Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Service

Hello Everyone,

This week has been great! On Monday a recent-convert took us to the Minnesota Zoo for our District P-Day. It was super fun :) I of course took a million pictures, and we had a super good time! I am not going to lie... I had my doubts about this District P-Day, but it all worked out. It snowed a ton on Sunday evening, so we weren't sure if we were going to be able to go, but they were open and the animals were alive and well! In the evening we had a lesson with a former investigator that the missionaries have visited with in the past. He is part of the Christian Alliance for Crown College. He knows A LOT about our Church. He made a diagram and compared our Church to the Roman Catholic Church that he was raised in, and pointed out a lot of similarities. We explained why so many Christian religions are so similar, and then talked about what sets us apart. He is definitely a talker, but we were able to set up a return appointment to talk with him in more detail.

On Tuesday we went over to the library and did our time. The Church gave us early access to the new video, "Because He Lives" so we were able to preview it and start planning for the big Easter initiative. Later we did a little bit of Area Book Work. In the evening we went over to a family’s home and talked to them about Prophets. We watched the movie, "On The Lord's Errand" that talks about the life of President Thomas S. Monson. We had a really great lesson, and they told us that they wanted to come to the Minnesota Mormon Chorale performance of the Lamb of God on Sunday!

On Wednesday we had Zone Training. We talked a lot about the Easter Initiative, and how we can reach out to as many people as possible in the week that we have for the Easter Initiative. Kind of a crazy week, because it is also our transfer week! It will all work out though :) After Zone Training I had an interview with President Forbes where I discovered that he signed all the missionaries ecclesiastical endorsements a while ago. I renewed my temple recommend and then petitioned him for an extension. He told me that the Church only grants extensions for special circumstances now, and because I am an English missionary it wasn't going to happen. Oh well. It kind of rocked my world though to realize that I for sure am going home on May 13th. He also told me that the Church has probably already bought my plane ticket home. Crazy! We helped Sister Forbes drop a few things off at the Mission Home, and she gave us a little tour of the Mission Home. I have never been in the Mission Home before, so it was kind of fun :) Occasionally you go in the Mission Home on your first day as a missionary if you are a smaller group, but because I came out with 35 other people, they just did everything at the Church. On our way home, we hit up restaurant and had a Juicy Lucy (a hamburger with cheese on the inside). It is a Minnesota specialty, so I had to get one before I went home haha! We drove through Downtown Minneapolis, which is my favorite, and then headed for our area. Usually I don't write about dinner appointments... but we had an interesting experience at our dinner appointment with a member family. Let me preface this by saying that I usually tell people that I am allergic to seafood, but I haven't done that in this ward. Sure enough, we show up for dinner, and we are having salmon. These were HUGE fillets of fish. I remember one time that I was in the cities and a sweet African woman fed us a whole fish with the eyes and scales on and everything, and it just brought back some... unique memories haha ;) NASTY! I have discovered that if you do not chew food, you cannot taste it as much, so I broke up my fish and swallowed it whole. Definitely an experience haha! To finish off the evening we had a lesson with a family. They had just finished watching Evan Almighty, an updated version of Noah's Ark. The dad had a lot of questions about Noah and Prophets, so we had a lesson on Noah's Ark and on Prophets haha :) It was a really good lesson, and you could tell that he was SUPER interested in what we had to say. Hopefully we were able to answer all of his questions!

On Thursday we did our weekly service at the library. We were making these passports for reading time. My companion was using the dye cut to cut up barns and eggs, and I stapled them together and bundled them up. It was a process, but it was kind of fun. Projects are always an adventure :) In the afternoon I had accountability with the Sisters. Things are starting to pick up in their area, so that is super exciting! To finish off the evening we had Family Home Evening with a family. We talked a little bit more about the Lamb of God and we played Phase 10. I totally dominated, but who is counting haha ;)

On Friday we had accountability with the Zone Leaders and then gossip hour with the Sister Training Leaders. Afterward we went over to the the Senior Center and played Yahtzee with the residents. Haha old people crack me up ;) In the evening we had a lesson with an investigator. We watched the movie "Finding Faith In Christ" and talked to her a little bit more about tithing and fast offerings. We brought a tithing slip and showed her how to fill it out. On Sunday she came and paid fast offerings, but she just put some cash in an envelope and gave it to the Bishop. So we got everything straightened up :) I heard that One Direction split up... my heart broke a little bit, but I think I can be strong. #OneDirectionForever

On Saturday we went finding for a good chunk of time. Later in the afternoon we visited with a family in the ward. To finish off the day, we had a lesson with another family. The mom was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease a while ago, and she visited with a doctor and he told her that she had about 10 years left to live. She was NOT doing well when we stopped by. We talked with the husband for a while, and then he invited us into their home. She was on the phone and was yelling and crying, and was very upset. We talked with him for a while, and then she came out to visit with us. Luckily we were able to get her to laugh and to improve her mood. We talked about how coming to Church would help, and that she would be able to visit with the Bishop and talk things through. All in all it was a really good lesson.

On Sunday, Palm Sunday, we had our Easter Service at Church. It was super good! We had a few musical numbers, and some really great talks. AND... our investigators came to church! It was awesome. The ward mission leader and his family are on vacation right now, so I was put in charge of teaching Gospel Essentials. I taught a lesson on the Priesthood and different quorums and auxiliaries. It went pretty well, and then at the end of the lesson I shared the new #BecauseOfHim video that the Church produced. On Sunday evening we attended the Minnesota Mormon Chorale & Orchestra's performance of the Lamb of God with a family. It was really good. Last years performance was a little bit better, but it was still super good :) While we were there I was able to talk with quite a few missionaries that I know, and I heard some good news, and some not so good news. The ward is doing great! On the other hand, my replacement in my last area made that ward hate missionaries. So that was super sad to hear. Not good! It looks like he was transferred though, so hopefully they will be able to rebuild that trust.

Today we got our transfer emails, and I am staying here and my companion is getting transferred to North Branch. I am excited to see what exciting things are to come this transfer! It is super weird to think that this will be my last transfer.

Thank you all for all of your love and support. I hope you have a great week and that all is well back home. Talk to you soon!

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, March 23, 2015

Because He Lives

Hello Everyone,

This week has been good. Super slow though! On Monday, Benito Juarez's Birthday (MX) (yeah... who knows who that is. It was printed on my calendar though! Must have been a good guy!), we had our P-Day. A member cut our hair so that was exciting... In case you were wondering, my fear of people (not professionals) cutting my hair has not improved. I have gotten a little bit better at not cringing when people go to chop my hair though ;) He did a pretty good job. After getting my hair cut, we had to take a picture with the new Minnesota / St. Patrick's Day shirt that I bought at Target that morning. It was super cheap, and represents Minnesota perfectly haha! We borrowed some "beverages" from the members to complete the look. For work parties and other events he has acquired quite a few "beverages" that they use for cooking. Or at least that is what they told us ;) In the evening we visited with a new family that moved into the ward. We had some good laughs, and they shared a bunch of great stories with us!

On Tuesday, St. Patrick's Day, we had District Meeting at the a member’s home. It was kind of fun having District Meeting in someone's home :) We talked about working with members, and had a lot of really great discussions. For the training, I borrowed a hand out from one of my former trainings. I gave everyone a Skor bar that said "SKOR Some Referrals - Work With Members." All in all, it worked out really great! It was our last District Meeting for the transfer, so that was kind of crazy. Our investigators were sick, so they had to cancel their appointment with us, so we did a lot of finding in the evening.

On Wednesday we did some time in the morning, and then for the remainder of the day we basically went finding. We had some appointments in the afternoon and evening, but they again cancelled. Kind of the theme of this week! It was a rough day. Luckily, it all worked out. "I am yet alive" (Mosiah 7:12).

On Thursday we did our weekly service at the library. This week I decided to take on some bigger projects. I took the carts of DVD's and audio books, and went and put them all away. The adult DVD's and audio books were no problem, but the children's DVD's and audio books were a disaster! So I took them all off the shelf and alphabetized them all and reorganized them. It took a little while, but it was totally worth it :) I love organization. A warning to all you children, you best not touch my organized shelves! In the afternoon we went and visited with an investigator. We watched a video with her called "Easter Dream". It shares a great message about the importance of Easter and celebrating the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ! We talked with her about how General Conference would be on Easter this year, and she asked us a few questions about General Conference. We also talked a little bit about fasting. Because of the way our schedule works out, Fast Sunday was this week, next week will be our Easter Sunday service, and then we have General Conference. We had a really great discussion with her! Afterward we stopped by a few potentials, and made our way back to the city. In the evening we visited with a family. He invited his mother and brother-in-law over for dinner who are not members. After dinner we had a great discussion about Easter, and watched the Churches video from last Easter called "Because of Him." His brother-in-law really liked the video and mentioned that the wording really reminded him of a video that he had seen recently. He then shared a really cool YouTube video with us. It is a song by Kari Jobe called "Forever". It is super good and you should definitely look it up :) All in all, it was a really good day!

On Friday, the first day of Spring, we had a Zone Service Project. #HairnetSwag #MannaPack #FMSC It is always fun to get together as a zone :) After our Zone Service Project we had accountability with the Zone Leaders and gossip hour with the Sister Training Leaders. All in all things are going pretty well in our District, we are all just trying to find new people to teach! Later we went over and did our weekly service at the senior living center. We played a game called sweep six this week. You have the numbers 1-6 written on a board and the goal is to be the first person to roll all the numbers. You go around in a circle and roll the dice, and when you roll a number you cover it with a poker chip. To quote one of the residents, "It's a mindless game." Old people are hilarious! "ROLL THE DICE!" "SHAKE IT!" "IT'S YOUR TURN!" There is quite a bit of yelling. Gotta love hearing loss haha ;) In the evening we did our Weekly Planning, because our morning was all booked out. This week a lot of plans were able to be transferred over, because most of our appointments fell through. I am not entirely sure what we are doing wrong, but something certainly needs to change!

On Saturday we did a lot of Area Book Work in the morning. Our Area Book was horrendous. I almost completely redid the Area Book, but then I was reminded that soon they would be going digital and will have the Area Book App, so it wouldn't matter anyway. When I was in a different area, I completely redid our Area Book and it was awesome! I called everyone on the Ward Directory, cleared out old numbers, got rid of people that didn't live there anymore, etc... I also called all of our potentials, rewrote them all, and reorganized them in alphabetical order and in order by city. It was super nice :) I love organization! But at least I made a little bit of headway on the Area Book. It will now be easier for them to transfer everything to the Area Book App whenever that happens. In the afternoon we visited with a member and talked with him about the importance of faith and continuing to learn and grow in the Church. He is kind of in a tough spot right now. He is 34 years old, single, and in a family ward. He was kicked out of his singles ward because he is too old, and Minnesota doesn't have mid-singles wards. He isn't particularly enthused about getting married either... bad experiences in the past. But it makes being in a family ward kind of awkward. As we were leaving the Elders Quorum President stopped by, so it was definitely inspired timing! To finish off the evening we had Family Home Evening with a family. My companion’s Mom sent some fudge and some gifts for a few people that my companion has grown close to in this area, and so he gave the family a few games like a marbles game that they bought at Swiss Days, and a dice game called Tenzi. We played Tenzi, a game called Anomia, and a game called Pirates Dice. Later we shared a Mormon Message called "Look Not Behind Thee" and talked about Lot's Wife. It was a very fun evening :)

On Sunday our beautiful spring weather came to an end. It snowed again. The roads were pretty sketchy, plus it was just plain depressing to have a bunch of snow again haha! We had open mic Sunday for Church (Fast Sunday haha). Sacrament meeting was really awesome! I definitely had to hold myself together when a member was bearing her testimony about an experience she had a few weeks ago. She was flying home to Utah to visit with some family, and while she was at the airport in Utah she noticed a missionary sitting alone. She talked with him and found out that he was returning home from his mission in England. They talked for a while and discovered that they grew up in the same area, Beaver, Utah. They discussed a few people that they both knew, and then boarded the plane. Ironically, they were sitting across the isle from each other. They talked for a bit, and then the drink cart got in the way. At this point, he started talking to the woman he was sitting next to about the Church, and bearing strong testimony of the truths of the gospel. She later learned that he had been inactive for 18 years, and that it was a HUGE change for him to be going on his mission. As they arrived at the Salt Lake airport, she noticed that he looked a little bit lost. She helped him find the baggage claim, and his family. Then she watched him descend down the escalator and greet his family after two years of service as a missionary. She shared the scripture from Matthew 25, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" and talked about how eager she was for her children to serve missions and to return home and descend down the escalator. The part of this story that is seldom told is how difficult it is to pack up and leave, and prepare for your descent down the escalator. But all in all, it was a super good sacrament meeting! I did have a cool thought after Church though :) By no means is this doctrine, but maybe one day it will be! Wouldn't it be great if for the sacrament we had Diet Coke instead of water and maybe some tortilla chips instead of bread? Chips and salsa would probably be a bit much, but it sure would be fun! Haha that is all :) After Church we had our weekly meeting with the Bishop, and then we started off on our day. We visited with some investigators... who didn't come to Church... again. We talked about the importance of Church, and invited them to attend Easter Sunday next week and then General Conference the week after. At dinner, the a family gave us a challenge for our meeting with the ward mission leader’s family to use the word "LOL" as much as possible. My companion was not up to the challenge, but I totally was! My companion was in charge of counting how many times I slipped lol into the conversation, and we were to report to the family later. We were not allowed to tell the the ward mission leader’s family about the challenge until we were leaving their home. While we were at their house, I said lol 20 times! I probably could have done a little better, but it was definitely a good time :) Their oldest made a face every time I said it, so she was relieved when we told them about the lol challenge! With the ward mission leader’s family after our weekly correlation meeting, we shared a message about the importance of the Book of Mormon and missionary work. We had a really great discussion with them. Definitely a great ending to the week :)

The Church is producing a new video for the Easter season called "Because He Lives." Starting on March 28th, they will be introducing a special series of messages centered on the power of the living Christ. Should be good :) #BecauseHeLives

Thank you all for your love and support! Thing are going well :) I hope you are all enjoying the spring! Have a great week.

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ice Fishing

Hello Everyone,

This week has been great! On Monday we had our Zone P-Day up in Minneapolis. We watched the Saratov Approach, which was AMAZING, and then we went on a selfie scavenger hunt. It was a super fun day :) After our Zone P-Day, I went on exchange with an elder from Utah (of course haha). On exchange we were able to visit with a family briefly, and then we had a lesson with a couple. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He wasn't feeling very well because he got all wet when he was ice fishing and was starting to come down with a cold, but he held it together and we had a pretty great lesson! To finish off the evening we went over and visited with another family and submitted our numbers online.

On Tuesday I had an interview with an elder which was really great, and then we had District Meeting afterwards. Because the Zone Leaders came, we were able to have District Meeting at the Church. Gotta love the rule of 3 ;) We talked about "Revelation Through Church Attendance". For District Meeting we went on a Church tour, and talked about the 3 main obstacles that prevent our investigators from coming to Church. 1) They don't know where the physical building is. (Solved by a Church tour.) 2) They don't know the procedures of a Church service. (Solved by a Church tour.) 3) They don't know anyone there. (Have a member accompany you on a Church tour.) Bam! Problems solved :) It was a really fun District Meeting! In the evenign we had a lesson with a family. We watched half of Johnny Lingo, and set up a time later in the week to finish it. The best part, is my companion and I both left our bags over at their house. #MissionaryProblems

On Wednesday morning we went back over to their house to pick up our bags. The Sister asked us to come in, and told us that she wanted to speak with us. She was explaining to us how her kids have been meeting with missionaries for more than 7 years now, and it wasn't until just recently that things started to click. She said that they look forward to meeting with us now, and are excited to learn more about the gospel. She joked that they haven't yet realized that they have been covering the same lesson material for 7 years! Good things are happening though. Afterward we went over to a charity and did some service. We were able to have a really great conversation with the people we were working with. They were very curious as to who we were and why we were so far away from home. They worked for a patent law firm, which sounds like a really cool career. Overall, we had a really great discussion while we were helping to feed starving children :) After our service, we blitzed the Sisters area. They have been struggling a little bit since they white washed the area, so I thought it would be good to give them a little bit of extra assistance. Since we can't go on exchange, this is the next best thing! After our blitz, we met with a recent-convert. She was taping up her living room to paint it, and we offered to help her out. She is awesome! It was good to be able to get to know her better, and to be able to help out a little bit.

On Thursday we did our Weekly Service at the library. I put away and organized the childrens books, so that was pretty fun. We also got to use a dye cut to cut out 350 school busses. Yep, our arms were SUPER sore! After our service, I had an accountability call with the Sisters. They had just gotten back from an exchange with the Sister Training Leaders, and they had a super great experience! Their spirits were high, and they sounded refreshed and more excited about the work. Exchanges are the best. In the evening we went back over to the family’s home and finished watching Johnny Lingo. We talked about our individual worth, and the importance of sharing our love and serving others. AND we didn't forget our bags this time, so that was a definite plus!

On Friday we had accountability with the Zone Leaders and what I call gossip hour... coordination with the Sister Training Leaders. Kind of a weird concept. It is a new thing that the Church is doing, but when you have Sisters in your District, you have a call with the Sister Training Leaders to discuss how things are going for the Sisters. Kind of different, but I think it is a good thing. Sometimes Elders just don't realize all the things Sisters are going through, so this is a great way to point those things out and to find out ways how to best help them. Afterward we went over to the Senior Center and played games with some elderly people. It is so cute! These old people look forward to playing games with us all week. We played Yahtzee again this week, and I am definitely getting a lot better at it. I even got a Yahtzee this week! (All the dice were the same number.) Yep, I was pretty impressed with myself! In the afternoon we did our Weekly Planning for the week, which is always great. Gotta love planning! In the evening we went up to the High School to attend the youth of the Stake perform "Journey With Joseph." It is a musical composed by member in the Plymouth Ward that walks you through the life of Joseph Smith. It was super good! For mutual for the past few months they have been practicing and preparing for this event, and it turned out awesome. Our investigators came and had a great time! All in all, it was a super good day!

On Saturday we did our time at the library in the morning. I finished looking at classes and registration stuff for BYU, and I am pretty sure I am done now! I talked with President Forbes, and scheduled an interview with him for my ecclesiastical endorsement and to renew my temple recommend. We have Zone Training on March 25th, so I will get everything done then. I guess it is a good thing that I have a later registration date, because I wouldn't be able to get everything done before then... still though... my registration date totally sucks haha! Ironically I got an email from BYU this week informing me that registration is approaching and that I should speak with my Mission President about renewing my ecclesiastical endorsement. One step ahead ;) In the afternoon we had a lesson with a family. Their home teacher, came joint teaching with us. We talked about the restoration of the Church, and watched a quick video about the restoration. We talked about the importance of asking questions, reading the scriptures, and praying as well. All in all it was a super great lesson! In the evening we had a lesson with another family. We stopped by their home, and the wife told us that her husband was out on the lake ice fishing. So we went out on the lake and found him! We had a brief lesson with him, and he showed us a thing or two about ice fishing. The ice is starting to get fairly thin, so it was a little bit sketchy, but it all worked out! Just don't step in a hole ;)

On Sunday, the Ides of March and my 22 month mark, we had Church in the morning. We were kind of low on numbers on Sunday, but overall it was a good service. After Church we had correlation with the ward mission leader and then we went out finding for a little while. Sunday our plans kind of came crashing down, so we had to do some reevaluating. We were going to go to the Presidents Fireside with our investigators, but they had to cancel last minute. So we finished up some Weekly Planning, and walked out to the island in the middle of the lake. The lake was mostly frozen in some spots, but we were definitely risking it in a few other areas :p When we jumped off the ice on to the island, the section of ice that we were walking on broke off, so that was pretty eventful! The island is super cool. Forever ago it was a booming island with hotels and homes and restaurants, but then there was a big fire and everyone left it desolate. It is rumored that Al Capone was hiding on the island for a while. There are old cars and abandoned homes all over the island. It was super cool! You have to be super careful to not step into an abandoned well and you cannot walk into the homes because you have no clue how sturdy the cement is, but it was still cool to be able to see it all! We cannot get in boats, so our only opportunity to see it is when the lake is frozen over. It was definitely an experience!

All in all it was a pretty good week. Kind of slow in parts, but it all worked out. Thank you so much for all of your love and support. You are the best! Have a great week :)

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, March 9, 2015

Finding is the key!

Hello Everyone,

This week has been crazy as always, but things are going great! On Monday we met with a recent-convert in the ward. She offered to take our District to the Minnesota State Zoo for our District P-Day at the end of the month, so that should be super fun :) In the evening we visited with a less active family. We talked about prophets and gave them the movie "On The Lords Errand" to watch as a homework assignment. Amy wasn't feeling very well, so it was a pretty quick lesson.

On Tuesday we had District Meeting at the Sisters' apartment community room. We talked about developing the faith to find and creative finding ideas. Both of our areas are kind of dead right now, so finding will be key! Afterward we went over to a charity and did some service. There were not very many people there, so it was great to be able to help them out! #HairNetSwag #MannaPack In the evening we got a call from the some Elders asking if we could go over to the hospital and give a blessing to a member of their ward. We met a super sweet lady in their Ward! Her heart was racing and she had a really bad bladder infection so they admitted her to the hospital. She was so grateful that we responded so quickly to her request for a blessing! To finish off the evening we went over to the a family’s home and talked about the restoration. We watched the movie "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoation" and had a really great discussion. The Brother told me that I look like Tim Tebow, so... you guessed it! You should send me a picture of Tim Tebow so I can compare and contrast haha ;) All in all it was a super great day though!

On Wednesday our District went to the St. Paul, Minnesota Temple with a sister in the ward. I love going to the temple :) While we were there I saw several members from wards I’ve served in so that was kind of cool! When we were at the temple I prayed very specifically about something that I have been contemplating for a while... I haven't actually told anyone about it yet because it was in the very early stages, but I was thinking about possibly extending my mission. Because of the age change extensions are very unlikely, but on occassion you can get approval. I just don't know. My friends Tyson and Makayla are getting married three days after I get home, plus I have travel plans and ideas and things, but still I was thinking about it. While we were at the temple, however, I did not receive my answer. In the afternoon we went to the Library and filled out some government forms to do weekly service there. Then it happened... we got a call from our Zone Leaders. They were announcing that our Mission was going to be getting iPads on May 26th. To be honest, I am glad that we are not getting them right now, and that we will be getting them after I go home from my mission. I would have loved iPads at the beginning of my mission, but not when I have a month left. I will just go home and get a regular iPad, not an iPad mini :) And then it hit me! This was an answer to my prayer that an extension is not in the cards for me. If I extend, I will need to get an iPad mini. "Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." (Alma 37:6) Kind of cool how it all came together! To finish off the evening we had a lesson with a less-active family that kind of fell apart. He had some problems with his taxes and was on the phone with H&R Block and the IRS the whole morning about some money that he was missing from his taxes. Both organizations were blaming the other organization, and he was super unhappy and so he went for a walk. He wasn't home when we stopped by, but we were able to talk with her for a little while. Kind of a crazy day! Oh... and Purim began at sundown... whatever that is ;)

On Thursday we went and did service at the Library. A staff member gave us a super in depth tour, and I am pretty sure that my brain was ready to explode! SO MUCH INFORMATION! #MindBlown I did have a super cool experience, however, while we were on the tour. As part of the tour we met the head librarian of the county. He asked us where we were from and we told him that we were both from Provo, Utah. Paul told us that he was familiar with Provo because he worked for a company in Provo for a while. I started asking him a few questions about Utah and his experiences with the Church, and we had a pretty good conversation. At the end I asked him for curiousity sake which company he worked for, and he told me that he worked for a company called Dynex! I laughed a little bit and asked him if he knew Grandpa or Paul Sybrowsky and he did :) Small world! In the afternoon we went and did some finding. We met a few interesting people, but all in all we didn't have a ton of success. We will just have to keep trying! To finish off the evening we had a Family Home Evening lesson with a family. We played a few card games, drew a few pictures, and talked about Church and seminary. The mom told us that she was really pleased with our interactions with her children, and that she was grateful that we were not being too pushy with them like previous missionaries. Hopefully we will be able to help them to progress. They have a lot of very interesting rules that make things a little bit difficult for us, but we can still make it work... (i.e. don't attend church for Fast Sundays, General Conference, Stake Conference, Baby Blessings, etc... and if they can't come for all three hours they do not come.) They do not really do 9:00 Church, so lately they have been going to the Catholic Church nearby. Hopefully we can get them to come to our Church sometime soon!

On Friday we had accountability with the Zone Leaders and then I had a coordination call with the Sister Training Leaders about the area Sisters. Afterward we did our Weekly Planning and then our ward mission leader called and invited us to come to "Shrek: The Musical" with their family and another family. So we rearranged our schedule, and had a great evening! Two of the ward mission leader’s daughters were in "Shrek: The Musical" and they did a phenominal job! That family is the best :)

On Saturday we didn't have too many plans, so we went around tracting and finding new people to teach for quite a while. This area is definitely in need of some good finding time! We had a few cancelled appointments, and then in the evening we went over to visit with a member. We were going to watch Johnny Lingo with him, but turns out he doesn't like movies.... so we had a discussion with him about individual worth. He likes deep doctrine, but right now he is at a place where the basics are definitely something that he should be focusing on. He always takes our discussions to a deeper level, so we just have to keep bringing it back haha! I don't mind deep doctrine, but there is definitely a time and a place.

On Sunday... daylight savings... shutter, we had Church at 9:00 AM. Yuck! I love daylight savings come fall, but spring forward I am not such a big fan of ;) Church was good though. The wife of the less active family we’re working with had a super bad migraine so they were unable to attend. After Church we went over to their house and gave her some migraine medication and had a quick lesson with them. We watched the Mormon Message, "Come What May and Love It". We talked about making the best of our situations, and choosing to be happy! Definitely something we can all work on :) To finish off the evening we had correlation with the ward mission leader. We saw them a ton this week haha! It was great :)

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

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews

Monday, March 2, 2015

New Area!

Hello Everyone,

This week has been kind of slow, but it has been a good week :) It was pretty cold this week, so we had to layer up quite a bit. ​I of course had to take a picture. I'm fairly certain that the people here think that I am crazy. Minnesotans do not layer up nearly as much as I have to... I have Canadian blood in me, and yet I am ALWAYS cold! I was always cold in Utah, so I guess I should have assumed that would remain the same here in Minnesota haha. Things are good though :) At least I have a TON of winter gear to layer up with!

On Monday we had our P-Day. I love P-Days, but the time always flies by SUPER quickly! SO much to do, and so little time haha. I secretly love being busy all the time though. I remember in High School when I had a million things to do, I was generally super happy. Probably not a good thing that I enjoy stress, but it works for me ;) Holy cow, I spent a TON of money on P-Day. We only have a Target here in this area, and I had a million things that I needed. #NewAreaProblems I will have to be careful with my spending these next few months! In the evening we contacted a few potential investigators, and went over to a member’s home to submit our key indicators. The library here for some reason does not allow us to submit our numbers the normal way, so we just go over to their house to submit our numbers online.

On Tuesday we had District Meeting. I gave a training on goal setting, planning, and execution. This District is very different. We had a very quiet District Meeting. This transfer I will be focusing on having super fun over the top but also meaningful District Meetings. Usually District Meetings are super social and fun, but it was just kind of awkward. Partially I think it is because we have a small District, but we also have some.... "unique" individuals in the District. It was a Senior Couple’s last day in the mission, so we had a little testimony meeting with them. It was super cool! The Sister got really emotional, and I almost started crying with her. AHHH! Emotions. The next couple District Meetings will be really interesting. As missionaries we have a rule called the rule of 3. In order to be with someone of the opposite gender we must be have 3 people of either gender. This presents a problem when you have 2 Elders and 2 Sisters in a District. I talked with President Forbes about it, and he gave us special leaniancy on the rule. We can have District Meeting in the Church if someone else is at the Church, but they don't need to be in the same room. We can have District Meeting at an empty nesters home, or a familes home. Or we can have District Meeting in an open area. This next week we are going to have District Meeting in the community room at the Sisters apartment. Should be interesting! After District Meeting we drove up to the cities for a Minneapolis Zone Leadership Conference (MZLC). We talked about the key indicators for the past few transfers, District and Zone focuses, and potential trainings and district unity ideas for the transfer. It was super fun! Our companions all went out and worked for the day while we were at the meeting, so my companion got to experience working in the ghetto for a little while. In the evening we went joint teaching with Bishop, and had a great lesson with a part member family. The mom is a member, and her husband and children are not. We had a lesson with her kids. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). We used a lot of object lessons to demonstrate the principles. For repentance I used a pencil FHE lesson that my Mom sent to me. For baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end we used a hard boiled egg and a calypso (super good drink) bottle. The egg as you sin is cracked, and then you repent and peel off the shell. Then you are baptized so you pour alcohol in the calypso bottle. Then you have a baptism by fire (receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost), so you light a match and put it in the bottle. You put the egg on top and as it squeezes into the bottle it endures to the end. It was a pretty fun lesson!

On Wednesday we went and did service at a charity in the morning. I bought these sweet bracelets made by African children, and all the money goes towards feeding starving children so that was kind of cool! In the afternoon we had a lesson with a less-active member on the Plan of Salvation and Family History. Before the senior couple left they did a bunch of family history for the less-active member, so we gave her a packet that they put together for her. In the evening we went out joint teaching. We had a lesson with a less-active and part member family on faith. He told us that he had been having a really tough week. His Mom was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer that was unoperable, and his wifes father was going in for a double valve replacement on his heart. It was a tough week for them! He asked us to keep them in our prayers. To finish off the evening we had a lesson with another family. We talked about faith and Church attendance. The wife got work off on Sunday, so she was excited to be able to go to Church with her husband.

On Thursday we did some time in the morning and then I had an accountability call with the Sisters. I made a few phone calls, one of them being to the St. Paul Minnesota Temple. We scheduled a temple trip and got registered and everything. Later we got a call from the Mission Office informing us that the temple had called them and wanted them to relay to us that the temple would actually be closed on the day we scheduled. Sad day! So I did some rearranging of our schedule. In the afternoon we went out finding for a few hours. We were able to teach a few people, but we didn't get any new investigators. I realized this week that I am really going to need to take charge of this area. Right now it is kind of dying. My companion has been here for a LONG time, and nothing has really happened. Hopefully I can turn things around! In the evening we visited with a family from the ward and helped them move a few things. They are refinishing their house and then moving to Idaho. We shared a message with them from Mormon Channel called "Expressions of Love" and then we also watched a new video on family history. It was a really great ending to the day.

On Friday we had an accountability call with the Zone Leaders and then I had a call with the Sister Training Leaders. Afterward we went over to the Senior Center and played Yahtzee with some of the residents. I have never played Yahtzee before, but it was pretty fun :) Later we visited with a sister in the ward and shared a Bible Video with her called "John The Beloved's Witness". We also watched the old Mormon Message, "Because of Him." We talked about the infinite sacrifice of the Atonement and the blessing that it is in our lives. In the evening we did some Weekly Planning and got everything scheduled out!

On Saturday we had a lesson with a man on the Prodigal Son. He is an interesting character. As we teach him, he talks to us A LOT about the Bible and asks relate the personal expereinces that he is sharing with us to the lesson. Sometimes it is a stretch, but it makes our lessons kind of fun! He always says, "relate it!" In the evening we stopped by a less-active member in our ward. I was super excited to see his name on the rolls. I served in the another ward for 9 months and heard quite a bit about him from his father! He was active up until he got married. He married a nice Jewish woman, and has not been active since. They have a few kids, and when they have come over to Grandma and Grandpas house they love to pray with them. Super cute family! I talked with him for a little while, but he asked us to come over another time a little bit earlier. Plus later I realized that it was Saturday... the Sabbath Day for Jews. Whoops!

On Sunday we had a pretty good service at Church. Our less-active family did not come however. No bueno! After Church we went finding for a little while and visited with the family in the ward. The Brother is going to take us to the temple on Wednesday, so that should be super fun! In the evening we had a Stake Mission Call with a Brother in the Bloomington Ward. He is awesome! When I was on exchange with the Assistants when I first came on my mission we had dinner with him. He is a Harvard graduate and is just a super effective business man. He is now the Minneapolis Stake High Councilman for Missionary Work! After the call we had correlation with the ward mission leader and shared a message with their family. To finish off the day we visited with the Player Development Coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings who is in the ward. He is a super awesome guy! We arranged to tour the Vikings Training facilities for one of our P-Days, so that should be way fun :)

All in all it was a pretty good week! Things are going well, and I am slowly starting to get a handle on things here in this area. I love this new area, and the challenges that it presents. Certainly keeps me busy :) Thank you all for all of your love and support. You are the best! Have a great week :)

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews