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