December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas, December 26, 2011

Well, I just talked to you guys on Saturday, so there´s not too much more to report.  We went to the Galvez´s on Christmas eve and had some homemade churrazco (soooo good).  They gave us gifts, which I really don´t expect from anyone in the mission, and am so grateful when it happens.  From Danilo and Mariela (the parents) we got some socks, which is honestly a good gift as a missionary.  And Mariela´s parents, the grandma and grandpa that live there, gave us this set with a pen, keychain, and nail clippers -- also something quite nice to have.  What nice people! Then went home and talked about family and stuff.  Again, I´m just so glad I have an awesome family like you guys.  I realize it sooo much more now.  Thanks, guys.  But then on Christmas, we went to church (started at 11).  40 people were there....  but I played piano for it.  Angels We Have Heard on High, Silent Night, and the First Noel.  Fun songs.  Short talk, then the bishop spoke, and we were done by 11:45.  La Familia Moreno came to visit Elder Fuhriman from his last sector in Rinconada in Maipú.  I´ve met them once before, and they´re just sooo awesome.  And they gave me Cakeballs!  que rico!  take a baked cake, mash the crap out of it or put it in a blender, and add in some frosting, peanut butter, nutella, whatever you want that will make it stick, roll them into balls, and put them in the fridge or freezer while you melt chocolate.  Then, roll them in the chocolate, and stick them on a pan or something, and the chocolate hardens (maybe in the fridge, too).  and these turned out absoluteley delicious!!!!  Anyway, then we went to Camila´s house for Christmas Dinner!   We made peanut butter cookies, ate munchies, then a whole lot of food.  And of course, talked about a lot of things.  I was so happy to hear that one of the things she´s looking for in someone is a temple marriage.  Soooo happy to hear it.  Anyway, I think this is the First Christmas where we ate outside, ate a barbeque, and had so many flies haha.  Great family.  And her little sister, Isidora, is so funny.  Then we tried to go to a few references, went around to some members and sang hymns to/with them, and spent last night at the pensión del barrio Manzano with Elders Madsen (DL) and Lopez.  Made BROWNIES!!!  and MAC AND CHEEEEESE!!  wow that was good.  And.... that´s Christmas as a missionary in Chile!

Also, we had the mission activity on Friday -- watched a Christmas Carol, listened to some talks, had a good lunch and sat with my MTC group. Then at the end there was a white elephant thing.  I got a pretty nice pen.  And President King bought every missionary the shirts from the 50th Anniversary Celebration ni navy blue.  There's a clip art thing on the front of a Mayan looking temple and in big letters, ¨CREEMOS.¨ It looks pretty awesome.  I absolutely love it.  I also came home with a gift from La Familia Martinez, from E Fuhriman´s last ward again, and I´ve seen them twice when they came to visit.  But they sent a gift to us that we got to the mission activity.  They bought me a freaking TIE!!  It´s a nice one, too!!!  I was like, woah.  They don´t even know me, and they´re sooo loving.  It was pretty awesome.  And the Chicago Bear´s shirt is sooo comfy.  I love it!

Make a new year´s goals/resolutions list!! and I´ll make one too.

I think that´s all I have to report, except that I call dibs on playing with the iPad for a little bit in 2013.  Unless you get something else really cool.  :)

Well, amor y paz y buena voluntad,
Elder Moffat

December 22, 2011

Week before Christmas, December 19, 2011

Wow!  Okay,  So I got the other package with the decorations, and then 2 boxes without a name or return address or anything that identified who it was from.  but after opening a few of the goodies (so good), I knew it had to be from the fam.    But we put up the decorations, and it was nice to have a Christmas tree to put up, even if it was paper.  By the way, the chocolate calendar thing I wouldn´t suggest sending again.... it was really really really bad chocolate.  But I appreciate the thought :)  So far I´ve opened gingerbread house (we'll make it today), FRANGOs (oh yes), the bell ornament, beef jerky, cookie mix and the tie.  Our oven is really bad and completely burns everything but leaves the top raw, so i´ll give the mix to the hermanas in our zone... their oven works, and they bring goodies to district meetings.  yep yep.

While on the topic of goodies to eat, let me tell you about 2 lunch pancake inventions we enjoyed this week.  Lasagna made with crepes instead of the pasta noodle stuff.  Crepes layered with meat sauce in between.  It was actually really really good, and it was the first time the hermana had made it!  I would suggest attempting it.  The other one, don´t attempt. I tell you this so you don´t try it.  crepe/pancake-thing-wrapped hotdog with pure mayo on top.  Don´t try it.  Not that great.  ps, Chileans put mayo on everything!!!  Sometimes it's good, sometimes not.  They put it on plain rice, bread (plain or with tomatoes), hotdogs-- I think I´ve even seen it on french fries. They looooove their mayo here.

Sorry to here you´re sick, Luke! I am all better now, btw.  But Hayden's CSO went well, I hear!  Congrats! and Spencer, once you´re done with the school project and stuff, the movie of The Count of Monte Cristo is really good!  I watched it last year at BYU with some friends one night.  If it´s rated R, we watched an edited version.  But it was really good!  And as for the wedding anniversary, I´d imagine that sometimes its nice to just do something simple and low key, not too much and thanks for that AWESOME quote, mom. 

So this week, I had a few divisions. Elder Tialavea came with Elder Fuhriman and I for a day, and I think he goes home today or tomorrow.  He had the most time in the mission, and was a hard working, great missionary with lots of experience.  So that was nice to have him with us for a day. He was captain of BYU football before he came on the mission, too.  Just a great guy.  Elder Rodriguez, the Argentine who has been here for only a few weeks, came to my sector and we worked. He´s pretty cool, and because he speaks 0 English, I spoke 100% Spanish for a full 24 hours.  I´m telling you. I can see my Spanish improving drastically when I´m with a Latin on divisions.  And the way it´ll work out, I´ll be with him again tomorrow, too.

We found this new family!!!!  The parents were active, sealed in the temple and everything, both knew and know a lot, and went inactive. They just moved to our sector from Maipú like 2 weeks ago, and their 10 year old daughter Alín hasn´t been baptized or really taught anything about the church.  But the parents are very helpful and came to church on Sunday and everything, and I think they might start coming back and being active in the church again!  Alín, the daughter, seems super smart, and is really interested.  And she liked church!!!  Alllll good stuff.  the ward is still struggling a little, but progressing.  Please go to ward counsel and/or make sure it´s happening semi-consistently.  Ohhhh it was a breath of fresh air when we had it on Sunday.  Soo good.

THE STORY of the week.  I brought my journal, so I´ll pretty much copy what I wrote in there:

We left after our P-Day naps last Monday, and we cross Brasilia, the street right by our pension, at the end of our pasaje.  I was behind Elder Fuhriman a little bit.  He gets to the curb on the other side of the street, and I´m still in the middle of the calle.  And then I hear this yelling, "Noo NO NOO!!"  I look, and there's this guy on his bike coming pretty freaking fast, like 3 inches away from the curb.  I was a good 4, 5, 6 feet away from the curb, and so in the .2 seconds I had to think, I just stopped walking.  He, going really fast, had a nice big space in front of me that he could take.  He can steer-- straight. So of course, he starts heading straight for me.  I jump back just in time for him to hit my arm pretty hard with his handlebars, he starts to lose control, and goes flying.  I mean FLYING. He did this 360 flip with a twist, and landed on his shoulder/neck area, and when he came to a stop (finally), his head was on the curb.  Ohhhhh I thought I´d killed a man.  Turns out, when I ran over to him, he wreaked of alcohol.  Sooooo drunk.  Someone nearby went to call an ambulance, and when they came back and were like, we called, and the ambulance is on it´s way, he was like "no no no, i´m okay..." and starts to get up. When people were like " but your neck!" he really didn´t care and got up anyway.   so he got up with amazingly little blood, tried to ride his bike (the chain fell off), and ended up walking away with his bike.  So we asked the other people around there what we should do, and they were like, well, just go, I guess.  So we did.  Moral of the story: don´t drink and ride.  Also, we've seen him since then a few times, and so we know he didn´t die.

The end.

Love, Elder Cole Moffat

December 15, 2011

Saludos del barrio EL SAUCE, December 12, 2011

Hola!  Bueno, recibí cartas de mi familia, Katie Shrek, y los 2 de Lindsey Davis.  I´ll try to write back!

Also, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! 23 years this Thursday.  And can I just say something about that?  I am so happy to have parents that are keeping their temple covenants-- faithful to each other, always progressing and getting better, continuing to live the gospel, fulfilling the sacred responsibility of teaching your children the gospel, and keeping the commandments.  Thank you. 

On our way to the Ciber, we saw A. this Chilean that looked like Santa just standing in the driveway, B. this smaller old chilean with little tufts of white hair standing next to Santa, looking like an elf, and then sadly, C. a huge dead German Shepherd in this creek thing.  Great -- all in the past 30 minutes.

I feel Spencer´s pain, because I was just sick.  I understand.  I feel ya, bro.    Luke, I´m so happy you´re reading and having fun in school and basketball and stuff!  Hayden, I want to hear alllll about the madrigal dessert -- sounds like it went well!  Dad, good ol´ papa noel.  To answer your question, no tubos.  phew.  Also, I don´t feel pressure to baptize from you, don´t worry.  Mission-wise, you´re one of the best sources of counsel and advice and support and all that, but true, you´re not my boss, and you don´t set the expectations, goals, and means of getting those goals.  I understand.  I´d love to baptize as much as you did, but I know I´m not going to.  I still want to baptize a lot, but we also have to focus on "permanence" or re activations, and statistically, there are quite a few baptisms that come from that as well.  And to me, helping someone who fell away come back and keep their covenants de nuevo, and maybe even make temple covenants is just about as good as helping someone make covenants of baptism.  Don´t worry, you´re not pressuring me, and I know what I need to do for my mission.  Mom, the technology here in Chile is available, too.  Not quite as many people have computers, but everyone has a TV (some really really really nice TVs), and I´ve seen some really nice sound systems too.  Lots of people have mp3 players and everyone has a Facebook, etc.  but people will spend a lottt on a computer, tv, internet, music, etc.  before they fix up their house or get a car or anything like that.

Also, Mom, thank you soooo much for the quote calendar.  Honestly, I look forward to the quotes every single day.  yep yep.  And there was one you put in there on a specific day that in the morning when I read it, I thought was kind of weird. I didn´t really have a lot to do with Christmas or giving or stuff like that like all the other quotes had been.  It was about the trinity and how a belief in the trinity does not mean polytheism and stuff like that -- from Jeffrey Holland I think. Anyway, I was like, well that´s cool, but It seems a little out of place.  then it hit me-- we might have to talk about something like this today.  This could be a prep for me to get my mind thinking more about the trinity.  So we go to our appointment with Camila (who is just really really awesome), and her boyfriend is there, and she was like, "well, my dad was asking me questions about god and jesus and the trinity, and I was able to use the guía para estudiar las escrituras, and I answered his questions and stuff, but can we review that just to make sure I understand it well?"  Thank you, mom, for making me think about it all day. inspired quotes on inspired days.  :)

Well, the ward and sector seems to be progressing a bit.  We found some news, we "coincidentally" ran into an inactive member that moved here 3 days ago from Santiago (spirit was obviously guiding us), and now we´ll be teaching him, his inactive wife, and not baptized 10 year old daughter.  Hopefully things keep going well.  Funny story (there were a few this week):  we do a bendición de hogar usually the first time we get into a house.  So we started explaining prayer and what it is, and how we do it, and we had told them one of us will offer it, and if there´s anything we should ask for or express in the prayer, stuff like that.  So then right before we were going to say it, we ask who they would like to say the prayer, and the super Catholic 50 year old mom is like, well, I´d like to say it!  and we´re like well okay, go for it and she just starts talking.  A few sentences in, I realize she´d actually started praying.  She´s praying to God, and about God, switching between 2nd and 3rd person, and all that, but a very heartfelt, sincere prayer.  Very nice.  But then she just stops talking..... and we´re there on the ground, kneeling in silence for probably 3 or 4 full minutes (which is really really really really long).  I´m trying not to laugh, and I don´t know if she had ended her prayer, or was so full of the spirit that she was receiving revelation or she was just waiting for us to do something or what. So I peak over at Elder Fuhriman, who gives me the look of " I don´t know what´s going on either... just wait," and then I accidentally catch the less-religious husband´s eye, who just has the look of "my wife was praying, now she´s not, I´m lost, I feel awkward, especially with you two gringos just kneeling here in my living room."  I ended up being able to keep in my nervous laughter, but it was really hard.  Eldr Fuhriman handled it well, by finally saying, " wow, I really feel the spirit ((which was true)), so would it be okay if I said a prayer, too?"  but we have a return cita, so they didn´t think it was that bad.  Just a funny experience.  When I Skype you AT 12:00 NOON SANTIAGO TIME on DECEMBER 24, SATURDAY, remind me to tell you about the funny 2 year old story.

But, stuff here is getting a little better.  Gotta go, I love you all!  and I just sent you, family, a letter on Friday.  Hopefully you´ll get it by Christmas.

Love and progress,
Elder Cole Moffat

December 5, 2011

'Tis the Season, December 5, 2011

Our Missionary Soccer Team!
Bueno.  First, I got the package, mom!  the box.  and Thanks for the letters mom, luke, and linds (It said letter number 3, but is the first one I´ve gotten from her....)

Quick comments on your emails, mom and dad.  I think we get to see the Christmas devotional later in the month.  Hopefully we can bring an investigator to it!    But I really want to see it, especially after what you guys said about it.  That would be so cool!!  And Dad, that´s something I need to start working on and improving-- recognizing and pointing out the spirit in lessons.  Also, YAY KEVIN!  what a boss.  Thanks for the updates, Dad.  Mom, the shoes are working out wonderfully, my shirts are being ironed (by me), I don´t have fleas or bedbugs, either.  Sounds like the dance performances you went to were pretty AWESOME, too!  How I wish I could see one!  But seriously, keep updating me on everything and keep sending emails about everything that's going on at home.

So, for this week.  I did divisions on Tuesday, but not normal divisions.  I went to the Office on a division with an Asistente in Maipú!  It was pretty cool.  I got to work on a computer for a few hours (which was actually kind of refreshing)  and then we taught 2 awesome lessons.  I definitely learned a lot from Elder Young in less than 24 hours.  He is an amazing elder, and leaves in just a few months.  Just about perfect Spanish, so sincere and loving, knows the gospel really well, and is still working really really hard, even at the end of his mission.  Got a lot of respect for that guy.

We met with Camila twice, and after cita 1, she was like, yeah, I have a question, but not about what we talked about.  and we´re like, okay... what is it?  and she proceeded to ask about details of serving a mission, and how she can start preparing for one.  Not that she definitely will go on a mission, she said, but she just wants to know how to start preparing.  THAT´S an awesome person.  The day after her baptism asking about what she can do to prepare to share what she knows to be absolutely true.  yessss.  Also, the next time, we watched a video of the story of Vinchenzo di Franchesca.  pretty powerful.  Its on a DVD called "How Rare a Possession" put out by the church.  I´d suggest watching it if you have any down time (not that you do at all)

I also was assigned to give a talk in church for next Sunday... on the Atonement, which is easy to talk about.  But still, my first Sacrament Meeting talk in Spanish....  I´ll let you know how it goes.  I made an outline this morning, though.  I think I know what I´ll talk about.

And... because you´re my mother and you made me promise I´d tell you, mom...  I got sick on Friday morning.  Don´t worry, it really wasn´t too bad, but I did have to stay in a lot.  It seems there´s a bug going around the zone of Peñaflor.  Elders Madsen, Moffat, Fuhriman, Muñoz, and Djaelani all have been sick the past few days.  We went to as many citas as we could, but we stayed in a lot.  I woke up with the chills Friday morning and then went on sick divisions with Elder Madsen and slept a LOT.  Saturday we stayed in, because Elder Fuhriman was sick by then, except we left for a pre-planned activity.  Then we went to church Sunday, tried to go to 1 cita (they weren´t there), and stayed in.  I´ve been getting rest, trying to get better.  But I did get a little extra time to study.  So don´t worry.  I´m getting better. 

Not too much more to report.  But I Love the spiritual thought advent calendar!!! I think I might use one of the quotes in my talk on sunday.....

Love and getting better,
Elder Cole Moffat

ps-  as of now, we´re still planning on doing Skype on December 24th.  Will that work for you guys?  I´m on for another few minutes if you get this!

December 4, 2011

We got to write down a "1", November 28, 2011

Hola Familia!

First, a happy birthday to Lucy Myers and Luke Hanson, if you would let them know please, mom.

Also, because this week was changes, we didn't get pouch.  Hopefully I'll get your letter tomorrow, Mom.

Quickly to comment on your questions and other eventful stuff in your lives:  "Please DearElder" Maddi, Michael, and your weekly letters to me.  It would be free, and nice to have some hard copies to read later.  In terms of food, we just prepare breakfast and one other meal... like a usually small snack when we get home.  Sometimes we grab some churrazcos, completos, or as.  But lunch is prepared for us.  So I just make oatmeal in the mornings, most mornings.  cheap, quick, and easy -- and good for my heart.  Sometimes when we get home we make some noodles or rice.  I get 85 mil (85,000) pesos a month, which is about $170 American, plus a little more depending on what sector you're in and if you are a zone leader and stuff.  It's a very fair amount --and it carries over month to month so if one month I have to spend more than normal, I can have some saved up.  Every week we go to a different place for internet.  Oh my gosh.  The thing is, people just open and close their cybers at their leisure.  If they dont' feel like opening until 4 or 5, they don't.  If they want to take a 6 hour lunch, they will.  No notice, no schedule, no nothing.  So there have been quite a few p-days when we walk around for an hour to find a computer place.  There is no siesta here for us.  We eat at 2, then are supposed to do language study until 3:30 or 4 (4 for me because I'm new).  No sleeping.  We have time to exercise in the morning, but honestly usually I'm too dead tired to do pushups.  I'm starting to get a little better though and for example today, we played soccer for 3 hours!

Yes, I have fitted sheets.  Good to hear about turkey bowl goodness, FMSC, festivities, etc!  HAYDEN--- you made the play???? Congrats!!!!!  I'm sure you'll do sooo great.  I'm so happy for you.  You'll definitely have to keep me updated on all that.  IMEA sounds like it was a blast, and Eric Whitacre is awesome. Yes, I brought some of his songs with me on my ipod.  I never played Reverie, but I remember looking at it and being like.... woah, that's hard.  So props to you for doing it!  You'll have to play it for me!  Spencer, I hope your freaking busy busy busy busy scheudle is not wearing you down too much! haha

OKAY.  So, We got to write down a 1, not a 0 this week!  in what, you ask?  In the little line that says BAPTISM!!!  Camila got baptized this week!  I was sooo happy for her.  It's been a long time coming.  She was ready back in May, but then a few days before her baptism, her dad said she had to wait until she was 18.  Her birthday was a few weeks ago, and she had a lot of doubts these last few weeks, but finaly realized they weren't really her doubts.  They were other people's.  She realized that she has a really strong testimony and can not deny the Divinity and truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  She was really ready.  I had to give the talk on the Holy Ghost and play piano for it too! 

Changes were this week, and we have some pretty cool new people.  Elder Muñoz is training an Argentino, we have a Canadian just 1 change ahead of me, and a new hermana.  The rest is the same.  The zone had 6 baptisms this month!  Yessss. 

As for our pension, we finished repainting it last Monday, and this past week we've moved our study desks and everything onto a bigger table in the bigger room.  Much easier to focus, and just feels better.  And it looks nice, too!  I'll take pictures once we finish sweeping everything up.

I haven't gotten the package or any paper letters from you yet, but hopefully they'll show up tomorrow.  They should if you sent them like a month ago...  ojalá.

Thanksgiving here was pretty... alright.  It's not celebrated down here at all, but we had really good chicken and rice for lunch, with a good dessert, too.  I also made a list in my journal of some of the things I'm thankful for.  And did the prayer with just thanking Heavenly Father.  It was really a good thing to do :)

I gave my first blessing in Spanish this week!  I've done the first part quite a few times, but Alfredo asked me to do the actual blessing.  Scary!  But I managed to get through it.

Well, I have to get off and write President King now...  I love you all and think about you guys a lot! 

Love and Baptism,
Elder Cole Moffat

November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, November 21, 2011

Hola! Gracias a Abuelita Moffat por su carta!
Busy Busy Busy BUSY week, with some cool things to report!  But first, happy Thanksgiving.  I´m so thankful for all the love and support I recieve from you guys all the way out here in Chile.  It really means a lot to me.  And as I told some people last year, I encourage all who would like to to say a prayer and do nothing but give thanks to our Heavenly Father for all the things He´s given you.  Thank him for everything, and don´t even ask for anything in that prayer.  I´m definitely going to do it.  Also, I think this week I´m going to carry around a notecard and follow my friend Audrey´s advice and write down 10 things I´m thankful for every day this week.  Happy Thanksgiving!  Also Dad: glad we´re on the same página (pun intended) with the Libro de Mormon.  I love it in Spanish!  I´m starting to try and learn 3 new words a day, but I´ll think I´ll move that up after hearing about your 10.  Also, if it will help you with your Spanish, you can write a part of your letters to me in Spanish.  I can pretty much understand everything I read (except Isaiah)-- it's the listening that´s hard.  but if you want to write in Spanish, I´m all eyes.  Thank you mom, for Christmas instructions.  I look forward to the packages and the letter you sent.  Hopefully I´ll get that this week.  I´d think it´s been a few weeks.  I should get it soon!
Okay.  Pretty awesome news this week.  First, I went on a division with Elder Madsen, the District Leader, Tuesday-Wednesday.  We happened to just pass by this street in his sector that he´d been looking for for a while.  So we went to the house he was looking for (permaneced--inactive lady), and we came at the right moment.  She wasn´t doing so well, because her mom died the week before.  And she was sad that she hadn´t gone to church and kind of lost her relationship with God.  She was really quite down and told us she was really weak, and didn´t even think she was worthy to come back to church and take the sacrament.  Then we shared some scriptures with her, and that helped, then Elder Madsen Testified about the Sacrament, and how God is always willing to forgive us.  His arms are always stretched out toward us, and when we take the sacrament, we´re saying, "Forgive me, because I´m not perfect.  But, God, I´m willing to try.  I´m going to do my best, please help me with the rest."  Wow, the spirit was there.  The Spirit was definitely testifying to her.  Then we were like, would you like to read a chapter together?  and she was like yes, please.  So Elder Madsen just looked at me, giving me the look of, alright, Elder Moffat, follow the spirit, and pick a chapter.  2 Nefi 4:17-end.  Perfect chapter for her, and it was awesome.  So that was good.
Then, later that same day, we were walking on Camino A Melipilla to a member´s house, and we saw this old lady looking really distressed and frantic.  I immediately dismissed her as just someone wanting money to go gamble or buy alcohol.  But Elder Madsen was actually willing to listen.  Longer story not as long -- turns out she was asking for someone to help her get to la Posta or help her know which bus/ taxi to take to get there.  She needed to go to the Health Clinic, and she was in a lot of pain and needed to get there fast.  Good thing Elder Madsen was listening to the Spirit.  We saw a bunch of people just pass her and leave thinking she was crazy (I almost did), but we helped her cross the huge street, went with her in the colectivo, and checked her into the clinic.  She got in right away, because it was an emergency.  We called a member from my ward who drives a taxi to help get this lady back to her house later, and I don´t know what happened after that.  I should probably ask.  So yeah, that was a pretty crazy awesome day.  And we walked back from the clinic in my sector to Elder Madsen´s sector, and walked probably a total of around 10 miles that day.  just walking and walking and walking.  phew.  good day.
Then the next day, I went on a Division with Elder Sanchez in our zone.  He has like 22 new investigators a week.  That´s 22 people that they taught something to and set up a return appointment!  We had gotten 6 in the past 5 weeks.  but with Elder Sanchez in my area, we got 3 that day, and then with elder Fuhiman the next day, I tried a similar approach, and we got 3 more.   in 2 days, we doubled 5 weeks worth of news.  also, when i´m with a latin comp for 24 hours, i can see my spanish improve.  in just 24 hours.  it´s awesome.
Then, we taught this new investigator all of lesson 1 in a single cita.  We explained the restoration, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and gave her the Libro de Mormón.  And she said she´d totally be willing to follow what the book says and be baptized if she recieves an answer to her prayer.  And she definitely believes in recieving answers to prayers, too.  Hopefully that will be legit.  And in that lesson, I feel like I taught the most out of any lesson I´ve taught here.  But good thing Elder Fuhriman was there to pick up everything I completely forgot to explain.  But it was a good lesson.
Yesterday, I saw my first convert baptism!  Not my convert, but it was in our zone, and I taught the convert one lesson when I was on divisions -- so that was cool.  And..... drumroll...... Camila, our investigator, is getting baptized on Sunday the 27th!!!!!  I´m so excited for her!  She had a lot of doubts and concerns and stuff the past few weeks, and it was not looking like she was going to be baptized soon.  But she realized this was her decision and she was going to follow what she new to be true.  YAY!!!  I´ll let you know how that goes.
Changes are tomorrow, and I´m staying here in this sector con Elder Fuhriman another change.  That´s what we figured would happen.   3 missionaries in our zone have changes.  I think I can attach some pics, but I´m not sure if it works... hopefully it does!
Well, that´s about it for this week.  Thanks for everything you do!
Love, Elder Moffat

November 14, 2011

Lots of Stuff, November 14, 2011

Alo!  Busy busy week.  I think I´m starting to realize that every week in the mission is going to be busy busy.
If you could send my happy birthday wishes to Grandma Davis, Chelsea and Emma, that´d be great!  And also thank Sis. Val Dawson for the ward monthly updates.  I mailed letters on Friday, so you should get them in about 3 weeks.  A letter I got this week was postmarked in Illinois on Oct. 18, then Postmarked in Maipu, Chile on Oct 29, and I got it on Nov 8.--exactly 3 weeks after it was sent.

I wish i could have heard IMEA Hayden!!!! Ohhh I can´t wait to hear a recording when I get back.  And Spencer, looks like you´ll be busy with 35 basketball games in 3 months.  phew!  Luke I´m happy you´re working hard in Soccer and BBall now!  Sounds like the normal, busy busy busy life of the Moffat Family.  Feed My Starving Children will be good as well.

Highlights of the week: I gave someone a Libro de Mormon, and had written my testimony in it and marked a few scriptures.  It´s interesting why people stop going to church here.  It´s almost a better excuse to say you´re lazy than some of the reasons I've gotten.  example: "The missionaries were taking me to church on their bikes when I was little and had just been baptized, and one day they left church without me, so I had to walk home.  So I´ll never go to church again."  ...So... the church isn´t true because 2 20-year-old gringos made a mistake once... and yet you still believe in repentance.  hmm.  interesting.  Stuff like that. 

Other highlights:  Capacitacion Especial y Greenie Meeting.  Thursday and Friday we went to Maipú and had these trainings.  It was cool to talk to my group from the MTC and see everyone and how their doing.  I also realized that I want my Spanish to be a LOT better than it is right now.  But on Sunday when I was having my own conversations with members, I could speak and understand well, and one person even was like, "your Spanish is not bad at all.  I can understand everything you´re saying." yes. :) But anyway, at the meetings in Maipú we were well instructed in how to be a missionary, the Doctrine of Christ, and how to improve our weaknesses.  Elder Holland is always a BOSS, and we watched a video of an MTC devotional he gave this past January.  If that doesn´t pump you up, nothing will.  Also 2 Nephi 31 is really awesome, especially if you just take it verse by verse, and analyze what it´s really saying.  ohhh so good.

We also saw more miracles this week.  The Miracle from a few weeks ago is still a miracle, but that guy is still not ready.  We haven´t been able to go back, and we see him on the street sometimes, drunk as a skunk with his friends.  oh well.  But this week´s miracle seems really really legit.  "R" requested a DVD a while ago, but When E. Fuhriman tried to drop it off, they were never home--all 5 times.  But we were stopped in the street, and he´s like, "why did you never give me the DVD?" and we said, we tried-- can we come by tomorrow?  sure!  yessss.  We went by, had a legitttt conversation.  He had been baptized, only having read 3 pages in the LdM.  Then he went inactive and partied and all that good stuff.  But then recently, he decided to read it cover to cover, and he was like, this book is amazing.  It´s incredible.  There´s no other book that I´ve read that has been so inspiring. (Buenaaa!). He´s struggling at the moment, and knows what he´s doing is bad.  He had been studdying with other religions, and they were like, oh, it´s not that bad, you can still be baptized in our church and it´ll be fine...  he told us he knew that none of them were right, because he read the Bible enough to know that any church that justifies and excuses his rather large sins as not that bad could NOT be the church of Christ.  He went through some questions he had, and liked our doctrinally and biblically based answers (Holy Ghost, Gifts of the Spirit, who can forgive people of sins and who can´t, post life where we go, etc.).  He wants to increase his faith, and he wants to know how he can.  Seriously, the fact that he stopped US on the street and is asking to learn more is a Miracle, especially here.  How.  He seems like a really nice guy.

A few more things.  O. Z. house got tagged - we think by some members of the church, too.  They walked outside and saw spray paint all over their fence/wall/sidewalk some pretty bad things.  I don´t understand why people would do that.  Honestly.  O has done absolutely nothing besides helping people come unto christ, helping people recieve forgiveness from God, or at least tried.  After all, it is up to the person to do their part.  But O has just tried to help people.  And then his house gets tagged with terribly false accusations, the devil´s number, all that.  I can´t really see that happening in the states, even to a Bishop on the south side.  maybe, but not really.  Especially not in a place like padre hurtado.  But alas, it happened.  So we helped clean/sand it off.  Also, I had a mini realization this week.  I´ve heard a few people here say, "I respect you and that you´re doing the Lord´s work, but I´m such and such a religion, and I´ll die such and such..."  When´s the last time you heard someone say, "I´m Mormon, and I´ll die Mormon"?  we don´t say it in the church.  It´s not our mindset, and I think I realized why.  People usually say that because they don´t want to change, and hence, they´ll die the way they are right now.  But in the church, we´re ALWAYS changing, always striving to better ourselves, our families, our relationship with God, etc.  We´re never settling for good enough, because as good Ol´Jeremy Little says, "Good enough is closer to poorly done than well done."  We´re continually changing and progressing, and so we won´t die the way we are now, hopefully.  Perseverar hasta el Fin.  That was just a little insight I had.

Well, that´s all I have time for!  Love you and miss you!

Elder Cole Moffat

November 8, 2011

November 7, 2011, Busy, Busy Week

Hola!  I´ve been in Chile for almost a month now! Okay, so right now I´m Currently in Estacion Central in Santiago.  We went Bowling for P-day in Republica, and because it´s harder to find cibers in Padre Hurtdato, we decided to just do it here.  So different in Santiago than out in the semi-campo.  and we´re not really even in the campo!   and i had Burger king!!!  nice double whopper with bbq sauce.  mmm mmm good.  Not that the food i normally eat is bad, cuz it´s not.  I just haven´t had legit fast food in a while.

In terms of the letters I got from you, mom and dad, sounds like you had a pretty interesting weekend.  Good ol´ panama city part 2: The CRUISE.  fun stuff!  and sounds like the Halloween celebrations were also a little different/ interesting.  But thanks for the picture!  I can´t print it or anything, but it was good to look at :)  and maybe when I bring my hard drive and/or bring my camera I´ll save it on there.  Lookin´good, spencer!  with braces!!  I´m not sure i´ve seen those yet!  nice.  Also, if you can fit hair gel in the package, that´d be great.  if not, i´ll find some.  and I´ll buy sheets. We´ll go over to Totus within the next few weeks.  It´s like a Dominicks or something like that.  I´m sure they have sheets.  also, Elder Fuhriman says to send that package within the next few weeks.  Otherwise it´ll be in the holiday rush and get here late (like his did last year).  Also, if you want to fit the stuff into a bubble padded yellow envelope thing, those seem to not get broken into as much.  I guess people don´t think you´ll send expensive stuff in something other than a box (which is kind of true) but either way is fine.  just only put "missionary supplies" and "ropa para los muertos" on the slip with some virgin mary pictures and it´ll be fine.  the envelopes may be a little faster, too.  Also, I´ll send some letters to people this coming week.... although I don´t know how many...  you´d be surprised how LITTLE TIME there is to write letters.

Laundry and Ironing is fine, mom.  Some Hermanas in our ward do our laundry for us, and we have literally the best iron i´ve ever used in my life in our pension.  absolutely amazing.  I´m honestly going to write down the brand and model and get it when I get back.  amazing.  also, I play piano for sacrament meeting every Sunday.  and the other night when we had a little meeting at the capilla some elders kept flipping to random hymns and made me transition from one to the other, to another, to another for about a half hour.  it´s good practice!

BUSY WEEK just happened.  Tuesday to Wednesday Morning I did a Split with Elder Lopez (Guatamalteco in his 3rd change) in the sector next to ours.  we walked SOOO much, but being with a latin in Chile requires 0 English and 100% spanish.  so it was good to be completely submurged.  Then I was with Elder Fuhriman for a few hours, then back with Elder Lopez for Wednesday night to Thursday Morning in our sector.  We taught a good lesson 3 to C and answered a lot of questions she had about Baptism and why and how and who and all that.  it went really well.  Then I was with Elder Fuhriman for a few hours on Thursday and taught a good lesson and bore testimony about why I know the Book of Mormon is true and my experience with it.  THEN  Thursday night, guess who came to my sector to be my companion for a few days?  ELDER GEHRING!  yep, two 3-week old greenies as companions from Thursday night to Saturday morning.  Yes, we did 20 contacts on Friday, and taught 2 lessons!  and in one of them, committed an inactive couple to set little goals for themselves to achieve their big goal: being sealed in the temple.  and shared a spiritual thought with another inactive family.  BOOM greenie power!  Then on Saturday morning, we went to Cinco de Abril (really really nice stake center) to hear from President King, Pres. Kemp the president of the MTC in Chile, and President Snow, of the Presidency of the 70.  Really really good stuff.  We met up with our companions there..  Then Saturday night, we did a "cosechón," and with 3 other companionships in the zone, plus a bunch of members, we did 24 hours of work in just 3 hours.

 With C, it went really well, because she realized the doubts she was having weren´t hers but those close to her that are criticizing her desire to be baptized, so she´s gung ho on being baptized the 20th of November.  yay!  So all in all, a pretty busy freaking week.  phew!

Some notes from the devotional with Pres Snow:  Always ask myself what have I learned this week?  And take note as blessings come (like you said, dad).  ALWAYS keep studying and learning.  Then he talked to us about the Holy ghost and the gift of the holy ghost.  and in order for us to receive inspiration in our lives, we need to be taking ACTION.  what do we need to do to have the spirit with us?  Study.  Pray, Be obedient.  Trust in the Lord.  Etc.  All of these things are ACTIONS.  so what do investigators need to do to receive a witness from the same spirit?  TAKE ACTION.  I really like how he applied that to us.

Also, this is for Hayden, Spencer and Luke, and is a great analogy that Pres. Snow gave: If you had a gift to open for Christmas, would you wait until after Valentine´s day to open it? No, stupid, you wouldn´t.  you´d open it on Christmas. :P  So you have the Gift of the Holy Ghost, just as was given in The time of the New Testament as recorded in Acts.  You have it.  Are you going to let it just sit on the shelf until later, until you´re a little older, until you´re in high school, or college or on your mission?  No! don´t do that!  You were given this gift, so open it and use it NOW.  this is what President Snow Asked us-- how many of you missionaries waited until just a few months, weeks, or even days ago to open the Gift of the Holy Ghost in your Lives?  wouldn´t it have been so much better to have it way way earlier?  and I thought to myself.... ummm yeah that would have been a really good idea.  durrrr.   yeah.  insight of the week.  Also, as a side note, i wrote this down as we were reading some epiness out of nephi: "Can´t wait to hear Nefi give a Talk!"  man, that´ll be good.

2 Ne 2 and 9 are really good.  I read those this week in Spanish.  2 Ne 2 just lays out the WHY of everything.  why opposition? why does Satan exist? why did the Fall have to happen?  What does the Savior mean to us?  yeah.  epic and simple.  Also, By the End of my mission, I want to have read El Libro de Mormón 3 times, Book of Mormon 3 times, and New Testament, DyC, and PoGP each once (I´ll see which language when I get to them).

Keep being awesome at home, having fun and all that!  I miss you soo much, but i´m too busy to get homesick-- or to sleep for that matter.  But don´t worry about me, mom.  i´m fine.  just perseveren hasta el fin!

Siempre Suyo,
Elder Cole Moffat

November 2, 2011

Happy Halloween, October 31, 2011

Hola! First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!!!!
So, I thought of a few more things I kind of need/want --fitted sheets.  And that green high lighter or other green scripture marker.  I took mine on a division and it got lost...  whoops.
Speaking of divisions, I had my first division this week! (Division is like a split -- when missionaries switch companions for appointments)  And this coming week I'll have a bunch -- one of those perks about having a Zone Leader as your companion.  Yep.  Usually a zone has 2 Zone Leaders and they're companions.  So going to all the meetings everywehere together is much easier than figuring out what to do with the greenie companion. Yep.  But going on divisions is actually a great learning experience.  I get to see what other missionaries do, what their style is, and what I like about what I do and what I could change to be a better missionary.  I definitely learned a lot from just 24 hours of being with Elder Bateman in Villa la Foresta.
Also, This week we had a Gira de Misión-- Mission Tour.  Elder Zeballos of the Chile Area Presidency came and spoke.  We were well insructed.  Definitely.  While listening to what Pres King had to say, I had this thought-- In terms of my mission, it is FULL TIME not FILL TIME.  I guess that could apply to a lot of things in life.  We´re not just here to fill time.  We´re here to do something and if you're going to do it, do it with all you got.  Also, a nice statistic-- retention is the number of people baptized in the past 2 years that are coming to church still.  the mission overall is at 34%.  My personal opinion, that´s kind of sad, and so my goal is to teach Perseverar hasta el fin well enough that people realize when they make a commitment with the Lord (baptism) it´s a FULL TIME thing for our lives.  yep yep.  When Elder Zeballos was speaking in the afternoon, there was something he said that reminds me of Dad's "do your best, be a winner" shpeel.  Do MY best, not someone else´s best.  I don´t know the quote in English, but he gave us a Joseph B. Worthlin quote translateed in Spanish: "No tenemos que ser perfectos hoy; no tenemos que ser mejores que alguien más; todo lo que tenemos que hacer es ser lo mejor de nosotros mismos."  All in all, good Gira de Misión.  But we had to take the rompehuesos bus back...
Something I wrote down this week, and something I realize more and more the more people I talk to.  The Gospel, besides being something Spiritual that we can have a spiritual testimony of--besides that, the Gospel just makes sense.  It just does.  Also I'm through 2 Nephi 3 in Spanish.  2 Nephi 2 really just explains why there´s opposition, why Satan is the way he is, why the Fall needed to happen, and what our role is.  Wow, just amazing.
Also, we gave another blessing this week, at the request of one of our investigators less active husband.  He remembered enough to ask for a blessing with oil for their infant daughter who is really sickly, and was a preemie.  Dad you´re right.  Now is a great time to be worthy of and able to exercise the priesthood.
In case anyone is wondering, miracles are real, and if you pray for them and have faith in God and Christ, they will happen.  So, being in Testigo´s powerhouse territory, we don´t get in a lot of homes.  They´re great people, and believe in Christ and are service oriented, and tell us they respect us for serving the Lord and all that good stuff, but frankly, they don´t let us in their houses to teach them.  And so after a few very tough days of no houses, citas falling through, and members cancelling, we prayed for a miracle.  It didn´t matter what, but we asked to see and recognize a miracle in our lives.  So, that day we knocked a door, and without even shaking our hands or introducing ourselves, they let us in.  Turns out he thought we were Testigos, but when he found out we weren´t, he was okay with that and still listened to us.  He had a few bad experiences in his life recently, and on top of that, doesn´t feel like God hears his pleas for forgiveness.  When we told him that he could feel a remission and freedom from sin by following the example of Christ, he said he was willing to be baptized.  Yes, First lesson off a contact.  When we asked if there was anything else we could do, he said he just wants us to help him get to know Christ better.  Some people might not recognize that as a miracle, but I definitely do.  The Spirit was definitely testifying there.  And you could see his countenance change as we offered a prayer and explained to him the plain and simple truths of the Gospel of Christ.  Really quite a good experience.  Morals of the story, God answers prayers, God is a God of Miracles, and if you have faith, you can see them in your life.  Definitely.
Okay, so, the first letters I´ll send will be November 10th or 11th when I go to Maipú.  There´s not a post office near here, so we have to wait till we go to Maipú.  If you have sent things to the Chacabuco address, I'll never see them.  That address is like 6 months old.  So use the new one I sent last week.  I´ll try to write as much as I can, but when we spend over an hour looking for an open Cyber place to email, on top of our other stuff, there´s not a whole lot of time to write letters.  Sorry.
Dad some questions.  What areas, barrios, y estacas did you serve in, and who were your companions?  Our bishop´s wife lived in the south mission when you served, and knew a lot of the missionaries, too.  She´s still in contact with a few, I think.  She's just curious.  Mom, I miss your apple crisp, and it´s weird not having clam chowder or anything on Halloween.  But I´ll get by!
Thanks for your support and love you send me.  Keep writing!  Not going to lie, it´s weird that I've only been here for less than 3 weeks, but that I've already been here for almost 3 weeks!  Time is an interesting thing as a missionary...  My Spanish is coming along.  I understand so much more than I used to, but still not all there.  I´m trying to speak it as much as I can, but it´s hard.  It is a beautiful language, though.  I love it.
Love you and miss you!
Siempre Tuyo,
Elder Cole Moffat

October 24, 2011

Busy Week! October 24, 2011


 Hola Familia!

Okay, so, lots of stuff happened this week, and I don´t have a ton of time to write it.  Sorry.  Hna V was the driest member.  Really complicated story, too, but anyway, we met with her earlier this week, and set a baptismal date goal with her!  Yay!  We´re also helping out Familia Bellagamba (Dad Alfredo) get ready to be sealed in the temple.   I really hope they get themselves ready to go to the temple! and I hope I´m part of that preparation, too!  We taught Claudia (investigator) and Marcelo about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and a little bit about baptism.  Claudia understood the need to be baptized if she prays and receives an answer to it, and would be willing to as well.  Hopefully, that keeps progressing.  Their 3 month old daughter Laura is so cute!

We did 77 contacts this week!  That includes street contacts and door approaches.  77!  and we got in a few houses too, with some return appointments.  Good things!  Last night a family in our ward called us and when we got there asked us to give someone a blessing of health.  I´d never done a blessing in Spanish.... but I learned!  I did the anointing, and Elder Fuhriman did was the voice in the blessing.  Cool!  Bakan!, as they say here in Chile.  Now I know how to do it in Spanish.  Dad, I now know what you were saying about the names and how they´re a paragraph long... oh boy.  Also, I´m reading el Libro de Mormón in Spanish!  Very insightful, and I understand most of it, too!  I have a feeling that in 2 years, these scriptures will be so marked up, and my English ones will be bare.  yep.

I had something called ´´Enrique´´ this week at an investigator´s house.  I didn´t know what it was, and they were like, ´´Well, we should probably tell you after, then.´´  It was pretty good, but I knew it was probably something gross.  Turns out, I like chicken gizzards.  And so does my companion.  apparently they´re cheap.  So we might go get some for the pension and cook them up a few nights a week.  But aside from that, the food here is normal, nothing that crazy.  It´s good, and there´s a lot of it.  The water is safe straight from the tap, so no worries there, either.  I usually just have juice or something really small for breakfast, then the monstrocity of a lunch at 2, and then in Chile they have what´s called once (ohn-say) and it´s usually bread or something small.  around 9:00 pm ish.  we´re not supposed to have once with people, but it is SOOO hard to get out of it when you´re with them and they just bring it out without asking.  So if we don´t have it with members or investigators, we usually have something when we get home between 10 or 10:30.  That´s how the meals work.

Yes, I´m sleeping on the floor as in no foot off the ground bed frame.  But it´s a good mattress on this metal frame sort of thing.  But it´s on the ground.  Don´t worry about my back, mom.  Email pictures, you can.  just make sure to embed them because I can´t download anything at the public places.  And I might be able to print them out on normal paper, but it might be expensive for poor quality.

Tell Kenzie and Katie happy birthday for me!

Last thing, There´s not a post office in my sector, so I´ll send hand-written letters whenever I go to conferences or something somewhere else, like Maipú.  There could be a solid 6 week gap between when I can send hand written letters. 

I love you and miss you!  Sorry I can´t write more or write to you guys specifically, Hayden, Spencer, and Luke, but I love you and miss you guys a lot!

Les Amo a Ustedes,
Elder Moffat