Monday, January 25, 2010

Parable of the sower

Buenos Tardes todos!

Oh man another week of crazy activity as a missionary here in Good ol' Salem, Oregon. I'm trying to think about all that happened this week... in all honesty, it was just a good hard week of work. Waking up, studying til 11, eating lunch, then baptizing the crap out of the world! haha jk but not really.
Oh! There were two sad things that happened this week.... as I wrote previously, we had three baptisms lined up for the 30th of this month: Silvia and Guadalupe Martinez (the ladies Smithee and I knocked into), and Dana Aguayo (a 14 year old girl from the previous missionaries). The sad thing is that the grandmother of Dana, who is her guardian as well as an inactive member of the church, doesn't want her to get baptized because she says that she isn't ready. When we asked why she thought so, she gave us such idiotic reasons that I wanted to beat her with a Book of Mormon! She says that Dana isn't ready because she doesn't pick up her clothes when she's supposed to, because she fights with her siblings sometimes, she has been disrespectful to her grandma, and because she kisses boys.... So from what I gather, this lady thinks that you have to NOT be HUMAN to get baptized. My question would be what kid at the age of 14 hasn't done ALL of the above? I don't really understand why she is acting so retarded. We explained to her as simply as possible that all you need to do is have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of any MAJOR sins you've commited in your past, and be willing to live the commandments. She kept coming back to the fact that Dana hasn't changed and yadda yadda AAAHAAHHAHAH!!!!!@!*#%!*@!_(@#*@(*$%@_#(*@ I hate stubborn old people. She told us that Dana needs to set a better example to her siblings before she gets baptized. I told her that as a member of the church, maybe she should set the example for Dana by living up to the covenants that she has already made and isn't keeping. ( yeah I almost got kicked out of the house for that comment haha). But hopefully with time, her grandma can soften that rock that she calls her heart and let Dana get baptized soon. If not, well then in four years when Dana turns 18 she can get baptized.

Okay enough ranting about that. Another sad note. We had to drop another investigator along with her two younger sisters. Her name is Gracie Baragan. This sweet 18 year old girl with a baby, who is the legal guardian along with her twin sister, of all her younger siblings because her parents got deported to Mexico. We picked her up from the last missionaries that were here, and had her scheduled for baptism the first week of February, but something happened. Her family found out she was going to be baptized, and basically destroyed her faith. It broke my heart because she knew it was true. She was loving and embracing everything we were teaching her, but then her family just trucked her, and then she stopped keeping commitments, wasn't praying, stopped coming to church, etc., and it was just sad! I was reading in Matthew 13 yesterday and I came across a passaged that describes it perfectly. It's just like the parable of the sower who sows seeds and some fall upon stony ground

20 But he that received the seed into astony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

In all seriousness, this is exactly what happened with her. She didn't have much depth in the gospel and as soon as her family jumped all over her, she just shut down on the gospel. Hopefully she'll see how it feels not to have the spirit striving with her and make a change of heart.

Aside from that, Silvia and Guadalupe are way excited for their baptisms and everything is rolling along according to plan.... *knock on wood*. Today is Smithee's 21's birthday, so we're gonna go party. Time seems to fly out here. I still feel like I just got here, and I've been out nearly four months! Gosh being on a mission is sweet.

Aside from that.... Gosh I can't think of anything else exciting that's been going on with us. We still have four elders in our apartment, I'm still getting my butt kicked by Spanish, and I love it here.

I love you guys, have a great week okay?

Con amor siempre para ustedes,

-Elder Moonshine

Monday, January 18, 2010


Hi again mommy! I'm sorry but that email/letter you sent me got corrupted, so I opened it up, and it looked kind of like this:


It went on for about three or four pages like that haha. Sorry I couldn't read it! Other than that, things have been great this week. The Keizer elders are still living in our apartment until probably wednesday. Like I said last week, holy mess, but it's still fun. As for our baptisms that we were scheduled for the ninth, we decided to move them to the 30th of this month so that they could be completely ready for it. I'm so stoked! Silvia and Guadalupe are going to be getting baptized along with a girl named Dana that the previous missionaries were teaching. I'm so stoked!!!!!

On a higher note, we taught some great lessons this week, and for the first time since I got here, we now have 15 progressing investigators, with two or three more that will probably have baptismal dates by the end of this week! Holy cow it's so nuts how things are going here it's absolutely awesome.

One thing that really kicked my but this morning is the fact that just when you have teaching figured out, God most definitely humbles you. I'm going to preface this with the two blitzes we went on with the english elders this week. Both times, I went knocking with them, and we absolutely killed it, it was sweet! I don't want to toot my own horn, but I had a better time getting into doors and teaching effectively than the elder I knocked with who had been out for 22 months! It's an ongoing tradition here with the Spanish elders that the English elders, or "filthy english elders" just aren't up to snuff with how we teach, so I'm trying to do my best to stick with tradition... even if I'm only a little greenie... thus comes my slice of humble pie.

We went over to the house of a recently baptized member to teach her and her cousin how to teach the first lesson simply and effectively. Smithee and I split up, so he taught with Rosa (recently converted), and I taught with Araceli (cousin). To make a long story just slightly shorter, I got destroyed. We were supposed to take like 30 seconds for each point in the first lesson, and keep it simple. I simply did a terrible job, and Rosa asked me questions that I didn't know how to answer. Note to self on this one: STUDY CHAPTER THREE OF PREACH MY GOSPEL!!!! Attention anyone who is a member of the church and reads this blog: please, study chapter three of preach my gospel. Read through it, look up the scriptures, be familiar with it. Every member should know the doctrine of the church, especially you guys in utah! Freak I realize now how lazy I was about it. When I started my mission, I thought that all I had to do was bear testimony about how the gospel makes me feel, that I feel good when I read the scriptures and all that yadda yadda. That's all well and good, but where does it say that we need prophets today? What about apostles? How do you know that Jehova is Jesus Christ? Where does it say that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate personages? How do you know that we receive revelation from God today? Why do we need the Book of Mormon? If you can't answer these questions with the scriptures, I suggest you start studying. Chapter three in preach my gospel is a good place to start, then your topical guide. Don't just 'read' your scriptures... STUDY!!!!

Okay, enough ranting. I freaking love the gospel, but AH!! there is so much stuff to learn about, it's ridiculous. What else what else.... I honestly can't think of anything else that's been going on... Just knocking, teaching, and learning. It's the best.

Well, I love you all very much, I'm sad my chargers lost... in the playoffs.... again... gosh dangit haha. But it's okay I don't care because I'm on a mission :-P I hope everything is going awesome back home and that you're all having a good time I'll talk to ya next week!

con amor,

-Elder Mooney

Monday, January 11, 2010


Que onda familia?

Life is good as always here in good ol' Salem, Oregon. Things have been a little crazy this week though. We got transfer calls on saturday night, and HOLY MESS!!! We found out they're going to split our area and bring in two more missionaries. The good news is that Smithee is going to be staying here with me in Salem one more transfer, and the other good news is, is that the new elders will be working strictly in Keizer. (This is good news because all of our investigators that have baptismal dates or are progressing are in Salem... Booyahk'shaa). There is one hitch though, they haven't found an apartment for the Keizer elders yet, so they're going to be staying with us in our apartment for the next week or two until they close on one in Keizer for them.... Like I said before, holy mess haha.

Aside from that, we had a saweet experience this last week... We went over just to visit Silvia and Guadalupe and see how they were doing, and I don't remember if I threw this in one of my emails or not, but one time when we went over, Guadalupe's brother said that Mormons don't believe in the bible, which is obviously false, but anyways back to the story. We knocked on the door and Guadalupe invited us in to sit down, and we saw her brother Hugo walk from the kitchen and down the hall to his room. So Smithee and I decided to invite him to come and hear a little more about what we believe, and before we know it, their ENTIRE family was sitting down on the couch listening to the message of the restoration! Silvia and her husband Salvador, Guadalupe, Hugo the older brother, and their youngest daughter andrea, all literally 'mexi-packed' on their couch letting us teach them the restoration and throwing out a whole bunch of bible scriptures haha it was saweet!

What makes this story even cooler is that we invited them to come to a "noche deportiva" on friday, and the entire family showed up and played volleyball and basketball with us, and they were freaking good haha they crushed all the members (with our help of course... :-))

Aside from that, I can't really think of anything else interesting that's gone on, but yeah it's been good here :-) I hope everything is going great at home. I love and miss you guys a lot, but I love being a missionary, and I'll be sending pictures home this week probably, so yeah... have a great week you guys I'm praying for you!

Con amor,

Elder Mooney

Monday, January 4, 2010

Bad news/Good news

Hey everyone!

Man this week has been quite a mess for myself and elder Smithee it's nuts! First off, we went on P-day to a zone activity up in Woodburn and played football and soccer, which was absolutely sweet. One hitch though... as soon as we got up to woodburn it started SNOWING! It was ridiculous, because we played for about four straight hours, and it snowed the ENTIRE TIME we were there! Now, the rule in the mission is that if there is any snow on the roads, all vehicles are grounded and missionaries cannot drive. Well, we were all in woodburn, so the zone-leaders had to call the AP's to get permission for all of us to drive home in the snow, and it was nuts. Oh my goodness I forgot how nuts drivers are here in oregon. Well, it's not even that they're nuts... just that they're terrible in the snow haha. I have some pictures of it on my camera which I'm going to be sending home soon, along with all my pictures from the MTC etc. up until this point. So we got home safely, and we couldn't go anywhere, so we just hung out at the apartment and played pooh-head for several hours as well as studied and such until the snow melted off.

One bad thing that happened, though, was that because we spent all that time outside in the cold, Elder Smithee got sick! He was kind of bed-ridden for a couple of days, so while he spent his time in bed, I spent my time studying like a madman. I seriously studied for a bout 12 hours or so over a period of two days it was ridiculous. Good, but definitely ridiculous haha. I think I now know where everything temple-related is in the bible. Check out Isaiah 22:23-25 it's awesome.... so are all the cross-references :-).

Other than that, there is some bad news... three of our baptisms have fallen through for now. Gracie and her two younger sisters are no-go's for the time being because their family is being lame. She spent christmas and new-years with them, but while she was there, her family gave her a whole lot of flak for investigating the church, and told her she would be crazy to join a church like ours that controls people's lives yadda-yadda. I can't stand people who talk smack on the chruch when they don't know what they haven't even looked into it. On a good note, they're still praying, still letting us come over and teach them, and they gave us the address of her aunt's house, so we're going to pay them a little visit... maybe talk some sense into them haha.

Aside from that, we have one bit of good news. Salvador, the husband of Silvia and father of Guadalupe has been sitting in on our lessons, and he is absolutely eating it up it's rad! I'm thinking within the next two lessons or so, we'll probably set a baptismal date with him I'm excited! He really knows a lot about the plan of salvation already, and the stuff he doesn't know, when we teach him about it, he accepts it completely! Ah I freaking love being on a mission!

I'm trying to think if there's anything new happening here..... ummm.... Oh! Transfers are coming up on the 11th, and it's looking like Smithee and I are going to be together for one more transfer! Ah I'm so stoked about that i love that guy. Instead of moving him up to be a zone-leader, he'll probably stay with me one more transfer, and they're going to be splitting the Keizer/salem area, and we're going to be staying in Salem, which is sweet because ALL our investigators with baptismal dates live in Salem!

Well, that's about it for the news around here in the Keizer/Salem area of Oregon. I hope everything is going great back home and that all of you are safe and having a good week. I love you all so much and I hope you know that.

Con todo el amor de mi corazon,

Elder Mooney