Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving has come and gone!

Dear family,

So this past week has been an adventure. I have ridden through rocky mountain shortcuts, almost crashed several times, gotten into bike battles with Elder Deaver, and much much more. Pirque is huge! Really we spend hours and hours riding bikes every day. We usually have to plan our appointments thirty minutes to an hour apart so that we can ride all the way over the the next house. The first few days I could really feel it in my legs and rear end, but now I am pretty much accustomed to it.

This whole last week the three of us have been low on money and mooching off the family we live with. It is going to be really difficult to manage money well here because we have to take the bus several times a week and each time costs a dollar. It doesn't sound like much but a bus ride to the store and back is two dollars, then a bus ride to zone classes and back is another two dollars. It just adds up quick.

Thanksgiving day was nothing special. We had to pick up lunch and bring it back to the house. Noodles with red sauce and some vegetables with mayonnaise. It tasted pretty good though. When we got home at night though we were starving and it hit us that we were about to end Thanksgiving day without celebrating. So we ran to the corner store by our house and bought some Cheetos, potato chips, ketchup, cookies, and soda to celebrate. Now that is what I call Thanksgiving... The next day, Friday, we ate lunch with the richest family in our branch who made us a Thanksgiving dinner with two giant roasted chickens, potato salad, vegetables, and apple pie with ice cream for dessert. That was pretty awesome.

We have been working a lot with three people, Veronica, Vicente, and Amparo. They will all be getting baptized next Sunday!! Last week we also put a baptismal date on a foreign exchanged student named Wes from Indiana. He has a bunch of friends who are members and he wants to go to BYU when he returns home. He should be getting baptized on Christmas day if his parents give him permission. The other day we also found an amazing older couple. We talked to the lady on the side of the road on Thursday, then passed by her house on Saturday. It turns out they are stinking rich and live on a giant beautiful property. We taught her and her husband. They had never heard of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, living prophets. They said that they had never accepted to listen to anyone outside of the Catholic church and when we came in we shook the ground from under them. They loved the idea of a living prophet and twelve apostles. They immediately committed to coming to church.

Unfortunately they attended the wrong church on Sunday (even though we gave them a map), but they have a full desire to learn more about the gospel. I feel like I am almost back in time a little bit, preaching the gospel like the missionaries of old used to. It is very cool.

I still have not received my new companion. Tomorrow morning all of the trainers will be going to the temple in the morning and after we will be receiving our new companions. I am so excited to find out who he is. We spent all day today cleaning up the pension, killing spiders, cutting our bunk beds into four separate beds (it wasn't me), and trying to get everything nice for us and the new kid. I still think he will think the place is a mess though. At least that is how I felt when I first showed up.

Thank you for all the love and the letters. I loved the pictures as well. You are the best family ever.

Love you lots,
Elder Mooney

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fields, mountains and almost fresh air!

Dear family,

Well we received our changes today. It was a bit nerve racking for me, not gonna lie. It turns out that I got changed. Elder Jacobs stayed in our sector and Elder Tello, my old companion, took my place there. I had to pack up all my stuff (I have way too much stuff now) and haul it over to the change meeting. Then President gave us our changes and I was one of the last people to receive my new change. I got called to a sector called Pirque and I will be training. First of all, Pirque is a coveted sector because its outside of the city; fields, mountains, almost fresh air. We have to ride bikes in this sector as well. Oh and to top it off we live with members in a big farm house. They have pigs, chickens, dogs, and all sorts of animals. It's actually really cool. At the moment I am in a Trio because my new companion doesn't arrive in Chile until next week. I'm going to be a dad!!! Haha it is going to be quite an experience training a new Elder in a huge wilderness sector. Hopefully we don´t get lost...

Last week was a good week though. We had a really cool experience yesterday in our sector slam. Oh and a sector slam is when all of the missionaries from the zone and knock doors in the same sector. Elder Jacobs and I were tired and didn't really want to be knocking doors, especially in someone else´s sector. We pushed ourselves anyway and started knocking. The fourth door we knocked opened and invited us in before we even started the contact. The man´s name was Milton and he recently had moved in. He told us about his religious background and desire to find a religion that truly made him feel like a "child of God." He even told us that he had actually been wandering around that same day trying to find a church to go to because he needed to feel closer to God, but didn't find one so he went back to the house and was listening to radio sermons until we showed up. We shared the restoration and asked him if he would be willing to get baptized if he knew it were true. He told us that he would have to study it out well first, but yes. Milton should be getting baptized soon!

Also, a while back I went on division with Elder Reynolds, an Elder from my district and he told me they needed to find more investigators. I told him, well let's knock a door then. I knocked a door and did a contact with a teenage boy and his mom who happens to be a less active member. The teenage boy was just baptized the other week. It is amazing how some people really are prepared to receive the gospel, we just need to find them.

Oh and Melissa I want to thank you so much for the package you sent me. It is amazing! I love the candy, the plates, the music, the toys. Really thank you so much for thinking and worrying about me. And your new house looks beautiful by the way. I can´t wait to visit!
I love you all very much. I hope you are all doing well. I pray for you always.

Elder Mooney

PS - Just want you to know that I ate a sandwhich de potito on friday.. It means butt sandwhich :S One of our investigators bought one and made us try. Its a sandwich made out of the organs and innerds of animals. It didn't taste too bad, but the texture was horrible.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thank you for all your letters and support!

Dear family,

This change has gone by really fast. I think partly because my companion and I have been together for so long and also because this change consists of 5 weeks instead of 6. What happened is, a group of missionaries should be going home the week after Thanksgiving according to the change schedule, but they wanted to be home for Thanksgiving so they go home this next week. Then we will have one weird week, and then we will be receiving like 25 new missionaries here in the mission.

I am quite excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas. On Thanksgiving we are going to be doing nothing special because nobody celebrates it here. Maybe we will order pizza or something. Luckily it's the last one outside of the United States! Then comes Christmas. I'm kinda hoping I get to stay here in my sector for this Christmas because it's lame to get sent to a new sector just before the holidays.

Something funny happened this week. As we were walking down the street, out of nowhere we heard a loud screeching noise. We turned to see what it was and it was a van stopped directly in the middle of an intersection. We looked to see who was driving and to our surprise it was a Nun. I guess she didn't see the light was red and noticed just as she reached the middle of the intersection. It reminded me of Sister Act for some reason.. Haha

We found a really cute old Peruvian couple here in our ward. They moved here to Chile about a year ago and in-activated from the church when they got here. When we first knocked on the door the lady, Gloria, immediately let us in, even though her husband Walter told her not to. We talked with them for a few minutes and then Walter brought us a plate of food to share with them. They both committed to returning to church and said that they will be waiting for us next Saturday with a plate of food. ;)

Thank you all for your letters and support. This week I opened my mail and had an email from practically everyone so that was really encouraging. I love you all very much.

Elder Mooney

Monday, November 8, 2010

Everything's all right.

Dear family,

This week has been mas o menos. We did find an awesome new family though. We were looking for a less active family and found out that they had moved. We talked with Margarita, the new owner of the home. She told us she was separated from her husband and had 6 kids (5 actually living in their little house). Unfortunately she rejected our offer to share a message with her told us she wasn't interested. I asked her if we could just share a prayer with her and she said yes. I prayed and left her with a Restoration pamphlet and that was all. Two days later I felt we should pass by there again and ask if they needed help or had any questions. She said all was good and then we asked if we pass by another day and share with her. She thought about it for a second and said, yes. We went and taught her with the young men's president from our ward and she seems pretty interested. She has a lot of questions and a lot of doubts, but those are the kind of people we like to work with :)

The Jonas Brothers also had a concert right here in our sector the other day. It was crazy. Thousands and thousands of girls with their moms and dads were waiting in line all day long. We could hear screaming all day. Supposedly it was one of their biggest fan groups they had ever seen. That was interesting.

We had a Ward Family Night on Friday and the primary acted out the Tree of Life story. Elder Jacobs and I had to be Laman and Lemuel, which was fun because we got to go hang out in the Great and Spacious Building. What was funny about the whole activity was that a lot of adults were pulled away into the darkness and into the building, but every single primary kid made it to the tree of light and partook of its fruit. It was a great activity, extremely disorganized but great. Kevin, Jaqueline, Isabel, and David all made it there (some of our investigators).

Everything's all right though. Please pray for my companion and I, for our sector, and for our investigators. Thank you for all of you love and support.

Elder Mooney

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Facebook photos from a member in Chile!


Brrrr...winter is coming!

"Fighting the good fight"


Torta de mil hojas!

One year anniversary for Matt's companion (traditional shirt burning??)

We threw ourselves a party!

Dear family,

Well Halloween was fun. Yesterday we had a Noche de Hogar (or family home evening) with the Familia Carrasco and one of the daughters, Sara, age 19, isn't a member. Supposedly its really hard to get her to trust you, but we made friends with her and we'll see if she progresses. We made homemade Reese´s and then we read 1 Nephi 8 and watched the cartoon of it. It was good! Then in the night time we saw a whole bunch of kids trick or treating, and people partying. I am happy to say that I just celebrated my last Halloween in the mission :) It was great to hear about the Halloween party back home. I miss the good old ward parties.

On Thursday night Elder Jacobs completed a year in the mission so we threw ourselves a party. Elder Jacobs bought a huge Torta de Mil Ojas. Its basically a bunch of crispy layers of pastry and huge layers of manjar inbetween. We attempted to eat half of it that night but failed because we also ordered a large pizza with chaparritas and garlic bread. It was a wonderful night. Haha and Elder Jacobs burned a shirt. Oh and it also rained that night, very unexpected. I forgot my umbrella and got pretty wet. What memories....

Things are good here though. Just trying to keep fighting the good fight. Thank you for your prayers and your support. You are all so amazing. Thank you for everything. I love you very much.

Elder Matthew D. Mooney