Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Building Zion in the Bronx

I realized last Sunday that when I got to this are, there were only two active member in our are: Brother Ford and Bishop Filion.  Since then Bishop Filion has moved away, but we now have 5 active member in our are: Brother Ford plus Ruby, David, Heather, and Tylil.  Our numbers have quintupled!  Combined with the other areas in our district  we've seen five baptisms in this area  each of them truly solid baptisms--converts with burning testimonies who will never leave the church and who will be a great strength to it in the future.  haven't before had the privilege of seeing so much improvement in one area.  It makes me feel like we're actually making a significant difference in the future of this ward.  It makes me think of the stake theme for the Holladay Stake: "Building Zion, one heart at a time."  Building Zion in the Bronx is a lot of work, but we're doing it!  Pulling out the diamonds in the rough and fitting them nicely into a crown.  it's hard to bring people to be "of one heart and one mind" in a world that is very much so "every man for himself," but these people are doing it somehow.  I would love to see what becomes of this place if the church here continues to grow as it has been.

We're still working on bringing the penitent change of heart DJ has had to manifestation in his actions. Addictions are hard, but he's a real trooper!

Ruby is still trying to coerce her family into coming to church with her, and many of them do come on occasion, just not consistently.

We met a member named Jean Smith the other day who is active in the West Bronx ward, but lives in our ward. She says she wants to switch over now because she hasn't been able to make new friends in that ward since she returned to activity (our Ward didn't exist when she went inactive). She seems super awesome. She's from South Carolina and has a good, thick southern accent. Heather Richards is also from the south and we expect them to get along nicely.

David will be blessing the sacrament for the first time next week. This week, his son Tylil passed the sacrament for the first time in years. The whole family plans to go do baptisms for the dead in the temple soon. They are also looking to move closer to the church, which is a bummer because then the Zone Leaders will be in charge of them, but they really need it. Their buildings management wants to get them out before their lease is up, so they're making it a miserable place to live, redoing the apartments above, below, and on the sides of them, filling the air with dust and nasty smells. The ceiling in their bathroom has fallen through due to the carelessness of the construction workers in the apartment above, and management isn't planning on fixing it anytime soon. They need to find a better place!

I've been going through some health challenges lately--more annoying now than painful--which has on occasion interferes with our proselyting, but I'll be seeing the doctor tomorrow and hope to get everything sorted out. No worries.

Got to go now. Love you all!

-Elder Samuel Burton

1. Cooking Guyana food with Sister Ramdhan.
2. The 87th Street Chapel. It's massive! And so fancy! Rumor has it
was site choice number two for the Manhattan temple.
3. A picture of Elder Allred (previous Zone Leader of mine) and myself
at transfers. He's gone home now. :(
4. Me and my broken heart!

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