Another roller coaster week in Hope!
We got back in touch with several people who we were on the verge of giving up on, and we were able to teach a lot at the beginning of this week, which is about my favoritest thing to do.
The Lims, (The senior couple set of missionaries in Hope) had some of their family come and visit, and so they took them (and us!) to Tailgaters, the famous burger joint around here one day, and Big Jake's BBQ the next day. Man. I do love barbecue a whole lot. I'm gonna miss it back home.
Played a few rounds of Phase 10 at a branch social on Wednesday. The husband of one of the members there only speaks Spanish, and had never played Phase 10 before. He ended up winning. (With the help of pulling a wild card off the bottom of the deck on a round that he dealed hahaha. He cracked me up.)
We helped out at the Branch Presidents house again, swapping outlets and light switches. I pinched my thumb pretty badly in a pair of pliers but survived and the new outlets work, so I guess that's a success!
Debbie will be having her baptismal interview tomorrow, so we are excited for that and for her as she prepares to be baptized on Sunday!!
Our other lady preparing to be baptized was told some things about us by a well-intending daughter that are true about Jehovah's Witnesses... But not us. So we are not sure whether we will be able to continue teaching her or not. She called to tell us she was going back to her church, and asked if we believed in dialysis and blood transfusions. Um... yes we do? Despite our best efforts and even her admission that she knew what we had been teaching her was true, her daughter coached her along on the other line of saying she was just going to go back to her church. Man. That heckin stinks. I've been kinda beat up about it since it happened. Keep her in your prayers, I guess. We'll keep trying.
Walked around a little bit more of Hope one day this week. We walked around the Tyson Chicken Feed Plant, and man, you can smell that stuff from a ways out. We tried a former investigator there and he welcomed us right in, gave us each a Dr. Pepper, and chatted for a while. He even said he'd start reading the Book of Mormon again, so hey!
That afternoon, on our way up to Nashville, Arkansas, we stopped in the historic Washington, AR national park at the William's Tavern (eat. 1832?) again and got some tasty cobbler. Good stuff. But it didn't beat my Dad's Dutch oven cobbler. (And I'm not just saying that cause it was Father's Day yesterday. He is the best, though.)
On Saturday, we didn't have a lot of luck outside of our good lesson with Debbie. From there, we headed back to Hope and went downtown to help with their fish fry. We were assigned to the cooking tents, but don't worry, we just moved the French fries, hush puppies, and fried catfish and chicken by the boxload to the different tents where people were eating. And, above that, I didn't even drop a single fry. They had probably about 10 fryers running most of the time, going through cooler after cooler of yummy southern fried goodness.
It was a hot day, and we were in our slacks, white shirts, and ties, walking boxes of catfish around the streets of Hope while train horns sounded off every half hour or so and a train rushed right by us on the other side of a fence. Everybody was sweaty, but it smelled like the food section of the county fair, and we got to eat the fried catfish fillets that were too small to give to people. So that was a plus. The South is one heckuva place, y'all.
We helped take down the chairs, tables, and tents afterward. (Shoutout to all the Church events that trained me for this moment.) Dumped out the better part of probably a 10 or 15 gallon metal drum of leftover sweet tea into the street, like it was the Hope Tea Party. We were some of the last people to head home, and were told "thank you" more times than catfish bites I ate. (Which is to say, a lot.) The owner of Tailgaters even said she'd buy us dinner there whenever we came in. We were able to get to know a lot of the leaders of the community, chamber of commerce, and Lions Club there. Plus it was a lot of fun. ...And we were sent home w several to go boxes full of chicken and fries and fish.
On Sunday, I recreated Zaxby's Kickin' Chicken sandwhich again with the leftovers. That and church were really good, thankfully. Cause not a single investigator we tried to visit that day answered the door. Missionary work is weird. And people are crazy. We just get to hear and witness often how very strange people and their decisions are. Although I'm sure Heavenly Father thinks that way of me, sometimes, too haha. I'm one of the weird ones.
Did a lot of thinking and pondering this week, and as usual, despite the hard times I have definitely felt like I've learned and grown a lot. I love getting to study the scriptures so much every day. They are seriously my favorite books. There is power in every verse and word. Power that I don't want to give up by missing a day of reading. It's magic, I guess. :) I wish I could make people magically understand that. President Nelson said it best in quoting Brigham Young: "I might paraphrase President Brigham Young in saying, 'I wish I had the voice of seven thunders to wake up the people' to the truth and power of the Book of Mormon."
Maybe if people knew just how "marvelous a work and a wonder" this really was, they wouldn't miss appointments, not read, ignore our texts or go less-active haha. But I know! And that's what I have control over, and what I find joy in.
Hey. I love you all. Thanks for being awesome. Keep those prayers coming. <3
I'm usually quick at responding to emails. (By next Monday at least.)
But I'm slow at responding to letters, I'm sorry. But I do respond!
303 West 23rd Street, Apt. 9C
Hope, AR 71801
Extra train video: https://youtu.be/zrRCLhZYgOg
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