Monday, December 19, 2016

Night Adventure

October 10, 2016

On Thursday we went to Santa Marta for our Leader’s Council.  We had a great training about the Book of Mormon and how to teach with it.  We also talked about the faith we need to have to find people to teach.  It was really cool. 

We had a practice during the training where we all had to leave the building and go out and contact people.  We found people and extended an invitation for them to come to church.  We’re going to teach the same lesson to our zone tomorrow during our zone meeting. 

Thursday were in a trio—my companion, myself and our Sister Leader.  She travelled with us to the meeting.  We live so far away that she needed to travel with us for safety.  We left at 6:00 am.  We arrived at the bus station at 6:30 pm, after the meeting, and there were no more busses going to Valledupar.  Fantastic.  We had no clothes to change into, and nothing to sleep in or stay over for the night, so we were in the terminal, and trying to figure out how the three of us are going to get back home to our area.  Valledupar is about 4 ½ hours from Santa Marta.  There are a lot of little towns between them, so we studied the different routes.  Someone told us that if we take the taxi to one place, we could get another taxi that will take us to the next pueblo, then from there, there should be a bus at 9:00 that will take us to Valledupar.  So we say, ok sweet!  We can  do this.  

So we get in a taxi, then another lady joins us, since she’s going to the same place.  She helped us along.  So we get there, and we wait for another taxi, but ther are no more going in the direction we need.  So cool.  Instead, there are a lot of trucks passing by.  They are like little double cab trucks, with a bench in the back, with a cover, and 15+ people will pile in, like the old Toyota T-100 that I drove in high school, but with a little plastic shell over the back.  And 15 people will pile in the back and drive away.  But sometimes it gets stopped by the police, and they will pull people out of the back if there are too many.  So, as missionaries, we are not allowed to ride in the back of these trucks, but there were no other cars going, it’s 9:00 pm at night, and this is our only option to get to Valledupar.  So we found a truck that had room for us to get in the cab.  The three of us squish in together with the driver.  It was pretty sketchy, late at night, but we finally arrive where we were supposed to catch the bus, but we had missed it.  It has left before we got there.   Now we’re stranded, in a tiny town and it’s getting later.  We find a guy, in a way sketch van, but he’s headed to Valledupar,  and he’ll take us all for $5, which was really cheap.  We didn’t feel really good about it, but we didn’t see any other option.  So we get in the van, with a bunch of other people, and he takes us to the next little pueblo, then says he’ll hook us up with another bus that will get us all the way to Valledupar, that was his brilliant plan.  But when he stops, he says, sorry guys, the other bus didn’t come, but you’ll have to get out.  Look for a Transporto—by this point we are now in another place, and you are supposed to buy tickets in a terminal to ride on the bigger transport busses, but when the bus doesn’t fill up, the driver will pick up hitch hikers sometimes, charge them, and keep the cash.  It’s a little bit illegal, but there is not really any other option at this point, and now it’s super late.  

We talk among the three of us, and we start hitch hiking.  That’s right, three missionaries, past curphew, out of our area, hitchhiking so we can get home.  One bus finally stops, picks us up, charges us a lot of money.  It gets us to the next pueblo, and now it’s past midnight.  There are now only cars on the road.  Some of them say they’re taxis, but they are just people who want to make some money, and know that anyone who needs a ride, will have to use them.  So we paid one of them, and finally made it all the way to Valledupar—at 2:00 AM.  It was quite an awesome, sketchy, fun adventure. One for the books, for sure! 

That was our grand finale after leaders’ training.  Lesson learned.  Next time, we will plan to stay overnight, and not try to travel home until the next day. Ha.  At least we made it home, alive, and were able to get up and do all the stuff we needed to do.  God definitely helped get us through the night.  A lot of prayers were said, that’s for sure.  And answered.  There you go.

Friday—We were working in our area today, looking for new people.  We went to an investigator we have had forever.  He has 2 kids that left for a mission, and another one that is super active.  Both he and his wife are not members of the church, because they are not married.  They have taken FOREVER to get their papers out.  It’s a common problem for so many people here.  They have met with so many missionaries, but have never really progressed. 

These last couple of months they have really started going to church consistently and have started to make a change.  Now we are helping them work on their papers to get them married.  It’s a pretty complicated process.  We went to their house tonight.  He reminds me of my middle school teacher, Mr. Falash, from Lake Hazel.  Only he’s older, and very spiritual.  He looks like he could be a member of the Seventy.  When he prays and teaches us, he speaks with the spirit likes he’s a Seventy.  But he’s not actually a real member.  We’re working on that.  He is actually a teacher for the local school, he’s really poor, but has such an incredible spirit.  We were at his house, and he pulled out a big wooden, animal skin drum, and plays for us.  It was awesome. So I said, ok, show me what you’re doing. So he hands me the drum sticks, and I start playing a little bit.  And then pulls out another drum, with sticks, and it’s a lot bigger.  Then he brings out a tin can with sand in it, and gives it to my companion.  Then he pulls out this reed thing with wires, and hands it to the member.  So now we’re all playing like we’re part of a band.  We made the coolest rhythm!  I was in music heaven.  We had a great time.  We bonded throught rhythm.  Ha.

We are really doing all we can to help them get married.  We hope it all pulls together to help them be baptized by the end of this month. 

Tomorrow, we are going to have our zone meeting, so we are preparing tonight to get ready to teach the missionaries everything we learned in our leader’s training.  It should go great. 

We also had a really great experience with Miguel Martinez.  He’s finally putting everything all together.  We talked about the Book of Mormon.   He’s become so humble, and more receptive.  He apologized for the way he acted a couple of weeks ago.  We had a problem one night, when we came over, he totally ignored us and even left to go into his room.  He didn’t want to come out.  So we told his wife, ok, we’re not going to come and visit him anymore, if he didn’t want us to be there.  His wife is a less active member, and we would still keep in contact with her, but we weren’t going to force him.  Then General Conference weekend, he had some really cool experiences.  He watched the different conference sessions with a member, and other members came to visit him.  And he really became humble.  He was very apologetic about his behavior, and has now had all of the missionary lessons.  All that’s holding him up from being baptized, is getting married.  So tomorrow, we are going to have a little sale on his behalf.  We made sandwiches, and bought some juice that we are going to sell to the missionaries at zone conference, to make money to help pay for their marriage. 

Also, sadly, he has too much debt.  It seems that any time he gets a little money, he spends it.  He can’t seem to save it for very long. That’s why they have never had enough money to get married.  So today, their family had nothing to eat.  So they read the Book of Mormon, and when they finished, a project came for his work.  They paid him $200, which is a lot of money here for one project.  He was so grateful for the work.  He slapped it all on the table when we were visiting, and said, “Look Elders, today I’ve got money!  Tomorrow, I won’t have any money, because I will go and pay down my debts. But Today I have money!  If we could go to the notary right now, and get married, we could do it.”   So, I opened my Book of Mormon, and said, “Miguel, we will guard your money.”  He trusted us, and put half of it in my scriptures.  So now I’m charged at keeping it safe so he can get married and follow Christ and be baptized.  He said to give it to him when everything else is ready for him to get married.  It was a humbling act of faith. 

We also watched a testimony of Elder Holland about the Book of Mormon.  We are hoping that he can keep having more spiritual experiences, and be ready for his baptism at the end of the month. 

Missions are the very best!  

Love you guys, Elder Burk

No comments:

Post a Comment