Monday, October 21, 2013

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!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

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