Thursday, November 30, 2017

A broken band of brothers

So this week we had another zone conference. The first where the MTC band was not all together!! Elder Kennedy got send to Vanuatu so we had the crazy little Canadian, Elder Secretan, sub in for him in the picture. It was a little sad to see us not all together!! The sad truth is that Ill be leaving the band soon too! Not sure exactly when but Vanuatu is in my future. I have my visa to go over there already so I could leave any transfer. 

Apart from zone conference we continued our potential investigator hunt. 

Thursday was suppose to be the perfect day with 6 lessons planned but oh was I wrong. We ended up just seeing some inactives because most of the lessons all fell through! We did get to eat dinner with a less active Tahitian couple which was super good. They taught us how to make butter in a bottle for some reason. They thought it was the coolest thing haha. Later in the week I even took my newly gained skill and made whip cream in a bottle haha. It was really good actually. 

Friday we had to put the car in the shop for a few hours. We were on foot in the heat again. I got some bad flashbacks from the beginning of my mission in Ducos being in the heat all day haha. I had a huge headache too though so we kinda took it easy. We also had our English class that we restarted....that no one came too ughh. We decided to let out frustration by doing a little late night missionary work. We saw some potential investigators but found out that some don't really want to learn they just want to talk to Americans about random stuff haha. We also saw a lady who left the church and got rebaptized catholic. I kinda just wanted to know why and her reasoning didn't really make much sense. She told us to thank the bishopric and the church for everything it did for her but she wants to part ways. Weird. 

Saturday I was still feeling the pounding headache. We found a lady named Jacklyn who speaks English Bislama and French already and wants to talk with us. I'm thinking about giving her a book of Mormon in all 3 languages haha. We also had a lesson with a bunch of young neighborhood kids and shared book of Mormon stories. It was cool to teach the kids. 

Sunday Rudi and Coralie came to church! They are both progressing well. I really really hope they find the courage to get baptized in December. Honestly I have no idea whats blocking Coralie though. She already told us that she cant find anything that's stopping her shes just a little scared. She will be moving to the Caribbean soon though so I'm not sure what to do for the moment! Sunday was also the light the world campaign kickoff! It was cool. I like how they are keeping last years theme.

Monday and Tuesday was zone conference. When super well as always. We did a talent show for our activity again. Our district sung a hymn, Down in the River, look up the motab version of it! Monday night we also had dinner with another Tahitian family and even Coralie came! We shared a message about Zion and unity and service. We read Moses 7:18, 1:39 and Mosiah 2:17,18:8-11. It flowed quite nicely and I think it really helped Coralie. Also the Tahitian family, the Temauri's were super funny and nice especially for Coralie. It was her first time going to a member house! 

Anyways that about it for this week. Hope you all had a good thanksgiving! 

Avec amour,
Elder Burbank

Zone conference pics:

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
Military bases

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


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. 

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. 

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

Jungle tree
Monkey cage
Monkey business