Well hello there! It's been another week, and the space-time continuum has returned to its regular rapid pace, as perceived by Elder Dahl. It went faster when General Conference (https://www.lds.org/general-conference) was on.
I always have to laugh at how the Lord can make the best of bad situations. For example:
We set an appointment with one of the people we were teaching, and even had a member who was willing and able to come. We met the member there, and then waited for the person we hoped to teach to get home. We each waited in our cars on opposite sides of the block, and it felt kinda like a stakeout. We were across the street, and kept turning our heads behind us to see if they pulled up. And then--a honk.
We whirled around and rolled down the window to a lady angrily asking what we were doing parked by her house. We explained that we were waiting for someone we were teaching. "Teaching?" she asked. We explained a little more, and shared the person's name. We were told that that person didn't live there, and we said "across the street!" She relaxed some and apologized, explaining that her fifteen year old daughter had been home alone and we looked kinda suspicious. Haha. I guess I would've been nervous, too.
Well, the investigator didn't get home, and so we decided to apologize to the lady for parking by her house. She apologized to us, and we got talking about the gospel, and found out... she believes in a premortal life, and in holes and missing pieces from the Bible! So that's pretty cool! She also explained these things called the "Terra Papers," to us, which she told us were an ancient american text carved on stone tablets, about aliens visiting the early Native Americans and teaching them how to farm. We gave her a Book of Mormon and explained it was a liiiiittle different. She promised to read and pray about it if we did the same with the Terra Papers. Deal!
So yeah, the Lord works in mysterious ways.
The next day, I stayed in Benton on exchanges with Elder Watts. We mostly did a lot of finding. We found a neighborhood with several members on it and wanted to ask one of them to pray with us about an area where we could go do some tracting for a little while. I felt pretty distinctly about one of them, so we visited her, a stay-at-home mom with two young kids. She was pretty nervous about sending us on a wild goose chase, but after a prayer, and telling us she felt good about two streets nearby for some reason, we felt really good, too, and hurried off to see who we could find there!
After several doors, I was starting to get worried we wouldn't have anything to report back to this member, but then we met another young mom, with kids the same age as the member who sent us, who said that we could come back! We had another good visit with a lady we invited to church, and then yet another good visit with a gal who explained that she and her husband, in their study of the Bible, had concluded that America should be the promised land, and, "is there anywhere in the Book of Mormon that talks about America being the promised land?" Uuhhhh yeah!!
So that was sweet. And when we reported back to the member, she was so surprised and happy! She said that she had been thinking about our missionary lesson in church last week, and had prayed that morning for a missionary opportunity, feeling kinda overwhelmed and unsure of how she would do that as a stay-at-home mom. And now she and her husband are open to having the other little family we met in their home for a lesson!
We helped another couple move some furniture on our way to exchange back. I love when people take us up on our offers to help them!
The next morning was our district council, and then afterwards we figured we would keep our end of the deal and research the "Terra Papers." So we did, and uh... well, that's where the "Lizard People" part of my subject line comes from, cause literally that's what it's about. The text reads like a poorly written (but well-researched) scifi book from a college creative writing class, and explains how just about every conspiracy theory and culture are connected. So... it might be worth an entertaining read if you're bored, but it's not about to shape my view of reality or inspire me to be a better person.
We had a good visit with one of the people we're teaching that night. We invited him to live the Word of Wisdom, but he's kinda overwhelmed with everything else going on in his life. We could see that as we were there, though, extra peace entered his home. It seems obvious to us that freeing himself from some addictions would help bring peace more consistently in his home and relationships, but change is hard, even if we know it is for our best!
Friday was awesome. We had our weekly planning and talked about spicing up our finding techniques and door approaches a little bit. We gave it a shot, and still fell into old habits, but were granted success from trying! One guy let us right in to show us a replicated copy of a 1600s original KJV Bible he had, which was pretty cool. He was talking about some of his "unique" interpretations of the Bible, and mentioned sharing the gospel with the Jews. We read the title page of the introduction to the Book of Mormon with him, which talks about how the Book of Mormon exists to convince Jew and Gentile of the divinity of Jesus Christ. He was hooked!
We also went to try a gal who said we could come back sometime, and met her boyfriend. He was really cool, and could definitely relate to some Book of Mormon stories we shared with him about turning our lives around and feeling peace. He loved the Plan of Salvation and said we could come back.
We visited the lady who missed our appointment with the member, and she was home. We told her about General Conference and she said she'd plan to come to the Saturday afternoon session! She didn't, though. :( When we followed up, she explained that she thought she was having a Kidney Stone. So... hopefully she's alright. Those sound miserable. As far as excuses for missing General Conference go, that might be a good one, but still.
We watched the Saturday Morning session with our other main investigator, and he liked it. My favorite part of General Conference this time around were how perfectly the M. Joseph Brough and Steven R. Bangerter talks seemed WRITTEN FOR THIS GUY. Conference is so personal and powerful. I got a lot of answers to my own questions, too.
Driving by so many people on Saturday and Sunday, it was sad to think that like none of those people knew that God's prophets and apostles on the earth today are about to address the needs of our world in October 2018! I'm so thankful to spread the word and be a recipient of that counsel and peace and direction and joy!
Where else are you going to find that? Where else can you go, and what else can you be a part of, where truth doesn't change, where divine help is available, the "secrets" of happiness are shared openly and freely, and that's just in 2 seamless and inspired semiannual worldwide broadcasts, let alone the other 50 weeks of the year!
Idk if praying that people will just magically change their minds and lives and want to be baptized works, but if you'd be willing to give it a shot we'll find out! :)
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