Wednesday, December 21, 2016

12/19/16 Mountain-less Grove

Hey Team,

I made it to Mountain-less Grove Missouri! There are other cities named Mountain View, and Mountain Home in this stake. I'm not sure why, I haven't seen anything resembling a geographical feature in years. Silly rednecks ;)

I'm here with Elder Walker, and things are good. We definitely had an interesting weekend to kick things off. Lots of weather, which I love. It's cold cold cold and we've had a lot of ice on everything, and even some snow yesterday morning. Church was all but canceled due to weather, we didn't even make it out. Roads were crazy icy, and we had a tiny baby donut spare tire on our car because we got a flat the night before. We were literally 40 minutes from home at a dinner appointment, just leaving in the dark and freezing wind, when we got a text from the mission telling us to head in and bunker down for the night, weather was moving in. At about the same time our tire pressure light came on and I realized we were rolling on a rim. Perfect timing :) We were next to someones house in the woods so we pulled into their driveway and knocked on their door to borrow a flashlight. We should probably put one of those in the car... Luckily they were incredibly nice and let us in out of the cold, and sent their teenage son to open their shop so we could pull in and fix it indoors. She even made us some hot cocoa. Hallelujah. It seemed a little too coincidental, we'll definitely go back with some cookies and a Book of Mormon :) That's about the only way to find new investigators in the bible belt, blow a tire in their yard.

Other great news: played some ball Thursday night when I got here. It's been months since I've played. Felt good. We've got an incredibly nice, new building here for some reason. It even has an atrium courtyard in the middle. Its lovely. So the court was nice and we had fun. Hope to get the games rolling to find new people to teach. Ball is life.

We also had the ward Christmas breakfast/party Saturday morning, got here just in time for that. I was really impressed with the ward in a lot of ways. It's much bigger than I thought, people were friendly and having a good time. They were grabbing my arm and introducing me to nonmember friends they had brought, and pointing out ward members who need extra love and support. I got to meet a lot of people and introduce myself, which was really good because I didn't get to do that at church on Sunday haha. Remember how my last ward had a huge family that accounted for a big part of the membership? Well, this ward is like that, time 4. The Richardsons have 30 children. 30. Children. 20 something of them are adopted. I haven't met them yet but I hear through the grapevine that they are incredible people. Their kid's ages look something like this on the ward roster: 20, 20, 19, 19, 19, 18, 18, 17, 17, 17, 16... it's madness haha. Our ward mission leader Brother Whipple is fired up and knows everything about everyone which is really helpful. We literally have no one to teach right now, but there is so much potential here. I think I've been sent here to help tap into it, I've been blessed to serve in a couple of wards (*cough* *cough* Cleveland) that really know how to pick the low hanging fruit. Hopefully we can make that happen here. Did I mention that I'm a district leader now too? That was weird and surprising, I've been zone leader for so long I forgot what district leaders do. It might be a nice break for awhile... haha.

Well Christmas is somehow upon us again. Rather than blast your ears (or rather eyes via email) with cliche Christmas wishes, I will write you a Haiku. First, let me google how to write a Haiku.


Ice blankets our world
Hearts and minds find new vistas
Light pierces our lives

Happy Christmas to everyone! 🎅

Elder Hakes

Midwest Gospel Specialist 
This is Sister Skye. We helped her quit smoking!
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Ben Leavitt family. I'll miss them a ton.
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The Barnes! They treated us so good
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The legendary Elder Walker in Mtn Grove
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