Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Some run away, some come

Hello everyone!
Another p-day has arrived and things are looking up. The leaves are
just starting to change here and the weather has been nice and cool,
but I suppose seasons change here around the same time they do back
home in Utah.
I've met some fun and interesting people. We got so close to getting a
J-dub (J.W. or Jehovah's Witness) to start being taught! That never
happens! Usually they start running at the word Mormon, but I suppose
we were all in an elevator together, so he had to listen to us at
least until we reached the ground floor. He seemed somewhat
interested, but in the end his J-dub instincts own and he decided not
to learn more. They're kind of scared of us.
Anyway, another cool experience from this week happened when we were
walking down Manhattan Avenue, which is in greenburgh, not Manhattan.
We teach a lot of people on that street. So on Sunday night as we
walked, we saw the sister missionaries in our district walking not far
off. We waved to them and suddenly they started freaking out, running
towards us and telling us to come quickly. We rushed over and followed
them as they called after a guy who was walking into his building.
This man was named G* and he was a huge black guy that looked
like he could take on a bear. The sisters had apparently just barely
met him. I don't know what they said to him exactly, but they brought
him to tears. He told us how he wanted to change his life. He said
he's been going around doing all sorts of crazy things, getting drunk,
getting in fights, going in and out of jail. But when the sisters
talked to him, he said he suddenly felt an overwhelming warmth and
comfort and knew he needed to change his life. We got to just quickly
bare testimony that the things we teach--the gospel--really can change
lives. So all in one night, the sisters, G*, and us elders all
happened to come to the same place at once to lift him up. The sisters
are handing him over to us to teach from now on and I'm so excited!
We also had dinner with a family in our ward, the Mortensons (who my
dear mother had the privilege of meeting when they were in Utah
several weeks ago. Small world). We shared a quick message after
dinner and, as always, asked if there was anything we could do the
help their family or any friends they could introduce us to. Sister
Mortenson said they didn't need any help but they knew someone who
did, and immediately she marched across the street to her neighbors
house to introduce her to us. Unfortunately, the neighbor's ex-husband
answered the door, and sister Mortenson said she felt it would be
better if we came back when he wasn't there. Still, I'm glad to know
we have a ward member that is actually willing to do that! This is my
message to all you back home: follow Sister Mortenson's example. Don't
shy away from missionary work; march up to it willingly and eagerly.
The restored gospel is for everyone. If every member were like sister
Mortenson, missionary work would be a hundred times more successful
and hundred times as many people would be able to find the truth of
God's plan for them. I wish I had realized how much of an impact I
could have on other people's lives before my mission.
Anyway, the investigators we currently teach are moving along, but
very slowly. We're willing and happy to stick with them every step of
the way. New Yorkers are awesome! All the stereotypes are so true, but
so false. It's amazing how some of these people have such a hard,
callous outer shell, but you just say the right thing to them and they
open up as if they've known you for years!
In other, much less important news, I just barely saw a Lamborghini
aventador. Haha. I know my bro Seth wants me to send him some pictures
of nice cars, but they're so fast I don't have time to take a picture
before they disappear! Sorry, Seth.
Anyway, it's been a good week. I miss you all, but don't worry, not
more than is healthy. Until next time,
-Elder Samuel Burton

​Picture: Sister Mortenson and two of her kids, Sam and Elder Johanson​

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