It's been another week. It feels like I'll just keep having weeks in the mission field indefinitely, but uh... people keep telling me I only have one more left after this?
So, I guess... welcome to my second-to-last weekly!
We had a zone conference in Searcy which was great as usual. And its always good to be back in Searcy. We had dinner with a less-active guy that night who ended up being pretty cool. He had 3 big pit bulls so that kept things exciting, they kept their teeth to themselves, but their tongues weren't as solitary haha.
On Thursday, we rode out to Forrest City and Wynne again, visiting a Bible referral we'd received earlier in the week. He was a cool guy, just wanting to see his kids after his wife put a restraining order on him... He was playing it tough and cool, but we taught him how to pray and had him say the closing prayer. If was such a genuine, heartfelt prayer, it was awesome. By the end of it, there were more than a couple of his tear drops on the floor, and the spirit was really strong. I felt a lot of love for him and for missionary work in that moment! That's what it's all about - connecting people to God.
Everything else on that trip pretty much fell through and didn't happen, but I felt good about the day, still. Ricky, our ride, drove us into Memphis for dinner at Rendezvous, a famous BBQ joint there. I was a little let down, though, to be honest. But we got back home, tried somebody else who wasn't home, and then had our Come Follow Me Bible Study that night.
The sisters told us they'd met someone while tracting that answered the door and said, oh! "I thought you were the guys. Yeah I met them a few days ago, and they gave me a pamphlet. They're coming back, right?" But... we didn't remember the guy. And we'd never been on his street before. Hmm.
So on Friday after weekly planning, we head over there and try the house. No answer. We look him up in our area book and find someone with the name the sisters told us, who missionaries had stopped teaching a few months ago. We figure he's the guy (although he lived at a different address) and give him a call. He answered, and was open to us coming over next week, but didn't remember meeting sisters the day before, aaaand also still lived at the address we had on record. Not the one the sisters sent us to. Weeeiiird.
We tried back at that house on Sunday, and someone answered, and said yes, he had met the sisters earlier in the week, and we were able to set another appointment.
So... as far as we can determine, we have two people by the same first and last name in our area book, and both are interested in meeting with us. But we're still not sure how or when this second guy met missionaries, cause it wasn't us! (3 Nephites maybe?)
We spent a lot of time finding this week, and tried to do it in "nicer" parts of West Memphis. So we had a little less luck than in other parts of town, and throughout this week were exposed to some pretty unique perspectives and interpretations of the Bible. It's amazing how each denomination really does have its favorite scriptures that support their viewpoint, and totally ignore and explain away any contradicting scriptures. And while they blame the contradicting scriptures on imperfect translation, they adamantly deny the need for the Book of Mormon without squaring themselves up to bother reading it. (Or alternatively say the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible, when in fact all it does is "contradict" or correct their interpretation of the Bible.) It's frustrating, but also just heart breaking.
I'm thankful for the divine restoration of Christ's gospel, that smooths all the confusion down and answers essential questions. We need not wonder or debate, the answers are clear when we really believe that God still loves us enough to send us His word.
So it's been a difficult, and yet faith-promoting week! Funny how those 2 things tend to go hand in hand.
This morning we went to the National Civil Rights Museum as a district and were way impressed. They've done a great job, there. There's more information that you can soak up in one - or seven - visit(s). At one point, they have Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech playing. I could feel the Spirit as powerfully from those inspired remarks as I have in any other time in any other place. It really was powerful.
As we go into this next week, I'll be the first to admit that I'm exhausted. There have been a few moments in the last month or so where I've thought, "man, it sure would be nice if a mission was only 23 months!" But I think for Elder Dahl, its 24 months for the same reason that Gideon's army was only 300. I could think I did it by myself if it was 23 months. But I need to know that I can only do it through Christ. When I can't go anymore, all the sudden I'm out the door and knocking on others.
President Hansen told me to make this week the best week of my mission, and I'm determined to do that. But please pray for me that I can have the strength and energy to do that!
Thank you. I love y'all!
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