Monday, February 23, 2015

New Area!

Hello Everyone,

This week has been kind of crazy, as always I guess ;) On Monday, Presidents Day and Family Day in Canada, we had our P-Day and I found out that I was being transferred. Yep... totally crazy! ​I was kind of expecting it I guess, but it still always comes as kind of a shock. In the evening we had Family Home Evening with the families in the ward. Saying goodbye is not fun! I have some really great memories in the Princeton Ward.

On Tuesday I packed up all my belonging, which fit in my suitcases, so that was a plus! It was really strange thinking about the fact that this next area will more than likely be my last area. Everyone that I said goodbye to talked about how I was going home soon, and that I needed to find a good wife, etc... WEIRD! In the afternoon we visited with the four more families. I hate goodbye's, but it makes it easier that I know that I can come back after my mission. In that respect I am super grateful that I live relatively close to my mission. I don't know how people that serve in foreign countries do it! When you say goodbye, it is a pretty big deal. In the evening we first visited with our new member family. That was really difficult for me. We have become really close these past few months, they are like family to me! While we were over, I burned my suit with them. Usually you burn a suit at the end of your mission, but I decided to do it a little bit early with them :) Plus it freed up a little bit of space in my suitcase! (It was a thrift store suit that was getting pretty destroyed, so no worries!) They gave me a really nice picture of their family, and they all signed my testimony journal, so that was awesome. To finish off the evening we went over to our part member family to say goodbye. All in all, it was a crazy day, but I got everything done!

On Wednesday we had our transfer meeting in Bloomington. Apparently this transfer affected 75% of the mission, so it was a HUGE transfer meeting! My whole MTC district that came to the MMM was there, so that was super fun :) I loaded all of my stuff up in the car, and then we took off for the new area. My new companion is from Provo, Utah as well. He is definitely an interesting character. Kind of an awkward duck, but he is a good kid. He came out with my greenie. My new area is his second city. Before his mission he had his own animation business, so that is kind of cool. We know a few of the same people, but not a ton. #MormonProblems. After unpacking my things and getting settled in, we had a lesson with one of our investigators. They got married on Valentines day, and he is progressing towards baptism. She has been a member for a few years, but it just now returning to activity. She works on Sundays, so it makes it tough. They have been through a lot together, and do not have very much money at all. He has quit smoking for about two weeks now, and is preparing to get baptized in March! We had a lesson with them on charity and love. He doesn't know how to read, and has a harder time learning, so our lessons with them are very basic. We watched a Mormon Message with them, and explained it afterward. It was a pretty good lesson. Later we visited with a returning less-active member. He is a very interesting guy. He is super rock and roll, and he is part of a screamo band. He is the lead singer of course... I will have to find out the name of his band so you can look them up on iTunes. He played a song for us about bacon.... very different. We talked to him about the atonement, and shared the talk by Brad Wilcox, "His Grace Is Sufficient." The investigator is really bright, and has a very good understanding of the gospel! In the evening we met together as a Ward Council and went over the Ward Directory. It was good to start getting to know people and the area. My companion has been here forever, so we aren't really sure if he will be my companion for another transfer. Only time will tell!

On Thursday we had an accountability call with the Sisters. Their was just white washed (took the Elders out and replaced them with Sisters) so the Sisters are completely new to the area. They were a little overwhelmed, but we talked things through. The elders in that area were kind of apostate, so this is a fresh new start for the area! The only problem is that nothing is really going on in their area right now. Later in the afternoon we went finding for a little while. We met a cool guy and then I did something tragic. I have not tripped, fallen, or slipped the entire time that I have been here in the MMM! I almost made it my whole mission... and then it happened. His driveway was SUPER icy, and I totally slipped and fell on my butt. Not cool! I guess I somehow knew it would happen sometime! Rude. In the evening we went up to Watertown, and visited with a less active member. She has not been to Church in over 12 years, and the Senior Couple have been visiting with her for the past year. She was committed to come to Church this week, so that was super exciting! The only problem is that the senior couple are going home this week with no replacement. The Church definitely needs more Senior Missionaries! We had a nice lesson with her on the miracles of Christ's ministry. We watched a few Bible Videos and got to know her better. It was a really nice visit! To finish off the evening we met with a family in the ward. They are awesome! We watched a Bible Video with them of Jesus getting water from a well from a Samaratin. I really like the ward here, but lets be real... I have never disliked any of the wards I have served in. Some areas are better than others, but ward members in general are awesome!

On Friday we had a Zone Service Project. AHHH, I love serving in the cities! Because I am serving in the Minneapolis Zone now, the Assistants even come to our Zone events and things. Kind of cool! When you serve in the cities you get a lot closer to the people in your Zone, which is a definite plus. We volunteered at a nonprofit that sends food to over 70 countries. Super awesome organization! My greenie is in this Zone as well. Kind of fun :) Later, we went and did service at a senior center in our area. We play a game with them called sweep six. Kind of a brainless game, but it mixes things up for them so that is good! You have pieces of paper with the numbers 1-6 written on it, and you roll a dice. When you get a number, you cover it up with a poker chip. First person to cover up all their numbers wins! It was a little bit traumatizing in some ways, but it worked out. There was an old lady in one of the rooms behind us that kept yelling "Help! Somebody help me! I need help!" Apparently she does that all day. The nurses check on her occasionally, but the moment they leave she goes back to yelling. Kind of nuts. I feel bad for elderly people that no longer have control over their bodies! I certainly do not want to hang on for that long. The moment I start to have issues, PULL THE PLUG! To finish off the evening we met with the a part member family. The dad has been a member his whole life, but went less-active many many years ago. He married a non-member a few years ago, and together they have had a few encounters with missionaries. The missionaries were really pushy with her, and she was really turned off to the Church. It was the example of her husband’s family that continued to give her a desire to learn more about the Church. 4 weeks ago they started going to Church with his family in his family’s ward. 2 weeks ago they came to Sacrament meeting in the ward here and met with Bishop and told him that she would like to be baptized. Before this lesson, my companion and his last companion have met with them once. She has been interviewed and is set to get baptized. For our lesson we finalized baptism plans, filled out the baptism record, and watched a Bible Video called "John the Beloved's Witness." We talked a little bit about faith, and conversion. It was an awesome lesson!

On Saturday we Weekly Planned for a little bit, and then went over to the Church. We began filling the baptismal font, and then the Ward Mission Leader and his wife arrived. While the font was filling we printed off programs and got everything ready. While we had some down time, the Ward Mission Leader made a few business phone calls. He is some kind of an executive for AT&T and he was making calls for the Summit winners for this year. The Summit is an all expense paid trip to Naples, Florida for the top sellers in each region. He put the phone on speaker, so we got to hear everyones reactions. Super cool experience! At 3:30, the investigator was baptized by her husband, which was really cool. She is pregnant, so now they are both members and active, and they will be a happy Mormon family :) I think in a way that may have helped to spark this decision! To finish off the day we had a lesson with a family. We watched a Mormon Message about the hope of God's light, and talked about how God can help us through any of our trials! The wife had a super bad headache, and they didn't have any money for ibuprophen, so it was kind of tough, but last minute they found some money and ran over to the drug store. Kind of a scattered lesson, but it all worked out.

On Sunday, 1st Sunday of Lent and George Washington's Birthday, we had Ward Council in the morning, and then Church at 9:00. Yuck! Back to 9:00 AM Church... the less-active member who hadn’t been to church in 12 years came to Church which was AWESOME, and our new member was confirmed. Turns out a lot of people in this Ward are from Provo, but most of them went to Timpview. I'm pretty sure when I tell them I went to Provo High School they all think that I'm one of those poor Provo kids, but whatever. The more they get to know me the more they will love me :) After Church we had a meeting with Bishop, and then we went to an open house for the a couple at Bishops house. They are going to Vermont to serve another mission in a few weeks. They will be caretakers for Joseph Smiths home I believe, so that will be really fun for them! In the evening we had correlation over at the a member’s home. I love that family! Pretty sure we are going to be buddies :) I also found out that one of the coaches for the Minnesota Vikings are in our ward, so that will be super cool! He was at an NFL event this past week, but soon I will get to meet him and his family! All in all, it was a really good week and I really like this new area. Life is good :)

Thank you all for all of your love and support. You are the best! Have a great week :)

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, February 16, 2015

Don't be a TROLL, LOVE the people!

Hello Everyone,

Things are going well here in Minnesnowta! It snowed today of course, but life is good :) It is Presidents Day, so we are emailing from the Junckers home. We got our transfer emails this morning, and I am being transferred to another area and will be serving with a different elder. Holy cow, I am not a fan of packing! If any of you would like, I would be totally okay with your flying out to Minnesota and helping me pack up all my stuff haha. It will all work out though.

Last Monday we had our P-Day, and then we had Family Home Evening with a family in the ward. Later we visited with Bishop and his family and shared a Valentines message with them about love and service. We shared the video "Because Of Him" and talked about the love that Jesus Christ has for each one of us. We finished off the evening by stopping by a less-active member that Bishop asked us to visit with. We talked to him briefly and shared a quick message with him. It was a really great evening!

On Tuesday we had accountability calls in the morning, and then we went on exchange with the Zone Leaders. I was with an elder from Idaho. We visited with a less-active member and shared a message with him about the importance of serving others. We talked about the service that is provided in Church, and invited him to come worship with us. He loves Church, but admitted that he was just lazy and didn't want to wake up early. Hopefully he will experience a mighty change of heart! Later we visited with an investigator family and set up a return appointment with them for next Wednesday. In the evening we went over to our new member family’s home and talked to them about the Plan of Salvation, which sparked some more interest in doing their family history. To finish off the evening we had a lesson with a part member family. We talked about Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. We shared one of the new Bible Videos with them, and committed them all to come to Church with us on Sunday. A few concerns were brought up, but we resolved their concerns and recommitted them to come to Church! Here is a funny story from our visit with them :) Their washing machine broke, and the son and a friend fixed it up earlier that day. They were SUPER behind on laundry, so in the middle of the lesson the mom had to move over a load of laundry, and put a new load in the washer. She was washing a load of jeans, and decided to check all the pockets before she put them in the wash. She started up the washer, and came upstairs with something in her hand. She then looked at her son and said, "What is this?" with a smirk on her face as she stretched out a red condom that she had found in his jeans pocket. Embarrased, he responded, "What?!?! I was playing with it. My friend gave it to me, and we inflate them like a balloon! It's fun!" It was pretty hilarious! Apparently we will need to recover the Law of Chastity ;)

On Wednesday we all got together for the last District Meeting of the transfer. I gave a training on Key Indicators for Conversion, using a lot of references from a book that I received from my Grandparents, "The Highly Effective Missionary." We talked about how numbers represent people, and so when we work towards numerical goals, they represent the lives of those whom we are inviting to come unto Christ. For our role play, we went through the past week in our planners and discussed with another missionary what went well, what needs improvement, and how we can make the necessary changes to become more effective missionaries. For Valentines Day I gave everyone some Trolli Gummy Worm candies, but I coloured in the "i" on Trolli and said "Don't be a TROLL, LOVE the people!" It was a pretty fun District Meeting :) Afterward we took District Pictures and went on our way. In the afternoon we stopped by one of our investigators, and he was not home. His roommates, however, invited us in and we had a lesson with them. A woman was there and told us that she is a Mormon and that she would like to come back to Church again! We got all of her information so that we can transfer her records into the ward, and she is super excited to come back to Church! It is super cool to see how God works things out sometimes! We had some extra time one day, and so were tracting in the investigator’s trailer park. We set up a return appointment, and although he wasn't there, we met someone that is a lost sheep! #Miracle In the evening we had a lesson with a part-member family on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked mainly about faith and repentance, and committed the dad to start reading the Book of Mormon again! Later we visited with the another part-member family and shared a Valentines Day message with them about love and made Valentines cards for them to give to their siblings and friends. The mom has 10 foster kids, so their house is a little bit crazy at times. To finish off the evening we stopped by a member family and shared a quick message with them about service. The mom is the Relief Society President, and so we discussed a few names of less-active sisters in the ward with her as well. All in all it was a great evening!

On Thursday, Abraham Lincoln's Birthday, we had accountability with our Zone Leaders and then we went over to the Family History Center and began filling out our "My Family" booklets that the Church gave us to talk to people about Family History. I am not very familiar with and family history in general, so it was an experience that's for sure! I got my booklet mostly filled out though :) Later we helped a member with some bulletin boards in the Church. She is recovering from pneumonia, yet she was working on the Relief Society bulletin board. Crazy lady! In the evening we had a lesson with one of the Sister's old investigators. We talked to him about the importance of faith. He told us basically that he was meeting with the missionaries because he is lonely because his wife passed away about a year ago. He isn't super interested in the gospel, but enjoys the company. It is too bad that he isn't willing to act on the things he has been taught, but as for right now it isn't super effective to meet with him on a regular basis. To finish off the evening we had a lesson with a family. We were going to have a lesson on the Plan of Salvation, but there was a big argument at dinner, lots of contention, and some hurt feelings in the home, so we had another Valentines message about loving one another. It worked out rather well, and things were good again when we left.

On Friday the 13th #FreakyFriday, we did service at a thrift store. We moved some things around and helped organize a few projects. Later we did our Weekly Planning and prepared for the upcoming week. It is always super weird planning for the week of transfers. It was super stressful actually, because that is when I started to realize that I could very possibly be leaving. I hate surprises! In the evening we had a lesson with the our new member family on Family History. We opened up Family Search, started filling out My Family booklets, and got to work on their family history. Holy cow, that website gave me a killer headache! By the time we left I was about to hire out professional help! A genealogist would be super useful. It worked out though, and we at least got a start on some of their family history. They are just working on collecting some names and dates and things.

On Saturday, Valentines Day, we finished up some Weekly Planning in the morning and got to work on making a bunch of cookies. We made cookies for the Junckers, the Andersons, the Mowers, the Zunigas, the Larsons, the Johnsons, the Akemans, the Pinkes, etc... we just went to town baking cookies. After lunch we went and distributed our Valentines cookies. It was super fun! Later we did some service for a family in the ward. They have a corn furnace, and so we helped them fill up bags of corn for their furnace. It was freezing cold outside, someone said it was one of the colder Valentines Days that they can remember. In the evening we had Family Home Evening with a part member family. We watched Johnny Lingo and talked about how we are all children of God and have a divine potential. We played some card games and had a great time! #HappyValentinesDay #LoveWeek #AllYouNeedIsLove

On Sunday we had Church. The part member family came to Church which was awesome! After Church we had correlation and then we went and visited an investigator. We talked to him about Christlike love, and we had a super cool experience with him. He has been waiting for months and months for his sister to call him back. He has been calling her several times a week, and has had no response. Finally, while we were over at his home, his sister called! He was astonished, and told us later that he realized that God was trying to tell him something. It was great! In the evening we went up to another town and had a lesson with an investigator family on the Plan of Salvation. We whipped out some shaving cream and drew the whole Plan of Salvation on their dining room table. It was awesome!
It was a great week, and I know that good things are in the works for this week. It will be hard (as always) to say goodbye to all my friends in this area, but I know that the Lord needs me elsewhere at this time. Wish me luck in my new area!

Best Wishes,
Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, February 9, 2015

Double Baptism

Hello Everyone,

This week has been great! On Monday, Groundhog Day, we had our P-Day. We heard that the we will be having 6 more weeks of winter... no surprise for Minnesnowta ;) I am loving this winter so far though! Sure it isn't as good as the winter back home in Utah, but it is surprisingly warm for Minnesota standards. Currently there is no snow, and the temperatures are quite mild. Hopefully it stays that way! You never know in Minnesota though, it could snow in June. Lets just pray that the bad weather holds off until May ;) On Monday evening we went over to an investigator’s home. We had a super cool experience with them when we first got there. The mom was going hardcore in the kitchen, like Iron Chef status. She was a little overwhelmed though. We offered to help her out with what she was doing, and she accepted. She was making crock pot chicken pot pies for a trade off at work. She made like six of them and was trying to get it all done quickly. We took over at the stove and helped her with the roux, and finished everything up :) Later we began teaching the daughter all the lessons. Yeah... it was a lot, but she was a champ! We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Law of Tithing, The Law of Chastity, Follow the Prophet, and discussed the baptismal interview questions. Meanwhile her mom was able to catch up on her Scentsy orders. Later that evening after we returned home, her mom texted us. She told us that she had prayed earlier that day that she would be able to finish up the frozen crock pot meals and all of her Scentsy orders before 10:00 PM, and she did it! It is always cool to see when you are able to help to be an answer to someones prayers.

On Tuesday we had a bunch of accountability calls in the morning, and then we went over to the a member’s home to clean our car. We had Zone Conference later in the week, so we had to make sure our car was spic and span! They were not home, but their two brothers were home. We were able to talk to one of her brothers after we finished cleaning our car. We talked to him about the Book of Mormon and invited him to come to Church with the family. He kindly refused, but said that he is always open to listening to missionaries. We will have to clean our car more often ;) In the evening we went to our investigator’s last swim meet of the season, and then got our hair cut by a less-active member. Yeah, my hair is always a touchy subject. I have only met her once before, and I have heard stories... She did a pretty good job, but it was a little uneven. Before we went to bed I touched it up a little bit, and things are good again :) I know what you are thinking... but sometimes you just need to be a little vain! We were able to meet their family though, and they are open to having us come over and share a message with them on occasion. We will have to see where it goes!

On Wednesday we went to a thrift store for service, and then we went on exchange. I went to the other area with an elder from Oakland, California. We were in my old area for the afternoon, and we were able to stop by a family I had taught. It was fun to see one of the families that I was teaching while I was in that ward! They were very different though. One of them is not active anymore, and you can see that there is something missing. She used to want to be a missionary, and their family was actively taking the discussions. Kind of sad. We invited them to attend the ward party on Saturday, but they had a birthday party planned for their son. After visiting with them we went and visited with a member couple. They both have A LOT of health challenges now, and they are basically waiting to die, but other than that, they are doing great! Yep... that sounded kind of odd. We talked to them about faith, and how faith can help us to overcome. In the evening we went over to the a member’s home, and had a lesson with their progressing investigator. We taught the restoration, and then I interviewed him for his baptism date of February 14th. What a "love"ly day ;) It was probably one of the most thorough and lengthy baptismal interviews that I have ever heard of on my mission! Usually it lasts about 30 minutes, and it took an hour and a half! He is definitely a talker, and has a lot to say about the gospel, so that is a good thing I guess ;) Just very long... Then we went back to the apartment and went to bed.

Thursday morning at around 2:00 AM my exchange companion woke me up and told me that he had a SUPER bad headache and that he hadn't been able to get to sleep yet. He said that he felt like his head was shaking, and that he needed to go to the emergency room. So I got up out of bed, changed quickly, had him call President Forbes (because the Emergency Room is SUPER expensive, so we need permission to go unless it is a real emergency), and then we were off! Turns out there isn't a hospital in that area, so we had to drive to to a different city. They admitted him, checked things out, did a CT scan, and gave him 800 mg of Ibuprofen. It took quite a while, so we got home around 4:00 AM. I wish I would have been more awake at the time to help diagnose him so that I could have just told him to take some pain medication and go back to sleep, but it all worked out. At least they were able to determine that there was no real underlying problem. Apparently he had had a headache most of the day, but he was just waiting for it to go away which is why it got so bad! On Thursday after getting some sleep, we exchanged back and went on our way. Holy cow, I was SUPER tired. Luckily that area has a Sonic :) Day made! We went and did service at a thrift store, and set up some cool shelves. My companion mostly helped out in the back breaking down boxes and things while a member and I set up displays. In the evening we went and visited with a member and talked to her about goal setting and execution. We shared the Emmett Smith Story with her, which was super good! It is a video that I have that shows a runner who had surgery and was told that he couldn't walk again, and he ended up getting back to running in a year. Super good example of goal setting and execution :) To finish off the evening we stopped by a member family and dropped off some food and a card. The mom has had pneumonia for a few weeks, and so they haven't been able to meet with them. We actually haven't been able to meet with them since the Sister Missionaries left. Lame! One day...

On Friday we had Zone Conference in St. Cloud. Sister Forbes gave a really good training on how to study the scriptures effectively, and President Forbes gave a training on planning and execution of the NAC initiative. That is a big thing in our mission right now. We are all focusing on part-member families, children of record, and prospective elders. They kind of has been the focus of my mission on my own, so it has been nice having it transition to a whole mission focus! Sister Forbes even took pictures of us all at lunch and texted it to our Moms haha. She loves hearing from our moms. In fact, the whole day she was reading off responses from our moms. Kind of funny! In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had a lesson with a new member family on Priesthood and Auxiliaries and talked about how they all have their own responsibilities and things in the Church. We watched a few really good videos on the Priesthood, Personal Progress, and Relief Society. To finish off the evening, we had a lesson with an investigator family on tithing. I have a TON of candy, so we used candy to demonstrate the principle of tithing. We all had 20 or so jelly beans that I got from a member for Christmas, and we payed our tithing with jelly bean currency. Everyone seemed to understand it pretty clearly! Candy is a pretty good motivator haha ;)

On Saturday we had a baptism in the morning, and then another was baptized at 1:00. It was a crazy morning! Everything came together perfectly though :) We shared a message at both baptisms, which was kind of fun. We watched the Mormon Message, "Reclaimed", and talked about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how we can repent and be cleansed of sin. We have the examples of the people who were just baptized to follow, because they are nice and clean! But luckily we can renew those covenants each Sunday in Sacrament Meeting :) Afterward we went over to a family’s and did some service for them. We put up some wallpaper in their home, which was pretty eventful. I have never put up wallpaper before! While we were over, some Amish people stopped by and wanted to look at their house. The family is planning on moving in the next few years, and the Amish people in the community found out about it and want an Amish person to move into their home. They have a had a few Amish people tour their home the past few months. They were really kind, and we were even able to have a gospel conversation with one of them. Crazy to think that if they moved into their home, they would rip out all the plumbing and electrical features. I certainly couldn't do it, but more power to them! I would probably die without plumbing and electricity. No hot showers, cell phones, lights, flushing toilets, etc... No thank you! For the remainder of the evening we weekly planned. We just haven't had a ton of time to plan this week! It flew by.

On Sunday one of our new members was confirmed in Sacrament meeting, and her sister (non-member) gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. It was a super good service! In the afternoon we visited with an investigator and talked to her about our lesson in gospel principles, the fall of Adam and Eve. Her memory is getting a little bit worse, but she is hanging on! Favorite quote from our visit, "God forbid I live to be 100!". She is a fun lady! In the evening we had a lesson with our investigator family on the Law of Chastity, so that is always exciting ;) They had a friend over, and his Mom wanted him to sit in on the lesson. She thought it was hilarious! She was very open with her comments ;) It was definitely an experience!

All in all it was a super good week, full of a few little surprises! It was a good week though :) Next Monday we will get our transfer emails, so that should be interesting. I have no clue what is going to happen. I have two transfers left, so I could stay here for the rest of my mission, or I could go over to a new area. We shall see! I hope you all have a great week, and a Happy Valentine's Day :) Talk to you soon!

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, February 2, 2015

Stand ye in holy places

Hello Everyone,

HAPPY GROUND HOG DAY :) Hopefully spring will soon be approaching! What is the verdict?

This week has been great! Not what I ever expected it to be, but usually it isn't. Plans were made to be changed ;) On Monday we had District P-Day at the Hogan's Pole Barn. We were given permission to watch the movie Frozen, so that was SUPER good! I have heard people talking about Frozen for over a year now, so it was good to get some closure on the situation! Definitely a movie I will watch again. In the evening we went out joint teaching and had Family Home Evening with an investigator family. We played the card game "B.S." and then we had a message on faith.

On Tuesday we had accountability calls in the morning, and then we had to go over to the Family History Center to update some referrals. The Church updated their referral system, and so we had to learn and update the system. Earlier we had a call in referral system that we had to call, enter a referral ID number, and update over the phone. Now the system is all online and is MUCH easier to use! In the evening we went over to a High School to witness a new member’s swim meet. He was baptized about a year ago, and we have been trying to get to know him and his family a little better. His Mom is a member, and his dad and younger sister are not members.

On Wednesday we had District Meeting. I gave a training on relying on the Holy Ghost and following the promptings we receive. It was kind of cool to look back on my experiences with the Holy Ghost over the years, and over the span of my mission. At the beginning I honestly had no clue what it was, and how to rely on it. I still have a lot of learning to do, but I have made progress! After District Meeting I went on exchange with an elder from Herriman, Utah. To start off the exchange I interviewed an investigator for his baptism next week. We had a really great discussion as we met together. As we talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy, he shared a really cool experience he had with me. He told me that he had never taken the sacrament before when he came to Church because it is to RENEW your baptismal covenants, and he had not made any baptism covenants. This past week, however, he did take the sacrament. He mentioned that as he partook of the bread and the water, he could physically feel something. A renewal of some sort. He mentioned that it was a really uplifting experience for him and that he felt re-energized afterward. Super cool! He committed to come to Church for life, and is set to be baptized on February 7th. While we were at the Church, a particular man walked in and asked to meet with the Bishop. No one knew who it was! He talked with the Bishop about getting some diapers and some money to fill up his car on gas. The Bishop agreed, and asked if the missionaries could share a quick message with him. We talked about the restoration of the Church, and committed him to read the Book of Mormon and to pray and ask if it is true. He is searching for a lot of things right now, and has overcome a very scary past. Hopefully it will only get better here on out! He has a lot of potential though :)

On Thursday we exchanged back, and went and did some service at a thrift store. In the evening we went out joint teaching, and had a lesson with an investigator family. We talked about fasting and fast offerings. Our joint teacher shared some really great experiences that he has had with fasting, and we committed everyone to come to Church and to fast this Sunday.

On Friday we had Weekly Planning, and then we went and did some service at a thrift store. In the evening we had a lesson with a member on standing in holy places. We talked about the principle of surrounding yourself with good things. We shared a story about a mother who's husband was lost at sea, and her fear of her children becoming sailors. When they grew up each one of them went out to sea, and she was absolutely terrified. One day she was talking with one of her friends, and was very upset. Her friend noticed that on the walls of their home they had pictures of the ocean, sailing, etc... No wonder the boys became sailors! We talked to her about putting pictures in her home of Jesus Christ and the temple, and uplifting things. We shared the scripture, "Stand ye in holy places." Afterward we had a lesson with an investigator family. We shared the restoration with them, and put together a puzzle of Christs Church. Of course a few pieces were missing until Joseph Smith restored them! The lesson worked out really well, and they were all really involved. It was awesome!

On Saturday we had a lesson with a member. We shared with her the parable of the ten virgins, and talked about preparing for the second coming. Later in the afternoon we went and did some NAC (North American Central Initiative - i.e. part-member families, children of record, and prospective elders) work, and some finding. We found a few people that had moved, and one individual that DID NOT want any contact with the Church. In the evening we had a lesson with a new member famiy on missionary work. We shared a movie called Labor of Love, and talked about ways that they can be missionaries. The mom had surgery earlier in the week on her SI joint (somewhere in your back), but was feeling a lot better. To finish off the day we had a lesson with an investigator family. One of them had some friends over, and the mom asked us to teach a lesson on honesty. One day prior, they took cans of spray paint and decorated the downstairs with some graffiti. They wanted it to be a secret, so they spray painted the furnace room. Bad idea! Luckily nothing bad happened, but you generally should keep spray aerosol cans away from a furnace ;) The fumes were really bad, however, and so they needed to clear out the house and let it air out for a while. We reviewed the 10 commandments, and shared a Mormon message about honesty. The video was called, "Honesty: You Better Believe It!" It was super good :) All in all, it was a really great day!

On Sunday the start of the day was not so great. Fast Sundays are kind of tough sometimes when you are a missionary. No naps, no nothing :p We went to Church, and our investigator family was unable to come, however, the other family was there as usual. After Church had finished, one of them came up to us and told us that she wants to get baptized! WHAT?!?!?! She told us that they have family coming for the weekend, and that she would like to be baptized on Saturday, February 7th. Crazy! The stars have all aligned though. Our Zone Leaders will be able to interview her on Wednesday, today we will be reviewing all the lessons with her, and so everything should work out! Super cool how it all came together :) Fasting... gotta love it haha ;) In the afternoon we visited with a member and shared a message from an older Ensign called "The Family: The Center Of The Gospel." We talked about the importance of families, and the great influence that she has on others. To finish off the day, we went out joint teaching. We visited with a family, and watched Bonnie L. Oscarson's speech, "Be Ye Converted". We talked about family history and conversion to the gospel. It was kind of interesting how it all worked out. When we moved from the kitchen table over to their TV to watch the speech, the our joint teacher groaned a little bit as he stood up and moved, and then laughed and said that none of us know yet. He then told us that he had been diagnosed with leukemia, and that his joints hurt really bad. He received a blessing earlier that day, but still... cancer is scary stuff. I am so grateful for him coming out joint teaching with us, but it totally freaked me out when he told us. What is he doing coming out joint teaching with us when he has leukemia?!?!? People these days ;)

All in all it was a really great week! The weather has cooled down a bit, but life is still good :) Thank you all for all of your love and support. You are the best! I will talk to you soon.

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews