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 :)
Elder Kyle William Andrews