Getting Settled in Kawit

Hello everybody!   So I’m in a new area! It’s called Kawit. It’s near Cavite City and Noveleta in the province of Cavite in the Philippines. It’s been difficult to adjust to a new area, but it is definitely worth it! I’ve learned so much in the last two weeks about how Jesus Christ guides us and our decisions, and as well how to deal with difficult situations. The moral of the story is that Christ lives. He helps us every day. He will give us guidance as long as we keep His commandments. It’s as easy as that!

Elder Hunter Burbidge in his new area of Kawit.

Elder Hunter Burbidge in his new area of Kawit.

Sometimes we feel like we can’t do some of the things that we are asked to do. In every aspect of our lives we have challenges and temptations that can bring us down. BUT as well put these things on the Savior and let Him carry us through our trials, we will receive direct guidance and help from Him through the Holy Ghost.

We have been teaching this group of young guys (ages 17-23) for the last two weeks. They love to play basketball and really desire to change some of the habits that they have developed previously in their lives. One of them already wants to serve a mission! He’s a good example of how Christ can touch lives.

We had President Tye come to our district meeting this week! We did a practice teaching activity on asking inspired questions to investigators. I was able to listen in a little bit of his teaching. It was so direct because of the limited tagalog that was used, but it helped me realize that these things are so true. If we get too wrapped up in other things in our life and forget about the most important, direct, and simple things, we will miss the target. We will forget our purpose here on earth, which is to become more like our Heavenly Father. I know that this is His Kingdom here on earth. I know that He has given us and will give us opportunities to partake of His sacred gospel. When it is placed before you, TAKE IT! Use it.

I’m thankful for the support from home! Keep striving to be the best you can be always! President Tye says, “Striving isn’t striving unless you are struggling.” So, it is okay to struggle, but learn from it. If you feel yourself stressed, it means that you’re changing. Just make sure that the change is in a positive direction. Ingat po kayo palagi!

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

 

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Quick Update from Kawit

Hi Folks!  Just a quick blog post to let everyone know I am getting settled in here in the City of Kawit.  When I first got transferred here last week, we were in a transitional mode because the apartment where the missionaries lived was being sold.  So now we have a new apartment and have moved all of our stuff into it.  Unfortunately that took a lot of our “P-Day” so I don’t have a lot of time to write this week.

We are having a District Meeting this week and President Tye is coming to visit, along with our Zone Leaders so it will be interesting to see them and learn more about my responsibilities as a District Leader.  The work has been a little slow here, but we will work hard and things will pick up.  Whenever I get feeling down I feel Christ’s love for me and it helps boost my spirits.

I’ll write more later but am thankful for all of the support back home!

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

A Change of Venue – First Post From the City of Kawit!

Hello everyone! After six months in the City of Tanza I am now definitely in a new city called “Kawit”. It is to the north and east of Tanza and closer to our mission headquarters. It’s a super small area compared to Tanza, but it has a ward of over 500 members and I am eager to serve here.  It has it’s own unique character that will take some getting used to, but the people are so nice! I’ve had times of ultimate joy just speaking to them. They are so humble and so kind. I’ve learned more in the last five days then I have in a long time.  The transfer went okay mainly thanks to a senior missionary couple who transported my luggage in their vehicle – but it was still a lot of work getting to my new area!

Elder Burbidge's new area of Kawit.

Elder Burbidge’s new area of Kawit.

Our apartment is being sold by the owner, and we don’t have anywhere to go, so we’re kind of in a transitional situation. I’m actually living right across the street from a HUGE mall called SM Bacoor, but we commute into Kawit everyday to perform our work. The Kawit Chapel is under renovation too, so we have to go to a chapel in Noveleta to go to church and do district meetings.

The missionary that was here before me went home on Wednesday, and he left me quite a bit of organizing to do – so it feels a little bit like I am opening an area, training my new companion, and trying to be a District Leader all at once! It’s pretty stressful, but I can feel the love of the Lord so strongly. When I start to stress out, I feel the Spirit tell me that all is well.

The work has been a little slow here in the past few years, but we are dedicated to making improvements! We already found a family of six yesterday that we’ll teach, and there is one guy who is a construction worker for the Kawit chapel that is REALLY interested. A golden investigator… he’s amazing. I learn from him every time we talk. Also, there is a recent convert that is 9 years old who studies in the Doctrine and Covenants and asked me the other day, “Why did Adam need to be a prophet if there weren’t any people to guide on the earth?” He loves deep doctrine!

My companion, Elder Kalio, has only been out on his mission for just under four months. He is from Micronesia and he knows quite a bit of english but isn’t fluent, and his Tagalog is still coming along.   He is a great missionary because of his desire to serve and I look forward to getting to know him better. Also, he is a twin and his brother is currently serving a mission in Australia – so that is a cool thing we have in common.

Following are some photos from my last couple of weeks in Tanza, including a trip we took the Tagaytay Overlook.  Tyler’s mission area is just below the lookout but I could not see him walking around down there no matter how hard I tried!  I love you all and appreciate the support!

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

Elders Burbidge and Doloritos at Tagatay Overlook.

Elders Burbidge and Doloritos at Tagaytay Overlook.

Friends and fellow missionaries in Tanza.

Friends and fellow missionaries in Tanza.

The whole Tanza District at Tagatay.

The whole Tanza District at Tagaytay.

Daily Missionary Life in Tanza

Well another week has flown by here in Tanza. I’m not sure if I’ll be here for another transfer or not, but I’ve had some requests to write about how the daily life is like; how we get places, how the apartments are, food, stuff like that. So I’ll start at transportation.

A motorcycle equipped with a sidecar is very typical transport around town.

A motorcycle equipped with a sidecar is very typical transport around town.

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My companion, Elder Doloritos, inside a Jeepney

If you saw the last “Bourne” series movie (The one without Matt Damon), think about the last scene when they are getting chased on a motorcycle. Yeah, it’s like that. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch it! We get around on Jeepneys and Tricycles. Tricycles are way cool. I want one to drive back in the states. It’s a motorcycle with a sidecar, but it’s all enclosed. They remind me of bees. They just drive back and forth calling out to people if they need a ride. All you do is wave to them and hop on and tell them where you need to go! Depending on how many roads you have to turn on to/take/the length of the road, or density of traffic, they come up with a price. haha They other ones are Jeepneys and Mini-buses.

Jeepneys are converted bus/van vehcles used for public transportation.

Jeepneys are converted bus/van vehcles used for public transportation.

They are more direct and carry quite a few people. They usually wait at some designated areas, but if there is somebody standing on the side of the road they will veer over and stop for them. Also, to get it to stop you press a little button above the seat OR yell out, “Bara po!” Which means, “please stop!” It’s pretty crazy sometimes, but usually only costs around 9-10 pesos!

The apartment that I’ve been in for the past 5 months has been really nice! At first it was a little bit dirty, but over time we’ve really cleaned it up. The only problem is the water pressure. It’s horrible.. and now that we have four missionaries in there, it’s crucial to have water in the morning!! But it’s okay, we’ve figured out that we can’t flush the toilets, turn on the sink, or use the faucet outside if somebody is showering. It makes it difficult to wash dishes, do laundry, or use the bathroom downstairs… But it works out! We cook on a camping stove hooked up to a propane tank. We have this awesome water filter that has three cycles of filtration before it comes out. It’s really safe and I guess was invented by a member of the church or something. Anyway, we have to change it every month or else the water starts tasting funny!! We have a couch and two chairs that used to be homes to our pet mice, but we got rid of them!! We don’t have a microwave, but we do have a toaster oven. I usually have toast and some really good home-made peanut butter from a sister in the branch here. I’ll miss the peanut butter when I leave this area.

This week we visited a family a few times in a place called Amaya 4. They haven’t been coming to church for the past few years and didn’t seem like they would ever come back. But my companion and I learned an important lesson, it’s all about the attributes of Christ. That is what this work is centered on. If we don’t do our best do be like Christ in all things that we do, we aren’t truly representatives, which defeats the purpose of us being here. As we practiced diligence and faith, we are seeing this family find joy again in the gospel. They’ve been attending church too and we can see the joy in their faces when they are able to restore past friendships and gain new friends.

People are so nice here in the Philippines. It’s amazing the amount of humility and faith that they have. Their love for their Savior is amazing. Continue in diligence, continue in prayer, continue in your reading the scriptures. That’s what it takes! We need to know the foundations and mysteries of the gospel, and to find that we need to be diligent in all that we do. Our life was given to us by our Heavenly Father, show that you love Him through your actions!

I miss you all. I hope you are all doing well. Read the Book of Mormon. It’s true!

Love,

Elder Burbidge

Captain Fantastic!

Captain Fantastic!