Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pretty stinkin' crazy.

Dear Loved Ones,

Well this should be my second to last email home. Pretty stinkin' crazy. I am super excited to come home, but now that it's almost here I feel kinda weird and nervous. I am super excited to go see Captain America with the family Dad and I'm also excited to go to Iceberg with Diana. It's all going to be 2 good.

This past week I have been having some crazy dreams. In a lot of my dreams I have been inviting people to church and inviting them to be baptized. The other day I had a very stressful dream about trying to find baptismal clothing. I have also been sleep talking quite a bit. Two night ago my companion said he woke up to me imitating Beaker from the muppets saying "mee mee mee mee mee I'm Beaker." Haha sounds pretty random, but I'll explain to you later why. My companion is Beaker from the muppets.

On Friday President Laycock came to our pension and studied with us. We did an in depth study of Isaiah. It was pretty legit. Then the four of us had personal interviews with President. My interview was pretty quick. Ten to fifteen minutes. My last week in the mission I will have my official going home interview. The longest interview in our pension lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes. Pretty long. After we were done with interviews we ate lunch and then went to the church for Claudina's baptism. She is now officially baptized and confirmed. We are super excited for her. She and the family are doing wonderfully.
Our Bishop here finally returned from the United States. He is a very humble nice guy. I really like him. His family and a few other gringo families have been returning from vacations so that has been pretty fun.

In all things are going pretty well. We are still finding some new investigators. We have Kati who should be preparing herself for baptism, but is just difficult to keep track of. The work is going well though.

Oh, so let me explain what it means to die in the mission. To "die" in the mission is to become so tired and worn out mentally and physically that you no longer have a desire to work. It's to just get lazy at the end of your mission. Sounds pretty drastic, but it happens to plenty of missionaries their last change. It is kinda difficult though to keep working and finding new investigators when you know that you will never have the opportunity to see their progression. You just have to remind yourself that your efforts in finding that person could change their eternal destiny. That it doesn't matter who teaches them, just as long as they are taught. Don't worry though. I am still working and not "dead" yet. All the return missionaries like to bug me though by telling me that I am dead and trunky. So that helps. Haha

Well thank you for all your love and concern. I miss you all very much and hope that everything is going well back home. Thank you for everything.

Elder Mooney

Chicken livers & Pizza Hut

Dear friends and family,

Things here in Santiago, Chile are going just fine. The weather has been pretty nice. It´s cold and rainy, but nothing too horrible. It snowed a lot up in the mountains and they say there is a good possibility that it rains in our sector as well. That would be pretty awesome. I can´t even imagine 100 degree weather back home in Arizona. I´m gonna die. Well, maybe not die, just get pretty sunburned because I´m pretty pale right now.

This past week we had some pretty awesome experiences with finding people. We found an awesome less active lady and her 12 year old son who is not a member. She wants to get married to her "pareja" or living partner and she wants her son to be baptized. We also found a really nice Peruvian family just by knocking a few doors in between appointments instead of just waiting in the person´s house. The person we are most excited for at the moment is Claudina. Claudina is the investigator who was married the other week. She is getting baptized this Saturday and Brother Ojeda (the convert assistant ward mission leader) is throwing a big after party in his house for her and all the guests. It is amazing how strong of a testimony Claudina has, as well as her husband Cristian. They understand everything so well. It´s as if they had been members their whole lives. So we feel pretty blessed to be the missionaries w
ho get to witness their wedding and her baptism.

The food has been pretty crazy this week. One day we had to carry lunch to the house and it was rice with chicken livers. Another day the members forgot and they gave us $40 to buy lunch so we bought Pizza Hut. The sad thing is $40 only buys two pizzas and some cinnamon sticks here. Then yesterday we had lunch with the White Family again. They gave us pot roast with carrots and potatoes. Pretty awesome. I feel like I am halfway back in the states at times, then I realize that I am still far from it.

Everything is going well though. I´m trying really hard not to DIE my last 3 weeks. It is really hard to stay focused, but we just keep working and the time flies by. So please keep praying for me and our investigators. Thank you for everything. I love you all!

Elder Matthew D. Mooney

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lots of Stuff!

Dear family,

Well this has been a long week. Teaching wise, we didn't seem to get very much done, but a lot of stuff happened this week. On Friday night we were able to go to a wedding in the chapel. Their names are Claudina and Cristian. An investigator who has been attending church for a long time finally got married to her inactive husband. It was way fun to see them get married and to hear how they are excited to start coming to church as a family now because they no longer feel guilty. On Sunday them and their two kids all sat together and attended all the meetings. The wedding was super fun though. Kinda small, but we ate tons of food. They made us eat more then we even wanted to. Claudina should be getting baptized this next Sunday!

On Thursday night we celebrated the birthday of our mission leader's baby boy Matthew. He turned 1. So we ate cupcakes and cookies and cream ice cream. It was awesome. On Friday and Saturday we celebrated Elder Miller's birthday by bringing him to a mini surprise party and by making him a chocolate cake. That was pretty fun. He seemed pretty bummed out at first that nothing cool was going to happen on his birthday, but after that I think he felt fine.
Our investigator Kati has been feeling kinda off and on sick this past week so we haven´t been able to teach her much. We really need to just sit down and teach her so that she can get baptized. We are excited for her.

On Saturday Elder Owen and I helped Hermano Ojeda fortify his stone wall by making a mini cement wall. Surprisingly I really enjoy working with cement. I find it to be pretty fun.
Today we were going to go to this place called El Cerro Santa Lucia. I guess it is a big hill and at the bottom there is a big market where you can buy lots of souvenirs and stuff. Unfortunately it was raining in the morning. So instead my companion went to go buy new shoes to match his fancy new suit and the other Elders went to try and return their $500 pens they bought. Yes $500 pens. Kinda nutz.. So this hasn't been that fun of a day.

Well I love you all tons and please keep praying for me. Thank you for everything.

Elder Matthew D. Mooney

Hey, it appears that I forgot to mention that I had the opportunity to baptize someone on Sunday as well. His name is Benjamin Riquelme. He is 15 years old and his older sister is an active member of the church. The other missionaries have been teaching him for a while, but for some reason he wanted me to baptize him. It was kinda random, but I was happy to do it. (There is a lot more to the story, but I'll tell you when I get home). I had to baptize him twice because he was so dang tall and wouldn't go all the way under the water. Haha but it was a fun experience.

Fotos from LaDehesa

4th of July in Dehesa!

Dear family,

Things here in La Dehesa are pretty different. We see Porsches, Jaguars, Lamborginis, and all other types of beautiful cars up here. Our sector is gigantic. It might be bigger then Pirque. Not sure. It is huge though. I still don´t even know half of my sector yet. It has been extremely fun though. I love my companions, I love the ward members, and I only have 5 weeks left in the mission. Life is good.

One thing that is pretty legit here is that our mission leader´s name is Brother Abe Smith. He is from Mesa, AZ. He works for the US Airforce and is here in Chile for a few years sharing ideas and helping out. It felt amazing to have a mission correlation where the mission leader actually writes stuff down, plans activities, prays to receive revelation during the week and then shares his ideas with us in the correlation. They even plan out baptisms here. In advance! Supposedly the Bishop is from the states, one of his counselors is Chilean but has lived in Switzerland as well as the states. And yesterday for our Sunday lunch we had an early 4th of July Celebration! We ate with the White family and the Headquist family. Gringo families. We took pictures with them and the food to show you what it was like. We ate BBQ chicken, chicken wings, potato salad, corn on the cob, salad with dressing, and Apple pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. It was a super weird feeling. Spanish was not spoken the entire time. I realized that it is super easy for me to have conversations in english, but introductions and saying goodbye to people in english feels really awkward. Praying in english is nearly impossible. I love the new sector though and the ward is great.

One of our investigators here is Kati. I don´t remember if I told you about her last week. She is from Colombia and is very black. She is super nice and super cool. She has a little baby girl named Milady (my lady). At the moment she is living and working in the house of a recent convert here named Hno Ojeda. He is the assistant to the ward mission leader and is awesome. He hated the church at first. His son secretly filled out his mission papers and then went and told his dad with the help of the bishop. They had a huge fight, but somehow overtime he changed and was baptized a little over a year ago. He is incredible. The rest of his family still isn´t too into the church yet, but he is working on them. He hired Kati to help her out and now he is working with her spiritually as well. She had a baptismal date a couple weeks ago, but we are putting her baptism off till the 24th so she can understand and be converted fully before her baptism.

We also have a kid named Kevin that has a baptismal date, but needs to go to church. Then we have a lady named Claudina that will be getting married on the 8th. She will also be getting baptized soon.

Things are going great though. My companion Elder Stephen Owen is pretty much a clone of Jared Bishop. Haha he reminds me of Jared all the time. Facial expressions, jokes, everything. The only difference is he has an accent. So you can imagine that we have had some fun. Elder Miller and Elder Daines are crazy too so between the four of us there is always something going on. We are trying to be good examples for them and have a lot of fun.
Thank you for your emails. I love and miss you all a lot. I hope that California has been treating you all very nicely. You are the best!

-Elder Mooney