Feeling Grateful in Las Pinas

Repin' LP!

Repin’ LP!

Hello all!  I had a pretty good week this week. A lot of times if we have kind of an off week, I get kind of bummed. We didn’t get the amount of lessons or new investigators or people at church as we usually do (we worked just as hard), so it felt kind of like a weird week, but I’ve been looking back on this week and I’m learning a lot about myself. I’m learning a lot about how to study and apply things better, i’m learning about how to use time more effectively, and i’m learning about how blessed I am.

There was a sister in the Las Pinas 3rd ward that just got back from her mission maybe 3 months ago.. so I heard her coming home testimony/talk.. and she could barely speak she was so tired. She couldn’t really focus and stuff… so I thought she was kind of weird… BUT that was before… now, this time she got up and gave one of the better talks I have ever heard about gratitude. I guess the area she was in was really poor as well.. and she had to witness a lot of people living in extreme poverty.. so I could connect, but she just shared  a lot of experiences where people would live in gratitude even though their situations were really crazy such as “houses” without walls.. one shirt.. no food.. stuff like that. And it just kind of touched my heart to hear all the stories that she shared about it.

Back street near Elder Burbidge's apartment.

Back street near Elder Burbidge’s apartment.

Getting the laundry done...

Getting the laundry done…

I’m so grateful to serve here in the Philippines Cavite mission. I’m sorry if I ever complained about my areas being hard or poor or anything like that. Thats not what is important. The people are the important thing. I kind of got caught up in only finding out faults in their beliefs… so one thing I’m trying to do right now is to push that aside first, and then get to really know that person for what their interests are, what they struggle with. Sometimes it is kind of difficult here because a lot of people are shy, so you really need to let them know how much you care about them before they open up. I’m still trying to do this better.. but if you could pray that I might be able to do better at it… that would be such a help.

Sometimes i feel a certain urge to do better or be better, push harder, or concentrate more, and I know its coming from your prayers. Thank you 🙂 There is a scripture I’d like to share with you guys.. its one that I recently came across.. its in Alma 50 and verse 20. It just talks about how blessed a family can be if they all keep the commandments of God. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do that in our family.  Me and Elder Baylon have pictures from home taped up on our walls in front of our desks.  I thought it would make me a little homesick… but we decided to use them as a push for us to do better.. a reminder that we are blessed.  But anyway… I was looking at them today and I realized the only things that matter in life is a gospel centered family. So I’m thankful for that.  I can’t wait to see you guys.. but I’m always grateful that you’re supporting me here on my mission.

Tyler seems like he has been pretty busy lately.. from my understanding, I’ll get to see him before too soon again!  We’re getting fingerprinting done again in about 2-3 months for when we go home so that’ll be cool to see him again.  I love you! 

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

Elder Baylon and Elder Burbidge getting soaked!

Elder Baylon and Elder Burbidge getting soaked!

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A Couple of Reports from Las Pinas!

Blog Post from February 15, 2015:

Hello from sunny Las Pinas!  I guess I’ll just share a little experience that we had this last week that really helped me feel that God loves us. About 3 weeks ago we were referred to go visit a next door neighbor who had just recently moved to our area. The member had told us that this older woman, Norma, would like a visit from the missionaries. As we started teaching her the first few times, it was difficult to communicate with her because she spoke another language, but we found out that she was sick and has a really hard time sleeping. At night she would just stay up and try to pray so that she could be able to sleep. So we just taught her some simple principles, first.. that prayer is to our Heavenly Father, not anything else. And then we also helped her understand how faith played an extreme role in bringing to pass our prayers. After we had taught her this principle many times, we felt like she wasn’t going to pick it up, but then my companion, Elder Baylon, had the idea to give her a blessing.  During the lesson before we blessed her she said that she just wanted to feel the Spirit so badly… and then after we closed the blessing, she said to us that she had felt something she hadn’t really felt before, we went back last night to try and follow up and see if she was able to sleep. Her husband came to the door and told us over and over again how sorry he was that his wife couldn’t listen to us because….. she was asleep!  My heart just felt so good when he said that. That’s the first time I’ve been happy that somebody had an excuse not to listen to us.  It just felt really good.

My new companion Elder Baylon is from San Diego. He lives really close to Sea World.  He is really cool!  He was one of the mission office secretaries for a few transfers, so he is coming from the office.  He is really spiritual and I love it.  Teaching just takes a whole new form.  Its interesting how teaching can sway from one style to another and back again and change and get molded.  I know it depends on what the investigator needs and I’m glad that he is my companion.  

Oh yeah, something cool. We’re teaching a legit muslim guy. He works over in Saudi Arabia and was converted to the muslim religion when he got there. He had grown up reading the Bible, and so he is just kind of confused on what is right.  We’re going back to him this week to follow up on his prayers about the church, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon, and we’re going to teach about the Godhead.  It should be exciting. 

Sometimes on the tricycles and jeeps people will put their favorite scripture verses on them…so one that I saw and looked up that I liked was Nahum 1:7. Its about trusting in God. Love you!

Elder Hunter Burbidge

Elder Burbidge and Elder Baylon at a river near their area.

Elder Burbidge and Elder Baylon at a river near their area.

Blog Post from February 22, 2015: 

Hello Family!  Its me, Elder Burbidge… just having a great time here in Las Piñas. Elder Baylon and I have had some pretty sweet adventures haha!  Today we don’t have too much going on, but we are going to go grocery shopping at the nearby grocery store instead of the farther one, and then we are going to get some lunch and come back to the apartment and do some laundry and chill on the front patio.  We’re going to clean too, but our apartment is pretty clean already so it’ll be a quick one. But this week has been pretty good. 

Nothing much has happened this week, but we do have a lot of investigators that are really starting to take off and grasp things such as the Book of Mormon and the need for the restoration. they’ve been coming to church and are about half way through the process to be baptized.  We’re going to teach one of them tonight to try and help them understand more fully the Plan of Salvation and stuff, but we’re really hoping they keep progressing. 

Well, I’m kinda running a little outta time, and I still need to email a few more people but I just want to thank you guys for all of your updates and happy thoughts and prayers. I don’t know how its going to be like coming home, it kind of freaks me out… I’ve heard its harder to come home than it is to come out. But anyway, I guess its getting closer, huh? I love you guys. I miss you guys, but I know that the Lord watches over you constantly 🙂  I found a good scripture that can help us choose the right… I love it. Helaman 14: 30-31.

Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

Enjoying the Mission Life in Las Pinas

Hello everyone!  We have a busy day today so not much of a blog post here, but I have sent some photos of me and Elder Collins supporting the Seahawks!!! GO HAWKS!!!

Go Hawks!!

Go Hawks!!

In other events, I will just tell you that I have been having some lower GI distress lately which is inconvenient as a missionary when we’re proselyting because there really isn’t anywhere to go!  But other than that its going great!

The most exciting thing is that we were able to see the Lachica family get baptized! That was quite the story, haha!  We got to the church at about 3:30 p.m. and the baptism was supposed to start at 4:00 p.m. but the font wasn’t filled up yet, and the lock on the water was locked and nobody had a key.  Long story short, President Tye ended up coming and was able to get the lock off…and then the whole baptismal service was amazing.

The Lachiga family, Elder Collins, and Elder Burbidge ready for baptisms.

The Lachica family, Elder Collins, and Elder Burbidge ready for baptisms.

In this area they let the newly baptized members bear their testimony at the end of the service. The mom and the dad of the family bore two of the most heart felt, sincere testimonies I’ve ever heard. The mom just couldn’t stop crying and thanking everybody for their help and for the knowledge that she now has. It was pretty amazing. And then the father has started referring all of his friends and family to us, so its fun trying to keep all the “Lachicas” straight.. but anyway.. we’re happy!

Goofing around with the birthday boy!

Goofing around with the birthday boy!

Elder Collins and Elder Burbidge with the birthday party kids!

Elder Collins and Elder Burbidge with the birthday party kids!

I have included some photos of Melchor’s birthday – it was a group of crazy kids just being goofy and silly.  Fun times here in the PHI!  Time is flying by! I love doing this work, and I’m glad that you two are getting into helping the missionaries with lessons when you can. Keep doing it! Its the sweetest feeling ever. I miss you guys a ton…but am happy to be serving the Lord.  

Love,

Elder Hunter Burbidge

Starting the New Year off with a Bang!

From the week of January 4th:

Hello Hello Hello! This week has been maybe one of the most surprising ones in my mission.  I’m now companions with one of the missionaries from my batch when I was in the MTC over a year and a half ago!  His name is Elder Collins and he is from Draper, Utah. He is super funny and super fun to be around. I think we laugh like 75% of the time, and its great! He is a pretty chill guy who likes to have fun and its totally helping me be more positive.  

We found out that one of our investigators randomly lost his job, but he had received a confirmation that he was ready for baptism, and wants to be baptized as soon as possible, so we’re preparing him to be ready on the 17th of January, as well as his wife. So we’re really excited and so humbled to see the hand of the Lord work in the lives of others.

I was so amazed when the investigator was talking to us. We were both totally struck with amazement. I looked over at Elder Collins and he had the jaw drop look going and I could tell he was totally stoked out of his mind to be here. We both have had the same kind of mission and we are super excited to be here in this area with such a great ward and such great friends and zone.  He is super diligent and its nice to push each other to be the best that we can. I’m learning so much from him.

We got fed a lot again by our members here. New Year’s was crazy… Following are a couple photos of me gettin’ CRAZY!!  It was awesome.  And to answer the sleep question, even if we tried to sleep we wouldn’t have been able to.  It was as if there was a war outside haha I love you guys so much!

Feeling Chill at New Year's

Feeling Chill at New Year’s

Happy New Year's!

Happy New Year’s!

From the week of January 11th:

Hello everyone! I don’t even know what to begin with this week… So much has happened! I guess I’ll just say that I’ll add on to, and testify to what Keely Burnette titled her email “I Believe in Miracles”.  I am so thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord. 

The family that we have been teaching for a long time, who were going to be baptized as a couple on the 17th, will now hopefully be baptized on the 24th WITH THEIR CHILDREN! I’m so excited! These little kids are starting to pick things up pretty well. Their father who is still an investigator is helping them review on the days or times that we don’t go there, and is giving us other referrals and family members for us to teach. This man is amazing. He lost his job, has little or no money to support his family, has 7 children under the age of 11, has people persecuting him for wanting to join the church, and he just bears pure testimony how it has helped him.

That’s all the gospel can do for us – is just HELP. Thats what it is.  As missionaries we are nothing if the gospel is not at the center of our lives. We help people through nothing BUT the gospel. Its in our purpose!  I’m learning to appreciate more and more this time that the Lord has given to me to serve Him. I love it. I always have, its just taking on a new meaning now. It feels good to focus completely on the work.

The Lachica Family with me and Elder Collins.

The Lachica Family with me and Elder Collins.

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Being goofy with the Lachica’s

Love,

Elder Burbidge

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…

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.

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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.
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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