Monday, May 4, 2015

Living Gospel Principles

Hello Everyone,

This week has been kind of crazy, but as always, it all came together in the end haha! On Monday we had our Zone P-Day. We went bowling and then we played some games in a park afterwards. It was super fun! The Minneapolis Zone is the best :) I wasn't half bad at bowling either, which is surprising, because bowling is NOT my thing! I was talking with the Assistants about scheduling my exit interview so not to conflict with our Mall of America trip, and they filled me in on some mission news. President Forbes will be in Salt Lake City when our group goes home for a Mission Presidents training. We will instead be spending our last day with Elder Rulon F. Stacey (former CEO of Fairfield hospitals) from our Mission Presidency who was just called as an Area Seventy. Because of all of this insanity, they are trying to schedule our exit interviews before President Forbes leaves for Salt Lake. Kind of insane! In the evening we had a Family Home Evening with the two families in the ward. One family just recently moved in to the ward, so it was good to be able to get to know them better. We had a lot of really great gospel discussions with them, but I think one thing that I learned the most about was living up to our marriage covenants. Just because you are sealed does not mean you can stop living gospel principles!

On Tuesday we had District Meeting, and the Zone Leaders were able to come. We had a really great discussion about member missionary work, and how we can assist the members in our wards to do this work. I was able to reference a book that my grandparents sent me, "The Highly Effective Missionary" which talks a LOT about member missionary work! It worked out really nicely. After District Meeting we did some finding and visited with our investigators. We discussed the baptismal interview questions with the husband, and reviewed a couple of commandments with him. We then contacted President Forbes and scheduled his baptismal interview. With President Forbes leaving here shortly, his schedule is SUPER busy, but luckily we were able to figure out a time that works for both of their schedules. In the evening we went out joint teaching with the bishop and had a lesson with an investigator family. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). For repentance we used a fun visual by filling a jar with water, and putting drops of food coloring in it to represent sin. Then as we repent, we poured bleach into the dark nasty water which cleansed it so that it was clean and pure again! They asked us a lot of questions about baptism, so we had a really great discussion about that as well.

On Wednesday we had lunch with the other Elders at a pizza place which is probably one of my favorite restaurants in Minnesota, and then we volunteered at the charity. There were only 7 of us there in the session, so we didn't get us much done as we normally do when we go. We did, however, meet a really nice Indian couple that we were working with. They are Hindu, so I talked to them about my experience at the Holi Festival of Colors at the Holi Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah. They have been to the legit Holi Festival of Colors in India, and said that it is a definite must see! Next stop... India :) Funny how life experiences like getting covered in and in-hailing a bunch of colored chalk dust can help you to connect to other people! In the afternoon we stopped by a few new records that we received in the ward, and confirmed a few addresses for those people. In the evening we went out joint teaching with the ward mission leader, and he demonstrated a new initiative that the Minneapolis Stake is doing for record removals. Basically what we do with people that are not interested in the Church anymore is we talk about how when they are baptized, a record is created for them. That record will follow them for the rest of their life and will transfer with them whenever they move. With that record, members will always stop by from time to time to see how they are doing and to see if the Church can help them in any way. If they do not want contact with the Church anymore and they do not want to be a member anymore, then they must request to have their records removed. We visited with three people in the evening, and that was definitely the case with all three of them! So hopefully we will get some work done and clean up the records here. It is crazy how many people are inactive and super anti towards the Church that are on the Church records out in the mission field!

On Thursday we did our weekly service at the library. We put a bunch of books, movies, magazines, and audio books away. Always a party! Later we had accountability with the other Elders, and then I had a chiropractor appointment. I love all the people in the chiropractic office! Definitely will need to take a picture with all of them before I leave. My last appointment is next Thursday, so I will need to remember to do that! In the afternoon we did some finding and we met this super cool kid. He is 16 years old, and his family is Catholic, but they never go to Church. He is very curious about everything, and has a lot of questions that his Church has never been able to answer for him. He said that he wasn't interested in meeting with us, but then he kept talking with us and asking questions. We gave him a card and a pamphlet with all of our information on it, and then we said that we would stop by again in the future to see what he thought of it. We shall see where things go! We also met a guy who lives on a farm. He was vacuuming these purple things that look like rocks out of this big farm machine, and I started to talk with him. I asked if there was anything we could do to help, and inquired about the purple rocks. He laughed and said "You're not from around here are you!" Apparently those purple rocks are corn seeds, and the big farm machine is a seed planter. We talked a little bit, and shared a card with him. Unfortunately he wasn't super interested though. In the evening we did some finding, and set up a few appointments with a few people for before I go home.

On Friday, May Day and Labor Day in Mexico, we did some time in the morning. Later we had an accountability call with our Zone Leaders. Good times! In the afternoon we visited with a member and shared the video with her "Only A Stonecutter". This video is awesome, and talks about the importance of consecration, service, and the power of one. For the remainder of the afternoon we did our Weekly Planning. In the evening we stopped by a few potential investigators and then had a lesson with a member. We shared the video "The Mountain Of The Lord" with her and talked to her about the temple. She had been having an AWFUL day, so it was good to be able to brighten it up a little bit. She had some questions in previous lessons about the temple, so it was good to be able to answer those for her.

On Saturday we did some Area Book work and then visited with an investigator family in the afternoon. We reviewed the commandments and talked to him about some baptism plans. Later in the afternoon we did some service for one of the member's friends. He bought these SUPER heavy rocks and so we helped him move them. It was a party, and I thought one of us were going to lose a finger or an arm for a while. In the evening we had the Adult Session of Stake Conference. We went with a member family, so that was super fun! Elder G. Lawrence Spackman from Calgary, Canada was presiding! Gotta love those Canadian's :) He was hilarious! He talked a lot about missionary work, as well as the work of the ministering of angels. He talked about the work that angels are doing on the other side, and I remember the whole time he spoke I was reminded about the aid that I have received from the other side while I have been on my mission. I remembered that in the first letter I received from my Mom on my mission she told me about the aid that I would be receiving from my Uncle Wayne, and he certainly has been there for me numerous times on my mission.

On Sunday we had Stake Conference in a ward building I served in, so that was super fun! It brought back a lot of memories from when I served in that ward. That Stake had Stake Conference that day as well so I wasn't able to see the members of that Ward, but I did see the bishop at the Church later in the day, so that was super fun! I learned a lot about the importance of reading the scriptures every day, and the importance of families joining together in the gospel. In the afternoon we did some finding and stopped by a few potentials. We had a visit with a family in the ward, and talked a lot about the missionary work going on here in the ward. The dad is in the Stake Presidency, so we don't see him a whole lot. We received a call from the bishop asking us to make some time to visit with the a specific family before I go home, and so when we had an appointment fall through in the evening we went and visited with them. That family lost their mom to cancer about three years ago. They have had a tough time with it, as expected, but his 14 year old son, is having an especially hard time with it. We talked with the dad for a while, and he shared with us his conversion story and many stories from his mission. We shared a Mormon message with him called "Mountains To Climb" and asked him to share it with his son. It was a really great visit!

Thank you all for all of your love and support! SEE you soon!

Best Wishes,

Elder Kyle William Andrews

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