Monday, October 9, 2017

Kolipoki

Last P-day we went souvenir shopping downtown a little since it is our area now haha. We also had this huge soiree (party with a spiritual message) in Nouville which is this giant peninsula that sticks out from downtown noumea. This peninsula has the only prison and university for all of new cal and also is full of the richest and poorest people on all of new cal haha. Its a crazy contrast. There are super nice houses/apartments with squats right across the street in some areas. Anyways the soiree went super well. We had it at a squat of a recent convert family from Lifou. They invited lots of members and nonmember neighbors! It was super well put together and the food was super good. This little kid kept calling me Kolipoki all night too haha. He thought I must have been related to him. 

Thursday we just went contacting downtown. Not a whole lot came from it. We waited till Sunday to meet all the members in the ward to see how we can actually get some work done because the area book doesn't have a whole lot so we are starting from scratch.

Friday was more contacting. I also had to take over an English class. Only one student came and all we did for this one student was English immersion because he can understand a little already. 

Saturday was the same. Downtown contacting. A drunk guy wanted to steal my tie and said a bunch of funny stuff. The usual haha. 

Sunday was our first time in the magenta ward! The ward doesn't start until 2pm because the other chapel is STILL under repair from the cyclone like 6 months ago. There are still 4 wards meeting in one building. Not to hate on New Cal or anything but I'm convinced that everything is more expensive and takes longer here haha. All the missionaries in the ward, all 8 of us haha, bore their testimonies for fast Sunday and it was solid! 

Monday was zone conference. Most of the trainings were giving by missionaries this time round and they were all SPOT ON. It was almost on a general conference level of topic unity. 

Tuesday we finished up zone conference and in the morning had MLC. I'm no longer in leadership for the moment so I spent the 3 hours with Elder Darche helping him in the mission office haha. 

Also, I heard that Andres baptism up in Bourail went really well!!! Sad that I had to leave right before his baptism especially because we did all the lessons with him but I heard it went well! Ill try to fish for some pictures from other missionaries. 

That's it for this week! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Pics:
All the missionaries who went home this transfer. Elder Ursenbach, Kessler and Sister Pahio
The fountain downtown noumea
Elder Thomson from Lethbridge AB who just came back from serving in Vanuatu

Zone Conference pics





Sunday, October 1, 2017

Bye Bye Bourail

Last p-day was pretty normal. We did check out one of the beaches though and we watched the sunset which was awesome. Bourail is known for the best beaches on New Cal! 

Thursday we headed down to La Foa again. Had another super solid lesson with Andre. I've said this before but every lesson with have with him amazes me. We also had a super amazing chicken skewer lunch with the Goyetche family. After Frere Goyetche took us to visit tons of people he knows in La Foa. Not a whole lot of people were home unfortunately but it was cool anyways.

Friday I did my last French class because we found out transfers!! Elder Mariterangi and I got moved down to Vallee des Colons which is the heart of downtown Noumea. Literally the biggest possible change a missionary can have in New Cal. The new apartment is suuuper tiny. We are literally walking on our suitcases haha. Tons of people and tons of noise. To make it even better it's a whitewash. 

Saturday we had another lesson with Anna and her family out in the tribe. Solid as always. We are trying to prepare them to go to the temple one day. We also cleaned the house a little and I wrote my talk for sacrament meeting. Normally a stake high counselor was suppose to come up to Bourail to speak but he couldn't so the missionaries are filling in!

Sunday I lead the music again and gave my first real talk in French! Went really well. The branch was a little confused why I was leaving right after I got there haha. After church the Goyetche family made Me and Elder Mariteragi a little meal to send us off. Super nice of them! Sunday night the ZL's and the Kone elders came to the Bourail house in order to do the exchange. We had 7 Elders sleeping in one house haha. I little crowded I'd say. 

Monday morning we drove down to Noumea. Only about a 2 and a half hour car ride. We got to say goodbye to the departing missionaries then we were off to Vallee des Colons. When we got there the apartment was completely empty. It didn't even have a phone charger for our dead phone or an area book haha. We couldn't really do a whole lot. We are actually reopening the area because it was closed for a transfer. 

Tuesday we found out that the ZL's had our area book and our phone charger so all is well. We took a little tour of the area. Walked around La Place des Cocotiers which is basically the central park. Seems like a cool area. We also had our first district meeting with an entirely whitewashed district. All 4 companionships have been whitewashed lol. 

That's it for this week! Have a good General Conference everyone! We'll be watching it the week after to wait for French translation.  

Also the email title forcibly rhymes if you pronounce Bourail right haha. Sorry just had to throw that in there.

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Pics: -New district
-Farewell to the Goyetche Family and Andre (back left in the photo) who's getting baptized this Saturday. 
-Bourail sunsets
-Bourail "Cas" tribal huts

-Generic beach photo





Sunday, September 24, 2017

BBQ

Last P-day was rather uneventful. We sat in the house and talked and did our normal P-day things. We did have a random dude at a gas station tell us that some random lady in France gave some money to a guy who was suppose to be slightly dressed like us as missionaries and he wanted us to somehow figure out who this guy was because the lady wants her money back. It was probably the most impossible request that I've ever been given as a missionary haha. 

Thursday we went back down to La Foa with Frere Goyetche, the member that lives down there. When we got to his house he wasn't there which was not normal. Turns our he was casually fighting a fire down the road haha. We also saw our investigator Andre who is getting baptized in 10 days! We had a lesson on the Word of Wisdom and it was a miracle actually. We speculated that he had some issues with the Word of Wisdom but he told us that he already felt like he needed to stop smoking and drinking coffee before he even knew it was against the commandments! He even told us that our lesson was inspired that day. From that day on he promised us that he would never drink coffee or smoke ever again! Crazy stuff. 

Friday we had our French class again. Turns out the students want to restart with the basics because the missionaries in the past went a little too fast and I really don't blame them, looking back at how long it took me to really understand and speak French. I'm still learning everyday and I am by no means perfect haha. Before my mission I always had this idea that the language would come easily and that after a year I would speak perfectly just like the stereotype of missionaries learning a language but I can testify that it is not like that at all haha. Friday we also did our contacting at the bus station just like every other day. This time round though a lady actually came to us! She wanted us to explain the Book of Mormon to her too but we kinda ran out of time. Her bus was leaving and she doesn't actually live in our area. That's the problem with contacting in Bourail actually. A lot of people on the street don't actually live here haha. There are just stopping by because its kinda like the hub of the island for the buses. 

Saturday we actually went back down to La Foa. We helped a non member collect clams on his private beach property. I don't have any pictures with me unfortunately We also checked up with Andre and he's still doing super well! 

Sunday I had to direct church for the first time of my life. We had a solid turn out too. With visitors we had around 30 at the branch! We also had to teach the lesson to all the Brothers. All went well. 

Monday we had our French class again then we did a little contacting before we headed up to Kone for our exchange. We gave out a few Book of Mormon's and it was solid. So for our exchanges we do them a little differently. Its actually just all 4 of us together because Kone and Bourail are like 100km's apart and us four are literally the whole district. We talked a ton about our areas and that night we had a backyard BBQ with a word of wisdom breaking amount of meat haha. 

Tuesday was just a continuation of the exchange. There is really not a whole lot to do to stay busy in these two areas but I bought a basketball and we tried a little sport contacting. It was soooo nice to finally get to play for real again. Its been around 6 months since I've really played. 

That's it for this week! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Pics:
-Backyard BBQ 
-Dead tractors on Frere Goyetche's 40 acres
-Cool dock
-Frere Goyetche gutting a deer: let me explain this a bit. So, for some reason, there are a ton of deer on New Cal. They are not native here but there are a ton, so lots of people in the north go hunting. Every meal at the Goyetche house has deer in it haha. It tastes super good.






Life in the Bush

Last P-day was rather boring. We did our normal routine and sat and talked at the house. 

Thursday was the big one year on mission anniversary! We went down to La Foa and worked with a super awesome member named Brother Goyetche! He is literally the most amazing member missionary I've ever seen. We literally stopped and talked to every single one of his neighbors and we helped his neighbors with a little service. He lives way way way out in the bush. He lives on 40 acres of land which is nothing compared to his neighbors who all have around 500 or more. We even set a baptismal date with a guy named Andre! We stopped by just to take apart a shed and then he asked us how he can get baptized into the church!!! Apparently he has had experience with the missionaries in other countries like Vanuatu and Australia already but he never got baptized. At church he later explained to us that for some reason he felt good when he saw us two and he knew it was time! Crazy miracles! 

Friday I had to take over a French class. Yes, a French class, not an English class. There is a Fijian and a Vietnamese who live here in New Cal but they don't speak french yet so they asked the missionaries before to do a French class for them. They both decently speak english so I'm kinda alone to teach them because my companion Elder Mariteragi is Tahitian and doesn't speak english. We also had our exchange with the zone leaders. For my 1 year anniversary Elder Claveau and Elder Mariterangi bought cake and ice cream and we had a good time. 

Saturday I woke up a little sick and I'm still feeling the effects. We had an early lesson out in a tribe with a recent convert who is the sister of the lady who got baptized in Ducos when I was there at the beginning of my mission! Crazy but cool! We also went to the Saturday market to do some contacting and to talked with everyone in the tiny town and a bunch of people gave us free stuff! All super good. 

Sunday was my first time going to a sacrament meeting in a branch! The missionaries are the ones who direct the meeting and the music. I had to direct the music this time round with my sick scratchy voice. There is no piano so I had to sing the introductions hahaha. There are only about 20 members who come. On a good day haha. There hasn't been a branch president for a little while so we are still waiting for some leadership in the branch haha. 

Monday and Tuesday were both pretty slow days. We tried some contacting but its hard when there are not a whole lot of people to talk to haha. We did go up to Kone for our District meeting though which is the furthest north area on New Cal. Super cool to see what it's like up there. I have learned that our area is literally massive. Takes like 2 or 3 hours just to drive across it hahah. Anyways that's it for this week! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Pics:

Bourail beaches
La chapelle!

one year anniversary!





Thursday, September 7, 2017

2 hours on a bus

Last Pday we didn't have our car so we kinda just chilled at the house for most of the day. We did have one dinner appointment with the Castel family though! We talked more about ww2 history here in New Cal. Super cool stuff. I also found out that ill be getting transferred to Bourail! Even further north! 

Thursday we had a zone training. President made a special trip down to New Cal to watch and talk about Elder Stevenson's visit to Vanuatu! Super cool getting to see an apostle directly address our mission even if we weren't there in person. 

Friday we got our car back from the AP's! We also got to visit quite a few people. I'm really tried to get my trainee situated before I leave! I also said goodbye to alot of people. 

Saturday I was suppose to get on a bus and head up to Bourail but it didn't work out. There weren't really any buses that day so the transfer got moved to Monday morning. 

Sunday I got to say goodbye and do some final lessons with some investigators. Another solid day. We also got to talk with an inactive from Tahiti who has a sick drift car. Definitely got a picture with that. 

Monday I hopped on a bus by myself and took it up to Bourail for 2 hours. First time I've really been alone on the mission. Pretty weird experience, Bourail is so incredibly different than anywhere else I've served. There are alot less people here and the area is absolutely massive. There are lots of tribes here too. Some of which haven't been opened to mission work because a member has to do a special custom thing to let missionaries in. Just way way different. We have a branch here of about 20 members and the missionaries usually run sacrament meeting because the stake is in the process of calling another branch president. 

That's it for this week! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Pics: not a whole lot this week but Ill take a bunch of the new area this week.
-That less actives ride
-With our new investigator Maka!

-More squats in Dumbea
-Birthday cake!
-One of the nighborhoods "Val Suzon"





Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Happy Birthday Elder Tetuaiterai

Another solid P-day last week. Elder Tetuaiterai made this raw tuna dish and we played soccer and volleyball with the kids in the neighborhood. 

Thursday I headed up to Tontouta on an exchange with Elder Claveau. First time I've done an exchange where I leave my own area. It was super solid. Taught a guy named Jean Mark the restoration. He understood super super well I was a little surprised. Later that day we taught a legendary recent convert named Steve about patriarchal blessings and we answered a bunch of his questions. Ive already talked I little about him in previous emails but he still amazes me. 

Friday was Elder T's birthday! I think we ate a total of 4 cakes for his birthday. Some other missionaries and members all made cakes for him haha. We also had a lesson with Rodrick the kid our age who told us he was baptized protestant and that he'll die protestant but at the end of the lesson he asked how can one get baptized into our church! Crazy stuff. 

Saturday we had a perfect lesson with Moea. I think she's finally convinced she needs to read the Book of Mormon now. We'll see this weekend if she actually does! We also met a new investigator named Maka. We showed up just to share a little message for maybe 15 minutes but he ended up feeding us lunch and asking a never ending stream of questions! Super cool. He's catholic but super open to talk about other religions. 

Sunday after church literally nobody was home. Didn't really get to talk to anyone unfortunately.

Monday we had to give up the car! We wont have a car all this week because presidents assistants are here and they decided to take our car to drive up and down the island to do exchanges with everybody. We probably walked 6 or 7 miles because our area is too big. We had a few lessons and it was solid but crazy tiring. 

Tuesday was a similar story. We decided to stay a little closer to our house this time round. We saw Nels and Vaiana again. Everyone is still going well! 

That's all for this week! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

-The senior couple, Elder and Sister Glade went home to Utah on Monday :((((((
-Elder Tetuaiterais birthday with the Selui family
-Raw tuna on a bed of cabbage with some raw tuna coconut milk Tahitian salad.




We saw a white cross

Last Pday we saw a white cross up on a mountain so we decided to hike to it. We got a little lost but finally found it. We also played a little volleyball with all the kids in the neighborhood. Sport contacting I guess you can call it.

Thursday we found a new investigator named Tino! Turns our he's related to a member. We had no idea. We also headed up north to do a baptismal interview with a Aki. One of the investigators in Tontouta. Apparently his baptism went super well! We couldn't go but all is well! 

Friday we found a couple new investigators as well! Maria and Roger! They live super far away in the squats but we actually started doing lessons with them now. We also saw the recent convert who lives right next to us, Vaiana. Another solid lesson with her. She joined the church up in Kone which is a group of a branch of like 15 members so shes a little scared to come to a ward with 100.

Saturday we decided to randomly help some people plant their garden. Potentially some new investigators. They were super super nice. Pic below.

Sunday we saw Moea after church. Another solid lesson with her. She already believes in a restoration of the gospel but in a different restoration haha. Apparently there is a prophet here in New Cal that she follows. We are really stressing the Book of Mormon with her.

Monday was a little rough. Nothing really worked out. Right at the end of the day we did find a new investigator named Rodrick though. He's our age and is actually interested! We saw him on Tuesday too and he wants us to come back Thursday!

That's about it for this week.

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank


Pics: Hiking to the cross