Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 97 in the Mission Field: Fishing and Being Fishers of Men

The Spring Crew
(From left to right: Elder Draper, Elder Hinds, Elder Ihler, Elder Peery, Elder Story)

So Monday we went up to Springfield with a member, so that Elder Hinds could say hi to some people he taught. We also hung out with Elder Ihler and his companions. It was fun seeing him again. We spent most of our time fishing.

Fishing in Springfield

I caught the first fish but not much more than that. After that we went and had dinner at this really nice restaurant in Springfield. 

The plains in Springfield

Tuesday we had a lesson with this guy named Joe, who is wanting to see if the church is true, thanks to his girlfriend, who is a member. He had a lot of concerns, but the lesson went really well. We went with our ward mission leader, too, and he's fun to work with. After that, we drove up to Spring Hill, where we went on exchanges with the Thompson's Station missionaries, and I got to go back to my old area. We tried a lot of the people that I knew before, but we didn't have much luck. What was fun was to see a lot of the members that I knew while I was there in the evening. It was cool to see that I did have some influence on them while I was there. 

Spring Hill District
(from left to right: Elder Peery, Sister  Wayment, Sister Crossley,
Hermana Kilgore, Hermana Hill, Elder Hinds)

Wednesday we met back up for district meeting, and I trained on working with part-member families and less-actives, which went okay. It was Hermana Kilgore's last district meeting before her mission ends this week, which was kind of sad, but she didn't seem to bothered by it. After district meeting, we met up with the zone leaders and had lunch with them, which was fun. We then had a few lessons, but the highlight was teaching this one girl whose mom is a member coming back into activity. The girl seemed really interested and accepted to be baptized if she found out if it was true or not. But later on in the week something interesting came up, which I'll get to in a bit. For dinner we had these giant burgers made partially by a member and Elder Hinds, which unfortunately led to...

Thursday morning around 3am Elder Hinds had a bad encounter with food poisoning. I somehow dodged it, which made me sad, ‘cause I wanted to lose some weight too, ; ) but for real, it pretty much knocked him out for most of the day. He was able to come and teach for one lesson, but that was about it. The coolest thing though was that the job I am applying for this summer after I get home, contacted me and set up a phone interview for the next day.

Friday Elder Hinds was a lot better, but not exactly 100%. But he was able to manage. We went and helped mow the yard of a recent convert family, which was fun cause they were Hispanic, so I got to practice more Spanish! After teaching a recent convert at the church, I had my phone interview with the job I'm hoping to get, and it went really well. It was weird being called Andrew again, since on my mission I am called “Elder Peery,” so I'm sure that will be fun in six short weeks. But the lady was really nice, and I'm very hopeful that I'll get it. After that we went and met a recent convert who's recovering from a total hip replacement in the hospital. Turns out she was from Maryland so we had a lot of cool things to talk about. She converted to the gospel after her husband died while they were living here in Columbia area and then Elder Plant tracked into her. After that, we got a call from that one part member family we saw on Wednesday asking us to come over. 

Turns out her daughter had a lot of emotional and mental issues. They had been fighting the entire day and the daughter had locked herself in her room. To make matters worse it was the mom's birthday night. I pretty much pulled a Dr. Phil and sat both people aside and talked with them. Eventually they stopped fighting, but I fear that a more permanent solution may be coming up. It was sad, but hopefully the girl will be able to get some help soon.

Saturday we were invited to be a part of an 8-year-old’s baptism. It was sweet.  I said the opening prayer and helped confirm the kids as members of the church and give them the Holy Ghost (see Acts 8:14-17).

14. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
 15. Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
 16. (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
 17. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

That was a cool experience. After that, we got transfer info, and it turns out that I will be finishing my mission with Elder Hinds in Spring Hill Ward. I was a little sad about it at first, because I had wanted to train a missionary like my trainer and his other trainee, but I'm happy to finish in a good ward with good members and spectacular recent converts who love the missionaries. Plus I really enjoy working with Elder Hinds. 

We also received news that Elder Jensen, the missionary who replaced me in TSTAT (Thompson’s Station Ward) was going zone leader in Nashville, so we went up to see him, as well as do some service.

The Well was asking for the missionaries to help out with their community event, which involved the mayor, alderman, and judge of Spring Hill. We ended up getting invited to participate in this contest to build a food fortress. Though we didn't win, we built what the mayor and judge called "the 8th wonder of the world". How the thing was standing I have no idea.

3. The 8th Wonder Of The World
(compared to other contestants.)
Surprisingly, it never fell. But it did fall 3 times while making it.
This was constructed by Elder Crawford, a TSTAT missionary, and me.

After that, we went and did some service for a less-active member in the area. In case you're curious, I've probably been doing more service here than McMinnville because Elder Hinds really enjoys it.  I do too, honestly, ‘cause it is still a good form of missionary work. Plus it's a lot more fun than tracting, haha.

Elder Stephen E. Thompson, Area Seventy

Stephen E. Thompson, 59, Naples, Fla; partner and real estate attorney, Roetzel & Andress Law Firm; former bishop, bishopric member, high councilor, stake presidency member,
mission presidency member and stake president; wife: Donna Ruth Thompson, six children.

Sunday we were invited with our recent converts to attend a special meeting at the stake center right before stake conference. Elder Stephen E. Thompson, a member of the Seventy, invited all the recent converts to ask him questions that the missionaries hadn't answered or needed further clarification on. It was really neat to be in that setting. There were like 15 of us total, members and missionaries.

Here is the link to an interesting article about Elder Thompson:

After that we drove down to Spring Hill and attended stake conference in the TSTAT building. I got to see a lot of friends and members there, which was awesome. After that we had a good lesson with another part-member family.  Their daughter is 8 years old and preparing to be baptized. We focused a lot on repentance, which is one of my favorite principles of the gospel:

I guess the way I look at repentance in particular is:
Think about a friend who takes you to this all-you-can-eat buffet.
They pay the bill for you, and you just sit at the table and don't eat anything.
Is the bill paid? Yes.
But did you show appreciation for the gift you've been given? No.
Repentance is not only becoming better, but showing the Lord how grateful you are for the gift you've been given.
By daily repenting, and not just "oh hey sorry about that," but sincere repentance, we show we want to be better disciples of Christ, in word and in deed.

So yeah, lots happened this week. Another minor highlight that happened today, I caught a catfish! And also discovered that catfish have spikes under their fins. I got stabbed a few times so I think it was a fair trade. I wasn't able to get s picture cause my fingers were bleeding, and I was trying to get the hook out. 

Anyways, hope y'all have a good week. It's weird that this is my last transfer as a missionary. 
I'm hoping to make it a good one.

See you in six,

Elder Peery

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