Friday, October 30, 2015

Live from ESPN 8: The Ocho

Sup everybody!

If you couldn't tell because this email is getting in late, it's transfer week. The big news is that Elder Campbell and I are staying together, which is wild, because it will be our 4th transfer together and his 6th transfer in the area. But the really big news was that President Griffin called us to train a new missionary!! I'm super excited, because I love training, but I'm pretty stressed, because the Tech Elders haven't ever trained before, and we're going to have to figure out how to work in his additional study time, while still fulfilling our duties at the mission office and attending meetings. Our schedule is going to be jam-packed, but we're going to make it work. I'm super excited!

So we had a good lesson with Jose again this week, teaching him about the gospel of Jesus Christ. He continues to read the scriptures and progress in his gospel knowledge. He wasn't able to make it for sacrament last week, but was there in time for Sunday School and Priesthood, so that was good!

We had some killer service this week, including helping two ward members move and more service at Feed My Starving Children. Here's an awesome story that came out of service: we've been to FMSC a few times now, and are starting to make friends with some of the workers. One of the full-time employees named Brian came up to us this week and commented on our Hawks shirts, so we started talking about hockey. As it turns out, his daughter works for the Blackhawks on the business side of the organization. She started working there as an intern in 2013, and is now a full-time employee. Now if that wasn't cool enough, here's the kicker: SHE HAS 2 STANLEY CUP RINGS!!! Holy cow!! I couldn't believe it! Brian showed us a picture of them, and they are legit! How cool would that be to have a couple championship rings!?

The title of this email comes from FHE on Monday, where the Naper YSA Ward played dodgeball with President Boswell (the stake president) and his family. The activity was LEGIT, so much fun! You best believe I was getting people out like it was my job, even getting a couple game-winning hits as well! It would have made Peter LeFleur  and Dwight Goodman proud! You can catch all the highlights on SC Top 10, airing on ESPN 8: "The Ocho," with commentary from ya boi Cotton! 

As far as your missionary questions go, I'll give you my two cents, you can take it for what it's worth:  For the lesson that you're going to, ask the Sisters a couple days in advance what you can study to share in the lesson. Also ask the Sisters if you can wear "street" (non-church) clothes to the lesson; I always think it's better to have the member dressed like the investigator and not like the missionaries, it seems more natural that way. During the lesson, bear testimony a few times and show your love to whoever you're going to see. The biggest thing you can do is reach out to the investigator throughout the week through a text or a phone call to see how they're doing. More than anything, just be yourself--be a friend to the investigator.

I sure love you Mom, thanks for all that you do for me! I really hope that your missionary experiences go well, and will be praying for you (well I always pray for you and the fam, but even more so now). You'll have to let me know how it goes! I hope that you have a fantastic Halloween, because I know it's your very favorite. I love you, and I'll talk to you again next week!

Elder Dallas Anderson
#NotYourAverageJoe (S/O to anyone who gets the Dodgeball pun in there)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Pumpkin Chunkin' Fun

This photo was sent in a surprise text on Friday night from a member.
Hi Mom!

So the picture you got over the weekend was taken by a member here, Scott Boswell, and he's amazing! He just got home from serving in the Fresno California Mission about 3 weeks ago. If you remember me mentioning the Boswell family in Naperville, Scott's dad is the stake president, and their family is one of my very favorites from my mission! For the stake YSA family home evening tonight, we're playing dodgeball with the Boswell family after a devotional, so that will be a ton of fun!

This week was pretty incredible for us, we had a lot of miracles happen: First, we had a lesson with Jose this week, and Scott and another member came out to that lesson with us and really helped us teach simply and clearly. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and the Spirit was so strong the whole time. Jose kept asking questions that are like straight out of Preach My Gospel, such as, "What happens to people who die without learning about the gospel?" After we had finished teaching the lesson, we asked if he had any questions, and he said no. We talked for a minute, and then he gave us this funny look and asked, "Why is baptism so important in your church?" We explained why, and you could tell the Holy Ghost was definitely working on him, because he said, "Oh, that makes sense! I see why it's so important now!" It was truly amazing, we're looking forward to helping him learn more as time goes on. He has a baptismal date set for November 28.

We had the opportunity to contact a media referral named Rosine this week, who is awesome! She comes from very difficult circumstances, and actually moved to the U.S. from Rowanda. She is a single mom, but has a very positive outlook on life and wants to know more about the gospel. In fact, she drives about an hour each week to go to church with a friend who is a member, even though there is a church about 5-10 minutes from her house. We got in contact with the friend, and he is going to take her to her home ward one week so that she can meet the members in her area. Even though she is YSA age, the family ward missionaries will teach her from now on because the family ward will be able to better meet her needs.

Elder Campbell and I tracted into a woman named Venita this week and had an awesome time teaching her about the Restoration! She also is living in some difficult circumstances, and wants to help her kids find the right path in life. Venita says that religion is a big part of her life, but that she doesn't go to church or read the Bible as much as she probably should. During the lesson, she was moved to tears at points, and she even told us at the end that she thought God was trying to teach her something and that we were sent to her. It was a really cool lesson, and the Sisters in the area should be able to help her a lot, because she's really prepared!

We actually had the opportunity to set up a booth on the College of Dupage this week! It went okay, we talked to a few people and got contact information for a couple of them. But we learned a few things that we can do better, and we have a chance to go back on Tuesday, so we're excited to make changes and hopefully see more success.

Our fun note for the week is that the YSA ward had an activity on Saturday that was awesome! Family wards have the standard "trunk or treat" night for Halloween, but that just doesn't cut it here in the YSA. We did something called "Pumpkin Chunkin'," and it was LEGIT! For those who are not familiar with pumpkin chunkin', go look it up on YouTube--two of the members in the ward build a giant slingshot, and we launched pumpkins from the slingshot across the field at the church building, it was a lot of fun!

But the fun doesn't stop there, not in the YSA Ward! We have a dodgeball activity tonight, and there is a regional YSA activity Saturday (there will be YSAs from the Milwaukee, Chicago, Naperville, Joliet, Schaumburg, Rockford, and Peoria Stakes), so we're looking forward to meeting a bunch of people there! We don't think we'll be able to do that activity (they're going to a corn maze), but we'll probably join them for lunch.

Anyways, that was our week, it was pretty crazy, but a lot of really neat things happened! I hope that everything is going well for everyone back home! Let me know if there is anything that I can do for any of you, I appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers, and I love hearing from you all!

Elder Dallas Anderson

P.S. This is a picture of our ceiling fan--we taped glow sticks to the edge of it after the pumpkin chunkin' activity and watched it spin 'round and 'round. LOL, it's about the most fun you can have as a missionary.

Monday, October 12, 2015

How to Deal with Driving, Dissing, and Decadent Dining

This week was crazy busy for us--there were 4 zone training meetings this week (Tuesday-Friday), and then Stake Conference was on Saturday and Sunday. The main purpose of the zone meetings was to install and introduce the Driver Accountability Program to the mission. What the DAP program entails is a device called Tiwi was installed in all of the mission vehicles. Tiwi tracks your driving and will yell at you for turning too hard, stopping or starting too hard, or speeding. Luckily for me, I've always been one to drive the speed limit, so Tiwi doesn't phase my driving. While at each of the training meetings, Elder Campbell and I had to audit and update all of the iPads throughout the mission, which can be stressful under a time restraint. The toughest meeting was on Thursday, where we had to work with approximately 65-70 iPads in a 5 hour time slot. It was really tough, but we got it done (just not quite in the allotted time).

On Sunday night, Elder Campbell and I tracted into a man who was very antagonistic towards the Church. He went on and on for about 15 minutes about how Joseph Smith is a follower of the devil, how there is no physical evidence that the Book of Mormon is true, and how we, as young men, need to search for "real truth" for ourselves. It was not the most pleasant experience to say the least, but I learned something from it. Elder Engler taught me to look for a reason for why everything happens. Coincidences don't happen in the Lord's work, so I found myself asking why we happened to come across this man that wanted to tear down our faith. 8-12 months ago, if that same situation would have happened, I would have been shocked, and my testimony probably would have been shaken. But Sunday night, I realized that I could have stood in that doorstep for another hour or two taking all of the blows he was taking at me and at the Church. My testimony was unshaken in those moments. Looking back just a few minutes after our encounter with that man, I realized that maybe I've grown on my mission a lot more than I might have thought, and I've developed a testimony stronger than I might have realized. It was a cool moment for me.

Probably the highlight of the week was last Monday, when we went to Chama Gaucha with the Assistants! I lost like 4 points in the Fit For the Kingdom challenge, but it was worth it! #SteakForDays As far as a FFTK update goes, I'm still dominating--eating my fruits and vegetables, drinking lots of water, passing up desserts, and ordering salads at restaurants. We're about halfway done, but I'm going to step it up and finish strong!

That's crazy about the team in Aspen, they sound crazy good. I hope that Lando and Breven are having a good time though playing for the Rampage. Super cool that @therealtender_58 got that S/O on Twitter, good for him! He's still got nothing on me though when it comes to lifting though.

Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Dallas Anderson

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Let's Hear It For Hump Day!

Hey Mom!

Thanks a ton for the halftime package, I really appreciated it! The SportsCenter pennant is super cool, and the Giordano's gift card was sweet too! The CD is awesome!

Big news: ELDER CAMPBELL AND I FINALLY FOUND A PLACE TO DO SERVICE!! There is an organization called "Feed My Starving Children," which works to send food to kids in third-world countries. We were able to spend a couple of hours on Tuesday making food packets to be able to ship to Africa. The group we were in made enough packets to send over 100 boxes. It was a lot of fun, and we worked with some kids that were from a high school in Kankakee, so it was cool to work alongside them. A cool tradition that "Feed My Starving Children" does is that at the end of the packing session, everyone gathers as a group, and you say a prayer over the boxes to bless the food that it will get to the kids safely, and that it will strengthen the bodies of the kids that receive it. I thought that was pretty cool!

The Lord gave us another cool miracle tracting this week--Sunday night we met a man named Percy, who let us right into his home before we even introduced who we were. Percy and his family are from Ghana, and he's awesome! We taught him the Restoration, and have a handoff lesson with the family ward missionaries this upcoming Sunday. We were also able to see Clemonte this week, and he told us about tryouts that he's going to be doing this fall for other semi-pro teams in Ontario and Indiana.

Conference this week was awesome! My a few of my favorite talks were given by Sister Marriott and Elder Keetch, as well as the talks given by President Eyring and President Uchtdorf in the Priesthood Session. I thought the Sunday Afternoon Session was the best overall. But my very favorite talk was given by Elder Hales. I loved how he talked about how the decisions we make now effect our eternity. Maybe it's because I'm still young and have a bunch of big decisions coming up (education, career, marriage, etc.), but his talk really hit home with me. A lot of the messages in Conference seemed to tell the Saints that we need to step up our game, because the world is going to keep getting worse, and we need to be ready for bad times ahead. Elder Hales talk helped my get a vision of who I want to be and where I want to be in just a few years from now.

Well Mom, I love you, and hope that you had a good week! Can't wait to talk to you again next week!

Elder Dallas Anderson

Elder Dallas and Clemonte