October 28, 2013
This week has been really great, and we have had a lot of service opportunities which always makes missionary work a little sweeter! We started the week by raking leaves with a recent convert in the branch. After raking leaves with her, we had a lesson on temple work. The youth are trying to put together a trip to the temple, and she is interested in going! The temple is in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is a three hour trip, so it takes a lot of planning beforehand. (Maybe one day I will be in a temple area where you can go to the temple once a transfer... :p)
On Wednesday we had a lesson with a part member family, and a member of the branch was able to come joint teaching with us. We taught about the Plan of Salvation, and the lesson went incredibly well! The part member family and the member really clicked, and became quite good friends through this teaching opportunity. The member began inviting the wife to Relief Society activities and what not, and for them both to attend church on Sunday. While they didn't come to church this Sunday, I think there is a great chance of them coming in the future! I always feel so great when I am in their home :) The wife in this part member family has such a strong testimony of the gospel, and she wants so badly for her husband to believe in the same teachings that she does. They are truly a great family!
On Wednesday we also had our weekly district meeting in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Our district leader asked me to train the district on Weekly Planning and Goal Setting. It was a really easy training for me to put together, especially because of all of the stuff I was involved with in high school, but it went really well! I even had cool handouts for everyone :) Missionaries and members here don't really do handouts, which I think is kind of unfortunate. I always love lessons and training when you get handouts and treats, plus you are always more interested in what someone is saying when you have something to offer them afterwards! Maybe I will leave my mark on the people here, and they will start utilizing handouts and organizing their lessons and trainings similarly. NOT that my way is perfect, but it works pretty dang well for me :)
On Thursday we were able to teach the man in the VA hospital. Right after we prayed with him, his daughter who is a member called him. He was very direct while speaking with her, but for whatever reason I started to feel the spirit really strongly while he was talking! Later in their conversation his daughter brought up the missionaries, and he told her that we were right there with him. She told him to get off the phone and to meet with us, and then she counseled him and told him to really listen to what we were saying. I knew there was something good coming out of that phone call! After he got off the phone, he was so much more receptive, and he was really listening to the message we had to share, and I think he was even able to feel the spirit as we taught. It was a really cool experience! For as much as people oppose the gospel standards, the spirit can still be present in our lessons, it’s amazing :)
On Friday while we were supposed to be weekly planning, another less-active family, called us and asked if we could help them move a mattress. We stopped our planning and went over to help them. Little did we know, this service project was going to take A LOT longer than we had initially planned! We left at 4:00 PM, picked up their new mattress in Tomah, Wisconsin, drove back to Sparta and dropped off their new mattress, picked up their old mattress, drove the old mattress to Tomah, and then drove back to Sparta. It was almost time for us to go in for the day by then! We finished planning, and then went to bed. Kind of a crazy day!
I am feeling A LOT better this week :) Thank goodness for Diet Coke, Zip Fizz, Nyquil Night Time Syrup, Robitusson, and doTERRA! Hopefully that is the only time I will ever have to feel like that on my mission, but we will see. At least I am done with the first big wave of illnesses here :) Unfortunately the flu is HUGE right now, so hopefully I will not be getting it.
We were able to move some furniture around this week, for a disabled member in the branch. She is such a sweet lady! She actually graduated from BYU in a major that I was considering for a while.
While tracting one evening we were able to teach a cool family. We taught them the restoration on their porch, and exchanged contact information. They live with the wife’s father, so they want to ask his permission for us to come over! I think there is a lot of potential there. After our lesson, we walked over to a less-active member’s home, and shared the "His Grace Is Sufficient" devotional address by Brad Wilcox with her. It was a really great way to end the evening :)
Things are going well here, and hopefully the weather will not continue to dip down like it has been recently! Cold weather makes for some difficult tracting situations... ie "don't mind my runny nose" haha!
I love and miss you all and hope you are all doing well :) Thank you so much for all of your prayers and kind words of encouragement! Write to you next week :)
(Another priceless Kyle note to Mom that I just have to share!)
So winter supplies will be interesting... the only place to shop for stuff here is Walmart. I will explore my options, and maybe we can spend some time after our district meetings in La Crosse to buy winter supplies, but for now there is not a whole lot I can do. I think I will buy some cheap gloves from Walmart, but for the most part I ended up putting stuff on my Christmas list. For your information, I mailed out my Christmas list today. I only have 60 items on my list, and for the most part they are all pretty serious. The only things on the list that I don't actually need are pretty obvious... and there are only like 2-3 of them. A dog (of course), a Sonic Drive-In for Sparta, and maybe one other thing. It is not that I don't need a dog by the way, it is that I am on a mission right now, and don't want to miss the puppy stages of my dog.
So our water is weird here, and sometimes it is yellow. It has only been yellow once, but it made my shirts turn yellow. They are a weird off-white color, and for some reason bleach and hydrogen peroxide is not completely taking care of it. Today I am going to buy some oxyclean from Walmart, but do you have any other suggestions for stain removal? Thank you so much for all you do! Love you :)
Elder Kyle William Andrews