Monday, February 10, 2014
This week has definitely been an adventure, and an adjustment. It was hard to leave Elk River, but I was amazed at how many relationships I had built with investigators and ward members in the area. It also makes it harder to leave, because you have SO MANY people to go visit and stop by in the few days you have left in the area. Unfortunately you are never fully able to hit everyone on your list, but I did pretty good at visiting with most of the people! Packing is always a struggle, but it worked out :) My stuff has kind of expanded, especially since I had to pack my buddy Richard to bring him with me haha! Unfortunately the members we lived with were not particularly fond of that idea, and my baggage was downsized. No dog for me :(
Transfers were kind of stressful. The member that picked us up didn't have a bike rack on his car, so we had a last minute dash to borrow a bike rack from another member. It all worked out though! My bike has been ridden probably a total of 4 times, so it was pretty dusty. Transfer meeting went well, and then I met my new companion from Malad, Idaho. We found out that we came out together, but he was obviously in a different district in the MTC than I was. He is SUPER smart, and wants to go into computer science of some sort. He is also really clean and organized like I am! We get along pretty well, and share the same dislike of biking. In the Crystal, Minnesota area we cover the cities of Golden Valley, New Hope, Crystal, Robbinsdale, and North Minneapolis, the ghetto. The area is not that big, but it is a bike area which makes it a little more challenging. So far I like it though!
The members here have been really good at joint teaching with us in the evenings, which means NO BIKING :) My first night in Crystal I met one of our AMAZING investigators. She is African America, and is incredibly kind and humble. She loves learning about the gospel, and has chosen to meet with us on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and then Church on Sunday. It is SO great :) In our last lesson with her, she committed to March 1st as a baptismal date! She had a date much later in March, but she chose to move her date up, which is crazy awesome.
On Thursday we were able to do a few hours of service at this place called Prism, which is a food pantry. It looked just like a grocery store, and people were able to shop around and pick up groceries for their families for free! It was way cool. We mostly sorted through donations, and stocked shelves. I felt like I worked at Macey's Grocery Store for a couple hours, it was kind of fun :) We go to Prism every Thursday, so I am excited for a transfer chalk full of service opportunities! Unfortunately next week we have Zone Conference on Thursday, but we will be able to do it again in two weeks :)
I had my first biking experience on Saturday, which was... an experience. I am completely paranoid about biking in the winter, but I didn't die. I am definitely going to be using all of my winter gear these next couple of months though, and I need to pick up a few other things. Luckily the winter will soon be coming to an end... hopefully! Last winter here ended in May, but that apparently never happens. Hopefully it will be over in February, but apparently it usually finishes up around March and April. My companions’ bike broke on Saturday though, so I have biked a total of 1 time! I think he is fixing it today, so that number will soon increase. We have been doing a lot of walking out in the cold, WAY different than a car area. Also, when you are completely frozen, you don't have a car to go warm up in, so you have to go all the way back to the apartment. Kind of lame. Car areas all the way!
We have a lot of African American and Liberian people in this area, which is WAY different than all of my other areas. Black people here are so kind, and are super open to learning about the gospel. It has been great learning more about them, and getting to know them all. It should be a good transfer :)
The Crystal ward is really great, and I think I am really going to like this area, minus the whole biking part. This will also be my first area that is in a temple zone, so that should be fun! I haven't been to the temple in about 9 months so I have some make-up work to do. Which brings me to my next point, on February 15th this next week I will have been out for 9 months. Holy cow! I am starting to get old, in a few months I will have been out for a year, 1/2 of my mission. Crazy times ahead!
Thank you all for you love and support. You are all so amazing, and have helped me so much, and your prayers and support are definitely helping me in this new bike area. Hopefully I don't slip and die, or break something. I love hearing from you all, and hope you are all doing well. Have a great Valentines Day!
Elder Kyle William Andrews