Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The heat of battle

The other day we were walking down the street in ninety-two degrees
with sixty-eight percent humidity. A homeless man called out to us, so
we went over to talk to him.
"I just need you guys to answer one question for me: is it hot or what?"
"Yeah it is!"
"But it's hotter in hell, so keep on the good path, brothers!"

Wow this week has been busy (and yes, also excessively hot)! The
sister missionaries got to see two of their investigators baptized and
confirmed. We missionaries were in charge of a ward party. We've got a
ton of people we're trying to teach all at once! It's great!

D* and Heather are sooooo awesome! They have jumped right into
church life! I called them up on Monday evening to see if they were
going to come to Family Home Evening at the Watermans, and they said
they were already in the middle of their own family home evening! They
have a family scripture study every night! They came to the ward part.
They've come to church twice in row now. We taught D* a bunch of
the commandments yesterday and he already knew most of them and is
living them, including the Word of Wisdom! I feel like we are doing
absolutely nothing to prepare him for baptism, he's doing it all
himself! I just am lucky enough to get to watch him do it.

DJ is doing well too, but things are going much more slowly. He's
trying so hard with the Word of Wisdom, and I think he's getting a bit
discouraged. It's been a real battle, but he keeps telling us, "It's
gonna be okay. We're on Jesus' side, and that's the winning side!" He
does NOT want to move his baptismal date again. We keep praying for
him. We gave him a priesthood blessing too. We had a really strange
lesson with him the other day. His friend R* was there at the
beginning, and was acting kind of funny. He said he'd stay for the
lesson, but he was saying he lost something we were looking for it
(though we didn't know what "it" was) for a few minutes, then all of a
sudden he said he had to go to football practice and took off. Then,
in the middle of the lesson, we discovered a pack of cigarettes that
was under a pillow on the couch, only there were no cigarettes inside.
Instead there was a crack pipe. Apparently R* had left it there. DJ
was so upset by it. He was into crack cocaine twenty years ago, and he
says it almost killed him. He just kept saying "Why would he bring
that in my home?!" He was all shaken up for the rest of the lesson.

The missionary-hosted ward activity on Saturday was the Olmstead 2nd
Ward Pioneer Day Fair Extravaganza! More so than celebrating the
actual pioneers, we were celebrating the cultural background of the
many diverse people in the ward and how they each are pioneers in the
church for their families. It was a lot of fun and we had a good
turnout. Ruby brought some family and they loved it. Elder Pulu (who
is Tongan) taught the elders and the young men how to do a Haka, which
we performed. Miss Bailey particularly loved that. She was saying,
"It's like you're warriors in the army of God!"

It's already time for Shock Calls again! This cycle just flew by! I
hope I don't get transferred, because I'd miss both D* and DJ's
baptisms, on the 8th and the 15th respectively, but Elder Nelson and I
keep saying we're going to whitewash an area in Connecticut together.
That would probably be the only way I would be content leaving this
area already. I love it here too much!

Today we'll be out in ninety-five degrees with sixty-seven percent
humidity bottle hunting near City Island! The Kriegs (a part member
family Elder Nelson and Elder Pulu are working with) are taking the
whole district. They know everything there is to know about antique
bottles and they live in the coolest place in the Bronx: City Island
itself. It's going to be a fun day!

Thanks for all the love and support! Until next week...

-Elder Samuel Burton

No picture this week, but instead, a VIDEO: The Haka. The missionaries
in the back are (from left to right) Elder Johanson, Elder Wallace,
Elder Waterman, Elder Unice, Elder Me, Elder Nelson (and Elder Pulu is
the Tongan leading the whole thing). The Young Men in the front are
Clifford, Filipe, Tylil, NJ, Devon, and Jo-Jo. Also, Ruby is the woman
sitting on the right.

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