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

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