Monday, June 29, 2009

Come What May and LOVE It

Family,

OH, my goodness... I just wrote this HUGE long amazing But yeah, after we got the ticket, I wasn't really talking (because I used to be really bad about NOT talking about things when things go wrong, which I'm sure you guys know). And Sister Osbourne knew I didn't want to talk because I was still a bit upset, but then I thought of the Wirthlin talk, "Come what may and love it." So I was just thinking about that, just laugh when things go wrong and love it. I was thinking about how when I teach people about Priesthood authority, I use the example comparing what would happen if a cop pulled you over and wrote you a ticket versus what would happen if the Ice-cream man would pull you over and write you a ticket. Which one would you pay? Obviously the cop because he's the authority. Anyways, so I say to Sister Osbourne, "Well...too bad that he actually did have the authority." And then we both started laughing hysterically. It was really funny because I use that example all the time. After that, everything was better and I was way happy. email and then ALL the computers here at the library shut off. So we all lost our work... :( But come what may and love it. So yeah, I have 15 minutes. We'll see what I can bust out.

First off, I spoke too soon about the weather and the humidity. It rain last week and woah, the humidity was crazy. But it wasn't that bad. I also gave a talk in the Spanish ward. As a missionary, you don't really have time to do ANYTHING--especially things like write a big fancy, intricate, quote-filled talk like I used to. But luckily the topic was the Plan of Salvation, which we teach about all the time. So it was all good. Another thing I don't have time for is blow-drying my hair. Haha, I just let my hair air dry and it does this little wave thing, which I don't think looks that bad. And we were at the store last week and these two 10-year-olds ran down the aisle and as they were running past me, one of them said, "I LOVE your hair." So apparently, it's semi-acceptable.

So I have a story. So Friday we were contacting around 6:30 and we had a lesson with Pete--one of our baptismal dates--at 7. And we promised him that we'd be on time and be out the door by 7:30. So we started talking to this man and decided to teach him real quick, so we said "10 minutes." Well, 10 minutes turned into to 30 and it was a complete waste of time. The man was completely not interested, didn't want to set up a return appointment, and is not interested in any other church. I was kind of upset about it because now--as a result--we were late. We were walking to the car as fast as we could and then we get a call. Sister Osbourne immediately hands it to me because it was in Spanish and she didn't want to talk in Spanish. So that kind of got me mad too that she didn't even want to try. But whatever. We're driving to Pete's and I look at my Speedometer and see that I'm going 50 mph. I think, "Oh wow, Sister Loftus would definitely not approve of this " (because she was SUPER obedient and if we were going even 5 over she'd say something). So I start slowing down and I look up and see a cop ahead of me, then he turns on his lights. I didn't think it was for me and keep going and then he flips a U-turn and so I'm like, "Oh great, it's me." So yeah. I got my very FIRST speeding ticket. He wasn't even very nice about it either (but Sis. Osbourne thinks that's because it was the end of the month and he has a quota to meet). So yeah, I was super embarrassed. But right before he left I said to him, "We're missionaries, and I know I'm not a very good example of following the law right now, but I'm really grateful for repentance, so that I can be forgiven of this and change. And I know that that is only possible through following the Gospel of Jesus Christ..." And then I said some other stuff, gave him a pass -a-long card for the Book of Mormon. Haha, Sis. Osbourne said that I was remarkably SUPER happy and positive as I was talking to him. I guess that's just because the Gospel really does make you happy, even when things go wrong. It makes me think of the Mother Theresa quote: Whatever starts in anger, always ends in regret. Definitely true. Think about the story of Teancum. He got angry and ended up dead...yikes. So, yeah, I have to appear before the judge before the 10th or else they'll put a warrant out for my arrest. Haha, so yeah, we're taking care of it today. But lesson learned: it was the ONLY time that I have EVER been semi-upset on my mission, and look what happened. I really learned from this situation and am grateful for repentance.

We've been praying really hard that we would be able to find a family that is ready to accept the Gospel. As missionaries, we want to find families who can progress in the Gospel and eventually go to the Temple where they can receive the blessings found there. Well, we definitely found a family this week and it's interesting how it all played out: we were just contacting on a street and saw this guy outside. He was throwing away some beer cans and we were just talking to him and didn't even get to introduce ourselves and he invited us in. We were a bit shocked because honestly all we had said was, "Hi" and then the next thing we knew we were sitting on his couch and he got his wife to come out and all his kids. So we starting talking about what we do as missionaries and how the Gospel really does bless families and make them stronger. We taught them how to pray and then set a return appointment. The husband was really excited. Right before we left, I asked if they knew any of their friends or neighbors who would be interested in hearing more about the Gospel. And Myra--the mom--immediately gave us the name of her mom. The mom didn't live in our area so that night we called it into the Referral hotline for the Elders who lived in her area.

We came back on Tuesday and the husband wasn't there (because he works in the oil rigs and he works up in Corpus for a week, then he's off a wee), but Myra's sister--Sandy--was there. Myra had told Sandy about our lesson and invited Sandy to come. So we taught the first lesson and Sandy didn't seem too interested, but she did say that within the past two weeks she had been getting back into church. The ladies from the Christian church had been coming over and teaching her things from the Bible and visiting her all the time. She really wanted to change her life and she's having a birthday in a few weeks and told us she wanted only Christian music played. We counted her as a new investigator because she said that she would just come back for our next appointment on Friday. OH, another crazy thing about the whole situation is that we had a member come with us to the lesson and we parked in front of her house and she said, "Wait, this house?" And he said, "Yeah." And she kept saying, "Wait, are you sure it's this house?" We walk in and it turns out that she is REALLY good friends with Myra and their daughters play all the time. Miracle! Instant fellowshipper.

Then about an hour after that lesson, we get a call from the Elders in San Juan (the area just south of ours) saying "Hey, how come you are stealing out investigators?!" We had no clue what they were talking about, but then they told us that they went to contact Rosa (Myra's mom, the referral that we called in) and this lady answered the door and said that "Oh, she'll be back in an hour." So they came back an hour later, that same lady answered the door, they asked for Rosa and she said, "Oh that's me." So it was a bit of a miscommunication, but they were in there for 5 minutes, when Sandy walks in the door and says, "HEY, I just got done talking with the Sisters!" Definitely no coincidence that the Elders came back an hour later, and Sandy walked in. So yeah, all these things happened and I know that they are not coincidences. The Lord has prepared them and now we are teaching both of the families. We are hoping to have a joint baptism with the Elders and baptize the whole family. Rosa, her husband, Sandy, and Sandy's brother have already accepted a baptismal date, but Myra (our investigator) isn't so sure yet. Her husband will be at our next appointment, so we're hoping that when they see the progress that her mom and sister are making, and how EXCITED Sandy is (Oh yeah, Sandy came to another one of our lessons and her countenance had already changed. She is loving the Gospel), that they will soon follow. The Cruz family is definitely an answer to our prayers and we are so excited for the progress they're making.

Times up! Love you all! Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! When I come home, we'll have to play a few rounds of golf to celebrate! ;)

--Sister Burt

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