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!
Elder Kurt Mooney