Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 32 in the Field: F-F-Fun and C-C-Cold!!!

Book of Mormon collection (left to right: present day, 50's or 60's?, Nauvoo-era replica)

This week was f-f-fun, but c-c-cold.

On Tuesday we had another busy but not quite as stressful day at the storehouse. They are starting to break down who does what more into lists, but I'm still pretty much all over the place doing random tasks. We started at about 7:00am and got done around 1:00pm or so. We then started walking over to an area we were planning to work in until it started getting a little cold. A little cold turned into freezing, and after a few lessons we walked up to a McDonalds and an awesome member was able to take us home. It only got better from there.

Wednesday was crazy brutal. As we started out, the temperature dropped to the single digits. With wind chill combined with humidity, it nearly destroyed our faces. It didn't help that most of the people we tried to see were unavailable/didn't want to answer the door due to the cold. After walking about 4 miles or so in the cold we decided to stop at a member's home to get warm.

Funny enough, the nearest member’s home belonged to a kind man who was Santa Claus for over 35 years. We talked for awhile about his conversion story to the gospel, which was a really neat story, and at the end, he said "Y'know, I have a Christmas present for you Elders." He gestured to his collection of copies of the Book of Mormon and said "Pick two." He explained that he was old and he felt that his family who were not members might not keep them sacred or treat them as well as we would when he passed on.

He also said how he knew they would be in good hands. His collection was amazing. He had Book of Mormon editions from the 1920's as well as some other materials. It was awesome. I picked out a 1960's (but maybe it's a 1950's version?) version and a replica of a Nauvoo era (1839-1847) edition (wasn't an original it was just made to look like it did back then). We thanked him a lot and then left into the cold.

That day I realized that I had promised to bake cookies for a a part-member family the next time that we would teach them. We were going to see them that night, and so I quickly started looking for supplies. I realized that we didn't have any butter, and so we set out on a trek to Kroger's. If you thought all the factors in the previous paragraph were rough, try adding walking alongside the main road in Hendersonville where the wind was blowing intensely due to the traffic. A nice member from Gallatin pulled over and gave us a lift when we were 3/4ths of the way there. 

On the way back we were stopped by a lady from the Church of Christ when we were halfway home and she said "Ain't no way you are walking in this! Get in!" We thanked her as well. The trip for the cookies was a success in many ways. Not only did we get to see some nice strangers, but they softened the heart of the non-members that I made them for. It was awesome.

Thursday we got the car back from the Elders we share it with, and from that point on we were doing better. Of course, that's when it started to warm up. One thing I noticed as we were driving over the bridge in Hendersonville, was that the lake that led into the Cumberland River, was frozen solid. It takes a lot to freeze an entire lake so I was pretty impressed.

Frozen lake thawing

On Friday we ran into a lot of random people. While we were walking we were stopped by one of Gary Allan's (major country artist) daughters who gave us a lift to where we were headed that day. It was fun talking to her and it was cool chatting about when they used to come to our church about a decade ago. She was about my age, too, and so we talked about college and stuff. It was pretty fun.

Saturday we went to a funeral for a member who had passed away about a week ago. She was 94 years old, and unfortunately I never personally got to meet her, but I did get to go to her nursing home once. Her daughter was one of the first members I had met when I first came to the area, so I wanted to make sure we supported that family. It was a really neat ceremony and was my first Mormon funeral. All the hymns were church hymns save a musical number which was "In the Garden". I guess what also made the whole thing different from other funerals was the fact that instead of people being depressed, it was a joyous occasion—a celebration of life. I'm not saying they were jumping off the walls, but people were generally happy that she was in a better place due to her knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. It showed that death is not the ultimate end and that there IS life after this.

Sunday was great ‘cause in the evening I got to Skype the Peery side of my family after miscommunication on Christmas. It was a lot of fun and it was great to talk to them. I was amazed at how tall my sister had gotten as well as how everyone else had changed.

Skyping the Peerys

Other than that not too much happened this week but it was great after it started warming up. Odds are that when we give the car back it will be terrible again, but that is just our luck. Hope ya'll are staying warm with the cold weather and that you are doing well.

Elder Peery

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