Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Adieu to the Southern City of London

Hello everyone! I hope you have had a great week! I was pretty close
to not being able to email for this past week but thankfully was given
time now to let you all know that I'm still alive and doing well! Just
before I forget, for those who want to send letters, we have the new
Brighton address (Letters sent to this address will get to me much
faster than if you send it to the mission office)  :

43 Bourne Court
London Road
Brighton, WYK, BN1 8QQ

This past week carried many different adventures and experiences for
me. Sister Wang, Sister Fromgren, and I knew that our time as a tri
was coming close to an end so we did all that we could to organise
things, see the people that we needed to, ect. We were able to see
many miracles. At the beginning of this last week, Sister Fromgren and
I were able to do one last exchange with the sisters from Peckham. I
was able to go to Sister Stephenson (my MTC companion) and we were
able to reflect back on the experiences we have had in Wandsworth and
on our missions, see some miracles and we were able to visit Beognia
(investigator). Begonia is from Peru and we have been teaching her for
some time now. She is so close to baptism and very prepared. It was
sad though that she wanted to wait a little bit longer because it
meant I wouldn't be there for it. Sister Stephenson and I were able to
come by and I was able to say my goodbyes to her but as we got
talking, Begonia said something that made me smile. Begonia was just
about to leave to Spain and has been so busy trying to balance
preparing for that, starting a business of her own, and working at a
job so she wasn't quite sure when she wanted to get baptised. She
mentioned though that as soon as she got back from Spain which would
last for about 10 days, she would make her decision for the date of
baptism. It's hard to not be able to see those who you have taught
being baptized but it's a witness that seeds are planted and they will
grow. Another witness of this was when I got to the temple (for
training Preparation). An elder (who was departing to go home) from my
old area came up to me and said, "Did you hear about Robert!?" Robert,
from Cornwall, was someone that Sister Hamann and I went up to and
talked with about the gospel. He was walking down the hill towards a
shop while we were heading to teach an investigator. We were able to
teach Robert and he continuously came to church and was working to get
married to his girlfriend but we never got to see him baptized when I
was there. The elders continued to work with him and I was just told
that Robert got married and this upcoming weekend, not only him, but
his wife would be getting baptized as well! My joy was full and I was
so excited to receive the news! You truly never know the lives you can
impact by just opening your mouth and sharing the gospel with them. We
may never see the results but it was great to know that there are
seeds being planted! The last moments in my second area were bitter
sweet. Some of the members had us over for dinner and some visits and
you really do come to realise how much you grow and learn from the
members, the area, the people you teach, ect. as you are about to
leave the area you served in for 7 months. Clapham will always have a
special place in my heart and it's a place I will never forget. There
were many people to talk to in Clapham and while some days were tough
and it seemed like no one wanted to talk to us, I recognized that it
shaped me to have even more faith, to become even stronger, and to
turn to my Saviour more than I ever have before. My last moments with
Sister Fromgren were wonderful. She taught me so much and I'll never
forget the impact that she had on me. I love all my companions
including my current companion Sister Wang. We had a funny moment
where one time last week, Sister Wang felt a bit down and sad because
she missed her family, MTC, ect. so Sister Fromgren and I go to
comfort her and while sitting on the bed together and talking about
random things, Sister Wang suddenly jumps up and screams,
"SPIDER-MAN!" (She didn't know quite yet to call it a spider).
Confused at the time, Sister Fromgren and I looked around and saw that
she was pointing to a spider (which actually ended up being a
mosquito). Sister Fromgren and I laughed for a tiny bit and then
jumped up on the bed, pretending to be super heros, and saying, "Don't
worry, we'll save you!" It was quite the funny moment! Many more
moments of laughter took place all throughout this week. The time
finally came for us to go to the temple, have a temple session, and
then Sister Fromgren and I received our training to be trainers. What
was fun was that Sister Wang got to be with us throughout all of this.
We were also at the temple with the departing missionaries and that
felt strange. When I packed my bags and left Clapham and took my bags
to the temple to go to Brighton, I felt so strange and it felt almost
like I was going home. I'm grateful though I have another area to
serve in and to devote all my time and attention to the work of the
Lord. I'm truly grateful for this work. It wasn't easy to say goodbye
to Sister Fromgren or my previous area but I trust the Lord will guide
my footsteps. It's scary having Sister Wang and I going into another
area that we both have never worked in but all I can do is trust and
have faith. I know in time, I will come to a better understanding of
why I am called to Brighton. We have now gotten to our flat (which is
very nice and big because it was used by a senior couple before we
came in) and the elders here are very nice and helpful in telling us
who everyone is and where we can go to get to different places.
Brighton is beautiful! It is much greener than Clapham and I love
seeing the trees, nice country side view, flowers, and beach. :) I
look forward to this new adventure! Love you all, have a great week!
Sister Burtis

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