Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 52 - Baton Rouge, LA

2 Timothy 4:6-8 

Hey Everyone!
Whoa.  It is kind of weird to think that I have made it to this point in my mission.  This is my last proselyting day.  Looking back I know that I have accomplished what I needed to do here in Baton Rouge.  I don't really think that I can say it better than Paul does in 2 Timothy 4:6-8.  
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
This week was awesome!  My last Monday Preparation day was fun.  We went to the Snowman Snowball shack on burbank with all of the Elders.  The sisters were busy or something.  We invited but they couldn't make it.  It was just us all together walking.  It was fun!  
It is really weird.  Looking back on this week it just seems like a blur.  I can't remember what things happened what day, so I'm just gonna make a list.  kay?
  • We were biking down good ole GSRI when a car stopped in front of us.  The guy told us that he had been a Mormon for 10 years and he knew that it wasn't true.  I think that that happened for me.  I testified that I knew the truthfulness of this, our wonderful message, and that I could not deny what I knew.  The man kept arguing, and Elder Glauser pointed out that contention is not of God, and so we were not going to argue, and we left.  After that we biked a little way away and said a prayer to just bring the spirit back.  Seconds later, a friend we met, Jose, stopped next to us, asked us if we were alright, talked to us a bit about English classes, and then gave us each a Mountain Dew.  If that doesn't make you feel better, I don't know what will!  It is nice that God takes care of His servants; sometimes from some of His other children.
  • We went out to lunch with Sandra and Monica at the mall.  That was fun.  They have been less active for awhile, mostly because of work and just hard trials, but they are coming back, which is awesome.  Anyways, they just wanted to thank me for everything that I had done for them.  That was sweet of them.
  • Saturday was the baptism of Joanna Wilkerson!  She is nine years old, and since she turned eight, we have been trying to help them let her be baptized.  What was crazy is that the day of, they asked ME do baptize and confirm!   It was probably one of the best experiences of my life!  Joanna was just so sweet and the spirit was SO strong!  I took pictures.  I'll show y'all later.  : P
  • Monday, we had Noche de Hogar, and that was awesome!  As always.  I shared what I had read in the talk "The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship" by Elder Holland.  What stuck out to me was where it talks about the kind of God that some people want, and why we have the God that we do.  I know that God loves us, and wants us to become like Him.  The only way we can do that is by following His commandments.  It was a sweet lesson.  It was kind of triste to say by to everyone!  I got everyone's contact info so I will be able to keep in touch.
Well, that is it.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  I know I have learned so much that will help me to be a better me.  I know that this is Christ church, and that it bears His name.  HE is guiding this work.  I have seen that every day!  What a blessing it has been to be a part of it!  I know that I have gained a greater appreciation for the Book of Mormon.  It has guided me so much in my life on the mission, and it will still do that for me after!  I love you all!  Thank you for everything that y'all have done to help me!  I cannot express the gratitude that I feel for y'all!  
Well, this is it!  Elder Andrews signing out!
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 51 - Baton Rouge, LA

Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Hey everyone!

Wow, it is kind of crazy all of the things that are going on right now!  I am in my last full week of my mission!  I never felt or believed that I would come to this time in my mission.  You see other missionaries do it, but it never feels like you will.  I'm doing OK though.  I will keep on going until the end. 

Well, this week was pretty awesome!  It started off with an awesome BBQ with the zone.  We bought a ton of chicken marinated in orange juice and other seasoning, like 35 pounds worth. That is a lot!  We only ended up using half.  Plus, we had a bunch of other snacks.  It was awesome! There was a forecast of rain, so we ended up at the church playing basketball, but it was OK.  We all had a great time.

We had an awesome Family Home Evening.  We read in Joseph Smith History verses 8-13.  I love the story of the first vision, and I really love the steps that Joseph Smith gave us that he took to have that world-changing experience.  We talked about how each and every one of us at Family Home Evening had to read the scriptures and "ask of God" to know if it was true.  We all had to ask God if the Book of Mormon was true.  We all have received an answer.  What we focused on is that that does not have to be a one time experience.  Someone shared with me a story about a missionary in the MTC that had told the MTC President that he didn't have a solid testimony of the Book of Mormon.  The MTC President in turn asked a visiting apostle what he should do. The apostle told the MTC president to tell the missionary that he (the apostle) had prayed the night before, and had received a confirming answer, and that the missionary could do the same.  We need to continue to "feast on the words of Christ" and receive that confirmation.  We then had brought all of the left over chicken to Family Home Evening so we could use it there as well and save Felipe some money.  It was good.  Again.

This week we also had an awesome exchange with the east elders.  Elder Howald came with me and Elder Glauser went to work with Elder Peltzer, his MTC companion.  Good for them.  Me and Elder Howald went to translate for a friend, Marco, at traffic court.  The court building is VERY nice inside.  Elder Howald forgot he had a bike tool and a camera, and security caught him and so we had to walk back to the car.  Once in the court, we went to the court room and they had us come forward to the stand, and the judge was like, what is your full name, so we gave it, and then a guy at the prosecutor's table told what was the charge, and she asked Marco if he would plead guilty, and he did, and had to pay a 204 dollar fine.  What was crazy is the court got 155 dollars of the ticket.  For their 5 minutes of service.  Crazy.

After that Marco took us to Subway to get those flatizza things.  Mine was crazy hot and a pepperoni slid of and stuck to my lip.  It burned my lip pretty bad because it wouldn't come off. Now my lip is peeling.  Fun!

Elder Howald btw is from Tri-Cities Washington.  He is only 18.  YOUNG!  In his area right now they are doing a lot of contacting, because their teaching pool is pretty empty, so we went and knocked doors a little in a new place, and had some success.  We found Jose from Mexico, who was pretty cool.  We just sat and talked with him, and he said we could come back another time to have a discussion, so that was cool.  We ended up arguing a little with this other guy who wouldn't believe in the Book of Mormon unless it spoke of the Book of Mormon in the Bible.  We showed him Ezekiel 37:16-17, which talks about the sticks of Joseph and of Judah.  Bible is the stick of Judah, and the stick of Joseph is the Book of Mormon.  We then testified of the Book of Mormon and that if he read it and prayed about it, he could know for himself.  He wouldn't take it, but he has his agency to make that decision.

My front tire also gave out.  It was cracked all over for a long time, so we went to the bike shop and got it replaced with a new tire to match the back one.  We really have become good friends with the guys at the bike shop.  Clayton,one of the workers we know really well, when we entered the store, was like, "Whats wrong this time?"  Funny guys.  :)  Well, we got that fixed and it was about time for us to head home. We talked with this really cool guy on the bus who is legally blind.  He can see figures, but that is pretty much it.  We talked about how we believe that we have trials for a reason, and that someday, all that is wrong shall be made right, and that some day, he would have his vision back to normal.  It was really cool.

Saturday we had an another bbq!  It was for mothers day.  It was awesome!  Presidente Filadelfo Gonzales cut and marinated the meat, and it was awesome!  We threw a frisbee around a bit and had fun.

In church this sunday, I taught priesthood, which went well, and then gave a talk on developing your talents.  I was SO DEAD after church!  Everything went really well though. People participated in my lesson, and the spirit was there during the meeting, so I can't complain.

Well, that is pretty much it for this week!  Here we go to the last week!  Crazy!  I love you all! Thanks for everything!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews

Monday, May 12, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 50 - Baton Rouge, LA

Moroni 7:47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Hey Everyone!
It was so great to see my family yesterday!  Everyone is looking so good (even you Hill, although you are sick).  This letter is going to be a bit short, since we have a kind of integral role in the Zone Preparation Day that we are going to have.  We got five dollars from everyone and with that we were able to buy 35 pounds of meat, a bunch of tortillas and some drinks.  It should be fun. Who doesn't like a good bbq?
Well, I am going to list some of the highlights of the week.
1. We had an awesome time going to New Orleans on Thursday with Hafiz, who passed the bar and was getting sworn in.  It was awesome to go back to the "Big Easy" one last time.  Hafiz's family is awesome too, so it was just good to be there and support them all
2. We got caught in the rain twice.  First time we went to the bus stop to get a bus to go up north. One of our PI's Marco drove by and was like, hey, y'all want a ride?  So he gave us a ride.  We got into see Antonio, from Mexico, but lives in Texas.  He is here in Baton Rouge for work for a month and a half.  We watched Finding Faith in Christ.  It was awesome and the spirit was there. He asked some good questions about what made us different that we answered in part, but will go back to really give a good answer.  On the way home from Antonio, it started to rain and the bus was late so we were in POURING rain for like a half hour.  We were drenched.  It got to the point where we were trying to see how far we could get from the road and not be splashed by the cars. We were like 6-7 feet away.  We got wet.  Second time was the next day biking back from the trailer parks.  Wet wet wet!
3. Zone Training Meeting.  It was awesome.  We talked about loving our companions and listening to them.  Really inspired stuff that I think will help us all out here in Baton Rouge a lot!
4. Skyping home.  That is always a treat!  families are the greatest blessing!
Well, that is all for now!  I love you all!
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 49 - Baton Rouge, LA

Doctrine and Covenants 18:33-36 

 33 And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it.
 34 These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man;
 35 For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them;
 36 Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words.

Hey Everyone!
Things are going so well here in Baton Rouge!  This week has been particularly exciting.  
The Gladys Knight Fireside was incredible!  The music was awesome!  they sang songs like Blessed Assurance, I am a Child of God, and more.  The spirit was so strong!  Gladys' husband spoke, and he had some REAL talk with the people.  He told his conversion story, and how He owned a hotel, and Gladys would come, and all of the workers would tell him, "Gladys is here". Finally he asked them "Why do you keep telling me she is here?"  They responded "We think she likes you."  Eventually they were married.  Gladys was a member, and worked with him patiently. He was raised baptist, I believe, and his father would read every night from revelations when he was a little boy, and he would always say, "Is there more? There has to be more!"  Eventually he took the lessons and was baptized.  He just really opened up to the African American Community. He talked about how if you were going to restore a 1959 Chevy Chevelle, you would go and get the parts, the same parts that were used in 1959, to restore the 1959 Chevy Chevelle.  Then what would you have?  A 1959 Chevy Chevelle in 2014.  We have the Church of Jesus Christ, with all of the same parts that it had at the time of Christ today in 2014.  So awesome!  We didn't really get any Spanish referrals, but had about 110 self referrals in Baton Rouge alone.
We had a good Preparation day playing basketball and then an awesome Family Home Evening led by Elder Howald and Elder Peltzer.  They used an awesome object lesson.  The lesson was that they had a cup of rocks and each person in the room choose one.  We then each had to describe what made our rock different from any other rock.  After everyone had the chance to do that, we put all of our rocks back in the cup.  He then dumped the rocks out on the ground and everyone was able to find their rock.  Moral of the story is that if we as humans can recognize which rock is ours, so can our Heavenly Father.  We really are his and he knows us individually. They used Romans 8:16
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
We really are His children!  He loves us and knows us!  I thought it was an awesome object lesson.  It works the best when you have a medium size group of people.  Pretty cool.  
Tuesday, we had district meeting.  We studied the talk Your Work Is Not Yet Finished by Glenn L Pace.  I really tried to focus on Urgency.  In this talk, he says that we don't know how much time is left.  However, as missionaries we do!  That gives us a responsibility to stay focused and urgent.  In life, us knowing that our time might be up soon but not knowing when gives us a sense of urgency.  We have a work to do and a set time to do it!  Shall we falter or shall we finish!  It was a sweet meeting.  Elder McMurray led the discussion.
We also took the bus to go by bus passes!  That was fun!  We were told that the mission will refund us for bus passes so we went and bought a pass that will last until I go home for both Elder Glauser and I.  The bus has been awesome!  Only one small hitch.  We tried to put our bikes on at the same time because the driver was getting impatient and a piece of my left shifter broke.  It was still kind of working but was a bit sketch.  The little thing that you use to adjust it snapped in half.  So we went to a different bike shop than usual and the guy had pretty much made it worse and then didn't have the correct piece, so we jimmy rigged my bike so that the front gear was constantly on the big gear and we left.  We went and saw Bella, a less active whom we hadn't ever really gone and seen because she lives north of LSU, and we said hi, and she just dumped all of her problems she is going through on us, but it was good to listen and figure out how we can help her.  Her home is falling apart and the branch has done some service that we still just need to finish.
Wednesday we went to our friendly bike shop, Capitol Cyclery on Essen and Perkins (by bus, of course) and they luckily had the piece and fixed it all up.  They had to replace the cable and cable housing because the other shop stole that.  They had to take apart another shifter that they had in stock in order to get the right pieces.  My friend at the bike shop asked me if I wanted to pay.  So nice!  I told him I would, but he still gave me an awesome deal.  really genuine guys there at Capitol Cyclery.
We also had Taco Bell for the first time in FOREVER!  It was good.  :)
We also finally got in with Peter!  He is from Belize and is awesome!  We watched Finding Faith in Christ and #BecauseofHim.  It was awesome!  He was like, I definitely need this in my life.  I hope he will continue to do what he needs to in order to progress.  
Saturday was fun!  I scored the first goal in soccer, which was fun.  
Sunday was cool!  We had a good time at church.  I bore my testimony and expressed my appreciation for the Branch, and my feelings towards knowing that Christ lives, and leads this church.  I know miracles are happening every day in this little branch, and that they will keep happening.  Some miracles are that of all the people that are endowed in the branch, like 95 percent have current recommends.  We have an activity rate of 55 percent total, which is better than any of the other congregations in Baton Rouge.  I really love this branch.  Sister Garcia in her testimony shared that when I first visited them, I had said that I wasn't sure of what to say. She said that now my testimony had helped them and many others to become stronger.  That was cool.
Well, later on, we went and said hey to the Wilkersons, and they wanted us to go on their trampoline and show them how to do flips.  Stephan, the youngest who is about 4 or so can pretty much do it which is funny.
On the way back home, we ran into Bridgit.  She is Native American from Montana, but was a foster child and was raised in Flagstaff Arizona.  Her foster parents were Mormon, and so she knows the church.  She wasn't opposed to having missionaries over.  That was pretty cool.  We also met Salvador from El Salvador who is a less active member.  He has been here nine months and has been working like crazy.  We gave him info about church, and he said if he finds time he will come.  
We also met Santos and Roger (pronounced like Royer in when in Spanish).  Santos had come to church like 2 months back and is pretty cool.  We never were able to get where he lived.  Both are Catrachos, by the way.  Hondurans.  Roger said that pretty much all of his family is Mormon. We asked him why he wasn't, and he just said he wasn't.  Both said they were interested to find out more, as well as coming to English class.  It was awesome!
Well, That is pretty much it!  Life is great!  Thanks y'all for everything!
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

One last thing!
Why I titled this email Doctrine and Covenants 18:33-35!  A good friend of mine that I hadn't met until I was on my mission, Brother Dave Bang, sent me a letter, as he does every now and then, and it talked about this scripture.  As we study in the scriptures, we are truly hearing the word of God, as if spoken by his own voice.  As we read, we can hear His Voice!  I know that I have heard the Voice of God!  I love you all so much!  Take care!
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 48 - Baton Rouge, LA

Alma 20:4 "in the strength of the Lord thou canst do all things"

Hey everyone!

It has been a pretty good week.  Just trying to do my best.  Preparation day was awesome!  It was the first time that we were able to have the entire district together.  We had everyone together and waxed the cars.  It was fun.  I actually like waxing cars for some reason.  It was just good to be all together and have a good time.  We also had an awesome Family Home Evening this week.  It had been awhile since Elder Glauser and I had assisted the regular Family Home Evenings Felipe holds in his home.  We shared #Gracias a El.  It was awesome.  We watched the video and I tied things that are said there with some points from the BYU Speech "His Grace is Sufficient" by good old Brad Wilcox.  It was super cool and the spirit was really strong.
Tuesday was fun.  We had an awesome night at English class.  We had one person show up. Rebecca.  It was her second time coming.  We took her around the church building and just taught her what some every day things were in English.  We also gave her a tour of the church building, so that was cool and pretty clever of us, I must say.  She even asked us when we had church!  She didn't come, but it was still pretty cool.

Wednesday we had an awesome Zone Conference.  The main part of the instruction were three talks from General Conference. Following Up by Elder Ballard, Love—the Essence of the Gospel by President Monson, and Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease by Elder Bednar.  Following up is such a crucial part of Missionary work!  If we don't follow up, our commitments really are hollow.  If we give out a copy of the Book of Mormon and never ask about it again, does that show that we really care about if they read or not?  Are they likely to read again?  Probably not.   When we talked about President Monson's talk, we focused on companionship unity.  It was cool! We talked about how in order to show our love for God, we also have to love our companion. One thing we can do to love God is to be obedient with our companion.  I love a phrase in the white handbook. It is one of the only things I think I have underlined in the Missionary Handbook.  "As you obey with a willing heart (see D&C 64:34), you will show the Lord your love for Him..."  When we are obedient, it helps our companion to be obedient too.  Then we can both really show the Lord that we love him.  I thought that was pretty cool.  I really liked what was said about Elder Bednar's talk as well.  Elder Bednar is probably one of my favorite people to hear speak in General Conference.  One of his really common themes is the enabling power of the Atonement.  The Atonement is not only for our sins, but to help us become better people.  It is not only for the sinner, but also for the saint.  As a missionary, we have a really big load.  However, this load will help us to become better saints.  Along with that, I don't have to pull my load alone. I have the Savior, the creator of the universe pulling along with me.  That is such a powerful thought.  I do not have to pull alone.  This morning I was reading a BYU speech by Elder Bednar when he was President of BYU I.  It is called "In the Strength of the Lord".  In this talk, he uses Mosiah 3:19 to demonstrate more about the Redeeming and Enabling powers of the Atonement.  I would invite y'all to take a look at this talk if you haven't already.  If you have already, another look wont hurt.  It is awesome.

We also had an instruction on car safety because we are supposed to on a quarterly basis.  That day, or the next day, some sisters in the zone were in a preventable accident, so on Friday we had an emergency district meeting were we focused the entire time on safety again.  We made it fun. I took everyone outside, and we got in the cars and I put one car at the end of the parking lot, and then I got in the other car and pulled it up to the back right corner of the other car so I could demonstrate blind spots and how far you need to be to have enough space to pass.  If you can't see their headlights in your rear view mirror, you don't have enough space!  We also practiced backing, because we are supposed to have a backer when we have the car in reverse, so we made sure that they understood what signals the backers were going to use.  If we have backers, we shouldn't have backing accidents.  They told us the church spends around one million dollars repairing damage to the backs of cars from backing and bike rack damage.  Crazy.  

Well, we had an awesome lesson this week with Leopoldo.  We showed him this Video from the old scripture resources.  It is called The Plan of Salvation.  It was awesome.  We just had a real good discussion about the Plan of Salvation and what it meant for us and him.  He had a question about if we believed in hell, and we explained about the degrees of glory.  It was cool.  The spirit was there and it was awesome.  He bought us ice cream and we helped him weed some of his planters.  After we played a little pool with him.  It was awesome.  

Well, that is pretty much what happened this week!  I love you all!  Take care and keep on keepin on!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 47 - Baton Rouge, LA

Alma 7:11-13 

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

 13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

Hey Everyone!

Well, this week was awesome!  We have been going crazy inviting everyone to come to the Gladys Knight performance, and sharing the video Because of Him.  Both of these things are/will be awesome!  

Transfers turned out really good!  We have gotten Elder Billings back, which is awesome!  He served here in Baton Rouge my first transfer being switched here.  It was good to see him again, and a pleasure to serve around him.  We also got another Sister, Hermana Bailey.  So the sisters in our district are in a trio again.  Spanish sister's always get put into interesting situations.  They will do fine though.  Elder McCutcheon is a Zone Leader now down in Metairie.  He will do really well there.  He is a solid missionary.

We had an awesome lesson with Leopoldo this week!  We went and showed him Because of Him, and he loved it!  It was so cool!  We talked with him and explained that because of what the Savior did for us, we can change and become better!  So cool!  We gave him a pass along card, one of the ones with Jesus walking out of the tomb.  We then had him write on it some goals he has to come unto the Savior.  He wrote something like pray more, and obey all the commandments.  He wasn't able to make it to church, but we will keep helping him.

On Friday, we went and visited with la Familia Garcia.  Hermano Garcia is our Branch Mission Leader.  He is awesome!  We had a sweet lesson earlier in the week were we invited them to share #GraciasaEl with everyone.  So, on Friday we followed up.  They hadn't shared it yet, so we recommitted them.  That was so cool!  We also talked a little about the parable of the Sower in Matthew 13.  Something I had never realized is what was meant by the weeds.  What do they mean?  I had always thought that they were some outside thing keeping the soil from helping the seed to grow.  The last time I read I realized that the weeds are things that we (the soil) give place to that get in the way of the word.  What do we have that distracts us from what is truly important?  The weeds can be a lot of things!  We just need to be careful and take preventative measures.

Saturday was crazy.  We went down to Presidente Estrada's home and helped him out.  We built planters and using the gardening knowledge that I have from years of growing a garden in Mesa with my dad (thanks dad)  we figured out where would be a good place in his yard that would get lots of sunlight and water.  We then planted something like 16 tomato plants.  He didn't have anything else he wanted to plant, so we just did tomatoes.  

Sunday was awesome!  Church was fantastic!  I taught in Gospel Principles and we used chapter 12 on the Atonement.  It was awesome.  There was this guy Jacob from Honduras who was at church for the first time.  He got super into it and said he really enjoyed the class.  That made me feel good.  the spirit was so strong.  That has to be one of the best parts of teaching.  I was guided to share so much in class yesterday that I didn't even have planned.  One cool thing that I did have planned was to give everyone a pass along card with a post it note on the back, and write what they had been given, "Because of Him".  We then watched Because of Him, and then we got into the chapter.  We finished with the video He is Risen.  It was so sweet.  We also read in Alma 7, probably my favorite verses to share when I ever talk about the Atonement.  Priesthood was OK. It always consists of splitting into groups, reading the sections, and then giving a summary.  We are really trying to work with everyone in helping them learn how to teach.  It is a work in progress.  :)

Sacrament was good!  Juan Rodriguez conducted for his first time as second counselor and he did such a good job!  We also heard from Presidente Filadelfo Gonzales, the Elder's Quorum President, and from Hermano Tigre, first counselor.  Everyone was so good!  It is so awesome to see the progress of our little branch!

Thanks everyone for the support!  Life is so great!  I absolutely love serving here in Baton Rouge! Y'all take care!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 46 - Baton Rouge, LA

Mosiah 18:23 And he commanded them that they should observe the sabbath day, and keep it holy, and also every day they should give thanks to the Lord their God.

Hey Everyone! 

Well, I'm staying here in the South of Baton Rouge!  Elder Glauser is staying too!  I can't wait to make this the best transfer ever!  I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve here in Louisiana.  I plan on making this last bit the very best that I can!  I have only served in two areas my entire mission.  I have thought about that for a long time.  Why me?  Why did I not get moved around like pretty much every other missionary that I have seen here?  I know that I have truly seen the hand of the Lord in that decision.  I have truly come to love the people in these areas that I have served.  I have really learned to appreciate the little miracles in peoples progress.  It has been interesting to see the people here gradually progress.  I know that I might not see the fruits of everything I do, but I have come to know that what I do is important.  That what I am doing now will help Elder Glauser and other future missionaries to help these people make the covenant of baptism.  I know that I have been doing a great work here in Baton Rouge, and I will keep doing it until my time has come.  "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."- John 9:4.

Well, this week was interesting.  Pretty much it was a big long week of meetings.  Elder Glauser and I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders.  It was really cool.  I was with Elder Campbell in his area, which is really our area, but speaking English.  He is from just outside the Salt Lake area.  He is awesome and goes home the same time I do.  He is even going to BYU Provo.  We will definitely hang out after the mission!  To start off the exchange we went and did some service at the African American Museum.  It was interesting.  It is mostly outside, but they have this little home that is the museum.  It is right underneath the Hwy 10 overpass.  Most everyone cleaned these bricks that they had in piles but Elder McMurray and I went and helped to transplant sugarcane. After that there was this puddle that came from the overpass that runs over the museum and so I went and dug a ditch that took the water out of the puddle and over to this big gully behind the museum.  That was fun.

After that Elder Campbell and I went to Lance's home.  He is from Alaska, but is here while his wife Candice is finishing college.  They are both super cool.  He served a mission in Salt Lake, which, for him, was an interesting experience.  Elder Campbell was telling me that he had to put up with a lot of crap from the members.  They would be at the store on preparation day, and people would come up to them and tell them that they weren't supposed to be shopping because it wasn't their preparation day, even though it was.  That was hard on him.  They are married but not in the temple.  They really want to go to the temple though.  I know they will someday.  Lance has a hip problem that needs a really complex surgery, and they are talking with a surgeon in California to see if he can do it.  Otherwise he might need a hip replacement.  To help him out, the Elder's go and play frisbee golf (or frolf) with him.  It was fun!  A lot harder than it looks though.  I can throw an ultimate disc fine, but those ones for frolf are really hard!  After that we had a lesson about the temple.  We talked about some experiences that we had had in the temple.  Elder Campbell out of the blue asked me if I had an experience with the temple that I could share.  For some reason, I thought of Gramps.  Grandpa Clyde.  I remember right after I had heard that he had passed away, we went on a temple trip in the MTC.  I remember just being in the celestial room and being completely at peace.  I knew and now know that Heavenly Father loves Gramps.  He will do what is best for him.  I know that He loves me too!  It was cool.  I hadn't even thought of that experience for the last two years.  I know that Lance needed to hear that.  On the exchange we also went to check on a media referral they had received that lived in a really nice part of town.  There home was gorgeous, but they weren't home.  We also went to this awesome jamaican taqueria.  They had all of these really good tacos, and I even had a fish taco with Maji Maji that SO good.  What was crazy about that was that we met the guy that does the voice overs for scooby doo and shaggy, Scott Innes.  A really cool guy.  He even payed for our food!  That was a miracle!  After the exchange was over, we pretty much had a week of meetings.
First, we had specialized training.  I did well with my instruction.  It didn't go exactly as I had planned, but I have come to be OK with that.  It was cool because President Wall was there. We had a role play with President Wall.  The scenario was that President Wall hadn't seen conference, and our goal was to get him to go and listen to and read it online.  Elder Glauser and I shared 2 Nephi 32:3 with him, and invited him to feast on the words of the prophets from conference.  When we reviewed it, President Wall pointed out something that was really cool, and demonstrated it by switching places with Elder Glauser and I.  He started out by just talking with us.  He asked us what was going on, and what was hard in life.  If we had concerns.  He then asked us that if there was something that could answer our concerns, if we would take it.  We said we would.  He then read 2 Nephi 32:3.  He emphasized how the verse says that the words of Christ will show us ALL things that we should do.  He then explained that we had the chance of listening to the voice of the Prophet's the servants of Christ.  It was so easy to say that we would read conference!  It was so cool!  President Wall counseled us to never ask an investigator a question that he would say no to.  So cool.
Thursday we also had the interview of Jose Velasquez for his baptism.  It was my first one to give.  I was a little nervous, but I spent a little time instructing about the importance of baptism and what it meant to take upon us His name.  It was awesome!  He was SO ready.  I was glad to be a part of it.

Friday we had Zone Training.  It was awesome.  We talked about being creative in what we do. We were all given a sheet of paper that we are to decorate and show how we are being creative, and to show successes and failures.  That is going to be fun!

Saturday we had the baptism of Jose Velasquez.  It was awesome!  President Wall came, and we had a few members who came later than we wanted, but hey, they came.  It was a pretty baptism, and Elder Glauser gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.  The other Elder's had asked me, but I told them to ask Elder Glauser.  He did beautifully, and I think he is feeling more confident in his Spanish.  So awesome!

Sunday, I got a call telling me that I had been assigned to speak that Sunday, but the person who was to assign me never did.  I was to speak on the Holy Ghost.  Luckily I had a talk about the Holy Ghost from the Baptism of Esmerelda.  It was in outline form, so it was pretty much ready to go.  I felt like I did a good job for such a short notice.  The spirit was strong.  I also taught Gospel Principles.  That rocked.  We talked about agency.  I used the stuff in this video a lot.  It is one of my favorites!

Well, that was pretty much the week!  Life is awesome and I am going to live it to the fullest! Love you all!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews