Monday, December 23, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 30 - Baton Rouge, LA

Ether 2:25 And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?

Hey everyone!  

This week was rather interesting!  We did a TON of random things.

Monday was sweet.  Elder Hale and I were in charge of Family Home Evening.  We taught about the Doctrine of Christ.  It was awesome!  As we taught about each principle, we ripped a piece of paper off and wrote each of the parts: Fe en Jesucristo, Arrepentimiento, Bautismo, Don del EspĂ­ritu Santo, y perseverar hasta el fin.  We then cut out the numbers one to five, and made a path around the room.  We then had Felipe try to use the papers of the Doctrine of Christ to travel around the room.  The only way to do it is to walk along the pieces, and pick up the pieces that you have already stepped on and put them down and use them again.  Therefore, the path is like life.  As we go through life, we must continually be doing the things that make up the Doctrine of Christ.  We must always be acting in faith, repenting, partaking of the sacrament, and following the spirit.  If we do that, we will endure to the end.  It was a sweet lesson and we had an awesome discussion after.

Tuesday I had planned on finishing the Role Play Roulette.  Everyone last week had chosen a teaching situation with a certain person and put it on a piece of paper.  We then took turns drawing one and then this week we were going to do them.  However, the sisters had a part of the Christmas Devotional the mission did, so they were in New Orleans for that and me and Elder Hale didn't know, so with some divine inspiration, I decided in the middle of the opening song to have a group study of the Tree of Life.  It was super awesome!  Something that I thought was interesting is that when Nephi asks to know the interpretation of the tree, the angel shows him Mary, and then asks Nephi what he sees.  Nephi response is super honest.  He says that he saw a "A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins."  He didn't know who she was, or what it meant.  That is also shown when the angel asks him "Knowest thou the condescension of God?" and Nephi says "I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."  Because Nephi was honest, the angel was better able to help him learn, and see many miraculous things.  Something else that was cool was the angels question "What desirest thou?" What an awesome question!  Wouldn't it be great to know what those we teach really want?  It would sure help us be able to help them to progress.  Anyways, it was an awesome meeting.  I know that when things happen that aren't along with the plans we had, it means that we just need to adjust and move along.  The spirit will be there to help guide us in the correct path.

Wednesday we met with Lauriano and Blas, and shared with them a Christmas message.  We watched the Bible videos regarding the shepherds and wisemen.  It was sweet.  We then talked about being a wise man today and seeking Christ in our day.  We invited them to read and come to church, but they are still kind of flaky. 

Thursday was the Mission Christmas Devo.  It was pretty much the same thing as last year.  It was like a live Joy to the World play thing.  It was sweet.  There was good music and the acting was funny.  President and Sister Wall gave us flashlights so we could let our "lights" shine this christmas, as well as a little temple recommend holder with the Baton Rouge Temple on it.  That was so thoughtful of them.  Sister Wall is always creative with what she gives the missionaries. After the devo, we went home, and saw a car that had bottomed out turning right on one of the ditches that always run by the roads here.  The Plaquemine Elders had given us a ride and we were all like, "we got to help them!"  So we all got out, another truck stopped, and another truck blocked the road and turned on his hazards.  They put the car in Neutral and we shoved it out of the ditch.  That was sweet.  

Friday we went caroling and had a blast.  We found several cool people in our area and gave them all a wrapped copy of Joy to the World.

Saturday and Sunday there was a tornado warning.  That meant bike areas had to stay indoors. That was terrible.  I was bored out of my mind.  We studied a lot.  Watched the Doctrine and Covenants videos, watched Joseph Smith, prophet of the Restoration, and played a four hour game of Monopoly.  Elder Hale won because he had all of the railroads and I landed on them a lot.

Today the zone shall get together to play basketball and volleyball and have a white elephant. That will be a blast!  Well, I love you all!  Gotta go!  I get to talk to home this week! So excited!

Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 29 - Baton Rouge, LA

Alma 5:44 For I am called to speak after this manner, according to the holy order of God, which is in Christ Jesus; yea, I am commanded to stand and testify unto this people the things which have been spoken by our fathers concerning the things which are to come.

Hey Everyone!

This week was pretty interesting!  So we had some pretty sweet stuff go happen.  First things first. We were invited to go to the transfer meeting and a leadership meeting in the morning.  Both were awesome.  In the leadership meeting we talked a lot about being a good example to our district members.  We also talked a lot about being spirit lead.  I really loved a quote in Preach My Gospel from Elder Dallin H. Oaks at the end of the chapter How Do I Recognize and Understand the Spirit.  

“[A person may have] a strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord but … unwisely extends that desire to the point of wanting to be led in all things. A desire to be led by the Lord is a strength, but it needs to be accompanied by an understanding that our Heavenly Father leaves many decisions for our personal choices. Personal decision making is one of the sources of the growth we are meant to experience in mortality. Persons who try to shift all decision making to the Lord and plead for revelation in every choice will soon find circumstances in which they pray for guidance and don’t receive it. For example, this is likely to occur in those numerous circumstances in which the choices are trivial or either choice is acceptable.

“We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we receive it. If we do not receive guidance, we should act upon our best judgment. Persons who persist in seeking revelatory guidance on subjects on which the Lord has not chosen to direct us may concoct an answer out of their own fantasy or bias, or they may even receive an answer through the medium of false revelation” (“Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” Ensign, Oct. 1994, 13–14).
I thought that that was pretty sweet.  It is good to rely on the spirit, but we need to use our own brains as well.

The transfer meeting was sweet too.  I was able to see Hermana Walker and Hermana Marks off. They were the sisters in my MTC district that came to Baton Rouge.  Hermana Burns and Hermana Marks played God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen, and it was gorgeous.  I love that song!
Well, this week was a lot running around.  We were able to get in to see David, which we hadn't done for awhile.  His "step sister" of sorts had just gotten here a week ago and it was her birthday party.  We randomly showed up and helped them set up a little bit.  

One really cool thing that happened was the Nativity that the English wards set up.  It was huge. They set up a stage along one of the long walls of the cultural center and it was very well done.  It was neat.  We even got Lauriano and Daniel to come!  That was the best part!

We went and saw Lauriano and Blas on Sunday.  What was crazy was that there were another 5 guys there.  We just walked on in, and asked if we could share a message.  Blas said sure, and so I asked the others if they would like to listen.  They said they would.  So we sat down, and I felt to share nephi's account of the tree of life and the iron rod.  We were able to testify of the Savior, and that he really is the Tree of Life, and that the Book of Mormon is the iron rod, that will help us get closer to Him.  It was a super cool experience, to be able to testify to so many people at one time.  We left one younger guy who was there with a Book of Mormon because he was interested.  We offered the others copies too, but they said that they could borrow one from Blas or someone and wouldn't take it, so we gave them cards.

Well, that is pretty much the highlights of the week!  I love you all!  Merry Christmas!

Love,

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 28 - Baton Rouge, LA

Alma 37:34 Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls.

Hey everyone!

Well, Elder Hale and I haven't been called by anyone, so that usually means that we aren't having any changes.  The only change in my district will be Hermana Marks, one of my MTC amigos from my first district, will be going home.  Therefore, someone will have to take her place.  That is so crazy.  I have hit 18 months!  It is super sad to see Sister Marks and Sister Walker, her MTC companion, go.
  
Well, this week was very very wet.  Some cool things that happened were that me and Elder Hale found three new investigators in one day!  That was awesome!  We have been praying that we would find more people to teach, and it is awesome to see that our prayers are heard and answered.  

The first one is Mario from El Salvador.  He lives in a home of a former investigator that we went out to check on.  We knocked on the door and he answered and I asked if the former, Mauricillo was home, and he said he had moved.  We then started up a conversation about where he was from, if he liked Papusas (the main dish from El Salvador), and stuff like that.  we then explained who we were, and asked him if he would be interested in hearing our message.  He said that if we found him home, he would love too.
  
The next two new investigators came together.  We went to check on Carmen and Arnold, and as we left, we saw Hector and Edwin get out of their car.  We said hi, and their response really hit me for some reason.  It wasn't like they just said, fine, thanks.  They responded in a way that really started a conversation.  It was pretty sweet.  Hector is from Honduras and has been here awhile, and Edwin is from El Salvador, and has been here a week.  Both are legal, which is kind of interesting.  They invited us back the next day, and we had a good conversation about the Book of Mormon.  They said that they would read it, and we could meet sometime the next week.  It was awesome!

This week we had Zone Training.  It was awesome!  Elder Brockbank and Elder Knowlton are sweet.  Elder Brockbank is the other type one diabetic in the mission, so we relate.  We focused the entire time on finding.  I know that if we will follow the spirit, we will be guided to those who are ready.  One of the LSU sisters, Sister Ogden, shared the Temple Square contacting model, that the sisters use there in Salt Lake.  She served with a sister that was called there and came to Baton Rouge for her time in the regular field.  I can't remember it all off the top of my head, so I will include that in my next email.  I have to take a look at my notes.

Well, that meeting was sweet.  After the meeting, we had a district leader counsel.  We talked about how a good leader helps the district progress, and they gave us some great ideas for district meetings.  They then had a maze set up in the relief society room, and one person had to lead two people through the maze while the two were blindfolded.  It was sweet.  The zone leaders were making noises and saying stuff to distract, but the leader got us to the intended location.  could the blindfolded people have plowed through the maze of chairs and tables? yes.  But as they listened to their leader, they were able to accomplish the task with ease, and without bruises.  It was a cool lesson.  Well, I gotta run!  I love you all!  I have really enjoyed reading the letters in the advent calendar!  Thank you so much to all who were a part of that!  

Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 27 - Baton Rouge, LA

Matthew 6:9-13

Hey Everyone!

Life is great!  So, one really cool thing was that Saturday was the baptism of Tanya Ramirez! Both me and Elder Hale were in the font because she is pregnant, and therefore a little bit more heavy and unstable.  It was a really cool experience.  The spirit was just so soft and peaceful.  It was really neat.

Well, this week was pretty much awesome!  
Monday we went to Brother Shute's home, and we taught about trusting in the Lord using the broomstick.  Brother Shute had made us a Turkey.  He doesn't like turkey at all, but he gets one every bishops storehouse, so he made it for us.  For a guy that never eats turkey, it was delicious! After that, we went to Presidente Felipe's for another Family Home Evening.  It was awesome. We taught the same lesson again, and had an interesting conversation.  We asked what we could do to better trust in the Lord.  At first they talked about the simple things, like have more meaningful scripture study, more fervent and frequent prayers, etc.  Then it got to missionary work, and it was cool that if we will just trust in the Lord, and go to work as he would have us, it will work out (kind of like what you were talking about mom! He IS mightier than all the earth! see 1 Nephi 4:1 and  "Doctrinal Commentary on The Book of Mormon" by McConkie and Millet) It was a sweet lesson!

Tuesday I got a package of letters from my family for thanksgiving. Thank you all so much!  I love you all too!  I saw something interesting in the lyrics of the song Count your Blessings that my dad included in his letter.  The 3rd verse in the lyrics, it says
Count your many blessings; money cannot buy 
Your reward in heaven nor your home on high.
If you look at the punctuation, it says count your many blessings: (PAUSE) money cannot by your reward in heaven nor your home on high.  I just sat there and just thought how profound that is. Money CANNOT buy the things that matter most.  That is something that I have really seen from the people that I have taught.  All a lot of them do is work, and that is it.  Money is only important in sustaining our families.  We can't let it get in the way of what matters most.

Thanksgiving was awesome!  Presidente Estrada put me and Elder Hale in charge of organizing sports.  We went to Burbank Fields and played some soccer.  We got a lot of people there despite it being on the cold side.  And that is another thing!  I never would have thought that Louisiana would be cold!  Last week it got below freezing!  I have been very grateful for the sweaters and jacket that have been sent from home!  Thanks again!

Thanksgiving dinner was in the church with a bunch of the single guys in our ward.  Me and Elder Hale made garlic mashed potatoes.  They were so good they reminded me of my dads! They were a hit.  It was a good dinner, and the company was better.

Saturday was awesome!  We went and did a bunch of service at the house we went to last week, except we did painting. Elder Hale used Felipe's stilts, to scrape the old paint on the ceiling.  I tried and just could do it. We got a lot done though.  And then the Baptism.  That was awesome. Elder McMurray confirmed her on Sunday, and that was sweet.  A good first transfer experience for him.  

Well, life is a gift!  Thanks for everything!  I love you all!  Hasta luego!

Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

1.Me Elder Hale and Tanya
2.Me and Elder McMurray :P  haha, jk On the right is Felipe, and on the left is Martin, who is going to move into our area soon, which is sweet.
3.Service, and you can kind of see Elder Hale's Stilts.





Monday, November 25, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 26 - Baton Rouge, LA

2 Ne 4:35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

Hey everyone!

We had a really good week this week!  We doubled our lessons from last week, so that was nice. Our goal is to do it again!  I just prayed that we would receive help this week, and that we would find more people to teach.  The miracle is, is that it wasn't like we were biking on the street and God just put someone in front of us with a large neon sign that said TEACH ME!  It came from the people that we have been teaching for awhile.

One of these sweet miracles was Blas.  Blas has always liked to talk to us.  This week we had three lessons with him.  
1. We taught Blas "the pole" lesson using Proverbs 3:5-6.  It went really well.  He got it right of the bat.  At the end of the lesson, I had the prompting to ask him if he wanted to go on a chapel tour.  We had talked about doing one a long time ago when I was with Elder Drollinger, but the spirit brought it up again and so I offered and he said that he would love to do that, and so we planned to have a tour the next day
2. Next day, we went to the chapel, and had a really sweet experience.  There is no feeling like there is in the chapel.  During the tour, we showed him the primary room, relief society room, cultural hall, family history room, the font and last but not least the chapel.  During the tour we showed him the three part mormon message called Patterns of Light by Elder Bednar.  It was sweet, and I think really applicable to him.  
3. We taught him a few days later about the Book of Mormon and he brought up some concerns. He rambled a little, and that is really hard for me sometimes, because I get distracted and then don't really listen, but I have really seen that if we listen, we will better be able to help them.  So in his rambling, he talked about how he believed there were only two churches.  WE explained that the Book of Mormon talked a lot about that, and gave him an assignment to read in 1 Nephi 13-14.  He said he would read, which he never really has done before, so that was pretty sweet. Can't wait to follow up.

Well, another sweet thing happened this week.  The sisters (Sister Marks, who was in my MTC district, and Sister Burns, whom I have served along with since I got here) have been teaching Tanya, the niece of the Wilkersons, whom I know pretty well.  Anyways, Brother Wilkerson has ptsd from his time in Iraq, and so had been struggling lately, so we went with the sisters just to help if we could.  Turns out Brother Wilkerson had gone somewhere else, and so we talked with Tanya, and she asked me if I would baptize her.  I was kind of surprised.  Anyways, the baptism is this week.  That will be sweet.

We also saw Lauriano, who we taught about attending church, but his work schedule is kind of crazy, and he wasn't able to come.  That was kind of sad, but I know that if he will just do what he can to come to church, he will receive the help he needs to come.  Even though he wasn't able to go to church, he is doing well.  He still really likes what is being taught.

We saw David this week!  It had been over a week since our last lesson.  He is kind of addicted to video games. It is so strange to see how in a way I was like that.  With technology as advanced as it is, we can not let it get in the way of our spiritual progression.  Among the ordinances necessary to return to the kingdom of God, there is not a requirement to have beat a video game.  We will do what we can to help him.  What he really needs is a good friend.

Saturday was awesome!  We got fed four times!  That is definitely a record.  That is pretty much how it has been my entire mission.  When I get fed, it is all in one week, and then I go for like a month, and then it happens again.  Anyways, we went on saturday with president Estrada to do service at a house on the other side of LSU.  We made the mistake of going through LSU, which was getting ready for the LSU vs Texas A&M game.  It was crazy.  Seas of tents and cars!  It was a sight to see!   After an hour, we made it to the ladies home.  It was crazy old.  It was a mess as well.  The crazy thing is is that they said that they had made a ton of progress cleaning.  I don't really want to know what it looked like before.  Anyways, we were there with Presidente Estrada and Eric Ramos, a recently returning member who is an electrician.  We helped them figure out some wiring issues, and were only able to fix a little bit with the time we had.  After, presidente took us to Jack in the Box, which is back after they had a bunch of people die from food poisoning from their taco meat.  

After that, we went to Hafiz's home, because we had planned to go to futbol, but it was too cold and rainy and so he fed us instead.  He is from Nigeria and fed us chicken and rice with some good sauce.  

Then we went to Hermano Silva's home and he fed us as well.  Chicken and rice hispanic style with tortillas.  It was all good.

Then we went and taught Lauriano and Blas was there as well and fed us chips and milk and then left. 

Well, Sunday was Hafiz's mom's birthday, and so as we were coming in for the night, they gave us more food and cake.  They are super nice.  

Well, that is pretty much the week!  Life is great!  We are keeping busy, which is such a good thing!  I love you all!

Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Oh!  One other crazy thing!  I got this email!  It is from Maruf, the guy that was baptized in December that I found in the Referral center!  I sent him an email last week.
Hi Elder Andrews, what I surprise buddy. How are you? I do remember you very well. How long left from ur mission? I have called by the bishop  as a word missionary as he think I am already working as a missionary! Lol. Coz I have invited some of my class mates other day to the church and they are having their lessons more often. How ever I wish to talk to you. Anytime people wants to hear my testimony I have to mention ur name. U guys did such a great job to introduce me to the church and help me out at the beginning. Maruf

Yep, well, living the dream!  Love yall!
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 25 - Baton Rouge, LA

D&C 58:4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.

Hey everyone!
Well, this week was particularly hard, but that is OK.  We will just keep our heads up and keep on keep-in on.
Some great things that happened:
1. We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders.  I was with Elder Knowlton, who is awesome.
2. We had an awesome couple lessons with Lauriano.  He is sweet.  We taught him the restoration again, because he didn't really remember some key parts.  We really focused on teaching about modern day prophets.  The next lesson, we shared President Monson's talk from the recent conference.  It was awesome.  He said that he felt good about what he said.  He then said that he had a question for us.  He was kind of sheepish in asking his question, so the first thing that we explained was that our purpose there was to answer his questions.  That made him feel more open.  He expressed concern that we talk about the Book of Mormon a lot more than the Bible, and that he didn't really understand where the Book of Mormon came from.  We explained that we talk about the Book of Mormon so much, not to take away from the Bible, but that the Book of Mormon is the way we can find out if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's church.  We then explained the introduction of the Book of Mormon, and that answered his questions.  He then had a super sincere question.  He asked us how he should study.  Should he study only the Book of Mormon?  We told him that he should study both, and showed him the footnotes that help us to do that.  I really felt like we helped him better understand the Book of Mormon.  That was cool.  He also likes President Monson, so that is cool.  He said that he sounded really sincere, and that he talked and taught from his own experiences.
3. I was freezing with Elder Knowlton out on our bikes, and so we went to a local sports outlet named Hibbett Sports, and they had an Under Armour jacket that was from 2012 that they were trying to get rid of, so they were selling it for 97 cents.  That was a blessing.  What made it even more miraculous is that they only had two left.  One was Elder Knowltons size, XL (he is really tall) and a large that fit me really well.  That was a tender mercy.
4. We were able to teach the Garcia family, a less active family we haven't been able to visit in a while, so that was sweet.  We used an object lesson where you have a pole and first you have them try to balance it by looking only at your hand.  You can't do it.  You have to look at the top of the pole.  Life is like that.  If we only try to live by focusing on what we can do with our own hands, we will not be able to do it.  However, if we look up to Christ, we will receive guidance.  The lesson was kind of awkward, they don't really respond at all, but that is OK.  It was good to be with them.
5. Not this last Sunday, but the Sunday before I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting.  It was on the scriptures.  It went well.  I just used an outline, and it went really well.
6. We had an awesome movie night and watched Los Incredibles (The Incredibles).  That was fun!  I haven't watched anything but the church produced films and the Other Side of Heaven for a year and a half!
7. This Sunday was the primary program.  That was super funny and just a spiritual boost!  There was one girl who her line was this: "God made aaaaall the animals.  My favorite is the giraffe."  It was awesome.  Reminded me of all the primary programs I have seen in the past.
8. We got together as a district and had a partial group weekly planning.  It was so awesome!  The spirit was there guiding us, and it was awesome.  
One of our missionaries expressed concern with loving the people, and that for him it is all work work work, and that loving people is hard because often it is just taking time.  We talked about how that was what the Savior did, and in a way does.  Our mission is a mission that Loves, Serves, and Teaches.  We have to love these people, or we won't be able to do anything else.  Sometimes loving people is hard.  We, as the prophets of old, know how the Gospel can bless the lives of these people, and when people make decisions to stray from the Gospel, it hurts.  I think that when that happens, we can get a glimpse of what Heavenly Father feels on a much larger scale.  It just makes me want to work harder.  I have what these people need.  Me and Elder Hale.  I know that we can do it!  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  I love you all!  Thanks for your support!  Lets get to work!
Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews

Hey, some Pics!
First is me eating dinner.  We do alright.
Next is the Louisiana Gospel Choir at a veterans day thing we went too.  The pianist played the bass and the keyboard for a song.  It was awesome.


Elder Scott Turner Andrews 


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 24 - Baton Rouge, LA

Luke 12:11 look at footnote b And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought (GR don’t worry; don’t be anxious about) how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:

Hey everyone!

Life is good here in Baton Rouge!  Sorry I didn't email yall yesterday.  The libraries are all closed on veterans day here. 

Well, me and Elder Hale had a good week.  We had a few really cool experiences.  The first of all was us having a lesson with Carmen and Arnold.  We went out with Elder English,  who is a senior missionary that has been assigned to work with the Spanish Branch.  We started the lesson by just talking to them more, and she said that she really only wanted to study from the Bible.  I told her that we could do that.  So I started to teach about how the Bible is evidence that God loves his children.  I explained that the Bible is truly a miracle.  We talked about how it was the prophets that wrote the Bible.  We then talked about how she had gotten a testimony of the Bible.  She said it was through studying, fasting, praying, and that she could just feel that it was true.  I then took her to Galatians 5:22-23.  she said that was just what she felt.  This is when I turned the lesson.  I explained that the Book of Mormon was a miracle just like the Bible was. I explained that the Book of Mormon is evidence that God loves all of his children.  I testified that there were people in the Americas trying to follow God, and so he gave them guidance through the prophets.  I testified that if she would read, she would gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon just like she did of the Bible. It was so awesome!  Elder Hale then testified and it was sweet.  

She then explained a concern she had for the scripture in Revelations 22:18 that says to not add to this book.  What was funny is that she didn't know where it was, and so I told her.  It really isn't hard to explain why.  All you need to explain is that when it says "this book"  The book of Revelation is ment, not the Bible as a whole.  John wrote revelation seperate from the Bible.  However, I helped her explain that we would help her find the answer to her question.  I really don't like arguing with people.  I made sure to say that.  She seemed OK with my response.

The next thing that happened is she talked about baptisms for the dead, and how she didn't see how that was supported by the Bible.  Elder English took over for that, and it was awesome.  He covered authority, and how many people don't ever have the opportunity to hear about the gospel.  Baptisms for the dead is evidence of God's love for all of his children.  It was a sweet lesson and the spirit was super strong.  We asked her to make a list of questions, so as we teach her family the lessons, we will make sure to cover her concerns.  It was awesome.

Next cool thing is that we went and saw the Murillos with President Estrada, our branch president.  It was OK.  President talked a lot, but it was all good.  We talked about what he needed to do to become an Elder, and eventually enter the temple with his family.  It was good.

We had a lesson with Lauriano as well.  We taught the restoration, and he says that he believes it all, so that is sweet.  He has such great faith!  It is so neat to see that.
We also saw David, and read with him because he hadn't read the last few days.  It was sweet.  We read the last chapter of Nephi's Vision.  It was awesome.  It talks about the two churches, and how there really is no middle ground.  You either support one or the other.

The Wilkersons are doing well.  We went and helped them instal a toilet, because they had redone their floor in their bathroom and needed help putting it in.  It is a good thing that Elder Hale's dad is a plumbing contractor.  He knows what he is doing when it comes to plumbing.

Well, we just had an awesome district meeting.  It is so cool to see how it just comes together.  I didn't really know what I wanted to instruct on when I woke up, but I remembered that the Zone Leaders had asked us to instruct on weekly planning in chapter 7.  I decided to go ahead and do it.  We started out by having a discussion of what made a good weekly planning, and some things we wanted to change.  That was sweet.  We really saw that it is all about attitude.  I shared the quote that is in Hillary's bathroom.  Attitued is everything: Pick a good one!  We then each took a point of the weekly planning points, and I asked them to look for something they hadn't seen before, that they wanted to change.  It was sweet.  We came up with a lot of good ways to change.  I then asked if they would read through all of the points during weekly planning, and they said they would.  It was a great meeting.

Well, that is pretty much everything!  I know that the Lord qualifies those whom he calls!  I love you all!

Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews

Monday, November 4, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 23 - Baton Rouge, LA

Alma 5:49 And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again.

Hey everyone!

This week was a pretty good week!  Wednesday I said goodbye to Elder Drollinger at transfer meeting, and hello to Elder Hale.  Elder Drollinger went to Metairie north, which he will love, and Elder Hale came from downtown New Orleans.  Elder Hale and Elder Drollinger were companions in the MTC.  That means that of all the companions that I have had, I have also served with their MTC companion.  Elder Gillett and Elder Thomas, Elder Drollinger and Elder Hale, and Elder Larsen was my companion.  pretty crazy!

Well, after transfers, we went around and introduced Elder Hale to everyone.  He is from Hawaii on the Big Island.  Dry side.  He said that he has spent half of his time there and the other half in Utah.  He is sweet.  I really have liked working with him so far.  He has all of this candy from Hawaii that his friends and family have sent and all is pretty good.
  
Well this week we went and saw David a few times.  They are still working on extending their visa.  We went by Halloween day and it rained really hard, and by the time we got to his home, we were drenched.  They were nice enough to let us in and dry off a bit.  They fed us tamales which are a traditional Dia de los Brujas (how the hondurans say halloween.  Literally means day of the witches) dish.  Hondurans make them with a banana leaf instead of the corn husk.  It gives it a different flavor.  Anyways, David is doing alright.  We didn't really get to have a solid lesson with him, because he had to run, but he is so close to being ready for baptism.  He just needs to get to church.

We also went and saw Lauriano.  He is doing well.  He brought up a question of "which of all the churches is the true church."  We briefly explained the restoration and how Joseph Smith had the same question.  We had to leave to go to a meeting, but I can not wait to go back and teach the restoration.  One problem that we have had with Lauriano is that we didn't know how to help him get a testimony of the Book of Mormon, because he only made it to 2nd grade, so reading is not one of his strengths.  The answer that we got was that we can help him gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon by using it in everything we teach.  He also loves pictures, so we will definitely use the pictures of the Book of Mormon stories.  Lauriano is sweet.

One really cool thing that happened is we went over to see Blas and Lauriano one day this week, and instead of finding them, we found some of their family that was staying in their home for work.  Their names are Lisman and something like Anjelia.  Anyways, she had a sweet testimony of the Bible.  She had prayed and fasted to know, and she said that she felt something special.  We helped explain that that feeling was the spirit.  she was super receptive, and he was as well.  We saw them two times this week.  The first time we introduced the Book of Mormon and she told us about her experience with the Bible.  We promised that if she would do the same with the Book of Mormon, she would also get an answer.  The second time we saw them, we taught the restoration using the cups, and they understood it really well.  They have returned to New Orleans, but we gave them the missionaries information, because they don't really have a phone or a set home right now, so I hope that all works out alright.

Yesterday was terrific.  We double worked our area with the East Elders, Elder McCutcheon and Elder McMurray.  We covered a lot of ground.  I went with Elder McMurray on bikes and Elder McCutcheon and Elder Hale had the car, and checked out some places a bit farther away from home.  Elder McMurray is from Mexico, but when he was 11, moved to Cali, and 3 years ago, moved to Provo.  His step dad is white, hence the name McMurray.

We had some exchange miracles to be sure.  Me and Elder McMurray went to try to see Blas, but he wasn't home.  However, next door moving in was someone I had contacted a couple transfers ago!  Her name is Lourdes and her husbands name is Wilson.  Anyways, she was like, Hey!  you need to come over!  We set a time for Wednesday.  Such a miracle.  Next, I felt like we should go to a former investigators home.  Outside of their door were a couple, Carmen and Arnold.  We said hi and knocked on Maria's (the Former investigator) door and her daughter said she was sleeping.  The usual.  So we started talking with Carmen and Arnold.  She knew a lot about us, and I asked how.  She went on to tell us that when she was 12, her mom married a mormon in California, a bit to the south of Sacramento, and she was never really into it.  She said something about how the leadership floundered.  She also had some doubts about temple work.  She said her and Arnold had been talking about finding a church to go to a few days before.  I hope we can help her overcome her doubts.  We will go back next Wednesday.  After that, we went back to the apartment because my knee was kind of sore, so we sat for ten minutes or so, and then went back out and had our second lesson with Lauriano this week.  The one where we talked about the Restoration a bit.  It was a sweet lesson.

Well, this week is stacking out to be a really good week!  Elder Hale made a few appointments as well on their half.  

Well, Sunday I had the lesson in Gospel Principles, since Elder O'Donnell left the district, and it was on the Atonement.  It went really well.  We read the parable of the Debtor and the Creditor.  How great it is to have a Mediator like the Savior!  Then, due to an idea that came to me in sacrament meeting, we split into two groups of six and had them use an object that they had on them to teach each other about the atonement, and to also share a scripture.  One of them used a light, and said that the Atonement and Jesus Christ help to guide us and and help us return to the correct path.  They then shared John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

The next group used an erasable pen.  They marked a piece of paper, ans said that sometimes we sin, and then erased it, and said that the Atonement is like the eraser, it can erase our sins.  What was interesting was that it took a little bit of effort to erase the ink.  Sometimes sin is that way as well.  They used Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

I know that teachers receive revelation.  It was sweet to see the members get up and teach each other.  

Well.  It was an awesome week!  I love you all! Thanks for your love and support!

Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews

ps. weird bugs here in Baton Rouge.  Not sure what this is.  Cool pic though.


Me and a sweet truck on LSU Campus

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 22 - 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!

So, transfers are here again... I am staying here in the land of milk and honey with out price, aka south Baton Rouge Spanish.  Elder Drollinger is going to leave though.  That is sad.  He is an awesome missionary.  It has been an awesome opportunity to watch him grow.  He he will do loads for the kingdom of God wherever he goes.  Other news is that I'm our districts next District leader.  I know that I will be fine, and that the Lord qualifies he whom He calls.  Oh, and I might be finishing someones training.  President Wall doesn't know for sure yet, so we shall see.

Well, this week was crazy!  It all started out with carving pumpkins as a district.  That was sweet. Me and Elder Drollinger carved a dragon.  It was awesome!  In the picture is our temporary district.  Right to left is Sister Ogden, who is the remaining sister from LSU, because her companion went back to Temple Square.  Next is Sister Burns, who is staying in the district this transfer.  Next is Sister Judd, who came the same time as Elder Drollinger, but is a visa waiter, who is now in Argentina.  Next is Elder O'Donnell, our district leader, he is going to be a zone leader, but we don't know where.  Next is Elder McCutcheon, who has been out a transfer longer than Elder Drollinger, and is going to train this transfer.  All the hispanics can't say his name, and so they call him Elder Mapache, which means raccoon.  Then its Elder Drollinger and me.  We had a blast.  Oh, and thanks for the knit tie Sadie!  I love it!  I have it on in that pic.

Well, after that, we had a good lesson with David about tithing and fasting.  His dad has to get his visa renewed otherwise they have to leave, so we offered that we could fast for help.  We did and his dad has a court date, so that should be good.  They are a hard working, functional family, so they should be fine.  

This week we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders!  That was fun!  I went to LSU with Elder Howard.  The first night, we went to the Temple, and helped out with baptisms for the YSA ward.  Then we went straight to a former investigators home.  His name is Kevin Marshall.  That lesson changed my life.  We talked with him to get to know him.  He is getting ready to leave the National Guard here in a few months.  He did a ten month tour in afghanistan.  He said that was crazy.  He then talked about how before he had visited with the missionaries, and how he had been searching for truth.  We read with him in Moroni 10:3-5 and shared with him that what we have to share is the truth, and that he could know for himself.  We then asked him if he would be baptized when he knew that it was true, and he said that he would.  Such a powerful lesson.  The spirit was so strong, and everything just felt right.  Exchange miracles.  They happen.

The next day we went to help Elder Brockbank and Elder Sergeant go get a new tire because they had a flat. Elder Brockbank has diabetes as well, and we have served around each other quite a bit and so it is always fun to talk about diabetes, because we understand each other.  We had fun joking with Elder Howard and Elder Sergeant that we weren't the minority anymore, since there were two of us with and two of us without diabetes.  

We all went to dollar lunch (which is exactly what it sounds like) at the institute building. Brother Bonham, who is also the high counselor for the Spanish Branch and speaks Spanish,  is the institute teacher.  He is awesome.  It was good to see him.  We had breakfast for lunch.

Well, when we finished the exchange, we went to Lauriano's home.  He lives with Blas. Anyways, we had an awesome lesson with him.  We read in Alma 32 about faith, and committed him to be baptized on the 23rd.  It was sweet.  Awesome spirit there.

In my studies this morning, I studied about how the Lord uses us, as imperfect as we are, so bring about miracles.  I know that as I do all I can to keep the work moving forward, the Lord will make up for what I lack.  I love you all!  Thanks for everything!

Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 




  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 21 - Baton Rouge, LA

Isaiah 40:31

Hey everyone!

We had a solid week!  Life is great!

We had exchanges this week with Elder O'Donnell and Elder McCutcheon.  I went with Elder O'Donnell in his area in the north part of Baton Rouge.  We had a blast!  We started the exchange out by going and visiting Walter and Alma.  Alma is a member that has been returning to activity and Walter is super interested.  they are about to have a little baby girl whom they are going to name Rachel.  They are working on getting marriage papers, but are having trouble with that.  We went in wanting to make sure that Walter was not only doing all that he was for his coming baby girl.  It went really well.  He told us that he wants to know for himself that the church is true, just like we know.  That was pretty sweet. 

The next day, it was back to the south for our Zone Conference.  It was awesome!  We talked a lot about hope.  Our main job is to spread hope to other people.  It was really cool!  President Wall shared a lot of stuff about what hope was.  He started out by explaining what happens when people loose hope.   He used Alma 57:12.
12 And it came to pass that not many days had passed away before the Lamanites began to lose all hopes of succor; therefore they yielded up the city unto our hands; and thus we had accomplished our designs in obtaining the city Cumeni.

When people lose hope, they give up.  Our job is to help them keep going!  He then shared Doctrine and Covenants 124:18.
 18 And again, I say unto you that it is my will that my servant Lyman Wight should continue in preaching for Zion, in the spirit of meekness, confessing me before the world; and I will bear him up as on eagles’ wings; and he shall beget glory and honor to himself and unto my name.
and Isaiah 40:31 
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
I love these scriptures!  President Wall then explained how we are Eagles.  He then showed a clip from Lord of the Rings, from when Frodo and Sam are stranded in the middle of the lava after destroying the ring, and how they were rescued from of the rocks by eagles with Gandalf.  He told us that sometimes we are Frodo and Sam, but as missionaries and members of the church, WE ARE EAGLES!  We can help give people the hope they are looking for.

He then talked about Derek Richmond.  In the Olympic in Barcelona, Derek Richmond was the predicted winner.  In the middle of his race, however, he tore his hamstring.  He limped forward, and fell.  Instead of quitting, he got up and kept limping forward.  Eventually, his dad, after evading the security, made it to the track, where he gave his son a shoulder to lean on, and helped him finish the race.  The video is very moving.  President talked about how there are people out there who are limping on the track or have given up completely.  We can be the help that they need!  We can be there to give them hope.  We can be an answer to there prayers.  

After that, we talked about the things that might be holding us back from giving hope.  We then listened to Andy Andrews talking about burning the boats.  Burn the Boats!  It talked about Cortez, and how in order to take the Aztec treasure, he had to have men that were committed.  So upon their arrival in the Yucatan, they practiced.  A lot!  Then, upon the set day of the attack, Cortez told them to Burn the Boats.  If they were to return, they would return in their boats.  Look it up.  It is an amazing story.  Anyways, in our lives, we have boats that are just sitting there, keeping us back.  Giving us a way out.  An excuse.  We need to burn our boats.  So, in order to burn our boats, we were instructed how to fold boats, and then we went outside and burned them.  I included some pics of that.  The first one is President Wall with my boat in his hand. I was the second.  It was a super cool idea.



Well, after that, me and Elder O'Donnell went out to give hope to the people of North Baton Rouge.  It was awesome!  We talked to Dorotea, who is a less active who hasn't come to church for a long time.  She said that she didn't want to come to church because she felt guilty that she wasn't married to the man she lives with, and didn't want to be a bad example.  I felt prompted to share 3 Nephi 18 which talks about how all are welcome in the church and none shall be cast out of our midsts.  It was a sweet lesson, and we also got her to commit to talking to her "esposo" about getting married, so that was sweet.  She also made us an awesome Lentil soup and Chicharron, which is pig skin.  It was interesting.  It had a green sauce all over it that made it pretty good.  Weird chewy texture though.
  
Back in the south, we had a good lesson with the Murillos, and committed them to come to church.  They came and said that they had an awesome experience.  What was even better is that they came early and were able to partake of the sacrament.  So awesome!  

Roberto Wilkerson, our less active friend, relapsed.  We are going to help him keep going though, so it is OK.  We are here to help him and give him hope.  

We also helped one of this neighbors putty some holes on a ramada so he can paint it and make it look better.  That was fun!

David is in an interesting situation.  Their visa is about to expire, and so they are working on renewing it, or they might be deported.  We are just praying and fasting for him that all will work out.  Otherwise, he is keeping commitments, and doing well.

Elder Drollinger and McCutcheon taught Ramon this week!  He has problems with authority, but says that he wants to be Mormon, so we will see how things go.  

The Sisters had a baptism this week for Esmeralda Lugo.  I have taught her in English class a few times, so that was neat to see her make that step.  I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.  It was my first talk that I had just an outline and my scriptures, but I felt the spirit as I talked and it went well.  I even made her a pen that had a little paper on the inside that said that "the spirit is with you" because I used this object lesson that I love.  You take the ink out of a pen and that is the Holy Ghost.  We are the pen casing.  Before baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the spirit can touch us to help guide us.  That was demonstrated by touching the casing with the ink.  After baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost, the ink goes inside the pen casing, and is always with us.  It is a great lesson.  

Well, that was pretty much my week!  I love you all!  Thanks for everything!

Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Second Year - Letter 21 - Baton Rouge, LA

Isaiah 40:31 

Hey everyone!

We had a solid week!  Life is great!

We had exchanges this week with Elder O'Donnell and Elder McCutcheon.  I went with Elder O'Donnell in his area in the north part of Baton Rouge.  We had a blast!  We started the exchange out by going and visiting Walter and Alma.  Alma is a member that has been returning to activity and Walter is super interested.  they are about to have a little baby girl whom they are going to name Rachel.  They are working on getting marriage papers, but are having trouble with that.  We went in wanting to make sure that Walter was not only doing all that he was for his coming baby girl.  It went really well.  He told us that he wants to know for himself that the church is true, just like we know.  That was pretty sweet.  

The next day, it was back to the south for our Zone Conference.  It was awesome!  We talked a lot about hope.  Our main job is to spread hope to other people.  It was really cool!  President Wall shared a lot of stuff about what hope was.  He started out by explaining what happens when people loose hope.   He used Alma 57:12.
12 And it came to pass that not many days had passed away before the Lamanites began to lose all hopes of succor; therefore they yielded up the city unto our hands; and thus we had accomplished our designs in obtaining the city Cumeni.

When people lose hope, they give up.  Our job is to help them keep going!  He then shared Doctrine and Covenants 124:18.
 18 And again, I say unto you that it is my will that my servant Lyman Wight should continue in preaching for Zion, in the spirit of meekness, confessing me before the world; and I will bear him up as on eagles’ wings; and he shall beget glory and honor to himself and unto my name.
and Isaiah 40:31
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
I love these scriptures!  President Wall then explained how we are Eagles.  He then showed a clip from Lord of the Rings, from when Frodo and Sam are stranded in the middle of the lava after destroying the ring, and how they were rescued from of the rocks by eagles with Gandalf.  He told us that sometimes we are Frodo and Sam, but as missionaries and members of the church, WE ARE EAGLES!  We can help give people the hope they are looking for.

He then talked about Derek Richmond.  In the Olympic in Barcelona, Derek Richmond was the predicted winner.  In the middle of his race, however, he tore his hamstring.  He limped forward, and fell.  Instead of quitting, he got up and kept limping forward.  Eventually, his dad, after evading the security, made it to the track, where he gave his son a shoulder to lean on, and helped him finish the race.  The video is very moving.  President talked about how there are people out there who are limping on the track or have given up completely.  We can be the help that they need!  We can be there to give them hope.  We can be an answer to there prayers.
After that, we talked about the things that might be holding us back from giving hope.  We then listened to Andy Andrews talking about burning the boats.  Burn the Boats!  It talked about Cortez, and how in order to take the Aztec treasure, he had to have men that were committed.  So upon their arrival in the Yucatan, they practiced.  A lot!  Then, upon the set day of the attack, Cortez told them to Burn the Boats.  If they were to return, they would return in their boats.  Look it up.  It is an amazing story.  Anyways, in our lives, we have boats that are just sitting there, keeping us back.  Giving us a way out.  An excuse.  We need to burn our boats.  So, in order to burn our boats, we were instructed how to fold boats, and then we went outside and burned them.  I included some pics of that.  The first one is President Wall with my boat in his hand. I was the second.  It was a super cool idea.




Well, after that, me and Elder O'Donnell went out to give hope to the people of North Baton Rouge.  It was awesome!  We talked to Dorotea, who is a less active who hasn't come to church for a long time.  She said that she didn't want to come to church because she felt guilty that she wasn't married to the man she lives with, and didn't want to be a bad example.  I felt prompted to share 3 Nephi 18 which talks about how all are welcome in the church and none shall be cast out of our midsts.  It was a sweet lesson, and we also got her to commit to talking to her "esposo" about getting married, so that was sweet.  She also made us an awesome Lentil soup and Chicharron, which is pig skin.  It was interesting.  It had a green sauce all over it that made it pretty good.  Weird chewy texture though.  

Back in the south, we had a good lesson with the Murillos, and committed them to come to church.  They came and said that they had an awesome experience.  What was even better is that they came early and were able to partake of the sacrament.  So awesome!
 
Roberto Wilkerson, our less active friend, relapsed.  We are going to help him keep going though, so it is OK.  We are here to help him and give him hope.  

We also helped one of this neighbors putty some holes on a ramada so he can paint it and make it look better.  That was fun!

David is in an interesting situation.  Their visa is about to expire, and so they are working on renewing it, or they might be deported.  We are just praying and fasting for him that all will work out.  Otherwise, he is keeping commitments, and doing well.

Elder Drollinger and McCutcheon taught Ramon this week!  He has problems with authority, but says that he wants to be Mormon, so we will see how things go. 

The Sisters had a baptism this week for Esmeralda Lugo.  I have taught her in English class a few times, so that was neat to see her make that step.  I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.  It was my first talk that I had just an outline and my scriptures, but I felt the spirit as I talked and it went well.  I even made her a pen that had a little paper on the inside that said that "the spirit is with you" because I used this object lesson that I love.  You take the ink out of a pen and that is the Holy Ghost.  We are the pen casing.  Before baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the spirit can touch us to help guide us.  That was demonstrated by touching the casing with the ink.  After baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost, the ink goes inside the pen casing, and is always with us.  It is a great lesson.  

Well, that was pretty much my week!  I love you all!  Thanks for everything!


Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 20 - Baton Rouge, LA

Ether 2:24-25

Hey Everyone!

Well, this week was definitely a tough one.  I don't think that I have ever been more tired in my life! We did a lot of biking and trying to see people and have appointments fall through.  I am doing OK though.  We talked with some really cool people this last week.

One of those was Ramon, and his daughter in law Jasmine.  His son, her husband, is waiting to be deported, which is kind of sad.  They both said that they really want to study with us though.  Ramon had some questions about baptism, and so we read in Moroni 8, and he said that he remembered Moroni from when he talked with missionaries a couple years back, and also 9 years ago back in Honduras.  We are excited to start studying with him!

Another good thing that happened was we finally found the Murillos again!  They are a less active family and they had told us they were going to move and that they would tell us when, but they never told us.  So now, about a transfer later, we found them again and had an awesome lesson.  They randomly brought up temples and so Elder Drollinger asked if they had ever been in the temple, which they said that they hadn't.  I then asked if that was something they wanted to do.  They said it was, but didn't really know how to get there.  I was able to testify of the blessing of the temple in my life, and how I know that my family will be together forever, and that they could have the same.  We then made the connection that if they want to go to the temple, they will have to go to church, pay tithing, and keep all of the other commandments.  They hadn't really made that connection yet.  I am so excited to really help get to the temple.

Roberto Wilkerson has been smoke free for three days!  We are just cheering him on!  His daughter is going to be baptized on November 2.  If he keeps making good decisions, it would be awesome to have him baptize his own daughter.  

I finished reading the Book of Mormon today!  We had a goal to read it in 60 days because today is the opening day of the Book of Mormon play in New Orleans.  It has been awesome to read over it and get a good grasp of the story.  It has been awhile!  I know that the Book of Mormon is true!  I know that if we will use it, it will help guide us like the Liahona was a guide to Lehi in the desert.  

One cool thing that Elder O'Donnell shared in District Meeting was in Ether 2:24-25. 
24 For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth.
 25 And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?

I love how it says in verse 24 that " the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth."  God sends us the storms in our life.  However they are sent so that by them, we may be strengthened and return to Him.  I also feel that the he asked us the question in verse 25 before we came to earth. "what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths?"  I know that our Heavenly Father has given us what we need to get through the trials that we experience during our sojourn in mortality.  

I love you all!  Thanks for everything!

Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 19 - Baton Rouge, LA

Helaman 10: 11-12

Hey everyone!
What a fantastic General Conference!  I can not wait to study the talks more in the weeks to come!  I know that they Lord is hastening his work, and what a privilege we all have to be a part of it!  
Well, this week has been awesome!  Every Monday, we have two dinner appointments.  We have Brother Shute who is a saint.  He bakes like 45 loaves of bread a week, and gives them all away for free.  He has done that for 32 years.  We did the math, and that comes out to around 75,000 loaves of bread, and around 100,000 dollars worth of supplies.  Needless to say, he is incredible.  We then go to Family Home Evening that is usually at Felipe's (our Elders Quorum President) apartment.  the branch is so supportive of us, and it is awesome.  We usually get a pretty good turnout there.  
Tuesday-Thursday I was on exchanges with Elder McCutcheon, who is from Las Vegas and has been out for three-ish months.  We had a blast.
Tuesday we went and saw Blas.  He is taking his Antibiotics now, so that is good.  We are going to help him translate again today.  He said that the doctors are saying that they are probably going to have to operate again.  We taught him the Restoration using cups stacked up to represent Christ's church.  The bottom four cups have written on them: Prophets, Revelation and Scriptures, Priesthood, and Apostles.  The next three cups have: faith, repentance, baptism.  The next two have: gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.  The last cup has Jesus Christ.  so we went through the restoration adding the cups as you talked about them, and then briefly explained the Doctrine of Christ.  Lastly you put Jesus Christ on top, and explain that the pyramid you have is what the church of Christ had when it was upon the earth.  You then explain that after Christ ascended into heaven, the church was still on the earth.  Next you explain how the apostles where eventually killed off, and take the apostles cup out from the bottom and most of the tower falls.  You then take the Prophet cup as well, and another chunk of the tower falls.  Lastly, you explain that without Prophets and Apostles, you don't have the priesthood either, so you take that cup, and the only cup left standing is the Scriptures.  Next you talk about how other churches came and took pieces of the true church, and made their own churches, but that those churches didn't have the fullness of the Gospel.  Lastly, you teach the restoration, and gradually build up the tower again.  It was a great lesson, and Blas understood it, but didn't really accept it, which was a little sad.  We are planning on just sticking with him.  He said that he hasn't read in the Book of Mormon, so Elder Drollinger yesterday said that if he read 10 pages in the Book of Mormon, we could help him translate.  He said he would.  We are planning on studying with him a bit in the waiting room today.
We also did a lot of contacting Tuesday.  We met this one guy names Thomas Ray. He had bought a van from a friend that bought it from a police auction.  It had 30,000 miles and only a few bullet holes :P.  It was from New Orleans.  Don't worry mom : ).  Anyways, Thomas Ray was super cool.  It was really like a King Lamoni experience for me.  When we talked to him, he was talking about our potential to become like God, and a lot of our other beliefs, just saying it in ways that were different from what we use in the church.  Kind of how King Lamoni didn't know who God was, but believed in the Great Spirit.  He has read a lot of religions' books.  And when I say a lot, I mean a lot.  He has read everything from the Qu'ran to Dianetics (which he said was pretty far out).  He said that he has always wanted to read the Book of Mormon and so we gave him one, and testified that he could know if it was true.  He was super cool and I can't wait to talk to him more.
Wednesday, we went and saw David, and read a talk by Thomas S Monson, entitled Choose You this Day.  He was distracted by people coming in and out which was kind of hard, but otherwise it went really well.  He wasn't able to make it to conference, which was a bummer.  We are going to have to move his date back.  It is all for the better though.  We are planning on having a sit down with his dad and making sure that he understands the decisions that David is making, and ask for his support.  That should go really well.  His dad has talked with missionaries before, so he knows more or less what is going on.  
We also contacted this lady named Sylvia who was buzzed.  She wrote her contact information in my journal like this:
8259 SKySAiL
5 Sylvia JONES
My
     Child
DaNiEllE Young
Car
LSU Ext Office
805 St Louie St.
Baton Rouge
Job
It was a very interesting contact. 
Thursday, we went to the Wilkersons, and taught Johanna again about being baptized, and what that meant.  It was a very good lesson.  That home has changed drastically in the time I have been here.  That has been so awesome to see.
Saturday and Sunday were awesome!  I thought conference was spectacular.  I really can't wait to study the talks more in depth.  I loved President Monson's talk in the Sunday Morning session.  It was really from the heart, and I felt the spirit super strong as he talked.  I loved the Choir singing "Oh Divine Redeemer" as well.  So powerful!
Well, it has been a great week!  I love you all!  Thanks for everything!
Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 18 - Baton Rouge, LA

Mosiah 2:17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

Hey Everyone! 

This letter is going to be really short, because we had to go translate for Blas.  He has an infection from his Maxillofacial surgery, so I just got on the computer.
  
Well, things are great!  We visited the Wilkerson's twice this week.  One for Joanna, who will be baptized soon, and once to talk to them about General Conference and invite them.  They came to church this week, so things are looking good!

David is doing well, but his dad is not exactly supportive.  He said he would give him a ride this week, and David said he would come, but he wasn't there.  We still need to go see him and figure out just what happened.

I had the biggest cockroach crawl on my leg yesterday!  It was barely smaller than a stick of butter, and freaked me out.  We caught it and let it go far from our home.

We saw one of our less actives, Jose Perez, yesterday, and invited him to conference!  That was cool!  I have only seen him twice in my entire time here in Baton Rouge.

Cool thing I read in the scriptures this week:  In Alma 11:22 or so, Zeezrom offers Amulek 6 Onties.  I did the math and that equates to about 42 days salary for a judge.  If that judge worked 10 hour days and was payed 15 dollars an hour, like Bany (whom we saw and shared this) that would equate to about 6,300 dollars!  All to deny God.  That is a lot!  What I love is Amulek's response: 
23 Now Amulek said: O thou child of hell, why tempt ye me? Knowest thou that the righteous yieldeth to no such temptations?
24 Believest thou that there is no God? I say unto you, Nay, thou knowest that there is a God, but thou lovest that lucre more than him.
What really stuck me was "thou lovest that lucre more than him."  What do we put before God?  What can we all change?  Something to think about.
  
To continue the example with money, in Malachi 3:8-10, we are promised much for paying tithing:
8 ¶Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

I know that if we will put God first in everything, we will receive the blessings!  I love you all!  take care!

Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 17 - Baton Rouge, LA

2 Nephi 7:7-11 

Hey everyone!

Another week in the field!  It is getting to the point where every week feels like an individual blessing. This week especially.  Monday as stated in my last letter was awesome.  Wednesday we had a lesson with David.  We read with him in Nephi chapter 12, which was interesting.  He hadn't had time to read, so we took the time to help him out, and gave him 2 Nephi 31 which talks about the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, in order to get him prepared for our lesson on that the next week.  We also committed him to come to church and he said that he would ride his bike with us.  When we passed by, his dad had said that he couldn't do that, because the streets are too dangerous on a bike.  I was so sad.  We started on our way to church, and I had the idea of asking to see if he could come if we found a ride, so we went back and asked and he said that if he had a ride, he would call his dad to see if he could go.  So we went to the Garcia family who live pretty much next door and asked if they could give a ride.  They said that they could and so we went back, and told him we had a ride and he called his dad.  His dad then said that he would give him a ride, so we went back to the Garcia family and told them he had a ride, and we biked to church.  David showed up right after we did, and it was awesome!  I know that we are receiving help daily in Baton Rouge!

Next awesome thing going on.  Hermano Wilkerson.  As a short reminder, Hermano Wilkerson is the less active that has some problems with addictions like smoking etc. He is a gringo married to a Guatemalan lady.  Anyways, the last couple of weeks, we have gone over and just listened to him.  He is really starting to open up to us, and it has been awesome.  That is just the beginning.  Friday, we went over and listened to him, and we talked a bit about the welfare program, and then, out of the blue, he asked us this super sincere question.  He has a daughter who is eight, and he wanted to baptize himself.  He asked us if he didn't let her get baptized, if he in the end would be held accountable.   I had the prompting to not say anything, and Elder Drollinger handled it perfectly.  He shared an experience of a good friend of his, who his parents would not let their son be baptized, and how his friend felt about that.  Hermano Wilkerson then called his wife and daughter in who were busy in another room and could not come listen, and told them that he was going to give permission for his daughter to be baptized by someone else.  We have been trying to help his daughter be baptized since way before I got here to Baton Rouge.  The spirit there was so awesome.  Me and Elder Drollinger talked later about how different their home is starting to feel when we walk in.  The tension is starting to go away, and the spirit is taking it's place.  They came to church this week.  That makes two weeks in a row.  

Next cool thing.  We were walking on our street, GSRI, and across from our apartments there is an apartment building, and Elder Drollinger saw some hispanics and we decided to go on over.  We went over, and they were super receptive.  We met Ramon, David, and Jasmine.  Ramon is the father of the other two.  Ramon had met with missionaries in Honduras, and said he had his Book of Mormon still. That was cool.  They were super interested in our soccer activity we host every Saturday, in English class, and in learning more about what we believed.  What really struck me was when I was talking to Ramon, he said that for a  very long time he had seen missionaries walk right on by, and had never stopped until that day.  I am so glad we stopped by!

This Sunday, I taught the Gospel Principles class.  It was super fun! The lesson was Lesson 3: Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior.  Right before the class, we usually start by introducing ourselves, where we are from, and something we like to do, etc.  This time, I received some awesome revelation right before class, that instead, we would start with the prayer instead of doing introductions, and then we would introduce ourselves by saying our name, where we are from, and how Christ has helped us in our lives.  The spirit was so strong as each individual shared their testimony of Christ, and it was a perfect start to the lesson.  There were a few points in the lesson that really stuck out to me. The first point was that we have already chosen Christ. We chose him before we came to earth.  Do we really understand what that means?  We all are followers of Jesus Christ!  Everyone!  Satan wants to make us forget that.  We cannot forget!  Second point, was from something I recently read in the Isaiah chapters of 2 Nephi.  The arm of the Lord is always extended.  It doesn't matter what we have done, he is always there, arms open, calling us home.  I know that Christ lives!  I am so honored to be able to share his gospel with the people.  So privileged to help people remember a decision they made a REALLY long time ago!  Thanks for everything!  I love you all!

Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 16 - Baton Rouge, LA

2 Nephi 31:17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.

Hey everyone!

This week was probably one of the longest/awesome weeks ever!  For starters, me and Elder Drollinger are both staying here, which is nice.  No hay cambios para nosotros.  I am so grateful for the time that we still have to work together. 
 
Well, this week started out with an awesome meal from the Martinez family.  We had helped a neighbor of theirs move, and so they made us some jambalaya, which was really good.  If you go and get Zatarain's jambalaya mix, and for the meat use some sausage or chicken or both, it pretty much tastes the same as any jambalaya I have had here.  
  
Next, we had an awesome district meeting where we talked about unity and the spirit.  the object lesson was a huge maze that our companion had to lead us through while we where blindfolded. It was fun.  President Wall has really been talking a lot about unity lately.  Unity in companionships, in districts, in zones and in the entire mission.  If we are unified, we will receive the blessings that are predicated. 

Thursday we went and translated for the Murillos  That was super cool.  I still find it crazy that I can speak Spanish sometimes. Anyways, that went well.  After that, we went to LSU and free speech alley, where the Zone Leaders and Prairieville sisters had set up a booth.  We were going on exchanges so they just had us meet them there and help them out with that.  That was super cool.  The whole theme of the table was "Ask a Mormon".  If they asked a question, they got a free tie.  It was super fun, and we gave out a few copies of the Book of Mormon, and got a few names numbers and addresses.  Super cool.  After that, I was out with Elder Ajeda, who is from Gihanna, in South America.  That is one of the only countries in South America that doesn't speak Spanish.  Therefore, he didn't speak Spanish much.  He could pray and that was pretty much it.  So, we went and saw Blas, who doesn't really get the purpose of the Book of Mormon, so we are going to have to help him with that.

Friday, Elder Ajeda and I went everywhere, and wasn't finding much to do.  We ended up knocking on this guys Peter's door.  I have been knocking on that door for my entire stay in Baton Rouge.  This time,he answered, and turns out he is from Belize, the other country in Central/South America that doesn't speak Spanish, but speak English.  They are both basically like caribbean countries that are not islands, but still have that "Islander" feel.  They speak in a broken English, and it was cool to hear Peter and Elder Ajeda talk.  We taught Peter the Restoration, and he really understood it.  he is awesome!  He said that he has had a problem with drinking, but had been only drinking on the weekends, but that he didn't like it.  He said that whenever he was in the slums, the missionaries always knocked on his door.  He said it was a sign from God.  We told him that that was exactly what it was.  We stopped by to see him again Sunday, and read in Alma 32 with him, because he had finished reading Ether 12 that we gave him the last time.  We then committed him to be baptized and he said yes.  That was so sick!  The only sad thing is that we are going to have to give him over to the English south elders.  We don't go to the English ward, so it will be for the best.   We also went by the Wilkersons, and talked with Roberto, and he really opened up to us, which was cool. 

Monday was awesome!  Usually I don't like proselyting Mondays, because it just doesn't feel right the hole time, but this time it was awesome!   We went and met with the Murillos, who are going to move but stay in our area, and we talked with them about putting church first and God will help us with the rest.  We used 4 Nephi 1-5 to do it.  It was pretty cool.  I hope that they are coming to understand, that by going to church and living the commandments, you really are solving all your problems.  If you focus on the spiritually important things, we will receive help with the physical.

We then went to see David.  We finished the Plan of Salvation, and then committed him to be baptized on the 12 of October.  He said yes and said that he shouldn't have any problems getting permission from his dad.  That would be awesome!  Anyways, we are so excited for him!

Well, this week has been awesome!  A lot of hard work and a lot more to do!  I love you all!  Thanks for everything!

Love,
Elder Scott Turner Andrews