On Monday night, my presence darkened the doorstep of the Bryant Great Clips again. I know I said this last time, but yeah I won't do that again.
After that, though, the week grew back. Er, I mean, got better. We exchanged with the assistants to the President that night, and I got to go up to Pinnacle Mountain/downtown Little Rock with Elder Ridgwell.
On Tuesday, we went to a district council meeting, and then Elder Ridgwell got word that Sister Hansen needed some help at the mission home ASAP. So we left the meeting early and hurried to the mission home. I'd stated in a hotel my first night in Arkansas, under the last mission President, and the next transfer was under Pres. Hansen, and the elders stayed in the mission home, too. So I'm one of just a few people left in the mission who hasn't been to the mission home. Until Tuesday, anyway! I got to see it about 6 months earlier than I thought I would haha.
We moved all the furniture out of the living room, and then some maintenance guys took a little chainsaw to the walls in there looking for something. Then we peeled up the carpet, hauled out soaking wet flooring cushions, and tried to pry out some of the floor boards, but it just crumbled instead of coming up, cause they were so wet. I guess a waterline that went into the fridge had gotten a tiny hole in it and leaked who knows how many gallons into the floor. There's a parable in there somewhere.
So that was fun. I got to climb behind the fridge and replace the lil tube. Life pro tip: don't use the plastic kind. Use the braided kind.
We exchanged back that night and then stayed busy the next day just visiting people. Someone pointed us over to try their neighbors. An older lady answered the door and said we could come in. I asked if she was sure, cause... We aren't invited in before introducing ourselves, ever haha. "Yeah, come on in and get warm." Her husband was there, and was 91. Apparently he served in World War II. It was hard to teach them anything new, but it was cool to hear how they credited every blessing in their life to the Lord.
On Thursday, I stayed in Benton on exchanges with Elder Peterson, who I'd served with in Hope. It was fun to relive some Hope adventures! It was a rainy, drizzly day. We were gonna rake some leaves but that didn't happen. We tried visiting a few members. One of them also directed us towards their neighbor.
It was dark, and we couldn't really see around their yard. We ducked under a tree with some low branches and climbed some squeaky wooden steps up the front door, all the while hoping there wasn't a dog loose in their front yard. There was a TV on inside, but no one answered. As soon as we turned to go back down the steps, the porch light turned on and then off again... and a mean sounding dog started barking. Crap. My heart slowed back down a bit when I saw that it was chained up, but didn't relax completely til we got back to the car. When we did, another door in the house opened and someone shouted after us, "Can I help you??" We reluctantly walked back to the house to explain ourselves. The intimidating silhouette in the doorway gave way to the form of what turned out to be a really nice Hispanic guy and his daughter. We told him we were the missionaries, and he gave us the whole "I have a church already" spiel, but I found myself testifying of the Book of Mormon, showing him the picture in the front of Christ visiting the Americas, and telling him what the book had done for me. He came to be so grateful I gave him the book. So that was a highlight of the week.
Another one happened on Friday, after exchanging back, having some Little Caesar's, and catching up with Elder Bolos. A couple we've been working eith for a while said we could come over that night, so we had a good visit. We'd originally intended to just answer their questions about the Plan of Salvation, and not teach them too much new stuff, but one of their questions was what commandments they'd need to keep to be baptized. Golden sounding question. But uh they weren't too fond of the whole tithing idea. They weren't 100% on board about no coffee, tea, or alcohol, either, but they could understand why that's a commandment for the most part. We invited them to do a church tour again and this time they accepted, when we set it up for later that night rather than further into the week.
So we went to the church for a baptism in our zone, and then afterwards set things up for a church tour that went pretty well!
Saturday was busy. We cranked out our weekly planning session, and then drove around town trying to visit people who for the most part weren't home. But that night was also our ward Christmas party! And it was awesome. Because a member of the ward smoked like 1-200 pounds of pork for barbecue. I was in heaven. There were 2 big, deep dishes of the stuff, and a cauldron of barbecue sauce and the whole cultural hall smelled like BBQ. By the time the 100+ people there had eaten, there was still more than half of one of those dishes of meet left. So we were gifted a gallon zip lock bag and grabbed a few pounds. Aw.yeh.
And that gets us to Sunday! Church was good, and we headed up to North Little Rock right afterwards to practice for the missionary musical devotional that night. It ended up being really good, and a lot of fun. It helped not being sick this time around. Got to see some familiar faces from Conway, which was great, too!
It's already Wednesday, now, but I'll save Monday and Tuesday of this week to write about next Monday. Here in a just a few days! It's been good!
So there's the report of the [last] week! My younger brother reports to the MTC today to head to the Canada Halifax Mission! I'm excited for and proud of him! I'm so glad I decided to serve a mission, it's been the best 18 months ever. Hard and tiring and at times boring and nerve-wracking, but always rewarding. I've grown a lot. And I'm so glad I've got another 6 months out here to change and grow some more!
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