Well hello! It's been a crazy week! (When has it not been a crazy week?) Here's all about it.
We started the week off with an appointment we set with a guy we met last week. We were gonna meet him at Taco Bell, but uh... he never showed up. Or responded to our messages. So that's great. But, while we were in the Taco Bell, BYUtv was on, [in Arkansas?! In a Taco Bell?!] so we figured thst was a sign that we were supposed to be there. As we sat in a booth waiting, somebody gave us some money to order lunch, and then another guy walked in wearing a "Halifax" sweater, which is the mission my brother is going to! So we talked with him for a while and felt like that was why we were supposed to be there.
That night, we exchanged with the Little Rock Spanish South elders! Spent the next day bikin' around and trying to find people. Spent some time in a trailer park and ended up helping this funny older lady put up Christmas lights around her trailer, so that was a memorable highlight. Then we biked to have dinner at this place called "Sharks," a hit franchise across central Arkansas. Honestly, I've been wanting to try it for a while, but every Sharks location I see looks sketchier and more questionable than the last. But Elder Worley and I took the plunge. I got catfish nuggets, and he got frog legs. And they were both extremely... decent. About what I expected. Although the consequences came sooner than we thought. 4/10
Exchanged back and had our mission Christmas Social on Wednesday! That was fun. We've got an awesome mission.
My brother Henry also reported to the MTC that day! He's headed for the Canada Halifax mission. Brr!
On Thursday, we got back to it with a District Council that became one of my favorites, and then went to lunch at our favorite hibachi place. (They turned down my suggestion to try Sharks haha)
Worked on my BYU application essays at the church and finished those in time for a dinner at Red Robin with an older couple in the ward who are pretty great. Then we went back up to the church for our meeting with the Stake President and President Hansen, and that was good, too! Apparently the Memphis temple is getting close to completion. Close to opening? Nobody knows. But I hope it's open before I go home! We will find out soon I guess.
After the meeting, President spilled the beans that we were going from 9 zones in our mission to 7. Yikes! So then we got nervous for transfers, cause we didn't know which zones were closing and wondered if Benton was getting the boot.
Friday was rainy all day long. We did our Weekly planning and visited a few people, including an older couple who invited us in and we talked for a while about family history so that was fun. He's not on board with the idea of baptisms for the dead just yet, even with 1 Corinthians 15:29, but we'll get him. :)
And then Saturday was crazy busy. Tried to find some new people to teach. Talked with some crazy people instead. In the middle of our conversation, one guy just pulls out his phone and he's like, "look at this fish I caught."
Me: "Uh... wow. That's... pretty big. Is that a catfish?"
Me: "...When did you catch it?"
Him: *looks at his phone* "July of 2017"
Quit living in the past, Craig. Go get you some big fish this year.
Went to a baptism in the Spanish branch and I played the piano! Then we found 2 more people, and went shopping with $100 Elder Bolos' mom gave him as a family tradition each Christmas to use it to serve other people. We got a christmas tree and a visa and kroger giftcard for a returning member we've been working with for a while. He's grown and changed and recovered and brightened so much. We love that guy. We dropped it off outside his hotel room door, knocked, and ran away.
Then we went to IHOP for dinner cause we had gift cards. Yeah I don't think I'd go if I didn't have a gift card.
We got home and played the waiting game, refreshing our emails over and over again until transfer news came. Elder Bolos is headed to Conway. I'm gonna miss him! I'm staying in Benton! And the Benton Zone is staying. It might be the smallest zone in the mission, though. So there are only 2 companionships we can do exchanges with, now haha. But I'm glad to be staying! This will be a good place for Christmas and my birthday! Central Arkansas is awesome.
I had the opportunity to share my testimony at the mission Christmas party, and in our district council. At the heart of it was my gratitude to be a missionary! Representing Jesus Christ during a season all about Him just makes me appreciate Him more than ever before.
I'm so thankful for my missionary nametag. I wish when we knocked on people's doors, they knew everything that it meant to me. Sacrifice, being away from my family, hours of scripture study every day, change and growth and fervent prayers, the brink of exhaustion being met day after day, miracles witnessed and lives blessed and changed. The nametag isn't about me. It's not about past areas or companions or experiences. It's about Him, Jesus Christ, and His gospel and His church ON. THE. EARTH. TODAY. AND PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW!!
This isn't a vacation. It's fun. There's good food and wonderful friends and people all around. But it's also hard and tiring and depressing. But somehow joyful and rewarding all at the same time? "I can't say the smallest part of what I feel." I'm so glad I've got 4 more transfers ahead of me to do this thing. To let people know! To change and grow some more. To spread the spirit of Christ[mas] in every season, to every person, wherever the Lord needs me. I'm scared of not realizing just how WONDERFUL this opportunity and privilege is until I'm home.
So let's do this.
I love y'all!
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