Fun fact of the day:
One chicken farm house (pictured below) has 12,500 chickens in it. According to some guy we talked to, who seemed like a pretty reliable source.
Elder Lim bet us an ice cream cone, though, for whoever guesses the closest number to how many chickens they are able to fit on the trucks that drive through town. They're just stacks of chicken cages on the bed of a pickup truck. My guess/calculation was 2,500 chickens. But we haven't figured it out yet, so if you wanna Google that for me, I'll share my ice cream with you. <3
Well, last Monday wasn't too eventful. We spent the morning at the church. And the afternoon. Elder Anderson called some local business and church higher-ups to figure out how to fix the internet. We finally left at like 3, without having had lunch or cleaned our apartment or shopped. Stopped by two internet provider shops in town. One was a nice office with a polite receptionist, and the other was set up in the back of an old radio shack that hadn't been redone yet. A morbidly obese guy sat in a specially made chair at a computer desk watching "700 lbs of popcorn popping at the same time" on YouTube. Well, we ended up going with those guys. Yeah....
Our appointment wasn't home that evening. And then during our proselyting hours, E. Anderson stopped by a cool gas station called TAB's in town advertising their "most unique bathroom in town" on their billboard. (It was decent, clean, and plastered in mostly suggestive bumper stickers.) He got a fried chicken plate and a key lime pie for his birthday. I guess he spent his birthday doing what he loves, so that's a good thing!
The next day, we had our first district meeting of the transfer. I instructed on teaching when you find, and finding when you teach. We've got a super solid district.
Afterward, we went to this Hibachi grill food truck, and the Lims very generously paid for everyone. They spoil us. And that stuff was dang good. Had the leftovers for lunch the next day, too!
From there, we rode back to Hope, and the internet company we found yesterday came and installed everything. Elder Anderson was about as involved in that as he could be. At 2, we were going to go visit some referrals with the Lims and have a lesson with a lady in Mineral Springs, some 45 minutes away. Come 1 o'clock, the Lims arrived, and come 1:30, he was still going! So we skipped being able to see our referrals, and then the GPS took us too far, so we were like 30 minutes late to our lesson.
Thankfully, she didn't mind, and the lesson went well. This lady has been to the holy land twice, and was commenting on some of the cool bits of the Book of Mormon that match the culture over there. Kinda neat. I'll talk about her more later.
We had dinner with some less active members that night. She was a little tipsy, confessing she'd had 3 beers after a rough day of work. So that was interesting. The food was good! And so was the Wal-Mart cheesecake, for those who are wondering.
Wednesday was day 3 of fixing the wifi. Thankfully, I think Elder Lim caught on to the fact that I was getting bored sitting at the church, cause he came with us and we went through the branch roster we've been working with. We planned who all we would see later that day around 2 again. Well... Elder Anderson didn't finish until later and then we had 10 mins to warm up leftover hibachi and hit the road. Let's just say, despite being late again, I'm glad the internet is fixed once and for all.
We've been trying to visit everyone in the branch. And that includes people who have not been to church in decades or who have told people from the church to not come by. So that's been interesting! Nobody has been mean, yet! :)
Well, since the wifi was fixed, Elder Anderson turned his focus to the rest of the church building and we documented all the things wrong with the building, so hopefully some people can come and fix it all. It'll be good!
We did another trip that afternoon to Nashville, (Arkansas, not Tennessee) and stopped at Sis. Lim's favorite fast food place, Burger King on the way back into town. Good ole booger fling, right Elder Evans?
While she and E. Anderson sorted through notes on people to out into the computer, E. Lim and I planned our next trip and just talked about boy scout adventures and stuff. This guy rebuilt a dam in southern Idaho in the 70s, and collects and restores cool old cars. He is one cool dude.
Friday came along and so did our weekly planning session. That morning, the lady we taught earlier this week kept coming into mind. Usually we follow an order of who we plan for first, but I decided to just start with her. We gave her a call and caught her right before she was heading out. While we were talking, her appointment canceled, we were able to answer some more questions, and she said that she would use the time that just opened up to immediately start studying the Book of Mormon. That was cool. The Lord encouraged me to plan for her first, even if I didn't understand why. And he gave her the time and reminder she needed to start reading. These little "coincidences" are the miracles that keep me going and make up a mission.
In an effort to spoil back the Lims, E. Anderson made barbecue sandwiches/Sloppy Joes and we had lunch together. Sis. Lim picked up a key lime pie from TAB's, though so it may have only been a fair trade.
On our trip that afternoon, we met a guy whose wife convinced him to get a chicken farm on their property. He said he was being delivered like 12,500 chickens over the next few weeks. Crazy.
That night, E. Anderson practiced the organ and I practiced the piano right on the stage with him when I could hear the notes even play haha.
Saturday we didn't have any trips with the Lims planned, so we had time to do some finding. We'd set a goal to find 3 New people to teach this week, and had found 0 up to this point. Which was kinda hard. So with some extra prayer and effort we were able to get all 3 of those today, even if our planning in the morning was discouraging. We stopped at a taco truck for dinner, and that helped lift the morale. And then we were able to meet with a funny couple who live in a pretty nice trailer decorated with watermelons. She was your chatty southern belle type, and he actually grew up in Palmyra, New York. Not far from Joseph Smiths house. Pretty cool! Wonderful people looking for truth, saying they felt something missing in their lives.
And then that night, Elder Ogaard called and told me Eric is getting baptized on May 12th! Yay! That made my week. I love that guy and his family.
We didn't get to attend our own branch Sunday morning, and went to the North Little Rock ward so that Elder Anderson could be there in time to leave for the Memphis musical concerts the missionaries are doing over there cause he plays the Organ. I think I've been to the NLR ward as many times as I have the Searcy ward haha.
Chatted with missionary friends before they all headed over to the Memphis side. And then I went to the Benton area with Elder Hall. We did some walking around but none of their people were available for a lesson. I ate a bunch of cookies, caught up on my journaling, and had some extra studies on top of the 2 hour drive from that morning. So it was a good time.
We drove back to North Little Rock today and got to go to David's Burgers for the first time in a while with Elder Ogaard and his new companion, also named Elder Anderson. We went to the one in downtown Little Rock, so we got to walk around down there for a bit. Before we even parked a guy asked us for change haha. But our trip there was much needed. I miss those guys.
And now we are to now. We are in the middle of our 2 hour drive back to the end of the mission in Hope, Arkansas. We are gonna have a killer week and we are gonna keep loving the scriptures and sharing them with the people of Hope.
So anyway. Definitely not the most exciting weekly email I've ever written. Lots of driving. Lots of chickens. A bunch of neat people who would make for great movie or book characters cause they're just so... cartoonish in an awesome way. But I hope you can see, as I have, the Lord's hand in all this. In small ways. He's good to us, out here.
Read your scriptures, you yayhoos. Love ya.
I appreciate messages and artifacts from the outside world:
303 West 23rd Street, Apt. 9C
Hope, AR 71801
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