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