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 familysearch.org 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!
Elder Kyle William Andrews