Enjoying the Holidays in the Philippines!

Hello all and Merry Christmas!!!!

So this week, let me tell ya, it was crazy haha!  My companion is going home on the 30th and so he has been involved with all these weird going home activities and stuff, so I’m kind of being tossed all over the place!  Haha which means…… I got to go on exchanges with one of my best friends in the mission on Tuesday and got to learn a ton from him. It was really good.  We had a ward missionary work with us and I learned a lot about getting to know people from him.

We had our Christmas Party/Devotional this past week as well where we all got sent packages from people back home! It was a great surprise and I got a pair of Puma socks (I’m sure dad would approve) and some Nutella, which they have here in the Philippines, but its just super expensive so we don’t get it a lot. 

Elder Burbidge and his fellow missionaries at Christmas time.

Elder Burbidge and his fellow missionaries at the Christmas Devotional

In the Cavite Mission and as zone leaders here we have the opportunity to go check on other missionaries to make sure they are doing their morning schedule and studies appropriately.  We were directed to just show up at their apartments and then do studies with them.  So we took the assignment and it turned out to be a really good experience. Not just in the companionship/group study, but the personal study as well. I (being me) forgot my Preach My Gospel manual and only had my scriptures with me so I really delved in to Alma 32:16 where it speaks about humility and being able to choose the right through ordinances of the gospel, especially baptism.

Baptism… yes, baptism.. Why do we have it? Why are we so focused on it and so interested in it as a world?  BECAUSE WE NEED IT. We need it in the right procedure, at the right time, and of course, in accordance with the power and authority of God. BUT, as well, we before we are brought to the waters of baptism, we CHOOSE to be there. We aren’t forced or pulled by anyone. Each and every convert of this wonderful gospel is there because for some reason or another they had chosen it. That’s what life is all about. Choice. 

Sorry, I got kind of on a tangent there.. but I just want to let you know that I love you and miss you this Christmas season, but I’m so grateful for my Savior and Redeemer and for the gift that he gave to each one of us, himself. He gave himself to us, are we willing to give ourselves to Him? 

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Elder Burbidge & Friend!

I love you mom and dad. I can’t wait to talk to you at noon on Christmas!  You’re freaking me out with all this stuff about getting back into college and such when I get back! We will have time to work those details out later but for now I am focused on the work at hand! Haha talk to you soon!

Love,

Elder Burbidge

Elder Burbidge with his companion waiting for a ride...

Elder Burbidge with his companion waiting for a ride…

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Rockin’ the Mission Like a Hurricane!

Hello all you guys!  Things are going pretty well this week. We received a text this past week from President Tye that a typhoon was going to affect our part of the Philippines. It’s called Typhoon Ruby here in the Philippines (or known internationally as Typhoon Hagupit – which means “to thrash, or whip”. But I think everything will be okay.  Me and my companion have been talking about it quite a bit trying to put different scenarios into reality and trying to solve it before it happens, SO everything will be okay 🙂  It sounds like a lot of the storm is actually going to hit nearer to Samar again – the same place that Typhoon Hayan hit last year… which is really sad to think.  It would be like two Hurricane Katrina’s hitting New Orleans two years in a row.  I have some previous companions from that area and their families are in the path of the hurricane.  I’m thankful we don’t live in a storm ridden area!

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The streets around Elder Burbidge’s mission area experienced flooding from Typhoon Ruby!

So I guess I’ll tell you a little about my life here this past week.  It was really good. I’m happy.  We had an MLC or Mission Leader Conference on Thursday where it was Christmas themed at the mission home.  We had honey ham with FUNERAL POTATOES and the raspberry, pretzel salad stuff mom is really good at making.  We learned a lot about accountability and my companion and I taught about keeping your line in the water – a term coined by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.  We shared about how in diligence, obedience, and using time wisely, we won’t get distracted from other simple small things that are usually difficult for missionaries to overcome.  It felt good to get a better understanding of that as we studied and prepared for it. 

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Elder Burbidge and fellow missionaries getting mail at the mission home.

Hunters MLC Group

The Mission Leader Conference (MLC).

Mom, I’m positive we’ll be okay for the storm. It sounds like it’s close to us, but President Tye , and i’m sure that President Mangum (Tyler’s mission president) has made preparations according to direct revelation. We’ll all be okay 🙂 

I don’t have much time left, but just let everybody know that I love them.  Read the Book of Mormon with a question. You learn more!  Remember reverence is key in all that we do so that we can have peace in our life through the Spirit. 

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge 

UPDATE FROM SISTER TYE AFTER THE TYPHOON:
According to this new report, the Typhoon is directly on top of us – but we are only seeing rain, and lots of it. We realize that parents are seeing the worst of this storm on the news reports, but know that all of Cavite mission is doing great. We brought the Cavite Zone into the mission home for the night because they are close to the coast and in a low area. They will be returned tomorrow morning since the storm did not do the damage here that we were expecting.
Typhoon Ruby Path 2

The Cavite Mission is right under the green splotch in the chart above.

I have no doubt that this is because of all the prayers and fasting! I mean, just look at that picture. It is right on top of us and yet we are safe and protected. Tomorrow we will know more as we take the Cavite zone back to their apartments. President Tye made calls this evening and all apartments are dry and have electricity. We are truly blessed.

Weekly Report from Las Pinas!

Hello everyone!  It was fun to see lots of pictures from Thanksgiving!  It looked like there were a lot of people at the house – including Payten and Kate!!  Too cool!

The missionary work is going okay here in Las Pinas!  We’re arranging about three weddings right now so that the couples can be baptized.  There are various laws and cultural issues that sometimes incentivize couples to NOT get married, so when they have a desire to be baptized we need them to get married legitimately so that they can do so. Please keep them in your prayers so that they can receive baptism. Our bishop is awesome and he is helping them a lot, so we are very optimistic they will be able to do it!

The missionaries in this area before I got here were pretty diligent so there are some baptisms that should be coming up here either toward the end of December or mid-January!  It just depends if they can follow the word of wisdom.  We are teaching a family of nine people right now and they’re all doing awesome!  Six of them could be baptized right now, but the rest would fall in place as they turn 8 years-old.  They are suppppper cool. Super humble, and they are receptive to all of the stuff we have for them, which is amazing and then what is even more amazing is that they APPLY it!

Well that’s about it for this week.  I’m missing you all a lot but am happy here and happy with the work that is being accomplished.  I’m sorry to hear about the T-Birds losing in the semi-finals but it sounds like they had a great year and just came up a bit short of reaching their goals.  

Love always,

Elder Hunter Burbidge