Monday, May 26, 2014

"He wished that the Mormons would come stop by again."

Hello Everyone,

It has been another great week, and the weather is beginning to warm up here in Minnesota! This past week my companion was super sick though, so we didn't get a whole lot done.

On Tuesday we had District Meeting, and then we went out joint teaching with the Bishop in the evening. We met with a woman that President Clements referred to us last Sunday evening who is a less-active member that moved into a senior care center in our area. We also met with another member who lives in that complex. It was a nice evening :)

On Wednesday we received a referral. We went out joint teaching with our Ward Mission Leader and went to go contact him. We showed up at his home, and it had been burned down, and had an arson sign on the outside. A lot of arson is being committed in Minneapolis. Not good! We had an investigator who had to move because his home was burned down a while ago, and now a referral that we can't contact. We did, however, have a nice lesson with an investigator family. We began talking about the Plan of Salvation, and had a great discussion with them. They definitely have a lot of enthusiasm!

On Thursday we did some service for a family in the ward. The father recently had an operation on his ankle, and he asked us if we could do some yard work for them. My companion mowed their lawn, and I weed whacked their yard. I don't believe I have ever used that machine before, so it was definitely an experience! It was a good thing that I was wearing jeans, and not shorts, because my legs would have been destroyed! I don't know if I was using it wrong or what, but the cord every now and then would come out and whack my leg! Craziness. Afterwards my companion was feeling really nasty, so we had to go in for the day.

On Friday we had Weekly Planning. We got a lot of things done, and then we walked over to go visit with an investigator. Now that it is warm outside, we can teach people on their porch and at their doorstep, so the rule of three doesn't apply because we are out in the open. We talked about the Plan of Salvation with her, and read 2 Nephi 2. It was a fun lesson :) Afterwards we had a lesson with another investigator, but she was not home. We talked with the a family in the ward for a while, and my companion and I attempted to ride their unicycle. Still no future in the circus ;) In the evening my companion had to conduct a baptismal interview for the Sisters investigator. It was a pretty great day :)

On Saturday we went contacting in the morning, but NO ONE was home! In the evening we went out with a ward member, and stopped by some investigators. While we were talking to them, one noticed a big huge spider in the corner. NASTY! I hate spiders. I couldn't see it though, so I just avoided the thought. My companion tried to squish it with a newspaper, but couldn't. Finally they called on me to try killing the thing. I always called on others to kill spiders for me, so this was the ultimate pay back! I took the newspaper, and jabbed at the spider about thirty times ensuring that it was dead before I moved my hand. I was pretty dang proud of myself! We found out that they were actually two spiders mating, instead of one huge spider. Pretty much I saved them from having tons of nasty spiders in their home. I'm kind of a big deal ;) Our investigator talked with us about baptismal plans for the end of June. Things are going really well for them, and he is excited to get baptized! Later we talked with another investigator, but it wasn't a good time for them so we rescheduled our appointment. We finished off the evening by stopping by an investigator family. We talked about faith and prayer and read 2 Nephi 2 with them as well! They almost committed to come to church, but ended up deferring to another week. Lame! Hopefully they will come soon.

Sunday was interesting. In Sacrament Meeting one of the first announcements was that next week we are having a joint Sacrament Meeting with the another Ward at 11:00 AM to conduct important Stake business. No other meetings will follow. A lot of people are speculating that they are going to combine the two wards together. Hopefully it doesn't mess with any of our missionary work here, because things are going great! The only problem that I foresee is that we have two sets of missionaries, so the combined ward would have three sets of missionaries. Who knows what will happen though. We shall see! Maybe it isn't even anything close to combining wards... only time will tell. At 4:00 we went to the Kingdom Hall and met with the Jehovah's Witnesses. It was a super interesting experience! As we were walking over there, I felt super nervous. Our JW friend invited us a while ago, but I still felt kind of uneasy. I recognized that this is probably how our investigators feel when we invite them to church. It is really hard! We walked in though, and the people were really kind, friendly, and welcoming. I'm pretty sure they thought we were investigating their church, but whatever works haha! It was a good service. Different, but it was very insightful. In the evening we went joint teaching. We visited with an investigator for a while, and talked with him a little bit about the For The Strength Of Youth program. He loved it! Later we stopped by someone I found in our Area Book while my companion was sick. He lives in Minneapolis, and has had a tough life. He said that we arrived just in time, because he had just been talking with his girlfriend about religion and how he wished that the Mormons would come stop by again. CRAZY! He didn't have a lot of time, so we set up a return appointment, and went in for the evening. Probably better that way, because Minneapolis is pretty sketchy at night, so it was time to go ;)

It has been a great week, and my companion is alive and well now :) Hopefully next week will be even better! Thank you all for your love and support. Have a Happy Memorial Day :)

Best Wishes,
Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, May 19, 2014


Hello Everyone,

Happy Victoria Day / National Patriots' Day! I come from a Canadian family, and our mission covers part of Canada, so why not celebrate ;) This week has been amazing! The weather is really improving, and things are going well.

Last Monday our day was consumed in switching over our cell phones. Our mission moved over from Sprint, which was AWFUL, to AT&T, which is slightly less awful. Still not great though. We had really bad problems with dropped calls, texts not being sent or received, and it was a big mess. Because we switched services though we had to manually move a bunch of stuff over. Some things were able to be sent over Bluetooth, but then you had to adjust them for the different formatting. It was a process, but luckily it is all over now!

On Tuesday we had our first District Meeting of the transfer. We learned about working with members, and asking for referrals. It was great! We were also able to receive personal revelation on individuals we can work with back home, and different people we know that might be struggling. It was very insightful! After District Meeting, we went out to contact a referral, but I TOTALLY got lost haha! The instructions we received said that he lived right behind a grocery store, which is relative, but I decided to take it literally. I decided to leave my GPS in the apartment, because I TOTALLY knew where I was going. Turns out my sense of direction is still awful, so we didn't find his house. BUT when we got home I figured out how to get there next time ;) It was a good time. Afterwards we were able to meet with the father of a ward member. We talked about the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Restoration, and small portions of the Plan of Salvation. He began to really open up, because we didn't have any members or family members around for the lesson. His family wanted to try that to see if it changed anything, and it worked! He talked about how his wife was always doing genealogy work, and asked why our church thinks that is important. We talked about baptisms for the dead, and temple work briefly. He had never heard of that before, but he kind of liked the idea. He jokingly asked that if he does not get baptized in this life, if his family would be baptized for him later. We assured him that they absolutely would, but we talked about how everyone still has their agency. It was a really great lesson, and he even instructed us that the next time we meet he would like to learn about prayer. His daughter said that she has never heard her Dad pray, or show any interest in prayer, so we are making definite progress! Afterwards we went joint teaching, and stopped by a less-active member. She needed help moving a few things out of her house, because she is moving to Springfield, Illinois. Later we visited with another less-active member, and had a discussion on the Plan of Salvation, focusing mostly on the creation and the fall. It was a great evening!

On Wednesday we had accountability calls with the district. While that was going on, I did a bunch of work on our Area Book and did some cleaning. I also made a few phone calls and utilized our second phone before we had to turn it in on Friday. It is kind of fun having two phones! Afterwards we went on exchange with our Zone Leaders. I went to the other Elders area with an Elder from Kayesville, Utah. He does not have his driving privileges anymore, so I got to drive! It was a party :) We did a bunch of stop bys in the evening, but not a whole lot happened. We did, however, meet a woman named who talked to us through her window. She is from Chicago, and is a baptist, but is looking for a church to go to here in Minnesota. We arranged a ride for her on Sunday, but she had to head off to work. The vocabulary of some of the people here is kind of unique. They use words such as minute "I haven't been to church in a minute", finna "I finna go to the store", etc.. kind of fun, but I don't think I will ever convert over to their usage of words.

On Thursday we had a few lessons in the morning before we exchanged back. We met with a man and we talked about the Family Proclamation, and watched the Patterns of Light videos. His daughter was really rambunctious during the lesson, so I became the distracter. It was a great lesson though :) We later visited with a woman who has a daughter who is a member. We taught the restoration, and committed her to read the Book of Mormon and come to church. We were late exchanging back, but we had a quick interview and went on our way. After we exchanged back we weekly planned for a little while, and then went joint teaching. We had an amazing lesson with our investigator and her family about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked about faith, repentance, and baptism. I used this fun pencil lesson on repentance that my mom sent me, and we committed her daughter to be baptized on June 7th. Everything worked out really well, and she accepted the baptismal invitation! She actually wanted to be baptized that day haha :) To finish off the evening we had a lesson with an investigator family. Two of them brought up some concerns they had on Blacks and the Priesthood, and homosexual relationships. It was a unique lesson, but we definitely made a little headway. Our joint teach has a gay brother, and my companion and I both have gay friends, so we were the perfect group of people to answer their questions! We also went over the updated Official Declaration #2 that provides additional insight on Blacks and the Priesthood. Most importantly though, they will need to pray about it. Otherwise our answers won't do anything for them.

On Friday we had another Zone Service Project at the community garden in Minneapolis. SO MUCH GARDENING! Later in the day we had a lesson with the woman from Ghana that we tracted into. We didn't have a joint teacher and it was cold outside, so we only talked to her on her porch for a little while, but we had a quick lesson on the Book of Mormon! She had a few questions about sin, so we gave her a couple chapters to read and pray about. She is SO sincere. Afterwards we talked to the a family in the ward for a while. Their daughter has been working with her friend, so it was good to get an update. He is in Iowa right now for an Ultimate Frisbee competition, but we should be able to meet in a few weeks. I also received a phone call informing me that I was getting a new credit card in the mail. I guess Target had a big security breach a while back, and our mission has had a couple problems because of it, and so all credit cards that we used at Target during that time are being replaced. Kind of crazy!

On Saturday during my morning studies I came across some VERY interesting stuff! I was reading in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church - Joseph Smith addition, and on pages 242 and 245 I learned about Joseph Smith's dog named Major. He talked about how while he was in prison, he longed to see his family and play with Major. THUS, I'm pretty sure that the Prophet is telling us that we should all have a dog. While facing trials and tribulations, he sought out his family and his dog, two VITAL principles of the gospel. My family has never been very converted to the gospel, because we have never had a dog. I have tried many times to bring them into the light by bringing dogs home, but they were too far gone and had a lot of repenting to do. Hopefully this insight I have discovered will help them. It is never too late! That is all. Later in the day we did some service for the some ward members. They had their baby son last week, so we were helping them to rake up some of their leaves from last year. The snow came super early last year so many people had piles of leaves that never got bagged up. They are all doing well, and they are loving having a cute little baby at home! In the evening we went joint teaching, and had an awesome lesson with our investigator. He speaks Spanish, but we have been teaching him and his family in English. We decided to watch the restoration video with him in Spanish, and he loved it! Everything clicked together for him, and it made a lot more sense. His kids are being resistant, so he has decided to be an example to his family. Our joint teach bore really sincere testimony about how converting to the gospel has blessed him and his family, and our investigator was really touched by it. It was a really great lesson!

On Sunday we were busy the whole day! We went to Church, and five investigators came. One is working towards a baptismal date of June 21st! June is going to be a pretty incredible month :) Our mission has been focusing on setting dates, and being loving bold this past week in anticipation of President and Sister Forbes arriving in our mission, and for Sister Clements birthday on May 25th. Fun times are ahead! We went to see an investigator family again with a joint teach, and invited them to a thing that our mission has called a Presidents Fireside, where recent converts come and share their testimonies. They were unable to attend, but it was worth a shot. I have never been to a Presidents Fireside before, because you have to be in a Temple Zone, and have a non-member come with you. We had dinner with the a family in the ward, and then we went to the Presidents Fireside with them afterwards! It was awesome :) There were 5 recent converts that spoke, and in the middle Sister Clements and her daughter performed a musical number. Her daughter plays the violin, and Sister Clements plays the piano. They performed the Primary Children's Song, "Teach Me To Walk In The Light." It was amazing! We finished off the evening by receiving a referral from President Clements. He called and told us about a less-active woman that just moved into our area. A friend of his knows her, and said that she has some non-member friends that she wants to refer to us. We are going to be meeting with her on Tuesday next week. It was a pretty amazing week :)

Thank you all for your love and support! It is amazing to be a part of the "Black Name Tag Club", and to be here in the always unpredictable MMM. Thank you for all of your prayers, they mean the world to me! Talk to you soon :)

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mosiah 5:3 Spiritual Creation of My Future Family

Hello Everyone,

This week has went by SO quickly, but it was pretty great! On Monday we went to a Bike Shop, and I bought a fender and a rack for my bike to block the rain from getting all over me and to not have to always carry my bag. I have a shopping problem, but I love it! I don't even like bikes, but I loved every second we spent in the bike store haha! In the evening we went joint teaching. We stopped by an investigator, and realized that they were having a really difficult evening. Her daughter asked about her Dad, and our investigator decided to tell her who it was. She was really upset, and wanted to call him. She was able to talk to him, but that only made matters worse. I realized why the law of chastity is such an important commandment, because it eliminates all of the guess work and difficulties that we have to face in our lives. It is rather unfortunate that people have to go through such difficult times, but at least they are committed to living it now! We then were able to stop by other investigators and set up an appointment for Wednesday.

On Tuesday we had lunch with the the senior couple. They went over all of the people they have been meeting with in our area, and gave us their records. I love them! I can't believe that they are returning home today. Afterwards we had a Zone Service Project in Champlin, Minnesota. We cleaned up a park. We looked like the convicts who have required service, but we luckily did not have to wear the reflective vests. It was a good time though! Kind of a cool idea to have our entire Zone participate in a service project.

On Wednesday I had my blood tested in the morning. The nurse was... unique. She took me that I have really crappy veins, and then proceeded to just guess where my veins are and prick. She missed the first two times, then twisted the needle while it was in my arm until she hit a vein. Yikes! But they got the blood they needed, and all the tests went great. They didn't find anything wrong with me :) Afterwards we weekly planned for a short while, and went out joint teaching. We met with an investigator and shared the talk "Be Anxiously Engaged" from a while ago. It talks about honey bees and the service and devotion they have to their hive, and it relates the bees to us as members of the church. I remember studying this talk in Teachings of the Living Prophets at BYU, and it was one of my favourites. Later we taught other investigators. We covered the restoration, and committed one to a baptismal date. He said that he wants to tackle his coffee addiction first, and so we covered how he can overcome his addiction. We tried to set a date with him, but he was firm in waiting until he is sure he lives the Word of Wisdom. They are an amazing family, and he will be an amazing addition to the ward.

On Thursday we had a Zone Conference. This Zone Conference was a little bit different though. President and Sister Clements gave a joint training on families. They talked about their courtship, engagement, marriage, and family. We watched a video that highlighted their family, and learned a lot about the Clements! It was really cool. They talked about how we have the opportunity to witness many different types of families on our missions, and they gave us little notebooks titled "Mosiah 5:3 Spiritual Creation of My Future Family". They want us to take notes of things that we want to implement in our own families in the future, and things we want to be sure to avoid. Kind of a neat idea! We had a really great testimony meeting afterwards, but President Clements noted that the spirit was unusually strong and that he recognized that there were a lot of people struggling in our zone. I was sad to learn that many of the missionaries in our zone were having a really difficult time. I hope I am able to help to lift others up. In the evening we went joint teaching. We taught the restoration to an investigator family, and committed the 19 year old to be baptized. They were a lot more focused this time, and less resistant, but she still would not fully commit. She said she will let us know when she knows. We will just have to try again haha ;)

On Friday we had another Zone Service Project in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We were working in a community garden. We weeded, dug holes, mulched, planted things, dug trenches, etc... it was interesting for sure. I am not super big into gardening, because I am an expert at killing plants, but it is always good to serve! Afterwards we went on exchange with elders from another area. I stayed in here with an Elder from Montana. We had a few lessons planned in the evening, but one by one they all cancelled. We were biking over to one of our backup plans, when I felt prompted for whatever reason to go and tract a specific street instead of dropping by our planned neighborhood. We started knocking doors and the people on this particular street were oddly kind to us, but we didn't find anyone that was really interested. We knocked into two members that I didn't know lived on that street, and then all of the sudden we met a teenage girl that was interested in learning about our church. She was kind and listened to our message, and then she gave us a wrong number to get back to her for. I guess she wasn't that interested after all! We kept knocking doors until it was about time to head back. We decided to knock one last door, and a woman answered the door. She told us to wait for a moment and then she closed and locked the door. After a few minutes I was tempted to just leave, and then she opened the door again with a new outfit on... kind of odd. She told us her name, and that she is from Ghana. She met missionaries in Ghana before, and then moved to America and lost contact. She was excited to see missionaries again, and enjoyed learning about the restoration and receiving her own copy of the Book of Mormon. We have a return appointment for next Friday!

On Saturday we exchanged back, and my companion was EXHAUSTED! He has not biked very often on his mission, and his legs were finished after the exchange! We were able to go out with with a joint teach briefly in the evening to stop by a couple investigators, but we didn't have a whole lot of success. It was just an off day I guess.

On Sunday we had Church, ate lunch, and then went over to the a family’s home to Skype! We had a little bit of difficulty logging on at first, because I have no clue what my Skype information is anymore, but luckily they had their information written down somewhere. We were able to Skype with our families for a little while, and then we had planned to go to the Kingdom Hall at 4:00, but both of our Skype calls did not permit us to attend. (I was done first though haha!) We both got to see each others families briefly, and it was a lot of fun! Afterwards it didn't even feel like we had Skyped home, it was kind of weird. My mind kind of just forgot, and we got back to it. We had dinner with the family, and then visited with an investigator in the evening. We watched the John Tanner Story, and talked about faith and consecration. It was a really great visit we had :)
It has been an amazing week. I hope you all had a great week, and a very Happy Mothers Day :) Thank you all for your love and support! Have a great week.

Best Wishes,
Elder Kyle William Andrews