January 31, 2012

Over half way through the change. January 30, 2012

Thank you for the emails, fam!  I really don´t have a lot of time to write today.  and I appologize for that.  Happy Birthday to Tia this last Friday!

Puppy chow recipe, please!!  Also soon I´ll be sending you a recipe for Humitas from a member.  SO GOOD!  Definitely gotta try it, mom.  Also, is Michael Dell Mormon?  because this member insists that he is, and I was like.... I´m pretty sure he´s not.  But my dad works for the guy/ his company, so I´ll ask him.  También, para que sepan, notecards don´t exist here.  kind of funny.  I found something similar enough for my purposes, but regular note cards do not exist, even in Líder store and school supply stores, even in this season of getting ready for school to start here.

This week, we had Zone Conference, and I took 6 pages of Notes!  Such a great experience.  President King gave a really really good discourse on Obedience, but started off proving the difference between Conocimiento and inteligencia, using scriptures, and using that to prove why obedience is so important.  Really quite interesting.  Obviously, every missionary needs to be more obedient in some way or another.  I personally, have a few specific things that I´m trying to improve, and Zone conference definitely gave me the little boost I needed.  With obedience comes spiritual power to demonstrate the authority has been given to us as called and set apart missionaries and representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We´re trying to represent a perfect being.  Yet another reason why obedience is so crucial.  Great great talk and counsel.  The other classes were good and edifying as well.  Definitely things I need to improve.  Just after Zone Conference Elder Glade and I had divisions.  I love that guy.  He only has a change more than I do, but has cualquier enthusiasm, and wants to work hard.  we made Chilean brownies in the microwave, too :)  without eggs, and it works!

This week, I read 2 incredible talks.  President Uchtdorf´s from Conference, and Elder Christofferson´s from this month´s Liahona/ Ensign.  Talks about asking and recognizing the daily bread we receive from God.  It hit me pretty hard.  It´s a talk I´ll be rereading throughout my mission, I think.  I strongly encourage those at home to read it.

Well, that´s all for now!  Love you!

Elder Moffat

January 24, 2012

Weekly update. Set a fecha! January 23, 2012

First, thanks for the updates mom and....dad-- with the huge list of baptisms!  If I´m ever in one of those stakes, I´ll be sure to look all of them up!  See if they´re living in my sector.  Also, thanks to Lauren Gobelman for the letter.  I try really hard to write people back quickly, but I literally have very very very little time to do anything like that!  But I try.

I heard something about an internet protest and a bunch of sites being shut down or something?  That sort of stuff isn´t really in my missionary vocab in Spanish, and when people were talking about it, I don´t know how much of it was real or if they were just misinformed.  Anyway, update on that?  Pinewood Derby congrats to LUKE!  Klondike.... yeah.  Good luck.

Divisions with Elder Shaum in the neighboring sector, and they share a pension with the Zone Leaders Elder Monsen and Elder Adair!  We had 4 of the 50 states in one pension!!!  Shweet.  Elder Shaum is a great missionary.  He´s got 4 or 5 months more than me in the mission, and he knows whats up.  I definitely learned a lot from him in that division.  And it was a nice break to speak English for a bit.  Even though it´s a lot of Spanglish.  Elder Monsen is so funny that way.  He´ll throw in a spanish verb and put -ed at the end of it to make it an adjective, and it´s so fluid for him, I´m not sure he knows he´s doing it some of the time.  but we all understand it which is the weird part.  Good division.  Oh example of the english/spanish and decreasing English knowledge.  I was just asked by an american here in internet how to spell "language."

I was also in the office for a day on Friday.  Nice time to chill and write some letters and study.  I don´t feel like explaining the whole situation of why I was there, but I was, and it was nice.

We set a fecha with Anamaría for March 10th, Hayden's Birthday!!  She´s golden.  She even told us that we´d need to come by more often because she realizes that there will be opposition in her life because she´s doing what Christ wants her to do, and el enemigo doesn´t want her to do it, and will try and throw her off.  So she´s like, you´ll need to come by pretty often to give me the support that I need!  yesssss she gets it.  Hopefully her animo will stay up like that.  (animo- a word in spanish that is just really hard to define in English.  So I use it in English.)

However, 0 investigators came to church, even though we taught and committed, and made the calls, and passed by people's houses and stuff.  That was a little saddening, but hey.  People have their agency, and I´m doing my part the best I can.  No estoy aqui para empujar ni obligar, sino invitar y ayudar a las personas a venir a Cristo.

Just got back from a tri-zone activity.  A barbecue and American football for a few hours.  American football!!!!  Oh the beauty of two-hand-touch American football.  Scored a few touchdowns.  Got some energy out.  Ate some hot dogs on maraqueta.  Good day.

Keep prayin for me!  I love you and miss you loads!

Elder Cole Moffat

January 16, 2012

Bautismo! Numero 2

First, thanks for the letters, Bennetts, Holbrooks, Val Dawson,
Michelle, Audrey, and mom for sending Christian/Michael´s letters, and
Eyre´s for the care package, with lots of very useful and necessary
stuff for the mission.

Quickly, sounds like home is a busy busy place, especially in this
time of finals and also the election coming up. when the absentee
ballots are available, would you mind sending one my way? Gracias. y
también, if you send glasses sometime soon, could you stick my other
memory card in there, too? Also, para que sepan, the Chacabuco or whatever
that address is is really old, and frankly I´m surprised I actually received a letter that was sent to that address. Make sure it´s Elder Cole Moffat //// Misión Chile Santiago Oeste //// Casilla de Correos 149 //// Av. Pajaritos 1921 ///// Maipú, Chile. and thanks for letting me in on some of your spiritual experiences you had this week, Dad. good to hear about all that good stuff at home!

Highlights of the week. I went on Divisions with Elder Belmar, from
Concepción, Chile. Loooottttsss of contacts, but my Spanish improved
and I´m a lot more comfortable with talking to people. And I bought
this doohicky that massages your head for mil pesos--- like $2.
Definitely worth it. ohhhh sooo great.

Also, President King´s good friend from way back-- Bro. Newman? Newell? something like that-- came to visit him, and he was a Mission president in Nebraska a few years back. Turns out he was Mission President for Chase Ricks and Michael Dunn, my RAs from BYU! So we talked about that, and he sent a picture of me to Chase, and I got to read the text back and stuff. Good
times. I went Downtown on Friday to do all the paperwork for my visa
and carnet (Chilean id card) and stuff. La Moneda was in that area
and on the way back, so we went and visited, and I´ll send that
picture. I also bought a La U polera/jersy. La U is La Universidad
de Chile -- even though it´s a professional soccer team and has no
afilliation with the University of Chile. It´s not an original, but
its a good fake and cost me $6.000 pesos. Pretty good. Other thing
that was really quite new for me: Breastfeeding your 2 year old while
sitting on a stool in the sidewalk while selling pan amasado. Need I
say more?

Gustavo got baptized!!! He is really really smart and knows a lot of
stuff--- he´s the ex physics professor, and has traveled Europe, and
unfortunately is in a rest home.  He´s really smart, and analytical, thinks
very logically. He can get hung up on a few little things, but he has
a testimony, and has committed himself to go to church every Sunday
for the rest of his life, unless he´s sick. And even then, in one day
he read 1 Nefi 1-19. He loves reading the Book of Mormon, and
cualquier otro libro. Good guy, and came up out of the baptismal font
with a smile. good day.

Tuve que presentarme y dar un discurso en la renunión sacramental.
discursé acerca de la oración y su importancia. also, we taught la
vida premortal en la primaria for 40 minutes... that was interesting.
Also, side note-- it´s weird how some things are just easier to say in
Spanish now. I don´t remember the last time I said the word prayer or
gospel or atonement, or anything like that. even with gringos, its
always la oración o el evangelio or la expiación, algo así.

I´m here, trying to work hard! Some days are good some days not so
good. But I try and tell myself that it doesn´t really matter,
because the good days outweigh the not so good ones. vale la pena.
I´m being obedient, and that´s what matters :)

¡Les Amo y echo de menos! ¡Que estén felices!

Elder Cole Moffat

January 11, 2012

I am in San Miguel! January 9, 2012

San Miguel!  Estoy en Barrio Las Avenidas en estaca San Miguel.  Dad, I remeber that you were in San Miguel at one point?  My borders are: San Nicolás to the North, Gran Avenida to the east, Lo Ovalle to the south, and Autopista Central to the west.  Departamental runs right through my sector.

It´s pretty small.  a bit smaller than my last sector.  It´s definitely more city-like though.  I mean, we´re in Santiago Proper, comuna san miguel.  It feels a bit like Evanston or Wicker Park or something like that.  It´s pretty rich, too.  I´ve seen lots of Audis and Mercedes and BMWs and stuff.  And the houses are a lot nicer, with lots of NICE appartment buildings.  We live on the 13th story of our building, for example.  And there´s a workout room (we have yet to use), a nice outdoor pool, a little balcany, ya know, the works.

My comp is Elder Callao, from Peru.  With just 6 days with a Latin, I can already see and feel my Spanish improving, because he hardly speaks a lick of English.  He knows the numbers, and "hot."  He´s working on learning to pray in English, which is where anyone should start in learning a language.  Prayer.  Sooo helpful (Hayden- do it :) ).  But having to speak 100% Spanish really helps with practicing, as you can imagine.  A bunch of the members here said they´re impressed with my Spanish, but I have sooo much more to go before I´m fluent.  But the practice surely does help move it along.

Quickly to comment on some things from your letters:  Hayden, good luck with finals.  You´ll do great!  I´ll be praying for you.  I´ll get the escritura for the wall plaque here within the next few weeks... sorry for the wait.  I´ll definitely write Landon today.  I didn´t forget about him, and I´ve been planning on writing him.  But good thing I know now to send it to the CCM in Lima!  Cochabamba, Bolivia.  Definitely will be writing him.  I´m writing in my journal about every other Day, but I´m going to try and write at least 5/7 nights a week.  I hope I don´t forget about some things that happen, though I know I will.  Dang.  Mom-- The Dorius´s are a senior couple here in the mission, working in the office, and they leave in a few months.  She called me a few days ago, and maybe has emailed you?  Don´t know.  But Hermana Dorius had a question, because her maiden name is Whittles with an s, and her dad or grandpa or someone is from Chicago... any information on if your name got changed without an s or anything?  She was wondering.  Dad, look up Aleluya by Il Divo.  Beautiful.  I have peanut butter from the states, because Líder sells Good Value products!!!!!!  It´s just down the street.

We also taught 24 Lessons this week: 12 of them were to non-members!  Gustavo is getting baptized this Saturday, confirmed on Sunday.  He´s 73 and lives in an old folk´s home.  He was a reference, and is really really smart and knows a lot.  He gets caught up on little details and doesn´t understand some basic things, but he loves coming to church (12 weeks), knows the Book of Mormon is true, and reads 5-10 chapters a day from it.  Interesting guy... you´ll see pictures next week.  Very, very, very dry humor that is hard to catch sometimes, but he´s a good guy.  We have 3 other baptismal dates for February, but if all of them get baptized on their date, it will be a miracle.  We´re working hard!  But I still need to learn to love even more, and to keep a good, positive attitude all the time.  Sometimes I just get frustrated when people don´t understand how amazing the Gospel is, and how Loving our Heavenly Father is for having this plan for us!  But, that´s why I´m here.  To invite children of God to come unto Christ, by helping them recieve the restored gospel.  (If you can, I really liked having those spiritual and uplifting quotes, mom :)

Also, we went downtown for my comp´s Visa renewal thing.  I miss the city and Chicago!

Well, I think that´s about it.  Until next week, I love you and miss you so much!  Keep writing, and tell me about at least 1 spiritual experience you´ve had each week.  :)

Love, Elder Cole Moffat

January 3, 2012

End of Cambio 2, January 2, 2012

Hola Familia!  Thanks for sending me your church Talk, dad.  I figured there´s not a whole lot to report this week either, so I read the talk.  It´s great!  Really quite interesting.  I don´t know if I told you, but Grandma sent me the life history of your Dad when I was in the MTC, and I read it then, and brought it with.  Truly an inspiration.  Journal writing has also helped me analyze the day better and record any impressions.  I´m going to try to move away from "we did this, then this, and then we walked here.... blah blah blah"  to more about feelings, the spirit, the work, notes to self for later, stories, and the hand of the Lord in my life.  Definitely.  And writing a weekly letter allows me to do sort of a week-in-review -- what were the most important things this week.  Stuff like that.  I have noticed it helps.

This week was busy, with the holidays, 2 different divisions, all that stuff, but still not a whole lot to report.   New Years eve was the calmest it´s been for me.  Just Elder Fuhriman and I chillin´in the pension.  We didn´t even have to look at the clock, because we definitely heard it when it was 12:00.  And when I got up at 7:30, I could still here some music playing outside.  But we had a nice hermana make us food and her kids came by and dropped it off, so we ate that at midnight, along with the hoho cupcake things... ohhh so nice to have the American kind of those, because we tried the chilean "penguino" kind and it's just not the same.  Anyway, we got home at 10:30, and at like 11:00/11:15, the Assistants called because it´s the end of the change, and they were calling to tel E Fuhriman the changes in his zone.

I HAVE CHANGES!!!  I´m packing today, and will find out tomorrow morning where I´m going and with who.  And 30 minutes after I find all that out, I´ll be on my way to that sector!  SO.  New Year´s Eve did bring some suspense.  But, being the end of the year, AND the end of my time in my first sector in Chile, it was and is a great time to do some reflecting, analyzing, goal setting, writing resolutions, all that.  I will say, I did take a few pages in my journal to write down lessons learned and goals to set.

New Years Day being a Sunday wasn´t so great for church attendance, though.  but you know the church is true because the doors were still open.  It didn´t close because of a holiday on the calendar.  The huge evangelico church, however, was closed.  Interesting.  Thus we see also that while the church of God is perfect, the people aren´t, but that´s why we have church -- to "perfect the saints" as pablo says.... Paul.  There we go.  (forgot his name in English for a second.)  Anyway, 30 people came to church, and Elder Fuhriman had the opportunity to speak on 10 minutes notice on Albedrío.  Great topic.

Anyway, yesterday we had 2 huge huge huge lunches.  Because family 1 invited us to lunch last week, and so they were our commitment.  Then on Saturday, family 2 was like, come over for our barbeque tomorrow!  "um, sorry hermana, we already have lunch.  we already have a compromiso.."  "Come anyway!"  "but we need to go to our other lunch."  "then don´t eat a lot and come right after."  "Well, we´ll try to pass by, but it´ll be at like 4 or 5, and we´ll only have a quick little bite of something."  That´s how it was left.   So as we finish eating Pastel de Choclo (ohhhhh so amazing!!!), more chicken and rice, a huge freaking cut of watermelon, cualquier ensalada, and quite a few glasses of pop, we get a call at 4:22 "¡Elderes!  ¿Donde Están?  ¡Estamos esperando!"  So we told them not to wait, and we´d be there in like 30 minutes.  We get there..... the table´s all set, cualquier ensalada on the table, and as we walk to the patio table, they´re like, " oh good! You´re here!"  And they bring out pork ribs, and T-Bone steak, and potatos and lots of Sprite.  And we were served one of everything -- with a huge bowl of peaches and cream to top it off.  I honestly don´t know how I ate it all.  and when I weighed myself at peñaflor´s pension (We went there last night), I gained 2-3 kilos from just 5 days earlier.  Oh dear....  but it was all really good food. yep.

Definitely going to make pastel de choclo when I get home.  And completos and churrazcos. hmmmmm

When I did some despedidas yesterday,  We took pictures.  I´ll try to send them!

Les Amo!  Chao!