Monday, August 11, 2014

"I think we can learn a lot from new converts."

So the moves call came in, and I am staying in Glasgow with Elder Schmidt. 
So I'm assuming I'll probably get another companion in six weeks, be with him for two transfers, and "die" in Glasgow. Scary thought. But ya never know, it seems our mission president has been moving missionaries for their last transfer increasingly lately.
So we had a pretty good week. 
On Monday after P-day was over, we went to Family Home Evening at the church with a recently re-activated guy named David. It's a YSA activity technically, and he is not exactly YSA (at least mid-30) but the YSA missionary couple said that if we think it will benefit him then he is welcome. 
And he loved it. He doesn't have many friends, so it was very good for him. He liked it a lot. 
I was on exchange with Elder Davis, our zone leader. Usually they do exchanges from Tuesday morning - Wednesday morning, but they decided to do Monday evening - Tuesday evening instead. 
We had a fun exchange; I found we taught really well together. We taught a guy named Paul, who has had a rough past, but he is SO excited to learn about the gospel. As we left his apartment, he said to us, "Thanks for coming over, and I really mean that, thanks." It felt good. 
We had a teaching appointment a few days later with his next-door neighbor, and we took Pierre a recent convert that the sisters taught, but unfortunately the lady wasn't home. 
But we knocked on Paul's door just to say hi, and Pierre related really well to him, being a new convert. Paul talked about how he really wants to come to church; that it "just seems like the right thing." Pierre said his thoughts were exactly the same. 
I've kinda realized that solid investigators, and even solid converts, take a while to form a sure testimony and understanding of the Restoration. I always assumed that that was why people joined the church, because they believed it truly was Christ's church and they agreed with the doctrine. 
But I've increasingly realized that most converts come to church, get baptized, and keep coming, because they feel good, and they feel the spirit. The knowledge of doctrine comes with time. 
And I think that's good for us to apply as well--just be simple. Sure, we probably all know the church is true, and we agree with the doctrine, but we need to recognize that if the spirit's there, and if we feel good, then it is good. And it's a lot more simple that way. I think we can learn a lot from new converts.
Also with Elder Davis we went to Buchanan Street, a super busy place where people are hustling and bustling all over. It can be frustrating, but fun too. 
We decided to split up and just stay within sight and sound of each other, so we could contact as many people as possible. 
While I was talking to a nice, polite guy from N. Ireland, four young adults approached Elder Davis and started asking a bunch of questions. After a few minutes, they told him that they were returned missionaries, three from Aberdeen and one from Canada, and they had served in Birmingham England. I wish I had seen it!
Oh also on our way from District Meeting to lunch in the City Centre, I saw the back of a guy's T-shirt on the bus said New Hampshire Fire Dept. or something like that. 
I was just about to stand up and move over to him to ask if he was from there, when an old lady got on the bus and I got up to offer her my seat. Perfect! 
So I went to the spot where passengers stand, and it was right in front of him. So I asked, and he said yes. He and his wife live in Nashua, and they were over here visiting family and sight seeing. 
He was originally from Boston, and he had a VERY strong Boston accent...such a cool accent. It makes me want to go visit the East Coast someday. 
I told them that although I hardly remember anything about it, I lived in Penacook as a child. We had a good conversation. When we got off I gave them each a card. Seed planted: check. 
On Friday we were finally able to teach Sabrina, a YSA age investigator who is half African half Italian. She has been taught since last fall, and she has a pretty good knowledge and I would even say a good testimony, but she is super busy with work which makes it hard to meet with her and for her to come to church, and she has family that are dead against her getting baptized. It was nice to finally see her, we'd been trying to for five weeks. 
On Saturday, there were THIRTY people at the stake football morning!!! 
The last few weeks there have been maybe 16-18. But we brought Noel, an 18 year old from France who has mad football skills (he's a member) and the sister missionaries came with two of their recent converts. 
Some people are fairly chill and not that good, but some of the members are really intense and good. It's a lot of fun. 
We played 15 on 15, which made it even more fun because there wasn't as much space to cover (didn't have to run as much!) Since I'm staying here at least another six Saturdays, or probably 12 or 17, I might buy some turf cleats if I can find a good deal. 
And yesterday we had church, which was good. I gave a talk. And as usual, I was super nervous and felt like I was a nervous wreck at the pulpit. 
But as usual everyone said "Oh I enjoyed your talk!" and apparently they actually meant it because one lady said that people referred to it in both relief society and Sunday school. 
So I guess my subject matter was good, but my delivery could use improvement. Maybe I should take a public speaking class at USU, I've actually heard there is one and it's really beneficial.
So yeah, that's the week. Just over four months till I will be on an airplane! 
It's weird, I literally get a bit more excited when I see an airplane, which is common because many planes fly over the areas we proselyte in to land at the Glasgow airport. 
Maybe just because my first time on a flight (that I can remember) was on my way here, and so this will only be my 3rd plane ride so the excitement and novelty is still kind of there.
Anyway, I love you all and I am grateful for your example, and for bringing me up in the church and in the gospel!
Love, Elder Burt

Here are the photos from District Meting that was held on 5 Aug 14. Enjoy!