|Elder Selman with Elder Burk before he departs for home.|
|God Be With You Til We Meet Again Brother|
Monday, the night before Elder Selman left we had a really cool Family Home Evening with Dido and Angela, our ward mission leader Pedro, and his family, Alexander, Harold and Elianis. We talked about everything that has happened in our ward, and in our zone since we’ve been here. It was a really special evening. Everyone could feel the spirit, and the power of all the good that has been done in this area was such a testimony of how the Lord has guided us to help his people. It was really an awesome night.
Wednesday, all the new missionaries arrived. Wow, there was a lot to get done! My new companion is Elder Matos. He’s from Puerto Rico. He’s been in the mission for 6 months. This is only his second area, and now his first time as a Zone Leader, I’ll be training him.
|Welcome to Elder Matos from Puerto Rico!|
I’m trying to figure out how to do everything. The stuff required for us to do for migration has been challenging this week. We have 2 new District Leaders. Everyone in the zone is training. Pretty much, our whole zone is brand new. So it’s pretty crazy! I’m trying to figure everything out, and trying to teach it to Elder Matos at the same time.
On a spiritual note, Sebastian, is a 10 yr old boy that was baptized this week. He was the last one in his family to be baptized. I’m not really a huge fan of teaching and baptizing children in the mission. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but his whole family are all members, and wanted him to get baptized. So it made sense. We taught him all the missionary lessons. He was very timid, didn’t talk too much, and we initially felt kind of weird about his baptism. But after his baptism, my opinion completely changed. This week we went to go find him to teach him the new member lessons, but he wasn’t home. We tried his grandmother’s house, but no luck. So we went down the street to where his cousins live. They’re not members of the church. We walk into the house, and his uncle pulls up a chair and says, "Alright, I want to listen to you guys." So we introduce ourselves, and start to teach him. When Sebastian arrives, he comes over by us and sits down, and is all of a sudden like the perfect little missionary. He pulls out his Book of Mormon, and helped us teach his Uncle the lesson on the Restoration. It was one of the coolest things ever! He’s only 10 years old. He had all the right answers. He even taught his Uncle how to pray. We were so happy!
Also, this week, we went to do some service for Miguel and his wife Eliana, in their house. When we arrived, they were fighting about something. They were in a big huge fight, and were super mad at each other. So we decided to talk about Charity. : ) We asked Miguel how he would feel about reading a verse from Moroni 7. And he said, “Honestly, I don’t feel like reading anything, I’m just mad.” So, ok, we didn’t teach for very long. But we did finish our message, then we shared our testimony about Pride. Then we left them with Moroni 7:40 through the end of the chapter, with a commitment that they would finish reading it together, and have a prayer. He told us that he couldn’t’ go to church the next day, because he had a big work project, but we said, “Ok, Well, why don’t you pray about it. Ask God what you should do, whether or not you should go to church tomorrow.” And he said, “Fine. I’ll pray about it.” As we left, my companion, Elder Matos, said “Whoa, he’s super grumpy. Who is this guy?” It was the first time he’s met him. It’s hard to fill in a new companion of who someone really is. We have loved teaching them, and there are just so many moments he's missed.
Anyway, the next day was Sunday and guess who walks in to church?! You guessed it, Miguel. He just comes in and sits down like it's totally normal that he's there. I looked over and got the biggest smile on my face! It made me SO happy to see him there. He’s one of those people I just love. He’s just a regular guy, mad, determined he's always right. Then we meet with him. We challenge him, then after we leave, he goes in and prays by himself. He tests what we’re teaching him to see if it’s any good, or if it’s right. And look what he does—he figures it out, he humbles himself, he overcomes his own pride, and he shows up at church the very next day. It was awesome. We were super excited about that!
Thank you Mom for the long list, and long letter. I’ll work on that in my journal. I’ve been thinking a lot about the list. It’s pretty unique to think about my future from the perspective I have here, as a missionary, working for the Lord. Hopefully, when I get home, I will be able to have a plan for my future. My biggest worry is the whole job thing. It’s the one massive hang up that has me worried. It’s the only thing I have no idea on what I want to do. I’m working on some future plans, but this time on the mission is the best time to think about what comes next. I’d rather make future decisions here, while I have the spirit, and less distractions, then wait until I get home. Thank you so much for your letters. I hope you guys are doing great.
I love you,
This week, I have a really funny story— (Mother note: *only boys think this stuff is funny, Moms think it’s horrifying, so sad, and absolutely humiliating. But I’m putting it on his blog anyway, because he’ll want to remember it.)
Elder Matos and I went to a lesson. We get there, we sit down, and we’re going to teach about the Sabbath Day. Everything seems normal. Well, at least Elder Matos acts totally fine all the way there, in the house, and right up until he sat down. And then he started having stomach problems. His tummy is rumbling, he’s looking weird, and as we’re teaching the lesson I can tell he’s not feeling so great. It was obvious he needed to go to the bathroom. He didn’t really say anything, but we end the lesson, and he asks, “Sister do you have a bathroom?” Unfortunately, we’re outside, and there’s no man in the house, so he can’t go in. So she stalled, and said, there’s no one inside. We say goodbye, and start walking down the road.
We get to the next house, and they’re not home. We head to the last house, which is couple of blocks away, and we end up stopping to contact someone in the street. I had no idea that this was an emergency type of situation. So I talk to them, I get their name, their number, and Poor Elder Matos was sitting there stressing out, squeezing his Book of Mormon, he didn’t know what to do, and he didn’t say anything. So finally he says, “I really need to go.” So we hurry down the road, we get to the last house, a Sister in the ward, and ask her if we can use her bathroom. She says, “Sure, but it’s occupied right now, but should be free in a minute.” Relieved that we found an option, I step inside. But as I’m standing on the doorstep, Elder Matos said, “Elder Burk…No...” I walk in, turn around, and look at Elder Matos. He won’t come in the house. So I walk towards him. I still hadn’t caught on to the full picture of what was going on, but I turn around and go outside to see what’s wrong, and I ask, “What are you trying to say?” I walk out, take a deep breath, and whoa, I smelled it. There was no longer a question in my mind of what had happened. My new companion had the worst possible scenario…yep, all down his leg, in his pants, and there you go. Oh man. It was so bad. Let’s just say, He dirtied the covenant. I just couldn’t contain myself. I seriously started laughing outloud. I was so glad it wasn’t me! So…yeah… we waddled back to the house, let him get all cleaned up, and were able to make it to a different visit. Wow. That was memorable. Pretty awesome. Ha! (SO…glad it wasn’t me, oh man. Poor Elder Matos. He’s never going to live this one down. Never.)
Dad and Braden listening to Mason's voice recording from this week. Oh man, we all have so much empathy for poor Elder Matos.