Monday, January 6, 2014

"...they are THE golden family that every missionary dreams of finding, teaching, and baptizing!"

Dear family and friends and blog readers, but mostly family.
So first off, remember Stewart, the hip-hop loving, chain wearing investigator in Dundee? Well he got baptised! We had a zone conference on Friday and Elder Tinsley, my Dundee zone leader who is now an AP told me that he was scheduled for Sunday. 
So last night I called the Liff elders' number to find out if it happened, and sure enough it did! So that's exciting. Even though I wasn't there for the baptism, I'm still super pumped because I found him and was part of the teaching process, kind of the opposite of how I wasn't there when Jimmy was found, but I was there for the teaching and baptizing. So yeah, that's three people baptised so far. Feels good.
So let's see. Since Thursday...we had zone conference on Friday (well really "zone interview training" where half the districts meet in the morning and the other half in the afternoon, and President Brown interviews each of us to make sure we're all doing superb, and the APs check our planners and area books to make sure we are doing all the right planning and record keeping. It's fun.) 
After ZIT I went on exchange with Elder Maughan, who was in our district my first two transfers. So this was my third time exchanging with him. 
We had fun. It's pretty funny, we both remember stuff that happened on our exchanges almost a year ago. Feels like it was just yesterday! Well, not really yesterday, but yous ken what I mean.
We went and taught Traci and Kenny, and we decided to talk about temples, 1) Because we felt like it might be a good way to help motivate Kenny to be baptised, and 2) One of Traci's friends told her that she would get special "Mormon Underwear" when she got baptised, so when she asked us a few weeks ago we told her that we'd explain at a later date. 
So yeah we talked about temples and what is so special, and what types of ordinances go on there. Then Kenny asked if that's what it meant when people at church would say "sealed" with their family? And we told him yes, and they both said they want to be sealed!!! 
So yeah they are THE golden family that every  missionary dreams of finding, teaching, and baptizing!
Saturday we taught the Jehovah's Witnesses that I mentioned last week. Well, we didn't do much teaching. They were definitely less contentious than the ones we taught a few weeks ago. 
This couple was more friendly, not trying to trip us up in our words, but just directing us to interesting scriptures in the Bible that kind of influenced their doctrine. 
But of course we were there to teach them as well, so Elder Smiler and I would be interested and then insert any bit of doctrine we could, and ask what they thought of the Book of Mormon. But they would sort of avoid it and change the subject. 
So it was a bit of a mess, I think what we'll do is propose to them that we alternate visits; one day they will get to teach us and lead the discussion, and then the next we will. Etc etc. 
Because I'll admit, they know their deep Old Testament doctrine better than us, and they can sort of justify their doctrine using verses in the Bible, but we just need to give them the chance to realize that the Bible can be interpreted in so many different ways, and that is why we need the Book of Mormon and modern revelation to help us know what the truth really is. 
They live on the coast of Wemyss Bay, which is absolutely beautiful.
We made our weekly trip to Dunoon to have dinner and a meeting with our branch mission leader. It's pretty expensive doing that every week. 
Of course it is reimbursable by the mission, but I wonder if we should start just meeting with him after church, so as to "care for the widow's mite," which I think I heard either someone in general conference or else our mission president say about wise use of church funds.
Sunday was good, we had branch council, the first of 2014 and the first one with our new branch president and the new callings he has issued. 
He proposed that we extend our church times. Usually we have 40 minutes for Priesthood/Relief Society, 40 for Sunday School, and 40 for Sacrament Meeting. 
Now he wants to extend the first two bits to about an hour but keep 40 minute Sacrament Meeting. Seems weird to me, because Sacrament Meeting is the most important, but still it will be nice to have longer class times. 
Then after that we went out with President Wilde (the branch president) and visited some members and less active people. 
So yes, it was a good week. Even though it was only four days, I managed to type up a super long email as usual. You're welcome!
Also a fun fact: about a month ago I bought some cheap juggling balls, and now when I need a break from study or planning or when we have some spare time in our flat, I juggle. 
I'm getting better already, so just imagine what sort of awesome juggling moves I'll be doing when I greet you at the airport in December!
Love you all! Have a super fantastical week.
Elder Spencer Ashcraft Burt, District Leader

PS The Amazon package came today! Seen here under the birthday tree, complete with the beautiful missionary ornament from Charlotte and Ryan.

My Hush Puppies shoes from Kater Shop.

I went ahead and bought me a cheap pair at a post-Christmas sale--classy brown shoes, kind of pointy-toe-style that is common here in the UK. only £10!