This week has been kind of crazy, but has been a super good week all together. On Tuesday we had our P-Day, and in the evening we went over to our investigator’s home and reviewed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We also filled out all of their baptismal records, which was a process! I don't know why the Church hasn't made a family baptismal record, but they haven't. We had to make an individual baptismal record for all five of them. It was a process, but it is a good problem to have! I am amazed at their desire to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God. They are on fire! On Tuesday, the Sisters took off. I found out that I am going home with one of the Sister, so it will be fun to catch up later!
On Wednesday we went suit shopping with the investigator family! The dad found an awesome suit at the Calvin Klein outlet for a steal. Shopping is the greatest :) Maybe I can be a professional shopper when I get home! Doubt it would pay enough for my own shopping though... Guess I will have to keep looking for a career. After shopping with them, we had our weekly meeting with the Bishop. We were kind of scattered, but it all worked out. We just have A LOT of work to do now that the Sisters are gone. We have two huge areas to cover now, and no extra time to do it all. Everything is going to be fine though :) In the evening we visited with an inactive member. We have been teaching her son for a while now, but as of recently he ran away. They are still trying to find out where he is, but hopefully he will come home for Christmas. We shared "He Is The Gift" with her, and she loved it! It was a really great visit :) She works in the oil fields in North Dakota, so she is rarely ever home. This was my first time meeting with her, but it seemed to go really well!
On Thursday we had a bunch of accountability calls in the morning, and then we went and did service at the thrift store. We helped with taking down and reorganizing some of the Christmas stuff. They are preparing for a big Christmas clearance sale to get rid of all of their Christmas stuff before the end of the year. In the evening we had a lesson with our investigator family on the 10 Commandments. We reviewed all of the commandments, and then we planned out their baptism. They are all super excited! Normally ward members are encouraged to participate in the actual baptizing of the converts, but the mom and her daughter have asked me to baptize them. The other daughter asked my companion to baptize her, their son will be baptized by his dad, and another child will be baptized by his uncle. Should be an exciting day! They are getting married at 1:00, afterwards they are having a reception, and at 3:00 they will be getting baptized. Crazy! Good things are in the works. To finish off the evening, we met with another investigator family and reviewed the Word of Wisdom. Our new member is doing great, and her sister has continued to sit in on all of our discussions! Her mom is very optimistic about her developing a desire to be baptized.
On Friday we had Weekly Planning, and then we went on exchange with our Zone Leaders. I stayed in here with an Elder from Kayesville, Utah. He is an awesome missionary, and we had a really great time on exchange. To start off the evening, we had our investigator family’s baptismal interviews. They all passed, no surprise. They are great! I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to teach them and to get to know their family better :) Later in the evening we visited with a member. We shared with her a message from the December 2014 Ensign called "Fill The World With Christ's Love." It is a super good message that talks about giving of ourselves this Christmas season. I am constantly reminded on my mission that it isn't necessarily the things that you purchase for people that makes the biggest difference, but the time and love that you give them. (Not that I don't want gifts for Christmas haha! I am definitely not to that point!) Time and attention make a huge difference!
On Saturday we went out contacting in the morning and shared "He Is The Gift" with quite a few people! We even came in contact with a woman who used to meet with the missionaries, that is interested in meeting with us again. She was on her way out, but we will have to try her again! We also helped a family in the ward move an old broken piano out of their home. Later in the afternoon we had an interview, and we were able to talk about everything that is happening in the District. We identified a few things that we can all improve, which is always great! One thing that we talked a lot about was time. I feel like there is never enough time to do everything, but again, it is a good problem to have. We talked a lot about sharing the responsibilities. I need to focus more on the District, and my companion needs to focus more on the area. I can't be the head of our District and our area. That means that I need to let go... that is kind of a big deal for me. I definitely like to organize and be in charge of things... that way I know that things will get done, and they will be done well. Sharing the responsibility is all part of learning though... it will be good for me, and it will be good for my companion. All good things :) No one ever said that good things were easy to do though! We later were able to visit with an investigator and share "He Is The Gift" with him. We talked a lot about Christmas and traditions, and his plans for Christmas this year. He is a really awesome guy! Later we exchanged back, and went out joint teaching. We had an awesome evening! We first visited with a recent convert in the sister’s former area. We talked with her about the Word of Wisdom and the Spirit. We shared the cool new living nativity video that they filmed in Utah with the Piano Guys and David Archuletta. Later we dropped off some cookies for a few home teaching families, and finished the evening visiting a part-member family. At first they were not very open to having us over. Their son had a fever of 102 degrees, and they did not want to get any of us sick. Our joint teacher offered to give him a blessing, but they kindly refused. I went on and talked about "He Is The Gift" and invited their family to watch it together, and a few minutes later he invited us to come inside. When we were inside, he asked his son if he would like a blessing, and he agreed! We explained what a blessing was, and gave him a blessing. The mom, who is Catholic, got very emotional. You could feel the Spirit really strong in their home after the blessing, and it took almost immediate effect. He was up dancing around and was feeling great! We talked about the Book of Mormon, and invited them to start taking the discussions, and they accepted! We will be visiting with them again next Saturday :) Now here is where things get REALLY interesting! My companion has a bunch of bumps all over his body from our exchange. He was bitten by something while sleeping in the other elder’s bed. They suspect they might be bed bugs. Yep! So we applied a bunch of anti-itch cream all over his body, and went to bed.
On Sunday, we had a really great service at Church. Because last week was our Christmas service, the Bishopric all spoke about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. I thought it was a really awesome focus for the Sunday right before Christmas! Our investigator family all came to Church as well as a part-member that the Sisters were working with. On Saturday evening, a dear friend of our investigator family was killed in a car crash. They were very startled, and were having a tough time with it all. Totally understandable. Please keep them in your prayers. (Maybe a Facebook message would be helpful...) My companion’s bed bug bites were really irritated, and they had everyone at Church up on their toes. We texted President Forbes and the Assistants, and were waiting for a response. We got mixed reviews at Church, some people told us that we were going to die basically and that we needed to burn all of our furniture and clothes, and other people told us that it was no big deal. We almost got kicked out of Church, but someone looked it up and said we would be fine. After Church we talked to the medical and apartment coordinators, and started to wash and dry all of his clothes on the hottest cycle available. We counted and took pictures of all of his bug bites so that we would know if he got any additional bites when we went to bed. In the evening we had a lesson with our new member and her family on the law of chastity. It went really well, and I think everyone learned a lot! We talked mostly about having good standards, and the importance of our thoughts, words, and actions.
Today we have been dealing with the bed bug dilemma. My companion had some additional bites this morning, so tomorrow they will be exterminating our apartment before they spread. The Elders that we got the bed bugs from will be doing the same. We washed all of our clothes, and deep cleaned the apartment. I don't have any bites or anything, and I certainly do not want to get any! Today we have a quick P-Day. Christmas is our real P-Day. We are just emailing and shopping today, so that should be fun :) We are spending Christmas with a family in the ward, and it sounds like it is going to be a super fun day! Plus, we get to Skype, so that is always a good time ;)
Thank you all for all of your love and support! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas :) I will talk to you soon, and see some of you even sooner!
Elder Kyle William Andrews