This week's been a doozy. I think I've eaten more meat in the past week than any other week in my life, with the possible exception of the Buffalo Wild Wings incident. The work has been slow, but it's been a good week regardless. Seriously so much fun. I'm just gonna shoot stories your way, so brace yourself.
On Monday after our "walking to Arkansas" experience, we had a wonderful dinner and then went grocery shopping with Bro. Boggs again. Afterward, he handed each of us a pair of pants and a shirt from Nike. He works for a company that Nike Golf hires for logistics, and they'd had an employee giveaway that day. So I'm now the proud owner of some mission-wide coveted Nike Golf Pants - the coziest, most perfect dress pants you can dream up. Plus a cool Nike polo made for golfers who are sponsored by Nike haha. I'm worried about how I'll be able to pack everything up again when I am transferred!
On Tuesday, we had our last district meeting of the transfer. We held a missionary funeral for Elder Wilson, who is going home next week, and then us Collierville missionaries worked the rest of the afternoon on making a JustServe parade float, which was pretty fun. (JustServe.org is a website sponsored by the church that brings volunteers and service needs together! If you're looking for service hours, or just a time to serve in the community, check it out!)
We had dinner at Corky's that night, a BBQ place in town with amazing rolls and pretty dang good muddy ribs.
I was feeling the rolls pretty well the next day. It was the coldest day so far by a long shot. I had gloves and a coat on and was still shivering knocking doors. But biking was the worst cause you still start sweating when you're wearing all of that. We biked down a fairly lengthy, hilly road and I was about an inch away from just walking my bike instead. Biking is not my thang.
Fortunately, the thought of thanksgiving the next day kept me going, and the fact that we were getting haircuts that night helped, too. I was in need of one pretty bad haha. I feel lighter now!
Alrighty, and then it was Thanksgiving. It was one to remember for sure. I had such an awesome time. The Whitakers took us to a buffet, but not just any buffet... a fancy shmancy buffet at the swanky Peabody Hotel. We were dropped off near the valet parking lot and watched people going in and out for a while. A guy walked up to us and was about to ask us how he got his car back when he squinted at our nametags. "Oh, wrong guys," he said. We laughed and agreed. As he walked away, he joked, "You're who I'd call to fetch my bicycle!" and left Elder Bingham and I to crack up over it haha.
Inside, we were brought to a table with the Whitakers and some of their family, and then we were pretty much let loose to serve ourselves, different stations of food lining the whole hallway around the second floor. A section for meats, a section for potatoes, for seafood, for bread, for cheese, and most importantly, a whole wall full of desserts.
So, long story short, we stuffed ourselves. I tried caviar for the first (and likely last) time. Their prime rib was dang good. But the highlight was the dessert bar. Fried apple pie with eggnog ice cream, brownies, chocolated nuts... the works. After dessert, Bro. Whitaker & Elder Bingham both went back for another slice of prime rib and mashed potatoes. What. I had no room for that haha.
After dinner, we went to the roof of the hotel and admired the view up there, and then rode the elevator down to the lobby to watch the Memphis-famous Peabody ducks walk from their fountain in the lobby up to the elevator back up to their home on the roof. On the elevator ride down, a random guy joined the 12 of us of the Whitaker party. Bro. Whitaker made the goofiest fart noise with his mouth and made the guy just turn purple laughing. The rest of us were having a fit, too. They really felt the most like family right then and there haha.
We watched the ducks, and that was pretty fun haha. While I was waiting, Sister Whitaker tapped my shoulder and handed me a bag with a shirt from the gift shop. Man, they treat us too well.
We got back home from there, and then after all that excitement, we went to our 2nd thanksgiving stop! We went to the Jacobs, and enjoyed the tastiest berry waffles ever. It was a much needed, lighter end to thanksgiving!
[I'm sure you're wondering where the whole dead opposum thing comes in. Thankfully, that little feller didn't make an appearance on Thanksgiving, but I'll get to it soon enough.]
The next day we did sneak away in the morning to go do some Black Friday shopping. Really, we just did some service and helped fit a ladder and a table saw into a Toyota Carolla, and we happened to stop by Academy, and I happened to get a much needed light, layerable puffer jacket for tracting in for $30 instead of $50! It's the little things. We stopped at Chick-Fil-A for breakfast, and still got home in time to finish studies and weekly planning before the zone leaders arrived to help us out for the day.
We helped Brother Boggs again by putting up this cool greenhouse thing for his citrus plants in his garage, and then he fed us a tasty lunch of homemade chicken pot pie. Dadgum. Really yummy stuff.
With the Zone Leaders, we went to the mall. (Not to shop, though, but to hand out the new #LightTheWorld cards.) It was hopping, and we gave a bunch of cards out! What an awesome thing to be spreading the word about! Go check out www.mormon.org right now and see how you can spread the light of Christ to people around you in 25 different ways over 25 days, Dec. 1st through 25th!
Elder Bingham spoke in church on Sunday and did a pretty good job. Then one of the most crazy hours of the week happened.
We stopped by Bro. Boggs house after church (can you tell we really like this guy?) and as I was about to knock on the door, Elder Bingham points at something in his yard. I turn to look at it, and there it is... The dead possum.
Brother Boggs opened the door. "Um... there's a dead cat in your yard," we joked. Soon enough, he had a shovel and I was holding open a garbage bag. I didn't think I'd be that disgusted by it, but I was hahaha. Possums play dead all the time, right? The whole time I was looking at this ugly, cat-sized thing with its little exposed teeth and grabby hands and stubby, scaly tail, thinking "Oh man if this thing so much as twitches I'm outta here and freaking out."
Fortunately for everyone involved*, it didn't twitch. I just had the pleasure of feeling something the weight of a soggy tomcat hit the bottom of the plastic bag I was holding open. Nasty.
(*everyone except the oppossum)
So anyway! I felt like I was actually serving in the south for once, ya know? Where picking up dead 'possums in your yard is as commonplace as fryin' okra, eatin' chicken, and Wednesday night Bible Studies. Hopefully I've got more of that to look forward to as I leave the little bubble of Collierville, Tennessee.
Oh, did I say leaving Collierville? That was the other thing that made this hour one of the most crazy of the week. Right as I sat down to some Cajun dirty rice for lunch, Pres. Hansen called and informed me of some changes taking place next week. Ooh boy. There's some change a-comin'.
So with that in mind, probably wait to send me stuff until I have my new address. Transfers don't actually happen until next week, but I should be able to get the new address by Monday. Exciting stuff!
Today was a fun P Day! I'll save it for next week, though, since today's email is already pretty long. Suffice it to say, though, today was my 2nd time this week having about a half rack of ribs, and neither of those occasions happened on Thanksgiving. However, Thanksgiving did include such meats as salmon, shrimp, sushi, caviar, turkey, ham, and prime rib. I've come to realize that meat is the bread of Memphis. There's so much meat.
Well that's that! A memorable and fun Thanksgiving week here in Collierville, Tennessee. Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgivings, ate a superfluous amount of food, and realized just how hard it is to count all your blessings. Keep lighting the world!
Serving A Mission!
What's all this about? As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it is expected of me that I will serve a two-year mission. (And yeah, the "riding bikes and wearing nametags and knocking on doors" kind of mission.) But this isn't something I'm doing because it's expected of me... I'm doing this because the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed my life SO much, in SO many ways. I can't think of a greater honor or responsibility than being able to play a part in someone's story of finding and enjoying these blessings, too.
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(After June 20, 2017)
Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
905 Kierre Dr
North Little Rock AR 72116