Saturday, August 31, 2013

Our Friend, the Doctor; The Exchange Student (cont); Game Time

Top of the morning to you all!

Yet another crazy week has passed here. As in transfers. Period. Maybe an exclamation point. Although as secretary I don´t have to worry about a call to a new area, life is definitely a lot more hectic and stressful...especially now that I'm in charge and my trainer was transferred out. But I'll talk more about the adventures of transfers a little later.

1) Our Friend, the Doctor- Well, this week we met one of the most interesting, eccentric, unique people I've seen up to this point on the mission. We encountered him while doing street contacts in front of the church last Wednesday. He actually came up to us and asked, in English, if we knew what breed of dog he had. That led to a fascinating conversation filled with random bits of wisdom and pointers for us, as youth. We got his number, gave him a Book of Mormon, and left to go teach our lesson. I thought that would be it, but when we didn't have anything to do on the next Sunday...  we gave him a call. He invited us to visit him at the hospital where he worked, which we accepted, intending to leave a short message before moving on to our other appointments. We got there, the front desk gave us visitors' passes, and then we met up with our friend, the doctor. He indicated for us to leave our bags in his office, before proceeding to give us a full on, no holds barred, tour of the hospital. We saw a CAT scan in action, visited the biology department where they keep all the live snakes, scorpions, and spiders, passed through all of the wards with the many patients in various conditions, and then sat outside his office while next door they cut open the arm of a little girl with the door open. It was an adventurous visit. We set up a visit in his private clinic the next day.

...Which also proved to be quite the adventure. We showed up, and he wasn't there. When we called, he told us where to find him. It was at a hole-in-the-wall, ghetto weight-loss smoothie shop, where we sat on couches and chatted a bit. He then brought us back to his office, only to rush out again. Where, we didn't quite know. He said he was bringing a petition to a political friend of his. As we continued on, he began to explain that this "friend" was the mayor of Minas Gerais who was on the fast track to be the next President of Brazil. He wanted to introduce us to him. We got there to find ourselves in the middle of a giant political event, surrounded by news cameras, activists, and the big-wigs of Belo Horizonte. We decided that we should probably stay outside, as cool as it would have been to chat with this guy. We waited on the doctor, who shortly returned and took us back to the office. He explained that he had done a few favors for the guy as a doctor and now had some sway with him.  So that's our new friend.

2) The Exchange Student, Cont.-Also on Monday we paid a visit to the family we met last week, but this time we brought the mission president. That's an advantage of being on the staff, we can go on splits with the president. The lesson went really well: we followed up on the last visit, and then read 3 Nephi 11 with them. The president did most of the teaching, and it was really powerful. He managed to use this chapter to explain all the doctrine he needed to, and the family really understood. They had some amazing questions, showing that they were understanding what we were trying to get across. Now the big question is whether they will follow through on commitments when we're not there. I'm praying like crazy and doing all I was just a bummer that we couldn't visit them another time this week, because of crazy schedules on both of our sides.

3) Game Time- Our crazy schedules were due to the explosion that is called transfers. As financial secretary, I am in charge of taking care of the greenies, and all of the transportation. Which, let me tell you, gets pretty crazy when the mission covers such a big area. Tuesday was spent preparing. The trick is that I have to buy the bus tickets here in Belo Horizonte for them to pick up in their areas...but without telling them until that night, because I can't reveal that they're being transferred. It's a big secret. Which also makes things crazy at 9:30, when I receive a million calls from people who are supposed to catch buses at 11:30 and have an hour to pack their bags. I have to make sure there's a way for everyone to get where they need to, when they need to. It's quite the operation.

Things only stepped up the next day at the bus station. I had 100 missionaries who I needed to get to their areas, as fast as possible. The amount of close calls was ridiculous, having to stand in front of buses, keeping track of all of the tickets, lost was kind of exhilarating. Fun stuff. And it was all on me, because, as I said before, my comp was transferred. So the rest of the week I accustomed to flying solo. It's kind of more responsibility then I was expecting, but so far everything has gone well. But I will say I'm happy it's P-Day.

Well, that about sums things up. Please don't ever stop believing. This church is true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Families can be together forever. It's a miracle. A miracle that has got to be shared! So let's buckle down and do it!

I love you all. Make me proud. Make your Father in Heaven proud. Fight the good fight.

Much Love,

Elder Burt 

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