Monday, August 10, 2015

Another Baptism! August 10, 2015

It was another solid week this week! We are having a lot of success here out in this Pueblo, and I really do love being in a small branch. It gives us more of an opportunity to grow a small group of members into a ward some day. I am loving the challenge right now. 

We were able to baptize again this week. His name is Miguel. He is an 8 year old child, and was accepted very well by the Primary here, and he really enjoys going to church. He also wanted to be baptized by Iñaky who is a future missionary that enters into the MTC in 8 days, so that was a very cool experience for him. 

Baptizing a small child reminds of something that Jesus taught in Matthew 18: 3-5. It says, "And he said, verily verily I say unto you that if you do not become like little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, anyone that humbles himself like this child, this is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. And he that receives in my name a child such as this, he receiveth me." I translated that so sorry, but the lesson is the same: We need to be children of Christ. If we look at children, they pretty much love each other and get along no matter who the other child is. And why are we to be different? We may be grown up, but we all need to act and be children of Christ. No matter our differences, we need to love other people before we can help them. And as we become more and more like small children in Christ, we will reach the Kindgom of God. 

Completed a year this week! Also a pic of my companion that caught a bird in a house of prayer haha. 

Love you all,

Elder Andrews

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Power of a Future Resurrection: 3 August, 2015

Another great week here in the tiny little pueblo of Maravatío! It was kind of a crazy week with a ton of stuff going on, but we managed to make it into a great week.

I will just go to the highlight of the week. The baptism of María Agustina, a blind, one legged woman with diabetes. It was kind of a weird baptism trying to get her into and out of the font because there are almost no men in the ward, so we had to awkwardly not grab her but lift her up haha. However, at the end of things, she was able to get baptized. I loved it. I really was able to gain a testimony of the future ressurection that will happen to all of us.

In Alma 40:23 it talks about the ressurection. I am translating so bear with me, "The soul will be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and all member and joint will be reestablished to its body, yea, not one hair of the head will be lost, but rather all will be reestablished to its proper and perfect form." 

We will all be ressurected to perfect bodies one day. I love this. María Agustina will one day have a perfect body. It is a gift from Christ for us. However, we need to take this perfect body and enter into the presence of God and stay there. We have a wonderful gift that we receive regardless from God because He loves us immensely. All we need to do is return that love, follow His commmandments, and we will have our perfect bodies in Heaven with our families and God one day. I know that this is true. I love the Plan of Salvation that was created for us. It is called the Plan of SALVATION because that is the point. Salvation means being with God, and that is His goal for us. We should want and strive for nothing else. 

I love you all so much, and always remember that God made this plan, earth and opportunity all for us, and because He loved us first, we love Him.

Elder Andrews

P.S My feet are so white!!!

Elder Andrews "still kinda got it"

 Mission President and his wife with Elder Andrews

¡Dos Milagros! 27 Julio, 2015

This week was a really frustrating but regarding week. We had had a lot of families that were going to go to church, but Satan worked hard to not make them go. My companion and I were pretty dissapointed, and then the baptism planned for this week had to leave town. However, we prayed to find a miracle family to bring to church or a baptism. 

We went to church on Sunday when all of the sudden we saw a few people that we did not recognize. I talked with the dad and everything was good when he said, "hey what do I need to do to get my daughter baptized?" I said that we would just have to teach her and they could get baptized. He then says that he is not a member because he has not been able to get married to his "wife" yet, but the daughter had gone to church in another ward for a while. We then go to meet the daughter and we ask, "Would you like to get baptized today maybe?" She gave a big yes haha and we taught her what she needed to know and already knew a lot when the dad says, "hey can you baptize my other daughter who is 11 too?" Shocked, we just kind of shouted, "¡Claro que sí!" (of course!)

It was a great little baptismal service and from this, I have learned that specific prayers and faith can really work miracles. If we pray with a purpose, we will receive answers. And as we have faith, we can see the miracles happen in our lives as well. 

I hope everyone is doing great, and always keep the faith. It can do anything.

Elder Andrews 

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015 Found a New Family

We were really grateful to find a good family this week to bring to church for the first time. It is a little family of 3 named the Family Medina Ben-avidez. It is kind of weird bringing people to a little kind of run down house of prayer for church, but I am grateful to have a building. We will make this little branch into a ward.

Also this week please pray for María Agustina as she is the blind lady looking to get baptized this Sunday.

I will also be sending more pictures of the beautiful area out here and of the house of prayer with the sweet baptismal font in the back of concrete. I love it here in Mexico.

My message come from Doctrine and Covenants 105:38-41 this week. It says, "(38) And again I say unto you, sue for peace, not only to the people that have smitten you, but also to all people; (39) And lift up an ensign of peace and make a proclamation of peace unto the ends of the earth; (40) And make proposals for peace unto those who have smitten you, according to the voice of the Spirit which is in you, and all things shall work together for your good. (41) Therefore, be faithful; and behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end. Even so. Amen. 

I love this scripture because although it says the word peace I like to also think of that as love. We need to be good with all others. There will be people that smite us and mock, but we need to respond with love. We love all people whether they are bad or good because we are all children of our Father in Heaven. And if we can love all people, as it says in verse 40, all things will work together to help us. And He will be with us unto the end ,or in other words, forever.

I love you all very much and I hope that we can all focus on what brought us to this world and that is love. And if we love everyone, we will have peace.

Elder Andrews

P.S Sorry that the pictures are so small. Accidentally didn't change the setting back on my camera 

July 13, 2015 First Week on Bikes!

So as you know, this was my first full week on bikes, and it was actually super fun. I will have to admit that my legs are super sore, and I will have to get used to it. However, I am looking forward to having some really strong legs in about a month. 

We have a few people here that are getting ready for baptism, and they are great. I have realized that we teach a lot of interesting people here haha. One lady that we are teaching is blind, has one leg with 6 toes, and 12 fingers. She is really awesome though, and her name is María Agustina. That is probably the most interesting person that we are teaching right now, but we do need to find a lot of new people to teach. We have faith that we can find these people that are searching the Gospel but do not yet know it. We will bring them the truth. 

My message this week comes from Doctrine and Covenants 101:59-62. It says, 

"59. And the servant said unto his lord: When shall these things be?
60. And he said unto his servant: When I will, go ye straightway, and do all things whatsoever I have commanded you,

61. And this shall be my seal and blessing upon you - a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house, a ruler in my kingdom.

62.  And his servant went straightway, and did all things whatsoever his lord commanded him, and after many days all things were fulfilled."

I really like this scripture because it teaches us 3 lessons. (1) First of all when we ask, "when shall these things be?" we need to realize that it is always in the Lord´s time. For that He says, "When I will." (2) We also need to do all the things that the Lord commands us because obedience is the first law of Heaven, and we need to prepare ourselves as such. However, for that obedience we will receive many blessings. (3) And last, we need to do the things that the Lord asks of us now or "straightway." As we fulfill the commandments and wait for the blessings patiently, "after many days (the blessings will be) fulfilled." All we need to do is do as the Lord asks and do it diligently. We need to forget everything else and serve Him. As we do this we will see the blessings, maybe not immediately, but after many days they will be fulfilled.

I love you all very much and hope you all have great weeks!

Elder Andrews

P.S We found and bought hammocks. Best idea ever. 

July 8, 2015 To Maravatío, Michoacan!

Well I am writing today on Wednesday because I moved across the entire mission to Maravatío, Michoacan. It is a small pueblo with a house of prayer because there is no church. I already really love it here, and there is like a sweet tourist plaza which is really different and cool. I am so glad to be away from the city and in clean air. And I also feel like a regular missionary now. Why? Because we have bikes haha. My new companion is named Elder Costello, and I had met him before. We already get along super well and joke around, so it should be a great change. 

I really was sad when I had to leave El Mirador because I had made some good friends there, and it is hard to leave behind people that have had dramatic changes with the gospel. However, a change is always nice. It is nice to say that I left that area with a baptismal date in that area for each Sunday for 4 weeks. I was kind of sad to not see them baptized, but them knowing the gospel is all that matters. 

A scripture that I really liked this week is in Ecclesiastes 8:12. It says, "Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him." I really like this scripture because no matter how much we mess up, we can always go back to God. We cannot sin purposefully, but we do occasionally make mistakes. And as long as we are always trying to improve, do our best, and fear God, we will be forgiven. As we do our best, everything will turn out well if we follow God.

I love you guys all very much, and I will have bike pictures next week!

Elder Andrews

P.S. A nice good head in the cake to say goodbye 

Monday, June 29, 2015

29 Junio, 2015

We had a pretty decent week this week, but it was quite busy. We were helping our zone leaders to get medical forms, so that they could marry people and running for all places. However, it ended up well.

We have been finding a lot of people to teach, and since we only have a week left and it is pretty sure that I am leaving this area, Elder Acosta will have a lot of work and success here next change. We have been trying to find families and also trying to strengthen our ward more and more. However, the highlight of the week was being able to have a baptism. His name is Marcelo, and it was great. We were finally able to get his trust back in the missionaries, and help him progress to this step. Before his baptism, he wife (who got baptized almost a year ago) bore her testimony and how happy she was that her husband was taking this step. She started crying, and then he cried and got baptized haha. It was a very spiritually rewarding moment. 

A scripture that I really like this week is in Doctrine and Covenants 84:75 and 76. In translation it says, "And this revelation and commandment given to you is in effect from this same hour in all the world; and the gospel is for all that have not received it. But I say unto all that have been given the kingdom. It is important that it is preached unto them from you, so that they repent of their wicked prior works." I love this scripture because it says that this gospel is for EVERYONE that has not yet received it. Not only for the people that are super ready, but rather for literally everyone. Everyone deserves to be in the Kingdom of God and not just us as we sometimes think. We were all sent here to return to our Father in Heaven. If we come up short, or if some of our fellow men come up short as well, we have not fulfilled the wishes of God. However, as we share the gospel with everyone, we will be able to save more and more of brothers and sisters that we knew before this life to make sure that we all return back to our God. 

I love you all, and I hope you are doing well.

Elder Andrews

Saturday, June 27, 2015

22 Junio, 2015

We had a great week here in El Mirador, and it was quite a blessing with the success that we had. We first of all were able to talk to the husband of a recent convert, and at the end of the lesson he accepted baptism for this upcoming week. His name is Marcelo, and if you could pray for him, that would be great. It was a great lesson though because his wife basically said at the end that she wanted him to get baptized because she wants to be sealed with him in the Temple to live together forever. It was a great spiritual experience. 

We were also able to pass by with the family of a recent convert, and they should be getting baptized the 5th of July, so please pray for Ángeles and Irene. Irene is the wife and her daughter is Ángeles, and they are really great, so we will be helping them to meet that goal. We were also able to talk with the daughter of a member that just got reactivated, and she has been going to church frequently for some time now. And she will also be getting baptized at the end of this transfer in the mission. We had a good week. The ward also continued strong this week with over 100 people at church. 

As we all know, this past Sunday was Father´s Day, so I would like to share a little bit about how important fathers are in our lives. First of all, our fathers are always praying for us, and this can have a grand change in our lives. This made Alma change from a super bad kid to one of the best missionaries ever because it says in Mosiah 27:14 that "he had prayed with much faith so that he was brought to the truth." And our fathers do not just pray for us every once in a while, but always as it says in Moroni 8:2-3 that, "I always have you present in my prayers, pleading without fail to God the Father, in the name of His Holy Son Jesus Christ, that by his infinite goodness and grace that he convserves you in the faith in his name until the end."

 Our fathers love us.  We always need to know that because for that love, they are sometimes hard on us. My dad was hard on me, and I hated it haha. I did not know why he had to be so hard on me and expect so much. However in Proverbs 3:11 and 12 it says, "Do not reject my son, the discipline of the Lord, neither get tired of His corrections because the Lord corrects the one that He loves, like the father does to him that He loves." I realized a long time ago that what my dad did for me was the best thing he could do. And he had reason to do it because, "I knew that my father was a just man because he instructed me in his language and also raised my in discipline and warning of the Lord, and blesed be the named of my God for that. My dad could correct me because he was doing it for my own good, and because he had the right to do it because he is a good man and follows the Gospel.

 Everything that I do, and everything that I know is thanks to him and my mom. Because it says in John 5:19 and 20 that, "The Son cannot do anything by himself, only what he sees the Father do; because everything that the Father does, will also do the Son of the same way. Because the Father loves the son and shows him all the things that He does. And greater works than these He will show him." 

I am extremely greatful for my dad and for all that he has done for me. I would not replace him for the world, and I strive to be like him as much as I can. We need to learn from the examples that our fathers place for us, so that we one day can be as great as them. And as we do that, we will live how our Father in Heaven desires. Happy Father´s Day Dad! Te amo.

I love you all and hope you forgive my scripture translations because I only carry spanish ones haha! Have a great week.

Elder Andrews
The zone.

Mexican nights.

15 June, 2015

Wow we had a lot of miracles this week here, and it is amazing how much the Lord is willing to give us. We were having kind of a hard week at the start of things, and we were worried about the people that we were going to bring to church on Sunday. It was also ward conference, so we knew that we had to bring people to church. We passed by for some people in the morning, but no one was there. When we got to church, the people that some members were going to bring were not there. However, almost the entire family of a recent convert went to church. It was amazing. There were 6 people there from that family. Later, a family that we had been teaching but could not go to church because the mom was really involved in the elections, went to church. From that, there were 3 people more. We also had 8 less active members come back to church, and brought 9 investigators to church. To say the least, the Lord blessed us extremely this week, and we know have even more people to teach.

Unfortunately, I did forget my scriptures again this week, but I kind of remember the one that I wanted to share. It is in 3 John I think and says something like, "I have no greater joy than hearing that my children walk in the truth." As many parents know, it is the best when their kids are choosing the right. However, the joy of God is even greater when He knows that we are walking in the truth. It is our choice to do so, and if we love our Father in Heaven, we will do it. And as we walk more and more in the light, we will help others to do so as well through our example. Always walk in the light of Christ because any other way will only be in darkness. 

I love you all and hope that as always all is well.

Elder Andrews 

8 Junio, 2015

Well this week was a rather rough one in the mission because of the crazy elections in Mexico. Sounds like a despressing first line haha but that is what happened! It made it difficult to work, and almost nobody went to church due to the votings being on Sunday. 

We were able to get the baptisms from last week confirmed, and they are now members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is always a great Sunday when people are confirmed. Besides that, we moved houses on Sunday because our old one was super gross. Our new house has a washer, a super nice bathroom, a super nice backyard, a never ending hot water heater, and the owners (part member rich family) gave me a double sized new mattress. Blessings came really come in all forms. However, I am really glad for the new things because we will sleep better to focus us more on the work.

I forgot my scriptures in the house again this week (sorry), but I would like to talk about valuing the Gospel. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are in the true church without a doubt, but sometimes we do not always show te respect that we have for what we have in the Gospel. In Church this week, I saw various people on their phones in Church doing who knows what instead of what we really need to focus on: Jesus Christ. Frankly before the mission I did not value the Sabbath Day as I should have, but we can all change and should. We know that we are in the true church, so we should also act like we are in the true church. We should think about the Lord every day, but we are only asked for one day in particular to dedicate to the Lord. Especially at church, we need to remember the reason why we partake of the Sacrament: To renew our baptismal convenant and remember the Lord. If we can make the Sabbath Day a special day, we will enjoy it more and more until it becomes the highlight of our week.

I love you all very much and hope you enjoy these pictures. Have a great week!

Elder Andrews 

Elder Acosta (Elder Andrews' companero)

1 Junio, 2015

Today was a pretty solid week with my new companion, Elder Acosta. We are getting along really well, and he is quite a character to say the least. I am really working how I want to with him, but I am making him drop some weight haha and getting him used to running up and down all the hills in our area. I am really looking forward to this transfer with him, and it should be really great. 

To get down to the grit, we worked really harded and had about 11 less actives that were going to go back to church, but only 3 went. For that, if you are an active member, visit some less actives to make sure they always go to church to renew their covenants. We did not unfortunately bring anybody to church because people suddenly changed their minds and did not want to go or were not home in the morning to bring them to church. We did however get our baptism from last week confirmed a member of the church, and she will be doing great! We also were able to baptism Guadalupe and Margarita Olivares Hernandez this week. They were really excited to get baptized, and their mom was super excited too. Unfortunately she still cannot get baptized because she is not married, but we will see if her husband can change, so that she can be baptized. It was a great Sunday though. 

My message from this week comes from one simple scripture that describes perfectly the Church of Jesus Christ. In James 1:27 it says, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world." Sometimes we try to think that religion is this grand complicated thing that we have to try to decifer. On one hand, yes, the scriptures contain many mysteries that we need to search and study. But when we get down to it, all Christ did was help others. He suffered for us. He died for us. And sometimes we take that for granted, and it seems as common to us as the sun above us every day. However, Christ is unspotted from the world but does carry the marks of our sins. In order to also be unspotted from the world, we need to help all the fatherless and widows in their afflictions. Not just the fatherless in the world but also the fatherless who do not know their Heavenly Father. If we are always trying to help others and bring others into the true fold, we will be tired and carry marks with us. Although it will not be as great as what Christ did, our efforts will make the Atonement not be in vain and will remain clean of the sins of the world. 

I love you all hope you have all had a great week and a great one to come!

Elder Andrews

P.S We have to take the water out by hand with buckets. I actually enjoy it. 

25 Mayo, 2015

We were able to have a great last week here of the transfer in El Mirador. It was also stressful as we had to marry another part member family, but it turned out well. We got them married in a hurry because everyone seems to arrive an hour and a half late here, but with the faith that we had and the patience of the judge, they got married an hour and a half hour later than the marriage appointment was. And that Sunday, the husband was able to baptize his wife which was one of the greatest things that I have seen. Going on with that we brought 2 families of 4 to church, and two daughters of one family are going to get baptized this week. Their names are Guadalupe and Margarita Hernandez, so if you could pray for them that would be great. 

My companion, Elder Sanchez, left this area which was kind of sad because 3 months with someone makes you guys grow more together, but a change is always nice. My new companion, Elder Acosta, is from the Dominican Republic, and he has about 3 months in the mission. He has a lot of animo (it is like excitement or enthusiasm) which is really good. We are looking forward to a good transfer. 

My scripture for this week is from Hebrews 11: 32-40. Read it before reading the following. So with this scripture we obviously need to have faith but after all the trials that the people went through, in verse 39 it says that they did not even get to see the fulfilling of the promise. As we go through this life we are going to have trials of faith and pass through things that are very difficult. We have many promises from God, and many times we ask why we are not seeing very many of them right now. We make ask ourselves why we have some many trials, why we do not have a lot of money, why are others so cruel, and why do people have so much more than we do. We have to keep in focus the eternal promise that we have though and not give heed to the temptations that attack us. If we can do that, we will all be perfected together one day. 

I love you guys and hope everyone is doing well.

Elder Andrews

P.S Picture of the district and then of the best milkshakes ever

20 Mayo, 2015

This past week was a little rough, but we still were able to find a little bit of success. Starting on Wednesday, I started to feel sick with an achy body and a fever. On Thursday, it put me in bed. We left in the morning even though I knew that we should not have, and I sat down on a bench while my companion talked with the people passing by. I literally fell alseep in the street. When we went to the food, I literally fell asleep on the couch and when I woke up, the member said that we had to go home. She forced us back home even though I did not want to, and we later got permission from President´s wife to go home early. After that, I slept from 6 pm to 6:25 in the morning. I will admit I was pretty sick, but Friday I woke up better but was still weak until Monday due to not eating anything for 2 days. 

However the reason that we have p-day today instead of Monday is because we had a missionary training with an Area Seventy. Elder Nash, the Seventy, gave a bunch of great thoughts and explained 3 Nefi Ch 11 like I had never heard before. It was great because he also helped us to know how to help others keep their commitments better. Basically all we need to do is make sure that they understand the Plan Of Salvation and have an eternal perspective. As he said, "everyone in the street that is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not and cannot see the eternal perspective. What we need to do as members and even more as missionaries is lift them up and put them on a mountain so that they can see everything. When they understand the Plan, they will not fail their commitments and will thrive in the Gospel." That is very important because unless we do that, our family and friends that are not members will never understand the reason why we do what we do. When they do understand though, they will want to gain a testimony and live the Gospel as we do.

I was actually able to talk to an Elder that had been in my first area in the mission, Camarones. He told me something that still has me happy until today. One of my converts, Miguel Angel, is currently ward missionary leader in Camarones and is preparing to enter the temple. Also, Fausta Carpio García is really partcipating in the ward and is also preparing to enter the temple. This news made me extremely happy because that is what missionary work is for. We do not just baptize people to baptize them. We baptize them so that they can one day go to the temple and make more covenants with God, so that they can reach eternal life with their family. I do not have my scriptures with me, but I think it is 2 Nephi Chapter 5 where Nephi speaks about edifying a temple similar to the one of Salomon and how it was beautiful. About 10 verses later it says, "And it came to pass that we lived happily." My translation is a little off I am sure, but the message is the same. We can be happy before entering the temple, but as we make more covenants with God we will live in such a way that we will have the greatest happiness and receive the greatest gift. And that gift is eternal life. 

I know that if we all live with an eternal perspective, we will live with greater happiness, we will understand why we do what we do, we will become closer to God, and we will have the surety that we will live with our families forever one day. 

Love you guys all a ton and hope you all have a great week!

Elder Andrews 

11 Mayo, 2015: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

Well this was one of the slower weeks that we have had here, but we have actually had some success with finding families that were investigating the church but stopped and for another reason want to investigate again. We have also been looking for less active members to bring them back to church which also leads to finding new people to teach as well, so we are looking to have some new finds this week.

It was also great to talk to the family this week and see how they were doing. This Mother's Day reminded me again of how important my family is to me. We need to value our families more than anything because we enter with them in this world and will live with them after if we follow the Gospel how Jesus Christ taught. However, we need to have the right Gospel in our life to have the truth. We hear every day from people how all the churches are true and that we are all going to go back to the same God. That is true, but I do not want to just go back to meet Him but rather stay with Him. In 1 Corinthians 9:24 it says (I am translating so bear with me), "Do you not know that those that run in the stadium, all run to the truth, but one one will take the reward? Run in such a way that you obtain it." As we try to run to God, all the churches are trying to reach Him, but only one church will. We know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is that church that will win the reward. For that, we all need to take part in this run with our families to make sure that we can win the reward. And this reward is eternal life with the ones we love.

I hope that all are still doing well and showing their aprreciation for their moms as much as they can because they are the best!

Elder Andrews
"The pic is of the past BYU students and the future BYU students.
 We have like 11 in a zone of 18."
"we also found some puppies in the street"

4 Mayo, 2015

This was a pretty decent week of work and also of miracles. 

We worked really hard this week and had quite a bit of new investigators, but we did not really find a whole lot of teachings appointments. We spent a lot of time talking to people in this street during the weekend because it was just one of those days. That made me kind of sad because we were not really finding anyone, and I was afraid that we would not bring too many people to church.

We did have some good lessons with the Hernandez Family, and the two daughters are preparing to get baptized this week. The mom will have to wait a while longer to find out what we will do with the whole not being married situation, but I know that she will get baptized as well. She often knows more than some of the recent converts and members in the ward, so she is great. We also finally brought the son Martin to church, who speaks English decently because he lived in the states for a while with his aunt and uncle, and he really liked it. He will be getting baptized at the end of this transfer if he goes to church every week.

The Martinez Family got confirmed at church, and everything is going really well. They are getting fellowshipped really well by the members, so I know they will keep progressing. 

I do not have my scriptures with me right now because we will be going back to the house, but speaking of that, the scriptures are really important. I am so grateful for them because they teach us so many life lessons and important doctrine that we cannot replace them with anything else. I thought a couple weeks ago that they are more interesting to me now because I need them now and they apply to me know, but that was untrue. We can find all the answers that we need in life in the scriptures. Whatever little thing we need will be found there, but we only have to put in the time to search for those small and little things. If we do not, we will never find the answers that God has already given us.

Hope everyone is doing well, and I love you all.

Elder Andrews 

P.S. Everybody say I love you to your mother! Te amo mamá! 

27 Abril, 2015

Well it was a crazy week here in El Mirador, but we will get to the happy ending. 

To start the week we had a zone conference which was pretty intimidating. Our zone leaders basically said if we do not baptize we are disobedient sinners and should pray until we cry for forgiveness. Sounds hard, but that is how it was. So that obviously ignited a fire to baptize this week.

We had been trying to get the Martinez Family married and baptized, and we had finally convinced them last Saturday to do it. We were scrambling a ton to go to Lerma, a place 3 hours away, to get the marriage papers to the judge and finalize everything. We had to go two days to get everything correct. We had been praying and trusting in the Lord that He would provide us the way to baptize this week. 

We were originally going to do the marriage at 2:30 on Saturday, but when we went to their house on Friday night, he said that he was not able to get that day of work off. So he could not leave work until 4. We immediately left and ran outside to find a payphone to call the judge to change the time, but I was nervous that he would not be able to do it. Luckily, he said sure, and prayers were answered. However, immediately my companion has an unbearable pain in his side where his appendix is and says that he has never felt such a bad pain. I was calling the doctor and he said if it does not go away in an hour that we should go to the hospital. Right as I was calling a taxi, he threw up a ton and felt a lot better. We immediately went with the Martinez Family and fixed everything, so that they could get married at 7. 

The next day we did interchanges with our district leader so that he could go with my companion and two other mexican elders to be witnesses of the marriage. The were supposed to be there at 7, and I got a call from them at 7 when I was with another Elder taking an hermana to the stake conference on Saturday night. They then tell me there in that call that they were 40 mintues away with the future wife and the kids while the future husband was at the civil marriage place (I do not know how to say registro civil in english) already with the two other elders. Luckily the judge waited, but I was scared that something had gone wrong until they called me at 9:30 that they had gotten married. 

The Sunday was the first baptism that I had had in a long time, but it was great. It is amazing how the Gospel can change a family like that that was searching for answers but did not know where to find them. My testimony is most strong in eternal families, and I know that all of us can find miracles like this (because this was nothing short of a miracle from God) if we share the Gospel with everyone.

I love you all very much, and I hope you all have a great rest of your week.

Elder Andrews 

Fun with the Martinez kids!

La familia Martinez

20 Abril, 2015

This week was a great turn out at the end because at the beginning of the week, I thought we were achieving absolutely nothing, but we will finally be seeing people starting their journey in the Gospel. 

The beginning of the week was hard because we were literally walking around all day because almost none of our teaching appointments ended up being at their house. However, the Hernandez Family turned out to be one of the only families that were there. And I am glad to say that they will be getting baptized on the 3rd of May. Besides that we were not really having any success and ended up almost getting in a huge debate with a bunch of drunk Catholics that really had no idea what they were saying. After that I had the feeling to go with the Martinez Family even though it was almost 8 and we had another lesson with the Hernandez Family at 8. The Martinez are great and want to get baptized, but the husband does not want to get married. We got there and I was thinking, "Why are we here? We are not going to be able to achieve anything." I had an extreme lack of faith. After we sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" the Spirit was there during the hymn and the prayer. I have no idea what happened but two scriptures came to my mind which we shared. Then we testified of Eternal Families and asked the husband what he thought he should do. He then said, "Get married and get baptized." They will now be getting married and baptized as soon as possible. 

One thing that I learned from this is that we can never ever lack faith. We cannot do anything without it. As is says in Moroni 7:39 "if we lack faith, we are not worthy to be counted in the church of Christ" (rough paraphrase). We need to have faith because without it, we will not be counted in His church. Not having faith as it says in Romans 14:23 is a sin. If we do anything without faith, it is in vain, so it is a sin. Although those scriptures are direct and a little bit painful, we cannot hope to achieve anything without faith. 

Something that I have always liked is that we need to arm ourselves with that faith. My family just received a few key chain rings that I sent from Mexico. Some of them had historic sites and the one for my brother was a bottle opener too. The one for my dad ended up being a plain one with a boot and just said Mexico. One might think, "wow you gave something really special to your dad" with a lot of sarcasm. However, it means a lot because whenever I worked in the yard or dug holes, my dad always said that I had to wear my boots. Why? Because if I wore regular shoes, I would hurt my feet. I usually wore them because he made me, but one time when he was not home and I had to dig a large trench, I did not. What happened? My feet hurt the whole next day. With this I learned a physical lesson and also spiritual. If we do not dress ourselves with the right "boots" for the job, we will be hurting later. Likewise, if we do not arm ourselves with the adequate spiritual armor, we will not be able to make it spiritually through the rest of our lives. I am grateful for everything that my dad taught me and for teaching my this. Just like it says in Ephesians chapter 6, we need to "arm ourselves with all the armor of God." If we put on the right boots, we will still be tired after putting up with "all the fiery darts of the Devil," but we be able to fight the next day and the day after until we are at the side of God in Heaven.

So please learn the lesson if you already have not, and like my dad always told me, put on your spiritual boots every day to be able to make it through the next. I love you guys all very much, and I hope you have a great week.

Elder Andrews

13 Abril, 2015

Well this was another great week in El Mirador in the Stake Chapultepec! We really had some great success this week finding new people and had 5 new people in church along with another family. We have been teaching lessons, finding a lot, and have been learning how to teach better. President actually left both of us here this change, and I am really grateful for it. Elder Sánchez is really helping get my spanish to becoming great, and I am grateful for it. We have a few people that we will be looking to getting baptized. Their names are Guadalupe Juarez and Marcelo, so I will let you know what happens next Monday!

Right now I have a little bit more thought out message about some of the talks in General Conference. Beginning with the talk by Ulisses Socres (I think), he talked about how the adversary really only has power over us if we let him, and that what we can justify sin when we fall. This is entirely true because just as we have to let Christ in (remember the picture of Him knocking with no door handle) we also have to let Satan in too. Although Satan will knock much harder and much more often, we have to decide to let Christ in and never do anything that causes Him to leave.

In the talk of Larry M. Gibson, we learn that we need to be good fathers because the son can only do things that he sees his father do. Just like this, we all need to be good examples to our fellow men. If they see us let Christ in our door and see our joy and happiness when we have Christ in our lives, they will let Him in as well. And just as Larry M. Gibson said, "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words." Our actions of letting Christ in and living the Gospel will always speak louder than words. 

And just as the picture of new agenda below, we need to hold onto the bar after we let Christ in as Kevin W. Pearson said. We cannot let ourselves be fooled by the constant knocks that might sound pleasing to our ears but are really there to fool us. We know how the "knock" of Jesus Christ sounds, and we need to hear it. Because after choosing the right path, we are "part of the house of Israel" and we need to constantly choose the right and repent every day.

When we recognize the knock of the Savior, open the door for Him (which really is opening the doors of the Heavens for ourselves, and preach the Gospel, we will be clinging to the word of God and never let go. If we do that we will be so firm that "nothing will apart us from the word of God" (Romans 8:38-39; look it up because I probably translated it bad). That should be the goal of our lives, and I know that if we do these steps, we will find ourselves "at the right hand of God."

I love you all very much, and I hope you all have a great week.

Elder Andrews


General Conference weekend was a great experience, and I really loved it. This week started off good, but it was one of the slower weeks here. We had interviews with President, and they went really well. With what he said at the end, I feel like I will be staying here in El Mirador for at least another change. I feel like talking immediately about Conference because nothing real big happened this week. Sorry I do not have quotes and names for what I will talk about because we decided to play soccer almost all day today, but I will prepare something more thought out next week.

The main message that stood out to me this week was about letting other people repent. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are not perfect because we are trying to follow Him. No matter how hard we try, we will always fail. In the Bible the Scribes and Pharisees mock Jesus for eating with the sinners. Jesus says that He came here to save the sinners which He did do with His eternal sacrifice. However, when we judge people, when we think we are better than people, when we decide to forget those that are sinning because we feel to prideful in our own ignorance, we are those Scribes and Pharisees. The one quote I do remember is that "if we do not allow people to repent, we are the hipocrites of the Latter Days." We are here not to just help bring people to repentance, but we are also here to help them THROUGH it. People can change, and they do want to do it. However, they do not know where to find it. We know where it is. Whether we help people that do not know about Christ, are trying to help people from other religions find the truth, or are helping a struggling member to live the Gospel to the fullest, we need to have 2 things: Patience and Humility. We are trying to be like Christ, and for that, we need to allow all to repent.

I love you guys so very much, and I hope that the Conference talks all inspired you to more fully live the Gospel, help others to find it, and to follow Jesus Christ.


Elder Andrews

30 Marzo. 2015

This week really flew by! I do not know why but the weeks are seeming to pass by faster and faster in the mission, but I am really loving it.

We had a killer week finding people to bring to church this week. As of Saturday night, we had 17 people committed to go to church. Unfortunately, we had a lot of problems come up in the morning when we passed by for everyone, and only 5 people ended up going. I was a little disappointed, however, the new family that we had in church is amazing, and I think that if they go to both sessions of general conference, they will be baptized by the end of the change. I am grateful for all the blessings that God has given us. 

The Martinez Family also went to church again, and we are helping them to build their testimonies more before baptism. I know that they will be baptized before the end of this transfer though. We also have a young girl named Guadalupe Juarez that is looking to get baptized this week, so please pray for them. 

A scripture that I liked this week was from Acts 20:31. It basically is the testimony of Paul where he says that for 3 years he has not ceased to preach the gospel and crying for every single one of the people. As members of the Church, we need to have this kind of desire. But most of all we need to act. What I have seen here more than anything is that people and members say a lot, but they rarely complete. As members, we need to love our fellow man so much that we would be horrified until shedding tears for each and every one of them. 

I love you all very much, and I hope you guys have a great week.

Elder Andrews

Just a funny little sign that we found.

23 Marzo, 2015

This week went by really really fast, so we are working hard here in El Mirador. We are now starting to work really effectively with all the members, so we should see a lot more success. Looking forward to it.

Well guess what happened this week? We did exchanges with the zone leaders and I got put with....Elder Huber! It was pretty cool, and he is honestly a really great missionary. Learned a lot from him on how to contact better, and how to work with the ward which actually inspired me to do the plan that we presented to the ward on Sunday. But the exchange went really well, and I learned a lot from him. Kind of weird that miles away from Loomis we get put together for a morning. Small world. 

But the plan that we presented to the ward really inspired them. However, we realized this week that we need to give members some goals to meet, so that they can complete them. These goals we should also try to make for ourselves as members in the States because we also need to grow our wards there even though it is a little harder. But the blessings will come. When we presented the plan to the Relief Society, we asked how many of them would be able to attend training sessions that we are going to give on Saturdays on how to do missionary work. One hermana got up and said, "I think we should all be going to them!" We got all excited, so we should see a good turn out.

One scripture that I liked this week was in Acts 17:2-3. It talks about how the Apostle Paul talked with others about the Gospel for 3 days "using the scriptures" and "announcing the name of Christ." That is what we are trying to help the members do, and it is what we need to do. We need to announce the name of Christ to all people using the scriptures. The scriptures testify of Christ, and our testimony will become more and more edified through studying them. I know that in the mission, the scriptures have really strengthened my testimony more than anything. Because through them, I know that Jesus is the Christ, and will be able to testify that to all people.

I hope everyone is doing amazing in the United States, and I love you all very much.

Elder Andrews
"I finally found it!"