Hello! I'm a bundle o stress about transfers next week, but this week was probably one of my favorite weeks in Benton! It's been great. Had a lot more pizza than usual this week for whatever reason haha.
On Monday, our desperation to find a good, cheap, barber other than Great Clips reached its peak. On Google maps, we found a little barber shop in downtown Bryant that appeared to be in someone's house. There were no hours posted, and so we called the number. It went something like this:
"Uh, hello, is this Here's barber shop?"
"Uh... the missionaries?"
"...The Mormons? You're with the Mormons?"
"Oh. Yeah, this is Herb. I had a good friend back in the military who was a member of your church. He was a great guy. And I actually had some missionaries come see me about 5 or 6 times a ways back. Y'all should come see me!"
So. That was interesting. We decided that we could postpone our haircuts until Friday, when his shop was open again.
That evening, we kinda ran out of things to do, so made it a point to drop off a Come, Follow Me Manual to someone we had been meaning to drop off for a while. It just so happened that she needed a blessing before a surgery the next morning, and she'd been worried about not being able to get one when we called to see if then would be a good time. So that was cool. We felt like slackers for not getting the book to her sooner, until we realized that God's timing was better.
We had district council the next day, which was good. It's still kinda funny being in a "district" with just another set of sisters. We ended up joining the little rock district for their district lunch at good ole Chik-Fil-A cause we were going on exchanges with one of the sets of elders. Which happened to mean I got to do an exchange with Elder Bingham, my "son," (or, the missionary I trained almost 18 months ago!)
So that was fun to catch up with him and laugh about some of the Collierville days. Good times. We rode the public bus to a few stops and talked with some interesting people on there. While tracting, a guy let us in and his little kid kept yelling in my ear about how cool his sonic the hedgehog game was, but I just took it so I could distract the kid while Elder Bingham went for the teaching. The guy got distracted as the mailman delivered a box. He explained that it was his new phone, and in passing mentioned that he ordered it cause he'd put his last phone in the microwave.
"Wait..." I asked. "The microwave? Why'd you put your phone in the microwave?"
"I thought it was a piece of pizza!" He shrugged.
Little Rock. It's a heck of a place!
After we exchanged back the next day, we had a great Facebook video lesson, where we taught the second half of the Plan of Salvation and the Word of Wisdom (no smoking, drinking, illegal drugs, coffee, tea) to a lady. Later in the week, we taught her the rest of the commandments, like tithing, etc., and it was just amazing to see how willing she was to live the commandments. She really saw them as ways to show her love for God and her desire to follow Him.
We did some service at a Habitat for Humanity thrift store place, and then had a Bible study at President Jones's. A while back, we had asked a returning member if she had any friends she would like to have come to church with her. She said yes, and has had a good friend of hers come to church now for over a month, and to these bible studies for a while, too. She's been loving everything, and is such a strong believer in Christ. She bought a tablet so she could have the gospel library app, and even though another missionary had to physically hold her finger and help her tap on things (she's pretty old, and hasn't ever used a touch screen anything before) it was really really amazing to see how overwhelmed she was by the wealth of the treasure trove of doctrine and teaching there are available at her fingertips. She got pretty emotional and I realized I have kinda taken the resources available to me for granted!
On Thursday, I had my 12th MLC. (If I'm counting right!) We have 1 a month, except we had a bonus one in February. So I've been in zone leadership for longer than I haven't! It's been amazing. But President made some hints about people being released as zone leaders to go train and be district leaders [who function under ZLs) and so when I hugged him after the meeting, I just jokingly said, "It's been a good last MLC!" And he just laughed and said, "So you picked up on my hint!" So we'll see what happens this next transfer haha. I'll miss... well... I'll miss parts of being a zone leader haha.
On Friday, we did some service unloading a big truckload of hay and stacking it under a little shed thing, so that was fun and itchy. Then we went to Herb's barber shop and didn't get out of there until 3 hours later haha. It was an experience.
Herb is kind of an older guy. He served in the Vietnam War, and has lived in this area since before there was even just a pizza hut. Back when the population was around 600. So, that to say... he had some stories. But not as many stories as the almost 90 year old guy who had come in for a shave right before us. After he was done, he just sat back down in the waiting chairs, and talked our ears off. He didn't take a breath haha. The end of one story would remind him of another, and in the middle of another story, he'd have to fill you in on the life stories and backgrounds of each of the people involved, and how he knew their parents, and what they're doing nowadays.
It wasn't til another guy walked in that Herb actually started on Elder Ramage's hair. And he'd stop quite a bit to talk with the other guy, and to go check on something, or open the door for someone... It was kinda funny.
Then it was my turn... And the same thing happened haha. And this time I noticed how shaky his hands were. I was a little nervous, but Herb was a pro haha. (And only 10$!)
We weekly planned the rest of the afternoon, and treated ourselves to David's Burgers for dinner that evening. They had a deal with the radio station that if you mentioned them, they'd give you a free chicken sandwich. So hey! We couldn't pass that up. (Even though we don't listen to the radio station...)
Saturday was BUSY! After that other facebook lesson, our elders quorum president took us to Corky's BBQ up in Little Rock for lunch. They'd had one in Collierville and I'd forgotten how good it was. Man. A half slab of good ribs and some baked beans can do a lot for my morale. :)
We had a lesson after that with a guy we've been working with for a while. He had a friend over who joined us for a reading of Enos from the Book of Mormon. He, his friend, and his friend on behalf of his wife all committed to come to church the next day, but it didn't happen. :(
We stopped by a less active members house to use the bathroom, and ended up getting treated to a slice of dairy queen ice cream cake, and got to give a Book of Mormon to his mom, so that was cool!
Then we went to Carolina's for dinner, she's the lady who joined the church as a kid, but after we did service for her, she brought it up and we discovered that she was a member. Last week was her first time back, and this week was her first time having the sacrament again. The ward has been great about fellowshipping her. We watched Elder Soares' general conference talk, "One in Christ," and I felt like it was given for her. I felt the spirit really strongly watching it. This is Christ's church! It's full of imperfect people, but the least we can do is love one another.
Then we stopped by Salvador's and had a good visit with him. He's still in the Day's Inn, and is going through a lot. But man, I love that guy. He's so awesome. But the night wasn't over yet! We pulled into the Zaxby's parking lot and used their WiFi for a zone leadership zoom call, and just talked about how we can help the zone get to the next level. Then we filled up on gas and went home.
Church was good. The lady planning on being baptized this next week or so came! We're still trying to figure out details with that, including whether or not I will still be here for the baptism. So that's a little stressful. But it will happen! I'm grateful to have been an instrument in the Lord's hands in helping her.
After church, we visited a guy in a nursing home who was a little loco. He likes his western books, and seemed to think that's what the Book of Mormon was. I mean kinda, when you think about it. A western that took place, was written, and that really happened, about 2000 years ago.
We also visited Tabitha again. I'd seen on Facebook that she'd mentioned that she was quitting smoking. That was her main hold up about joining the church a few months ago, was she didn't want to. But kinda out of the blue, she decided she wanted to quit. So we stopped by and just said we wanted to support her in any way that we could. She seemed a lot happier than I've seen her in a while. She's awesome.
Any time I had to get out of the car, (especially Saturday and Sunday) it seemed like I was about an inch and a half from falling asleep. And my body didn't want to do much of anything. But as soon as I opened the car door and my feet hit the ground, the Spirit must've taken over and carried me like a marionette puppet haha. I've been relying on that happening more and more, recently. I'm a tired kiddo. But there is work which remains unfinished!
Looking forward to this last week in Benton. Gotta make the most of it!
905 Kierre Dr.,
North Little Rock, AR 72116
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.
Sign up to get my weekly emails!
(After June 20, 2017)
Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
905 Kierre Dr
North Little Rock AR 72116