Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Missionary Tuesday?!

The latest from my brother, Elder Fields, in Chicago.

Once again, hello to you all,

This week has been full of surprises. I've seen things in this last week in the suburbs of Woodridge that after 14 months in the city I forgot ever existed: Wide open spaces, single family homes, proportionate driveways, garages in the front, mail boxes, and on one clear night I actually saw the stars! There are also hills! Our apartment has a big hill behind it that would be great for sledding when the snow comes. With the homes and the hills around here, there are parts of my area that feel like I've stepped through the twilight zone back into Utah, except hills are no substitute for mountains and the members around here live miles apart. I've also gotten lost quite a bit; there are no mountains, no big city skyline, or a lake to tell me where I am. It's a good thing I'm not the designated driver, otherwise we would never get where were going. The suburb areas are so much bigger than the areas in the city and unlike the city, looking at street signs doesn't really help much here. Unless you've lived here for a while and know your way around, you're going to be absolutely lost. I feel all turned around and backwards here and I can't tell which way is north and east. I suppose if I stay here long enough I'll eventually get the hang of things.
The first half of this week was very depressing, I felt ripped off of from my time in Cicero and missed it terribly. It didn't help that it was overcast and rainy most of the week either. Add that to the bad news i had heard about other missionaries in the mission and what they're going through, it was hard not to get depressed; especially when you spend Thanksgiving with total strangers. It really didn't feel like Thanksgiving to me. But after Thanksgiving the weather cleared up, I heard good news and things just started to get better. I still miss Cicero, but Woodridge is my area now and my work is here.

Well, about my new companion Elder S., he was actually born in California, has lived in 6 other countries but his last home was Utah. His family will be living in Germany for his homecoming, so when he gives his homecoming talk it will be to people he doesn't know in a place he's never lived in a language he doesn't speak! Crazy, isn't it?! When I got here, Elder S. informed me about our current investigators, we may as well have none. Two of them can and will never come to church and the third is permanently moving. The area is really struggling right now, so much like how my last two areas were really starting from scratch. I feel like I'm a damage control missionary. They put me in struggling areas, I work my butt off to help it get better, then I don't get to see the results of my efforts. Beverly and Cicero all had wonderful investigators but they progressed slowly and we got moved before I really could see all the good I had done.

The suburbs are also different because the city gets a lot of media referrals and work from that, out here we get far less media and most of our work we have out here comes from members; if they don't help us then nothing can get done. Lucky for us, we get fed almost every night, so we can earn the trust of all the members and actually get their help.

Sunday was church and I was in for even more surprises: Unlike in the city, each suburb ward has only one set of missionaries, unlike my last two areas, the church we go to isn't in our area, oddly enough its not even in our zone! Another shock was that they had sacrament meeting first!! That's another thing I forgot ever existed. I can't even remember the last time I had that. It was such a long time ago, none of the the wards in Utah don't schedule sacrament first anymore, at least none of the ones I have been to within the last few years before my mission. I cant even remember how old I was the last time I did that.

Well, that's about it for the shocks and surprises of this week. I will probably have more of those next week
With regards,

Elder Fields.

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