Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmasizo and a Happy New Year!

"Macizo" in Honduran means "cool". Thus, Merry Christmasizo. Because Chrismas is Cool. Yeah. 

So my second Christmas here in Honduras flew by like Christmas usually does--a lot of build up and then poof! it's gone. But it leaves everyone feeling awfully full of the Christmas spirit and more grateful for our Savior and ready for another new year. I hope you all could think of what Christmas gift you are going to gift to Christ this year, because he has given to us all that we have. 

We celebrated Christmas Eve by buying a lot of tamales, and then going to a poor neighborhood and singing Christmas hymns and giving out tamales. It started out pretty lame because we wanted to go with a lot of members and friends and do a big shabang. I always like to do big shabangs and make things nice.  But no one was home or able to go with us, just one recent convert named Luis, a really humble and nice 20 yr old with a tatted up arm that was just baptized in November. 

First house? They slammed the door on our Christmas caroling hahahaha. Oh man. After that, we decided to leave the rich to their celebracions and we lugged our pot of tamales the mile over to the poor colony and started singing and giving. The Christmas spirit is quiet. It is soft. But it is real. We sang to families in houses made out of aluminum and cardboard--without electricity--that were celebrating Christmas with 1 candle. We sang, and it was really off key (not going to lie) but it was sincere. And it was Christmasy.

The next day, I talked to my family! It is wierd how nervous talking to you all makes me. Don't know why but it makes every missionary nervous. So sorry for being nervous and awkward. But I love you all! I am so lucky to have a great family.

Other highlights include eating a lot of chicken sandwitches and tamales, which are the Christmas highlights, along with like 3 liters of pepsi in 1 day because everyone gave us pepsi. Saw my first Honduran racoon. Opened presents from my awesome family and incredible grandparents that made me feel so loved. Shared my christmas gifts with my companion and we were happy. We enjoyed a Welch's red grape fancy juice, like Martinellis, to celebrate. 
Oh yeah!!!! 

On the 23rd we had a multizone conference about 2 hours away so we rented a bus for the zone and on the way back we all gave anonymous gifts to a previously assigned person, kinda like secret santa, and had a great time. Some missionaries dontt recieve anything from their family so it was good that everyone got something, I got a Bilbo lego man and a Honduran shirt :) Elder Wilks got a broken brick and permethrin haha.

Love you all and hope you have a Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year. Change something for the better this year!

Elder Moffitt

Monday, December 22, 2014


Christmas. It's a funny time really. I love that Jim Gaffigan skit about how Christmas was probably made up by a drunk guy. "Well take the tree and put it in here, and well take the lights, and put them out there... and then ima hang my dirty socks over the fire place and fill them with candy. Merry Christmas. I'm going to sleep on the floor." Haha. 

Here everyone just decides to blow up everything in sight. It's what Jesus would want. Right?

I have a banana tree in my house decorated with Made in Honduras Christmas lights. They come with a guarantee that half of them won't work. I am pretty sure they light up with pure holiday spirit because our electricity doesn't work to well. Holiday spirit and Josh Groban are what keep the world spinning in December.

My lovely banana tree christmas tree. chopped it down my self :).
Merry Christmas from the banana capitol of the world!
This month has been pretty crazy because I have rarely thought of myself. That is why the mission goes so fast--because one learns to forget about himself and serve others. We have been organizing conferences, service activities, branch activities, and everything in between. But service is the spirit of Christmas.

The moments are rare when I really comprehend the Christmas story but, when it all clicks, we come to learn of the King of Kings--that literally created worlds without number--coming to be born in the earth in a stable. I never really like barns because animals smell pretty nasty. Imagine being born in a barn without 2000 years of scent and cleanliness technology. That has to be messy and stinky. And think that the first ones to know were some other stinkies that were watching their sheep far away, lowly shepherds. What a crazy and beautiful story. Christ never had great wordly possesions. never had even an ipod. Was born humble, and died rejected and hated by the very ones he came to save. What an incredible gift we received from our loving Heavenly Father, who sent us his only begotten son so that all those who believe in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. He is the gift of Christmas.

And how ungrateful are we!!!!! I remember one Christmas opening a present from my sweet Aunt Lee Ann and saying in absolute disgust, "Yahzee??" I didnt even know what yahtzee was but it wasn't what I "wanted", and I am still embaresed today for that reaction, although it was pretty funny not going to lie. I imagine most of us replying to Jesus Christ and his gift  in that same tone, "Repent? Be baptized? Come unto thee?" How sad that is. I am so imperfect. It breaks my heart. In Sunday School someone asked the question, why do we continue to make the same sins and mistakes even when we know they are wrong and won't make us happy? That question broke my heart. I don't know why I keep messing up. I am determined to be a better person, as perfect as I can and as he asks me to be, to show a little bit of gratitude for his unmatchable gift.

This Sunday, I saw a Christmas miracle. We went to go with Luis and Elvis to church. they haven't come in 3 Sundays, and were recently baptized. The last lessons we had had with them were without the spirit, and they seemed apathetic to all we said and implored them. We went in the morning and they didn't want to go to church. Like flat out no. The spirit of apostasy was so strong and satan had totally been working on them. They said they weren't sure if they ever wanted to go again and that they weren't sure if they wanted us to return and visit them. We were super sad and pleaded with them and bore them our testimonies but nada. I kinda gave up, and decided we would let them walk the path they wanted and then return in a bit to see if they were ready to recieve us again, but Elder Garcia kept persisting, and finally convinced them to go. They got dressed, and we ran over to church to get there right before they passed the sacrament. Sacrament meeting was okay, and then we went to the gospel principles class, our teacher wasn't there so we spontaneously decided to teach about Agency and the ability to choose for ourselves. It was super inspired. The spirit was there in the lesson. And afterwards, Luis and Elvis were completely different. They were like they were right after their baptism! Elvis said "That's it. We are coming back to church!" And asked us if he could go Christmas caroling with us. Luis also asked us when we would be passing by that day. We did pass by that day and, sent by the branch president, gave them the Aaronic Priesthood! From almost apostasy to recieving the priesthood of God. Imagine that. God touched them yesterday and softened their hearts once more. I am still amazed by the complete change of heart. I learned something from my companion that day. Never give up on someone even if they don't want it because they just don't know what they are missing, and we don't know when God will work miracles.

Everyone should read the short story, The Gift of the Magi. It is my favorite Christmas story that we would always read as a family by the fire every Christmas. 

Watch - short video! "He is the Gift"
Love you all and Merry Christmas!

Elder Moffitt

We found a clean christian pool place and they let us play for free this morning for pday.
I was the champion! I have never won a game of pool so that was kinda wild that I beat everyone.
4 times in a row.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Countdown to Christmas!

Officially 10 more days to Christmas! 

This last week was wild. On Tuesday, we had our last zone meeting of this transfer/change. It is always nice to hear the testimonies of the missionaries that have changes and whom we have worked with for months. 

Tuesday night, we stayed up with another Elder from Ecuador (who was being transferred) cutting our hair and getting all prettied up for our change meeting, and then at 1 am headed for the bus stop (definition of sketchy: walking abandoned honduran streets at 1 am in a full suit) and heading out on the bus at 2 am.  After a wonderful 7 hour bus ride, we disembarked and enjoyed listening to our mission president and the stressful waiting of finding out who your new companion and new area will be, and the Elder Garcia and I headed back to the bus stop and another 7 hour trip with the new missionaries in our zone. Pretty much a lovely 14 hours of our pday spent in buses. But, of course, we took advantage of the time to preach to the buses about the real meaning of Christmas, the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Book of Mormon. It is cool to teach about the Book of Mormon to the descendants of the authors themselfves, even though no one here really understands just how cool that is when we say that this is a book written by prophets here in Ancient America. They usually just stare at us blankly and nod. But one day they will get it. 

On Friday, we had a rare treat of a mission leadership pday with our mission president, President Klein, in La Ceiba, the zone where I was "born" (where I first arrived), and heading to Pico Bonito (beautiful point), a pretty waterfall in the mountains. It was super cool and we took some sweet pics. And then we sat down and discussed with President Klein how to improve as a mission and how to help our missionaries to complete their objective of bringing others to Christ. President Klein is so inspired. I always receive my own revelation when I hear him speak.

Well, we are working to spread holiday cheer over here and helping to remind people of the real meaning of Christmas, which is the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and the incredible gift that our Heavenly Father gave us by sending us His only begotten son so that we may be saved.

I love Jesus Christ. I love repentance.

Feliz Navidad!

Elder Moffitt

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"My Son": A Christmas Message

Dear Family and Friends,

17 months in the mission now. Time sure flies. I haven't been very good with sending emails lately so I would like to repent and send a good spiritual missionary email to you all.
A quick spiritual experience (entry from my missionary diary):
"Yesterday, I was sick with a fever and sick to the stomach, but we went to work anyways, because there is no time to be sick in the mission.  :) I felt pretty bad and, walking away from an okay lesson, it was raining and cold and grey and I was sick--and the thought came to my mind, "Oh God, where art thou?" 

It wasn't so much that I was sooo miserable as to think that God had abandoned me but the Spirit brought the thought and scripture to my mind. I remembered Section 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants when the prophet Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail (how ironic the name, Liberty Jail) and fervently prayed with those very words. 

I remembered the divine response, "My son, peace be unto thy soul." And there, cold and wet in Honduras, that scripture hit me with an intensity and profundity that beforehand I never realized. The words "my son" ran through my head over and over. My son. My son. MY son. My SON. Walking a bit behind me companion, I repeated those two words over and over, thinking and feeling the spirit super strongly. What sermon more powerful! I imagined God standing as an all-powerful witness to the persecutions heaped on His chosen prophet and servant by wicked, apostate men. I imagined him withholding his mighty hand and weeping along with Joseph. And I imagined the tenderness with which he spoke those two words to the soul itself. My son. Earthly parents fail, disappear, pass away, but even when a mother forgets her child the Lord will not.
In 1 Nefi 21:14-16 we read:
14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not. 15 For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the 
son  of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

In answer to Joeseph's distraught prayer, the first truth that our Heavenly Father reminded him to comfort him is that he was HIS son.

Joseph--and I--belong to God, no one else.

What is more, put the emphasis on SON. My SON. What relationship more powerful than that, between Father and son. It is unlike any other. It is bold and valient and manly (huh!) but beneath it all there is a tenderness so deep. What self worth, what confidence comes from a divine assurance that you are His SON. Think the antithesis of the Darth Vader "I am your father" moment. Here God's gentle reminder that He is the Father and Joseph and I are the sons is so poignant. I dont know how to describe it really but the spirit opened my heart and mind to understand at a deeper level. And the more I thought about it the more I understood and felt that same love that the lonely prophet felt in that cold jail.

Feeling warm and grateful, and with damp eyes, I walked and walked, and when we arrived at our next appointment I shared how I was feeling and my testimony of a loving heavenly father and wept really hard. It was a super powerful moment and one of the few sustaining moments that help a missionary get through all of the constant challenges and sustain the spirit through the next months of spiritual combat with the darkness of sin and apostasy. So grateful for the answers to the soul's unsaid prayers.

Passed Thanksgiving without me even really realizing that it was Thanksgiving. We worked until 8:45 pm and then ran home and I had some left over mashed potatoes and stuffing seasoning packets from my birthday package (haha) along with some new mashed potatoes packages that had just arrived from you Mom in my christmas package (don't worry I didn't open all of them I just knew that some of them were mashed potates from the feel of them and opened them to take advangtage of them for Thanksgiving!) and cooked them super fast in the house of a super member here in Tocoa (that helps in the missionary work a ton) since we don't even have a stove in our apartment. Cooked it, stuffed in down our throats, and then ran back to the house to be home on time and got back to our apartment 1 minute before the curfew time.

Driving home, that member said, " Look at that moon, Elder Moffitt. Your family in Arizona is watching that very some moon right now."  Awwwwww, it was pretty sweet. No, I didn't cry.

Also, yesterday we had a service Christmas activity with the Zone and with a group of really poor kids from here in Tocoa. We were originally planning to do it with orphans but the director of the orphanage in the states didn't give us permission to do it, so we went to the poorest part of Tocoa where families live in houses of cardboard and aluminum and wood and organized an activity with them. We worked really hard to plan it and thanks to miracle after miracle everything happened well.

About an hour before the activity started, the bus we had gotten to take the kids to the church building was nowhere to be found. Dark clouds loomed and then covered the sky in minutes and started to rain hard. There was no way that the kids were going to walk the 30 minutes to the church in that weather, nor that we could bring them in the back of the one truck low on gas that we had. I knelt, desperate, to pray and ask for a miracle so that the activity would pass, which we had planned so diligently and spent so much time and effort and money to bring to pass. And a few minutes later, Wilmer, the best member in Honduras, called and said he had found another bus that was in route to go with us to bring the kids. It was a miracle.

With played outside games with them, we played Christmas trivia with them and decorated christmas cookies and taught them the christmas story and then watched the 5 minute version of the christmas movie, "Joy to the World" made by the church, and then made our own video acting out the nativity scene with the missionaries and the children. It was super fun and was full of cookies and candy and dinner and dessert and pinatas and everything. I never had a birthday party or christmas party as intense as what these kids enjoyed (haha) but we really felt the sincere joy of these children that are so poor that one of the little girls asked if she could save a bag of water we gave her to drink to bring it home with her, probably because they have no clean water to drink at her home.



So many more miracles have passed and I know that one day I will have time to tell them all. But know that God is a God of miracles and hears and answers prayers.

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Moffitt