Okay, so this week was pretty eventful. On Monday, we drove around downtown Portland looking for a good spot to take our Christmas card picture, and we found a spot... I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty stoked about it... you'll just have to wait til the card gets there to really appreciate it :-) I have to say though, Portland is a pretty rad place.
On Tuesday, we started leadership training again where we went through the eight new fundamentals of Preach my Gospel, which was sweet, but holy cow it killed our work load! We were in Meetings Tuesday through Thursday from nine in the morning until four or five in the afternoon, so that's some prime work time shot out of the sky.
So, It kinda turned the middle of the week into a time warp until Friday. Now... Friday was a day that really changed my mission, and I'll tell you why. So we woke up and did studies as normal, then we went out and tried to visit a couple people with Hno. Muniz. They fell through, so we just knocked doors for a little while. After we finished up and were headed back to the car, I got a phone call from one of the elders in our zone asking if we could set up a baptismal interview, so I pulled out my pen and planner and set my book of Mormon on the hood to talk and write down the when and where, and then we headed to our next appointment. Unfortunately, when we got going in the car, I realized I didn't have my book or Mormon with me... I kinda freaked out and realized I left it on the hood of the car, so we retraced our steps to the apartment complex where it happened, and it was GONE. I about broke down and cried, because that book had all of my notes in it, and I had marked it to the point where I was comfortable with it! Ah I was so mad! Over the weekend, however, I've kinda come to grips with the fact that I don't have it anymore, and I'm kind of glad. Although it would have been a good thing to hold on to as a memory, I realized that I needed a new book because of something important that had happened: I was comfortable. I don't remember if I told you guys about this, but several months ago while I was in Woodburn, I had a dream. In this dream, I had kind of a revelation. Not that it was anything huge, but it was just one simple sentence that somebody told me, and it has stuck with me ever since. Someone said, "be careful Kurt, because when you become comfortable, that is when you are the most vulnerable." I know, it's kinda weird, but I realize that this will be a good thing to start anew with no markings to distract me from what is found in the Book of Mormon. Why get hung up on things that I've read in the past when every time you read is a new opportunity to learn something new? Anyways, that's the way I'm looking at it so that I don't feel so frustrated with losing my baby haha.
Later that night, we ate with Adrian's mom, Ana Laura. Over the course of dinner, we talked a little about me losing my book, and she said I'm so sorry, that's too bad, yadda yadda all that good cheer up and quit being a whiner stuff. Anyways, as we were about to leave, I noticed that she had a thighmaster, and I asked if she actually ever used it, and she laughed and said no. From there, she said I could have it if I wanted, so I took it haha. Van Hook was joking with me afterwards saying, "well, you lost your book of Mormon and got a thigh master all in one day... it's not a bad trade hahaha." Anyways, I thought it was funny.
So, Saturday was also an interesting day. We had no set appointments aside from this one awesome African dude that called us up and told us to come over. We knocked and found a couple of cool people and ultimately the time for this appointment arrived. We went in, and it turns out that he speaks French! Holy schnikes I was totally frustrated because I couldn't communicate very well! It was really weird... I could understand him mostly, but every time I tried to speak in French, Spanish would come out! Oh goodness it was entertaining. The funniest thing was that he had totally gotten JW'd, so we had to explain in Revelations at the end that adding to "this book" is talking about the book of Revelation and not the bible. We also had to explain that the fall was part of the plan and that the doctrine of original sin is a bunch of garbage. Luckily, he had a french book of mormon with him and I was able to find the scriptures I needed, but holy cow it was weird not being able to communicate with someone haha. I'll have to brush up on French when I get back :-) We also set up another appointment with him and we're gonna bring a french speaker from the ward this time haha. I can't smash false doctrine if someone doesn't understand what I'm explaining!
Now we'll talk about Sunday a little bit. I really loved it! We had church where our baptismal candidate didn't show up... we were scared because the guy who normally picks up he and his mom heard that he had a temperature of 104, so we were afraid he wouldn't be able to get baptized. Luckily when we visited them, it was only 100.4, so he was fine. He was actually really excited.
We went over to the HUGE stake center and got the font filling up... and it took three hours! Holy cow we were kinda worried that it wasn't going to make it in time. Luckily, we started a little late (because Adrian was late for his own baptism...!), and there was time to fill the font. It really turned out to be a great baptism though. His mom gave the first talk of her life, and she nailed it! She was asked to speak on baptism, and it was textbook. She used a personal experience, she used preach my gospel, and she bore a powerful testimony at the end! Goodness I was pretty stoked. Adrian was way happy and now is looking forward to getting his own set of scriptures with his name on them this week :-). I really love this kid. He actually reminds me a lot of myself at his age, so he has really become like my little brother. Not to toot our horns, but he really looks up to us... I can't wait to see what he does with the gospel in his life.
That was about the excitement from this week though... how have things been with you guys? You said you wanted to know if I'm still taking pictures, and I am actually! The ony thing that keeps me from sending this memory card home is that you haven't sent me the other one back yet haha. The day that you do, I'll send you this one okay?
I'm so stoked to hear that Brooke is doing well and that Katie did well on her musical number. I love you all so much! You guys are awesome. I'll talk to you next week, okay?
Elder Kurt Mooney