November 11, 2013
This has been a very interesting week, but a good one none the less! On Monday we were able to teach a couple with a member from the Sparta Branch. Our male investigator has a hard time with the Law of Chastity, because he believes that marriage is of the world, and marriage leads to divorce. He has been divorced before, and had no real interest in getting married ever again. His girlfriend that lives with him only talks about marriage with him. She just wants to get married SO badly! It was a tough situation to say the least. We talked about the Proclamation on the Family and the member with us talked a lot about strong marriages. You find what you look for, and this investigator has been focused on divorce. He said that everyone he knows gets divorced, but he hasn't been looking for any successful marriages. The member’s advice helped him a lot, and after our lesson he sincerely prayed, which has been a struggle for him. It was great!
Later that evening we were able to meet with a new member for about an hour to talk with her about church history. She was recently given a responsibility (aka calling) in church, so we transitioned from church history to the progression of the church, and how important her individual efforts are in helping the church to grow and progress! It was a really great lesson, and I really enjoyed meeting with her.
On Wednesday we had our Mission Conference in Lakeville, Minnesota. We received a great training from President and Sister Clements, and then were able to hear from Elder Godoy (sp?) from the 70. Sister Clements brought up an interesting point that the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission is our sacred grove, just like Joseph Smith. This is the place where we learn, grow, and progress for two years, and come back ideally a better person. I never thought of a mission like that! Kind of cool if you think about it. President Clements spent most of his training talking about the Plan of Salvation and what we learned from our assignment. He really is such an incredible leader! I have learned so much from President and Sister Clements, and I have only been out for almost 6 months. Sadly they will be leaving our mission around my one-year mark, so I won't always be with them.
Then Elder Godoy spoke to us. His remarks were truly inspired, and answered a lot of questions I had and prayers I had said. He is from Brazil, and was called to the Brazil Sao Paulo South mission. He said it was the Salt Lake City, Utah mission of Brazil. He said that he was upset, and wasn't particularly excited to go there. While in the MTC he waited for them to release his new call, and tell him that they had made a mistake, but it never happened. He then went on to say that his mission was absolutely incredible because of his Mission President and his wife. He told us that we are sent to our missions specifically because of them. I was sent to the MMM because of President and Sister Clements! I have absolutely LOVED President and Sister Clements. When Elder Godoy said that, I knew it was true, and the spirit hit me really strong. I am here in the MMM to learn from the Clements family! What exactly that is, I do not know, but I am here :)
On Thursday I got my flu shot. That is a SUPER long and complicated story, but in the past week I have spent seriously close to 5 hours in Walgreens. They have run and called my insurance company MANY times, and had no success. At one time the insurance told them that only the flu mist was covered, but they weren't able to get that to go through either. Finally while on the phone the last time, they told the Walgreens lady that only a doctors office could purchase the flu shot the way that they needed to. So then we went to the Mayo Clinic in Sparta. I registered and got an appointment. I got the flu shot, and we left. All in all, it took about 15 minutes. I am now vaccinated though, which is the most important part!
Afterwards, we were able to perform some service for a part-member family. We raked their leaves, and cleaned up their yard. It was nice to have a break to rake some leaves, and to help out the family! The only problem was that I just got a shot in my arm... not cool. My arm hurt SO bad, but it all worked out in the end. The lady told me that I needed to massage the area on my arm, and to try to take it easy. Probably should have not done service at that particular time, but it is done, and I am alive :)
Thursday evening we went up to Tomah. We had dinner with the one family, and then went over to visit with another family. They have not been to church since they were baptized, but they are ever so slowly making progress. The wife knows the Bible extremely well, and as we talked with her she brought up some deep doctrine questions that she had. Amazingly, I was able to answer them with the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants! It was a really cool experience, definitely led by the spirit.
On Friday after weekly planning, I went on exchange with an Elder in South La Crosse. During our exchange we were able to meet with this man, and while we met with him the Elder I was with had the thought to ask him if we could bless his home. He agreed, and it was an amazing experience! He and his family really opened up, and the spirit was able to enter into their home and help them to be comforted and watched over. It was really incredible that we were all able to share that experience together, and to be able to participate in that blessing.
On Saturday after we exchanged back we were able to do some service for a branch member. We moved some book shelves and furniture in her home, and were able to help organize a few things for her. I love her! It is so true that those who are handicapped in any way are SO much closer to God than we realize. She is the sweetest woman, and I love being able to help her out in any way.
The other day as we were tracting, we knocked on a woman's door. She said that she worked with a few mormons at Matthews. I remembered that a new member works at Matthews, and asked her if she knew her. She did! It was a very cool validating moment for us all, and we were able to briefly teach her about the restoration. While she did not readily accept the message, we made progress, and hopefully helped her in some way. It was really cool!
On Saturday evening we were able to visit with a family, and teach them about the Plan of Salvation. Little did we know, but they were having us over for dinner! I was absolutely stuffed, so this was a shock for me! Luckily we made it through. My stomach hurt SO bad afterwards, but it worked out. Pretty much I rolled out of their house, but we were able to teach them so it was all good!
On Sunday we had a really great turn out! We had three non-members to church, and nine less-active members! That NEVER happens :) A less active family kept their commitment and came to Church, as did one of the people we are teaching. Another less-active family even brought their non-member cousin with them. AMAZING! It has been a really great week, and a great ending to my time here in Sparta, Wisconsin. We received our transfer emails today, and I am being transferred to (I forgot... I think it's St. Cloud 1 Zone in Elk River or something like that...). I am excited to see what the future has to hold!
Thank you all so much for you constant support! I seriously could not do this without your love, support, and prayers. I love and miss you all, and hope you are doing well back home!
Elder Kyle William Andrews