Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 36 in the Field: Farewell to Hendersonville...Off to....?


(Picture from a few weeks ago) Playing Ben Truman's guitar for them and David Archuleta


This week was pretty fun until the end. Then it gets kind of sad.

On Monday we went to a fun center here in Hendersonville. It was entertaining to say the least. There was roller skating, laser tag, bowling, and a bunch of arcade games. Elder Hansen won the jackpot on one of the machines (after spending at least $5 in quarters) and got 1000 tickets. One of the other members we were hanging out with won the jackpot on another machine after spending a ton of quarters on it too haha. Elder Hansen wasn't as good at roller skating, though, and it was entertaining to see him skate. To help his case he had only gone skating once before this attempt.

He almost made it down a straight line before falling. Laser tag was fun too except it was very small compared to other places I've been. Also the other elders including my companion were cheating by covering up the lighted areas. We still beat them however. And I didn't lose in bowling! I had a really really terrible score though but managed to beat one of the other missionaries.

Tuesday at the storehouse it was as usual another busy day. However this time was more fun because in the line to help out for truck orders, we were having a mini competition to see who could be first in line. I kind of started it a few weeks ago because I would always end up getting to the front of the line and the order would be all called out. Sister Bell who's a member in Goodlettsville just said "Well that means you're first for the next one!" From that point on it became a competition. And every time an elder or sister got to the line first, they would all look at me and say "I won!" 

So then it became a war. It was a lot of fun. Almost all our appointments fell through which would be the general trend this week. We had dinner with three sisters and later I got to dedicate their home. It was a neat experience for sure, and I was honored to be asked to do so. The sister whose house it belonged to was very appreciative.


The district picture (left to right: Elder Cullum, Elder Openshaw, Elder Colver, Elder Owens, Elder Longhurst, (below) Elder Hansen, Elder Peery, Sister Traughber, and Sister Squire)

Wednesday I trained in district meeting on the importance of planning and study before teaching. It was a pretty good lesson and I got a lot out of it. We then went to dedicate another home for a sister in the ward. Later that night we met with the Brown family and almost committed the husband to baptism. He just has a word of wisdom issue with sweet tea but says he's on track to be baptized and can give that up. That's been a real cool miracle to witness.

Thursday a lot of our investigators dropped us but most that did simply didn't understand the church nor read any of the things we left them. In the evening, I made cookies for the member who was Santa Claus for 35 years. He was very appreciative, and it was an awesome experience.

Friday we went to see a referral who lived in a big huge mansion. When they invited us in to teach them, I was blown away. It was my first lesson to an investigator who lived in a mansion. And it was really fun. They were super interested so we will be back soon. 

Later that evening we also had an interesting lesson with an elderly lady we were seeing every now and then. Her son's friend was over and he is an atheist. He negatively tried to throw a lot of the beliefs of the church and Christianity in general at us but we countered a lot of it with faith and pure knowledge from the Bible and Book of Mormon. I have had experience with atheists before, so I felt very comfortable in answering his statements.  The member we were with, as well as the elderly investigator, were impressed at the knowledge and spirit we had. 

Wanting to end the night on a good note I prayed for one more missionary moment. As we were getting some food at a gas station, the cashier asked us why we were dressed up. Three minutes later, I had his name and address and a return appointment. It was awesome.

Saturday was a pretty sad day. President Andersen called and told my companion that he would be trio training with an Elder Jorgensen, and that I would be sent to Eldorado, IL which is in southeast Illinois and also the top of the mission, to serve with Elder Stange who has been out one transfer more than I have. It is really sad to leave Hendersonville, but all during the week I figured it was coming.

Sunday morning after ward council I was asked by Brother Kindred, who is a member of the bishopric, to bear my testimony. After he called me up after the sacrament, I walked down the aisle and instantly felt the love of many people in that chapel. When I got to the podium I couldn't speak. I wasn't afraid or anything, I was so moved that I just couldn't speak for a few seconds. Finally I stated how much I love this ward and how good it has been to me to serve here. I talked about my first day here and how different it has changed from then. I bore my testimony of the validity of the church and how the Hendersonville ward exemplified the idea of this love for others.

After I closed and walked down, a youth got up to give his talk, but I still felt the love of everyone in that room. After sacrament meeting ended, many people got up to say goodbye to me. I was so touched. Some of our investigators who were there also said their goodbyes including the Browns. I will miss them a lot.

Later that evening I also got a phone call from the lady whose house I dedicated that week that had the two other sisters over for dinner with us and she also said goodbye and thank you. It was a rough day for me.

I will never forget Hendersonville, nor the members who live there. I will never forget the hardships and trials I faced here as well as the miraculous boom in the area in the recent months. I will probably miss the members, the investigators, and the other friends I've made here, but I know that there are people in Eldorado that need me right now. I can't wait for more adventures there.

Elder Peery



video

So yeah on my last Sunday in Hendersonville, I talked to Ben Truman (member of the Nashville Tribute Band) and he said he had recorded me playing "I Am a Child of God" to them and David Archuleta when we had dinner with them on January 22nd. He had forgotten to send it to our parents so he gave me the video instead. This is, I suppose, proof of one of the amazing stories that has happened to me while serving in Hendersonville. I will surely miss all these people when I leave for Illinois on Tuesday.



An iguana named Jim-tom

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