First of all, happy Conge Civique (Civic Holiday in Canada)! This week has been great. Last Monday after our P-Day had finished, we went over to the an investigator’s house to do some service. We shoveled some dirt, pulled some weeds, and did some minor landscaping. It is always fun to be able to work with others, and then we were able to have a spiritual thought with them afterwards. Usually we teach the father on his own, so it was a rather peculiar experience. He was a little more closed off than normal, but he was showing a lot of interest in our message. I talked about Alma 32 and related it to the work we just performed on their home. We talked about faith and how it is like a seed, but more importantly you need to watch over the ground and make sure that it is planted in good soil. Once it has been planted, the heavy lifting begins! You need to nourish and continue to work on it, or it will not last. We talked about Lehi's dream and how once he had tasted of the fruit, he wanted to share it with others, and how that influences our faith. It was a really cool teaching opportunity! While we were talking I was reminded of Aimee's testimony plant. How is that doing by the way? Is Mom still keeping it alive, or has Aimee decided to work on it herself? Just thought I'd ask haha ;)
On Tuesday we mowed the a family’s lawn, and went tracting afterwards. We met a woman and taught her the entire Restoration. She seemed interested as we taught her, but then she rejected the baptismal invitation and did not want to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. My companion took it kind of hard, and was confused so we had a conversation about planting seeds and how some people are not completely prepared to receive the gospel. Usually people don't listen to our whole message if they are not interested, but maybe it helped her in some way! In the evening we went joint teaching with Brother a brother from the ward. We went to the to a less active member’s home, but the husband was not home. We were about to teach the wife, but then her friend knocked on the door. We invited her in and asked her if she would be interested in learning more about our Church. We then proceeded to teach the Restoration, and the Sister got really excited and jumped in and helped us teach the lesson. Afterwards her friend’s husband came in who was a little tipsy, and sat down next to her. She began talking about their marital problems and we provided some counsel. Luckily the member was with us, so he had some actually experience with being married so he related really well to them. The friend's husband really liked him and continued to give him props throughout the lesson. It was a really cool experience! The friend agreed to try out our Church, and her husband agreed to come once a month. Small progress I guess ;)
On Wednesday the Sisters had a baptism and asked us to fill up the baptismal font for them. We spent a while at the Church, because the font takes about three hours to fill, but it all worked out! We set up the room, had extended training time, and then I played the piano for a while. I can now play hymns 130 "Be Thou Humble", 142 "Sweet Hour of Prayer", 143 "Let The Holy Spirit Guide", and the primary children's song "I Will be Valiant"... for the most part. I have only learned two songs really on my mission, but I am making some progress I guess. Afterwards we had our weekly accountability call with the District Leader. He is growing into his position as District Leader, but is still having a tough time with it. Every time I see him he tells me that I should have been the District Leader. Kind of interesting. To be perfectly honest, I have always wanted to be a District Leader, but I know that I was not supposed to be a District Leader this transfer. The District Leader is really quiet and reserved, and struggles at times to openly talk with other people. Being a District Leader is forcing him to change and to come out of his shell. He is shifting and changing and it is really cool to see the difference in him already! I know that President Forbes was inspired in making him a District Leader. The only awkward part of it all is that a lot of the people in the ward think that I am the District Leader. Our new Assistant Ward Mission Leader asked if he could look through my planner, and afterwards asked me if I was the District Leader. I guess it was kind of a compliment, but I am not the District Leader and the District Leader is in our ward. Complications haha! Sorry, I just needed a quick vent session :) Afterwards we had some maintenance work done on our apartment. We have taught the maintenance manager before when he was visiting our apartment, but this time was different. He mentioned that his grandfather had passed away, and that it was really weighing on him. His countenance had changed. We talked to him briefly about the Plan of Salvation and then he went on his way. He came back later in the day to finish up some repairs when we were not home, and he left us a note informing us that he would like us to call him if we get home before 5:00 PM. We arrived home at 5:00 PM for dinner, and gave him a call. He came back to our apartment and asked us if we could teach him how to pray. He said that it had been a long time since he last prayed, and that he liked how we openly communicated with God rather than reciting a memorized prayer. We taught him how to pray and you could see a change in him after we prayer. He looked more hopeful, and had a greater confidence that things would work out! Prayer is such an amazing tool. God cares about the individual details of our lives, and He wants to hear from us. In the evening we went out joint teaching with a member and taught an investigator. We talked about the Eboli (not really sure how it is spelled) outbreak in Liberia, and how she is scared for her friends and family that still live there. We followed up with her on her experience at Church a few weeks ago, and she said that she didn't love it. She came on a fast and testimony meeting Sunday, and didn't like how unstructured it was. She also attends a very soulful Methodist Church where they sing and clap and praise Jesus, and she said that she didn't feel that Spirit in our Church. I have to agree that the feeling in our Church is VERY different than what she is accustomed to, but we talked about the different ways that the Spirit can communicate with us. We taught her the Restoration and about the Priesthood and how that sets our Church apart. She agreed to come on a different Sunday and try our a regular Church service.
On Thursday we had Zone Conference in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. It was cool to be able to experience President and Sister Forbes first Zone Conference! They made a few alterations to our rules, and I think it is going to accomplish a lot of great things in our mission. One thing that they talked to us a lot about was having fun on our P-Days, which I was NOT expecting! They told us that they want us to experience the boundaries of our mission, and gave us permission to travel 30 minutes out of our zone if necessary on P-Days. I have a huge list of things that I want to do in Minneapolis, but I have also really wanted to see the St. Paul Cathedral which is just under 30 minutes away from us :) We also got permission in our Zone to attend the Minnesota State Fair near the end of this month. Super cool! In the evening we visited with an investigator and talked to him about missionary work and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a great ending to a great day :)
On Friday we had Weekly Planning and went to the library to do mormon.org time. I watched a really cool Mormon Message called "Mountains To Climb" and another called "Bullying - Stop It". Both of which were really great, and I recommend watching them in the near future. In the evening we did a teaching evaluation with the a family, and then went out joint teaching with a brother from the ward. The teaching evaluation went great, but the rest of the night kind of fell apart. NO ONE was home, so we did what felt like a million stop by's. We ended up not teaching anyone in the evening. It was a pretty rough evening, but it all works out.
On Saturday we were supposed to be helping our maintenance manager move into our apartment building. We arranged for the missionaries in St. Paul to help load up his moving truck, and then we were going to help unload at noon. Noon came and passed, then 1, then 2, then 3, then 4, and then at 5:00 we had dinner. He still was not ready! We had a couple appointments in the evening, and so we went joint teaching with a brother from the ward. We watched the movie "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" with our new convert and his family and talked about the Priesthood. It was a really great lesson! He is excited to get the Priesthood and to be able to baptize his daughter in December. our maintenance manager called us at 9:30 PM and said that they were about to head over, but we can't go out after 9:30. I have learned multiple times over on my mission that organization is essential in a move :) And in life really! Maybe sometime this week we will end up helping him with his move ;)
On Sunday we had Church, and had a great lesson on Time Management in Elders Quorum. I was pretty organized for the most part in high school and college, including a colour organized schedule on iCalendar that synced to my iPhone, but I also wasted a lot of time. I am not a morning person WHATSOEVER, but I probably could have woken up before noon ;) I think I might go back to having 10:00 AM classes when I go back to school, rather than 1:00 PM. During correlation we talked about how the "Book of Mormon Musical" is coming to Minneapolis, and how we can use it as an effective missionary opportunity! I think it would be SUPER cool if we could go see the Book of Mormon Musical, but I doubt that will ever happen. Generally speaking the Church doesn't encourage anti-Mormon propaganda, but especially for missionaries. Maybe I can see it sometime after my mission. We had our weekly meeting with Bishop, and then went on our way. In the evening we went out joint teaching and had a quick lesson with our investigator. He told us that his 40 year old uncle was recently shot by a 16 year old boy, and that it was really tough for him and his family. We talked to him about the Plan of Salvation and prayer, and a had a pretty spiritual experience with him. We will be visiting with him later tonight, and going more in depth on the Plan of Salvation, because he had to go. Afterwards we met with another investigator and talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I used the repentance pencil lesson that my Mom used when I was younger, and Patience LOVED it :)
All in all is was a pretty great week! I hope you are all doing well, and that you have a great week this week :) Thank you all for all of your love and support, you are the best!
Elder Kyle William Andrews