Monday, August 8, 2011

Hard work and service

Dearest Mommy,

Well, this week was pretty dang exciting in some ways... lemme tell ya about it! This past Monday, we had one heck of a p-day cause guess what... Kyle came over from Bend to visit! We took him bowling with the Steers and Allie, and it was a total blast! We had a good time as we talked and joked about life and how badly we suck at bowling... I really miss hanging out with that kid on a regular basis. One thing that's funny is that holy crap he is so dang skinny! He has seriously lost a lot of weight! He said that he's running every day now, so I guess that definitely helps. Anyway, it made for a good p-day, although we've still got to find a way to throw him into the baptismal font haha. Someday it'll happen I'm sure.

Tuesday we didn't have any district meetings (thank goodness!) because we had zone conference the following day, but we got called in for a sudden move of the Forkner family... we were a little confused because just a week before we had talked to them about him helping us out with splits the next week, but I guess they're taking off, so whatever. Anyway, it turned out to be a good time talking and laughing with brother Forkner along with the two guys he hired to help them get everything moved into the truck. I have to say, it makes life about a thousand times easier when people actually take the time to box up stuff before calling in the moving crew... we were able to get the entire house moved into the truck within three hours... awesome right? I thought so anyway. The guys he hired to move were non-members, so we had some good chats about the gospel as we packed things into the truck and talked about their lives. One of them was named Taylor Bacon, and he was a pretty cool guy... he seemed pretty dang interested in why we served missions, how we are called, etc... Anyway, we ended up leaving him with a card with our number on it, so hopefully down the road it'll help him move toward investigating :-)

Wednesday we had zone conference, and I don't mean to be negative, but it was kind of a let-down. I usually absolutely adore them because of the spiritual boost you receive and the energy you get from them to help you get motivated to hit the ground running afterward. This one was different because instead of getting that usual boost of inspiring messages and spiritually packed time, we found that president Morby simply wanted us to teach him what he needed to do, and he was recognizing to the entire group that he's a greenie and that he doesn't have any real missionary experience aside from what he had over 40 years ago... for me, it was kind of demoralizing. I'm not saying he's a bad guy by any stretch of the imagination, it was just kind of... I dunno... it didn't give me the boost I was looking forward to. Actually, we (elder Anderson and I) were picked to help President Morby with the training. I guess it's not necessarily his job to ensure that spiritual boost... maybe instead of expecting to just take things away from it, it's our job to contribute for the other missionaries now that we're old farts :-P
The rest of the day wasn't all bad because we had dinner with the Steers, so we were able to vent our frustrations to them over some tasty beef ribs with baked potatoes and then head to splits with the Cedar Creek ward. It turned out to be a pretty fun time :-) Brother DeMaris and I headed to the McHugh's (a recent move-in part member family) and just shot the breeze with them. It was actually pretty fun because we were able to work in the word of wisdom and how it related to brother DeMaris' witch-doctor practices of chiropractics :-P It was a fun time, and he makes me want to be a chiropractor for sure haha.

Thursday we decided to drop in on a companionship that's been having some...ahem... struggles with getting up on time, so as an incentive , we bought some sausage mcmuffins from mickey D's and took them over at around 8:00... Unfortunately, they didn't answer the door, so we ripped off the big "M" from the bag and stuck it through the door with a note on a card about being up next time to enjoy the tasty artery-clogging goodness, then headed to the Hedges Creek elders' apartment. Luckily these two were awake and we enjoyed some nice breakfast and personal study with them :-P.
The rest of the day was quite a party... we had a picnic in the park, and afterward we helped Allie to clean out/paint her apartment because she's looking to leave it. Now, Allie is a pretty clean person, but Jared and Mia (no offense to them, of course) were absolute pigs! Oh my gosh! So since they took off at the drop of a hat, they basically took nothing but the clothes on their backs, and left everything else. Unfortunately, that meant that we were left to clean it up. Wrappers, a dirty diaper, kitty poop, spoiled milk, a half-eaten apple, clothes EVERYWHERE, papers, no sheets on the bed... ugh. I won't even mention the rest of the stuff we found in there... it'll make for a good post-mission story for sure haha. Anyway, we got all that cleaned up and started painting. The rest of the apartment was fine, but Jared and Mia got the wild idea of painting their room...a nice turquoise blue! Bleh! Not only that, but they decided to get that paint on a few parts of the ceiling, as well as on the door frame and ONE panel on the closet doors, so we had to paint the entire closet because of it... frustrating! We primed it, waited half an hour, then painted it. After that, we had to head out for dinner, etc, but it was all good.

Friday I went on exchange with elder Cox so that he could say goodbye to Ella Rose and a few other folks, and it was really kinda sad... He goes home this week for school! Depressing right? Hopefully he can come visit you guys, or if you take a trip down to St. George you can meet him, cause he's an absolute stud I love him. Things that day weren't too terribly exciting, just service for my DCBFF as well as for Cher (Cox had to say goodbye to her and have one last "sparkle with Jesus" haha) before going to lunch with Mark Cottle one last time. The one productive thing we were able to accomplish was stake reports... thank goodness they're done, cause I HATE doing them haha. They're time consuming, and they only get looked at one time, but if anything isn't accurate, it's a big deal.

Saturday we had our stake reports breakfast, which was a good time with President Campbell at his house pounding down the food and talking about how the stake is doing. They have a goal of 120 baptisms... and so far we're at 24 haha.. We got the 20, so now we just need "an hundred" more as sister DeLong would say :-) Aside from that, we had a sweet lesson with a lady named Nikki. She's the recently made friend of a less-active lady who we invited to learn, and she accepted... it turned out to be a good plan, cause in this lesson that we taught her on Saturday, she accepted a baptismal date for the 27th of August! Sweet Now we just gotta make sure we can get her prepped for that day... although we're gonna have to help her quit smoking to do it haha.

Sunday was a pretty cool day except I completely forgot that it was fast Sunday until I had already eaten and was in the shower... that's what happens when you're butt-tired in the mornings I guess haha. I was sitting there waking up in the hot water when I got thinking about it... it went something like this: "man I'm tired... Oh well at least it's a Sunday cause they're usually pretty relaxing days... hmm... Sunday... what day is it again? The seventh? Hmmm the seventh... first sunday of the month. Wait a second, FIRST Sunday of the month!? Crap! It's fast Sunday! I got out of the shower and burst into the living room where Anderson was sitting quietly in the recliner and I exclaimed "It's FAST SUNDAY!" he told me "yeah... I was gonna tell you not to eat, but I thought you were just washing dishes... did you have breakfast already?" Gosh I have a geezer memory early in the morning sometimes. It's comical, but kinda scary I think haha.

Anyway, aside from my "D'oh!" moment in the morning, the rest of the day was power packed... especially in the Cedar Creek ward. this past week has been absolutely crazy. There have been two deaths, two births, a suicide, a baby blessing, a convert baptism, a child of record baptism, lots of service performed, and a lot of priesthood blessings. I don't want to say that this ward is so spiritual because of all of these hard experiences, but I would argue that the missionary work is rolling forward so well because of them... When people turn to the Lord in times like these, it allows the Spirit to manifest itself so much more plainly in their lives to the point where other people that don't have the gospel in their lives can see it. I know that it's helped Allie in her coversion process, I know that it helps us find new people to teach, and I know that's why this ward is thriving. Christ-like love and service are the recipe for success in any ward and in any aspect of the gospel... we've definitely seen the fruits of that in the past couple of weeks, and we're hoping to be able to enjoy more of it as time moves along here.

The only other thing to report from this week is that we spent some good time with Scott and Heidi last night and did a sort of family home evening with them... they don't spend much time together as an entire family, so this was awesome to have all of them sit down and be able to talk and laugh instead of just having the tube on. Gosh I love the gospel and I love missionary work. I really am sad that the mission is winding down... I'm going to miss it a lot. Granted, I won't miss a few things, but in almost every aspect, the mission has come to mean everything to me... it's helped me become someone completely different from who I was, and I will forever be appreciative to the Lord for that. Don't worry, I'm not checked out yet.. there's too much to accomplish before that time comes to start slacking now. I love you guys, and I'll talk to ya next week.

All my love,

-Elder Kurt Mooney

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