Monday, September 30, 2013

Beware of the salt

Querido familia,        30 de Septiembre 2013

This week started off with service. It was literally the first thing we did all week. On Sunday night, we had been teaching Marta and Omar and asked if there was anything we could do to help them and Omar gave Marta a look that said, "I´m going to ask them," and she replied by saying, "don´t even ask them." So I asked Omar what they needed done and he said that they needed to move a bed frame and the mattress from Marta's mom's house all the way to their house. So I said that we would be there first thing in the morning to get it done and that we would try to get help from someone that had a truck. So we ended up finding a less active member who had a truck, but we never got the confirmation from him if he was available. So we waited in Rosa's (Marta's mom) house and we hadn't heard anything. So I told Elder Miramontes that we were just going to carry it by hand because the frame wasn't that heavy. So we took the frame apart and started to carry it and when we had gotten about halfway there, we got a call saying that the member with the truck would be ready in about an hour. Luckily, the halfway point was close to our apartment, so we left the frame there and then went to go meet the member at his house. However, the member never got back from working in the fields and we didn't have time to wait any longer. So we went back to our apartment and just carried the frame the rest of the way. Afterwards, Marta invited us to stay for lunch and she made us pizza.

Later that day, we went to go look at some things to buy and while we were in the store, one of the girls working there asked us if we were friends of Luis Perez (one of the members with whom we eat lunch every Thursday). She said that he had been talking to her and they were friends and that he had told her some things about the church.

So the next day, we went to talk to Luis about this friend (named Camila) of his with whom he was sharing the Gospel. He said that he had been talking to her quite extensively about the Book of Mormon and the church on Saturday and Sunday and that she was incredibly suprised to see us the day after their conversation. What shocked her was that she wanted to talk to us and we ended up finding her. She had said that to her it was a definate sign of what she needed to do. 

So on Wednesday we had our first lesson with her and it went well. She had told us that she wants us to meet with her friend and room mate who is struggling right now. However, we haven't been able to meet with Camila since.
In January, there is a trip to another provence that the church does every year called EFY (Especially For Youth) and it's a really big deal here for the youth. The only problem is that the trip costs nine-hundred pesos for each person going; last year the price was six-hundred pesos. So right now I'm working with the youth to help them raise funds so that they can start preparing right now and all be able to go on the trip. So we started by buying in bulk all the things necessary to make alfajores so that the youth can put them together and then sell them. The whole thing cost a little over three-hundred pesos and at the end we will end up with a little more than one thousand pesos. Not a bad trade off I'd say. But it will be a good start to give them all a base to work with and from there they will be able to do more fund raisers.

Something really strange that had happened this week was that a member had walked outside the other day to find that someone had place a line of salt around their house. Well apparently that's not a good thing to find, so we were asked to go and to bless the house. I've never heard of anything like that, so I was thinking that maybe the neighbors were just being friendly and wanted to keep the snails out, but Elder Miramontes says that it's some kind of black magic that people do in Mexico.
So you saw in the pictures that I had a trip this week. It was kind of last minute because the office called me on Thursday afternoon to tell me that I had to go and fill out forms to renew my visa on Thursday morning. So we left Thursday evening to go to Saenz Peña where we met up with Elder Muñoz and Elder Sacalxot once again. 
So Elder Muñoz and I left early Friday morning to go to Corriente (the city where we had to be), but it was a bit difficult to get there. When we got to the bus terminal at four in the morning, our bus had already left. So we waited and had the fourtune of another bus that came by that was going to Resistencia (which is just across the river from Corrientes). So we took that bus and then another bus from Resistencia to Corrientes. The sudden change of plans had worked out really well though because when we got off the bus in Corrientes, four other missionaries (the ones from the pictures) also got off the same bus; we had no idea that they were on the same bus because we sat on the bottom level and they on the upper.

So we got all the paper work done and then they told me that I would have to be back next week do some more papers because my visa had already expired and required an additional process. "The good things is," said Elder Hernandez (who is the secretary in charge of visas and paperwork), "that you won't have to come back again because you'll already be home before your visa expires."

The trip back to Campo Largo was a little more exciting than I like it to be however. We had gotten to the bus station late and had missed the bus and there wasn't going to be another for two hours. So we got a taxi and raced the bus to the bus stop at the edge of the city limits. We made it.

But we've been really content with Omar and Marta. We were worried that they might have problems with the Word of Wisdom, but when we taught them we found out that they had no issues whatsoever. Omar had previously been involved in a couple of things, but he said that once he had their son, Javier, he didn't want to do such things anymore in order to be the example or his son. 

So Sundays had been interesting the last few days for us. We've been having nice weather every Saturday for the last three weeks and then Sunday morning starts out gray, cloudy, and cold. For the people that means that they can't go to church. So I haven't been able to decide if the bad weather that only happens on Sunday is a trial of faith for the people of Campo Largo or if the enemy somehow has power of the weather and is stopping people from going to church. In spite of all difficulties, bad weather and flat tires, Marta and Omar came to church yesterday.
Yesterday was also the fifth Sunday of the month, which means that we have a combined class with the whole branch and I'm the one who is responsible to teach it. So the subject of the fifth Sunday class is actually whatever I want and feel that the branch needs, so  I decided that we needed to practice the hymns; the people don't really know the hymns and stumble over the lyrics and are completely out of sync. So we picked a couple of hymns that they wanted to learn and we then listened to them and then sung them. It actually turned out to be a really good experience and hopefully it will help to invite the Spirit into the meetings a little bit more.

os amo,

Elder Burt

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