Monday, September 28, 2009

September 28 update

We learned a little more about Elder Kenison's new assignment in Maipú today, but didn't get any new photos; the computers he has used the past two weeks seem to have some issues, and he hopes to try a different one next week.

However, I was able to find this photo of his current missionary residence, with the help of Google Satellite View — right in the middle of a dense urban area:

And here's the "big picture" showing Maipú on the southwest outskirts of Santiago, and the towering southern Andes to the east:

Matt's companion, Elder Urbieta, is a district leader. They had "divisions" with the zone leaders this week, and Matt enjoyed working with Elder Simmons from Bountiful for two days — "he's a really cool elder." If that weren't enough:
then on Sunday we had special divisions (there was some problem in our ward) so i was with him yet again. it was pretty cool. he taught me a lot of spanish. and "leading the sector", as they call it, helped me learn more about our sector. haha I know one of the Main streets is 4 poniente and another is Renee Olivares and I can get home if I'm on 4 poniente haha a lot better than it was. now i'm trying to pay more attention so that I can learn all of the other streets. haha
Then this important experience from today's p-day activity (very typical of Matt):
Also (a cool story and along with a favor), the story is that elder Urbieta and I help the Zone Leaders a lot. and we helped them today with an activity. we made pancakes for our entire zone. haha it was awesome. LUCKILY (and this is where the favor comes in) I had a recipe for pancakes haha so that's my favor can you tell Ale THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!! :D
In his efforts to improve his Spanish, Elder Kenison learned this very important word:
("Permiso" is an ingenious word that doesn't exist in english. if you're ever unsure about something you just say "permiso" and you do it. and whoever you said permiso to watches you to make sure it's ok. we say it everytime we go into houses and really whenever we do anything. it's like saying "excuse me". haha)
The work in the "4 Poniento"ward is a little slow right now. Elder Kenison and his companion(s) did a lot of contacting and have many follow-ups for the coming week. We'll hope and pray for some good results!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September 22 update (a day late)

We were SOOO eager to get Elder Kenison's weekly update on Monday, so we could find out about his new area and companion! We waited ALL DAY for it to come; as the afternoon wore on and we passed the normal P-day hour, we were very disappointed. Something must have happened to prevent him from sending an email! We tried to imagine what that was, but nothing made us feel better. We assumed we were destined to wait another week to find details! (We realize are terribly spoiled by this instant communication nowadays.)

Then suddenly, late on Tuesday (a day late), the emails started to arrive! We were thrilled to get some news. Apparently his companion had talked with the "computer place" (was assume that means Internet Cafe) in the area (owned by a Church member) and found their computers were having issues on Monday, so they were able to postpone that part of their P-day until Tuesday.

So here's the news! Elder Kenison is now serving in Maipú, a suburb of Santiago at the southwest corner of the metro area (click on the map at the right to see more details of location). Matt's comment on the name of the city, in typical missionary humor:
(pronounced... "my poo" some great jokes from the name haha)
The urban setting is quite a contrast from his last area, which was out on the coast:
it's way different its more of a city than Cartagena. LOTS of busses and taxis haha it's been crazy trying to find my way around. my companions been helping though haha luckily. :D
About his new companion:
he's from Argentina. a latin haha Elder Urbieta. he's really cool. he's been out for 10 months. he's the district leader. he's a really... tranquilo (chill) individuale. he's really good at 'bebe' too haha
I'm guessing "bebe" might be a nickname for "basketball"? He mentioned the term once before, saying they were going to the Church on p-day to play bebe with some of the young men. [UPDATE: I have been informed by Spencer Mecham, Matt's first companion, that "bebe is actually a soccer game that is only different because the ball is heavier. Thus it can't be hit high easily and most of the game is played on the ground level."]

Part of the complication of the week included the Chilean Independence Day celebrations (Sept 18), and getting settled into the new apartment. It's smaller than his last place, with not much shelf or storage space for food and supplies. Matt mentioned that he brought his flour and sugar and everything to make brownies from the old apartment — some of the essential supplies! We're not sure how he fit all of that into his suitcases...

There were 66 people attending the ward on Sunday in Maipú — quite a bit fewer than in Cartagena. He said there was a recent baptism in the area, so we hope there is some good enthusiasm!

We were sad to not receive photos again, but we're at least thrilled to know "all is well" and Elder Kenison continues to love his mission!

Monday, September 14, 2009

September 14 update: Transfer!

Has Elder Kenison gone to the dogs??? These photos might make you wonder; he said there are LOTS of stray dogs around, and most of them are quite friendly to the missionaries. He labeled the one on the left "haha-a-local-dog-who-greets-us-every-morning-haha.jpg" and the one on the right "Beethoven!!! haha our friend down the street haha he loves the missionaries.jpg":

Actually, we don't think he has "gone to the dogs," but we're not sure WHERE he has gone. We learned Monday morning that he is being transferred!

As we understand it, the process for "changes" (they don't use the word "transfer") in his mission is this: Matt will pack up and say goodbye today. Early Tuesday morning he'll get on a bus and head in to the mission office:
We take a bus to Santiago then we wait with all the missionaries that are being changed. (while some elders put up the papers of the changes) and then when President Jones finishes talking to us real quick everyone runs over to the paper. then i'll (depending on where my next sector is) take a micro (bus) or collectivo (taxi). they actually have a bus called a Pullman Bus here that's like a five star bus for long distances. it's really the only option to get from here to Santiago. haha pretty cool
Since this occurs on the day AFTER p-day, we won't know where Matt is until we hear from him next Monday. We'll just hope and pray for the best! Matt was apprehensive last week about this coming:
it's going to be hard if i leave Cartagena. i love the people here so much. haha :D
Today he wrote:
i'm a little nervous but excited! haha
The change will be good for him. We'll hope and pray his new companion is a blessing to him, like his first two have been!

One of the challenges of a transfer is leaving behind the people you've been working with — entrusting them to the care of other missionaries. Matt has several people close to baptism right now. He wrote this about the Familia Godoy and others he cares about:
they're doing good though. they're attending church every week (more then the rest of their family who actually are all members.) they're doing great though. apparently there are divorce paper issues. the dad was married before. we have a lot of those. Marcela's boyfriend. Carla and Mauricio. Famila Godoy. so many people! i want to become a lawyer here just so I can help some people who want to fix their lives! haha crazy
Well, we hope this week goes by quickly so we can get an update next week!

Monday, September 7, 2009

September 7 update

As of this coming Friday, Elder Kenison will have completed a fourth of his mission — six months down, eighteen to go! Time seems to be going by quickly for us. We think it is for Matt too.

Apparently it's been a wet week in Chile. Matt's gotten over his bronchitis, but his companion, Elder Mejia, has been sick this week. And the extra rains brought their own challenges:
my week..... haha well this week has really been interesting. it's been hard because it's been raining a lot. i mean. A LOT. and so there has also been lots of mud. haha and added on that we have one of the hilliest (that is so a word. along with Frailed haha) we just have a very hilly area. so it's been a fun challenge trying to walk up all these "dirt" hills. haha.
We were pleased to hear there has been some more progress with investigators:
Natalia and Olga are progressing. Natalia said that she wants to be baptized haha she hasn't even attended church haha. Marcela is... well being stubborn. haha i mean she knows just as much as a member of the church (except for what it feels like to be baptized. haha) and she just doesn't want to stop seeing her boyfriend. which is a problem because he's married. haha kinda crazy
on another note Familia Godoy is progressing great. they should be getting married soon and then afterwards baptized i hope it all works out. haha
This was a cute story about a Sunday testimony meeting:
oh sunday was cool. all of us missionaries bore our testimony. haha it was funny, everyone stared at me when i got up. haha "he barely knows spanish" haha i made everyone laugh though because i kept messing up it was funny. luckily my companion went afterwards to bring the spirit back haha. also one of the investigators of Elder Rawlins and Elder Romero bore his testimony. i got a little of what he said but not a lot. haha
more.... haha i don't know. it's been fun. it's going to be hard if i leave Cartagena. i love the people here so much. haha :D
The photos of the day came from a zone activity on the beach. We're not sure where this took place (near his area, or somewhere up north??), but it looks like they had a great time, as always. In the first, Matt is with Elder Somoza, a missionary he seems to really enjoy being with:

This one was labeled "The missionaries of the coast!"

Finally, this little extra note and photo that went just to Mom. They had the desired result of choking her up big time:
so everyone was doing this with their girlfriends name haha well I don't have a girlfriend but i do have someone waiting for me. haha My mom (aka you) so I decided to do the same but with someone more important :D thanks for everything mom you're the greatest. :D