Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Harvest

This week has been very rewarding. If we consider the beginning of the
week to be Wednesday (because you last heard from me on Tuesday) then
we started off the week with a day of interviews. To begin this day,
Elder Nielson and I interviewed Sister Eastman and Sister O'Rullion to
fulfill Elder Nielson's responsibilities as Districts Leader. We then
each had our interviews with President Morgan. During my interview, he
asked how I have handled taking over the area. I told him it had been
a rough start but everything was going well. His face then assumed the
devilish grin of a child that knows a secret (not an uncommon face for
him). He said, "Good, because now you need to get Elder Nielson ready
to take over the area." I said, "okay." Obviously irked that I wasn't
displaying more interest in the matter, he continued, "before the end
of this transfer cycle." Still I kept my suspicions to myself,
determined to draw this secret out of him using his own methods
against him. I could tell his childish side was dying to tell his
secret. After a short while, President Morgan realized I wasn't going
to petition him for further explanation, so he started asking
questions instead. "Now what might that mean, Elder?" Finally I
conceded my suspicion, "it might mean that I'm being transferred this
cycle." Satisfied, he nodded (still retaining his childlike grin),
"Yes, it might mean that!"
I'm still going to prepare for anything this next transfer; President
Morgan is definitely still revising parts of the transfer plan, but
there is definitely a good chance I could be transferred elsewhere in
just a few weeks.
Still, there was one more interview that day, and one I was most
anxious for: John's baptismal interview. We had gone over all of the
standard questions with him beforehand to make sure he wouldn't feel
nervous at all.  President Freihoffner (1st counsellor in the mission
presidency) conducted the interview. Of course John was cleared for
baptism! We finished filling out his record and had a great lesson at
the chapel before he went home.
The next day, We took john to the Darger's (members in the Ward) for a
lesson. We chose this particular family because John knows them from
seven years ago (as calculated by Brother Bill Darger) when he first
met with missionaries. We learned the names of those missionaries:
Elder Alger and Elder Smith. We had a great lesson, making sure John
had been taught everything we're supposed to teach him before baptism.
We taught him about baptisms for the dead, and he was so excited when
he learned he could be baptized for his father who passed away. Bill
Darger volunteered to help John prepare his dad's information for
temple work. After the lesson, Bill Darger Facebook messaged former
Elder Alger to inform him that John was being baptized. Unfortunately
no one knows how to contact Elder Smith. Bill Darger gave him John's
phone number, so John got a call from him that night. Brother Alger
then skyped in to the baptism on Saturday. It's amazing to think how
much the Lord prepared John in those seven years between the two sets
of missionaries. The night after the baptism we took John to the Ward
Halloween party. The next day he was confirmed. That same Sunday,
Percy received the priesthood. The plan is for John to receive the
priesthood next week.
Basically, this week has been a week of harvest, a week for the fruits
of our labor to come forth. How appropriate that it comes in October,
at the time of the real harvest. And how appropriate that in my
scripture reading his morning I happened to be reading in Alma 26,
particularly verses 5-8.
Anyway, I'm excited for Halloween! Today for a zone activity we're
having a pumpkin carving contest. Sister Morgan will be judging and
the pumpkins will be on the mission home porch over Halloween. I'll
take pictures to send later.
For now, all is well out in the mission field. It may be time for the
harvest, but for us missionaries the season is not over yet, so we're
going to keep working hard.
Until next week,
Elder Samuel Burton

A photo from John's Baptism (Elder Johanson came), and Inthe Halloween
spirit, here are some pictures from the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery:

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