Monday, November 11, 2013

I (almost) survived my first transfer!!!

ALOOOOOOOOOOHA!! and HOOOOOOOLAA!! people on the receiving end of my missionary thoughts and experiences!!

Let's start out with some pictures:

So I have a story for this one. Once upon a time Hermana Holloway decided to make hardboiled eggs. Well because the stove is really dumb and is either not hot at all or a blazing inferno the eggs only got halfway hardboiled. Sort of like eggy soup. Blech. Hermana Crockett didn't want to waste some perfectly good eggs so she decided to make "bried" eggs by frying the halfway boiled eggs until they cooked. This was the result. Basically it was just weird. But funny :)

We found these friends in the middle of nowhere trying to find a potential investigator between Lexington and Noble. They weren't home, but we got a glimpse of their Thanksgiving dinner! They also randomly had a peacock which I don't really understand but it's Oklahoma. 

But anyways, this week was AMAZING!!! Definitely full of hard work, fun, and miracles. I've decided that being a missionary is a lot like being a detective. Or a stalker. But I like to think of a detective because it sounds nicer. For example, on Friday we got the records of a bunch of former investigators from like 7 years ago that all live in Purcell so on Saturday we decided to go find them. We discovered that a lot had moved or their houses had turned into parking lots or are now under the protection of the Fidelius Charm (for more information on this please refer to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). We found one guy, who got super weirded out when we called him by name. It was kind of funny, but we keep track of all of Heavenly Father's sheep! Basically Hna. Crockett and I had a lovely time driving around the tiny (and a little sketchy) town of Purcell. Southern life is definitely different from what I'm used to but I love it.

We also learned a valuable lesson about trailer parks. On Tuesday and Wednesday we decided that we were tired of trailer parks and wanted to try to find some Hispanics outside of them. BIG mistake. We knocked doors for hours encountering only non-Hispanics and rejection. Dejected, we returned back to the trailer parks and in a matter of an hour and a half we had 3 potentials and 3 new investigators! Moral of the story, trailer parks is where it's at. I never want to work outside of them again.

On a sad note, some of our favorite members are moving. They'll keep going to the branch, but it'll be a lot harder to keep up weekly dinners because they'll be so far away.

I think the biggest lesson that we've learned this week is patience. We want everything to happen according to our timeline but that's not how it works. Heavenly Father has a plan for our lives, our families, and the areas that we're serving in. As it says in D&C 123:17 "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren (or sisteren), let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for His arm to be revealed." I don't even think that I need to add to that!

Another spiritual tidbit: remember in the Joseph Smith movie (Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration) when they're building the Nauvoo Temple and Joseph Smith says "we're not really building a temple, the Lord is building us."? That line always went in one ear and out the other for me but now I realize what it means. The saints in Nauvoo spent years and years building the temple there only to abandon it a few weeks after it was completed. Was the point, therefore, really to build a temple? I don't think so. Rather, the Lord was teaching and building and refining His people so they would become the best versions of themselves. It's the same with missions. We're here for other people, no doubt. But the Lord is also using this as an opportunity to build and refine me. So when we face the rejection and the flaky people and the appointments that always fall through, we just have to remember that the Lord is building us. I would invite you all to take this statement and apply it to your lives. How is the Lord building you into the best version of yourself? How does that keep your trials and difficulties in perspective? Everything that we go through has a purpose and all of our trials are just and opportunity to change.

That's probably enough wisdom for one week. I don't want y'all to think that I'm no longer the goofy, awkward, strange person that I am. That hasn't gone away, trust me. I'm still very much looking forward to wearing pants and running around in a few hours. Yay P-Day!!! Yay pants!!!

I hope y'all have a lovely week as I know I will :). Thanks for the love, the letters, and the prayers. They are felt and SO appreciated. 

¡Les quiero mucho!

~Herman A. Holloway

PS: Oklahoma fall is pretty much the most amazing thing ever. It's been in the 60s and 70s all week! The fall leaves are pretty beautiful too.

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