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 mormon.org 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 :)
Elder Kyle William Andrews