Monday, August 24, 2015

Rain,rain, go away.

Hello! Wow. What a week. The week has been filled with one or two days
of sunshine but the rest of the week has been filled with rain. It's
sounds this rain needs to be sent to Utah. It's been good though!
Where to even begin, I'm not quite sure. The past week started off
with our pday and that was quite fun! After emailing and doing our
shopping, Sister Schmidt got to walk about a mile away from where we
live and go to a little lovely attraction called Gwennap Pit. It is
this big circular grassy stadium in the ground and it was used for
Methodists to hold church firesides and meetings. There is even a
place for the preacher to stand. If you get a chance to look it up,
you should. It's really neat. We had to hurry back to Redruth before
the pday ended and so we walked on a public footpath that took us to
some beautiful England land. As we kept walking, you wouldn't believe
what we got to walk through. Sister Schmidt and I got to walk through
a tiny llama farm. It was the best! There was a trail that was the
footpath and on both sides of us, there were llamas staring at us and
coming up to us from the side of the fence. I thought llamas only
resided in the North and South Americas, but it seems to me that they
are everywhere ;) That was quite fun! Apart from that, this week has
had lots of adventures, and it's ups and downs as well. We have had a
dinner appointment each day with members from the Redruth Ward this
week and there are quite some good English meals that were made. If
anyone worries that I might be starving, it's ok because I'm not. I
have to be careful not to eat to much or you might not recognize me
when I get back. ;) One member made for us something that is called
bread and butter pudding with raisins and that was good. It's a common
English dessert dish. Well our investigator had his baptism interview
but he still had some concerns about Thomas S. Monson so we've decided
to postpone his baptism and just help him resolve those questions. We
have faith that it will all work out. It was hard to see him coming
out of the interview because he knows he wants to get baptized but he
knows that he wants to be honest about everything and not just answer
yes to all the questions. I have faith in the Lord's timing. The same
day, we found out that one of our member's gran passed away. We were
sad to hear about that because we had taught a lesson to this gran and
she was such a sweet lady. I've learned a lot about trusting in the
Lord this past week. Sister Schmidt is about a week away to going home
and it really scares me to know that I'll be leading the area. There's
even a possibility of me training someone. I'll be finding out by the
end of this week. Anyways, I've learned to have confidence in myself
and trust that all will be well. I've been reading the Book of Mormon
a lot lately because as missionaries, we are challenged to finish it
by September 1st, and I really enjoy it. It's amazing how much you get
out of the storyline when you read more than one chapter each day :)
Apart from that, we've got to do a lot of finding this week and have
given out some Books of Mormon which is great! We knocked on door
after door and even though it may take a long time, it's so rewarding
to be able to talk to those who are interested. The work is truly
hastening on. I'm grateful to be out here on this mission. I have
learned a lot! One thing that stood out to me as I was reading the
Book of Mormon this past week was something the Lord said, "Bear with
patience thine afflictions and I will grant unto you success." I love
you all!
Sister Burtis

Monday, August 17, 2015

I will trust and not be afraid!

My area has been given a flood of miracles and I'm amazed to see that
each week brings something new though I never know what all those
things are until I look back at them. This past week has been
incredible. I wish I could write down every single event or miracle
that took place but that would take too long ;) To start off with,
Geoffry is getting closer and closer to his baptism. We are all
getting pretty nervous about it but we trust that everything will be
ok and will work out. Geoffry is a great guy and has been
investigating the church for several years but he tells us that he
feels this is his time now. We have faith that he will be baptized
when he's ready and we are excited for that. We did some finding this
week and we got to see the Lord's hand in the missionary work as we
have continued to be exactly obedient, trust, and work hard. Sister
Schmidt and I were finding and we got talking to a guy named Simon.
Simon is a great guy. He's very friendly, and he lives with his wife
and two kids. Well as we got talking to him, he mentioned to us that
17 years ago he lived in Truro right next to some elders. Those elders
had some good chats with him and he remembers seeing those
missionaries a lot. Well 17 years later, Sister Schmidt and I were
finding and we saw him working on his motorcycle and got talking to
him. It was quite a miracle and taught me an important lesson. No
matter what happens, there can always be a seed planted that can grow
in time and we mustn't give up. I think I may have mentioned something
about Simon last week but I can't remember. But anyways, great news!
Simon and his son David are now investigators that we are teaching and
they are very open-minded and willing to learn more. We hadn't planned
on teaching his son David but David was there sitting in on the lesson
and asking lots of questions. We had a wonderful lesson with them
earlier this past week about the restoration and got to give David a
Book of Mormon. Now here comes another miracle we experienced. We left
Simon's house and then went to contact a less active. We were thinking
about going back and doing my 12 weeks study but we stuck to the plans
and went to contact this less active. On our way there, we heard
someone call out to us from behind. A guy came up pedalling on his
bike and asked us, "Are you Mormons or Jehovah witnesses? By the way
you two are both dressed, I presume you are one of them? If you're
mormons, great. Do you have any literature that I could read? If
you're jehovah witnesses, that's ok but I'm wanting to find out more
about the mormon church." Sister Schmidt and I both looked at each
other and then back to him with our jaws dropped and we were quite
surprised. Was this for real? Sure enough, it was. We quickly
explained to him that we were Mormons, gave him a Book of Mormon,
wrote down his phone number and he was excited to meet with us. We got
to teach him this past week and the members that we brought with us
clicked really well with him. The same day, we had our Meet the
Mormons movie night. We had a great time. No problems with the
projector, food, or anything. It was a tender mercy! Four of the
members brought their non-member friends and that was amazing to see.
I've often seen how the activities we plan have a good turnout if we
truly take the time to plan them and take the time to invite others
including our investigators, potential investigators, etc. What a week
of miracles! Sister Schmidt and I are filled with joy as we have come
to trust more in the Lord and see those miracles taking places. The
work is hastening on and I'm excited. I can't wait for these next
weeks ahead.We know that we need to put our trust in the Lord and that
He will help us. I'm truly grateful to be out here on my mission. I
have struggled a bit knowing that Sister Schmidt is to leave soon to
go back home (about 2 weeks). I'm super happy for her but she's a
great trainer and I'll miss her dearly. I get a bit nervous that I'll
be done getting trained soon and the possibility of leading the area
or evening training a new missionary might happen. Rumours have it
that there is about 36 new missionaries coming into the field in the
next two weeks. That's crazy! I know that whatever happens though,
that is what the Lord wants for me. I often think of my favourite
scripture, 2 Nephi 22:2. I will trust and not be afraid. :)
I love you all!
Sister Burtis

Monday, August 10, 2015

Behold, A Royal Army!

The missionary work is hastening on. I have no doubt about that. This week has passed by so fast and much has happened here in the land of England. Because Sister Schmidt and I are sister training leaders for our zone, we got to attend the Missionary Leadership Conference. MLC happens each transfer and the zone leaders and sister training leaders in each zone (9 zones total in the mission) come together. Sister Schmidt and I along with our zone leaders are part of the Plymouth zone and we all traveled together last Monday to Reading (pronounced like redding). On the way there, we were going to stop at Stonehedge since we were still having our pday but sadly, the last passes were sold and we weren't able to go. We didn't even know it cost to go but the attraction was closed for the day so we continued to Reading and drove past it on the main road. I still got a picture of it and it looks really neat but I think it would have look a lot bigger up close. That's ok though! The traveling was still fun! We got to Reading and then Sister Schmidt and I got to stay overnight with the sisters from the Reading area. The next day was MLC and it was amazing! We had tables all set up in a big circle. The zone leaders and sister training leaders from each zone sat by each other and at one of the tables in the circle was the mission president, President Gubler and his wife. We got to listen to a presentation given by President Gubler and it was amazing! He had told us about how many were converted when the first missionaries in England came and did missionary work. Heber C. Kimball and Wilford Woodruff baptized many in the river ribble near Preson, England. In the year 1987, there were a total of 1,300 or so baptisms taking place. President Gubler knows something big is about to happen. That this time is the time for the season of miracles and the 2nd harvest. (D&C 4:4). We as missionaries felt that to be true and the spirit was felt so strongly. It truly is the time to be able to invite many to come unto Christ.  It is the time for the season of miracles and we need to prepare ourselves. In Mormon 9:20, there were reasons for why we might not be able to see miracles which was because we might be dwindling unbelief, being disobedient, and/or lack trust in God. We as missionaries want to work on our personal conversions and help others to be converted as well. We all discussed how we could enhance our mission plan or if we needed to enhance it and that was a great experience. We prayerfully considered and discussed how we could help our zones. The spirit was felt so strongly. We got to sing the hymn, "Behold, A Royal Army" and it's an amazing song! The spirit that was felt was incredible as the group of us all sang and declared, "....Victory, Victory, Through him that redeemed us! Victory, Victory, Thru Jesus Christ, our Lord!.." It's a great song and has become one of my favorites! The missionary leadership conference was great. It helped me to learn so much and I was told by several missionaries that I was blessed to be able to go while still being trained. I had been so blessed to go and my love for the missionary work continues to increase more and more as the days go on. After MLC, Sister Schmidt and I had an exchange with Sister Holley and Sister Deloumeaux from the Newton Abbot. Sister Deloumeaux and I got to stay in Redruth for a day and to teach some lessons to some investigators and a less-active. It was a great experience. Sister Deloumeaux is from France and has a sweet spirit about her. She told me that she has 18 siblings! Some of them are half-siblings but that still a lot of brothers and sisters! It's cool though! It was especially funny to see the faces of our investigators, members, etc. when she'd introduce herself and told them that.  The exchange went great. We exchanged back to our normal companionships the next day because we had zone conferences in Bristol. Lots of traveling happened this past week but the zone conference was great and also spiritual as well! Apart from the conferences this week, Sister Schmidt and I got to do some finding. We found a guy named Simon who had lived by some missionaries 17 years ago while living in Truro (a city in our area) and as we got talking to him, he was interested to know more. It's amazing how a seed can be planted by missionaries 17 years ago and how it can still affect the person now when he meets with missionaries again.  Miracles were seen this week and I am grateful to be a part of this work. Oh! Sister Schmidt and I got to see a baby hedgehog near some bushes! It was super cute. I think I want to get one as a pet later in life ;) Just kidding! but maybe..? :) I hope all is well for you all! Take care! 
With Love,
Sister Burtis 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Listen to the prompting that you are given.

Hello everyone! I hope the summer months are treating you well and the sun is shining wherever you are! :) This week has been a busy one and full of crazy and exciting adventures. Earlier this week, we had many teaching appointments scheduled but a lot of them fell through. Sister Schmidt and I were pretty disappointed about that. We had a family that is less active and we had been trying to do family home evening at their house for weeks but whenever we made an appointment for a certain day of the week, they would always cancel on us. One of the days this week, It had been the 4th or so time that this family on canceled on us and we just felt frustrated with that. Sister Schmidt and I were on the bus on the way to their house at that time too. We had a back up plan to go finding and street contacting so we got off the bus and were ready to talk to people. We started walking on the streets and as we tried to talk or stop people, they gave us weird looks and rushed off. It seemed like no one wanted to listen. We even came up to a lady who was sitting at the bus stop. Before we could even introduce ourselves, she grabbed her purse and stormed off thinking we were going to sell her something. We tried to explain that were weren't selling her something but she didn't listen. That was hard. Sister Schmidt and I were sad by the all of these rejections. One thing I learned though is to not give up. Satan worked pretty hard on us that day to make us feel bad and poorly so we wouldn't continue talking to people. We strived and pushed on with all the energy and determination that we had and continued street contacting. By the end of that time that we were finding, we were able to teach 4 lessons on the street and one of those people is someone we have a return teaching appointment with. In the Restoration movie, Joseph Smith declares one of my favourite quotes, "Sometimes the Lord brings us low before He can lift us higher." I know that missionary work isn't easy but I do have to say that I'm grateful for the moments of frustrations, discouragements, etc. For without those moments, we wouldn't be able to experience or feel that immense joy that we feel as missionaries when we find someone who will talk to us, listen to us, and allow us to come back to teach them. The work is hastening on. I've seen it here in England and I'm happy know it's happening all around the world as well. For this week, a crazy story happened for me and my companion which helped me to recognize the importance of listening to the Holy Ghost. There was a day where Sister Schmidt and I were finding. During this time as we went door knocking, we came across a house and a gate. We wanted to open the gate so we could get to the door and knock but there was a sign that said, "Warning-dogs running around free." No sooner had we read the sign but we heard the dogs barking and coming up to the gate. They sounded ferocious. Sister Schmidt and I stood there, looked at each other, and weren't sure of what to do. I thought I had heard someone from the house yell at them to stop but I couldn't be quite sure. The dogs continued to bark loudly and so we decided we should just place a pass-along card with a website and our number on it in the post box. We started walking away and I got a prompting to go back. It was so clear, so distinct. I thought for a second that was just my thoughts however and so I continued to walk. Go back, I was told again. I was surprised at how clear that came to me. By this time however, we were already knocking at the next house over. The people living there weren't intererested. We left and as we were coming out of the people's garden area, I knew we needed to go back to the house with the gate and dogs. I told that to Sister Schmit and she looked at me and replied with hesitation that there were dogs and they could get out. We both headed towards the house however and reached the gate. By this time, the dogs were quiet but as soon as I tried opening the gate door, they started barking. I was able to turn the handle and enter in through the gate as Sister Schmidt slowly followed behind me. A medium sized dog slipped out of the dog door and started barking at us and another large dog was seen barking loudly through the dog door but it wasn't able to fit through luckily. We rang the doorbell with much haste and about a minute or so later as we were silently praying that we wouldn't get eaten, someone yelled for the dogs to quiet down. Though the opened kitchen window, we were able to introduce ourselves to a lady who was in hers 20s or 30s. We gave her a brief outline of the restoration and talked about the Book of Mormon. In the end, she wasn't too interested but we were happy to have been able to share the message with her about our church and to let her have that opportunity to hear what we wanted to say. We also got to leave a pamphlet with her about the Restoration. At the end of this whole situation, Sister Schmidt was shocked how that all turned out. She was happy I listened to the prompting even though she thought at first that I was crazy and suicidal. :) The spirit is truly there to guide and prompt us if we take the time to listen and to also act on what we get prompted to do. After that adventure had happened, Sister Schmidt and I got to attend the Redruth Ward BBQ. It seemed that there were more people investigating and less actives that came than those that were members. It was a good turnout! This week had been rainy and wet but the day of the BBQ was hot and sunny, what a blessing. Geoffry, our investigator, and his two sons came out and that was great to see that. They all had fun and really enjoyed it. Sister Schmidt and I played games with the kids and adults and it was an evening of laughter, running around, and visiting with people. This week, overall, has been great! We got to extend a baptismal date invitation to our investigator, Geoffry. In about a month's time, he will be getting baptized and we are excited for that. It'll be a week or so before Sister Schmidt leaves to go home too. Geoffry's faith is building and his testimony grows stronger and stronger each day. As is mine. I love the opportunity to teach others and being able to learn for myself as well. I'm grateful for this mission. I hope all is well for you! Love, Sister Burtis