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!

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!

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!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 15 - Baton Rouge, LA

D&C 107: 20 The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments.

Hey everyone!

A pretty good week for me!  We went on an exchange with Elder O'Donnell, our district leader and a missionary that entered the field the same time I did, and that I have served with pretty much my entire time here, and Elder Page, who was in Elder Drollinger's MTC district.  I was with Elder Page, and we got a lot done.  He is from Alpine Utah and is a huge guy.  Anyways, we went and taught English class on Tuesday, and that was fun, as it always is.  We only had two people show up, but that is OK, it really helps them sometimes when they have some one on one time with us.
Wednesday we went and saw Bany, who is doing well.  We taught him the Plan de Salvacion, and it all went really well.  We used a string with a knot in it to represent our life on earth, and the string before the knot is our premortal existence and the string after is postmortal.  He really liked when we talked about where we came from.  He said that he had actually thought about that, and was happy to have an answer.  That was cool.  He wasn't able to come to church, because work is crazy for him right now.  We just keep praying that everything will work out.

Next we went and saw the Murillo's.  We taught them the Restoration, using cups to demonstrate the structure of the Church of Jesus Christ, and how during the apostasy it fell, but once again is rebuilt.  It went really well.  They can be a little hard to keep focused, so the object lesson helped a lot.  
Friday we had Zone Training.  So awesome!  When I see what our Zone Leaders and other leaders in general can do, it just builds my testimony.   We talked about unity, because that has been on Presidents mind lately.  If we are unified, we will have success. 

Saturday went and saw David, and taught him the Plan de Salvacion as well.  He is sharp as a tack.  He is so prepared for this message.  We are just helping him be prepared for baptism and keep up his excitement.

We also went and saw the Wilkersons.  When we walked in, the spirit was gone.  It was so sad.  Brother Wilkerson was mad at something, and everyone else was kind of on the defensive.  Elder Drollinger then asked if we could offer a prayer.  I suggested that we all kneel.  The difference between before and after the prayer was night and day.  That was a small miracle for us.  Right after the prayer, we left and we really weren't to sure of what we should do, so we decided to go to the library and have a web study and try to figure out how best we could help the Wilkersons.  We got on the computers, and on to, and watched the bread of life videos, and it was like an answer to our prayers.  We both felt it was exactly what they need to hear.  I can't wait to go share these videos with them!
Yesterday, me and Elder Drollinger had the coolest experience ever.  We were feeling kind of down for the situation that most of the people we work with and see are in, and Elder Drollinger randomly had the idea to call on angels to help us with our work.  It was awesome.  We went up to our room and read about what had been done by faith in Hebrews 11 and Ether 12, and then we prayed that angels would minister unto this people and help us with the work.  The spirit was so strong  and I can't wait to get to work! 

Thanks for everything!  Keep on keepin on everyone!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Year 2 - Letter 14 - Baton Rouge, LA

Jacob 3:2 O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.

Hey Everyone!

Sorry that my email is a day late!  Labor day means that all the libraries around here are closed.  So, here I am.  I am so happy for the opportunities I am having to share the gospel!  I think that I am the happiest I have ever been!  I have literally every hour of the day to focus on the gospel, and sharing with others the truths that I know!  How cool is that!  One thing I am realizing is that this never has to end!  We just have to figure out how to integrate missionary work into our daily lives.

This has been such a great week!  A lot is happening here in the South of Baton Rouge! 

Thursday we went and saw David.  He is so ready for baptism.  We started teaching him back when I was with Elder Thomas, and he is awesome.  He is really quick to understand what we are teaching, and he has a lot of enthusiasm.  We haven't been able to visit him much in the past, which is quite a shame.  However, me and Elder Drollinger sat down and pretty much decided that satan was throwing stuff in our way to keep him out of our plans, so we set the time aside to go visit him and so far, we have had several good lessons.  We taught him the Restoration, and he loves it and is praying to know if it is true.  His studies in the Book of Mormon are going really well as well.  I know that if he will continue on the path he is on, he will reap the blessings that we all have as members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

We also went out to Gonzales to visit the Gonzales family and invite them to the Family History Center.  Me and Elder Drollinger have been assigned to help the branch with Family History, which is AWESOME!  I can't wait to help with that when I get back!  Anyways, the Gonzales are doing really well.  They are awesome, and sad that missionaries haven't visited them in a long time.  The missionary situation is very hard there.  Elder Jones, my first trainee is there with an English companion.  Elder Jones is new to the area, and the English Elder isn't, so they do a lot of English work.  We are trying to help him out.

Bany is coming to a fork in the road.  He has a roommate that is a bad influence, and at the same time, he says he really likes what we are saying.  We are praying that he will make the right choice.  I know that if he will, both him and his family will be blessed eternally.  We read over The Family, a Proclamation with him, and he loved it.  We talked about how he is a father, and that he is here to provide for his family, and we think that he is doing a good job.  

Friday we went and saw the Murillo's.  They have been robbed twice in there time in the apartment that they are in, and so are going to move into the other Spanish Elder's area sometime this month.  That is kind of sad, but it will be better for them.

Saturday we saw Jason and Abi, who moved a while ago and they are doing great.  Finally in their own apartment. Hispanics here usually live pretty cramped.  Bany for instance has 7 roommates in a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house.  We read with them in 1 Nephi 1 to help them get started in reading the Book of Mormon.  They come to church every week pretty much, we just need to help them take the steps toward baptism.

Last of all, there is Blas.  We have visited him almost every day.  He had his surgery, and we went by the next day.  His face was crazy swollen, and he said that his hip hurt.  The doctors look like they did a good job hiding the scar in his wrinkles, so it won't look bad.  I was able to give him a blessing there in the hospital room.  That was a neat experience.  In the blessing, I told him that Christ knew what he was going through, and that one day, he would be healed. 

We went by Blas' home the next day, and he was home already.  We talked with him, which is hard considering his jaw is wired shut.  He said it doesn't really hurt to talk.  He said that before we had gone by in the Hospital, they had said they were probably not going to let him go the next day.  After the blessing, he started to improve and they ended up letting him go.  I was so grateful to be able to be there for Blas.  So grateful for the power of the Priesthood.

Well, today we had the coolest district meeting ever.  We started talking about the doctrine of Christ, but we ended up talking a lot about love, and why we are here.  The spirit was SO strong in there, and I was called to say the closing prayer, and I think that was one of the most heartfelt prayers I have ever had in my life.  It was such a cool experience.

I know that this church is true!  That knowledge grows with every single moment I have out here!  I love you all!  Keep true to the faith!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews

Found the baby blue suit in my closet. Just a bit to light to wear out proselyting. . .

Found another 32 inch Po Boy place here in Baton Rouge.