Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When it rains...

Another week of excitement in Westchester County! The crazy homeless
population, the affluent Jewish community, and everyone in between are
still here waiting to know the truth!
It's been really rainy here. I've been out in rain so heavy I can't
see more than a few yards in front of me, and yet, the sun is still
shining. It's crazy weather! Elder Johanson tried to capture it in a
picture he took with my iPad.
Unfortunately, we had nearly every single appointment we had cancel on
us this week. But in spite of this, a lot of really great things
happened this week too!
I can't recall if I've ever mentioned a guy named R*. Awesome guy,
about my age. He came up to us in the Library and wanted to talk with
us sometime. So recently, we had our first lesson with him. We taught
him all about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. It went well.
He's fun to talk to. He's sane--which is more than can be said for
some people we teach--and he's willing to listen and act on what we
teach him. So five days after our first lesson (Make note: only five
days) he called us to tell us how things have been going. His words
were "I've been reading the book you gave me. It's changed my life."
He told us that he's been reading everyday since we gave it to him and
wants to meet again to talk about how exactly it has been changing his
life. When we ended the hung up, Elder Johanson and I danced around
our apartment for a few minutes and did some fist pumps. YES! We can't
wait to meet with him again. Only problem is he's working and
attending college and hardly has any free time to talk to us. When we
do meet with him though, he'll probably have read the whole thing at
the rate he's been going.
Another great experience happened when we had our weekly car fast. It
was on Sunday this week (along with our food fast). We managed to get
a ride to our dinner appointment in Tuckahoe after church, but we were
stuck there for the rest of the night. We don't have anyone we work
with living in tuckahoe, so we ended up tracting. We knocked a few
houses and quickly got the impression that we were not wanted in this
area. We both a strong feeling that there wasn't anyone in this
neighborhood that wanted to talk to us, but that there was someone not
to far away. We needed to leave this area and to go to a different
neighborhood, so we started walking away. We walked a while before
coming to a park. An old lady was walking her dog, so we decided to
use a helpful but dangerous tactic for street contacting: Instead of
keeping a safe distance away from the dog, we make sure to walk close
enough that it would start barking at us. Of course it did started
barking and jumping up at us and altogether acting like a certain
golden retriever I know (Lucy). While it was doing such, it was also
dragging the old lady closer to us. She laughed and said "he really
likes you." And thus the conversation began. We talked about her dog
and played with him a bit, I told her about our dog, Lucy, back home
in Utah.
"You're from Utah?"
"Why yes, I am. I came to New York to serve a mission for the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Have you heard of it? Let me
tell you all about it."
We then talked to her for over an hour just standing there in the
park! We learned that she ran into missionaries before briefly, but
around the same time she was diagnosed with lung cancer and her life
got so busy that between hospital visits for chemo therapy and working
full time she never found time to meet with them again. She just
finished a round of chemo and is now waiting for the doctors to tell
her how well it worked. We told her so much about our beliefs. She
said she's catholic, but as we taught her, she seemed to like our
beliefs about life after our life on earth. She's said she's not as
knowledgeable as most of the Catholics that she knows, but she's
always trying to learn more about Jesus Christ. So we introduced her
to the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and told her
all about it. She said it makes sense that there were prophets in the
Americas too, since God is the God of everyone, not just the
Israelites. She was eager to get information about when and where our
church services were and what they were like. We're going to introduce
her to the Sister missionaries on Sunday. I can't wait! She was so
kind and so willing to listen and talk with us!
A lot of other cool things have happened this week, but that's all I
have time to tell about now.

Until next week,

Elder Samuel Burton

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