Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27 update

It's been a great week for the family of Elder Kenison!  Do we look happy in this photo, taken on Friday December 24?

This is the reason we're happy:

We were so delighted that the missions in Chile (or at least our mission) received a letter from SLC just before Christmas informing them that missionaries are allowed to use Skype for their semi-annual phone call home!!  Since this would be our last call, the notice came just in time to allow us to benefit.  It was such a joy to not only hear Matt's voice, but to see his face as well.  We were instructed to talk between 45 minutes and an hour, and we were just under an hour total.  The sound quality was good, but the video a little "jerky"; but we certainly won't complain.  The connection stayed solid for the first 40 minutes, then we lost it a couple of times - but always got it quickly re-established.

Elder Kenison sounded SO GOOD - happy, enthusiastic, loving the work and his companion and his assignment.  We were very pleased to have all that reconfirmed and know that he's moving forward.  We asked him in today's email if he had any goals for the end of his mission (the last 2 1/2 months), and this was his response:
Just to give it all I got. I hope to just collapse off of the plane because I'll be so tired. I want to leave it all here (in the sense that I'll take advantage of every second.)
That's a great missionary spirit, and we hope he does his very best and comes home knowing it!

It's been a busy week, but different than most due to the holidays.  On the 23rd the missionaries assembled in Santiago for a mission conference.  They held meetings with a member of the Area Presidency (whose name I don't recall) and had other activities.  Sounds like that was a great day for them, inspiring and encouraging.  We asked if he noticed any different local customs related to Christmas:
Just about the same as in the states. Just without snow and not everyone celebrates it. Kinda sad but still I saw kids riding around on their new bikes and stuff like that. haha Kinda normal. The biggest difference is that everyone has a huge dinner the day before Christmas. haha Kinda weird. We ate with Familia Espina. We ate SO much!!! I could barely walked out of the house we ate turkey. haha
Nice that they were taken care of!  It looks like the elders also enjoyed the Christmas presents they got from home, including lots of "treats" (some of the stuff in this photo that is still wrapped is for Matt's birthday, that is a couple of weeks away)::

This photo has a little less traditional "Christmas spirit" but more local character.  Matt wrote:
Just chillin in our house Christmas night. We had our dinner with a family on Christmas Eve and so on Christmas we stopped by the neighbors to buy a Completo haha and as usual in Chile a Coco-Cola haha
 Not a terribly festive Christmas Dinner, but they were happy, and that's what counts.

Otherwise, they've been trying to work more (sounds like their health is much better) and keep the work moving forward.  There were about 50 people in Church on Sunday, a good attendance compared to recent weeks.
We had several meetings with the ward which was AWESOME!!! It was a really good experience. We've set up a couple of plans for the next year. haha pretty sweet
We continue to hope and pray for safety, health, and success in their labors!

Monday, December 20, 2010

December 20 update

Today's email was even briefer than normal, because we're only FOUR days away from the PHONE CALL!! Every missionary family around the world is bursting with eagerness this week.

Elder Kenison and Elder Hassler seem to be on the mend.  We asked if they saw a doctor and if he diagnosed or prescribed anything:
It was a girl doctor and she just gave us like cough medicine and stuff. She's not a real doctor though that's the bad part.
Not quite sure what that means... but something must be helping.
yeah. we worked quite a bit this week :D haha
Here's a brief update on the work:
We're trying to work a lot more with the members. We passed by to talk to President Reyes recently and he says that he's really worried about the Branch and that he'd like if we work with activating them and stuff. So i'll be trying to do that.
On Thursday (Dec 23), all the missionaries in the mission will travel to Santiago for a mission conference.  We're sure they are going to have a wonderful experience.  And then on Friday (Dec 24) at 5 p.m. Chile time, Elder Kenison will call home to talk with his family!!

There was one very exciting announcement in today's email, though, regarding the highly-anticipated Christmas Phone Call.  The missionaries in the Santiago West mission have received permission to use SKYPE for their calls!  That means we'll get to SEE each other, as well as talk together!  What a joyful blessing. 

We appreciated, as always, the photos that came in today's email.  How fortunate we are to have all this modern digital communication!!
At our Christmas activity Elder Hassler and I were pretty much the only ones. haha Then other people came.

Our branch. Most of the people at least haha

just chilling at home. haha

Here's a picture of some of the missionaries from Orem haha and Elder Hassler from Provo haha

I sure wish we could find a way to make these two companions for a few weeks before Matt comes home!

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13 update

We were sad to hear that the elders are still not feeling well!  Elder Kenison indicated:
we'll be contacting the doctor again because... I am sick of "home"
Unfortunately, there has been a setback with the young woman named Fanny they were fellowshipping along with the branch members.
She didn't come to church but we did pass by in the week and she told us that she can't be baptized. Her parents are really really evangelical and she doesn't want to go and do all this behind their backs. We told her that that was a good idea. But we asked her to also remember the importance of it and try to talk to her parents about it soon. I hope everything works out. She's really an awesome person.
The other good prospect, familia Salinas (the family that tried to return the Book of Mormon but Matt insisted they keep it and read it) also is progressing slowly:
but with us not being about to work much and the dad of the family working a lot it's been hard to set a time. but we're still working with them
One of the things they've been emphasizing in the mission recently is working closely with the local leaders in the branch, and recognizing their stewardship.  We thought this was a fascinating approach:
Working with the members and the leaders, we've read 1 Nephi 16:23 with them. It says:
"23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?"
Then we told our branch president that he has the authority to tell us where to work so we asked his where we should work. He told us that he would need to think about it.  A couple days later he told us that he thinks that we should work in "La Palma" which is on the left side of our area. The place that doesn't have a map made yet. We told him that we'd start working there, which, with our investigators all kind of stopping progressing will give us lots of time to do so. The only problem is that it is really really far from where we live. So it'll be hard to work all of the way over there for right now. But we'll just have to go forth with faith. haha Luckily there are a couple of good members over there. haha I just hope they like missionary work. They'll be getting lots of opportunities haha
What a great way to involve the branch leaders and use their insight and inspiration to strengthen the efforts of the missionaries!

We asked Matt if he had any Christmas decorations in his apartment.  In response, he sent the series of photos that follow, along with these descriptions.  (Click on any photo to view larger.)
just getting ready. haha we found a couple of Christmas things in the closet :D

Elder Hassler remembering how stupid Christmas lights are.

struggling to put the lights on

attempting to top it off with a star. First Elder Hassler tried

then I tried

shoot failure

both trying

I think we're missing something else

darn... nothing... still. haha Elder Hassler is crying. haha

Well at least the lights work haha woot!!! We'll just have to be patient till we can "finish"

We were sad along with them to look under the tree and see nothing!!  The packages are in the mail, and we're praying for safe and timely arrival — we don't want Elder Hassler to keep crying!  We also noted that they appear to have identical ties on... new mission uniform???

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 6 update

Elder Kenison is feeling better, but his companion Elder Hassler has struggled with his health this past week.  They've had to spend more time at home than they'd like.  We got this update about investigators:
Well Fanny is doing good. She's really the only one we can find at home. But she for some reason couldn't come to church this last week so we AGAIN have to change her fetcha (goal) for baptism. But hopefully all is good with her. For Carla we've been trying to pass by as much as we can and she just hasn't been home. She woks a lot. But hopefully all goes well. As for Angel who recently got baptized haha he's doing awesome! He went to the district conference we had yesterday
Last week, they had a 2-zone conference with the nearby Penaflor zone.  Matt reported:
Well really it was the same as a normal zone meeting (the meeting we have every Tuesday) but this time it was just with more missionaries. And President was there. He came in when we were split into our separate districts and he listened in. haha I was teaching the lesson, haha but it was good. he talked afterwards, with all the missionaries, about how we can better involve the bishop/president in the missionary work in our ward/branch. It was really good.
The main joy of the week was that we received TWENTY-EIGHT photos — a new record!  Matt wrote:
Well consider this your Christmas present for now haha I'll give you your actual presents in about 3 months haha
We'll share some of the best, and save a few for future weeks when we don't receive any (which often happens).  A few weeks ago they had a zone activity where they apparently hiked to a nice overlook.  In this photo, Matt wrote just loving all of my companions in the zone — these are all former or current companions!

This one shows more of the fellow missionaries, including some familiar faces:
chillin with some of the missionaries haha from left to right: hermana Redondo (honduras), hermana Collahuazo (Ecuador), elder carvajal (utah), me haha, hermana Smith (haha utah and from Orem!!!) and hermana Landeen (also from Utah)

And this is "classic Matt" — he wrote just trying to get some extra energy before the hike. :) haha  Any guesses what that is he's about to eat??  (Remember, this is the guy who ate a cockroach in high school when the "pool" got high enough!)

When the last changes occurred, Elder Kenison went to the office to pick up his new companion, and in the process saw some former companions and friends on their way.  This photo is sayin bye to Elder Simmons and Elder Rawlins. :(

Last week, to celebrate some birthdays in their area, they made a cake.  He also wrote HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICOLE!!! (even though it was on the 27th) in honor of a friend back home.

Next step:
finished frosting but... it's missing something and we don't have sprinkles, but.... we do have no bake cookies haha :D WOOT!!!

This one was captioned divin' right in haha
And then, dang... no more cake (a couple days later haha

Two more nice photos.
so since we've been inside we've kind been talking a lot haha and one of these days (Thursday) Elder Hassler and I got REALLY trunky haha so...
This is Elder Hassler wanting to pet his dog haha

And finally...
This is Elder Kenison (me haha) thinking it's crazy that everyone is getting married, so I made some brownies, but didn't want to wait forever and cook them so.... I just ate the batter haha

Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29 update

We had a short report this week.  Elder Kenison and Elder Hassler are trying hard to get over their illness — it's especially frustrating to not feel well as a missionary.  This was the summary about their physical condition:
meh. ok. Still a little sick. when we're inside we're fine but when we walk around outside we feel terrible so we've just been working like part days. Kinda lame. But just doing our best
They're also "doing their best" to keep up with investigators, encourage them to attend Church, and continue learning.  We'll hope and pray for improved health and better progress in the coming week!

We were pleased to get a few new photos this week.  This one shows the two missionaries on the day they met, with President and Sister King in front of the Santiago temple:

And here is a closeup of the two happy companions:

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22 update

We (Elder Kenison's parents) both have jobs where we spend a good portion of the day in front of a computer screen.  So we're often watching on Mondays when the emails from Chile start to arrive, and we've enjoyed the chance to "interact" by replying to emails while Matt is online. In addition, he's been replying to a lot of our individual comments and questions in the emails we send to him.  But it looks like there will be a change in that procedure in the future.  Matt opened his email to us today with this notice:
we recently had a meeting this last week and president talked about how we shouldn't plan on sending e-mails back and forth to the family. I asked him myself if it was ok because my parents work with computers and are always on and lots of times it's just about questions that I've got.
I still don't understand why but he told me, and all of the other missionaries, that it is better if we send one letter to the family. I don't know why but the "why" really isn't important. The fact is he's my leader and I should do what he says. So I'll be reading your letters and everything but I won't be responding to them like I did before.
 We were a little disappointed about that, but at the same time, thrilled that Elder Kenison is willing to be obedient and do his best to follow the instructions he is given!  We feel that's a significant sign of growth and maturity, and are proud of his commitment.

Meanwhile, there have been some challenges this week in Talagante.  Last week Matt mentioned that he had a persistent cough, but it looks like things went downhill:
to tell ya the truth we haven't been working very much because I've been pretty sick. I've felt like I've been able to work so we did a little but then when I heard that I had gotten people sick. We decided we'd stay home. Elder Hassler is getting a little sick too. But we'll be passing by for a doctor this week "¡si o si!" so we can both get better. But the investigators are doing good
He did feel well enough for a little district activity today:
today we all ate together at a little place it was pretty good. it was "comida jarabe" haha just kind of like a sandwich wrap with meat and chicken it was pretty good :)
This was the update on his new companion, Elder Hassler:
He's a stud. haha We're pretty much like brothers. Like the same jokes and stories and stuff it's kind of funny. lots of people we're saying the it's really stressful to be a district leader and a trainer especially both at the same time. haha But I've loved both of them. haha "despite being sick haha" but for training it's pretty easy, I often forget that I'm training because Elder Hassler really just acts like he's been here for a long time. He knows the people, his Spanish is actually pretty good. He'll be speaking like a Latin when he finishes his mission. haha He just struggles with understanding what the people say. haha but Latins, who speak perfect Spanish, have a hard time understanding Chileans for a long time.
We're grateful to hear that he continues to love his companion and the work they do together.

He concluded his letter with this:
I heard something cool in church yesterday. An Hermano said that when we're in church we need to LEARN, then ACT, and then SHARE. I know it's kind of obvious but I was thinking. "do I do that?" when I learn something does it help me be a better person. Then do I share that with other people, even if sharing is simply through my example

I have a scripture that I found that I like haha that despite being sick and stuff it can still be applied to Elder Hassler and I, It's

2 Nephi 5:27
"And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness"
We still didn't get any new photos this week.  But I found one on a Facebook page of one of the other missionaries who is connected to us — one that really portrays that part of Matt hasn't changed!

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15 update

Elder Kenison has been serving for 20 months on his mission (including the 2 months in the MTC), and this week met his 11th companion, Elder Jared Hassler.  We asked where he is from:
Elder Hassler is a "greenie" — just barely arrived from the MTC — and so will have some of the normal challenges of adjusting to the new culture, getting comfortable with the language, etc.  But it sounds like they are off to a very good start together.  Matt is pretty easy to get along with, but we believe he has been very blessed to have wonderful companions throughout his mission.  We were able to contact Elder Hassler's mother today, and she also reports her son said the two have become best friends already.  We're looking forward to photos and more reports in the future.

Meanwhile back in Talagante, the work is progressing.  Fanny came to church on Sunday but her boyfriend Francisco didn't make it.  They're hoping to have a baptism soon with that couple!

There are two young women in the branch named Sindy and Simone, and Matt reported:
They're both been working a lot, passing out Books of Mormon and stuff really trying to help us out. It's been awesome! We taught one of Simone's friends, Ivan, and one of Sindy's friends, Carlos. It was pretty cool. both of them are pretty interested. :)
We loved this little story.  When he was waiting for his new companion to arrive he worked for a day in Maipu, near where he served previously:
When I was in Maipu on divisions on Monday Elder Merino and I (my companion for the day) were walking down the street looking for an address. and we stopped and talked to a lady. When Elder Merino said, "Hi we're servants of Jesus Christ, and we'd like to bless your house by saying a prayer." She looked at us and started to cry. I don't mean cry like cry I mean cry like.... she was bawling.
We went in and blessed her house, and she said that we could not have come at a better time. Her husband had made some bad choices and had left the family. It was pretty crazy. But it was such a good feeling to help. I'll have to check up on how they're doing later. haha it was awesome! :D
 As I mentioned, we didn't get any new photos this week.  But here is one from last week that I found intriguing.  Matt said
some guy a little drunk just sitting on the curb. and my zone and i were waiting to take a bus (when we went to pomaire) and so i just sat down and talked to him. about nothing really he just wanted money. so we said that he could go and get a job and stuff . haha it was prety cool though.

This is typical of Matt's personality — just talk to anyone, even a stranger on the street dealing with some challenges.  But to have him comfortable enough to do that in Spanish is one of those good signs of his comfort level in the language!

Here's a final photo, showing Elder Kenison with Elder Urbieta, one of his previous companions, who also went home (to Argentina) last week:

Monday, November 8, 2010

November 8 update

 This was a busy week for Elder Kenison and Elder Carvajal, who is now on his way home!  During the final week of their missions, the elders are allowed to visit two of their previous areas, and Matt was able to accompany him.  They visited Maipú, where Matt worked previously himself, and the Llo Lleo, out on the coast near Cartagena, Matt's first area.  Matt commented,
I've realized how amazing the coast is. haha the air is AMAZING! i didn't realize that when i was there because i was new and didn't know what the air in santiago was like. it was good though i love it. i miss the people in the coast. haha then we go to maipu and i miss the people from there haha
And of course, they spent time saying goodbye to members and investigators in their own area.  This photo shows Elder Carvajal with Carla and Mitchell; Matt said,
she came to church last sunday and said that she really liked it :) that it was a good experience and that she'd like to attend more.

 This is another investigator named Fanny — she and her boyfriend are investigating:
yeah they're progressing great. haha they have a goal for their baptisms :) but i think we'l have to change it because they didn't come this last sunday because they went to a birthday party for a friend.

The best news of the week was the baptism of Angel.
Elder Carvajal and his last companion found him knocking doors. we've taught him since i've been here. his wife is not a member, she's really nice though but never wants to talk to us when we pass by. he does have children but they're older now and have moved out
He was baptized by the Branch President, Presidente Reyes:

This is a photo of the district where Matt and his companion have been serving:

And this is the Talagante Zone — they look like they have lots of fun:


This was a fun photo from an event a few weeks ago.   Matt wrote:
this is from the "weekend misional" the two youth were with me on Sunday and the couple was with both of us on Saturday and with Elder Carvajal on Sunday. pretty sweet. the couple have a daughter serving in Peru

This was a classic missionary story, about trying to continue to teach and nurture:
we stopped by for Familia Salinas. an awesome family. the dad though didn't really want to listen more. he handed the Book of Mormon back to us and said, "about the prophets and about Christ we agree. but once you add the point in about Joseph Smith and him writing some book, i don't believe" we said, wait, Joseph Smith didn't WRITE this Book. in fact there is NO WAY it would be POSSIBLE for him to write a book like this. he translated it, like the Bible, prophets wrote this book. the difference is that this book was translated by a prophet who was given power from god.
we handed him the book back and said, "would you like to read from the start? you can read the introduction and the testimony from Joseph Smith that is written there. maybe that will resolve some questions." he smiled and said that he would read.
so hopefully it all goes well. out of I think every investigator I've had I've prayed more for him and his family than for anyone haha.
We will hope and pray too!

Matt was able to arrange a "surprise farewell party" with some members of the branch for Elder Carvajal.  He sent several photos of the fun they had:
starting out, waiting for the people to come, haha playing the piano. "chop sticks" haha
Maragarita (left) and Claudia (right) margarita is the hermana that cooks SO good haha we've made so much stuff in her house. and she sells completos that are SO good haha and claudia is a recent convert
this was realy happening. haha all of the hermanas were telling elder carvajal "eat this, oh have you tried this" those cookies in his pocket were not put in for the picture they were already there haha

The rest of the photos show what happened when missionaries get carried awake with cake and frosting, and then before you know it, the branch president gets involved!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November 1 update

Elder Kenison's companion, Elder Carvajal, is now entering the last week of his mission!  That means some special activities for the missionaries.  Elder Carvajal has some relatives in Chile and has permission to visit them before he departs; and it sounds like there was a mission conference, and some other trips going on.
this week we've been going to all sorts of places, santiago and stuff, now i'm in san miguel close to my last area. because elder carvajal has permission to say bye to his family. haha but we've had to cancel lots of lunches this week (so i took out money to buy lunch, for more than one day) so really i've missed eating really good food haha
It's nice that he appreciates the "really good food" provided by members in his assigned area.  Eating on the road probably means the Chilean equivalent of "fast food."  The travels will continue; on Saturday, they will go to two of Elder Carvajal's previous areas (Maipu and Llo Lleo, out on the coast).  Then on Monday, Elder Carvajal begins his journey home and Elder Kenison waits to hear who his new companion will be!

There has been some progress with investigators.  We learned today for the first time about a man named Angel (pronounced Ahn-Hel) who is 60 years old and married; we're not sure of the family situation or how he got connected with the missionaries.  He is having his baptismal interview today!  We only learned this:
Angel is the investigator that we have that has read the entire Book of Mormon and half of the principles of the gospel book. haha he loves to read. we were kinda surprised when he accepted the challenge to be baptized. but hopefully it all works out :D
That's great news — we'll look forward to more details next week!  We also heard about a new investigator named Carla:
she hasn't been able to go to church because her husband gets drunk the night before. so we're kinda trying to find a solution
We did get this second insight about her:
she's a progressing investigator. she's really cool, but she works at a hospital and so she has to work a lot, and sometimes on Saturday night so it's hard to go to church. we're just trying to get her to attend church. but we're guessing that her husband is finding ways to make it so she can't go.
And then he shared one additional experience:
yeah we passed by for a new investigator, Fanny, (pronounced F-aw-ny) haha, and we talked to her a bit. she said that she LOVED reading and so we gave her a Book of Mormon and had her start from the start. then she asked us if we have like meetings or whatever in the church. we told her that we did, every Sunday at 10.
On Saturday we passed by again, actually it was interesting because we had an activity in our district where some people from other districts came over and we had a "weekend misional" (missionary weekend) there was a missionary couple that came with us for a little and then on Sunday two kids came with us. it was AWESOME!!! we stopped by to see Fanny with the couple, and Fanny told us that she read the first 20 pages, and didn't understand it (because of all of the names) so she read it again, she still didn't quite get it so she read it a third time. so we described who the people were in the Book of Mormon, the family and everything. and she said that she'd keep reading.
On Sunday (yesterday) she came to church :D haha with her boyfriend (who lives in a different house than she does) and she brought her daughter. it was AWESOME!!! we watched a video about he plan of salvation and she asked "how can i be baptized?" haha we laughed (out of excitement) and told her. she told us that she would be continue coming to church and everything. :) i was awesome :D hopefully all goes well with her.
Nice to see some enthusiasm, and some good new prospects in the work!

Finally, Matt admitted that his official release date, according to the "trunky papers" received last week, will be March 15.  So the countdown begins: only 19 weeks, or 133 days to go!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

October 25 update

The first thing Elder Kenison told us today was that he'd just received his "trunky papers" and needed information from us about his bishop's and stake president's contact information!  But if the trunky papers contained any detail about when he's returning, he didn't share it.  We're assuming he will be coming home in mid-March, just under 5 months from now.  We're not sure we're ready to start a countdown yet, so maybe it's best we don't know details for a bit!

Meanwhile, his companion, Elder Carvajal, is down to just two weeks before his return to SLC!  They will be doing some extra activities for the coming weeks on P-days.  Since the mission is pretty compact, departing missionaries are allowed to return to two of their previous areas to say goodbye to members and converts.  So Matt will have the chance to accompany his companion and learn a little more about areas of the mission he may not have served in!  And then he'll soon have a new companion.  He will miss Elder Carvajal; it sounds like they've enjoyed working together.

This was the report of the week:
as for the work and everything it started off kind of hard we prayed planned and worked our best. diligently too. and we had a miracle.

first it was at church, there were 6 less actives and actually in-actives that went to church. it was an awesome feeling. also we passed by a contact that we did. and it was amazing. the girls name is Funny (or Fanny, it's really a mix of the two) but we went with our Branch President so that we could go in the cita. and when we taught her about the restoration she said that she LOVES reading and that she'll read a lot. and then she asked if we have church meetings. we told her that they're every Sunday at 10. and she committed herself to go. haha my companion and i were amazed. and on top of that, like i said before, the Branch President was there so he got to have an awesome spiritual experience also. it was amazing.
Matt said he had some great photos to share today, but left his camera at the zone leaders' apartment.  Sad day!

I sometimes send him a few photos of us, or some other fun things I see here and there.  I sent this picture with the comment, "Sometimes you just don't know where to go in life."  Matt responded,
luckily god always does :D
Spoken like a true missionary!

At the end of our message to him today we wrote, "Do you know how much we love you and how often we think about you??"  Matt responded,
i can imagine i think. haha i love you too. but i do my best not to think about you too much. haha no offense haha but yeah I LOVE YOU :D
We're proud that he's doing his best to focus on the work!

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 18 update

The major news of the past week in Chile, of course, was the rescue of the 33 miners who had been trapped for 69 days.  The missionaries tried to keep working, but didn't get a lot of response during the time that coverage was on.  We asked Elder Kenison how much of the rescue he saw.
I saw the machine that pulled them out. pretty sweet. haha everyone was talking about them. we got an update in the street all of the time. haha it was funny because while we were walking around there was some kid that started yelling at us (like "Hello, how are you?") just trying to be funny. the thing is I had NO IDEA what he said. so i said "¿QUE?" (what) and he just stops... thinks and says, "hay dos mineros mas" (two more miners) hahaha elder carvajal and I laughed. but it was good to know
Work in the Esmeralda Branch continues pretty slow, but the missionaries are working hard.
we're just trying to find some new ones. we've knocked SO many doors and contacted SO many people. hopefully some of them will progress. the problem is that there is a rule that is being enforced in our mission now. that we cannot enter a house unless there is a guy there that is age 16 or older. so it's been kinda hard from like 3-7 in the afternoon because ALL of the guys are working. but it's been good still. just trying to help the Branch start participating :D we're planning an activity to act out parables from the bible. so i hope it all goes well. it'll be on the 6th.
We asked what kind of door approaches they use.
when we can find something to talk about besides the gospel first (something in the lawn, their day, for a while the miners, stuff like that) then that gets their attention and we ask them if we can bless their house with a prayer, or share a short message about Jesus Christ. one thing i've learned is that if you ask ANY chilean for help they are GLAD to help you (unless they're drunk)
On that last comment, he said there seems to be a much larger problem with drunks on the streets in this area than in his previous ones.

This picture demonstrates a typical missionary appetite. Matt always did like pizza...
haha also lunch yesterday haha pretty good. haha what is gone is how many 5 of us could eat haha it is a HUGE pizza. haha

The next photo looks like someone was having a lot of fun.
Noche de hogar. haha family home evening. we had a family home evening and we played a game. katharine won (bottom right) note that she doesn't have stuff written on her face. haha the game is that you pass around a marker or something and one person turns their back and says "la papa se quema" (the potato is burning) over and over and then when they say "la papa quemó" (the potato is burned) whoever has the item being passed around gets to have something drawn on their face (by the one who was saying "la papa se quema")

Last but not least — this was a photo to make his Dad proud.  Matt and I always had the tradition to go out for ice cream after general conference priesthood meetings.  He wrote,
after the priesthood session of conference i still had ice cream haha :D woot