This last week was, well, AWESOME as always. And today I am slightly more organized, so prepare for a regular-length email.
So, in no particular order, here are the events that transpired last week:
CAR STUCK IN POOP-MUD: Yes, unfortunately you did read correctly. This last week my companion and I were driving to visit some former investigators. He was driving, and at my request, he took an alley. Alleys in the FORT are pretty interesting. Usually they are narrow gravel roads that cut blocks in half, so they could conceivably be faster than driving the usual route. Well, upon my insistence, we proceeded down this alley. It was more-than-slightly overgrown, but we kept going. We had only passed three houses when we heard a THWOMP! which signaled to us that something had happened to our vehicle. We stepped out of the car and gave it a 32-point inspection, but at point 1, the front wheels, we noticed that our car was bottomed-out in a puddle. Now, this puddle must've been pretty deep (like 2 feet straight down) because we weren't very far in it. The tires had no traction (too much water-per-poop ratio) and we were very stuck. We tried to push the car, put objects under the wheels for traction, all of those things, but it still would not come out. So, naturally, we left our car, took a Jesus picture from our trunk, and began our exodus. We went and knocked doors of anyone with trucks until we came upon an elderly gentleman who offered to help us. In exchange for our Jesus picture, this African-American sir loaded us in his truck and we went to the site of the disaster. With Jay-Z blaring on his radio (remember that this guy was 70+?) we pulled our car out with some tie-down straps. Everything was fine, and we got a free carwash later on.
REFERRALS: So, as far as the missionary work in Fort Smith, this week was a stinker, until the end. On Friday, we received THREE referrals, one of them being a "media referral." For the uninitiated, a "media referral" is when someone gets online and requests anything from a copy of the Bible to a copy of the Book of Mormon, to a visit from the missionaries. This man requested a copy of the Book of Mormon, so we gladly went and delivered it to him. He invited us to come back any time and he said that he was going to be reading it! Crazy crazy crazy.
CHIP OF THE MARK OF THE BEAST: Last night, we were in a lesson with a former investigator, and he was explaining all of these things that were (supposedly) in the Bible. One of these was the Chip of the Mark of the Beast, as explained in Revelations (so he said). He continued to explain that this chip, when placed on your forehead, could help bring people out of poverty and do all kinds of good things, but then the "Beast" is the devil sooooo yeah. My companion and I kinda just sat there and then said a prayer and left. So, do not eat the tortilla chip of the mark of the beastie
ORANGE FIGHT: So we went over to have breakfast at a potential investigator's house, but he forgot about it. His kids were in the street, so we went and talked to them. They invited us into their open garage, so we went and sat with them and waited until their dad got home. The youngest of them gave us oranges and told us to eat them. We gladly did so. Then he gave us more oranges. As I had already fulfilled my hourly quota of oranges, I declined. At his insistence, I reluctantly accepted the citrus. It wasn't long before oranges were flying across the room, being passed back and forth. We were sitting down and little kids were standing right in front of us ready to throw an orange with full force right at our face. It was at this time that we opted out and left.
BARGAINS GALORE ON 64: Because Arkansas, there is a HUGE event that occurs annually on Highway 64. It is basically just an endless string of flea markets that goes from the start of the highway to the end of it. We found this out on our way back from district meeting and I am still a little sore because they had a million Captain America comic books in pristine condition and I didn't have any cash so I didn't buy any and now I have anti-buyer's remorse because the event is over and those people are long gone...
I LOST MY HEART IN san FRANCISCO: So, Francisco's house this week was fabulous. My companion and I get to meet with them weekly, and this week we brought over an Italian game called "BANG!". It was loads of fun and I recommend it for every household in America. Also, Francisco cooked us up some of the best Buche (pig stomach lining) that I have ever had the opportunity to sample. Try it if you're feeling brave.
UAFS MOVE INS: We got to go move like a million Freshmen into the dormitories at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith this last Saturday. It was a lot of fun and we were basically the only ones working, with the English Elders. It was really fun, and I think that it helped out a lot. One goal for this stake is to start a YSA Ward in Fort Smith, which would be really cool. I hope that they do.
JESTER, THE CLOWN: Never work with ivy. Ivy is a terrible invention that kills trees lives in symbiotic dissonance with them. We went service tracting this last week, which means that we went door-to-door asking if anyone needed any service done. The response about 100% of the time was "No, we've got it." So, we found a random guy clearing ivy out of a tree and helped him. His name was Jester and he was a used-car-salesman-gone-tree-trimmer. We helped him out and he was nice enough. He had some pretty strong opinions about religion, so we just planted some seeds with him. It was fantastic.
HAIRY JERRY GUARDADO AND THE PAPUSAS FROM HEAVEN: So, we have dinner with the Guardado's every Thursday, and this Thursday, we were treated to a Mexican, Salvadoranian, and Nicaraguan restaurant that was DELICIOUS. We had some of the best Papusas ever, and my boy Jerry Guardado thought that one of the ladies that worked there was going o take him to jail for stealing mints. All in a day's work.
#DOMESTICATED: This week, Elder Millett and I made a lot of food at home for no real reason. We figured that since we are in the South, that we might as well try to fry everything. We started out this week with the basics, but next week we should have some more interesting cuisine to discuss.
SPIRITUAL THOUGHT: Everybody has questions about something. For example: Should I look for a new job? Where am I going in life? What is the next step in my life? etc. Your questions are probably a lot better than the ones that I just included. The answers to your questions can be found by---- wait for it--- PRAYER. Pray to know the answer to your questions. Some instructions on how to do just that: First pick the question. Phrase it as more of a yes or no. Then wait. The answer will come. You should feel some peace and resolve if it is a yes, and maybe some confusion or discomfort if it is a no. Then, the hardest part of all: Going with it. You will have just received an answer from our Father in Heaven. That means that you need to act on it.
Well, Don't be silly like me and get pushed into a fountain.
Have a BLESSED week
Elder Matthew Busi