2011 January 24
Holy cow so this week has been pretty dang exciting!
I'll start in chronological order so as not to cause any confusion. Monday this last week was pretty boring... kind of beige and blase' you could say :-) We took a trip down to Deseret Book and blew a little cash on some good deals that we found. I bought Jesus the Christ in Spanish (actually easier to understand than in English...?) as well as the history of the church in the fullness of times (awesome). Anyways, we had nothing better to do, so we just vegetated (don't know how you can do that without a TV) in the apartment reading our new purchases haha. Aside from that on Monday, we ended a little early and decided to hit up a couple of appointments as well as visit a family in the group (the Vildozolas) whose son got sick. We went and talked to them for a little while and saw how their boy was doing. Ultimately they ended up asking if we could give him a blessing. I was thinking about this, and it kind of struck me just looking back in my mission. If someone had asked me to give a blessing in the first six months I was out here, I would have freaked out and been scared to death, but now it's not even that big a deal. It's an awesome experience to place your hands on someone's head and really know that the words that come to your mind to speak aren't your own. It's strange at times because you get impressions from God where it makes you stop and think "I'm promising him WHAT!?" The thing that's cool though is that it always happens! I have a real testimony of the power of priesthood blessings.
Aside from that, on Tuesday we had an awesome lesson with Oscar and Franci... man they are prepared to hear the gospel... it's awesome! We had originally planned to teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ, but as we started talking to them, we were able to answer the questions that they had in their hearts and really lead them to understand more fully the importance of the church, baptism, authority, the nature of God... it sounds a little all over the place, but the spirit was super strong, and they said when they find out (not if) that what we're saying is true, they want to be baptized! SCHWEET!
On Wednesday, this was pretty much the best thing ever. Seeing as we couldn't email on MLK day, we decided to take our time to do it then and also cut off a couple of hours from our P-day to do something exciting: Go to the Nike employee store!!!!! I hope you're not gonna be too mad, but I spent a little more than I had in my account back home... haha. The Credit will definitely cover it, but yeah, I got a couple new pairs of running shoes, a pair of basketball shorts, and a running jacket... I love you Mom and Dad :-) That store is absolutely sweet! There is so much to see and so much to buy! Honestly, I could spend $1000 in twenty minutes easily. Dad, there's some pretty sweet golf equipment in there and if you're looking for shoes, holy Moses every color, shape, and size... I'm hoping we can go again and if you would like, I'll get you guys some stuff too... just let me know what you're looking for and I'll get it and ship it home. The running shoes that I bought usually sell for $115 and I got them for $53, so the deals are pretty sweet... instead of being outrageous, it's fairly priced :-). Anyways, after blowing my wad at Nike, we had a couple of amazing lessons; one with Griselda, and the other with a guy named Demetrio. With Griselda, we taught her about... well... just about everything she wanted to know. She had a TON of good questions, so we spent the whole time talking to her about them and getting her pumped on coming to church (she didn't though... Grrr..). With Demetrio, he's a guy who lives in the same house as a member, hermano Muniz, so we went over and visited, and got to talking about religion. The one thing that was super funny about that lesson was the fact that from the beginning he was telling us about how other churches had rejected him because he believed he could become a god. They told him that it was blasphemous blah blah blah, but he himself whipped out Romans 8:16 that says
16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Then he went on to rattle off where Jesus Christ is talking to the Pharisees and asks them in John 10:34 "Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods?"
Anyways, it was super funny to see how stoked he was on that one aspect of the gospel. Hooray for eternal progression :-)
Aside from that, Thursday was a god ol' planning day where we cleaned our apartment, splurged and ate at Red Robin (I didn't tack that on to the home card, don't worry), and started to plan. Just as we started to plan, we saw someone moving stuff into the empty apartment below us, so we asked if we could help, and she was more than willing to say yes haha. We ended up unloading an entire U-haul truck by ourselves into this dinky one-room apartment for this lady and her two kids. She's a super sweet hispanic lady from... Sonora I think is what she said? Anyways, it was good to help someone out, and bad in that we did absolutely no planning for the new week haha. Oh well.
Friday, we had an exchange with the Hillsboro elders, and it was my turn to do the traveling, so I jumped the grenade by heading out there. It turned out to be a pretty sweet day... except for the fact that I almost got us killed! Twice! Oh my goodness I don't know what the story is, but it was pretty sketchy driving on my part. Elder Nichols (the elder I was with) doesn't know his area very well because he's only been there for like six weeks, so I was driving and my "navigator" was pretty lost. Anyways, to make it short, I ran a red light (not too red mind you... just a little pink :-)), and almost got us killed in an intersection where a car pulled out and about ran into us haha. We didn't have a terrible amount of success, but we found a couple of cool families knocking and got to play soccer with the branch that night at around 7:00. Ooh! We also got to eat with a family from SD that were charger fans! It was nice to be around my own kind for once haha.
Saturday we got transfer calls and I found out that I'm staying with Van Hook for another tansfer here in Beaverton which will be good... we need one more transfer to baptize Oscar and Franci along with Griselda haha. Oh, it was also the most worthless day ever because we spent the whole day trying to clean up the stake list as far as spanish members are concerned (yeah, it's gonna be a long project haha). It reminds me a lot of Bend when Dad would go out cleaning up the Elders quorum list, except now we're doing it for like six wards and a branch haha. What a MESS! One highlight from Saturday was that we met a guy named Craig Young. He was this crazy guy in his 50's who was the manager of some apartments where we decided to knock. At first I thought he was calling us over to tell us to get lost, but he ended up saying "are you dudes Elders?" We said yes and he said "hang on a sec, I'll go grab another chair man." He then ran into his house and grabbed a third chair to set outside so that we could sit along-side him. He turned out to be a pretty sweet dude... super crazy, like I said, but sweet. He's a good ol' ex-hippie from Southern California who's lived up here for about 20 years. He was telling us about how he was a meth addict for like 30 years "but not in the way where I let it affect my morals, just in that I had it like a cup of coffee in the morning, you know, to keep me going thruout the day" to put it in his words haha. We talked about a whole bunch of stuff and invited him to church, so we'll see if he comes in a couple of weeks. He likes the Mormon church better than any other because he says they're not wrong like all the others haha.
Other than that, Sunday was a super random day because I ran into Bethany Nettleton! What the crap!? She's the fifth person that I've run into on my mission that I knew from Bend! It's pretty funny though. I saw her and thought, wow she looks really familiar... then she turned around and I saw her face and just said WHAT THE HECK!? We talked for a minute and her brother said if we want to have dinner with them we can call them one of these days, so we'll probably do that. Gosh it's weird seeing people that I knew from before the mission though haha.
Anyways, that's bout the excitement from my end. It sounds like you guys are having an absolute blastie with all the parties and stuff that are going on. Dad, I'll be sending you at least a little something for your birthday, don't worry. I love you guys so much have a great week!
Elder Kurt Mooney