Thursday, April 23, 2015

April 20, 2015- "Bring the Hammer!"

Let me just say two things:

1- When Arkansas decides to do something or that it needs something, it goes all out!

2- IT'S A BUNNY!!!!!!

We were over at a member's home for supper last night (Porkroast with some kind of freakishly amazing potatoes. They probably had some sort of secret/illegal ingredient because potatoes, regardless of how soft and flavorful they are, usually don't send me back for three helpings!) and there was a pretty nice storm that blew in. Apparently it spawned a few tornadoes from it, but nothing that touched down near us. The closest one was a pretty small one that appeared about a 15 minute drive south. The skies were a really neat dark green color and hail the size of large marbles started falling from the sky. Alas, I didn't get a picture of the hail before it all melted, but I did get to take a picture with this little guy! He was outside in a cage when the hail started coming down so the Foster family brought him inside. It made me incredibly happy, because, well, it's small, soft, and furry. And who doesn't like things like that? Only crazy people. And those allergic to rabbits.

Before I get off topic I'll start with last Monday and work my way forward.

Monday was an interesting one for both Elder Thomas and myself. We were at FHE (Family Home Evening) at the Gates home when our phone started going crazy. It was the Relief Society President over in Russelville trying to get a hold of us because the mother of a less-active member there in Russilville was in Hospice here in Morrilton and just barely came off of life support.  The member wanted the Elders in the area (us) to go and give her a blessing before she passed away. We did so, and it was a first for both of us. While we were there we met an older man, Mr. K***, who had lived in Utah once upon a time and invited us to come back and see him again. Blessings that come from talking to everyone. Late that night we got called that it was time for us to give up the car again, and we would be doing so on Tuesday. How nice of them to give us so much advance warning..... *sigh* It was just frustrating because we had been able to use a car for about a week and a half over the past 8 weeks, but that's missionary life.

Because we knew we would be giving up the car on Tuesday we decided to use up some of the spare miles we had gained by letting the car sit in the shop by waking up a little early and driving to Jerusalem so my companion could get a picture next to the sign. I had gotten a picture there in the past, so I didn't bother taking one of myself again, but here's my companion:

Following taking this picture we drove down to North Little Rock, about an hour's drive, for our Specialized Training meeting. It was Elder Thomas's first, so that was a lot of fun. Lots of good stuff there. After that meeting we had a "Train the Trainers" meeting, which really was just a 45 minute meeting telling us to focus on the 12 week training program and Preach my Gospel. It was well worth our time. We also went on splits with the Zone Leaders that evening, and I was paired up with Elder Johnston, a missionary who actually came out with me! That was a lot of fun, but we also got a lot done. Dinner with the M***family resulted in our teaching their non-member son and a really good meal.

Because we started the exchange so late it continued on during all of Wednesday, but I wasn't complaining. Maybe Elder Johnston was though, because the first order of business was to help one of the people we've been talking to clean out their house. Picture this: two people with poor health, 30 cats they are fostering including the new-born's, over-filled litter boxes, and a year to let it build up. It was something else, but we were glad to help in every way we could, spiritual reasons aside, because it was unsafe to be living in there. We had lunch with A***, and then accepted a ride from him to our next appointment. Sadly, it did not go well at all, and ended up in our dropping an investigator due to his lack of willingness to keep the commandments of God. We are called to go and teach others the Gospel, but when people are not willing to keep commitments it is sometimes necessary to go and find new people o teach. Sad, but true. The day Ended with our talking again with Mr. K***, and also with a new person named C***, who was walking the track in front of the hospital. We hope to see her tomorrow.

Thursday we exchanged back (I'm hurrying through this because my companion still needs to email). We spent more time in the cat house and was able to see the M***'s son, C***. He's a legit kid, and we are slowly building that trust with him. We also met a woman named L***, the mother of a woman who joined the church many years ago. We hope to go and see her again, also tomorrow.

Friday we spent basically all day doing more service. I gotta say though, but this point the house wasn't looking to shabby. Even A*** got in on it and once he gets cleaning the guy is hard to stop. In his words, "When we first started this you couldn't pay me to stay a night in here. Now I would be Ok with it."

Saturday was more service, but this time it was out at Sis. Gate's home, helping her get a garden started for the first time ever. It felt good to use a tiller again. Following that we helped out Bro. Parks with his Aunt's house. Piano moving, tree limb removal, removing wallpaper, the like. It was pretty awesome. We finished the night by seeing the local high school put on their production of Willy Wonka for free because the one producing it is a member. It was pretty good for a really small high school.

Sunday we had church, a meeting with C*** again, supper, the whole tornado deal, and last a meeting with A***. We were hoping to help her set a date to stop smoking on, but she just wasn't ready for it yet. It is frustrating, because I know she knows she needs to do this, but she just won't do it. Agency really is quite frustrating sometimes! haha. Today M*** went to go and pick up their son from the Navy over in Georgia, so I'll get to meet him for the first time on Thursday.

Tomorrow we will be getting our car back, will be having a District Meeting (the first that I will be conducting) and sometime in there will be visiting the hospital. Elder Thomas has some sort of rash thing on his face that has been around for over a week that we are going to go and get looked at. Probably nothing too crazy, just poison ivy or something, but it's been around for a while, so we are getting this taken care of.

That's everything and a half, so have a great day/night/evening/other for me! Take naps, drink lots of water, and DFTBA!

~Elder Barker

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