Monday, March 11, 2013

Songs in the Key of (Missionary) Life

Hello hello hello!

Me again, and I've got a number of entertaining stories from this week so, without further ado, I will get on with them!

1) Nine in the Afternoon--Monday is our P-day, but we still go out and work after 6:00. On this particular day, we weren't having much success. We were knocking on doors, but it was kind of late and no one wanted to let us in. We taught one quick lesson at 8:00 that yielded absolutely nothing, and it was starting to look like we´d have to go home without anything concrete. We have until 9:00 every day, or 9:30 if we´re in the middle of a lesson. We kept trying, walking along one street close to our house at 8:50. Our hour was drawing near, but we kept moving along the street a little further from our house. We saw a woman in a doorway and said: Well, I guess this is our last shot at trying to talk to someone. Miraculously, at 8:55, she let us in and we began to teach. The lesson had a powerful spirit, the woman agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray and, upon receiving an answer, baptism. She said she felt really good that we were there. I don´t know if she'll progress, but that was definitely where we needed to be at that time. And we still made it back to the house on time!

2) The Long and Winding Road--So this experience on Monday was followed by a similar one on Tuesday. We had district meeting, and then lunch in a neighborhood that was an hour away on foot. By the time we left lunch, it was like 2:00. We looked at our schedule, and saw that our local branch president wanted us to visit a family who lived another hour away on foot, and our next appointment was in Vera Cruz, a neighborhood another two hours ahead of that. So we said, "what the heck" and started walking. The first family wasn´t there, so we ended up walking three hours straight (not counting the hour walk to lunch and the hour walk to district meeting) to get to Vera Cruz. Tired but cheerful, we tried a family that my companion had contacted before my arrival here two months ago. They let us in and we taught the first lesson. Yet again, the spirit was powerful there and the couple we were teaching accepted baptism. I have a lot of hope for these two, they seem very sincere. The woman said that she never lets religious people in, that they really bother her, but that she felt something different about us, a kind of peace that affected her. Very cool.

3) Master the Tempest is Raging or After the Storm--Wednesday brought about a bit of excitement that wasn´t teaching related. This is the rainy season here in Brazil, they have it during the summer (a little different from my beloved Washington). But it hasn´t rained in nearly two weeks, leaving us with extreme heat. Which means, when the rain finally hits, it hits hard. Welcome to Wednesday. We were walking along in one neighborhood when we began to see heavy heavy rain clouds moving in. Thunder and lightning started up in the distance. Looking off to one side, we saw what looked like a full sized cloud turned sideways, touching the earth. And looking behind us we could see a heavy heavy mist which, in actuality, was a solid wall of rain. We didn´t have time to look for good cover, so we took shelter under a small eaves that was just big enough to shelter me and my companion sitting next to each other on the step up to an apartment building. Then, with a blinding flash of light and an enormous crack of thunder like I´ve never heard before, it began. The rain was intense, but the wind was blowing in such a way that we were sheltered by the building. The wind was powerful enough that it was cracking trees in half, and we were sitting there very grateful to have shelter. Then it started to hail. And then the wind changed direction and hit us straight on. I was honestly fear-stricken for a second, the poweful force that suddenly hit me. I was completely soaked instantly. We ran to the other side of the building to shelter again, waited out the rest of the storm, and I spent the rest of the day wet and a little chilly. Overall, it was awesome.

4) I Dreamed a Dream--I don't have as much time as I would like for this final story, but I'll share the part that was the most entertaining. We taught a family on Thursday that was, well, a little annoying. They were very hard to deal with, especially the mother and the sister. But at the end of the lesson, one of the sons said something rather interesting. He explained that he had taken a different route home from work that day, which was why he was able to see us and invite us to his home. And then he pointed at me and said that he'd dreamt about me the night before. He was a little odd, but it also could certainly be the hand of the Lord at work. We'll see how this family does, they invited us back to their home and, in any case, I'm sure it will make for more interesting experiences.

Thank you all for reading, and thank you very much for your prayers. I truly feel them strengthen me as I try to to this marvelous work. I would like to apologize to my friend, Amy--I think I wrote down the wrong mission in my post last week. She has been called to Los Angeles, not Las Vegas. I hope I got it right now. Oh, and thanks to whoever sent Andy's address to my brother! You're a life-saver.
Love you all, keep doing the good work, live life, follow your hearts, and don't forget your beloved missionary here in Brazil!

Elder Alex Burt

P.S. If anyone sends me a letter containing the artists to all the songs I used as story titles, you´ll win a prize!
P.P.S This definitely isn´t a cheap trick into getting letters
P.P.P.S Ok, maybe it kind of is.

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