Hey everybody it's the Sabbath hangover: Monday! Boy do I have some stuff to tell ya'll this week!
First off we just had transfers on Wednesday and Elder Patterson is out, Elder Furrows is in. This dude is pretty cool. He's from Idaho Falls and loves the gospel...and driving the speed limit. We have been getting along great so far and I say this only because he is 8 years older than me. It's a little weird to be living with a guy that is 26, I mean there are guys that are 26 and have 2 or 3 kids. A father, he will one day be (yoda voice that). Nevertheless, he is a awesome missionary we were in the MTC together, and so we are both about to hit out 5 month mark...TODAY!!!!!!! Man, I feel like all those 39 year-olds that (on their 40th birthday) have this sudden realization that they are no longer a relatively *youthful age*. Their are more than enough missionaries ahead of me to make me feel like I'm pretty fresh out of boot camp, but then now I see this ever increasing group new kids off the plane that look at me like I came straight outta Vietnam. That's tracting for you.
|We formed a Country Band: The Harvest. Debut album coming soon!|
So we had some fun and spiritual experiences this week. On Wednesday, after I grabbed Furrows from Knoxville, I took him down to Spring City to go do some work. Last week, I set some return appointments with 3 people who lived in a trailer park outside the town. Furrows and I drove down their to go visit them, and just our luck...they all weren't home. So we decided to go drive around the corner to a less active's home and knock the doors on her street. For the last month I have felt like the area needed to be milked, so we strapped up and did just that. Nobody answered the first 2 doors we touched, but on the third door...woah. This guy opens the door, and as I start to make noise out of my mouth, he's just all like "Cmon' in boys". This guy, Larry..hands down one of the coolest dudes I've met. For one, that was the first time I've been let in without even having to do anything other than knock; and two, Larry was prepared to hear the gospel. He had read the Book of Mormon before about 20 years ago, but had decided that their was no way that Joseph Smith could have found the gold plates. We asked him if he had prayed about it, and he said no. I was thinking to myself, "Well thats your problem bro....you gotta pray about it". Worst part was, that he wouldn't take a copy of the book to try it out. But as we continued to talk to him, the spirit softened his heart, and at the end of our 1 hour visit, he accepted a copy, committed to read and PRAY about it, and let us come back! Not only did this experience strengthen my testimony of tracting, but also my testimony of obedience. With Elder Furrows, we have decided as a companionship to strive for exact obedience, even if the mission president doesn't enforce certain rules in the White Bible.
Thursday was a challenging and very rough day. Our faith was tested big time. We decided to go work Oakdale, a small redneck town that their is no stuff that is comfortable to work. Missionaries tend to tract apartment complexes, houses that are close together, trailer parks, downtowns. Not backwood cabins, and people that don't want to be found. Well, we decided to go visit these people. We began the day by parking off the side of a windy road and walking to the first drive. As we began walking down the long driveway, 2 dogs came running at us...and we turned around and booked it back to the main road. The dogs stopped and we walked over to the next driveway. Well about 30 feet down the road, we got 4 pitbulls chasing us, but this time they didn't stop at the end of the property, they kept coming. Luckily for me, they all went after Elder Furrows, so I wasn't too worried about getting hurt. Elder Furrows swung his bag around and popped one in the face, and then they stopped...but it was still pretty scary. As we drove off and found a place to pull over and cool off, (at this point my heart was beating faster than it does during an aerobic workout)..Elder Furrows reminded me that the Lord had protected us, and that never during those 10-15 minutes of terror had he felt scared. He reminded me that before we began, we prayed that the Lord had protected us. As I reflected on that experience, to see the Lord's protecting hand in my life was a testimony builder that He does answer our prayers. When we choose to acknowledge Him, and put Him first everyday, he'll bless us tremendously. After those doors, we decided to keep going, and we were able to find a couple people who want us to come back and teach them. It was a blessing to have success that day. I know the Lord had tested my faith, and because we were dedicated to thrust our sickle with all our might, He allowed us to find 2 people who He had prepared.
On Friday we had district meeting which was pretty boring. I'm not trying to be a Debbie downer....but I'd rather read my scriptures than listen to people talk about how their week was. I'll do that when I retire so I can fish every week, and give travel logs during testimony meeting. But after district meeting, we went over to a non-profit organization that runs a horse ranch for people with disabilities. We got to chuck 761 bails of hay into a barn. It was pretty cool, but I think I'll pass on any agriculture career.
Saturday we got to work at the Polk Sallet festival. What I can't get over about the South is all these small festivals popping up everywhere! This was the first one we've attended, and it was so much fun! We got to help our the American Legion cook food, and talk to hundreds of people. I got to fry tomatoes, okra, and cook up batches of polk sallet. It didn't taste very good...but I love okra, so it was all good. We got to hand out lots of pass-along cards, and pamphlets. We made a corn-hole tournament, and challenged people to play us, if they lost (which all but one team did), they had to take a Book of Mormon. It was a great day to change up the method of missionary work, and have a ton of fun doing it.
Well that's all for this week. Stay tuned for the next week when we baptize Megan Fox. :) (She's from Rockwood)
The Great Tennessee Knoxville Mission
"We ran over a snake. What kind of snake? A dead one."