Tuesday, September 27, 2016

It's another great week

September 26, 2016 

We’ve been working a lot with seminary and institute here helping to make the classes a bit stronger here.  And we’ve been inviting a lot more people to attend. This week we had a member that is named Melvin Lance.  He’s from Bogota, and he’s teaching seminary in the mornings.  With the Bishop on Sunday he contacted a youth named Jason.  He found him in the house of another family that are members, he’s a cousin.  We’ve been teaching him about the gospel, and he got excited this week to go see a baptism.  Then he went with them to mutual—that’s how you say it, right? The weekly activity of the youth people?   And he went to church on Sunday.  The Young Men’s president came with us to visit him.  His brother is also doing all of the same things.  We’re hoping to get him coming to seminary really soon, because once they get into seminary or institute and start going every day, it makes it so much easier because they start making friends, they learn about the gospel, they get ready super fast preparing for their baptism and do everything they are supposed to do.  Such cool programs!
This week we went to Santa Marta to see a member of the seventy that came to visit, Elder Favabella sp?  with his wife.  It was really great to meet them.  They taught us some really cool stuff about how to help our mission baptize more, how to ask for references, how to use family history, and other great tips.  His message was doctrine oriented and had some really good ideas for us to use.  His wife was very excited and and so happy.  She brought such a cool spirit to the meeting.  We stayed with the Zone Leaders in Santa Marta--Elder Bustos (from Chile) and Elder Munos (from Colombia).  I know them both pretty well.  We had a fun time with them.  They are really funny!  

Thursday we went back to Barranquilla, again, for another Leader’s Council.  I feel like we have a leader’s council every single week.  And we have not been able to proselyte in our area as much as we should.  I feel really bad about that.  We came back and did divisions every single day trying to get back to see all of the good people we have been teaching.

We had a very sad experience with one of our investigators that we were teaching.  Her name is Eliana.  She’s been listening to us for a while.  She has a very strong testimony of the Book of Mormon.  She’s come to church 5 times with her kids.  But her husband is really hard.  He doesn’t want to listen to us.  He has no interest.  At one point, he did tell us that he would be fine getting married to his wife so she could get baptized.  But in the last two weeks he has put a lot of pressure on her, and her extended family has been cracking down too, those who live with them, and it’s been making her feel really bad.  So she has decided to stop having us over and stop listening to the messages.  We were so sad.  She has a strong testimony, she loves the gospel, but all the social stuff won out.  We hope that one day she will be able to have the missionaries come again.

Elder Permenter came this week to help us with a problem with one of the missionaries here in our zone. He’s an assistant to the president.  He came and stayed with us.  He personally worked with this missionary.  Then he’s been working with us.  Since it was p-day, we took him around our area and let him see some fun places and take lots of pictures.  It was pretty fun. 

This week we have to go, again, to Barranquilla for a different kind of training.  This will make it three weeks in a row.  We are excited that this weekend is General Conference.  We are going to teach everyone we can that the Prophet of God will be speaking to all the world.  After that, we are going to be preparing for Fadis’ baptism. 

I hope you guys are doing better this week. I’m sad to hear Lizzy is a little depressed without Lady around.  Hey, maybe you guys should consider getting a new dog, maybe a puppy!  Then Lizzy will be happy again.  It’s a great idea.  You should definitely pray about it. : )

Talk to you later,
Elder Burk

The rules changed, so now we can play futbol like 3x a week!

Mom-You’re the best! Thank you for sending me a new bag.  My back has hurt a lot, I know it will be a lot better.  Having the strap around the waist in a walking mission really makes a big difference.  Thank you so much for doing that.

Dear Mama Burk,

Hi mama Burk its me Elder Matos


Carlos Juan Matos Rodríguez carlos.matos.rodriguez@myldsmail.net

Sep 24 (2 days ago)
to me
Hi, I'm mama, former companion of your child, it was a great experience to be sharing with, it was a great person which I consider much love. I helped to be a great missionary to work diligently and to never give up. Humility that taught me was something powerful. I hope you are all well over there in Idaho, I loved you made sheets of your child are super nice to teach. Your nieces are pretty good your son always bothered me with them. jajajajaja

Mc Burk roandmich@gmail.com

Sep 24 (2 days ago)
to Carlos
Elder Matos!
Thank you for writing me such a good letter in English! Elder Burk said you were a wonderful companion too! I'm sorry your time together was so short. He will miss you!
How is the office? Do you like working so closely with your new mission president?
It sounds like a lot of wonderful changes are happening in your mission. One of masons very good friends just returned from his mission last week. He was in Bogotá Columbia, and new your mission president as a member of his ward. He said he is wonderful.
You are a good missionary! I hope we get to meet you someday.
Lots of love,
Mama Burk

Changes, changes, changes--"Plan Titanic"

September 19, 2016
My new zone--we're HUGE now
Hey Mom, thanks for your letter.  I read Spencer’s letter first and it was pretty scary.  It just said—DEATH.  Then said he didn’t want to talk about anything. So I was a little freaked out, but then I read everyone else’s letters from home and I understood that Lady passed away.  It’s so sad.  She was such a good dog.  I know she’s in a better place, and I’m glad to know she’s no longer suffering.  How’s Lizzy?  Hopefully she’ll live until I get home. 

Fadis Cogollo
This week we had so many good things that happened.  On Monday we had a FHE with Fadis Cogollo.  He’s living with a family that we have been teaching here.  They were less actives, but they have been rescued and there is a recent convert living in the house too.  So we’ve been over there teaching everyone for a while.  And this week, Fadis is going to be baptized.  We’re so excited about that! 
Family Home Evening
President’s new favorite phrase is: “Baptize Every Week.” The mission logo used to be, “Teach repentance and baptize converts.” And now it’s “We teach repentance and baptize converts EVERY week.” So we are to baptize and rescue all the time.  It’s an ambitious idea, but we’re going to do it, because that’s what he wants us to do.  It’s all about obedience on the mission.

I got my new companion this week, and after we got the apartment ready for the new area, we had FHE.  Then we got ready to send everyone off to Barranquilla for their new transfer.  Everyone in our zone had a change.  Every single senior companion left my zone…except me. I’m the ONLY senior companion here now.  So we have all these junior companions, most of them are now training new missionaries.  There are so many changes in the whole mission.  I’m here now with my new companion, Elder Compos. He’s from Argentina.  He’s super funny, really awesome.  And we are working together really well.

When we first had all the changes, I rode with Elder Matos to Barranquilla.  We left on Tuesday, we arrived there late Tuesday night.  On Wednesday we had training for the new missionaries, so we could be taught about everything that had changed in our mission, and find out what the new expectations were.  Then we had a little Leader’s Council.  Thursday we had a longer Leader’s Council. And then we took a bus to come all the way back home.  We arrived on Friday at 2:00 am in the morning.  On Friday we had a bunch of errands, papers to take everywhere, some contracts that had to be delivered, and we worked hard all day Friday and Saturday doing all that kind of stuff.  Our proselyting work week was pretty pathetic because we really weren’t here.  We only had like 5 lessons, which is terrible.  So we were pretty sad about that, but we are going to have a baptism this week, so we’re happy! 

On the way back, Elder Compos was joking in the bus.  He was talking about all the new expectations to baptize every week, and he said, “Here’s what we’re going to do.  We’ll call it ‘Plan Titanic!’ Women and children first.”  That’s his plan on how to baptize every week.  Haha.  Of course we’re just joking. But he had me laughing pretty hard.  Our real goal is to find solid worthy men to be priesthood holders.  That is our goal so we are ready for the new temple.

We have been working really good with the ward.  We do all we can with the members.  Our ward list has 1000 members listed on it.  We need a lot of help to clean it up and find out who is actually here so it is accurate.

Here is my companion Elder compos.  I’ll let him present himself:  “Buenos!” (Mas whispers—remember in English)  “Hi.  I’m Elder Compos from Argentina.  I have 21 years old.  I live in Buenos Aires.  I have one brother. I live with my Mom and my Grandma. I like the futbol soccer. My favorite food is the fish (feesh) . And I study English with my companion Elder Burk. I like Colombia.  I want a one day to go to the United States.”

I told him that if he comes to the United States maybe he can marry one of my cousins—one of the Allie’s or something.  Ha.  I used to try to get my companions to marry Courtney, but now she’s taken.  (Elder Compos is in the background saying—No, no, you’re crazy!) ha

Elder Matos was so sad to leave Valledupar.  But it’s actually to our advantage now that he is the secretary. Because now every time that we have a problem, we can call him.  Ha! I think it’s pretty funny.  I’ll probably call him every single day.

I hope you are all doing great.  And I hope you have a great week.

Elder Burk

We ride this bus a lot to our leader's training in Barranquilla--Elder Matos