Monday, August 14, 2017

Star Wars is dope, tarantulas aren't...Edwards and Adair ride again...HUMP DAY!

Kai and Elder Miller
Monday we went fishing.  I caught a little small mouth and that was it.  Freakin' Smith caught 2 crappies and 6 bass!  But he also stepped in a seed tick nest.

Tuesday we saw Dominic and learned he has some concerns haha.  He needs some monetary assistance haha.  We saw the Foust family and had a good discussion!  We're gonna try to answer more concerns next week.  We just figured out stuff for a stake correlation the rest of the night.

Wednesday was Zone Conference so we got to hear from President and Sister Hansen as well as the AP's.  Elder Cowley had a great instruction!  He told us to ask ourselves, "Why did I come out on a mission," and "Why am I still here?" Those kinda hit me and made me think pretty darn hard.  That was the one thing that really stuck out to me as we then talked about the importance of finding.  We instructed on making finding spiritual and finding by the spirit.  My instructing is trash so I couldn't tell ya how it went.  We had interviews and a stake correlation meeting.  Good day.

Brotherly reminders rule!
Thursday was my year mark!  Been 365 days since I entered them Provo MTC doors!  Been weird to think its already been that long!  We went on exchanges with Beebe and we were able to set a date with one of their investigators and teach a recent convert.  Good day.  We exchanged back and then went on another exchange with Jacksonville.

Friday we got to tract in the rain, which turned into blazing humid heat.  So that was fun.  No one answered and we exchanged back and went and saw Louis and had a great lesson on the spirit world.

Saturday was pretty dope, it was my technical hump day. We planned a lot for the Blitz with all the missionaries coming up and cleaned up around the apartment before heading out to see Dominic, who wasn't there...so we invited every investigator we could to Stake conference that day through calls and texts!  No one showed...but we did all we could.  We went on the blitz and I went with Elder Edwards!  We can't do an exchange with them due to mile cuts, so we just blitzed.  It was great!  Got some new potentials and had a blast catching up!  We went to conference where Elder Barron and I talked a bit, I sure do love that kid.  It was good.  5 other elders stayed the night that night due to distance so we had a grand ole time.

Does my butt look big?
He did see a tarantula and all...
Sunday was cool.  We had Stake conference again and I felt a little out of place as no one really talked to me, member wise and missionary wise, but I was able to stay awake.  We came back early from conference cause our ride wanted to beat the rush, so we missed the missionary social :/ but it's okay cause we got lunch!  But we got back and planned a bit and saw a member named Brother Benson and boy is that guy hilarious hahaha.  Lots of great stuff and we invited him to church and had a spiritual thought and his friend walked in and asked if we could teach him and his wife!  We also got in contact with a potential who said we could come by.  We then headed out to dinner with the Free family.  They have a bunch of turtles and animals.  He also has a bunch of Star Wars stuff so he's dope!  He also has a tarantula so I never went to the back room again.

Well we're going turtle hunting today so I'll be a bit busy so I'll get back to y'all when I'm done!  Love y'all tons and see ya in a year!
It's a kitten fish...

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild





Monday, August 7, 2017

I'm a farmer and I have 10 moms and have trained my whole life for this...

My favorite picture from his mission to-date
Monday was transfer P-day so we went to Little Rock where we had to let go of elder Goaslind as he went ZL in Russellville.  So that was sad, but not NEARLY as sad as I had to watch elder Hill go home...that one killed me...but I found out that the lady elder Hill and I found and elder Speck and I taught (I only taught a couple lessons) got baptized last Sunday!!  So that's awesome!

Tuesday was pretty normal.  We had a great lesson with a family we found a couple weeks ago, we taught the restoration and the spirit was so strong!  They had a lot of questions about prophets so we stayed on that topic for a while.  They're a church of Christ family who are actually very open.  They invited us back next Tuesday.  We had to type up and send off some things to the office so that was lame.  We did a little bit of finding but had no success.  We went to Taco Bell for dinner and we had given a Book of Mormon to a lady there a few weeks ago and she was there so we taught her random principles throughout our dinner and she was asking questions and so we got her email and are gonna be helping her with LDS.org and Mormon.org stuff!  Also a member came in and got to watch us as we taught haha.  She offered to buy us food but we had already eaten.  Then a sweet old lady gave us her tacos cause they were too spicy for her.  She didn't want to take lessons, but she gave us food!  And that's good enough sometimes right?

I have no idea...
Wednesday was rough.  Every single one of our appointments fell through, so we had to scratch and scrape to find and teach people but didn't see too much success in it.  We saw the Mauldin's and I was able to play a guitar for like a minute as another member walked by playing his haha.  He just got a signature Ed Sheeran guitar for like a quarter of the price and that thing was NICE!  We then went to a thrift store and walked around a bit because appointments fell through.  I found a Vader that was like 3 ft tall and debated buying it.  I didn't...but the temptation was real.  We finished up some more busy work for the office and ate and went to Book of Mormon class.  We finally got to correlate with our ward mission leader cause he's been gone for a month or so with his rotations at the hospital.  The doctors in the ward are super busy all the time so it's tough to correlate and talk to him.

Thursday was pretty full.  We saw a less active and threw down on coming to church and the wife actually came!  He even gave us some referrals.  We contacted referrals again and then we taught Louis again but we mostly talked about Africa and the fall of Adam and Eve.  He's from Africa and he told us after our missions he will welcome us into Africa haha.  So dad, you down for Africa? (Dad edit: I guess the rain's down in Africa...sorry I couldn't help it, it's the first thing that came into my mind - God bless you Toto.)  As Shakira says, "it's time for Africa!"

Little Dayton is way too cute!!!
Friday was a LONG weekly planning again.  We stopped by Toney (investigator) and he hurt his back that day but we got to talk with him for a while.  He's reading and said he had an answer to his prayers that he needs to come to church!  We went to Chance's house to teach him and his girlfriend and we think we ran into her...other male friend...She was home alone while Chance was at work and was super cold towards us when a guy from downstairs said he would be over in a few minutes...so that was awkward.  We also saw the Mauldin family again and were able to sit and talk and commit them to come to church!  Her older daughter was there and doesn't know anything about Mormons.  Well she thought us missionaries were raised on a farm with 10 moms and trained up to be missionaries...yup.  That, I think, is the most hilarious view of Mormon missionaries I have ever heard haha.  She was so confused when we talked about our hobbies like fishing and sports and having lives and going to college haha.  It was a great visit though!  I got to pray with Dayton (the baby Mauldin) and she is the cutest little thing haha.  I'll send the pictures sister Mauldin took!

Mini Vader is my friend.
Saturday was definitely a day.  We had breakfast at a members and then went to see a less active who might start coming back to church!  Also We went through a lot of potentials and had little success, but it was awesome cause we were able to see a bunch of people that we lost contact with.  One guy we saw, Clearance (Dad edit: yes it is really spelled "Clearance")...I think I've talked about him before, but he's insane haha.  He was going off on how he has 5 baby mamas and how his son is gonna be just like him and how he's racist towards black people and all this stuff that Elder Smith and I were crying laughing while he was talking.  I've started a Clearance quotes page haha.  He was telling us how we need to get married and get girls cause we're not meant to be single past age 18 haha.  Oh, and while talking about his baby mamas, his wife was right there...who explained how she gets along with most of the baby mamas but one haha.  We also learned slang ways to talk about money and different names for different amounts.  So that's dope.  We got to see Terry at the hospital and he's been out of it with all the meds he's been on so it wasn't long of a visit.  We saw Chance...yeah his girlfriend was messing around with some other people and he broke it off and drove her to Memphis and left her there with some family hahaha.  We talked with him for a bit and he's doing great, but he got a concussion at work and so we left with a prayer.

Makes total sense...right?
Sunday was fun!  We stopped by Toney's and the Mauldin's before church.  Toney was still hurting but was super sad he couldn't come to church.  We invited the Mauldin family and THEY ALL CAME!!  It was awesome!  It was a good fast and testimony meeting!  We got to see a guy named Donald for a bit but he had stuff to take care of so we went and saw a few potentials with no luck.  We went to Bald Knob about 8 miles out of town to contact some referrals and found 2 new people!  As we were talking to someone we got a call from the sisters saying they had someone for us named Dominic.  We called him and it sounded as if he just wanted money, but as we met with him he is so cool.  He is trying to find a job and wants to leave all bad influences at his ghetto apartment and doesn't smoke or drink cause he hates the affect it has on people.  He even asked to come to church and Book of Mormon class!  We're seeing him Tuesday.  We had dinner with a family and then visited the Duncans.  They're funny and their dogs are so riled up all the time so as we step in he door, we're bombarded with puppy kisses haha.

This week was so good, Elder Smith and I are getting along so great!  I hope all of y'all had a great week and I also hope y'all felt the love of Christ and Heavenly Father!

And as I bid farewell until next week,
2 Corinthians 13:13
13 All the saints salute you.

Love y'all!  Can't wait to hear back!

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild





Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Shark Week - there was lots of REALLY GOOD stuff happen this past week! Coincidence? I think not!

How can anyone say no to these guys??
Monday we went hiking on a place called Sugarloaf!  You have to rock climb up it at the last part so it was awesome!  Sister Hall decided to jump to a plateau and couldn't get back so she had to climb down and up again with all our help.  But it was great!

Tuesday we went to Brinkley's district meeting and it was great.  Elder Gonzales is a great district leader!  He goes home in September but is probably the least trunky missionary I know.  I exchanged with Elder Paopao and we had a blast!  We saw a less active and tried a bunch of potentials but no one wanted to hear it.  We went with a priest who was super funny and knew a lot about the missionaries in this mission.  We went out and got pizza cause it was late and we were starving before we headed to Volleyball, we each ate half and headed out.  We won like 4 games of volleyball so that was dope.

Pals
Wednesday before exchanging back, Elder Paopao and I got more pizza and then we went to go see a guy who served in the mission that Elder Smith's hometown is in.  He even served in the town he's from hahaha.  They talked a bit and caught up on people there.  We came back and went and gave a blessing to a girl who was in the ER and then headed to Book of Mormon class and taught for like 10 minutes before having to leave for a lesson with bishop.  The guy wasn't home so we went and got smoothies haha.  We then had a Skype conference call to end off the night.

Thursday we had MLC and I gained huge respect for President Hansen.  He threw down on disobedience and had a few great quotes that made me very happy!  Haha I got to see Elder Edwards again and Elder Pickering!  He was on exchanges and got to come.  We role-played knocking doors and I guess my approaches aren't as spiritual as people would like...I started off one with "Hi!  We're the Mormon missionaries and I only have 1 mom!"  So I guess I need to be better haha.  We came back and gave another blessing to a guy who's not a member, it was awesome!  After the blessing he was in tears thanking us and we gave him a Book of Mormon and he asked us to keep coming back.

What most people think happens at a Mormon church...
Friday we moved a new couple into the ward, they're dope!  He served his mission in Poland and was telling bunch of funny stories.  He's in rotations at the hospital here for a couple years.  Then we had a long weekly planning session so that we could plan if Elder Smith leaves.  We walked that day and found a bunch of new people to teach.  One in our apartment complex who told us to come by every Friday!  We saw a couple investigators and went finding again and found a dude named Denny while he was working on a car.  We talked a bit with him then his friend pulled up who told a rather...odd backstory haha but he then told us we don't need to read the Bible cause the "bible is in us!"  Which is easily rebuked by John 5:39 but it's whatever haha.  We saw the Mauldin's and they gave us surprise pizza!  Just so you know, that was my second or third actual meal this week haha.  We haven't had much food lately but we make due, I had a lot of bacon and milk haha.

It's good to have friends!
Saturday we helped move a family out of their house.  That was fun cause they gave us $15 to subway!  We also found out neither of us are transferred!  Elder Smith is officially my second companion I've had for more than 1 transfer haha.  My first since elder Edwards...my trainer haha.  But we got the subway and then hit the road and found a couple new people again.  It was such a successful week with new investigators!. We went and taught a returning member's girlfriend.

Too cool for school...but not for a mission!
Sunday was great, we got a gator to come to church!  We were expecting like 5, but 1 is a huge success!  It was that members girlfriend so that's awesome.  She stayed for all 3 hours and loved it!  Sister Duncan came too!  It's her first time in so long.  We had a potluck afterwards and I slayed the food haha.  We saw Terry, he's the guy we gave a blessing.  He reminded us it's shark week so I got super sad...cause I can't watch it haha but it was on in his room so we talked about shark week and set up another time to see him on Tuesday.  We went to a referral from the sisters in a sketchy part of town...we tell the sisters to not go there for their safety cause people here are very rude and disrespectful to women.  But we went and he wasn't there but we talked to a lady who...liked women...but she asked us for money so we gave her the million dollar message of the restoration haha.  We visited the Duncan's and had a great time as we talked.  I love them so much haha.  Elder Goaslind is being transferred as a ZL in Russellville.  That was Elder Edwards' last area haha.  But it's sad to see him go.  He stayed the night last night to save miles for the trip to Little Rock today.

Love this kid's smile!
It was an amazing week!  I loved it and the work is picking up so much!  We can't wait for this transfer and I hope and pray that Elder Dawson is trained in my zone!  I love all of y'all and can't wait to hear back from ya!

Also, don't try to rationalize sin, cause "rationalizing is knocking on the doors to hell!" -  President Hansen

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild




Pioneer Day update...apparently it's not a big deal in Arkansas, but heat is.

Missionary fuel...it may have also given them "Fuel."
Monday we ate over at a less actives house and had great conversations about the navy and army and his whole family is super funny.

Tuesday we had district meeting so we went to Cabot for exchanges as well.  Elder Stratton is going home next week, so he wanted to do the mean pig challenge.  What that is: a food challenge on a pulled pork sandwhich that is so spicy, it was made to make you throw up.  He got 4 bites in and called it quits.  His eyes were watering and his nose was runny and it was hilarious hahaha.  So many of us went to watch.  We also found a lady who was a former RLDS member but thought it was bad and wants the truth and asked us to come teach her!  We walked a bit and didn't find anyone until we had Book of Mormon class where we taught the plan of salvation to a gator.  It was cool cause we used the videos on LDS.org and they work so great!  She totally had her answers to her questions.  We played volleyball afterward.

Hmmm...looks suspicious...
Wednesday was cool.  We found a new gator for Jacksonville elders and returned in time for a dinner with the Easters.  She needed a blessing as well because she was going to see a Church of Christ preacher and teach him about our beliefs.  She wanted help with knowledge on what to say so I hope her blessing helped!  They live somewhere called Harding Place, it's a church of Christ owned old people home where we get weird looks.  Well, we laid sod for them last week and help them a lot so the executive manager there gave us Minister Meal Cards.  Basically, we can eat for free at any time!  It's awesome!  We had BOM class and I got to play Laman in a skit!  I'll send the video.  We played basketball and had a good night.

Thursday we went on an exchange with the Quitman elders.  It's one of our more worried areas, so we went to boost them.  Not much happened, saw a less active and a couple others who didn't answer.  Life of a missionary.  It's a tough area, but not as bad as it's made out to be.  We went to Walmart that night (yes mom, I got my shaker cup...it has the star spangled on it) and ran into a couple guys from Utah!  They didn't wanna hear our message, but they were cool.

Soooo close, but missed it by that much!
Friday started off with exercise in the morning.  Quitman plays disc golf in the mornings so I got to go with them and a member.  I suck at it...but it was fun!  I got back to our area and weekly planned and made cookies for members after trying some people and eating dinner.  Literally no one was home.  Not one answer.  Well, actually we did get one answer.  It consisted of the lady opening the door, laughing...then said no and slammed the door.  Rough day.

Saturday was actually really taxing.  We walked all day and it was 99 degrees but the heat index said it felt like 110.  So we got super dehydrated and tired.  We just got rejection after rejection after rejection haha.  It wasn't the best day.  Lots of things just didn't go our way, but it's okay!  It didn't break us!  We had some tender mercies where some people came and gave us rides and lots of people gave us water.  So that was really cool.  We saw the Gonzer family again and they want to get back to church!  They want us to get their son on a mission.  He plays guitar so I'm gonna try to connect with him on that.  Shout out to Miranda for breaking my 14 week dry spell of letters!

Pretty boys.
Sunday was another day of desperate finding.  We found 3 new people!  One was the husband of the lady from California last week, he's super cool.  We're hopefully going back later this week.  He gladly accepted a Book of Mormon and to learn more.  We have been trying a lot of our potentials lately and so we started knocking the areas around them.  We found a guy who is a Church of Christ member, but accepted a Book of Mormon and a return appointment.  We also found a lady chillin with her dog and we taught the restoration and got an appointment as well.  Bishop Webb had us over again, he is from Arizona so we talked a bit about stuff back home.  It's been so cool how many people are from there!  We also gave cookies to another member family named the Ryans.  They're super cool and their daughter has a thing about slapping butts and slapped mine haha.  Her mom was so embarrassed haha I had to explain how it's totally a normal thing in our household and it was just super funny!  Their other daughter made us a banana pudding pie by herself, it was so good!  Fun fact, the Ryans had their honeymoon in Sedona and spent their first Sunday married in a church in Flagstaff!  They also got and watched their first movie as a married couple in flagstaff...Cool Runnings haha.  It was funny the little details that made me laugh.

Don't we all?
Not a bad week!  Tough, but we saw some good miracles.  I'm worn and tired after every night and I'm exhausted right now, but I'm gonna keep on truckin!  Love y'all guys!  Can't wait to hear back!

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild