This week has been quite interesting to say the least! It began like any normal week. We had our P-Day, then an exchange on Tuesday with South La Crosse, and then District Meeting on Wednesday. The Zone Leaders came to our District Meeting, and we went on exchange with them afterwards. I was on exchange with an elder who I have had some memorable experiences with, and some really great lessons on our exchange! We started out rough, with a man. We were teaching him the Plan of Salvation, and in the middle of our lesson, his wife came outside and started yelling. She told us that we were just wasting our time, and that he was never going to come to church. She kept yelling at us, and eventually told us, for no reason mind you, that she was going to call the police if we didn't leave her property. Gotta' love the kindness of some of the people;) Later that evening though, we had an opportunity to teach a boy in a part-member family. We taught him about the restoration, and he had a lot of really great questions. You could see that everything made sense to him, and then his dad, the member, bore testimony of the things we were teaching him. The spirit was really strong at that point, and we committed him to be baptized! Baptisms fall through all the time, but we are crossing our fingers for September 15th! After our lesson, we returned to the apartment for our interview following the exchange. The elder I was with had a sharp pain in his chest, and was extremely uncomfortable all of the sudden. He said that his lungs were hurting, and that he thought he had a collapsed lung. He has had problems with collapsed lungs since he was 17, and eventually had his left lung cauterized. His right lung was causing him grief at this point though. When the other elders returned to the apartment after their interview, we gave him a blessing and called President Clements. We had to take the elder to the Mayo Clinic in Sparta, and they x-rayed him and confirmed that he in fact had a collapsed lung. They sent the elder and his companion in an ambulance to the Mayo clinic in La Crosse for surgery. My companion and I returned to our apartment at about 1:00 AM, and tried to sleep for as long as possible.
The next day we had to drive the Zone Leaders car down to La Crosse. The elders surgery went well, and he began to feel a lot better after he was given some pain medication. The hospital informed him that he was eventually going to need to get his other lung cauterized though, but that it could wait until he returned home from his mission.
On Sunday, we had the opportunity to teach a woman and her boyfriend. They are native Spanish speakers, and only the woman can speak and understand English. My companion and I only speak English, and a little bit of French. This created quite an interesting situation for us to say the least! The woman translated for a while, and then we popped in the restoration DVD that we have that comes in many different languages. We gave them the Spanish version of the Book of Mormon, and the Spanish restoration pamphlets that just so happened to be in our apartment. As we taught the lesson and watched the movie in Spanish, we felt the spirit so strongly! We knew that they understood what was going on and that the message we had to share brought them peace, and intrigued them to learn more. I don't know how future lessons without DVD's will work, but I know that anything is possible. As we returned to our apartment on Sunday night, we saw something unusual as we approached the entrance to the apartment building. All of the sudden my companion began to back up slowly, and then I realized that there was a skunk right in front of our door! Great, this would just be the perfect ending to our already crazy week if we got sprayed by a skunk. Luckily, the skunk ran away, and we were able to get in to our apartment stench free ;)
Despite the interesting week we had, we were able to get some of the highest number of lessons we have ever had! The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I guess we will just never understand what all is going on haha. Oddly enough – it was an extremely successful week!
Today is Labor Day, so the Sparta Library where we usually email is closed! We are going on exchange today with the Elders in Winona, Wisconsin though, so we stopped by the South La Crosse Elder's apartment, where they have an internet cafe. Pretty great! This means we have a little bit more time to email today than we normally do, because the computers do not automatically turn off after logging in for 60 minutes!
Thank you all for the encouragement and support that you provide me, and for all of the love, letters, and emails that you send. I truly appreciate every one of you! It has been another successful week, and I am excited to see what we will be able to accomplish this next week. I love and miss you all!
Elder Kyle William Andrews