I'll start this email off good with a report on our mini-golf last week: as expected, our group DOMINATED the rest of the groups, setting the course record with 29 shots. The next closest group was 39, so domination is not an exaggeration in the slightest. I was definitely rockin' the Tiger Sunday red for it though, so maybe that's why I was able to play so well. The holes were all designed by the YSA members, and they just used a bunch of different, random objects as obstacles and hole boundaries (ex. shoes, cups, chairs, hymn books, stuffed animals, etc.). It was a pretty fun activity!
Elder Gentry has been doing a good job so far as he's worked with us. Unfortunately, there aren't any Swedes out here that we've found yet, so he's on his own for practicing and studying. It seems like he's learning the language well when he prays in Swedish, but TBH, he could be saying anything and I wouldn't know.
As for teaching this week, Elder Gentry and I were able to teach Jose the rest of the principles in the Commandments lesson (Elder Campbell was on splits with a member). He is doing really well with his reading, and continues to impress us with questions that he asks, but has been struggling with church attendance. He won't be able to make it next week, but we hope that he'll be able to come regularly after that so that he can prepare for his baptism in December.
Besides Jose, Elder Campbell and I had an interesting experience this week: we were at MLC (Mission Leadership Council), and we got a phone call from a member in another ward. This member has a daughter that is YSA-aged, but is less-active, so neither or us had met her before. As it turns out, she has a boyfriend that had a couple of questions about the Church, and he was over at the member's home, so we booked it out of MLC over to go teach him. This man's name is Josh, and our lesson with Josh could possibly have been the most interesting and difficult lesson that I've had to teach on my mission. Josh is an atheist, and has a really hard time with the principle of faith, because he wants factual evidence. We taught him about exercising small particles of faith, and left him with the invitation to pray to know if God exists. He wouldn't make a solid commitment with us, but did give us his number, so we plan to follow up in the next week and hopefully meet with him again!
Elder Campbell, Elder Gentry, and I had an awesome lesson with one of the members in our ward yesterday. He's one of the nicest people I've ever met, and has such a positive outlook on life, which is really hard to believe, because he's been through more trials than probably anyone else I know. He was the starting pitcher for a D1 college here in Illinois, and tore a muscle in his shoulder, ending all of his hopes to pitch in the minors, or even the bigs. He was driving several years later, and a drunk driver hit him, and it tore up his back really bad, so bad that he needed surgery. Months later, he was at work, and re-injured his back, again requiring surgery, after a fluke accident on the work floor. Then last week, he was in physical therapy, and ended up tearing the same muscle in his shoulder again that he did before. And while this whole thing is going on, his best friend passed away at the age of 26 a couple of weeks ago. The amazing thing about this whole story, is that he's able to see the bright side of EVERY SINGLE SITUATION. It has truly been inspiring to meet with him, because I've always thought that I had a good attitude most of the time, but I could do so much better, I have no doubt.
On a totally different topic, let me get my personal rant out of the way here. We got the Fit For The Kingdom results back this week, and I have to say, I think it's complete garbage! There was a missionary that said he achieved all but 10 of the possible points. Now I understand that there were people that probably did better than me (like there are a couple of college athletes in the mission, and there's a nutritionist as well), but I also feel like there were people that were EXTREMELY lenient when it came to giving themselves points, which is frustrating to me, because if there was a point that was even questionable on the day, I wouldn't give myself the point. That's my rant. But I'll tell you that the program isn't necessarily about the competition, it's about getting in better shape, and I was definitely able to do that! I lost five pounds in the first six weeks and have lost another pound in the last two, so it's definitely working. I've been able to control my diet more and I feel better about myself physically. I'm just excited about the next few weeks that are ahead, for Fit For The Kingdom round 2! Watch out!
I love you tons, and hope that you have a great week! Can't wait to hear more from you next week!
Elder Dallas Anderson
Elder Dallas Anderson