Have an inspiring thought? Email our man at cameron.burgess@myldsmail.net

Monday, October 9, 2017

The gospel moves on through life's hiccups.



Hello dearest family and friends!!

I cannot believe that the week is over!! Just crazy!! Life has been fast this past week!

In short, we have a couple new investigators and they're both the head of the house. We're teaching a father and his kids. Jacob is his name and the other gentlemen has a good family but they haven't joined us yet. Maybe this week. 

Sorry this is short though. The reason is I had to go to the hospital. I've been having some stomach pains so I needed to check it out. Don't freak out loved ones but I have stomach ulcers. They're not bad and I'm on medicine. So no worries!! 

Oh! On a happy note! I have finished reading Jesus The Christ. Mom, I greatly understand why it's one of your favorite books! I've loved it and I greatly reccommend it to all!

Well love you all and have a great week! We have Zone Conference and Transfer news this week so we'll see what happens!!

Love,
- Elder Burgess


Finished!


My district. Sorry the photo isn't the best.


Elder Shorthill, myself, and Angel the Bishop's daughter.



Monday, October 2, 2017

"PLAAAANNT!!"

*props to whoever can name that movie*



Hiya family! How are you? Friends, how's it? I hope you're all well and that you didn't miss me too much.

So let me explain the subject. My companion, Elder Shorthill, is a fun, goofy guy. He likes quoting movies with me, so we keep quoting and asking, "Do you know that one?". Well he also loves plants. He loves to grow them and he keeps telling me about all his plants he'd grow. Well, the above quotation is from a beloved movie. If you can name it that's great! But nonetheless, Elder Shorthill reminds me of the main character. If you're still stumped then another hint is: "EEVAH". If you still don't know, ask your neighbor.


This past week was good. Lately we've been trying to help the ward update their records because it's greatly outdated, so much of this week was wandering trying to hunt down the members, active or not.

So I'll start from Monday! So after emailing we went and play Ping Pong at the Witbank chapel! I haven't played since the MTC (my companion likes to remind me that that was a long time ago 😑😐...) but it was so much fun!! Every Monday is ping pong and today we're doing a tournament! 

Tuesday we had great help from Brother David who was able to tell us about the members he knew. Some have moved, Some are no longer with the church, and some even have passed away. One sister passed away 13 years ago! That's before most of the active members were even members! So now you see why we're trying to help.

After that, the days blurred together. We had some nice days and met some nice people. One of our new investigators is named Natasha. Natasha is 17 but is in College. She graduated at 11! She's a brilliant girl who loves the gospel. When we first met her we were passing by because we didn't really have time to share. She was upset because she wanted us to begin teaching her. But she accepted that we come back the next day. After a nice lesson that next day, we went back the following day again. Hopefully things continue to improve.

And Lastly, I write about General Conference! I was able to see all but the Sunday Afternoon session, which we'll watch this coming Sunday. I loved Conference so much!! I filled several pages of my journal with notes and I still have another session! I hope you enjoyed Conference as much as I did. My favorite talk was.... okay I can't really decide yet... Honestly, I like to read them again before I decide. But, a great talk was Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk. It was one that gave me peace and a few good laughs. "No one can spend that much!". Haha! Yes, I really enjoyed it.

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


My beautiful form. I also hadn't played basketball since the MTC.


Action shot of my killer serve!


It seems Peter wanted us to know how to find his place.



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

It's...ALIVE!!



Dear friends and family,

I am alive.

The past couple weeks have been something else! So I'm sure many of you are wondering, "Where is Elder Burgess?", well I come with an answer. I'm in Mpumalanga, South Africa. That's the province anyways. The town we live in is called 'Witbank' but the area I'm serving in is just outside of Witbank. It's called 'Kwa-guqa'. Now there's a click in there so the ending sounds like a pop. Maybe one day I'll share with you all how these places are pronounced. 

Anyways, to answer the real question at your hearts...yes, I was evacuated out of Botswana. It's a shame, yes, but now the church knows how to go about things. So we hope and pray that the problem can be done and over.

I was told I was going to Kwa-guqa the Thursday before last. Now I've heard and known about this very ward from previous companions so I was excited. I'm now here with Elder Shorthill, my new companion. He is officially my first American companion (unless you count Elder Phillips in the MTC, which I'm not really). He's a great kid and he just so happens to be from Orangeville, Utah. What are the odds two Utah kids white wash an area? Actually likely... but that's beside the point. 

So to inform you all, I'm well. I'm healthy, I'm happy and there are no complaints.

The work is a bit slow because we're opening a new area (again) and the missionaries that we now share the ward with were only working on the side that was divided to them. It's understandable though. The area is quite large and they were working close to the chapel and where the work is progressing. As for us, most of our area has some distance from the chapel. Nothing new though. I'm grateful for the chance I have to take the gospel to the people here.


More will come, I'm sure, as we spend more time here.

Love you all,
- Elder Burgess



My new companion, Elder Shorthill.


My new chapel.



Oh I mustn't forget this one. Saying goodbye to President Mangenela was a bit tough. I'll miss you Caiphas!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

When the necessary becomes frustrating.



Hello Friends and Family!!

I hope you had a great week; I know mine was interesting to say the least.

So Monday I drove a Ranger to Pretoria. It's a big vehicle compared to my little Hyundai i20! But it was really cool! I did however get lost in Pretoria. I made a wrong turn and ended up in an area called Sunnyside. Luckily (and prayerfully) we made it to the mission office. 

It was great because some elders from Namibia (my companion included) flew in. I was able to reconnect with my old friends Elder Voyles and Elder Reber over a game of pool. But on Tuesday we eventually made our way back to Gabs. We crossed over late and stayed the night in Broadhurst's flat. The following morning I had to go back to immigration (yay.. .) and wait, yet again. We went in and waited until they finally said that we should come back after lunch... so we did. 

But they still didn't have our extensions. We went back Thursday, still nothing, that is, until right before closing. I get called up and a supervisor was there. She then started explaining that our way of going about things isn't right... it became apparent to us that the agreement made concerning our stay in Botswana, was not discussed with the bottom of the chain. I was however able to get a few days, until September 20th. We're waiting to find out what will be happening, but there's a chance that I may be evacuating the country... We'll see!

It's been great fun with Elder Malemo again though! Although we didn't get to Moleps until late Friday night, we still had a nice couple of days. Today we went and hiked a hill with our district and went to lunch after.

Overall, my life is going alright. It's been hard not being able to do proper missionary work for such a long time but these things are kind of necessary. Other than frustration of waiting at immigration and having a cold, I'm doing great! I can't complain! The gospel is true and I'm here to proclaim it!

- Elder Burgess


Reunited and it feels so good!!


District hike!


2017 Ford Ranger!



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Flashback.



Hello to you all!

I hope you're doing well this fine day. I must say, I have news for you.

So this past week was alright. I was only in my area for two days and I'm leaving again today, I went home, and transfer news came... allow me to explain.

So Monday we went into Gabs for interviews. Then on Tuesday we had Zone Conference. Zone Conference was quite nice. We talked about Christ-like attributes. One of which is patience... mine was tested this week.

So then on Wednesday we had exchanges and I was with Elder Mills, the newest elder to the mission. It was great fun and good. Thursday rolled around and I (and four other Americans) had to be to the immigration department at 8 in the morning to apply for a visa extension to stay in Botswana. Well first we went to the American Embassy to certify copies of our passports, but that department didn't open until 1:30... So we had lunch and waited. We went back and entered the Embassy. As we're entering the waiting room, a video advertising things in American was playing. Just as we're entering, it's playing about Utah.... The timing was impeccable...

Finally we got out of there and over to immigration, only to discover that the finger print machine was offline. They told us, "come back tomorrow". So I ventured with some other elders to Mochudi so they could get a change of clothes. We then had dinner at Pizza Hut (not quite the same as home, but still the same company and good), and slept.

Friday rolls around and in the A.M. we were back at immigration. BUT the machine was still down. We then had to wait until 12 or so, where one elder was able to do his prints but the lady then said she had to go on lunch... so we waited... again.

The good news, everything is taken care of. Elder Motaleng and I got back to Moleps late on Friday and worked Saturday and Sunday. Saturday Sister Melney accepted to be baptized and we got transfer news.

Transfer news... *drum roll*..... I'm staying and Elder Motaleng is going to Kanye. My new companion is none other than my old friend, Elder Malemo. That's right, exactly one year after being companions in Lenyenye we're going to be back together and he's finishing with me this transfer. I'm quite excited!!

Sunday Elder Motaleng was saying goodbye to people and I received interesting news. The Assistants to the President called me and told me I'd be driving some elders to Pretoria today. So I'll be taking a 2017 Ford Ranger from Gabs to Pretoria... Booya!!

Oh what a week... I love you all and I know the church is true.

- Elder Burgess




Elder Motaleng and I for the last time.



Elder Mills and I. We're 3rd cousins, once removed. However, we met in Africa! Crazy story. 


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A bit short.



Dear Friends and Family!

I wanted to write and say I love you all!!

This past week was a decent one. Not too many new things though. We have a new Investigator, Sister Melny. She's a friend to a very enthusiastic member, Sister Dorothy. She's decided this is the church she needs. She's loving what we're sharing and comes to church, it's great! 

This is a bit short, yes, I'm sure you noticed. The reason being because we have to drive to Gabs for interviews with our Mission President. Tomorrow is Zone Conference and Saturday is transfer news. So I promise that this next week there will be a large email with photos!

Love you all!

- Elder Burgess



Monday, August 21, 2017

real change = true happiness



Hello friends and family!!

I hope you're doing well. I'm doing great! This past week was much better for us in Molepolole. We were able to find a couple young families and one of the couples came to church! Their names are Meshack and Boitumelo. Even though the wife, Boitumelo, struggles with English she still wanted to be there. They really loved church and they had even attended a self reliance activity the day before. I'm so excited about them! And the ward was so welcoming! They were with the members chatting and joking and we didn't even have to introduce them, we literally just watched!

Molepolole is beginning to get there. We also have sister Suku who is about to be baptized. She's doing great and is answering questions in class as if she's been in the church for a while. She's loving how much she's growing and learning and so am I!!

Life has been good and there's no complaints. I've really seen and realized that this gospel is all about change. They say God is unchanging but his plan for us, his children, is all about change. The word "repentance" means to change. I know now that God doesn't want us to just change our actions or behavior but our very nature. It's only after we change our nature that we'll see happiness, true happiness, otherwise known as joy.
In the words of the Prophet Nephi, "O how great the plan of our God!" (2 Nephi 9:13) 

Best to you all!
- Elder Burgess



Cameron & his 3rd cousin, Wesley Mills.


Proof! I'm alive and well.


This is what happens when someone gives you the first hair cut they've ever done for someone else.