Monday, August 17, 2015

Ozark Country

Hey guys!

Sorry my email last week was kind of lame, after I sent it I realized all the cool things that I wanted to tell you. Oh well:) This week flew by. You're probably getting tired of hearing me say that. It's crazy weird. We did some cool things this week! We've met some great members of the ward, I love a lot of the families. On Tuesday this old less active guy named Charlie Donelow took us to a restaurant called Lambert's. I had been hearing about it since I got here, It's a huuge tourist attraction apparently. They're famous for the "throwed rolls"; a guy comes around with a cart of hot rolls and throws them to everyone who wants one. It was pretty neat. And servers walk around with big pots of free appetizers like fried okra and potatoes and black eyed peas. It was fun! I got chicken and dumplings which was essentially just glorified chicken noodle soup... shoulda got the chicken fried steak. Wednesday we had zone training down in Branson which is about 30 miles south of us. We got to meet the rest of our zone and do interviews with President Loveland, it was great. Elder Davidson and I instructed the zone on the pattern of learning: prepare, interact, invite. We did good! Afterward we went to buffalo wild wings in downtown Branson. Branson is a way cool place, the drive down there is gorgeous, soo many steep rolling hills and green in all directions. It's basically a Mormon Vegas, they're famous for tons of shows and performances, a lot of which are done by famous LDS families. There's theme parks and magic shows and country shows and all kinds of stuff there. I'd be a fun place to serve. President called Elder D and I into interview him at the same time, there was a missionary that went home in an area north of us and he wanted to know if we could help cover that area for awhile if we had to and be in a "tri-panionship" with Elder Merryweather who was serving in that area. We told him we could! But I think he decided on something else, because it didn't happen. Would've been cool though, because that ward is the YSA ward for Missouri State University and we would've spent half our time living on campus. We've been playing investigator basketball Thursday nights which is way fun, us and 3 other companionships just invite everyone we're teaching to get them into the building and fellowship them haha. We did a lot of service on Friday and Saturday for members of the ward who needed help with their yards and whatnot, it was great. And the weather was relatively cool this week so that was way nice. SundayElder D and I spoke in church, I loved it. I spoke on personal revelation and I wish I had more time, the spirit gave me utterance. I called Elder Murdock last night, he's training a new missionary in Owasso where I just left. My old area is doing so good, and he's seen some awesome miracles with the people that I love there! It was great to catch up with him, feels like I've been gone for ages even though it's not even been 3 weeks.The work in our area is starting to pick up ever so slightly. The ward is getting more involved now that they realize we're here and we wanna work. We had a great ward council and got our ideas out there to get the work rolling. We've been tracting our feet off and giving out as many Books as we can. We found some more potentials last week so hopefully we can go follow up with them! It's been a lot of fun though. A ton of the missionaries get together every P-day which is a blast, today we played football on MSU campus!We talked with an evangelical  couple that we met in their driveway for like an hour last night. We taught essentially the whole restoration! But they wouldn't have it. They were such kind people, and she wanted us so badly to come to know "the one true Jesus and be saved". We told her we do believe in Jesus... I'm tired of trying to tell people that haha. They believe all the have to do is confess Christ as the Savior and then they're saved and nothing can change that. It's nearly impossible to change their minds and tell them there's more to the plan. She teared up several times because she was so passionate about it. But we ended up on a friendly note and she said we could come back sometime if we wanna talk and then she invited us to her church and prayed for us that we would come to know the real God. While she was praying, I was praying the same thing in my heart.."Heavenly Father, please help us help her come to know you." We'll see if it goes anywhere or if she'll just keep trying to convert us haha!Mission life rocks, I love it. I was thinking today this is the last time in my life where I'll be so carefree. Sure I'm constantly busy and always working, but I really don't have any worries! I'm just out here trying to help other people. And the Lord takes great care of us.Do everything that you can everyday to strengthen your testimony. If you're not, then you're slipping backwards. There is no middle ground.Love from the mid west,Elder Hakes

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