Monday, June 24, 2013

After the big mission split–still in Springville with Elder Schmidt, but our district is now tiny!!!!


I'm still in Springville with Elder Schmidt, neither of us got transferred. So it'll be another six weeks (Elder Schmidt will definitely be transferred next transfer, so I'll probably stick around for awhile here). Yeah, it was required for us to go watch the broadcast, it was pretty good.

Not a whole lot going this week- we've had a hard time getting in to teach anybody. 3/4 of the people we've been teaching are pretty flaky, and our more consistent people have had things come up so we haven't been able to meet with any of them. Summer's in full-swing so people are going on vacation, people have tons of guests staying with them, etc.

We found this one road in our area that hasn't been tracted in quite awhile so we worked on that this week. It's a really long, rural country road and we actually had some success with that. We met this lady who'd bought quite a bit of food storage supplies from a church-operated store in Portland, and she had quite a few questions about what we believed and things. She was very receptive, and we taught her on her porch. She actually invited us back this week so we're pretty stoked about that. We also had to deal with a terrible bible-bash a few houses down... These two women were near yelling at us trying to argue every little point of doctrine, but it was being talked at rather than any sort of discussion. Then they brought up how we believe that Satan is the brother of Jesus and they freaked out on us saying things like, "How dare you claim that Satan is the brother of the Son of God!". Fun stuff, you gotta' take the good with bad I guess.

We're getting kicked out of the Albert's house for like a week on Wednesday. With our temporary roommate, Addison, getting married this weekend there is going to be a lot of people staying with them for all the festivities. We're not quite sure where we're going to crash for a week but it'll either be with the assistants or with our district leader.

Nathan's lung collapsed! That's crazy, I hope he's doing alright and that it won't affect his going out on his mission. I think that would be a bit of a disappointment to him if there were complications that stopped him from going out for awhile. I'll have to write him a letter to see how he's holding up.

It's crazy with the new mission boundaries, we're on the border of Portland and Vancouver. Our district was also divided up and our district is now tiny! It's our area, our district leaders, and the assistants. We were laughing about it on the way back from the big transfer meeting because our whole district can fit in a four-door sedan now. It's good though, because they're really awesome guys. My last area in Wilsonville got split up too! The Wilsonville ward is now a bike area, and the zone leaders have taken over the Stafford ward. Every ward will have it's own missionaries by the end of the year, and about 20 wards will have two sets of missionaries. I have no idea what they expect a lot of these doubled-up missionaries to do though, so hopefully the members step up on inviting people to take the lessons, etc.

Well, that's really all I can think to write about this week. Glad to hear you're all feeling better now. I'll talk to you all next week.

Love always,

Elder Samuel A. Burge

P.S. - Thanks for the brief update on my friends. Hopefully Tyson's hand is doing alright. He's probably fine, he breaks stuff and hurts himself all the time.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The final verdict…I’m staying in Portlandia!!

Glad to hear that you all are enjoying your summer so far! It sounds like you all are having a lot of fun doing the various things, like swimming, going to the movies, etc. I think one of the hardest things for me being state-side is that I get to hear about all these films coming out and I can't go see them.

Sorry to hear that dad has been feeling sick the past week. Hopefully he gets to feeling better soon, if he's like me when it comes to those types of things it's not that great. I hope you had a good Father's Day, pops!

That's pretty funny, you'll always get people fighting/fueding over things like the word of wisdom or other deep, dark church doctrines. We've had our mission president straight up tell everyone at zone meetings what the official declaration of the word of wisdom is.. People get into all sorts of debates on what kinds of teas are okay, how everything that could be considered "addictive" (chocolate, facebook, etc.) is against the word of wisdom, and my favorite debate on good ol' soda pop. People need to just stick to the things outlined and not conjure up these abstract views on it.. I've had to defend good old Coca-Cola various times on my mission. I want to get a Coca-Cola shirt and just always wear it under my white shirt so I can rip my shirt off with pride when those situations present themselves.

So for the final verdict on which mission I will be in.... I will be staying in Portlandia! Either me or Elder Schmidt are getting transferred out, so I'll be staying in the mission after all. I'm pretty alright with it, we're still going to be allowed to visit the coast and there's a few metro areas in which I could still possibly serve (downtown if they get rid of the senior couple there!). Yeah, it will be interesting to see what this transfer meeting is about. Hopefully it's good though; it's counting as our preparation day...

Elder Whiting's tour of the mission was pretty insightful, he had a lot of interesting things to say. He talked a lot about our purpose as missionaries, the difference between power and authority (within the priesthood), and about how our desire/obedience will affect our spiritual power as missionaries. It was pretty good stuff.

Thanks for the genealogy charts, we're helping another person in our ward start her family history work so while the specialist in our ward helps her we get to mess around on FamilySearch. It's a pretty cool website, actually. I remember hearing some crazy family stories (like one of our ancestors being a preacher's son and riding a horse into the church out of rebellion or something like that) and I've been trying to piece together who the stories belong to, etc. It's pretty neat.

Things in our area are going good.. It's tough though because we've been trying to visit with a lot of people but they just won't make the time for us/won't let us in. We've got two people (Michella and this other young girl, Rena-Maria) who are really close to setting a date to be baptized. The other people we're teaching, it's a work-in-progress.

Yeah, that's the Albert's address- if you're going to send bread then just send it directly to the house address. People who want to send me letters though, still send it to the mission office. It's just easier that way, I have one of two letters for me floating around the mission because they were sent to our Wilsonville apartment and zone leaders have been tasked on giving them to me... So it will be awhile til' I get them.. I talked with my last companion in Wilsonville last night though, and I guess a lot of the work has picked up there, and they're splitting the two wards so they'll have individual missionaries! It was nuts to hear about all the people that they're teaching now. It's weird how things will just pick up like that after I spent four months there with absolutely nothing to do.

Well, I love you all and hope you're doing well. Get feeling better soon Dad!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Last P-Day Before the Mission Splits

That's pretty crazy that they made two elder's quorums, I can't even believe that there's enough elders for that. Dad is in the elder's quorum presidency, that's a pretty big calling there! That's crazy that Jason Lund was called as the elder's quorum president, I can only imagine how much work that calling has to be.

That's really cool that Kayleigh got to listen to "Joseph Smith" talk and share his testimony, I bet it was a pretty neat experience. Glad to hear everybody is doing pretty alright, minus some phones almost exploding.

This last week was pretty good. After we wrote home at the library we went to the Nike employee store! It was pretty big actually, and everything was pretty inexpensive (for Nike clothes and shoes). I bought a few pairs of Nike socks, and these sweet running shoes! They're really simple running shoes, so it's like running bare-footed. They're pretty awesome, though I probably won't use them a whole lot for the time being. Too tired from biking around all the time.

We took our preparation day today instead of Monday to go to a place called OMSI, which is a science and technology museum. It was pretty cool, but some of their exhibits weren't open because they're setting them up. It was pretty neat, because it was in Portland. There's a lot of hands-on experiments/demonstrations about renewable energy sources, fossils, the cycles of pregnancy (which was really gross), and technologies to help people who don't have limbs, disabilities, etc. It was pretty cool, but it's geared towards kids quite a bit. Still though, it was pretty fun.

I actually did some family history a day or two ago with this lady that we're teaching. She's really interested in family history work, and so we got together with a family history consultant in our ward, went down to the church, and did some family history. I mostly just filled out my pedigree chart on FamilySearch, but Beate (the lady we're teaching) and Sis. Lobo (the family history consultant) went to town with all sorts of genealogical records, census', etc. She's from Germany so she was interested in learning more about her family's history. It was actually pretty cool though, I didn't think I would like family history as much as I did.

We also had a really good lesson with this younger girl we're teaching, Michella. She accepted to be baptized, which is really good, but we have to talk with her parents about getting permission to have her be baptized. The ward mission leader, Elder Schmidt, and myself have been trying to meet with her mom, but she's super busy so it hasn't worked out. We'll see how that goes though, it's definitely exciting to see somebody I started teaching accepting to be baptized.

The final transfer before the mission divides is this Monday, and President Morby has asked EVERYONE in the mission to come to the transfer meeting we usually have. It's going to be crazy; there will be like, 250 missionaries there (not to mention all the people that gave them a lift to the meeting). I don't know if I'd get transfered out of my area yet, but anything could happen at this point. It will be interesting to see what happens! We're also having what's called a mission tour on Thursday. It's where a general authority, Elder Whiting, comes to the mission to speak with us. That should be pretty cool as well.

There's this fellow in this apartment complex near us that we visit named Ron, and he gave us some of this home-made bread and it was DELICIOUS! Wasn't as good as Mom's bread though, it got me to missing her homemade bread. It was still really good though.

Well, I love you all and hope you're having a good week.

-Elder Samuel A. Burge


More Scenery

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

Having a little fun with the sign

A light refracting prism

Nike store

Duck on top and Beaver on the bottom

New running shoes

You’ll never miss seeing me in these shoes!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Our Missionary Dog

 The Alberts’ Labradoodle

It was sort of a slow week…

Hey everybody,

Yeah this area had a lot more work we can do, which keeps us pretty busy. Not too much progress with anybody we're teaching right now either, it was sort of a slow week.

You know it’s slow when there’s a snail on your name tag!!!

We did knock into this girl, Hannah, who's home for a few weeks from college. We taught her and it went really well, but she's leaving in like two weeks for a summer job somewhere. It's too bad, but maybe some missionaries down there can get into contact with her.

I think Thursday was just absolutely terrible. I was just in a bad mood from the second I woke up, and while we were out riding around one of the lights for my bike apparently fell out of my backpack and I lost it... So we rode the route we took that morning and mid-way in our search it just poured down rain. So we get back to the house after an hour of riding our bikes around it this pouring rain (with minimal rain-gear) and at this point our day was just ruined. I'm ticked because my front light for my bike was really nice and because I didn't zip up some pocket all the way it fell out and I have to get a new one... It sucked.

My Felt Verza

The built in bell right above the brake

My helmet and Columbia rain gear (a happier time before I lost my headlight)

This week the Alberts had their daughter and their son-in-law over so their house has been full of people all week. It was like living in an apartment building, which is pretty funny.

Check out our digs at the Alberts!!!  Bunk beds AND lockers!!!

We actually were kicked out for Saturday night because the Alberts were performing in the Portland Ensign Choir in Vancouver so a baby-sitter had to come watch their daughter's baby. Luckily the assistants to the president live in our area, and they have two spare beds, so we stayed with them on Saturday night. It was pretty fun; the A.P.'s came by and picked up our bedding and we went to Carl's Jr. for lunch (I haven't eaten there in so long, it was good). They made us play some mystery game, and it turned out to be this game that shocks you. There's four handles with a button on it and everyone grabs one, waits for this flashing light to turn green, and the last one to press the button gets shocked. It was terrible, but pretty fun!

Elder Vasser (AP), Elder Schmidt (my companion), and the shocking game!!!

 Elder Schmidt, Elder Bench (AP), and the game!!!

That's awesome that Ben is getting into the swing of things with school. I definitely think studying every morning for a couple of hours for two years improves your study skills. I think a language to study helps too, I tend to have to study just the same things over and over.. That's pretty funny that he's being tricked into dates with robust women!~ I hope he finds some college friends in some of his classes, those would be pretty good. 

That's pretty funny about Mrs. Young, way to go out in style! Does mom have any idea who the new principal is going to be? 

Kayleigh would be a good soccer player, I think! That would be really cool if she joined the soccer team. I kind of regret not playing a sport in high school, being more engaged in more extra-curricular activites. Plus, she'll get to get outta' school which is sweet. Has Silas considered doing any sports/clubs? I don't know what clubs they have at the high school, at one point they had a high school rock-climbing club but I think the teacher that was in-charge of it left. That will be awesome working a summer job baby-sitting. Silas needs to get a job soon; he needs to go get an interview at Taco Bell or something! 

Well, that's all I've got to write about this week. I finally have some pictures! hope you enjoy them! 

Love you all, 

Elder Samuel Burge 

The Hood

Surprise!!! Looks like rain!!!

Kaiser Woods Park Entrance