July 16, 2013
July 14, 2013
|Elder Moffat Santiago Chile....this photo was taken almost 2 years ago.|
COLE WILL BE HOME
JULY 16, 2013
This is going to be short, so sorry it´s not quite an epic last email of the mission. I was busy revising and sending my stewardship report, which you can read when I get home.
Pretty eventful day yesterday. There is power in Fasting. fasting really works.
So, investigators are low here in Republica and we hadn't taught a lesson to an investigator in about 2 weeks (eek). We've knocked just about all the doors that there are in the sector (think of how many houses with doors there are in downtown Santiago), but we´re still struggling. But after we fasted Saturday to Sunday, we were able to teach 3 lessons to investigators with Members present in the lessons just YESTERDAY. Only one of them actually lives here in the sector, but it was amazing to actually teach investigators again. And we saw a prophetic promise be fulfilled in the house of a member who, after praying last week to know who she should share the Book of Mormon with, invited her workmate to her house to listen to the missionaries (us):
"I promise you, as you pray to know with whom to speak, names and faces will come into your mind. Words to speak will be given in the very moment you need them. Opportunities will open to you. Faith will overcome doubt, and the Lord will bless you with your very own miracles." Yesterday, we saw a miracle.
That´s my little spiritual thought for the week. Sorry it´s so short, but that mayordomía paper really ate up my time.
I love you all, and I´ll see you next TUESDAY!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Cole Moffat
Elder Fuhriman is married!!! send him a message or something saying congrats.
July 1, 2013
Also, the new mission presidents got here! We had a meeting with the Barreiros´s and the rest of the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders. They´re really cool. LOTS of animo. they´re very excited to be here. It is interesting, because they´re from Florida, but they were both born and raised in Brazil. So they both speak English and Portuguese. Sister Barreiros also lived in Santiago, Chile for 2 years (18-20) when her dad was some sort of Brazilian ambassador in Chile or something like that. So she also speaks Spanish and knows Chile. President is learning Spanish, and even though he started learning only a few weeks ago, he speaks pretty well. It´s just interesting to hear Spanish in a portuguese accent, because I´m either used to hearing it spoken as a first language or with a gringo accent. Portuguese is new for me. But he´s definitely an inspired man and very loving and extremely excited for the work here in Chile.
Remind me to tell you what happened on the way home from my final interview when I get home.
Happy 4th of July!
Mom, do you have a recipe that uses tabasco sauce? This chef in our ward was asking. Thanks!
These last few weeks will be tough. But I´m willing to work.
Elder Cole Moffat
Well, this will be a quick message this week, because I have to write a mission report.... ugh.
On Friday we went to the temple with President and Sister King-- all those that are going home with me.
There were 27 of us plus president and his wife. It was so cool to be there with them all. Then we went to Cerro San Cristobal, the giant hill in the middle of the city, and I remembered my first day in chile when we went and looked at the City of Santiago. It had a different impact on me now, now that I have lived here for 2 years. It was a lot more meaningful. Then we went to President´s house and had lunch and a testimony meeting. It was really powerful. Kind of weird that President King goes home this week and it was the final goodbye for him too. And also that we did all that go-homer stuff and we still have 3 weeks left. Tomorrow I´ll have my final interview, which will also be really weird to do 3 weeks before I go home... but hey. The mission is full of unique experiences.
The broadcast was GREAT. go watch it again sometime. there´s a lot that we need to do as members that we´re not doing. yeah!
I love you guys!
Elder Cole Moffat
June 14, 2013
Wow. I have spent almost all my internet time writing other things, organizing some zone stuff, and now I hardly have any time to write!!!! I´m so sorry. But it´s okay because I´ll see you all in a few weeks. No worries.
This week was pretty good. We got an awesome new initiative from President King that obviously has to do with the Book of Mormon, because it´s his favorite book and it´s also his last initiative!! He leaves the 28th of this month. So it´s going to be a pretty interesting change.
Keep praying for our investigators! And pray so that we find some more people to teach.
Sorry so short. Love you!
We had change conference yesterday, because 23 missionaries got here today (Tuesday) from the Chile MTC. Did you know that all the American missionaries that are going to Chile don´t do the MTC in Provo anymore? They have 6 weeks of MTC here in Chile! It´s crazy.
So anyway, that´s why I´m writing today, Tuesday-- because of that thing yesterday.
So anyway, that´s why I´m writing today, Tuesday-- because of that thing yesterday.
Also, our Chilean companion, Elder Silva, is gone. He got his visa a few weeks ago, and they just kept him here through the end of the change. We dropped him off at the office yesterday, Monday, and his flight left this morning at 6:30am. He´s in Ecuador now! It was good to be with him, and it was good to have trained someone in the mission.
Now it´s just Elder Rodriguez and I in the sector. In our zone, there are 8 companionships. 7 of them had some sort of change! We lost Elder Silva, and the sisters were in a trio and lost their senior comp/trainer. And then 5 other companionships have new companions. No one is training, which is odd, but we do have 2 new District Leaders, and Elder Rodriguez and I are excited to help them become great leaders. It looks like they both have potential, and they both seem humble and excited. couldn´t really ask for anything better.
We are now teaching Eduardo, who decided he wanted to learn about the church after coming to the English classes for a few weeks. He came to church at 9:30 for the classes on Sunday, stayed the whole 3 hours, and went back Sunday night for the ward family night (for investigators and recent converts). And he loved it! We taught him about the Restoration this morning and he had already read a Church brochure about Joseph Smith and his testimony. He found the translation of the Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith absolutely fascinating. What I love about him is his sincere desire to learn and know, and that he understands what he reads. A lot of people can read the last 2 paragraphs of the introduction to the Book of Mormon, or read a church pamphlet and really not understand what it means. They read it out loud just fine, but they don´t comprehend what it´s saying. I´ll be honest-- when I´m just reading and not paying attention, it definitely happens to me. But he understands what he´s reading! It´s so great. He has committed to read more and pray about the Book of Mormon, and has committed to be baptized in July if he comes to know that the Book of Mormon and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are true.
That´s what I love about the church and missionary work. We´re not here to try and convince people that our church is true with fancy or persuasive or even manipulative words. We teach for true, genuine, sincere understanding. The only thing we convince or persuade people to do is to read a book of scripture and apply the invitation to ask God about His restored truths. We don´t manipulate them into being baptized or believing what we´re saying, we just invite them to ask God, and we continue to help them come unto Christ through Faith, teaching them the commandments of God so they know to repent, helping them through the repentance processes, and then making covenants with God, something that they themselves already want to do. It´s just so straightforward and true. and we´re really just here to support the strengthening of their relationship with God.
We´re going to work super hard these last few weeks of my mission. We´re both excited. It´s going to be a bit hard, and we don´t have a whole lot of people to teach, but hey. we´ll find those people and invite them come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel. Yeah!
Stay strong for the last week of school/ Finals!!! Wait, are you guys already out of school? lucky!
Just one more fast Sunday and then I´ll be home.
Elder Cole Moffat
Again, not a lot to write about. Well, really, not a lot of time left. that´s the real thing.
Thanks for all the emails, fam! It´s good to hear from the cousins.
Hey. Mom, Dad, and bros. There are a lot of ecuatorians in this sector that make and sell beanies. There comfortable and warm. and cheap. I´m going to buy some for you guys. what colors do you want? I need each of you to send me a color. In can be mixed or stripes. Also, for the bros, I can get you a sick wool pancho, a wool zip up jacket, or a chilean soccer jersey. You guys can pick individually, and I´ll get them and bring them home to you.
Mom, I need a brownie recipe. thanks!
OH YEAH! This week we went with Raul Maire (baptized in Feb) to the temple to do baptisms! I brought 2 of my own names. It was really cool to actually be baptized for them. And Elder Rodriguez got to confirm his grandpa! Raul did baptisms also. He, in his own super calm way, couldn´t get over just how cool of an experience it was.
Tomorrow, we´ll be going to the temple as a zone. I´ll do the work for one of my own ancestors. I´ve never done that before, so I´m excited to have the opportunity and experience of going through the temple for them. If you guys want to/can go to the temple tomorrow, or at least this week, I invite you to do it. The temple is such an important part of our worship. Do it!
Well, that´s all, folks.
I love you!
Elder Cole Moffat
ps- can you send me maddi moffat´s email address? thanks!
We had interviews this week with president King. My Temple recommend was going to expire at the end of the month, so I had a temple recommend interview in addition to the normal missionary interview. Can you believe that I went through the temple for the first time 2 years ago?
Benjamín got baptized! He was so excited. He´s 9 and his mom is now back active in the church, his sister got baptized almost 2 years ago, and now he has taken the step. and his dad even came! big step. I confirmed him on Sunday (I guess that´s my unofficial job here in the ward-- I´ve confirmed the last 3 people who have gotten baptized!)
Yesterday we were also walking somewhere, and even though we knew we wouldn´t be able to actually get in the house, I felt like we should just go anyway. And on the way there, we ran into a lady who stopped us and asked us where the church is in the sector. She moved here 3 months ago from la Paz, Bolivia, and was there with her inactive sister. And she said "But I´m not baptized yet." Golden! We told her where the church was, and actually went by her house to pick her up for an activity later that night! and immediately the people there became her friends. As it turns out, all her kids are baptized, her sister and her family are all Mormons, and her brother in law is a Bishop. I told her that I had a friend serving in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and she immediately said, "Oh where the temple is! My sister and brother in law are temple workers, and I've been to the temple grounds- obviously not inside-- but I love it. It´s so pretty!" We´re really excited to teach her. And I now have an even stronger testimony that the lord often leads us to people. And, oftentimes, he leads them to us, too!
I love you guys!
Monday, I took Elder Strong to the office, and spent the day with the wilcox´s and Elder Harman and Elder Carty. They stayed the night in Republica, and we had some good lessons. Then Tuesday was when it got crazy. We get to changes meeting, and I find out my new companion is Elder Rodriguez from Hidalgo, Mexico. He goes home 3 changes after I do. So in the middle of the meeting, the assistants get a call-- all the provo MTC missionaries that were supposed to arrive in the mission on Wednesday came a day early and were waiting at the airport Tuesday morning! Two weeks of planning the logistics of changes week by the assistants, down the drain! I know just how basically impossible that is. So Elder Morgan, Elder Stetler, and I offered to help out in any way we could as ex-office Elders. President was very grateful for the offer, and so we went to work! I was substitute secretary for a day! haha I did the new missionary training for the new Provo MTC missionaries, did mission shopping for pillows, etc. Good stuff. Meanwhile, my new comp went back to the zone with other missionaries-- I felt kind of bad for meeting him, and then immediately having to give him to another companionship for the day. Anyway, at about 4:00, I saw an email that basically said, SURPRISE!!!! the mission is going to recieve an extra missionary from the Chile MTC--- we got the notice after President had picked him up. yep. surprise. So at about 5:00, my work was done and Elder Stetler and I headed back to go be with our comps. Then President called me..... "Hey Elder Moffat! Are you still in the office?" "No, we´re in the metro." "Oh, well thanks for all your help today. And for all your hard work, I have a surprise for you-- another companion!!" Yep, the surprise missionary is also my companion!!! Elder Silva is from Peñaflor, and is waiting a few weeks for his visa to clear so he can go to his mission in Ecuador Guayaquil South. I actually met him one time on divisions my first or second change in the mission. small world, eh? So basically, we´re training him--- without going to the trainers meeting, without going to the temple, and without any sort of instruccions. Yay! Good thing Elder Rodriguez just got done training!
So yes, we´re in ANOTHER trio. my 5th and 6th companions in this sector. But it´s fun. they´re both good guys and good missionaries. I wish I was as good as Elder Silva my first week in the mission!
Also, Last night we had a very humbling and sacred experience. I´ll tell you on skype in a few weeks, but I definitely have a very strengthened testimony of the power of the priesthood now. It really made me think of the "Sanctify yourselves" mormon message. here´s the link so you can watch it: http://www.lds.org/pages/mormon-messages?cid=HP000041&lang=eng#sanctify-yourselves
Also, upon seeing a fellow ward member in urgent need of a priesthood blessing, I realized a few things. I realized just how much I have come to love the people in this ward. I realized how much I have come to love the people in all my wards, now looking back on it. And that made me understand just a little more just how much God loves his children. It hurts him to see his children suffer, and his arms of mercy can be all-enveloping if we choose to receive, see, and feel it. I always wants to help us, and in many instances, he sends help in the form of other people. Often times, we are those children of God who are suffering, and we need to be humble enough to ask for and/or accept the help that God sends us through other people. Even more often, we need to be those people that God sends to help the suffering. We must always be willing and looking for ways so serve and help other people. God hopes and expects that we always we worthy and willing to lift those that have fallen, to encourage those who are downtrodden, and especially as priesthood holders, worthy and willing to bless the lives of those in need through the power of God. We must always keep ourselves worthy. “Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord,” says Isaiah. And as Joshua says, and as I know is true, for I have seen it, "Sanctify yourselves: For tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."
I love you.
Elder Cole Moffat
April 22, 2013
How´s the family doing?!? sounds like Spencer had a great performance! hey, get better, Luke. And I´m thinking that Hayden is so stressed and busy that he doesn`t read these anyway hahaha
This week was interesting. we had 4 people in the pension Monday night thru Friday evening. Elder Enamorado had to do a class here in Republica on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then he and Elder Strong had to go to the temple on Friday, so Elder Enamorado and Elder Harman came in from the coast and stayed with us in our already small apartment. fun stuff. One day, Elder Harman and I went to go contact a reference we got from the office. Her name is Jenifer, and she´s really cool. We had a wonderful conversation in the lobby of her apartment building and she`s really really interested in hearing more. She said, and I quote, "I know that I want to get to God, but I just see all the different ways people say you can and can`t do it, and I just don`t know which one I should take. Basically, I know I want to get to God, I just don`t know how to get there. I´m looking for a guide." We have a return appointment with her this week.
It´s been a really weird past few days. Elder Zachary Cummings was a missionary that served here and went home 2-3 months after I got to Chile. He was the mission secretary, Zone Leader in Republica, served in San Miguel, and a few other places. After he left the office, he went to Republica, and Elder Strong was one of his comps in Republica (a year and a half ago), the first time Elder Strong was in Republica. Basically, it looks like Elder Cummings and I had very similar missions. Well, his wife gave him a surprise 1 year anniversary present: Trip to Chile/South America! So yesterday we went around to a bunch of houses with "Brother Cummings" and his wife--so Elder Strong could say his goodbyes and Zach Cummings could say hi to all the same people. It was a really interesting and fun day.
Then today, Elder Wilcox´s parents got in to pick him up! They´ll be visiting a bunch of people this week. So we talked about Mindy and Eldon, Paige, Kate, Garrett, and Ryan for a bit. They had room in their rent a car, so they took us back to my sector, which is close to their hotel. They were thankful for an Elder who could tell them how to get around Santiago in a car without dying. On the way, we stopped by some member´s house in Riconada, Elder Wilcox´s first sector-- when he, too, was with Elder Fuhriman! Small world. Surreal weekend.
Elder Strong was a great companion. I really really enjoyed our 8 weeks together. I definitely look forward to seeing him after the mission. We made some great memories in the sector.
Tomorrow I find out who my comp is. He´ll probably be my last companion in the mission. But president did say something about possible companions.... plural.... We´ll see tomorrow.
Love you guys! thanks for ally your love and support!
Well, we definitely had an interesting week!
Thursday night, we were out with Mosiah, a 17 year old young man in the ward, and went to go visit Ana, who got baptized in January. We saw a note on the door that said "Elderes." I thought, oh no... she´s not here. She left her phone at work, and after working all day, went back to work a night shift. So we were thinking about what we could/should do at 9:00 at night. Just then, this dad and his 13 year old daughter walk up to us and ask (but in Spanish) "Do you know of anywhere we could rent a room for the night? We got in this morning from Quito, Ecuador, and we need a place to stay for tonight." We thought about it for a minute, and then were like, "Hey! Let´s go to the chapel! maybe there are some people there that can help you-- maybe the bishop, too." As it turns out, he had planned to stay with a friend, or a friend was going to organize something, but then bailed once this guy and his daughter got to Chile. what a great friend, eh? So we called some people, and long story short, they went to stay at Violeta´s house. She got baptized in December. But we had to run to our pension and grab the extra mattress and bring it over there, and it was intense.
I also participated in a priesthood blessing that was given in Kichwa. super cool.
Well time ran out REAL quick. So I´ll write more next week.... hopefully.
Last week with Elder Strong, then he goes home!!!
Elder Cole Moffat
My last conference in the mission! Sad.
I love Conference.
I love Conference.
Here are some highlights:
65,000+ missionaries. 58 new missions. oh yeahhhh
Boyd K Packer said that there are few powers greater than that of a righteous mother. Keep praying for me and my investigators, mom!
Dean M. Davies said that praying and scripture study should be as natural (and necessary) as eating and breathing. is it?
What e´er thou art, act well thy part.
Henry B Eyring said that through simple acts of obedience, we can feel more of God´s love. As he said that, I thought, "God will always accept my invitation for him to stay with me. But I can only invite him through my actions, my sincere desires, and my broken heart and contrite spirit." Let`s invite the power of God into our lives.
Richard G. Scott told us that we always need to have a Christ-centered home that can be felt-- a home that invites and is attractive to people who may not have a Christ-centered home. Let´s have that kind of home. He also said that if for some reason we can`t do it all at once, we should live worthily so that Heavenly Father can tell us what we should emphasize right now.
Then Quentin L. Cook just kept on going like it was a direct continuation of Elder Scott´s talk. I was seriously amazed. Righteous living will always be rewarded with personal peace.
Stanley G Elis. Stick to the basics. The Lord is hastening his work on EVERY side. Bloom where you`re planted.
David A Bednar. Law of Chastity. ´Nuff said. He had a wonderfully potent quote there at the end about those that think the law of chastity is something archaeic. Beautiful.
Robert D. Hales said that we should make a life plan. Probably a good idea. do it.
Tad R. Callister. The priesthood in a boy is just as powerful as then priesthood in a man when used in righteousness. I know that`s true.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf had a wonderful "title" talk.
Henry B. Eyring definitely emphasized member missionary work.
Thomas S. Monson: Search the scriptures with diligence (not just reading, and not just once in a while). Plan your life with purpose (another life plan comment...). Teach the truth with testimony (It`s hard to go against someone´s personal testimony). Serve the Lord with love. Christ is the missionary who redeemed mankind.
Dieter F Uchtdorf talked about darkness and light. start where you are, turn your heart to the lord, and then walk in the light. not darkness. I testify that Jesus Christ is the light.
Neil L Andersen also talked about member missionary work. and how we can share the gospel and stuff.... sound like a reoccurring theme?
L. Whitney Clayton. Watch and learn. Humility is the essence of repentance.
L. Tom Perry´s talk may have been one of my favorite talks. Just about everyone accepts the 10 commandments as a good standard and just about the most accepted and basic moral code we have written. but as a society, we really only follow 4 out of the 10: stealing is bad, killing is bad, lying is bad, and children should honor and respect their parents. But what happened to putting God as our first priority, not worshiping statues or graven images, not taking his name in vain, keeping the sabbath day holy, not committing sexual sins, and not envying? Obedience to law is Liberty.
Thomas S. Monson gave a wonderful talk on Obedience... another reoccurring theme...
Jeffrey R Holland´s talk was so good that I only took a few notes and just wrote, "Definite study-later talk."
Dallin H. Oaks as well. But I did write "Daily kneeling prayers as a family."
Enrique R. Falabella said that we shouldn`t just know the gospel, we should live it.
From Erich W. Kopischke´s, talk I thought, "if everyone needs to be accepted,then a) i´m going to seek acceptance from good sources, and b) I need to be a good, positive source of acceptance for other people, and in so doing, I need to point them to Christ.
Bruce D. Porter. Doubt Not, Fear not. for He is not here. He is risen. I testify of that.
D. Todd Christofferson just really opened my eyes to the Redemptive power of Jesus Christ, and the redemptive power we can have in the lives of other people. Family History and Temple Work are forms of redemption. Helping people is redeeming work.
phew. awesome conference. http://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2013/04?lang=eng watch and read them again.
I love you guys!
Elder Cole Moffat
I kind of wrote a separate email to both of you... and I don´t have much time to write more.... sorry.
Happy Easter! (lunch fell through yesterday... so we ate with the bishop). Everyone when to the beach for the long weekend. No one in the sector on Saturday. seriously.
We had a talent show on Friday! Elder Strong and I did a few numbers. I played the piano and sang, and he sang along. pretty cool stuff! I´ll show you the video in a few months.....
We saw an 11 year old kid teach a 45/50 year old woman about modesty over dinner. sweet.
Well, that´s all! Happy Easter. and get ready for CONFERENCE!!!!!
Elder Cole Moffat
April 2, 2013
Thanks for the Happy Birthday package! I love it!!! just stuffed with candy. can´t get much better than that. and Letters from Lauren Gui and DonnaRae. Thanks!
Tell people they now can email me, too! firstname.lastname@example.org
This week we had a really good week. We found a lot of new investigators, taught a lot of lessons, had our investigators with fechas come to church and really show a desire to learn more. it was great. Lots of Ecuadorians.
Speaking of Ecuadorians, I did my first baptismal interview! He´s Ecuadorian. super cool guy. and the interview was a wonderful experience. Seriously. It´s so cool to sit down with investigators you´ve never met, but who really want to get baptized, and have them tell you how they recieved a testimony of the gospel, and their relationship with God and Christ, and what it means to them to have a living prophet today, and have them "[witness] unto the church that they truly repented of all their sins" (Moroni 6:2). I loved it. and I definitely felt the confirmation of the spirit telling me that this young man was ready, willing, and sincere in his desire to be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ.
We´re also now teaching a deaf investigator, a daughter of a member who´s reactivating. She´s super cool too. She can kind of hear if she has her hearing aids in, and can read lips really well. So we try and speak clearly, and she teaches us sign language, and we get along and are ALL able to learn. she´s come to church twice, now, and came to a mass family home evening at someone else´s house with her member mom and not-yet-member dad.
is it a fad in the united states for girls to wear transparent shirts, or is that just here? because we sure see a lot of them. yuck.
We´re also learning a little bit of keechwa, the native indiginous language of Ecuador (there are a lot of otavalans in our sector). niuka yachane tucuita. jako! They´re super humble people, and always friendly and just really really humble. I love them. Always just happy and smiley.
Well, that´s all for this week, folks! I love you!
Elder Cole Moffat
And we´re here in a trio! Our new companion is Elder Felipe from Lima, Peru. So it´s an American looking guy, a Chinese looking guy, and a Peruvian -- walking around Chile. We´ve just gotta be a sight to see. But Elder Felipe is a cool guy. He got to the mission my first day in the office as secretary.... 9 months ago. And he just finished 2 years as a member of the church. His sister got baptized last week! He´s a pretty chill guy, and a good teacher.
We were able to go out on divisions a lot this week because now if we can get 1 guy to come out with us, we can split up and have 2 companionships. On Sunday we actually did that, but each of us went with a ward member, so we had 3 companionships! pretty sweet.
This week I decided I have my new favorite part of the Gospels in the New Testament: John 14-16. I don´t know what it was, but they just seemed amazingly applicable and spiritual, and awesome this last time that I read them this week. They have some "famous" verses that are quoted a lot, but it was cool to understand why Christ taught, and why he said those "famous" lines in his teaching, and what he was talking about in the first place. super cool. I definitely learned a lot. I just feel like I understood it so much more..... maybe because I was reading it in both Spanish and English.
Well, that´s all I got for today.
Love you guys!!!
March 5, 2013
HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY TO COLE this week!
Friday, March 8th.
But, Elder Strong´s second sector was Republica. Then he went to Maipu, then Ochagavia, then El Sauce, and now he´s back in Republica! All the members know him and recognize him and stuff, so he´s already got their confidence and trust. We´ve been able to go back to some old investigators he had from a year and a half ago, which has really helped improve our teaching pool. Yeah! good stuff.
This week, we realized that there are a lot of gringos here on study abroad. and the university they´re studyng at here in Chile is in our sector. So we were able to have some nice English conversations with some real life gringos!
We have some awesome investigators now, and we have some fechas. yes!!!
Well, that´s all folks. Talk to you guys next week!
Elder Cole Moffat
And we found out on Saturday night that Elder Gehring has changes, so it looks like I´ll be getting a new companion! I´m excited for this new opportunity that will present itself. Change, if applied correctly, means growth. So it looks like I´ll be able to grow some more here pretty soon! Also, I don´t know if I told you guys last week or not, but it looks like I might be here in Republica until the end of my mission-- about 3 and a half more changes. President told me 2 weeks ago in interviews that unless something changes in his plans, I´ll be here until the end of my mission. We´ll see what happens. 8 months is a long time to be in one place, but if I had to choose one place in the entire mission to be for 8 months, it would be here in Republica! :)
Love you guys!
Elder Cole Moffat
We taught a reference we got, and she seems really cool. Yay Releif Society president! She`s the one that gave us a reference. The friend´s name is Ivonne, and they live in the same apartment building. It was cool, because at the end of our first visit with her, she was like, What you guys do is just awesome. And you know what? A bunch of people here in this apartment building could really benefit from what you guys are teaching, because there are some pretty bad neighbors. There´s actually a multipurpose room downstairs-- do you think that if I got a bunch of people together sometime, you guys could come and teach a few classes here in the building? ummmm, YES! super awesome. She´s just golden.
I started reading the New Testament a week or so ago, and I finished Mark this week. It´s really cool to read into some of the parables and figure out how to apply this stuff to life.
We just went bowling, and I bowled a 140, then a 111, then a 99, then a 97. But I was pretty impressed with the 140.
Well, we have this week, and then changes! It looks like Elder Gehring will probably be leaving to go whitewash train somewhere, and I`ll get a new comp, probably another Zone Leader (or else i´d be training, which I don´t want to do in this sector as a solo Zone Leader). I´ll let you know next Monday what´s going on for sure!
Nothing else... just that I love you and I miss you..... and I´ll be home in just 5 more fast Sundays less than 5 months left... it´s kind of a weird feeling. so soon, but at the same time, so much more time left.
Elder Cole Moffat
February 14, 2013
|James Van de Graaff from Northbrook, IL surprises Cole!|
James served his mission in Chile years ago
There´s a young man in our ward named Rodrigo, a convert of 3 to 4 years, who is going on his mission in a few weeks to Cusco, Peru. Well, he´s very excited, had his temple recommend interview this week, and went through the temple on Saturday. His family couldn´t go through with him, because they´re not yet members of the church. So, he asked us if we could go through with him. We asked permission from President, and he said yes, considering the circumstances. The Relief Society president also came. When Elder Gehring and I got there, Rodrigo was there waiting in the changing room. A temple worker came up to us and was like, "Elder Moffat.... you. Rodrigo has asked that you be his escort through the session today. Quick, get changed so we can start!" It was a really neat experience going through the temple with someone for their first time (my second time in Spanish!). I just love the temple.
Afterwards, we went over to the distribution center to buy some things, and there was this GIANT man who we knew was definitely NOT chilean. (in fluent, not too gringo spanish) "Where are you from, Elder?" "Chicago" "Oh really... Elder Van De Graff is over there around the corner in the chapel. Well, to you he might be President Van de Graff. You should go see him!" Well, I only know one Van de Graff family, and so I figured it was probably them, so we headed on over there. And sure enough, James Van De Graff is there! They were having a mission reunion from the Misión Chile Viña del Mar ´79-´82 I think. He was actually one of the people who planned it. We talked for a bit, it was great. We also talked with a few other people there whose spouses were the RMs from Viña, and they didn´t speak spanish (so they were really happy talking to 2 gringo missionaies. Elder Gehring made some connections some of the people from Mesa (Richard Skousen?). They all knew his dad and grandpa ("Grandpa Lou!") So it was a fun time. What are the chances, right?
Well, that´s all I have time for this week. More to come next week, from Republica.
Elder Cole Moffat
February 4, 2013
This week we decided to try a new method of talking to people and having them actually wanting to talk with us. A few days of the week, we set up a table outside the church with a quesiton written on a piece of posterboard. We had our pamphlets and cards and other stuff, but also a few notecards where people could write their answer to our question. "What do you expect from the Mormon Church in our neighborhood?" "What would you ask Jesus Christ?" "What does Faith mean to you?" Simple, open-ended answers.very few people actually came up to answer the question, but a lot of people came up to talk with us and ask other questions. So, while we didn´t get any new investigators from it (which is what was happening before anyway), we were able to talk to a lot more people that were actually interested in talking with us. And 9/10 cars (yes, a measured and accurate statistic) that passed through the intersection read the sign with the question. Some even slowed down to read it. So, even if we didn´t talk with all of them, we got people to think about the church, christ, faith, etc. And with the people that passed by without stopping, even after we tried talking to them, we definitely sparked a few conversations about Christ and religion. success!
The specialized training was on Thursday, and Concilio was this Friday, and they were awesome. We really need to focus on Christ more. That´s just the bottom line I´ve learned this week. We need to focus on Christ more. I want you guys to read "The Living Christ" this week. President invited each of us to memorize it as well. I just want you guys to read it together, and really think about it. "What think ye of Christ?" That´s something we can all ask ourselves and analyze a little more often in our life. What do we really think of Christ?
Food for thought.
Well, I love you guys!
Elder Cole Moffat
Click here for the document, "The Living Christ"
Ana Rañiman got baptized on Saturday! It was a wonderful experience. She just looked so happy afterwards. Well, before, too, but especially afterwards, as she was sitting with her 11 year old son, who got baptized in November. Elder Gehring baptized her. There was pretty good support from the ward, too. There were probably 30+ people there. nice! And about 20 of us went to their house afterwards to have refreshments. So fun! But the fun part came the next day, Sunday, when I confirmed her! On Saturday, after the baptism, she asked me to do the confirmation on Sunday. Well, I´ve never confirmed anyone before, and I´ve definitely never done it in Spanish And the only times I´ve given blessings, it´s only been just the person there or maybe their family, too. I´ve definitely never had to give a blessing or confirm anyone a member of the church speaking into a microphone in front of a whole ward. So that was interesting. It was nervous, but when I got up there, the words flowed. Interesting how that works.
Other than the baptism, there´s really nothing else to comment on. The work is kind of slowing down here in Republica It´ll probably be like this through February, but in March it should pic up again (when there are actually more people walking around, when investigators and members are actually in town, etc.). This week we´re going to start contacting a little differently, because like Preach My Gospel says, we shouldn´t just do the same thing over and over and over again. It has some ideas in it, but it suggests that those ideas should be a starting point to develop our own creative ideas. I´ll let you know how it goes.
Well, I love you guys and miss you loads!
Elder Cole Moffat
ps- I did my own visa run this week, and got my second visa. here in a few weeks i´ll get my new chilean ID, and I´m pretty sure the picture looks IDENTICAL to the one I took last year. you´ll see....
January 21, 2013
Well, everyone here is STILL on vacation. and more people left. which leaves us with a small teaching pool, a smaller general population in the sector, and lots of members who would normally give us references out of town.
BUT! We´ll have a baptism this Saturday! Ana is awesome. I´ll tell you guys more next week. She´s the one who´s dog had the puppies while we were there a month ago. Super awesome.
Last week I said that there were 2 people waiting outside the chapel that we talked to in the morning and that we were going to meet with them on Monday night. Their names are Fernando and Jaqueline. Well, we met with them on Monday night. and Tuesday night. and wednesday night. and then they went out of town. and we´ll meet with them again tonight. They´re from Ovalle, in the northern part of Chile. They´re here right now because he´s going through some medical problems.... but he found out on Tuesday morning that it´s treatable! So they´ll be here for a few months while he undergoes the treatment, and then they´ll go back to Ovalle. But when we shared about Joseph Smith, the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon, Jaqueline said, "I can already tell this is a beautiful book. I will read it. I commit to read it every day, starting today." and the next day she had read the chapter, understood it well, and had questions ready. AWESOME. After, she also said "You know, I feel something right here **rubbing her chest** and it feels warm. I just feel so at peace." and they said the same thing the next day. That they had noticed a difference in the last 24 hours since meeting with us. We´re excited for our appointment tonight.
We also set a baptism date for the end of February with Raul, the husband of a recent convert-- Candy, who was baptized by Elder Gehring in November. Their son, who is still in Bolivia, is getting baptized on February 3rd, and they are very excited!
So, the work is progressing, despite the summer vacation here in Chile. Oh yeah!
Well, I love you guys!
Elder Cole Moffat
So we had a pretty good week this week. Pretty funny stuff, yet pretty powerful stuff.
We met with Santiago, and shared the Word of Wisdom with him. By far the funniest Word of Wisdom lesson I´ve had. But in the end, he was like, well, I guess I have to do it. and then he came to church the next day. That`s a good sign. We´ll meet with him again today.
We were in the chapel during the week, waiting for a member to get there so we could go to a lesson, and a member from the other ward came up to us and asked us for a blessing. She was waiting for an interview or an activity or something, but when she saw us, she asked us for a priesthood blessing.. There is power in the priesthood. This young wife had some chronic disease that flared up time to time and was really hurting her. Something with serious migraines or something. She also really wanted to be a mother, but had not been able to get pregnant. As Elder Gehring was pronouncing the blessing, I felt a strong confirmation of everything he was saying, especially when he blessed her that she would be able to bring one of Heavenly Father´s children into the world and be a mother, according to her faith, obededience, and diligence. There is power in the priesthood.
Yesterday, we also had the opportunity to teach a Father how to give a blessing to his newborn, and sick, child. This Father, who has been member for about a year and a half, was able to learn how to use his priesthood to directly bless his family. what a blessing it was for me to be able to teach him and help him.
Ana continues to progress, and will be baptized on January 26. I can´t wait!!!
Elder Gehring and I will be together for 6 more weeks here in Republica. It´s going to be great!!!
Well, that`s all I got for this week. Love you lots!!
Elder Cole Moffat
January 13, 2013
We went to Concilio at President´s house on Friday and learned about the new mission initiative for the month of January. President wants people to focus on Preach My Gospel a lot more, and so we´ll be using it a lot more this year than we had been. It`s not like we never used it, because it`s absolutely necessary to do effective missionary work. But President wants to put a lot more focus on it. In PMG, it mentions key indicators that help us focus on what is important in the conversion process. Contacts, References Recieved, Lessons to investigators with a member Present, new investigators, etc. And these are the things we focus on. But some of the key indicators play a bigger role-- for example, a Lesson with a member present can play a bigger role in continued conversion than a single street contact. Yes, contacts are important, and we need to do them to find new investigators usually, but an actual lesson with an investigator is a bigger step in conversion. So for the initiative this month, President has assigned point values for some of the key indicators. It`s not a competition, it´s not saying whoever gets the most points gets a prize, nothing like that. That would be just looking to cause problems. No, it`s just a way of showing the relative importance of things. and the Goal is to get the most points you can as a companionship, and to always get more points than you did the week before. If that means that you need to do more lessons, than do it. If you´re lacking a few lessons, but you don`t have any other investigators to go to, then go do contacts. We`re not trying to do the things for numbers, rather, we`re just pointing out the relative importance of the key indicators to help more people actually progress towards baptism. I´m actually really excited for this!
Well, that`s what I got for this week. Love you guys!
Elder Cole Moffat
January 4, 2013
It was really good to see you and talk to you on the 26th! With that, there´s not too much more I have to write about.... just keep praying for me down here in Chile!
Well, not too much, but it´s what I got.
Elder Cole Moffat.
Hey there!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! but I´ll see you on Wednesday, so I`ll still tell you then.
This week we had our Mission Christmas Conference. Weird. I reserved the chapel for it. But it was really really fun. and the Retrospectivo turned out really good!! Everyone liked it, especially on the part that I worked hardest on: The Baptismal part at the end. Mission accomplished. Nothing like Sister King turning around and looking at me with a huge smile and winking at me when that part started. She said that both her and President cried when they watched it for the first time. I was just really happy I was able take a part in making it for the mission.
Also, every zone did a sketch. Zona Republica did a comedic improv sketch about the Ammon story, and him cutting off the arms and everything. I was one of the sheep. It was quite funny. Elder Inalef was Ammon, and he`s just a goof. He really played up his argentine accent and came out saying "O, Bello pueblo, O bello pueblo!!" (with a really hard "sh") and "No se preocupen. YO mando acá!" again, with the thick argentine accent. Dad, I`m sure you can immitate it. Elder Cervantes was the king, and also made it really funny.
Another cool story of the week. We went to go to an investigators house, and we walk in, and she´s like, "There´s a DOG in my bed!!!!!!" and we´re thinking, oh no, some stray dog just waltzed in here and got in her bed. But when we get in there, we turn on the light, hear this soft squealing, and se a huge lump under the covers and a little ball of black fur on top. on top was a baby puppy!! and we opened up the covers (all wet with a little blood), and there´s the family dog-- and she had 3 puppies! Well, good thing Elder McBride, who goes home the day after christmas, had farm animals and was used to helping animals... in that situation. So we got the little puppies latched on to their mom so they could get milk and stuff. So then we went in the other room and shared some scriptures and talked to her about a baptismal date, and we hear some more soft puppy squealing. So we kind of end the lesson and walk in the other room, and there´s a 4th puppy! What?!? She literallly had a puppy while we were in the other room, and we didn`t hear anything! Two little white puppies and two little black ones. And apparently they´re doing well. So that was an interesting experience. Something not too common on a mission.
Yesterday at church it was the Christmas sacrament meeting. I played piano for the hymns (few minutes notice, as always), but also for a special musical number-- a trio, two sopranos and an alto. They called me Friday night about a rehearsal at 9pm on Saturday night, to be performed Sunday. I found out at 9pm Saturday that the song was "O Noche Santa," or "O Holy Night." They just had the choral part, so I made up the rolling piano part and rehearsed with them (basically led the rehearsal and helped with parts and breathing and stuff like that. Mr. Little would be proud). And when we performed on Sunday during Sacrament, it went pretty well. It was fluid and stayed together. But it did make me miss Brian Embree´s yearly rendition of O Holy Night. Next year....
It really was a holy night. It was the night that the Savior of all of Heavenly Father´s children was born. The birth of Christ is so important due to the life that he led afterwards. A Perfect, sinless life. A model life. A saving death. A redeeming Resurrection. I love this traditional Christian hymn:
"In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand
In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
´Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again.
And as He stands in victory
Sin´s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life´s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
´Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand."
Well, that´s all I really have for today. I can´t wait to talk on Wednesday, the 26 at 2:00pm Chilean time. I´m so excited!!
Much love and Merry Christmas,
Elder Cole Moffat
Tomorrow we have our mission Christmas devotional/Conference! I´ll let you know how that goes.
Wow, this ward is amazing. Almost 200 people at church, and to me it felt full, but Elder Gehring and Elder McBride said it felt empty to them, knowing how many usually show up. I was excited. The actual part of Santiago kind of has a Wicker park feel to it. Not quite downtown, downtown Chicago, obviously not like the Loop, but Republica is the most downtown zone in the mission. Maybe like an Evanston Feel to it.
We´re having 2 baptisms this week! and we just set another baptismal date for the end of the month! Violeta and Raiko are getting baptized this Saturday Violeta is like a 50ish year old Peruvian lady and very ready to be baptized. Her daughter Dhelma (25) is a recent convert, and they both rent a room at a member´s house. She´s been going to church for like 7 months, but she was just waiting for the opportune moment to ask her other children and husband for permission, to see if they´re okay with her being baptized. and they are! She is really bubbly, always has a smile, jokes around and is funny, but serious and very spiritual when it´s time to be spiritual. She´s so excited for her baptism, and I´m excited for her.
Raiko is 11, young but nevertheless large in stature, and very, VERY quiet and shy. His parents and brother are members and active. He´s read up through 2 Nephi by himself! When I first met him, I asked him what he likes to do. "I love reading the Book of Mormon." That´s cool! What else? "I like memorizing the articles of faith. I´m only missing 3 of them, and then I´ll have them all memorized. But I brought them to church last week, and lost them." He lost his article of Faith card, so I gave him a new one. and he sat there for 5 minutes just silently reading over them. He´s just a great kid.
One of the cool things about this ward is that we have been able to go on divisions with the members almost every day! We only taught like 3 lessons to investigators without a member there with us. It also helps that we are teaching some part-member households. And the members give us references! It´s great.
On Friday, we went to Concilio, which is where all the zone leaders go to President´s house and have a 9am-4/5pm training, once a month. We ate breakfast and lunch there, too. We gave a report of our zones first, then learning the month´s iniciative from President, then had a sort of council where we just talked about the mission and the changes that will be happening. And there´s going to be a lot. It was a really good experience.
The iniciative that we have as a misison (we´ll teach it to our zone this week) is obviously about Christmas Family night/ family home evening in spanish is "Noche de Hogar", literally, "home night." This month, we´re going to do "Noches de Cristo" literally, "Christ nights." President presented it to us as if we were members/investigators in a home, doing a Noche de Cristo. We started with a hymn, and then talked about traditions we have during Christmas. We then read some verses from the Bible, mostly in Luke, but instead of just reading it, we watched the new bible videos that accompany it! It sure gave me a lot of insight into the story of the birth of Christ. Then after, we talked a little bit about the life of Christ, and connected it to the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now we´re going to do that with some members and have them invite their friends.
Going off what you wrote, dad, about Prayer and going all in, we were with our Ward mission leader (AWESOME), Luis, teaching an investigator. The investigator let us know that he had read the Book of Mormon, and had prayed about it, but that he hadn´t received an answer yet. Luis took that opportunity to talk a lot about prayer. While talking, he explained that when it talks about praying with a "sincere heart," it´s talking about really wanting to know, but REALLY wanting to know. That can really be referred to as the intensity of your prayers. Or like you say, going all in. Not being fanatically obsessed with one little detail or one little note in the orchestral symphony of the Gospel, as Elder Oaks teaches, but going all in. I´m going to really look for "sincere heart" when I read the scriptures, and see if I understand the meaning better if I substitute it with intensity or going all in. just a thought.
Happy Christmas season!!
We gotta go. Love you guys!
Elder Cole Moffat