Monday, July 28, 2014

A Baptism and A Greenie

Hello Everyone,
This week has been all over the place, but life is starting to get back to normal now! On Monday I had a training conference call and all of our regular P-Day activities. My Companion went around saying goodbye to everyone, and packing up his bags for transfers. Not a whole lot happened, yet the entire day I felt super frantic!

On Tuesday we mowed the lawn of a member family. I am slowly becoming a weed whacking expert, but my legs are still not super appreciative of my slow learning ;) Later we had a lesson with a less active brother. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and the Book of Mormon. He has finished 1st Nephi, and is moving on to 2nd Nephi! We talked about the importance of prayer in conversion. He has been reading the scriptures and coming to Church, but has not really been praying. It is a new concept for him, but I know he can do it! His daughter is moving to Indiana and there is some doggy contention in their family haha. The father is going to get his MBA in Indiana, and his daughter wants to take her dog Wesley with them. Wesley was her high school graduation gift, but then she went to college and on a mission and so her parents have really taken ownership of Wesley. They are going to work out a joint custody program so that everyone is happy :) In the evening we went out joint teaching with a brother from the ward and finished off our goodbyes. We saw two of our investigator families. We finished up some baptism details with our investigator, and then had a lesson with the other family on Church and goals. I think we might put them on the back burner for a little while. They were my companion’s favorite family, but they are simply not progressing. They know the Church is true, and they believe everything we are teaching them, they just will not come to Church. We commit them every week, and every week they do not come. Hopefully they experience a change of heart soon, but as of right now they are at a stand still.

On Wednesday we had our transfer meeting early in the morning. We drove the Sisters car to drop off our companions. Another Elder and I are both training so we were together for most of the day. We dropped them off in one of the very few locations in Minnesota with a Sonic, so we of course made a pit stop there! Oh my gosh, I have not had Sonic in 6 months. IT WAS SO GOOD! We made a deal with the Sisters that we had to clean their car because they let us borrow it, so we went over to a gas station and filled it up with gas and washed the windows. We were in a pretty tight space so we had to keep opening and closing the car doors for other drivers. We emptied out all of the sand on the car mats, and then another car drove by. We closed the doors, and all of the sudden we heard a click. Oh no! The car has an automatic lock system, and after about 5 minutes of not being used, it locks. Where were the keys you might ask? In the ignition of course! Yep, we were locked out of the car in the middle of a gas station! Luckily we were close to the mission home and they have spares for all of the cars, but seriously?!?!? It was pretty eventful! Afterwards we went out tracting for a little while and had a pretty cool experience. We were about to knock doors on a particular street and then we received a referral for someone that lives one street over! Talk about being in the right place at the right time. We met a woman, and kind of startled her. She told us that she had just been talking about us, and requested that we come visit with her. Super cool! She couldn't meet right then, but we set up a return appointment to meet with her next week. We then were able to teach her next door neighbor the restoration! He wasn't really feeling it, but maybe we planted some seeds and he will be interested later. Some days I feel like we do a LOT of seed planting. In the evening we went back to the mission home and picked up our greenies! We had dinner first, and then had the training assignment meeting. I am training an Elder from central California. Of the 27 new missionaries, he is one of the 3 that are not from Utah! He is 18 years old and just graduated high school. We then loaded up the car and headed home.

Thursday was my new companion’s first real day in the mission field. They challenged all the new missionaries to invite someone to be baptized on their first day, so we went out and tracted for a little while. We met a man and taught him the restoration. It was hilarious! My companion just stood there silently, kind of shocked at the situation. Then because he wasn't talking, I had to refer the discussion to him. It was a little rough at first, but eventually he got into it. Our investigator accepted the baptismal invitation, and it all worked out in the end :) In the evening we went out with Brother Sessions and stopped by our other investigator. We prepared him for his baptism on Saturday, filled out the baptism record, and talked about the actual ordinance. We also talked about receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and he asked a brother in the ward if he would confirm him! Afterwards we met with a newly converted family and talked to them about faith. They are planning on blessing their baby in a few weeks, and are still planning on attending the temple sometime in the nearish future. Such a great family!

On Friday we had Weekly Planning and my companion had to pick up some stuff for his bike so that we wouldn't have to walk everywhere like the day before. I have such shopping problems! I am not a fan of bikes. Not even a little bit! When we were over at the bike shop you would have never known that I hate biking. I was super fascinated at all of the bikes, biking equipment, biking outfits, and everything! However, I am proud to share that I did not buy anything though :) In the evening we biked around and stopped by what felt like a million people, but no one was home. Finally we went and stopped by an investigator, and she answered the door! We talked to her about Church and prayer, and she committed to come to Church the second week of August (because she is going up to St. Cloud before then). Progress :)

Saturday was awesome! We went over to the Church for our studies, and filled up the baptismal font and got everything ready for the baptism. Our new convert was baptized by a brother after investigating the Church for 15 years! Such a cool experience :) Just typing that out I got all tingley! My companion and I shared the restoration while they were changing. Normally that is not a stressful experience, but when you are teaching the restoration at the baptism with a new missionary it tends to be. We practiced it over and over though, and it worked out just perfectly! After the baptism we went over and helped a woman move into the ward. The move was a complete disaster, but it was a definite learning experience. She was not prepared to move, and the home she was moving into was not prepared for her to move either. We ended up stacking her belongings floor to ceiling in the basement, which caused some problems with one of her new roommates who uses part of the basement. That was eventful! In the later afternoon we went over and had a lesson with an investigator. We watched the Prodigal Son and talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end are so crucial in our lives! He shared some really cool personal experiences with us, and then we helped him out with some service. We had some free time before dinner, and so we knocked a few doors in our apartment complex. We met a woman and taught her the restoration. She is a baptist, and has not found a Church to go to that is close. Our Church is basically in our apartments parking lot, so her problem is solved! After dinner we biked around and had a lesson with a less-active member. He met my companion and they talked about fishing and country stuff, and I shared a spiritual thought with him. Although my companion is from California, he is definitely a country boy. He has worked on farms and lives out in the country in California, complete with a Southern Accent. I was more expecting the LA city boy type, but it all works ;)

On Sunday our new convert was confirmed in Sacrament Meeting. A member spoke in Sacrament Meeting, and her less active husband came along for the ride! To add to all of the excitement a sister and her family were visiting from my home ward in Utah, and sat right in front of us :) After Church we had a bunch of meetings (correlation with Ward Mission Leader and Ward Missionaries, and weekly meeting with Bishop) that all went really well, and then we came back to our apartment for dinner. Our evening plans were all over the place because our joint teacher was out camping, but we made it work! Another brother ended up coming out with us and we had a great lesson with an investigator on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We also learned that my companion needs to learn Minneapolis Ettiquette ;) There were two very mysterious looking African-American men standing at the back of their car, discreetly opening their trunk. My companion was staring right at them the entire time! Seconds later a bunch of cops turned the corner and nailed them. The member kindly informed my companion that staring at people like that is a great way to get shot. Lots of work to do :) It was a great week though!

Thank you all for all of your love and support! I hope you have a great week and that all is well back home :) Talk to you soon.

Best Wishes,
Elder Kyle William Andrews

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