Monday, September 19, 2011

Two weeks and counting......

Dearest Mommy,

All right, let's get into the events of the week... I'd like to
respond to your whole email, but also give you the blog material so
you can enjoy these last couple of emails... it's been a pretty good
week, so here's the update:

Monday: We had a blastie on P-day as we spent it with the Gresham
English zone ... elder Anderson and my son Rivera are both there, so
it made playing dodge ball with them super fun! The one problem is
that I totally threw out my arm playing, so I couldn't sleep on my
left side that night or the following haha. Such is life with a torn
rotator cuff :-P Aside from playing dodge ball and laughing it up with
the boys, we also decided to scoot down 82nd avenue and pick up some
books from the DI and then do some blous-- browsing around the
Salvation Army monstrosity of a store that they have right down the
street. At the DI, I ended up picking up an apocryphal new testament
along with a copy of the Qu'ran and... ah crap there was one other
that was really cheap that I couldn't pass up. From there, at the
Salvation Army, I found some SAWEET deals on a pair of Express slacks
($10.00), a never worn Nordstrom tailored dress shirt ($7.00), as well
as an Izod oxford shirt ($free.99).
The really exciting thing about Monday, however, happened that night.
So there's a family here in the Molalla branch that is super strong--
the Garcia family. The whole family is baptized minus the grandpa
(he's a super paisa catholico) and the sister-in-law of the branch
president. She's a pretty tough egg to crack... other elders have
tried in the past to get her baptized, but she ends up shutting down
because she feels pressured by the missionaries and the family at the
same time. As president Martinez said, "she's a stone." However,
what I've come to realize in my lifetime is that stones sink pretty
well when you throw them in the water. :-) Anyway, back to the story.
So we went over there to try to catch her home after work and talk to
her a little bit. Turns out that we found her in the house, and she
even let us teach her after talking for a bit! She's facing a lot of
difficulties in life right now... her kids are a mess (one just went
to Juvie(sp?), another sells drugs, and the other one is a heavy
drinker), and she's dealt with a lot of crap from her ex...ummm....
partners? She was never married, so partners is what we'll go with
here. Anyway, because of her difficulties, she said she didn't feel
like she even knew if God existed or not, so how was she going to be
baptized into a church. Because of this, we took it all the way back
to basics and talked about the story of king Lamoni and how Ammon
taught him about the concept of God and how to come to know he exists.
We shared from Alma 18 his little experience, and she seemed pretty
stoked on finding out about it... she was also excited about asking
God if He had forgiven her instead of just saying that she was sorry
in prayer. We set up another lesson with her for Wednesday, and I'll
tell ya how it went.

Tuesday was a day full of door-knocking and contacting in Canby. we
found some good potential investigators, but didn't really have any
awesome lessons until later that night. We went to dinner with a
less-active family, and it was weird because when we got there, there
was a guy who I knew looked familiar, and we got to talking... come to
find out that he's the brother-in-law of Laura Gutierrez, one of my
old investigators from Woodburn! It's just funny because I was
looking through my journal the other day, and I found an entry where
we were teaching Laura, and he was there. The thing that was sweet is
that he bore testimony of how he knew he wasn't living up to the
standards, but that the church was true, and that Laura could find out
by reading and praying about the book of Mormon. Anyway, it was cool
because in the dinner we got to give his family a kick in the butt for
not coming to church and not reading their scriptures... hopefully
it helps and they can get active (although they didn't come on
Sunday... GRRR!).

Wednesday we had a leadership training meeting... nothing too exciting
there haha. However, that night was sweet because we had an epic
lesson with Elisa! So, remember how she had a bunch of problems that
she was facing in life? Well, she decided to give Dr. Feelgood a call
and hash out ALL of her problems and pull ALL of the skeletons out of
her monstrous walk-in-sized closet... hoo buddy this woman has had an
interesting life. To be honest, she's brought most of it on herself,
but the basic gist was that she didn't understand why all these bad
things happened to her, and what her purpose here on earth was. We
ended up turning it into an epic lesson/counseling session talking
about the plan of salvation, agency, and baptism. The short version
is that the Spirit was really strong and she now has a baptismal date
for the 2nd of October. Booyeah! :-)

Thursday we shot the ENTIRE day with studies, planning, and going out
to the Toyota dealership in Beaverton to get the 20,000 mile check-up
on our little Corolla... we even overlapped our driving/sitting time
with planning and were still there til about 5:00...ridiculous! It's
okay though. We still managed to get in a little bit of knocking
before heading to dinner with president Martinez that night. We did a
sort of family home evening with them, and it was pretty fun.

Friday, we did some service that at first I thought was going to suck
royally, but turned out to be pretty sweet. So the elders here
volunteer one Friday a month at the Canby senior center to help
prepare, serve, and clean up a lunch that they put on, and it is
awesome! The people who do service there were so down-to-earth and
kind-hearted... it makes me want to find somewhere that I can do that
once in a while when I get home... it's a good experience for sure!
There's something to be said about giving of yourself freely that
sparks something in those you come in contact with... it's almost
contagious in that it makes you want to pass it on to someone else.
It kind of set the tone for the rest of the day for us. Afterward, we
went out knocking and found some sweet potential investigators, and we
even gave out a couple copies of the book of Mormon to some promising

Saturday we had a branch party for Mexican independence day, and it
turned out to be quite a riot. We started it off with a prayer, then
decided that we were gonna sing the Mexican national anthem... there
was one problem though: NOBODY IN THE BRANCH KNEW THE SONG!!!
How sad is that!? A bunch of Mexicans that don't know their own
national anthem haha. Luckily, we had a computer in the church were
we could print off the lyrics... from there, we found ONE person who
knew the tune-- an 84 year-old man that everyone calls "abuelito".
honestly, I don't understand a dang word he says, so hearing him sing
out the national anthem along with the rest of us sounded quite
comical haha. We finally got through it and got to chowing down on a
BOATLOAD of Mexican food. It. Was. Awesome. I love this branch.

Sunday was pretty sweet as well. So, of all subjects in the church,
the gathering of Israel seems to be the one that makes everyone get
this look on their face that says "I'm in a stupor of though" and
their eyes sort of glaze over. However, talking about it this Sunday
was pretty frickin' sweet because of a verse that we read. The basic
gist of the gathering of Israel is that those who are "of the house of
Israel" (a.k.a. you and I as members of the church) are supposed to
help EVERYONE else recognize that they are a part of, or should become
a part of that club-- I mean, house. Anyway, the thing that made it
interesting was a verse in the bible from James chapter one. Okay,
almost every latter-day saint knows that James 1:5 is the "if any of
you lack wisdom, let him ask of God" scripture, because that's what
separates us from every other church. You might even say it's our
"money" scripture. Instead of proving ourselves with verses from the
bible, prayer is the key to revelation so you can know the church is
true. What struck me was who James directed this little piece of
counsel to... here's what the verse says:
"1. James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the
twelve tribes which are scattered abroad..."
It's just kinda cool that as the only church who really focuses on
this verse, it's all geared toward helping to gather the 12 tribes of
Israel... anyway... shake off that stupor of thought and rub your eyes
so you're not all glazed over, I'm done haha.
Aside from that on Sunday, I was called on to play the piano again,
and oh my gosh it's so stressful! I didn't make any major mistakes
(thank goodness), but I really thing I'm gonna need some therapy to
get over the anxiety that comes from playing the piano haha. Talking
to our chorister about it, she said "you know, I can tell that you
hate playing the piano in public just by the way you played that last
hymn. Even if you hate it though, you've got to get over it so you
can bless other peoples' lives with your talent." I told her I might
need some counseling to get over the stress and anxiety, and she
directed me heavenward saying "well, you've got all the counsel you
need right up there." Kind of a slap in the face, but it's funny how
you can tell that the Lord is talking to you sometimes. I just hate to
think that it means more practicing, more stressing, and a lot of
counseling haha. Thank you for teaching me how to play the piano
mommy! :-)
The only other exciting thing that happened after that was that we
helped get someone's ox out of the mire... the former president of the
branch is moving into his new house, but needs to finish painting and
putting the floors in... and they barely got the drywall finished, so
it's been an adventure since they've gotta be there soon. Anyway, we
got to doing some crazy frantic painting, which seemed a lot like
having too many cooks in the kitchen since there were probably 20 of
us in there painting like mad... paint flying everywhere, brushes,
rollers, and bright Mexican reds, yellows, and blues haha. That house
is looking pretty legit now!
The best part of all of it? There's a kid, the son of a member, who
isn't baptized, and he just came up to us while we were there and
said, you have to teach me stuff so I can be baptized, right? We said
yes, and he said "ok cause I want to start tomorrow. Can you guys
come over?" *PLOP!* two week kiddy DUNK! haha. He's a little stud,
and his family is sweet... they just need to get a little bit more
active. it's just funny because we've been trying to set something up
with them for the entire time I've been here, but to no avail.. ah
well at least we know now haha. Chalk up one more :-)

Okay, so I'm all sorts of fried on typing now, and it's time to go
enjoy the day now that the sun is trying to come out. I love you guys
so much, and I'm way excited to see you soon :-)

All my love,

Elder Kurt Kay Mooney

No comments:

Post a Comment