Friday, February 6, 2009

Missionary Friday

About time he writes back...

Dear Family and Friends,

Unfortunately, the student library likes to find any excuse to not let visitors in and so this week I am bound by snail mail. Rather than waste time and space more on this, I’ve got a lot to say because this letter covers two weeks. So, let’s get this letter started.

First off, I want to wish Mom a happy birthday because I forgot to do that before. I also want to wish A and S a happy birthday too even though they still have a while before they have their birthdays. I thought I should because I was on the subject.

Next in response to some letters about the corruption and weather in Chicago; here are some jokes I’ve heard on these subjects. 1st, you know you’ve been living in Chicago to long when you honestly have stopped caring about all of the crime and corruption that goes here! Next, the weather; “A bunch of New Yorkers decided “We like crime and corruption and all but darn it, it is just not cold enough” and thus when they moved Chicago was born.”

Now on to the events of the past two weeks: Thursday, two weeks ago was Zone Conference. It was about the same as expected. I did learn one interesting thing. The difference between a call and an assignment: Here is an example: “I was called to serve a mission for the LDS Church. I was assigned to serve in South Chicago. That was about it for Zone Conference. After Zone Conference I started feeling funny but decided to just sleep it off. Friday, I was not any better but I toughed it out. Saturday, I felt absolutely horrible and I knew I needed a doctor when the pain shrunk to my kidney areas. I finally, got to the hospital on Sunday, where they confirmed what I already knew I had. My kidney infection had returned! For me the saying that witch does not kill you makes you stronger would be more accurately worded than witch doesn’t kill you, isn’t trying hard enough and needs to double its efforts. This kidney infection seems to be attempting that.

I stayed in Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Chicago from Sunday until Wednesday night. I observed small differences between this hospital and the ones back home. The one thing that is the same is that I’ve noticed that hospitals are basically just hotels for sick people. You get a nice bed, room service, good food and at the end you receive a huge bill.

I got a single room with a TV staring me right in the face. It seemed to be screaming: “Watch me. Nobody will care!" But because that is against the mission rules, I somehow managed to avoid temptation and I did not watch it. Without TV, there was nothing to do besides read scriptures and nap but I could only do so much of that. Time seemed to pass very slowly and I nearly lost what little sanity I have. During my stay at the hospital, I missed District Meeting and President’s interviews on Monday. I think I talked to President R. enough in the hospital to have that qualify as an interview though. I also missed Zone Activity on Wednesday. They started by playing snow football at that point then went to the High Park Building and jut just hung out. It was nothing special. So I did not miss much.

When I talked to President R. in the hospital, he said he could have had me go to the hospital in the Chicago City Zone but he likes the Good Samaritan Hospital in Naperville Zone better. From this I concluded that there is a good chance that I will be getting transferred to the Naperville Zone.

I really think that this would be a bad idea. I think I should stay one more transfer in Beverly. I have prayed about this and I think I can do more good here than in Naperville. Elder C. said that if the AP’s or MP had known more about my problem, I would never have been sent to Chicago in the first place. I think they are blowing it way out of proportion. I’ve gone years between infections, so even if it does happen again, there’s little chance of it happening on my mission again.

I really hope I don’t go to Naperville. There are so many things I’ve heard that I don’t like. First, you get fed every night – Translation: Your going to get fat and gain back all of the weight you lost. Second: Naperville has rich white people. Translation: They are rich snobs who won’t like you and will judge and look down on you because of all your tiny imperfections. Three, the people are tight with anything and if you even come close to the line, the MP will know and you get chewed out. Forth, Naperville has beautiful women, who flaunt what they’ve got. No mistranslation here. Those women are beautiful and practically throw themselves at the missionaries just to torture them and make themselves feel better.

I like this Zone better. We may not get fed every night but it gives something took forward too. Here we have poor black humble black people who do not judge us badly. As far as rules go, hear it ifs a little looser and you don’t have to constantly worry about all of the little things. Also here we may not have as many good looking women but the ones here do not throw themselves at you. Perhaps, I am just overreacting and it won’t be that bad. When I first heard about what it was like in Beverly, I was terrified, but now I don’t want to leave. I’ve prayed about it and if I do go to Naperville next transfer, then I figure, my kidney infection was no accident and God is putting me there because there will be someone who needs me to teach them in the 6 weeks. I, however, still have to stay here one more transfer. Our area is just starting to pick up. Elder C. has been here over 7 months already and is due. If both of us get transferred that would kill the area all over again. Of course, I could be getting worked over nothing. Let’s just wait to see what happens next transfer.

Elder C. told me while I was in the hospital, that he has spent more time in hospitals on his mission than at all before and the only time he wants to go back is when his wife is giving birth. I just laughed because I know how unlikely that is.

Elder C. also told me of his experience with the AP’s when I was gone. He said they do lots of office work and put up with a lot of crap from all around the mission. Nobody wants to go AP. We prefer doing real mission work.

When I was released from the hospital, President R. told me to take it easy for a few days. So I took it easy on Thursday then got right back to work. Friday, I taught three lessons. The first was my first in a public place instead of a private home. It felt weird but it was a good experience. Her family is devout Catholic and she’s been exposed to lots of Anti stuff. She was too afraid to have us in her home. We taught the restoration and straightened her out about the anti junk. We also visited an inactive who told us his story of conversion then becoming inactive. It is amazing how lots of inactives just need missionary visits to get them back to church. On Saturday we worked like we did on Friday.

This week after District Meeting, Elder C. decided to make me Sr Comp for the day. He said it would be good training but I was not sure. I would prefer the Elder V. route and go Jr comp all the way but what happens will happen. I was going to tract through Media referrals but I felt inspired to do something different than normal. We spent the day tracting through the area book instead. It was a good experience. I had never looked through the area book before so I figured now was a good time. I contacted some old investigators and even made some appointments.

Monday night was my first exchange. So, I spent Tuesday in Pullman with Elder Ca. I was amazed when I taught one of their investigators. He has problems with the Word of Wisdom. He says his wife drives him to drink and smoke. I was just going to share some scriptures with him but when I spoke; someone else was using my voice. They instead, told him that when when his wife gives him trouble he needs to find another outlet for his stress. My voice said something else that I did not get but he understood it perfectly. When we left, we committed him to play snow football whenever he feels stressed because of his wife. Also, with this investigator, he told us that his family used to live in Tennessee and his grandfather knew a T Fields when he lived there. Dad, do we have family in Tennessee? I think we should check and see if we do. We should check if T. Meadows has had his temple work done. Please let me know that goes. Other than this investigator, the rest of the day was pretty much the same as it would have been in Beverly.

I must go. I am tired of hand writing this letter.

Love Elder Fields

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