Monday, August 26, 2013

Third week in Honduras: "Under my sonbrilla, brilla, brilla, eh eh eh"

Greetings my fine friends and family,

Looking back on this week all I can really remember is a lot of water. It rained for most of the week, which is nice because it cools everything down but at the same time gets everything wet. We were walking to an appointment and this street was so completely flooded that we had to wade through water up to our thighs. It is crazy how much water this place gets! 

Speaking of water, I had the honor of performing a baptism! She is a super cool, funny, and smart young woman and after meeting with her for several weeks I can actually understand her Spanish! Her story is a testimony to me of the power and importance of the Holy Spirit in conversion. When her sister,was baptized in June, she was so adamantly against it that she told her sisiter she was going to go to hell for joining the Mormons. Then she saw the change that her sisiter was undergoing in her life, and started meeting with us. She wasn´t super convinced, and so we just told her that she needs to ask God about it. 1 Cor 2:11 tells us that we can´t know the things of God without the confirmation of the Holy Ghost, which confirmation we are promised if we ask in humility and with faith about the Book of Mormon and our message. She did so, and she received a testimony. She then asked us when she could be baptized. I was honored to perform the baptism.  I was super nervous because people here have four names and I didn´t think I could remember all four of her names to use in the short baptismal prayer, but luckily I did, and after I baptized her she had the biggest smile I had ever seen anyone have, and she bounded out of the font saying that she felt completely clean. Super cool. Yesterday she was confirmed in our Sunday church service and given the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

I was totally reminded why I am here in Honduras for two years-- to help people have the incredible blessings and joy of the gospel and the church of Jesus Christ. Christ came to the earth not just to atone for our sins, but also to establish His church because a specific, established church with prophets and apostles led by and endowed with authority and revelation is essential to our salvation and our happiness. I know that His church has been restored in our day, that the same power to baptize that John the Baptist held in the wilderness of Judea was restored to Joseph Smith and only through that power, which I am lucky to hold, was I able to baptize Yaneli on Saturday. I know this work is true and I know that it blesses lives. I am seeing it every day.

The Christlike attribute of the week I am working on is patience. I am a super impatient kiddie and always want to be getting stuff done and be perfect now, now, now, but I have realized the importance of patience in the work of the Lord, especially patience with myself, my Spanish, our investigators, and with God. Blessings will come and prayers will be answered; we just need to wait for them to come on the Lord's time. 

We cooked and ate a ginormous lobster today for P-day lunch with a family that wants us to meet with them and it was super good! 

Speaking of giant bug-like creatures, there is this bug that comes out at night that makes this sound that literally sounds like the laughter of Satan. Imagine in your mind right now the most chillingly diabolical laugh, and that is exactly what it sounds like while you are walking through the dark deserted streets of Honduras at night. It is super loud too. Creeeeeeeeeepiest thing in the world I am telling you. Every time one starts laughing, I jump around punching the air waiting for Satan to just materialize behind us or something. 

I am grateful to be here in Honduras serving as a missionary! I hope all of you back at home are safe and happy and not having nightmares of demonic bugs laughing at you. 

Love you all!
Elder Moffitt

Monday, August 19, 2013

Second week in Honduras: Live Righteously, Die Easy

I was sitting here thinking about a good title for this week´s email and that awesome title popped into my head: Live Righteously, Die Easy. Definitely going to major in Cinema now just to make a movie with this title. Maybe Bruce Willis will take the lead role.  

Not sure if I should describe this week as rough or wonderful, or if they are even mutually exclusive. I am definitely getting hit by some Honduran love health-wise, delicately meaning that I have been pretty sick the past few days. Not sure if it's Montezuma or just the plantains, but someone is getting their revenge. 

On a more serious note, I got a call from my Mission President this morning that my Grandpa Jerry had passed away. Not the best news to hear in the morning, or ever really, but it got me thinking about the plan of salvation on a much more personal level. Every day we are teaching people that death is not the end, that through Christ´s atonement we will all overcome physical death. These words really take on a new significance when someone close to us passes away. I am so grateful for the comfort that I have at this rough time with this knowledge. But along with physical death, Jesus Christ is our savior because in the Garden of Gethsemane, he suffered for us so that we have the ability to overcome SPIRITUAL death. This is equally, if not more, incredible to me. Spiritual death is the result of our separation from God and from his Spirit, which we bring upon ourselves when we sin. It brings shame, guilt, and misery; for we turn ourselves away from the light of spiritual life and walk into the darkness. Christ endured this separation from God in his last moments on the cross, causing a pain far greater than the beatings and mockings he had received that whole day, which caused him to cry out in ultimate agony "My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?" 

Brothers and Sisters, through repentance, we can overcome spiritual death. We can become clean once again, and have the companionship of the Holy Ghost and the love and guidance of our God and our Savior always, not only in this life, but in the life to come. I love my Grandpa Jerry and will miss him (and our chess games). My Grandfather wasn't perfect, but he had taken those steps necessary in his life to return to live with God again. He had followed the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his life--with faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end--which are the steps Christ established when he was on the earth for us to conquer spiritual death and return to live with him in eternal happiness and glory. This is what I teach all day long, and look forward to teaching for the next two years, because following the steps of the Gospel of Christ brings us incredible and indescribable blessings and happiness in this life and the life to come. I know with all my heart that this is true. I know that my Grandpa was a worthy priesthood holder, raised a righteous family, and, although not perfect, tried to do his best. And thanks to the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and continuing revelations from modern-day prophets, I know exactly where he is and where he and all of us will go. I know he is in that "state of rest and peace" we learn about in Alma 40:11-12. And I am ever so grateful for that sweet knowledge. I also know that through the blessings of Temple ordinances, I am sealed to my Grandpa and the rest of my family, and we will live together for eternity. I really truly know this to be true. 
My Grandpa Jerry at my Mission Farewell

This week was also wonderful for many other reasons. Yaneli, an investigator who had vehemently told her sister that she was going to go to Hell for being baptized in June, is going to be baptized this Saturday. When she stopped to actually search what we were saying, and pray about it, she received an answer. It is really that simple. We don't ask anyone to believe our words as missionaries, we ask them to find out for themselves. God will answer our prayers. I promise and He promises. She wants me to baptize her and I think we can do it in the ocean. Gonna be the coolest thing ever. 

Also, we had Elder Ochoa of the Quorum of the Seventy come to a musical program that we did for new investigators and the next day we had a meeting with him. It was awesome. 

One of our investigators had a baby this week. Got to hold him!

The Stake President came to our ward and totally machete´d our ward leaders and got everyone mobilized and motivated to help in missionary work. Miracles be a'coming when missionaries and members work together!

Oh yeah, haha, also taught Yaneli calculus on Tuesday--one thing I was never expecting to do here in Honduras! But we are here to serve and she had a big test the next day so I mustered all of my mathematical skills to help. There are 3 things in this world that I am super terrible at: Calculus, Spanish, and Basketball. If only I was dribbling a basketball while helping her, I would have been a triple threat. But the next day she said that the exact part of calculus that I had taught her was what most of the test was on. God=1 Test=0. 

Other than that, I fill my days eating pig skin soup, dodging gunfights in the streets at night (not even joking hahaha), and living the gringo missionary life. 

Thanks for all of your prayers! I know that if we live righteously, we will indeed die easy. Live righteously everyone!!!! 

Elder Moffitt

Monday, August 12, 2013

Awesome first week in Honduras!

Hola Familia y Everyone Else!

So pretty slow and uneventful week and a half, not much happened, oh wait JUST KIDDING! I have an entire BOOK to write someday about these past 11ish days but I am going to have to cram it into one really fast email so forgive me because I pay by the minute to write these emails and the more I pay means the less baleadas I get to eat. 

Okay. Phew. So it begins.
The last few days at the MTC were very bittersweet, sorry to see my fellow district buddies for the last time, and sad to say goodbye to my beloved biscuits and gravy every Thursday morning, but excited to get into the real world. Plane rides were chill but, for our first two flights, we were just sitting by other missionaries so I couldn´t save anyone’s soul or anything. But on the flight to San Pedro Sula, my two travel companions and I split up to let a family sit together and got to each teach our first lessons to real people! I got to know a super awesome father from SPS and taught him entirely in terrible Spanish! I gave him a Book of Mormon and got his address and digits to send some missionaries over later. So we arrive at SPS and, wow, there is no way I am going to be able to tell you all of this so I am going to make a list of points of cool thoughts and things that happened since we got there.

1. Our mission president is awesome and is totally going to take SPS all the way to the Celestial Kingdom. And he fed us Wendy's after we landed.
 "The 12 Disciples:" the 12 of us from the Provo MTC going to Honduras

 Last few moments in the US with these awesome Elders from my district.

 We arrived in the Honduras airport and were greeted by President and Sister Klein

2. I got assigned to the town of LA CEIBA--right on the ocean of Honduras! The Caribbean! It is soooooo pretty here! I would send you pictures but I forgot my camera cord so just google La Ceiba Honduras and you will get the idea.

3. It is so hot here that Arizona doesn´t even know what is going on. I keep looking down to see if I have dissolved into a bubbling puddle of Moffittooze. Hasn´t happened yet but any day now...

4. My Companion is Elder Moreno, a super Masiso (Masiso is like the word for awesomecoolchillbro here. Everyone uses it. I think. That or it could mean duck fetus.) Elder from Mexico that is training me super well. He knows like everything, except for English--which is good because I have to talk to him in Spanish always and so I am forced to learn really quickly.

5. The MTC was like feeling the icy waters of Spanish with my pinky toe hesitantly. Being here in Honduras, is like being pushed headfirst into the waters in Antarctica--kinda hard to breathe at first. But then you lose feeling in your limbs and die of hypothermia and sink to the bottom of the ocean. Except I have a life vest which is my companion so whenever I am unsure if I am getting robbed or asked for my name I just stare blankly at my companion and he takes over.

7. I survived my first and second and third bathroom experiences in Honduras. Yippee!

6. Am I rambling yet? So, cool things that I have done while I was here include, but are not limited to:
- preaching the gospel to people in what may or may not be Spanish and watching their lives change, 
- getting saved from an armed robbery my first morning as a real missionary (pistols, alcohol, and demanding money were all involved). Miracles do happen, I´ll tell you about it when I get home (Mom, it’s chill, don’t worry),
- eating fish hands-only-Golem-style: head, eyes, and everything included,
- playing futbol with nativos,
- raining like mad yesterday until the streets were all flooded like rivers,
- getting "oh look a gringo what on earth??" stares all day long,
- dodging fighting chickens,
- eating delicious baleadas,
- waking up to a different dead cockroach on the floor every day (I was going to start naming them but there are just too many),
- preaching the gospel with a voice like the sound a trump, etc. etc.

7. Everything here is super green and beautiful and how Plantains grow on trees literally looks like something from Aliens. I’ll send a pic later.

8. Everyone here is super dee duper poor but also mega generous. For example, I was washing dishes when this random shirtless guy shouted “Öy Gringo¨!” through the window and climbed a ladder and handed me a fresh papaya twice as big as my head. It is kinda yucky and gives you stomach problems, but it was a nice gesture.

Pictures taken by Sister Klein

I want to give my testimony that Jesus Christ lives, and knows each and every child of his on this earth. I know that what we are teaching is true. We could not do what we do without an unshakable knowledge of that truth. I know that happiness does not depend on worldly wealth, and that our message brings more joy than the world can ever hope to offer. I know that the gift of tongues is real because everyone I have talked to (my companion included) doesn´t believe I have only been in Honduras for 6 days because I can understand and speak Spanish super well. The stray dogs here speak better Spanish than me, but still I am able to understand what I need to and say what I need to so that I fulfill my purpose as a missionary to invite others to come unto Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and restored the 4 things necessary in the church that Jesus Christ established, 1. prophets, 2. apostles, 3. authority, and 4. Revelation. I know that this church is led by a living prophet and I am honored and blessed to be able to carry that message to these humble people. I love all of you back at home and ask for your prayers over here in the Humid capitol of the universe! I testify that the power of sincere, faith filled prayer is real and incredible. God WILL answer the prayers of his beloved children.
Of this and more I testify as a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ called by a living prophet of God, Amen.
-Elder Moffitt