Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2 weeks-worth!

2011 January 19
Dear Mom,

Okay, so I don't have much time to write today, and I've gotta try to get two week's worth of information into this email, so I apologize in advance if it seems like a random vomiting of information on the page haha.
Okay, so starting with last week on Monday (the 4th) We went to Powell's here in Beaverton and I shelled out a little money to buy a sweet visual Spanish/English dictionary. After that, we went to the apple store that was right by it and drooled over the super sweet computers and more importantly the iPads! Oh my goodness I love them! Anyways, enough of that trunky thought.
On Tuesday the 5th, we had zone conference up in St. John's, and it was awesome. We learned about the importance of extending invitations because through them we can help people to change, repent, and come closer to Christ. The other amazing thing about zone conference that was sweet was the fact that it was hosted by the Tongan wards!!!! Oh I LOVE the Tongan people and I LOVE THEIR FOOD!!!! They absolutely destroyed us with all different types of pork, ham, stir fry, sweet potatoes, and a whole bunch of stuff that I don't even know what it's called haha. If I ever had to go to English, I would want to serve in the Tongan wards for sure.

After that on Wednesday the 6th, we had kind of an interesting day haha. We canceled district meeting because of zone conference, but got roped into doing some service for a family in the ward... it was interesting service because what we ended up doing was helping put some super old-school windows into a tree house! When I say old, I mean OLD! These are turn of the century pulley windows if you know what I'm talking about. They have two panes and one goes up while the other goes down and have counterbalance weights attached that fit inside the framework of the window to hold them up or down. Anyways, I definitely learned some new skills as far as construction is concerned haha. Other than that excitement, we knocked a lot of doors because we didn't have any set appointments. One funny thing that happened that day was that we knocked into this lady who had a huge photo of a girl in a white dress and another guy in a tux outside of the Portland temple. We asked her if she had some family members who were members and she said no, so we pointed out the pictures and she said "oh, I have no idea about what that building is, it was just really beautiful and thought it would be a good spot for a quinceanara picture for my daughter."...! Kind funny eh? (Editor note: I'm guessing 'quinceanara' is something to do with 15th birthday celebration?)

Anyways, on Thursday the 7th, it was our day for planning, so we decided to do something to shake it up a little bit, so we took a trip to Home Depot for a little bit to try to find a whiteboard. We found something that would work, but realized that it was an 8'x4' ginormous board, so we had to get it cut in half... then try to fit it into our Malibu.... haha it was an adventure, but it worked :-) The other funny thing was that Van Hook asked if we should get a hammer to put in the drywall anchors we got for it, and I said "nah I'm sure we've got one in the apartment that we can use." Besides, six bucks for a hammer is a lot of cashola when you're a missionary, ya know? So anyways, we got home, yanked out the whiteboard, and went to put it up in the apartment. We didn't have a hammer. We did, however,
have a little sauce pan that worked just dandily :-) Long story short, now we have two huge ol whiteboards in our apartment haha.

On Friday the 8th, we didn't have too much excitement, just an exchange with one of the new elders in the district named elder Weyburn. It was a total blastie and he's a great elder! We knocked the whole day in the rain and found a couple of sweet investigators. One of them is this awesome lady named Katherine :-) She's a sweet old 65 year old lady who smokes like a chimney, but is one of the most interesting people I've ever met. She has been to every city in the US with a population of over 45,000 people, worked for NASA, and is extremely intelligent. When she first saw us after opening the door, she looked straight up angry, but we talked to her there in the door for a good while and then she let us in. Turns out she's had a lot of contact with the church and actually considered getting baptized for a while, but the English missionaries (GRRRRR!) pushed her WAY too much and she stayed away from the church since. Anyways, we ended up meeting with her again and I'll tell ya about it in the Sunday paragraph :-P.

Saturday the 9th was...well... one of those days. Elder Van Hook and I didn't find anyone and knocked the whole dang day in the freezing cold rain, and didn't have a dinner scheduled, so we decided to treat ourselves to some ribs for dinner that his mommy had sent him. Yum!

On Sunday the 10th, we had a good 50 people in church... it was sweet! We also had a lesson with Katherine again, and I gave her my copy of Jesus the Christ to read (if any of you haven't read that book, do it.) as well as a book of mormon for her. She promised me she'd read them both, so yeah it was a good visit. The one thing that kills me is that she smokes a TON, and her house just reeks like smoke! Oh my goodness like I have to leave my suits outside on a hanger to fumigate them because it gets on your clothes and stuff... it's gnarly!
So now onto the week of the 11th through the 17th haha.

On Monday the 17th, we had a freaking sweet day! We decided to have a zone activity and go to the coast! We cruised on over to Seaside, ate at some place called Pig n Pancakes, played soccer on the beach, and more or less acted like a bunch of missionary dorks that we are haha.

On Tuesday, we had a sweet time with our district over in Portland and afterwards for elder Hawkins' birthday, we ate at a super scrumptious sushi joint in East Portland. I have never had sushi so good before in my life! Aside from that excitement, we had a good lesson with Andrea and Cathy about the importance of the ten commandments and how obedience relates to eternal progression... I feel like sometimes we lay down some heavy doctrine, but it's sweet! Other than that, we taught the Flores family (less-actives with a non-member ex-husband that still lives with them?) and got them to come out to church at the end of the story :-)

On Wednesday Geronimo and Alicia failed on us again, so we dropped them and went and taught his sister instead, which was awesome! The only problem is that we ended up going over on our appointment, getting stuck in traffic, and showing up 40 minutes late to dinner with our ward mission leader brother Whisenant! Ah man I think the English members just hate us because we're super late to everything all the time. I mean, we always call ahead, but good grief it's a joke! It's just part of hispanic culture haha.

Thursday wasn't anything exciting, we just had a good lesson with a new investigator named Damien, planned, and yeah haha.

Friday was a day of failed appointments and sadness, but there was one highlight. So I found out that we can decide what goes on our nametags, so I... ahem... customized mine. Maybe I'll have to send you a picture of it sometime haha. It actually says Elder Mooney-Luna... it's like it's bilingual or something
:-P I thought it would be funny anyways, and it makes it easier for hispanic people :-)

Saturday, we had an awesome appointment with a new investigator where the spirit was super strong, but unfortunately, we totally did something idiotic. We thought his name was Marcos, so we called him that throughout the lesson, but at the end of everything, we looked in our planners and realized that Marcos is his neighbor across the hall and that his real name was Gerardo! D'oh! It's okay though... that's why we have repentance, right? haha.

So aside from that, there were only really two things that stuck out to me on Sunday. Number one: we had 65 people in church! Number two: we had a guest speaker who is a Spanish professor at PCU say something extremely funny. For people from Spain, the word "idiota" is like saying idiot in English-- it isn't really that offensive. However, saying that to a congregation of people from Mexico, it's kinda like calling someone a dumb#%&, so it was really funny to hear the gasp of exasperation that came over our little group when she said it haha.

That was about all the excitement from the last two weeks though... holy cow this is quite the little epistle that I wrote! Well, I hope your eyes aren't bleeding after reading so much text, but I love you and hope you have a great week!


Elder Kurt Mooney

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