Monday, October 26, 2015

Follow Impressions

October 26, 2015

Hola cha amigos y cha amigas!  Ojala que estén bien! Paramuy contento aca en Corrientes y no puedo esperar a ver todo de mis nuevos adventuras esta translado!
New Zone, New Faces
Elders Toledo, Trumbo, Diaz, Me, Stokc, Peters, Felkins, Gonzolaz
So basically there are some pretty awesome stories that you can get to hear this time as being I have plenty of time to write.  Where do I start?

So let us begin by thanking Sandra Gomez who is just the best helper to the missionaries in the world.  She came back from Chile, when I was here the first time in Mendoza Al Sur, and she helped us a ton then too.  We went to visit many people who we have been teaching and she invites them to come to activities, offers her help in everything, and really is doing it because she wants to.  I was thinking of all the blessings she must be receiving the more she is helping us.  Wow.  It also made me more accepting of when I get home and how I can still be a great influence for the missionary work and helping those in need with the missionaries.  While we were walking to another appointment, Elder Montero said to Sandra that she has to show us how it is done contacting someone as a Hermana.  She said ok.  So you would think that she would go talk to whichever person, no, we ended up almost to our appointment until we passed by a nice lady with her dog and like a bullet fired from a gun, she stopped and talked to her.  It was amazing because we all felt the spirit give us the impression that we should talk to her after she greeted us.  And Sandra with her awesome spiritual sensitivity, she was on the ball.  This Lady was super interested and was actually very excited to talk to us, when we go to her house this Tuesday.  She’s been helping us a lot and it’s just one person who is doing a lot of work, that’s what happens to those who go on a mission and serve it well, they don’t stop being missionaries.  Their fire and passion never die.  I can’t imagine what it would be like if we had just three Sandras, or 5 or even 8!  The whole game would be changed and we can talk to more people and bring more people unto Christ!  Booya!

Miracle story:  so as we were walking from a lesson to another, I have had a lot of time in this area so I know it like the back of my hand, I decided to take yet again another short cut as I always do with my companions here and get there in a different way.  I found it weird that I would pick it like that, but more than anything I know now it was an impression to go down that way.  Elder Montero asked me if I knew where I was going, and as usual he gets the confirmation of the yes when we get to where we need to go.  So as we were passing by a couple of homes that wouldn’t have been in our way in any other route, this lady calls for us to come over to her.  So we stopped and went to her and she told us that her daughter was baptized and that her daughter saw us and wants to talk to us.  The daughter’s name is Celena and she is 9.  She is probably the biggest example of faith I will ever find in my entire life.  I have never seen a daughter of God know so much for her age and express her love for the savior by inviting others to come to know of the happiness we have.  We were going to teach her something the next day when we were in her house, but I basically asked her if she wants to be a missionary?  Her smile was super big and said she would love that.  So we taught her better ways of inviting her friends or family to come to know more things about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  She is so freaking adorable and awesome.  She will change lives because she honestly changed mine.

Now for the best one, I think.  Being a worker in the vineyard of the Lord, you come to know many people the longer you are in an area.  That being said we were walking in the street and walked into the daughter of Rosa Flores.  Well, she called to us to come to her.  She told us that she had come to see her mom again, because she remembered my face and remembered that all we were doing there was to help her mother.  She told us that and said come see her tomorrow morning.  We told her that the last time we talked with her she said she didn’t want any trouble because her daughter literally hates us with a passion and takes it out on her mom.  But we did what she asked and found Rosa outside with her ex-husband and we just started talking and she told us of what she had felt before and how she was really missing that feeling.  She missed us and we convinced her that she can trust in God and everything will work out in the end.  Life literally is like that.  There are over thousands of problems that surround us every day and when we push through it all, with faith that God is guiding us to a safe harbor, we always make it there in the end.  I am super excited to help Hermana Rosa Flores get back on the path to being baptized.

Other than that there has been a lot of rain!  Hopefully you guys are all well, safe, and happy, if not I’m willing to talk to whoever needs help :)


Elder Burke
Our new zone!

la costanero

la costanero (the coast)

Finally found cheap strawberries!!
Yummy with sugar!!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Alma Chapters 18-24

October 20, 2015

Well... where to start...

Me and Elder Montero
So there are many things that have happened over this last week and the most will probably bring a lot of questions of my well-being.  However, I would like to say that I am alright and well.  There is nothing better than being a missionary here in Argentina and I will never stop doing my duty to help those in need and preach repentance to the people.

As we were in a trio with Elder Montero, Coates and I, we have been trying to work as one for the last week of Elder Coates.  He’s already flying home right now as I am writing, or is waiting in an airport anxiously waiting.  And that is what we have done.  We are visiting many people, and there are a lot here, in all of Mendoza al Sur.  Well for starters we were robbed.  It was actually pretty different from what I would imagine a robbing would be, but seeing as we are in an area where crime is pretty high, well you just have to deal with it.  As we were going down to see Alejandra in her house at 5 o clock in the day, I was talking a call from an Elder who was sick and we were walking in between the houses and then came from behind two teenage punks.  One was 14 the other 17 I think and basically the 17 year-old went for Elder Montero and Coates and the 14 year-old for me.  The kid tried to take the phone from my hand but I put it up in the air and told him no and he couldn’t get it from me, being tall and all as I am.  He then told me he would kill me with the stick that he had.  I pushed him off and scared him off by yelling at him to beat it.  The other guy took the phone from Elder Montero and then from behind me he ripped off my backpack and they took off running.  We left un-hurt with nothing that was of important value.  We kept on walking down the road and told the cops, but as usual they don’t help a lot.  But we are learning more about how to navigate here in the parts I don’t know.   It gets dangerous at night a lot but we manage to pass by without harm

I don’t share this story to boast of my actions, or to have people feel sorry for us or to worry, I in fact hope to show the power of God manifested as he protects every single one of his obedient and humble missionaries.  I love this area and I will still be here with elder Montero as we go, as the only two now, in our huge area.  We are always being smart and safe and knowing that our backpacks act as our Kevlar for these times of calamity.  I do not wish to hear any type of remarks as to if I am ok, or if we need to be moved.  God put me here and I’m staying till He relieves me of my duty.  It really has helped me understand more of the stories of Ammon and Aaron in the Book of Mormon.   I’m actually reading those parts right now and their success in changing the hearts of people that sought to take their lives.  I’m just fine, as I was before, and we are going to help a lot of people.

So we have an awesome investigator of Elder Lourenco when he was here without me.  His name is Matias.  He is 18 years old and is seeing the changes of the gospel of Jesus Christ in his life.  He used to sleep in forever and not do much, but his aunts told us that they are seeing a difference with him as he got up early to go to church.  We taught the word of wisdom to him and his aunts and they really liked how we as followers of Christ don’t drink Alcohol, Coffee, or Tea, and we don’t smoke or take illegal drugs.  I love explaining this to people because as I worked in the Hospital ER I could see the end results that always come from talking drugs and alcohol or tobacco.  Honestly they are beyond destructive of your physical body, but they destroy who you really are and who you can become if you don’t stop taking it.  What’s more important for you as a family?  Going out and being drunk and possibly not making home alive to your family?  Does smoking just a couple of cigarettes lower the chance of you getting lung cancer?  Being a mother and drinking before you have a kid can harm the chances of your infant growing up to be healthy.  A father who loses control and loses the confidence of his wife and kids as he hurts them physically and verbally?  I honestly am tormented with so much sadness as I see people throw away what they can be when they rely on such substances and take them without a care, and sadly they know fully of the dangers that can obliterate their entire world.  But being a missionary I helped explain and will always tell, that even if you are and addict or have already suffered from the deadly effects of these harsh substances, Christ’s atonement gives us the second chance to stop and change course.  He also gives people the power to move forward and to avoid relapsing.  Matias is awesome and will be baptized here hopefully on the 31st of October.  That’s the birthday of my companion Elder Montero!  ja ja Happy Birthday!

There are a lot of changes in the mission as now I am the only nurse here and I may be taking calls from the Hermanas (sisters) soon.  We will see what happens.  Other than that, we are looking hard for new people and trying to work with progressing investigators.

I love you all as always and love all the photos that you send me! Take care!

Elder Burke

Jorge and Dalma

Noche de goar (FHE) con presidente

Kiara es tan linda!

Dulce de mammon

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Family History

October 12, 2015

Well seeing as it is almost Mother’s Day here in Argentina...,. Happy Mother’s day mom! ja ja well I won’t be able to call like last time so you’ll have to wait till Christmas. I know I’m mean. ;)

Elder Burke (aka mission nurse) hard at work!
So this last week was another crazy blast of excitement and new things.  We first off had interviews with President Franco in the church, close by the coast in Corrientes.  It was just me and elder Stock because we weren’t able to do the interviews from the emergency transfers we had a couple of weeks ago.  They were good and he gave me a new book for the program of Swiss medical that has all the doctors in Chaco, Corrientes and Formosa.  So, it’s making my work as a mission nurse much easier.  Elder stock and I caught up with one another and told the funny stories of what has been going on lately.  He’s having a harder time with his new companion and adjusting, poor guy.  He’s already had a new companion almost every transfer, he’s constantly changing.

Teaching how to find your ancestors!
Me and Great-grandpa Butler
We had a new thing that we did this last Saturday where we all were invited to do a family history center in the district building.  There were a ton of decorations and a ton of members putting everything together.  They specifically told us missionaries that we are not to teach anything about the church and only help people get a good understanding on the website FAMILSEARCH.COM.  It was absolutely a blast, and even though it rained, a good amount of people came to the activity. We had a lot of food and it was basically a museum.  I got to be one of the explainers of how to put your information on family search.  I used my own family tree to show them examples.  It was cool because it’s been awhile since the last time I have used it and they have made a ton of changes to it.  I showed them my great grandparents and it was super cool.  There were two stories that happened.  One was this member who was back from her mission for a couple of years still didn’t know how to get started.  I personally helped her find out that her name and password was the same as she had used for her mission code!  So when I could show her, her own family tree she got really excited and wanted to know everything.  Afterwards an investigator of the Hermanas was passing along and this investigator told me that she never knew that the church did things like this.  She has had missionaries visit her family for 30 years and she was visiting the church center for the first time and she was very impressed!  Also her son was getting baptized that night!  She received a great new way for her to connect herself to her ancestors and also feel the spirit strong.  I was super happy to get to know them and help them out.

Being as we are in Mendoza Al Sur, we have very dangerous areas that we are learning to avoid by experience at night.  We went to visit Alejandra and we were very blessed by God that we could get to her house and also walk in her subdivision without any really bad things happening.  I guess there is a combination of two things, the power of the Lord and the guidance of the Spirit.  We are constantly guided to avoid areas that are dangerous or we receive and impression to go down a different road.  Also when I have read the stories of Ammon and also of Peter from the Bible, they are constantly in danger and there are so many circumstances that they are in as witnesses of Christ and missionaries. There are a lot of bad things that happen to them, but they leave from the flames unquenched nor burnt, but with true manifestations that Heavenly Father is on their side.  And that’s how I have felt these past two days.  Don’t ever worry about what will happen, because if you are with the spirit and worthy of it, you will be protected by the will of the Father. Oh I love my Heavenly Father for protecting my family and also my companions and I from the dangers of this world.
Mission nurse responsibilities

Love you all! See you next week!
Elder Burke

Family History Center Night

"I think a mustache looks good on me"

Awesome massage chairs
shopping at the mall on p-day

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Oh, How I love Conference

October 5, 2015

An incredible amount of the spirit was brought about in my life as we were able to do so many things. I can always remember clearly the moments when I have felt the spirit and how it has changed my life forever.  Before sharing my comments on the past week, I want to share my favorite talks from this conference from:

1. Elder Holland. The Love of Mothers.

2. Elder Nelson. The Power of the Woman.

3. Elder Uchtdorf. Truth is Always Plane and Simple.

Baptism of Alejandra
 Elders Munoz, Coates, Alejandra, Pres. Zarur, Elders Montero, Burke
Now for the week. We had a baptism of a lovely mother called Alejandra and we are working on having her confirmed for the next Sunday.  She was happy and even happier to find that the water was warm and not cold for her baptism.  It was very good and now that Elder Muñoz knows that I can sing, he helps me use my talents to invite the spirit.  So I sang I’m trying to be like Jesus for her baptism.  We will be working with her kids and husband to being baptized as well.  I cannot wait for that moment.

Movie night- Meet the Mormons
Before that we had Friday night movie night!  We watched "Meet the Mormons" and sadly we didn’t have as much as we were hoping for.  It’s because it rained a little bit, and nobody normally leaves their house if there is a little rain.  But, we had over thirty people which was awesome!  I was super happy to have that.  I hosted the movie and helped warm up the crowd to being ready to see the movie and when we ended, the spirit guided me to speak mightily and truthfully about the gospel of Jesus Christ and its help in bringing the family to being something that will never have an expiration date.  It was so thick that I could feel it in my veins.  I invited all of them to share their experiences more on Facebook, and to be ready to share their story to those who want to know more about the church.

Elders Allred and Burke at General Conference
We had the wonderful opportunity to watch conference, which is basically the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the World Cup combined for the Missionaries.  I love Conference and I am shocked at how I didn’t really listen to it when I was at home.  I am now sad at probably the many instances for spiritual growth I have missed out on, but we are truly lucky to have the internet to bring us back these great, spirit filled talks.  We watched attentively and the Gringo Elders went to the English Room, there is just something about hearing the real voice of someone talking and not a translator.  I’m happy I can now listen to two different languages and increase my ability to talk to more of my brothers and sisters.  I will not be planning on stopping at Spanish.  We got to see three new apostles called and their testimonies were very strong.  I am excited to learn from their experiences and hear the spirit testify through them as they are now special witnesses of The Christ.

This week has been going different as I am looking continually for all the old people I have taught and inviting them again to come unto Christ.  It talks a lot about how Christ, more than once, returned to a certain city in his mortal ministry, and how I can imagine the people must feel to see the difference when the Savior is around and when he isn’t.  I can just imagine the amount of people who didn’t accept his message the first time, but later changed their minds and followed him when he came back.  Is that not what happens to us in this life?  Do we not at some point regret our decisions to not follow Christ the first time or change our minds later down the road? Well that is where the Atonement truly shows its magnificence.  We are constantly invited to the kingdom of God, not just once, not just twice, but continually throughout our life.  Because our Heavenly Father TRUELY does indeed love every one of his children.  The amount of second chances we get is miraculous and has helped me see the greater value of my very soul.  So having that perspective, we have been visiting Magdalena again and some other people.  I have so much excitement to be working again with these people and inviting them unto Christ!

So a funny part of being a missionary and returning to an area you were in before is that everyone here has told me that I have gotten taller and I am even more skinny.  They say that I am really skinny.  I guess that’s what Formosa does to you when you have to walk at least 6 miles a day and cook 6 times a day during the week.  Man it’s been a change to not cook so much and have a ton to eat with the members.  I am working back to getting bigger again so I don’t scare my family and friends when I get back home.  ja ja.

If you are at all sad, alone, or need a miracle, talk to your Father in Heaven who is ever waiting for you to acknowledge that you need him and He needs you to know you are loved.  Pray, it’s literally the greatest thing that changes it all.  May the Holy Ghost, the Great Comforter, bring you peace to your heart during these hard trials in your life.

Elder Burke

Hermana Mara, Irina, me and Ricardo

Happy almost Halloween

Elder Coates and I

The Lord of the Vineyard: Return of the Elder

September 29, 2015 

 In every crazy and incredible moment of my life, I can truly say that the Lord of our Vineyard, the Captain at the Helm, and dear shepherd does truly guide us to His lost sheep and knows every, single one.  Never forget that every decision that you make in life, that is good, will be guided by His hand, and that every small and seemingly "unimportant" part is meant to be there.  So, if you are in a pickle or are struggling, don’t worry, because it’s part of the plan and you will be fine.  Hold on, don’t leave the boat.  It’s always darkest before the dawn, that’s why Christ suffered before He was resurrected and that’s why Joseph smith struggled with the adversary before seeing the first vision. The greatest and brightest light always comes after passing through darkness.

I will start by telling a great story that happened to us.  First off, Elder Stock and I went out just like any other day with plans to see a lot of people and to find new people to teach.  Well we went to a street in a small subdivision where there is a street called the 1st of May.  Well we had like three people we planned to see and so we went to the first.  I noticed that there was a young woman going door to door selling posters.  We passed her once while we were going to the house of an investigator, but they weren’t there... dang it!  So we went looking for an inactive whose direction was on the far end of the street where we came from.  So we went in that direction and we passed the girl who was selling these posters again.  When we found the house of the inactive they told us that they were already dead but their family lives down on the other part of the street where we just came from but further down.  A little frustrated we walked again to the other side of this long road and we passed the girl yet again.  So, when we found the house... they weren’t there.  Ok well there went our plans for the morning (there were other people we tried to see before as well).  So I felt the impression to stay on the street and contact, my companion as well.  So we made our way back to where we were contacting and nobody wanted anything, then came the Idea... talk to the woman selling the posters.  But seeing as she is going door to door selling stuff it would be awkward to go to her while she is selling stuff and even be waiting like a creep for her to pass to the next house.  So being smart we just went contacting door to door slowly but surely intending to cross paths.  The thing is with us being young, out of country residents of Argentina, is that a lot of people make the rumor that we are here for the woman.  So as you can see the amount of fear we have to talk to young women who are pretty, can lead to dumb rumors.  But I obeyed the promptings of the spirit and when we crossed paths it was probably one of the greatest manifestations that God does know what is happening in your life.  The very beautiful young woman told us that she was a member but hasn’t been going to church lately.  She’s selling posters for money and is from a different providence in Argentina that is very far away.  She didn’t feel comfortable in the church, in fact she feels alone.  No one talked to her and she wasn’t going to church.  To be in Pirane as a missionary and to find someone who needs your help that day, who is just passing through for a few days, is like having a rescue ship looking for a small raft to save in the middle of the ocean... with no quardanantes, nor a sense of direction, only the guidance of a higher power.  She said she needed to talk to the elders and needed to go back to church.  We both testified to her that we were guided to her and that there are no such things as coincidences.

Me and Elders Montero, Coates and Munoz
Big news... I’M BACK IN MENDOZA AL SUR, CORRIENTES!!!! Yes that is right we were Emergency transferred, and now there are only two elders in Pirane.  I’m bummed because Hermana Laura, is getting ready for her baptism on the 10th, but we know she will be fine with Elder Zuniga and Elder Montes.  I was completely shocked to receive a call from Pres. and hear "Elder Burke you are going back to Mendoza Al Sur Corrientes".  I was so excited and bummed out because I’m going back to my favorite area in Corrientes, but also now I’m leaving Doris and Gabriel and so many other awesome people.  The hardest thing of being a missionary is the amount of goodbyes you have to give.  There are times where I wonder if I will ever see every one of them again.  Facebook nor emails nor letters can create the love that a missionary, a member, a brother that is formed during our stay here in the places where we are.  I miss everyone, including my family.  But I’ve gotten to the point where I know now what will it be like when I go home.  Excited to leave to a known area called home but in doing so... we leave our other home.  It is so hard.  So we said goodbyes and packed and left in the morning.  Gabriel was there and we talked for forever. I will miss him as one of my best friends.  I couldn’t talk to Doris face to face nor call her, but at least I could let her have a letter.  I’ll miss them.

Elders Montero, Burke, Sandra, Elders Munoz and Coates
So we are a giant area here in Mendoza al sur because it’s one area.  But with four elders we are trying to do everything.  Elder Munoz will be leaving after conference this Sunday and then Elder Coates from Utah, Elder Montero and I will be in a trio until Coates goes home at the end of this transfer.  So it’s all weird but we are having fun and preparing a woman named Alejanda to be baptized and then later her kids.  Also we did an open house right when I got here for the church. Everyone was super happy to see me and I got to see Juan and Pedro again!!!  Oh my gosh!!!  I was so happy and crying to see so many friends.  Also Pres. Zarur was happy, well not to see me, because he’s blind, but to hear my voice again. ja ja.  This week we are preparing people to see the movie "Meet the Mormons", then Conference, and also a baptism in between! ja ja!  Woohoo!  This week is gonna be awesome and a ton of sweeeeeet.

Love to hear from everyone and to see how y’all are doing.  Love you!
Elder Burke
Minecraft Selfie

We only have one mattress na chiste (joking) ja ja!

Ate the lizard whole!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Do good unto others as you would have done to you

So happy I got my hat back- Elder Briceno is happy too!
September 21, 2015

Ok... where to start....

So as usual we are kicking it hard here in Pirane, but even harder as we have to walk in the heat of almost summer.  It gets to about 42 C (107.6 F) here... and summer is in December... and everyone says that this isn’t anything.  But luckily I have received my lucky hat that I bought in Saenz Peña from Elder Goycochea in my old area of Clorinda.  I’m so freaking happy to have my hat back!!!

Zone meeting- Asada and mashed potatoes after
So this last week we had the Zone meeting, it was pretty good seeing as at the end of it I got to cook an asado for everyone (BBQ) with ribs and mashed potatoes.  I bought 11Kgs (24 lbs) of potatoes at a great price of 50 pesos.  Think of a lot of potatoes... and times that by two.  Because that still isn’t a ton, but for the amount of elders (there were 12) it was good.  It was funny because there is an Elder that is huge and freaking a tank, properly named Elder Sargent.  Dude is a military type and loves to eat, so as I was mashing potatoes in the kitchen of the Church he comes up to me and gives me a big hug and says "Burke you´re my favorite" and then puts me back down on my feet.   It’s easy to be loved when you give them boys’ food.  I think I understand fully now the expression of “the way to a man´s heart is through is stomach”.  But I love doing it and if I get praise... well shucks guys thanks :D. But we also learned a lot during the meeting of how we need to be striving to baptize.

What we talked about a lot was becoming better missionaries and bringing others unto Christ through faith in Christ´s atonement, repentance, and then baptism.  We talked about how we must be bold in calling people to repentance and that we need to be defenders of good.  It´s like one of my favorite quotes said by Edmund Burke "The only way that bad will ever win, is if good men do nothing."  I´ve come to see the importance of doing good at all times, and being very direct with love to show the light.  We don’t get visits from Christ or angels, like on the road to Damascus for Saul, or as did Alma the younger.  But in these last days that doesn’t mean that we can´t appear to someone and speak with a voice of thunder to bring good tidings of great joy.  To invite people unto Christ is to invite people to change.  Of course, they are gonna have second thoughts and doubts.  Of course they will feel uncomfortable. To change is exactly that: to leave your comfort zone.  But as always, the change that the Savior works in the hearts of men only brings never ending joy and security.  So I learned a lot and now we are working with the village drunk, as of yesterday, to see if we can convince him and help him change, for he told us that he wanted it so.

We also did a service project for the famous Tucan!  I wrote about him a couple months ago, he is the coolest leather man I have ever met, a bit of a haggler, but still I figured that he needed help.  He had a huge concrete pole outside of his house that he wanted to use for his house.  The only problem is that it weighs over 1000 lbs and there were only six of us.  But was that a problem? NO. So we made a system with logs to roll and pull and push this freaking monster through his window and to the other side of his house.  It was definitely a really cool experience and a whole lot of work, but we did it.  A lot of the missionaries in the mission do orders from him so they can receive cool things like belts and cases for scriptures, but they were kind of stupid and gave him money before they got anything.  He’s definitely sleazy, but at the same time I feel that instead of being like every other missionary who talks to him solely about business, we could serve him and show him that Missionaries come to treat those who are sick, not those who are already healthy.  A good missionary serves everyone; a greater missionary serves even his "enemy".  It was good to see him happy that we could help and even though he probably won’t be going to church soon, he´ll remember the small act of kindness we did for him and when it comes his time, he will understand the truthfulness of our message.

FHE with familia Lopez
Yummy french toast we made for FHE
We had a successful Noche de Hogar (FHE) with Doris and Gabriel.  We had a lot of people there and even an investigator named Eli. I feel bad for her because her brother and sister were baptized and want to go to church but they don’t really have a supportive family.  We are working on talking more with the parents and helping them around the house.  Their mom yells a ton and it’s mostly because she has a bad knee right now.  I get what she’s feeling.  It’s hard to be patient when you are hurting all the time.  Reminds me of my back.  But anyways, they came to the Noche de Hogar and man was it fun.  We didn’t teach anything and Gabriel was a boss and guided the whole thing and the other members of the rama came too.  We got to see an amazing group bond together and it wasn’t the missionaries trying to do everything.  That’s when relationships between members and investigators become strong.  So we cooked up french toast and the rest was theirs.

Always do your best with what you got.  The more I live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the happier are the people who are surrounding me.  It’s helping me bring about good in the world, and it does the same for everyone else.  I hope everyone enjoys these letters, because as in 7 days, its T-minus 9 months.  It’s flying!!!

Elder Burke

Huge service project for Tucan
Got it through the window and into the house
moving 1000 lbs concrete pole 

VICTORY!!  We did it

Being a gaucho and all!

When ye are found in the service of your fellow beings…

September 14, 2015

First off, I hope that when everyone reads these experiences, I hope that they can know that they are true and that also they are lessons that can be applied to one’s life; not just to the one who is experiencing them.  I love all the letters that you all write me and I try to answer them all!  Hopefully it is enough!  
This week has been such a blast and I can’t wait to tell you guys in person one day of all the experiences I have received here in the mission.  In this episode of Elder Burke: Argentina Resistencia Mission, we find many things different since we last heard from Elder Burke.  One is the change in climate which indeed affects the work or attitude of Elder Burke; two- he is really sore from the amounts of physical labor he has been doing, and three- he is narrating in the third person for your entertainment.
De Elder Burke y Vasquez
The weather yes, has indeed been the most fun thing in the world here.  It for some reason went from super humid to super dry... so when the sun goes down the heat that was placed into the ground leaves faster so it has been fluctuating between 40 degrees Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius (104- 84 F), it’s been so cold and so hot all in one day!  And it keeps happening. I am wearing my gloves, beanie, two layered coat to bed with socks (I don’t like sleeping with socks on so that was a minus) and was still cold!  Then When I get to the middle of the day I am dying of heat so I walk around in my short button up shirt, and then it drops back down.  Talk about uncomfortable.  But as usual I like to save these moments to remind friends and family later on in life, possible future children as well, that "back in ARG. I survived it all!" So don’t tell me that you hate life because your computer froze for an hour and had to resort to living without technology! ja ja.  Na it won’t be like that, but I do have a higher appreciation for the small things I had before:   a car, a nice bed, an air conditioned house, carpet, a lawn mower, running water that was filtered and safe to drink, etc, etc.

Well so as the introduction was found, yes we have done a butt load of service this past week, three of our days were filled with cutting grass with machetes, pulling weeds, clearing out the mountains of trash found in the yards of people.  Shoveling, raking, and enjoying being pasty white for the sun to burn you!  But in the end, the best satisfaction is that you indeed helped someone feel important and loved. Also through one of our service projects, we brought a new investigator to feel the spirit strong!  So, while I did divisions with another elder two weeks ago, Elder Stock found a family to teach while I was gone.  This last week we went to find them and teach them.  We found the family there and their daughter who is a single mom of 30.  She came from her house a couple of blocks away and got to know us and hear what we share with all the family.  Her name is Laura.  She said she is investigating the Jehovah Witnesses church and is looking around because she hasn’t been baptized yet and she said she’s looking into that.  I think Heavenly Father was setting this one up just perfect.  When we ended the lesson on the Plan of Salvation, we asked her if we could do some service for her at her house.  She told us that she has a back yard that needs tending, so she accepted and said that we could pass by the next day.  We were very punctual when we got to her house and that it impressed her so much to let us start right away.  We cleaned the back yard of her house and got to cut some of her grass.  The thing sometimes is people throw their trash into other peoples yards and well basically she had a lot of glass bottles thrown into her back yard, which makes it pretty dangerous for her 5 year old son and 2 year old daughter.  When we were cleaning it she asked how much she had to pay us.  You should have seen her face when we told her she will never end up paying us… EVER.  We could only be there for 45 minutes but we got a lot done.  We ended with a prayer and I noticed that she had some tears in her eyes.  She didn’t say anything, but asked if we would still be passing by her parents’ house to teach, we said yes.  She said that if she wasn’t there that night, she would see us at the church.

We were pretty sad at church, Elder Stock and I, because we tried so hard to get people to come but no one came.  As we were in the second hour of church we got to see Laura!  She came and brought her kids and the entire branch was so loving and helped her feel right at home!  She got there for the last two hours and had a lot of questions answered and could feel the spirit very strong.  It was the best miracle for us to see the fruits of service!!!  She’s awesome and the members are already taking down her information and are gonna visit her with us this week.

We have been working endlessly, following the counsel of President Franco who said "Never be satisfied with where you are, there is always something more you can do."  It hit pretty hard for us but it’s a new mindset that I like, I won’t stop moving- to better my teaching or my understanding on how to bring people to the truth.  It’s something that can be applied to anything, if you say I am not satisfied, work to make it better; there is always something more you can do!  And the rewards are the best feelings of accomplishment and a never ceasing drive to do good unto others.

Love you all!
Elder Burke

P.S. Next episode on Elder Burke: Argentina Resistencia Mission

Elder Burke and Elder Stock have constructed a triple deckered pizza pie, can they eat all of it? Tune in next time!