Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Impromptu Interviews, Tie Bales and the Light Bulb

Family,

Sorry I didn't get to write yesterday. We use the computers at the library, and since it was a holiday, we obviously couldn't use the computers since it was closed. So we got to come today, so it's all good. But heads up for the future, if the holiday is on a Monday (which many are), don't expect an email.

Anyways, life is great! Yesterday we went to Sister Miller's do to a few sewing projects. She's so awesome. She's an incredible talented seamstress and ended up just taking over and doing practically all of mine for me. Haha, but it's ok because I think I may have been attempting some things a bit above my level. I'm grateful because she's amazing and so willing to help. But the most awesome thing is that we were there when President Miller got home. Sister Loftus had a question she wanted to ask him, so she went in his office for about 15 minutes. Then when they got done, I was done with all my projects and he said, "Sister Burt, I want to talk to you for a few minutes." These "few minutes" turned out to be around 45. It wasn't really an interview, more a Gospel discussion/counsel session. It was amazing. Wow, I learned SO many things in that time and he really really is led by the Spirit because everything he said hit the nail right on the head. I've been really blessed to have quite a few chances to meet with him--rather than just once every 6 weeks. Once I got out, I immediately started writing down everything I could remember as fast as I can. Even know, I'm still remembering things.

So it's so funny here. You know how they say, "Everything's bigger in Texas?" Holy cow, that's so true. Ties are a big deal here. Like the type of ties that Elders wear. In certain cities, they have these things you can buy called a "Bale of Ties." And it literally is what is sounds like: a bale (think of a giant BALE of hay and how big that thing is), except for it is made completely, 100% of ties. They are HUGE and giant and it's over a 1000 pounds of ties (trust me, I've seen them with my own eyes, it's true) AND you can buy a whole entire bale for only $20! Hahaha, I know it sounds SO ridiculous, but it's so true. The Elders will buy a bale and then just dump it on the floor and search through the whole thing for the best ones. And even then they still have a million ties left over. But apparently there are some SUPER nice brands in there (I'm not into ties, so I wouldn't know), but like Donald Trump ties, and every once in a while designer ties. So yeah, ties are a big deal and they give ties to everyone, even the sisters. I mean, I know ties are a big deal for most missionaries (because let's be honest, that's the only real accessory they've got), but it's even bigger here because of the whole "Bale of ties" situation. I guess in every Elder's apartment, ties are ALL over the place. Sister Miller was telling us yesterday that the assistants live in a house and their ENTIRE garage was just filed with left over ties. They got so sick of it that they just threw them all away. They drive a truck and it guess it took TWO entire, overflowing truck fulls to get rid of all of them. They even had to go to two different dumpsters because they filled up the first one. Haha, I wish I could have seen that because it would have been a hilarious sight.

We are so blessed in this area to be able to meet tons of new people: they invite us into their house, listen to our message, accept a return appointment. BUT this isn't the main part of our purpose to keep teaching Lesson 1's over and over again. We have realized that we really need to sift through our investigators: we need to not only start doing it more often with them, but faster. We need to work on spotting the elect; spotting those who are ready to make commitments, who are searching for the truth, and who want to act to make those blessing happen. I know that when we do this, our day's will continue to be jam packed with lessons, but more enjoyable lessons because our investigators are PROGRESSING.

I had a really cool experience when teaching a lesson the other day. We teach Teresa every other day at 7 or 8 o'clock. By this time, the sun is starting to set and it's beginning to get a little darker outside. In her house, she has one couch that we sit on and no other furniture in the room except for this little stool that she usually sits on. There are no lights in the room, so as the lesson progresses, it gets darker and darker. As we were teaching her last week, I suddenly had this realization. The sun was nearly down and I was looking at Theresa: her face was nearly completely covered in shadows and darkness. The whole room was dark and getting darker. Yet, she wants to learn, she has incredible desires to get baptized and change her life. She's already seen so many blessing in her life and--consequently--her family because of her learning the Gospel. Usually by the end of our visits, one of her little ones (she has 8 kids), runs into the other room and comes back with a single light bulb. He climbs up on the stole, screws the light into the socket on the wall. Immediately, the room is bright and we are able to see each other so much better. I realized that this is what the Gospel does to people's lives. The missionaries come in, bring this amazing spirit and light into these peoples lives who are used to being shrouded in darkness. Yet, once we leave, they take the light bulb out because it is very precious to them and it's the only one they have. Only once they continue to make steps towards and are finally baptized, will they be able to have that light in their life permanently. When we have the light of the Gospel, our lives are illuminated and we are able to see our path so much more clearly. I want this so badly for Teresa, I've seen the changes it's already made in her family's life and I know there are so much more.

Anyways, I hope you have a wonderful week! I know that I will!

--Hermana Burt

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