This week was one of those that seemed to go fast, but when I think about Tuesday it also feels like forever ago. Ya know? It's been an awesome, fulfilling, week, though!
On Tuesday, we had our Mission Leadership Council meeting, which was really good. Got me HYPED. Searcy Arkansas isn't ready for what's about to hit it.
Afterward, we had our personal interviews with President Hansen. Man, I love that guy. He asked how I was doing and I said good, and he told me, "I can tell! You look good." Which wasn't a compliment to my looks or anything haha. And it's not that I didn't look "good" or "happy" before, but it was just good to hear that the changes I've been making are showing and that the happiness is, too. Yay! The gospel is for real, y'all! Living it works!
We were the last ones to leave, and after helping clean the church a little bit, we went to Wendy's for dinner (4 for $4 ayooo) and my free frosty card gave me a full size rather than a mini frosty that time. #TenderMercies
After that, we drove to Jacksonville (Arkansas, not Florida) and met up with the elders there at their ward Volleyball night. Changed and exchanged. Elder Carter and I stayed in j-ville with Elder Seastrand. Played (and lost, yikes) some volleyball and then headed to their apartment for the night. (It was a nice, 2 story apartment. 2 bed, 2.5 bath, full kitchen... it used to be a sisters apartment, I guess. Definiteky one of the nicer apartments in the mission. Got to experience both sides of that this week, but that's for later.)
The next day, we biked out to a food pantry/thrift store place and I got to presort clothes like back in my Uptown Cheapskate days. Checking if the zippers work, if there's stains, etc. Difference was, step 1 at this place was to just smell the bag in case it smelled like... well...anything bad. 4 bags did, so that's fun.
We biked back, had lunch, and then walked around a bunch. Visited a recent convert who had some good lines. "I love the guy, but he's a low down snake. I wouldn't touch that guy with a long-handled spoon." And "oh, no, that's a whole other bag of snakes." Things like that help me love the south hahaha.
We walked to the Air Force base up there, and a member picked us up and took us to Larry's Pizza buffet. I hadn't been too impressed last time, but maybe this location was better. They've got all kinds of cool, weird flavors of pizza haha.
Elder Carter got a call letting him know he would be Emergency Transfered from our trio. :/ so we exchanged back that night so he would have time to pack.
The next day was zone conference, which made me EVEN MORE HYPED about missionary work. I'm so glad to be getting this instruction and motivation this early in my mission still. I've got a long time still to put it all in practice!
After Zone Conference, we had our 2nd exchange of the week. I went to Brinkley, Arkansas, a tiny little podunk town in between Little Rock and Memphis kinda. We chatted with this nice old baptist lady for a while, who still kinda adamantly disagreed with us on some stuff (like how everybody is going to be resurrected, and how we have to actually do stuff to accept Christ's grace. Stuff other than claiming you're saved, anyway.) But she was super nice, and ended up accepting a Book of Mormon and our challenge for her to read it!
Driving back to their apartment, the headlights glared in the eyes of the occasional racoon, and frogs hopped off the two lane road here and there. We passed like 2 other cars the whole ride. It started feeling a little more real that I'm not in Collierville, TN, anymore haha.
I was a little nervous for this exchange, mostly because of the Brinkley apartment. I'd heard [literal] horror stories about their last apartment. Their last apartment had been haunted. And I guess all they did was move them next door, basically. I won't go into details here, but I'll just say that I didn't believe in ghosts/etc. until my mission.
It didn't help that their apartment was kinda old. It was also 2 stories, but not in the same nice way as the Jacksonville apartment haha. They hadn't gotten blinds for downstairs yet, so all the windows there were uncovered. That night, Elder Albertson showed me how to play Magic: The Gathering. (Which I lost drastically. I guess you have 20 lives, but he cleared my defenses and hit me with 31 level attack. Or something like that haha. I don't think I'll play again lol.)
When we went to bed, he locked the bedroom door. And... He kinda snored a lot so I kept waking up and having a hard time falling back asleep. But we survived, and nothing came of the occasional thump coming from downstairs. But the apartment did kinda smell like crack in some places.
Elder Woodland and Ogaard came up the next day to exchange back and help with their weekly planning session. Afterward, Elder Ogaard and I went back to Searcy. We drove on some fun back roads. It started out reminding me of Idaho. This was a different side of Arkansas than I'd seen before. Wide open fields, letting you see for miles. I miss the mountains, though.
After half an hour or so, the open fields turned kinda marshy, with dead looking trees on either side of the road, submerged in flood water. From time to time, the trees would give way to more open fields, flooded enough to make the road look like we were driving through a lake. Hopefully they are rice fields that need to be flooded, to contribute to Arkansas being the number one exporter of rice in the world, apparently? (Even beating China, as the fun fact goes, but I don't have Google so I can't fact check these hooligans and prove them wrong. Can someone get back to me on that?)
We were both kinda nodding off on the drive back, but I at least managed to keep my eyes open often enough for us to get back to Searcy safely.
We had a good rest of our afternoon! We visited a referral we received who has met with the missionaries before, and even read a bunch of the Book of Mormon. She recognized the peace it brings into her life, and wants to share that with all 4 of her kinda wayward kids. So we are excited to keep working with her.
And then that night, we had an awesome lesson with the nonmember dad of an adorable little family. He asked lots of good questions, and his wife kept teasing him about getting baptized. We are excited for him and his family!
We spent the majority of the next day doing our own weekly planning. We got kinda burnt out and haven't finished everything for it just yet, but I feel like I know Searcy better, and I'm way more pumped to be here, now. [Deep cleaning the kitchen and bathroom this week also helped! We found a dead mouse under thr kitchen sink ayooo]
We went to do service for a member, who said we could plan on staying afterwards for dinner. Well... when we got there, dinner was ready and they said we didn't have to do service for them that day. They tricked us haha. But it was a nice surprise. They had ~homemade mashed potatoes~ which us 2 Idaho boys had been talking about just earlier that day. #TenderMercies
It got even better than food, though, when their 10 year old grandson said that he wanted to be baptized after the spiritual thought we shared with them! He has to get permission from his dad, though. So keep that in your prayers! Got my picture taken over there to be added to their wall-sized collection of all the missionaries that have been in their home.
It was raining when we left, and we had scheduled time to try and meet some members and former investigators, but by the time we made it to where we needed to be, there was lightning and thunder and rain coming down, so we couldn't have seen the address numbers if they even had them up. (That's a problem in Arkansas I've noticed. People sometimes don't have their address numbers up on the house, mailbox, sidewalk, anything, really. Which is annoying.)
Daylights savings felt real good Sunday morning. :-)
Church was good. Afterward, we went to the bishops house and Elder Ogaard made the bishop's family and the sister missionaries who joined us fried chicken. (And did a really good job. He's improving! ) It was a fun evening. Bishop Webb an his family are really awesome.
This week, Elder Ogaard and I are going to try to find 5 New Investigstors. Finding has been a struggle in our Zone for a while, now, so we need to lead by example! Also pray for us to reach that goal, and find those people this week!
I'm excited for this week! Got some good stuff lined up, and some big goals to shoot for. Let's do this!
Have a great week!
I could use some quick, cheap, few-ingredient recipes!
Or maybe a Blue Apron subscription idk
909 Holmes Rd, apt. 209
Searcy, Arkansas, 72143
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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