Monday, April 25, 2011

Life in Sherwood

Dear Mom,

Well, I have to say that I absolutely love life as an English zone leader haha. It's definitely a whole different animal, but it's still fun nonetheless....

Anyway, here's what happened this week. Tuesday was our technical P-day, and we had a blast! After doing emails, we went to lunch with some guys named Mark and Brent. These two are absolutely loaded and just like taking the missionaries out to lunch about once a week, and holy cow they lay down the cash! I was dumbfounded to see the vast chasm that separates the poverty of the Spanish community and the affluence of the residents of Sherwood... it's night and day man, holy cow! It's funny to see what are considered "hardships" between the two. Case in point: someone we were doing service for had a doorknob break on them to where they couldn't get the latch to release to open the door to their garage and also had the wiring to the outlet for their 65" big screen short out, so they couldn't watch the tube and she made the comment of "The Lord is really testing me right now." It just makes me think of the stuff the hispanics deal with like not being able to work because they don't have papers, getting deported to Mexico, family members dying and not being able to afford a funeral, etc.. I'm not saying that this lady was total griping about life, but it's just interesting to see the difference of what comfortable living does to your point of view... ya know?

Anywho, we went to downtown Portland and visited Nordstrom Rack along with a few other entertaining stores before coming back to Sherwood and having a couple of sweet member lessons. What elder Wylde has started here is pretty awesome and it's working... He took my "revolution" idea to heart and has applied it to the two wards we're covering. I went on a split with our ward mission leader to teach a less-active member named Amy, and it went amazingly! We just taught her the first lesson and talked about how it applied to her own life and what she could do to bless the lives of others, and we got off on a tangent about one of her friends that hopefully we're gonna be teaching tonight now because we sparked some missionary fire in her... Revolution!

Wednesday, we had a good day... I have to say that English district meetings are really weird, however... like extremely different, so we're gonna be working on that. I'll talk more about that with the district leader council that we had on Saturday haha. That night though, we had splits with one of our wards, and it was awesome! Holy cow I about freaked out because we had three ward missionaries, our ward mission leader, and ourselves to go do some visits, and it was awesome! I'm not used to having so many dang resource so easily accessible and so adept to what we're doing as missionaries... I kinda like being able to do what we're doing here haha. This area is gonna blow up!

One thing that I'm finding very hard in this area is keeping the morning schedule. Not because we're really lazy or anything, but because we live with sister DeLong. Her full name is Ella Rose DeLong, and she is the sweetest woman to ever walk the face of the earth! She's actually a Hinckley, her father was an apostle, and she has personally met or had an experience with every prophet from Heber J. Grant to the present excluding Howard W. Hunter... crazy right? Like honestly, if the quorum of the 12 and the first presidency disappeared, I'm pretty sure this lady could preside over the church and things would go just fine haha. How this relates to us struggling getting out of bed at 6:15 in the morning is the fact that we stay up until 12:00 or one in the morning talking about doctrinal stuff and hearing her amazing stories... she is an amazing lady! You will have to meet her when I'm done with the mission or if she takes another trip to Utah... absolutely wonderful. She's even the cousin of elder Maxwell's wife :-)

So, one of the days that we had a battle getting out of bed on time was Thursday. We ended up having a good day though, and even found time during weekly planning as we plotte- I mean, planned what we were going to do with the zone to make it amaz-z-zing by making miniature planners. These things are sweet! They're half sized, so they fit perfectly in the pocket of our pants instead of being an awkward size that trashes your shirt pocket haha.

Friday, we did service for that lady who felt that she was being tested a little bit, and it was pretty fun! We spent a good chunk of the day stripping paint and sanding her deck and front steps of the nasty white paint that had been laid down on it when their house was first built. It was fun! It was funny talking to this lady and her son about being a missionary and stuff. He's only like 12, but doesn't really want to serve a mission, but his mom was trying to convince him that it's not "just boring church stuff" but that there are other benefits, so it was a good time to show that you can learn a different language, become smarter, learn how to re-wire a dryer (haha), and even install doorknobs and pick locks with a credit card (yep, know how to do that now too haha), etc.. He kinda got a little more pumped about serving a mission at least from sharing a couple of those experiences with him, so hopefully he'll go in a couple years haha.

Saturday, we had a district leader council where elder Wilde and I decided to kinda lay the beat down on everyone so that they'll know what to expect in this zone. We weren't mean about it, but we just told them that we had high expectations and that if they didn't achieve them, we were going to send them to heck haha. We revamped how we want district meetings run, what we want them to be reporting to us, and how often, so we'll see how things go in the following weeks. Like I said, Pres. Dyches kind of set us up with... um... challenging elders in some places, so we'll be put to task to keep them running like a well- oiled machine.

We went contacting random people in the park on Saturday day, and we ended up talking to four people. Sounds terrible right? The good part is though, that out of those four people, we set up three return-appointments. It would have been four, but the fourth person was a pastor's wife and lived in California. Revolution! People can contact 200+ in a day, but I'll take my three with return appointments haha.

Sunday was interesting in that being in a ward is WEIRD! There are lots of people, lots of talent, and lots of money! Everyone was dressed nicely, can sing, and doesn't say blasphemous things over the pulpit... I'm still kinda not used to it. It was good though, and now I know what I'm bringing people to, I'm not worried about it as much as far as investigators go haha.

I know my emails are a little bit shorter, but it's because I don't have as much time, and being an english zone leader is a little more demanding in some aspects just because the caliber of missionaries is a little bit lower and so there are more... how shall I say... needs haha. Thank you so much for the thoughtful easter package that you sent me mommy, it really means a lot! It's always good to hear from you guys. I hope everything is going well for you and that you're having a great week... and hopefully enjoying some sunshine.. I know that we sure have this past week!

I love you tons and I'll talk to ya on mothers day!


Elder Kurt Mooney

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