Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bus Stop Discussions

Quierdo familia,
     Yesterday I confirmed Judy in Sacrament meeting. We didn't have any surprises like we did with Alahnah. Lon, Judy's husband, is really happy for her and now their goal is to go to the temple. Lon wants to save up and go to the Salt Lake Temple.
     The zone was having leadership training for three days in Corpus, so while Elder Bice was at that I was working the Weber area with Elder Lindsey, who is from Hawaii. While I was with Elder Lindsey, we were on bikes, which was fun until the end of the day when my legs were just sore from riding for so long.
     There was this really interesting guy that we met at a bus stop who was more than willing to talk to us. The conversation started out pretty good; the guy even carries a Bible with him (King James version). He said that he liked to testify in Yahoo chat rooms, but the devil starting sending stray dogs to his house in order to stop him from doing his testifying. He asked us some questions about the Book of Mormon and then I asked him if I could borrow his Bible to how him a scripture. He wouldn't let me use it (he wouldn't shake our hands either) so I pulled out mine and when he saw my quad he asked if it was the Book of Mormon. I told him that it was the Bible and the Book of Mormon bound together to which he said, well I don't know if I can trust your Bible since it's with the Book of Mormon. We told him it's the same as the Bible he had in his hands already and that he could read along with me. He didn't want to open his, but I showed him John 10:18 where Jesus says, other sheep I have which are not of this fold. He didn't understand it, so we explained how the Savior is talking about the people in the Americas. By the end of it all he said was, that scripture isn't really in the Bible. He wouldn't even open his own Bible and look, so once you see that someone is close minded and ignorant like that, then it's just time to leave. So as we're walking away he keeps trying to talk to us. One of the last things he says is that Jesus of Nazareth is the true Savior and it's not really Jesus Christ (as if they're two totally different people).
     I have my visa now, but I'm not leaving until September 12th. I'm being transferred to Corpus to work with the zone leaders, Elder Anderson and Elder Dustin. So now I have to pack and then pack again in three weeks.
     We went over to Ismael and Eva's house to see how they were doing since we cast the evil spirits out of their house last week. ( I don't remember if I said anything about that or not, but they had a bunch of weird things happen to them and Rene had an encounter, so we blessed them and their home.) When we got there, their son had a bunch of friends over playing Call of Duty, so we went in the backyard to talk to the parents.
     After a few minutes, all the kids started coming out and started asking us questions about the end of the world and other things, but we were able to answer all their questions. They were pretty impressed and started asking serious questions, so they sat down and we taught them. After some discussion, we found that all these kids are punks (the son is on house arrest and the rest only care about marijuana and girls). We showed them how they can all have a better and more meaningful life and they all agreed to be baptized. So that's six baptisms that Elder Bice and his new companion will have to work towards and it'll be interesting to hear what happens. 
os amo,
Elder Burt

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Las Vegas Temple slot machines

Quierdo Familia,
    Yesterday we had Judith Lawrence's baptism. A couple things had to happen last minute to prevent it from being pushed back, but we did it. One of the requirements for baptism is reading at least fifteen pages from the Book of Mormon, which she hadn't done yet because she and her husband, Lon, are both losing their eyesight and it hurts their eyes to read. So, we had a member, Larry Lear, burn the Book of Mormon onto discs for us to give to the Lawrences. When we got the discs to them, they said that none of their disk players work, but we looked at them anyway to see if we could fix them. None of the CD players or stereo worked, but their DVD player did; it was just set up wrong. So the DVD was plugged in correctly and we turned it on to try it and the blue screen comes on. Then a message popped up that said, Warranty Expiration Warning - Total Run Time: 14,428 hours. So, after six-hundred and two days of use the DVD player still works fine and Judy was able to listen to the Book of Mormon. The second thing Judy needed to have before baptism was a family home evening, so Brother Lear invited us and them over to his house to do it. We watched the Joseph Smith movie and then had hot dogs afterwards.
     We visited the Huffman Family on Saturday and they had us come and eat dinner with them. Brother Huffman is a convert to the church from about two years ago and he is pretty funny. He and I were joking back and forth quite a bit. Elder Bice told him that there is a temple in Las Vegas and that surprised him, so then I told him that it was one of the temples that had slot machines in the lobby where you could play for your salvation. He just laughed and said, "yep, once you get three Books of Mormon in a row, you win."
     We've been teaching Bryan Dempsey, the one we had to wait to get out of the asylum, and he is a pretty solid guy. He knows the Book of Mormon is true and that he has to be baptized. Before he said he won't be baptized as long as his parents are alive (they're Catholic and he doesn't want to offend them), but then we gave him Matthew Ten to read and now he is preparing for baptism.
     We've taught the Figueroa family twice now (the Gospel of Christ and the Plan of Salvation) and gave them a tour of the church. They came to church yesterday and Mike really enjoyed it. He'll probably be baptized in September.
os amo,
Elder Burt

Sunday, August 12, 2012

False Idols

Quierdo Familia,                                                                     6 August 2012
     So, Bryan and Brenda Henderson are a couple that we're teaching and they have us over every week for dinner, but Brenda, as nice as she is, is testing me every week with her experimental cooking. One week we had pork burgers that had apples ground into the meat and a fruit sauce that went on top. Yesterday when we were visiting with them, Brenda said she was going to make fish tacos for us this week. She asked if we've eaten the particular kind of fish she was going to use, I said 'no' and she was like, how have you never had it? Then Elder Bice said, because he's from Idaho; all they eat there is potatoes. So Brenda said, well we'll just put your in a baked potato then.
     Two weeks ago we went to knock on a door that our records said a member couple lived there, but we've never met them. So we knocked on the door and found that the couple didn't live there, but their daughter (who answered the door) owned the house now and lives there with her husband and two year old son. She said that her name was Jessica Polderman, but she wasn't on the church records here. So she told us how she grew up with her two sisters and how the three of them became inactive once they moved out. Later on, Jessica bought the house from her parents and moved back to Portland with her husband. She mentioned that both of her sisters moved back to Portland, but didn't say where. She doesn't remember much about the church because she's been inactive for the last thirteen years and her husband isn't a member, so she wants us to start teaching them, but not just yet. So we're going to start teaching them this week.
     We were out knocking and saw a man in his driveway, so we walked over and started talking with him. He was a pretty cool guy. He said he went to a Catholic school and so he feels like he never really had a choice in what to believe growing up, but doesn't practice any religion. He said he wanted to learn more and we set an appointment with him the next day. He also mentioned that his wife was Mormon, but didn't go to church. So the next day, we taught him and his wife and found out that his wife, Stephanie, is one of Jessica's sisters.
     So now we just need to find the third sister so we can reactivate her and start teaching her husband. The final goal or this family in the next two months is to reactivate all three sisters, baptize all three husbands, and have three new families at church.
     One of the members we work with has a friend who goes to the Methodist church, but was about to have surgery to correct two hernias and was worried about it, so he asked us to come give him a blessing. He had the surgery the next morning and was home early in the afternoon. He recognizes that we have the power, but so far he hasn't acted on that knowledge; at least he hasn't met with since the blessing, but his member friend tells us that his friend tells everyone about his experience and how we have power. Hopefully soon he'll want to be taught.
te amo,
Elder Burt
p.s. As Elder Bice and I were going through the package, we got to the tiki and saw the part about it being the god of luck and Elder Bice just said, 'Nice, I love having graven images and false idols in the apartment'.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Quierdo Familia,
     Last Sunday in sacrament I confirmed Alynah, who was baptized last week by a member in the ward, Richard Anderson. We were worried at first because it was a quarter after and she still hadn't shown up to church, so we just sat down and waited to see what would happen. She came in during the meeting, but I didn't see her come in. So when the Bishop announced that, 'Alaynah would now be confirmed by Elder Burt', my only thought was, 'she will be?' But then I saw she was there and everything worked out well.
     So right now we have two investigators with Baptismal dates: Judy Lawerence, Lon's wife, and someone we've never met named Bryan Demsy. He's already been taught for eight months, but now he is almost ready for baptism and he is going to be in our area. The only problem is we can't teach him yet because he doesn't get out of the asylum until Wednesday or Saturday.
     We've been knocking on doors a little more this week, but knocking isn't really an effective way to find. Some people open the door and then immediately close it when they see us. Sometimes people will say they already believe in Christ, but they appreciate the work we're doing. The worst people are the ones that say they're Catholic,because they usually know very little about the Bible or their own church. All they know is that it's a party every Sunday with Pastor Bill. The funniest thing anyone has ever said to us was that he didn't believe in the Bible because the government tampered with it and the only way to find truth was through the internet. We've really only met one couple that was trying to be Christ-like, but they didn't want to join a new church. They did, however, invite us in to get out of the heat and get a drink.
     There's a funny thing the missionaries say here, more so the farther south you go, but it's, "I hate it when my investigators get deported!"
te amo,
Elder Burt