Wednesday, February 18, 2015

FenDeR bender

Okay, i'll get straight to transfers. I am staying in Poughkeepsie
with Elder L'Espérance, but I'm moving from Wappinger Falls to Hyde
Park (where the zone leaders live). Interestingly, Hyde Park is also
where FDR lived and they take great pride in that fact. We were put in
such a luxurious apartment when we got to this area; we knew it
couldn't last, and we were right. We're moving in with the Zone
Leaders and our current apartment will be occupied by a new set of
sister missionaries! So our Ward is now going to have six
missionaries. This is a bit strange because the mission is downsizing
right now. It peaked at about 260ish missionaries and they have since
been trying to bring it back down to 200ish. As a result, our zone is
being shrunk down to just two districts. So while every other unit in
our zone is loosing missionaries, we're gaining two more.
There are good and bad parts to this change. Good: we get to live with
the Zone Leaders (living on our own we're starting to drive each other
crazy) and our area gets sister missionaries which are desperately
needed. Bad: we move out of a really nice apartment and lose almost
all our teaching pool to the sister missionaries. The only
investigators we're keeping are the K* Family, the rest are
going to the sisters because they're all women. So we've more or less
spent the past two cycles building a teaching pool to give to someone
else as we start from scratch again creating another teaching pool in
the same area. Yay! Fun. These sister missionaries better be good,
because we're giving them some solid investigators right off the bat!
In other news, a girl named T* backed into our car when it was
parked on the street. Luckily she was considerate enough to leave a
note with her contact info. So yesterday we drove down to Scarsdale to
Ted Herrmann's Auto Body, Inc. and had him take a look at the caved in
fender. This was interesting for me because Ted Herrmann was a name I
saw in the area book when I was in Scarsdale. What I knew about him
was he is Jewish, has been fixing up the mission vehicles with the
mission for years and loves the missionaries and the church. When I
met this guy I was overcome with the intensity of his New Yorker-ness.
Honestly he may be the most New York personality I've ever met. Right
when we walked in he proceeded to tell us all of his connections to
the mormon church. Get this: his great great grandfather was a good
friend of Brigham Young. He never joined the church (too jewish to
allow for that) but he did accompany Brigham Young on the move out to
Utah with all the pioneers. Lived in Utah his whole life and is buried
there. His family eventually ended up back in New York and now he runs
his small auto shop in Scarsdale. We gave him the car to work on and
fifteen minutes later he had fixed it so the door would open and close
properly, but said we'd need to order a new fender. Then he asked us
about what he was listening to in our car. I had forgotten that I had
left my iPod plugged into the.
Car and it was playing a talk by S. Michael Wilcox that my mom had put
on the device. The part he listened to talked about ordinances for the
dead and he said he loved it and loved the way it was explained. We
had a good conversation about it and before we left he we invited him
to start meeting with the local missionaries again. I told him we'd
have them give him a call and they could set something up.
Missionaries have tried with him for years, but after the conversation
we had, he seemed like he was seriously considering joining the
The investigators we have back in our own area are doing pretty well.
We were getting weird vibes from M* about her baptismal date so
we had a good talk with her about it and learned that she has a bit of
a drug problem that she hadn't told us about. She got pretty emotional
telling us about how much she wants to get her life back together and
start over again. We talked about how that's exactly what the gospel
can do for her. She probably won't be baptized on the date she set
now, but she is definitely making huge steps in changing her life
around to be ready for it.
We had an amazing restoration lesson with a woman we tracted into
named S*. As we taught her about how the church, gospel, and
priesthood was restored, she told us "this is exactly what I've been
waiting to know!" She was so excited when we told her that we could
prepare her to be baptized by someone who holds the priesthood
authority that was restored through Joseph Smith. (Looks like the
sisters will be doing that though...) Everything about the restoration
just clicked with her, it all made sense to her. In the middle of he
lesson we just stopped and said "are you feeling this?" She definitely
was. We explained to her that that was the Holy Spirit and that by the
witness of the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of these things. It
was awesome! Sounds like she's had a crazy past too. Her ex is in
prison for another 8 years for dealing drugs. I think after she had a
kid, she realized that she didn't want to be raising her in that
environment, so she left her boyfriend and has since been trying to
turn her life around and teach her kids about God.
Now we're just getting ready to hand all these solid people over to
the sister missionaries. We're spending most of our p-day packing,
cleaning, and taking our stuff up to Hyde Park. Tune in next week,
when we might go to Vassar College Library to see their original copy
of the Book of Mormon. Until then, I love all you guys and thank you
for your letters, emails, and prayers.

-Elder Samuel Burton

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