Wednesday, July 27, 2011

First Day in Chicago



Hola! Today is my first day out in the field, but also Wednesdays are preparation days, so my first day you get to hear all about getting here without me forgetting more details!

So, since the last time I talked to you (which was yesterday morning if you don't remember :) ) I have been on an airplane, met the mission president and his wife, been on a train, talked to complete strangers about Jesus Christ, eaten Chicago pizza, walked around downtown Chicago, talked to more strangers about Jesus Christ, been more exhausted than probably ever before in my life, been hotter than ever before in my life, met my new companion, and moved to my new area. I know. Its insane.

So to break it down for you. After I talked to you, I got on the tiniest and most uncomfortable airplane ever and tried to sleep for three hours, but it didn't really work. After we arrived in O'Hare we were going down the escalator to to baggage claim when we were bombarded by people wearing name tags and taking pictures of us. These were the assistants to the president and President and Sister Doll were there as well. (Also- one of the assistants is from Grantsville and says he knows Gabby. His name is Jake Roberts, if that name is familiar to anyone.) We got our baggage, and then the president and his wife left and we got on the train with the assistants and were told to split up and talk to people. We were each given a Spanish and an English Book of Mormon and cards. I was terrified. But I sat by a really nice girl from Arizona who is on vacation with her family, and we had a really good talk. She didn't take the Book of Mormon, but that was okay, she was interested just didn't want to completely change. Maybe when she checks out (which she said she would) she'll realize that she doesn't have to change for the worst! She said she didn't want to leave Christ! Maybe she'll realize that thats the LAST thing we want. Once we got into the city we met the president and his wife at pizza, and the we left again for a tour of the city. While we were out and about we actually talked to someone who I did end up giving a Book of Mormon. It was really cool to see her really thinking about what I was saying and she really asked questions and was actually interested. It was amazing. She gave us her phone number, and took one of the Elder's contact information as well. After that ridiculously hot hot hot walk about the city we rode the train out to Downers Grove where the mission office and home is. We got instructions (and you package, but I haven't really had a chance to go through it.) We then went back to the mission home where we ate dinner, had interviews and went to bed. This morning we got up and went over to the stake center where we had more training and then met our trainers and found out where we're serving. My trainer is Hermana Summers from Bountiful. And I'm serving out in the sticks, Mom! Its actually a huge area, and we live in Rockford. Its something like 2 hours out of the city, and it includes a little bit of Wisconsin. Rockford is the area where my teacher Hermano Brown served for most of his mission. He is actually the one that started the Spanish branch out here and I'm super excited to meet all of the people he's been telling us about for the past two months. He is a celebrity out here. It sounds like he was the best missionary in the world and people fully expect him to become a general authority within a few years :). So I'm super lucky to be out here. Its still really surreal. And I don't feel like a missionary yet, because today all we've done is go to lunch with a member who was EXTREMELY chatty and a little bit of a gossip. :) And then we just went to the apartment and unloaded my luggage and headed to the community college where I'm emailing you. And tonight we have an appointment with an investigator! WOW!

I think that is the longest paragraph ever. But its how I feel like I would talk if could. Actually it would probably be one long run on sentence and I wouldn't breathe.

Also, I cannot express how hot it is out here. My hair has decided that it doesn't want to be straight anymore, but frizzy. And I don't think I will ever be dry again because of how sticky and sweaty I am. Like really. This is ridiculous. I am so glad I'm not in a bike area right now. Someone told me that the heat index is 110 degrees, and I'm pretty sure that I would probably die. Our apartment has air conditioning, which is the biggest blessing ever. Also, I have my own bathroom. As the member who we ate lunch with described it, we live in the Barbie Mansion. Its pretty nice. And I'm probably going to get spoiled and then moved to a dumpy old apartment. But I'll be here for at least the next 12 weeks for training!

Okay. Mail: send it to the mission office, which is the address you have. Packages: nothing perishable, as there is no guarantee how soon I'll get it because of how far out my area is, whenever the zone leaders go in they'll pick it up and bring it by for me.
Could you send me a copy of my call? Also, any and all conversion stories you have for our family. How did we become members? Both sides of the family, por favor.

So thats about all I've got for you now. I'll send you some pictures once I get them developed and buy more stamps. It was awesome talking to you yesterday! I wish we could have talked longer and I could have heard you better.

I'll let you know next week if I can actually speak Spanish or not, we've yet to see. :S


Hermana Shaelyn Brown

You can write to Shaelyn at the Mission home address:

Sister Shaelyn Brown
Illinois Chicago Mission
1319 Butterfield Rd, Suite 522
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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