Monday, February 28, 2011

Missionary Advice

2011 February 28
Dearest Mommy,

It sounds like you've got a bunch of exciting stuff going on on your end of things! Hopefully you'll be able to catch up on a little sleep in the next little while and feel like your normal self.

Things here this week have been pretty good... nothing extremely whacky or crazy, but it was a good week. Monday, we had a night of fails. We had three appointments set up, and they all fell through. One of them was a dinner appointment, so that wasn't too big of a deal, but the other two were supposed to be a lesson with Mario and another one with a member to start teaching a couple of her friends. Instead, we took a little time to knock doors and contact a couple of old investigators. I won't complain though... a member hooked us up with a free trip to Red Robin :-)

Tuesday we had a good, long day of interviews with President Dyches. We had originally planned to have a district meeting with interviews during that time. Unfortunately, President got there late and was in a couple of interviews forEVER. To make a long story short, we ended up being at a church building for like six hours just waiting to get interviewed. It was worth it though. Interviews with President Dyches are always sweet. We just kinda chatted about the mission and how things are going. I feel like that guy can really peer into your soul, it's kinda weird. He gave me some good counsels on what I can do to help out the zone and yeah... it was sweet.

The funny thing that happened after that was over is that we took a trip to have dinner with a family in the ward that has a missionary serving in Japan. What made it kinda weird though is that for some random reason, it was her son's birthday, and as part of her missionaries birthdays (while they're out in the field), she arranges it so that she can have the missionaries over to eat a cake and blow out candles... but for her son... while he's not there... I thought it was kinda weird, but I guess it's a good tradition if you're into that? haha. It was sweet though after pounding down some spelt-crust pizza with mozzarella from Italy (she likes to make things with whole foods and fancy-pants ingredients), we had a homemade cheesecake that was almost as good as the kind that you make Mom (man that sounded smooth, huh?) naw but it's the truth haha. That was about the excitement for Tuesday.

Wednesday was pretty weird weather because it would go from sleet to sun to rain to hail to sun to clear to foggy to who knows what. That weather has been a little nuts... and really cold! One memorable thing from that day though was the lesson that we had with Mario. We had been thinking that maybe we should give him a little bit more time to let him get baptized, but he straight up told us that he didn't want to wait and that he thought that the 6th would be perfect because he already knows the book of Mormon is true. Sometimes God throws us little bones like that :-)

Thursday was awesome. We woke up to the sound of absolutely no traffic outside (weird for the apartment that we live in) and snow that almost stuck to the roads! SNOW DAY! Oh my goodness I thought they might have to call in the national guard to take care of such a mess! It was hilarious because we got a call from a member that we were going to do service for that morning at 9:00 and he wanted to know if we were going to be able to make it or if we should reschedule for another day. We ended up going over anyway. I don't know what it is, but seeing how poorly oregonians drive in "snow" makes me want to drive faster and more recklessly just because it's not dangerous like they think it is haha.

Speaking of service though, it was pretty fun. We're helping a family in our branch to... well... I guess you could say "remodel" a bathroom they have in the house. We spent our service time ripping out a cabinet that was mounted above the sink that made you bang your head if you tried wash your hands. The idea is that we're going to yank that, spackle the holes, finish the drywall, sand it, texture the wall (because Dad taught me how do all that :-)), then paint it so that they can hang a mirror and see their pretty faces when they wash their hands.

Friday we spent in zone leader council talking about stuff they wanted to add to a binder for the incoming missionaries to help them get adjusted quicker and be better missionaries, as well as to discuss texting. They want to send it mission-wide and I said NO!!!! Missionaries are anti-social enough when they get here to the mission. The last thing they need is a technological crutch to make them even bigger dorks than they already are; let alone all of the problems that it could potentially cause for missionaries in the YSA wards... I shudder to think. The good thing is that elder Gardner and I (English elder that I became friends with in Woodburn) both held the same opinion and were able to keep it from happening. It's like in Utah when they wanted to keep people from using water they said "slow the flow, save H2O" but likening it to our texting situation Gardner and I said "stem the flow and just say no". Luckily it will only be going to zone leaders and district leaders to try it out for a transfer, and from there they'll see how it goes. I still don't feel good about it though haha. The last thing we need is a bunch of dork missionaries texting their investigators in the same room "wnt 2 get bptized?" instead of being sociable and helping them feel the spirit.

Aside from my texting rant in ZLC, we taught Andrea and Cathy where Andrea said she didn't want to learn from us anymore because she likes to have her own opinions on what's right and wrong. Luckily, her sister Cathy is showing a lot of potential and hopefully will start coming to church with her mommy :-) After that we ate dinner with the Sears which are a couple in the english ward that we were able to influence to come to the spanish group because she's from Mexico and he served a spanish-speaking mission (they didn't meet on his mission, don't worry haha). Anyways, they're super rad and I'm glad that we have them to help us out and go on visits with us.

Saturday was a day that I was not looking forward to because it was going to be a solid day of knocking-- no appointments. Luckily, we were praying out guts out and God threw us some good bones. We knocked in the morning for what was going to be an hour, but after five doors, we found a lady named Maria (go figure) who let us in and let us teach her about the restoration. She was pretty stoked on what we taught her, and wants to get her 20 year old son involved as well because he has a lot of doubts about all the different churches nowadays.

That's one thing that I failed to mention. We've had a lot of people come and tell us how we're doing our contacts wrong because we're just throwing the restoration in their faces and that we need to focus on their needs, God is their father, He has a plan for them, etc. Unfortunately, elder Van Hook and I have come to know that those types of things (a plan, God's love, why church is important, prayer, etc.) are taught in EVERY CHRISTIAN CHURCH ON EARTH! We decided to take it back, focus on people's needs and what they really care about, then show them how the restoration applies to what they need. It. Works. Perfectly. At the instant that we started talking about the restoration instead of all the "rah-rah-rah Jesus" stuff, we started finding more people to teach. (you may want to edit my email a little bit before you put it on the blog haha)

One interesting thing that elder Van Hook and I started thinking about was the fact that so many people think it's blasphemous that we can become Gods (like I said, might need to edit this haha). They say that it is sin to even think such a thing, but with the proper perspective, it only makes sense. If I could put this into a metaphor, it would be like this:

Christian churches are looking at a toddler of two years old and know that his father is a doctor (they don't have any idea about a mother mind you haha), and they get mad at us because we say that that child can be a doctor) They say it's impossible because they can only look as far down the road as the age of eight and say "there's no way that an eight year old can be a doctor." They're right, but they don't have the eternal perspective. What they don't realize is that his dad was a doctor, and his grandfather, and his great grandfather were all doctors, and the dad's whole purpose is to help his kid become a doctor someday. Luckily we have the big picture in mind and realize that on our measly earth existence (until we're 8...maybe), yeah, it ain't happening, but being able to look down the road and see that through school and practice and work it can and will happen. I don't know if you catch my drift and maybe I'm just a babbling idiot, but this is what goes on inside my head... maybe it's a good thing I'm getting medication soon haha. I just love that we have the fullness of the gospel to help us understand the true purpose that we have here... to become like our Heavenly Father. I really feel like that goes over a lot of people's heads when we say that though haha.

Anyways, regressing to my point, we found like three new investigators that day, as well as found time to go visit a member who just got out of surgery a couple days ago. She and her husband are super sweet, but they were in a fight, so guess what happened. Dr. Feelgood strikes again! I got to play marriage counselor for a good hour to help them sort themselves out. I'm telling you, I've got a future as a counselor or as a good TV problem-fixer like Dr. Phil (without the divorce, mind you).

So to cap off Saturday, we had a lesson with Mario about tithing and it went really well. He accepted it fully and was super stoked to go to church the following day.

Sunday: He failed us. I was pretty bummed, but such is life. He said he wanted to go to the Catholic church one last time just to make sure he was making the right decision. I can respect that, but we had to move his date back to the 20th so that we can have him come to church and be dang sure that he's sure. No me quejo (I'm not complaining)

Okay, so you wanted my input on some good words of inspiration for those that are in the ward for missionary month? Be good members! Tell them to go over what the baptismal covenant is and what it entails. Something that the average dee-dee-dee Mormon doesn't realize is that when they get baptized, they make the promise to be a witness of Christ at all times, to help other people become familiarized with the church, to be an example, and to invite their friends. My only real advice would be that they need to be brave members of the church. I've come to realize that white people are absolute wimps when it comes to sharing the gospel. If you know that this is the ONLY true church and the ONLY way that people will be able to get back to live with their Heavenly Father again, WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU WAITING FOR!? Let them know about it!

I'll give you an example of how to get it done: There's a family from Brazil that recently moved into the ward (like three months ago). Since getting here, he has shared the gospel with his neighbors, brought a family to church, invited people to play soccer with us so that we can get to know them and teach them, and talks to everybody about what he believes. If someone doesn't know that you're a member of the church after knowing them for more than a week, there are big problems. I had a little revelation a couple days back while I was talking to the members of the group about this exact thing (sharing the gospel). There was a member who asked the question "what can I do to help someone come unto Christ?" I came to the realization that there are basically four elements of being able to help someone receive the truth.

1: Be an example of someone who truly lives the gospel and has a testimony. I realized that when you want to know that the book of Mormon is true, it's not something you do once and hope for your big answer. It's something you do every day so that you have that constant confirmation of the truth to be truly converted. Once you do that, you won't be afraid to live the commandments and be proud of what you have or be afraid to share it with others.

2: Serve and love the people that you're associated with. That means friends, co-workers, classmates, people you meet on the plane, etc. Even if it's helping some old lady with her groceries in the store or something. If you do this, people will be grateful for your service, feel of the love that you have for them, and want to know why you are the person that you are.

3: Invite those that you are close to to take part in the gospel. When I think of Jesus Christ walking around teaching in Galilee and Capernaum, I think about all the bad things that were said about him by the Pharisees; that he had a devil, that he was a wine-bibber, that he was the prince of the devils, etc. When these accusations came, he didn't whip out his scriptures and prove them wrong (although he did call them a generation of vipers and hypocrites a few times), he said these marvelous words: "come and see." When people ask you questions about your religion or why you don't do certain things, you don't have to prove yourself with the scriptures... invite them to come and see. The missionaries can help answer the questions and going to church can help them to feel the spirit.

4: Be firm and steadfast! One thing that totally makes or breaks our game as missionaries is the relation that people have with members of the church. I've heard things from "oh she goes to your church? Yeah she's sweet I'd love to hear more" to "wait, that guy's a Mormon. If that's how they are I don't want any part of it. You never know who's watching, and if you're solid all the time (not just when you think people are watching), you will be able to be missionaries yourself. People tend to get a little freaked out when they see us knocking their door or looming in someone's house, but if they have your confidence, it makes all the difference in the world.

Anyways, that's my two cents on missionary work as a member. You're the ones who need to find people to hear about the gospel... not the missionaries. It works a lot better :-).

All right, I've flapped my trap for long enough on here and I bet you're sick of hearing from me, so I'll sign off for the week. I love you mom and I love you family as well as ward family. Have a great week!

-Elder Mooney

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Presidents Day!

2011 February 21
Dear Mommy,

Okay, so you said you just finished the C.S. Lewis series? That's sweet! I want to read Mere Christianity and the Screwtape Letters pretty badly.... but first, I've gotta read all of the books I've got! I feel a little silly, but I've been buying books like a madman out here!... especially in the last couple of weeks! This week alone, I more than doubled my collection of books because of a trip I took to Deseret Industries on exchange in Portland, but I'll talk more about that when I get to it chronologically.

So Monday, we had a little zone activity and took a trip out to Multnomah falls up on the I-84, and it was beautiful! Holy cow what a sweet waterfall and what an amazing view from the top! it's right on the Columbia river, so when you hike clear up to the top, you have an amazing view of both the waterfall and the gorge through which the river runs. Luckily, just as we reached the top to take pictures, the sun came out and we got some amazing views.

After the excitement of hiking the falls, we headed back down and enjoyed the rest of our P-day. For dinner that night, we were invited by a group member to come out and teach her mom who is visiting from Mexico for a couple of months... we'll see if we can get her baptized haha. Anyways, right before that appointment, we had a dinner with a group member, and then headed up to Maru's house for the lesson. Unbeknownst to us, she had prepared a dinner, so when we got there, we got trashed with food again! Ah I was so mad that they gave us more food and I was super full! It's okay though because the lesson went all right. I tell ya man, sometimes I feel like a counselor though. She didn't want to talk to us at first really, but after being there for about a half an hour, she was telling us about how she's held a grudge against one of her childhood friends since the age of seven because she had a dolly stolen by her because she's "una persona muy rincorosa" (a big grudge-holder basically). She went on to tell us about how things between her and her husband had damaged her emotionally and spiritually, so we played counselor and taught her about being healed of those things through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Okay, so that was Monday. Tuesday, we went to a district meeting with Portland, and President Dyches and his wife were there. While we were there, sister Dyches came up to me and said "now, you're taking ibuprofen and muscle relaxants, right?" I replied in the affirmative, and she said, "all right, well as long as you're taking the ibuprofen, your driving privileges are revoked." I kind of giggled and said okay... Oh goodness I love sister Dyches and her authoritative negations :-) One of the highlights from that day though was the lesson that we had with Oscar and Franci. We taught them about the Godhead, but a little more in-depth, teaching them that Jehovah was Jesus... Man I feel like we burned their eyebrows off with that one haha. It was super sweet though because the spirit was there to teach them, not just us with our talking heads.

Wednesday wasn't anything super exciting, just district meeting with Hillsboro and dinner with Mateo and Nelly Lopez. They're such sweet people, dad's gonna have to meet Mateo for sure. Other than that, we tried to teach Mario, but he was working, so we talked with brother Muniz's inactive son Yahir. It was pretty rad because we got him stoked on getting active again and changing who he has been for the last couple of years. He's way stoked on helping Mario to change and actually might be able to baptize him if we postpone the baptism a week or two.

Thursday was planning day as usual, and we used it to do a little cleaning since we don't have tons of people to plan for haha. We vacuumed the apartment, cleaned the bathroom, washed the sliding glass door, and even made sure all of the dishes were washed and put away (our dishwasher is older than I am and doesn't work unfortunately... luckily I have Van Hook and he's the best dishwasher ever! If he stops working, I just smack him on the butt and tell him to get back to work :-))

Friday turned out to be the most eventful day of the week for me... hahaha. I went on exchanges with elder Kevin Hawkins out in Portland, and oh my gosh it was a blast. We started off by staying up talking until 1:00 in the morning, and then waking up (on time) to do some re-arranging of the entire living room just to mess with his companion when he got back. We decided to go to lunch at L&L's because it's one of the only ones in the mission (aside from one we have in Beaverton), and we hadn't gone yet on our missions. We got some spam misubi's and chicken katzu, which is super good stuff... I was a little sketched out about the misubis because they're a piece of fried spam with sticky rice wrapped in seaweed. sounds disgusting, tastes amazing. Try it!

After eating to our gut's content, we went out to do some knocking. Once we finished the complex we were working on, we decided to drive to another one. As we were waiting behind another car to turn right onto a semi-busy street, a UPS truck wanted to turn down our street, but there wasn't much room, so the guy in front of us, trying to be a good samaritan (and not even glancing behind him) threw his car into reverse and slammed right into us without time for us to react haha. Luckily, there was no damage to our car or his (a freakin' miracle if you ask me), so we just exchanged information and parted ways. After that, we went to pick up a member who was getting interviewed for a job at DI to work there for a year before he goes on his mission, but he wasn't finished yet, so we decided to go inside to take a peek at the books. Yeah, it was a bad idea. They had a set of books including the journal of discourses of Brigham Young, Articles of faith by Talmage, Doctrines of Salvation volumes I, II, & III, Gospel doctrine by Joseph Fielding Smith, and a couple others, as well as the comprehensive history of the church with all six volumes, and they were only $10.00 total! I apologize mommy, but I couldn't pass it up haha... they're super sweet! There were also a couple of other manuals that I bought as well, so in total I spent like $14.00 there... holy cow I like it though... they make me feel wise or something... luckily I have a huge tote to put all of these in when I'm called out of Beaverton :-P

Aside from book-buying, we had a couple of lessons planned, so we went and tried with them and they went really well. For some reason, the teaching dynamic between elder Hawkins and I was really smooth and natural, so it made it a lot easier for those we taught to really catch our drift. Anyways, that was the excitement for Friday with elder Hawkins... oh that and that we didn't make it back to end the exchange til about 9:30 or so because we were in a lesson late and had to drive from east Portland all the way to our apartment in Beaverton haha.

Saturday was okay and we had a couple of lessons and Sunday we had nobody in church... Mario failed us :-(. It's okay though. It happens.

Anyways, that's been about the excitement for this week. I love you mommy and I hope that you have a blast with aunt Mary while she's out there.

I love ya Mom. Send my love to the rest of the family, okay?

-Elder Kurt Mooney

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy National Singles Awareness Day....

Dear Mommy,

Sorry if this letter is scatterbrained, but I"m gonna give you the quick skinny on what happened this week before my time runs out in 15 minutes.

So Monday was a pretty boring der-ty-derr P-day where we went for a drive to keep ourselves entertained. We ended up meandering over to Powell's books for a little bit, and it was pretty fun. After that, elder Van Hook and I decided to treat ourselves to some Olive Garden because elder Van Hook hasn't gone since before his mission, so we cruised on over. It was pretty crowded for some reason, but the food was super scrumptious (definitely an improvement over the cereal with milk that we were going to eat haha). Anyways, time came to pay our check, and our server said, "oh don't worry about it, someone paid for you." We were both a little flabbergasted and felt really humbled that someone would be so kind to do that for us... I hope they get a bunch of blessings because "we got served".

On Tuesday, it was a pretty normal day with district meeting in Portland and some knocking afterwards. One thing that made it pretty sweet was the lesson that we had with a guy named Mario. We've only taught him a couple of times, and this time we talked to him about the restoration. He liked it, and at the end of it, I felt impressed to ask him to be baptized on March sixth. He accepted, no questions asked. Score one for Moondogg :-)

Wednesday, we had district meeting in HIllsboro and afterwards I went to the doctor because my back has been bothering me (I guess that's what happens when you get old... on the mission :-P) Long story short, the guy's a member and he's sweet. He hooked me up with some 800 mil ibuprophen and some muscle relaxants to help me sleep at night so my old fart back doesn't bother me haha. I think what happened is that we've started playing soccer on fridays and it gets kinda intense sometimes haha.

Thursday, we had a full day of knocking (dangit), and there was only one funny thing worthy of being noted. after seventeen months of being on a mission, I had a hispanic woman slam a door in my face for the first time! Oh my gosh I just sat there in shock! I mean, white people do it all the time, so I'm used to that, but hispanic people WILL NOT DO IT.... except for this one I guess haha.

Friday, I was on exchanges with elder Jimenez, and in the morning, I had the distinct impression that we needed to visit a member that we hadn't talked to in a week or so. Just as we got there, he said that he needed a blessing because he had a gnarly migraine and had to go to work in like 15 minutes. We gave him the blessing, and poof. Migraine gone. That's the power of the priesthood and the importance of following the promptings of the Spirit. That night, on a less serious note, we played soccer (yes, after visiting the doctor and all). I'm starting to get a little addicted to it because it's so dang fun! Not to toot my horn or anything, but I knocked in a couple goals during the game and felt pretty good about it... I might have to change my name from Mooney to Rooney or something :-P

Saturday, unfortunately, was another all-day knocking bonanza (dangit, dangit). One highlight was that we were knocking in this complex and a five year old kid answered the door and asked what we wanted, so I said "we want to talk to your parents about God." Without missing a beat the kid told me "oh, no thanks, we don't believe in God." and WHAM! He shut the door in our faces haha. It was pretty comical, but man it's sad to see that somebody that young can have that instilled in them.

Sunday was interesting in that I got to see a stake presidency reorganized for the first time in my life. It was a pretty interesting deal to see the process of election and all of that. It was a good meeting... I don't really know what else to say.

Well, that's about the excitement aside from it being National Singles Awareness day today. I hope you guys have an absolute blastie and remember that I love you.

Talk to you next week!


-Elder Mooney

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Lift up your eyes"

2011 February 7
Dearest Mommy,

Okay, so here's the excitement for the week:
Monday, we had a very calm P-day where we didn't really do anything... although we did go to the church and play the piano for a little bit :-). I'm feeling a little rusty though... I don't remember a lot of the stuff I used to play. Two exciting things happened that night though. We had a lesson set up with someone whom we thought was going to fail us, but she was there with her husband! Their names are Leah and Faustino, and they're both pretty sweet people. Leah is a lady from Forest Grove and her husband is from Michoacan, Mexico. She kinda speaks spanish and he... well... speaks spanish haha. Anyways, we had a super sweet lesson with them both. It turns out that she comes from a less-active family and was never baptized, but her grandparents are really active members in Forest Grove still, so they have some good exposure to the church. He grew up "catholic", so he has no idea about religion other than that he doesn't believe in the Catholic religion and he thinks that a lot of the christian religions are nuts because they scream, dance, clap, writhe on the floor, and talk in unknown tongues (see 1st corinthians 14 if you want to see what paul says about that). Anyways, we were able to talk about the restoration because he wanted to know the difference between us and all the other religions haha... he definitely got his answer.

After that, we had a family home evening with two families from the group so that they could get to know each other a little better, and it went really well! We taught them a little bit about the importance of church organization, revelation, and authority, and then ate cookies afterwards and talked :-).

Tuesday, we started leadership training....again... for the fourth time... and it went all right. We talked about mission culture and introduced it to those who weren't in zone leader council, so they got to see the changes that are going to be made in the mission in the next little while. After that, we only had time for one lesson for the day, but it was an important one. We had a building tour with Oscar and Franci, and they loved it! We've been really struggling with getting people to church because for some reason, ALL HISPANIC PEOPLE WORK ON SUNDAYS! I don't understand it at all! Luckily with Oscar and Franci, they were so pumped about the tour that now they're planning on changing their work schedules so that they can have Sundays off for church. This really says something, because Franci has been studying with the seventh day adventist for like two years, and has never taken off a saturday to go with ther friend to church haha.

On Wednesday, we had training again, so it shot most of the day. oh and it was groundhog day. Wanna know something funny though? By sheer coincidence, we had dinner with Bethany and her brother's family! Just like old times in Bend with the Nettletons, right? Speaking of which, did Phil see his shadow or not? Nobody seems to know... or care here haha. Aside from that exciting dinner, we had a pretty epic fail of a day. We were pumped about having three lessons with a member present, and they all failed...dangit... oh well haha. Oh I did get one of those almond joy groundhogs together though, so I'll send you a picture of it when I've got time.

Wait, I lied, we did have one awesome lesson on Wednesday night with a guy named Mario. He lives in the same house as brother Muniz, so we were able to corner him and teach a really sweet lesson. We taught him (and Demetrio) the doctrine of Christ, and they were stoked on it! They both accepted a soft baptismal invitation, so we'll see how things go in the next couple of weeks. I feel like Mario has a real desire to learn more about his heavenly father as well as let him change his life.

Thursday, we finished the training meetings finally, but it was a good thing because we learned some good stuff... goodness I feel like we're the united states back in 2008 with the Obama campaign though. All we talk about is change! Change, change, change! Not only that, but a couple of the missionaries were saying "yes we can!" haha. I'm kinda stoked about it... as long as we don't incur more national debt or something because of it.

One funny (actually, kind of depressing) thing that happened that night after the meeting is we total got rejected not once, not twice, but three times by christians! What the heck man, I don't understand how people are so stubborn... especially when it comes to the bible! We had three people in three hours pull out Revelations 22 to tell us about how they feel that we're adding to the bible with the book of mormon, and then I have to smash them by asking them about who compiled the bible, what was the last book of scripture written in the bible, etc... they're idiots! I know I should be more loving, but they just don't understand! They say that the bible is infallible, and that's a joke! I definitely believe it to be the word of God, but only as far as it's translated correctly. I feel like some of the writers of the new testament (especially Paul) are probably tearing their hair out saying "that's not what I said!!!!" Anyways, for a good contradiction in the bible, see St. John chapter 3 verse 22, then St. John chapter 4 verses 1 and 2.... luckily we have the joseph smith translation, and more importantly, the Book of Mormon :-)

Okay, so Friday, we finally worked up to running three miles, and I feel pretty good about it. I'm losing weight and feeling a lot better... aside from the fact that I got sick this weekend with a cough/cold/crud haha.

Saturday, we were able to go down to Woodburn for the wedding of Leo and Christina, whom I had been teaching for basically the entire time I was down there, so that was super exciting. They even had the baptism right after... it was great! One thing that was kinda funny was that they asked me to do an impromptu confirmation for Christina. I say impromptu not because I didn't have time to prepare what I was going to say during the confirmation, but impromptu in that I had to learn her whole dang name which was entertaining... her full name is Christina Maribel Rocha Aguilar (+de Francisco now that she's married), so it was fun trying to remember that haha. Everything turned out well though, and it was a great spiritual experience. She and Leo were both crying after getting married/baptized/etc. One thing I will say is man I miss Woodburn. It's a great area!

Sunday, I was feeling a little bummed because we didn't have anyone show up for church, but we read something interesting in John chapter 4 that I really liked and kinda made me feel like I need to buck up. it's in verses 35-38 and this is what it says:

35Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
36And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
37And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
38I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: bother men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours

I came to realize that although at times we feel like we're sent out here as missionaries to do nothing aside from plant seeds, there are more important things to do like find the elect and get them going! I love how the Lord says "lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." I feel like sometimes even normal members of the church need to come to that realization and start lifting up their eyes and realizing the potential of those around them and the fact that they can help them to be brought into the fold.

I've gotta go, but I love you guys.
Have a great week,
-Elder Mooney