Monday, June 27, 2011

Changed AGAIN!

Dear family and friends,

Well this is the first letter of my last change. It´s kinda a weird feeling being in my last change. Today a bunch of my mission friends gave their farewell testimonies and are going home. It´s kinda sad to see them all go. Elder Afeaki and Elder White, two elders from my MTC district are also going home early this change so they gave their testimonies as well. It was an emotional morning, especially for President Laycock because such a large number of his "children" are now going home.

As for the changes, unexpectedly I was changed AGAIN. Three changes, three sectors, and three companions. Kinda a strange way to end the mission. I guess the Lord is just trying to keep me on my toes. I was kinda bummed for about thirty seconds last night, but got over it pretty quickly. I am now in a sector called La Dehesa. It is in the Las Condes Stakes. I am pretty much in one of the richest (fancy pants) sectors in our mission now. Supposedly there are six gringo families in our ward who all speak English. The bishop is from the states, as well as the mission leader and a few others. The Elders here are telling me that we will be eating some of the best lunches I have ever seen here and on occasion dinner as well. (There goes away any hope of coming home in shape..) My companions name is Elder Owen. He is from Louisiana and has already been zone leader here for two changes so at least he knows whats going on in the sector. We live with and share the sector with two other elders, Elder Miller and Elder Daines. I think that this is going to be a very fun place to end my mission.

I want you to know that I can feel and sense that the Spirit truly does guide this work. I can see the Lord´s hand helping us in all things and that through our obedience we receive blessings. I know this work is true and that Christ lives and directs his church through a living prophet. It feels great to be a part of such a marvelous work.

Well I love you all and miss you so much. I hope you have a great trip to California without me. Hopefully it will be the last trip to California without me as well. You are the best family every. Keep the Faith!

Elder Matthew D. Mooney

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's all worth it in the end.

Querida familia,

Well first off I would like to say HAPPY FATHER´S DAY DAD!!! Wish I could've been home to give you a big hug, but that will just have to wait till August. I hope you had a great Father´s day. I imagine you ate pretty well and received a few cool gifts. I just want to thank you for being an amazing father and a great example to me. I think back through my life and I can´t remember you even once setting a bad example for me. I know that I am where I am today thanks to you and Mom. You are the best. I love you Dad.

I love the rest of you as well and miss you very much. This past week was a pretty rough week. It rained several times. Investigators have been kinda flaky, but there were some great experiences as well. We received a reference from the office to go visit two people who were interested in receiving a Book of Mormon. We showed up at the house and yelled "HALO!" but nobody came out. Then the next door neighbor peaked her head out and I asked her if her neighbor was home, she said yes, but we just needed to yell louder. So we yelled again and waited another minute and as we waited the neighbor´s little kids kept peaking out at us. Finally the reference opened her front door and told us that she didn't want anything from us. She said that she and her daughter never gave their direction to anyone and they weren't interested in the Book of Mormon. We were kinda disappointed, but I felt like we should yell at the neighbor that had talked to us and see if we could share something with her. She let us in and we taught her and her three kids. She told us that her aunt had been baptized and now lives in Salt Lake City Utah. She also told us that when she was a little girl she used to go to church with her aunt but was never baptized. We invited her and her kids to be baptized and they agreed to start preparing to be baptized.

I want to thank you for the amazing package I received last Tuesday. 4th of July toys and decorations. Brownie mix. Cooke mix. Tuna and corn? Haha love it though. But those homemade cookies you sent were SO good. We ate them all the second the box was opened. Thank you so much for the package and thank you Diana and friends for the note you sent.
Oh and I almost forgot. On Saturday we had a ward movie night. We had been planning it for a while. We watched the new Joseph Smith movie which hasn't been seen by a lot of members here in Chile. It was awesome. We had a projector and an awesome sound system. We also had 200 sopaipillas to eat. Unfortunately it rained all day Saturday so only about 30 people showed up as opposed to the 80 we planned for. It was still way fun though.

The mission is great though. I am dead tired. The work is hard, but the mission is just great. I think it is great how when you know you are doing the right thing you feel good on the inside even if you are exhausted on the outside. It's all worth it in the end.

Thank you for all your love and support. I miss you and love you!

-Elder Mooney

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What a shock!

Dear family,

Wow, so the news about Taylor just blows my mind. So crazy and so unexpected. One week he is perfectly fine, happy and working hard in the mission and next he is home with 20 stitches in his head. It is hard for me to imagine him at home already. I feel so relieved and happy though because he is alright. If I had just heard the news without getting a personal letter from Taylor and my parents saying that everything would be alright I would be extremely worried. Thank you for that. I am just happy that he is OK and that in two months I will be able to see him! I will definitely be praying for him and his family.

This past week we managed to teach Tamara (35), Angelo (37), and Victor (82). Tamara and Angelo have four kids and are extremely difficult to get a hold of. They forget about our appointments always and always are busy doing something. On Saturday we had a nice lesson using the Book of Mormon teaching about baptism as we read 2 Nephi 31. We demonstrated the way we need to be baptized and confirmed by a holder of the priesthood and it only added to the desire that Tamara had to be baptized. At the end of the lesson we invited the three of them to be baptized the 26th of June and they accepted. Unfortunately they didn't go to church on Sunday so we will probably have to adjust their baptismal dates again.
Yesterday was a very stressful Sunday. Elder Walters and Elder Erickson baptized two young women and we basically spent the day covering their tracks, fixing the hot water heater that didn't work, picking up the baptismal tunics that they left in the house, cleaning up afterwards. It was kinda hectic, but in the end it went well.

This morning we had a zone activity where we played fĂștbol and ate 60 completos (hot dogs). There were 15 of us and 5 sister missionaries so there was a lot of food to eat. Avocado, tomato, chips, soda, and 4-5 hot dogs each. It was pretty awesome. I still feel a little sick though. Haha

Things are going good. Thank you for your letters and your love. You are the best family ever.

Elder Mooney

Monday, June 6, 2011

We have witnessed a miracle.

Dear family,

Well this past week kind of flew by. We have been knocking doors and contacting people like crazy. We have found plenty of new investigators and a few families that are extremely legit. Our days have been pretty busy which has helped us to stay pretty focused.

We have witnessed a miracle here in the sector. Two weeks ago we found a less active family of members, the Monares Family, and started to teach them. They have a 22 year old son named Abraham who at first didn´t want to talk to us, but we invited him anyways and he listened. He really opened up to us and told us how horrible his life has been since he left the church. He told us about problems with drug abuse, about how he has a kid, but the mom wants nothing to do with him and her boyfriend has been literally trying to kill him. He has been so upset that he has attempted to kill himself about 7 times, but he says someone has been watching over him and doesn´t want him to die yet. We invited him to start reading the Book of Mormon again and to come back to church. He came to church last week and he said that same week he found work, he has been happier, he quit swearing, quit stealing, quit everything bad that he was doing, except he says that he can´t stop smoking. We taught him how the body is a temple and he needs to keep himself pure so that he can feel the spirit. He said he would try to cut back. He came to church on Sunday for the full 3 hours and at the end told me that he was praying on Saturday and after the prayer he took out his cigarretes and cut them up. He has committed to not smoking anymore. He is a really great humble kid. It is amazing to see how the spirit has been working in him and changing him. We have only taught him a couple lessons, but he has been reading and praying alot and feels the difference. It is amazing to see how faith in Jesus Christ really can help people to overcome any temptation or obstacle that they might have in this life.

At the moment we have plenty of investigators and a few of them have listened to the missionaries before, but never have taken the decision to be baptized. It has been hard to know what to do for them, because they already understand so much about the gospel and have a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Please pray for Alexandra, for Viviana and her family, for Tamara, Angelo, and family, and also for the Jimenez family that we just recently have started to teach.

Well I miss you all and hope all is going well back home.

Elder Mooney
This was just his P.S. to me, but I thought I'd share :)
And mom, to answer your question, no the inspections are not a district leader responsibility. Elder Page and I are the zone leaders. Its not that big of a deal though.

New fotos!