I know they said the weeks fly by on your mission but wow! This was a quick one.
The mini version w highlights: (but not all the good stories cause I need to keep y'alls interest to read the whole thing somehow!)
Continued feeling the hand of the Lord in my life, had 4th of july steaks, saw Mike Conley and a Lamborghini Alventador, I gave away my first Book of Mormon, discovered the world of Cashew Milk Ice Cream, (thanks again to Brother Boggs) played a fun board game called "Forbidden Island," passed a whole pickup truck full of watermelon, had our old black lady investigator cackle about the word "stiffnecked" ("it's when you don't have no clothes on!") And then had a good ol traditional oreo fry in our apartment that left Elder Johnson and I feeling the need to repent afterward. (Although they were very very good, we ate.... a lot of them haha.)
It's definitely warmed up. The high so far has been 91, which isn't too bad... Boise gets over 100 quite a few times every summer. But it's the humidity, man. Allow me to explain. You know that feeling you get, when about 2 hours ago you sat in something kinda wet but you can still feel it even though it's been 2 hours and there's nothing you can do about it really? So imagine that but all over your body and the air is heavy and there's no clear cool air to be found. But it's not too bad. :)
Read in 2 Nephi 8:15-16 and felt that it has definitely applied to me already. "I am the Lord thy God... And I have put my words in thy mouth, and have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion: Behold, thou art my people."
I've definitely felt like the Lord has been shading me and taking good care of me as I'm trying to "plant the heavens." He has done this really well through the ward members here. There are some awesome people, and they treat us so well. Another way is through my companion, Elder Johnson. He is one stellar dude. So good at talking with everyone and just being friendly and having cool conversations with them. Learning lots from his example. He's going home after this transfer, though so I'll miss him! He told me I'm one of 3 companions he's had out of 13 that he's really liked. (Awww.) (And not [necessarily] because his other companions had been bad, but not like best friends or anything.) So that felt good and boosted my confidence, which I've needed!
I've been talking more, or trying to, and knocking on doors doesn't really scare me anymore. I've discovered I actually really like teaching. Problem is... we don't have a lot of people TO teach. We lost one of our 2 or 3 regulars, and probably have 3 or 4 others that have put us on hold or are out of town or so on. So the remainder of our time has been spent knocking door to door.
We have better success talking with people in their yards than knocking doors. Most people still aren't interested, but this week we did get a couple people tell us we could come back.
We've felt prompted to wait for the one lady with the addiction and whose mother passed away as she goes through this hard time. We're trying to ride this balance between "thinking about and being there for her" and "not scaring her away." So we will try again this week and see what we can do. Our first meeting was the coolest thing to happen in my mission so far, so I hope we can keep that up.
On the 3rd of July we did some service and then ate at "Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken" which is a fried chicken chain down here and is... amazing. Wowza. The member who took us let us get dessert so I tried their chocolate chess pie. Imagine everything you love about pie crust, rich and gooey brownie batter, and crispy brownie corner pieces all on one desert. It was legit one of the best things I've ever tasted.
We get fed really well here. Every night I go to bed feeling pretty darn happy and tired and full. (Still on the last belt loop hole, we'll see how long that lasts though haha. Thank goodness for a fast metabolism.)
Collierville did their fireworks show on the night of the 3rd, to avoid competing with the neighboring town Germantown, who had their fireworks show scheduled for the 4th. We didn't get to watch either, but we heard it was really really good and included a jet flyby!
On the 4th of July we reacted as usual but no one was really home or willing to listen (surprise surprise) but at the end of the day, we had killer steaks and guacamole at Brother Bogg's house. He's an especially awesome member who apparently really enjoys feeding and hanging out with the missionaries. He's such an awesome guy. It also rained pretty hard on the 4th, but only when we were inside.
It has rained pretty hard a few times since I've been here, but while we're outside we've never been hit with more than a pleasant sprinkle. Another way the Lord is shading us.
Elder Johnson has made it his final transfer goal to give Mike Conley a book of Mormon. He is the point guard for the Memphis Grizlies. (This is all news to me.) I guess that entails being super wealthy and famous because he lives in s gated community in a mansion w a Tesla and some other way nice cars. Well, a member of the ward lives in the same neighborhood so we have the key code. We tried him last week, but no one answered so we tried again, and no one answered. As we were driving out of the neighborhood, though, he drives in! Elder Johnson waved at him and he waved back with a lil nod. So that was fun.
As we were driving to our next appointment, the excitement from that wasnt even over before we drove past a Lamborghini Alventador in someones driveway. Elder Johnson parked in a nearby neighborhood and we walked over to take a picture. It's like a $450,000 car. Yeah. So that's Collierville for ya. (Ok the extreme of it, anyway.)
On the other side of things, there's a trailer park about 15 minutes away, and 20 minutes away into another town, smaller houses, garbage in the streets, and literally fried chicken remnants under people's doors. The range of wealth makes this such an interesting area. But the vast majority is a lot more wealthy, which makes finding good, humble, truth seeking people difficult, and the poorer areas have already been tracted to death by past missionaries.
We met our new mission President and his wife on Thursday! President Hansen is kind of a goob but in an endearing way. He's excited about the work, I can feel his love, and I like his way of thinking about baptisms. No monthly goal or quota except that we will baptize "every single person the Lord has prepared each month, whether that's one or two hundred." His thing is "Hurrah for Israel" which is super cheesy but it's ok
A returned missionary from the France Leon mission spoke in church yesterday and I guess one of their mission songs was "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," the Christmas song. Apparently the lyrics in French pack a bigger punch. Essentially the 2nd verse in English carries the same idea, but it's asking what the glad tidings are that all this rejoicing and all these singing angels are celebrating. That good news is the birth of Christ and we get the chance to rejoice and share those glad tidings with people today, too! As we sung that as our closing hymn, it wasn't weird at all, singing a Christmas song in July, but actually really cool. Music brings the spirit to me more consistently than anything else. (Speaking of which, I've missed playing the piano and listening to "normal" music. Just about every morning I've had a new favorite song stuck in my head like an itch I can scratch. But spiritual music is good, too.)
One more story!
On P day last week, I went to Wal-Mart to get a new electric razor since my old one was on its decline. Got one, brought it back to the apartment and upon closer inspection came to discover that the charging cable didn't fit in it, and... it had been used... there was hair all over it. Someone had opened the package, taken the new razor out and put their old one back in. (Joke is on them, their charging cable won't fit it) So we had to run back to Wal-Mart to return and replace it. Gross. But the new one was unused! :')
The work is hard but life is good! Life is hard, not the gospel. I so appreciate your prayers and support!
PS. I can get and read emails any day of the week. I can only respond on Mondays, though. (I can technically write draft responses in free time and send them on p day though, so...) if you wanna give me something fun to read during the week, email me anytime!
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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(May 31-June 19 2017)
Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
2005 N 900 E Unit 149
Provo, UT 84602
(After June 20, 2017)
Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
905 Kierre Dr
North Little Rock AR 72116