It has been kind of a different week, but still a very good one! On Tuesday we had our weekly District Meeting, and I was asked early Tuesday morning to give a Missionary Handbook training on housing and cleanliness. I love organization and cleaning, so it was not a big deal to put together this last minute training! I of course had handouts, because no training is a good training without them ;) I still am the only missionary that ever uses handouts, but maybe one day I will rub off on someone! This week I was able to use my favorite quote in the whole entire world as part of my handout, "If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney. It was great!
After District Meeting we went on exchange with our Zone Leaders. I stayed with an Elder from Mesa, Arizona. We had a really great exchange together! We had dinner with a family from the ward, and then did a teaching evaluation with them. Their kids are very young, but primary has trained them well! We taught the message of the restoration, and they were able to basically teach us the entire lesson :) One of their children talked to us about how "I Am A Child Of God" is her favorite primary song. We discussed the mission president’s wife’s training on how "Everything I know... I learned in Primary!" The songs the children sing in Primary are rather remarkable, and teach all of the doctrines that we need to know as members of the church. It was a really cool teaching moment for me, and I was able to learn how to better relate to and teach children. Later in the evening we stopped by an investigator with a ward member. He is married to a member, and has a relative interest in the church, but has not been baptized. He works on Sundays, but enjoys the community and family focused atmosphere of the church. His daughter sang the song "I Am A Child Of God" for us, which was amazing, and we had a lesson with him about families and that we are all God's children. It was amazing! He didn't have a lot of time, but with the impact that the Primary song that his daughter sang, that is all we needed :)
On Wednesday we concluded our exchange with a trip to the St. Paul Minnesota Temple! It was amazing :) I have now been to the temple three times in my life, twice in Provo and once in Minnesota. The temple was tiny haha! It is much smaller than any church even that I have been into. The Celestial room in the temple was quite small, and didn't have any pictures or anything in it, but the chandelier was pretty. While we were in the Celestial room, I was contemplating a lot of different things in my mind, and then all of the sudden I randomly started thinking about what the heck I am going to do with my life! As I was sitting, an idea popped into my head. I'm still not sure if it was my idea, or God's, but it definitely circulated my brain. Business Accounting. WHAT?!?!? I'm awful at math! So yeah, not really sure whats up with that. Maybe it was a practical joke, but who knows :)
On Wednesday we had dinner with a couple in the ward, and then we went out joint teaching with both of them! They are awesome :) Unfortunately our investigator who just got baptized kind of dropped off the face of the planet, so we weren't able to see her because she missed her appointment, and her family said they had not seen her in days. Kind of worrisome. The Sister came to the rescue though, and said that she wanted us to go meet her dad who is not a member. The Sister knows that I LOVE dogs, so she told her dad that we were coming over to meet their dog, and to introduce the new missionary. We talked for a little while, and then were able to have a quick message with him before we left. It was an awesome teaching opportunity, so hopefully we will be able to meet again with him soon! While in the car with the couple we talked a lot about sacrifice, and with it being Ash Wednesday, and the start of Lent, I committed to give up Diet Coke... haha just kidding! I committed to only drink one Diet Coke a day :) I would die if I completely gave up Diet Coke!
On Friday we had dinner with a family in the ward, and went joint teaching with the father. We stopped by a less-active member who is a recovering alcoholic. He was recently released from jail for driving while intoxicated, and has now been sober for four months! He attends AA meetings every day, and is recommitting to coming to church. His testimony is amazing! He knows that without God's help, he cannot do anything, and so he needs to rely on the Lord. Such an awesome example to me! Later, we had an appointment with our baptized investigator. We got a couple strange texts from her on Thursday night, and we set up an appointment to come see her. She told us that she had been to hell and back this past week. Her family reported her of child abuse, and she was sent to jail for three days. That is why she missed our appointments, and never got back to us! Kind of an odd situation. She has not seen her kids in several months, because her Mom has temporary custody because of her previous homelessness, so the claim sounds like it cannot be true. She made it clear that she is a loving and kind mother, and from what we have seen, we definitely don't think that she would do that to her youngest son. Hopefully everything will be worked out soon! She also told us that she was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disease and depression, so who knows. Kind of an interesting start to a lesson! Luckily we were able to salvage it by talking about family history and baptisms for the dead. She really enjoyed learning about doing baptisms for her family members that have passed away, and her countenance changed as she began to be filled with the spirit once again. It was awesome to see the literal change in her! We finished off the evening by visiting with a sister in the ward, or in other words, the woman with the devil cat, Sophie. Sophie HATES missionaries, and growls and hisses at us at every opportunity she gets. She shows her massive teeth, and tries to scare us away. My companion during the lesson decided that he wanted to pet Sophie. BAD IDEA! He never got to pet the cat though, because Sophie randomly started biting at the sister, so she was sent away. Luckily she didn't have any big injuries, but she did have a couple teeth marks on her arm. Why do people have cats? I will never know. Friday evening a brother in the ward called, and asked me to give a speech on Sunday. CRAZY! I basically had one day to prepare. Yikes :)
Church on Sunday was interesting. Daylight savings is rough! We had a 7:00 meeting before 9:00 church, so it was not the most pleasant morning in the world. To top it off, I have been getting sick these past couple weeks, and it decided to come on full throttle Sunday morning! I propped myself up with some pills, and went on my way. That totally sounds like I have drug problems, but that is the only way I can think to describe it haha! During the prelude music in Sacrament meeting, a sister played "Where Love Is". It was the only Primary song she has ever played in Sacrament meeting, and then she went right back to playing hymns. As she played, I instantly felt at peace, and the spirit came over me. I reflected on my great grandparents for a moment, and then sacrament meeting began. I knew they were watching over me, and helping me to get through my speech. It all worked out marvelously! I didn't even cough or get super sick while I was delivering my speech on Charity, and it turned out amazingly well for how little preparation time I was given. I was definitely blessed :)
Sunday evening we stopped by an old less-active member. He loves to fish, and to listen to his radio. He does not have a cell phone or a computer, and just recently inherited a color television. He is a bit old school, but it is kind of funny to watch! As we met with him, he told me that I look like Johnny Cash when he was younger. Not really sure whether or not to take that as a compliment or not, but whatever! I hardly even know who Johnny Cash is, so it all works out ;)
It has been a great week nonetheless, and we have seen some really great successes! Hopefully next week I won't be quite so sick, and all will be well :) Thank you all for all of your love and support! It truly means the world to me. This week I will hit my ten month mark on my mission on March 15th. Crazy stuff! Talk to you next week :)
Elder Kyle William Andrews