Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 92 in the Field: Amazing Week!

Wood splitting! Fun fact, Elder Barrus didn't hit my hands once.
He nicked me slightly but that was partially my fault.

So last Monday I woke up and discovered that I have a cold. Well ain't that fun? But yeah, that was a pretty good way to state how the week went, haha. Anyways after doing some stuff we had to walk to the church to pick up the car so that we could go do stuff. Unfortunately by the time we got there, we pretty much only had an hour. So yeah, we didn't really do anything. We had dinner with our new ward mission leader Bro. Woodruff, which was good and then spent about an hour working on the ward mission plan. We also saw Debra, and she said that she wants to be a member before the apostle comes. The only thing she needs to do is quit smoking. She made a determination to quit later that evening.

Tuesday we went to go split wood for Sis. Poole and she was very grateful for the help. I mostly held the wedge and trusted Elder Barrus, who had the sledge hammer. Elder Beckett watched and gave us new logs. We probably split over twenty or so within an hour. They were pretty big too. We tried some more people but mostly struck out. In the evening we went out in the boonies trying some people and we made contact with a less active member who was kind of quiet. 

On the way back a very tragic thing happened... I had my first kill.... It just came out and hit right under the front left side of the car and then was crushed under both tires... But that rabbit was huge for sure. It was the first time I had ever killed anything driving a vehicle that I can remember. It was awful.  I felt just terrible.  Oh well, at least it wasn't a dog.

Wednesday we gave back the car and then went to go try some more people but again struck out. We saw Bro. Mathis again and talked to him about introducing their nephew to the gospel as well so hopefully that will work out. We also found a family to teach which is good. Hopefully things will work out there. In the evening my cold had affected Elder Barrus and we were both out of it. Luckily Beckett was still able to go on an exchange with a member. Except they didn't have any success sadly.

Thursday we had zone meeting at the church and President and Sister Andersen showed up as well. I also noticed that one of my former companions had been ET'd (Emergency Transferred) and replaced by another former companion. It was sad to see Elder Stange leave the stake (Elder Stange was my companion last year in Eldorado, Illinois.  He will finish his mission on April 12th), but it was good to see Elder Hagen again. You may recall Elder Hagen was one of my MTC companions so that's exciting. He's had a hard mission as well, but he was also happy to see me too. The trainings we received were mostly focused on teaching more simply, which is always good. We also had some more fun with tracting, too. After that we did some weekly planning and then went on an exchange with another member and struck out again. However, he referred a less active to us, which we contacted that night and set up an appointment with the next day.

Friday was amazing!  First, we had to bolt to the sisters to get the car from them so that we could make an 11:00 a.m. appointment that was about 20 minutes out of town. Incidentally, the sisters live about 2.5 miles away and we are on foot. Thankfully, they dropped the car off at the church so we only had to walk 2 miles. But yeah we make the appointment thanks to the ol’ “Demaree Lead Foot” notwithstanding Tiwi (a black box in the car that monitors your speeding). The guy's name is Mike and he's a Church of Christ guy. He had heard a lot of misinformation but after clearing a lot of it up, he was a lot more understanding, and he actually appreciated the Book of Mormon a lot, too.

After that we stopped by our atheist friend and at some point, Elder Barrus asked him what he thought happened after death. The guy says, "Wait a second." He goes in the back room and pulls out his friend, Austin. Turns out Austin actually nearly died after a suicide attempt a few months ago but was revived. His body though rested for three days in a coma. He then proceeded to tell us what he saw. He described a lot of darkness, but he noticed the place he was in was kind of like a waiting room. He looked down and realized he didn't have a body anymore, and that freaked him out. 

He was sad because of his decisions in his lifetime and was also sad that he had chosen death. He didn't remember what happened afterwards, but the second he awoke three days later, he decided to become more active in the gospel and now wants to preach it and counsel people. When we showed him Mosiah 27, which talks about the conversion story of Alma the Younger who undergoes a very similar experience of being out for three days, and backed that up with Alma 40 which talks about the spirit world and especially spirit prison, he was like "THATS IT!!" We are looking forward to seeing him again soon. Really cool experience.

And then! In the evening after another strike out exchange, we went up to see the less active member. He fed us a really good dinner and then proceeded to talk about why he was inactive. He was basically rubbed the wrong way by another member and to avoid conflict in the church, he chose to step back. We testified to him that it was more important that he come to church as well as read the scriptures. He said that he would begin reading the scriptures again but he couldn't promise coming back at least for a little bit. It was cool though because he had prayed the night before to find out why the missionaries were coming. In answer, he was told that the elders were good elders, and that they were coming to help "straighten you out." We know Heavenly Father is working on him too.

Saturday we were able to see a lot more people and also saw Debra. Unfortunately she was unable to quit again and lasted about 48 hours. She was pretty disappointed. At a loss, I remembered when Sister Heidi S. Swinton (the lady who wrote, To the Rescue, the biography of Thomas S. Monson) came to speak at BYU-I, and she said that one thing that President Monson did for her was pray every morning on his knees that she would have success in her struggles as she wrote the book. I told Debra that we would do the same. I'm also going to spread that out to any who read this to please pray for her that she will have the strength to quit. She wants so badly to be baptized it's not even funny. We hope this time's the charm.

Sunday at church was great. The Mathis's didn't show up so I was able to attend my regular meetings. I ended up teaching Gospel Principles on the Fall of Adam and Eve and based a lot of it on the question "If God created the Garden of Eden and didn't want them to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then why plant the tree to begin with?" As the lesson progressed we noticed that everything has its opposites. Even in heaven. What was the opposite of God's plan? Satan's! 
What is the opposite of good? Evil! 

This was my drawing of the Garden of Eden
(Background: So I wanted to have a little fun with the class since majority of the class members were over 40. So I told them to tell me what they thought was in the garden. I drew trees, four rivers, fish, a sheep, and The tree of life (represented by the biggest tree that is glowing) and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (represented by a tree with a book saying "good and evil" on the cover. I thought it was a masterpiece so I'm sending it home. The chart thingy at the bottom right of the board shows the different choices we make and how they work.  Good leads to Freedom and Bad leads to Captivity.)

So what was the opposite of the tree of life? From 2nd Nephi 2:15 “And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter."

Yep, makes sense, and once they did partake of it, that established the path for the Savior to sacrifice Himself for the sins of the world. And now we have choices! We can either choose captivity by making wrong choices, or choose Christ and freedom by choosing right choices.

After church we went home and prepared to go biking for the second time I've been here. Up until this point it has mostly been on foot. And keep in mind, I'm still sick relatively and it's also Fast Sunday. So after biking about 5 miles, I have to pull over. I had a very hard time breathing which wasn't good and we had to go back. Which was fortunate cause a member dropped off some deer meat a few minutes later. We had to call it because I got even more sick from the events.

But yeah I think most of it is out of my system, cold included. Things should be better this week. We don't have really anything major planned but should have some fun later on. Talk to you later! 

Please pray for Debra.  She really wants to get baptized, but has to stop smoking first.

Elder Peery

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 Really ghetto house out in the woods. Safe to say no one lives there.
Sad to see a good house in this bad condition.

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