This week has been fantastic! I have learned a lot, and had many great experiences. We went on exchange with two areas this week, Winona and Sparta. In Winona, I was with an Elder, who flew out to Minnesota with me but was not in my district. The next day I traded off and went on exchange with an Elder in Sparta. He is from Salt Lake City, Utah and we actually know a few of the same people! He is really cool, and I had a really great time working with him, and getting to know him. He has been out for about a year. Anyways, with these two exchanges back to back things were kind of crazy, but really fun! I absolutely love going on exchange with other missionaries.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been in Minnesota for about a week now, performing at the Target Center I believe. They also presented a plaque to the city of Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Unfortunately we weren't permitted to attend either of these events, but on Saturday we were given permission to go out of our areas to meet up with four other missionaries to visit the area of Black River Falls and to see how receptive the people were to the choir's visit. We met with some really cool people! A lot of Native Americans live there, and we even met with a woman who lived in India. The woman from India was Hindu, but she loved the message that we had to share with her, and she was highly interested in the standards of our beliefs for her son. She isn't too committed just yet, but I think in time she will accept the gospel.
We have had a lot of exchanges and trips this month, and for our car we are only allowed 900 miles a month for our area. This presents a problem! The only solution is bike riding. I was actually kind of excited at first, a new experience, riding a bike in dress clothes. The thrill began to ware as I began to realize that my bike came with a generic bike seat, it felt like I was sitting on a piece of metal! And to get really personal with you all, I have an extremely flat derriere. That equals out to NO extra padding! I still have a bruise from all the bike riding we have been doing, but I purchased a big padded bike seat, and things are much better now.
As some of you may have heard, there was a worldwide missionary broadcast this Sunday. Elder(s) L. Tom Perry, Neil L. Andersen, Russell M Nelson, Boyd K. Packer, and President Thomas S. Monson all spoke to us! One of the first speakers, Elder L. Tom Perry announced that Facebook, Email, and Mormon.Org will be open to missionaries to use during less productive hours of the day (the morning). They also shared many videos with missionaries using iPads and Tablets. A man who works for the church was visiting some family in our ward, and told us that the church has piloted the use of tablets and iPads and that they will be sending those out soon enough! Very exciting news :) It will be at least a few months until this announcement will take affect, but still exciting nonetheless. There was also a HUGE emphasis on member missionary work. Maybe in the near future we will have an overwhelming amount of member referrals that we won't be able to handle them all!
This week my companion and I have had an extraordinary amount of canceled appointments. I know there are people out there who have been prepared for us to share this great message with them, we are just having a really difficult time finding them!
As always, thank you all SO much for your letters and emails! I am always so inspired after reading and responding to all of your kind words :) I can't wait to see you all again in two years. Love and miss you all!
Elder Kyle William Andrews