Monday, April 22, 2013

Shortest calling in history

Querido familia,                             22 de Abril 2013
Elder Lopez, Elder Rivera, Elder Burt and Elder Humphries
Last Tuesday saw me going back to my old area of Curuzú to be companions temporarily with Elder Humphries again. Tuesday morning, Elder Rivera and I caught a bus that dropped us off Curuzú just in time for lunch. So because we were in the area of Elder Humphries and his new companion, Elder Lopez, they had the honors of making lunch for us. That's what the picture I sent earlier was; the lunch we had was some meat cooked on the stove top with noodles. Next time we get together, however, Elder Humphries wants us to all to meet up earlier and have time to make an asado for lunch.
Later that evening, Elder Humphries and I went to visit the Villaba family that had dinner prepared for us, but they didn't know that it was me who was coming, so they were pretty surprised when I walked in the door. For dinner we ate ham and cheese empanadas and Sister Villaba's daughters kept trying to get Elder Humphries to sing.

The next night, Elder Humphries wanted to make torta frita, which is basically a thin scone that they eat here, but they just have it plain without honey or jam. So he started making the dough while I was in another room and then called for help, asking me, "Is it supposed to look like this?" The answer was a "no." He ended up putting far too much water in and didn't have any more flour and was then left with a runny batter. Not wanting to fail, he tried again the next night and, under my supervision, had much more success. 

When Friday morning arrived, our transfer came to an end and we took the bus back to Mercedes to met up with Elder Rivera and Elder Lopez

This Saturday was our first branch activity and in preparation for it, Elder Rivera and I spent all last week giving out invitations to members as well as to everyone that we taught. When Saturday arrived we only had five people show up; seven if you include Elder Rivera and I. Nevertheless, everyone had a really good time anyway. We started off by watching a video from the church about a man whose family was hit by a drunk driver and the wife and one son died in the crash. The driver of the other car couldn't have been more than twenty-one and was already looking at a long time in jail. however, the man who had lost his wife and son actually went and visited with him and got release time to be with him in private and forgave him for what happened. The whole video is just a short documentary about their two experiences. After that, we played the telephone game where you have to pass a word along and see if it ends up being a different word at the end. We then played a game where you have two scarfs and everyone seated in a circle. One scarf has to be tied twice before being passed and the other only once. If you get stuck with both scarves at the same time then you have to do something. I ended up having them both and they made me do a dance called "the horse." One of the youth that came, Lucas, recorded it and it turns out that I can do "the horse" pretty well.

One of the people who came to the activity is named Ivan and he is someone that we're working with to get him baptized. So far, he doesn't any real issues that need correcting and just needs to commit himself to being at church on Sunday more than anything. Right now, he is living in a house made of plastic panels and branches that he built, but he has all the materials to build a brick and concrete house. So we're going to rally as many members as we can and get the tools we need to help him build his house. We even have a box of green safety vests that say "The Hands That Help," which is the world-wide service program of the Church.

What was really funny was yesterday when we went to visit him. He was asking us a bunch of questions about dating in the church and if it's ok for the members to date and so on. Well it was obvious who he was thinking of because it was one of the girls that came to the activity the night before. We thought he was acting a little funny. So now we'

re wondering if it would be a good thing or a bad thing to have this girl come with us to teach him. The goal with this approach would be more of a "flirt to convert" strategy, but he has to get started somehow.

We also found someone to be the local leader of the branch. So yesterday, the district president came to our branch from Paso de Los Libres to give him his final interview before being sustained in sacrament meeting. After church was over, Elder River, President Dos Santos, the district president, and his counselor, and I set him, Roberto Baldovino, apart as the branch president. So my calling as branch president was extremely short, but now we have a local leader, which is always better than having a missionary.

os amo,
Elder Burt  

Elder Joshua Burt
Argentina Resistencia Mission
Entre Rios 435
HP3500AKE Resistencia
[Mission Office]

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