Monday, April 25, 2016

Hello everybody! :)

We got to visit a less active woman named Sister Jubin.  She has some really really crazy stories.  She used to work for the airport in New York and was telling us all the famous people that she met. Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor and several others. 
We brought her Visiting Teacher with us, it has been a while since she's been to see her, and we stepped in and she had the most tasteful (small) and really tasteful apartment I'd stepped in.  Usually if you step into someones home who collects nicknacks it's cluttered and pretty random.  But it all fit so well together.  Her apartment was full of projects she had made from stuff she'd picked up.  She's an artist, so she had paintings and old pieces of furniture that she had picked up and painted or added stuff to. It was all so cool. 

Her daughter works and so she watches her grandson, who has too little space to express his energy.
We taught her about the temple and how the Philadelphia Temple open house is really soon.  We tried getting her excited to renew her temple recommend and to bring her friends. 

One of my very favorite things in the MTC was when one of the devotional speakers was the temple president, and one of the 12 had told him that for every temple built and dedicated it literally pushed back and weakened the power of evil on the earth. THAT IS SO COOL!   Just more light eliminating the dark corners. I love it.  The temple is so so so important and special. I miss going soo much. It was emphasized in General Conference, it was emphasized in stake conference (here).  It's just amazing.  The temple is how we strengthen ourselves and families against the adversary.  It pushes the natural man a little further away each time we go.

I got to go on my first exchange this week with Sister McConkie. (I asked her, she is the great niece of elder McConkie, pretty cool) she was so great. I was really scatter brained because I was 1) driving in a place that was really crazy different than Eatontown (we went to pick her up and she and her comp.  We were an hr away) 2) I was the one who needed to keep us on track and using the area on the iPad is a weak point.  I'm not good with tech.  And I was nervous because I didn't understand the way she teaches or anything and I just felt scared, but it was awesome!!   She taught me a lot. 

We were driving through an area called Lakewood (It's a Jewish Neighborhood) people are really bad drivers and it was awesome to see all the Jews in their suits and...headware. (not sure what it's all called) but if they are walking, they will pick one another off the street when they don't know them.  That happened as I was driving. It was cool. 

Sister McConkie went with me to visit a less active woman I hadn't met before. She was the coolest lady ever with some great history (everyone has the coolest stories) and her husband is not a member and he wouldn't stay for the lesson, but he was super friendly (he reminded me of that one actor, he's the dad in the move Holes who tries solving stinky shoes, only that actor when he's younger) that's what he looked like.  But when we left, she goes "OH WAIT, all the missionarys get free honey, Nelson makes it, he keeps bees and he loves giving it away" It was straight from the comb honey. It's really sweet and I've been eating it all week. 

The Lord is so amazing! I have been learning so much and am so so grateful for it. 

Thank you all so much for your prayers. it means so much to me. 
I love you all so much,

Sister Brook Burk

Monday, April 18, 2016

This week went so fast!


This week went so fast! I had my first zone meeting. I never knew that missionary work involved so many meetings and study time. But its really great. 

We found a less active woman named Tricia who came from a really strong LDS family except that her mother decided to take a detour, so she was baptized but never active.  Grandparents and cousins all strong except her parents and siblings and has a really really crazy history.

She's expecting a baby and isn't interested in being active, but she wants answers for her children and to be able to have some kind of claim on her religion, but isn't interested any farther than that. :) That'll do for now....but it's gonna change.

The ward is full of first generation converts and it's awesome! It's also really difficult for the ward at times because it's full of part time member families and a really really low amount of priesthood holders. It's our goal to make that our focus when we go teaching.

Sister Bulson and I were planning what we wanted to try teaching when we go tracting around a less active members house tonight, and we had the awesome idea to (since it's Monday) to teach families about FHE. (Thank you Michelle :)) and then when they let us in to actually have an FHE. I'm really really excited how it'll work out and I'll write next week and share how it goes. 

I'll save up more for next week.  I love you all! I know the gospel is true! I am so so grateful that we have this blessing to live and share. 

-Love Sister Burk

Monday, April 11, 2016

"I Am A Child of God"

My bad last week--sorry the letter didn't go through ..

So this week, I haven't read anyone's letters. I'm writing this first, and then I'll read them all. :)

Alright, so before I forget, I have a really cool story that I'm really excited for:
Last night, we finished our appointments and it's too dark for tracting, so we go to a Dunkin' Donuts store to access wifi to sync the i-pad and update for lessons.  (Did I say they are EVERYWHERE HERE!!! LIKE ON EVERY CORNER!!!!)  We still had time to get some stuff done, so while my companion is putting info in on the lessons, I start up on the phone. 

I went to the less actives list and just started calling names. NO ONE ANSWERS!!!!  Each time we got a voicemail my compaion and I sang "I am a child of God."  There were a lot of voicemail's that were not set up.  So no one usually answers and lots of the calls had been disconnected *sad.  But I felt good, because you really cannot go wrong with "I Am a Child of God."  I figured someone needed to hear it that day. 

By the time we finished, it was time to get home for curfew.  We finished up our night and got our planning and everything done, and went to bed.  While we were laying in bed, the PHONE STARTS RINGING!!!!  I turn on the closest light, my companion grabs the phone, and it's one of the less actives calling us back.  "What do we do? I say answer it!"  So she answers the phone. 

Long story short, he was calling back a number he missed on his phone. He's in California right now working. Then he says, "Man it's so cool ya'll are the sister missionaries. I was just thinking about getting a hold of you, I'm moving back to NJ and I want to start coming back to church. I know that I need to and I want to, and I really want the missionaries to come and teach my wife."  He gave us some background on her religion, and then he said he knew the church was true and that he needed and wanted to come back!  It'll be a couple of weeks.  Then I asked him if he would pray everyday for her.  I told him we would pray for her each day too, until we were able to meet with her.  We asked that in the prayers that he would pray that Heavenly Father would prepare us and help her.  It was just the coolest!

Second cool story: Letha-ites! Does anyone remember a sister missionary named sister Erehart that served in our ward around 1994-95?  There is a less active lady here in this ward.  She served her mission in Idaho and was in our ward at one point.  She finally came to church. I told her I was from Idaho, and to see what the big whoop was of why she was less-active.  Anyway, she finds out where I'm from, asks me my name, and starts getting oober excited and anounces to everyone, "I HELD HER AS A BABY ON MY MISSION!" : )  It's amazing the paths that cross in life.  And how Heavenly Father sets everything up.

Here's my thought--the gospel is: Faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentence, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

The first thing that screws all of that up, is when someone is so much without hope in themselves and who they can be, that they can't see (unless they choose and grab on to faith with both hands) WHO THEY ARE and who they CAN BECOME!! 

The motto of our mission is BECOME Gods instrument.  WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD!! We are beings who are destined for greatness!  He can't force us to see unless we have hope.  Hope in who we are and who He see's. Most of the people have so many scars and pain and baggage that they forget that the future is bright. When we forget who we are and forget to dream, life is a pretty sad place.  It's like in the movie the Croods: It's not living. It's just not dying.  We just sit and exist instead of growing and becoming. Fill the people around you with light. 

The thought I wanted to share last week, that didn't finish coming through was in Ether 2:23. I read that verse and I had been pondering what I should try to work on, how can I improve because I have so many weaknesses.  Then I started thinking about vessels.  We are a vessel, right?  So then I re-read it and instead this is what I saw:  

"And the lord said unto Sister Burk: What will ye that I should do that ye may have light inside you? For behold, ye cannot have doubt, for your testimony will be dashed into pieces; neither shall ye take fear with you, for ye shall not move forward, but shall be consumed by it."

I was kind of surprised because I was mostly feeling good, but I realized what He was telling me: Choose!
Choose to believe in who you are! I knew that, but I forgot to apply it. 

Strengthen your faith and CHOOSE!  The more I see, the more I understand why. We forget that we can choose. Choose to let ourselves move mountains, to do ANYTHING! BUT ESPECIALLY we can do ALL THINGS when we align ourselves with God and that INCLUDES that when we align our belief with his that we are his children and that He loves us and we are special and meant for greatness each and everyone of us, then we change nature. We change our ouselves.

I love you all! I truly do.  We are all so blessed and capable with infinite potential. Do not give yourself or anyone around you, the doubt of becoming.  Fill your mind with light from the belief in your divine heritage and God your Father.

I love you!!  Thank you for your prayers! Thank you for your light and your love!
Sister Burk


BONNIE!!! SO HAPPY for you and James! sucha  CUTIE!! send in the pictures.

Michelle and Braden! THANK YOU for the music!! It's awesome!! 

Holly, I've loved hearing the weekly new from your fam. I miss the boys and you and Zack! 

Jasie! Tony!! let me know how moving has gone.

Roman, I loved your letter and was gonna put my vote with yours that it would be awesome if Bons baby was born April 1. That would be epic.

Brinley and Spencer. I've loved your emails. Thank you. I can't wait to hear more.

Prairie!!  You're super woman! I was so happy to get to hear about all the bobbins and Larry.  Do I have Larry's email? Llet him know I love him and proud. I'm prayin he'll get the feeling in his fingers again too.

Chase, That letter made my week and I want to send one back. I'm so soo happy for you and Alex. There are Enterprise places all over the place here and I think of you and Alex every week. 

Alex, you're the best! The pics and little thoughts are such special boosts.

Mom and Dad, you're incredible and I want to thank you for all that you do! Letters and all!

Mason! I love seeing and reading your letters. So dang proud of you! You inspire!

Family- I don't have to share you with anyone. You are all the best and you're my family! Heavenly Father sent me to a bonfire of light when he sent me with ya'll.  Love you all so much! 

also!! please send me all of your snail mail addresses. Not where you are if youre moving soon. 

James and Bon, and I have yours.  Thank you. But I want everyone else's also! I'll put picts up if I get addresses next week :) (I'm making that happen today) 

Love you!! Have a great week!

Sister Burk