Monday, November 17, 2014

I hit my 18 month mark. CRAZY!

Hello Everyone,

This week had a crazy start with the freak snow storm last Monday, but things started to improve after that :) On Tuesday, Veterans' Day/Armistice Day/Remembrance Day, we had our P-Day so the bulk of the day was spent doing all of that fun stuff. In the evening we had dinner with an investigator family. The brother is a dry Mormon. He comes to Church every week, he has a calling, he has a quad and reads it regularly, but doesn't feel a need to be baptized yet. We shared with them Elder Bednar's talk, "Come And See" from General Conference. I love the story that he shares about his kids helping one another! Afterwards we asked if we could help him shovel their driveway, and he accepted! He is not one to ask others to do things for him, so this was a big step :) We shoveled for a while, and then headed on home.

On Wednesday we had District Meeting, and I was able to give a training on using time effectively. I had this fun little handout that said "Your mission is a limited-time offer, so act now! It's "werth" it ;)" I of course passed out werthers caramels along with my training. I have used it before in past districts, but it worked out perfectly for this training as well. I just love giving trainings, totally makes my day! After District Meeting I went on exchange with an elder from Twin Falls, Idaho. We went to his area for the day, and had some pretty cool experiences. We did some stop by's for a while, and then visited with a guy and a less-active Sister. The lesson was kind of awkward at points, and I said a few things that I shouldn't have said, so it was rough to start. (They complained about their neighbors, and I commented trying to make a joke, "You must have some crazies living around you." Turns out it is an apartment complex for people with mental disabilities. My bad!) So we had two options, I could just stop talking, or I could lay it on thick and charm the pants off of them! I chose the latter, but I wanted to be sure that their pants stayed on ;) It worked out really nicely actually. We had a great time discussing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the lesson went really well. I was instantly forgiven, and they totally loved me by the end of the lesson. It was a close one though! Lesson learned... watch what you say and be observant of your surroundings. To finish off the exchange we had a meeting with their Bishop to discuss the work in their area. I wasn't able to contribute a whole lot, but it was fun to see how other wards work.

On Thursday we exchanged back and we were asked to clean the baptismal font for the Sister's baptism on Saturday. Cleaning is the best :) The Sisters are in our ward by the way, not sure if you knew that. After cleaning the baptismal font, we changed and went to work. We had a lesson with Granny. She is such a sweet lady! We shared the talk, "Lord, Is It I?" from President Uchtdorf in General Conference. We talked a lot about focusing on and improving our own imperfections rather than focusing on others. In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had a really great lesson with our investigator couple on the Plan of Salvation. We used shaving cream and drew it all out on their counter. While we were talking with them, however, she mentioned some concerns with baptism. She told us that the gospel has had a profound impact on her life, but that some of her kids were having a really hard time applying it. She is tired of her kids lying, and misbehaving, and she isn't seeing the changes in her kids that she has seen in herself. She feels like if her kids get baptized and things turn south, it will all be her fault. Our joint teacher provided some really great insight, but it is still a major concern for her. Any advice? (Maybe a message on Facebook or something would be helpful. You have my permission to talk about some of the struggles you may have had with me, or my inactivity, or whatever. I don't know... I'm not a parent haha! -- except for my family and kids in St. George... can't forget about them!) To finish off the evening we taught the mother and daughter. We had the same lesson with the shaving cream and the Plan of Salvation. The daughter really enjoyed it, and was able to teach us all the steps in the Plan of Salvation! On Wednesday while we were on exchange, the district leader interviewed her for baptism, and she passed :) Things are going super well.

On Friday we had a lesson with the 17 year old boy about service and For The Strength of Youth. His Mom works in the oil fields and is home for two weeks, and then at work for two weeks. Cody is a super good kid when his Mom is home, but he misbehaves a lot when she is gone. We talked to him about the importance of having good values, and serving others. Another lady that he lives with, is tired of his misbehavior, so hopefully this will help! Afterwards we started to do some weekly planning. We decided to do it at the Church, because we had to fill up the baptismal font later anyways, so it was more convenient. When we arrived at the Church, it was a disaster! It is cleaned on Saturdays, but the baptism was Friday night, so we had to clean it. The carpets just really needed to be vacuumed, so we got a little side tracked. After cleaning up the Church, we filled up the font and life was good again. An investigator was baptized in the evening, and everything went really well :) After the baptism we went out joint teaching. We stopped by a part-member family. We visited with them for a while, and we were able to give her a Book of Mormon. She was outside smoking in the freezing cold weather, SO glad that I don't have a smoking addiction! That would be SO cold.

On Saturday I hit my 18 month mark. CRAZY! It was also Koningsdag/Fete du Roi (BE), so that was fun ;) We mostly weekly planned during the day. In the evening we did a dinner swap with the a family. They made us Mexican food, and we made them American food. They are a pretty cool family, not members yet, but maybe one day. They made us something called posola and toquitos. Not a big fan... but don't tell them that! I just about died when they told us that the big thing swimming in the middle of the soup was a pig foot. NASTY!!! The toquitos had jalapenos and onions in them, so they were SUPER spicy. We made breakfast casserole, or hot dish as they would say here in Minnesota. There is something about the word hot dish that kind of makes me want to throw up though, so I think I will stick to casserole. It had hash browns, sausage, eggs, and cheese in it. It turned out pretty good :) Not exactly figure friendly though. I am starting my 6 months to sexy program, so that is pretty exciting! I bought a blender bottle and some protein powder, and upped my workouts in the morning. We shall see what happens :) In the evening we stopped by our investigator couple, because it was their daughter’s 18th birthday. We partied it up, and I burned a pair of pants for my 18 month mark. They were old nasty pants that were ripped at the bottom from biking, so it was good to leave them behind.

On Sunday we had a super great turn out at Church. All the investigator couple’s family came, and the 12 year old came as well. After Church we visited with an investigator with the Sister Missionaries. We knocked on his door, and then the Sisters showed up, it was kind of funny haha! It was a really cool lesson though. At the beginning, he seemed very uncomfortable, but at the end he showed a desire to continue to learn more and to start reading the Book of Mormon. He showed us some of his WWI and WWII memorabilia, including a Nazi flag, so that was pretty cool :) It reminded me of visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.. In the evening, we had a lesson with the investigator couple. They have their marriage papers from the court house, now they just need to fill them out and get everything set up and they will be on their way! We watched a movie called "Treasure In Heaven - The John Tanner Story." It was super good. It talks a lot about faith, and the importance of acting on our faith. We assigned the kids to watch a Mormon message called "Honesty: You Better Believe It!" and we asked parents to watch the Mormon message, "You Never Know." Hopefully that will help! To finish off the evening, we had a lesson with the mother and daughter. We planned the daughter’s baptism, and finalized everything for next weekend. All should be well :) Her mother had a tough weekend, but hopefully things will get better as the baptism draws nearer.

Thank you all for all of your love and support! Next week we have transfers, so we will see what happens. I hope you all have a great week, and that all is well back home. Talk to you soon :)

Best Wishes,
Elder Kyle William Andrews

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