Hello hello hello! The sun is shining in Memphis, and the air is cold. It's been a good week, even if I was in a different state than my companion for a short time. Oops. But I will talk about that later.
Last p day was kinda boring, but we got to actually leave our apartment and see other missionaries, so that was nice! The highlights of last P Day were undoubtedly:
1. A very nice Chik-Fil-a that had a mouthwash dispenser with cups in their bathroom. Yup.
2. Getting massaged. By a car. Let's just say I wouldn't mind having a Mercedes-Benz.
After P Day ended last week, we got a text from the Assistants to the President saying they were in the area and needed a place to crash. So we cleaned up our apartment a little extra and hosted them for the night, which was a lot of fun. It was nice having other missionaries to joke around with for a bit, and to receive advice from in planning the next morning.
I guess I'll jump right into probably the highlight of my week, which was going teaching with President Hansen, our mission president. We were able to set up an appointment for while he was here, and it was really good! As far as I knew, he had alotted himself an hour or so for the lesson. It went for almost 3 hours... But it was super neat to see how he jumped around, followed the spirit, and showed love and support. Sister Hansen came, too, and there was a member there as well. I've been in Sunday school classes with fewer people! But it was really cool. Sister Hansen may have stepped on the member's dog, though hahaha.
After the good, long lesson, we had Pres. Hansen drop us off in a neighborhood to contact people we'd met before and try finding some new people. As he drove off, he shouted "Hurrah for Israel!" and we kinda rolled our eyes after he'd driven off, but having a great lesson in for the day, and the mission President encouraging you on was a pretty good morale boost. President Hansen is awesome.
The next day in Zone Conference, President referenced our lesson together, and how as he and Sister Hansen saw us knocking doors right after being dropped off, they started tearing up, and feeling proud of us for not just going back home and kicking our feet up. Even though not a single person heard us out the rest of the day, the good lesson from the morning, and this awesome kind of validation made the rest of the week.
And then it kept going!
Right after zone conference, we had a second teaching appointment for the week with our Bible Referral we met last week. Super cool guy. We invited him to be baptized, but he wasn't quite ready for that. But it didn't scare him away, either!
A member had dropped us off at his house, which is at the very top of our long, narrow area. After we got out of the lesson, it was dark already, and the member who was picking us up was still a good 15-20 minutes out. So, rather than hanging out in front of this guy's house, (and because we both needed to pee really bad) we made our way to a gas station around the corner from him. That was an adventure.
One of the neighbors around this guy has a gorgeous husky dog that followed us for a while as we walked on the narrow, muddy shoulder of this windy, busy, 2 lane road. It was dark and cloudy, cars were whizzing by, we had this wolf-like dog walking by us, we're all still dressed up in suits from Zone Conference... It was a cool moment haha.
Now, this gas station, on the other hand, was interesting. The bathroom was... functional. They had a little BBQ place inside, but everything was under a heat lamp counter. Nothing says "fresh" like a salad bar with marijuana grow lights on it to keep those turkey legs warm. They had this brand of chips with Rappers featured on the bags, so that was cool.
After dinner that night, we played pool for a while with the family that had us over, rather than going back to our apartment early. Somehow, I beat Elder Bingham 2/3, and then 3/5 games, but it was really close. Then we were on a team and got smoked by Bro. Mortensen and his daughter haha.
The next morning, we went to fulfill a third (!?!?!) Teaching appointment, but our luck ran out and the guy wasn't home. That was after biking 4 miles to get to his house. We tried a few more people in his neighborhood that we had met but nobody was home. Oh well.
Elder Bingham was asked to speak in church next week, so we spent a good chunk of time inside during the latter half of the week for him to stay in and work on that. I was very very tempted to just nap while he was working on it, but I used the extra hours as additional study time. It was actually awesome. I'm learning more and more how everything in the scriptures are connected and are a part of one singular message. "Jesus is our Savior, and we are to be like him. Here's how." And then the smaller details that are a part of that are cool, too.
For instance, I learned this week that the Sabbath Day isn't just to commemorate the 7th day of the creation, but also to commemorate the freeing of the Israelites from Egyptian Bondage. (Maybe everybody but me knew this, idk, this was new to me!) In that sense, then, the Sabbath is also a way to celebrate deliverance from bondage and sin, thanks to the power of our Savior.
Anyway! My Gospel knowledge grew a lot this week.
We had one of those rare times when we didn't have a dinner appointment this week. So we went to Subway to try to make a further dent in to our $200 gift card there so kindly given to us by the Smiths. I go to get my Steak and Cheese sandwich, and it's looking real good, all crispy from being toasted, and the pepper jack cheese is all melty. "A few jalapenos," I say, after adding some green pepper and other ingredients. In a flash, the lady behind the counter "repeats back" what I said and reaches for something that is NOT jalapenos. I turn my head to read the label on the bottle and realize with dread what it was she said back to me. Somehow she heard my request for "a few jalapenos" as "a lot of mayonnaise."
Now. The thing about that is... I don't like mayonnaise. And heck, even if I did, no human being who "likes" mayonnaise would ever want "a lot" of mayonnaise, the way this lady interpreted "a lot." Like... I'm talking almost the weight of the bread in mayo.
I didn't wanna say anything to make the lady feel bad, and figured I could just kinda scrape the mayo off, anyway. So I make it through half of this mayo-soggy footlong before just going back and ordering a mayo-less 6inch. There was no rescuing it, it was too far gone. Thankfully, we still have $139 on the card.
Remember that lady I wrote about having given a blessing to in a hospital a week or two ago? Well... she passed away peacefully like the next afternoon. I wrote the email sharing the experience after she had passed, and didn't even hear about her passing until a day or two after that! But the blessing she received was one of peace and comfort, not necessarily healing, so that was powerful.
We visited her husband again this week in the assisted living home not far from our apartment. The ward council encouraged us to go over there and read from the Book of Mormon with him. Trouble is, he is really hard of hearing. So we read 2 Nephi 31:20 with him, and talked about having a "perfect brightness of hope," when all the sudden he interrupted, "Well, it wasn't perfect. But it was pretty good" and then I realized that he hadn't really heard any of what we said. But we got him talking a little bit and then closed with a prayer. After we said "Amen," he still had his eyes closed and head bowed, so I shouted "Amen" like a Baptist preacher and he either woke up or heard me, and said "amen," too, hahaha. Awesome guy.
The Smith's took us out to dinner again at Longhorn Steakhouse. Man, they're too good to us. He got pulled over on the way to pick us up, and neither of them were feeling well, sadly. But not only did they let us get our steaks, but they actually ordered second steaks for both of us to take home as leftovers. What. Idk if there is such a thing as being "too blessed," but if that line exists, I may have crossed it.
In non-Mission related news, the Meridian Idaho Temple was dedicated this week! The morning of the youth cultural celebration I felt the spirit so strongly thinking about it! What a powerful force for good both the temple and all those youth participating in the celebration will be for the whole world! I miss Meridian a lot, and can't wait to see the temple completed myself! But I'm just so happy knowing so many people have gotten the opportunity already, and that it will be up and running this week!
Turns out, I'm not just related to the Dahls in this ward! Sister Olsen's Maiden name is Bingham, and can trace her geneology back to good ole Erastus Perry Bingham. And she and Elder Bingham both have family that owned some mine around Salt Lake. After using the "relatives around me" feature in the Family Tree app, Elder Bingham and I discovered we are 10th cousins, once removed. So there's that!
Oh, and I met a dog named Oliver! It barked at us all the way down the street!
Aaaand this email is a little later because Bishop Michaelis kindly invited us to go walk to Arkansas with him this morning. (Which doesn't sound as crazy when I inform you that we just walked over a bridge that crosses the Mississippi River from Memphis into Arkansas.) But it was cool! There is a point on the pedestrian bridge that marks the state line, so Elder Bingham and I got a picture together while standing in different states. (Shh, don't tell President Hansen! :)
After that, we went to a little brunch cafe that claims to be the oldest in Memphis. It was refinished in the 50s and so it looks like my kinda photography heaven, but I didn't get a lot of pictures because we were in an annex and there were a lot of people haha. But it was a fun spot. We had their specialty french toast, figuring we would see what makes it so special. I should've known. It was fried. (It was also really good, but in the way I imagine people inhaling crack cocaine probably thing cocaine is pretty good haha.) Not a nutritious breakfast, I just wanted to nap after that. Good thing it is P Day and that my weekly email is done, now! :)
Love, Peace, and... French Toast Grease?
This email brought to you by:
Arcade Restaurant: a Downtown Memphis brunch staple
The Family Tree App: yep you're related. That's awkward.
The Sketchy Gas Station in Eads, TN: Proud carrier of Rap Snacks (tm)
And by viewers like you. Thank you.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOM!
ALSO, HAPPY THANKSGIVING
If you have secrets to hide from the post office:
If you have secrets to hide from the NSA:
866 Schilling Rd, apt. #103
Collierville, TN 38017
(I could be transferred on Dec. 4th so keep that in mind)
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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Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
905 Kierre Dr
North Little Rock AR 72116