Author Archives: jwburb

Loving the Mission Life in Bauan

Well hello everyone.  I guess there will only be about five more emails home before I come home so it looks like I am headed down the home stretch!  We got a lot of new investigators this week, but we’re struggling on getting them to progress. We feel like we’re finding those who have been prepared so well by the Lord to be taught and to receive the gospel, but there’s not much progression going on. I know it’s because there’s something better we could be doing in our teaching, so I’m going to find it. I feel like we need to focus more on the commitments and good effective follow up. So I’ll study that out.

My companion is doing well! We’re both still here in Bauan, so he’ll be takin’ me out! I’m excited to finish here in Bauan just because I feel like it’s got so much potential. Members live the gospel so well here. We’ll be giving a workshop to the ward council on Friday night about how focusing on convert baptisms would help each auxiliary to reach the goals that they already have established. I hope they catch the vision that a baptizing ward is a successful and happy ward family.

It’ll be a good week this week! There are no extra meetings this week so we’ll get out and work a lot. That’s one thing about training that’s a bit difficult. For example of Wednesday, we have district meeting from 9:30 to 11:30, we eat lunch and then study for 4 hours. So that turns into about 6pm that we get out. Only 3 hours of work and traffic is absolutely CRAZY here. It’s 30 minutes to get anywhere. So I can’t control any of that so we’ve just got to depend on the atonement and the grace and mercy of God and His plan that He is fulfilling.

I learned some cool stuff about prophets today. I’m re-doing my base lesson plans with my companion, because he’s a newbie, and so I was going over “Heavenly Father reveals His gospel in all dispensations” in lesson 1, the Restoration. I was reading about various prophets and came across ENOCH in the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. Enoch is in the bible too, but there’s not too much that we know about him if we don’t have modern revelation and a PROPHET today. anyway, what I understood in my study today, is that prophets TALK AND WALK WITH GOD. there’s no other way that mankind can know their true relationship with God, or know about the Atonement and purpose of Christ, or know how to act according to the first principles, faith and repentance, and the first ordincances, baptism and confirmation. Then right now I thought about Joseph Smith and his role as a prophet. he has TALKED AND WALKED WITH GOD. He has brought forth the Book of Mormon through the power of God which teaches us perfectly of the first principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that there’s probably not many people that know the Book of Mormon better than Joseph Smith.

Prophets are absolutely essential. if you are not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and you want to know who the Prophet is, because you need to know, his name is Thomas S. Monson. He’s your key to knowing God =)

have a great week all of you!

Love ya from the Philippines

Elder Tyler Burbidge

#onenalang

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Hot, Hot, Hot in Bauan

Hey there!  This week was another one of high heat!  That’s alright though, can’t do anything about it, so i’ll just keep meltin’ for the next couple months.  What did I learn this week?  I learned that people are generally good!  People love the feeling of being friendly.  It feels like garbage when you’re mean to someone.  Maybe good in the moment, but afterwards, you’ll eventually feel like “garb” (shoutout to Mark Pike).

I also learned this week to focus on people. Building relationships is the best way to show pure Christ-like love.  Christ took time to teach His disciples in groups and individually.  We can do the same thing.  We just have to be consistent with who we are!  Once we do that, we can treat a big group and an individual exactly the same and they feel your love through your words and actions.  

We found some new people to teach this week!  They are, as I said earlier, friendly!  We’ll get back to them this Tuesday and see how they’re doing.  We’ve got a big vision for this place!  We’ve got goals and plans and we’re working hard.  I’ve realized the importance of agency here.  

Lehi’s dream is awesome still.  I’ve been testified to that Prophets and Apostles walk the earth today.  I’ve felt it as I’ve read their words.  The plan is grand!  I’m excited to keep up the hard work until the end!  I know it’s 2 months, but that doesn’t feel real.  For some reason it feels like a long time, but in reality it’s not.  22 out of 24 months out of the way? that’s 11/12. Which is like 5.5/6 which is like 2.25/3.  So anyway, I know it’s close.  I’m not counting days or anything, and I don’t plan to do so. NGUNNGU.  I love you all!  Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Tyler Burbidge

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Headed Back out to the Field – Transferred to Bauan!

A Map of the City of Bauan in Batangas Province

A Map of the City of Bauan in Batangas Province

After almost six months in the mission office serving as an Assistant to the President, Elder Burbidge has been transferred out into the mission field to the City of Bauan.  He is approximately 60 miles south of his brother, the “Other Elder Burbidge”!  The transfer was an experience that consisted of catching a Jeepney, then transferring to a bus, then back to another Jeepney before arriving in his new town.  His companion is Elder Samuel Leon, a new missionary from Sidney, Australia so Elder Burbidge will have the chance to train him up before he leaves in July!

Main Cathedral in Bauan

Main Cathedral in Bauan

Elder Burbidge was able to Skype with his family on Mother’s Day, and is excited to finish his mission strong over the next couple of months before returning home to Washington State!

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Deep Thoughts from Deep in the Heart of the Philippines

Hey there!  Sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve sent a proper blog post to you all!  I hope I can remember things that have been happening.  Anyway, the last two weeks have been crazy!  We contacted a total of 24 missionaries through things like companionship studies, exchanges, and practice teaching, etc.  We did something like nine exchanges over the past two weeks, which was actually incredibly productive.  We’ve been assigned to exchange with all of the newer District Leaders. What’s cool about going on exchanges with district leaders is that one of us gets to exchange with their companion so it’s been fun.  We went to the following Districts: Pila, Sariaya, Siniloan 2, Lumban, Atimonan (yup, my old District), Lopez 1, Calauag, and Lucban.

District T-Shirts on order!

District T-Shirts from Batangas!

In the process we were able to attend some District Meetings where we are amazed at how awesome our missionaries are. When we meet with them, we get to see the strengths that they’ve got and try and develop ourselves along with them.  I can’t think of two weeks ever in my life where I’ve grown more. It’s all because of others!  I studied about service for the last few days and I love what’s found in chapter 39 of Genesis that we are prospered by God as we serve others righteously.  It’s how He is able to perfect us, exalt us, and allow us to be joint heirs in His kingdom.
I’m going to be training a new missionary again, which means I am getting punted outta the office!  I’m excited about it and its cool to think that my next companion is in the Missionary Training Center right now.  I’m excited to meet him and watch him grow!  I know i’m gonna learn a lot of bagays from him, haha!
Performing service to the Filipino people

Performing service to the Filipino people in Atimonan

I’m pretty much slapped in the face everyday by the fact that this thing is winding down.  I don’t feel like it is, i feel like it’s going to speed up super quick.  And then one day it’s just gonna stop and I’ll be sitting on an airplane headed for the United States.  I’ve pondered on that. The transition from one phase of life to another isn’t the exciting part.  It’s the “in-between” that really matters.  HOW YOU USE YOUR TIME to serve others, is what really matters.  I imagine that’s what it is like as time ticks down in life.  I know, that’s gettin’ a bit deep, but I imagine we get to the other side and say to ourselves, “that whole time I was so worried about the end when I should have been worried about the middle”!  It’s kinda like eating a Jake sandwich from Dirty Dave’s.  The last bite is usually just bread and lettuce.  The middle is the best!  That makes sense na.
I love you all!  Thanks for all that each of you do to make other’s lives pleasant.  Keep up the hard work. Heavenly Father loves you. Jesus Christ loves you. They live!  Have a great week!
Love,
Elder Tyler Burbidge

Travelling throughout the mission...

Travelling throughout the mission…Gumaca Fish statue

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Serve the Lord by Serving Others

Elders Burbidge and Pulido working hard!

Elders Burbidge and Pulido working hard!

Hello everyone!  Following is a sentence from an email I received last week…can you guess who sent it to me?

“I watched the General Women’s Conference last night and am psyched to hear the General Conference sessions next week.”

Was it…Sister Sparks?  Nope.  Mom?  Nope.  Kate?  Nope!  Aunt Judy!………… you’re a winner!

I didn’t know Aunt Judy had such a hip vocab. Anyway, this week was good! It was transfer week! It’s always kind of a blur around here. HUGE things happen, like a departing batch of missionaries, a new batch coming in, transfer calls, transfer day, and it just goes right out of the brain unless I write it down.  Anyway, the new batch of missionaries that we got this week was 9 sisters and 2 elders.  It’s been interesting to watch outgoing batches and incoming batches and to see how the Lord really just replaces personalities. We get to interact with each missionary that just got here and they are SO SIMILAR to the missionaries that have left from the previous couple of batches. It’s awesome to me how the Lord knows what this mission needs and is sending the kind of diversity that we need here to reach as many people as possible.

I talked with President Mangum this week about what it’s like to go home.  I’m not trunky – just a bit concerned because my plan is not set in stone (i feel like it will never be), and wanted some guidance about how to connect as many parts of missionary life to the next step as possible. I’m mostly focused on just staying far from temptation, not necessarily bad situations, but just thoughts that i’m not fulfilling a purpose because i won’t be a missionary anymore. I hope that made sense!  Anyway, he just told me to serve!  Among other things that’s what i picked up.  I realized that you don’t need a badge and a white shirt to serve others and be a good person.  The quote, “be anxiously engaged in a good cause” has been in my thoughts recently and I’m excited to continue to serve here with that attitude, and continue on within the next couple months serving others and helping them feel the Love that God has for them. 

This upcoming week we’re going to have a district leader training meeting and an MLC meeting. My companion, elder Pulido and I are pretty stoked about it! we’ve got some good ideas for this one. we’re centering it upon the #becauseHelives initiative that the church released this last week. I’ll let you know how it goes next week. I love you all and I hope that you are HAPPY.  If not, do something to fix it.  Ask for help.  Search for truth.  God loves you and wants you to take the steps necessary to have joy in your life.  It’s a cool principle of truth.  It’s His only desire. 

Keep serving others!

mahal ko kayo!

Elder Tyler Burbidge

Elder Burbidge taking on the Empire!

Elder Burbidge taking on the Empire!

Elder Burbidge geting a bike out of a tree?!

Elder Burbidge geting a bike out of a tree?!

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Busy at Work in the San Pablo Mission!

Hey everyone!  I’m short on time today! Sorry po! And the pictures aren’t working, so I think, for now, you’ll have to wait until next week!

Cleaning out the mission storage area.

Cleaning out the mission storage area.

Anyway, we closed an apartment this week and ate some ribs in the City of Infanta!  We went on three different exchanges and I learned so much from the people that we exchanged with.  I love companionship study with them just because they have so many great ideas and our missionaries are the best in the world (no offense, but it’s true).  This week, we’re closing another apartment and doing some more exchanges out in the Quezon Province towards my second area of ATIMONAN. I’m so excited to go back through there.  Hopefully I can connect with one or two people that I’ve been able to meet in the past.  There are some families that treated me so well while I was there.

We’ve got some busy weeks comin’ up!  Mission Leaders Conference, Zone Conference, and a Ward Missionary Fireside, It’ll be interesting but very fast paced.  March is going to be a fun month.  It’s crazy to me that we’re sitting at 5 months left!  I had my quarterly interview with President Mangum last night and it was fun to sit and counsel with him about some of the things I should expect as time winds down.  One thing that I didn’t expect to be feeling right now is an extra boost of desire to do all that I can to help here.  To actually serve others, not just “exist” here as a missionary, but to really change lives and help others, along with myself, to improve.  I’m really excited for the next couple months.  I love all of you. Have a great week and be happy! 

Love,

Elder Tyler Burbidge

Picking up the mission van.

Picking up the mission van with Elder Pulido

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Daily Life in the San Pablo Mission – All is Well

What’s up, friends and family?

Elder Galbraith, our office specialist senior couple, is a professional photographer. We want to photoshop an explosion in the background!

Elder Galbraith, our office specialist senior couple, is a professional photographer. We want to photoshop an explosion in the background!

Mission Leader Conference with President & Sister Mangum

Mission Leader Conference with President & Sister Mangum

This week seemed pretty long to be honest! It’s weird how it works like that, huh? it was a good week though. We got out and did some exchanges and helped President Mangum with some stuff. One of the experiences that I had was pretty cool.

We went on exchanges with a district leader, but I was with his companion.  Which was cool, but it just shows how kind of, I don’t want to say random, but for lack of a better word, I’ll use it: it was random!  We weren’t necessarily “assigned” to go on exchanges with that elder for any reason, BUT when we got there we had kind of a special and unique experience. 

My companion went with the district leader, and I went with his companion, who is under 6 months in the mission.  We did the usuals: Personal Study, Companionship Study, and Language Study.  We worked from the point when we left the apartment to when we came back in the evening, so it may have seemed at a glance to be a pretty normal day.  But I want to testify of the power of truly counseling and discussing trials or hard things that you’re going through.  As I mentioned earlier, this elder wasn’t someone we were specifically assigned to visit, but during our companionship study, he completely opened up to me about his mission and how he felt about not measuring up and what more he could be getting out of it.  It really humbled me that I would be placed in a situation to help with that concern, seeing as it’s one of my own concerns from time to time.  It was a cool experience as I was directed to scriptures and to words of living Prophets and Apostles to help this amazing Elder resolve some of his own concerns. 

I made a great friend that day!  I think that God places us in certain situations and we shouldn’t forget the lessons that we learn while there.  I think that goes the same way with most people.  People that we are able to interact with have a special place in God’s plan for us.  If you have the ability or capability to empower that other person to do great things, and you don’t do it because of pride, you’ll be held accountable for that.  If you do take full responsibility for the situation and people that you’re presented with and act according to the Spirit and with CHARITY, you’ll be blessed for your assistance to other of God’s children. 

We’ve got to be kinder and more loving to our fellow men.  We were prepared too carefully before we were born here to degrade another soul.  Just smile and serve!  That’s all it takes to feel like you’re doing something important, because you are. basta, “be good to each other” -bill (Bill&Ted’s excellent adventure).

Love you all!

Elder Tyler Burbidge

I found a tractor!

I found a tractor!

One of the perks of being in the office!

One of the perks of being in the office!

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Happy New Year from San Pablo!

Hey everyone – I’m just getting a chance to write a few thoughts I have had lately as we turn the corner on a new year – I am looking forward to a great 2015!  

First of all, I have been doing some thinking about why bad things happen to good people and vice versa.  I feel that God knows what we can take. He knows what each of us can endure. More often than not, truly good people have softer hearts and are more able to handle situations that are “hard” or temptations that are “hard”.  Without it, they wouldn’t become better people.  What’s amazing about that is the enabling power of the atonement helps us get through those things.  

I want to share a recent experience with you all.  It’s simple, but true.  Two weeks ago during the Christmas Zone Conferences, I borrowed President’s MASTER KEY to unlock a door in a chapel that we were in. This key unlocks ALL chapels in the Southern Luzon Region. And it went missing. He was calm and he never got angry as I searched every nook and cranny of the chapel until the simple thought came into my head to pray. So i went to the restroom in the chapel, closed my eyes and said “Dear Heavenly Father”…when at that moment my companion burst into the bathroom and said that President had found the key in his bag.  I was so ticked before when I thought it was lost because it was CHRISTMAS and it would have absolutely ruined my life for the next few weeks to know that thousands if not millions of pesos of tithing money from poverty stricken members was going to have to be used to change keys and locks for every chapel in the mission in order to correct my stupid mistake.  BUT I acted in faith and was blessed.  In my opinion, that’s all that our Father in Heaven wants us to do, is take steps of faith which is really a change in our nature called repentance so that we are more able to live the covenants we have made with Him through Christ in order to return to Him. 

I know that Heavenly Father loves us.  I also know that He Lives.  Christ is the way to Him.  No matter what has happened in the past of the church, we can know through the comforter, that this is the truth, that the Bible and Book of Mormon are true and that people are NOT perfect.  I love Moroni and Nephi because they always speak of their inability to be perfect.  It’s comforting in a way to know that they too were not perfect.  I know that true and full repentance is possible through the atonement of Christ and that the resurrection will happen.  That is what gives me comfort in times of hardship. That, I bet, is what gave Christ comfort while He atoned for us in the garden.  We need to focus more on the hope that comes after failure through Christ.  We will be coupled with eternal glory as we live the gospel and strive perfectly to be perfect.

Well, those were just some deep thoughts I have been having lately!  I am happy and busy – but happy to be busy!  I love you and appreciate all you guys do for me!

Love,

Tyler

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Merry Christmas from The Philippines

Merry Christmas everyone!!!  I’ve got like a couple of minutes to shoot off an email telling you that I love you before we leave the office for the night!  This morning we got up at 4:30 am, left the mission home at 6:00 am, drove two hours to Lucena, gave a one hour training meeting for new trainers at 8:30 am.  Then at 10:00 am zone conference started that went until 4:00 pm. During that zone conference we gave a workshop about short powerful messages in finding.  We taught about the principle of reflection. How we receive light from our Heavenly Father through Christ and it is an unchangable law of God not for us to reflect it once we receive it.  If you want to get deep with it, I found it while studying Facsimile 2 in the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price along with Doctrine & Covenants 88 (40ish verses).  It’s wild, but so simple how God’s laws apply to everything that he creates. There’s a lot of light going on out in space, but it’s all organized. Just like our testimonies and our faith. If you are really receiving light through the Atonement, you should really be reflecting just as much to those around you. 

Elder Burbidge & President Mangum, his mission president at Mission Leader's Conference.

Elder Burbidge & President Mangum, his mission president at Zone Conference. President Mangum was reading ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” to the leaders.

Selfie with Elder Burbidge and Elder Bodkin at Zone Conference.

Selfie with Elder Burbidge and Elder Bodkin at Zone Conference.

Tomorrow is the same schedule, except we get to sleep in a little bit later than yesterday because our venue for the zone conference is closer – in the town of Lipa.  I struggled a bit in church this last week about not being with the family at Christmas time, but it made me so grateful for you all that I became happy instead.  I’ve been trying to observe how much light is going on around us through the actions of others and you’ll find that even though the world is pretty crude right now, most people have light that they don’t know that they have.  That means you do too.  Magnify that light through living worthy of the Spirit to guide you in which direction and which way to “direct your reflect”.  Thank you so much!  I love you all!  Merry Christmas. 

Love,

Elder Tyler Burbidge

DSCN1749

Elder Bland, Elder Burbidge, and a Sister missionary at Zone conference.

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Goodbye, “Ruby” Tuesday!

‘Ello mates!

I’m alive. The storm wasn’t bad where i was at. But as assistants, office elders, and stranded zone leaders, we organized evacuation plans and stuff for other zones, but i’ll go over that later.

I guess I’ll start with last week. We went on an exchange on Tuesday to Wednesday with a district leader and then attended their district meeting. It was REALLY good. I was on exchanges with the district leader.  On Tuesday, we talked and counseled about different ways to really take “ownership” of the district that you lead. To set goals, use time wisely, receive revelation, act, follow up, etc. I felt like when we were discussing these things, he was listening. Turns out he was REALLY listening because he hit the nail on the head at district meeting. It was really refreshing seeing someone apply something so quickly and so effectively.

On Thursday, we completed our workshop and the training plan for our Mission Leader’s Council.  As assistants, we conduct the meeting, present the training plan, and give an hour long workshop on a topic that we receive through revelation for the mission that will aid the leaders in effectively leading their missionaries. We decided to twist things up a bit. In the past, the MLC workshops were given to instruct the missionaries on teaching skills that would have somehow “carried-over” into leadership qualities that could also be used in the next week’s zone training meeting to train missionaries. This MLC, my companion and I went straight for the core leadership of the mission. We gave a workshop to THEM about their needs, about how to become more like Christ and to lead like Him. We gave a workshop focused on the Christlike attribute of CHARITY and how it connects to our training plan topic of REPENTANCE AND THE ATONEMENT.

Studying and preparing for the workshop was cool. I realized on a completely different level how everything in the gospel is related. Prayer and The Resurrection. Tithing and the Pre-existence. Eternal Families and Planning. I’ve found that if we find the simple connection between doctrine (which is so vast) and every day simple things that we understand well, such as prayer, fasting, or faith, our understanding of Jesus Christ, who He is, what He did, and who we are, becomes so incredibly clear. With charity, we taught a principle that you’ll find in a physics book. For every charitable ACTION there is a charitable (or Christlike) REACTION. in other words, if you exercise any of the attributes listed in Moroni 7:45, you will invoke a charitable (or Christlike) reaction upon another person, or in other words, you help them to REPENT as Christ helped others repent. 

Why do you want to repent? where does that desire come from? It comes from Christ’s Atonement for us. It’s something that we ALL feel, whether we have knowledge of Christ or not. We all feel a need to exercise virtue, or endure, or believe, just because Christ acted out of love for us. How cool is that? i’m learning soooo much here in the office. I feel a little down sometimes, because it’s hard to see the direct effect that comes so often with teaching investigators, but it is still a feeling that i’m fulfilling the purpose in some way. 

As for the storm, on Friday we had an office meeting. We put together group text messages and assigned each elder in the office 1 or 2 zones to be responsible throughout and after the storm for reporting purposes. I was assigned to the Lopez Zone and the San Pablo Zone. For the last storm, Glenda back in July, Lopez got absolutely thrashed, so as soon as this storm got anywhere close to our mission, we evacuated the whole zone to a chapel in the area that was highest in elevation and most able to withstand the storm. San Pablo wasn’t effected much and we saw that the storm wouldn’t really effect the missionaries here, but we did evacuate two apartments before the storm for a risk of flooding. It was really cool to kind of be a part of a “headquarters” crew that managed people and places and stuff. It was kinda scary because we didn’t know what was going to happen, but it turned out the worst we had was flooding out of the bathrooms at that Lopez Zone evacuation spot. 

Yesterday, while staying in our apartment, we just hung out, studied, sang, tried to eat 72 hour kit food, and slept. It was a nice relaxing day. Not much happened, but it got pretty windy during the evening hours. I’m really enjoying the cool weather that the storms bring. I forgot how nice it was to sleep with a sweatshirt on.

I think that’s about it friends! I’m happy and safe!  We’re taking our P-day today on Tuesday, so I might try to find some socks… they seem to disappear. Have a great week! Patuloy lang! mahal ka ni Jesucristo, huwag kang magaalala sa iyong mga pagsubok. basta maniwala sa ating Diyos and ang Kanyang dakilang plano. ilagay ang iyong pagtiwala sa kanyang kamay at gawin lahat para maging masunurin sa kanyang mga utos. mahal ko kayo!!!! ingat lagiz.

Elder Tyler Burbidge

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