Monthly Archives: June 2014

Loving the Work in Calamba

Hey Everyone!

This week was good!  We found a new apartment, got it approved, and are moving in tomorrow!  I’m super excited to move in because it has a microwave!  We are now teaching several people.  Our upcoming baptism is brother Geo who is 16 years old and part of a family who are already members of the church.  He’s really cool.  We’re also teaching a senior couple who are both 76 years old, but have this strangely strong desire to change!  It’s awesome because our area is kind of hard to find new investigators in, but we’re doing it in faith!

We are basically starting a new branch of the church here in Calamba, so it is kind of hard, but I know it’s got to be important for me to be here and witness it!  It’s a strong witness to me of how true the church really is!  The organization of the Church is perfect and as I watch it happen here with this new branch, my own knowledge of the truth is strengthened.  It’s also humbling to be around great members that have a desire for true growth in their area of God’s Kingdom.
My companion is still hilarious!  We are pretty good friends now and everyday there’s always something new we learn together.  It’s so cool to me that I now have friends from all over the globe from the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Canada, and throughout the United States as well.  I’m loving the social aspect of a mission such as meeting new people every day that love to do this same work.
It is still the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but I’m loving it.  I’ll never be able to express the change that this mission has wrought on me.  I’m changing every day for the better.  This is absolutely the best and the most important thing I’ve ever done before, and I’m grateful for the support of those that I love!  I love and miss you all and am almost half way to coming back, so watch out!!!
Love,
Elder Tyler Burbidge
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Hey all!

We have had a pretty busy week of missionary work here in Calamba.  We found 10 more investigators who we are excited to teach the gospel to.  And we also possibly found two apartments in our work area so hopefully we can secure one of them and move a little closer to our district.  We also talked to a group of about 20 Iglesia ni Cristo members who are a split-off from our church – which was interesting but didn’t lead to any serious prospects!

I have been missing home a little bit, and sometimes I just feel so disconnected from all of you back home.  I realize that I’ve been gone for about a year, and I get a little bit too excited sometimes about being home to be with you all again.  I don’t think about it too much but my mission president encourages us to ponder what we will do after the mission, so that’s when I get a little homesick.  Most of the time we are just so busy that I can’t think much of home – so it’s all good.

I am sorry that I haven’t been taking many photos lately!  I need to start doing it more.  I am looking for a new book bag since the one that I brought out with me is almost in tatters.  The humid climate takes it’s toll on stuff like that!

I am looking forward to meeting our new mission president.  We get to formally meet him on the 4th of July!!!  I’ll make sure to wear my red, white, and blue tie and bring my America handkerchief, just so he knows that I’m still true to the red, white, and blue!

I guess that’s about it for this week!  I love you all and appreciate your support!

Elder Tyler N. Burbidge

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Getting Settled in Calamba

A highway outside of Calamba on a clear day

A highway outside of Calamba on a clear day

Hello everyone – I am going on my second week in my new city of Calamba and I am still getting settled into the routine here.  Calamba is an urbanized area so it is pretty smoky (hazy), polluted, and grey – sort of a “concrete jungle”.   This area is a stark contrast to my previous area of Atimonan, which was lush and clean and remote!  My first area of Lucena was a mix of this area and Atimonan, so I am feeling like I have experienced a broad spectrum of living conditions in my first year on the mission.
High Rise buildings

High Rise buildings

I have been assigned to open a new area for missionary work and so our apartment isn’t even in the town where we work.  We commute into our work area about 45-50 minutes each way, every day.  They didn’t even have a house for the missionaries before we get transferred here!  So, regarding our apartment – it is still a work in progress. The sink doesn’t really have a functional drain pipe, so there’s constantly water covering the floor!  But we just mop it up and it is not that big of an inconvenience.  I’m going to be thankful for living in a functional house when I get back to the states!
In other events, the week before I left Atimonan we baptized that little girl named Hershey!  She’s so awesome!  We were also teaching a sister named Venus who is mom’s age!  She would call us her “mga anak”, or children, so we are definitely loved here!  Church members are always watching out for us wherever we are!
This last week we had zone conference with the missionaries  and stake conference with the members where we learned about preparing for future family relationships, so that was pretty cool!  Also, I’m in a zone with my companion from the Missionary Training Center, Elder Bland, so that’s always a riot when we get together.  My companion is a riot too!  We make fun of each other’s accents.  He is from Sri Lanka so has a very thick accent and he thinks I sound funny too.  So that makes things fun around here and I am very happy on my mission.
A couple of insights I have had lately and I shared with Hunter is that there is always light, or truth, around us.  We’re literally surrounded by it, we just need to reach out and grasp it.  The scriptures teach us about the reality of the Spirit and how everything is based upon light and truth.  We are constantly surrounded by spiritual matter that we can’t see, so we need to feel it.  I’m working on understanding that too, but that means that even in the darkest situations, there’s always a glimmer of light and hope, so don’t get too discouraged!  Whatever it is, it can be put on the Savior and then we have to keep walking in the darkness and he’ll light the path eventually.  He requires that. Trials of faith aren’t easy, but they’re necessary for our progression.
Another thought that I recently shared with Hunter is that the spirit doesn’t actually manifest itself to us until AFTER we have acted.  God wants us to grow.  He’s not going to just give us the direct path.  Every single little thing requires our agency.  If we are to become like God someday, we need to be able to decide for ourselves and for our posterity what is right and wrong.  I like to think of the Holy Spirit kinda like coach Weeks back in high school football.  He was a great at coaching us up during practices, but during the games we had to make the calls for ourselves.  At quarter-break or halftime we’d come in and then we’d adjust according to his teaching and guidance.  Then we’d go out and execute – or not execute – and receive the consequences either way.
Anyway – it’s not that everything spiritual can be linked to T-Bird Football – but almost everything 🙂
I hope all is well back home!
Love,
Elder Tyler Norwin Burbidge
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Moving on to Calamba

Good afternoon sa inyong lahat! ito ang tanging Elder Burbidge at gusto ko na sabihin sa ‘yo na I’M TRANSFERRED!!!! nasa Calamba 3rd Branch na ako kasama ng isang taga Sri Lanka! 21 years old po siya at magaling siya na magkaibigan! masaya talaga siya kahit anong nangyayari sa oras namin! kahit mahirap ang trabaho namin ngayon, alam ko na sa pamamagitan ng pananampalataya at panalangin, magkakaroon kami ng dakilang mga biyaya galing sa ating Diyos. 18-20 mga membryo lang dito sa Calamba 3rd, pero malakas sila. ang branch president po namin ay sobrang mabait at masisipag. alam ko na may potential talaga dito. naranasan ko and bagong pakiramdam kaninang umaga. talagang wala nasa isip ko. kalimutan ko na kailangan ko na naaalahanin palagi and kabutihan ng Tagapagligtas natin upang magkaroon ng mga biyaya niya sa atin buhay. iyaw ko minsan ang buhay ko bilang isang misyonero, pero ito ‘yan panahon kung saan kalimutan ko ang patnubay na tinangap ko galing kay Jesucristo. alam ko po na mabuhay pa po siya at mahal niya tayo. talagang walang ibang paraan na maging masaya maliban sa pamamagitan niya. mahal ko kayo! ingat po kayo ‘lagi sa inyong mga paglalakbay at huwag na kalimutan  na isulat sa akin! namiss ko po kayo! kayong lahat ay sa panalanging ko lagi!

mahal ko kayo,
Elder Tyler Norwin Burbidge
For those who can’t read Tagalog, following is what Google Translate said the above means:
Good afternoon to you all!  This is Elder Burbidge and I want to say “I’M TRANSFERRED  to the Calamba 3rd Branch.  My companion is from Sri Lanka and he is 21 years old.  We are already becoming good friends!  He really enjoys going out and doing missionary work any time so we work even harder now.  I know that through faith and prayer, we will have great blessings from our Heavenly Father.  There are only 18-20 members here in Calamba 3rd Branch, but they are very strong.  The branch president knows that we are very friendly and hard working.  I know this area really has potential.
I experienced a renewed feeling this morning that I need to always recognize the love and goodness of our Savior and be thankful for the blessings he gives us.  I love my life as a missionary, but there are times where I forget to accept guidance from Jesus Christ.  I know if I listen to the Holy Ghost I would do more to please him.  He loves us and there really is no other way to be happy except through him.
I love and miss you all back home – you are in my prayers always!
I love you,
Elder Tyler Norwin Burbidge
Map of where Elder Tyler Burbidge is currently serving.

Map of where Elder Tyler Burbidge is currently serving.

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Baptism of Hershey Mae

 

Hello all!

Well the month of May absolutely flew by! I was not feeling very well earlier in the week, but I won’t go into details!  I’m doing better now, it turned out to be just a sinus infection and mucus in my chest, but I’m on antibiotics so I should continue to improve – and I’m feeling better already anyway.

We had a baptism on Saturday for Sister Hershey Mae! She turned 10 on the day of her baptism and has been smiling nonstop since! We are now teaching her grandmother that attended the baptismal service. We are also teaching another sister who is a 47 year old widow with two daughters. She’s had a baptismal goal date for 2 or 3 weeks now and is progressing so well! She even bore her testimony in sacrament meeting and she hasn’t even been baptized yet! She calls us her kids and loves to have us teach her! Her name is Venus and has been so prepared! It’s amazing to see her to continue to progress!

Baptism of

Baptism of Hershey Mae

Today I missed home a lot, but I’ll get over that! Transfer day is on Thursday and I feel like I’m leaving this area, but I don’t want to make any guesses because whatever the Lord says goes!!! I’ll be happy either way.  I’ve finished training my companion, which is why I think I may get transferred so that he can have a chance at leading the area for a transfer, but who knows!

Thanks to everyone for their love and support!

Elder Tyler Burbidge

 

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