Sunday, August 25, 2013

Miracle References, Exchange Student, and Monica's Epistle

Well, this week was full of loads of fun, from getting audited in the office to finding six new investigators while teaching. That's pretty good! I'm feeling very excited, and overall we set ourselves up for yet another absolutely ridiculous transfer week coming up.

1) Miracle References- Just to set the scene for the miracles that happened this week and the stories behind them, we need to talk about what happened on Sunday/Monday. We were talking about how we didn't have anyone progressing, how the month was coming to an end, how we needed to work harder --and we decided that this week we'd make sure to do our part, what little we could, completely, and leave the rest to the Lord. Over the next couple days the miracle calls began to come in. First, a young man who'd been an exchange student in Arizona, lived with a member family for a year and a half, and wanted to introduce his family to the church before being baptized. Then a reference from some sisters in the mission of a woman who'd gone to church in their area but was currently living in ours and was loving the Book of Mormon. This week was crazy full of lessons, and out of it came some amazing blessings.

2) Exchange Student- So I'll tell the story of the best of the lessons, which was with Eric, the exchange student. He was very eager for us to come, calling beforehand to double check (that's supposed to be our job!). We showed up Wednesday night a little late, and were welcomed into an extremely nice apartment, with a family of five attentively watching us. Eric is 21, has two older sisters, and all live with their parents (that's more or less common here in Brazil). The mom is a politician and the dad and oldest sister are lawyers. Needless to say they're well off and very intelligent. We got to know them, chatted a bit, and then shared the message of the Restoration. They had good questions, understood everything, and at the end were eager to read in the Book of Mormon. When we invited them to come to church, the dad said that he couldn't because he and his wife were going to the Catholic baptism of his niece, or something like that. But the sisters immediately piped up and said they didn't need to go with them, right? They wanted to go to church with Eric. Eric hastily agreed and the dad said that was fine, and he'd make sure to come next week. Holy moly it felt good. Unfortunately, due to their jobs and busy schedules, the next time we were able to mark with them was Monday. In any case I'm excited to see them at church on Sunday and really hope they keep progressing.

3) Monica's Epistle- On Thursday we visited Monica, our recent convert. She is doing really well, and let us know today that our peace and inner strength have been an example to her and that now she has that same power. She shared with us the news that she would be moving to Vitória to live with her older sister (her mom is kicking her out). At first she didn't want to go, but she shared with us an experience, She woke up in the middle of the night and received a revelation (as she put it, she heard God´s voice.) She needs to go there to bring her sister to the gospel, which in turn will lead to the conversion of her whole family. She gave us a letter she'd written that night, though it was really more of an epistle/explanation of her testimony. It was amazing--she talked about how she knew this was the one true church, talked about the Savior's importance in her life, the examples of Joseph Smith and Nephi...very cool. So after all this, her asking us for our addresses, etc, we assumed she was moving permanently. Then she let us know she'd be back on the 21st of September. Which works, too.

4)AUDITED!- And then on Friday, to end the week, we were audited! It was actually pretty chill, because Elder Wensel, my secretary trainer who's been here in the office nearly 11 months and leaves next Wednesday, had everything perfectly organized and completed. I definitely got lucky coming in behind him, as he tells horror stories of what he did to get everything in order when he got here. The auditor found just a few things that could improve, then told us that this was the best mission he'd audited for a long time. And he is one of the four official auditors of the church in Brazil. He also let us know a little bit, or at least helped us realize, the weight of our job. Alone, one secretary, I will manage a branch of a non-profit organization with a yearly budget of two million reais (a million dollars), deal with the rent and care of upwards of seventy houses, doing so completely voluntarily, all in a language that I've been speaking for less than ten months. And at the same time I'm saving souls! That's all pretty awesome.

So yep. Awesome week. Awesome life. Awesome sauce. I'm so happy to be serving the Lord here in Brazil. I love this church. I love the Lord. I hope you all are doing well and living life to it's fullest, but never forget that you have it all because of a loving Father in Heaven. And it only gets better! What a blessing!

I love you all. Keep up the good fight.
Cool cool cool.

Much Love,

Elder Burt

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