Monday, September 26, 2016

Lucky Number Eleven

Hey guys!

Short email this week, because we've had a busy day today. This last week was pretty hectic, one of those weeks where all of your plans are changed because other things come up. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see any of the people that we wanted to, but we did get to do some good unplanned service for members.

CRAZY miracle on exchange 11 of this transfer (it's the first time we've completed all 11 of 11 exchanges that we have with zone leaders and our district leader!): I was working with Elder Urness in Sycamore on Tuesday, and we had a fantastic day of contacting, highlighted by an amazing miracle! We were knocking a few doors and came across a woman named Elizabeth, who was visibly shaken, and who told us her daughter ran away from home just days before. We told her about the Book of Mormon, and how it brings peace to those that read it. She told us that it was "divine intervention" that we had shown up--earlier in the day she had been praying for peace. To be even crazier, we assigned her Mosiah 2 to read in the Book of Mormon, explaining how King Benjamin is teaching families about finding happiness. We finish explaining the story, and she tells us that her son's name is Benjamin. How freakin' crazy is that!? 

Other than that, one of the highlights of the week was eating at Chama Gaucha, the Brazilian steakhouse, with Elder Giolitto on Saturday. We challenged ourselves and were successful at trying all 15 types of meat that they had to offer, complete with a chocolate mousse dessert. What was even cooler about the experience is that Elder Giolitto's parents paid for the meal--they wanted to treat me to a meal because I'm Elder Giolitto's first companion to go home, so that was very nice of them.

Sorry I don't have much time, that's about how this next week is going to go: we have transfer council, MLC prep, transfer prep, MLC, and the 5th General Conference of my mission, so it should be an awesome last week for me! Let me know if there is anything I can do for you guys, and if I can throw in any last prayers for you! Love you all, and talk to you again next week!

Love ya!
Elder Dallas Anderson


Monday, September 19, 2016

10 Exchanges Down Memory Lane

*Cues "Soundtrack 2 My Life"*
I got 99 problems, 'cause I'm so tired.
*Cuts music*

Sorry, y'all thought you were getting your rap today to Kid Cudi's track, but you'll just have to wait and see what's in store. But for real though, I'm exhausted this week after three more exchanges, and service every day of the week, including another three different moves, painting a bedroom, and mowing a lawn.

First off, can I just say that exchanges are awesome? You get to spend good time with missionaries that you can learn a lot from, and sometimes you get to connect with missionaries you've served around in the past. For instance, I got to spend a day with Elder Limary this week, and we had an awesome time talking and laughing and working together. Exchanges also give you the chance (sometimes) to serve in former areas, like I got to return to the full-bike area of Naper 1 this week (and I loved every second of it, BTW)! We had the chance to see Brother Manning in Naper 1, who unfolded the doctrine of the sacrament to us, which was pretty sweet! The other thing you should know about exchanges is that they are very demanding, in every sense possible. You've got to be on your game spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, everything, because you've got to live worthy of the miracles that always happen on exchanges. That being said, we completed our 10th of 11 exchanges for the transfer, and it has worn me out, but has been fantastic at the same time!

The other reason I'm tired this week is because of a lot of service that we offered. As most of you are aware by now, it seems as though whenever I move somebody on my mission, I'm always involved moving the couch, and there's usually a good story that goes with it. This week, I've got a couple more stories to add the the #CouchChronicles: 1) We helped a new family move into the ward on Thursday. They have a very short set of steps to get to their basement (only like 5 total steps), but there is isn't much clearing to get big furniture down those steps. After turning this couch about every possible way that we could to get it down the stairwell, we figured it wasn't going to fit. After all of us pulled on it to get it back up, the couch hit the wall and broke a hole in the drywall...It was the the first accident we've had moving on my mission yet. The member was chill though, he didn't have a problem with it, haha (his wife was a different story)! 2) Saturday, we helped a family move out, and they lived on the 5th story of their apartment. Their couch wouldn't fit in the elevator, so we had to carry it down to the first floor to get it onto the truck. I started off carrying, but when we rotated it to get through the door of the apartment, the member had me switch, but then never switched me back, so I just gave moral support for the 5 story descent down the stairs, LOL.

Overall, solid week. Crazy busy with things to do, but awesome experiences. No luck with teaching Patience, and we dropped Adam, but we had an awesome dinner and lesson with the Cerezo family--a part-member family where the father is a chef by profession, so you best believe we got good food there. Listen to how awesome of a ward we've got though: we have a family that's signed up for dinner EVERY SINGLE NIGHT until the end of my mission. Talk about hookups, these guys are awesome! LOL, I'mma come home weighing over 200. Don't judge.

Anyways guys, I love you all! Thanks for your prayers! We've got our last exchange for the transfer tomorrow, followed by a week of Elder Giolitto and I having a lot of time together to hit the streets and find people to teach, so if you could keep us in your prayers that we find people who are prepared, that would be awesome! Have a great week, and I'll talk to you guys again soon!

Elder Dallas Anderson

P.S. I almost put, "I got 99 problems, 'cause my mom's trunkie" to start off the email, but I thought I'd spare you the grief, haha! Love you Mom! #MOOOOOOM

Monday, September 12, 2016

Back to Back to Back to Back Missionary Work

Hey everybody!

This week was absolutely nuts, because we had four exchanges back to back to back to back. Between Monday night and Friday night, Elder Giolitto and I saw each other for a combined total of maybe an hour. Besides all of the exchange madness, we met with Patience yesterday in the Borgs' home, and she's now been in contact with the realtor and is working on figuring out a place locally so that she can be baptized!

Here are some of the highlights of the exchanges: First, I worked with Elder Boulton, and we got to spend the night at the mission home, because there was a missionary that was finishing up his mission early, so he needed a companion to be with him for the night. In the morning, we played an intense game of HORSE outside on the Griffins' basketball hoop.

The next day, I worked with Elder Marchant in the Naperville 6th Ward. We had dinner with a member who said that I looked like one of her friend's kids, so she called up that friend and asked if the missionaries could come over right then and there. Then, she decided that she didn't want us to go by ourselves, so we followed her in the car to the friend's house, where the member introduced us to her friend and her son Ben, that actually did turn out to look like a younger version of me. What an awesome member missionary! That exchange became even more memorable when Elder Marchant and I went for a run the next morning, took a wrong turn, and ended up running 4 miles instead of the planned 1.5 miles, haha! Elder Marchant is one of the most fit people I've ever met--we ran the 4 miles in 30 minutes, but he probably could have done it in 25-26 if I wasn't with him, because he stopped to wait for me to catch up multiple times on the run.

I had the chance to work with Elder Reyes, who went to high school with me, so it was fun connecting with him for the day! We got to meet with Franni, the awesome recent convert that took Elder Cluff and I out to Ditka's restaurant a couple of months ago, and we did some painting for a member as well.

Then I spent the next day with Elder Roper in Arlington Heights, and the two of us celebrated his birthday by eating some awesome BBQ for lunch. The Johnson family from their ward took us out to dinner at Portillo's, and bought us an entire chocolate cake to take home...After dinner, we went to their house next door and had one of the very best lessons I've had with a member, and we had a lot of fun teaching it too.

Our next day was equally as busy, even though we weren't on exchanges: we had the Ward BBQ (haha, I probably gained about 5 pounds this week...), followed by the baptism of 8-year-old Lorenzo DaSilva, followed by a Brazilian dinner at the DaSilva home (make that 10 pounds...). Since I ate so bad during the week, I didn't have any cake, because the cake was about 7 inches tall (and was about 3 feet long and a foot and a half wide, biggest cake I've ever seen). I guess they didn't get the message that I was trying not to put on 15 pounds just this week, and they sent us home with a huge tray of Brazilian food, as well as a piece of cake that's about 7 inches tall by 5 inches wide by 5 inches long... #SoMuchFood

One of the highlights of my week: yesterday at church, I wasn't too happy. I was bitter about a couple of things, I didn't have a lot of desire to do anything, I was pretty much just there in body, but I recognized it and wanted to change. As I had the sacrament yesterday, it really was a changing experience, the best I've ever had when it comes to taking the sacrament. Like for real, for real. All of the bitterness left me, and I was again super excited to talk with people and do the work. It was something I'd never experienced, but was incredible, and I hope you guys are able to feel the power of taking the sacrament each week that you go.

Hope all is well for everyone, life's still good here in Chi-Town. Let me know what I can do for you, you're always in the prayers! Love you, and talk to you again next week! Got some more rhymes for you coming soon!

Elder Dallas Anderson

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Week of Culture

What's up guys!

Sorry to disappoint, but no rap today, although there's one in the process for the upcoming weeks! #WorthTheWait I'm curious to hear from you guys though as to what song I should write the rap to--open to suggestions. This week is all about that #CultureShock though, and you'll see why here in a sec (and it's not just cause I'm white...).

First before I get into this though, here's on overview on the week: three exchanges, a zone training meeting where I had to give a departing testimony, and a couple of lessons with less-active members of the ward. Unfortunately, not much luck with Patience or Adam lately. The good news is that the Naperville Stake just had a fast for missionary work that has already brought a couple of miracles to a couple of members' lives. Elder Giolitto and I are pumped for the upcoming month coming off of the fast!

Awesome miracle to report for the week! Remember the family that Elder Giolitto contacted several weeks ago as part of the Book of Mormon challenge (we ran outside of the Peoria Stake Center with 20 minutes left to go in our 24 hour time limit and we gave two copies of the Book of Mormon out to this family)? The missionaries were in contact with them this past week, and they came to church! The dad of the family even got up and bore his testimony! How awesome is that! What I love is that Elder Giolitto and I never would have known that that had happened if the missionaries down there didn't reach out to us. There are so many good things you do in life that you might not ever find out about, but you're the one who influenced them. So go out there and you can make a difference in someone's life!

The first place where I learned some #Culture was on exchanges on Tuesday in Aurora (#SpanishForADay). It was a day of firsts for me--we played tennis in the morning for morning exercise, which I haven't done before in the morning. #TheyCallMeRFed After Elder Tedders taught me some Spanish in language study (#ComoSeDiceWorthless), we took lunch, where I learned to make homemade corn tortillas. #LearnSomeCulture We stopped by a less-active member's home, who spoke really good English (#Hallelujah), and helped him sand his porch so that he could refinish it the next day.

The funny, no-so-mission-appropriate-but-I'll-share-it-with-you-anyways, #Shocking news comes from the land of Peoria this week, on exchanges with Elder Weigel. He wanted to find a new investigator super bad, so we hit the parks and the streets, contacting a people for a solid 5 hours (#FindingChanceTheRapper). In the midst of finding (we saw tons of #Miracles, by the way, including finding someone that runs a food pantry that said missionaries could set up a booth and hand out materials at the food pantry because she likes what we do that much), we came across a group of people sitting out talking on the porch. We start to contact them, and there is a 21-23 year old girl that comes up and asks if we're Jehovah Witnesses. My companion starts introducing who we are, and she totally interrupts him and looks at me and says, "You're cute!" along with a comment about how I look like Justin Bieber. #Shocked #Blushing #Awkward I'm pretty uncomfortable at this point, so I just say thanks and continue on with the contact. We finish talking to the group, and as we're walking away, this same girl says, "Bye, sexy!" #Shocked #SUPERAwkward After trying to shake that off, we tract the same street for another hour or so, then start working our way back. We get across the street from the same house, and the same girl yells across the street to us (I ain't about to write down what she said). LOL, it's been a whole weekend and I'm still feeling the awkwardness of that situation. #StillInShock #ShesThirsty #ThatDontPhaseMe

Anyways, back to getting #Cultured: Elder Giolitto taught me how to make tiramisu this week, and on top of that, he cooked us an amazing lunch today, using the ingredients from the package that you sent, Mom (he was SUPER excited, by the way). LOL, doing my best to avoid getting fat.. I didn't help the situation much though, because Elder Giolitto and I had the chance to stop by Pizza Peel (located in Lacon, IL, which is funny, because someone tagged the city water tower to that it reads "Bacon" instead of Lacon, LOL)--a restaurant owned by a member, where the missionaries eat for free. We got amazing calzones that were definitely FFTK approved, NOT. #JokesOnYou #IEnjoyedItAnyways #FatGirlProbs

Finally, your last bit of #CultureShock comes from Wyoming, where I haven't spent more than 48 hours in my life. That being said, I threw on the t-shirt reppin' the ___ (I don't have any clue what the area code for Wyoming is...) and snapped a pic. #MakinMomProud #ThugLife #ThingsIveLearnedInChiTown

Finally, your last bit of #CultureShock comes from Wyoming, where I haven't spent more than 48 hours in my life. That being said, I threw on the t-shirt reppin' the ___ (I don't have any clue what the area code for Wyoming is...) and snapped a pic. #MakinMomProud #ThugLife #ThingsIveLearnedInChiTown

That's what I got for this week. LOL, I'm two weeks behind in the My Plan program because we've been so busy with things to do. Hopefully your weeks haven't been as awkward as mine, but that you've been cultured a bit by this email. You'll get more culture from the streets of Chicago here in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned! You guys are great, and I've always got you in my prayers! Love you all!  

Elder Dallas Anderson