Today is transfer day and Elder Johanson is out of here. He's heading
up to Middletown in Orange County which is part of the Newburgh zone.
He's going to be companions with Elder Judd, my MTC companion! Lucky
him. Elder Judd is great. I am going to be companions with Elder
Nielson, who I have never met. The only information I have about him
is he's coming from South Manhattan and he looks like Buzz Lightyear
(according to every single person I've talked to). Exciting! I'm sad
to see Elder Johanson go, but I think he's more sad to be leaving. He
keeps saying "I didn't realize how much I loved this area until now."
Even with all the rich Jews that slam doors in our faces, our area is
So it's been a good last week with Elder Johanson. We visited a lot of
investigators and members he wanted to say goodbye to. We helped a
member move a lot of toys that are being donated to the scarsdale
nursery. We watched general conference and had waffles at the mission
home in between sessions (these are the benefits of being in the
Mission President's ward). General conference is great as a
missionary. We get to watch TV for once! Plus I seem to have a very
different perspective on the talks given now.
We had to move J*'s baptismal date back a week, only because there
are a lot of Ward activities this weekend already and the bishop is
going to be in Brazil. Elder Johanson is pretty sure President Morgan
will let him come back to Scarsdale for the baptism. We had a great
lesson with A*, who I think should be adopted into our family,
because he and Dad would make great friends, he's a history buff, he
likes his second amendment rights, and I like him. He's like a good
friend. He just need to start coming to church again (and he is pretty
determined to do so now). He watched the Priesthood Session with us
and has been talking with the Bishop about receiving the priesthood.
We gave him a priesthood blessing and he gave us tacos for a little
going away party for Elder Johanson.
Just this morning, Elder Johanson gave me our posterity tie, a tie
handed down from trainer to trainee containing a record of our
trainer/trainee genealogy back to Elder Gaillo. We have Spanish blood,
which just means the first elder on the tie was in the Spanish
program. Somewhere along the way someone immigrated to the English
program. I am the ninth generation since the posterity tie began.
In other news, A few days ago we got a media referral for 21
Bloomingdale Road, which is one of our favorite places: The New York
Presbyterian Mental Hospital! Right away we knew it was going to be a
fun one. So we went again to the huge complex on top of a hill
surrounded by lovely old trees and green lawns. We went in to see a
man named J* in Unit 3. The other units we've visited people were
much more secured than this one. In the past we've had to ring a
doorbell, wait for someone to come unlock the doors, go into a small
room, have them lock the door behind us, give them our IDs to be
scanned, have them unlock another door for us and lock it behind us
again. In this one, we just were let in by a doctor and had none of
the other security procedures. We started talking to the guy and he
seemed completely normal, meaning not like you would expect a resident
of a mental hospital to be. We gave him a Book of Mormon and talked to
him a bit about it. As we were talking I noticed the pupils of his
eyes were extremely small. I figure this was a side effect of some
medication they had him on. Then, before we left, he told us he wanted
to show us what he can do to the sun. He took us to a window and
stared out directly into the sun for a while. He then told us to watch
the sun. "Look, now it's in a circle! Now it's out of the circle.
Watch it move! Want me to put it in the circle again? There, it's in
the circle. Now I'll take it out again." Of course, nothing was
actually happening to the sun, but we just nodded our heads and
exchanged glances. He told us his power was a gift from God and was a
power Joshua in the Bible possessed. He also told us he went to the
U.N. to show them his power and they put him in the mental hospital.
He wants to show it to the leaders of the LDS church to see if they'll
"take him." We just told him that if he ever had any questions about
the Book of Mormon or needed anything else, he could call us and we
left. I think the sun may have melted his mind.
So that's it for the now. I'm looking forward to getting to know my
new companion and teaching the gospel to infinity and beyond!
-Elder Samuel Burton
|Here's a picture of my district. Every single companionship is different now, but this was it before today.Sisters Groberg, O'Rullion, Smith, and Hobbs; Elders Me, Johanson, Schoenfeld, Holtom|
|Waffle Group during conference|