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!

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

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