Monday, January 13, 2014

Year 2 - Letter 33 - Baton Rouge, LA

Mosiah 24:15-16 

15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

 16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.

Hey everyone!

This week was pretty much the best week ever!  So, to start off, we had a really good district meeting.  We talked a lot about how we could be better at following up with our investigators. That was pretty cool.  It was neat to see how the lesson that I planned ended up being way different from the lesson that I taught.  We ended up talking a lot about how we could be better at extending commitments to our investigators.  One thing that really caught my attention is that we talked about how well we really know the people that we teach.  We spend so much of our time helping these people, that we really get to know them, and what kind their reactions will be to our message.  Sometimes we get complacent with that.  We don't extend a commitment because "we know" that they will just tell us no.  However, one thing that we realized is that that doesn't mean that we shouldn't give them commitments.  There is a sweet quote in Preach My Gospel that says "People will not likely change unless they are invited to do so." How true that is!  So simple, yet so profound.  If we don't give these people a chance to change, then they aren't going to.  We need to invite them to change, even if we just expect a no; and really who knows!  We might even get a yes once in awhile!  Once we give the commitment, we need to be sure to follow up.  It shows that we really value what we committed them to do, and that we care about them. Anyways, it was a sweet meeting.

Next awesome thing, was that we went on exchanges this week!  I went with Elder McCutcheon to serve in the East part of Baton Rouge.  It was awesome!  We definitely saw some sweet miracles.  One o f them was that we had a sweet lesson with Walter and Alma.  They are a young couple with a newborn baby, Rachelle.  He is an investigator and she is a less active.  He talked to us and told us that he has a vision of where he wants to be in the next few years, and that that includes baptism and marriage.  He hadn't ever opened up to us like that, so that was sweet.

Another cool thing that happened is on the exchange we went to the BREC center near their apartment.  BREC is the organization that runs all of the parks here in Baton Rouge.  Anyways, they have been helping out there a lot.  So, there was one lady that works there, Miss Elizabeth. SO we talked with her a bit about her family, and then she showed us all of these religious books that she has been reading.  Then, Elder McCutcheon was like, "Hey, we have a book for you!"  So we took a little time to teach her about the Book of Mormon.  That was sweet.  She accepted it right of the bat.  A sweet little lesson. That was pretty much it for the exchange. 

Friday, we went out with the Zone Leaders in our area.  I was with Elder Campbell.  He started May 30th just like me, but left the MTC before I did, because he was English speaking. Anyways, he is sweet.  WE are a lot alike.  He loves to fly fish and his last trip was to flaming gorge, just like me.  He is also into choir and music.  We figured all of this out because right as we started the exchange, we got called by the Murillos asking us if we could help them translate at the ER. So we went and helped them for like 4 hours.  It was sweet.  Elder Campbell and I contacted a few English people there, so that was pretty cool.  We also asked if the ER ever needed help translating and gave them our number.  It was sweet translating.  I guess I never thought I would ever be doing something like that.  It was so hard for me to do that when I started my mission, but now, it is super easy for me.

After translating, we went to try a door that we had tried before the Murillos called us.  Neither of us knew why we went back, but we did.  We ended up contacting these two sweet young men. Gabriel and Manuel.  They are from El Salvador.  It was sweet to teach them.  We showed them the Restoration DVD, and they said that they believed it.  We then taught them about the Book of Mormon a bit, and invited them to be baptized.  They said yes a little hesitantly, but we explained that we would stop by and help them be prepared, and that made them a little more calm about it. Anyways, it was a sweet lesson.  

Then, Elder Campbell got a call from someone in his last area, saying that they needed a blessing and were at Our Lady of the Lake, the other one of the two big hospitals here in Baton Rouge. We went to both today.  The Murillos went to Baton Rouge General.  Anyways, the man had had another stroke.  I believe that this was his second.  He wasn't a member.  He couldn't really talk. We asked him if he still wanted a blessing.  He said he did.  I anointed and Elder Campbell sealed.  It was a sweet blessing.  It told him to be patient in his suffering, and to love those about him.  The spirit was there.  I am so glad that we can be there to help other people like that.  What a blessing it is to have the priesthood restored. Anyways, that was pretty much it for the exchange #2.

Saturday Elder Hale and I went to try Hector and Eduin, but they weren't home.  However, we found Danny there.  Turns out that Danny wasn't to interested, but it was still and interesting conversation.  He wondered why Mormon's name wasn't in the Bible.  WE explained that God's word has not ceased.  We testified that the Book of Mormon is evidence that God still speaks today, and that he could find out if what we had said was true or not if he would read the Book of Mormon and pray to know.  We said a prayer and left after that.  It was quite interesting.  

Well, between all we did this week, we got 17 lessons!  IT was a miracle, for sure!  I know that if we are patient, the Lord will bless us.

I love you all!  Thanks for everything!

Elder Scott Turner Andrews 

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