This week has been crazy, but in the best way possible! On Monday we had our P-Day and I decided to buy a fun new University of Minnesota shirt from Target. Kind of just because, but it was my birthday this week so I rationalized that it was a wise investment ;) In the evening we went joint teaching with a Brother from the ward. We first taught a wonderful family. We talked with them about tithing, fasting, and fast offerings. It was a great lesson, and it answered a lot of questions that our investigator has had about living a gospel center life after he is baptized. Afterwards we went over to see the another family. We shared 1 Nephi 3:7 with them, and talked about going and doing. They seemed to really understand it well, hopefully they will apply the principle we taught. Agency sometimes is not our friend!
On Tuesday we had our last District Meeting this transfer. It was fun! We have all come really close these past two transfers. I remember when I was first sent to this District, I absolutely hated it. It felt like we were all sitting down for a business meeting, and then going our separate ways, but that has all changed. After District Meeting we had a lesson with an investigator. He has been reading the Book of Mormon and had a lot of questions for us about it. He said that he has recognized a lot of phrases that are stolen from the Bible, but it was written on the other side of the world. We talked to him about how God talks to Prophets, and how his message never changes. That would explain why his message is the same in both books of scripture. He also talked to us about the great and abominable Church. That was a fun conversation! He pointed out that it specifically refers to it as "the whore of all the Earth." We talked to him about how the great and abominable Church is not God's Church, and that it takes people away from God's Church which is why it is talked about so strongly in the Book of Mormon. After we answered all of his questions he was golden! He asked us to go through the regular missionary discussions with him so that he can learn everything about our Church in the order that we teach it to others. He is hilarious! "Basically what I am asking you to do, is to do your job!" Later we went out joint teaching with the Bishop of our ward, and had another lesson with the family we saw yesterday. We talked about the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom. Neither of those commandments are a struggle for them, so he was ready and prepared for his baptismal interview. Afterwards we visited with another investigator. Her husband was not home, but she has been wanting to meet with Bishop for a while. They talked about finances and life, and resolved some concerns together. All is well!
On Wednesday we had a bunch of phone calls and things in the morning, and went out joint teaching with a member in the evening. Normally I don't talk about our dinners in my weekly letters home, but our Joint Teaching partner’s wife made Texas Sheet Cake for dessert (aka Magleby's Chocolate Cake!). It was DELICIOUS! I am all caked out from this week though, I have had a disgusting amount of cake from all of our meal appointments. Afterwards we saw an investigator briefly and set up an appointment with him. We visited with another investigator on his porch and talked with him about faith. We shared the Book of Mormon scriptures on faith with him, and talked about how faith helps us in all aspects of life. He really enjoyed the lesson, and set up a return appointment later in the week. We finished off the day visiting with another investigator family. They discussed some of their trials, and headway that has been made in some areas. They were planning on blessing their new baby on Sunday but the father got super sick. Awesome family though! At the end of the evening the father gave my companion my birthday package, and gave instructions not to give it to me until tomorrow. Rude.
On Thursday, my 20th birthday, we were all over the place haha! I got a bunch of hair products and clothes. Missionary birthdays are... unique. We had mormon.org time, and all of the people in the Family History Center sang to me. It was pretty hilarious! Afterwards we weekly planned, and I went across the street to the ghetto strip mall and bought some birthday cake flavoured M&M's so I have cake on my birthday, but not real cake because I was kind of sick of it haha. They were kind of gross, but it was a fun thought! We went joint teaching with a brother from the ward in the evening. We were able to visit with an investigator family and reestablish contact! Afterwards we met with a less-active that we have been trying to get a hold of forever, and then we finished off the evening by stopping by our other investigator family. Talk about a turn of events haha! We walked into their house, and they had planned a surprise party! They had a Happy Birthday banner, food, and a cookie with my name on it. It was pretty fun :) We talked with them about Alma Chapter 5, and conversion to the gospel. It was a great ending to a great evening!
On Friday we had a Zone Service Project to start off the day. We were working at the Rose Garden Park in Minneapolis. I love all of these fun parks and places that they have here in Minneapolis. Who thinks of these things?!?! I guess this particular rose park has been here for over 100 years. It was super pretty! We helped replant some roses, and did some gardening work for them. It was pretty low key! On the way home though I caught some pictures of some ghettotastic signs in Minnesota. It was pretty great! We had dinner with a family in the ward and they invited some of their non-member friends. We had a great discussion with them, and then we were off to our investigator’s baptismal interview. It was great! He passed his interview and is ready to get baptized this next Saturday. In the evening we went and attempted to contact a bunch of mormon.org referrals that we received, but didn't have much luck. On a positive note though, I got a package from some family that included a bottle of Coke, and a bottle of Diet Coke that said "Share a Coke/Diet Coke with Kyle!!!!" Oh my gosh! It was the best :) Totally made my day!
On Saturday we helped someone move in the morning. The old ward had 17 planned moves before the end of the summer. I think 8-10 of them are over, but now we have two additional unplanned moves. Goodness gracious! Lot of service ;) Afterwards we met with an investigator and talked with her for a little while. We have been so busy these past couple weeks, that some people have been falling through the cracks. Not good! I am working on figuring everything out, and balancing our schedule better so that we can be more effective and reach out to everyone. We found out that a ward member was going to the Mall of America so I sent her with all of my shirts and things that needed to be exchanged. They did not have them in stock at the store so they had to mail them. She had them mailed to her house, which caused some unexpected stress because of transfers haha! Oh well, I knew I would get them eventually, even if I am transferred. In the evening we went joint teaching with a ward member. We were going to contact an investigator, and met an 87 year old woman instead. She came up to us and held our hands and sang to us, and then pulled us into her house to see one of her paintings. She was kind of crazy, but she was a super sweet woman. Afterwards we set up an appointment with our investigator, because she was busy at the moment. Good things are in the works!
On Sunday we had Ward Council and the Stake Presidency came to visit. Afterwards we had Church, Correlation, and our weekly meeting with Bishop. After Church my compantion had a baptismal interview for someone in our District, and then we had dinner and went to the Presidents Fireside with an investigator family! It was a jam packed day, but it all flowed perfectly from one event to the next. The Presidents Fireside was great! I saw my old companion who goes home on Wednesday for the last time. It was great to see so many of my missionary friends again, and to witness President and Sister Forbes first Presidents Fireside. One of the Assistants told us that they would be talking to us in the Morning, which is always kind of nerve racking. I had no clue what was going to happen with transfers! You get calls if you are training or going into leadership, but we didn't know who the call was for or what it was for exactly. Needless to say it was tough to get to sleep Sunday night.
This morning came, and we got the call. I am staying here, and will be training a new missionary. I was stunned. I was expecting to be called as a District Leader or something, but the thought of training kind of frightens me! So much extra work and responsibility. Being a District Leader would have been so much easier! I am glad that I will still be here though, and that I will be here to witness our investigator’s baptism. Everything will work out for the best.
Thank you all so much for all of your love and support! I am excited to see what happens this next transfer, and how things work out training and everything. Pray for me and my greenie haha!
Elder Kyle William Andrews