Friday, October 9, 2015

Do good unto others as you would have done to you

So happy I got my hat back- Elder Briceno is happy too!
September 21, 2015

Ok... where to start....

So as usual we are kicking it hard here in Pirane, but even harder as we have to walk in the heat of almost summer.  It gets to about 42 C (107.6 F) here... and summer is in December... and everyone says that this isn’t anything.  But luckily I have received my lucky hat that I bought in Saenz Peña from Elder Goycochea in my old area of Clorinda.  I’m so freaking happy to have my hat back!!!

Zone meeting- Asada and mashed potatoes after
So this last week we had the Zone meeting, it was pretty good seeing as at the end of it I got to cook an asado for everyone (BBQ) with ribs and mashed potatoes.  I bought 11Kgs (24 lbs) of potatoes at a great price of 50 pesos.  Think of a lot of potatoes... and times that by two.  Because that still isn’t a ton, but for the amount of elders (there were 12) it was good.  It was funny because there is an Elder that is huge and freaking a tank, properly named Elder Sargent.  Dude is a military type and loves to eat, so as I was mashing potatoes in the kitchen of the Church he comes up to me and gives me a big hug and says "Burke you´re my favorite" and then puts me back down on my feet.   It’s easy to be loved when you give them boys’ food.  I think I understand fully now the expression of “the way to a man´s heart is through is stomach”.  But I love doing it and if I get praise... well shucks guys thanks :D. But we also learned a lot during the meeting of how we need to be striving to baptize.

What we talked about a lot was becoming better missionaries and bringing others unto Christ through faith in Christ´s atonement, repentance, and then baptism.  We talked about how we must be bold in calling people to repentance and that we need to be defenders of good.  It´s like one of my favorite quotes said by Edmund Burke "The only way that bad will ever win, is if good men do nothing."  I´ve come to see the importance of doing good at all times, and being very direct with love to show the light.  We don’t get visits from Christ or angels, like on the road to Damascus for Saul, or as did Alma the younger.  But in these last days that doesn’t mean that we can´t appear to someone and speak with a voice of thunder to bring good tidings of great joy.  To invite people unto Christ is to invite people to change.  Of course, they are gonna have second thoughts and doubts.  Of course they will feel uncomfortable. To change is exactly that: to leave your comfort zone.  But as always, the change that the Savior works in the hearts of men only brings never ending joy and security.  So I learned a lot and now we are working with the village drunk, as of yesterday, to see if we can convince him and help him change, for he told us that he wanted it so.

We also did a service project for the famous Tucan!  I wrote about him a couple months ago, he is the coolest leather man I have ever met, a bit of a haggler, but still I figured that he needed help.  He had a huge concrete pole outside of his house that he wanted to use for his house.  The only problem is that it weighs over 1000 lbs and there were only six of us.  But was that a problem? NO. So we made a system with logs to roll and pull and push this freaking monster through his window and to the other side of his house.  It was definitely a really cool experience and a whole lot of work, but we did it.  A lot of the missionaries in the mission do orders from him so they can receive cool things like belts and cases for scriptures, but they were kind of stupid and gave him money before they got anything.  He’s definitely sleazy, but at the same time I feel that instead of being like every other missionary who talks to him solely about business, we could serve him and show him that Missionaries come to treat those who are sick, not those who are already healthy.  A good missionary serves everyone; a greater missionary serves even his "enemy".  It was good to see him happy that we could help and even though he probably won’t be going to church soon, he´ll remember the small act of kindness we did for him and when it comes his time, he will understand the truthfulness of our message.

FHE with familia Lopez
Yummy french toast we made for FHE
We had a successful Noche de Hogar (FHE) with Doris and Gabriel.  We had a lot of people there and even an investigator named Eli. I feel bad for her because her brother and sister were baptized and want to go to church but they don’t really have a supportive family.  We are working on talking more with the parents and helping them around the house.  Their mom yells a ton and it’s mostly because she has a bad knee right now.  I get what she’s feeling.  It’s hard to be patient when you are hurting all the time.  Reminds me of my back.  But anyways, they came to the Noche de Hogar and man was it fun.  We didn’t teach anything and Gabriel was a boss and guided the whole thing and the other members of the rama came too.  We got to see an amazing group bond together and it wasn’t the missionaries trying to do everything.  That’s when relationships between members and investigators become strong.  So we cooked up french toast and the rest was theirs.

Always do your best with what you got.  The more I live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the happier are the people who are surrounding me.  It’s helping me bring about good in the world, and it does the same for everyone else.  I hope everyone enjoys these letters, because as in 7 days, its T-minus 9 months.  It’s flying!!!

Elder Burke

Huge service project for Tucan
Got it through the window and into the house
moving 1000 lbs concrete pole 

VICTORY!!  We did it

Being a gaucho and all!

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