Monday, December 30, 2013
This week has definitely been one to remember! I cannot believe that Christmas is already here, but it was amazing :) We spent Christmas Eve with a wonderful family. They are so awesome! We had an amazing dinner, talked about traditions that our families have for Christmas, they acted out Luke 2 and gave us crowns to be three wise men, and then we had cake. They had a birthday cake for Jesus! Such a fun idea :) To finish off the night, they gave us our first Christmas presents, AND I was allowed to open it before Christmas! We both got a fun pair of Argyle socks, and my favorite Burts Bees Original Chapstick. This sister knows me so well haha ;) She made it to Sonic before 4:00 PM closing on Christmas Eve, so she was able to have her celebratory Diet Coke for Christmas. We on the other hand arrived at 4:15 PM, so no Christmas Diet Coke from Sonic for me. But we all know that I had a can later in the day ;) In other words... "I had some anyways!"
Christmas was great as well! We had breakfast with the family we live with and opened up presents with them. I knew the mom would be getting us presents, so I secretly had stashed one for her as well! She absolutely loved it, even though it was just a simple gift that I found at target with a fun little note that I included. It made my day for sure to see how happy it made her, and she later shared it with all of her grandkids when they came over! At 2:00 PM we got to make our Skype calls home! It was fun to be able to see my family and my grandparents briefly on Christmas and to be able to talk to them for a short little while :) Of course the internet went down in the middle of our Skype call, so I got to use my computer knowledge to fix the internet and get back on Skype! Christmas isn't the same without a little bit of drama ;) I was a "good boy" and didn't open my presents from my family until Christmas, so I got some extra props from them as well! For dinner we ate with a family from the ward. After dinner they put on a talent show for us, and we were able to hear the Christmas orange story, SO great :) It all worked out in the end, and was a really great Christmas!
On Thursday we went up to Big Lake, Minnesota and met with a Sister and her grandson. The grandson has a muscular disorder, and his heart is failing, so they are not able to do much when it is FREEZING cold outside. We talked with them, and gave them some church videos to watch because they are not able to attend sacrament meeting currently. As we were about to leave, I felt prompted to ask the Sister if she wanted a blessing. She said that while she didn't want one, she would really appreciate it if we gave her grandson a blessing. It was a really great experience for us all, and the spirit was really strong as we departed!
While still in Big Lake we met with a sister and her non-member boyfriend. The sister shared with us that she has been going some really tough times lately, and that she is soon going to be going to jail. She was involved in a check fraud scam, and got off easy apparently with 10 days in jail. Some of the people involved got 5-10 years, so she is counting her blessings! Her boyfriend committed to baptism as we taught the restoration though, and this sister shared with us that wants church to be a more active part of her life. It was a really great meeting.
On Friday we were able to see a sister, and her 3 year old daughter. Her daughter is always very shy around us, and hides behind her mom, but this time she warmed up to me a little bit! (Probably because I told her that I would make pink cupcakes and bring them to her the next time we see them, but minor details!) Christmas was difficult for them this year, but this sister is really excited for a brand new year, and a fresh new start!
On Saturday before a meeting with a less-active family, we met a couple while we were out tracting. They are catholic, but are very aware of Mormons. They met each other while working for the Boy Scouts of America, so they have met LOTS of Mormons ;) I was able to talk with them about the BSA program, and the fact that I was an Eagle Scout, and that I went to BYU which used to have a BSA major. (It is now the recreational management major I believe.) Who knew that my Mom was inspired by making me do scouting, even though I didn't like it very much. Especially the camping part. They have a very unique family! They have a deaf daughter who has had surgeries to make it so that she can talk and hear now, and two big dogs. It was really fun being able to meet with them and talk with them briefly! Hopefully we will be able to meet with them again in the near future.
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year :) Thank you all for your love and warm wishes!
Elder Kyle William Andrews
Today, right before we left the house to go email, I got an unexpected package! The Bancrofts who spent their Christmas in the warm and beautiful Hawaii, sent me a postcard and some fun macadamia nut treats from Hawaii :) It made my day! Maybe we can swap for a couple weeks though, these past two days have been quite cold! Yesterday was -15 degrees, and the wind chill brought it down to about -35/40 degrees. Not fun!!