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

Monday, February 13, 2017

E-mail 02/13/2017

Well... so... yeah... an undisclosed party member fell really sick this week and we weren't able to do much this week.

(No Mom, it wasn't me. ;) )

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

From Mom:
Oh that is pretty cryptic.  Is he alright?

From Samuel:
It's bad enough that he's going home. But if it makes you feel better, I'm as healthy as ever.

From Mom:

That sucks for you.  I'm sorry you have had so many sick companions.  :-(  I'm sooooo glad you are feeling well.  Does that mean you get to stay with Elder Matealu?  That would be really cool if you could. 

That reminds me, we were talking about him yesterday, and decided that you need to make sure I know when he is coming for dinner so I can make sure he has enough food to fill him up, for a little while anyway.  Where is he from?  (We haven't been able to figure that one out yet.)

I know it's hard to take care of sick people, but one thing you have learned (I hope) on your mission, is patience with sick people.

Good luck

From Samuel:

Yeah it's been a bumpy ride having so many sick days. I will be staying with Elder Matealu for the last week of the transfer then President Brough has told me that he will have me reopen my last area, Henderson.

Elder Matealu is from California, and from what I have seen, he is the top of three missionaries in the mission with a bigger apatite then me.

Patience is definitely something I have learned well out here.

Love you!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Monday, February 6, 2017

E-mail 02/06/2017

This was a good week. Full of traveling.
Monday, after emailing, we went bowling with the Greenville Elders. I started out pretty good, but then quickly lost it. In the evening we were heading to an appointment we made with a family we had met a few days before, and we couldn't find it, we drove all around, through a grave yard, and even almost drove into the woods that started right at a crest of a highway we were on, but no success. So we parked, and tried seeing if the GPS could find it, but nothing, then Elder Matealu asked "They said their apartment complex was 'Marvin Gardens', right?"
"Guys, 'Marvin Gardens' is from Monopoly."
We didn't know whether to be upset or impressed, so we just drove home. Also that day, when we were shopping, this guy asked us if we were Mormons, so we talked for a moment then he left, but as we were checking out in the self check outs, him and his wife had just finished checking out and walked up to me and asked some more questions, then asked where the church was and for some pamphlets, so I gave them a pamphlet with our number and they said they'd be at church. And while this is going on, one of the employees walked up to us asking if everything was ok (was probably going to kick me out of the store) and the couple said everything was just fine, that they were (in a southern accent) getting some Jesus! Because they needed some religion back in their life. When they left, they were never seen from again (they never came to church, oh well).
Tuesday, was a blur.
Wednesday, we drove up to Henderson and had district meeting/interviews with President and Sister Brough, and it's always great to talk with them. Then afterwards we went to another buffet (for those who don't know, buffets are the only place that can satisfy Elder Matealu), and while we were there someone walked up to us and squeezed my shoulder really hard, and I thought to myself "this is not normal." Well turns out that he is a member from Utah but works here in Kentucky. We talked for a little while, then he said he should probably tell us his name, his first name is Steve, but then wanted us to guess last name but gave us a hint that he has the same name as a famous Mormon, so after a few guesses we got it, apparently Steve Young is a famous Mormon; who knew? Any who, so we started an exchange, Elder Matealu was with Elder Lundgreen and Elder Ludwig went with Elder McIntosh to Greenville, and I was Elder Matealu's driver. We all had a good time and were able to teach some great lessons.
Thursday, we ended the exchange, then went and did some service, went by a part member family and taught a great lesson about the Book of Mormon. Then we went to the doctors because Elder Ludwig hasn't been feeling well, so Elder Matealu and I sat in the lobby trying not to be bored out of our minds, luckily we had reading material. Once we were done there we went to see an investigator who should be getting baptized this week. Then from there we dashed to the church because we had posted flyers for a quit smoking class, but after a while we decided it was a no show, so we locked up, dashed home quickly, packed a bag, grabbed something to eat and drove an hour and forty five minutes to Elizabethtown, YES! We got there 9:30 our time 10:30 theirs, and we spent the night.
Friday, we all got up and ready and waited for Mo, the mission bus, and drove up to Louisville for new missionary training. I sat in the back because it was odd being the only non trainer/trainee there, excluding the Broughs and the APs. President talked for the first few minutes, then the Assistants gave a training and President sat next to me and suggested that I participate in the training with my companions, so once I knew that I wasn't going to overstep my position I participated in my regular fashion. So after the Assistants, Sister Brough gave a short training, then we had lunch, then the Assistants gave another training, this one on the atonement. After that the trainees stayed in the room to ask President Brough questions and the trainers in another with the Assistants, then the Assistants and President switched. From there we all came back together and President talked about how companions should always have each others six, and I was finally able to get a video of President teaching with his jets! When it was all over, we went back to Elizabethtown and I wanted to stop by to see a few people before we left, but the only ones home were two of the young men who I was around a lot when I served there, and those little guys aren't so little anymore.
Saturday, a few of our appointments fell through, so we went to the church and studied the mission broadcast and we were asked to watch it like a game film. Then in the evening we drove out to one of the border towns. It was a nice drive because for the most part, it was straight roads (apparently they do exist in Kentucky), then to add to the adventure, the gas light came on when we were almost there, thankfully there were gas stations in town. Then the funniest part of the trip as that we had to go over a bridge to get into town and this bridge was the only part of this road that is not in the mission, so for the second time this week I drove out of the mission then back in. So we went to the home of a referral, the reason why we went there, and she's not there, but her dad was, so he welcomed us in to share our message and had a great discussion with him. Then we went home and went over the bridge again. One would think I was a rebel or something.
Sunday, church was good. Unfortunately neither of our progressing investigators came because they both were out of town, but a less active family came which was a pleasant surprise, and they had a good time too. We then took the sacrament to a member in a care home, then had lunch with some members. The husband was loving telling us stories, his favorite one was how he used to be a "Fonzy". Then we had a lesson with the investigators that we started teaching last week. So apparently there was something big that happened as well yesterday, but it must not have been important because no one wanted us to know about it.
Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Sister Brough posted this picture on Facebook this week, but I didn't notice Samuel until today.  Yes he is on the back row on the left.  Yes, that is a red head with his hair shaved. 

Here are more pictures that were posted on Facebook by a member last Monday.

Monday, January 30, 2017

E-mail 01/30/2017

(Ok, this week deserves this) WOW! WHAT A WEEK!

So we found out about this for sure on Thursday, but Monday evening, Elder Harris and I were picked up by the assistants and I was dropped off in Madisonville to be in a trio with Elder Matealu and his trainee Elder Ludwig here and the other three went to Louisville because Elder Harris went home on Tuesday due to medical reasons, so I will be here until the end of February and then I will reopen Henderson with someone else. So, down side of this situation, Elder Harris had to go home, up side, I get to be companions with one of the best missionaries I know and watch him train too.

Tuesday, we went and worked with this couple with the Churches ARP. The other two have worked with them on this before and the couple seem to enjoy the program. After that, Elder Matealu had a district leader's conference call, then we went to the Salvation Army and did service there. Next we went tracting and was blessed with one of those last door stories. The man who answered the door had a huge grin on his face and was very polite and welcomed us in but excused himself to finish something. So we sat there looking around and see all sorts of religious things and said to each other, "This is going to be very good or we're about to get into a bash." Well when he came back he just asked questions like, "why do you believe what you believe", and "Why did you choose to go on a mission", and "how has believing this helped you." All very good questions, because he really wanted to know, so as we answered his questions we also shared the Restoration with him and he even agreed to read the Book of Mormon. Well after that awesome experience, we had dinner then went and taught one of there most progressing investigators (someone that I taught last week on the exchange), and afterwards something got brought up about Yu-Gi-Oh and he found out that the other two had decks so he gave each of us, what I believe to be, a very good card in the game, so to be polite I took it but was thinking to myself "I have no idea what I'm going to do with this." Oh well, it made him feel good.
To finish off the night, we had dinner with members, then played a board game with them.

Wednesday, was the day things got really exciting, we went to the church and watched the World Wide Missionary Training. The first part was a review of last year's training with some extra insights. Two of the things that really stuck out with me was something Elder Bednar said to the question, “How does a missionary know if he is being effective?” he said "Don't worry about it, if you are doing what you're supposed to be doing then the Lord will take care of the rest." Second, to answer the question, “How do I know if something is by the spirit or if it's just me?” Again Elder Bednar said "You don't need to know, if it leads you or others to do good then it doesn't matter," then quoting an apostle from before my time (I'll get the exact reference later) he said "You will know it was by the spirit if you learn something from what you say." The whole thing was amazing and I will definitely study it again. Then at the end they gave the announcements in regards to updates on how we do missionary work. The first is the key indicators, we are now only accounting on four of them, not to forget the rest, but these are the ones that if we focus on and prayerfully and effectively work on, we will see great success. These being: Investigators Baptized and Confirmed, New Investigators, Investigators with a Baptismal date, Investigators who Attended Sacrament Meeting. Also, Mission Presidents are not allowed to make new key indicators for their missions. The next change was to the daily schedule, the two biggest things being, instead of planning at night we do it from 8:30-9 a.m., then do personal Study from 9-10 a.m. Then on Preparation Day, we study from 7:30-8 a.m. Then we are open to do what we need to from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. So it has been interesting adjusting to it.
Then that evening we drove to a town in the very south west corner of the mission. We first stopped by an appointment we had with a lady and her kids, but the lady wasn't there and her mom wasn't up to meeting with us because she had gone through chemo so she was exhausted. Quickly, Elder Matealu explained priesthood blessings and asked if she would like one, and she gladly accepted and was really grateful afterwards. Then we had a lesson with a less active that had lost her mom last year and was still having trouble with it, so we taught a very powerful Plan of Salvation lesson and helped her work through some of the stuff and helped her figure out some of the root problems.
We then drove all the way back to Madisonville and went to the church to have coordination meeting and was able to meet many of the members who were there with the youth, and I didn't even have to seek out my victim of who I would torment because he came to me trying to act all tough and smart, so this will be fun, him trying to get the upper hand, well I gave him a hard time.
Then to top off the night we went to a less active members home and gave the husband a blessing because he hadn't been feeling well all day. It was fun, when we got there they had a friend over and the husband introduced us, and his friend told us he knew who we were because he is a member, and the member we were there to see got a little upset with him because he never told him, then his wife said that she knew, and he was like, "No one tells me anything!" But it was all in good fun.

Thursday, in the morning we helped a member in his barn/shed cleaning, organizing(ish), and packing insulation. Then we saw the investigator who is getting baptized in a few weeks, he's really funny and they're having him brush his teeth with cinnamon toothpaste so he thinks of them every morning ;) Then we visited the less actives from the night before and had a great discussion about the Plan of Salvation. From there we dashed to a member's home and had dinner with them, which by the way, was really good. From there we went to our Yu-Gi-Oh loving investigator and as we were sitting down to talk, one of the other people that live at the same facility asked if he could join. As we were talking, the other guy made a comment about how he sees God and the purpose of life, then before any of us can say anything our investigator replies to him with a short, simplified, but powerful explanation of the Plan of Salvation, and before this guy left we gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet.

Friday, we had a lesson with a guy we met in a parking lot the night before, and this guy had prepared a lot of anti, the two problems with that is one, we could rip it apart, and two he had anti for the Jehovah's Witnesses, so that was funny, and we had a good lesson with him.
We then had weekly planning, tried by some people, then had dinner with some members that made really good hamburgers with a fried egg in the burger, it was amazing.

Saturday, we did a LOT of driving, first we met a member at a former investigator's house and spent most of the time clarifying questions they had from the last set of missionaries that taught them. Then we drove to the edge of our area trying to find some less actives and had two impromptu lessons with random people we met. After that we drove back to the church in Madisonville and just as we were pulling in a member called us asking for help because his roommate had just gotten a call that his mom had passed away, so we dashed over there and was able to give him comfort through the Plan of Salvation that helped him out a lot. From there we dashed to a different members home and he went out teaching with us and drove us around, he showed us some of the land that he owned and some of the stuff on it, then unfortunately both appointments fell through, but we did find out that he is a very prominent person in the area. We then went home and had dinner.

Sunday, Church was good, I got to meet the rest of the ward and we had two investigators there. It's awesome how missionary minded people they are around here. Anyway, after church we went home and spent the rest of the day inside because we figured we had earned it from all the work that we did this week ;) Na! We did stay inside, but it was because Elder Ludwig has been fighting some sort of stomach bug for the last few days and it hit him really hard Sunday so we decided to let him rest.

Well, that was my fun and exciting week.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Monday, January 23, 2017

E-mail 01/22/2017

You know, I've heard that Mother Nature once said "You can't fit all three seasons in one week." Well Indiana/Kentucky replied "challenge accepted!" This week went from the 30's to the mid 70's in a matter of days, and now it's leveling off at about 50 degrees.

So not a whole lot happened this week, but we did get to go on an exchange Thursday. I went to Madisonville with Elder Matealu, and we did what we could, but he was having some leg problems so we weren't able to get everything done that he was hoping for. But first we went to the Salvation Army to do some service (apparently the Salvation Army is a church, who knew?), they have a place like the D.I. It was fun and everyone was joking around, but there was this one guy that saw me and must have thought "fresh meat" or something, so he was trying to give me a hard time, but I gave him a good run for his money and he only stumped me once, so if someone could please explain to me how 2 and 2 = 24, I would be very appreciative. Then that evening we went to see one of their investigators who live at a place where everyone is not completely there but enough so that they can still interact with others. After we taught him a super cool lesson, his roommate wanted to show off his Yo-Gi-Oh cards and wanted to play Elder Matealu with his best deck. He told him if Elder Matealu beat him with that deck he could keep the one that he used to do it. The guy we taught wanted to show me his, but I was glad he didn't ask me if I wanted to play because I don't know how to. Well when we left Elder Matealu had a new deck of cards and I still didn't know how to play.

Friday, we had district meeting and the zone leaders came so we got a picture of the three stooges.

Saturday, we had lunch with the zone leaders at this little family Mexican place and it was really good. I got this massive burrito that filled be up, and then when we went to pay, the guy said someone else had already paid for us, that was really nice and awesome of whoever did it. We then spent the rest of the day seeing people and getting stuff done.

That's the highlights of my week.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Front row, left to right: Elder Lundgreen, Elder McIntosh,
Elder Grossman (ZL), Elder Matealu
Back row, left to right : Elder Ludwig, Elder Durrant,
Elder Harris, Elder Robinson (ZL)
The three stooges are back together!
Elder Durrant, Elder Matealu, & Elder Robinson (ZL) 
This is a picture of one of the lizards we feed 
at a place where we do service.

Monday, January 16, 2017

E-mail 01/16/2017

Goodbye Tell City IN, hello Henderson KY.

So besides transfers, not much happened this week, so I'll tell you about transfers.

I had been originally told that the Elder leaving Henderson would come up to Tell City and I would go back with his ride, simple enough. But NO; something had to happen so I ended up going all the way to Louisville and then getting a ride all the way back. I really didn't mind because I got to see some people that were there that I hadn't seen in a while. On the car ride back I got to ride with Elder Robinson who I hadn't been around in almost a year so that was a lot of fun we able to catch up.

The rest of my week has been filled with driving, rain, and heavy wind. But another upside, I get to be in the same district as Elder Matealu, and he is my district leader.

One last exciting turn of events, I forgot my shaver in Tell City and it will be a couple weeks before I can get it back so I had to go to the store and buy some razors and shaving cream, it is not fun at all bleeding from the face daily. I also found out that my blood only stains not purify, oh well.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Monday, January 9, 2017

E-mail 01/09/2017

Good by 50 degree weather, hello -5 degrees 

Tuesday, we were trying by a ton of potential investigators and were able to set up some return appointments, and that was pretty much our day, walking until we were too tired to walk anymore.

Wednesday, we had dinner with a less active and he was friendly, said we can come back but made it quite clear that he had no interest in coming back to church, so that is unfortunate. Afterwards we went to the older couples home and played cards and that's always a ton of fun.

Thursday, we had the first snow storm of the season, and by snow storm I mean we got between 1/4 to 1/2 inch of snow, but all the schools were closed for the day and it got really cold. We did our weekly planning, then tried by the return appointments we had set up but they all fell through.

Friday, it was really cold again, like single digits to the negatives with a wind chill. Well we had Zone Meeting, that was great, then in the evening we had dinner with a less active part member family, mmm meatloaf! Well we have been working with them and are now getting a consistent schedule with them.

Saturday, we decided we hadn't been to Kentucky in a while, so there were people we went to see/find and as we were driving we got a text, I am being transferred to Henderson Kentucky.  So I am staying in the zone just a different district. We stopped by some people letting them know, then I spent the last bit of the evening packing.

Sunday, I got to let everyone know I was leaving, it felt good everyone telling me I'd be missed, but the one that always makes me feel great is when the Bishop/Branch President tells you that they appreciate all the work you've done there. Then we were going to go see the Mitchell's that we have been teaching, but he let us know that she was feeling sick so we rescheduled for next week, so we went to the other Mitchell's and visited with them for a little bit.

Now today is consisting of finishing packing.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Me, Elder Matealu, and Elder Mcintosh

Saturday morning

My Christmas tree

Brother Embrey, Me
 (no one thought to tell me my hair was a mess) 
Sister Embery
Sister Skeen (the RS president) and I
This is the other Mitchell family
Best one, because I was the only one that knew 
it was being done, everyone else didn't.
Brother Leibering, Me, Sister Leibering
Elder and Sister Reed, and of course Me.
The Zone

Monday, January 2, 2017

E-mail 01/02/2017

Wow! I can't believe I haven't talked with y'all since last year! I really need to do better at that.

Tuesday, we drove up to Jasper and on the way up, the assistants texted (they being the other Elder's transportation) and said they would be late, so we hung out at the apartment until they got there. After that we went home but took a detour to stop at a members home. Since the GPS was set for the shortest distance we got to go on some interesting back roads. In the end we made it home safe. That evening we walked a dog with a former investigator that we ran into at Wal-Mart and got to know her. It's funny, we met her husband and he looks just like "The Dude" aka Jeffrey Lebowski.

Wednesday, we walked the dog again, and played cards, turns out Elder Hendricks is really good at Phase 10.

Thursday, we had our weekly planning, then got stood up by a couple people.

Friday, we had district meeting and Elder Permann had everyone give a short training on the Christlike attributes, so our 1 1/2 hour meeting turned into a little over 2 hours. Later our appointment texted us and they had to reschedule, and then to top of the day I cut Elder Hendricks' hair.

Saturday, we went and visited with some of the members that lived way out there, that have fun talking with us, and he showed us some guns he recently bought. We went and visited with some other members, then went in and listened to the fireworks that went off at midnight. That was much nicer to hear then gunshots going off at midnight like last year.

Sunday, church was interesting, not only was there not very many people there because people are getting sick left and right (no, neither one of us are), plus with it being New Years, lots of people probably slept in. Also it wasn't announced last week that it wasn't going to be fast Sunday, so the branch president and one of His councilors gave talks. Then we went over to a members home and we ended up spending some time there fellowshipping because it was a family gathering and there were less actives we've been trying to work with and nonmembers there as well. Everything was going great until they brought out the karaoke things... and guess who everyone really wanted to hear sing? The missionaries. Well we kept declining and other people were singing and others were playing the guitar, then the thought stuck me, this would actually be a great way to build trust with everyone and the Mama would love it, so I swallowed my pride (that was really bitter) and sung “I need thee every hour” and I can't remember the other one.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission