January 21, 2013

New Investigator Miracles, 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

Priesthood Power, January 14, 2013

So, this morning, we were playing soccer with the young men in the ward.  (my team won!)  As we left, this couple was sitting outside the gate on a bench.  As we walked by, they said, "¿Son misioneros?" "Are you missionaries?" and we`re like yes, we are.  "Porque, queremos entrar en su iglesia.  ¿Cómo lo hacemos?"  Rough translation, how you´d say it in English:  Because, we want to be part of your church.  What do we need to do?    Miracle.  We`re going to meet with them tonight.

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

Still Here, January 7, 2013

Hey!  It was a good week for Zona Republica!  With 6 companionship,  we taught 84 lessons to investigators (35 with members present and 49 normal lessons).  We found 37 new investigators as a zone!  Here in our sector, we were able to go on divisions with some members for 3 hours last night.  It was a real help-- we taught 7 lessons just yesterday!  Things are looking like they´re really starting to improve in Republica.

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

Happy New Year, December 31, 2012

Well, tonight we´ll be having a nice view of the fireworks!  we have a very clear view of the Entel tower of downtown Santiago  and that´s exactly where they´ll be shooting the fireworks off!  if you want to see how close it is, just search "torre entel, santiago chile" to see where the fireworks will be shot off, and then look for the street "Sazie" to the southwest.  we´re on the corner of Sazie and the highway, 7 stories up.  ohhhh yeah.

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.

Merry Christmas, December 24, 2012

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

Baptisms! December 17, 2013

Yay, baptisms!!!  We had 2 baptisms on Saturday.  Violeta and Raiko.  They´re both super ready to be baptized.  I think I talked about them last week, and so ironically I don´t have to much more to say than that it was a beautiful experience.  And the ceremony was awesome.  2 musical numbers!  This ward works.  I sang a duet, "I need thee every hour" with the Gospel Principles teacher, Katiuska.  She can sing really well .  "Señor, te necesito" is what it´s called in Spanish.  There´s a funny story about filling the font that maybe I´ll tell you over Skype next week.

Tomorrow we have our mission Christmas devotional/Conference! I´ll let you know how that goes.

Republica, December 10, 2013

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