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 bomb.com. 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

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