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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Ah Christmas has come and gone. Surprising and a bit sad. 

Christmas here was complete opposite from home. Most people are just partying with house music and alcohol and if people decorate it's as far as a small tree in the corner, like 4 ft or less. But nonetheless, I enjoyed it. We had dinner at Sister Sarti's, then at the Povanho's and lastly at the Swartbooi's. We had many families inviting us to dinner but we could only make it to a few. At the Swartbooi's I had turkey... it was the first turkey I had had since Thanksgiving 2015 and it was wonderful. By the end of it all I was struggling to finish the meal at the Swartbooi's, but, I prevailed!!

Utah: Christmas Day 10:30 p.m. BUT Africa: December 26th 7:30 a.m.
This morning I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to my family. I was able to Skype and see them all. Family, I love you so much and I'm so grateful for you all. To everyone, I hope you've had a great Christmas and that you're enjoying all the new gifts and keeping the Savior in your heart.

To the missionaries, I love you all. I'm so proud to be serving with you and I hope and pray that you work hard and that this time that you've had to talk with your families will give you a boost to work hard.

This past week was a decent one. This coming week I hope goes well. We received Transfer news and Elder Mosweswe is leaving me to go to the coast, Swakopmund! My new companion will be Elder Ndlovu from Durban, South Africa. He's a cool kid and I'm excited to work with him.

Well I hope you all have a great week and know you're loved!!

- Elder Burgess

Here's us at the Swartbooi's

This is what happens when you eat three good meals. Here we call this a "Kapunda" kuh-poon-duh.

Monday, December 19, 2016

"It's beginning to look a lot like...SUMMER!! Everywhere you go."

Wow how time flies!! I can't believe that Christmas is already here! I have to wish a Merry Christmas to you all now but for my family, I'll be seeing you later! 😉😘

Well this past week has been a good one! Despite many people being gone we have still been able to see quite a few people and some were people that we've had trouble seeing for a while now. 

It was a good time this week, except for Tuesday- Friday, where I was sick. Funny enough, the day I was the sickest is the day we had the most appointments. Don't worry I'm doing well now. The Lord blesses us in our afflictions and works in mysterious ways, that's for sure.

For example, my highlight of the week. When we went to the barber to have Elder Mosweswe's hair cut, we met a young man by the name of Isaac. Isaac is a 19 year old from Angola, the northern neighbor to Namibia. He was here in Windhoek for a doctor's appointment and was leaving the following day. We introduced ourselves and told him what we do. As we talked his interest was greatly peaked, especially when it came to finding the true church. He asked if we give out bibles and if we had one. 

I replied, "We do but we don't have one. I do have this though." And proceeded to pull out a Book of Mormon. This kid was in love with it! As I explained all about it he just kept saying, " Wow, this is wonderful." Then came the tough time. He was leaving and we had no way to contact the elders in Angola. We gave him our number for when he came back to Windhoek but it just didn't feel like enough. 

I began thinking of how we could help this young man more and then it hit me. A few weeks back we met with a man who worked in Luanda, Angola. He's been taught by the missionaries all the lessons but wanted us to visit. Right before leaving, I had asked him for the contact details of the elders in Angola. I had no idea why. They were useless to me but it felt right to write down their information anyway. Now fast forward to our time with Isaac. I sat there thinking, "I have no way for this young man to find the missionaries." And immediately a voice responded, "Yes you do." I was then able to give this young man the contact details for the elders in his very city.

It's amazing how the Lord works, truly it is.

Well I hope all of you enjoy this Christmas Season and that you remember why we celebrate it; the REAL REASON. 

- Elder Burgess

Thursday, December 15, 2016

There is no faster way to HAPPINESS.

Hello Everyone! 

Life this week has been. Yep, it's been. This past week we only had a few lessons. People were right when they said Windhoek becomes dry in December. For example, our sacrament attendance is almost half of what it was. Yeah, joy.

But there were still good moments, and bad, but we'll get there. Hold your horses, keep your shirt on, slow your roll, "take your pick, I have more."

So this past weeks highlight has been Sister Ottilie, and I'm proud to say, she is now our sister in the church! We had some wonderful lessons with her and I've never had someone so prepared. This experience was a dejavu moment from Sister Phina and Brother Nico (If you'll remember they're my beloved family from Lenyenye). Sister Ottilie was interviewed and passed and Saturday she was baptized then the following day she was confirmed. I'm so happy! I truly love this work. There's a reason they call it the Labor of Love.

I also had a great chance to see the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional. If you haven't seen it, "I highly recommend it, it's so choice!". There was a wonderful talk on Christ's birth but it addressed how we wouldn't celebrate the birth of Christ if it weren't for His Atonement. I had a great privilege to give a talk on this very subject. 

I must say, I truly love this gospel and church and I really, really love our Savior and Redeemer. I'm so blessed to be His servant and messenger. I urge all of you to re-evaluate the call you received at baptism to share this gospel. There is no faster way to happiness. 

Love you all,
- Elder Burgess

Picture: Elder Mosweswe, President Samahia and his son who just wanted to be in the photo, Sister Ottilie and her daughter Valentina and your's truly.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Mission Tour & little sheep!

First off, a shout out to Elder Keaton LaMont, Happy Birthday Bro!! We're 20!

So this past week has been quite eventful. To start off, Elder Mosweswe and I have been working hard and seeing many people. Sadly, due to the holidays, many people are leaving so from about now to January this place is going to be dry... and wet. Dry in people and wet because the rain is supposed to be coming.

As many of you know, I'm no longer a teenager. In all honesty this was the most boring birthday I've ever had, not the worst but just boring. Plus, I don't even feel older. I still feel like I'm 18 and just graduated high school... I've decided, and I declare to the world, that I'm forever 5 years old. There, it's settled.

Anyways so the events of this week.

On Friday we had Mission Tour. Mission Tour, if you'll remember, is where a General Authority generally (pun intended) comes and has a conference with the missionaries. This year we had Elder Ellis come. It was an amazing moment really! He had such wonderful messages and by the end of it all, four hours had passed and it was like I had just blinked. 

Then on Saturday we had a Christmas party. At this party we had a bit of disorganization and guess who became the three wise men? That's right, three missionaries. So with short notice we had to select gifts for the baby Jesus. I took my scriptures, figuring that they looked like a box, Elder Desouza took flowers and Elder Mosweswe took a rugby ball...he thought the Christ Child could play with a toy. Over all, it was interesting. We had a few investigators come as well so that was good!

Ah and now for the end of the story of this week. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Namibia hates missionaries. So we've been having car troubles here, for everyone. We've had a car die and one go far away, so currently there is supposed to be 2 cars in Windhoek and 8 elders... but, there's 8 elders and 1 car now. So here's how the story goes. Elder Reynolds, our district leader and fleet manager for Namibia, has been having problems with his car because the alternator died. Well now we've lost my car. That's right, I'm back to walking, and it's the hottest part of the year. I'm going to be drenched most of the time, from my own sweat (gross but true) or from the rain.

So this is what happened. I was driving when the car started making a funny noise and the oil light came on and the temperature started to spike. I pulled off and discovered that the cap to our water reservoir was missing (probably blew off while driving because the pressure and heat became too much) So after some time, a lot of water, and pushing the car down a hill, it blew up. Just kidding, we got it back on the road. Well some time goes on and the oil light comes back on. I decided to call in Elder Reynolds. After a brief check up, the doctor (Elder Reynolds) discovered that the car had blown it's head gasket.

So now we have 1 car. We ended up taking the alternator out of my car ( with permission from our fleet manager, Elder Hawkins) , which is brand new, and putting it in Elder Reynolds car. So I guess we can be positive and say we have a functioning car...

But please remember D&C 58:4 where it says "For after much tribulation come the blessings."

All is well and the work will go on! 

Have a wonderful week!!

- Elder Burgess

Sorry the picture is fuzzy but this is all of us with Elder Ellis. Our photographer also timed it perfectly...

Here are our sheep at the Christmas party.

This was my birthday dinner party.