Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Exchanges on Exchanges

Hey Mom!

Crazy week this week, we were busy every hour of every day, not even time to breathe!

For starters, we had four exchanges this week. First, I worked with Elder Frehner in Arlington Heights, and we had a great day scooping poop at a local animal shelter. The next day, I spend a day in Naperville 6 working with Elder Hendrickson. The two of us came out together, so it was fun to see how much he's changed since October 2014. The very next day, I worked with Elder Cook here in Woodridge, and we had a good day stopping by less-active members. And our last exchange, I went with Elder Kirkham in the Naperville 1st Ward! Man, it was good to be back there, and I got to see a few of the members the I liked a lot from that area! Brother Hacking took us out to get gelato, and Sister Lyons took us out to a BBQ restaurant for dinner--the members totally spoiled us!

We've had a lot of good success working with the members here in the ward this last week--our dinner calendar was 100% full last week, and is 100% full this week as well! If nothing else, being Italian makes it so that EVERYONE wants to have you over. LOL, no one really cares about the kid from Utah. Haha, just kidding, the members here are great!

There were a lot of members that called on us to give blessings in the hospital this week, which isn't the best news. Fortunately, all of them seem to be doing better and will be getting out of the hospital soon. The good news about our trips to the hospital is that for the first time in my life, I had a parking space reserved for me. Yes, you heard that right: we got to park in the "Reserved for Clergy" spot! Once in a lifetime opportunity, definitely took advantage of that. Definitely worth putting in the email.

We have been blessed with a mild winter and a pretty mild summer this year; until this week, that is. There has been a heat wave going through Chi-Town with heat index temperatures reaching as high as 115 degrees. On one of those days, we helped Brother Hacking pull weeds from his garden, and I don't know if I have sweated more in my whole life to be honest, it was brutal. But now we're good--back into the 80s, nothing crazy.

It's weird that lots of my companions are home from their missions now! I have to give a S/O to Danny Campbell for sending me perhaps the funniest email attachment I've ever received on my mission. You'll have to reach out to Danny, Statler Cluff, & Josh Bennett to have them over for dinner if they're ever in the area! Also, the Boswells are out in Utah, so definitely see if you can meet up with them too!

In all honesty, these last two weeks have been the most stressful of my mission with the transfers and how many exchanges, there's been so much stuff on my mind. Elder Giolitto and I had a really good chat last night talking about personal and companionship goals. We had perhaps one of the greatest companionship connections that I've had on my mission: FIFA. YES, ELDER GIOLITTO IS A BIG FIFA PLAYER!! Not that that has a lot of use here on the mission (my mind is on lock), but we made an awesome connection, and he's definitely going to visit when he comes back to the states, because he wants to lose to me I guess, haha! I'm coming two years out of retirement to reclaim my FIFA throne! #FIFAIsLife #LosingsNotAnOption

So those were some of the highlights! Lots of people seen this week, we had a good lesson with Patience and she came to church as well. Z comes back in town this week, so I'm stoked to see him! The Howell kids were sealed to their parents this last weekend in the temple! Life is stressful, but it's going well. It's always good when you have a parking spot reserved for you, and ESPECIALLY when you meet a new FIFA buddy. I love you all, and hope you have a great week! Let me know if there is anything I can do for you, or if anyone needs a special prayer (anyone that plays FIFA can start praying, because you'll be destroyed sooner than you know). Have an awesome week!

Love you all!
Elder Dallas Anderson

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Many Tests of Transfer Week

Last photo with Elder Cluff in our matching PacSun shirts.
[Note from the editor: The first line is in response to a photo of Landon flexing his biceps while eating 4 cookies at once.)

What is up guys!?

LOL, I can't tell what's flatter: Landon's arms, or that stack of cookies. 

It has been a CRAZY busy week, one of the most stressful I've had on my mission. That is why we started off with a joke in this email: because you might need some comic relief yourself to make it through what Elder Giolitto and I dealt with during transfers this week.

The good news is: everyone got where they were supposed to be, no one got hurt, the arriving missionaries seem very sharp, and the departing missionaries caught their planes home (the companions I've had for the last 13 months of my mission all went home on Tuesday).

Here is where things got a little shaky: Tuesday morning, the departing missionaries take a trip to Chicago for the day, and two of the missionaries missed the shuttle to the bus station, and just barely made the train. Because we waited for them longer than planned, Elder Giolitto and I didn't have time to run to the mission office to get the map that the new missionaries point to as their new area. But that didn't phase me, I went to the backup plan (if you can call it that) and borrowed a map that was in the church building for the facilities management group. The problem with the map is that it didn't include the Peoria Stake, and that's where 5 of the new missionaries are being trained. #Fail

Now while this new missionary and trainer meeting is going on, the first trip for the transfer van is taking missionaries to the stake center for the area that they are going to. The transfer van is on a very tight schedule, and as soon as it left the Naperville Stake Center, we were in trouble, because a missionary didn't board it that was supposed to... #Fail  We got them picked up and to their area though, so it's all good. A couple of other #Fail moments in the transfer van process: a missionary took car keys to a different part of the mission, missionaries left things in previous areas that they needed immediately, and luggage going to one side of the mission ended up going to the opposite side of the mission. 

But here was the biggest problem: everyone and their dog drove into Naperville for transfers, which isn't the norm, but happened because of the amount of missionaries going home and the missionaries coming in. At some point in the transfer process, we miscounted the cars, and there was a car-share (two sets of missionaries that share a car) that ended up without a car at all... #Fail

Now it's our job to fix the problems, so that meant all week we were making phone calls to figure out where cars are, bikes are, all that kind of stuff, so we can get a car-share without the car. We also made trips to the Peoria Stake and Rockford stake to return lost items to the missionaries that needed them most.

With all those problems happening in a day, and being in our minds all week, I ended up with a massive headache yesterday, the worst I've had in a long time. Elder Giolitto and I still managed to teach Gospel Principles together and teach a good lesson to Patience as well. One of the things that I've learned lately, especially being around President Griffin, is that God can give you physical support, as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual support. There is no way I would have been able to focus in the lesson with Patience yesterday without the Lord's hand.

You made it, you endured my transfer stress! Hopefully you didn't need more that two ibuprofen for that. Anyways, the good news is that Elder Giolitto is a great fit to the ward, he's already made friends with tons of the members and spoken some Italian to those that are return missionaries from there.

I'm glad to hear that Jeff Barton made it home safe and that his talk went well. Rockin' the kilt: solid. Guess I've got the green light to give my talk in joggers and a snapback. Haha, anyways, I love you guys a lot, I hope that you all have an awesome week back home! Let me know if there is anything that I can do for you guys! Talk to you again soon!

Elder Dallas Anderson

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

We're Talkin' Tomahawk, Baby

Hey everyone!

First off, let's start off with one of the highlights of the week: dinner. This ain't your ordinary dinner though, this is dinner at none else but Mike Ditka's restaurant. A recent convert named Franni treated us to an amazing dinner at Ditka's, featuring appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Now the highlight was the entrée, which was not even listed on the menu because of its limited availability. "The Tomahawk," as it's known, is a $70, 23 ounce steak with a bone at least 14 inches long. #GetThatProtein And ya boi ate the whole thing in one sitting (Elder Cluff did as well). 

Another major highlight of the week is that we started teaching Girlie's friend Patience, who moved here from Ghana. She used to be a missionary for her church over there, and has desires to be a missionary for our church and to be baptized here! The lesson with her went really well, she set up another appointment next week, and we hope to put her on date at that point (before we can do that though, we have to figure out the logistics of the situation, because she lives outside of the mission but is thinking about moving into the ward boundaries soon).

Elder Cluff finishes his mission this week, which means I got my new companion this past weekend to learn his new responsibilities working on all of the transfer logistics. My new companion's name is Elder Giolitto, and he's from Verona, Italy. He is really well respected among the missionaries, has a great work ethic, and is a fantastic teacher when it comes to lessons. We've had the teach together a couple of times already, and we seem to work well together. I'm really excited to be working with him this transfer! But I'll miss Elder Cluff, we had some good times and good laughs together. He's taught me a lot about open communication and having trust in others. The unity was on point with our swaggin' 4th of July ties, but we took it a step further this week with our welcome signs (S/O to Mom for sending the signs out)! 

This was the craziest week of transfers that I've been involved in. We have 20 missionaries going home, and 12 coming in, which means that planning the transfer van trips was extremely tedious, because you have to make sure that everyone has a companion that they are driving with. Besides that, we picked up the missionaries from the airport today and went out contacting with them this evening, and even got some deep-dish pizza from Lou's.

I love you guys, thanks for all of the love and support, you are all awesome! If you guys could pray for Patience, that would be great! And seriously, if you want something to do today that will bless the lives of those around you, go tell a parent to get off of Twitter and get on Facebook instead, you'll make the world a better place. That means you Mom, LOL. Haha, I love you all, talk to you again next week!

Elder Dallas Anderson

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


BANG BANG! Happy 4th of July people!

First off, gotta give that S/O to Elder Cluff's mom, who hooked it up with matching American Flag ties for our companionship, so we can rep the USA proud! #Merica #StatesideMissionGang Since missionaries aren't allowed to watch fireworks, here's some excitement from this last week that will put your sparklers to shame.

Elder Cluff and I helped an investigator re-sod his front lawn today, putting about 95 rolls of 2ft. x 5ft. sod down. He actually bought every single roll of sod the nursery had, and he's about 25 short, so we'll be back to help him again next week when more sod comes in. Now sod is heavier than it might appear, but what didn't help is that they had watered it this morning, so it was super heavy with water, and really muddy, which made it very dirty. I should have taken pictures of the back of our truck, and of us, because we were absolutely filthy, but the work went really well--Elder Cluff and I figured out a system that made it go quickly, and the investigator was very grateful for our help.

We had some good teaching action this week--we were able to meet with a couple of former investigators (people who were taught in the past but were dropped for one reason or another). Girlie, the girl that Toby is dating, and who originally brought Toby to church, has been bringing a friend from work to church for the past couple of weeks. The friend's name is Patience, and she agreed to sit down and start taking the missionary discussions, which is super awesome! Girlie is showing the other members how to get missionary work done!

I also had the chance to eat at a classy restaurant named Parker's this week--Elder Cluff and I were at a break point putting together MLC documents, and were walking out the door to get some lunch. At that very moment, an amazing member of our ward called us up and invited us to lunch! She is planning to take us out to Mike Ditka's restaurant in the next few days to celebrate the end of Elder Cluff's mission.

In response to your question, the Naper 1st Ward (where the Boswells live) is the west-neighboring ward to the Woodridge 1st Ward, which means that unless we have a meeting at the Naperville Stake Center or have an assignment of some sort over there, there's not really a chance to see the Boswells much unfortunately. The other sad part about that, is that there is only one (to my knowledge) Q-BBQ restaurant, and that is within the Naper 1st Ward boundaries, so we don't have the chance to go there often either.

Besides that, nothing too crazy this week; they've had us come inside tonight at 7:00 p.m. so that we can avoid the situation that Dallas was in last week, which is probably for the best, because like I said last year, you can't tell the difference between gun shots and fireworks here in Chi-Town. #Truth Let me know if there is anything that I can do for you guys! I'm lucky to serve in a place with so much freedom. You're lucky to be in a place that you can read Dallas' emails, because the Founding Fathers never had the chance to. Haha, Happy 4th, you guys!

Love ya!
Elder Dallas Anderson

Party in the USA