Tuesday, October 1, 2013

House Hunter / Lift Where You Stand / What English??

Hello, everyone!

Well, I'm not entirely sure how well this blog post will be able to sum up this last week. It's been really crazy. In all the ways. Stress, sickness, success, and super-cool experiences. I'm all kinds of excited.

1) House Hunter- I'll start out with the office/stressful side of things. At the beginning of the week I had to pay all kinds of things for the executive secretary, the president, and random dying missionaries. I was all over the place. There was an emergency transfer, the assistants moved into our house...

And then things got real on Wednesday when President Fortunato explained how we're receiving a whole ton of missionaries next transfer (a week and a half from now), so we need to open a lot of new houses. As in I am currently working on renting ten new houses as fast as humanly possible. All I did Friday was sit on the phone trying to figure it all out. I think the last ten houses have been rented over the course of the last six months. Maybe. So this is a lot of fun. Definitely a challenge, which is something I enjoy.

2) Lift Where You Stand- So in the midst of all this madness I've been striving to continually remember my calling as a missionary. I was studying a couple days ago and thought about how everyone needs to start where they are. Whatever point I'm at, I should be spreading the gospel, working, and doing my part. I read an awesome article by President Uchtdorf, entitled "Lift Where You Stand." He talks about this idea, which helped me realize that even with such little time to work in the area during the day, that doesn't mean I can't do much. I am a representative of Christ, so one of the first things I've started to do is testify to everyone I can. Taxi drivers, people sitting next to me at the notary office, street contacts. I need to share our message right off the bat. Which has gone really well this week since I started focusing on it.

I also was thinking, at about the same time and along the same lines, about the 2000 stripling warriors. We don't know any of their names, yet they are some of the greatest heroes we have in the Book of Mormon. We don't need to be recognized, or have the greatest personal success. We need to do our individual part, and rejoice when the work as a whole progresses. I'm working hard at that, and being a secretary has certainly helped me to focus a lot more on the mission, and even the work as a whole instead of my personal achievements.

3) What the English??- This week ended with one of the coolest lessons I've been able to teach on my whole mission. Which was only in part because we got to teach it to someone who is fluent in English.

The person was a contact the assistants made in a supermarket that happened to live in our area. She works a lot, but made sure to take some time out of her schedule to meet with us on Friday. We left the office and headed over there, hoping that the assistants were right when they said she was a very accepting person. She let us in and straight up starting talking to us just in English, with a slightly British accent. So, for the first time on my mission, I got to teach the first lesson in English. It was kind of weird at first, but it also helped in a couple of ways. First, and more obvious, I felt more comfortable. I mean, I'm totally fine teaching in Portuguese at this point, but I still feel more flexible and more confident in their understanding when we both speak English. I know that I've been given, at least to some degree, the gift of words, and that's more manifest to me in my native tongue. Second, I mixed up how I taught a little more, having to think about the wording and how I wanted to present the message instead of falling into a few habitual phrases or explanations. And in the end the Spirit was clearly strong, and she was extremely excited to come to church and to work on preparing for her baptism!

There's nothing quite like seeing a person really understand what you're teaching--and then straight up accept it. There are people like this in the world. Everywhere. We just need to be on the look out to find them. Because it could be the random lady in the supermarket telling you how to make re-fried beans.

So my time is quickly running out. Yet again, I found even more inspiration from what is fast becoming my most overused scripture. I read Alma 5:43-47, starting a few verses earlier this time. I want to speak with all the energy of my soul, clearly, about Christ and his gospel. That is my calling. I was ordained to stand up and testify. I know it is true. No matter the language. Or the place. Or the time. It doesn't change what I know.

Watch conference next week. It's going to be awesome.

I love you all so much. Keep fighting. Make a stand. Help each other. We're all in this together.

Much Love,

Elder Burt 

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