Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pictures from Thailand

Oh Thailand I love you. So beautiful out here. It took us an hour bike ride to get to the members house but so worth it. This place is so BEAUTIFUL! 

Honestly the sanitary issues are real, but you just have to forget about it. SO MANY FLIES ON FOOD HERE. Eventually I'll just have to start eating them.

Roasting fish at a members home. One of the Elders ate the fish's eye ball. 

Happy New Year from Thailand

Happy New Year from THAILAND!
It was so great to be able to skype home on Christmas! One of the hardest parts for me is not being able to tell everyone everything about all the experiences I am having in very much detail. There is just so much to tell! I guess you will all have to wait for the extended addition of these stories after I get home. 
So after 3 weeks in Thailand I guess you could say I'm pretty much a native now. Except for the fact that I still can't speak Thai, and am still very white. Which I am constantly reminded of multiple times a day at the amount of people that stare as I walk by. So no worries, everyone, not ever am I going to be mistaken for a khon Thai. But yeah other than the fact that I am not anywhere close to being khon Thai, I am pretty much a native. 555 (by the way "555" means HAHA in Thai"). My trainer and I have finally figured out the area, and found the best places to eat and invite! Which are pretty much the only places you really need to know where they are, and the church of course. The members are incredible. The RC's (recent converts) here are so amazing and we have so much fun! They are all so willing to help us teach which is a blessing. I love teaching, and as much as it pains me to say it. I actually have come to really love inviting too. Sister Alley and I have so much fun just trying to talk to random people in Thai, and have them laugh at us. A blonde and a redhead! How foreign can you get?? 555. But anyways. I have figured out how to actually have conversations with people. I may not really know what they are saying, but I can at least get by which is saying a lot because the first week I couldn't even fake it. Which is essentially what you have to do. Fake it till you make it. You know you were successful when you get through an entire conversation and the person leaves thinking you speak Thai! 555. That is the best feeling. Another great experience I had this week was actually at church on Sunday.
I love Sundays because they are so relaxing. I get to just fake my way through playing piano, and partake of the Sacrament. Oh and listen to a bunch of talks, and lessons in Thai that I don't understand. It's pretty chill actually. This Sunday was especially good though. We had an investigator show up to church that we had contacted the night before and he was willing to learn more! We gave him a Book of Mormon after church and explained how to pray and he said he would start! That is one of my favorite things about being a missionary. Teaching people how to pray and hearing them, most of them for the first time, pray out loud. They are the most simple prayers you have ever heard, with the most simple language, but the Spirit is felt so strongly in that moment. You can feel of the power prayer really has. Sometime's I think we take it for granted how familiar we are with prayer that those powerful feelings get dulled. I love the reminder I get at just how special an experience it is that we get to personally have a conversation with our Heavenly Father whenever we want. So many of my personal spiritual experiences in my life have come because of prayer, which is what makes teaching others to pray one of my favorite things. Another amazing experience we had was after church when we were reviewing the Restoration lesson with one of our RC's. He was baptized on the Monday before I got here, so around 3 weeks ago, and we have been working with him ever since. He actually just received the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday, which was great! Anyways, as we were reviewing the lesson we got on the topic of the Atonement. I felt the need to share a few scriptures that I had recently found in my personal study about the reason the Savior had to die. I shared Heleman 14:15 which says, "For behold, he surely must die that salvation may come; yea, it behooveth him and becometh expedient that he dieth, to bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, that thereby men may be brought into the presence of the Lord." and after we spent a few minutes explaining more about the Atonement, light entered his eyes, and his countenance changed from confusion to understanding. You could see the Spirit working in him and testifying of truth. It was incredible. I followed with D&C 19:16-19 and let him read the Savior's own account of the Atonement. It was so powerful and the Spirit was so strong. I take this knowledge I have so much for granted it's crazy. Even the simplest of truths are unknown by so many people. Especially here in Thailand. Just the concept that we have a loving Heavenly Father is foreign. I am so blessed with the opportunity to share these simple truths every single day with people I meet. I can't say very much in Thai, but I can say the basics, and honestly that is all these people can understand right now. Which is a blessing for me because it gives me an opportunity to participate and feel apart of their conversion process. It strengthens my testimony to see the power of the Holy Ghost work in their lives. I could do this work forever. And I will! 
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year!! 
It's already been 2015 here for hours, and you're missing out so hurry and catch up!! ;)
Love you all so much! 

~Sister Burbank

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Thailand pictures

        My new bike

    Missionaries in my district
 Our new house

Sweet bikes

Christmas Pagent

Our home pictures below

First week in Thailand

I MADE IT! At this point I have no idea where to start. So why don't I just start at the beginning??? 

Monday (Dec. 8th)
The last day at the MTC was probably the most unmemorable day in a LONG time. It almost feels like it didn't happen. Essentially, we got all our bags packed and just headed out! We left at around 11:30 am and never looked back. The first interaction we had with non-missionaries was on the MAX train thing which took us to the SLC Airport. A group of us were just sitting by our luggage when this man walked onto the train. He took one glance, and all he could say was: "Oh look, it's the God Squad". I literally laughed for like 10 min. After that I realized just how weird I am going to be perceived for the next 16 months! And I love it. It is one of the most amusing things being a missionary and just seeing how people react to you initially. The rest of this day is a blur. We got to LA after a short flight and then hung out in the LA Airport for around 7 hours. Saw Kanye West, no big deal, and then embarked on what would be the LONGEST flight of my entire life.

Tuesday/Wednesday (Dec. 9th/Dec.10th)
The flight to Hong Kong honestly doesn't feel like it even happened. One second I was in America, the next I was in Asia. Except it felt like ALOT more than a second. The only insight I can give is that I was sitting in between Elder Bunker, and Elder Darby the whole flight. And I got to know them very well. Now do I remember anything I got to know about them? No. But I know it happened. I think....Maybe it was all a dream. Who knows. Everything is such a blur!! 
--Fast Forward--
Made it to Thailand!!!! Finally. Met President Senior and his wife. They are the coolest people I have ever met. I love them!! You all saw the video I am sure, so you have a good grasp at what happened next. We ate some real Thai food with B. Wisan, which was SO good, then later he brought sticky rice and mango just for the 4 Sisters. ;) He told us not to tell any of the Elders, so make sure you keep the secret. It was amazing though. The food here is THE BEST THING EVER. We had dinner at Pres. Seniors house, and it was so cute. Delaney, you would love their little house. It is the most adorable thing ever. I guess it is technically an apartment, but either way. It is SO CUTE. I wish I got a picture.

Thursday (Dec. 11th)
TRANSFERS! So Wednesday night we slept in a hotel by the mission office, and had Thai food for breakfast. So that was awesome. They don't really have breakfast food here. You just eat whatever, whenever. Which works for me. Then we took the bus to transfers. We had a little meeting with President and Sister Senior and then got our assignments and companions!! Everyone probably already knows where I am going but in case you don't. I am assigned to serve in Phitsanulok. I could try to spell it in Thai, but I would butcher it, so I won't. But anyways, Phitsanulok is a small city about 6 hours north of Bangkok, and it is in the Chiang Mai zone. Everyone calls it the hottest place you could possibly get sent in Thailand. So I got lucky, because it is December, and it actually just feels really great. It's not as humid as Bangkok. I love the weather here. It is so beautiful and NOT COLD!! Utah is just way too cold. Now for my companion and trainer. SISTER ALLEY! She is 24 and already graduated from college. She is from Spokane, WA, and just the most nicest person you will ever meet. She went to the MTC in June. So she was Rina's Phii Thai. Which is insane that she is already a trainer. She has only been in the country for 4 months, and has never served outside of Bangkok, so we are both very lost. All the time. Our first day, we didn't know how to get anywhere, and we had no idea what we were doing. We took a bus after transfers to the area, and arrived at around 3am. So we pretty much woke up, and didn't even know where we lived. 

Friday (Dec. 12th)
Our first full day in the area. WEIRD!!! This was the weirdest day of my entire life. Both Sister Alley and I have no idea what we are doing. We could lie, and fake our way through and say we know, but we actually don't. Not even a clue. I speak NO THAI (real Thai that is, I don't know what we learned in the MTC but it's not Thai), and Sister Alley speaks a little. So just the fact that we could call one of the members and have them help us go buy bikes was a miracle. Then once we had bikes, we were able to figure out where the church was and then based our exploration off of how close it was to the church. The church is essentially home base. The rest of the day was just a struggle trying to figure out how things work here. The area was just barely opened back up for Sister's the transfer before this one. So all the records are either very old, or very scarce. There really was not a lot to work with. We were able to figure out there was a Christmas party Friday night at the church, though. So we thought that would be a good use of our time. We needed to start getting to know people. One of the first person we met was Sister Som. She is AWESOME. I still haven't figured out how old she is but I think she is around 18. She is so incredibly nice and I do not know what I would do without her. She doesn't really speak English, but we can communicate okay. Funny thing about the Christmas party though. They were putting on a nativity pageant (really small one because the ward has only about 50 members and only about 20 showed up). But anyways, they didn't have anyone to play the piano, because all the Elders and Sisters that could play left. So guess who the task fell on? Yeah. ME. They threw me straight into sight reading 5 Christmas songs to play in their program. I didn't even understand when they told me to play them. So I just waited until it got all awkward and quiet and took that as my cue to start the next song. And like most of you know, I can't really sight read that well, so I only really played the right hand. It was hilarious. The whole thing was just so cute. Trying to pull off this small Christmas program. After that awkwardness, a bunch of members came up to me and said how great it was, and thanked me for playing. I just stared at them, partially because I didn't really understand anything else they said, and partially because I was dumb founded that anyone would call my pour excuse for sight reading "great". Many mistakes were made, and it honestly was just terrible. But in the end, that's not what at all mattered. I had fun laughing at myself, and no one really cared whether I could play or not. They were just happy they had a chance to see their kids sing in a Christmas program. 

Saturday (Dec. 13th)
We had sports day with the members in the ward! We went to a park and played basketball with the youth and the other Elders in the area. That was a lot of fun. It was nice to get more acquainted with everyone. One of the biggest struggles has been just trying to get to know everyone. And speaking Thai is also another struggle. Inviting is so hard when you don't understand what is going on. But we do it everyday regardless! Saturday is kind of a blur. I can't really remember what happened. All I know is that I am so tired, all the time. The jet lag is real.

Sunday (Dec. 14th)
Another fun day full of confusion, and forced piano playing. Also, to add to the mix I got the great opportunity to bare my testimony in Thai for the Branch. That was interesting. Not only can the members not understand my English, they really can't understand my Thai either. But we both try! haha. Honestly, the first few days here have just been full of humbling experiences. I feel like I got thrown onto a desert island and told to build a ski resort. Where there isn't even snow. I have faced every single one of my fears that I have ever had in my entire life in these short first few days, and I am accomplishing things that I never thought I could ever do. Like ride a bike a long side eight lanes of highway traffic. They don't really have cross walks here either, or rules for that matter. Everyone goes wherever, whenever they want. I am honestly shocked I haven't got hit by a car yet. Anyways, everyday is hard. Waking up is hard. Going to sleep is hard. Thinking is hard. Showering is hard (yes, the water is freezing cold). Inviting in a language you don't know is hard. Playing piano when you can't is hard. Teaching lessons is hard, when neither you or your companion can really speak the language. You make a fool out of yourself so often its routine. You question why in the world you thought you could do this in the first place constantly. But when it is all said and done. None of that matters. Because of one khon Thai by the name of เบิร์ด. For typing sake I will call him Bud. So here's the story about Bud. He is around 18 years old, and he was on a list of potential investigators the other sisters from the area left us. He had not been contacted yet so we gave him a call. He agreed to come to church on Sunday and seemed very excited about it. Church starts at 9 am and when 9 am rolled around. Bud was no where to be seen. We didn't lose faith though, and good thing too because at 9:30 am, he finally showed up. We were busy with our RC though so I actually didn't get a chance to talk to him until after church. We decided to have a small lesson with him and introduce the Book of Mormon and give him a Restoration pamphlet to read. We also taught him how to pray. Then things took an unexpected turn. After we asked him to pray out loud, we somehow got on the topic of Baptism. There isn't a whole lot I can say in Thai, but something I can do is extend the Baptismal invitation so Sister Alley looked at me and asked me to do that. So I looked at Bud and said everything I know how, and to my astonishment, he said yes. In that moment, everything I had felt was hard about a mission flooded out of my body. I looked at this innocent 18 year old khon Thai that just wanted to know the truth. All the heart ache was replaced with love for this one child of God, and I realized why none of the hard things about a mission matter. I realized why I served in the first place. Up until this point of my mission, in theory I knew that I loved all of God's children and I wanted to help them, but something became very real when I put a name and a face to that all encompassing statement of "God's children". It's not just God's children, but that one child. I am here to help the one. Now each and every day, that one person I help will change, but I know that when I individualize each opportunity I have to teach. And when I put my whole heart and soul into every single person I come in contact with; that person will be able to feel the spirit of Christ from me. Suddenly, a person who claims to not know Christ will recognize Him. They will hear the words "will you follow the EXAMPLE of Jesus Christ and be baptized" and accept because it is familiar to them. At no other time in my life will I be able to say I am a full-time representative of Jesus Christ, and I intend to treasure every opportunity I have to say that. 

I love my Savior so very much. And I could not do this without His constant support. There have been times in the last few days that I have been on the verge of tears, and I have had to pray it out because that is the only place I know where to turn. I rely so heavily on God that He will bare me up it is exhausting. But I know that the promise we receive in D&C 84:88 is real. "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bare you up."
I have met so many amazing people here. They all have such amazingly strong testimonies and are such amazing examples to me. 
I can't wait to see what the rest of my mission has in store for me. 
I hope all of you are doing wonderful! I pray for you constantly.
I love you.

~Sister Burbank 

P.S. Sorry it's so long. It probably won't be this long every week.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Email from Mission President

Dear Brother and Sister Burbank:

We are happy to report that your daughter arrived safely in Bangkok today. She is tired but in good spirits and is anxious to begin laboring in the Lord's vineyard in Thailand. We are thrilled to have her as a missionary in the Thailand Bangkok Mission family. Your daughter will be oriented today by the Office Couple, Elder and Sister Meeker, the Mission Assistants and also Sister Senior and I. Then she will have her first experience street contacting in the area.  She will have dinner in the evening at President and Sister Senior’s home.  We have reserved a hotel room for her and her companion this evening.

Your daughter will receive her first assignment tomorrow at transfer meeting.  Preparation day will be on Monday and she will be able to email you each week.  I am sure she will have much to share regarding her experiences in Thailand, missionary activities and her first Sunday in his assigned area.

Please feel free to contact us at if you have any questions during your daughters’ term of missionary experience. 


President and Sister Senior

Check out our face book page for photos and videos of Thailand:

Notice on MAIL to the Mission Office

To better ensure safe delivery:

* Use this address:

1645/6 New Phetchburi Road
Makkason, Ratchathewi
Bangkok, 10400

* Always list missionary’s FIRST and LAST NAME. This prevents confusing missionaries with same or similar names

* Use U.S. Postal Service Air Mail or Priority Mail. When shipping Christmas packages consider sending them six weeks in advance for timely delivery se U.S. Postal Service regular Air Mail or Priority Mail. When shipping Christmas packages consider sending them six weeks in advance for timely delivery.

* AVOID U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and any private carriers such as DHL, UPS or FedEx. These will incur a large duty by the Thai government which must be paid by the missionary.

* Letters are collected and we forward them every week. Packages are collected and delivered to the missionaries at transfer meetings. Transfers only occur every six weeks. Perishables or heat sensitive items will suffer from the wait.

Katie Arrives in Thailand Video

Video - Katie arrives in Thailand - Click here for video

Monday, December 8, 2014

Last Day at MTC

This will be the Name Tag she wears in Thailand. I guess the top line says
Sister Burbank? 

Off to Thailand!!!


..................................................................................I Leave for Thailand today!!! IN LIKE 3 hours!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU! 
Talk to you soon!!! I am not exactly sure when, but just keep your phone on you and check my flight plans to get a general idea. 
I am not writing a weekly email this week. Not enough time. but I will send pictures!

Your Daughter

Sunday, December 7, 2014

New mailing address in Thailand for Katie

Katie leaves for Thailand tomorrow.  Here is her new address:

Sister Katie Burbank
Thailand Bangkok Mission
1645/6 New Phetchburi Road
Makkasan, Ratchathewi
Bangkok 10400

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 at MTC

It brought the spirit so strongly and made me realize just how powerful singing is.... It opened my eyes to why I love singing.


Guess what today is????? DECEMBER FIRST! Which means that we leave for Thailand in exactly 7 days!! How unreal is that??? This has been the longest, shortest, and best two months of my far. Especially this last week. It was full of amazing experiences. We got our flight plans on Wednesday so that was exciting, but besides that we had TWO Apostles come speak to us, just in the last week!! Also, Sheri Dew came and spoke to us for Relief Society on Sunday, and Vocal Point from BYU came and performed for our devotional Sunday Night!! Needless to say, this last week but definitely the highlight of the whole MTC experience.

I always feel like I wish I knew more than I do, but I know that there is only so much I can learn in two months. Lesson's are still going great. Sister Remington and I work REALLY well together. We are going to miss each other once we get split up in Thailand. I can't imagine having any other companion than her, so it definitely going to be a change. One of our last lessons with Phii Muu (Brother Chamberlain) went really well. Up to this point, we just didn't feel like he was connecting at all to the lessons. It was a little frustrating but honestly I know it is just role playing so it is hard to take it really seriously. I really try to though because I know it will help me more if I do. That was my goal this last week. To treat it like a real investigator. So our lesson on Wednesday went pretty well, but he still refused to commit. I can't remember why Sister Remington brought it up, but in essence she threw me under the bus and told Phii Muu that I was good at singing. Which made Phii Muu want me to perform for him. I was reluctant at first, but then realized that it couldn't hurt. So I told him I would sing at the next lesson. The only song I knew in Thai is the second verse of Come Thou Fount so that is what I sang. It brought the spirit so strongly and made me realize just how powerful singing is. By the end of the lesson on Saturday, Phii Muu committed to baptism and it felt so right. It opened my eyes to why I love singing. Not because of any personal recognition but because of how strongly I feel the spirit when I sing. It was such a great experience, and really helped me understand the importance of having the Spirit in lessons. 

There have been so many this last week I don't know how I am going to choose one. For Tuesday night devotional we had Dallin H Oaks come and speak to us and that was so amazing. He is one intelligent man. Something I felt at the end of the devotional really struck me. This is what I wrote in my journal: "This Gospel is truly simple. Dallin H Oaks is a very sophisticated lawyer who held an office in the Supreme Court and he is teaching us the EXACT same principles we are teaching our investigators. He has been an apostle since 1984 and yet he is not esteemed any higher than the newest member of this church in the eyes of God. That is the beauty of the love of God." I truly know that is true. God loves all of his children equally, and just because we all have different rolls to play in this life, it does not mean that God loves anyone more than the other because of social status. Dallin H Oaks is an Apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and he is just as much of a representative of the Savior as I am. We all, in the end, have the same purpose in this life. To bare witness of the divinity of Christ. 
On Thursday we had Thanksgiving, obviously, which was absolutely amazing. As a choir we sang for the Devotional in the morning. We had DAVID A. BEDNAR and his wife speak to us!!! It was incredible. Before he spoke, we sang the Mormon Tabernacle Choir version of Come Thou Fount. It was so powerful and really brought the spirit to the meeting. Then Elder Bednar just kept it alive as we participated in what was essentially a giant Q&A with an Apostle! He had 100 or so cellphones passed out to all of us missionaries in the crowd, and we would text questions to his iPad that we wanted answered about anything at all. It was incredible to see the Spirit work through him as he answered really difficult questions. Yet he didn't even stutter once. He calmly read off the question, and went immediately into his answer. EVERY TIME. He did not even give it a second thought. Every answer was incredible too. It just blew my mind. I know that God has called modern day prophets to lead His church in these last days. I know that through revelation God speaks to these prophets and that they can receive revelation for the Church. I also know how real personal revelation is. I may not have the keys to receive revelation for the whole church, but I have the right to receive revelation for my personal life from God. I just have to be worthy and ask. I love D&C 9:7 - "Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me." I have found that when I have a righteous desire, and I ask God in faith through prayer. I will receive. I have experienced the reality of that promise every single day of my mission, and I know I will continually have those experiences because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He will NEVER stop guiding His children.
I love you all so much and I hope you had a GREAT Thanksgiving!! 


Sister Burbank 

P.S. Played Bump or Knockout or Lightning or whatever you call it. (Everyone has so many names for that game here). Anyways, I played 3 games of that for gym time on Wednesday with a bunch of Elders and won all three games. Dad, you would be proud! :)                 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pictures - 11/24/2014

"For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say"


This week was so great! Just like always. We got our Nong Thai's on Wednesday!!! They are so awesome. Mostly from California and Utah, with the exception of one Elder from Kansas. They are such hard workers and are going to be great missionaries. We don't know too much about them yet since they have only been here a few days, but from what we have seen they are really cool. The one Sister, Sister Castell, is from Bountiful, UT, and is already graduated from college!! She is now living in our room and she is so great. She is a convert of a year and a half and she has such an amazing conversion story. She is going to be a great missionary for Thailand. It's pretty crazy though, because at first she got her call to Taiwan, but she got reassigned to Thailand, because she didn't have at least two years of seminary to get a visa in Taiwan. Apparently, it's a requirement for Taiwan to get a ministerial certificate, or whatever it's called. Who knew. We are all so excited for Thailand though! We get our flight plans on FRIDAY!! Also, Thanksgiving on Thursday this week, which means we have a General Authority coming! Can't wait. We are so close!! 

We are doing really great with the language! We are all a little worried because we leave so soon and we all still feel like there is so much more to learn but we know that most of the learning will come in Thailand. We are trying our hardest here though to learn as much as we possibly can. We have so many "investigators" now that we are teaching. When we first got here we only had one or two to focus on, but now we have 4 or 5. It doesn't seem like much, but not knowing the language and having to keep everything straight is the struggle. I absolutely love it though. Bearing my testimony and teaching in Thai is one of my favorite things now. I just love this language so much! We skype for TRC again tonight and I am SO excited! Last week was so much fun! It was kind of the struggle because the connection was bad and it was hard to hear, but we skyped with Sister Wanlapha who is from Sakon Nakhon (Rowland's last area). Right when we called her and Sister Remington and I showed up, she freaked out and kept saying: "jam khun!" and pointing at me. Then I realized that she was from Sakon Nakhon and realized why she kept saying she remembers me. It was so cool to talk to someone who is actually in Thailand, and who knew people I knew! I got so excited and just wanted to talk to her forever. She was the nicest person ever, and she told us about her experiences when she served her mission in Thailand. She is so awesome. I am excited to see who we skype tonight! 

So I got called on to speak yesterday. I can't remember if I have explained how the Sacrament Meetings on Sunday work here or not, so I will just explain. Our branch is just our Zone, so all of the Elder's and Sister's from our Zone meet in a room for Sacrament Meeting with our branch presidency and their wives. We are all required to write a talk for Sunday and then after the Sacrament they call on 2 or 3 missionaries randomly to speak. I had dodged the bullet up until this week. I was so glad I got chosen this week though, because I got to speak on Recognizing the Spirit. It was such a cool experience because I didn't write my talk out word for word like I usually do. I actually trusted what we are promised in D&C 100:5-8 that "you shall not be confounded before men. For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say." I figured that if I was going to be speaking on recognizing the spirit, I better learn how to trust and recognize the spirit. So after my name was called to speak, and I walked up to the pulpit, I said a prayer in my heart and I trusted God. I can't tell you what I said because I do not remember. But I do remember the feeling of having the spirit work through me as I spoke. It was as if my heart was saying things my mind didn't know. It was the most amazing feeling and one of my favorite things about being here at the MTC. As missionaries we have the opportunity to bare our testimony of Christ so often, that we experience the Spirit working through us so much. Each and every time I receive a witness that what I am teaching is right. This is the true Church of Jesus Christ. If I didn't know that I would have left this mission a long time ago. The heartache, the exhaustion and the struggles, would NOT be worth it if this wasn't all true. 

In honor of Thanksgiving this week, my challenge is to write a friend or family member and thank them for something they have done for you in your life. THEN, bare your testimony about the Savior, Jesus Christ, and share with that person an experience you have had that led you to show thanks to the Savior.

I love you all so much. 


Sister Burbank

Monday, November 17, 2014

MTC pictures - November 17, 2014

"I knew it and I knew that God knew it and I could not deny it."


Crazy week! I wish I had time to tell you everything that happened because SO much happened. We hosted for the first time on Wednesday though! Which is when we go pick up new missionaries from the curb and "assist" them away from their families. haha. It's actually kind of depressing, but for the most part the missionaries are just excited! I hosted 3 new sisters in total. Two were English speaking and the other was Japanese speaking! They were so cool. This coming Wednesday we are hosting again and guess what?!?! We get new Thai's!! I can hardly believe that it's already time for Nong Thai's to come in. We are getting 9 new Elders, and only 1 new Sister! The sister is moving into our room so that should be fun. Sister Remington and I got released as STL's on Sunday and now Sister Belnap and Sister Johanson are the new STL's. They will do great. 

The language is coming! Sister Remington and I don't have to make scripts for lessons anymore, and we hardly even bring anything but our scriptures and planner into lessons. TRC also went really well too! It just keeps getting better and better each week. I think it is exactly 3 weeks now until we leave for Thailand! So crazy! I feel like I am going to miss aspects of the MTC. It is honestly an incredible place. I had a great experience at the temple this morning. We did a session and just after it finished, we realized there was a khon Thai sister in the session! I went up to her after and started speaking Thai. She hardly spoke any English so I was really nervous, but I understood everything she said and I was actually able to have a conversation with her!! She has lived in Orem for 4 years, and before that she lived in Udon. She is so excited for me to go to Thailand and was asking where I would be serving. I told her I didn't know yet but that I hope I go Issan! It was such an amazing experience. She said she has gone to the Thai/Laos ward a couple times in Salt Lake and knows Bishop Walker a little, but other than we didn't have any mutual friends. I am just so amazed that I am actually learning this language to be honest with all of you. I feel so blessed to be called to serve in Thailand! 

On Wednesday during personal study I was having a really hard time focusing. I was sick almost this whole week and that made everything especially difficult. I was trying to capitalize on my time to read the Book of Mormon because I really want to finish it before I leave the MTC but my head would not stop aching. I felt dizzy and just exhausted. I took a break from reading and just sat in my desk. I stared at my study journal and then just starting writing about what I was feeling. Here's what I wrote: "I feel so sick right now. My body is failing me. I feel like every muscle and even my bones are weak. It's piercing me to the very soul." After I wrote that I just stared at it, I felt like I was collapsing within myself. Not only did studying seem impossible in that moment, but so did a mission. So did everything in life. As those thoughts entered my head, I realized how irrational they all were, but they wouldn't stop polluting my mind. I took the next line of my journal to simply write these four words. "Heavenly Father. Help me." What happened next astonished me. No I wasn't visited from an angel, no I wasn't instantly healed from my sickness. In fact, nothing in the worlds definition of astonishing happened at all. Instead, I just felt a warm feeling rush through my entire body. It started in my heart and flowed to the tip of my fingers and toes. All of a sudden I wasn't tired anymore, my head stopped hurting and I experienced ACTUAL physical and mental strength fill my body in that very instant. Something happened within me, that I couldn't make happen on my own. Now you could say something smart about how the physical nature of the human body caused that to happen spontaneously, but I know that is not true. There's no evidence to prove that God strengthened me in that moment, but I know He did. I share with Jospeh Smith's conviction after people tried to make him deny he had the First Vision. "I knew it and I knew that God knew it and I could not deny it." (JSH 1:25) Now my experience might seem insignificant to a lot of you in comparison to what Jospeh Smith claimed, but it doesn't detract from the principle being taught. I was very humbled this week. I realized human beings cannot physically fulfill the demands of a missionary lifestyle without help. The long hours, the mentally taxing work. You might be able to struggle for the first week or so trying to do it on your own, but after a while you will realize that 18 months of the exact same schedule with no days off is impossible to face alone. After the experience I had on Wednesday I came across this scripture in Alma 5:27-28 that stated it beautifully:

"27 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? 
28 Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if you are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life." 

I realized that it is ONLY through Christ and His enabling power of the Atonement that can cause us to have experiences like the one I had. And because it is ONLY through Christ, I have to strip myself of the pride in my heart that anything I do on this mission is because of me. Every good lesson, every clever thought. They have all been promptings from the Holy Ghost. I can claim nothing as my own, and so like Ammon (Alma 26:12) "I will not boast of myself but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things..." It is a privilege for me to be here at this MTC at this time in my life. Never has my purpose in life been so clear to me, and never has life been so fulfilling. Kradtai rak phraphuuchuayhairccd khccng kradtai. 

My challenge this week is to:
       - Read Helaman 8:14-15
       - Take the challenge given to "look upon the Son of God" and live.
       - Then, actually study to figure out what it means to do that.

If you want to e-mail me at: with your insights on what it means to "look upon the Son of God and live", I would LOVE LOVE LOVE that! I love you all so much and pray for you everyday! 


Sister Burbank 

P.S. We are skyping Thailand tonight for TRC!! I am so excited!