January 9, 2017
First and foremost I want to thank my parents and siblings that sent me emails of encouragement, maybe my email last week was pretty concerning, but I want to y'all to know that I am much better now, and you guys are a big reason why.
|a "sketchy" shack we often pass by|
Monday after saying goodbye to Elder Sotomarino in North Little Rock, I spent the majority of the rest of the day playing basketball. There were about 25 other Elders there so we had plenty of people to play with. I had completely forgotten to bring P day clothes so played in missionary attire. The first game we played full court. The white handbook explicitly says if you play basketball, only play half court. They asked me to join so I took off my tie and name tag and jumped in, thinking it would be half court. Then the game started and I quickly found out that all 10 of us on the court were not being obedient. I tried to raise my voice and say something, but everyone just kept playing so I just went with it and kept playing. I should have just walked off the court. I don't want to be an exception missionary, I want to be a rule missionary. That day I promised myself I will never again play another full court game on my mission, even if everyone else chooses to ignore that rule.
|We got snow! Yep that's our car ... very funny|
At around 4:30 Elder Toomer arrived. I have to say, he's made quite the first impression on me. I love this guy! He has been out for 6 months, only one transfer more than I, making us one of the younger companionships in the mission, and keeping the Russellville District tradition of being the greenest in the mission. Elder Toomer is from Cokeville Wyoming, population 500! And people think Herriman is small! And yes that is the same Cokeville as portrayed in the movie Cokeville miracle. He is a small-town, hard working, and very funny guy. He is EXTREMELY obedient. I absolutely love that, it's hard to find some times in this mission. If there is a question if something is obedient, he doesn't even question it. He also loves country music as well, so you already know we get along great.
Brother Walter Smith (Russellville Ward mission leader) gave us a ride back in his famous missionary transport van. Monday night we drove all the way out THE STICKS to have dinner with the Carnathans, who have a 47 acre ranch up in the mountains. Wouldn't mind living there.
Tuesday we got out contacting. Elder Toomer is crazy. When he knocks doors he POUNDS on the door, then if they don't answer after 15 seconds, he pounds on the window and the side of the house or jumps up and down on the porch. I was just glad no one called the cops! We had a ton of fun and set a bunch of return appointments and found some pretty awesome people as well.
|an area we tracted|
Friday we had an awesome lesson! We went to this lady's trailer named S (Spanish speaking). Her mom comes out and starts talking to us about how much she loves the missionaries. Then we get into teaching the Restoration and the mother begins explaining the Restoration to S, and we're thinking: holy cow she knows a lot! Then out of nowhere the mom says: "by the way...(English paraphrase) I was baptized in your church. WHAT?! She was a member! She was baptized years ago in California, then went inactive and moved here. We had an amazing lesson, probably taught the Restoration as clearly as I have ever taught it, and S seems super golden!
S and T update: so Saturday we were planning on giving the wedding ring to T, we waited for a solid hour for him to get home but he never did, and S never opened the door when we knocked. Then Sunday morning T texts that he never slept the night before, and needs to talk to us. We arrive at the apartment, knock about 10 times, HARD. Finally I screamed "¡T estamos aquí!" That woke him up and he answered the door and invited us in. We enter an the apartment is a complete disaster, trash and food and all kinds of things all over the floor. Then through tears he told us that he and S got in a huge fight and he had found out some pretty dark stuff, and she had left for her Mom's house. He told me this literally as I had the ring in the pocket of my coat. I'm heartbroken for the guy.
|and the awesome letter I got |
from my niece Abbie
He still ended up coming to church yesterday, after a sleepless night, but had to leave before Sacrament meeting because he had work at 1pm until 1am. What a champ. Pray for him please.
On a happier note I think I figured out what I want to do with my life when I get home. Elder Toomer told me that I was a really good writer, and I thought about how much I enjoyed writing and Literature classes in high school, what the heck, I'll be an author! I've always had a passion for writing, but I always told myself it's not stable enough, but I'm not gonna let money stop my dreams folks. I don't know the first thing about being author so we'll see how it works out. The highlight of my week was a letter from Dad. It was in response to last weeks letter, and made me cry pretty good.
Well I'm outta time folks, but now I am doing 1000x better and this was probably the best week yet because of all I have learned! Church is true, Book is blue, Dad you're a champ, and Mom you are too