Monday, September 29, 2014

Go Forth with Faith

Hello Everyone,

It has been another crazy week here in Minnesota! On Monday we went to Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota. We took the bus to St. Paul, which turned a 30 minute car ride into about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It was pretty crazy! When we finally got to the zoo, we only had about an hour to spend time there. Luckily it was a free zoo! It was awesome though :) Maybe we will be able to go another time when we actually have more time to spend there. I just love animals :) They should probably start having cute little puppies in zoos though. That is my only complaint. In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had a quick lesson with an investigator on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is going to a private school and has a TON of homework, so he didn't have a lot of time when we stopped by. He is a cool kid though! Hopefully we will be able to catch him at a better time next time.

On Tuesday we had District Meeting. We talked a lot about working with members, which is always a fun topic to discuss! After District Meeting the Missionaries in our ward gathered together and practiced singing the hymn "Go Forth With Faith." We were asked to perform that song in Sacrament Meeting this week for Ward Conference. The first couple run through's were rough. One elder, one sister, and myself were really the only people singing. None of our companions were really even trying. Finally we worked through it though, and it got a little bit better. Not super polished, but it was going to work out. After our rehearsal, we had accountability, and then I went on exchange with an elder from Orem, Utah. We had a super good exchange in the nearby area :) We went joint teaching and had a lot of things on the schedule for the evening. First, we gave a blessing to a woman who is in a senior care facility, and was having surgery the next day. Her health is not very good, but hopefully this surgery will help her out! After the blessing, we went and visited with a less-active member, who is also completely blind. I remember just being filled with so much compassion as we met with nim. The Lord loves all of His children, but even more so with those with disabilities. We talked about obedience, prayer, scripture study, and general conference. He is really excited to get more involved with the Church, and to be able to listen to General Conference this next week! We finished off the evening meeting with another less-active member. He struggles with a smoking addiction, and asked that we come over and give him a blessing. He asked my companion to give him the blessing, and he had never given a blessing before. He was kind of freaking out a little bit inside, but I was able to help him out. It was a really cool teaching opportunity! All in all, it was a super great day :)

On Wednesday, we exchanged back and then the member picked us up to go to a Minnesota Twins game! Holy cow, it was amazing :) Just being there in the environment, and feeling everyone's energy was amazing! It kind of reminded me in a way of my FCCLA days. On the day of an event I would always get a huge adrenaline rush, and then when it was time to take the stage, I was in love! I love people. Even though I wasn't the one on the stage this time, it is still always amazing to be a part of something :) When the game was almost over, it began to rain. Eventually there were HUGE puddles on the field, and so they delayed the game. The Twins won though! It was a super great experience :) In the evening we went out finding, and had a super cool experience. A few months ago we taught a who is a new member’s niece, and used to live with her. A while back she moved out and moved in with her Mom. Just recently they moved again, and we tracted into them! We were able to reteach her the restoration. She has some brain damage from a bad car accident, and so she didn't remember most of it. It was a super cool experience though! To finish off the evening, we went and visited the bread lady. She is a definite good time haha! Super hilarious.

On Thursday, we had our weekly service at PRISM. It was a pretty relaxed day, and there was not a ton to do. Before closing up we cleaned up the place, and then a crew came in to start painting. Next time we go to PRISM it will be fun to see all the changes! We got a ride home with one of the PRISM volunteers. While we were driving home, He asked us a few questions about the Book of Mormon Musical. It was awesome! He has never really been very open with us, but the Book of Mormon Musical offered the perfect opportunity for us to tell him a little bit about our Church! He said that he really enjoyed the musical, but was not a big fan of all of the swearing. I mainly talked to him about how parts of the musical surely reflect on some of our beliefs, missionary work mainly, but that as a whole it is not completely accurate. I think the Church's official stance is that The Book of Mormon Musical entertains for a few hours, and the actual Book of Mormon changes the rest of your life. Yep, that wasn't exactly it, but you get the main point haha! I should probably look that up again one of these days ;) We had a really great gospel discussion with him though, it was awesome! In the evening we had what is referred to as "Ministering Night." The Thursday evening before Ward Conference, Ward and Stake leaders go out and minister to the members of the Ward. We went out with a member, and met with some other members. We shared with them Elder Holland's talk from last General Conference about the joyful burden of discipleship. More recently they have been having a tough time with the trials they have been facing, but their testimonies and conversion have been greatly enhanced because of their experiences. That doesn't make it any easier though! They are an amazing family. I am so glad for the friendship that I have been able to develop with them.

On Friday we went over to the library and did some time. As part of that, I made some fliers for General Conference to hand out to people that we meet in the coming week. The fliers turned out super good, despite our lack of technological connections. Seriously, life is so much harder without Google haha! ( is still a good website though...) Afterwards we came back to our apartment and did all of our Weekly Planning. It was great to get everything planned out for the upcoming week! I can't believe that General Conference is already here again though. I was here in this area for the last General Conference, so my mind is kind of blown. In the evening, we went and had a lesson with a less active member. We talked to him about keeping the Sabbath day holy, and following the Prophet. We also talked a lot about General Conference, which was awesome! He was the first recipient of one of my General Conference fliers. That is definitely a privilege ;) Haha, just kidding!

On Saturday the Sisters had a baptism, and they asked us to fill up the font for them. The bulk of the morning was spent over at the Church filling up the font. In the afternoon we went out and started inviting people to General Conference. We actually invited quite a few people! First we met with an investigator, and talked to him about how his Book of Mormon reading has been going and then talked to him about General Conference. Then we met with another investigator and invited him to General Conference as well. He didn't have much time, but he was grateful for the invite. Liberian people are the best! Later we went and visited with a less-active member. We talked to him about General Conference as well, and he said that he would definitely consider it. In the evening we visited with a member, and watched a new movie that I got called "On The Way Home." It talks about a family that meets the missionaries and joins the Church and shows all of the differences it has made in their lives. Super good movie :) Kind of older though, so the format was a little different.

On Sunday we had Ward Conference. Our song, "Go Forth With Faith" turned out pretty good! We sang the first verse, then the ward missionaries joined us for the second verse, and then the entire ward sang the third verse. It was awesome! I also really enjoyed hearing from the Stake President. He is an amazing man! After Church, we had all of our regular weekly meeting. We had correlation with the Ward Mission Leader and all the Ward Missionaries, and then we had our weekly meeting with Bishop. Gotta love meetings! In the evening we went out joint teaching . We stopped by a less-active, but she wasn't home. We ended up teaching a guy instead! We were able to teach him the restoration, and he was really interested in coming to experience our Church. He was more interested for his kids, but hey, whatever gets you there! Afterwards we stopped by an investigator, and he was sitting outside! We have been trying to get in contact with him FOREVER. He told us that he is having a really tough time with his marriage right now, and that things are basically over. Our joint teacher is not a marriage counselor, but his degree is in something related to marriage and family relationships. We talked a lot about the importance of prayer and scripture study. Our investigator realizes that when he was meeting with the missionaries more regularly, and coming to Church, he was much happier. He needs to make some changes, but he is starting to see the bigger picture now! To finish off the evening, we went over to a member’s house, and gave the father a blessing. He has had a cold for a few weeks now, and just wanted some relief. All in all, it was a super good day though!

Thank you all so much for all you do. Your love and prayers mean the world to me! I hope you have an amazing week :)

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, September 22, 2014

16 Months!

Hello Everyone,

This week has been kind of interesting. There were several different themes that continued throughout the week, but it was a good week :) On Monday, Noche del Grito (MX), I had my 16 month mark on my mission, and to celebrate we went to St. Paul's Cathedral. Holy cow! I can't believe I have been out for 16 months. I also can't believe how beautiful St. Paul's Cathedral was! It was incredible! I took quite a few pictures, but they simply do not do it justice. The architecture is absolutely incredible. I just remember looking in awe the entire time we were there. I hope one day to be able to visit the Vatican City, but for now St. Paul's Cathedral was good enough :) Also on Monday we got an email from our Mission President informing us that we all needed to get our flu shot. I got my flu shot at Walgreen's, and my companion got his at CVS. I had a really good experience getting mine, and he did not. Walgreens is so great, they have really great customer service and always greet you and ask you if you need any help when you are there. CVS on the other hand... not so great. He went and got his flu shot there, and the lady practically stabbed him with the needle, and it just wasn't a good experience. Plus he didn't even get a cool band-aid. I got a fun Walgreen's band-aid, and he just got a generic beige one. Lame! In the evening we also visited with a less active member, and shared a message with him from General Conference a few years back, "Be Anxiously Engaged". We talked about the importance of serving others; that is how we are able to answer the prayers of God's children.

On Tuesday, Dia de la Independencia (MX), we woke up and my companion was not feeling so hot from his flu shot. Bishop asked us to come to the Church while he interviewed a single sister, and my companion started to feel a little bit better, but still not great. All of the sudden I started feeling super fatigued, and my body kind of ached. I kept going though, luckily I wasn't nearly as bad as my companion. In the evening we went out joint teaching with Bishop. We had an awesome visit with our new member on the Priesthood. Bishop interviewed him for the Priesthood, and he was sustained and given the Priesthood on Sunday. SWEET :) After visiting with him, we were going to head over to someones home, but we noticed that a less active member was home. I have been trying to get in contact with her for 8 months now, and I have never met her. She was out on her lawn hanging some clothes on the line. She invited us in and we had a really great discussion with her. She really opened up and was able to vent a little bit. She was deeply offended by a member a few years back, and so she hasn't been going to Church. While we were talking she got really angry and started telling us a lot about her life back in Liberia and all of the things she has overcome. She is such a strong woman. She had to watch her father as he was beheaded. Later she had to watch her pregnant cousin as she was beheaded. After she was beheaded, they cut open her stomach, cooked her child, and ate it in front of the family. Apparently part of the punishment system in Liberia is that the family is forced to witness the gruesome deaths of their family members. After she cooled down a little bit, Bishop asked her if she would like us to institute the Sacrament. She agreed and we prepared and blessed the Sacrament. Bishop had all of us partake of the Sacrament, so I had the Sacrament twice this week! It was a really cool experience though watching her countenance change as she partook of the Sacrament, and her renewed spirit that followed. Certainly an experience that I will probably never forget.

On Wednesday we had an awesome lesson with a new member. They just returned home from England this week, so he had a lot of great stories to tell us from their travels abroad! He mentioned to us that he was going to the last Twins game this season next Wednesday, and that we could come with him if we would like. I don't know if he was joking or not, but we said we would ask our Mission President. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he was really interested in the section on repentance. He is formerly Catholic, so he is used to the more formalized confessionals. It was a great lesson though! Afterwards we did time at the library. In the evening we went joint teaching with our Ward Mission Leader. We had a great lesson with a new member. Her daughters had just left to go see a movie, so we missed them, but it was good to catch her at least. We talked to her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, more specifically on enduring to the end. Later we went and visited with the a family and invited them to the ward party on Saturday. (The son answered the door kind of awkwardly, and then told us that he was playing video games downstairs and didn't have any clothes on. Otherwise he would have invited us in. Kind of funny!)

On Thursday we had a Zone Training at the Stake Center. It was a really great training! Sister Forbes reminds me a lot of a seminary teacher. She always teaches us through reading the scriptures. (Not always my favorite approach, but I guess it probably works. I think balance is key.) President Forbes talked to us a lot about changing up our approach to missionary work, and increasing our contact with members. After Zone Training we were able to talk to President Forbes, and he told us that we could go to the Twins game! When we got home from Zone Training we went out and stopped by an investigator. He got a job like a month ago, and kind of fell off the face of the earth. We stopped by, and he was home! We talked to him and re-established contact. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he committed to come to the ward party on Saturday and Church on Sunday! It was good to see him again :) In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had a lesson with a new member on the Word of Wisdom. As we taught, he testified of the importance of the Word of Wisdom. He talked about the influence that it has had on him and his family and how it protects us spiritually and physically. He is awesome! Later we stopped by an investigator, but she was not home. There was a lady outside that we talked to for a while though. Her daughter has come to Church with our investigator’s kids a couple times, and she has sat in on a few of our lessons. She is great :) She said that she really appreciated us reaching out to her and inviting her to come to our Church. She said that she is really glad that her daughter has a Church and some good friends. They live in a rough part of Minneapolis, so she is grateful for the influence the Church is having on her. We invited them to the ward party on Saturday and gave her our card. Hopefully we will be able to meet with her again! We finished off the evening with a visit with a less active member. He called us while we were at Zone Training and asked us to come see him. We shared with him Bonnie L. Oscarson's talk "Be Ye Converted" and talked about the influence his conversion has had on his family. Our joint teacher married someone who shared their last name, so it was kind of cool to have him there as our joint teacher!

On Friday we had Weekly Planning. There was definitely some contention between the two of us, so it was kind of painful at times. Then we had companionship inventory. That truly was an inspired idea! I don't know who came up with it, but it is super helpful :) Things were good after that. We had a lesson with a member, and watched with him the movie "On The Lord's Errand". It goes through the life of President Monson and all of the amazing things he has done. (I remember as we watched it, I was kind of distracted thinking about someone who passed. One of this weeks themes was death. On Tuesday Bishop was talking a lot about all the funerals we have had in the ward recently, and then we visited with the woman who talked about all of the gruesome deaths in her family. Then we watched the movie and I was thinking about how Sister Monson kind of recently passed - when I first began my mission. Then I was reminded that on Saturday we had a Zone Service Project at the Anoka Cemetery. All of the sudden I felt the spirit really strongly. I remember almost hearing that everything was okay, and that I need to just focus on missionary work. He wouldn't want me to be distracted, he would want me to double my efforts in his honor and on behalf of the Savior. He too was a truly remarkable man. It was a really cool moment though.) After our lesson we went over to the Church and started filling up the baptismal font. One of the Sister Missionaries investigators was getting baptized. We filled up the font, and then walked over and picked up an investigator. It was a really great baptismal service! The funny thing about the sister’s investigator, is that she went through each missionary in our ward. We got her referral texted to our phone, and forwarded it to the other Elders. They taught her the restoration, and passed her off to the Sisters. The Sisters set a baptismal date with her, and she was baptized! Awesome :) Our investigator really enjoyed the baptism, and said that it answered all of his questions about baptism. On the way back to his house we walked and talked about prayer and scripture study and had a quick lesson with him. He said that he was pretty excited to get baptized like that woman!

On Saturday we had a Zone Service Project at the Anoka City Cemetery. We were doing some headstone maintenance. We dug around the headstones, pulled them up, put extra dirt underneath them, made sure they were level, and put dirt around them. A lot of them you could barely see because they were so covered with grass that had grown over. It was a nice service project though! I was a little worried about how everything was going to go over, but it worked out great. There were a lot of members there that were helping us out as well. One of which was an 80 year-old man. They specifically told us to use a special tool to lift the headstones so that we did not scratch them, and to NOT use a shovel. The 80 year-old, however, decided to use a shovel anyway. He asked me for some help a few times, and I couldn't help but notice a few scratched that he had put on some headstones. It was on the side that would be buried anyway, but still, those things are expensive! He was having some struggles though, so I helped him out. He kept pulling the headstones all the way out, and then a few times he put them in backwards so the names were the other direction. He didn't really care, but I like organization and was having a little OCD moment. LEAVE THE NAMES FACING THE SAME DIRECTION! Who knew I would be particular at a cemetery. Let this be a warning to everyone though. When I am dead, and maintenance is done for my headstone, I will come back and haunt you if my headstone is scratched or my name is facing the opposite direction as everyone else's. That is all. In the afternoon after we got all cleaned up, we went and visited with a new member. We share the talk "The Home: The School of Life" with her, and talked about having a Christ centered home. We asked her if there was anything we could do for her, and she informed us that she has been trying to work on a toy motorcycle that she bought for her daughters birthday, but she hasn't been able to figure it out. So then we worked on her daughter’s motorcycle! We got it all put together, and she took it on a test run. She was super excited, but her test run was kind of sad. The batteries had not been charged, so she went painfully slow. It works though! In the evening we attended the ward activity. It was a pinewood derby and chili cook off! Our investigator came and had a great time :) It is always fun to get together as a ward. They last minute had the missionaries help out with the pinewood derby. I was in charge of stamping tickets, and organizing sets of three cars for each race. So basically I was the jerk that had to turn the kids away when they had already done 10 races. It was an adventure for sure. It worked out though!

On Sunday we had Ward Council in the morning, where we prepared for Ward Conference next week. Sacrament Meeting was really great, and our investigator came to Church with us. Another investigator was feeling really sick on Saturday and Sunday so he wasn't able to come. After Church we had all of our regular meetings. Correlation with the Ward Mission Leader and Ward Missionaries, and our weekly meeting with Bishop. In the evening, we went out and did some finding. It seriously felt like no one was home! We knocked on some active members and they invited us in. They told us that they were heading over to the another member’s house in 10 minutes, and that we were welcome to come and join them for desserts. Fun! So we had a party. They families are related, so that is always fun. They are awesome though!

It was a pretty great week! Today for District P-Day we are going to the Como Zoo in St. Paul, and then later this week we are going to a Twins game with a member. Should be an action packed week! Thank you all for all of your love and support. You are the best!

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, September 15, 2014

Obedience Brings Blessings.

Hello Everyone,

This week has been great :) On Monday, we had our P-Day. Nothing super eventful happened, but it was good to get everything in order and write a few letters. In the evening we stopped by and visited with a guy and talked with him about choices and adversity. He was having a tough day, and we weren't able to talk to him for long, but he said that it was helpful that we stopped by. Later in the evening we stopped by an investigator and shared with her the talk "Obedience Brings Blessings". She really liked it, and relayed the importance of obedience to us and talked about what a great blessing it has been to her in her life.

On Tuesday we met a nice woman and at first we thought she was Muslim, and most Muslim people in the apartment complex are not super big fans of us. We talked with her for a while, and I was preparing for the blow. Finally I started talking with her about Jesus Christ, and she talked about what a great blessing Christianity has been to her and her family. What?!?! So then we taught her the restoration, and she loved it. It just proved to me the importance of talking to everyone, and giving everyone an equal opportunity to hear and receive the gospel! You never know who will accept our teachings. Afterwards we went over and had a lesson with a less-active member. He has been drinking a lot lately, and is having a tough time. We talked to him about the Word of Wisdom and obedience, and he talked about his struggles. We talked about how he can receive help, but he didn't seem super interested. He wants to wait it out for a while. He is going to Pennsylvania for a few weeks, and will get back right before General Conference. Hopefully he will feel a greater urge to be obedient when he returns home. After meeting with him, we met with another less-active member. We talked with him about prayer, and he asked to pray with us before we left. It was pretty cool! In the evening we went out joint teaching. We stopped by a less-active member, and gave her a blessing. She has severe bronchitis, and was having a tough time with recovery. While we were meeting with her, I felt really good about her returning to activity. She would be a great addition to the ward! Well, she already is part of the ward, but you know what I mean haha ;) Afterwards we met with the a family who are active but are struggling with a lot of health problems. We shared with them the talk "Be Ye Converted" by Bonnie L. Oscarson. Super good message! We talked about the importance of living gospel principles, and the value of our membership in the Church. We finished off the evening by doing a teaching evaluation in the mother's lounge in the Church. It was a great way to finish off the evening!

On Wednesday we had District Meeting. It was pretty good. It is always fun to meet all of the new people in our District! After District Meeting we went around and stopped by a few people, and it was freezing cold, so we eventually went over to the library and did some time. It was kind of a freak day with the weather. I was NOT ready for it to be in the 40's! In the evening we went out joint teaching. We visited with some members and talked with them about President Monson's talk, "Obedience Brings Blessings." It was kind of an obedience filled week ;) The sister was talking to us about some obedience struggles in their family, so it was perfect timing! After visiting with them, we went and visited with a woman who is a potential that we found in our Area Book a few weeks ago, but we were having a hard time getting in contact with her. Finally we were able to visit with her and have a lesson with her. We taught her the restoration, and the lesson went SUPER well :) She talked to us about all of her experiences with other Churches, and how she fully understands the meaning of apostasy. She talked to us about how difficult it is to find out which Church is true. We talked to her about the importance of the Book of Mormon, and she asked us for an extra copy. We gladly gave her a copy to read! She did mention, however, that she was going to be gone for the next little while. Her son was involved in a drive by shooting a few years ago, and is in prison for 25 years to life. He was the driver, and was apparently unaware that his friend was going to whip out a gun and shoot someone. She is flying to Washington D.C. to go and try and visit with someone in the White House apparently. A bit extreme, but to each their own ;) I just don't think the White House allows you to just drop in unannounced. When I toured it a few years ago you needed to schedule the tour months in advance and get a background check, so I don't know if her trip is going to be super successful. We finished off the evening by stopping by the bread lady. We talked for a while, and she vented about some of the latest drama in the school systems. She is hilarious!

On Thursday we went to PRISM for the afternoon. Thursday was also Patriot Day / National Day of Remembrance. In the evening we went out joint teaching. We went and visited with a sister who was in the hospital for a possible heart attack. She wasn't sure, and the doctors didn't have a diagnosis quite yet. We gave her a blessing, and she said that she had a much greater peace of mind afterwards. Later we went and visited with a less-active member and had a lesson with him on obedience and Church attendance. He is recovering quite well from a back surgery, and said that he would consider coming back to Church. He just isn't sure if he can handle sitting on the hard chairs for an hour yet. To finish off the day we visited with another less-active family. We talked to them about obedience and faith. It has been forever since I last saw them, so it was good to catch up!

On Friday we had Weekly Planning. Gotta love getting everything organized for the upcoming week! In the evening we had a lesson with an investigator on the Word of Wisdom, and he committed to live it! We set a baptismal date with him for October 11th, and he accepted! We then went and visited with a member family. The brother had some weird things happen this past week to his knee. He had a bunch of fluid build up, and he could hardly walk. They gave him a big brace, and they are going to check up on it and see if he needs surgery. He is really concerned about not being able to work for so long, because he is the primary bread winner for his family. He got a blessing last Sunday though, and he knows that everything is going to be okay. (I was looking through some referrals that we received, and we got one for a guy whose name looked kind of familiar. Kind of an interesting name. I typed the number into the phone, and it matched up with omeone we’re teaching! I checked all of the address information and it was all the same. Kind of cool! He must have bumped into some missionaries a while back.)

On Saturday we had a lesson with a guy we met last week. He read the pamphlet we gave him and wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon. Last week he was really hesitant and didn't want to accept a copy right then, but he was a lot more comfortable this time. He wants us to hold off visiting him for a few weeks though so he can read it. We tried to arrange a lesson earlier than that, but he was pretty persistent. Hopefully he reads it! Later we visited with a member and watched a movie called Legacy. It talks about the pioneers and the experiences of the early Church. We talked about Church History and everything that the pioneers sacrificed for their religion. We then talked about how we need to sometimes make sacrifices as well. It was a great lesson! In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had a lesson with some investigators again. The sister was the only person home, so we talked to her about obedience and commitments. She said that they had missed meeting with us, and that they want to try coming to Church soon. We are meeting with them this week, so hopefully they will come to Church this Sunday! We finished off the evening visiting with the father of a family in our ward. He is doing well, he is just kind of tired of being old haha! We shared a message with him on obedience and conversion to the Church, and he shared his conversion story with us. It was super cool!

On Sunday we had Church, and our investigator came again! He is progressing marvelously towards his baptismal date :) After Church we had correlation, and we had a bunch of people to report on, which is always fun! A family from Salt Lake City, Utah had us over for dinner, so I of course had to take a picture with them in their Utes sweatshirts! GO UTES :) In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had an awesome lesson with an investigator family on the gospel of Jesus Christ. We went through the repentance pencil activity and everything :) We finished off the evening by stopping by an investigator. He told us up front that he was not interested, but we talked on his doorstep for a while about his son and how he biked all the way here to Minnesota from Utah. CRAZY! He seems like a really nice guy though.

It has been a pretty great week :) Today should be super fun too! We are going to go see St. Paul's Cathedral!!! I will have to send a bunch of pictures next week :) Thank you all for all of your love and support. Hopefully this next week is equally as great if not better :) Talk to you soon!

Best Wishes,
Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, September 8, 2014

Everything is awesome!

Hello Everyone,

This week has been pretty fantastic! On Monday, Labor Day, we had our P-Day and then went out joint teaching with a member. Yeah, Labor Day wasn't exactly the highlight of the week, but the rest of the week was awesome! We seriously stopped by millions of people, and no one was home. I don't know where everyone went, but there must have been a pretty impressive barbecue or something. Rude that they didn't invite us.... On the plus side though, our apartment finally fixed our electronic lock box thing on the outside of our apartment, so when people come to the door we can buzz them in. (They updated our name on it too. Now it just says "Missionaries". So if you send a package to our apartment, make sure it says something like "Missionaries - Elder Andrews" or something like that.)

On Tuesday we had accountability in the afternoon, and then did a few stop by's. We were riding our bikes, and while we were biking I closed my eyes and offered a quick prayer that we would be led somewhere that we were needed. By the way, not a good idea to close your eyes while you are biking. Almost crashed my bike haha! We biked through a couple of neighborhoods, and then finally we pulled onto a street that I had never seen before. We locked up our bikes and knocked on a couple of doors. All of the sudden a woman yelled, "Sir, can you come help me?" We walked over to a woman and an old man that was sitting on the garage floor. Apparently he had fallen, and she couldn't get him back up. Haha that reminds me of life alert. "Help! I've fallen, and I can't get up!" We walked over and asked him if he was in any pain, because we didn't want to break the poor old man! He told us that his shoulders hurt a little bit, but that he was okay. We each grabbed a side of him and lifted him up into his chair.

You could feel his whole body popping while we were lifting him up, but apparently he was still okay. Nothing broken! We tried to transition into sharing the gospel with them, but he just wasn't interested. We knocked the rest of the neighborhood, but I soon realized that we were sent there to help the old man. No one else was home! In the evening we went out joint teaching. We talked with a woman for a while, but she wasn't able to meet with us. On our way to someone else's home, we saw some people pushing their car down the street. We offered to help, and they gladly accepted! They had run out of gas, and needed help pushing their car to the gas station. Luckily they were only a couple blocks away from a gas station, so we didn't have to push it too far. After we got the car to the gas station we asked if we could come share a message with them sometime, and they were really excited and agreed. We exchanged information, and will hopefully be able to meet with them sometime in the near future! We finished off the evening stopping by a referral we received. His family are all members of the Church, and he is here temporarily in a rehabilitation center from a hip surgery. We got to know him a little bit, and set up a time to come and meet with him. It was a pretty great day!

On Wednesday we went to the Family History Center and learned how to use family search and all of the family history resources that the Church has to offer. President Forbes wants us all to start using family history in our contacts with others. He told us all that before we talk to people about it, we need to learn how to use it. It was pretty fun! As missionaries we can't really do a whole lot, but it was good to be able to kind of figure out the system. Afterwards we were contacting people outside, and met a nice woman and taught her the restoration and have a return appointment on Monday evening. She was really accepting, and was pretty amazed to find out that Mormons believe in Jesus Christ. We will have to see where things go! In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had a great lesson with a member and her family on Prophets and Service. It was pretty hilarious, because last Sunday the Sister Missionaries were telling us that her daughter, who is 4 years old, has a HUGE crush on me. During our lesson at the that was confirmed. She always wants to be my helper, and she always insists on sitting next to me. Kind of cute! Wait till she finds out I am 20 ;) We finished off the evening with a great lesson with a recent convert that just moved from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. She talked to us about her conversion story, and we talked to her about enduring to the end. Taylor wants to serve a mission, and go to the temple, and read the standard works. She is on fire! It is always so amazing to see all of the changes that take place when people join the Church. She used to be a drug addict, and was homeless, and now look at her! Pretty cool :)

On Thursday we went to PRISM. I love service, but sometimes PRISM just feels like a job. I have learned that I would not enjoy working in a grocery store, but once a week is generally okay. They really appreciate our service, so that is all that matters :) In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had a great lesson with an investigator on the Plan of Salvation. Most Liberian apartments are pretty toasty, so my companion was dying haha! I don't think he said a word during our lesson. It was kind of odd, but our investigator really liked learning about the Plan of Salvation. Afterwards we contacted a referral we received. He attended the Book of Mormon Musical downtown, and was really fascinated by it. He said that he wanted to learn more about our Church and the Book of Mormon! We taught him about the restoration, and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He said that he would need to ask his parents for permission to attend Church with us though, so hopefully we will be able to meet with them soon. A member works with his dad at the fire station, so we will see how things go :) Their family is Jewish, but apparently they are pretty open to learning about other faiths. After meeting with him, we met with a different investigator again and taught him the restoration. It was pretty apparent during the lesson, however, that he was not really interested in our religion. His family just wants us to visit him and make sure he is okay. Maybe some time in the future he will show a spark of interest though!

On Friday we had Weekly Planning which is always fun :) We reorganized our Ward Directory, and found some new less-actives to focus on in the upcoming weeks. In the afternoon we met with an investigator and taught her the restoration again. She has been gone for the past couple months, so it was good to start fresh! She accepted the baptismal invitation, and we set up a time to come and visit with her again. Later we stopped by a member and shared President Monson's talk, "Obedience Brings Blessings." We talked about the value of obedience, and how the commandments and principles of the Church protect us and help us. It was a pretty great discussion! In the evening we went joint teaching, and had a lesson with an investigator. We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he committed to come to Church with us on Sunday. Later we had a lesson with a different investigator and we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ as well. He is going out of town for the weekend, but he said that he would like to come next week. Progress!

On Saturday we went to the library and watched some Mormon Messages. While we were there an investigator popped in, so that was pretty exciting :) Later in the afternoon we met a guy and taught him the restoration. He was fascinated by our religion, but not super interested in learning more. He didn't want a copy of the Book of Mormon, but he said he would check out We then stopped by an investigator and her daughter. Saturday was her daughter's 6th birthday, so I of course brought her a wrapped present. We only had Christmas wrapping paper, and packing tape in our apartment, so it was a pretty attractive package. She loved it though! In the evening we did a teaching evaluation with members. We taught them the restoration and then talked about member missionary work. I shared a super cool scripture with them in Alma 13:24. That scripture talks about how Angels are preparing the hearts of our friends and family members to receive the gospel. If Angels are going around preparing people, then the odds are, someone we know is prepared! We just need to find out who that is, and invite them to learn more :) To finish off the evening we stopped by a new member and watched "The Mountain of the Lord" with him, and talked about the temple.

On Sunday, an investigator came to Church with us! He stayed for all three hours, and really enjoyed it. After Church we had correlation and our weekly meeting with Bishop. Not only was it Fast Sunday, but it was also National Grandparents Day! Yay for Grandparents! In the evening we went out joint teaching and were able to visit with in investigator. We talked to him about service, but he didn't have a ton of time to visit with us so we set up another time to come and visit with him again.

On Sunday I also discovered a fun new quote from a ward member. "Everything is awesome!" Apparently it is from a new lego movie that is super awesome. I thought it applied nicely for our week though, because "Everything [was] awesome! " I just made sure that everything worked out this week, and greatly reduced the amount of time that we went tracting. Much better than last week :)

Thank you all for all of your love and support! You are the best :) I hope you have an amazing week and that all is well back home. Talk to you soon!

Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Lord tests our patience before the miracles.

Hello Everyone,

This week has been relatively slow, but things are still progressing :) Last Monday we had our P-Day and went joint teaching in the evening. We had a great lesson with an investigator and her family. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and repentance. I used my repentance pencil activity that my Mom sent me, and her 4 year old daughter absolutely loved it! She was my little helper. After our lesson with them, we stopped by a less-active member. Our joint teacher is her new home teacher, so it was more of a getting to know you type lesson. Nice lady, but she has zero intentions of coming back to Church.

On Tuesday we had our last District Meeting of the transfer. We took pictures and had a grand time! We made some transfer predictions that actually worked out pretty close to what actually happened. After District Meeting we had accountability with the district leaders and then went out finding. My companion and I had a little disagreement about finding, and so I decided to try a little bit of an experiment. He said that we were wasting out time trying to contact people outside and stopping by potential and former investigators, and suggested that we use that time to tract instead. He was telling me that tracting is the only way we will find new people to teach, and so we tracted. We tracted basically the remainder of the day. Finally I was fed up, and so we stopped by an apartment complex and met a nice woman. We taught her the Restoration, and she told us that a while back she used to meet with missionaries. We discovered that she used to meet with the senior missionaries! She was really kind and very accepting of our teachings. Hopefully things will continue to go well with her :)

On Wednesday we did some time and visited with an investigator. We talked to her about living the gospel and family home evening. She committed to hold weekly family home evening with her daughter, and to come to Church on Sunday. She has had a crazy work schedule lately, but it is starting to be a lot more manageable now! Afterwards we went out tracting again... for the rest of the day. We met a young boy and we taught him the Restoration, but he didn't appear to be super interested. I just really do not like tracting. I feel like it is something that missionaries do to waste time when they have nothing better to do. The success rate is very small.

On Thursday we did a lot of tracting. No success. In the evening we went out with a ward member and helped out with a move. The sister lived in an "active adult residence" and so she didn't have very much stuff to move in her home. It was a pretty easy move, and it all came together really nicely :)

On Friday we had our Weekly Planning session. I seriously love planning and organization :) It is the best! After weekly planning we went through our Area Book and did some Area Book Work. We went through all of the potentials in the back of our book and called everyone. Missionaries do not go through potentials very often, and so a lot of numbers are no longer active. We sorted through and organized them all, which is always fun :) You talk to some very interesting people when you go through old potentials and former investigators haha! You also get to listen to some very unique voice mail messages! In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had a really great lesson with our investigator. We finished teaching the Plan of Salvation, and he has been keeping most of his commitments. He said that he got called into work last Sunday so he couldn't go to Church, and he couldn't come this week, but he has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it :) Hopefully next week he will be able to get work off so he can come to Church! We stopped by a referral we received in Downtown Minneapolis, and went to Izzy's for ice cream. I absolutely love Downtown Minneapolis :) I could seriously see myself living there some day. Probably in the Mill District. The condos in the Mill District are a little bit more expensive, but it is well worth the cost! You get a super pretty view, and you are in the center of everything. Who knows though. I could never live here because of the winters, so it would have to be more like a summer or fall oasis. We will have to see!

On Saturday we went out and... tracted. Nothing really happened on Saturday either. No one was really home either. In the evening we went to some member’s wedding reception. I have been here for a while and know a lot of their non-member friends and neighbors, so it was a really great missionary opportunity! I also just really like weddings and receptions :) Heaven help my future wife though. I have a lot of opinions. Usually the husband does not have a ton of say in what happens at their wedding, but I certainly will! Saturday night was rough though. We went to bed, and I just layed there. I have been taking melatonin for most of my mission, but it just wasn't cutting it Saturday night. I sat in my bet until I finally fell asleep around 4:30 AM, Sunday morning. While I layed there I tried to fall asleep, and then I just kept thinking about a million different things. Goals, dreams, friends, family, my future, upcoming transfers, my companions, the works. It was kind of stressful!

On Sunday morning we had Ward Council, so I had to wake up at 5:30 AM to get ready. I was SUPER exhausted, but just kept going. I used to go without sleep all the time in high school, but now my body is used to getting lots of sleep so it is a lot harder for me to get through these things! I remember feeling a little bit hopeless in the morning though. I kept thinking about how I have been here for 7 months now, and that maybe I have just lost my spark. Maybe I am done serving here in this area. We prepared for Church, and didn't have many people who were planning on attending Church with us. We sat in Sacrament meeting, and all of the sudden it felt like people were pouring through the doors! One investigator and most of another investigator’s family came to Sacrament Meeting! We had four non-members attend, and I was planning on maybe having one or two. It was amazing! I'm pretty sure God knew that I was having a super tough time, and so he tried my patience a little bit, but then came through in the end. It was awesome! Kind of rude... but awesome :) After Church we had correlation and our weekly meeting with Bishop. In the afternoon we went joint teaching and met with an investigator family. They are still having a super tough time. The court system took her son away from her and he will be living with his Dad in Buffalo, MN and attending a new school. We talked about faith, and I told them to watch a video, "Mountains To Climb." Hopefully it will help! In the evening we met with another investigator and watched "The Testaments" with him. We had a mini-testimony meeting and talked about how important it is to share our testimonies with others so that we can have a greater influence on them. We talked to him about sharing the gospel with people in his "active adult complex". He agreed, so we will have to see how everything goes!
Things really are going well though, it was just kind of a tough week. Next week will be much better though! Thank you all for all of your love and support. I hope you have a great Labour Day :) Talk to you soon.

Best Wishes,
Elder Kyle William Andrews