Bon dia, meus amigos!
Yep, it´s your favorite missionary with yet another blog post about his awesomely amazing life here in Brazil preaching the word of God. This week was, I will admit, a little dry in terms of exciting stories. Slightly more door knocking than usual and nothing extremely nutty occurred. But, that being said, life certainly is never boring here.
The theme of this week was definitely desserts. We held an activity in the church for members and investigators on Wednesday in which everyone brought their own dessert, which we ate while talking and helping members fellowship our investigators. The craziness started on Monday when we spent our whole budget on ingredients for cookies and donuts (don´t worry, we had a stockpile of food in the house as well.) Between Monday and Wednesday we made a little more than 60 cookies and 15 donuts, giving the donut recipe to an investigator to give him a reason to go to the activity. We brought the cookies as a fun American dessert...but let´s just say that of the 60 only 40 made it to the activity, and my companion had to strong-arm me into not eating more.
But even more amazing and mind-blowing, guess who made the ENTIRE first batch of cookies ALONE? That´s right, all you unbelievers, Alex Burt actually cooked something that turned out well. Splendidly, in fact. For those of you who don´t know me well, cooking isn´t exactly my greatest talent. Or so we thought!
OK, onto more spiritual and missionary-related experiences (although this discovery of talent was rather exciting for me). As I said early on, we did a lot of knocking on doors this week, which generally doesn´t result in a whole ton of new investigators. We taught a bunch of lessons, but most were short and not as well received as many we´ve taught. Until Saturday night. We knocked on one door and a man in his mid-twenties opened the door. We hardly had to open our mouths before he excitedly ushered us in, sat us down, and began to ask us about our message and church. The way he talked was extremely understandable to me, I had nearly no trouble at all with the Portuguese, to the point where it almost felt like he was speaking English. It was very much a discussion rather than a lesson, and he explained parts of our message before we even got to them. He explained the Word of Wisdom without knowing it was a commandment, mourned the lack of authority in churches today, and talked about personal revelation. He accepted everything we said, accepted the Book of Mormon, and all was amazing. Well, except for one small detail: he actually lives in Belo Horizonte and is only here in our area during the weekends. Which means we can teach him, take him to church, but can´t baptize him. It has to be the missionaries in the area where he lives. Not that the 'who' really matters, but it makes the whole process rather more complicated. In any case, it was awesome!
Now for a bit of a spiritual thought. This one gets a bit of a backstory because it´s a little silly. It was the middle of the night, and I woke up. Well, half woke up. I was in that weird half-dream state where I knew I was lying in my bed but wasn´t thinking super rationally. And while in this state I came up with a metaphor for the gift of the Holy Ghost, as related to sleeping and beds.
I was thinking about the difference between the gift and just feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost. Because it´s possible to feel it before baptism, but sometimes I might have to explain to someone why it´s so much better to have the gift, the constant presence. I figured that the influence is like trying to sleep on the cement floor of a bus/train station, on a hot day, without a pillow or blankets, with all of the business and noise around you. Sure, you might get a few seconds of sleep and a bit of rest if you´re absolutely exhausted, and to someone who doesn´t know anything else that could be considered good enough. But to have the gift is like lying on a soft bed, with a down pillow, absolutely blissful. Again, clearly I was in my bed while thinking about this.
Quick shout out and congrats to my good friend Amy Forbush and her mission call to Las Vegas, Spanish speaking!!!! You´ll be an amazing missionary, I have absolutely no doubt!
So that´s that, my time is up. I love you all, am working hard over here, and hope all is well back in the US of A, or wherever you are right now. Stay strong, do your best, follow your hearts, and I´ll see you on the flippity-flip!
Elder Alex Burt