I don’t have much time to write, but I’m in Tanza, Naic, Cavite! It’s a bustling town about at the mid point on the coast of my mission. It’s pretty poverty stricken, and there are a LOT of people here. The main way of transportation is walking, Jeepney, or Tricycle. The area that me and my companion are assigned to is pretty large and has members and investigators distributed in just about any direction so it is difficult to plan out our days sometimes!
Jeepneys are converted bus/van vehcles used for public transportation.
I’m struggling immensely with the language, but that was to be expected! The people here are great when it comes to understanding what I’m trying to say. So hopefully I’ll be able to progress in the language! My companion, Elder Esmejarde is great with helping me know what to say and helps me whenever I have a question. We are focusing a lot on member retention. We’ve been decently successful, and now we are trying to find new investigators. The people here LOVE Christ. It’s amazing that so many aren’t members yet. I’m glad that their attitude is positive.
Hunter and his first companion, Elder Esmejarde
I’m trying to be positive, I cling to my testimony now more than ever. I’ve found real power and happiness through prayer and faith. It’s an amazing power and I encourage everyone to pray and ask for help with whatever they need. I love this gospel. I miss you all! Hope everything is going well!
Elder Hunter Burbidge
During the two years of his mission, Hunter will always be with another missionary known as a “companion”. These companions will rotate every few months or so. We don’t know his name yet, but here is a photo of Elder Burbidge and his first companion, or “trainer”.
Hunter, his new companion, and the Mission President
Sister Tye, Elder Burbidge, and President Tye
The whole group of missionaries starting at the same time as Hunter in the Cavite Mission.
Hunter and fellow missionaries arriving in Manila after a full day of travel!
Sister Tye, the mission president’s wife, posted a few pictures of the arriving missionaries in Hunter’s mission which I have copied into this post. Following their arrival at around 10:30 p.m. local time they loaded into vans and were transported to a hotel where they finally got to sleep around 1:00 a.m. The next morning they had breakfast and introduced themselves to President and Sister Tye.
Eating breakfast…looks like Costco’s influence can be felt around the world (I am referring to the Costco muffin in the photo!)
Later that day they had a banquet which included local foods and they met up with new missionaries from other MTC’s that had arrived in Cavite. Then they found out their first companions and assignments! Hunter will have a chance to write and email on Monday hopefully with more details about his long journey to the Philippines!
Hunter introducing himself.
Hunter loading up on rice and ???? with fellow greenie missionaries!
Sister Tye’s blog can be found at cavitebound.blogspot.com – a link is provided on the home page of this blog!
Hunter’s MTC District along with their teachers ready to go to the mission field!
I’m off to the PHILIPPINES! I’m a little nervous, but ready to get going on this work! These next few days of travel and initial adjustment will be crazy, but it’ll be such a time of growth! I’m sad to leave my friends and especially my brother at this point, but the Lord will bless. He is there for us. And we will be blessed for our faith during our trials. I know that this church is true and that sacrifice of our own time and efforts can bring us closer to our Heavenly Father. I love this work and I love God.
Here we go! NGUNNGU – Bleed Green!
Elder (Hunter) Burbidge
Editor’s note (from dad)…Hunter and Tyler have similar but not EXACT travel schedules to the Philippines. As you can see from the itinerary below, Hunter goes via Portland but Tyler goes via Los Angeles. They do, however, link up in Tokyo and fly the final leg to Manila together on the same flight! One last hurrah for the Burbs!
Hunter’s travel itinerary. Salt Lake City to Portland to Tokyo to Manila.
This last week has flown by! The MTC is getting better and better, and I’m excited to leave for the Philippines. We got our travel plans yesterday (Friday 13th), and we’ve realized how real this is. I get to fly from Tokyo to Manila on the same flight as my brother, Elder (Tyler) Burbidge). Hopefully that will be a good experience with him before we go our separate ways for the next two years.
Hunter’s MTC District displaying their travel plans.
I’ve been called to be a Zone Leader with my companion Elder Salisbury. It’s been a trial to get things organized and make sure all of the missionaries are situated and having a good, uplifting, time at the MTC. I’ve made some great friends with the callings that I’ve had here and it’s been a great blessing.
I leave for the Philippines in nine days!! I’m getting really excited, but nervous at the same time. I feel like I don’t know enough Tagalog at all, but I’m trying hard! My teachers keep reassuring us that things will work out and the language will come to us eventually. There have been some floods recently in the Philippines so we’ll see how the weather is when we get there. BUT, they do celebrate Christmas for four months or something, so I’ll get there right in the thick of those celebrations.
The food here is getting a little old…but that’s okay. I’m grateful for the support that I have been getting. I’ve been learning a lot of how the Holy Spirit talks to us. Sometimes we just have to act on promptings whether or not we know that they are from the Holy Ghost or not. We’ll find out eventually if we just act.
The view of Lavell Edwards Stadium from the MTC during the BYU vs. Texas football game. BYU won 40-21 over the Longhorns!
I’m happy to be serving our Heavenly Father. I know that families can be together forever. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I encourage everybody to read it. I know that this is the most important work occurring on the earth today. This gospel is a gospel of peace and happiness that can be carried with us through eternity. I love my brother, Jesus Christ. I know that His sacrifice was real, and that through that sacrifice we can be saved.
I hope everyone is doing well!
-Elder (Hunter) Burbidge
Following is a summary of what life is like in the MTC! This week has been just like the last three: The food is about the same, and so is the schedule. We wake up at around 6:00-6:30 a.m. depending on our ability to sleep (which is sometimes difficult). Then we go to our classroom for a 30 minute district devotional or personal study time. Sometimes we watch Mormon Messages, which can help us through our struggles and are pretty amusing to watch as well.
Hunter’s district on the Provo temple grounds.
After that we go to breakfast at 7:30. A district favorite, out of a slim selection of breakfast items, is biscuits and gravy. We have also decided that they are the root of all evil, causing all sorts of digestive problems!
After breakfast we hustle back to class for a three hour block of “progressing investigator” (a type of teaching lesson unit), companion study, gospel fundamental study (which covers different aspects of missionary work), and language instruction. Right after class we do more personal study for an hour. It’s really crucial in our busy schedule to kind of sit back and take in the scriptures to strengthen for ourselves.
After that I go get mail for the district, which is always a fun occasion. Mail is always a highlight of the day. After that we have lunch, which is usually some type of burger or pasta, as well as some leftovers from breakfast. After lunch we have a couple of different schedules throughout the week that consist of an hour of language study, as well as another three hour block of classes, and usually gym time, dinner, and then lights out at 10:30.
Elders Burbidge and Salisbury sniffing a tree that “smells like cream soda!”
I’ll have to say goodbye to some friends that I’ve made here tomorrow as they’re leaving for the mission field. I’m excited for them and excited to be the oldest “MTC” age group here in our zone! I’m actually second oldest among the elders in our zone! It’s amazing how the new age change has thrown a twist in missionary work. I’m outta time so I’ll write again next week! Love to all my family and friends who are reading this blog – I miss you but am excited to be doing this important work.
Elder Burbidge and Elder Salisbury smelling a tree that “smells like cream soda!”
Hunter’s MTC District
The missionaries in the MTC are split into “Districts” for management purposes. Hunter was selected to be a District Leader which means he ensures his group is on schedule, on time, and assignments are completed. He is also responsible for getting the mail for his district!
Hunter and Elder Salisbury being weird
Hey Everyone! The MTC is pretty awesome! The food is okay, (unlimited) and we get to use the gym time four times a week. I’m getting along well with my companion and I’m trying to be the best District Leader I can be. Camp Helaman definitely helped with some of the decisions I have to make and how to resolve problems at a district level.
The Spirit is so strong here. Right when I stepped out of the car to leave my parents I felt it assure me that things would be okay. I was actually smiling. I went to go get my name tag, books, etc. and headed straight to my classroom where I unknowingly would spend an average of 6 hours a day for the following six weeks! When I got there, the teacher wouldn’t speak one word of English! All Tagalog. They don’t teach us in English, just Tagalog. Sometimes it’s incredibly difficult, but most of the time they make it possible to understand and I know the Spirit has something to do with that too.
The district I am in is amazing. We love to sing and we do our best to make the classroom a place where we can be taught by the Spirit. We may be asked to do a musical number in sacrament meeting sometime soon. We’re becoming close friends and it’s neat to see the growth in each of the members of the district as my time at the MTC goes on. There is growth both spiritual and in the language. Some of us are doubting ourselves but I’ve learned that confidence has a huge influence on how a lesson goes or how well a person can speak the language. I’m trying to be confident in my knowledge of the language. It’s hard to keep up, but I’m trying.
Neil L. Anderson came to speak to the MTC on Tuesday night! It was so amazing to be in the presence of an apostle. As he entered we all stood and the Spirit was really strong. He talked to us about loving those who we serve and the influence that we can bring to the people we serve. It was amazing. It helped me refocus and recommit myself to this mission.
Even though this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it’s also the most rewarding. I can tell that blessings are being given to my family, friends, the district, and myself. I can feel the presence of the Spirit, and I have been strengthened in my testimony.
If there is one thing I could suggest to you, it’s to make your scripture study meaningful. Study with a purpose and with a question. Look for answers and stop after a few scriptures and try to apply them to your life. It will help you progress and learn.
The following is some of what I have learned to say in Tagalog (sorry if it’s a little off):
Alam ko po na totoo po ang Aklat ni Mormon. Alam ko po na buhay si Jesucristo at Diyos. Alam ko po na mahalaga po ang ebanghelyo at Espiritu Santo. Alam ko po na Tagapagligtas po si Jesucristo. Sa pangalan ni Jesucristo, Amen.