Monday, March 28, 2011

We ate ourselves silly!

Aloha Familia,

Like always, this past week was pretty interesting. *** I'm leaving out the next few paragraphs of Matt's letter because he includes details on some of the challenges and problems that his investigators are experiencing. Probably best not published :)

We have been working hard anyway though. In the last twenty days we have found twenty eight new people to teach! Some of them seem really prepared to accept the gospel.

On Saturday we had our "Concurso de Postres" activity here in the branch. It was a huge dessert contest that we planned. All of the members had to bring their best desserts and a panel of judges would choose the best three. We decided not to be the judges, we passed that honor the the branch president and two other hermanos to avoid the wrath of any upset hermanas. It was a great activity, we ate ourselves silly.

Other then that things are just cruising along. Thank you for your prayers and support. It really helps. It's great to here that the missionary work back home is really working out as well. Keep at it!

Love you all,

Elder Mooney

Monday, March 21, 2011

Things have been tough, but good.

Dear family,

This week went pretty well. Thank you for the great emails today as well. I really enjoyed them. Anyways, we have been working hard preparing Adonis Gonzalez to be baptized and we have been inviting lots and lots of others to be baptized as well. Adonis is doing great. We taught him on Saturday and it was one of the greatest lessons ever. We show up to the house and he is waiting outside for us. We go in and he already has a friend there, Diego, who is a member. So we teach them two and Adonis´ step sister, who is a member as well. We asked him if he had read and prayed and he explained to us his experience. He said he read 3 Nephi 11 three times so that he would understand it well and after each time he would pray and ask if the Book of Mormon were true. He said that after the third time he still didn't have a clear answer, but the next morning he woke up and just knew and felt that it was true. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he understood it really well, better then most people. Then on Sunday we taught him pretty much all of the commandments with his dad, step-mom, and step-sister. He is doing really well and his Dad being a really strong convert is making sure that Adonis is taking it all very seriously. We feel very blessed.

Ivan Lopez, his mom Susana, and his grandma Maria are some great investigators we have that have accepted baptismal dates several times, but never come to church and always seem to have an excuse. We are not sure what to do with them. Please pray for them so that they can make it to church this Sunday. They are really great.

We are also working with a lady named Jessica. She is in her 30s and seems kinda like a punk-rocker. She has three kids and her husband is a long haired football fanatic friend of ours that works in a glass store next to our house. We met her a couple of weeks ago while knocking doors and she has become one of our most interested investigators. She reads. prays, and really likes the idea of being baptized. She had a baptismal date for the 3rd of April, but now we are going to have to change the date. She told us that she and Rodrigo (her husband) had been fighting and she didn't know if she would be able to go to church. To make things clear, he has nothing against the church, but at the moment, things are just rough between them. We taught her and calmed her down a little bit and then we went and taught Rodrigo in his glass shop. We discovered that they aren't married, but things seemed good and he said he would be willing to accompany her to the chapel. That night we called to confirm and Jessica told us they had a huge fight and she left the house. Please pray for them as well.

Things have been tough, but good here in Pirque. My back wheel on the bike broke again... We had stake conference yesterday and this next Saturday we have our Missionary planned activity of Desserts here in the branch. I´ll have to tell you about it next week.
Hope all is well back home. I love and miss you all.

Elder Mooney

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm 21 years old!

Dear family,

Well this is kinda cool. I´m 21 years old. I don´t feel that old.. I like it though. I feel like an official adult now. Today to celebrate my birthday we watched "The District," a series of missionary training DVDs. We then ate lunch with Margarita and Luis. We ate some tortilla de papas (like a giant french fry thing), with some creamy chicken popper things, rice, and some pork. It was an interesting meal, but very delicious. Afterwards, we played MONOPOLY DEAL for about two hours or so with our District Leader and his companion who came to chill. Elder Grillone made the German Chocolate cake you sent me and now its cooling back home. It was a nice relaxing birthday party, especially with the cool cloudy weather we are having.
Oh and thank you so much for the birthday package. I loved it. The two new ties are legit. The Peanut Butter M&M´s and airheads were delicious. Everything was amazing. My companions laughed at the Zing-shot and the Transformer bubbles. We couldn't decide if you actually thought I would love them or if you were sending them just to try to keep treating me as your little boy. Well when our Zone Leader came over on divisions we set up a pyramid of BBQ and Jalapeño Pringles and Dr. Pepper cans and had a tournament with the zing-shot to see who could knock over the most. I won 4-1-1. It was pretty intense. Thank you so much for the gifts.

This week I had the opportunity to go on divisions in another sector called Nocedal while our District Leader Elder Lyman came over to Pirque. Elder Bloomquist and I had a great time. I was exhausted at the end of the day because I am not used to walking. We had a really good experience though with a lady named Andrea and her 23 year old daughter Jocelyn. When we first started teaching them Andrea made it clear that she just let us in cause she felt bad for us and she thinks it is good to hear the word of God on occasion. She flat out told us that she wouldn't go to our church and she wouldn't join our congregation. It didn´t matter to me though, I was determined to teach her the first lesson and invite her to be baptized. We started teaching and she would just start talking and talking. She probably talked for about an hour in total. Really.. We kept teaching though when she would give us the chance. We explained baptism using Mosiah 18 and explaining 1) that it has to be a personal decision, 2) it has to be done by immersion, and 3) by the proper authority. It was probably one of the longest lessons I have ever been in and one of the most disorganized with two little kids running around, a mother breast feeding her kid, with crazy questions and side themes, BUT in the end Andrea and Jocelyn both accepted the invitation to be baptized. Andrea said the closing prayer and afterwards said that she doesn't know what happened, but that she somehow went from not wanting anything to now wanting to be baptized. They seemed pretty determined as well. It was a cool lesson of patience for us.

Then on Sunday Carlos showed up to church in a suit and his new tie we bought him. His mom Gloria and his little brother Benjamin came as well. It was great. Also Adonis, the son of a somewhat recent convert named Victor, came to church for the second time. He lives with his mom from Victor's first marriage and visits on the weekends. Last week we invited him to play fútbol with us on Friday and he loved it. When I saw him in church again I decided that we needed to put a baptismal date on him immediately. We had the day booked with appointments but I really felt like we needed to teach him. We talked to his Dad and he said that they would be home until 7:00. I told him that we had a lot of appointments but that we would try to pass by. After church I felt that we needed to go strongly so I called and canceled one appointment, then changed another appointment to later in the evening and we went to Adonis and Victor. We taught Adonis the Restoration and as we were talking about Jesus Christ we started talking to him about baptism. We invited him to be baptized and he said, "of course, that´s kind of why I have been coming to church." In the lesson Victor explained that he had been praying ever since we talked to him in the church that we would come to teach his son and was worried because we never said it was a sure thing. So at the moment Adonis has a baptismal date for the 3rd of April, conference weekend. Adonis and Victor both seem very happy.

Things are going well here in the mission though. I am worn out, but still trying to work hard. Thank you so much for all your love and support. You are the best.

Elder Mooney

Friday, March 11, 2011

Time seems to be going by a little too fast.

Dear family,

Time seems to be going by a little too fast. We always work and think of time by changes and two weeks have already gone by this change. We only have four more weeks left?! We´ve got some work to do.

So on Thursday we had Zone Conference with President Laycock and a couple other zones. It was really good. They did a good example of hard work and perseverance with an Elder who had to do wall sits for five minutes while the assistants but electric heaters by him and started to tempt him to give up. Then his companion, President Laycock, and a zone leader went to cheer him on and support him. It was pretty intense, because the missionary got really into it and was suffering after only a minute.

At the end of the conference President decided to do something that he hadn't done in about eight months or so. He asked five people to give surprise talks. We always have a theme given to us each theme for studies and we should prepare a talk for that theme. This changes theme was the Book of Mormon. Luckily I gave a really good talk about the Book of Mormon in my last ward JP and felt ready. To my surprise President called on me to give the first talk and I didn't have it with me. I had written it in a different journal and so I walked up there and spoke a few words and shared some jumbled up thoughts. It wasn't very powerful at all. Afterwards I started thinking about what it will be like in the final judgment. A lot of people will think they are ready, but when it comes down to it they will just end up feeling unprepared and stupid. I don´t want to feel like that. I want to be ready.

We have a few people with baptismal dates. Emanuel (17?), Sonia (61), and Ivan (19). We have a lot of work to do with the three of them and they are all a little unstable at the moment. Please pray for each of them. Sad story of the week though. Sonia accepted a baptismal about 8 days ago. And about 3 days ago she slipped on some water that had spilled from the dog bowl and broke her wrist. She now has a cast from her wrist to her shoulder and she told her daughter to tell the kids that she won't be able to get baptized right now :( We haven't seen her yet, but we are going to see what we can do.

Things are all right though! My birthday is almost here and that should be kinda weird. I might throw myself a party so I don´t get depressed that day. Haha! I can't wait to get the package you sent. I love you and miss you all.

Elder Matt Mooney

The Elders are well taken care of!