Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 52 - Baton Rouge, LA

2 Timothy 4:6-8 

Hey Everyone!
Whoa.  It is kind of weird to think that I have made it to this point in my mission.  This is my last proselyting day.  Looking back I know that I have accomplished what I needed to do here in Baton Rouge.  I don't really think that I can say it better than Paul does in 2 Timothy 4:6-8.  
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
This week was awesome!  My last Monday Preparation day was fun.  We went to the Snowman Snowball shack on burbank with all of the Elders.  The sisters were busy or something.  We invited but they couldn't make it.  It was just us all together walking.  It was fun!  
It is really weird.  Looking back on this week it just seems like a blur.  I can't remember what things happened what day, so I'm just gonna make a list.  kay?
  • We were biking down good ole GSRI when a car stopped in front of us.  The guy told us that he had been a Mormon for 10 years and he knew that it wasn't true.  I think that that happened for me.  I testified that I knew the truthfulness of this, our wonderful message, and that I could not deny what I knew.  The man kept arguing, and Elder Glauser pointed out that contention is not of God, and so we were not going to argue, and we left.  After that we biked a little way away and said a prayer to just bring the spirit back.  Seconds later, a friend we met, Jose, stopped next to us, asked us if we were alright, talked to us a bit about English classes, and then gave us each a Mountain Dew.  If that doesn't make you feel better, I don't know what will!  It is nice that God takes care of His servants; sometimes from some of His other children.
  • We went out to lunch with Sandra and Monica at the mall.  That was fun.  They have been less active for awhile, mostly because of work and just hard trials, but they are coming back, which is awesome.  Anyways, they just wanted to thank me for everything that I had done for them.  That was sweet of them.
  • Saturday was the baptism of Joanna Wilkerson!  She is nine years old, and since she turned eight, we have been trying to help them let her be baptized.  What was crazy is that the day of, they asked ME do baptize and confirm!   It was probably one of the best experiences of my life!  Joanna was just so sweet and the spirit was SO strong!  I took pictures.  I'll show y'all later.  : P
  • Monday, we had Noche de Hogar, and that was awesome!  As always.  I shared what I had read in the talk "The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship" by Elder Holland.  What stuck out to me was where it talks about the kind of God that some people want, and why we have the God that we do.  I know that God loves us, and wants us to become like Him.  The only way we can do that is by following His commandments.  It was a sweet lesson.  It was kind of triste to say by to everyone!  I got everyone's contact info so I will be able to keep in touch.
Well, that is it.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  I know I have learned so much that will help me to be a better me.  I know that this is Christ church, and that it bears His name.  HE is guiding this work.  I have seen that every day!  What a blessing it has been to be a part of it!  I know that I have gained a greater appreciation for the Book of Mormon.  It has guided me so much in my life on the mission, and it will still do that for me after!  I love you all!  Thank you for everything that y'all have done to help me!  I cannot express the gratitude that I feel for y'all!  
Well, this is it!  Elder Andrews signing out!
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 51 - Baton Rouge, LA

Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Hey everyone!

Wow, it is kind of crazy all of the things that are going on right now!  I am in my last full week of my mission!  I never felt or believed that I would come to this time in my mission.  You see other missionaries do it, but it never feels like you will.  I'm doing OK though.  I will keep on going until the end. 

Well, this week was pretty awesome!  It started off with an awesome BBQ with the zone.  We bought a ton of chicken marinated in orange juice and other seasoning, like 35 pounds worth. That is a lot!  We only ended up using half.  Plus, we had a bunch of other snacks.  It was awesome! There was a forecast of rain, so we ended up at the church playing basketball, but it was OK.  We all had a great time.

We had an awesome Family Home Evening.  We read in Joseph Smith History verses 8-13.  I love the story of the first vision, and I really love the steps that Joseph Smith gave us that he took to have that world-changing experience.  We talked about how each and every one of us at Family Home Evening had to read the scriptures and "ask of God" to know if it was true.  We all had to ask God if the Book of Mormon was true.  We all have received an answer.  What we focused on is that that does not have to be a one time experience.  Someone shared with me a story about a missionary in the MTC that had told the MTC President that he didn't have a solid testimony of the Book of Mormon.  The MTC President in turn asked a visiting apostle what he should do. The apostle told the MTC president to tell the missionary that he (the apostle) had prayed the night before, and had received a confirming answer, and that the missionary could do the same.  We need to continue to "feast on the words of Christ" and receive that confirmation.  We then had brought all of the left over chicken to Family Home Evening so we could use it there as well and save Felipe some money.  It was good.  Again.

This week we also had an awesome exchange with the east elders.  Elder Howald came with me and Elder Glauser went to work with Elder Peltzer, his MTC companion.  Good for them.  Me and Elder Howald went to translate for a friend, Marco, at traffic court.  The court building is VERY nice inside.  Elder Howald forgot he had a bike tool and a camera, and security caught him and so we had to walk back to the car.  Once in the court, we went to the court room and they had us come forward to the stand, and the judge was like, what is your full name, so we gave it, and then a guy at the prosecutor's table told what was the charge, and she asked Marco if he would plead guilty, and he did, and had to pay a 204 dollar fine.  What was crazy is the court got 155 dollars of the ticket.  For their 5 minutes of service.  Crazy.

After that Marco took us to Subway to get those flatizza things.  Mine was crazy hot and a pepperoni slid of and stuck to my lip.  It burned my lip pretty bad because it wouldn't come off. Now my lip is peeling.  Fun!

Elder Howald btw is from Tri-Cities Washington.  He is only 18.  YOUNG!  In his area right now they are doing a lot of contacting, because their teaching pool is pretty empty, so we went and knocked doors a little in a new place, and had some success.  We found Jose from Mexico, who was pretty cool.  We just sat and talked with him, and he said we could come back another time to have a discussion, so that was cool.  We ended up arguing a little with this other guy who wouldn't believe in the Book of Mormon unless it spoke of the Book of Mormon in the Bible.  We showed him Ezekiel 37:16-17, which talks about the sticks of Joseph and of Judah.  Bible is the stick of Judah, and the stick of Joseph is the Book of Mormon.  We then testified of the Book of Mormon and that if he read it and prayed about it, he could know for himself.  He wouldn't take it, but he has his agency to make that decision.

My front tire also gave out.  It was cracked all over for a long time, so we went to the bike shop and got it replaced with a new tire to match the back one.  We really have become good friends with the guys at the bike shop.  Clayton,one of the workers we know really well, when we entered the store, was like, "Whats wrong this time?"  Funny guys.  :)  Well, we got that fixed and it was about time for us to head home. We talked with this really cool guy on the bus who is legally blind.  He can see figures, but that is pretty much it.  We talked about how we believe that we have trials for a reason, and that someday, all that is wrong shall be made right, and that some day, he would have his vision back to normal.  It was really cool.

Saturday we had an another bbq!  It was for mothers day.  It was awesome!  Presidente Filadelfo Gonzales cut and marinated the meat, and it was awesome!  We threw a frisbee around a bit and had fun.

In church this sunday, I taught priesthood, which went well, and then gave a talk on developing your talents.  I was SO DEAD after church!  Everything went really well though. People participated in my lesson, and the spirit was there during the meeting, so I can't complain.

Well, that is pretty much it for this week!  Here we go to the last week!  Crazy!  I love you all! Thanks for everything!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews

Monday, May 12, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 50 - Baton Rouge, LA

Moroni 7:47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Hey Everyone!
It was so great to see my family yesterday!  Everyone is looking so good (even you Hill, although you are sick).  This letter is going to be a bit short, since we have a kind of integral role in the Zone Preparation Day that we are going to have.  We got five dollars from everyone and with that we were able to buy 35 pounds of meat, a bunch of tortillas and some drinks.  It should be fun. Who doesn't like a good bbq?
Well, I am going to list some of the highlights of the week.
1. We had an awesome time going to New Orleans on Thursday with Hafiz, who passed the bar and was getting sworn in.  It was awesome to go back to the "Big Easy" one last time.  Hafiz's family is awesome too, so it was just good to be there and support them all
2. We got caught in the rain twice.  First time we went to the bus stop to get a bus to go up north. One of our PI's Marco drove by and was like, hey, y'all want a ride?  So he gave us a ride.  We got into see Antonio, from Mexico, but lives in Texas.  He is here in Baton Rouge for work for a month and a half.  We watched Finding Faith in Christ.  It was awesome and the spirit was there. He asked some good questions about what made us different that we answered in part, but will go back to really give a good answer.  On the way home from Antonio, it started to rain and the bus was late so we were in POURING rain for like a half hour.  We were drenched.  It got to the point where we were trying to see how far we could get from the road and not be splashed by the cars. We were like 6-7 feet away.  We got wet.  Second time was the next day biking back from the trailer parks.  Wet wet wet!
3. Zone Training Meeting.  It was awesome.  We talked about loving our companions and listening to them.  Really inspired stuff that I think will help us all out here in Baton Rouge a lot!
4. Skyping home.  That is always a treat!  families are the greatest blessing!
Well, that is all for now!  I love you all!
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 49 - Baton Rouge, LA

Doctrine and Covenants 18:33-36 

 33 And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it.
 34 These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man;
 35 For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them;
 36 Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words.

Hey Everyone!
Things are going so well here in Baton Rouge!  This week has been particularly exciting.  
The Gladys Knight Fireside was incredible!  The music was awesome!  they sang songs like Blessed Assurance, I am a Child of God, and more.  The spirit was so strong!  Gladys' husband spoke, and he had some REAL talk with the people.  He told his conversion story, and how He owned a hotel, and Gladys would come, and all of the workers would tell him, "Gladys is here". Finally he asked them "Why do you keep telling me she is here?"  They responded "We think she likes you."  Eventually they were married.  Gladys was a member, and worked with him patiently. He was raised baptist, I believe, and his father would read every night from revelations when he was a little boy, and he would always say, "Is there more? There has to be more!"  Eventually he took the lessons and was baptized.  He just really opened up to the African American Community. He talked about how if you were going to restore a 1959 Chevy Chevelle, you would go and get the parts, the same parts that were used in 1959, to restore the 1959 Chevy Chevelle.  Then what would you have?  A 1959 Chevy Chevelle in 2014.  We have the Church of Jesus Christ, with all of the same parts that it had at the time of Christ today in 2014.  So awesome!  We didn't really get any Spanish referrals, but had about 110 self referrals in Baton Rouge alone.
We had a good Preparation day playing basketball and then an awesome Family Home Evening led by Elder Howald and Elder Peltzer.  They used an awesome object lesson.  The lesson was that they had a cup of rocks and each person in the room choose one.  We then each had to describe what made our rock different from any other rock.  After everyone had the chance to do that, we put all of our rocks back in the cup.  He then dumped the rocks out on the ground and everyone was able to find their rock.  Moral of the story is that if we as humans can recognize which rock is ours, so can our Heavenly Father.  We really are his and he knows us individually. They used Romans 8:16
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
We really are His children!  He loves us and knows us!  I thought it was an awesome object lesson.  It works the best when you have a medium size group of people.  Pretty cool.  
Tuesday, we had district meeting.  We studied the talk Your Work Is Not Yet Finished by Glenn L Pace.  I really tried to focus on Urgency.  In this talk, he says that we don't know how much time is left.  However, as missionaries we do!  That gives us a responsibility to stay focused and urgent.  In life, us knowing that our time might be up soon but not knowing when gives us a sense of urgency.  We have a work to do and a set time to do it!  Shall we falter or shall we finish!  It was a sweet meeting.  Elder McMurray led the discussion.
We also took the bus to go by bus passes!  That was fun!  We were told that the mission will refund us for bus passes so we went and bought a pass that will last until I go home for both Elder Glauser and I.  The bus has been awesome!  Only one small hitch.  We tried to put our bikes on at the same time because the driver was getting impatient and a piece of my left shifter broke.  It was still kind of working but was a bit sketch.  The little thing that you use to adjust it snapped in half.  So we went to a different bike shop than usual and the guy had pretty much made it worse and then didn't have the correct piece, so we jimmy rigged my bike so that the front gear was constantly on the big gear and we left.  We went and saw Bella, a less active whom we hadn't ever really gone and seen because she lives north of LSU, and we said hi, and she just dumped all of her problems she is going through on us, but it was good to listen and figure out how we can help her.  Her home is falling apart and the branch has done some service that we still just need to finish.
Wednesday we went to our friendly bike shop, Capitol Cyclery on Essen and Perkins (by bus, of course) and they luckily had the piece and fixed it all up.  They had to replace the cable and cable housing because the other shop stole that.  They had to take apart another shifter that they had in stock in order to get the right pieces.  My friend at the bike shop asked me if I wanted to pay.  So nice!  I told him I would, but he still gave me an awesome deal.  really genuine guys there at Capitol Cyclery.
We also had Taco Bell for the first time in FOREVER!  It was good.  :)
We also finally got in with Peter!  He is from Belize and is awesome!  We watched Finding Faith in Christ and #BecauseofHim.  It was awesome!  He was like, I definitely need this in my life.  I hope he will continue to do what he needs to in order to progress.  
Saturday was fun!  I scored the first goal in soccer, which was fun.  
Sunday was cool!  We had a good time at church.  I bore my testimony and expressed my appreciation for the Branch, and my feelings towards knowing that Christ lives, and leads this church.  I know miracles are happening every day in this little branch, and that they will keep happening.  Some miracles are that of all the people that are endowed in the branch, like 95 percent have current recommends.  We have an activity rate of 55 percent total, which is better than any of the other congregations in Baton Rouge.  I really love this branch.  Sister Garcia in her testimony shared that when I first visited them, I had said that I wasn't sure of what to say. She said that now my testimony had helped them and many others to become stronger.  That was cool.
Well, later on, we went and said hey to the Wilkersons, and they wanted us to go on their trampoline and show them how to do flips.  Stephan, the youngest who is about 4 or so can pretty much do it which is funny.
On the way back home, we ran into Bridgit.  She is Native American from Montana, but was a foster child and was raised in Flagstaff Arizona.  Her foster parents were Mormon, and so she knows the church.  She wasn't opposed to having missionaries over.  That was pretty cool.  We also met Salvador from El Salvador who is a less active member.  He has been here nine months and has been working like crazy.  We gave him info about church, and he said if he finds time he will come.  
We also met Santos and Roger (pronounced like Royer in when in Spanish).  Santos had come to church like 2 months back and is pretty cool.  We never were able to get where he lived.  Both are Catrachos, by the way.  Hondurans.  Roger said that pretty much all of his family is Mormon. We asked him why he wasn't, and he just said he wasn't.  Both said they were interested to find out more, as well as coming to English class.  It was awesome!
Well, That is pretty much it!  Life is great!  Thanks y'all for everything!
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

One last thing!
Why I titled this email Doctrine and Covenants 18:33-35!  A good friend of mine that I hadn't met until I was on my mission, Brother Dave Bang, sent me a letter, as he does every now and then, and it talked about this scripture.  As we study in the scriptures, we are truly hearing the word of God, as if spoken by his own voice.  As we read, we can hear His Voice!  I know that I have heard the Voice of God!  I love you all so much!  Take care!
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 48 - Baton Rouge, LA

Alma 20:4 "in the strength of the Lord thou canst do all things"

Hey everyone!

It has been a pretty good week.  Just trying to do my best.  Preparation day was awesome!  It was the first time that we were able to have the entire district together.  We had everyone together and waxed the cars.  It was fun.  I actually like waxing cars for some reason.  It was just good to be all together and have a good time.  We also had an awesome Family Home Evening this week.  It had been awhile since Elder Glauser and I had assisted the regular Family Home Evenings Felipe holds in his home.  We shared #Gracias a El.  It was awesome.  We watched the video and I tied things that are said there with some points from the BYU Speech "His Grace is Sufficient" by good old Brad Wilcox.  It was super cool and the spirit was really strong.
Tuesday was fun.  We had an awesome night at English class.  We had one person show up. Rebecca.  It was her second time coming.  We took her around the church building and just taught her what some every day things were in English.  We also gave her a tour of the church building, so that was cool and pretty clever of us, I must say.  She even asked us when we had church!  She didn't come, but it was still pretty cool.

Wednesday we had an awesome Zone Conference.  The main part of the instruction were three talks from General Conference. Following Up by Elder Ballard, Love—the Essence of the Gospel by President Monson, and Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease by Elder Bednar.  Following up is such a crucial part of Missionary work!  If we don't follow up, our commitments really are hollow.  If we give out a copy of the Book of Mormon and never ask about it again, does that show that we really care about if they read or not?  Are they likely to read again?  Probably not.   When we talked about President Monson's talk, we focused on companionship unity.  It was cool! We talked about how in order to show our love for God, we also have to love our companion. One thing we can do to love God is to be obedient with our companion.  I love a phrase in the white handbook. It is one of the only things I think I have underlined in the Missionary Handbook.  "As you obey with a willing heart (see D&C 64:34), you will show the Lord your love for Him..."  When we are obedient, it helps our companion to be obedient too.  Then we can both really show the Lord that we love him.  I thought that was pretty cool.  I really liked what was said about Elder Bednar's talk as well.  Elder Bednar is probably one of my favorite people to hear speak in General Conference.  One of his really common themes is the enabling power of the Atonement.  The Atonement is not only for our sins, but to help us become better people.  It is not only for the sinner, but also for the saint.  As a missionary, we have a really big load.  However, this load will help us to become better saints.  Along with that, I don't have to pull my load alone. I have the Savior, the creator of the universe pulling along with me.  That is such a powerful thought.  I do not have to pull alone.  This morning I was reading a BYU speech by Elder Bednar when he was President of BYU I.  It is called "In the Strength of the Lord".  In this talk, he uses Mosiah 3:19 to demonstrate more about the Redeeming and Enabling powers of the Atonement.  I would invite y'all to take a look at this talk if you haven't already.  If you have already, another look wont hurt.  It is awesome.

We also had an instruction on car safety because we are supposed to on a quarterly basis.  That day, or the next day, some sisters in the zone were in a preventable accident, so on Friday we had an emergency district meeting were we focused the entire time on safety again.  We made it fun. I took everyone outside, and we got in the cars and I put one car at the end of the parking lot, and then I got in the other car and pulled it up to the back right corner of the other car so I could demonstrate blind spots and how far you need to be to have enough space to pass.  If you can't see their headlights in your rear view mirror, you don't have enough space!  We also practiced backing, because we are supposed to have a backer when we have the car in reverse, so we made sure that they understood what signals the backers were going to use.  If we have backers, we shouldn't have backing accidents.  They told us the church spends around one million dollars repairing damage to the backs of cars from backing and bike rack damage.  Crazy.  

Well, we had an awesome lesson this week with Leopoldo.  We showed him this Video from the old scripture resources.  It is called The Plan of Salvation.  It was awesome.  We just had a real good discussion about the Plan of Salvation and what it meant for us and him.  He had a question about if we believed in hell, and we explained about the degrees of glory.  It was cool.  The spirit was there and it was awesome.  He bought us ice cream and we helped him weed some of his planters.  After we played a little pool with him.  It was awesome.  

Well, that is pretty much what happened this week!  I love you all!  Take care and keep on keepin on!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 47 - Baton Rouge, LA

Alma 7:11-13 

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

 13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

Hey Everyone!

Well, this week was awesome!  We have been going crazy inviting everyone to come to the Gladys Knight performance, and sharing the video Because of Him.  Both of these things are/will be awesome!  

Transfers turned out really good!  We have gotten Elder Billings back, which is awesome!  He served here in Baton Rouge my first transfer being switched here.  It was good to see him again, and a pleasure to serve around him.  We also got another Sister, Hermana Bailey.  So the sisters in our district are in a trio again.  Spanish sister's always get put into interesting situations.  They will do fine though.  Elder McCutcheon is a Zone Leader now down in Metairie.  He will do really well there.  He is a solid missionary.

We had an awesome lesson with Leopoldo this week!  We went and showed him Because of Him, and he loved it!  It was so cool!  We talked with him and explained that because of what the Savior did for us, we can change and become better!  So cool!  We gave him a pass along card, one of the ones with Jesus walking out of the tomb.  We then had him write on it some goals he has to come unto the Savior.  He wrote something like pray more, and obey all the commandments.  He wasn't able to make it to church, but we will keep helping him.

On Friday, we went and visited with la Familia Garcia.  Hermano Garcia is our Branch Mission Leader.  He is awesome!  We had a sweet lesson earlier in the week were we invited them to share #GraciasaEl with everyone.  So, on Friday we followed up.  They hadn't shared it yet, so we recommitted them.  That was so cool!  We also talked a little about the parable of the Sower in Matthew 13.  Something I had never realized is what was meant by the weeds.  What do they mean?  I had always thought that they were some outside thing keeping the soil from helping the seed to grow.  The last time I read I realized that the weeds are things that we (the soil) give place to that get in the way of the word.  What do we have that distracts us from what is truly important?  The weeds can be a lot of things!  We just need to be careful and take preventative measures.

Saturday was crazy.  We went down to Presidente Estrada's home and helped him out.  We built planters and using the gardening knowledge that I have from years of growing a garden in Mesa with my dad (thanks dad)  we figured out where would be a good place in his yard that would get lots of sunlight and water.  We then planted something like 16 tomato plants.  He didn't have anything else he wanted to plant, so we just did tomatoes.  

Sunday was awesome!  Church was fantastic!  I taught in Gospel Principles and we used chapter 12 on the Atonement.  It was awesome.  There was this guy Jacob from Honduras who was at church for the first time.  He got super into it and said he really enjoyed the class.  That made me feel good.  the spirit was so strong.  That has to be one of the best parts of teaching.  I was guided to share so much in class yesterday that I didn't even have planned.  One cool thing that I did have planned was to give everyone a pass along card with a post it note on the back, and write what they had been given, "Because of Him".  We then watched Because of Him, and then we got into the chapter.  We finished with the video He is Risen.  It was so sweet.  We also read in Alma 7, probably my favorite verses to share when I ever talk about the Atonement.  Priesthood was OK. It always consists of splitting into groups, reading the sections, and then giving a summary.  We are really trying to work with everyone in helping them learn how to teach.  It is a work in progress.  :)

Sacrament was good!  Juan Rodriguez conducted for his first time as second counselor and he did such a good job!  We also heard from Presidente Filadelfo Gonzales, the Elder's Quorum President, and from Hermano Tigre, first counselor.  Everyone was so good!  It is so awesome to see the progress of our little branch!

Thanks everyone for the support!  Life is so great!  I absolutely love serving here in Baton Rouge! Y'all take care!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 46 - Baton Rouge, LA

Mosiah 18:23 And he commanded them that they should observe the sabbath day, and keep it holy, and also every day they should give thanks to the Lord their God.

Hey Everyone! 

Well, I'm staying here in the South of Baton Rouge!  Elder Glauser is staying too!  I can't wait to make this the best transfer ever!  I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve here in Louisiana.  I plan on making this last bit the very best that I can!  I have only served in two areas my entire mission.  I have thought about that for a long time.  Why me?  Why did I not get moved around like pretty much every other missionary that I have seen here?  I know that I have truly seen the hand of the Lord in that decision.  I have truly come to love the people in these areas that I have served.  I have really learned to appreciate the little miracles in peoples progress.  It has been interesting to see the people here gradually progress.  I know that I might not see the fruits of everything I do, but I have come to know that what I do is important.  That what I am doing now will help Elder Glauser and other future missionaries to help these people make the covenant of baptism.  I know that I have been doing a great work here in Baton Rouge, and I will keep doing it until my time has come.  "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."- John 9:4.

Well, this week was interesting.  Pretty much it was a big long week of meetings.  Elder Glauser and I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders.  It was really cool.  I was with Elder Campbell in his area, which is really our area, but speaking English.  He is from just outside the Salt Lake area.  He is awesome and goes home the same time I do.  He is even going to BYU Provo.  We will definitely hang out after the mission!  To start off the exchange we went and did some service at the African American Museum.  It was interesting.  It is mostly outside, but they have this little home that is the museum.  It is right underneath the Hwy 10 overpass.  Most everyone cleaned these bricks that they had in piles but Elder McMurray and I went and helped to transplant sugarcane. After that there was this puddle that came from the overpass that runs over the museum and so I went and dug a ditch that took the water out of the puddle and over to this big gully behind the museum.  That was fun.

After that Elder Campbell and I went to Lance's home.  He is from Alaska, but is here while his wife Candice is finishing college.  They are both super cool.  He served a mission in Salt Lake, which, for him, was an interesting experience.  Elder Campbell was telling me that he had to put up with a lot of crap from the members.  They would be at the store on preparation day, and people would come up to them and tell them that they weren't supposed to be shopping because it wasn't their preparation day, even though it was.  That was hard on him.  They are married but not in the temple.  They really want to go to the temple though.  I know they will someday.  Lance has a hip problem that needs a really complex surgery, and they are talking with a surgeon in California to see if he can do it.  Otherwise he might need a hip replacement.  To help him out, the Elder's go and play frisbee golf (or frolf) with him.  It was fun!  A lot harder than it looks though.  I can throw an ultimate disc fine, but those ones for frolf are really hard!  After that we had a lesson about the temple.  We talked about some experiences that we had had in the temple.  Elder Campbell out of the blue asked me if I had an experience with the temple that I could share.  For some reason, I thought of Gramps.  Grandpa Clyde.  I remember right after I had heard that he had passed away, we went on a temple trip in the MTC.  I remember just being in the celestial room and being completely at peace.  I knew and now know that Heavenly Father loves Gramps.  He will do what is best for him.  I know that He loves me too!  It was cool.  I hadn't even thought of that experience for the last two years.  I know that Lance needed to hear that.  On the exchange we also went to check on a media referral they had received that lived in a really nice part of town.  There home was gorgeous, but they weren't home.  We also went to this awesome jamaican taqueria.  They had all of these really good tacos, and I even had a fish taco with Maji Maji that SO good.  What was crazy about that was that we met the guy that does the voice overs for scooby doo and shaggy, Scott Innes.  A really cool guy.  He even payed for our food!  That was a miracle!  After the exchange was over, we pretty much had a week of meetings.
First, we had specialized training.  I did well with my instruction.  It didn't go exactly as I had planned, but I have come to be OK with that.  It was cool because President Wall was there. We had a role play with President Wall.  The scenario was that President Wall hadn't seen conference, and our goal was to get him to go and listen to and read it online.  Elder Glauser and I shared 2 Nephi 32:3 with him, and invited him to feast on the words of the prophets from conference.  When we reviewed it, President Wall pointed out something that was really cool, and demonstrated it by switching places with Elder Glauser and I.  He started out by just talking with us.  He asked us what was going on, and what was hard in life.  If we had concerns.  He then asked us that if there was something that could answer our concerns, if we would take it.  We said we would.  He then read 2 Nephi 32:3.  He emphasized how the verse says that the words of Christ will show us ALL things that we should do.  He then explained that we had the chance of listening to the voice of the Prophet's the servants of Christ.  It was so easy to say that we would read conference!  It was so cool!  President Wall counseled us to never ask an investigator a question that he would say no to.  So cool.
Thursday we also had the interview of Jose Velasquez for his baptism.  It was my first one to give.  I was a little nervous, but I spent a little time instructing about the importance of baptism and what it meant to take upon us His name.  It was awesome!  He was SO ready.  I was glad to be a part of it.

Friday we had Zone Training.  It was awesome.  We talked about being creative in what we do. We were all given a sheet of paper that we are to decorate and show how we are being creative, and to show successes and failures.  That is going to be fun!

Saturday we had the baptism of Jose Velasquez.  It was awesome!  President Wall came, and we had a few members who came later than we wanted, but hey, they came.  It was a pretty baptism, and Elder Glauser gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.  The other Elder's had asked me, but I told them to ask Elder Glauser.  He did beautifully, and I think he is feeling more confident in his Spanish.  So awesome!

Sunday, I got a call telling me that I had been assigned to speak that Sunday, but the person who was to assign me never did.  I was to speak on the Holy Ghost.  Luckily I had a talk about the Holy Ghost from the Baptism of Esmerelda.  It was in outline form, so it was pretty much ready to go.  I felt like I did a good job for such a short notice.  The spirit was strong.  I also taught Gospel Principles.  That rocked.  We talked about agency.  I used the stuff in this video a lot.  It is one of my favorites!

Well, that was pretty much the week!  Life is awesome and I am going to live it to the fullest! Love you all!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 45 - Baton Rouge, LA

1 Cor 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Hey Everyone!  

What an incredible general conference!  I got so much out of it!  It is quite hard to really choose a favorite from all of the messages.  I felt that all of the speakers were so inspired.  Here on the mission, I have learned to always go to meetings with a question in mind.  My main question was what do I need to do in this last bit of my mission, and as a go home, how do I keep what I have learned.

I did love President Uchtdorf's talk on Sunday Morning about gratitude, and how "In His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."  (thanks Hill for sending those quotes) That quote in particular really stuck out to me.  Eventually, I will go home.  I will be released as a Full Time Missionary.  That is inevitable.  However, I will always be a missionary.  I will always have the lessons that I have learned.  I will be true to who I am becoming.  I also loved Elder Ballard's talk on missionary work and follow up!  Follow up is SO crucial in everything we do.  I have really been thinking on how we can better follow up with investigators, other missionaries, and even myself.  I can't wait to go back and study all of the amazing talks that were given!  What a blessing it is to have prophets and leaders called of God!

Well, the rest of the week was awesome!  We went on exchanges.  Elder McMurray was here with me and Elder Glauser went to be with Elder McCutcheon.  Elder McMurray is awesome. Originally from Mexico, he is now from Utah.  We went to see a few people that he knew from a prior exchange that we have been trying to find, but hadn't been able to see.  One of those was Carmen and Arnold.  They have been busy lately, but they let us in, which was cool!  We just talked with them about life, to see where they are at.  Carmen is going to join amway, which is interesting.  A lot of people in our area are affiliated with Amway.  I don't know how they sale much with everyone being a vendor.  Ah well.  Anyways, they are doing well.  I hope we will be able to get in since Elder McMurray is no longer here in Baton Rouge south.  We also went to see Lauriano.  He is as sweet as ever.  We have been using a lot of videos with him lately.  He can't read well, so it really helps him to understand what we are saying and reading in the scriptures. He LOVES the Bible videos.  We tried to get him to conference, but he wasn't able to make it. After conference yesterday, we went to see him, and we talked about the restoration.  It was awesome!  We testified of the truthfulness of the message, and we gave him an assignment to watch "The Restoration" and pray to know if it is true.  I know that the spirit is guiding Elder Glauser and I so much with Lauriano, because it has been hard in the past to really get Lauriano involved in the lesson without him being able to read on his own.  

Well, we are going to have to be a bit more patient with David.  We know that he will some day be baptized, but April 12 isn't the right date for him.  We haven't been able to really talk to him for awhile now, I feel because he doesn't feel ready for the 12th.  We will just go and love him. :)  
Oh, we went to the Wilkersons but Roberto wasn't there.  They recently got a trampoline, so Elder Glauser and I took of our shoes and showed them how to do flips and play some old games like crack the egg, dead man dead man, and others.  When we got off, we found that their neighbors 3 month old pitbull, Israel, had stolen and hid one of my shoes!  It was funny!  Tanya and the kids were running around looking for it, since I couldn't do much in the mud and wet grass.  We found it in their neighbors yard.  Silly dogs.

Oh, I almost forgot!  We watched all but the Sunday Morning session at the stake center.  Sunday morning we went to the Wall's with the other elders in our district and the assistants.  The assistants came and picked us up.  On the way out to the truck, I found a 100 dollar bill.  Happy birthday from the ground.  We tried to see if anyone was looking around for it, but didn't find anyone.  I will probably deposit it to keep it safe and wait and see if I find anyone looking around.  Conference at the Walls was fun!  they made us brunch.  We had a Fritada, with tomatoes, broccoli, cheese, and other good stuff.  A great breakfast!  It was fun to see President Wall and Sister Wall just at home.  They are awesome.  A great example.  

After their home, we went to give a blessing to one of the Assistant's less actives.  That was an interesting experience.  They had like three cats so I kind of just kept my hands to myself.  We ended up giving two blessings.  The first to the less active lady, and the other to an investigator.  the investigator was pentecostal.  She was all like, I have the spirit and the gift of tongues.  She started to kind of babel and Elder Asuao from Samoa was like, "what did you say?" and she said she had prayed.  Interesting.  So, we left and were off to the stake center for the last session.

Well, life is great!  While I have the time I am going to continue to "run the race!"  I love you all! Thanks for everything!  Take care!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

ps.  The cookies were amazing!  Thank you so much!  I love you all!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 44 - Baton Rouge, LA

D&C 24:7 For thou shalt devote all thy service in Zion; and in this thou shalt have strength.

Hey Everyone!
Well, this week was awesome!  Probably some of the coolest news is that Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices is coming here to Baton Rouge!  That will be April 29th.  We had a meeting on Saturday about the whole thing.  One interesting thing is that this will NOT be a concert.  It is a program, a demonstration, or a fireside.  From what I can see, it is going to rock.  It is a night of testimony and of song.  President Wall Pretty much said that like the temple always has the spirit really strong, this fireside is guaranteed to have the spirit.  It makes it a really easy way for members to invite friends into the church to feel the spirit.  It is really cool though.  There isn't going to be any advertisement.  It is all word of mouth.  A personal invitation.  They have found that that works better.  I am SO excited!  It is going to rock!
Well, the rest of the week was awesome too!  We had a few good lessons with David!  David is pretty much ready for baptism.  The first time we went over we watched the Testaments with him.  He liked that a lot!  The Testaments is a good movie.  It teaches a lot of different principles.  The next time we went over, we went over with Hermano Nicoll, whom everyone calls Hermano Tigre, Mike the Tiger, a live bengal tiger that is the mascot for LSU, lives in a cage on Nicoll Street.  Anyways, we went over with Hermano Tigre and read in Alma 7.  It was sweet!  We got a lot out of it!  We read in Alma 7:6, which talks about the vain things in the world.  It was rather interesting.  I had never really focused on that verse for some reason.  What are our vain things?  We also went over 10-17 which are some of my favorite scriptures of all time.  Such a beautiful testimony of the Savior and His mission, and what we can do and receive if we use it!  So good!  He wasn't able to make it to church because some of his family came from Honduras and are in New Orleans, so he went to visit.  
We also went to visit Leopoldo, and his friend Carlos was there.  He had a lot of questions about religion.  We answered some questions for him, and just talked about who we were.  He was really impressed with our Spanish.  He said I spoke without and accent.  He was also surprised that I knew some words that they use to refer to people from different countries (like Hondurans are Catrachos).  He said he would be interested in learning a little more.  Pretty cool guy.  Leopoldo was great like always.  Just a really sincere guy.  He talked about how he doesn't hang out with other people in the area much because he doesn't drink alcohol and so people don't invite him to their parties.  I hope we can show him a good group of people that have good values like him!
Another really cool thing that happened is that we had some contacting miracles!  We saw this guy, I can't remember his name for the life of me, but he had stopped us and asked us for a Book of Mormon.  we asked him if he had read it, and he was like "I read the first part."  I wasn't too sure if he really had or not, but he asked us if we had any movies or anything, and so we gave him a copy of Finding Faith in Christ.  He was really thankful for that.  Still hesitant about having the missionaries over to his home, but hey, we go forward one step at a time!  We also knocked on the home of a high schooler that we had talked to awhile back.  He wasn't there, he had only been visiting, but the lady that lived there was home.  She had had a few surgeries and hasn't really been able to upkeep her and her husband's home.  So we offered to help, and so sometime this next week, we will get some missionaries and members together and go help out!  That should be sweet! 
Well, that are pretty much the highlights of my week!  Oh, the only thing is this one talk that I have absolutely LOVED reading! If you haven't watched it, watch it!  If you have watched it,  WATCH IT AGAIN!  The talk is His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox.  Such and awesome talk!  Well, I love you all!  take care and thanks for everything!
Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 43 - Baton Rouge, LA

Doctrine and Covenants 121:19, 21-22

Hey everyone!
Well, this week sure has been interesting!  We had a good district meeting about Doctrine and Covenants 121:19;21-22.  I LOVE when the Lord gives us to do lists.  Here he gives us an amazing promise.  In verses 19  and 21 it says,  
"Wherefore, whithersoever they shall send you, go ye, and I will be with you; and in whatsoever place ye shall proclaim my name an effectual door shall be opened unto you, that they may receive my word.
" And again, I say unto you, that whosoever ye shall send in my name, by the voice of your brethren, the Twelve, duly recommended and authorized by you, shall have power to open the door of my kingdom unto any nation whithersoever ye shall send them "
Then in verse 22 it tells us what we have to do. 
" Inasmuch as they shall humble themselves before me, and abide in my word, and hearken to the voice of my Spirit."
We broke down what being humble meant by reading in Preach My Gospel.  This link goes to the Christlike attributes section of Preach My Gospel.  Just scroll down to Humility.  We then talked about abiding in His word and what that meant.  We went to the story of the sons of Mosiah and their description in Alma 17:2-3.  That brought in hearkening to the voice of the Spirit.  We then went and read several parts of chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel.  After that, we went and studied four talks that I had read earlier that week.     Finishers wanted.  By President Thomas S. Monson, That They May Be One In Us by D. Todd Christofferson, He Hath Filled the Hungry with Good Things, and Obedience, Consecration, and Sacrifice by Bruce R. McConkie.  Sweet talks.  I think you will find the common theme.  It is all about "What lack I yet?"  The question of the young ruler.  I thought of it when I saw the new Bible Video.  The question "What lack I yet?" is one that I think we can all gain a lot from.
After that, I went on exchanges with Elder Peltzer from outside of Modesto California.  That is like two hours south of Sacramento.  We had an awesome lesson with David where we talked a lot about Elder Scott's talk from last General Conference, Personal Strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  One interesting thing is that if you go to the talks by Elder Scott and listen to them in Spanish and Portuguese they are in his own voice, since he speaks Spanish and Portuguese.  Not sure about the other Apostles and General Authorities.  That was pretty cool!  We also were walking on Jasper street and I saw someone that I had talked to before, Wilmer, but I got the impression to wait to talk to him.  I was kind of like, what?  That was weird.  So we went on, took a turn to the left, and took another turn to the left to Jade.  On, Jade, we saw Wilmer!  Again!  That was crazy!  He had cut through some apartments that we don't cut through.  So we talked to him and he told us when we could come by later.  That was pretty cool!  We also saw Touche.  He was this English speaking guy we talked with awhile ago.  He was doing good.  
Elder Glauser and I also saw David again.  We talked about baptism and concerns he had.  The spirit was so strong!  I had been asked to give a talk at the baptism on baptism so I ended up just sharing with David several scriptures about baptism.  1 Nephi 31:4-7, Mosiah 18:8-11, 3 Nephi 11:18-28 in order to answer a concern about how we baptized, and Moroni 4 to talk about how after baptism, when we make mistakes, we can still repent and renew our baptismal covenants during the sacrament.  It was a sweet lesson.  We went back on Saturday as well just to give him some smaller white shirts we had found and a tie each from Elder Glauser and I.  That was fun and he really liked it.
Claudia, one of the investigators of the sisters had a scheduled baptism on Saturday ended up falling through on Friday.  The sisters were really sad about that so they asked if I would give them all blessings.  That was a really cool experience.  The spirit was really strong until the last blessing our phone went off like five times and our ringtone is a cat meowing.  It was funny and really lifted everyone's spirits a bit I think.  Maybe that is what needed to happen.  It was just way cool to be a part of that.
Saturday we had a picnic that was so fun!  We played soccer and everyone said that I was really good.  Probably because we play every Saturday as a finding activity and I have done that now for nine months!
Well, cool week!  Life is great here down in the south!  
Elder Scott Turner Andrews   

Monday, March 17, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 42 - Baton Rouge, LA

1 Ne 4:6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.

Hey Everyone!

Life is great here in Baton Rouge!  we had a great week filled with miracles.  It is such a joy to be able to serve.  :)  

Well, this week we tried to work in different parts of our area than we usually do.  It was kind of a spur of the moment thing.  A lesson fell through, and so we were like, "well, where are we gonna go?"  So we just kept going!  We ended up in a nice neighborhood, which was kind of weird.  I haven't really worked in a nice neighborhood with an HOA on my mission.  So anyways, we were biking around and pretty much everyone was turning us down.  It was funny,  I made a comment to Elder Glauser that I liked working with hispanics over white people.  At least they let you down nicely. Haha.  So, we ended up at the home of Kenneth.  He was a cool guy.  Elder Glauser told him we had a message about Jesus Christ.  He then gave him a pass along card that had Carl Bloch's Sermon on the Mount.  On the back is an advertisement for the Bible.  When Kenneth saw that, he was like, "Oh, that isn't what I was expecting!"  That was super funny.  We talked with him and explained that we believed in Jesus Christ and the Bible, but that we also had the Book of Mormon.  He was super intrigued the entire time.  At the end, we gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read and call if he had questions.  That was so sweet!

After that, we went to another nice neighborhood and talked to a freshman in highschool, Sharim. He was alright, but not too interested.  Across the street, however, we saw and older man getting on a ladder to get to his roof.  We ran over and asked if we could help him.  He declined, but we sat and talked.  He said he was Mr. Acosta.  He spoke with an accent and I asked him where he was from.  He said Central America, Nicaragua.  I asked him if he spoke Spanish then in Spanish, of course.  He did.  He has been in the States for 40 years and is a Spanish Teacher.  He said that his sister was a mormon, and that his brother in law was a bishop and a really good man before he died.  He said his sister still is a really active member in Nicaragua.  He had to run an errand, but told us we could come back and visit later.  Cool guy.

After that, we went down the road and saw a couple of high schoolers playing basketball.  We asked if they wanted to play, and they said sure.  That was sweet.  We were able to play, and give them a card with our number and told them to call.  Cool guys.

We also knocked on the door of this guy Marcos.  He was sweet.  We told him we had a message about Jesus Christ and he immediately let us in.  He is from Honduras and is here with his daughter.  We taught him the Restoration then and there.  It was sweet.  The spirit was really strong while we talked.  I know he felt it too.  He said he would read in the Book of Mormon and pray to know.  He said his door was always open.  Cool guy.  I know my time may be short, but there are still people here that I need to find and help!  I will keep on going until I drop dead!  
We had a good few lessons with David.  We watched the movie, "On the way Home", a movie that the church released in 1992.  It is sweet, and teaches quite a few principles.  We also went by and read in 1 Nephi chapter 3.  It was really cool to apply that to his life.  We told him there wasn't a commandment that he couldn't keep.  I know that God will provide him a way.

On the way to another appointment, we had a guy stop us and ask us if we were giving out books. We told him we were, gave him a Book of Mormon, and told him to read and pray about it.  It was sweet!

Well, that pretty much sums up my week!  Life is grand here in the good ole Baton Rouge!
love you all!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 41 - Baton Rouge, LA

D&C 5:34

Well Everybody, I'm still in Baton Rouge!

So I always like to start my emails off with a scripture as the topic.  So I was looking and found Doctrine and Covenants 5:34.
34 Yea, for this cause I have said: Stop, and stand still until I command thee, and I will provide means whereby thou mayest accomplish the thing which I have commanded thee.
I know that the Lord has commanded me to "stop" here in Baton Rouge and that I have a work to accomplish.  I know that the Lord will provide a means for me to accomplish what I must here in Baton Rouge.

Well, me staying is rather weird.  I only have one transfer after this, so it is unlikely that I will move to another area.  Truly a blessing in my eyes. :)   I have come to really love the people in the two areas in which I have served.  Here in Baton Rouge and back in New Orleans. 
Elder Glauser and I went to the transfer meeting, since we do live like 5 minutes away.  We were able to sign Sister Toleafoa's journal.  She went home from our district.  We also picked up commissary, and got to see who came into our district.  The coolest thought I had during the meeting was this: The opportunity to say goodbye is not the opportunity to say hello, but it is the opportunity to say hello to more people.  Changes in areas and going home is the end of service in a certain area, but it is also a new beginning!  A new start!  I thought that was cool.

Well, Thee Spanish district of Baton Rouge has pretty much stayed the same except for a couple of changes.  One of those changes, that I am sure Uncle Scott and Aunt Abby will love to hear is that Hermana Mishko is companions with and being trained by Hermana Astle and Hermana Carolin.  Hermana Carolin is in there for support until she goes home in a few weeks.  It was pretty crazy to find out that Hermana Mishko was in Uncle Scott and Aunt Abby's YSA.  It has been pretty fun to talk about Mesa relate about Mesa stuff like Neds, Barro's, what happened with Tia Rosas, etc.  Elder Mastache also left from the East and so he was replaced by Elder Howald. Elder Howald served in Metairie for four transfers and is now "second-hand" training Elder Peltzer.  He will do really well.  

OK, best thing that probably happened this week was that David committed to a date!  April 12th!  I know that he will be ready then!  He is awesome!  We went over the baptismal questions and he pretty much has everything.  Just a few little things left to help him with.  I am glad to have been able to see David progress this entire time.

Thursday was THEE day of flats.  It started after we had finished our weekly planning session. Elder Glauser went to top off his tires and as he took the nozzle off of the valve, we just heard a hiss.  He tore the valve at the neck.  Flat number one.  So we called the Zone Leaders who were nice enough to give us a ride to the bike shop to buy a new tube.  We take the tube back home, get it on the rim, and pump it up, and as we try to pull the nozzle off again, it ripped the entire valve stem off of the tire.  Flat two.  So we called Elder English, because we didn't want to hassle the Zone Leaders too much, and took the rim, the tire, and the pump to the bike shop to figure this out.  They said the pump looked fine, and they filed down the hole on the rim to make sure it wasn't cutting anything.  They took the old tube and gave us a new tube for free, and we left.  So, we are back at home, say goodbye to Elder English, and we got the tire all situated, started to inflate it, and it EXPLODED.  It was SO loud!  Elder Glauser was like, "I'M DEAF!" and I was like "I'M NOT DEAF! ARE YOU?"  Then we just busted up laughing.  Flat three.  We then called Hafiz, our pal next door and he gave us a ride to Walmart, where we bought new two tubes.  Just in case something else happened.  Crazy day.  That is pretty much all we did Thursday.  Buy tubes.

We gave some service again at Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.  We helped a Hispanic lady to sort shoes.  She was thrilled that we could speak Spanish with her.  All of the other ladies at the store are English speakers, so I was glad to be able to talk with her.  

Well, that pretty much sums up the week!  Life is great!  Crazy to think that you are home Hill! You will do great at home!  I love y'all lots!


Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 40 - Baton Rouge, LA

D&C 112:21 And again, I say unto you, that whosoever ye shall send in my name, by the voice of your brethren, the Twelve, duly recommended and authorized by you, shall have power to open the door of my kingdom unto any nation whithersoever ye shall send them—

Hey Everyone!

So, although this is transfer week, we get to email Monday because everything closes for Mardi Gras.  The state is pretty much closed for a party.  Alright.  So, TRANSFERS!!!  We don't know that is going to happen yet.  It really is kind of a toss up.  I have been here for a really long time, which points to the fact that I could be leaving soon.  However, I am training Elder Glauser, but that doesn't mean for sure that I won't be moved.  I really don't know what is going to happen, but I do know that all is in the hands of the Lord.  If I go, I go to find those who are in need of me my last two transfers, if I stay, they I haven't found everyone that I need to yet.  I know that this work is the Lords.  I know that he will not give me anything that is not possible.  He will always provide a way to accomplish what He has asked me.  

Well, this was a sweet week!  We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders.  I was with Elder Knowlton.  We had a good exchange.  We went to see Chito to pass him on, and had a great lesson where we read in Alma 7.  Alma 7 is definitely one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon.  It clearly testifies of Christ and His mission, and what we can do to more fully follow him.  We committed Chito to be baptized, but he said he would have to stop smoking first.  He knows that it is bad to smoke, but he has been doing it for something like 40 years.  I know he can do it though.
Elder Knowlton and I also went to see Blas whom we haven't seen in a really long time.  Blas is doing well.  He needed help with translating some papers, so we did that.  We also went to the thrift store, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow and did some service.  They had us push a huge pile of bags to the back of this big shed.  It was crazy!  We had to climb up on top and throw them back. I'll send some pics.

After that we switched back.
We had a sweet lesson with the one complete family in our branch, the Harro family.  They are awesome!  We had a sweet discussion about Elder Eyring's talk O Remember, Remember.  It talks about journal writing.  It was cool to talk to all of them about how journal writing blesses each and every one of us, as well as our future posterity.  I was able to share with them about what I had heard from Dad from forever ago about great grandpa Turner, and how he had been able to read his journals from his mission, and how from that, I know that Louisiana was a part of his mission when he served in 1920.  They thought that was pretty cool.  We committed them to keep up on their journal writing and that it would be a great blessing for them and their family.

Another sweet lesson we had was with David and his dad, Mario, and Wendy, a less active who is engaged to Mario.  They fed us Baliatas on a plate, so basically that is eggs, beans, honduran cream, and in this case sausage.  You just put all of that in a homemade flour tortilla and it is pretty much the best thing ever.  Except for your Chicken Enchiladas mom :).  We showed them the video Voice of the Spirit and talked about what they could do in order to have the spirit more abundantly in their lives.  David said he would be baptized.  Good answer.  Wendy said she would do more to come to church regularly and read the scriptures.  Mario said he would be better.  One way we suggested to him that he could be better was to pray with Wendy morning and night.  We promised them if they did that, they would receive help from the spirit.  There was a really sweet spirit in the room as we talked.  It was a sweet lesson.

We had another lesson with David where we went over the baptismal questions.  He has a few things that he needs to handle before he can be baptized, but I know that through the Atonement of Christ, he can change and be prepared for baptism.

Another really cool thing was that we got to see Peter again!  He is this guy that lives in our complex from Belize.  The cooler thing, is that we saw him twice.  Twice!  I have never had a companion that has seen Peter more than once!  We were walking away from the complex and I had a feeling that we needed to turn around.  So we did, and then I was like, OK, now what.  I then felt like we should call Peter.  So, we did, and he had time!  So we went and talked with him a bit about faith.  He has great faith!  He said he was going to read and pray.  So the second time we visited him, we went and talked about the Doctrine of Christ, and how he could be clean.  He said that is exactly what he wants.  So cool to see miracles like that!  well, life is great!  

It will be interesting to see what happens with transfers.  We have Sister Toleafoa going home, so we will get another sister in the district.  Interesting to see who.  Well, Hillary will be home soon! Crazy! Go get'em Hill!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews

Monday, February 24, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 39 - Baton Rouge, LA

Mosiah 15:14-17 

Hey Everyone!
Well, this last week rocked!  We saw a lot of people and got a lot done, so that was pretty cool. One of the coolest things that happened where a bunch of new callings in the branch.  Most of it was sparked by the English's leaving and not being replaced.  The Englishs are the senior couple that have been helping out the branch for the last 18 months.  Elder English was the ward mission leader, so our Second Counselor, Brother Ricardo Garcia was called to be the new Ward Mission Leader.  Taking his place in the Branch Presidency was Juan Rodriguez, one of the most awesome members we have and was originally the secretary.  Taking his place as secretary was Felipe Robles, our old elders quorum president that has us over every Monday for FHE.  Taking his place as Elder's Quorum President is Filadelfo Gonzales from Gonzales Louisiana.  His counselor is Martin Alvarez.  He is a sweet member that moved into our area recently.  Pretty much all of our active priesthood have a calling in some kind of leadership position.  It is going to be awesome to help them learn.  We have been assigned to study "Teaching, No Greater Call".  We will then help to teach our new leadership.  That is going to be sweet.  It is awesome to be here in a time of growth for the Spanish Fifth Branch of Baton Rouge!
Well, this week we had something like 5 new investigators, due to all of the contacting that we have been doing.
First on the list were Leo and Juan.  We just started talking with them about a week and a half ago while they were working on their truck.  They both have papers and said that they were going to take one of their trucks to Mexico to sell it, but that we could come back after and visit.  Well, Thursday we went back to visit, and they invited us in, and were able to share with them about the Book of Mormon.  They asked us where the name Mormon came from, so we gave them an answer, and they told us to come back again, so that was pretty cool
Second, we taught Chito again.  Twice.  Chito is a sweet guy from the Philippines.  On Monday, we taught him about the Book of Mormon and how it works with the Bible to confound false doctrine.  We read in 2 Nephi 3:12 where it talks about the writings of the Jews and the descendants of Joseph will work together to confound false doctrine.  Chito had a lightbulb moment which was cool.  He understands what the Book of Mormon is.  When we came back to Chito last night, we shared with him Alma 32:21.  Elder Glauser asked him what he thought faith was.  He said it was not walking by sight.  He had seen a little clip on TV where a blind person said he was going east.  Another person asked him how he knew where east was if he couldn't even see.  The man said he didn't walk by sight, but by faith.  We then read in Alma 32:21 and he liked that a lot.  Pretty much solidified what he thought.  We then asked him if he had the faith to try to read the Book of Mormon.  He said he would.  We will visit him again with the English Elders so he can go to the right congregation and everything.
Third was Leopoldo.  We have had so many opportunities to teach Leopoldo, and never have.  It was like we were getting slapped in the face and finally we are reacting.  Anyways, Leopoldo is awesome.  He had some interesting questions about an Antichrist, and what that meant.  We told him we would do more research.
Well, life is great!  The Garcia's had us over on Saturday to have tilapia and rice.  It was really good.  It reminded me of when we did the Halibut in the tin foil boats.  They marinated the fish in lemon juice, cilantro, chicken bullion, and I think that is it.  It was really good.  Well, I love yall! Thanks for everything!
Elder Scott Turner Andrews

Monday, February 17, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 38 - Baton Rouge, LA

D&C 61:3 But verily I say unto you, that it is not needful for this whole company of mine elders to be moving swiftly upon the waters, whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief.

Hey Everyone!

Life is grand here in the good 'ole south.  The weather here in Baton Rouge is quite bi-polar.
Early this last week it was freezing cold, while right now it is warm.  I think that we still have a few more cold fronts coming in, so I guess that we shall see.  Well, Elder Glauser and I have been doing a lot of contacting.  Elder Provost's time with us really changed the two of us.  We had around six solid contacts this week.  I'm gonna do the whole bullet point thing again, because it is an effective and organized way of saying what I want.
  • First was Luis and his family.  Luis is a little kid that is probably around 8-9 years old.  He was outside and we started to talk with him and his cousin Fernando.   I talked with Luis while Elder Glauser talked with Fernando.  Luis asked if I had a testimony.  Quite an interesting question for an 8 year old.  I shared my testimony that families can be forever.  He told me that he worried about what would happen to his family after death.  I explained the principle that God loves all of us and that families are ordained of God.  I also shared a copy of the Book of Mormon with him, and gave him Alma 40.  He was super excited to read.  He went in to his home, and talked with his mom, and his mom invited us in.  We couldn't go in because his dad wasn't home.  We will go back today probably.
  • Next was these two guys on the road by where Luis lives.  I can't remember their names off the top of my head.  They contacted us.  There was a Honduran and a Salvadorean.  The Honduran was like, hey, I want to come to your church!  I just need a white shirt and tie.  We told him we could arrange for him to have a shirt and tie.  We would love for the two to come to church!
OK. so I also went on an exchange this week.  I went to Baton Rouge east to work with Elder McCutcheon.  while on the exchange I saw a couple of guys, and was like, hey lets go talk to them.  Elder McCutcheon consented, and one of them was a less active that had moved from Texas.  The other was a friend that also had moved from Texas.  Both seemed decently interested. Cool cool.  We went to this place called the Bolsa (the bag).  It is this place called Prescott street. It is a rather interesting place.  Kind of old and trashy, but hey, that is pretty much where we are most of the time.  So the Bolsa is full of Hispanics and members, active and less active.  I met this guy Jason who is an English investigator that Elder McCutcheon was checking in on.  He had a really good taste in music.  Loves Eric Clapton, the Beatles, Styx, Boston, Kansas, etc.  he was playing Santana when we walked in, which sparked the conversation.  It was cool to relate to him. He is a guy that had a rough past and is doing a lot to change.  He was fixing his bike, so that was something that I was able to help with.  We also saw Cristobal, who spoke in sunday on the scriptures.  We went to help, and his roommates were in the midst of a sweet barbeque.  They shared with us and so we had awesome bbq shrimp, chicken, and chorizo.  Cristobal also did really well on his talk.  For pretty much everyone else we saw, we did an assignment that Elder McCutcheon and Elder McMurray have received from Presidente Estrada that is to get the members working on Hastening the Work. We showed the video We Are One.  We then shared some scripture that we felt prompted to share.  One of my favorites is Doctrine and Covenants 33:7-9, which was the title of my last email.  We need to open our mouths!  If we do, He will be with us.

For valentines day, we did service.  We went to an investigator of the zone leader's home which has an acre or so of property that was overgrown and had a shed that he wanted torn down.  So I spent most of my time wielding a machete and a sledge hammer.  It was awesome!  My hand hurts though...

Well, that is pretty much it!  Gotta go!  I love y'all!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 37 - Baton Rouge, LA

D&C 33:8-9 

8 Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as Nephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness.

 9 Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you.

Hey Everyone!

This week was probably one of the most memorable on my mission!  We had an awesome week! 

First off on Tuesday we had a day that was kind of like hit and miss.  We didn't find anyone home, and we mad a door contact that didn't really seem like it went anywhere.  A girl in her 20's answered and kind of gave us a lukewarm response.  She didn't really commit to anything, and just told us we couldn't come in because her brother in law and sister weren't home.  So we went home just kind of feeling down.  The next day we went out and the girl was walking outside our apartment!  She was like, when are you going to come back?  We scheduled an appointment for Saturday.  Her name is Nadia, and her brother in law is Mateo.  They ended up being really cool! We had an awesome Restoration lesson with them.  The spirit was super strong, and I know that I was guided to say certain things that I normally wouldn't have.  I was sharing about how the gospel blesses families, and I testified about the plan of salvation.  That really caught Mateo's attention.  After the lesson we asked if they had questions.  Mateo asked to know more about what happens after death, because we had touched on it a bit.  We invited him to read Alma 40 and that we would have a lesson all about that when we will go back to visit again.  When we left, we asked them if there was anything we could do to help them.  They said no, and I asked if they had any trash we could take out or dishes that we could wash.  Nadia jokingly said there were some dishes.  We were able then to do some dishes for them, which they were kind of surprised we actually did.

For most of the week we were with Elder Provost, who goes home in two weeks.  He is a one of a kind Elder.  He takes talking to everyone to the extreme!  I learned a lot from him.  We talked to about 97 percent of everyone we saw.  It was amazing!  We saw so many miracles from it.  He really helped Elder Glauser and I to see how natural missionary work can be.  When we saw Hispanics, he would say Hermano, yo se que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero.  That was pretty much the extent of his Spanish, so we kind of had to step in.  I learned a lot from his example.  I have never taken talk to everyone so literally.  The more we talk to others about the gospel, the more natural it becomes.   Practice makes perfect.  The gospel has to become a part of our vocabulary. 

A few cool contacting situations:
  • We knocked a door and a nice lady named Priscilla answered.  We shared what church we were from and asked if she had beliefs in Christ.  She said that she did and that Christ had really helped her a lot in her life.  She also shared that she had just moved in and told us that she was looking for a place to go to church.  She asked us when and where our church services were.  We told her where church was on Bluebonnett and Highland.  She said she was thinking about a church that was on Highland and Bluebonnett.  As you can see above in a street view, there really aren't other churches anywhere around.  So she said she would come.
  • Nadia, whom I have already talked about.
  • Salvador.  He is from Mexico, and currently lives in Alabama but is working here in Baton Rouge.  He said that he was looking for a church and had seen us around, but never had talked to us.  He said he felt like he needed to talk to us.  He was a little buzzed, but we shall see what happens.
  • Chito.  He is from Manila.  It was cool.  I told him that you served there dad.  That was cool that I was able to relate to him a little bit.  He had talked with missionaries about two years before.  He said that his life had been a lot of up and downs, but Christ had helped him a lot.  He also said he had a copy of the Book of Mormon.   Elder Provost then did something I have never ever seen.  He pulled out John 3:5 and testified that baptism was the way to come unto Christ.  He asked if Baptism was something Chito would like to do.  He said it was.  Super cool.  
I learned so much from the last week.  It has seriously changed my mission and my life.  

We had a sweet lesson with David about reading the scriptures.  It was awesome!  It wasn't what we had planned to share, but the spirit was there, and I know it was what he needed to hear.  We now that we should read, and do a lot of other things, but a lot of the time, we don't know the why.  If we can help people understand the why, they will want to do the how.

Well, life is great!  Thanks for everything!  I love you all!  Take care and keep on keepin on!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 36 - Baton Rouge, LA

Mormon 9:15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.

Hey Everyone!
So this week was crazy!  

First of all, the snow/ice came back.  It was insane.  Missionaries everywhere in Louisiana weren't allowed to go out on bikes or in cars, or walk on or near big roads.  So, that was rather interesting.  We had the East Elders over, which means that we had six missionaries locked in our apartment.  We ended up going to El Tio, a Hispanic tienda close by home.  We set up a table with sever copies of the Book of Mormon and some pamphlets and other stuff.  I don't have my camera on me, but I have some great pictures of all of that.   It got down to like 29 degrees, which, when you have been in Louisiana as long as I have, is really cold!  We found a few really cool people around so that was neat.

OK, just wanted to say that this was pretty much the longest week ever!  I keep thinking about us in front of the Tio and it feels like it was forever ago, but it was only a week ago.

Anyways, Wednesday was awesome!  We had interviews with President Wall, and instruction with Sister Wall and the assistants. Elder Asuao and Elder Heile.  We went to the instruction first. We talked about the Atonement, and the purpose that we have serving.  It was interesting seeing how my purpose has changed while I have been out on my mission.  I really kind of started out being on a mission because that is what I had planned to do, and I wanted to help others.  Now, I serve because I just love the people here.  I want to do all that I can to help these people come unto Christ.  I know that what I am doing here has eternal significance.  It was a cool instruction. 

After that I had my interview with President Wall.  I got my recommend renewed, which was kind of cool getting it from President Wall.  President Wall is the best.  I think that I will really miss our interviews and just seeing him around.  Anyways, after my recommend interview, he asked me if there was anything I wanted to talk about.  So we talked about me being a trainer, and things that I can do to be better at that.  Then, President Wall asked me a cool question.  If I had a magic wand, and could wave it and get anything, what would I ask for?  Baptisms?  Investigators? Lessons?  I then said time.  I would ask for time.  He then asked me what I would do with that time.  I told him to keep doing what I was, and that time has just flown by.  He told me that he had been thinking of time lately as well.  He talked about what he would do if he knew the day he would die.  Would he live it up and then repent the last two years, or continue to do good?  He then told me something that I think has completely changed my perspective on life and everything.  He told be to think of time as a resource.  I had a big warehouse full of boxes of time.  Boxes of hours, of minutes, of seconds.  I only have a limited amount of these "boxes". Once they run out, they run out.  That is it.  Now, when I go about doing something, I think, is what I am about to do worth the time that it would cost?  Because once it is spent, it is gone. Yes, you could do something that isn't the best use of your time, and then use more time to do what is the best, but then we have used more of our time.  Why should we fill our time with things that are only good, or better, when we could have the BEST of everything?  That is what I want.  I want the BEST.  Good doesn't cut it.  A cool thought.

Thursday, I was biking from the Library on Bluebonnet  on our way to an appointment, and the cable to my front derailer snapped and sent my chain into first gear.  That was crazy.  I figure it was from the crazy weather going from freezing to warm and humid in a couple of days. Anyways, we struggled back to the apartment and called the zone leaders who gave us a ride to the bike shop to get that fixed.  We went to this place on Essen and Perkins called Capitol Cyclery.  It is a really cool store.  They know us missionaries.  Anyways, they switched out the cable, and because a piece of the cable was stuck in the mechanism on my handlebars, they put on a brand new one.  All for 14 dollars.  They didn't charge for labor.  Cool guys.  It is fun to talk to them about bikes.  Bikes are the best.  So are people.

Well, this week we had a good visit with Blas.  We talked with him about how it is important to pray to know truth, and that he could do that with the Book of Mormon.  We gave him an assignment to read in Alma 7 and pray to know if it is true.  I really hope reads.  Sometimes people remind me of the people that Moses dealt with.  He held up the Brazen Serpent and invited the people to look.  All they have to do is try!  We come to people and invite them to accept a message that will let them live with their family for eternity, and return to their Heavenly Father.  Not only that, we promise that the gospel will bring happiness NOW.  Wouldn't you look into that?  Maybe there is a better way to present that?  We need to let people know what we have!

We also got in contact with a bunch of people that we had lost contact with, so it will be good to get back with them.  

We had a great lesson with David.  We talked with them about where they wanted to be in 5 years, and that in order to get there, there are things that they have to accomplish now in order to get there.  We explained that it is the same with the Gospel.  We must do things now in order to receive certain blessings later.  Elder Glauser shared a scripture and did a wonderful job.  His Spanish is good.  He has a good testimony too.

Well, life is great here!  I love you all!  Thanks for everything!  Keep on keepin on!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews