August 13, 2013
This week has flown by, but has been one to remember! Lots of great things are happening here in the MMM. To start, I have been able to use my Francais a lot lately. We are teaching a man who lives with his member girlfriend. She is from the Ivory Coast in Africa, and speaks French and very little English. My companion and I both took French in high school, but neither of us are particularly talented with our French speaking. Luckily the non-member boyfriend speaks English. They have a very interesting relationship though, because he does not speak ANY French. I am certainly baffled about how they communicate, but I guess love comes in all different forms.
This week we were able to teach two teenage investigators. One of them struggles with the heavy weight of the pains and sorrows that she has experienced in her life. She spends a lot of time crying, and dwelling on the negative and sad aspects of her life, and is unable to find true happiness. My companion and I have both experienced quite a bit of sadness in our lives, and we were able to really relate to her. We had the most incredible lesson, and the spirit was SO strong. My companion and I kept ourselves composed as we taught the lesson, but we were on the verge of tears the entire time. Our investigator said that she had a new found hope, and that she was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel before we left. When we got in the car, neither of us said a word for about five minutes. It felt SO good! It is people like this investigator that I came on my mission to help, I know it.
On Wednesday we had a Zone Conference in Rochester, Minnesota. President and Sister Clements gave great trainings on how we can become better and more effective missionaries. Sister Clements gave us all an MMM Primary Children's Song Book that she created, so now we occasionally sing primary songs in the mornings. The point of her training was that "Everything I Need To Know... I Learned In Primary". Primary songs state the gospel so powerfully and prolifically, and they are so simple and understandable at the same time. It's like the church knew what they were doing ;) Afterwards we had our zone activity. Due to our mileage limitations, the spam factory tour in Austin, Wisconsin was cancelled, so we watched Remember The Titans, and had a barbecue. It was fun to relax and get to know the missionaries in our zone a lot better!
On Thursday I went on exchange with an elder from Moscow, Idaho. He is eventually going to be serving in Brazil, but he is waiting on his Visa. He entered the MTC a week after I did, and is really a great missionary! He has a lot of faith, and is a very hard worker. I was really able to relate to him, and I loved being able to spend the day with him in Sparta. After a few weeks in this new area, I did not get lost when I was on my own in Sparta! I only had to use the GPS a few times, so I was pretty proud of myself.
A while ago we tracted across a woman. She is very busy, and we weren't able to teach her, but we gave her a Book of Mormon. On Saturday, she called us and said that she was reading, and that she looked up lds.org and began reading the D&C to learn more about where the Book of Mormon came from. She then asked us if she could come to church on Sunday! This kind of stuff does NOT happen. We are usually the persistent ones that have to practically beg people to read and to come to church! After church we were able to finally teach her for the first time, and we had an amazing lesson. She is incredible, and I am sure that she has a future with our church.
My companion and I have focused on our companionship unity this week! I was reminded of an activity that we did as State Officers in FCCLA, that Nikki-Sue Larkin came up with. It is called a conversation jar. It is a jar full of conversational questions, and it really helps to spark up fun and unique conversations when there is a lull. We thought it would be perfect for all of our many car trips, so I am excited to see where this idea takes us! (Mom, can you send me a list of possible conversational questions next week. I'm sure the internet has a ton!) I love working with my companion, and have been able to get to know him really well these past few weeks. I hope that we will be able to serve together next transfer, but I don't want to get my hopes up. You never know!
On Sunday, our investigator who was baptized last week was confirmed a member of the church. Oddly enough, she asked me to confirm her! I was a bit shaken in my boots, because I have only known her for a few weeks now, and I have never confirmed anyone in my life. I had to study up quickly on what the heck I was going to say, but it all worked out! That same Sunday I was also asked to give a talk on "The Power of the Book of Mormon." I love speaking in public, but I miss presenting speeches in front of thousands of people – like when I ran for National Office in FCCLA. I guess this is the next best thing. A member here (who used to live in Provo, Utah and knows one of my friends) informed me that my Hollister Cologne was too seductive for a missionary to be wearing. He is hilarious! I love cologne, and I will never change!
As my companion and I have been talking about friends and family back home, he has opened his flip book with pictures and such that he has accumulated. I on the other hand, have pretend friends, because I don't have any pictures to show of anyone ;) This week you should all (whoever is reading this) send me a picture of yourself, so I can have some photographic evidence that I actually know people back home! Thanks!
Well, it has been another crazy, but exciting week in Sparta, Wisconsin! I hope you are all doing well. Because our time on computers is limited in this area, I ask that for the time being you all write me letters rather than emails (I know :p) until I am able to have more time on the computers. I love and miss you all, talk to you soon!
Elder Kyle William Andrews