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