The Gospel Teaches All

Hey everyone!

Here’s another post based on the New Testament. More specifically on the book of 2 John. Once again, I have been given some prompts, but I invite you to respond to some of these questions as well! Here are some links for answering these questions…

http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bible?lang=eng

http://www.lds.org/manual/new-testament-student-manual?lang=eng

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Choice 5: 2 John. Abide “in the Doctrine of Christ”

  1. Read 2 John 1:7 and the institute student manual commentary for 2 John 7, “For Many Deceivers Are Entered into the World” (p. 437). Summarize in one or two paragraphs the false doctrine John warned against, where it came from, and what effect it would have if it were believed.

 

I’ve always wondered what an antichrist actually is. There are accounts in the Book of Mormon describing certain qualities of an antichrist through examples of certain people, but in our day it is pretty difficult to tell. One of the things that Elder M. Russel Ballard seems to be referencing is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. He made it seem that people who are using the Church as a way to get mortal or worldly gain is an antichrist. Elder Ballard says, “both men and women, who are self-appointed declarers of the doctrines of the Church and who seek to spread their false gospel and attract followers by sponsoring symposia, books, and journals whose contents challenge fundamental doctrines of the Church.” This is significant. I don’t know if we can label this people as permanent antichrists, but their actions at that time may have had qualities of such a nature. They still have opportunities to repent, but they obviously need to realize this first.

I share this because some of us think that we need to believe everything that we see or hear in relation to the gospel right away. I’m not saying that we need to be doubtful, but I do believe that each person needs to gain a testimony of specific individual principles that the Church teaches so that they can discern the good from the evil. Satan is trying so hard to confuse us about what is acceptable and what isn’t. We need to be able to stand on firm ground and rely on the Spirit to tell us what things are true and eternal.

  1. Read 2 John 1:8–13. Write one or two sentences explaining what counsel John gave that could help avoid this and other false doctrines generally.

Here John counsels us to “abide in the doctrine of Christ”. This means to live the doctrine, apply the doctrine, to make it a part of your life. John is telling us to be careful about who we let influence us. Yes, we can influence others for good, but we should be careful who we should let influence us. Pick good role models.

Thanks for reading!

Speaking Kindly = Happiness

Choice 3: James 3–4. Living Our Religion

As with my last point, these are the prompts given by my professor, but you’re welcome to go through them as well and gain insights for yourselves.

The transforming power of the gospel can increase the happiness that we can gain during this life. Happiness is directly related with the way that we treat others, and we must first make sure that we are in the right mindset so that we can serve others. We aren’t going to serve someone if we are grouchy or if we don’t see any importance in the other person. We won’t see any importance in them if we are prideful, and we get rid of this pride through the actions listed on the left from James 4. We can all work on this. So pick something on the left that you think you could do better with (be patient), and apply something to it from the right. I also have experienced that it is easier to track your progression in a journal, so you could try and track your progression in this weakness. Good luck!

  1. Read James 1:19; 3:1–13; 4:11; and the institute student manual commentary for James 3:8, “The Importance of Taming the Tongue” (p. 410). Using these resources, make two lists:
Things We Say That Are Offensive to God Things We Say That Are Pleasing to God
We can be disrespectful to our spouses, children, and family. We are especially offensive to God when we sustain anger, when we use these emotions to force others, and when we intentionally confuse others. I would also add that we are more hypocritical when we use rude or offensive language, and then try to step up to a holy platform and use empty words in sacred arenas.  We please God when we uplift others. We please Him by being honest and truthful with Him and others. It also makes a huge point of it in the scriptures to proclaim Him, meaning to let others know of His existence. I’m positive He is pleased when we search for opportunities to proclaim His word and to help others. Worthy words are pleasing to God.
  1. Referring to the following chart, read James 4:1–4 and identify four symptoms of people who are friends of the world. Read James 4:7–12 and write a prescription that would help people overcome the “world.” Write your responses in the appropriate column:
Symptoms of Being in the World (James 4:1-4) Prescription for Being out of the World (James 4:7-12
Wars and contentions are evident or desired among you. Lust, killings, murderous thoughts, desire to have things that you cannot have, ye have not because ye ask not. When you ask, you don’t ask correctly. You ask in your lust so that you can have gain. You are a friend of the world and feel comfortable among the evils presented there. Submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil. Draw night to God, he will draw night to you. Repent, be kind. Purify your hearts. Don’t be double minded. Live truthfully. Be honest in your dealings. Be afflicted. Recognize your transgressions. Turn your joy to heaviness. Speak not evil one of another. Recognize the all-powerful God as the one and only Lawgiver.

I’m Home! Here’s to the New Testament and Post Mission Studies/Thoughts/Experiences

Hey everyone, I’ve been home from my mission for about 3 1/2 months now and I’m attending BYU-Idaho as a full-time….. student. I miss the missionary life, but I’m amazed at the opportunities that the Lord has given me to progress even after a mission. I’m taking a New Testament II course this semester and I’m amazed at the dedication that those missionaries had. We have spent quite a bit of time focusing on the journeys and preaching of Paul. We just finished reading the last of his accounts, which is written to Timothy. And the selection, specifically 2 Timothy.

Our professor gives us these prompts every week and we are responsible on how to share it with others. Usually I just teach my brother or my girlfriend about the things that I learn, but I thought this week I’d mix it up a bit and write on here. Why not? It’s been a while…

So, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the Book of Mormon, it is an account of the people who lived in ancient america at time right before, during, and right after the New Testament times. It includes the personal ministry of Christ visiting the people of ancient america, and revolves/centers on the true fact that He is our Savior and Redeemer and that He is our Eternal King. So, that being said, we were asked to compare some versus from the Book of Mormon to a few selections in the New Testament. If you’re up for it, I’ll post the activity at the bottom. But for now, I’m going to share a few of my thoughts about what I learned.

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First of all, I learned the importance of our love for others and how we view them. Whether it was Paul and his “son in the faith”, Timothy, or Mormon and his actual son Moroni we should treat everyone as family. These two relationships (Paul/Timothy and Mormon/Moroni) were so close that the successor in each of these relationships had received some sort of blessing that the Lord would help them. I think of me and my dad. Or even my and my grandfathers. They have had opportunities to bless me and help me through the power of the priesthood. They’ve helped me gain a better relationship with God.

LDS

The second thing that we were prompted about was about different principles of the gospel and how they fit together. For example, Paul uses the example of receiving the Spirit, and Mormon discusses baptism, but teaches the same principle of endurance through our obedience to God. Any principle of the gospel (faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) can be related to or tied back to any eternal truth. Meaning that anything good can come from these things.

The last thing I’d like to share is the few verses where it mentions Timothy’s mother and grandmother. 2 Timothy 1:5 reads “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and they mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” I thought about the importance of not those who we come directly in contact with, but also those who have passed on. Our faith won’t die when we do. It is an eternal thing. It will remain with us, and I’m positive we will have appropriate opportunities to use our faith and show our faith in the next life. I’m grateful for those who have faith enough to be kind, to be Christlike. I pass them every day at school, and they make life better!

For more of a genealogy standpoint, if anyone who reads this is interested, check out the web address below. Just copy and paste in to your search engine. Thanks for reading everyone! I’m new at this blog thing, but hope to keep up on it. Have a great week!

http://www.familysearch.org

Read the institute student manual commentary for “The Second Letter to Timothy” (p. 374) and “Background Information” (pp. 374–75). Then read 2 Timothy 1:1–7 and Moroni 8:3; 9:6, 22, 25. Compare in writing how Paul’s feelings for Timothy were similar to those Mormon expressed to his son Moroni by answering the following questions:

o       What parallels are there in the counsel and expressions given by both Paul and Mormon? In verse  of 2 Timothy Paul urges Timothy to become his hands once he is gone. In Moroni, Mormon “recommend[s]” Moroni to the Lord.

Why do you think Paul noted Timothy’s grandmother’s and mother’s faith?

o       What assurance did Paul give Timothy about “the spirit of fear”? How can this counsel and assurance help you in your life?

.    Read 2 Timothy 1:15–18. Why did Paul love and bless the “house of Onesiphorus” with the Lord’s mercy? What did Paul bless him with? Read Matthew 25:35–40 and write a sentence describing what you could do today to receive similar blessings from the Lord. How does Matthew 11:29–30 and Jacob 1:8 help you better understand what the “chain” is (yoke or cross) that Paul spoke of in 2 Timothy 1:16?

Excited About “Preach My Gospel” – the Missionary Guide!

The Tanza Zone!

The Tanza gang!

Hello everyone! I just have a short blog post this week, but I hope you understand. We’re just busy spreading the good word. And there’s like only six weeks left, so I’ll probably remember what happened this week when I talk to you at home and I’ll fill you in on the details.. But just one detail for the first… PREACH MY GOSPEL is my best friend. I love it. It is teaching me so many things about what PURE DOCTRINE means. You teach it the way God wants you to teach it and the Spirit can testify of it as you teach. It just clicks now. Its kind of difficult sometimes to make sure you get the right message across in your teaching, but when you do, hearts change, souls are that much closer to being saved, and you feel so good about your calling.

Last night for example, we taught a less active mother and father about the difference of the meaning of immortality and eternal life, because there is a difference and it is SO different. One is living forever in a sad state, and the best is living forever in a happy state in the presence of God. It changed his heart.. In Alma 7 it talks about Alma sensing that those who he was teaching were being influenced by the spirit.. and I’ll tell you what, the more I apply the principles of PMG, the better it gets. It kind of gets at me sometimes too.. that I didn’t do this for the first 21 months of my mission.. but hey, the Lord has a plan for all of it right? I’m looking forward to studying the word of God through Preach My Gospel, to greater edify others for the rest of my life. I love it. 

Also, I just found out my companion is transferring and I’m going to have a new companion so I’m excited for that. This Preach My Gospel thing can work for anybody and I am looking forward to using it in our companionship.. It changed me, I’m sure it’ll change any soul with a desire to serve God.  It is so weird to think that this is my last transfer period in the mission.  So weird.

This week we’re trying to work really hard with a 15 year old kid who needs to be interviewed on Saturday, but is still struggling to read the Book of Mormon. Just pray for him that he’ll gain a desire to read it 🙂

Thats about it! Here are some of the weekly pictures! 

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

Elder Baylon is headed home, he was a great companion and close friend!

Elder Baylon is headed home, he was a great companion and close friend!

Philippine Sunset - so cool!

Philippine Sunset – so cool!

Fiesta in the local area.

Fiesta in the local area.

Staying Busy with the Missionary Work!

Hey, sounds like you guys are pretty busy! So are we! Just like last week, we are really really really really trying to focus on families, baptism, and maybe the most wonderful thing in this world other than The Book of Mormon and The Bible, which is the missionary guidebook called PREACH MY GOSPEL!  I can’t even express my gratitude to our modern day revelators and to God for putting together a book of such magnitude and perfection. IF THERE ARE ANY YOUNG PEOPLE PREPARING TO GO ON A MISSION, STUDY PREACH MY GOSPEL!!  ALL OF IT.  Please… master Preach My Gospel before you get on the mission and learn more as you go.  Look at the small things.  Each sentence has a meaning.  Pick it apart.  Keep a study journal. Just do it #Nike!

 So that’s what I’ve been trying to learn for the last 21 months of my mission and it is just now clicking.  Imagine if I would’ve been this into it for the whole thing!  This work has begun to be delicious unto my soul. I can’t express it.

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Filipino flag flying proudly in the sunlight.

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Taking some time to chilax after a busy week!

Okay, as for all the other stuff thats going on.. we went to a place called the Bonifacio Shrine last Monday, I’ll send some pictures. It was pretty awesome. We took a hike, and then got to this place with a huge monument tucked behind the mountains. It was super quiet and we kind of just chilled and read scriptures. I got a pretty sweet picture of the filippino flag.. with a mango tree. Oh yeah, I love mangoes. they are SOOOO good. 

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The shrine entrance…

Me and my companion get along well.  He is always wanting to learn and teach, he is a scripture beast, and he really loves the restoration and explains it really well to non-members.  Uhhhhhhhh, if you want to know how important baptism of repentance is, take a look at Alma 9:26-28 and marvel at the work that we have to do.  EVERYBODY needs a chance for this to happen to them!

The local church building!

The local church building!

Have a great week and know that I am working hard!

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

Transferred to Maragondon & Mother’s Day Visit

Transfer day!

Transfer day!

Well – it was inevitable that change must come and Elder Burbidge has been transferred to the City of Maragondon at the furthest Western edge of his mission.

Elder Burbidge's new area of Maragondon

Elder Burbidge’s new area of Maragondon

Elder Burbidge with Elder Baylon

Elder Burbidge with Elder Baylon

After the transfer, Elder Burbidge was able to Skype home for Mother’s Day and had a great conversation with his family.  The connection wasn’t great, but we were able to communicate okay!

Changes on the Horizon…But Still Working Hard in Las Pinas!

Hey everyone!  It’s been a busy week and I don’t even know where to start!  I’ve been getting Tyler’s awesomely laid out emails with schedules and things – but my weeks aren’t really like his, haha, so its kind of harder for me to keep track of what happens.
Last Thursday we had a specialized training meeting with all of the Zone Leaders and all of the District Leaders. We mainly just talked about how to correct behaviors and how to deal with some specific trials that have come up in the mission.  We had hot dogs for lunch and got to go to the mission home, so that was pretty fun!
I’m guessing that I may be released as a zone leader this upcoming transfer day.  I’d be just fine with that, but we’ll see what happens.  I’ll do whatever I’m asked!  If there is one thing that I’ve been learning about and trying really hard to apply, its the fact of just doing something because somebody asks you to.  They have a reason to ask you to do it, so just obey willingly for good causes.
I also, (assuming I transfer) had to say goodbye to maybe some of the coolest investigators I’ve ever met, the Eras family.  They are super funny and they are really diligent in studying the gospel as a family. The father is a member, and so we are mostly teaching the mom and daughter, but the father makes such a difference in a lesson. Teaching families is my favorite.

Elder Burbidge and Elder Baylon with the Eras Family

Elder Burbidge and Elder Baylon with the Eras Family

This week I’ve been amazed at the capabilities of others. Some people that we have taught/are teaching are going through some of the craziest things that I can’t even put together in my mind. People here are so faithful. Miracles are real.
Also, with things “winding down”, its getting hard to accept that I won’t be this “full time missionary” anymore and it makes me really sad. Thanks to Tyler for explaining that better in his email, but I’m definitely feeling it too.
Anyway, I can’t really explain everything that I’m feeling right now. Just still going at it. I don’t really want to accept that this is ending. Not sure if I want it to or not…. But I know it will, and I’m trying to brace for it, but I also don’t want to think about it too much, but I need to make sure things are okay… Dunno.
Well – I’ll let you know if and where I get transferred to next week.  Love you and say hi to everyone!
Love,
Elder Hunter Burbidge

Feeling Grateful in Las Pinas

Repin' LP!

Repin’ LP!

Hello all!  I had a pretty good week this week. A lot of times if we have kind of an off week, I get kind of bummed. We didn’t get the amount of lessons or new investigators or people at church as we usually do (we worked just as hard), so it felt kind of like a weird week, but I’ve been looking back on this week and I’m learning a lot about myself. I’m learning a lot about how to study and apply things better, i’m learning about how to use time more effectively, and i’m learning about how blessed I am.

There was a sister in the Las Pinas 3rd ward that just got back from her mission maybe 3 months ago.. so I heard her coming home testimony/talk.. and she could barely speak she was so tired. She couldn’t really focus and stuff… so I thought she was kind of weird… BUT that was before… now, this time she got up and gave one of the better talks I have ever heard about gratitude. I guess the area she was in was really poor as well.. and she had to witness a lot of people living in extreme poverty.. so I could connect, but she just shared  a lot of experiences where people would live in gratitude even though their situations were really crazy such as “houses” without walls.. one shirt.. no food.. stuff like that. And it just kind of touched my heart to hear all the stories that she shared about it.

Back street near Elder Burbidge's apartment.

Back street near Elder Burbidge’s apartment.

Getting the laundry done...

Getting the laundry done…

I’m so grateful to serve here in the Philippines Cavite mission. I’m sorry if I ever complained about my areas being hard or poor or anything like that. Thats not what is important. The people are the important thing. I kind of got caught up in only finding out faults in their beliefs… so one thing I’m trying to do right now is to push that aside first, and then get to really know that person for what their interests are, what they struggle with. Sometimes it is kind of difficult here because a lot of people are shy, so you really need to let them know how much you care about them before they open up. I’m still trying to do this better.. but if you could pray that I might be able to do better at it… that would be such a help.

Sometimes i feel a certain urge to do better or be better, push harder, or concentrate more, and I know its coming from your prayers. Thank you 🙂 There is a scripture I’d like to share with you guys.. its one that I recently came across.. its in Alma 50 and verse 20. It just talks about how blessed a family can be if they all keep the commandments of God. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do that in our family.  Me and Elder Baylon have pictures from home taped up on our walls in front of our desks.  I thought it would make me a little homesick… but we decided to use them as a push for us to do better.. a reminder that we are blessed.  But anyway… I was looking at them today and I realized the only things that matter in life is a gospel centered family. So I’m thankful for that.  I can’t wait to see you guys.. but I’m always grateful that you’re supporting me here on my mission.

Tyler seems like he has been pretty busy lately.. from my understanding, I’ll get to see him before too soon again!  We’re getting fingerprinting done again in about 2-3 months for when we go home so that’ll be cool to see him again.  I love you! 

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

Elder Baylon and Elder Burbidge getting soaked!

Elder Baylon and Elder Burbidge getting soaked!

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A Couple of Reports from Las Pinas!

Blog Post from February 15, 2015:

Hello from sunny Las Pinas!  I guess I’ll just share a little experience that we had this last week that really helped me feel that God loves us. About 3 weeks ago we were referred to go visit a next door neighbor who had just recently moved to our area. The member had told us that this older woman, Norma, would like a visit from the missionaries. As we started teaching her the first few times, it was difficult to communicate with her because she spoke another language, but we found out that she was sick and has a really hard time sleeping. At night she would just stay up and try to pray so that she could be able to sleep. So we just taught her some simple principles, first.. that prayer is to our Heavenly Father, not anything else. And then we also helped her understand how faith played an extreme role in bringing to pass our prayers. After we had taught her this principle many times, we felt like she wasn’t going to pick it up, but then my companion, Elder Baylon, had the idea to give her a blessing.  During the lesson before we blessed her she said that she just wanted to feel the Spirit so badly… and then after we closed the blessing, she said to us that she had felt something she hadn’t really felt before, we went back last night to try and follow up and see if she was able to sleep. Her husband came to the door and told us over and over again how sorry he was that his wife couldn’t listen to us because….. she was asleep!  My heart just felt so good when he said that. That’s the first time I’ve been happy that somebody had an excuse not to listen to us.  It just felt really good.

My new companion Elder Baylon is from San Diego. He lives really close to Sea World.  He is really cool!  He was one of the mission office secretaries for a few transfers, so he is coming from the office.  He is really spiritual and I love it.  Teaching just takes a whole new form.  Its interesting how teaching can sway from one style to another and back again and change and get molded.  I know it depends on what the investigator needs and I’m glad that he is my companion.  

Oh yeah, something cool. We’re teaching a legit muslim guy. He works over in Saudi Arabia and was converted to the muslim religion when he got there. He had grown up reading the Bible, and so he is just kind of confused on what is right.  We’re going back to him this week to follow up on his prayers about the church, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon, and we’re going to teach about the Godhead.  It should be exciting. 

Sometimes on the tricycles and jeeps people will put their favorite scripture verses on them…so one that I saw and looked up that I liked was Nahum 1:7. Its about trusting in God. Love you!

Elder Hunter Burbidge

Elder Burbidge and Elder Baylon at a river near their area.

Elder Burbidge and Elder Baylon at a river near their area.

Blog Post from February 22, 2015: 

Hello Family!  Its me, Elder Burbidge… just having a great time here in Las Piñas. Elder Baylon and I have had some pretty sweet adventures haha!  Today we don’t have too much going on, but we are going to go grocery shopping at the nearby grocery store instead of the farther one, and then we are going to get some lunch and come back to the apartment and do some laundry and chill on the front patio.  We’re going to clean too, but our apartment is pretty clean already so it’ll be a quick one. But this week has been pretty good. 

Nothing much has happened this week, but we do have a lot of investigators that are really starting to take off and grasp things such as the Book of Mormon and the need for the restoration. they’ve been coming to church and are about half way through the process to be baptized.  We’re going to teach one of them tonight to try and help them understand more fully the Plan of Salvation and stuff, but we’re really hoping they keep progressing. 

Well, I’m kinda running a little outta time, and I still need to email a few more people but I just want to thank you guys for all of your updates and happy thoughts and prayers. I don’t know how its going to be like coming home, it kind of freaks me out… I’ve heard its harder to come home than it is to come out. But anyway, I guess its getting closer, huh? I love you guys. I miss you guys, but I know that the Lord watches over you constantly 🙂  I found a good scripture that can help us choose the right… I love it. Helaman 14: 30-31.

Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

Enjoying the Mission Life in Las Pinas

Hello everyone!  We have a busy day today so not much of a blog post here, but I have sent some photos of me and Elder Collins supporting the Seahawks!!! GO HAWKS!!!

Go Hawks!!

Go Hawks!!

In other events, I will just tell you that I have been having some lower GI distress lately which is inconvenient as a missionary when we’re proselyting because there really isn’t anywhere to go!  But other than that its going great!

The most exciting thing is that we were able to see the Lachica family get baptized! That was quite the story, haha!  We got to the church at about 3:30 p.m. and the baptism was supposed to start at 4:00 p.m. but the font wasn’t filled up yet, and the lock on the water was locked and nobody had a key.  Long story short, President Tye ended up coming and was able to get the lock off…and then the whole baptismal service was amazing.

The Lachiga family, Elder Collins, and Elder Burbidge ready for baptisms.

The Lachica family, Elder Collins, and Elder Burbidge ready for baptisms.

In this area they let the newly baptized members bear their testimony at the end of the service. The mom and the dad of the family bore two of the most heart felt, sincere testimonies I’ve ever heard. The mom just couldn’t stop crying and thanking everybody for their help and for the knowledge that she now has. It was pretty amazing. And then the father has started referring all of his friends and family to us, so its fun trying to keep all the “Lachicas” straight.. but anyway.. we’re happy!

Goofing around with the birthday boy!

Goofing around with the birthday boy!

Elder Collins and Elder Burbidge with the birthday party kids!

Elder Collins and Elder Burbidge with the birthday party kids!

I have included some photos of Melchor’s birthday – it was a group of crazy kids just being goofy and silly.  Fun times here in the PHI!  Time is flying by! I love doing this work, and I’m glad that you two are getting into helping the missionaries with lessons when you can. Keep doing it! Its the sweetest feeling ever. I miss you guys a ton…but am happy to be serving the Lord.  

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge