Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 15 in the Field: Hard Times in Hendersonville

Hendersonville, TN:  View of part of the lake that divides the two peninsulas.

So I'm off to a pretty fun P-Day but I'll stop and write to you all.

This week has been kind of frustrating. In the past, the people we would go and teach would usually be home 90% of the day so seeing them wouldn't be a problem. But in this area, many people don't come home until late in the evening, giving us only 3 hours to contact for the most part. We're making do with what we have, but it's pretty hard.

Another view of the lake in Hendersonville.

On Tuesday we got to do some service in the Bishop's Storehouse (basically a place where those who need things such as food, supplies, and other forms of help come to receive it. They usually have an order form from their bishop and they come from all over) which was a lot of fun. I got to see the Lifferth's again who were back in Smith Springs so that was cool. They were really surprised to NOT see us in church on Sunday, which makes me wonder how many other members were surprised. If we could, we would've said goodbye to everyone. At the storehouse, we filled out about 21 truck orders, and at least 20 other orders that came in that day--very busy but lots of fun.

Wednesday was district meeting and it was kind of fun getting to see the reaction of everyone who didn't know about the change when we came into the room. Elder Hill is the current district leader and he's training a missionary that came out the transfer after I did whose name is Elder Nimmer. There are two other sets: Elder Womack, a really fun guy to be around and is a great basketball player. Elder Adams, and Sisters Talbert and Tagilala. It was a pretty good meeting and very different from our previous district meetings.

Thursday we had an awesome lesson. We met an awesome lady who is best friends with some members. She loves the church and everything it represents. Her friends have been encouraging her to meet with the missionaries, and here we are. After teaching her the Restoration she said "Once I attend a church service and feel if the Spirit is there or not, then I will make a decision." The only problem is that her job forces her to work on Sundays.

But I was suddenly prompted to ask her, "Have you ever been to a church building before?" She said, "No, I have not."

"Y'know, one of the things the church provides is church tours for those who have never been to a church building, to give them a better understanding of how we worship and how things work. Would that be something you'd be interested in?" She seemed overjoyed at the opportunity as she readily accepted saying stuff like "That would be most helpful" and "I'd very much appreciate that."

The tour is set for this Friday and she has invited her member friends to come with us.

Friday was kind of frustrating cause we went the entire day with only teaching one lesson. Either people weren't home or they were busy.That's one thing I have noticed is that everyone is busy here and it's hard to catch anyone at home. We did do a lot of exploring though and a lot of biking up hills.

View of the fair in Fairview, TN.

Saturday we biked a very brutal 7 miles to the Madison Stake Center where we left to go all the way down to Fairview to sing at the fair down there. We didn't have the best turnout since the majority of the people who came before or after us were not Christian choirs.
Here is the choir.  I am on the far left side.

 We had a mixture of bluegrass to rock. Almost zero nonmembers stuck around when we sang. I had a feeling that they didn't like the Mormons too much but that's okay. It was fun though. We saw a lot of cool things at the fair from animals to woodcarvings. 
Australian animal at the fair.  There were also lemurs, snakes, a wallaby, and other animals there.

It was pretty cold that day and I felt really bad for the guy in the dunk tank. We were very lucky to get a ride back so we didn't have to bike another 7 miles back.

At the fair with Elder Adams.

Today, since it is our P-day, we played Monopoly (Amazingly, I won with almost $12,000, 8 hotels, and 12 houses), and then we played tennis.

Picture of the Monopoly game -- don't worry; it's our P-day!

We also visited the graves of Johnny and June Cash.

Here are their graves with a good quote.

We also saw Taylor Swift's high school including the bleachers that possibly inspired the lyrics in her song "Love Story" ("She wears high heels, I wear t-shirts, she's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers"). So that was a pretty eventful day.

Here is Taylor Swift's high school. Bleachers are on the far right.   It is a good-sized school.  

Everything else is doing okay for the most part. For the spiritual thought I'll just bring out what I found recently while studying a bit of the New Testament.

As missionaries, we get an up close view of the Savior's ministry. We teach as He taught: in simple ways so that even a child could understand. Once you have this point of view, studying the scriptures becomes amazing because you can actually get a glimpse of the thought process of the Savior. A perfect example is when he is talking to Nicodemus of being born again. He tries to teach in ways that Nicodemus can understand. Read John 3 when you have the chance to see what I mean and see how Christ uses examples to explain. He even corrects Nicodemus in verse 7. It's really fascinating stuff.

I'm about halfway through Isaiah and staying strong. Compared to other books it really isn't that bad. Loads of good scriptures and stuff. Ezekiel is the last hard book from what I've heard so I'll be bracing for that. Afterwards we have a bunch of short books and stories and then it's over and on to the New Testament. 

Thank you for your prayers, we are really trying to work hard out here.

Elder Peery

Here is another view of the graves of Johnny and June Cash.

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