Elder Hansen and I in district meeting. (Photo courtesy of Sister Andersen)
So yeah this was a fun week for sure if you had read my last one.
So on Monday I was a little sad because the day before, David Archuleta had agreed to take us out on Tuesday night to go see some people, but I was scheduled to go on exchange with the zone leaders (who are the missionaries over the missionaries in the stake) around then. I called one of them to reschedule and they said no since they already had plans.
But Monday morning I got a call from the other zone leader who said yes. He asked me why I wanted to reschedule and I said, "A really awesome member is going out on exchanges with us." When he asked who he was I just said "He's 'Glorious'" hinting Archuleta's hit single. I think the zone leader was a little jealous but when he came out on exchanges later on in the week, he got to have dinner with the son of a band member in Diamond Rio. I think it was a fair trade. Later on I also recommended to David that he go out with them, too, which he seemed happy about.
Tuesday we had kind of a rough afternoon. We didn't have too much success till the evening. David Archuleta picked us up at our apartment and drove us to our first stop. I said last time that he was pretty short compared to most and that he was very reserved. Well he's the exact opposite when it's just him and the missionaries. He was listening in the car to General Conference talks from 1971, but we talked during the majority of them. We talked about his music, how he writes, his mission, loads of things. By the end of the night we were best friends.
As for missionary work wise our first stop was a part member family with kids. I could see based on shadows of the peephole that someone was there but they didn't answer the door which was very peculiar to me. I was surprised but we went on to our next location. One of the things David asked was that we not point out who he is. He did this so it wouldn't get off track.
But the next person we went to was surprising. We had tracted into this family a while ago and when the husband came to the door he did a double take at Archuleta and said, "Are you freakin' David Archuleta?!" He got his wife and she freaked out since she had watched him on American Idol and David remembered her from a Cracker Barrel incident which happened about 5 years ago as "the only lady who freaked out and wanted to take a picture with me in all of Tennessee." We had a great lesson with David there and he bore testimony, marked scriptures for them, the works. Great guy.
Next person we went to didn't recognize who David was since it was dark and he wished him good luck on "getting his name out there" which was really funny. We tried the part member family again and they still didn't answer. On the way home I felt prompted to try one more person.
David piped up "We should sing to them!" Mind you it is roughly 8:30pm. So we got to the investigator's house and at first he doesn't want to talk to us since he just got home. As we were about to leave, David asks "Well, hey--would it be okay if we left you with a song?"
Surprisingly the investigator happily agreed and we straight up sang, "I Am a Child of God" with David Archuleta. Doesn't get much better than that. He dropped us off after another friendly conversation, and that was simply the most awesome night of my life!
Wednesday I went on exchange with the zone leaders and I went to Madison, Tennessee which is pretty scary ghetto. The zone leaders were Spanish missionaries so I had a fun time trying to teach in Spanish let alone follow along what was going on. However! One of the investigators had a guitar and I asked if I could play and have the zone leader sing in Spanish. He agreed and I played "I Am a Child of God" on guitar. It was great and the investigator loved it. I also bore my testimony in the little Spanish that I knew. The zone leader was impressed that I didn't just take this exchange as a day off and actually tried to work.
Thursday morning after studies we headed to the church for a district meeting and interviews with our mission president. In my interview I had a lot of questions and in return I got a lot of answers: I can now have a backpack instead of a shoulder bag (YAY), and I also received a blessing which I believe was my first in the mission field.
I needed the priesthood blessing due to the amount of stress I was facing concerning my life after the mission (marriage, jobs, support, etc.). I had been so worried about these things because Satan, that really annoying dude who likes to ruin everything, took the dreams I had and made them nightmares.
Thoughts such as "Well what if I can't support my family?" Or "My patriarchal blessing says nothing about having a family. Does that mean I'm single for life?!" So yeah, the blessing helped. In the blessing I was told that as long as I remained faithful and diligent in the mission field, that the way would be made clear and straight as to which paths I should take. It was probably one of the most powerful blessings I've ever received.
Thursday evening we had dinner with one of the Nashville Tribute Band members named Ben Truman who is the son of Dan Truman (a member of Diamond Rio). Also David Archuleta happened to be there so that was also fun. He was very quirky this time so we had an enjoyable experience talking about the MTC, mission life, mission rules, and more.
Archuleta's mission was a lot different since he sang to most of his investigators. I've been thinking about it, but it's less awkward when there's an instrument involved. At this dinner appointment, Ben had a Taylor guitar which I asked to play and my companion and I played once again, "I Am a Child of God." Ben recorded most of it on his phone so who knows where that went? I might be touring with Nashville Tribute in about 15 months. (Haha).
Friday not too much happened and same went for Saturday other than one of our members was taken to the hospital. Sunday we had a fun time cause Dan Truman showed up to sacrament meeting, which was super random. I didn't get the chance to talk to him but I had seen and talked to him twice already so no big deal. After church we went over to a member family with a non-member brother staying there. At this particular visit we taught him (the brother) the restoration and found out he had already read the Book of Mormon twice and he wants to be baptized! We set a date for the 21st of February which is technically my 9 month mark. It was awesome! The only downside is that he is a convict which depending on the crime, could determine when he is able to be baptized. I'm not sure how that all that works.
Snow in Hendersonville!
So yeah loads of stuff happening in Hendy-ville.
I'm gonna close this up with one of my new favorite verses from the Book of Mormon. In Jacob 4 verse 6 it says talking about the state of the Nephites around this time:
"Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea."
Now that's something really cool. Unshakable faith. But Jacob quickly reminds us in the next verse saying:
"Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things."
He says this and ties it all back to the blessings of God. It is so easy, too easy, to be caught up in our personal successes and triumphs to forget the One who gave us the ability to succeed. When we always remember Him, He will constantly be with us. And that's my testimony for you this week.
Colds are the worst. Especially when you are a missionary. It's embarrassing to go up to someone and shake their hand after having a sneezing fit. But like all things, with better maintenance and time, things eventually will get better.
The power of the Atonement works the same way. It really stinks when you have all that guilt from doing something you know was wrong. But after hard work through repentance, you can be free from guilt. It's called the "healing power of the Atonement" because that's what it does. Makes you better!
As time progresses, make sure you are trying to keep yourself away from the sicknesses of the world. By maintaining a healthy balance of faith, repentance, and constant nourishment of the soul, we can stay spiritually healthy.
A friendly Rottweiler named Maddie
An adorable puppy named Duchess (both dogs belong to one of our members)