Getting Ready for Christmas in the Philippines!

Hello from the Southern Hemisphere!  I heard it has been really cold there in Washington but that is not the case here in Tanza!  It stays about 85 degrees and humid most of the year – so bundle up and think of me wearing short sleeves.  Actually it hasn’t rained here in a while so it’s been hot and drier than usual.

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Elder Hunter Burbidge with some of his fellow missionaries.

Me and my companion are really good friends now, we find ourselves laughing out of nowhere and then it gets contagious and we laugh for minutes. It’s kinda funny. He’s really funny and it’s great to have a companion with some similarities to me!  It is hard though because he only has five months left before he goes home and it’s difficult for me to see that I have so much longer!  But he told me that he’s trying to help me be a better missionary than he is, which is saying a LOT because he’s stellar!!  He’s really good with that stuff and motivating me, so I just need to learn all I possible can from him while I have the chance.

As far as Christmas preparations, they put up some cool festival lights in the streets and hang big stars up in the streets and it looks pretty festive.  It sounds like a lot is happening with the Tumwater Football team!  Nice shot at the title T-Birds! I’m proud of you and hope you’re all realizing the great moments that you’ve had as a T-Bird in the playoffs!

Anyway, just a couple thoughts this week about trials and challenges!  I’ve learned a lot from my trials here on my mission already that there is a reason for every single little tiny thing that happens right down to what you say to somebody. We were tracting (trying to find people by knocking on doors and street contacts) two days ago and we weren’t having any luck at all.  We walked around and tried talking to people, but they wouldn’t really be interested or anything.  Ends up, we got a little lost and ended up finding ourselves where we started.  There was a man that was staring at us and so we thought we could go talk to him, and it ends up that his two nephews are members of the church, and that he’s been taught a little bit by previous missionaries. We talked with him for a while, and got a return appointment to teach him about how the gospel of Jesus Christ can help us in our families and other relationships each day!  I’m excited to go teach him, and I learned that all in all we need to realize that these trials will eventually come to a conclusion with a result.  That result, is the result that God wants for us.  Maybe it’s not the result we want or expect, but it’s the result He wants.  It takes humility for sure to realize this, but it is possible.  In the scriptures it says that God will not allow us to be tempted above that which we are able to overcome.  He won’t give us trials that we can’t take.  It’s true.  I know it!  So keep that in mind when things are getting crazy, and act for the best outcome that will be the most effective in the happiness of your life in the future.  It may be hard now, but will definitely be worth it in the future.  Press forward with faith in Christ and do your part in working your hardest to complete and overcome those obstacles and everything will work out!

This last week was kind of slow in the work, but it’s okay!  The lessons we taught were meaningful…and we finally found out where the cool marketplace is!  Little did we know it was right behind our apartment, we just have to walk a round about way to get there!  We have a zone meeting this week that I’m pretty excited for.  It’ll be fun to see elder Anderson who is from the Puyallup area!  He’s always nice to talk to and we’re expecting the Seahawks to win the Superbowl!!

It’s definitely been difficult being away for the holidays, but it really helps me remember the true meaning of them huh!  I’ve really been trying to be grateful for he things that I have. Not just the things that are with me, but things back home as well as the people here. Speaking of the people back home – it makes me thankful that I have so much support from my family about this part in my life.  It just seems like yesterday when we were in the Tacoma Dome celebrating a state championship huh!  It’s crazy how fast time flies…that was three years ago…crazy right?

Well that is about it for this week.  I am on my last week of my “training” so soon I’ll be a regular missionary!!

I love you all very much,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

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