Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 6 in California

Alright so I just finished week 6. It’s been an eventful week I suppose by the standard of some of my other ones.
Monday!! We played some Gator Ball. I almost died and had an all-around blast on our P-Day.

Tuesday. Tuesday we had training with Elder Walker of the 70. He is in charge of like all the temples. So if you watch almost any of the dedications in the last couple years he is the man standing right behind the prophet. It was really cool to meet him!! Unfortunately I forgot my notes at the apartment so I'll tell you about it in a letter or next week. Something I wrote in my regular journal is that we sang with Elder Walker in a spontaneous musical rendition of the Hymn, ‘Nearer My God To Thee’. Here is how it went …we are taking our break from the training and we go in and have lunch. It was pulled pork and it was actually really good. I was talking to Elder M. and Elder C. is talking to another sister missionary named Sister L. And they are talking and singing was brought up and Elder C. goes. "Oh!! Elder Gore Sings!" and Sister L. gets excited and gets my attention and asks if I do and I say yeah I like to sing, and Elder C. kind of goes on about how much I'm singing and so Sister L. is like "Hey lets go to the chapel I want to hear you sing!!" and I’m like uhhh ok. So the 4 of us go in, Elder C., Me, and Sister L. and her Companion, Sister B. And she plays a hymn and I sing it by myself and then the sisters are telling me I’m a lot better than I think I am, and then she starts playing,’ Nearer My God To Thee’, and I sing it and then she joins in and when we finish Elder Walker stands up, cause he had been quietly sitting on the stand, and comes over and asks if the 4 of us would sing that at the beginning of the next training session. And we are like uhhhhh ok. And so how we do it is First the 5 (yes, Elder Walker sang with us) of us are in unison, then it’s the 2 Hermanas on Melody and the 3 of us Elders singing Tenor and then for the 3rd verse Sister L. and I dueted with her on Harmony and me on the Tenor Melody. It was super nerve wracking but I’m glad I did it. Then we drove home and that was basically the day.

Wednesday. We went on exchanges!!!! Elder C. went out with Elder H. to the English area and I took his companion, Elder T., who has been out the same amount of time as me and we were in the Spanish area. That was a crazy day of faith. I had no idea what we were going to do but then what popped into my head was the revelation challenge that our elders (Centreville Elders) gave us. To pray to know which of your friends we can teach or help. So I made that the base of the lesson. I translated it into Spanish and found a good scripture and we then had 9 lessons that day and I gave the challenge to a bunch of members. That was the day this week that we had the most lessons. Usually we have 1 or 2. But there are a lot of days where we have none. So that made me feel really good. But also it was super cool because like people would talk and I was understanding most of what they said!!! It’s been in the last couple weeks that I have noticed that I can differentiate between every word whenever anyone but Elder Cebreros is speaking; he talks at like a thousand miles an hour. But It was so cool cause people would make some comment and I was like, "I understand you!!!!!!" In my head but yeah it was super, super cool!!! It was a super Faith and Confidence building day!!!

On to Friday!!!

So on Friday I went on another exchange. But this time I took Elder H., the senior companion and trainer of Elder T., with me into the Spanish Coachella area. Why I went there twice with English at first I didn't know why but now I do. So the night before we had planned the day and had a bunch of lessons and it was going to be pretty good. We had some empty space in the day and I was trying to figure out what to do and Elder H. says pick a name. Don’t think about if they are going to be home or not. Just pick a name. And even before he had said that the name Rubio popped into my head. I knew the husband, who was a member wasn't going to be home but that’s where we decided to go. We went and talked to the wife for a little, she isn't a member but she said she'd talk to her husband to set up an appointment. After that Elder H. said lets go for a walk. I was a little confused and he said, “You and Elder C. don’t do much street contacting do you”  It was a question and a statement really. It’s true we don’t. I explained that the 2 times at the park that we've talked to people Elder C. told me to start teaching as soon as you start talking to people. That didn't seem right to me and that’s probably why my first 2 times were so rough. I talked to Elder H. about that and he sort of chuckled and said that was the culture of one of the Missions but in another Mission the culture was to just talk to people and become their friends. That’s also the culture that our Mission President wants. He told us that it took about 7 positive contacts with the church in order for someone to become interested. He wants us to just talk to people about everything but the church to start and if the church comes up then we talk about it but if it doesn't that’s ok because the people will have had a good experience with the church.
That’s what we ended up doing the rest of the day. Because all of our appointments fell through, so I learned how to talk to people the right way. We haven't had the opportunity to do it since then but I’m ready now.
That night we also had the wards Trunk-n-Treat. It was a blast Juan our investigator and his family came and we hung out and we found some ward members to socialize with him. He was having a great time talking with the older men it was really good. We hung out with a bunch of the youth.

Saturday. Ok so Saturday I had another really cool personal experience. I'm in personal language study trying to figure something out for a lesson with a less active and I really was struggling with it. We had decided to do a little 20 min lesson about prayer and I had this super strong feeling to tie it to the Atonement.  That is the most important thing we teach about. Repentance and the Atonement. Everything leads to that, everything begins with it and it’s what allows us to live with our families forever, and ultimately live with God and Jesus Christ for all time and eternity in Exaltation. So yeah it’s pretty important. So I’m struggling because I wasn't sure how to link the atonement and prayer together. The first road that I decided to follow was that it had something to do with closing "in the name of Jesus Christ." But I wasn't sure where it all connected. And I’m searching the scriptures and I text Elder H. because he is like the scripture wizard!!! The Book of Mormon like really is his favorite book in the world and he knows so much about it. It’s crazy!!! I'd almost want to take his scriptures for a week just to see all the connections he's made. It’s like super deep and stuff and I can tell you some of the stuff I’ve learned from him but maybe in a letter I don’t have enough time here. I’m looking and looking and I can't find anything. Then Elder C. goes out to our little “porch" area, and sees a family moving out of the apartment complex  So we go help them load their truck and then we come in and I sit down and I finish the little sentence for the lesson I was working on and then the word "Mediator" pops into my head!!! And then like words just start flowing and I figure out how to connect it and I have to write them down so I don’t forget them and it was super-super cool!!!!.

That night we went to the ‘P.’ Family's secret Halloween Dinner Party. It was super cool!! Fantastic Food!! Music!! We hung out with the older kids and the ‘P.’ Sisters who are the 3 adult women in the picture. They are such a cool family. 

Sunday. Sunday was good we had church and we were going to go and meet with this new investigator and the plan was to use the ‘How to Begin Teaching Points’. And I don’t really know any of those so 20 mins before we have to leave and Elder C. is taking a nap, I went into our study room and I knelt down and said a quick prayer that I would be able to learn and memorize and remember these points. And then I grabbed a spare dry erase board and I went to work and I was able to memorize 3 of them in about 15 minutes!!!! I memorized...

- "Nuestro mensaje, el cual se centra en Jesucristo, es de gran valor e importancia."
 - "Nuestro mensaje no se puede aprender en una solo visita. Comprension llegara con el tiempo mediante la oracion, el estudio y la experiencia, y al guardar los mandamientos de Dios."
 - "Al esforzarse sinceramente por entender nuestro mensaje, es posible que tengan desafios, pero Dios les ayudara."

We ended up not teaching them. Cause we drove by and the husband saw us and, because like everywhere, there was nowhere to park on the side of the road even though everyone has a driveway so they were able to pretend like they weren't home. So I didn't get to use them but I had a powerful experience with the Spirit and its ability to strength our minds and abilities.

Well that was my week.
We have to head out now. It’s almost time for dinner. But Write Me!!! Or email!! Or something!!!

Have a great week!!! I love you all!!!

Elder Zachary Gore :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 5

This week was crazy!!!!

Monday... Well I’m not sure what we did the page is blank. But I have Tuesday so I will start there :)

Tuesday.  Good day.  We had a district meeting and talked about Pride. Our companionship has been a bit less tense since we had that lesson. We had a lesson with a less active brother and the lady that is staying at his home and her 2 daughters. We had a lot of fun and I contributed so it was good :) we have a new investigator!!!!! We went to the church because we didn't have time to do anything else before volleyball. We invited our other investigator the R. Family to play with the adults that night. We played volleyball but our investigators didn't come :/ that was kind of depressing. We are going to try again tomorrow :)

Wednesday.  I was on an exchange that day. I was with Elder M. He is the one in the picture I just uploaded of us sitting in the truck. We drove out to Thermal which is like... I’m not sure how to describe it. We got out there and he said welcome to Thermal and I looked around and I was like what..? and he goes exactly. Cause Thermal isn't like a town or city. It’s a hodge podge of about 20 small trailer parks scattered across the desert. It took 45 mins to get down there.
We visited a lady for about 10 minutes and it was awesome cause she spoke very slowly and clearly and so I was able to follow the conversation. It was so cool cause except for when she asked a question with a word I didn't know I was able to answer it on my own!!!! The rest of the day was cool too. We gave 2 blessings. One to a Hermana who was feeling alot of stress and one to a sister in the ward who was about to be induced. It was a really cool experience. Oh then we had double dinner. That was awful... I already feel bad enough when I can't finish one families food but when I can't finish 2 I just feel like a loser >.<. Cause its good food!!! I mean nothing that I’ve had here has not been totally amazing!!! Well except for the candy. I'm not into Mexican Candy, it’s all covered in chili.  I also had a really good conversation with a young man named Carlos who is working to straighten things out so he can go on a mission. He's had some issues in the past so I was able to help him come up with ways to avoid falling in those traps again. Then we knocked on a door and it was answered by a lady that was only half dressed so that was a lot of fun. Not!!! >.<  But other than that it was a good day :) Elder M. said that his only advice was to talk louder. He said the Spanish I know is good I’m just quiet. So if I talk louder people will understand me and the Spirit will be there and it will be good. So that’s what I have been working on.

Just so you know the rest of the week wasn't as eventful or exciting. But here we go.

Nothing happened Wednesday I guess..hmmm…why are my Wednesdays always blank???

Thursday!! I talked to my first crazy person that was fun. I don’t really want to talk about it though. It was weird and yeah.. But we had dinner with the R. family, our investigators and it was really good. Mexican Food Rocks!!! We also had a good lesson with C. about the importance of the sacrament and why we take it. I headed the whole lesson because it was in English and I knew I could do it. He knows Spanish but he doesn't really know the Church "lingo". But I was open and active and I was having fun with him it was a good back and forth teaching conversation. Now I have to learn to do that in Spanish.. :/ Wish me luck!!!!

Friday.  We, and when I say we I mean Elder Cebreros, cause we both worked on this but it was his baby, but we had a movie night. We watched The Testaments, in Spanish, of course. We had to drop all of our appointments that day because we didn't have everything ready that we needed to set up. I was kind of annoyed about that cause I had really prepared that morning for our lessons. But oh well. The activity went over well. We didn't have dinner. "Not enough time". But like 40 people showed up and a lot of them were less actives and there were a good amount of investigators :)

Saturday. Umm not much happened. Elder Cebreros decided that we are doing our districts exchanges this week on Wednesday and Friday, so expect some fun pictures and stuff about that, but he also decided I would be staying in our area both times. Which wouldn't be too bad except the only other companionship in our district is an English speaking companionship. I'm basically going solo those 2 days, something about "throwing me in the fire more". Well we are going to rock it!!! I hope :/

Sunday. Church was good. I was the only guy in the Choir cause Elder M. and Elder Cebreros chickened out and said they had to sit with investigators. We didn't have any come!!!! So it was me and like the other 4 Hermanas and 5 other sisters in the ward. It was a fun sacrament meeting.


Th      That’s about it for the week!!!

Well until next week!!!

Love you lots!!!

Elder Zachary Gore!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Month 1 or Week 4 in the Field!!!

Month 1 or Week 4 in the Field!!!

So this week has been a lot better!!!

Alright so last Monday we went and played Rugby for Zone Sports1. I didn't die!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!

Tuesday we decided to go to a park and we were walking around, I was trying to learn the 10 Commandments in Spanish.  We have this fun activity we do where we use our hands and signs to remember what they all are. It’s pretty cool!!!  Anyway we couldn't remember a word and we were trying to figure it out, an older gentleman heard us and told us the word we were looking for. We said thank you and ended up spending close to an hour talking to him. Well, Elder Cebreros talked to him, I mostly just listened but yeah. He believes in Science and in personal perception as being the only truth and reality. It was weird but we had a "positive" experience anyway. He was polite and seemed to enjoy the discussion we had so that was good. :)

Wednesday. We had a lesson with our investigator J. and his family. His son is a member but his other adult children aren't. It was really cool. We taught him how to use the scriptures. Like the cross references and stuff and then taught him how to pray. While teaching him how to pray one of his daughters was like Hey! I want to learn too. So we taught her and she blessed dinner which they fed us making it a double dinner night but it was so worth it.

Food is sooooo good down here!!!  So guess what. I like beans. Lettuce I’m still working on actually enjoying. But Beans. Beans are good. So is Cookies and Cream ice cream. Dang have I been missing out!

Later that night we stopped by a home and were almost mauled by 3 dogs. I was only worried about one of them. He must have been 100 lbs. He was massive. The other 2 dogs were Chihuahuas and so I wasn't worried. Suffice it to say we doubted anyone in the house could hear the door bell over all the barking :/ soooo no visit.

Oh and I got a package from my mom and it was awesome!!!! Thank you sooo much!!! :)

Apparently nothing happened Wednesday cause the date doesn't exist in my journal :/

Thursday. We had interviews with President Van Cott. Mine was short but that’s because I’ve only been out a month now and I don’t really see a lot of the problems that the others see or have.
We taught a lesson with a less active family and we used the hand signs for the 10 commandments. And I actually taught!!!! Well a little but still!! I taught :) it was sooooo awesome!!
Oh then we met this guy at the gas station. It was weird but cool. He asked if we were getting paid and we were like nope not really we are missionaries and he goes well then yeah you are. And Elder Cebreros says yeah with Blessings I guess and this guy was like for example you wake up in the morning and you’re still breathing. That’s getting paid. You have enough food to eat for the day. That’s also getting paid. It was an interesting way to put it. I wish we could have talked to him more but it was getting late and we had to go home.

Friday. Friday was good. We got up worked out like we do every morning which is hard because my body doesn't like morning work outs. But I deal with it. We did one minute drills for Comp Study2 and I had to teach the Restoration in a minute or less. My first time was 2 and a half mins. But my second was a minute and a half. So I just have a little more to simplify for that last 30 seconds.
We had a lesson with another less active and it was sweet!!! We taught about the importance of church attendance and I taught some more again and I bore my testimony and it was sick!!!!
We had dinner and I ate 7 tacos. I don’t understand this. I'm eating more then I have ever eaten in my life and I’m always hungry but I managed to keep losing weight :/ I weighed 142 lbs on Friday. I weigh 140 today. I don’t want to lose I just don’t want to put on an extra 30 lbs. huh. Oh well.

Saturday. Saturday not much happened. Elder M. thought he had pink eye. But I think he ended up not having it but he was home all day and it was kind of weird because normally they leave 2 hours before us because of all the studies4 they don’t have. But he's better now :)
We went and visited another less active and we spent 45 mins talking to the teenage daughter.  She graduated from high school the same time I did, she coaches tennis so it’s really hard to see her or her family. It was a good visit. We found out a lot about their conversion story and about the family.
We visited a part member family and taught the commandment lesson to their little kids. It took an hour but we did it.  

Sunday was pretty sweet!!! We had 2 of the less actives we are working with show up to church which was freaking sweet!!!! Then we almost died that night on our way home cause some guy got impatient and almost side swiped the car. He was in an SUV and we were in our Corolla. Luckily we didn't die and so we still get to keep working.

Well that’s it for the week. Have to go and do actual missionary work now. We have a lesson in a little bit.

So I’ll talk to you all next week!!!

I hope you like this note!!!

I love you all!!!

Elder Zachary Gore

1)    Their zone got together to play a sport together. A district is 6 or 8 missionaries.  A zone is made up of 3 or 4 districts. 
2)   Comp Study = (Companion Study) – Missionaries prepare what they plan to teach that day and practice teaching with each other.

3)    Extra studies -  Each morning they have personal study time from  8-9, companion study from 9-11, and language study 11-12. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Week 3 in California

Week 3 – I’m Not Really in the Field….it's a Desert!

(Questions from mom)

1) The mission office got your latest package on Friday, it has 3 cd's and your camera cord and the emails I printed. Did you get it yet?
   No, I didn't get it but if it got there Friday then I should be getting it soon! I got a package from the Egings today!!! I’m gonna go open it after we are done here :)

 2) Have you moved apartments yet? If so how is that going?
     Yep all moved in. The new Hermanas1 are moving today and I’ll meet them tonight at dinner in 20 mins. (we are not sure what the new Sister missionaries have to do with his move)

3) Where did you watch conference2? In English or Spanish?
    We went to the stake center3 and brought food for lunch and had dinner with members and it was in English so I have 10 pages or so of notes :) It was a really good conference!

4) Favorite part of Conference?
   Ummm. President Uchtdorf4 in Priesthood Session5!!!

5) Best food you ate this week? 
Deep Fried Oreos at the 1st Councilors6 House!!!!! Sooooooo Goood!!!!! :D
6) Who should we be praying for as a family?  
        Me. Lol. I don’t know Spanish and for confidence por favor!!! :) 

7) Anything we can fast7 for on Sunday to help you?
         Just help with Learning Spanish and gaining the confidence to speak out.

Ok so this week has been good. We visited some members and stuff. Nothing all that super exciting happened but also the move was stressful and kind of dampened my mood. 

We've made tons and tons of corrections to the ward list.  People have moved and nobody has known and there are a lot of less actives9 that nobody even knew were in the ward. It’s rough but it’s good; we are helping however we can :)

So basically the only really exciting thing I have to report is about our dinner with the 1st Counselor’s family. We went by to drop off the list of corrections and we were talking to the wife and she invited us to dinner and it was going to be Chinese, Orange Chicken10. It was really, really good, with broccoli and rice. She had a pot of oil where she was deep frying the chicken and I asked if they'd ever had Deep Fried Oreos and they said no and that it sounded kind of gross but I was like no these things are amazing. So she made them and they were super good and they were all surprised.  They are going to make them more often now! I'm awesome I know.

Well we are late to dinner now so I’ll write more next week. I'm really sorry!!!

I love you all,

Elder Zachary Gore!!!

Glossary of Terms:

1 – Hermanas – Spanish word for sisters – female missionaries.
2 – Conference - General Conference is a semiannual gathering of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held every April and October at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. During each conference, members of the church gather in a series of two-hour sessions to listen to sermons from church leaders.
3 – Stake center – a large church meeting house.
4- President Uchtdorf – Dieter Uchtdorf is a German born, religious leader of the church. He currently serves as the Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

5 – Priesthood Session – A part of General Conference held for male church members. In addition, other sessions held with content specific to other groups within the Church include a meeting for all teenage young women, their mothers and church leaders (on the Saturday a week prior to the April conference) and women (18 years and older) (the Saturday a week prior to the October conference).

6 – 1st Counselor – one of two counselors that serve with the Bishop to help with administrative and spiritual needs of the ward.

7 – Fast – To fast is to go without food and drink voluntarily for a certain period of time. Fasting combined with sincere prayer can strengthen us spiritually, bring us closer to God, and help us prepare ourselves and others to receive His blessings.  We have a “Fast Sunday” once per month, usually the first Sunday of each month.

10 – Less active – members of our church who choose for one reason or another not to come to church.

11 – another meal I have made that he wouldn’t even try!  J  I love that he is trying so many new things and really likes them!  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Week 2 in California

Not much has happened this week so this letter might be pretty lame and short and I’m sorry about that.

Unfortunately in our library hopping quest, to find one with more email time, we came to a library with no external SD card slots so I can't send home any pictures.

We've mostly just been visiting members for the last week. I'm learning the area. I still don’t know how everyone knows the difference between North and South. They use the mountains somehow but it confuses me because we are surrounded by mountain :/ but hopefully I’ll figure it out.

There was a baptism on Sunday before church and then the brother was confirmed and now he is going home to Mexico and he is going to help his whole family join the church. He's a really cool guy.

Speaking of which everyone seems cool!!!! I just wish I could understand what they were saying!!! meeeeh. But I’m getting better. Well I think I am. I'm learning more and we are practicing every day.

Our Zone is cool. We went hiking today and we got lost and I walked through a thorn bush in an attempt to find the trail. It took us 20 minutes but we made it. I'll send the pics next week!!!

Ohhh and sad day, we found out we have to move. One of the Elders in my zone is going home early. It’s a medical thing and its only 30 days early but his companion is being transferred out.  The fun part is we are getting 2 new Hermanas. So that’s 4 Elders and 4 Hermanas in our ward. The Hermanas we have now were kind of whining about it, it was funny but it should be good. Everyone likes the sisters more than the Elders anyway!

Oh hey Mom can you ask my friends back home to write me?? The Ledouxs, Egings, Bangerters, Thad, Melanie, Ben, Ian.  Everyone that would like to write me is totally good too. I just need to get some mail and feel loved >.< hahaha :)

Ohhhhhh!!! It was really exciting!!! Our Investigator has come to church the last 2 Sundays!!! We've only had one lesson. The night that we got to this area but he comes and sits with us and his son and it’s really good :) he is a really cool guy and it seems that he really enjoys coming and the classes and everything!!!! :)

Ohhhhhh. The youth. The youth in this ward are awesome!!!!  It’s kind of a riot. Well maybe it’s the same as the youth in any other ward. I don’t know I haven't been around any youth in 6 weeks so I think they are awesome and maybe they only talk to me because I’m a missionary. huh. Hadn’t thought about that. :/ I hope they would if I wasn't! 

Ok I got nothing else today.

I hope everyone has a good week!!!

Love yous alls in the Americas and in the other places!!!

The Church is True!!!


Elder Zachary Gore

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