Monday, March 3, 2014

The light on the horizon

Querida familia,                                                    3 De Marzo 2014
On Monday we had a conference with some of the zones that were close by to ours with President Heyman in which he went over some of the basics of missionary work and taught a few new principles as well. (This was why we didn't write last Monday). After the conference, I was talking to President Heyman and he said to me, "Elder Burt, it seems like you've been in this mission for five years. When are you going home?." I told him that I was going home in April and he said, "well that's coming right up." Then today in his weekly letter to me he writes me a letter that started out by saying, "I want to share something that has nothing to do with missionary principles, but rather principles for after the mission..." His letter then went on to talk about getting married in the temple.

So I've been working a lot with my companion, Elder Valverde, on his English this last week and teaching him phrases that he needs to know if he wants to sound like he knows what he's talking about. So this last week I taught him how to say our Pledge of Allegiance in English. I thought that seemed like something that he should know. So now if someone asks him how good his English is, he just says the Pledge of Allegiance in English.

So there has been a man that we've been kind of teaching. More than anything we've been teaching his wife and his daughter, but haven't really been teaching them or passing by so much in the past couple of weeks because they were never going to church and to make things worse, this guy, whose name is Rito Aguirre, is always very drunk and doesn't ever let us teach anything because he always asks us, "why are there so many bad things in the world if God is good?" We answered his question the first three times he asked us, but he always asks us that one question. But here's what happened with him: Elder Warth and Elder Gates, the other missionaries in the city, were walking in their area and saw this guy walking in the street drunker than usual. So they asked him if he needed help and he said yes. so they said that they were going to help him get back to his house, but little did they know that he lived twenty blocks away. So they walked with him for an hour until they got him home and he didn't get hurt or robbed like he probably would have had they not helped him. Well a couple of days later we saw this man in the street watching a soccer game in the park and he asked us to come over and talk to him. He was still drunk, but not just his usual level of drunkeness and he just wanted to say that he was extremely grateful for what our companions did for him.

It was also in that conversation with him that he said that he wanted to change his life and be better. So we set an appointment with him to come to his house and start teaching him again. Well he wasn't there for that appointment when we went to see him. So a few days later we saw him again and we sat down with him. Again he said that he wanted to change his life, but was still his usual level of drunkeness. We told him that he had to stop drinking completely and he said that he was willing to do it.

Well all of that happened a couple of weeks ago and we never found him again until just yesterday. He was completely healthy and sober. He said that he hadn't drunk for a week and that he was never going to drink again. It was amazing. He even looked ten years younger. He said that he realized that he was a completely different person when he was drinking and that he would rather be the person that he is when he is sober because that person is happy and enjoys helping others. So we set an appointment to meet with him and start teaching him and also made a separate appointment with him to do service.
So now we are thinking that he could easily progress and become the future branch president here in Quitilipi.

We've been working more with Isabel, but she is still feeling somewhat overwhelmed; she feels like she won't be able to do everything that is expected of her. So we talked about how much progress she has made in the past couple of of weeks and how her life has changed. She said that she feels more peace, she has more energy, she doesn't fight with her kids anymore, and she has more desire to act and to do. I told her that the Spirit fills us with the light of God and that He can work with us in two ways:

1. He gives us light and knowledge instantly like flipping on a light switch in a dark room that suddenly fills with light.

2. Little by little, line upon line, and precept upon precept He teaches us and gives us light and knowledge in such a way that we may not notice that we've changed until we look back and see what we've accomplished. This was compared to a rising sun; we can see the light long before the sun comes over the horizon, but we know that the sun is there and then with a little bit more time we have the perfect brightness of noon day.
os amo,
Elder Burt

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