Monday, April 13, 2015

Miracles and Tears - Elder Brian Burgess

Written by Elder Brian Burgess, serving in the Mexico Puebla North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.  

My dear friends and family,

So to start off with, something fun... Today I went to the world's smallest volcano and walked inside of it. Its called Cuixcomate about 30 minutes from our apartment. Super funny, because it's in the middle of a park in the city, and there were a bunch of swings and kids running around the little volcano like it was something normal. haha! I paid a whole 10 pesos. 65 US cents to walk up the stairs and go down inside. There is no lava, just some flower pots and a little pond. hahaha! But at least I can say I went inside the world's smallest volcano.

So my week:

Wow, where to begin..... F** and Fa** are two of our investigators, as well as their father Gi**. F** is 16 and Fa** is 12. To be honest, we really haven't seen a lot of progress with F** and Fa** throughout our two months in the area. But, this last week we saw a miracle!

In a lesson we talked very openly and directly about the importance of prayer. The blessings it brings, and why we need to pray daily. F** and Fa** have been sad and discouraged because of personal family problems, but we were able to commit them to pray about the Book of Mormon and our message. F** PRAYED! She called us the other night at about 11 p.m. and said, "Tengo mi respuesta y se que la iglesia es verdadera." That means she received her answer and knows that the church is true. WOOOTTTT!!!!!!!! Fa**, her younger sister, didn't pray but we have faith that she will as well! We will see them again on Wednesday. They and Gi**, their dad, are progressing and excited for their baptisms on the 25th of this month!

Do** and Er**.......

So... on Saturday in the afternoon we went over to see Do** and Er** and to invite them again to church on Sunday. Do** said that two of her grandchildren needed to go to the Catholic church in preparation for a catholic ceremony that is coming up. Do** has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the church and her faith is amazing! I was surprised that she had committed to take her grandchildren to the other church when she had committed to the Lord and to us about being in the church in preparation for her baptism on the 25th of this month. She let us know in the lesson that she wanted to go to our church but didn't want to make her daughter mad by not taking the grandchildren to the Catholic ceremony.....

In the lesson we shared a few scriptures and were listening to the Spirit and letting Him guide our lesson. We had no clue what to tell our investigator!... Then out of the blue..... her daughter walked in the door, and with horror in her face told Do** that her son J** had just committed suicide......

Do**, our dear investigator, fell apart... My companion and I stared at the ground with tears in our eyes, in complete silence. Seconds felt like minutes. A cold startling feeling took over the room in an instant. Her other son, JL**, who just so happened to have been over visiting with her, held her as the family screamed and cried. I have never been in such a situation, especially as a missionary. I had NO CLUE what to do. I said a prayer.... I looked at my companion and he was doing the same. An impression came to our minds, and we told Do** a few inspired, calming sentences to help her at the climax of her pain. She soon made her way out the door with two of her children and the traveled across the city to the house of her son, Ju**. We stayed at the house to talk to her brother Er**, who can't walk or move very due to some health problems. We invited a neighbor member to join us as we sat there with him for a few hours. The return to our apartment was depressing, as we slowly dragged our feet on the ground, still in utter shock.

At about 4 o'clock in the morning, my companion Elder Concha was still awake. I had somehow managed, after many prayers, to get some sleep. He told me that at 4 a.m. he said a prayer, and the second he said the word, "Amen," the cell phone buzzed with a message. He didn't think anything of it because companies normally annoy us with announcements. Then a 6:30 a.m. when we had to get up, like every day on the mission, he read the message and threw the phone at me, saying "¡Léalo!" or "Read it." It was Dolores explaining to us her gratitude for our words and message. She then said that she NEEDED to go to our church again. My companion and I made our way to her house at about 7:30 a.m. to make it to church at 8 a.m. The Lord strengthened her in her affliction as she made the courageous decision to go to church after less then 12 hours of receiving some of the worst news of her life. She then whispered to me that she was fasting and slowly walked to the side of the bishop's door and grabbed a tithing/fast offering slip and envelope. She paid a fast offering.

The faith of Do** is truly a testimony builder to me, to know that the Lord is with her and helping her as she passes through this phase of her life. The Lord knows how she will be, and if she will be able to accomplish her baptismal goal of the 25th of this month. I testify that the Lord lives and strengthens everyone through His atoning sacrifice! Do** is a role model of faith to me! She is in my prayers.

I love you all! I pray for you all!

With love,

Elder Burgess

Popocatapetl says, "Amen!" (April 6, 2015)

Baptism!  (April 26, 2015)

My trip to Cuixcomate: