Monday, January 28, 2013

New sister missionaries

Querdio familia,                         28 January 2013

This last Tuesday, the transfers came and went and I'm staying in Reconquista for the next five weeks to come. I'm glad I was able to stay though so that I can keep working with the families that we are teaching and see the branch grow.

The branch is about to see some tremendous growth because we recently had senior missionaries come and just last Wednesday we had a companionship of sister missionaries show up as well. The sisters are going to be working with the entire city as far as members and recent converts are concerned, but as for teaching and finding new people they will be working in the north west part of the of Elder Waldron and I.

We knew the sisters would be coming a week in advance and we also knew that they would be taking a part of our area, so we were worried about what that would do to us as far as the people we were teaching. Luckily, the area was divided so that we will keep all the people we are teaching, our recent converts, and some of our favorite members, minus one family that we've only taught twice. (Funny enough, we saw this aforementioned family waiting outside of another church in the other part of the city just last night after a meeting; at least we know that they are at least attending church even if it isn't ours... for now). Really the only problem we have had because of the sisters arrival is that we don't have a cell phone because we gave ours to them.

During the transfers, Elder King from the other area, Vera (two hours away by bus), left and so his companion, Elder Contrera, from Uruguay, worked with us for a day while he awaited the arrival of his new companion. I've always thought Elder Contrera was pretty funny in the small amounts of time that I've been with him during meetings. He is, however, overflowing with energy which doesn't give aid to the effectiveness of our studies. He is really great though at contacting people and sitting down with new people for the first time. From there though, he needs to work a little bit on his teaching because he doesn't really allow space for his companion (Elder Waldron and I in this instance) to talk. During one of our lessons with him, a lady told Elder Waldron and I that we don't sound as good as Elder Contrera does, but then Elder Contrera explained that he is from Uruguay and just looks like he is from the States.

So the Olivera family that we've been working with is an interesting unit. In the house lives the dad, his two sons (Javier and Eber whom we are teaching), and his two daughters. The mom, Olga, is also there every day, even though they have been separated for years, so that she can cook in the kitchen there; apparently they are still in business together. Well, one day we went by to teach them and it was just René and Olga who were there, sitting outside. René invited us to go in and talk with him, so we sat down and started teaching him. At the end of our lesson, someone came to the door who required René attention and so he walked out and Olga walked in. She seemed a little distressed, so I asked here how things were and she replied that they were good and bad at the same time. She then told us about how her son, Javier, keeps telling her that she needs to come to church with him (she is a member already, but inactive) and that he wants to read the scriptures with her. So she feels frustrated that he has never done any of things before and now he is telling her to do it. Really though, she was frustrated because Javier is twenty-one and lives at home without a job and doesn't help in the family business. By this point René had returned and joined in on the conversation about his kids. In the end, it was determined that they (Javier and Eber) indeed have a long way to go, but they've also come a long way in a short time. Javier then brought Olga to church the following Sunday and she seemed like she wants to come back to the Church.

On Sunday afternoon, we went to see them after church and to have a lesson with them. The plan was that we were going to watch The Testaments with them and eat, but we had a surprise meeting later in the evening with all the leaders from the district and had to change our plans. We still watched a movie, however a twenty-minute movie about the Restoration instead of the one about the Nephites. We had another problem though too; the DVD player remote was missing and so we couldn't change the language of the movie to Spanish. Well it just so happened that the lesson Javier had in the church earlier that morning was about Joseph Smith, so he started telling his dad, René, all about him and what he did. He then suggested that we just watch the movie anyway and that we could translate. So that's what we did. I translated most of it and answered some questions along the way and then we got to the First Vision Javier turned to René and told him that, "This is part, this is the part. Pay attention to what happens." He had seen this part of the movie earlier that day in the class and knew what was coming.

I just finished the book 'Jesus the Christ' after having started it at the beginning of the month. It was a really good book that begins with the Pre-Mortal existence and continues until the Millennium. There is a lot of insightful thoughts that Elder Talmage included in his writing and completely changes the way some passages of scriptures are viewed; not in that it changes their meaning, but adds more significance to it or increases he reverence in which it is viewed. All in all, a good book for all.
os amo,
Elder Burt

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