It's been a doozy. Last week feels like a month ago haha.
Tuesday welcomed us to the season of Autumn in the south. Colored leaves and pumpkin spice and a brisk wind? No, our car thermometer read 102. :') Drippy.
On Wednesday we had our last district council of the transfer. It went pretty well other than the voicemail left on our phone during the meeting from one of our investigators dropping us. We went to hibachi for a district lunch and that was tasty as ever.
We made a few visits, and then came back to the church for Book of Mormon class, which Elder Bolos and I taught, pretty much figuring out what chapter we were on when we got there. It ended up good, though! There were quite a few new people there, and 2 of them were deaf! So one of the sisters signed while we talked and that was pretty cool.
On Thursday, we had our MLC (mission leadership council) and this time it was in Memphis. So we met at the mission office at 6:30 in the morning, and got in the transfer van for a ~2.5hr drive. Studied through most of it, and slept through the rest. The meeting was good! We took pictures in the parking lot of the church building there... right in front of the Memphis Temple, which is under construction. Dang it's looking almost like a whole new building, now! It is coming along! Hopefully it gets done soon!
In the second half of the meeting, President Hansen shared his goal for baptisms in November: 31. Each of the 9 zones got together (Zone leaders & STLs) and prayed about what number of baptisms our zone could contribute to the goal of 31. We felt good about 3. As each zone reported their goal, it added up exactly to 31, first try. Whoa. I mean, mathematically there are a lot of different ways and orders 9 numbers could add up to 31, but... even more ways for it to not add up to 31. Revelation? Coincidence? You can be the judge, but I know what it is. :)
We drove to Memphis when it was dark in the morning, and after a stop at Subway, drove back to Little Rock when it was dark in the evening. From the mission office, we headed to the Pinnacle Mountain elders apartment and exchanged with them. I stayed there with Elder Walker and we had a good exchange!
That Friday morning, we did service for a lady. Her friend, the member guy who drove us over there, said she wanted to hang up a mirror and do something with her outdoor patio lights, and it shouldn't take long. We stepped into her entryway and she explained some of the same stuff she needed help with, and then we walked into her living room and WHOA there was a 12 FOOT CHRISTMAS TREE in her house.
So yeah like the next hour and a half was spent adding more lights, ornaments, and a gaudy tree topper on this giant tree, the both of us on ladders, holding an ornament here or there until we got he thumbs up. The tree started leaning to one side because we were putting so much stuff on it, so we got bungee cords and wrapped them around a cinderblock and the trunk, to little avail. The lady was telling us, "oh yeah, I out up my first little Christmas Tree in my study on my birthday!" When was her birthday? Early August haha. This lady likes Christmas. After the tree, we hung a mirror, oiled her garage door, hung outdoor lights, and had pizza. As far as service goes, this was about as good as it gets. Inside, air conditioned, putting up a Christmas tree, and pizza was involved.
We went back to work afterwards, having to adjust our schedule a little bit. They're full bike, so we biked up to some neighborhood for just enough time to knock like 15 doors before biking back for dinner and then a ride from the APs to another appointment. That's where we met Nolan.
Nolan took about 10 minutes to get up and in his wheelchair and to the door. He used to run a gang in Chicago, and had been meeting with missionaries there until something happened and he had been shot in the head. When he came to, it felt like the next day to him, but the doctors informed him he had been in a coma for a year and a half. What?! So he had some help and moved to Little Rock to start fresh. And the missionaries found him again on Sunday. We went over and talked a little bit. I started setting the scene to invite him to be baptized, but he had "been baptized before," a situation we run into a lot. I think he'll get it soon, though. He is pretty cool.
We exchanged back, and it was good to be back in Benton. The next morning, Tad R. Callister, the General Sunday School President of the church had a meeting for the missionaries! So we rode up to the mission office again and enjoyed that. Stopped at Jimmy John's for a free sammich on our way home. The hot weather had left last night, and I don't think it got above 75 the rest of the weekend. It just rained buckets.
We stayed pretty busy from that afternoon on through 6, trying to contact a few people before heading back to Little Rock for Bro. Callister's public event. We visited our guys in the rehab home, and some of their roommates. They're all kinda intimidating, but trying to turn their life around and surprised by how "not-weird the Mormons are."
2 of them came to the public devotional thing that night and loved it. It was really good. Of course God speaks today! Of course the Book of Mormon is the word of God! We could sit here and try to prove it, but even if we had the "gold plates" right here in front of us, people wouldn't believe or be blessed by them unless they read it!
Saw a lot of people from the Conway ward there and that was so fun! Also, Michelle, a recent convert from the North Little Rock ward I had taught once or twice, was there and remembered me. And it turns out, she also knew one of the guys we brought with us! They caught up, and Michelle just bore testimony to him and insisted he start reading the Book of Mormon. That was so cool to me. To go from that first lesson with her, when she's asking all these questions and loving every answer, to less than 8 months later and she's being a missionary herself... that is just so cool. That's what it's all about.
On Sunday, Craig came to church. Yay! We spent the rest of the day except for dinner doing our weekly planning. Got through most of it. It's been a crazy week. Usually weekly planning is done on Fridays, but we are gonna have to finish it tonight. My goodness hahaha.
But busy weeks are good weeks!
Elder Bolos and I are both staying another transfer in Benton! Yay! We're going to bring this place to its knees... to pray about the Book of Mormon to know if it is the word of God!
Love y'all! Have a great week!
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