Sunday, February 26, 2017

Time of My Life


Well this week was the first full week of the new transfer and it sure had its ups and downs.

So last week we went to go see our investigator and try to set up an appointment, or something to try and get him going again. He was a little busy, but he said to text him Monday. So we did just that, well turns out he just wanted to tell us he didn't want us coming by anymore. Still not really sure what happened, but it makes me really sad. But I guess everyone has a time when they are ready, and right now is just not his time. Hopefully something will change in awhile and he'll be ready then.

But about the time our investigator texted us back we were going into an appointment with a nice lady named Nicky. She's a super busy lady, hard to catch, but she is super nice and open to hearing a message. She had a sister who was meeting with the missionaries about a year ago right before she died, and so that's kinda how Nicky got introduced to the church. Hopefully we can find times when she's not so busy that we will be able to have good lessons with her and be able to help her build her faith.

Tuesday since it's been so nice this week we decided to ride bikes and go try some Less-Actives, well nobody answered and we talked to a lot of new people but they weren't very interested. It was on Tuesday that we started to notice that there is a lot of Anti-Mormon material around McPherson, in fact someone even gave us an anti pamphlet! Well the good news is that nobody has that pamphlet anymore! But Tuesday turned out to be an awesome day! We found 3 new investigators, one of them is a young kid, 12 years old, and his name is Bo. So we looked at our area book and saw his name, but we knew nothing about him (he had no info or anything!). So when he answered we found out he was Bo, we had a pretty awesome restoration lesson with him, and he's super down to read and pray to find out if it's true. Now the thing about teaching kids is that sometimes their parents don't like having us around, but when we were talking to Bo he accidentally rang the doorbell and his dad came out, and he didn't tell us to leave! So hopefully that means we can continue teaching him, we'll find out tomorrow!

So on Wednesdays there is usually a ward correlation meeting for mission work, but since we live 30 minutes away we don't really go to those. But we were gonna try to Skype in this week for it! So we go to the McDonalds parking lot, because it's like the only place we can get wifi, and get all ready for this meeting. Only to find out that the church's wifi is down, so we just call in instead, it was pretty awkward and not super effective. But hopefully starting this week we can do it over Skype. That's something our mission has been pushing pretty hard is he bigger emphasis on using technology, I mean we have iPads might as well use them effectively. So Skype, iMessage, FaceTime, and more are things at we are encouraged to use, either to bring a member into a lesson, or to talk with investigators! So going forward we'll be trying to do these things more.

So Ben...Ben is this guy who I met once with Elder Smack, he lives out in one of the trailer parks and he's a little nuts. But he has come to church and he progressed a lot in the past, so we thought we'd come by and see him. Well Ben was upset that we hadn't come over for awhile, but that seemed to be the least of his issues. He started telling us his whole life story about his girlfriend and her jealous ex who keeps breaking stuff on Ben's car, and slashed the tires on his bike, just giving him a hard time. But after he was done with his whole rant he was willing to listen to a message, we were over there for quite a bit, but I think he has some potential. Just have to find a way to get the fire burning and get his desire going! 

Afterwards we went over to the school to have Family Home Evening! Well there wasn't that great of a turnout this week, but it was better than last week! We talked about the Book of Mormon and why it is important and we all shared our testimonies of it. It was pretty awesome, hopefully as the weeks go on the students that are members will bring friends and the group can start to grow!

Friday we had interviews with President McCuistion! I always love being able to talk with him, I learn so much and I know how inspired he truly is! During his whole time we had our car in the shop to get an oil change, but they decided to do a whole lot of other things too. So we were in Wichita for quite some time just waiting. Afterwards when we got back into town we were able to go see our family of 10, they have a ton of potential, but it's just hard trying to get them to come to church. Well it's also hard to be able to try and see them all, they're always super busy! But we had a good lesson with Dawn, the mother, and were able to progress her a little bit.

So on Saturday we went over to help a recent convert paint her new house! Her husband went over a few days before, but he's kinda crazy and just painted his name on the walls, so we kinda finished up the job. So they are trying to move into this house, but the previous owner (the landlords granddaughter) left all her stuff there. So they just have to push it all in a corner of the house and wait for her to pick it up. So moving will be a little difficult, so we're gonna help her move this weekend! Saturday we were also able to have a super awesome lesson with some less-actives and they invited us over for dinner! So we actually had two dinner that night, one of which was a steak, so that was super awesome!

Sunday, we had a part-member family committed to coming to church. We had to be at church at 7:30 so we weren't able to go make sure they were awake, but we called and texted and they said they would come! But as it turns out they fell back asleep and weren't able to make it, and President McCuistion decided to come to our church today and we didn't have anyone there! Darn. Well I had to teach the gospel principles class, it was on the fall of Adam and Eve, it went pretty well, the investigator there seemed to like it anyway, so that's good. Sunday evening there was a Mission Presidents Devotional in Wichita, its where recent converts go and bear their testimony and missionaries invite investigators to help solidify them. So we were able to bring Tanner! I just can't explain how awesome he is, he is so awesome that after he bore his testimony an investigator came up to him and said because of his testimony he decided to get baptized, wow! I think Tanner might be thinking about serving a mission now! So the Devotional didn't get over until 9 and we still had an hour drive home, so we got home late.

But this week was super awesome! And we had a ton of fun and were able to see progression in our investigators! Crazy to think how fast time flies, just looking back on how fast the last 6 months have gone. Six months ago I started training Elder Stirling out in Junction City! 

Really looking forward to this next week and for all the growth that will happen!

- Elder Andrasko

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Army of Helaman

Hello once again!

Man transfers came once again, funny how they seem to creep up on ya. Well after a fun 6 weeks with a Elder Smack it was time to say goodbye, so that's mostly what we did the first few days of the week. Which was nice because a lot of the time it included food! So we got fed pretty good on Monday and Tuesday! 

Wednesday finally rolled around and we had one last goodbye to say. Not sure if I've written about them before, but we got this really cool recent convert named Tanner and his member girlfriend Morgan. They are like our best friends and we hang out with them every Monday and they are helping us organize a FHE group at the school. So right before we left for Wichita we drive by the college and said goodbye to them and took some pictures. Then off we went! It was sad to say goodbye to E Smack, but got to see Elder Stirling and that was super fun! He's doing great by the way! Then I went off to find my new companion, Elder Tolley!

Now it's always a little weird at first getting used to a new companion, but you just gotta find a way to have fun with them! Elder Tolley is an awesome missionary, he's from Illinois! So not another Utah companion, that's three companions in a row not from Utah!! I have a ton of goals for this new transfer and Elder Tolley is just the man to help me with the job. One really good thing about him is that he's super clean, so now the apartment will always be clean! He's also a straight up PMG missionary which is awesome, and also something I need to work at, so it'll be an awesome transfer!

So a few people we've been teaching. There's this guy named Hayden, so me and E. Smack met Hayden outside a coffee shop and he said we could come by and talk to him sometime. So me and E. Smack went over, and he invited a friend as well, awesome! Well turned out not to be so awesome, this friend  just tried to bash with us sometime. And after we left he gave Hayden an anti Book of Mormon movie. So a few weeks later we go back, this time with E. Tolley, to see if he could progress at all. It was a semi-decent lesson, but he didn't seem real willing to read the Book of Mormon, but the icing on the cake was he gave us the anti movie. So we know have an anti movie sitting in our car and no idea what to do with it. We want to take Tanner over there, because he's awesome, and see if anything changes. But if not, we'll probably have to drop Hayden.

Another guy we are teaching, Spencer, is super awesome! So Spencer is really willing to see our point of view and has no objections, that we know of, to reading. We had a pretty good lesson with him this week about the Book of Mormon, what it is, and how it testifies of the restoration. His big thing is that it's faith alone that gets you into heaven, well faith and grace, which isn't false just incomplete. He doesn't feel like baptism or any other ordinance would be required, which seems to be the general belief in McPherson. Spencer has a lot of questions for us, and they are all really good questions, but we want him to be able to read and find out for himself. So we'll see what happens this coming week.

There's a lot of other people that we've been teaching that has some good potential, like our family of ten, but we really just need to focus on being able to progress them towards coming to church. So hopefully we can have a really awesome week this week and see lots of miracles!

Speaking of church, this week was Stake Conference for the Wichita Stake. We had two members from the seventy there and they reorganized the stake presidency. Luckily they broadcast the meeting to the church in Newton, so we didn't have to drive all the way to Wichita. And it was a super awesome meeting, so awesome in fact that we got to sustain Tanner to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood!! So awesome, and he's only been baptized for four months! He's progressed a ton since getting baptized, so next week they are planning on ordaining him! Yay!

So unfortunately we won't be getting any meals this week, since it was Stake Conference nobody signed up on our meal calendar. But our Ward Mission leader did give us Subway gift cards! So that can be a few dinners this week. And we do have a few things at home to make, so I guess we can survive. 

Really looking forward to this week and all the miracles that come along with it!!

Love Ya!

- Elder Andrasko

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Somewhere Over the Rainbow...

Hello one and all!

Well Transfer week is here and looks like I will be able to stay here in McPherson for at least another six weeks! Elder Smack on the other hand has ended his run here at six months...It was a heck of a time and we sure had some fun, but the Lord has other plans for us. So on Wednesday Elder Tolley will be coming all the way from Andover, which is actually still in the Bel Aire Zone, so not too far of a move for him.

This week was pretty sweet! The highlight of the week was definitely the day we spent at the college, and by day I mean lunch. So we have been talking to the lady who is over the spirituality for McPherson College and she said that we could set up a booth during lunch. So we finally got to do that this week. We were fully prepared, well kind of (we had to steal stuff from other missionaries), with copies of the Book of Mormon, all sorts of pamphlets, The Living Christ, The Articles of Faith, and The Family; a Proclamation to the World! We were able to hand out several books, and someone took one while we were getting our lunch. But we have some appointments with some of those people! It was also an opportunity for students who were members to know where the church is and when we meet!  So all in all it turned out pretty well.

This week, and every week following, we will have another cool opportunity to go to the college for a Family Home Evening! We set it up for every Thursday at 7:30, not exactly sure what we will be talking about yet, but it will be awesome!

We pretty much knew this week that Elder Smack was going to be leaving so everywhere we went there was goodbyes to be said, it was kinda sad. It'll be a hard transition, especially because I don't feel like I know the area super well, but it will be a good change. We have a lot of people with potential here, we just need to get them to church, reading their scriptures, and saying their prayers (there's a big emphasis on that right now in the mission).

So this transfer is a pretty crazy one, President McCuistion said something like 55 out of 86 companionships have been effected by the transfer. Not only are they moving missionaries, but moving areas to different zones! Now that is some crazy stuff. But he is an inspired man and I really look up to him.

This last transfer had really got me thinking, and I have made some really awesome plans for how this next transfer will truly change me, so hopefully in the next six weeks I can become a better disciple of Christ and a better missionary. TGFTA thank goodness for the Atonement!

So we've been teaching this guy who is absolute nuts. The funny thing is I've been over there three times each with a different companion, and man that guy just keeps going off "you probably bring them over here to show them what missionary work is like, and I just keep scaring them off!" But that guy is a hoot.

Oh we also had Zone training this week, pretty cool, got to learn new stuff and receive cool revelation.

Anyways transfer weeks are crazy, but love y'all!

- Elder Andrasko

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Changes. . .

Hola mi amigos,

This week we went on exchanges with the Spanish elders so now you could probably say I'm fluent in Spanish, or as the natives say espaƱol.

But this week was super rad! A ton of cool stuff happened, we met cool people, we went to church, and other stuff.

So we have like a new exchange policy where everyone going on exchanges goes to the District Leaders area, so we had 4 missionaries in McPherson. Well McPherson area, Elder Smack went to Moundridge to do some finding and saw tons of sick miracles! I went out to teach all of our investigators with Elder Pugliano.

So last week we had a strange miracle where someone just called us and then we set up an appointment with him, anyway we went to go see him on exchanges! His name is Mitch. He liked having us over and invited us over again. So us being the tenacious missionaries that we are went over a few days later, and he kept expressing his astonishment that we would come back and see him. But we had a pretty killer lesson with him and he committed to church. He said the only reason he wouldn't be there was if he was dead! Unfortunately he wasn't there so we might have to call the police or something...or maybe he slept in, it is 9 o'clock church and he lives like 40 miles away, but we'll get him next time!

So Wednesday was a very eventful day. Wednesday was the worldwide missionary broadcast! It was really cool, it was like an open discussion with a bunch of General Authorities where they talked about missionary work and things we could do to improve and hasten the work. Then right at the end they had a few changes for us. The first was a change to the missionary schedule, no longer are missionaries on a set schedule. Now we make our own schedule that is adaptable to the day, the area, or any situation that could come up. We still wake up at 6:30, but we can plan, study, or anything that we need to do at any time that would work best. Also they changed the schedule so that we start our p day at 8 instead of 10 and now it's acceptable for missionaries to go to bed at 9:30. The other change was a change to our key indicators. In the past there was 9 key indicators that missionaries would keep track of, well that number has been cut down to 4; baptized and confirmed, on date for baptism, at sacrament, and new investigators. What was really cool was we had 2 members of the missionary executive committee with us watching the broadcast so we had a chance to discuss with them the changes and what it means for us as missionaries. Another change for us is an increased use of technology, we are now encouraged to have lessons over Skype and to use iMessage. So new tools for us to use.

We had a pretty cool miracle this week at church. So a few weeks ago we were driving down to Newton to do a baptismal interview, then we found out it was cancelled. So we just took the next exit, which was Moundridge, and Elder Smack said there was a less active member who lived there. So we went to see him and his non member girlfriend,  Well we had a good lesson with them and they told us they'd come to church, not that week but the next. Then during exchanges Elder Smack went and saw them again, and I guess it went good? But we texted a bunch of people Saturday night, at the end of the night, reminding/inviting them to church, and I think Mitch was the only one who texted back. But we show up to church on Sunday and there was there was the less active member and his girlfriend! Yay church! They had a good experience and invited us over for a BBQ after, yay food! So after church we drove the 20 minutes to Moundridge and had some killer food and a lesson!

This week was a little rough because of the end of the month. End of the month means we don't have any money to buy food. McPherson is also a rough area because we don't have very many members, which means not very many meals. So this week consisted of a lot of ramen and other pastas. But luckily we should have a few meals this week so we won't die :).

Well I love the mission so much, especially because I am part of the greatest mission in he entire world! I truly am grateful to be here and boy do I know how inspired our prophets are, I know I am here not only because of the people I serve, but because of the people I serve with, and because of my mission president. President McCuistion truly is an inspired man and I am so grateful for all the wonderful things he has taught me. If there is anything I have learned from my mission it is the strengthening and enabling power of our Saviors Atonement. I know I couldn't do this work alone, I am uplifted, encouraged, and edified each day from the Savior and the Spirit. It's crazy how fast the mission goes, in the blink of an eye it's almost been a year, I look forward to what the next 13 months have to bring!

Love ya tons,

-Elder Andrasko