New Contact Address!!!!

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Eliza has a new address.  Please direct all mail to her to this address:

Sister Eliza Burdett
2051 Hilmoor Drive #209A
Port St. Lucie, FL 34952
If you’d like to send me some mail or something that’d be cool. 🙂

The mission office gave these guidelines: “Mail from home should no longer be sent to the Mission Office, as it will no longer be forwarded to your individual apartments/houses. In your email to your family this week, please give them your apartment/house address and ask them to begin sending your mail and packages directly to you. Please also advise them to stop all mail 12 days before each transfer, as you will not know if you will be transferred or not. The next transfer date is July 22 so they should not mail you any letters or packages after July 10, to insure delivery before Transfers. It will be your responsibility to give your family your new address after each transfer, via your weekly email. Your parents will receive an email this week stating all this and they will be given a Transfer Schedule for the next year.”

We have not seen an official email or transfer schedule yet but we will post it as soon as we get it.  Eliza hits her ONE YEAR mark on July 9th!  Let’s send her some love and support as she starts the final six months of her mission.  Get those letters mailed before the 10th!  Thanks for supporting our missionary girl!  Love, Katie

Knock, Knock

(Received 6/29/15)

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Share a Coke with a Sista Friend!              SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Familia!
Another wild week! Well, really, every week is wild, but at least it’s always new fresh and exciting things!
Really quickly, some housekeeping things:
I was sent this from the President: from Sister Garrett: Mail from home should no longer be sent to the Mission Office, as it will no longer be forwarded to your individual apartments/houses. In your email to your family this week, please give them your apartment/house address and ask them to begin sending your mail and packages directly to you. Please also advise them to stop all mail 12 days before each transfer, as you will not know if you will be transferred or not. The next transfer date is July 22 so they should not mail you any letters or packages after July 10, to insure delivery before Transfers. It will be your responsibility to give your family your new address after each transfer, via your weekly email. Your parents will receive an email this week stating all this and they will be given a Transfer Schedule for the next year. If you have any questions please call Sister Garrett in the Mission Office.
So, just in case you didn’t receive the above-stated e-mail, now you know! The address at which I am living is:
Sister Eliza Burdett
2051 Hilmoor Drive #209A
Port St. Lucie, FL 34952
If you’d like to send me some mail or something that’d be cool. 🙂
Also, this Sunday the Stuart ward was split! Meaning that I will now be working in the brand new Port St. Lucie Branch! Some of the recent converts are having some difficulty adjusting to the change, but we are glad because all of them will be under our wing in the new branch (we only lost a small portion of our former area).
We had some good finding this week! We knocked doors for at least a solid fifteen hours this week. Unfortunately, none of it turned into investigators at Sacrament meeting, but we now have some potentials with whom we are working. We found a cute little family, who, when we came back the next day to teach them, had invited their friends over to hear the lesson as well! We ended up teaching Tiffany & Justin and Kayla & Steve all together and had quite the Restoration discussion. Both Tiffany and Kayla said that they were ‘feeling chills’ (lol, the SPIRIT) during the whole lesson, but especially so when we read the First Vision. We were so very grateful to finally see some fruits this week and to have the opportunity to share our testimonies with others. Unfortunately Tiffany is facing a lot of opposition from her pastor and other friends, so she’s a little wary about moving forward, but she trusts what she felt and what she has learned from us. We are planning on meeting with her and her sister this week and pray that she will be able to feel the Spirit again.

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Our apartment dwellers!                                SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We also had a great experience after absolutely everything had fallen through and we had knocked doors for several hours that day. We were left with about 40 minutes to work. After knocking on a recent convert’s door only to realize that he was at work, we decided to just OYM in the complex. We saw what we thought was a family sitting outside and chose to talk to them. What happened was pretty amazing! Turns out that one of the women’s boyfriend had just been shot and killed on Father’s day and they had just been discussing the very questions that the Book of Mormon clarify: What is waiting for us after this life?; Why do bad things happen to good people?; etc. They both asked us for a Book of Mormon to which we gladly handed them over with Plan of Salvation pamphlets. I am so very grateful for the knowledge that has been restored about the purpose of this life and the next.
Much of my study this week has been centered on humility, an attribute that I am striving to develop. True to the Faith’s definition was awesome: “to recognize gratefully your dependence on the Lord – to understand that you have constant need for His support…it is an indication that you know where your true strength lies. You can be both humble and fearless”. Preach my Gospel also has a great section entitled, “How can you recognize pride in yourself?” (humility and pride are opposites, so I enjoyed studying this not only to try to identify pride in myself, but to try and find indicators of humility as well), and several scriptures listed below. The one with which I connected the most was 1 Nephi 15:7-11 in the which Nephi asks his brothers the powerful question, “Have you inquired of the Lord?”. Whenever we are struggling in any form, He is there, waiting to help. All we have to do is ask! So stop being prideful and do it! 🙂
I love you!
Sister Burdet

After all we can do…..

(Received 6/22/15)

DSCN1132[1]Plan of Salvation sidewalk display at the park

DSCN1131[1]Our finished project!

DSCN1133[1]The beautiful Sis. Clegg! You finally get to see her face!

Familia!
Basically, after a pretty rough week absolutely full of finding and our very best efforts, the drought in Stuart finally ended on Wednesday. We are being humbled daily, and really were almost at a loss to what more we could do to find people to teach. Yet, Heavenly Father knows what we need and how much we need to stretch and grow in this life in order to prepare us to live with Him again. And stretched we were! And are!
On Wednesday, we threw in every finding idea we could think of: teach Plan of Salvation in chalk at the park, lend Book of Mormons, part-member families, former investigators, door-knocking, OYMing, member referrals, EVERYTHING. We biked so hard and talked with everyone, but 7:00 rolled around and we had 0 new investigators. Then, Sis. Clegg received the inspiration to follow up with a family she and her last companion had found almost two weeks ago – I’ll spoil the surprise: IT WAS THE SPIRIT TELLING US TO VISIT THEM. We stopped by the house, only to knock and not have it opened unto us. So we drove away.
But then we got a phone call. It was Banica calling us back saying that she saw us as we were driving away and that we could come back!!! And come back we did. We taught her and her three sons the Restoration and were finally able to see the fruits of our labors. In our mission we have a standard of four new investigators by Wednesday and seven by Sunday, and our ZLs were making a big push for the whole zone to reach that. Needless to say, we were so, SO thankful to our Father in Heaven helping us find more people to teach and for helping us accomplish our goal. And now, our district is having a pizza party because we all had 4 by Wednesday!!
That night we also had an awesome experience with RC Larry. He was being taught by missionaries for a year and a half before he was baptized. On one of my first days here we had dinner with him and accidentally offended him pretty badly, but that day we were able to right any wrongs and rebuild our relationship with him. He went from never wanting to feed us again to inviting us to breakfast with him, starting to plan another dinner, and getting excited to have a hymn-jam-session is his garage next time we come over to teach him. Thank goodness for the power of forgiveness.
Miracle #4 that week was receiving a media referral for a recent convert from Arizona who just moved into our ward. She lives out on little Hutchinson Island, many miles away from us. Sis. Clegg had never been before because of the distance, but we decided to make a day trip out of it and to trek on over. It’s long and skinny and beautiful. Actually, the only really beautiful part about it is the ocean. Otherwise it’s just dusty and has lots of high-rise apartment buildings and trailers. But I loved it! We were finally able to find Amy’s little home and learned that she and her daughter, Sara, had been going to church for the past 14 YEARS and Amy just was baptized in April! Sara has received all of the lessons and even passed a baptismal interview, but she wasn’t baptized because they moved! STRAIGHT MIRACLE! They are so cool! We are hoping that she will be baptized this month, but it’s still TBA.
IMG_0380[1]Sister Burdett and Sister Clegg

We also found a sweet little less active couple that moved here after living 60 years in Utah. They experienced a bit of a culture shock upon arrival, but were so excited to see us because they didn’t even know there was a church building out here!
God truly has been leading and guiding every step and though the road is never easy, He always pulls through and we end up rejoicing.
My thought this week comes from “Latter-day Saints Keep on Trying” by Elder Renlund: “”One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need by final.” Even if we’ve been a conscious, deliberate sinner or have repeatedly faced failure and disappointment, the moment we decide to try again, the Atonement of Christ can help us” – what encouraging doctrine! He also makes the comment that “a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying”. That is what He expects of us. Not perfection yet, but a constant effort. Sis. Clegg and I have been learning that over and over and over again in Stuart. We try and try until we think we have nothing left, and it is only then that we see the miracle. And so we keep going. It’s a constant cycle of faith, action, and assurance.
I teach more in Spanish in Stuart that I do in Coral Springs. #unexpectedblessing
I love you! KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
Sister Burdett

Then Why Should I Fear?

(Received 6/15/15)

P1020685The last of Sis. Burdett and Sis. Gailey. We decided to get matching shirts. These gems came from Wal-mart and say “Everyday Struggle” up the side. We thought they were pretty fitting.
Familia!

Sorry to leave you in the dark about to where I transferred! Here’s the low down: I only knew where Sis. Gailey was going because she was just transferring across the hall (staying in the same apartment). They told her that on the phone call so she wouldn’t have to bring her stuff all the way to transfer meeting. So, all I knew about myself was that I was leaving, but I didn’t know to where I was going yet.
BUT, now that I have arrived, I can tell you! I am currently serving in Stuart North, in the most northern zone of the mission. And you know what North means: English and white people. But in even greater quantities than Coral Springs! It’s redeeming factor in that aspect is that there is translation in Sacrament meeting for the few members who are more comfortable in Spanish, so if we find any Latins, I can teach them!! Hallelujah! Now we just need to find some. 🙂 We actually cover Port St. Lucie and Jensen Beach. It’s a huge area from the everglades on the west side to the ocean on the east. I am serving with Sister Clegg, an awesome English-speaking missionary from Portland. Sorry I don’t have a picture of her yet to include! I will repent soon. We have been assigned to serve as Sister Training Leaders, which will mean that we’ll be going on a couple of exchanges with those in our sisterhood each week. It entails more planning, accounting, and worrying then I’ve probably ever experienced, but it’s also a whole lot of fun. I felt a little like a deer in the headlights for the first couple of days, but now I’m acclimating well and absolutely loving it!

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New Companionships in St. Lucia SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

DSCN1124[1]Yes, this picture isn’t that great and was taken out of the car window, but, gosh, it is BEAUTIFUL here! I wanted to give you just a little taste!

Another perk is that I now get to attend our Mission Leadership Conferences in the which we plan and prepare to train the rest of the mission. This month’s was pretty special – Elder Soares (presidency of the Seventy) and Elder Thompson (of the Seventy) came and trained us on commitment and goal setting. It was a powerful spiritual experience and I walked away with many new ideas for study topics, better understanding of the many lessons my mission has been teaching me, and increased motivation to reach my goals. I never recognized how powerful correct goal-setting can be. If we want to progress and become better, we must work toward specific objectives. Since then I’ve started developing many more plans to help myself improve and to make sure I don’t forget anything. Planning’s the best!
We have been hitting the streets hard and are searching for those elect like CRAZY! We knock doors for hours every day and are trying to keep it fresh by trying new ideas and approaches. Satan is trying hard to discourage us, but just last night we were able to find a family that let us into their home to teach them about the Restoration. We also lent a guy a Book of Mormon and told him that we would be back in a few days to “pick it up” and see how his reading went. Additionally, we accidentally knocked into a member who had just had her appendix removed last week! She and her husband gave us a few referrals! God really is so perfectly mindful of all of us. It was a miraculous evening and gave us hope after a pretty exhausting week.
The ward is pretty interesting and is actually fairly large – about 200+ people attend weekly. It’s comprised mostly of older people, but there are a handful of younger families to that keep the ward pretty balanced. Just in the last few months there have been several recent converts, most of whom I have now met. I’m excited to keep the momentum going in the ward and to keep building the kingdom here.
A sentence to ponder from our last District Training: “What we do depends on how we feel about what we know.”
This week I read “The Lord is My Light” by Elder Quentin L. Cook from last Conference. Here are a couple of quotes that I loved.
“Like the young sunflower, when we follow the Savior of the world, the Son of God, we flourish and become glorious despite the many terrible circumstances that surround us.” “Brothers and sisters, if we faithfully have family prayer,scripture study, family home evening, priesthood blessings, and Sabbath day observance, our children will know what time it is at home. They will be prepared for an eternal home in heaven, regardless of what befalls them in a difficult world. It is vitally important that our children know they are loved and safe at home.”
As we focus our eyes and our lives on the Savior, we become everything He intends us to be no matter where we are or in what point of life we are. I also loved the second quote because we are promised that our families will be prepared to be an eternal family as we do what God, through His prophets, asks of us. What a blessing it was to be raised in the home I was! Now it is my responsibility to help others enjoy the same blessings. I am so thankful to be serving here with Sis. Clegg! She has already been such a blessing to me and is teaching me so well. I can feel myself learning and growing and I love it.
I love you!
Sister Burdett

Lychee and Big Change!

DSCN1096A Cool Ceramic Chair and the Happiest Apartment on Earth!

(Received 6/9/15)

Familia!
We had a big transfer surprise last night: Coral Springs is getting WHITE-WASHED. In missionary lingo, that means both Sister Gailey and I will be leaving the area tomorrow! Crazy! She is transferring across the hall to the Spanish ward that meets in our building and will finish her training there with Sister Lake! It’s absolutely wild – we were floored! I am so sad to be leaving her. We have learned and experienced SO MUCH together! But I know that this is the will of the Lord and am looking forward to see what He has in store for us to move this work forward. I found out that I’ll be seeing a lot of my old companions at the meeting, so I’m excited for a miniature reunion! It will be so hard to leave Cerene and many others behind, but I trust that the Lord will put them in good hands so they can continue to spiritually progress.
In other news, we finally got to follow up with a referral from our ZLs last night named Latisha. She has such an amazing story! After being in a pretty severe car accident in march with her two small children and nephew, she has been looking to get closer to God ever since. She is preparing for baptism later this month! She’s so cool and has really great hair.
Also, on the same night, we met a girl while knocking doors that we are 99% sure is possessed. In the moment, the Spirit gave me a whole lot of confidence and I had no fear, but after we left the house, He definitely let me know that was not a good place. God protects us!
DSCN1106Sister Gailey trying Lychee for the first time!  So Good!This week we helped a member clean her grout in her kitchen and were rewarded with delicious Swedish pancakes (don’t be fooled, they’re just thick crepes) with cookie butter, fresh lychee, and marriage advice! So that was fun.
We spent two days in Pembroke Pines last week, working our STL’s area with them. It was quite the learning experience and I got to break out my biking legs again! We biked thirty miles in a day. It was AWESOME! And filled with gnats. I love having the opportunity to work with other missionaries and to get new ideas on how to more effectively, efficiently, and creatively do the work. #inspired
We also had a crazy experience with our Assistant Ward Mission Leader, Bro. Halas an ex-college football player gone personal trainer (in his SIXTIES), as we were visiting his neighbor, Irmgard. He had just met her a little while ago as he was walking his dog, and had had a pretty friendly and positive interaction with her. But, when we went over with him later on, she was extremely emotional and going through a very rough time. God’s timing really is incredible and perfect, and she gladly accepted the Plan of Salvation in her search for answers. Unfortunately, her husband told us pretty sternly that we wouldn’t be welcomed back at their house, but we know that Irmgard’s heart was touched. We hope that the new sisters will be able to find a way to keep teaching her!
As I read in Mosiah last week, I noticed something interesting. After going through pretty severe hardships and being in bondage, Alma and his people are able to pull out on top “and the Lord did pour out his Spirit‍ upon them, and they were blessed, and prospered in the land” (Msh 25:24). Yet, the next chapter starts out with a description of how hardened the hearts of the rising generation had become! While the church had seen great success, they had not remained balanced and began to lose the most important part of God’s people – those who would be the next leaders and instructors! What a good reminder for me it was to remain balanced in all things. Particularly in missionary work, not forgetting the welfare of the members of the ward, but also in normal life. We cannot forget those around us as we deal with the many problems we face. Likewise, we must make sure that we are strong and on a good foundation before we focus completely on others. As long as we remain balanced in all things, then His work and plan can continually progress. It coincided really well with Elder Zeballos’s talk, “If You Will Be Responsible”, whose main message was about learning our duty, making the decision, acting accordingly, and willingly accepting the Father’s will. Do it! Like Nike.
I will miss this place, but am excited to see a revamp for the area! I love you! It was so good to hear from all of you this week!
Sister Burdett

A Big Win!

(Received 6/1/15)

P1020668[1]Guess who got baptized? CERENE!

Familia!!
Well, we had one big win for God’s team this weekend: CERENE GOT BAPTIZED! After an almost three month battle, Cerene has finally won and was baptized last Saturday and confirmed yesterday. What a beautiful, beautiful experience it was. She went out of town for Memorial Day and didn’t return until Tuesday so her baptism was really up in the air, but, once you recognize the Spirit in your life it’s pretty difficult to deny. She had a fabulous interview, we pumped her up on Friday by teaching about temples, and the ward really pulled through at her baptism. So much support! Absolutely one of my best experiences on my mission. She just cried and cried the whole time, and then stayed for the Elders’ baptism immediately afterward. Every bit of doctrine that was said, she nodded to, and just kept telling us, “I can’t wait until Cayden can do this too.” He’s five right now and ADORES church (we always like to give him “piano lessons” which basically just consist of him banging on the piano for about half an hour – it’s great), but we will definitely be back when he turns eight. I really can’t express to you how miraculous the whole event was – Cerene was someone who truly taught me:
1. How real and powerful the Atonement of Jesus Christ is in our lives and how much it enables it to be
2. The Spirit is the real teacher, not us
3. Faith is absolutely essential to our conversion
She truly loves God and has come so far on her faith in Him – her process has been miraculous to be a part of and I can’t wait to see the even greater blessings and miracles that come as a result! She’s going to the temple this Friday!
On Tuesday night we had an FHE for women in our ward who don’t have the opportunity to do it on their own because their family is gone or are not members or active in the church. It was a small group, but the Spirit was SO STRONG and Sis. Gailey and I really benefitted a lot! These women were such examples of great faith, diligence, and perseverance and we were able to have some great spiritual insights while discussing Elder Nelson’s “The Sabbath is a Delight” talk. One scripture that I particularly loved was D&C 88:67, which states, ” And if your eye be single‍ to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth‍ all things” – I love that! If we focus solely on our Father in Heaven and on aligning our will with His, He will fill us with light to the point that all darkness will be cast away and that we will have understanding. What a beautiful promise! Another thought I had during the FHE was to not let your natural tendencies diminish the light of Christ within you. All of us are blessed with light, yet sometimes we mask it because of various silly excuses. Shyness, fear of judgement, selfishness. The light of Christ encourages us to serve, uplift, and love! If you see someone struggling, follow your instincts and show love to them! Never let a second thought or a doubt stop you from doing the good that has the potential to flow so naturally from you. Embrace your light!
I tried cashew fruit for the first time this week. Man, was that a special experience. It literally went in my journal, but I’m not going to spoil the surprise! Go buy one and try it! But cuidado: the cashew/stem part releases toxic fumes when cooked, so DON’T COOK IT! That’s what the Spanish ward members told us anyway.
We had another great experience while knocking doors this week with a woman named Cynthia. Turns out she’s married to a LA member of the church, and her LA mother-in-law was there visiting her! We shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon, testified that God loved them and was so mindful of them because he (literally) sent us straight to their doorstep, and invited them to read and come to church. At the beginning, Cynthia told us she wasn’t very religious, but the whole time she just cried and cried and kept apologizing for it, saying, “I don’t know what’s going on with me!” We let her know that it was the Spirit and that she shouldn’t worry (it was a good kind of crying). 🙂 They didn’t show at church, but we know that it was a powerful experience for us and for them. Being an instrument in His hands is the best!
We also had a really horrible experience while knocking doors, but I won’t go to deep into the details. We just met a woman who was really vocal about her opinions, some of which included, “You’ve never had an experience with God”; “Joseph Smith was following Satan”; and “I feel sorry for you because you’re so confused and blind”, so that was cool! She said a lot more, but we just tried our best to respect her opinion and to show the love that Christ would show to her if He was in our shoes. In the end, we thanked her and left, feeling so sad for her. It was something that was difficult for me because I couldn’t understand how someone could spend half an hour essentially destroying everything someone believed and being unbelievably rude just because their door was knocked on and were offered to join in a prayer. Mostly it just made me sad because I feel that someone’s belief in God and Jesus Christ should lead them to do good, to strengthen and uplift, not to destroy and shun all other faiths. After some long discussions, prayer, and personal revelation, I am thankful for that experience and recognize that it was a gift in many ways.
Fortunately, that experience was followed by a few other AWESOME experiences with Kevin, Jacob, and Cerene, in the which we saw the fruits of the Gospel – that the work we are doing is good! One of the most profound things that experience did for us was allow us to appreciate every good experience even more and to have our joy feel even greater – there must be opposition in all things! Satan tried, but he LOST! Ha!
I love you all! Read your scriptures! Sister Burdett
DSCN1080[1]
Beautiful Coral Springs Skies!

Me and Julio and Puff Reading the Scriptures

P1020583[1]Biking along the canals–every day!

(Received 5/26/15)

Hola Familia!
Finally, after receiving approximately ten referrals from our Zone Leaders, one of them accepted us! And she’s amazing! Meet Marie and her two sons, Vladimir (8- holla!) and Matthew (0). They are an adorable little family from Haiti who are searching for peace and truth – what more perfect place to find it than here? They all came to church yesterday and loved it. Halfway through Relief Society, Marie leaned over to us and asked, “Can I come back next week?” – it was so sweet!
While knocking on some doors referred to us by a member, we met Miriam (grandmom), Chris (12), and Cody(4). We had met Chris and Cody once before and had given them little pictures of Christ to keep, but this time we got lucky and met their grandma (we think)! This humble little family was seeking peace and security, but Miriam was a little weirded out because we were Mormons. When we asked them for what we could pray, Chris told us that he wanted child-labor laws to change so that he could get a job at Publix to help support his family. My heart melted. How blessed am I to have been born in the circumstances I was. We had a really spiritual experience with them and hopefully when we go back tomorrow Miriam’s heart will continue to soften!
We met the awesome LA Arzuagas this week, an older couple who can’t go to church too much because of health reasons. While we were talking to Sis. Arzuaga she received a phone call from her daughter and had to take it. A couple of seconds after she answered, her husband jumped (literally) off the couch and ran (again, quite literally) away into the recesses of the house. He burst back into the room not a minute later with a music stand and composition book in hand and said, “I think it’s time for a musical interlude!”, and proceeded to serenade us for the rest of time there. It was fun to hear ‘Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard’ (don’t worry, Dad, I now remember that you actually do like Simon & Garfunkl), ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’, ‘What Child is This?’ and basically everything in between. He was awesome. And only spurred my desire to learn guitar in the future. We ended up having a powerful experience with them and spoke of personal testimony and its power (Alma 5:45-46). Sis. Arzuaga told us, “I choose to believe your words because I know they come from the Lord and you are His servants”, which was truly moving for me. What a wonderful testimony-builder for me to remind me that my obedience and diligence in small things matter and really do increase my capacity to have the Spirit and convey His words.
Yesterday we made a special discovery: Burgerfi. Quite possibly my favorite burger OF MY WHOLE LIFE! The Conflicted Burger. Please find one near you.

DSCN1068[1]New friends!
I found special meaning in Luke 8:38-40 this morning, after reading about the man from whom Christ cast devils and sent them into the swine: 38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published‍ throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him. 40 And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly‍ received him: for they were all waiting for him.
What a cool demonstration of the power of bearing our testimony and sharing our spiritual experiences with others! He took Christ’s admonition to heart and made known His good deeds to everyone! The whole city! And because of that, he was able to better prepare the people for His coming, so much so that they were waiting for Him when He came. All of us have this ability to help others recognize the great things God has done unto them! But firstly we must recognize them in our own lives. Go out and SHARE! THE WORK IS HASTENING!
I also found maaaany insights in Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk, “On Being Genuine” from the Priesthood session. Wish that I had time to share them, but instead I’ll just close with his words and commit you to study it this week: “I am here because I desire with all my heart to follow my Master, Jesus Christ. I yearn to do all that He asks of me in this great cause. I hunger to be edified by the Holy Spirit and hear the voice of God as He speaks through His ordained servants. I am here to become a better man, to be lifted by the inspiring examples of my brothers and sisters in Christ, and to learn how to more effectively minister to those in need. In short, I am here because I love my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ… My beloved brothers in Christ, the God of Creation, who breathed life into the universe, surely has the power to breathe life into you. Surely He can make of you the genuine, spiritual being of light and truth you desire to be. God’s promises are sure and certain. We can be forgiven of our sins and cleansed from all unrighteousness. And if we continue to embrace and live true principles in our personal circumstances and in our families, we will ultimately arrive at a point where we “hunger no more, neither thirst any more. … For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed [us], and shall lead [us] unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes.””
I love you! But He loves you SO MUCH MORE! Sister Burdett
DSCN1067[1]Yeah! Watermelon

Humble Flan

P1020630[1]

(Received 5/18/15)
Hola familia!
Hello again! Another Monday, rolling around faster than ever! It really is a weird thing.
Well, it looks like it is finally time for Sis. Gailey and I to move into the 21st century: our AC was fixed AND we’re getting a car on Tuesday! Life is good, God is good. It’s funny because being full-bike really has been such a blessing and has taught me so many things (gospel principles, physical capability, etc.), but just this last week we’ve realized the hindrance it has been as well. While we meet more people on the street, travel takes significantly longer and makes it extremely difficult to get to some parts of our area. And if it rains, which it always does, we end up getting our investigators’ couches all soggy! But now, we can have the best of both worlds! We plan on still biking basically daily to continue finding and staying active, but driving to make our time even more efficient! What a precious resource time is. More valuable than any.
For Cerene’s birthday last week we made her delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies! We stuck them in a tupper and taped a candle to the top and wrote her a nice note to tell her we love her. We, lately, have been getting a little….thrifty, and are finding cheaper solutions to our problems. Examples: scotch-taping Sis. Gailey’s helmet visor in place; melting candle wax to a sticky note to make it stick better to a Tupperware, drinking out of plastic flower vases because no cups were available, etc. It’s amazing how creative you get when you only go shopping once a week and money is tight!
This week we had fabulous dinner with a family in our ward. Earlier, when eating with the bishop, he told us that this family had, too, invited his family for dinner and had expressed that they love eating dog. When they ate with them, they tried to ask all sorts of secretive questions to find out if that was the main dish. When we later ate with them, the mom announced every dish rather elaborately with many details except for the final one: “And this is…Chinese beef!” We still aren’t sure what it really was, but, man, was it delicious!
We had a couple of miraculous finds this week: Linda and Simon! Simon is an awesome Haitian man who has the sweetest little family. He is a former investigator and seems to just have gotten lost in the mix last time. Now, he is preparing for baptism on June 6th and is so excited to begin studying and learning again! Linda was found through knocking doors and just happens to be searching for the right church. She has so readily accepted the doctrines of the Restoration of the Gospel and is reading right along in the Book of Mormon. Hooray for people with sincere desires!
We often get a lot of interesting comments from bystanders while biking past them. This week, while passing a pick-up truck filled with a bunch of crazy men, they called to us, “You can come to church over here if you’d like!” and motioned for us to hop in. People are just hilarious.
I went on a baking spree this week and ended up making German pancake, flan, and cookies! It was a happy time. Thanks for setting me up with a recipe book before I left, mom! The cookies are famous and are much more well-known among the missionaries here than I realized and are enjoyed by many of our investigators, too. 🙂
As I’ve studied and discussed with my companion and others this week, I have received many great insights on humility. I truly believe this principle is the key to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we are humble, we are willing to accept God’s will for our lives and strive to sacrifice our wants for His higher purposes. When we are humble, we can be made better instruments in His hands because we recognize from where the power truly comes. I read in Mosiah 2:23-24, which says “And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. And secondly, he doth require‍ that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless‍ you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?”. We will never, ever be able to get ahead, for, whenever we try to do so by doing that which He asks of us, the reward or blessing comes immediately. Every single time. And how much greater it is when we choose to humble, choose to become clay in His hands, rather than compelled to be so. Sis. Gailey and I have been striving to make the Lord’s will for this area our priority. As we have more fully sought to understand what He needs for these people here, we have felt greater fulfillment and satisfaction with our work and in all other aspects of our lives. I know that this is His work – to bring to pass the salvation of men – and what a blessing it is to be a part of that.
While studying a talk entitled “The Fourth Missionary” this week, by Lawrence W. Corbridge, I found a quote that helped me better understand the purpose of this work: “The purpose and central blessing of life is change. It is to be changed to become more like Jesus Christ. It is to incorporate into your character, the qualities of His character. It is to move from one degree of intelligence and capacity to the next, and from there to the next, until you see God face to face and know Him as He knows you”. Progression is what this life and our entire existence are really all about, and this is what we’re trying to help others to do: to help them progress eternally.
Just as yesterday’s meal is not enough to sustain today’s needs, we must daily feast upon the words of the scriptures to keep our spirit healthy and strong. I guess it isn’t a perfect analogy because, really, you could survive without eating for a day, but how uncomfortable is that! Likewise, we can stay happy, hopeful, and focused as we make the study of the gospel a daily habit, without being as easily distracted by Satan’s efforts to drag us down on days when we miss it. It’s a better analogy than I realized! Life is better the closer we are to God!
I love you! What a blessing it is to learn that agency is the power to choose the right, not the wrong. Show Him your love by choosing to follow Him this week! Sister Burdett

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