Pardon me, but do you happen to have a barf quesat?‏

Sent 4/13/15

IMG_0047[1]New discovery: Italian Ice. So cheap. So good. So many flavors.

IMG_0035[1]Our happy foursome!

Hola familia!
A member of our ward, Bro. Bonvillain, is a city bus driver who, after coming to teach with us on Monday, told us that we are welcome to ride his bus whenever we want – for FREE! How can you say no to that?! A perfect little pool of people to talk to who can’t run away! We did some wonderful bus contacting and met quite a variety of people: a man being ordained to be a pastor this August, but who doesn’t want to be; an awesome Jewish man with whom I geeked out over the Old Testament; Rita, from Peru, who works in the Bahamas and absolutely loves Jesus; and more! Of course, lots of people who would give us one-word responses to our small-talk questions and then put their headphones back in, too, but we don’t worry about those. It was great for some variety in our finding, and we are looking forward to honing our skills and doing it more effectively in the future.
Our miracle woman this week was Cerene. The Creole elders were knocking in our area when a woman suddenly ran (literally, ran) out of her house after them and asked why they didn’t knock on her door. She told them that she had been looking for “the Mormons” everywhere and hadn’t been able to find them! They quickly wrote down her address and assured her they would send someone (us) over the next day, yet in all the rush, they didn’t catch her name. After getting her info. and the details of the contact, we planned to see her the next day, but didn’t get a chance to! Yet the following day, we arrive to a meal appointment and the Elders in our ward begin to tell us about a lady who, while waiting for a red light to change, had yelled at them wildly while honking her horn and hanging halfway out of her window as they biked down the side of the road. They stopped and talked to her as she held up traffic (the light had already turned) and quickly got her address, but mysteriously didn’t get her name. They gave us her address and – no surprise here – it was the exact same woman. We didn’t need God to tell us again – it was time to meet this woman!! And thus enters Cerene (hallelujah, after a four-day journey, we finally learned her name). Her grandmother was just baptized a few months ago in Deltona and has shared with her many things about the church – “coincidentally” everything that she has been searching for in her life! She is a huge miracle who has been so prepared by the Lord.
We had interviews with the President last week, which were absolutely glorious and uplifting. It has been a more spiritual transfer for me, but it was good to hear his words of encouragement and to receive affirmation that the Lord is proud of the work I have been doing. But it certainly was one of the oddest interviews I’ve had: halfway through he started teaching me words in Mandarin, Thai, Indian, and other various languages. Apparently if you want a Diet Coke in India, all you need to do is request “barf quesat” (that was a wild guess on spelling, but if you’re hooked on phonics, you’re good to go).
During a Correlation meeting with Bro. Ray, our Ward Mission Leader, he pulled up all of the missionaries’ photographs and names on lds.org. Quote of the Week: Bro.Ray – “Is that a turtleneck?!” Elder Helas – “It’s a SHAWL SWEATER!” (he just won’t admit it).
We also had an amazing OYM on our bikes. We saw a tattoo-covered man walking his pit bull down the road, and excitedly stopped to talk to him. We asked, “Do you know anyone that needs to get closer to Christ or that could use a prayer?” and got the greatest response possible: “Well, me!”. He is a wonderful man who has quite a history, but is really striving to flip his life around. He asked if he could pray for us too before we left and in his prayer he asked God to be the light on our bikes that night. My light is running out of batteries, but I’m pretty convinced that it burned just a bit brighter that night.
Things are well here in Coral Springs! This week I found great solace in the words of D&C 121:34-46 (45-46 especially) and 122:4, end of 7, 8-9. As I have studied these sections, I have been able to feel the Spirit so strongly and have truly connected with the words of comfort and promise given to Joseph Smith. I can feel that the work we are doing is pleasing to my Father and that increased miracles will come through our faith and diligence. In Preach My Gospel this morning, I read that “diligence is steady, consistent, earnest, and energetic effort in doing the Lord’s work. The Lord expects you to work diligently – persistently and with great effort and care” (121, haha, ironic page number). All of these adjectives listed – consistent, earnest, persistent, etc. – are things that I expect from and rely upon from my Father in Heaven. Yet, if one day I want to become like Him, I, too, have to work to develop these! This transfer I have come to further understand the meaning and application of this Christlike attribute and am striving to increase in it daily!
I love you! But, more importantly, GOD LOVES YOU. So very, very much. Be a tool in His hands today and share that love with someone. It is when we turn outward that he heals us inwardly.
Sister Burdett

Advertisements

Even though you never know all the steps, you must learn to join the dance.‏

DSCN0997[1]This is Sister Lake and I trying to look cool with our watch tan lines…. BIKING!!!

IMG_2011[1]Crazy Decor! Crazy Girl!

Hola familia!!
While biking around, Sister Jones and I passed a man named Richard that we had OYM’d just a day or two before who claimed to be Buddhist and uninterested, but with whom we ended up having a pretty good conversation. I smiled and waved really energetically upon seeing him again and his response was to call out, “Go Mormons!” after us as we biked past. It’s moments like that that make the days a little brighter.
While meeting with an amazing recent convert, Frank, who has been struggling to get to church over the past month or so, (testimony strong, but working most Sundays), we mentioned that it would be General Conference this weekend and that the prophet would speak to us. He said, “What prophet? You mean the one and only living prophet is actually going to BE there?!”. After explaining that it was a broadcast, he excitedly agreed to do everything he could to be there to listen – and he was! It was super refreshing to see someone so excited and grateful that we can receive spiritual guidance from a living prophet, just as it was in past days. He closed up his shop and came to the church to watch it – what we’ve been trying to get him to do since before I got here!
We also had another General Conference miracle – Belinda came! The mother of the family of five that Sister Trebotich and I found last week came to the Sunday morning session and seemed to really enjoy it! We are excited to follow up on it tonight and to set her with a date for baptism. And we had our first not-at-all-awkward lesson with her on Friday, so that was a plus too (it had previously been a struggle with her for some reason)!
Our miracle find this week was Joshua, a YSA who is looking for a new start. It was pretty amazing because, while looking for a less-active that our bishop had asked us to hunt down, we noticed that another LA, Walter, and his non-member girlfriend lived just one complex over, so we decided to stop by. After knocking on the door, a guy called up the stairwell at us, telling us that Walter was out and on his way back. Then he asked if we were the missionaries (always an awesome sign). He seemed excited when we replied, “Yes”, and told us that he was just going to finish smoking and then come talk to us. Turns out that he has been looking to grow closer to God and is trying to give up marijuana – two things with which, we excitedly told him, we could help. Then Walter and Sharmaine came home and we ended up having a miracle lesson with the three of them in the which Walter, though he hasn’t been to church in many, many months, bore powerful testimony of our purpose and of the happiness that comes from applying the gospel. Thrilled to continue working with him and are hoping that he will not be high for future lessons.
When following up with a little family we found a couple of weeks ago, we shared the ‘Because He Lives’ video and started talking about the Book of Mormon and how, in conjunction with the Bible, it helps others build their faith in Christ. Mona’s, the mother, response was, “Hmm…I would like to read that book!”. More musical words were not heard all week. We delightedly left her with a copy and are following up soon!
The Easter season is such a perfect time of year to reevaluate and to draw closer to our Savior. One sister (Rosemary M. Wixom?) spoke of another finding joy in the simple words of primary songs because they contain such basic, powerful truths. I had such an experience when playing piano at the Creole elders’ baptism on Saturday. The closing song was When I am Baptized, which reads,
I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.
I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away,
And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again
Thank goodness for the Atonement of our Savior, through the which we can be forgiven and improve each and every day. I am so weak and there are so many areas in which I need to improve, but through Him, all of those improvements are possible. Because He lives, all of us have the opportunity to reach our potential. That is why the gospel is so vital in our lives. It is not that we are Jesus freaks, restricted by our many rules, but that we know that through trust in God and His plan, we can become everything He meant us to – and be happy. Forever.
I especially connected with Wilford W. Andersen’s talk on Saturday, in the which he spoke of a medicine man and a doctor’s interaction. The doctor asked the ill medicine man if he could teach him to dance, to which his response was, “I can teach you to dance, but you have to hear the music.” Such is the gospel. Sure, we can teach people to dance all day as missionaries. Some of us were taught the steps growing up in a Christ-centered home or are trying to learn or make them up ourselves. But it is not until we truly hear the music that it all makes sense. The reason for the dancing and the desire to get better and better at it all come when you seek to hear the music yourself. I pray that my future family, home, and life will be filled with the beautiful dancing and music of the Gospel! If you didn’t hear this talk, this all probably sounds really weird, so you should just go read it. That’s my commitment for the day. Seek out the music.
Sister Burdett

I Want to Ride My Bicycle: Crises Averted‏

Sent 3/30/15

IMG_2004[1]Larry the Lizard and Me!

IMG_2005[1]Larry bit me!

IMG_2010[1]We painted a mailbox!

Heeeelllo familia!
This week, officially last Tuesday, Coral Springs West became the first Sisters biking area in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission. That’s right. 100% bicycles. Well, plus a few percentages of walking. But 0% car! The APs called us after Specialized Training and informed us that 1. Salt Lake just called (serious) informing them that they needed to sell a few cars immediately and 2. Ours would be the first and that they would be there in 30 minutes to retrieve it (it actually took them almost 2 hours – lame). We also still are phoneless (going on eleven days), so we had to wait around for them to show up to give them the keys. But after that, we were free! And now we arrive everywhere sweaty, but who cares! It really is great fun. We love it.
I had a pretty miraculous exchange on Friday with Sis. Trebotich, one of the missionaries who came over from the Tampa mission a few months ago. She’s a boss. It’s her last transfer, and we worked so flippin’ hard that day! She taught me a lot. We caught up with a really sweet old LA man who sent us on our way with two water bottles each and an admonition to wear sun hats (too bad we can’t). We got poured on and nearly blown away by the wind, but we also found a sick family. Tramaya, Travonni, Trayvon, Travis, and Belinda (black sheep). We also had a couple of amazing lessons with Yanix and Kia, a couple of people Sis. Jones and I just found. It was a miraculous day because we had not one set appointment, but just went out and tore it up. She lifted my spirits and reaffirmed me. I feel much more confident in myself and in my work – life is good!
On Saturday we arrived to the church early for a comp. study with the Elders. On an off chance we unlocked the baptismal font, just to check up on it to prep for Cathia’s baptism at 4:00, but what we found totally shocked us. The protective glass was completely shattered (see pictures). We have absolutely no idea how it happened, we just knew we had to get rid of it. After a few quick phone calls to get approval, we proceeded to take all of the broken glass down and spent the next three hours cleaning all of it up with vacuums, brooms, hands, dustpans, and triple-layered garbage bags. It was nuts! Satan really, REALLY did not want her to get baptized on that day – but she did! Haha! It was beautiful! Her brother from Tahiti baptized her and her non-member husband even stood up and shared his testimony at the end. It was so good! We are looking forward to teaching him and completing their family soon – he just needs to get Sundays off of work (Gabriel – pray for him)! There were some delicious Tahitian refreshments, and Sis. Jones treated ourselves to delicious hamburgers at Wendy’s for actually puling it all off.
That night was the General Women’s Broadcast. President Richardson made a rule that we could only go if we had an investigator or a recent convert that we had baptized there. We thought, “No problem – Cathia!”. She told us that she would be there, but the first talk started and she still hadn’t showed. We sat there for a couple of minutes, torn between better and best. But we decided that it was more important for us to be exactly obedient, so we left and did work. It was a huge miracle because we were finally able to catch up with a less active that we had tried multiple times without success. Thank goodness for promptings from the Holy Ghost. We were both a little bummed to miss out on the Conference, but leaving was totally worth it. Looking forward to printing out the talks and reading them when lds.org finally gets them up. I did get to see the “The Family is of God” video. That was something.
This morning I finished The Book of Mormon! And I got to read my favorite verse, Moroni 9:6, which reads, “And I love that Mormon describes our bodies as “tabernacles of clay”, though it may just be because I like art. But to be clay in the Maker’s hands, we must be pliable, willing to become whatever he needs us to be, and soft. We need to let him wedge us, removing all impurities and air bubbles in order to avoid an explosion in the thousand-degree kiln or life’s refiner’s fires. Ultimately, we will become something beautiful if we submit, or we will become a dried-out useless lump. I think we all know which one sounds better. I took Moroni’s challenge at the end of the book, though! I asked my Heavenly Father to know if these things were not true. My body got all sorts of tingly, and then a miraculous word popped into my brain: “Duh”. God really is pretty blunt with me sometimes. It’s great fun.
I love you all! Shout out to the Rolla YSA for some awesome coloring pages and a cool get-to-know-you beach ball!
Share the “Because He Lives” video with someone this week! And watch it yourself, too! This Easter week, turn your mind to Him – because He is the reason for everything!
Besitos,
Sister Burdett

Coral Springs: Lizard Bites and Good Timing‏

Sent 3/23/15

DSCN0971[1]Hialeah Heartbeat Zone forever (just kidding, transfers)!

DSCN0974[1]Also, meet Rena & JT, Hope, Destiny, and Tay Tay.

DSCN0979[1]AND BEN REAVELEY CAME TO CHURCH.

Familia!!!
Man, am I happy to write you this week! I am pleased to announce that I have been transferred to Coral Springs, Florida. And, wow, serving in the northern side of the mission is different. I’ve never felt like I’ve really been serving in the United States until now – there are white people everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Aaaaaand I’m serving in an English ward. Again. Disappointing, but I’m trying to convince Sister Jones to teach less actives and recent converts, etc. in Spanish if they speak it for practice. We’re working on it.
So, Coral Springs with Sis. Jones! She’s been out on her mission for just a transfer more than I have, but I got called to be senior comp., so that’s a little weird. She’s had a pretty rough go with her last couple of companions, so I’m determined to make this one work. And to make it fun. Because if you’re not having fun on your mission then you’re doing something wrong (the word “mission” can be substituted for any situation in life – life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured). This transfer is going to be different though. Up here is taking a little getting used to. But, I am living with Sister Bradley again, so I am thrilled for that! She got retransferred to the Spanish ward here (oddly enough, the same area in which her mission began) and is white-washing it with Sister Lake, another cool cat. We just got a new apartment up here three weeks ago, and, I tell you what, it is the ritz. No bugs, no ghetto, and also no broom (going to fix that today). We even have a little garage for our bikes!
We’re going to be having a sick baptism this Saturday for Cathia, an awesome Tahitian lady. Funny story: she was raised in the Church and supposedly got baptized, but somewhere within fifteen years of inactivity, her records got lost. She was just reactivated about a month ago and her son was baptized, but now she needs to be baptized too! We’ve been teaching her up all week and are so excited for this Saturday! She has been interviewed and is ready for the dip!
A miracle less-active family, the Moscowitz, called us asking when we could come over. Sis. Jones had never even noticed their name on the directory, and very few people in the ward knew them, but we went on over anyway. A delicious array of sandwich toppings awaited us as well as a funny little recently-retired old couple who are ready to return. They kept calling us the Elderettes. It was cute.
We gave our assistant ward mission leader a call, only to reach his voicemail (I guess some drama went down at correlation the week before I arrived and he hadn’t been responding to anyone). But let me tell you, I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed harder at anyone’s personal greeting. He’s a personal trainer, and it started off with, “Hello! You’ve reached the Master Blaster of Fatty-Flab…” I don’t remember much after that because the fit of giggles took over and made it hard to focus. It’s just so funny because he’s in his early sixties. But whenever he answers the door he’s only ever been wearing a bro-tank or shirtless. Funny guy.
We painted a mailbox for a less active, too, named Mary Lou. She’s a sweet old lady that told us we couldn’t help her unpack the boxes in her house because she wants something to do with the rest of her life. Sad. She had a lizard living in her bathtub for approx. two to three weeks. She liked having him there and wouldn’t let the other Sisters get him out for her because he kept her company, but she told us that she thought he was dying and that it was time to let him live in the world. Thinking myself a hot lizard-catcher (one of mine and Sister Endemaño’s pastimes), I confidently told her I could get him. I walked in to the bathroom to find him sitting on a large piece of bread (“I thought he would like a snack”, she told us), but that slippery lizard just kept jumping out of my hands! And then he turned around and bit me! We eventually team-worked him into a bowl and let him free, but I’m thankful to Larry for reminding me to be humble.
We learned that pelar in Spanish means “to peel” when we stumbled upon a lady from the Spanish ward in the kitchen at the church with fifty pounds of potatoes to peel and cut and cook and mash before the Relief Society activity and not a soul to help her. Good to do some service, but, man, were my hands pruney.
Last night we met Frank and Luis, two recent converts from January who are AWESOME. They’re from Peru and own a earring business – they make me want to get my ears pierced! They brought out their guitar along with their cousin, Roger, and improvised a song about us “hermanitas” sharing the good word. We also met Ariel, Frank’s brother, miraculously, and after not having any previous interest told us he wanted to join in on our lessons! Miracle transfer week is real.
Also, we caught the mom of a recent convert YSA miraculously on our way to an appointment – while driving by Sis. Jones saw her watering her lawn! We pulled over, said a prayer rapidito, and invited her to church to watch Xavier, her son, pass the Sacrament. AND SHE CAME! AND she’s finally off work for a whole week – so we get to begin teaching her as well! Miracles, miracles everywhere.
Even if there are scads of Americans here (bueno, we’re all Americans, but I’m speaking about the white ones, born and raised here), it is still a good place. It will still take a bit of acostumbrandome, but I think it will be good.
Loved Ether 6:2-3,7-8, and 11-12 this week. The Brother of Jared has got to be one of my favorite guys in the BOM, just because of his sheer faith, trust in the Lord, and work ethic. The Lord used the simple solution he had come up with (see Ether 2-3 for the full story), and make his weak stones strong and bright. Nothing could hurt them as they crossed the sea because their boats (testimonies!) were tight and strong as the furious winds constantly blew them to the promised land. Patience and faith! Sorry if this doesn’t make any sense, but my time on the computer is running out. Just read it – it’ll make sense! I love you!!
Sister Burdett
P.S. Ben Reaveley came to church…. AGAIN!

Octopus Salad, Cuff Links, and Miracle March‏

Sent 3/17/15

MIRACLE SACRAMENT MEETING IN THE FLAGLER WARD.
And good thing, too, because – you guessed it – I got transferred! I will miss the Flagler ward so very, very, VERY, much, but I know that it’s time to move on. I’ll find out exactly to what and where and with whom I’m moving tomorrow (pray that it’s not YSA)!
This truly was the happiest Sunday of my mission, mostly because by some miraculous power we had nine investigators at church. Hilda came (finally) and brought Norka, Xandro, and Xander again; Janel and Rochelle, two of the young girls we’re teaching; Anthony & Heather (and baby Landon) finally came; Jerry; Javier, the son of a less active; and Bart even walked in right as we were singing the opening song! All of them plus the LA Calderon fam. who, too, walked in during the opening song. As Sis. E described it after the matter, “The only people who were there when church started was….. no one.” But then they all started walking in, and all were able to partake of the Sacrament! It was a beautiful day. But the most beautiful thing of all was a voice that came as we were explaining to some ‘gators what happened next. I heard the words, “Hello, Sisters” and turned around, only to find myself face to face with none other than Ben Reaveley. BEN REAVELEY. CAME TO CHURCH. Probably none of you understand how significant this is. Just on Friday we had a lesson with him in the which he told us he had read and prayed as we had asked him to (a miracle in itself), but that he felt that he had honestly received an answer from God that this is not the true Church and that “the Good Lord gave us a brain for a reason”. It was a sorrowful lesson indeed, and while we parted all smiles, Sis. E and I were drowning a little inside. We had no idea what to do, or if we should even continue trying to help him. And then, out of absolutely nowhere, Ben Reaveley showed up to church. In the fanciest suit, cuff links, and shoes. And even showed almost definite signs of progress. I have never, in probably my entire life, been happier to see anyone in church. It was a beautiful day.
After church that day, we went to go see Bart to see what caused him to show up that day (he slipped through our fingers at bolted after Sacrament meeting). All in all, it was an unproductive lesson, but it sure was fun to see him again. Bart quote of the week:
Bart: Hey, have you ever heard of John the Baptist?
Us: Yup!
Bart: You know that Herod cut his head off, right?
Us: Yeah.
Bart: And Jesus never put it back on?
Us: Nope.
Bart: Oh…He shoulda done that.
Dinner at Rena & JT’s house this week consisted of pork chops, broccolini, orange soda, whole garlic cloves, and octopus salad. Yep. It was a meal to remember.
Teaching children always produces the best quotes. One from this week was this conversation.
Sis. B: Do you remember who the prophet was that restored Jesus’s Church?
Alejandro: Uhhhhhhh………
Sis. B: I’ll give you a hint. It starts with a “J”…..
Sis. E: …and ends with an “oseph”
Alejandro: I’m gonna take a guess… Jennifer Lopez?
Needless to say, it was the first time we had taught him, and we probably won’t do so again unless he just happens to participate. But he’s a fun one. 🙂
Sara invited us over for dinner this week and her daughter, Mila (remember, CARROT?), actually didn’t hate us this week. She learned our names and even talked to us! Even though the meal still ended with her parting words being “Missionaries! Go HOME!” (it was bath time), I would still consider it a success.
We had several miraculous finds this week including, Fernando, Felix, Ivan and Mahir and family (specific prayer answered!) and Juan Carlos + family. We had a couple amazing chapel tours with some of them, but unfortunately none of them made it to church.
The spiritual inspiration comes from Sis. Phillips this week, who in a Gospel Principles discussion on prayer, simply raised her had and said, “Worry about nothin’. Pray about everything”. So often we over complicate things, but as long as we place our trust in God and strive to do what He wants us to, we really don’t need to worry about nothin’! But, no matter if things are good, bad, ugly, fun, or whatever, pray about it! Bring every concern, doubt, fear, joy, solution, etc. to Him. I don’t really think we’ll fully comprehend in this life how essential it is. I can promise you that it’s not just “The Secret” of life to verbally express things and thereby, through your own efforts accomplish what you want. It is divine aid. It is a loving Heavenly Father who watches and protects us and listens. So pray, dang it!
Also, Hilda has her recommend to do baptisms for her parents next month! Woooooooo!
But guys……. Ben Reaveley came to church. 🙂
I love you guys. A lot. Sister Burdett
DSCN0967[1]Sidewalk says “We love Mormons!”

Agua de Coco, Stiffneckedness, and Carrot Love‏

DSCN0952[1]

Sent 3/7/15

Familia!

A happy week it was! A hard week, but a good week.
This week. Was a week.
Ben Reaveley made us crazy. I think I have finally met someone as stubborn as I am. He made us cookies, let us try some fancy salt, and then told us that he doesn’t know if the Book of Mormon is true anymore. He’s a lawyer and critically reads documents for a living, looking for faults. He won’t read his scriptures anymore because he’s too scared to find out for sure that it isn’t true. We told him to read his scriptures anyway. I stood on his doorstep for four straight minutes in silence with arms folded, head bowed, eyes closed, and neck stiff, waiting for that man to say the closing prayer. He wouldn’t do it. So I made my companion do it after committing him to pray that night. My neck usually never pops, but it did later that night. Twice. Turns out that stiffneckedness
We found an awesome guy named Carlos while walking through a neighborhood. We ended up talking to him for a solid 45 minutes because he was frustrated with his broken lawn mower, and ended up having an awesome conversation with him. He ended up accepting our invitation for baptism and even pulled some coconuts off of his truck, pulled out a machete, and started hacking away! We had the most delicious coconut water and then scooped out the insides. Into our mouths. It was great.
We visited Hilda again to help reteach her and support her, and she said something that just warmed my heart. After we started talking, she told us, “Me siento llena. No tengo que buscar mas por una iglesia, solo tengo que leer para aprender. Se que he llegado.” (Vease 3 Nefi 27:16). IT WAS AMAZING. She’s so cool. And she still has kept off of the coffee and tea. Props to Hilda. She’s the best!
The biggest miracle happened this week: RENE CAME TO CHURCH. After twenty years of inactivity, Rene finally, finally came to church. And with his mom! He met with the Bishop just last week, and is progressing right along. We saw a lot of big miracles with our less actives and recent converts in our ward here, but, unfortunately haven’t seen too much action on the investigator front. We had a great meeting with a RC, Monica, this week. We’ve been pretty worried about her recently because she started dating a guy who was bringing her down pretty low. She stopped coming to church for a few weeks and didn’t want to meet with us at all, yet we were finally able to get back in contact with her. She came to church for all three hours for the first time in a couple of months and later told us how different she felt. She could finally recognize how much Satan had slipped in to her life, and was ready to kick him back out. And kick him she did! She kicked that bum to the curb! And came teaching with us! And fed us! It was so good to see her strong and happy again.
Sara came to church too, with her little two-year-old daughter, Mila. This was the first time she stayed for all three hours, and we learned that Mila loves Nursery. She really loves Nursery. More specifically a plastic carrot toy in Nursery. And when it was time to leave behind the plastic carrot and go home, Mila was not ready for it. Sara carried her down the hall, screaming “CARROT! CARROT! CARROT!”, during the closing prayer of the Spanish Sacrament Meeting. It was pretty hilarious. And made me think of Henry. Does he ever get a little too attached to toys that aren’t his, too?
Gerry, our friend who gave us two gallons of Colloidal Silver for free because he likes us so much, finally dropped us over the phone. His words were, “I was worried about coming to this point in our relationship” (a little laughter was stifled); we were sad to see him give up on the Book of Mormon, but are glad to spend more time focusing on those who are ready for it.
Mayte, too, has officially dropped us. We had a pretty amazing lesson with her in the chapel with one of her member friends, and she’s at the point where she knows absolutely everything is true and has really strong desires to be baptized, but she just can’t split up her family. Her husband simply won’t comply and she doesn’t want to pull them apart. We love her so much, and it’s so hard to see her go through this. But we feel really strongly that it’s because they all need to be baptized together as a family. Keep them in your prayers.
4 Nefi 1:15 basically sums up the entire gospel, the reasons for doing all of the crazy things we do. It is all for the love of God. We give up TV, movies, books, sleeping in, Disneyland, family phone calls, vacations, jeans in public, etc. to serve missions because we love God. Trying to love him more than anything else. Anything. Because that truly is the first and great commandment. And because I love Him, I need to share this message with everyone I see. Because I love them too. New meaning has come from the hymn God is Love, because when you get past all of it, that’s what it really is all about.
And I love YOU, too! And if you love me, write me a letter. 🙂
That’s only sort of a joke.
Sister Burdett.
P.S. We walked by a man hosing off his pants on the sidewalk (don’t worry, he was wearing other pants). I thought it was the weirdest thing, but Sis. E couldn’t believe that I’d never done that before. I just told her, “I’ve never had the need to wash them like that”. Her reply was, “I’ll teach you how to create the need to wash your pants like that”. I died.
P.P.S. It’s Proselyting Monday next week!

Milagros para siempre. SIEMPRE.‏

Sent 2/23/15

Hello family!
IT WAS A MIRACLE WEEK.
Really every day is full of miracles, it just takes the right eyes to see them, but this week they were gushing out from the windows of heaven and we’re extremely visible to the naked eye. So MANY!
Firstly, Hilda was baptized on Saturday, the 21st! Probably the greatest birthday weekend of my life! And definitely the most stressful and exhausting. We were really nervous to do a Saturday baptism because we were worried about attendance, but our ward miraculously pulled through and we had 22 people show up, not counting missionaries! AND Rene, our favorite less active/returning member came with his mom!! And we did a chapel tour with him this week! He hasn’t set foot inside a church in 21 years. TWENTY-ONE YEARS. It was a beautiful thing. We sat in the chapel with him and read from 3 Nephi 18, and he paused in the middle of a verse to say, “I don’t know why, but I just feel so much peace right now”. We couldn’t believe it. The family history center opened up right at the end of our tour and we discovered that he has a HUGE interest! He sat down with an amazing member of the Spanish ward for a good half hour setting up his account and learning about family history and temple work! It all came from a random invite to the English class we’re doing on Tuesday nights, even though he already speaks perfect English. Trying to get him to church has been like pulling toenails off (ew), but to our invitation he just said, “Ok. I’m on my way”. What! So, so good. He still hasn’t come to an actual Sunday service, but soon. He took three huge steps this week and we are so excited to see him keep progressing.
Anyway, the baptism came together amazingly, fit with cookies, programs, and the works. Her nonmember daughter and two grandsons came too, and we’re going to start teaching them this week! God is good.
We may have laid on the floor for fifteen minutes after everyone left and all was cleaned up.
And the following day the four of them marched on over to church together for her confirmation. It was a wonderful thing. After an exhausting hour of translating Sacrament meeting, a completely Spanglish Gospel Principles lesson, and some head-bobbing in Relief Society (don’t tell), we arrived home spiritually full and physically empty. It was the BEST!
I exchanged to YSA on Friday, too, which added to the fun and exhaustion. My entire mission, I have refused to accept the possibility of me ever serving in a YSA area. No thanks. We do a full exchange every transfer with our STLs (which have thusfar all been YSA areas), but I have stayed in my own area for four transfers straight. I was thinking that I was going to set some kind of record until I learned that in my fifth transfer my streak was to be broken. But what an amazing break it was! I got to spend the day with Sister Mahterian, just a transfer older than me, and it was basically a party! I got to see Elizabeth, the amazing RC who used to come out with us in Killian, who came out with us from about 2:30 to 9:00 – AWESOME. We saw so many miracles! After teaching a girl who was high but who loved the Plan of Salvation, we headed over to a “meal appointment” that was forgotten about by the member… awkward. But he quickly called his next-door neighbor and told him to come over for ten minutes to make up for it. Little did we know, we were about to meet the most elect individual of my life (except maybe Mayte). Enter Jonathan, the most spiritually hungry 20-something you could ever meet. There occurred the most spiritual Restoration lesson of my mission. We just had a great day, that’s all there is to it. I think I needed it for God to tell me, “Hey, YSA really isn’t as bad as you think”. I really don’t want to serve there still, but my heart is just a bit softer.
Yesterday we went to a less active’s house with a cool member, Bro. Santos. His NM mom let us inside and was so excited to see us. She called upstairs for him and we began to wait. And wait. Ten minutes passed by. And then we heard the shower turn on. This man was determined not to talk to us. So his mom suggested we call up the stairs to him. So began the yelling. It was one of the weirdest things ever, calling for a man who apparently hates the church in a house full of roaming cats with a member who had never gone out with us before. He never came down. Baby.
We also looked for another less active, just to find out that he died… fifteen years ago! It was really quite sad, because he only would’ve been 25 at his death, but were going back this weekend to teach his wife the Plan of Salvation.
Also, we forgot to sweep out the font before we started to fill it up, so guess who had to wade in the water picking out weird little dead flies (see picture attached).
And, mom, I finally followed through and bought Sister Chu a pie! We took it over last night and brought a little tear to her eye as we sliced up the lemon meringue and told her we loved her! That woman will be exalted on high.
I love you all! Thank you so much for your prayers and support to make all of these miracles come to pass! Sis. Mahterian stuck a post-it note in my planner and titled it “Milagros” (miracles). Now every time I see one, small or big, I write it back there. As you start to keep track, the more you notice, and the more you count the countless blessing you have. Try it.
Sister Burdett