The weeks are getting faster, I think?
It was a tougher week in Searcy, but life's still grand, God's still good, and tummies are still full.
On Monday, we had our Zone P Day, in which I got pwned at Volleyball. But it was fun!
The next day, we had exchanges with the now combined Brinkley-Lonoke area. They've decided to go with "Bronoke" which is pretty good. Although the other option was "Loneley" (which, as the ironic choice seeing as there is a trio there now, would have been my choice.)
We went to their district meeting, and to the Taco Bell/KFC combo that's almost the only restaurant in that tiny town. I, uncharacteristically, chose KFC over Tacos, and was actually low key impressed. (Shhhhh)
Then I drove the hour drive back to Searcy with Elder Ramage, where we raked leaves for like 2 hours, did some missionary work, had dinner, and then met with this guy from Cameroon.
He! Is! So! Cool! He is a Bible major at the Church of Christ school here in Searcy, and the missionaries had knocked on his door months ago. He had been impressed by them, and by the Book of Mormon's bold claims. "This is a large volume," he told us. "Nobody would write this without a good reason." He's right! He has been telling the missionaries that once he graduates in a few months, he will dedicate all his time to reading it.
His story is so amazing. His dad was a shaman in Cameroon, which is someone who would defend a group of people from witchcraft and evil spirits, and so on. "Eventually," he said, "the people began to realize that shamanism didn't work. There was still evil. But they discovered something that did work - Jesus Christ." So he had gone into ministry work, and then come to Searcy, Arkansas to learn more and gain tools to use to help people back home.
What he said next was SOOO fascinating to me! "Here in America, people believe in Jesus Christ so they can go to heaven. Back home, we believe in Jesus Christ because we want protection. We want to be safe. Getting into heaven for us is an added bonus."
Anyway. That was so cool to me. We ended up talking about baptism and stuff, and left feeling like I'd gained a friend. I couldn't help but daydream about how awesome it would be if he read the Book of Mormon in like 3 days and knew that it was true, and was baptized before he went back home to Cameroon, and then he started up a branch of the church there. I'd have to visit, I think. :)
The next morning, we drove back to Lonoke to exchange back, and then back to Searcy. So there went 2 hours of our day haha. We did a lot of zone leader stuff preparing for our meeting with the local Stake President and President Hansen to discuss how the congregations are helping with missionary work. That meeting went well, and then we went to a lesson. This lady is awesome! But she's stuck in a catch 22. She wants to come to church, but she won't come unless her family does, so that she doesn't feel like she is betraying them. But her family won't come until she takes the lead and makes the stand. It's a tough situation.
We had another great Book of Mormon class this week. We were a little late cause we were hurrying to finish eating our re-creation of a Zaxbys Kickin' Chicken sandwich. For our first try, I have to say... We nailed it. It was so good hahaha. Maybe even better than the original.
Raked some leaves for a lady in a trailer park. She told us she was worried about snakes burrowing in them, cause that had happened last year. Thankfully we managed to take them all without getting bit by any snakes. (Or even seeing any, don't worry haha)
Raked some more leaves for another lady. She hadn't put her dog inside when she left for work like she had the last time when we started her yard, and so that thing barked & barked & barked & barked & barked & barked & barked & barked & barked & barked & barked & barked & barked & barked & barked & barked for the whole hour + we were there. But we finished the yard!
That night, the sisters were having dinner with an investigator couple of theirs. I dunno how much they are actually investigating, but they are really kind, awesome, Christian people with an adorable little family. They had told the sisters they could invite friends to the dinner they were planning, so... We were kinda "plus ones" but not really. But hey, we like being fed! :)
Speaking of being fed.
This has been alluded to, but I've been trying to add stuff to my repertoire/mental cookbook. I've got a couple really tasty things down. I made one of those for lunch on Saturday. Taco-sized corn tortilla quesadillas, topped w a fried egg, diced potatoes, and guacamole salsa. Really good.
And then for dinner we had american tacos with one of our home teaching families. Plus two slices of really really yummy apple pie.
And then we went over to the family whose husband/father we are teaching, and they made tacos, too. It was late enough we were coming thinking it would just be a lesson, but... one bowl of Mexican ham and bean soup and like 4 more authentic delicious tacos later... I was so full. I'd never been so full of tacos in my life. It was glorious.
On Sunday, we had church as usual, and then we were picked up in the transfer van and driven to Jonesboro, Arkansas, about an hour and change away. The mission's first Easter Missionary Musical Tribute was last night and it was awesome. The whole gym of chairs was empty which was sad, and there were some kinks we need to work out, but it was really good! I'm excited for the next one on the 8th in Jacksonville, AR. If I stay with Elder Ogaard one more transfer, I will get to go to all of them across the mission, back on the Memphis side! I'm kinda crossing my fingers for that.
So that's the week, really! Things are goin' in Searcy. Lots of awesome people. Lots of potential! And Searcy is the place where I am becoming the best person I've ever been. (Not just eating lots of tacos haha.)
Hope y'all have a stupendous week full of tacos and cool people and Jesus and the Book of Mormon! Happy Easter! Love y'all!
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