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

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 11 update

Summer has returned to Chile.  Elder Kenison complained it was getting hot already, and asked us to send him some American antiperspirant!  He's entered the year of perpetual summer — in March, just as Chile's summer is coming to an end, he'll come back to the US in time to begin our summer.  He won't see winter weather until late 2011, more than a year from now.

There hasn't been much progress in the work this week.  We asked about Maria and her kids, who was a prime investigator at one point.
she hasn't been avoiding us. she's just been gone a lot. and yes they did move. and some of our other investigators are moving too. elder Carvajal and i think that we're suppose to "start over" haha so we've been doing lots of contacts knocking and stuff. not really working. so now we're going to work with the members to get some references from them. the problem is that it will take a lot of working with them. but we'll do our best. haha
This was an interesting personal insight from Matt:
Every saturday and sunday there are always drunk people our on the street. in a specific spot there is always one. he's ALWAYS there. without fail. and he always wants to talk to us. and then get all mad and says some really well, sad stuff. like how he mistreats his wife and stuff. we've told him that he should change his life and try to stop drinking. but it's kind of impossible to commit a guy who's completely wasted. but yesterday we were late to an appointment and so we walked right by him. he started yelling at us and stuff so we'd go say hi to him. we just kept walking. so he started to throw rocks at us. he didn't get anywhere close to hitting us though. but while walking i just though how sad his life is do be like that. it's sad that people do that. so i decided that i will NEVER EVER drink alcohol! EVER. I NEVER have and I NEVER will.
Matt was going to send us some new photos this week, but he said the computer kept freezing on him (sometimes the technology is a little behind what we're used to).  Here is one photo of Elder Kenison and Elder Carvajal, and two sisters in their district, that we didn't post last week:

Monday, October 4, 2010

October 4 update

Like most missionaries, Elder Kenison was thrilled this week to participate in the General Conference broadcast.  They were able to hear the broadcast in English, while the rest of the members listened in Spanish.  We asked how much he was able to see:
ALL OF IT!!!! except for President Monson's last talk because there were two little girls that kept interrupting us so I (with still being in site of my companion) tried to ask them politely to leave and go listen to it in spanish. then they started asking me questions "where are you from?" haha there were 5 gringos in the room. haha 5 of us are from Utah, Elder Balling from Centerville (yes he's in my dictrict hahaha), Elder Carvajal from Salt Lake, Hermana Landeen from somewhere up north haha and Hermana Smith from Orem haha (but she went to Timpanogos, isn't that sad haha) and me. then there is Elder Iglesias (in spanish his name means churches) is from Florida. haha so the little girls asked about all that. i just figured that it would be better to talk to them (from the door) then having them running around and screaming haha 
Nice guy, that Matt — serving with gladness!

Here was his latest contacting experience:
so we're going around knocking doors a couple weeks ago. and we stopped by an "almacen" (little store, they're everywhere) and bought a sandwich. well a "sandwich" the owners started asking us questions, why we're here what we do. all that stuff. then they asked what we were planning on doing for the 18th of September (Independence Day).  and they asked if we were going to dance the cueca (k-way-k-a, "a" as in father) a Chilean dance, really popular for the 18th, we talked for a bit. then when we finished our sandwich we left.

we passed by another day to buy some "dulces" sweets. they have like a bakery part too. so we got empenadas, a little lemon pie. needless to say we've passed by several times. haha  for conference we bought a bunch of these little cookies so we could "munch" on something. and we gave then a Book of Mormon and asked them their names. haha well... the guys name is Antonio and the girls.... MarLyn. hahahahahaha (pronounced the EXACT same, i don't know if it's written the same haha)  i laughed so hard. (afterwards of course. haha)

but the cool part is that, when we went to see general conference, Hermana Landeen really liked the cookies. so we went by Antonio and MarLyn's almacen. someone had seen the Book of Mormon they had and had given them a Bible. haha we said... "good, now you can read the Book of Mormon and compare it with the Bible." haha MarLyn asked were she should read and we gave her the introduction to the Book of Mormon, well technically the Libro de Mormon haha but whatever haha. so hopfully she reads. haha
Here's a photo Matt sent us recently with the caption
making a mud oven. this got all covered in mud haha pretty cool
We have no idea what a mud oven is, but we're sure he enjoyed getting dirty!  Some things just don't change...

Matt used to close his emails to us by telling us how much he loved Chile.  He hadn't done that for a while, so we asked if he still did.  This was the response:

¡CHI! ¡CHI! ¡CHI! ¡LE! ¡LE! ¡LE!