What a week it's been here in Chi-Town, crazy busy and stressful, but we're good to go. Here's a brief rundown on a week packed with meetings and miracles:
Tuesday was New Missionary Training meeting, which included Elder Giolitto and myself giving two twenty minute presentations. The first was on the "Do's & Don'ts of Technology" (which involved a demonstration of me falling onto an air mattress that was hidden on the stage), and the second was on "Finding: A Mindset, not an Activity." We went straight from the meeting to a dinner appointment, to MCM that night. We were then supposed to plan out our Zone Conference trainings that night, but Elder Giolitto's back was giving him problems, so we went to President's house to give him a blessing and he got his back worked on a little bit. We didn't end up home until about 10:30, which meant no planning for the training that night, haha.
We ended up planning our training the following morning, and it was okay on Wednesday, but we made some adjustments for our trainings on Thursday and Friday, and they were both pretty solid. The topic we were assigned to teach on was "The Role of the Book of Mormon in Conversion." Probably the best part of our training included having each missionary write their testimony down inside the front cover of the Book of Mormon, then challenging them to hand it out within 24 hours (more on that later).
Definitely the most eventful day was Wednesday, which was zone conference in Joliet. President planned to show part of a Church DVD at the different zone conferences, so we brought the projector to make it work. Now, here's some background to the situation: First, the Joliet chapel was designed extremely poorly in the sense that the screen for projected images comes down on top of the pulpit, so you have to set up a table that rests on the pews 4-5 rows back to put the projector on. Besides that, the computer that President has doesn't have a CD/DVD drive, so you need to borrow a TV from the church building that has a DVD player that you can connect the projector to.
At this point, your projector is smack in the middle of the chapel--the issue is that nobody in their right mind puts an outlet in the middle of the room, the closest one is on the stand, so we connect an extension cord and power strip to that to get the DVD player, projector, and computer plugged in and ready to go. To add to the mess of cables, we've also got a 20 foot long HDMI cable hooking the TV (at the front of the chapel to get power) to the projector (middle of the room) running underneath the pews as well. Now, we've finally got everything ready, hooked up, sound connected to the system in the chapel, and we go to turn the DVD on, and one of the office staff missionaries who came for lunch had taken the DVD back to the mission office (which is 45 minutes away)... *Facepalm* *Beats head against wall* LOL, why do I even bother with these things... On the bright side, President gave some impromptu remarks, and we got out of the meeting 30 minutes early, which is unheard of.
The next day was zone conference in Peoria. Elder Giolitto and I wanted to complete the challenge we had issued in Joliet for handing out the Book of Mormon with our testimony in 24 hours, but our night on Wednesday was completely booked, and we were driving all morning on Thursday, so we didn't have a good chance to do it before the meeting. We decided in the meeting that we would go out for the first 20 minutes of lunch (the last 20 minutes of our 24 hours) and see if we could complete the challenge. Directly across the street from the church was a family unloading groceries from their car. We offered to help them take their groceries inside and ended up having a nice conversation about what we do as missionaries. They accepted our copies of the Book of Mormon and commented that they'd been wanted to check out the church across the street for a couple of years now! What an awesome miracle! Our training was right after lunch, so we were pretty fired up giving it and sharing the experience that we had doing it ourselves. After the meeting, the Peoria mini-missions kicked off, and Brother Ringer from the Normal Ward was in charge of it, so it was good to talk to him for a couple of minutes. On our drive back to our apartment, the Albrechtsens in Normal invited us over for dinner, so it was a lot of fun spending some time with them as well!
We had Rockford's zone conference on Friday, and got all of the technology set up and working, but ran out of time, so we didn't even need to use it anyway...
Saturday brought a very neat circumstance; as you are aware, Elder Giolitto is from Verona, Italy. His family sent him a picture of the missionaries they had over for dinner a couple of weeks ago, and one of them happened to live in our mission. This missionary emailed his mom, and she set up a lunch with us so that a role-reversal of parents feeding missionaries could take place in the Western Hemisphere. The Grizzell Family (Elder Grizzell is currently serving in Verona) took us to Barbakoa for lunch, where I had a carne asada torta with guacamole that was amazing. #TheyCallMeBrockbank
As far as our teaching this week, we were able to see the Dunne twins, as well as a couple of other less-active members that we hope to see return to church at some point. Patience had work yesterday, so we weren't able to meet with her unfortunately, but we have an appointment set up with a man named Adam this week, and hope to find a few new investigators with the time that we have in between more meetings this week.
And just to give you a laugh or a smile for the week, last week, I got an auto-reply email from my mom (after I emailed her last week) implying that my emails weren't good enough. It's probably 'cause I'm white. #ThanksMom #LanguageOfTheStreetsSaysOtherwise
That's about all for this week. I appreciate all the love and support from the homies back home. S/O to my buddies that have recently finished or will finish their missions here in the next couple of weeks, finish strong! You know I ain't about that trunkie life here in Chi-Town, we still going strong! Lemme know if there is anything that I can do for you guys, you're always in my prayers!
Elder Dallas Anderson