Many happy salutations to my beloved friends and relations on the home front! Another week has passed and I have some rather exciting stories to share. This week I saw very clearly the power of the Spirit, inspiration, and fasting.
1) Missionaries vs. The World This involves one of our investigators who´s been progressing for a couple weeks now. She´s 16 years old and is currently a member of an Evangelical church. She is very interested in the church but is also very confused. Over the course of the week we came to realize that this other church is fighting very, very hard to keep her, but they´re forgetting one thing: We have the Lord on our side.
First, they keep trying to keep her out of the house when we schedule appointments. The first was a week and a half ago. We showed up two hours late, due to extenuating circumstances, at the exact same time that her mom and her drove up. The look on her mom´s face when she saw us there was priceless.
Second was this past Thursday. We arrived and no one was there. Her brother let us know that she wouldn´t return for another couple hours. We knew we didn´t have the time to return later that day. As we left, I encouraged my companion to call her. She didn´t respond. Our plan was to visit some contacts in one direction, but my companion was feeling strongly that we should visit a nearby member. This member is active, 80 years old, and has a caretaker. It seemed odd, especially because we really needed more lessons, but we did it. On our way there, we ran into our investigator coming home to find us, having received our call. If we´d gone the other way we wouldn´t have found her.
We found out on Sunday, when we explained to her this feeling/prompting, that she had actually been in the house of this member. The caretaker is her pastor! The pastor was explaining why our doctrine was false when, miracle of miracles, we called. That´s why she didn´t answer, but she immediately left to come meet us.
That lesson was rather exciting. She expressed a couple of doubts that were very clearly given to her by the Pastor, but we easily responded. We finished the lesson and began to invite her to baptism when the mom (a member of this other church) burst in. She told us that we were confusing her daughter and needed to leave immediately. If her daughter was 100% sure about continuing to hear the lessons, she would call us. She finished by saying that the sign of the church doesn´t save a person. I said that was absolutely true, it´s the power and authority of God that does. First time I´ve ever been kicked out of an investigator´s house.
We didn´t receive a call for the rest of the week and I was worried. I was praying like crazy and then fasted on Saturday for her. Then, on Sunday, she appeared in the church. When we talked to her afterwards, she told us that she had felt something marvelous in the church. Like something inside of her was bigger than her, and she could hardly keep from crying for joy. That she´d received many answers to her prayers. It was marvelous to hear, but I would ask that those of you reading this pray for her, to give her the courage to be baptized. Her mom will allow her, but she´s not going to be happy, and I know this is hard for our investigator. But it´s also very clear that the Lord cares very much for her and wants her to have the blessings of the church in her life.
2) My Missionary The second thing I wanted to mention is about a recent convert (one month) of mine. On Thursday we went to visit and received some amazing news. He is going to serve a mission. He has already received the paperwork and started to work on it. He needs a year in the church before he can go, but he´ll have the paperwork all prepared to send immediately. It is very likely that I will have a recent convert of mine serving a mission at the same time as me. That´s a very amazing feeling.
This same convert stood up in testimony meeting to bear his testimony. I was nearly crying as he expressed his conviction that this was the true church, that he knew Christ was his Savior, and how his decision to be baptized had changed his life. I believe this testimony in part was an answer to our investigator´s prayers. It certainly helped make my week that much better.
So that´s the latest in the life of Elder Burt. It´s pretty crazy but also wonderful. I love you all. Keep working hard, choose the right, follow your hearts, and never forget that you have a Father in Heaven who is looking out for you and wants you to succeed.