Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I get to stay in Pirane!

Our District
September 8, 2015

Hello world again!

Well Elder Stock and I survived through the transfers and Father and Son will not be separated for at least six more weeks, so we hope!  I was really worried about leaving Piranè because it is a really awesome place to live.  I absolutely love being here and the District is awesome, but there have been some changes.. dun Dun DUN!  Yes, sadly they have taken out the Hermanas from our district and put in Elders, I was so sad honestly, because since the Hermanas were part of our rama (branch) here in Pirane, we normally cooked things for one another.  We would cook the best meat and them the best chipas, oh chipas.  They literally were my little sisters and gave me plenty of sass too being Porteno (From Buenos Aires) and Mexicana (From Mexico if you couldnt figure that out from the MEXICana!), but they were such good hermanas and helped the rama grow so well.  Now we are six elders and a zone without hermanas, like back in Corrientes, so it is possible that we will be having more photos with us doing manly things in our groups.  I have also been demoted from being District Leader (I have mixed feelings of relief and nostalgia about that) and now I am back to being just the Nurse for the area.

Doris was able to be confirmed this last Sunday with the Holy Ghost and it was super great for her.  We ended up fasting before and she never did that before, so she got to experience a new type of spiritual strength.  It was really great and awesome.  She still gives us sass but I guess it’s what happens over time being a missionary;   you become a member of the family and likewise you get to participate in the jokes, be the butt of the joke, and dish out your own at one another.  It’s like being at home for me honestly, it’s so much fun.  It’s incredible to see the character of someone be changed by the gospel and that we become a better and more united family.  The more and more I read the Book of Mormon, the more and more I am being unified to the will of our Heavenly Father and not mine own.

It’s the law of consecration, you give and you receive; you reap what you sow.  The more things I am giving up to follow Christ, the more I am united to His spirit of peace and happiness.  It’s a good trade, being as I really want more of those things not just now, but for my future family.  We constantly have a mindset of "well how is this going to benefit me?"  "What will you do for me?" when actually it should be more along the lines of "How can I help you?" "What can I do for you?"  The unselfish thought leads us to do the extraordinary things that are called miracles.  Unity comes from sacrifice.  Is not the unity of your celestial family more important than your selfish needs?  Of course, it is hard for us to give up the things we love that we do outside our family, that’s why I think it’s called a "Sacrifice".  As missionaries we have our own companions and we help one another see the things we must give up to become more unified, it may be time, our pride, our image, or our little times of relaxation.  But it brings us to be more unified.  I promise that blessings come from those sacrifices.  Has not our Heavenly Father given us His only Begotten as the greatest Sacrifice of all?  And look at the glory He receives now and forever because of it.  His family can be eternal, we can live with him.  So never be afraid to give up things for your family, whether it is personal habits, work, desires, or hobbies; the family relationships that are built will carry on throughout the eternities.   I can remember the many sacrifices that were made by my family, both parents and siblings, and the memories, the unity, and trust I will always have with them.
Back with Elder Correa for divisions

Throughout the week we had a fun time visiting a ton of people and dealing with a lot of last minute situations!  I went on Divisions as a District leader to be with my dear old friend from my first area Fontana (Chaco), Elder Correa!  We had a blast catching up with one another in his area Fontana (Formosa).  You can say its coincidence, but I like to think that God has a great sense of humor as well. ja ja.  But we went to his area that it really way out in the boonies, we walked forever and I said to him that we should follow this road that looked like it went to nowhere, and we ended up finding a new family who was ready to receive the gospel! Miracle? Yes!  Also we went to their colony which was crazy.  It was more of a follow the tribal leader to see where he will take you.  We talked to a lot of families.  I saw a huge horned goat!  And for the first time in over a year, I saw the stars, unrestricted to show their light because there was no other light there in the colony.  I almost cried at their majesty. How I have missed being in nature and being as close to the heavens as I can possibly get without a temple.
The road we thought was to nowhere- we find a family
ready to receive the gospel

It’s my solemn bond testimony that Jesus Christ is our Lord and King, one in which unites the world under His solid white banner.  I’ve given up so many things and still I have much to give to him and my God.  I know times get hard, when we can’t see one another for so long that it hurts, but it is through Christ that we may be united once again, never to be separated and never out of reach.  It is through the great atoning sacrifice of Christ that we may be saved, after having done all that we can.  I share my testimony humbly in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Burke

The colony

Elder Correa and I hitting it up in Fontana

Our mission prep class with our missionaries
"Behold the field is white and ready to Harvest"

Eduardo (our investigator) 

cocinamos hamburguesas y tuvimos pepas

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Doris Lopez

August 31, 2015        
Alright let’s get this letter started right....
Doris' Baptism- Elder Burke, Gabriel, Doris, Juana, Elder Stock
That is correct, Doris our investigator got baptized!!! Can I get a Booya up in here? She was super nervous to be baptized but also sure that she was going to be doing something right by starting her journey in following Christ. She couldn’t be confirmed because we had a stake conference (see later on in letter) that was in Formosa Capital and she couldn’t pay for a bus pass, nor could many people.  But not to worry, we have this Sunday si o si!!! The baptismal service was super awesome.  Sure it was in a small building on a super-hot day, the baptismal dress for her came literally two hours before we started.  It was shipped from the elders in Ibarreta (Thanks elder Abernathy) by bus to us at the station.  (Just the missionaries doing their contraband dealing using the bus system.) “What are we smuggling? The things for salvation that’s what!” ja ja!  Not to mention the baptismal pool once again ran out of water… so Elder Stock and I quickly topped the rest off, by filling up buckets of water and walking all the way through the church to the other side.  Did that for a little bit.  But what can I say, I have never had a baptism where everything bad was happening before they could get baptized.  But still we managed to pull off everything.

Gabriel and Doris
It was beautiful that Gabriel (Doris´ brother) could baptize her and be worthy to do it.  He was nervous but said the words right, but needed to dunk his sister a little deeper.  He had no problem with doing that part the second time ;) ha ha.  But if you could see the smiles on their faces and the happiness everyone was feeling, you wouldn’t have cared if the church was nothing but a grass hut.  It doesn’t matter what you have, rich or poor, the spirit touches people who are seeking and following Christ.  I absolutely love also that her mom Juana came and one of the members is an old friend with her, and he said to her “when you are ready, I´m gonna baptize you!”.  Yeah our ward is small, but it’s filled with awesome people.  Elder Stock and I sang for Doris and the rest of the people “La Oracion del Profeta” but to “Come thou fount”- dude it was amazing to see how good we sang, because we could feel the spirit so strong.

Having fun in Formosa with
Hermanas Paima and Cueva
I don’t exactly have my pin drive with me because the Hermanas stole it (Borrowed with permission, but I like to frame the Hermanas sometimes (ja ja), but for the celebration of our P day today, I cooked a really good asado (BBQ) and of course when the Hermanas caught wind that I was going to be cooking, I made them a portion as well.  It was really good and I do enjoy being District leader, even though I am in charge of them and the other elders, they all like to give me sass, especially the Hermanas... it’s like having a sister again ;)  ja ja- miss you Brianna!  But, I do enjoy having my district.  I’m hoping to stay in one area for more than one transfer. I don’t like moving around, because normally after three months you know everyone and they are your best friend. I hope I can have more time here in Pirane!


Oh, also remember that guy I baptized for the Hermanas? Santiago.  Yeah we are teaching his son Eduard and he is awesome.  He is seeing his dad as a completely different man and wants to know why.  He’s awesome and loves it when we teach him English! ja ja! We are planning on him getting baptized here on the 19th of September. We will see what happens!  I love this gospel.

If you have had an awesome spiritual experience with anything, be sure to write it down, but also (if you can) think about serving a mission; every day is a spiritual experience and it’s the best in the world.  If you’re in doubt, pray to God and ask Him if that is what He needs you to do.  Don’t pass up a mission! I still remember the words of a dear friend, who has sadly passed away, “Every day I wish that I could have served a mission, don’t pass it up!”  To this day I am grateful to have a scout leader named John Pettit who was just one of hundreds of people who told me the importance of the mission.  Don’t be scared to serve, JUST DO IT.  Then you can thank everyone and me for telling you to do it.

I love you all como siempre,

Que tengan lo mejor semana!


Elder Burke

A talking llama!!  Talking llama?  Where?!!

Divisions with Elder Vasquez in Ibarreta

Everyone was sick in Ibarreta so I made them Argentine
Chicken Noodle Soup!