Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Lord of the Vineyard: Return of the Elder

September 29, 2015 

 In every crazy and incredible moment of my life, I can truly say that the Lord of our Vineyard, the Captain at the Helm, and dear shepherd does truly guide us to His lost sheep and knows every, single one.  Never forget that every decision that you make in life, that is good, will be guided by His hand, and that every small and seemingly "unimportant" part is meant to be there.  So, if you are in a pickle or are struggling, don’t worry, because it’s part of the plan and you will be fine.  Hold on, don’t leave the boat.  It’s always darkest before the dawn, that’s why Christ suffered before He was resurrected and that’s why Joseph smith struggled with the adversary before seeing the first vision. The greatest and brightest light always comes after passing through darkness.

I will start by telling a great story that happened to us.  First off, Elder Stock and I went out just like any other day with plans to see a lot of people and to find new people to teach.  Well we went to a street in a small subdivision where there is a street called the 1st of May.  Well we had like three people we planned to see and so we went to the first.  I noticed that there was a young woman going door to door selling posters.  We passed her once while we were going to the house of an investigator, but they weren’t there... dang it!  So we went looking for an inactive whose direction was on the far end of the street where we came from.  So we went in that direction and we passed the girl who was selling these posters again.  When we found the house of the inactive they told us that they were already dead but their family lives down on the other part of the street where we just came from but further down.  A little frustrated we walked again to the other side of this long road and we passed the girl yet again.  So, when we found the house... they weren’t there.  Ok well there went our plans for the morning (there were other people we tried to see before as well).  So I felt the impression to stay on the street and contact, my companion as well.  So we made our way back to where we were contacting and nobody wanted anything, then came the Idea... talk to the woman selling the posters.  But seeing as she is going door to door selling stuff it would be awkward to go to her while she is selling stuff and even be waiting like a creep for her to pass to the next house.  So being smart we just went contacting door to door slowly but surely intending to cross paths.  The thing is with us being young, out of country residents of Argentina, is that a lot of people make the rumor that we are here for the woman.  So as you can see the amount of fear we have to talk to young women who are pretty, can lead to dumb rumors.  But I obeyed the promptings of the spirit and when we crossed paths it was probably one of the greatest manifestations that God does know what is happening in your life.  The very beautiful young woman told us that she was a member but hasn’t been going to church lately.  She’s selling posters for money and is from a different providence in Argentina that is very far away.  She didn’t feel comfortable in the church, in fact she feels alone.  No one talked to her and she wasn’t going to church.  To be in Pirane as a missionary and to find someone who needs your help that day, who is just passing through for a few days, is like having a rescue ship looking for a small raft to save in the middle of the ocean... with no quardanantes, nor a sense of direction, only the guidance of a higher power.  She said she needed to talk to the elders and needed to go back to church.  We both testified to her that we were guided to her and that there are no such things as coincidences.

Me and Elders Montero, Coates and Munoz
Big news... I’M BACK IN MENDOZA AL SUR, CORRIENTES!!!! Yes that is right we were Emergency transferred, and now there are only two elders in Pirane.  I’m bummed because Hermana Laura, is getting ready for her baptism on the 10th, but we know she will be fine with Elder Zuniga and Elder Montes.  I was completely shocked to receive a call from Pres. and hear "Elder Burke you are going back to Mendoza Al Sur Corrientes".  I was so excited and bummed out because I’m going back to my favorite area in Corrientes, but also now I’m leaving Doris and Gabriel and so many other awesome people.  The hardest thing of being a missionary is the amount of goodbyes you have to give.  There are times where I wonder if I will ever see every one of them again.  Facebook nor emails nor letters can create the love that a missionary, a member, a brother that is formed during our stay here in the places where we are.  I miss everyone, including my family.  But I’ve gotten to the point where I know now what will it be like when I go home.  Excited to leave to a known area called home but in doing so... we leave our other home.  It is so hard.  So we said goodbyes and packed and left in the morning.  Gabriel was there and we talked for forever. I will miss him as one of my best friends.  I couldn’t talk to Doris face to face nor call her, but at least I could let her have a letter.  I’ll miss them.

Elders Montero, Burke, Sandra, Elders Munoz and Coates
So we are a giant area here in Mendoza al sur because it’s one area.  But with four elders we are trying to do everything.  Elder Munoz will be leaving after conference this Sunday and then Elder Coates from Utah, Elder Montero and I will be in a trio until Coates goes home at the end of this transfer.  So it’s all weird but we are having fun and preparing a woman named Alejanda to be baptized and then later her kids.  Also we did an open house right when I got here for the church. Everyone was super happy to see me and I got to see Juan and Pedro again!!!  Oh my gosh!!!  I was so happy and crying to see so many friends.  Also Pres. Zarur was happy, well not to see me, because he’s blind, but to hear my voice again. ja ja.  This week we are preparing people to see the movie "Meet the Mormons", then Conference, and also a baptism in between! ja ja!  Woohoo!  This week is gonna be awesome and a ton of sweeeeeet.

Love to hear from everyone and to see how y’all are doing.  Love you!
Elder Burke
Minecraft Selfie

We only have one mattress na chiste (joking) ja ja!

Ate the lizard whole!

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