Hello everyone from my new home town of Tanza, Cavite, Philippines! It took a couple of weeks but I am getting settled into my new living situation and finding good success on my mission. Following are some answers to questions that my mom asked me about:
We eat mostly Rice Rice and MORE RICE. It gets old quick, but its cheap and you can put stuff like fish or chicken on it. But I just went grocery shopping, so I got some pasta with “Italian Style Spaghetti Sauce” and some cereal and milk. We eat at members houses about 3-4 times a week and they are very generous! I’m losing weight – I’m not sure how much – but the end of my belt is getting longer which means I can sinch it up more. Who knows, pretty soon I might have to cut it down a little bit!
The weather is warm and humid. Sometimes I wake up at night and don’t know if I’m cold or warm because I sweat so much. In the words of my good friend Elder Matina, “It’s hotter than sin” So yes, really hot, but it cools off with a little breeze at night! To about 75 degrees F.
I am learning a lot from my companion. He is from the Southern part of the Philippines and has had to make a lot of sacrifices in his life to serve a mission. When he first went through the temple, he had to travel 24 hours on a sheep in order to get there. Haha crazy! He eats like a madman, he throws it down.. and can’t sing worth anything!
A typical day in my life involves waking up at 6:30 a.m. and working out for 30 minutes. I do push ups and sit ups with some calf raises thrown in every once in a while to make dad proud. Then eat/shower/iron/dress, followed by personal study at 8:00, companion study at 9:00, 12-week training at 10:00, and language study at 11:00. We eat at noon, leave at 12:30-1 and proselyte until 8:30 – 9:00 p.m.
The living conditions are pretty poor in this area. It feels like I’m in a Jason Bourne movie when he’s in a third world country. The district that I have been assigned to is geographically spread out over a long highway, so that’s why transportation is hard. So we have to plan things out pretty well, and it’s hard when appointments fall through because then we have to go somewhere completely different, but we’re figuring it out!
We have been teaching about five progressing investigators right now. One of which is on track to be baptized on Oct. 19th. He’s 12 years old and is ready for the Gospel! Two other progressing investigators are 9 and 10 year old boys named Christopher and Andre from a part-member family. They will be baptized on Nov. 9th! A perfect birthday present right!? We teach a lot of less active members and families, so it’s neat to see them progress.
A recent experience I had was when we went to church my first Sunday it felt different. I didn’t know how I would feel about the sacrament, but when we had the sacrament I felt the same way I always have during the sacrament: Peaceful and thankful. It was such a great experience to me that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can help us ANYWHERE. It is available all over the world. And although cultures and lifestyles may be different, the gospel of Jesus Christ is not. It is perfect. It is pure. And it can help us through the toughest trials.
Love to all,Elder Hunter Burbidge