Well I'm not in Hope anymore. But I'm still hopeful. You can take the Elder Dahl out of Hope, but you can't take the Hope out of Elder Dahl! That said, it's been a great first week in Benton, Arkansas.
Benton is the big ole sprawly suburbia south of Little Rock. There are a lot of people here and endless streets, seems like. We've got an awesome zone, and I'm excited to be here! We've had a great first week, and are gonna have an awesome transfer.
Ended my time in Hope with some Big Jake's BBQ with the Lims. I'm gonna miss them a lot! After dinner, we headed out for some final hours of proselyting. Went up to Prescott and nobody was home except for Alex, and we had a great visit with him! He was really sad to hear I was leaving, and we got him thinking about baptism, so a bittersweet note to end off on! He's a cool guy.
The next day, we drove up to the mission office. Said goodbye to Elder Ogaard and some of the other missionaries going home this transfer. Gonna miss em!
Drove to Benton with my new companion, Elder Bolos from Ogden, UT! He is awesome and we've had a great week. Super excited to be able to serve with him. He was in my zone in Searcy!
In our first full day, we did a lot of finding and were able to find a few people who were interested in learning more. We tried out an idea our mission president suggested with the couple that was having us over for dinner. We went over an hour early, shared Mormon 9:36-37, and invited them to pray with us and come up with a street in their neighborhood that we could go tracting in. They did, and came up with the same street we had in our planning session that morning. So off we went, tracting in the rain, meeting a few people, but none really interested. We had a good chat with a kid playing basketball, and a bad chat with a shirtless guy in rainbow suspenders doing something to his lawnmower while it rained. He cussed us out and said the Book of Mormon was a bunch of nonsense. But like... he's an old guy wearing rainbow suspenders vicing two boards to a lawnmower seat while it rains, so we didn't take him too seriously haha. He can't really call us crazy.
Had a few good chats to report, and that couple had one of our investigators and the sisters over as well, so we had a good visit and a great lesson afterward on Mosiah 21.
On Wednesday, we got a referral from my MTC companion in Hot Springs, Elder Miller, who had an investigator who was now in Benton cause he was in jail here. So on Thursday we went to the jail and waited around until we were able to ask someone if we could see the guy. We were told to wait, and a few minutes later, another lady asked for our "credentials" so we shared our ministerial certificates and were told we would receive a call back. So we didn't get to meet the guy that day, and we haven't heard back yet... So idk what will happen.
We continued trying to find new people to teach, and approached these two ladies who were sitting outside an apartment with a bunch of little kids. One was on the phone and the other didn't look too thrilled to see us. When the first ended the call, she said it was her mom and that she had told her to shoo us away with a broom. We laughed and then they asked what we believe. We ended up having a really awesome like 30 or 40 minute discussion with both of them, and by the end of it, they both had a Book of Mormon and didn't think we were that weird! So that's a win. I love seeing people change their perspective as the gears start turning in their head.
We had a dinner that night with a lady and her husband. She had served in the same mission when she was younger, and also served in Collierville, Conway, and Benton. She met her husband in the Benton ward. But that's a story for another time haha.
We hurried off to a church tour we had scheduled with a guy we met, but he never ended up coming. We stuck around for a few rounds of volleyball before heading in for the night.
Things kinda slowed down on Friday. We had a long weekly planning which was both aided and hindered by our discovery of some gourmet hot chocolate packs in a cupboard. It was good stuff haha. We didn't find too many people that day, but had a really weird chat with a guy we felt some bad vibes from.
Saturday started off with helping an older couple move... They had a ton of stuff. And when we thought we were done, there was a piano to put into a truck bed. There were a lot of people there to help, but... not a lot of help, ya feel? "Too many chiefs and not enough Indians" as someone said haha. We spent the rest of the day trying to contact people and keep appointments that had been set, but nobody was really home so that was a bummer. On our way in for the night, we passed the Amplify Fest, a big Christian Rock festival that it seemed like the whole town went to. It was a huge deal. We may or may not have taken our time driving through the parking lot haha.
It's cool that so many people are open to go sing and hear about Jesus, but too bad it only gets their attention when it comes in the form of just "hoo-ra" rock and shallow doctrine. :/ There's nothing wrong with it, and a lot good about it, but there is just so much more! Let us tell you about it! :)
Had my first Sunday in Benton and it was pretty good! Met a lot of people. It's gonna take a little longer to get to know everyone than it did in the Hope Branch. But there are a lot of good folks. Including the Burkes, who served a senior couple mission with my grandparents in the Salem Oregon mission! I'd had lunch with them before coming out on my own mission, and was able to have dinner with them again last night.
We also found a cool guy with a big long beard who talked with us for a while about the apostasy. We've met some people with some interesting opinions who think they have it all figured out. But there are just loopholes and disconnects and plotholes in their theories. Christ's church fell apart without his apostles, and without any inspired singular source to correct the saints, they went in all kinds of directions and interpretations, and that's why there are so many churches today. That's why the Bible has an end, and that's why we needed the Restoration! I know this is Christ's church on the earth today. If he loves us today the same as he did in Bible times, and leads us the same way he did then, then The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has got to be it.
I sure wouldn't be out here getting cussed at by guys in rainbow suspenders if I didn't really believe that. And because I do, it makes it a lot easier to focus on the miracles and blessings we see and are trying to share every day!
Another highlight from this week was hearing that my brother, Henry, got his mission call!!! He leaves in December to go to the Canada Halifax mission!! Super excited for and proud of him!
Support your local missionaries: take the lessons, send em to your friends, feed em something good.
Have a great week! Love,
1916 Brandon Rd, Apt. A2
Bryant, AR 72022
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