Monday, July 6, 2015

For Grandpa

July 6, 2015 (week 45 in Argentina)
Hola from Clorinda!

So we are still working with our investigators, Pablo and a couple others. Pablo is doing alright and will be baptized still on the 18th. It’s what we are planning for and he is studying and showing a huge amount of faith and diligence in his decisions.  He has had some hard decisions to make especially as he comes to recognize that he isn’t happy with his friends that don’t really share the same beliefs or values as he does.  He is fighting off a ton of ridicule. And also he is working hard to serve God more than his girlfriend.  Both Elder Goycochea and I have had the same experience that brings both of us to be the best teachers for him. It’s awesome to see how Heavenly Father sends us to the areas with the right companions and the right investigators that we can help.  It’s been pretty trunky talking about girlfriends- Elder Goycochea and I with him, but it reminded me that there are things in this life that are hard for us to let go and put in God’s hands.  For both of us, it was to leave our girlfriends and now we are helping Pablo make the decision that he thinks would be best for him.  It’s understandable to leave someone you love so much and do what God wants, we both have felt that hardship in our lives, but we are doing good and we haven’t died yet! ja ja

A tragic event has come to pass as I have been away from home. I have received news that my beloved Grandfather Burke from my father’s side has passed away.  I received the news as I was leaving from the cyber and I was walking in the street to the bus.  I received a call that my parents wanted to talk to me and my mission president connected me to them.  I feel somewhat sad that I can’t be there for the funeral nor can I help comfort my family more than with words from a computer keyboard.

You will be missed Grandpa Burke- can't wait to see you again!!
I know that my Grandpa Burke is ok.  As those who die in Christ they too shall live as He does.  It makes me sad to think he is gone from this world, but it’s just a passing thing.  In reality it’s a new way to look at life and how short it really is.  Our time here in the world is not at all long enough for what we want, but it doesn’t mean that we will be able live afterwards.  Christ was resurrected for a reason and that reason was to show God’s purpose to everyone- that death is NOT the end.  It is just a phase, a time separated, until we may see one another again.  This is the work of God, our Heavenly Father, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  Christ was resurrected so that we all may have hope of seeing our loved ones again, that we will not be cut off from the rest of our family, if we do our best to follow Christ.  Immortality is free, but eternal life is a reward.  I wish to invite all who read to understand that Christ was resurrected and received glory, because as our example he obeyed all the commandments of his Father.  He is our exemplar to show that to become better and perfect is only through Him, all will live again and those who follow His example will receive exactly what He has.  I love my grandfather and miss him dearly, and I cannot wait to see him again.  All those who are affected by the loss of such a wonderful and influential man, I hope that all is well and that you are all comforted by the Holy Ghost as we all move through this life missing a great part of our family. I love you all.

Elder Burke

June 30, 2015

Dear Grandma,

Grandpa and Grandma Burke
I’m here in Argentina and I received word of what happened yesterday.  I hope that you are ok and that you know that I love you so much.  My dad told me that he was flying over to see you.  I don’t really know much of what has happened since or how you and the rest of the family are doing supporting the loss of Grandpa, but it’s my desire to hopefully uplift you and the rest of the family to have the same hope that I have now.

I don’t know if my lack of an emotional response is due to my experience of seeing death as an EMT or that it just hasn’t hit me yet that Grandpa passed away, but I know he is ok.  I’ve seen differences in families when they react to death with a sure testimony that they will see their loved ones again, and when they don’t have such knowledge.  It’s my firm belief that Grandpa will live again and that we will see him again. The dark veil of separation from those who live and those who have passed away seems thick because we can’t see them, but they are still there.  The scripture says:

Now if we be dead with Christ, we also believe that we shall live with him also.  Romans 6:8.

Christ was resurrected and I know that if we follow Christ, we too will live like him. It hurts to be so far away from you grandma and that I can’t do more for you and the family, but I want you to know that you will see Grandpa again. Your heavenly father knows what you are feeling, and will always be waiting to hear your voice when you pray at night.  He will help you always.
In the name of Jesus Christ amen.


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