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 mormon.org 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!
Elder Kyle William Andrews