Monday, October 12, 2009

Charlie, July 1968 and "I Have 2 Moms"

Hey Fam,

Lots of things going on this week. Transfers came and went and I'm still in Beeville with Sister Bustillos. Actually, I forgot to tell you, but last transfer, Elder Turley came up here (there's only 4 missionaries here in Beeville) which is SO weird because Elder Turley is Sister Bustillos cousin! Small world! Now he's district leader and it's fun.

Oh, I'm supposed to ask Steve if he knows a Sister Allison Thacker. She's a friend of S. Bustillos who served in Poland and just got home within the past few months.

Beeville's still...Beeville. Haha, no but seriously, it's good. But you can still send packages to the Beeville address (not the mission home because they hold the packages until zone conference or bueno). Our investigators have been progressing a LOT this past week, so it's neat to be here still to see that. But there's a lady and her grand daughter (named Dotty and Kasi, respectively) who live in a small town called Normana. It's so funny every time we go there because they live in a trailer on the side of the highway. But the distinguishing factor about their house is that they have GIANT Statue of Liberty outside of their house. Haha, it's so random and epic. Also, they live next to this field of goats and there's this big goat with horns and he'll be on the other side of the field and all you have to do is yell, "CHARLIE!" and he'll perk his head up, make his little goat noise, and then start RUNNING over to us. I'll have to get a video of it. I didn't know goats knew they had names or even responded to them! Haha. But we were talking to Dotty one day and she said that she used to be a dancer. Sister Bustillos perked up and said, "NO way! So was I." Then Dotty said, "I was an exotic dancer."... Immediately, Sister Bustillos said, "Oh. I wasn't that." Haha, she then takes us into her hallway where all her pictures were (don't worry, they were all modest. This was like 50 years ago...haha). And then she randomly says, "Yep. I was Playboy July 1968." ... Yikes. So apparently, we are teaching a former Playboy bunny. Which is SO weird because she grew up Amish and was married when she was 12, had 7 kids by the time she was 21, and then ran away and was exiled from the Amish community. Oh, the people you meet in Beeville.

Ashley is progressing. She accepted a baptismal date for the end of November. She asked us tons of questions about what other recent converts did and how their family felt. She's Catholic, but she wants to change,but I think she's a bit nervous about how her family will react. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and it was an AMAZINg lesson because she had SO many super deep questions. She was the one who brought it up to us that, "So, in order to be with my family forever, they have to be baptized into Christ's church...but my family is all Catholic, what does that mean?" It's sad that she immediately sees the implications of it, but it's not phasing her. We love her lessons (even though she's flaky and always forget and is never home)!

We're teaching a lesbian couple...which...let's just say is interesting. We've only taught them once, but one of the women--Renee--is SO into what we are teaching her. We first came in contact with this family when we were driving down a street. We saw this little girl riding around on her scooter. She scooted up to us and then started gabbing away. We asked where he parents were and she said, "I have 2 moms." We instantly froze in our tracks--you don't hear that every day. Anyways, we gave her a Together Forever card and told her to give it to her "moms." She said she would. Well, this girl, roams the neighborhood alone (she's only 8! :( ), so we saw her all the time. Finally, we asked her where she lived and stopped by. We set up an appointment with the one mom, Nona. We came back and they were leaving. Nona came to the door and tried to scare us saying, "You know we're together, RIGHT?!" We said yes and said that that didn't matter to us. We started talking a little bit more about the Gospel and why there are so many churches. Then after she knew that we wouldn't judge her, she completely opened up and said that she grew up Jehovah Witness and has always feared God. She asked us how we know that God even exists. We answered her questions and told her that the Gospel has all the answers to those questions. We came back later and she loved and ate up everything we taught her. She is so excited to come back and says that when she talks to us, she AND Nicole (the 8 year old), say that they feel really good: calm, peaceful. So it's really exciting to see how the Spirit touches everyone when they earnestly are searching for the truth. We're still not quite sure how we're going to go about teaching them about their lifestyle; I guess just being bold and loving is the only way.

It's been an awesome week though. I'm learning so much about forgiveness and humility. My companion and I are such good friends and SO open and honest with each other. We really try to speak without guile. It's amazing that principle, "without guile" is. Lots of things get fixed and done. Missionary work is hard, and even though she and are are super good friends and are going to be amazing friends when we get back, on the mission, sometimes it gets tough. But, she's told me that I have a problem with having to be right and it's so true. I have to prove myself all the time. I'm sure every member of the family reading this is shaking their head in agreement. But I've learned a LOT this past transfer with how to recognize my pride. I never paid attention to it before, but now even when the tiniest thing comes up, I can recognize the natural man taking over. I've been good these past few weeks in recognizing it and fixing it. Quick and simple forgiveness goes a long way. I'm not always right and I'm learning it. I loved about how many talks during conference talked about love. It's really the motivating principle of the Gospel that conquers all doubts, fear, vices, and problems.

I know this Gospel is true. I've had a lot of opposition lately because we're teaching a Baptist Youth Minister and a few other people who appeal to the Bible for everything. I've have so many scriptures memorized that it's not hard for me to bash back. I catch them in their words (as do they me), but I'm learning that even though the Lord has blessed with with knowledge and talents like that, I need to use them in the way he would. Yet, through it all, my testimony has never wavered. I have hope and confidence in the future.

Sister Burt

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