Thursday, September 29, 2016

"Meet the Mormons!"-A Success!!

Preparing treats for the activity.

Making dinner for my companion.

Hello my dear family and friends! What a crazy week it has been! Not
to worry though- I mean  crazy as in busy and also filled with some
stories to share :) The beginning of the past week was a lot of fun!
Our district went around to the University of Sussex and got to hand
out flyers for our "Meet the Mormons" movie night. Throughout this
past week, more and more students have been coming in for the school
year so it's been a great opportunity to share with them the Gospel.
Being at the university campus though takes me back to the memories of
myself being at Utah State campus. It's fun to be able to be on the
missionary perspective though and getting to worry about sharing the
Gospel than having to stress about a big scary exam or something. As
we got to the university, each companionship then split up from the
group and went to find. Sister Wang and I went to contact one of our
friends but she didn't end up being home so we went around and talked
to some people. One of the people we met was a guy named Will! Will
was actually working for his job and delivering pizza by the
university when we stopped and talked to him. As we shared with him
about the Book of Mormon, he pointed to it and said, "Can I have one?"
Sister Wang and I love that question! We were able to give him one and
set up a return appointment with him. The next day, we were able to do
some service and go to the Bishop's home. Sister Wang and I and Laura
(Bishop's wife) got to make popcorn balls with toffee sauce and also
melted marshmallows and it was very fun! We also texted everyone in
our phone to invite them to the movie night and got some replies back
for some who wanted to come! One of those miracles included a lady
named Philimenia. I need to share with you first how it was that we
met her and what the result of the movie night was :D  So our district
printed out many flyers and got the news spread out to all of Brighton
that we would be having a movie night. One day, we decided to go to
Churchill Square (the big shopping center) and hand out flyers the
week previous to the event. As we did so, we felt prompted to go and
talk to a lady named Philimenia. As we approached her, she smiled and
said, "I know you guys!" We recognised her as well and it turns out we
had talked to her a month or so ago and had given her a Book of
Mormon. We got to invite her and her three children to the "Meet the
Mormons" movie night and she was very excited! The evening of the
movie night approached and Philimenia called us asking us how to get
to the church. We were able to guide her there and her and her
children all got to see the movie! The amazing part of it too was that
her 20 month year old stayed pretty quiet the whole time so Philimenia
could enjoy the movie, her 6 year old wanted to know where the
children's class was, and her 13 year old daughter told us afterwards
that really enjoyed the film. After the movie ended, we turned to
Philimenia and asked, "How did you feel?" She replied, "I felt
something a lot and I want to know when your church service time is!"
What an incredible miracle! We know we are in the midst of the season
of miracles and that the Lord is truly preparing the hearts of His
children. The Lord is so good and He knew the efforts we made for this
movie night and we know that He truly provided. We were able to also
have some less-active friends show up and members there as well who
helped fellowship. The work is going great! We were able to see some
of our friends who have expressed their interest in coming out to
church. We needed to explain though that this week would be General
Conference and they sounded even more excited that they could be a
part of that. I'm excited to see what this next week has in store for
us. Sister Wang and I have felt ourselves getting better and better in
the different aspects of the work that we are trying to improve in. We
know that the season of miracles is here. Of course, there's lots of
opposition that we faced this past week but we saw that as we trusted
God, all the hard things become easier and we receive even an a
greater amount of blessings from Him. I love you all and hope you have
a great week! Thanks for all your support and love!!!!
Sister Burtis

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The tender mercies of the Lord!

Seven Sisters

Hello family and friends! I'm excited to continue to share with you
what has happened this past week. Our Brighton district and the
Eastbourne district got to go to seven sisters and it was a lot of
fun! I honestly felt as if I was walking in a painting. It all almost
seemed like a dream. It was made a reality though when all of us felt
the heat and humidity. It was very hot that day! It left us feeling
tired but we were able to get ourselves prepared to find the people
nonetheless. This week, Sister Wang and I have been pushing to find
new investigators and also invite everyone we meet to the "Meet the
Mormons" movie night. We are excited because it's going to take place
in a couple of days and many of the friends we have and potentials say
that they'll be coming and we have faith that they will! Sister Wang
and I were able to teach many people that we met about the restoration
and we got to set return appointments with them! One of my most
memorable lessons was with a lady named Annie! We got a member to come
with us to the teach and we were able to teach Annie and felt the
spirit strongly. Jamal, her little boy, was running around but he was
often keen and keeping silent for the important parts of the lesson.
What was cool too is that Jamal's dad was there and he took the time
to listen. We said hello to him and as we shook his hand, he told us
that he had met us just a week or two ago on on the Main Street next
to the shops. Our memory was brought back and Sister Wang and I
realized how small of a world it was and realized that we did talk to
him earlier! Super cool! It just goes to show that talking to everyone
is very important because you never know who you will run into again.
Annie has accepted to read the Book of Mormon and she is willing to
learn more! The Lord does truly provide. We were able to see a good
number of our friends this previous week and it's a week that I won't
forget. I've been able to see so many tender mercies from the Lord and
I know that He is truly watching over us. This week and past week has
been a series of a reflection over the course of my mission. It's
suddenly hit me that my mission is a lot farther than I want it to be
and I was sad. Being set apart from the world is great and I love it.
I hope to continue to give my all to the Lord in the time I have left
and I know I have much to learn throughout the course of these next
week! I love you all and remember that the time the Lord gives to us
throughout each stage of our lives is precious and we should always
treasure it!
Sister Burtis

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Flood of Miracles :) :)

Nigerian Food
Hello Family and friends! I hope this current month is a good one for
you. For me, it's passing by with flying colours and I can't seem to
grasp where all the time goes. This week has been such a great one and
I'm excited to be able to share some of the miracles and adventures
with you that we got to see! To start out, Sister Wang and I got to go
and explore a palace looking place called the Pavilion. Apparently
it's this really posh and fancy palace that was King George the
fourth's. Sister Wang and I unfortunately didn't get to go inside and
feel majestic and cool because it cost £13 to get in and that was
pretty expensive for the two of us missionaries. We did get to explore
the grounds though because that's open for anyone to see and that was
really fun! The following day, our district got to use the banner
again and go banner contacting in a busy shopping/town area called
Churchill square. I think it's got to do something with Winston
Churchill. The first few people I got talking to included a guy named
Andrew and though he wasn't interested, he asked more about how
missionary work was and about the church. He then asked me if I was
from Ireland. Another person in a matter of two weeks who thought I
was Irish. Oh boy. I think I might be doing lifts or tunes with
particular words or something. I told him I wasn't and he said,
"Surely your parents or family must be Irish!" I laughed and said,
"Nope." I think maybe it's a sign I should move to Ireland or
something in the future. We did get to see lots of success from banner
contacting and we were able to invite lots of people out to a movie
event that we, missionaries, are hosting. We made flyers and got to
hand them out and a lot of people accepted them so I'm excited to see
how this movie night goes. We are planning to show "Meet the Mormons"
in two weeks time. :) I think that's something I've really loved
doing- is being able to help others come to a greater knowledge of
what the Gospel and our church is about. Lots of people who we talk to
say that they have heard of our church but don't know what we are
really about. This week, Sister Wang and I worked to find new
investigators and we did indeed, with the Lord's help, find some.
There were lots of tender mercies here and there from Heavenly Father
to show us how much he is aware of our needs. Sister Wang and I
traveled to an area called Whitehawk and went to contact a friend who
had been taught by missionaries before. We knocked on his door but no
answer. We decided to knock the doors of the side of his house and a
guy named Clive opened the upper house window of his house and looked
down below to where we were standing. "Hello there!" we said to him.
The conversation turned into him asking us to return and talk to us
more about our church and we got excited! Severals steps (or what it
seemed) later, we talked to a guy named Dave and he told us he had
heard about our church and said he wanted to learn more. We set a
return appointment with him and then bid farewell. A few feet away, we
met two more people who were really receptive! God does truly provide!
You can imagine by this evening how big Sister Wang and I's smiles
were :) :) We have so much to thank the Lord for. Throughout the
course of the week, we continued to meet 4 new people who said they
wanted to learn more. One of them was Annie. Sister Wang and I
traveled to an area called Moulscoomb and planned to contact some
friends who had previously met missionaries. We stopped by a lady
named Annie and Annie opened her door. We asked her if she would be
willing to hear our message and she smiled and said yes! Miracle! She
had put her son to bed already so we made an appointment for another
day and we were able to at least share with her some principles that
we believed in. Annie has such a special spirit about her and she was
one of those people that you just feel that this is why we are in the
area at this time. I know God has a great plan for all of his children
and it's all in the timing of Him. Another fun thing that happened
this week was Sister Wang and I traveled to the Sussex University and
stopped by a member and his family's home. This family was baptized in
Nigeria and then moved to Brighton. We knocked on the door and all of
them were home. Not only were they there but also a friend of the
dad's. At first this friend of theirs didn't seem too interested but
as we got sharing our message and doing an activity which involved
participation, we were able to see him soften his heart towards the
idea of listening to our message and eventually he joined in and even
answered some of the questions. At the end of sharing the message, we
got to give him a Book of Mormon which he accepted. The family that we
were visiting had us share the message and the wife invited us to stay
for some dinner. So Sister Wang and I got some proper Nigerian food :D
It was not fufu but something like that- made of wheat and then using
our hands, we'd roll it around and then dip it in a really good sauce!
We also got the traditional chicken. Going to Brighton, I didn't think
I'd be getting African food but England is so diverse and you can
still be a part of many different cultures wherever you go. This week
brought many adventures and lots of miracles! I just love, love, love
this Gospel. One thing I've recently just come to see more and more is
that the Gospel is all about becoming better. There is no getting
worse or having faults when we simply just turn to our Saviour Jesus
Christ and rely on him fully to help us overcome and improve on any
weaknesses. There are times where I may feel inadequate and feel that
perhaps I'm not good enough but without fail, the Lord provides me
knowledge that I'm doing enough for His work. I find joy in the work,
feel love for the people, and I know that I'm becoming what the
Saviour wants me to become and I know that's really all that matters
in the end. Inadequacies and failures in life come but they are just
there to help us to learn and to grow. It's just as I have learned
throughout the course of my mission, the Saviour will never give up on
us, so let's not give up on Him. :) :) Love you all! Have a great
Sister Burtis
  Mission Adventures

 Old Steine & The Pavilion

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Recognizing more of God's love for His children

Another week come and gone so quickly. I loved this past week just as
I have loved all the past weeks of my mission. This particular past
week however just really showed me just how much love you can feel for
Heavenly Father's children. We were able to go to our friend,
Michelle's, home last week. Having been a bit late already and missing
the bus that we were suppose to take, Sister Wang and I literally ran
probably a mile or two to get to Michelle's home. Not to
mention....there was a big huge hill we needed to try and run up. It
was tough. As we got to Michelle's home, panting and breathing heavily
like two dogs who hadn't seen water for days, we got there and
explained to Michelle that we just ran up "Heart-Break" hill which she
laughed at. It was all worth it though to get there at a reasonable
time so we could teach her. We got to teach Michelle about faith and
repentance and the spirit was felt strongly. Michelle-being an elderly
lady-has so much enthusiasm and energy when it comes to living the
gospel. We saw great miracles and Michelle did too. God is good and it
gave me a clear evidence of the power of faith. When we have faith,
anything can be accomplished so long as we are willing to act upon
that faith. A day later, we received a call from Michelle and she
wasn't too happy about something and she even went on to say that she
wasn't sure if she wanted to meet us anymore. You can imagine how
devastating that might have been for my companion and I. Sister Wang,
being out in the field for only so many months, came to realize the
importance of the love that you can feel for these people you meet.
Tears were shed and we felt a sorrow because of the love we felt for
our friend. I realize the sorrow that we as missionaries feel when our
friends might not accept the gospel is a sorrow that our Heavenly
Father probably feels everyday as He sees his children fall away. I'm
sure though that it is much bigger than what my companion and I felt.
I feel such a strong love for these people. It's grown and grown over
the course of my mission and I know that I would give up everything to
run and help these people just as the Saviour would do. The same day
that Michelle told us this, Sister Wang and I were about to get on a
bus and I realized that I didn't have my bus pass. We looked
everywhere and it was no where to be seen. Eventually I got a
replacement and it fairly cheap which was good. Before I got the
replacement bus pass though, we called Michelle and asked if she had
seen it. She mentioned she hadn't and said she'd look for it. An hour
or so later, she called us and said she had looked everywhere and was
worried that I couldn't find it. I told her it was ok and that I would
probably just get another one. Having the chat about the bus pass led
to a conversation on how she was doing. She had thought about it again
and she knew that she loved the gospel and didn't want us not to come
around and teach her so she apologized and we were able to set up a
return appointment! God truly did provide such a miracle that day even
though I lost my bus pass. It just goes to show that little things
that may make us stress or worried may all turn out for the better. :D
The week consisted of many small funny and miraculous moments. One
evening as my companion and I were walking to go and contact a friend,
it was getting dark and also rainy. One thing I've come to learn about
Brighton is that during dark and rainy moments, snails tend to come
out more. It's like the England version of a worm. More worms in Utah
come out when it rains and here, more snails tend to come out on the
sidewalks when it rains. It's probably worse though to have snails and
especially when it's dark. All you try to do is avoid stepping on them
because with snails, you know when you've stepped on one as you hear a
crunch sound. It just sends shivers up my spine just thinking about
it. Sister Wang and I decided to count how many snails there were in a
matter of two minutes on the sidewalk that we were walking on and we
counted 40! Some were in bunches of four, some in a bunch of if to scheme and say, "Hey guys, how do you think we can
get in the ways of people walking? Should we all get closer together
so they have no way of walking around us?" I've learned that here in
Brighton, I need to start talking a flashlight ("torch" as said in
England) every evening that it rains so I can avoid the snails. The
rest of the weekend, we got to see some great miracles. Sister Wang
and I decided to take an hour bus ride out to a place called
Portslade. This particular day it was raining so with umbrellas in
hand, we got off the bus and went to contact a less-active friend. We
walked for quite some time but finally made it to the set of flats
where they lived. As we rang the doorbell to her flat, we quickly
realized the doorbell didn't work. We rang another doorbell and over
the intercom, a lady said, "Hello?" We explained we were trying to
contact our friend and the lady knew her so she said, "I'll let you
in." She unlocked the main door for us and we were able to ascend the
the stairs and knock on the door of the person we were wanting to talk
to. Our less-active friend ended up not being home and a bit bummed
that we traveled all the way, we walked down the stairs and passed a
guy that was going up the stairs. Suddenly, I felt an impression to
stop him and so we did. We asked him if he knew who our friend was and
he said, "Yes. I'm her husband! She doesn't come home till later this
evening though so come back in the evening." The best part of it all
was that he wasn't a member but knew of our church and so we plan to
stop by again to visit the family which we are excited about! :) We
met some great potentials through street contacting, door knocking,
and banner contacting as well. We got to banner contact in a big main
park called the Level and a lot of people came up and asked us about
Christ and our beliefs. Sister Wang and I were able to meet a lady
from Jamaica and she wants to learn more so we have a return
appointment with her and I'm really excited for that. This lady has an
incredible faith in Jesus Christ and when we were talking to her, I
felt that she was truly prepared by Heavenly Father to receive this
message. What an incredible week. To top it all off, Sister Wang and I
got to do a hot pot night with the Chinese elders and some of the
friends being taught. We got to share the message as well afterwards
which went really good. Hot pot is hard to explain but basically it's
all this really good Chinese food put together in a pot of really good
sauce and boiling water. I was given compliments on the use of my
chopsticks so I think I seemed to fit in :) Sister Wang loved it too
because it made her think of all the food back in China. If the food
in China is like the food we had at this hot pot night.....I need to
go to China in the future. It was super fun to learn more about the
Chinese culture. I hope all of you have a great week! Love you lots!
Sister Burtis