Why hello family!
I'd like to begin by sharing an introspective insight I experienced last week.
Whilst on my mission I've learned that many of the Old Testament prophets were "slow of speech" or not powerful in speaking, which I had no idea of before.
Moses and Enoch are two examples I've heard who were this way. And hearing this has always stuck out to me; I think because I can relate.
God called them to do crazy difficult stuff, and they were able to do it anyway. As most of us know, I'm not the most confident when it comes to speaking to groups of people, or even people on their own, especially in a new situation.
But as I've relied on the spirit, I've been able to accomplish lots of stuff that I wouldn't be able to do on my own, even if it does scare me to death while I'm doing so.
Also, I've noticed that some of my favorite scriptures while I've been out are in D&C when the Lord assures missionaries that they just need to study His word, seek the spirit, and open their mouths, and they'll be able to say what they have been called to say. I can say I've seen that in my life these past 14 months. Pretty cool I'd say.
So, last Tuesday we had the Scotland West Conference, where the Glasgow and Paisley zones met up at the Glasgow stake centre to hear President and Sister Brown, the AP's, and Elder Herbertson of the Quorum of the Seventy speak to us.
It was very inspirational; I filled up several pages with notes of things I thought were brilliant. But toward the end I almost felt overwhelmed; I thought I could never apply ALL these things, especially in the short term.
Luckily Elder Herbertson had a Q/A session the last half hour or so. After a bunch of other questions that just added to my feeling of overwhelmment (word?), I decided to ask him what he felt the MOST important message we should take away from the meeting, and apply immediately.
He said "Love the Lord and Serve the Lord." So I've been trying to focus on that. If we love Him enough, we'll make the right choices. Sweet.
Other stuff that happened this week. We had a "missionary fireside", also known as "Fill the Font" night. It used to be a regular tradition; from what it sounds like, the branch would pretend to have a baptism, so they'd have talks, music, they'd fill the font up half way and open the doors, but the only thing missing was the baptism.
Sounded weird to me at first, but apparently it was really nice and spiritual.
The branch is sparking it back up again, but a bit different; instead they're just having a fun/spiritual thing every month, and calling it Fill the Font still.
So last week they had both of us give short talks, then we watched a talk by John Bytheway that President Wilde had on DVD. It was pretty good. Mostly funny. But also inspirational. So I think they're doing that once a month, with a church movie or something each time.
We visited TONS of less-active members this week, which I thoroughly enjoyed. But in a way, we could be using our time better. I think sometimes we try to avoid tracting at all costs, so when we have free time we try to contact people; members, less active members, investigators, potential investigators, etc.
I don't mind tracting, but it seems most of my comps don't like it. Which makes it hard to have the spirit or have fun when one of us is bored or miserable.
Anyway...we haven't seen Jim Craig in over two weeks...when we go by he doesn't answer, and his door is locked. (He usually tells us to just come in so he doesn't have to get up and come to the door haha.) So he is either out of town for some reason, or he's dead. Hopefully he is not dead.
Have I mentioned Susan before? She's an 80-year old widow who is semi-active. She's been on the border of active and less-active my whole time in Greenock, but she is so funny and so fun to visit!
She gives us Irn Bru and chocolate every week when we go to visit her, and she tells the same stories about her kids, grandkids, and husband over and over, but in a very entertaining way. We keep telling her to write a book, but she hasn't yet. We get to meet some interesting and fun people.
On Friday we went to teach Joe (of the F4) and he said he had no food and no money, and couldn't get any until Wednesday.
We checked, and it was true...so we being nice and merciful told him we'd bring by some cans and a spare loaf of bread from our flat to last him a couple days. But of course, when we got to his flat with the food, he had borrowed £20 pound from a friend, so we didn't feel quite as heroic as we would have if he had truly been relying on our donation. Oh well. He's coming along, slowly but surely.
Yesterday I gave a talk, on...missionary work of course. I encouraged members to "do missionary work", and gave tips and experiences that I thought would help them.
Lots of them came from my mission, one experience that I DIDN'T have (I kind of shared how I missed a lot of missionary work opportunities back home, especially with some of my acquaintances from the USU dorms...and encouraged them to seek out opportunities and act on them) and a lot of tips from the "Power of Everyday Missionaries" book. It's brilliant!
But apparently I went over my allotted time, which I found out after I heard the branch president clear his throat behind me and I looked back and he pointed to his watch. I felt like I hadn't talked that long, but I guess I did!
So I've officially reached the point in my life where instead of having to stretch out my talk to fill the time, I now have to be more concise and make sure my talk isn't too long. I guess that means I'm an adult now!
Not to be prideful, but I felt like my talk was really good, both when I was preparing it and when I was speaking; but then I felt bad for talking too much afterward.
But that's another hurdle cleared I guess, I usually feel like my talks are rubbish after I give them, and I feel weird when people tell me it was good after church...but this time I was just like, "Thanks, but I think I spoke a bit too long..." haha.
Also, this week we went to the Isle of Bute with the Cains to visit a member couple. It was a beautiful drive.
Welp, I think that's it for the week.
Thanks to you all for the emails. And if you are reading this blog and haven't emailed or written, it would be so cool if you did.
Anyway, Have a great week family and friends. Love yous!
Elder Spencer Burt
This is Elder Carter...apparently he is a cousin of Trevor Burt, but on the other side? That's what grandma told me, so I got a picture with him at the conference. He said he heard he had a distant cousin in the mission but he didn't know it was me. So yeah. Family reunion of sorts?