Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cannons and Stake Conference

Last Pday I showed Elder Champoux just about every cannon I could think of in Noumea haha. We had a good time running around an old military base too. There were even some old military storage caves too that we explored in the dark with just our phone light. 

Thursday we visited some inactives and contacted some investigators on our potentials list. Had a little bit of success actually. The potential lists are kinda old but missionaries before never really followed up. We also tried an English class approached while contacting and one lady wanted to had a little lesson on the spot. She works for one of the resorts so she wants to understand the tourists better. Turns out she's the aunt of one of the investigators I had in Ducos. That investigator was even visiting her aunt so it was a funny little reunion haha. 

Friday was weekly planning day. We have decided to do most of our studies and planning downtown at the coconut square in order to get a little more exposure. Being outside is much better than being in our super small apartment too. We also saw Coralie again who dropped the news that she'll be moving to "Provo" at first I was super confused as you can imagine but apparently Provo is short for a British island in the Caribbean. She doesn't know exactly when she's leaving yet but she already knows where the LDS chapel is there and she's excited to go to church in English! At this point we really don't know if she wants to get baptized before or after she leaves. 

Saturday we went to the priesthood session of stake conference. The stake president's wife gave a talk which was the first time Ive seen a women talk in a priesthood session. Most of the talks were pretty direct with fire and brimstone haha. We also spent most of the day just cleaning up the potential investigator lists. That's kinda our project for the moment is to fix our area book. 

Sunday we went to general session of stake conference. Apparently we had investigators there but they got lost in the crowed and we didn't even see them or talk to them. The talks were solid. The mom of a recent convert who is leaving on his mission to Paris talked and bore her testimony about how much the church helped her sons life. She's not even a member but she had a powerful powerful testimony. First time Ive ever seen a non member speak in stake conference too.

Monday we saw a bunch of people but just to highlight we finally saw Rudi again! He'll be getting married super soon to his member girlfriend and maybe baptized soon after their marriage. He's a super cool dude that like learning about the gospel. We also played some bball with the neighborhood kids which was hilarious. All the little kids say some funny stuff to us Americans. 

Tuesday we had a pretty busy morning. Lesson at 8am,9am District meeting at 10 till 12 then lesson at 12:30 and at 2. Didn't really have time to eat or breath haha. Its the best feeling in the world to be busy though. Anyways that it for this week! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank
Pics: 
Military bases















Tuesday, November 14, 2017

QuebecQuoi?

So last week was pretty awesome. I finished out the week with Elder Hable and all went well. Last Pday Elder Hable had to do his driving test with our senior missionary Sister Jean. I had to sit in the back seat and it was a little crazy. It was a super simple test but she likes to be a little dramatic sometimes and stress out the driver haha. No one was killed so all is well. I also got a phone call from the Provo MTC. The lady who called started in French and said she's calling from the MTC and I was super confused at first haha. Turns out it was a return missionary from New Cal asking to see if the church referral system was working or not. She then proceeded to ask questions about the mission and almost died of excitement on the phone when I updated her on some of the progress in the areas she served in haha. 

Thursday we wondering around some neighborhoods trying to find some new investigators then we saw a less active lady named Aurelie. She talked for literally an hour and a half non stop and shared tons of crazy spiritual experiences she has had. We ended up just leaving her with scriptures references to read because we had another lesson to go to with an investigator named Cheyanne. Cheyanne is a friend of a recent convert and we did the lesson with her friend. I had the impression that she wants to take the lessons really slow so we'll see what we can do. To finish off the day we saw a boyfriend of a member who wants to get baptized named Rudi! They are going to have to get married first but he's on track to getting baptized! 

Friday my life flipped upside down and I questioned if all the french I learned these last 14 months was in vain. Elder Shampoux arrived and I really couldn't understand his french. Thank goodness he learned English in school. His first day was perfectly set up. I picked him up at the office and threw all his bags in the car then we went straight to a lesson haha. The lesson was with an investigator named Vanina. Shes been taking lessons for a while and is waiting for her husband to take to the lessons so they can get baptized together but the thing is her husband is basically Jehovah's witness so yeah. Bit of a tough situation. Later we went to see Coralie and invited her to be baptized and she said in a nut shell that she sees nothing stopping her from doing so. So that was awesome too! I showed em around the area and that was basically his first day. 

Saturday we went to contact a referral named Marie so we showed up at her door and turns out her name isn't Marie but it was the lady that the other missionaries referred to us....awkward. Her name is actually Liliane and is a cool lady. She reminds me of Habu oddly enough. Anyways we haven't really had a proper lesson with her yet but we should be having one soon. As for the rest of the day we just tried to see inactives and did a little door to door with not too much success. 

Sunday was the primary program! The children's hymns in french is definitely a bit a change but it was awesome. Church in general went well. Elder Shampoux got to present himself in front of the ward with his accent and it was kinda funny. We also had a lesson with Coralie after church with our ward mission leader and the spirit was soo strong. We fixed a baptismal date with her for December 16. 

Monday was just contacting. Our only lesson got cancelled so it was tough. We did have a dinner appointment with the chung family though. Brother Chung is the one who served in Haiti. He taught us a bit of Haitian creole which was cool! He said the way one says that its going well is by saying "I am burning" haha

Tuesday we saw Coralie again. Taught her about church organization. All the other lessons for the day got cancelled so it was back to contacting. We actually had a cool little miracle while contacting too. So Brother Chung told us to knock the apartment building right next to his because he said the people are always super friendly with him so we did. The people were friendly but we didn't really have any success until a lady who had already rejected us nicely reopened her door like a minute later and still saw us down the hall and asked if we wanted something to drink! We then proceeded to talk for like an hour. Shes actually our age and her mother sat on the balcony listening to everything we shared. Pretty cool experience.

Ok that's it for this week. 

Love,
Elder Burbank


Pic: Elder Shampoux!

Happy Halloween

Well its been a while. Last week I couldn't email because it was Halloween. it surprised me that even here in this random corner of the earth there are little kids that dress up as ghosts and knock door to door for candy haha. It was a pretty uneventful day for us as missionaries though. 

As for some highlights these last two weeks. We've still been teaching our investigator Coralie and its been going super super well. We've only known her for 2 weeks and she's come to church twice and has already ready a bunch of the Book of Mormon. One of the best/sincere investigators that Ive had in a while! She has already been asking deep questions about the millennium and about spirit matter and resurrection and tons of crazy stuff. She's awesome. 

Last Friday we found out transfers. Looks like Ill be staying in Noumea but now my area got added to another and Ill be training.....again! Ill be training a Quebecois named Elder Shampoux! He comes on Friday but this week I'm with Elder Hable, a new American Elder that got to New Cal 6 weeks ago. I'm pretty excited to train again! We should be staying busy now that we have 2 areas now. 

We have to say goodbye to a few good missionaries too. We had a little dinner/meeting with our ward mission leader to honor one of the Tahitian sisters who just went home, Sister Tatahio. Sad as always to see missionaries leave! 

That's about it! Have a good week everyone! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Oh PS I almost forgot but for my district training those who wanted did a pepper eating challenge. It was incredibly spicy going in and going out. Shout-out to Elder Lowe from Brandyn's mission. The essence was that sometimes the Lord gives us peppers and sometimes he gives us candy haha. 

Pics:
Sister Tatahio
Elder Hable
Last day with Elder Mariteragi 
Elder Miner, Elder Hables trainer going home :(

The district soiree






The Mighty Cagou

So last P-day we went to "parc forestier" with the district. Its basically a mini zoo in Noumea featuring a bird that you can only find on new cal, the Cagou! It was pretty cool actually. They had some monkeys and ostriches too. 

Thursday/Friday were just casual days of contacting. We also had a lesson with what we now know are eternal investigators.They were a suuuuper old couple that have on New Cal since the 20's I think. The lady told us about how she still remembers when the 200,000 american troops first landed in New Cal around 1942. She even has some random souvenirs from the time which was super cool to see actually. She said that after the US came nothing was ever the same after that. New Cal grew a ton after WW2. 

Saturday we tried playing some tahitian uke (look it up) and basketball in the park to talk to some people but it didn't really work out haha. 

Sunday was meetings and church all day. There was a fireside that we went to and the stake president gave a super solid talk. He solved a Rubik's cube while giving his talk about how Rubik's cubes are like repentance haha. 

Monday we saw Lucien and his Mom Linda. Both somewhat recent converts. Lucien should be leaving on a mission soon and his mother is working on coming back to church. 

Tuesday we had a big miracle! After a solid district meeting we went and visited a church headquarters referral! A lady named Coralie from France actually ordered a Book of Mormon online! That's the first time Ive ever seen that happen to any missionary ever on New Cal haha. Anyways we had a lesson with the her and it went well! She seems pretty interested and said shes coming to church this Sunday after the first lesson! 

That's it for this week! Bonne Semaine! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Pics:
Jungle tree
Monkey cage
Peacocks!
Monkey business
Ostrich
Cagou!







Sunday, October 22, 2017

MTC Companions reunite

Not going to lie not a whole happened this week. Pday was strikingly normal. 

Thursday/Friday I had an exchange with Elder Graf my MTC companion! Super super weird to find ourselves together again almost exactly a year later. We had a solid exchange. Had a lesson with a less active who's making his way back to church then we went downtown to talk with tourists haha. We wanted to try some contacting in English for a change and it was cool. We talked with this Kiwi couple for a long long time. We had nothing to give them in English but we told them to talk to missionaries when they got back to New Zealand haha. 

Saturday we met with a younger member named Lucien who tries to come to church every week. He's a recent convert who's been preparing to go on a mission for a good year and a half now and we are just trying to motivate him to go. 

Sunday-Tuesday was just the normal routine. There are honestly no real investigators in our area so its just been ineffective contacting and lessons with less actives. 

Oh I have to mention Jeremy too! I think it was Thursday morning that we were just sitting in la place des cocotiers and he came right up to us asking about our religion! He's originally for the cook islands but now he lives with a french family here in New Cal! We taught him about the Book of Mormon and taught him to pray right then and there. I think it was one of his first times praying in his life! Cool miracles! 

That's it for this week! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Pics:
The fountain at night!

The sketchy old hospital parking lot. 





General Conference

Well this week was pretty solid last pday we went souvenir shopping again downtown just to pass the time. We then stopped by some ww2 cannons which were pretty cool. 

Thursday we drove on almost every street trying to find where people live. We don't have any good maps in the apartment so we are going blind. 

Friday we saw an elderly "mami" Everyone calls her Mami Rose. She is quite the interesting lady with quite the interesting story. She has her "reasons" for not coming to church. She loves cooking for the missionaries though so its chill. We also had a little unexpected meeting with our ward mission leader. We found where he lived and we talked with him for a good while. Hes an recent RM from Washington DC. He loves talking about his mission its cool. Friday night we did a little activity with the young men and women of the ward. We went and visited inactives with the youth. All went really well!

Saturday and Sunday was conference day for us! We started out watching priesthood session and the first talk by elder Renlund got me hyped because he talked about rockets. I also really loved President Uchtdorfs talks about the migrating animals and about the light of Christ. 
My favorite talk would have to be Elder Hallstroms Sunday morning. Talking about having the faith to accept that God's will is contrary to our will sometimes. It was just so real and he shared tons of miracle/tragic stories. 
Favorite quotes/ideas: "Do we have the faith NOT to be healed?" -Elder Hallstrom
"Who needs me today?" -Sister Oscarson
Now there were lots of other talks I liked but those were some of my highlights.

Monday we saw everyone we possibly could in the area book and nothing came of it. I feel like we are starting from scratch. I think I said that before but anyways we also had a nice little soiree with a less active couple that lives in an apartment building downtown. They're both from Tahiti starting there lives from scratch here in New Cal. Unfortunately they cant come to church because they both work on Sunday but they are trying to find new work.

That's about it for this week.

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Pics: 
Cannons! 
La Place des Cocotiers downtown from above.
City views
Two Canadians (Me and Elder Darche)
Cool WW2 monument











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