Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 2 in the Field

I had another great week here in Salt Lake! Last P-day my whole zone
went to the creator of Scentsy's house just to hang out. They have a
huge house with an indoor basketball court and such that they always
let the missionaries use which was super cool. That night we got to
teach our investigator Paula which went really well! She does lots of
research and studying before each lesson we have with her and she asks
lots of great questions! Paula also had her daughter sit in the lesson
with us and she seems pretty interested too!

Tuesday we had new missionary training at the mission office which
took like 6 or 7 hours! Felt like an eternity but President and Sister
Hillier had lots of great things to say. They talked about creating a
"Zion mission." President Hillier has only been serving for about 4
months but that seems to be his theme. Doing everything we can to
build each other up so we can confidently go out and serve. He is such
an inspired leader and just perfect for this mission specifically.
Also I met a new missionary at the training who got here last Sunday
from Sooke, BC! His name is Elder Sulzen. He said he knows the Fishers
pretty well! Small world....

Wednesday we had zone conference which meant another 7 hours at the
mission office but it was also super great!  More about creating a
Zion mission and creating ward or stake focused missionaries. Helpful
stuff! I also got my IPad and my bike on Wednesday! Both of which
makes the work so much easier! The entire area book synced to maps is
on the IPad which is insanely helpful! Going to be hard to give up
once I go to New Cal haha.

Thursday was lots of weekly planning. Some more great lessons and a
lot of biking! We bike all day every day it seems but I enjoy the
exercise. Also Elder Lyons and I went over Alma chapter 5 which really
stuck out to me. I recommend you read it!

Friday was more meetings and pouring rain! Elder Lyons and I got
completely soaked and every lesson and meeting basically fell through.
Kind of a rough day but C'est la vie. Members have been telling us
that it's been strangely warm for this time of year. Normally by
Halloween its suppose to be dumping snow not rain! I'm glad it's
staying warm though. Hopefully it holds up before I head to the
tropics! That's about it for this last week. Talk to you next week!

I didn't really take any pictures this week but I'll be sure to take
some for next P-day.

Avec amour,

-Elder Burbank

Monday, October 24, 2016

First Area = White Wash

This last week has been absolutely awesome! Elder Walton and I woke up at 3am Tuesday morning to send Elder Graf and Kennedy off to California. Then at 6:20 we hopped on a bus then took the front runner train up to our mission! The first day was awesome! President and Sister Hillier are awesome! They are so incredibly dedicated to their work. President Hillier used to be an area 70 so he has gone on tons of assignments with apostles and such. He has such a powerful testimony of this work!

My trainer is Elder Lyons. He is our district leader and he's been out for about 15 months. He is from southern Mississippi. He is a really cool guy and a great trainer! We got white washed into a brand new area covering 2 stakes! I have no idea why President Hillier trusts me to cover a brand new area but it's awesome! My area has Highland High School in it which is the one with the Rugby team in Forever Strong. Its actually really close to the Christensen's house haha. Their stake is just outside of our area though.

 This first week has been spent getting to know 12 wards across the 2 stakes that we cover. Its kinda crazy because we have to coordinate with 12 ward mission leaders across the 2 stakes but we are getting the hang of it. Our first full day in the area we got a new investigator named Paula and she is already on date to be baptized November 19th! She was already so prepared to hear the message of the gospel it is a miracle! Also we have been teaching many less active people here as well. About a third of the people in our area are less active with another third being members and the final third being non-members. It is crazy how many people already know so much about the church here even if they are non members. The mission as a whole actually gets a lot of baptisms. There are tons of refugees in our mission from all over the world. Our mission is english but there are wards in Korean, Swahili, Chinese, Thai and so many more. Lots of english missionaries teach refugees with translators its really cool to see. I got to meet a family of refugees who were all getting baptized from central Africa. They spoke Swahili! They were all so happy and nice to us Elders it was super cool! 

I still don't have a bike yet so Elder Lyons and I have been walking everywhere. I am trying to get a bike that I can borrow from the mission office for a short time. I pretty sure we've walked 20 miles in the last week it's crazy but I enjoy it. Email you next week!!

Avec amour,

-Elder Burbank

Some farewell MTC pictures and the apartment!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Slight Detour Ahead - 4 Days until MTC complete

So as you heard I am headed to the Salt Lake East mission for the time being. If my Visa comes sooner I still have stay until the end of the transfer so I'll be in Salt Lake for at least 6 weeks. I got the package and read your talk for Stake Conference! It is super powerful. Just reading it on my own brought the spirit really strongly! Thank you for all the treats! :) I am not too concerned about the Visa not coming through. From what I've heard its getting the Vanuatu Visa that always holds everyone back because we have to get them for Vanuatu and New Cal as far as I know. Also the Christensen's are in my mission! It would be cool if I got to see them again! The majority of the Salt Lake East mission is actually Wyoming. The mission covers about a quarter of Wyoming. Jackson Hole is just North of my mission boundary. Also its cool that Jane is already getting married! I think she really needs this. I guess I will get to meet Eric when I get back?

As for this week at the MTC its been awesome! My district and I had In-Field Orientation yesterday for like 7 hours which was crazy but it was really helpful. It really stressed how important it is to involve members and to work well with members to help with missionary work. Also earlier this week we had a devotional on Tuesday with Elder Bednar!!!! Him and his wife spoke at the pulpit together about how important it is to study general conference. He played little clips from many talks and broke each talk down into 3 categories: Doctrine or Principle, Invitation to act and Promised blessings. It felt like I was having a companionship study with an apostle! He basically said studying General Conference is just as important as studying the standard works. It was very powerful. Speaking about General Conference I really felt a connection with Elder Nelson's talk which was all about joy. I thought that was really cool because I was just talking with the second counselor in our branch presidency, Brother Markham, about what joy really means. Joy is something beyond happiness. Its a divine uplifting feeling that our spirits experience. We were discussing how anyone without the spirit can feel happiness/pleasure but you have to have the spirit with you to feel joy.

It's crazy to think that we only have 4 days left here but I am excited to get into the field! I leave Tuesday at 6:30 to take a train up to Salt Lake. Should be an awesome 6 weeks until I get to head out to New Caledonia! 

Bonne Chance with your talk on Sunday! I wish I could be there!

Avec amour,
-Elder Burbank

Here are a few pictures. View from the residence, Gathering for "Chanter" (we all sing a closing Hymn together every night) and a picture with one of the "Benin Boys" who left to Benin, Africa a little while ago.

Friday, October 7, 2016

I got my flight plans

So this last week at the MTC has been great! Today my district and I got our flight plans!! We are going to San Fran first then to Auckland then to Port Vila. I am suuuper excited to get out to the field! Also watching conference this last weekend has been a huge blessing. Seeing the general authorities give such profound messages from a missionary perspective is really really cool. Its hard to believe how much I've learned from being here in just the last 5 weeks. From the language to gospel principles. 

It turns out that we had to move residences today because they are doing construction on our building so a few hours out of our P-day was used to move from 12M to 16M. Its kinda weird that we have to move to a new building for just a week but its fine.

It was really hard this week to see so many people from our zone go. We all got so close to them but C'est la vie! I really hope I can meet up with these people after our missions!

I'll send some final pictures from the MTC next week! And as far as I know I don't need anything before I leave the country. Although I've heard basic everyday necessities are really expensive in New Cal so I'm not quite sure yet. Oh and I forgot to say last week but I got the chance to see the old temple film. It was really cool to see how they did back then!

Avec amour,

-Elder Burbank