Monday, April 26, 2010

Challenges and Blessings

Hello Family!

Ok well there are about a million things to tell you this week, but only a short period of time. So I´m just gonna try and touch everything a little bit.

Elder Laney, one of the Elders I live with, got his "trunky papers" this week. His papers that he has to fill out to say where he´s going after the mission. He had to fill in all of his information about Phoenix airport and his ward in Gilbert, AZ. Made me a little trunky.

We´ve been eating alot of Membrio here in Chile. It´s a weird, dry, sour, apple-ish fruit. The dictionary says it called Quince or something in spanish. It works as a laxative for my companion :S

This week I´ve been waking up freezing cold and it´s only otoƱo or fall. Everyone´s telling me that it´s HORRIBLE and that I´m gonna die during the winter. I´m starting to believe it. So I sleep with double shirts, double pants, gloves and an awesome beanie hat thing. (You´ll see in the picture). In fact, the other morning I was so cold I slept on the floor in front of the electric heater for 2 hours. I think I´m just a wimp. Haha but the truth is, I still like the cold! I just like houses that have insulation and heating.

Also, we were fortunate enough this week to have a flood in our house. Elder Tello and I were in the pension using the restroom and it didn´t quite work. I don´t wanna go into detail because the details aren´t so pretty, but I´m pretty sure you can imagine it all. The toilet started to flood. I stopped the water from inside the tank. We plunged the toilet. We tried to flush it again and it started filling up even more. I tried to stop the water from inside the tank again and the part broke off. Water (and other stuff) started overflowing all through the bathroom and flooded down into the room. Elder Tello was using a broom to push the water back into the bathroom. I finally found a way to stop the water with my finger and then jammed the same spot with a bunch of matchsticks. We had to buy a mop and clean everything up. Then we had to wait two days for the repairman to come. It was quite an exhilarating event. Disgusting... But memorable...
Best part of the whole week though was the 2 BAPTISMS we had! Rodrigo and Juan both passed their baptismal interviews and were baptized yesterday. I think Rodrigo is one of the best conversions I´ve seen so far. It wasn´t too hard for him, but right away he became active in Seminary, Mutual, Church Organizations, daily scripture reading and praying. He´s awesome. He asked me to baptize him and I gladly accepted. Juan asked Elder Tello to baptize him. This week we fixed the water so it wasn´t freezing cold, just slightly. The baptismal service was excellent! A lot of members stayed and watched this time. Most of Juan and Rodrigo´s family came as well. It was great cuz I had to baptize Rodrigo two times because the first time he let his feet slip and pop out of the water. It was kinda funny lookin. The service was great though and the baptisms were performed :)

Strangely, we found out that Juan´s mother is actually a member and she just never wanted to tell us. Juan and Rodrigo didn´t even know. Rodrigo´s 3 other siblings are also members but never told them or us. We shocked and kinda excited because we plan on reactivating the whole family!

I miss you all ridiculously and hope everything is well at home. Thank you so much for all the emails, letters, and prayers. I can always feel your support. I love you all.

Elder Matthew D. Mooney

Happy Birthday Elder Mooney!

Decorations, goodies & gifts from Home!

Dirty kitchens....and very clean converts!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Future Misioneros!

Dear Family and Friends,

Awesome! We had a baptism this week. Yesterday Cristofer Alejandro Valenzuela Cornejo was baptized. He´s thirteen years old and a really cool kid. His parents are both inactive in the church but we´ve been helping them to reactivate a lot. We´ve seen a huge change in this family just over the last 3 weeks. Really everything feels completely different in that home now. The baptism just sealed the deal.

Cristofer asked me to baptize him which turned out to be more difficult then I was expecting. The water was FREEZING cold. The hot water wouldn´t work so we just had to do without. When we first entered into the water he started making a bunch of sounds and didn´t want to go in but i pushed him into the water haha. Then as I was performing the baptism he bent his knees and right when the cold water got to his face he didn´t wanna go under and I had to push him down. Sounds bad, I know, but he was grateful because he realized he would´ve had to do it again. His parents loved the whole thing. Church, the baptism, the members. We´ve got a commitment from the whole family to stay active in the church and it feels great. That night Cristofer and I cracked up for like 10 minutes looking at the pictures before the baptism and talking about how I almost drowned him.

This week we have the baptism of Rodrigo (16) and Juan (10) coming up. They come from a huge family and the family has SO many problems. There are so many horrible rumors about that family, but Rodrigo and Juan are great. They love church. They love mutual (Juan went even though he´s not old enough). And Rodrigo even wants to go to seminarios. It´s great.
Best of all is that Cristopher, Rodrigo, and Juan all want to be missionaries someday and are already talking with the Young Men´s President so they can be on the right track.

It´s getting cold here in Chile and I´m gonna go by a hoodie to wear in the pension. Some days we don´t ever see the sun. It´s quite the opposite.

Love you all and can´t wait to talk to you in May!

Elder Mooney

Monday, April 12, 2010


Dear Family,

Just wanted to let you know that I shook hands with the one-eyed creepy cross-dresser man this week. He started kissing his hand and screaming afterwards.

I also had the amazing opportunity to go up into the mountains this week. I went on 24 hour divisions with my zone leader and we went to the farthest part of his zone (which is in the mountains!?). It was awesome, there were tons of trees, space, dogs, horses, and almost fresh air. We got warned two times to be careful because a Peruvian woman was killed by a bunch of wild dogs not too long ago. I just petted the dogs?

We had our interviews with President Laycock this week and it was intense. We talked about a whole bunch of things, but mostly we talked about my sector. "Permanaced" is our main focus right now in our sector. It`s a document that we are supposed to share with all active and inactive members of the church. You should look it up and read it, it`s really simple and really clear. Problem is that our ward has not had much success in the last two years. The average ward seems to have about 15 or more baptisms in the last two years and our ward has 5. I got President`s full support to focus as much as we want on the re-activating efforts in our ward because there are plenty of inactive members who are accepting us and wanting to return to church, but just need some help. Our increased focus on reactivating has proven extremely helpful because we`ve found a whole bunch of inactive families who want their kids to go to church and be baptized.

As of right now we have one baptism scheduled for this Sunday. Cristopher Valenzuela, age 13. He likes church and loves mutual and is excited to receive a remission of his sins! We also have Cristopher (16) and Juan (10) that went to church for the first time this Sunday and LOVED it. The are planning on getting baptized the following week. Their dad is fully supportive of them, but thinks that the 2 other baptisms he`s already received should be enough to save him. We`re gonna try to work with him.

I`ve really come to see the blessings of obedience, fasting, and following the spirit this week. I`m extremely grateful to be where I am and doing what I`m doing. My testimony of Jesus Christ has grown so much and with that everything else has become so much easier. I love each and every one of you and hope that you are all doing your best at living the gospel. Praying, reading your scriptures, magnifying your callings, and sharing the gospel. You are amazing, thank you for all the love and support.

Elder Mooney

Monday, April 5, 2010

Conference was incredible.

Hello my dearest family!

Wow, it does not feel like Easter happened at all... I actually completely forgot that it was Easter until we got to conference on Sunday. What I did remember was that it was conference weekend! Conference was incredible. In the mission conference is like Christmas. We had the privilege of watching all 10 hours of conference and I honestly loved it. We went to the stake center and all of the english speaking missionaries got to watch it in english in a small room. Funny thing is that my companion is the only Latin elder in our zone right now 1 of 12. So we all had some cookies, and candies, and our journals and we studied conference. It was great. Unfortunately there was some pretty lousy interference during the first 2 sessions of conference and then it got worse so we watched the last 3 in spanish. It`s just not the same in spanish though...

Truth is, all of the messages about families did two things to me. It made me miss my family so much more and it made me remember how great my parents really are. Really mom and dad, as I watched and listened I could remember you two following almost every counsel that they gave. I can`t thank you enough for all the support and guidance you`ve given me all my life. You are amazing examples to me. (Oh and Dad, just so you know I almost wanted to cry half way through the priesthood conference because I wanted to see it with you :S).

Everything is good here though. Still haven`t received your packages, but I should get them tomorrow! I did get a letter from Melissa with DiNeRo?! How cool is that? Thank you so much Melissa!

The missionary work is about the same here in our ward. To clarify something that Kelly pointed out to me, the Macarena that got baptized is a different Macarena from my first baptism. This Macarena is 15 and had friends in the church. Way cool! We have an amazing 13 year old kid named Cristopher Valenzuela that wants to get baptized. His parents are less active but say they want him to be active and they want to go to church again.

I had my first fight in spanish this week. I know, it`s bad to fight, but everythings cool now. Elder Tello and I just had some frustration building up and let it all out. We started and ended with a prayer. Sounds weird, but we felt much better afterwards and it showed me that I know spanish a lot better then I thought! Haha

Well I love you all so much! I`m glad that you didn`t eat cinnamon rolls without me. I know the church is true. I know that families can be together forever if we follow God`s plan. And I know that the only way to find REAL happiness, lasting happiness in this life, is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love you Mom and Dad. I love you BB-cakes. I love you Becky, Melissa, Tim and Tom. And I love you Grandma, Uncles, Aunts, and cousins. You are all amazing and are all so supportive of me here in the mission. Stay strong and Keep the Faith!

Elder Matthew D. Mooney