Well another week has come and gone. This one didn't have any rats or elephant poop, but it was still good!
On Tuesday, we had a district meeting, and a recent convert in the area asked to join in. So we invited him along, and that was awesome!
After district meeting, Elder Evans and I drove to North Little Rock. A former missionary, one of my first zone leaders, Elder Breen, was driving through on his way to school, and stopped by the church there while we were there. It was fun to hear from him about life after the mission and the iPhone X and imagine dragons new album haha.
We then exchanged for just a few hours with Elder Jennings and Shelley, and then went to dinner at the Millers, a young member family in the area who fed 8 of us missionaries that night haha. We played the game "signs" and it came out that my birthday was the next day. Turns out, they had half of a "CTR" cake leftover from their son's 8th birthday/baptism last weeked, and some BlueBell 2-step ice cream. (It's cookie dough + cookies n cream combined. Yum!) So the whole North Little Rock District and the Millers, who I hadn't met til that day, sang to me and we all enjoyed some cake and ice cream!
From there, we went to their missionary correlation meeting, where they started a fast as a district, ward mission, and bishopric, fasting for the missionary work in the area. We then went over to their apartment, and before we got there, the sisters texted saying the lady they had on date to be baptized had asked to move her baptism even closer! Yay for miracles!
We all went over to the Office Elders' apartment, just around the corner from the North Little Rock Elders' apt. They managed to fit a full size ping pong table in there, and we stayed up until midnight playing ping pong. I didn't win a round, but I came close! :)
The next day/At 12:01AM, I turned 20.
On Wednesday, (my birthday) we had a meeting from 9AM to 4PM. But I think I preferred it that way! It was a good meeting. I felt the spirit, felt motivated and inspired, and got to hang out with a bunch of missionaries. We spent a few hours role playing teaching, and Pres. Hansen observed a group of 4 of us doing that. It wasn't intimidating, and he offered some awesome suggestions. He's so great. Plus, at this meeting, there was chicken spaghetti for lunch, so that was a plus.
Sister Johnson & Sister Anderson (the poor sisters we gave the dead rat to last week) came up to us during the meeting, and after the now-typical shade-throwing, they kindly gave us one of two $25 Tazikis gift cards a member had given them. (Taziki's is this REALLY REALLY good greek chain they have. There was one in Germantown, TN, and there's one in Conway, at least. Definitely one of my favorite places to eat at.) We were a little dubious, wondering if maybe they'd used the whole gift card and given us an empty one so when we go use it we have to pay for it ourselves, but they assured us that wasn't the case.
So anyway. I've been well taken care of during my birthday week this week haha.
That night, Elder Bingham & Elder Barney called me from Collierville and I got to hear a bit of an update from them. And Bro. Boggs called, too! It was so good to hear from them, it was a definite highlight of the week!
The rest of the week wasn't super exciting. Tracted in a few older-demographic neighborhoods. Old people are either the nicest or the meanest. Seems like we got more of the mean ones. Sweet is the work!
On Friday, after weekly planning, all the elders in our zone got together and watched Pres. Monson's funeral broadcast. Definitely felt the spirit confirming to me that Pres. Monson was a prophet of God, and I felt all the more ready, too, to sustain Pres. Nelson as the new prophet.
Friday was cold. I guess it snowed in Collierville this weekend, and a few other places around the mission. It hasn't hit Conway, yet.
On our 2nd exchanges of the week, I stayed in Conway w/ Elder Lee, and we had some adventures. We visited with this 97 year old lady in a retirement home, who didn't consider herself a member anymore, but was very sweet. "Why, I talk to God all day, every day!" She said. "If I didn't do that, I'd probably forget how to talk entirely!" And, my favorite quote of hers, referring to God: "That rascal lets me struggle on my own for a while until I learn a lesson before he steps in and helps me." You could just tell that she had a relationship with God, by more than the fact that she called him a "rascal" hahaha.
On Sunday, there was a regional broadcast stake conference. They streamed the event in Salt Lake to all (?) the members of the church in the Southeast United States. Elder Bednar gave an awesome talk on repentence. One takeaway from that: "You can't repent with real intent, if your real intent was to sin." *cue the mic drop*
Right after that, we had a meeting with the Stake Pres., Pres. Wing. (Who actually served his mission in the Boise mission!) We talked about what the missionaries and members can do better, and it was just cool getting to hang out with he and Pres. Hansen in a much smaller setting than usual. It was Elder Evans and I, Sister Anderson & Johnson again, and then I skyped in the other ZLs within the stake on my tablet.
SOMEHOW, Elder Evans convinced/connived/conspired with Sis. Anderson and got her to give us their other $25 Taziki's gift card. After we'd given them a rat last week. They are both leaving the Conway Zone, so probably won't be by a Taziki's. And they won't be able to exact their revenge on us. Still, I dunno how Elder Evans got that gift card from her, but maybe their revenge is just proving to us that they are more Christlike and angelic than we are. :/
That night for dinner, we went over to the Routt's. They made Chicken Spaghetti, and (after asking what kind of dessert I would like for my birthday) a peach cobbler!
I was kinda tired from the week, and not feeling super motivated to go out and knock doors at 7pm in the cold dark on a Sunday night, but we did it, contacting some former and potential investigators. We were able to set like 3 or 4 return appointments for the week, so I'm excited! It was a definite morale boost, since it seemed like most of this week was spent waiting for doors that never ended up opening.
So, thanks to good food, the good Lord, and some successful contacts, I had a good end to the B-Day week! So that's that!
It's also the start of a new transfer! Elder Evans & I are staying together in Conway for another 6 weeks! After this, he'll have served in this ward for 7.5 months! We are losing Sis. Anderson, Sis. Johnson, Sis. Shumway, Elder Clayton, & Elder Billman. I am actually like really really sad about losing every single one of them. I'm gonna miss them a ton! But they're off to spread the light of the Conway Zone to other parts of the mission. :)
So we'll have new people to meet this week, a bunch of appointments to keep, potentially some snow, and more adventures! Everybody seems to be getting pretty sick around the mission. Most of the missionaries have avoided it, but there are a lot of members who have it, and people who use it as an excuse to not meet with us haha. Apparently something big is going around? doTERRA, save me! :)
Love you all! Have a stellar week! Stay warm and healthy!
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3080 Pebble Beach Rd. Apt.1
Conway, AR 72034
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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