Monday, July 24, 2017

Het Eind...

Well, this is it. The last email of my mission. It truly has flown by and I can't believe it's come already. It really hasn't hit me yet that this is my last day in Suriname, but I'm still sad that I'll be leaving this wonderful place soon.

The week was good! We had our last teaching visit with the Elders in Uitkijk and it was fun to be back in my old area again. We got to see Steve and Jolanda, my favorite members, so that was super cool and they're doing great and actually are going to the temple later this year, so I will probably be able to be there when they get sealed! That would be awesome! We also had to pack up the house since Elder Geigenmiller and Elder Dubbeld are going to be serving in both Kasabaholo and in Paramaribo, but in a different apartment, so that took a little bit of time. We contacted some really cool people this week that are looking good and have a lot of potential so that will be exciting to leave the area with. I got to see Br Wehl one last time yesterday which was awesome. He's incredible and such a consecrated member so that was special. I also saw the Nazirs and the Wangsas for the last time last night and that was the hardest. Brother Nazir has made a huge impact on my life and we will be friends forever. It's been so great getting to know him and seeing his work as a consecrated priesthood holder. I'll see some last people tonight and then that'll be it. We had a really good week and church was just awesome. Great last Sunday and Zuster Zeegelaar got back from her mission last week and spoke on Sunday. She was in my district earlier in my mission, so that was awesome to see her again. Great week!

I just want to thank everyone for their support, their love and their prayers that they have sent my way. I really have appreciated it and will never forget it. Keep on being awesome and thanks for changing my life. If anyone has any thoughts about serving a mission, do it! It will change you forever. I'm excited to see all of you soon. Love you all!
-- 
~Elder Burr
 Some last Surinamese rain and some of my favorite people! The Ibrahims (President Ibrahim from the distrcit presidency was OUT!), Broeder Wehl, and the Wangsas and Nazirs!



Monday, July 17, 2017

Waar is de tijd gegaan?

Where had the time gone? is the translation and it's true. This is my last full week of my mission and I'm not sure where all the time went. Seems like yesterday that I was in the MTC trying to learn Dutch! I'm determined to work hard until the end and we've got some good things going on that we are super excited about!

We had a pretty good week that was super crazy at the same time. Basically everything fell through this week, but it was still an awesome week. We had some really cool spiritual experiences. One of the spiritual experiences was with our investigator named Oede who lives across the street from the church. We had a lesson on Monday and on Wednesday with him and both of them went great! Monday we taught about the Restoration and I'll just say that I think that that was the best Restoration lesson that I've had on my mission. He just understood everything and the Spirit that was there was incredible. Way cool. On Wednesday, we brought the branch president, President Popken with us and he did awesome in the lesson about the Book of Mormon. He bore powerful testimony and it was just great! We also had the opportunity to bring the Crawfords with us to a lesson with a less active family and they did incredible in testifying that the Lord will provide a way for them to come to church. It was awesome! We also did some service for a member named Zuster Parmanand and we cut down one of her trees which was pretty awesome. I have some sweet blisters from it, which are just the evidence that we worked hard ;) I think the biggest success this week was with Brother Nazir. We had an incredible lesson with him and his family and his mother and father-in-law about God and they all learned things from the Spirit that they could could do better and it was sweet. He's also working with us a ton in missionary work and is really helping this branch out so much. He's in the branch presidency and the whole branch presidency and the leaders of the branch are all on fire and going out and bringing all of the less actives back to church. Brother Nazir is having a big part in that. Yesterday we had the opportunity to go with Brother Nazir and President Popken to the hospital to visit a member that got into a bad accident that was working on coming back to church. He messed up his neck really bad, but is making a good recovery and it was so good to be there to show our love for him and just to support him. Memories to remember forever. This week went really well and we've got some good things planned for this week! Should be great!

I also had a really big spiritual experience last night and this morning with my patriarchal blessing. Something took on a new meaning that I have never thought about before. I know that it was inspired of God and I'm grateful for the inspiration that I received! 

Love you all and I hope that you have an awesome week! You're the best!

-- 
~Elder Burr
 Service Project taking down a tree!



Monday, July 10, 2017

Wonderen en wonderen!

Hey everyone! It's been an awesome week with so many cool experiences and the work is going great here. I'm grateful for the time that I have on my mission and my life has been changed forever because of it. If any of you are thinking about going on missions, just do it. You'll never regret it!

We had a crazy week this past week! We had two teaching visits with Elder's White and Wittaw in Wanica Central and Elder's Smith and Nickel in Wanica South. Those visits went great and are always such spiritual experiences that we love. It's so fun to be with them and have the Spirit there to testify of the things that we can do to help them. It's so cool, it's not like we are there to judge them or criticize them, but to help them out and then the Spirit is there and there is so much unity and humility. It's been awesome. We also had zone conference on Thursday which was awesome. We talked all about teaching and ways to become a better teacher. Elder Geigenmiller and I had a big part in it in teaching everyone how to plan more effectively and to truly teach all of the doctrine. We also had the opportunity to do a role play where we taught Elder and Sister Crawford (they were being investigators) about the Pre-Earth life in the Plan of Salvation. It went better than we would've thought and the Lord truly was leading that role play. We were just there, but the words that came out of our mouths came from God. I know that without a doubt. Elder Geigenmiller and I also on Friday decided to kneel down together to see what we could accomplish in these last few weeks that I have and I'll just say that we are pumped and are more excited about missionary work than we have ever been on our missions. We feel that this is what it truly means to be lost in the work. Pretty special and these last few weeks are going to be very special. Also on Saturday night, we taught Brother Nazir's nephew for the first time (he's 22) and Brother Nazir taught with us and it was awesome. So much unity in what was being taught and Tristan seems like he's super prepared. We're excited. Oh yeah, also on Friday night we had a meeting with the leaders of the branch about the branch mission plan and that was the most spirit filled meeting that I have ever been a part of. As Brother Nazir said in the meeting, "this is the time for the Tammenga branch. If we let this time go, we WILL regret it." The entire leaders of the branch are on fire and we truly believe that this is the time for this branch. It's about to explode and we are all working together. It's so exciting! Those were some highlights of our week and we also found someone super cool named Rick that went on the church website and requested a Book of Mormon. He's awesome. The work is going forward! Bring it on!

So many things are going well and it's all thanks to God! God truly is so great and I'm grateful to be a missionary. Just remember that we are all missionaries and ask yourselves the question: "What more can I do to be a missionary or to magnify my calling?" I promise that the Lord will tell you what you need to do.

You all are awesome and I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

-- 
~Elder Burr
 Elder Hunt, Elder Burr & Elder Buehler
 Elder Burr & Elder Ruegger
 Our garage that we organized!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Members!

Hey everyone and happy Fourth of July! I hope that you all had a wonderful week and are continuing to have many spiritual experiences! You all are amazing and inspire me a lot as well.

We had a great week this past week and we really worked hard this week and had some really cool experiences from it. We went on one teaching visit this week and that was in Commewijne with Elder Ricks and Elder Masina. I was with Elder Ricks and we had some really cool experiences with some of the people that we talked to and with the lessons that we taught. One of the lessons was with an investigator family and we talked about the Atonement and it was just very well taught and the Spirit was strongly felt. The family really has the desire to do what is right and that's pretty special. We also found out that a member family lives in our area that we did not know about so we got to go by them and get to know them a bit and found out their story. They had a ton of faith and only two years after being members, they served a senior couple mission in Suriname! So cool! Also, while they were serving that mission, D Todd Christofferson (before he was an apostle), came and visited Suriname and stayed at their house! He also wrote in their Book of Mormon which was so cool to see! Pretty crazy stuff. One of the coolest lessons that we had this week was with an investigator named Sybrano that we haven't been able to see for a while. We went back though to see what he still remembered and he remembered a ton about the Book of Mormon and about the message and has a true desire to act. Very spiritual lesson and we're just trying to help him get to church now. The best thing this week though is the members. They are stepping up and are doing so well! They're doing their home teaching, having their meetings, and we had a meeting with them where we brought up an idea to have the branch pray for baptisms and they're all in on it and now everyone is praying for baptisms and is super excited about missionary work! So cool to see and it's really fun to work with them all.

Today we had a really fun activity where we played some volleyball, basketball and kickball and had a fourth of July party with all the missionaries in Suriname! It was a blast and it was really fun playing some volleyball again! I need some practice though haha ;)

Something that I've really come to learn lately is the importance of being positive in all circumstances and is really looking for good in people. When we look for good, we will always find it. I know that as we look for good in those around us, we will have more peace in our lives and more happiness in general. You all are wonderful and I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

-- 
~Elder Burr
 4th of July - Suriname Missionaries

 A little bit of Suriname and where we spend a lot of time ;)


Monday, June 26, 2017

Teaching Visits and the Spirit!

Hey everyone! I hope that you all had a wonderful week this past week! You all deserve it! 

We've had a great transfer so far. The teaching together has been very unified and we're seeing some cool success and some very spiritual lessons. Way cool to see and we're very excited for this area. Some cool successes this week were definitely in the teaching visits that we were able to do with the elders in Koewarasan and in Wanica North. It was great being with them and being able to teach with them and learn from them. Hopefully we were able to help them out a bit as well. The coolest part of those visits that we went on were the reviews that we did at the end of the visits. They were just filled with the Spirit and it was truly an uplifting experience for everyone. The Spirit definitely guided the words and helped us all learn together about what we could do to become better teachers. We also had a super spiritual lesson with a less active member that is named Donny. We were able to talk to him about God and truly see what he believes about God. He has a strong faith in Him and Donny said that he felt that something was missing in his life. He is kinda going to church, but not really reading the scriptures and saying his prayers. So I felt prompted to share D&C 64:33 with him about the importance of doing the small and simple things. He really enjoyed that and we all felt the Spirit and were able to make a plan with him to read every day. Pretty awesome! One other lesson that went really well was with the Aroeman family that is working on coming back to church. We were talking about repentance and how to repent and we were all learning from the Spirit and then out of no where, the father said that he really wants to come back to church and to have a calling again and they all expressed similar thoughts. So awesome to see the change in people as they remember spiritual experiences that they once had. Very good week and we're really looking forward to this week as well! Elder Geigenmiller is great!
One other cool thing that happened this week is that branch conference happened yesterday and it was AWESOME. The theme was the Holy Ghost and the lessons given and the talks given were just so inspired and great. I think my favorite thing from it was when Elder Crawford shared 2 Nephi 32:5 and focused on the part that says that "the Holy Ghost will tell us all things that we can DO." We need to act on the impressions that we receive. If we feel like doing something good, it probably came from the Spirit. I encourage you all to act on those promptings that you receive each and every day. You all are awesome! Love you all and have a wonderful week!

-- 
~Elder Burr

Monday, June 19, 2017

Paramaribo South!

Hey everyone! I hope that you all had a wonderful week again this past week! Elders Lewis, Hardy and Christianson are all now home which is crazy and we miss them here, but we know that they gave their all! 

I had a crazy week this week. Transfer day was on Wednesday, so Elder Ruegger went to Wanika with Elder Buehler and I was back in Paramaribo South with Elder Dubbeld and Elder Hunt. Elder Geigenmiller didn't come in until last night at like 8 PM so I was in a trio in Paramaribo for the week. It was super fun to be back in my old area though and it was a blast seeing all of the members at church on Sunday! It was especially great to see Broeder and Suster Nille, some of my favorite members in that area. Church was just great and there were many spiritual talks given about faith and about having spiritual experiences. Way cool. Some of the highlights of the week though were definitely a lesson that we had on Tuesday with a new person named Consuella. We talked about God with her and some of the experiences that she had with the church in the past, and she's super willing to come to church and to do things, so we're really excited. The Dunnan family is also doing great and are just making more and more progress and they're coming back to church! Those were most of the highlights and we also got to do service for the Wangsa family and they're also working on coming back to church which is also super exciting. Good things are happening and I'm very excited to be back in my area finally! It should be great working with Elder Geigenmiller again and we're making some good plans for this transfer. Bring it on!

That's all that I've got this week! Continue reading the scriptures and praying always and the Lord will help you in all that you do! God loves you!

-- 
~Elder Burr
 Elder Ruegger's package exploded1

 Fajitas we made
 Transfers!
Elder Crawford, Elder Burr, & Elder Ruegger


 Suriname

 Elder Burr, Elder Hunt and Elder Dubbeld doing service


Monday, June 12, 2017

Wij Moeten God Leren Kennen!

Hey everyone! I just started my last transfer which is crazy! Time sure does go by quick and it's so important to make every moment count! You don't know how long you'll have the opportunity to serve whether it's a mission or a calling so you really need to make every moment count!

So I'm staying! You all probably guessed that, but I bet that you didn't guess who my companion will be! I'll be serving with........... Elder Geigenmiller again! We also were called to have a new leadership position in the mission. We are the teaching assistants of Suriname. So what we do with that is that in a transfer, we go with every single companionship in Suriname and observe their teaching and help them out a bit to find ways to become even more effective. Of course we go to learn from them as well. Pretty cool though and it's brand new so we'll see how that goes. We have that big bus again to drive haha. I thought I was done with that but I guess not yet! Pretty crazy! Elder Ruegger will be serving in Wanika with Elder Buehler. Crazy huh?

We also had a pretty good week. We had a couple opportunities to do service for the person that fixes our bikes and also for the Nazir family which was sweet. We mixed cement for the Nazirs and it was a TON of cement. We'll just say that I was a little sore afterwards. It was great though and just a blast. We also got to teach some new people named Vincent and Gwen this week and it was AMAZING. It was the first lesson with them and Vincent invited his wife to come sit with us as well and we were able to get to know them a little bit, find out their religious background and talk about God. They are just awesome and seem so prepared. They stopped us and asked us to come have us teach them which almost never happens. Huge miracle and they have 2 little boys, so those are future missionaries right there as well! So cool. We also were able to have a sweet lesson with the Dunnan family about the Plan of Salvation. That is their favorite lesson and they were just so prepared for it and loved it. Sweet lesson filled with the Spirit! Also Sunday was sweet. Elder Ruegger and Zuster Baker bore their testimonies since they were leaving and I was asked to give a talk (I was asked Saturday night so all I had was Sunday morning to prepare it). I was pondering what to talk about though and I ultimately felt inspired to talk about the importance of coming to know God. So I wrote out the whole talk and everything and was all prepared and then... I left my notebook at home. But I went up and gave the talk anyways and God really helped me out to guide my words and help me remember all the scriptures that I wanted to share. It was really cool and the Spirit was super strong. I really enjoy speaking now! Those were some highlights from this week!

One invitation that I gave in the talk is one that I want to give to all of you. It's 6 ways to come to know God better!

1. Sincere Prayer
2. Diligent and Prayerful Scripture Study
3. Doing the will of God
4. Doing missionary work and sharing your testimony with friends and family
5. Going to the temple as often as possible
6. Becoming more like God and Christ every day

I know that as you do these things, you will feel the Spirit and gain a more personal relationship with God each and every day! Love you all and have a wonderful week!

-- 
~Elder Burr