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 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

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