I feel like I haven't had a "normal missionary day" since last transfer. It's been another weird, busy, week! There were a couple "in the right place at the right time" moments that help me know I'm doing God's work and that He is leading us, no matter how weird the rest of the week is.
First up on the Weekly Email Agenda:
I had my first District Meeting of the transfer! Which is significant because I am the District Leader and had to teach for a good little section of the 1.5 hr block. It went well, though! I based the instruction off of Matthew 10:16, which is Jesus' advice to his disciples as He sends them out into the world. He tells them "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."
So we discussed the symbolism of each of those animals and then looked for other biblical "spirit animals" in the scriptures that we can learn from. I think it was good??
We forgot to do a district photo after the meeting so... we will do that this week.
Later that day, we had about an hour long block in our day to get to this lady's house, hope she was home to teach her, and then get back to our apartment to be picked up for another teaching appointment. We biked out to this lady's house, thankfully not too far away, and discovered she wasn't home. Dangit.
So, in what felt like the hottest day in a long time, we biked back to our apartment. As I got on the sidewalk and rounded the corner, I saw that there were sprinklers going off over the sidewalk. I might have been able to dodge them by biking down the hill into the road, but... I just went for it and biked through the sprinklers. I was sweating so much already it wasn't like I could get *more* wet. I was gonna have to change my shirt at the apartment anyway. It felt good haha.
At the apartment, we stood in front of a big fan on full blast for a while and then were picked up for our next lesson, with our investigator. We taught the word of wisdom and she told us she had quit smoking and drinking cold turkey long ago! So that helps. We are hoping to baptize her at the end of this month, but we will see if she decides to keep coming to church regularly.
In terms of other lessons, we had a 2.5 hour long one with another investigator. She wants to be baptized and knows that it is right, but is worried about how her family will react. Her kids have been coming to church events and have a lot of Mormon friends now, so I don't think they will be as opposed to her decision as she thinks they will. Her husband on the other hand will pose a greater challenge. We are hoping to be able to teach the rest of her family - at least from a "this is why your mom/wife is making the decision she is" informational standpoint. So we will see. She is awesome, though, and knows this is all true.
Elder Bingham had a doctors appointment just for a prescription renewal thing, but the mission nurse set the appointment in West Memphis? (Which is not in Memphis... It's a separate town, and in the state of Arkansas, just across the Mississippi river from Memphis, TN.) It's kind of a dump of a town haha, so it's charming in that sense. And it's a 45 minute drive away. An awesome nuclear physicist (?) ward member drove us out there and back for the 30 min. apppintment. It was at a church building, one of those cute half church buildings without a gym, and only a small chapel.
Another night, the Collierville 1st Ward had a Book of Mormon fireside. Literally. At the Gaar's farm, members of the ward surrounded a campfire and had a few people talk about reading the whole Book of Mormon between the April and October sessions of General Conference. It was really good, and not just because Brother Gaar made venison stew using deer he had shot on the property haha.
Like I said earlier, there were a couple really cool experiences we had this week in regards to being at the right place at the right time.
1. When we were finally able to do some solid tracting after all the busy-ness and craziness of the week, we hadn't found so much as one new person to teach all week. Which isn't unusual, but it is discouraging. We were doing one loop of a neighborhood, and it was looking kinda dead. As we were walking though, we saw a guy reaching down under the drivers seat of his car, struggling with something. I turned to Elder Bingham and shrugged, bracing myself. (I've been trying to improve in my street contacting abilities. I'm not a fan of it because I feel like I'm interrupting people, and it's easier to talk to people when you knock on their door because they already expect you to say something. But it can be a more effective way of finding people to teach.)
So I gave a "hello, how's it going?" type thing and an older gentleman stood up and said hi. I asked what he was working on and he said he was trying to get one of those rubber floor mat things back into his car. He was clearly struggling. I told him I could help, expecting all the while that he would say something along the lines of "Oh, that's fine, I've got it covered, thanks though," but he didn't protest, so I quickly snapped in the floor mat. (The poor guy was trying to put it in sidewise.)
We shook hands and introduced ourselves, and asked if we could share a message. He shrugged and said if we didn't mind standing in his driveway, we could then and there. We got to know him a little, and discovered he'd just remarried after his first wife had passed away. We shared some of the restoration and plan of salvation with him, and after a smooth transition from Elder Bingham (way to go, Greenie!) We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon to read, too. He said we could come back. Yay!
If we hadn't picked that street to tract, at that time, starting on that side and not going backwards, and if the person who we initially tried had been home after all, we wouldn't have found Fred.
2. We went to help our investigator figure out General Conference on her TV, on Saturday morning but she didn't answer the door. (She was probably still asleep... can't blame her.) So we went over to one of her neighbors houses, a (kinda crazy) less active lady to tell her about General Conference, too. We knocked on the door and she was almost in tears as soon as she saw us. She told us she had just been in the kitchen praying to God and asking him "why?" in response to all of the trials she is going through. And then we knocked on the door to tell her about General Conference. I was able to look her in the eye and promise her that God will answer her questions through His prophets during GenConf. It wasn't me making that promise, though. :)
So that was cool, and helped set the mood for the rest of the conference weekend. It's different hearing the talks with investigators in mind, wondering how this could help them, or what they would learn from this talk, and so on.
We watched all the morning/afternoon sessions at Brother Boggs' house, with various board and card games between the sessions. I didn't win a single one haha. (It's just a weakness to keep me humble and to prevent me from rising into pride, that's all)
The 2nd Ward had a "Priesthood Session Tailgate" before the Priesthood Session, involving burgers and brats, guac, jalapeno poppers, jambalaya, and so on. It was good stuff, and really fun to see the awesome folks of the Collierville 2nd Ward again.
As we sung "How Firm a Foundation" during that session at the church, I turned around to look at the sparse couple dozen Priesthood holders in attendance in the chapel that evening and felt the spirit and God's love for these people pretty powerfully. What an awesome part of the world, and what a privelage it is to be able to serve here, alongside these incredible people.
Anyway, conference was awesome, 10/10 would recommend. You can watch it all on lds.org, now.
We have another kinda weird week coming up since Elder Kliebengat of the Seventy is coming on Friday. And I have yet to prepare a district meeting lesson for tomorrow. (yikes!) But it should still be good. I'm excited to have an extra day or two on a slightly more regular schedule this week. :)
Enjoy General Conference if you haven't yet, and have a stellar week!
Email your favorite weirdo missionary -> firstname.lastname@example.org
Or if you only have a typewriter or quill pen with ink, you can:
A. Get with the times, and/or
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866 Schilling Rd, Apt. #103
Collierville, TN 38017
P.S. RIP Ole Miss, Alabama destroyed them. (We caught part of a football game Saturday night in this sno cone shop after the Priesthood Session. I'm about as apathetic as it gets when it comes to football but they got whooped)
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