It was another good week here in the mission! We had a couple of good exchanges, an eventful zone training meeting, and a couple of unplanned road trips that made for a busy week.
The confirmations for Toby & Z went really well, the ward is doing a pretty good job supporting them as new members. We are in the process of teaching them the new member discussions, and are working on getting Toby to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. We taught them about family history this week, and they plan to meet us at the family history center to work on their pedigree chart this week! Besides them, we also had a lesson with the Howell kids (the adopted kids from Guatemala), and they are looking good for their baptism that's coming up on the 25th!
Super small world that Bryan and Kyle ran into the Castos! Elder Casto and I were in the same zone for a transfer when I was serving in Morton, and he's a stud! Super hard worker and awesome attitude, definitely one of my favorite missionaries that I haven't had an opportunity to be companions with.
You asked about the new sock rule in the mission. Now you can't wear any bright-colored socks, so D-Rose is currently on the shelf. #SorryDerrick #HowsTheBench
Elder Cluff and I weren't in attendance at all at the youth conference, so I haven't heard anything of that matter. As far as the mini-missions go, what happens is the young men and young women from a ward or stake are assigned to a companionship for a weekend (usually Thursday-Sunday). The mini-missionary is expected to follow all of the missionary rules, including keeping the mission schedule and living without a phone. They study, plan, and go to appointments with the missionaries as well as dinners with members. Pretty much, they just live the missionary life for a weekend.
We had a couple of exchanges this week--I worked with Elder Riggins (who came out with me, but was home for a few months for medical issues), and that was awesome! It was fun talking about our times in the MTC together and brought back old memories. I also had the chance to work with Elder Stewart-Chester from the Aurora Spanish Ward, but we worked here in the English area. This time it was his Spanish skills, not my playing-with-toys or mad-futbol skills, that came in the clutch, as we happened to meet a member in our ward boundaries that only speaks Spanish, and Elder Stewart-Chester was able to give her a blessing that she needed, because she had hurt her back just days earlier at work. Besides that, we had a really good day walking around in the heat and humidity street contacting, and met a few really solid potential investigators!
It was also zone training for the Naperville zones, and our zone leaders asked us to put together a 15-minute training on it the afternoon before the the training occurred, but Elder Cluff and I were on exchanges that day, and after getting together and driving home, we didn't have a chance to sit down and start planning the training until almost 10:00 P.M. The training went fine, but the highlight (or lowlight) was that in our zone breakout, there was a practice where you had to practice turning casual subjects that members talk about into missionary opportunities that they have had lately.
Elder Cluff picked a real-life situation for me that happened about a month ago. Basically, we were having dinner at a member's house with a newly-married couple that just moved into the ward. They were asking us about how long we have been on our missions, and when they learned that both of us had been out longer than a year, they started talking about a cousin that just graduated high school and how we need to date her and stuff like that. The red lights are on BIG TIME for us, but the member takes it a step further and shows us her high school graduation picture. In the dinner, Elder Cluff and I are looking at each other like, "What the heck is going on? What do we do about this!? BUT THEN, THE MEMBER WENT FURTHER by saying, "She's coming out for a trip this summer, we'll be sure to have you over for dinner then so that you can meet her." *Facepalms while writing this story* WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!? We've met you for like 20 minutes and you're already trying to hook us up to get married! #RedFromEmbarrassmentNotFromSunburn
Of ALL the scenarios Elder Cluff and I have been through together as companions, that's the one he picks for me to do the practice on... #ThatDontPhaseMe #MyHeartsOnLock
Anyways (after getting all fired up about that), we were called upon for our unofficial Tech Elder skills this week. The assignment: get loaner iPads from missionaries from foreign countries and replace them with the new Samsung tablets that our mission is a test mission for. It just so happens that the missionaries with the loaner iPads are serving in places about as far from the mission home as you can get (like in Peoria, Rockford, you get the idea). So Elder Cluff and I had to take a couple of road trips to acquire the loaner devices. #TechElderSkillsInTheClutch
That's about all I've got for the week here, not nearly as exciting as the baptism last week, but still some good stuff! I hope that all is well back in the 801! Let me know if there is anything that I can do for you guys!
Elder Dallas Anderson