Monday, September 29, 2014

White Week!

This is probably my last week here in La Sarrosa, Yoro. I am waiting for a message any second saying the changes/transfers that we will be having. 

This week was excellent.  Five of our investigators were baptized and confirmed! Two families, three hermanos and a single mom and her 9 yr old son. 

First, the mom and son, Rubenia and Kenneth. They are so cool. We were led to them while contacting and started to teach them. They have lived a super rough life. Rubenia is a single mom with three children. Ever since we have started teaching them they have undergone a huge repentance process. They prayed to know if the church is true and got their answer. With more pioneer spirit than I have ever seen, they changed houses to separate themselves from temptation and the influence of the adversary, they decided to be baptized in the church in spite of their family ostracizing them for meeting with us missionaries and going to church, and they gained a testimony of the restoration of the gospel. They found the pearl of great price, and unlike the rich youth in the New Testament, have given up almost everything to obtain eternal life. Their rich family does not help them at all now, she is working alone selling food outside the local school to gain money to buy milk for her 1 year old. Kenneth is like the most intelligent 9 year old on the planet. He has read every chapter and pamphlet we have given them. He memorized Mosiah 2:41 perfectly. 

 41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

He will be an amazing missionary. They have such faith and, once again, have taught me how to look first for the kingdom of God and everything else will be added upon us.

Second, we were led to the other three brothers and sisters one night while they were outside of their house. They were super sincere and humble and energetic from the start, wanting to know more about religion, God, and the gospel. They asked us if they could be baptized and how in the first lesson. They invited their brother to take the lessons, he also agreed to be baptized. They invited their friend to church. The first words she said to us were that she wanted to be baptized. Almost every lesson they have a friend over to listen as well. They have such a sweet missionary spirit. 

Jose, the harpoon fisher, taught the gospel principles class this Sunday. SO AWESOME!!! He also accompanied us to a lesson and taught with such enthusiasm and power. His testimony is incredible. They are planning on going to the temple asap!

A lot more fun and powerful experiences also happened this week but, unfortunately, I don't have time to write them all. Changes/transfers are coming this week so I may be moving!

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Moffitt

Monday, September 22, 2014

Truth and Freedom

He held a loaded pistol in his hand the entire hour that we talked. We were armed as well. It wasn´t anything out of the ordinary, really. After all, we were in a small town on the outskirts of San Pedro Sula in Honduras, statistically the most dangerous part of the most dangerous city in the world. His 9 mm pistol carried an extended clip, loading it with around 30 bullets in total. Our primary arm carried 66 rounds, our secondary 15. They were also on the table. The only difference was that our arms were made of paper, binding and glue, his of cold metal. His was meant to penetrate muscle and destroy life, ours to heal hearts and save souls.

A gun on the table. Two "Mormon Missionaries" on the other side. The young Honduran accountant bounces his leg. I wipe the sweat off of my face with my tie. "I read what you left me to read," he finally says, breaking the silence. "I prayed about it. And for the first time in three years, I received an answer to a prayer."

Being a missionary is a funny thing. In less than 15 minutes of knowing someone, we dive into the deepest, most sacred experiences, fears, doubts, failures, meditations, and pondering and try to forge bonds of faith and understanding where confusion has often made passive the soul's most basic yearnings for truth.

Want to talk about growing up or challenging views? Imagine explaining to a devout religious man that the authority and church that Christ established actually disappeared from the face of the earth as the church collapsed into apostasy 1900 years ago. Try testifying that God still speaks to prophets and apostles today to a pastor convinced that the heavens were sealed shut two millenia before. Think about presenting another testament of Jesus Christ to a man with whitened knuckles looking onto his worn-leather bible, or telling this worried, Honduran that his brother, killed by gang activity two years earlier, is not entirely abandoned to fiery lakes; that he can still be redeemed even though his mortal life is over. 

What could possibly prompt a young, perfectly sane, not as attractive as he probably thinks he is, 19 year old to leave his schooling, friends, and nearly every earthly delight (including root beer) to sweat with parted hair amidst banana trees and shaking, unaccepting heads and shutting doors? The same desire that sparked Socrates´s pre-poison fingerpoint, and Martin Luther's nail purchase for his 95 thesis in October of 1517, and has driven philosophers to furrow brows and has raced defiantly through the veins of every martyr that has laid down his life -- that which is most precious because of their desire to know, and then share, and then defend the truth. I served my mission because, in the words of a 14 year old boy in 1820 named Joseph Smith, "I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it."The knowledge I have of the answers to those deepest questions of the soul are fundamental to me. I have a purpose here. I know who I am, where I am from, and where I am going. My faith defines me and it drives me. And in doing so, I define my faith and drive my future. More than anything, I find peace in the words of the lord Jesus Christ, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Truth is freedom. To find it, one must look. To be sure, one must prove it. To be free, one must share and defend it.

"It´s true. I know it´s true," he said, staring into the dark night. He didn't cry in the end, or at least no tear fell. Men with guns can't afford to cry. But the moisture in his eyes was more that just the humidity in the air. And that, as missionaries, is the sweetness that what we live for.

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15
"He that has ears, let him hear." Matt 11:15

Monday, September 15, 2014

Look first for the Kingdom of God and everything else will be added upon you!

This week was chalk full of craziness. The highlight was this Friday, when the Archaga family dressed up all in white and entered into a covenant with the Lord in the waters of BAPTISM! What a miracle and a blessing it has been to work with this family from the start and help them come to this step in their eternal progression together. The Lord really cleared the skies for this family. 

Their little girl also wanted to be baptized soooo bad but she is only 6 years old and doesn't really understand the difference between good and bad. For example, while we were changing, she barged in the room and just sat there chillin' in the boys bathroom haha. In our church, we baptize people 8 years and older, as baptisms must be proceeded by faith and repentance. Children under 8 are not capable of sin so do not need to repent and be baptized.

The greatest lesson that the Archaga family taught me is that of looking first for the kingdom of God, and everything else will be added upon you. It is one of the most important lessons we can learn here on earth, and really is at the heart of true faith -- putting God first and everything, and I mean everything else (sin, temptation, popularity, work, studies, physical needs and desires, prosperity, even life if needs be) second. If we manage the faith to really live this principle, we will be blessed beyond our expectations and we will inherit the greatest gift of all -- eternal life. From tithing to the law of chastity to the code of physical health in the word of wisdom, this awesome father put in practice each commandment as soon as he found out about it. Literally, he has changed his life and his family will be forever blessed for the righteous example of this dad. So grateful that I have an amazing dad as well, who is such an example to me of the man I want to be (just with a little more hair).


This Sunday, I broke just about every rule in the mission rule book. Let me explain. We where in the middle of church services when Elder Brimley and Elder Lopez left the meeting. We followed them out to see what was wrong in time to catch Elder Lopez as he fainted completely. We loaded him up in a church member's car and drove him to our house, but he didn't regain consciousness. We then took him to the nearest hospital, 30 minutes away in the bed of the car (for lack of any other option). Elder Lopez was still unresponsive and for brief seconds would have convulsions. Before leaving, we bought water from the pulperia for Elder Lopez. Then sped to the hospital where Elder Lopez was just as unresponsive until they stuck a needle in his hand to draw blood -- then he came back to the real world. It wasn't exactly the typical Sunday morning experience, but the good news is that he is okay and that we were protected in getting him to medical care. Missing church, buying on Sunday, riding in the truckbed, leaving the area, leaving the zone, pretty much the only mission rule I did keep was getting up at 6:30 am that morning! 

Today is Independence Day here so there was a band marching by and made me remember the best marching band in the entire universe (cough, cough) -- the USC Trojan Marching Band woot woot!

Anyways, the church is true, it is led by our Savior Jesus Christ, the authority to baptize has been restored to the earth from divine messengers to the prophet Joseph Smith, and only in being baptized by this authority can we be saved.

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Moffitt

And some more fun baptism day photos with the Archaga family:


Fasting and Miracles

Dear Family and Friends, 

This week was really hard and pretty long, but at the same time super full of miracles and success. I went on divisions two days of the week to other areas in my district to see how things were going. Every day this week it has rained BUCKETS. I like it when it rains though because more people let you in their house -- poor little wet and cold missionaries. :)

One of the days I went with the companion of Elder Brimley. He has challenges from a childhood of violence and poverty in Guatemala and Columbia, where he father was shot when he was young. I spent the day with him to see how he is able to function as a leader and as a missionary because he is just starting and it is really hard for him. He has a super good heart; he is super humble and loves to laugh. He has taught me a lot about how to be more like a kid. (It makes me think of our NHS evenings packing healthy food at Feed My Starving Children to be sent internationally to give hope and nutrition for children just like this.) But I was really surprised at how well he did and I talked to our mission president about how I hope he can stay and serve his whole mission. He will have to have the best of companions, but I like to think he (and we) could do it.

Other than that, we fasted so that the people we are teaching would come to church and have a spiritual experience at church or through reading or praying about our message. On Sunday, we had 14 investigadores come to church, and 11 of them have baptismal dates. It was a miracle.  And was a sweet fruit to see after working really hard and praying and sweating our hearts out. I know the Lord blessed us and brought those people to church.

Two people this week came up to us and told us they wanted to be baptized. Okay, sounds good. The only problem with EVERYONE here is that they aren't married, and they can't get baptized until they are legally married. 90% of the battle is getting people to get moving and get married to be committed to their families and obedient to God's laws. 

I will write more later but I am so grateful for the hand of the Lord in this work. It is His work and not ours, and if we have faith hope and diligence and obedience, we will see miracles -- especially after we pass through the hard times where it seems like we are abandoned. He is ALWAYS there waiting to bless us if we pass the test.

Repentance is possible and is beautiful.

This week the family of the guy who harpoon fishes will be baptized. That'll be awesome.

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Moffitt

These were so fun to receive, Grandma! Thank you so much -- and they were very, very tasty :)

Monday, September 1, 2014


Dear Family and Friends,

This week was quite eventful because I had to go to La Ceiba for a District Leader training meeting. Which meant spending the day with Elder Hansgen as my companion! His hairstyle gets weirder every time that I see him, right now it is in a Sylvester Stallone slicked back style that I don't really even think Sylvester Stallone ever used but just looking at Elder Hansgen's hair the name Sylvester comes to my mind. 

Speaking of Stallone, I made beef stroganoff today. :)

Shout out to Jessica in the Ukraine. Speaking of Jessica in the Ukraine, my companion and I have our plans made for the next world cup, which will be in Russia. My companion, Elder Navas, is actually the cousin of Kaylor Navas, the goalie for the Costa Rica national team that was just bought by Real Madrid. He is super famous here, the goalie that is, because he is a Central American that is now on like the best private team ever. So my companion is going to get us tickets to the next world cup in Russia, and Jessica, you are going to protect us from all of the civil wars and communism by speaking perfect Ukrainian and guiding us around. I am pretty sure there is a difference between Ukrainian and Russian but they both use the same transformers cyber-tron letters so I assume they are pretty similar. At the very least they are both very cold.

But anyways, La Ceiba. So I loaded up my backpack with pamphlets and Books of Mormon and headed out at 4 am in the morning to make it to the meeting. I had planned to contact people in all of the buses we took and give out a ton of pamphlets (!) but the bus we took to La Ceiba was super small and cramped and I was in the back and so there was no way I could preach on the way up. It was crampin' my style if you know what I mean. So i just taught the police officer sitting at my side everything about the Book of Mormon and read with him  about Captain Moroni and how I want to be like Captain Moroni and how he should want to be like that too as he is in the service of his country defending freedom and peace just like captain Moroni did. Gave out B.O.M. number 1. 

The training meeting was good. And then we headed to Pizza Hut, where our souls were tormented by American music for 45 minutes (not homesick -- don't worry -- but I had totally forgotten about all the music I love) and then got back on a bus home. Waiting for the bus, I started talking to a guy who apparently had read some of the Book of Mormon and didn't really like it. I asked him why, and he responded, literally "because it doesn't really talk about the suffering and death of Jesus Christ." 


I was like "Hooookey buddy, totally understand you."So I literally opened the Book of Mormon to a random page, and had him read the first verses we saw:

7 And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatique, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.

8 And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called. mary.

9 And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even throught faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.

10 And he sall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, hee standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men. 

11 For behold, and also his blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died not knowing the will of Gof concerning them, or sho have ignorantly sinned.

He read that as was like, "Oh ...." And I told him with all respect that he hadn't really read the book. The Book of Mormon is a testament of Jesus Christ. It only talks of him. The ENTIRE purpose of the book is to testify of the atonement of Jesus Christ and his redeeming sacrifice for us. So, please, if you are going to have a problem with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, don't let it be that the Book of Mormon doesn't talk about Christ. 

On the bus back home, there were just missionaries and about five other people. So I just sat by a lonely looking guy and talked to him about the restoration of the gospel and also left him with a Book of Mormon and my testimony. I love that type of missionary work! You never really get to see the fruits of your labors, but you get to plant some spiritual seeds and leave people knowing that you did your part; the seed of truth has been planted for them to investigate and come to know the truth for themselves.

To find my companion again, after arriving in my area, I had to walk about 100 meters alone through the night to the rendezvous point. It was the first time in 14 months that I have been without someone literally by my side. Even though it was only about 5 minutes, I couldn't stop myself from feeling terribly lonely and offering silent prayers for protection until I found my companion. 

Last week, four of our investigators were baptized and I can't even list all of the miracles that went into those four baptisms coming to pass. They were not at all "our" baptisms; they were the Lord's. He did all the work to bring them to the font; we just filled it up and performed the ordinance.  Sometimes we as missionaries become prideful and think that is is because of our great teaching skills that people decide to be baptized. If that is the reason for their baptism, the people will lose interest and become inactive as soon as we leave the area. But if their conversion is by the Spirit of God, if the feel and recognize the voice and hand of the Lord in their lives and really come to know by divine means that our message is true, they will stay active, and that is what happened with these four youth.

Another miracle: we prayed that we would be able to know how to help the wife of awesome Jose Harpoon get excited about the gospel and come to know that our message was true because he was just way too awesome but she was kinda just following him and not taking her own iniciative. We then walk into the church that afternoon and totally double-taked when we saw here there with some Relief Society sisters talking and making quilts together. We literally didn't believe that it was her because they live far from the church and we hadn't even invited her or brought her to this activity. I honestly don't even know how she got there! It was totally a miracle. Jose Harpoon, but the way, has been without work, so we taught him about the economic law of God, called tithing, through which we show our faith and receive blessings that we can't even contain. These past two Sundays he has, on his own and with no more than probably 25 cents, paid his tithing.

I LOVE SEEING FAITH LIKE THAT!!!!!!  It is honestly the entire focus of missionary work -- find people and help people develop faith and obedience to God's laws. This Tuesday he found work. 

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Moffitt

Elder Brimley's cereal bowl