Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 87 in the Field: Zone Conference "Never...Never...Never Give Up"

With my old companion in Eldorado, Illinois -- Elder Stange -- after he gave his final testimony to the missionaries at Zone Conference on Friday, January 29th.

We have a busy Pday so this will be a quick email.

Elder Barrus at the Northcutts Cove Chapel

Monday we drove on down to Northcutts Cove Chapel after having a problem with our car. Turns out the gas had frozen so we had to thaw it out and get more gas after that. Fun process. But yeah, then we went down to the old chapel so that Elder Barrus and Beckett could see it. Once again it was open so we got to go inside. I left a Book of Mormon on the pulpit and recited the Vision of the South which was a pretty cool vision that was given by Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, talking about how one day the South will baptize more people into the church than all other English speaking missionaries in the world together (you hear that my fellow stateside missionary friends?) and many other amazing promises.

Here is the link to Elder Featherstone’s letter:

The roads were kind of slick on the way back, but we managed. It was the first day we got to leave our apartment since the snow last Friday. Other than that, that was about all we did that day.

Tuesday we helped out Brother Henessee again with his house. It was the first time we had been back since the transfer began. He is really close to finishing the house. We pulled up staples from the floor most of the time and also helped lift some debris out of the house. Later on we tried to contact a few people while walking around and got in a few places. We also invited one of our more promising investigators to church. He hadn't been to a LDS church since '88, but said he would come.

Wednesday was more walking except we didn't really see anyone except this lady who sells Confederate stuff at a flea market which we will definitely check out this week. Incidentally on average, we have walked over 20 miles per week usually. Sometimes it's over 30. We usually come home tired.

Elder Cox, Elder Beckett, and Elder Peery at the Barren Fork Dam

Thursday we drove down to Morrison, TN to go on exchanges with the Manchester elders. Elder Cox, a greenie (new missionary) who's been out about three weeks in the mission came up with us and Elder Barrus went down with Elder McClain. We tried a bunch of people but didn't have too much success. But we did drop two of our investigators that day because one was flippin' crazy (spouting out all kinds of false doctrine like how she didn't think Christ created a church and such) and the other was sadly not interested in joining, more interested in just hanging out with us. In the early evening we tracted for two hours and got a few door slams.

What was fun was we tracted two huge mansions.  They looked like plantations almost. I ended up using some money from home to buy Elder Cox and Elder Beckett some dinner since it was Elder Cox's first exchange. I hope he had fun.

Friday we had Zone Conference where the entire McMinnville stake got together for it. President and Sister Andersen trained along with our zone leaders and sister training leaders. One of my favorite things that President taught was this story about Winston Churchill. Sometime after the war, he was coming to speak to a group of students somewhere. The teacher, before he entered the room, told the students something along the lines of, "This is one of the most courageous and brilliant men this country has ever seen, so you'd better be taking notes and listening to what he tells you." Churchill comes in, takes a look at the gathering and says, "Never... Never... Never, give up." And sits down. It was pretty powerful for sure. So yeah he trained on diligence and that was probably my favorite training of the day.

What was weird was since we no longer have testimony meetings at transfers for departing missionaries; instead, we have them during zone conference. And Elder Stange, one of my companions who came out a transfer before me, gave his parting advice alongside Elder Loveless, another one of my good friends who came out that same transfer. This means that I'm in the next group to do so in about two months. That's weird.

We also had this really powerful lesson with Debra. She was on the verge of giving up investigating because she was unable to come to church or quit smoking. But when we came she felt she needed to continue. During the course of the conversation she said, "I know this may sound crazy, but I truly believe that I've heard this before. Like my spirit is an older spirit and has heard this before this life." I testified to her that what she said was in fact true, that we are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father and that the reason certain things seem familiar or good, is because we learned about it before from Him. Cool experience.

Saturday we tried some more people including Brother Mathis who said he'd come to church. We did more walking and were very tired in the end. While we went tracting, this old guy wasn't exactly the nicest person in town and basically didn't want any part of the church. We even said "God bless!" in parting but he yelled "I don't need your blessing! You need to be blessed!" Funny stuff.

In the evening we had dinner with a family who's son in law was a Samoan. He challenged me and Elder Barrus to an eating competition. My advice to anyone who doesn't know Samoans, don't take that bet. Three burgers and a salad later, we struggled to continue as this guy laughed as he pounded a bunch of cookies. It was a fun experience though.

Sunday we finally had church so that was awesome. Nothing too big happened other than Bro. Mathis showed up. He was the only one who came that we saw this past week which was sad, but life goes on. In the evening, Brother Wade took Elder Barrus on a split while Elder Beckett and I tracted. Not too much happened other than some more rejections, but we did contact a former investigator who said she was still interested, which was good.

Today we plan on going to Cumberland Caverns, which is a series of underground caves and one of the largest this side of the Mississippi River. Should be fun. Hopefully I'll get some good pictures. This week we are also going to the temple which should be cool. Anyways I hope you have a good week!

Elder Peery

Thank you for your prayers and your support.  Please keep in touch.  It's great to hear from you.
Here is my contact information:

Elder Andrew Peery
Tennessee Nashville Mission
1646 Sunset Road
Brentwood, TN 37027

Rebel Hill. Site of a Confederate encampment where they held on to
McMinnville for a time. Union drove them out in like 1863 or
something. Lots of old trees but that's about it.

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