(10/20) Transfers and Transformations

You are just the best family ever!

I finally got to open the package today. It was so hard having to wait until p-day, always thinking about it and wondering what awaited inside. So I shoved the thing under my bed where it wouldn't bother me. Thanks so much for the candy and food (especially the cereal!). Thank you mom for taking the time to get those recipes. I know how busy you get with everything else going on.

So I made it through an entire transfer. Six weeks of missionary work gone by. As of right now, neither me or my companion are getting transferred. Dodged a bullet there. I am looking forward to spending another month and a half (at least) in Hope. Good things are happening.

When I first arrived in Hope, it was considered the Apostate area. This is where all the disobedient, slacking, crappy missionaries were sent. (Here in the ALRM these missionaries are what we call "piles" ) Hope Area was planned to be shut down. But what kept it alive was a message from God. The stake president of the area had a dream in which God told him to not shut down Hope. I am beginning to see why. This area is transforming. We have two baptisms scheduled and planned for next week. Church attendance is at an all time high. A senior missionary couple is coming this transfer. It almost feels as if the Lord is focusing on Hope. At the same time, so is the adversary. Whats happening here is a threat to the work of the devil. I have felt his influence. A transformation is about to take place here in Hope.

That's not the only thing changing. You have already noticed it, but I myself am undergoing a transformation. Things are different, and they will be forever. My outlook on the gospel and my testimony have shifted. My stand will constantly be in motion. There will no longer be a middle ground, but a constant tug-of-war for my salvation. There only two masters in this world. Which one will you serve?

You guys worry too much about me. There was not a tornado. First of all, my source for that information was a mental old lady who never leaves her house. Second of all, I have God on my side and angels all about me. I only put that in the email as a joking statement. Trust me, if there was actually going to be a tornado the email would have been completely different.

I just can't believe you went to Disneyland! I'm gone a month and what do you do? When you realized that it wasn't as great without me, maybe God was trying to tell you something. But I jest. I am actually glad you were able to do that. It lets me know you are continuing on with life and moving forward. I need to realize that things will change. I am not going to come home to the exact same home that I left. But you could have at least told me! You want to know how I found out? So this morning I opened your package (thanks again for it) and read the letter inside, which I loved. The first thing I read was Jacob writing about Thunder Mountain. I was thinking to myself, "when did Jacob go on Thunder Mountain?" I forgive you.

I love y'all so much and can't wait to get cookin'

Elder Price

ps expect letters within the next few weeks

The firehouse in Hope

I cooked something!  Tasty

(10/13) No time...but plenty of rain!!

Hello Family that I love so much!

Sorry, but today I do not have a lot of time. Due to Columbus day we have to email at a members house, so my time is limited. It has been raining all today. This morning we awoke to thunder and rain. Weather here is very different. The sky was constantly lit up with flashes of lightning and booming thunder. Supposedly a tornado is going to move through Arkansas. Not sure how I feel about that :I

As for the package, it has arrived but I still need to pick it up at the post office. The problem with that is we are still on bikes and it won't stop raining. It may be a while before I get to see what awaits me :( But at the same time it is like Christmas :) I look forward for to opening it.

I understand what you are talking about with "distractions". But the Smiths are different. Yes, it is difficult not being able to meet with them, but we are in contact through text. We do have a baptismal date set with them and they have a true desire to be baptized. It is not completely their fault for not attending church. Their trucking company doesn't let them leave the truck while they are stationed. We have also not let them be a distraction. We devote small amounts of our time and effort working with them. They are not our only solid investigators. Two of them, Jabre and Kelby, are just awesome. After we taught them the Word of Wisdom they quit drinking coffee and tea cold turkey. Its so funny. Jabre even went so far as to hide all that stuff in his moms bedroom so it wouldn't be a temptation.

Fast and testimony meeting was wonderful. We had 7 investigators to church, one which actually got up and bore his testimony. Fasting was hard, but we had a potluck after and I was so happy. There was so much food! We will also be getting a Senior couple in the next few weeks. Good things are happening here.

The rain has let up a little, but that probably won't last long.
I love you all and will contact you later.

Elder Price

(10/6) Illusion of a "Normal Day"

How are y'all doing!

Yet another hectic week full of surprises and meetings. I feel as if I am too busy being a missionary to actually be a missionary. On Tuesday, after our District Meeting, we had originally planned for our Zone Leaders to help out in the Hope Area for the day. Kind of like exchanges but instead of just swapping companions in two different areas, both companion ships go to one area. We call this a blitz. Then, due to transportation issues, we also had the Camden Elders join us. So we had six Elders roaming the streets of Hope that day. I can only imagine what the people were thinking at that time. Also on that same day we got in a car crash. Before you freak out, it wasn't even a crash. A truck just bumped us while we were waiting at a stop sign. It just left a tiny dent. But as per Church policy we had to report it. Two hours of paperwork later...

Then on Friday me and my companion went on a blitz with the Camden Elders to help them out. It was good to get a taste of what different areas are like. I met this really cool old guy, Brother Ferrell, who talked about his day in the military pushing bombs out of a B-52 carrier bay. Apparently out in the fields of Arkansas is a military base that constructs and houses missiles and bombs.

To top the week off we had General Conference. Which by the way was awesome. I really did find it more spiritual and uplifting. I don't whether it was because I am on a mission or if there just wasn't any of the distractions (e.g. dogs, roughhousing, complaints, etc.) There was also a ton of food! Since we don't have a TV we had to go down to the church to watch Conference. The only people there were me, my companion,and the Branch President and his wife. We had an investigator visit for a few of the sessions. But there was food enough for the whole branch! I ate so much. At one point I had 3 sandwiches, 5 brownies, and 2 pieces of pound cake. This is excluding all the side dishes. That was just for lunch. I felt so fat afterwards. As for gaining weight, that just made up for what I had lost.

It just feels like I haven't had a "normal" day on my mission. Maybe this is a normal experience. I don't exactly have anything else to compare it to.

It has come to my attention the importance of reading the scriptures every day and having family and personal prayer. It really makes a difference in life. If you guys aren't already doing this, I encourage you to read the Book of Mormon EVERY SINGLE DAY! Whether it be as a family or individually. Even a verse a day. There is a reason missionaries encourage investigators to read every day and to pray every day. I testify to you that the Book of Mormon will bring salvation to your soul and nourishment to your spirit. It is the word of God and should be treated as such.

Thank you so much for the love and support you give. You really do a lot for me and are valued even more.

Until next week!
Elder Price

Fiesta time!  Us Elders eating tacos at a Mexican grocery store during a blitz.

(9/29) A whole month later...

You guys are best family I have ever had!!

My brothers said more in those brief sentences than I could have hoped for. It was just what I needed. Tell everyone that I love and miss them too (maybe not as much as you guys). It really is a blessing to hear from you.

Can you believe that one month ago you were dropping me off at the MTC. I don't know how you feel about that, but time has a completely different meaning on a mission. I am really sorry about the pictures. I just get so focused on the work and things are just so busy that I don't have time and sometimes I forget that I even can take pictures. Also I am not like mom taking pictures of everything and everyone at all times. But I will try harder from now on.

Last week was pretty crazy. On Tuesday Elder Zwick of the Seventy and his wife came to speak to us. It was amazing. I really felt my testimony grow and was inspired to better myself and improve. There was a lot of traveling involved as it took place in North Little Rock so we stayed a few nights with elders closer to that area. It was a lot of early mornings and late nights so we were exhausted throughout the week. On top of that we didn't have hardly any luck with our investigators and people to teach. It was just a rough week.

Speaking of improving myself, me and Elder Mulvey are starting what is called the 40 Day Fast. So it is not fasting from food for 40 days but instead fasting from temptations and distractions for 40 days. To begin we had to fast for an entire 24 hours. It was the hardest thing I had ever had to do so far on my mission. During that fast we were to keep a list of things that distract or keep us from the fullness of the spirit. We would constantly pray and anything the spirit prodded at we would write down on that list. That part we did yesterday. Now for the next 40 days we have to avoid doing anything on that list. Everyday we pray and ask God to help give us strength. To pray for forgiveness and to try harder if we fall short. At the end of the 40 days we should be fully in tune with spirit and an effective instrument of the Lord. Since we are fairly obedient missionaries almost everything on our list has to do with our thoughts. Such as thinking about food, about home and our families, about the things of the world. It is going to be extremely difficult to control our thoughts.

As for our investigators, there isn't much to go on. What normally happens is we find someone who seems interested and we schedule a return appointment. Then we try to see them again and they either don't answer or don't care. This happens so many times. At least we have about 7 solid investigators. The first two is the Smith family. They really love the church and agree with all the teachings. They are true Golden Investigators. The only problem is that they're both truckers so we never get to meet with them and teach a lesson. The rest of our actual investigators is a group of black kids who are all brothers or cousins. Their names are Jabre, Jatario, Kelby, Corey, and Derrea. It is actually really funny how we found them. So a few days before I got here, Elder Mulvey and his companion had passed by Jabre many times. So one day he's all like, "how come you guys never come talk to me?" Then when I came we went to teach Jabre the Restoration. It started off as us just teaching him only, but he would drag his brothers and cousins into the lessons saying, "get over here. You need Jesus in your life too. You need to hear what mister Mulvey and mister Price are saying." Jabre is just amazing. He always has great questions and is very interested in what we have to teach. He is just what this branch needs.

I am not sure what you guys can do about this, but I don't think my debit card is working. It keeps saying that it is invalid. I hopefully don't need it at all right now, but I don't want to get caught in a tight situation. As for things to send, letters and food is always a blessing. Oh, and recipes. I need recipes or meal ideas that don't require meat (too expensive), take less than an hour to make, and requires just basic ingredients. I know it is a difficult request; you don't have to do it. But I would really appreciate it.

Just to make sure, my address is:
303 W 23rd Street Apartment E6
Hope, Arkansas 71801

Well, only 23 more months to go. I love y'all so much!!

Elder Price