Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Elder Mooney is home!

waiting at Sky Harbor Airport

this was the first version of cousin Danny's sign

Practice Run

We didn't even recognize that Chilean coming off the plane

We didn't even recognize that Chilean coming off the plane

Little sis Diana got the first hug

Sister Becky and a very friendly airport employee

Mom may have been the most excited!

Dad was pretty excited as well

Mom and Becky couldn't help but cry a little

Return missionaries, his cousin Taylor

We made quite the scene at the airport

Hunter and Diana, Matt's little sisters

The welcome home banner

Monday, August 1, 2011

A final email - and a powerful Testimony

Dear family and loved ones,

Wow.. The mission is almost over. This will probably be my last email home as a missionary. Last night and this morning I was looking through all of my pictures that I have taken here in the mission and it is hard to believe that the two years are coming to an end. Now that I am about to go home it is easy to say, yeah, the mission just flew by. Truth is though, when I think about the places I have been, the people I have met, and the lives I have influenced it seems that I have managed to cram in a life time of experiences into just two years. It also feels like I haven´t seen my family or home in ten years or so. Time in the mission is a very strange concept.

Many interesting and fun things have occurred this past week, but I figure I will just tell you all about them when I get home. More then anything I just want to let you all know that I love you all very much. I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting me over these past two years and for helping me to stay strong and faithful to this sacred calling of serving a mission.

I want you to know that even though the mission has been one of the most difficult experiences of my life, I have seen and felt the love of God more in these couple of years then any other time in my life.

God exists and loves us very much. If anyone is unsure of that, get down on your knees and ask him if he exists in sincere prayer. I promise you that he will answer.

I know that Christ is our Savior. I can feel it. I know it is true and that is the only reason I keep the commandments and strive to do better each day.

Christ´s church is on the Earth today. The fulness of the Gospel was restored to the Earth by the prophet Joseph Smith. It is hard for me to understand why anyone would not accept him as a prophet of the Lord. He lived and died dedicated to the Lord and his work. That same work continues to spread throughout all the earth in these days and will continue to spread until the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Holy Ghost is real. He testifies of all truth and by him we can come to know the truth of all things. If we trust in him we will never be lead astray. I like to look at it this way. Life is difficult no matter what. It is difficult for the righteous and for the wicked. We can either struggle, suffer, and fight through the problems of this life alone or we can struggle, suffer, and fight through the problems of this life with God´s love, help, and comforting Spirit. I personally choose to have God´s help. Not to mention, life is better when you follow God´s commandments.

It has been a privilege and blessing to serve the Lord as a missionary here in Santiago Chile. I will never forget the lessons I have learned while being on the Lord´s errand.

Again, I want to thank each and every one of you for helping me to become the person I am today. I guess I will be seeing you in about a week. How exciting is that! :)

Love you,
Elder Matthew D. Mooney