Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week 53 in the Field: "Knee-High in a Lard Bucket"

On top of Stone Face (it looks like a Native American's face)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Hello everyone! The reason this is titled like it is, is because this is about the most redneck week I have ever had in my life. Let's go down the list.

So on Monday we went over to this place called Stone Face which is basically this series of cliffs and one rock that looks like a face jutting out of one particular cliff. It took forever to get to, but we finally found the correct trail. The paths were so poorly marked but we were able to find our way up to the base of the cliffs. We saw a path just above this small rock slant so we climbed the slant to get on this trail. The trail took us to Stone Face where we took many pictures. 

Exploring cliffs.

We figured we had found a short cut so we continued on the trail which took us alongside the cliff edge, messing around and certain spots. However as we continued to walk we noticed that we weren't going down. Just slightly slanting. We didn't think too much of it. Two miles later we emerged from the forest and had to ask directions for the way back. We found it thanks to a cattle farmer and made our way to our car.

Getting lost on trails.

Climbing around Garden of the Gods.

We headed over to Garden of the Gods using a road that is apparently supposed to be used for off-roaders mainly (thank you Illinois roads and signs). At Garden of the Gods we had fun going to places we hadn't gone before including Camel Rock, which is known for being in the shape of a camel. 
Elder Steed on the head of The Camel (see past pictures for what that is).

Elder Steed was able to climb up to the head of the camel (not too easy to do) but I was only able to get on the back. We also climbed other stuff like the Devil's Chimney and stuff before we headed back.

Elder Steed starting the climb up the Devil's Chimney

Elder Steed climbing up the Devil's Chimney at Garden of the Gods

Tuesday afternoon we headed over to see Carmelo, our former baptismal date, who had finally returned from the hospital after being in a medically induced coma for about six days. He is in much better shape now than before, and also has been given less responsibilities at his job which will allow him to come to church! We also had dinner at the BML's house and said goodbye to their foreign exchange student, Emil, who was returning to his home in Norway the next day. He was sad to say goodbye but appreciated us coming over all the time.

Wednesday we went down to district meeting in Paducah where we got to wish Elder Nez a happy birthday. Elder Steed trained on setting baptismal dates and knowing when to invite them. On the way back we got to see our investigator from Galatia at the library and invited him to come to church. He said he would need a ride, so we started preparing one for him. After teaching him the Restoration, he is very interested. We have a lot of high hopes for this guy.

On Thursday we were contacted by the First Baptist church to offer some assistance in tearing down a barn. From what I understand, people who own old barns that are starting to become unsafe are donated over to the Baptists, so they can tear it down and sell the wood for money so they can fund some of the things their church does. This was one of the barns they were working on.
The barn we were working on from the front

Apparently the barn surrounds an old schoolhouse built ages ago. You can still see math equations on the wall. We worked hard and had a few injuries.  A big barn door fell on my foot, and Elder Steed stepped into a deep hole and got scraped up.  We decided to stop though after a few hours.

The barn on the inside (this is the day after the hay and taking some of the walls apart. When we started there was a back wall and hay covered most of the floor).

In the evening we went over to one of the Primary counselor's for dinner. I accidentally let their dogs out of the pen but they were able to get them back.

The craziest thing though that happened on Thursday was right after dinner. As we were driving back, Elder Steed remembered that he needed to get something at the Dollar General so we stopped at the local store in Harrisburg. When we walked in the door, lo and behold, we saw the investigator who stole the wallet of the BML's daughter. She was with her husband and they were as surprised as we were that they were there. We played it cool and then got in line behind them with the item Elder Steed needed.

The guy in front of them was taking a while, so I had the time to ask how they were doing. Only the husband replied in short sentences. The man at the counter left his money and phone on the counter as he went to go get something from his car. The lady at the cash register looked at us and whispered "Sorry!" After a few more minutes of silence the lady took the money and phone and put it in a small cup looking thing and said "I want everyone to see that I am not taking this money or his phone." And then she uttered the best words of closure almost as if from the words of an angel, "God doesn't much like thieves. We know what happens to them."

Elder Steed and I felt the irony of the entire situation was killing us. We went home a lot happier that we were able to get some closure on that whole thing. The couple didn't say a word. They never apologized or explained what happened on their side. But that was the biggest chance they may have had. We felt as if God had led us there at that precise moment for that moment though. Hopefully they will want to change their lives for the better in the future.

Friday we went back to the tear-down barn. This time we had a scaffold to take down the boards on the outside. Yours truly got on the shaky scaffolding with two others as we went away at the outside of the barn 20 feet up. After a bit we climbed down and one of the guys said he didn't want to go back up.

 Back of the barn and the people we worked with from the First Baptist Church. I got on the scaffolding shown here. It was about 20 feet high.

So I climbed alone and it seemed even less safe. But we went away at the boards while Elder Steed worked on the inside. It was scary, but pretty fun.

Saturday we went over to this wing thing that was going on and got a lot of nasty faces before finally giving up and going over to the BML's (Brand Mission Leader’s) house to help with their yard. I cleaned their gutters on a “rigged” step stool that was made of a simple step stool on top of two benches. It was fun. We then had an awesome dinner while we talked about what we'd do the next day.
Elder Steed, the BML's foreign exchange student Emil, a friend of the BML's family, and me

Sunday we went to go pick up the investigator from Galatia. It was his first time at our church and he had a blast. He enjoyed fast and testimony meeting and almost got up and bore his own testimony. We talked to him about being baptized and he said he would definitely consider it. We even showed him the font; he was excited about that!

Later in the day we went over to Omaha...Illinois, that is, where we had dinner with an awesome member family. We don't head over there much but it was pretty cool.

This Saturday we learn whether we are getting transferred or not so it should be a lot of fun. I've enjoyed Eldorado even if it is hard a lot of the time. Without the BML's family I would definitely be knee high in a lard bucket. Hopefully it should be a great rest of the week. See y’all next week!

Elder Peery  

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