Monday. I was with Elder Brasilero, our Zone Leader, back in the
Poughkeepsie 2nd Ward for a day! It was awesome! I got to see so many
people again! The Ashworths, the Skrilloffs, some random kid who we
tried teaching when I was there but it never really worked out, and
most significantly, R* and D*! If you remember from last
year, R* and D* are converts (mother and daughter) who I
prepared for baptism. D* just about had a heart-attack when she
saw me step out of the car. We caught up briefly, and then cut
straight to my main concerns: they haven't been coming to church.
R* has let her job get in the way and has only been to church a
few times since I left the area. Her son Z* turns eight next
month and we talked about what things she needs to do if he is going
to be baptized (primarily coming to church of course). It was such a
privilege to be back in their home, see them again, and frankly call
them to repentance. It was bold, but not harsh. The spirit was there,
and I know R* felt it. She should have her work schedule arranged
to return to church activity soon. Z* said he wants me to come
back and baptize him. I'm going to be following up with R* over
Facebook to make sure she goes to church, reads the scriptures with
her family, and has family prayer and FHE. After all, the missionary's
"white handbook" says we share responsibility for our converts even
after we leave our area. It is such an interesting experience to go
back to a convert's house with an extra year's experience in
missionary work and testify to them with a power I feel I lacked when
I was assigned to the Poughkeepsie area. I am confident R* is back
on track. We closed our meeting with a testimony of eternal families,
saying that one day, if she and her family remain faithful in the the
church and it's teaching, they will go to the temple and be sealed for
eternity. As we were leaving, R* took me aside and told me how
grateful she was for coming back and saying what I said. She said she
needs the push.
That experience alone made my week completely fulfilling, but besides
that we have been doing more good work in our own area. I met a quiet
old man named C* on Sunday who we will be teaching now. He loves
with a family of recent converts and just seems like the humblest man
on the planet. He's had some family issues and most of his kids kind
of shun him now, but he interestingly has very strong feelings on the
importance of good family relationships. I'm excited to work with him.
We also had a good lesson with a struggling member, which I think may
have been a help to keeping her active in the church. We've been doing
a lot of yard work type service reminiscent of my days in Burton
Landscaping & Maintenance, but so far hayfever has not been too big
an issue. Just the usual eye-itching, sneezing, and coughing, but only
in mild forms.
Thanks for your love and support! Until next week...
-Elder Samuel Burton
Our excursion last week up Mohonk Mountain.
1. Mohonk Mountain House
2&3. The ladder portion of the hike.
4. Sister Perkins taking a break halfway up.
5. The tower at the top (you can see this tower from our chapel!)
New Paltz is the cluster of buildings barely visible in the middle.