Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 65 in the Field!

Hi everyone! This week was busy!
Monday we mostly hung around the church since we couldn't drive anywhere for Pday. So yeah that was kind of boring a little. After striking out in trying to contact people, we went over to the church building, where they were having a YSA activity. We joined them and shared a spiritual thought later on.

Tuesday we were notified that one of the members was staining their deck for a party on Saturday. The deck was huge and had a lot of little lattice pieces. So we went over to help. The deck was loads bigger than was expected. So we decided to help them out a lot this week. After a few hours of doing that we tried to see some people but struck out. This was kind of a theme for the week sadly.

Staining the deck

Wednesday I asked Elder Nalder to train on listening which was okay, except for the use of an air horn during a bit in his training. That wasn't so good. One of the zone leaders was there on exchanges so that was fun. I trained on developing a vision for members and used the vision of the South that was created by President Spencer W. Kimball (12th Church President) – quoted by Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone (a member of the Seventy). One of his prophecies was that there would be a million members of the Church in the Southern states. Totaling most of the southern states today, (everything east of the Mississippi River and south of Virginia), I found out there are almost 750,000 members in the south which is cool.

With Elder Bedwell and Elder Porter

After district meeting we resumed help staining. After that I believe we went on a split without any success contacting people. We were able to pass out a family history discovery day pamphlet though.
Serving At The Well

Thursday we had a semi-busy day at The Well. There were a few more people here this week, but it was still a little relaxing. We then resumed work on the deck-staining project. I should note that after we did the staining, we got to talk to the member's father who was from Nicaragua (Central America), and I got to show off some of my guitar abilities on his guitar. Also got to practice some of my Spanish. After that we went to a place I felt prompted to go and contacted a recently widowed lady who talked with us for a few hours or so. She was really kind and was still going through some stuff but we shared a positive message with her. She said it made her whole night. It was awesome.

Friday we went over early to help with the deck-staining, because it still wasn't done, and the party was Saturday evening. We worked on this giant tower thingy for the most part which was cool. We then went to help some people set up for the family history discovery day. After that we resumed work on the staining project and didn't stop till the evening. Finally, we had used up all the stain buckets and had almost finished everything.

Saturday morning we went over to the Family History Discovery Day, where we had a lot of cool things happen. We actually had many non-members show up and participate. To my knowledge everyone had a good time. I found out I have a lot more ancestors than I realized thanks to the help of the grandparents on my dad's side of the family. (Thanks so much, Oma and Opa.) I hope to find out more information about them someday soon.

Saturday night Elder's Quorum Fiesta with former Herndon Ward friends!

After that, we did some planning and then went over to the fiesta at the place we were working on staining. Even though it had rained, everything was fine. I had fun at the party and was surprised when they had me play the guitar at the party. I didn't really want to cause I don't like playing for large groups of people anymore unless I'm with someone else. But it was okay. We then went with the TS1 WML (Thompson’s Station 1st Ward Mission Leader)  to go help this family move. They had been trying to do the whole thing by themselves and were overjoyed to see us. We then went and helped the father pack some other things into the truck in Franklin and then rode down with him. By the time we finished it was about 11:30pm.

Sunday was kind of the usual, except during TS2 Ward's sacrament meeting. Two guys were giving their missionary farewell talks and, ironically, finished fifteen minutes early. I kinda laughed a little bit at the scenario and then put my head in my hands ‘cause I was super tired from the move. It was at that point the 2nd Counselor got up and said, "We'd like to have Elder Peery come up and bear his testimony." Yeah. That kinda shocked me. I walked up and kinda used that moment to finish my farewell talk that I had rushed. I talked for about 5-7 minutes and then the bishop closed off the meeting. After dinner we went to go see some people and then ended the night.

It was a very long week but lots of fun. 

I'd like to congratulate my step-brother, Daniel, on getting married to Barbara, an awesome lady from Brazil. It'll be fun to see you guys again in less than 9 months. I'm excited.

We find out transfer info this week so that'll be fun. 

Thanks for all your prayers and support.
Until next week,

Elder Peery

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 64 in the Field: T-Bone, Wasps on a Roof, and Baby Goats?

Outside the Temple ~ The Thompson's Station District:
(from left to right: Elder Bedwell, Elder Peery, Elder Porter, Elder Nalder,
Elder Danielson, Sister Kohler, and Sister Halbeison)

What's up ya'll!

On Monday we hung out with the Spring Hill elders again at their place and had some fun. Not too much happened but we were able to play some stuff and I got to get some new guitar tabs for musical numbers that I could play in the future, provided I have a guitar. In the evening we went over to a TS2 (Thompson’s Station 2nd Ward) family and began implementing the new Ward Mission Plan. They were awesome and wrote down some goals they will be working on.

Tuesdaywas dropped off with the fellowshipper of our recent convert, and we went over the priesthood with him and some of the responsibilities that come with it. I gained a lot of insights about why we have the priesthood from the fellowshipping member. He was awesome. We then met back and proceeded to go about our day. We saw a couple people and then went home for dinner. On the way back from dinner at our apartment was when the magic happened.

One of my two companions was driving up to the most dangerous intersection in the entire city of Spring Hill and some of the surrounding areas. It's a four way intersection of Duplex and Port Royal Rd. On the Duplex side, there is a hill that you can't see over – so any cars coming over that hill can't see anyone crossing the intersection. And since I'm hyping about this you can probably guess that we got caught in the middle of the intersection. My companion went too early, and we T-boned another car. It wasn't super bad, but it shook us up pretty bad. For me I've only had a series of headaches every now and then. It's annoying, but I'm sure it will pass.

Damage to our car from the wreck

Wednesday we were able to drive our poor car to Franklin where we had district meeting. I had Sister Kohler, my MTC buddy, train on companion unity, which was good. I trained on being yourself with everything going around the motto, "Be you, but be a better you." It was pretty good. After that we went home and I had to help the companion who wrecked the car fill out some paperwork. It took a long process. Don't ever get in accidents ‘cause that's what happens. We also got to see one of the more promising people in the area--Except she has some mental issues which means she can't comprehend basic gospel principles yet.

Wednesday night we drove over to a young couple from TS2 who live on the outskirts of our area. It was very much like driving in Eldorado again. They had a small farm with two Pyrenees puppies, at least 6-8 goats, chickens, and a white horse. We got to feed the goats, and I played with the puppies who are probably going to be bears when they get older. They are huge.

Mr. Tumnus, a baby goat. Super adorable.

Thursday we had to complete even more paper work for the car. It was very irritating. But at least we had the Well again. Totally forgot to take pictures again. After paperwork and stuff we went over to a family’s home for dinner and then got to go to a not so recent convert's house to hang out with him. He told us this amazing story about how he accepted the gospel. It was really cool how church tours helped as well as people being so prepared. He's been loving the gospel ever since, and we encouraged him to keep going to the temple.

Hanging out with a TS2 not so recent convert

Friday we went over to the TS1 WML (Thompson’s Station 1st Ward’s Ward Mission Leader’s) house and helped his wife and son take off shutters from their house, which will be repainted. It was actually fun climbing on the roof but not so fun with all the wasp nests. We were able to work around them. It was fun.

Chilling on the roof.

After that we met up with the TS1 recent convert and talked to him about his question on magic. Basically unless it's David Copperfield or Magic the Gathering, stay away from it. To quote President James E. Faust (2nd Counselor in the First Presidency till about 2007) "Like playing with fire, it is too easy to get burned". After that we had planning, dinner, and that was about it.

Saturday Elder Bedwell was taken by the A.P.s (Assistants to the President),  because one of them was going to a wedding and the other needed a companion. He enjoyed his time there. Meanwhile Elder Nalder and I were working on helping a family move some furniture. They were really grateful and even gave us ice cream. We tried to visit a bunch of other people afterwards, tracted in the rain, and got dropped by a few people. We ended the night after having dinner with a TS2 family and chatting with another TS2 family whose husband works on aircrafts.

Sunday was exhausting. I felt sick during 2nd Ward. My head was spinning a bit, but we got through. After meetings we went over to the TS1 bishop's house, where we met up with the TS1 convert and went over the priesthood a bit more. The bishop's oldest daughter who's a junior led the discussion and did a very good job. She focused a lot out of Preach My Gospel, which was cool. At the end he said he is excited to receive the priesthood.

With the TS1 recent convert and the TS1 Bishop's family

Today we are hanging onto the car to take it into the shop. We still haven't gotten the OK yet, but hopefully we will get it fixed soon. Also hopefully things will be better. We are working hard and know there will be some blessings from it.

Please keep us in your prayers. Have a good week.

Elder Peery

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 63 in the Field: Rippaville Plantation and Family History Discovery Day

Family History Discovery Day booth at the Rippavilla Plantation at the Impact Festival.

Hi everyone!  I'm seriously out of ideas on how to open these things. So I'm just going to just go into it.

On Monday, Spring Hill elders came up for Pday. We pretty much did nothing but basketball and shop. I can't remember really anything else that we did. But in the evening we went over to a TS2 (Thompson's Station 2nd Ward) family and had dinner there. The wife was a convert from Brazil and enjoyed humidity. It was really fun talking with them. They enjoyed pointing out the multiple times Elder Nalder said "Y’all". It was great.

The Carter House (not my best picture due to the fact that we were in a car). This house is a huge landmark and museum of the Civil War.  Probably will visit one of these days.

Tuesday we went over to TS1 (Thompson's Station 1st Ward) family and helped her mow her yard and do some edging. It was great until the mower broke. We were still able to finish it though thanks to some neighbors. We also hoisted her trampoline over her fence which was a very big manly man moment. It was fun. It was kind of a bittersweet day for her because it was the two year anniversary that her husband passed away. She was grateful for the help. Turns out she's the sister in law to one of my favorite members in the Smith Spring's Ward.

Later in the day we had dinner with the TS1 elders quorum president and his family. After that we went out with him to see one of our families and had a rather long lesson with them. It was fun though.
Civil War wall and field in Franklin. The walls are left so that no one may touch it. Even if they fall. Some of these walls are over 200 years old.

Wednesday morning was kind of hectic in getting a ride to Franklin since we were out of contact with our ride. Thankfully we were able to get up there and had district meeting. I had Elder Bedwell train on bearing testimony. He stuck mostly to True to the Faith, which was great. I then trained on strengthening new converts and less-active members by having missionaries teach the importance of the temple. After that we got a ride back and started walking over to the TS1 WML (Ward Mission Leader's) home where we had dinner. We tried tracting after that with no success.

The Nashville, Tennessee temple.

Thursday we met up with our recent convert and had a fun time explaining the priesthood with him. After that we took him to The Well, where we did service. One of these days I'll get a picture of it so you will know what that place is like. Anyways, he had a fun time. We then went over to help a member move some hay bales which made me trunky for Eldorado. It was an interesting garden system. They used hay as ground and put soil and fertilizer. Plants were growing effectively out of them and since they were elevated, little critters couldn't get them. We ended the night with the TS2 WML in correlation.

Friday we had a long planning session which was fun. But before that we got to go to the temple which was fun. I had a good experience that led me to come up with an idea about how to better the companionship I'm in right now. It was great. After that we had dinner with a TS1 family and went tracting. We knocked into a kind black guy who allowed us to talk about the Book of Mormon. He was kind of trying to test our knowledge of the Bible, which I gladly demonstrated. He appreciated our knowledge but wasn't interested.

Front of the Rippavilla Plantation

Back of the Rippavilla Plantation

Saturday we went to this place called Rippavilla Plantation. It was a plantation built in the 1850's and served as a Confederate Hospital and living quarters. Back during the war, the Confederates were trying to maintain their hold on Nashville because Nashville had the Cumberland River as well as the train system. Meaning supplies. Union forces from the North and South were trying to stop the hold so that Sherman could march to Atlanta and sack the city. But they had one problem, General Hood maintained a good hold on the Southern side. Using some good tactics they were able to sneak past Hood's troops near Rippavilla and were able to win the battle of Franklin. This victory allowed the Union to dominate the battle of Nashville, thus leading to Sherman destroying Atlanta and pretty much securing victory for the Union. So yeah, cool place. Most of this I gained from tour guides so hopefully that's all true. 

Traditional "Gone With The Wind"- like staircase inside the home.

General Hood's bed. 
General Hood slept on this bed (at a different plantation) the night that Union troops slipped through Confederate's hands and went on to Franklin. Following the Union victory there, the Confederates didn't have a chance at the Battle of Nashville.  Thus Sherman was able to proceed, and they burned Atlanta.

Anyways we were there to help out at the Family History Discovery Day booth at the Impact Festival. There was a lot of music and a lot of people. It was loads of fun. One of our members played.  He was another American Idol contestant who didn't get as far as David Archuleta. He was really good though. After that we went home.

Impact Festival stage

Sunday was kind of the usual, except in TS2, I spoke in sacrament meeting about my conversion story as well as Elder Nalder and the TS2 WML. It was essentially unleashing the new Ward mission plan, which was really well received. We got a lot of compliments. After dinner with a TS2 family, we ended the day planning.

We are super excited for the future. I can't wait for this upcoming week cause it will be a lot of fun I'm sure.

See ya!

Elder Peery

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 62 in the Field

Lunch with some familiar faces (from left to right: Elder Peery, Elder Porter, Elder Dobson, Elder Senatore, Elder Danielson, and Elder Dunn)

Hope you are doing well!

So on Monday we went down to Columbia to hang out with the Spring Hill missionaries, Elder Plant and Elder Chapman. They're pretty cool. We played basketball and tennis and other stuff. After that we had pizza with some members from the temple presidency who were really awesome. We then tracted into the property manager for the Church of the City which is a mega church in town. He invited us out to the church, which was nice.

The most haunted house in Spring Hill, TN. Built in 1844

Tuesday we met up with our newly baptized recent convert and helped fill out some paperwork. After that we tracted into a girl who is trying to figure out if God exists. She was super nice and fun. Trouble is school is starting soon so it will be hard to get in touch. After tracting some more we went out with a member family to a Louisiana style BBQ, and I got a really good melted brisket. We ended the night tracting some mansions.

Elder Nalder and Elder Bedwell planning sessions

Wednesday we did a lot of planning and then met up with the zone leaders. Elder Danielson came down with us, and Elder Bedwell went with Elder Porter. We went and contacted a bunch of random people that are no longer interested sadly. We also went to see an elderly black man who wanted to come to church. He reminds me a lot of the "Warriors of Christ" guy from Eldorado. We then tracted into a few people, and then visited with a member family. Also during the day there was a series of massive storms. There were many trees blown over, so while it was pouring, we helped members cut trees. It was pretty crazy.

Crazy rainstorm!

Thursday we did more service at The Well (Bishop Storehouse-like place) which was fun. We then got a call during lunch from a member. During the storm on the previous day, a members' trampoline and blown away. I found it after a few minutes. It was seven houses away from her house. We lifted the thing up and carried it back to her place. It was really badly damaged but she was grateful for the help. We then tried tracking down a ton of people who either were no longer interested or unavailable. We then tried tracting a few more people with not much success. And we ended the night trying to contact more people and cleaning out the car. Elder Danielson at the end of the exchange said that he understands that this will be a very stressful exchange for me, but he liked the way I faced my responsibilities as district leader.

Franklin Zone
Elder Peery is pictured 3rd from left in back row.
President and Sister Andersen are seated in the middle of the second row.

Friday at zone conference we received trainings from President, Elder Sheffield, Elder Morgan, Sister Andersen, and the office staff. Along with the stake president and a few others. I played the piano for it, which was pretty fun. 

I then got to talk to President about my situation in Thompson's Station. He encouraged me to keep working with my companions even if I'm not getting along with them. He also praised my piano playing. The closing hymn was Battle Hymn of the Republic. And he mentioned that no one else had played it with the emotion I had. That was cool. After that we switched back from the exchange and went to have dinner with some investigators. They said they believed in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and said they'd be baptized if they found out if the whole church was true which is cool.

Saturday we finished up planning and then received a call to help out a member move some stuff which was fun. We tried to get a 7 ft couch through a 6'5 doorway. Didn't work no matter how we tried. The hallway was too narrow. We then went over to the Church of the City to check it out. The guy who invited us wasn't there, but the service was pretty cool. It was kinda dark inside which was kinda weird. But it's whatever. We ended the night with some studies.

Sunday we were at church from 8:00am to about 4:30pm. We were doing a variety of things. From helping people get to church, setting up appointments, the works. It was very stressful. Good news is that we have a lot of fun things planned this week. I'm looking forward to them! I'm also going to be training again this week which should be fun.

Ya'll have a good week!

Elder Peery