March 19, 2012

Las Avenidas- exploding, March 19, 2012

Cole bowling in a tie as a missionary --  always a new adventure
Thanks for the emails and updates!  I always love getting letters and stuff.  So nice to hear from home.  Chicago River  in green sounds like it was fun, good luck on the merit badge that won´t die, too.  I did Indexing at BYU, and there were occasionally "Indexing Parties" if you want to incorporate that in the eagle project, hayden.  People bring their laptops and can chill in the basement or something, with music, chips, munchies, and maybe 1 hour indexing hardcore, then a movie or something.    Cool that Mitt came to Vernon Hills!  on the topic of the election, when the absentee ballots are available, send me one, please.

This week was pretty busy.  There was hardly a normal day.  Tuesday we went to Maipú and then downtown to do the visa stuff for my comp.... his visa renewal was a little past due, so We´re glad the mission office finally gave him the stuff to get it taken care of.  Had some good pizza and empanadas (I can kind of understand written italian on the pizza box YAY!).  Wednesday was district meeting, then divisions with Elder Morgan-- he also knows whats up.  I´ve realized that we have a pretty good freaking zone.  filled with good, solid missionaries.  And because my comp is district leader, I get to go on tons of divisions and work with a lot of different missionaries.  We set another Fecha, Elder Morgan and I!  Sebastián.  hopefully he´ll keep progressing.  He seemed pretty excited.  Thursday we had planning, and set another fecha with Anamaría!  She was the fecha we had for Hayden´s birthday a while ago, but it didn´t work out.  it was really hard to find time to teach her.  but now she´s not as busy, and so we set another goal fecha, and Cristóbal (a RM in our ward, super-capo) helped us out a lot.

I´m telling you, members are the KEY to the work.  absolutely nessesary.  100%.  Friday we taught 6 lessons (6 lessons!!), Saturday we had another Cosechón, and lesson with Familia Castán-- Milagro de quinta avenida-- with 2 members present.  oh it was great.  Sunday, I gave a talk on la obra misional (missionary work just sounds weird, now).  I kind of just told them how it is.  That, according to President Joseph Smith, Ezra Taft Benson, and Gordon B Hinckley, it´s not just our job as missionaries.  it´s the member´s job, too. (see Preach my Gospel end of Chapter 1 quotes, pg 173 in spanish... not sure where it is in english, sorry.)  Like you were saying, dad, it´s important to focus on the fellowshiping and helping the people get integrated into the ward.  it´s important to keep teaching them as they´re being integrated.  and if that wasn´t the focus before, it is now.  definitely.

That´s why focusing on the ward is so important and is one of the focuses now.  helping the ward help the new members.  having said that, we had 6 investigators in the chapel on sunday!!!!!!!  Anamaría, Familia Castán, and Mireya, who will be baptized this Saturday!!!!  Something happened all of a sudden, and the ward is super excited about being friends with the people we brought to church.  It´s AMAZING.  The daughters went to young womens and liked it, and even stayed after for the Seminary meeting.  it was a bit much, but better too much than too little.  Mireya also turned around and got focused all of a sudden.  Apparently this past week, after having some trouble digesting Diezmo, she kind of got mad at God and was frank with Him while praying.  "Am I going to get baptized, or not?!?"  then she felt this tingling feeling in her tummy and was like.  "Okay.  looks like I´m going to get baptized, and I´ve got to pay diezmo." YES!  God answers prayers when we ask with faith, true and sincere desire, with true intentions to follow the answer.

9 baptismal dates.  6 investigators n the chapel.  total in the chapel increased by over 15% from last week.  We taught more lessons with members this week than the other 4 weeks of the change combined.  And we´ll have a baptism this week!  we´re excited.  oh. and last week of the change, coming right up!

Elder Moffat

March 12, 2012

Good Ole B-Day Week, March 12, 2012

Cole's Birthday cake...he improvised!

Happy Bday mom, hayden, steph, audrey, eddie, tierney and michellle!  and thanks for the letter, em.  really super duper appreciate it.  and I opened the package/Gifts!  snickerdoodles.... mmmm.... peanutbutter cookies...... mm....... brownies will have to be made soon.  and the mo-phat shirt? AWESOME.  lovin´ the sweater that i´ll have to use here in a few weeks/ months.  I think I´m gonna make corn pancakes today.  And, the talk in the BYU magazine by brad wilcox, "His Grace is Sufficient" is spectacular.  if you haven´t read it, I highly highly recommend it.  (link at bottom)  Also, We didn´t have a cake or anything, but we had some palta! (avacado)  And so I stuck some candles in there and had a wonderful little celebration.

Gosh, I don´t even know where to start.  Tuesday night, I guess. The Best I´ve felt so far in this sector!  I don´t know if I wrote you guys about the milagro de 5th Avenida?  I think i did.  like 2-3 weeks ago.  Well, we finally got back in to teach everyone that´s living there.  Mom Silvia, Dad Vicente, and Daughters Daiana (16) y Tamara(15).  Okay back up.  Last Sunday, the 4th of March, we went by and taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon, and The 4 of them were all ears.  Silvia was taking notes (what?)!  They had good questions, and it was just a great lesson.  We left them with a few Book of Mormons.  We felt pretty good leaving their house.  

Then on Tuesday, they were actually there for the cita!  that´s a good sign, because most of the time the people forget or avoid us.  Anyway, we get there, and Silvia hadn´t read, and she felt bad.  So as we waited for Vicente to get out of the shower and were talking with the daughters, Silvia started reading.  When Vicente was ready, they sat down and were like, okay so what are you going to teach us today?  they´re so eager to learn!  I asked her about what she just read and she totally got it.  She had some questions, but they were super good questions and pushed us right into what we were going to talk about anyway. "Faith moves mountains" is a common phrase.  "but can you move my scriptures?  they´re a lot smaller and easier to move than a mountain."  Vicente sat there for a little bit, thinking, then reached over the table and picked up the scriptures, and set them down again.  "There.  They moved."  He got it.  "EXACTLY.  you had faith that the scriptures could be moved.  But you also knew you had to do your part.  you did your part.  you acted.  Faith Requires action.  faith requires works."  BOOM.  We talked about Faith meet for repentence, and how to fully repent, a covenent of obedience is required (See Elder Christofferson´s "The Divine Gift of Repentence").  John 3 and Mateo 3.  And then we started talking about The Holy Ghost, and how it can guide and protect us.  If offers us, among other things, peace.  

Then Silvia siad, "Ya know what? just earlier today we were having a little argument, and Daiana said, ´I want peace.  I just need peace in my life.´ "  In that moment, I felt the need to ask Daiana a question, and I needed to ask it in that very moment, and not wait.  I have absolutely no doubt that my thoughts were guided by the spirit.  "Daiana," I said, "How do you feel right now?"  "I feel peace.  Más Tranquilidad."  "Daiana, that is the spirit.  That is the spirit testifying to you that what we´re saying to you right now is really the Gospel of Christ.  It is the Holy Ghost.  Would you like to always feel this way?"  Then, with a serious and hopeful look on her face, "Sí."  "Entonces," dije yo, "Hay que entrar en la puerta, en la senda y camino de Dios, El camino de Jesucristo.  Como ya dijimos, esta puera es un bautismo com Jesucristo, en la Iglesia de Jesucristo.  Si ésto es algo que quieren lograr," now addressing the family, "se bautizarán en la Iglesia de Jesucristo?"  Immediately, with a look of relief, gratitude, and i´m-so-glad-you-just-asked-me-that, Daiana responded, "SÍ!"  Then Silvia, then Vicente, then Tamara.  The Spirit was so strong, you could definitely feel it.  It was testifying to their hearts. 

Then my comp invited them to set a goal, a date to work towards, the 21st of April.  They asked what time :)  But then Daiana, obviously rocognizing how special it would be, asked, "can we do it on a different day?  Like my Birthday?"  After getting everything worked out, They have a fecha for Sunday, the 8th of April (not her birthday).  Then Silvia asked us to leave something for them to read.  It´s really nice when they want to have things to do, and realize that Living the Gospel starts with commitments, and living the gospel is more that listening a few days a week to the misisonaries, but it is really living it.  Silvia took her Libro de Mormon with her to Argentina for her weekend visit to her oldest daughter.  Vicente also offered to drive us home.  The whole family came with.  Oh, Familia Castán.

Then Wednesday I went on divisions with Elder Aguilar in his sector, and stayed at the pension with him, Elder Monsen, and Elder Adair.  we made the snickerdoodles.  Also Wednesday, we got the iniciatives for the month.  one about the Family, another about el don de lenguas (completely new daily schedule for the entire mission---huge change, and it looks like for the better), and the zone leaders had one about planning and using time wisely. Thursday, we had Capacitación Especial.  Happy Birthday!  it was great.  And President King called me that night and him and his wife sang happy birthday to me over the phone :)

Good week.  And it sounds like the BoM marathon was a success!!  We actually left Moroni 10 for Familia Castán to read.  Guys, the Book of Mormon is so amazing.  please read from it every day.  there´s nothing we have to do that´s more important than reading the word of God, written, inspired, and revealed specifically for us, right now.  It was written specifically with Roger in mind.  It was written specifically with Christine in mind.  It was written specifically with Hayden in mind.  It was written specifically with Spencer in mind.  It was written specifically with Luke in mind.  They saw our day.  They wrote what they knew, and they wrote what they were inspired to write--- inspired by the all-knowing, all-powerful God, our loving and personal Heavenly Father.  Read, study, and apply the Book of Mormon to your life.

I love you all.
Elder Moffat

March 5, 2012

Cumpleanos- the fulfilling of years, March 5, 2012

Hey there back at home!  Thanks for the Birthday wishes, all!  and Thanks for the Dear Elder forwards, mom, and for the letter, Chelz, and for the package, family!!  I have yet to open the wrapped stuff (except for the notecards and the cookie mixes, cuz I could tell what they were, and already made some :) I´ll make more on Wednesday night).  Thanks for the glasses, too!  I´ll hopefully go get them adjusted today.  AND the Predicad mi Evangelio mini version is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! I never thought I would be so happy about a little version of a church manual.  but I absolutely love it!  It is now ALWAYS in my bag. Congrats on the play, Spence!  Congrats on solo and ensemble, Hayden!  get going on that eagle project!  and Happy Birthday, bro!  Keep being a great kid, Luke!  Feel better, Dad!  and Happy Birthday MOM! 

This week.  woaaahh.  Well, today, we went bowling in Republica as a Zone. That was pretty shweet.  Our zone is pretty tight.  We love having fun together.  I think this change is going by so much faster for that reason, among others.  Our Zone is awesome.  We have our weekly meetings on Wednesday, and I have divisions Wed-Thurs.  Saturday we get together and have a Cosechón (kind of like what Jim did in his ward-- looking for all the inactives).  Every saturday is a different sector, and the 7 companionships go out for 1 1/2 hours and cosechar.  so we have wednesday together, saturday together, P-Day Monday, and then we do it again.  It´s really nice to have those changes from the same-thing-all-the-time spaced out throughout the week.  We´re now half way through this change.  Weird!  It´s really good though.

Highlights of the week.  One, I pulled a Dad during comp study on Friday.  After reading Elder Oak´s Talk, Alma 17, and PMG during personal study, to start comp study we sang un Pobre Forestero-- A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.  Yep, definitely pulled a Dad during verse 5.  you know what I mean.  I´m so glad I have a testimony of this work.  I´m so glad I have a testimony of Christ, and the Book of Mormon, and of the work of the prophet Joseph Smith.  We set a fecha with a new, and ended the day watching "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" during a Noche de Hogar with a reactivating couple.  He came to church on Sunday.  During another cita I had to testify and testify and defend what I was saying to this guy who in the end just didn´t even want to know.  at one point he was like and how do you know it? why don´t you question yourself more?  and so I told him that I hadn´t had a vision nor seen angels nor Christ himself, but What I had felt in answer to prayer, I know came from God, and if I denied it, I would be denying the power of God, and condemning myself before Him.  Woah.  It just came out like that.

We had investigators in the capilla! that doesn´t happen very often for us.  Which is not good.  but people finally came!  and also a lot of menos activos that we´re teaching and working with came to church!  it was a great day in the capilla.  One investigator told us she felt this sensation that what was being taught was the teachings of Christ, the core of what Christ would teach.  and she´s been to lots of different churches and says she didn´t like any of them.  I´m so glad that when people come with an open mind, they let the Spirit testify to them of the Truth, and it´s so much easier to know the truth when you want to know the truth.  I don´t know if that made sense, but it did in my mind.  and in spanish.  I don´t know what makes sense in English as well as I used to.

I´m down here in Chile, going about trying to fulfill the commandment and calling to which I have been appointed, not because I´m getting paid (cuz I´m not), and not because I get satisfaction from doing so (even though I do often times), and not because there´s added bonuses like learning a language and getting to know the people and all that (even though those are wonderful added bonuses).  I´m down here in Chile because I´ve been commanded to, and I´m doing the best I can because I know personally and deeply that the message I bring is not mine, and it´s not the church´s, and it´s not of man.  It is of God, and it is a message of happiness that He wants to be shared with all of his Children.  Estoy aquí porque "las promesas del Señor se (extienden) a ellos mediante las condiciones del arrepentimiento."  and I have been blessed to be able to share with them la manera de Dios.

Have a wonderful week!

Love, Elder Moffat

Milagros Siguen Pasando, February 27, 2012

Hey there, Fam!  First of all, I feel like I have personal study time here in the Ciber because I´m sitting here taking notes on what I can learn and/or apply to me, my companionship, and this sector, based on Michael´s letters, Landon´s letters, and your emails.  It´s really really awesome!

I got quite a few letters this week, so thanks to the Eyres --including the thanksgiving card :) make sure you put the city, and it´ll speed up the arrival time :P --  Val Dawson, DearElders, and the letter/picture from Luke and mom!  Loved it all!

I´m so sorry I can´t write more, but there were other things I needed to do online today.   First, please oh please go out and leave with the Elders or Sisters in our ward.  PLEASE go out with them.  There are quite a few key indicators that we use as missionaries to help measure our progress and help us focus in on areas we can improve to help people progress in the Gospel towards making and keeping covenants.  After talking with some leaders in the zone and mission, we are under the opinion that the two most important are fechas and MAC, or in other words, baptismal dates set and lessons taught to investigators with one or more members present.  Every other Key indicator will increase if we focus on these two.  If you don't have fechas because you don't have investigators, then to increase your fechas, your news will also increase.  If you focus on MAC, investigators will attend church.  With the combination of the two, the number of children of God progressing towards, making, and keeping covenants will increase.  It all depends on fechas and MAC.  So, family, please help in the obra misional and salir con los misioneros!  I feel super bad for not doing it before the mission.  And when I return, I will do my part to make up for all those times I didn´t do my part.

Congrats Luke in spelling!  and Spencer, I hope all went/ is going well in play try-outs!  Hayden, glad everything went well with turnabout shtuff.

Dad, side comment about BG stake 44 baptisms last year-- I think that´s equal or more than Estaca San Miguel had last year.  Interesting.

Congrats to Aaron Amu!  Hope all is well at home, now that normal life is starting again.

This week was an interesting week.  We found a few new families. Hopefully we´ll be able to start really teaching them and helping them progress hacia la vida eterna como una familia eterna.  (it´s interesting how some things just flow easier in Spanish.  Like, I don´t really know how I would say that in English).  So that´s looking up!  We´re also working with a few in-actives that want to start receiving the blessings of the gospel again.  So that´s good!

Another note:  The Gospel just makes sense.  If you´re ever struggling or have serious doubts about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, just look at it with an open mind, with a sincere heart, and with real intent, and God will show you--reveal to you in your mind and in your heart-- that The Gospel of Jesus Christ just makes sense.  That it´s true.  And that this plan was authored by God Himself, with his only perfect son, Jesus Christ, called, prepared, and ordained to make it possible to return to His presence, in a state of never-ending happiness with our families.  Pues, ¡sigamos adelante, con firmeza en Cristo, para que seamos salvos!

and, BE HAPPY!
Elder Cole Moffat