Hello All! Once again it feels like forever since I wrote last. A lot has happened since my last p day in the MTC.
I was a part of the first missionary departure devotional to be held in the gorgeous new buildings, so that was cool! Packed up over the course of two days and had our last classes.
Got up at 2:30 AM to leave the MTC and get to the airport. Waited there like 2-3 hrs for our flight to Atlanta. Went to Jamba juice and the guy in line in front of us paid for elder Miller and I's drinks. Found a member of my home ward in the airport, and just one thing after another worked out really well. The burrito place we ate at in the ATL airport's slogan was "burritos on a mission" which... idk shows me God's watching over me and knows me and has a funny sense of humor. I am a burrito.
Said goodbye to the awesome sister missionaries in my MTC district. I look up to each of them so much, they're amazing. They'll be serving in Atlanta.
As we were about to land in little rock, I looked out the window at all the fields and thought about the people I'd be meeting and helping in the next two years. Then proceeded one of the most powerful spiritual impressions I've ever had. I felt like I got a glimpse of what my Heavenly Father was thinking right then. I felt like he is SO FLIPPIN EXCITED that ELDER DAHL is right where he needs to be. Now he can get to work on certain people that he's been wanting to come to Him for a while, now. Tried to hide my tears from the nice lady I sat next to haha.
We landed in little rock, and met the mission President, Pres. Wakolo. We're his last group of missionaries he'll pick up before leaving to be a member of the seventy! As we were walking out, he stayed behind to give one of the airport workers a copy of the book of mormon and to schedule a return appointment bc he could tell the worker noticed something different in this group of missionaries than he saw in most people.
Had some training that evening and met my new companion, Elder Johnson of Salt Lake City, Utah, and also learned what area I'd be serving in. Colliersville Tennessee! (The Arkansas little rock mission is the name of the geographical area that I've been called to serve in. It includes a good portion of TN, and tiny corners of missouri and Mississippi!)
Stayed the night in a hotel. It was so nice to have a real shower and to sleep in s real bed, not the MTC kind or a bunk bed.
The next morning we headed out and got some more training from the mission President and then drove to our areas that afternoon.
Colliersville is a super nice part of TN. Pretty wealthy area.
We got to TN in time for a dinner appointment with this awesome guy who works logistics for Nike golf. He used to house the missionaries, I guess, but now we have an apartment. Super nice single guy in maybe his early 30s? We went to a burger place that was really good and then went to our apartment for the grand tour and to unpack.
I knew daily studying was a big chunk of missionary schedule, but they weren't kidding. We get up at 6:30, exercise, shower, etc. And then from like 8 to 1pm with breakfast/lunch breaks... its all studying.
After studies, we went to our first appointment. We visited with this lady from China, actually, who somehow got her MBA from BYU being exposed to the church there. She's here for work now, and at the start of the lesson was open to there even being a God in the first place. We taught our 1st lesson on the restoration of Christ's original church on the earth today. Part of training to be a missionary is being challenged to extend the baptismal invitation on your 1st lesson. So I did! We asked her to be baptized and she said if she could come to know for herself what we told her was true, she'd be baptized on July 29th! So prayers for her are appreciated, so she can get answers to her own prayers about the Book of Mormon and so on. She asked lots of good questions, followed along, and then Elder Johnson showed her how to get the book of Mormon in Chinese on her phone so it'd be easier for her to read. Super neat lady.
Met more members of the local ward here. So many great people. And living in just gorgeous southern homes. This is a beautiful, beautiful area.
Had dinner with a nice family and one of their daughters dog sits for a neighbor. That neighbor pays her $100 a day, and hires someone completely different just to walk the dog. So yeah, that gives you maybe a "high end exaggeration" of what this area is like.
On the other hand, we did walk through a local "ghetto," in the area, basically a few steps up above a trailer park. Us two white kids in white shirts and ties walking by black people shouting at each other... its fun hahaha. There was literally a watermelon cracked open on the road with flies buzzing around it. It was hot and humid, and there were lots of old cars in everyone's back yard... it really felt like I was in the south haha. And it was awesome. Knocking doors is still hard and worrying, but just walking around made me so happy cause everything is so cool!
Met with a ward member who spent 30 mins showing us his custom made guns collection so that was cool.
Pretty much everyone here believes in Jesus already, which is awesome. Most people seem pretty content with their faith as it is, though. When we ask people how they came to be religious, or have faith in Christ as their savior, though, they really have to stop and think. They talk about how they like the community of the church they go too. And they talk about the bible a lot. So far it's not too often people say they know because they've really felt the holy ghost testify to them that it is. Which is sad!
We've had 2 kinda bashers so far. Both really polite people, both trying to convince us we're wrong, but both times I walked away even more sure that what I believe is true. They rely on bible passages open for interpretation and on using "logic" or taking some things very literally and others metaphorically. Their faith is based on archeological or historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived, not actual faith received from God telling them truth through the holy ghost.
The restored gospel, though, is absolutely logical! But I'm so glad my faith is founded on experience, on living it, on praying about it, on feeling the holy ghost in my heart as I read the book of mormon. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Not just because people tell me it is or because there's historical evidence, but because I feel God's love for me as I live it.
Ate at red robin with this family from India one night. Another funny sight to imagine. It sounds like the start of a joke. A Red Robin full of white folks and black folks coming for their free birthday burgers, and then an Indian family and two white mormon missionaries come in. Their parents didn't speak much English and wore the cool traditional clothing you imagine. It was fun hahaha.
That's most of the highlights!
Yesterday was church and there are some characters. One lady with a legit mustache. And one of the congregation members preassigned to speak talked about breaking her arm at a family reunion and how her favorite part of going to the hospital is the level ten pain killers. ("Say 8!!!!" Anyone?) And then in elders quorum one of the teachers talked about the holy ghost's influence on science and its ability to measure distances in space?? I'm exagerating just a bit, and the rest of the church meetings were actually really great. There's some awesome awesome people. And a lot from Boise Idaho, too! I was told most of the members are either from Idaho or utah in these wards. It's fun to talk street names and fun things to do in Boise with people.
The weather has been awesome! We're in an all car area so we dont have to use our bikes. There's a tropical storm or something I guess earlier this week and we were getting the tendrils clouds up here, so it'd be cloudy and sprinking one minute and sunny the next. Kinda like Idaho but in a definite pattern. I think it's passed, though. Yesterday was gorgeous. 75-80 degrees maybe, not really humid at all. Walking around that evening felt like an Idaho summer evening. (Aka the best)
It was a busy week. Lots of adjusting and growing and improving I need to do. I feel very lucky to start my mission and that growth here in Colliersville.
I wanna hear from you!!! Send me emails plz. Tell me about your life. Your day. Your dog. Send me memes. Music reviews for albums I'm missing. Whatever!
You can also send mail to
866 Schilling Rd. Collierville TN
Apt #103, 38017
Big takeaway this week: life is hard, not the gospel.
Think about that for a while. I really like that.
Until next week!
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.
Sign up to get my weekly emails!
(After June 20, 2017)
Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
905 Kierre Dr
North Little Rock AR 72116