June 14, 2013

Start of Last Change, June 4, 2013

Still here in Republica.  Thanks for the pics of Jack's Baptism and friends and stuff!  Tell Jack congrats on his baptism!  It must have been so cool to be baptized in Lake Michigan (cool as in "sweet, bro" and cool as in freaking cold, yes pun intended).
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.

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