Monday, May 18, 2015

The Elder D Exposé

*Apologies for the delayed post: After her Mother's Day conversation, Elder Dallas' mom was too busy smiling to get around to updating this blog*

Elder Dallas shows off his "garbage" mission phone.

On Mother’s Day, we were so lucky to talk to Elder Dallas online! There were a few hiccups at first: the technology elders forgot to unlock FaceTime on the iPads. (Forgot?! On Mother’s Day?!) But we proceeded to Plan B, and are happy to share all the answers to questions you didn’t know you had about the Chicago West Mission.

Where does Elder Dallas live?
The Naperville apartment is one worth coveting; it’s in a complex of a few hundred apartments. The Elders are on the first floor (convenient for their bikes), and each tower has 7 floors. The apartment is fairly new and very nice; there’s a fully equipped gym available for use, much to Elder D’s delight. The elders live across the hall from a friendly guy named Mack and his wife. He hasn’t had any discussions yet, but Mack joined the elders at church on Mother’s Day!

What does Elder Dallas eat?
Cereal and PB&Js in the apartment. Every day. No exceptions. “You can’t make a faster, cheaper meal. Plus, there's hardly any cleanup.”

The elders in the district do get pizza together every once in a while, and Giardano’s continues to be the absolute favorite. Unlike his area in Kankakee, Naperville does have some fast food establishments, but his missionary budget prefers the PB&Js.
(See also, “What does Elder Dallas like about Chicago” below.)

The elders are invited for dinner at member homes about 3 times a week. He’s discovered a lot of new foods, and we’re happy to note he likes most of them! (Jalapeños – yes! Catfish – still no!) A challenge for many member families here is that the husband usually works in the city and doesn’t get home until past the missionary dinner hour, and the elders can’t go in a home unless there’s a man 18 years or older. (Funny side note: a kind sister in the ward took pity on the elders during a downpour. Because she was the only one home, they had to get comfortable in her garage until the storm passed.)

Does Elder Dallas still have swag?
As if you need to ask. He acquired yet another pair of D-Rose socks; this pair with a glow-in-the-dark logo. 

How does Elder Dallas get around?
He and his companion are on bikes right now. Elder Dallas has expressed concern many times he thinks he’s getting fat. When we questioned how this was possible if he was working out every morning and riding bikes all day, we learned that Naperville is supposedly the smallest mission area in the world – less than a mile in any direction. We told him to start taking the long way to all his discussions. Plus a lap.

What does Elder Dallas like about the Chicago West mission?
1. Giordano’s pizza. Chicago dogs. And he has discovered a love for Italian beef sandwiches at Portillo’s.

2. He really loves the people, and has especially fond memories of his first area in Kankakee. He appreciates all the support from terrific members.

What does Elder Dallas NOT like about the Chicago West mission?
What was a huge plus going in is now a minus. The Chicago West missionaries were part of the beta test for using iPads. Now that iPads are an official program, and even though they've been using them for months, the Chicago missionaries have to go through the program training with everybody else. Elder D is required to watch all the instructional videos, like 20 minutes on “here’s how to add an appointment to the calendar.” He really can’t wait for the training videos to be done.

Does Elder Dallas want to live in Chicago someday?
Probably not. Although he really, really loves it there, he learned that the property taxes are so high, many people pay more in taxes than they do on their mortgage. #GottaMakeHisFortuneFirst

What is Elder Dallas’ favorite missionary job?
He really loves being a trainer. He likes “breaking in the new guy.” Plus, training companionships get some bonus study time and go to extra training meetings, which he likes.

President Fenn told Dallas he was going to train another new missionary this round of transfers, but Elder Dallas found out just the day before that the elder he was to be paired with decided to leave the MTC and go home. His new companion isn’t brand new, but just one transfer old, so that’s still pretty good.

What has Elder Dallas learned?
How to talk to people! He can talk to pretty much anybody now.

Does Elder Dallas know your friends in Naperville?
So far, not the names we’ve been sending to him. It turns out there are 6 wards in Naperville. He only serves in the Naperville 1st Ward.

Is Elder Dallas Chicago’s best missionary?
Probably. But we do know he’s the World’s Okayest Son.

Still have questions? Submit them directly to Elder Dallas at or email them to his mother who is still smiling ear to ear from seeing him on Mother’s Day.

Much love from ChiTown!

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