Monday, April 26, 2010


Hey mom!

Okay, so my email isn't going to be as epic as it usually is because we've got some other stuff to do today, but I had to clue you in on what we've been up to here... so guess what... we had FOUR people baptized on saturday! Oh my gosh what a sweet experience it was. I ended up baptizing the mom of the family (Ines), and elder Rangel also baptized the youngest. The other two were baptized by the elders that were here in Woodburn before, so it was sweet... except when I baptized the hermana, it took me three times to do it right! Ah that was embarrassing haha oh well. It was funny... afterwards her husband said (in spanish), "wow you must have had a lot of sins if they had to baptize you three times hahaha." It was a good time though and a really spiritual experience. I also was chosen to speak on the holy ghost and it went well... My spanish is getting less and less crappy as time goes by haha. Then on sunday, they picked me to do confirmation for Ami as well, which had me sweating bullets! Oh my goodness it's like the most nerve-racking thing ever! Luckily it went really well... I really felt blessed with the gift of tongues because I didn't make any mistakes with what I spoke, and I don't feel like I was the one who was talking... The blessing that came along with it was pretty specific about things that were going to pass in her life... pretty cool stuff.

Aside from that, we're still working really hard and trying to teach as many people as possible. I've also come to the conclusion that I'm just going to write to the family on email because I don't have enough time to write to everybody else, so yeah... back to snail mail I go with everybody else! speaking of snail mail, thank you for sending the package mommy! I'm guessing it'll be arriving this week with our zone leaders... one nice thing about being the companion of the district leader is that we're in a little closer contact with the zone leaders.

Oh! I've gotta tell you about our little golfing experience here in Woodburn... hahaha. We went to the good ol' "woodburn municipal" here close to town... oh my goodness it was super ghetto but it was so much fun! Except one thing happened.... I broke a driver! Oh my goodness I took a video of it so you guys can see it... speaking of which, if you guys want to see it, I need my other memory card back to do so haha, so if you find time to send that out here that would be sweet.

I don't know if I really want to sent too many pictures from here in Woodburn though... oh my goodness these people feed you so much I'm afraid I'm getting fat! I started my mission at 200, and in the last four weeks, I've gained 10 freakin' pounds! Oh my gosh I absolutely hate it! The food is so friggin' good, but they just never stop feeding you! Even if we just stop by to say hi to someone, they invite us in to "chat", and then they chinese sneak-attack you with like tamales or tres leches, or something else that's ridiculously tasty but they dont stop feeding you until you're about to cry! AAAAH! It wouldn't be so bad, but sometimes it happens three times in one day. The members are so good to us here, that we almost don't even have to buy food. People give us bagfuls and case-loads it's insane!

Anyways, that's about the excitement here in Woodburn, or "Gudburd" as some of the paisas here call it haha. Have a great week mom, I love you. Tell dad I appreciate his letters and that I love him too. I'll talk to you guys next week and I'll call you on mothers day!


-Elder Mooney

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hey all!

Ah man I'm trying to gather my thoughts as I go while I'm writing this email because I have hardly any time to write... instead of getting a one-hour reservation, I drew the short straw this week and have to write my email in 15 minute increments on a 15 minute reservation computer haha.

Things have been absolutely awsome here in woodburn this week. First of all, we have been teaching Ines (E-Ness) along with her three daughters since I arrived here and they have been wanting to get baptized, but the father of the family has always said no because he doesn't want his wife and children jumping into a religion they don't know much about, and he's never present during the lessons. However, the last time we went over to visit them, we decided to teach them about the holy ghost and the gift of the holy ghost and what the differences are. The shocking thing was that this time he actually stayed in the room instead of running away to another bedroom out of earshot and eyesight. So... we taught them, showed them that when we have the gift of the holy ghost, it allows us to better direct our lives through the promptings we receive, etc.. Anyways, long story short, we told them that in order to have the gift of the holy ghost, the first step was to be baptized. Then right then and there we felt prompted to ask them when they thought they would be ready. As soon as we asked, they turned to the dad and asked him if it was okay if they did it next saturday. I about fell off of my chair when he said that he thought it would be a good idea for them to get baptized as soon as possible! OH MY GEASH@!@!!!!! PLOP! That's the sound of un regalo de los cielos (a gift from the heavens) falling into our laps! It really was such an awesome answer to prayers to not only us, but all of the people in the ward that absolutely love this family. I am so excited that they're going to be able to get baptized after all.

Aside from that... Oh my gosh life is busy here. We did some service on saturday for a lady in the ward named Guadalupe Gutierrez, better known as Lupe-G. She's a total gangster haha. She looks like a pretty rough person with tattoos and heavy makeup and a rockstar haircut, but she is one of the strongest members of the church. She is a referral machine! Even in the past week, she has given us probably five or six people that she knows, and a lot of them are really interested! If you wanna gain confidence with someone in Woodburn, just tell them that you're friends with Lupe-G haha. We actually helped her paint her house this last saturday and holy crap painting a house is a pain when you do it with brushes! haha.

Anyways, that's about the excitement here aside from the usual working hard, but yeah... lots of lessons, lots of people to talk to. I love it here!

I love you guys so much. Have a great week okay?

Con amor siempre,

-Elder Kurt Kay Mooney

Monday, April 12, 2010

1st week in Woodburn: AWESOME!!!


haha, sorry... I had a Jeff Foxworthy flashback haha. How are you all doing? Thank you guys so much for sending me your emails and for the updates on whats new and exciting with you guys!

Things here in woodburn have been CRAZY busy this last week! Getting to know new names of new investigators, meeting the branch presidency, meeting families in the branch, and all around working like burros! I feel bad cause I really don't even have that much time to write today, so I'll try to give a brief overview of what's been new with me here.

Okay, first I have to tell you guys about an investigator that we have named Ines (E-NESS). She is a middle aged woman with five children, and is super freaking awesome. When we go over to teach her and her daughters, the two oldest (9 & 14) have WRITTEN REPORTS about what they learned from the reading they did, as well as how it applies to them... THEY DO THIS BY THEMSELVES!!!! Holy fuh-reaking crap!! I was absolutely blown away! Not only that, but they seriously give better prayers than just about anyone I can think of except maybe apostles. Anyways, absolutely amazing!

Second, I have to tell you about the service opportunity we have here. There is a lady named Ellen who has a son named Clyde who, when he was 15, was in a serious car accident that left him crippled. He is now in his 50's, and we help him do some physical therapy on mondays, wednesdays, and fridays. He is such a sweet guy. He can't really talk, but he is so super nice, and there's one rad thing... he has a 1968 Chevy Impala with only 26,000 original miles on it, and it is completely original! Oh my goodness if I had more time, I would send you the pics haha. Oh by the way dad, they said they'd sell it to you for 20k :-P It has a 327 small-block, and that thing sounds MEAN!

Okay next we have a member named Pedro here. Pedro is the freakin' man! His story though, is that ten years ago, he was out looking for his girlfriends cat that had run away in a park, and while he was there, someone mistook him for a gang member, and he was shot in the head. He survived, but had to re-learn how to walk, talk, etc, and also lost some of the motor function in his right leg and arm. He now is back to about 75% with everything he is doing, but he can't read. Aside from that though, I have never met someone who is so happy, kind, and super funny too. He has been exercising a ton, and he loves to challenge missionaries to an arm wrestle with his left hand... and he ALWAYS WINS! He is seriously like an ox! He kicked my butt haha.

Next, we have something that made me really stop and think... We have two investigators that are some of the kindest, sweetest people I've ever met. Their names are Vicente and Ramon... The things that I came to find out is that they are illiterate. I was shocked. I always thought of that as something that happened way back in the days of the pioneers back when they didn't have child labor laws or something, but it's a reality nowadays... and wow it was humbling. These men are so humble, and so ready to learn, and I absolutely love them!

Sorry I'm flying throuhg this, but yeah. The branch... oh my goodness I LOVE IT! They're the sweetest people alive, and I absolutely love it here in Woodburn. It's a little bit smaller, but the members are so kind and willing to help it's great. Elder Rangel is the freakin man - I love working with him. We work really hard, but we also have a great time. This past week, in a period of five days, we taught 19 lessons, which was amazing haha. I absolutely love it here. We have so much fun while we're doing it too... I think that's what I love most.

Oh, and the city of woodburn is totally hispanic haha. I really think they should change the name to... oh goodness... how about michoacan haha because that's where everyone is from.

Anyways, I've gotta fly on outta here, but I love you guys so much have a great week bye!

-Elder Mooney

Elders Mooney & Rangel in Woodburn

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Dear Mom, Dad, Katie, Josh, and everyone else,

I went to transfer meeting, and have been moved to Woodburn! My new companion is elder Rangel, and I'm going to try to attach a photo so that you all can see what he looks like now instead of having to wait until the next time I send my memory card haha. Anywho, I love you all, and I've gotta get going, but have a great week everyone!

-Elder Kurt Mooney

Elder Mooney, you're staying in Salem.....NOT!

Well, yesterday brought a slap in the face for me. For transfers, we receive calls on saturday nights so that we have enough time to say goodbyes and get packed up for transfer meeting on Mondays. What happened with me is the following:

We received a call on Saturday night at about 9:00 saying that I was going to be staying in Salem this next transfer, which is awesome because there is still a ton of work to be done here, and I was hoping to be able to baptize the rest of the Martinez family, as well as a lady named Liliana that we found a few weeks back. Then, between sessions on Sunday, we got a call from the AP's, elder Larsen to be exact, and this about sums up what he said to me on the phone: "Umm... hey elder Mooney... uh.... well... the reason I'm calling is... well... it looks like you're being transferred after all... so yeah.... uh... make sure you're packed up and ready for transfer meeting at one o'clock on Monday. Kaybye."

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!! I am so annoyed! I NEED one more transfer here so I can get some stuff done! Not that I don't trust elder Garcia to get it done, but FuhREAK it's annoying that I don't get the chance to finish up with some people that I started with! That, and they gave me false hope for staying and then Chinese-sneak-attacked me in between conference sessions on Sunday. Major buzz-kill for sure, but oh well I guess. The most likely place i will be going is Woodburn (It's still morning here, so I'll write when I get to my new area as well) because the two elders that were supposed to be serving there can't drive, so most likely I'll be going with one of them because I can drive. I'm guessing the AP's overlooked the fact that they couldn't drive and realized that yesterday, so they're pulling a switcho-changeo with me and an elder up there. If that doesn't happen, well, I'll definitely keep you posted on what ends up going down haha.

Aside from the crappy transfer situation, things have been great this week. We haven't been able to see the Martinez family very much this week, although Silvia and Guadalupe came to conference on Sunday for one session which was nice, but mainly we've been focusing in on Pedro Vazquez, the one who is our neighbor and his wife is a member. He is an awesome guy. when I go talk to him today, I'm going to make sure he invites me to his baptism when I get back... they will make an awesome family in the church once he gets baptized. We've been kind of SOL on dinners for the last four nights because nobody signed up, so Pedro and Rocio (his wife) have been awesome and actually had us over for dinner... EVERY NIGHT! They've bought us pizza, made us posole, lasagna, and tostadas with this chicken stuff that I can't even remember what it's called, but long story short, these people are AWESOME! Not only that, they bought us all like four boxes of cereal, gave the other elders pans to cook in, and a washer and dryer! Un-freaking believable. I absolutely love them. But yeah, Pedro is golden, he just needs to crecer sus propios cajones and he can get baptized haha.

Okay, I've gotta get going, but I'll write after transfer meeting and let you all know how things pan out... cripes I'm stressed about this haha.

Con amor,

-Elder Kurt Kay Mooney