I wanted to tell you an experience we had on our last preparation day (P-Day), which is a day when we can do a little bit of touring or fun activities as a group of missionaries. So we had decided to go to a beach area but that morning was pretty hectic. We had no cooking gas and had just barely gotten water into our apartment, and we had to be to a place called Rosario by 11:00 am to catch the bus to a place called Ternate. The bus was just like any other one here (which is barely in working condition) and so when I heard we were going up in to the mountains I thought to myself, “This is gonna be fun.” As we started getting more into the (Bukid) wilderness like terrain and mountains (bundok), the bus started having some troubles. We finally got to the marine base where we had originally planned to go to the beach, but the soldiers wouldn’t let us in because we had too many americans. So we had to settle for the next best beach about 30 minutes away. While we were going to the second beach, the bus was starting to smoke a little bit and sounded like it was about to split in half. So the Elders all jumped out and started pushing from the back while my roommate and good friend, Elder Prospero (5’5″ 120 pounds) jumped on to the side of the bus and hung on for dear life… haha It was great! We finally got to the beach and it was beautiful.
A big thing that has had a large influence on our work this week was a big fire that destroyed about 250 homes in a very concentrated area. A lot of our friends and people that we teach live there. It is hard to see them suffer and try to live on very minimal food and water. But they have opened up shelters at the high schools and elementary schools in Binakayan. So a lot of people are now living there and get food and water I think every other day. We have been teaching one family who now lives there. They lost all of their money in the fire and are relying heavily on support from outside sources. Also, we do our best to help them with the Gospel. I’ve learned one thing this week, that even if we don’t have material things, or even food or water, we still have our Heavenly Father. We still have Jesus Christ. And we have the Holy Ghost to guide us through even the hardest trials. These people are amazing. They smile even though they have nothing. They support each other, even though they don’t have very much to give. They let us teach them of faith, even though they have little to base it off of. I know that this Gospel of Jesus Christ can mend hearts. It doesn’t happen right away, but things that are most needed, usually take a little bit of time to come to pass. Some people ask us about what is different between the “Mormons” and all the other churches. We teach them of the Restoration and of the Book of Mormon. It’s so amazing that we have the FULL GOSPEL. Not just a little bit of it, where we have to guess and stab in the dim light, but the FULLNESS OF THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL. It’s God’s plan. It’s a map. Use it.
Sorry I haven’t written much lately, I’ve been pretty busy. Things are happening really fast and time flies by quickly. I hope all of you are doing well! Ask my parents if you have any questions about our church!! Be safe always and focus on your feelings as you go about your day to day activities. Are they happy feelings? Well they should be – and can be – with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Til next time!
-Elder (Hunter Burbidge)