Monday, November 30, 2015

Great Week in Naperville (and a great story to Boot!)

It was an amazing week for us in the Naperville YSA Ward this week! We had two lessons with our investigator Brittany this week, and she's probably the most solid investigator that I've met in my life--she's prayed about her baptismal date and got an answer that January 16 is the day for her, and she's doing a 90-day Book of Mormon challenge with one of her friends that is a member of the Church! We're having a lesson with her next Sunday, and she'll be at church again, and coming to the Christmas devotional!

Although Jose missed the sacrament portion of our meeting Sunday, he has been doing amazing with his reading assignments and is part way through Mosiah and 13 chapters into Jesus the Christ (he started reading that on his own)! We had a great lesson with him yesterday and answered some of the questions he's had about Christ and His characteristics and attributes. We also talked to him about the importance of church attendance, and he committed to being at sacrament meeting next week. The super cool part about the lesson though is that we asked him about his baptism, and he said that he's more sure of baptism than ever, and that he feels like he's gained a lot of the wisdom that he felt was missing! We're super excited to be helping both him and Brittany towards baptism!

One of the best parts of the week was Sunday night, we had the chance to teach Anand again! It was one of the most intense lessons that I've had on my mission: we were teaching about prophets and priesthood authority, and before we even talked about apostasy, he asks us the question, "So you're saying that your church is the only one that has the authority to baptize?" We responded that it was, and he was torn at that, because he really enjoys the church he is currently attending. He said that he didn't want to have to be torn, and that he was thinking about being baptized in the other church. We talked to him a little bit about the apostasy, and how the Book of Mormon was evidence of a restoration of lost truth. We read Moroni's promise with him, along with several other scriptures, and he said that he felt is was scripture, and actually committed himself to reading AND praying about the Book of Mormon before we could invite him to do so. It was really cool to see his whole attitude change throughout the lesson from, "I think I'm good with the church I'm going to," to "I'll try this out before I make any decisions." It's truly amazing how smart Anand is, especially for someone his age. Everything clicks in his mind before we even explain it, it's pretty incredible!

On Thanksgiving, the Mathers had us over for dinner, and we enjoyed some good food, but there was no pie to be had for Dallas that day. #FitForTheKingdomIsLife #NoSecondsNoProblem

Our boundaries are absolutely enormous, it's pretty much impossible for us to leave them. We cover both the Naperville and Joliet stakes, which cover between 1/3 and 1/2 of the mission. To be honest though, we hardly ever go more than 30 minutes away from the church building in Woodridge (Bourbonnais being one of the few exceptions), because we figure that most people don't want to drive more than half an hour to get to church.

Here's the story of the week (AKA: laugh at Dallas moment; AKA: total garbage): So we got a call that Clemonte (AKA: football beast; AKA: total stud; AKA: the next Chicago Bear) was moving, so we headed down there to help him out. He's heading to the city, so it was really great to see him one last time before he left, since we handed him over to the sister missionaries a couple of months ago. 

But anyways, we get done packing the moving truck and head back to our van (AKA: the silver bullet; AKA: soccer mom swag), and there's a parking boot on it...WE WERE PARKED IN A VISITOR SPOT AND GOT A PARKING BOOT. The police officer told us that it was a city ordinance that you need a visitor pass to park in the visitor spot. #AreYouForReal #GottaBeKiddingMe We start walking to the van to see if we have money to pay the ticket then (which was $170), and the police officer tells us that if we touch or tamper with the boot, it is a federal crime--like we're going to try to get it off in the first place, especially while he's sitting right there... Yeah I'll just be sitting in prison someday with a guy that's in for murder, and he'll say, "What're ya in for?" and I'll respond, "I'm doing 45 years to life for looking over the lock on our van's parking boot." #CriminalLife #YoungAndReckless 

Anyways, so the policeman offers one of us a ride to the Walmart to get cash (yes, the ticket had to be paid in cash), and we tell him that as missionaries, we have to stay together. He responds that we'll have to walk to Walmart then because he doesn't want to get jumped... #ThanksOfficer #SoccerMomsWalkAnyways Luckily, Walmart was pretty much next door, so we walked over there and got cash back (NOTE FOR MOM: Hence the $90 transaction from Walmart on Saturday, Elder Gentry didn't have his wallet on him, so I had to get some money for him too...I'm so sorry about this Mom). We came back, paid the ticket, and offered the police officer a pass-along card. It was surprising how he loosened up after we told him about what we do as missionaries. He told us that he appreciated what we were doing, but he didn't cut us any slack with the ticket. I honestly think our companionship did a pretty good job trying to focus on the positives and thinking about what Heavenly Father wanted us to learn from this rather than dwelling in frustration for the rest of the night. Lesson learned from all this? Don't touch the parking boot, it's a straight shot to prison. #TheRebelliousness

I can't wait to talk to you for Christmas, it's going to be super exciting! I'll talk to you again next week (and it's transfer week, so it might come a couple of days late)!

Elder Dallas Anderson

Elder Dallas and Clemont.

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