Monday, April 29, 2013

Year 1 - Letter 47 - New Orleans, LA

Alma 36:27 And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me.

Hey everyone!

Life is good here in New Orleans!  The work is hard sometimes, but that is OK.  We just keep on keepin on!  

We had an awesome day last Wednesday!  We went out after all of our studies and started contacting by a street named Bienville.  In all reality, we were just out and talking with people, and found several potential investigators.  One instance in particular was kind of cool.  We were walking and we saw some Hispanic children playing by home that looked to be divided into three or so apartments.  We thought that was a pretty good sign that there were hispanics there.  We knocked on the first door, and we saw someone peek through the window, so we waved and then heard the door lock.  So we went on  to the next door, knocked, and .... nothing.  AGH.  Were pretty much done with the place, because it seems when we go contacting, that is all that happens, but I felt that we should go on and knock the last door.  Suddenly, the door opened and a man answered and we started getting to know him. His name is Luis, from Mexico. I told him I love their food.  He agreed.  Then, we taught a little bit about the Book of Mormon and he accepted a copy.  We then asked when we could stop by, and he said right now!  That was cool.  He told us to wait for a second, and he called someone and was telling them to come.  Turns out it was his wife and one of their sons.  We taught about the Book of Mormon a bit more, and shared the introduction and committed them to read.  They gave us a number, but it isn't theirs, so we are going to stop by again, because they seemed pretty interested.  That was cool.  I was so glad to have followed the prompting I received to go on to the last door.

Here in Louisiana, it is pretty hard to find hispanics.  But recently I remembered something.  In my call to be a missionary, it doesn't tell me to teach in Spanish to the people Louisiana.  It tells me first to teach, and then to do it in Spanish.  I am going to try to be better at contacting EVERYONE, and when we find a Spanish door, that is great!

Another cool experience is we have been stopping by and teaching Porfilio, a less active member who doesn't live in the most spirit conductive environment, and one of his friends, David, is now interested in our message.  He has a problem with drinking and wants to change.  That was something that I was sort of confused on how to proceed.  How do you help someone stop drinking?  That is when I remembered President Packer's quote in Preach My Gospel.  "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior."  So, we taught them the beginning of the Restoration and it went really well.  Super neat.  The spirit was super strong there.  I am so excited to be able to help him progress.

Another awesome thing that happened is that we were able to help Bishop with moving his daughter.  He called and asked us to help!  That was awesome to be able to help him out!  

Well, that is pretty much it!  Thanks for the continued support and letters!  Love you all!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews

Monday, April 22, 2013

Year 1 - Letter 46 - New Orleans, LA

1 Ne 17:3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.

Hey everyone! 

Life is great here in New Orleans, as always!  The work is still hard as ever, but we had the most awesome Zone Conference this week ever!  It was split into two days and the two days focused on using the Book of Mormon more effectively and the other day was teaching WITH the pamphlets we have been given, and not just "using" them.  They split the zone into two groups, and we went with President Wall and the Zone Leaders for the Pamphlet section.  It was set up so the Zone Leaders were teaching us as us, and taught the restoration.  It was incredible.  Life Changing.  Teaching in this format draws us away from just reading stuff at them, to really asking them questions based on the pictures in the pamphlets, paragraphs we want to use, etc.  Everything that has been given to us has been given to us for a reason.  We should think, why did they put that picture there?  What can we learn from it?  How can we use it to help them come to understanding?  It was SO cool.  Then we had an awesome time with Sister Wall picking apart Elder Holland's talk from conference.  We need to start from where we are, and then have faith that we will receive further knowledge.  We can not be successful if we are constantly focusing on what we don't know.  We just need to testify of what we do!  So cool.  Then we went and double worked in Metairie south.  I was with Elder Powell, a missionary who has been here for one less transfer than me, and taught an awesome lesson from the Book of Mormon to a less active.  I really felt the spirit guiding me to what I needed to say.

Day two of the Zone Conference for my group was then focusing on the Book of Mormon.  The assistants taught and did a spectacular job!  I remember thinking that it was crazy that they were only 20!  What I learned from it is when we are reading in the Book of Mormon in our study, we should study deeply, getting out everything that we can, so that when we teach, we can draw shallow.  If we have effective studies, we will learn a lot.  But that would not be too good to turn around and teach EVERYTHING we learned to our investigators.  They compared that to President Thomas S. Monson.  Imagine all that he knows as a prophet!  Probably quite a bit!  However, are his conference talks hard to understand?  Quite the contrary!  We need to make our reservoirs deeper so we can teach shallow.  The second day, we also had Elder Parker from the Seventy there.  He was really cool.  I had heard him before in a priesthood meeting we had here, and he is so powerful!  He showed a little slideshow of the Savior and it was so touching!  He said that it took him four years to join.  His grandfather, father, and brother are all baptist preachers.  He was in the military and he said the missionaries kept finding him (he didn't know that his girlfriend kept sending them to him).  He remembers one particular set of missionaries.  They would have their lessons in the game hall, sitting in the corner.  He said that even though there was a ton of noise going on outside of their little corner, the spirit was there, and it was strong.  He then walked to the corner, and put his arms up, and said that it was like the Savior was standing there, shielding them from all the world around them.  I know that we can bring the spirit to any situation!  How do we do that?  We testify of what we know to be true!  Such an awesome conference!  

We did a lot of service this week for Hermano Zavala.  He is an elderly man in our ward who had knee surgery recently, and his other knee was really bad.  We went and help him get some sort of IV thing that he got for five days, and has helped him a lot!  His one knee that didn't have surgery is so much better.  He could move it, which he couldn't really do before.  He was so grateful to Heavenly Father for his help.  It was cool to see his faith.  His goal is to walk, and I know that he can do it!
Seeing Brother Glenn was so awesome!  He is looking good and it was crazy to see someone from home!  It was fun to talk about how we are all doing, and hear about all the young men getting mission calls!  

Life is SO good here!  It is awesome to see the hand of God in this work, and just be a part of it!  It's looking to be a good week this week!

Love you all so much!  Thanks for everything!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A gift today from New Orleans, LA.

Br. Sean Glenn, our dear family friend and Scott's former Young Men President,
pays a visit to Scott today in New Orleans. Br. Glenn says, "He looks great!"

Monday, April 15, 2013

Year 1 - Letter 45 - New Orleans, LA

Alma 26:21-22

Hey everyone!

Life is as good as ever here in New Orleans!  We are keeping VERY busy!

We had an awesome week this week!  One of the highlights is that I got to do a session in the Baton Rouge Temple!   During conference a man named Giovanni in the ward came up to me and talked to me for a while.  He actually lives in Utah, but his work brings him to Louisiana.   All of a sudden, he said that the missionaries in New Orleans need to go to the temple!  We set up a trip then and there and were able to go.  What a blessing it was for me to be able to sit in the temple!  It was an answer to my prayers!  I know that there is much power in going to the temple!

Friday was pretty much the day of days for the work in New Orleans.  The Zone Leaders offered to double work our area, and we told them we would love too!  We did A LOT of contacting, several good lessons, and two birthday parties, one for Daniel, our investigator (the cake you sent mom helped a lot here!!) and Juan Carlos Reina, a member who is a paraplegic.  We got so much done!  I went out with Elder Twigg, who is also a pelirojo.  We are kind of scarily alike.  Really.  We two of the people we contacted live in their area!  That was a miracle for them! 

Saturday we contacted a man from Honduras (like all the other hispanics aqui)  and he seemed pretty cool.  This next week we are going to be contacting.  A lot!  

I love the Book of Mormon!  I studied the verses above today in study.  "what natural man is there that knoweth these things? I say unto you, there is none that knoweth these things, save it be the penitent."  I know that if we will be penitent, or repentant.  I know that if we will strive to follow the commandments of God, and repent when we fall short, we can know all things.  I love you all!  thanks for the support!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Year 1 - Letter 44 - New Orleans, LA

Alma 37:43-47

Hey everyone!

General Conference was awesome!  So great to hear from all of the men we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators!  We are blessed to have come to the world at this time!  We really can learn so much from the words of the prophets!  It was awesome to spend my birthday watching conference!

This week was a good week.  We went to help Roberto, an elderly man in our ward go to the bank.  We walked not too far and it seemed like he was gonna keel over, so we took tons of breaks.  It is great that we have members here that trust us.  Trust is something we work so hard to build with our members!  

We are still working with Daniel.  He needs a job pretty bad.  There is this member that owns a mechanic shop that needs some help, but nothing has come of that so far.  We are still trying to find something else. 

Still working with our contacts.  It is pretty hard to find them home.  One in particular, Julio, is never home.  We will keep trying and praying for guidance.  Conference was incredible!  I loved Elder Holland's talk entitled "Lord, I Believe", as well as Elder Uchtdorf's talk "Four Titles", as well as many others!  Every time I go to conference I feel so uplifted!  So ready to work harder!  So ready to press on!  

I love these verses in Alma 37.  Are not the words of the Prophets the words of Christ?  I know that they are!  I know that if we follow the words of the prophets, we will be carried "beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise."  I like that part of the verse for several different reasons.  
The first part that catches my attention is how it says "vale of sorrow".  When I think of a vale, I think of something that is a thin sheet, that may be seen through.  Our sorrows are as a vale, we may see through this vale to the light on the other side, and just like passing through a vale, we will pass through it in an instant.  

The second part that sticks out is how it says "far better land of promise".  Kind of how Elder Holland (I believe) said in conference, present location is irrelevant.  If we follow the words of Jesus Christ and His chosen representatives, we will always find ourselves in a place that is "far better" than where we were.  I think that is incredible!  

I know that this church is true!  I know that we are guided by Prophets of God!  I know that if we listen to, and ACT upon their message, we will truly be happy!  I love you all!  Thanks for all of your support!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Year 1 - Letter 43 - New Orleans, LA

Alma 16:1-8

Hey everyone!  

Things have been great down here in the Big Easy!  So glad that I get to be here for at least another six weeks!  Me and Elder Jones are safe for the time being!  Crazy!  Seems like I have been here for a really long time.  Maybe that has to do with the fact that since the mission won't let diabetics in bike areas, and there are only a handful of those for Spanish missionaries.  I don't know, whatever may be the case, I am grateful for the time that I am given here!

Well, our investigators are making progress.  We haven't had a chance to see many of our contacts, because I don't know why, they are never home.  That is OK.  We will keep knocking! 

Daniel is awesome, as usual!  He is really wanting to be baptized, and is looking for new work, which we are helping him with, as well as a new place to live, because his many roommates like to drink, party, etc.  We are just keeping up with him.  Everytime we go over he asks us when we are going to stop by tomorrow.

I went on an exchange last week!  It was awesome!  I was with Elder Wilson, the companion of Elder Gillett, one of our zone leaders.  I got to serve in Fat City, a part of Metairie.  It was very interesting.  I learned a lot from his example.  He is a natural contacter.  That is what I am trying to be!  It is hard sometimes!  I am so glad we are not doing all of this on our own! 

I am SO excited for conference!  I think even more so than my birthday!  What an awesome opportunity we have to listen to prophets of God!  That is why I put Alma 16:1-8 as the title.  Zoram, Chief Captain of the Nephite armies, doesn't know where to go.  So what does he do?  TURNED TO THE PROPHET!  What were the results?  100% of the captives were returned, and the lamanites did not return for three or so years.  I know that as we listen to the Prophets of God, we will be prepared for everything else!  I love you all!  Thanks for the support!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews