Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving a la Black Friday and the first sign of snow

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hello Everyone,

This week has been different with Thanksgiving, but has definitely been great! To start off the week, we had an exchange with the Buffalo, Minnesota Elders. I was on exchange with an Elder from Logan, Utah. Originally both sets of Elders were going to be in our area, so we arranged two meal appointments for the evening. They had an important appointment arise in their area, so they had to cancel the blitz. We received really sweet voicemails from the families feeding us, so I didn't have the heart to cancel last minute. So... we had two dinners. Absolute madness! One dinner at 4, and another at 5. We were stuffed, but it all worked out in the end. In the evening, we were working in Ramsey, Minnesota with a brother from the ward. I kept feeling like we needing to go somewhere else though, and then I thought of a mother and daughter who live in Otsego, Minnesota. We usually don't like to drive all over the place when we are with members, but I kept feeling like we HAD to go see them. Finally we went over to their home. The mom answered the door, and was absolutely stunned! She said "this is crazy, I was literally just thinking about you two seconds ago, and then you knocked on my door!" It was really cool to see how everything worked out, and then we were able to talk with her for a while, and teach her about the restoration of the church. (The difficulties her family is currently facing are worsening, and her daughter a day earlier was admitted into the hospital for mental health problems) I feel like we are going to have the opportunity to really help their family, it just hasn't completely taken off yet. But it will!

On Wednesday we taught a sister, and her kids again. Their mom is really gravitating towards our church's teachings. As we taught the Plan of Salvation, she said that it really resonated well with her, and it felt like she already knew everything. Each teaching we have shared, has been something that she already believed, but her church has not ever had it as a doctrine. They again didn't make it to church on Sunday though, so we still have a lot of work to do.

Thursday, Thanksgiving, was our P-Day last week. In the morning we had a mission wide conference call at 7:00 AM, and then we went along with our normal P-Day activities. At 1:00 PM we had dinner with a family, and they gave us seriously like hundreds of take-out boxes of food. At 4:00 PM we had dinner with another family. Luckily this time we had some time between the two meal appointments, but still kind of crazy! At 5:00 PM we had to do our shopping for the week, bad. Very bad! Walmart had their first Black Friday event at 6:00, so the store was absolutely crazy! We were just getting regular groceries, but the Black Friday shoppers were EVERYWHERE! Walmart was SUPER disorganized. When you walked into the store, they were handing out maps. They reorganized the entire store, and had video games and iPads in the grocery and produce areas, so it was insane. The Black Friday shopper in me kicked in though, and it was great! The only problem though was that people began to follow suit, even though we were just dashing for things like eggs and chicken. I only had to throw elbows a few times haha ;) I really wish we could have been regular Black Friday shopping, but with sacrifices come blessings.... I had an adrenaline rush for the rest of the evening though, it was great :) With this time of the year, also comes my one year anniversary! One year ago, I broke my collar bone on Black Friday and had to go through surgeries and craziness. I can't believe it has already been a year! Unfortunately I do not have any crazy stories to report, and luckily no broken bones, but it was still a good year. For the rest of the evening, we were with the family we live with doing service. We set up Christmas decorations, and talked, and had a great time! It was fun :) Thanksgiving was definitely a blast! And... in two more Thanksgivings I will be back to Black Friday Shopping haha!

On Saturday we met with a mom and daughter again. The daughter is back home from the hospital now, and is doing well! A family came with us to joint teach, and the sister (Young Womens teacher or president.. not sure) was able to really offer some great advice! We talked about For The Strength of Youth, the Broken Vessel talk from Elder Holland, and this sister gave the mom contact information for a great counselor in St. Cloud. It was a really great lesson, AND I made Lehi Roller Mills blueberry muffins to share, so it was even better :) Don't ask me how that muffin mix made it here to Minnesota, but it worked out perfectly! A member must have given it to the missionaries forever ago, and I am the only one apparently that knows how to make muffins.

Yesterday after church, we had dinner with a family. They just recently moved here from Provo, Utah, crazy! I saw this brother in church a couple weeks ago, and he looked SUPER familiar, but I dismissed it, because he lives here in Minnesota. I mentioned that he looked familiar when we were over having dinner, and he said that he had the same thought. Turns out, he used to work at Nordstrom in Fashion Place Mall in the Men's Shoe Department, my second home. Small world! But it gets even better. His wife grew up in Provo, Utah. She went to Timpview High School. We were talking about our families and everything when this brother and I were trying to figure out how we knew each other, and Sister Wilkinson said that my grandpa, William Bancroft, was her stake president back home. Apparently her dad and grandpa are good friends. She also told me that she went to school with Wayne. Small world! It is cool to have a family here with so many connections to my life back home :) We were also able to talk shoes for a while, which was AWESOME!

It has been a pretty amazing week overall, even though it snowed for like two seconds today for the first time. Luckily it did not stick though! I am SUPER paranoid about the winter here... hopefully I won't kill anyone with my little to no winter driving experience. (No sarcastic remarks Mom!) I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that this week will be excellent as well :) Thank you all for your love and support, I couldn't do this without you.

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews

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