Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Mormon Messi

Hey guys!

It was a jam-packed week of zone conferences--we had four of them, with a fifth coming up this next week in Peoria. Elder Cluff and I are responsible for training on how to work effectively with members, and helping members build their confidence and excitement to participate in missionary work. It's gone really well so far, especially our meeting on Friday.

Mom would be shocked to know that on Friday, a member took us out to a sushi restaurant where you pick the rolls your table wants, and they keep making them and bringing them out until you aren't hungry anymore. Now for those of you who don't know, I am not a seafood fan in the slightest. So we go to this restaurant, and they don't have a single item on the menu that doesn't involve fish, eel, octopus, whatever. None. So I just have to power through eating crab, tuna, shrimp, eel, and a couple of other kinds of fish. Luckily, there was lots of soy sauce and wasabi to overpower the flavor, and I made it through without getting sick. Elder Cluff isn't a big seafood fan either, but sometimes you just have to take one for the team.

Sad story of the week: Hope was all ready and set up for her baptism on Saturday. The font was filled, and the ward was there and supportive, and not even joking, ten minutes before the baptism, Hope's mom walked in and anti-ed her, and she decided not to get baptized... I hope that she still continues to meet with the missionaries. Satan is really trying her hard, because that's one of the craziest stories I've ever heard when it comes to a baptism.

Other (somewhat) sad story of the week: Elder Cluff and I both started feeling like we have a cold this morning, neither of us are feeling to great. I attribute it to all of the sushi we ate on Friday, LOL. It makes sense logically that it was the sushi, because this is the first time that I've been sick on my mission, and that was the first time that I had sushi on my mission, so there's definitely a direct correlation there.

Now, on the upside, Toby and Z now have a baptismal date for June 4th! We met with them three different times during the week, and they are continuing to impress us! In one of our latest lessons, Z taught us all about the Tree of Life in Lehi's Dream, with all of the surrounding details (mists of darkness, iron rod, Lehi's desire to share the fruit with his family, etc.), he's amazing. And Toby came into our lesson yesterday with a really good understanding of the word of wisdom and law of chastity, and he's already talking about being sealed in the temple a year after his baptism, so we're pretty much all the way there with them!

I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Morales in the Aurora (Spanish) Ward this week. #ComoSeDiceWorthless Their ward was having a baptism for a child-of-record, and the member asked if we could fill the font. Now I've never filled a font before, but this took for-freakin'-ever...It was like 3 HOURS to fill the thing. We didn't think it was going to be done in time, so we got like 8 pitchers out of the kitchen and were filling them up with water, only to realize that the water that comes out of one of the kitchen sinks and the bathroom sinks are a light brown color...nasty. Fortunately, the other kitchen sink came out clean, but it poured at approximately 0.003718374 ounces per hour, so we had to find another water source in the church, which turned out to the spout where they prepare the sacrament. 

The only problem with that was that the water came out cold, and we didn't want the water in the font to be cold. So we decide, "Let's throw these pitchers of water in the microwave!" (It takes about 2:30 to heat up a pitcher of water in the microwave if you've ever been curious.) After heating the water, we poured it into the font, and kept refilling, heating, and dumping the water for about an hour or so, the font was sufficiently high enough for the baptism. Now, after all of that work, the member of the Aurora Ward who promised to bring their friend to the baptism showed up without the friend, so we weren't able to stay to watch the baptism. Instead, we went finding, and Elder Morales contacted this lady on the street in Spanish. Now because my Spanish skills are #ComoSeDiceWorthless, I am completely out of the conversation, so I turn my attention to her 5-year-old son who's playing futbol in the front yard. We start passing the ball back and forth and talking for about 20 minutes (all while Elder Morales is talking to this kid's mom). Long story short, the kid was left speechless when I dazzled him with a series of rainbows, step-overs, Waka-Wakas, and roulettes. They pretty much call me "The Mormon Messi," you know what I'm sayin'? #AlsoHumble

Haha, besides that, I copped a sweet pair of pants at Goodwill today, and we hope to get out to the mall this afternoon. 

I hope that all of you are having an awesome week! Remember, don't eat the sushi, because it will make you get a cold. Haha, I love you guys, take it easy! Let me know if there is anything that I can do for you!

Elder Dallas Anderson

Top Two: Mission Trivia

Disclaimer: Yes, Elder Dallas did call on Mother's Day. No, his mother did not post the conversation in a timely manner. #MomFail 

Top Two Lists

What are the Top 2 demonstrations you've seen of Chicago sports fanaticism?

  • One guy painted his entire lawn with the Cubs logo
  • Every freakin' car has stick figure people or license plates with a Chicago sport logo

What are the Top 2 foods and/or restaurants you've enjoyed in Chicago?

  • Deep dish pizza at Giordano's
  • Cake shake at Portillos
  • (Bonus: anything at QBBQ)

What are the Top 2 phrases/words you've heard in Chicago?

  • Finna. As in, "You finna come to church on Sunday?"
  • "You know what I'm sayin'?"

Top 2 words you've heard pronounced differently in Chicago?

  • Joliet. People say it jaw-leeyet even though that city has a law requiring it to be pronounced joe-leeyet.
  • Bourbonnais. It's supposed to be French-ish: bour-bonnay. But people say ber-BAIN-iss.

Top 2 weird questions you get about Mormons.

  • Everyone always asks about polygamy.
  • Someone got us confused with the Amish. (Nope, I like to watch TV.)

Top 2 things in your closet that will be out of style when you return.

  • White shirts.
  • Ties.

Top 2 cousins who will have changed the most by the time you get home.

  • Kyle
  • Savanna

Top 2 personal habits your companion would mention when describing you.

  • I talk in my sleep.
  • I am crazy good at exercising in the morning. I do step-ups on the bed!

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Call for Questions: Ask Elder Dallas!

Like Top 10 lists. But shorter.
This Sunday is your chance to get the low-down on Elder Dallas and the Chicago West Mission! During our Skype call, he will answer your questions and we'll post the answers right here on the blog. 

If you don't have a specific question, please suggest a "Top 2" theme for his response. (For example, what are the Top 2 best things you've eaten on your mission? What are the Top 2 questions people ask you about the Church? Who are the Top 2 companions you've served with? etc.)

To be fair, we'll give Elder D a little time to prepare. So...Submit your questions and Top 2 themes right now! On Wednesday night, we'll send him a list to ponder. Then expect great answers next Sunday night.

Click "Comments" at the bottom of this post to add your questions, or email to Happy asking!

Lessons with Z, Exchanges 3, and Counting Calories for Elder D

Here's a photo of me and Z from this week! The kid's a stud!

It was another good week filled with lots of exchanges, some good lessons, and even a new diet for yours truly (the #FatGirlProbs were real this week...I ate like garbage)!

To start things off, we had three lessons with Toby & Z this week, and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation. They both catch on incredibly fast, and it blows our minds at how much Z knows--he's a prime example why the scriptures say to become as a little child. Here's an example for you: we're teaching the Plan of Salvation, and introducing it by talking about Eternal Life (AKA: eternal happiness), and we ask Z the question, "Can you imagine what it would be like to be happy all the time?" He responded, "I don't know if I'd like it, because then I wouldn't know what it was like to be sad, and I wouldn't learn anything." HOLY COW KID, YOU'RE FREAKIN' 9 YEARS OLD! AND WE HADN'T EVEN TAUGHT ABOUT THE FALL YET! You could say that Elder Cluff and I were pretty pumped about that! We haven't had the chance to put them on date for baptism yet (it's a complicated situation, because they live outside of mission boundaries, so we're trying to figure out the logistics of everything). Long story short though, they plan to move out here into the ward within the next couple of months, which means we can continue to teach them and maybe even put them on date next week, because they're totally ready--they've been reading the scriptures and coming to church!

We went on three different exchanges this week: Exchange #1 was with the Bloomingdale Spanish Elders (in our English-speaking area, thank goodness), and I got to work with Elder David Reyes, which was pretty sweet, because we went to high school together, so it was fun to talk about our different mission experiences with him. Exchange #2 was in Dekalb with Elder Boettcher, where after tracting in the pouring rain for 45 minutes I started off the #FatGirlProbs for the week with a pretzel crust, pepperoni pizza with buffalo drizzle from Pizza Hut, and I ate like 6 pieces... #WorthIt I was grateful for the chance to work with Elder Boettcher, because we had a really cool miracle the next morning which I think is exactly what their area needed. Exchange #3 was here in Woodridge, and I got to work with my former companion, Elder Campbell, who is now serving as a Zone Leader. #ExTechLife Man, Elder Campbell is soooo freakin' funny, there have been very few days that I've laughed as hard on my mission than Friday with Elder Campbell. When you're together with a companion for 6 months, you have some good stories!

Anyways, the member involved in the miracle that we saw on the Dekalb exchange gave us cookie dough, and the mission office put out a huge container of jellybeans, and the whole Pizza Hut experience made me decide that I need to eat healthier than that, because even though I'm eating good things, I'm eating junk food on top of that, and that's a no-go. So Elder Cluff and I figured out how many calories we burn per day on average, and have started a diet counting calories. #CallMeJennyCraig

We've got New Missionaries Training and MLC this week, so that should be a couple of good meetings! On top of that, we hope to have a couple of lessons with Toby & Z, as well as other investigators. Thanks for all of your love and support, the work is going really well! Let me know if there is anything I can do for you at home!

Talk to you Sunday, Mom!

Elder Dallas Anderson