Monday, January 20, 2014

"I can't have a girlfriend while on my mission?"

Querida familia,                              20 De Enero 2014

We started off the week with a little bit of confusion and a small issue with our land lady this last Monday. It was time to renew the contract for the apartment, but the secretaries in the mission office said that we should get a contract made by the office and signed by President Heyman and that we shouldn't sign it because it requires us to put our ID number from our DNI and passports in the document and it could be bad if something goes wrong later on in the future. The problem that we had is that the land lady is very stubborn and said that she absolutely would only make the contract here in Campo Largo; even the allure of having the mission take care of all the processes and bills wasn't enough to sway her. So I explained that the mission doesn't want us to sign it because of the aforementioned issues, but she said that if we didn't make the contract in her way then she would kick us out. So we called President Heyman and he said that we could do it in her way and that if any issues came up then the mission and the Church would protect us from any legal issues. So we went and had to make the new contract and listen to all the terms and agreements and then sign it. So now my name is on the contract with my document number for the next two years.

As far as the computer and the Church's program is concerned, we're done with it. We even tried setting up a remote control of the computer so that a specialist could control our computer from his office, but it still wasn't resolved. So now someone is supposed to be coming today to do repairs and troubleshooting.

On Friday we had interviews with President Heyman in Las Breñas. It all went really well, but he is concerned about what is happening throughout the mission. Apparently there have been a lot of missionaries that become boyfriend and girlfriend with the members and that's just something that you don't do; President Heyman said, "we have all these new missionaries who are eighteen years old and they think that they are still in high school." He said that there was one elder who was transferred to another area and even then he continued to maintain a romantic relationship with the girl and because of that he was sent home.

So we had our district, three companionships, together with President Heyman and he started asking questions about how we should react to certain situations and how we can avoid problems. He was kind of funny, but serious at the same time. He asked one of the sisters, "Sister Pipe, what do you do if your companion starts to flirt with a man?" Sister Pipe replied, "Well I would talk to her about it and say, Sister we do do that." President Heyman then asked the followup question, "Alright, and if she keeps doing it, then what do you do?" "Oh, I'd call the zone leaders..." President Heyman cut her off and said, "That's right, you would call me directly! The zone leaders won't be able to help you with that problem, but I'll end it immediately." He then asked the district leader, "Elder Deniston, what do you do if you go to teach a women, and she is there alone with her eight year old daughter?" Elder Deniston said, "Umm..." President Heyman, unsatisfied with his lack of response, said, "You don't go in the house!" He then hanged his question, "What would you do if it was a women, with her eight year old daughter, and her sixteen year old daughter?" Elder Deniston again, "ummmm..." President Heyman said, "Elder, you don't even have to think about that one; you don't go in! That should be instant!" He then asked my companion, "Elder Diaz, what is your greatest source of protection to help you keep the law of chastity?" Elder Diaz replied, "keeping good thoughts, reading the scriptures," President Heyman stopped him mid-sentence and said, "That's exactly right, your companion!"

We had good interviews though; I think that the next time I have an interview with President Heyman it will be my exit interview.

But I talked to President Heyman about the branch and about what is happening and he gave me some good news. He said that when he saw that we sent five youth to the EFY event he decided that he would never let the branch close even if it stays open just for them and that we should be very happy with our efforts to help the youth progress and for having gotten so many to go on the trip. So that was the first piece of good news, then he said that he had an idea of who could be the branch president and that he would be interviewing him that same day to extend him the calling. The brother that he interviewed is called Brother Portillo and he accepted the calling to be the new branch president. Brother Protillo doesn't live in Campo Largo, but rather in Las Breñas (which is an hour away), but will be coming to our branch every Sunday with his family and will travel during the weeks to be here with us and work with the members. I only met him briefly, but he is a good guy; he is probably twenty-eight years old and he served his mission in California; so he knows English.

So with that, President Heyman said that he is going to keep me here in Campo Largo to train Brother Portillo and to help him get to know the members as well as the city. So by the end of our next transfer cycle, I will have been here for seven months and two weeks and will only have six weeks left in the mission, so I may just finish my last three months here. I'd be fine with that though; we're seeing lots of progress in the last couple of weeks and we expect to see a rapid growth in the coming weeks.

Other than that, we had a cool experience in that we were able to attend a special conference for leaders of the Church where the area presidency (Elder González, Elder Viñas, and Elder Zeballos) of the seventy gave talks about how we can help our branches grow through the use of the Book Of Mormon, the individual conversion of ourselves and the members, and how we can work more and help the members to be more united in purpose.

We did a ton of traveling this week because of all the meetings and almost spent more time outside of our area than we did inside of it.

os amo,
Elder Burt

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