Sunday, April 21, 2013

Fresno Days--Blanket Tacos and Spicy Food

April 14th, 2013

So, this week has been CrAzY!!! So where to start? We sent Elder Xiong back to Colorado. It was super sad. 
At the beginning of this week, I was with Elder Gipper working in his area while we waited to get our new companions on Thursday. Super nerve wracking waiting to get a new companion. We had a ton of meetings training us and prepping us to "train." SUPER FUN....hint: sarcasm. No it was good too. Just a little long. Then on Thursday I met my new companion; Elder Dunnaway!! He's from Topeka, Kansas. Has 3 younger brothers. Ran track and was in marching band (alto sax and drum major). Went to BYU-I. Super good missionary. I'm excited to work with him. I don't know if you remember, but two Hmong YSAs were in a really bad accident but they finally came home, so we went to a home-coming party for them. They served papaya salad, and WOW...super hot food! Look it up. It burned my mouth and I'm sure it almost killed Elder Dunnaway. His Hmong name is Koob Meej Thoj (Kong Mang Thao). Our recent convert actually gave him his name. We said a prayer with them, and then when I got up to stand, the recent convert insisted that we remain kneeling while he prays again. HE BASICALLY THEN PROCEEDS TO GIVE A "FATHERS BLESSING" TO NAME ELDER DUNNAWAY! SOOO COOL! I love our members here.
Yesterday, in church, I was sitting in the back of the chapel and there was an old grandma playing with a baby. She then wraps the baby in a blanket taco and I couldn't but help envision mom...HAHAHA. Apparently baby tacos are universal. Speaking of church. We had a crazy meeting. It starts at 9 and we didn't actually finish the sacrament until 9:50. Tons of blessings and confirmations. PRETTY AWESOME!
Also, West Side moved into the same apartment complex but they couldn't get into their apartment until this last Friday so they lived with us for a few days. It was insane. We had two apartments worth of stuff crammed into our one apartment. GREAT first impressions for new a bomb hit our apartment. However, since west side moved in. We've been running together every morning and its intense. We run past the airport and all the military helicopters and a golf course. It makes for really good scenery. 
The district is really good as well. We have Sis. Sims and her trainee. We came out in the same MTC group. Also, the zone leaders are in the district so everyone is super solid and obedient! 
Two of our investigators were confirmed this last week and after they were confirmed they were so excited and were thanking everyone on the stand...super funny. You definitely had to be there to get it. But it was great.
Anyways, I loved conference! I loved your spiritual thoughts. Always really good. My spiritual thought actually comes from my studies this morning. 
John 10:11-15
Christ is the good shepherd. 
I thought of what is the crowning difference between the Hireling and the Shepherd. Both have a financial investment in the sheep. Both lose out if the sheep are killed. However, the motivation is what catches my eye. The shepherd is willing to do what the hireling won't becuase he loves the sheep. The same principle can be applied to us and how we serve Jesus Christ. All of us have an investment, but is our motivation love? When our motivation becomes love, then we are truly willing to do everything to assist Christ and in the mission the Father has given Him. We are willing to "sacrifice" for our brothers and sisters. We are willing to step out of our comfort zone to help others come unto Christ. Just keep in mind in the coming days: Who has God prepared specifically for me to help? and What can I do to help them? I know Heavenly Father will answer you. Try it out. 
Love you all so much! Thanks for all the email addresses. Sorry for not replying to everyone fast. Let me know if you have any more questions.

Driving on Preparation Day (West and East Fresno Elders)

I'm thinking Elder Burdick might have missed the memo on the kind of pictures his mom wants to see...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


We were SO excited to get pictures from our missionary.  Our excitement waned when we opened the first one:

Apparently Scott and his companion rescued a cat and then gave it to some members.  They named it Burdick Cat.

Fortunately, the other pictures include more than his arm!

Christmas Dinner

Hmong New Year's Celebration!

Baptisms!  Scott noted that he was the tall one :)

March and April Fresno Days

April 8th, 2013

So this week has been crazy! We had conference which was AMAZING!!! We had two miracle baptisms…2 older people that farm!!!  We also got transfer calls and I’m training so it is super scary. Elder Doane is coming back to Fresno, and now he will be a district leader over the newly added 3rd district in our zone. They're also moving their apartment near ours so I’m pumped. Today has been really stressful with Elder Xiong going home tomorrow. We've been running around and getting last minute stuff done. We have no time to do anything. I printed off all the emails today and will try to get some snail mail out to everyone. I also sent off that package from Hmong New Years and they said it'll get there Monday...our address is 8601 L’Enfant right? Well I’ve got to run but I’m going to send a lot next week with all the new changes. I'm going to try and put my sd card in the mail for all of you but I have to get some last minute pics to elder Xiong before he goes home but anyways...same old! :) 

Love you all!!! 
Elder Tseem Fwv Leem Vaj 


April 1st, 2013

So super good week. I got all the packages on Friday. Thank you so much for all the gifts. Super awesome birthday. This week has been really busy. We had president interviews on Thursday. We had a leadership meeting on Friday. On Saturday we had a zone conference with all the zones in Fresno. So, yeah, a lot of meetings. I got so much revelation! 

Spiritual Thought: 

• Who rolled away the stone? (Men) Could Jesus roll away the stone? Yes
• Who raised Lazarus from the dead? (Jesus) Could Men raise Lazarus from the dead? No
• Who unloosed the bands? (Men) Could Jesus unloose the bands? Yes
• The Lazarus Principle: God will do only those things that a God can do. God asks us to do those things that we can do.

President gave training on this and it was mind blowing! Loved it soo much. If we have the ability to do something, more often than not, God will entrust us to do those things. However, the things beyond our ability and capability, He will assist. 

Well this week, we have a tri-zone preparation day activity that we have to get to. 

Love you all so much! Keep me posted on everything! THANKS FOR THE AWESOME BIRTHDAY WISHES & GIFTS!!

March 25th --  (Happy 20th Birthday Elder Burdick)

So this week has been pretty crazy. We had a miracle baptism this last Sunday for Evan. He's 10. Super COOL! Also, West Side had 2 girls get baptized on things are hoppin' here in Pioneer Park Ward. I've been doing a ton of exchanges this past week as well. I went into a biking area for 24 hours to see how things are going. I forgot how much I loved biking! However, I sweat wayyy too much. Nothing better than a 200lb white kid drenched in sweat asking you to hear the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pretty funny. I learned that right before you arrive at your appointment, you're supposed to coast so the air dries you out (missionary tidbit for the day). 

Also, thank you so much for the packages and letters. I haven't received them yet but I know they're in the mail or at the mission office so I’ll get them when I get them.

Spiritual thought: 
During my exchanges, we had a member coming out with us for some teaching appointments and we were talking about how we can help people change. He told me this, "When I was a missionary and people wouldn't be keeping their commitments to read, pray etc. I would just ask: 'Do you really want to change?'" The message that we share with people is to change the world one person at a time. When people sincerely want to change, this is the greatest help they can ever find. However, when people are not sincere in their quest for change, we find that they lack the drive to progress. Heavenly Father's message is to stretch every single person to their maximum potential. It’s the coolest thing to see people push themselves to do things they never could do on their own. 

Well, thanks so much for all the birthday wishes. Hope everyone is having a good day!!! Love ya ALL 

Kev Hlub, 
Tseem Fwv Leem

March 18th, 2013
It’s been a busy and crazy week! 

First off, I did get the package...much appreciated! Thanks...Neb yog tsev neeg zoo tshaj! (the family is best!)

Also, on Tuesday we had leadership training at the mission office and President invited Liz Wiseman to come and give training. She and another person wrote an amazing book called "Multipliers." You should totally look this up, Mom! She does leadership training with giant corporations like Nike, etc. She led out a discussion on how Leaders bring out the best "intelligence" in others aka Multipliers. However, others seem to repulse others' "intelligence" aka diminishers. So two books you should consider—

"Multipliers" By Liz Wiseman 
"Mindsets" By Carol S. Dweck 

Both seem to be awesome books about leadership and positive encouragement/motivation.

A quote Sister Wiseman said that really stuck out to me is this: 
"I have not learned leadership in the work place but rather in the home." Niam (Mom) knows this rings super true! 

She also talked about how when we praise effort, people are more and more willing to take on greater challenges. (Based off the research from Carol Dweck)

On Wednesday we had a zone conference with President so that was super inspiring as well. 

I have a few spiritual thoughts from that which I’ll include in the end. 

Also, we celebrated my birthday a little early by going to Buffalo Wild Wings and doing their wing challenge. I ate 12 wings in under 6 minutes covered in the hottest sauce they had. It’s called the Blazin' Challenge. I'm going to try and throw some pics on this email if I can figure it out with this sd card reader. 


Spiritual Thought: 
So first off, I loved your thought from President Uchtdorfs conference talk. We actually listen to that talk almost everyday. It’s super good! We also read "Beware of Pride" by Ezra Taft Benson pretty often. 

President Gelwix made this remark: 
He said that "...we don't serve Him to pay Him back for anything. We have a debt that cannot and will not ever be paid back. But rather, we do it to show Him we're thankful and that we love Him. When it comes down to it; We are here because we love Jesus Christ. We are not here to pay Him back, because it is impossible and unpayable. We are here because of our personal love for the Savior. 

Sister Liz Wiseman's remark: 
"Is not our strength in the return?" 
"Surely our humanity is show in falling off, but our divinity is in getting back on."

She was discussing the imperfect path to perfection. We all will struggle but we can get back on the path. 

I loved all the training we received this week it was so good. 

Anyways, I love you all and hope you're having a good week!!! 

Elder Tseem Fwv Leem Xai Yob Vaj 

March 11th, 2013
Notes from the week:

-We interpreted a dream and have 4 baptismal dates.
-We have 11 new investigators.
-Super awesome family had a birthday party for their kid and we were invited. Very fun!
-Elder Christofferson came to the area but the missionaries were not invited to come to the meeting he spoke at, but apparently it was really good
- We have trainings for 2 days this next week.
-2 missionaries that served in our mission have come back today to play ball so we're all going over to another stake center to play

Spiritual Thought:
Note from Elder Christofferson-
"When you pray I hope that you have a sense that you are not a stranger to Him."

I think this really hits true to the real meaning of prayer. Heavenly Father knows us inside and out! He wants to talk with us. We have this privilege and right because we are His children. However, it seems that too often there are people that are scared to pray. I know that when we come to know who God really is and our true relationship to Him, we will want to talk with Him! He’s more familiar to us than we all think. I think Brigham Young made the remark that when we stand before God and He embraces us in His loving arms, we will be amazed at how familiar He is to us. We have lived with Him for eons and this mortal life is truly just a few minutes separated from Him. We can always turn to Him!

This week is going really well so I’m pumped! Sorry this letter is so short, but we're super busy today.

Love ya,
Tub Txib Fwv Leem Vaj