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!
Elder Kyle William Andrews