Monday, February 17, 2014

"Why would we be miserable when we have the Joy of the Lord with us?!"

I have some cool stories from this week. Let's cut to the chase.
We as a zone and a district have focused on using the Book of Mormon in our proselyting efforts this week. As a District Leader Council, we set a goal of 200 Books ofs Mormons to be given out in the week between our whole zone (13 sets of missionaries).
We felt like it was achievable, but we are only halfway right now and tomorrow is the last day. But it has given us a big push to distribute them a lot more, and I think I've given more out this week than I have in the previous month! The Book does truly have a spiritual power, a converting power. 
Yesterday we were out visiting people with the Branch President as we usually do on Sundays. We asked if he could drop us off in Largs on his way home, because it's about halfway between Greenock and his home in Irvine. So he did, and we did a bit of missionary work. 
We assumed there would be buses to get us home, because it was only 7:15 at night when we went to the bus stop, and we've been in Largs far later than that before and still gotten home on time. But apparently the last bus on a Sunday is at 7:00! 
So we didn't want to bother the members by making them drive an hour round trip to pick us up, and taxis would be super expensive. So we got a train! Only drawback: There is no train from Largs to Greenock. 
So we took a train to Paisley, where we got off and hopped on a train to Greenock. We ended up getting home after 10:00! Oh well. As we sat in the train, I thought to myself "Maybe there's a reason we are here." 
There were these really friendly mother and daughter who we had a brief conversation with, and I decided I'd be bold and offer them a Book of Mormon right there in the train station. Why not, I've got nothing to lose! 
But before I could, this man came up and started talking to us. He was a bit drunk, and he loved to swear, but he liked talking to us. We sat by him on the train, and continued our conversation, mainly about what we missionaries are doing and why we do it. 
He asked us our first names; I told him mine, and he said that if my name is Spencer then I must come from a really rich family because all the Spencers he knows are posh.
I told him it wasn't really the case. And then I told a wee lie, just to try and spark up more gospel conversation. I said "My parents actually named me after Spencer W. Kimball, have you ever heard of him?" No... "Well he was one of the prophets of our church back in the day." haha! 
It didn't work though, he just shrugged it off. But we ended up giving him a Book of Mormon, and when we had him read a couple verses and asked him what he thought, he said "I can't swear when I read this book!" 
Although he was a bit drunk and super cheeky, and at one point he said that it all sounded like a scam that someone made up to get money, in the end he said he wanted to believe and so he kept the book and agreed to have missionaries come over (he lives outside of our area). 
So I thought it was a cool experience; even a hard tough guy who claims to not believe in anything says he felt something different/special in that book. 
That was just last night; the rest of this email will be backtracking a bit. 
On Tuesday we exchanged with our zone leaders. I was in Johnstone with Elder Windhausen, a German who sounds American. We had a good day; we gave out four Books! (by the way; is it Book of Mormons, Books of Mormon, Books of Mormons, Book's of's Mormons's, or Copies of the Book of Mormon?) 
We just talked to everyone we saw as we went from appointment to appointment. I used to be really diligent in doing that, but for some reason in Greenock I find it more difficult. But I just need to man up and start doing it again! 
I think the push/almost a competition of sorts to give out BoMs will give us both the drive to talk to as many people as possible. 
Who knows, maybe the person we let walk past us without stopping to talk with them is searching for the Gospel? You never know.
Have I told you about the super nice and funny older lady named Susan who gives us Irn Bru and chocolate every week?
We saw her a couple times this week and we're working on getting her to the temple! She is excited for it, and when we reviewed the law of tithing with her she was ecstatic, excited to give back to the Lord one tenth of all He has given her. 
She's the sort of lady who grew up as a super-Christian, a member of the Salvation Army. (That's quite a popular church out it so in America? I just know that the Salvation Army Santa rings a bell for donations or something.) 
She's someone who will just LOVE the temple and the extra dose of Spirit that is felt there. 
Also her husband has passed away, and she talks about how she would never marry another man, and that he'll always be her husband. So she's excited to be sealed.
Friday we were on exchange again; this time I was in Greenock with Elder Jackson. It rained ALL DAY. 
It was a miserable Valentines' Day. Only joking! Why would we be miserable when we have the Joy of the Lord with us?! (That's something Susan often says, she's so great!) 
Although it was raining heaps, we had a good time. 
Another cool Book of Mormon story: On Saturday as we walked to the bus stop to meet back up with the Beith elders to re-exchange, we stopped to talk to a man outside a barber shop. 
He was Muslim, and very clear that he was not going to change. But he asked US what the book we were holding was. 
We told him, and then offered it to him...he said no, but then went inside to ask if his friend, who owned the barber shop, would like a copy to keep for customers to read while they wait. 
We expected a no, but he came out and asked for a Book of Mormon and a bunch of pass-along cards! So there we go, we may have planted a good seed in the barber shop. 
While I doubt that the Muslim guys will read it, it just may catch the attention of a customer searching for truth. Sweet! 
Also, speaking of planting seeds, when we were on the train yesterday, I realized that one lady was paying attention the whole time and seemed to be listening interestedly. 
I think several other people on the train heard our conversation and testimonies we bore of the Book of Mormon, and who knows, maybe those seeds will take root and grow someday.
Saturday night we had dinner with the Gilchrist family (Traci, Kenny, Marc and Oliver) they are still going strong. Kenny will be baptised I'm sure of it, but it may not be while I am still here. 
Bummer, but oh well, I'm not on a mission for myself, it's for them.
Ok, that was my week. Sounds like you all had very adventurous weeks! Keep it up. 
Share the gospel with your friends, even if you're in the Promised Land of Utah.
Elder Burt

Eating a Deep-Fried Mars Bar with Elder Windhausen...probably the unhealthiest thing one could ever eat...but I drank a Diet Coke with it so it's all good!

View of Millport from Largs