Monday, June 27, 2011

Busy, busy

2011 June 27
Dearest Mommy,

Okay, so there's not a ton of time to write this email because we have a lesson set up to teach a couple of investigators that showed up with a less-active member yesterday to church in about half an hour, so I'll try to get it all packed in here what went down.

So Monday Elders Cox and Wohlleben were about to kill each other, so we split them up, putting Wohlleben with the elders from Bull Mountain and we took elder Cox to the mall because he was looking at getting a new suit. We took a trip to Washington Square, and I spent some money... I spent $20 on a pair of jeans and $8 on a shirt I'm sorry! Then to make it worse we took elder Cox to Cheesecake factory the following day for his birthday where supposedly a salad would only be eight bucks and with a drink would be ten, so 20 to pay for Cox and myself, but it turned out to be more expensive. Add to that fact that elder Anderson forgot his wallet and what you get is $50.00 which I did NOT have on my chase card. instead of the $20 I was going to pay... sucky day. IOU $$$$$$$!!!

So, back to the excitement for the week. At the Mall, elder Cox introduced me to my new favorite store (well, kinda) which is called H&M. Pretty rad place. That night, we had an FHE with an active family discussing how they could answer questions about their church. We had put together what we thought were simple answers for all of them, but when we asked them the questions and asked them to try to answer, they totally roushed us! Instead of explaining how people "know" that God exists, this six year old kid said "I'm not exactly sure how to explain it, but I know some missionaries that can tell you. How bout you come to my house sometime and they can answer your question?" GENIUS! Oh my goodness I never felt so dumb in my whole life. That would be about 1000 times easier than how we were trying to do it haha.

Tuesday, we had a blitz with some elders that are struggling, and it went really well. We just went knocking, and had a total blast. I went with this elder named elder Young, and it was a good thing for him because he's stuck with a companion right now that has him (elder Young) pulling all the weight for the area. The good thing is that we picked up a couple of new investigators for them, so they should be in good shape for at least the next couple of weeks... goodness I love knocking doors sometimes. We knocked for three hours, and in that three hours, we only talked to probably ten people. The thing is though, that was in a total of maybe 12 doors haha. It was really fun!

Wednesday, we started an exchange with some elders in McMinnville that went really well. We went knocking and bumped into a kid that reminded me entirely too much of myself. He's a 2008 graduate, loves reggae, and get this: we found him outside wrenching on his white 1991 Jeep Wrangler SE with the 4 cylinder 2.5. Perfect segue into a conversation, right? We ended up talking shop for a good while and found out that he has a lot of Mormon friends... it was a blastie haha. We're hopefully gonna get him hooked up for some lessons... if nothing else, he's gonna come down and do a Moab trip with me sometime after the mission haha.

Thursday morning we went over and did service for Scott Cunningham, and it went great. He is seriously the coolest guy I've ever met... He's gonna be an amazing member of the church when it finally happens. the cool thing is that he really opened up to me to where we really are friends now. Turns out he finds himself in a situation almost identical to where dad was with Denise. She had already had a kid, he adopted her when they got married, they had another kid, and then, well, you know the rest of the story. Anyway, I know it might sound weird, but I'm gonna see if I can get dad hooked up to talk to him so that he can see the light at the end of the tunnel with what's going on. This could end up being the ultimate opportunity to change someone's life, because when Scott talked to me about this, he didn't know how to deal with what he was going through, and all he wants is so badly for things to work out so that he can have a happy family. That's really his only hope and dream.

After that, later in the day, I interviewed one of Elder Cox's baptismal Candidates named Judy Hope, and she was awesome. We ended up having an hour and a half interview just because we talked so much about, well, everything. It's a bad thing when you have two people in a conversation that can't shut up haha. It was interesting though. I taught her how to pray in a group, because she's never felt comfortable, and when I asked he to do it, she gave the most heartfelt, sincere prayer I think I've ever hear... it put me to tears it was awesome!

Friday, we did a blitz with the Sherwood elders to get them excited about life, and it went really well. It was during the Sherwood garage sale extravaganza, so we put two elders to walk around in the parks to contact, and two others to peruse the yard sales. It actually turned out to be quite effective, and we met some nice folks that all love their neighbor members... hopefully that spells dinners with the families that have those neighbors :-)

Saturday, we did some super service haha. In the morning after studies, Ella Rose's son Matt and his family arrived and we decided to tear apart the entire garage and put it back together again, and it turned out to be a wonderful idea. The place looks spic and span, just like it should :-) After they took off, I did a run-through with the sprinklers and got them turned on for the summer so that the yard won't be burned up... the house is actually really looking good so we're excited to see how it'll be during the summer with a little extra help.

After that, we had a fun little service opportunity with a propane torch burning weeds... holy awesomeness it was fun :-)

Sunday, we had a sweet little revolution meeting with both ward mission leaders where we organized ourselves into what we're going to accomplish with the ward members, which should be good. Then, Scott showed up to church! Plop! After that, we had two non-members show up to church with a less-active member! Awesome! Blessings for righteous living!

I gotta go I love you guys!

-Elder Mooney

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sister DeLong with Elder Mooney


Elder Mooney, Sis. DeLong, & Yolanda, the maid

Spiritual feast

2011 June 20
Dearest Mommy,

Happy birthday!!! I hope you have an awesome day... your *ahem* present is in the mail... the other part I'll attach on here so that you can see Ella Rose, the classiest lady on the planet. She really is like the sweetest lady ever! There's also the one with Yolanda our maid in it so that you can get a feel for how spoiled we really are here... I love it!

This week has been kinda hectic, but I wanna be brief in what I write on here, because the spiritual stuff is what was cool about this week. Monday we had sort of a "meh" p day with nothing too exciting going on during the day... we wandered around Ross, but that was about the extent of our excitement. However, we did have a couple of awesome appointments that night. First was with a family that we ate with where we were able to teach a sort of short lesson with them, and I apologize if I repeat myself on what was cool about it.

So to start off, I have to say that it all ties in with the "revolution" that elder Van Hook and I started in Beaverton. We spoke to them about the importance of sharing the gospel, but how it's hard in American culture to do so sometimes because white people are prideful and also don't like to talk about religion openly. Anyway, we told them about Eduardo the Brazilian guy from the Beaverton ward that was always hooking us up with people that he'd met and talked to about the gospel. The scripture that relates to Eduardo's attitude is found in Helaman 15:5-7 it starts out where Samuel the lamanite is preaching to the Nephites from the wall, and here he's talking about how the Lamanites have been able to have such great success as members as well as missionaries, and here's what he says (with a little editing):

" 5And I would that ye should behold that the amore part of them are in the path of their duty, and they do walk circumspectly before God, and they do observe to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments.....
"6Yea, I say unto you, that the more part of them are doing this, and they are striving with unwearied diligence that they may bring the remainder of their brethren to the knowledge of the truth; therefore there are many who do add to their numbers daily.
"7And...as many of them as are brought to the knowledge of the truth... are led to believe the holy scriptures, yea, the prophecies of the holy prophets, which are written, which leadeth them to faith on the Lord, and unto repentance, which faith and repentance bringeth a change of heart unto them—
8Therefore, as many as have come to this, ye know of yourselves are affirm and steadfast in the faith, and in the thing wherewith they have been made free.
Kind of the trick I suppose is coming to know that the holy scriptures are true, and most importantly the book of Mormon. If you have a solid knowledge and testimony of the book, you're gonna be rock solid in all the other aspects of the gospel... it brings about the "change of heart." Now, the thing about this is, how do you get that answer to really know? It's a fallacy amongst the members of the church that you read the whole flippin' book of Mormon, and once you read Moroni 10:3-5, THEN you ask God if the book is true. Well, you can do it that way, but it's about 100 times easier to read a little bit every day and pray about that little piece. You can't just expect your flash in a pan one lousy time to last you for a lifetime. The question I would ask is this: When is the last time you prayed to know that the book of Mormon is true? If you're like me the first time I was asked that, it had been almost a year... sad, right? I found one of the magical answers to keeping a strong testimony is to simply read every day, and talk to God about what you read... he'll give you calm, steady assurance that what you're reading is right. Every. Single. Day. Do that, and I promise you that you'll get that change of heart you're looking for, and be more inclined to share the gospel.
Okay, off the soapbox. Tuesday, there was "pandelirium" with elders Cox and Wohleben (new greenie), where elder Cox was about ready to kill him for not believing the rules he was telling him about and wanting to do things "the German way", so we had a little sit-down therapy session during district meeting... Dr. Feelgood strikes again! I tell ya, it could be an interesting show haha. After that, we went on an exchange with them to help both of them cool their jets, and I ended up with elder Cox in Tigard... it was a blast! After venting about Wohleben for a good hour or two, I helped get him focused on other things, and it turned out to be a blast... gosh I love elder Cox. We really have become best friends while we've been out here... actually, we're gonna have to take a trip up here for the wedding of that missionary who changed my life and his girlfriend who elder Cox baptized like two weeks after I get off the mission haha... it'll be a double-duty! Hopefully Coxey and I can ride together in his car and stay at Ella Rose's place for it... to kinda cut down the cost, ya know? Anyway, we kicked butt and took names... he's a great missionary and knows how to get stuff done!
Wednesday, I read a really cool scripture. Right now I'm in the middle of Mosiah, and what I read that morning is in Mosiah 4:5-15 King Benjamin is fixing to end his talk, and this is what he says to the people after they've believed the words he's spoken and received "a knowledge of their surety by the power of the Holy Ghost:"
4And king Benjamin again opened his mouth and began to speak unto them, saying: My friends and my brethren, my kindred and my people, I would again call your attention, that ye may hear and understand the remainder of my words which I shall speak unto you.
5For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state—
6I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body—
7I say, that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world.
8And this is the means whereby salvation cometh. And there is none other salvation save this which hath been spoken of; neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved except the conditions which I have told you.
9Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
10And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.
11And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
12And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.
13And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.
14And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the devil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
15But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.
Holy Moses that was a lot of scripture to throw on here and highlight, but it's AWESOME!!! If you're looking to be a good parent, be worthy, and not have a crappy life, this is the way to do it. The four main points in here are to 1: obtain knowledge (believe, know, etc.), 2: remember/retain that knowledge, 3: act on the knowledge you've received ("see that ye do these things") and 4: teach it to others.
What an awesome formula for spiritual success not only for yourself, but for all those around you. King Benjamin is officially my favorite.. again haha.
Okay, moving on because time is short. Thursday we had a lesson with the kid Nick that we knocked into the other day, and it turns out that he's sweet! We had him over at the neighbor member's house and we talked about the restoration and priesthood authority. We extended a soft baptismal invitation, and he accepted it and said that he'd love to come to church! Sweet right??! Things are finally starting to happen here and I'm stoked!
Friday, we had one hour to kill before an appointment, so we decided to do some contacting in the big park here in town, and it was kinda comical. I tell ya man, I can't shut up. We had one contact the entire time... we talked to him for the full hour before we had to go haha. We didn't set up a return-appointment, but he's golden. His stepdad was LDS, so he got hooked into it when he was like eight, is baptized, but after his parents' divorce at age 12, he went inactive. The nice thing? He's looking to go back to church, and is trying to get his fiancée interested.. we're gonna drop by and start teaching them hopefully. He told us where he lives and we'll see what happens this week.
Saturday we had the Mormon Portland choir concert that turned out to be absolutely grand. We helped set it up in the morning, and still had a bushel of extra tickets, so we asked Hna. DeLong if she wanted to go, and she said absolutely and that she'd invite friends. She ended up inviting two non-members to come, and it was awesome! She is such a sweet little member missionary, I love her. Unfortunately we didn't get to introduce ourselves because we were ushering the event, but hopefully we'll meet them this week or next.
Sunday, I read another interesting scripture in Mosiah 7:29-33, and it reminded me a lot of what we see when we visit people that are less-active or part-member families. Usually the houses are in disarray, family life isn't good, and there is a lot of financial and social stress that goes on. I finally realized why when I read this:
29For behold, the Lord hath said: I will not succor my people in the day of their transgression; but I will hedge up their ways that they prosper not; and their doings shall be as a stumbling block before them.
30And again, he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the chaff thereof in the whirlwind; and the effect thereof is poison.
31And again he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the east wind, which bringeth immediate destruction.
32And now, behold, the promise of the Lord is fulfilled, and ye are smitten and afflicted.
33But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.
Speaking of the East wind, I was a little confused when I first read that, because I didn't understand, so I did a little investigation, and found something interesting... this is what it means. In every instance where the East wind is mentioned, it is speaking of the chosen people of the Lord (those who have made covenants with him) turning away from him and being disobedient to what they know is right and have promised to do... actually in one of the cross-references, the Lord says "I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity." speaking, of course, of himself. When we don't want the Lord in our life anymore, he lets us make that decision, but like the scripture says, it brings immediate destruction (or distress) to our lives. Just food for thought... I thought it was interesting anyway.
The thing that's comforting though is the "but" that comes in that last verse. God is always willing to help us if we trust in him and serve him... all we have to do is turn back to him and there he will be.
Okay, the last one that I wanna talk about before I go is another scripture that spoke to me as I was reading in the D&C. It's actually an Ephesians scripture, and it's oh so popular amongst the Mormons... it's the "armour of God" found in Ephesians 6. We all know about the breastplate of righteousness, the loins girt about with truth, the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, and the helmet of salvation, but the one part I have NEVER understood is the part about having your feet "shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." It never made sense to me, but I had a revelation. I was sitting there thinking about it and trying to decipher what the heck Paul was talking about when he spoke of that, and I read an interesting quote from someone whose name escapes me that actually talked about it! It was a devotional given at BYU eons ago, but he said in essence that our feet are what take us places, they could be likened unto our direction in life, our goals, etc.. The thing that struck me is that when your direction and goals are properly "prepared", you will find the success that the gospel of peace proffers you. Then it clicked. That's exactly what a mission is! The mission is the "preparation of the gospel of peace" that is going to point me in the right direction and aim me toward the right goals in life! That's what it's talking about... and it's interesting the effect that it can have on you. I dunno, it seemed like a huge epiphany at the time, and it made me think even more when a girl in sacrament meeting right after that spoke about making spiritual goals a part of our life along with college, career, family, etc.. It makes me realize that I have a lot of preparation to do in my life to not be an utter failure!
Well folks, I'm officially getting off of this soap box, but I hope that you received some insight from some of the direction that the Lord has pointed out to me this week... I know I definitely need it so I'm not a screw-up, and I just hope it helps you feel the Spirit and gain a little stronger conviction that Jesus is the Christ. I love you guys so much and I hope that you have a great week.
All my love,
-Elder Kurt Mooney

Friday, June 17, 2011

Beginnnings and Endings

Dearest Mommy,

Well, I know you're not gonna get this for another couple of days, but I imagine that Katie or Michelle or Dad will, so hi guys! It sounds like you've got it all ironed out for girls camp and that you'll have a heck of a time up there... lets just hope that the rain holds off! Here we thought that summer had finally come with like five days of solid sunshine, but it turns out that we're still holding onto winter with a death grip for some stupid reason... yesterday afternoon into this morning we've had solid rain. Finally the sun is out now, though, so it's all good haha.

So did you really get a letter telling you about my release date? Yikes that's scary... I'm not ready for it yet! I honestly don't have time to be trunky... there's too much to do in this area and with our zone! I'm not trying to say this in bad taste, so don't think I'm a terrible person, okay? I feel like winding down your mission is a lot like getting diagnosed with something terrible and you know when you're scheduled to die from it. When you first start thinking about it, you're frustrated, then you're sad, but then you kinda come to a point where you just want to live it up and take full advantage of the time allotted to you. That's kinda what I've come to feel in the past couple of weeks. Well, not likt terribly frustrated, but sad definitely, but resolute on the fact that I want to work hard up until the day I die! This place is too awesome to let go to pot.

In all honesty, I would LOVE for you guys to come up here... it's funny, I was just talking to Dad about this in the letter I sent him this morning. I think it would be great for you guys to come up here to get me, but will that work out for you guys? I just found out that the mini-mission thing has gotten shot out of the sky and that it won't be happening anymore, so we can scratch that off. However, I definitely agree with you in that I want you guys to meet the people that I've taught as well as the people that have greatly influenced me while I've been here. My vote is that you come pick me up haha. That way I don't have to stay in the mission home with a bunch of rambunctious 21 year old just about to go home and are way too excited about it missionaries haha. That way we can kinda take time to do a mission tour... you might wanna drive up here with something that has cargo space though because I acquired a BIG tote along side my three suitcases. They're mostly books, don't worry haha.

Okay, now that we're done talking about getting things situated for my death here, I'll tell you a little bit about the past week. It's been awesome!

Last Monday, we took a little trip after emails to Burlington coat factory... yeah, I used to think it was a super ghetto store, but I realized that there is actually a lot of stuff there that is really sweet! I went originally simply because I needed a new belt, and ended up getting a sweet one... the only trick is that I also got a new skinny, black, DKNY tie. After making the decision on those two, we were wandering around looking at the shirts, and we got the bright idea to all get plaid shirts. It turned out to be pretty comical. I really like the one that I got, and we all ended up with blue ones for some strange reason haha. I have a picture of us all... I'll send it next week with a picture of sis. DeLong haha.

After that, we were perusing the ward list, and decided on a family that was close to where we found ourselves at, and it turned out to be pretty sweet. They're more or less active members that hadn't been friends with the missionaries for a while, but after schmoozing with him for a while, we took off with the promise of a dinner/get-together with he and his neighbors. Sweet right? After that, we went to Bishop Eddington's house for our weekly meeting. He is the man! He served his mission in Guatemala and was just put in as bishop at the age of less than 40. I say it that way, because i don't know how old he is haha. He's awesome though and is really fired up about missionary work, so the ward is starting to take off.

Tuesday, we had one sweet lesson on the day with that guy Jon. You know, the gift from heaven one that I met originally in Beaverton serving spanish? Well, he read from the book of Mormon, a lot actually (like through 2Nephi), but the unfortunate thing is that he read a bunch of anti crap beforehand, so it didn't have the impact on him that we were looking for. He brought up some things that we had address before even talking about the book of Mormon. When we got there, however, it was interesting to see how his perspective changed. As I told him how it was that I'd gained my own testimony, he started to tear up... he'd never admit it, not in a thousand years, but he definitely felt the spirit. He wants to keep meeting with us, so hopefully we can get that anti garbage out of his head, but man I have to have run into him on numerous occasions for a reason. Hopefully we can change his mind.

Wednesday, we had zone conference, and something interesting that president Dyches told me really struck me. He was talking about beginnings and endings, seeing as he goes home here pretty quickly. He was talking about a line from a movie called Hope Floats, and this is what it says: "Beginnings are scary, endings are sad, and in the middle, hope floats." As far as the hope floating thing, I don't really get it, but there's a lot of truth in the beginnings and engings thing. I honestly think that's a big part of why we come to this earth is because mortality is chuck-full of them, and every time they come, they make you change and grow physically, mentally, and most importanly spiritually. It helps us to progress. The other thing that I came to the conclusion on is the fact that that is why eternity is such a beautiful concept. Mosiah 2:41 comes to mind where it talks about the righteous entering into a state of never ending happiness. It also puts a whole new spin on the name "the beginning and the end" (alpha & Omega) for The Lord.

Thursday, we planned. blah. Then when we found hna. DeLong, she was feeling a little down in the dumps, so we talked to her for a bit and found out that she was REALLY bummed out, so we decided to surprise her a little bit. We found out that she loves steak, but never eats it, so we went out and bought some along with some potatoes and sparagus spears, then after we got home that night, we cooked them up for her, and it was awesome :-) She cheered up.
Oh, one other thing that happened that day that was sweet was that we had like ten minutes before an appointment, so we decided to be valiant and knock some doors. We got out of the car, knocked the first door, and bam! restoration, book of mormon placed, and an appointment for this thursday at 7 :-) yay diligence!

Friday, we did service with Cher (or Der) as I like to call her sometimes. I know it's rude, but ah well... that's why we try to repent I guess. That night, we had a sweet visit with someone super awesome! His name is brother Lampros, and he's the man. We knocked the door, and the first thing that we saw as he opened it was a $10,000 road bike. We got talking to him, and this guy is a champ! He rides like 30-40 miles a day to and from work at OHSU. Oh, and did I mention that he's 60?!?!? Crazy, right? Oh my goodness this guy is an absolute champ, and he's super smart too. He graduated with a masters from Yale... yeah... this guy is kinda my hero a little bit. Anyway, we were tlaking, and he has officially convinced me that I need to get a Specialized road bike when I get back, so I think I probably will... I know it's weird, but I really love biking.

Saturday was sweet because we volunteered for Cruisin' Sherwood and had an absolute blast! It's a carshow that they do here in Sherwood and they had over 500 entries... it was nuts! The reason that we did it is because one of our sweet investigators (Scott) is one of the head haunchos (sp?) for the thing, and also the owner of a 1967 Chevy Camaro... holy cow that thing is gorgeous. He's had it since high school, and it's seriously the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Anyway, we spent the day working one of the gates to the show letting cars in and out, drooling over them, and getting nice and sunburned... it was entertaining to say the least haha.

Sunday, I don't have too much to say about it aside from the fact that we're gonna start rockin' it this week. The bishops in both wards are doing a push to really reach out to all of the part members, less actives, and friends to get a boatload of people to teach for reactivation and baptism... we're gonna be doing splits three or four times a week with the wards, so we're gonna be busy busy busy!

Other than that, and this is for Mom, I'm playing the piano again haha. I'm rusty on sight reading, so I'm trying to get better at it. Lay down a chord progression in front of me and I can do it, but reading off of the staff absolutely kills me unfortunately haha. I'll get better though, I promise!

Anyway, that's the excitement for the week. I love you guys so much and I hope you're having a great week!

Love,

Elder Kurt Mooney

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

At last - We got pictures!!

These pictures are from January to now: Our good friends from Bend, the Nettletons 18 months in the mission! Missionaries? Elder Wilde ready to fly home! Elder Mooney and Elder Wilde
video
video
video

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011

Dearest Mom, Dad, and graduate,

Holy Crap!!!!! My little sister is all grown up! I'm kind of at a loss for words on that one... I'm so proud of her though, that's awesome! I'll be writing her a letter this week on my handy dandy typewriter, so don't worry... I'm a little slow, but I'll get it done haha.

This week has been quite an eventful one for me as well, so I'll clue you in on the excitement:

Monday we had transfers (obviously because I already told you about them)

Tuesday turned out to be quite an eventful day. In the morning (around the butt-crack of dawn) we accompanied sister DeLong to seminary... at 6:00 a.m.! Gosh it was ridiculously early even for missionaries haha. They wanted her to come so that she could speak a little bit about the prophets and church leaders that she's known over the years, and man it was a hit with the kids! Instead of a class full of kids laying their heads on their desks half asleep and miserable, every single person was riveted on this sweet little old lady telling stories about how she played hop-scotch with president George Albert Smith as a kid and how Harold B. Lee was the person who sealed her and her husband for their marriage... she is truly an incredible woman.

Later that day, and actually as I was writing my last email, I was thinking a lot about how I could make some changes to find more success in this area, and as I said that I would be willing to change some things, in walked a man named Jon that I've talked about previously. He walked over to me and said that he wanted to meet with us.... plop! a little gift from heaven! haha. We set up an appointment right then and there for Wednesday and it went really well.

That night was what really rocked my world though. So remember how deciding to actually serve here in Oregon was a bit of a struggle at first because I wanted to know that it was the right place and that it wasn't a mistake? Remember how I went on that visit with the missionaries and what one of them told me gave me the spiritual slap in the face that made me realize this was the right mission for me? To make a long story extremely short, I met him. Post mission. Dating a member in Sherwood. That was a HUGE confirmation to me that this really is the place that The Lord picked for me to serve my mission... kinda crazy huh?

Wednesday we got super pumped about going knocking, so we did it, and it turned out to be pretty entertaining. We knocked in this complex close to old town Sherwood, thinking that we'd baptize the world and guess what... it was a complex for retirees over 55 haha. We set up about five return-appointments with some old ladies, so we'll see what happens this week with those haha... hopefully they're not just looking for someone to talk to for hours on end.

That night, we went to brother Demaris' place to start splits with the Cedar Creek ward, and found out that we were going to be helping this guy named Frank pack his stuff so that he could move out of his house because he was getting evicted. I soon found out why. We got to the house, and I about threw up... there was so much trash, garbage, and general filth that I was sure that I was gonna catch something just by being in the house! Yikes! I remember elder Wilde telling me a story about this dude and how he didn't wash dishes at his house for more than four months and how the dishes were MOLDY they'd been sitting there for so long... yeah, the rest of his house matched that pretty much. I never knew that a cola drink could grow mold on the top of it... turns out it can haha. There were mice droppings in the dirty laundry that had been left out, and geh.... it was just really gross. One nice thing, however, is that I got a free camera out of it that is WAY nicer than any that I could afford.. it's like a brand new Canon, and it was free! Sweet right? I found it buried in a basket that I was packing into a box. I asked when the last time it had been used was, and they told me that they liked using their phones better. I asked if I could trade them for my old camera, and they said just have it, so I took it :-)

Thursday we did our weekly planning and started a revolution: we're using the typewriter to do our weekly planning and to fill out teaching records... it works pretty dang well I have to say haha. It makes me feel more productive anyway. One thing that I was super bummed about was finding that the area books were in serious neglect... the last time a teaching record had been updated was in NOVEMBER! So, we decided that as part of our revolution, we're gonna make sure that the area book does not suck.

Other than that, we knocked doors and I bumped into the first Argentines that I'd ever met just knocking doors. Go figure that I'd have to go to English to finally meet one knocking doors haha.

Speaking of going English, I found out at zone leader council on Friday that I am an experiment to see if I can start a revolution amongst the English chuchos. To be honest, I think it's working because this last month as well as this first week of June, we're leading the mission. Revolution! We also found out that the mission might be trading in area books and such for ipads here pretty soon... nuts right? Well, not terribly soon, but within like three to five years or so.

Saturday wasn't too exciting.. we did service for the Steers family, finally finished sanding their deck, and had a bunch of failed appointments and knocked doors.

Sunday wasn't anything too bad either... we had a sweet dinner and lesson at the Steers with Scott Cunningham, and he's becoming our friend really quickly... I love sherwood :-)

All right, I'm tired of writing, but you asked if I'm taking pictures, and yes I am... I just sent my last memory card (after copying the pictures, so you should have a boatload either today or tomorrow. I love you guys a lot and congratulations to Katie Jo!

Love,

-Elder Mooney