Monday, February 22, 2010

Ok, I'm SUPER Happy Right Now

So first of all, the reason I'm SO happy and excited right now because the church finally changed their old, ancient email server to a new one that is powered by GMAIL! So it's WAY fast, super sleek, and it looks, acts, and has all the features of Gmail. So yes, if anyone knew me before my mission, I was so obsessed with using all the computer shortcuts and extra features to make using the computer faster and easier. Well, FINALLY my dream has come true. I've spend the last 15 minutes here customizing my email to have all the features that I was used to before my mission. Seriously, this is going to make emailing SO much more enjoyable for me. :)
I guess first thing's first, Happy Birthday, Marshall! Wow, I can't believe that you are 18-years-old already. How did that happen? But, I'm super excited for you. No, I don't have a present for you (YET! I'm working on it) and, yes, I know that I still owe you that scooter from a few birthday's ago (you always remind me), but I hope that it's a good one! And know that I love you and miss you a ton.
Anyways, this week was been really good. Raymondville is a sweet place. I mean, coming to Texas, I couldn't have imagined or wanted anything else. Oh house is coming along, but we've sort of gotten exhausted from cleaning and lost our gusto. The cockroach problem is slowing down and honestly, the cockroaches have never bothered me. Compared to some of the people's homes who we visits--who have cockroaches crawling ALL over the wall, floors, and counters, ours is not bad at all. And ever since I saw WALL-E, and saw Wall-e's little cockroach friend, they haven't really bugged me. Haha. But anyways, we haven't lost our gusto for missionary work. This week, we worked so much harder that the week prior and we witnessed a lot of miracles and had great success.
We had a baptism yesterday, a woman named Maria Saldana. She was already ready to be baptized before we got there, but we still helped her these past two weeks to prepare and get ready. It was really neat and the branch was excited to have another baptism (they've actually had a lot in the past few months). The Elder who was in my area before me for 8 months had 16 baptisms, which is pretty remarkable to me. Oh, I just remembered, the last week of January we had a baptism: a young guy named Jesus. He had been investigating the church for a while and finally when I got there, I was pretty bold and upfront with him and he finally decided that he did want to be baptized. So even though my stint in Brownsville was short, I feel that it was very successful.
Last week I hit my one-year mark. It's pretty crazy that I've been out a year. It's gone by so fast and I honestly, don't even have that much time left. It makes me want to focus that much more and work that much harder. I'm super excited and I hope that I stay here and finish my mission here. I actually hope that Sister Farr and I will be together 2-3 transfers. I think that that most likely will happen though because we're both new in this area and I don't think that President would take one of us out so fast, but then again, you never know.
Man, I feel like I should just stop writing to you about all of my investigators because every time that I write about someone who I think is super cool, they fall off the face of the earth. I haven't even been able to see Dolly or Carmelo since the last email. But we found some more new investigators, so we'll see what happens.
Here's a cool story. We were walking on this street trying to find a referral. The few days before, one of our zone leaders was talking about the reason why the Assistants baptize so much, even though they hardly even do much proselyting (only from 6-9 at night, rather than the entire day). He was talking about it and wrote really big on the board, "Because the TALK to EVERYONE they see." It really hit me and I decided that I would start talking to everyone I saw, whether they were in their car, on their phone, "busy", etc. Well, we were walking to this house and I saw this old woman and man coming out of their scary, apartments (I honestly thought they were abandoned). I walked up to them and said hi. I saw that the woman, Sylvia, was carrying this giant bag on her shoulder and her husband was walking behind with a cane. I asked if they needed any help. She looked at me and said, "YES! Can you give us a ride to the doctor?" Unfortunately, we can't give people rides in the church's cars, so I said, "Well, no, but we can walk with you and I'll carry your bag." She was VERY grateful for it and heaped her bag on me. It wasn't that heavy, but it was loaded to the brim with TONS of groceries. She understood the reason why we couldn't give her a ride and actually mentioned, "Oh it's a church car" before I even explained. It was rainy, wet, dark day and we were sort of in a more abandoned part of town. But Sister Farr and I started walking with them to the doctors. "It's just across the road." We started walking and walking and talking about the church. They were interested and had lots of questions. We past the main street and started walking on the south side of town. We kept walking and walking and by this point, the bag was starting to get a bit heavy. She kept saying, "Wow, you are SO strong!" Finally, after about 20 minutes and crossing a few major roads, we arrived at the doctor's office. She gave us a kiss on the cheek and was so grateful for us. She said she wouldn't have been able to make it with all the groceries by herself. I know that even though that's a part of town we don't normally go to, there was reason why we were there that day and that time. We set a return appointment with them and will visit them this week. I felt like the picture of the two sister missionaries in Preach My Gospel Chapter 9 who are holding the groceries of an elderly woman. Service is a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel and open people's hearts to Christ. As King Benjamin teaches us, "When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God (Mosiah 2:17)." They can feel the Spirit when they serve you or when you serve them, which prepares them to hear the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It prepares them to put their burdens upon the Savior, whose "yolk is light."
Well, I love you all and appreciate everyone's prayers and support. I hope everyone has a wonderful week. I promise you that I will. I know that the best deterrent for discouragement is spiritual experiences. So if anyone is discouraged or down this week, do something so that you can have a spiritual experience. It will lift and bolster you and the Comforter will come in greater portions to tell you what you should do.
Sister Burt

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