November 9, 2015

Hola familia!

    What a wild week.
   First off, congratulations to Emily and bebe Charlie! I guess it’s a good thing I started praying early and didn’t procrastinate! Glad to know that I have a healthy gordito of a nephew. 🙂
   Last Monday we had quite the experience when teaching Elias and his family. We brought Hna. Frias with us and were having a good discussion about Jesus Christ and his Atonement. We transitioned into talking about the Restoration when suddenly a man walks into the room and says, “Excuse me, can I say something?” We reply, “Of course”, opening the large window to some crazy Bible-bashing and yelling. Not very fun. He was very drunk and so all we could really do was say, “we aren’t here to argue”, and eventually just stand up and leave because Elias and his family weren’t saying or doing anything and we saw no verbal solution. He followed us outside. It was not a pleasant experience. As he continued to try to prove us wrong and make us angry, inside I began to think: “Wow. Why won’t he just let us leave? He’s angry. We’re sick of it. This is accomplishing nothing.” However, as I tried to think of a way to improve the situation and tried to think of what Jesus would do, a little thought popped into my brain: “How can I love this man?”. And right when I decided to try, everything began to change. As simple as that. I said nothing. I did nothing. The only thing that changed were my feelings toward him. I saw someone who was lost, confused, and trying to find the truth. I saw my brother that God had placed in my path to help return to Him. And he began to change to. He began to apologize. He began to say things like, “Who knows, maybe God had me meet you today to help me get closer to Him”, and eventually we were able to leave with smiles, despite him still being totally drunk. Though it isn’t an experience I would like to repeat, I learned something valuable that day: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth” (1 Cor. 13:1-8). #prayforReinoso
    I had an awesome exchange with my old MTC companion, Sis. Madsen! We saw many miracles and were finally able to teach in Spanish together for the first time since the MTC! It was great. We found an awesome LA member who we were able to commit to stop smoking by this Sunday, taught Lani, Brisia, and their cousin Jocelyn an awesome Restoration lesson, and had a flea bitten cat lay on my feet as we listened to a blind man explain to us why he had a car in his driveway even though he couldn’t drive it.
    We had a fabulous MLC this last weekend that was all about how we can more effectively use the Book of Mormon to help the people with whom we are working deepen their faith in Jesus Christ and to have their foundation built on Him when the challenges come (Hel. 5:12). We have seen miracles happen because of this training. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and the key to our religion, but I also know that it is much more than that. It is our way to find guidance when we are lost, light in the darkness, and peace in a non-stop world. I feel God’s love as I read it. And you will too if you read in faith.
     I got to read two of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon this week: 3 Nephi 17 and 2 Nephi 33. I related a lot to Nephi when he said, “But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry. And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.” There is power in prayer. This had certainly been my hardest area to serve in, but I know that He will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people and know that no effort is wasted.
       I love you!
    Hermana Burdett

Happy Halloween!

10.31.15 Happy Halloween Slurpees! Bananna only at 7-11Halloween Slurpees! #banannaonlyat7-11

Hola familia!

  We were exchange-crazy this week! Probably my favorite one was with Sis. Peart – it is her first transfer and she worked with me up in Fort Myers. Even though it was a little difficult for her to work in a Spanish area when she doesn’t speak any Spanish (not because she’s not diligent but because she’s called to preach in English), we still saw a lot of miracles and she was able to contribute much. We had a really cool experience with the non-member husband of a LA. His name is Santo Freddy. He and I had an intense discussion about the Book of Mormon and why he needs to be baptized. The Spirit was there, but I knew he needed to feel it more to really understand. I asked Sis. Peart to bear her testimony on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and told her that I would translate for her. She got about three lines in when Santo Freddy said, “Wait, I need to say something. I have never in my life seen anyone with such beautiful or powerful faith. This girl’s faith can move mountains. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God”. It was an amazing experience for me. Even though they couldn’t communicate one bit in words, the spirit is a language that everyone speaks. We are excited to help reacitvate his wife and to help him along his path to baptism.
10.31.15 Exchanges with Sister Madsen and LeBaron!Exchanges with Sister Madsen and Sister LeBaron
    Another great thing that happened on my exchange with Sis. Peart was meeting Felipe and Mildred. We were stuck on Wednesday night at 7:30 with nothing to do because our ward mission leader cancelled our coorelation meeting last minute. We were sharing the car with the other sisters for the day to save miles, so we decided to drive them to their lesson and to knock doors in the neighboring apartment complex even though we’ve been trying to avoid knocking after dark because Ft. Myers has been a little bit dangerous lately. We felt good about it, though, and really needed to find more people to teach and so we parked and walked to the complex. Usually we have a tough time finding Spanish in the complex, but the second man we OYM’d in the parking lot was Puerto Rican! He told us, “If your prayer that you want to say with me is any good, wait for me here while I grab my mail and I’ll let you say it with me and my wife”. Yes, I know that sounds sketchy, but the Spirit was guiding us and we were totally safe. Turns out that he, Felipe, runs a male refuge center out of his church and helps homeless men get on their feet. Because of that, they bring home tons of food daily from grocery stores that donate to their organization! He and his wife had met missionaries in the past and we ended up staying with them for almost an hour in their apartment talking about the Gospel. They loaded us up with a big cardboard box of food afterward and sent us back to our car! Though now isn’t their time to accept the Restored Gospel, they were a blessing to us and we know that they will receive it in the future!
  Marulani and Brisia came to church and the Trunk or Treat this past week and loved it! They are daughters of a LA member that we’ve been working with for quite a while. We are working to get them baptized in the next couple of weeks!
  We celebrated our Halloween with banana slurpees from 7-11 and watching the Church’s Christmas movies (Nora’s Christmas Gift and my personal favorite, The Other Wise Man – extra cheese on the side). A total of zero trick-or-treaters knocked on our door. #yesfortmyersisactuallythatsketchythatthetrickortreaterswerefewandfarbetween
   We had a specific prayer answered in a time that we were not expecting. We found a family of five to teach! #prayforEliasandAnaandEdward They are preparing for baptism later this month.
    My gem this week was in James 1:2-4, which reads, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”  The JST replaces ‘divers temptations’ with ‘many afflictions’, which deepened the significance for me. We must be grateful for the temptations and afflictions we are given because they are opportunities to show our faith and patience and to develop them further. It then ends in verse 12 saying, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”, again with the JST replacing ‘endureth’ with ‘resisteth’. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments and resist any evil that comes in our path! And we will be rewarded beyond measure for it.
  I love you! Have a stellar week!
 Hermana Burdett