Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Feliz Navidad!


On Christmas Eve I will have completed 6 months in the mission. Pretty crazy. Almost know what I am doing here. 

Looking back, it has been a blur. I honestly don't know how I have made it this far. Well, yeah I do. All with the Lord's help. I like that poem called Footprints where a man is walking on the beach with the Lord and across the sky are flashing scenes of his life. Turning around and looking back, the man realized that during the hardest times of his life, when he needed the Lord the most, there was only one set of footprints. Turning to the Lord he asked why it was so, why he was left to walk alone during the most trying times of his life, to which the Lord responded, "Child, it was during those times that I carried you." Honestly I have been carried so much during these 6 months it is insane. I can speak Spanish now. What? I can eat sopa de mondonga (cow stomach soup) and only throw up 4 times while I am eating it. I am living in the murder capitol of the world following the call to serve from a living prophet of God, and it is not at all easy, most of all it is just spiritually and emotionally and mentally draining. But what I have learned is that when we are doing the Lord's work, we are entitled to His help. Pretty sure that God has gotten way buffer from carrying me through the sand all this time but I have needed it.

Everyone here is super pumped for Navidad. You can tell because at night you feel like you are walking through Iraq. It sounds like a legitimate warzone. There are explosions and fireworks everywhere. There have been a few times when a firework has rolled in front of us as we have been walking and we have had to do epic dives to save ourselves and when we get up our ears are ringing. We pretty much look like this all the time, except with shirts and ties...

We had good week and a ton happened. We went and visited a part of our area we had never visited to try and find new people to teach and found some really sweet new people to teach. 

And Claudia got baptized! I don't remember how much I have written about her but she is a super smart and dedicated single mom that we totally found miraculously about one month ago. Even though she has had people from pretty much every single religion come and just attack the church with every lie/misconception/whatever-they-can-think-of from the moment we first visited her, she dedicated herself to finding the answer for herself by reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it with an honest desire to know, and she received an answer that it was true. That really is the only way anyone can know if what we say is true, And the reason I am here is because I did the same thing and got an answer through the power of the Holy Ghost. Anyways, we went to walk with her to the church to be baptized on Saturday and she was going to leave her baby with her mom. Apparently, someone had left the stove on and so the oven filled with gas and just as we were about to leave, Claudia's mom opened the oven and all the gas exploded out, but miraculously didn't ignite. Everyone was pretty shaken up, and we thought that Claudia would be way too upset to still want to be baptized that day but, being as super awesome as she is, she still wanted to go so we went and baptized her. The thing is, that morning we had passed by their house and felt pretty nervous about the baptism, like Satan was going to try again to pull something and stop her from following through with her decision. We said a quick but fervent prayer to ask that she would be protected and that everything would go as planned, and it did. One more miracle for the count.

Other than that, just prepping for a Christmas filled week! We are going to focus on just visiting families and sharing a Christmas message this week. Sometimes people get so focused on calling us "Mormons" and the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith that they forget that we are members of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints, and that He, Jesus Christ, who was born in a stable as the son of a humble carpenter, is the center of literally everything we say and do. We talk about J. Smith and Book of Mormon a lot because it is what people don't know about or don't understand and want to know about, but we are really just Christian missionaries, doing the same thing that the Apostles and the early Elders of the church that Christ established 2000 years ago did, traveling from home to home sharing the good news that God speaks to us, that He has sent a Savior to succor his people and to give them hope, and that this same Savior taught us how to have true happiness and return to live with Him forever after this life. I know that the story of Christmas is real, that the spirit of Christmas is really just the spirit of Christ, and although I won't hear the words "You'll shoot your eye out" or watch "Elf" or have a white elephant gift exchange Moff Christmas party this year, it'll still be a great Christmas. Even in Spanish. 

Thanks to everyone who wrote me a short little blurb thingy. Made me remember how blessed I am to have so many amazing friends and to know so many awesome people. Have an amazing Christmas and God bless you, Everyone! 

With love,
Elder Moffitt

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Zone of Men--San Pedro Sula

Satelite Zone, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
We call ourselves the Zone of Men.  (Our area is too dangerous for sister missionaries.)
Sometimes we are very serious and thoughtful.
Sometimes we are not.

Our District (a district includes about 8 missionaries and a zone includes several districts)

Soccer game on our zone's p-day (our weekly prep day when we do our laundry, 
grocery shopping, write home, and, if we're' lucky, play some soccer)!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Welcome to My Home in San Pedro Sula!

"On the street where I live"
My home is the caged green beauty on the far right!

From the days of my sweater adventures in the frigid 80 degree week long ice age 
we had here in HONDURAS.

Elder Curichimba and me.
Elder Rodas from Guatemala rocking the sweater with me.Notice the green garden view across the street from our patio.

Us Men in White have some serious swagger.

Here is our apartment. 
My "closet" and room.
Well ... it's colorful.
And there's running water.

Our desk where we study scripture each day.  
Just added the triumphant USC pic. :) 
Sounds like that was a good game.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Just Love Your Washing Machine

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy December!

So I first want to apologize for not having written you all for the past 2 weeks! It's been below 95 degrees so we were afraid to go outside. No just kidding, but it actually has been surprisingly fresh outside this past week. I even got to wear my sweater!!!!!!!! It was really funny because it was like 75 degrees maybe and everyone was walking around in like Artic exploration gear. It was like that "Day after Tomorrow" video except without it being cold. But I slept without my fan for 4 days so there is great cause to rejoice here.

Well, lots of things have happened in these past few weeks. One, we were stuck in our house
for 3 days without being able to leave because Honduras had their national election for the president, mayors, etc. this last week and everyone was afraid that Honduras would break into civil war or that El Salvador would invade, so we barricaded ourselves in our house with rice and cookies to wait out the incoming political tempest. Unfortunately, I didn't get a Tianemen Square picture facing down a tank, but it is good that Honduras didn't dissolve into civil war. There is still a chance though, so you can all still think I am really cool and brave for being in a dangerous country. Speaking of dangerous country, we watched "Tangled" in Spanish while we were stuck in our house (we are allowed to watch Disney movies in the mission on a rare occasion) and it's a great movie, even in Spanish. 

I have a satchel now so I kind of feel like Flynn Rider preaching the gospel. 

Still working on the smolder, ladies. Prepare yourselves.

Pues... We have had a difficult couple of weeks trying to get people to take the steps necessary to progress and to enjoy the plethora of blessings God has waiting for them. There were a few days that I went to bed feeling really alone and like I was just spinning my wheels without any heavenly traction (thats a good one too someone copyright it). Anyways, the lesson I have really learned these past few weeks is that the majority of the time, it isn't until we are in the fire of affliction or difficulty that the miracles come. My dad sent me an email about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the book of Daniel in the Bible, and I spent a lot of time thinking about that story the past few days. Besides having extremely awkward names, these three guys were about to be thrown into the furnace for refusing to deny their faith and their God. Talking to the King with great courage, they basically said, "Look buddy, we know that our God can save us from this fire, but if he doesn't, we are still going to believe in him as we turn into carne asada." The key word here is CAN. God is a God of miracles (see Mormon chapter 7 in the Book of Mormon), always has been, and always will be, but sometimes it just isn't part of His plan to divide the Red Sea at the moment that we think it would be reaaaaaaally convenient. Sometimes we are just sitting there in the furnace and it is getting really hot and we are praying and it keeps getting hotter and we feel deserted and alone. But is it then that we give up our faith? Better not because really at those moments is when your faith is all you have!

There is a scripture in Ether 12:6 that says we won't receive a witness until after the trial of our faith. What I have seen and learned these past few weeks is that that is really true, and that when the floor starts heating up we need to be firm in our trust that God CAN save us, that He has the power to do it, but also the trust that He knows what's going on much better than we do, and that he will show His hand when the moment is right, as long as we continue doing the right things and keep ourselves clean and worthy of His help. Miracles happen and they will come. 

The past few weeks we have only had 0 or 1 person come to church with us. We have worked and worked and taught and served and sweated and prayed and wept and gotten our pants really muddy ... and have only had 2 people come to church with us to see what we are talking about in 4 weeks. Despite our efforts, the attendance at church has been dropping consistently from 85 to 60ish.

Yesterday, at church, despite it raining, we had 12 investigators at church with us, and an attendance of 114. It was a powerful meeting, and I know the people that came with us felt the spirit of God. I got up and bore my testimony about what I have been saying in this email and started crying, and it is really hard to talk in Spanish when you are crying, but I really saw and felt the Lord's hand (after weeks of feeling the flames of adversity) that Sunday and His confirmation that although I'm not perfect, although I haven't mastered the legendary Flynn Rider smolder (see example below), He is conscious of me and will do His work in His own time.

Well, I made myself a turkey lunch meat sandwich on Thanksgiving for dinner to be festive but it tasted terrible despite all my good cheer. Don't worry, I'll celebrate Christmas better.  I was going to send you all pictures of me mish-ing it up in my sweater but I loaned my camera to a member for her son's graduation. Here they have summer break in winter. It's awkward, but we deal.

Love you all and I hope you all get your Christmas lights put up fast because people here have had them up since the first week of November, and even if they houses made of aluminum and rotting wood, they have some pretty hip Christmas lights. Props to Hondurans.

Oh yeah, about the title, just .... love your washing machine, because here we get buff slamming our clothes and our faces against bumpy metal with soap, repeatedly, to wash our clothes. It takes a long time. But I'm a jungle man so I can handle it.

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Moffitt