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!
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!
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 :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The changes are bound to come.

Hello! I hope all is well! Wow. What a crazy eventful past two weeks
it has been! It has been full of emotions, changes, and missionary
work. Last week, Sister Schmidt and I had an exchange with the sisters
from Exeter. That was a lot of fun! We got to ride the train over to
Exeter and I stayed with Sister Wood in that city to do some
missionary work while Sister Schmidt and Sister Valoskova went back to
Redruth to do missionary work there. Sister Wood is from Alpine, Utah
and she is very fun and motivated. We both learned a lot from each
other! The next day, we exchanged back. There is always something
about exchanges. You love doing them to have a variety in the work but
it's always great to reunite with your companion again. Sister Schmidt
and I got to exchange back and then as the Plymouth zone, we all came
together to have our district meetings and then have lunch as a zone
afterwards. The lunch was really fun. It was a pot luck and all of the
companionships brought a food item so we had a lot to eat. We then got
to share miracles that we experienced this past transfer in our areas.
The different miracles was neat to listen to. We are continually
teaching our investigators and that is going good. We are teaching a
father and a son and they are both so open-minded and ask a lot of
good questions. We got to teach the plan of salvation to them and they
really enjoyed that. We asked them to come to church and they said
they would. They do have a disabled son/brother that is hard for them
to get to church but they really want to come and we are excited to
continue to teach them. The finding has been good but we have had a
lot of traveling, teaching appointments, and lots of dinner
appointments so it has been a bit hard to use that time to seek for
more potentials. We want to continually find everyday however because
we know that there are more people seeking for the truth but know not
where to find it. This past sunday, Sister Schmidt gave her final talk
in the Redruth ward and then she played the piano, "Come thou fount of
every blessing", while me and two other sister members in the ward
sang. The ward loved that and the spirit was felt so strongly. This
past Monday, Sister Schmidt packed all her stuff and I helped her. It
was strange for the both of us and it didn't feel real. It almost
seemed like she was just getting transferred to another area but she
was actually heading home. We went to a member's home to have lunch
with them. They made us homemade Cornish pasteys and also English
trifle and it was really good! After the lunch, Sister Schmidt and I
grabbed her luggage and rode the train to Plymouth.  From there, the
senior couple, Brother and Sister Mcbride picked us up and we went to
Newton Abbot and stayed with the sisters overnight. The next morning,
our district leader and his companion picked up Sister Schmidt and I
really early and we traveled for some hours to Crawley. In Crawley, we
met up with many other missionaries who were transferring to another
area, getting a new companion, or going home. I got to meet my new
companion Sister Hamann (hey-mann) and then that was the time I needed
to say goodbye to Sister Schmidt. It's then that it hit me that I
wouldn't see Sister Schmidt again. Tears were shed and we embraced
each other in a hug and thanked each other for the journey that was
made between the two of us. I truly
must have been given the first pick in heaven when I got to choose who
my mission trainer would be because Sister Schmidt influenced my life
immensely. I'm going to miss her so much and I know it'll take time to
adjust to having a new companion but I trust that I'm suppose to be
with Sister Hamann for a reason and know there is things I need to
learn from her just as I did from Sister Schmidt. Sister Schmidt
really demonstrated and taught me the importance of charity. She loved
everyone she ran into and she always was so diligent in helping them
to the best of her ability. I know that she was my trainer for many
reasons. It's amazing the people God puts in our lives. This week has
been a crazy, emotional, and eventful week but it has helped me to
learn a lot. I'm a bit nervous to have to lead the area (I'm still
serving in Redruth) and help my new companion understand where
everything is and who the people are but I know that with the help of
my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ, all things are
With love,
Sister Burtis