I know exactly what every single one of you is thinking at this moment. "Two blog posts from Elder Burt in one week? Has Christmas come early?" Almost. Just sit back and eagerly await the story of why you're getting to read a little bit from me on a Saturday.
1) BOOM Transition- It all has to do with Wednesday night. Elder Alves and I arrived at home at the usual hour after a very solid day of teaching. We planned until nine-thirty, I took a quick shower, and then sat down at my desk to write in my journal and read a bit.
I never got the chance. The phone rang, and I saw Elder Alves look at it with a bit of shock. He answered. "Hello President!" There were a number of things going through my head about what the mission president could be calling about. My primary thought was that Elder Alves would be called as District Leader, since our old one was going home. That thought was dashed the next second when I heard the president´s voice from the phone. "Can I talk to your companion?"
Shocked, I took the phone. The following is a loose translation of our conversation.
President: Good evening, Elder Burt! How is your family?
Me: (Suddenly very worried about my family) Good, as far as I know...
President: No, no, Elder. Don't worry. This has nothing to do with your family.
Me: (Ah. Phew.) Oh, good, haha.
President: No, no. You're being transferred.
Me: (A little shocked) Really? When?
President: Tomorrow. You will be the new Finance Secretary of the mission.
Me: (Now very shocked) All right.
President: You need to be in the mission office at 10:00 tomorrow. It is a privilege to be able to serve with you, Elder.
Me: The privilege is all mine, President.
Subsequently, my comp was called as the new district leader after just three weeks in the area and as senior companion. Both of us rather blown away, I packed my bags and tried to sleep while thinking about the rather unexpected turn of events. I will serve as financial secretary for the next six to eight months. And my P-day is now on Saturday, so e-mails will always arrive on this now best of all days of the week.
2) Golden - But now let's return a bit to a good story that happened back in my old beloved area of Pedro Leopoldo. Elder Alves and I were working like crazies every day, teaching between eight and ten lessons across Pedro Leopoldo. Our hard work paid off on Wednesday when we found a golden investigator named Ana.
We were knocking doors in one neighborhood and taught a quick lesson to a rather unreceptive Catholic lady. We asked if she knew anyone in the area who would be willing or needing a message about Christ and the family. She mentioned her neighbor who lived across the street. Off we went, and were greeted by Ana. She let us in, and we taught a beautiful lesson on the Restoration. One of the best lessons I've ever taught. Very clear, heartfelt testimony, promised blessings, taught very specifically to her needs and situation...solid. And she was very receptive. She's already been a part of three or four churches, but always left after a few months because she felt they were missing something or that they had something wrong. We explained how we represented Christ's Church, taught about the Book of Mormon, and she agreed to read, pray, and be baptized if she felt it was true. And then I was transferred.
I got to talk to Elder Alves yesterday, and he said that when they returned she had read the chapter of the BoM twice, prayed a bunch, and was eager to learn more. Good luck to them, and it left me happy to hear that we´d managed to find such a great investigator on my last day in the area.
3) Office Life- Life in the office is a little different than in the field. I'll make just a quick summary. I´m being trained by the last financial secretary at the moment. I am (along with the mission president, of course) in charge of the mission budget, housing (which will include renting houses for the more than 30 missionaries arriving next month), water and electricity bills, etc. I spend until 6:00 (sometimes later) in the office, and then go out and proselyte for a few hours. I eat very well, and have suddenly developed a slight fear of obesity. I have a lot more time to study, and have full access to lds.org which is awesome. And I have the blessing of working a lot with the Mission President, who is a very powerful, inspired man. So on we go!
Yep yep. So that's my rather exciting life at the moment. I hope I can continue to supply my reading audience with entertaining and uplifting stories weekly. In the meantime, know that I'm doing well!
Know that we have a loving Father in Heaven. He loves you more than you can imagine, and understands your life perfectly. So if you're having a hard time, talk with him! Pray! He wants you to be happy. And if you don't feel like you received an answer right off the bat, don't stop! That's the dumbest thing you can do. He has given you so much. I know, because He's given me everything I have. A wonderful family, the chance to serve a mission...everything. I am so grateful for this knowledge, this surety.
So go out, lift your head up high, and be happy! Do the good work, fight the good fight, and always follow your heart. Never give up, never surrender.
Elder Alex Burt