Thursday, January 26, 2017

01/23/17 What is this line for

Hey people!

Time is short. You're probably tired of hearing that. I'm definitely tired of saying it :)
This week was great. Let's seee.... what'd we doo.... I dunno more missionary stuff, like the last 100 or so weeks. I'm sure it was fun and exhausting and hard all at the same time.
OH Tuesday we ate dinner with the Linsenmann family out in the middle of nowhere Missouri and helped them milk their goats! I have never milked an animal in my life. I figured it was a fitting experience to have while living in the midwest. Let's just say I could survive on a farm if I had to.
Wednesday was a great day, we held district meeting and discussed a lot about how we can work more closely with our stake and ward leaders in conducting the work. A tricky subject, but the key to the hastening, and we all know it. We have seen so much of our training from authorities and our efforts focused on training and inspiring the members to be missionaries, and how we can align ourselves with the priesthood keys of each ward. This is how the gospel will be taken to all the earth . I can tell you I've seen benchmark improvements in the two years I've served. The work is quickening, and old ways won't get us any further. Revelation guides the ship. It's an exciting process to say the least. On that subject, we also have a worldwide missionary training broadcast coming up this Wednesday WOOOT. The one we had last year was awesome. Its basically general conference for just missionaries all over the world. The brethren help us, and teach us. This year president told us they are tweaking the missionary schedule too! You can expect to hear about that. I'm pumped to hear what's on the mind of our leaders. And to help fulfill it as a full time missionary for about 2 more months, and as a regular joe member of the church after that haha.
After our meeting Wednesday we went to lunch at McDonald's in Mtn Grove with the district (that's 6 of us elders). As is not uncommon, someone in the restaurant recognized us as Mormon missionaries. As we sat at the table near his group, he grabbed an unsuspecting victim, poor Elder Tahiliani, and started jawing off about "you believe this" and "I believe that" and who knows what else. To my friends back home you may think, "HEY! What a great missionary opportunity! This man wants to talk about the gospel!" False. This man wants to destroy your faith hahaha. It happens at random intervals, such is life in the bible belt. We try not to bash, we smile, we bear testimony, we state simple doctrines, and we bid a nice day. (Usually to some comment about the welfare of our lost souls.) For the older elders, it becomes comical, and you hardly bat an eye. To the knew guys, it can be some ground shaking stuff. But you just learn that people will be people, many of them are woefully misinformed, and many of them actually listen to about 1.33 percent of the words you say. Anyway our new McDonald's friend is chatting up Elder T. as we all open up our burgers and notice he's still standing at the next table listening to this guy. He's trying to smile politely and answer the pointed questions about how we believe you get to heaven (that's a standard starting point), and looks terribly uncomfortable. Another elder asks me if we need to go in as backup. We might. We're sitting 5 feet away and can hear everything they're saying. None of it is new. Elder T. has been out like 4 months and is handling it pretty well. After our meal (the new Grand Mac is delicious), Elder T. is still trying to extricate himself from this guy and come sit down hahaha. Elder Ashby calls over to intervene and throws out some witty, conversation disrupting comments. Elder T. escapes with all his appendages still attached and sits down to show us his new holy cross necklaces homemade with nails and superglue, and even a new secret handshake involving the holy trinity. He's pretty quiet the rest of lunch hahaha. Before we leave, my favorite guy in Missouri Duane Sherrell comes to sit with us. Duane is our next door neighbor, joined the church last May, is about 65, has lived in Mtn Grove his whole life, has a heart of gold and the best sense of humor. He says "Hey, I saw you guys talkin to ole Joey over there. Calls himself the 'cross guy'. That guy is nuts, you might as well talk to a possum." I bust up laughing, straight faced he says "No I'm serious, I've talked to that guy 'bout Jesus 'n stuff. You might as well go on out in the woods, gather y'up a possum, and talk to it." Elder T. felt better after that. A day in the life. we went on exchanges in Houston (don't ask) Missouri with our zone leader after that. It was great. They're good elders.
I've exhausted my time with my story, other great things took place also. We had a less active member call us and ask to start teaching his fiance. We meet tonight, we're happy about that. We are helping Cheryl prepare for baptism too! Stand by for that. Transfers are next week, we'll see where I spend my last one.
Much love from this very religiously opinionated part of the world.
Elder Hakes

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