April 11, 2016
|Happy 22nd Birthday Elder Burke|
Birthday hot cocoa and cookies at Hermana Sylvya's home
Well a whole lot of thanks goes out to all that remembered me for my birthday. It was just what I needed - to feel loved as I am out here in Argentina. My birthday was great and what we did is as follows:
6:00- get out of bed to go to Resistencia
6:40- run to catch the bus that would leave really soon!
7:00-8:00- watch lighting storms as we travel in bus.
8:30- get off on the street to walk 15 blocks to the church for our meeting.
8:30:15- realize that there is pouring rain
8:30.16- accept that you are already wet and walk to the church continuing to get wet.
9:30- have meeting
11:00- end meeting and then go to bus stop
12:30- leave to Las Palmas and eat what people sell in the street... ew
2:00- make/eat sandwiches bought in a kiosco
4:30- leave to teach.
8:00- eat hot chocolate and cookies at Hermana Sylvya´s house
9:00- plan for next day
And that was basically my birthday. It was just as good as and even better than the last year! Sadly I didn’t remember the rest of the Taylor Swift song that I was singing with my comp. “I don’t know about you! But I’m feeling twenty-two!!!!” jajaja but it was great!
Well, throughout the week we have been working for a living! Literally we were going hard and teaching all that we can. Status update on Espifanio: He and his wife want to get married and they love the church. They got to the church way before we did and it was like an hour difference! We were shocked and asked at what time did they leave? They said "like around 7, walking to the church." The church is a 20 minute walk and it starts at 9, so that was different!!! Jajaja But, it was super cool to see how they already know everyone there in the church. It’s like that here a lot in a small town.
Another note is that we are working hard with the members. I love it when members say "Elder when can I come out and work with you both?" or when they say "Yes elder I would love to go to an appointment with you". We basically are a family and we go on talking about our lives and sharing with them and then teaching and testifying of Christ.
Gordon B. Hinckley said that we need 3 things to help a new convert stay strong in the church:
1. A friend
2. A responsibility
3. Nurturing from the good word of God.
If we have the chance to help new members stay active, why don’t we help them in those moments? It’s sometimes hard to think of, as some of us (including me) don’t know what it’s like to come into the church and get to know it. We´ve known the gospel all our lives, for some of us, so how can we help those in need feel like they´ve always been there? Well we should try to put ourselves in their shoes and think; if I was in some other place and I didn’t know what was going on… how would I want to be treated? What comes to my mind specifically is that someone comes and just talks to me sincerely and lovingly gets to know me. Yes, I know there are a lot of people, but shouldn’t we get to know every single one? If we are going to be the body of Christ, shouldn’t we at least know what everyone’s names are, their hobbies and their gifts and talents? It’s important to get to know one another because that is one of the greatest blessings to have in the gospel; a web and connection of good friends that can benefit you and bring you to know how to do things and see different perspectives to help your understanding of the gospel. But for a new member, they just need to start maybe with a handful, but the more people that want to build a bridge with them will make them stronger and they will never forget how they felt knowing the members of the church of Christ literally and try their best to be like Him.
So don’t be scared to introduce yourself to somebody new or present somebody that you brought to church, because they are probably more scared to talk than you are.
We were dropped by some people and it’s sad because the main excuse is basically they don’t believe it or don’t want to hear anymore mainly because they just don’t want to put the work into it. Like read, pray sincerely, get to know the church. It makes me frustrated and upset that people make decisions based on little or no information at all. :/ But oh well, we can’t force people to believe it, but if you want to know the truth you’re definitely gonna need to put the work into knowing if it’s true or not. If it’s good or not. It’s a characteristic that I like about the church, we are taught to know what we believe and have a personal testimony of it, not follow the traditions or religious practices because our parents were members and we are too. Personal integrity is what I value in my life and in the lives of others, it’s what helps us strive to do what is right and also do the work needed. You cannot expect to cut a tree down if you don’t first lift the axe and start swinging. So give it your best effort. That is how you pass the test of faith, give YOUR best effort.
I invite all of those who read this to strengthen their testimonies, or build them, of Christ and of His true church by giving their best efforts in reading the Book of Mormon and really trying to see if it is true. When reading the Book of Mormon, bring questions not answered, problems not solved, or decisions to make and see Heavenly Father answer your questions, give you the solutions, and show you the right choices to make in your life. I testify that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book here in the earth and if you read it, with sincere prayers to know the truth you will receive it. Do not doubt, but be believing. I give my testimony humbly in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love you all