Life In The Mission Office

Hey guys! This week was good. Really busy in trying to organize everything for this week’s Mission Leader Council (MLC). We’re giving a different type of workshop and also creating a new training plan for the missionaries here. We are doing a lot more exchanges with missionaries now than the AP’s have done in the past so that’s why we’re so busy I think. But it’s fun. I hope you’re all doing well. We had some cool things happen this week. We’ve been able to help a lot of missionaries in a short amount of time (one week) so that was cool for me. It’ll be interesting to see where things go.

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Elder Burbidge heading from Mindoro Island to Luzon for MLC.

I like being in the office, but it’s hard not having a working schedule every day. I’m starting to see how much i enjoyed teaching and working and talking to people about the Gospel that has been restored to the earth. I feel kind of a lack here, just because we’re in the office a lot doing things that don’t seem directly related to the work, but in reality, support the work and give it a purpose. It’s a big blessing to see how the big scheme works. I feel blessed to serve like this, and I can’t wait to see how it’ll help me grow.

This week, we’re going on exchanges with some elders, attending a district meeting and preparing for our MLC on Friday which we as assistants conduct, organize, and plan. We also are introducing a new training plan on repentance and presenting a different style of workshop for our leaders. We’re pretty excited about it. 

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Elder Burbidge jumping for joy!

I’m glad you all had a great Thanksgiving. We’re getting a pizza tonight that wouldn’t fit in the back of dad’s truck bed, so I hope you all think you got full eating turkey and mashed potatoes. I love you all and I hope you know that God loves all of you. If you don’t have a personal witness that He does in fact love you, ask Him yourself. 

ingat kau lagi. namimiss ko kau.

Love,

Elder Tyler Burbidge 

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Heading to San Pablo!

Hello everyone!  Well, it seems like I just got settled into my new area on the island of Mindoro, but I have now been transferred to the mission headquarters in San Pablo!  I have been called to serve as the new Assistant to the President (A.P.) in the office there.  Things are kind of a whirlwind right now so I don’t have a lot of time to write because I have to pack and catch the ferry back to the main island of Luzon.

I am sad to leave this island paradise but happy to serve wherever I'm assigned.

Elder Burbidge soaking up the Philippine sun!

I’m excited about the new adventure and assignment, but sad that I’m leaving my island area and my companion.  I am looking forward to growing so much in the mission office.  The office elders and my new companion are all my close friends in the mission, so I am looking forward to working with them.

I’m grateful for all of the things that I was taught back at home.  I use those lessons every day in my mission.  I am realizing here in the mission field how much I learned – just about life and the unwritten order of things, meaning just how we should treat people and act and respect others.  I appreciate those lessons so much more now than ever before!

Elder Burbidge and his companion from the MTC reunited at a mission leader's conference.

Elder Burbidge and his companion from the MTC reunited at a mission leader’s conference.

For those of you who don’t know, as part of my new responsibilities I will have the opportunity to travel throughout the mission training other missionaries, assist President Mangum with transfers, welcome and orient new missionaries to the Philippines, and conduct leadership training sessions.  We will also be expected to continue our regular missionary work of finding people interested in hearing the truth and teaching them the Gospel.  Thanks for your ongoing prayers and support!

Love,

Elder Tyler Burbidge

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Happy, Happy Birthday to Me! 21 Years Old And Counting!

Hey everyone!  Just a quick blog post this week since we have been pretty busy with missionary work!  My companion and I left the island of Mindoro to go to Mission Leader’s Conference (MLC) in San Pablo and while there I was reunited with my whole group of missionaries from the Missionary Training Center!  Then I stayed the night in a town called Lipa, where my second trainee is assigned so I got to catch up with him!  My companion, Elder Pulido, is freaking legit – we get along great and just laugh all the time.  It was a great conference.

Elder Burbidge and his fellow missionaries at MLC

Elder Burbidge and his fellow missionaries at MLC

Once we got back to our work area, we had a zone P-Day and so we went to the beach early this morning and had a sand castle contest and helped some dudes fishing.  It was fun.

Crabby Patty anyone?

Crabby Patty anyone?

I had a good birthday.  The other missionaries in the district, some members, and Sister Mangum texted me happy birthday this morning.  The senior couple missionaries here did too. Don’t worry, I’m well taken care of here =).

So mission life can get stressful, but not like you’d think.  There is just a lot of little things that add up and so there’s just so many things in my mind all the time.  We do teach a lot in our own area, but then as zone leaders we go on exchanges with the missionaries from other towns and areas.  It’s usually only once a week that one of us isn’t here in the area due to exchanges.

I read Hunter’s blog and he sure sounds good!  I’m glad he’s doing well!  I’m really sweaty right now!  I can’t wait to feel the cool Washington climate again.  On our trip to MLC, we slept in a city called Lipa which is the third highest elevation in the Philippines and I freaking loved it.  The temperature was soooo cool there.  It felt like California temperature at night!

My companion wrote me a message for my birthday!

My companion wrote me and Hunter a message for our birthday!

Me and Elder Pulido on the ferry to the main island of Luzon for the MLC.

Me and Elder Pulido on the ferry to the main island of Luzon for the MLC.

Well that is about it for this week!  I love you and hope everyone is doing well.

Elder Tyler Burbidge

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The City of Calapan on Mindoro Island – the Gold Mine!

Hello all from the beautiful town of Calapan on the island of Oriental Mindoro.  Mindoro literally means “gold mine” due to it’s history of providing mines and other resources for the main island of Luzon where Manila is located.  It is a beautiful area and I am happy to be working here with Elder Pulido.  Sounds like Hunter and I have rhyming companion names (Hunter’s companion is named Elder Tolido)!

The work is going strong here.  I don’t have a lot of time to write but have attached a number of photos from my new area.  Love you all!

Elder Tyler Burbidge

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Going full jump mode near the sea!

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Our whole zone of missionaries on Mindoro. We get together frequently to have zone activities on our P-Day.

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“Squirreling”

Me and my companion with an elderly couple who were very nice but also quite small!

Me and my companion with an elderly couple who were very nice but also quite small!

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Off To The Island of Mindoro

Well folks, I got transferred again and now I am serving in the City of Calapan on the island of Mindoro.  My new companion is Elder Pulido who has been on his mission six weeks longer than I have so we are at about the same point on our missions and we really are doing good work together.  He is from the northern part of the Philippines, is 23 years old, and is the only member of his family.  They pretty much disowned him when he joined the church but he knew it was true and serving a mission was the right thing to do.

The Island of Mindoro is just South of the main island of Luzon.

The Island of Mindoro is just South of the main island of Luzon.

My transfer out to Mindoro was an adventure!  We took a multi cab (which is kind of a smaller version of a jeepney) for two hours from Siniloan to San Pablo.  From San Pablo we took a jeepney to Sto Thomas, Lipa.  From there we took an air conditioned bus on a highway for an hour and a half – where I lost my wallet!!!!  I then waited an hour at the ferry terminal, got on the ferry and sat for an hour and a half until I arrived on Mindoro.  It was pretty cool except for the part where I lost my wallet.  The ferry terminal is in my area so I didn’t have to travel far once I got off the boat!

I am still serving as a zone leader, so we get to go to the mainland once a month to the leadership counsel and other meetings like zone meetings.  The president and his assistants are coming out here for zone interviews though.

After General Conference I made a list of my strengths and weaknesses and learned some cool stuff about myself.  I then thought about things I want to make sure that my family does in the future, like Family Home Evening and family prayer morning and night and stuff.  It is good to set goals and strive to live up to them.

My last area was awesome and i miss people there a lot.  There was a member that we called “mama”. I miss her. She made sure we were always fed and feeling ok. She was a doctor, so if there was ever anything wrong she hooked us up with medications and stuff.

Our mission "Mama"

Our mission “Mama”

Following is a picture of one of our favorite investigators!  We call the little girl “makulit”, which means misbehaved!  She’s a Sammy Spaz.

The Buquid Family and us missionaries.

The Buquid Family and us missionaries.

Well, I love you all – continue to stay close to the Lord through prayer and scripture study!  I’ll send more photos next time.

Love,

Elder Tyler Burbidge

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Buffalo Wings & Pancakes…Lovin’ Life in the Philippines!

Hey everyone!  It is pouring down rain here in the Philippines, but that has not slowed down the missionary work!

We are excited to have a person that we have been teaching accept the gospel and want to be baptized. We’ve been teaching him for about four weeks now.  He’s been to church five times and has led a rough life in the past but he’s completely changed now.  My companion and I were able to sit in and help translate during his baptismal interview by Pres. Mangum, so that was cool to be a part of that experience.  His name is Rady (pronounced “Ruddy”) and he’s 46 years old.  We love him so much we even teach him during the day on our day off (P-days).  He’s a crack up and we are totally pumped up to baptize him.

Elder Burbidge and his companion sporting his cool shades.

Elder Burbidge and his companion sporting his cool shades.

Other than that our week has been pretty normal for a missionary in this area!  We taught lessons, had some baptismal interviews for other elders, had exchanges, ate dinner with members, spoke Tagalog, oh – and I organized a stake fireside with my companion for our leaders. Just another week in the life!

Lately we have been eating quite a bit of Buffalo Wings and pancakes hahaha!  That is because there are some members in this area who have spouses in the states.  As a result, they can make American food to a point.  So buffalo wings are the thing here – which is just fine with me!

That’s it for now – I love and appreciate all of you good people back home!  It was exciting to hear that Dayton is getting ready to go into the MTC.  He will be a great missionary!

Love,

Elder Tyler Burbidge

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Preparing for a baptism in one of Elder Burbidge’s districts.

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Still Working Hard in the Philippines!

The holidays are fast approaching! Elder Burbidge and Elder Sinilong in their apartment.

Hi everyone!  This blog will be more photos than words, but thats probably more interesting anyway!  We did a lot of teaching this last week and a lot of service.  Sometimes I prefer to be providing service to the people here, but we also teach folks about how to use their free agency and to make good choices, which is really the best thing we can do for them. Sometimes I get overwhelmed because I feel like I’m always solving other people’s problems.  But I know that’s what Christ does, so I know it’s helping me become like Him which means I am on the right path.

Elder Burbidge and his group of missionaries.

Elder Burbidge and his group of missionaries.

We are teaching a man named RAD.  He’s 46 years old and lives with his mom, but his faith is way strong.  We enjoy teaching him and helping him overcome many issues.  It’s amazing how when you help people out it takes emotional, spiritual, and physical energy right out of you!  But it is worth it!

Here piggy piggy

Here piggy piggy

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For the past few days we have been on a rat hunt in our apartment.  There is evidence that he comes around due to the “excrement” he leaves on my study desk!  And I estimate this is no small rat!  We have tried poison to no avail so we are thinking about getting the cat that periodically comes into our apartment and turning it loose!  Or we’ll just go get a trap and hope it works!

Elder Burbidge and freinds.

Elder Burbidge and freinds.

Planking on the mission.  Some things never change!

Planking on the mission. Some things never change!

Well I guess that’s about it!  I love you all and thank you for your support.

Love,

Elder Tyler N. Burbidge

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A new Companion & The Work of a Zone Leader

Hey all!

We have had an interesting week this last week.  I am both excited and sad – excited because I got a new companion named Elder Sinilong but a little bit sad because my New Zealander companion got transferred!  But that’s okay – I loved him like a brother though so I’m sad that he’s gone.   But Elder Sinilong should be fun too.  He is from the City of Davao which is in the Southern part of the Philippines.  He goes home in November so I’ll most likely “kill him off” and send him home.  I have really enjoyed my companions throughout the mission so I have been very fortunate in that regard.

Me, eyebrow dog, and an Elder from my Zone!

Me, a dog with eyebrows, and an Elder from my Zone!  Ahhhh mission life!

Mom asked what some of my duties are as a Zone Leader, so I’ll give a little bit of information on that.  We go on exchanges, or swaps, with each District Leader in the zone as well as with other missionaries that may be struggling, or just for status control.  Each week we report the zone’s numbers to the Assistants to the President (A.P.’s) in the mission office.  We also get to go to Mission Leader’s Council every first Friday of each month to get training and counsel from the Mission President.  We are then expected to share that information with the missionaries in our Zone during a training meeting the following Wednesday.  

We also assist stake and ward leaders in fulfilling their purpose as leaders of the church.  We meet once a month with the stake president to discuss concerns, needs, success, goals, vision, etc., in order to help the stake progress effectively and efficiently.  We also coordinate and share with him the desires of the mission president.

I have also learned from past Zone Leaders that I have had that I also need to be a good friend and helpful person to everyone in the zone.  People tend to get lonely in the mission, even with a companion, and it’s always nice just to have a friend, so i’ve added that one to the list of my responsibilities too!  The zone is comprised of missionaries from throughout the world, but there’s a new American in our zone this transfer from Boise, ID.  He’s being trained by an elder in the town of Paete.  There are also four sisters in the zone, one of which was with me int he MTC.  We also organize a zone P-day activity once a transfer so that we can become unified in the work and get to know each other better.

We are still working on strengthening the relationships between missionaries and members here in Siniloan.  The members need to feel that they can trust the missionaries but that goes both ways because the missionaries need to earn that trust. But we are making progress!  Our branch president, who is the leader of the local church in this area, is awesome!  If we ask him to do something, he does it so we have a good relationship there.  We are working together to instill a sense of self-motivation – for example in home teaching which needs to be improved.  The branch is really cool though because there is a neat group of older sisters (much like Sisters Gum, Cunningham, and Evans in our ward back home).  

Well, I love you all so much. Eleven months left and that’s it!  Thanks for the support – I really can feel your love for us missionaries.  I miss Hunter a lot sometimes and hope that we’ll continue to be close after the mission.  I think about it a lot – but I am sure it will all work out for the best.

Love,

Elder Tyler Burbidge

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Quick Update from Siniloan

Hey Everyone!

This week was a good one!  We had Mission Leaders Council, midweek coordination with our branch mission leader, church on Sunday, branch council meeting, and two new families to teach!!!  We’re finding families like crazy through the members here and it’s so awesome!  I love it!  To see a family progress together is so cool to watch!

I don’t have much time, but we also went hiking at some falls, played some basketball, and ate some buffalo wings this week!  I’m missing home a little here and there, but I know that I’ll be home and missing this before I know it!  I’m enjoying the mission and the things that I’m learning about myself just through application of principles and doctrine.  I’m happier than ever!

I love you all and know that you have happiness available to you at all times!  It’s about trust in the One that created happiness!  Be the best you can be and live up to your potential!

Love,
Elder Tyler Burbidge

Elder Burbidge, Elder Lyon, and Sister Ott on a P-Day activity.

Elder Burbidge, Elder Lyon, and Sister Ott on a P-Day activity.

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Learning the Ropes of Leadership in Siniloan

 

Hey everyone!

Well, the typhoon was pretty crazy!  I was still in Calamba when it hit, and I guess it was actually pretty bad there but it was the worst out in my previous areas of Atimonan and Lucena. I was pretty worried about the members out there, but i’ve heard that they’re ok.  I did see a roof get shredded across the street but the only thing in the air was rain!  Water was pouring into our apartment all night.  I think I had it worse than Hunter, because it was actually super freaky – I thought our doors or glass windows were going to get shattered by the wind.  Then the day after the typhoon I got transferred to my new area of Siniloan, and it seems like the storm wasn’t very bad there.  Just no electricity for a couple days.

We are really seeing progression in our area right now! We kind of had to start over even though there have been missionaries here for a long time.  We are re-establishing expectations with the branch we are in and using our resources more effectively!  Sometimes it feels more like doing a business and setting structure to the way we manage things… so it’s kind of interesting!  But it’s fun and always directed by the spirit and in Tagalog!

 

 

I’m in a zone leaders area, because I’m a zone leader now.  My companion is a big New Zealander who plays rugby.  He’s very Polynesian.  Anyway, no photos this week – sorry, I need to buy some batteries for the camera.  There is a branch of the church here and our branch president is pretty cool.  He reminds me of Jason as far as his age and personality go.  This last week was good, we had exchanges with the AP’s so that was interesting (editor’s note:  the term “AP” refers to Assistant to the President, which are above Tyler in the mission chain of command).  We are kind of rebooting our area so we just did finding the WHOLE DAY, so it was a great learning experience about leadership.  We’re going to have exchanges again tomorrow with another companionship just to correct any issues or help inspire them to do the right things.  We hope to provide some re-motivation and focus on their area.

 

I have been missing Hunter sometimes more than others.   All I seem to get each week in his emails to me is, “Hey are you on???” or “Where the heck are you???” or “Hey”.  I never get anything in detail (editor’s note:  this is ironic because Tyler rarely gives us much detail!!)

Love,

Elder Tyler Burbidge

 

 

 

 

 

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