Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

December 1, 2015
Firstly I would like to make a quick shout out to the entire family of mine; cousin, sister, uncle, Grandma, and whoever else: THANK YOU ALL!!!
Thanksgiving Dinner:  pollo asado, ensalada de paps, y
torta de la parrilla con Pritty Limon gaseosa
As you can imagine it must be somewhat stressful and also relaxing at the same time to have a loved one out of the country for the holidays. But its ok, we missionaries are only gone for a bit, we will have all time and eternity to spend together.  Remember?  I thank everyone for their support in helping me stay out on a mission and for sharing your lovely testimonies and giving your love in the wonderful cards you all write. I know now that our big family lacks 4 people at the dinner table, but I like to think that every one of my family members don’t mind the extra food they get now from the lack of teenage boys.  ELDERS BUTLER, ANDREW and SIMS, COLLIN, keep going forward!  The language is what will always come last, what comes first is your FAITH and your DILIGENCE in working for the Lord.  I love you both and can’t wait to hear more of your experiences in the MTC and the Field.

I’m thankful for a lot of things, and not as usual where I say general things, I would like to be more specific with what I really am thankful for.

I’m thankful for my awesome Grandparents from both sides of the family.  Every time I can hear that grandma and grandpa are coming over, never ever ever EVER have I once thought that that was a bad thing to hear.  From both the Burkes and the Butler I have always found such great love and great treats when I can have your presence near.

I’m thankful for my family especially.  We are an odd bunch that is true, but never have I found a group of people so happy with one another, and also with the amount of teasing we do that’s always great.  I can always trust in them to help me, cheer me up, and watch all the seasons of LOST together on Netflix and freak out when the end has yet another cliff hanger.

I’m thankful for my country where Freedom really does exist. It’s not just said, but it is done.  With all I have had in my life, I do miss having a country where I feel completely safe and sure that we all will fight for our freedom.  Also the amount of fireworks we use to celebrate it is a plus.

I’m thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  No matter how many times I have literally screwed up with so many bad and incredibly stupid things that I have done in my life, I am grateful that I can be forgiven when I truly repent and change my life.  His gospel and His Atonement is what has made me what I am today and what I will ascend to be tomorrow.

Now onto the week.  We have been teaching many people and we have been spreading the word like butter on fresh hot toast.  But the problem is finding people that are prepared.  It is incredibly hard to be patient.  Why oh why do I have to be patient?  Oh well.  I know that it is what will make me better.  We have been teaching a ton about being obedient to the Lords commandments and doing our best to help our investigators understand that principle.  We have Matias and Agustina, who are doing so much to know that the church is true, but just lack that little last part of taking that step into the baptismal font.  I don’t think that ever in my life have I EXHORTed so much with my testimony.  In Moroni 8:16 it says " Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear."
And I absolutely love it.  It is not saying whatsoever that we have to be harsh or rude in sharing the gospel, or firm, but it shows the power of love.  What parent seeing that their child is in immediate danger, doesn’t yell to save them, to protect them?  Would they feel bad perhaps because their child cries and whines not understanding exactly what could have happened?  No.  Because they know that what they did was out of love and it was to save them. The same principle is applied to all those who are close to spiritual dangers. Will we stand by and not warn our neighbor of the dangers that can enter into their life?  Is it because we may feel awkward and uncomfortable when they don’t like what is the right thing?  It all comes down to showing your true, unfeigned love that you have for others.  I love my brothers and sisters here in this world, and though I am not perfect, I want to be the best protector and guider for them until they can avoid these problems for themselves.  What would you do to save someone?  To help someone in dire need?  Would you go through ridicules, scoffs and scorns even though you did something right?  Have a fear of God, not of man.  Leviticus 25:17

Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the Lord your God.

It gets hard to do the right thing now days, but hang tight to the word of God and know that everything that you do to obey your Heavenly Father will always bring blessings.  Don’t ever change sides because your friends went there; follow Christ not your friends.  So that is what has helped me to teach and help people come unto Christ and to help my testimony grow.

The rest of the mission is now little because we haven’t really received a lot of news this transfer, but it won’t change the miracles that the gospel will bring to the people who are found in the area.  I will be here in Mendoza Al Sur still for the next 6 weeks and we will spend Christmas here!  I’m super happy for that.  Also I am super pumped to start doing all the things of Christmas!  Go and get started with the Christmas mood of service.  If it is possible, I would like to receive two things from a letter from everyone.

1.       What is something that you hope to find this Christmas personally?

2.        What you will do to help someone find the spirit of Christmas this year?

Write me and then go do what you can to bring people to believe in Christ and see how when you do service first, you then receive what you asked for.  Don’t ever think that God isn’t watching all the good you are all doing. Be the difference in Christmas. Get going on it today!

I love you all and can’t wait to hear from all of you what you will write me.

Con Amor Verdadero,

Elder Burke

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