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

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It wouldn't be Africa without the wild & exotic.

Happy, Happy Birthday to my little nephew who's 3 today!!

Hello to you all!! I hope you've enjoyed this past week as much as I have! So you'll probably notice this is coming a little later. That's because on Monday I went to Kruger National Park!! It was so much fun!!  

I'll start first with how the week went. It was a good week. We had a few people cancel on us but we just kept looking forward to the baptisms and Kruger. We met with Brother Nico a few times because he was so nervous about the baptism and bearing his testimony. He's one of the most shy guys I know. He's mostly blind yet he was so nervous to be in front of people. We also met with Thalita, but her's is a different story. She was so ready for this! Her cousin, Humphrey, starting bringing her to church over a year ago and she's been taught ever since. She's been a member really, just minus the baptism. She was beyond ready and I'm so happy for them both! I've come to love them both and I'm so happy I could be here to see their baptisms.

Other than meeting with them I would say my highlight was teaching Mapula. Mapula is a young lady whom we thought was a member. She always came to church, she attends seminary, she comes to family home evening, etc, etc. Well our first time meeting her was interesting because at the end we asked, "is there anything we can help you with?" Her response was, "Just help me work to being baptized." Oh how great was our joy!

So the baptisms went well, they're both so excited to receive the Holy Ghost and I'm so happy for them!

Kruger National Park

As many of you know, I love animals! I was able to go to Kruger National Park on Monday and it was spectacular!! The moment we enter we were welcomed by a herd of elephants. I had to tell Elder Bagoole to make sure I didn't get out of the bakkie (truck) because it was so tempting! We drove around all day and I got to see elephants, hippos, baboons, giraffes, zebra, antelope, wildebeest, ibex, warthogs, ostriches, and so on and so forth. It was a lot of driving though! Sadly, no leopards. I did see a lion! The only bummer was I wasn't able to get a picture because it moved into the bush, leaving me with only a glance. But I still saw one!! Again Elder Bagoole had to hold me back from getting out... I really wanted to get a better look.

I hope you're all doing well. I'm having such a wonderful time here! I thank you all for all the love, support and prayers you've sent my way. I'm seeing the blessings in my life so thank you again. And thank you for all the encouragement.

I love you all!
- Elder Burgess

Monday, May 16, 2016

Be happy in all that you do.

Hello Hello Hello!

Life here in South Africa has been great! I'm loving the area and the people. 

So this last Sunday we confirmed the two young men as members of the Church and now we're preparing for next week where we'll have two more investigators be baptized! The first is Sister Thalita, who I've mentioned before. The second is Brother Nico. Nico is a partially blind man that has found a love for the church and the missionaries. He's been taught for awhile now and he's going to be baptized! I'm also hopeful for his wife and family in the near future! I've been enjoying talking and teaching both of these wonderful people and I feel they're so ready. Sister Thalia, for instance, has been teaching us the lessons as of late. And going into deeper knowledge than is originally taught to investigators. 

Lenyenye is doing well. So are the other areas up here. We help the other areas by finding service as often as permitted. One of the photos is of such service. We were getting sand for a family so that they can make cement to add a room onto their house. I've definitely been loving this place. I love the service opportunities we have and I just feel at home here. 

We also say goodbye to one of the senior couples up here. Elder and Sister Campbell went home yesterday evening. They're from Prescott, Arizona. They're probably still in the air as I'm writing this. Anyways, they served in Tzaneen and worked wonders. Their going away party was joyful but still had many tears. The people here will be forever grateful to them.

A spiritual thought that has interested me as of late has been the story of Enoch. Within the Bible Enoch is hardly mentioned. But thanks to modern revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith, We have so much more of his story. We now see the greatness of that man and what it really took to build Zion. I encourage you all to read up on his story and really think on how you personally can contribute to building Zion. This is our goal here before the Second Coming of Christ.

I love you all and I hope that you're doing well.

- Elder Burgess

Elder Bagoole and I delivering sand to a family so they can make cement to add a room onto their home.

Elder Dickson. This kid makes me laugh! Whenever I ask him to take a picture for us, he snaps one of himself. This is his latest addition.

Elder and Sister Campbell cutting the cake at their farewell party.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mother's Day

We got to see Cameron on Skype and talk to him on Sunday. Elder Burgess is so happy to be serving a mission and is loving it to the max. His health is good and his spirits are high. We are grateful for technology and angels that watch over our loved ones near and afar. Enjoy Cameron's update! - Kimberli

Happy Mother's Day!

Well my first opportunity to Skype home has come already. Just wanted to say thank you to all who were there. It was wonderful to see you! I love you all and I'm so proud of you. A congrats goes to Mati Downs and Shayla Archibald for receiving their mission calls. I'm so happy for them! And also to Luci Jeppsen who will be receiving hers shortly. I'd also like to shout out to all the mothers in my life. You're wonderful and I love you all. Thank you for welcoming me into your homes and showing love to me.

So this past week has been something else. I've been having a blast and had some great experiences. Probably the top one was performing my first baptism. His name is Thabiso (ta-bee-so). He's the boy on the right. He was so excited to be baptized! Elder Bagoole asked him, "So are you ready?" He replied, "I'm always ready for something important." So his friend is Katlego (cat-lay-ho). They're both 11 and good friends. They were so excited and I'm so happy for them!

Well not too much more to add but I will include a spiritual thought. This last Thursday I was shown the word "earnest" in the Bible Dictionary. I invite you all to look it up and ponder about what it's saying. Earnest has been related to the Holy Ghost in the footnotes and It struck me.

Well I love you all and I hope that you're happy and enjoying life. You're probably all asleep as I write this though, haha! (Cameron wrote this email at 2:22 am MST)

Farewell for now,
- Elder Burgess

Katlego and Thabiso

Katlego's father, Thabiso, Katlego, Elder Bagoole (Buh-goo-lay), and  Elder Burgess

Alekken LaMont and Cameron Skyping. Alekken is Keaton's little brother.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Water and work. Cherish both.

Hello to you all.

I hope this finds you well. I hope you've enjoyed your week as I have. I've been working and working and working! I've been having a wonderful time in Lenyenye. We have been doing a lot of service! There's many people here that struggle with water shortage, so we've been getting them water. Yesterday even I was getting water in my suit... It's been quite the adventure!

So a few short stories for you.

First one, miracles do happen. We've been teaching an investigator named Thalita. She's been taught for a while now but her mom has been against her getting baptized. She has said she can get baptized when she's 18. Well Elder Bagoole and I wanted to try again. We told Thalita this but she wanted us to ask because she's been turned down so many times before. So we finished a lesson with her and she goes to get her mom. But then she comes back alone with a face of bewilderment. at first I thought her mom had said no again but then she tells us, "My mom says I can get baptized." Just like that!! It was amazing to see the Lord's hand open this gateway for her!

Second, We almost got stuck. We were out in one of the villages and it started to rain and hail (side note: the hail was the size of golf balls!). So on our way out of the village it was very muddy. And as we are going we get stopped by some people, telling us that if we continue the mud is very thick and we'll get stuck. Well as we try to get going again, we find we're stuck where they stopped us. Not sure what to do, I get out and look at where we are. Our left side tires are half covered by mud. I then get a feeling, "Get in the vehicle and reverse". Looking at what's behind the tires I'm discouraged because if we backed up both rear tires would be stuck. But I did it anyways. As I begin to reverse, amazingly the mud on the sides of the tires get sucked under, shifting the truck to the side and giving us a clear exit. 

Lastly, I'll be performing my first baptism on Mother's Day. As I said before, we have two 11 year old boys being baptized. The one will be baptized by his father but the other one asked me to baptize him. I've only just met him and he asked me to baptize him! Interesting enough though, I wasn't surprised, I felt he would ask me. None the less I'm excited and honored that he asked me to baptize him.

Well I hope you all know that I appreciate you so much and I wish you all the best.

- Elder Burgess

Lenyenye from a distance. The villages cover the mountains!

I was reunited with an old friend... My loving parents sent this wonderful treat to me.

Service is always part of the mission.