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

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