Monday, June 21, 2010

Big Changes in Raymondville...Ok, actually, just one.

Hey family!
Ok, to answer a few questions. The new mission president will come in on July 1st but we will already have had our zone conference the week before (our last one with President and Sister Miller). I will probably get to meet him once for interviews and then when I leave. So yeah, I'm not going to have much contact with him which is a bummer. My departing interview will be with a new mission president and it'll probably go something like this, "So Sister, I can really tell how much you have changed and grown over this past....month. You are a completely different person then when I first met you such a long time ago." Yep. It's going to be awesome.
What else happened? Oh yeah, the neighbors called the dog catcher on our "puppy" because she wouldn't always run in their yard and lie in their grass. Haha, it's ok, I would have done the same, but for some reason I couldn't find the number, so they did it for us. And...let's be honest, I was getting bored of her by like the 3rd day. Haha, pets aren't my thing apparently.
Well, like I said, transfers were last week and I'm staying in Raymondville. This is great news! Haha, well sort of. Elder Guillen (our old district leader) got transferred and we got a new district leader: Elder Reilly. If you don't remember, he was my AMAZING zone leader in my short stay in Brownsville (the one who is going to play football for Colorado State). Everything he said or did, was just...inspiring. I think he's every one's favorite person in the mission; seriously, he's Mr. Popular. Anyways, with that, he's also the only missionary that I've ever had a mini-missionary crush on (haha, you knew that was coming). So yeah, this will be an interesting transfer. But it's alright, I've already gotten over it (except that I was so embarrassed/nervous to talk to him at the beginning of the week, hahaha. I'm such a nerd, but I got over that). Anyways, he's really an asset to Raymondville because Raymondville is just very... interesting and tries to do things their own way. Also, our old district leader didn't really want to be a district leader (or in any leadership position), so he purposely didn't plan things for district meeting and such because he wanted to get taken out. But it's alright, I learned what I had to learn. But Elder Reilly is really intense and all about "finding solutions." He's involved with our investigators progress just as much as his own and really fires Sister Farr and up to step it up and be WAY better than we are. So yeah, I (and the rest of the district, because again, everyone loves this guy) are REALLY excited for this next transfer. Oh random fact about him: he's obsessed with working out and staying in shape, and so he lugged 600 POUNDS of weights with him up here, including a number of different weight machines he's accumulated over his mission. Pretty crazy.
But things have been going pretty good here in Raymondville. We didn't have the girls baptized this past week. I knew I shouldn't have wrote about it last week. I never write about baptisms until AFTER they happen because I'm always afraid I'll jinx it. Well, they had a great time at girls' camp, but then it came out that they felt like they were being pushed into being baptized. So after a ton of drama of some other mission leaders trying to convince us to go with it, we decided that they had their agency and clearly, if they don't feel ready or that they have repented of everything, then they're not ready! But a miracle happened after that: their mom, Belinda, finally approached us again, saying that she had quit drugs and really is interested in learning and changing again. Wow, there is a NIGHT and DAY difference with Belinda now compared to when she is on drugs. She's very smiley and pleasant now, before she had constant blood-shot eyes and was despicable. It's a big difference with the girls teaching them alongside their mom.
Well, Theresa came back to church after 2 crazy weeks where Satan got in her way and she couldn't go. She still is very interested and reading the Book of Mormon. She's in 2nd Nephi and loving it. She always gives us giant kisses on our cheeks (a cultural thing that they do here. Seriously, I was kissed more in my first MONTH alone of my mission that I ever had in my whole entire life! And it was all by WOMEN!). But she's still searching and trying to figure it all out. She keeps saying, "Well, I need to make sure this is right because it's my SALVATION. It's true. But I came across a good verse of scripture this morning that I want to share with her because she's focused on her salvation, the spirit and truth, Jacob 4:13: Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old.
It's true. She's very concerned with her salvation, so we need to help her connect with the Spirit and how it will ALWAYS lead us in the path of true. I'm excited for her progress during these next few weeks. We still haven't been able to set a date for baptism with her yet.
Well, other than that, I can't think of anything else to write because my time is us (I'm trying to be better about not going over the 45 minutes of email time. Most days we use up to an hour or even an hour and fifteen minutes). It's funny but here I am in my last transfer and I don't feel like it's my last at all! I feel like it's just another transfer. And the saddest part is that this past week, I have felt like I have become the best missionary that I ever have been: the lessons are so much more powerful, the investigators are getting it, I'm asking the right questions that I've never asked before. It's sad actually. I mean, I heard from many returned missionaries that that will happen: you'll become the best and feel like you finally got it and then...poof! It's over. So, I'm trying not to think about the "over" part because that's really sad and I have a ton more improving to do so that our investigators can receive the blesses of the Gospel.
My love goes to all out there, including dad for father's day. This gospel is true and I love it because the more you get into it, the happier you are. Isn't that the purpose of life? "Men are that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25). If you want more happiness, live the gospel better. There's always things we can do to improve and the increase of happiness, prosperity and blessings (Mosiah 2:22-24,41) will ALWAYS come.
Love,
Sister Burt

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