Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Focus on what's important

Elders at Bocas de Senizas  aka P-day paradise

This week we had Zone Conference.  We were taught a lot about our goals, our investigators, what types of things we should be focusing on. We had a great example from the Book of Mormon talking about the dream of Lehi.  They taught us that the gate/doors in the dream represent baptism, it opens up and leads people onto the narrow path, where they can hold on to the rod of iron.  The pathway then passes through life, taking us to the temple and eventually takes us to the Tree of Life, where God is.  For us, we need to make a goal for all of our investigators to make it to the end, to the temple and to live with God forever.  If we help them see that baptism is just the gate, that sets them on the right path, where they want to go, then we help them recognize that it is only the first and very important step they need to take.  They drew a big picture, it was awesome

We also talked about light and revelation.  They continue to teach us about different levels of conversion.  Everyone has a different understanding of right and wrong, it just depends on how much they know, and what they have been taught.  As we are ready for more revelation, it will come to us.

When we receive knowledge and revelation, and we don't live what we know is right, then we are setting up our own condemnation.  If we know better, we should do better.  In order to receive more revelation, we need to live the small things that God has given us first, then he will give us more.  As we take each step, we will get closer and closer to him.  He will help us.

There is a really cool video that talks about light.  It teaches us that sometimes we have to take 2 steps into the fog before we can see the light.  Every decision we make should be based on the knowledge we have, and the spirit that guides us.  Don't be afraid, just move forward. 

In La Playa I'm learning more about smiling. It really makes a big difference in your countenance.  If you learn to smile at every hard thing that comes at you, you will learn from every challenge that you get.  If you learn from the hard things, everything will be good.

It makes a huge difference to do the little things everyday.  The person who connects with God through daily prayer and scripture study, draw closer to him, have more peace, and can handle life's challenges. The little things add up to the big things, and makes pretty much everything better.

As for Sunday, I'm super sorry you guys now have 9:00 church.  But just so you know, Sundays are the days that I get the least amount of sleep. I wake up at 5:30 in the mornings so I can do divisions.  My companion goes to church for ward council, and I go with a member and a bus to circle our area twice to make sure we knock on every single door, and pick up everyone that wants to come to church.  So... 5:00 am, and 9:00 am are a little bit different.  But yeah.  Just stick with it guys, you'll be fine. ; ) haha

Focus on what's important.  Learn from your mistakes.  Everyone has something to teach you.  Everyone has something to offer.  Looking for the good may be hard, but it is one step closer to your true conversion, and closer to what God wants you to be.

Love you guys!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Training is AWESOME!

This morning I took some pictures of our area while I was walking to do our reports.
The bird was at a futbol field where we played this morning.
The futbol feild is something we pass every day. 
The houses are on the more rich side where we live.

This is my beloved son--my new trainee.  I like training, training is a lot of fun!  This week was pretty awesome.  I was working with my companion helping him know how to teach, to do all the forms, and figure out all the stuff.  He asks me everyday, "Can we go to sleep early today?"  "Please?"

I'll say, "If we have time," but we've never gotten to sleep earlier than 10:30 pm.  I think it's so funny.  We always wake up super early to exercise with a less active member of the church, who is really lazy.  We wake him up early, and go exercise with him, then we work all day and go to be at 10:30.  My companion is just destroyed.

He's working really hard.  He likes the mission.  He's progressing.  This week we have been working a lot with his smile.  He always has a frowny face.  He has the same problem I had before the mission. Whenever  I was thinking, I put on a frown, that made my eyebrows really thick, and it's really funny now to look back and see that.  Because now I totally see it in my companion.  He has a frowny face all the time.  Every time I look at him, I just smile, really big, and then he starts to laugh.  So we've been working on that.  Watching him with his frown face makes me think a lot about what I looked like before the mission.   Because I didn't smile very much.  Now that I've been here, I smile a lot more.  I have learned how to smile more.  It's really important to smile.  I've finally figured it out.  : )

He's had a little bit of problem with his skin with the humidity.  He has a red rash, so we've been working on that with some cream and lots of drugs.  I like training, it's super fun.

This week we bought a bunch of food.  With my last companion, we didn't cook very much, we just mostly ate junk food. But now with my new trainee, who's from Peru, they say they all like to cook.  They all say they know how to cook, but I don't really like their food all that much.  So I have to cook all this week.  I put on my apron and told my companion that I am actually a real live professional, and I know what I'm doing.  He didn't think I knew what I was doing, because when he got here, he saw all of our junk food.  So now I have prove it to him.  We are making pancakes and eggs every morning and are trying to eat more healthy.  We bought a bunch of french fries and stuff to make sandwiches this week, so we'll get there.  Now he understands.  haha  Oh, I also cut his hair this week.  That was pretty funny.

This week we had this activity that my companion and I tried to do.  We went to this huge family that lives all together in little houses surrounded by a big wall.  We decided to do a big movie night.  Our plan was to watch a couple of Mormon Messages and to share a lesson to help the inactives here in the Playa.  We didn't think that many people would come, but we actually had a lot of people! We had probably 40-50 people.

My companion wanted to do an experiment for everyone.  It's the one where you get a boiled egg, and stick a match in the bottom of the bottle, and it is supposed to suck the boiled egg down into the bottle. When he first told me about it, he said it should be about faith.  I was completely doubtful.  He was determined, he spent a ton of time inside our house all afternoon trying to get it to work.  I laughed at him all day long. And then when we got to the activity at night time, we had a lesson planned, and we pulled out the video, we taught them some principles that went along with the movie.  Then he pulled out his egg and the bottle and starts to talk in front of all these people.  He told me all day long that I didn't have any faith, and that's why it wasn't working.  So he starts the experiment, and it totally fails.  It didn't work, and everyone started to say that the Elders in the Playa don't have any faith.  It was actually super hilarious. I wrote about it in my journal.  I should have taken a picture of it.  haha.  But the evening ended really good.  We had a lot of participation and a very cool experience together.

Training is so great, I love doing this.  We can change the attitude in the mission by how we train the new people.  My new companion was shocked when he first got here.  When I was new I had about 30 min when I realized, wow, this is really happening.  It wasn't a panic, but a realization.  Then we got to work.  And everything was fine.

I'm at 6 months now, and I'm starting to figure things out.  I've learned that your actions say so much more than what you can say to anyone with words.  I'm thinking a lot about my future life, my goals, where I want to go, what I want to do, and what will happen with my life.  Have you met your goals? Are you where you want to be?  Maybe it's an opportunity for you to look back and evaluate where you are, and where you'd like to go in the future. What would you change?  How would you be different?

It's so funny that Taylour's Dad is skiing.  When we first started skiing and we were trying to get him to do it, it was like trying to talk to a Catholic about joining a different church.  He said, I hate skiing, I'll never do it.  And now he's up there all the time, that's so funny.
 I hope Braden and Grace both try out for MavFactor.
I hope everyone is eating a lot of good American food--especially without rice.

Love you lots, thank you for the letters!
Thank you so much for all your love and support.
I miss you a lot,

Monday, January 4, 2016

I'm training!

We had transfers this week.  I got a new companion.  My last companion, Elder Trans..., went to Valencia.  He was hoping to go to a different city, but he's just in another part of this city.  He is now a district leader.  

My new companion is Elder Ramirez.  I'm training now!  He's only been in the mission for 5-6 days.  He's really excited.  He loves the mission.  He loves learning about English.  Super awesome, super humble. This week has been really awesome. The lessons have changed a lot.  We feel the same things.  We get a long really well. He's from Peru. 

We had a couple of very cool experiences.  One was with a brother who is very interested in the things about the Lord.  His life is really hard right now, but he looks for answers from the scriptures and going to church.  He came with us to church this week.  It was really awesome.  He still has a lot of doubts, but we are still working with him. 

We had a lot of fruits (new people they are teaching) that came to church with us this week. We had a ton of people come, a lot of less active that have not come in 6 weeks, the whole time I have been here, but this week they just came!  We didn't even have to go pick them up.  One sister, is getting baptized the 24th of this month.  She's accepting everything really fast.  This week was pretty awesome.
I'm training!  Here's my new missionary Elder Ramirez from Peru.
La Cucaracha
Here it is wintertime, and it's definitely not as bad as the summer time, but it's still really warm, pretty hot and humid.  It's not that bad.  When my new companion got here he was dying from the heat.  He tells me every 5 minutes that it's really hot outside. He's always sweating.  I think it's really funny.

I guess it's been awhile for me, so I don't think it's that bad.  He also tells me there is a ton of mosquitoes.  I have never felt a mosquito, but he's got bites all up his legs and arms.  He thinks it's from the house.  I'm not really sure it is.

Training is so awesome!  I love training.  I love teaching.  The time has gone so fast.  It seems like just yesterday when I got here. My first day, my trainer was making fun of everything I did.  It funny but mostly pretty annoying.  Now it's my turn. haha, so I can do that.  We literally run from lesson to lesson, doing funny things.  Training is awesome, I'm really excited now!

I'm super jealous you all got to go skiing! And I'm super jealous about the snowfall over Christmas.  Looks like Tamarak was awesome.  That is one of my favorite places to ski.  It was one of the best days of skiing I've ever had, the first time I went there. I definitely miss the snow.

Love you guys,
Elder Burk