Monday, March 17, 2014

Lovin' the Bay Life

Great "small" Experience

My Family,

     So this week I just want to share a small experience that I had this week while street contacting. Elder Yellowhorse and I were in downtown San Francisco at one of the BART stations in our area. We like to do street contacting at Powell Station because it is always full of people walking to work, shopping, or waiting to get on the famous San Francisco Rail Cars. We are just across the street from the station, and we posted ourselves on either side of the side walk and started to contact people. Usually with how busy people are in the city, we just try to invite them to visit and offer them a pass-a-long card. Sometimes longer conversations develop and we have the opportunity to share more about the Restoration and ask them for their personal information and if they would like to receive visits from the missionaries. Usually we get the cold shoulder, or the "sorry no thank you", or just a straight "no". But this last Wednesday afternoon things were going well. We had passed out a few cards and had been talked too by some members visiting San Francisco. Its always great to talk to members and tell them where we're from and how the work is going in San Francisco. One sister that we saw that morning said, " Oh! I'm so happy to see missionaries in San Francisco! I thought they didn't let you guys in this area?!" haha I let her know that yes a few years ago they used to not let us proselyte in certain parts of downtown, but now all of the city is open to us. She was happy to see us in the city talking to people and it really uplifts us to see members in San Francisco. A lot of people ask us why we get sent to San Francisco and we say, "Because we're needed here, and this is were the Lord wants us." After a few more minutes on the sidewalk, I continued to watch people walk by and looked for those that I could offer a card to or start a conversation with. I noticed a woman walking my way and she glanced at me for a moment. Usually people just stare at our name tags or at what we are wearing, but this woman looked me in the eyes for a few seconds. I knew and felt that I needed to try to talk to her. As she started to walk by me, I said, "Excuse me miss, could I give you a card about Jesus Christ?" She stopped walking and told me that she was actually a member. She asked me where I was from and we talked a little bit about ourselves and the usual greeting with members. As the conversation started to end I assumed that she would just tell me "Good luck and keep up the good work!", but she paused and asked me a very sincere question. "Elder Mora, what to you think about the Atonement?" I was surprised at her question, and wondered why she would ask me about the Atonement on the street in front of a huge shopping center with thousands of people going from one place to another. But I could tell from the sound of her voice and the look in her eyes, that she really needed someone to share what they thought about the Atonement. And this is roughly what I said, "Well that's a very good question. I don't get the opportunity to teach in English very often, so thank you for asking me this question. For me personally the Atonement is what allows me to not only receive forgiveness for my sins, but gives me the capacity to be better than I was before. It strengthens us and helps us to be the kind of person that we are continually striving to become. I know that without the Atonement, Heavenly Father's plan for us would not work, we would not be able to change and become better than we are now." As I was bearing my testimony to her, this sweet sister, with whatever struggles and trials going on in her life, started to cry. I could feel the Spirit testifying to her through my words that we can always rely on the Atonement in our lives no matter what. I was so grateful and humble to be able to help her in whatever way that I did, either with helping her to know that God loves her or that we shouldn't be afraid to turn to the Atonement for comfort. I asked her if there was anything else that I could do for her, and she quietly replied, "No, thank you. You've done enough with what you've said." I told her what a pleasure it was to meet her and how much joy it gives missionaries to see members, and the support and encouragement that they give us. The sad thing is that I can't even remember her name, but I know that I was able to help her feel the Spirit. I am so grateful for this opportunity that the Lord gave to me to help one of his daughters. I can't explain exactly how I know it, but I know that the Lord is conscience of me and loves me, and that he allowed me to have that special experience. 
   I just want everyone back home to know that I am doing great. I haven't been having what most people think is success on the mission, like baptisms or tons of investigators, but I've come to learn that a successful missionary is one who is committed to his or her purpose. And our purpose is to invite people to Christ. I have been doing my best and I still feel like I'm being as successful as I can be right now. Thank you for all of your prayers. I pray for you all daily as well. Les amo muchisimo. 

Elder Mora

Early morning run

LJ writes:
I Took this picture on top of this cool mountain trail on my run this morning at 6am! Downtown San Francisco and the Bay Bridge way off in the back.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Living the Missionary life .... pics


On Mar 3, 2014
How are things back home? I hope Tata is doing better. I don't know is you are busy this week but just want to say a quick hello. I also got two new investigators this week and they are both really nice men, One already has been reading the Book of Mormon, he is so prepared! Well gracias mom for your love and prayers! I'll send some pictures today.
Elder Mora

On Mon, Feb 24, 2014
Los Moras & Tata,
     Hey glad to hear that Tata is doing alright. I'll continue to pray for him. I don't know if Tata will be comfortable with it, but please ask him if we would like to receive a priesthood blessing. I know that if he needs comfort and health and has the faith in our Heavenly Father, he will feel better. I have given several blessings now on my mission, and I know the strengh and comfort that come from these blessings. Tata I love you and I know a blessing would help you feel better.
     Its really cool to hear all the things going on back home with the Gilbert Temple Dedication and a new Stake Presidency for our stake. I've only been out a few months and all this cool stuff is happening! Thank you also family for your fasting for my companion and I. We have actually been receiving more referals this week and I think a few of them are going to be really golden investigators. We'll see! I definitely know the power of fasting. Over here in California there has been a very bad drought, and the first fast sunday I was here the whole stake and most of the other stakes in California fasted for rain. I heard that even members outside of California were fasting for rain. And guess what happened? I rained all day Sunday, and the next day, and the next day! I rained for a week straight, and I know that was Heavenly Father answering prayers. So thank you for your fast.
     I am so glad that my letters reached you guys! Tell the rest of the family that they will be getting theirs soon. I'm glad Abuela liked my letter and that Chacha and Amy liked theirs too.
    We haven't been having much success with new investigators, but we starting teaching a boy in our ward named Jefferey. He's ten years old and we are teaching him and his little sister Emily the lessons to prepare them to be baptized. It has been so good to have these lessons with them, because even children this young can feel the truth of the gospel. It just inspires me when I hear him answer questions and share his testimony with us. I'm so blessed to be able to teach him and his sister.
     My next transfer starts today actually, and I am staying in the same area with the Elder Yellowhorse for another transfer. I am glad I get to stay because we finally know the area well enough to start having more progress.
     The Bonillas are doing very well. They have been coming to church a lot more and I always enjoy seeing them. They actually aren't in my area so I don't teach them, but I have had some meals with them and I shared a spiritual thought once. They are a very sweet couple and they love talking about their daughter with me. I told them she might have been my Primary teacher and that made them really happy. They also told me that she would be visiting them this week, so maybe I can see her and say hello.haha
     So about my Spanish...I keep getting members in my ward that tell me that I should know Spanish already and that my parents should have taught me. But I'm glad that I have this opportunity to learn Spanish because I know I will appreciate it so much more when I am able to speak it with the family when I get back. Its kind of discouraging when they tell me these things, but I know they don't mean any offense. I know that the Lord gave me this opportunity and invested time in me to learn Spanish for a reason. I am still struggling with being to hard on myself with my Spanish, but I can see myself slowly improving.
     I have been having some different kinds of food, but nothing super different or weird. I tried these things called pupusas and they are really good. They are an El Salvadorian food and they are muy sabroso! Other than that, I've been eating lots of chicken with rice, and not very much salsa. I guess that's a Mexican thing.ha I miss burritos and tacos and tortas and other stuff that me and dad would go eat, but this food has been amazing.
     I can't believe that the casita is almost done (finally) and the house is getting worked on. How is work going? Is Woody still doing my job?ha I still want pictures of the casita! Tell the Farrs to start having kids already. I read a really good talk about from one of the apostles about this. Just start your family and the Lord will bless you. (and I want to be an uncle):)
Elder Mora