Monday, December 7, 2015

November 23, 2015 " Adventures in Arkansas"

Elder Smith and I had a very interesting past week with lots of driving around and random stuff that we didn't expect happening.

Monday: Pday, spent some time relaxing with the other Elders until it was time for us to get to work. Tried to see a few people, they cancelled and then drove around like crazy to get D***J*** and his family to the FHE at the Schelins! We probably spent a solid hour trying to get the rides all set up after our original ideas fell through, but literally at the last minute we had some help from a member in the ward. While doing all of this we also found out that the inactive sister of a R*** R*** lives right next to D***J*** and his family and we never knew it! The FHE was awesome, and hopefully this will happen again today.

Tuesday we had District Meeting, Elder Geddes' first one as a District Leader. It was really good, focusing on Obedience. We were able to see R*** and P*** and teach them again about the Restoration and check up on how they are doing living the Word of Wisdom. They are going to need some more help in that last area, but we are more than happy to provide the help! We had planned to recontact a bunch of our former investigators, but it really didn't work out the way we had planned. Instead we got to trapeise all over the boonies of Arkansas again! Apparently it is Elder Smith's dream to see all of the crazy places of the south, so it was a bit of a dream come true for him! We even ran into a lady named Sister S***. She seems fairly interested so when we are in that area again we will be going out there. We also got to talk to a guy named G***. He really lives out in the boonies at the very end of a dirt road. It was pretty sketchy, but he was one of the nicest guys I've met! At the end of the night we were able to visit with the Clough family, some of the active members of the Ward to see how we could help them and invite them to come teaching with us to a particular family.

Wednesday I got sick for a good chunk of the day and slept until about 4. It was really nice, but kinda threw off my sleep schedule that night! Lol. After I was feeling well enough to tackle the day we walked out to the car . . . only to see that the back right tire was completely flat. We pumped it up with a bike pump and could hear the air hissing out of it, so we booked it over to the nearest autoshop to get it looked at. We could have put the donut on it, but didn't want to take the time. Luckily the air held until we got there, and then proceeded to sit there for a solid 2 hours while it was looked at. The final prognosis - we had run over an industrial sized staple and had twin punctures in the tire. So that was fun. We ended the day at D***J***'s teaching them all about prayer.

Thursday we were pretty excited about because we had finally got authorization to go and work on campus at a booth. So we set up and tried to get people to come and talk to us for the next 3 hours. By the end of the time only 4 people did; two of them were members who were too cool to stay to talk with us, and one of them was using us as an excuse to get off the phone with his ex-girlfriend. Not the most successful.

Friday was spent trying to get a hold of less-actives and YSA's to ge them to the Thanksgiving potluck that night. The most interesting thing that happened was at about 4 with a guy named R***. He saw us knocking on a door and called out to us, trying to sell us something for a little cash. We told him that we weren't interested in that, but we would love to talk about the gospel with him. I didn't think he was going to want to come and talk with us, but up the stairs he went. We had a great conversation during which he told us much of his life story about the things he did on the streets and how he wants to do better for his kids and to be a better example for them. We taught him about repentance and went over the steps to forgiveness and challenged him to be sober for just 24 hours. Immediately he started grabbing stuff out of his pockets, starting with a glass bottle of whiskey, to throw over the fence. It was the coolest experience. At the potluck we had a bunch of people there, a total of 10 people that we helped bring. It truly was a miracle.

Saturday we contacted more Less-actives and YSA's and tried to recontact a few of our old investigators. We spent the day very busy, but without too many lessons. We were able to teach a solid lesson to B*** though on faith at the end of the day, and that was great. Really ended the day on a high note!

Sunday was more of the same. We had a lesson with R*** on the BoM, to which Sister Orey came with us. She shared some of her conversion experince with him and it really helped him see what it was we were there for. When we left the apartment after lunch we called Brother Caldwell, the HP Group Leader about anyone he would want us to contact. He gave us a whole list of people in a small town about 12 miles away. We started with the closest name to us and knocked on the door. He invited us right in, asking essentially what took us so long to get there. While there he started pointing out all of the inactive members of the church who lives in that house/were visiting. It was really funny because everyone got out of the room rather quickly once he started doing that. He's inactive himself, but we are going to work with him and his family more in the future. We were also able to teach a young woman who was there at the time and he was participating in the lesson like he'd been doing it his whole life. It was great. It also took a lot of time becuase he would make funny and snarky remarks about us, himself, and the other people in the room quite often. We were able to eat supper at a YSA devotional that night that Sister Rawlins put on. It was a really good pasta bar. The only downside was that part-way through the supper the mission decided to do a disaster response drill, requireing us to leave all the yummy food and drive to a member's house about 15 minutes away. So that was fun!

All in all, a solid week. It was certainly a different flavor of work than we'd done in the past, but well worth our time. Today we are going to hurry with shopping and then head over to a member's home to learn how to make ties. I'll be rocking a brand new tie at the next meeting! Whoot!

Remember the purpose of Thanksgiving this week. Truly the Lord has blessed us with everything, so take some time out Thanksgiving night to reflect on the miracles you've seen lately and thank the Lord for them. I promise that if you do you will see more of them in the upcoming months and year. As always, have a great week!

~Elder Barker

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