"Well, a year has come and a year has gone. It feels like just yesterday I entered the MTC. I think we young men have to serve for two years because we need the first year to figure out what the heck we're doing and how to do it and the second year to do it right. (sisters are more righteous so it makes sense they only need 18 months) I am thankful I have another year to serve the Lord. This week has been good we did a lot of tracting and we tried and new approach and it is proving successful. We knock and when they anwer we say "hey we're the missionaries and we'd like to share a message with you is that alright?" and sometimes (well more than not) they say "No, sorry not very interested but thanks for stopping by." and we say "oh no worries, is it okay if we read a scripture to you out of the Book of Mormon?" and they usually will let us and then ask us questions and it gets a discussion going right away, it is so cool! Their countenance truly changes as we read them a verse it is the neatest thing, the Book of Mormon is truly our best tool for conversion. I have read and learned so, so much and I wish I could verbalize a very profound email today but I think I do better with a topic in mind first. So plan on next week to be a little more doctrinal :) I love to dive into scriptures and gospel topics. It was actually pretty warm this week but now it is back to cold. While we tract I usually pet any dog, cat, horse, or cow that is near and Elder Hughes thinks it is funny because their could be this huge scary dog barking at us and a second later I'll be petting it and it'll be licking me ha ha I love how everyone out here has dogs and animals it makes it fun. We biked way out to this little hidden valley that is super old...it was like taking a step back in time and we tracted these old farm houses and talked to a bunch of ol' fellars. They said this little valley was settled in the 1840's and how their grandpa or dad settled this piece here and they have lived in that house their whole life (60 yrs or more) there is even a small graveyard where the original settlers buried their slaves when they died. A little Arkansas history.
At church a member made a cool analogy.
He said that life is like a giant game of telephone (you know where you pass a message along a group of people and you see how close it can be to the original) God gives the messages to prophets and over time people distort the message and start their own messages but we are lucky because we have the original message told to us by a prophet of God and that message is the Gospel and what we need to do to return to him but throughout time people interpret it wrong and change it and that is why we need prophets/scriptures/the Spirit/etc. to sort it out for us so we get the message and understand it."