We got transfer calls
this past Saturday! So, I'm no longer serving in Port Orchard. I'm now an
Office Elder in Tacoma and I'm training! How crazy is that?! I'm pretty nervous
about this transfer, but I'm sure some amazing miracles are going to happen within
the next few weeks. It was really hard leaving the Orchard Heights area though.
I've really grown attached to the missionaries I was serving with. We
definitely had the best district in the whole mission! Our last night together
was extremely bitter-sweet for all of us. Speaking of bitter-sweet, transfer
day was incredibly emotional. A lot of really good friends gave their final
testimonies and the Spirit was incredibly strong. Everyone was crying by the
end and singing "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" was impossible.
I hope I never have to go through a transfer meeting like that again!
So, my new companion's
name is Elder Larson. He's from Arizona and really seems like a good missionary
already! I think he came pre-trained :) Anyway, I can already tell he's going
to be a great companion and I'm definitely going to learn a lot from him.
I love you so much and
I'll talk to you really soon :)
Elder Burton with the other trainers at a Christmas party.
This week was absolutely
incredible. This past Saturday was especially good because I had 4 people that
I've been working with get baptized! In the morning A___ and R___ D_____ (9
year old twins) got baptized. I was able to baptize A___ which was really cool.
I was talking to R___ right after his baptism and he said something that really
stuck with me. He said "I didn't know I would feel this happy after being
baptized." How awesome is that?! It's so amazing to see how little
children can even tell how the gospel can change lives and really help improve
the lives of anyone willing to come unto Christ. Their less active mother and
brother were able to make it and really loved the service. Their non-member dad
even made it! Then, on Sunday, they were confirmed members at church (the first
time they had been to church in quite a while). They all had a great time at
church and I'm sure we'll be seeing them much more. That night Elder Bell
and I traveled over to Bremerton so I could see C____ and S_______'s baptism.
They were two investigators I worked with last transfer. They have each had to
overcome so many challenges in their lives, but since hearing the sweet message
of the gospel they have made so much progress. I have never seen them as happy
as they were on the day of their baptism. I love the influence I am able to be
a part of as we teach people about our Savior!
Other than that, the
week was pretty slow. We are still giving it our all, but with the winter
drawing in everyone seems to be shutting us out. I think the lack of sun really
affects people in Washington.
Oh, so you wanted to
know some of my favorite scriptures: D&C 35:13-14 is definitely my favorite
Anyway, I love you and hope
you have a great week.
I can't believe it's
already December! 1/8 of my mission is over..... CRAZY.
As a mission, we are
currently reading D&C and hope to finish it by Joseph Smith's birthday.
It's amazing how scriptures apply to each and every one of us. In my interview
with Sister Weaver I shared a scripture that has become a new favorite
(D&C 35:13-14). It's all about why God calls us to serve missions at such a
young age and the power we can have as we share the gospel. Turns out that's
the same one she wanted to share with me! Ha, funny how that works
It's amazing how the scriptures
can solve any problem people have. If they are struggling and are having a hard
time making it out to church you might want to instigate a "Scripture of
the Day" with them. You can text them a few scriptures from the Book of
Mormon that are related and based off a subject. That way, they have the
opportunity to read just a few scriptures a day.
Tell M___ I say hi! I
really miss my second mom :) We are all going to have to party it up when I get
back :) Oh, and be sure to say hi to G___ and T_____ for me too. I appreciate
everyone back home so much more after being away from them. I miss Austin
Well, I have to go, but
I love you so much and miss you! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and
I'll talk to you soon.
Seriously, where has the
time gone! I swear it was just yesterday that I was saying goodbye and entering
the MTC. But, it's Thanksgiving! I'm really going to miss your stuffing and all
the delicious food that you cook PERFECTLY. However, we are going to a member's
house who was a chef in New York for quite a while. My expectations are
I wanted to let you know
about a cool event I got to participate in this past week. So, Wednesday night
Elder Thornton called me letting me know that there was going to be a baptism
on Saturday that I needed to go to. Of course, I asked who it was that was being
baptized and he said K_____ S______. She is this 9 year old girl in a less
active family that I had the privilege of teaching every week last transfer.
The whole S______ family was super accepting and really seemed to enjoy me
especially. The family is full of kids so I had a great time being with them
too. Anyway, Elder Thornton then told me to be sure to bring white pants. I was
like umm, wait what? Turns out K______ requested me to baptize her! CRAZY HUH?
So, Saturday came and I baptized K______. It was awesome :) The Spirit was so
strong and I could feel the love that our Heavenly Father has for K______ and
how proud he is that she made the decision to be baptized.
Anyway, I hope you have
a great Thanksgiving and that you eat wayyyyy too much :)
Elder Burton was transferred last week. He was the only one in his group to transfer and was called to the Port Orchard area. This is a new area for missionaries in the Tacoma mission. We are so proud of Elder Burton's work!
I can't believe it's already November! And I survived my first transfer here in the WA-TAC. We've been noticing some awesome miracles here in Bremerton. We had our first real convert baptism this past Saturday which was way cool. A few weeks ago Elder West and Elder Jones ran into this young woman named M____ who was really interested in learning about different religions. She agreed to go on a church tour and absolutely loved everything about the church. A few days later she brought up baptism and knew that was definitely what she needed. She has changed so much and is now an official member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Elder Thornton and I have been teaching a new investigator named S_______ who is a recovering addict. She has done EVERYTHING since she was 14 and finally decided she needed to change her lifestyle. Apparently she never allows missionaries into her place, but agreed to talk to us for some reason. She is awesome! She has soaked up every little thing we have taught her and knows what we teach is true doctrine. She's co-habbing right now, but has been diligently looking for a new place to live so she can be baptized. We just got news today that she has been approved for housing in an area that isn't supposed to be available. Crazy to think that we all fasted for her to be able to find a place yesterday..... Definitely not a coincidence! Anyway, she'll be able to move in to her new place by the end of November!
So, some sad news now. We got transfer calls Saturday which I have been dreading for some time. Turns out everyone in our district is staying here in Bremerton.... except for me. Ha, what? It's really weird for a greenie to move areas, especially since my trainers are staying together without me. I'll be companions with Elder Bell just across the sound in Orchard Heights. We're opening a new area (also not common for a greenie to do). So, I'll be in the same zone which is good, but I'll be in a completely different situation. Oh, and it's a bike area.....! I really hate change so I'm stressing like crazy, but hopefully it'll all turn out alright.
As for holidays on the mission, here in the WA-TAC missionaries are normally invited to member's houses for dinner. We'll see if that happens for Bell and I since we don't know any members.... hopefully I eat some turkey this year.
So yeah, basically this past week has been a crazy emotional roller coaster. Although, I came to a conclusion as to why all of this crazy stuff has been happening to me lately. We are never supposed to be comfortable. Jesus Christ himself, who lived a perfect life, never had it easy. Who am I to ask for the easy way out and constant comfort? We are meant to grow and be strengthened as we go through trials and live this life. That's why I'm getting transfered. Obviously Heavenly Father thinks I need to grow up or something..... Ha, sucks for me :P
Anyway, I love you and can't wait for Christmas so I can call you! Only like 2 more months!! :)
Ok, I have a bit more time, so I can let you know how the mission has been going so far :)
This past week we had 6 investigators make it out to sacrament meeting. 6! Isn't that crazy?! Seems like our work is definitely starting to pay off :) We have been dealing with a few people and their individual issues. Seeing the problems people face really helps me appreciate my family and friends. My life seems perfect compared to most of those we have been teaching. Satan is a very real opponent and does all he can to bring us down, but if we constantly look to Christ and follow His example there isn't anything we can't get through. Trails will come, hardships will fall upon us, but through the Atonement we will have enough strength to push through.
We had another fireside that we missionaries put on last night. 4 of our investigators were able to make it out. "Tribute to Christ" is really the best way to end a very spiritually uplifting day :) All of our investigators were overwhelmed with the Spirit while we sang (mostly while Elder Major sang "Come Thou Fount").
Anyway, the days just get better and better here in Bremerton. We are working hard and making every moment count :)
The flight to Tacoma was crazy. I'm pretty sure I was shaking the entire way, but I made it.
I'm so glad that President and Sister Weaver have been giving you updates on how I'm doing. They are seriously the nicest people I have ever met and I absolutely love them.
My first area is Bremerton, Washington.It's beautiful: right on the sound and the weather is fantastic. I have two trainers right now (Elder West and Elder Thornton) and a third companion (Elder Jones). Elder Thornton has been out for about a year and is an incredible missionary. He's from Missouri. He's a really good example and has been helping me a lot through this crazy transition. Elder West is from South Weber, Utah and he's been out for about 22 months. He's way funny and works really hard. Elder Jones is from Layton, Utah. He's only been out for 10 months. He's a little more quiet but he's super nice and works hard as well. It's kinda weird being in a Quad, but we get twice the work done so it's alright. They're all super amazing missionaries and are great examples to me.
Work here has been crazy hard, but super rewarding. Our goal this term is to baptize weekly. I know that if we really devote ourselves to the work we can get it done. We even had a couple investigators make it out to church yesterday which was a really neat experience.
The members seem super sweet. We are working on gaining their trust so they can help us out more, so far it seems like they're responding really well. We've have two dinner appointments so far and I think we have another one tonight. Apparently, the missionaries here aren't used to having dinner appointments. Hopefully that changes :)
I've been trying to notice small miracles each and every day as we are out trying to spread the gospel. This past Thursday Elder Jones and I were tracting and I decided we should go over to the park in our area. It just so happened that there was a farmers market getting set up so we offered to help anyone out that we could. We helped this one girl, A____, and got to talking a little bit. She stated how she was actually praying earlier that day for someone to help her set up since it's a pretty big task. It's crazy knowing that we were the answer to her prayer.
Being a missionary is crazy hard. I'm not used to getting doors slammed in my face, having people yell at me, and getting told I'm working for the devil. I know that what I'm doing here is good work. Hopefully people start to lighten up a bit and realize that we aren't forcing them to do anything. We are simply inviting others to come closer to Christ.
I love you so much and hope you're doing well. I miss you like crazy, but it's great to hear from you and know of the love and support I have while I'm here.
Hey, so I was just doing my laundry and I stepped away from the washer for like 5 minutes and someone took my whites. I've checked all the dryers and everything for them but can't find them. I've been looking for the past 1.5 hours. I'm super stressed and don't know what to do. All my shirts and garments are gone. I've already contacted the front desk, but they can't really do anything. Laundry here sucks. I'll let you know if they turn up.
An email from Elder Burton 1 hour later...
The gospel is TRUE! All of my clothes just turned up. No worries. Can you let mom know too so she doesn't worry??? Thanks, and sorry for the extra stress :P
This week has been absolutely incredible! We've been teaching some crazy hard investigators, but we finally got one to commit to baptism! Everything here about the MTC is amazing. The food, the Sunday walks, the missionaries. It's hard to believe I'm going to be leaving the MTC in just about a week to enter the mission field, BUT I can't wait :P This week my companion and I set a goal to feel a true love for our investigators, just as our Father in Heaven would. It's been a difficult attribute to work on since I'm naturally a judgmental person, but doing so has really improved my outlook on missionary work and life in general. Everyone deserves the opportunity to listen to the gospel and choose for themselves if this is the true church. I am so happy to be a part of that process.
My whole district also joined the choir this past week. Seriously one of the best choices I have made. Nothing helps me feel the Spirit more than listening to uplifting music! We are gonna be part of the MTC fireside this week, so look for me in the choir! I'll be sitting on the left (or I guess the right from your point of view) So yeahhhh.... Ok, I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week! I'll talk to you soon :) Oh and keep the letters coming! They seriously make my day :P
The MTC has been a crazy experience so far. The first few days were pretty hectic, like super crazy and all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and watch a movie. Too bad there is no time for naps or movie watching-haha. It was pretty hard getting over the initial shock of being here, but it's all good now! I don't even think about you guys that much! Ha, umm that was mean. It's just that we are so focused on learning the gospel there isn't really any time to do or think about anything else. I guess that's good though, no homesickness, no reasons to worry.
We actually got to teach our first (fake) investigator this past week. That was an insane experience. It's impossible not to feel the spirit here and to not follow it's promptings. I seriously love this place.
Just so you know, my district is made up of the best guys possible. We all get along super well, which can make it kinda hectic, but whatever. At least we don't hate each other! :) My companion, Elder Ingram is a great guy and really makes it easy to be here and focus on the spirit. He gives me so much strength and helped make this process a lot easier.
Sorry, I don't have much time to talk, but I want you all to know I love you and miss you. Thanks for all the prayers! Keep 'em coming ;)
Hello family and friends! My brother, Elder Mathew Burton, left for the MTC on September 5, 2012. He has been called to serve a 2 year mission in the Tacoma, Washington Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This blog will be used to record his journey and growth as he serves the people he encounters in Washington.