Transfer 2 in Benton! Here we go! Today is my 16 month mark, which means I've only got 8 months to go. Ummmm can I go back to just having a year left still?
This week was the first week in a while that actually flew by. I think I like that?
Last week, we visited recent convert and got there kinda early, so we went to knock some doors in his neighborhood, but ended up playing basketball with a kid and explaining the restoration to him in the mean time. Good thing Elder Bolos is a better shot than I am haha.
Our zone got 2 new district leaders, Elder Albertson and Elder Draper. I've been their zone leader before, in the Searcy Zone, and they're awesome! We also got 2 brand new missionaries, both fresh from the MTC. They will be in Elder Albertson's Spanish District. He's been out for almost a year, now, and has been a Spanish missionary for all of... 6 days, now?
We did a lot of tracting and contacting this week. Got dropped by a few folks, but also talked baptism with a few folks... so things are looking good! Our investigators have been going through some trying times... angry exes and restraining orders to stubbornly naughty teenage daughters...
It's kinda like watching an intense movie, when you walk out of the movie theater, or their house, you just kinda breathe a sigh of relief that you're in different shoes. I definitely feel so fortunate to have grown up with the gospel around me. It fixes problems that are hard to even imagine happening in the first place.
In weekly planning last week, we had planned to visit one of our investigators, Craig, more often. When we saw him on Tuesday and asked how we could best help him prepare for baptism, he suggested that we come by more often. So we did! That was cool.
We planned out the Benton Ward mission plan, met some new folks, and even went on a road trip with the bishop of another ward.
On Wednesday, we invited our whole zone to fast to find families to teach this transfer. At least in our own area, we saw that happen big time! We talked with 3 different moms who said we could come back, and 3 of the people we were already working with had family members come into the picture and say that they were interested, too! On Fast Sunday I fasted and prayed again that we will be able to continue to work with those wonderful people, that they will be willing to read and pray and come to church, and that they can be blessed by what we share. So I'm good as far as prayers go, but there's small branch-worth of people out here that could use A LOT of them! Baptism is the gate to the path, but because it's a gate, it's also an escape from a lot of the trials and adversities these people are experiencing. It may not make them go away, but it'll give them a lot of tools and extra help to deal with them!
So it kinda feels like we are juggling a chainsaw, a rake, a bowling pin, a heavily medicated cat, and a small child. I wish I could say the symbolism goes deeper than the fact that it's simply overwhelming and dangerous, but... that's as far as it goes. People out here are crazy and I've never had to push people so much for them to just come to church.
Seriously. We had like 6-10 pretty solid church commitments for this Sunday. You wanna know who all came to church? Not one of them. So I'm kinda mad at our investigators right now, but that just means some extra bold flavoring in the salt Elder Dahl will have to use with them. Hopefully that does the trick. And the Spirit, of course.
I'll share one awesome story from this week. We've had a hard time getting in touch with one of the people we're teaching lately. We stopped by on Friday, half expecting she wouldn't be interested in meeting with us anymore, if she was home at all. Fortunately, she was and that didn't happen! We talked about recent trials, and then talked about church this Sunday. Her friend came around the corner and started talking with us, too. As we did, she asked the question missionaries dream of hearing. "Do y'all baptize people? Cause I need to get baptized real bad!"
"Me too," added her friend.
"And my daughter... I think she's been baptized before, too, but... we can just do it again!"
So yeah. That was awesome.
It turns out that she had had a dream about being baptized a few nights before, that was really special. The way it resembled 1 Nephi 8 and Mosiah 18 gave me some chills. She'll have some stuff to work on before baptism happens, but I think it'll happen. Baptism is so important!!
After that and on Saturday, Elder Bolos and I visited and contacted a few more people and they all sounded excited about church on Sunday. I already told you about what happened. So many awesome people, but they're also kinda frosted flakes so that's a bummer.
We taught a part of the "5th Sunday Lesson" on member missionary work at church in front of the whole ward, and that was fun. We joked a lot about members feeding us, and I think it helped. The Thompsons, the Senior Couple Mission Nurse(s?) filled in our vacancy for that night, and that was wonderful! Sister Thompson realized after dinner that she'd left an important notebook at the church, and they didn't have a key, but we had one! So we hurried over to the church and thankfully found it! So there you have it... the blessings of feeding the missionaries! :)
Hope y'all have a great week! Keep our investigators in your prayers, seriously. I think Benton is about to explode in a very good way.
1916 Brandon Rd., Apt. A2
Bryant, AR 72022
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