Monday, November 3, 2014

One thing we are certain of though, is that when you live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, amazing things happen.


This was the first week without the Phii Thai's and it was pretty weird to be honest. Quote of our whole MTC life though: "who done make me ruusxg these kwaamruusxg's." -Elder Riddings.
Most of you won't understand, but it doesn't matter. Just know that you really have to get creative when it comes to having fun here in the MTC. Elder Riddings is from Georgia and just barely got to Thailand. He is one of my favorite people! Follow his blog and it might give you some extra insight into the last few MTC weeks. 
Anyways, this last week was pretty normal. As STL's, my khuu and I interview all Sisters in our zone so it was really cool to get to know move of the Cantos. There is only 9 of us Sisters in total, so we have gotten pretty close. I'll do updates now.

We have started learning script so that is fun to watch everyone struggle with it. I am so grateful I learned it before because I know what it feels like to not understand it at all. That sucks! I can't imagine having to feel like that on top of all the other stresses of being a missionary. So I am really just trying to help people in my district as much as I can because I know how hard it can be. Other than that we have just continued teaching our "investigators", who are really our teachers, it has been going well and they just keep complimenting Sister Remington and I for how unified we are. We work well together and the secret is we just really love each other. That is all it takes. We taught at TRC again this week, but Wiew didn't end up coming this week which was too bad. But it was still a really good experience. It's crazy to see how much more I can say in just the short weeks I have been hear. It's nothing compared to what I am going to have to know, but it is more than I ever thought I would know. So that is a blessing. I have a new teacher Brother Kaosucharit(sp?) who is khon Thai! He was Rowland's companion in Thailand for a while, and then I also have Brother Thrap as our teacher now, who was in Rowland's District in the MTC. They think it's so funny that I know him! Such a small world. 

This has been an amazing week for Devotionals. Last Tuesday we had Sister Rosemary Wixom speak to us, the General Primary President, and she was awesome. She spoke the whole time about the Savior, Jesus Christ, and how our role as missionaries is to be a witness of Him. We had Devo Review with our districts after, and the Spirit was so strong, I can't remember a time that I have felt it that strong. Every single one of us got up and just bore our testimony about the Atonement and the Savior. It was incredibly powerful and I don't know if there is a way that I can accurately portray just how incredible it was. It's moments like those, that remind me why I am here on my mission. To not only watch the growth of those investigators, but watch the growth of all of us missionaries. We don't know what we are doing, to be completely honest with you. We are all 18-20 year olds. We haven't gone to school to be professional ministers. We are all just barely learning how to live on our own without our parents. One thing we are certain of though, is that when you live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, amazing things happen. Sister Hacking spoke at our Mission Conference yesterday and something she said really stuck with me. She said, "We are the message." I am not on a mission to go preach to people in Thailand about a way of life that I don't personally live myself. I am on my mission to show people the amazing benefits of living the gospel. All they have to do is look at my life and see how happy it has made me. But that isn't even the best part. The best part is that they don't have to take my word for it. That by reading the Book of Mormon and sincerely praying to God, they can know for themselves as well. As wholeheartedly as I do. Read the Introduction to the Book of Mormon. Especially the last two paragraphs. It explains exactly what I know, and exactly how I came to know what I know. There is no other reason I am on a mission than to share what those paragraphs talk about. In case you were curious.

On a more personal note, Wendy Nelson (Russell M. Nelson's wife) came to speak to us on Sunday for Devotional. It was incredibly inspiring and an answer to a lot of my prayers. I won't get into the details but I will share one quote I loved from it. The quote is some advice Henry B Eyring got when he was 13 years old:

"Someday when you know who you are, you will be sorry you didn't use your time better."

That really stuck out to me because sometimes its hard to focus here with all of us being friends now. But that quote reminded me that if I don't take advantage of my time now, I am going to regret it later. That doesn't mean I can't have fun though. We definitely still have a lot of that! 

I love you all and I am so grateful for your prayers.


Sister Burbank

Sunday, November 2, 2014

more MTC pics


The Gift of Tongues is REAL....I love just being around everything Thai all day!


This week has been so fast! I can't even believe it's already P-Day again. So the Phii Thai's left for Thailand today! So sad. Honestly, I am going to miss them. It won't be the same without them. They are some of the greatest people/missionaries ever! I'll see them in a few weeks though. It will be crazy because the 33 Thai missionaries we have right now will go down to 12. Which means we will go from having two teachers to like 5 or 6! All the attention will be on us. Which will actually be really nice and helpful. So yesterday Sister Remington and I were called as the new Sister Training Leaders for our zone. They are the equivalent as Zone Leaders, so that should be exciting. We now have LOTS of meetings. Yay. Updates.

It's coming really well!!! We had our first TRC (where you pretty much do visiting teaching with volunteer khon Thai or RM's in Thai for practice) this last Saturday. I loved it! We taught an RM missionary, Quinton Allen(sp?), and some khon Thai named Nab(boy) and Phlccy(girl). It was probably the coolest experience I have had since being at the MTC. The RM was so much easier to understand, naturally. He served in Thailand 2008-2010. He said he knew President Smith (Rowland's first Mission Pres) and President Senior! He met President Senior in the MTC after his mission and said that he is really awesome! I can't wait to meet him. Teaching the khon Thai was my favorite part of the day though. Besides the fact I completely embarrassed myself. haha It was funny though. So Nab looked so much older than Phlccy so I asked in Thai if she was his daughter. Yeah wrong question to ask. Then Sister Remington thought they were dating and it got really messy and turns out they aren't related and are just friends! So after that whole confusing, hilarious situation we taught them about faith and prayer. It was powerful. We taught the whole thing in Thai and understood (somehow) pretty much everything that was said. The Gift of Tongues is REAL. I have never had a stronger confirmation of that truth. Wiew was also there too I found out later! We didn't get to teach or see her, but Brother Yuen said we will next week! I haven't even meet her but I just love anyone that knows the Grover's, so I can't wait to talk to her next week. The Elders in our district taught her and said she was really awesome. I feel like a stalker because she probably doesn't even know who I am, and I know so much about her, but oh well! Brother Yuen interviewed us after we taught and said we did a great job! I am not sure about great, but it was so much fun. I love teaching in Thai. I love the Spirit I feel. I love learning Thai. I love speaking Thai. I love just being around everything Thai all day! It is just the best.

Chun rak rian paasaa thay maag maag jing jing. Chun chxa nay phrakhrid. Chun pen phayan waa phrayeessukhrid mii chiwid yuu. 

Now on a spiritual note. This week was tough to be honest. Something I have come to love is the importance of desire. Without desire a mission is painfully tedious. Your brain becomes foggy and your mind aches with the overload of information. One of the greatest gifts from God in my opinion is desire because it feels like it's swelling inside you. You feel like everything becomes less of a burden and more of a blessing. Around mid-last week I struggled with desire. I thought about how tired I was. I didn't put as much effort into my prayers and study as I should have. That led me to start blaming everything around me for my adversities. That my lack of desire to study was somehow everything and everyone else's fault but my own. I was becoming frustrated with the cloudiness of my mind. I lacked clarity. I struggled to learn the language and focus on anything. Everything in life seemed to come crashing down. Then I realized one thing. I not only have control over how much desire I have, but that once I took control of gaining my desire back, the Spirit of God made up the difference. The small desire I created for myself was magnified 100 times once I worked to regain that spirit in my life. The key word is WORK. It took effort to pick up my exhausted, sleep deprived body to regain that spirit, desire, and motivation in my life. And not just busy work, but spiritual work. I decided to simplify, and focus on one thing... studying the Book of Mormon. The second I committed to read the Book of Mormon from start to finish before I leave the MTC, is when I felt peace again. I found relief from that stress. But that only came when I put the effort in. It seems counter-intuitive to work harder when all you feel like is giving up, but I am proof that if you deny the natural tendency to give up, and pray to God earnestly to help you in your adversity. He WILL pick you up. He WILL comfort you, and show you what you need to do to regain that peace in your life. Your intent MUST be pure though. You must BELIEVE he can actually help you or it doesn't work. In devotional yesterday the speaker brought up Isaiah 55:8-9. I absolutely love it. It talks about how our ways are not God's ways, neither are our thoughts His thoughts. He knows the bigger picture. Strive to align your will with His. Trust Him.

I love you all. Thank you for the support and the prayers. Hope everyone is doing well and you are having fun on your cruise Mom and Dad! I am just going to post the testimony I sent to my Branch President this week (we have to email him weekly):

 "....My testimony that Jesus is the Christ is real. I know He is my Savior, and I know that I could do nothing without Him. I am so grateful for His example, and for His selfless desire to Atone for all the sins of the world. Not just the members of the church but EVERYONE. Especially those people in Thailand. I am privileged to have the opportunity to be one of the many missionaries going to teach that doctrine to those people who do not know Christ, but reflect so many of His attributes already."


Sister Burbank