Hello everyone! This week has been interesting! We now have 4 missionaries living in our apartment. My companion and I, a missionary from the closed Tacloban mission, and Elder Lyon from my MTC district! It has been fun having him around and I’m excited to see how much we both grow!
Other than that, a lot of the same! I’m learning a lot from those that we teach and from the members that are in our ward. It is so hard to see investigators struggle with things like coming to church or the Word of Wisdom. We are trying our hardest to teach them what they need to know, but ultimately, it is up to them because they have their free agency.
Happy Thanksgiving! I’m excited to eat rice, fish, and ham while you all are eating turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, the list goes on and on and on and on and on… right? Anyway, don’t have too much fun without me, but have a great Thanksgiving! It makes me miss home a lot, but I’m excited to continue with my mission! I got pretty emotional hearing about Austin (editors note: Austin Jensen is the 20 year old, autistic son of our friends Steve and Janna Jensen who unexpectedly passed away last week)… That’s tough, but if I’ve gained a testimony about anything while I’ve been here, it is about the eternal nature of families. I love it that God loves us so much that He provided us to be happy for all of eternity. It is so flippin’ great. It is still regularly sticky, hot, and not too breezy here. That’s okay though, the people here make up for it. They are so kind and loving, so mom, don’t worry too much about that. I ate fish heads today by the way!
I don’t have much time this week, but I want you all to know that I’m happy and safe here! I’m really learning to enjoy the moments that I’m given and to make the most out of every situation. I’ve seen people change and I know that we can all become better people in this life! I love all of you!
Elder Tyler Burbidge
Hello everyone – it has been an interesting week here in Lucena, Philippines! First of all I should tell you that I’ve killed “marami malaking” (Tagalog for many large) insects in my apartment. We accidentally broke the insecticide spray bottle so there is no longer protection from the creepy crawlies. no worries though! Also, I am down 30 lbs. since August 14th!! Don’t worry! I’m healthy but I feel like a little child because I am swimming in my shirts. it’s ok though, I’m happy =)
The biggest news is that we received missionaries from the closed Tacloban Mission! I am now in a “tri-panionship” (as opposed to a companionship) with my relatively new companion that I got last week and now this new Elder from the Tacloban Mission. We travelled to the mission home today to receive him! A new companion and basically leaving the area was tough, but it helped me get lost in the work. I am still fond of home, but I’m growing to love it here! The people are so understanding and so kind to me even though I’m not that great at speaking their language. We have one investigator, Brother Hermie, who is 67 years old. He is the first investigator that I have grown to really love with a Christ-like love. He is so great! He is so converted to what he knows to be true and is an incredible human being. He struggles with some things, and it kills me to see him fall, but I know that he can become better and through diligent faith, he can become even happier than he is now.
I’m learning how to adjust to different situations more than ever before. I’ve never been open to change. Ever. However, now I’m beginning to embrace it. When things change, we have a new chance to start over and to begin anew. It is such a blessing to have the ability for change and progression. I’m running low on time, AGAIN this week, but I love you all and I want you all to know that we can get through whatever comes our way. No matter what, we can always keep going. NGUNNGU di ba??? Alam ko po na mahal po tayo ng Diyos at meron po siya ng plano para sa atin. Nandito tayo dito sa mundo dahil kinakailangan po natin na nagtutoo. That’s probably not perfect, but I want you to try and figure it out haha love all of you!
Elder Tyler Burbidge
Good morning to all!!!! I just want to let you know that I’m safe and happy! For my birthday, I GOT A NEW COMPANION! It is so crazy that my trainer got transferred! I was looking forward to working with my first companion for longer, but my new companion, Elder Pelayo, is a really hard worker! He’s fun to be around and he motivates me to be better.
Tyler is located on the northernmost island (Luzon) visible on the image above. They felt very little effect of Typhoon Haiyan in his area.
This week was interesting! With my birthday, the typhoon, transfer week, and other things, it was a pretty crazy week! I’m excited to see what the next week has in store. I’m really growing to love the people here. It is fun to build relationships with people, even if you can’t communicate with them as much as you’d like to. I’ve had to exercise my faith more in the last 6 weeks or so than I’ve ever had to before in my life. I’ve grown so much and I’m excited to see how much I can squeeze out of the rest of my mission.
I know that we aren’t supposed to number the amount of time before we get home, but i am officially 1/8 of the way finished with my mission! It is crazy to think that in really no time at all I’ll be home. It honestly makes me nervous to think about being at home!
Don’t get me wrong, I’M FOCUSED ON BEING HERE. I’ve had to be, having a companion that is new to the area. I miss you all and I’m thankful for all of the birthday wishes! They made it all the way over here to the Philippines! I miss you all and I hope you are happy because you deserve to be! Don’t forget who you are, ever!
Love you all!
Elder Tyler Burbidge
Editor’s Note: While Tyler’s area was not severely impacted by the typhoon, other areas south of his mission were devastated. For information on how to contribute to the LDS Church’s relief efforts in the Philippines and worldwide, please follow the link below:
Good day to you all! I’ve learned a lot of valuable things this week! I’ve learned that I NEED TO BE MYSELF!!! I can’t be someone that I’m not and expect to be happy. I’m still being obedient to the rules and living missionary life, but I’m not going to be the robot that I’ve been for the last 5 weeks.
I’m getting better at Tagalog every day! It is fun when I actually feel confident talking to someone. I’m struggling at holding conversations, but I can teach generally! I miss you all!
Young Single Adult Conference attendees
I had a cool experience on a jeep the other night! All of the missionaries from our Zone, Lucena Zone, were on a jeepney coming back from a conference of Young Single Adults at which we taught. We were all singing primary songs that reminded me of home, but I wasn’t sad. I was happy for the experience to be THOUSANDS of miles away from home so that other families can become closer. That doesn’t mean this is easy. It is definitely the hardest thing I’ve done, but I’m learning so much.
Photo of a Jeepney – a type of bus transportation very common in the Philippines!
I miss and love all of you!
Elder Tyler Burbidge