Monday, November 12, 2012

Week 51

Hey, we just found out about changes! And it turns out Elder Skousen has a change, which means the Birt/Skousen dream team will be broken up. Kinda sad, but it was expected. I don't remember if I told you guys this, but President told both Skousen and I that this would most likely be a temporary thing. So neither of us was really surprised when we got the call. One positive is that I get to leave Utila for 3 days! It's not that I don't like Utila, but it's a really small island and I'm getting a little stir-crazy here. I think some time on the mainland could do some good.
Ok, so this last Wednesday, I was thinking I would have one of the coolest mission stories ever. But then there were some developments later in the week. Anyway, I'll just take you guys for the whole week-long roller coaster ride. So I told you last week that Mariela didn't want us to teach her anymore because her parents told her to stop listening to us. Well, that didn't last long. Tuesday, we talked with a member from the branch that said Mariela wanted to talk to us again. So we set up an appointment for the next day, and hoped for the best. At the appointment on Wednesday, she told us what had happened. After telling us to not visit her anymore, she felt horrible, even to the point of feeling sick. She said she even started crying later on, and that's when she decided to call her parents. Obviously, a crying daughter has a big effect on parents, so her parents told her to do what she thought was best and that they would stop interfering in her life because after all, she's 27 years old. And shortly after, she ran into our member friend and asked if we could come back over. Pretty awesome right? Just wait, it gets better. So after hearing this story, we asked her what she thought about baptism, and she told us straight up she wanted to get baptized. At this point, we're grinning from ear to ear. And that's when I asked her, "Hey, how about this Saturday?" Skousen and I both knew she was ready, but I figured she would think it was too fast. But she surprised us yet again. She told us that she had a dream about getting baptized that Saturday, and that's what she wanted to do. She had been a little scared to bring it up with us cuz she thought WE would think it was too fast. I was blown away. We were going to have a baptism! And then Thursday happened...

So we had to speed up the teaching in order to teach her everything necessary before baptism, which meant we were planning for a Thursday appointment, Friday appointment, a Saturday morning baptismal interview (by me), and a Saturday afternoon baptism. Needless to say, it was kind of a packed schedule. Anyway, Thursday we were teaching tithing and sabbath day, and we ran into a few problems. She didn't agree with the way we pay tithing- she thought it should be completely anonymous. And she didn't agree with not buying anything on Sundays. We explained and re-explained it, but she just couldn't get over those two problems. We made a joint decision to push back the baptism to a later date, so she could think about those issues a little more. Skousen and I both think she'll be baptized, mainly because she's one of the best investigators either of us has ever had. But Skousen won't be here for her baptism since he's leaving this week. It was a letdown after such an incredible turn of events on Wednesday, but we're at least happy that she's back on track to be baptized :)

Ok, random story of the week. So Utila basically has one town on the south side and then the rest of the island is almost uninhabited. But we have a few members and investigators that we visit out in this nearly uninhabited part. This past Saturday, we made plans to visit everyone in that part of the island. At first, it looked like a disaster. Every appointment cancelled, and we were left with nothing planned for a couple hours. So we decided to go even further north and explore the part of the island that we had never been to. It turned out that there were only two houses for the rest of the walk, both of which were empty. But on that walk, we found a giant mansion, an abandoned putt-putt golf course, the Utila airport, and the other side of the island... as in, we walked all the way across the island and found the ocean on the other side. Ya, I told you the island was small.

Well, that's what life is like in Utila this past week. Pretty crazy right? This next week, I'll get a new companion, and hit my one-year mark in the mission! I'm gonna try to do something cool to celebrate, but we'll see what happens. Hope everyone has a good week! Que le vaya bien!

Elder Birt

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