Ok, down to business. This week was aight, I guess. Monday we went and had Dinner at the Stevens house, which was pretty tasty. Q, the kid we are teaching there, is doing pretty good. He cut down from one pack of cigarettes a day to 2 or 3 cigarettes. We're impressed with him.
Tuesday we met with A, a girl that Elder Fortie was really good friends with who removed her name from the church ( that means basically decided not to be a member anymore) after he left Jonesboro. She told us basically her brother told her some things, and she decided that the church was no longer true. It was really sad to see. People do this all the time, because a lot of other religions use a lot of lies and stuff to convince people that none of our beliefs are true. But her brother (who is atheist) went the extra mile and now A is barely believing in God at all. Still, she's friendly, and she is willing to help us out with non-religious stuff, so it's not the worst case scenario. After that meeting, we went to English classes, which was super fun. We helped them with some of their school projects, and me and E (one of the other volunteers) ended up with lovely paper mustaches on for the majority of the class. Then we went out looking for some referrals that Elder Jardine had for us. We managed to find a couple of them, but we couldn't get in the door, just set return appointments. Then we had dinner with Brother R at Sam's Club and had some pizza.
Wednesday we had Specialized Training down in Searcy for most of the day. it was a good meeting, we talked a lot about working with members and stuff like that. Then we went back and had dinner with the As, which was super delicious (Southern barbecue is fantastic). Then we went and visited a few families Elder Fortie knew of that I did not.
Thursday we made a "trek day." We hitched a ride with the other elders to lunch with the zone leaders, who were finishing exchanges with them, then went to English class at the college. we all got to talking about music, and E taught me how to play the piano. I still know basically nothing, but I was learning a little bit. Then came the "trek" part. We went to visit the Os, who lived about 4 miles away from the college. It was a fun trip. We talked to some people along the way, but no one was really interested. we made it there after about 1 hour or so, and got caught up with the daughter, who hadn't been there in the other visits. Then we started the 4.5 mile trip to the S's house for dinner. A member happened to pass by and give us a ride, which was great! Then we had dinner, which is always good at their house. They are a pretty hilarious old couple.
Friday was another pretty good walk day. We went out to visit T, someone we had taught about a month ago but had gone to Wisconsin for a bit. Well, she came back and told us to come by sometime. So, we walked. It was pretty hot outside, especially with 90% humidity. But we finally made it there, after meeting with a Hispanic lady who had been taught by missionaries in Mississippi.... the only problem was T wasn't home. Sooo we walked most of the way back, before the Ms popped up and drove us the rest of the way. I really am grateful for people who give rides to missionaries. If you ever see any on the street, ask if they need a lift. Even if we decline, we are still grateful someone took the time to ask. Anyway, then we went to Bro. R's house and helped clean his backyard. He has epilepsy, and so he can't do much super hard labor. Add that to the fact that he owns 10 acres of fields and wilderness (Marissa, you would LOVE his yard) and that's a lot of work! So we helped take leaves out of his dried up koi river that goes through his backyard. Really it was Fortie who just ripped through it. Then we had dinner with him and crashed at home, seeing as we were covered in mud and exhausted.
Saturday was the standard scramble to get everyone to church! We visited the D's kids and had a good talk with their mom. She just had foot surgery, so she won't be able to walk until Mother's day, basically. But it was a good visit. Then we saw S and C and had a good lesson with them on... well, a lot of stuff. They seem to have settled some differences lately, and C was more open with us with her concerns, which we were glad for. Then we went to dinner at Bishop R's house. We had taco salad, which gave me home flashbacks (not too bad though). Then we drove to Bay and talked with the Ss again, but this time with more of their family. It was more of an update/bonding time though, due to their short attention spans and Family Feud on TV. It was good in the end though.
Sunday was pretty good as well! We had a LOT of new faces. Part of it is that the Vivint salesmen are in town for a few months. If you weren't aware, a LOT of the Vivint salesmen are Mormon. So we had about 12 new people from that group. S and the Ss showed up as well! Don wasn't there though. He's been hard to catch lately, and frankly I'm worried. We'll keep on it though. I had to translate for all of sacrament meeting, which was GREAT. Oy. Headaches. But I am grateful because it helps my language skills! Then we had lunch at the church that someone brought us, along with a HUGE case of Ramen and other basic foods for all of us. Then we set off walking again. We were super excited, because the radio had said that a huge storm was hitting that afternoon, and it was going to be strong. So naturally, we charged our camera batteries and were super stoked.
Well.... it turned out that the storm wasn't there. At all. In fact, it was probably the warmest and sunniest day of the week. We were disappointed. But we walked for a long time and couldn't really find anyone home. We need to look at the other church's schedules and figure out when everyone gets home! :P But anyway, we went home for dinner. When we came back out, there was a wall of clouds moving in really slowly. So we decided to go to the neighborhood next to our apartment to go see some Hispanics that live there. After we came out, it was about 20 degrees cooler and way darker. So we got into the car for the rest of the day. It dumped buckets on us, and there was a ton of lightning. We were on a tornado watch for a bit, but the storm moved on pretty quickly.
So in short, we are looking for a good week this week! Hoping you have a good one too!
Elder Andrew Reay
3700 S. Caraway Rd. Apt. B12
Jonesboro, AR 72404