Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Wow. It's been over a month since I left. Time is moving so quickly.
Anyway, it's been a great week. We've taught a lot of good lessons and
met a lot of good people. We found one particular person who is beyond
golden. A platinum investigator, if you will. His name is J* (all
our investigators have the most generic names...). He met with the
missionaries about 3 years ago but they lost contact. We've stopped by
his house before and tried to set up times to meet, but it hasn't
worked out until this week. We were a bit lost trying to find a
different persons house, when we turned the corner and there was J*s
house, we thought we should stop by.... Again. We walked up and rang
the doorbell. He actually answered. He said he was busy. We talked to
him briefly, and suddenly he decided he wasn't busy and invited us to
talk with him on his back porch. We started talking about the Jesus
Christ and the atonement. He was asking good, sincere, and important
questions and I could see him understanding. Suddenly he stopped us
and said, "so baptism is part of that right? We have to be baptized?"
"...yes." "What do I have to do to be baptized?" So we talked to him
all about baptism and what it is and what things he'll have to learn
and do before baptism. He said the words, "I will do whatever it
takes." So we're planning on baptizing him on the 30th. Later we
taught him about the need for the restoration of the gospel and how
Joseph Smith restored the complete gospel and church. He was
practically teaching it to us. He didn't know much about it at all,
but as we started going I could see how it was making sense to him and
he grabbed it and ran with it to all sorts of different gospel
principles. We taught him the entire Restoration lesson and several
other things beside. He asks questions that are important and lead the
conversation to exactly what we want to teach him. He's learning and
understanding better than anyone I've taught on my mission before.
It's amazing. It's brilliant. It's platinum.
Aside from J*, there have been some other more unusual people.
Specifically a man named Old School. Yes, that's right: Old School.
He's in his sixties, claims to play basketball worthy of the NBA,
speaks louder than a baptist preacher, and says exactly the kind of
things a baptist preacher would say. He talks about the holy father
and praising him on the basketball court for helping him win against a
Muslim man. He considers himself a Jewish Christian, not because he
has Jewish ancestry, just because he's both Jewish and Christian. I
don't entirely understand how that works, but he had a Star of David
necklace and a cross necklace. We couldn't get him to stop talking. I
probably only got to say a total of 7 words and only during the brief
moments he stopped to take a breath. He said he wants to play
basketball with us. Elder Gleason from our apartment played basketball
in high school, so we might bring him and try to teach a lesson to Old
School too.
In other news, our p-day trip to Manhattan has been postponed yet
again due to rain. We're determined to go next week no matter what. My
companion has only ever been to the Brooklyn bridge, so I've actually
already seen more of New York than he has so I'm going show him some
favorite places of mine next week.
I'm still loving it here! I'm happy as ever!
New York is fantastic, New York is crazy, New York is.... PLATINUM.

-Elder Samuel Burton

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