Friday, September 26, 2008

Flight Plans September 26, 2008

I called the travel office today, Derek has his passport, visa and travel plans.

He is schedule to fly out of Chicago Monday September 29th.
I just realized that is our 26th wedding anniversary! What a gift!

He will arrive in Peru late Monday night.

This Week at a Glance September 24,2008

We have done a lot of tracting and street contacting. We taught a few lessons that went ok. I find that people don’t really want to listen. But I read in the scriptures that we are to give them the warning voice and do our best to bring them to Christ. The choice is theirs. My favorite scripture that talks about this is Jacob 1:19 (In the Book of Mormon). We are to magnify our callings by doing all that we can do, and that their blood will not be upon our garments in the last days. I feel that we have been doing our best.

We have a couple that really liked what we taught. They even told us that they liked it. For them it is going to be a long hard road, because they smoke and drink and work on Sunday. It probably won’t be easy but in the long run it is worth it.

Tuesday (Sept 23) We had zone conference and the missionaries that I served with before were there it was cool to see them. It was really good, we learned how to become better, happier and more successful. We were taught how to work with ward members.
We had dinner with the familia de Jesus again. It was really good, they are an awesome family, very excited about missionary work.

One thing that I would challenge Alden and Dad and anyone that can, to take the opportunity to go out with the full time missionaries, DO IT! It really helps them.
Derek sends his love to all of you.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Opposition In All Things September 17,2008

At Six o’clock we were back to work. We went and knocked on doors for a while. We came to a guy’s house and he asked us what we preached. We told him that we preached about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He stopped us right there and said “Wait you are saying the church needed to be restored? When you say restored that means that it has to be lost or messed up.” I told him about Joseph Smith and he said he did not believe that the authority or the true teaching was lost. He thought that we were saying the God’s plan was messed up when the apostles died, and so in 1820 when he had made a new plan he appeared to “John Smith” (that is what he said) to restore the gospel and try again. I tried to tell him that it was His plan from the beginning. Then he was like so he sent his only begotten Son and called 12 apostle and made them fail. I was like NO they did not fail, the people failed (I wanted to say just like you). He listened and we talked for about 40 minutes. I finally faked the phone was ringing and that we had to go. They have cell phones for more than one reason. He invited us back to read the Bible in Hebrew because he had a Hebrew dictionary. I don’t think we will be going back it ended up feeling like a waste of time. That was the end of our P day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Navy Pier Chicago Illinios September 17, 2008

After visiting the Hancock Building we walked down the bank of Lake Michigan and took more pictures. We went to the Navy Pier, which is pier with a ferris wheel, mini golf and other rides that remind me of Circus Circus rxcept outside and without a roller coaster. There were many things to do. We ate lunch at the Navy Pier.

P Day September 17 2008

Today we went to the Hancock Building. We went to the 96th floor. (The Hanckock Building has 100 floors but is not the tallest building in Chicago) The elevator ride was really fast, it took like ten seconds. We took a lot of pictures. There was a restaurant/bar we went in and some of the other missionaries in our district were going to order food, however the waitress came over and asked for some ID to make sure were were over 21. We were like WHAT? WHY? Isn't this a restaurant? They said no this is a bar and the restaurant is on the floor below and it is closed. So today I got kick out of a bar, SWEET huh!

Friday, September 19, 2008

We love emails!! Derek's email from Sept. 17.

It's so fun to hear from our missionary. We always look forward to Wednesdays!! Here are parts of his emails.
"This week has been going good. Lots of rain and my feet are starting to feel better. Saturday we went to a baptism and we rode our bikes about seven miles in the rain. It was pouring hard. It was kinda fun though. We were soaked. I felt like we had just been baptised. Good thing we took a change of clothes. I got your package but it is all gone now, it was delicious. Thanks! Spanish is still a little difficult but I think it is coming slowly . I am trying really hard to study really hard for the hour that we have to study the language."

In last week's email Derek mentioned a man that they tracted into and the man asked them to come back. They went back to teach him and here is how it went:
"We went back and taught him about the Book of Mormon but he didn't really want to listen. He said he was tired and didn't really have a lot of time. We gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him to read Alma 42 because he lost his son and his mother recently and that chapter is about-what happens after this life. He told us to call him in a month. I think I will call him in a couple weeks and see if he has read and if he has questions. "

About his new district: "The new district is good. My comp is the only one who is foreign but the others speak as if they were foreign. I can't wait till I can speak like that, hopefully it is sometime soon."

A Week of Up's and Down's

Well, the first of this week we heard from Elder Layton's family (another elder with a Visa problem) that his Visa had come him and he'd be leaving for Peru this week. (Which he did, YEAH). So thinking Derek's might be taken care of we called the travel office to see. They said they had a list of ones that were coming in on Monday and he was not on it. They said they'd have another list on Tuesday and to call back. So we called back on Tuesday and he was on the list of Visa's being delivered that day. We were so excited. We sent Derek an email telling him that it sounded like things were getting worked out and he'd be on his way soon. To that he replied, "Wow! I am excited!! I can't wait, if I weren't in the library I would jump up and scream. Just Kidding." Wednesday we made another call to the travel office to see if the Visa made it there for sure. Well, it didn't. Out of everyone of the "list", Derek's was the only one that did not arrive. How discouraging!! They had to email the people on the Peru end of things and we have not heard. We are trying to be patient but it's getting harder and harder. We had to write Derek another email telling him that we'd spoke too soon and apologized for maybe getting his hopes up. To that he said, "That's ok, you don't need to be sorry. I am enjoying myself here for the most part and I know this is where the Lord needs me at this time. So you don't need to be sorry. I still love you a ton. You might have to send me a couple big bags of M&M's but it's okay. Love you" We're so glad Derek has more patience and understanding than us!! Please keep him in your prayers.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Derek's Email-September 10

"We are in a new area and we don't have any investigators so we do alot of contacting on the street and knocking on doors all day. But it is a good experience trying to talk to everyone. The President wants us to run every morning for 20 minutes, but I am really slow and don't like running. But that's okay, I need to learn to run from the dogs that want to eat me."

"Yesterday we were contacting and knocking on doors. At about 8:15 p.m we knocked a door and the guy answered and said," I am sorry, I don't have time right now. But I am glad you guys came here because I am going through some hard times in my life. So Saturday we are going back to teach him. I am really excited. Also, yesterday was the first time I got doors slammed in my face. It was kind of exciting. Other than that we have just been knocking doors and street contacting, giving people cards. We did teach a lesson yesterday at church. It went pretty good I thought, even though I did not understand a whole lot."

Transfer to Spanish Speaking Area

As mentioned in one of the previous posts, Derek was transferred to a Spanish-Speaking area on September 3rd. Here are some of the things he has written to us about in his letter from Sept 5.
"Wednesday was transfers like I told you in my email. I have been put in a Spanish area with a companion from El Salvador. Se llama Elder Mejia. We have bikes and so Wednesday we had to go to the store and get groceries and bring them back on the bike. It was hard but we made it. All of the food made it too.
Derek with his mission president and his wife, and his new companion.
Thursday was hard, it was raining all day and it was raining pretty hard. Yes we did go tracting. We had to ride our bikes for about half an hour in the rain to get to a meeting we had at the church. At the end of the day I was getting a headache because all of the Spanish I was trying to understand. It will come, alot of people have been telling me that it was hard for them too. So I will trust, be patient, and try my hardest to understand.

Derek's First Week in the Field

We received a letter from Derek with lots of details of his first week out in the field. This took place before his transfer. Here is some of his letter dated Sept 5.
"First I will tell you about Elder Williams. He is from Idaho, a small town I can’t remember. He has four other Siblings. The first day of tracting was good. It was funny cause we would knock on the door, someone would come to the door and Elder Williams would start in English, then the people would interrupt and say "I only know a little English". I took over and tried to speak in Spanish. I think I did pretty good, but the funny part was that Elder Williams would start talking in English again and they understood pretty good. But I enjoyed it because I got to use my Spanish. I think I told you for the first week they put me in an English speaking area, but I think I spoke more Spanish than English when we were contacting."
In this letter Derek also gave us a run down of what he did each day, here it is:
"Friday August 29 We just went tracting all day and set up a few appointments for the next day and got referrals for the elders that speak better Spanish than me. I went on exchanges with Elder Hudson who speaks Spanish and that was the day I learned that I don't know a whole lot of Spanish. WOW It just went flying over my head. I understood a little but I was confused all day.
Sunday was my first Sunday out in the field and guess what? I had to give a five minute talk on missionary work.
Monday we went tracting and had a meeting with the district. There were eight of us I think in the district.
Tuesday we got a call and they said we were being transferred, so pack and get ready to move. So Tuesday we spent packing and cleaning the apartment and the car."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Transfer Day!!

We got an email from Derek today. Sounds like he didn't have a whole lot of time. We'll look forward to that letter he promised!
"Hey! I don’t have a lot of time, I will be sending a letter home tonight telling of some great experiences I have had and lots of other good stuff. Today was transfers and it has been kind of hectic because I have been moved to a different area and have a new comp that is from El Salvador. He speaks a little English but not a whole lot. I have learned today that I really don’t know a whole lot of Spanish. Oh well, this will be a good experience-I hope."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Letter From Mission President September 2, 2008

Derek with Mission President and Sister William H. Stoddard

Here are a few excerpts from the letter that we received:
"This is to inform you that your son arrived safely in the Illinois Chicago North Mission. We hope you enjoy the enclosed picture that was taken during a meeting with your son and his trainer companion who is Elder Brian Joseph Williams. They will be serving in the Gurnee 2 area of Illinois."

"Please write to him each week and encourage him to be diligent. We suggest that all your letters be positive, upbeat and spiritual."

Derek's Address is Illinois Chicago North Mission
3295 North Arlington heights Road Ste 108
Arlington Heights IL 60004

"The motto for our mission is "I will go and do" or in Spanish "Iye' y hare." (What a coincidence, that is what we used at the top of this page without knowing) This comes from 1 Nephi 3:7 and describes a perfect combination of faith and obedience that we, as missionaries in the Illinois Chicago North Mission, hope to emulate. As your son comes to realize the importance of this great work through his dedication and service, we know that the time spent here and the experiences that he has will be a great blessing for him and will make a difference in his life for years to come."
Signed by President William H. Stoddard