I sent a letter out yesterday, but didn't have time to finish it.
The reason I didn't have time to finish it is because while we were at Wal-Mart doing our weekly shopping a guy in one of the store scooters came up to us and, after a few minutes of talking, asked us if we could give him a blessing. We told him that we'd be more than happy to give him one, but not in the store. We said we could either meet him at his house later in the day or at the church; whichever would work best for him. He decided on the church, but he wanted it done immediately. So we told him that we would take our groceries home and then meet him at the church in thirty minutes. He agreed to that and said he'd be there. So we went back to the apartment and then to the church as fast as we could and saw that we beat him there. So we unlocked the doors to the church and turned the a/c on and waited for a bit. He ended up coming about forty minutes later than he said he would. When he got there, he was really concerned about time and we said it will only take ten minutes. Well he ended up talking quite a bit about really the same three things over and over again and he said those same things for an hour and a half. Finally after almost two hours we gave him the blessing and then he said he wanted us to baptize him right there. We had to explain that, unless he was going to die within the next week, we couldn't baptize him without first teaching him the lessons and him coming to church. He wasn't too happy with that and again started to tell us those same three things again. So we set an appointment with him for Wednesday and we'll see how much he wants to commit to the gospel and baptism when we see him then. So in total, we probably spent about three hours with him during our preparation day.
In my letter, I mentioned two kids we are teaching: Cristina and Eddie. Well on Monday night, during our lesson with them, we found out that Cristina is actually in a band and has a song on iTunes. Their group even played live on the news here. Apparently she won a competition to be one of the singers. The group is called Pink Noise and the song is called 'The Kind of Girl I Am' (It might be different, but it's close to that).
At church, I met a member who recently moved into the ward from North Dakota. He is the Second Couselor's son-in-law and just moved here. He likes to do missionary work and help the Elders,and the way he does it is a little different than expected. He plays Pokemon on the DS and he runs a league every Saturday where tons of people show up to play. When he did it in North Dakota, he got fifteen new investigators for the Elders and one baptism so far. He is pretty funny, he wears a side bag to carry his scriptures and stuff, but on the strap he has two Pokeballs.
We went to met some former investigators to see if they'd be interested in taking lessons again or to at least find out why they stopped taking lessons and it turns out they're still not interested. But, we knocked on their neighbor's door and met Maria Salazar, a lady who is in her seventies. She invited us in and we taught her about prayer and baptism. At the end of the lesson, she started putting it all together and said, "So what you're telling me, is that my baptism didn't count?" And of course we don't want to offend anyone, so we just say, "You just need to be baptized the same way Jesus Christ was." But she said she'll think about it. The real issue is that she firmly believes that Saturday is the Sabbath and that it's wrong for it to be on Sunday (even though the scriptures show that the apostles changed it to Sunday after the resurrection of Christ). But our job isn't to prove people wrong, it's to help them make the changes they need to because they realize they need to follow the Savior. So we taught her, set a return appointment, called a lady in the ward to come with us to our next appointment, she came out, we walked up to the door, and then found a note. So we'll see if we can contact her again or if she is just going to try to avoid us.
So the member that came out with us, Sister Silliman, told us that since we have time we could go visit a member in the hospital. We went and visited with the member, Maria Cantu, and sang her a hymn (she already recieved a blessing, so we didn't need to do that). As we were walking out of the hospital, a guy in the lobby nodded at each of us as we walked by and addressed us as 'doctor'.
We also had a lesson we were kind of concerned about going in to. Not because we were worried about ourselves or in any physical danger, but because the guy is kind of against the church and our concern was that he just wanted to argue doctrine with us. The only reason we agreed to meet with him s becaus his girlfriend is a member and she really wants him to convert so she can be married in the temple. So we sat down with him at the church and he comes in with a notebook and a Bible (his girlfriend wouldn't let him bring his laptop in). Clearly he was trying to steer the lesson into some bashing, but we did our best to keep it on track until finally he just started asking us point blank about things he didn't understand and saying things that weren't true. Everytime he tried to say some false doctrine, we just answered his question using the Bible and the Book of Mormon to show that our church has nothing new in it, just everything. Clearly he was frustrated by the end of the lesson becaus ehe knew that he'd been beat. The thing that probably got him the most though was that we never was got frustrated or mad and keep calm and loving the whole time (some people's goal is just to upset the Elders).
Elder Joshua Covington Burt
5757 S. Staples Street
Corpus Cristi, TX 78413
[Current Until September 11]