Wednesday, September 18, 2013

See? I told you

My siblings are so cool.  Audrey's happy at BYU, Gentry's giving conference talks, Jed's running faster than Forest Gump, and I'm just basking in their glory.  What a privilege to be an older brother! I haven't always been a very good one (read: very nice one), but I'm glad I didn't seem to do too much damage.  Everyone's running strong, and I think we've got our goodly parents to thank for that. Thanks, Mom and Dad.  (Especially Mom.  [No offense, Dad, but we both know she deserves an extra pat on the back.])

I have pictures!  Lemme just upload them here...
Here's the new crew, with a couple familiar faces:  Anziano Modugno (I love him!),
 Anziano Pinnock (yes, the "famous" one from YouTube),
Anziano Petterborg (indeed related to the school nurse in Napoleon Dynamite!),
 and me (wee!).  Aren't we a pretty bunch?

Remember in Padova when EVERYTHING changed for me except the city?  Same thing happened to Anziano Petterborg.  He was here last transfer, but he was living in a different apartment with three different guys.  Since he's the only one that knows Verona, he led us on our adventure last week. Here are some pictures of that joyful day:
Anziano Petterborg and I on his favorite bridge

One of the sections of the ancient wall in Centro

Doing a happy little jig in front of the ancient Arena
A view from a tower
See?  I told you it was beautiful.

This week we had Zone Training Meeting.  It was a wonderfully spiritual experience with lots of great teaching and powerful counsel.  We're going to focus on ward activities this transfer to get the members involved in missionary work.  Over fifty percent of convert baptisms come from referrals from members.  Well over fifty percent.  The Lord helps prepared people find the gospel through their friends who have the truth.  Missionaries often spend too much time finding and not enough time teaching.  

We hope to gain the members' trust and see a lot of success from fun activities they can invite their friends to.  It's easier to say "Come to our concert!" than "Come to three hours of church on Sunday morning!", but the end result is the same: people learn a bit more about our Church, how it works, how normal it is, and it gives us--as missionaries--the opportunity to effectively find those who are ready for the message of the restored gospel.

I'm surrounded by a beautiful place and people that I love.  I feel so, so happy.  I hope these good feelings stick around for a good chunk of my mission.  Of course I'll have moments, sooner than I'd like, when I feel a bit down or sad or lonely in the future, but moments like these where my heart feels full and warm are forever treasured, especially during darker moments.

I hope all of you have moments of light and warmth you can hold on to when life takes a dip, and I hope there are even brighter ones to come.  One key is to surround yourself with good people who you really love from the bottom of your heart.

Speaking of which, look who I found in Verona!

I love you all, even more than I love Dante (and that's saying something!).  Have a happy week with me.

Ciao ciao ciao,
Anziano Burton

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures! I'm there with you! Will try to have a "happy week" with you & The Lord ...