"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, May 26, 2014

Words of Wisdom

As I'm sure many of you would like to know, Aristeo is doing alright. His progress has slowed a little as he has realized all it takes for him to actually get baptized -- getting divorced from his former wife, and married to the one he is currently with. The major problem here in Mexico is that when people get fed up with each other one just leaves, and that's what happened to Aristeo. Which complicates his situation to get remarried and the baptized. So, we try to focus on what we can change for the moment. As many Mexicans he has an addiction to coffee. He only drinks it every day. So, we put his testimony to the test once more. We shared the story of Daniel (Daniel 1) and shared the blessings that would come to his life if he would obey the Word of Wisdom to help him feel anxious to life this commandment. Do you understand how hard it is to explain health to a doctor? Especially one that has justified their own habits with studies of who knows what from who knows where? When you think about health, would you go to a missionary? Or would you go to a doctor? Good thing that we were on the topic of spiritual health and that gave us the edge. It didn't help that our Elder's Quorum President told him that Jesus drank grape juice...

So, we gave him all the points he thought he could take from the Bible and, seeing as it was Elder Hernandez's first time teaching the Word of Wisdom, it was time to get a little creative. Instead of using what he thought he knew, we used what the Spirit had taught him. We asked him, "Do you believe in prophets and in modern day revelation?" To which he promptly responded yes. "Do you have faith that if we follow the counsel of a prophet, even when we may not know why, that we will be blessed?" "Yes," he replied again. "Do you have the faith sufficient to obey the Word of Wisdom and get rid of all your coffee?" To this one he could not respond. So, we invited him to pray in that instant with his children by his side (Pablo 16, Carrie 19). Finishing the prayer he lead us to his coffee and let us throw it away.

How can someone give up a habit they have had for 50 years? Forget that he had just bought a brand new large bottle of coffee the previous day. Forget that he knows of the pains that follow leaving behind an addiction? What makes the change? I love what Mormon comments when a situation a little more serious is presented. He states, "And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons of war, for peace" (Alma 24:19).

I woke up the other morning reflecting a lot on all that I had learned in my mission; what would I leave to help Elder Hernandez go on and understand fully what we do as missionaries. I thought for a few moments and decided that I had learned that it is better to suffer whatever cost -- even until death -- than to give up. I told him, I would rather die doing what I know is right, than live in shame. After all, that is what it took for the Savior.

But, could you say the same for yourself?

May the Lord guide us always,
Elder Andrews

Monday, May 19, 2014

And the Book?

This week I went on divisions with another Elder (my Zone Leader), one who was actually with me on the plane when we first got here to México. It was strange preaching with him and seeing how far we both had come. We walked back to the house after crossing the rivier and, due to the increased amount of sun, I was feeling a little bit dehydrated, so I went to buy a suero, an electrolyte drink common to Mexico, to keep myself going (it's like a Gatorade with less sugar). So, we went to the only farmacy I have ever seen here in Allende and bought it and started talking to the doctors there. One was very direct and even more blunt in letting us know he really didn't care, but the other seemed to be more care free and open. We ended with an open invitation to our English class we teach to which he agreed and set up plans to meet him there, but as we left he asked, "And the Book?" Caught a bit off guard I told him we didn't use a book, we just taught basic grammar and pronunciation. But he quickly referred us back to our mentioning of The Book of Mormon. So we ran to the house and went back later that day to leave him with a Book of Mormon that he could read. Seeing the power of the Spirit of his conversion brings a new testimony to the truthfulness of it's teachings.

Once we taught him (his name is Aristeo) about the Restoration of the Gospel through Joseph Smith, it was simple with his foundation in the Book of Mormon. As we went on explaining, he exclaimed, "It just makes sense!" Haha. You could see the figurative light bulb in his head turn on and his understanding increase. As he continues to read the Book of Mormon, his testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel and the need for his obedience to it's principles and commandments grows. It is great, and could be for some, confusing as to how a Book could cause a 53 year old doctor change his life so drastically. His faith conquers anything that is put in his path and my companion and I are surprised each time he chooses to overcome another one of his trials.

So, all is good. My companion decided after the divisions that we needed to start to exercise, since the other Zone Leader did it with him (the only day they really did, thanks...) and decided we should wake up earlier to exercise. Oops. But, although I wasn't excited, we are taking advantage of the opportunity to change the ward. Everyone is...willing to lose a few pounds, so we have the Bishop, the two Secretaries, the Elder's Quorum President, Aristeo, and a few youth of the ward all ready to play soccer with us every morning at 6 AM. Can you believe that Allende would have a turf field open to the public? Maybe someone does want me to exercise, so we've been just running for a week as we were lacking a soccer ball, but today we should have that all figured out. I have noticed that the type of person you are today is the person you are. Imagine that? So, stop seeing the future, and change the present. Are you happy with who you were today? Change it tomorrow.
May God bless you in your efforts.

Elder Andrews

Elders Andrews and Hernandez with the head of a statue of Christ.
The arm of a large statue of Christ.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Missionary

As requested by my mother, I will take this time to let you in on some more details of what it is really like to be a missionary with simple experiences during the day with your companion.

So, here goes:

Elder Hernandez and I get up. It's still dark out. Still hot. Get ready. Study. Gets more hot. Perfect. Go outside. Sun. Walk to lessons saying hi to everyone and stopping people as much as possible and talking to them.

That is a bit of a weeding out process to try to find people that are willing to at least do a little bit of what you ask them to do (read the scriptures, pray, go to church). Eventually you find someone who at least says they might. Go to their house. Three examples from this week.

Eulalia (Lala). Mother of 3 teenage girls. Catholic Primary teacher. "I believe in the Bible nothing else, but talk to me." We talk to her quite a bit and she almost denies just about everything. We repeat everything EXTRA slow and get her to agree that, yes, indeed, prophets are important. We read from the Bible a bit, she says, "Oh, that's neat." We say the same thing even more clearly and more dircect from the Book of Mormon..."I don't get it." Not the first person to act dumb... Wrote in my journal, "Ignorance is one of Satan's strongest links to hell." She ended up denying it all and told us she would never ask God about our church in prayer. To top it off she is the first person to tell me that Joseph Smith was actually an apostate Catholic...

Paulino. 60 year old man. Retired Presbyterian Missionary/Singer. Stroke affected his throat. Now converted Dentist without patients. Said hi to him and he seemed to not have anyone else to talk to. Said he already had a Book of Mormon. Randomly stops our conversation to sing a worldly song he wrote about Jesus as everyone passes by on the main road. We try to talk more so he doesn't try to sing again. He sings again. Leave him some reading assignments in the Book of Mormon and go back the next day. He read! He said he believes it! We challenge him to follow his testimony and get baptized. He stops us and tells us in a slow stern tone: "I will never change my religion." We ask, "Not even if God told you that what we are saying to you is true?" With a blank stare he replies, "No." So, before he starts singing again, we try to get out and not waste too much more time.

Janet and Eduardo. Recently married. Daughter of 2 months. Leave a Family Proclamation to the World with her and set an appointment to go back to her house when her husband is home. Go back the next day. Get chairs out. Sit down. The husband says: "I have nothing to say to you. I recieve you as human beings with the education that my parents taught me, but I will hear nothing about your religion." Ok... Well, "Is there anything we can do for you?" To which he replies, "I think it's better if you just leave."

And, so now I would assume you know why I don't share many stories of what we do. But when you do find someone that is interested and willing like we have with two others, there is nothing better than seeing them excell and seeing the power of God work in them and their families.

I think the best think that we can learn from this is to see that if God really did tell you to change something, would you do it? Would you be willing to follow? I will say one thing, if you do not read the scriptures, you are not a follower of Christ, you are a follower of someone else. Trust not what you may hear, trust rather what you know and what you have felt.

"Don't compare yourself with other christians, compare yourself with Christ; he is the only one you follow."

So, take the time in your life to let the Lord soften your hearts that you may be willing always to do all that he would ask of you. Only then can you be confident that the Lord is on your side.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

Elder Andrews

Monday, May 5, 2014

Meet the Family

So, I'm off quick to set the example to my son, but here's the family:

Elder Rime to the left.
Me in middle and,
Elder Hernandez on the right.

He is from Cancún. Wow! He is already a better missionary than I am, but I still try to teach him things here and there. He is way excited and is learning Spanish fast! :P

I learn things every day from him and realize that everything I do bad he tends to copy. It's funny how you learn more while teaching, but its a higher responsibility and I wouldn't have it any other way. I honestly do love it when if something goes wrong it is my fault, cause that means it's always up to me to help make it better as well.

As I went to pick up my new son, I saw 2 more missionaries get sent home early. There is absolutely nothing I detest more than having to see a missionary go home early. It is THE worst thing that has happened to me in the mission. Above all else. In that moment you wish there is something that you could do, but many times it is left to the fact that they didn't help themselves. So I would invite each one of us to always seek to progress; that we may never fall behind. May we each be obedient to all the Lord's commandments and search diligently the scriptures to be able to follow the path ahead of us.

With love and prisa,
Elder Andrews


"Son" refers to a missionary that an elder trains. Elder Rime and Elder Hernandez are Elder Andrews' "sons" in this way.


prisa = hurry, rush

Elder Rime, Elder Andrews, and Elder Hernandez.