Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pictures from Bremerton, Washington

Elder Burton with a very large snake.


A beautiful view.

The Bremerton Apartment

Missionaries on down time

The closest thing Elder Burton can find to Chipotle!

Naval Base

Halloween Cookies

Called to Transfer- December 17th, 2012

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

Elder Burton with the other trainers at a Christmas party.

Letter Home- December 10, 2012

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.

Love you and I'll talk to you soon :)

-Elder Burton

Mission Pictures

I wanted to send you a few pics :) I hope I don't look too different (and by that I mean I hope I haven't gained too much weight). Haha, ok, well I'll talk to ya later :)


Elder Burton

At a baptism in his area.
Participating in the missionary Christmas play.

Mission Christmas party- White elephant

Bremerton Missionary Fireside

Zone Conference

Starbuck's Apple Cider- mmm....

Christmas Sweater Party at member's home

Letter Home- December 3, 2012

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 sometimes.

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 soooooo much!

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.

Elder Burton

Letter Home- November 19th, 2012

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 high....

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 :)

Love you and I'll talk to you soon,

Elder Burton

Elder Mathew Burton's first baptism