Hello! The temperatures this week went from mid 70s down to low 30s and rainy. So that's been fun! You get a little bit of everything out here, whether you like it or not.
"A little bit of everything" is kind of a good way to explain Arkansas... and this week haha
We met with a guy a few times this week with some pretty interesting beliefs, some of which line up with ours... others of which are just plain crazy. But it's been cool to see how when we teach him simple truths, he sits back, thinks about it, starts smiling, and says it's cool, or that he never thought of that before haha. He's still a little crazy, but he said he was gonna do a deep study of the Book of Mormon, so that's awesome! After our 2nd visit, he let us borrow one of his favorite religious texts... [because I asked, cause I was really curious.] It's called "The Emerald Tablets of Toth-the-Atlantean," and kinda seems like a high school fantasy fan fic of the Book of Mormon... written by ancient atlanteans on emerald tablets. A few differences being that the book's translator is apparently a 36,000 year old immortal college professor, hiding out in Colorado, running a church that charges $36 for this book haha.
On Wednesday, we had our district council. Now, with the Bryant sisters gone, it was just us and the Spanish sisters. So we had to have a member there with us haha. But it was good. Tiny districts are interesting.
We had our SME with the Stake President that night, and none of the other missionary leaders in the zone could make it, so it was just us, Pres. Dixon, one of the counselors, and Pres. Hansen. They're awesome people, and I learn a lot from them!
The next day, we went to another district's district council, and then went to Chik-Fil-A for lunch. Elder Draper gave one of the workers there a card... and then we spent half an hour being lectured by her about how she doesn't believe Jesus came to the Americas because it doesn't say it happened in the Bible. (But ok... The people who wrote the Bible didn't know the Americas existed, and even if they did, how were the writers of the Book of Mormon supposed to let the apostles of Jerusalem know they'd seen Jesus? Send a pigeon? Use Facebook live? Row a boat? Hence the need for another book!)
We met a really cool lady later though, who showed us a picture on her Instagram she'd taken of an angel flying near the moon... #legit But she was really open, though!
We had 2 big appointments that evening! 1 was in a McDonald's with a guy we met a month or so ago, who we were finally able to get back in touch with. He's really looking for solid truth, and is sick of the contention between different denominations of Christianity. He asked some pretty pointed, honest questions, and then just gave us his list of questions and said we could study them, help him find an answer, and get back another time.
The second was with that shy-er couple we've been working with for a while. We read Alma 42 with them, and the thing she got from it was, "wow, I've been kinda glancing over Jesus when I pray. I need to give more consideration when I close my prayers, now that saying, 'in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen' makes more sense." Which... isn't what I would expect someone to get out of Alma 42, but it was cool to see how willing she was to change even in just that small way, now that she understood a little more. After that lesson, her husband showed us the inside of one of his big gun safes... wow. I didn't know you could fit that many guns in one safe. A lot of them are rare, collectors, or historic ones that are pretty sweet. I guess he placed in a Texas State Marksmanship championship. It's always fun listening to people talk about what they are really excited about. When they know they oughtta be quiet and let you go, but just can't hold themselves back. I love that! (And don't mind at all!)
On Friday, we just weekly planned all day long, with a short break to visit a few people who weren't home. We tried our neighbors we helped move in on our way home, and they were home, and let us in, and we'll see them again on Wednesday! For dinner a member took us to a place called "All Aboard," where they deliver your food by way of a model train set that carries your tray of food overhead. So that was fun, but with a fun idea they like, it didn't seem like they had much pressure to make the food very good haha.
Saturday came around, and you know what? We raked leaves. And then had a session of stake conference that evening that was kinda rough. I was given a microphone to pass to people during a discussion, and the 1st person I gave it to brought up a kinda random concern and derailed the whole rest of the conversation. :) But there was pie and ice cream after, so yeehaw!
Then the Sunday session of stake conference happened, and that lady we gave the church tour to last week? came with her 3 little kids! She's a trooper. 2 hours in the pew of a new church for the first time with 3 kids under the age of 6 isn't for the faint-hearted. I was kinda hoping the distraction of her kids, or maybe an intervention by the Spirit, would keep her from tuning in too closely to some of the cringey stuff brought up over the pulpit haha. But we had a good lesson with her this morning! (In only a semi-related note, In that session, I learned that the people killed in the Mountain Meadow Massacre were from Arkansas! #yikes)
We left stake conference and went to visit a lady we had raked leaves for! She'd actually invited us over for lunch Sunday afternoon. She's from El Salvador, and had some Spanish rice/sausage shrimp gumbo combination and pupusas. We had a really good visit with her and her son. Turns out, she used to attend the church in New Jersey as a kid when she and her family first moved to the states. She said she'd enjoy visiting the church, though, and said we could send the Spanish sisters over! Really sweet lady. She remembered some of the elders, and that they liked to eat. Not much has changed. :)
After this morning's lesson, we had our zone p day, and went to downtown Little Rock again and ate at good ole Gus's Chicken. Man. So good. Then we headed down to Central High School, famous for the "Little Rock Nine," and being the first desegregated school in Arkansas. Man, thats the nice way to put it. Not many people were fans of that idea back in the day.
I also finished reading "Saints," this week and that was really good. Between that and LRCHS, it's amazing how much evil people have been able to get away with in the name of misunderstanding and prejudice. Tarring and feathering, or spitting in people's faces just can't ever be okay. It's astounding how mean people can be. But I'm thankful to live in a time where, despite all that, there really is so much love.
I love my Savior, I love this gospel. I love being a missionary, and serving in Arkansas! I love my family, and I love you!
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