Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23 update

This week brought some sadness for Elder Kenison. His dear grandmother passed away last Tuesday, November 17. We called the mission office to ask them to pass on the news. Matt was very close to this grandmother; they really loved each other, and had a sweet and precious relationship. She would constantly ask about him and his service — "How's my boy?" — and was delighted to hear that he is working hard and progressing in his mission.

The sister in the mission office said that President Jones would call him personally to share the news. This was his report of finding out:
well... i was in my pension when president called. he had been talking to elder bench, he is most likely going home problably the end of THIS week. so elder bench walked in and handed the phone to me. president said that it was never easy news to share but that grandma had passed away. i immediatly started bawling. he then asked me the perfect question. he said, with a voice that i knew he cared, "what was she like?" i told him a little. but when i mentioned the part about grandpa. he said "wow can you imagine that reunion? that would be incredible" it was a nice conversation.
one friday i came to the office with elder bench so he could see the doctor. and Hermana Gonsalez walked up to me and said. "how are you doing?" she told me that she had received the call. it was nice to know that there are people here who care. it's been a hard week i won't lie. but i've had LOTS of help. it's been really hard to take my spirits down this week. which has been an interesting experience. i'm definatly being helped, by more people than just Grandma :)
Meanwhile, the work continues. It sounds like Elder Bench's problem will require him to return a little early and Matt will be getting a new companion. Meanwhile:
well i got the infection that elder bench had. only it wasn't as bad for me because my immune system isn't shot. but we've had another week in our house. we worked quite a bit though. it was hard haha for both of us but we taught a couple of people. and knocked about 400 houses haha no luck though
As for his best investigator now, the Familia Fuentes
they're doing good. they didn't come to church yesterday for some reason :( not good. but they're progressing. the grandmother and grandson said that they both have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. (well Libro de Mormon) so yeah it's good
God bless you, Elder Kenison! Get healthy, and keep working hard! And know that your Grandma is watching out for "her boy"!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 16 update

Illness is a scourge of missionary work. It was a challenge this week for Elder Kenison and Elder Bench.
not much has happened this week. Really. Elder Bench has been sick. He has some sort of infection in his Nasal cavity or something. So we've been staying home since Wednesday. We go out to meetings and stuff but we can't do much else. Apparently he HAD the swine flue virus and so his immune system is really bad. So we have to stay inside so it doesn't get worse.
Also because it's been really really hot here and so we've been at home. I've been getting sick with something. Elder bench thinks it's the same thing. The only difference is that my immune system is fine so I should be able to get better quickly. Haha we've been sleeping a lot but always wake up sweating. Haha it's been a pretty crazy week.
In spite of the challengs, Elder Kenison finds the "silver lining":
elder bench is awesome! Haha even though he's been sick we've gotten a lot done. So we'll be studying a lot this next week. So hopefully my Spanish improves.
And he also learned some of the realities of life:
One thing I got to do which made me really really grateful is that since elder bench can't leave, I haven't been able to pass by the Hermana's house who does my laundry (a different Hermana does elder Bench's). so… I washed it by hand. WOW was I tired after. Haha yestterday and today i've been sore haha so i'm really greatful for 1 the Hermana's and 2 washing machines. Haha :D
We'll hope for a better report next week!

Monday, November 9, 2009

November 9 update

Happy Monday - updates and photos from Elder Kenison! The first picture to share shows him with Elder Bench, his new companion as of a few weeks ago. They seem to be getting along great, and working hard in their area. We asked about Carlos, who was their best investigator for a while:
well Carlos... umm he moved. we saw him in the street the other day. smoking a cigarette. so... yeah i hope he accepts it later on :D as for other investigators... we had a family of investigators attend church yesterday :D :D :D haha familia Fuentes. Daniela, Fernando, philipe, and shoot i can't remember. Haha not good. But yeah they attended church. Haha the mom, daniela, loved the fact that she could leave her littlest boy in primary and not worry about him hahaha he has LOTS of energy. Haha but yeah I actually found the family while on divisions with Elder Simmons :D haha woot! So hopefully it all works out.
Some Primary leader may not be terribly enthused about this new little boy overflowing with energy, but we'll hope the Fuentes family continues to make progress! They've also been focusing on the less active members, and seem to be making progress there:
we do visit lots of people for Permaneced (inactives) we taught 12 people last week. Haha and we had... 5 or 6 attend church yesterday maybe more :D
Here's a great description of some of the contact methods they are using:
Well i always carry a book of Mormon and Elder Bench always has 'laminas' like 8X10 pictures of Christ. And if someone is about to shut the door we say 'quiere un gratis lamina de Jesucristo' the word gratis (free) always gets them haha and they'll come and pick one. Then we ask them why they picked that one in specific. My favorite is when they pick the picture of christ in the americas because then i can hold up the Book of Mormon and immediately talk about that :D it's actually been working really well.
Also for using the Book of Mormon we ask someone if they believe in christ and then (when they say yes, because EVERYONE here is catholic) we turn to Mosiah 4:9 "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend." (i actually memorized that one in spanish haha) so then we talk about how the Book of Mormon really is ANOTHER testament of christ :D
Food has apparently become more important to Matt than it used to be; he commented:
Haha i just found out on my mission how much i love food. Haha i eat a lot :D haha the Gonzalez family, if they have extra, just say "give it to elder Kenison he'll eat it" haha
One of his favorite items is something called a "completo" — a Chilean style hotdog with lots of toppings. Matt was craving one of those at home one evening:
I was hungry one night and i wanted a completo the problem was that we didn't have hot dogs. so... thinking of what my dad would do i used what i had. eggs. haha so in this picture i'm eating. Bread, eggs, guacamole, tomatoes, mayonase, ketchup, and mustard. haha it really wasn't that bad haha
Here's a photo of a "real completo" and one of Matt enjoying his own concoction:

Here's one more typical looking picture of Matt — goofing around with one of the sisters, Hermana Maples:

Finally, this classic photo and the story behind it. He told us it would be better to read the story first, then look at the picture for this one!
so i wanted to make Brownies last night. haha so i went into the kitchen and when i went to grab the chocolate mix... and it fell back behind the cupboard/shelve. so i moved the cupboard/shelve thing and grabbed it. and then moved the cupboard/shelve back. little did i know that the bag had a hole in it. so when i grabbed the shelve i got Chocolate Amargo ALL over. haha after laughing for a bit. i walked into my room. Elder bench was on the phone. i said. "elder bench, big favor, can you take a picture" :D haha he looked at me and said "what happened!!!" haha cleaning it off is a different story. right now my suit is at the dry cleaners. haha

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Elder Kenison the Cook

Elder Kenison has had frequent "divisions" with one of his zone leaders, Elder Simmons. They seemed to "hit it off" and have become good friends. The photo shows them cooking pancakes together for a zone activity a while back.

This week, we got an email from Elder Simmons' mother, whom Bonnie made contact with through a "missionary moms" email list.
I just wanted to tell you that your son is an angel! He got brownies for my sons birthday and had the other Zone Leaders sing Happy Birthday to him. that made me happy because he hadn't received our cards or package yet. He tried not to sound to disappointed but I could tell that the brownies helped. Thanks for having such a thoughtful son!
We were very grateful for that little insight, and the compliment about our son. Matt started out making chocolate chip cookies with his dad when he was quite young, and has expanded his skills gradually. We understand he's becoming quite well-known in Chile for his brownies made from scratch!

Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2 update

Elder Kenison's new companion in Maipú is Elder Bench, from Ogden. According to this week's email,
he's an awesome elder. Sadly though i won't we able to send a picture. We're doing p-days a little different so... yeah i kinda don't have my stuff. Sorry. He was in the coast with me. (he was my zone leader) he's a really tall guy. Haha so you can check the pictures from that. I think i sent on of our zone where he has a hat on.
So we're guessing Elder Bench is the one standing in the back of this picture with a white t-shirt and a baseball cap (click on photo to enlarge):

We'll hope to get a better photo soon! Matt is eager to work with Elder Bench; he has commented that he really seems to want to work hard, which Matt loves. They are making sure to have good, positive interaction with the members. Elder Bench has only 2 1/2 months left on his mission - "So there is a chance that i'm his last companion haha."

They apparently celebrate Halloween in Chile in a similar fashion to the American custom. Matt noted one related experience:
Funny experiences haha well on halloween some lady yelled in spanish "hey look. Twins!" and she pointed at us. Haha elder bench and i laughed haha it was cool. We traded plaques for a little bit. But then thought about it and traded back. Haha
One final note. We asked if he thought he was gaining or losing weight.
I'm pretty sure i'm gaining weight. Haha and the beginning of last change i weighed myself. I was 75kilos. I don't know if that's more or less than 150 pounds. Haha but i know i'm a little bigger now haha.
Of course, 75 kilos is 165 pounds — so it sounds like Elder Kenison is putting on some bulk! That Chilean food must really agree with him.