Monday, August 24, 2015

May I be in the right place?

August 18, 2015  (13 months on mission)
It’s good to finally talk again, seeing as my mom is having a heart attack when I can’t write her on the usual Mondays; it’s what happens here in Argentina.  We had a holiday yesterday and so everything was closed so we went to proselyte instead so we could have a good regular Argentine P-day.

So being the mission nurse I get a lot of calls, and everyone knows me, not to mention I know them. It’s probably one of the greatest blessings that I can still remain in contact with all of my companions before Elder Stock, but only when they are sick! ja ja.  Still it has surprised me that almost all of my companions have called me within this month!  It’s absolutely awesome.  Also I get to help them out with their medical problems, but it’s good to chat with all of them and also see how old areas are and wards and branches.  I´m really blessed to have so much responsibility, but also it gets stressful sometimes too- since I am training, as a district leader, and also trying to teach all of our awesome investigators.

During this past week we have been working with Doris and her progression in the gospel, sadly she didn’t come to church and we haven’t been able to find her yet to know why.  Hopefully we can see her tonight!  But with other investigators we have Natalia. She’s a girlfriend of Alexis Alegre who is a member, and we found her when we were teaching the Alegre family.  She lives there with them and when we talked to her she was so nice and sweet and said that she has seen a difference in a “Mormon family more than others”.  So she came to church and really liked it.  She’s very shy and she’s 20 years old.  We talked to them about seeing if they had plans for marriage (her and Alexis) and they said yes!  The only thing is that it’s for next year.  We talked to them yesterday about the Law of Chasity and man was that a lesson.  We told them of the great blessings that come from being married and that it is a commandment from God.  We are working with them to see if they can marry faster so Natalia can be baptized, but for now, let’s just say they didn’t take it as you hope they would.  It’s really interesting to see how when people really have to change something in their life that they never are happy in the moment when they recognize they are in the wrong, and have to change.  I totally hate that feeling, but it’s a correction that brings better security and protection.  That’s why we change everything to follow Christ.  The changes ARE worth it right?  I had to make big changes and corrections in my life but now I’m better, I’m happier, so who cares if I did feel dumb for doing the wrong thing or embarrassed.  What happened was I changed and now I look at that experience as an opportunity to be humble and show my love for God by obeying his commandments.  A mechanic has to make corrections on a car otherwise it won’t run, or it will be broken after a while.  If he did something wrong, or placed the wrong nut or didn’t tighten a bolt just right, he won’t look at that and say, “Well I don’t want to look stupid”.  By saying I was wrong and having to fix my mistake shows the love for the overall goal of trying to better one´s self.  The mechanic goes back to make those changes so that the car is healthy and problem free, therefore we too must accept the fact that some things in are life aren’t right, and so we must fix them, even if it is a third, fourth, or tenth time trying.

Cutting bamboo with machetes!!
We are teaching a 16 year old kid named Enzo and he is a stud.  He is the nephew of Gabriel Lopez (Convert of Elder Allen) and he’s progressing good.  He reads and understands everything we teach! When we found him it was through Gabriel and honestly Gabriel as a recent convert of 2 months is already a missionary!  He was saying things that missionaries say and we didn’t teach him anything, so we asked him if he wanted to serve a mission and he said yes!  So I was like, alright we are gonna get you there!  So we are working with him on being a missionary.
We cooked pizza for hermana in our branch

We did a service project to help a sister in the branch with her bamboo that she wanted cut.  So taking the opportunity of having machetes in our possession we had a lot of fun cutting bamboo (also we use them as awesome combat kung- fu walking sticks! ja ja Chiste!)  But we cooked pizza for her and she loved that the missionaries would come and help her with such an act of service. Service rocks!!!!

I forgot to mention this in my past emails but basically... there isn’t anyone here that feeds us.  I have been cooking like a Peruvian here in Pirane.  I think God has a good way of helping us men develop the skills necessary for providing for our families.  My last companion could cook like a chef and I learned a lot from him and now I am cooking just like he taught me!  Yep that’s right, I now can cook, and I’m pretty proud of myself.  I haven’t ever really liked cooking (still really don’t) but I feel that if the time comes that I need to cook something, I can do it.  The only thing I suck at is bread.  Oh if I could only cook bread!  I’m still working on that part! ja ja!  But as they say in Peru when you have cooked something really tasty as a young single man: “You are ready to marry”. Ja ja Grinning face with smiling eyesAlso I will be cooking all Argentine foods for my family when I get back home, and possibly for my dates.  QUE TRUNKY!

Keep trying to do the right thing! Even if you feel like you can’t or you have tried so many things before!  Christ and His Atonement doesn’t have a “You only get ten tries” type deal, nor a “you must be this tall to enter” into the kingdom of heaven.  If you are frustrated, be humble, “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.¨ Ether 12:27.

I love you all and always remember that you are in my prayers, I do indeed miss you all every day.  You are all what drive me to put my best into these two years, because I know God is blessing and will bless every single one of your lives as He has blessed mine.

Con Amor,

Elder Burke
"Cooking like a Peruvian"- Giso que cocine!! (stew I cooked)
Rice, Sausage/meatballs, onions and some awesome
plants- oregano, perjil, cebolla pequnia, cebolla con albondigos

In Resistencia with Elder Morales and Tippets

Kung-Fu Bamboo

Cleaning the spiderwebs in our pension-
bamboo stick comes in handy, I couldn't
reach these with the broom

MMMMM....Cobweb Cotton Candy!!

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