Monday, March 8, 2010

Oh, An Intellectual

Mom and Family,
Glad to hear that everything is going well. Ok, to first answer your question about the bale of ties from a few weeks back in Brownsville. I thought I explained this a few months ago, but I guess not. A "Bale of Ties" is literally what it sounds: a bale of ties. In Brownsville is the only place where you can buy them. They gather up about 200 pounds of ties and just bundle them together. The majority of the ties are duds, but in every bale there are quite a few amazing ones: nice patterns, silk, brands, etc. I guess they are just ties that the department stores or other stores couldn't sell, so eventually they trickle down the country until they make it to the very tip of Texas. They only cost $20 and the Elders go crazy over them. They all pitch in to by a buy and then just demolish through it to find the good ones. Elders in this mission are frequently wearing Burberry, Prada, Banana Republic, and many other brand names. Very vogue and posh. Haha, so yes. They Elders thought that we would want their left over bale (why, I'm not quite sure), and then gave it to us. We also have a rummaged through bale here in Raymondville that the Elders left in the garage when they moved. We've put them all in garbage bags and it takes about 6 big black garbage bags.
Anyways, things have been going really well here in Raymondville. This past week was amazing and we had so many wonderful, spiritual experiences together. Sister Farr and I get along quite great which is nice. Our home is finally clean and spirit-filled, which makes it relaxing on breaks or at night. I think that mosquito season is beginning because I'm getting bit like crazy. Luckily for me, I'm not a big itcher, so they bite me and it feels annoying, but I don't itch. Other missionaries, though, have crazy scars all over their legs, which is sad. Oh, if you kind of want to see what the town is that I'm serving in, go to Google Maps, and then click "Street view." It will give you an actual picture of every street and what the town looks like.
My camera finally bit the dust. It no longer takes pictures. I guess that's not quite bad considering it was a high school graduation gift--nearly 5 years ago. Don't bother getting me a new one. I just use my companions camera and then we exchange all of the pictures onto my memory card. I just want to save and get a super nice camera when I get home. :)
Raymondville really is such a small town. We'll be talking to members and asking them if they could come out to a lesson with us and they'll ask the person's name. We'll tell them and 9 times out of 10, they'll say, "Oh yeah, I know him." It's hilarious, but it makes it great for fellowshipping. We contacted this high school boy last week outside of his home and introduced ourselves as the missionaries. "Hey, we're the missionaries." "Yeah, I know. They talked about you at school." I was a bit taken back and asked what he meant by that, did they talk about or study Mormons in one of their classes? Or what? He said, "No, people have just been saying that there are new Mormon girls in town." So we definitely are noticed. I didn't think people would really recognize who we were because there haven't been Sister missionaries here for 20 years, but...apparently not.
We were working a street called La Jara in Lyford (the other small town that we also work), and I saw a boy all the way at the end of the street. We were walking to Sister Saldana's home to teach her, but I decided that I needed to contact him. He was walking down the street like Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" with his "nose stuck in a book." Hmmm...I thought to myself. An intellectual. I need to talk about the Book of Mormon. He'd love it. I ran up to him and had to tap him on the shoulder as he was turning into his driveway. Even though I was calling, "Hey!" from down the road, he couldn't hear me because he had his headphones in. As he turned around, I caught a glimpse of the title, "Making Out: A Tips and Tricks Guide." Oh brother. So much for my "he's an intellectual idea."
We met a really cool man the other day named Rigo. He lives in Lyford and has his own welding company. He is really neat and actually, looks exactly like the actor Liam Neeson--but with darker skin. It's crazy. But we met him and he was really excited for us to come back. Before our appointment, he called us asking if we "had one of those Mormon Bibles, but in English." Turns out that the missionaries taught him a few years ago, but gave him only a Spanish version. He came to church and some activities. So we taught him and he was thrilled to learn more. He accepted a Baptismal date on the first short visit and even before we left was asking us so many questions about baptism: what your wear, what you do, etc. It was great. We're visiting him tonight, and I'm really excited to see where it goes.
Last week, we were in Lyford and saw that the circus was in town. We were stoked to go on Pday because there hasn't been much to do here. Well, Wednesday night we had coordination with the ward and afterwards, the ward mission leader invited the missionaries to Dairy Queen (a weekly tradition). We had already accidentally scheduled an appointment at 8:00, right after and couldn't go. We started driving to the appointment in Lyford. This man was one of the new investigators that the old Elders found a week before we came. Since then, we hadn't been able to find him. It was 3 weeks and we were ready to drop him, but we finally found him and he was excited to see us. That's why we set the appointment for Wed. at 8 because he works a lot and that was the only time. We started driving there and noticed that the Circus was in full swing! We also heard news that the circus was only going to stay one day. Bummer! We were SO tempted to just stop by and look at the elephants and tigers--since we weren't going to get the chance later. But, we decided that that was NOT a good idea. We drove up to his house and it appeared no one was home. "We should just leave and go to Dairy Queen with the other missionaries. He's probably not even home." But I wouldn't allow that thought to last because that's what I thought about Charlie and Connie and they got baptized! We knocked and he was there. The whole family was there: mom, dad, and kids. All gathered around us in their kitchen chairs, eagerly listening. The wife--Dora--actually opened up to up and explained her frustrations about why there were so many churches. It was a great lesson. We left and went back to the car, so thrilled about our new family we found. We realized that Satan tried to put a lot of obstacles--one of them as big as a big top...literally!--to prevent us from teaching this family! I'm grateful that we were able to pass through the trial of our faith and diligence and reap the rewards.
Well, my time is up. I love you all. This has been such a great experience for me. I'm grateful for my Savior and that if we come unto him, he always has a better way prepared. 3 Nephi 9:13 says, "Repent that I may heal you." That is true is all senses.
Love you so much!
Sister Morgan Burt

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