Monday, December 29, 2014

Hear, Hear! Elder Dallas

Dear Family!

It was so great being able to talk to you all on Christmas! Although... I wish I could have been there to celebrate with everyone. It's really crazy how fast that two hours went, time never seems to go that fast on regular days, so I couldn't tell you why that was. I'm glad that you liked my package, and that everything came in okay. (That was one of the reasons why I didn't have time to write home.) The boat is money better spent than college, so I think you're making the right choice. (;

EDITOR'S NOTE: [Elder Dallas sent home a SkyMall Magazine asking for this needful item upon his return in 2016.]
The Seabreacher Customized Boat
allows the vessel to jump over, dive under,
and cut through the waves.
Starting at $85,000

I didn't have time to report that last week, I went to the doctor because I couldn't hear out of my left ear, and I had a pressure and a throbbing pain in my left ear for several days. WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT. At the doctor's office, it was determined that I did not have an ear infection like I had previously thought, but that I had a bunch of earwax in both ears that was blocking everything up. So they flushed my ears out with a hydrogen peroxide solution, and a ton of little pieces came out of both ears. The gross part was that I had a chunk of wax in both ears that were about half the size of a penny. The total amount of wax that was flushed out of my ears could have probably filled one of the measuring cups you use for liquid medicines... Anyways, I can hear again, so CHEEYAH!

This week, we had a part-member family come to church that we've been working with for the whole time I've been out here on my mission, and it was their first time coming in what sounds like years! They were really going through some rough times last week, but they figured out that the happiest their family ever was was when they were attending church, so hopefully that keeps them motivated to come in the future! The family consists of Nina and Jason (the parents), Zach (13), Erik (11), Kayden (10), Madison (9), Harley (7), and Jackson (2). Zach and Erik have both been baptized, but aren't priesthood holders, and Kayden and Madison haven't been baptized, so there can be a lot of great work done with this family! It seems like every time we visit their family, one of the kids ask what they have to do to be baptized. Nina said that she had a really good experience at church on Sunday, so hopefully this gets the ball rolling for future progression in their family!
Also this week, we were able to teach lessons to French, Mark, and Ray. Although none of them made it to church on Sunday, we hope to continue to teach them this week and see them progress as time moves on. Saturday, Elder Olsen and I tracted into a woman named Mrs. Bell, who let us right in. We taught Mrs. Bell and her family a short lesson on the Book of Mormon, and even though they are Baptist, they agreed to read together and to have us back to discuss what they read. She asked us questions like, "Do you celebrate Christmas?" and "Do you think Jesus was baptized by immersion?" She seemed really surprised that we share some of the same beliefs that she does.

I forgot to ask on Christmas: are there some favorite scriptures that you guys have that I should memorize? I've been trying to memorize scriptures, and I'd love to add a few more to the list if there are some that you'd recommend!
So the picture at the top is of me and Shawntae! He's so chill!
I think that's it for the week! Let me know if you have any questions for me. I love you all!
Elder Dallas Anderson

Our Christmas Conversation with Elder Dallas

Joy to the World! We had a great visit with Dallas on Christmas Day via FaceTime. He looks and sounds even better than we'd hoped: happy, handsome, and immersed in his mission. 

In general, he wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and sends his love. Plus... he provided these answers to your pressing questions:

- To answer Aunt Nic's question: I politely swallow down the food I'm given, even though I don't like it. I don't mind broccoli, so it's not really something that's hard for me to eat. The two foods that I've really had to choke down out here are catfish (I pretty much drowned it in lemon juice so that I wouldn't have to taste it) and mushrooms that were stuffed with cheese.

- To answer Aunt Angie's question: I don't really know the song, but I believe I've heard it once or twice. However, I do know that it alludes to the Great Chicago Fire, and that the story goes that the cow (I think the cow's name is Mrs. O'Leary) kicked over a lantern, which caught the barn on fire, and the fire spread and caused a lot of destruction. 
EDITOR'S NOTE: We don't think the cow's names was Mrs. O'Leary...

- Elder Dallas lives in a house that has been converted into four apartments. His neighbors are all very friendly, although he knows more about all of them than he would like as the walls are very thin. He says regular movie nights over one neighbor's awesome sound system are somewhat detrimental to companion planning.

- The missionaries had a big Christmas fireside with 60-70 missionaries in attendance. One of the zone leaders dressed as Santa and passed out gifts -- which the missionaries then opened at their apartments Christmas morning. He sends his thanks for so many cards and presents!

- At every mission meeting, the opening song is "Called to Serve" and the closing is "The Time Is Far Spent" -- one of his new favorite hymns.

- Elder Dallas' area consists of three cities that kind of blend together (sort of like Murray/Midvale/Cottonwood). The Spanish sisters are in the newer area, Bourbonnais, and they share a car with the elders. Elder D and his companion are in the Kankakee section, where as white boys, they really stand out. Kankakee has consistently been on the country's top 10 of areas least able to bounce back from the recession.

- Although his family has sent him a couple of gift cards to McDonalds and Subway (because they're everywhere, right?), there are no McDonalds or Subways in Kankakee. The sisters have all the restaurants in their area. (Don't worry, he's keeping his stockpile of gift cards to eat really well after a transfer or two.)

- The members are taking good care of the missionaries. Brother Anderson has taken Elder Anderson under his wing; it was from his home that the elders called home on Christmas.

If you didn't get your Christmas Wish of an answer about the Chicago West mission, please let us know! And from Elder Anderson, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Questions for Christmas

Family, friends and fans of Elder Dallas:

We did not get a letter from Elder D this week on P-day, but we are really looking forward to talking with him on Christmas Day. I know he wishes he could talk with everyone, but since that's not possible, here's the next closest thing.

If you'd like, please send ONE question and/or one greeting that we can share with him over the phone. We'll take note of his responses and turn them into a post. Be creative, he'd love to hear your personality come out in your question/comment.

Merry Christmas to all of you and thanks for your support of this and every missionary!


Email your question/comment to or add it to the comments section of this blog.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Polar Express (our party, not our weather)

Hey everybody!

I was glad to hear that Landon had a good birthday, and that you had some fun parties at the house this week! And if you see Ciera again, you'll have to tell her hi for me!

So this week in the greater Kankakee area, we taught a very nice young man named Travis. He belongs to another church, and we don't know if he's really interested in joining our church, but he loves our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and has a sincere desire to serve them. He's already been on two service missions in his life, and he's planning on going on one, maybe even two this next year. Anyways, we had a really good discussion about the Book of Mormon and how it gives us the fullness of the gospel alongside the Bible. Besides Travis, we met a great guy named Anthony, and he told us that he'd be interested in sitting down with us and talking more about the gospel.

We had an exchange this week, and I was in charge of running our area with Elder Payne (one of our Zone Leaders), while Elder Olsen went out to Ottawa with Elder Staheli (our other Zone Leader). All of the set appointments we had this week fell through, which was no good, but we still saw several of our investigators briefly, so that was good.

Also, Saturday was the ward Christmas party, and it was a blast! The theme was the Polar Express, and the cultural hall was decorated like the North Pole, and there was a big cardboard train that was made for decoration, and the hallway was decorated like the inside of a train, where you could sit and drink hot chocolate and watch the Polar Express movie. It was a really good turnout, I would guess that there were probably over 100 people there. And the food was fantastic!

So I've mentioned before there is a member in the ward named Brother Jim Anderson, and he's just one of the nicest people that you will ever meet. He reminds me a lot of Uncle Ray, because he's got the same really genuine, kind personality, he dresses really classy, and he just loves what he does. He goes out with us a lot, and he's got a great testimony. But anyways, he gave Elder Olsen and me Christmas stockings this week. The stockings had fruit, candy, a Christmas CD from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a journal, and a tie in them. It was a really kind gesture, and I just love Brother Anderson. Good name.

I don't think I have any real good or funny stories from the week, so sorry about that...

I love you guys, and I'm praying for you!
I hope to hear from you again soon,
Elder Dallas Anderson

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Elder Everyone Wants...

Hey everybody!

So this week here in Kankakee, we were able to have another lesson with Shawntae! We read 2 Nephi 31 with him and talked about baptism and why it's important. He told us that he wants to be baptized at some point, but isn't ready to set a date to be baptized on yet because he wants to get his life cleaned up a little bit first. He'll have to make some big changes in his life, but I know if he really has the desire to be baptized, that it can push him to overcome any obstacles that might get in his way. 

Besides Shawntae, we met a few new potential investigators named Travis and Alecio. We're hoping that we'll be able to teach them later this week, because they both had some questions for us. Also, we met with Loretta yesterday, and although she wasn't able to sit down with us then, we set up a return appointment with her later this week, so we should have a lesson with her! Unfortunately, we still haven't been able to sit down with Jermaine. 

A problem we have with many investigators here is that their phones get shut off, or they don't return any of our phone calls or texts, so it's hard to get in touch with them. It can be frustrating at times, because it's hard to confirm or set up future appointments, but we do the best we can with the circumstances we have.

The main teaching resource that we use is the "He is the Gift" video that the Church released. If you haven't watched it already, I highly recommend checking it out. The Church is going to great lengths to advertise this video, including buying out the main ad on YouTube's home page (as well as making a 30-second version of the video and showing it as an advertisement before videos on YouTube), buying multiple billboards in Times Square, and distributing pass-along cards in every issue of December's Ensign. The Church estimated that they are expecting at least 220 million different people to see the video.

The golf balls that I received in my birthday package were great! I carry one around in my coat pocket every day when I'm out and about, and they're really useful! We have a Zone Conference in Joliet on Tuesday, and the topic for the conference is Christmas, but I don't know if that's considered a party. Also this week, we have the Bourbonnais Ward Christmas Party, and the theme is the Polar Express, so I'm stoked for that!

A couple random things that have happened to me: I didn't mention this in last week's email, because I find it extremely awkward, but I guess it is kind of funny. So for the few weeks that I have been out here in Illinois, I've been hit on several times. From comments like, "Mmmmmmh, you are looking mighty fine today," to "Sweetheart, you have beautiful eyes," and everything else I've heard, I can't tell you how awkward the situations are. But a couple weeks ago was the most awkward situation that I've been in. We were at Taco Bell grabbing a bite to eat before attending a baptism, and the cashier was interested in hearing about what we do as missionaries (I don't know if she was genuinely interested in our message, or if she was just interested in seeing four guys in suits and ties). Anyways, she calls over a guy who was working the drive through and told him that we were teaching about Jesus Christ. He told us that he wasn't interested in our message, but then he pointed at me and said, "Except I wouldn't mind having you teach me."..............AWKWARD. So I got hit on by a gay guy. Easily the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me.

I hope all is going well at home, I love you all! Listen to some good Christmas music for me!
Elder Dallas Anderson

Monday, December 1, 2014

Piles of Pie and other Mission Delights

Hi everybody, and happy holidays! 

So for Thanksgiving, we ate dinner at the Beyers' house (Sister Beyer is the Relief Society president). We had turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls, pie, brownies, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and asparagus (you'd be happy to know that I ate some). It was delicious! There were about 20 people there from the Beyers family, and then the sister missionaries were there as well, along with a couple families from the ward. 

The fireside at President Fenn's house afterwards was great, he taught us about gratitude and remembering the hand of the Lord in all our doings, and how it is one of the promises we make in our baptismal covenant. It was top-notch stuff! They had pie at the mission home afterwards, and the entire table was covered in pieces of pie. There were probably about 60-80 missionaries there, so it was packed! We'll have a fireside for Christmas, but it will be divided up into zones, so there won't be that many people there at the same time.

I wasn't able to go to the mission office at all this week, we had exchanges at the Naperville stake center. My new companion's name is Elder Olsen, and he's from Garland, Utah. We get along pretty well, so that's good!

We didn't get to see Jermaine or Raoul this week, but we did come in contact with Kendall, and we're hoping to meet with him again this week. Elder Olsen and I also taught a guy by the name of Shawntae, who is someone Elder Engler and I found, but we're never able to sit down with him. The lesson went pretty well: we taught him about the Restoration and he seemed to understand everything. I think the biggest issue Shawntae will have is with the word of wisdom, so be sure to keep him in your prayers. 

The highlight of our week was teaching Loretta on Sunday. We taught her about the Restoration and a little bit about the plan of salvation. She had a son that was murdered a while back, and she was having a really hard time with life, but she overcame that when she saw God's love for her. Loretta bore us her testimony that she knew God loves each and every one of us, and that He's there for us during our trials. It was a really spiritual lesson, and I hope she felt the power of our message. She happily accepted our reading assignment (2 Nephi 31), so please pray that she will read and that she will know that what we are teaching is true.

Also, I got assigned to speak in church on Lando's birthday, so I'll sent you a copy of my talk afterwards.

Thank you to everyone for the birthday packages, I really appreciate it! And remember:

Wise men still seek Him. He is the gift. #ShareTheGift

Love you all!
Elder Dallas Anderson

Chillin' in Chi-Town

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas Countdown Alert

To those who have asked about sending Christmas packages to Elder Dallas, first—Thank you!

Second, the mission office has requested holiday packages arrive by December 5 (I know, right?!) clearly marked with CHRISTMAS on the address label. All the missionaries will gather for a Christmas party where they'll all open their presents together. 

We don't know when this party will be, so just be aware that if you do send a package after December 5 and/or do not mark it CHRISTMAS, it may not be part of this celebration.

Thanks for your good wishes and prayers! 

Playing the Zone (a missionary's Thanksgiving)

Zone Conference at the Temple, in Miniature Photography
(Elder D is front and center -- use your magnifying glass)

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody:

So I'll start by answering your questions about my zone, just so I don't forget. My zone leaders' names are Elder Staheli and Elder Payne, and they are stationed in Ottawa. My district leader's name is Elder Adams, but he's being transferred this week, so I don't know who the new district leader is yet. The district leader stays in Morris. 

We had one zone conference a couple of weeks ago, and it was fantastic. President Fenn speaks at all of them, and there are few people that I've ever heard that speak with as much power as he does. He kind of reminds me of a coach in some ways, because he'll raise his voice, point his finger, shake his fist, and sometimes even pound the table for emphasis. He's got so much fire in him, and I've really learned a lot from him so far. 

I've been on 4 exchanges so far: once with Elder Adams in Morris, once with Elder Pike (my current zone leader that is being replaced by Elder Staheli) here in Bourbannais, once with Elder Clark (last Saturday, a man that Elder Clark's companion and Elder Engler baptized went through the temple, so they went to that and Elder Clark and I went proselyting), and with Elders Blackner and Dickerson (President Fenn always takes assistants that are going home out to dinner, so Elder Engler and Elder Ward, who is training the two new assistants, went out to dinner, and I did some proselyting with the assistants). 

We take members out to lessons as often as we can, but unfortunately, they fall through a lot of the time. Speaking of which, we didn't teach a single lesson this week, which was too bad. We saw Kendall and Jermaine, but neither of them had time to sit down (although they still seemed interested, which is good), and none of our other investigators or potential investigators returned our calls or our texts, and weren't home when we stopped by. But we're working hard, and we keep finding people who are interested, so hopefully we'll start putting some people on date soon and teaching some lessons.

I'll have to write you next week about my new companion. I'll miss Elder Engler. He's taught me a lot and given me so much insight on how to be a good missionary. He's worked hard every day, and he's not "trunkie" at all, which makes it really easy to go out and work.

Happy Thanksgiving to you! It sounds like you'll get a little bit of time to relax, which is great. The Relief Society President and her husband are having us over for dinner, which will be great. And after that, we're driving up to Downers Grove to hear a fireside from President Fenn, which I'm stoked about.

I love you all and I'll talk to you again next week!
Elder Dallas Anderson

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cold city. Fired-up fireside.

Hi everybody:

Snow, huh? It's been freezing here too, it hasn't climbed above 30 this whole week, and the humidity and wind chill don't help either. It's currently 21, but it's super windy, and I would guess it probably feels closer to 10-11 degrees...

I just opened the boots and socks for my birthday, and everything is great, so thanks so much for that! Unfortunately, I haven't received another package, but I go up to the mission office next week because Elder Engler is going home, so I'll probably have a chance to pick it up then. Thank you so much Grandma and Grandpa C for your birthday package, that was very kind of you. I'm excited to make a good cake soon, and I'll be sure to think of you when I do! Thanks for the Christmas countdown calendar too, I know I'll put that to good use!

This week had some ups and downs. Elder Engler and I found a new family to teach after we were prompted to knock on a specific house, and they let us right in and told us we could come back to teach them more, so that was great! We also were able to teach an investigator named John again, and he's progressed a long way since the first time we met him. 

Also, President Fenn came to the Bourbonnais ward to give a fireside talk, and it was awesome. He speaks with so much power, it's like he's a sports coach firing his team up before a big game, only he's talking about the gospel. It's great. Unfortunately, Jermaine fell off date, because we weren't able to see him this week. We weren't able to teach Raoul either, because he's been out of town and he works a lot. If you could just keep them in your prayers, that would be great, because we don't want to lose them.

Anyways, I love all of you, and I can't wait to hear from everyone again!
Elder Dallas Anderson

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Short and Sweet...


So Jermaine, one of our investigators, accepted to be baptized this week and set a goal for December 6th. He's really excited about the concept of getting baptized--he really wants to follow Christ, and he told us he wants his whole family -- his fiancee and his 8-yr-old daughter to be baptized as well, so hopefully he continues to have the burning desire to get baptized that he does now, and that Satan won't harden his heart. The rest of the week was pretty good too. We had dinner at a couple members' houses, we 
also had a lot of success seeing less active members of the ward this week, and we got 3 of them to come to church on Sunday, so that was awesome! 

This morning, we went to the Chicago Temple, and it's just fantastic. It was a really cool experience, because we went as a zone, so there were like 20 missionaries in the session. I'll attach a picture with my district and with my zone.

Hopefully the Avs start to turn it around, but I'm glad the Hawks are doing well. And hopefully D-Rose gets healthy and stays healthy for the rest of the year!

Love you, your emails always make me smile. I can't wait to hear from you again soon!

Elder Dallas Anderson

Knock and It Shall Be Opened Unto You...

A big thanks to everyone who created a golf ball/door knocker for Elder Anderson's birthday! The contributions were impressive—and creative. 

Golf balls sported original artwork, came in the form of a lathed football, bore an uncanny resemblance to Elder Anderson, dressed up as a Disney Princess, and included "Knock Knock" jokes. There were even "exploding" golf balls for Elder A to secretly gift his companion. 

Thanks for making an Elder's birthday bright!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tracting Gets Trey: 3 Investigators (Plus Apartment Pics!)

November 3, 2014

Hey family!

So this week has been really great here in Kankakee; we came across three new investigators from tracting! The first investigator's name is Kendall. He isn't the smartest guy you've ever met, but he seemed to understand everything we taught, and he also recognized the importance of proper priesthood authority (which according to Elder Engler, is pretty rare). 

The second investigator's name is Jermaine. We had actually knocked on his door the day before, and no one answered, but we felt prompted to go knock again, and he let us right into his house (which is also very rare). We taught him the Restoration, and also the Plan of Salvation. It really hit home with him, because he has a daughter that's 8 and a baby boy that's about 6 months old. Jermaine said he had been praying to know what church he should raise his kids in, and that we were an answer to his prayer. 

Our last investigator that we met this week is Raoul. We talked to him about the Restoration and a little bit about the Plan of Salvation as well. For someone that has never taken the discussions and has never been a part of the church, he has a really good background knowledge of our church. For example, he knew that the Book of Mormon came from gold plates and that Joseph Smith was the one who translated them. Raoul is a really sharp guy, and he understood the importance of proper authority from God too! Raoul also told us that he recently had an uncle who passed away that he wishes would have had the opportunity to hear the message we teach. We told him that the beauty of our message is that his uncle was learning exactly what we're teaching in the Spirit World, and Raoul seemed really comforted by that. We gave all of them a copy of the Book of Mormon, and we're following up with them later this week, so hopefully everything goes well!

The weather here is getting really cold. On Halloween, the temperature was around 38 degrees all day (32 at night), and I would guess with the wind chill factor that it felt around 26-27 degrees. Fortunately, there hasn't been any snow yet, although everyone is saying that this winter is supposed to be worse than last year, and last year's was apparently brutal.

I told Landon that I'm starting to become more and more of a Blackhawks fan, because there is Hawks gear everywhere. I might have to bring some of it home, because there is some awesome stuff! You'll have to let me know how the Hawks and Bulls are playing, because I know both of their seasons are just getting underway. How did the World Series end? I really liked your "Trivia Tuesday" email about the song Royals having an impact in both San Fran and Kansas City, Mom, it made me laugh.

Love you all, and I can't wait to hear from you!
Elder Dallas Anderson

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Give Elder D a Bday Surprise

Family and Friends:

Elder Dallas has a birthday coming up--and here's a chance for you to participate if you wish.

Chicago winters are so cold, the missionaries can't remove their gloves to knock doors, so they carry a golf ball in their pocket to use as a "door knocker." And wouldn't you know it, Elder Anderson loves golf!

Here's where you come in: Decorate a golf ball to add to the collection we'll send him as part of his birthday package. Use paint, markers, stickers, glitter, whatever... just mail or bring your golf ball to our house by next Sunday, November 9. Be creative... (fun trumps practicality for this exercise.) We'll take a photo of the entries so you can see the great work before they're sent off to support the Great Work!

If you have questions, email or call Christy. Send or drop off your decorated golf ball (one per person, please) at the Anderson house. Be sure to include your name with the golf ball as part of the artwork or as a separate tag so he can know whose effort to appreciate. Thanks!
5661 Adaley Avenue
Murray, UT 84107

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's Fun to Stay at the YMCA...

October 27, 2014

Hi all:

So my area is great, I love it here. Elder Engler and I spend most of our time in Kankakee. From the history I've heard, it used to be a nice town, but when the government shut down the projects in Chicago several years ago, Kankakee was one of the main places that most of the homeless and needy people came, so it's become run-down. The good part about that is that there are lots of people that are just out walking around that we can talk to, so we don't have to do a ton of knocking. On Saturdays, Brother Anderson, a member from the ward who's just the nicest guy (he reminds me a lot of Uncle Ray), takes us down to Watseka, a little farming town which is about 45 minutes south of the Bourbonnais/Kankakee area. Although I couldn't ever live in either Watseka or Bourbonnais, it's a great area to be serving in.

So our schedule varies from day to day. We wake up at 6:30, exercise, shower, and eat breakfast before 8:00. We have studies in the morning from 8 until 11, then lunch from 11-12. After lunch, we'll visit investigators, go tracting, meet less active members, etc. until 8:00. At 8, we come home and have dinner, plan and set goals for the next day, and go to bed at 10:30.

For transportation, we have a car for half the week, and we walk and take the busses for the other half of the week.

The ward here is awesome, although it's pretty small. It's about half the size of the Hillcrest Ward. But there are several people that make 45+ minute drives to get to church, which makes me really appreciate how lucky we are to have churches so close in Utah.

Last night we had dinner with the Langfoss family. They're probably my favorite family in the ward. Dirk, the dad, is the CEO for the YMCA here in Kankakee, so he gives us free passes to come work out on p-days, which is awesome! They have 3 boys in their family--one is going to school at BYU (he served a mission in Brazil), one is in his senior year of high school and one is in his sophomore year of high school. They're just an awesome family to talk to!

So for p-days, we come to the YMCA and play racquetball. It's such a fun game, and I can see how you really enjoy it! After that, we either shoot some hoop or lift weights, it's so great.

My district has 8 people in it: 4 elders and 4 sisters. Elder Jones from the MTC is in my district, so I get to see him every week, which is really cool. Laundry is going well, and so is cooking; I usually just make soup or sandwiches, so it's pretty easy to make.

Love you, and I hope to hear from you again soon!
#GoCowboys #GoAvs
Elder Dallas Anderson

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Let's Begin in Bourbonnais

October 16, 2014

Hi Guys!

So I'm emailing you to tell you that I made it safely to Chicago (I got special permission from President Fenn saying I could email you on a day other than P-Day)! Unfortunately I can't call you, but it's always good hearing from you via email. I got your package today, and I just wanted to thank you so much for the blanket and for the sweats!

I'm in a city named Boubonnais, it's about an hour and a half south of Chicago. Unfortunately, we have to start our missionary work pretty much from scratch, because we weren't left with any investigators. From what we've heard, there's a lot of work to be done here!

My companion's name is Elder Engler, and he's from Logan. He just finished serving as an Assistant to the President, and he's been out here for 23 months, so he'll be a great trainer.

It's really weird being here in Illinois without all of you, but I'm making the adjustment. It's been raining pretty much ever since we've gotten here, which is a downer, but oh well. Last night, Elder Engler and I met with the bishop and ward mission leaders; they both seem like fantastic people! I'm excited to be a part of their ward.

My P-Days are on Mondays, so I'll get to email and write you then. I'll send the memory card from the camera to you on Monday in a letter, so you should get it later this week! I love you all, and I can't wait to here more from you soon!

Elder Dallas Anderson

DOES DALLAS KNOW? Bourbonnais (with the Frenchy pronunciation of bur-bun-NAY) has a population of 19,000 and is home to the NFL Chicago Bears summer training camp.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Chicago, Here He Comes!

Landon, thrilled to get his first letter direct from Elder Anderson.

October 9, 2014

Thank you for all the letters and packages everyone has sent. Getting mail is one of the highlights of my day. As the district leader, it's my responsibility to check the mail daily, and seeing ones addressed to me always makes me smile!

I hope you enjoyed General Conference last weekend. Yes, it would have been cool to have been a part of the MTC Choir, too bad I missed it by one week!

Mom, you'll be happy to know that I eat fruits and vegetables down here every day. I make sure to get some carrots, a banana, and a cup of mixed fruit for almost every meal. The food down here is soooo good though, it's a buffet every day, and they've always got good stuff for each meal.

I hate waking up so early every morning, but I'm getting in the habit of it, so it's getting easier. You'll also be happy to know that I've gone to all my classes, and that I've been doing some good studying. I'm learning a lot down here, a lot more than I did at mission prep. One of the biggest things that helps me when I teach is the motto: "We teach people, not lessons."

My teaching skills are really coming along well. I think it's a lot easier for me than it is for other elders in my district to teach, because I usually connect with the investigators we're teaching quickly and build rapport with them. I think that is what will help me most in the mission field, because it's much easier to tach people that trust you. My companion and I are still getting along really well, and we're learning more and more how to teach by the Spirit.

It's so crazy that it's already been one whole week since I got here. In some ways, it's felt like time has gone by so fast, but in other ways it seems like it has been forever. So there are five elders and two sister in our travel group for Chicago on Monday. Besides being a district leader, I'm also the travel leader, so I assign companionships for the flight. Our flight leaves at 8:52, but we have to meet in a building here at the MTC at 3:30am. Brutal. That seems like a long time just to be briefed on the flight plans, but oh well. 

I hope all is going well for you, and that work, school, and Homecoming are great!

Elder Dallas Anderson

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Week One is a Wow

October 8, 2014

Hey Family!

I'm glad you got my letter, the mail down here does take a while, because they have so many letters and packages to sort through. I was excited to get your DearElder letters, your email, and especially the packages. LOL about my letter, because I know the stamp goes in the top right corner, so I don't know exactly what happened when I put it on. Look for more letters in the mail soon, I'm going to try and send another one tomorrow.

So a little bit more info about my companion: his name is Elder Jeff Jones, and he is from Enterprise, Utah. He's an awesome guy, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I've had to meet him. He lives on a ranch, and loves riding horses. He's had a troubled past: at age 14, his parents got divorced, and he started drinking, smoking, and he even got a tattoo. He moved out the day he graduated, and moved 10 times in several months before moving to the ranch. But he recognized that he wasn't happy, and he's really turned his life around, and it's so awesome to hear his stories. We're from completely different backgrounds, but I think that really helps us teach well together, because we can connect to pretty much everybody! 

So for my days at the MTC, we wake up at 6:30, then I shower and get ready, and go down to breakfast at 7:15. After breakfast, there's a daily planning session, and then personal study is from 8:15-9:15. After personal study, companionship study takes place from 9:15-10:15. Then there is additional study time (which is the time other missionaries use to learn their language better) from 10:15-11:35, and you can either have more companion study or personal study. Lunch is at 11:35, and after lunch we have classroom lessons from 12:20-3:20. After class, we have gym time, which is the best part!! After gym, dinner is at 4:50, and then is followed by personal study at 5:35-7:00. Then we have another class from 7:00-9:30, and then we go back to our residence hall for personal time. Lights out at 10:30.

So a really cool thing has happened to me already at the MTC. Last Thursday (keep in mind, this is Day 2 for me), I was made the district leader. We have 4 sisters and 4 elders in our district. But last night, we had a devotional from Brent Nielson of the Quorum of the Seventy, and I had to lead a discussion about the devotional after it was over, and the branch presidency was there. I led the discussion, and it went really well. So well, that the branch presidency said they didn't need to keep coming back, because I could handle it all by myself. What was even cooler, was that a member of the branch presidency said that he's been at the MTC for 2 years, and that I'm the best district leader he's ever seen. It totally made my day!

I have some good pictures to send, so I'll have to write you again soon. I've run into a lot of people I know down here, so I've gotten a few pictures with them, and I also have some pics with people in my district and zone.
I hope all is going well at home! 

Love you all, talk to you again soon!
Elder Dallas Anderson

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Later Letter

Preface: While we were assured by many that Elder Dallas would be writing a letter to us on his first day at the MTC, our mailbox remained empty on Thursday, Friday, Saturday…and by Monday there was much gnashing of teeth.

BUT… today, nearly a week after he sent it, a letter arrived! It turns out that despite our best intentions to prepare Elder Dallas for a mission (how to do laundry, cook, mend, study, etc.), we neglected to instruct him how to put a stamp on a letter. Apparently the post office scanner could not properly read the letter and it was hung up for a while in outer postal darkness.

October 1, 2014

I made it safely through my first day at the MTC! I miss you all like crazy, but know that I love you all.

So Wednesdays are the best days at the MTC not only because it will be my P-Day for the only full week I'll be here, but because they serve unlimited ice cream at lunch and dinner!

Today was a pretty easy day, because they're trying to ease us into the flow of things, but there is so much going on all the time.

My companion's name is Elder Jeffery Jones, and he's from southern Utah (from a town about 30 miles west of Cedar City). He's a really nice kid and he enjoys riding horses (he lives on a ranch) and working on cars.

I am in a district of 8 people: 4 elders and 4 sisters. Everyone in our district except Elder Jones and I will be serving in South Carolina.

I saw Brooklyn, Kemmer, and two kids I played golf in high school with, and met a lot of friendly new people. 

I love you all, and I can't wait to write you again next week!
Elder Dallas Anderson

Monday, October 6, 2014

Proof of Life

There have been two Dallas sightings! Sister Brooklyn Brewer reported seeing a smiling Elder Dallas in the MTC hallways and Elder Preston  Gardner caught up with our mystery missionary in the lunchroom between General Conference sessions this weekend.


Grateful for missionary friends who are doing their part. You'll find Mama Christy camped out next to the mailbox.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

And he's off!

Elder Anderson was deposited safe and sound at the Provo Missionary Training Center on October 1, and his family have not drowned in tears of joy or grief. Yet.

If you would like to contact Elder Anderson during his stay at the MTC, you may email or write him at the following address. He will be leaving for Chicago on Monday, October 13, 2014.

Elder Dallas Anderson
Oct 13
2009 North 900 East #139
Provo, UT 84602