December 3, 2012

New Sector, Zone Leader, December 3, 2012

Oh mannnnnnn I´m excited for these next few months!!!  I´m in Republica Zone, Republica ward, and I´m a Zone Leader!  We´re in a trio because one of my comps is leaving mid-change (Dec 26) to get back for school.  His name is Elder McBride.  My other companion, who I´ll be with for the next 3 months it looks like, is ELDER GEHRING!!!  My comp from the MTC!  and now we´re Zone Leaders together!!! And I´ve heard a lot about this sector, Republica.  It´s a pretty awesome sector, with great members, great converts, and baptisms!  So I´m definitely looking forward to my time here.

It´s kind of weird doing internet in a Ciber and not on the nice computers in the office.

This Friday we have Concilio, which is when all the Zone Leaders go to presidents house and give a report of the zone, learn the new mission initiatives, etc.  It´s the first Friday of every month.  I´m excited.  I´ll tell you how it goes.

Not much else to tell... I´m just here in my new sector and ready to get to work!  Also, my Pdays are on Mondays again.

Love and BoM catch up,
Elder Cole Moffat

I'm Movin Out! December 1, 2012

Well, my time as secretary has come to an end.  I´m getting out of the office!!  In all honesty, I have loved the opportunity to serve as a missionary in this assignment.  I´ve definitely learned a lot in many different ways and areas.  I will forever be grateful for my time as Secretary in the Chile Santiago West Mission. But now it´s time to get back to being a normal missionary!  I´m excited!  But at the same time, I kind of feel like a greenie again.  It´s a weird feeling.  Changes are a little weird this next week, so long story short, I may have a little bit of time to write you on Monday or Tuesday, telling you where I am, what I´m doing, who my comp is, etc.

I go the Christmas package!  But I saw that it´s all wrapped up, so do you think It will be okay to just have them give it to me in like a week and a half like a normal missionary?  because I´m a little tight on luggage space... I don´t know if I´ll have space to fit a package in there!  But I cant´wait to open it!  Also, I got the card from Audrey Woodland.  thanks!

This week was a bit of a downer because M told us not to visit her anymore... I´m not really sure what happened there.  It´s just all so weird... she was doing so well  and it was out of nowhere  It just saddens me when I see people that know what they´re learning is true, and they decide to go against what they know and decide to stop coming unto Christ.  It´s just so sad.  But at the same time, I´m glad I have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life, and that I know it´s true, and I know why it´s true, and I know why I know it´s true, and I know why it´s important that you know it´s true.  And those are all different things, by the way.  Know what´s true, know why it´s true, know why you know it´s true, and know why it´s important that you know it´s true.  Think about it for a sec.  That´s your homework.

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat! It will be fun. It´s weird to think that I had my first baptism over a year ago, now!  I´ve been in Chile for quite a while.  but at the same time, not really THAT long.  I still have a lot of time to go, a lot of good to do, and a lot of people to help, whether it be in life in general or in very specific problems and needs they have.  and especially into the waters of baptism.

This week I just worked hard core on the Retrospectivo for the mission (basically, the year-in-review video).  It´s going to be EPIC!  I´ll try and get two copies of it (I can pull some strings) and send it to you, so you can see what´s going on in the mission and what your donation of Photoshop did.  It´s going to end with a ton of baptismal pictures and really calm, beautiful music.  It´ll definitely give people the animo to baptize!!  I´m super excited.

We´ll get to Skype in a few weeks!  I don´t know if you realized, but we´re just about done with the longest time, probably ever, that we won´t have talked-- 7 months.  After the Christmas call, it´ll be 5 months to Mother´s day, then a few short months till I get home, and then I sincerely doubt we´ll ever go 7 months without talking.  It´s going to be good.  And I think I`m just going to give up and speak hard-core spanglish.  If you don´t understand something just stop me and I´ll try and fix it.  or Dad, you can just translate.

How are you on your Book of Mormon reading?  I shant lie.  I am only in Alma 22ish.  I have 22 days to finish the Book of Mormon!  I´ll do it, though.  I read at least a chapter a day.  Where are you guys at?  I hope you´re all reading every day!  I just got done with Ammon´s story.  It´s really interesting to read the Book of Mormon at different stages in life.  and I´m not just talking about the difference between reading it pre mission, on a misison, after the mission studying, as a dad, etc.  Even though YES, you learn and see different things in those different stages, too.  But also just as a missionary, there are things I noticed this time around, reading about Ammon as an office elder in Maipú, than I noticed the last time I read that part of Alma, reading as a Junior Companion in San Miguel.  It just goes to show that there is always something new in the Book of Mormon, and that we should never let more than a day go by without drinking from its pages.  What have you guys learned recently?  Other homework.

That´s all, folks.  I love you!  I´ll send a package soon.... hopefully today or Monday.

Elder Cole Moffat

November 24, 2012

Dia de accion de gracias, November 24, 2012

Hey there!   Happy Turkey day!!  I was so happy when I got a letter from Lauren Gobelman!

We just got back from Estacion Central, where we bought 15 kilos of ties.  Yes, that is 33 pounds of neckties.  and we paid $20 total.  We've split them between the 7 people here in the office, and so it is like 3 bucks a person for a LOT of ties.  think about how much a single tie weighs on your neck!  not much!  There are still about half the ties left over, and we all got like 20-30 ties!  for 3 bucks!!  It's AWESOME!

On Thursday, we made an awesome Thanksgiving FEAST!!!  I've attached pictures.  We had a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, a veggie plate, rolls (Well, chilean bread aka maraqueta), juice, homemade cinnamon rolls, and Elder Stetler and I made EGGNOG!!!!  It was really good!  And the office cleaning lady, Hermana Sara joined us!  It was really cool because she shared her conversion story with us over dinner and the first time the missionaries came over and how she knew it was true, etc.  She testified with a lot of power and used the opportunity of Dia de Accion de Gracias to thank us for being a wonderful example to her and thank her Father in Heaven for having the gospel in her life.  She was baptized a little over 2 years ago and is super strong in the Gospel.  Then we went around the table and shared what we were all thankful for in our lives after looking back over the past year.  We all said similar things, whether it was about being in the mission in general, having the companions we've had, the experience and everything we've learned in the office, the opportunity to be missionaries of Jesus Christ, things like that-- Which we are genuinely thankful for.  Then one of the assistants, Elder Munoz said he was thankful that his Sister was active in the Gospel once again, and is about to make covenants in the Temple.  That was cool.  And it made me realize just how many things I have to be thankful for in my life.  It made me realize in just how many ways Heavenly Father blesses me, my family, my sectors, and this mission.  I have a lot to be grateful for.

Way towards the top of our long list of things we should thank God for should be thanking Him for his Son, Jesus Christ, and His Atonement.  I'm thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, through which I can be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.  I'm very grateful that I can repent every day of my daily faults, mistakes, and sins.  I'm grateful for the forgiveness that I feel from my Father in Heaven when I repent.  I'm thankful for His love in my life, for the trust he has in me.  There is nothing I can do, there is no possible way to progress, without the sacrifice and atonement of our Lord and King, Jesus Christ.  May we choose to follow him and keep his commandments so that we might receive the fullness of his blessings, and as the scriptures say, "all that the Father hath."

I love you.
Elder Cole Moffat

Andes Hike, November 17, 2012


This is going to be a quickie.  We just went on a hike in the Andes, so we got back late, and still have to shower!  So I did a voice recording and will send it to you.  it´s like 20 mins.

Quick update.  Our sector is doing well.  We have a few progressing investigators, now, and they´re really progressing a lot.  The listen, they open up and ask questions and share some issues they have, they act, they read, the understand, it´s a great spirit.

Glad you went out with the missionaries, dad!  As a missionary, I´ll just share some Members-in-the-lesson-with-investigators pet peeves.  Don´t take over the lesson.  Let the missionaries guide and drive the lessons.  You´re there to answer questions the missionaries and investigators ask you directly (about family, how you help your sons, etc.) and share a fervent testimony.   Keep it simple, share testimony.  You´ll be a machina.

Love you!  Gotta shower!

Elder Cole Moffat

Cool Reference, November 10, 2012

Hey fam!

So this week, we got an awesome reference from a member from another ward in the stake.  The reference lives in our sector, and on Thursday we went to visit her.  Rosa is just an amazing person with a lot of faith in God.  She´s going through some really hard times with just a lot of challenges and trials in her life, and she basically bore testimony to us that she knows they´re just trials to see if she´ll stay faithful to God, and so she is.  It was a wonderful privilege to share with her and her daughters on Thursday night.  We have another appointment with her tonight, and we´re going to share about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth.  She´s already been church in her friend´s ward a few times and loves it.  She actually felt like it was the true church of God and that the other church she had been going to for 12 years was just missing something.  She has a Book of Mormon and Gospel Principles manual already and is reading a lot.  Her 2 of her daughters are also interested in the message we share.  I felt humbled as she bore her testimony of faith and prayer.  I now think to the activity in Preach My Gospel that asks you to analyze your prayers and see how you can make your prayers more meaningful.  We all have a long way to go, I believe.

We went to the feria today, and I bought some things for you guys!  I´ll send them here pretty soon, and it will be your christmas/ next bday present.  Don´t worry, I´ll bring home some stuff at the end of the mission, too.

The only political note I´ll make:  One of the Elders in the office is Canadian.  I´m sporting a Canadian flag tie tack today in the office.  I might move to Canada after I graduate from BYU.

Other than that, Not much to comment on here.  Except that I´m a little behind on my Book of Mormon reading... I´m only in Alma 2, when I should be in Alma 20something.  But I´ll get caught up, don´t worry.  I love reading the Book of Mormon.  It truly is another testament of Jesus Christ.  Now as I mark all the doctrines and principles taught in the Book of Mormon, I can really see that there is something taught in every chapter of the Book of Mormon.  There´s always something more to learn.  I don´t have a perfect knowledge of everything, therefore I must always continue learning.  I love the Book of Mormon.  Are you all reading every day?  I hope so!  Share something you learned this week with me and someone else.  Testimony + sharing it = stronger testimony.  sí o sí.

I love you guys!  Not a long letter, but I did a recording I´ll send to you.

Elder Cole Moffat

Cool Week, November 3, 2012

Family!  How are you all?  Crazy stuff happening in New York!  Most Chileans we talk to ask us where we´re from, and when I say Chicago, they ask if that´s by New York and if any of my friends or family has been affected by the big storm over there.  We walked into lunch and they turned the TV off, but the few seconds I did see of the news was some pretty scary footage of the flooding.  All those people affected by the hurricane are definitely in my prayers.

All is well here!  We found this less active sister, Edith, knocking doors by some active members.  At first she didn´t really want to talk, but after a few seconds we really got talking and found out she was a member!  She let us in to her patio and we shared about the Book of Mormon.  We reminded her of the story, how it came about, who it testifies of, what it teaches, etc.  We showed her the "Christ comes to the Americas" picture in the Book of Mormon: We shared a little about that, and I pointed out that I really liked how Christ had his arms out and open, just waiting to accept the people that would come to Him if they chose to. Asking her to think of what we need to do to come closer to Christ, she started really thinking.  Immediately she said go to church, read the scriptures, be a good person, etc, and we added prayer to the list.  Then she realized she hadn´t prayed in a long time, and that God has been really good to her.  She starting naming some of the blessings she had received from God, and then she started bawling.  She felt the spirit tell her that she needed to start doing those things she had mentioned to come closer to Christ, because God loved her and wanted to bless her even more.  She came to that realization herself.  "Dios siempre ha sido bueno conmigo.  Pero ahora necesito llegar a él.  Necesito esforzarme y servirle a él por todas las bendiciones que me ha dado."  She committed to come to church this Sunday without us even having a chance to invite her.  It was really cool to see her be an agent, acting for herself.  By just asking simple questions without a specific answer we were looking for, she was able to act in the learning process, and allow the spirit to teach her the next step in her life.  It was amazing.

She´s renting a room to a guy, Luis, and we shared with him while Edith was showing some other rooms to potential renters.  Luis´s ex-wife and daughter are active members (He told us his wife had a card that let her go to the big church on Pedro de Valdivia (Temple) whenever she wants, and she goes).  We shared with him, and found out he´s Catholic, but in his own way (which we hear a lot of, even though when it´s in their own way, it ceases to be truly catholic).  He explained some of his ideas, and we shared some of ours... And then he got a little aggressive and started naming the things he didn´t like about our church and what we teach and testify of.  He even stood up to emphasize his points.  We basically went through the lesson of the Restoration (beginning with God, Families, and prophets) to help answer his questions. We finally got to the Book of Mormon as the proof of what we teach is true.  We didn´t try to force it on him.  We simply said this is the physical evidence that 1) Jesus is the Christ, which he already believed, 2) that God always calls prophets, and that 3) there is a prophet today, with all the authority of God necessary to help God´s children gain salvation.  We bore fervent testimony and shared how we came to know of it´s truthfulness, and then Luis asked the money question: "How did you really know it was true?"  We mentioned the spirit, and he immediately responded "But how can you know it´s the spirit?  What does the spirit feel like?"  We mentioned Galatas 5:22-23 (Galatians in English?), and he ran to get his own Bible.  He´d already had the verses marked:  "22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."  We explained that the spirit always testifies of truth.  For example, when we talk about Christ as our Savior and that he died for us, we can feel the spirit, and feel the fruits of the spirit.  When we talk and testify of God´s love, or of the need to keep the commandments and to be a good person, we can feel the spirit.  The spirit never testifies of a lie.  That´s why we need to ask specific questions in prayer to know of something´s truthfulness-- For example, if I ask God if the Book of Mormon is true, and I feel the fruits of the spirit, there is no mistaking what the spirit is testifying of.  It was cool to see the transformation during the conversation from being on the defensive to really wanting to know for himself by the spirit what he needed to do.  It went from “Everyone can be saved if they´re not a bad person, and anyone can be a prophet, not just the leader of the Mormons” to “I would really like to read the Book of Mormon, ask God, and feel the fruits of the Spirit give me my own answer.”  That´s the idea.  Milagros pasan.

We´re not here to convince people.  We´re not here to talk people in to being baptized and joining our church.  I am here as a representative and disciple of Jesus Christ to invite people to come unto Him, by helping them know His will for them.  The only way they can truly know His will and do it is if the spirit of the Lord tells them and testifies to them.  I am just an instrument that prepares a person to seek and receive learning by faith, that is, ask, seek, knock, and act, so they can receive by the spirit, find by the spirit, have the mysteries of God opened unto them by the spirit, and know by the spirit.  I love it when people let that happen in their lives.  I love it when they really want to know the truth, and are willing to do what God asks them.  I love it when they actually take the time and take the action to pray and ask God a specific question so that they can receive a specific answer.  I need to do that even more in my life, as I´m sure we all do to some degree.  Let´s become a little more humble, submit a little more to God´s will, and not only what we, as natural men and women, want to do.  The will of God is always truth, and the truth shall make us free.  Let us "counsel with the Lord in all [our] doings, and he will direct [us] for good" (Alma 37:37).

I love you, family, and I hope everything is going well!


Elder Cole Moffat

New Change, October 27, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!  I have something for you, but I think I´ll send it with some other stuff to save on shipping.  So you might need to wait a few more weeks.  You´ll love it, though.

Technically, we started the change a week and a half ago, but I was so wrapped up in hearing Elder Bednar that I forgot to comment on changes.  They went smoothly, and I´m training my office replacement!  Elder Molina is learning how to be secretary, like when Elder Gimenez taught me back in June and July.  He´s from Honduras, but speaks near-perfect English because he went to an international school for a lot of years.  He´s kind of a quirky kid, but aren´t we all?  No, he´s a good companion. We´ve actually gotten out into the sector this week-- it was really refreshing-- and he is a really good teacher!  He can control lessons really well.  Control lessons, that probably sounds weird.  He´s really good at teaching, and he´s really good at keeping the lesson (and the people) focused.  That´s what I mean by controling lessons.  Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, and that´s really hard if every time you try and bring up faith or Jesus they start talking about their favorite soccer team or elections or whatever.  "y de dogmas no hablarás."  So Elder Molina is good at helping people stay focused in lessons.

We were out contacting last night, and we went over by Juan´s house.  Juan is a recently active member who´s just a máquina.  And as we were walking, we ran into him and talked for a bit.  He had asked for some pamphlets, some láminas de Cristo (I honestly don´t know how to say that.  the like 8x12 pictures of Christ things...), and some Book of Mormons to pass out to coworkers.  That was just a few days ago, and he already needs more!  What a great member missionary.  And he says that he does it not just because it´s his duty as a member, not just because the prophets always say it, but because he loves the Lord and wants to humble himself before God by participating in his work.  He´s just an amazing person.  Truly an example to me.  We have a ward activity today... in less than an hour... and Juan has invited a LOT of people.  I swear he´s invited most people he actually knows well and is friends with.  So anyway, he was telling us about this last night, and so we just asked him, "Hey do you want to come with us for like 20-30 minutes and knock some of your neighbors´ doors?"  He thought a bit (it was 9:20pm), and then was like "How can I possibly reject an offer like that" and just started walking towards a house to go knock it.  We ended up talking to a girl named Mariela, and Juan just bore pure, powerful testimony backed up by brief personal experience.  It was much better than having just the missionaries go knock some doors.  Members are the key. I can honestly testify of that.

This morning, we went to Santa Lucia, which is this artisan fair downtown.  I bought a sweet wallet (I needed a new one) for $3.500 pesos, about $7.00 USD, and some other stuff that I´m going to send home.  But I also found a PONCHO!!!  Like the brown one you have dad!!!!  But I didn´t buy it, because it was pretty expensive.  the equivalent to $130 USD.  There are a few other things I want to buy to take home after the mission.  So I´ll definitely do that either my last change or when you guys are here.  My wallet has a Llama on the back of it.  It´s awesome.

I love you guys!  Happy birthday, dad!  and have wonderful performances, Hayden!  I´m so proud of you!!!

Elder Cole Moffat

Duty Calls, October 13, 2012

I sent a recording of the thing that happened on Thursday night, but to recap (because it´s a 30 min recording), We were working, and in the morning we were out doing pension inspections with Hna. King.  That was fun.  so we got back to the office and basically started the "workday" really late.  So we were still in the office at 7:20 when Elder Morgan got a call.  I was just about to do all the visa prep for the missionaries that did their visas on Friday.  And Elder Morgan got that call, and had to make some other calls, and all of a sudden was like, "Sorry Elder Moffat, we gotta go.  Now.  We have to go take someone to the hospital."  He´s the medico, so we had to do it.  A sister missionary was walking with her companion and a ward member, and this dog stuck it´s head out of the fence and bit the sister missionary in the arm!  We found out later is was a pitbull and there were 5 teeth holes in her forearm with a little torn muscle!  Anyway, we go pick them up from their sector and go to drive them to the emergency room (it was all cleaned out and bandaged up by the member who is a nurse), and when we get off at the exit to go from the northbound highway to the eastbound highway, it´s a parking lot of traffic.  Just bad.  So we get off at the next exit to make our way (without a map or GPS) to the hospital-- I´d never even tried it before.  So we´re on side streets, trying to make our way from Central/West Santiago to East Santiago, with two sister missionaries in the back, one of them still bleeding from being bitten by a Dog.  So at this point it´s 9:10 pm, and we´re a few blocks away from the hospital in TRAFFIC, and a red light.  As we´re waiting, we look over and there´s this ELDER on the corner!  Alone!  So we yell to him, he comes over to our car, and says, I don´t know what you guys are doing or where you need to go, but I need you to get me to the airport, NOW!  So he got in, and if necessary, we would drive him to the airport.  this was 9:10, his flight was supposed to leave at 9:50!  He was literally going home after 2 years of faithful service from a different mission in Chile, kinda far away, and was over by the temple all day, and the guy that was supposed to take him to the airport never showed up!  But someone else had already taken his luggage in the morning.  This other guy was supposed to take him as a plan B, but he was stuck in traffic, too, so the Area Office let him go run to meet the taxi guy somewhere!  but the Elder didn´t have his phone.  So we let him borrow ours, and the taxi guy, not knowing where we were, pulled up to an intersection right next to the hospital!  I hope he made it home safe.  So we drop them off and go park and finally meet them in the waiting area of the emergency room a little bit before 10:00 pm.  Finally, they get her in to be looked at at 11:00.  and we chill there, write some letters, and go eat in the hospital cafeteria (Elder Morgan already knew where it was!), and finally leave the Hospital at about 12:45am.  We have to drop them off at their apartment, go back to the office to drop off the car and ... finish the 10 minutes of visa prep, and we finally get back to our apartment at 2:07am.  WOAH.  And we had to wake up a little early Friday Morning.  it was a really interesting experience, and very tiring.  But a pretty intense night!  Duty calls.

It was great to hear from you, Mom, Luke, and Spencer!  You all speak wonderful English.  I don´t.

Congrats on district Band and Choir, guys!  I´m so happy for you!  I know the musical will be great, but I really know how you feel with the whole 2 week musical countdown stress, and especially if the pit is shrinking in numbers!  oh dang.  But I love you guys!

In the Book of Mormon, I´m noticing a lot about how much Nephi (and the Lord) talks about a) Obedience and b) Covenants.  Kind of shows the Importance of both things.
Until next week!

Elder Cole Moffat

General Conference Week, October 6-8, 2012

October 6, 2012

I´ll just write a little bit here.  Don´t feel bad, it´s raining here, too.

CONFERENCE!  That first session was just amazing!!!  Incredible.  So much doctrine, so many things to apply.  I´ll definitely have to go back and read it.

This week we didn´t really get out much becuase of a new thing our mission is doing.  If you look in Preach My Gospel, you´ll see some reports/records.  There are teaching records to keep track of what you´ve taught to investigators.  There are progress reports that are turned in to the local leaders to help them help your investigators, the less actives, and the recent converts.  Lots of records and reports.  Our mission just created a new record with it´s own binder and program to help us a) be more efficient with our time, b) work better with members, c) have more investigators with friends, and d) improve the retention.  So rolling out that program was a LOT of office work, but it definitely will help the mission.  the North mission started it a few months ago, and their baptisms have gone up like 200%+ and their retention is doing a lot better, too!  So I´m really excited for it.

CONFERENCE WAS SO GOOD!  I just can´t stop thinking about it.  There are 14 Americans in a room with tables and food, watching Servants of the Lord on a HUGE projector and taking notes.  Few things better.

That´s all for now!  I hope everyone is doing well!  Have fun in Florida!

Elder Moffat

October 8, 2012

Conference was amazing! .  I loved how pretty much the entire Sunday Afternoon session was all being about a true Disciple of Christ (conversion, love, etc.).  The fact that they choose their own topics and they were all in the same theme is yet another testimony to me that the messages given in General Conference are inspired and that the central theme of the talks are really, REALLY what we need to hear in this era.  Also, how´s family history coming?  Palazo to the church membership in general....

After the conference we got to meet with one of the recently active members in our ward, Juan.  This is the guy that just amazes me every time I talk to him.  Extremely insightful.  He stopped and asked us "how many worlds are there?"  and we were like... "umm, we don´t know."  "Well then, what is a world?"  We started to give an answer, then he was like "Wait, let me ask the better question.  Can one man change the world?"  and We were like "Well Christ did" and he said "Okay, like a common man, not Jesus Christ.  I´m talking like you and me.  Normal people."  and we talked about the honey bee example from Saturday Conference.  which led into we can´t change the world alone, but with many we can.  and he had an amazing insight.  "Alone you may not be able to change the world.  But you can sure change someone´s world."  He then explained how one young man went and passed by his house one day to just visit him and see how he was doing.  That one act by one man changed his world forever.  He is now back active in the church and progressing toward becoming an Elder and eventually going to the Temple.  That one man changed Juan´s world.  And now Juan is changing other people´s world.  So yes, one person can change the world.  They can change someone´s world.

Funny things by the request of DAD:
You guys should have seen the huge supermarket here-- Líder, it´s like Walmart.  We walked in to buy some labels at like 9:00 at night (little office emergency).  it was a ZOO.  I was amazed.  Think of the VH Target.  Imagine every single register having a line halfway back the store, with all the carts basically touching, each full (almost overflowing) with crap.  Then imagine the 8 registers closest to the electronics section being the 10 items or less registers.  Now there´s only one line for those registers, and when you get to the front of the line, you just go to the next available of the 8 registers (like checking in at the airport).  Now imagine that line over through the electronics  along the wall, and down 80% to the back of the store.  On a MONDAY NIGHT!  WHAT?  then we realized that it was the 1st of the month, people had money, and they were just splurging and spending it all.

Also, we heard of a member of a ward that proposed from the pulpit during a testimony meeting.  The next week she went to the pulpit and said yes.

Elder Cole Moffat

Getting Ready for General Conference, September 29, 2012

Family!  Thanks for the recordings, mom!  and the pics from the burial.  I hope you´re doing okay.

Not too much to report this week.  Just that CRAZINESS is happening in the office.  Just a bunch of random things that are trivial to anyone not involved, but a big deal for keeping the mission functioning.  But we got to actually teach a few lessons this week, mostly to less active members.  Those are always interesting, and there are 2 types: the ones that want to progress that you help to progress, or the ones that liked the missionaries that don´t really care about progressing, who you, when you get there, help to want to progress in the gospel.  Fortunately, we have a lot of those first ones: those that want to progress and learn and apply and everything.  So that´s really good.

This week I´ve read a few chapters throughout the Book of Mormon.  Starting tomorrow, Sunday, we as a mission (and you guys, right?  well, at least mom has said she´ll do it) are going to start reading the Book of Mormon, and we´re going to finish in 85 days.  September 30-Dec 23.  And as a mission, we´re going to be marking a few specific things in the Book of Mormon (I think I shared that last week).  In preparation for marking names, attributes, and words of Christ, principles, doctrines, and references to the power of the word of God, all in different colors, I went to a few chapters to just practice and get my mind thinking that way.  It´s interesting how much more I´m learning, only having read a few extra chapters, especially learning how much doctrine and gospel principles are in the Book of Mormon.  It just jumps out at me.  As I´m consciously looking for doctrine, I find it in places I had never thought before.  Sometimes it´s talking about a specific person or situation, but the doctrine that is explained applies to all.  I love the Book of Mormon and cannot wait to read it again.  I can´t wait for you guys to be able to read it again.

Spiritual thought, Elder Bednar quoting Elder Packer (about teaching and learning by the Spirit) "If all you hear is what is said, then you haven´t really listened."  That was cool.  Just a little food for thought in preparation to listen to GENERAL CONFERENCE THIS WEEK! and ELDER BEDNAR IN OUR MISSION ON OCTOBER 19!  Note taking tip from Elder Bednar.  If we write down just what the speaker says, we make the "large plates" of the meeting, the history of the meeting.  But if we write down impressions that come based on what the speaker says, we create our personal "small plates," the spiritual account of the meeting.  That is a whole lot more meaningful for us in our lives.  Also, we need to review our notes!

Let´s prepare ourselves for conference.  Let´s prepare ourselves to listen to and listen for the things that God wants us to learn and apply to our lives.

Elder Moffat

Zone Conference, September 22, 2012


This one will be short because here in a few minutes we´re going over to President´s house to play some volleyball, and I just wrote Grandma Carol first.

This week I finished The Book of Mormon.  It was a really neat experience, reading it in Spanish.  It took me a while, but I didn´t just read it when I read it.  I searched it as I read it.    I looked for important things and principles that I need to apply to my life.  I looked for scriptures about specific doctrines, scriptures for specific investigators, etc.  I often stopped reading and sat and thought about what I read, and really what it means.  So yes, it may have taken me 11 months (on a mission), but I really got a lot out of it.  And of course, when I finished Moroni 10, I did what I always invite people to do when they read the Book of Mormon.  I knelt down, prayed, and asked God if it was a true book.  I already knew it was, but I asked for a confirmation to help strengthen that knowledge.  I can say that God answers prayers and that I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Sí o sí.

Yesterday we had Zone Conference!  It was awesome.  Elder Resek, an Area 70 came to talk with us.  I just love Zone conference.  President and Hermana King spoke, too.  Big announcement:  We´ll be reading the Book of Mormon as a Mission!  in 85 days!!!  Everyone got a new hardback Libro de Mormón to read and mark.  We´ll start on September 30 and end on December 23, Joseph Smith´s birthday.  85 days because Joseph Smith translated pretty much all of it in 85 days.  In Spanish, it´s about 8 pages a day.  In English it´s a little over 6.  And we have to mark 5 things:
1. every name or pronoun that refers to Christ (Jesus, Lamb of God, Messiah, etc.)
2. Direct words of Christ (or when Prophets say "Thus sayeth the Lord....")
3. Attributes of Christ
4. Doctrines and Principles contained in the Book of Mormon
5. References to the Power of the Word of God (For example, Helaman 3:29-30)

It´s going to be AWESOME!  I´m really excited.  I love the Book of Mormon, and I can´t wait to read it again.  I think it would be a great thing for us all to do.  Family, will you read the Book of Mormon starting now, and finish by the end of the year? or Christmas?  I would really like that.  Marking all that stuff is definitely optional.  Yes, there is a LOT going on the first half of the school year with sports, the musical, everything, but we can all take 15 minutes before starting homework (or work work) to read, then another 15 before turning off the lights and going to bed.30 minutes is a little more than 2% of your day, just to read the Word of God.  I even made a Bookmark for the mission to use while reading!  And you can use it too.  I commit myself to read it.  I hope you try to, too.

I love you all and hope all is well!

Elder Moffat

17 Left, 21 Came, September 15, 2012

Hey Family:

FYI I got a letter from Val Dawson.  And thanks for all the email updates!

This week was pretty crazy!  As in, my companion and I went out for about 1 hour last night just to maintain contact with investigators/ less actives, and that was the only hour we got out into the sector this whole week!!  We had a large group leave, and an even bigger group of missionaries come in!  10 left on Monday evening, 7 left on Tuesday Morning, and we got 4 Latin Missionaries Tuesday afternoon, and then 17 American missionaries Wednesday morning!  It was super busy.  I got to go to the airport on Tuesday morning with the 7 Latins, and it was quite an adventure.  Even after we told a certain missionary that she could take up to a certain limit, she came to the airport with about double... that was some repacking fun!  What an adventure.  Then we followed the spirit to president´s house and made it there (We didn´t really know how to get there... at all), and trained the 4 Latins.  Wednesday was fun, because we had to go from Maipú to La Reina in Metro and bus (literally from the southwest corner of Santiago to the far East side, see picture)

It was pretty interersting.  And really hot.  But then we trained the greenies and came back to the office (via bus and metro), and got out everyone´s suitcases.  17x3 is a lot of suitcases to set up and organize.  Then comes the whole beginning of the change craziness of emailing all their parents, printing out office lists, their picture things for president (that I had to completely re-do because the old ones were bad), and just lots of stuff.

I´m also Elder Morgan´s companion, now.  He´s the housing and medical guy, and we had to move out of a house and close the contract that´s had a LOT of complications.  Also, we have to prepare for Zone Conference next week with a GENERAL AUTHORITY coming.  I think he´s a member of the Area 70.  Basically, LOTS to do.

But, I also changed wards.  I´m now in Barrio Esquina Blanca (literally White Corner Ward) with Elder Morgan.  And we have a baptism tomorrow!  He seems like a really good kid, and he basically lives here with his cousins, who are really strong members.  From what I´ve heard from the other Elders, he´s really sensitive to the spirit and is really just a great, spiritual, 14 year old kid.  I´ll send pics!

Also, today is the Stake party for 18 of September (Their version of 4th of July), and it´s going to be HUGE!  So, go eat a hotdog with guacamole, tomato, and mayo to celebrate!

Last night we had a pretty good talk about Faith and how to help the Church here in Chile.  We didn´t really know where we should start, or even how to go about helping everyone.  There´s so much that doesn´t depend on us, which can sometimes be unmotivating.  That lack of motivation is really a lack of faith.  So we need to just do everything that we can, and trust that God will bless them and help them progress.  But then where to start?  Basically, we looked at Alma 38, in particular verse 12 where it says, "Use boldness, but not overbearance."  And so we had a long talk about what it means to be bold vs. overbearing, or rather "pesado" as they say here in Chile, and how we can do that to help the church.  We discovered that one of the differences between being direct/bold and overbearing/pesado is love.  We just need more love when we do it.  We need to have faith that we will see results when we are lovingly bold.  Food for thought.  Something to work on.

I love you and miss you all!

Love and dieciocho,

Elder Moffat

September 8, 2012

Quick week in review:

Sunday, awesome lesson with familia Barraza.  The 15-year old girl (with her kid) was full of simply inspired comments and answers to questions.  It was amazing!  She actually said at one point, "I want to get baptized!"  That was cool.

Monday, super busy with stuff...

Tuesday, pouch run, bunch of changes prep stuff (we were already behind), good lesson with Familia Saez, an inactive family we found-- interesting how some people go inactive for no reason or because they just get a little lazy (and they admit it was just laziness), and a few visits with the missionaries and they´re back wanting to go to church!  It´s awesome what the spirit can do!  The dad is an RM and ex-bishop (baptized in 1978!), the mom shared how she gained her testimony of the Book of Mormon. The daughter (22), who was the first one to go inactive a number of years ago, really opened up and shared with us the fact that she always would go to church because her family went.  She thought it was really cool that other people said they really felt it and knew it all was true, but that she never felt that way.  And as we were sharing, she was like, you know what? Now that my parents aren´t forcing me to go to church, I´d really like to go, and actually feel that it is all true.  How do I do that?  Golden question deserves a golden answer: Ask God.  She seemed really happy to know that she could really know for herself that this is all true, and you could see her eyes light up.  "What would this mean to you, if the Book of Mormon, for example, was true?"  and her reply, "Well I´d sure have to follow it, and if I kept reading it, which I would have to do, I´m sure I´d be a lot better off in life.  I feel like the Book of Mormon would be a map for me."  Awww yeah.  It was a great lesson!

Wednesday, pouch run, Registro Civil, Area Office, Proselyting bags, moving people from one pension to another, emergency stuff, then super intense lesson with another inactive family, the Familia Gonzalez.  It was a very eye opening experience.  I´d taught them a few times with Elder Gimenez over a month ago.  They´re an interesting couple.  Anyway, we asked how long ago they were baptized, and they were like, 11 years.  Woah, That´s quite a while, we commented.  And they voluntarily said, "Yeah, and we´re actually sealed in the Temple, too!"  and they ran and got their sealing certificate.  "Cool!  But they´re inactive.  What happened?" I was wondering. So we asked what they remembered about the ceremony and in particular the covenant they made.  We got a pair of blank stares.  "You know, the covenant, or the promise you made?"  Still blank stares, then the comment "We just got sealed.  I don´t remember any promises we made or any covenant made.  I just know that now we´ll be married for eternity."  Woah Woah Woah.  Glad we found that out.  So we talked about covenants and stuff.  That was an eye-opener, the fact that there are some people that don´t remember making covenants, but they remember the promised blessings as unconditional.  Interesting.  Anyway, the lesson was really intense.  But it ended with a commitment to attend church this Sunday.

Thursday, office day.  Seeing as we really didn´t get to work in the office the WEEK BEFORE CHANGES, we came in before 10am and worked until after 10pm, nonstop.

Friday, long long day.  Just flat out long, preparing for changes.
Today, we went to the Feria!  I took some videos, I´ll try to send them.  the Feria is an interesting place.  I bought some legit chilean slippers and some cheap fruits.  niceeee.

Here I´ve been in Maipú Ward for almost 3 months.  I have definitely learned a lot while serving in this ward.  But more than anything, especially these last few weeks with Elder Wharton, I have gained a much stronger testimony of the fact that God is a God of Miracles.  I have seen a lot of miracles here in Maipú.  It´s been awesome!

Thanks for the updates, everyone!  I hope everyone is well!

Love, Elder Moffat

September 2, 2012

Highlight of the Mission this Week, September 1, 2012

Driving the manual truck in Maipu....lanes just suddenly disappear?
This was a few weeks ago. Cole says driving is a little crazy.

Hey Family!  I had one of the highlights of my mission this week!

Well first, We did the standard of excellence in contacts last week: 140!  We did 58 contacts on Sunday.... It was a lot.  There are a lot of weeks, probably the majority, where I didn´t get 58 contacts in a week, and we did 58 Sunday.  I was happily exhausted.  And we taught a really good lesson on Sunday, and Camila was there!  Okay back up.  We have been teaching Jesica and Elsa, the wife (Elsa) and daughter (Jesica) of Nilo, the old man that died a few weeks ago.  We´ve been meeting with them, and we set a baptismal date with them last week.  They´re awesome, and it appears that they have a sincere desire to learn more and come closer to Christ.  So that´s awesome.  But on Sunday night, when we went to teach them, Camila (Nilo and Elsa´s grandaughter and Jesica´s daughter) was there.  She´s like 20.  I´d taught her once before, and we talked with her for just a little bit at the viewing.  But she was there Sunday, and we were with the Elders Quorum President from the ward (Brother Huentenao).  Camila came into the living room and sat down and was ready to participate.  She acted like she did it every time or something.  I was happy to teach her, especially because we were going to teach about the restoration and she was there!  So we taught them.  And they understood it all, especially Camila.  And it was good.

Then we went back the next day!  That´s always a good sign.  We went back with Brother Huentenao again (maquina!), and we went just to read the Book of Mormon with them.  We wanted to help them love that book so that they would learn more about their Savior.  So we just started straight from 1Nephi 1 and read a few chapters.  We stopped along the way to kind of help them understand the storyline.  It was good.  And at the end, Brother Huentenao decided to help them understand the Spirit a bit more-- to help them recognize when they feel it and what it means when the feel it.  He went around to the 3 of them and asked them individually how they feel and felt when we, the missionaries come over to share with them or when they read the Book of Mormon, things like that.  After they had all answered, we read Galations 5:22, where it explains the fruits of the spirit.  And so Brother Huentenao asked them what they were really feeling during those situations, and they were able to learn that it was actually the Spirit.  So that was really cool.  Then, with that wonderful "What´s the spirit" little discussion, we started talking, directing it specifically to Camila.  We always leave people with the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know that it is true, that it is the word of God.  And to that invitation, she told us how she already believed it was true, because she had seen a huge change in her grandpa the months before he died.  And he knew that it was because he was reading this book and applying the Gospel in his life (YES).  So that was cool.  We then asked her what it would mean to her if she knew that the Book of Mormon was true, and after a few minutes she said she´d need to follow it.  Elder Wharton started this process, and I knew it was going to lead to a baptismal invitation, which is what we had talked about as a companionship the night before.  So It was my turn to talk, and I started to explain that one of the many principles that the Book of Mormon teaches is about faith, repentence, and baptism (she understood Baptism pretty well from The Restoration lesson).  So I told her that we wanted to invite her to be baptized, and I asked her what she thought about that.  She said, "Sí, sí, me gustaría."  And so Elder Wharton said, "Camila, will you prepare yourself to be baptized on the 4th of November with your Mother and Grandmother?"  Camila said yes, and immediately she looked at the floor.  I could tell she was feeling something very very strong, and that it was the Spirit confirming to her the decision she had just made.  As Elder Wharton expressed how happy her Father in Heaven was for her decision, I noticed her eyes actually close for a few seconds.  She was definitely feeling something good inside!  And it wasn´t because of what we were saying, it was because of what she had committed to do.  So Elder Wharton just kinda stopped talking to let her really soak in all the good feelings that were happening (and we had just talked about the fruits of the Spirit!).  And then we saw the tears start running.  She had felt the spirit so strong when she decided to make a covenant with God, and to prepare herself to do it on a specific date that she started crying.  It was the first time in both my mission and Elder Wharton´s mission where someone had started crying in response to being invited to baptism.  So we let her sit there for a little bit, and then I told her (just to make sure there was no mistaking it), that what she was feeling right then, in that very second, was God talking to her.  It was God telling her, through the feelings sent through His Spirit, that He was pleased with her decision to be baptized.  It was definitely one of the highlights of my mission so far.  I testify that God loves his children and that he wants the best for them.  I know that as we come closer to him, He will bless us, and He will let us know that he is "well pleased" by blessing us with his spirit.  And He will especially do that as we prepare ourselves to make (or renew) covenants, or sacred promises with him.

I love you.  Go have the Spirit this week.  Go serve someone.  Go and be happy.

Elder Moffat

September 1, 2012

Fechas, 4, August 25, 2012

A member in Cole's area made this... too fun!

Hey family!!  Awesome week!

Sunday, a Member family brought another family to church, and we talked with them after sacrament meeting and had a class with them.  They´re really interested in the Gospel and learning about it adn everything.  We talked about Baptism (because the member asked us to have a lesson on Baptism for his friends) on Sunday, then we went back on Tuesday.  We were able to teach them a spirit-filled lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then talk about the Book of Mormon as physical evidence of that Restoration.  Because they already had a pretty good base on Baptism from our Sunday class, it was a pretty good transition to invite them to fulfill what God wants them to do by making a sacred covenant with him through Baptism.  They realized the importance of it and were quick to say yes!  However, they were a bit hesitant on setting a date.  Yesterday, Friday, we went back and read through 3 Nephi 11.  In verse 18, the people shout "Hosana!" upon realizing that it was really Jesus Christ, their Savior, in front of them.  "Hosana" literally means "Save us."  So in response to that plea, Jesus gives people the authority to baptize, and then proceeds to explain the proper manner of baptism.  We stopped and talked about what was happening 3-4 times while reading.  Jenifer, the mom, just understood everything, really well!  So when we finished chapter 11, we asked them, "So, what is Christ´s invitation in this chapter, based on what you understood?"  and the immediate reply from Jenifer, "That we get baptized!  That we have faith, that we repent, and that we get baptized, according to the Doctrine of Christ."  It was an AMAZING experience.  MIRACLE.

On Monday, we were with-- OH MONDAY!  I forgot to say, 7 missionaries left in the middle of the change to get back in time for school!  So, that was pretty crazy stuff.  Elder Rios´s companion, Elder Smart, went home, so he was with us for the night.  We went, Elder Rios, Elder Wharton, and I, out into the sector to work.  Well, Elder Rios served in this ward almost a year ago, so we took us by a bunch of investigators, and with some we set some FECHAS!  it was awesome!  We also got some other new investigators.  MIRACLE.

On Wednesday, we taught Jesica y Elsa, the mom and

These past few days we´ve also done a lotttt of contacts.  I feel that in our mission, there´s this stigma that contacts are super hard and boring and not what you want, and so as a mission, we are wayyy low on the contacts.  I would say that most of the contacts we do are pretty good contacts, but we just don´t do them as much.  So the past few days as the office district, we´ve just decided to do what Preach My Gospel says, and literally talk to everyone.  We´ve gotten more than 20 contacts the past few days, and we´ve done it just taking 2 hours each day and talking to everyone we walk by.  Put that in contrast to my first 2 weeks this change, we got 23 contacts total (granted, the first week of the change is always nuts).  But we did that in two HOURS.  The people need to hear our testimonies.  They need to hear that God loves them.  They need to be given the opportunity to use their agency and choose to learn more about their Personal Savior, Jesus Christ.  Unfortuneately, there are people that simply don´t want to learn more about the being that gave His life for them, but we as missionaries, and as members of the Church of Jesus Christ who live His gospel, need to lift our voices and share what we know and why we know it.  We need to share the blessings we´ve recieved from God by following His plan.

I hope everything is okay there at home, and that you have a WONDERFUL start to the school year!  Love you guys!
Elder Moffat

Busy, Busy, August 18, 2012

Not much to tell this week, sorry. but I did get the letter from the
primary! Yay! That was really cool.

So basically this week in the office was really busy with the people
leaving in the middle of the change for school. I had to do all the
things I normally do week 3 of the change, plus most of the things I
do (and will do) weeks 5 and 6 of the change (Go-homer stuff). So
there was quite a lot of trabajo this week-- plus some different visa
stuff. BUT! well, okay, let me give the back story first. We were
teaching this guy in Las Avenidas (like May-June ish) named Francisco.
He was a friend of the Duran Family and really cool. We couldn´t
teach him all too often because of his work schedule (front desk of an
apartment building during the night shift 5-6 nights a week), but when
we did, he understood and was very interested. He was reading in the
Book of Mormon when he could, and came to church 3 times when I was
there, the 2nd and 3rd time by himself, without us or another member
picking him up. Pretty cool. The Duran Family was helping a lot with
him and we had a few lessons in their house. Which brings me to this
past Sunday, HE GOT BAPTIZED! And president knew that I started
teaching him, and that he got baptized, so he told me to call
Francisco this week to congratulate him (it wasn´t that he let me, he
actually told me I needed to do it, which was really good haha). That
was cool. Apparently there were like 40-45 people that went, and
that´s a whoooollle lot, considering that regular Sunday attendance is
50-55! And Hno. Duran, who baptized Francisco, apparently was really
sick that day, and could hardly walk. They were all worried that he
wouldn´t be able to go to the service, let alone baptize someone. But
then came the time to go to the baptism, and suddenly Hno. Duran felt
great! So there were some miracles there as well. It´s great to be
about the work of the Lord.

Last Sunday, here in Maipú, we got to teach about the Restoration to
an investigator family. When we got to Joseph Smith and the First
Vision, the Spirit was soooo strong! Incredible. I felt it, my comp
felt it, the members that were with us felt it, and most importantly,
the Family felt it. I was then able to testify of what they were
feeling (applying Dad´s advice, yet again), and help them recognize
that it was the spirit, testifying to them that what we just finished
teaching was absolutely 100% truth from God. Lately, we haven´t
gotten to teach the restoration as a first lesson to investigators.
oh it was so refreshing.

Other than that, not too much to tell, other than the Lord is always
in this work, and he loves people so much that He will never infringe
upon their ability to choose-- he will always respect their agency.

Well, write you guys next week. Have fun starting school (is that
this week or next?)

Elder Cole Moffat

August 11, 2012

Semana de Milagrones, August 11, 2012

Hey family! Yes, I did get the package. Thank you for the SOCKS más
que nada. ohhhh so good and very needed. I´m also enjoying the
dulces and the camels!

This was the week of Miracles. I don´t even know where to start.

Sunday: After church, we had a little bit of time after church and
before lunch, so we did 3 contacts and went to visit a
not-so-progressing investigator, and he really opened up to us and
asked us what we think he can do to kind of get out of this rut he´s
in. 3 contacts and a bomb lesson all before lunch! That very rarely
happens. Then after lunch, I checked the mission email, and President
King had gotten an emergency reference from another mission president.
President King forwarded me the reference and said, "Will you please
follow up on this and see if you can get in touch with this sister.
Maybe you and your companion could take the truck and go perform this
act of love." So we called the sister, got the address of where her
dad was, and off we were to Peñaflor, in the country. The old man was
stuck in bed and was physically deteriorating. He had left the
hospital a long while ago --like a year-- because they could do
nothing more for him there. So, Abraham was just laying in bed all
day every day, waiting to pass away. What a sad situation. and the
worst part, he was in denial and had not accepted his sickness. That
just made him more frustrated and impatient, even though his mind had
reverted back to the stage of a young child-- 7 years old, I think is
what his caregiver said. So we gave him a priesthood blessing by
request of his Member- daughter. We talked with the caregiver a
while, sang some hymns, and prayed with them. I don´t know if went
there for him, or his caregiver, or for us, but I was definitely
edified. I was reminded yet again of the great plan of happiness, my
gratitude for my knowledge of it was strengthened. The sister wants
the missionaries in the sector to keep passing by, too. Act of love
successfully performed.
Monday: Busy, busy office, and we only had time to go out and have a
previously planned Family night with a recent convert, Aldo, and his
family. Then we had to go back to the office to finish up-- stuff
needed for tuesday morning. But we shared the Plan of Salvation with
Elder Wharton´s little pictures, and Aldo had a good, necessary
review. We also found out that he changed jobs last week. He´s now
working as a security guard at the Area Office/ Temple! How cool is
that? On the way back to the office, we passed by Nilo´s family (the
man that died last week). They wanted us to come in so bad, but we
couldn´t because there wasn´t a man there. So we talked a little bit
with Jesica, Nilo´s daughter; Elsa, his wife; and Camila, Jesica´s
daughter. We were talking a bit, trying to help them while not being
able to go in, and there were some wonderful teaching opportunities.
Jesica told us that she had actually read from Nilo´s copy of the Book
of Mormon. "No entendí mucho, pero me sentí muy bien." What a
wonderful opportunity to let her know that those feelings were from
the Spirit, telling her that what she was reading was true. As we
left, Camila, who was sitting in the back the whole time, stood up to
come shake our hands, which in that situation was a great sign of

Back at the office while Elder Wharton was doing the stuff
he needed to do for Tuesday Morning, I starting making a hard core
Excel sheet with all the missionaries and the status of their visas
and when we need to start applying and when it expires and when they
can go get it, and if we´ve paid or not, etc. For all 180+
missionaries. The new area office (oh yeah, no hay Área Chile. Ahora
somos Sudamérica Sur) is asking for a little bit more detailed reports
with the visas, so I had to embark on this new project of recording
all this stuff. It´s a pretty amazing spreadsheet, I have to say.
I´m actually thankful I tood the Excel class at BYU. I am actually
using some of the things I learned.

Tuesday: Tuesdays and Wednesdays the Zones in the mission have their
weekly meetings. And Elder Wharton is in charge of pedidos and
delivering the mission mail/packages/ cualquier cosa to all the
missionaries. Hence, now that I´m his companion, I get to go with him
and do a little mission tour every week. Tuesday morning we went to
San Antonio on the coast! I took pictures and thought of you, Dad.
Very very hilly. But pretty neat. I talked about Tuesday on a
recording I´ll send to you.

Basically as a brief overview, we helped move some missionaries to another pension, and as we were driving
back, Elder Wharton and kind of realized together just how blessed we
are. You´d expect that the office missionaries might get out about
half the time that normal missionaries do, and so the numbers would be
about half of other missionaries. We get out in our sector qutie a
bit less than half the time as normal missionaries, but the Lord
definitely blesses us in our sector. Somehow, when we really only get
out to work when it´s dark out, we´re able to contact and find
families to teach, and have lessons, and just all around be really
blessed. So we left to go to a cita, and no one was there. We were
there for a reason, so we decided to knock the doors around it. First
few, not so good contacts.... but then there was this guy that has a
Mormon friend and has seen the Book of Mormon, believes in prayer and
that God answers prayer. And he actually told us that he believes
that if he prays about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, then
God will answer his prayer if it´s actually true. YES.

Then we
remember that there was this sister in the ward that really wanted to
go out and work with us this week, so we call her, and she´s like,
"Thursday, we´re going to work. starting at 4:00. And if you don´t
have citas, I have some friends we can visit." AWESOME. Then we were
walking home, talking about how the Lord just blesses us, and this guy
stops us and asks us where the closest chapel is, because he´s a
member and has been inactive for a few years, and wants to go back to
living the gospel. YES! So we´re like, for example, that guy. The
Lord blesses us and puts people in our path. So then we walk past
this one guy, and Elder Wharton turns around and starts talking to him
while he´s waiting for a bus. Turns out, he´s an inactive member,
too!!!!! And he´s been inactive for like 4-5 months because he doesn´t
like his Bishop (see Elder Hallstrom´s talk from last conference).
But we got his address sent it to the missionaries in the south, where
he lives. And then we got home, And that was Tuesday.

Wednesday: another pouch run. lots of office stuff, Then we were
going to another previously planned family night with the Pereira
Family, and they weren´t there. Again, the Lord directs us and knows
what´s going on. So we decide to do a few contacts before going
somewhere else. And we contact this joven named Cesar, and he told us
to come back the next day, Thursday. That´s about it for Wednesday.
Thursday: I´m going to record this one, because the day was literally
just one giant miracle. Good lunch, leave with Karim (leaving for his
mission this wednesday) and Valeria, a YSA sister in the ward. We
work with them for FIVE HOURS. they take us to some old investigators
they knew of, so we got actual useful information about the sector.
One of those old investigators, we got in and taught and shared
basically lesson 1. And Karim and Valeria just taught and testified
and used scriptures and asked questions and were simply MAQUINAS.
Then we got into Cesar´s house with his family-- AWESOME lesson, and
hopefully they come to church this Sunday. They had actually talked
to the missionaries a few months ago. The Lord made that whole lesson
possible when the plans fell through on Wednesday night. Then we went
over to Jesica, Elsa, and Camila, and Karim and Valeria just took out
the trash and it was a wonderful lesson. Day FULL of miracles. 3
lessons accompanied by memebers, 6 news.

Friday: again lots and lots of office stuff, people to go get their
visas, some complications, going to gov´t agency buildings for other
reasons, etc. We didn´t even get out into the sector.
and here we are, today, Saturday.

I stand all amazed at the love the Lord offers each one of us, and I
stand all amazed at the loving and merciful hand of the Lord here in
Maipú in His work.

Until next week,
Elder Cole Moffat

August 9, 2012

First week of Changes!, August 4, 2012

Hi there!  and yes, the first week of Changes is ALWAYS a little nuts.

I sent a few recordings to the fam and so I´ll write just a little bit here.  sorry.  But time is also running a bit short.  and Family, listen to the recordings before reading this.  it´s better.

Well, this week was changes, and it´s a bit nuts.  Elder Gimenez left the office (after 5 changes here!) and is now a district leader in Los Cerrillos.  My companion is now Elder Wharton, who was here in the office last change.  He´s from Texas, outside of Austin in a little town called Buda (apparently pronounced bee-oo´-duh), and knows what salt lick is.   He´s a really cool guy and just a solid missionary.  He goes home in January.  I´m excited to be with him. And also, this change, it´s Elder Wheelwright´s turn to train his replacement, who is.... drumroll.... elder Morgan!!  You probably don´t remember, and that´s okay, but Elder Morgan was with me for 3 changes over in San Miguel.  He was in a neighboring sector, in the same district with us, was comps with a district leader, and in the same pension as the Zone leaders.  So I was with him a lot.  We did a few divisions together, and I also slept in his pension even more times.  We became good buds.  And now he´s in the office with us!  and he´ll be my comp next change!!  yeahhh.  this is going to be good.

Also, we got 13 new missionaries!  Elder Jones, who was in the MTC with me, is training!!! It´s weird to think that we´re far enough into the mission to be training other missionaries.  too fast.  And I went to president´s house Tuesday and Wednesday to do part of the training/orientation gig.  with some goooood food for lunch.  We have some super good missionaries that just got here, let me tell ya.  I feel like every group just gets better and better.

And today, we went to the feria again.  We kind of had to because it´s Elder Morgan´s first P-day here.  Deals of the day:
2 kilos of kiwi for 400 pesos.  translation: 4.4 pounds of kiwi for 80 cents.  that´s a lot of kiwi.
4 ties for 500 pesos.  translation: 4 ties for 1.00 american dolar.
6 apples for 500 pesos.  they are the fiji apples.  $1
6 bananas for 490 pesos.  98 cents.
We also had some miracle moments and big impactful moments in the few hours we were able to make it to the sector this week.  One, we got into a house (or rather, we knocked and immediately they opened the door, saw us, and said "C´mon in!") and they actually paid attention to us and were extremely respectful, and want us to pass by again... sometime... and it was just an amazing lesson.  and dad, yes, I used music skills.  we sang with them, and they liked it.  I´d like to use the hymbook more in lessons.  Also, we went to a viewing of a recent convert who died yesterday (Friday).  The viewing was in the living room of the appartment.  It was sad, but I felt unusually peaceful and calm.  We answered some questions about where he was right then, and it was amazing to be able to testify of that and help lift burdens of the family going through a hard time.  They also asked us to pray, and EVERYONE came in to listen to the prayer.  and they were all extremely respectful.  It was sad to see him in the casket, but I felt joy in knowing that he left his mortal body as a man who let the grace of Christ change his life.  He was baptized not 4 months ago, and loved reading the Book of Mormon and increasing his faith.  Apparently he was an alcoholic earlier, and completely turned his life around and honestly tried to be better every day.  We had shared with him the night before.  We talked about the vision of the tree of life.  And he testified to us of the importance of the Sacrament and the gift of the Holy Ghost.  He had trouble coming to church because of health reasons, and he made the extra effort to attend church last Sunday.  and He felt the difference in his life.  That´s a good way to go out.  We saw the family´s eyes light up as we told them of the reality of the Spirit World, or where he is now, and of the Resurrection, and especially of the fact that they can have the opportunity to see him and be with him again as resurrected people, together as a family.  We´ll go back and keep talking to them tomorrow or monday.  It was a joyous experience, seeing people react to hearing the truth.

I know it´s true, and I hope you all do too.  If you don´t, find out.  Pray and ask a willing, loving Father.  He will answer you.  That´s a promise of God.

I love you and pray for you.  Until next week.

Love, Elder Cole Moffat

Milagritos, July 28, 2012

Hey Family!  How is everyone?  It was nice to get all the updates about vacation and everything!  Also, thank Lauren Gui for her letter.  I´ll try and get back to her soon!

Soooo... updates from this week....  Not too much.  We´re just always really busy.  because it takes a lot to run a mission.  Lots.  OH!  At the end of ones mission, one writes a stewardship report, or  un Mayordomía.  Well, I had to revise all of them to make sure people didn´t put down just stupid things, correct grammar, etc.  Well, I am really grateful for the schooling in terms of English I had at Hawthorn Option, Junior High, and VHHS.  Definitely helps with Spanish, too.  And I can see that my written spanish is good enough now that I can gramtically revise/correct a Latin´s 4-page, single-spaced report of a two-year mission! I spent part of my week doing that.

But we did have some good lessons with investigators this week!  We taught the nonmember daughter of an inactive we´re working with.  The inactive lady wasn´t there, but the nonmenber, 35-year-old daughter was, and so we asked to share something with her, and she said yes.  We were really happy, but we didn´t realize the significance of it until later.  That family was passing through a really hard time these past few months, and so we were able to share with her a little bit about God and His love for her and their family and all that.  And the spirit was really strong.  Then, she said that this was 1) the first time she had actually sat down to talk with missionaries, even though they were always in the house, sharing with the family, and 2) the first time she had expressed to anyone some of the things she was feeling and going through.  It was a wonderful discussion.  Then last night we went back, and she was really happy to see us and wanted to start talking right away.  It was the kind of lesson that I just love to have, because it's not so much a lesson as it is a discussion.  Yes, there is a lot of teaching and learning going on, but we share, we ask questions, they express their thoughts and feelings openly, they realize they have a question and ask it, we help them find their own answer to their own question, they have a desire to learn more and take action, they commit themselves to do something, they learn, we help, the spirit teaches,  It's great.  I like those.  And we shared a bit about God's Plan and what it means for us and what we need to benefit from it, faith, and ACTION.  I feel like we're going to see even more miracles with her.

We also went to teach a recent convert, and his wife decided to stay in the room and listen.  And so we helped her understand a little more about the book of mormon, and really answer her questions.  At the end, she told us that she was in the other room, heard that we came in, and was going to stay there, but she felt something just push her into the room we were in with her husband, sit down, and listen.  and when we asked her how she felt after the closing prayer, she said, "Mi corazón se llenó con alegría!"  which means that her heart was filled with happiness.  That was a neat experience, too.

But, I´m going to check out now and get my haircut, maybe print some pictures, and then go out and invite others to come unto Christ.  YEAH.

love you all!

Elder Cole Moffat

God's Plan, July 21, 2012

Haha okay just as I started typing, Elder Merchán (AP in the office with us) was on the phone ordering pizza.  And we was like (in spanish) "Yes... Yes... The Church of Jesus Christ... It´s a big Church on Calle Alberto Llona.... the Chuch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints..... oh, you´re a member?  Great!  Well, we´d like the 2 for 1 deal......"  haha it was just a funny moment ordering pizza.

we watched a movie last night-- "How rare a possession: Book of Mormon."  and it was really good.  this was our hometheater set up.  complete with space heater, speakers, and all.

Well, Hi family!  How is everyone?  How´s your vacation?  The text to email worked really well, mom!  pretty cool stuff.  Thanks for the letters!

Well, This week was interesting.  I already recorded like a half hour that I´ll send to you guys, And I´m trying to think about what more I can put on here in the letter.  But I´d say we had a pretty good week.  I´m learning a lot about the mission and the way it works.  Also, I am realizing the importance of study and pure, dedicated, hard work.

It´s interesting to see how the Lord Prepares his children to receive the Gospel-- or at least have the chance to receive the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it´s restoration.  Also, I realize more every single day the simpleness and the locigal-ness of the gospel.  It just makes sense.  I love it.  If anyone really wants to understand it and prays and accepts the spirit and all that, they can learn, grow, apply, and become Perfect-- even like God is perfect-- and they can do it through Christ.  I love the miraculous simplicity of God´s plan!!  It´s amazing.  And really, it´s our plan: Authored by God, but accepted by each one of us.  I can say, because I accepted God´s plan for me, I became a co-investor or a partner in the plan.  Authored by God, accepted by me, our plan.  And everyone that ever lives on the earth did the exact same thing.  We just need to ask God to help us remember of its truthfulness!!  And if we do, with a open heart and willing mind, He will.  He will show us what we need to do, and we can go forward, having a perfect brightness of hope.  God is a God of hope. (Romans 15:13 I believe)

Well, I love you all!  I´ll try and send pictures!

Elder Cole Moffat

More Office Stuff, July 14, 2012

Hey Family!  Thanks for everything!! I got the letter from Val Dawson, and I got a little package from Familia Duran from Las Avenidas, with "Pathways to Perfection" by Thomas S. Monson (Leatherbound...) and a huatero-- Their little sack with grains that you stick in the microwave and heat up that I used when I hurt my anckle a few months ago.  They´re awesome.  and I also want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY SPENCER!!!!!  you´re getting OLD!!!  And you are on vacation!!! I hope you´re having fun there!

It´s weird how all the days, and now the weeks, just blend all together.  My journal writing has also gotten pretty bad.  That´s what happens when you´re in the office and live in an apartment with 3 other missionaries.  I need to fix that.  Prontísimo.

So, I really don´t have a whole lot to write about from this week.  We just did some office stuff, tried to get out to the sector as much as possible, sent visa stuff out, etc.  But that was cool, I sent people to do their visa, and just gave them the instructions and told them to read every word, and they wouldn´t have problems.  And guess what?  They did it!  And they all did it right!!  I realized that God gives us his word through the scriptures and living prophets.  And that works much much better than if he personally came down to evry single person for every single problem they had.  Then they wouldn´t ever listen to leaders or prophets or scriptures, etc.  And if God didn´t tell them specifically and personally to do something, they wouldn´t do those good things.  THAT´s why he gives us living prophets with continual revelation-- To keep us humble, and to help us be the best we can be in every aspect of our lives.  God is Smart.

Also, we went to go have a family night with a certain family on Wednesday.  We were planning on sharing a few scriptures, having a good discussion, and ending the lesson with a 10-15 minute movie.  Well, we thought the DVD was in the office, and it wasn´t, then we went home and found the case with no DVD, then the same DVD but in English, and so we were like, oh darn.  What do we do?  Well we found another DVD that had a few movies on it, and we looked through and felt like we should share the 13 minute video about Martin Harris losing the 116 Pages.  It talks about trusting the Lord and doing His will even if it´s different than our will.  So as we were walking to their house (we were already a few minutes late) we were trying to think of what to share and talk about before the video and such.  We shared the Alma 37:37, which talks about Consulting or Counseling with the Lord in all things.  We talked a bit about that, then connected counseling with Him and trust in Him.  because it doesn´t do a whole lot of good to counsel with the Lord, get an answer, and then deny it and do what you wanted to in the first place.  And as we were talking, the recently active dad started remembering experiences he had had-- when he didn´t counsel with the Lord, when he counseled but didn´t trust him, etc.  And then when we got to the trust in the Lord and trust Him enough to follow what he says part, He was like, "Actually, I´m struggling to do that right now.  Tithing has always been a hard one for me, but just 3 or 4 days ago, I decided to just do it and trust in the Lord and everything will work out.  It´s what He wants.  It´s just really really hard."  So we were able to strengthen him, help him, and watch the movie on trusting God.  And we saw his face light up as he got the spiritual witness that what he had decided to do was right.  It was really cool.  We had a plan, but it fell through, and then the Spirit was able to guide us in the lesson and preparation to be able to really meet the needs of this family.  I´m pretty sure the spirit took and hid the other DVD, too (that´s a joke, by the way).

Well, those were some cool things that happened this week.  I also read the Fourth Missionary (Cuarto Misionero) by Elder Corbridge again.  Really really cool.  I would highly suggest to any person with their mission call that they read it.  very very good.  yep.

Until next week, I love you and miss you!

Elder Cole Moffat

Happy Family Reunion! and God Bless ´Mrkuh, July 7, 2012

Hey there in California!  I just learned I´m a little bit out of shape... I just played some soccer and it was tiring.  It´s cool how little 6 and 7 year olds play football here really well.  and score goals when playing with missionaries and old guys that aren´t going easy on them.

Funny stuff of this week (and stuff I forgot to say about last week).  Preached from the pulpit: Nephi was apparently 16 when he had the vision of the Tree of Life... I´m not sure where it says that, but some guy said it from the pulpit.  "And Nephi, a mere 16 year old young man, prayed to God with faith to see the same vision his father saw.  And God answered this young 16-year old´s prayer.  God loves his children, and will answer anyone´s prayers when they pray with faith."  Okay, so he was trying to teach a good principle-- God answers prayers-- he just made up some details... interesting.  Then in the chapel, this kid goes up to the pulpit during a talk, grabs one of the hymnbooks, and yells to his mom on the front row, "MOM!  These hymnbooks are HUGE!!! Look how big they are!!!!"  He was probably used to the little travel ones (that are incredibly convenient, btw) that everyone has here.  I actually really like mine.  I can take it anywhere.  It´s good to use in lessons sometimes.  We got shots this week, too because we had Zone conference, and its that time of year.  President and Sister King gave the shots, but don´t worry.  They practiced on eachother first.  President was just used to giving shots to horses.  I opted to have Sister King give me mine.  We had some medical advice in Priesthood last Sunday (going back to every Chilean thinks they´re a doctor), and apparently sausage causes alzheimers in youth... not quite sure about that one yet.

But we did have our Elders Quorum President organize divisions with us last Sunday, which is the first time that´s happened while I´ve been on my mission.  I was really really really happy that the members here are willing to go out with us and work.

Something that´s really good here in Chile that I like a lot is the emphasis on Ward Conference.  Back in our ward at home, ward conference was just another Sunday, and when we showed up and the stake president was there and we started sustaining people, then I realized it was ward conference.  Maybe I was just a clueless teenager.  But here, It´s a big deal.  For example, in Las Avenidas (end of May), we had our ward activity the week of to get some excitement going, then there were little souveneirs to take home from sacrament meeting, with a scripture verse that´s the theme or motto of the conference, and that theme/scripture lasts the entire next 12 months until the next ward conference.  Tomorrow, we have ward conference here in Maipú.  The scripture/theme of it is Alma 5:14- "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God?  Have ye received his image in your countenances?  Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?"  The conference actually started Monday.  Monday night, everyone was supposed to have their family night with the lesson focusing on the first question "Have ye spiritually been born of God?"  We went to the Fernandez Family´s family night.  The Mom and Daughter are active because they want to be, a son and another daughter are activeish because their sister brings them, another daughter is not active, and neither is the dad, even though he used to have a stake calling in a different stake (sadly, that´s not too uncommon).  So that was an interesting family night, but it was a really good discussion, and everyone participated.  YAY!  Tuesday night was home teaching/visiting teaching night, when everyone was supposed to go do their visits, and invite people to the conference.  Wednesday we had a Ward Family Night in the chapel, with the lesson on the other 2 questions.  Standard Mormon time "starts at 8" but really started at 8:50, but there was actually more reverence during the lesson than in sacrament meeting.  And then kareoke!  There´s a member family that does events, and has some professional kareoke equipment.  that was entertaining, too :)  I don´t know if there was anything thursday... I think a ward leadership meeting.  Friday was ward temple night (and if you had to work during the "ward´s session" you were supposed to try and go to some other session that day).  Today was deep cleaning the chapel (Youth and priesthood I think), and Tomorrow is the conference.  I kind of like having Spirit Week before Ward Conference :)

Tuesday we went to the Zone Conference.  It was awesome.  We learned about "Seek Learning by Faith" (see Elder Bednar´s Article in the September 2007 Ensign-- Incredibly insightful  And now we have to 1) apply it to our lives by really acting and working in order to learn and gain experience, and 2) help members and investigators (primarily investigators) understand that while they can learn from what we teach them, that is not enough.  They won´t truly learn and interalize anything until they act, until they exercise faith and work to gain experience and LEARN.  that we as missionaries can´t do everything, that they need to get up and do things, too.

Yestderday, Friday, was full of things to tell.

First, I sent people downtown to do all their visa stuff-- my first time!  Well, I definitely learned things.  There are 2 pages of instructions that everyone got along with all the things they needed.  Well, there´s one part of the process that if they don´t do, or don´t do correctly, there can be a whole lot of time wasted and a lot of hassle in about 2 weeks.  If they do it right, I walk 3 blocks to go pick up their gov´t ID card in 2 weeks.  If they do it wrong, I have to go all the way downtown to do the same thing that could have been done 3 blocks away.  If they don´t do it at all, THEY have to go downtown (normally getting lost on the way), waste money and time, and do the same thing that could have been done 3 blocks away.  SO, before each person left, I pointed out that part and begged them to do it right.  2 out of 6 did it right.  2 did it wrong.  2 didn´t do it at all.  I highlighted it, I talked about it, I reminded them, and it was all written right there.  Elder Gimenez told me after that he´d learned to just give them the written instructions and not explain anything-- just tell them that it´s all written down, and if they follow everything that it says, they won´t have a problem.  and it goes perfectly every time.  Who would have thunk that the only thing that I would explain would literally be the only thing they mess up.  But, I learned a valuable lesson about the Lord.  He writes down scriptures.  He gives us prophets.  He sends the Holy Ghost.  He WANTS to help every single person.  And even after all that, people don´t use all the resources He´s given them.  On an extremely, extremely small scale, I experienced a small part of the sadness that God must feel for many of his children when they don´t value all the things He´s blessed them with.  Myself included.  In highschool, why did I not read the scriptures every day?  I sure needed their direction.  And they were always there available, I just didn´t use them.  Even this morning, I was just sitting during Personal Study and pondering, reflecting (which is good and beneficial), but I wasn´t going to read the Book of Mormon-- Just sit there and ponder.  Then I had the prompting to read the Book of Mormon, and I started to shrugg it off because I was really working through some things in my mind.  But I realized that God wants me to read the Book of Mormon, especially when the spirit prompts me to do it.  So I read Helaman 3-5 and felt almost physically nourished at the end of it.  Basically, It was a valuable lesson learned in the midst of a few small minutes of testing during visa runs.

Then that night, I learned just as much in a lesson as the people I was teaching learned.  I relearned the importance of the spirit in lessons-- and in life.  And now analyzing it, I applied the "learning by faith" principle from Zone Conference.  We went to a recent convert´s house, and his wife, Elsa, and 20-year old grandaughter, Camila, were there.  They aren´t members, but Elsa´s only obstacle is that she can´t get off work on Sundays.  Camila had heard the Elders before, but only when they happened to be teaching her Grandparents when she stopped by.  She lives in another part of Maipú.  We shared a bit, and then my wonderfully in-tune companion asked an inspired question-- What was something that called Camila´s attention when she´d met with the Elders before.  What she explained was how she felt the spirit, though she she did not yet know it was the spirit.  She talked of the peace that she felt as they conversed, and the calmness about them as they spoke.  As she finished explaining, Dad´s counsel popped in my head from a number of months ago-- "When the spirit is there, point it out to them!"  I had learned the idea from dad, but here I had yet another opportunity to really learn it by following the prompting I recieved, in faith.  I then was able to testify that what she had been feeling, and what she was feeling right then, was the Spirit.  And those good feelings that come from the spirit actually testify, not of the missionary as a person, but of the truthfulness of the message and teachings he was sharing.   She got it, and definitely felt the spirit.  It was a wonderful lesson. :)

WELL, that´s all, folks.  One more thing-- Could you comment on the spiritual experiences you´re having/ blessings you´ve seen in your life, missionary opportunities you´ve taken advantage of?  I´d really really like to hear about that kind of stuff.

Love ya, miss ya, pray for ya, all that jazz.
Elder Cole Moffat