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Monday, July 17, 2017

Superstitious caves and expired visas!



Hello everyone!! This past week was interesting here in Moleps.

So we had exchanges Monday, so I drove in and that evening we went to President Mangenela's for dinner, which we cooked. It was quite fun. Then the next morning the exchange started. So Elder Griffey, the District leader and my temporary companion, was having a dilemma, his visa expired, the following day on Wednesday. 

Immigration was still processing his extension so we had to stay in Gaborone. We went in the morning but they said come after lunch, so we went and talked to people getting referrals for the other elders and went back. Upon arriving they told us it wasn't done and to come back in the morning; they included that they would not deport Elder Griffey for one day. So we rushed to Moleps, went tracting, found a couple more people, attended PEC, then drove back to Gabs. Needless to say, I was very tired. So the following morning we woke up and drove in early so we could check and thankfully they were done, so I didn't have to deport my district leader.

The rest of the week went by fast. This week for district meeting we were able to get into the parking lot... yeah we sat on the curb and held our meeting.

Saturday was pretty great. It was a day of service. First we cut a tree, drastically, and then did yard work for another member. It was great, two service projects! Then we had some appointments. The following day was a blessing of the Sabbath.

Church was wonderful. I helped pass the sacrament and then a member gave a talk on the sacrament. In the morning we only had 1 scheduled appointment, but by the end of the day we had 5 lessons, one of which was on the sacrament. I had a wonderful reminder of that beautiful ordinance not once, not twice, but three times. It was very nice. I hope you all had a good long thought about the sacrament and what it means as you sat reverently in your chapel. I know I did.

And then today we went to a cave that some say is related to witch craft... I just saw a hole with some bats in it. It was still cool!

Well I'm still kicking, and this week we have Zone Conference and our Zone Activity, so more stories to follow!


- Elder Burgess



Me, majestically in the tree I mutilated.




Photos at the cave!



Monday, July 10, 2017

Hymn 192



So Molepolole is doing a bit better. Things are starting to turn around. We now have two investigators on date, Festus and Onalenna. They're a mother and son. They were actually taught clear back in 2012 but never baptized so hopefully things will change.

I received a cool email from my father ( happy birthday shout out to him for yesterday!) today about an article on how non-native missionaries are now in Botswana after nearly 4 years! Now, I wasn't the first group but I came not long after them. I thought it was pretty cool to hear.

Life is treating me pretty well.

So this past week we had exchanges. I was with Elder Mapolanka. He's a great elder. He helped us in finding a couple more investigators! The day went well with him, we even taught another prophet. Molepolole has so many prophets!!

But yes, this week I've driven from Moleps to Gabs many times. On Friday we drove in for district meeting but we ended up not having it because the elders that came into Bots just before me were working on renewing their visas. We'll find out today if they went through. It was a pain of a process though. We'll see what happens with me though.

Things are good here, no complaints. The area is improving and the work is picking up. I'm grateful to be a part of this great work. 

I know that our Savior lives. I know He and our Father love us. I've really come to know these things, not just hope or believe. We had shared a message with Brother Kema based off of hymn 192. For me, it was a moment in which the Spirit truly testified to me, "This is true". It was indescribable. 

I hope you all have a great week!
- Elder Burgess


Elder Burgess & Elder Mapolanka


A small friend I found in my bedroom. He was safely evicted. 



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Oh what a beautiful morning!



Hiya people!!

I hope you're all doing well, I am. This past week has flown, yet again. The area is getting there. We have a few more investigators and a few more potentials. We even had a couple investigators at church! 

We had a good week, nothing too exciting or dramatic though. There was a funny on Friday though. We got locked out of the chapel so we had to have our district meeting in the car. It was still spiritual but painful after some time.

Sunday was a magnificent day. As many know, it was fast Sunday and for me, I've come to really love fast Sunday. It's always a time in which I feel closer to God. I feel he's really listening, really there. I know, God loves us. I know, that He sent His son, Jesus Christ. And I know, that Jesus Christ suffered for us. Not just our sins, but our pains and our sorrows too. This gospel is something else, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.

Life here in Molepolole is getting there. I'm getting more settled and getting to know the area well. I realized I haven't given too much as of late. Molepolole is a village about 40 kilometers from the capitol of Botswana, Gaborone. It's quite flat in landscape but being a village it is bumpy and rocky. The people here are really nice and friendly, but at times quiet. They love our Heavenly Father and Savior so much. It is a little tough working with the language barrier but for the most part, people understand English. 

My companion, Elder Motaleng, is from Francistown, Botswana. It's like the second capitol city. He's a great guy, real quiet though. I've determined I'll break his shyness, it's already improving. The crazy thing is he's never been out of Francistown until he came on his mission. Well, for Christmas he'd go to his father's home village, but that hardly counts!

But yeah, I apologize for any lack of information. If there's further questions please let me know.

I hope your coming week is a good one!
- Elder Burgess


I found a replica of the golden plates. I've decided I know why everyone in the Book of Mormon is painted so buff, those plates are heavy!


Here's district meeting in the car.


Monday, June 26, 2017

In the blink of an eye.



Hello Dear Family and Friends!!

I hope your past week was a good one. Mine was a bit better. Not too eventful though. We've just been trying to work with the members and do some finding. Thus far all is good, still getting there but it's beginning to pick up. 

We did get to go to a Botswana military base. We have some members that live there so we'll be going there occasionally. It was different from an American military base though. We drive into it and it seems like you're in a game reserve. There's just African bush everywhere! Then you find a building here and there. It wouldn't surprise me if there's lions running around there... It would definitely keep the soldiers on their toes...

Anyways, It seems to me that time is flying! It's crazy how fast this past week went. I also can't believe how fast this transfer is going... But yes, that is life, especially as a missionary. I hope you're all well and that this next week goes well.

- Elder Burgess

P.S. Sorry, no pictures. I actually haven't taken any this past week... I've also not seen any African animals, which has honestly surprised me. But I'll go to a reserve soon, don't worry!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Botswana

Hello world!! 

Well this is crazy. I'm in Botswana and it's something else. So no missionaries have been here in Molepolole for about 10 months and they weren't even here very long. This area has been vacant for some time. 

So we got in on Wednesday night and rushed to get a little food before stores closed. Then I had to clean a bit. Dust and spiders were everywhere!! Well I cleaned around my bed and went to sleep. On Thursday we cleaned... and cleaned... and cleaned. I still didn't finish but I finished later. We then met with a brother that used to go with the missionaries when they were last here. He showed us some of the members and a bit of the area.

Molepolole is different from what I've seen. It's big though. It's a village that just goes on and on, but you can't see the end because of the trees. Oh, and Botswana is flat!! It's crazy! I can literally see forever. 

Well anyways the weekend was okay. We were able to meet the Bishop (that's right, I'm finally in a ward) and other leaders. We worked with the Elders quorum President to visit some less actives. Apparently a lot of people have gone less active since the missionaries left. It's quite sad but we're here now. It's a bit stressful actually. I'm not sure where to start honestly and I know I have my work cut out for me. But here goes!

That's about it so far. More to come.

- Elder Burgess


Elder Motaleng and I


Here's the car I'm driving and drove up from Pretoria. It's a Hyundai i20...in the village...


Our "chapel". It's a rented out building.



Monday, June 12, 2017

Bittersweet.



Hello Everyone!! 

Sorry this is going to be short. Transfers are this week so I'll just give details. So this past week was full of good news and some sad. So yeah...

I'm doing great!! I'm healthy and well. So exciting news!! Cecyllia, Lorraine and Eugene were all baptized!!! Cecyllia I've talked about, Eugene I've mentioned and Lorraine was someone I taught some months back. Not sure if you'll remember but I was ecstatic to see their baptisms!! And just before I left. 

So yes my time in Namibia has ended. I'm sad to go. I was there for 6 transfers, about a third of my mission. It was great and I'll miss those people greatly. But the news is: I'm going to
BOTSWANA!! Crazy, right?!! I'm going to a place called Molepolole. My companion will be Elder Motaleng. It's super crazy!!

But yes, I wish you all the best. I'll tell you about Botswana next week. I'll be heading there on Wednesday.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY:
***Elder Burgess is getting behind on emails. Please keep future emails to shorter notes. I would like to read and respond but too many are coming in. Please be patient. Thank you.

Well I love you all!
- Elder Burgess







Monday, June 5, 2017

My week in review.



Hello Everyone!! I hope you're doing well. This past week has been a good one. Time is just flying though, truly it is. But yeah, the week.

Tuesday was alright. We sadly had only one appointment. Tuesdays and I still don't get along. It was with Nanal which was a decent lesson. Tuesday was definitely the let down of the week. The highlight was probably on Thursday. We had exchanges and I went with Elder Voyles, our district leader, to his area; which is really just the other half of the branch... Yeah still in Wanaheda, but it was really great. We did weekly planning and headed out. We chose Thursday so I could fill him in on the area for when Elder Ndlovu and I leave. 

Anyways, we had some good lessons and some great laughs and then headed to a dinner appointment. A sister in our branch wanted to take all four of us out, so we picked up our companions and headed out. Sister Reginald took us to a restaurant and bought us ribs and wings!! It was so good and so kind of her!! Truly, we are blessed as missionaries...and spoiled at times. 

Friday brought some interesting events. After District meeting we had a sister from the states feed us all. She's from the south and made pulled pork, coleslaw and baked beans... it was phenomenal! After that wonderful meal, we went and helped a member pack up because they're moving home to Angola. It's sad to see them go but life is change and progression. That evening we went to see a "new investigator". On Monday, we had been stopped by a lady (Katrina) who said she used to attend our church like 18 years ago or so. She wanted us to come and teach her. How it sounded was not how it was though. We believed that she was an investigator but when we get to her house and start talking and then our member present, Katrina's friend, is talking so openly about the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants and we began to become confused. So I asked if she is a member and sure enough she is. She was baptized at a young age and then moved away. The teaching will be as if she's an investigator though, we kinda have to remind her of everything! But all is well, I'm so happy she stopped us.

On Saturday we went on a hike with a family and then had a braai afterwards. It was actually pretty fun and the food was delicious. Sunday then wrapped it up with a nice fast and testimony meeting and a beautiful Sabbath. The week was truly a good one.

I really do know that our Father in Heaven loves us. I know that his Son suffered and died for us and that because of him, God's plan is complete and possible. While on the exchange with Elder Voyles, we saw a young girl and taught simply the Plan of Salvation. The Plan truly is simple: God loved us enough to send us to earth to learn and grow and become more like him. He knew we'd make mistakes so he sent his Son to be an advocate for us so that we can be forgiven and live with God again. 

God loves us more than we know. He wants us to repent and change not because He doesn't like who we are, but because He wants us to be the best we can be.

I love this gospel and I hope and pray that all of you will deepen your understanding or start your understanding of it. There's no greater source of happiness. 

Love ya'll!
- Elder Burgess









Just cooling off after the hike.


Elder Gohnert guarding the food.