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