Monday, April 20, 2015

National Volunteer Week

Hello Everyone,

Sorry it took me so long today to send out my email haha! There was some drama this morning. If blood makes you queasy, skip this paragraph! So I was minding my own business, getting ready for the day, and I reached over to grab my toothbrush and brushed my razor with my finger. No big deal. I brushed my teeth, and continued getting ready for the day and then I realized my finger was gushing blood! I rinsed off my finger, and put a band-aid on, and went on my way. Later I realized my band-aid was overflowing and blood was getting all over my desk. So then I rewashed my hand, soaked up all the blood and put on a fresh new band-aid. A few minutes later, the same thing happened. So I got a paper towel, wrapped my finger in it, and waiting for the blood to die down. When my finger appeared to be done bleeding I got another band-aid and life was good again. Wait.... life wasn't good again! That band-aid started overflowing with blood as well! Good grief. So I wrapped my finger again, rinsed everything out, and waited for a while. Then I wrapped a new paper towel around my finger, put a band-aid over the paper towel, and that is how my finger will remain for the day haha! It still looks super nasty because blood has been seeping through the paper towel, but I needed to get on with my day haha. "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

It has been another great week! The sun has been out, the weather has been awesome, and spring has officially sprung :) On Monday we had our Zone Interviews with President Forbes. He drove out to our area to interview us and the Sister Missionaries, so that was fun. We were running late to our interviews however, and so I had the opportunity to meet this really nice man. We talked for a little while, and then he lowered my speeding ticket to the minimum fine. Officer... what a guy :p On the plus side, President Forbes did not take away my driving privileges! For the rest of the day we had our P-Day, so that is always fun. It was super rushed because of Zone Interviews, but we got it done. The evening was kind of a disaster, but it worked out haha! We had a dinner appointment, but the GPS took us the wrong way. So then we were SUPER late, and that was our day. Kind of a rough start to the week. Also on Monday the Sisters found out that one of them was going to work in the mission office while her leg heals, and the other Sister is going to a new area to be a Sister Training Leader. That area is going to be getting Elders again.

On Tuesday we did some finding in the morning and then I had a follow-up appointment with the chiropractor. I love going to the chiropractor! That Dr. is the best :) In the afternoon we had a lesson with a less-active member. He is definitely a talker, but it was good for him to get everything out. He has been through a lot lately! His Mom has an inoperable tumor, and his father-in-law just passed away. We talked a lot about that and talked about his recent vacation to Cancun. We shared Moroni 10:32 with him and talked about the importance of coming unto Christ. He is the only member in his family, but would like his family to join the Church. We talked about the importance of being a good example to his family. If he doesn't go to Church, then why would his family want to join the Church? In the evening we had the opportunity to visit with a couple. They are awesome! They used to work in the Mission Office. She was an office lady, and he was the car coordinator. They were in the office for my first transfer on my mission, and then they were released. We talked with them about missionary work, and they updated me on the previous mission president. Two daughters are both engaged, and they just had a mission reunion at their home this week. President Clements was called as a Bishop in a YSA Ward, and they are doing well. I can't wait to see them when I go home!

On Wednesday the transfer for the Sister occurred and we got an elder from Idaho and an elder from Taiwan. We were able to meet them as we did service in the morning. I am excited to get to know both of them better, and to be able to serve around them this transfer. In the afternoon we visited with an investigator. We discussed the Plan of Salvation with her and had a really good lesson. She has a fear of crowds and has her doubts about the Book of Mormon, but she still enjoys meeting with missionaries. Oddly enough one of her goals is to make it out to Salt Lake City, Utah and attend General Conference. I don't know how that would work out if she can't go to Church because of her fear of crowds, but hopefully she can make it happen. To finish off the day we visited with a couple. They are snow birds. They live here in Minnesota in the spring, summer, and fall and then peace out when it gets cold and snowy. They hang out in Arizona and places that are warm. I think it is a great idea! They are back now from their trip, so we were able to meet them and get to know them better. She has been a member for about six years. She is having a tough time with her health right now. She is in her 70's, and suffers from dementia. He is not a member. He is a Lutheran, but comes to Church with his wife each week. We shared the Easter "Because He Lives" video with them and talked to them about the Atonement referencing the Book of Mormon. They are a really cool couple!

On Thursday, Holocaust Remembrance Day, we did our weekly service at the library. I cut out tennis shoe name tags, and my companion was trained on how to organize and put books away. Later we had accountability calls with the other Elders and our Zone Leaders. The new Elders had only been there for a day, so it was mostly a get to know you call. Good times! Later I had another check up with the Chiropractor said that things are improving! Later in the afternoon we did some finding and stopped by a few less-active members. We visited with a less-active member for a little bit. We caught him right before the Minnesota Wild play-off game, so we didn't have much time, but he said that we can visit with him again soon. We also stopped by a potential investigator. He was super busy, but he told us to try back later. To finish off the evening we had Family Home Evening with an investigator family. One of them was going through a really tough time, because the night before one of her friends overdosed on drugs and passed away. We made sure to make it a fun and exciting evening, and our lesson next week will be on the Plan of Salvation. We played Scrabble and Sorry for a little bit, and had a pretty good time :)

On Friday we had a Zone Service Project in Minneapolis. We were doing some gardening in the park. We did some weeding, and mulch spreading, and a bunch of other things in the community butterfly gardens. It was super fun! I always really like getting together with all the missionaries in our Zone. Later we had our weekly service at the Senior Center. We played Sweep Six this week. Sweep Six is a super simple, and kind of boring game. The residents much prefer Yahtzee, but they put out Sweep Six for us this week. You roll a dice, and try to be the first person to roll all the numbers. We had been out in the sun all morning, so I was exhausted haha! It all worked out though, and I didn't fall asleep :) for the rest of the afternoon we did our Weekly Planning and then drove up to another town. We visited with a member and shared the video, "Treasure In Heaven: The John Tanner Story" and talked about consecration. She really struggles with paying tithing and fast offerings. When we first came over she told us that she just got a bunch of bills from when her husband was in hospice, and that she was super overwhelmed. She told us that she wouldn't be able to come back to Church because she wouldn't be able to pay anything. She grew up Catholic, and she told us that when you enter in the Church you would be given an envelope and you were expected to fill it with money. We assured her that that was not the case, and that she could still come to Church. We encouraged her to pray about it and to visit with the Bishop, but I still think she is having a really hard time with it.

On Saturday we started off the day with a Senior Center volunteer breakfast. Apparently it is National Volunteer Week, so that was super fun! Later we went to the library and did some time. Twas a party! In the afternoon we went and got our windshield wipers replaced, so that is always exciting. We did some finding in a new home development and found some cool new people that live near some members in our ward. The new Elders asked us to fill the baptismal font for them for an 8 year old's baptism, so we did. The font was filled perfectly, and people were supposed to arrive at 6:00. 6:00 came, and no one was there! We waited and waited and finally at 6:05 (yeah, I tried to make myself sound patient there... 5 whole minutes of waiting haha!) we called the new Elders, and they checked their phone to make sure the baptism was that night. Sure enough the baptism is next week. Usually when someone is baptized the person that baptizes empties the font while they are still wet... but because no one was baptized, draining the font was an issue. We ran home and I grabbed some clothes that I could get wet in, and I drained the font. #SwimmingParty Kind of exciting! We took pictures of course. No judging my white legs! They don't see much sunshine. To finish off the day, our investigator had his baptismal interview. Everything went well, but he will need to be interviewed by someone in the Mission Presidency for some past transgressions, so his baptism will be postponed a little bit to either the first or second week of May depending on how soon he can be interviewed. Kind of a crazy day!

On Sunday we had Church. Our investigators came which was awesome! In the afternoon we did some finding. We stopped by a less-active member and talked with him for a while. They had some people over, so it wasn't a good time, so we will have to try them again before I go home. We found a few cool people a woman and a Lutheran Pastor. Teaching Pastors is always interesting... usually it doesn't work out all that well though, but we will see. We stopped by someone on a list that the Bishop gave us, but they DO NOT want contact with the Church. They made that very clear to us :p We did some finding in their neighborhood for a bit, but the people there were all super grumpy. To finish off the day we had a lesson with a member. We talked about the Prodigal Son and repentance. It was a really good lesson. I feel like I learned a lot from him, so that was cool! All in all it was a really good day.

I got my "death packet" this week, so that was kind of strange. I have to start working on some post-mission goals, and write a report on my mission. It has been a while since I have written an essay, so this should be interesting! No flight plans yet to report on though.

I also have EXTREMELY IMPORTANT news to report. So I am going home super soon, if you didn't already know. I decided to push my luck a little bit, and I called up President Forbes and asked for permission to go somewhere that I have always wanted to go on my very last P-Day on my mission. He thought about it, and then gave me consent to got! So we are going to the Mall of America with the some members! OH MY GOSH I am SO excited :) We just can't go to Hooters like stupid missionaries in the past haha. He made that very clear to me over the phone! The Mall of America rule was instituted by the First Presidency because missionaries had lunch at Hooters forever ago and took a pictures with the servers which ended up on the wall in the restaurant. Apparently the Church had to pay big bucks to get it taken down, and then Mall of America privileges were revoked.

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

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