There have been several times this week that I have felt like weeping. Don't worry, it's been one of the best weeks ever.
On Tuesday, we had exchanges with the APs. I got to stay in Searcy, and Elder Smalling (the Elder I replaced in Searcy) came down with me. We had a dang good day.
We started out raking a huge pile of leaves for someone, and then had a lesson with a recent convert. Taught him about Baptisms for the Dead and he's planning on going to the St. Louis Temple this weekend! Exciting! He also teaches our Book of Mormon class and is just awesome. He was going to school to be a Church of Christ pastor, but just fell in love with the Book of Mormon. Its the word of God, y'all!
That appointment went long, and so our planned hour and a half of finding was cut to just a half an hour, and we had our dinner appointment right afterward. I figured it would take us long enough to drive there and then to our dinner appointment that I seriously almost considered not going. But... We also had set a goal that morning to find 2 new investigators. We had picked a former in the neighborhood we planned on going and decided to just go and try the former investigator.
We got there, knocked on the door, and the former had moved, but the lady who answered the door had sat in on a missionary discussion before, and was willing to have us back and read something before our next visit, so within like 2 minutes we had 1 of our 2. We saw there was another former investigator around the corner, and we had like 10 minutes left, so we gave it a shot and bam! She let us right in. It seemed like the missionaries had just stopped coming by in the past, and she was willing to have us back over!
So... wow. The Lord magnified our time to accomplish our goals and led us right where we needed to be. How cool is that??
Well the day went even better, cause we set a baptismal date with the father of a wonderful family this week! Bro. Aguilar. I hadn't set a baptismal date since like... August. It felt really good. We've got a lot to teach him before April 14th, but we are excited!
The next day, the Lord made us work a little harder to get our goal of 1 investigator. Okay... a lot harder. But it was awesome!
We had our goal of one new investigator, and we picked a street. We walked in with 4 Books of Mormon, 2 Bibles, 7 passalong cards, and 4 pamphlets between the two of us. We determined that we wouldn't leave without our one new investigator, and that we would return to the truck with nothing but our tablets left.
Well... We talked with every person we saw. We found a couple nice people, but nobody too willing to hear us out. We were down to 1 bible, and 2 pamphlets. We were 45 minutes into our planned dinner hour, and finally found the one! Gave her two pamphlets to read, and set up a time to come back. Walked away with misty eyes. Wow wow. God is good.
We still had a bible, though, so we quickly gave that to somebody and were totally empty handed. But that didn't stop us from talking with one more person. Who, as it turned out, had met with the sisters before, and said she was open to having them back.
Dadgum. Got back to the apartment totally exhausted. But still made a late dinner, started planning for district meeting the next morning, and had a MLC Skype group meeting thing.
We were sooooo tired going to bed that night. But it was an awesome feeling.
On Thursday, we had our district meeting, and then we had to head out so Elder Ogaard could make his Urologist appointment. Which sounded fun. A member who works at the place passed us in the hall and volunteered to take us out for lunch, so that was awesome!
That evening, we had a lesson with a guy who had just lost his wife and grandmother. He was pretty distraught and was visibly comforted by what we shared with him in the chapel. He was so promising! But we got a text from him last night saying he was going to just keep going to his grandpa's church. Dang. He probably got some anti-mormon stuff fed to him. :(
We had our Book of Mormon class right after that, which was awesome, and then we left to have dinner with a bunch of members of the ward who were getting together at one of their [extremely] nice houses. I've literally never seen a nicer back yard in my life. Palm trees, a 2 story tree house, a pool with a waterslide, a tennis court, swing set, full kitchen, large patio, and string lights hung up. It was like a resort. It's fascinating to see that and trailer parks in the same day.
On Friday, we started our weekly planning session and didn't get too far. We got a phone call from one of our district leaders letting us know an elder in our Zone is going home, and that his companion will be joining them in a trio. We had no idea about any of that. So... We made some calls. Said some prayers, and decided to keep that trio as is. Called the Elder going home and just told him we were super proud of him for putting repentence and living the Gospel of Christ before serving his mission. Still so hard, though. He'll be back out this fall. There were more than misty eyes this time, over this whole situation. We have some awesome missionaries.
That afternoon, we did an exchange with Cabot. So I added another apartment I've been in to my long-growing list haha. Walked around to a bunch of less active members homes, but nobody was home so that was a bummer.
The next day, we exchanged back. It felt good to be back in Searcy. We met with a referral we received a few weeks ago again and wow, she is awesome! Her family is kinda wayward and going through a hard time, but when we arrived, she had a notebook full of notes from reading the first chapter of the Book of Mormon, and had even done the "extra study" questions at the end of the pamphlet. (Nobody ever does those. The last person that did was Caroline, and... she got baptized. So we are stoked!)
We then went to the Aguilars for dinner (the family whose father we had set the baptismal date with). They made the BEST tacos I have ever had in my entire life. Grilled beef, chicken, and pork, with homemade salsa, onion/habanero stuff, rice, and cactus, and it was SOO good.
Afterward, we watched the Restoration DVD, and had a really good lesson. Felt the Spirit really strongly and there were more misty eyes. Idk if I've cared for an investigator/family as much as I have like this before. They are so wonderful.
On Sunday, church was good. A less active member came for the first time in over 5 years. He handed me his tithes before heading out so that was awkward and funny haha. We got a ride from a priest preparing for his mission to the tiny town of Augusta, AR. Which like really made me want to come back and do a ton of photoshoots there. Its kinda run down and a little sketch but also stuck in time and kinda cute.
We visited a referral out there, and in so doing reached our week goal of 5 New Investigators. Just in time. The lord provides a way!
So you can say it's been an awesome week. Idk if I've ever worked harder. And I like this. Miracles are everywhere. And this week I have definitely fallen in love with Searcy. There are so many awesome people here and the ward is amazing and the work is going well... life is good here!
I hope life is good in y'alls corner of the vineyard, too. Work hard, have fun, pray lots. Love y'all!
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909 Holmes Rd, apt. 209
Searcy, Arkansas, 72143
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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(May 31-June 19 2017)
Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
2005 N 900 E Unit 149
Provo, UT 84602
(After June 20, 2017)
Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
905 Kierre Dr
North Little Rock AR 72116