It has been another cold, but good week in Minnesota! On Monday, St. Patrick's Day, we had our District P-Day. We painted pictures... yep art was never my thing, signed testimony journals, ate a bunch of oddly coloured green foods, and took off. It was super fast, but quite fun! After P-Day was over, we had dinner and went joint teaching again with a Brother from Highland, Utah. What an amazing man! I don't know if I would ever volunteer to go joint teaching with missionaries while I was on a work trip, but I guess that just speaks volumes about the kind of man that he is. We visited with an investigator, and as we were talking she brought up the fact that she had watched the talk "Like A Broken Vessel" by Elder Holland. I instantly remembered that talk from this last General Conference, and realized that I had the General Conference Ensign in my bag. I flipped to it, and shared one of my favorite sections from that talk. Of this last General Conference, that talk really stood out to me. It was a great help to me, and hopefully it was a great help to her as well. I realized that this was no coincidence that I am here in this ward, that Elder Hollands talk impressed me, and that our investigator decided to refer herself on mormon.org at this time. God has a plan for each of us, it just takes time to figure it all out! I still have a bone to pick with him for putting me in a bike area, but I guess sacrifice brings forth blessings... blah! After our lesson with our investigators, we helped a less-active member sort through all of her receipts, bills, and financial information for her taxes. Wow! So many papers. I hope that I can be a little more organized with all of my financial needs when I am older, but it was nice to be able to help her out in her time of need. Afterwards, our joint teach brought us back to our apartment, and last minute decided to take a picture of us to send home to our parents. SUCH a nice man :)
On Tuesday, we had dinner and went joint teaching with the Bishop. Their family is always so kind, and his wife decided to take pictures of us again to send home to our families. While we were out joint teaching, we decided to stop by a family in which the mother and her children are all members, but her husband is not. We stopped over and shared a little bit about the restoration of the church. He is very open to the church and its teachings, but he works on Sundays at the hospital so is not able to attend church. Hopefully we will be able to work something out in the future!
On Wednesday, we had dinner and went joint teaching with our Ward Mission Leader. His family was on vacation in California, and he had to come home early for work and for school. It kind of felt like a bachelors night haha! We stopped by a less-active member, and talked a little bit about the Book of Mormon and followed up on her reading. She mentioned that she had an entertainment center in her car that she needed help moving, that had been in her car for 2 weeks because it was really heavy! We went out and the ward mission leader and I moved her entertainment center into her home. My companion held the door open ;) Afterwards we stopped by an investigator. She is 18 years old, and is a senior in High School. We taught her the full restoration lesson, and she had just the right questions throughout the entire lesson! It was amazing. After our lesson, we were asking about her family, and in walked her Mom who had just arrived home from school. She works and goes to school full time. We talked about when we might be able to meet with both of them, and she mentioned that she was off on Monday, and that was the start of our investigator's spring break, so she would be home as well. Awesome! We will have to see how things go today :)
On Thursday, we did our weekly service. Today was a little bit unusual though, because they needed us to help out in the clothing store for a change! They were relocating to a different room, and so they needed help cleaning and moving things over. We met the sweetest woman, who kind of guided us along. Hopefully we will be able to see her again! Afterwards, we went joint teaching with a brother from the ward. We again were able to meet with an investigator, and began teaching her about the Plan of Salvation. She has had a lot of family members who have passed away unexpectedly, so this was a really great lesson for her! We were only able to cover half of the lesson, but next time we will finish with the 3 Kingdoms of Glory, which I think she will really enjoy.
On Friday morning, I got a call from the Elders Quorum President. He told us to come outside, and said that he had something for me. I was pretty surprised (even though for the record, I still am not a big fan of surprises. I like to know it all!) I knew that he was in Utah, but I had no clue that he was going to pick something up from my family! He had some skirts for our investigator, British Candy (my favorite!), and letters from home. It was pretty amazing, and I was kind of having a rough day so that instantly improved it!
On Saturday we were out tracting, and I noticed a members home on the street we were on. I was FREEZING, so I suggested that we go stop by them and warm up quickly. A family in the ward invited us in, and asked us about our missionary work. We talked about how we had been tracting around their neighborhood, and then they went one by one giving us the down low on each of their neighbors, and who we might have the most success stopping by. Amazing! I absolutely love meeting with members of the ward, and getting to know them better. I feel like if I were ever going to refer one of my non-member friends, I would have to know the missionaries REALLY well to trust them with my referral, so I think working with ward members is critical. Not all of my companions have always agreed with me, but my opinion remains the same!
Sunday was great! A family in the ward picked up our investigator, and she was able to attend church for her first time. She really liked the organ music, and noted that our church service was different, but that she liked it! She was only able to stay for sacrament meeting this time, but noted that she would be back to experience the rest of it next week :) We went joint teaching with a brother from the ward after church and stopped by a lot of less-active members. We were able to visit with a man who was just recently baptized a few years ago. We talked about the sacrament, and the lesson in Priesthood earlier that day, and invited him to attend church. He was really kind and inviting, and agreed that he had been missing church and that he wanted to attend again sometime soon! Later we stopped by a man who just recently go out of the nursing home. He is doing really well, and asked us to do a few little service projects for him like taking out the trash, and reading the scriptures to him. It was a great way to finish off the week!
Random fact. On Friday, the carpet outside of our bathroom in the apartment was quite wet. We called the maintenance man and they gave us a fan to dry up the water. Yep... carpet it still wet! They are coming back today to check up on it. Gotta love ghetto missionary apartments ;) I try to leave them better than I found them though, so hopefully I have made a little bit of a difference in our mission.
Thank you all so much for all of your love and support! It truly is such a great strength to me to have so many people that I love thinking and praying about me throughout the week. You are all AMAZING :) I hope you have a great week, talk to you soon!
Elder Kyle William Andrews