2011 March 14
Haha you weren't kidding that email that you sent! No offense, but it was a little downer-debbie haha. I don't know if it's just because we don't hear the news or being on the mission is messing with my noggin or something, but when we heard about the tsunami in Japan, the first thing I thought was obviously that hopefully everyone is okay, but then I thought that those people are going to be a lot more humble and a lot more ready to receive the gospel now. Like I said, I don't know if I'm just a jacked up person or if I'm just really thinking from a missionary point of view. There's actually a lady in our ward whose son is serving in Japan right now, but luckily he's on the other side of the island, so he wasn't affected by the tsunami... crazy though.
So this week was pretty sweet, I mean, transfers week is always a little nuts because there are companionship changes and all that good stuff. Speaking of companionship changes, Elder Van Hook and I are together for another six weeks here in Beaverton, but it's interesting now because the assistants to the president changed. Well... one of them did. It turns out that Elder Gardner (my best friend of the English elders in the mission) got called up! I love it because we have a little bit more say in things now as Spanish elders haha. I don't want to say that I'm exercising priesthood (or friendships) unrighteously, but I'm seeing what I can do about returning to Woodburn to train for the end of my mission. I'll probably be in Beaverton for another transfer after this one to train a new zone leader as Van Hook goes somewhere to train and die, and then I'll get the boot... hopefully to Woodburn so that president Pister doesn't have to complain about his elders anymore :-)
So now for the other excitement from the week. We started a revolution among the Spanish members to help them gain stronger testimonies and be more willing to share the gospel. It's working pretty well, and we're teaching them just like we would investigators. We're starting with the restoration and working our way up so that they have a solid base and can remember all the stuff they were taught before they were baptized... kinda help them connect the dots on a couple things like Joseph Smith, the book of Mormon, and modern day prophets.
One funny thing from the week though is that we went knocking in some supposedly paisa-packed complexes off of this street called Electric Avenue (yeah like the song). Anyways, we get there and we're all stoked because we see cars with rims, curtains in the windows, shoes outside the door, and some Dish 500 receivers. Unfortunately, all we ran into the whole time were a bunch of middle-easterners! I think it must have been a government-contracted property because we ran into seriously twenty Iraqis and several other refugees from Nepal. One guy we met was a correspondent for the Washington Post in Iraq who was under congressional protection... maybe I shouldn't write about this so he doesn't get his head cut off eh? I'll stop haha. Anyways, it was just really interesting to talk to them (although frustrating because there were no Hispanics!) about Christianity. We ran into one guy who was actually a Christian, and said "you guys don't understand. I'm an original Christian... I speak Jesus language!" I had a hard time not giggling a little bit when he said that. It was cool to talk to them though. One sad thing from knocking that street is that we ran into a sweet Nepalese lady who didn't speak very good English. She let us in and had us sit down to try to talk for a little bit. She asked if we were Christians and we said, well, yes. Then she said, oh, I'm already studying Christianity I know all about it (this is where it gets sad). She proceeded to pull out the "new world translation of the holy scriptures", "what does the bible really teach?", and "Jesus, the greatest man". All Jehovah's Witness blasphemy. I think I'll probably offend someone by saying that, but it's just really sad to me that this sweet lady's ONLY exposure to Christianity came from the JW's... it would take YEARS to pull all of that false doctrine out of her head haha. Luckily we ordered a Nepalese book of Mormon and we're gonna try to get it to her this week.
Wednesday we had a leadership training meeting that was nothing special aside from the fact that they said they were going to try out texting with the zone leaders and district leaders this transfer and based on what happens they're either going to have it go mission-wide, or they're going to get rid of it forever. Goodbye texting, and good riddance haha it's going to be gone faster than a pizza at a weightwatchers convention.
On Thursday, I read something pretty cool in 3Nephi 24 that I want you to check out. It's where Jesus Christ is quoting scripture to the nephites from the prophecy of Malachi. We all know where it talks about a man robbing God and tithing, but the following chapter is where it truly gets interesting. It talks a little more about the importance of the attitude that we have towards the church. I had a little revelation that there is a vast chasm that divides those who obey the commandments from those who truly live the gospel. One can read scriptures, pray, and go to church, but the attitude that you have toward those things makes all the difference. I don't have time to write it all here, but just study that chapter and ponder on what the Lord says to the people in that chapter.
Friday was kind of a meh day with some failed appointments and knocking. We had a couple of lessons with new people, but nothing exciting.
Saturday I spent the day in Gresham, which was weird because we drove down highway 26 and I had déjà vu like none other of when we used to drive over the pass by Mt. Hood to go back to Bend when we lived there... it was good though.
Sunday, we didn't have any investigators in church, but we did, however, get one of our awesome less-actives to come out. His name is Yahir, and he's the son of the most active member of the group (hno. Muniz). He's been inactive since like 15, but we're really seeing changes in him where he has the desire to be a better person. We're actually going to start capacitating him to be able to come out on visits with us... we might even be able to go on splits with him and his dad :-)
Other than that, I read in Mormon 8:35-40 and man that's some harsh reading. I think I talked about it in an email the last time I read through this part of the book of Mormon, but it's a good thing to look at to see what you need to change in your life.
That's all for this week, but I love you guys and I hope all is well on the home front.
Elder Kurt Mooney