Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 56 in the Field: Hiking in 96-degree weather and other adventures!

Paducah Zone:  
(top row from left to right: Elder Orr, Elder Stevenson, Elder Danielson, Elder Smith, Elder Steed, can't remember.
Middle row left to right: Elder Brown, Elder Fore, Elder Senatore, Elder Rasmussen, Elder Rumsey, Elder Parkinson, Elder Myers, Elder Peery.
Bottom row from left to right: Sister McDonald, Sister Mayer, Sister Curtis, Sister Sumbot, Sister Myers, and Sister Orchard)


Hope you are doing well.  Okay so we had another rough week but did some cool stuff nonetheless.

Monday we went to this nature area thingy that was next to a lake. The main purpose of the trip was to see this statue of the Shawnee warrior/prophet, Tecumseh. He did a lot of things for his people, but most importantly he taught the importance of being unified. One of the things he tried to do when the Native Americans were being pushed west was create an alliance with all the Native American tribes against the Americans. He did this using the analogy of a bundle of sticks with the idea that it is easy to break one or two of the twigs, but you cannot break the full bundle as easily.  He eventually died in battle in Canada in 1813. His favorite tomahawk was also a peace pipe--basically a totally cool dude.

Tecumseh statue. He was a Shawnee warrior as well as a prophet among his people. He used the analogy of a bundle of sticks to illustrate the point that in an alliance, "a single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong". He died in battle at age 44 in 1813.

Also on Monday, we decided to hike to a cave in the mountain. The trail started right near the statue so we started at around noonish. It turned out to be a huge mistake. Walking through tall grass and hard to walk on trails, we persisted through 96 degree weather (not counting the humidity which was also at a high point. All things considered it felt about 102 degrees). We were also wearing shorts so we got plenty of ticks, chiggers, and more. The worse part?

The cave had been closed for years so the trail just kind of ended with overgrown weeds that were as tall as we are. So we hiked it back exhausted and nearly died at the car.

The hike of doom. Here's a tip: Don't go hiking on a closed trail in shorts in 96-degree weather.

Tuesday we went down to Paducah for a zone meeting with all the missionaries in the stake (basically all the areas as south of Paris, TN all the way up to us in Eldorado, IL). It was a good meeting, and it was fun to get trained by one of my MTC buds who is a zone leader now.

On the way back we decided to stop at Fort Massac which was just off the highway. 

At Fort Massac (see George Rogers Clark picture for more info).
Other things that happened here that are worthy of mention include that Lewis and Clark on their trip across the states stopped here for three days recruiting people to join them. They picked up a translator here which was very valuable to them.

Fort Massac, as I explained in my pictures was a fort in the Revolutionary War era. This guy named George Rogers Clark decided that it needed to be taken down, so with permission from General Washington, marched his troops across the Ohio to take it out. But apparently it had been destroyed by some Native Americans already. Clark proceeded to set up areas all across the banks of the Ohio including some in Metropolis. He is credited as the defender of Illinois. Lots of cool stuff there. When we finally came back I almost fell asleep at the wheel. I was exhausted for some unknown reason and when my head hit the pillow I didn't wake up till about 2:30am the next day.

George Rogers Clark statue. He defended the Illinois frontier in the Revolutionary War. His story is basically during the war, he felt that the British were attacking ships and other things from Fort Massac, so he took some troops up to attack it. When they got there, they found the place burned down and ravaged by Native Americans. Washington ordered the fort rebuilt later and that is where Clark stayed and defended.

Wednesday we went to go help out the Baptists again. The Equality barn has officially been destroyed, but this particular trip we went over to this city called Ridgeway to help patch a roof of a single mom. Elder Steed and two others were on top of the roof most of the time as I held the ladder for them. It took awhile but we got it done. In the evening we went over to Raleigh for a birthday party for one of the Primary kids in the branch. I gave him a small Batman statue which he thanked me for. It was really fun to interact with all the people.

Thursday we helped out the Baptists again in Equality this time with the remnants of the barn. Though it is down, we are taking out all the wood so that they can sell it to use the money to help people in need or to supply help for those serving missions. Kind of like how our tithing works. Unfortunately it's mainly one guy heading it and a few people will come help sometimes. He's always grateful for our help.

Friday was very rough. We tried a bunch of people but no luck. We went to the church to plan and then tried to go contact more people, but the only person we really contacted was a kind lady in the local Aldi supermarket who encouraged us to keep going. Apparently a lot of other people noticed us in the stores as we roamed around looking for people to talk to.

Having some fun with Elder Steed with him playing his name tag, while I accompany on piano.

Saturday was exactly the same, except we at least found out that a member/investigator doesn't live at the location where they were listed. We went back to the church again to try and figure out other things to do. It was a rough day altogether.

Sunday was better—much, much better. We had a good turnout at church with 4 investigators. However not enough to teach gospel principles. So while one of the counselors in the branch presidency taught gospel doctrine, I applied my talents to help out the primary. I did okay on piano for most of the songs, till one of the kids selected a song I had only attempted once.  We also taught a primary class (5-7 year olds) which was an adventure. What made it easier was having kids hold stuff and offering a reward for the most reverent kid at the end of class. It was hectic but fun.

After church we went over to our investigator's home in Galatia where we talked to him about how close he and his girlfriend are to getting married. He really wants to be baptized, which is cool. We also saw a couple other people, which was a big boost to the week. 1/3 of the lessons we taught this week happened on Sunday.

The Russell's new puppy, Dixie--part beagle, part hound--and yes, adorable.

We are doing okay for the most part. It's hard right now, but that's how life is sometimes. I'm grateful for all the experiences I've had here and look forward to more adventures this coming week!

Elder Peery

ps.  So today Elder Steed and I are going to basically hike the area.  Most of the pictures will be in next week's email. I don't think there will be any sheer cliffs this time.

Paducah Zone--silly picture:  (top row from left to right:
Elder Orr, Elder Stevenson, Elder Danielson, Elder Smith, Elder Steed, can't remember.
Middle row left to right: Elder Brown, Elder Fore, Elder Senatore, Elder Rasmussen, Elder Rumsey, Elder Parkinson, Elder Myers, Elder Peery.
Bottom row from left to right: Sister McDonald, Sister Mayer, Sister Curtis, Sister Sumbot, Sister Myers, and Sister Orchard)

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