Monday, September 28, 2015

B-Dubs is Life

Hi All!

Good news, last week got better, and this week was pretty good too. Missionary work always has its trials, but you do your best to work through them with a positive attitude. I'm glad you heard from Elder Hansen, he's a really good man. Definitely going to visit him in California someday.

As far as the car accident last week, there wasn't anything noteworthy from it: no injuries, no damage to the car, nothing. We had to wait for 80 minutes or so for the police to get there, just to tell us that there wasn't enough damage to file anything, so that was some garbage.

Anyways, for the work this week, we saw another miracle tracting, where a young couple that just got married 3 months ago (missed the YSA ward by that much) let us right in to teach the Restoration. I can't believe that this has happened two weeks in a row, because it hardly ever happens! We'll have to hand them off to the family ward missionaries, but they were both really nice. We also had a hand-off lesson with the family of 5 we met last week, so they are now being taught by the family ward missionaries.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Elder Campbell and I were down in Peoria doing some specialized training with missionaries down there. I got to work with the Normal South Elders, which was cool because Illinois State University was down there, so we talked to a ton of college kids. I've determined that my new YSA finding idea is just to open a public university here in the Naperville/Woodridge area and get all of the college kids there.

Keeping you guys informed on the "Fit For the Kingdom" challenge: I've successfully been able to modify my diet over the past couple of weeks. Mom wouldn't believe how much salad I've been ordering when members take us out to eat. I've been exercising every day for 45-60 minutes and have been losing fat and gaining muscle. I don't even have to flex to look stronger than Landon in the joggers picture from a couple of weeks ago. He better look out, because I'm def going to be stronger than him when I get home.

The highlight of the week though was Friday, when Brad had us over for dinner. So for anybody that doesn't know, Buffalo Wild Wings is my favorite restaurant in the whole wide world, but we aren't allowed to go there as missionaries. Long story short, Brad bought us B-Dubs takeout, and it just strengthened my testimony that it is the best place to get food on planet earth. 

I know that I haven't sent any pics of the office or our apartment. I'm not there now, but I'll get some to you in the next couple of weeks.

Elder Dallas Anderson


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Transfer Week Time Lapse

Sean Johnson's the homie!
What's up to the 801! (And whatever area code you're in Mom!)

Sorry that I haven't been able to email you sooner, it was transfer week last week, so the schedule was all out of whack like usual. It was a week of lots of tears and trials, but one with a lot of joy and miracles as well. To start off with the bad stuff: I've had one of the biggest personal trials that I've faced on my mission come up this last week. One of my best friends from my mission (Elder Hansen, who is from the San Diego, CA area) finished his mission and went home on Wednesday. My companion and I got in a car accident today on the freeway (no worries, it was just a little fender bender with minor damages and no injuries--my companion was the one driving). There hasn't been a week on my mission where I've been so physically, emotionally, and mentally drained. But let's talk about the positives.

All of the transfer stuff went well, we didn't have any major iPad problems. My companion and I hadn't found a new investigator or taught a lesson to an investigator in 5-7 weeks, but this week, we tracted into a family of 5 that let us right in! They're super solid--the mom already knew what real intent was in Moroni's promise before we even explained it (that's rare), and the 17 year old son says that he doesn't feel anything when he goes to his church and wants to try another church. We'll have to pass them off to the family Ward missionaries, but it was awesome that we taught a lesson and found a family!

The very next day, we were tracting again, and knocked into a guy named Clemonte, who also let us right in. He's been dealing with some personal struggles lately, but we were able to teach to his needs, and have a return appointment in a week and a half (even though he's 22, we'll have to pass him off to the family ward missionaries too at some point in the future, because he's married and has a couple of kids). He has a job that prevents him from going to church on Sundays, but is looking for another one, because religion is very important to him. BUT, that's not my favorite part, although it was pretty cool. It turns out that Clemonte is a semi-professional football player for a team in Chicago. If that's not good enough for you, he won DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR two years ago in his league!! And they actually get paid to play in his league, so it can't be too bad of a league. The man is a complete tank--285 pounds (he weighed 320 the year he won Defensive Player of the Year) of pure muscle, you would not want to get in a fight with him. He was injured last season, and is still recovering from that, but he plans to play semi-pro again next season, and then try out for the Bears the following year! Clemonte is a stud!!

We also found a couple of YSA potentials in the hood this week, hopefully we can contact them! The place we're doing our finding has its own police station in the apartment complex, and there was a crime scene investigation this last week while we were out tracting, so everybody was inside hiding from the police, which was a bummer, because that means fewer people to talk to.

For preparation day today, we were able to meet Sean Johnson, the goalkeeper for the Chicago Fire! He's super cool! I had him sign a Chicago Fire scarf that I got!

I want you all to know that the power of prayer is real. The Atonement brings peace and comfort to the trials that you're facing in life. Adversity = Opportunity

I love you all, and appreciate your love and support! I can't wait to hear from you guys!

Elder Dallas Anderson

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hey Elder Dallas, ¿Quieres cenar con nosotros?

We had zone preparation day today and played some volleyball
at the 
church! #EmbarrassedMyself #FarFromGood
Hey everybody!

So this week didn't lead to any new investigators, but we were able to meet up with a couple of less-active members. We had our second lesson with a less-active member named Keith, who is awesome! He was a pitcher in college, but got hurt in a car accident, and he needed back surgery, so that took him off the field. A few years later, he fell through a grate at work and messed up his back even further, and got a couple of more surgeries on it. Then a few weeks ago, he strained his shoulder at work again, so he's dealt with a fair share of medical issues. He has a really positive attitude about the whole thing though, which I really admire. He has a real desire to come to church, but it's super hard for him just because of all the physical pain that he's in.

I had the opportunity to go on an exchange in the Spanish program this week (S/O to all my homies in the Spanish program), and I went in expecting to try some great (or maybe weird) Mexican food from the members. Night 1 in the program: BOOM, we got some KFC (with mashed potatoes, gravy, and mac and cheese). Day 2, the ward mission leader of the Spanish ward had lunch for us after MCM and BOOM, we get Domino's pizza (sausage pizza). So I've got one last shot for dinner last night, I'm 0-2 trying anything at all in the hispanic genre of foods. We go to this investigator's house, and BOOM, we had barbecue ribs for dinner. LOL, THOSE ARE LIKE THE MOST AMERICAN FOODS YOU CAN GET, ARE YOU SERIOUS!? #MericanFood #NotMexicanFood That's alright though, at least I didn't have to try anything gnarly.

Anyways, with the Spanish program, we had a really cool miracle where we were walking into an apartment complex to see a member, and I saw a man in the laundry room (we learned later that he's from Mexico), so we said hi and asked if he'd be interested in learning more. He led us right up to his apartment and we taught him and his wife (they both spoke English), and they both committed to be baptized October 17th. I probably won't ever see them again, but it was pretty cool to teach them! Besides that lesson though, the rest of our lessons were in Spanish, so I just sat there LOL, because Spanish goes right over my head...

Yesterday we were on another exchange (I was in the English program this time), and we spent some time in the projects! It's a big block of apartments where the residents are ex-cons and are all on parole (they have to wear tracking bracelets around their ankles and can't leave the property without permission), and it was LEGIT. We taught a man named Jamario, who loves to write raps. But I'm not a rapper (for all you Supa Hot fans out there). We also met another homie named Forever (yup, that's his actual name! Legit, I know!). There are a ton of YSA members there, so Elder Campbell and I will probably hit it up again in the near future.

We didn't find any service activities this week, but we did learn that we can apply to set up a booth at the College of Dupage, so hopefully we get in there, because we could meet a lot of YSAs there. As far as YSA activities go, there weren't any Family Home Evenings in the month of August, since everyone was moving in and out, and transitioning into school, but hopefully they'll start back up in the next couple of weeks. We get to occasionally go to those, it just depends on what they're doing (like if they're playing basketball or bowling or something like that, it's a no-go).

I love you Mom, and I hope that everything is going well for you! I'm glad that you're liking the new place that you're in, and that Lando and Breven are getting along well. Excited to hear how hockey season goes once they get into the swing of things. Let me know if there is anything that I can do for you!

Elder Dallas Anderson

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Missionary Service for Hire (Please?)

Hey there!

So teaching-wise this week, we didn't have any lessons with investigators, and we didn't find anyone else to teach, so that was too bad. We did have a really neat experience yesterday though with some less-active YSA members in Bourbonnais. We've been trying to get involved with some different wards, and we took the assistant YSA representative from the Bourbonnais Ward out with us to make some stop by visits, and we met several YSA members down there that are awesome and expressed interest in coming to YSA activities! We're going to go back down there in the next week or two because it was so successful, and we hope to start trying out the same stuff in other wards as well.

Here's the good story for the week though: We learned that it is harder to get a regular service opportunity than it is to get a job...Literally, I'm not even joking. *Dallas pulls up to Pentagon to apply for a job* "Come on in, you've got an interview." *Dallas pulls up to local food pantry* "Alright, before you can apply for service, you'll have to pre-register online, and you'll need 18 references, come to 4 training sessions, and contact 3 different people." It's that bad. We've tried about 8 different places, got shut down at 3 of them, need to attend training sessions at other ones, and need references to apply at a few as well. Literally, it's a joke.

Elder Renlund from the Quorum of the Seventy came to our mission and taught us on Wednesday! It was really neat to meet them, and Elder Campbell and I actually got to meet them the day before they addressed us, because we were working in the mission office, and President and Sister Griffin gave them a tour of it, so we got to say hi to them. They were super nice! We also had our New Missionary Training on Tuesday, and it went really well. It was the first presentation maybe ever where the Tech Elders didn't use a Powerpoint, we just wrote on the board instead. But, we really threw it down on the use of Facebook, and lots of the missionaries said that they really enjoyed it. We also got a lot of interaction and questions, which meant people were learning stuff, so that's good!

Well Mom, I'm glad that you made it out safe to Colorado, and I hope that everything is going well for you out there! Have fun going to IKEA, I'll be joining Landon staying away from that... I hope that he's enjoying the new school and that his hockey team brings him some good times too. Let me know if there is anything that I can do for you!

Elder Dallas Anderson