Monday, February 25, 2013

I got my moldy fudge!

Querido familia,                   25 de Febrero 2013

Because of all the new missionaries that are going to flood the mission field, many missions have been divided and made smaller in order to have fifty-eight more missions worldwide. Our mission is one of them that is getting divided and will no longer be the Argentina Resistencia Mission. I don't quite remember how the line is going to be drawn, but one of the new missions being created will include a part of our current mission and either Uruguay or Paraguay. So whichever missionaries end up moving across the line will be serving in two countries.  

With these changes, we need more missionaries, but the problem is that the new missionaries didn't arrive from the MTC, so now they are temporarily closing some areas in the mission. One of the areas is ours, so both Elder Waldron and I will be leaving Reconquista and going somewhere else. For now, the Sisters are going to take our area in addition to their own. So Wednesday morning I'll be going to somewhere new, but won't know where until tomorrow night. The news about Elder Waldron and I leaving Reconquista without any new Elders coming to replace us was supposed to be a secret, but Elder Waldron told all the youth in the branch on Sunday and by the end of the day every member in the city knew.

We had an interesting morning though on Sunday. So we've been having these problems with leadership in the branch with our branch president and so President Heyman released the branch president and called Elder Brimhall, the senior missionary, to be the branch president. The only problem with that is that he won't have any counselors because the Elders are the counselors and now we're leaving. So Sunday morning we were preparing the program and who should walk into the chapel but none other than the former branch president, Luis Alegre, for the first time in three months. He came up to me and asked me, "Who is going to preside over the meeting: one of you two or me?" Apparently he still had no idea that he was released and we were going to sustain a new president that morning. So I told him that we need to talk about some things. He seemed to take the news pretty well; he may have even been a little relieved. Elder Brimhall, now President Brimhall, asked him if h would be the Elders Quorum president, but he said that for now he is not ready, but in two weeks.The change went over well though and we didn't have any problems. 

To help the Brimhalls be ready for us to leave and take care of the branch without us, we've been meeting with them and going around town with them showing them how to do things like pay the tithing money and get things into the computer to send to the Church. One time we met with them in their apartment and Sister Brimhall gave Elder Waldron and I cinnamon rolls that were really good (but not as good as yours obviously). But we're going to spend a good chunk of our day tomorrow in meetings with them to get the prepared for our departure.  But it will be a very easy way of leaving the area behind; being in meetings that will help the branch progress instead of out looking for new people to teach when we're going to leave anyway.

I'm a little worried that most of the people that we are teaching aren't going to be taught for a while, because the Sisters probably aren't going to be able to attend to the entirety of the area that we're leaving, but maybe that won't be too bad. Domingo and Lorenza were baptized four years after they stopped seeing the missionaries, so maybe a little ways down the road these families will meet the missionaries again and by then will already have desires to follow in the Church.

So all of everyone's packages came last week on Monday night. The package was super cool and we had a debate as to whether the presents belonged to Elder Clark because they have his name on them and he was my companion during Christmas or whether they should go to Elder Waldron because he is my current companion. In the end it was decided in favor of Elder Clark, but Elder Waldron shouldn't care too much because he is going home in six weeks and can buy all the toys that he wants. The fudge was still good and soft, but we could only eat half of it because it was growing a fluffy white mold on the surface.

Because today would be one of our final days together, we went out and bought a bunch of meat and had an asado on our balcony for lunch today. We just placed all the meats that we bought on top of a metal rack that sat above some burning carbon for an hour. 

On Friday night we had another activity for the branch. This time it was a little bit different because the majority of the time was spent on the spiritual part of the event. What we did was we had a ping pong table set up outside for people to play while everyone else was arriving and there were papers for kids to color and for the adults to write short letters to some of the less-active members of the branch. The main part of the activity was that we had six stations set up throughout the church where the members would rotate to in groups and learn about the station. The stations were things like, the Sacrament Table, the Baptismal Font, the Relief Society room, and so on. At each station, there was a puzzle piece that had the name and a picture of the station and once you went to each station you had six pieces, but needed seven to finish the puzzle. The seventh one came at the very end after a short talk from Sister Parker about the Sabbath Day.

I was in charge of the Sacrament, so what I did was bring a spool of red thread and a pair of scissors. I gave a short explanation of sin and how we are bound by sin. I then asked for a volunteer and had them put their hand together, and then tied one thread around their wrists. I explained how we aren't really free if we have sins, and then I asked the person to break the  thread. Obviously, it was very easy to break one thread, but I talked about how we have more than one sin. So, I rewrapped the person's wrists in ten threads and then asked if they thought they could break it. No one could break it. So from there I explained the Savior's role in breaking the bonds of sin so that we could be free. It's not something that we can do alone, but if we come to church and take the Sacrament we can be liberated.

os amo,
Elder Burt

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