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.
Elder Kyle William Andrews