Monday, February 17, 2014
It has certainly been an interesting week! On Monday we were able to meet with our investigator with a Brother from the ward. We talked to her about the importance of living the Word of Wisdom, and finished teaching the Plan of Salvation. Ida said that Satan has really been working on her lately, and that she was having the hardest time giving up coffee and cigarettes. We recommitted her to live the Word of Wisdom, and set up a program for her so that she could be successful! We also asked her to text us every morning and report on her day and how she was doing with the Word of Wisdom. It was truly an amazing lesson, and she made some great progress!
On Tuesday, she did not text us. We were pretty sure that she had broken the Word of Wisdom, and that she felt guilty and didn't want to tell us. We had a lesson scheduled with her on Tuesday evening, so we weren't exactly sure how everything was going to work. Tuesday night a Brother from the ward came joint teaching with us. We met with her, and she told us how excited she was to tell us that she was living the Word of Wisdom, and that she wanted to tell us in person rather than over a text. She sure got us! We then had a really great lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ including faith, repentance, baptism, and enduring to the end. She is going to be baptized on March 1st, and as of right now she is keeping all of her commitments and should be solid!
On Wednesday we went joint teaching with another Brother from the ward. We had an evening booked solid with appointments, and one by one they ALL fell through. This was a great opportunity to catch up on visiting with less-active members in the area though, so it ended up being a great evening! Everything happens for a reason.
On Thursday we had our Zone Conference. We drove to Brooklyn Centre with Elder and Sister Mathis, the most amazing senior missionary couple on the planet! They actually used to be the Clement's neighbors before their mission, so it is kind of cool that they ended up serving in the MMM. They are the best though! In our Zone Conference we learned about repentance from President Clements and discussed some talks that we had studied previous to the conference. Sister Clements talked to us about self-confidence, and how we can overcome the negative thoughts and lies that we store up in our minds about ourselves, and move forward with faith. Both were really great training, and helped me with a lot of questions and things that I had been struggling with. We were also able to hear from President Ehlert, a member of our mission presidency. He talked to us a lot about working with members which so far has been one of the themes of my mission, so it was great to receive further training! President Ehlert is also conducting a study for his business or something, and has my district wearing a device called a FitBit. Pretty much it is a fairly sophisticated pedometer, and tracks all of our steps and everything each day. It is synced up with their computers, so they can track all of us. Kind of creepy ;) At our Zone Conference we also received what President Clements refers to as "stylish green vests" for biking in the evening hours. Not cool. We have HIDEOUS reflective crossing guard vests that we have to wear when we go biking at night time. Luckily we have joint teachers most evenings, so this will just be a greater inspiration to me to avoid biking at night! We also got a new phone, which was a great surprise because we had not ordered one :) I love new phones! Don't get me wrong though, it is still a brick. (It reminds me of the cheap sliding phone that Aimee had when she first got a cell phone.)
On Thursday evening we were able to meet with a woman who lives in really humble circumstances in North Minneapolis. She has 6 kids, which must be difficult for a single mother! We walked into their home, and the living room did not have anything in it, not even a light. She walked to another room and grabbed a lamp to plug in, and we sat down on their bare wood floor. They did not have money for furniture, and most of their home is unfurnished. They mostly just have their kitchen, and the mattresses they sleep on. This woman grew up in the church, and remembers the girls camp outings she went on very fondly! She wants to become more active in the church, and she wants her kids to get baptized. The only problem is that the church is in Crystal, and they do not have any form of transportation. We assured her that we would make it work out for all of them though!
Friday was Valentines Day. Not a very good day for a missionary. No one is home, and they were all out on dates in the evening. Not much happened.
Saturday we were able to attend a baptism in the Medicine Lake Ward with our investigator! She had a really great experience, and is even more excited for her own baptism. She truly is amazing, and the whole time we were there she was telling people that this was the true church, and was telling them that she was going to be baptized soon as well! After the baptism we were able to meet with another of our investigators. African people here are so very humble and kind. They love to learn about Jesus Christ, they just aren't the best at keeping a schedule haha! They run on African time ;) He is great though, and we were able to have a really nice lesson with him on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
On Saturday evening we were able to meet with a woman. She has some very serious health problems, and has 5 small strokes in the past year. Attending church is quite difficult for her to say the least! She plans to get back to church in the summer though when the chances of slipping and falling are much smaller. She has a really difficult time walking, and has to use a cane or a walker. She has a CRAZY cat though. Her cat is afraid of people, which is TOTALLY okay in my book! For the first little while the cat was hiding from us, but then it decided to make its presence known. Her cat hisses and growls at other people, but especially missionaries! I guess many years ago missionaries babysat her cat while they were on vacation, and the cat was pretty much tortured by one of the missionaries. Basically I was scared for my life! I have never seen a cat open its mouth so wide and hiss at me before! I thought it was going to tear us to bits, and then she told us that it was okay, her cat doesn't bite very hard. I was quite anxious to get out of there! It was nice visiting with her, and luckily none of us were attacked by this crazy cat :)
Sunday was great, we were able to attend ward council in the morning and then both investigators came to church! A girl from the ward even invited her non-member friend to attend church as well. It was really great!
Sunday evening we were out tracting and met a really nice family who invited us into their home out of the cold. NO ONE does that, so it was quite amazing! We met a man who has been looking for a church, and asked us to teach him about our church. It was a really great opportunity for us to talk about the restoration of our church, and he was excited to learn about and read the Book of Mormon! Great things are in the works :)
As of February 15th, I have officially been out for 9 months! Kind of crazy if you think about it. Thank you all so much for all of your love and support! I couldn't have done it without you :) I have so many amazing friends and family members! I hope you all have an amazing President's Day, and a great week :)
Elder Kyle William Andrews