Monday, May 15, 2017

May 15, 2017

Friends and family!

Well here we are, the final week of my mission! It's been a good run and this last week will be a sprint to the finish! Last week we had a good amount of success! We met a man on the street and talked for a half hour. He accepted our invitation to tour the church tomorrow. So that night we met a lady and invited her and she said yes! So we invited yet another man that night and he said yes! 3 people I'd never met before (my companion had last transfer, but we hadn't been able to meet with them since then). One of them he'd only met for 2 minutes, the other had had a couple lessons. It was awesome though to have 3 people agree to tour the church the very next day! Unfortunately only one came. But we had a good tour!

This week's challenge is to be your best self! Live with no regrets! And have a great week!

-Elder Moon

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 8, 2017

Friends and Family!

This will be short this week because not much has changed in this last week. Same tracting for hours and same not very exciting results. Unfortunately we haven't tracted into any more miraculous church tours but I hope you all had an opportunity to participate in one. 

This week we will continue trying and looking toward optimistic results. We'll strive to see with an eye of faith what is possible in this area and invite as many people as we can to learn more. 

This week's challenge comes from a story we heard yesterday in a regional broadcast. A woman said as an 11 year old girl Elder L Tom Perry (an apostle) came to their house to spend the night. I assume they were visiting the stake or something and her dad was the stake president. She said Elder Perry offered to help her feed the chickens which was her chore. She went skipping down the trail to the barn with her flashlight. Elder Perry, who didn't have a light of his own, tried to follow. She went skipping along and hopped over a small creek. Elder Perry didn't recognize the difference between skipping and hopping over a creek, and without a light of his own, he couldn't see the difference between the ground and the creek either. Unfortunately, he stepped into the creek and got his foot soaking wet (potentially tripping too, but no injuries were acquired). On their way back he declared in his distinct voice "I need my own light!" How profound that is! We all need our own lights. 

I extend my challenge this week, my penultimate challenge, to each of us. That is to find our own light. Use borrowed light as needed, but daily strive to find our own light. Christ is The Light of the world, but He invited each of us in Matthew 5:14 to BE a light to the world. We must find our own testimony, our own conversion, our own channel to The Light. May we do so with as much haste and humility as we can summon! 

Have an awesome lighted week!  :)

-Elder Moon

P.S. As a special treat, Elder Moon sent a link to a recording of a version of Homeward Bound (music) and Oh How Lovely was the Morning (lyrics).  He is playing the piano and another elder is singing.  They will be performing the song in church on Elder Moon's last Sunday--an appropriate time to play Homeward Bound!!   

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017

Friends and Family!

We actually had an amazing miracle this last week! We went to knock on this door and asked the guy if we could share a message about Jesus Christ and he let us right in! That's a miracle in and of itself, but we proceeded to talk and ask about his religious background and he said he grew up in a church. But right now that isn't working well for him and he'd fallen away from it and is currently in spiritual turmoil. He asked about what it would be like if he came to our church so we said "the church is like 2 minutes down the road, we could give you a tour right now if you want" and he said "I'll meet you there in 10 minutes" so we gave him a tour of the church on the spot! Never happened to me on my entire mission! Never heard of it ever happening like that in this entire mission! It was amazing! We talked about baptism as we got to the font and he said he wants to investigate more before committing to that, but he likes the idea of a fresh new start and all that. Unfortunately, he didn't come to church yesterday and we stopped by to chat with him. He's going to read more and pray and get back to us. The spirit was so strong in the tour and I feel absolutely confident he will read from the Book of Mormon and get back to us soon! He had such good questions during the tour and is truly searching for the truth!

Other than that, it's been much of the same knocking on doors and trying to share our message. We have a few people who are willing to have us back, so things are starting to pick up, but not all that fast. Hopefully lots of the people who allowed us to come back will start to progress in the coming weeks!

In light of our miracle, this week's challenge is to tour an LDS church building if you aren't a member. If you're a member but haven't been in a while, attend this Sunday. If you're a member and actively attend church each week, invite someone on a tour who isn't a member! If you don't know how to go about organizing a church tour or if you'd like to go on one, check out and go to the Meetinghouse locator and call the bishop. He'll connect you with the missionaries and they'd love to show you around! :)

Love you all and have an awesome church filled week!

-Elder Moon

Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017

Friends and Family,

This week was much like the last one. T is busy getting an application in for this weekend so he wasn't able to meet. But he should be free this coming weekend after he submits his stuff. Then we'll try to see if he can come to church and meet with us. We've also been doing lots of tracting trying to find more people. 

Since there's not much different in the life of the V
missionaries, I'll tell you a part of a homecoming talk I heard yesterday. A missionary came home from their mission and had served in Brazil where they eat lots of beans and rice. The reason is there's so much hiking around through the mountains and the beans and rice give you the strength and energy to do that. If you don't eat them, you'll be weak. They compared it to spiritual beans and rice. The three spiritual beans and rice are daily scripture study, prayer, and church attendance. It was a really good talk!

So my challenge to each of you is to eat your spiritual beans and rice this week! Make sure you study the scriptures every day, pray many times every day, and go to church this Sunday!

Have an awesome week! Love you all!

-Elder Moon

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017

Friends and Family!

This week was a good one. We had to get things going because not much has happened here for a year ;) missionaries have worked hard but it's just a difficult area. Wonderful members and people, just not super interested. But we did find two promising new investigators this week, one is a family! And several people I taught before while I was here are willing to meet again! It's nice to be back. I kind of felt like a movie star coming back to the ward where everyone was surprised to see me! 

If you want to pray for someone, pray for Tommy. He investigated before and wasn't interested in continuing as far as converting. Just curious mostly. But he said it might be a sign that I'm back telling him he needs to be baptized. So prayers for his heart to take courage on that thought would be awesome! 

For the challenge, be you this week. Be obedient to the commandments, be good, be righteous, be better that you've been before, be your best self... but be you! You are each children of God and have unique qualities and strengths, so bring them out! This is more of an abstract challenge, but do your best (and be your best!) 

Have an awesome week after Holy Week! Love you!

-Elder Moon

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10, 2017

Family and Friends!

This week was good. We had some success contacting people. We didn't get through all the people but did get some people. We had 3 new investigators which was better than any week this transfer if I remember correctly. We also had 2 investigators at church, one showed up totally randomly! That was nice! Some people have been progressing relatively well but no grand success yet. I'll be sure Elder G has the list of people we haven't gotten to yet. Because he'll be staying here and I'll be going.

So take your guesses as to where I'm going! Not that you know any of the areas here. But this one will sound familiar. I'll be going back to an area I served in before. It's one I liked a lot! Probably my favorite area in the mission, at least for the members. Remember how I wasn't able to go out to V when the ASL people went to teach the deaf man, and how I wasn't able to see the M's? Well, maybe God said "you know, you missed out on that and were bummed, so I'll send you back to that area!" I'm shocked, but I'll be going back to Victor to end the last 6 weeks of my mission! 

This week' challenge is to foster friendships and relationships with those you knew long ago but haven't seen in a while. Reach out and contact them, set up a time to go get lunch, do something to rebuild those relationships. That's what I'll be doing this week with the members there, seeing them again and encouraging them to invite their friends to learn about the gospel. If they want to see their friends forever, they'll need this gospel! So I'll invite them to share the gospel and you all can decide what you'd like to do with those old long lost friends :)

Love you all (long lost friends ;) Have a great week! 

-Elder Moon

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017

Family and Friends!

This week was great. Conference was awesome! Lots of good talks, and they are all online (or will be this week) so if you missed them you can watch them and listen to them as much as you want forever! I strongly recommend them, they're good talks! 

As for contacting all those people, this week was slower because Elder Gardner got sick for two days. We weren't allowed to leave our apartment since he threw up so I read the Book of Mormon. I was in Helaman 9 when he woke up sick Tuesday morning and I finished Moroni 10 Wednesday evening (about 150 pages or so, and these pages have tiny words, so it was lots of reading and I was all readed out). I'm currently on page 56 of the Doctrine and Covenants and would love to finish that this month. We did call several of the people whose phone numbers we had while he was sick. Not much came of it. I'm going to try and get all the people on the list contacted this week. Then I won't leave anything undone if I leave the area for my last transfer, and if I stay I'll have things cleaned up for a fresh start for my last transfer!

This week's challenge, I encourage each of us to make our prayers more meaningful. A big focus of the face to face event in Palmyra a few weeks ago and another theme of conference was about the spirit and prayer. In making our prayers more meaningful we will access heaven more fully. We can do this by visualizing ourselves at the throne of God and treating the prayer as not a conversation but us speaking to God The Father. He loves us, but we need to be reverent and not treat it as a casual conversation. Pray for the spirit and follow what inspiration you receive! 

Have an awesome week everyone!

-Elder Moon

Monday, March 27, 2017

March 27, 2017

Friends and Family,

This week was anticipated to be full of contacting those formers and potentials but it ended up being full of exchanges and mini exchanges. We had lots of deaf work going on so my companion was going to those teaching appointments with another ASL missionary. I got to do finding in their area while he got to teach and contact those deaf people. I also got to miss out on visiting my previous area (V) and seeing the coolest family there (the M's). They also stopped by the mission office and got to see the Spencer's, so I just got shafted time after time this week! But the church is still true and the work is the same regardless of where you are! At least that's what they say ;) jk it is! 

I did have a good week, even though I didn't get to do the fun things. Life isn't always about fun. I quoted this in my graduation speech and think it's about time I say it again. Vivian Green said "life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain!" I think I said that right. In life we shouldn't be waiting for something better tomorrow or next week or next year. We shouldn't be looking forward to our next chapter. We should plan for it and be excited for it, but if we are longing for it we will miss out on the opportunities of today and the blessings we could've found. We are in charge of how much we enjoy each situation, so we should find the joy in each opportunity we're given. 

The challenge this week is to be optimistic! If that's too hard, the other challenge is to have a question or two and take it to conference. Then watch conference, any or all sessions, looking for the answer(s). They are at 10 AM and 2 PM this Saturday and Sunday (Mountain time, so if you're in Texas or Kansas, it's an hour later; if you're on the East like me it's two hours later, those on the West coast it's an hour earlier, so don't sleep in too long!). You can find it on BYU TV or on

Well have an awesome week everyone! Be optimistic or inquisitive or both! :)

-Elder Moon

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017

Friends and Family!

This week was safe, but slow. We had a pretty good blizzard with several feet of snow and lots of shoveling happened. Not as much teaching but we hope this week has more. During some of the hours we weren't allowed to drive, we went through all the former investigators in our area book and looked at who might be interested now and who wouldn't be. We're going to try and contact all the ones who might be interested either this week or the next. Hopefully some become new investigators! 

Ed quit coffee! He's been free of it since his priesthood blessing! His next step is tea and then he'll be ready to get baptized! Becky actually met with us on Monday and our appointment cancelled due to weather this week. We're trying to reschedule. Some other people showed some interested so their names might come up soon if they start progressing!

Challenge of the week is to go into nature and thank Heavenly Father for the beautiful creations you see! I recently finished the reference book True to the Faith and one thing that really stood out to me was the gratitude section. If you want an additional challenge, go read that section!

Have an awesome week and love you all!

-Elder Moon

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 13, 2017

Friends and family!

Well I wasn't fortunate enough to get another apostolic slap this week, but we did have a good week! One of the people we are teaching is trying to quit drinking coffee and he has avoided it for I think 5 days straight now, which is awesome for him! Hopefully he can keep it up! There isn't much happening that's out of the ordinary. We are teaching a few people but our teaching pool is small. Most of the people are still up in the air and we're trying to consistently meet with them.

Challenge of the week is to be of good cheer! Smile at at least 5 people everyday, and they have to be different people everyday.
Therefore, 35 people will get free smiles this week! If you're a hermit and don't see people because you stay home all day, get out and enjoy some fresh air! Love you all!

-Elder Moon

Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6, 2017

Friends and family,

I'll spend the email telling about our experience with Elder Holland coming to our mission: I was playing the prelude in the gym waiting for him to arrive. We were all in our positions for a big picture and I was playing off to the side. After playing for a while, I heard his voice and in my head I was like "ah he's here!" He sounds like he does in Conference and recordings, it's not like those people who have different sounding voices in real life. Anyway, as he walked into the gym, he bee-lined (I think that's how you use that term, maybe I'm spelling it wrong which isn't unusual) right over to me and walked quickly over to me and as he approached me I looked over and he said "thank you for playing" and then I guess he heard me miss a note at some point because right after that, he slapped me! No joke, he straight up slapped me! As he did, he said "I'm glad your mother made you practice." The slap was more of a pat (like his wife's name) on the cheek, but nonetheless, I was slapped by an apostle!

After the picture, he went in the hall and shook everyone's hand as we went into the chapel. He asked everyone their name and where they're from. He told us later he did it to "interview everyone" and didn't care too much what their names were or their native land. He just needed us to say something and looked into our eyes/souls to see how we were doing. He then told President Evans he felt our mission was pretty good. He didn't sense any serious struggle, there might be 1 or
2 struggling but that's normal for a mission. It was pretty cool! But the bummer is he didn't interview me! I was at the end of the line since I was playing after the picture too. As I went by he said thanks for playing again, and I think I just said "no problem" or something, but I didn't tell him my name or anything. Oh well.

His address to us was good and pretty similar in lots of ways to when he came to the MTC. Then he came down from the stand and then used the chalkboard. He wrote parts of 1 Nephi 1 about Lehi's experience like "prophet, prayer, vision, received a book, book had prophecy, he testified to the people, people wanted to kill him, etc." Then Elder Holland asked us "who's story is that?" Someone said "Joseph Smith's."
He said something like "what, is that Joseph's story that he wrote down since he wrote the Book of Mormon and we're trying to pull a fast one on everyone, that this is all made up by him? NO! THAT'S EVERY PROPHET'S STORY!!" It was so cool! I originally thought the person who answered was wrong because it was about Lehi, but then it clicked and I realized it was Joseph Smith's story, and every other prophet's story! No true prophet has ever been accepted by everyone. No true prophet has ever left this world  unscathed and free of persecution.
Why? Because Satan knows they're a threat to his work and a great advocate to God's work. The adversary will always tempt people to reject the truth and persecute the righteous mouthpieces of God. All the persecution against Joseph is compelling enough evidence to consider his truthful prophetic mantel.

The challenge this week is to pray to know if the heavens are opened.
If God really would call a prophet today. As you do, wait for an answer! I know you can receive it if you ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, and with faith in Christ! Love you all!

-Elder Moon

Monday, February 27, 2017

February 27, 2017

Friends and Family!

This week was pretty good. We have two people back on date and we'll see how those turn out. They're both for a few weeks from now. I will be staying in this area this next transfer and will still be with Elder G. I'm learning a little ASL and was able to sign the sacrament prayer for bread yesterday at church. If you don't know what that is, you should go to an LDS service this Sunday and see what I had to interpret! :)

We were also able to go to V last night for dinner and stopped by the deaf people out there. They were busy packing for a vacation to Cambodia, BUT they set up an actual appointment for us to come teach them, so we're excited things are picking up there! And it was always good to go to the M's house for dinner. They're the best!

This week or weekend Elder Holland (an apostle) and President Eyring (from the first presidency) will be here for a Face to Face event for the youth. They will be doing a special missionary meeting for us and I've been asked to play prelude on the piano as they show up. Not everyone is able to say they've played the piano for an apostle and someone from the first presidency! 

So the challenge this week is to practice a musical instrument. Because if I'm playing for them, I'll be nervous! So that'll be something important for me to do and I figured I'd make it easy for me and challenge something I'm already doing ;) love y'all!

-Elder Moon

Monday, February 20, 2017

February 20, 2017

Friends and Family,

This week was good! We went to the sites with D who was baptized last week. He loved it! As we were leaving the Sacred Grove he was repeatedly saying "The Mormon Book is true! It's true! People don't believe me and they won't read it, but it's true!" It was awesome to see his love for the gospel! During that trip, I was able to go on splits and go to the temple with C from B! She was able to be baptized for some of her ancestors and I was able to do the baptizing! Then she asked me to be baptized for her male ancestors and it was such a cool experience! 

This coming week we have several appointments set up which is nice! Usually we don't have much set. So hopefully this week will be super successful and we can do lots of teaching! 

This week' challenge is to stay hydrated! It's warming up here in New York so it's important we stay hydrated so we can serve God "with all [our] heart might mind and strength" (D&C 4:2). Have an wonderful watery week! Love you all!

-Elder Moon

Monday, February 13, 2017

February 13, 2017

Friends and family! 

Sorry this will be super short this week, but our baptism was great! Janet was still sick so we weren't able to do a ton with her. But we were able to find some more people who have potential so this week will be good. 

Challenge this week is to show love to someone. If you have a valentine, pick someone who ISN'T your valentine so you can do something more than you were planning to! Have a great week of righteous love! :)

-Elder Moon

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6, 2017

Friends and Family! 

This last week was awesome! I was miraculously able to have dinner at the home of my favorite members in V (previous area I served in). Their son invited a person with deaf parents to learn about the gospel. Since my companion is ASL, we got to go teach him and our mission president said we could stay for dinner! 

The work here is picking up too, we have three people who want to be baptized, one this weekend! David is this weekend, Janet is the end of this month, and Eddie will take a bit more time, but he's so repentant! 

I don't have much time, but the challenge is based on a story about a place called Wellsville. If you're interested in the full story, I can tell you individually, so just let me know. But for the sake of time, I'll just say it was a place with nothing going on in terms of missionary work for several years. Through optimism and obedience coupled with diligence and faith, it is now the most effective and highest baptizing area in the mission! So I challenge each of us this week to be optimistic!

Love you all!

-Elder Moon

Monday, January 30, 2017

January 30, 2017

Friends and Family!

This last week was full of surprises! First of all, we had a big announcement on Wednesday which some of you have probably heard about already. The missionary schedule has changed! We now have more freedom to choose when we want to do stuff. It's basically the same, but we have a little more time to take care of personal things that need to be done and we can choose when we want to do most of the morning activities (planning, studying, etc.). I love the freedom! We'll come back to that later in the email.....

We also had a nice surprise of Janet coming to church! Yesterday, David came again like he did last week, but Janet missed last week. I thought she was going to come up with some excuse like she did last week, but she came! It was awesome to see both of them there! We're working on finding more people to invite and have attend.

This week's challenge is to try to be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and bring about much righteousness of your own free will. That's from a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 58 verses 26-28. I think of this scripture in relation to the changes we had in our missionary schedule (told you we'd come back to this). It'll be awesome to see and hear about all of you trying to apply this in your lives. I will definitely do it in mine!

Have a great week!

-Elder Moon

Monday, January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017

Friends and family!

Here I am in the center of Rochester. I still don't know how to sign but my companion is deaf and only does sign language. It's been pretty hard to communicate but it's been pretty quiet. We're working with a couple people and trying to find some more! Two people have already agreed to be baptized and are on date for that! One of them came to church yesterday and the other didn't get any sleep that night before due to some medical thing. But she promised to come next week!

It's been pretty warm for a NY winter so far, but they say it'll get pretty bad soon. This Friday there's apparently something coming. But they "say" so many things I'm not sure what to believe. And speaking of not knowing what to believe, don't believe that my companion is deaf. He's a sign language missionary but he can speak and hear normally. That was just a joke at the beginning. :)

This week's challenge is to work on developing some talent you have, or find a new talent. The scriptures teach us we should not "bury"
our talents, so we should work to improve them. An unusual way to do that is to be grateful for the talents we do have. D&C 78:19 says that when we show gratitude, we gain 100 times more than what we had before. So if you want to get better at anything, work at it and be grateful for the gift you've been given!

Have a stellar week!

-Elder Moon

Monday, January 16, 2017

January 16, 2017

Friends and Family!

Good bye Batavia! I thought I would be staying here at least one more transfer, but it turns out I'm leaving tomorrow. I'll be going to Brighton, New York. That's the neighboring ward of Pittsford, which is the neighboring Ward to Fairport. Therefore, I will have served in 3 neighboring wards! And Brighton is the Ward where the mission president lives, so I'll see his family a lot. He travels to all the wards all the time, so he won't be at his home Ward a ton, but I'll still probably see him more often than usual.

I will also be taking a break from leadership this transfer. There are roses and thorns with that. I like the leadership for the learning experiences and opportunities, but it will also be nice to just be an ordinary missionary again and not have to worry about all the administrative stuff. I will miss Batavia as well. There are lots of good things underway here! We met several people who were interested.
A lot of them were "one and done" where they met with us once and then weren't interested anymore. But those are some good seeds planted!

I will be companions with an elder named Elder Gardner. He's an ASL (American sign language) missionary so maybe I'll learn some signing!
There's a famous quote from Hugh B Brown that says "I am the gardener here!" I kind of want to wake up every morning and say that to him :)

Cindy invited us to come to the temple with her when she goes and we asked President Evans about it. He said we could do it if the logistics work out but it would be hard. Because I'll be closer to the temple than I am now, he said I probably could at least. Elder Gwilliam will have a harder time working it out, but hopefully we can!

The challenge this week is to be healthy. Ideas are take a multivitamin every day, exercise, eat more fruits and vegetables than sweets, etc. We've done a similar challenge a while back about our bodies being temples, but I think it's a good thing to do again.

Thanks for everyone's goodness! Have a great week!

-Elder Moon

Monday, January 9, 2017

January 9, 2017

Friends and Family!

This week was good for us! We found lots of people and have tons of appointments set up for next week! The holiday dip is officially over and things are picking up nicely! We found this guy named Justin who has an abundance of faith! He believes most of the things we teach and reads what we ask him to. We also started teaching this guy named Rob who walked about a mile in 0 degree windy bitter cold weather just to meet with us! Had we known, we would've tried to work something else out! We're excited to see things continue to pick up this coming week!

Cindy is back on her feet. She'd missed church the last 2 weeks because she told us she had a gigantic kidney stone. At first they thought it was some inflammation of some organ that I know nothing about. Kidney, appendix, etc. something. Then they found out it was a
5 centimeter kidney stone. She asked for a blessing last Sunday and passed it last Monday early in the morning. Priesthood blessings work!

What should the challenge be this week? Here's a good one. Try to find someone this week who is "despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and aquatinted with grief." One to whom people "hide their faces from" and either ignore or demean, ridicule or ostracize. Find them and include them. Help them feel your love; help them feel God's love. It doesn't have to be someone you ostracize. And it doesn't have to be someone publicly or generally hated. It can be someone who simply feels left out, either usually or just this once. Someone who needs to feel rightly included, whether they're frequently an outcast or have been excluded for the first time. Christ says to us 'inasmuch as he have done it unto one of the least of these...Ye have done it unto Me." If we want to show appreciation for The One who was truly despised and rejected of men and still suffered tremendous pains for them, we should follow His counsel and feed His sheep.

I hope everyone has a great week looking for the emotionally and socially lost sheep!

-Elder Moon

Monday, January 2, 2017

January 2, 2017

Friends and family!

I'm sure you all are enjoying your new year with those resolutions! At least I hope so. I also hope they last longer than January. After all, they are New Years and not new months, resolutions. Does anybody have any they feel pleased with and think I could benefit from hearing?

Both my companions were sick yesterday so I went to church alone.
Haha, as missionaries, we always have to be within sight and sound of our companions with a few exceptions like going to the bathroom. Since I couldn't really be alone, one of the church members picked me up and took me to church. I didn't really have an assigned companion, but was kind of playing a game of ping pong bouncing around from one "temporary companion" to another. We're allowed to not be with our assigned missionary companion as long as we are with another adult member who is our same gender. There are more specific guidelines than that, but that's sufficient for the purposes of this story. Needless to say, it was weird being at church without another missionary.

Things are still slow here. The sicknesses haven't helped. Hopefully we can pick things back up now that they're feeling better. We are focusing on some people who are less active in the church, but we can't seem to get in contact with several of them. We'll keep trying though!

Challenge this week is super simple. It's to get at least one more week of your New Years resolutions in! Quitting within the first 10 days is sad, so don't give up! If you've already missed, start today to get it down!

-Elder Moon

PS Winter is here!!  This is our truck!