Monday, August 1, 2011

Busy week + baptism

2011 August 1
Dearest Mommy,

Well, if your week was eventful, that makes two of us, cause this week has been pretty nuts! Like always, we'll start with last Monday after emails... In all honesty, it wasn't anything too terribly exciting during the day, but that night was freakin' sweet! We had another family home evening at the house with sister DeLong, and it was a super awesome spiritual experience because this time, instead of just getting to know Allie, she was able to tell her a little about the modern day prophets that she knows... it was the best "follow the prophet" lesson EVER. We also went over the baptismal interview questions with her, and she totally aced it... it was awesome. Seriously, this girl has the brightest burning testimony of any person I know right now-- life-long member or recent-convert. The funny thing was that we ended up chatting with sister DeLong and the Steers+Allie family 'til... well... maybe I shouldn't say so we don't incriminate ourselves haha. Anyway, suffice to say we were up late as usual. :-)

Now, for the next couple days, I'll apologize in advance, because I'm going to be ranting and raving about how missionaries are sometimes quite retarded and also quite pharasaic. I won't name any names, but yeah... the stories speak for themselves.

Tuesday we had district meeting in Tualatin, and it was quite comical. In that district, the district leader always sends out a text the night before letting everyone know the subject of the spiritual thought for the next day so that everyone can prepare something because somebody is always called at random to give their thought. Anyway, the subject was diligence, and this elder was called on to give the thought. He said "I knew this was gonna happen to me today!" and I asked if it was because he hadn't prepared like he was supposed to. He retorted by saying "no, it's because I've been studying it a lot and my head is full of scriptures about it!" The funny thing is that he ended up pulling out Galatians 5:22-23. For those of you that don't know, those are the "fruits of the spirit", and they have nothing to do with diligence basically... he said, "well, longsuffering and goodness are kind of related in this scripture... but I really like what it says about diligence in the bible dictionary." So he flipped... and flipped... and flipped... and flipped... and then muttered "huh... I guess it isn't in here." Quite comical. The best part was that his companion, the district leader, got up afterward to continue on the agenda, and said "make sure that you're really putting some thought into your preparation with these, because they're not just for you. You're here to help the whole group feel the Spirit, and if your spiritual thought sucks, nobody is going to be edified or get anything out of it." Kind of a gentle smack-down :-P

Later that day, the same district leader (who is a total champ and whose name is elder Avey) conducted Allie's baptismal interview, which went wonderfully. She came out locked and loaded (and excited) for baptism.

Wednesday, there was another derty-der moment with a missionary unfortunately. We had our Wednesday district meeting in McMinnville, and when we got there, we found out that there was a companionship that didn't show up because one of the elders was "sick." I put it in quotations, because when we went to go see how he was doing, we found him asleep, and not sick at all haha. His companion had a look of "oh crap" on his face when he answered the door at 11:00, and his companion (the sick one) had an even bigger look of "oh crap" when I took about 50 very, very unapproved CD's away from him along with a pair of headphones. I didn't do it to be a friggin' Nazi, but this is the same kid who caught with an iPod touch and a Nintendo DS away from! Some people just never learn... ya know? I love the kid to death, but man he needs to stop being dumb as a box of rocks! In all honesty, I don't even mind if the elders aren't the most obedient as long as they're getting the work done that they're supposed to, but when they're disobedient AND don't get any work done, there's a major problem. Anyway, I'll have to tell you guys some fun stories about this whole situation when I get home haha... it's more fun that way :-P

Another thing that happened that day was with our investigator Nick. We went over to a member's home for our scheduled lesson with him, and we saw him walking past the driveway from the porch, and wondered why he wasn't coming up the driveway. We called to him, and again, we saw this look of "oh crap" on his face (we kinda seem to get a lot of that lately). He came over and said we were ready to start the lesson, and he said "oh yeah! Sorry I was spacin' man." He didn't have his book of Mormon with him, so we sent him to retrieve it from his house which is a whopping 300 feet from this member. He went to get it, and NEVER CAME BACK! We just kinda sat there and laughed about it with the Hamm's... unfortunately, we might have to drop him soon because of it. Oh well haha it was kinda comical.

That night we had splits with the Cedar Creek ward and taught Allie how to pay her tithing and about the law of the fast... it went pretty well.

Thursday, we did some epic service for Scott & Heidi again, and had a sweet talk with Sam. We got talking about her family and how her dad's opinion of the church has turned a complete 180 because of the example of the Steers family as well as from having us around... he's an awesome guy... I just wish we could teach him more often haha. One satisfying thing about all that dang service for them is that the house is looking way, way better too. :-)

Friday we had zone leader council, and it was another one of those "stupid missionaries!" moments. We spent more than 45 minutes talking about how the music policy had NOT CHANGED! It was friggin' ridiculous. When I talk about missionaries being pharisaic, this is where that came from, because it was a total joke. We had a missionary saying "well it doesn't say hymns as part of the approved music list. Does that mean that we can't listen to them? The Singles Ward soundtrack is all hymns, does that still qualify as approved?" Another person asked "what exactly is considered classical music? If I have a remastered rock album that is re-done by an orchestra, does that count as approved?" When we went to ZLC, I didn't know we were going to be re-writing the law of Moses... bunch of dang Pharisees. I know my attitude about all of this is super, super negative, but it's just so frustrating to have people so wrapped around the axle with this nit-picky nonsense instead of focusing on their purpose as a missionary... it's idiotic. Okay, I'm done venting, I promise!

After the Pharisee fest, we had dinner with the Rey family in the Woodhaven ward. I love that family because they give me an excuse to speak Spanish for an hour or so :-) Oh and yes mom, I do have time to speak it still... actually like every day, so I'm not losing it... thank goodness haha. Anyway it was fun because they invited a non-member family from Tacoma (dangit) that we talked to and became friends with. We were able to sneak the gospel in a little bit by talking about piercings and tattoos (their sons had quite a few) and relate it to the plan of salvation. It went pretty well... I just wish they didn't live far away so we could continue talking to them... too bad Anderson was sitting in the corner unable to understand... I felt bad! Luckily the kids spoke English though, so it was cool.

After dinner, we went and visited with Joe for a little bit. Gosh that kid is freakin' funny, and so is his member friend Kyle! We found them outside Joe's house trying to pick the lock on a "project car" they had just purchased for $300.00. I would have to say, it's worth about that. No keys, no title, no intake, swapped motor, and no exhaust. Awesome. Oh and it's a lowered Honda CRX. Pretty nice rice- I mean, ride for sure haha. Anyway, we talked with them for about an hour, and we're hoping for a lesson this coming week cause he's busy for the weekend working.

Saturday, we had an epic fail of a service extravaganza we were hoping for haha. We started with service for my DCBFF Christy Barker, where we tried to fix (and might I emphasize TRIED) her lawnmower. No offense to it, but it's kind of a P.O.S. haha. It's been sitting outside for quite some time, so trying to get it cranked up, I snapped off the crank rope... twice haha. Anyway, we got that all jimmied up, then went to work on the clutch assembly and got everything taken care of. Actually, it worked like a charm for a while and I was able to mow the front lawn! However, after killing it to roll it to the back yard, As I cranked it up and mowed for a good two or three minutes, all of a sudden it decided to quit. No explosions, no fires, no dramatic finishes, it just plain quit. Another project for another day, cause we had to leave for our next service haha.

The second one was to clear out weeds at the Steers in their backyard, but as we were doing that for about five minutes, we got a call from Classy herself (Ella Rose DeLong) asking if we could do her a huge favor and get her some salad because she'd run out. We bailed and got her the salad just in time to go to a barbecue with a part-member family that the stake was hosting... unfortunately, they weren't even there by the time we had to leave for our next service appointment... dangit! haha. We bailed out and headed to that one, which consisted of helping out the Ross family to move into their home again. Unfortunately, they weren't there when we showed up, so we called them. They told us to sit tight and play with the puppies for about 20 minutes so and they'd be there. Well, we did as we were told and played with some puppies... and some baby goats... and some duckies haha. Their house sits on quite a bit of property, and they have a bunch of animals, so it was a blastie playing with all of them... especially when the ducks and the dogs got into a turf war over the shade under some fruit trees. Comical, but we had to leave before they got there. Murphy's law though, they showed up just as we got in the car to leave haha. We talked to them for about five minutes, then took off to prep for the most exciting part of this whole long friggin' email... Allie's baptism!!!!!!

We showered, changed, and high-tailed it to the stake center. Once there, we set everything up, and had the best baptism of our entire missions. Seriously, it went so well, and the spirit was so strong. The coolest part of all of it was that instead of testimonies or some dorky movie during the time that she and elder Anderson were changing, we had everyone who showed up to the baptism write some words of love and support to Allie on a 3x5 note card to put into a photo album that she can keep with her... pretty cool right? That was sister DeLong's idea. We call her a prophetess for a reason haha.

Sunday was awesome and nerve racking... I was asked to confirm Allie, and the blessings promised in it made me kinda think "I said WHAT!?" Super cool though... she's going to end up being a leader in the church, her example is going to influence many and bring a lot of people into the gospel, and she's going to serve a mission with her hubby someday... pretty freaking awesome. Right after that, we blessed her little baby Carly. Adorable right?

Aside from that, I don't really know what else to write... I'm feeling frazzled and super pumped at the same time... it's been a really awesome week. Crazy, busy, stressful, boring, exciting, frustrating, joyful. I love being a missionary.

I'm so stoked that you got to have Ivan at the house... he's a sweet kid. He reminds me a lot of myself at that age, and it sounds like you guys had a huge impact on him for the good... way to be missionaries! :-)

My list of scriptures that I want you all to look at are as follows:

Mosiah 27:32-37 (come to Jesus, be a tool :-))
Alma 1:27-32 (Come to Jesus, you'll make more money :-))
Alma 3 (the curse is not on the skin)
Alma 4: 8-11 (your example as a member can help or hurt)
Alma 6:6 (how to help the missionaries from home :-))

I love you guys so much, and I hope that things are going really, really well at home now that you're getting all geared up for fish lake after having the whirlwind gang come through haha. I'll talk to ya next week!

Con carino,

Elder Kurt Mooney

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