August 5, 2013
This week has been absolute madness, but all is well! On Monday I was in Rochester, Minnesota and went on exchange with one of our zone leaders. We had a really great time together, and had the opportunity to a Somalian man from the Noobian tribe (not sure how to spell that.) It was amazing being able to teach him, and to get to know more about him and his family. They are so very accepting to the gospel, something that Americans are not always the best at. They were incredibly humble, and prepared by the Lord. Apparently the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission (MMM) is one of the most diverse missions, but I haven't been able to serve in any of those areas just yet. La Crosse and Sparta are mainly made up of Caucasians (yep... trying not to sound like a racist here haha!)
The next day my companion and all of the missionaries with leadership positions went to Mission Leadership Conference in Oakdale, Minnesota. They were able to go to the temple with President and Sister Clements! Maybe one day I will be able to do the same. As for me, I went on exchange with an elder. His companion is a district leader as well. We spent the day in Rochester, Minnesota. It was an interesting experience. I had a great time on exchange. Afterwards, we spent the night with the zone leaders, and drove back to Sparta in the morning.
On Thursday I went on exchange with an elder from Utah after district meeting. We had some really cool experiences tracting oddly enough! We went to Riverside Park in South La Crosse, and met a man. He was sitting on a bench by himself, so we asked if we could come sit by him. We talked for a bit, and he completely opened up to us, and talked about his past. He told us that he isn't a social person at all, but for whatever reason felt like he needed to share this with us. We talked to him about how the gospel blesses individuals and families and taught him the restoration. It was a really cool experience! Maybe one day he might even get baptized ;) We also met a girl with bright blue colored hair. She said that she had seen the Book of Mormon Musical in NYC, and that she had always wanted to meet missionaries! We gave her the actual Book of Mormon, and talked to her for a while. It just goes to show that some not so good publicity can turn out to be good publicity! After the exchange, my companion and I went back to Sparta, Wisconsin. We then got a call from South La Crosse informing us that we had their keys, and they had my suitcase. Some things will never change ;) At least I have never locked the keys in our car though!
The other day we did service for a disabled woman in the branch. During a wind storm, her tree was blown apart, and a big portion broke off and fell to the ground. We borrowed some tools, and helped her out. I have never used an axe or a hatchet in my life, so this was an experience for sure! I was terrible at chopping the tree, so eventually I was on saw duty haha! Pretty much our hands are destroyed, but we got everything taken care of. Our blisters will be a reminder throughout the week to give service to others!
Yesterday, Fast Sunday was pretty remarkable! Our investigator was baptized after church, and everything worked out really well. I almost said it worked out perfectly, but there were a few funny moments to remember ;) First of all, in order to have a baptism, you must fill up the baptismal font with water. Yep, we forgot! It filled up right in time though, and the baptism wasn't postponed. Also, the plumbing in the building is made of copper. You must run the water for a few minutes before filling up the baptismal font, otherwise the water will be green. Yep, we had a green baptism! All in all, it was amazing though, definitely a day to remember! Our investigator even made brownies, which was kind of funny as well. We might need to cover the law of the fast lesson with her again in the future ;) Next week in church she will be confirmed, and will officially become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
My companion and I have had some really great experiences this week! We had a companionship inventory session, where we just talked about ourselves and our lives, and how we got to where we are today. It was awesome, and we became a lot closer because of it. My companion is like my best friend, it is the best! I hope that all of my companionships are able to be this close. We work long and hard together, and have a great time together doing it. He is the best!
Because we are not close enough to the cities in Minnesota, next week we have our own zone activity planned instead of going to a Minnesota Twins game with the mission! You might not have known, but in Austin, Minnesota there is a Spam Factory. Sick! For our zone activity, we will be touring the factory and doing other fun things together as the Rochester zone!
This week has been amazing though, and has flown by SO quickly! I can't believe that we are already on week 4/6 in this transfer. Hopefully I will be able to stay in Sparta, Wisconsin with my companion this next transfer, but we will have to just wait and see. I love and miss you all, and hope you have a great week!
Elder Kyle William Andrews