Well hello, my friends! I hope you know how much I love you. Truly.
It's been a long week. But not one void of goodness and miracles, cause that's how the Lord works. So I'll share those!
We had our district meeting in Camden. Instead of me telling you how my own district meeting went, I'll just share my takeaway with you in the form of a quote by Pres. Spencer W. Kimball.
"Each of us has more opportunities to do good and to be good than we ever use. These opportunities lie all around us. Whatever the size of our present circle of effective influence, if we were to improve our performance even a little bit, that circle would be enlarged. There are many individuals waiting to be touched and loved if we care enough to improve in our performance."
BAM. For more goodness, you NEED to read his article, "Jesus: the Perfect Leader," found in the August 1979 Ensign Magazine. It makes sense though, right? As we become better people, God will trust us to bless more of His children.
After the meeting, we went to the Red Habanero, a little Mexican restaurant. Even though they got my order wrong, my chile relleno was the best I've had in the south. (Which, granted isn't saying too much, but it really was very good!)
We then exchanged with the missionaries in Camden, and Elder Smith and I rode with the Lim's back home to Hope. 20 minutes down the hour long drive, we get a call. Elder Anderson had accidentally taken the car keys. Which also had our apartment key. So we found a half way point and drove back.
We had our second appointment with Debbie, the wonderful lady we met last week who can't speak. We asked who she would like to say the opening prayer, and she pointed at me again. I did, and then we taught her the Restoration lesson in full. When we asked if she had any questions, she wrote on her little notepad, "You said there was a living prophet today?" (There is!) And we explained that to her and showed her a picture of Russel M. Nelson and explained what a cool guy he was. I love that man.
"Any more questions?" We asked. She shook her head no and wrote, "what's my homework?" So we gave her chapter 2, the restoration pamphlet, and a DVD of the First Vision to watch. When asked who she wanted to say the closing prayer, she again pointed at me, and I obliged. What a sweet lady.
That night, we had one of the three socials for the branch in Hope. There were others in the neighboring towns of Nashville and Prescott. The members in each of those towns would get together for a spiritual thought and some dessert and games. We set up the church building for the one in Hope, and the Lim's came with Sloppy Joes and brownies. ...nobody else came hahaha. But we still did everything. Elder Lim conducted, I played "Give, Said the Little Stream" for the opening song, we had a prayer, the thought, and then played scripture trivia. I lost by one point cause I didn't know all 12 of the tribes of Israel smh. I was close, though! (Zebulon got me.)
Elder Smith and I drove back towards Camden the next day and exchanged back. We had the keys this time. :) we had a great lesson with another lady who was kinda distraught. She works in the elementary school kitchen, and had apparently left the dishwasher on over the weekend? (I guess you need to turn those big ones off when you're done?) Anyway, the pressure and water had built up in the pipes and dripped on the ceiling tiles until they burst and water flooded the kitchen. They had to turn the water off for the whole school haha. I felt bad for her, but it was also kind of a funny story worth sharing. She's a great lady.
Another day, we were looking for service opportunities and went to ask the lady who runs the museum in town. (The one with the Bill Clinton cutouts lol) She was confused, and another lady pulled up to where we were talking with her, and she pointed at the lady in the car and basically told us, "I dunno, guys, why don't you ask her for service? She's old." So... We did. And she did need our help! So we'll see what we can do this week haha.
Random note: I love giving hispanic people copies of the Book of Mormon cause they think it's cool that their ancient ancestors might've known about Christ, too. And also cause their receiving a Book of Mormon is a fulfillment of prophecy in 2 Nephi 3:15 and D&C 3:16-18, (and a few other places, too!)
On Saturday, Elder Anderson had a doctor's appointment in Little Rock, so with 200+ extra miles under our belt for the day, I figured we should at least stop at Tacos 4 Life on our way home. Awww yeah.
That afternoon, we followed up with Debbie. She picked on me to say the opening prayer again and told us by holding up two fingers and a smile that she had watched the Restoration DVD twice. (And kept her other commitments!) When we asked at the end if she had any questions, she pointed at the "Come Worship With Us" page at the end of the pamphlet and committed to come to church next week!
When we got home, we had a Baptist church pamphlet in our door. Our whole apartment complex got them haha. The one in our door was about a baseball player's deathbed repentence. And "just say this prayer and you're saved" type of stuff. I mean prayer is important. But also the verse after the one they quoted talks about being baptized! And Christ told a guy who was keeping all the commandments to go sell everything that he owned and give it to the poor. If Christ expected that much of one guy then, do we really think he's changed? I dunno. I don't think I can buy into a "religion" that isn't hard. That doesn't expect a lot from you. It sure would be nice if a prayer was all it took. But it wouldn't be as fulfilling. I don't think those people are going to hell by any means. They're just missing out on the blessings of doing hard things.
On Sunday, Elder Beheshti, our area seventy here, came to the Hope Branch to accompany his wife who was on assignment to speak about JustServe.org. He spoke on the Sabbath Day and it was great. Afterward, we gave our chicken catching friend a blessing for his hands, which were swollen about like when you inflate a rubber glove like a balloon. The chicken catchin' life is not for me, y'all.
We also did some service in downtown Hope, chipping plaster off a brick wall with a hammer and mallet. The original building burned down and was rebuilt in 1912. Dadgum. That's some old plaster. Hopefully I don't get cancer and my sore arms are the end of it.
Got transfer news and both Elder Anderson and I are staying in Hope! It's gonna be a good one. I'm excited to keep working with the amazing people we have! More miracles are in store!
Who am I?
~3 Nephi 5:13~
What am I doing and where am I doing it?
Love y'all! Have a good week! Do some service! - justserve.org
Tell me about this week!
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303 West 23rd Street, Apt. 9C
Hope, AR 71801
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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Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
905 Kierre Dr
North Little Rock AR 72116