Saturday, August 23, 2014

Last P-day!! (In the MTC)

August 19, 2014

Qué tal familia y amigos?!

So this last week has been awesome, as it should be.  ha ha!  So Elder Pace and I have been teaching our progressing investigator for two weeks now and we love to teach him!  He accepted to be baptized and it was all the spirit. When we taught him about how when we follow the teachings of the prophets (The seers that see into the future like Harry Potter, Levi's first impression.. lol) we come closer to God.  We feel his love the most when we follow the example of Jesus Christ and we are happier.  The spirit took over and Elder Pace and I went back and forth and it was so spiritual because I saw in his eyes that he wanted to be baptized.  It was there. Some of you may be thinking that how can that be?  It's just practice and he's just acting.  No it's not.  Sure they may pretend that they aren't interested or not members, but you feel the spirit when you teach truth, whether they are a member or not.  So we are going about asking to teach other people but we only have a couple days left until we leave! 

I'm so excited!  I'm gonna get to Argentina and not know what to do!  It's gonna be awesome!  Estoy muy animado!  Aye Chiwawa!  We are just getting into the kitty pool right now but we will be in the deep end on Monday!  Elder Black was with us for two weeks because his visa wasn't ready. He is one of my favorite elders here besides Gowans and Pace.  He is in the intermediate Spanish class and is so much better than me when speaking Spanish! So last Friday we were with Hermano Pliler and he was teaching us about how to teach the word of Wisdom and the class next to us needed a teacher.  So he taught all 22 of us in a pool house.  Elder Black was being an investigator and he asked one of the other class (they were only one week in to the mission as beginners) Hermanas to teach first.  She did good for a beginner and then he asked me to teach.  It was awesome to see how much I have improved in just 5 weeks of Spanish!  It was awesome to teach and express why it's important to not drink, smoke, chew, take harmful drugs, and other addictive substances in Spanish!  I asked Elder Black what I could improve on after wards and he was very helpful.

We will be gone in 6 days!  Ah! I'm so excited!  The people of Argentina will hopefully like the tall, white gringo, that can't speak Spanish missionary and hear what the Lord wants us to say.  I want anyone who can to send pictures before Saturday this week so that I can show the people of Argentina that I have a beautiful family and great friends and only want them to have that same feeling of happiness the gospel and temple has given me.

Today was probably my last day to use a temple for the entire time I'm on my mission :( sad.  But I will tell you this, I felt the spirit there and I want you to know that the temple is the most important place to be with your families.  Sometimes we take for granted that we have so many in the Utah valley and that we can go whenever we want, but it's important to keep going whenever you can.  It reminded me that Families can be together forever.  I see it every time in the celestial room.  If you can go to the temple with friends or family once a month do it, and see how it makes your life so much better. 

El envangelio de Jesucristo es defasil para entender a primero, pero yo se que él nos ama. Yo amo mi familia y mi mejores amigos, y no hablo perfecto español, se que por medio Jesucristo, todas las cosas son posible.


Elder Burke

P.S.  Send Printed Pictures today if you want them to get to me while I'm still in america

                                   Elder Matacia, Sister Housley, Me, Elder Reynoso (Parkour missionary)

                                        Elder Pace, Foy, Neilson, Ott, Hanson and Burke
                                    Heading to Argentina Monday excited!!

                               "The most beautiful sunrises that I wake up to at the MTC"

Que Grande!!

August 12, 2014 (Week 4- MTC)

Hola Familia y amigos!

So this week was really awesome! Oh just so many stories to tell and I only have an hour to write them! So here goes nothing!

So we have been teaching every day in Spanish, of course, and it just keeps getting better and better! The spirit is so strong when you stop and listen to it. Most times when you prepare to teach someone you study, pray really hard what to teach, and rehearse and practice what you will be saying. I have learned that yes, all of that is necessary for you to be prepared to teach the gospel, but it's important to know that you should be ready to focus on the needs of the investigator. We walked in ready to teach Israel (Barffuss) about the sacrament but, he instead had his BOM (Book of Mormon) and was even more interested in our message this time! Last time we taught him about how to feel the Holy Ghost and he said he drinks a little bit.  I don't know why this all happened the way it did, but I told him that "If you want to feel the spirit always you need to stop drinking" in that discussion. He quit it and wanted to do more so we ended up teaching about gaining our own testimonies for this lesson! Que Grande! The spirit led us through the discussion and he never wanted to read the BOM before until now! 

Second story was from Friday with Levi. He was interested in the BOM and brought the one from his uncle's house. So we were surprised! He asked why the BOM is important to me.  Elder Pace and I shared how we could obviously read from the BOM about the history of the Americas but that's not what it's about.  It's a second witness and testament of Christ!  The Book of Mormon is the teaching of prophets that were called of God to help guide us back to our Heavenly Father.  We showed him a scripture about how God calls prophets and gives them the priesthood to do His work.  In the scripture it said that Prophets are "Seers", Levi took that literal and explained to us that it sounded like the prophets could see into the future with mystic powers! Ha ha ha! Elder Pace was having a hard time because at first we were wondering what he was saying because we didn't know the word "Seer" in Spanish. He was making a motion with a crystal ball motion and saying "oh like Harry Potter" and stuff, so I whipped out the Bible Dictionary and that saved us sooooo much time in explanation. It was awesome because we then got to talk about the Priesthood and tell him how God gives authority to those he calls. He concluded that "there are tons of churches popping up everywhere and sometimes it seems like they mean good and others it's just for money" and other things. He found out through our best attempts of explaining in Spanish that if God had a church set upon the earth that it would be the exact same as the one Christ organized when he was on the earth. So we told him to pray to know if what we were saying was true and we both bore our testimonies.  It was miraculous! So much spiritual power when you testify of the Gospel and Truth!

So another funny story that happened this morning at 3 AM.  An Elder was leaving for Canada (Spanish speaking) at 2:30 and he stayed with our Zone leaders in the apartment complex next to us.  So a security guard came in yelling "SECURITY" and I woke up looked up and he was asking me where Elder Russel was.  I said "El está en el otro cuarto." (He's in the other room) as I was pointing. He looked at me and I said it three times in Spanish until I realized that I was speaking Spanish! I said sorry then spoke in English to help him.  So there is the gift of tongues for you!

Sunday was just the best!  Oh man!  So go onto and watch the video on how the gospel saved a man's life. Our speaker brought up two missionaries that he picked from the crowd that were a part of the group that were people who didn't know who God really was. They told us their conversion stories and the spirit was tangible.  It's Absolutely a remarkable thing when people find God and recognize how even when we ignore him how he is still there.  He lives.  I know He does. Every trial and feeling of Joy I have received in this life has been from Him, and it has only made me love deeper, become stronger, and overcome everything I have ever faced in life. He gave me my family.  My friends.  Every person who ever inspired me to be better.  It's all from Him.  If you don't believe He isn't there then just pray.  Pray and see what happens when you try to find God.  He's closer than you'd expect. 

I will always share my testimony and always love because when I am left with nothing, I still have that.  I exhort all who read this to read from the Book of Mormon Alma 32:26-37, or just pray.  Ask whether God is there, because the moment you want to find him, he will show himself to you in the very things you see every day.  As always I love every one of you who reads this message- LDS member or not.


Elder Burke
                                                       "I can fit in the cupboards in my room"

                                          Snake in the MTC west campus- Garden of Eden

                                                          Elder Mauri and Elder Burke

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Missionary Life for Me!

August 5, 2014 (week 3- MTC)

Hola Mundo!

Hey, so we are having so much fun here in the MTC! We are teaching, studying, and learning every day! We have been teaching new people who are supposedly members but they don't act like it. Yesterday we were teaching a new guy named Levi. We came into the room got to know him for a bit and basically went over the entire restoration and all. We didn't do so well on getting to know him and such, so of course, we were having the hardest time ever with applying the gospel to his needs. We were so nervous and everything but when we said the "First Vision" in Spanish the spirit filled the room! It was just awesome! There is so much power that comes from a testimony when you bear it and when you rely completely on the spirit to help you teach a lesson. 

So our new teacher, Hermano Pliler, is a returned Missionary from Argentina. I have never met such a goof man in all my life, but he has a heart of pure love. He is goofy when he teaches us, but makes it fun for us to learn and to grow. Stress is good, but so is relaxing for a bit. He is my favorite- mainly because he loves Jesus Christ and the Gospel we teach. You see it in his character and in his eyes as he shares his testimony. He is such an awesome teacher and he reminds me so much of Alex, my brother. He has a brother and they both teach here at the MTC and are so goofy together. Made me miss my brother as well, but also made me cherish even more the brothers I now have made! Elders Pace, Black, Mosteller, Nealson, Anderson, Foy, Ott, Seamons, Gowans, James, and Hanson. Please send Argentina pins for them mom! 

So last week after I wrote you all about going to listen to Elder Groberg! I guess Michael got to meet him face to face and I was so jealous! As he talked to us, he told us the importance of bearing your testimony. It is truly one of the greatest things that you can do to inspire those around you and invite the spirit. You cannot teach, preach, or share the gospel unless you have a firm testimony about the gospel yourself first. The greatest person you could ever convert is yourself. Read, Pray, Serve, Love and you will feel the spirit in your lives. You will recognize God's hands in every little thing - to those you talk to and to those you help. We learned even more as he showed us clips from the movie and we sang 'Hurrah for Israel!" to him. It reminded me of the day I was leaving from Lake Powell and all my family did the same thing. I learned not just how to be a better missionary, but a better person. People wake up and realize that this Gospel, this Church is here to only make you better. If you ever have doubts on whether or not this is true you will know for sure that this is what you are all meant to do when you read the Book of Mormon. Read Moroni 10:3-5. Read the last two paragraphs of the introduction. In the words of Jeffery R. Holland "The Book of Mormon has been attacked and ridiculed since the dawn of it's creation... It cannot be disproved." 

Brothers and sisters, family members and friends, I have never in my life felt so much love from the savior when I have been giving out as much love as I can. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. They know me, love me, and only want me to be Joyful in my life. I know that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet. I know that the more I read the Book of Mormon and the Bible I come closer to My Celestial father and I only feel the greatest when I pray to him. And above all else I know that I love each and every one of you; everyone who reads this and whomever hasn't.

Never turn down a chance to make people happier by sharing the gospel.

I love you all!


Elder Burke
                                                   Me and my companion- Elder Pace

                                    District with our instructor -Hermano Lee (his last day)
   "So, since Satan is upping his arsenal for the battle of souls, they upped our arsenal as well"

Segundo Cemana!

July 29, 2014 (week 2-MTC)

Hola! Comó estan mi familia y amigos?

Ha ha so anyways, I am having a great second week here at the CCM (MTC) and we finished teaching Nicolas our mock investigator, turns out he is our new Teacher! It's crazy! ha ha! He is so awesome but sadly he has only one week with us until he has to resign from the MTC (apparently you can only work for three years there). So he has been teaching us super spiritual and funny stuff about his mission and the things we need to learn about the gospel! But not to worry, we have a new teacher who is in training, and just got back from his mission two months ago! His name is Hermano Plilar and he is super funny! He has the Shya sounding Spanish that we will be speaking in Argentina ! It's so hard to understand him sometimes because he will be talking super-fast and we are like "mas despacio por favor!" (Please slow down!) ha ha! 

So we were playing futbol (soccer) last Thursday with some Latinos and me and this other elder collided our feet together and I got a nasty bone bruise! Yeah I was limping around after that.  I figured it would be alright in the morning. Poor Elder Pace had to wait for me when we were going places. The next day (Friday) It was still hurting bad so I went to the doctor to get it checked out so I didn't have a bad time with the Argentina Doctors! So I got crutches and they helped so much! My foot is much better and it's not broken! I am walking normal so that is good! But the game of futbol we played on Thursday against the Latino team was hilarious! Us gringos thought we were going to get our butts kicked hard but we literally reenacted the Brazil vs Germany game in the world cup, so go gringos! I also found out from Hermano Lee that Futbol to Argentina is literally life for everyone- so I may come back rooting for Argentina in the next World Cup!

We are loving every minute of studying here in the MTC and we are obviously becoming super weird. We laugh at everything most of the time. Hermano Barfuss and the other teachers talk about some funny moments when new Spanish speakers were teaching a lesson to them. Example: nosotros tenemos un massaje por usted! (We have a massage for you!) It's supposed to be Mensaje (Message) so we were laughing super hard at that. Another one is you never say Estoy Bueno! It does not mean “I'm good”. It means "I'm sexually attractive!" It's Estoy bien you want to say. Ha ha it was super funny! Hermano Barfuss loves all of us, but is mostly straight and to the point when it comes to learning a new language. We haven't heard him say anything in English except someone's name or OK. But the majority of the time I can understand what my teachers are saying- so that setting apart blessing really is working!

So as you probably already have heard from Elder Butler, we are going to listen to ELDER GROBERG from "The Other Side of Heaven" for our devotional tonight!!! Gah I'm so excited!!! WE are going to be singing in the choir so Elder Butler and I might be next to each other when we sing to him! So Elder Butler and I are the best “where's Waldo” players in the world. Every time I am on Main Campus we find each other within at least 5 minutes! It's really a blessing for both of us because other Elders have their "friends" but we've got family! Sister Mckee was at the Tuesday devotional last week also, but sadly she is gone for this one.  Sad. but I did get pictures with us three family members! So hopefully the computers will be nice to me and let me load pictures! 

So spiritual thought for the Week watch 

It's Gordon B. Hinckley Talking about forgiveness and all the wonderful merits that come from having hope in being forgiven. For those who read and feel alone or that they are scared to admit fault watch this and feel the spirit. I know that as all of us come to rely on our Savior's Atonement we come closer to realizing just how much hope we can have for being better. As always I love each and every one of you and only wish the best of luck and the best of feelings for your happiness as we go through life. Heavenly Father gave his only Begotten Son Jesus Christ so that we may have hope for being something greater.

Sincerely with Love,  

Elder Taylor Burke
                                                       My District at the Temple

                                        Elder Burke, Sister Holly McKee and Elder Butler

                                                           Elder Burke and Elder Diaz

Fear Not, I am With Thee

July 22, 2014 (week 1- MTC)

Hello everyone! 

So it has been almost a full week and so much has happened! Gah! It is awesome!

 So I have to start with saying that I am so happy to be back in the MTC! It is the greatest spiritual places close to the temple and church! So the first day we got here and of course I had to pretend that I don't know anything but it was so good! Still the same as before! I'm at the west campus with all the Spanish speakers! There are 12 Elders in my district! Muy Loco! We are all in one classroom! See the pictures to get a better idea of how small our classroom is! My companion is great! His name is Elder Pace and he is from Highland UT! He just graduated from Lone Peak HS and is a Lacrosse player! Awesome, right?? He is so spiritual and such a good companion! We study all day to teach our first investigator "Nicolas" as you can probably guess the language is a barrier for teaching but surprising the spirit gets past those barriers when we are in tune with it! So we already have had him read some of the Book of Mormon and taught him how to pray! We teach him Manana en Manana (Tomorrow morning) about feeling the Holy Ghost and the restored Priesthood on the earth.

Another cool story is that you all already know that I found Elder Butler in the Main MTC campus in just one and a half days! Ha! I am good at playing where’s Waldo- I guess! But to understand what a tender mercy it was for us I'll tell you the proceedings of the day. My companion and I had to go to the MTC to see the Vaccine people because there were some problems with his vaccinations. So we were already late to get to the appointment and we had to wait at the bus stop for 40 minutes to get there! I was thinking that this was going to be forever! So when we got off the bus and into the main MTC Campus I was walking to the building and lo and behold, "ELDER BUTLER!!!" I ran up and tackled him with the same equivalent force of four generations of family hugs (Malia is the fourth generation I would presume if she could hug) and crushed his body and spirit with love! He told me today (Yes I saw him again in the MTC Cafeteria, next story) that that day he was late to class and feeling very home sick and I must have answered his prayers as I took his breath away with my bear hug! What a tender mercy because once we got to the Vaccine place... they said everything was fine! So I look at that time as being able to see family and deliver the promised hugs (You're welcome Toni ;))

So today was our Temple Day and P Day so I got to go to Provo's Temple! It was so nice to be inside my favorite place in the world. It was good for me to go today and then go straight to the MTC Main Campus for lunch. They have so much food there it's awesome! We got bacon cheese burgers! Mmmmm... BACON! And I got to talk with Holly and Michael at the same time!!! It was great! The Spirit... Family... Bacon! Today is just a good day and I don't know who will teach us today but I hope it will be an apostle of the Lord! On Sunday's devotional we heard from the movie writer T.C. Christensen and of course talked about pioneer week and the pioneers! It's like a big holiday here I think ha ha. 

So the message I would love to tell you all is the one in the subject title: Fear not I am with Thee. Over the past 6 day in here I have relied more on the spirit than ever before. The amount of studying can be nerve racking as we try to teach in Spanish and face the hardships of missing families and loved ones. I miss all of you but I will be staying out for two years guaranteed! God is with us in everything. From the creations he has made for us to the people we see every day. Never feel that you are ever alone. In our first discussion on the first day there were 50 elders in one room teaching Jorge (in English). He was suffering depression that was the result of losing his 11 year old son. Elders all passed the spirit around saying how prayer could help, it was just what we all felt was right. Not right after they finished teaching him how to pray I said "May we pray to show you an example?" there weren't my words though! I realized that the spirit was leading me as all 50 of us bowed our heads in prayer. The spirit was so strong in that room that tears were flowing out of my eyes but my speech did not stutter once. I was overcome with the spirit and prayed for Jorge to be helped and to let him know his son was ok. 50 elders and Jorge felt the spirit there and there was no denying it. I can testify this to you now: God is real. He is in everything and is always with you and will give you blessings in your life when you turn to him. Love him and have faith in him to give you the answers to your prayers and questions. The power of the Holy Ghost is real. And if you ever fear that he won't want to be there for you whether you are wanting to know more about Him or if you are teaching about Him, don't He will be there, always. 

As always strive to do what is right and be like Christ, It will only bless you and those around you. I love and miss you all! If you want to send me emails on here go ahead, we go and print them out on the main campus on Tuesdays or use I would love to hear how all of you are doing and what is going on in your life!


Elder Burke                              
                                          Elder Taylor Burke and Elder Michael Butler