Monday, February 18, 2013

And the members don't come to church...

Querido familia,

President and Sister Heyman are now back from the United States. Sister Heyman is doing incredibly well and doesn't even seem to have any side effects from her stroke or therapy; and she still manages to speak in Spanish with the missionaries.

This transfer though is a little different. Instead of the regular six week cycle, this one is five weeks, so we have transfers coming up next week. We really have no idea who is going to go and who is going to stay. We've been having some problems in our branch that will probably play a big part in what happens. For the last two months our branch president hasn't come to church because he has found that it is too difficult to get up in the morning when he has a hangover from Saturday night, so we've been running the branch without any help from him for a while now. We're thinking that a missionary will be called as the branch president next week after the transfers pass until President Heyman can figure something out. The problem we have is that we have four hundred members and only thirty in the chapel every week and the only worthy Priesthood holders are the Elders.

We were knocking on doors one morning when we saw a girl down the block who kept looking at us and then whenever we looked at her she would quickly turn away, so the obvious move was to go talk to her about the Gospel. It was a little bit different than the usual contacts we do because she was a seventeen year old girl who was more interested in the twenty year old men from the United States than the Gospel. Nevertheless, we shared with her a short message on the sidewalk and she was actually pretty interested and said that she didn't really like her church and wanted to see what else there is. Then we told her that would like to meet her parents and talk with them. She then informed us that they might not like that very much. Well, we got her address and then a few days later we found the house and talked with the mom. It turns out that they're Evangelist and are very firm in their beliefs. So we talked for a bit, gave her a Book of Mormon and she gave us a pamphlet. After reading their pamphlet it seems like they have a lot of things correct about the Gospel and are just lacking the authority. The dad is a pastor at their church, so it will be an inteersting discussion when we go back.

The Sisters have an interesting calling in this area because they are assigned to work mostly with the members and then spend a little less time on actually finding new people to teach, so they'll probably be trying to finish a lot of part member families in the branch. But as part of their calling to strengthen the branch they organized an activity last week that seemed a lot like what we do during our camping trips. The Sisters made a bunch of clues on slips of paper that had scriptures on them that would lead to the next clue. There were two teams and they both had to find their clues (they were in a different order) before the other team and find the treasure (The Book of Mormon) first. It all went really well, so they're going to have an activity every week now. [893 and 904]

So I don't know if anyone will remember because it has been so long, but a month ago we were teaching a girl named Anahi, but she never came to church (I guess the rest of her family didn't either and they're members) and she never could get baptized. Well, Sister Parker and Baker started teaching her again and finally got her to come to church, so last Saturday I was able to baptize Anahi. She had a bit of nerves and didn't want lot of people to be there, so it was just her family and the missionaries that came (including the senior missionaries). [928 - Anahi and her family and 929 - Everyone]

So Elder Sharapata and Elder Waldron were having their usual 'who is right' conversation the other, but the topic was a little different than usual. Elder Waldron insisted that it is inappropriate for parents to talk about their kids because it is pride and pride is an awful thing. So, Elder Sharapata's argument was more of a question really because he continued asking, "So are you not ever going to tell your kids that you're proud of them?" Well, to make a long story short, I ended the conversation by asking the inspired question, "What would have happened if God had never talked about His Son?" Cheers came from Elder Garcia and Sharapata and Elder Waldron went to brush his teeth,knowing that he was defeated, so that we could go to bed.

We'll see if I'm in some new location next week or in Reconquista, but until then.

os amo,
Elder Burt

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