Monday, December 31, 2012


So since I didn't get to e-mail last week because of Christmas and everything I'll just give a quick recap of pretty much the highlights of these last couple weeks. I got my first baptism! Ha well kindof. Me and my comp got to organize the Camacho's baptism and get them ready with the interview and everything while the missionaries who found them got to baptize them. It's kindof sad that I won't be able to see through all the new investigators me and Elder Adam's are getting right now. 

In other news me and my comp caught a bunny! Haha we were actually going to eat it ourselves (since Elder Adams wants to kill and eat everything he sees), but we ended up giving it to an awesome member family who already has a TON of animals.

 My Christmas was AWESOME. Thank you so much everyone who sent stuff! You're TOO KIND. I got tons of food and candy so I'll be gaining some weight pretty soon probably ha. It was so much fun to be able to Skype my family and Sarah too! My mission president is awesome and left it up to us and our judgement for who we can talk to and for how long for our special Christmas call instead of the normal 45 minutes to one house. I am sooooo grateful for that.

 Thanks to our awesome ward we had some marvilloso dinners for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners. On Christmas Day we actually had like 12 other missionaries come over to our apartment to open presents and stuff so it really did feel like Christmas with tons of people and wrapping paper 3 ft. deep on the floor. Ha the other day Elder Adams dressed up in a Santa suit and I put on a elf hat and we went over to a investigator's house to surprise them and their family. It was pretty funny.
 We also got to have a Christmas party at the mission home. We swapped ties and ate lots of hot chili. YUM. President Fenn also gave us an awesome message about overcoming trials and know that Christ went through it all so He could help us through everything we will face.
Thank you so much everyone for all of your love and support! SPECIAL SHOUTOUT to the one and only Sarah Henretty because I finally got her letters that she sent a while ago all around the same time. I also got to talk to her and some of her family on Christmas and she's just awesome with all the motivation she gives me. YOU DA BEST
That's all for now! If you're sad, read the Book of Mormon. If you're happy...READ THE BOOK OF MORMON! Trust me on this one.
        Elder Adam Shurtliff

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No Tiempo

HOLA EVERYONE! How's it going?!
This week has been a lot harder than the first week, but it went by pretty fast. I've been really loving our awesome ward members. They are feeding us a ton and I'm loving it. No Green meals yet though! 
Elder Adams and I are doing pretty well with our 8 investigators. We are really trying to learn all of their specific individual needs so we can give them exactly what they need to be happy and learn more about how they can come unto Christ and it's hard work. No joke. The thing that's really a challenge to do here is to help them realize how important it is to keep commitments because they mostly progress very slowly. We are doing awesome though and try to stay away from tracking by looking for former investigators and asking for referrals instead. 
Oh and what's cool is that there are more than enough Spanish people here so I get my share of both speaking and trying to understand Spanish. I'll get it down before I get to Mexico hopefully though! By the way I went to go see the Mexican consulate this morning and they almost have it figured out. I might be out of here as early as January 7th but we will see. 

I have only done one service "project" so far. It was just me and the Elder I was on exchanges with, digging roots out for this elderly investigator lady, but I felt pretty manly wielding an axe in the rain. The weather has been pretty chill...literally. It's pretty cold, but still no snow, just some rain.
Well I would love to share all the individual awesome stories of all my investigators and little miracle stories, but my time is about up.
Oh ya and shout out to Glen Reber because he is the only one I have gotten mail from since I got to Chicago haha.
       Elder Shurtliff
p.s. no pics this week sorry

Monday, December 10, 2012

Six Weeks in the Windy City

Well I'm finally here! It's not exactly Mexico, but it will do just fine for five weeks or so. So after three days in Chicago I already have news about my visa! I'm actually going to see the visa consulate tomorrow morning, but I'll still be here for until the end of the transfer (another five weeks) because they don't want new missionaries coming into Mexico when they just barely changed companions and areas. That's alright though because that means I get to stay here and have a good old fashioned Chicago Christmas and then next year I'll get one in Mexico! I'm lucky and get two missions and since everyone always says their mission is the best in the world, I can actually choose which one is better. I'll probably end up saying that I had the two best missions in the world or something. ha.
Ok so I'll start telling about my week from when I got to the airport. 

Me, Elder Vrska and some other Elders actually got to ride first class for some reason which was cool, but not that great. I wanted to start talking to people all around me and stuff, but it's harder than it sounds because they were either reading a book or sleeping. 
 I did end up talking with the flight attendant though. Too bad she was already a member though. I mean it's awesome that she's a member, know what I mean.
So we got off the plane and met my mission president at the bottom of the escalator at the airport just how I imagined it and gave us our copy of the Book of Mormon to give to someone. We loaded up our luggage in the van which drove to the mission home, but we headed to the famous Millennial Park by train. So it was hard at first, but I actually talked to this elderly man on the train in Spanish with the help of one of the Mission President's assistants. He was actually doing pretty much all of the talking and I did a lot of smiling, nodding, and trying to find the right times to laugh or say, "si". I definitely have to work on my Spanish comprehension though because it might be obvious, but people who grew up speaking Spanish talk differently than the RMs at the MTC and so it's a little tough to understand sometimes (especially on a train). So we went to Millennial Park and saw "The Bean" (giant mirror shaped like a bean) and Olympic Stadium which was pretty cool. 
 Once we got on the train to go to the mission president's house I started talking to this guy, but then one Elder tapped me on the shoulder and pointed at a sign that said, "Quiet car during rush hour" and I was like AW MAN! How am I supposed to teach people if I can't talk?!
Chicago is the place with the biggest buildings and the most people walking around than I have ever seen and it's pretty dang awesome. I like the city, but being in the suburbs which is where I'm at now is awesome too. I got paired up with my new companion known as Elder Adams (perfect right?) and we are doing awesome together. He's from Bear River, UT and is a rodeo man which is pretty cool. He's been in Chicago for 9 months and is helping me out big time with the Spanish. 

 Although a couple days ago we were eating at this old lady member's house who almost mumbled to herself when she talked and he went to the bathroom to purposely leave me alone with her for like twenty minutes. It was good though because I just asked questions like, "What are you doing for Christmas?" and then just sat back and listened because she talks a ton. It was pretty funny and he keeps pulling little pranks on me like going up to the wrong house when going to an appointment and waiting to see if I would notice. Don't worry, I did. He did get me though when he told me we were going to tract a street and we got into this one house with a man asking all sorts of specific questions about the Book of Mormon and almost yelling asking me how he could know that's it's true. I was like, "Oh, ok great! Good question!" and I had him read the last two paragraphs of the Intro. He was like, "Ok, but don't we have to pray first?" I was like, "Ya that's right! You already know!". That was when finally he jumped up to give me a handshake and told me he was Hermano Quinones, aka a member. Hahaha it was pretty funny. We actually go over to his house and have dinner with him like three times a week now and they are really nice and friendly.
So everything is awesome here in Cicero, Illinois. There's definitely a lot of work to do here because the missionaries before us left a ton of inactives and former investigators that we are going to try our best to reactivate and keep them on the path to eternal life again. The food is fantastico! I'm getting so stuffed here and it's awesome but sometimes it's too much. One time we were going from one dinner appointment to another and we were locking up our bikes and I see Elder Adams making himself puke so he could have room for more food. Haha I was like, I will never do that. So ya good food. I'm not so great on a bike (crashed on my first day) but that's alright because I think we are putting them away for the winter. Ha I'll tell that story later probably.
I'm all out of time! I miss you all!
       Elder Adam Shurtliff