Sunday, November 17, 2013

New and Old / Sketch Bus / Worth

Hey Folks,

Another transfer week come and gone. I'm still alive. Everyone is where they're supposed to be. The money is in the bank. Life is as it should be. Not that I'd accept it any other way.

1) New and Old- I figured that in this post I'd mention a fun part of transfers, which is having the unique opportunity to see missionaries arriving completely fresh on the mission, along with watching the old ones go home, one right after the other. Of course both groups are extremely excited and it's hard to determine which is more so. Both are clearly leaving something behind that means a lot to them--but to me the leaving missionaries seem a little more sad. They know they can't really come back. The contrast is kind of interesting. The greenies this time around are ready to baptize the world--the new sisters made a contact with the hotel clerk and figured she was as good as baptized. (She lives in our area and we'll make sure they're right). Enthusiasm like that helps the mission out a lot. On the other side, two years (or 18 months) on the mission and they will have experienced a ton. I get to see the different types of missions people led, whether or not they feel fulfilled at the end of it or if they're just eager to get home and leave it behind.

Anyway, cool side benefit of being in the office. The trick is to pay more attention to the new guys talking about the mission and not to the old ones going on about what they'll do when they get home.

2) Sketch Bus- Fun, little story of the week. Yesterday was a relatively chill day in the office after getting everything wrapped up post-transfer. So we took the opportunity Friday afternoon to head to another city in order to fix up a house that was left temporarily empty due to the transfer. The bus ride usually takes about an hour and a half. As we waited at the bus stop, an old, beat-up 10-seater van pulls up and a person hops out, shouting out "Veneza", our destination. So in we get, paying the R$4 bus fare to what can't possibly be a legal operation. But due to his driving antics, we got there in less than an hour. Worth it? Yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

3) Worth- While teaching relatively few lessons this week due to the transfer, we did manage to get out and visit some good people. One such lesson was to the non-member family of a less active that we're helping back to church. The same less active whose son is under house arrest. She came to church last week, so things are going well. This time we also taught her daughter and grand-daughter, who live in the area.

They were extremely happy to see us in and have us bring the Spirit into their home. It was clear to see that our presence really has meant a lot to them, and they recognize that we are helping their extremely troubled family. We taught about baptism (of course), specifically directed to the daughter (who went to church once a couple months ago with us), as well as about the importance of church. The daughter seems extremely interested in baptism--stating that it is necessary and would be a wonderful blessing in the home. She also, however, stated that it would be difficult and she'd have to give up a number of worldly things. As we were finishing up, I felt prompted to press her a little on what these "worldly things" were, along with promising greater blessings in return. That this could be a hard choice. But it is worth it. She emphasized that she couldn't be baptized while living in sin, and clearly there is something in her life that she believes to be holding her back. Elder Echeverria told her powerfully that her time had come to turn her life around and come to church. We left with a prayer, many words of gratitude from the less active, and suppressed tears in the eyes of the daughter.

So that was my week! Awesome as always. I have been thinking a little this week about a particular question that has been circling around my head: "Who do I want to be?" I feel like I've always had a number of traits, personalities, and examples that have drawn my eye, despite their clear differences. I know who I ought to be. What example I need to strive to emulate. I have always wanted to be the best I possibly can. The difficult part is setting aside the world's "perfect person" and trying to be God's "perfect person." Our goal, my goal, should be to become more like Christ. It's a long road. But as we take small steps, we will improve. And we will have a stronger relationship with God. "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)

I love you all. And I promise you, any sacrifice we make in His service is worth it. Because it is true. I know it.

Much Love,

Elder Burt

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