Sunday, June 17, 2018

Trio


Weekly highlights:

Well last P-day wasn't much of a Pday at all. We just ran around doing errands and sorted some issues out. Probably one of the hardest P-days of the mission :)

Wednesday we got a third member to the companionship - Elder Mariteragi! One of my previous companions from New Caledonia haha. He was even Elder Hales' companion for a little bit too so we all kind of had a companionship reunion. He is getting transferred to Port Vila again and is just waiting for his flight. He'll be flying back tomorrow. Its been fun catching up on whats been happening. This is his last transfer on the mission! Crazy to think that he's going back to Tahiti in 4 weeks! Talking with him really makes me want to go to Tahiti now :)

Thursday we found this new investigator named Kal! He had tons of good questions about the priesthood. At first he thought that Paul never received the priesthood and that all we needed was the holy ghost to minister the ordinances of the gospel but it was really cool to see how he really came to an understanding that he did actually receive the priesthood! Not sure if hes super potential or not but we'll see. I also got to talk with Elder Hoose, the district leader on another island, Malekula for a good while. They all flew in for zone conference but we took them to the airport to fly back. Hes actually from New York and said he'd take me on a tour of Manhattan one day. I got a running list of places I need to visit now haha

Friday we taught a less active guy named Rolong who has huge potential to become a priesthood holder in the Tanovoli branch. We are arranging transport for him to come next week! Slowly but surely this branch is going to be at functioning capacity again! Nothing is going to stop the work of God from progressing!

Saturday we had another solid lesson with a new investigator named Grinsilla. She lives literally like 10 steps away from the church building in Tanovoli lol. She could get baptized in the next month I'd imagine but she is actually going to be going back to her tiny little island in northern Vanautu called Mota :(((((. She's not the only one though. There is this papa that lives close to the same place named Richard and he seems like he could progress really well too but hes going back to Mota as well :(((. C'est la vie.

Sunday we went to church in Jarilan. There were actually a ton more members there this week!!! About 70 I think which is waay up from before. Exciting to see. We also had Papa Peter with his wife come to church! They are by far our strongest investigators. Both parents are super glad to go to church so I think that the whole family could join the church! Really cool to see. He said he knows the rest of his family is going to persecute him for following "The Mormons" but he said he really believes its true.

That's all the highlights for this week! 

Love,
Elder Burbank

Santo zone photo



Sunday, June 10, 2018

Granger's Farewell

Twas a bit of a crazy and sad week. 

Here are some highlights:

Last Monday we had an awesome family house night with some less actives in the Tanovoli branch. The less active guy came back to church on Sunday too! We talked about family unity and becoming Zion as a family. Twas good. 

Tuesday we had to do a specialized zone training. Everyone on Santo came in and we talked about the power of "small and simple things." Small and simple means can either destroy or make our missions.

Wednesday we found a bunch of really cool members in this place called cross road. These people live right on the beach across from another smaller island called Tangoa. The island is so close you can talk to people on it from santo haha. Super cool. The beach is straight up black too which is even cooler! We are arranging for transport to pick them up to go to church cause they don't really have means of getting to church. Hopefully this upcoming week they can all come.

Thursday we were talking with another less active in Tanovoli named Jenny. She lives alone with her kids because her husband is gone as a "seasonal worker" in New Zealand. He picks fruit or something like that. There are actually a ton of Ni-vans who get hired on by companies abroad to do hard labor. We also found out that she has a "house girl" who lives with her who seems really interested to take the lessons so we are excited to teach her too. 

Friday we literally drove all day long. We had to do some baptismal interviews in the bush in a place called Palon. We then had to pick up new incoming missionaries and drive them to another bush place called Fanafo. In total I probably drove our truck for like 7 plus hours. Somehow in the mist of all the transfers movements we found this lady named Julie who's husband gets back from New Zealand on Friday and they should be getting married right away so she can get baptized into the church! We just starting re-teaching the lessons to her because she feels ready to join the church after so many years. 

Saturday I ate this fruit called corossol and it was probably one of the best tasting things Ive ever had haha. Its like eating a fruit salad cause it tastes like so many different fruits at the same time. We also went to a bunch of small little villages. The first being "usa" lol pronounced "usha" then we went to "Berol" then we went to "Rata" we met a bunch of random members and non-members. We are still trying to figure out who the Elders before taught in this area since this whitewash was kind of intense. Nobody had any notice that they were changing so it all got left opened ended. 

Sunday we had 2 members of the district presidency at the tiny Tanovoli branch. The branch got a well needed boost I'd say. It was a solid church sesh. After church we went upto Jarilan to see how church up in that branch went too. Attendance was up a little. We also found this guy named Peter who is definitely our most solid investigator now. He said he's literally gone to every church he could go to to find the truth. We taught him about priesthood power and he totally understood! I'm super hyped to teach him again. Especially because he has distant family that are members which means there will be good member involvement to help him progress. 

Monday we had our farewell zone conference with the Granger's! It was only one day and it was kinda rushed but it was good. Crazy to see the Granger's go because Ive spent my whole mission with them! Just a few hours ago when we dropped the AP's off at the airport will be the last time ill ever see them in person. It was a sad moment. 

That's it for this week! Running out of time! 

Love,
Elder Burbank

Pics:
Last Photo with the Granger's
Cows are always on the road






Monday, June 4, 2018

MLC


Well this week we spent mostly in Vila again. We flew to Vila early Tuesday morning and got to meet up with all the leaders around the mission! I got to see Elder Graf, Elder Secreten and my son Elder Champoux again which was super awesome!! We all learned a ton and I feel like president went all out because this is his last MLC he'll ever do! We learned lots about the importance of prayer and the importance of sincere repentance through small and simple things.

We flew back to Santo on Friday and then went straight to the area that we know nothing about. We drove an hour and a half out there and met with a bunch of random members. We then were told that there is a solid investigator in an outer village called Vilijo so we got our squad of kids to show us the way through the bush for like 30 minutes. We were literally crossing coconut plantations, rivers and climbing cliffs to get to this place and it turns our only this investigators father was there :(. We still taught him though with some other random dudes in the village. 

Saturday we were busy taking missionaries around and doing some errands. I got to see Elder Nulak again. My long lost companion from New Cal haha. Later in the day we finally got out to one of the branches in our area called Tanovoli. The branch is really small like I've said before but the members are cool. There is this mama named Rose that we spoke with and we had a huge spiritual lesson with her. We talked about how powerful a simple a testimony can be. Mom I shared your experience of when you were talking to your bishop when you were young about how you knew that you were a child of God. It was a tender moment. 

Sunday we went to church in the other branch "Jarilan" and spoke with a ton of less actives. Unfortunately the church has had some unfortunate difficulties here so as missionaries we really get to be involved in the administrative part of the church. We are literally helping the church grow and helping the members through growing pains. Up here in Santo it's a district so it's all under the direct of the mission president. We are really trying to get people to understand their responsibilities and callings. That's about it for this week! The white wash has been good. I feel like I'm always on my toes. 

Love,
Elder Burbank

Pics:
-MTC district reunion! Unfortunately without Elder Walton :(((
-MLC dinner
-New Cal leaders! 
-View from the Jarilan village
-Walking to Vilijo with the kids







Sunday, May 27, 2018

Surprise


Turns out president needed me to switch islands so I'm on Santo now! Our house is huge and the area we just got whitewashed in is really far away. Takes about an hour and a half drive on an awful road up a mountain to this little village with a tiny Branch of the church called Jarilan. Not going to lie it is a really cool place but I'm hearing that the missionary work up there is pretty hard. Should be a good challenge! My new companion is named Elder Hales from Lehi. He has been out for about 8 months and has spent his whole mission so far on Santo. He's a good Elder. 

I've only been in Santo for like 3 days but the highlight was definitely at church! We went to this branch called Tanovoli and it is TINY. Only about 15 members. We had church in a tiny tiny shack and it was a super tight knit group. Cool to see the church at its smallest extremities. 

This week I've also been a little down cause I had to leave Blacksand so soon! I really got so close to those members and investigators in such a short time. I'm pretty sure Tino and Kawia were baptized last Saturday but Ill find our in a couple days because we are flying back to Efate for MLC. I had to leave on such short notice so I never got to say goodbye to anyone! :(((

This last week we also had another 2 exchanges. One where I went to Pango with Elder Dickes and one with Elder Eagar as the travel elder again haha. It took me to leave travel to realize how much I didn't like office work haha. Both exchanges were pretty solid. I saw a ton of less actives with Elder Dickes and basically just did travel stuff with Elder Eagar. We found a little time to get to the area and I got to see some of my Teouma buds again. Twas a good week! Happy to be out here serving a mission! 

Love,
Elder Burbank

Pics:
-Elder Hales
-Jungle roads
-Farewell to Jonathan in Teouma
-Farewell to David in Teouma
-Recent converts and Elder Dickes on our exchange! 







Sunday, May 20, 2018

Back to Back Exchanges


This week was pretty loaded. We had two exchanges and 20 lessons. It felt over before it started haha. 

First exchange was with Elder Johnson from Arizona! He just got out on the mish 4 weeks ago. Hes a stud. He surprisingly has no culture shock whatsoever. We spent the day just seeing a bunch of less actives and had another good lesson across the river with Mary and Steven. 

Second exchange was with Elder Desir from Aruba! Also a solid exchange. Didn't have a whole lot planned but we were busy just about all day seeing more less actives. 

Friday we were packed full with doing baptismal interviews from other district leaders. We went down to Pango and did one for a 14 year old girl then went to Etas and did one for this handicapped girl at the bottom of this cliff in the back of the bush. We were basically slipping our way down this cliff trying not to die to get to this investigators house haha. 

Saturday we saw this less active teenager named Mike. Not going to lie he did not look happy to see us but after talking for a while it was all good. Had a good lesson on Ether 12:27. Later we had a family house night with this really cool family that just moved into our ward. The father is from Pentecost (famous for land diving) and his wife is from Fiji. She apparently remembers my HEFY group that went to fiji summer 2015 which is crazy. Their family is also hosting a few Muslim dudes from Bangladesh who work in Fiji. They were pretty chill. They made us some super good curry for dinner. The whole lesson was in English which was even weirder cause....English. 

Sunday we walked our church squad down to the chapel again haha. We had 6 investigators come and 2 are getting baptized next week! Also another miracle: Papa Kamie's divorce papers are finally going to come through and they don't have to go to court! He should be getting baptized with his daughter Nana in about 2 weeks I reckon. 

That's it for this week! It's good to be on the mish! Wouldn't want to be doing anything else right now!

Love,
Elder Burbank

Pics:
-Walking down the cliffs in Etas. Elder Johnson at the bottom, Elder Gunnel in the middle and Elder Hardy up close.
-Big tree that fell down but its still alive and grows lol. 




Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day


Had another solid week. Last P-day we had this awesome FHE with a massive family from Tanna. There were a ton of kids so it got a little disorganized and crazy but its hard not to love the kids haha. For the closing hymn Elder Hardy and I basically sung "As Zion's youth in latter days" by ourselves. Twas funny.

Tuesday I gave our districts training on revelation. I spent a good while studying the prophets talk on the subject. I really like the quote he used from D and C talking about how we as mortals cannot stop the flow of revelation that God wants to give to us. He compares it to a man putting his hand in the Missouri river. Anyway after we had to do something president calls "train the trainers". We just spent a little bit of time with the newbees and their trainers and talking about the expectations of the mission. It went well. 

Wednesday we found 2 new investigators in the village on the other side of the river, Mary and Steven. They are pretty young but their parents want them to go to church with us so voila. We also saw Tino again who really perked up this lesson. He actually talked so that's some progress! He has a baptismal date for the 26th :). 

Thursday we saw Kawia again and had a solid lesson with her. She seems on track to be baptized. Shes been coming to church but now we just have to get her Mom reactivated!!! Later we also had a meeting with the mission president and the state president on Efate. The meeting went really well I think. We were just discussing some of the needs of the mission and the state and how we can work together and what not. 

Friday we did some baptismal interviews in this area right next to the beech called Pango. We interviewed 2 super cool little kids who seemed hyped to join the church. Cool to see such strong testimonies at such a young age. We also found out that one of our solid potential investigators just kinda fell off the map. We think shes avoiding us and she keeps making stupid excuses. She really liked taking the lessons I think but she doesn't want to let go her party life quite yet :(. Them Ni-vans and their partying...sigh. 

Saturday we did another baptismal interview then went back across that river. We found two new investigators again named Natu and Juliet. They are both related to this inactive dude who loves talking to the missionaries named Thompson. We're hoping to get them all to church next week. 

Sunday we had 5 investgators at church. We walked Mary and Steven with a mob of pikininis (kids) to church. We cant take people in the truck so we figured we'd just walked all the way with them haha. After church we saw Kawia again and got to know her family a lot better I think. Next lessons we're planning on giving her a baptismal date. She just learned how to pray and really loves coming to church. Cool to see! 

That's all for this week! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Pics:
"Lyn" from this awesome member family 
Blacksand church building
Helping move a bunch of wild peanuts
Bush walk









Sunday, May 6, 2018

River Crossing


Last P-day I got to ride my first famous "port vila bus". Our truck was getting serviced so we had to take buses to get around. We also had an awesome family house night with the second counselor in our ward. Shared a few good verses in the Book of Mormon Ether 12:6-9 on faith. 

Tuesday we went into another Tanna community and found this return sister missionary named Winnie. She showed us around the village and we started teaching this little 10 year old boy named Tino that they look after. They kinda took him in after he lost his parents and now he's been coming to church so he might get baptized this month! 

Wednesday we went into the bush to a place called RangoRango. Some missionaries baptized a few people who lived up there but their baptismal records never got properly done, so we spent quite a bit of time trying to find them. Twas a really really pretty area. I didn't really take any pictures unfortunately.

Thursday we saw Marian again! We invited her to be baptized and she said she'd think about it. She did come to church for the first time this Sunday though which was awesome! We are kind of hoping she can get baptized this month. 

Friday we went to yet another Tanna village behind the airport. The only way to get to most of the people was to cross a river. We rolled up the pants and went for it haha. It was actually super cool. We met this little 10 year old kid named Samuel and he showed us around the whole village. He even walked us all the way back to our house haha. 

Saturday was solid. We started the day teaching that french speaking family and we did a little service project for them too. The papa has a date for the 26th so were working hard to have that happen. Later we met some members in blacksand. We are trying to work alot more with the members to get referrals. There is honestly no better way to do missionary work! 

Sunday we had 4 investigators come to church! We also had quite a few solid lessons. We met this girl named Marie in our ward and she is getting ready to put in her mission papers so she said she'd help us work in blacksand.

Bout it for this week! Looking forward to mothers day calls next week! 

Love,
Elder Burbank

Pics:
Walkin in RangoRango
Truck