Another busy week!
A few days this week have just been going from lesson to lesson, which is a lot of fun, and also very exhausting! Also, Wren was baptized last week in Benton!
On Tuesday, we taught a lady about the premortal life and it blew her mind! She was so excited about learning that. You could tell it "clicked" with her and she recognized it as truth. The best part was, she called her mom right then and there to share what she learned. "Mom! You know how everyone says that our life begins at birth?" ("Yeah...?") "That's not true!" It was hard not to laugh, and I couldn't help but think that that's how excited EVERYONE should be when they learn about our premortal life!
We tried by that family of kids we've been working with. It wasn't a good time, but they showed us the little turtle they found and named Gloria. Cute lil thing.
A dinner and 4 long lessons later, we made it to the end of the night!
Later in the week, we met a couple for a lesson at Taco Bell, taught a little bit about the Plan of Salvation to a family, and what seems like a hundred other times we were able to teach. All the lessons are kinda blending together, honestly haha. It's cool to see how receptive people are here, the trouble is they're not super active about living what we teach... coming to church... reading the scriptures... So we're trying to figure that out haha.
It's been pretty disappointing to try time and time again to get someone at church, and time and time again they say they're going to be there, and time and time again we are waiting in the foyer and during the sacrament for them to show up, and they don't.
That, combined with what is now 23 months of missionary work is getting to be pretty exhausting. I didn't get discouraged this week, just... really tired. That feeling of running on fumes, basically.
But then on Wednesday, we had a Leadership Training Meeting in Bartlett, in the stake center by the temple, and that helped so much. A lot of it was on enduring to the end, and how the finish is more important than the start. 15 straight transfers of district and/or zone leadership won't be worth much if I coast the last month! I might be tempted to take it easy or slow down to accommodate my exhaustion, but Christ can strengthen me more than a nap can... if I work harder and stronger rather than letting myself slow down.
So I'm pumped, now! Last month, here we go!
During the meeting, the district leader companions were tracting the area, and out of the blue it started pouring rain HARD. Like top 10 times I've seen it rain. Elder Bang and the other elders came walking down the hallway a short while later and couldn't have been more soaked if they'd swan dove into the Mississippi. (Perks of being a district leader haha.)
After the meeting, I got to go on exchanges in Jonesboro with Elder Billman. He was brand new back in my Conway days, and we scooped elephant poop together. It was fun to be back around him, and we had a good time. A lot of things went wrong on our exchange, but it was fun haha.
For example, the Spanish elders had gotten a call from a lady asking for some help moving. We went with them, arriving around noon. We both had a lesson at 1:30, and were hoping to just crank everything out super fast. (Lol, when does that ever work?) We arrived and she had mostly everything packed, but... She didn't have the moving truck. And had to drive 45 minutes one way to get it. And wanted us to watch her house while she did that.
So... We organized the garage of stuff as best as we could, and then it was pretty funny, cause all four of us stopped working and sat inside around her nice kitchen table panicking, trying to figure out how we were going to make this work. Elder Billman and I, Elder Gomez-Perez, and Elder Padilla, who's straight from the jungles of Peru. Just sitting in this really nice house plotting, scheming, and trying to figure out how we were going to get out of helping this lady move hahaha. We couldn't just leave her stuff in the driveway with the garage open and doors unlocked.
What she thought we were doing: whistling as we're working, moving boxes, getting everything ready...
What we were actually doing: "crap crap crap what are we gonna do, we can't leave all this stuff, we should've said something, what've we gotten ourselves into??"
Finally, the Spanish elders were able to reschedule their appointment to stay there, and so Elder Billman and I took off to our lesson and then came back as she returned with the truck. So it all worked out! It always does.
Then we had to leave again and do service at a food pantry in the basement of another church, cause they'd signed up for a timeslot. And then we hurried back to West Memphis and arrived 20 minutes late for my own District Council. Haha, but it ended up being really good. One of my favorites I've done.
Sunday, Cinco de Mayo, was my 101st Sunday in the mission, and was also the day Elder Holland came to rededicate the Memphis, TN Temple! Hooray! I'll get to go on the 20th!
It's cool to me to think about the Memphis temple as symbolic of my mission. I started out alright, functional, and called of God. And within the last 2 years I've kinda been torn down and dismantled and reconstructed with better materials, to become a bigger, better, and improved servant of the Lord. Kinda cheesy, but hey. I'm not the first to say it. C.S. Lewis put it beautifully when he said:
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan Co., 1960, p. 160).
So there you have it. Growing pains. Chase after 'em!
107 McCain Blvd Apt. D,
West Memphis, AR, 72301
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