Monday, November 30, 2009

4 Thanksgivings and a Funeral


So Thanksgiving came and went...we were invited to FOUR Thanksgiving dinners and it was quite insane. By the end of the first dinner we were so incredibly stuffed and not wanting to eat anymore. But, you can't really say no to the invitations (especially when investigators invite you to their dinner!), so we went and sacrificed. So, I remembered to mark down everything that I ate that day and share with all of you:

Dinner #1: Elda and Robert -- our investigators. They were SO happy that we came and kept thanking us over and over again for coming. Their whole family was there and it was just sort of a come and go affair, but Elda was super sick that morning (she's old and immobile), but she waited to eat with us. She tried to eat a little bit of potatoes, but ended up getting sick from it and going to the bathroom to throw up... :( It was sad. But Elda and Robert and Mexican, so this meal was mostly traditional, with a few unique touches. I ate:

a crescent roll, turkey, potatoes, raisin stuffing (all of those things were topped off with ridiculous amounts of gravy), sweet potatoes, some WAY over-concentrated punch, a slab of pineapple upside down cake, and this not very tasty cinnamon Mexican cooke.

Yikes. And the worst part was that they served me my plate, so it was SO much food. But we faired off pretty well. Luckily we were riding our bicycles all day to work off the food.

Dinner #2: Beeville Branch President Ramirez and Clan. This one was "cafeteria style", serve yourself (which Sis. Ramirez ALWAYS does and I LOVE because she doesn't force anything on you). So I ate way less, but still a lot because President kept bugging me to get some pie with TONs of whipped cream... So, dinner #2: a small piece of turkey and gravy, yams, green beans, cranberry sauce, potatoes and pumpkin pie. IT was a super small plate though.

Dinner #3: The Gonzlaes Family. We rode our "stallions" over there (as Brother Gonzales calls them). And they were already done eating, so Brother G asks if we were a "big hungry or medium hungry." We immediately shout, "Medium hungry!" glad that he was giving us an option. We should have said, Bite-size hungry because the plates he gave us were the biggest of the day! We ate: 4 huge pieces of turkey, stuffing, corn, potatoes, yams, and coke. Yikes. As I was eating the stuffing, he mentioned something about it that it had something special in it. I could already tell that it was made with something different so I just said, "Does it have kidney and liver in it?" He smiled and said, "Yep, and lungs, heart, and gizzard too. Yippee. Actually the stuffing wasn't that bad, but while I was trying to shovel down the potatoes, my body was just so full that it didn't want to eat anymore and I had to stop my gag reflex. Too much food and this was only dinner #3.

Dinner #4: Al and Nora Yziguirre. We went over there and at turkey, gravy, potatoes, biscuit, pumpkin pie, and yams. We got to pick what we wanted to eat, but I was just not feeling it at this point. SOOO full. Our investigator Tony was supposed to come with us to dinner, but when we went by his house to ride over with him, he wasn't' there. He called us at the beginning of dinner and said that he still wanted to come with Casey--his roommate who is a recent convert. Well, we gave them the address and told them to walk/ride down Hutchinson to the east side of town. We didn't' really think he was going to come, so didn't think much of it. We later stopped by and he said that he and Casey walked ALL over town on HUNTINGTON trying to find the address... :( Miscommunication. We both felt horrible.

But we survived and were really grateful for everyone and how much they wanted to serve us. It really was a Thanksgiving to remember.

I got rear-ended the other day by this lady in her truck. I was waiting at a stop sign to turn left and she just slammed into us. It wasn't that bad, the car's not in the best shape. My next and shoulder kind of hurts, but I don't know if it's from that or if it already was hurting. Hmm...

Well, let me just tell you about Tony real fast. So Tony just got out of prison in April. He was in there for assault or some kind. Well, he was roommates with Casey while he was investigating the church. He even was praying a few months ago that God would help him find the true church, then about two weeks later the Elders came by and he would RUN away from them. Every time the Elders came by, he'd bolt and avoid them. Then he and Casey moved into our area, and Casey said, "You know, the missionaries aren't going to go away. There are girl missionaries here." He was like, "Man, I can't get away from them." We stopped by to teach Casey one of his new-member lessons and saw Tony. We had heard from the Elders that he was super flakey and illusive, but we invited him to sit down and he totally did. That was the moment that completely changed him. Ever since, he has grown to love the Book of Mormon. He says that he reads it and the Lord helps him to clearly understand his word, clearer and easier than when he reads the Bible. He has a baptismal date for the 19th and is SO prepared. It's funny because he just wasn't ready when the Elders first stopped by a few months ago, but by the time we came around, the Lord had prepared him to accept the message of the restored Gospel. He was ready, he is excited to get baptized and knows that this Gospel is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It's exciting to see that there are prepared people everywhere, it's just up to us to show our faith and find him.

Well, I'm grateful for this Gospel. Nothing brings me more happiness than learning about it, studying, and applying it my life and seeing my investigators apply it in theirs. I know that it is true and is the only way to have lasting happiness in this life and eternal happiness with God and our families in the world to come. It's hard and frustrating sometimes when no one wants to listen, but as Holland said, "Salvation never was a cheap. It never was meant to be easy." It's true, but as long as we keep following the commandments, praying, reading our scriptures, and helping others, we will be blessed and realize that the Gospel really is easy compared to all the alternatives.

Well, my companion was sick yesterday and not feeling to well right now, so I gotta go! I love you all! Thanks to everyone for all the letters I got that the family wrote me at FHE a while ago. You are all the best and I love you all so much!

Have a great week everyone! Merry Christmas!
--Sister Burt

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