Monday, January 25, 2016

Props for the Pass-along Card

Hey Mom!

To all y'all waiting for my rap email to drop, you'll be happy to know that I'm working on it and have made some good progress with it. It probably won't be ready for another couple of weeks as I try to finalize everything, but it's coming! #CountdownToDrake And to those who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, my mom sent an email to me a couple of weeks ago totally hating on Drake, so I've decided to back my man Drizzy up with a killer email coming out in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned! #CountdownToDandy

Just sayin' though, that is some garbage that the Sisters in Monument could go the boys' hockey game, totally not fair in the slightest! There is a junior team here in Bloomington called the Thunder, and the Elders Quorum is going to the game, but the odds of us being allowed to go are very slim.

We did some more awesome service this week, Elder Bennett and I set up a group service project for all 10 missionaries here in the Bloomington/Normal area, and on Friday, all of us went into this warehouse and sorted out and labeled cans of food, and we put together bags of beans, it was a lot of fun. We worked alongside a small group of volunteers from a local Target, and the place we did the service at made a sign that said, "Welcome Target & LDS Missionaries," so that was pretty cool! Elder Bennett and I also went back to the WACC and put together more bags of food there for those in need. It's been pretty cool, because we've started to build a really good friendship with some of the workers there--now we're talking, and they ask us about what we do as missionaries, it's been pretty cool! We also got a snowstorm this week, getting 4-5 inches of snow, so we were able to shovel it for one of the members in our ward. Unfortunately, it's warmed up to the high 30s, so it's all melted away now...

Bri was at church this week, even though she was sick, so that was awesome! The Albrechtsens (our awesome Ward Mission Leader and Relief Society President) had a group of about 8 kids from ISU come over for dinner on Thursday, including Bri, four less-active members, and three active members as well (besides Elder Bennett and me), so that was pretty sweet! We've been seeing a lot of good success lately with the college kids down here, and we've been in contact with the institute teacher to try to recruit more as well, but even better than that, Elder Bennett and I discussed it and felt like we could get a YSA group going during the 3rd hour of church. We ran the idea past Bishop, and he was all for it, so hopefully we get that group going in the next couple of weeks.

Here's the cool story of the week: So Elder Bennett and I went to Panda Express with the Normal South Elders for lunch one day after service. I've been trying to hand out a pass-along card to the people that ring me up at the register lately, so I did at Panda and didn't think too much about it. About 30 minutes later, we get a text from our bishop telling us that one of the workers at Panda had called him and told him that we'd been there and that one of us had left their bag. It turns out that it was my bag at Panda, so we got it back, but that wasn't the cool part of the story. The cool part of this story is that I didn't have any form of identification or contact information in my bag, so the ONLY possible way that the worker could contact us is by going to (this is where that pass-along card came in handy) and figuring out the contact information for the local bishop. So to all you people out there, you never know how far a little pass-along card can go.

Sorry I don't have a lot of cool things to report on this week, I did get to drive the trailer 300 miles, but that was the only crazy thing that really happened. Hopefully I've got some good stuff to talk about next week--we've got to pick up a couch for the Sisters in Pontiac this week, so maybe I'll have another good story to tell next Monday! I'll send pics of the apartment next week, we haven't finished our interior design yet.

Love you all, hope that you're doing well! 

Elder Dallas Anderson
#NothingWasTheSame (That's from Drake, BTW)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Finding the Believers and Freezing the Bedbugs

What Up!

So it was a great week here in the land of Normal! We'll start it off by talking about Bri, and how awesome she is: so she was at church this week, and she told us that she might be able to hook us up and get us onto the indoor practice field at ISU, which would be legit! Brother Silvey (Bri's soccer coach at ISU) had us over for a lesson, and he was fantastic during the lesson! Bri brought up a concern about how her family probably wouldn't be too thrilled if she got baptized, and he threw it down and said that she wasn't one to let fear get in the way, and at some point she would have to decide to stand up for herself and her beliefs or let her family dictate all of her decisions. It was an awesome lesson, and Bri's come a long way just since the time we Skyped her a little while back!

We were able to get involved with three different services this week: two of them were food pantries, where we either sorted and organized the food, or helped distribute it to those that are homeless, and the other one we sorted clothing that is going to be sold in a thrift store (possible Macklemore video coming soon). We met some really awesome people, and Elder Bennett and I have set up two different service projects for the 10 missionaries in the Bloomington/Normal area in the next couple of weeks, so I'm super excited for that!

Transfer calls were Saturday, and Elder Bennett and I are staying together, and only 3 missionaries are leaving the zone, so we'll pretty much have the same zone as this last transfer, which makes me super excited! It's currently 7 degrees outside (feels like -10 with wind chill), and Elder Bennett and I have to hook up a trailer to our truck so that we can drive to Joliet tomorrow for transfers with all of the luggage for the missionaries in the two Peoria stakes. I'm kind of wondering if the Lord put me in this area because he knew I could drive a truck...

We've been doing some good finding on the ISU campus now that school is back in session (I have the idea to start a hashtag on campus--which I think would be pretty sweet, and would catch on, but I'm going to run it by President first to see what his thoughts are). If you didn't know, ISU has the largest co-ed dorms in the U.S. One of the co-ed dorms has two towers that are both 25 stories tall filled with different dorm rooms. My companion and I snuck into that building this week, went to the top floor, and started doing some tracting. It was pretty weird, because there are tons of kids in the hall that just watch you tract, and I don't know if we'll do it again or not (if we even are able to get in again), but it was cool to say that we did it!

I had the chance to go on exchanges with one of the Spanish Elders this week, and we had a few lessons that day that were in 100% Spanish, so Dallas was just sitting around trying to follow the scriptures and lessons in English on his iPad, bc he doesn't know Spanish. #ComoSeDiceWorthless Anyways, we get to the last lesson (also all in Spanish), and there's this 2-year-old that's running around throwing his toys and making noise. So I say to myself, "Forget the lesson, I ain't helpin' there anyways! I'mma go play with the kid and try to keep him quiet!" So while the lesson's going on in the kitchen, I'm in the living room playing peek-a-boo and playing cars with Hector (the 2-year-old). We played for about 45 minutes until the lesson got over, and he was laughing and kept quiet the whole time! It was definitely a win-win situation: the investigator didn't have to feel super awkward with me just sitting there, I didn't have to feel super awkward just sitting there, and I got to play cars with a little kid! Freakin' legit! #ComeSeD...ForgetThatImPlayingWithCars

If you read my last email, you heard about the crazy couch-moving experience. This week, we didn't move any couches, but Elder Bennett and I were driving, and we saw a couch sitting on the side of the road (that's where people leave things for other people to take or the city picks it up as trash). We got out and examined it, because we kind of wanted a new couch for our apartment, and it is pretty legit--two recliners, cup holders, the whole shebang! So we load this thing into our truck and go to dinner, where we had the member do a little research for us on what temperatures are sure to kill any possible bed bugs (yes Mom, you'll be happy to know that I thought it out that maybe it was on the side of the road for a reason, I didn't just say it was a score immediately). We learned that bed bugs die after exposure to subzero temperatures for 2-3 days, and guess what? With wind chill, it's felt below zero since yesterday morning, and we've kept the couch outside all day and all night yesterday, and all day and all night today, so we've scored ourself a killer couch!

I'll let my swag do the rest of the talking for this email: check out the legit Bulls joggers (along with matching Bulls tee and Bulls beanie)! I've got more picks of swag coming in the future, but I thought the couch photo and the joggers pic might overload everyone with too much style, so I'll keep it there for this week.

Elder Dallas Anderson

Monday, January 11, 2016

White Snow, White Boyz, and Big Couches

Hey Mom!

We haven't had the chance to see any of the potential investigators that we found last week unfortunately. The cool thing is that ISU started up again today, so we should be talking to a TON of college kids now, which gets me stoked! Speaking of college kids, Bri got home from break yesterday, and came straight from the airport to church! She didn't even go home to change, because her flight was delayed for 2 hours, so she just came in her soccer sweats and sweatshirt! #NoShame

We got our second snow of the year this week, and a member offered us a snow-blower to use to help other people, but we had to turn it down, because Dad wouldn't get us a snow-blower, so I didn't know how to use one...Just kidding, we actually didn't get offered a snow-blower to use, Dad should just get one for the future. We did get the chance to go around and shovel like 7 driveways though, which was a lot of fun! Also, so going back to the point where it is easier to get a job than it is to get service, after hours of searching, Elder Bennett and I FINALLY dug up some good service places, and so hopefully in the next couple of weeks we'll be able to start doing some weekly service projects! This week we painted the interior of a house for service, so that was pretty cool.

Also speaking of service, the Bloomington 1st Elders asked us to help move a member of their ward from their house to a 2nd-story apartment. Everything in the move went well, but they had a HUGE couch that was so big you couldn't angle it in the hallway upstairs to get it into the door of their apartment. So after a lot of thought and different strategies, we decided to take the couch back downstairs and outside, where three Elders lifted it up one story, and two Elders and myself, pulled it up and over the railing from them, then stuffed it through the sliding door of the apartment. It was a crazy experience, and it took us about 30 minutes to get that dumb couch inside, but we got it done just before it started raining.

It was zone training this week, and Elder Bennett and I gave an hour training on controlling your mind as a missionary and having effective lessons with active members of the Church. I'll send you a copy of the training presentation if you want to look it over.

One last rant for the week: I'm calling out my man Brockbank for his final decision on the #HeismanPose2k15 contest. That's Busch league. I deserve at least a "Everybody-That-Enters-Gets-A-Participation-Prize" trophy or something like that... 

I haven't had time to think about taking very many pictures with all that's been going on next week, but I'll get some to you next week. I told you on Christmas that we didn't have any ghetto in our area, but I spoke too soon: we found the hood this week, and I snagged a good pic! Let me know if there is anything that I can do for you!

Elder Dallas Anderson

Monday, January 4, 2016

Ya Boi in Bowling

Hey All!

Last Monday, there was a crazy storm in the area, it destroyed lots of the trees in the area. So the streets are lined with broken branches because everyone just puts their branches on the curb and waits for the city to come around and pick up their trash.

This week was a pretty slow week as far as proselyting goes, we didn't have any lessons unfortunately. The good news is we found about 7 potential investigators, and we gave Books of Mormon to four or five of them, so hopefully we can have a lesson with them this upcoming week. It should get busier for us starting next week, because college starts up again next Monday.

Here's a pretty cool miracle for the week: so we decided to have a zone fast on Sunday, and Steve had called us Saturday night and told us that he had work, so he wouldn't be able to make it to church. With it being the New Year, the starting time of church switched from 8:30 to 11:00, and when we got there, the Elders in the other ward told us that Steve had been there! I'm super stoked for this upcoming month, I think the zone is going to see a lot of cool miracles from the fast!

To build zone unity even more than the fast, we had a zone activity today, and we decided to go bowling! It was tons of fun--the bowling alley was on the ISU campus, and it's really nice, and pretty cheap too! They have pool, ping-pong, and air hockey tables that you can pay an hourly fee for, so we played some pool too. Of course, you already know that Elder Bennett and I dominated on the pool table, and ya boi beat everyone in the zone at bowling too. But could you ever expect different? #MrClutch

New Years wasn't anything too exciting, but we did go to MLC (Mission Leadership Council) to talk about the needs and concerns of the missionaries in each of our zones. It was a really good meeting, President Griffin does a really good job getting everybody involved and excited about the discussion. But 2016 is going to be sweet, I think a lot of good things are going to be happening in the mission!

I've been able to find a couple of good things with after Christmas sales--I got a pair of cool chinos at PacSun this afternoon, and had an awesome conversation with Tyler (the manager there) about religion. I also got a cool pair ISU sweats last week, along with a Bulls beanie! I'll have to send you some photos next week! 

That's about all that I've got for this week, I'll give my boy Brockbank the S/O now for picking me to win the #HeismanPose2k15 contest. Sorry y'all can't handle my swag. I love you guys, and hope that your New Year has been good so far!

Elder Dallas Anderson