Monday, December 16, 2013

Journey To Bethlehem

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hello Everyone,

This week has been kind of crazy! To start we had a district P-Day on Monday at the Hogan's pole barn. They had go-carts, rope climbing courses, tricycles, rock climbing walls, the works! It was fun to be able to party it up on our P-Day with our district, and we had an unplanned service project as well. The Sister missionaries slid off into a ditch on the way over, so we had to push them out! Luckily we have not slid into a ditch just yet... but I am not the designated driver. Rumor has it that I might be the designated driver next transfer, yikes!

On Monday evening we met with a less-active family. They are so kind and welcoming, and their son even added me on Facebook while we were there! (I think.. if he did Mom you should accept him for me.) It was fun to be able to visit with them, and to see them before my companion goes home!

The week previous to this we received a text from an investigator that she was not interested in converting, and that she was done taking the missionary discussions. I was devastated! I felt like I had been prepared for her and her family, and that I had failed miserably. I kept it all inside, and got really down about it all. Nothing could fix it. Later that day while my companion was making his missionary goals for when he returns home, I went in the other room and just let it all out. I decided to pray, and the moment I kneeled down I felt something come over me. It felt like someone was hugging me and comforting me, and I knew that somehow everything was going to be okay. We were able to go joint teaching with a brother in the ward on Tuesday, and I decided to stop by this investigator’s home to see her and her daughter while we were in the area. She invited us in, and we were able to have a really great visit with her about Christmas, AND she invited us to come back :) We are no longer dropped!

On Wednesday we got a mission wide text informing us that we were not to bike or tract because of the wind chill warning. We had an exchange planned, so we knew it was going to be interesting! I went on exchange with an Elder from Ozark, Alabama. We did a lot of stop by's and less-active visits. Some Jehovah's Witnesses even invited us in and made us hot chocolate in their Keurig Coffee Maker. SO good! They were really kind and we had a really great discussion with them during our visit. The moment they started bashing though, we decided it would be best if we headed out. I hate church bashing. I think it is the biggest waste of time in the world, and it doesn't accomplish anything whatsoever! Many people seek bashing opportunities to "win" the bash, but nothing good comes from bashing. Okay, here comes the rant haha! I have many friends and family members who are of different faiths. None of them bash my religion, and I don't bash theirs either. For one, it is not very Christlike, but secondary, it's pointless! Most of the time the information people bash with is incorrect anyways. *Bugged* But back to the day. We had a really interesting visit with a Part-Member family in the evening. The kids are from Alabama, and the Elder I was on exchange with discovered that they were in the same stake! Small world :) The mom was able to identify and feel the spirit during our lesson, so all in all, it was a great day! Cold, but good :)

On Friday we had weekly planning. Weekly planning is hard when your companion goes home, because they realize that they will not be there for any of the planned events. My companion decided to not really participate in weekly planning, so I was on my own. Luckily everything was accomplished, and it will be a great week! In the evening we were able to attend the Minnesota Mormon Chorale & Orchestra's performance "Journey To Bethlehem" in New Brighton, Minnesota. Our ward mission leader works for the city of Elk River, and invited the Mayor! Because he is not a member, we were able to attend :) It was a very spirit filled evening, and the Mayor said that it really brought up a lot of good questions, and that he had a lot to think about this Christmas season. SO cool :) The Apollo Male Chorus also was there to perform, they will be performing in Carnegie Hall in New York in a couple weeks, so it was really great to be able to here them perform!

These past few days we have mostly been visiting members. The other day we visited with a member family. They gave us hot chocolate with a candy cane, sprinkles, and whipped cream, SO fun :) They also invited me and my new companion over for Christmas Eve! On the way out, the sister even gave me a Diet Coke. She knows me so well! We both are Diet Coke, and especially Sonic obsessed, it's great :) I absolutely love their family, and can't wait for Christmas Eve!

We were scheduled to have dinner with a family yesterday, but we got a text informing us that the brothers daughter from his former marriage had passed away, and that he was not going to be able to make it. He flew out Sunday morning, and will be understandably busy for the next little while. I felt like we needed to stop by their home a visit with the sister and the rest of the family though, so we went over to see them Sunday afternoon! We had the most amazing visit with their family, and were able to provide a lot of comfort to them while we were there. I shared a little bit about my uncle Wayne, and the experience that our family had with his passing. This brothers’ daughter is in her 20's so very close to Wayne's age. Hopefully we were of some help! The sister kept thanking us profusely for coming over, so I think it was well received :)

Today we received our transfer calls, and I will be staying here in Elk River with my new companion. I am excited to see what the future has to hold this next transfer :). I hit my 7 month mark on Sunday, kind of crazy! Things are going well though, and I am SUPER excited for Christmas :) Thank you all so much for all of your love and support! I love hearing from you all, and all of the fun and exciting things going on back home :) I love and miss you all and hope you have an amazing holiday season! Talk to you soon :)

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews

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