Greetings, girdles and boydles.
This fourth of July was rather uneventful. The crazy drunkenness was kept to a minimum (that we could see) and the temperature was incredibly kind. It was only about 82 with 0% humidity. This never happens. Like, ever. It was very pleasant to walk around in, but we didn't get all that much done. Nobody was very interested in us or what we had to say, although one guy did give us hotdogs. That was nice.
We had a very interesting experience a few days ago. We had been walking down a street looking for people to talk to when we saw an older gentleman in his driveway talking to a woman we later discovered to be his daughter. The man was clearly intoxicated after his first word to us. We introduced ourselves par usual and asked if there was anything we could help him with. This man turned to us and asked us if we had a chainsaw. We told him no, we didn't own a chainsaw, because there aren't any trees by our house to use it on. He began to cuss us out in some of the most foul and filthy language, calling us liers and demanding that we take the chainsaw out of our bags so he could use it. "If you really are from Jesus you would take out the chainsaw from your bags so I can use it, but you aren't so you can't!" It was a strange mixture between slightly insulting and incredibly funny, because this old man was so drunk that he couldn't even swear us out properly; he kept on mixing up his words, sentences, and vowels. Eventually he just collapsed on the driveway, bawling his eyes out, occasionally muttering the random vulgarity at us. His daughter just stood there looking more and more mortified as the seconds went on, and when her father collapsed she ran over to him, knelt on the ground in front of him and just hugged his head. As she got down she said over her shoulder "pray for him". With assurances that we would we accepted the dismissal and continued on down the road.
It's rather sad at how badly alcohol can completely destroy an individual. This man probably didn't wake up when he was 50 years younger thinking to himself, "You know, I want to be a drunk when I grow up." He most likely had aspirations to become a rodeo star, an astronaut, or the doctor who cures cancer. I am very grateful for the prophets we have on the earth today, who were able to receive the Word of Wisdom and counsel us to stay away from alcohol and other addictive things. I would have liked to think that if I didn't have just a man of God to follow I still would have been just fine, but I don't know. I certainly wouldn't have the same knowledge that I do now. I really hope that I will have the oportunity in the near future to go and talk to this gentleman again and share with him the Gospel, and bless his life the way it has blessed my own and the lives of my family.
The rest of this week has been rather difficult. We have a car thankfully, because it is pouring right now. Mother Nature added her fireworks to the sky a few days too late. We were supposed to finally get some investigators to church this last week, but it didn't happen. One of them skipped town, another forgot, and I don't know what happened to the last family. I'm hoping that next week will be better. The Lord has really been testing our diligence and our patience, watching to see if we are going to keep on going even after things get hard for us. I'm hoping we passed the test.
Not much else I can add right now, mostly becasue I'm out of time. I love you guys, (yes, even you Random Citizen), and are praying for you. The Church is true and has the power to bless the lives of anyone who will take the time to simply learn about it and pray to know if it is true. I wouldn't be in the state of Arkansas if I didn't know this for myself.
Elder Jayden Barker