Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The memories of years we have lived.

Hello everyone! I hope all of you have had a great week! This past week has been such an adventure! To start out last week, Sister Fromgren and I needed to contact one of our potentials and see if she was home. As we begin to travel to her home, we silently prayed to be able to teach her. Her name was Majorie and as we knocked on Majorie's door, she answered! What a miracle. We asked her how she was doing and asked if she had time for us to share with her the Restoration. She uttered the few simple words that most missionaries love to hear, "Come in." As we began to teach the lesson, Majorie was very receptive and asked some great questions. The spirit felt in the room was very strong and at the end of our lesson, we invited Majorie to read the Book of Mormon and to pray and ask Heavenly Father if it is true. She accepted with a smile and we set up to have another teaching appointment with her. As the week continued, my companion and I traveled to Brixton to contact some less-active friends and to be able to see if we could find anyone prepared to receive the Gospel. Brixton is much different than any other parts of our area. It has many people from Jamaica, lots of markets all around, singers with banners up singing music (Sometimes even people playing saxaphones), graffiti on different walls. It's very different but quite interesting to walk around. There are many people in front of the tube station shouting, selling things, talking about religion, ect. We went to go and contact a less-active and she ended up not being home. Just as we were walking towards the tube station, a Jamaican guy advertising dub music approached us about religion. He wasn't really interested but expressed how he felt about his religion. It's always adventures with the different people you meet here in South London. Some who are interested, some who aren't. In the middle of the week, Sister Stephenson (my MTC companion who has just moved into the zone) actually got to go on an exchange with me. It was fun to see how much we have learned and to be able to help each other to continue to learn and to grow. Sister Stephenson and I were able to work in Brixton again for our exchange but it didn't seem to be too fast paced because it was during the day and a lot of people were running to and fro to get to where they needed to be. As we went to contact another less active, I looked to see a lady ahead of us and we both felt the impression to stop her. Her name was Gloria and she had a different accent than an english one. She later informed us she came from Columbia and she herself was religious and believed in God. Sister Stephenson and I began to share about the Restoration and how Christ's church has been restored on the earth once more and as we did so, we felt a distinct feeling to share with her about the plan of salvation. We weren't sure why but we relayed the message to her that families can be together forever and those we have lost, we will see again. After finishing our sentence, Gloria looked at us and her eyes seemed to shine with a new hope. She expressed to us that just yesterday her friend had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. Gloria was questioning if there would ever be hope found and if she would be able to see her friend again or her mom who she lost two years ago. Sister Stephenson and I testified to Gloria that no hope would be lost. That through Jesus Christ, she would see her loved ones again. We were able to give Gloria a Book of Mormon and a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. We hope to teach Gloria more and we know that through divine design, that we were suppose to meet Gloria. The rest of the week was wonderful as well. Ada passed her baptismal interview and is excited to be able to enter the waters of baptism this week to make those covenants with our Heavenly Father to remember Jesus Christ always and follow him. We were also able to celebrate my birthday. It seems still to be so unreal to me that I am 20 now. How crazy. I reflected over my 19th year and realized I would be sad to leave it. It carried some of my most precious memories, most of them being a missionary. Every tear, every laugh, every feeling of love, hope, and happiness that I experienced as a 19 year old are things I would never trade for anything. I am grateful for the love I felt during my birthday. Thank you to everyone who made it so special! I was able to be with one of our recent converts, Sally, who held a birthday dinner for me and it was something I'll never forget. I love you all and hope that you always treasure the year that you are in now because it never comes back. God's plan involves progression but it also involves years for us to reflect on and learn from. 
Sister Burtis



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