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

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

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

Monday, October 9, 2017


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

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