Wednesday, October 23, 2013

In the right way

Buongiorno, everyone! Sorry for the super-short blog last week. I can't promise this one'll be a mammoth, but at least it's of high-quality--as far as the contents go.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GENTRY!!! I lovelovelove you so much, and I hope it's the bestest birthday you've ever even had! I'm sending a letter to you today, too. Hope it reaches you by the 28th.

Yes, Mom, I have dreamt in Italian. In fact, one of my first "Italian" dreams had you in it! There were a bunch of tourists who were asking you for "panini", but you didn't know what that meant. I translated it for you--"Sandwiches!"--and you made a bunch of sandwiches for them. Ha! Even in my dreams, you're a selfless saint.

We've been teaching a man for six weeks. Last Friday, he was baptized by the proper authority and is now a confirmed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He has a beautiful, simple testimony of the restored gospel and was so excited to be baptized. In the weeks that we met and taught him within the walls of the church, he saw many struggles and difficulties that I literally cannot imagine. Even so he pressed on and told us that he knows God was watching after him and leading him in the right way.
A "FIRST" for Anziano B!

I'm really, really happy. He speaks English and a little bit of Italian, but the ward has really reached out and taken him under their wing, so to speak. He's already made a few great friends with some of the Italians who speak English (thanks to missions!), and the bishop invited him to his home for lunch on Sunday. I'm thrilled to see Paul's words fulfilled: "ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God."

The promise of joy to those who do missionary service is true, and the joy comes from the people. Anziano Petterborg reminded me this week that missionary work is all about people. And I love people! So why shouldn't I love missionary work?
Help people all you can, because it's people that matter in the end. Love them. Help them love themselves. It's amazing what a little love can do. I've seen it over and over, as a missionary and before, and I'm sure I'll continue to see it as I practice what I preach throughout the rest of my ridiculously privileged life.

Thank you for the prayers, the faith, the support, the love, and the thoughts you give to me throughout each week. I am constantly reminded of how greatly I am loved on both sides of the veil.

Anziano Burton

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