Well, it's shaped up to be a pretty sweet week here in Beaverton! Last Monday, we took a little trip over to the Pearl District in downtown Portland... I feel like a total dork, but I'm really starting to love the culture here. It's definitely different from anything else I've experienced up to this point in my life, but I really am liking it. The one thing I find, though, is that these people, although they are high fashion and have a lot more money than any of the people we work with, they seem a lot less happy. It kinda makes me wonder what I would have to do to help them realize what it is that would help them change to be happy... Who knows. Maybe one day I'll figure that one out haha. Anyways, while we were downtown in Portland, we decided to head over to Powell's books, and it was sweet! One hitch though is that I got excited about buying some spanish literature so that I could improve my vernacular* (*sometimes I like to be cool and try to use big words), but then after buying them realized that I can't even read them because they're not approved, so I'll be sending them home I think haha.
Aside from that exciting P-day adventure downtown, we went on an exchange with the trio here in Hillsboro or "the ninos" as we like to call them, because the oldest missionary has four transfers haha. Oh man they're so sweet, I really love the missionaries in this zone. Speaking of exchanges, I also got to go on one with Elder Jackson!!!! Ah it was so sweet to be able to serve together and actually apply all that stuff we were trying to learn in the MTC and do it out here in the mission field! He is such a stud... he kinda scares me with how intense he is in lessons, but he is the most sincere person I've ever met.. gosh he's got a strong testimony! One thing I wish could do better that he is mastered is talk to everyone. He really does talk to EVERYBODY! Me personally, when I see a white person, I think "meh, not worth my time. I'm a Spanish missionary!" but Elder Jackson will bullet right for them, no matter where they are, and start talking to them. It was an entertaining exchange to say the least :-). Oh! I forgot the most fun part! So where Jackson is serving is up in the area of St. Johns, and the spanish group actually belongs to a Tongan ward up there. Oh my goodness I love polynesians haha. We went and visited the bishop to talk with him for a minute and ended up sitting down and eating for about half an hour and talking with him. Good greif I love lamb and taro leaves... It makes me wish I was born in the islands haha. It was super entertaining to talk with them and see their outlook on life. The bishop was talking about some people that were worried abou how things were going with the economy, work, etc., and he said "that's why it's mo bettah that you come to church. If you pay yo tithing and fast offuhring, you read da scriptchas and pray, and teach the gospel so mo people get baptIzed(emphasis on the I), you get mo blessings." That's when I realized it's really not that difficult to be happy and secure in this life...they've got it all figured out! Gosh I love polynesians haha.
Okay, so now for what else that was exciting this week. We got to go to the temple, and I had a super sweet spiritual experience. I had read a scripture in Alma this last week that kind of confused me about agency. This scripture in Alma 42 says this:
"And now, ye see by this that our first parents were cut off both temporally and spiritually from the presence of the Lord; and thus we see they became subjects to follow after their own will."
Now, the reason I was kinda confused about this verse is because it says that agency was one of those things that Adam and Eve gained after they were pushed out of the presence of the Lord, but I always thought that they had their agency from the beginning... When I was thinking about this in the temple, I finally realized that without leaving the presence of our Heavenly Father, they never would have been fully able to utilize their agency, because they were in the presence of God... I don't know if that makes sense to you, but it was just kind of an interesting insight that I got :-).
Aside from going to the temple and having a good time, we had interviews with President Dyches on Thursday... man I love him. He seriously is such a sweet guy and is such a spiritual giant. One thing that was sweet is that we had the opportunity to spend the day with he and his wife today over at the Evergreen aviation and space museum... it was absolutely unreal! We got to go around and look at all of the super rad stuff that they have over there, like the "Spruce Goose", which is like the most ginormous plane ever! It's literally like a flying boat that was created towards the end of WWII,and its just massive! If you have a chance, google it or something and you'll see what I'm talking about. The other thing we got to do while we were there was watch Hubble 3D in the IMax theater that they have there... it was a pretty cool experience, and it makes you think a lot about Moses 1:27-39... you should all read that, go see this movie, then see it again. Absolutely unreal! It'll change the way you think about your life and help you gain a better perspective.
Well, that's about all of the exciting things I can think about that happened this week, so tune in next week for more information. Oh wait! This week is thanksgiving! I'm pretty stoked, I'm not gonna lie. One of the nice things about going on that trip with President Dyches today is that I had a lot of time to talk with him about a variety of things, one of them being Thanksgiving. Turns out, he invited elder Van Hook and myself to dinner! The only problem with that is that we already have two other Thanksgivings set up! Crap! Well, it'll at least make for an exciting day...right? We even have a turkey bowl going on that morning with the elders quo- I mean, the church doesn't have anything to do with that, but we happened to meet some friends in the ward boundaries that invited us to a friendly game in the park on the 25th :-). Okay, now I think that's about all the excitement I've got for ya, so I'll write you all next week, okay? I love you so much! Have a fantastic Thanksgiving with all of the family that will be over. I'll be thinking about you... not in a trunky way though, don't worry haha.
Much love and gratitude,
Elder Kurt Mooney
PS: Okay, so I totally used my card like three times this week because I blew through my money way too fast this month trying to get settled in the new apartment, so there is probably $35.00 worth of stuff racked up on it right now... I'm sorry! I got excited about getting books from Powell's, and it drained me unfortunately. As for the Christmas thing... I'm thinking just some new G's would be good. I'm okay on ties, socks and my suits right now... knock on wood haha. I would, however like to get some new running shoes, and this is what I've got hatched out. The Nike employee store is like 15 minutes from our apartment and we should be able to get passes super easily, so if I could get some cashola to go over there, I could get some super sweet stuff for not a lot of money (less wasted money on me, especially since I come home in not that long). Speaking of which, holy crap! I hit 14 months on the 30th of this month!!! Yikes! I go home next year! Can you believe that!? I'm a little freaked out about it... I used to feel like the greenie, and now I'm here as the ZL and there are a whole mess of greenies! Oh well I guess... just have to keep bustin' it :-P
PS. Okay, sorry about the ginormous ps section here, I just had one more thing: I love you guys. That's all :-)