Monday, April 15, 2013

Jsoh is the new Branch President!

Querido familia,          16 de Abril 2013

So this week I did get into a new apartment, but not in the way I expected it to happen. I ended up being transferred to another area, but in the same zone and Elder Humphries stayed in Curuzú to train a new missionary from Mexico. Now I am in a a city called Mercedes, just an hour and twenty minute bus ride from Curuzú. So I will still be with Elder Humphries from time to time when we have exchanges, the first of which will be tomorrow and I'll be going back to that area after less than a week.

I think I mentioned something about one of the sisters in the branch in Curuzú that was always complaining and asking when a latino elder was going to come. Well once Elder Humphrie's companion arrived this particular sister invited them over for lunch. I thought that that was pretty funny and poignant racism.

I my new area I am companions with Elder Rivera. I've mentioned him a little bit before; he was Justin's roommate in the MTC in Peru. We've been working well together and have been sitting down with a lot of people. There is already one person who is close to baptism, but we're going to see what happens with him. His name is Christian and he has been taught for the last three months and almost got baptized, but couldn't because he drank a few days before. He is sixteen by the way. Now the plan to have his baptism this Saturday if he has stopped drinking all together. 

Also in this new area, I am the president of the branch and Elder Rivera is my second counselor. It shouldn't be anything too new; we basically ran the branch by ourselves in Reconquista, especially towards the end of my time there when the branch president stopped coming to church all together. The biggest difference now would be that I am the one who has to give people their interviews and assign callings. The only thing that would troubling or difficult would be arriving at a point at which I would have to determine someone's worthiness. Luckily if anything serious comes up a branch president isn't actually allowed to take disciplinary action without the mission president, so President Heyman will be overseeing things like that. My first counselor is named Felix and he is a really cool guy. He can't speak or hear, but he can read and was baptized not too long ago. He has to do all his communication through his own version of sign language because he doesn't know how to do signs, but even then he still comes to all the meetings on Sunday just to be there and participate as much as he can by reading and also passing the sacrament.

I don't know too many of the members already, even the ones that came to church yesterday an I'm still trying to get to know, but the members seem pretty solid here. One thing I may do here soon is start finding callings for people so that they can receive the blessings that come from serving others. 

Something the branch doesn't have here is activities, so we're going to start to hold weekly activities every Saturday night for the whole family. Hopefully it will bring some members who are less active back into the church and unite the branch a little more. So we made and printed off a bunch of invitations and gave them to the members and told them to invite people and we're also inviting everyone that we teach to come and participate so that they can get to know the members in a relaxed setting and they can see that we're not boring, but actually good company.

Today while we were in the apartment during the siesta, Elder Rivera wrote down a short song about a missionary that got a "Dear John" in the mission and how the girl married the Elder's best friend and she didn't say anything until the week of the wedding. He then titled it, "Mi Querido Cristofer" (My Dear Christopher). So then we called Elder Humphries and sang it for him and he was only mildly amused, but we're pretty sure that he recorded it with his camera. He wants us to refocus our efforts into how he can get a girl to fall for him.

os amo,
Elder Burt

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

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