Monday, September 11, 2017

Elder Smith's last was a busy time for the boys in Searcy...bring on Elder Ogaard!

Spreading the love!
This week we had a mission challenge to invite 3500 people to meet with missionaries and to have 50 companionships talk to 70 people in a week.  It may sound small, but that's huge for the mission!  We usually only invite around 2000 or 2500, so it stretched us!  We saw so many miracles come out of it!  But I've come to expect miracles daily cause God is eager to have us recognize his hand!

Monday we went up to Heber Springs and I got over my fear of heights and had a blast rock climbing with Elder Ullery!  He's actually from Cottonwood, AZ so obviously he's a cool dude!  We BBQ'd with the Duncan's and hiked.  I fell into a creek so that's was fun.  After the Heber trip, we went Finding in Walmart and surrounding places.

Tuesday was district meeting and President asked us to instruct on prayer.  We used 2 talks given to us by the AP's and they were "Improving Our Prayers" from March 2004 Ensign and "Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer" from April 2007 Conference.  I recommend reading them cause they're awesome!  I taught on the former.  Basically the gist was that God will answer your prayers, whether now or later.  It was kinda an eye opener for me in a lot of ways as I was studying on how God really will answer our prayers, but also in ways that we might not want.  We aren't always going to get the perfect answer that's in OUR will, but rather we're going to get the perfect answer in GOD'S will.  Sometimes, no answer is an answer in itself.  I exchanged with Quitman this week and went up there with Elder Ullery and we had a blast.  Did some service and went Finding for a bit and then had dinner at a member's house.  We explained northern Arizona to him and he told us that we're convincing him to move haha.  A kid from the Quitman Ward also got his mission call to the Mesa mission!  Seems like all the kids in the south get called west haha.

Family time.
Wednesday we exchanged back and Elder Smith and I went to lunch with the Easters.  They live in a Church of Christ retirement home, so when we go over and eat, we get some stares!  Church of Christ doesn't like us here.  We're technically not allowed on campus and technically Harding Place (where they live) is campus...but it's whatever cause the Executive Manager loves us.  We do service there a lot.  Brother Easter was a Fire Chief and talked with me about it for about 20 minutes and it was awesome!!  He was a wild land fire fighter and told stories of some crazy stuff!  When we left we went to go see Dominic...well he moved and we have no idea where to.  We knew a general area so we went across town to a place that he explained and started knocking.  We found and taught a lady named Jessica who wanted us to come back, but when we texted her the next day, she dropped us :/ sweet is the work.  We then knocked into a lady named Hannah and she actually goes to school with Sister Duncan!!  They know each other super well and we're gonna try to get Candace to talk with her more cause she was super nice!  We continued on and saved the rest of the complex for later.  We found in an area that was pretty nice middle class homes and found a Jehovah's Witness.  He was 17 but stuck in his ways so we talked about tracting stories with him.  We saw Barry after all at and we got on the topic of guitars and holy crap can this dude play guitar.  He played Thunderstuck by AC/DC just by ear!!!  His wife, Mary, (isn't that cute?  They rhyme!) can sing super good!  But they love us and told us to come back Thursday.  We had dinner and then taught Book of Mormon class.  At basketball, brother Ryan brought a dope friend who I wanna start teaching.  That night we made a video for the Zone on the challenge the mission is having.

Smiles all around.
Thursday we did service at Habitat for Humanity and helped a family move.  We visited a member who was baptized last year and read with her and another member who's getting their endowments this Saturday!  That was cool to hear.  We also saw the Mauldins and went over the plan of salvation with them and had them teach us.  Peyton, one of the boys, got kinda sad cause he fears for his nonmember friends salvation.  We explained how everyone will get a chance to accept the fullness of the gospel whether in this life or the next.  He was still down though.  Barry and Mary had to cancel cause random family stopped in and so we went trying to find Dominic again...still no luck!  But we did find a guy named Quenton.  We knocked and got to know him and taught him about the Book of Mormon and everything and he invited us over on Friday!  We then had dinner with the Rushtons and deuced on over to Steven's.  Well,  JESSICA IS PREGNANT!!  Ya see, she was told years ago that she can't have another baby due to some health issues.  She was super sad about that cause she wanted to have a child with Steven.  But God is awesome and "opened her womb" (Genesis 30:22).  It's super funny cause it got Steven to stop drinking!!  He promised Jessica if she got pregnant he would stop drinking, and it kinda took him for a turn when she got preggers.  After Jessica brought up that promise, Steven said "I only made that promise cause you weren't supposed to get pregnant!"    Hahaha super funny but he's genuine I swear.

She loves her some Elder Adair.
Friday was crazy.  We saw Toney bright and early at 9 am.  He looked way down and asked us to pray that he will receive an answer to a question he's been asking God.  We prayed with him and left.  Weekly planned a bit then went to go see Quenton, who was at work, but his girlfriend was 2 doors down and we talked to her, Daysha, and her friend, LaFraydra.  They were stand offish cause they thought we were a cult...but since we aren't we explained it to her and the Book of Mormon and what a mission is and that we have 1 mom and someday might have a wife.  She also asked if we allow black people in our church...for some reason people think we don't...but we said yes.  LaFaydra told us she is gonna come to church and bring her 2 sons.  We finished weekly Planning after that and then went to Bald Knob.  Saw a member and a guy who wants his records removed but is too senile to remember to ask us, so we just aren't gonna help him do that and instead regain his testimony.  After Bald Knob we headed back to Searcy to go Finding and then we saw the Bensons for a little bit.  Sister Benson told us to come back because brother Benson was sick.  We helped with fixing her car battery...which never got fixed...oops.  We talked about Searcy football with a potential and set up another time to see him as well.  Had dinner with the Bowles and set up some service for Saturday.  After that we crammed some Finding time and talked to literally everyone we saw.  It was awesome!  By the way, the challenge we had was to see who could get the most Return Appointment Attempts (ARA) in the zone, and the Brinkley district won :/ so Elder Paopao and I, with either my new comp or Smith, on Monday are gonna get egged :/

Hey, look up here!
Saturday we did the Bowles yard and got chiggers and a couple ticks, then helped Sister Clemons move.  We met another one of her sons and had a grand ole time.  We saw a huge tortoise that the Beebe Branch president has...his son rides it like a horse.  Hear that Crew?  You got a horse.  Also, my new companion is Elder Ogaard.  He came out with me but he's Spanish so hopefully I get to learn a bit of that!  We've talked about serving together before as a joke but bam!  Here we are!  Elder Smith is headed to Pine Bluff so it's sad to watch him go.  I'm gonna be Zone Leader 1 now...which is terrifying.  We went and got some stuff to clean our apartment with at Walmart (kinda funny cause the fire department was outside at a fundraiser thing...) and found a less active...who addressed himself as "Hi!!  I'm Devin Pruitt and I'm inactive!" So that was hilarious because we got assigned as his home teachers.  We had lunch and went and said goodbyes.  Saw the Mauldins and that one was hard.  We saw the Ryan's as well and sang karaoke with them.  So that was dope.  We went to dinner with the Duncans and it was the time of my life.  We drove the Jeep with the top down and sped off to dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  It was awesome!  We ended the night with pictures with them.

Da boy's last ride...
Sunday started out with cleaning again and getting ready for the transfer so we had time to see all the people we needed to see.  Church was awesome!  I mean, LaFaydra didn't one did...but the Gonsers came!!  That's huge!  They even brought an inactive friend!  There was good talks and Elder Smith got to bare his final testimony so that was cool.  We said goodbye to everyone and we were going ALL day!  Person after person haha.  Lots of sad moments but Elder Smith is off to a great place!  Pine Bluff!  It's ghetto and a mini Memphis, but what better place to die!  In the mission...not actually die...hopefully.  But it's awesome!  We're going to see quite a few people next week so we hope for awesome stuff with Elder Ogaard!  Can't wait for this next week!!

It was a pretty awesome week!  It really showed how many people we can talk to and how crazy lengths we went to to invite haha.  Elder Smith and I were inviting people at stop lights and pulling up next to people super creepily and it was a blast!  Elder Ogaard is super hyped up and spastic so we're gonna slay it this transfer!!  Love y'all and can't wait to hear back from ya!!

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild

Mmmm, eggs.
If this doesn't make you smile, you're broken!

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