Monday, March 25, 2013

Scorpion in the sink

Querido familia,                                  25 de Marzo 2013

The other night I was brushing my teeth when I came across a small scorpion in the sink.

The work here in Curuzú certainly has been quite different from that of the work we did in Reconquista, which is an interesting thought considering that the work is the same and that it is just the location that has changed. In Reconquista, the area in which we worked was more of a rural area and there were always people sitting outside their houses and having conversations which made it really easy to walk up to a group of people and just start talking with them about whatever and then transitioning to the Gospel. However, here in the city of Curuzú Cuatiá the people are living a bigger city lifestyle. People pass their time at work and inside their homes, which means that we have to approach people from the other side of their door and the problem with that is that it makes it very easy for someone to say, "I'm busy right now," before closing the door and returning to their activity that couldn't be postponed fifteen minutes to hear a message about Christ.

A few days ago, on Saturday, I was reading  in Doctrine and Covenants chapters four through seven. During this time, Oliver desires spiritual confirmations and answers to his questions as well as a some other divinely appointed gifts. It was in chapter six, verses fourteen through seventeen that I came across a part that more or less said that, you have been guided by the Spirit and then the Lord tells him that, "if it had not been so, thou wouldst not have  come to the place where thou art at this time." I thought that was cool to read that considering the week we've have been having and the contrast to the "success" of Reconquista compared to what we accomplish here in Curuzú, so that was a good experience and I wrote that verse in my planner to be able to see the verse.

So the work here is slow and requires patience; especially because we know that we could see a whole lot of success if the members would just do their part to share the Gospel with their friends and family. This week passed us by especially slow as far as teaching was concerned because of the unfavourable weather conditions. On Monday night it began to rain and didn't stop until somewhere between Tuesday and Wednesday during the night. In addition to the adverse weather conditions, Elder Humphries has also felt a little under the weather himself, which has confined us to the apartment a couple of times. He has used some of the oils to aid his ailments, but sleep is the most common remedy.

On Wednesday, we had a meeting with the Elders from our zone, which includes the cities of Paso de Los Libres and Mercedes. At the end of our meeting, we always practice some aspect of teaching in order to improve and become better. So, the topic that we had for our practice that day was that we had to try to understand and uncover the reason that a person wouldn't want to be baptized. During one of our practices, the Elder who was acting as the person that we were teaching had an interesting doubt about baptism. He said that he wasn't sure if he could make a promise to follow Christ when he had killed his father-in-law just four weeks ago. When he said that I started to laugh because it was so ridiculous and the Elder playing the investigator was trying really hard not to laugh, but all he could say was, "See, this is why I didn't want to tell you; people always react like that when I say it." 

Every Friday night we  have an activity for the whole branch where one person is assigned to present whatever they desire and everyone is asked to bring food to share. Well this last Friday no one was assigned to give the message, so I made a jeopardy game for everyone. We had three topics, "Who Was It?," "Finish the Verse," and "Our Dispensation." So we divided everyone into two teams as evenly as we could. I had intentionally made the questions easy because I wasn't sure how much this branch would know about the Church's history or the scriptures. They did pretty well however. It was funny to watch though because it was mostly the branch president getting all the answers on his team and the seminary teacher giving all the answers on her team. The seminary teacher, Sister Acosta, was really funny because she always had a excuse when she didn't get an answer right. One time she said that she didn't know the answer because she couldn't understand my Spanish and one time when the president got a question she didn't know she said, "Well, now we all know that President reads his scriptures." It all made for an interesting night. After the game we had an asado because it was the birthday of one of the soon-to-be members, Sylvana Dominguez. 

Right now, we are working with two girls to get them baptized. Their mom is a member and their step-dad is a member as of a month ago. The problem, however, is that their oldest sister is telling them that they have to follow the example of their dad, who is supposedly 'very catholic', and that they can't follow any kind of example set by their step-dad. The girl causing all the trouble is only sixteen too, but obviously we're trying to avoid her and teach when we can be with the other two girls, who are fifteen and twelve.

Well right now our zone leaders have come up with a somewhat crazy plan in order to just get them baptized (they've already been taught and been to church and just need to get in the water). They want us to set up a meeting with them in the chapel, bring the baptismal clothes, and prepare the font (which is actually a portable swimming pool). From there, they, the zone leaders, will come and be in the chapel with us and give them their baptismal interview and then tell them that the font is already ready and that we have clothes for them so they can be baptized in that very moment.

I think it seems kind of ridiculous and very likely won't work and to top things off they told us that they are coming to Curuzú tomorrow, leaving us with today and tomorrow morning to prepare and execute this very interesting and peculiar plan. So we're about to have an interesting two days.

os amo,
Elder Burt

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