MEXICO VILLAHERMOSA MISSION -- JULY 2012 - 2014
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." 2 Nephi 31:20

Monday, October 28, 2013

The North Wind and the Sun

"If you would win a man to your cause, convince him you are his genuine friend.¨-- Abraham Lincoln"  -- Thomas S. Monson (October General Conference 2013)

A while back I remembered this old story I had once heard in elementary school. It´s strangely convenient how when you are a kid you learn all this stuff, but you never really apply it until you are farther down the road. 

The North Wind and the Sun

The North Wind boasted of great strength. The Sun argued that there was great power in gentleness.

"We shall have a contest," said the Sun.

Far below, a man traveled a winding road. He was wearing a warm winter coat.

"As a test of strength," said the Sun, "Let us see which of us can take the coat off of that man."

"It will be quite simple for me to force him to remove his coat," bragged the Wind.

The Wind blew so hard, the birds clung to the trees. The world was filled with dust and leaves. But the harder the wind blew down the road, the tighter the shivering man clung to his coat.

Then, the Sun came out from behind a cloud. Sun warmed the air and the frosty ground. The man on the road unbuttoned his coat.

The sun grew slowly brighter and brighter.

Soon the man felt so hot, he took off his coat and sat down in a shady spot.

"How did you do that?" said the Wind.

"It was easy," said the Sun, "I lit the day. Through gentleness I got my way."

D&C 121:41 "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned."

May we all be able to preach the gospel and exercise our priesthood duty as well as our duty as members to preach the gospel. Only together is it possible.

Elder Andrews

P.S. Here is a picture and a 3 second video to lighten up your day.
Elder Andrews riding his burro.

video

Monday, October 21, 2013

Faith, Hope, and Charity

This week I was thinking a bit about the connection of faithhope, and charity. I thought that I was doing pretty well with them, but through my studies I have realized that if you are lacking in one of these three areas, you are lacking in all. 

D&C 18:19 "And if you have not faithhope, and charity, you can do nothing."

Alma 7:24 "And see that ye have faithhope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works."

Moroni 10:20 "Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also behope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity."
They are three attributes that are fairly well-known, but as always, we tend to learn more as we see examples. In order for you all to understand the connection, I have put various scriptures in order as to help each one of us see more clearly the interconnection of these three.

Faith. Alma 44:3-4
 3 But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith. 4 Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.
--In the heat of battle Captain Moroni bears testimony to his enemy that because of his faith in Christ, as well as that of his people, the Lord has preserved them and helped them prosper. Six times he testifies that it is according to his faith that he has been preserved and not because of his military skills. Testify of your faith in Christ.
Hope. Ether 12:4
4 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.
--Hope comes by faith and becomes an ancor; holding us where we need to be, helping us see where we need to go. If we do not have hope, we would not see why we do the things we do, and would quickly lose our course. Anchor yourselves with hope. Do not take your course away from God.

Charity. 1 Corinthians 13
 
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
 Charity never faileth:

The Parable of the Good Samaritan
 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Luke 10:33-37
Only when we have this faith and hope, can we be in the path of God. Only when we are in the path of God can we help others to come as well. Love every person like they are a child of God because they are.
So what must we do?
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall haveeternal life."
2 Nephi 31:20

With love,
Elder Andrews

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bandwagon

So, this week has been a long one. Elder Rangel and I went to Villahermosa again, but, trying to make our way back was the hard part. I have forgotten to mention that the teachers here in Mexico are on strike. It's an interesting story, but since the first couple weeks of school, no one has had classes. Which would make you think, "Great! Now everyone will always be in their houses waiting for someone to come teach them! (a.k.a. the Mormon Missionaries)". But it has been just about the opposite. The schedules of everyone are even more hectic. Some teachers want to work, others no, so they fight over the school and whoever has control of the buildings decide if there is school or not. For the most part no one goes to their actual school but rather meet up with the teachers that want to work in some other place to recieve and give out homework. Long story short, people are at home even less. 

Why does any of this matter? Well, cause they have started to shut down other things as well, such as, the water--which thankfully hasn't affected us yet--as well as the freeways. So, getting back to Minatitlan was a struggle. After some ideas we made in out of Villa to Coatzacoalcos, a city near Minatitlan by night time and then got up at 4 AM to make it back to Mina in time to teach a class that morning. So, another week of long travel. Hopefully things should calm down a bit in this week. 

This week I was pondering the principle of repentance. A lot of people question why there exist bad feelings of guilt, remorse, or sadness. But I see them as essencial parts of God's plan. If you never felt bad, no one would ever change. I once heard someone relate it to pain in the human body. When we feel pain, it is because our body is trying to let us know that there is a problem that needs attention. What should you do when you feel such pain? Obvious that you would seek out the means to heal whatever damage may have occurred. Why then, do we not do the same for the guilt that results from sin?

When I was young my parents bought me a wagon. I loved to play in my wagon and loved it even more when someone would come and pull me around. I took great care of my special red wagon and always felt sad (angry even sometimes) when someone would scratch my perfect red paint on my wonderful wagon. I felt the worry of making the same mistakes. But, one day, I had let down my guard---forgotten if you will-- about my magnificent wagon. I had left it outside in the rain. With a few straches and a little extra rain, my wagon had begun to rust. As time went on the rust got worse and worse until I could no longer sit and play in my wagon. 

The rust would have been far less, the damage avoided, had I taken care of the problem when it occurred. However, because I had waited, it resulted in the wagon never being used for play again. Do not let yourself be as my old wagon.  Take care of problems when they occur so that you can always stand clean and worthy for the purpose you are here. No matter what you may have done, or how long ago it may have occurred, do not let yourself be decieved to wait just a bit. 

That we all may be in as perfect a condition we can through true repentance and faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Elder Andrews

Monday, October 7, 2013

Letter #56 from Mexico

Before I forget, Elder Tanner Rape is here in the mission. He's been here for 3 months now, but, just thought I should say that. He is from my Stake in Pennsylvania and I saw him at all the activities, so that is weird. I still haven't seen him here yet, but I am no longer the only one from Pennsylvania. Which is funny because nowhere on the records of the church (therefore the mission either) does it say I'm from Pennsylvania--except for the little yearbook type thing they gave out last Christmas. I've always gotten confused about my Hometown. Even moreso in the mission. Oh well.

This week has been an interesting one. Remember how it was the week of transfers? Yeah, Elder Rangel and I got to wait in the bus station all day waiting for the Elders to show up and send them to their final destinations. Seeing as there are 2 Zones here in Mina, it wasn't so bad. Especially when you add in the fact that this go round, two of the assistants got changed. BOTH. So, the transfer sheet wasn't the greatest. But it was a blast. We got 2 lost missionaries. A sister and an Elder at different times. One sister got off the bus really fast and it seemed she did not have a companion. I ran over and asked her where her companion was, and she looked back at me with a relieved look, saying, "Elder, can you go get my suitcases?" Haha. She was very lost. 

Which brings us to your lesson of the day: always answer the question that is being asked. Sometimes it seems that people can answer any other question EXCEPT the one being asked. I first noticed it with my parents when I was still in High School. One day before my mission I demonstrated how difficult it was. My mom sent a text saying: "Where are you at?" and I replied, "I'll be home soon." Haha. And sooo we continued until she realized I was trying to prove a point. 

Luckily the lost sister missionary had her companions still waiting to get off the bus and had accidentally passed where she was supposed to get off (I don't know how since the bus stops there for 10 minutes). And yes, I did get her bags. But, we took her back to where she was supposed to be and came back to Mina. Then there was another problem with an elder and we had to take him to another area as well. So, Tuesday, Elder Rangel and I travelled to half the mission taking lost missionaries where they needed to be (see photo below).

And so, the lesson you are to learn is, enjoy the journey--as President Uchtdorf said a few conferences back. Do what is needed, when it is needed. 

The miracles of it all is that with all the run and gun of our travels, we never waiting more than two minutes to get on a bus where we needed to go, or to get back. We also rode some of the worst buses that I had ever seen. But, the point is, we got where we needed to be, when we needed to be there, and truly were able to be instruments in the Lord's hands. 

May we all be willing and ready for when the Lord call us.

With love,
Elder Andrews

Travel Receipts