Hey, it's Elder Dahl! I'm alive!
West Memphis is crazy, y'all. We've been mistaken as cops almost as many times as we've been mistaken as Jehovah's Witnesses here. (Which is to say, a lot.)
The people are really pretty nice. A good handful are also drunk/high, though. And only one guy told us to get our white [butts] out of his neighborhood as he drove by!
But on the real, West Memphis is great. We've found a lot of cool people this week! The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ resonates with a lot more people here than anywhere else I've served. It's awesome. The trouble is keeping people interested enough to be home when they say they'll be home to learn more...
The parable of the sower has been played out in full this week. There's plenty of shallow dirt, hot sun, and thorns out there. But also a lot of really good seeds.
I don't have a ton of stories from this week to tell. Mostly just people I wish you could meet.
Like the most redneck guy I've ever met in my 20 months in the south. He was drinking a can of beer with a can cooler thing around it, wearing a Budweiser shirt and a stained flannel over it. In the flannel breast pocket, he had a pack of cigarettes and a bunch of Burger King coupons. He talked exactly like you'd imagine, and gave us both cokes out of a old cooler in the back of his van. His zombie apocalypse survival van. (No, seriously.) There's a human skull (probably fake?) wearing a bandana and shades in the dashboard. Solid.
We're also teaching these two couples, one of them is "in the ministry" for the Apostolic Pentecostal church, which I learned more about this week. And the other hasn't been to church in a while, but feel like it's about time to get back into it.
We met another lady who's met with the missionaries before, and kinda struggled with the whole idea of Joseph Smith for a while. But after explaining what the Book of Mormon was, and that the Savior visited the Americas, it all clicked. Apparently no one had explained that to her, or at least not in a way that she clicked with. That was cool.
The last Elders had also been working with a guy who has a master's in psychology and helps people with special needs. He's awesome, and he wants to be baptized! But his type of on-call work makes coming to church pretty hard. So we'll have to figure that one out. He's way way cool.
For other portraits of people we met, there was a group of 3 or 4 black grandpa's (So aging probably mid 40s-50) playing a game with a bunch of quarters on the street. I asked em what they were doing, and they explained that whoever gets their quarter closest to the sidewalk crack in the driveway gets everyone else's quarters. They were pretty good! We tried talking to em, but they used the excuse that it was their off day and they were drunk. It was 11:48AM haha. I asked em about that, too, and they said they usually wait til 1, "but if you had my grandkids, you'd be drinkin', too!"
Or, also of note was the car full of younger guys in the driveway of a house we were trying to visit someone in. They said so and so wasn't there, but that we could knock anyway. Well, someone was home, but no one answered. So we wrote a card, and when we gave it to one of the kids in the car, he fumbled for it with a zip lock bag loaded with marijuana in his other hand. "If the police show up, you're dead," he mumbled as we walked away haha. That's not our job. And it's not the cops they'll have to worry about. It's Santa and the Lord's book of life. I wonder if it'll reference this email as recorded evidence of their sin?
As far as other adventures go... We had our first district council of the transfer that went well. I got to go on exchanges with Elder Barney, who was in the MTC with me way back when. The next day, we found 5 solid new people in one day. Elder Bang was a pro. I gave a baptismal interview to a guy who is now the newest member of the Blytheville branch. We got a bible referral for a lady who lives in the next town over... while we were .1 miles from her house to begin with. That was trippy. She wasn't home, though.
But anyway! It's been another roller coaster week full of ups and downs and crazy people, but that's how it goes. Life is good in the delta!
How's life going? -
I wanna hear about it -
107 McCain Blvd Apt. D,
West Memphis, AR, 72301
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