|Elder Mason Burk|
Voice Recording #1:
Well, this week, I was thinking about something I wanted to share with you. It was something I was studying. I picked up the hymnbook and decided to study some hymns. I was reading Hymn #29 in the English Hymnbook--The Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. I picked it up at the beginning of my study, then ended up studying the hymn for an entire hour. It really touched me. I had to read it 3-4 times.
There are so many things that we do as missionaries. Everyday we talk to a lot of people. In this mission we don't have to work very hard to contact people. We can get into anyone's house. Everyone is very friendly, and they all talk to us. The hard part is getting them to commit to something. Sometimes it's easy to lose faith in people because we seem to work through them so fast. Or sometimes we may judge them too quickly, and choose to walk past them instead of stopping to talk to them. But after studying this song, I have a new perspective on how the Savior sees people.
va. 1 "A Poor wayfaring man of grief hath often crossed me on my way." That part is really clear that there is always someone in our lives who is in need of help, or is suffering in some way. As the song goes on, it talks about this man he finds. Every time he helps him, he gets helped. When he got the man a drink of water, it says that he then "never thirsted more."
In vs 5, he healed the sick person, "I had myself a wound concealed, but from that hour I forgot the mark, and the peace bound up my broken heart." The majority of the time when you help somebody, it's really because you need something. We're all sick in one way or another, and we all need some form of spiritual healing. Whether it is to forgive someone, to forget the past, or forget some mistake we've made, or a relationship that is struggling. We all have some mark that is hidden, and we all need that spiritual help that we receive when we help to heal somebody else.
In vs. 6 "He asked if I for him would die." Are you really ready to die for him?? Maybe a lot of people would quickly say yes. But when he comes to you on three street, or your back porch, or when your kid comes up to you... are you ready to do it--For anyone, if it means you are doing it for the Savior? That really made me stop and think--for anyone??
In vs. 7 "The stranger started from disguise." That part is really true. "The tokens in his hands I knew; The Savior stood before mine eyes." He's in disguise everywhere you go--every person you talk to, the Savior is there. The commandment is simply to come here to earth to learn, to remember Him. Every person that makes you mad gives you the challenge to forgive. The Savior is always on the other side. The challenge is to forget the person in front of you, and see past their imperfections, and see the Savior standing there behind them--see the hope He has in that person, the light He has given to that person, feel the love He has for that person. In the end, you are helping Him. It is the same man, everywhere you go. It's the same help He needs from you, that He is going to give to you.
When it says, "He spake and my poor name he named, 'Of me thou hast not been ashamed. These deeds shall thy memorial be; Fear not, thou didst them unto me.'" We really have to look, find, and see that the person next to you is the Savior. If you see people that way, you will never go without what you need. If you wake up everyday and treat people like the Savior, you will heal your spiritual wounds. Everyone needs healing. But you'll never be healed focusing only on your own wounds. We have to find the Savior in everyone, and in doing it, we will be healed.
At the bottom, it states that this hymn was written for the prophet Joseph Smith. They sang it while they were in the prison. It was the last song he sung. When I read that, it really touched me. We can all look everyday for help from the Savior, but that help usually comes from the person right by us, the one that is probably the hardest to love. You know who that person is. As soon as you read this, a name popped into your head, it's there right now. Think of that person. Think that the Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief is right behind those eyes. God's invitation is that you look for that person. If you can learn to love the Savior that is behind him, then you have done your work.
Serve every person you meet. Love them like the Savior would. Don't just love your neighbor as yourself, love them like the Savior. You should love them more than yourself.
Hope you guys can give it some thought. He's always there, you just have to look.
Voice Recording #2: To answer some questions
Hey Mom, I'm super excited to read about your service opportunities this week. You've always been such a great example of service, my whole life. Thank you.
I'm really excited about Brinley's awesome costume for career day--CIA Spy. Ha!
I finally figured out that here in the mission, I have lost all of my muscle strength. I haven't gained weight, but I'm not very strong. We walk all the time, but we sit and study, or sit and teach.
I'm happy to hear that you were able to help with the ward baptism. I can't believe that the whole zone went to the baptism, and the mission president?! That's crazy. I told that to my companion, and we both laughed. That would never happen here. It's just so different.
We live in a house made of cement. We have metal beds. We make our own breakfast and our own lunch. Then we eat at Sister Lurda's house. She's a really old lady, almost like a pioneer here in Colombia. She's been a member for 38 years. That's a long time for our area and these people. She's a real trooper. I'll try to take some pictures of our house next week.
Traffic and houses are very different here than the states. But life is pretty much the same, eat-sleep-walk-live. It's pretty good.
I hope you guys are doing good. I hope you have a great week. Maybe some of the people over there can make time to write me... At least I have Mom.
Love you Mom! You're the best!
|We had Family Home Evening with the Gonzales Family|
|Elder Burk and Elder Selman in Valledupar, Colombia|
|We took a hike as a zone activity today up a hill.|
|Our hike led to the top of the will where we found this black Jesus.|