It has been a pretty crazy week. Not really the best week in the world, but it is in the past now so that is all that matters :) On the plus side, the weather has been AWESOME this week! All the snow is melting, and it has been a lot warmer. Super weird for January in Minnesota, but I will take it! Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day! I remember attending the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication in Washington D.C. a few years back. SUCH a cool experience! We had our P-Day as usual, and then we had Family Home Evening with the a family in the ward. We talked about Enos and prayer.
On Tuesday we had mormon.org time to look up some of the cool new videos that the Church has produced. We watched one older video, however, titled "The Mailbox." Probably the most depressing video I think I have ever seen in my life. It was a BYU production about an old woman who walks to her mailbox every day to see if any of her children have written her a letter. She comes day after day, and never receives a letter. One day she goes out to the mailbox and retrieves a letter from one of her children. She walks back to her home, sits down to open the letter, and then has a heart attack and dies before reading the letter she waited so long to receive. Not really sure what the video was supposed to teach, but it sure was depressing. I drowned my sorrows with some Diet Coke and then things were good again! We had some accountability calls in the afternoon, and then we went and did some service at a thrift store. We took apart some cardboard boxes for recycling and a couple other odds and ends. In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had Family Home Evening with an investigator family. There was some contention in their home when we arrived, and a few arguments were going on. It took a while for the situation to calm down, but afterwards things were good again. We played Boggle and had a message on the 10 Commandments and prayer. We invited their son to attend the Pinewood Derby the following day, and he agreed!
On Wednesday we went on exchange. It was kind of a cool experience actually! I was pretty sure that I was going to stay in our area and that my companion was going to go to the other one. I prayed about it in the morning, and pretty distinctly felt like I needed to go to to the other area and that my companion needed to stay here. So I went with an elder from Grapevine, Texas. We had a super great day! We went out finding for a while and then had a lesson with an investigator. In the evening we had a lesson with one of their new progressing investigators. He is a really unique kid! He has a million questions, and really has a desire to learn. He met with the Jehovah's Witnesses for a while, but knew deep down that what they were teaching him was false. Since he started meeting with the missionaries he has believed everything that they have been teaching him. He has come to Church, and has a TON of potential. We had a really great lesson with him. We discussed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he really related each step (faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost, endure to the end) to himself and how it can benefit him as he applies it in his life.
On Thursday we exchanged back and had Zone Interviews in the morning. We had a training from our Zone Leaders on effective planning, and then we were all interview by President Forbes. My interview seemed very short, but it was a good interview nonetheless. He asked me about my family, my mission, my area, my favorite hymn, etc... After Zone Interviews we went back to our area and had a lesson with a member. I shared President Uchtdorf's talk, "The Hope Of God's Light." We talked about how God's light influences us, and how it is a great blessing to have in our lives. In the evening we had a lesson with a referral that we received from a member of the ward. She works at Target, and is a very nice lady. She is open to meeting with missionaries, but isn't really interested in our Church. She grew up in a home where religion was seldom discussed, and so it is kind of different for her to discuss her beliefs with other people. She has potential though! In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had a lesson with the an investigator family on the Word of Wisdom. It went really well! Their daughter remembered the acronym CATTS (Coffee, Alcohol, Tobacco, Tea, and Substances) from when the missionaries taught her before. Overall it was a pretty great day!
On Friday we had Weekly Planning, and then we did some service at a thrift store. We helped move some things around, and tag some clothes. In the evening we went out joint teaching. We visited with a member and talked about following the Prophet. We watched the movie, "On The Lord's Errand" that goes through the life and ministry of President Thomas S. Monson. Super good video! Afterwards we stopped by the a family. The dad is a less-active member, and his daughters are eligible to be baptized. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and taught them a fun way using your hands to remember repentance. It was a pretty great lesson! We committed them to come to Church on Sunday, and that we would set up a lesson with them for the next week.
On Saturday I interviewed an investigator for baptism, and then we attended another investigator’s baptism afterwards. It was a super great way to start off the day! In the afternoon we went out finding for a little while, and found a cool kid. He is 20 years old, and is not really religious. He builds E-Cigs for a living, and is very much so an entrepreneur. He invited us right in to his home, and we were able to teach him about the restoration. He is skeptical about prayer, because he doesn't feel like he has ever received an answer to any of his prayers, but he is open to meeting with us again. Afterwards we stopped by a part-member family. Holy cow! They had 5 foster kids, but in the past few weeks she has obtained 5 other kids. Their house was a disaster, and it was super chaotic, but she was at peace. Kind of crazy how that can happen. To make room for the 5 extra kids they are having to completely rearrange their home. We helped them move a few things, and then we had a lesson on service. She is a very service oriented woman. I had the biggest headache of my life after visiting with them, but it was a good visit. In the evening we went out joint teaching, and we had a lesson with a new member family on the restoration. We put together a restoration puzzle, but there were a few pieces missing like when Jesus Christ and his apostles were taken from the earth. But then the priesthood was restored, and the puzzle pieces were brought back. It was a pretty fun lesson! They were so frustrated when the put the whole puzzle together, but there were pieces missing. I imagine the early saints had a similar experience! To finish off the evening we had a lesson with an investigator family. This time just their son was home. We asked him about the Pinewood Derby, and he had a really great time! We talked about the importance of prayer, and watched the mormon.org profile video for Elaine, the drummer for Neon Trees. At the end of the lesson, their son said the prayer. He has never prayed in public before, so this was a HUGE step! We also committed him to come to Church the next day.
On Sunday we had a super good morning. The the less-active family came to Church, as did the son who went to the pinewood derby! Church was really good, and then we had a lesson with an investigator in the afternoon. We talked with him about following the Prophet, and shared a message from the January 2015 Ensign on following the Prophet. In the evening things fell apart. We had some lessons scheduled up in a different part of the area, but they all canceled. We decided to have a Family Home Evening with a new member family, but it was kind of a disaster. Kind of the theme in a way for the week. There were a few arguments and hurt feelings, and so only three of them were there for the lesson. We talked about coming unto Christ, and the importance of prayer. To be totally honest, it was super awkward and I had a pit in my stomach the entire time. I just wanted to fix the problem right then and there, but that isn't always practical. I sent the wife a text later in the evening, so hopefully that helped some. I don't know... it was pretty bad though. #MissionaryProblems #AwkwardMoments
It was still a pretty good week though. Things are going well :) We just had a few rough patches this week. Today is a new day though! We have District P-Day today, so that will be super fun. We are going over to the Hogan's Pole Barn, and we got permission to watch the movie Frozen! I have never seen it, so this should be super fun :) I hope everything is going well back home. Have a great week!
Elder Kyle William Andrews