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

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