Everything Under The Sun!

(Received 4/20/15—Posted out of order! Ugh!)

Hola familia!

We had a huge miracle happen this past week when both Cerene and Belinda came to our Relief Society activity – and loved it! It was all about family togetherness and many ideas for low-cost to cost-free activities to do here in Coral Springs! It really would be a good place to live – it’s motto is “Everything under the Sun” and it is so true! Small town feel, but it still has a Target and all the goods. 🙂 The ward did an excellent job fellowshipping them and helping them feel welcome. Then over the next couple of days we had cool lessons with them, in one of which Cerene told us, “It was great! I realized that – don’t be offended when I say this – you guys are actually normal! Like, you’re not that weird!”. While most would be a little hurt by this, this is definitely on the list of one of my favorite realizations people have. We really aren’t that weird! Just a peculiar people.
Unfortunately, because we stayed at the activity to support Belinda and Cerene, we had to cancel an appointment we had with Ivan and Stacey (he’s interested in getting closer to Christ and she is a member that hasn’t come in yeeeaarrs), after which we were dropped by them. Hard. It was a difficult decision to make, to stay at the activity or to go see them, but we both received spiritual confirmation that we needed to be at the activity for them. Unfortunately, neither of them made it to church, so that was another bump we experienced, but we are continuing forward in faith.

IMG_0096[1]Us and our MINIS!

We had a surprise phone call from a mom asking us what her daughter needed to bring on her mini-mission this weekend. We had absolutely no idea what she was talking about, so we called our president and – surprise – we were getting a mini-missionary that weekend! The Fort Lauderdale stake was doing a mini-mission in the which youth go our with missionaries for 24 hours to get the ‘mission experience’, so we just get to drag them all over town and help them learn how to teach and bear testimony! It was great fun, though our poor mini. We had a torrential downpour that we had to bike through and arrived at our lesson soaked to the bone. Fortunately (or unfortunately) it never gets cold, even when it rains, in Florida, so illness was avoided, but we felt a little guilty for dripping all over Belinda’s couch. We were able to have a really awesome lesson with Cerene with her and did some finding too to have the experience be well-rounded. She seemed to enjoy it and we pray that she will make the decision to serve! We ended up having eight sisters in our apartment that night (4 regulars plus 2 minis plus 2 STLs) and had a good, old-fashioned slumber party complete with kettle corn. “Good, old-fashioned” meaning we all went to bed at 10:30. The minis were out in about three minutes. Though I’m tired all the time, I forgot how exhausting it was to acclimate to the missionary schedule at the beginning of my mission. Glad that I’ve gotten a bit more used to it.
IMG_0099[1]We celebrated Sis. Jones’s 20th birthday in style – a LA couple took us to Outback Steakhouse! It was great fun and we sang happy birthday with the whole restaurant while she reached tomato-levels of redness. Also, a happy birthday wish to my cunado, Clay! I don’t know how old you are now, but I hope that it was a good one!
Last night we went to follow-up on a potential, Caleb, who told us that he was doing some chores and that he didn’t have time to meet with us that night. We asked when we could see him again, and he proceeded inside to ask his mom. When he came back, his response was hilarious: “My mom’s a bit of a smart alec*…. she says we’re Christian and that we’ll see you in heaven!”. After assuring him that we, in fact (I don’t know why this is so hard for people), are Christians, we encouraged him to come to church anyway and to call us when he wanted to get a little closer to Christ and left giggling.
This morning a prayer was answered through the scriptures, as they so very frequently are. I found great solace in the words of 2 Nephi 4:26,28, and 30 which read, “26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited‍ men in so much mercy, why‍ should my heart‍ weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions? 28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop‍ in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy‍ of my soul. 30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock‍ of my salvation”. 26 expressed almost exactly many of the feelings I have been feeling this transfer, and the last couple of days in particular, yet 28 called me to awaken and rejoice for the Lord is ever mindful, watchful, and involved. And because of that, I will praise His name forever.
Another quick little thought: I was able to read my favorite story in the New Testament this morning – Luke 5:18-26. Read it! I particularly connect with verse 20, in which it says “And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven‍ thee”. I am a firm believer in the power of active faith and prayers on the behalf of another. I have seen countless miracles because of this throughout my mission and am realizing those that I have seen beforehand as well. This man’s friends acted on his behalf and put forth great effort in a demonstration of charity and faith in the power of the Son of God. He is mindful of our every intention and desire. As we show forth our faith in behalf of others, God will notice, listen, and act in His time.
I LOVE YOU. Sister Burdett
IMG_0081[1]Getting soaked in the Florida rains!

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