This week was pretty good. Lots of stuff is changing around here. I will be getting a new companion this week, which was expected. We did find out some big news about how we will be doing proselyting here. Starting in a couple weeks we will be getting smart phones and becoming a Facebook mission! I’m not sure exactly how I feel about it but it is coming nonetheless.
Monday we did nothing for P Day because of the hurricane. We were put on lock down from noon until the end of the day, so basically we sat inside for the entire day and played cards and sat around. It wasn’t terrible but it was a bit of a bummer because we didn’t get to go down to Spartanburg like we were planning on for the day.
Tuesday morning DDM was canceled mission wide due to the lockdown still being in effect. Shortly before the time we would usually have DDM the lockdown was ended but since DDM was already canceled and nobody was prepared, they kept it canceled. We still went on exchanges with the ZL’s like we had been planning on though. Elder B., our new ZL and one of my former companions went with me down here and it was a blast! It was way fun being able to reconnect with him and see how much we both have changed since almost a year ago. Elder B. was my last companion in Greenville before we were whitewashed. We only had 5 weeks together, but those five weeks were a blast because he was probably the easiest companion I have had.
We drove a ton and visited the outskirts of our area and had a few good successes. Elder B. was amazed at the backwoodsyness of our area and it reminded him of home. He was startled at first by hearing gunshots, something I realized then that I am just used to. We met some new less actives, and some new non members. One guy we met was convinced his dog had run away a week ago, and he would just rant to us about it. He clearly wasn’t all there. We talked to the neighbors and when the subject of his dog came up, they told us that he was crazy and the dog had been gone for a really long time. I honestly didn’t even think twice about it until later. Crazy people used to seem abnormal to me, but I think being out here has made me one of them so I don’t even think twice about them.
We went by this one person where we had to walk through someone else’s property to get to their house. Whilst walking through, I looked over to my right and saw a large black creature just chilling on the ground a good thirty feet away. It saw us quickly and shot up its head grunted and ran toward us. At first glance I thought we were about to get mauled by an attack dog, but then realized that this dark colored creature was actually a pig! I wasn’t sure if I should be scared or fall over laughing at this big grunting ball of blubber charging right at us. I looked for tusks and didn’t see any, so rather than running I backed up slowly. Elder Brinkerhoff, being the farm kid he is, stooped down and started playing with the thing like it was a dog. After a bit we left the pig and walked toward the house we were going to visit. We got across the property and up the stairs and rang the doorbell, and what do I see out in the distance? Mr. Pig decided to follow us across property lines and walk up the stairs to this house. Part of me hoped that the homeowners didn’t answer so that we didn’t have to explain ourselves out of this one. “Uh, well, yes hello sir. We are just in the neighborhood today spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and wanted to know if you would be interested in a Book of Mormon and an oversized piece of hairy bacon?” I decided against this course of action, just in case the residents were armed and curious as to what grilled missionary wrapped in bacon tasted like. They didn’t end up answering anyway, so take that pig.
We explored a lot of new roads and even found a small flock of wild turkeys on some dirt road in the middle of nowhere. Elder B. loves catching them so we may or may not have tried cornering one and grabbing it. Those things are sneaky.
Later in the day we had dinner with Brother S. B., a less active we usually have dinner with once a month. He took us out to The Clock, a Southern burger chain, and we had a good discussion with him about the Book of Mormon and how it helps fill our lives with peace. I think it was a successful lesson and we were able to get him to solidly commit to reading it daily.
After that we went to Pelicans (the southern version of shave ice) and visited the owner, B., a less active member. He is a recent convert of a few years and has an incredible conversion story. Basically he somehow made friends with the Piano Guys and they facilitated his conversion. He is still friends with them today, but has been flaky on church because of work. It was good to be able to talk to him and he expressed how he wanted to get back to the temple. That basically ended our day. It was a really good exchange overall.
Wednesday was super ordinary compared to yesterday. We exchanged back and then had ward coordination. Brother M., our ward mission leader, is way cool and I always enjoy having ward coord with him. The rest of the day was pretty low key. I taught Book of Mormon class and it went pretty well. Nothing else too crazy happened.
Thursday we had apartment inspections in the morning, so we didn’t do service for meals on wheels like usual. We spent most of the morning cleaning and then having inspections. Most of the day was really slow until our appointment with C. at Sister B.’s home. It went really well! We got C. to commit to coming to church and trying things out. She told us that she would be moving to Greenville soon and that she was sad to leave her church here behind, but knew it was for the better. Since she was going to be without a church when she moved, I suggested that she try ours out since it was also down in Greenville. It was the opportunity that I had been waiting and praying for. She had even been reading the Book of Mormon to our delight, and had questions about baptism. We are hopeful that she will have a good experience at church and will be put on date soon.
Friday we went to the soup kitchen and had a good time there. I am familiar with all the homeless people here now, which I guess is just the nature of a small town. It was Elder N.’s six month mark, so we celebrated by going to Subway with a gift card his parents gave him. It was right around then we got an email from President Innes to the entire mission, announcing some crazy new stuff! Starting in a few weeks, we will be turning into a social media mission! I honestly wasn’t too excited by this but I guess I will only have to deal with that for a couple months. The really cool news was that we have been selected as one of 12 missions to pilot a NEW SMART PHONE PROGRAM here, so in the coming weeks we will be getting smart phones to replace the piece of garbage flip phones we have now. This was joyous, because the current phones the church gives us are literally defective, so they get them for free. I have had my share of dumb phones and I have no problem using a good old fashioned flip phone, but these things are literally the worst. They call people randomly and break randomly without reason, unless you are trying to break them and then they don’t.
Saturday blew by like nothing else. We went out to Blacksburg and did a lot of work out there. Blacksburg days are interesting because you never know what you will find out there. We went on a lot of backroads and found a lot of dead end houses. We didn’t have too much success but it was fun nonetheless.
Sunday was fine. C. didn’t show up to church for whatever reason. It was a little disappointing to say the least. I was almost glad that she didn’t come though because Sacrament meeting was kinda rough. I won’t go into any details there.
The rest of the day followed suit. Nothing crazy, pretty dull overall. After begging the ZL’s to death, I was able to get them to tell us that Elder N. is going to be transferred. This wasn’t too much of a surprise though, because Elder N. and I have been together now for 6 months.
Anyway, that is all I have to talk about. Time is moving way too quickly here.
Until next week,
Elder Jeremiah Brown