Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Change of Heart, Landlord Problems, and President's Birthday

Well, folks, it´s been one crazy fast week here in Brazil and I´m almost at a lack of what to say. Very unfortunately we weren´t able to get out to teach much, but we still managed to get some good work done and feel the power of the work that we are taking part in.

1) A Change of Heart- We started the week off by passing by the apartment of a less active that the bishop had asked us to visit. My comps had already visited him and they said he´s very cynical, sarcastic, and not at all willing to go to church. We got there, and he let us in immediately. We sat down, ate a quick snack and had a drink, and chatted a bit. He was very friendly, though I did notice the cynicism as well. But overall it was clear the environment was a little different then what they had seen the last time.

We eventually got around to sharing a message with him from the Book of Mormon. Elder Gledhill gave a good message about the People of Limhi and how they had to humble themselves before they received their blessings. Then he explained to the less active how his name had been picked by the bishop after much prayer, knowing that he was ready to come back to church and enjoy the blessings of the gospel. He started to laugh, apparently thinking we were joking. I bore my testimony to him about the purpose of our visit--to bless his life as I know mine has been by the gospel. That he needs the church, the church doesn´t need him. The whole lesson clearly touched him. We asked him if he would come to church on Sunday, and he sincerely said that he would. Something we had said seemed to have truly helped him to see that he needs the gospel. It was very cool.

2) Landlord Problems- Oh my goodness, some people just shouldn´t rent their houses out. I mentioned last week my visit with the landlord João, the old oblivious landlord. Well this week some more problems arose as I tried to finalize everything:
                -He doesn't have a credit card. I have no idea how he has a bank account without a card, but I need the information off of it and he claims he doesn´t have one.
                -He didn't know what notarizing a signature was. I called, telling him he needed to notarize his signature. He said he couldn´t, because we hadn´t signed it. I said that didn´t matter, it was just his signature that had to be notarized. We´d do ours afterwards. He said that it wasn´t possible. I asked him to just go to the notary office and ask them to notarize it, and they would. He said he wouldn´t. So finally I just asked him to send it to us so we could notarize our signature and then send it back. It was a frustrating phone call.
But it´s all good, because overall he´s not getting flustered or upset that we´re asking so much of him, and is overall very cheerful. It´s always fun to get the phone call when he says "is this Burt?", with the most hilarious accent in saying my last name.

3) President´s Birthday- This week we also celebrated the mission president´s birthday, which happened on Thursday. Wednesday night we stayed up crazy late in the office blowing up balloons, setting up streamers, preparing a birthday surprise for him in his office. It went very well, he enjoyed it, and it was very entertaining. Hopefully I can get some pictures sent of us with the president.

Well, that about sums things up. It´s a wonderful life, being a missionary. I had the chance to study the scriptures a lot this week, and I am always astonished to watch as my testimony is strengthened daily, little by little, as I do these small things. There´s always something new to learn, and I love it. I´d encourage everyone to try to read a little bit of the Book of Mormon every day. And if there are people who aren't members of the church who read this and think "that doesn´t apply to me," think again! I´m talking especially to you. It´s an amazing book and will absolutely help you in your day-to-day life. It has in mine!

Well, until next week. Try a little harder, do a little better, and know that I love you all!

Much Love,
Elder Alex Burt

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