Monday, February 22, 2010

A trip to church

Hello my dearest friends and family,

Alright, well the most entertaining thing that´s happened was our trip to church. We carried another family to church (I think he means "brought" - the spanish verb to take and carry is the same) and by the end of the walk we had a parade of people, dogs, and strollers walking to the capilla (chapel). It would´ve made a cool picture.

The honest truth is, right now we are having a little bit of difficulty finding. We´re making a lot of contacts but all of the citas (appointments) are falling through. Also, vacations are still going strong and we´ve lost 2 investigators for another week or two. One person that we have is Ana Alegria, who is 13. She wants to get baptized but isn´t too bright. We have to re-teach her everything like 5 times. BUT every alma (soul) is important and she´s a really nice girl. Another one of our investigators has a marriage date in June, so that´s awesome. She plans on getting baptized right after. This week has been pretty rough, but we haven´t lost our spirits. I know that if we keep working with diligence, obedience, and faith, everything will work out fine.

Thank you family so much for the group email. Very cool! It was comforting and inspirational. It was weird though, when I first looked at the picture I totally thought that Uncle Brad was Taylor. Monkey faces were quality stuff.

I love you all so much and pray for you always.

Elder Mooney

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Sector

Hello Family!

So this new sector of mine is quite different. It`s HUGE. It really is a giant sector and it`s also a lot poorer then my other sector as well. There`s crazy people running all over the streets. There`s a crazy old man that`s cross-dressed like a woman his whole life who always tries to touch as as we go by. He`s really well known by everyone in the neighborhood. There`s drunk people screaming at houses, fire hydrants spraying water, and people making bonfires in the middle of the streets and cooking bread. The benefit of this area is that the people are a little more accepting. We get into more houses and teach more lessons then in the richer areas. Unfortunately nobody really has progressed after our first visit. The majority of people say that they`re going on vacations (which is highly probable, because every one in the world here goes on vacations at this time of year). It`s a little tough though.

My new apartment is great. It`s more like a house and we have a lot more space. Elder Tello is really utilizing his chef skills here in the mission and making us whatever kind of food we want. Today he made Arroz Chaufa (or fried rice). It`s chinese food, but with a Peruvian splash. It was really good and he made enough to feed 30. Elder Sean Laney from Gilbert, AZ is a pretty cool guy as well. He went to Mesquite and has about 8 more months in the mission then I do. The only people that we both know from AZ so far are Kaitlin Gray and Cody Smith. He went to elementary school with Cody. Small world.

I`ve been introduced to some cool music this week. Disney music in Spanish! The Lion King, Tarzan, and Hercules. Ricky Martin sings ¨Go the Distance¨ from Hercules? You should check the music out though.

Well I love you all so much. This has been a little bit of a rough week, but it`s all ok because I know my Savior lives. I`ve really learned to apply the Helaman 5:12 scripture into my life. ¨es sobre la roca de nuestro Redentor, el cual is Cristo, el Hijo de Dios, donde debèis establecer vuestro fundamento...¨. Basically says that we should build our foundations upon the rock of our Redeemer. With the 1400 something inactive members here in my sector I see tons and tons of people who have built their foundations upon the wrong things. If we truly have a testimony of the Savior we`ll be more accepting to his teachings. Also, if we`re truly established upon this rock we`ll never fall. When life is really hard, when someone offends us, when we`re tired, or when we get bored, we can always remember the Savior and depend upon Him to give us the strength to continue on. Love you all so much, stay strong. Keep reading your scriptures and try to share the gospel or at least share your testimonies with someone. You`re the best.

Elder Mooney

PS - Jared is getting married....? wHaT?!? Wow, I almost blew up when he told me. Strangest feeling in the whole world, but awesome!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Look what Elder Mooney sent me :)

So a day or so after my birthday I got a letter from my brother and he sent me some Chilean pesos, yay! It's only worth about $1.86 but it still looks cool :)


Hola mis seres queridos,

Last night at about 11:15 we received our changes. All week Elder Blankenfeld and Elder Evans had been worrying about changes. They kept guessing who would be leaving and why. They also were guessing who would replace who, so on and so forth. The most likely change was that Elder Blankenfeld would leave the sector after being there for 6 months and Elder Boyce would leave too. But no, Elder Boyce, Elder Evans, and Elder Blankenfeld all stayed and I was changed. I was actually really excited to change, but was upset for two things; I had to pack everything that night AND that we had about 4 people who wanted to be baptized next change. It´s all good though. I´m just happy they´re getting baptized.

We went to the change meeting this morning and President gave an extremely inspirational and powerful talk to us about giving everything we've got. We also did a group prayer for the families of the 2 Elders who were found dead in Romania. Supposedly the gas was left on all night in their house and killed them in their sleep. It was so scary to hear about and now all elders sleep with the gas completely turned off at night.

After all that I received my new companion... Elder Tello. Such a cool Elder. He is from Lima Peru. He speaks perfect spanish (obviously) and speaks a little bit of English. I had been hoping for a Latin companion that could help me perfectionize the spanish language and now I've got him. The coolest thing about him though is that he is 20 years old and already graduated from college as a chef. Yes, a CHEF! He made me some ridiculously good pasta dish with vegetable sauce and chicken. He's awesome and I'm excited to work with him. We also live with 2 other gringo elders. One of them arrived in the mission just one change before I did and the other has been here for over a year. The one that carries over a year is from Gilbert, AZ. He went to Mesquite High school. Crazy huh? Anyways, we live in a much nicer pension then my last, but we are far from every store and internet place. We are actually in a GIANT sector now in one of the poorer parts of the mission. My companion tells me that there are over a million inactive members in our sector. Looks like we've got some work to do.

Earlier in the week something crazy happened. Our recent convert Juan had a huge accident and was all over the news. I´ll tell the story really quickly. Juan goes into the bathroom and sprays some AXE deodorant on his arm pits then sets the can on the sink. He then goes and sits on the toilet just a few feet away from the sink and BOOM!?! The can of AXE explodes. The explosion is so powerful that it blows out the roof above his head, breaks the window behind him, singes the hair on his head, burns his face a little bit, and burns off all the hair on his arms. What saved him was that since nobody else was home, he left the bathroom door wide open and most of the impact went out the door. He went to the hospital and then was released home. He's not allowed in the sun for 2 weeks, but looks just slightly sun burnt now. It's crazy. The can burst open completely and destroyed everything. The police and AXE are investigating what happened. They wanted to blame him, but there's no evidence that he did anything at all and they can't explain why the can blew up the way it did. I have pictures of it all, but these computers don't have anywhere to plug into. The best part of it all is that Juan and his mom recognize that Juan was protected. They see it as a miracle of God that Juan is perfectly fine and that he has no permanent damage done to him. Crazy experience though.

Yeah, that's my week though. Wish me luck with my new companion and please keep praying for my investigators. I love you all very much.

Elder Mooney

Monday, February 1, 2010

Be Strong!

Hello my beloved familiares,

Another week has come and gone. This week seemed especially fast for some reason. I´d like to start out by sending a special shout out to my amazing sister Melissa! ¨hApPy BiRtHdAy MeeLiShAa!?!!? I hope you had an amazing birthday. The party at home sounded pretty fun, wish I coulda been there ;P I love you and I miss you very much.¨ - Love, your favorite sibling, Elder Matt

So something very lame happened last week. I was playing fútbol with a few missionaries and a few kids and basically I went to hit the ball with my head and succeded, but unfortnately another kid tried to do the same and headbutted me. So I started bleeding right under neath my eye and have had a black scab on my cheek all week. It´s not huge or anything, but EVERYONE asks what happend and I usually just tell them that my companion has a bad temper.

Also, this week I had my first snake experience. A snake is basically someone who hits on missionaries. I´d heard millions of snake stories, but never actually witnessed it until this week. We sat down to teach a lesson with this older inactive woman who wants to reactivate. Half way through the lesson her granddaughter comes in and sits down on the couch right next to me and just smiles. During the lesson she starts stroking my arm and i just kinda fidgit away from her and she just smiles at me. Then a few seconds later she starts rubbing my leg and pinches me. I was like what?! Finally we ended the lesson and I got out of there feeling extremely violated. I never knew that a four year old girl could be so feisty...

This has been a good week though. I battled our freezer and finally defrosted it after 3 hours of work and flooding the whole kitchen. Our 32 year old golden Investigator Rodrigo was grounded on Sunday. Leandro went by to pick up Rodrigo for church and Rodrigo's dad was waiting outside and said that Rodrigo isn't allowed to go to our church. Leandro said that before leaving the house he saw Rodrigo poking his head out the upstairs window. If you could please pray for Rodrigo that he can have the courage to persevere and that the hearts of his family members will be softened, I'm sure it would help him a lot. We also finally taught 10 year old Christian in a way that got him stoked for baptism. He's always gone to primary, but always been afraid to get baptized. We taught lesson 2 to him and 5 other cousins and friends and by the end of the lesson he asked us when he could get baptized. So cool. Most importantly, I've developed more faith in finding people to teach. A lady approached us in the street this week and now we´re teaching her grandkids. We helped a bruised up drunken lady to her house and passed by to teach her the next day. I followed a prompting to knock a random block of apartments 10 minutes before lunch and we entered in and taught a 25 year old guy. I know that the Lord has prepared people to receive this gospel, we've just gotta be diligent and watchful to find them. It's all a matter of faith.

I love you all so much and miss you. I hope all is well at home and that everyone´s healthy and happy. Be strong!


Elder Mooney