Monday, May 30, 2011

Here comes June...

Dear family,

Well things here have been pretty good. We have had some really great days and some really slow boring days. It is slightly frustrating being here with Elder Walters who has been here for about 4.5 months because he has built up a huge pool of investigators and has almost too much to do and we are just searching for investigators. We have found some really nice families, including last night we were knocking doors at about 9:40pm and at the last house we knocked a family of 4 (father, mother, and two daughters ages 16 and 20) let us in. They were having a little birthday party and a foreign exchanged student from Mexico was there and the boyfriend of the 20 year old daughter was there. The foreign exchanged girl had made mexican enchiladas. We said a prayer with them and they invited us to sit down and eat some enchiladas. We couldn't refuse.. We set an appointment with them for next Sunday and we are way excited to teach this complete family.

Elder Page and I had to go and do some pension inspections this week. In the mornings we visited each sectors pension and had to fill out a little form. We also have five hermanas in our zone and we aren't allowed to inspect their pensions so we just made ourselves some ecco and vanilla milk latés and did an over the phone inspection. It was kinda nice to have something different to do.

This morning we played fútbol as a zone in our department complex. We have a little baby court. It was pretty fun, but different playing with five hermanas. Oh and I don´t think I ever told you this, but there is a new hermana in our zone named Hermana Howe. She arrived here in Chile about two weeks ago and the first thing she said to me was, "do you know Hermana Allen?" I guess she and Kelly were friends in the MTC so that was kinda cool.

Things are going good here in though. We just need to keep finding more people to teach. Elder Page and I are trying not to think too much about how we both only have 10 weeks left.. Kinda weird. Haha

Thank you so much for your emails and support. I love you all so much.

Elder Mooney

Monday, May 23, 2011

A New Sector

Things here in Los Presidentes are quite different from how things were back in El Castillo. Half of our sector is pretty rich and the other half is just normal. Elder Walters (the elder who has been here for over 4 months) was always telling us to be careful in the bottom half of the sector. We went down there and it is tranquilito or super chill. I feel like some missionaries have been kinda sheltered from the real ghetto areas. Ironically the other night we were knocking doors in the rich sector and we saw three punk kids hop a fence into a park and a minute later a Carabinero van (police van) pulls up and asks if we had seen some teenagers around here. We told them yeah and that they had just hopped the fence. Instantly the officers hit the gas and zoomed over to the park, two of them ran and hopped the fence and one called in for back up. We saw two motorcycle cops and another van zoom by to cut them off on the other side of the park. It was pretty intense. So we have decided that the rich sector is more dangerous then the poor sector.

We have found some really cool people in our ward. The bishop is a young guy in his 30s with big side burns and glasses. He speaks some english so we practice with him. The bishop's mother recently got married in the United States to a really tight black man from Tucson Arizona. They now are living here in Chile and are looking for an apartment. The funniest part about this guy is that he has a low raspy voice, he has a lot of attitude, and doesn't speak a lick of spanish. In church he doesn't understand hardly anything, but my companion translated a lot for him and when he liked something he would always be like "mmmhhhhmmm.." or "alright alright yeah." We love this guy though. He and I spent a while talking about Joe´s BBQ and other places in Gilbert. The ward is really nice though and it has been fun getting to know the members.

Sacrament meeting went pretty well yesterday. There were 83 people in church, but we have a small cozy chapel so it felt really filled. Between the four of us missionaries we managed to have 6 investigators in church. Two of them were baptized by Elder Erickson and Elder Walters yesterday as well. A little old lady named Ester and her grandson Matías. Her sister and the family of Matías were all there and it was really spiritual. Ester gave the sweetest little testimony afterward and Matías mom was tearing up the whole time. Hopefully the whole family will start listening now.

The mission has been a little different being with Elder Page, an elder that has the same amount of time as I do. We are both used to leading and directing the lessons and everything in the sector. We haven´t been fighting at all, we both just have the habit of starting the lesson and of starting contacts so we are trying to adjust to that. We live with Elder Walters who has 6 weeks less then us in the mission. He is now training Elder Erickson from Boyce Idaho. Elder Erickson and I discovered that we are somehow related?! We are both descendents of Parley P. Pratt and we both come from the Grigg family. His mom's name is Sheri Grigg, his grandpa is Joe Grigg, and his great grandpa is Anthony Wells Grigg. So mom, you have a little homework to do. Can you please look back a little in the family tree and see where our familiar ties are? I think it's kinda crazy that we are living together. From some reason Elder Erickson reminds me of my cuz Taylor McBride a little bit. There are definitely some family ties there.

Things are going alright here though. Please pray for us. We need your help because we are still just looking for people to teach and knocking doors a lot. Thank you so much for everything you do. I love you all.

-Elder Matt Mooney

Monday, May 16, 2011


Dear family,

Well this past week went pretty well. It was the last week of the change which is always a little tougher, but we worked hard and it went extremely well. On Saturday the youth in our ward had an activity. They decided they wanted to have a movie night. The movie they chose to watch was Dumb and Dumber. Haha and they also wanted to make sopapillas and play futbol. It was supposed to be just a fun activity that they could bring their friends to. We worked hard all week inviting all of the youth and teenage investigators we had. We then went by all of them again with one of the young women's leaders and got 7 of them to commit to going. On Saturday night we managed to get 5 people there. Unfortunately the person responsible for bringing the movie didn't bring it and the only movie they had was Freddy Krueger. We had to convince them that it probably wasn't the best movie to be watching in the chapel. In the end one of the youth brought a pirated copy of the Fast and the Furious 5 and they watched that. They ended up not making sopapillas either, but had cake to share with everyone. Afterwards we played games with the jovenes in the chapel. It was a pretty disorganized sloppy activity, but everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. The investigators made friends and got to know the chapel.

On Sunday one of the speakers didn't show up so the bishop asked me to give a talk. I talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Haha and then in the Elders Quorum none of the leaders were there and nobody had a class prepared so they asked me to give a class and I taught about The Spirit World. It actually went pretty well. I realized how much the mission has helped me to develop my ability to teach and to improvise.

All week though the members of the ward have been saying goodbye to us just in case one of us was sent out of the sector. The majority thought that my companion Elder Bench was leaving because he had been here for 6 months, but we told them we weren't sure. On Sunday night we were surprised when we received our changes and they told us that BOTH of us were leaving. White wash.. It was pretty upsetting, especially because finally we have some people really excited to get baptized. So right now I am in a sector called Los Presidentes with Elder Page a missionary that started the mission the same time as I did. We are both new to the sector, but luckily we live with another missionary who has been there for a while. I am still pretty sad that I couldn't stay in El Castillo until the end of my mission, but I think Elder Page and I will have a good time here in our new zone.

Well thank you so much for your emails. I love the stories and the pictures. Please keep them coming!

Con amor,

Elder Mooney

Monday, May 9, 2011

I guess that's life.

Hello Family!

It feels like I just talked to you..? Oh that´s right, I did just talk to you last night at 11:00 at night. Thank you so much for all being together and being so patient with the technical problems on Skype and then calling me on the cell phone and then calling me again. It was kinda a hassle, but I was really happy to be able to see you on Skype at least for a little while and then get to talk to each of you on the phone. I realize that I am so blessed to have the family I have. I feel that I really have a testimony that the family is ordained of God and that families really can be eternal. I just want you to know that I love each and every one of you so much.

This past week was a little rough as I told you. On Monday I wasn't feeling so hot and when I woke up Tuesday morning I was pretty much dead. My throat was killing me, my sinuses felt raw, and my neck was really swollen. My whole body was in pain. I could barely talk because my throat hurt so bad. It burned every time I swallowed. Even drinking water hurt. The next day was even worse. I bought ice cream thinking that would be something nice on my throat, but not even ice cream was enjoyable. We went to the doctor and the nurse at the church office just handed me an antibiotic, decongestant, and ibuprofen. Finally on Saturday I started feeling better. It was a pretty boring week in the pension in pain with nothing to do, but sleep or read. Now it´s all over and its crazy to me how one minute the body is in so much pain and the next it feels perfectly fine. I guess that's life.

On Saturday we started a service project with the members of fixing up the room of an Elder who is about to come home from his mission. I guess it is a tradition they have in the ward that everyone chips in and they fix up the return missionaries room a bit. This kids room really needed some work though. His dad has slowly been constructing their house for the last 10 years or so. He had a cement floor, a partially cardboard roof, and a brick wall with holes in it. We fixed up the roof and cemented the entire brick wall. Next week they are going to spackle and finish off everything, then paint, and somehow they are going to fix the floor as well. It was pretty fun though. Elder Bench and I were in charge of mixing and making the cement. I don't think they trusted us with anything else. For some reason they think because we are gringos we can´t work well with our hands or something.

Well I love you all. Thanks so much for the love and concern.

Elder Mooney

Things go up and down...

Dearest Family,

Well this week went pretty well. We found plenty of new investigators, we filled our days with lessons, and really included the members in the work (dragging them to lessons and having lessons in their houses). Elder Bench and I were pretty content with the work we had done this week. On Saturday morning we made a list of investigators (I) and less active members (MA) that we were expecting to see in church on Sunday. It looked something like this:

- Jeannette (MA), Violeta (I), Alison (I), Estefanía (I), Marilyn (I) and family
- Veronica (MA), Pato (MA), and Cata (I)
- Juana Rojas (I)
- Irma (MA), Nicolas (I), and María (I)
- María (I) and Yazna (MA)
- Elina (MA), her three kids, and Cindy (I)
- Hermano and Hermana Camposano (MA)
- Antonio Gutierrez (I)
- Juan Briones (MA)
- Eduardo Bahamondes (I)
- Jaime Alvarez (MA)
- Luis (I) and María (I)

It was a list of about thirty people and we had taught every single person that week and they had all committed to going to church on Sunday. Saturday night we passed by and called every single person on the list to make sure they were going. On Sunday morning we called all of the people who asked us to call them in the morning and passed by three of the families to accompany them to church. To our surprise, not a single person went to church. A few were sick, others had emergencies the night before, others were sleeping. It was quite a disappointing day for us. Reading the Book of Mormon has really helped me to see the pattern of how things go up and down always. We just need to be constant and keep working.

I saw Diana´s prom pictures and it was weird.... Diana kinda looks like a different person. Haha she looks good though. Her and Thomas kinda look like they are at a modeling shoot or something. I also loved the picture of Grandma and her tiara. Tell her I send my love and say Happy Birthday! The new garden looks pretty legit as well. The pictures made me kinda trunky haha, please keep sending them though! Pictures are the best part of email!

MOTHERS DAY.... So this Sunday, May 8th, at 4:45pm your time we will be speaking through skype. Daylight savings time ends here on the 7th so we should only be 3 hours apart instead of 4. We will be using a members computer so hopefully everything works fine. I am pretty excited for this last conversation we will have before August. :)

Well I love you all very much. You are the best family ever! Talk to you on Sunday

Elder Mooney