Monday, November 20, 2017

Planet X and the number conundrum, food lust, and wonderful people...another week in the south!


Tuesday we had district meeting and exchanged with Mountain View Elders.  I went with Elder Pedersen and he's a stud!  He's was trained by Elder Hill so I like him even more.  We walked to Gretchen and Greywolf and had a great first lesson with them!  Granted he brought up Planet X and how it was supposed to crash into earth like 3 months ago?  I don't know why I wasn't made aware of this...I'm telling you the governments hiding something!  Anyways, with that being said, supposedly 43 billion people (which is a whopping 1/3 of the worlds population) were supposed to just disappear when it got near I may not be the smartest guy nor know the most about the census reports...but I think his numbers were a bit off...there's only about close to 6.5-7 billion people on earth.  So 43 billion is a little over 7x more than who's actually here, but since that's a third, that means there should be 129 billion people on earth.  Which is about 18.5x the world population...seems like this could be a real out y'all...the end is near and Planet X is on its loop back around to get us...anyways.  After them, we went and say the Kistners and ate with them and shared a message and walked to Brother Trayler's house to stop as it started to rain.  Well we walked home in the rain and talked along the way.  It was a good day.

Good thing we use the KJV!
Wednesday we exchanged back.  Dezeree drove us up to Mountain View with her husband, Daniel, who's dope.  We're gonna start teaching him sometime soon.  They took us out to eat and Elder Pedersen and I got to have a tender mercy and see some highlights of the football games last week.  Friggin Cardinals can't win a game to save their lives (Dad's note: Yes, this is true, but injuries are playing a large part in this terrible season and we still love our Arizona Cardinals!).  But anyways, we got back and walked to potential investigators house and after talking with him, we went finding and found out from a guy with a gorgeous home, that we are in trouble eternally!!  Dagum why wasn't I aware of this?  The Mormon religion will "surely send us to hell" because he's "done his research and read the Bible and has concluded that the Mormon religion is terribly incorrect."  Dang...poor fella doesn't know he's being deceived by the adversary.  But we complimented his home and bid our farewell to him.  We walked to the church and did some studies and training and Facebook stuff and then after not being able to find a ride home, we walked home.  Not a bad day!  It was Elder Cundick's first 8 mile day.  Not horrible, but it was cold.

Red, white, and American!
Thursday we walked and walked and didn't talk to like anyone.  We went to dinner with a couple and we had some bomb steaks and potatoes.  I'm starting to love green beans as well!  They know how to make some good food out here in the south (Another dad note: What is he trying to say here? Do we not also have great food out west?  Particularly his mother? We will have words over this claim)!    They dropped us off at the church for basketball and lo and behold Ty came!  We taught him a lesson in our basketball clothes and it was really good!  We're working with getting him a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  We played basketball and had a good rest of the night.

More awkward family photos.
Friday we weekly planned at the church cause I had to drive to get wifi to set up a doctors appointment.  We went to the Kistners and raked their leaves!  It took quite a few hours, but it was awesome!  They fed us afterwards with black eyed peas and ham with cornbread and woof I loved it.  We came home and changed and tried to see a few people but no one was was like 8...but we ended the night with that.

Saturday we studied and then drove to Jonesboro for the devotional.  It was good!  Not many people came but we had a good performance.  We drove back and had Cici's, courtesy of Dezeree haha.

Happy faces in happy places.
Sunday was the same.  Greywolf and Gretchen came to church and brought a friend!  They loved it!  We also had potluck after church and we talked to them and I asked if Gretchen was thinking of becoming a member.  I asked her cause she's the more solid of the 2 and been to church for like a year.  But when I asked they both looked at each other and Greywolf said "yes we are."  I about fell out of my chair.  Reverend Wolf, his church name, wants to be a member.  That was the start of a good day.   We drove to Jacksonville where I was greeted by the Lagomarsino's and Candace and Brody!!!  I about died cause they told me they were coming!  They gave me a little treat, Oreos that looked like turkeys with candy corn (thanks Nadia).  You're welcome Sister Lagomarsino's for the shoutout haha.  They even sat front row right in front of me!  I saw so many members from Searcy I about died!  I felt bad for Elder Cundick cause I was trying to talk to as many as possible haha.  But we went home and enjoyed a good night's rest.

Crazy week!  Had a wonderful time and I can't wait to hear back from y'all!!

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild

Good times!
The love is real!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Service brings blessings for all involved. This was a GREAT week, one of the best yet!

I call this, "Man under street lamp."

Tuesday was pretty good.  We went to habitat for humanity and did some service and we got to witness a crazy redneck cuss out Walmart for giving him a bad propane tank.  We drove out to the boonies and no one was home so that sucked.

Wednesday was dope.  We went to Zone Conference in SEARCY!!!  It was awesome.  We learned some awesome facts about Joseph Smith and the translation/writing of the Book of Mormon by the prophet and how to use it better.  I got to see Sister Duncan and the Brown family as well as a few other members, like the Ryans (Sister Ryan and Sister Howard and Wilman fed us lunch!).  Sister Ryan pulled through and got me the first caramel apple pie before they really brought out desert.  It was awesome to be back in that building and hang with my favorite people!!  Steven moved to Beebe so I'm gonna get on those kids to teach him.  They're both super green and so Steven is gonna tear them up if they don't know how to talk to him.  I started my exchange with Elder Parks.

The bed...reminds me of my time in Korea.
Thursday was friggin full of miracles.  So we studied and then went out and got cookie dough and to bring them to a few members.  Well we get home and see our neighbor, Martha, and she's struggling to get stuff out of her car (she's 80 something years old).  So we go and help her and she goes off on how she loves the Mormons.  She won't study with us, but tells people she has the greatest neighbors and brags about us!  She is so sweet!!  Well we went in and made cookies and delivered them. The Kistners loved it and then gave us a few referrals!  We went and saw them and had an interesting experience.  Their names are Gretchen and Greywolf.  Yes, Greywolf.  No, he's not Native American.  But, he's a shaman mystic minister.  So he does like freaky deaky magic stuff but in the name of Jesus.  New experience?  Yes.  Does it surprise me?  Not even a little bit.  He's a street preacher and told us his story and I think he tripped once or twice on some illegal substances.  Hard.  Anyways, we taught about the Book of Mormon and we were then taught that we had the Book of Mormon before Jospeh Smith!!  It came over on the Mayflower in the 1700's!  Why didn't we know about this?  Why isn't this historically correct?  Also, why does he think the Book of Mormon is the Bible?  Haha it's whatever though.  He agreed to come to church and read so that's good.  So we went to get them a ride for church from Brother Trayler and he agreed and also took Elder Parks and I on a tour of his house.  This dude has a bathroom so big that it has a tub, a separate shower, a computer desk and 2 closets...full of suits.  So we tried them on and took pics as we drank out of 60 year old wine glasses that have never been drunken out of...oh and did I tell you they were rimmed with solid 24 karat gold?  We were in the presence of angels that day.  We had sports night and I had a random outburst of being good at basketball for a half hour.  That was cool.  Miracles.

The after pic makes the bed look just fine!
Friday we had ANOTHER miracle!  We were leaving to go service finding by raking people's lawns, when a guy was walking down the street.  We stopped him and talked to him and he's had a rough go.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and Bible and he almost broke into tears thanking us cause he hasn't had a Bible, let alone a free one, since he was in prison.  He wants to give his life to God and wants to learn more!  We talked for about an hour when the other Elders showed up to exchange back.  We went to Popeye's and weekly planned for what felt like the rest of the night.  The Lagomarsinos came and visited as well!!  It made me so freakin happy!  They took us to DQ and invited us to Christmas dinner with their nonmember family!  It's in our area too so that's lit.

Saturday we had a couple really awesome things happen.  Brother Trayler called us and took us out to eat lunch at this cute little restaurant down town.  Then when we left we drove by a little old lady raking her yard.  So what do we do?  Well the super Elders sped home (within an obedient speed) and grabbed their super rakes and raced on over to help!  We raked her yard and her neighbors yard (it was a senior home) and we talked with Mrs. McGuffey for a while.  She said when she saw us run over with rakes she thought "oh please stop here". Hahaha it was adorable!  She tried to pay us but I assured her that friends don't pay friends.  She gave us a huge hug with tears in her eyes and I just felt so good.  Service really does heal the soul.  It made me almost choke up thinking of how much it meant to her.  It made me think of a poem I read somewhere called "someone's mother".

Happy Elders.
The woman was old and ragged and gray
And bent with the chill of the Winter’s day.
The street was wet with a recent snow,
And the woman’s feet were aged and slow.
She stood at the crossing and waited long,
Alone, uncared for, amid the throng
Of human beings who passed her by
Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.

Down the street, with laughter and shout,
Glad in the freedom of ‘school let out,’
Came the boys like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow piled white and deep. …
One paused beside her and whispered low,
'I’ll help you cross, if you wish to go? …
'She’s somebody’s mother, boys, you know,
For all she’s aged and poor and slow.

“‘And I hope some fellow will lend a hand
To help my mother, you understand,
If ever she’s poor and old and gray,
When her own dear boy is far away.’
And ‘somebody’s mother’ bowed low her head
In her home that night, and the prayer she said
Was, ‘God be kind to the noble boy,
Who is somebody’s son, and pride and joy.’"

Mary Dow Brine

Arizona boy getting some throwback!
Just as the boy in his poem, I hope that my good deeds help others, especially my family, sometime in the future.  Let me tell ya, this can't be anyone else's but the Lords work.  It's moments as tender as this that make me stay on my mission.  Even though she didn't want to meet with us, my heart was touched and my spirits were lifted.  If you're ever down or sad or just aren't at your best, only service for others can bring you back to your feet and then a little higher.  Our prayers were answered later on when the office Elders brought us our beds.  We finally got beds.  I'll send a picture of what I've been sleeping on for this past week.  The first few nights was on the ground, then the Simmons family gave us camping mattresses, then the Wahlquist's gave us a futon mattress and I grabbed couch cushions.  So it was like a Temperpedic bed.  I only did it for a couple weeks, sleep on the ground, so it kinda makes me empathetic towards the people all around us who do it year round.  In Utah and Arizona, you may see homeless people every now and again.  But those guys get money all the time.  But the homeless here, they have literally nothing besides what they can carry with them, which isn't a lot at all.  Most people will never understand how truly heartbreaking it is to see the needy.  We are blessed beyond all measures and have way more than we even could dream of needing.  Please I beg of all of y'all, don't take your blessings for granted.  You may never understand how bad some people have it.  I don't think I can ever say I have a hard life ever again.  Never.

Monday funday.
Sunday Greywolf and Gretchen came to church.  It was awesome to listen to the primary (6 little girls) sing.  There's a reason God tells us to become as little children.  Only they can bring the spirit like they do.  Only they can be humble and meek to the point to where God will accept them into his arms no matter what.  Oh how I wish I could have even the slightest amount of love for life and others as these little children do.  I was able to give a talk on understanding and recognizing the spirit for about 10 minutes.  It was good I think.  I had a pretty tough act to follow haha.  We took Greywolf and Gretchen back home with Brother Trayler and had lunch at the Simmons house.  We came back and did studies and training for Elder Cundick.  We saw Deedee and gave her a Book of Mormon and explained why it's so important.  She loves us so much haha.

We got a hold of a guy named Drew and he wants to take us out hiking today!  We'll send details about that after!  But it's been a great week!  Many miracles happening in Batesville!  I've been humbled and more happy than ever.  I cant wait for this week!  It's weeks like this that come to show God answers prayers.  He's there guys, he's there and listening.

Look at my french toast, mom!
1 Peter 4:8-12
8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are there unto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild

What is that tree???
The woodsen...where are the moosen?

Monday, November 6, 2017

A lonely Rambo, a return to Memphis, and spiritual lessons...a good week, way down south in Dixie!

The gang's all here!

Tuesday we had district meeting.  It was Halloween, so knocking doors wasn't too great of an idea haha.  We tried to see some investigators but it didn't work out.  We met with one named ty.  He's been meeting with missionaries for a while now and so we're going to try to strengthen his testimony in the Book of Mormon before we really teach anything else.  We went and got candy for trick or treaters and we were asked if we were dressed up or "actually professionals" haha.  We explained that we were missionaries and the lady like turned off and walked away haha.  We didn't have tape, so we rubber banded pass along cards to the candy.  In 2 hours...literally not one trick or that sucked.  I was Rambo in a mixer suit.  But no one but Elder Cundick saw.  Sad day.

Lonely Rambo
Wednesday we did service at habitat for humanity again and just sorted books and talked to people.  We did some stuff on Facebook and messaged a few gators and got nothing in reply.  We then hopped on over and saw brother Baize!  He got us pizza on Monday and on Wednesday he showed us his gun collection.  Let me tell ya, when I grow up I wanna be just like this man hahaha.  He has guns stored in random places.  Like, he got on top of his counter, reached to the top of his cupboards, and pulled out a keltech folding 9 mm rifle and a KSG shotgun haha.  Then just chillin by his bathroom was 2 AR-15's (one was a tactical short barrel) and am AK-47.  3 of the most beautiful guns I've seen in my life.  I wish I got a pic with them...but then he pulled out his 2 glock's and I was in heaven.  What a guy.  We then had dinner with the Wahlquist's!  I love that family!  Ian, their son, just returned home from the Scottsdale Arizona mission!  He's awesome and is going to start fellowshipping Ty!

The candy that no kids wanted
Thursday I had a leadership meeting in Memphis.  The elder driving was an absolute terrible driver and almost killed us like 4 times...but he also took us to the wrong place..which just so happened to be MEMPHIS 2nd area!!!  It was awesome!  I got pics of it and I was so taken back!  Elder Parks and I talked and reminisced about Memphis until we got back to the church.  It was a great meeting, lots of insight.  We left and Elder Parks made dinner and then we went back home.

Well, there is that one!
Friday we planned, but I got bored and so we went finding and found a dude named Chris while working on a car!  Got his Facebook and then went finding some more.  We ran into an old white guy who didn't believe in that took me for a turn.  What old white guy in the south isn't a Christian??  Haha.  We planned and then saw a less active who has an old triple combination with all the Elders who have been in the area singed in it.  Holy cow there was a lot haha.  It was pretty cool!  We got to know him and invited him to church.  We went finding again and didn't see any success so we walked to the church and watched the technology training videos that we gotta watch.  A member bought us some gorilla glue for my shoes and so we tried to fix those....tried.

Love seeing worn out missionary shoes.
Saturday we did some service at the Methodist church.  They do free community breakfasts so we helped make and hand it out.  We talked so some people, but we're not allowed to proselyte so we couldn't do much.  They also told us to not dress up in our white shirts hahaha.  Oops.  We studied and did training with Elder Cundick and got in contact with Deedee.  Got her Facebook and sent her a message with a video.  We had correlation with our Branch Mission Leader and then we gave a blessing to an older member who has had 2 strokes in a few years.  Crazy.  He was super nice and Elder Cundick gave his first blessing!!  It was awesome!  We went to dinner at Brother Trayler's house to finish the night.

Back where it all started...
Sunday was a good meeting!  I think more people bore their testimonies today in my branch than in any ward I've gone to.  There was no awkward pause, no long silences, just pure awesome testimonies!!  Holy cow it was awesome!!  We got called to give the priesthood lesson on home teaching with a 5 minute notice. So we used "Emissaries of the Chruch" by Jeffery R. Holland from last years priesthood session.  It's great!!  It was tough, but we made it work!  I gotta give it to you dad, those lessons, although not too stressful, can be hard to give!  Especially when you have to speak loudly cause the youngest guy in there was Brother Wahlquist.  Everyone else was over 70 hahaha.  We came home and studied and tried to see Deedee, but there was nobody home, so we might just start to teach her on Facebook.  We made plans to go hiking with an investigator next Monday!  He said he would be more comfortable talking in that setting.  We then saw the Kistners!  They're so awesome!  Biggest sweethearts ever!  They fed us and we talked about how the Book of Mormon is true and read over that talk by Tad Callister from last general conference and it was so awesome!!  They gave us a referral and cookies and we left with full bellies and satisfied souls!  After that we did training and I think it was the most spirit led training I've given!  I actually studied to help Elder Cundick and I felt more strong with the spirit in that study and training than ever before!  It's crazy how studying for others helps you!

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild

Why?  Just, why???

Hmmm...different statue than I remember
Now that is a healthy kitty!

More proof of work.
Trying to repair...

...don't think it worked.

Monday, October 30, 2017

I dream of pink elephants...cue Walt Disney...Elder Edwards has left the building and water is helpful.


As dad goes home...
So I'm gonna share a few good stories from this week.  So on Tuesday I went to Greenbrier with Elders Anderson and Andreasen.  They both came out together.  Well we called up this place that I guess they do service for and went to go help.  They ask us to move a bunch of plants into a greenhouse and as we were going that, Elder Andreasen moved back a bit too far and fell into a cactus and got needles all up in his butt haha.  Poor kid.  But after that we took a few pics (I sent them already) and hung out with some elephants haha.  We got some pics and then got the once in a life time (hopefully) of scooping up the poo.  That was an experience haha. new son arrives.
Wednesday we picked up the boys!  My second born in the wilderness is Elder Cundick!  Good ole boy from Herriman, Utah.  We get along great!  He's a bit quiet, but I'll get him out of that shell of his!  So we went out to eat with Cabot one more time before we headed to Batesville.  When we got there, we come to find out we had no water, no service, and no mattresses.  But we hacked it and slept on the floor.

Thursday we tried to meet a few members.  We met one old guy named Brother Traylor.  He's fun.  Saw someone the sisters referred to us named Christopher.  He's cool.  We tracted a bit and went to the church to look at the area book and call the office for water.  We called and the guy goes, "Wait you're in 1515?  Crap.  Guessing y'all don't got water?"  They shut it off earlier that week hahaha.  But we went on with the day and went to spot out some places to find.  We had sports night at the church and met some people.  One of the members gave us some camping mattresses haha.  That helped a little.  We met our Elders Quorum President.  He's a college guy who's playing football for the college in town, he's awesome!  When he heard we didn't have food he went and got us each 2 McChickens and a Big Mac meal!  When I told him he didn't have to he says "Don't worry, it's her (pointing to his wife) scholarship money!"  I laughed way too hard. 

Trunk 0r Treat fun!
Friday morning we decided to be men and went and got a gallon of water and dumped it on ourselves for a shower.  Water wasn't on still so we chose to be men.  Then as we were heading out to weekly plan at the church, someone knocked on our door and told us the water was now on haha.  So we planned and then came back and took a nice long shower.  That was the best feeling ever.  We shopped a bit to get some stuff and then we tracted again and tried to see some more people the sisters gave us.  No luck.  We had a little correlation meeting towards the end of the night with our Branch Mission Leader.

I bet these burn coming out...
Saturday morning we knocked doors again and tried to see some less actives who weren't home.  We saw a member who then gave us hot coco and shared their conversion stories with us.  Their names are the Kistners.  They're dope!  Super nice and love missionaries!  After that we knocked again and then went and got ready for the trunk or treat.  I was a democratic cowboy cause I had no guns, and I gave my ninja turtle costume to Elder Cundick.  We had a great time setting up and then we had a chili cook off. We met a bunch of non-members there, it was huge!  We were expecting like 20 people, but like 70 or so came.  It was awesome! 

More fun with elephants.
Sunday was a little lazier than I had hoped.  We went to church and we blessed the sacrament cause there's no priests.  Only 20 or 25 people came to church.  We went and tried to find after studies but not much success at all.  We came to the church and watched our technology training videos and ate dinner (tuna in a can).  I mean, we made some transgender waffles.  I call them that cause it was waffle mix but we made them into pancakes.  But besides that, we didn't eat too much haha.  At night, a lady rang our doorbell asking about our landlord and we talked a bit and we invited her to meet with us and she was so excited to meet.  We're gonna see her tonight!

It was a good week!  I'm so glad to be training again and can't wait to kill this area and see the success!  Also, sister Mauldin has 2 non-member daughters who live up here!  So when they move back, we're gonna see them and start teaching their daughters!!!

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild

feeding pachyderms...
I call this...deep in thought...or posing...

Just because...more elephant!
Seriously, why all the poses???
Criss Cross'll make you jump...

Monday, October 23, 2017

A sad goodbye to Searcy and a hardy hello to Batesville!

Amen to that!
Hey y'all!

Monday we just emailed all day.

Tuesday we went to Jacksonville for Cabots district meeting.  At the same time, President was interviewing missionaries for their departure and so I got to hang with Elder Edwards and Hall and Thurgood for a while!  We had a great time catching up and joking around.  I exchanged with Elder Andersen.  He's a quiet guy, he's from Highland, Utah.  We saw the Fousts for a bit.  Haven't seen them in a hot minute (Dad edit: Is he turning southern or what???) so we caught up before we had to leave.  We then met a dude who had a great door.  I'll send a pic.  He has read some of the Book of Mormon before, but has had 2 strokes since then and can't remember anything about it haha.  Nice guy.  We then saw Louis again!  Really great lesson!  He had questions about the gift of the Holy Ghost cause we read 2 Nephi 31 with him (chapter on the doctrine of Christ, or the Gospel) and we had a discussion and got to get some good questions from him.  Saw the Mauldins and talked for a bit.

Pet possum anyone?
We exchanged back on Wednesday and literally no one answered.  We went to dinner at the Lagomarsino's and had a great time talking about scouts and stuff.  We had Book of Mormon class and I interviewed a woman for baptism.

Thursday we had our last district meeting and then practiced for our musical number that we were asked to do for Sunday.  We saw Monica, a recent convert, and she told us her conversion story...Elder Ogaard fell asleep so we laughed at him until he woke up.  We talked to the apartment owner of Dominic's place for a bit cause he wasn't home.  He loves Mormons and he took our number.  We saw a few Mexicans and then went to dinner with the Ryan's.  We went to see Steven but he wasn't home so we saw a few home teaching families with our Elders Quorum President.

Swinging for Jesus.
Friday wasn't anything.  We weekly planned and got dropped by some people and then towards the end of the night we saw the Gonsers.  While there I got a call from President Hansen sayin that I'm released from ZL and training (Dad edit #2: what he meant to say is "released from ZL and WILL now be a trainer.  I fear for this generation's ability to type coherent and complete sentences, but I diugress)!  I'm going to Batesville. AJ gave me a cowboy guitar. (Dad edit #3: Do you like how he just casually mentions he is transferring, and he left out he is also the District Leader in Batesville.)

Saturday we had a baptism for the sisters.  Elder Ogaard baptized her.  Her name is Sue Hamrick and she's awesome!  Again, every appointment fell through until we saw Steven.  We brought a member named brother long and the lesson was AWESOME!  We talked about praying and reading as a family and coming to church.  It's was friggin dope.

Unicorns unite!
Sunday I confirmed Sue as a member of the church and then we sang a musical number of half Spanish half English "I'm trying to be like Jesus" and i guess it was good!  Steven came to church and he gave me a double thumbs up as I sang haha.  We said bye to everyone and it was super sad but I found out that the Mauldins have a daughter, who isn't a member, in Batesville and she wants the missionary lessons! So I'm gonna teach her!  We got dating advice from Sister Ryan too.  We saw the Duncans for dinner and had a nerf war with Brodie, the son.  Those were some sad goodbyes.

I said bye to the Mauldins this morning at 6. Haha I'll send all the pics.  But I love y'all and can't wait to hear back!

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild

The dynamic duo!
Treehouse fun time.

Sue Hamrick's baptism.

Serious photo...

...goofy photo.  I may have that backwards.

Halloween fun.

And I have no names for these captions...sorry everyone! Blame Adair.