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 mormon.org 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! (lds.org 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 :)
Elder Kyle William Andrews