Monday, January 13, 2014
This has been an eventful week to say the least ;) We were prohibited to go outside on Sunday and Monday due to extreme temperatures, so we had to be pretty creative on those two "lock down" days. On Sunday we were able to have a mission devotional on a conference call. President and Sister Clements gave us an unexpected training, and were able to talk to us briefly. Sister Clements also told us all to start taking "sunshine pills" (Vitamin D), because the sun does not come out very often around this time in Minnesota, and we need to be happy missionaries ;) I sometimes refer to them as my happy pills behind closed doors, but probably shouldn't share that with too many people :p
Being locked inside for two days was rough. I got cabin fever for sure! Luckily we live with members here, so there was plenty to do. While my companion slept, I studied, watched church videos, deep cleaned our bedroom and bathroom, and took our dog Richard outside for potty breaks. I got a lot done, so it ended up being really nice having two "mental health" days! Hopefully we won't have too many more of those days though, because it was SUPER cold outside. Apparently in some areas it got below -60 degrees. Not cool!
On Wednesday we met with a married couple. We taught them about the restoration of the gospel and they were really excited and accepting of the teachings! During the lesson the wife really enjoyed learning about our church, and is eager to attend sacrament meeting sometime in the near future. The husband asked some really deep questions during the lesson, and asked about our churches stance on gay marriage. Obviously this is a controversial topic, but we were able to talk a bit about the family proclamation, and the fact that our church openly welcomes all people to attend, but that it is a sin to practice homosexual activity. We learned a lot about this in the MTC, and we directed him to the Mormons and Gays website that the church has created. (Mom, remember when we had our little battle on this?!?!?) Hopefully this will not be the end of his investigating, but we will have to see.
On Thursday we were able to attend the funeral of the young man who had a muscular disorder. He will truly be missed in this ward, but his example to all of the youth and members will last a lifetime. His grandma (and caretaker) was pretty crushed by it all, but she knows that he is in a much better place now. He was only 18 years old when he passed away, but his grandma said that he is able to serve his mission now! His dad and his current wife have opened up a little since his passing, and we are starting to meet with them. His grandma said that his missionary work has already begun :) Good things are in the works!
On Sunday we were able to contact someone whose records were just transferred into the ward. When we arrived at his residence, we were greeted by an older man who informed us that he was not home, but he invited us in to visit with him. We found out that it was a group home for adults with special needs. This man has MS and Autism, but was with his family for the weekend. I was struck with the spirit as we visited with the caretaker, realizing that when I volunteered for special education seminary my junior year in high school, it was somehow guided by the spirit. I needed that experience to be able to relate to this caretaker. After teaching him about the restoration, I talked to him a little bit about the seminary program and my experience helping with special needs students. Hopefully we will be able to meet with him, and his wife who was out grocery shopping, and the member of course the next time we visit!
During church we were able to see a less-active member, and her granddaughter. Her granddaughter is 8 years old and has not been baptized. We have been meeting with the grandmother for a while, and during Church they arranged for her baptism to be on February 1st! The granddaughter is SO excited :) Her parents are divorced, and both are inactive. Her dad is fully supportive of her baptism, but her mother is not very eager for it to happen. The mother asked us to call her, and we will be meeting with her next Saturday to discuss what is going to happen. Should be interesting! Hopefully she will still be able to be baptized!
Last night Richard (the dog) was in bed, but the cats, Bentley and Connor, were downstairs with us. I am not particularly fond of cats, so I decided to chase after them. I was ready for bed and was wearing basketball shorts, so my knees were completely exposed. I started chasing after Bentley on all fours, and got carpet burn on my knees! I haven't had carpet burn forever haha! I guess it is a stinging reminder that I should probably act my age, and leave the cats alone ;)
I am excited to be able to meet with President and Sister Clements tomorrow for our Zone Interviews! It should be an exciting event :) We were asked to study Elder Bednar's talks from the October and April 2008 General Conference on prayer, so we have one day to study those and prepare for our Zone Conference. Crazy! I'm sure it will be amazing though. Luckily these past few days have been quite a bit warmer as well :) Yesterday we even hit the 30's! Hopefully it will continue to rise up and up until we are back in the 90's!
Thank you all for your love and support! You are all so amazing, and I truly couldn't do this without all of your love and prayers. I hope you all have a great week, and enjoy the sunshine that doesn't really exist in Minnesota ;)
Elder Kyle William Andrews