Monday, August 22, 2011

It isn't the Hokey Pokey, but it IS what it's all about!

2011 August 22
Dearest Mommy,

Well, it's definitely been an eventful week... turns out that I'm staying... but Elder Anderson got the boot! Holy Moses this has been a crazy turn of events to have him leaving. My new companion is Elder Yack , and from what I can tell, he's a stud... I really am excited to have him as my companion here now... we're gonna keep on truckin' and hopefully get a few more baptisms in before I go home... I also kinda talked to president Morby about it, and how, like you, I would have loved to finish off the mission in Woodburn. He said he'd see what he could do. I don't know if that means he thinks I have one transfer left after this one, or if something crazy will happen and by some miracle I'll finish in Woodburn... guess we'll see!

Okay, backtracking to last Monday:
Honestly, nothing exciting happened, so I'm not gonna bother writing about it... it was p-day and we played some basketball and dodge ball over at the stake center with the other elders in the zone.

We had an awesome/funny district meeting to close out the transfer, and it was quite hilarious how it all went down. So during the "business" portion of our meeting before the spiritual thought and such, we gave out awards for different funny things. One of them was an award for most hours tracting, which ended up being this huge trophy with a tractor on it that said "tractin' champs" underneath it... quite sweet. The other ones were for baptisms, which I got a 6-pack of diet coke for (go figure, right?) and although you probably don't like to hear that, at least they weren't full-sized 12 oz. cans.... they were the diet sized diet cokes weighing in at 7.5 oz a pop (literally). .. they were gone pretty dang quickly haha. Aside from that, I feel bad, but I can't remember all the other awards they gave out, but they were pretty dang funny.
After that was over, we helped sister Barker put together a basketball hoop, and holy cow... you would think those things should be pretty straight-forward to put together, but that was DEFINITELY not the case! I felt like I was trying to construct a V-2 rocket as I sat there trying to get the pipes together for the stand, ratchet them into place, and make sure that everything was lined up how it was supposed to be... it took us like three hours! Anyway, we got the job done with some patience, hard work, and a little diet Coke :-)

We had interviews with president Morby, and they went really well! It was really sweet to be able to sit down with him and chat for a little bit and feel of the spirit that he brings to the mission. I actually had two opportunities for interviews, so I took them. My temple recommend expires at the end of this month, so he wrote me a temporary extension on mine so I could get one when I get home...from our new stake president... crazy!
One thing that kinda made me scared/excited about ending the mission was what I read in Alma 26 that day... throughout the whole thing it talks about the sons of Mosiah and what they felt and saw at the end of their mission... if you wanna read what it should be like for a missionary when he gets home, that's the chapter for sure! Being able to look back, recognize the kind of person you were before, and knowing that through your hard work and love for the Lord, he has made you an instrument in his hands to help bless the lives of other people. Read it. You'll love it. It definitely makes me want to finish strong!
To finish off Wednesday night, we had another sweet new-member lesson with Allie over at the DeMaris home where we talked about missionary work. It went really well.

Thursday, nothing too terribly exciting happened aside from a little bit of weekly planning and good reading in Alma 30. I came to the realization that Korihor is the epitome of an anti-Mormon personality. Check it out and see what he talks about!

Friday, I was super excited because I got to go on exchange with elder Gardner! My best buddy AP in the whole wide world. We really had a good time out here in Sherwood. We stayed up chatting with sister DeLong as always, did some good service in the morning for Scott and Heidi, then taught some lessons. The first stop on our list was Nick, and it was really funny that we decided to visit when we did, because no sooner were we about to say the opening prayer, then his best friend who happens to be a member showed up! We were just planning on relating the word of wisdom to the restoration, so we taught about that and he accepted it, and then his buddy Brandon piped up and said "so have you considered baptism yet? Just so you know, I'm a viable option... I've got that priesthood you need to do it." We both sat there with our mouths agape as Nick replied by saying "well, the Elders here had a date set for me to be baptized on the 27th, but they said I'll need to move it back 'cause I need to go to church first... how many times do I need to go again?" We told him three, and then every Sunday thereafter, and he said it should be no problem. Brandon again chimed in and said "all right I'll pick you up on Sunday around 8:45 and you can go to my ward. We can sit together and I'll introduce you, okay? Oh, and seminary starts up in a couple weeks, so if you want, you should totally come with me." The best part about all of this is that Nick accepted EVERYTHING his friend said! This is why it's important to have members at your lessons.... even if you weren't planning on it originally haha.
After that lesson, we taught Nikki over at the Hamm's along with Nick and Brandon because they came over. We just read 2 Nephi 2 with them and discussed the importance of the fall and the atonement with them... it went really well. Nikki is gonna take some time though I think.
The other lesson we taught that night was with the Allen's, who we set expectations with last week. It went pretty well. We talked about helping establish his relationship with God and how to do it through prayer... we had a good long talk about it, but unfortunately, we didn't get him to pray there with us... He committed to pray every day, so hopefully he can do it and feel the Spirit.

Seriously, the crowning day of my mission. If not another thing goes right while I'm out here, I can go home knowing that I fulfilled my purpose by helping the Perez family go to the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity. It's ridiculous how powerful the spirit is in that ceremony... it reminded me a lot of the day that Michelle and Ryan were sealed. It's an undeniable feeling of knowing that you're participating in God's work and glory: to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man... as a family :-) It isn't the Hokie-Pokie, but it IS what it's all about.
After an awesome trip to the temple, we talked about old times, how the Pisters were going down to stay with you guys and say hello, and how they wish I could spend my last transfer in Woodburn... I can't lie, in a lot of ways I wish I could's interesting being on the mission... you feel like you leave pieces of your heart in every area. Every time you're called to go, it tears you apart a little bit, and you leave some behind. The thing is though, that in the healing process of meeting new people and showing them as much Christ-like love as you can, your heart grows even larger, with an even greater capacity to love. We could say that my heart is in Sherwood right now, and I still absolutely LOVE all my other areas as well :-P.
One thing that was kind of a big bummer about getting out of the temple was that we were jolted back to reality by transfer calls. I was hoping to keep the same companion to the end of my mission, but much to our surprise, Anderson was called up to leave. We were frustrated, but what can ya do? We spent the rest of the day making some visits and then got home and crashed early so we could get up early to pack, because we didn't want sister DeLong to be up and stressing while he packed... she doesn't deal well with elders leaving.
Anyway, onward we go.

Sunday was a decent day... nothing too terribly exciting. Lots of packing before church, goodbyes at church, and temple tours after church, then more goodbyes to finish off the night. I don't wanna spend too much time on it, because what happened today was AWESOME!

L. Tom Perry came to visit the mission! Holy cow it was awesome to hear his wonderful words of wisdom and love that seemed directed specifically at me and my situations in life. I realize that I truly do want to excel to the end-- not just endure it. Six weeks is still plenty of time to accomplish a lot of missionary work. I just hope that I can help plant some good seeds for the elders that follow me. There's not really anything specific to discuss about it, but yeah.... I'm about out of time, and I gotta go introduce the noob to everyone around Sherwood :-P

I love you guys so much, and I hope things are going so, so, so well... let me know if you end up finding a house down there in St. George... I'd love to live there haha.

I love you guys lots, and I'll talk to ya soon!

All my lovin',

Elder Kurt Mooney

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