Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!

It's been a busy week for us, tons of meetings and some doctor's appointments- not to mention some big changes for us here in Portland, including the use of Facebook once again.

So on Wednesday we had a zone conference, and half of the day was spent with us just talking about us now using social media and other online tools for missionary work. Right now it's mostly just the use of blogs and Facebook, but eventually we'll be using things like video chat to teach lessons, etc. It's going to be interesting, but again they made a big emphasis on using it strictly for missionary purposes- so we can't use Facebook on preparation days to talk with our friends/family, etc. I'm not quite sure, but we might even have to take my blog off the internet- just with the pictures I send home and some of the things we talk about. I'll let you know if it becomes a problem or anything like that. Again though, you can still read my posts and things so that's kind of neat I guess.

We didn't have very many lessons this week- just with the holidays everybody doesn't want to meet. We did a lot of service this week, like helping out at the food pantry. I love helping out there, it's great and the people that we volunteer with are sweet! The food pantry gives away holiday packages and gives away toys so people can have a nice Christmas dinner with the works. It was awesome to see how many toys they got- we'd filled this whole back room with various trinkets and things for the kids to come through and pick out gifts. I felt like I was working in Santa's work-shop though, just unloading and setting out bags upon bags of board games, dolls, and all sorts of stuff.

We also helped some people build an extension to their chicken coop- that was really cool! They'd been meaning to build this fencing around the coop so the chickens could have more space and so cleaning up after them would be easier, so we put up these big walls made of 2x4 and we're going to finish covering it with chicken wire and putting a door on the enclosure. It's definitely not the most... quality construction job I've ever seen, but it's sturdy and will keep the chickens from being eaten by raccoon's or making a break for it. Either way, it was pretty sweet service experience.

We've also joined the ward choir as of a week or two ago! I'm singing as a tenor- even though I can't really read the music at all. I don't quite know the notes well, but I've managed to get through a performance without totally messing up! What's really awesome is that another person we're teaching happens to love singing, and since we'd just joined the choir we invited to come sing with us for Christmas- and she came this Sunday and joined our ward choir for the performance! I never thought using the choir would be a missionary tool, but apparently it worked very well. She's a great singer, and our choir director was stoked to have the addition (the choir isn't super big). Either way, it was really fun and a helpful tool for getting people to come to church.

This upcoming week will probably be pretty slow, but we've got a lot of people in the ward to hang out with for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So I imagine we'll probably be calling home around 10:30 AM (my time) on Wednesday. It's a little early, so hopefully Silas and Ben will be awake (it is Christmas though, so hopefully not).

Yeah, I was really ticked that I have to send the guitalele home- I still don't understand why I can have something to learn to play hymns on, but I figure I should just be obedient and not worry about it (some mission rules are so frustrating and make no sense). Thanks for the gift though, I was really happy and excited about it for a whole three hours.

I hope that this holiday season is good for you back home- I love you and really miss you. I'm excited to talk with you all this Wednesday!

I love you.

-Elder Samuel A. Burge

Starting to feel a tiny bit cooped up

Are we screwing it down or just screwing it up?

This place is for the birds

Elder jammies

My new blanket

Hitler Snowman?!

Santa’s Helper

Look at all the toys!!!

Has anyone seen Elder Stovall?

Some funny looking elves

Cool Stained Glass

Hanging at Lake Oswego

Who wouldn’t want to invite guys like this into their home?!

The other side of the tracks

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