Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Prospering by degrees.

So we were giving service at a soup kitchen yesterday. One of the homeless people provided me with a most urgent piece of information. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, our church has been scheming to build a great satanic regime. They are studying us as children and picking out the smartest ones to place them in positions of power throughout the world in preparation for the eventual takeover and Mitt Romney turned against us and revealed the whole plan to an ex-marine blogger that published it all over he internet! "So your satanic plot has been discovered so there's no point in infiltrating and you should just give up and go home!"... Or so says this one-eyed, old homeless guy anyway.

How's that for an email opener?

Anyway, it's been another pretty good week. Z* (Rhonda's little boy) had his seventh birthday party last Saturday and we helped Rhonda with it. It was great, especially because he invited his friends from primary! We gave him a present: a little homemade missionary tag that said "Elder Storms" on it (he has his dad's last name). Whenever we go over he steals our tags and wears them around the house, so we figured he could use one of his own and start getting him used to the idea of serving a mission! Haha.

Spring is finally coming around. The temperatures been creeping up slowly for a while now and we got above seventy degrees for the first time this year just yesterday! It's so nice. I think I'm already experiencing the forerunning of hay fever season though. I haven't seen a single bud on a tree yet, but I'm already starting to sneeze all the time! Agh! This might be a rough spring. So many trees... So many...

We also tracted into two new investigators this last week that both live just a short walk from our house, which is super convenient. One of them is a guy right around JS* age (JS* is the guy the other Elders baptized several weeks ago), so we'll probably bring JS* to as many lessons as we can.

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned a man named G* who Elder L'Espérance and I tracted into several weeks ago. He's a genealogist, so family history has been our attention grabber for him. Last week we brought Brother Tompkins, a member who is a genealogist himself, to our first real sit-down lesson. Brother Tompkins got there fifteen minutes early, so by the time we arrived they had already determined three different ways they were related and seemed like they'd been friends for years. We taught him and his wife about why we do family History in our church and it ended up being a kind of funny, reverse order restoration lesson. We explained how we believe families can be together forever through sealing ordinances we do in the temple, which need to be done by someone who has priesthood authority, which was restored by Joseph Smith. We also talked a lot about the Book of Mormon. He was fascinated by the history side of it. After a good long discussion in which we tried our best to keep Brother Tompkins away from the super deep stuff, Brother Tompkins told G* about how he came to know that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and how he consequently joined the church. When he bore testimony, I saw a spark of something in Gary's eyes. By the end of the lesson he was eager to get into the Book of Mormon and pray about it. His wife was significantly less enthusiastic, but was very kind. We'll have to work to win her over before any progress is made there. 

When we met with K* this week we dove into the commandments and he made it quite clear he's got a lot he needs to work on. He wants to change his life around, but I'm just hoping he's got the drive to do it.

Elder Glick and I are doing well together. He's probably the exact opposite of Elder L'Espérance's personality, which is actually quite refreshing. Today we're going to go on a hike to see some bridge over near New Paltz with the rest of the zone. I'll try to send pictures later. That's all for now. I love you all! Thanks for the support!

-Elder Samuel Burton

For now here's a picture of our chapel:

The bridge we hiked to and across, the view from both sides, and Elder
Glick holding a frog we found in the creek.

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