Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Taking back the pamphlets

Querido familia,                                4 de Junio 2013

Sorry that I'm, writing late this week. We came to write yesterday, but the internet wasn't working, so we just came today instead.

We had an interesting experience that I've never had before with the pamphlets that we use the other day and the lesson was kind of interesting from the beginning anyway. We started talking to these two guys in the street and at first they were acting like they couldn't really understand us because they said that they only speak Castellano and that they don't know the language that we were using. So I started talking to them a little bit about soccer and then all of the sudden they had the ability to understand us because it was a subject that they liked. So they offered us a chair to it down with them and talk and from there we were able to work our way back into a conversation about the Gospel. At the end they had some questions about the purpose of life and what happens in the end, so we gave them each a pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation. What was interesting though was that one of the guys started to look at all the pictures very carefully and then said, "Wow, look at all these beautiful girls!" (Because some of the pictures aren't of Christ, but rather people and some of them are girls). He just seemed way too interested in the pamphlet at that point that I almost considered asking for it back, which would have been a first.

On Saturday night, we were looking for a member to visit and while we were waiting for someone to the answer the door, the neighbor came over and told us that he wasn't home and just left his light on. So, we started talking to the neighbor about his life and what he did and his family. His name is Ricard De Los Santos and he started telling us about how he grew up as an orphan, but was able to because successful and provide for his family and now his kids are already grown up and he has two grand kids. He is a really nice guy, always helping out his neighbors and serving others when he can. So we left him with a copy of the Book of Mormon and he said that he would read it before going to bed that night.

So yesterday, we went by to see him just to see if he had actually read and ask him what he had thought about the book. Our plan beforehand was to go and to explain the history of the book and what it contains and why it's important, but he already had a pretty good understanding of all that; which was surprising.

What happened is that when we sat down with him we started off by talking a little bit about his family and seeing how things were and then he started talking about how he had actually been reading the book. He then starting asking questions like, "So Moroni is Mormon's son right?," and, "Mormon is the prophet who wrote the plate of gold?" So we started asking him what he remembered about what he had read and he starting saying, "there was this son named Nephi and he had two brothers who were bad and didn't listen to their dad and there were a bunch of prophets named Helaman, Mosiah, Ether..." So as it turns out, he had read the title page, the introduction, the testimony of the eight and three witnesses, as well as the testimony of Joseph Smith, and then the first three chapters of First Nephi.

So then we started asking him about his feelings towards the book. He said that he feels like he is reading from the Bible, but that he knows that it's something more, something different, but good. Most importantly he says that he knows that it comes from God and that it is a something divine and sacred. In other words, he already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and we've only spoken with him two times now.

After a little bit of talk about the Book of Mormon, he started asking question about what happens after we die and where we come from. He also had questions about the resurrection. So we told him that we couldn't answer all his questions in that moment, but that we would like to come back and teach him some more. So at the end of our visit with him, he invited to come back on Wednesday to have dinner with him and his wife and to talk more about the Book.

There is this lady that we've been trying to sit down with and teach for a couple of weeks now, but we haven't really been able to catch her at a time that works, but we finally sat down with her this week. This lady's name is Norma and she had been taught by the missionaries just a few months ago, but never got baptized even though she was coming to church. Based on what the teaching record for her said, we decided that the previous missionaries didn't put enough importance on the Book of Mormon, so we decided that that would be our first lesson with her. 

What we did was first explain a little bit about the book and then we read a passage with her. In Mosiah 18, we read about some of the reasons that we get baptized and the promises we make as we do it. We then skipped to verse twenty-one where it talks about, "having one a single view, looking forward, and having your hearts knitted together in unity and love, being baptized in Christ." It was then that I was sure she was about to cry, but she didn't. The Spirit was obviously working with her quite a bit in that moment. I imagine that she has quite a bit of disharmony in her home based on what she has said and what the previous Elders have written. Her son that was there with us during the lesson was previously a soldier and he had attempted suicide, but survived. Before we left, she asked us if we could send missionaries to her mom who lives in another city and we said it would be no problem. So we got her address and sent it to the Elders there.

Other than that, we've been working with a family that is getting ready for baptism, but there is just one resolved question. We know that the oldest son, who no longer lives here, was baptized. However, we have no record, nor do the members remember, that the mom was also baptized, but she thinks that she is a member. So if she if then we'll just pull her records from wherever they are and if she isn't then she'll just get baptized with her kids. 

os amo,
Elder Burt

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

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