I know this gospel to be true

Woof.

That is what I feel like right now—I am completely spent.

My mission is so cool. And I am getting a wicked tan. The rain came and then the sun beat on us and evaporated the rain—so we all suffocated all week while being beaten upon by the sun.

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Elders Cerantonio, Nunes, Burt, and Hunt basking in the Brazil heat

But really, my week was very mellow.

Last P-day, Elder Hunt and I went to the Academy. It has been more that eight months since I have done any sort of lifting workout. I was excited.

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Excited to be at the Academy lifting again

When we finished after about three and a half hours, we went back home and died. We were so tired. I made french toast and cinnamon pineapples, and then we continued working.

Later in the week we had a little pizza party for Elder Hunt because Saturday was his birthday.

The funny thing that happened went as follows. Three of us were assigned to give talks in sacrament meeting on Sunday. Elder Nunes and I had already prepared ours. But my companion, Elder Cerantonio did not tell us that he did not prepare anything. So Saturday night we had our little pizza dinner and then went to bed. The next day we gave our talks. I spoke about the importance of members in our work and why we needed their help.

Then Elder Cerantonio got up. One of the first things that he said was that he didn’t prepare anything because we had a party the night before. As you can imagine, this raised some eyebrows. It did not help either that there was a stake high councilman there. After the meeting our zone leaders pulled us aside and interrogated us about Saturday night and explained that the councilman had told the stake president, who was going to talk to the president of the mission. Coincidentally, our interviews with him are this Wednesday. 

Way to go Elder Cerantonio.

It was just funny because we didn’t do anything wrong, but because Cerantonio included in his talk that he hadn’t prepared anything and that we had a “party,” now the ward thinks we are a bunch of crazies. We will see how this plays out this next week.

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“Elder Burt made these scones because he loves me,” declares Elder Hunt.

As for the work that we are performing, this week was slow. We did not have any baptisms and we lost quite a few of our investigators. The good thing about this is that now we have more time to look for elect people who want to be baptized and are waiting for us to come knocking on their door.

Natalia, who was baptized last Sunday was confirmed this Sunday. This made me overjoyed because her family is really struggling. It will do her much good in her life to have the Holy Ghost with her throughout her life.

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Natalia happily received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

That is something that a lot of people do not understand here. The importance of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is greater than baptism itself. (It is the completion, or second part, of the baptism ordinance, so you need them both, but the Holy Ghost helps you directly every day.) A lot of people would argue with that statement, but think like this:

After you are baptized, your are clean from all your sins from the past. Does the baptism itself change you? No. It does not change you at all. (Yes, baptism is an essential ordinance, but I am talking about the immediate difference in your day-to-day life.) It might affect your desire to change and therefore you might change a little, but baptism by itself will not change you to be a better person; rather, it is the decision to be baptized that begins the change. 

Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, however, will change you. That is why it is such a blessing. After being cleaned from your sins through baptism, you have the chance to have the Holy Ghost with you and guide you wherever you go, as long as you are listening and living the commandments. The Holy Ghost can help change you as a person by showing or teaching you what you need to do better. As long as you are following the Holy Ghost, you will change for the better and you will be happier than ever. People don’t see that they need help with their problems, they just want to be rid of them. The Holy Ghost helps the people free themselves of the their desires to sin again.

I know this to be true.

I am so thankful that I am allowed to be here on my mission and to work like I do. It is die-hard work, but it is very rewarding and I think I am more happy here helping people be baptized then I ever will be in my life again. Every day the gospel is re-testified in my head that it is true. There is no way that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not true. If anyone wants to prove me wrong, I dare ya. The church is true. We have millions of testimonies and billions more in the spirit world. You just need to listen for their cries to hear them. I know this gospel to be true.

I love you guys and hope you keep your eyes lifted to see what can be yours. 

Wish I could say more,
Elder Burt

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One thought on “I know this gospel to be true

  1. Actually, Elder Burt, what you said was perfect. I’m so delighted to read about your mission and see the ways you have grown and matured. You will never/ever forget the mission…it is a lining for your whole life and will help you make good decisions all the way through, as long as you remain faithful, which I am sure you will. 🙂 What a great example for your brothers and sisters to read about your testimony. Bless you. Love, Sister Markham

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