This week was filled with some good lessons, which is always nice. Got to meet with a lot of people and had some great experiences with several of them! We finally got this less-active member we've been meeting with every week to come with us and the bishop to the visitor center and had a "breakthrough" lesson. He's struggled with coming back to church because he felt like he'd missed too many "milestones" (serving a mission, getting married in the temple, serving in callings, etc.) so he missed his opportunity to repent and (eventually) reach the highest degree of God's kingdom. So what's the point in trying if you are damned from the start? Well, we had a great conversation with him and the bishop and it finally clicked that what he's thought about God's mercy wasn't right— that we can always repent, and God will always welcome us back. So, it was great! That and we taught another man and his wife (who isn't a member of the church) and he wants to eventually get back to where he can be with her in the temple. So, now we've picked them up and are teaching them as well! Productivity this week, it was great! Excited to get some good things going and to start seeing more people come to church and progress..!
We enjoyed conference - a lot of really insightful talks. Quite a few on goals/plans, which I found funny. Getting the message across that I gotta' set some goals for myself and make plans for my future. There were also many good talks, I enjoyed so many of them. The one seventy from a Germanic country that called the out of shape to repent! I really enjoyed his talk, and he definitely needed that disclaimer on the front of his talk that he was speaking with "boldness"! I also really enjoyed Neil A. Anderson's talk on Joseph Smith. The whole of the Saturday sessions were great. We enjoyed watching with a variety of people, including the Riley's (which by the way, she says you need to add her on Facebook mom!). Hence the breakfast pics!
Ready for Action!
This week should be good, we have zone conference and Elder Wheeler is going on his first couple of exchanges— interesting to walk somebody through the basics again. Makes you reflect upon it a lot. I wrote Josh and he is training his last two transfers as well!
We went to the Japanese Tea Gardens here in Portland today with the district. It was a lot of fun, I enjoyed it. We got lost on the way there ( I have proudly gone my whole mission without investing in any sort of a GPS ). Haha, but we made it there successfully. Looked at the tea gardens as well, but I enjoyed the ponds and waterfalls of the tea garden. I also bought the seeds for a bonsai tree! I hope to walk off that plane with a beautiful little sprout in a ceramic pot! I am going to find the Japanese characters for faith and write it on the side!
Well, I hope things with work get better for both of you. And hopefully school gets easier for Ben. I am not excited to relearn half of algebra/trigonometry. I have had trouble doing basic arithmetic since I have been out.. But hey, we can all just mooch off of Kayleigh when she's making the big bucks at Wimbledon! Haha! Except for Silas- he'll be imitating the movie Rambo in like China or something.
Well, I love you all. Can't wait to hear from you next week!
-Elder Samuel A. Burge