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

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