Monday, January 25, 2016

Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts

Hello everyone! I hope you are having such a wonderful week! This past
week seemed to be one of the fastest weeks for me since I've been on
my mission. Many new adventures took place this week and I'm excited
to share them with you. We were able to have our world-wide mission
broadcast. It was amazing! It's crazy to think that 75,000 of us
missionaries watched that. The leaders of the church presented to us
how our purpose and emphasis this year would be teaching repentance
and baptizing converts. They really focused on how we can use the
spirit in our teaches more and how we can work together with members
in the work and so many other things. One of my favourite parts was
just the emphasis on how the spirit is the master teacher and how we
as missionaries can prepare ourselves to set the stage for the Holy
Ghost to use us as the Lord's mouthpiece and disciples. I loved the
broadcast and I loved being a part of it. One thing that was mentioned
was that a broadcast like this one hadn't happened for over a decade.
It would be great if they did one each year. I learned so much from
it. After the broadcast, we had something funny happen. Sister Nguyen
and I had received a referral from other elders in a different area
and so we contacted the referral (his name was Andrew) and Andrew
agreed to meet with us. So that evening, we planned to go teach him
and we had a member that was planning on coming out with us as well.
We mentioned to the other sisters and elders that were in our area
that we needed to go and teach a referral named Andrew. The sisters
looked at each other and looked back at us and said, "We taught a
referral named Andrew earlier." We were a bit confused and we all
thought maybe it's a different guy. The elders looked to us and said,
"We've been trying to contact a referral named Andrew for about 8
weeks now." It turns out that the Andrew that we had all received a
referral for was the same guy. The other sisters said they taught him
but didn't get to teach to the whole restoration so we all agreed that
Sister Nguyen and I would go and teach him still. We ended up teaching
Andrew that night and it was funny because he ended up getting two
teaches that day. He is doing great though and is now being taught by
the other sisters. We were able to be a part of many miracles this
week. We had met four different potential investigators on the street
and all of them agreed to have us back to come teach them our message.
Well we had scheduled three of those four people on Friday. They would
be back to back appointments. Sister Nguyen went on an exchange in
Peckham so it was Sister Valoskova and I who went to these
appointments. What was amazing was that none of them cancelled and all
of them went through! So the day, we ended up teaching the restoration
three times and the next day, once more as well. It was incredible!
The only challenge was that with one of our potential investigators,
he had us meet him at Mcdonald's. I've never had to teach at
McDonald's before but it was a public place and as sisters, it was a
rule that we needed to meet with guys in public places if we don't
have a female member with us. Well, we taught him the whole
restoration lesson but it was probably one of the harder things I've
had to do. The pop music in the background was so loud and made it
hard for us to focus on what was being said and it was hard even
trying to feel the spirit. It's something that I definently won't be
doing again with my companion. It just makes me realize how sensitive
the spirit is. The world competes for our attention with all the
music, billboards, TVs, ect. but we can choose to be receptive to it
or not. This week has been great overall! Many adventures have been
made since I've been in Clapham! A funny thing that I could mention is
our flat situation. We have four sisters in our flat and we have two
bedrooms that each companionship should be staying in. Well, in one of
the bedrooms, there is a double bed (queen bed) and three dresser
drawers which makes the room really packed. The only bad thing is, is
that the double bed needs to stay in there because it's the landlord's
and she has no where else to put it. The mission office was planning
to put a bunk bed in that room but now the situation is a bit tricky.
They are now actually having to look for another flat for one of our
companionships. We have had many adventures for the past three weeks
with having the two sisters and us switching each night from sleeping
on the couch to the bed to the couch. We can't complain though because
it makes our mission just extra fun & we consider ourselves blessed
for having a nice warm flat. The pioneers didn't even have couches so
ya, we can't complain. :) I love being a missionary. The work is not
always easy but it's always rewarding and I love have different
opportunities each day. No day is ever the same and that is what is
great about life! We are here to learn, to grow, and to gain
experiences. I love you all and hope you all have a good week!
With love,
Sister Burtis

Monday, January 18, 2016

A wintery season of miracles

                                             A store named Anya!!!
Some shirts made by a Sister from South Africa.
Hello everyone! Ok, so my mom had emailed me last week and asked for
the address of my new flat and I wrote back saying, "I'll send it to
you in the blog update, I promise." I guess I should have been a bit
careful about promising because it went totally over my head and I
completely forgot.
So Here it is:

177 Massingberd Way
Tooting Bec
SW17 6AP

Wow! I'm amazed at how fast this week has gone by. Much has happened
and yet it has all zoomed by at the same time and now I'm found trying
to recall all my adventures that I have had. Something that was really
great was that we saw snow here in England! My companion and the other
two sisters were waking up on the Sunday morning, getting ready, and
just as we were about to start our personal studies, we looked out the
window....and what did we see!? Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!
Just kidding. We saw snow though and it was only about 1/4 inch or so
on the grass, on the roofs of the apartments, and on the cars. Sister
Nguyen (my companion from Vietnam who had never seen snow before)
looked at it like a little kid who was staring at her favorite toy
that she wanted. She looked at it trying to comprehend how it came to
be. It was really neat to see her excitement. After our studies and as
we headed to church, she made sure to grab a handful and throw it
towards our way. It's been getting a lot colder in England as the
weeks continue and it is strange for me to not see any results like a
big blanket of snow. We haven't even gotten any rain at all really.
Just a chilly and cold air. Overall this week has been great! The week
started out with us going to MLC. The leadership council took place in
Staines and instead of having to travel 5-6 hours from Redruth and
staying overnight at a different flat with other sisters, I just only
traveled 45 minutes in the morning with my companion which was really
different but nice. The mission is having quite a few changes as the
new year approaches. We are really focusing on teaching repentance and
baptizing converts, a focus that was given from the apostles
themselves. It's a great focus to have and we will be able to see a
worldwide broadcast this week given to all missionaries which I'm
excited for! The beginning of this past week consisted of councils and
meetings which went really good and throughout all of last week,  we
were able to see many miracles! Something that was really neat was
that my companion and I were going through some former investigator
forms and felt prompted to stop by a certain guy's house. We knocked
on his door and a lady answered. We asked if she had heard of a Martin
and she said that he actually passed away last year which was sad to
hear. We continued to talk to this lady and asked her if she would be
willing for us to come back and she said that she would be OK with
that. Just before we left, my companion asked her what her name was
and she told us. I could be certain if she had said it right because
she said it with a bit of an accent so I asked if she could spell
it....and she goes to spell it, "A...n...y...a. Anya." I smiled and
mentioned to her that this was my name as well and she look genuinely
surprised. She was the first person that I've met on my mission who
has my name. It was a really cool experience and we plan to stop by
Anya's sometime this next week. Many other miracles took place this
week. We were riding on an underground tube and this guy came on. He
sat right across from us and a few moments and he looked at us and we
looked back at him. Sister Nguyen felt impressed to give him a
pass-along card so we did. He looked at it and then looked up and
said, "Thank you. Because you gave this to me, I want to attend your
church." Many were staring at us and him as we continued to talk to
him. This guy was from west Africa and he had met missionaries before.
His cousin, too, was a member. He never did show up to church but we
are planning to meet him this coming week. Truly a miracle! Another
miracle: Fiona came to church! Fiona was someone I mentioned about
last week. Both Sister Nguyen and I had found her and she was so
prepared. We got to teach her the first two lessons but then we
discovered she was in the other ward boundaries and so the elders were
the ones that needed to teach her. I love Fiona and was really sad to
see that we couldn't teach her. However,  we learned to trust in God's
plan. The elders called us this past week and let us know how she was
doing and then this Sunday, we saw the elders walking with someone who
looked very familiar. It was Fiona! She saw us and we saw her and
started to run towards each other and gave each other a hug. Fiona
told us that she couldn't wait for her baptism (which is in a couple
of weeks) and she was happy that God planned for her to meet us. I
know that God has a great plan for each one of his children. I am so
so grateful that I can be an instrument in God's hands at this time
and in all of my life actually. I reflect on these past months and
just can't imagine my life without this mission. I've learned so many
lessons and I rejoice because of this Gospel! I hope all of you are
doing good. Remember to never forget that no matter where you are,
there can be miracles around you as well if you truly seek for them.
With love,
Sister Burtis

Monday, January 11, 2016

New area, New adventures!

                                          Saying goodbye to Red Ruth
                                                Hello Double decker buses.
                                             New Area. ( My district and I! My companion, Sister Nguyen from Vietnam(pronounced like N'Wing) is the one wearing the black shirt. The one
standing next to me is Sister Couper from Scotland (she just got out in to the mission field and her accent is really cool!) and her trainer, Sister Meyer from Germany, is standing behind us.
                                                People I worked with in Redruth
                                            Me standing in front of my new flat :)
                                                 Good bye to the countryside of Redruth
                                              Traveling "Harry Potter Style"
The city is very fast paced yet so much can happen! Last week
consisted of myself packing and preparing to go to the city. We
arrived at the Crawley chapel and met our new companions. I got to
meet Sister Nguyen and said goodbye to my Australia companion, Sister
Hamann. It's always sad when you say goodbye but it's exciting to see
what the Lord has in store for us in the next part of our missions.
Sister Nguyen and I ended up taking a train back to my new area,
Clapham, and instead of traveling for 5-6 hours home, we traveled only
about 45 minutes which was great! We spent the rest of P-Day cleaning
the flat and writing letters. We had 2 more sisters coming to live in
our flat and the flat being fairly small, we needed to arrange
furniture and move things around to get two study desks in the main
room. It was quite a workout but it was really fun. The two other
sisters that moved in was Sister Couper from Scotland (her accent is
really cool!) and Sister Meyer from Germany. They are such great
sisters and we all get along great. Exercising in the morning is funny
too when you have 4 tired sisters and not much space to move around
it. Some amazing miracles took place this week within a couple days
that we were in Clapham. Sister Nguyen and I were contacting some
referrals and as we knocked on a particular door, no one answered. We
looked across a street and felt impressed to knock on a different
door. We headed over to knock on the door but no one answered. Just as
we got back on the street, we ran into a lady and asked if she was
willing to hear our message. She replied that she wasn't but she knew
a friend of hers who would be. We wrote down that friend's number and
gave her a call. Her name is Fiona and a big miracle we saw was that
Fiona answered and said that we could meet her. The very next day, we
got to teach Fiona (who was a young mother) the restoration and she
told us that she had been looking for a church to join that had
younger people in it because the church she was attending just had
elderly people in it.  We were even able to extend a baptismal date
for the end of January. It was amazing! Fiona is so prepared and since
then, we got to teach her the plan of salvation. I felt such a love
for this woman and could see that she was truly a daughter of God.
Something that stood out to Fiona as we taught her the plan of
salvation was that she could be restored to a perfect body when she
was resurrected. Fiona had a stroke just recently and her left side of
her body, mostly just her left arm, is unable to move or function. I
know that God put Fiona in our way so we could help her and learn from
her. She is so positive and doesn't look at her condition as a setback
but rather she has a smile on her face and pushes through anything she
is given. One thing that was hard for Sister Nguyen and I is the day
that we found out that we couldn't teach Fiona anymore. What had
happened is that since we are close to London, there are a lot more
areas and boundaries that are set for the missionaries. We (the
Clapham missionaries & ward) share the chapel with the crystal palace
missionaries and ward. Because of that, they just recently changed the
ward boundaries and although Fiona lives just 10 minutes away from our
flat, we received news that her street is just barely over the
boundary in Crystal Palace area. It was really hard for us to receive
that news and it took a lot of trust but we know that Heavenly Father
had a plan for her and for us. We have seen so many miracles and I
love working with the people here. There are many cultures from
here....Poland, Portugal, Africa, the Caribbean, Germany, etc. It's
amazing to be a part of the different cultures. One of my favorites
moments of this week was when Sister Nguyen and I got to teach a lady
from Brazil some English. Her name is Lucia and she is a sweetheart!
She gave us fresh mangoes from Brazil a a thank you and it was
delicious! This week has provided so many new opportunities and so
many new adventures. The south London cities consist of many red
double deckers busses, the underground tubes (trains), many street
shops and stores, parks and ponds, and many more things that just make
London unique. I'm excited to continue to learn more and to have many
more adventures as a disciple of Jesus Christ. I love the gospel and
most of all, I love the light it brings to others!
With love,
Sister Burtis

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Moving to the big city!

So before I begin to tell you the many miracles we saw for the week, I
guess it's time to share the big news! Sister Hamann and I were about
to go out and go finding this past Friday and then we heard our phone
ring. It was President Gubler himself calling us to tell Sister Hamann
that she'd be staying in Redruth and that it was time for me to
continue my adventures in a different area. So....I've been called to
now serve in the WANDSWORTH zone in the city Clapham (you might need
to look it up to find out more information). I'll be arriving in
Clapham actually today and meeting my new companion. I'll still be
serving as a Sister Training Leader as well. So Clapham just happens
to be in South London. I think it's literally one of the closest areas
that you can get to London. London is not our area. It's just outside
of our area. However, we are able to get halfway to the Thalmes River
Bridge which the the boundary line for the England London South
Mission. So that means that we get to see lots of famous attractions
(like Big Ben) from a distance. So if anyone knows the United Kingdom
and where I've currently been serving, I'm in a completely country
side area. Going from the most west that you can get in England to the
bottom of London will be completely different. I've been told by many
missionaries how much I'll love the area, how many different cultures
I'll be a part of, to close my eyes and eat the food, etc. I'm really
exited to be able to serve in Clapham. I feel blessed to be able to
see the different areas of England. The city will be quite a change
and I'm going to miss my companion and the other missionaries I served
around in Plymouth zone but I also can't wait to serve the people in
the south London area. Also another exciting news, I'll be staying in
a 4 sister flat this time and my new companion, Sister Nguyen
(pronounced like wing) is from Vietnam! She actually a convert of a
couple of years and has been out for about 9 months or so.  I'm
excited to serve with her. As for Redruth, I'm going to miss that area
a lot! The members and the friends were sad to see me leave and it was
hard to say goodbye. Sister Hamann and I got to do a lot of finding
and see lots of miracles. I've included one of the many we saw....In
Cornwall, there are many bus drivers who know us and refer to us as
the sisters. One of the bus drivers in particular just happened to be
a brother-in-law to one of our members. This bus driver's name is Mick
and he isn't a member. Week by week, we'd be traveling around our area
and continue to see Mick driving buses around. We'd always joke about
how we would be converting the bus drivers soon and that we were
simply planting a seed by continually saying hi to them. Well there
came a time where we were looking at the ward member list and decided
to contact a less-active friend of ours, Jacqueline. We had never met
Jacqueline before but we stopped by and knocked on her door. She
answered the door, smiled, and let us in. We were able to share with
her our Christmas message, share a Book of Mormon with her, and she
said we could come back and share more messages.  Just as we were
about to leave, we asked her if she lived with any family and she told
us that she lived with her husband. In fact, she told us that he was a
bus driver and that they were both related to a member in our ward.
When she said that her husband's name is Mick, my companion and I were
astonished! He walked in at that moment and said, "Hello Sisters!"
What a miracle! It doesn't end just there. A few weeks later, around
New Year's Eve time, the bus services were ending early. We were in a
small town called Lanner which was about 45 minutes walk away from our
flat. We finished our work and prayed silently that a bus would come
by because it was starting to get late. One did come but it said on
the top that it was out of service. We simply waved knowing that the
bus wouldn't stop but just trying to be friendly to the bus driver,
whoever it was. To our surprise, the bus pulled over, and the bus
driver asked us, "Where to?" We looked up and it was Mick! We arrived
back to our area safely and We know that these many great miracles
happened because the Lord provided them for us. We know that although
Mick is not yet being taught, we are planting a seed that is bound to
grow! These are some of the many miracles we have seen and we know
that without a shadow of a doubt, the season of miracles is here! The
New Years celebration would pretty low key here. Sister Hamann and I
ended up just doing a lot of finding and teaching and then just
throughout the night, we'd be sleeping and often heard drunk people
yelling on the streets or music playing but it didn't phase us too
much and we slept pretty much through the whole night. New Year's Day
seemed to be another ordinary day for the people of Cornwall. You'd
hear the occasional, "Happy New Year's" from the people around us
though. It's starting to become much colder in Cornwall. Freezing
strong winds, lots of rain, but it was an adventure and quite fun! I
keep getting told that in the south London area, it doesn't rain as
much. Overall, this week has just been such a great week!  I'm excited
for the new adventurers that are yet to come and I treasure the
moments that I've had already on my mission. I love you all and hope
you have such a wonderful week!
With love,
Sister Burtis