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.