Well it's been a pretty good week for the most part here... kinda relaxed and not too stressful. We Started off last Monday hanging out with zone leaders down in Tigard. It was pretty fun... especially since I made the most ridiculous impulse buy ever haha. We took a little trip over to a stationary store, and I blew... well, I won't tell you how much, but a good chunk of money on a fountain pen hahaha. Sometimes, you have to buy yourself a little something fun to shake things up on the mission. Aside from that, Monday wasn't that exciting of a day.
Tuesday, however, was pretty dang fun. We ended up eating with a family who knew some of the kids that I went to high school with in Bend, so that was fun. One thing that was pretty sweet that I saw while I was there was a picture that they had from the wedding of their daughter. There was some random cutout missionary in the picture, and at first I thought they had just cut him out of a picture and done a terrible job photoshopping him in, but then they explained that it was a a life size cardboard cutout of their son! They said that they wanted him to be a part of the wedding, but that was obviously impossible because he was in Portugal, so they took a picture of him, went to Kinkos, and got a ginormous copy put on a cardboard cutout for the wedding, so there are pictures of him with his family, with the bride and groom, and it's pretty dang awesome/comical :-) I don't know... I'm just throwing that out there because I think it'd be sweet to have a cardboard cutout of missionary me at Josh and Jessica's wedding since I can't be there :-)
Aside from that, on Wednesday, we had a pretty entertaining discussion and lesson with a few of our investigators, but then we had a discussion with our ward mission leader. Holy cow haha that guy knows his stuff about the church, and he also absolutely blasted us with deep doctrine! I was looking on his bookshelf when we went to his house for dinner, and I noticed some Hugh Nibley books and commented about how much I loved "Lehi in the Desert", and he said that they were definitely awesome books, but then went on to teach us a little about what he was studying right now about the second coming, symbolism in the old testament, and even saturn stones on the Salt Lake temple.... kinda blew my mind haha. I don't really wanna get into it, but he whipped out a couple videos on us from youtube (I repented of it, don't worry. he said it was on lds.org but it turns out it wasn't haha) one called "LDS, the ancient heavens" Anyways, it's super weird, but interesting if you're bored and want an entertaining youtube experience I guess haha.
Anyways, Thursday turned out to be a mess... it rained SO HARD! Oh my goodness it was a wicked change from the normal overcast and sneezing to torrential downpour that we experienced while we were out knocking doors haha. I'm glad I waterproofed my scripture case because if I hadn't, that book would have been absolutely trashed! It was pretty nuts though... we had a couple of good spashdowns while we were driving around between appointments.
Okay, now for Friday. So, I'm gonna start it off with something that's going to freak you out, but bear with me. I held a cigarette in my hand for the first time of my life haha. We were teaching a lesson to three investigators that we have (Andrea, Cathy, and Sabrina), and the lesson seemed to be going well. They had all read, had all prayed, and were all saying that they thought Joseph Smith was a prophet, but Andrea was acting really antsy the whole time we were there. Then, all of a sudden Andrea tells us that she has a problem with smoking and that she only wants to smoke two more cigarettes and then she'll quit for good. We were kinda taken aback and a little confused (especially because we haven't taught the word of wisdom yet), when all of a sudden she pulls out two cigarettes from her backpack. I told her she couldn't smoke them, and then she compromised herself (because I had no part in it) to give me one and smoke the other one. We still told her no, but then all of a sudden she thrust one of them into my hand and went running out the door with a cig in one hand and an already lighted saint candle in the other (her family is catholic... they've all got saint candles around the house). We went outside and I basically yelled at her to stop being an idiot fifteen year old and put out her cigarette, so she did and then I went over and stamped it out. Then she asked if she could have the other one, and I said no, then promptly snapped it in front of her face, dropped it to the ground, then ground it into the pavement with my foot. Score one for the Missionaries haha. While I did this, she was kind of wailing as if I'd just kicked her puppy or something... it was kinda weird/melodramatic, but hey, she has no more cigarettes haha. We're gonna keep teaching them and see what happens. Sorry that was a long, random story.
When we got home that night, Van Hook said he wasn't feeling too well and went to bed around 9:30 right after planning. I finished writing in my journal then went to bed as well. Unfortunately, elder Van Hook spent most of the night cosied up to the toidy puking his guts out the poor guy. He slept for about an hour in his bed, then like I said, spent most of the night in the bathroom. He got food poisoning most likely, but who knows how... we always eat the same things, so we're not sure what happened.
So, for most of the day Friday, we were in the apartment. While Van Hook slept, I took some time to catch up marking my new book of Mormon as well as read the first 40 chapters of Genesis... yeah it was exciting, lemme tell ya. It definitely makes me appreciate the Book of Mormon that much more. Anyways, Van Hook mustered up a little strength and we went and taught a new investigator named Jessica who is the sister of a recent convert. She is super sweet and hopefully will progress well in the coming weeks.
Other than that, we confirmed Adrian a member of the church yesterday which was awesome... he's such a stud. He'll make a great missionary someday :-) We also had the opportunity to attend a musical fireside that the stake put on, and it was AWESOME! It was like Utah Mormon status production with like eight choirs, a brass ensemble, and a great Christmas atmosphere. The most awesome part was at the very end. The Spanish group was asked to sing the first verse of 'Joy to the World', and we were pretty worried, because the group is... well... pitifully dinky haha. It was sweet though. After they invited the Spanish group up, they also invited any who spoke spanish or would like to help the group to come up, and it was amazing to see the great amount of support that was shown to us. I really was so pumped to hear the hymn sung in Spanish, and it really made me happy to see that these people are so loved and accepted in this area. I know it doesn't seem that special, but it really was to me. I love this church.
Well, that's about all for this week, but I love and miss you guys so much! I hope you're enjoying the spirit of the Christmas season... it makes me think about you guys a ton.. especially since all Christmas music is approved :-D haha I'll talk to you guys next week and then on Christmas!
Elder Kurt Mooney