July 22, 2013
This week has definitely been one to remember! As you know, I turned 19 on Wednesday, July 17th! Lets be honest, having a birthday in the mission field is different. The entire day I had to just sing the birthday song to myself in my head, but it was a good day! The mission office, and Sister Clements called to wish me a happy birthday though, so it was pretty fantastic! I even waited until Wednesday morning to open my birthday gifts like I was asked to :) I wore my new Burberry Sport cologne (which I love), and a few people even complimented me, which NEVER happens here. Unfortunately that was not enough to get us in to their home to teach them, but it was a start! A part member family in the ward, signed up to have us over for dinner, so I wasn't able to go out to eat on my birthday. One of our investigators, grilled a TON of food, so we rolled out of their house and wabbled home. In the evening we were teaching another one of my favourite investigators. We were teaching the Word of Wisdom, and since she just had her son less than a year ago, she has had to live the Word of Wisdom throughout her pregnancy and nursing. With the faith she has been developing, we knew that this would be an easier commitment, but I was still excited. Two sisters from the ward joint taught with us, and I was on exchange with one of our zone leaders. The two sisters from the ward are converts, and were able to bear such strong testimony about the Word of Wisdom, and the lesson went amazingly well! One of the sisters surprised me, and planned a mini birthday party, complete with cake and ice cream :) It ended up being a pretty good day afterall. Different, but still good.
On Friday we had a zone conference in Rochester, Minnesota. President Clements taught us about faith, and Sister Clements taught us about hastening our work in the mission field. Both were amazing trainings! They also announced the new dress code adjustments that will be taking place in the mission. We have until the end of August to find an alternative to our backpacks, and we can now wear khaki pants! They also abolished the rule about wearing suit coats to proselyte between certain dates. These are definitely some exciting changes in the mission :) Luckily, I already have a messenger bag that I love! I guess you could say I was inspired ;) I have actually received a ton of compliments on it though, and everyone loves the seatbelt. I feel like it was a wise investment, although my Mother might not agree.
My companion and I work on language studies together each day, and I somehow am able to help him with his English. He struggles with his R's and L's, because apparently in Asia their language does not include those letters or sounds. It has been quite interesting trying to help him to pronounce them a little better, but we have made some headway! We focused a lot on pronouncing word, ward, and world. I had to break them down, and re-spell them wurd, wharred, and whirreled. He records me saying them, and tries to repeat them, but it a very difficult process! I am learning a lot about patience, but President Clements told me that I just have to be persistent, and not enabling. The companions that have excused his struggles with the English language have not helped him to improve, so he hasn't been able to progress.
On Saturday evening after a long day at work, we received a call from President Clements. Surprise, emergency transfer! After a week and a half with my companion in La Crosse, Wisconsin, I am being transferred to Sparta, Wisconsin to serve with our new district leader. My current companion and my new companions current companion are going to the cities in Minnesota. They didn't disclose the reason behind the emergency transfer, but I am certain that it was very important! I am excited to be companions with the district leader again though, now I will be able to continue going on exchange with all the missionaries in our area :) I had a brief week and a half break, but now I am back at it! My new companion is great, and I am excited to be able to serve in Sparta, Wisconsin with him. The future is looking bright!
Today at 8:30 AM we exchanged companions, and made the big move. Last night we packed up our apartment, and finished cleaning. It has been a crazy couple of days, but it has been fun! I am excited to see what the future has to hold here in Sparta, and I know that this will be a great experience and that I will learn a lot. Thank you all for your support, kindness, and birthday wishes :) I love and miss you all, talk to you next week!
Elder Kyle William Andrews
Mom: The Mini Preach My Gospel does not count as a birthday present in case you were wondering ;) Thank you for the presents and everything though. I really do appreciate everything I got! Thank you so much for everything you do! Love you :)