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, but...you 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!
THE CHURCH IS TRUE!
Elder Adam Shurtliff