So on Monday we went up to Thompson's Station, where we mostly played basketball and baseball. Nothing going on too much, but after that I went on exchanges with Elder Daines, the Franklin Zone Leader in Franklin, TN and we went over to this one member's home where they fed us pork tenderloin and other good stuff. It was awesome. We then played a church version of Scattergories, which I came in third. We then had a super, super spiritual lesson with them and we were teaching the restoration. Even though they were strong active members, it was still really spiritual and almost brought me to tears. We also taught a less-active family where the husband worked for CMT (Country Music Television) and he had worked with a lot of the stars you hear about like Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.
Tuesday we were kind of all over the place. We started out by having lunch at a seventy's home. He's a lot older now and has some dementia, but he remembers being ordained by Mark E. Peterson and supervised missionary work on stake levels back in the 80's. He was a convert, too, and gave us his conversion story which is like 5 pages long. That was a really cool visit. We saw and taught a few other people too and did some service for another elderly guy.
Wednesday we met back up and I introduced the finding tournament in district meeting. Both sets of sisters are down for it and will be working hard to beat everyone. After district meeting we went to go help out Joe move some things to his shop in Columbia. I think he's really starting to like us which is great! After that we had a lesson with this mom of two and these kids were absolutely crazy. And the mom was pretty good with discipline, but they just didn't care. The mom is still kind of a fence sitter, so we are working with her on figuring out what she wants to do. She hasn't read any of the assignments we've given her, so I literally just gave her two verses on happiness (Alma 27:17-18) for her to think about.
The good news is that I found out that day that I got accepted for that job I was applying for in Herndon, so I should be working within a few weeks of being home! They will send me an official offer letter soon.
Thursday we went and helped Joe again, but this time we spent some time doing some mulching, which was fun. While I'm writing this, I forgot to mention that last Saturday while we were doing service, I got to ride a riding lawnmower. I think it was my first time driving one since I usually used a push mower. I think I now officially qualify to be a true Southerner. But yeah, after that we went and saw a recent convert and explained baptisms for the dead more. She can't wait to go to the temple! It's so exciting. After that we went tracting, and a little puppy started following us so we took her back to where she came from. But it was still cute.
Friday we did a lot of planning and tracting. There wasn't too much going on that day that I can remember, however, in the evening we went out to eat at Pucketts, thanks to a member. Probably had one of the best burgers and fries I've ever had there. While there we got a text to go help out a returning member with her two year old who was in the hospital with breathing problems. We gave her a blessing and the next day she felt better and was able to return home. We should be seeing them on Monday or Tuesday night.
Saturday was kind of an adventure. We got picked up to do some service at this one family's home. They lived way out in the boonies and had their own goat farm which was cool. The goats were awesome and super fun to mess with. It also turned out it was one of their kid's birthday that day, and so we were able to celebrate with them. They were massive baseball fans, and it turns out their favorite teams were the Cubs, Nationals, and Dodgers which are all my favorites too (the other team I like is the Red Sox). The kid got a Bryce Harper jersey, which was really neat.
Sunday we went off to church and attended Gospel Doctrine, since no one stuck around for Gospel Principles. It was a really good lesson on the allegory of the olive tree in Jacob 5. I really enjoyed the teacher and the lesson especially. The allegory is basically about the scattering and gathering of the house of Israel using an olive vineyard. The Lord of the vineyard has a tree with good roots that he uses to plant other trees in different parts of the vineyard, he then checks on the fruit of each tree periodically and judges whether the fruit is good or bad. If the fruit is good, he collects it and preserves it, or uses it to help trees that are bad. If they are bad, he works with them by grafting the good or other things.
Eventually, all the fruit becomes bad and so the Lord seeks to reclaim it by calling servants to assist him in restoring the vineyard. My favorite part of the story is when the servant asks the Lord of the vineyard in verse 21 basically saying "Why did you plant in this spot of ground? For its the poorest spot in all the vineyard!"
And the Lord replies to him saying "Counsel me not; I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit." So no matter what the Lord asks us to do, He knows what He's doing and we shouldn't try to judge or convince Him otherwise. For He can see things we are unable to see because of our finite minds that cannot begin to comprehend what He can see. When we allow our will to become in line with His, we begin to develop an eye single to the glory of God, which allows us to look at things through His eyes, in a minuscule way. Cool stuff.
Here is a link to Jacob Chapter 5 in the Book of Mormon, so you can read it, too:
Here is a link to a video of seminary students tending an Old Testament olive vineyard:
Here is a link to information on the allegory:
After church we had a good lunch at a member’s home and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to her non-member husband. He doesn't seem too interested at this point, but we will see what happens. We then did some studies and then later had dinner with the family who's daughter is getting baptized this Sunday. She has a hard time retaining things but hopefully she'll be fine.
Incidentally, some of you may remember Hermana James who was in my district for three months in McMinnville. Anyways, she had to go home a week ago because she may have lymphoma in her windpipe and lungs area. President Andersen asked us as a mission to fast and pray for her, so I'm forwarding this to y'all to please pray for Hermana James. She's a good friend of mine, and I really hope she can recover quickly and come back out soon. Thanks a lot.
It's so weird next week I turn 22, and then three weeks from then I go home. It's all coming so fast. I'm excited to see what'll happen these next few weeks. I'm trying my best to stay focused, but I'm extremely excited to begin the next phase of my life.
See you in four,
Elder Peery’s mom here! If you would like to send Elder Peery greetings for his birthday
on May 3rd, he WOULD love to hear from you!!! Here is his contact information:
Elder Andrew Peery
Tennessee Nashville Mission
1646 Sunset Road
Brentwood, TN 37027