Monday, September 24, 2012

Year 1 - Letter 16 - New Orleans, LA

Hey everyone!

The mission field is awesome!  Everything is going quite well!  It is so much fun to be helping the people of New Orleans!  I guess i will start of by talking about our investigators that we have been meeting with lately.
The first is Virginio.  He is about 70 years old, and is excited to learn more.  We are teaching him about the plan of salvation right now, and taking it slower so he can really understand.  That is the funny thing about Hispanics.  If you ask them if they understand, pretty much always they will say si.  Even if they don't.  You usually have to ask more specific questions about what you are teaching at the moment.  Virginio really wants to come to church, so our goal is to find a way to get him there.
Next that comes to mind is Manuel.  Manuel is not the typical Hispanic.  He is agnostic, which means he kinda believes in God, but more in that there is a powerful being, and isn't sure how we can know he is there.  Therefore, scriptures are a hard thing for him to believe are true.  However,we are helping him to understand, and to understand more about where he is coming from.  He is really interested in church history, so we are helping him understand that more as well.  He fed us the other day with these things that were like corn tortillas filled with meat and veggies, with a green salsa over the hole thing.  That was good, however it wasn't until after when me and Elder Gillett talked that we decided that one of the ingredients had to have been chicken neck.  That was interesting. 
Then we have a gang of people we have that we see off and on.  They are David and Zuri (z in Spanish is kinda like an s), who just had a baby, and Igor, Marcos, and Nito, who are all single guys just working in construction.  We are teaching them about the restoration, and they want to learn more.  They work a lot though, so they don't always follow commitments.
Otherwise, the work is going well!  We have a goal to contact three people per day, and that has been helping us to find more potential investigators.  Also, i am finally starting to be able to understand people, and take a part of the lessons!  It is crazy to see how the gift of tongues is real!  If we need to do something, i know, just like Nephi does in 1 Nephi 3, that the Lord will provide a way!
This weekend was my first week to do service in La Place, and in Plackmine.  La Place is looking better, but Plackmine was under 22 feet of water for 3 weeks... it was gross.  The house i helped at was a man that luckily, his home was on stilts, so he only had about 4 drywall damage, but he had a trailer that we pretty much just demolished, along with all that was inside.  That, and he had a rabbit farm, that all the rabbits had died.  That was super gross.  Otherwise, it was great to serve, and the knee didn't get in the way, which was great.  In 1 week, i am allowed to run again, so that will be great!  I cant wait to be completely normal!
Well, life is great in Louisiana!  Thanks for all that y'all do!
Love you!
Elder Scott Andrews

Monday, September 17, 2012

Year 1 - Letter 15 - New Orleans, LA

Hey everyone!

I finally made it here!  This week has been crazy.  First off, both of the planes i flew on where quite small, and that was new for me.  I happened to be seated right next to a plane engine on the first flight at five in the morning, so i got a little sleep, but not really anything solid.  Next we went on a plane that there was only one row of three.  It was tiny, and you could feel every movement of the plane.  Well, enough of that.

We landed safely in the tiny Baton Rouge airport.  I made it down the escalator, and there was President and Sister Wall.  They are awesome!  I can't wait to get to know them more!  We got all of our bags, loaded them into a trailer, (except my bag with insulin), and went off to the mission home.  If you want to know what the mission home looks like, it is gorgeous!  Just picture a nice southern home that has a big porch in the front.  It is awesome.  Our first dinner in the field was rice, turkey, beans, and some Cajun powder with green salsa.  It was good.  Then i had my interview with President Wall.  He asked me how i was doing, and about what i had done in the referral center, and a few other questions.  Then he told me my first area was to be New Orleans.  My house is right next to downtown, and all of New Orleans, except for the east part on the other side of the Canal, and Jefferson.  He said they don't usually train people here, because New Orleans is pretty much as worldly as it gets.  He told me i was there to be with my companion, whom, by the way, is awesome!  Well, we spent the night in the mission home, and then it was off to transfer meeting.  We all came into the chapel, sat on the rows on the side, and then President started to call out companionships, with a lot of funny in between stuff.  President is awesome.  My first companion is Elder Gillett.  We are so much alike, and that really makes it easy.  We are both quite laid back, and just want to work.  I have already learned so much from being his companion.  He is from Salt Lake City, He has been here a year, and we jumped right into the work.

In some ways it feels like we are starting a new.  They haven't seen anyone for a week, since the hurricane hit, and they have been doing service in La Place (pronounced Laplaz).  The first person i talked with was Virginio.  He is from Cuba, and i hardly understood a word he said.  You learn as much Spanish as you can in the MTC, but nothing can really prepare you for speaking with natives.  He was nice and helped me out though, as most of the Hispanics do.

A lot of what we are doing right now is getting in contact with people in the area again.  Seeing how they are doing, how they did with the Hurricane, and if we can help them in any way.  We did find a nice little family in Jefferson, which is east of New Orleans.  We taught them the Plan of Salvation yesterday.  They seem really interested, and i can't wait to teach them more!

In my scripture study the other day, i was reading in Alma 31.  in verse 5, it says " And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God"  This scripture is awesome. I know that the power of the scriptures is incredible, and if we will read them and study them, we will be ready for whatever comes our way.  I know i don't know the language very well, but i do know that this church is true, and that the Book of Mormon has what people need to hear.

The language is coming along, i can kinda say what i want to, and i understand a little now, but all of that comes with time.  Well, gotta go!  Love you all!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews

OH!  Almost forgot!  My first sunday in the ward, they made me introduce myself, and bear my testimony.  That, i can do in spanish!  It was awesome!  Well, gotta go!
Elder Andrews

Thursday, September 13, 2012

An e-mail from Sister Gordon - Mission Secretary

This is just a quick note to tell you that your son arrived safely in Louisiana yesterday. 
His mailing address will be: 811 Adele St., New Orleans, LA 70130

He will get letters much faster if you mail them to this address (his apartment) rather than the mission office. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Serving in Louisiana!

Scott phoned this morning at 8:30 am on his way to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He left the MTC at 3:00 am and phoned during his lay over in Dallas, Texas. He is grateful for all that he learned and all the great people he met in the MTC. He is excited to be moving on to Louisiana. So fun to visit with him.  We love Elder Andrews!

Until we here where he is assigned his address is:
Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission
12025 Justice Ave
Baton Rouge, LA 70816

Thank you for all of your love, prayers and support for Scott!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Year 1 - Letter 14 - MTC

Hey everyone!
This week sure has been a crazy ride!  Lots and lots of work!  Even though the referral center isn't a mission where you are up and around tracting, it sure is quite taxing on the brain.  It's like you either get the people that are ready to hear more and listen to what you have to say, and then take the lessons, or you get the ones who just want to argue and tell you that you are wrong.  Or trolls, always there are trolls.  What always comes to mind is that one poem that President Monson included in a talk, and that dad had at one time hung in his office, that says something like "I have wept in the night for the shortness of sight, that to somebodies need made me blind, but never have yet felt a tinge of regret, for being a little to kind."  We can always do more to help others, and a little less to judge.  It alright if people don't want to listen.  That is entirely up to them.  As missionaries, we are sent to "invite others to come unto Christ".  Not to force, but to extend the invitation.  That can be kinda hard.  It is really easy to get caught up trying to make someone believe.  However, that is not what we are called to do.
This week was pretty typical.  A lot of work, some sleep, and more work.  I am tired all the time, but it is great!  I met with the doctor Monday, and he told me that my knee was looking great, but my quad could use a little more work.  Frankly, it is still weak sauce.  I did take of the brace, and that is helping strengthen it a lot.  Otherwise, its all good.
The investigators are good!  We have pretty much handed them on to the local missionaries, so they can get used to them and get the members more involved with them.  That is kinda hard for me.  You don't see the actual baptisms.  However, a baptism is still a baptism, and its one more person leading a better life.  That is what matters.  Inviting others to come unto Christ.
Well, that is pretty much it for this week. Just helping all those who come on chat!
Love you all!
Elder Andrews