Thursday, March 5, 2015

Week 39 in the Field

Saline County Pioneer Museum and Village entrance. Gift shop and office are both pictures and both were deserted.

So last Monday we spent our Pday with a 16 year old. We set off with him behind his house to the coolest area I've ever seen. Forests, trails, and so many beautiful things to look at. Our first stop was a frozen over pond. He was the first to go out and check it. I will admit I was pretty nervous about setting foot on that thing, but I was trusting him. Our first plan was to play hockey. Now this kid had only brought one hockey stick since that was all he had. But he also brought an aluminum baseball bat for my companion to use. I refereed the first game. Then I had a go at it.

After awhile we went sledding. Now, the area he chose to sled in had some good slopes, but they were blocked by trees. Safe to say we almost died a couple times.

Tuesday we didn't do too much other than go see one of our progressing investigators.  We also went out with one of our members to go see a couple of elderly non-member people who were nice, just not interested. They were friends of the member though, which was awesome. The member had us use our iPads to show some bible videos which was fun. They seemed to enjoy it a lot.

Wednesday we had district meeting near Foxcroft, IL -- which is near Marion, IL and even though I'm saying all this I'm sure ya'll have no clue where that is -- basically south central Illinois almost near Carbondale. It was a good meeting and we had a lot of fun.

After that we went and tried to see a ton of people in Eldorado, but with no luck. Funniest thing that happened though was when we went over to one of our female investigator's homes with a member, the two of them talked about childbirth and all the stuff she had to go through.

The member talked about some of the funnier experiences with his wife in the hospital. He gave us a lot of advice for if I ever have kids. It was hilariously awkward. The #1 piece of advice he gave was not to be distracted by watching television when your wife is going into labor.

Thursday evening was interesting. We had arranged with the sister missionaries in Foxcroft (the area neighboring us in IL that contains Marion) to meet up with one of their investigators who wanted some male role models that were missionaries for their son that was being taught.

Around 6:00pm while en route to go teach them we received a text from the zone leaders that the zone had to pack their bags and head to Nashville immediately for a mission conference that would be held on Friday. We knew about the conference but didn't know that it was to be that soon (we had planned to drive down in the morning). We were about 40 minutes from our home and in the car with the father of the kids we would be teaching. Safe to say I started driving the 4 hour trip to Nashville at about 7:30.

THAT was a trip let me tell you. I was so exhausted by the time we got to the place we would be staying that I just put down my luggage and looked for the nearest bed area. Elder Stange was kind enough to take the couch so I took the floor.

Friday was simply amazing though. One of the coolest things about being a missionary is the people you meet. In this case, we got to meet a General Authority of the Church, a Seventy named Elder Schwitzer, who told us about how the church is improving missionary work, and how we will be in the middle of all of it.

Starting now, missionaries going to an iPad-using mission will buy one essentially when they get their call. They will learn how to use it and teach with it before they even enter the MTC. Then, while at the MTC, they will receive special instruction and enhanced training with it. The process continues into the mission field where they are trained to use it even more effectively.

The result of all this? Online training is not just for the mission field, but for your online life in general. You want to talk revolutionary ideas? Take a gander here! We were blown away by the new change. It will probably be announced in General Conference or at least referenced somewhere. This is on the level of when Preach My Gospel was introduced, the Elder Schwitzer said. He shared many more things that were really, really fascinating, and I was able to take a lot of things from the meeting.

Timmy, a member in Smith Springs Ward, calls all the Tennessee elders and wishes them a good night. I took a picture with him last September. (Photo courtesy of Elder Stange)

Unfortunately, we had to make the drive back home again, but before we left I wanted to make sure I got to say hi to one of my very special friends from the Smith Springs ward. Timmy calls all the Tennessee missionaries (or at least as many as he can) every night and wishes them a good night and pleasant dreams. When I was in Hendersonville, it was very rare for him not to call. Sadly when I got taken out, no other elders were near him to visit him and say hi in person, so I made the step up. Hopefully I wasn't the only set to do so.

After that I drove the 4 hours back and once again, welcomed sleep.

Saturday not too much happened other than we had a fun dinner with a recent convert family who have an adorable 1 year old. Their baby kept climbing all over me and the parents were happy to see that she had gotten used to me. They were also impressed that she wasn't spitting on me or anything since that's usually what happens. I wish I had taken a picture or something. Next time I will.

Sunday not too much happened at all at church other than I got to meet more members of the branch. About the same number showed up again, but we had a little more this time. Maybe around 30-40. It's kinda mind blowing being in such a small branch coming from a ward that averaged 170-190.

Hopefully we will be able to grow the branch. People here are so awesome.  They just need to come to church. Elder Stange taught the lesson this time, and it was probably the smallest class size ever with only me, a member, and an investigator in attendance. We didn't have too much success teaching after church since everyone was busy or unavailable.  We will keep praying and working hard.

Other than all that this week has been a lot of fun. This upcoming week we will be very busy again, so that will be great. It's a fun adventure!

I thought we would be trading in our iPads and had to clear off all pictures, so I took very few photos during the week. I'm hoping to make that up with some pictures from Pday today at the Saline County Pioneer Village where we saw some cool things. Hope you will enjoy the pictures below.

Thank you all for writing me thus far.  I really appreciate it.

So our mission is going to be off Facebook for at least two months for further training and instruction on how to be even better missionaries. I will still send my weekly email for my mom to post on the blog.

So I will also take this time to bear my testimony.

I know without a shadow of doubt that Jesus Christ is our real and eternal Savior. I know He died for us so that we can live with Him and our Heavenly Father again. I know that by reading the Book of Mormon, we feel even more of His love for us just as we feel when we read the Bible. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Nothing can stop me from believing these things for they have been testified unto me by the Spirit of God. Work hard, stay firm in the faith, and always remember to love one another as He has loved you.

Elder Peery

So I think this is called a threshing floor where they separated grain. There were a bunch of tools in here as well as a buggy.

A river pirate cabin. I don't think this thing was initially located in Harrisburg, but it was donated and moved there. Essentially these were used to alert fellow pirates of a ship or something coming and they would ambush it.

Threshing Floor and Blacksmith's shop from afar

1. Outside of the schoolhouse.

The poor house. This was where the museum was located, but we couldn't go inside since we didn't have a guide with us. Apparently this building used to house those who couldn't afford houses or land. The poor cemetery was located directly across the street. Kind of a sad place.

3. Very old telephone. And no it didn't work... I tried.

1. So this one is is called a block house. Now I can't remember what the description said, but basically this was used in most civilizations from the 1600's to the late 1700's. I saw a similar one in Plymouth Rock area. The shape was to discourage attackers from climbing to the roof which was the most vulnerable part.

A couple cabins. The one on the left didn't have a description but the one on the right talked about how the family who owned the cabin had lived in it for over 100 years. There was a lot of neat stuff inside it.

Looking inside a schoolhouse. This building was slightly more modern than the others and all the things inside were actual things they had used.

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