Monday, August 7, 2017
This week was great and the silly moment ties in with the awesome
moment as well so they shall be combined today.
First couple things to share about is week was it was a pretty darn
normal week. We got some haircuts because a lot of haircut places
aren't open on Mondays, which I learned. But there was a specific one
we wanted to go to because it caught our eye. It was an awesome lady
named Vicky and is a black barbershop. If there is one thing I've
learned on my mission, it's that black barbershops will leave you
looking fresher than Febreeze. With very affordable prices none the
less. And come to think of it, we've got two Dallas Daze worthy
moments this week. So this can be official number one. We pull up and
see the barber poll goin, those are how ya know they're legit, not
anyone can have a barber poll I've learned. So we roll in and time
stops, I'm pretty sure we were the first white people to ever set foot
in the shop. It was like we walked in and shouted, "ALL EYES ON US!"
We couldn't have drawn more attention wearing bathrobes than we
already had, even the blind dude was lookin at us! Vicky was trimmin
up a dudes afro and doing a dang good job, coulda slapped Wonder on the
side and called it bread, and greets us. She legit asked first, "how
are Yall Doin! Are Yall lost?" We cheerily replied how we weren't lost
but lookin to get some of the best haircuts in town! She said, "well
alright write your names up on the seating list!" We go do that, and
take a seat and the patrons waiting and Vicky begin goin back to
normal. Got revival African America gospel choir music bumping, some
goofy talk show playing, vending machines from the early years of
Moses high-school , it was like a time machine. We sight see the signs
around and I notice that she only accepts cash, I being not a newby to
this, had withdrawn a 20$ so I could get a haircut when we did. Elder
Dertina did not. So we told Vicky we needed to go get some cash,
apparently she didn't believe that we really intended to have her cut
our hair cause she said, "there's an ATM down the street or there's a
salon place a little further down the road to go to?" Well we went to
the gas station and got a drink and withdrew some cash, or would have
but the gas station didn't let us know they don't do money back until
AFTER he payed. We then sought out a Brookshire's and got the job done
and bought some handy dandy little trees for our car. We come back to
the shop and Vicky then knew we meant business. Well Vicky began
asking us who we were and having the whole, "you're dressed silly
what's wrong with you" conversation which was goin awesome. Elder
Dertina gets up there and she starts goin to town. It was like the
sculptor and the statue of David man. She took her time makin it look
good all while talking to her about missionaries. She gets done and
Elder Dertina has the best hair cut a companion of mine has ever had.
Best part? He says how much do I owe ya, she's all "12$" WHAT!?!? Was
like a 30$ worthy cut. So he tipped her some extra and that was that,
then there's me. We began talking where I'm from and more about
missionaries and she loved it. Began cutting my hair and we talk about
her career and such and she says, "it's cool Yall came in here, I
really have never gotten to practice on any Caucasians at all, so I
hope it's good for Yall." Aka, Yall are the first white people to ever
come here, so this is sweet. Hahaha it was awesome! We talked to the
whole store and it was a grand experience. My haircut was 15 and she
loved the little swoopy thing I do with my hair in the front and made
sure to leave it be. So that was funny and we invited her to the
baptism Saturday. She said if she could get off she would be there. It
was a really good teaching experience and a really good haircut. But
it was a first for me! Moral is, if you want a bomb haircut and don't
have a certain favorite, find yourself a black barbershop and you win
the game of being fresher than fast food places claim they are. And we
all know how fresh they claim to be!
Next, after a few days of finding peeps to teach, we decided to help
again on the house thing we are gonna be living in. We have grown
really close with the Keith family that is Doin it for us and they're
kids are awesome. One of em, Ashlynn, comes out and is all, "I want to
help!" Well when 6 year Olds say such they never are much help as they
are an extra body but what the heck ya know? So we get her a scraper
thing and show her how to mud the corners of dry wall and prep it for
me to put the corner on. For the next 3 hours Ashlynn sits and talks
to us and literally turns out to be one of the biggest helps ever! She
was mudding faster than I could put on the corners and she was doing a
good job too! Her brother came and helped a bit too but she enjoyed
doing it, he did so much because she was doing it and couldn't let her
show him up. So he left pretty quick. It was awesome, we got a ton of
mudding done on the drywall thanks to the help.
Then the finale of the week. Al's baptism. We went and got things
ready for it that afternoon and set it all up. We had the programs
perfect, the piano and decorations, awesome statue of Jesus. It was
sweet. Elders aren't incompetent like many members seem to think. Al
showed up an hour early so nobody but us were there. We gave him the
jumpsuit we thought should fit him, he goes in and tries it on. We
were waiting outside and we here, "it don't fit" We look and there's
Al.....half dressed with no shirt in the middle of the church so elder
Dertina runs and grabs him and I run and get another jumpsuit, we have
him try that. Once again no luck. So we are scrambling, the relief
society president hadn't brought the rest back so we had no jumpsuits,
but we had some white pants? So we grab some and run out and have Al
try em. After 5 tries, some fit! Though he can't zip the fly up but
you couldn't tell so it was good! Well the white shirt came from Elder
Dertina cause he had felt to bring a couple extra shirts and they fit
Al! So we got him one of those and perfect timing he was there. So we
walk in and the program starts after about 10 minutes. Everything is
goin well, a recent convert gave their first talk and did an AWESOME
job. Doin sweet, then comes the baptism. I was confidant it couldn't
be that hard. So Al and I start walking back. He makes is way slowly
down the stairs into the font cause he's got a bad leg from a stroke.
After having practiced it all before, we get into the waters of
forgetfulness and it's now as if we hadn't practiced at all! Hahaha
meaning, we stand and I hold out my hand for him to do the thing ya
know and he just stands there, and I'm like "grab my arm..." He grabs
it with his right hand, "other hand" he grabs his right hand with his
left hand, "no other arm," he grabs his left hand with his right hand,
"no grab my left arm with your left hand, " takes it by the under
side, "no over the top," back to square one, "okay here (forcefully
shows him) now put your right wrist in my left hand, like we did ya
know?" He just takes my hand and I'm like whatever it works, feel like
Rex Kwon Do. So we go, I say the words, big moment, go to put him in
the water.....! Aaaaannndddd he resists and goes stiff as a board,
"I'm scared man, I got a bad leg I don't wanna slip." I tell him, "no
that's why I'm here I got you." He's all, "you got me?" "Yes I've got
you," We try again. Say the words, almost there! Again.....doesn't.
After 6 attempts and a very embarrassed Elder Hiatt, we get a chair.
We put the chair down in and he sits in and just has to lean forward.
Perfect, easy, no worries. We go for it, I say the words, Goin
awesome, Aaaaannndddd Al can't bend over far enough and just puts his
face in, he thinks he's good and comes up smiling but it wasn't done
yet, he couldn't bend over his belly 😅😅😅. So we try again, nothing.
Man things were getting rough, our bishop is a witness and trying to
talk him into it all, we are just trying to do get this down any way
possible. Well we eventually call in the parachute squad and Elder
Dertina comes and gets in white too and we both are in there. We
decided to go forward and so Al almost makes it under the first
attempt, and the second Elder Dertina and I just are like, this one's
happening, so Dertina kinda bends Al's knees and is like getting him
to squat a little lower and I help him bend over enough and BAM all
the way under! he was immersed and came out so happy! He was so
excited to be baptized like Jesus was, just scared of drowning. So
that was awesome! It was about a 15 minute ordeal but we finally got
him through it. After which it went awesome the rest of the way and
life was good. Al kept apologizing for his fear but he was so thankful
and so happy. It was so darn cool. He told all of his family and
friends about him being baptized and found the truth. It took him a
long time to finally pray and ask if it was all true, and finally he
did, knew it was true, and is now baptized and confirmed. It was a
blessing to see it go through, and kind of intense 😂😂.
Through it all, embarrassment initially and such, afterwards it was
honestly so awesome. The spirit shown through and I definitely can say
that it's real. I've never had the privilege of that before and the
peace and happiness you feel is overwhelming. Sometimes baptisms don't
go totally according to plan, but it was able to happen. I was so
caught up in the smoothness when in reality, who cares! Someone took
their first step to following our Savior and who cares the logistics.
It made me realize that the decor, the program, the any of that, it's
all fine and good but the point is is we have the priesthood authority
restored to baptize people by immersion as Christ was, sometimes it
can be a struggle, but what a blessing it is to feel of the spirit
that comes from it.
It was awesome. And a good week.
Hope everyone's well! Love yall!
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
This week was a great week. We had some awesome happenings but most of
all, WE HAVE A BAPTISM THIS SATURDAY!
This will be one of the first ones I actually get to see through and
be there for! We are excited about it.
So this week nothing to absurd happened but I did have a cuddle buddy,
a very large one! We were at a recent converts house and he's got the
best dogs ever. His rottweiler Zues is a big pup but as friendly as
can be. He has taken a liking to me since I've been here and this week
wanted to listen to the lesson as close as he could and decided he
wanted to sit in my lap.....so I got to teach a lovely lesson with a
man's best friend chillaxing on me, he's a big dog and very slobbery!
I'll attach some pictures, I don't know what it is but dogs seem to
flock to me. But that's no issue with me! Oh! And we were at the
library and this old lady was totally knocked out in a chair reading
it was hilarious.
We spent a lot of time helping out a member who is building us a
house, and by building I mean paying for the materials and over the
past 8 months having missionaries build it. It came to a stand still
cause missionaries for a while didn't know how to do anything on it,
when I got here, it needed drywall and backer board (basically drywall
for showers), taping and mudding and everything a house needs from
there. So he's having a tile guy put in the tile this week and we
decided we wanted to be of service and not make him miss the deadline,
so seeing as how I've done this kinda stuff, we spent last Monday and
a couple days this week working with people and getting this drywall
up and mudding done. We even called in our district Saturday for extra
hands and I taught them how to mud and we went at it! I honestly love
doing this stuff, everyone had the "man this sucks but I'm happy to
serve someone" face with me "man I should do this for a living" face.
It was awesome. It's almost done! It's only 200 Sq ft but it's gonna
be an extremely nice and we'll out together place, no more ghetto
apartment! But we haven't moved in yet so we will see.
We got dropped by a lot of our investigators this week and that was
sad, but no worries because our boy Al showed through! After trying to
visit members in various apartment complexes and getting kicked out
before we could knock for setting foot on the property (they said we
aren't allowed to visit our members.....like really? #Constitutional I
swear some people hate missionaries too much) and reenacting star wars
and being told, "I am not the man you're looking for, he moved to
uh.....Kentucky....with his dad...." When clearly they are them cause
they have their business truck literally parked right there with his
name on it, and having potentials call and drop us, the shining moment
was Sunday. Sunday was fantastic. We first got to speak and I felt
very good about my talk, it's like the Lord jsut handed me words to
say. The spirit must have spoke cause I got many comments for it, when
I really didn't do it, but it went fantastic. Well we needed our
investigator Al at church or he couldn't get baptized Saturday. Well
sacrament starts....no Al. Opening song and exercises.....no Al.
Sacrament is passed.....no Al. Elder dertina starts his talk.....no
Al. But then! The hallway is graced by a unfamiliar presence.....Al
sets foot in the hallway! He makes his way in and we gave our talks.
After sacrament we headed to gospel principles and kinda took over
cause Al still needed 1 more lesson before he could have an interview
(which we didn't realize we needed to do that day until right then[I
just have never gotten this far so I kinda space it]) and we taught
the commandments and it was AWESOME. Everyone participated really
well. Al wants to pay tithing and set up his bank account to do it
automatically. Then we went to priesthood, that was about taking upon
us the name of Christ and what that means. We called the District
leader and they dropped everything and we had the interview a bit
after church. It went awesome. And now we have a baptism scheduled and
he wants to go to the temple soon after. So things are awesome. Sunday
was just choreographed by God, it was awesome.
Also met my ward mission leader finally. He's legit, we are like the
same people. Same interests, same physique, same hair styles when I
grew mine out. The first thing I noticed his gaming PC and apparently
I'm the first one to ever notice. We talked about that for a while,
then found out he builds all their furniture so we talked about that,
and it was just awesome.
This week was well! I hope everyone else's was too!
Monday, July 17, 2017
Wow! Where to even begin!?
So this week was probably the best week of my mission. Let's start with Tuesday.
So Tuesday was transfer day, and I was headed out to Marshall Texas about 2.5 hours away or so. Me and Elder Dertina were getting doubled in to the area so we were like, "shoot how do we get out there." Well fear not! The most solid bishop ever, drove into Dallas and got us to take us out. He was bringing the other elders in who were both going home so we went back out with him, and we miraculously found a ride! So we came out here and had some awesome conversation on the way out. Once we got here we got dropped off and began unpacking. The apartment was decently clean but we deep cleaned it and made it nice. Unpacked everything and then ate some food. We had pretty much nothing but made it work for that day.
The next day we set out to find some grocery stores. We went to this place called Aldi that is a German shop. Everything there is literally the cheapest thing ever, and it's awesome. You can get a gallon of milk for 80 cents. It's so awesome. So we got some groceries and then stopped by Walmart for the rest. Elder Dertina is probably the funniest person I've ever met so we had some good driving talks. It was awesome. Our car is a brand new 2017 Chevy Malibu and is like the nicest car I've ever driven and been in. So that's us so far and after we got groceries we headed off to dinner cause very thing is like 40 minutes apart here in Marshall. We got to dinner and were kinda worried cause it was in a very scary trailer park but we get in there and meet the family. She's a recent convert living with her brother and they were super awesome. And to our surprise, and enjoyment, turns out she was a culinary school graduate! We had like a 5 course meal that was probably the best food I've ever had. She made these broccoli to cheese ball things and I probably coulda eaten 100 of em. The stuff was amazing!
I forgot to mention! That first day we had dinner we went to a diner that is owned by a member and missionaries eat free. So we had some burgers and pie and DANG those old ladies know how to cook! It was so awesome. The people there were excited to meet new missionaries and we felt welcomed for sure.
I can't remember what morning I did all this but I wanna mention it cause it was hilarious! Elder Dertina has a ventriloquist doll that's terrifying and I set it up right by his couch (he loves sleeping on the couch) and when he woke up he flipped out hahaha. We also for whatever reason have a coffee pot in our apartment and so we made hot chocolate in it one morning and it was delicious. Dertina also makes some mean jambalaya.
But ya after dinner we had to go get some other stuff cause our apartment didn't have a shower curtain, trash can, or plunger and the sinks were clogged and drain super slow so we also got some Drano. We took care of that stuff and then met with our bishop and brother Keith who loves the missionaries. They showed us this house they're building the missionaries in their backyard and they're about done and in the next month or two could be moving in there. So that'll be awesome. When they found out I have a background of that they were stoked and wanted us to help. So we will do some of that this week. But that was awesome.
Thursday went fantastic. It was weekly planning and we literally had no clue who anyone was so we called and made some plans. One of em was with a recent convert that meets us at the basketball courts and wanted to meet up that day so he told us 2:30, but he didn't end up showing up till 4 but that was fine because there was this guy Tommy there who just moved in to town and was Ballin, we asked if we could play and he's all, "course ya can!" (Everyone here speaks Cajun jargon and it's probably the most difficult thing to understand.) we played 7 on the line with him after some friendly trash talk, then we won and he's all, "okay okay let's play this." So we played some more games and he won some we won some and it was awesome. The whole time talking about the book of Mormon and all that jazz. He took our number and was all, "man you gotta come ball with me and my friends here!" So that was a new investigator we found, we then had our Recent Convert lesson that was kinda weird, the dudes odd but it was good. These little black kids were playing too and were all, "hey church man! You play ball church man?" It was so awesome 😂😂
Friday we went and visited another recent convert and his name was boris. He was the coolest man ever and it was a great visit. He referred one of his friends who he's referred before and so we called him and set up a lesson with him for the next day. We then were looking in our area book and saw this investigator that works at a Christian merchandise store from 10:00 to 3:00. We realized it was after three and she wouldn't be there but we felt prompted to go anyway. We showed up and ask the cashier if the lady was there and she said she wasn't. But we decided to look around the store. It had some bomb ties, but after a while the cashier started asking us about ourselves. We talked about missions and what we do, who we were, how it all works. And she basically just began asking all the right questions. We went from missionaries to talking about what we teach and we went and grabbed one of the bibles she was selling in the store and began reading verses with her that pertain to the restoration and such. She was eating it up and was all, "man this is way different than people say!" We then talked about questions she had and shared what the book of Mormon is and she loved that. She then had questions about temples and we told her about eternal families and temples and she was like, "okay so I didn't tell Yall but the woman you are looking for is my mom, and I'd sure like to sit in when you reach her, this stuff is intriguing." So boom, crazy miracle. It then started poring rain and we didn't have a dinner so we went to granny's pats diner again and they were happy to see us. Had the best chicken fried stake in the world. It was awesome. Then waited the rain because it was really unsafe to drive in it, and we got impatient and as soon as we set foot outside, the rain died down to a sprinkle, so I am gonna assume that was the spirit. Hahaha! It was awesome.
Saturday was beast! That referral that boris gave us we met with. He in the area book had been given up on cause he couldn't see how there was one true church and didn't understand authority and the last elders kinda gave up. Well we went just wanting to meet him and he talked about random stuff for like an hour and half but we listened as best we could and we picked up on that he was talking about how his life had changed battling sickness. So we read with him about the elders giving blessings with oil in the Bible and said, "would you like us to do that?" He connected that we were elders and he said absolutely he would. So we gave him that and then he went on another hour spiel about family members and once again, we listened and what he was getting across was he has lost close family members and it's really shaken him. So we talked to him about the plan of Salvation and he LOVED it. We used this puzzle thing Elder Dertina had and he wants one so we ordered him one. Well after that we began discussing true church and the priesthood cause he asked about it and I don't know what we did but we explained it the best way we knew how, and he said, "huh.....I get it." Well I found myself all the sudden inviting him to be baptized on August 5th and be baptized by the same authority Jesus was baptized with through John the Baptist and he said," I'd like to be baptized like Jesus was. I want it how he did and Ya'll have it. I'm gonna have to pray about this, but I will be baptized on August 5th." We stood dumbfounded! He accepted! An investigator they gave up on accepted! He then said, "I wanna know this is true, I wanna feel it! How do I do that?" We explained the commitment we leave him with will help him and promised him that he would feel it if he would read and pray but also promised him the lord would never answer him if he didn't ask through his actions of faith and prayer. So he said, "I can't come this Sunday, but I'll be there every Sunday after that. And I'll read and pray, heck I'll pray right now." And he's one that when he makes a commitment, he means it, he won't make it if he doesn't intend to keep it. It was awesome! We called our bishop and he was AMAZED that we were able to do that! The ward had kinda thought he was a lost cause! So that us definitely a testimony I have, the spirit teaches, not us. It will teach if you will listen. You MUST listen. You cannot know how to help them if you don't listen to them and I bear witness the spirit is real and worked through Elder Dertina and I. Glory be to God for such a miracle!
Sunday was amazing. It felt like coming to a family reunion, especially because the building is the exact same as the one back home so it was just, oh it was AWESOME. We felt like celebrities there and I can only thank the lord for his mercy on me and allowing such a change in me. I cannot believe the power the lord has to snatch us out of the chains of hell if we will just let him, the atonement works and it is nothing of my own doing but the lord has blessed me immensely this week. I cannot believe the miracles I am seeing and it's all because of repentance. All because of the atonement. We had an amazing Sunday and they had a linger longer, and I had fried catfish, craw fish, and everything under the sun.
So to sum up, I have been blessed with the area, I got one of my top 3 companions and we get along almost too well, we think the same, we both want to work, the area loves missionaries, we found 2 new investigators, and set a baptismal date, and it hasn't even been a week.
The lord truly does his work and how I pray that we may be able to participate in it cause it's nothing but joy.
I love yall!
Monday, July 10, 2017
This week has been good, but honestly not a ton to talk about.
The fourth of July we didn't see any fireworks cause in our city
specifically has made any form of them illegal and that's lame. But it
was a good week. Meeting our new mission president was cool. He's
awesome and I'm excited to get to know him and see how he works.
So this week was the week of many sunny days yet still pouring rain
all the dang time 😂😂 We'd be riding in a great sunny day and it'd be
pouring rain as it was sunny. So darn weird. My companion has gotten a
stripe of mud up is back cause of the tire and it is hilarious, my
backpack covers my back well and I avoid muddy puddles.
This week we got to volunteer at an animal shelter and it was awesome.
Lots and lots of door knocking so the dogs and cats were a great
I'm getting transferred today so that's fun! Only 1 transfer in this
area so that's sad but it'll be fine.