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, almoƧo, 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