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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"You're driving!" right into the mission field!

Dear family and friends of Cameron! We've heard from our boy. Please email Cameron a short and encouraging message. Wether it be something that inspired you during your personal scripture study or a great thought from church. His email is cameron.burgess@myldsmail.net. 

For those of you that do this, I know he would really appreciate your support. He has now been in the mission field for a week. And here is what he has to say:

Hello to you all!

I'm currently in Mokopane (pronounced Mo Ko Paw Nee). It's a beautiful area. It's a small town with a township in the area. I've continued to adjust and I'm beginning to love the area. So thus far I've just been getting to know people and teaching lessons. The moment I got here they handed me the keys and said "You're driving!". It's a manual! I'm so thankful for Adam Aguillon for helping me to become a better driver with manual. So we hop in the car right as I get there and drive about 60 kilometers to another area! I've been thrown into it and told to "Survive!". Props to those that get that, haha! But teaching here has been amazing and I've seen so much love for the Lord here!

Life here is different, but the people are amazing! My new Companion is Elder Saiah, he's been out for 3 months but is still a good trainer. He's from Johannesburg, SA. But what's cool is his mom is Zulu and his dad is from India! He's nice. His accent is sometimes hard to understand though. It's quite nice having him. He knows the native languages well enough so that he can talk to just about anyone! 

Something I've learned here is these people are amazing! They're so kind and inviting and family is everything to them. They may have nothing but if they have their family, they're content. And those in the gospel are even more grateful. It's made me appreciate my family even more. So to all my family, I love you and I appreciate you so much.

A note to you all...

Go to the temple. If you have a recommend, go! Everyone here wishes to go to the Temple and the fact that we have so many so close by, but we don't go... It's just so sad. So Please go.

Farewell for now! 

Oh, please look up 1 Nephi 17:13. It gave me inspiration to keep going this week and it gave me hope, so hopefully it does that for you too!

- Elder Burgess


For Letters Sent Through Pouch: Letters using the Church’s pouch system are limited to a single sheet of paper, folded into thirds and taped on the top edge only. No envelopes, no pictures, no money, etc are allowed.
Packages should be labeled “Missionary Supplies” and valued less than $30 US to avoid high custom charges.  When sending letters and packages through the USPS or your regular country mail system, mail to:
Botswana/Namibia Mission Office
 Suite 428
Private Bag X18

If you have any questions about mailing letters or packages, please contact Cameron's parents or sister for details. Thank you!
cherylcburgess@gmail.com (Cheryl)
almaburgess@gmail.com (Alma)
kjb.erickson@gmail.com (Kimberli)

Elder Saiah, his new companion and trainer

Elder & Sister Wilson - Cameron's Mission President & his wife

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Life in the MTC

Hey guys :) we heard from Cameron today. He wrote:

Hello everyone! 

So my first week has been something else. Africa really doesn't look that different from other parts of the world... from what I've seen. I've mostly been cooped up in the MTC. I've been having some great experiences though!! I've learned so much, especially from the Spirit. 

So some stories!

When it rains, it rains hard! It wasn't raining and within seconds it was. The sound was like thunder! People were telling me that it doesn't rain that hard here and that the rains were very late!

A good funny story!

One of the Elders, Elder Reid, was taking a shower and he was just turning the hot water on. The water wasn't really heating though. He kept turning the knob. The knob then fell off, sending a blast of water like a firehose at him! Scalding hot water! He ran straight out of the shower and into his adjoining room. His companion and roommates received quite the surprise! Haha! It's all good though. Everyone laughs about it, especially Elder Reid. 

Life at the MTC:

It's been different than regular life. Class after class, after class, lunch, more classes and so forth. But I'm adjusting and enjoying being able to focus so strongly on the spirit. This experience has given me great blessings already. 

I have two companions, Elder Phillips and Elder Martinho (I doubt you'll pronounce that correctly). Elder Phillips is from Rigby, Idaho and Elder Martinho is from Mozambique, Africa. It's been hard communicating with Elder Martinho. He's only been using English for a few months and he is deaf. He has a cochlear implant to help him hear but it's very difficult at times. What little sign language I know has come in handy! Talk about kind of a double wammy with the communication, eh? But he has a very strong testimony!

Oh! I got to go to the Temple! It is a very small temple for sure! But the same gospel. It was the same session and the same peace. I love the opportunity to serve this mission. It won't be easy, but it will be an amazing 2.3% of my life (estimating of course). 

Thank you all for supporting me! I will continue to write and I will do my best to tell you of my experiences. It is so different from being there though!

Keep me in your prayers continually.

Elder Cameron Burgess

Elder Phillips, Elder Martinho and I 

The MTC missionaries in front of the Johannesburg Temple

Elder Schnepf's Birthday

Friday, January 8, 2016

Touchdown on African soil!

We've heard from Cameron! He has safely landed in Johannesburg, South Africa. His flight was a nonstop 16 1/2 hours long. His roommate is named Elder Phillips. So far his report is that "it's hot" in Africa, a whopping 113 degrees. He wrote the following: 


I'm now in South Africa! Come to find out the flight I took is considered the longest flight in the world! That's probably the flight back. But still, check that off my bucket list (after I put it on that is). 

So the flight wasn't too terrible, just long and not the most comfortable. I know I had angels watching over me for sure. I've been traveling with several elders, the majority of the MTC (except for those from Africa), who arrived this morning. The elders from the US, including myself, arrived last night. 

After arriving in the Airport I realized it's hot...like really hot. The temperature isn't that bad but when you're coming from below freezing temperatures, it's hot! According to the nurses it's the hottest it's been in years. It's also a bit more humid than Utah. Not too much for today. I did just get here ;) but I do have pictures.

- Elder Cameron Burgess

The Johannesburg Airport

The Johannesburg MTC

My roommate, Elder Phillips. Harry Potter fans should get the reference in this photo.

One view from the MTC

Monday, January 4, 2016

Airport bound - The MTC awaits...

Hello everyone! My name is Kimberli Erickson. I'm Elder Cameron Burgess's favorite sister and now also, his personal slave scribe. I'll be posting updates from his missionary emails for the next two years so you all may stay updated on his mission. Elder Burgess has written the following:

Dear family & friends,

I opened my call on August 28th 2015. Four months and one week later I am leaving for the South African MTC so I can prepare to serve in the Botswana/Namibia Mission. That time has flown by so fast! Tomorrow I will be a full-time missionary. I will do my best to write every week with stories and experiences. They will be posted here. Thank you for your support. It means so much to me.

For now I will leave my testimony and we'll see how it progresses over time.

I know my Father in heaven lives and loves me. When this earth was created, He oversaw its creation. On the 6th day He came down and formed man. This was gift one--our bodies. As man heeded the word of God, He gave them guidance to return to Him. He called prophets to guide people and be a connection to Him. This was gift two--prophets, doctrine, laws and commandments.

But because in the beginning Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, there was to be a greater gift. He sent a Savior, His only Begotten Son. Jehovah came down and established his church. He gave greater laws and commandments. He then gave His life to show that we can, through Him, be made new and be forgiven of our sins. And in the process, we can journey back to our Father in Heaven and worthily partake of the Tree of Life.

I know that Christ loves us because He walked into the Garden of Gethsemane knowing, full well, what He was about to do. He knew it would be the hardest thing anyone had ever done or ever will do and that after, He would die. But He walked into that garden and cried to His Father. He suffered for our sins for hours. He was inflicted with all of our pains and although He cried to God asking for relief, He finished by saying, "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thy will." This same church that was established by Christ, the Savior of our souls, was reestablished by a young boy named Joseph Smith. From that day forward His church has grown. It is directed by modern-day prophets and apostles whom are guided and called by God Himself.

I've been raised in this church but I've also seen the affects on life without this true doctrine. It is hollow and there will always be a sense of emptiness without it. I accepted my call to serve a mission so that I can bring that missing puzzle piece to those that need it most from me. This happens to be in the southern countries of Africa. This is the true church and I will defend it and serve The Lord, my God, until my dying breath like those who came before me. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

My email is:   cameron.burgess@myldsmail.net

I will do my best to respond if you email me, however, it may not come immediately. Until further notice, email will be the only way of contacting me. This is due to the fact that South Africa's postal services are on strike.

Until next time,
Elder Cameron Burgess