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...

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