Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 27, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

                This week was pretty dang awesome if I may say so myself. This last week we had the incredible opportunity to have Elder Ballard (Yes the Apostle) came to our CCM and talked to us 40 missionaries. He was in Chile a week ago in a meeting with all the South American Mission Presidents in the area which our mission president attended, and then stopped by our MTC. Sadly, he only had like an hour here so he simply walked in, gave a talk, and had to leave but a few interesting things happened first. First of all, one of my teachers (We have two) was his translator for all the Latinos which was awesome for him. My teachers are awesome. The one that did this and interpreted for Elder Ballard knows Portuguese, Spanish, and English. He is so funny, knowledge, and just the man. He also gave all of us an Apostolic Blessing which was incredible. Then before he left, our Hermanas had the opportunity to sing to him personally, meet him, take a picture with him and hug his wife. He had no time for us Elders but that´s okay. I sat like 20 feet from an Apostle, received a Apostolic blessing and it got us out of class for like two hours. It was so sweet.

                Tomorrow we have one of the General Authorities from the First Quorum of the 70 coming to talk to us also which will be awesome! His name is Elder Evans if you want to look him up. He is apparently the one who is in charge of all the MTCs in the world. Which is the best MTC? Obviously the Buenos Aires MTC.

                Last time I told you guys that we met a Catholic named Auriel and we had a lunch appointment for next week which was last Saturday.  So that was a hard, but incredible experience. I was very nervous that whole week because I didn´t know how it was going to go but it was awesome. He lives with his wife and two daughters in a home which is basically four brick walls and a roof. They had no bathroom in the house, no dividing walls, no upstairs; they had like a 30 year old TV, a few beds, a refrigerator, and a stove/oven combo. He had like no money, but they still fed us Mormon missionaries, three of us, a beef dinner with Potatoes, tomatoes and juice with a coffee replacement afterwards because they knew we can´t drink coffee. As we found out, they had the missionary discussions before and the wife read parts of the Book of Mormon, prayed to know if it was true and ¨received¨ the answer that it isn´t true. She was baptized at 30 days old into the Catholic Church and has been one ever since and feels the Spirit stronger at her church. That was hard hearing that but they absolutely loved us, what we are about, that we are out there bringing people to Christ but didn´t want to convert. Even though they knew they didn´t want to, they still fed us, listened, and talked with us for almost three hours straight. It was so great. I started tearing up when they said she said she knew the Book of Mormon wasn´t true but you just push through. So I just shared one of my favorite scriptures from Romans 8:16-18 I believe. It talks about how our sufferings are nothing compared to the glory thereafter so that was good. They really appreciated it and I felt the Spirit and I think they did too. Before that lunch appointment though, we had great discussions with random people because one of my companions fasted the day before. He prayed that we would do better this time since last time didn´t go very well. It was like a miracle. He spoke Spanish as if he was fluent. Me and the other companion just trailed behind, marveled, and let him talked. It was awesome. He´s awesome.

                This week, the power went out on Sunday right before our fireside so we just opened up the windows and had it in the sunset with birds chirping in the background, Palm trees bending to the wind outside and listened to an incredible talk from a local Bishop. Then we had some extra time with the power being out and played some games, sang hymns with the Latinos and had a great time. I forgot to mention we sing all our hymns in Spanish. We also write a talk a week and then 30 seconds before the first person gives a talk, they announce who is talking that day. Five people give talks every Sunday and this last Sunday was my first time where I gave a talk in Spanish about the Restoration which was tough but good. We all struggle so it works. So far I have 3.5 talks written. Just 2.5 to go!

                I don´t know if I wrote about this last week but we had an Elder that was a professional soccer player (Played for a club) in Paraguay and playing with him was truly embarrassing. He was incredible. But now we are alone again and have seen two groups of Latinos and one group of North Americans leave. More Latinos arrive today and that is the group we are leaving with! It is hard to imagine it has already been four weeks. The first week legitimately felt like 2 months and now it feels like it´s been one week. Funny hour that works.

                Coping without music has been tough but eye-opening and a learning experience. Learning how to deal with emotions without music was tough since I relied on it for the past 7 years so heavily but it´s cool. I still sing my music all the time but also church hymns and what not so it´s good. I also am trying to pick up piano a bit when I have a bit of time which really isn´t much.

                I currently have three massive bed bug bites on my feet which suck. My shoes rub them so they keep getting bigger and itchier so that´s cool. I guess. We played Soccer yesterday for exercise time which was hilarious. North Americans are awful at this game. I am the only semi decent player so everyone thinks I´m great and I am just like uhh… no. I suck at this; you guys are just like terrible. They play it like volleyball mixed with karate mixed with soccer. I was laughing the whole time. They didn´t understand why which made it even funnier. Also, my companion was going for a Frisbee the other day and didn´t see the fountain in the area that we play and he fell into it with all 40 people chilling and playing there. It was beyond funny. People not watching were like, ¨where did Elder Wilson go?¨ and then he just popped out of the fountain. It was so dang funny!

                On this Saturday we go proselyting again to a new area so we will see how that goes! I hope there are just as many drunk people. They are hilarious to talk to. We asked one guy if we could share a message with him and he just said no no no, and motioned to his huge bottle of alcohol he was carrying and said another time. The slums are kind of sketchy and sad, but they are awesome. People are either really receptive or not at all. But I love the atmosphere. Mother knows how much I complained of people in the States and I am pretty sure I am right. People are completely different here. Maybe I will just move to a Spanish Country and reside there till the end of my days. One of the daughters of Auriel, the guy we had lunch with, was like 16 or 17 and she was beautiful. It was awesome. Maybe I´ll just finish up at BYU and then move to a different country, find a wife there and reside there till the end of my days. Who knows?

Other than that, it´s awesome here! I love you guys dearly, and hope all is well for you. Let me know if anyone needs anything that I can do. You guys do so much for me, I would love to return the favors. Just let me know what I can do and I will do it. You guys are all awesome and I thank you all for what you have done to get me out here. I´ll make you all proud as well as God. People need the gospel, don´t forget to share it with people! They need it more than they think! Hope all is well in the land of the free. Wish I could write more,have a good week!



Elder  Moss


February 20, 2014

Dear family and friends,
            As always, we have action packed weeks. Lots of crazy new experiences, learn new things, learn more about yourself, others etc.
            First and foremost, Happy Birthday Brandon! I love you dearly little brother. I´m sorry I can´t be with you for this birthday. You are getting old man! 11 years old! That means you are starting to develop crushes and stuff dude! How exciting! But you better not date till you are sixteen you little turd. Play a ton of Minecraft, eat a bunch of cake, be lazy, make them sing to you in class etc. Sorry I didn´t get you anything before I left. I should have. But I´ll definitely try to bring stuff back for you man. Don´t even worry. You´ll get your present.
            Also, reguarding my hives, I finally got rid of them after I asked the Mission President´s wife for the Doctor and she just gave me Benadryl which got rid of it within 24 hours. How relieving.
            One of the most traumatic experiences we had was the opportunity to proselyte in Buenos Aires for about 6 hours this last Saturday. First of all, you would not believe how awkward we were. I tried stopping and talking to people but it was always awkward so I gave up and just said, ´´Nosotros misioneros!¨  which means ¨We missionaries!¨ and I didn´t even stop to continue the conversation. It was super awkward. Then we kept trying, and I suggested we stop and say a prayer. Then about five minutes later, we started talking to a real poor man and his wife and they invited us over for this Saturday to have lunch and teach a little lesson. That was truly an eye-opening experience. This man lives in smaller than Brandon´s room back home and he invites us rich white missionaries from the United States to eat his food. You just cannot comprehend what that invitation means to me and how humbling it is. I think of the Widow and the Mite parable when that happened. I definitely starting tearing up after we said bye and our prayer of thanks. But instantly, discouragement hit again and it was a very long afternoon. All the people we met, we could barely understand and some would laugh at us. It was not easy at all. Then we met the craziest man I have ever met. He is an Argentinian who lived in the United States for 35 years and he has done cocaine, marijuana, drank, smoked cigarettes and so forth for about 30 years. He was a legit druglord. When he approached us, we asked if we could teach him a lesson and he just laughed and said, ¨You think I come over here to hear your message? No, I come over here to talk English when I see you white boys.¨ So he goes on for an hour and fifteen minutes about his experiences in jail in the US, here in Argentina, how he fled the US because they were going to put him in jail for 35 years for possession of 200 AK-47s, 500 kilos of crack cocaine, 200 kilos of marijuana and other stuff I don´t remember. He sold drugs and guns to the biggest gang in the world, NS13 or whatever. He supplied them guns for ¨hunting¨ and also sold to bloods and crips there. He just got out of jail for 2 years here for drugs. The guy was a nut! I hope we see him again on Saturday. He smoked two cigarettes while he talked to us and ripped off the orange filters both times before smoking them. He also spit a lot when he talked, got only 6 inches from your face, and swore in every sentence. Me and one companion were cracking up the whole time while the other awkwardly stood there because he wasn´t used to people like that. The drugee promptly said that me and my companion that because we were laughing, we need to read scriptures more and pray more because we thought it was funny and our other companion didn´t. He said he was closer to God than us. It was such a terribly funny experience. There are some real loonies down here. Apparently a lot of problems. The Hermanas that went tracting with us that day but in a different area were told by women there that they shouldn´t be here. There are a lot of dangerous people here, and that´s what the drugee said too. He also yelled at random people who walked by which was awkward and probably made us look bad. I really shouldn´t have laughed about it. It probably just encouraged him. Anyways, great experience. Some wonderful Hermanas with voices like angels sang hymns to people to get them interested. We all had a lot of fun. I just had a lot of Culture Shock and fun, and a good spiritual experience.
Other than that crazy experience, it was very quiet for a little while. All the Latinos from the past group left and the other North Americans so it was only 12 of us in the whole MTC for a few days. Now we are back up to about 40 total missionaries again but that is still not much. Latinos are insanely good at Soccer. I made the mistake of playing with them once. How embarrassing. One missionary from Paraguay was on a Professional club team back home. And in Volleyball. The kid is wicked good. Paraguayans here are the skinniest people I´ve ever met. I feel bad for some in our district who are going there. It is regularly like 100 with the humidity. It´s apparently like a Rainforest in some parts. Glad I got Uruguay! It´s supposed to be like 72 today! I got the right mission. Plus those who go to Paraguay have to learn the native language ¨Gwatense¨ in the field. Sorry for not knowing how to spell it.
The language is coming along well. Not as fast as some but most took it in high school and are just ridiculously smart.
Our district leader is such an inspiring person. He knows so much about the gospel, has read the BoM 11 times, the D&C twice and New Testament. I ask him how to back up answers all the time. He is such a great example, so patient, so kind. One of the best people I have ever met in my life. One of a kind person.
By the way mother, you gave me the Portugese Hymn book so that doesn´t really help me… I bought a small Spanish one at the Distribution Center and nice Spanish Scriptures so it´s okay. Also, I bought a new vial of oil so don´t worry about sending one. Thanks though! Also, I washed some slacks last week and someone left bleach in the washer so it got on there a bit which sucks but it´s not bad. It´s at the bottom and not too noticeable so oh well.
Our Hermanas are truly inspiring people. We finished a devotional early this week so we had 25 minutes of free time before lunch. I grabbed a Ping Pong paddle with my companion, played and then noticed all Sisters were outside helping the custodians clean windows. They never cease to amaze me. So we all helped and it was great. I don´t know where our district would be without the sisters. So inspiring and dedicated and effective.
I am always so tired here. I am surprising I haven´t dropped dead. Wake up, eat and prepare and then learn, teach, learn, lunch, learn, play outside, learn, teach, dinner, learn and learn, plan, go to bed, repeat. How wonderful but so tough to get used to! 
I hope you guys enjoyed the letter and pictures and whatever else. Did you happen to check the skydrive and post them mom? I posted like 100 pictures in my skydrive and a couple videos. It´s a very picturesque place and we have a lot of fun. 
I can´t remember specifically but I have found some awesome scriptures that are very comforting and lovely. I hope you guys enjoy them. I believe they are Romans 15:13 and Alma 26:27. Can´t remember for sure but they are very comforting, give me strength and just awesome overall. I hope you guys enjoy them and I hope the references are correct. Thanks for everything! The letters, love, concern etc. It has been much needed for the first few weeks. 
Keep strong in the Faith and good luck with daily prayers and scripture study. Don´t forget how important these things are. I love you all very dearly. Have fun in America and have a fun birthday today Brandon. 
Elder Moss

February 13, 2014

Buenos Dias Hermanas y Hermanos!

Before I begin, I should start by saying that I wrote this Wednesday night during our TALL time which is computer learning for an hour every day. I will revise this tomorrow morning, send it, and reply to you guys individually.

So being in the MTC is such a confusing experience for me. Everyday new wonderful and awful experiences happen! But the key is to make every single experience a good one, or at least take it in a good way. This last Tuesday we had to sadly say good-bye to the awesome Latinos that only stay for two weeks since they already speak Spanish, but we also had to say good-bye to the other North Americans that had already been here for 4 weeks. They were so dang funny, light-hearted, loving, and overall crazy. We have quite a moderate district (By the way I came with 13 other people from North America. 2 were Latinos so they already left so there are 11 of us in my district.) so when the older district and all the crazy Latinos left, it was so extremely quiet. We used to have about 60-80 missionaries and now there is us 12 North Americans and 6 Peruvians that arrived last night. I´ll definitely miss the old Latinos and other North Americans. We had an insane Latino in our room that put toothpaste in one of my companion´s hair, drew on both of our foreheads and stole my vial of oil that says Faith. So once I get into the mission field I would really appreciate if you send me a new one mom. But seriously, the kids are nuts. They always wrestle, pull pranks, pick our ears (Irony huh?) etc. Good thing I brought the extra huge bottle of oil huh dad?

As you saw from my handwritten letter, I also had the awful experience of waking up with my IPod in my cup of water. I don´t know if I did it, or if someone else did, but it sucks so badly. I have exactly ZERO music now.  I really don´t know how I will cope without it for the next few weeks. I have a very much needed request from Steffen. Mom, if you could please call him and tell him to fulfill my request that would be great. Please please please have him buy a new IPod Shuffle with a waterproof case and fill it with this music: Explosions in the Sky (All Albums), This Will Destroy You (All albums) Vitamin String Quartet (Third Eye Blind album, Underoath, Senses Fail and one other.), Palchbel, Ludovico Einaudi (In a Time Lapse and essential hits thing. I bought both on Itunes), and whatever else he feels I would enjoy that is appropriate here. I have them bought in my ITunes and I will send him the e-mail and password to get into it. Please tell him to buy the Ipod, case, and fill it with music. Most of it is either on that External Hard Drive that dad stored all my stuff on or bought on Itunes. I promise to pay back every penny with interest. I am desperate.

As you read in my first e-mail it is ALWAYS hot. We just got into a new classroom but some rooms have no AC (Including our tiny bedroom filled with 6 previous Latinos and me and one other American. It gets SO HOT and SMELLY). Blankets and even luke warm showers are a thing of the past.

So as you will read from the pictures of my handwritten letters, I have developed a wonderful case of hives! Over the past few days my body has turned from white with a farmer´s tan to bright pink and bumpy! How exciting right!? Wrong. This sucks. As mother knows I have only had one allergic reaction in my life before and that was a non-itchy red rash to penicillin. So now I have the opportunity to experience my first real hives/rash in the MTC! How great! No but really, this sucks. I think it was my deodorant but I am not sure. I went to the MTC President´s wife today and she gave me Benadryl so I hope that helps. It started on Tuesday afternoon,  got crazy Tuesday night, settled down for all of Wednesday till dinner and then it went crazy again. It itches and hurts and it uncomfortable. I never realized how blessed with health I was at home. I never got sick or anything and if I did, it was like a two day cold. I hope this case of hives goes away soon.

So that has been quite enough complaining for now. The spirit here is incredible and everyone is so nice and outgoing and helpful. If it wasn´t for my awesome district and companions, I don´t know if I would have made it this far. No one was ever kidding when they said a mission is the hardest thing they have done. And I haven´t even made it into the mission field yet! My district is incredibly smart, quick etc. 6 of us attend BYU and six of them are from Utah. The rest of us are from Idaho, California, Arizona, Washington, Texas, and Colorado(Me). So the BYU thing says a lot. I am also the second youngest by a half a year. There are 5 of us guys, (I am in a three way companionship) and 7 girls. Most everyone has taken like three years of Spanish so my inferiority complexes kick in every now and then. Especially my companion Elder Pope who took four years of Spanish in high school and kicks butt here. But no one else here can say they speak another language. Although our district leader took 4 years of Latin in high school, but that language is dead so who cares right? Spanish is easy, but extremely hard at the same time if you know what I mean.  German is starting to fade from my mind which sucks, but I won´t need it for a while. We all have a blast and distract each other far too much. We have a lot of fun.

I hope you all make some time in your lives for God. Especially Family Scripture Study and Prayer.  We take the Gospel far too light-hearted in our everyday lives. Give more time to him! Try to more fully obey the Law of Tithing in regards of time also. 2 hours and 14 minutes a day won´t kill us although no one expects us to read scriptures or pray for that long. Just don´t take it so light-hearted like I did.

On Saturday, even though I am terrified, we go proselyting for about 5 hours in an assigned area where we teach, get contact info, go to stores to stock up on food and other necessities, and then refer people to the missionaries in their area. So for the next four Saturdays, I get to do that. How exciting right!? But also terrifying.  I feel like I know nothing. Oh well, it will be great and I have faith that God will help us. Wish me and my companions luck!

I would also just like to say I am thoroughly disappointed with my brothers and sisters (except Brandon). Thank you mom, dad, Kelsi and Brandon for writing me. You have no idea how important it is to me. I love you guys more than I have shown or known before.

I hope you guys enjoyed the pictures, the pictures of my handwritten letter, and home. I didn´t realize how important home is until I went 6000 miles away from it. Just think how important our home with God should be to us! I know for a fact that my call was inspired. Even though I am struggling harder than ever before, I know it is for a higher cause. This humbling experience is to teach me and make me strong, not only to destroy me physically and mentally. This curriculum is truly inspired and truly helps us. We teach IPs(Progressing Investigators) every day to learn how to teach. In only Spanish, the teachers act as investigators and we practice teaching and get a little feedback. We get two weeks with each investigator and we just finished our first and started two new ones. By the way our first IP, Cecelio commited to be baptized. So I can totally say I already have my first baptism. Kidding. I don´t care about that. I just want to teach and make others happy. We also teach CRES where we know very little and find out about them the day of and have to teach a single lesson. I love it here and I struggle almost every day, but I just have to remember it isn´t about me. It´s about God and serving him and his people. What an exciting, stressful, and marvelous time of my life.

I truly love you guys and hope to make you guys, the God head proud. Keep writing and stuff. Love you all.

-Elder Derek Moss



February 6, 2014

My district leader Elder Bekker told us we email at 2 PM and then people said it was at 6:30 AM and I am like 15 minutes late so I only have 40 minutes left. Sorry!
This week has been quite the learning experience and has been really hard. The plane ride here had about 14 of us but we were all split up so we could probably talk to people. It is SO HOT AND HUMID HERE. Yesterday we started just sweating in the classroom. It´s so hot and humid that the scriptures warp and crinkle in our classroom which AC system sucks. Plus there is thirteen of us crammed into a classroom with a teacher. This MTC is quite tiny with 8 of us in a bedroom at a time. It´s all one building for all guys, girls, classrooms, kitchen, sacrament rooms etc. Everyone here is plenty nice but God really wants me to learn how to deal with people. The whole district is in love with this guy that I am not particularly fond of. He has short man syndrome and that is all I have to say on the matter. Learning how to love everyone is a skill not easily obtained for me.
I won´t go into detail but we also have bidets here and they are awesome! Mother, please explain what a bidet is to Brandon because I feel he would partiularly enjoy it.
No one here is really like me so I don´t really have anyone to talk to but they are all fine and nice and whatever. The older group of North Americans have a few people that I feel more comfortable with and more like me but they leave in like 5 days so that stinks. These people are awesome and are always uplifting though. I´m not complaining.
My companions (yes I have two because we have an odd numbers) are just fine. They are both very nice but both quite a bit different from me. For the most part, the North Americans are from Utah which says a lot about them in the first place. But the Latinos are my favorite. There are tons of them and they are so crazy and funny. I can´t wait to get this language down so I can mess around with them more. The other night they started moshing and chanting and singing the song everyone sings in Soccer stadiums as loud as they could. Then the older North Americans came downstairs and started singing the National Anthem and everyone was screaming at each other and laughing and just having a great time. We have an insane Latino in my room who decided he would mess with a 6´5´´ BYU football player which went hilariously. I wrote about it in my journal.
I´m learning the language somewhat well. Everyone here had Spanish in high school except one other guy so I´m one of the slower ones which was incredibly discouraging the first few days. I was truly humbled for a few days, in a plentitude of ways. I´m not going to lie, that was probably the hardest week I have ever had. But it is looking up so don´t worry! We already teach two fake investiagtors almost daily in only Spanish which is incredibly difficult but we are getting better. One of my companions had four years of Spanish in high school and then me and the other guy didn´t take Spanish at all in high school. Guess who does most of the talking?
The schedules are incredibly insane and very hard to sit in a classroom for so long with the same people. I am always busy and have almost no me time. Only about a half hour out of the sixteen hour days.
Sunday was quite awesome because the testimones born were incredbily uplifting and made me realize I am not the only one struggling.
Today we get to go to the Buenos Aires temple though! We live about 30 yards from it which is awesome. It is incredibly beautiful. Be sure to look it up!
We have awesome teachers and they are so funny and kind and make everything just that much better. Our district got locked in our classroom this week which was hilarious so a worker came in through the roof of the classroom and sawed the way out. It was very entertaining.

January 31, 2014

They are allowing me just a few minutes to e-mail you guys saying that I got here fine, I´m safe and what not. It´s so dang hot here with humidity and I am on like two hours of sleep so far and it is almost 2 PM. I also am struggling with this dang spanish keyboard and everyone speaks Spanish for some weird reason. Everytime I am about to communicate back, I think in German. This is no good! The land is beautiful, fresh, green and I can see the temple from the MTC. It is about 50 feet away which is awesome. Go look at this temple online, it is so beatiful. Anyways, I will e-mail more information next week. My P-days are Thursday so talk to you then! Love you guys!


Elder Moss




Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014



So if you haven't been told or noticed, this is my missionary blog. I hope you enjoy hearing about my adventures down south! My e-mail you can contact me at while I am down there is,

Sadly I only have an hour on my P-Days to write e-mails and be on the computer so if you want to talk to me, mailing letters will be the better option. Also, an even easier, maybe better option is the website, Here, you can simply hop on, type a quick message and input where I am and they will print the letter and send it to me so you don't have to worry about hand cramps or anything. Perfecto. By the way, I am in the Montevideo, Uruguay mission, not West Montevideo Uruguay. If you don't want to use, then here are the directions for letters and packages.

To send letters while I am in the MTC which will most likely be till about March 15th, 2014, you can send letters to the MTC here.

Elder Derek Thomas Moss
Uruguay Montevideo Mission
Argentina Missionary Training Center
Autopista Ricchieri y Puente 13
1778 Cuidad Evita
Buenos Aires

Until I have an actual assignment and address, they tell us to send letters here:

Elder Derek Thomas Moss
Uruguay Montevideo Mission
178 Eugenia Drive
Naples FL 34108
United States
11400 Montevideo

Package Mailing Instructions:

Elder Derek Thomas Moss
Uruguay Montevideo Mission
Dalmiro Costa 4635 Bis
11400 Montevideo

I would put in Pouch Mail instructions but frankly, I have no idea what it is, and the instructions are undoubtedly confusing. So I think these instructions are easier to follow and will work fine. Thanks for checking out the blog and I hope to hear from you!

-Elder Derek Moss