Monday, March 28, 2016

Transfer! I'm headed to Valledupar

Family Home Evening with familia Blanco and familia Morelo
Last district meeting in La Playa
Hello Family, this week was pretty great. We have been working a lot with an investigator named Omar Morelo, he's 16 yrs old.  We found him 3 months ago when he was at his cousins house, who is a recent convert.  We were talking to people, and started talking to him.  We found his house, and we started teaching him and his whole family.  He's progressed a ton! He's read the Book of Mormon, he's come to church, and he was baptized this week.  That was pretty awesome.  

I conducted the baptism, since our ward mission leader was gone.  I also played all the hymns.  I took out my book of easy hymns and played for everyone while they sang.  I haven't played the piano in a long time, but it all came back to me.  Then I played a musical number of "When I am Baptized" and "I Feel My Savior's Love."  It was pretty cool.  We are so excited for him. We hope he gets on a mission.  It will change his whole life.  It was a pretty cool week.
Omar Morelo and his family at his baptism.
His family is also progressing, but he was so fast.  He's had problems in the past with bad stuff, used to be involved with not so great people, but when he found the gospel he has completely changed his life and is now super happy! He loves everything.  He wants to serve a mission. 

Omar Morelo with the Elders
The baptism was Saturday.  Our ward mission leader was out of town this week, so we had to put together the whole baptism by ourselves.  Normally, he does everything.  We went to fill the font, but we didn't have the keys, so we had to jump the little fence to turn on the water, and when I came back out, I ripped my pants.  Then we had to put together all the chairs.  The Bishop came late, so we started late.  His whole family came.  Lots of members came, we had lots of good ward support-like 30 people, including his Young Men's President.  We had asked him to baptize Omar.  He has known him since he was a little kid.  They were family friends.  So that was pretty awesome!  His family all loved it.

Today I got a call today from the Mission President That I am going to get transferred tomorrow.  I am getting transferred to Valledupar.  I will be working with Elder Sellman.  He's been in the office  as the Assistant for the last 6 months, now we will serve together as Zone Leaders.  He's from Logan, Utah.  I'm a little nervous but excited at the same time.

Mason is being transferred!  
I am super sad to leave this area.  I love this area.  It's so great. The ward is super strong.  The people in La Playa are so humble.  There a lot of people to teach.  There are lots of stuff to do. It's been awesome.  I hope Elder Chaves and his new companion love it as much as I did.  His new companion is Elder Monquilla, I knew him in my last area.  He's going to be the district leader here.  
It's going to be pretty awesome.  I'm excited! 

His new area is Valledupar, he'll be a zone leader with Elder Selman

Monday, March 21, 2016

The First Step is Prayer

This week, we found out that they cancelled the bus that picks up church members from La Playa to come to church.  So we have been working with the ward trying to figure out how we're going to help the people to be self sufficient, find a way to earn their own money, to come to church.  So the Bishop said we need to start doing more activities here in La Playa and have the rich people from the ward, come here to minister to these people and help them learn how to live the gospel.  So this week we had an activity about the Sabbath Day.  A couple of families from church came, and we met at a home of a family in la playa that has a bunch of houses inside.  We showed a video from Elder Holland.  We broke up into groups, quorums and organizations.  We had the presidents teach to their groups about the Sabbath day. It was pretty good.  We had like 40 people come.  That was pretty awesome.

This week we finally finished teaching one of our investigators, He's a less active that we found a couple of months ago.  He's been coming to church and reading his scriptures.  Sadly, his wife left him because she didn't want to have anything to do with the church.  So when he started getting active, he kept bugging her about it.  She didn't like it, so she left. Which was super sad.  But he's actually a lot happier now.  He's thinking about moving with his Mom so he can stay active.  I was so sad for him, but it's really awesome that he's putting the Lord first.

Last week we had a Family Home Evening with Joni Pono and Silvia.  We invited another family to come, and had a great night learning and talking about Family units.  We pulled out the Family Proclamation and we invited all of them to read a part of it.  We sang together and played a game.  It was a really good night.  Everyone enjoyed it.
Family Home Evening--on The Family Proclamation
Today we were reminded about the power of prayer.  It all happened while we were cleaning the house.  We have a sliding glass door that popped out of the track and we could not get it in.  It was extremely frustrating. We spent over an hour trying to fix it.  It was really hard.  We couldn't get it to pop into place.  I realized we were not going to be able to do it all by ourselves, we needed additional help.  So, I said to my companion, "Let's say a prayer!"  He thought I was crazy, and said what are you talking about?? But we knelt down and prayed...for the door.  We tried 5 more times, and finally, the door was back in place.  I remembered the stories you told me about when I was little, and we had the old white truck.  Every time it wouldn't start, you had me pray.  And as soon as I said the prayer, the truck would start, every. single. time.  So I told that to my companion.

I realized that when I was little, that it was so easy to ask for help, and know God would be there for us. I always knew he would answer my prayer.  I depended completely on God, and had childlike faith that he would help us solve the problem.  And he did.  When we get older, we try too hard to do things all by ourselves. That's the danger!  Sometimes we depend too much on our own strength.  There are times that we need to rely on God or we won't be able to get anything done.  It was a good reminder today, that The first step is prayer.  Once we call upon God for help, then we can do our best to accomplish the task.  He'll help us, and together, we'll get it done!

I hope you all have a good week.  Thank you for your letters, and all of your support.

Love you guys!
Elder Burk

Monday, March 14, 2016

Knowledge vs Wisdom

I hope you read the Strength of Youth Pamphlet .  I’ve been teaching it a lot, to the youth.  It’s super important!  I didn’t really understand it all before I left on my mission.  But now I can see how amazing it is.  I hope more youth will read it and really understand how important its teachings are. The more you try to be the person you know you could be, the farther you will progress.  

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we always “know” the answers—you know that the Sabbath day is the day of rest. You know what the Strength of Youth pamphlet says, but we don’t always live it.  Most of the time, we live under our potential.  We think that we’re doing good, but we don’t have it figured out yet.  The difference between knowledge and wisdom, is that wisdom has an application.  Knowledge is just the stuff you know.  But, Wisdom is when you actually live it. It’s a really big difference. You have to act!

The Strength of Youth pamphlet has all the things you should act, do, as you live it, you will have a happy life.  When you don’t live it, you’ll have problems and you’ll know that something is not right.  It’s scripture just like the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  You have to follow it. You'll never regret it. 

Jon Mariaga is one of the members in the playa. 
He's super cool and served his mission in Bogota.
This week was pretty good.  We are working with Omar Morleno, one of the youth we found.  He’s a cousin of a recent convert.  We met him a long time ago, but then we ran into him again.  Now we are teaching his whole family!  He’s progressing really fast.  He’s getting baptized in a couple of weeks. 

In a lesson he broke down and told us that in December he stopped smoking, stopped drugs, and then found us.  He said that in the time we have been with him, he has really changed a lot.  His family is all Christian.  We can all see the difference in his countenance. He is reading a ton in the Book of Mormon, he loves all of the things in the church.  He’s been coming to all of the youth activities and making a lot of friends.  He’s now just working to get ready for his baptism.  We are super excited for him!

Yesterday we had a good experience with Luis Barassa.  He’s a great help to us.  He’s in our ward at church and comes from a really big family—20 or 30 people.  He spends a lot of time working with us, and comes with us to visit people.  He wants to get ready to go on a mission.  As we were walking down the street one day, he pointed to a house and said, “I think the missionaries used to be teaching someone here.”  So I looked at my companion and him and thought, you’re both pretty new, still in training, so why don’t you two talk to someone here!  They were both too scared, so I walked up and began talking to someone at the house.  We didn’t know if he was a member, or if he had just met missionaries, but he said, “I’m actually a member of your church.  I would love it if you can all come back tomorrow.”  We’re headed over there today.  We’re really excited to meet him.
Kent R. and Marilyn M. Searle from Burley Idaho
We have interviews this week with the Mission President.  We actually meet with President Searle, then the assistants, then with President’s wife, Sister Searle.  With the assistants, we do a practice and learn a lesson from them.  We are excited for that, it’s going to be awesome!

Missionaries in the district playing futbol
We played a great soccer game this week with the other missionaries.  I’m feeling much better physically.  My last companions didn’t like to get up to exercise.  I had to drag them out of bed everyday, because they didn’t want to leave the house.  But my companion right now is pretty new, so I just tell him we’re getting up to exercise and he does it.  He doesn’t love it, but he’ll go running with me, do some pushups, and we’re feeling really good!  I can tell the difference in how I feel when we meet with the other Elders and play a good game of soccer.  

I hope you are all doing great.  Have a great Easter!
Thank you for all your letters and support. 
I love you all,
Elder Burk

Tallest building in Barranquila