Friday, October 28, 2016

"...Eye hath not seen, nor Ear Heard."

Loving the autumn weather! Thankfully it hasn't rained too much this
week :)

Sister Manage, Sister Chand, and I making curry for an investigator.
The rest of the pictures consist of lots of Birthday celebrations,
food, and cake for Sister Manage and her birthday :) Two members each
did a meal for us on her birthday and it was lots of fun. Her
chocolate rose cake was crazy cool!

Got asked to prepare food for 28 missionaries for specialised Zone
Training so we rallied up our team, got the ingredients, and we
(sisters) made Chicken Curry for the Zone Training. It turned out
really good!

Hello my dear family and friends! Staines brings so many adventures.
The autumn time seems to be getting closer and closer to an end but
the red, orange, and yellow leaves continue to remain so hopefully
it'll last just a while longer. Here in Staines, members are so
involved in the missionary work, there are lots of service
opportunities that arise, and lots of miracles are taking place!  I am
so grateful to be a part of this great work. Last week, after our
preparation day, Sister Manage, Sister Chand, and I walked over to the
chapel and had ward correlation with the zone leaders and our ward
mission leader. After that, we were able to meet some members who
showed up for English class and it was fun to get to know them. The
following day, we got to see a returning friend who had been
struggling with some health problems so we were able to go and visit
her. Something I love about being a missionary is being able to reach
out to those in need. There were countless opportunities that we were
able to serve some people this past week and it was amazing. We got to
help a member for a big party she was having and got to cut lots of
vegetables and fruits. Sister Manage then got asked to cook Chicken
Curry for 28 missionaries and we (Sister Chand and I) helped her
prepare it. It was a bit stressful at first having to chop a lot of
onions and garlic and try to blend all the ingredients together but
then we got it all mixed together and cooked. I love learning how to
use raw vegetables and different ingredients to make dishes I've never
made before. Not that I didn't know how to cook before ;) .....but I'm
excited to experiment with more ingredients and try out more dishes.
That same day that we made curry was actually Sister Manage's birthday
and she's not a big fan of birthday parties. Well....she got lots of
celebrations that day. Anyone that knows me knows that I love to throw
parties, celebrate, and have fun. That morning of her birthday, Sister
Chand and I got to scream with love, "Happy Birthday!". Then we did
our studies and got to go with the Zone Leaders-Elder Baum and Elder
Thomas- to pick up lots of ingredients at the store for the chicken
curry. Sister Manage got another "Happy Birthday" sung to by the
elders and then after dropping the ingredients at the chapel, the
three of us sisters headed to an investigator's home. Laura is a lady
we are teaching at the moment and she is amazing. Her and a
enthusiastic member named Dee put together a birthday party for Sister
Manage. That evening, Sister Chand, Sister Manage, and I cooked curry
at the chapel and then a family from the Philippines showed up with
take away and more birthday cake for Sister Manage. Despite all the
celebrations, I think she really enjoyed it. :) We got to teach a guy
named Brother Contrarez this past week. All of his family are members
except him and he seems to have a great desire to learn. He has some
concerns but when we taught him part of the restoration, we could feel
the spirit strongly and he did as well. He says he feels good when
having the missionaries over to teach him and we invited to keep
inviting the spirit into his home by reading the Book of Mormon and
praying to know if it's true. He's so close! He'd be a great member
and we have faith that the Lord will help us see great miracles! We
had Stake Conference this past weekend and it was so good! All talks,
given from various members of the Staines Stake, brought words that
were exactly what I needed. Much of it was talked about becoming
spiritually and temporally self-reliant but also the important of
sacrifice and overcoming trials and challenges. It's amazing how the
Lord seems to be speaking only directly to you at times but then you
realize your brothers and sisters are all around you as well receiving
the revelation that they need. Just recently too, we had specialised
Zone Training with President and Sister Gubler and the assistants. We
got the curry ready and the elders got the rice all ready for lunch
and it turned out really great! Gosh, I just feel so blessed to have
President Gubler as my mission president. I nearly cried when he was
bearing testimony of the divinity of Christ and his love for God's
plan. For many months, I have found myself just sitting and staring at
this great and powerful mission president bringing in the spirit so
strongly and speaking the words that we needed to hear and it made me
sad to know this would be some of my last moments of hearing him speak
to us. Something I loved that President Gubler mentioned was about our
divine potential. He had us turn to 1 Corinthians 2:9 which says: "But
as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have
entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for
them that love him." President Gubler then asked us to think of the
greatest things we had seen, greatest things we had heard in our
lives, and to think of the greatest moments of our lives. Some
missionaries said, "Seeing the ocean when I scuba dived. Seeing the
starry sky in a dark night. Hearing the sound of a baseball against
the bat. Hearing melodic music. Opening my mission call." He then had
us closed our eyes and then asked us to picture what the celestial
kingdom would be like. After a few moments, He asked us, "What did it
look like to you? What did it have there?" We all listed off some
things that came to our mind as we imagined the celestial kingdom and
then President Gubler said, "All the majestic sounds, scenes, and
moments you've had in your life can't even compare to what the
Celestial Kingdom will look like. EYE hath not seen, nor EAR
heard....Can you imagine what it would be like to live with no pain?
No Allergies, no hay fevers, no colds, nothing. Can you imagine what
it will be like to live with those who you love forever and ever? If
you die in faith, your test is done. As long as your willing to give
up everything here to have something even greater. THERE IS NOTHING
that can replace greater than the celestial kingdom. This is what we
can have and this is what God asks us to offer to people today-right
now!" It was all so mind blowing yet so true! President Gubler opened
all of our eyes to the wonderful potential we all have and how
important it was to share it with others! I love this work and I know
that we all have the greatest potential to reach our Heavenly Home.
Let us know give up at any moment despite trials, pains, challenges,
or opposition that we face because there is so much greater things
coming our way if we endure strong and remember that the Saviour is
always with us! I love you! Have a great week everyone!
Sister Burtis

Saturday, October 22, 2016

One more transfer, One more time to move

Gosh, I love this sister so much. Training her was such a precious
gift and I'll never forget the memories that we made together! She
means the world to me and I know that Sister Wang will be such a great
missionary! I miss her already but I know that the Lord has great
plans in store for her and Brighton!

One last district meeting/lunch in Brighton with amazing

Sister Lowry and I!

AddI'm not gonna lie and say that someone painted a picture of me and
Sister Wang but it sure does look like the two of us ;) It's a great
painting representing missionary work!


The two cute Scottish STLs and Sister Wang and I. So sad to
be leaving them.

Such an amazing lady! She's the one in the purple and her little boy
is on the sofa chair. She is someone Sister Wang and I got to teach my
last day in Brighton and she is amazing! I have good hopes for her and
her family :D Sister Wang will continue to teach her with her new
Hello my dear family and friends! Who knew so much can happen in a
week! It was quite eventful and quite fun-filled with miracles,
laughter, and tears as well. Sister Wang and I debated on what to do
for our preparation day last week but didn't really have any clue on
what we could do. We talked to our district to see if we could do a
district preparation day but since there was so much to do, we weren't
able to, so we all decided that we'd be doing it the following week
(little did I know that it would be my last one in Brighton). That
evening Sister Wang and I had two appointments and really looked
forward to meeting with them but as traveled the two homes, one of the
people ended up not being home and the other person gave us a fake
address. Not to worry though because we did the best the make the most
out of the time we had and went to a returning friend's home. This
returning friend expressed interest in being taught again and we were
able to speak to him and his daughter. As we sat there in his home,
they had a huge German shepherd puppy that came up to us and barked
very loudly. Sister Wang nearly jumped out of her seat. The puppy was
looking to play with us so we had to ignore it but wow, his barks were
boisterous. We survived that evening without the dog wanting to jump
all over us and managed to talk to our friend and share some of our
message. That following day, before our last district meeting, we were
preparing a presentation on "Developing the faith to find" when
suddenly the phone rang! President asked me some questions about the
upcoming transfers and sled if I would be willing to help out and move
into a trio in Staines. It took me some time for my head to wrap
around the idea that I could actually be moving for my last transfer.
I told him, I'd go anywhere the Lord needed me to go and that was it.
I broke the news to Sister Wang and she was very sad. Poor girl, she
didn't expect it to happen just like me. We traveled to Sutton to have
our exchange with the sister Training leader, Sister Couper, and her
companion and it was bitter sweet. I loved the many different things I
learned on that exchange but it was sad to know that this was probably
my last time I would be seeing these two Scottish lassies. While on
the exchange, Sister Cassidy and I got to go and do service for a
member. We were able to help with some of the house and the Zone
leaders and us were able to assist in helping with putting up shelves,
etc. We came to find out that one of the Zone leaders would be moving
to the Staines Zone as well in the same ward so it made me feel better
to know that I wasn't alone and that there were missionaries that we
knew. The Brighton ward and district for me has truly become my
family. Sister Wang and I and the elders that served in the Brighton
ward grew and learned so much from the challenges that came our way
and also rejoiced together in the miracles that we saw. Our past
weekend ended with us missionaries holding a football/sports night and
we were able to have some returning friends and former investigators
show up which was really good! As I came to the Brighton ward for the
last time, I truly came to realise just how much I love these people
and how wonderful it was to be in Brighton for some of my mission.
Sister Wang and I saw so many miracles my last couple of days. We were
heading to the chapel to finish up the progress record and when we got
to the chapel, we saw a note on the door that said on the front,
"Important." In it, a guy had written that he was from Spain and that
He wanted to be able to speak with missionaries who spoke Spanish. On
the letter, it included his number and his address from Brighton. What
a cool miracle! Thanks to my two years of Spanish from high school, I
was able to pick out some phrases and got the idea of the message so
we called the Spanish elders and gave them the referral. I've never
really seen that before and it just goes to show at God is really
preparing people. On my last day in Brighton, we got to be able to
teach Philomenia! I'd been waiting for this day for some time. We set
up a teaching time with her and on Sunday, we asked the relief society
if any of them could come with us. One of the YSA sisters who had just
recently returned from her mission, raised her hand, and said she
could go with us to go and teach Philomenia. The best part about it
all was that Philomenia was from Ghana and this other sister was from
Ghana! The member joined us the morning of the teaching and Philomenia
was in. As we shared the message with her, Philomenia would ask us
some questions and she seemed to find answers to what she had asked
about. She was very open-minded, accepted the invite of baptism, and
said too that her daughter was pleading to come to church the other
day! Once again, God is truly preparing the heart of His children. I
was sad that it would be my last time to teach her but I know that
Philomenia can make it and I know she will continue to be taught by
Sister Wang and her new companion. I packed my bags, got everything
ready, and said a painful goodbye to my dear sister, Sister Wang. She
is an angel and I'm grateful the Lord gave me the opportunity to serve
with her. I can imagine that Sister Wang and I were in the pre-earth
life and eagerly anticipated the time that we got to serve together.
Within a blink of an eye, it's now over and I'm sad but I'm so
grateful that we got to learn from each other and grow from the
experiences that we had. As I got to Staines, I met my two sweet
sisters, Sister Manage from Sri Lanka and Sister Chand from Fiji.
Wanna know what that means?! I've now officially not had one American
companion over the course of my entire mission. I guess it's not
something to brag about but I think it's just so cool that all of them
are not even from the same place. I had Sister Schmidt from Germany,
Sister Hamann from Australia, Sister Nguyen from Vietnam, Sister
Fromgren from Norway, Sister Wang from China, and now Sister Manage
from Sri Lanka and Sister Chand from Fiji. I told all of them to let
me come visit them and they agreed so I think I might just be
traveling the world in the near future :) As I arrived to Staines,
everything was very familiar to me. They are familiar to me because
Staines is the first chapel I came to when I first arrived in the
field and also, we've had several mission leadership conferences there
so it wasn't all too foreign for me. That evening, Sister Chand and
Sister Manage told me that we'd be having a Philippiano enrichment
Night with the relief society and it was so fun. A member actually
ended up bring her non-member friend which was really great and I hear
that the Staines ward is very good to do missionary work. We have
several member referrals that we are actually going to be teaching
this week and I'm looking forward to being able to serve around these
people! Overall, this week has been so eventful but also so wonderful!
I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!
Sister Burtis
My new companions:
In the middle is Sister Manage-from Sri Lanka/(Also grew up in
On the right is Sister Chand-from Fiji!
So much fun :)

"Be not weary in well-doing..."

Hello everyone! Goodness, what a week it has been! I was just
discussing the events of the past week with Sister Wang and asking her
what happened last week and as I asked her about certain events, she'd
tell me...."No that was two weeks ago" but indeed, it was just a
couple of days ago. I guess that's always going to be the life of a
missionary. A day will feel like a week. A week will feel like a day.
We were able to stop by a few members last week and are really working
to build unity and increase the work here in Brighton. I loved the
emphasis of members and missionaries working together so we are
excited to continue to do that here in the ward. We got to work with
the young women and young women's president to help us reach out to a
13 year old that we are working with. Her name is Ajoa and she is
really nice! She has been coming to young women's for the past two
weeks now and we are working to teach her and her mom about this
wonderful gospel! :) For young women's, the group of the 6 girls,
us-sister missionaries, and the young women's president got to do
family history. It's been a while for me to do family history so when
we got on the website, I was the one asking the girls what the
different colours or squares meant on the family tree. I also needed
refreshing on all the rules of family history. It was quite fun! We
also got to play get-to-know-you games and it seemed to build a lot of
unity! The members are very good to reach out to the people we are
teaching and are good to friendship any who come to the ward
activities. For most of the week, we've been working to find through
activities. Activities such as young women's/young men's, YSA family
home evening, sports nights, etc. We seem to get a lot of success from
that. A lot of people we talk to hear about our chapel but have never
been to it before so they are quite surprised when they see the
church. Sister Wang and I traveled to a couple of areas this week that
we haven't worked too much in. There was an area called Portslade and
so we went Park finding and street contacting which proved to be quite
successful. There was a lady from Romania whose English was limited
but enough to let us know that she reads the bible and is Christian.
We pointed to our Book of Mormon and asked her if she'd like one in
Romanian. She smiled and said yes so we are excited to be able to stop
by her house this upcoming week and give it to her! We got to park
find and found some few people who were not all too interested but we
felt pretty successful in how many people we got to talk to that day.
As we walked by a tall fence, a soccer ball came flying toward us. We
jumped out of the way to avoid it and behind the fence, we saw two
young boys running up and shouting, "Excuse me! Can you get our ball?"
I picked up their soccer ball and smiling, we told them to be careful
because the next time that happened, there might not be someone to
pick it up for them. One of the boys shouted, "Throw it!" The other
boy yelled, "Kick it!" I thought about it and then decided to kick it
over the fence. I kicked it a bit too hard and it was much farther
past them and into the middle of the playing court. One of the kid's
eyes widened and he looked back where the ball had landed. He turned
back and as he looked to Sister Wang and I, he exclaimed..."That
was....AMAZING!" It sounded somewhat like the little kid on movie "The
Incredibles" when he sees something cool and says, "That was totally
wicked!" It made me and Sister Wang laugh and made our day. The week
continued to be great. We got to knock several streets and found great
success through that. At one particular house, a dad opened the door
and on his shirt, it said-"Proud dad." We smiled and knew how to start
a good conversation with that-- to which he opened up even more and
even got excited and showed us pictures of his daughters on the wall
next to the door. We asked him if we could come back and he said yes!
Miracle! As President Gubler and our mission has emphasised even more
on the season of miracles and a theme of #31, meaning a goal of 31
baptisms for the month of October which has 31 days, we suddenly felt
a greater opposition than we ever have before. We know that the
adversary is doing everything to prevent this work from happening but
we know now for sure that we are truly in the midst of the season of
miracles. This work is hastening! I can feel it! There were a couple
of days this past week where I seemed to have opposition as well.
There were trials and challenges that laid our way but with help from
leaders and people around us, we overcame them and still continued
this work. Following the days after the hard challenges and trials
that seemed like harder than ever before, Sister Wang and I felt
something. We felt the spirit guiding our paths, we felt a sure
knowledge that something great is going to happen! What a blessing it
is to be a part of this great work! Our mission president said it
perfectly, "When you're drowning in fear, doubt, or discouragement,
don't forget that your lifeguard walks on water. We should wake up
with an expectation that it will be a good day, because we have Jesus
Christ on our side!" The rest of the week proved to be wonderful!
Sister Wang got to give a talk on Pioneers this past week in sacrament
meeting and she did a great job. Being from China, she didn't know too
much about pioneers so the both of us got to work on her talk together
and it was a lot of fun. Not only did that happen in church but guess
who came to the Brighton ward!? Sally, the recent convert, from
Clapham! It was so wonderful to be able to embrace her in a big hug
and to see how everything was doing. The Lord does truly provide! He
loves all of us and He will never, ever give up on us! I testify that
this is His work! I love being a part of it and I want to be a part of
it for the rest of my life! Love you all!
Sister Burtis

Sharing the Love of the Saviour!

Hello family and friends! Did you rejoice like me as the countdown for General Conference happened? Each day as Conference drew nearer and nearer, I felt like a little kid waiting for Christmas to happen! This past week was filled with many opportunities to be filled with a spiritual feast. It began with Eastern Zone Conference. Sister Wang and I traveled down early morning to Crawley. There was a meeting for trainers and new missionaries so we went to that which was really good and then the actual conference began. During the trainer's meeting, I was really excited to be able to see Sister Fromgren. As she walked into the room, we both looked at each other with excitement, screamed each other's name, and embraced in a big hug. Reuniting with your past companions is the best. You've been through everything with them and you just truly come to recognise the eternal friendship that you made with them when you see them again after not having seen them for several months. I loved being able to see my old Zone, the Wandsworth Zone, and all the missionaries there. It was great to know that everyone was doing good in that area. Something that Sister Fromgren told me got me really excited. Back in Clapham, Sister Fromgren and I had been knocking a set of doors on a particular street and faced a lot of opposition that day. After many rejections, we had knocked on a door and a lady named Michelle had opened the door and actually let us in. Well later, some anti-Mormon material crossed her paths so she asked us not to come around anymore which was really sad. Sister Fromgren told me that her and her companion decided to try again just recently and she said she wanted to be taught! Apparently one of her friends started investigating so she was curious to learn more. The Lord does truly prepare! We never know to which seeds we may plant! All we can do is open our mouths and share the joy of the gospel! That's something that was really emphasised in our Zone Conference! We got to role-play many different situations and learning how to ask inspired questions, learning to listen, and, how to testify at the right moments. I learned so much and I'm grateful that I got to be a part of that Conference. That evening after Zone Conference, Sister Wang and I got to go to Young Women's because Philimenia (the lady that came to the "Meet the Mormons" movie night) wanted her daughter Ajoa to come. Ajoa came and the young women were so good to friendship her! They got to design t-shirts and it was really fun to be able to answer questions and help them. That evening, Ajoa got a lift home from a member and Philimenia texted us saying, "Thank you so much for the evening! My daughter said that she loved it!" We were so excited by this point and Ajoa plans to come this Thursday which we are excited about. 😀 This past weekend was General Conference and oh how I loved it! I had written some questions down and got many more answers than I had expected. I loved what Neil L. Anderson said about missionary work---> “I suggest that you stop feeling guilty about any insufficiency you think you have in sharing the gospel. Rather, pray… for opportunities. …Please don’t see your efforts to share the love of the Savior with another as a pass/fail test with your grade determined by how your friends respond to your feelings or invitation... With our mortal eyes, we cannot judge the effect of our efforts, nor can we establish the timetable. When you share the love of the Savior with another, your grade is always an A+.” There are many moments where I or other missionaries may have felt we aren't good enough or we can't do this work because of our weaknesses but it's true what Elder Andersen said...our purpose is to share the love of the Saviour with others! It's all my heart yearns to do. I can't wait for these next weeks to be able to share with others the love for this Gospel and what it has done for me. This General Conference is a boost to hasten the work. Members and missionaries can work together to unite and bring our brothers and sisters back home! What are you doing today to help the missionaries in your area? Most importantly, what are you doing today to help the Lord in His great work?  :) I invite all of you to pray for opportunities to seek someone who may be searching for the truth but may not know where to find it. Imagine being in their shoes, without the gospel, a world with no light, no hope, only wondering what will happen after this life. I know this work is true! Something that is crazy is that yesterday, I got an email from the mission telling me I had only 8 weeks left. I consider it the "dreaded" 8 Weeks email and all the missionaries have talked about it in the past. It was weird to get but It gives me a great hope and motivation to work my very hardest and do my very best! In all reality, I feel my mission has only begun. I know that the Lord has many things for me to learn. I'm grateful to be out here serving here in Brighton! I know the people I've met are the people I need to meet and the experiences I've had are the things I needed to experience. I love you all! I hope you have a great week! 
Sister Burtis