Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Joy that can never be taken away



Hello Everyone! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you had
such a wonderful time with your family as you celebrated the birth of
Jesus Christ. What an amazing week it has been! Words can't even
describe the joy that I feel about being a missionary and having the
opportunity of celebrating Christmas here in England. Christmas is
England is absolutely brilliant. It just as America does it...they
have lights, trees, presents, etc. But there are quite a few
differences as well. They are big with advent calendars (pulling out
chocolate for each day as a countdown for Christmas), lights are
unique and different to each city and town, they have something called
mince pies and Christmas puddings that they like to eat around
Christmas time, and they do something called 12 days of Christmas.
Everyone will keep their lights up until the 6th of January and if
they don't put them down by midnight that day, it's considered bad
luck. The day after Christmas, English people also do a holiday called
Boxing Day. It's basically just a day off from work to spend time with
families, etc.  They also like to do something called Christmas
crackers during Christmas time (not food). I probably received a
cracker each time that I went to someone's house to celebrate
Christmas. They are fun. They are like paper tubes that you pull and
then inside, it has a little prize, paper crown hat, and a joke. Each
person in the family usually gets one. England is different in many
ways but Christmas here was great.  Sister Hamann and I opened up our
packages Christmas morning (thank you Mom & Dad and all those who sent
letters!) and then went finding. Afterwards, we went and had food at
members' homes. Lots of members had us over for a lunch or dinner
appointment during Christmas dinner and Boxing Day. Lets just say that
we were given quite a lot of food! Especially chocolate. I have never
seen so much chocolate in my life before until I got out here during
my mission. I think members thought that perhaps we didn't have any
packages or something and so they made it up with something that is
tasty but not too good for us. We now have a whole cupboard full of
chocolate. But no worries, we are giving a lot of it to elders! :)
Well, A few miracles that we were able to see is that on Christmas
Day, we were able to hand out 8 Book of Mormons that were individually
wrapped as a gift. We told those that we met that if the Saviour was
here on the earth, that this would be the gift that he would give. We
didn't leave the people in the dark though and told them what our gift
was and that we held this Book dearly to our hearts and what it has
done for us. It was great when peoples faces would light up as they
accepted our gift. Talking to the family was wonderful. I was a bit
nervous throughout the day and wondered what it would be like to talk
to them (because this would be my first time). I got on FaceTime and
when they appeared on the screen, I felt reassured and comforted
knowing that they were OK and I was happy to be able to share my
experiences with them. I will never forget my Christmas experience as
a missionary. I love being a missionary! Transfers are coming up next
week and I'm not sure where I'll end up or if I'll stay. Often times,
I find myself thinking about what lies ahead in the future but I have
recognised that as I take it day by day, I'm able to get much more
done. I love my area, my companion, and most of all I love the work.
I'm not sure what is to happen these next upcoming transfers, but
wherever I am, wherever I serve, I am happy because I am a disciple of
Christ and nothing can take that joy away from me. :) Love you all!
Have a wonderful week!
With love,
Sister Burtis
P.S. My ponderized scripture is Hebrews 5:9

Monday, December 21, 2015

It's a Cornish Christmas!

Hello everyone! First off, MERRY CHRISTMAS! Can you believe it's here already? I can't. The time seems to zoom on by and I'm trying to run after it, shouting, "Wait! Come back!" ;) It's incredible as we have approached this week of Christmas, how much I have learned about the Saviour and have much I have truly come to realize the true meaning of Christmas. I love being a missionary at this time and being able to help others to discover for themselves the spirit of Christ. 

This whole week has been filled with many events, finding, teaching, and sharing our Christmas message. At the start of our week, our district met together and we got to play Soccer (or Football as they call it in England). We were blessed with great weather that day and so we played for a good solid hour or so and played some other games as well. I loved being able to run around in the field behind our chapel and kick the ball around. It's been a while since we've done that. With our missionary work, this past week has just proven to be so amazing! I can't even begin to tell you how many miracles we've seen this past week. Something I've really learned to do is to really just reflect and take a moment to ponder each miracle that has happened throughout the day. When my companion and I started to do that, we could come up with a big list of the most tiniest but most incredible miracles we've seen. The scriptures are so true when it says, "By the small and simple things are great things brought to pass." My companion and I are at the moment where we seem to be teaching not a whole lot of people. It's hard but it's helped us to grow. Despite the constant rejections and "not interested" statements as we go and find, there is something that has helped me and my companion to keep going. It's funny because a month or two ago, I would have become a bit frustrated within myself at the times people would reject us. This time, I've felt a change as I have really relied on my Saviour and have trusted more in him. Rejections seem to bounce right off of my companion and I and we are becoming better and better at talking to literally everyone on the street and having faith in Jesus Christ rather than the outcomes. We continue to see many miracles and I'm so grateful to be a part of the work. 

One of the miracles that we were able to see is that we were heading to a potential's house (Linsey) because we had arranged to see her and share with her our christmas message. We knocked at her door and she never answered. Sister Hamann and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and figured we would just continue to knock around her neighborhood. We knocked at the neighbor's door next to Linsey's house and a lady answered. Her name was Kayley. Kayley took the time to listen and told us that after Christmas, it would be a good time to stop by. We said our goodbyes and continued to knock on the other side of Linsey's door. Another lady answered and she was interested. We ended up finding 3 or 4 more potentials that we could work with and we were really excited! Not only that but as we got done knocking the particular street, we were walking back to the bus stop and a lady with her two kids was walking towards us. Sure enough, it was Linsey! Mere coincidence? No, not with the Lord and his work. We knew that this was a tender mercy of the Lord. She apologized for not being able to do that day and seemed really sincere about it. We got to continue to talk to her and re-schedule to teach her this upcoming week. We have met many others as well and we are really excited.
 
As for Christmas, lots of things have taken place. Sister Hamann and I were going around to all the different members homes this past week and sharing with them the church christmas videos, "A world without a Savior" and "Discover Why". Both of the videos are wonderful and I invite all of you to watch them. Many ward activites have taken place. The Redruth ward Christmas party took place and that was really fun. We got to see the primary sing Christmas songs and do a nativity for us. After that, we got to have pasteys and sandwiches and lots of christmas foods. What better way to celebrate a Cornish Christmas than with a Cornish Pastey :) Then after that, Father Christmas came and give presents to the little children. Geoffrey (our recent convert) came to the party and he really enjoyed it. He fits in so well with the ward and it's been great to see that and him being a member now! :) A couple days after the christmas party, Sister Hamann and I got to sing, "Angels we have heard on high" in Sacrament and that went well. That evening of Sunday, we did a christmas carol service where there was another nativity put on by the children, songs sung together as a ward, and mince pies for afterwards. What a wonderful week it has been, filled with Christmas celebrations! :) 

I love this work! What great reason we have to rejoice in our Saviour and Redeemer! He takes me and my weaknesses and has changed me to become stronger and  more converted. I am so grateful to know that because the Saviour was born, I was given my best friend, my brother, my Redeemer, my King, and my Comforter. He has never failed me nor will he ever fail me or let me down. He has shown me in one way or another that he is always there. He is standing next to me at all times, leading me, and guiding me. I invite all of you to take the time to remember the Saviour and think about those reasons and those blessings you've received from knowing that Christ was born. I love you all and wish a very Merry Christmas! 

With Love,
Sister Burtis 
 I think he's trying to look for something.... So I simply tried to provide him the thing he was looking for.

Monday, December 14, 2015

A White Christmas

 I was brave and tried squid! It was interesting!
 Nativity Scene at the London Temple
Hello everyone! I hope everything is going great with the Christmas
decorating and preparations. December is passing by quickly and I
can't believe it's only two or so weeks away till Christmas. I have
had such an amazing week and I'm not sure where to begin so I'll just
start at the beginning at the week. We got to spend our preparation
day by traveling 5-6 hours to the London Temple. It was fun because we
got to talk, get to know each other, play games, etc. We arrived late
Monday evening and got to meet up with all the missionaries from the
western zone which was great. That was a 1/3 of the mission but we
still had a large group of us. The following day we got to explore
around the temple and go to the distribution center as well and that
was great. After doing that, we go to go inside the temple! Being
inside and even around the temple grounds just really made me realize
how much I just love the temple. I feel so happy and so joyful coming
to the house of the Lord. The London temple too is just absolutely
gorgeous and I can't wait to go again. The sad part of it was that it
just seemed to go by too fast. I'm counting my blessings though and
I'm grateful we were able to go during this Christmas season. There's
just something about going to the temple. There is always just that
feeling of peace and I love being able to do the work for those who
didn't have the opportunity of having the gospel in their lives. One
of the missionaries had actually brought some names for us to do and I
got to do someone from Scotland which was great. The temple trip ended
with us having a nice Christmas dinner and our mission president and
his wife spoke to us. It was wonderful and I was happy to be a part of
that experience. We soon took our travels back to our areas and then
days continued as we did missionary work. The week flew by so fast.
One crazy thing that I did was during last week. One of our members
had us over to have some dinner with her and her husband. Well, they
ended up making a full English breakfast and it was really good. The
member's husband liked to have black pudding with his breakfast meal
and offered us a piece of it. If anyone knows what black pudding is...
it's just definitely something that you'd hear about and say ewww to.
Well everyone from England and the northern area talks about black
pudding and I had never seen it nor tasted it. The same for my
companion so we both faced our fears, looked at this black pudding
sitting there on our plates, picked it up with our forks, and at the
same time, ate it just so we could say that we've tried it. It's quite
different and doesn't taste like what you would think it tastes like.
But for anyone who hasn't heard what that is or is curious to what I
actually ate....you could look it up online. I'm curious for my dad to
see if he ever had to try it on his mission in Scotland. Well for this
week, Sister Hamann and I have seen so many incredible miracles this
week. I'll start with some exciting news! Geoffrey, a friend, that
we've been working for quite some time got baptized! I remember
meeting Geoffrey (who had been already taught by missionaries for 1 &
1/2 year already) on day 2 or so of my mission and now he is a member!
It was incredible to be a part of his journey. There were many ups and
downs, challenges and trials, but I learned so much from teaching
Geoffrey. I learned that we need to trust in the Lord's timing. To
really be able to work as hard as we can and trust that everything
will work out according to our Heavenly Father's plan and not ours.
How grateful I am to be able to be a missionary! I have felt a greater
personal conversion on my mission than I have ever felt before. The
joy is immeasurable and I am so happy to be able to see someone
choosing to come unto Christ and taking that leap of faith. I wish
others could see the blessings that radiate from the gospel. It's why
we are continually searching for those who are prepared. We know that
God has prepared the hearts of people and now it's our calling to go
and find those lost sheep. As the work has progressed, we've had to
take a couple steps back. Sister Hamann and I were doing weekly
planning and had to trust everything would be ok so we started with a
clean slate. Many of our investigators that we had found were just not
progressing so we had to drop a lot of them and do a lot more finding
now. However, we have seen so many miracles resulting from this. We
were able to go and knock on several different streets. We'd pray and
ask if these places were where the Lord wanted us to be and if we felt
it to be right, we would started knocking. Often times, we'd have a
plan set in mind but as we'd go and pray about it, we felt an urge to
change our course and go a different route/road. Because we were able
to do that, we were able to see lots of tender mercies. On one
particular street, we were able to knock on all the houses and out of
the 13 or so doors, 11 of them opened up to us and we were able to
introduce to them who we were! We were also able to share with 3 of
them the Christmas video that the church put out this Christmas. It
was wonderful and we were able to receive many referrals, contact a
lot of people, and find many potentials. We are excited to continue to
find and although sometimes we're tired, we've learned that when we
keep pushing ourselves to be exactly obedient, we see far more greater
miracles. The lord's hand is truly in this work. I can testify of
that. I was so happy to be able to provide the Savior a white
Christmas with Geoffrey's baptism but I know that I can always be doing
even more for him. He's done so much for me and I know that all of us
can give him a gift this Christmas. That is truly what this season is
about....The Savior. I love you all! I hope your week is magical and
full of Christmas spirit!
With love,
Sister Burtis

Monday, December 7, 2015

Discover why the Savior is Born

Hello everyone! Can you believe it's already December? I sure can't.
The days are flying by so fast. Ok, so my explanation for why you
might have not heard from me last week. I had typed up a blog update
last week and saved it in my drafts but the it booted me out and my
draft got deleted. I think Heavenly Father is trying to tell me that I
should just go back to the letter writing days and forget about
technology ;) just kidding. The past two weeks have been very
eventful. Two weeks ago, Sister Hamann and I were able to visit lots
of our friends and less-active friends. They are all doing really
well. We can see the work progressing and that is good. It's not easy
at times and often times, there will be things that stops our friends
from progressing but we know that if we trust in God, rather than the
outcomes, it will all work out. I've learned a lot lately that it
really matters on how I feel I've done the work. If I'm doing all that
I can to be a consecrated missionary, than I know that despite seeing
the end results or not, the work will hasten on. At the end of
November, we were able to celebrate Sister Hamann's birthday. That was
a lot of fun. Because this would be her only birthday, I wanted it to
be great so as she was getting ready in the morning, I blew up big
balloons, put up a banner, and put out some candles for her. She
walked in and as she did so, I sang at the top of my lungs, "Happy
Birthday to you!" You could probably imagine what it must have sounded
like...me by myself singing a solo and just having woken up. I think
Sister Hamann got what I was trying to say though ;) The rest of the
day consisted of so many miracles and also lots of cake. We are
working with an investigator who is overcoming smoking and drinking
coffee and he told us that day that he had stopped doing both. It's
amazing to see people change their lives around as they learn more
about the gospel. We were able to put up some Christmas decorations up
as a service project for a member and then she fed us lunch and a
vanilla buttermilk cream cake. England knows how to do some really
great cakes. We then did some finding, teaching, and then went over to
another member's home for dinner and they also had birthday cake. So
at the end of the day, we got lots of cake. We were able to share that
with our friends because the two of us couldn't eat it alone. The day
after Sister Hamann's birthday was thanksgiving and our Bishop and his
family invited us over for dinner. Lori (Bishop's wife) was from Utah
and she knew that I would probably want to bring in some of my family
traditions and I mentioned to her that we usually had different pies.
Because she was so kind, that's what she provided for us along with
stuffing, Turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and lion house
pantry rolls. It was really good! So no worries there....I got to be a
part of the thanksgiving tradition :) :) This past week, we have been
able to see many miracles. Sister Hamann and I got to travel at the
beginning of last week to Plymouth and for pday, we explored around
the stores and got to see all the Christmas lights strung around the
big city. We then traveled to Redding and got to attend Mission
Leadership Conference. It was really good. We discussed ways we can
teach others on the streets and how we could best help them to
discover why a Savior was born. There is a great video that the church
put out on Christmas.mormon.org and I invite any of you to share that
with your friends. It's a great video of the children around the world
sharing of Christ's birth. I love it and could watch it lots of times!
After MLC, the rest of the week included us going finding, teaching,
and providing service. Just recently, we were able to weed for one of
our members and as we started weeding, it started raining. Well since
its wet and all, it was much easier to weed. However, as we got
weeding, little critters like worms and slugs (I don't think Utah even
has those?) decided to make a home in the dirt. So despite, the slimy
creatures all around, I pressed forward and accomplished the weeding
with my companion. The best news....I didn't die! :) Overall, I'm so
happy to be out here and to be on the Lord's errand. It's been great
to declare to others that a Savior is born and that we have a message
for them to discover why. Sister Hamann and I were knocking one day
last week and an older lady, named Margaret, opened the door. She
thought we were jehovah witnesses but after introducing ourselves, she
came to know who we were. She wasn't all too interested in the message
but you could tell that she loved talking to people. She loves Christ
and Christmas and was amazed that two young ladies were going around
sharing the good news. Margaret mentioned to us that she sees the
youth not even caring or having a purpose anymore. We just simply
explained to her that we know this message we share is true and that
is why we came out to share it with her. We asked her if we could sing
her a Christmas song and she grinned from ear to ear. We started to
sing "Away in a manger" and she started to sing with us. She mentioned
to us that this was one of the songs she'd sing to her kids when they
were little. We were all so touched and felt of the Christmas spirit.
What a great opportunity to declare of the Savior's birth. I'm
grateful to be able to experience a Christmas out here in England on
my mission. It's not easy having to find sometimes in the winds and
rains but it's so worth it. I love this season. Many more remember
Christ at this season even if they aren't a member or the church or
any church. Many more are happier. Families come together and
celebrate. I'm so grateful for this work. I hope as you prepare
yourselves for this upcoming holiday, that you remember the real
reason of Christmas. The word Christmas is nothing without Christ in
in. I love you. I hope all of you are doing well!
With love,
Sister Burtis
P.S. My ponderized scripture is Alma 5:60.
60 And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep; and he commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

At least a transfer more for Christmas :)

Hello everyone! So you might have guessed it....I am staying at least one more transfer in Redruth, Cornwall. I'm really happy to be able to stay with my companion and in this area for the upcoming Christmas holidays! It's still my first area but I love it more and more as I continue to be here....maybe they can keep me here my whole mission ;) Sister Hamann and I are still sister training leaders as well so that'll be fun to be able to go to the mission leadership conferences. One thing that I'm really excited for is the temple trip that we have in about two weeks. As part of Christmas, all of us get to go to the London temple, have a Christmas devotional with our mission president, and also a Christmas dinner. One fun thing too is that since I'm still in the western zone which is the farthest away from the temple, we will be able to stay at the London Temple accommodations for a night. All of us missionaries are really excited about that! Well, the winter chill has been starting to pick up here in England and I can tell that it isn't the summer anymore. We are currently finding and teaching and the work is continually hastening. We have been able to teach Kathy, one of our friends, and she came out to church this past Sunday. She is a great lady and very nice. She'll always have us come over to have lunch and dinner if we go over to teach her a lesson. She is progressing and she is doing well! Our other friends are doing great as well. We were able to see more people come to our gospel principles class (a class that we missionaries teach on Sunday) and that was really exciting. Missionary work is not easy but it's so rewarding. There is just such a joy that is felt when I see others being able to experience for themselves the blessings of the gospel. It's like Lehi as he is partaking of the fruit from the tree of life and his soul was filled with exceedingly great joy. He then began to be desirous that his family should partake of it. Our happiness is great when we ourselves are able to receive the blessings of the gospel but our happiness can become even greater as we share the gospel with others. To see them receive that additional joy that they never knew that they could have is the greatest treasure of all. I love the work and this week as I was reading in the December 2015 ensign, I was reminded of the privilege and opportunity I have to be able to be out on my mission. Often times, days can be hard. It's not easy but I've learned to really trust in God and treasure those small moments on my mission and throughout life because time can go by so fast!  One really cool miracle that happened was last Monday. We spent our preparation day cleaning the flat, emailing, and shopping. We then ended preparation day right at 6pm like it says in our missionary handbook. With determination, we started going to work. We had set some finding plans for the evening but hadn't planned on the strong winds and rain that came pouring down. Despite the bitter winds, rain, and dark evening, we kept pushing through. We could have made an excuse that we were too wet or too cold to continue to find but we pressed forward. Knocking on some doors, we ended up meeting a lady named Lynsey who was quite interested in our message so we set up a return appointment with her. After taking some time to find, 8:28pm rolls around and we both had agreed earlier, we wouldn't end until 8:30pm. We looked at each other both knowing it would be so easy to start walking to the bus stop, but we didn't. We decided to knock two more doors these last minutes and something miraculous came out of it. We knocked at the two doors. The people behind the first door weren't interested. However, the second door opened up and a lady named Tanya looked at the state we were in...cold, wet, etc. and ushered us in. We didn't plan on her saying that, so you can probably imagine that shock that we experienced when she said that. We came in with our shoes trailing in puddles behind them and sat down at her dinner table. We then explained our message and asked if we could set a return appointment. Just as we were doing so, one of her best friends walked in. We were quite surprised to see that it was Lynsey, the lady we had just met previously and had set up a return appointment with. We looked at each other and back at them and after sharing what our message was about, we not only prayed with Tanya, but we got to pray with the both of them. After leaving the house, we  rushed to our bus and made it home. That evening and throughout this week, we've been able to find people who were interested and it just testified to us that with God, all things are possible. We know that this is the time for the season of miracles. Often times, the Lord wants to see how consecrated we are willing to be and as long as we are doing what he asks us to do, we can see miracles. Happy thanksgiving this week! Eat lots of pie and turkey. And not to worry, our bishop and his family are making us a small thanksgiving dinner so I'll be a part of the American tradition this week too :)  I love you all! I hope all of you are doing so great! 
With love,
Sister Burtis 
P.S. My ponderized scripture is Enos 1:27. Please look this one up. It has become one of my favorites! :)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Members, Missionary Work, and Miracles

Hello everyone! I hope you are doing super well. I can't believe that it's already the middle of November. Where does all that time go? Speaking of the middle of November, I should probably warn you that I have transfers coming up in a about a week's time. I should know by the end of this week if I will be moving or staying. If you have any letters or anything you need to send, send it to the mission office just so that it doesn't end up in Redruth and I'm not here or something. My companion and I are both hoping that we can stay together at least one more transfer for Christmas. I love my area and keep telling my companion that I wouldn't mind serving my entire mission in Cornwall. I don't think that could happen but hey....you never know! :) This past week has been quite incredible. We have got to meet so many more people and are currently teaching quite a few of our friends. The work is really progressing here. We are able to work with a lot of our members and they are very helpful. That's one thing that I've come to realize that it really important is members and missionary work. Without the members, we would be in trouble. They are so great in taking time to going out on teaches with us and having us over at their homes. If anyone is worried that I might be starving or not having enough food, you won't have to worry any longer. I think we actually have a dinner appointment with a member everyday for next week. The people here in England are very generous. This past week, I was able to go on an exchange with the Newton Abbot Sisters. I stayed in Redruth and Sister Holley (she's from Utah as well!) came over and did some missionary work with me. We saw many miracles and we were able to do a lot of finding. We went and contacted one of our investigators who is often hard to keep in contact with and when we went over to her house, her partner answered the door. Her partner never really seemed interested in what we had to share but we got a big surprise when he started to ask us about our religion and faith. He said he was interested to learn more and we made an appointment with him and our investigator. A couple days later, we came back to teach them and both of them were waiting for us to arrive! It was a really good teach and they asked some really good questions. Our investigator's partner expressed that he wasn't really looking to be converted and we aren't sure where our teaching with him will go but it was a really neat miracle to be able to share with him our unique message! The Lord provides such unexpected miracles sometimes and it's incredible to be a part of it. I love the missionary work. It's going great! The rain and wind have started to pick up a bit due to the winter weather coming in but it's fun and an adventure. I keep waiting for snow to appear but then have to constantly remind myself I'm in England. :) I hope all of you are all doing well. If you have any missionaries in your area, help them out as much as you can because you never know...you could be the reason for someone coming closer to knowing the plan that our Heavenly Father has for us. 
Love you all! 
With Love,
Sister Burtis 
This is Sister Holley and I. Sister Holley is from Utah and she came
over to Redruth for an exchange. :) We are riding a train in the
picture. Trains are great! :) :)
 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Why the fireworks?

What a busy week! Sister Hamann and I were traveling a lot this week. We first started off our week by traveling to Exeter on a train and we got to explore the city for a bit since it was our pday. Exeter is a huge city and is much different from Redruth. Sister Hamann and I searched everywhere for winter boots and seemed to have no luck. We just couldn't seem to find out where the boots shops were or they just seemed too expensive. We determined that shoe shopping wasn't our favorite ;) After shopping in Exeter, we traveled with our Zone Leaders to Redding because we had MLC the next day. The Mission Leadership Conference was really good. President Gubler and Sister Gubler did a presentation and then we got to council together on what the next step in the missionary work is and how we can become even more consecrated. After the conference, we traveled back to our area. Sister Hamann and I got to stay overnight in our flat and the very next morning, we traveled to Plymouth for our District Zone Conference. Sister Hamann and I got to present some of the things that we learned in MLC to the district leaders and that went really good. Now it doesn't end just there. We got to travel to Exeter again after DLC because we needed to stay with the Exeter Sisters and then travel to zone conference which is in Poole. Zone Conference was great. We had 3 zones out of the 9 come together and we got to be taught by President Gubler, Sister Gubler, and the assistants. During lunch, some of the members from the Poole zone prepared us a crazy good England type thanksgiving meal. Turkey, stuffing, beans, corn, yorkshire puddings, pecan pie, etc. It was great! One crazy thing that happened was that my companion, Sister Hamann and I, got to sing a duet in front of everyone during Zone Conference. We were both shaking and it was rough at first but we warmed up eventually and were able to make it through the song and I think it turned out pretty well. We sang, Hymn #129, "Where Can I Turn for Peace?" Lots of missionaries came up afterwards and thanked us for singing that song. It was a neat experience. I guess it showed me that I can do anything If I can sing in front of more than 60 missionaries :) Overall, we had lots of travels this past week. When it came time for us to come back and work in our area, we were so happy and so relieved to be able to see our friends. The people we are teaching are doing good. The two main people that we are working with are Geoffry and Robert. Both of them come out to activities and to church. Working with the people of England is wonderful! Something that was exciting is that we got to see lots of fireworks. There was fireworks for Halloween, for guy forks holiday, and for Remembrance Day. That was fun to see. This past week we saw such an incredible miracle. It happened when we went to go meet one of our potential investigator friends When we arrived at her home, she didn't quite remember meeting us but she invited us in anyway. As she kept talking, she started to remember meeting us on the street so that was a relief. Anyhow, this friend loves to talk and she kept mentioning this video about Jesus that she absolutely loves that she never lets anybody borrow or take out of her house. She watches it all the time, and it is a tradition in her home to watch the video every Christmas Eve. We were being supportive and still trying to teach her the restoration lesson at the same time. Eventually her enthusiasm overtook her and she left the room to show us this video. We were slightly unsure about this video seeing that it came from her preacher in the Catholic congregation she used to attend and slightly worried that it would be a strange and sad story about Jesus Christ with a catholic twist or something. We had the shock of our lives, however, when she walked back in holding a 'Finding Faith in Christ' video. We had to make sure it was the same one we used in our church and sure enough, as we flipped over the video case, the words on the bottom clearly said: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. With haste, we pulled off our badges to show her that our church was the very same one that produced the video she held in her hand. It was incredible! We are now teaching this friend and she is doing well! My companion and I have been able to experience so many tender mercies and miracles of the Lord in this work and it seems to never cease! I love you all! Hope you have a wonderful and magical week!
Love,
Sister Burtis
P.S. Ponderized Scripture for the week is Alma 29:1.  



Monday, November 2, 2015

Trick or Treaters "knocking at the door sharing the gospel"

Hello everyone! I hope all of you are doing well. I can't believe it's
already November! Where has all that time gone? Anyways, this past
week was very spooktacular. See what I did there? ;) Happy late
Halloween! What a week it has been! Sister Hamann and I having been
running to and fro to different places in our area and we were able to
teach many of our investigators. This past week started out with our
pday and we got to go with our district to Truro and explore the shops
and the Truro Cathedral. It's pretty big! I had already been there
once before with Sister Schmidt but Sister Hamann and a couple of the
elders hadn't been yet so we went and explored around there. After our
pday, Sister Hamann and I got to do FHE with some members and their
family and that was a lot of fun. We,  the sister missionaries, got to
teach a little lesson to the family, sang songs, did an activity, and
then had pizza. I never realised how important family home evening was
until I got out on my mission. It really does strengthen the family
and protects them from the worldly distractions that Satan uses to
destroy families. The rest of the week consisted of traveling
different parts of our areas and getting to teach our investigators
and potentials. We were able to talk to some people on the busses and
although not many were interested, we did find someone who wanted to
come to know more about the Book of Mormon. Her name is Diane and she
was really nice and listened to the message we had. The people we are
currently teaching are either progressing or continually listening to
our lessons. One thing I really learned from the last week was the
importance of a testimony. Sister Hamann and I had an investigator who
we taught last week and the lesson went beyond what we had imagined.
We sat down and planned to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ but kept
getting our faith questioned and we kept getting asked why we would
need to pray, or read a book that tells us answers when we can just
know for ourselves already, etc. It was no easy lesson and it seemed
that everything we tried to teach her was argued against. I won't lie,
I felt a bit frustrated. After the lesson, I didn't really felt like
talking too much. My companion turned to me and asked me, trying to
cheer me up, "What do you think went good about that lesson?" I
wondered and wondered....what good did come out of that lesson? It
took me a time to ponder about it but I came to a conclusion in the
end. Towards the end of that lesson, I remember saying, boldly but
with love, my testimony. I told this lady that I know that my Savior
lives. I know that there is a way for us to return and live with him
and our Heavenly Father once more. I know that I can pray to Him and
that He will listen to me. How do I know that? Because of that divine
witness that I received when I first read the Book of Mormon and
continue to receive as I keep reading now. I realized that my
testimony is precious and something that no one could take away from
me. I know I needed to experience that last week because it helped me
to realize something very important. I often kept asking myself last
week why the lesson had to go the way it did. I know though that
Heavenly Father places things that may be at times frustrating and
hard so He can help us learn. A few fun things that took place was
that we had our district meeting with the elders of our area and the
zone leaders as well. Sister Hamann and I did a fun presentation about
how we should be willing to go the extra mile for the Savior. We had
all of the elders go outside of the chapel as well as ourselves and we
pulled out two chocolate bars. Two of the elders weren't able to run
because of an injury but the other elders eagerly and excitedly
started jumping up and down when they saw what we had for them. Elders
and food.....that's all I got to say. :) Sister Hamann and I just
simply asked if they'd be willing to run once around the chapel for
the treats. They agreed with no hesitation and when we yelled, "go!",
they took off as if something was chasing them, playfully pushing at
each other and trying to win. As they ran around the chapel, we
quickly handed the two candy bars to the remaining elders who weren't
able to run. We told them that they could eat the candy bars in front
of the other elders which they started doing. Soon enough, the other
elders came around the corner of the chapel, out of breath, and
excited to receive their reward. They all seemed to go into a state of
shock when they saw the other two elders eating the chocolate. One of
them exclaimed, "I knew it!" And another exclaimed, "What!?" Their
reactions were priceless. Sister Hamann and I tried holding in our
laughter as we simply told them..."Oops. Their is no more chocolate."
We proceeded to ask them however if they would be willing to running
around one more time even if we didn't have a treat for them. They
thought to themselves, shook their heads and said no. We hesitated and
asked one more question. "Would you be willing to do it......if the
Savior asked you to?" The Elders without hesitation realized what we
were trying to ask them and they said yes. I handed them a picture of
Christ and they held it and looked at it as they ran around. So what
was the purpose of the activity? To see if these elders will do
anything for food? No, the purpose and the thing we explained to the
elders was that, often times we need to go the extra mile for the
Savior, not for the lesser important things. What is our motivation
behind our actions? This could apply to missionary work but it could
apply to anything else as well. The callings we receive in the church,
the things we are asked to sacrifice, etc. As we focus on the Savior,
the things that tend to be hard become easier when we know that he is
with us every step of the way. Sister Hamann and I were able to
accomplish many things this week and we are grateful for the tender
mercies of the Lord that we saw. Something funny that happened to us
was that as we went finding in the evening of Halloween, people asked
us if we trick-or-treaters. Fair enough....I could see why they'd ask
us that. In all fairness....we do have a treat for them. The gospel.
:) I love you all and I hope everything is going good! Until next
week!
Love,
Sister Burtis
P.S. My ponderized scripture for the week is Psalms 18:2-3
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
 I will call upon the Lordwho is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The days of winter are comin'

Hello! Greetings from the rainy lands of England. The weather is
starting to show us signs of winter and I guess I'll have to accept
that considering it is coming close to November now. We have been
definitely spoiled considering we haven't had too much rain this past
month and a lot more sunshine. The only down side to the work here is
that it gets darker around 5-6pm now and a lot more chillier. We just
had our clocks set back an hour now so it gets even darker earlier in
day. But that's ok! That doesn't stop Sister Hamann and I from
working. :) The work is hastening on. I can't even begin to think
where to start. Heavenly Father has continually blessed us in our work
and I am so grateful to be here to help others and share the gospel
with them. Some few miracles that were seen. First, we were able to
extend a baptism date out to one of our investigators and he accepted.
That was exciting. We are continually having faith and praying for him
and he's doing pretty good! Robert (that's his name) was able to come
out to stake conference with us this past week and it was his first
time coming to church. He told us it had been much different than
other churches he has seen but he didn't feel nervous and he really
enjoyed it. Geoffry was able to come as well and it brought so much
joy to my heart knowing that these two were able to come and feel the
spirit as we were able to listen to the speakers and the songs sung by
the choir. Robert and Geoffry also got to meet President Gubler (our
mission president) which was really great too! Throughout this past
week, we have been able to teach our friends, give them chapel tours,
and help them see the blessings that come from the gospel. We were
able to find more people as well to teach. It's not been easy and
often times, we are cold or tired but we push ourselves to keep going
and it's usually during those times that we see the miracles. One
evening we went finding just before our dinner hour and it was pretty
dark and cold. We stayed near where the street lamps were around so it
wasn't too bad. We could have went in with the five minutes remaining
before our dinner time but we decided we'd knock a few more houses.
Being dark, a lot of people don't particularly enjoy you knocking on
their doors even if it is 6pm or 7pm but we had faith that someone
could benefit from our message so we pressed forward. Sometimes
miracles can happen right away or take some time but during this time,
Sister Hamann and I knocked on the first door on a particular street
and a lady answered. She took the time to listen and in the end, she
accepted to read the Book of Mormon. She had heard of it before and
had always wondered what it was about and so she was happy to be able
to see for herself what it contained. What a miracle! We have a return
appointment with her and we are excited to be able to teach her. We
also got to meet several other people and having return appointments
with them as well so our coming week will be busy but exciting. I'm so
grateful to be a part of this work. One thing I've really noticed for
this week is the importance of prayer. I often overlooked the
privilege and opportunity of saying prayers to my Father in Heaven
before my mission but since I've been out, I've realized how lucky I
am. My prayers are becoming more and more personal and less and less
repetitive. I'm so grateful to know that our Heavenly Father is always
there. There is a really great mormon message called, "Reflections",
that the church just came out with and Sister Hamann and I were able
to see that. It illustrates how our Father in Heaven is always
listening and the He loves us no matter what. We must never give up on
Him or our Savior. The mormon message is on lds.org. If any of you
have a chance to look it up, you should :) What a great week! Often
times it's not easy. There are frustrations and challenges that come
our way but I know without a shadow of a doubt, that if we trust in
our Heavenly Father, everything will be ok. I love you all and hope
you are all doing well! Let me know if I can do anything for you :)
With love,
Sister Burtis
P.S. My ponderized scripture for this week is Mark 9:23. All things
are possible to him who believeth.


Friday, October 23, 2015

A flood of Miracles

Hello! I'm not sure where to begin or how to even start, but I just want to say how incredible this week has been. Sister Hamann and I set ourselves a goal on how many lessons we'd be doing/teaching this week and we reached it. I've come to understand that it's really not about the numbers but as we work hard and strive to be diligent, then we can see the success based on our acts. We saw a flood of miracles this week. One consisted of us knocking on some doors on a particular street. No one was really interested. We knocked on one of the last doors and a lady answered and told us that she was a Quaker and she also had to run to a doctor's appointment. We were a bit disappointed but we further continued asking her if we could come by later and share with her the message that we had. She told us she'd be home later that afternoon and told us to come by later. We continued going about and finding in several different areas and then  came back to her house later that day. We knocked on the door and waited. After a few moments, the same lady answered and said to us something that surprised the both of us, "Come in." Sister Hamann and I looked at each other and then back at her and then stepped into her house. Quite the miracle right there but it doesn't end just there. This lady's name was Lesley. Lesley told us that we had caught her at the right time because she is usually so busy and never has time to talk and chat but today she just happened to have some time. Coincidence? I think not. :) Lesley was preparing dinner and as she did so, we got to answer her questions and teach her the entire message of the restoration. It was incredible and the spirit was felt so strong. We gave her a Book of Mormon and really look forward to seeing her again in the coming weeks. Another miracle we saw was about a young mother and her young son. We had met this young mother while knocking several weeks ago. She was interested and we set a return appointment with her. The day came for us to came back for the appointment and so we did. However, her friend answered the door and said that Natasha wasn't home. We decided to try again some time later. Well this past week, we came back and knocked on Natasha's door on a Saturday morning. She answered and ushered us in with excitement. She remembered us and she was interested in what we had to say. Her young boy was asleep so we got to teach the entire message of the Restoration to her and we really felt the spirit. We gave her a Book of Mormon and that was super exciting. More and more people are coming to hear our unique message. I know that God plays a big role in this work. The Redruth area has so much potential. I'm so grateful I can be out here in Cornwall and I wouldn't mind being a part of this work in this specific a couple more transfers. I love it too much! I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for the people here and for us as well. I've learned so much! There was a funny thing that happened to Sister Hamman and I. It may not sound funny but I was quite surprised at the reaction that we both had to the experience. As we were knocking down a certain street, we came across a white door. On the door-there was a sign saying, "No Cold Callers." I can never really understand what that actually means and always thought it meant no salespeople or something like that. Well Sister Hamann and I knocked on it anyways and this one guy comes answering the door. He was holding the phone in his hand, looking like he had just been/was on the phone. I simply introduced my companion and I by saying, "Hello! We're sister missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." He replied on a sarcastic manner, "Well yes, I can see that." He then surprised the both of us by asking in a rather demanding voice, "I have a question for you- can you read!?" He asks us this as he points to his door sign that said no cold callers. We apologized and told him we didn't know what it meant. He just stated back, "Well now you do. Get off my property." With this statement, he slammed the door. Some people are quite interesting. For myself and Sister Hamann, we didn't even get offended or hurt by it. We simply just had to smile and move on because we were looking for those who God has prepared and it seemed that he wasn't one of them....yet. :) This week has been absolutely great! I'm amazed at how much is taking place here in Redruth. We are meeting more and more people and are teaching more as well. I'm so happy to be out here in England and I love being a missionary. I often ponder and think about how I even came to be here. It's amazing how Heavenly Father works and the plans He has for all of us. Something cool that I've started doing is something that was mentioned in General Conference. I read a talk given by Devin G. Durrant titled, "My heart pondereth them continually." He talks about how he and his wife will take a verse of scripture, write it down, and place it where they can see it. They then ponderize about the scripture. 20% memorizing and 80% pondering. He's done it for 3 years now and He challenged all to do it and so I thought it would be a fun idea to try. I found a scripture last week- John 14:21 and put it on a sticky note and taped it on my water glass so I could see it and think about it as I go to take a drink. What's amazing is, I was not only able to think about the scripture as I looked at it but I reflected upon it throughout the day and the week. It really works. Finding a verse of scripture has really helped me with my personal conversion and with better knowing the words of Christ :) My scripture for this week is Alma 5:26.  I told my companion about this activity and she has started doing it. We ask each other, "what's your verse?" and it's fun to learn from each other. If anyone wants to do it, you should send me your verse each week and I can look it up :) Love you all! Thanks for all the support and love that you've shown me! Until next week! Adieu! 

With love,
Sister Burtis 


 
 

Adventure is out there!

Hello! So first things first.....I get to stay in Redruth another transfer! :) You are safe to send letters to my flat. (Address located below). I was happy to find out that I get to stay in my area for another transfer because I really love Cornwall and the people here are just great! I hope I can stay for Christmas as well. Guess we will wait and see! Sister Hamann and I are still serving each other and I'm happy about that. We get along really well! I feel that Sister Hamann and I will be able to see such wonderful miracles this transfer just like the other transfer and that great things are about to take place! Well as for this past week, it was a bit rough. We had a lot of days where we were traveling to MLC (missionary leadership conference) then to DLC (District Leadership Conference), etc.  The conferences were overall super great! I learned so much and I know that there were things that I learned that have helped me to become better. I think it was the traveling that got to us. Traveling takes a bit of time and seems to throw me off my groove a bit. I struggled to get back into the work and I just seemed to struggle spiritually. However, we didn't give up . So a fun miracle that I saw this week that took place was that one of our newer investigators, Vicki, was reading through the Book of Mormon but she didn't think that it really worked with the Bible. She seemed like she was about to drop us and give us back the Book of Mormon. As we stood on her doorstep, I felt a bit sad but I prayed silently that we could have the opportunity to at least teach her the restoration. We talked with her and answered questions and just simply told her of the great value and importance that the message we wanted to share with her had. She hesitated but finally agreed and let us in. We got to teach her and we asked her if we could come another time and she had told us to come back the next day. We were really excited and the next day, we did end up teaching her again and this time, we got to teach her the plan of salvation. What a miracle! Both Sister Hamann and I were so happy and so grateful that she let us in so we could teach her the unique message that we had. I've never really realized the importance of the restoration until I've been out on my mission. Heavenly Father loves us so much that He has restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ through a living prophet. That alone was a huge miracle. I love this work and I'm so grateful that my love for it increases each day. There are moments where it'll be rough and it'll be hard but I know those moments are the moments which shape and mold us to be the people we can be. So funny things that happened this week to me---first, there was a dart board in our chapel, and during lunch, we played with it. I'll just say..... I couldn't throw any of the darts on that board to save my life.  That resulted in sister Hamann laughing at me. Second, a big orange spider was on me as we were walking and I freaked out ;) I was telling my companion, "get it off me! Get it off me!" While trying to remain calm but jumping up and down and being frightened for my life. My companion laughed at me there too. And third, I stepped in some dog poo on the way to an investigator's house. I've come to realize that there are many difference types of adventures (some which you really wouldn't mind not having but they still bring a lot of laughter) that you have on your mission and they never stop coming :)
With Love,
Sister Burtis

Here is my address:
Flat A 
58 West End 
Redruth, Cornwall
TR15 2SQ
United Kingdom
 

Monday, October 5, 2015

I ate a lot of food at the spiritual feast of general conference.

Hello! I hope you all had a wonderful week this past week. I know that I did! This past week, we were able to have an exchange with the Newton Abbot sisters. Sister Deloumeaux came over here to Redruth with me and Sister Hamann went to Newton Abbot with Sister Holley. Sister Deloumeaux is on fire. She is an amazing missionary! She will consistently talk to everyone along the way and share her testimony and it really taught me a lot. She truly has the light of Christ with her. So funny thing happened this past week. Just about several days ago, Sister Hamann and I were about to call some of our potential investigators but for some reason, our phone had no reception. We'd stand on chairs, by the window, and walk around the flat but no matter what, we couldn't get reception. We eventually left the flat and had to call our zone leaders and tell them that we wouldn't be able to listen in on the leadership conference call that evening that we were to be a part of. One of our zone leaders- Elder Mayes- told us to try getting metal objects and place them near a window and seeing if we get somehow get signal that way. He told us that he and his companion had previously put their phone near a metal windowsill and were able to get reception that way. Sister Hamann and I decided to put it to a test. Sadly we didn't have a lot of metal but I looked in the kitchen and all we could see was a metal toaster and kitchen knives, spoons, etc. We decided we'd give it a go and so we placed those items near a window hoping it would work but we got nothing. I think the moment was funny as we just see ourselves trying so desperately to get reception for the call that evening that we were getting to the point of unplugging our toaster and placing it near the window. :) We never ended up getting reception and there is still a problem with it but we are hoping to get it fixed soon. Anyways, What an eventful week! Our teaching pool in the Redruth area is growing bigger and bigger. This past week, we had our planner filled with appointments and it was exciting. Sister Hamann and I were able to also implement finding around those times and we saw some amazing miracles. Something I've come to learn is that when we strive to talk to everyone, we see more miracles. There are times where we will talk to 4 or 5 people in a row and it ends up being the 6th person that is interested. It's quite interesting to see that pattern but it's helped me to see how we can be successful missionaries. We were able to meet some great potentials this past week and I'm filled with joy knowing that we were able to share our testimonies with those we met and that we get an opportunity to teach them the restoration. One amazing miracle that happened was just recently. A week or so back, we were riding on the bus and a mother (Her name was Charlene) came up to us and asked us if we had any literature or pamphlets we could give to her. She told us that she wasn't religious but her daughter (who is only about 3) keeps asking about God and Jesus Christ. We happily gave her a restoration pamphlet and asked if we could come around sometime to share our message with her. She accepted and gave us her address. Well we called her later some time and she didn't answer. We decided to see where she lived and stop by but her street didn't show on the map. We were a bit disappointed by then. We thought perhaps she just gave us a fake address. That was a lack of faith on our part. We tried calling her several days later and we were considering to drop her but she answered her phone :) She explained that it was a hard street to find and she gave us directions to her home. We set up an appointment and we headed over to her home the next day. As we got to her house, an older looking lady (Vicki) answered the door. She explained to us that Charlene went out for work but she had mentioned something about missionaries coming over. We were sad Charlene wasn't in but Vicki said for us to come back next week. We were about to leave but then we decided to asked Vicki,  "Do you have a faith in Jesus Christ yourself, ma'am?" She at first didn't look interested but as she explained her story of her faith, it seemed that she had actually ran into missionaries before. Vicki was part of the Church of England but when her father passed away, she knew there had to be something more. A week after her father's passing, Jehovah witnesses knocked on her door. She had bible studies with them and she was happy to hear that there was more to life. Vicki never ended up joining the Jehovah Witnesses but she always kept that faith in Jesus Christ and the knowledge of after life. After she explained her story, we explained to her our purpose and our message about the Book of Mormon and the plan of Salvation. As Sister Hamann and I continued talking, we were amazed at how prepared she was to receive the message. She would say things that she believed in and everything she said seemed exactly what we as a church believed. When we asked her if she would be willing to prayfully read the Book of Mormon, she enthusiastically said yes and even said, "do you guys charge a fee or have a donations box or something?" Joy filled our hearts at this question because we really understood her desire to come to find out for herself if what we said was true. We told her that she could have the Book of Mormon and asked if we could meet with her and Charlene as well next week and she accepted. What a miracle! God truly does prepare his children to receive the gospel. They are out there. I know that and I was given a witness of that as we met Vicki. I'm so grateful for the gospel! I was extremely happy that we got to watch General Conference. The talks were all just so amazing. We missionaries joked about it being a spiritual punch to the face ;) I could just feel the spirit so strong as I listened to the speakers. I came in with questions in mind and got many more answers than I expected. My heart dropped a bit and I was saddened when I saw President Thomas S. Monson struggling during his talk. I wanted to call out and help him but I know that I couldn't. I love being able to declare that God speaks to us through his living prophets on the earth today and I have a great love for the prophet today. I'm praying for him and his health and I hope he gets better. I'm just overall speechless about this week. It has been such an incredible week and it just seems to get better and better. Something that really stood out to me in General Conference was, what is said in the scripture, Isaiah 64:8---"But now, O Lord, thou art our father, we are the clay and thou art the potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." I truly believe this to be true. I have felt how Heavenly Father has changed me for the better as I have been out here on my mission. I'm grateful for the plan He has for me. Im grateful to be out on my mission. I'm grateful for my companion. And I'm grateful for all of you and your support! 
Love,
Sister Burtis 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Moments of frustration lead to something learned or something good.

BLOG UPDATE

Warning: If a sudden urge or desire to send Hedwig or any other owls with mail towards my way, please send them temporarily to the mission office address located below, thanks!) ;) 

Hello all! I can't even begin you all how many miracles we have seen take place this past week. I just want to say how grateful I am for the gospel. Sister Hamann and I were able to watch the women's general conference session this past Sunday with a member and I learned so much from it! Also shout out to the choir. I was so exited when they announced that the music would be sung by girls from Cache Valley. I proudly declared that Cache Valley was where I was from. It was fun to see several people that I knew including Janessa and her sister, Mckenna! You guys did great and I loved the songs that were sung. Overall, as we watched that broadcast, the spirit was felt so strongly and I'm grateful to be able to be spiritually fed by the leaders called of God. I'm excited to know that this was one of the slices of spiritual cake that I got to eat and the rest I get this weekend with General Conference coming up. I'm also curious to see who the three next apostles are. Something that really stood out to me, said by President Uchtdorf, was that faith will fortify my footsteps and that hope will open my eyes to see the glories that God has for me. Often, especially this week, I have felt a bit impatient with myself and also the outcomes. I realize that I need to be less harder on myself because a mission isn't there to make you frustrated. There was one day,  we were going around and trying to find and it just seemed that there was no one who wanted to stop and listen. I think that's when I felt a bit frustrated and wondered silently what I was doing wrong. We kept searching and searching for those who are prepared to hear the gospel but we just couldn't seem to find them. Just as we were going towards the bus, we passed a man (his name is Mark) and we decided that we needed to talk to him. We did and he stopped and listened to us. He was really nice and said that he had a strong belief in God. We invited him to prayerfully read the Book of Mormon and invited him to be baptized if he were to come to find out the Book of Mormon was true and he said yes!  I learned much from this experience and I've learned a lot from this past week as well. This week, in my personal studies, I've been reading a talk titled, "The Fourth Missionary" by Lawrence E. Corbridge.
 It talks about how we can change and become more like the Savior. Often times, there will be frustrating moments but they help us grow. Without those frustrating moments, we wouldn't learn patience, humility, and all the christ like attributes. God didn't design us to be sad. He created us to be happy. If we trust him, the world will become brighter. I believe this to be true. I want to really just be able to trust more and not rely so much on the outcomes. I know that Heavenly Father wants me to learn much while I'm out here on my mission and I feel that I have learned many lessons this past week which I'm so grateful for. Sister Hamann and I have been able to do a lot of work in the Redruth area. Seeing that we are in the Plymouth zone, usually one or two days of each week requires that we travel which uses up some of our working time. However, this week, we were able to stay in our area a lot longer and we got a lot done. We were able to go finding and find lots of potentials, contact less actives, serve members, teach members, and teach our friends and investigators. We are actually to the point where we can't fit anything else into our schedule. It's going to be busy this upcoming week but I'm excited. We also have an exchange we are doing with the Newton Abbot sisters and so that will keep us busy  but it'll be fun! We are continually striving to be better at approaches, working on fearing no man, and testifying of what we know to be true. I've noticed that I am able to feel the spirit more this way and I'm grateful to be able to better my approaches more and more . Sometimes I get stuck on what I should say but I know that the spirit is the master teacher and that as long as I speak with love, everything else will be ok. I love my area so much. I'm so grateful to be out here in Cornwall. I often tell my companion that I hope I don't get transferred because there is much work to be done here and I know that Cornwall has so much potential and is growing bigger and bigger. I have faith though that where the Lord needs me is where I will go and be. My companion and I are getting along great. Often times, I reflect and wonder how I got so lucky with getting a great companion like Sister Hamann. We did have our ups and downs and this past week, we were a bit annoyed and frustrated at each other but we really learned to sit down, talk about what was on our minds, and compromise with each other. I know that this will prepare me for the future and I'm not grateful that we had to go through disagreements but I know that there was much I learned from them and things I noticed that I needed to really improve on. The work is going great here in Redruth. I'm so grateful to be here. Often, there are times where I wonder if I can go any longer or if I can keep my eyes open or my feet continually moving but then I'm given a reassurance that everything will be ok and that the Lord is on my side and is there to help me if I turn to him. I love you all! 
Love,
Sister Burtis 
P.S. If you guys want to send letters, send them temporarily to the address below until I know for sure about transfers. We will get told in two weeks but since it takes a while for letters to get out here, then it's better safe to send them to the mission office. Thanks! Love you!
Mission office address: 

England London South Mission
The London Temple
West Park Road, Newchapel
Surrey
England RH7 6NB

Monday, September 21, 2015

"I Fear No Man"

Another eventful week gone within a blink of an eye. I'm often just in
awe at how fast time goes by sometimes. Much has happened over this
past week and I'm excited to be able to share some of those exciting
adventures with you. First of all, Sister Hamann and I got to do an
exchange with the Exeter Sisters. That was a lot of fun! I got to stay
in Redruth and Sister Fromgren came and did some missionary work in
the area with me. Sister Fromgren is from Norway. She has actually
just been out for several weeks and is currently being trained. She is
great though and even though she sometimes struggles with English, she
has a great testimony and did really well in the lessons that we
taught. It was crazy to see how new of a missionary she was and I
realized that I was in her position only about 4 months ago. It's
crazy how much You can learn and how much confidence and growth you
develop in so short of time. The next day, after the exchange, we
exchanged back to our regular companionships and also had our
specialised zone training in Plymouth that day. It was incredible! I
learned so much from it and I also got to do a workshop for all the
other missionaries with my companion, Sister Hamann, and the zone
leaders-Elder Mayes and Elder Dyer. We talked about how we should
center our focus on the Savior and how we can do that through our
actions and conversations. The workshop went really well and I think
the missionaries got a lot out of it. I know I did. Apart from our
workshops, President Gubler and his wife got to talk to us. The
assistants did as well and it was really good. We talked about how we
should trust in the Lord and fear no man. As long as we do all that we
can and have faith in Jesus Christ, then we should not worry about
rejections or outcomes. If God wants miracles to happen and for
baptisms to happen, He can make that happen. It's really just about us
and being personally converted and obedient to be a witness of those
miracles that He has prepared for us. I know this to be true. One
thing that I had to do to test this out was to step out of my comfort
zone. A couple days after zone training, Sister Hamann and I had an
hour and a half of traveling on the bus. I sat next to an older lady
who I got talking to and she wasn't too interested. Well something I
learned from the zone training is that we are looking for the elect
and those who are prepared to receive our message. I bravely and with
all my courage, turned to the lady and kindly asked her if I could go
talk to the lady several rows back and she didn't mind at all. As the
bus continued to travel along the curvy road, I thought to myself, "I
fear no man. I fear no man." Slowly I stood up and moved my way back
as I saw and felt some people look at me from behind including my
companion. I quickly moved into a seat next to a middle aged lady but
as soon as she saw my badge, she wasn't interested. I told her that it
was ok and I wished her a good day and decided to quickly move into a
seat next to a younger girl who looked to be about 17 or 18. She
didn't mind me sitting next to her so I brought up a topic to talk
about and before I knew it, we were in a gospel discussion. In the
end, I invited her to read the Book of Mormon and she accepted. She
had told me that she had sometimes wondered if perhaps God was out
there. It was amazing! God had someone prepared there on the bus and I
learned that when I step out of my comfort zone and do all that I can
to share the message that we have, then it becomes easier to find
those who could potentially become investigators and most of all, who
are willing to come unto Christ. My companion, Sister Hamann and I,
have seen many miracles take place and we are so grateful for all the
people that we have met. We are now currently teaching two young
mothers, Debbie and Chloe, that we have met just recently. Debbie has
6 kids and Chloe has 3 kids. We have taught them the Restoration and
they have both accepted the invitation to prayfully read the Book of
Mormon. We are excited to be able to continue to teach them and
continue to work with them. They are two incredible ladies. Overall,
I'm just so grateful to be a part of the missionary work here in
England. There is so much potential in Cornwall as well! Transfers are
mid-October and because I've been out 3 transfers here in Redruth,
there could be a slight possibility of me moving but I secretly hope I
don't because I want to continue to work with the people here for at
least one more transfer. :) Especially with my companion. We get along
really great and I'm grateful for Sister Hamann. We work really well
together and are able to be really unified in the work. The Lord has
blessed me greatly with the two companions that I've had so far. They
have taught me a lot. Oh, before I hop off to go do some more
missionary work this week, I just want to thank you for all those who
write letters and emails. I love to hear all the fun things going back
at home and I'm hoping all of you are doing well. The work is
hastening on. The Church is true and I'm so grateful to be a part of
this Gospel.
Love you all!
Love,
Sister Burtis

Monday, September 14, 2015

Faith in Jesus Christ, not the outcome!

Hi guys! Wow! This week has been filled with many adventures! We started off our last week with a wonderful pday. We got to have a district pday and go to St. Michael's mount. It's a lovely attraction located in Penzance and lots of tourists go to it. I can see why now. It is a really pretty place!! It's got a big castle on it and gardens that we were able to go explore. We had some Cornish ice cream at a place there which was new for me and that was really good! The day was even better because the sun was shining and it was really warm. Cornwall overall is just a great place. The people are great, the area is great, and my love for it increases everyday! The work here is increasing immensely! Sister Hamann and I have set good goals for ourselves and we were able to accomplish many of them and found lots of people to teach. We had about three new investigators this past week and that was really exciting. I have found that my confidence has really increased and I'm getting to the point where I have been able to become better at bus contacting and just talking to people in general. I've talked to several people on the bus and had some really good gospel discussions. I know that the Lord has truly had his hand in the missionary work here in the Redruth area. I'm so grateful for the many things that I've learned this past week. My companion, Sister Hamann, is great. Her and I get along so well. I am so truly blessed to know someone such as her. I almost hope that I'm able to stay for another transfer with her because we work so well together. The unity that we have is undescribable. We still have to work at becoming better at teaching but we've learned to bounce off what each other person says and we have come to realize that we are feeling the spirit so strongly in the lessons we teach when we do this. I'd like to share one of the miracles I saw this week with my companion. Last Monday, after pday, we went knocking and strived to find those who were searching for the truth but knew not where to find it. We knocked on several doors on a street in a town called Threemilestone. We knocked on several doors but more often than not, many didn't want to listen to us. We decided to knock one last door before we were going to head to a member's home for a teach. A lady named Lydia answered the door and she had a big smile on her face. As we introduced ourselves to her, she exclaimed that she believed in Jesus Christ. We were amazed at her enthusiasm and as we got talking to her and introducing the Book of Mormon to her, she was so excited. She is now one of our investigators and we are really excited to be able to teach her this week sometime. She's amazing and we received a witness that God does truly prepare the hearts of his children and we need to be willing to seek diligently to find these people. That was just one out of the many miracles that we saw. If I were to write down all the miracles from this past week, this would become more like a novel :) Another quick story: One crazy day that we had was when we went finding. Sister Hamann and I had finished dinner and headed out to go to a lesson to a couple that we had met this past week. It was raining really hard however and the couple didn't show up. Standing under Sister Hamann's umbrella (I had left mine at the church), the two of us did our best not to get too wet. We decided to stick with our back-up plans and went to contact some potential investigators. They were about a mile or so away so we trekked up to where they lived and we came to find out that they weren't home. We didn't give up however and talked to people along the way and then went to visit some members at their home. The members (an older couple) lived a ways off from where we were so we decided we would walk with haste and see if we could visit them and leave them with a spiritual thought. Sister Hamann and I silently prayed that they would be home seeing that at this time, we were both drenched and the rain continued to come. We made our way over and as we reached their home, we were sad to see that the windows in the home were dark. Sister Hamann and I knocked on the door but no one was home. With heads hung low, we started to walk towards the flat. We weren't sure why we needed to go towards that way and felt that nothing good came out of us getting completely drenched. We changed our attitudes however and persistently kept going. We ended up running into a younger lady and got to teach her about the message we had. It was a good conversation and we came to understand that no effort is wasted. We might have just planted a small seed that could eventually grow into something spectacular. Sister Hamann and I did eventually make our way back to our flat and to pass time and to forget about being wet, we sang church songs and hymns all the way back which was really fun! It was an adventure that we can look back on :) I'm so grateful for the Lord and the tender mercies that He has shown us this week even though at times, we may not know the outcome right away. In the end, It's all about faith in Jesus Christ and not the outcome. He knows what he wants us to do and as long as we strive to be in tuned with the spirit and work hard, we can accomplish his work :)  Love you all!
Love,
Sister Burtis 

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Seasons of Miracles is here!

Hello everyone! Wow, lots has taken place this past week. The
beginning of last week was pretty hard. I had a hard time saying
goodbye to my trainer Sister Schmidt and it took a couple of days for
me to get used to the idea that I had another companion now. Entering
the flat, I felt moments of nostalgia and it felt like Sister Schmidt
would be returning but she didn't. Anyways, it took a couple of days
but I have been truly blessed. My new companion, Sister Hamann is
wonderful and so nice and eventually I got used to the idea that she
was now my companion. Sister Hamann has been out for about 1/2 year
now and her and I work really well together. We have seen the hand of
the Lord in the work as we strive to compromise with each other and
learn to work with each other. Being the first time that I've gotten
another companion who will be with me for at least 6 weeks, it was
pretty hard to adjust to things that she usually does in the work
compared to Sister Schmidt and I. However, I'm grateful for that
because it helps me to learn and to grow and adapt to change. The Lord
truly does place people in our lives for a reason and there is always
something we can learn from them. Sister Hamann and I are sister
training leaders for this transfer again and that is exciting! We got
to go to MLC (Mission Leadership Council) and it was amazing! Sister
Hamann had never been to it before but she really enjoyed it as did I.
We got to discuss as Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders together
what we thought would be best for the mission and what changes we
needed to make. One thing that we've established is the importance of
obedience. There were some grey zones in white handbook in where some
missionaries weren't sure of what could work or what couldn't work,
e.g. Music, what time to wake up at, etc. so we got to discuss that.
For music, we prayed about it and felt that in order for the seasons
of miracles to really occur, we needed to give up some things. Like
the sons of mosiah who gave up the kingdom to go preach to the
lamanites and receive success, we decided that we would listen to
hymns and mormon tabernacle choir only. We also are doing more
studying with the preach my gospel. It's hard because missionaries
would often listen to Disney, acapella groups, etc. but now we are
limited to songs that we think can really invite the spirit into the
work. It may sound weird but I have had an increased amount of
gratitude for the hymns and the amount of success that we are
receiving this past week in the Redruth area is amazing! It truly
shows that if we are willing to give a little more for the work, we
can see more success and blessings. I finished the Book of Mormon last
week and I am amazed at how much I learned from it than I ever have
before. Just this last Sunday, as a mission, we all had a fast and
prayed for the 2nd harvest/season of miracles to take place and for
the witness that the Book of Mormon is true. I received that witness
to both of these things. The Book of Mormon truly carries that divine
truth and it is the word of God. I invite anyone at home to read the
Book of Mormon in a period of 12 weeks or less and see what you learn.
As you read it, you'll see things in there that you might have never
seen before. The questions we asked ourselves as we got to read it
was, Who am I? Who is He? (Jesus Christ) and What does he want me to
become? The missionary work is hastening. Sister Hamann and I have met
many people on the street and have got to teach them and we have some
return appointments with some of them. We are quite excited!!!! As for
leading the area, I've seen that I've become more confident in myself
and that I'm able to talk to everyone on the street without
hesitating. Sometimes my companion has to drag me away because I get
talking to people for too long ;) I know it's because my love for the
people has increased immensely and my love for the Book of Mormon has
increased as well since I've read it. I would want anyone to be able
to read it for themselves and receive that joy in their lives that I
feel now. This past week has been fantastic! The church is true! Love
you all!!!!!
With love,
Sister Burtis :)