It's been a miracle filled week if your eyes are open to the miracles!
On Monday night, we had an appointment fall through, and so we went down a street and drove around to kinda scope out the area we were planning on knocking doors in. On a whim, we decided to drive a little further. As we crested a hill, a beautiful little sunset-lit valley of freshly harvested hay bales was on the other side. Being the hopeless romantics we are, we pulled over to take a quick picture, and in doing so, noticed a gorgeous little yellow 50s-something classic car.
Well, we said to ourselves, we had already pulled over, and we were supposed to be knocking doors anyway, so we walked down the gravel driveway. The two pitbulls fortunately left us alone. We ended up talking to an older guy named Henry. He asked what we were selling, and we explained we were missionaries. "Oh." He replied. "I think I probably have more devil in me than God." We asked if we could check out his car, and he waved for us to go ahead. It didn't take long before he strolled over to join us, letting us start the thing and saying that if he had the back wheels on he would take us for a ride.
"I'll sell it to ya," he said, trying to convince us that it ran on water, and saying "back in the day, we used to fit ten women in them things." He looked like kind of a grouchy grubby guy, but when jokes were flying he got a good little twinkle in his eye haha.
The next day in District Council, we planned out more for the watermelon festival coming up. We later made the biggest media order I've ever done, and checked out the spot we apparently will have. It's perfect! It's coming up fast and I'm excited! Of course, none of this was done until after having lunch at Allen's BBQ there in Arkadelphia. Aw man. Have I mentioned I love barbecue? What am I gonna do back in Idaho??
After a new member lesson with Debbie, (who is planning on going to the temple this weekend to do baptisms for her son who passed away, and other relatives!!) we were driving back to Hope when Elder Lim saw a four wheeler full of cantaloupe off the side of the road. We turned around and saw that there was a guy selling them. He got 2, and asked if we could share a quick message. He said we could, when his wife is home. That's exactly what we want haha. So we'll see where cantaloupe man goes.
As we were coming into town, Sister Lim remembered that Elder Peterson had judt hsd a birthday, and so we stopped for banana splits.
We met a cool guy in Prescott, and went back the next day to see him again, and to have another appointment we were really excited about! Neither worked out. We had 5 appointments lined up that day. Like 1 and a half of those happened. Which is better odds than I've had before haha. But it was still kinda disappointing. We did stop by the chamber of commerce there, and visited with a really nice lady.
The next day we helped out Bob at his old building again. This time stripping up tile. But like the rubbery plastic stuff just glued down on wood or plaster. So that was fun. We got back that afternoon worn out.
We had more people miss appointments, and nobody seemed to be home. That, in addition to how tired we were, made me kinda grumpy. On our way back home for the night, we decided to try one more person, a guy we had met months ago but hadn't seen since. We stopped by his house, hoping for a miracle, but lights were off, cars were gone, and nobody was home. As soon as I wrote a note on a card and put it in the door, he pulled up, said hi, and was still willing to meet with us. Yay!
That night I was still kinda feeling down, and journaled, and said my nightly prayer. I was kinda gently scolded and rebuked by the Spirit haha. I was basically compared to Laman and Lemuel, who saw miracle after miracle but still complained. And then I was compared to the later Nephi of the Book of Mormon who was reminded by the Savior to write a story about another prophet that he hadn't recorded. I realized I hadn't journaled about that that miracle at all! So I quickly mended that.
We went to help out Bob again the next day, and on our way into town passed by a booth set up by the Christian Motorcyclist Association. We were in service clothes, but when we parked, I was kinda like: "uuhh we have to check that out" haha. So we did. One of the guys in his leather jacket asked us, "when did they slacken your dress code?" We hadn't introduced ourselves as missionaries, but we were wearing our name tags. We explained we did service for people, and another lady perked up. Apparently she had just been talking about needing some help around the house. So we exchanged info, and even shared Mosiah 2:17 with them before a guy came around, and asked if what we had was the Book of Mormon. He then loudly announced himself as a Baptist preacher, and said, "I'll argue with you about the Book of Mormon."
That obviously wasn't what we were there to do, and we just shrugged it off, put on our "extra nice" hats, and testified of Jesus Christ. He was still confrontational after that, but our new biker friends kinda backed us up and even offered to buy us a soda. (He later admitted his sister was Mormon and that he thought our conference center was the most beautiful building he's set foot in haha.)
We watched the Restoration DVD with one of our investigators that afternoon. Getting it to play was a struggle, and she got a phone call or 2 during the 20 minute video. Funny how the adversary tries to district us. By the end of it, though, she said she felt the spirit and knew Joseph Smith was called of God. Well. That worked out!
We stopped at a gas station to use the restroom after that lesson. When I got out, Elder Peterson was talking to a kid our age who then said he was a Baptist preacher. We exchanged info with him and he was open to meeting with us. We will see where that goes. He was a lot nicer than the other Baptist preacher we met earlier that day haha.
Before Elder Peterson could have his turn in the restroom, another guy stopped us in the gas station and uh with a good level of confidence I can say that he was the weirdest person I've ever met. He asked if we believed in the Book of Mormon and we said yes! "Good," he said, and it piqued our interest. "I believe Jesus Christ visited the Americas, too. And I also believe that there were Jews that traveled here. But I don't think they came on a boat, I believe they dug a tunnel under the ocean and popped up somewhere in Arizona or New Mexico." I started to laugh a little bit but saw that this guy was being serious. He said some other wild stuff, and I was kinda shook hahaha. What the actual heck.
We had a slightly better encounter with a guy back in Hope. He's a super funny, somewhat crippled 70-something year old black guy with a mouth like a sailor. We tried explaining the premortal life to him and he interrupted to ask if that was in the time of the dinosaurs. "Mmhmm them things will bite yo a**." I was dead. He just went on talking about all these different things that would "bite yo a**," including the dog barking outside the door and it took me a second to get my composure back. Then talking about the resurrection, he started talking about cemeteries. "Man, when there gets lightnin' and thunder around them cemeteries, that's some spooky s***" which... idk, was also just hilarious coming from this little old black man.
I love the south hahaha. It is entertaining if nothing else.
The branch got a new piano/organ this week. They don't like change too much haha. I was the "branch organist" for the day just cause I was experimenting with it when people started coming in. Nobody else really wanted to touch it haha.
It rained like crazy after church, and again as soon as we got into Wal-Mart to do our shopping this morning. We ran to our car not that far away but got all kinds of soaked in the short distance.
Last night we had a good visit with a member who hasn't been to church in a long time. Another older black guy. He told us some of his life story of growing up in the house he still lives in today. He was the first black quarterback and first black boy scout in Hope, Arkansas back in the 60s. It was cool hearing his stories and that he'd be willing to come back to church!
Lots of crazy, funny, and wonderful people this week. God lets us be as happy as we let ourselves be over the blessings and miracles he gives us.
Try sending a package over email, see what happens
Try sending an email through the mail, see what happens
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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(After June 20, 2017)
Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
905 Kierre Dr
North Little Rock AR 72116