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 

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