Monday, July 25, 2011


So, I came to the conclusion that in the LDS (Latter-day Saints) church, we have WAY too many abbreviations... speaking of which, why is the word abbreviate so dang long... shouldn't they make it a little more simple to de-complexify a word that means to make shorter? Anyway, here's what happened that was exciting this week:

Monday's abbreviation will be FHE (Family Home Evening). We had an oh so wonderful p-day doing some babysitting and mediating for a companionship that is near (a little too near in my opinion) and dear to my heart. It kinda put a bullet in any of the original plans we had of relaxing, so yeah... it was kind of a bummer. Luckily, the FHE that we had that night made it all worth it. Allie came over to sister DeLong's house, and we did an FHE on the gospel of Jesus Christ after she got to know the classiest lady on the planet for a little while.
Tuesday's abbreviations will be DM (District Meeting), BWW (Buffalo Wild Wings), and Pumpkin (Pumpkin Ridge). So, it was planned out to be the most epic day EVER to make up for our super sucky lack of a p-day the day before, but it turned out to be a total bust... well, for the most part anyway. We had our usual district meeting with Tualatin, which was totally fine, and we even went to Buffalo Wild Wings afterward for lunch. Unfortunately, it ran long because they were slow getting food to us, and slower getting the checks out, so we lost some time there that should have been used for what we had planned afterward. We had blocked out some time (with the approval of the AP's of course) to take them out for elder Gardner's birthday (because he's one of the AP's) and treat him to some golf at Pumpkin Ridge golf course courtesy of Mark Schloo :-). Unfortunately, we got a phone call that morning from him informing us that he wasn't going to be able to make it because some idiot elder ran away on the coast, so he was going to have to do some babysitting... sounds like a familiar situation eh? haha I thought it was comical at least. Anyway, Gardner, being the champ that he is, told us to go have twice as much fun to make up for he and elder Blanchard not being able to make it, so we tried. We arrived around 3:00 hoping to get directly onto the course with Mark, but unfortunately we ended up waiting around for an hour and a half before we could get on... that kinda threw a wrench in the works because we were left with only 30 minutes to try to golf in... we got in two holes then turned for home haha. It was sunny this time at least! Hopefully next time we can get it worked out to go when it's sunny AND stay for the full 18 holes haha.

Wednesday's abbreviations are related with what we talked about with a kid named Joe. The abbreviations if put into a sentence would be "CJ's, YJ's, and FJ's leading to a lesson with a LA (less-active) MP (member-present)." haha because talking about Jeeps is what led us to picking him up as one of our best investigators so far. We went to contact a referral that wasn't home, and we saw his Jeep in the driveway, so we knocked the door and talked to him for a while. After about 15 minutes, his buddy Kyle pulls up, and it turns out that he's a member from a neighboring ward in Tigard! He's a super sweet kid, and contemplating a mission at age 19, so hopefully we can help him get there as well as baptize his friend before he goes. Seriously, super uncanny the resemblance between this Joe kid and myself. Has a Jeep (a 1994 white wrangler with a 4-banger just like mine), total pile of junk, loves working on it and crawling with it, he graduated 2008, loves reggae music, and yeah... to make a long story short, we're totally gonna baptize him. We talked shop for quite a while, but then he invited us in, and while there, we were able to start talking about religion, and eventually taught him about the restoration, and it was awesome! It really touched him, and he's stoked to meet with us again this week, so I'll keep ya posted on what happens there.

Thursday's abbreviations would be... ah forget it there really aren't any for this day haha. We did some intense service for Scott and Heidi by tearing out all the weeds along the side of their house, uncovering the few stepping stones that were there, and then replacing the dirt around them with river rocks... it looks pretty flippin' sweet if I do say so myself. Other than that, we had an awesome lesson that night with Nick Larsen where we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ as relating to the restoration, and he liked it. He said that he felt the Spirit as he read the book of Mormon, so I invited him to be baptized on the 20th of August, and he accepted it... awesome, right? We've just gotta make sure we help him to get locked and loaded for it now so that he can be ready when the day comes.

Friday, the abbreviation would be, again, DCBFF (Diet Coke Best Friend Forever) SVC (service) with some B-fast (breakfast...der...) afterward. It was a pretty good time, and it's fun to have the interaction with the kids. One funny thing about doing that was when it came time to eat. Mom, I tried to copy that apple spice syrup that you always make for those pumpkin pancakes, and it turned out looking WAY different haha. It was still tasty, but what sister Barker's kids said about it was hilarious. We brought it out to pour over our apple-cinnamon french toast, and Kylie said "what is that!? It looks like throw-up!" I started laughing because she was totally right, it kinda did, but then the thought came to me that it looked more like poop than vomit, and just as I was thinking that, sister Barker chimed in and said "no, it doesn't really look like vomit... if anything, it looks like baby poop." haha I was about dying I was laughing so hard. It really was good in spite of how it looked haha... you'll have to send me the recipe or something so I don't screw it up next time haha.

Anyway, other than that on Friday, we had a lesson with Allie where we reviewed a few things from the gospel of Jesus Christ and talked about the sacrament, then I gave her brother a haircut... I have to say, I'm getting pretty pro at hacking hair with a pair of buzzers... I even do it to myself haha. It probably looks terrible, but such is life as a missionary... $12 bucks sounds like a lot of money, ya know? haha.

Saturday doesn't really have any abbreviations aside from MSH (Mosiah), cause that's all I really wanted to talk about. That book freakin' rocks! To be brief because I have three minutes left, chapter 20 is a good one to study as relating to passing quick judgment and acting when you're angry. 23 is sweet because it talks about being caught up in wickedness and changing. How to do it, and how to maintain it more importantly. The coolest part talks about trials and the big reason we have them. Check it out sometime... it'll change the way you look at your life. Note the attitude of the people who are experiencing those trials and how they reacted during as well as afterward toward God.

Sunday, we were in church for eight hours. Blah. That was a long day. Other than that, we had a sweet lesson with Allie where we set up her baptismal program and taught her the ten commandments... she's so set for her baptism. Her testimony is growing, and seriously, she's gonna be a relief society president someday.

I'm outta time, but I love you guys!

-Elder Mooney

Monday, July 18, 2011


Dearest Mommy,

This week has been pretty dang eventful. I already told you about transfers and all that, but here's what happened from Tuesday on. We started off the day with double-duty district meetings where we got to know all of the elders in the Tualatin and Tigard districts. It was fun, and it's looking like we're gonna be kicking trash... especially now that we have two more sets of elders packed into our zone. That night, we didn't have too many exciting things happen... we went to a lesson with some active members and basically sang praises to Ella Rose the whole time because she's a prophetess, she's kind, almost like another intercessory because she's so righteous, and is down to earth enough to talk to anyone albeit a sinner or another fellow saint... pretty cool haha.

Later that night, we went and visited Allie over at the Steers' home and she asked if we could copy the files from her work laptop onto a different computer so that she can use it when she prosecutes her boss... it's a long story. I don't wanna get into it haha. Anyway, so we took this laptop hard drive over to sister DeLong's house feeling like we were secret agents, and tried to figure out how to do the transfer, cause we most definitely didn't have anything to hook it up to wire-wise into sister DeLong's computer. We end up taking apart her tower and hooking up the hard drive into the secondary hard drive cables and trying to transfer the info over, but unfortunately, it didn't recognize the computer and totally shut down. It locked us out of opening the files and denied all copying or transferring... epic fail. Guess I don't have computer hacking skills huh? It made for an adventurous late night though, that's for sure haha.

Wednesday was nothing special. We had district meeting in Mac, then shot the rest of the day getting the oil changed and the tires rotated... bleh. That night was sweet though because it was my turn to go teach Allie on splits, and it went really well! I was assigned to go with Colin Hales, a guy in the ward who I'm finally getting to know. Good thing I am, cause he's a freakin' stud! He grew up in SLC and was recently reactivated up here a couple years back. He's super laid back, but has an awesome testimony and seems to be able to talk to anyone. Fun fact for the day about Colin: we have three things in common: (do you like how there was a colon inside another colon in this sentence?) 1: (okay that was just for kicks and giggles) we drink diet Coke. 2: we love Jeeps. 3: we both spent a lot of time in Daybreak back in Utah... turns out that one of the sweet colonial style houses that I used to drive by every day working up there was his! Kind of a small world amongst the Mormons eh? He's a way sweet guy and his family matches him perfectly... he's one of those people I wanna keep friends with after the mission for sure.

Anyway, jumping into what happened that night, we ended up teaching Allie a little bit about the plan of salvation and just talking about how she was feeling about her baptismal date, etc., and she decided that she wants to move it up to the 30th so that the Steers can be there for the baptism as well as the confirmation (they're headed out of town the following Sunday morning). On top of that, she wants to get her baby blessed after her confirmation... kinda cool, huh? This girl is making all the right decisions, and the Lord is definitely preparing the way to help her get there... it's awesome!

Thursday... it was an interesting day. We had our normal service over at Scott and Heidi's, although they weren't there, so we just did what we usually do. We mowed the lawn and bought some weed-n-feed for it, and it laid down quite nicely. After that, we got back to the house and did some cleaning in the garage. It was kinda therapeutic in a way, considering the stress load that was tacked on. It's funny how things change in your life... I used to hate washing dishes, organizing/cleaning and doing yard work, but now that's how I keep my sanity.

That night, we had another lesson with Allie where she made us some dessert and we taught her the rest of the plan of salvation by drawing on a whiteboard... it was pretty dang fun. The coolest part of it was that her kid brother was there, and he liked it as well... unfortunately, he lives kinda far away, so we're not sure how we can swing it without handing him over... driving to Eugene to teach him might be a stretch haha.

Friday, we did some service for my DCBFF, and it rocked! We took some time to clear out her garage that was full of Tupperware bins and schtuff that needed to be junked, and we made it look nice and pretty. In all honesty, we were just the brawn and she did most of the "braining" to figure out where she wanted it put and how she wanted it organized... I have to say though... it looks pretty dang good :-) The sweetest part about it is that she was so sweet and cooked us an amazing brunch complete with breakfast burritos and sticky buns... she even topped it all off with some good ol' diet Coke with lime :-) All bribes and favors aside, she's one of the people that I wanna stay in close contact with after the mission... she's a way awesome person. Convert to the church, spiritual giant, and still finds room to drink diet Coke haha.

Anyway, that night, we had another good lesson with Allie at the Steers where we were talking about her group of friends and what her role is with them. It's kinda funny cause everyone calls her "mommy" because she takes care of them and gives them advice on life... she realized that with the influence that she has with them, she could majorly bless their lives by showing them the way that she herself was able to change... I just hope it works and we can help out her friends as well!

Saturday, we decided to JW it by doing some door knocking, and it kinda paid off... well, on two doors at least. Most of the people didn't want to answer the door, but the ones who did were pretty cool. Well, minus one guy who was a Presbyterian minister anyway. We bumped into a lady who has been less active for like ten years, but said she'd be cool with us coming over to talk with her and teach her, so hopefully we can get her records transferred into the ward and we can get her going to church again... as the saying goes: we'll see what happens. One other person we knocked into was a lady who's actually the mom of a kid who plays soccer with Nathan Steers (momma steers' boy), and it sparked a great conversation with her... she doesn't really know anything about the church, but after talking to her there, she seemed pretty stoked about talking to momma steers and setting up a time to come over for dinner with her. We kinda had to finagle it that way because her husband is a big time Delta-Bravo. It's funny because I had already talked to his wife about knowing Spanish, and he was talking smack in Spanish behind the door while we talked to his wife, and obviously didn't know that I speak it... the look on his wife's face was pretty priceless. Anyway, it was a good conversation.

Aside from that, on Sunday we had a couple of people to church, which was sweet. Allie was there and so was the Steers' neighbor friend named Sage. We need more Steers families in our wards! They're totally rockin' it right now! Church was good, we didn't have anything too eventful happen... oh except for during the last hour of church (we were there for eight hours on Sunday haha) we got a text from Mia (the girl who was Allie's roommate) asking if it was normal to have scary experiences before you get baptized. I was a little sketched out by that, so I stepped out and talked to her. Turns out that the day she announced her baptism, that night she went to bed and had a scary, scary dream where she woke up terrified and wondered if maybe it was a sign. We talked and I explained that it's normal for people who are trying to change their lives for the better to have Satan try to step in and muddle things up, then showed her Alma 37:37 that talks about the Lord watching over you as you sleep if you pray to him to do so... she'll be okay though, and she's super excited for her baptism... she says that one of us should be allowed to perform her baptism and the other could do Allie's... sounds like a good excuse for a trip to Colorado right? haha

Anyway, that was the excitement for Sunday aside from one more lesson with Allie to cover the word of wisdom.

The only other fun thing that happened was that this morning we got a text from momma Steers asking if we could help her with her garage. When we got there, we found out why... somehow, the opener had totally trashed the top section of the door... the first row on it has glass panes, and the force of the door had shattered ALL of them somehow, so we spent some time fixing it with some deck screws and carpenter nails after cleaning up all the glass... it seriously bent the top panel in half it had so much force behind it! Anyway, it's fixed now, and at least it'll open and close without doing what it did before haha.

Well, I'm off to enjoy a nice relaxing p-day, so I hope all is well on the home front and that you're all doing what you're supposed to. I love you all and will talk to ya later!


Elder Kurt Mooney

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Praise the Lord - I'm dyin' in Sherwood!

2011 July 11
Dearest Mommy,

Holy cow this has been an eventful week, so brace yourself, okay?

So, to start off this whole shebang, let's begin with last Tuesday after we finished emails. Just as we were about to finish up and log off, we got an email from the mission office saying that they needed stake reports info emailed in for both the tualatin and mcminnville stakes by 5:00, so we were sent scrambling trying to find the numbers, get them punched in, and get them off in time... holy stressful mess! It wouldn't have been so bad, but we found out that there's a limit to how much time you can spend on the computers in the library, so we ended up not being able to use those, frantically searching for a key, and running to the clerk's office in the church to get them done on time. Luckily, we got it done under the gun with like 20 minutes to spare haha.

Wednesday was the day for zone conference with our new mission president Morby so that he could go through and interview every single missionary... basically it ended up being the AP's and ourselves (elder Anderson and I) babysitting four zones by giving them extensive training on how to use the new DVD players and focus on the fundamentals of preach my gospel. It really wasn't too bad, but I'm a little disappointed that we forgot to bring the DVD player that president Dyches had assigned to us, because we had a perfect plan of how we were going to do a "demonstration." We were planning on having one of us fake watching an unapproved movie on it and have the other companion come in with a hammer to smash it to pieces, and then tell the rest of the missionaries that's what we'll do if they watch unapproved material on them. We didn't, however, so we gave a more grown-up training where we showed them "how to use the pause button effectively during companionship study to improve teaching skills".... sounds idiotic, but hey, it's what they asked us to do for the training. We made sure to make pauses to point out how one dude had really short arms in proportion to his body, the funny faces some of the people made, and to hear some comments from the peanut gallery about their teaching techniques... it was actually kinda fun :-)

That night, we had the most crazy awesome splits ever. So you remember how we talked about Jared, Mia, and Allie right? Well, I think that fateful fourth of July night after we left put that awesome trio into some deep thinking after we'd shared our experiences of life before the mission and how we were able to change to come out. To make a long story short, elder Anderson went to the lesson on splits Wednesday night with Clint Demaris (WML) and I went to some visit some other people, and it turns out that during the lesson, Jared said that he was going to separate from Mia and move back to Texas to prepare for his mission while she moves back to Colorado to live with her family and continue learning from the missionaries there to get ready for baptism! Boom! At the drop of a hat! It's amazing how if someone is willing to act they can have that much spiritual influence exercised in their life. Allie decided to stay and continue going to church here and keep learning about the gospel. Pretty sweet, eh? We're continuing to teach Allie who already has such a solid testimony it's awesome, and we're planning on keeping in close contact with the other two so that we can make sure that they stay strong and don't get lost in the process... they're all such freakin' awesome kids I love them! There's more to the story with these three as the week goes along, and it's a lot more in-depth than I'm describing it, you guys at least have to hear this part of it.

On Thursday, we did some service for Scott and Heidi at the house where we seriously tore the crap out of their lawn by digging out all the weeds growing in it and trying to make it look really good. We're planning on coming back next week to weed-n-feed the whole thing and fill in the holes with some potting soil and grass seed so it'll grow in nice and thick... it's a major project, but Scott deserves it along with his two daughters... they're sweet. Actually, one of the cool things that happened this last time is we had the opportunity to talk with Scott's oldest daughter Sam while she was out picking cherries out of the tree and we were digging weeds. She's been super distanced the whole time I've known her because I think her church talks a little smack on the Mormons, but she warmed up and was chatting it up about her job, the truck she drives, and just life in general... we even convinced her to come out to Keltapalooza (a party for Kelton, the former elder Wilde... I'm getting there don't worry) at the Steers on Sunday night. Anyway, hopefully we can start teaching her and get her going to church or something, cause she's a super sweet kid... has the exact same personality as her dad, it's way cool.

After doing that, we headed back to the house and got changed so we could go say goodbye to Jared and Mia before they took off for their respective homes (like I said, at the drop of a hat!) and talk for a little bit... it just blows my mind the amount of faith that these three have shown to be willing to act just like that. We made sure to jot down their numbers and email addresses, and get Mia's address so the missionaries could visit her... I think they even got us added on facebook I'm not sure haha. Anyway, that was way cool.

Friday, we were on exchange, so elder Anderson took a trip to Tigard to work with elder Shupe, and I was here in Sherwood with his companion elder Bowthorpe. It's funny how you have a predetermined mindset about a person before you get to know them... I thought the kid was a jerk to be honest when I first met him, but now I realize that he's way sweet and just super shy and humble. We spent the morning doing some service for my DCBFF (diet coke best friend forever) in the cedar creek ward, sister Barker. It was pretty funny how much coke she has in her food storage... like she probably has more of that than any other commodity haha. I think it's because in all reality, you can survive off of just diet coke for quite a while :-)

Anyway, we did about the same thing with sister Barker as we did with Scott's lawn, but to a more extreme level. We were digging out entire patches of lawn where moss had killed off the grass and re-planting with grass seed mix... hopefully with some watering, weed-n-feed, and time, we can get it in working order again.... gosh maybe I should be a landscaping major or something, cause I'm seriously loving yard work right now haha. I have another story about it on Saturday for sister DeLong that I'll tell ya.

Oh, one more funny thing about Friday was that we helped Mark and Alex move out of their townhouse to be closer to Mark's work. While cleaning out their freezer, we found another gallon zip-loc baggie chock-full of weed haha. His wifey said when I showed it to her "uh.. it's just green beans" but it was pretty funny... goodness she was very adamant about keeping a hold of those green beans after I pulled them out of the freezer :-P

So Saturday morning we were supposed to get to McMinnville's SPC breakfast, and we got totally lost and didn't find it till the last 20 minutes of it haha. It's a terrible thing when your GPS dies and you have no phone signal on the back roads of Mac... goodness it made for some good rallying in that Malibu though :-)

After the breakfast, we did another exchange with Cox and Wohlleben to keep them from killing each other, and because we found out that Kelton (elder Wilde) was up visiting. Before seeing him, we did some work in sister DeLong's yard, and holy moses we found out something interesting. Where we thought there was a bush in the front right by the walkway turned out to be a tree that should have covered a patio! We hacked the crap out of the bush and were able to make enough space to park two nice patio chairs underneath it and have room to stand up straight... pretty ridiculous, but it looks awesome. I'll take pictures for ya.

After that, we went to a dinner at the park, which was a barbecue put on for elder Wilde, and it was pretty sweet... he brought his girlfriend Erica with him as well as his mommy Kim. They're a pretty cute couple together... I don't really have much else to say about that haha. Other than that, his mom is absolutely awesome. Seriously, I talked with her more than with Kelton because he was...ahem... occupied with his girly haha. Kim and I are gonna be good friends after the mission though cause we both get along really, really well. Kinda funny eh? Maybe a little strange, but whatevs. You'll have to meet her... she's only like 20 min away in Draper.

Sunday, Allie came to church with the Steers, and it's so adorable. She might be horribly embarrassed if she read this, but it's been so cool to see the change that has come over her even in the last three weeks. The first time she came to church with Jared and Mia, both of the girls were dressed...well, not overly modest we'll put it that way haha. However, in the following two weeks, their dress became more and more modest (and not just on Sundays!) and it's so cool to see how their countenances have changed, especially Allie's. She's a kid who definitely has her head screwed on straight and is looking to do what her Heavenly Father has planned for her. The gospel changes lives as long as the people living them are willing to follow it. She's one of those people.

That night was the big Keltapalooza over at the Steers home where we ate a boatload, talked a ton, and laughed even more. It was really so much fun to be with those guys for the night. Kelton, gf, and mommy were there, the Steers minus her hubby who's working in California, and even Scott's crew and Allie were there! Holy mess it was fun!

Now for the fun part of this whole week-long experience that I forgot to tell you until now: We got transfer calls on Saturday night, and it turns out that I'm staying here in Sherwood till the end of the mish! Gardner called and said "elder Mooney, I'm so sorry... I tried. I was really pullin hard for ya. I fought tooth and nail, and well... YOU'RE STAYING IN SHERWOOD!!!!" Ah man I was so mad at him for like five seconds haha.. I was so scared of leaving this place, and it just makes me really happy to know that I'll be here to finish the mission, so I can not have to worry about getting the boot or seeing another area... just me, Anderson, and Sherwood... with Ella Rose DeLong, of course :-)

Now for the funny part. Transfers were yesterday, right? So as I'm doing my studies in the morning before we headed over, I got a call from some random area in the mission, and it turns out it's Rivera, and guess what... I'm a grandpa! A friggin' grandpa! Rivera is training a kid in English, so it's official: My posterity continues onward, thank goodness haha. Kinda funny though, right? The poor kid is training on a bike in Gresham... I gave him a knife as a father's day present so he can fight off the hobos out there where he's at haha.

After transfer meeting, we did some shopping, dropped off elder Cox and his companion the Nazi, and headed to dinner at the house. Turned out that our dinner canceled on us, but sister DeLong's granddaughter was nice enough to make us a super killer dinner complete with steak, green beans, baked potatoes, and even angel food cake (Twinkies haha) with homemade whipped cream and strawberries over the top... delicious!

Anyway, after the super sweet & thoughtful dinner, we had a lesson over at the Steers house with Allie, and it went really well. Actually, we didn't even end up talking about what we wanted to... most of the time was honestly spent hearing about how Kelton's girlfriend was like the Yoko Ono for his Beatles and how he should do better, blah, blah, blah until we were able to change the subject. To make a long story much, much shorter, we got talking about the church, her reading, and how her prayers have been going. She had a confirmation this last Sunday that this is the true church through a cool experience that she had where the Spirit kinda spoke to her, so we asked if she wanted to be baptized. She's set up to have her baptism on the 5th of August :-) the crazy thing about it? five is her lucky number and it's also her half-birthday mark... cool eh? I freakin' love being a missionary!

Okay, I apologize that this letter is so dang long, but I just want you to know that I love you so much Mom and I appreciate so much the sacrifices you guys are willing to make to let me be out here and serve the Lord... it truly has and continues to change me as a person every day... I just hope that you guys see the blessings of it as much as I do.... even if the only blessing is that it makes being around me a little more bearable haha. Have a great week and I'll talk to ya later, okay?

All my love,

-Elder Kurt Mooney

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July

Dearest Mommy,

Well, it's been an eventful week, so hopefully I have the time to get all of this crammed into one email... we'll see!

Monday (the 27th) was a pretty sweet day. We actually ended up shooting part of our p-day to go teach a lesson to those two non-members that showed up to church with the less active guy. Turns out that it went really well! Their names are Allie and Mya (pronounced) me-uh, not maya), and they are, to put it into one word, prepared! We got to know them a little bit, and taught them about the restoration, and they both totally accepted it! Mya is Jared's (the less active guy) girlfriend, so it's cool to see that they're looking to get their lives aligned with the gospel. Allie is a single mom, and she recognizes that she isn't in the ideal situation, but wants to make sure that her kids are when they get to that point, so she wants them to grow up in the gospel. When we taught them about Joseph Smith, they recognized that it totally makes sense and said that it had to have happened and that there must be prophets today... pretty sweet right? They even said when they knew it was true, they're gonna be baptized... Yay!

Tuesday we had a patriotic district meeting where we sang The Star-Spangled Banner and My Country 'Tis of Thee, which ended up offending Cox's German companion, but oh well that's what he gets for serving in the greatest country in the world haha. After that, we went to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch, and it was awesome! Oh man I hadn't been there since before the mission, so it was fun to do that for my b-day with the district. Elder Cox was super thoughtful and not only paid for my meal, but got me a super cool card and a couple of goodies... I love that kid!

Wednesday was a sweet day. In the morning it was basically a party with sister DeLong where she totally took one for the team. Okay, I need to backtrack to Anderson's birthday... we bought him a remote-controlled helicopter, and sister DeLong HATES it! Well, she secretly loves it, but she's just afraid it's gonna get twirled up in her hair, but anyway, getting back to the point, she took one for the team and bought me one for my birthday! Oh man elder Anderson and I have limitless entertainment flying our helicopters and crashing them into each other haha.

The package that you guys sent, by the way, was put to VERY good use... especially the whoopee cushions haha. Sister DeLong is very prim and proper when it comes to *ahem* lavatory vernacular, so instead of saying "I'm gonna go take a pee" you would say "I'm going to go spend a penny". The best one is that instead of saying "fart", you would say "make a smell" (which sounds worse in my opinion) Anyway, the thing that makes it comical is that we hid a few of the whoopee cushions under the chairs that she sits on regularly (terrible hiding them from a blind lady, right?) and when she would sit down on them, we would question her saying "hermana, did you make a SMELL!?" She, of course, was a great sport about it all, but was mortified the first time we did it haha. Oh good times with sister DeLong :-)

Anywho, later in the day, we had a bash on my birthday.. that was lame. I find that I just get fuming when people read anti material because it's not even that they have a doctrinal difference, it's just that they poison their minds toward everything that we believe... even the things that we have in common. The nice thing was that we had a member with us who took us back to his house and gave us a drink and a piece of cake to cool the iron a little bit haha.

That night was one of the most entertaining nights of my mission, and probably of any birthday I've had. We got a call from momma Steers asking if we had dinner plans, which we didn't, and she said, "well Scott and Heidi (Scott's the guy we're teaching) wanna take you out, so where do ya wanna go?" He ended up taking us out to Chang's Mongolian which was super fun and where he shelled out some major cash... that guys is the freakin' man! Not only that, but we were able to spend some good time just talking and laughing with them the whole night which made it awesome. I really look forward to the day that he gets baptized. I was thinking that this might be a good opportunity for dad to talk to him... I don't have his number on me right now, but next week I'll email it to ya cause saying thanks for what he did could be a good segue into talking about the whole situation with what he's going through. Not sure if you'd be comfortable with that dad, but lemme know.

Oh, one other interesting thought about what happened while we were at dinner. So as we were taking off, I picked up a fortune cookie, and no joke, this is what it said: "remember this day three months from now. Great things are in store for you." Crazy huh!? Oh my goodness I was a little freaked out when I read that... T-minus three months and counting!

Okay, on to Thursday. Nothing too exciting happened... Scott was working, but we went over and did some service for him anyway. You know, it's funny how your attitude changes when you get older. The thing that's sick is that now I totally enjoy doing yard work... like I love it! I also like washing dishes, straightening picture frames, dusting blinds, making my bed every morning... I don't know what's wrong with me... maybe I'll snap out of it eventually or something haha. No but really, there's something so nice about being able to do those things and see the immediate results of what you're involved with. it's satisfying for sure.

Friday was the big day that we met president Morby... I'm a little scared haha. Not because he's uber strict, in fact, quite the opposite. I was a little worried when I found out what his policy was for the fourth of July... He said that between six and nine p.m. he didn't want us proselyting, but that we should spend that time with members, and that if we were going to watch fireworks, we needed to be home no later than 12... I know that sounds kinda reasonable, but holy moses that's a big deal as far as missionaries are concerned! Mind you, this is the same day that we had DVD players handed out to every single companionship in the mission, so we were all a little stressed out. The nice thing about the DVD players though? We found out that we can put a parental lock on them so the only rating they can see on them is G. All of the DVD players in our zone now have that set on them, and only elder Anderson and myself know the code. Muahaha. :-)

Saturday turned out to be a super service Saturday... and it was freakin' fun! We went to momma Steer's place and hacked down some MONSTER blackberry bushes that were plaguing the hill on the back of their property, and man it was a task lemme tell ya. We spent a good two or three hours just hacking the thing down and raking it into piles. After we finished with that, we took a "break" by heading back home to do some service for hermana DeLong. Turns out I'm pretty handy for learning how to wind and calibrate antique black forest clocks (real ones like the one we have...haha). Anyway, sister DeLong has like five of them in the house, and we have two of them working right now, and the other ones we're working on... hopefully they start working soon haha.

Once we finished dinking around with the clocks, we took a little trip back to the Steers to help her load up all the blackberries to throw them on the burn pile of one of the Sherwood elders' investigators. Turns out that the guy whose truck we were borrowing is a non-member married to an active lady, so it gave us a great opportunity to talk to him about the gospel and his story... turns out he's the strength and conditioning coach for the Blazers and a really cool guy! The thing I don't get is that he grew up in Sandy, Utah, went to CEU for his undergrad, and was never baptized... we wanna find out more, but anyway, back to the story. He was super nice and friendly the whole time, and actually ended up hooking us up with NBA shorts that the players wear and taking us out to dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ. He is such a cool guy! Hopefully we can work with him more, especially since there's a lockout going on right now. We'll see I guess. Oh, and his name is Bobby Medina.

Sunday we had another exciting Sunday where we got to teach Sunday school. Allie and Mya showed up for church, and we even had a lady we're teaching in Woodhaven ward show up for sacrament! Pretty cool!

Monday was the We woke up in the morning, studied, then went to a ward breakfast down in Stella-Olson park. We had a blast talking to the members, and even Jared, Allie, and Mia showed up! We talked to them, and they invited us over for dinner and offered that they would do everything if we made a dessert, so we did. We spent part of the day mediating between Wohlleben and Coxey, bought our ingredients, and made some blueberry cupcake/muffins with a blueberry lemon vanilla glaze topped with whipped cream and sliced strawberries... oh my goodness they were heavenly! Anyway, long story short, we ate with them and became really good friends with them quickly and spent the night shooting off fireworks with them after dinner. We have another appointment set up with them for Wednesday, so hopefully we'll be able to give them a solid baptismal date, but that means a marriage/breakup date for Jared and Mya, so we're gonna have to do some planning for that.

The one thing I love about the fourth of July is the nostalgia of it all. The sun, the heat, the breakfast, the songs, the barbecues, the smell of fireworks, the cool night, and the way people slow down and really recognize how wonderful of a day it really is. I came to the realization of how much of an impact the fourth has had on us as a religion. I know it sounds hokey, but it's true. Mom, you said that nobody celebrates the fourth like they do along the Wasatch front, and I would argue that's because we have a deeper understanding and appreciation of it because of the gospel truths that we enjoy. The Book of Mormon speaks of it, and there's also a great talk given by Dallin H. Oaks given about it. If ya have time, look up his talk. Here's the link for it:

Anyway, I love this work, I love this country, and I love the 4th of July! Oh, and I love you guys too, of course. :-)

All my love,

-Elder Mooney