Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hello again!

Wow, it's nearly here.. In about a week and 4 days I will finally be leaving for Santiago Chile! "I'm so excited... and I just can't hide it... I'm about to lose control and I think I like it..." Sorry, it's just kinda hard to contain myself sometimes. ;)
So couple funny things, for the past few weeks I've been saying "quierro bailar" or "me gusta bailar" and doing a little jig around the class room in between study times. I look like a complete idiot, but it's enjoyable for me. The cool things is, that I now have many people in my District who join in with me! All i have to say is "?Quierre bailar?" and they start dancing around. Haha sorry i think I've been at the MTC for too long. Actually no, I take that back. I used to do the same sorts of things before my mission. Nothings changed.
It's absolutely incredible having multiple friends here at the MTC now. Chad Tialino, Christian Price, Jacob Paulsen (Jr. High! So cool!), David Urbina, and Braden Hamel, and more! Yesterday afternoon my companion and I were just strolling through the MTC when BOOM! On the left I saw Elder Tialino! BOOM! On the right I saw Elder Price! BOOM! and there I was.... Within moments we had all bowed our heads and began an epic battle of "NINJA?!" I'm proud to say that after a long battle, I came out victorious!
So Elder Sheahan and I have new roommates (I don't remember if I mentioned them last week?). Anyways, these Elders are really cool. Elder Thiebeau (pronounced T-BO, and he's not Asian) and Elder Young. The four of us usually end our nights by brushing our teeth, getting ready for bed, playing several games of ninja, and then saying our prayers. We're always obedient and have our lights out by 10:30 though, no worries... I'm not sure if Ninja is necessarily categorized as a missionary appropriate game or demonstrates "quiet dignity" but oh well?? :S
Last night Elder Afeaki and Elder Lauh'hulu (or something like that?) started teaching us the "Haka" (SP?). You know what I'm talking about though right? The Polynesian battle cry/dance. So cool. One of the Branch Presidents came by and told us to keep up the good work, then 5 minutes later another Branch President came by and told us that we needed to stop. It's interesting how everyone leads differently...
Did I mention a couple weeks ago that Elder Afeaki and Elder Ostergar in our District became the Zone leaders? Well it was a shock because Elder Afeaki is having SO MUCH trouble learning the language. They were called and it's incredible to see the change in them. It's kinda dorky but I feel like a proud parent or something. Elder Afeaki has always been the slacker guy who's really funny, but not too serious. Now he's leading the zone with power and authority. He talks like a real Zone Leader! haha and Elder Ostergar I compare to Moses. Moses wasn't a very strong speaker, but had the Lord to support him. Elder Ostergar has trouble sound powerful and professional when he speaks, but you can feel his reverence and the spirit when he does. I just think it's all so cool.
So this is my last week and a half to recieve mail! If anyone is reading this and considers themselves to be my friend, please write me! Haha i know I sound desperate, but it's kinda sad how nobody really writes :(
I'm low on time, but I just wanna say how grateful I am to be learning and growing so much in the Gospel. Seriously, I just listed off a bunch of fun things that have been going on, but really we are focused on the Gospel. Bringing the true and restored church of Jesus Christ to people around the world is such a blessing and there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. We're so lucky to understand who God really is, what we need to do to return to him, and have the authority to do so!
I love you all so much and pray for you always! Be safe and be good!

Elder Mooney

(P.S. I hope to see my cousin Taylor soon :))

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hello my wonderful family and friends!

So I realized that I neglected to say whether I was still sick or feeling better in last weeks email (thanks to my mom). Yes! I was way better last week and am feeling great this week. No signs of sickness at all and my ankle is still sore but I play basketball and soccer on it now anyway ;)
Cool thing happened yesterday, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to us. Crazy cool! He has always been one of the most famous missionary speakers because of his "Miracle of a Mission" talk he gave at the MTC years ago. He talked all about how a mission truly is the greatest blessing he ever recieved in his life besides his "perfect" wife. He the says that he would not have even had a chance with his wife if he hadn't gone on his mission. He sincerely attributes every major blessing in his life to his mission. It was incredible. Another thing I really liked was how he talked about "the war in heaven" and how that war has carried on into this life. Used the "armor of God" analogies and all. He reffered to us as warriors, then referred to us as medics because we are only trying to heal the world. It's hard to explain it all, but I loved it! He seriously covered like a million different things in like an hour and I wish I could write them all but there's no time!
Thankyou so much mother and family for the package! I loved the ties, newsletter, protein bars (haha), and medicine. I especailly like how you sent me the shirt and ties gift wrapped, it just makes it that much more exciting. If you'd like to send another that'd be great ;) (but you don't have to). The package was amazing and you guys have been amazing for all the Dear.Elders you've sent (unlike my friends)... Haha out of the hundreds of people who said they'd write me, only like 4 have. But honestly, it's ok. I'm not offended at all. I realize how easy it is to forget to write when you're busy with life. I was unfortunately the same way before my mission.
So I guess the last couple weeks I've sounded kinda bummed out about being here at the MTC? Let me just tell you that it was rough for a couple weeks, but I'm grateful to be here. One thing I've gained a strong testimony of this week is how you truly can find the answers to ALL life's problems in the scriptures. It's not just some cheezy catch phrase or slogan. Every single day this week I have found something in the scriptures that has helped me. Ranging from all sorts of different topics (missing home, missing "somebody," difficulties with my companion, how to teach better, not looking forward to the end, etc. etc...).
Hebrews 13:17 " it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you"
Proverbs 24:10 "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small"
Proverbs 15:32 "He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding."
1 Nephi 7:12 The Lord is able and willing to do all things for us "if" we exercise faith in him first.
The list of scriptures just goes on and on. I love the scriptures and I love being a missionary. It's extremely difficult, but I can already see how It's changing me into a better person.
Thank you all for the love and support. I love you guys very much and hope you are doing well. Be safe, be good, and keep the faith!

Elder Matthew D. Mooney

PS... 2 weeks and 4 days about

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Letter # (I've lost count already...)


I'm not gonna lie... I don't have much to say about this week. The greatest thing that happened was that Chad came to the MTC. Chad and I sat together at choir and at the Tuesday night Devotional. It was so good to have someone familiar to just talk with, joke around with, and catch up with. It truly was 2 good....
So we had Elder Hinckley come speak to us this week. It was funny, he didn't really prepare much to talk about but cracked alot of jokes. He looks and sounds like his dad. It's nutzzz! I love Tuesday and Sunday night devotionals/firesides.
This friday my companion and I are teaching the 1st lesson in Spanish. It's nerve racking. English is so much more enjoyable :S My spanish is coming along farely well. I'm memorizing about 30-50 vocab words a day. It's very cool, cuz when I pray and ask for help with spanish, it comes SOOO much easier. I'm planning on holding off on spanish letters until I've been in Chile for a little while. Haha sorry

K, well things are moving along. I miss you all so much! I missed my dogs especially.... Haha

Love, Elder Mooney

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A month has already come and gone...

Hello Family and Friends!

So i've been at the MTC for 4 weeks now. Crazy huh? Things are still good, but this has been an especially rough week...
I'd like to begin my letter shouting out to my cousin Taylor McBride who will be joining me here at the MTC in 2 weeks i believe? Here are a few words of wisdom:
1. Bring good shoes! So this week i rolled my ankle really bad playing basketball. Hundreds of missionaries have rolled their ankles playing all different kinds of sports; Four-square, volleyball, basketball, Soccer, and more. So bring really good shoes that will prevent you from rolling your ankle ok?
2. Bring lots of medicine with you. So the Swine Flu has been popping up every once in a while here at the MTC, but more serious is the amount of "regular" sicknesses here. Almost every member of my district has been seriously sick in the last couple weeks. The same goes for ALL missionaries here. The medical office here is booked full every day with appointments. MY companion has finally passed his cold and sore throat to me a little bit. It's no bueno! Haha so bring tons of medicine to make your days easier WHEN you get sick (not if, but when).
3. I don't know how many ties you are allowed to bring to your mission, but definitely bring more then 5. My paper said bring only 5, but that is nowhere near enough. Bring at least 7 to keep things interesting cuz everyone gets sick of their ties and trade all the time to keep their sanity. (I myself have not traded :S) Also, Zip-up ties are a BAD IDEA. They fall down way too easily and it's annoying to have to constantly fix them.
4. Bring TWO journals. Bring one journal for writing in at night, your "Missionary Journal" or whatever it's called. The other one is called your "Study Journal." This is the journal where you take notes in during devotionals, during personal study, during class, and during any kind of "study" activity. Also, they have a really nice bookstore here and plenty of different journals to choose from if you just wanna buy one here.
5. I am in Zone 38 District C. It's quite possible that you could be put into my zone or even into my room (probably not though). Which means we would be able to go to GYM together, eat meals together, and sit by each other at sacrament meeting, as well as other meetings. I live on the 4th floor of Building 15M and I go to class in 17M. I have dinner at 6:00 everyday as well. Remember all that so you can find me sometime!
6. Last word of advice. Start living the rules the minute you get here. Make your bed and clean up your room everyday (they do random room inspections all the time and you get a grade). Don't listen to ANY music (new rule at the MTC, not even Mo-Tab). Don't sneak food out of the cafeteria. Be on time to class and go to bed on time. Etc...etc... My companion and I were lucky enough to have roommates who helped us from day one and that made living it so much easier.
7. I love ya cuzzzz... See ya soon!

So yeah, that's my advice for Taylor. I have not seen Chad or David yet and I don't think they're in my zone unfortunately. I see more people I know each and everyday (Brock Perry, Marcus Oliver, and Hunter Poulsen from my high school is in my District, which i forgot to mention earlier). Yes, I rolled my ankle really really bad. Yes, I am kinda sick. Yes, I do blame my companion for it all ;) But hey, it's all good.
Lately in my scripture studies I've been studying 1st and 2nd Samuel in the Bible. It's way cool. The story of David goes on forever and is very interesting. My favorite chapter so far is 2 Sam 22. I think if you read everything before it, it makes it even more powerful though! The scriptures are so incredible and you can always find a way to apply them in your life.
I'm grateful to be here, I miss you all so much! Keep writing!

Elder Matthew D. Mooney