Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"With or without clothes?"

Dear friends and family,

How are you? I´m fine. This week has been kinda interesting. We have had some good times, but at the same time, its been kinda a slow week. For some reason the work is just going pretty slow. We found eight new investigators this week so we are hoping to see a little more progress this coming week.

We have been unable to teach our beloved Marilyn this entire week. We set four appointments with her and she cancelled or wasn't there for every single one of them :S We called her and asked her if she wants us to pass by and she says yes. It's difficult. We´ll see what´s going on with her this week. Hopefully we can get her to attend General Conference with us!

On Wednesday night I learned how to make Chilean Empanadas de Pino. They are delicious! Maria Eugenia, a really nice ward member taught us how. We made the dough from scratch and everything that goes in it. Pino is a hamburger onion mix that includes a hardboiled egg and green olive. I´m going to write it all down so I can celebrate the next 18 de Septiembre with you all in the states ;) We didn't have time to cook all the empanadas so we had to carry a big cardboard tray full of them 2 miles back to our house and bake them in our oven. I ate a lot of empanadas those next two days.

While we were there we taught Zulema, the crazy 81 year old lady, who is best friends with Maria Eugenia and always attends church. The missionaries have been trying to baptize her forever and she finally said she will get baptized. She then asked us if she had to do it with or without clothes (she´s a crazy lady haha).

That´s how the things are going here. I am way excited for the General Conference this weekend. It´s such a blessing to be able to listen to the words of living profets all weekend. I hope everyone can watch and enjoy every minute of it.

I love you all so much and thank you for everything you are doing for me.

Elder Mooney

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Cooouunt your blessings.... name.. them.. one.. by.. one.."


Well unfortunately this Monday I will not be able to email you thanks to the festivities that are going on here in Chile. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are just gonna be a big old 200th birthday party for the country of Chile. It should be fun.

Tomorrow our ward is throwing their yearly 18th of September party. It starts at 10am and goes till like 6-8pm. It´s craziness I tell you. They are going to make empanadas, mote con huesillo, pan amasado, y arto asado. Basically a big old Chilean BBQ. They are going to dance the national dance "La Cueca" (I think that´s how it is spelled?) and all the boys are gonna play fútbol. We are gonna pass it well.

So this week I had to do back to back divisions in other sectors. I had to go to the Nuevo Amanacer ward for a day with my old companion Elder Tello and then to Los Copihues with Elder Walters. It was exhausting. 48 hours away from my apartment and from my sector took alot out of me. It was sad because I had forgotten how blessed I am to live in a nice apartment building. It was freezing cold in Elder Tello´s apartment and there were 2 slugs in the bathroom. "Cooouunt your blessings.... name.. them.. one.. by.. one.."

Things are going well here though. The work is tough but well worth it. Oh and one lesson I learned this week, don´t Bible Bash. A man wanted all answers to come from the Bible in our lesson the other day and even though we could supply all the answers using the Bible, he hardened his heart and didn´t want to change. A powerful testimony is the best thing you can do.
I love you all very much!

Elder Mooney

Monday, September 13, 2010

"I felt the Spirit! I´m getting baptized!"

Hello Everyone!

I am happy to be writing you all on this bright sunshiny Monday. Sabrina was confirmed and recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday. We are way happy for her and for her family. Her grandpa performed all of the ordinances and we could tell that really strengthened him. Her less active mom was at sacrament meeting for the first time and had to leave after the first hour. We invited her to stay for the last two hours and to our excitement she said "maybe next week", which means she is planning on going to church again! We also taught and challenged her less active uncle to reactivate and he said ok. Things are going well.

Marilyn went to church for the second time. We are still progressing towards her baptism on the 26th of September.

Right now I would like to say hello to all of the mothers and relatives of the new missionaries who just arrived here in our mission. They are a cool batch of missionaries and they all have good trainers. They are all safe and happy, no worries!

Some crazy things have happened this week. We had to clean the house of a crazy old woman and her husband. It was probably the dirtiest and smelliest house I have ever been in. We scrubbed that puppy clean while avoiding the extremely explicit homemade wall paper of her husband. :S On September 11th we had to enter into our pensions early (6pm) because I guess it is the date of when the Government was overthrown here in Chile and there are bombs, fights, protests, and destruction on occasion. Nothing that big really happened though.

The best part of the week was that I had the priviledge of interviewing three people to see if they were ready to be baptized. The first one was a 16 year old kid who had listened to the missionaries for about a year in another ward and never got baptized, then he moved here and was completely prepared. The other two were husband and wife. Their daughter had listened to the missionaries and was baptized a year ago and the parents never wanted to listen. Now the parents are more animated then she is. When we got to their house the wife was really upset because her husband wasn´t home and had said that he wasn´t going to be baptized. We called him and invited him to the house. He came in angry and said he didn´t want to. He said that his car had broken down and he would have to spend over 800 dollars on it and just didn´t want to get baptized. We tried talking to him, but he wouldn´t change his mind. FInally Elder Simbaña said, "we´re going to all go upstairs and you and Elder Mooney are just going to talk about the baptismal interview a bit." The two of us prayed, then talked for about 30 minutes and went over the baptismal questions. In the end I invited him to be baptized with his wife tomorrow and he said yes. We prayed and afterwards he gave me a huge hug, then looked at me and said, "I think I felt something, like the spirit." I told him that he was exactly right. He then ran up the stairs and walked in to the room of Elders and said, "I felt the Spirit! I´m getting baptized!" Everyone was shocked, his wife more then anyone. It was a great experience.

I love you all. Thank you so much for everything you do! Be safe!


Elder Matthew Mooney

Monday, September 6, 2010


Dear family,

I am quite happy to say that Sabrina was baptized yesterday! It was awesome. The situation with her was interesting because the first day Elder Jacobs and I were together we asked references from everybody. People would throw out hundreds of names, naming less actives, old investigators, people that may be interested or used to be interested and we just took down the good sounding references. Our second lunch in the sector we ate with the Hermana Barrera and her husband. They are a quite old couple that got baptized over 21 years ago. As we were eating I was remembering that someone had told us something about their family. As the lunch came to an end their two grandkids came home and then it clicked, the grand-daughter was ten and wasn't baptized. We started teaching her that same day and things just went smoothly to her baptism. Her mom is less active and her dad is not a member. This last week we had her mom participating in every lesson and is excited for us to come back every time. We plan to keep working with that family.

Another awesome thing that happened yesterday was that our 21 year old investigator Marilyn attended church for the first time. The night before she accepted a baptismal date for the 26th of September, but with some doubts. She liked church though and we immediately introduced her to a 25 year old returned sister missionary and her returned missionary husband. They helped her feel right at home. She also got along great with Pamela, the 21 year old recent convert in our ward. She also agreed to coming to the stake baptism that afternoon and saw three baptisms. Our president was there and gave a powerful speech that left everyone laughing and crying at the same time. He then talked personally to Marilyn and told her to invite him to her baptism. She agreed. We are very happy with everything.
My companion and I have been trying to get into better shape by going down to the gym for about 40 minutes in the morning and running up the 14 floors of stairs afterward. It hasn't been happening every day though... We are going to try and improve on that. I don´t think the french fries and choripan that we ate for lunch today are going to help either :S

Last week I got a letter from Melissa and a card from Liberty Market which was awesome. It made me remember life before the mission a bit. Thank you all so much.

Well I just want you all to know that I love you and pray for you always. Thank you for everything you are doing.

Elder Matthew Mooney