a vision for where we want to go and where we want our investigators to be. That applies to all of you back home, too. Have a plan for what you want to be, and it will be easy to stay motivated! We got some incredible advice about how to really get things going in our area and especially how to work with members in some very unique ways. I don't really feel like boring you with any more information, but I can tell I've really been changing the way I do missionary work. This transfer will be one of growth for the both of us! 

I went on exchanges this week with Elder Tietjen in the Autanum Creek Ward, and we had a blast. We taught a new investigator named Rabin that is 19 years old and really wants to change his life. His life has taken several wrong turns, but when he saw the Elders walking down the street, he chased them down so that he could learn about how to change. It was amazing to see the light in his eyes as we told him that he could get back on the path, no matter how far off he's wandered. He quickly accepted a baptismal date for August 27th, and will soon be passed off to the YSA branch that we cover. This is the best part of missionary work. Being the person who can help people back on the right path. There is no greater feeling :)

Todd is coming home? I am trying so hard to keep my cool right now but I think my mind is about to explode. 
 Elder Jarvis and I really get a long and have the same sense of humor. He reminds me a lot of Brad, actually, just in his mannerisms and humor and such. 

I love you all! Have a blessed week!

Elder Moser
Leadership Training Pics July 20, 2016

Week 2 in Yakima!

July 18, 2016
From a Facebook Post from Michael Stapleton:
"So crazy. Elder Moser from Blackfoot and his companion
Elder Jarvis from Gilbert had dinner with us tonight.
Fun to discover Elder Moser is related to the Brownings
from St. Anthony. 
Jared Browning Curtis Browning"

Another week in Yakima has flown by!

Honestly, this week was super busy, but mostly with boring things. I mean, it wasn't boring to us, but unless you want to hear about Stake Reports, I'll probably hold off for a while. 

Fun fact: Everyone here knows someone from Blackfoot, and several people here know my family. For example, Brother Griffiths was taught physics in high school by my great uncle Calvin. Another guy, Brother Tew, grew up in Firth and played with my Uncle Marlowe when they were kids. We had dinner the other night with a different family in the ward who was good friends with my Uncle Jared. It's pretty weird, but at the same time, I love it. I feel like I'm establishing relationships with these people, and I haven't even had to do anything for it. Haha. It's all thanks to my family :) 

We went on exchanges last week, and I was with an Elder Hughes from Nevada. He is super cool, but I had to watch my back whenever we were in the apartment because he is really good at lassoing you from 30 feet away and pulling your feet out from under you. Haha. So there's that. 

Last week, Elder Jarvis and I got to go on exchanges with the assistants. I was pretty stoked about that, because I got to exchange with Elder Oliver, who was my first Zone Leader when I was back in Coulee Dam. I have really looked up to him, because sometimes he was the only person that knew how to help me. It was awesome being able to work with him again. We saw awesome miracles all night long and met so many friendly people that we could talk to. Afterwards, we just sat and talked about what missions do to a person. He told me that I've had one of the weirdest missions he's ever heard of, with me starting out in such a hard area for 6 months, being companions with Coby Johnson, and several other factors that really have made my past 9 months interesting. As we talked, the spirit confirmed to me that I have been where I have been and have done what I have done for a reason. I have learned things on my mission that I could not have learned any other way, and I know that God has tailored my mission to transform me. The mission is real, folks. I have especially learned how to not only love people, but express that love in different ways. Even though I never saw myself as a leader before the mission, I have come to realize that we usually have a wrong idea about what a leader is. A leader is a servant. A leader is an example. A leader shows his love to everyone he meets. Even though I'm not that great at these things, I am learning, and It feels good to be moving in the right direction :)

Sorry for the kind of boring letter, but Yakima is amazing. The work here is moving forward, and now that the transfer craziness is gone, Elder Jarvis and I will be working hard to see miracles this next week!

Love you! Stay blessed!
Elder Moser

1st Week in Yakima!

July 11, 2016

This past week has all been a blur. It has been awesome, though!

Things have been super crazy since leaving Sunnyside. Most of our time has been spent in meetings, which is kind of draining sometimes, but it's cool because I get to meet a lot of missionaries that I haven't had the chance to serve around. Because of the craziness of getting settled into a new area, we haven't really had any time to do missionary stuff. But the Cottonwood Canyon ward is full of some awesome people that I can tell will make all the difference, so I am amped for that. We also cover YSA, which I didn't know before, so that's awesome. 

The ward boundaries are super spread out and cover the outskirts of Yakima, and looks like classic Washington; rolling hills, orchards, sunsets, you know. What's better, though, is that the people here, especially in the ward, are super friendly. I got like 4 hugs from the Elders Quorum, and they probably don't even know my name yet. It's really cool to see how close this ward is with their missionaries, and they know how to work with them. It is a little stressful though, because the missionary who's place I took was an incredible elder. He did amazing things here with Elder Jarvis, and now we need to keep it up.

Elder Jarvis is awesome. We get along too well, and we have had an awesome time serving the Yakima Zone. I feel super lucky to have a companion that works hard and can show me the ropes, and even more lucky to be in a position where I can serve and love the people and the missionaries the best I can. 

​Me, Tyler, and Elder Dodson
Also, Tyler got baptized last week in Sunnyside! I'm glad I got to go down for the baptism and see his family again. I have definitely learned from preparing a 9 year old for baptism. It was also cool seeing the Sunnyside ward again after a whole 5 days. They won't be able to get rid of me :)

My brain is fried after last week, so I don't really know what else is going on. But I'll probably think of them right after I leave. So I'll just let you know next week. :)

Have a great week, everyone! 
Elder Moser

Trying to plan be like...

We live with the Finch's, who I actually met before when I taught them
over Skype in the MTC. We have the bottom floor.
Here's the view from our backyard :)

Friday, July 8, 2016

I Love Everything and Everyone

July 4, 2016
Another gorgeous Sunnyside sunset outside our apartment.

At least the cows listen.
Hello from the outside.

This week was pretty sweet. But lets start from the beginning:

Coby Johnson finally got his mission call! The entire Yakima Zone came down to Sunnyside for p-day to watch him open it and to play some games at his house. The whole "playing games" thing didn't really pan out because it was like 100 degrees outside, but we did watch him open it, and he has been called to the Maputo Mozambique Mission speaking Portuguese. He honestly thought that he was going to be called to Utah, but he literally served in his hometown, and you can't get closer than that. Anyway, he will do amazing things. He leaves after I hit my year mark in October, so he's got some time to prepare, too. And also, I will proudly say that I was the closest guess with South Africa. It's also cool to think that my posterity tie (a tie signed and then passed from trainer to trainee) will be moving from Washington to Africa. 

The district! Elder Jarvis, me, Sister Robalin, Sister Hobbs, Elder Olson,
Elder Criddle, Elder Dodson, and Elder Barbour up front.
We found a bunch of super solid people to teach this week, including a lady named Santa who's best friend was just baptized, a young father named Anthony, and 3 friends that were hanging outside of a recent converts house. We also put our miracle investigator, Desiree, on date for the 23rd after a super cool lesson about the Plan of Salvation. As we taught her, we asked her what she thought about life after death. She told us that she didn't think that we just went to heaven or hell, but that we would spend some time in what she called "the guff" to learn and increase our knowledge about what we didn't have the chance to in this life. She has a bunch of theories about where we come from and where we go, and they all happen to be doctrinally correct, so we might as well be trying to teach a member. It is so cool.  The ward here has also been super supportive in fellow shipping these new people right away. Just the other night we were having dinner at President Linde's home, and by the time we left, they had planned for a "taco night" every Sunday to invite investigators and less actives to. I love this ward so much. 

There have also been some changes. Jory Anderson, our ward mission leader, has been released and replaced with Brother Weaver, a family practice doctor here in town. He is super cool and really wants to get up in our business, which, as a missionary, is a huge help. It is awesome. 

Also, transfer calls were this week. Unfortunately, I am already leaving Sunnyside to head for Yakima as a Zone Leader. I will be replacing an elder that is going home, Elder Barbour, and he is one of the best missionaries I have ever met, so I have some big shoes to fill. My companion will be Elder Jarvis, who is another awesome missionary, so I am quite humbled. So far on my mission, I haven't had a clue what I'm doing, and it looks like that streak is going to continue for a while. Haha. :) I'm super bummed that I don't get to stay in Sunnyside and watch miracles unfold, but I will get to serve here on exchanges once or twice this upcoming transfer, so that's cool. 

Overall, Elder Dodson and I are going to miss serving together. We saw some amazing things happen. Just yesterday we had one of the most spiritual lessons ever with a member and his girlfriend that almost left us all in tears. This district has been the coolest and most unified district that I have ever had, and I am so sad that I am leaving them. Sunnyside is awesome, and the members are awesome, and the people are awesome. Everything is awesome when you are a missionary. 

Love you all!
Peace and blessin's,
Elder Moser

Transfer Day, July 6, 2016

Elder Jarvis's reaction to me becoming his companion. Actually this was before transfer calls haha.

The Harvest is On!

June 27, 2016
​The sunsets from our backyard are always perfect.
 You can even see Mt. Rainier poking through in the background

Guess. What. Another awesome week in Sunnyside. 

Our district had another baptism last week, at which I performed "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus". It was for a girl named Sarah, and Elder Dodson actually went to school with her brother in Joyce. Since his graduating class was only 14 people, the odds of that happening was pretty low. It's a tiny world! Zillah also is having another baptism on Thursday, so they will have officially baptized weekly for a solid month. Miracles. 

Last week was really just a week of a lot of hard work. It definitely paid off, because we saw tons of miracles. For example, we tracted into a girl named Desiree who has already gone to church a bunch of times with her friends in Zillah, and she was also enrolled in seminary last year. She's super friendly and even went to mutual once we invited her, so I don't really understand why missionaries haven't taught her in the past. She's golden.
​When you teach people that work in the orchards. From the tree to my belly 
                               in under 12 hours. Yes please.

We had another lesson with Melchor last week, who has quickly become an eternigator because every time we mention the Book of Mormon he kind of shuts down and only wants the bible. But this past week, we had a very spiritual lesson where we just helped him understand that the Book of Mormon is just another testament of God's love for us. Why wouldn't we want to read it? By the end, we literally saw this man receive personal revelation. His face lit up, and he told us "When you started talking about that, I'm gonna be honest, I actually caught myself wanting to read that book!" So basically, people can change. Who knew, right?

Coby Johnson finally has his call! He's been waiting to open it just so that the whole zone (president included) can watch him open it. I'm super excited for him. I've never seen anyone work so hard to be able to serve a mission. It reminds me of the privilege it is to represent the Savior like we do.

On a different note, I hope everyone got their free taco from Taco Bell last week. Ya'll already know I did. And sorry for the kind of short email this week, it just means that I will have a lot to say next week!

Peace and blessin's,
Elder Moser