I'll start off with a brief summary of this last week:
-Elder L'Espérance and I drove up to Poughkeepsie in a blizzard.
-the zone leaders were kind enough to set us up with a thanksgiving
dinner and dessert appointment for our first day.
-I wouldn't be able to tell English is not my companions first
language if we didn't teach a lesson to two old ladies over a game of
-We've been working really hard to get this area going and we've
already got an investigator preparing for baptism.
-There's a British family in our Ward that likes me because I wear a
cap sometimes and I try really hard in "football" (soccer) even though
-I'm happy as ever
So now for the details. The following is a quick analysis of my new
area. I've learned that my area basically the northern half of
dutchess county, New York. Our area borders on Massachusetts and
Connecticut in the east, and the Hudson River is the border on the
west. My district consists of an Elder Ross, Elder Kia, Elder Kuo,
Elder Schoenfeld (who I know from my first district), Elder Romo, and
Elder Allred. No sisters. Apparently the mission has a slight shortage
in sister missionaries right now, and because of that they had to
close two sisters areas, one of which we are reopening as an elders
area. The one we are reopening has been closed for a while, and the
other was closed just this last transfer cycle. They are, however,
hoping to bring sisters back here as soon as possible, so the zone
leaders told us we will probably both only be here for one transfer
cycle and then they will have sisters whitewash the area.
Now on to other more important things. Like perhaps the most important
thing: there are members in the Poughkeepsie Ward that are British!
Aside from speaking funny and having a house that flies the Union
Jack, they also love the missionaries, which means we are going to be
getting a lot of dinner appointments there.
Now for the thing that is in reality most important: R*! R* is
an awesome lady we are teaching who wants to be baptized as soon as
she can. Apparently she was being taught by sister missionaries a
while ago before they closed that area. We've only taught her two
lessons, but by the second she picked a baptismal date. She is so
great! She even invited a friend to church on Sunday, already doing
missionary work herself! She lives in one of the craziest, most fun
homes. I am not sure how most of the people living there are related,
but she assures me they all are. I only know her, her daughter, and
her son. Apparently the dad left them several years back. Besides
that, there are a bunch of old men: uncles, grandfathers, obscure
distant cousins, etc. There is always a kid running up and down the
stairs or a funny old man doing some slapstick. Rhonda herself is very
clever and hilarious to talk to. She is actually a minister for a
different church, most likely through one of those online things. She
doesn't preach to a congregation or anything, but she goes around and
visits several people to help them and pray with them. She's starting
to teach them the things we've taught her now! We have several lessons
planned with her and she is right on track to baptism. Awesome! Also,
since I met her I've had one particular Beach Boys song stuck in my
I thought that now that I'm so far away from the city I wouldn't
encounter so many crazy people. I was wrong. Apparently Poughkeepsie
is full of them! We already met a member who thinks a doll is a real
baby. Mind you, this is a full grown woman we are taking about, not a
So Elder L'Esperance is awesome! French Canadian. Joined the church
when he was sixteen. Only member in his family, but they are
supportive of him going on a mission. His name means "hope" in French.
Doesn't get more awesome than that, does it?
Also, this last week I had the privilege of enjoying lunch with two of
my favorite people in the whole world: Mark and Natalie Pulsipher! It
was so great to see them! At the end I gave Mark a big hug, gave
Natalie an awkward handshake (I should be able to hug her though,
right?) and they gave me a package from my family. I left feeling so
happy. I am so grateful to have such loving supportive family and
friends! Love you all!
-Elder Samuel Burton
|Sam and Elder L'Espérance.|