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