Monday, October 28, 2013

There Can Be Miracles, When You Believe

Hello everyone! 

This week was straight up awesome. Elder Sweat (my companion) and I were pretty disanimated because we have been working really hard the past few weeks to help the people we are teaching, many of whom are in super tough economic positions understand that the only guaranteed way to have happiness and to secure that everything is going to be okay is to keep the commandments. Yeah it is going to be a sacrifice, yeah it won’t always be easy, but God has promised us, many times, in the scriptures that if we keep the commandments, we will prosper in the land. 

So for weeks now we have been doing all we can to help these super special people help themselves, and their situations still haven´t really changed. Feeling a bit disanimated and wondering what we have been doing wrong, or what we could improve to better bless the lives of these people,we read in Mormon 9 and Moroni 7 about miracles, and how God has been, is, and always will be, a God of miracles.

In Mormon 9 we read:
18 And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
 19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
 20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.
 21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

Elder Sweat and I decided to try and do more fully the three things that verse 20 says are required to see the miracles of God in our lives:  we need to have strong belief and faith, we need to be obedient, walking in the right way, and we need to know the God in whom we should put our trust.  Kneeling in fervent prayer, we asked to see miracles in the lives of our investigators.
We did indeed see many miracles these past few days, and it has been awesome. I want to share one in particular with you all. I have been working with and teaching a family for almost 2 months now. The father is the taxista that found us in a really cool way that I think I told you about several weeks ago. Anyways, the father has great faith and really wants to come closer to God. He has great desires to be baptized and to marry his wife, but he has been struggling with unemployment off and on for the past several weeks. We are waiting for the legal papers necessary to get him married to arrive, but he still hasn’t been able to save the 400 lempiras necessary to pay for them when they arrive. There are members that are willing to help pay for them, but we feel that it would be best if he and his wife really made the sacrifice to pay for the partidas as part of the repentance process. He just lost his job as a taxista again last week, and they are once again literally penniless, just like when we started teaching them. To make things worse, we have barely been able to find the dad to teach him the past few weeks because he is always away from home looking for work and the appointments we have set he has not been able to make. I have worried and prayed a lot about this family because I know they could be great members but they are just suffering so much. One of the miracles we prayed for was just to be able to find him in his house and to teach them. Long story short, we miraculously found him and went with him to his house to teach him. We felt inspired to teach him about tithing, and about the power of obeying the law of tithing. That day, he had walked around practically all of La Ceiba looking for a job with his 3 year old child, and someone had given his child 23 lempiras. After teaching Javier about the law of tithing, how God requires that we give him 1 tenth of all the money we earn, not to pay church leaders but to build the kingdom of God (church buildings, temples, humanitarian aid etc.) and in return he promises to bless us incredibly, he promptly took out the only money he had to feed his family of 5 kids and his wife, 23 lempiras, or about 1 dollar and 15 cents, and handed us 3 lempiras, embarrassed at how small it was but wanting to do all he could to have God be pleased with him. We taught him how to fill out a tithing form, and as I watched him put his 3 lempiras, 15 cents, into the tithing envelope I felt the Spirit so so strongly. I couldn´t help but start weeping at the incredible feeling of the Savior´s love for them and their desires to follow him and I promised them that I did not know when the blessings would come, how they would come, or what they would be, but I knew that their faith and obedience would open the windows of the heavens and that I knew that the blessings would come. Javier and his wife also began to cry as we all felt the powerful witness that these changes that they are making in their lives, these sacrifices, are indeed true. 
I know that the things we teach really are the words of a loving Heavenly Father that wants to bless us so much. He is a God of miracles, and all we need to do to see those miracles in our own lives is have as much faith as we can, to do the right things and follow the commandments, and to put our trust in God.  I am so grateful to serve as a missionary and for the first and most powerful time so far in my mission I felt the extent of the divinity of my calling, that these commandments really will call down the blessings of heaven and that these blessings WILL come, even though it may not be until after I am transferred from the area.
I love you all and know that miracles are real and possible in your lives as well if you do your part to see them happen!

Elder Moffitt

Monday, October 21, 2013

Waterfalls and the World Cup


So for Pday last week we went to the mountain behind La Ceiba as a zone to hike up and see a few AWESOME waterfalls. Needless to say, it was incredibly beautiful, very humid, super green, and there were even cool rotting Indiana Jones bridges to cross. I was pretty sketched out because the movie Predator was filmed in Honduras, so I was just waiting for Arnold to come storming out of the underbrush covered in mud or to just get jumped by a super advanced alien assassin.  

We went to Pico Bonito, the big mountain behind La Ceiba. We went with all the missionaries (sisters and elders) in our zone. It is always so cool to be all together. Everyone is so great and so powerful.

The hike. We were keeping our eyes out for Bird Eating spiders and Maya warriors
and Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Predator.

Not going to lie; walking over this bridge made me feel more than a little like Indiana Jones.
One of the steps even broke as I walked over it but I am lucky that I am spiderman
because I didn't fall to my death in the snakey undergrowth below.

I used to be afraid of bugs, and then came HONDURAS.

Luckily, we survived the journey. Although we had to run the whole way back because we got attacked by a giant tribe of biting bees that chased us out of their bumble abode. 

haha. bumble abode. heh heh.

That was actually a typo but then I reread it and liked it a lot. 

Anyways, the work is progressing over here in El Iman. We just keep chugging along and teaching lessons. I don't really like writing the details about our investigadores, partially because I don't have the energy to write specifically about the people we are teaching and don't know how to describe their situations in just a few sentences and because I don't know which of them are hiding from government forces and don't want to be identified through my blog posts. And saying that about my investigators shrouds them with a curtain of intriguing mystery and intense secrecy so you should all really want to know about them now. Maybe I will let a few details slip throughout my letters back. Don't let the suspense kill you.

Well, Honduras qualified for the World Cup, so everyone of course went crazy and fired every bullet within reach into the air. I have always wondered what happens when you fire bullets into the air. When they fall back down you think they go fast enough to kill someone? Food for thought. 

At church we taught the Gospel Principles class for new converts and people that are getting to know the church and we showed the Restoration video. It was really powerful and several of our investigators afterwords told us that they felt the Spirit of God super strongly during the video. One young guy we are teaching said all the hairs on his arms stood straight up during it and that it answered all the questions he had from reading the pamphlet we gave him the day before. I know that there truly are answers out there if we have the desire and the faith to look for them or wait for them.
Our District: The awesome missionaries here in La Ceiba!!!!!

A place Elder Sweat and I found where we really want to baptize people in the river.
Doesn't that look super legit?

It is easy to get discouraged as a missionary, especially when we don't have many people to teach, so members, GIVE MISSIONARIES REFERENCES! Last week I wrote my Dad talking a little about the difficulties and challenges of life and especially life as a full-time missionary and he replied with the following wise words:

"Dear Son,

It could be worse.

You could be being hunted by an alien life form that comes to earth for sport hunting!

Think about it."

May we always recognize the blessings before the hardships we have in our lives. No matter how hard your problems may seem, no matter how strenuous the mountain before you may appear, always remember that you are not being hunted by a Predator in the jungles of Honduras. Well, probably not. If so, stop reading this letter and run!

Love you all,
Elder Moffitt


Monday, October 7, 2013

Come and See!

Querido Familia y Amigos,

I am really tired, and it is super hot in this little internet cafe, and it is about to rain so it is super humid, BUT I AM GOING TO WRITE YOU GUYS A LETTER DANG IT!! GET PUMPED!!! GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! WOOOOOO!!!!! 

This week we had the AWESOME opportunity to listen to the living prophets and apostles that guide our church through ongoing revelation! FOR 10 HOURS!!!! Don't worry it wasn't all at once, it was spread out through 2 days and 5 different 2-hour sessions. And it went way too fast. I filled out 13 pages of notes and DIDN'T FALL ASLEEP ONCE DURING IT. And I am so glad too because in every single talk given I learned something that I needed to learn to become a better missionary and a better person. 

We worked so hard to get our investigators to understand the awesomeness of having a living prophet with the exact same power and right to receive revelation that Moses and Noah and the ancient prophets had, and we were rewarded by having 11 investigators showing up to the Sunday morning session with us in the stake center. That was such a blessing for my companion and I because we worked our bu... super hard to get people to come and Saturday night we were both pretty despondent, wondering what more we could have done to get people to come. To see the Lord´s hand in these people´s lives the next morning and then to watch conference and hear the inspired words of the men and women I KNOW have been called of God to lead his church made every sweat bead during the week worth it. 
Click here to read, watch or listen to the inspired messages of General Conference
One of my favorite talks was by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the second counselor to the President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson. In his talk he talked about how someone seeing the insane number of things that we Mormons do for our church--going to church for 3 hours every Sunday, reading the scriptures every day, serving 2 year missions in crazy places, fulfilling callings as leaders of the church (yeah we have a lay clergy), cleaning the church, weekly activities, early morning seminary, the list goes on and on--in addition to the commitment we have to keeping commandments that the world has long since abandoned. One would have to wonder, why would anyone want to join your church?! The answer is that this church was restored in our day by Jesus Christ himself. The church doesn't require anything of us, its members, but Christ asks that we give Him everything. 

Too often people think that belief or faith is just that, belief, but 


Our belief is NOT passive. Our daily walk with our Savior, Jesus Christ, brings incredible peace and lasting, pure happiness but we need to WALK with him. Sometimes it is downhill, sometimes it is uphill, and sometimes we just want to sit down for a bit, but if we truly are converted and if we truly love the Lord we will keep walking, not to get ripped calves, but to obtain those blessings that the world just cannot give us. That being said, this church honors agency so much that its restoration began with a boy who questioned what he believed, who went looking for answers. Our belief is active in its practice as well as in its birth. We cannot expect to gain a testimony from just sitting down and staring at the Book of Mormon, or saying a mindless prayer, or telling ourselves we will go to church next week. Jesus at the pool of Bethesda asked the afflicted man, "Wilt thou be made whole?" Only we can decide if we want to receive the blessings that this church and this gospel has to offer us. And, yes sometimes it involves stepping off, or falling off, our comfy hammocks and walking to church when it is hot outside, or reading the scriptures even when you are tired. Do you really think Satan is going to make it easy for you to find answers to questions of the soul that will tear you from his grasp?

The message we carry as missionaries is meant to change lives. But we can't change anyone's life for them. 

But we can invite, and so invite we shall, using the same words as the Savior in his ministry on earth, even "Come, and see." 

And we will continue to invite, for, as the Prophet Joseph Smith has said,
"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of Gad shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."

I love epic quotes.

I hope we can all try a bit harder to do the things we know are right, and if you don't know what is right, 

(drum roll please)

Con amor,
Elder Moffitt