Tuesday, February 25, 2014

“Aloha!” from the Aloha 2nd Ward!!!


As you can probably already guess, I got transferred yesterday- I'm now a district leader up in the Aloha 2nd ward! Even better is I'm back on a bike (which I'm happy about)!

I was on an exchange on Saturday with the district leader when we got the transfer information and found out I was leaving. So I went around and said goodbye to some of the investigators we have and said goodbye to the ward on Sunday. These past four and half months went by actually pretty quickly- and by Sunday night I can honestly say I felt like I was successful in the Willamette area. I don't know, just coming away from this area I feel like I tried my best and even though I didn't have incredible amounts of lesson taught or any baptisms I feel (and even got to see for myself) people grow closer to Jesus Christ, and to start making steps in the gospel. That was something I needed, and I'm glad that I got it.

So I'm now in Aloha, Oregon (which is right next to Beaverton). Apparently, none of the bishops here start sacrament meeting with a big "Aloha!~" (lame). It's a cool area, I really like it thus far. We got to walk around a busier street pretty close to us- we tried to talk with some people doing some street contacting but didn't have much luck. Either way, I feel like it's going to be a good area! We're living with some members in this area, which I'm kind of disappointed about. It's not that I don't like the people we live with (I already really like the family we're staying with), but I just enjoy being in an apartment by ourselves much better.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine’s Day Fun

Yeah, the blizzard experience was really cool- funny that they call it a blizzard though. It was weak, nothing like a good snow-storm in Utah. I can't take credit for the snowman, we were walking home and he was just chilling outside our apartment building (pun intended).

This week was good! We had some really good visits with some of the people we're teaching. Got to talk with one of them about getting answers and coming to believe it's true, it was awesome! If we could just get some of them to commit to getting baptized though (that would be good). I'm excited for the Willamette ward though, they'd set a goal to get twenty baptisms this year! That's over half of what the stake saw as a whole last year, but there's a lot of faith from everybody! We had at least four people at church that either through the members living the gospel or the grace of a God brought to sacrament meeting! One lady slipped and split her chin open during the snow-storm and one of the brothers in the ward took her to the doctor's. He invited her to church and she was so grateful and loved his living of the gospel. Turns out her doctor was in the ward too! She came yesterday with her son and it was awesome! I hope we can start teaching her soon. Another crazy miracle was this media referral we got months ago we couldn't contact came to church all on her own with her husband! We, unfortunately, didn't see them and found out after church... But a ward missionary luckily talked to her and welcomed her to come back. It was pretty good yesterday, I definitely see things working here to help the ward reach their goals and bring so many people into the gospel. It's sweet!

Well, it sounds like your Valentine's day was as romantic as mine! Elder Stovall and I ate at this diner nearby, it was pretty good. Surprisingly enough we had stuff to do that day, I thought it would be slow since everybody is out on their Valentine's dates.

Oh, my plans for when I get back home... Being as contemplative as I am, I've thought a lot about what I'm going to do when I get back. I honestly still don't really know. I figure I'll apply at USU, U of U, and BYU. Just see which ones I'd get accepted into and make a choice when it gets closer. I've thought about doing SLCC for the first little while, but I'm not so sure. I'm thinking living in a dormitory my first year would kind of fun though- real college experience! I want to get into school beginning in January; I'm not going to waste my time just hanging out doing nothing. I'll have a few week(s) when I get home to just relax and get everything in order, then get into college. I'll definitely need help getting applications turned in, and getting some things figured out though.

I think the only thing I've got planned for sure is to just sleep for like three days. I'm always exhausted in all meanings of the word. "The sleep of a labouring man is sweet", the scriptures say and it's definitely true.

Well, I love you all. Have a good week! Don't let the bird get into to much trouble.

-Elder Samuel Burge

Grandma & Grandpa fixed me up!!!
I like the shirt

It fits perfect

Sunset Market – it’s ghetto awesome

Under surveillance

Making our approach

Mission accomplished

Elder Stovall, are you excited?

 Oh, the intensity.

I’m really excited

Our Valentine’s feast has arrived!!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sam sent pictures…

Oh, those Oregon State Beavers and their practical jokes!!

Finally an investigator who is happy to see us!

Elder Burge ponders the Wiley-Martin handcart experience

IPads AND Snow?!

Who's up for pizza?!

Scraping ice

Snow covered missionary mobile

How are we ever going to find our car?  There is 1” of snow on them!

Hey Elder, let’s see how fast we can take this curve.

The scarf

They’re like kids at Christmas – who got socks!!!

More excited missionaries – the one with the Voss is probably hoping for a bathroom break.

The sisters are way into this training meeting

Did he get on the internet and find out he got “dear johned”?


Thift shop shoes – Macklemore’s got nothin’ on missionaries

A couple of pictures of the snow from the local paper…

Downtown West Linn

Traffic problems from the slippery snow

Snowed out in Portland


It's been a crazy week for us so sorry I didn't get around to taking some pictures of my teaching and such.. This week was pretty crazy, we did in fact get snow- a LOT of snow! (But luckily I had this fancy new iPad to keep me busy).

So on Wednesday we had an "electronic devices" meeting and got formally issued our iPads. It's been interesting having it, to be honest. I've been so deprived of technology for so long it's strange
having to work with it. Like, for example, we've been trying to score free wifi from people in our area! It's been interesting, but I enjoy it. With the gospel library we get to study all sorts of institute
manuals, videos, teachings of prophets, etc. I really like that part, and now we can show people videos, church websites, scriptures, and all sorts of stuff so easily. They're iPad Mini's- good size for us, I think.

Well, after our district meeting on Thursday we went out to eat and as we were eating we got a call from the mission office about the incoming blizzard. We were told to head back to our apartments and stay hunkered down (also to start converting our area books over to our iPads, which took forever).

Well, on the way back to West Linn the roads were chaotic. People rushing to get home to avoid the snow, it was already getting bad when we got back to the apartment. So we stayed in with the West Linn elders and spent the the rest of the day there. Luckily they had a pizza place by them so for dinner we got wings and pizza! We were like the only people there, kind of cool. Then we drove back and that was sketchy! The roads weren't plowed (because there is like one snow-plow in the state of Oregon) and we had to get up this pretty steep hill to get home that night. Luckily the snow in Utah had gotten me accustomed to sliding and fish-tailing all over the road.

So the rest of the weekend we spent a lot of time in the apartment-the roads were crazy and slick. The world shuts down here when there's snow. People were all walking everywhere, this one family had a fire pit in the middle of the street while their kids snowboarded down this hill by their house! It was pretty funny. We tried to go around shoveling driveways and NOBODY would let us help them, people resisted pretty heavily to us helping the, in any way and it was so weird! I don't get why people wouldn't let us help... It's kind of frustrating, but whatever.

I stayed really warm though (used my scarf for the first time and I was surprised at how much that helped), and luckily we had members close by to hang out with/use their wifi. This one family decided to go out to the grocery store while we were there and on the way back got hit by a car sliding down this steep hill! They had like $8,000 in damages- so they asked us if we wanted to eat some $8,000 pizza! Either way, our week was really slow.. All of our lessons were cancelled so we didn't teach at all this week, which was a bummer but we'll (hopefully) have some lessons this week! We have a few planned but the snow is still kind of bad.

Well, tell pops I feel his pain - I get incredibly paranoid whenever I even see cops now (and I drive a bit like an old man).. Well I gotta' go but I hope y'all have a good week. I love you guys.

-Elder Samuel A. Burge
Sent from my iPad

Monday, February 3, 2014

We’re going totally digital with IPads

Well, I'm glad that you've gotten the car problem all taken care of. I don't get why people do the things that they do- doesn't make any sense. It's sad to see the Nissan Sentra go- it will forever rest in my memories (can you break like a mirror off, or rip the radio out for a keepsake of my delivery days?)

This past week was pretty slow, we had a lot of lessons fall through. We did have two really good lessons though. (they were our only lessons, but quality over quantity right?) We finally were able to meet with this really nice lady that I hadn't seen in months. We'd kept stopping by, but she's just been really busy- which is understandable. I feel like our lesson went well, she's really open which is always nice!

You meet a lot of really cool people with interesting histories and backgrounds, I was thinking about that after talking with this really awesome guy who's less-active. I think you can learn so much from people's experiences. He just talked with us about how he drifted out of the church in his life, and about all sorts of crazy stories he had (like being a lower priest in the church of Satan for awhile)! But it's really neat to get to speak with so many people about their lives, what brought them to where they're at now- just so many different experiences to draw and learn from!

So something that's really interesting that I've been withholding for a little while- this Wednesday we're getting another big change-up to the Portland mission... We're each now going totally digital with iPads! No more area books, getting information around is totally different, we have all sorts of videos, manuals, articles, talks at our fingertips! It's crazy! Some of the leadership (zone leaders, etc.) have gotten them and Elder Lasley, one of my zone leaders, was flaunting his new device and it looks freaking sweet! I'll send you some pictures of me using it, and teaching with it!~

Well, love you all! Hope you have an awesome week!

---Elder Samuel A. Burge