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 

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