October 14, 2013
It has been another crazy week in Wisconsin, but things are going well! This week we were able to meet with a part-member family in Tomah. The wife is a member, and her husband is of a different faith. Because of their difference in religion, they decided that neither of them were going to attend their religion until they could agree on one. One day we were randomly making calls to those on the branch directory, and we came across her name. We called and set up an appointment to visit with her, and she became very excited for us to meet with them, and for us to teach her and her husband. On Wednesday we were able to teach them the restoration, and we watched the church produced restoration video with them. It was a really great lesson, she cried many times, and I could see that her husband was really internalizing what we were saying. He did not agree on a baptismal date, but they are open to having us visit them weekly. I am excited to see where things will go with their family!
We received a mormon.org referral this week in the VA Hospital. We went to go contact the referral while we were in Tomah, and they would not let us in. We needed security clearance from his family to visit with him. Luckily, the referral was from his member daughter, so they left a voicemail with her, and told us to check back later. We eventually did receive clearance, and we will be able to contact him this next week! As we were exiting the building, we stopped to figure out where the heck I parked the car. Yes, my sense of direction is still absolutely awful, and the VA is designed in a SUPER confusing way! We were looking around, and we came across a newly baptized members, foster mom that we taught a few weeks ago. This was no coincidence that I lost the car, Heavenly Father must have not given me a sense of direction for a reason ;) We were able to catch up with her, and talk for a moment--it was great! This was all happening while we were on exchange with the South La Crosse Elders. As I talked with one of the Elders, I found out that he lives right near our home (within a few blocks). Crazy stuff! He just got here a week ago, and is training in South La Crosse. I was able to help him a little bit with his transition to the mission field, because I had a lot of those same adjustments.
We helped set up for a wedding reception the other day. Two families in the branch have children that are marrying each other. They took down the chapel completely, and changed it for the reception. It actually looks rather nice, I will have to take pictures. The branch here is so small that they do not have a cultural hall, so the chapel was designed in a way that it could be easily taken down for social events and what not. If the branch is ever expanded, than they will build out, and transform that room into an actual cultural hall.
These past two days my companion has been sick with something, so I have had a lot of down time. I have been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing in our apartment though which is a plus, and have been watching church movies and studying. Being sick here is a lot different than back home, because there is pretty much NOTHING to do. We don’t just watch TV, get on Facebook, or surf the internet. It is quite boring actually... Hopefully I will not catch anything, so we won't have to go through this whole thing again!
On Sunday we had Stake Conference. Because the Stake is so spread out, it was filmed in Rochester, Minnesota, and was broadcasted to several buildings in the Stake. We had to drive down to La Crosse to watch Stake Conference, as did our entire district! We had four sets of missionaries (North La Crosse Sisters, South La Crosse Elders, Sparta Elders, and Winona Elders) together for Stake Conference, it was kind of funny! Because it was about a half hour ride from Sparta to La Crosse though, we weren't able to get any investigators to church. Hopefully this next week will be better!
About a week ago, a family in the branch, lost their son. He was over at their home, and became incredibly drunk and they lost control of him. They had to call the police as a last resort. When the police arrived, he ran outside armed with knives from the house, and was shot and killed on their front lawn. The community is in an uproar right now. Police officers make mistakes, and overstep their bounds. Heavenly Father has a plan for us all, but that does not make it any easier. Their son had a very difficult life with drugs and alcoholism, and is free now from the addictions and pains of his life here on earth.
I realized the other day that tomorrow I will have been out on my mission for 5 months. Kind of nuts! Hopefully I will be able to experience a little more success, and be able to improve my missionary efforts as a whole. I am excited to see what the future has to hold! I love and miss you all, and hope you have an excellent week!
Elder Kyle William Andrews