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 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! 
Sister Burtis 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Moments of frustration lead to something learned or something good.


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! 
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
England RH7 6NB