Tuesday, January 21, 2014

We’re just continuing to get out there and work


Well I'm glad that Kayleigh is doing alright- that sounds really scary. I'd be pretty freaked out too if I lost my vision. Hopefully nobody else gets too terribly sick or have medical problems.

This week was pretty alright- we're just continuing to get out there and work. Haven't had much success teaching some of our more promising families and people though. People have been sick, life's been busy for some of them, etc. We have one family that wants to set firm times to meet every week though which is great! I really like them too, down to earth people I enjoy talking with. We have some pretty consistent people still though, which is nice (like John, the guy we work out with and read scripture with. I love John, he's freakin' awesome!)

It's a little weird having just one companion again, but I've pretty much adjusted back now. He's doing good over in his new area up in Aloha (which is right next to Beaverton). It's funny though because his Facebook got hacked and he's been getting super bad posts thrown up on his wall! We got a call during choir practice on Sunday from this guy in our ward telling us about it. So we changed his password and got onto his account at the church, but it happened again not even five minutes ago so now we had to deactivate his account! It's pretty funny- one of the people we meet with made tons of jokes about him after he read the inappropriate post! It was pretty funny!

That's pretty funny you all got Portland on that quiz! I'm 99% that's how they assign people to where they're called to serve: plugging your personal information into a Facebook quiz! Just kidding- but speaking of apostles, Elder Christofferson is coming to speak with the Portland missionaries on Friday! I'm excited for that, it should be really good and insightful. Hopefully he doesn't "gently rebuke" us too much..!

I'm glad to hear that Ben is getting out into the dating scene, there's hidden treasures inside every singles ward (hopefully). It sounds like school is going well for everybody- I'm glad to hear that Silas is doing better now that he's in a better fitted math class. I think getting the right class is so crucial to get anywhere in the subject, I wish I could have taken my sophomore math class again and still have gotten a math credit.. I saw some of Mom's pictures with her team out in SLC for their teaching conference. Whenever we try to do an overnight trip for our zone conferences we always get yelled at!!

Well, I hope that things go better for everybody this week. I'll hopefully have a good story or two for next week. Also, I promise I'll write back to everybody that's written me within the next day or two!

Love you,

Elder Samuel A. Burge

(I didn't have many pictures this week- but now Mom can rest assured that I get a wholesome breakfast!)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Frustration & a Little Miracle

Well, I didn't get off terribly easy. I would've been able to get it reduced if I drove out into Portland (out of our mission I think) to some driving course but he was being really difficult so I ended up paying $200 for the ticket.. Nothing came out of the speeding ticket either - but that's alright. Part of life: paying speeding tickets when you don't always feel the fee was justified.

Transfers were today - Elder Pearson is being transferred out, training a new missionary, and is being white-washed (he and his new companion are both new to the area). It was a bit daunting for him I think, but he's going to do great! So Elder Stovall and I will be together for another six weeks - which is alright with me. So I'm still here in Willamette for a little while! Elder Pearson is happy (and I'm envious) because he's going to a bike area in Aloha (which is like a part of Beaverton).

My week was a bit frustrating last week, I'd lost my camera on preparation day and I couldn't find it anywhere! I was so ticked about it, but luckily I still get some tender mercies from time to time and I figured I would check the West Linn elder's car one more time to see if it was in there and sure enough, I found it this morning! I'd checked the glove compartment twice, but third time was the charm! (Sorry, but no pictures this week.)

We're going to start working out with a less-active in our area, his apartment complex has a sweet gym and so we're going to get both physically and spiritually stacked with him! ("Stacked" is apparently another word for getting quite muscular.) We also had a little miracle happen- there's a really awesome guy we're teaching, and we talked with his son once or twice but never for very long. Well, he has a friend in the ward and apparently asked him at school for a copy of the Book of Mormon. So we of course gave him a Book of Mormon and he took it to school. He told the kid in our ward that he was going to try and read a chapter a night! It was a freakin' awesome phone call to get right before you're going home for the night!

Winter school- sounds like a blast! I had friends that would always tell me how lame it was, and that it was a huge joke. Hopefully that goes well for Silas. Math is gonna' kill me when I get home and start going to school..!

Well, I hope that my older brother can find some game before I get home! Or some girls that he'd actually want to date!

Well, I'm glad Dad is getting to know Portlandia a little bit better! There's some really crazy weird things to find in the city (again, I pray that I will serve there if even for a short season on my mission). I really want to explore some of those oddities, but getting out there for preparation day is difficult and usually we don't have much time when we go.. Voodoo has some really, uhh, interesting doughnuts on there menu to say the least..!

Well, tell Kayleigh I'd love to get some mail from her! I still have to finish writing my letter back to Silas, and a few other people. I love when I get letters, always makes your day better!

Well, I love you guys. Good luck with school this week!

-Elder Samuel A. Burge

Monday, January 6, 2014

We did a lot of country-side door-knocking this week…

Unfortunately, my court date is for this Thursday in the morning so I have another few days of blissful anticipation! I've heard from people in the area that they'll in the very least lower the fine, so that's comforting. If I'm lucky- maybe I can get off without having to pay anything!

Our week was good. Not the best week I've ever had, but we had some good lessons with a few less-active people in the Willamette area. (We had two of them come to church, which is sweet.) We did a lot of country-side door-knocking this week! (well, only like two hours) but that was really successful actually! We met some people that love Mormons- they just moved into the area and some of their best friends were members. Her parents from California were there and they also liked us a lot.. It's funny though, he was asking about us being eagle scouts and out of our trio nobody quite made it that far! He likes neckerchiefs though- a lot. Her husband (which we didn't meet) is apparently a really nice guy, but isn't the...friendliest person at first encounters. So we'll see how our return visit goes!

There was another lady we met that was golden! She was standing outside her house smoking a cigarette, so we went up and started talking to her about the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ. She was so friendly and curious, so we tried to set up a time to come back... She's moving next week! It sucked because now we have to pass her along to the missionaries up in her new area. We're all on the same team, but I'd really like the Willamette area to score some "touch-downs"..! (It's okay though.)

Besides some other less-friendly woodland folk, that was our week. Transfers are next Monday so I think I'm going to lose both Elder Stovall and Pearson (Pearson definitely, he's been here six months). I'm thinking I'll get a greenie again, but we'll find out this Saturday for transfer calls.

That's exciting, Ben's got a new whip! It's even funnier about the old folks wrecking a brand-new car outside the dealership! It will be cool to see how his new Hyundai drives- and all the bells and whistles. Those are pretty cool, bluetooth is awesome. There's a new line of electric cars made by a company called Tesla, they make these really sweet luxury/sport electric cars. I've seen quite a few of those in this area!

Being on Facebook is kind of interesting.. To be totally honest, I feel like I'm wasting a lot of time trying to find people to talk with. Any success that I've seen from other missionaries has been with like college roommates that they'd talked with a little bit, but I think 90% of the missionaries I've talked with are struggling to find work. I think it's a new avenue to be explored, so it's going to take time before we make online missionary work an effective way of communicating with people. We're going to try "online-tracting"- sending out friend requests to random people we don't know and trying to strike up gospel conversations. Either way, I hope that people back home are at the very least reading some of the posts I've made- maybe I'll start teaching people from back home, who knows!

Well, it's weird to think that Ben is now a sophomore in college and pretty soon I'll be sitting at a high-school reunion tripping over everybody being married with kids, having a mid-life crisis or something.

Have a great week- I love you guys!

-Elder Samuel A. Burge

The eagle flies proudly at our post office
Country road

Tracting in the woods

Woodland selfie

Did we walk too far and end up in Chile?

Mossy Oregon

Our day is getting brighter

Feed my sheep?  I think these need a baaaath instead!!!

Abandoned house?

Yep!!  This is creepy.

There’s a screen door, but no front door.