Monday, January 3, 2011

Welcome New Year 2011!

2011 January 3
Dear Mom,

Well, there was quite a bit of interesting stuff that happened this week out here on the mission, starting with last Monday, of course haha. I think I'll preface each day with a little teaser from what happened. The one for Monday is "OHSU, Voodoo, and Powell's Books too!"

We decided to take a little trip out to Portland with the elders from Gresham and Portland first to visit an elder in the hospital, and then hit up Voodoo doughnuts afterwards. The elder we visited is elder Nielsen. He's in there for what president Dyches calls a cystic fibrosis "tune up" because that's what he has. We had a good time talking with him for a little while, and one entertaining thing happened while we were there in the hospital. Elder Nielsen has this little contraption that helps him to clear his airways a little better called "the vest". Basically it's this little vest thing that you hook up to your chest and plug it into a machine. When you turn it on, it pounds your chest with air and makes you talk in a voice that sounds like you're driving on a washboarded dirt road at 50 mile an hour haha. Elder Nimmer, who just finished his mission, decided to try it out for a couple minutes, and it was entertaining to say the least.

After all that excitement, we cruised over to Voodoo. If you guys haven't heard of Voodoo Doughnuts, you should definitely consider going if you're taking a trip to Portland in the near future. It's right off of Burnside about a block away from the Burnside skate park (yes, like the one on Tony Hawk's pro skater), and they make some killer doughnuts! I got a banana fritter, and one other elder got the original "voodoo doughnut", which consists of a doll-shaped doughnut that is jelly-filled and has a little pretzel "pin" in it like a voodoo doll haha. After that, we decided to visit Powell's and pick up some good books... man Portland is entertaining!

Okay, my title for Tuesday would have to be "Petey is my pal", and I'll tell ya why. I went on an exchange with the elders in Aloha, and it turns out that they live in a member's house who happens to have a dog named Petey... he's almost more of an attention fiend than Max! He's super sweet though I love him. I'd be trying to study at the table, and he'd come right up and lay his head in my lap and look up at me, waiting to be petted haha. Needless to say, he got his sought-after attention.

All right, on Wednesday, I would have to entitle it either "ch-ch-ch-chia!" or "Geronimo! Geronimo! Geronimo!" and here's why: the Geronimo title comes from the name of the boyfriend of one of our investigators who is a member. The problem is that every time we set an appointment with him, he's super, SUPER flaky. Long story short, we set three separate appointments with him and he failed all three in the same day haha. The chia title comes from the Farbe family with whom we ate that night. We got talking to them, and she's a super healthy foods kind of lady. She made us waffles from home ground... well, she said it's not wheat, it's something healthier that they used to grow before wheat, natural maple syrup from the Amish (?) and a couple other homemade preserves and stuff like that. Anyways, it was super good stuff, and it made me feel better about pounding down three waffles haha. I don't feel bad about it though because I didn't' have a lunch. Anyways, we got on the subject of chia seeds for some reason and next thing you know, she gave us a five pound bag and committed us to eating a cup of it a day... I'm doing it but it's a little weird.. I feel like maybe I'll turn into a chia pet or something and have all these little sprouts growing out of me all over my noggin instead of hair haha.

On Thursday, I'm gonna call it "Time+Mooney=Roush ?" because of what happened. There was once a missionary in this mission who talked... a LOT. We would go on exchanges and knock doors and spend an hour in a doorway talking to some dang paisa about how he used to live in "el rancho" picking coffee beans for a living and where they used to do it and what's the best kind of terrain to pick it in, yadda yadda yadda. Basically, he talked a lot and it was ridiculous. Anyways, I feel like I'm becoming that elder because I talk a lot! It really is a benefit at dinners though. I talk most of the time and don't have time to stuff my face, so I usually have trouble trying to finish even one plate :-).

Friday I will entitle "More click-click and Less knock-knock" because of what we learned about in Zone leader council... not sure why I capitalized zone, but whatevs. We had zone leader council, and it turns out that per instruction from SLC, they want us to make a little bit of a game plan change. They want us as missionaries to use our "less effective" proselyting time (i.e. knocking doors) to become familiarized with the new Now, this is extremely interesting, and I'm kinda stoked on it. The one thing that I'm asking is that you as readers of this that are members of the church go and get on that website. The church is making a huge ad campaign to get people familiarized with the church and who we are as individuals instead of learning by rumors what we believe. I want you all to go to and create a member profile... it's super easy! Not only that, but then I can show people I talk to who some members of the church are and what we believe. Do that for me, okay? Make an FHE of it or something haha.

Okay, Saturday, or "Saturday, dreary day" (sorry, I ran out of creativity at the end of this email haha) was just a crap day because we had all appointments fall through and didn't find anyone. I was kinda hating life, but that's okay because of what happened on Sunday.

We'll call this "the Christmas miracle!...8 days late!" because of what happened to us at church. We changed times to 1:00 in the afternoon, and it was ridiculous! We had more than 35 people show up to the group without four of the key families there! No investigators, but that's beside the point haha. I'm super pumped that now we might just be able to strengthen the group and get things going here :-).

Well, that was about the excitement... sorry if my emails are a little rambly, but it's all I've got for now. I love you guys so much and thank you for all your love and support. Oh and you asked how does it feel to tower over everyone else in the Spanish work? It's pretty fun... why do you think I've started liking basketball so much more? hahaha just kidding, but seriously. I kinda like it, but then I always get a reality check when we meet with other missionaries or English ward members haha. That family in the picture is probably the shortest family of the ones I've taught haha. Fun fact of the day: if you want to call someone short in Spanish, you would say that they are "chaparrito" haha.

I love you guys. Happy New Year!!!!!!

-Elder Kurt Mooney

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