This week had its fair share of ups and downs, but it has definitely been a memorable one! Lots of good stories from the last 7 days. Sometimes I worry my emails are too long, so I'll just tell you the stories without all the fluffy context.
Story #1 - After our district meeting, we did an exchange and I went to Camden with Elder Taylor. After a stop at the Hibachi food truck, we spent the rest of that day doing service for a family who had recently moved in from Texas. We put in a bunch of extra posts for the barbed wire fence around their property. We rode around in their four wheeler thing with the 15 year old son driving, so that was a hoot and a half. We were tearing through fields and between trees, clearing 50mph hahaha. We definitely got air a few times and we went home dusty. It was awesome. I left feeling like I'd gained a whole new family of friends. Too bad they are in another area haha.
The next day we contacted some referrals, and before we exchanged back, Elder Taylor and I took a few pictures by this cool looking abandoned community center in Rosston, AR. Vibez.
Story #2 - On Thursday, we were invited to attend the funeral of an investigator's father. This was only my 2nd time actually meeting him. The funeral was held in a little baptist church in the woods at the end of a long dirt county road. The little chapel filled up while soft country music played over the speakers. I tell you what, the variety of characters that came in was a sight to behold. I loved the rag-tag community family feel of it all.
The preacher was a younger guy, but everything you'd hope for in a Baptist preacher. A very kind, bearded, smiley, fella with a real talent for drawing out words and evoking the occaisonal "amen" from the congregation. He mouthed along the words to another guy's (legitimately good) performance of "Amazing Grace." Everything I could've wanted in my brief time in a Baptist church. Including a smattering of people putting up their "Holy Spirit Antennae," AKA praise hands, AKA putting their arm up and moving it slightly in an effort to find the signal that the Holy Spirit is coming in on, so they can grab it and hold on tight.
Jokes aside, it was a great service, emphasizing the celebration of the man's life and where he is, now. The thing that struck me, though, was the focus they had on how death was also a freedom from the trials and pains of this life. Which like... It is, yeah. But life is more than just this trying tenure as mortals on earth until we die and get judged by God. We didn't just show up here. And we didn't just sign up to come here, either--we fought for this, and knew it would be hard, but begged to be able to come to earth to learn and grow and gain experiences we couldn't have had otherwise. So while we may rightly celebrate our return to the God who created and sent us here, we should also celebrate the time we've been given. Is it hard? Yup. But we get to do things like travel, cry, have warm apple pie, walk on the beach, and hug the people we love.
Story #3 - Finding people to teach, and then staying in contact with those we have found has been a real challenge. We looked for community events on Facebook on Saturday morning and couldn't find a dang thing haha. Well, we drove past the small downtown that afternoon and lo and behold, Hope's 4th Annual Train Days was happening. So that was kind of a funny thing.
Story #4 - Elder Anderson went to Memphis on Sunday again to play the organ, and I went to Benton with Elder Hall. 3 hours of tracting isn't my idea of fun, but we found some cool people. This morning, a member of the Benton ward was willing to cut our hair so that was wonderful! We drove to the address, and it ended up being an RV park so I got a liiiitle nervous, but the lady ended up being super cool and did a great job. She does doTERRA full time, and they are planning to visit all 48 contiguous states in their RV, homeschooling their 2 boys and their 2 cool lookin' geckos for the next year and a half. Definitely fed my wanderlust fire even more haha.
So there's the highlights from this week! Hope y'all have a good next 7 days! Happy Mother's Day! Celebrate life!
Love, Elder Dahl
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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Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
905 Kierre Dr
North Little Rock AR 72116