Participating in a service project – cleaning out a gutter!
Hello everyone! This last week was pretty good! We had an investigator pass his baptismal interview this week and I’m baptizing him on Saturday! He’s 11 years old and his name is Jonas. His mother is a member but less active in the church and so he looks to us like his big brothers! It’s way cool. He takes care of himself pretty much and he thinks its hilarious when I speak English.
We’ve been getting member referrals like CRAZY! We got six new investigators this week from member referrals so I have really come to realize the power of the members- they are amazing!!
My companion is still pretty new to the whole missionary thing. We are starting the second transfer cycle of his training and it’s going well. We continue to work on our cultural differences, which is a big part of being a missionary in a foreign country. We get along great and I am very thankful for him! My apartment is pretty small, but we have air conditioning in our bedroom, which is a luxury!
The Atimonan Pier.
I’m not going to lie, the language is still troubling me! I am able to communicate fine, but it’s just learning the vocabulary that slaying me right now. If anyone has any pointers of super handy suggestions in this area, my ears are always open!
Well I’ll sign off for now, but i want you all to know how much I love you! Keep doing the work of the Lord, too! Continue to be happy. The gospel is for everyone, even though it feels like folks might reject it you gotta keep truckin’ along! I miss home, but the Philippines is starting to feel like home (except that it is dang flippin’ hot all the time)!
Elder Tyler Burbidge
Typical section of highway through Atimonan.
Hello everyone, I am still living the dream in Atimonan! I am doing pretty good here and learning to let things go and depend more on the Savior, which sounds easy but can be difficult at times.
I am always humbled by the members here in this area. The reality is that it takes sacrifice for anyone to be an active member of the church, wherever they are in the world. In Atimonan, most of the members are pretty well off compared to what I’ve seen in other areas and so even though they do make sacrifices, they have such a firm testimony of the gospel that it seems like nothing to them. The Glorioso family is so great! They feed us all the time, their son is a return missionary who works with us all the time, they have a daughter who is preparing to serve a mission, and there are two or three other little kids that just make us happy.
Other members in this area just show us how we need to live in order to become Christlike. No matter what their trials or hardships are, they are at church smiling on Sundays. Some drive tricycles for a living, which yields minimum income, but they sacrifice on Sunday not just to come to church, but to keep the Sabbath Day holy and take a true day of rest. I’ve been learning a lot about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for all of us and the role of the sacrament. I gave a workshop at district meeting about the sacrament – check out D&C 76:50-69 where it teaches us that in order to become perfect, we need to take the sacrament in order to have the spirit with us.
So, other than that I am just trying to remove from myself and get lost in the work! We had a baptism this last week so that was exciting to see my companion perform that ordinance! We taught a lot of lessons, but only a fraction of our investigators came to church this week so that was kind of a bummer. We have some very neat people who are taking the lessons and preparing for baptism, so please keep them in your prayers.
Elder Tyler Burbidge with his companion, Elder Tumanguil, prior to a baptism.
Easter was a little bit more subdued than Christmas around here – that is for sure – but we were able to enjoy our Sunday. I miss you all back home but am happy to be on my mission and serving in the Philippines.
Elder Tyler Burbidge
Ready for a baptism! Elder Burbidge is “off and running!”
My companion and me near the sea.
Hey everyone, this is Elder (Tyler) Burbidge checking in from the beautiful town of Atimonan still. This week was tough because we were only in the area for two days because of various meetings we attended throughout the mission. This area is beautiful, but it is pretty much out in the sticks so it takes a while to get anywhere! I’m learning a lot – especially how much I need to change to qualify for salvation! So I am striving for that and know that despite any struggles I might be having, it’s going to make me better in the end.
Beautiful Atimonan sunset!
I have gained a stronger understanding that we need to apply what we learn. I was terrible at doing that before my mission, but I am developing that trait and hopefully will get better at it as life goes on. Things that make me happy include seeing an investigator smile, making my companion happy, getting emails from home and Hunter, and feeling the love of God. Oh, and doing the right thing makes me happy too – so I am always striving to be obedient and make good choices.
My mission president is great – he loves the missionaries so much. He’s such a great example of understanding how we need to be in order to obtain the blessings of heaven. He was explaining that people just expect blessings without applying the gospel, but that is exactly what a person needs to do! Blessings come when we act and apply the gospel in our lives – so that is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned from him.
Some of my best experiences here in Atimonan have been seeing our investigators change! We also were able to teach a lesson on the beach to someone last week so that was pretty cool! I also have enjoyed meeting those that are so devoted to the gospel here in this area – the members and recent converts are amazing.
I appreciate you all back home and would ask you to pray for a set of ten year-old twins that we are teaching right now so that they might receive an answer to their prayers. We have a couple of other investigators that are trying to come closer to their Heavenly Father so pray for them as well!
I love you and appreciate all of the support from home. I miss my family and friends but love the work I am doing. Take care and I’ll write again soon!
Elder Tyler Burbidge
Magandang Hapon sa inyong lahat! Masaya ‘ko dito sa Atimonan! I’ll tell you, there is nothing like a nice beach-side fishing town! I wake up every morning to the smell of toasted coconut! It really is like living in paradise! But that’s not the cool part! The cool part is seeing the lives of people change! We will be baptizing a brother this upcoming week. He’s been through a lot and I feel privileged to have taught him!
My “greenie” or “anak”, as we say here in the mission, is great! He’s obedient, happy, hardworking, loving, and Filipino! That last part comes in handy sometimes! I’ve been doing a lot of walking! In my first area, Lucena, we would take tricycles and jeepnies everywhere, but here we just WALK, WALK, WALK. It’s nice because it gives us time to admire the beauty of the area. The language is still a pill, but I can see progress!
Me and my “greenie” companion near the beach.
It’s so awesome to be here right now doing this work. Sometimes I get irritated because all we do is “teach lessons”. But then I have to remember…that’s not what we’re doing – we’re changing lives. It’s so amazing to see the change that comes to the lives of those who accept the message we have to share.
Other than that, I ate shark again this week, a foot-long spicy chili dog from a street stand and (drum roll please) HORSE ADOBO!!!!!!! It was suuuuuper good. Probably won’t eat it again though, it was a little weird. The shark is super good though. Oh, and pandecoco is bread filled with coconut goodness. It’s great!
The spicy foot-long chile dog!!
I’m happy here and I love you all! Be happy and work hard!
Elder Tyler Burbidge