In the South, all these people read that you need to be baptized by water, and heard something about baptism by fire. So they invented the DEEP FRYER.
*and with that high-saturated-fat sizzling sound playing in your brain, lemme tell you about this week*
(It's been a good one.)
Met a 93 year old amateur radio ham who lives in a trailer in the middle of ~nowhere~ on a plot of land he got from his wife's family, who got it from one General Robert E. Lee back in the day.
Had a good lesson and another lesson fall through after that, and then we had a good ole summer storm as we rode back with the Lims to Hope. It poured. The fastest setting for the windshield wiper didn't cut it again, and the dip in the road going up to our apartment complex was flooded. Water splashed well above the windows as we drove through it. We ran from the car to our building and took cover under the balcony for a few seconds before braving the uncovered staircase going up go our floor. I dropped something on the way up, adding another 2 seconds in the rain as I bent down to grab it, before making it to our floor. All in all, probably barely 10 seconds in the rain in total? We might as well have taken a shower, though haha. Everything was soaked. I went back outside with a cup and filled it by holding it out under the awning for a few seconds. It was awesome. https://youtu.be/o_8b0d1q_Ww
Summer storms are back. We had hot, cloudless afternoons and stormy humid evenings most of the week.
The next day we raked leaves, which was about as fun as you'd expect. For better or worse it was hot enough outside that the top layer of leaves were dry, but there were a lot of soggy leaves under them. We came back Friday morning to finish her yard and it took a few more hours than we expected. We lined her whole side of the street with leaves, all moved one (small) wheelbarrow load at a time. Church bells went off in the distance, chiming several hymns, so that was really cool.
On Wednesday, we went back up to Debbie's, our 'wonderful' lady who is unable to speak. She picked on me to say the prayer again. She had read a few chapters ahead of what we had invited her to read in the Book of Mormon. We asked if she had prayed to know if what we were teaching her was true. She nodded.
"Do you feel like God answered your prayer?"
She nodded again.
"How did you feel when you prayed?"
We gave her her little notepad and she wrote her signature answer - "wonderful."
We then invited her to be baptized, and she accepted. June 16th is going to be a wonderful day.
That night we went to the Hibachi food truck in town to celebrate. Dadgum that stuff is good. Chicken fried rice, y'all. And yum yum sauce, can't forget that.
On Thursday we worked on putting together a facebook post to volunteer to serve people. We got a bunch of likes, but no bites. :( We just wanna help!
We met one of our former investigators that afternoon and discovered that he used to live in our exact apartment. So that was kinda cool!
In trying to help one of the members with a broken washing machine, we went to this old appliance store to ask if they knew any of the repair codes or something. (Idk, it all went over my head.) One guy came in and joked about Mormons having horns and asked a couple other random jokes. ("What kind of business is King Kong in? / Monkey business." And "What state is round on the outsides and high in the middle? / Ohio.")
The guy at the desk helping us informed us that that guy was his brother. And that he'd been dropped on his head as a child. I'm not certain he was joking.
Friday was the day we finished that yard, and that night the Routts from Conway were driving through Hope and stopped by to feed us dinner! We went to a burger place downtown that was pretty good. It was so awesome to spend some time with them again. They crack me up.
They asked what my adventures were in Hope so far, and I couldn't really give them an answer. I dunno. We haven't really had a ton of funny or crazy experiences out here in the 7 weeks I've been here. Which made me kinda sad, thinking about it haha. But in thinking about all the amazing and hilarious people I've met out here, I've come to look at them as the best adventure that's here.
We met with Debbie again on Saturday, and had a great lesson. She is reading a lot of the Book of Mormon and is enjoying it! She was excited for church on Sunday.
We had tried another one of our investigators, Carmelita, on the way up to Debbie, and we decided to try her one more time on the way back. She was home this time and welcomed us and Elder Lim right in. It had been a few weeks since our last visit, but she asked great questions about revelation, and prophets. She had heard that people go to heaven right after they die, and disagreed with that and didn't know why. She had been baptized as a kid because her grandma told her to, and she didn't feel comfortable with that. As we testified of the restoration again, you could see the puzzle pieces connect in her mind as tears filled her eyes. We invited her to be baptized as well, and she accepted. July 7th is going to be another good day. :)
That night, Sister Lim fixed a homemade dinner of turkey and cheesy potatoes and rolls and corn on the cob. Oh man that filled my soul as much as it did my stomach. I'm not a bad cook, but having something other than fast food and what I make was amazing hahaha.
(That said, I have become very very proud of my roasted potatoes and chicken pesto gyro cooking game. They are dang good. So... look forward to that, future wife of mine.)
After dinner, we did a lot of planning. Both Debbie and Carmelita were planning on coming to church the next day, and we had gotten a text from the mother of one of the main families in the branch asking us to speak and play piano. 2/3 members of the branch presidency were also going to be gone, and so we were kinda worried if there would be anyone else at church at all!
But, I prepared a talk that night, and gave it to a good group of 25 people in the branch the next morning. It ended up being good, and both Debbie and Carmelita enjoyed church! Yay!
I've been learning a lot this week. Mostly the hard way, it feels like haha. But it's been well worth the cost of admission. I guess the main takeaway is the need to show evidence of Repentence. Repentence isn't just feeling bad and asking for forgiveness. When we show just how much we want forgiveness by the things that we do and change in our life, that is when the heavens open and the joy and peace we are seeking are given. It's a simple idea and probably one I would have just nodded along to before this week. But I feel like I get it more this week. I'm thankful the Lord is patient. He is so good.
I'm so thankful for the opportunity I've had to really feel like an instrument in His hands this week. We've helped two bible referrals come to church and accept to be baptized. In Hope, Arkansas - the "armpit" of the Arkansas Little Rock Mission. I'm so excited for each of them and for all the good, blessings, miracles, and crazy people that will yet cross my path here. [Romans 12:12]
Sending my love, and hoping you can feel His. Happy Memorial Day!
I hit my year mark on Thursday!?
I hit my year mark on Thursday!?
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