"Make no small plans: This is the vision I have for the South. I believe that one day the South will baptize more people into the church than all other English speaking missions in the world together....We will see the time when we will baptize hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands...In your day you will see a million members of the church in the South. There will be temples plural in the Southern States. What a great call you have to serve with these marvelous people." President Spencer W. Kimball

Monday, October 27, 2014

Feed the Love

Sent Date: Monday, October 27, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob
This week we felt the love and when i say that i mean we got FED. 14 times a lot. twice a day. Yes they love us. We have been working hard and i am loving it! I am kinda scared that i am going to get transferred and especially because this transfer only has 5 weeks i just found that out yesterday. We have been working really hard our Branch Mission Leader is kinda freaking out so we have been helping him with his new calling. Running around working so hard, I have been having so much fun. Lots of people are choosing wrong things and not keeping commitments but we are working hard to teach them the importance of this awesome Church!!
Elder Andrews

Sent Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Author: President Hansen
I had better move you out before you gain 50 pounds.

Sent Date: Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob
good timing i was looking at a +20 man oh man..

Sunday, October 26, 2014

FROM PH: Elder White

Productive Mornings and Afternoons
Sent Date: Sunday, October 26, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Dear Elders and Sisters,
We thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of you over the last two weeks. We feel like we are the most blessed mission presidents in the Church to have such a wonderful bunch of missionaries. Elder White, a zone Leader from the Lafayette Zone brought up concerns over how to productively spend your time in the mornings and early afternoons when many people are working or running errands.

Here is what he said,
-----”We have tried formers, potential investigators, and looked up new people on the roster and have had no luck. So honestly, for the past few weeks on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (Monday p-day, Tuesday is usually district meeting, Thursday weekly plan, and Sunday church so those 4 days you use up those hours) we will take our lunch break from 10 to 11, and honestly tract one neighborhood for 2 hours with maybe one or two people even answering their doors and we will then go to another neighborhood and tract for 2 hours with a similar outcome. With the little success we've been having with tracting in the mornings, I have been thinking … if it's our most effective use of time for those hours… so few people answer their doors… I have a feeling this is a mission wide problem--missionaries (especially elders, since sister missionaries have more people to see due to the fact a good majority of women are at home during those hours). Thanks a lot President, looking forward to hearing what you have to say about this.”

Let’s talk about some things we could do during less productive times during the day:
1) We can do finding activities at universities, parks, downtown, libraries, etc.  Some missionaries talk to fishermen fishing off bridges. Ask big issue questions to initiate conversations i.e. “Do you think that we lived before we were born? What is the purpose of our lives? Why are we here? What happens to us after we die?
2) We can do service for less actives and investigators. Make sure the service is meaningful. Try to make the service two hours or less. We aren’t trying to fill in time with service, there needs to be a missionary purpose to everything we do.
3) When we set appointments, always offer daytime hours first, “For our next visit would it be better to see you in the morning or the afternoon?” You don’t offer the evening hours, make them ask for them.
4) Always make your appointments with people who are unemployed, retired, night workers etc. for your time before 5PM.
5) Have a weekly service opportunity where we give service in a community setting: a homeless shelter kitchen, a community garden, Boy’s and Girl’s Club, etc. These would not just be for service sake, these would be finding activities.
6) I have known many missionaries who have a bus pass who do finding on the bus. Talk about the big issues: Importance of families, God’s love for us, Why there needs to be a prophet on the earth today, etc. Talk loud enough that some of the people around you can hear, too. Tell them you are Mormon Missionaries pass out cards like they are water. Let’s make our daytime hours way more productive. Maybe all y’all could give me some ideas that you have done that have been helpful and I will pass them along to the rest of the mission. We need to “hasten the work of salvation.”

Here are some great excerpts from some of the missionary letters:
-----And we just "happened" to show up on J'avien's (the grandson who had passed away) birthday planning to review the Plan of Salvation. How crazy is that! I'm a firm believer that there are no coincidences. God totally knew that she needed to hear that message again because she'd been feeling pretty down. I hadn't even recognized the Spirit in that one, but I'm glad we followed it.

-----Friday night we went and saw a less-active who LOVES having the missionaries over. It’s probably been years since she's come to church but we thought we'd stop by anyway! Well she's definitely a character and we had a good time and we talked about hope and how being close to the Lord is what brings hope. Well we were sitting in sacrament meeting and I looked over and guess who I saw????? This less-active and she smiled over at me! I don't believe I've ever had a happier moment. That was so incredible!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

FROM PH: Standards

Standards of Excellence
Sent Date: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Your letters are so fun to read. I look forward to hearing from each of you every week. As I was reading through your letters this week I noticed that there was some confusion about what the Standards of Excellence are, and how they are different from the goals that we want each of you to set for your own efforts. Goals should never be set for anyone else. They are personal.

Your areas and assignments are different so I will never judge any missionary based on how their numbers come out. Please don't compare yourselves to any other missionary. It is not fair to you or them. The Standards of Excellence are just guidelines to help missionaries to see what is possible for the mission as a whole to achieve, Some being higher and others being lower that the standards. The standard of 20 lessons per week is already being surpassed in many areas of the mission. It can't be done without hard work, but many other areas that might be seeing very few lessons are also working very hard. They have my respect as well. The SoE is meant to give you guidelines for setting goals that are achievable, but a reach, in each of your assignments. Use them as you think is appropriate.

Set your own goals. ***Goals should make your work more fun.*** Remember they are only for you. I won't think badly of anyone for where they put their goals. Please, make your goals achievable. Don't think that the Lord will bless you more for being unrealistic. Goals are to help us to do our best and have the thrill of achievement. Ask Heavenly Father to confirm to you if your goals are acceptable to Him

Here are a few of the highlights of this weeks letters.I could have picked dozens of different ones as well:
-----We have been trying new things and we are really focusing on talking to everybody. I mean everybody! We noticed that we had a tendency to talk to random people like in the store or on the street, and we would just skate around our purpose as missionaries and about our message. We decided that we wanted to actually tell people about our message and what we do no matter what if we are having a conversation with them. It has worked awesome! We were tracting today and we saw these two construction workers working on the road. I said let's talk to these guys and Elder ______ said, "go for it". So we started talking to them and then we told them about how we go around and talk to people about Jesus Christ. We told them a few parts about our church that distinguishes us from other churches, and then we asked them if it was something they would be willing to learn more about. They both said yes!

-----We had just tracked a street and were at the point when we were just ready to give up and to return home. I said "One more Elder _____!" So we started walking to the right side of the street to the next house. Elder _____ quickly says "Nope, I feel like we need to go left, to that house." He points at a specific blue house about 200 feet away. "That one." We get to the door step. We were thinking of just doing the normal approach about the Restoration of the Gospel. We noticed on the door, some writing. It reads "Family is a gift that last forever." We got pumped. Eternal Families. So I knocked on the door and we bore witness and testimony that we know families can be together forever. He seemed very intrigued. We set up an appointment for the next morning. Throughout the appointment the spirit was extremely strong, flooding through the room with every doctrine we testified of. Eric could feel it. The lesson went amazing. Then they gave us their names and numbers! It was a really cool experience!-

-----I have also found that my performance throughout the day is dependent upon how good my personal study was. The days that I have truly been on fire for have been the days that i have had the most powerful spiritual experiences in my personal study. I thrive off of feeling the Spirit during personal study-- I really do.

Monday, October 6, 2014


Sent Date: Monday, October 6, 2014
Author: Andrews, Zachary Jacob
This week was cool! We had an awesome FHE with all the Hispanics and it was such a success!! we had tons of people come and it was so great! I also learned that I am allergic to bees..... I got stung on the hand on Wednesday. Thursday I woke up and my hand was huge.... So I looked on the Internet to check out what I should do. It said that after 24 hour it is actually a problem so I waited and it got worst and so I got some Benadryl and spent conference extremely tired.

But this week was awesome! We had a lesson with a family that is really prepared and I am really excited to show them and everyone here the amazing messages that were shared in conference!! We are so excited. Seriously Elder Peterson is super excited and it makes me excited and then we just Run! We have found a new family and they are ready. He works a ton so that is a struggle but tonight they are going to get a baptized!
Elder Andrews

Sent Date: Monday, October 6, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Congratulations! Sorry to hear about the bees.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

FROM PH: Sheep

"All we like sheep"
Sent Date: Sunday, October 5, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Dear Elders and Sisters,
General Conference was so great! I am always inspired when I get to learn from the General Authorities of the Church. I go away feeling like the Lord is at the head of this great work and that because He is at the head, He will guide us to those who are prepared to receive this message. I also feel like the leaders of the Church and the members around the world are praying for the success of the labors that we are involved in. I feel the influence of the prayers of the thousands of members who are anxious to see us succeed. The other day, Elder Bluth was talking about the shepherd who left the 99 to search out the lost sheep. (Matt. 18:12) That is what we are all about. He is searching for the one. Are we part of that search? He then referred me to Isaiah 53:6 which says, "all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way..." We are all the lost sheep that Christ must rescue. Our most important convert on our missions is ourselves. We must be changed and transformed to follow the Lord.

As we contact people this week remember that we must always edify and uplift, not argue or bash. Strive to have the spirit and to leave its influence in every home we visit. We are recovering the lambs of His fold.

Sister Hansen and I got to spend some time with about thirty two of the Baton Rouge Zone missionaries over the week-end, which made us so thankful to be serving with you. We love each of you. We feel like the more we know you the more we love each of you. Sometimes we know your weaknesses and imperfections, like you know ours, but that only helps us to love you more.

-----He was having some struggles with his neighbor lately and said, "I hope y'all have got something to help me with that for today." So, we started into the lesson we prepared with Elder _____ taking the lead as we had planned. Honestly, I don't remember much of what we talked about, but after only 5 or 10 minutes into our lesson, Chris started tearing up. He said, "How do y'all know? Every time y'all are over here, what you have applies directly to my life, things you couldn't possibly know about. How do y'all do it?" The Spirit was very strong and we explained to him that although we don't know everything, Heavenly Father does and he guides us to share what is needed.

-----They have a full house and one of her grandsons wants to be baptized! He's 11, but his dad doesn't want him to do it until he's 18. Even she (member grandmother) was telling us that she wasn't sure if he was ready to make such a big commitment, so we just told her we could start teaching him the lessons and see if he keeps the commitments we leave with him (like reading scriptures and stuff like that) and told her that's partly how we tell when someone's ready for baptism.

-----The one man (that we passed on the street) said, "What kind of scripture ya got? So we pulled out the Book of Mormon and taught them about that too. I told him, "I can only give this to you if you'll actually read it, because it's a very special book." And he promised to read it. It was super amazing. This morning I was wondering if they were just playing us, but then we got a text from the guy, Derrick, that said he's reading the book and he wants to discuss it when we come back on Thursday. Man, I just got the missionary fire all over again and I felt like I was fresh out of the MTC.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


So this week was Tough. Like a ten; everything that could go wrong went wrong...from vomit to cancelations. It all started last Sunday we were out and getting nothing and it was hard and I decided we are going to win this week. Satan is going to try his hardest because we are at the point of doing great things and we have to win!! So I that was our theme: we are going to win!! And trust me that Satan worked so freaking hard against us this week. We fought and we won!! Diana is set up for baptism: win. We had an awesome family home evening with the Hispanics: win.   We are starting to get our strong members doing the things that they need to do to grow their branch. I am not only here to convert them but to help them do missionary work too! And that is something that these members are ready for, so I am trying my hardest to teach them how to be missionaries!!

Life is awesome! I am doing awesome. No one is getting transferred except as Sister Roberts which is interesting but not unexpected. 

Elder Andrews