Thursday, May 7, 2015

Though your sins be as scarlet

April 20, 2015  (week 34 in Argentina)

Hola de Argentina, el mejor de los todos países! Y si, estoy desarrollando lo mismo orgullo que toda de la gente de argentina tienen! Vos sos Elder? ja ja!

Donde pienso?.. mmmmm si! Entonces hoy Elder Nava y yo estábamos cerca de la costanera y... oh whoops, sorry!  Kind of forgot I have to speak English now! ja ja (Translation ha ha)

So things have been different because as of Wednesday, it’s just me and Elder Nava living in the pension now.  Elders Flick and Stout have moved out, we were pretty sad but also happy that we can now have more space.  And by more space I mean we have a ton of space!  It was amazing to see the difference between having four people in one house down to two.  I can only imagine what it must feel like for parents to see their children move out one by one.  It’s much more quiet and a different atmosphere.  I am not saying that I miss them, but I do miss them, if that makes sense at all.  But at least we can now have much more cleanliness amongst us now! ja ja.

Juan Romero is doing great!  He has been known in the ward for a long time and everyone is super excited to finally see his baptism this Friday!  We are too!  This Sunday we were teaching gospel principles to all of our investigators and new converts and we got to hear Juan’s testimony about how he knows that the church is true and has waited for over 8 months to finally be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!  He is going to change lives someday, I just know it.  I will hopefully have pictures of him and what he looks like for the next P-day so all of you can see him!  He’s been working hard trying to be patient for his baptism and now that he can finally be a member, well he’s really happy!

This week has flown by super-fast!  I know I only have 9 months in the mission but still it feels like it’s only been a couple of weeks here in Argentina!  But now I am seeing how hard it is to find time for everyone!  Our area is huge and it’s almost impossible to see all the people that we want to see, but the thing is that God knows who needs our help and on what day.  So we do our best to fulfill our callings as missionaries.  Elder Nava and I are always surprised when we get to the end of the week Sunday night.  We have been teaching a lot of people, new and old, and helping them with small acts of kindness.  We were walking to an appointment and I felt the need to visit a house that was on the way.  We had time and got there just in time to interrupt a really big fight between a mother and her son.  I feel like God just puts us in the right place, at the right time, to interrupt things from getting worse- by sending two of his missionaries to be in between.  It was pretty funny though because the son wanted to be all Chorro (Gangster, not to be confused with Churro, the common fried stick of break with cinnamon and sugar) and was leaving and his mom grabbed his earrings that he was wearing and tore them out.  It was a tad bit awkward at first and she said she needs help with her family.  So we’ve been trying to see them, but haven’t been able to contact them.  Hopefully we can see her again.

So of course I have heard the wonderful news of the decisions that many family members are making to serve a mission!  You go guys!  But remember that in these moments we need to ask ourselves if we are really clean. "...and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach."(Doctrine and Covenants 42:14).  I wish to testify of how true this scripture is.  I can personally testify that it is not easy to be spiritually clean, but it is well worth the long and painful fight.  You may be asking yourself if it is worth all the hassle to say you were wrong, to apologize, or admit to behavior that would embarrass you if your parents, friends, or the entire world knows about it.  I wish to tell everyone who reads this letter that you can be clean again.  It is worth going to your bishop or stake president and telling them what’s bothering you.   It’s worth it to cry all the day long in prayer to Heavenly Father asking for forgiveness.  Even "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;" (Isaiah 1:18)  Have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that he may heal you.  Preparing for a mission is harder than buying all the things necessary to leave, saying goodbyes, and giving up your social life.  It is a wonderful checkpoint to help us prepare to be clean.  So as a witness of what it is to enter the mission field unprepared spiritually, I can say this "Do not be afraid to tell the truth." The Gospel of Jesus Christ is to cry repentance to the world, and we cannot do that if we ourselves need to repent.  I hope that every one of my family members know I love them and will never think anything less of them if they have to wait to go on a mission or need to change things in their past life so that they can become a better person.  This is not just for those preparing to serve missions but for those who also wish to become better.  Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.  If you need to talk to your bishop, follow the prompting of the spirit and watch your life become uplifted.  I testify that Jesus is the Christ, and through Him we can become White as snow.  I love you all and hope that you may feel the spirit more in your lives.

Elder Burke

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