Monday, September 29, 2014

A Promise / Acai

Much to my surprise, terror, and disbelief, it's almost October, 2014.Three awful little words are being thrown at me constantly: "one month left." But this doesn't mean despair, or anything of that type. It means the work is moving forward like never before! This is the month. This is October! The last month! It's now, it's today, it's October. It's time to put the shoulder to the wheel, and not let up until the fat lady sings: "All is well, all is well."

1) A Promise- At the end of the week, we felt prompted to call the missionaries in the zone and make a promise. We said that Saturday was a day of miracles, and went on to encourage them to do a few things in order to receive a specific blessing.

Well, I called a companionship of sisters and managed to say: "Sisters! I promise that a miracle will happen today!" when our phone died before I could explain further. I turned on the phone, called again, and exactly the same thing happened. I gave up, and we went on with our day.

Several hours later, we ran across the sisters. They came up to us and asked me what the promise was going to be. I said I didn't even remember, why? They told me that soon after I'd made that call, the miracle had happened. An eternal investigator who has been attending church for the last several months was on a trip, and brought the Book of Mormon. He read, prayed, and received an answer. Soon after my phone call, he had called the sisters and said that he would be baptized. Miracles happen.

2) Açai- Our weekend was rather exhausting, due to a bad decision I made on Friday related to the delicious Brazilian frozen treat called "açai." Let me explain...

On Friday we caught the bus to another city, Pará de Minas, for a baptismal interview. It's a little over one hour by bus, and the plan was to go and return in the same afternoon. All went well in the interview, and afterwards we had a mini-division, since the bus didn't leave until 6:00. I was with a newly arrived American--we made a bunch of contacts, and as our meet-up time of 5:30 was arriving, we stopped quickly to buy açai, which the other elder had never tried. Walking back to the church building, I jokingly mentioned that Elder Souto would kill me for buying açai without him.

Trying to catch a ride for the last bus.
We got there at 5:39, and, as expected, the first words out of Elder Souto's mouth were "I'm going to kill you!" But then he went on to explain that we didn't have time to get to the bus station, and there was no bus after 6:00. I stood, somewhat ashamed, on the side of the street with my thumb out trying to catch a ride. To no avail. Our plans changed drastically and we ended up spending the night in Pará de Minas with the other elders, sleeping on the ground while dozens of mosquitos ate us alive, and without a change of clothes or anything of the type. The next morning we caught a bus to our next baptismal interview in the next city, then returned to Divinópolis where we got straight to work.

It's the final stretch, and time to give it all I have. I love being a missionary. I love this work, and in a way that is beyond my ability to explain, I love the Lord. He is my king, my example, and my best friend. I was touched this week by the words of a favorite hymn:

"Jesus sought me, when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood."

I wish I could be better. I wish I didn't mess up so much. But it comforts me beyond words that, despite my faults, Jesus interposed on my behalf. What a wonderful doctrine. What a marvelous truth.

Elder Burt with other elders in Nova Serrana
after baptismal interviews
This week is General Conference. Listen to our prophet's voice, and you will receive answers to your prayers. I always do. 

I love you all. Keep being strong. Never give up hope.

Much Love,

Elder Burt

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