Monday, 11 February 2013

Our explosion of a weekend

I've been tired as...  Well, really tired.  
I think we set a new record of rules broken this week.  I'm not bragging about it, but man oh man.  The main thing was being home on time.  Out of the 7 days, I think we were home late at least 4.  Whups.  Elder Rozendaal also forgot about some of the rules around children and put one on his lap this week too.  Double whups.  This was also after the same hyperactive little girl gave us a wet smooch on our cheeks.  Triple whups.  She's 2 so what can you expect...
I'm getting sick too.  It started on Saturday and Sunday evening was a lazy one.  This morning I slept in as well, but it did me a lot of good.  I'm feeling better already.  I suppose that too is a rule broken.
But rewind.  This week was an interesting one.  We met with a lady, Louise.  Elder Rozendaal called her up one day after seeing her in the area book and we swung on over.  Thank goodness we brought a French-speaking joint teach because she's from Burundi.  If you remember all those months ago, Antole was from Burundi.  It's beside the Congo.  Anydoodle, this woman's daughter is a member in America, and she had the pleasure of being there when she was baptised.  One of her first questions to us was what makes our church different.  Good question!  We gave her a solid restoration with focus on restored priesthood and she understood it very well by the end of it.  She asked a question that took me off guard at first.  She asked what the Prophet today can do for the people suffering in Burundi.  We told her of all the humanitarian services the church does and of missionary work, but the following question pursued: Why do bad things happen to such a religious people.  Wham.  I studied that thoroughly in Turnhout and I was quick to reply.  A, we live in an imperfect world.  Sucks, but that's how it is. 
B, many terrible things happen because of people's Agency.  Because I steal something from you doesn't mean you're being punished, it's just...what I did.  It's my fault.  Then I whipped out a scripture in 3 Nephi.  It's also at the end of Malachi 3.  Essentially, it reads that sometimes it doesn't seem to profitable to be faithful, but in the end, we will be able to see between the righteous and the wicked. 
Louise had been frowning, but after reading this, she lifted her head with a warm smile on her face.  It was just the answer she needed to hear.  It was a very spiritual lesson.  She's willing to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.
Then the rest of the week was...less than productive, I won't lie.  We seem to have a pattern where our weeks are somewhat slow, but the weekends are on fire.  We met with Eric again, but unfortunately, Daniel (the one getting married) had other business.  We decided to read in the Book of Mormon and answer some of his questions.  I can't remember what he asked, but it spurred a discussion about the Priesthood.  I think we taught one of the more comprehensive lessons on Priesthood authority on my mission.  By the end, there was no doubt he knew exactly what we claim and he agreed that he needs to read the Book of Mormon to truly know.  It must be difficult for people to hear that, despite their good intentions, their baptism wasn't...complete.  We bore our testimony and that too, turned out to be a powerful lesson.  It surprised me too, because Eric kind of floated in during our lesson, but with just us and him, I learnt how interested he really is.  I see high potential in him.
Ah, we also went over to Family Rodriguez.  We brought a French-speaking friend this time, ho ho.  We taught a somewhat slow Gospel lesson because of translation but they too understood what was being taught.  The mother still has an idea that loving God and people is good enough, and that organized religion isn't important, but we tackled those issues as best we could.  Hopefully, as they read they'll figure it out.  They also fed us a delicious dinner with these adorable little cheese pans.  They had this skillet-like machine with a hot-plate on top and space to stick little pans in underneath.  You cook your chicken on the plate and warm up cheese underneath and pour that melted cheese over potatoes, meat or other vegetables.  It was super good.  Mmm.
I also ate tongue this week.  It was surprisingly good.
AAAAaaaand we met again with family Setta.  Holy man, that was an awesome lesson.  Ivan, the young man we originally met on the street, had read in the Book of Mormon!  Woo!  The parents were busy, but we sat down and taught a total of 7 children, 10-18, the plan of Salvation.  They loved it too!  The oldest of the group were asking awesome questions too, like what the difference is between the 3 kingdoms of glory and what we believe Hell is.  At the end, the eldest told us that he was very interested in the degrees of glory, because all he's ever heard about is heaven and hell, black and white.  It was nice for him to know there's something more.  They all agreed to read further in the Book and even accepted a soft baptismal invitation (an invite without a certain date)!  The mother of...half the children (because they're from 2 families) came in at the tail end of the lesson and told us how much she appreciates us teaching the children because "You are planting the seed of faith in their hearts."  Wham, here's Alma 32, have fun!  It's super awesome teaching these children actually, wide eyed and listening carefully.  We laughed a bunch in the lesson too, because, well...I'm a goof.  It wasn't stressful or stiff at all.
So that was our explosion of a
We called Willy one evening and he said right away, "Elders, the Lord has answered my prayers!"  ?!  He went on to explain excitedly that a friend of his--who had called during our very first appointment--lent Willy a huge sum of money, over half of his debt!  He didn't gift the money mind you, but that's okay.  He was cheering over the phone and praising God.  Oh, it was one of the most joyous moments ever.  Out of the blue too.  I was stunned that evening--I'm still stunned--at the mysteries of the Lord.  We went over there this weekend and had more of a fun appointment than a learning appointment, unfortunately.  Willy started telling life stories, and our Joint teach egged him on.  Oh man, he has some wild stories.  Willy said at the end it was so that we understand where's he's coming from.  He said too, that because he's so happy, he wants to tell this things.  I suppose to compare how his life was.  If anything, it shows how much he trusts us.  Things are looking back up for Willy.
Well, I'm really tired.
So that was our explosion of a weekend.
Tot volgende keer,
Elder Burgess

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