Monday, July 17, 2017

Yeah that's right, west coast, west coast...Cali representin' in the AR. Searcy servin' 'em up strong!

Monday was fun!  It was my 11 month!  We went fishing and then taught Louis again!  He invited his wife to take the lessons and Bishop Webb made it out with us!  We had a great lesson and he brought up his main concerns and we helped as best we could and he's having us over again tonight!

Tuesday we laid sod and shoveled dirt for the old folks home here in town!  It's Church of Christ owned so we got some good stares haha.  We helped with that for a while (5.5 hours of 90 degree heat and high humidity) and talked to a guy who was in the army.  He helped us and we talked as he told a few dope stories.  Can't wait for my chance!  I also have come to the conclusion that I never get tired.  I may get winded and sore, but I will not let myself get tired.  Haha I told myself that all day and I just kept goin and goin!  After we did the service, the manager of the place had us talk to him and he wanted us to come over to his house and help him with some work cause he saw how hard we work!  Odd thing, I love yard a lot haha (Dad edit: Who are you and what have you done to my son??).  Lots of experience in elder Smith and I and I guess my love for it has just increased.  We let our bodies a rest a bit and tried by a few people who weren't home.  We stopped by the Mauldin's and had a great lesson about the great apostasy.  Dayton just melts my heart.  Her hugs make me so happy!

The gang's all here!
Wednesday was lots of meetings.  We went to the leadership training in Little Rock and it was good instruction.  We got a new key indicator to show that we actually work when other numbers are low.  It's return appointment attempts.  Basically whenever we leave an invitation to anyone regardless if they say yes or no.  But that helps.  I talked to elder Speck a bit and the people in hot Springs I guess miss me a lot.  A few people said I was one of the best missionaries to be in that area, so that made me feel like I wasn't as useless as I thought I was in that area.  We were taken to a Chinese buffet by a member in Beebe and poor elder miller had an upset stomach...really upset.  So we had to get him some "clean up" juices haha (Another dad edit: I have no idea what this means and I am not sure any of us wants to know).

I shall call him, Jeremy.
We had district meeting on Thursday because of the MLT.  We went to ours and then Brinkley's.  It's about an hour and a half away.  But before heading out that way, we were asked to go to a funeral and be pallbearers for a lady who not even the bishop knew was a that was fun!  Very hot, but it was good.  I was with Elder Anderson for an exchange and we got along pretty well!

Friday was a full day in Brinkley because it was better for miles to exchange back on Saturday.  I got eaten by mosquitos and sweated off like...10 pounds haha.  Saw a few people, not a lot of success.  We knocked on this one door to give someone a bible, and we heard "who's knockin on my door?!"  So we give the "Jesus people" response haha but no one answered.  We got back and grilled some burgers and talked a bit and had a good conversation.  We're getting along a lot better than before!

They were feeling a little flat. (boom, dad joke)
Saturday was full of freaking what the heck moments!  First, a problem arose, but it's being taken care of, it sucks, but it'll be fine.  We were on our way back from Brinkley when we decided to take the route through the Dagmar Swamp land, let me tell ya, swamps are my favorite.  Something about the Cypress trees and water and wow!  It's just so pretty!  But after that, God rebuked us for doing that, cause our tire popped as soon as we got out of the park haha.  We changed the tired in the blazing heat.  I've never sweat so much in 10 minutes!  We just took off and put on a tire and I was dripping!!  But we made it back and was invited to a high priest social and dinner!

Look, water...and thumbs!
So this is where the night gets crazy!  Sister Clemons pulled us aside and told us there is a couple she wants us to teach.  She found them and gave them a Book of Mormon and restoration Pamphlet and got their first names and general area of where they live.  They just moved here from California and that's all the info she had, so she said good luck cause the sisters also know about them!  So we ran out to find them!  Also, just for more motivation, she offered pizza to who finds them!  So we go out and search for cali license plates and after searching everywhere, elder Smith said he felt prompted just to pull over and as soon as he started, I saw the plates and shout "CALIFORNIA!!  THEYRE HERE!!" Haha.  So we got out and knocked as if we just tracted into them and they let us in and offered us water.  We got to know them and they're from LA, but she went to school for medicine at ASU and U of A!  How crazy?!  They knew Mormons who served missions and knows a bit about the church and so we left thanking them cause they were still unpacking but told us to come back.  As we leave, I asked their names...well here's the twist...IT WASNT THE PEOPLE SISTER CLEMONS TOLD US TO VISIT!!  Totally different people with the EXACT same story!  How freaking awesome is God?!  Haha.

I go to 'That Church' on the corner...
So we left to go Finding again and said a prayer for success and a miracle as we prayed over where to go.  Well we knock most doors and near the end we find a lady.  She was cool and all, but we felt there was more.  She wasn't the miracle is what we felt.  So we left and we're kinda confused on what to do, so we decide to knock one more door.  Well this Arabian lady came and asked who we were, well Elder Smith thought she said something in Spanish so he says 'somos missionaros!"  She promptly said no and slammed the door!  Hahahaha I thought it was the miracle that I didn't laugh out loud right there haha.  So after accidentally offending this poor lady, we walk a bit out of the neighborhood and down the street and as a car pulls up, we talk to them.  Two black ladies, but one left and said not interested.  So we talk and teach the first discussion with one, and the other came back out suddenly very interested.  So we taught her as well and they told us to come back!  So we found our miracle!  But one more fun part, the second lady came out and was just eyeing Elder Smith hard.  Smiling and listening intently, she tells him he has the "cutest most real smile!"  So I laughed and agreed!  She kept checking him out and told us she wants my Book of Mormon, even though it was tattered.  So we left feeling good and laughing back to the car and as we walk, bishop pulls next to us and tells us to come over for lunch on Sunday.  So Saturday was by far the most eventful day of my mission!  Haha 10 out of 10!

I thought Kai said he liked yard work...project!
Sunday was good, nothing big.  The people who "promised" to come to church didn't come, but it's okay cause I had a good time at church.  After church, we went to lunch with the old Stake President!  That was cool cause he offered to come out with us and told us he's gonna have someone for us to teach, solid!  Then we weekly planned for a bit since we couldn't on Friday due to exchanges.  We went to dinner at the Lagomarsino's and played a card game with the kids.  I won, of course.  Sister Lagomarsino was texting Elder Ortiz and we talked with him for a bit.  That was dope!  We then headed to see a couple people...who weren't we went to Bishop Webb to get a tick out of Elder Smiths head haha.  We tried to get it earlier but his hairs kept getting in the way and the head stayed in.  So I got to watch a mini-surgery!  We finished weekly Planning and did our calls and took care of stuff before we headed to night night.

It was a week full of miracles and I'm so glad it happened!  I definitely have a strong testimony that God will answer our prayers.  It may not be in that instant, and it's gonna take some work, but they WILL be answered.  Just remember that miracles are always preceded by faith and action.  So, I will leave you with one scripture before I send this email.

Here's your sign.
Hebrews 13:1
"Let brotherly love continue."

Testify Paul!!  I love y'all so much and can't wait to hear back from ya!

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild

Thy have gators in Arkansas...and crocs!
I hear banjos, frogs, and and old hound dogs baying...

Monday, July 10, 2017

There are times in life you just gotta Murica...and tract, lots of fruitless tracting...but hey, MURICA!

Sometimes you just gotta Murica.
Monday was full of torrential down pour so we stayed at the church all day.

Tuesday was THE FOURTH OF JULY!!  But instead of celebrating all day, we were running away from flash floods...yup.  All day it rained and rained and RAINED!  Absolutely insane!  Water covered my boots in the shortest of floods.  But we did get a good celebration!  We went to Beebe branch's most recent convert and shot (I didn't shoot;) ) 200 lbs of tanerite!  I'll send some videos!  Fireworks were shot off and it was a blast!  Pun intended.

Wednesday we had meetings with the new president.  We met President and Sister Hansen and had a big ole meeting!  They're cool.  Sister Hansen is so freaking funny!  After the big meeting we had a little Zone meeting where we instructed on the importance of studying.  I could tell everyone knew it was my first time instructing in a while cause everyone kinda zoned out, but hey, agency right?  Haha.  We went to lunch then the AP's called and asked us to drive to Little Rock and back to pick some stuff up, so we did that and had interviews with president.  Kinda a different type of guy but I like him!  We ate ribs that a member made for us and talked with Beebe before heading back home.

Baby Murica.
Thursday we had an appointment fall through so we went to do service for Habitat for Humanity and we had a great time!!  We talked to a bunch of people and this one guy was telling us stories of the army and he was so into the stories!  We're gonna keep going back every week, the people there love us and were so sad to hear Elder Wakolo was gone!  Such sweet hearts.  We went out with a priest named Clayton and met a member referral who is super cool.  He invited us in and let us talk for a bit and we're gonna see him this Thursday for a lesson!  Oh and also, he's filthy stinkin' rich.  Like, full sized basketball court and swimming pool in the back yard with a bridge over his drive way leading to a back yard garage rich.  His name is Jamar and I think he could be baptized!  We played basketball with some kids later on and then headed in.

Friday I went to Beebe for an exchange and we basically walked all all day.  It was so hot and miserable haha.  We got one return appointment and a lot one waving back at us.  Sad.  A guy did, though, stop and give us some water haha.  I went with Elder Goaslind's greenie and I feel I coulda done better, but it was a good exchange.

More Murica.
Saturday we went to the flea market with the Beebe guys and blitzed and found them some new people to teach!  It was freakin awesome!  Flea markets are the only place I will be shopping at for random stuff!  Goose (Goaslind) got a family sized double stuffed Oreos for a freakin' dollar...yeah...a dollar.  I didn't spend any money cause I just had to tell myself I'm poor haha, but I almost got a knife that would protect me from the monsters they call dogs here.  Let me tell ya, I don't like dogs anymore.  We saw Sister Maudlin and talked to her a bit and helped her through some stuff.  We also saw a recent convert named Monica and helped her clean off her porch in the blazing heat haha.  We used a hose and she was spraying her friend's son and they were fighting with water and we got caught in the middle of it...but I'm not complaining haha.  We went to the Mix family for dinner and met their granddaughter's friend Alyssa. Get this...she's 16 and got a 30 on her ACT.!  But we taught about the Book of Mormon and she came to church!  When we got home, a random car was in the spot by us and when we walked to the door, it was opened and so Elder Smith and I called a member to help us clear the house.  Keep in mind, my adrenaline was high and I was ready to go haha.  He got there and first thing he did was ring the door bell and say "let's see if they answer the door!"  Haha I laughed and my adrenaline was gone, but I had my knife out (dad edit: hmmm, didn't he just say he didn't get the knife?) and I was ready to pounce!  All was well and no one had been in the house.

Mail Murica.
Sunday was something else.  First off, I was called to give a talk on the Holy Ghost for 15 minutes but after the 2nd speaker was done, I looked at the clock and guess what!  I was left to speak for 30 minutes!  So, I elongated my talk by 10 minutes haha.  I looked at the clock when I was 3/4 of the way done and realized I still had 15 minutes left, so I just talked and talked and gave random details in stories and experiences that would help haha.  The bishopric was sooo impressed!  Everyone was haha.  They told me I'm their go to if they need another long talk haha I'll take it!  We went knocking all day though.  So we found out that a member, the Duncans, live in a prideful and stuck up rich area.  I guess the people there have Facebook alerts for when we are in the area so they don't answer the door haha.  So I let that be my motivation to knock every door with a bit of sarcasm and spite.  We would knock and I would say, "Hi we're the Mormons and we don't have 4 wives!"  Or, "Hey we just wanna talk about Jesus with y'all" haha nothing really worked but it was fun to lift our spirits cause it's tough when no one wants to talk all week.  I did though knock on a castle door!  Sadly they had already been to church that day and didn't need anymore :/ but so is life haha.  We talked to a guy with a Bill Murray tribute car and so I knocked and just talked about Bill Murray and Bob Ross and got a return appointment after finding out they had a child die.  So hobbies and talking like a person create miracles!
Southern Murica.

It was a hard week full of Heat, rain and rejection.  My heart was hurt cause of the hardness of hearts here, but I'm trying to not letting that get to me.

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild

A boy and his turtle.

I need more turtle!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Settling into Searcy - teaching, searching, finding and loving most...and trying to love others...and snakes.

He loves President Wakolo!
Hey y'all!  Sorry, this ones gonna be a little short!  We didn't have too much free time this week!  It started off pretty good!  We found a guy named Frank and he's from Belgium and is a real tough cookie to break!  We saw him again on Sunday and he had a binder full of anti Mormon stuff and just wanted answers.  So he took this paper that had some anti on it and asked us to debunk them, if we could.  So obviously I took the challenge cause I immediately thought of how to trash this kind of literature haha.

Tuesday Was district meeting and it was good!  Beebe elders and Cabot sisters (both training) got invited to the Missionary Leadership Council with us!  That's a meeting only for zone leaders and sister training leaders so that was cool!  We saw the Mauldins and Dayton just adores me for some reason!  She grabbed my hand and smiled and hugged me haha.  We also saw a dude who we taught the restoration with in 5 minutes cause we knew he wasn't interested.  So I started saying random words that had nothing to do with the lesson and he didn't catch any of we never went back haha.

The crew
Wednesday we had MLC.  We had the missions last instruction from Elder Wakolo and it was powerful!  I'm gonna miss that man so much!  I found out one of the greenies from the zone, Sister Friend, is from Arizona!  She went to Highland though and I can't remember where that is, but still cool!  Elder Janes and I had some good conversations and Elder Edwards and I caught up!  I miss that child!  We had Book of Mormon class afterward and played basketball.

The crew part deux
Thursday I had a doctors appointment.  Yes mom, I went to the doctors haha.  There was a growth on my ear and Speck freaked out and was all "call the mission nurse you have cancer!" And all that mess and he ended up calling so I finally went after 2 weeks of nagging by the mission nurse.  I knew it wasn't bad, just a big wart thing so they froze it off...and that hurts a bit!  Haha it turned all black and stuff.  Sister Mauldin was super nice and we talked to her later that day as well.  We also saw the Duncan's again and had s'mores and they asked for a lesson on Saturday about marriage haha.  He is a gun broker and so I might hit him up for an AR-15 sale ;) right dad?  Oh and I got to watch a snake eat a was freakin dope!

Dr. Adair, paging Dr. Adair...
Friday was tough.  Basically, nothing happened besides God saved us.  Nothing more will be brought up until I get home.  I got the chance to meet a guy named Louis (pronounced Lewie) Bassay (pronounced bass-eye).  He's from Cameroon, Africa and he is literally the golden gator.  He asked all the right questions and wants us back tonight!  Literally the most spiritual lesson I think I've ever had!  I've never felt the spirit in such high supply!  At least in the past few months!

Saturday,  HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHANCE!  Yes, that's written in my journal I did not forget haha.  We went finding to no success, cleaned the church and helped a less active move a dog house!  I never thought I would say this, but the view from his new place is GORGEOUS!!!!  Like holy crap!  I was baffled!  Oh and he has a 200 pound bull mastiff, but that's besides the point.  He took us to Taco Bell and talked about his mission and he's funny!  He went to Ukraine and has some...tales haha.  We found a lady later named Amanda with her son Christian and taught them the restoration as well!  We talked to a guy who was 92 and looking for a job...yeah...92 haha.  That was funny.

A big lap dog...uh...what is he doing??
Sunday we went to church, I bore my testimony on the founding fathers and the restoration and we taught elders quorum...which consisted of us, Brother Shirley, and Brother Brown hahaha.  We just talked about the priesthood and how the world is so corrupted and stuff.  Brother Shirley invited us over for dinner.  He's a cop and told us some cool stories and Brother Miller came and showed us pictures from a shooting victim from a shooting in Little Rock (don't go to clubs in the south) cause he's a surgeon.  He took a bullet out of this kids spine and he is now paralyzed cause he wanted to be in a gang and go clubbin.  Brother Shirley also wants to buy a pontoon and wasn't caring of his wife's opinion hahaha brave soul.  We found 2 miracle investigators.  One was a guy looking for a church home and has seen a lot of death lately so we're gonna teach him at McDonald's (yes) next Thursday!  We saw the Duncan's and taught about marriage and it was funny haha.  I got to hold a snake and I didn't even let one tear I was puckered beyond belief and trying not to scream like a school girl out of fear.

Why?  Why Kai????
Pretty good week!  I mean, very many ups and downs and some quarrels but I'm alive and my spirit is high!  I love y'all so much!  Can't wait to hear back!

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild

Serves him right for touching such an evil creature!