Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22nd

To answer your questions, the Christmas party was awesome! It was super spiritual and it really opened my eyes on how God must have felt to send his Son to suffer for all of us. I always thought, well, he's God. He understands that we needed him, but I never really thought if God wanted to. He sent is Son to die, and be the redeemer for all of us.
 Our theme this Christmas is ´´what we are going to give god for Christmas?´´ Sometime this week we are going to make a list of weaknesses that we have and attributes that we want to gain. That will be our gift to God this Christmas. 

I did see my previous companion! He is doing well. His life is kind of a race right now because he is one of the assistants to the president now. Haha everyone jokes that my future is sealed on the mission, becuase my trainer is an assistant to the prez, His trainer was an assistant to the prez, and another american that my trainer trained before me, ´´my brother´´ on the mission, is one of the exectutive secretaries. haha My furture is sealed.

Things are still fantastic with my house mates. there was an emergency transfer this week, and almost every single companionship in our zone was mixed up. Mine and one other stayed the same. We are getting a new missionary in our house today, and so I hope everything stays calm.

So I only got two letters, Yours with the bank card, and sister Austin.  I am getting a package tonight because today is my companions birthday, and the same counselor, president Caravalho is coming again to take us out to dinner. 

Just to give a hint, I know its  too late for the packages now, but always say that the total value of the packages is under 50$ because if its over, I have to go to the post office here and pay to pick it up. I've heard of some boxes and packages costing like 200 or 300 reals JUST to pick it up, not counting what it cost to send it. so no matter what you send, write that the value is under 50 dollars. 

We worked a ton this week and came across two families that are very receptive and just awesome! 

Love Elder Moss
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Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15th

So tomorrow we have the Mission Christmas conference in piracicaba, and I will get letters and packages then! 

Haha The Christmas card looks awesome! I love the Bart and Millie appearances. 

This week we worked harder than ever. I was remembering what Elder Holland said in the ctm ´´you should work so hard that you return to your house, and practically faint because you have no energy left.´´

Well that was me this week. We had so much success with our meetings and appointments not falling through this week. On Friday morning, we did the juice at the hospital service again, and Saturday  we went to the super market and passed out Christmas presents! We wrapped Book of Mormons and copies of the church's christmas dvd: Joy to the World.
We made it into a ward activity, and so a bunch of the youth helped out. Elder Alves and I made like 78 contacts, and all together we made like 250 contacts. It was really cool. People were really receptive, especially when they asked how much does it cost, and we said free! Some people made me laugh because we would give them the present, and explain about our purpose as missionaries and how we have a message about the real meaning of Christmas, and then people would stop smiling and give us the present back and say ´´oh.. your from the church....´´ Haha I thought it was pretty funny.

Anyways, we had the Christmas party for our ward, and I was hit with homesickness because people don't decorate their houses here like in the US. And the church was decorated like crazy!!! Man it was good. There was a lot of food, so that helped the homesickness haha.

I hope that this next week is just as good as this week! I can definitely see how people are much more receptive to talk about Jesus around Christmas time. Its great. Now we just need to turn them into baptisms. That's the hard part because all we have control of is making contacts. Everything else we do as missionaries depends on other people...

Anyways, I hope you all have a good week too! Make sure to eat enough cookies for me!

Love Elder Moss

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8th

So the English class... HA umm so my first class was on Wednesday, and 3 people showed up. My companion, and two other members we walked to the church with. We went over some basic verbs and built very basic sentences such as: I like to sleep. I want to eat.
stuff like that. 
My second class was on Saturday, and only had 3 people as well haha. Same three people, but that made it easier to teach and build on what we talked about last time. I taught how to negate (I don´t want to run) and future stuff. A little bit of to be verbs, but not much. I will go over that next class. At the end, we had one of the members pull up a pop song that's on the radio (in English) that we all recognized and translated it. That was pretty fun and I think I will continue to do that. 

On Saturday morning we set up a table outside the hospital and gave out juice to those people waiting to be seen and their families. At first no one wanted some, but after we announced that it was free, everyone had some haha. we didn't try to make contacts, get references, just a service. And it was a great experience. The last hour was us talking to like 20 or 30 people at once just about why we are here, our purpose, where we are from, and it was really fun. I think we will try to do that every Saturday haha.

We have a Christmas party for the ward on Saturday, and tonight we are going to a members house to watch the Christmas devotional that was last night. Next week we have the Christmas conference with our mission, and I'm really looking forward to that. I'm starting to see more and more houses with lights, mini santas (papa noels) and Christmas trees. If we come across one that's not really expensive, I think our house wants to buy one.

Anyways, that's the gist of our week! one of our investigators went on a trip to New York city this week and asked me if i had been there and for advice of things she should do, and that was fun!
Its only getting hotter and raining less and less. But people keep saying that it rains a lot in January... I hope it does.

Love Elder Moss!
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Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1st

This past week has been nice with overcast skies. It rained more than usual, and so i have used my umbrella for the first time ever!   But when it rains, it always manages to start right when we leave the house and stop when we get to our the house... its getting kind of annoying. 

We had interviews with the president on Thursday, and all is good :)!! It was a happy thanksgiving because I got a ton of letters from friends and family! Some from friends on missions too! 

We worked a ton this week.,, but we did mark 2 more people to be baptized in two weeks! We keep getting references which is awesome, and the members really like to work with the missionaries!

So for service, this week I will start teaching an English class to members, investigators, and just anyone who wants to learn! I am pretty nervous, but I would rather do this and get like 20 -30 contacts in an hour instead of knocking on doors all day haha. 

I have pictures that don't want to send, but for service two weeks ago we cut someones grass! That was a blast form the past. The other missionaries were slow, and there was only one weed wacker that was a plug in... electric. that was fun too. But i ended up doing most to all of it. It took about 3 hours, but it was fun because It was different than walking and teaching lessons. That stuff is fun too, but sometimes a change is fun. 

Anyways, have an awesome week! 

and congrats emily !!

I love you all :) 
Love Elder Moss

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24th

So this week was transfers.. and no surprises here, I am staying in the same city with the same missionary. Two weeks ago was an emergency transfer, and so yesterday we had normal transfers. 

Our whole house will stay the same. Which is good, because I really like our house. No one fights, everyone talks and laughs with everyone, and we all follow the rules. 

Speaking of rules, this week elder Alves and I are going to start ´´treinament de poder´´ which takes a week of preparation of studying the miracles of Jesus Christ, and next week we will start going to people houses, asking them if Jesus were in their house what they would ask for, and pray right then and there for those same things. In the middle of the prayer, randomly, you say ´´i say all of these things by the authority of the priesthood´´ and then keep praying.

We have a recording of a mission president in brasil teaching how to do this, how to prepare and be completely worthy (because if your not absolutely completely worth to do this, it won't be as powerful) and apparently its extremely powerful and spiritual. 

So that's my invitation for this week, everyday this week, study the miracles of Jesus and his life. I will let you know how it is going in a week!

So we had a baptism Saturday! it was great. The dad baptized his kid, but the kid was 11 and the dad was a member inactive, so we taught them all the lessons again and the baptism counted for us. Elder Alves confirmed him on Sunday.

Being completely honest, I think we will have 2 or 3 more baptisms in the next 2 weeks. I hope. We will see. I will send pictures!

Nothing really exciting happened this week. I miss you all so much. Yes it is hard sometimes. sometimes I just can't concentrate, but I heard a quote this week that I really like ´´Life doesn't have much mystery, just work´´ so I am really trying to do just that, and work.

Until next week,
 Love Elder Moss

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17th

Last p day, we were buying lunch, and were almost positive we weren't going to be involved in the emergency transfer, but the secretaries called and now I have a new companion. Not because he was transferred, but because I was. haha He was kind of really mad with that because he has being looking forward to being transferred for a while. And less than two transfers in, I get transferred. 

My new companion is Elder Alves, and he is from Brasil too. My area is called Guanabara (that's the name of the ward) and my town is called Monte Mor. The town is pretty big, so we share a house with two other missionaries. They are really cool too. Our house is pretty new. One of the other elders is from Uruguay. and he is proud of it. haha So basically I am in a house where no one speaks English, and I have to rely on my Portuguese for EVERYTHING. Its a little harder, but A lot easier than i expected. 

The temperature is a little cooler than my last area, which is good because summer is about to start. My companion is obedient to the T with mission rules, and sometimes its annoying, but I feel the spirit a lot more in our lessons, and am just happier in general here. Its strange because He has the same time on his mission as me, and we are companions. Usually you are being trained for the first 12 weeks by a much more experienced missionary, but Right now neither of us have finished being trained and our mission President put us together as companions. That's a lot of trust between us. But its paying off because our investigators are GOLDEN. We have like 3 familys, and people that actually read the scriptures, go to church, and are making a change in their lives for the better. Its a really incredible experience when you go to the same house two times in a week and feel the spirit stronger the second time because the investigator has read the chapter we left, or has done their part. 

I forgot to tell you something... I SAW A TOUCAN!  Its true! Last week right before I was transferred, I saw a toucan flying. It was flippen sweet.

We have a baptism this Saturday too! I know that we are being blessed more and more the more we obey the rules of the mission and are obedient. Yeah we don't agree on absolutely everything, bu I love this new area I am in. I'm just all around happier.

So Bençaos :)

Love Elder Moss

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Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10th

So the first few days we worked and went to a references house that we had never gone to before. We knocked on the door and the woman (the reference) didn't want to hear us at that moment because she was busy, but her daughters rushed to the door and asked us to come in (haha.) They are 14 and 17. We talked a little bit about the first lesson and then watched the restoration with them. its like 20 minutes long. They said they liked it and they agreed to go the ´´capela aberta´´ which is open chapel. It was our service activity for our ward here. Its where people could come and learn a little bit about our church and how its organized, they had inflatable slides in the back with trampolines and food. It was a really good idea, but none of the members told anyone to come during the week, so after like an hour, we had to walk to our investigators houses and walked with them to the capela. So in between the hours of like 9-5, we only had like 8 people show up (haha.) It was still fun though. 

Last p day after emailing, we were walking back to our house and it just started pouring down rain. It was the first opportunity I got to use my waterproof camera! I will send some pics :) 

And finally, there's an investigator named John. He is 19 and his whole family was baptized like 6 months ago except for him. I have invited him to be baptized, my companion too, and he has always said ´´I will pray and let you know this week ´´ but he never lets us know. Next week is the last gospel principles class for Sunday school and my companion and I finally called him on  it. We said ´´You are ready to be baptized. You are about to finish the principle class and you know everything a member needs to know, you are practically a member yourself. You go o church every week with your family, you pray, you enjoy listening to our messages, and you are ready. Will you be baptized this next Saturday?´´ (haha) 
He said yes. My companion will baptize him and we are visiting him and his family every day this week to help prepare him and get all the plans finalized. My companion said that he thinks this is the reason why he has stayed in this city for so long, to be the person that helps convert and baptize John.

My spiritual message for the week is that The Atonement is real. At the open chapel we watched the church bible movies about the garden of Gethsemane and I felt the spirit so strong. I am trying to humble myself and use the atonement in my life every day. Christ took in all of our sins and suffered the pains of the world. It reminds me of one of President Packers talks when he describes how a woman had a wrong done to her and she was livid. She was so mad and she was thinking to her self ´´someone must pay for this injustice´´ when right after she said that a voice came into her head that said ´´ someone already did.´´ When we feel like we are alone and like no one understands us and how we feel, Jesus does. He is the ultimate friend and comforter, and he can always help us. We just need to be humble enough to use it. 

I read a scripture in the new testament this week: Matthew 23:12. I am going to try to put this scripture into use every day this next week and let you know how it goes!

Til next week :)

Love Elder Moss
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Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3rd

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Picture for the week

 I am improving with the language, but I'm not as fluent as I wish I were. 

So for halloween here, some elders and I had a ´´frynight´´ when you take oreos and other candies and smother them in cake batter, and deep fry them in oil. It was so bad for us and so fattening, but it tasted sooooooooooo good :) 

This week was a typical week for a missionary in Brasil. We knocked on a lot of doors, and had a ton of lessons, but I think that only 3 or  4 of them will turn into something (of course I hope for more). 

Yesterday was probably the best day of the week, because we did this special activity for ´´Day of the Dead´´ here in brasil. Its a day that people go to the cemeterys and pay respect for family and friends. There is a park right outside of the cemetery and we set up a little table with free cups of soda, and made contacts with people going to the cemetery. To people that stopped to drink water we talked about the plan of salvation and how This life isnt the end of our journey with our families. It was really a good experience. The other elders were in charge of the table and sodas and materials, and they showed up 30 minutes late without any of the materials like pamphlets and pass along cards. So we just talked to people about the gospel and made appointments to share more. I tried to keep a good attitude through the whole thing though. 

I think that that is the lesson of the week. My companion will be transferred this next week because of an emergency transfer (I think someone serving in the states just got their visa) but he's always talking about the next transfer, about leaving and about going home. I was talking to some of the other elders about this, and I am learning a valuable lesson about being happy where you are. We don't choose what happens to us in this life, and we don't choose the situations we are put into, but if you are always looking forward to the future to be happy, you will miss out on so many experiences NOW. Although it is very difficult some times to keep a positive attitude and be happy, I am trying. As i do this, I am noticing my days are just better, and that the people around me and happier too. Some of the happiest people that I meet and know have very normal lives. 

I have been thinking of more stuff for hristmas / birthday, and the more I think about it, the more emphasis I want to put on socks, and I would like to add home made cookies or brownies to the list (along with a small thing of nutella) that stuff is like liquid gold here. 

Anyways, I am trying to be happier :)

Love Elder Moss

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 27th

This week we worked and worked again. I really enjoyed it. This week passed by SO fast. It's crazy. We teach like 4 or 5 lessons, then we clap doors for an hour or two and its time to go back home. The Day light savings time makes it interesting too because what 5 o'clock looked like is now what 7:30 looks like. So it really does fly by. Not much else happened this week. 

We didn't have any investigators at church, but a family that hasn't been to church in like 5 years is now coming again and we are teaching them just basic spiritual messages throughout the week. Its really nice. I am learning that it doesn't even matter if they are members or not, Teaching the gospel and ´´converting´´ people brings me so much happiness.

 I am learning that a missionaries job isn't to baptize, but to just share the glad message of the gospel to everyone. Those who are ready to accept it will, and those who wont, wont. We are doing what the lyrics in Ye Elders of Israel say and are separating the wheat from the tares. 

I think of home a lot, but time is really flying by. My Portuguese is getting better. We had a multi-zone conference and i didn't need a translator. New missionaries showed up from the ctm this week and I forgot how bad it was my first week in the field. I'm so glad it only gets better haha. 

I think of you guys all the time. Everyone. like I wake up in the middle of the night and just smile because I had a random memory pop in my head. I love it. 

I love you guys and miss you so much. but I know that this time is flying by.

Elder Moss

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Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20th

I think I miss the fall time more than I thought I would. This week was hot. sometimes I couldn't tell if I was sweating or melting. So After talking to my companion about wanting to work a lot more this transfer, he agreed and he had the same idea. So this week was my best week ever. We have a saying that we tell each other when good things happen ( and bad). we say ´´so bençaos´´
which means only blessings. The first day, we tracted in this area called Vila Pinheria, and started knocking on doors. Immediately we had people agree to let us teach them. in one week, we gained like 7 or 8 new investigators. Of course some of our appointments fell through, but it was such a good week. 

We found this family of 5, three kids and Antonio and Maria. They aren't married, but Antonio will be her second husband. he is the step dad. He is so nice. To them, family means everything. We taught them about families and invited them to church. They only came to sacrament meeting, and it was only Antonio and two kids, Maria was sick at home with the baby. But we are going back to teach them tonight.

A few weeks ago, we taught this 20 year old like 3 times and he wasn't interested. He likes to drink and smoke and party too much. But we originally wanted to talk to his mom. Well this week we saw him in the park with some friends, and he was a little bit tipsy and he called us over, and told us that his mom wanted to talk to us and when she would be home. So we stopped by, and talked to her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and committed her to be baptized. She wasn't able to make it to church, but We are thinking within the next two weeks or so it will happen.

While tracting, we meet this woman in her mid twenties. She was at her friends house, and she let us have her address to come by later that day. We did, and she was just leaving the house so we didn't get to teach anything, but we made contact so it was good. the next day, we were late for lunch, and she drove past us, stopped and gave us a ride to where we were going, which was a two sided blessing (because we made contact again, and the normal friendly contact, not like missionary contact). So bençaos

So most to all of my powerful spiritual experiences have been in between 8 and 9 during my personal study. I heard a talk in them MTC that was 6 lessons that missionaries need to learn. I have been focused on like two of the 6, and they are ´´miracles are real´´ and ´´missionaries can receive gifts of the spirit´´. I didn't know much about gifts of the spirit, and so I have been studying those, but I have been so humbled by those experiences. I think my favorite experience (I wont go into detail because they are pretty personal) was when I finally realized how close we are to God and Jesus Christ. Sometimes after a bad day we feel lonely or we feel like no one cares, but I finally experienced that Jesus and God are always there. They always answer prayers. They are so close to us we don't even realize it. They love us and they want our happiness. Yeah, sometimes things happen that make us wonder and doubt, but they are ALWAYS there. 

Anyways, I hope we have another fast and hard working week, because THIS was my favorite week yet. Everyday we were tired, dirty, hot and sweaty, riding the bus home, but I just felt so happy and at peace. 

Until next week, Love elder Moss

OH i forgot. I know Christmas is still months away and then my birthday, AND I AM NOT ASKING ANYONE TO SEND ME A PACKAGE because they can be expensive to send, but just know that it takes about 2 months to get here. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13th

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this first picture is our zone. It will change a little bit this week after transfers, but not by much. 

I am going to miss fall! But not cutting grass so much haha. Its the opposite here, and so it is only getting hotter. I'd say its like the mid 90s everyday. The weather is weird here, because some days it will be so humid, and I will take two steps out side and immediately be drenched in sweat. Other times I will walk for miles without sweating that much because it is so dry. but none the less, we walk A LOT. 

So this week we didn't do a lot, mainly just cleaning the house and preparing for transfers. It was really funny because my companion has been in this city since may and he wants to leave. Hes just tired of the area. So he started packing his bags all last week in anticipation for transfers. We got transfers last night, and...... We are both staying here for another 6 weeks!! I started laughing so hard when I saw his face after we heard the news. All 6 of the missionaries in our city are going to stay for another 6 weeks. I don't know how I feel about that, but I already talked to my companion and we both agreed that we are going to work really hard this transfer. This transfer was kind of long, but he said the time only goes by faster, and you only get happier as the weeks go on. He said the first transfer is definitely the worse.
Love Elder moss!!

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this picture is the city where I serve. This is pirassinunga :) its kind of muggy though. It wasn't a good picture taking opportunity. I had better, but this is the best picture that I got. And the little VW in the picture is everywhere. Everyone has this car. Its crazy. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6th

So this week was not what I expected. We had some good lessons with investigators, but none of them committed to be baptized. Hopefully they will commit in the next week or two. 

        So I was so excited for conference!! I was absolutely pumped. I was prepared to be inspired and blown away by prophetic talks answering my questions. We get to the church on Saturday, a half hour before the first session, and my companion and I are the first people to show up. 5 minutes til the first session, we were still the only people there. I had been told many times that there would be a room set up where I could watch conference either on a computer or something so I could understand the talks (in English) so before the first session started, I asked my companion where that room was. He just laughed and said no one else in the ward speaks English so why would they do that just for you? I was completely heart broken.

        Looking back at it I should have been prepared for that, but so many people told me I could watch it in English that I wasn't prepared for that. So for session after session, I just watched prophets speak, and listened to the translator talk over them in Portuguese. I literally didn't understand any of it. It was one of the most depressing and torturing moments of my life haha. Some times I would understand a phrase, write it down, and then get lost again. At least I got to hear the music in English. But sometimes even that was disappointing because a lot of the songs the motab choir sang were the EXACT same versions on my ipod. Overall, I was let down this conference. Not by the talks (obviously) but by my ability to understand it. 

So earlier this week we got a call saying that investigator (whom had already been committed to be baptized) had just moved into our ward. So... We have a baptism this transfer! hahaha And I got to baptize her! her name is Luanda, and she is 14. I didn't even have to do the prayer over again. The baptism was in between our first two sessions of conference, so that helped my self esteem and moral a little bit. 

The last conference session, on Sunday afternoon was the only session I got to watch in English. I took so many notes. I was so happy haha. I soaked every word that they said it. I really liked how (I think it was) Elder Richard G Scott talked about opposition in all things, and I felt like he was directly talking to me. I started laughing so hard when in the last session, the session I could finally watch in English, One of the talks was in Portuguese. We went back into the room to watch it in Portuguese without a translator, and I understood a lot because instead of just hearing a translators voice, I could read his mouth and tell what he was saying. 

All in all, it was okay. I'm going to download the talks only an sd card off of and listen to them in English for the next few days during personal study. 

Well, conference came and went, I learned many lessons, and I made goals for the next general conference. 

Elder Moss

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Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29th

 I will admit, this week was SO much better than last week. Like 110 percent difference.

 I was companions with Elder Querioz (he's from Rio and has a really cool accent) for like 3 days, and loved every second of it. He speaks fluent English so that helped, and he knows how to work. He is awesome. So the first day I was companions with him, we did all of our studies, worked until we had to go home, and Even though I was much more tired, I was so much more happy, and the day just flew by. The second day, same thing. We worked all day, but the very last lesson was amazing. E. Querioz an his companion found this house knocking on doors, and they wanted to hear our message. 

We show up, and taught this mom, daughter (19), and son (7) the first lesson, or the restoration. As we started, the daughter explained that she had been reading the bible a lot lately, and had been going to a lot of different churches. Before the lesson, Elder Querioz asked me what part of the lesson I wanted to teach, and I said the first vision and about Joseph Smith. So he gets to the part where I take over, and I start getting really nervous because of me teaching this new family, in Portuguese, and their salvation depends on it haha. I explain about James 1:5 and Josephs question. Before I recited the first vision, I said ^^think about how you feel when I tell the experience from Joseph Smiths words.^^ and then I recited the first vision. We use a pamphlet that has a picture of the first vision, and they looked at it the whole time.
 When I say the first vision is a spiritual bomb, I mean it. I when I finished, I looked up, and the family was crying. It was the most spiritual missionary experience of my life. In her teary, choking voice, the daughter said ^^I have the same question as Joseph smith^^ We both bore our testimonies of the book of Mormon, and Josephs experience being true. 

When we explained the book of Mormon, she said ^^ I have a question.^^ I was scared. She said she studied the bible so I wasn't sure where her question was going to go. She ended up asking if we have a church in Pirassinunga, and if she could go to it! It was so perfect. Only the daughter came to church, but she really liked it. We had marked Moroni chapter 10 for her to read before Sunday, and when she got to church, she had read all f 1 and 2 Nephi, and Moroni ch. 10. I think she is definitely going to be baptized.

Oh my goodness this week was miracle after miracle. So 2 days after, I was tracting with my actual companion, and we found this 14 year old kid who was just watching tv and playing on the computer (sound familiar?) haha anyways, we taught this kid the restoration, same thing, but he didn't cry. We asked him if he thinks that it would be important to have a modern day prophet and the exact same organized church Jesus organized on the earth today. He said yes, and when asked if he would be baptized into the church of Jesus Christ, by someone holding the authority of god, he said he would like that. 

And last night. Last night we taught a family that was newly converted. all of them, except for a kid my age named John, had been baptized like 6 months ago. They are awesome. I love when we just go to share a message, because they are just an awesome family. they have 8 kids, but only 6 live in the house now. anyways, we had a member couple come with us to talk about temple work and eternal families. It was so spiritual, and it really spoke to the family. John, the kid who hasn't been baptized yet,  has been asked by several different missionaries for the past 6 months if he will be baptized,and he hasn't yet. But last night, when talking about eternal families, he started to cry several times. Near the end, my companion bore his testimony and cried, and john cried too. We talked about going into general conference with a question, and God WILL give you an answer. I'm pretty positive that he is going to go into general conference with baptism on his mind. 

So JC, yes we are teaching a few people who are going to get baptized.

The language is still difficult, but after this week, I have no doubt that I'm an effective missionary. Even when I don't know how to say something, or people are too distracted by my accent, I can feel the Holy Ghost talking for me into the investigators hearts. 

As for conference, I will watch it in English! the building i go to for church is the stake center, and they said there is always a room set up to watch it in English. Elder Querioz said he will watch it with me in English because he likes the voices in English better. 

Anyways, we have another appointment tonight to commit someone ELSE to be baptized. Im not sure, but I think they will say yes. 

We still have a lot of difficulties, but I know the Lord is protecting me. 

Love, Elder moss

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22nd

This week was definitely the hardest week I have had here. I have been the most homesick on my mission this week.   I also wish I knew the language better, but that's something that I will always wish for.

This week, we had 2 investigators come to church. We were supposed to have like 7, because we met a family of 6 this past week, we taught them one of the lessons, and they all wanted to be baptised. The mom and dad are getting married in December, so they will have to wait, and two of their kids aren't 8 yet. but two daughters are old enough and they really want to, so hopefully we will have a total of 4 baptisms within the next two weeks or so. 

I was re-looking at the recipe for your no-bake cookies, and unfortunately I can't make them because Brazil doesn't have peanut butter. I know it sounds crazy, but it doesn't. They don't have peanut butter, nor do they have maple syrup. 

I have had a lot of spare time on my hands lately, and even though we don't work as much as i would like to, one thing I love about being a missionary is the fact that I have never relied on the spirit this much. I have had so many powerful experiences with the spirit. A few times, I have had such powerful experiences with the spirit that I end up doubting if it happened at all. 

I heard a quote in the CTM that i think of alot. - Doubt always walks with faith, but fear never does- It is true. 

Happy birthday Robert!!!!! My companion's sister got married on his birthday so it was kind of cool to hear that. And on that same day, one missionary had been on his mission for exactly one month, and bought pizza for our house. It was alright-different, and not as good as american pizza. But it was good and nice of him non the less. 

I will try to stay more busy this next week. Keep me in your prayers!

Love, Elder moss

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 15th

 I can only get it  (letter mail) every 6 weeks, or when someone goes to the secretaries office in Piracicaba. Its just easier for them to keep all the mail in one place until someone goes to the area so they can take everyone's mail with them. 

This week has been the hardest week so far. the days have been long and hot, and we have been running out of investigator appointments. this just means that we have to go out and find new ones. we don't get a lot of help with references form the members, so for 3 days this week, we were non stop knocking on doors and doing street contacts for 8 hours straight. I've never felt so tired and exhausted before. I've had to rely a lot on my personal scripture study in the mornings for the spirit to last me the whole day. I came across one scripture in particular that I really like. Alma 36:20-21

 20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
 21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

It really helped me when I needed some pick up words.

 I am learning more and more about the language. Learning Portuguese has probably been the most humbling experience ever. I think i say something correctly, and my roommates can understand me, then i go  talk to members, and they just kind of stare at me strangely wondering if words came out of my mouth. Its kind of funny..

I have had the opportunity to play the guitar a few time in members homes! They like hearing it and finding out more about me. Everyone seems to ask if I'm German or american, and after the always mention, ALWAYS, how white i am. I have to explain that i wasn't this white before my mission, but that i have been in a building in Sao Paulo for the last 6 weeks. 

Thanks for the recipe!! i hope to be able to use it in the next week or so haha. All we eat for breakfast and dinner is bread with nutella, and milk, and maybe some store bought crackers. the members feed us every day for lunch, So i pig out. they make a lot of food for us, and so i end up eating a lot.

Its crazy to think about that 2 transfers are 3 months. Some people spend 4 transfers in one area, and that's 6 months! That's a fourth of their mission!!!
This is really going to fly by (once I know the language)

Not much really has happened, but i will continue to keep you updated!

love, Elder moss

PS I love you all too!!

James was finally able to send pictures!

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8th

So My new companion is named Elder Friedrich and he is from Sao Paulo! He talks really fast and it was hard to understand him at first. Now I'm doing okay. My first area is a place called Pirassinunga. It's a small town of about 80,000 people. I am in the center of the city where all the shopping and good places to eat are. We split the area with another companionship, and they are awesome. All the missionaries here are awesome. Most the two companions we share the area with speak English, and so I get a lot of help from them.
The ward is average/small. much smaller than d2. The members feed us everyday for lunch, almoço, and sometimes for a snack at night.
The food is a lot better than I thought it would be. It's pretty cheap too.
I am having an okay time with the language. It's hard, but I am learning. I read an article in the Leahona for this month and it talked about how if you have patient persistence, anything is possible with the Lords help -- so that's what I'm doing. I'm studying everyday, talking in Portuguese as much as I can, and I am trying to be patient with it.
There are stray dogs everywhere!! Its kind of scary because they just walk past you and kind of look at you strange. Everyone here has a dog, and they make ALOT of noise when you walk by. I still get startled by a giant dog barking at me, and the only thing between us is 4 inches and a fence.
I think about home a lot. This city has the same climate, and same character as Durham so its not as hard as it could be.
I love and miss all of you !!
love, elder moss

I asked James if there was anything he needed.  The message below is his response. I'm sure he'd love an easy recipe from a friend or family member:

and anything you could send... maybe a simple recipe for brownies and or chocolate chip cookies. all of the desserts here are jello and liquid and cold. I like them, but sometimes I really miss cookies and brownies.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

James has left the MTC

  I did not get a letter this week.  But, I did get notice that he is happy and well.
 In the picture below, he is with his Mission President Kennedy F. Canuto and his wife.  
James' mission address:
                            Elder James Arlo Moss
                           Brazil Piracicaba Mission
                           Av. Dr. Paulo de Morais, 555
                            2° Andar, Sala 25
                           13400-853 Piracicaba- SP, Brazil

His email address is:

Displaying E. Moss.JPG

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 27th

( Last week James mentioned that Elder Holland was coming to speak at the MTC.)
Elder Holland's talk was really good!
He began saying "bom dia... Todo bom?.... muito bom...... maracuja (a fruit)..... guarana (a brazilian soda).... Don't tell me i don't know how to speak Portuguese" He didn't even speak on his original talk, but just "went where the spirit told him to go" as he said. He talked a lot about how we need to put everything we have into our missions and they will be sacred. We need to give so much to the lord and the people that we are "leaving our missions on a stretcher with tears in our eyes that we have to leave." he also talked about how this is the country for our spiritual birth and how we will forever look back on our missions for the rest of our lives. He talked about how every single one of his blessings in his life right now can be linked back to his willingness to serve a mission.

He even asked "In our purpose as missionaries, what does it mean when it says "invite others?" Of course I raised my hand and i said that it is for everyone. He said "yes!!" very loudly and then went on like a 20 minute tangent about how the story of Jesus teaching the woman at the well and the story of Jesus Christ teaching the Jewish priest (or someone else of high importance) are right beside each other in the bible. Overall, it was a good and typical elder Holland talk with a lot of crying, some jokes, and a lot of screaming, yelling, telling us (very loudly) that this is as close to real life as we get.
YEP! I am so excited to leave on Tuesday and actually go out into the field. A lot of people who have to fly again to different parts of Brazil are waking up at like 2 and 3 in the morning, but  my mission home is like a 3 hour bus ride from the MTC. 
I don't know what time I will be waking up, but it will be much later than that. My roommate is awesome. He's really quiet, but he's not stuck up at all. He laughs when we laugh and he has fun. He is fluent because he already spoke Spanish, which helps a lot. 
I don't know if i will get a p day next week because in the mission field,  p days are on Monday and I will be leaving on Tuesday. But the next time that I email i will try and attach photos and i will give you my new address!!
Love, Elder Moss 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20th

. The Book of Mormon experience was awesome! So much fun. Sao paulo is so cool, Brazilians are just so nice in general. Total, my companion and I gave out 4 Book of Mormons, 6 pass a long cards, and like 6 gospel pamphlets on the restoration and the plan of salvation. Some people turned and walked away faster when they saw our name tags, but most people were very receptive. It was really cool to see that real brazilians who spoke fluent portuguese all their life understood me, an american who has only spoken portuguese for 4 weeks. CRAZY. At the end of the outing, a group of high school girls (Brazilian) walked passed us screaming and holding up hand hearts yelling "AMERICAN BOYS WE LOVE YOU AMERICAN BOYS" in broken English haha. #Fangirling.
Anyways, we only have 2 weeks left in the CTM. There are 5 Americans who only have one. They have been here the longest, but after them, we have. I don't feel like I know enough to be some of the oldest and most experienced people here.
Our roommates left on Monday. People who show up already speaking fluent Portuguese only stay here for 2 weeks then they leave. Both English and Spanish speakers learning Portuguese stay here for 6 weeks, even though the Spanish speakers pick up on it much more quickly.
The weather is starting to get warmer!! its actually pretty hot outside right now. Nights are still kinda cold, the buildings here dont have built in heat, only ac.
I am so excited for tomorrow. Usually we have a devotional on Sunday and on Tuesday, but they canceled the devo for yesterday and put in on the schedule for Thursday -- Elder Jeffery R Holland is in Brazil and wants to come speak here. so tomorrow my companion and I will get front row seats to hear him speak! My companion plays the piano a lot at devotional so we just sit upfront all the time now. Afterwards, he will have a question and answer, then go around shaking hands with every missionary here. I am pumped
I am also pumped to get out of the mtc in two weeks. Its getting easier to speak, but I really just want to get out into the field. After giving out those Book of Mormons, I am so excited to actually start teaching investigators and getting to know the people of Brazil.
Love Elder Moss

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 13th

 It has been pretty uneventful here. I don't know the language as well as I would like, but I am getting there. We go to the temple every p day and we just got back.
 We got a new elder in our district so I didn't have to have 2 companions any more. It is much easier and so much more fun.  The new elder is really cool. He gets along with everyone and is a nice addition to the group. He is from Northern Virginia so we have another non-Utah Mormon in our group (not that there's anything wrong with Utah).
 Another week has come and gone.  Tomorrow we go to the police station to register with the police and then Friday we go out onto the streets and give away Book of Mormons to people in a park. I think we have like 1.5 hours to give away 2 books per missionary. 
It's odd seeing everyone that was here when we got here leave to go out into the field. That makes us the older people here that all the really new missionaries look up to. Its kind of stressful because our entire day is planned for us, and then they expect us to do all of these assignments in our "free time." I'm making it though. I wish I were just out in the field already. The MTC is fun, but at this point I feel like I will just learn everything faster and easier out there in the field. I have been talking with some temple workers, and they said Piracicaba is a really nice city with a lot of retired people. 
Anyways, not much is happening here. The weeks are starting to fly by--one p-day at a time. I hope everything is going well with Robert! tell him I said Good luck! 

Elder Moss

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 6th

Life is cool here. It's a little chilly at night, and really hot during the day. So on p day, we go to the temple, then we email family and friends, and we also get to just walk around sao paulo (within the boundaries) and it is soo cool! you can get anything and everything for half the price of its american equal. Drivers here are ridiculous though. Its scary just crossing the street. Cars don't stop. buses don't use their breaks, and motorcycles just drive where ever they please.
We get a new companion today in our district, which means that I will only have one! because we had an odd amount of people, I have had two, which is harder because I have to follow two people around instead of just one.
Anyways, I wrote letters today and I will send them out in a few hours. I will reply to any letters I get in the mail! I figure if someone is taking time to write to me and think about me, I can do the same :)
Keep me updated on the puppies!!!
I am excited to eat dinner tonight, because the same with every Wednesday, its Pizza night!!!!!
Love Elder Moss