Monday, December 19, 2016

Transfers! Meet Elder Munoz!

October 31, 2016

Well family, this week was Transfers!  I’m here with my new companion, Elder Munoz, he’s from Ecuador.  He’s really funny.  I was transferred to Zona Hipodromo.  It’s in the same zone as Soledad, where I started in the mission.  They have changed up the zone, so it’s different than when I was here.  There are now 28 missionaries in this zone, and I am still a zone leader.  Our area is new. 

This week we went to work and meet people.  We are starting from scratch.  This area is pretty much dead.  We have to find people to teach.  There are no past people to teach.  So we are opening up this area and we’re going to work really hard.

We started this week by going to talk to the Bishop.  He seems like a really cool guy, But he is still working on his own faith.  We asked him about the ward, and he said that the people study, but they don’t come to church, because they have work.  And so he thinks the ward is really hard.  We’re going to have to really teach this ward about faith, sacrifice and the principle of “Yes you can!”  So we’re going to work on that.  We followed the advice of our mission president to get to know our leaders first.  So we met our ward mission leader.  He is really great, younger, super excited.  His name is Kevin, he’s a convert of 5 years.  After meeting the Bishop and his whole family, we told him why we’re here, to help his ward grow, to find and baptize priesthood holders, and to find families that need the gospel.  We told him that the Mission President made a challenge for the whole mission that wards should have a baptism every week.  Then we let him  know that was actually his responsibility, and that we were here to help.  So we let him know we would do anything he needs for his investigators, and his less actives, recent converts, and shared with him all of our great ideas.  Then when we were through, we asked him to give us a blessing so we could work well in his area and baptize every single week.  It was a very spiritual evening in his home.  We both feel like we gained his confidence right from the start. 
His wife gave us a referral with a sister that lives close to our apartment.  She told us that she has been wanting to learn about the gospel for a long time,  but he missionaries that were here before us, never contacted her.  We went to see her the next day, and visited her, and she came to church the first week.  Her name is Mikel, and she has a 10 year old and son.  Now we have 2 investigators! 

I am very against just baptizing kids.  As a zone leader, when the missionaries call me, asking for permission to baptize a primary aged child without their parents, I always tell them no.  I pull out Moroni 8 and read it with them over the phone, and remind them that children are not in need of baptism, we’re looking for whole families.   Then I tell them to stop visiting this little child, and go teach a whole family.  I’m pretty strict about that.  I think it’s so important.  We love children, but we know that the best way for them to be raised is in the church, together, with their parents and families, so that is our focus.

This area looks like it has been ignored for too long.  There have been some interesting missionaries in this area for a while, so we are going to do all we can to establish great relationships with the members.  I’m really happy to be working with Elder Munoz, he’s pretty awesome.

In fact, he probably wants to say hi.  Just a min, I’ll get him  (He’s giggling, this is a recording…)  “Hi familia Burk.  I am from Ecuador.  I play futol.” 

Oh, one more thing.  Today we went and did a big huge zone errand.  We had to go get a bunch of signatures from the missionaries.  We chose to do that today, on our pday, because we want to work tomorrow.  When we got done, we ended at Plaza del Sol.  It’s a big commercial place.  While we were walking out, I ran into JoAnna.  She was one of the first families that we baptized from my first area.  I was so happy to see her!!  We shook her hand, and she said that their whole family is still active and going strong in the church.  It made me SO happy!   I was so excited to see that.  I can say that all the people I have taught on my mission are still active.  It makes me super excited.  She was happy to see me too.  I was a little nervous she was going to try to give me a hug, but luckily, I stuck my hand out soon enough that we just shook hands.  Because a hug would have been really weird.  Thankfully we didn’t have that problem.

Love you all!
Elder Burk
Painting by Melvin Lance of Dairo and his family.

Elder Campos, Harold, and Elder Burk

Miguel finally got married!!!!!

Mom—to answer all of your questions:

My new companion is really sweet.  He was in the office for awhile, but when the new President came, and made a lot of changes, he is now here working with me. We have 28 Elders in our zone.  It’s not the exact same area that I have served in before, but it is the same Zone.  

I’m also attending a new building.  It’s actually a really old chapel.  In this zone, I know a few of the missionaries, but most of them are new.  I feel pretty good being their leader.  Maybe I should be nervous, because a lot of them know who I am, but I don’t know who they are.  So we’re working on that! 

I am now only 45 minutes from the Mission Office.  Maybe like Boise is to Meridian.   The Office is in Boise, and I’m in the Meridian/Kuna side of town. 

The ward is a lot smaller, less mature, not very powerful…yet!

My companion knew me, and knew that this area didn’t have anything good going, so before I arrived, he erased the whiteboard, threw away bad records, and pretty much cleaned everything out.  When I walked in, he handed me a marker, and is pretty much letting me lead out, starting from scratch.  We’ve made a lot of great changes, and we think it will all work out really well. 

Pdays—are going to be pretty disappointing here.  There are no cool monuments, statues, or cool places to go, it’s actually pretty ugly.  Just a bunch of houses close together.  We are going to play a lot of futbol, and get really creative on how to have fun.  I’ll need some new ideas. 

Change is hard.  Valledupar was really great, and I love so many of the people there, but 7 ½ months is a long time, and it was definitely time for a change.  So there is plenty of work for us here. 

Answers for Abi headed to Peru:  Mission tips
  • Sisters—shoes in hot climates, just wear what’s comfortable, and water proof.  Just get something normal.
  • Shoulder bags—sister use big ones.  Get one that fit your scriptures, something that buckles around your waist is very awesome, and helpful.  Bags get heavy when you walk everyday.
  • Get everything thin, small, compact, waterproof. 
  • Yes—bring laminated pictures.  You’ll just want to shove them in your scriptures.
  • Get Scripture covers.  You will get rained on.
  • Get the small new scriptures quad in Spanish 
  • Sometimes poor people are blind, so big print helps, but you have to carry it everyday.
  • Buy an mp3 player that can hold lots of music.
  • Get medicine for normal stuff.  You’ll be glad you have it. 
  • Ibuprofen, acem, allergy, diarreah.  I’m glad I brought all the medicine I brought.
  • Bed bugs—I use the mattress zip cover and I have not had any problems.  Definitely get one.  They’ll give you a mosquito net. 
  • Bring deodorant from home, something with anti-persperant. Just cheap stuff here.
  • Bring your favorite shampoo. 
  • You can get toothpaste here
  • Bring your favorite hair products.
  • I’m glad I brought a lot of razors, just simple bic razors here.
  • You don’t need a water bottle.  I just use disposable ones.
  • Your bag is really important. 
  • Read Preach My Gospel—bring a small one, and a small hymnbook, get a cover for them too.

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