Arkansas is a pretty amazing place to serve a mission.
We started this week off with a Zone P-Day at Third Realm, a trampoline park in Little Rock. Because we got there at 11AM on a Monday, we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves, so it was fun! And even worth being sore this whole week haha.
On Tuesday, I got to go on exchanges in downtown Little Rock again, and didn't hear any gunshots this time. Before we exchanged, we were able to put our bikes on the bike rack on our car, and got a ride to where Elder Draper and I ended up doing service most of the day. This guy lived in one of the many VERY hilly neighborhoods of Little Rock. And it was like 40 degrees outside, so I counted myself blessed for not having to bike that at least one of the ways.
We helped this guy spackle his trim around his windows and doors, and also finished putting in hardwood floors in his upstairs. I learned a lot and it ended up looking pretty good! While I'd be happy to help out again, I also learned that I'd probably prefer to contract that out, myself. :)
After we finished the job, he offered to give us a ride home! And he had a truck that we could put our bikes in! Um... yes. We spared no time in taking him up on that. We were blessed. And then we were blessed even more when our dinner appointment was also able to give us a ride! Saving us a frigid bike ride in the dark. God answers prayers.
They share an apartment with the Assistants to the President, and sometime over the summer, their heating and air went out. So the apartment complex gave them a cooler, and they had yet swapped it out for a heater. So when we got back to their apartment after dinner, it was probably like 50-something degrees in there. I went to bed almost missing the exchanges a few short months ago there when the A.C. was out and it was too hot! (Nah, I'd take cold sleeping over hot sleeping any day.)
The next day, we had Zone Conference! It was great! And it snowed outside during the last 4-5 hours of it! None of it really stuck to the roads, but the grass got dusted a li'l bit. So that was fun! Also... the Routts from Conway were there, and it was so awesome to catch up with them. We drove back home from North Little Rock, had a quick dinner, and then rode with another member up to try this guy who lives out in the middle of nowhere. He's a less-active member of the church, and we had a good visit with him. He's kinda crazy, but the best people are.
Thursday was pretty awesome, too. We got to tour New Life Church, a pop megachurch here in Bryant. They've got a few locations all over Arkansas, including in Conway. And so it seems like most of my mission I've been running into people who are "not interested" and "go to New Life" haha. They've all been really super nice to us, though. So Pastor Kevin showed us around their "campus" and it's pretty impressive! It's a cool, elegant, modern building, w/ a huge backlit stage in their auditorium. I've been to a lot of concerts on much smaller stages than theirs haha. He was super cool, and we left impressed. But my testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was also strengthened. Because, other than two crosses in the auditorium, there weren't any other symbols or pictures of Christ, and not once during the tour was the Savior brought up. If He's what it's all about... let's make it show? idk, that's my thought process anyway.
Then we met a guy named Juice. Yup, like apple juice.
A returning member we'd been working with for a while but lost track of gave us a call, too, and we visited him in his Days Inn hotel room for a while. Things are still hard for him, but going so much better. He's staying strong despite so much being thrown at him. He's awesome.
We tried to find some people in our records out in the middle of nowhere, but by the time we started it had been dark for an hour and was like 6:30. And people in Arkansas - especially those in the middle of nowhere - don't believe in making their street address visible. So slowing down to read addresses in the dark on a two lane windy road with like 3 cars following you and high-beaming your rear view mirrors is super fun.
On Friday, it was like 65 degrees outside, which was nice. We did some finding. Started talking to these 3 Hispanic guys and their English wasn't any better than my Spanish, so I tried my best and they nodded along. One of them kinda explained what we were all about to the other two, as I caught a phrase here and there. Idk how much we really understood one another, but I think one of them complimented my accent? Hahaha. I think I need to do some more spanish exchanges. Wendy's had a $1 any size fry deal and that made for a great end of our evening haha.
On Saturday, we had a long visit with this couple we've been teaching for a few weeks, now. We taught them the whole Plan of Salvation, which I think was a little overwhelming for them, but I can't blame them. After answering most of their questions and getting ready to go, her 15-year-old sister walks in the front door and starts asking a bunch of questions, which actually started to become really good once she cleared up the fact that we weren't a polygamist cult. So that was a cool miracle this week. It's not often we're the ones inside and someone knocks on the door and finds us to be taught! :)
Sunday was good! We had leftover thanksgiving dinner stuff, and so it was awesome to be able to enjoy the leftovers aspect of thanksgiving before the week even started. We were blessed. Thanksgiving leftovers are the best.
So that's this week in short! It's been hard, it's been good. It's been cold, it's been nice. I know I'm where I'm supposed to be!
Love y'all and have a happy thanksgiving!
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