This week has been kind of all over the place, but things are good :) Last Monday we got our transfer calls, and I was transferred. I kind of assumed I would be transferred, but I still was kind of shocked. I was in that area for about 9 months, and so it was incredibly hard for me to leave. I made a bunch of phone calls and texts, and set up our next couple days before I left, and then the insanity began! On Monday evening we said goodbye to five families. 3 hours, and 4 big visits, I was pretty impressed! Saying goodbye didn't even feel real, kind of like leaving on my mission. You say goodbye to people, but it feels like you are going to see them again the next week. It's weird!
On Tuesday we had a packed day ahead of us! I needed to pack. That was an event, let me just tell you! I had not packed for 9 months, so I had no clue how much stuff I even had. Luckily, I have been trying to manage my things and downsize a little bit while I was in my last area. I packed it all together, and sure enough it fit into 2 suitcases, 1 carry-on bag, and an extra box of course ;) A lot less than when I left my first area! I was pretty proud of myself :) I did, however, have to dust off my suitcases. Kind of crazy! They were SUPER dusty. Then we went around doing our rounds for the remainder of the day. We visited with Bishop and his family, and seven other families. It was a crazy day! It all worked out though :) In the evening, I got a phone call from an unknown number. It was a family calling, who live in Indiana now, but they were in the Crystal ward for the bulk of my stay here! Yep, not supposed to make out of mission calls, but they called us and I didn't know it was going to happen, so it all works out.
On Wednesday we had our transfer meeting in the morning, and then we loaded up my things and drove to my new area. Completely different than serving in the cities for the last 9 months. My first area was more in the country, but my new area is way out there in the country. I unpacked my things for a little while, and then we went around meeting some of the ward members, part-member families, and investigators. First, I met a part-member family. The father is a member, and his wife and 5 kids are not members. We had a lesson with them on the Plan of Salvation. They loved it! One of their kids referred to the Celestial Kingdom as "1st Class" and that she wants to go to 1st class. Kind of a cool idea! Afterwards we went to the Church and met with members, who have a foster son that they just got a little while ago that they wanted us to meet. He comes from a very rough background, and knows all about drugs, swear words, etc... even though he is only 5 years old. He is a super fun kid with lots of energy! The family will be a super great family for him. Plus, now he is able to learn more about the gospel!
On Thursday we started off the day doing some service raking pine needles for someone. He has a bunch of big pine tree's in his yard, and had quite a few pine needles in his grass. After we did some raking, we were able to have a lesson with him about the Book of Mormon. When we started the lesson, he pulled out a binder marked "Mormon Beliefs vs. Christian Beliefs." It was very evident that he had been reading some anti-Mormon literature. We discussed some of his hold ups, and talked about how they were not completely true and that they were taken out of context. Kind of interesting! He agreed to read the Book of Mormon though, so that was good. Afterwards we went and did service for a member of the ward. We loaded and unloaded some wood that he had chopped. He lives WAY out in the country, it was kind of an interesting car ride over there. I am SUPER glad that I will be in a car area again for the winter though. Having a car is the best! Kind of random, but I have been biking forever, so a car is definitely a blessing :) In the evening we went out joint teaching with a member who leaves on his mission this week. We visited with a blind member of the Church. She is a super sweet woman, but she cannot see anything. We shared a message with her, and agreed to come over sometime next week and take her around for a walk while the weather is still good. That should be a cool service opportunity :) After that we went and visited with an older member To finish off the evening, we visited with a recent-convert, and her granddaughter. We taught them the first part of the Plan of Salvation, and had a really great lesson with them :)
On Friday morning we went over and did some service for an investigator. We helped clean up her basement and moved some boxes downstairs for her. She had surgery on her knee a few weeks ago, so mobility is definitely an issue for her! She has a big brace on her leg, and is having a really "fun" time adjusting to not being able to do everything herself. We also made a baptism calendar and discussed it with her. She really wants to get baptized, but her Mom and her Dad are not a super big fan of the Church. We made a program, and discussed November 22nd as a possible baptismal date. They agreed to discuss it with the parents, but it was going to be a stretch. Her older sister once asked to be baptized and was declined. After our short lesson, we went back to our apartment and did some weekly planning. It was good to get our next week in order, and to find out a lot more about the area! In the evening we went out finding, and then did a teaching evaluation with our Ward Mission Leader.
On Saturday we did some finding and taught a 17 year-old girl. Her parents were not home, but she wanted to know what we were coming around teaching everyone. Maybe it will go somewhere! In the afternoon, a member picked us up to come do some service on his hobby farm. Yep, I went and worked on a farm. Oh my gosh, I am definitely a city boy. It was good to be able to help out though. We shoveled "dirt" out of their barn... that was an experience. We also put up a snow fence, chopped up a tree stump, and did a couple of other things. I of course, had to take a picture with one of their miniature cows. His name is Patrick. In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had a lesson with an investigator family about repentance. They also have a lot of animals. They have chickens, pheasants, rabbits, and pigs. I will have to take a picture with their pigs sometime, but it was super dark when we went over this time so the picture wouldn't have turned out very good.
On Sunday we had Church, which was awesome! Five investigators came to Church. It was great! We taught the gospel principles lesson, which was kind of nightmare. The lesson was on Eternal Marriage. The lesson would have been fine if people didn't keep asking questions. Members started bringing up plural marriage and doing temple work for the dead, and some investigators got super confused, and it was just kind of crazy. Sure, have the two single guys teach the lesson on eternal marriage! It all worked out though. After Church we went out and did some finding, and taught a guy the restoration. He was super nice, and just got back from a recovery program. In the evening we had a lesson with an investigator family and found out that the wife has not smoked for 4 days, and he hadn't smoked for 2 days! AWESOME :) We also had a big fire, where we burned a tie for our 6 month mark, and a shirt for our 1 year mark. I really like my shirts, so I just used an old nasty one from the apartment. It still counts though ;) We had a lesson with them on repentance as well, which went pretty great! To finish off the evening we went and had a lesson some investigators. We finished teaching the Plan of Salvation, and She told us that her parents gave her permission to get baptized on November 22nd if that is what she wants to do! Super great ending to a great week :)
Next Monday, Elder Carlson from the Seventy is coming to our mission, so we will be having P-Day on Tuesday instead of Monday. Just so you are all aware, I will be sending out emails on Tuesday haha ;) Have a great week!
Elder Kyle William Andrews