Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Waterless

Another full week of proselyting! Lots of good progress in the area this week! We set 2 baptismal dates and worked a ton. 

So we started the week last Tuesday without water cause our pipe broke! We didn't really get to shower for a couple days. Good thing we have deodorant!! haha. To start out... Jerry, one of our recent converts, came up to us at church and referred his sister to take the lessons haha. Even at 12 years old he's getting out and doing missionary work! Now his older sister and her friend are both taking the missionary lessons! We also followed up with one of our investigators named Johnathon. He straight up told us he was ready to change his life and he had stopped drinking and smoking. He's been holding all his engagements now and is ready to be baptized in the blink of an eye! Crazy miracle. We hadn't even taught him the word of wisdom yet and he felt the need to stop all these things!  

Wednesday we were told by some other missionaries that an investigator that wants to be baptized had just moved into our area so we spent literally 3 hours just talking with everyone trying to find this dude and never did!!! At least we get to meet a lot of people though haha. 

Thursday we saw a strong member couple but the wife isn't baptized yet! They still have to work through some marriage complications and to make things worse the husband's sister is trying to claim that their land is hers so they have to go to court. They might not even stay in our ward/area now :(. That's a big problem here in Vanuatu actually. Nobody really knows what land they live on cause the legal system here is so sketchy haha. 

Friday was another day full of lessons :)

Saturday and Sunday were both pretty similar. Sunday was especially long. We went to church and stayed in the area till night time. We had some dry raman to get us through the day haha. Jerry also got the aaronic priesthood! He'll be passing the sacrament next week! 

Bout it for this week! 

Love,
Elder Burbank

Pics: 
I keep forgetting to take pictures but here is a few of some cats cause they are literally everywhere.






Sunday, February 4, 2018

Transfer Complications

Finished up all the transfer movements this week! It was a little crazy. We got some new arrivers in on Wednesday who was off to New Cal but it turns out that church travel booked his flight to New Cal for 2019! He almost got arrested at the airport cause he has no Visa and no proof of leaving the country haha. We have to get him a flight on the spot to prove he was going to leave the country. The catch was that his flight was like 3 days later than all the others flying to New Cal cause their flight was full. Elder Lythall chilled with us and proselyted in Vanuatu for a few days! To make things worse his bags didn't even come so we had to improvise a bit and get him some clothes for a few days. Thankfully right before he left on Sunday his bags showed up at the airport thank goodness. Another thing that made things interesting was that 3 arrivers didn't even show up! They got held in the New Zealand MTC and no one told anyone in the mission! We had to cancel flights and such but nothing too crazy.

Another crazy thing. Wednesday morning at like 3:30am we had to take all the returning missionaries to the airport. First of all everyone in the house woke up late so we were all in a huge rush. To make things more interesting, when we got to the STL's house to pick up the one sister missionary returning to New Cal the gate to their complex was locked and turns out that they don't even have a key!! The poor sister had to throw her luggage over the 8 foot gate and change into shorts and climb over herself! A nice stressful morning to say the least :)

Thursday we just drove around new arrives to get all their business done. I also helped Elda Child learn how to drive stick :) that was fun. President wanted him to learn it well before we got the new bus (which we finally have now)!! It's basically the same, just not falling apart haha. 

We got quite a few days to proselyte this week and it was super cool being in a trio. We had about 14 lessons and Elder Lythall kinda felt lost the whole time haha. He thought he would be learning French. Our 12 year old recent convert Jerry should be getting the priesthood soon too which is exciting!! The area is going well. Still teaching alot and got a good set of progressing investigators. 

Bout it! 

Have a good week everyone!

Love,
Elder Burbank

Pics:

Elder Thomsen going home back to Lethbridge! 


Elder Lythall, The lost temporary comp haha. 


First time I've ever driven a brand new car off the lot!! 20km's 









Sunday, January 28, 2018

Transfer week 0_0

Been a little busy lately. Moving around everyone in the mission has been fun. We also got 3 new unexpected arrivers to the mission which changed transfers at the last second so we have to cancel and book some new flights. Thankfully they weren't full. The Lord always finds a way to get his missionaries where he wants them haha. 

Anyway we also had another baptism this week! Jerry finally got baptized which is super awesome! Elda LaMont performed the baptism and he'll be transferred to zone leader today actually. He was super happy to see him baptized before he goes!! I only got to spend one transfer with Elda LaMont which is sad but my new comp Elda Child is awesome too! He just started his mission like 3 months ago. He started on the most "bush" island in the mission called Gaua. The stories he has to tell are of legend. His older brother actually finished his mission on Gaua and he started his there lol. The whole island basically loves their family. Anyway I'll be training Elda Child as the new travel elder now. It should be fun and nice and stressful :). 

The transfer craze is almost done. We just have to worry about sending off leaving missionaries and new arrivers coming in. We also recently found out who the new mission president is going to be! He's from Provo but originally from Canada (don't know which part). He speaks fluent french apparently. His name is President Duquette. Sounds French eh?

Not too much to write about honestly. I forgot my journal at the house so I'll write more next week! 

Till next week!

Love,
Elder Burbank

Pics:
-The tiny little bush chapel in Paonangizo (north efate)
-Jerry the legend got baptized!!!
-Other peeps that got baptized with Jerry!
-Elda Child
-We dropped off Elda Urima and Elda Mariteragi (one of my comps in New Cal. He just got transferred to Vanuatu!) in Paonangizo. About a 2 hour road trip! 
-Snake hill (you cant really see it but its mind blowingly steep)










Thursday, January 25, 2018

Office Week

Well this week really wasn't all too exciting. A majority was spend blowing my mind up in the office. We spent like 3 full days in the office straight. I was ready to blow my mind up after. Anyway I'll break it down day by day.

Last Pday I got a fresh haircut at a real barber shop! First haircut from an actual barber for my entire mission haha. We were trying to look all nice for the member of the seventy who came yesterday, Elder Cardon. He's in the area presidency for the pacific and he was super chill. More about him later. 

Tuesday was a district training by President Granger. Solid stuff as always. Getting to the meeting was interesting though. We woke up and the tire on our bus was flat cause there was a nail in it. We had to put the spare on right then and there. After the meeting, we got the tire patched and all was well. We are still suppose to be getting the new bus for the mission soon. It's only been delayed like 5 times haha. Gotta love island time. 

Wednesday the office madness started. Sister Granger dropped a ton of stuff that they're up to these next couple months and we got transfers. We get transfers a good 2 weeks in advance to book all the flights and organize everything. I found out that Elder LaMont is already going to be leaving me! I'll be travel elder "nambawan" ("number one" in english) now haha. President loves keeping me out of comfort zones. I'm looking forward to training someone how to do all this travel stuff. 

Thursday and Friday were also office days. I got some crazy bad headaches from being in there too long haha. 

Saturday we finally had a proper day in the area again! We found out that one of our investigators went off the deep end and broke up with his girlfriend and started doing all sorts of crazy things. We think that he might actually be insane but were not sure yet. We also committed a ton of people to church but no one ended up coming!! 

Sunday not a single investigator came to church and most peoples excuses were comical. We also picked up some missionaries from outer islands for the zone conference with Elder Cardon. All went well. 

Monday Elder Cardon taught us tons about the importance of getting investigators to pray, about the Abrahamic covenant, finding investigators etc. Its was really really great stuff. I like his way of teaching. It truly is a blessing to have the chance to meet so many general authorities of the church on a mission. They are truly "special witnesses" of Jesus Christ.  

Bout it! 

Love,
Elder Burbank

Sorry I completely forgot to take pictures this week so the only ones I have is driving to the internet cafe. Oh and our house haha.  

Pics:
Me finishing up emails!
Our hosting house/hotel haha
View close to our house
View from the internet cafe :)

Driving in Vila







Monday, January 15, 2018

Baptism!

Another solid week here in Vanuatu. It is incredibly hot here.  More so than New Cal but it's just something that I've accepted now. Last Pday we had a solid "Family house night" (family home evening) with the 1st counselor in the bishopric. A lot of his family speaks french which was nice. I already feel like some French is slipping away from me and I want to practice!

Tuesday we saw all our investigators who got baptized last Saturday. We had to do some interviews with the district leader and what not. All went well! Also, this member family gave us a huge bunch of bananas. Not sure how we are going to eat like 50 bananas but its fine. 

Wednesday we did an exchange with the office elders. They are in a trio so I got to go with the other 2 while the district leader went with Elder LaMont. All 3 of us were all relatively new to Vanuatu. I've been here for a month and Elder Gaulden has too. Elder Kennedy has only been here about 3 so we all got some good experience talking Bislama. I surprised myself how much I could actually say after a month. It's coming WAAAY faster than French that's for sure. Also the weather on Wednesday was torture. We were on foot and it was super hot and raining at the same time which is the worst combo. 

Thursday we had some new arrivers to the mission. We got them out to their areas pretty easily. We also taught our investigator Jerry who was suppose to come to his baptism but couldn't yet cause he, with a bunch of other kids in his village, all got circumcised. We taught him with all his circumcised buds in a tent. The lesson was a little strange cause they all couldn't really move and they were all stuck in bed but a good story to tell haha.  

Friday was super busy. We followed up with a bunch of people that we found when contacting with president. 2 solid investigators came from it. We also met this "chief" dude who runs a little village here on Efate with a ton of families from Tanna (another island). He was super open to talking with us. So far we've only taught his son but we hope to talk with him soon. 

Saturday was Joma and Ivong's baptism! Their recent convert father baptized them which was a cool sight to see! Jerry's baptism is postponed till next week for the moment. When he can walk again is the real factor haha. For the baptism, Elder LaMont and I got asked to do the talks on Baptism and The Holy Ghost on the spot! I fumbled through a talk on baptism in a language I hardly know haha. All was well. 

Sunday was great. The most organized sacrament meeting since I've been here haha. A ton of people from the ward actually came too. We filled the chapel finally. Joma and Ivong got confirmed and we worked some stuff out with Bishop so a couple can get married and baptized soon. 

Bout it for this week!

Love, avec amour, lavem yufala tumas (I change the spelling everytime cause I don't think anyone knows how its actually spelled) ,
Elder Burbank 


Pics:

-Bananas!

-Left to right: Me, Elder LaMont, Joma, Grem (recent convert father), Ivong then another kid who got baptized in the ward by some other missionaries (Elder Gunnel and Elder Ficklin). 

-Tri-lingual 





Sunday, January 7, 2018

Finding like Krazy

So this week was good. So for the new year last pday all the missionaries on efate got together to do a service project! We made hygiene kits for the people of Ambae (another island). About 40 people made 1000 kits in like 30 to 45 mins. The team work was insane. Nothing better than doing a service project for the new year! Also after the project president felt impressed to give basically an improv zone conference which was cool. Getting everybody hyped for the new year of missionary work. This year will be his and my last year on the mission!!! Crazy to think about.

Tuesday we had "district meeting with the mission president" he tried to make it such an official thing haha. It was actually super awesome. A huge benefit about being in Vanuatu is getting to work with president a ton. A huge huge blessing that we didn't really have in New Cal. After the meeting he took each companionship in the district contacting for an hour and Elder LaMont and I with president literally contacting like 130 in a little over an hour. Our area is bush too (not alot of people) so I couldn't believe. We basically just stormed the fruit stands and the people selling stuff on the side of the road, it was awesome. 

Wednesday we made sure Jerry was ready for his baptism this upcoming Saturday. He's a bright little kid. He cant read but he's still really smart. The "runs" also decided to ruin my life for a day. I was up multiple times in the night. I should probably be more careful to what I eat here lol. 

Thursday we had some good lessons with some new investigators. One asked how he could be baptized into the church so that's always a good sign. Another lesson was with a family that we met from Tanna (another super rural island). They were asking tons of good questions about prophets and what not. Most of them are uneducated but they still decently understand everything we teach them. 

Friday we sent of two Ni-van brothers going to their missions in Papua New Guinea. Its always a little crazy hosting islanders at the house but it just comes with the job haha. Also I never thought that I'd be at an airport for so much of my mission haha.

Saturday we had a solid lesson with a new family that we'd found with president. They seem super solid and they actually got a big understanding of the bible it seems so this should be good. So the thing here about missionary work is that almost everyone here will accept you to teach them but the problem is finding the people who are actually interested. Its a different challenge cause people will always accept you but you may just be wasting time cause they will never progress. The work is tricky in a different way here. 

Sunday was alright. A normal fast and testimony meeting but we literally could not hear a thing the whole meeting cause the one speaker they have which is run by a tiny hand sized generator outside the chapel was waaay too quiet haha. I don't know why they didn't turn it up. After church we went straight to our area and taught a few important lessons. We taught Joma and Ivong again which should be getting baptized this Saturday too. We are kinda rushing a bit to make sure they're ready. Oh I should probably explain too that we neither live in or go to church in our area. We live close to the mission office so it takes like 30 minutes just to drive out to our area every time and when we are at church already which is already close to our area it makes it a bit of a hassle to go all the way back home to eat so like every Sunday is fast Sunday haha. 

That's about it for this week!

Love, Avec amour (keeping the french alive), Luvem yufala tumas,
Elder Burbank

Pics (sorry I didn't really take any this week): 
-Picked up Elder Nulak from Malakula! Comp reunion! He didn't actually know I was transferred to -Vanuatu so it was a big surprise for him haha.
-Ocean views from Vila

-So I took this pic with a random Papi cause people here have the most random shirts. This is just one example. This papi has never heard of the red hot chili peppers and he lives waaay out in the bush yet they get these shirts. Where? No idea. 





Island Holiday

So Christmas season has been pretty great! I loved getting to see Christmas from two different sides of the mission! From our Christmas party everyone on Efate went to presidents house and we had a house gift exchange and played lots of fooseball haha. We also got to host like 8 elders at our house who flew in from Tanna which is always a fun experience. It gets a little crazy with 10 missionaries in ONE HOUSE but it's the best haha. 

So for New Years everyone in the mission was told to stay inside cause the parties get a little crazy around here, however the office district with president and Sister Granger did a whole island tour and stopped by every single missionary house on Efate. It took about 5 hours and we wished everyone a happy new year. Its was super cool and also a little stressful with sister Granger being the protective mother she is haha. She didn't hesitate to "improve my driving".

Anyway as far as missionary work goes, our area is been progressing really well! We found 14 new investigators just in this last holiday week alone! I was super hyped. We also have 3 convert kids who should be getting baptized in January. Their names are Jerry, Joma and Ivong. Pics at the bottom. Our area is literally the best cause we get to take our bus off-roading almost everyday. The roads to some of our investigators houses are absolutely terrible. We've already got stuck once and we both had to get out and push the bus free ourselves :). 

Cool story: while going to see our investigator Joma, an 11 year old kid, we were told by his brother that he left the house to go fishing at a pond. We were a little disappointed that he wasn't there for his lesson but then we just asked his little brother Ivong who we were suppose to teach too to take us to him. After 15 mins of wondering in the bush we found Joma fishing and we did a lesson on the plan of salvation on the spot next to the pond. To make it better after the lesson a guy who was just taking a walk in the bush walked by and we contacted him too and he gave us coconuts and we walked back to his house with him and taught him right then and there. Turns out he's super interested in the Book of Mormon. Cool miracles. 

That's it for these last two weeks! I kinda have to cut emails shorter now cause I got less time! 

Avec amour, Lovem yufala tumas,
Elder Burbank

Pics:

Christmas party at presidents

Jungle :)

 These roads tho

 PINEAPPLES


Wishing all the missionaries happy new year on our "party bus island tour"

These roads tho

 Joma fishing

 Tell Nate the sloth has been mounted on the bus!!

 Crazy kids

Ivong leading us through the bush

Kids wanted a picture