Monday, April 3, 2017

E-mail 04/03/2017 Last Letter

This has been a great week.

Tuesday, we had a lesson with a guy that we had tracted into Sunday, and we had a good lesson with him and he understood everything fairly well, that is except for the Book of Mormon. For some reason, no matter how many times or how we present it, he just doesn't understand it. And because he's an older fellow, he loves to talk, so after the closing prayer it took us another ten minutes to leave. He's a good guy.
Later, we went by a lady that Elder Peterson taught on the exchange, but she wasn't feeling good so we set up a return appointment. We then did our service at the Salvation Army.
Lastly, we went to a part member family's home that we were going to have dinner with, and when we got there, the wife answered the door and we could immediately tell something was wrong. They let us in, and we found out that they had a family member passed away so they were understandably upset. We talked with them for a little bit, doing what we could, then left. They had forgotten that we were coming for dinner and thought we had just stopped by, and we found it expedient not to mention anything.
Wednesday, we first stopped by a potential investigator who we had talked to on the phone a few days before, but no one answered. So we just drove to Madisonville for District Meeting, it was really good, and long. Jerry was there, along with the Zone Leaders. Afterwards us and the Madisonville elders had lunch. Then on the way back, we made some stops to some people at the edge of our area.

Thursday, we had an appointment with a potential who had gotten a hold of us. We're super excited and we get there and NO ONE ANSWERED! Why?! We even knew someone was there but didn't answer. So we left and went to the park and fed the animals. Then we went to Evansville to send my bike and I got everything taken apart quickly except for the pedals, and after awhile, and because we had a member waiting, I admitted defeat and took my bike to the nearby bike shop and asked them to do it. They hooked it to a frame and grabbed a tool and had them off within two minutes. So we got the bike boxed and shipped. We then saw one of our investigators, gave her a magnifying glass that was randomly at our apartment so she can read the Book of Mormon now and invited her to watch General Conference. We then had dinner with some members and had coordination.

Friday, we had weekly planning, then most of the rest of the day wasn't so good, no one would answer there phones or doors. But then we had dinner with members and that was pretty good.

Saturday, General Conference was amazing! I learned so much! Some of my favorite were Elder Bragg, and Elder Nelson on Saturday morning, then Elder Bednar during Priesthood Session, also, remember rule #6.

Sunday, was good as well, loved Conference, and we got an investigator to watch the last session at a members home, and it was really good, but he still had trouble understanding things.

Well, that's my final week in the mission. It's so weird that this is it, but I'm excited to see my family!

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Monday, March 27, 2017

E-mail 03/27/2017

It's really hard to motivate myself to write an email because I'm so tired. But then I remind myself that it's for the Momma :)

Tuesday, The highlights of the day were when we had lunch with a member. It's always fun to be around him because he has grandpa humor. Then we did service at the Salvation Army.

Wednesday, we had weekly planning, then the rest of the day was finding.

Thursday, we did service at the park and fed the animals. One of the snakes finally ate after four months, and it was amusing watching it swallow. Then when we fed the birds one of the hawks landed on my glove in such a way that it pinned my hand closed, that was fun. Then I beat the barn owl in a staring contest. All tremble at my stare! Afterwards the lady in charge took us to lunch, it was nice of her. The rest of the day was filled with finding, reading the scriptures with the member, and coordination.

Friday, we had Zone Conference, and it was really good, the zone leaders trained on conversion, President Brough first trained on repentance, and that's also what the Stake President talked about for a few minutes. Lunch was really good, it was homemade chili and it was the Newburgh Ward that took care of it, so it was fun seeing people. I was reminded that it is possible to live in a shadow's shadow. Elder Hendricks, who served in Newburgh before me, was overlooked by the members just because he was standing next to me, go figure. Anyway, after lunch, President introduced us to this Easter's initiative, and it's looking to be another great one. Then President gave an in-depth discussion on the keys and authority of the priesthood, it was pretty cool. At the end they always have the soon to depart missionaries give their testimony, so I went up there and I was the only one to go up because I am at least two transfers older then anyone else in the zone. Someone asked me how that felt, and in humility I paused for effect then said "Powerful!" It was funny.
After zone conference I went on my last exchange of my mission with Elder Matealu and we had a blast! I also drove for the last time because Elder Matealu can't drive, and I experienced rush hour traffic over a bridge with a small wreck on the other side so there were a ton of rubber neckers.

Saturday, we spent most of the day trying to tract but needing to avoid the rain, but we did teach one of their investigators. Then that evening we drove back to Henderson and ended the exchange and Elder Peterson and I tracted a neighborhood and ran into a lady who tried to convince us of the error of our ways, and after awhile of that not working she asked if we were raised in the church and we answered that we were so she mumbles to herself "that's the problem". I did what I felt was the appropriate response, I laughed, and showed her how that didn't sting. The sad part of the whole thing was that her heart was so hardened against the restoration that she wouldn't let the spirit testify to her.

Sunday, it was kind of a slow day. Elder Peterson had taught a lady on the exchange who was planning on coming to church, but as we were with a member to pick her up she called to let us know that she was sick, so that was disappointing, but the rest of church was good. That evening we went tracting again and gave a Book of Mormon to one lady who said she'd read it, but didn't accept a return appointment. Another guy did accept a return appointment though so it will be interesting to see if he progresses.

Well, that's my week.

#Prince of Peace

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Monday, March 20, 2017

E-mail 03/20/2017

It's been a good week. It must still be planting/nurturing season though, because we haven't started harvesting yet.

Tuesday, we have been breaking up our area into sections and will try by everyone in that area, and that's what we did Tuesday morning. Then after lunch we went tracting, and we started a game, that another missionary taught me, well we did it. Tracting Ball. You knock up to three doors and if someone answers, even if they don't accept our message, you get a point and it's the next persons turn. If no one answers you "strike out" and then it's the next persons turn. It adds some excitement to our long days, the only problem is Elder Peterson is far too lucky at it for my liking and he beats me almost every time. We then did our service at the Salvation Army. Afterwards we had dinner with a member, took some cookies to some less actives, then tried by others to finish off the day. Oh we also had a few snow flurries.

Wednesday, we had interviews. It's always good to see President and Sister Brough, but you know you don't have much time when President starts making trunky jokes at you. He said "Elder Durrant! I can barely see you, you have so little time left." Thanks President. At least Sister Brough hasn't yet, because when that happens you know you're doomed. Anyway, we had a good chat and I got my temple recommend renewed. Afterwards, we had lunch and then had a "Three Dragon Tsunami Blitz". The whole district went to Greenville to work the area to help them out. Elder Peterson and Elder Matealu stayed in Greenville tracting and contacting. Elder Pryor and Stuart took the Greenville car and worked in one side of the area. Then Elder Lundgreen and myself took the Madisonville car and worked a different part of the area, and I was able to drive because Elder Lundgreen didn't have his car login yet. Afterwards we all met at a members home and reviewed how it went for everyone then had dinner.

Thursday, we did our service at the park, and that's always a ton of fun. Later we saw the less active that we read with, but before we could get started his grandkids came by. We then worked the area close by and again I lost at "tracting ball". Then that evening we had coordination.

Friday, we had our weekly planning, continued to work and tract, had dinner with a member, then tracted some more. But I actually won, so that was ok.

Saturday, we did service with the branch picking up trash in one of the nearby towns and since we don't get out there much we also took our proselyting clothes, found somewhere to change, then worked the area for a little bit. Then went home, had lunch, planned for the rest of the day then had our personal study since we weren't able to do it in the morning. After, we tried by some people, did our service at the Salvation Army and spent the rest of the day trying to find people.

Sunday, we had branch conference, and I was able to see some people from the Newburgh ward. Then afterwards we had a potluck, that was really good and we got leftovers! Afterwards we were planning on trying by a ton of people but this unholy ritual was going on on TV. But we were able to get in with one member a visit with them for a little. It always makes for a long day when UK is playing a game. Later we went on splits with some members and visited some less active members, and we did that for most of the evening. Lastly we had received a referral from a member to one of her friends, but unfortunately they were not yet ready.

That's been my week. I hope everyone had a good one.

Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

These were posted on Facebook by the member who feed the 3 groups of missionaries.

Monday, March 13, 2017

E-mail 03/13/2017

Really quick, a couple of things I can't believe I forgot to mention last week. First, on Saturday the 4th, the Mitchell family, who Elder Hendricks and I taught, got baptized! The Mom and three of their children!
Unfortunately I was unable to go, but I did get pictures!
Second, it amazes me how people will randomly give us money. When we were doing service at the Salvation Army, I helped a guy unload his truck and with a smile he handed me a twenty then walked away. The only problem was that this twenty had a train outline and "Copyright 1935 by Parker Brothers Inc." I wonder if the bank will exchange it?

Back to our regularly scheduled program.

Tuesday we were going through a list of people the branch secretary asked us to confirm their addresses, and met some interesting people. Like one guy, when we were looking for a sister in the branch, he answers the door and asks if we're Latter Day Saints, we told him we were, so he tells us he's not interested and that he's "super gay." We just told him that we were looking for so and so, and he looks at us a little shocked and says, " you mean your not looking for me?" Well he finally tells us that he "doesn't know" that person but later that day, and a little Facebook stalking we confirmed our suspicions, the "super gay" guy is the members husband. So we got a good laugh out of it.
That evening we had dinner with the branch secretary and his wife and went over everything we found and he gave us more names to find.

Wednesday, we had weekly planning, tried a few more members, and had dinner with another member. We had homemade pizza and it was really good! That is except for the onions and peppers on it. When I couldn't subtly scrape them off, I would get all of them in one bite and muscle my way past the gag reflex and swallow. (Shudder)

Thursday, we did our service with the animals, and it's always a ton of fun. I brought my camera and got some great pictures of all of them.

Friday, we had zone Meeting and the subject of the trainings were on working with members and inviting people to church. It was an odd feeling walking in and realizing that I'm the eldest missionary in the zone. No one else from my travel group is in the zone and the next oldest missionaries are 2 transfers younger. I was also reminded that I have been in this zone for almost a year now. Wow! I'm really old.

Saturday, we contacted a lady who had ordered a bible. But before we got to her we were trying to find her place, but with no luck, so we call her again to get directions and after a little bit of confusion her husband told us how to find it. The reason why we couldn't find it on the GPS, on all maps, for some reason, a word is added to the street name. So we finally got it to her, she asked us some questions that we were able to answer then set up a return appointment. Then we did service at the Salvation Army, that's always enjoyable. Afterwards we had a lesson with a former investigator who, unfortunately, refuses to accept the concept that this is only a temporary state and that any wrong, any hardship in this life will be made up for in the next. But we are doing the best we can.

Sunday, when that alarm went off, it was like a ravines wolf wrenching me awake. Have I ever mentioned how much I despise daylight saving?
Well, it is of the devil.
Anyway on a more spiritual note, we had Stake Conference and it was really good. A young man spoke who recently returned from his mission, then the Stake Patriarch spoke, then the newly called Stake Patriarch. Then Sister Brough spoke on repentance and after her was President Brough and he spoke on the best members in the church, that's right the missionaries ;) He was manly talking to the Bishops and Branch Presidents asking them to imagine if every member lived like the missionaries. Before he got into all of that, he asked the RM how long he had been home and he said six months and President said, "And you're not married yet?!" So afterwards when I was talking with people I knew they would ask me how long I had left, and I would tell them, so they would ask what my plans were but almost every single time before I could reply they would say, "from what the big guy said, it's marriage." And with a grin on my face, I just think to myself, “thanks President”.

Well that's my week, that and with some really weird weather, like it was supposed to be raining today but Mother Nature was like "Nope!"
And so it's snowing right now.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Someone from the park sent us these pictures.

Elder Durant is feeding Reddy, our 25 year-old red tail hawk. We really appreciate his service to the park.

Monday, March 6, 2017

E-mail 03/06/2017

Kentucky missionaries sang as they walked and walked and walked and did I mention they walked?

Tuesday, we walked around part of our area trying to find people that are in our records and members who we are trying to see. Then we drove over to a referral for someone who wanted a bible. They were happy to receive it and were willing to listen to our message. At first they thought we were Gideonites, but we corrected that. Well we tried to share the message, but every time we would state part of a principle, they would start talking about how amazing their kids are, how great God is, and how much they love their church. After 40 minutes of very little progress, we left them a restoration pamphlet and set up a return appointment with the hopes that they would read it and actually listen. Then we did service at the Salvation Army, met with a less active family with the Relief Society President, and lastly had dinner with some members.

Tuesday night, so apparently there was supposed to be a huge storm and tornado watch/warning, so everyone was worried about it, but I've been waiting for this my whole mission. They have had so many false alarms that I told Elder Peterson that if it can wake me up, then I'll be impressed, because after sharing a room with 6 brothers, I've learned to sleep through most things.

Wednesday, slept the whole night, I was a little disappointed actually. Oh well. We were about to start planning when Elder Matealu called and reminded us that district meeting was changed to Wednesday and that we were going to go on an exchange afterwards. So we finish planning and studies, then I packed up some stuff and we went to Madisonville for district meeting. I stayed in Madisonville with Elder Pryor and we were able to get a lot of stuff done. Then we had dinner/coordination meeting with their ward mission leader.

Thursday, we did some service at their Salvation Army, and when we were almost done a member called and asked if we wanted to go to a buffet with him. We drove over and met him there and he told us that he feels less guilty eating at a buffet when he's with other people. We then drove up to Madisonville to end the exchange. We tried by some people, had an appointment fall through, then had our coordination meeting.

Friday, we had our weekly planning, then we did A LOT of walking, lucky it was such a nice day. One of the unfortunate things about the location of our apartment is to get to most of our area we have to walk along the highway a ways to get to a crossing spot. Also, you know traffic is bad when you are passing cars by just walking. Well we had a somewhat successful walk. We determined whether a few members still live at the address or not. Then in the evening we tried by some potentials. Didn't get in with anyone but some told us to come back the next week and they seem promising.

Saturday, we had the return appointment with the family from Tuesday, but their kids answered the door and told us that now isn't a good time, but we couldn't set up a return appointment, and just because of the situation, the honesty of it is questionable. Later we saw a less active member, he's pretty funny. But on the way there we saw this guy swerving, so we kept our distance, and then he hit a pole so we pulled over and the people that were right there called 911. Everyone walked away ok, so that worked out.

Sunday, church was really good, then afterwards we had lunch with the Relief Society President and her husband, tried by some people and stuff.

Well that's my week.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Monday, February 27, 2017

E-mail 02/27/2017

I'm Back! Back in Henderson that is, and I've got one week done and ready for the next one.

Tuesday, Elder Matealu and I had come up to Henderson the night before and waited for our new companions to get here. Once Elder Matealu and his new companion were gone, Elder Peterson and I cleaned and rearranged the apartment, it really needed it. Later we had dinner with some members, then we went to the church for coordination.

Wednesday, we started going through the member list, starting with the ones we received at coordination. We saw one member that we were asked to read the Book of Mormon with because his health doesn't allow him to get out. Then we tried by someone that was being taught before I had gotten here the first time, but never met. So we got to his apartment but he wasn't home and so we were just going to leave when the maintenance man pulled up and asked us to leave and all that, something about no soliciting, but he did tell us if we wanted to visit someone we would have to go through the manager first. Well we start to walk away when this other guy walks up to us and identifies himself as a sheriff, now he had been watching us this whole time but didn't say anything until after we were asked to leave. Well he tells us that if he ever catches us "trespassing" again, he would arrest us. Afterwards we figured he just wanted to flex his authority and try to intimidate us.

Thursday, we did service at the "Audubon Museum & Nature Center", but none of the people who tell us everything that needs to be done, was there (we later found out that they were giving a demonstration at a school.) So we did what I could remember what to do, and just as we were finishing up the last of the things we knew how to do, one of the ladies came back, and we went from having nothing to do, to not having a moment to sit down. Later we bought a box of Girl Scout cookies that a previous missionary had ordered and I wasn't going to ruin the little girls day, so I paid the outrageous sum of $4 for a box of cookies, and it would be the one kind that I really don't like. Oh well, I'll probably just give it to someone who does want it. In the evening a member and his wife drove us to another members home that he home teaches, and they fed all of us. And that night, my bottomless pit found its limit. I had two huge pieces of homemade lasagna and two helpings of this apple pastry stuff he made with ice cream on the side. Well as we're talking, Bro. Wroten (he's the one who made everything) looks into the pan and sees that there's only one piece left and says that he won't put that in the fridge, and that someone has to eat it. So after no one else wanted it, I said challenge accepted, and I completed that challenge, barely.

Friday, we went to Madisonville for district meeting which was really good. Then we stopped by several members who live on the border of the two areas, so we tried by them on our way home. Then in the evening we were going to walk around talking with people, but just after we started, a light rain started coming and it was threatening to become a downpour, so we decided that it was best to go inside and call potentials. The annoyingly funny thing is that it didn't start raining hard until much later.

Saturday, we went to one of the far reaches of our area to try by some members, but didn't have too much luck. Later we did service at the Salvation Army, and to finish off the day, we had a lesson with a former investigator that we had gotten a hold of the day before, and we quickly found out why she was dropped. Unfortunately, this lady is very mentally abusive to herself and just as it appeared that we were making progress, she would start talking on a completely different subject and would refuse to go back to the previous thing. We are going to try by one more time, but I don't think that there's really anything we can do for her, not until she decides she's ready to move on.

Sunday, everyone was excited to have the missionaries back, and it was mentioned several times that it was a good reminder to everyone that it's everyone's responsibility to do missionary work. Then Elder Peterson and I gave talks, it went well, but we ended up having to fill more time than we thought. So there was a lot of praying and adding stuff on the spot. After church we went on splits with members to see some less actives. We didn't have much success, but we did get things done.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Monday, February 20, 2017

E-mail 02/20/2017

Weather here is so weird. I'm freezing in the morning, but by afternoon I'm sweating.

Tuesday, we had Zone Conference and each of the training's were about different parts of the World Wide Training. All in all, I had a good time. That is, except that everyone was trying to make me feel old. Then the drive back to Madisonville wasn't bad, ignoring the two people that tried to hit me! Then we had dinner with some members and that was really good and we had homemade soft serve ice cream.

Wednesday through Friday, we taught several lessons and got back in contact with people we had lost track of.

Saturday, we had a big day planned, but Elder Matealu's gout hit so we didn't do much walking and drove up to Henderson to contact some referrals we had received. While we were up there, we got transfer news, and it is now official, I will be spending my last six weeks getting the Henderson area back on track, and my new companion is Elder Ammon Peterson.

Sunday, church was really good. The first speaker was a young man who recently got baptized, he did a really good job on his talk about the Sabbath and he showed me afterwards how long his talk was and that he wrote most of it all by himself. The only problem was that he read his five minute talk in under two because he was so nervous. I really don't remember what the next speaker talked about because after the second life story that seemed to be completely unrelated to the first, I zoned out and gave the young man some ideas for next time he talked. Then the third speaker ended up only having less than ten minutes to give his talk, which he was just fine with it. His talk was on Elder Christofferson's General Conference talk from October 2015 "Why the Church" and I think I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. To finish off the day we had dinner with members and gumbo has now been checked off my list.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Picture posted on Facebook from
Tuesday's dinner with members
Zone Conference
Zone Conference

The trio

Don't touch this
He needed a new pair of glasses