Saturday, August 10, 2013

Good Days of the Weekend

Good days of the weekend to you! (An English phrase I picked up off a guy in the street back in Pedro Leopoldo) Another week has passed by with some excitement here in the office. So sit back, relax, and enjoy another weekly update on my life!

1) Master of the House- So I was given a rather big surprise early this week. The assistants were assigned to spend the week on a top secret mission in another city, organizing a new branch there and preparing to open a new area. I was pretty jealous. So on Tuesday, as we were getting ready to leave the office, Elder Wensel comes up to me and says "so are you excited to be alone for a week?" Apparently, President decided to send my secretary trainer with the assistants, so I was left with complete control as financial secretary for the week, without Elder Wensel around to answer questions.
And thus I got to deal with a ton of problems with landlords demanding money, missionaries changing houses, a crazy old landlord named João (John) who couldn't understand me on the phone so he showed up at the office to organize a contract with was all really fun! Very exciting, and it left me feeling prepared to run things permanently here in three weeks when I´m officially alone.

2) Needle in a Heaping Pile of Money- So another great part of this week was the amount of time we actually got to get out and work in our area. This particular story actually happened last Saturday. We went out that evening to work in a new neighborhood, called Mangabeiras. This neighborhood is the richest in the entire state of Minas Gerais, and the houses there are ridiculously enormous. And it's kind of hard to get people to let you in to teach when they don't feel like they need anything and you have to talk to them over an intercom. We started knocking doors and weren't having much success. But then we buzzed an intercom, and a bunch of kids ran to the windows. "Awesome, a family!" we all thought. And then the mom actually came to the door (miracle of miracles) and let us in! We taught a very good first lesson and she accepted, promising to read in the Book of Mormon and come to church. She's from São Paulo, and is looking for something to help her family, as she's in a somewhat difficult situation. She clearly understood that the gospel is able to do so much for the family. She also let us know that it must have been God's will that we encountered her, because any other day her husband wouldn't have let us in. She is very cool, but we haven't been able to return recently because, being crazy wealthy, they've been rather busy.

3) I Think Maybe I Should Come Back to Church- On Sunday we visited a crazy less active who loves drawing cars and smokes like a locomotive. He was going on the whole time about how he needs to think about his life, really ponder it out, and see exactly what he wants in regards to coming back to church. I told him he needs to make a decision now: that you can't leave these kinds of important decisions until the last moment. Sometimes you just have to go ahead and take a step without knowing exactly what's ahead. It didn't seem to be going anywhere, so finally I ended by offering a prayer. After I said Amen, the less active looked rather startled. He told me that while I was praying, he heard a voice in his head saying over and over "You need to go back to church." I asked him, in that case, what he thought he should do. He hesitated, and then said that he should probably come back to church. I told him that of course that's what he should do. And then he said he would...just not this week. My goodness, some people are frustrating.

4) Sisters- On Wednesday we did a division with a couple elders who were here in the office just for the day, and I went out to teach Monica one of the post-baptism lessons. We called beforehand, and she told us she wanted to have the lesson in the lobby of her apartment building. We got to the building a little early, called on the intercom, and were buzzed in. But she wasn't coming down. So we called her, to find that she was shopping or something like that and would return soon. The question then arose, "so who let us in?" Eventually, we decided not to wait down below for Monica and instead went up to the apartment, in search of a potential new investigator. And we found one! Monica's sister, Luciana, was there and let us into the apartment. When Monica arrived (a little surprised to find us upstairs) we taught the first lesson and Luciana agreed to be baptized! And I have a lot of faith that she'll come through, as she's very attached to her sister and believed in each part of the lesson as we taught it.

So, overall, a solid week. Awesome sauce! I wanted to end by wishing congratulations to Tasha Szilagyi on her mission call to Georgia. I have no doubt she's going to be a great missionary and convert a whole ton of confederates, or whoever lives down there in the south.

This is an amazing work and a wonder, that I'm so happy to be taking part in. Love you all, do your part, and I'll see you on the flippety-flip!

Much Love,

Elder Burt

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