It has been a great week, and luckily the weather has even been cooperating here in Minnesnowta! We have been in the double digits all week! Although we got an early start on the winter, it is starting to mellow out a little bit, so that is nice :) On Monday we were able to have a family home evening with our investigator family. We watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. We made cupcakes and had a super fun time! It was great :)
On Tuesday we had a bunch of accountability calls to make in the morning. I talked to all the teams about their areas and investigators, and got to know all the missionaries a little bit better. It was kind of fun. Afterwards we went and helped finish sheet rocking an investigator's ceiling. The last little bit of it didn't turn out as well as the first part that we did, but mostly because the ceiling was not level. It was a process! Luckily it is done now. Now they have insulation and a ceiling to protect them from the cold! In the evening we went and had a family home evening with a different investigator family. The mom was at a Relief Society Dinner, but her daughters were home. We watched the prodigal son, and talked a little bit about repentance. It went really well! One of them is actually starting to sit in on all of our lessons, so that is super exciting to see :)
On Wednesday we had District Meeting. I gave a training on working with members, and it seemed to go really well. For a hand out I had Skor bars, and a little note that said "SKOR Some Referrals. Work With Members." It was super fun! I totally love public speaking. I am super glad that I had the opportunity to be involved in so many great student organizations in high school, as well as in college. Plus, the public speaking class that I took at BYU was AWESOME! We also had some exciting news to announce in District Meeting. They changed up a few of our key indicators, so instead of tracking restoration lessons taught, we have two new key indicators. TCI - Tracting and Contacting Invitation, and NAC Contact - North American Central Initiative (Part-Member Family, Child of Record, and Prospective Elder). I am super excited about these new key indicators that we have, because it makes what we are trying to do so much more efficient! Now we can actually use Church programs like "He Is The Gift" in our proselyting efforts, and not shove restoration lessons down peoples throats. This first week with the new key indicators was already super effective! I am excited to see where things go :) After District Meeting, I went on exchange. It went really well. We met with one of their progressing investigators who is getting baptized on December 20th. We talked to him about fasting and preparing for fast Sunday. In the evening we went caroling at a senior center, and then we dropped off some cookies to less-actives. We met with one less-active in particular. She just had a miscarriage, and was having a super bad day. She was blocking out the world, and then we stopped by with some cookies. She was crushed, and not very happy with God, but she was grateful that we stopped by and talked with her for a little while. To finish off the evening, we met with their Bishop briefly, and finished off the day. It was a great day!
On Thursday we exchanged back, and did some service at the thrift store. We mostly moved all of their Christmas stuff to the front of the store. They are preparing to start clearing it all out. Pretty soon here they are going to have a big clearance sale. It is the first week of December and they are already trying to get rid of all of their Christmas stuff! Crazy! I guess it makes sense though, they want to make sure it is all sold before Christmas. In the evening we had a lesson with our investigator. We watched a Mormon Message called "The Hope Of God's Light." We talked about the importance of prayer, and how God does answer our prayers, just not always on our timing. Later we met with the other investigator family and talked about the Plan of Salvation. Their daughter sat in on our lesson again, and even began contributing to the lesson. SWEET!
On Friday we had Weekly Planning, and then we went out "He Is The Gift" tracting. We were able to share a few "He Is The Gift" mormon.org cards, and we were able to have full discussions with two people in the area we were working. We met two women who both have a lot of potential! It is cool to see how this new TCI program is working, and how effective it is to be using "He Is The Gift" this holiday season. We are able to have quality gospel conversations with so many more people! To finish off the evening we had a lesson with our investigator family on the Plan of Salvation. We gave everyone a teaching assignment, and we took turns drawing our part of the lesson on their glass dining room table. It went really well, and it helped them to learn a lot more when they had to teach everyone rather than just listen to us. I think we might continue giving them assignments to work on to help them learn. After our lesson we went out and did some tracting again. This time it was late in the evening, and everyone was asleep. Not super productive.
On Saturday we went down to sister’s area. We found out that the Sisters in the ward are getting moved on December 17th. This transfer 13 Sisters are going home midway through the transfer for Christmas and school. Now that the influx of missionaries is over, we are not getting nearly the same amount of missionaries, and so they are having to close a few Sisters areas. First we went caroling at the hospital with the Sisters, and then we practiced the song that we will be performing in Sacrament meeting next week. It is called, "Does He Remember." It is in the December 2014 Ensign. It is super pretty! Afterwards we went around with the Sisters and they showed us around their area. We met with one of their investigators and got to know him a little better. We watched "He Is The Gift" with him, and set up a time to visit with him again. Then we met with the only African person in the area. He is from Liberia, and is super awesome. We were able to talk for a while about Liberia, so that was super cool! After spending 9 months in my last area, I know quite a bit about African people ;) The Sisters thought that I had been to Liberia, it was pretty funny! We shared "He Is The Gift" with him as well, and invited him to the Christmas Program at Church next week. In the evening we met with our Ward Mission Leader. His wife was out visiting their grand-kids, but we were able to share a fun Christmas message with him, and talk about some of the work going on in the ward right now. To finish off the evening, we went over to the investigator’s and finished teaching the Plan of Salvation. Their daughter sat in on our lesson again! Amazing things are happening with their family.
On Sunday we had Ward Council in the morning, and discussed the NAC Initiative and our investigator family with a baptismal date. They have been meeting with Bishop and planning out their wedding and a few baptism details. Church went really well! Fast and testimony meeting was awesome. After Church we set up the cultural hall for a pot luck later in the evening, and went out caroling with the Sisters for a little while to the houses around the Church. The Pot Luck was awesome! We had a great turn out. Lots of part-members came, including our investigator family. After the pot luck, we all watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional together. The devotional was awesome :) It always fun to see the conference center all decorated for Christmas!
All in all, it was an amazing week! Thank you all for all of your love and support :) If you haven't already, check out "He Is The Gift". I hope you have an amazing week, and that you are surviving the winter weather :) Talk to you soon!
Elder Kyle William Andrews