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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Zone conference and Bowling 2

Another solid zone conference this week. The Elders from up north in Bourail, Elder Graf (MTC comp) and Elder Mariteragi came down and stayed with us in Dumbea for the conference. A nice little reunion with the old MTC comp haha. At the conference we got to play lots of games and what not such as: a huge version of kerplunk, darts, this crazy tag game where we had balloons tied to our ankles. Just a bunch of chaos.

Friday we were back to work! We went to go see Ludo and he was in the middle of gathering firewood so we dropped everything and helped him out. We had to cross a river and start snapping tons of branches. I think the people driving by thought we were crazy working like that in our Church clothes. Re-crossing the river holding all the wood was a little hard. Elder Tetuaiterai slipped a little and got his feet wet haha. He went the rest of the day without shoes.

Saturday was pretty ordinary. Lots of contacting. Lots of rejection. Found a few new potential investigators. We also had a lesson with this one Jehovah's witness family. It was basically an exchange of brochures and a friendly conversation. Normally Jehovah's witness don't let us talk to them so it was a good experience. The father of the family wants us to come back and help him build an addition to his house so that's a good sign I guess haha. We also met this kid named Meddy. Turns out it was his 18th birthday. He was actually super chill. He has already read the whole Bible and we gave him a Book of Mormon as his birthday present haha.

Sunday we fasted. There were two English speaking couples visiting too! One from Idaho and another from New Zealand. I had to help with translation which was actually pretty hard. First time I've really actually tried to translate.

Monday we did our exchange with the ZL's. Elder Rhodes came down to Dumbea with me. Solid day with some solid lessons. Nice to see an experienced missionary work for once haha. He goes home in 3 months. He told me were going flying down in Cedar City when I get home so I'm already looking forward to that!

Tuesday was district meeting like normal. This time it was a little out of the ordinary though. When the sister pulled up in their car a cat literally came out of no-where. We think it was hidden up in the chassis of their car. Anyways it followed us all into the chapel and wouldn't leave us alone. We locked it outside but then it found a way to get in through the window. We kinda just accepted the fact that we weren't getting rid of the cat so it casually just walked around the table during district meeting lol. After district meeting the day wasn't too productive but we did help our landlord fix his weed wacker haha. Anyways that's it for this week!

I didn't really have my camera with me when we did stuff this week so I don't have any pictures! Next week I'll send a bunch of my companions pictures. Also transfers are this Monday! We'll see what happens.

A week goes by.........

Bonjour tout le monde! Another good week here in Kanaky. Last Pday we played a round of bowling with the district. For most of the Tahitians it was there first time playing so it was pretty funny. Elder Rhodes and I were neck and neck the whole time and I blew it all at the end with a gutter ball. Had to take second place :(

Thursday we did lots of studies. I just finished Jesus the Christ. Solid read if you can bear all 790 pages haha. We also got out and contacted some kids our age. Turns out my comp is a low key DJ in Tahiti and some kids here listen to some of his music haha. Its and easy way to contact when we hear his music. We also found out that one of the recent converts from Kone which is way up north move in next to us at the Kava bar haha. Its her extended family that runs the bar. 

Friday we found out transfers! Ill be staying here in Dumbea with Elder Tetuaiterai. I'll be finishing his training. The district got changed around a bit though. Picture of the new district below. We also helped our land lord finally fix his weed wacker haha. We also went and contacted the farthest squat we could find in our area. Turns out they were super nice and we had a lesson with them! Friday night we had our ward family home evening at bishops house. The missionaries gave the lesson and it went super well. Not too many investigators came but it was good for the members!

Saturday we decided to follow up with a random lady named Fabianne who really wasn't that interested the first time we talked with her. This time round she told us she normally doesn't accept people like us to share a message but this time she said she would! We had a lesson with her whole family and after the lesson she wanted us to stay and eat with them! It was a miracle. They gave us a bunch of deer meat that we quickly ate the day later because it was soooo good. 

Sunday I had to do some translating again in sacrament meeting! This time for a group of Australians! They told me when ever I find myself in Australia I can stay with them haha. 

Monday we had to go up to Tontouta for a baptismal interview. Later in the day the contacting was just not going well. Not a single person let us talk to them. We decided to go to another neighborhood which turned out to be a miracle. We somehow had 4 lessons right at the end of the day and literally everyone in the other neighborhood let us talk to them haha.  

Tuesday our Muslim neighbor called us early in the morning because he wanted to give us a bunch of meat! Fish, pork, beef. Everything! He owns his own butchery. He said he wants us to meet and have lunch with them Sunday afternoons to take some lessons! Right before we headed in for the day too we ran into some kids playing soccer at a round about. We joined in and played with em for a little while. Pros clothes and all haha. It was pretty fun. 

That's it for this week! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Pics: New District!

Sister Decady and Davis leaving the VPVM :( A bunch of Elders and sisters will be leaving in the next couple of transfers :(

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Busy, Busy, Busy

Had a super busy week with 18 lessons! Never before heard of in Dumbea Nord! 

Last P-day was pretty solid. The weather was nice and Elder Tetuaiterai wanted to see mont dzumac so we drove up to the summit again! After we went to play a little soccer in the neighborhood, just the 2 of us but on our way to the field a random guy from Morroco stopped us on the street and asked us if he could join us on the field. We thought he was joking but he actually came! Turns out he was super super good at soccer but he wanted to help us learn haha. After playing for a little while just the 3 of us kids started showing up left and right. 3 turned into 30 and we had a big match. It was pretty fun. 

Thursday we had quite a few solid lessons. We had one with an inactive named Paula who hasn't come to church in 20 years but she said she would come this Sunday! First time she has ever told me that but she didn't come unfortunately. We are going to follow up this week. 

Friday we had a lesson with Eliane the inactive lady who stopped us in the store. Apparently the night before she has a huge miracle happen! She was hospitalized, scanned and was diagnosed with a ruptured appendix. She refused immediate surgery because she had a feeling not to. They re-did the scan a little later and there was nothing. She knows the church is true and still feels the holy ghost in her life! Also while contacting Friday a guy came out with his sniper rifle and asked if we had anything better to do. A little threatening haha. We saw Nels again too and the alternator in the car he just bought broke so he couldn't come to church! It just never ends with him. There is always something that goes wrong haha. We also found out the real reason why Thomas is hesitant to join the church. He believes its all true but he's a catholic church leader! He straight up told us he doesn't know how to tell his congregation that he would be leaving and joining a different church. 

Saturday we finally met with an ancient investigator named Marie-Roseline who really doesn't remember anything that the missionaries taught before which is nice. This time round her daughter wants to take the lessons too so hopefully this will be better! 

Sunday we met with Alex again. The guy who likes conspiracy theories. We ended up talking with his dad Jean for most of the time though. Jean loves talking about history and what not so we talked tons about WW2 and the history of New Cal and the Catholic church. We slid in a nice little message about the restored gospel too which was nice. 

Monday things turned south. I woke up at around midnight and started puking until 3am. I was bed ridden all day. It must have been something I ate for dinner the night before. Some wacko diseased fish or something. Not gonna lie it was probably the most miserable I've been on my mission. I'm still slowly recovering.

Tuesday we were back to work with some contacting and a lesson with Cecil and Manu. Definitely took the day slow and steady. Cecil and Manu surprised us with dinner when we got there which was super kind of them! I couldn't eat much but they made some super good tasting deer. 

That's its for this week! 

Elder Burbank

Pics: Mont Dzumac again (There were some people flying around in their parachutes when we were on the summit. It was pretty cool!)

Another burnt car

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Happy Bastille Day

Another great week! Last P-day I showed Elder Tetuaiterai the provincial park and we hiked up the gorge a little bit. We also had a big meal with tons of people with members and investigators in our ward. 

Thursday we started out early in the morning with some contacting. It actually went pretty well. Most people were pretty nice and accepting! We also had our weekly lesson with Nels. He'll be getting a car soon so he can come to church! We also had a random lady walk up to us and ask us if we do lessons a peoples houses. We ended up having a lesson with her a few hours later. Turns out she's an inactive from Tahiti! She hasn't come to church in some 10 odd years and she wants to slowly come back! 

Friday we stopped by a ward activity with Beniot for and hour or two. We ate some fresh fish that they had caught the day before! It was suuuper good. We also met this crazy shirtless white guy with super long white hair while contacting. He was super nice and accepting but a little strange haha. Who knows maybe he'll be a solid investigator!

Saturday we went up north to do a baptismal interview in our district. We have two baptisms coming up for the Dumbea ward the 29th. Not from our area but exciting anyways! We also had another lesson with Ludo! We've met with him for just a week total and he told us he wants to get baptized! There is one thing holding him back though. All his family is catholic and he is already getting some backlash for meeting with us. He told us he is going to really think about it because he knows his family is going to reject him. 

Sunday we had an unexpected investigator come to church! Its was the brother of one of the members in our area. As far as I knew he has no interest in the church but he came anyways with his daughter who is the only member in their family! After church we also stopped by our new investigator Alex. He loves talking about all sorts of conspiracy theories and what not its pretty funny but he asks tons and tons of good questions. 

Monday we went shopping downtown Noumea with Elder Glade one of the Senior missionaries. Elder Tetuaiterai needed some more shoes and pants. We also headed out to the hospital to give someone, a non member, named Waia Waia a blessing. All went well.

Tuesday we saw another new investigator Thomas! He told us that he wants to be a member of our church! He also told us that every time he reads the Book of Mormon he feels like a load is lifted off of him. We've only known him for like 2 weeks! The only thing is that all his family, including his wife is catholic! He told us he has to take it slow and share what he's learning with his family. In the same boat as Ludo! 

That's all for this week!

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Dumbea River

this spider though
 Beniot and I at the ward activity
 the ward fishermen
 Pic with the kids


Well this last week has been super solid! Last P-day Elder Claveau cut my hair super short and then we decided to hike to a dam. Its was super beautiful and cool! 

Thursday we had another lesson with Nels and he promised us that he would start coming to church every week now which is awesome! We had a lesson on eternal marriage and families and he said its something he really really wants! We also found an investigator from a long long time ago named Ketsia and had a lesson on the spot. 

Friday we found another new investigator via a phone call. It was a miracle. Elder Claveau called a random number from along time ago that he contacted back when he was in this area a year ago and it wasn't the person who we expected but we asked if we could stop by and share a message anyways and she said yes! Friday was also the first day for Elder Tetuaiterai! Not gonna lie I was a little nervous at first but this last week with him has been solid. The work has really picked up.

Saturday we had another ward activity at a members house. Good food good life again. I also had lots of time to talk with Beniot too. He's doing super well! He's right into the ward now and should be getting a calling soon! 

Sunday we found another new investigator named Alex with tons of good questions! Hes one of those guys who just gets it when it comes to religion haha. We also had our first lesson with Ludo a potential I met with elder Nulak! Turns out he's actually pretty interested in the church! He said that he had a dream after reading the restoration brochure one night and his whole room was filled with light like when Joseph Smith saw the angel Moroni. Crazy stuff. He's a bit scared to go all in with our church he said because his family is all catholic but he's a miracle! 

Monday we had some good success with some "yelling at house" contacting as I like to call it because every house has a gate haha. 

Tuesday we had a district meeting with president and his wife. Went well and we also had a meeting with all missionaries in 2 wards in the stake because we want to plan a huge activity about Lehi's dream for investigators. Should be cool. 

That's all for this week! I can't send pictures with this computer so I'll try another.

Avec amour,

Elder Burbank

New comp!
Barrage de Dumbea
This lucky elder, Elder Eronico "my grandpa" is going to the outer islands (Lifou, OuvĂ©a and Mare!) First time in a while that missionaries have been sent there.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Transfers and Happy 4th of July

Another solid week here in the VPVM. Last P-day the district went to Tjibaou, a kanaky cultural center. It was pretty cool! Lots of cool art and sculptures and what not. Pics below.   

On Friday we found out transfer info. Ill be staying in Dumbea and training a new elder from Tahiti!!! I'm low key scared but also kinda excited! Elder Nulak got transfered back to Vanuatu oddly enough. No one, absolutely no one saw that coming. He'll be serving in Port Vila again which is a little strange because he has lots of family there. Anyways for the week being I'm with Elder Claveau, another Tahitian here in Dumbea until all the new Elders and Sisters fly in on Friday. 

Saturday through Monday we visited tout le monde, all the members, inactives and investigators for Elder Nulak to say goodbye. He was actually super sad to leave. He made some good relationships with the people here in Dumbea. We had one big family home evening Sunday night with a couple member families and lots of investigators too. Its was super awesome. 

Tuesday Elder Claveau, who has served in Dumbea before, and I went to work! We found 2 new investigators which was a miracle and really cleaned up some old records. Its super nice to have someone here that has served here before. 

That's it for this week! Happy 4th everybody!

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Pics: Tjibaou, the district (which is about to change), tribal cases (pronounced "caz") 

Mountains of the Lord

Had some fun last P-day and decided to drive to the top of "Mont Dzumac". We figured there had to be a road up to the summit because we saw a ripped up flag on top. After a little bit of searching we found it! The view up there was incredibly beautiful (pics below) I had to take advantage and take some "proselyting pictures"

Thursday we had another lesson with Nels. He's doing well but he hasn't been coming to church! This week in general we didn't have a single investigator at church! Other than that all our lessons fell through Thursday :(

Friday was another unfortunate day with every lesson falling through. We did find one potential investigator though! We'll see if that goes anywhere. We also had an unplanned lesson with Bible smoker dude. Lets just say that we probably won't be stopping by him again haha. 

Saturday was a huge Tahitian party called "Heiva" Its went for most of the day and there were a bunch of traditional Tahitian games and competitions along with tons and tons of dancing. Each ward had been preparing a dance for the last couple of months. Tons of inactives and non members came so its was perfect for missionaries! All the parking at the chapel was closed off for games so we kinda had to park far away at the beach which proved to be a bit of a problem. Beniot was with us too and right when we got out of our cars there were these super drunk Ni-Vans waiting. They started harassing Elder Nulak and saying all sorts of flowery words in Bislama. One of the guys even threw some punches at Elder Nulak. It was a little rough but once we made our way to the chapel they left us alone. 

Sunday was pretty good. Beniot received the priesthood and will be doing the sacrament next week! We didn't have any investigators like I said earlier but what can we do. 

Monday one of our recent converts, Laurant, had us come over to do a little "service". His chickens stopped giving eggs so they had to go haha. We killed, plucked and cleaned all 5. He gave us one :). We also had a lesson with Celine again. She doesn't live with her boyfriend anymore because he had to go to France for the army so we are really trying to progress her to baptism. She loves the missionaries and I think has a testimony and now she has no reason not to get baptized! 

Tuesday we went to the brand new Hospital, Medipole, to give a non member a blessing. Went super well I think. We also had our district meeting up in Tontouta like normal and we also had a lesson with 2 inactives! A solid busy day. 

That's all for this week! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Pics: Mont Dzumac, Stake dance festival

Monday, June 26, 2017

Happy Father's Day

This week went pretty well! Started out with a super generic P-day, washed the car, cleaned the house, emails and shopping. 

Thursday Fanny promised us that she was going to come to church. We had a long lesson in the priesthood and the importance of going to church. Turns out she didn't show! We had a ride set up and everything but at the last moment she had to cancel! We are praying for next week haha. We also had a lesson with Nels and his wife on the Word of Wisdom. That was a fun one. He was smoking a joint as we told him that tobacco is against the commandments. He says he'll stop slowly but surely. We also got to go down into Koutio and give blessings to an entirely non member family! They also asked for a blessing on the house and on their car haha. It went really well and the family might even start taking missionary lessons!

Friday we did a long service project with a member. We build these shelves for storage and cleaned up his garden. We also had a ward activity with lots of good food :)

Saturday we went around with a member trying to contact and follow up with some people but nothing really worked out until the very last part of the day. We finally had a lesson with this one inactive member named Sylvestre. Its the first time we've met with him and its been a good while since he's come to church. The lesson went super well and he asked for a blessing and came to church the next day! He said every time he leaves the church his life gets really hard. Go figure I suppose. He is actually quite the interesting guy. When he was younger he played professional golf in Australia. He lives right next to one of the few golf courses here on New Cal. He still golfs almost everyday.

Sunday was solid. We finally had a lesson with Emma Katie, someone we found right at the start of our whitewash. When we first showed up at the squat she wasn't there so we ended up just talking to her boyfriend for the longest time. He's a bit of a strange dude. At first he kinda rejected us but we've passed their place enough times that now he accepts us haha. We sat and talked for the first real time. While talking his super drunk neighbors came over and handed us all beers. We politely declined but he kept trying to get us to drink. In the heat of it all Emma came home so we had a quick lesson on the plan of salvation. She knows tons about the church already because turns out that she's the sister of the member that passed away when I was in my old sector Ducos. Anyways we are really hoping she comes to church again because I think she knows the church is true through her older sister. 

Monday we did a service project for Sylvestre. We built this porch for a cabanne on his property. I didn't get any pictures unfortunately. We also got to watch the worldwide young adult devotional with Beniot and we talked more about Joseph Smith and patriarchal blessings.

Tuesday we went down to Dumbea Sur Mer and gave another Family, car, house blessing combo. Also a non member family! This family was related to the last and the word got passed! 

That's it for this week!

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

I didn't really take many photos this week so I stole a few of Elder Nulak's

Pics: Service project with me slipping, ward activity, some crazy good bread that Emma Katie gave us.