May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day yesterday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day, Mary and Jesus
HEY!  it was so great talking to you last night.  and no, the tour of the house was great.  It was good seeing that some things just don`t change--- the mudroom counter, the mudroom "closet," the dirty clothes, the clean clothes on the bed, it was all good!  My family is still the same family, they didn't get stolen and replaced while I was gone.  That`s always good to know.  Are you guys leaving with the missionaries?  Have you watched the Saturday conference?  next package: 180 degree earmuff things please

Well, there`s not too much to tell, seeing as we talked via Skype yesterday, and it was GREAT!!!!! wonderful to see you all.  So I thought I`d share something that I learned these past few weeks.  "Perseverar hasta el Fin," or "endure to the end."  After explaining faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, and receiving the gift of the holy ghost, Nephi asks us "if all is done" And the definitive answer is No.  why?  because we wouldn't have even gotten that far if it weren't for relying on Christ.  "Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."  When I thought of endure to the end, I thought "keep the commandments your whole life!"  yay!  The Guide for the Study of the Scriptures in Spanish says, under "perseverar" (endure), "Permanecer Firme en el compromiso de ser fiel a los mandamientos de Dios..." Which means, "Remain firm in the commitment to be faithful to the commandments of God". I always thought, "so, if I don`t drink, don`t smoke, pay tithing, read my scriptures, pray, don`t break the law, keep the law of chastity, do all that for the rest of my life, i`m good!"  Sort of a checklist, for lack of a better term.  So if you press forward (stay active and fulfill callings), feast upon the work of Christ (read scriptures, go to church, study, etc), and edure to the end, there you go.  Eternal life.  But Nephi says before that, "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men."  Here, he kind of defines endure to the end.  having hope, and keeping the two great commandments: love God, and love thy neighbor as thyself, here, written as love of God and of all men.  How can you truly endure to the end, keeping your baptismal covenant to keep the commandments of God, if you don`t keep the greatest two?  You can say, I love God enough to keep the word of wisdom.  I love God enough to keep the law of Chastity.  I love God enough to pray and read my scriptures.  And thus, you`re working to ensure your own salvation.  BUT, if you love God and yourself enough to work towards your own salvation, shouldn`t you love your neighbor as yourself, and work to help them achieve their salvation?  The greatest service you can give, the greatest love you can show toward anyone, is helping them or at least giving them the opportunity to receive the "greatest of all the gifts of God," that is, Eternal Life.  Salvation is Personal, but that doesn`t mean that you`re completely alone and without support.  You use your own agency to choose eternal life, and thus the salvation is personal, no one is forcing you.  But to truly endure to the end, one must, as the area presidency in Chile has said, help those who have fallen off the path that leads to salvation, or help those who have not yet found it.  THAT is enduring to the end.  it`s not a checklist.  it`s not something that you can say, "look, i`m almost done! I just have 2 more boxes to check, and i`m done!"  No, it`s home teaching, visiting teaching, missionary work, and being a good example.  Inviting others to come unto Christ.  Loving God enough to help him fulfill his work and his Glory.  Loving your neighbor enough to help them reach their true potential.  And loving yourself enough to lose yourself in the work, because only those who lose their lives in the work shall find it.

Really, quite an interesting little concept we learned these past few weeks.  Endure to the End.
Elder Cole Moffat

Here We Go, May 7, 2012

Hey Family!  Glad to hear from you all!  First, looks like we`ll be talking this Sunday at 6 my time!  I have a request for the next package.  and honestly, when I say next package, I don`t mean that I necessarily need it asap (MOM).  It literally means, "the next time you send a package," so you don`t have to waste money sending a bunch of little ones (i would imagine it`s cheaper to send one bigger one.).  SO, in the next package, whenever it may be, can you send shredded coconut? odd request, i know.  but it`s not the same here, and there`s this member in our ward who wants some (he`s the one that lived in the states and when he lived in other countries is schooling was in English.  he`s basically American).  so a bag of shredded coconut.  also, I think, Dad, you would be good buds with this guy.  Rodrigo Duran.  you can look him up if you want.  Also, Dad, do you know a David Gardner from Arizona who served in Chile Concepcion in `89?  He baptized this lady in our ward, and I don`t know if you knew him or knew how to contact him.  Luke, yes, i`m pretty sure it was a poisonous spider.  but don`t worry.  they don`t bite if you don`t bug them.  and here in this apartment i haven`t seen a single spider.  so it`s okay.  don`t worry.

WELL.  I`ve been here for January, February, March, and April.  and I don`t have changes.  which usually means i`d be here until June 19th.  But, you see, this is my comp`s last change in the mission.  So, he`s going to have super changes and leave the sector... and go to Buenos Aires.  which means that unless there are special changes, they whitewash the sector, or they close the sector (none of which are likely), I`ll be here until at least the 31st of July.  3 more months, will make it 7 months total.  Dad, if you thought staying in San Antonio for 3 months was huge, i`ll be here for a bit longer.  Walking the same streets for 7 months straight is a bit much... but hey- it looks like the Lord is waiting for me to do something more here in this ward/this sector.  I just need to figure out what it is, and DO IT.  and soon.  and President King said something that struck me.  "your investigators won`t work harder than you do."  And neither will the ward.  I`m still trying to process the fact that I`m going to be here for 12 more weeks... It`s like an entire school year in one sector.  but hey.  "i`ll go where you want me to go"- or rather, "i`ll stay where you want me to stay."  YEAH.

I love you all, and I`ll talk to you Sunday at 6:00 Chile/ 5:00 Chicago!

Love, Elder Cole Moffat

PS- I liked it when you sent pictures.... who cares if they`re random or old? Right?

April Showers, April 30, 2012

Hey there!

Thanks for the letters, eyres!  and thanks for dear eldering stuff, mom.  Maddi´s training!!   how good for her!  in her 4th transfer?  What a BAWS.  can you please send me the mission address for Maddi (Chicago Mission) and Landon (some Bolivian Mission) please?  thanks!  Happy Birthday to Stephen Patterson, Camila (who got baptized in this ward this past july), and today my COMP, ELDER GUZMAN!!!!  He´s a great guy.  keep going on that eagle project, Hayden!  and dad, I´m still always working on the language.  i´ll continue even after the mission working on it.  I did try to read this flyer that was given to us during this march, and i couldn´t understand half of it (All i got was that they were pro- liberty in every aspect of life, anti capitalism and anti government.... oh dear.....)

So, my ankle is doing better.   it doesn´t look like it did a few days ago, which is good.  Those pictures i sent were when it was bad and super swollen.  suuuuuper swollen.  but thanks to icing it a few times, this deep heat cream from familia Duran, this sac of beans that you microwave and it heats up- also from familia Duran--, and the priesthood, it´s much much better.  not perfect, but getting there.   It´s funny.  every Chilean is a doctor, or at least thinks they are.  you tell a Chilean your foot hurts bad, and they say, "I have a fix for that!  and it really works.  others will tell you something else, but this is really what will help."  Well, 6 people will tell you 6 things, and they all say theirs is the one that works..... "Icing it doesn´t work."  "I´ve already iced it and it´s helping."  "...oh... well what you really need to do is put a few spoonfuls of salt in there to help give it nutrients." (?!?) "no no no! vinegar!  You need to put vinegar in the cold ice water!"  yup yup.  pretty funny stuff.  So I trusted what Hna. Duran said and gave me because A) she has her head on straight, B) the cream was in English, from Australia, and C) her husband was raised in America (Provo), and he has leg problems.  and it actually helped.

It got pretty cold this week!  and it rained with a few thunderings!  how nice!  this week it´ll stay in the low to mid 70s, which is much better than high 80s and 90s.  but from here on out, it´ll be getting a bit colder, with  lots more rain.

Fabiola is... progressing.    Prayers are what are going to help the situation.  Prayers and animo.  But she loves reading the Book of Mormon, and knows she´s a better person because of what she´s applying to her life.    Time to whip out the proclamation to the world: the FAMILY.

I read "Cuarto Misionero" by Elder Coorbridge of the 70 (and the Chilean Area President) that he wrote when he was a mission president.  It´s incredible.  I´m asking the mission office for a copy of it in English, and I´ll send a copy home to you, dad (I think you´ll find it interesting, and it can also be applied to living the Gospel, not just as missionaries), and I want to send a copy to Andrew before he leaves.  it´s incredible and really made me think. a lot.  Man, I´ve gotta make some changes.  There´s always room to improve, because none of us are perfect.

God doesn´t change.  We do.  We need to change.  Constantly.  And why? because we´re not perfect.  We all need to change until we get to the point where we don´t need to change anymore -- perfection.  And if in this life we decide we are done changing, we´re wrong, because perfection is impossible to attain in this life.  But we can progress and get a lot closer to perfection here at the end of our lives than we were at the beginning, if we chose to learn and grow.  This perpetual process of Change towards perfection is made possible through Jesus Christ, the son of the Perfect God.  The perfect God chose his only 100% Obedient Son to be the means by which we can Change.  trials, temptations, afflictions, sickness, and everything HARD in our lives exist to help us either recognize the need to change or develop some attribute of perfection, whether it be obedience, humility, patience, love, submission, meekness, willingness to submit, etc.  As the prophet Amulek taught, "But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions."  When we have changed to perfection, we will have experienced all.  there will be no more trials or afflictions, just as God, in his perfection, has no trial or affliction he must bear in order to progress.  IF WE CHOOSE to use trials as an opportunity to apply the Atonement of Christ to change, we can have a firm hope that we will come to perfection, where we will rest from all afflictions.  This is called Eternal Life.  Que sea nuestra meta la vida eterna.

Elder Cole Moffat