You know those movie scenes where it cuts faster and faster between a cycle of video clips? Like alarm clock - shower on - cereal hitting the bowl - tie being tied - sitting in traffic - coming home - lights off - alarm clock - shower - cereal - tie - traffic - ....
That was this week haha. But it was good!
On Monday, we spent the evening meeting some of the sisters' investigators with them, cause they're leaving the area and we're taking over. Mwahaha. Nah, we'll miss the sisters! We scheduled a couple appointments and our week filled up quick!
A week or 2 ago, we posted to some Facebook groups for the area that we were volunteering to take leaves, chop wood, etc., and apparently like half the county has seen these posts, because members keep mentioning to us that their friends joke with them about asking if we can rub their feet or something haha. So far, we haven't had to rub any feet. Score! But we did stay crazy busy this week trying to stay on top of all the service requests coming in.
We spent a few hours on 3 different days raking like an acre of deep leaves and funneling them through a gate into a ditch in their back yard. That was rough. We went out to Sardis and cut back some brush, and a bunch of vines, about half of which were covered in thorns. I walked away unscathed, though, feeling like Samuel the Lamanite.
During one of those days, we had a church tour in the morning with an awesome lady with an awesome story that the sisters found a couple days before they left. She's just so cool and so excited about the church! We had another member there and it felt like something we could've recorded and sent to church headquarters. It was great! She wasn't able to come on Sunday, though, cause her oldest kid was sick, so pray for em please!
But after the tour, we had lunch and then spent like 3 or 4 hours with leaves, and then went to a Bible Study a member was hosting, and that we were supposed to take charge of. My arms were so sore from raking and awkwardly holding the leafblowers for so long that it kinda hurt to even lift my arms to put sunglasses off and on. To our guilty relief, nobody came to the Bible study, so we went home for our companionship study and dinner, only to see as we pulled into our apartments a U-haul, and people moving stuff in in the cold and dark. We got inside, and our consciences wouldn't let us rest, so we put the shoes back on and went to help them move in. They were really appreciative, and one of the guys even said he was looking for a church! So hey!
When we got back in, I was amazed I had enough energy left to make dinner. Doing dishes was another story, but suffice it to say I slept well that night. And every night this week. I'm gonna have to sleep an extra 3 days when I get home just to catch up on this week alone haha.
When we were out visiting some of the people we were teaching, one of their neighbors had a big dumpster sitting in their driveway. We asked about it, and they said they were gonna be cleaning up their house. Which, as nicely as I can say, sounded like a great idea, and a much-needed project! We offered to help, and man, that guy took us up on it so fast haha. His wife wasn't as excited about it when we came back the next day to actually help, but they ended up getting pizza for us and the ragtag group of other helpers that came.
Man. That was an experience. There was so much garbage everywhere. As I shoveled wet leaves laced with wrappers, soggy clothes, and other trash, one lady that lived there came out and had a panic attack, cause I guess she was the hoarder behind the mess. She started pulling junk out of the leaf pile, saying it just needed a good wash... And then she started freaking out at this other lady [who, btw, happens to have been in the Bandito Biker gang in the 70s/80s, and was low-key terrifying] who was digging in the dumpster for her box of cigarettes which I think I'd accidentally put with the rest of the trash and thrown away. She didn't want anyone digging in the dumpster before she did, cause she was afraid people would take stuff. Yikes. Her 8 year old son did as much as Elder Ramage or I did cause I think he thought we were cool. Unfortunately, the 3 of us made up less than half the people that were there, but we did a lot more than half of the work hahaha. It was a glimpse into a strange, dark corner of humanity, lemme tell ya.
We got Chinese takeout for dinner that night. We washed our hands really well first, though.
On Saturday, we got a break from service and actually fit a few good lessons in! I was actually missing knocking on doors by this time in the week. It felt good to be teaching again!
On Sunday, we were expecting to have 5-6 people at church, but only 1 came. One by one, they'd texted or called to cancel because they were sick, their kids were sick, or they got called into work, etc. That was rough. But I felt better about it than usual because I knew I'd done everything I could've to get them there.
We've got a good week and month lined up. I'm excited. Things are going well, slowly but surely! While it's fun to be able to say, "see you in 4 months!" I'm definitely gonna miss the crazy experiences and incredible people and just the things I get to live as a missionary. Like, we met this guy who was a leader of a congregation of the church on a Navajo Indian reservation. Now he raises bees, and recently went on a trip to Panama, where they rode a canoe through a river to an ancient native settlement. Like what?? This guy had some cool stories. I think you just get so many opportunities to really get to know people as a missionary in ways I can't imagine having anyway else. I'm gonna miss it!
...but before I miss it, I'm gonna enjoy these next 4 months! Here we go!
Sorry, not a lotta pictures this week. Just some southern vibes
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.
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(After June 20, 2017)
Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
905 Kierre Dr
North Little Rock AR 72116