So I'm here(:
I will try to explain everything that happened because I didn't get to
write last Monday. I woke up at 2:30 in order to get to the airport.
It was hilarious because I was exhausted but since you are walking
through an airport as a missionary with your plaque on trying to be a
good representation of the church, but at the same time you are trying
not to fall asleep standing up. But anyways, the flight was easy and I
got a cool picture of the Chicago skyline coming in to land I'll send
a picture. When we got there (there was about 13 new missionaries
heading to the mission, 4 were Spanish speakers) the President and his
wife with all of the APs were waiting. I am confident that you would
get along really well with Sister Griffen, Mom. Because literally
while we were coming down the escalator to greet them, she was taking
around a million pictures of us each individually. Then she said she
"needed" to get a picture with each one of us in motion of hugging
President Griffen as well, so we all lined up and I was laughing
pretty much the entire time. What I am attempting to say is that I
love President and his wife, they are some of the kindest, most loving
people I have ever met! Ahh I am very blessed to be in the mission.
We spent that night at the mission home going through a bunch of
orientation and paperwork stuff which was long. But actually within
about 4hrs of being in Chicago they sent us out with an older
missionary to got tracking! It was definitely a slap in the face but
still so fun. I knocked probably 20 doors and was rejected too fast to
even have a conversation with anyone. Humbling. Actually, my very
first door was a man that proceeded to yell at me and convince me that
I was going to hell if I didn't attend his church. Hahaha! I love
The next day we went to the transfer meeting to meet our companions! I
actually had the coolest experience check this out: all the newbies
got there early, and a few older Elderes were already there getting
situated too. It just so happens that I shook one, only ONE,
missionary's hand before the meeting started. And guess what, within
the next 15mins I found out he was going to be my trainer! Both of us
hadn't been told anything previously, I mean seriously he had no idea
who I was, he just shook my hand. But he said that when he shook my
hand he knew that I was going to be his "boy" Coolest experience ever.
Dream team baby.
So my companion's name is Elder Marchant. He is from Billings,
Montana. He is absolutely a stud, and he is actually super "young" to
be a trainer. He has been out for almost 7 months. I don't know how to
explain him except that he is a great missionary. He also is obsessed
with working out, so we have been waking up at 5:30 to "get big"
hahaha honestly I love it.
The area that I am in is the Elgin II North Spanish Branch. Elgin is a
suburb thingy that is just outside of Chicago, so most of people that
we work with commute to Chicago. But the sweet thing is that probably
75% of the population is Hispanic.
The only problem is that we have 1 active member of the church in our
area! And she is an older lady whose husband is dead, which means we
can't visit her unless there is another male present. That is hard
because we can't have any members come with us to lessons or anything
like that. But it is okay because pretty soon we will have the whole
town converted...oh also we don't have any member dinner appointments,
like zero. So President has to send us $30 extra every month for food
to make up for it hahaha More than anything though, we are definitely
looked after by the Lord. It is amazing to think about how much the
Lord looks after us.
But here is the really cool thing, me and my companion are both super
white. Which means that we also open up the conversation is English,
and then every time the answer is "no puedo hablar en ingles" (I can't
speak English) and then my companion responds in perfect Spanish.
Every single time they are like, shoot.
Haha the Spanish is really fun though, there is a lot of opportunities
to speak it.
Probably the best day thus far happened when we were tracking (which
means knocking door to door). We had been tracking for a couple hours,
oh and I forgot to mention that we were on bikes! (We share a car with
some English Elders so we have a car for half of the week) anyways,
the sky was pretty dark and it looked like it might rain, but we
figured that we still had work to do, so we didn't stop. Within about
10 minutes the rain was plummeting down and lightning was flashing all
over the place. Me and my companion stood in the middle of the road in
Illinois, fully dressed in white shirts/ties/sweaters, looking as if
we had just jumped into a pool we were literally
sopping/soaking/dripping wet, and we stood there laughing. Literally I
don't think I have laughed that hard in a really long time. We
actually ended up getting invited on to someone's porch to get out of
the rain, and you know what that means (; (; hahah jk we are teaching
a lesson to them tomorrow so cross your fingers hahaha!
Actually really quickly, another awesome experience happened on my
first day in Elgin, with our progressing investigators Sergio and
Elaina. These people are some of the best of the best. Just kind,
sweet, and humble people that are really anxious to learn more about
God's plan for them. So ya, I instantly fell in love with these
people, and the first lesson I taught to them was so powerful.
Granted, I let my companion do a lot of the talking, but I can at
least understand where the conversation is going and add my
comments/testimony here and there. Anyways, at the very end of the
lesson Elder Marchant turns to me and says, "invite them to get
To say the least, I was extremely intimidated. Talking in broken
Spanish to these natives, and having only know them for an hour. But
when I turned to extended the invitation I immediately felt calm. When
I said the words, I felt the Spirit testify that this is what they
needed to hear, and the decision they needed to make to be baptized.
The Lord will always help you when you need it, especially to do the
things He wants you to do. Being a missionary is way too cool.
Tons of other things happen but I have zero time to explain it all.
Sorry I feel like this letter is just a ton of info! You are all in my
thoughts and prayers! Listen to the Spirit throughout your day, I
promise you will be able to see the hand of God in your life, you
don't have to be a missionary or a member of the Church of Jesus
Christ, you will see it and you will feel it.
Much love, stay safe
P.S- I have an IPad and I am allowed to check my email all through the
week! So don't wait till Monday to tell me something (: