Monday, December 28, 2009

Reese's, Donald Duck & lots of socks!


Talking on the phone with the family was incredible! After it was over my face was sore from smiling so much. The weird thing is, I can hardly remember a single thing we talked about, I just remember that it was good.

So Christmas Eve and Christmas day were pretty good. Christmas Eve we had lunch with Hermana Paillan and her daughter La Chumi (who´s a 23 year old Primary President). They gave us socks and fruit cake afterward. Then we visited Juan, Paulina, and a few other people. That night we had Dinner in the home of Anita, Camila, Paulo, and Dante. We ate shrimp ceviche with avocado, beef with a creamy mushroom sauce, little fried potato balls, green been tomato salad, and for desert we had big bowls of vanilla, chocolate, and coffee ice cream?? (One of the scoops tasted like coffee, we´re gonna have to go over the word of wisdom again). There were also truffles and sugar cookies. We also had prepared a message and games for the night, but didn´t have time to do any of it because dinner took so long. It was a really fun, really nice night though. It made Elder Boyce really homesick... Then at midnight Juan called us to say Feliz Navidad!

Oh and did you know that the tradition here in Chile is that everyone stays up until Midnight and opens presents then?? We told a bunch of people that we waited till morning to open presents and they thought we were insane.

Christmas day was really odd.. I woke up at 7:33 (the extra 3 minutes was a Christmas present) and thought it´s only 3:33 back home. Elder Boyce and Elder Maruri opened a few little gifts they´d saved (like wet-ones and finger puppets) and that was it. We cleaned and got ready like normal after that. I thought about home and the family all morning. We made Reese's and no bake cookies for various families in the ward and brought them to them (people don´t eat much peanut butter hear at all). We also sang Noche de Luz to all the houses (in parts). Everyone loved the Reese's and we have two families that want to do Noches de Hogar this week so we can make more Reese's. We then ate lunch with Vasco, counselor in the Bishopric, and his family. It was really good, but the whole meal was kinda sad. Vasco and his wife aren't able to have kids so they've been working on adopting for a long time. About 2 weeks ago they finally got their baby from a young girl who was wanting to put her baby up for adoption. They were so happy and taking such good care of the baby until all of the sudden the mother wanted it back. I´m not sure what exactly went down, but they had to give the baby back. So their Christmas was not at all what they expected it to be and was really rough. We felt so bad for them, the whole ward did. The meal was great though and afterward we sang for them. Oh and I also sang Jingle Bells as Donald Duck. At least now, they´ll never be able to forget me.. Luckily they are doing a lot better now.

The day after Christmas we sang to a few more houses we missed and received a few more gifts from people. Between the 4 of us Elders we managed to receive about 7 fruit cakes and 28 pairs of socks, pretty intense huh?

Changes were last night and guess what... I´m STILL with Elder Blankenfeld?? Haha anyways, he and I are pumped to be more obedient, more diligent, more focused, and more healthy this change (We´re gonna diet?!)

I love you all. You failed to send me Christmas pictures, but that´s OK. I´m sending you some baptism photos in this email and random others in another email. Stay strong and be good!


Elder Mooney

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Introducing . . . Mini Matt

Just in time for the holidays, we now have a mini Matt. Have an event you think Elder Mooney would like to attend but he can't because he's on his mission? Let me know and you can borrow mini Matt too :) He's a little smaller than real life, but more portable!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Well HO-HO-Hello there family!

Alright, I gotta confession to make... I ALREADY OPENED ALL MY CHRISTMAS PRESENTS. I´m sorry! I couldn´t help it! They arrived last Tuesday and there was no way the other Elders were gonna let me wait so we opened them. BUT I still haven´t opened the one that says save for Christmas Eve. Please don´t be mad.

I gotta say though, you are spoiling me. Seriously, thank you so much. I can´t even remember everything you sent, there was so much. Thank you for the all of the CD´s, especially that Paul Cardall CD, we listen to it every day. The church piano and guitar music is amazing as well. Really, it´s all just TOO GOOD. Thank you for the little pecebre or manger scene, thank you for the fudge, the peanut butter white chocolate cookies, and the carmellos. They tasted amazing and Elder Blankenfeld and I made ourselves sick off fudge the other night. The ties were perfect and I loved the ASU tie (unfortunately it already has a oil stain on it from the lid to the fudge. Don´t worry, it´s still wearable). Craziest thing ever though were the signed pictures of the Christ´s baptism by Mark Mabry. You guys went all out on that! Thank you so much! I am seriously going to give those to every person we baptize. We always print them out a picture of the day they got baptized, so the combination of the two will make it that much better. The Book you sent is incredible as well. I´m guessing it´s brand new? But really, I was thinking about it and realized that if before the mission I´d gotten a book that had pictures of Jesus Christ for Christmas I wouldn´t have been thrilled. The honest truth is though, that I love it! It was a perfect gift. (Not gonna lie though, the picture of Jesus and the 12 Apostles in their Indian costumes makes us laugh every time). I can´t describe to you how perfect it all was though. Thank you so much.

I also got Melissa´s package too! Haha the Charlie Brown Christmas / Muppets Christmas CD is so ridiculously good. The CHILE pepper Christmas lights are perfect, we hung them right over the window. I love the ASU gym shorts. Seriously, I already use them all the time. Then there´s the NutterButter´s.... I don´t even have to tell you how happy that made us 4 Elders. Thank you so much Melissa and Thomashh! You guys are the best. Also, I received two letters from Melissa as well. One with pics of Tim´s birthday party (not gonna lie, those pics made me pretty happy).

K, well I´ve probably sounded all crazed and mixed up, but that´s only because I really want you all to know how grateful I am for the packages. I feel very lucky and spoiled. I´m sorry I can´t send you all anything in return (I still don´t have my debit card), but I love you guys and hope you know how awesome you´ve made this Christmas for me.

Para que sepan, Camila and Constanza´s baptisms went super well last Sunday. Constanza was baptized by her grandpa and guess who baptized Camila...? Me.. Truth is, she really didn´t care who did it, but she chose me because she knew it would be my very first one. I was extremely nervous, but pronounced her name perfectly, said my part perfectly, and we didn´t have to redo anything. It was a Christmas Miracle! The thing that makes me happiest though is that these girls now get to grow up in la primaria y las mujeres jovenes. I see how bad some peoples lives here in Chile are and how the gospel really could fix almost every problem they have. These girls now have the blessing of growing up learning about the Savior and have the gift of the Holy Ghost to help guide them. (Not to mention their part member and innactive families are now going to church again too!).

Christmas here in Chile really has begun to pick up now. A couple houses here and there now have lights up. Tons of families have there small fake little trees set up. There are gifts in the corners of peoples apartments. It´s great. This week is going to be very festive as well. Hoy día we ended our zone fast with a zone curry feast. Elder Booth and Elder Scott spent like 40 bucks making us yellow curry with chicken. It was soooooo stinkin´ good. They made way too much though, and there was tons left even after we all ate as much as we could. Tomorrow is the Christmas activity for the whole mission. It´s all supposed to be secret, but I guess we´re going to go play football for a couple hours, have an all you can eat buffet, and then we´re gonna watch a Christmas movie? We´re very excited. Thursday we work like normal, but we´re gonna sing Christmas carols and read Luke 2 with members, investigators, and anyone that´ll accept us. We´re also gonna have a stinkin´ good dinner with Vasco the 1st counselor in the bishopric. Christmas day we´re gonna work as well, but we´re allowed to eat lunch and dinner with a family. It´s all very relaxed and should be awesome. I´m definitely feeling the Christmas energy though.

Truth is though, it is really important to remember why it is we even have this holiday. And that is to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The bishop gave an amazing talk this week about how gifting can invite the spirit into our lives, caroling can invite the spirit into our lives, El Viejito Pascuero (Santa Claus), decorations, food, and everything are all great things to do that invite the spirit. But we´ve gotta remember the story of the birth of Christ and how there was no room in the Inn. We have to make sure that we accept the Savior into our homes during this season. The inn keeper that rejected Joseph and Mary didn´t know he was rejecting the Savior, but we do know. We know exactly what we´re doing and that we´ve just gotta keep the right focus... Anyways, his version was much more powerful and poetic, but you get the idea. He´s an amazing bishop.

Well, I´ve gotta go. Know that I love you and that I hope you all have the happiest Christmas ever. I´m perfectly safe and happy. Enjoy the holidays and don´t worry.

Elder Mooney

Monday, December 14, 2009


Hello everyone!

Alright, first off I wanna address the whole holiday business. Holidays don`t exist. It doesn`t feel like Christmas in the least bit here. It`s about 90-95 degrees. You can`t have Christmas in this type of weather?! Anyways, there are a few houses with fake scraggily lookin` Christmas trees and a couple of houses with Christmas lights, but that`s about it. Luckily, there were 2 days this week that sort of felt Christmas-ish. On Tuesday night we had a Noche de Hogar with Anna, Paulo, Camila, y Dante. Anna is reactivating in the church and her daughter Camila is going to get baptized this Sunday. For the Noche de Hogar we ate a little bit of food then started to decorate their house for the holidays! yay! Haha but yeah, they turned on some Christmas music in spanish we put up their small tree and decorated it, put some stuff up on the wall, and began to hang Christmas lights. It was so weird cuz it made me realize that everyone at home is doing this stuff without me :S Oh well.. Then, yesterday we had lunch at the Bishop`s house. They had the nicest lookin` tree I`ve seen so far here in Chile. It wasn`t that big, but just looked good. (Which reminds me, please send me pics of our 10ft Christmas tree please!) We ate some Christmas cookies and listened to Mormon Tab Christmas music. It was really nice as well. Right now though, I have trouble even believing it`s Christmas.

Something really cool that happened this week was that I got really REALLY sick on Thursday and basically slept in the bathroom. (I didn`t really sleep in the bathroom though, the floor was too dirty. But you get the idea). The only thing that I ate that the other Elder`s didn`t was some store bought nestle manjar? But yeah, I had to stay in the Pension for a day.

I`ve realized that I really miss music this week. The other day when we were taking a collectivo (taxi-ish) to our Zone meeting, the collectivo driver turned on the radio and the song ¨Let´s Get It On¨ came on. Wow, weirdest thing ever. The four of us Elders felt embarrassed and awkward haha. It felt like a sin to hear such a song, but we enjoyed it a it. Sorry :S It was really fun to hear real music though. Right now as I`m typing at the store the song ¨Weapon of Choice¨ by Fatboy Slim just came on and it sounds like the coolest song ever. OK, I need to refocus...

The other day we ran out of toilet paper and we were running low on money so..... The Yellow Pages became our new bathroom buddy. Yesterday we saw two full on bearded ladies. No lie. Middle aged women with goatees or whatever. Made me feel funny.

The Presidential elections of Chile have been going on for the last few weeks now. The Diputado elections too. Campaigning has been intense. Practically every wall in our sector is covered in paint. One day HASBÚN will have his name covering a street and the next day all his signs will be torn down and the walls will be painted over with the name ALESSANDRI. It`s messy, crazy, and strange. Last night Piñera won as President though. It`s all interesting to watch. Truth is though, the face of HASBÚN, who`s running for Diputado, will forever be burned into my brain. His face is EVERYWHERE.

Next Sunday we have two baptisms. One of Camila and the other is Constanza. They are 9 an 10 years old. One is extremely bright and understands every principle we teach her and the other is kinda half way there. But we`re excited for them and their families. Also, we`ve been teaching a family of 6 that lives DIRECTLY in front of the chapel. Gloria (50s), Gloria (23), Romina (25), and Estefanía (14) have been listening to us pretty well though. They`ve been reading the Book of Mormon, praying, reading the pamphlets we give them, and praying. The one thing they don`t want to do though is GO TO CHURCH. You think it would be easy for them because they step outside and they`re at church, but no. We`ve been praying and fasting for them big time. I think that the can definitely progress.

Well I love you all. I miss you so much, especially since Christmas is almost here. I hope you all enjoy the holidays and eat plenty for me. Gotta run

Elder Mooney

Monday, December 7, 2009

Yep... That`s it.

Hello everyone,

So this week has been very interesting, not gonna lie. A lot of firsts, a lot of funny stories, and a few difficulties as well. I´ll try to inform you as much as I can.

Well first off, the other day I caught a fly out of the air with my bare hands... Impressed aren´t ya?

The other day, the mother of Camila, a girl we are going to baptize this week, was singing her own adaptation of The Beetles song ¨Let It Be.¨ She speaks no English so she just sings it how it sounds, ¨Larry P, Larry P, Larry P, Larry P....¨ She`s great. Haha but really she is awesome. She`s been concerned about us missionaries not having a fun Christmas so she invited us over to do a family night this Tuesday to help them decorate their house. Normally we probably wouldn`t, but since Camila is getting baptized and we`re gonna share a lesson, why not?!

Just wanted to let you all know that I`m eating plenty of hair here in the mission. Yes, hair. I probably find 1 or 2 hairs in my food or drink everyday. I´ve gotten used to it though. Who knows how many hairs I haven´t found and actually eaten though.

My favorite story of the week is the story of Marta Schulz. Elder Blankenfeld and I spent an entire day knocking doors and didn`t enter into a single house. It was a blast. We made a lot of contacts though and a few people told us we could pass by later in the week. One of the people we contacted was Marta Schulz. Little old lady walks outside and asks ¨what do you want?¨ We explain our message and she says ¨All of us here are atheists!¨ We tell her we still want to share with her and explain a little more and she says ok, but later on in the week. We ask her for her phone number and she says she has to go check to see what it was. Few moments later she return from the house holding a calendar and asks us, ¨what did you want again?¨ We explain that we wanted her phone number and she says, ¨why didn`t you say so?¨ She goes back inside the house and returns to us with the calendar and another piece of paper and hands them to us. So we just write our number and the date we`re gonna pass by. Couple days go by and it turns out the date we told her isn`t gonna work out so we ask the other elders to pass by. They actually teach her and tell us that it went really well. We were kinda shocked. They even set a second appointment for the next day. Here´s the best part though, they pass by the second day and Marta`s son comes to the door and explains to them that Marta has alzheimers disease and doesn`t remember a thing they`ve taught to her. Yep... That`s it.

This week I had to give my very first blessing! I was terrified.. What happened was, the 12 year old boy that Paulina hit with her car a couple weeks ago, died this week. She was pretty shaken up about it. So we asked her if she needed anything and she asked me to give her a blessing. It wasn`t very well spoken, poetic, or anything, but she was very grateful. The family of the boy is doing alright we hear. Paulina has been in contact with them and so have the bishopric of our ward. The family lives in another sector and we gave the reference to the missionaries there to offer any sort of help.

Then on Sunday we`re sitting in Sacrament Meeting with Juan and realize that Juan hadn`t picked anyone to confirm him a member of the church. We told him he could pick any of us missionaries, or the young mens president, or anyone. Guess who he picked.... Yep, me. I was tempted to decline and say that I wasn`t prepared, but I did it anyways. I felt like a fool afterward, but I´m still glad I did it. I´ve decided I really need to start working on the TU form of spanish so i can give better blessings.

Ok, well this has been a hard week. I`ve missed home alot and missed everybody, but I realize I just gotta keep working through it. Thanks for all your emails, letters, and support. Mom, Dad, Diana, Kelly, Oh and thanks Melissa, Tom, Sister Knighton, Olivia, Summer, and Hunter Howard for sending me letters recently as well! ¡Muchisimas gracias!

I love you all and miss you a lot.

Elder Mooney