Friday, November 29, 2013

Elder Burton's New Niece- Mikaela

Elder Burton became an uncle again on October 27th. Mikaela was born at 3:05 PM at 7 lbs. 3 ounces and 21 1/2 inches long. She is the newest member of our family and is excited to meet her Uncle Mathew in September! 

Letter Home- November 25th, 2013

We had the most incredible experience this week. Elder Neil L. Andersen and Elder Craig C. Christensen came and spoke to us on Saturday. It was so cool! They talked about the atonement and the joy of forgiveness. They were so funny and the whole experience was super positive. We were so excited when we found out who was going to be meeting with us. That's an experience I will never forget.

Don't worry, Thanksgiving up here should be fun. We are going to a church pot luck at 4 and going to a member's home afterwards. It's gonna be great. Plus our mission Christmas party is on the 10th so we are all looking forward to that! I hope you have fun with Monika and her family! I wish I could be there. Take lots of pics for me!

I love you and I will talk to you in a month! Crazy to think that Christmas is just a month away.

Elder Burton

Letter Home- November 11th, 2013- Transfer to Olympia

Olympia has been so great so far. It's way bigger than my last area and I constantly feel lost, but we have seen so many miracles already. Elder Lonas and I get along really well too which has made this week so good. He is a good singer and writes music so he's been asking me to help him out and sing some of his songs with him. Ha, it's super fun. Why didn't you tell me to do choir through high school? I think I would have loved that.

Missionaries here can still drive on their last transfer. Thank goodness, or else we'd be completely lost 24/7.... 

I think that's bout all I have to update you on! Oh, I don't know if mom told you but I would like my dark grey cardigan sent up here since it's so freaking cold. I'll remind mom again as well.

Thanks mom and dad! It's always great hearing from you. Can't wait to talk to you on Christmas! Love you :)

Elder Burton

Letter Home- October 28th, 2013

I was so excited to see the pics mom sent me of Mikaela! Wow, I definitely wasn't expecting to see my new niece today :) How long did it take Monika? I know she was incredibly fast with Lukas. Oh man, I'm so excited :)

This week was really good. The exchange in Forks went well and Elder Hainey and I had a great time together. He's probably one of my favorites out here. He's only been out for a few transfers, but he is a really good missionary. I was able to interview their investigator ******* while I was up there. I've never done an interview like that before! It went really well though and it was just amazing to hear his life story. He went from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs in a matter of weeks all because of the gospel. I heard a quote once that really touched me: When you hit rock bottom, be sure that Christ is that rock. Isn't that just perfect?! I know, it's great. It's amazing how much the gospel changes people for the better.

That's actually what President Weaver and I chatted about in my interview with him. We talked about how much I have changed on my mission for the better and how that's what a mission is for! I don't think there will be any pics of me on the blog since Sis Weaver wasn't able to come up and take pics of us. SORRY! I'll have to send you some pics in the mail.

We've been talking a lot with the lady that cuts our hair, ******. She said that since her blessing she drank once and it made her really sick! Ha, God works in mysterious ways ;) She has invited us to come over and start having the set discussions with her and her family. Can't wait!

Ha, so I have to tell you a funny story. We have been meeting with this woman named ***** and we set up a church tour for this past Friday. We showed up to her house and she hopped in her car ready to follow us to the church. We made it all the way to the last turn and when I turned right she went straight through the light..... Oh gosh, it was horrible. We caught up with her later in the day just to make sure she found her way back home and she said she glanced away just for a second and then we weren't in front of her anymore! So, she just turned around and went back home so she wouldn't get too lost. Ha, we'll have to try again this week and have someone drive her.

I think that's about all to update you on. I hope you have a great week and have fun in Oklahoma this weekend! Say hi to everyone for me :)

Elder Burton

Letter Home- October 7th, 2013

Wasn't General Conference incredible. I think this was the first General Conference where I felt that every talk had something for me. I guess that's what happens when you tune in a little bit more. I really enjoyed President Uchtdorft's talk on stading up after you fall. I couldn't help but think of all the less active members we are currently working with and how that message would be perfect for them. I'll be printing out lot's of copies of that talk in the next few weeks :)

Thank you so much for that final email you sent last week. It's been a hard week.

This past transfer meeting I had to say goodbye to Elder Gray. I don't know if you remember me telling you about him, but we served together my second transfer and quickly became good friends. It was hard to say goodbye, and I have been noticing just how many of my good friends have left the WA-TAC: Parry, Gray, Thornton, West, Fa'aliou, Grenfel, and so many others. Who knew a mission would be such a bitter-sweet time! I guess that's part of life though. If nothing else I am thankful for the truly good people I have been able to meet so far.

Hopefully next week will be a little more upbeat. Maybe by then I'll be used to the rain and cold and see everything in a new light. I love you and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Elder Burton

P.S. We made new thank you cards today, so expect one in the mail soon. Oh, and Monika is SO pregnant. :)

Letter Home- September 23rd, 2013

I thought that this would be an easier way to email all of you since I pretty much say the same things to you anyway. Plus, now theres no excuse for getting my blog updated :)

Anyway, this week has been absolutely incredible. On Tuesday night we invited one of the recent move in families, the ******, over to a lesson with ***** and ********. They were instant friends. Honestly, I've never seen fellowship work that well! The ****** had them over twice this week for a dinner date and everything was just really going well there. Ha, we didn't really get a lesson in on Tuesday, but that's ok. All we were hoping for was for them to just mesh well with ***** and ****** and talk. So, it was perfect!
On Thursday we went out to Belfair to do some activites at Zion's camp. Elder Cichoski and I were over the trust fall. It was amazing how many missionaries didn't listen to the little rules that we gave them for their safety. We propbably had at least 3 people draw blood on that element just because they let their fear take control. However, ours wasn't the only element that resulted in injuries... We had the ropes course trainer with us since our element was the most dangerous and she made an interesting comment of how she could tell the obedient missionaries from the dis-obedient missionaries just from that one exercise. Ha, she was spot on! However, I think overall the mission had a great time there and really learned a lot. We did a cool exercise where we each wrote something down on a small sheet of paper that inhibited us or that was like a barrier to our full communication to God. We each got up and threw that piece of paper in the fire pit symbolizing our newfound committment to work on that item and try to be better missionaries. I don't think I'll ever forget how I felt that day.

Saturday probably was the best day of the week! We had two baptisms that day: ******, the 10 year old boy, and ****, one of the sister's investigators. You know all about ******, but let me tell you a little bit about ****. So, she has been investigating the church for the past two months with the sister missionaries in the other ward. She is homeless, but really has a desire to grow closer to God and change her life. The sisters found out that she might be getting housing soon on our side of town, so they handed her over and told us to take care of her baptism. I just love it when baptisms fall into my lap! Our ward has really taken her under it's wing and is helping her so much. I love this ward.

On Sunday we had the confirmations. Everything went well and both were confirmed. It's always nice when everything goes smoothly :)

So yeah, it's been a great week! Hopefully we'll be having another baptism this weekend.... I'll keep you posted. Love you and I'll talk to y'all soon.


Elder Burton

Letter Home- July 29th, 2013

Background story: Our mom takes care of the missionaries in the Austin area by serving them dinner. Throughout the year, she has had the opportunity of becoming their mom away from home. She recieved the following poem from an Elder that was about to go home.
"Texas Mom"

Running around from house to house

She's helping others like mighty mouse

Making "Yuka" bread all day long

Tolerates the missionaries as they sing their Japanese song

Japan, China, Korea - the Utah folks find them all the same

If you tell that to her she'll give you the eye and bring you shame

People ask her, "how is it done?"

She will smile and say from the Only Begotten Son

He gives her strength through all her trials

Even when He feels further than 1,000 miles

If you haven't figured out by now I'm talking about Sister Burton

I'm sure with all the characteristics I have made it quite certain

I'm so grateful for all that she does

My expectations for a wife is now greater than it was

Best "Texas Mom" I could have won

I hope she will be proud to call me her "Texas Son"

Here is Elder Burton's response:
Oh man, that poem is awesome! However, that missionary needs to realize that mom has a "Texas Son" and that's me :) It's awesome that mom has taken care of the missionaries down in Texas. I guess we'll just have to have them over at least once a week when I get back :)