Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fresno Days--The Countdown Begins!

May 12th, 2014

Hi Everyone,

Anyways, not a ton of new stuff happening on our end right now. I will have some more stuff for you next week. Its just weird because I feel like I just talked to you...oh wait...we did :) 

Spiritual Thought: 

“Don't you quit. You keep walking, you keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don't come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in Good Things to Come.” 
- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

LOVE YA ALL SO MUCH! It was great to talk to you! 

Elder Burdick 

This is technically an older picture from Hmong New Year's, but it's a goodie!

Fresno Days--Prep for Mother's Day Phone Call

May 5th, 2014

These are the instructions we've received from the mission president regarding the phone call! 

Good morning Elders & Sisters. It's a GREAT DAY to be a Mormon missionary! 

Please take careful note of the information listed below:

MOTHERS DAY TELEPHONE CALL. Your sweet mamas are counting down the days, hours, and minutes until Mother's Day (May 11) when they get to talk to you. Listed below are the church and mission rules governing this call. Please be exactly obedient and help your companion to be exactly obedient.
1) your call must not exceed 40 minutes. This is a church policy. 
2) You may talk by telephone
3) Either way, you may give your family your contact number in your Monday email. In that same email, advise them that their call is absolutely, positively is 40 minutes max.
4) Your parents want to hear your voice and know you are safe and happy. If you have some personal/family business to discuss, advise your parents of this in your Monday email. 
5) Outline some things you want to say, including but not limited to your area, investigators, how you have seen yourself change, and your testimony. 
6) Now that your family has your contact number, emphasize that no one is permitted to call or text you after the Mother’s Day call. If any family, friend, or other person calls or texts you after the Mother's Day call you are required to report it to your zone leaders. 

So this last week has been awesome! We had an exciting baptism for a couple that we found at Hmong New Years. It was so exciting to see them finally take the big step! 

Bishop Lor brought up the Pathway program at dinner last night. He wants us to visit some of the less active Hmong YSA and introduce them to the program. I'm sorry for not reading your emails more carefully, but you need to give me the low-down on all this PATHWAY stuff. Super curious! 

Overall, things are going great here in the CFM. The work is rolling forward and me and Elder Doane are having tons of fun! I look forward to talking to you in a few days! Love ya all so much! 

With Love, 
Elder Burdick

Fresno Days--New Hmong Missionary

April 28th, 2014

So totally got the Easter package. I have to admit that I haven't eaten too much of it yet. But Elder Doane has been lovin' it! Can't believe Canada and the U.S. are worried about the good ol' kinder eggs. 

Also, thanks so much for taking care of all the going home stuff for me. It definitely makes me more at peace knowing I don't have to worry about it all right when I get off the plane. By the way, I sold the bike! 

Other highlights of the week: 
Today we went to the temple! They have another new video. Gotta love the temple! 

On Sunday we had a baptismal interview for a couple we've been teaching for awhile and they're totally getting baptized next week! It is so exciting! 

We've been having slammin' lessons with our members. Make sure you go out with the missionaries (even if the appointments are not super solid. You will see crazy awesome miracles). 

Got under 28 min for my 4 mile.

Some of our members put on an original Hmong meal for Elder Ballard. Freshly killed boil chicken! He ate the head! Props to him! 

Elder Swenson gave an awesome training on having hope. The gospel term hope refers to trusting in God's promises. He challenged all of us to find the specific promises God has made to us and cultivate greater hope/trust in them. He shared the example of Moses parting the sea. A promise was given long before the red sea incident that Moses would be able to command the waters (Moses 1:25). He also shared multiple other scriptures about how others accomplished miracles b/c of specific promises God had made to them earlier in the scriptural accounts. So definitely study up on the Lord's promises to you and the word "Hope." 

Well, I love ya all lots! Thanks for all the updates and long letters. They are always appreciated! xoxo have a great week! 

Tus uas Hlub Nej! 
Elder Tseem Fwv Leem Vaj 

Happy Easter

April 21st, 2014

Hello Everyone,

So I got the hint from the emails - do well in school. Haha :) 

I haven't received the package yet, but I'm sure I'll get it eventually! 

Also, glad to hear that you are reading the BOM everyday! It is the best!

I was also going to let you know about that video "Because of Him". We watched it at a zone conference; it was so powerful! 

So just as a heads up - my letters might not be super long these last few weeks. I'm really trying to spend quality time with the zone. But don't worry we will have tons of quality time after the mish right? 

So the Walker's live in UT? Kaysville? That is where Elder Burton and Elder Bone live! Crazy small world eh? 

By way of information - me and Elder Doane are still together. We were released as zone leaders so we get to completely focus on our area so we are pumped! Elder Ballard, the new missionary, is getting here tomorrow so that'll be exciting to have some fresh blood in the work. 

Spiritual thought: 


I love ya all! Hope everything is going well! 

Hlub nej heev! 
Tseem Fwv Leem Vaj

Fresno Days--Water Balloons and Other Missionary Work

April 14th, 2014

Glad to hear that the funeral went well and that everyone got to spend some quality time together.

Also, super awesome to hear that Josh got his call. Columbia sounds interesting. I think somebody from the Fresno North Stake is serving there as well. 

I wanted to answer your questions about the upcoming transfer. I suspect me and Elder Doane will stay together but I don't know for sure. We get the call-out next Saturday night about the transfer so I'll keep you posted. 

I don't know how much stuff I'll have to send home until I take some time to go through everything. I'll probably send home 3 boxes at the most. 

Tell Christopher Parker, congrats! 

Highlights from this last week- 

We had leadership training on Wednesday and we received tons of inspiration on how we can improve. It was awesome! We really focused on Joshua 24:23 - "Putting away strange gods." Basically anything that distracts our focus from our Heavenly Father and our missionary purpose, we must put it away. 

On Thursday, we went to the Echo building (mission office) and did service for a few hours cleaning chairs and tables. At the end, Pres. announced we'd have a water balloon fight. Sis. Gelwix was not happy about it because she knew there would be water balloon debris everywhere. When she came outside to take this up with Pres....Pres. busted a water balloon over her...oooh not the greatest move. So then all the 4 zones of missionaries that attended broke out into a 2 min water balloon fight. Super fun! I was on exchanges on east side the rest of the day, and an investigator family fed us delicious Korean BBQ. So GOOD! 

The next morning, we went to see our recent convert and had an early morning lunch feast because he recently got married. Also, super exciting. That evening, we went and 2 of our longer-term investigators and they totally set a baptismal date for this month!!! 

Saturday was awesome as well. We did a baptismal interview for the East elders for their baptism last Sunday! She's super solid and awesome! Way excited for her. We also went and ate at one of our older member's house and he was speaking French. He learned French, Japanese, and Lao when he lived back in Laos just so that he would have options. He's super cool too! He kept telling us in broken English: "Don't take nap! I never sleep! It wastes your time!" So remember that when you feel like taking some shut-eye. 

Sunday we had our stake missionary correlation meeting and then headed over to Sacrament Meeting. We translated and it was hard and fun as always. We also attended east side's baptism and Elder Doane performed a musical number with Elder Fraser. It was a really spiritual service. 

Today, we went over to the Fresno East Stake Center and played some volleyball and half-court basketball. Sports are always very stress relieving. 

...and that's pretty much the whole week in a nutshell! 

I love you all so much! I hope everything is going well for you! Keep me posted! Love ya
Elder Scott M. Burdick

Sad News

April 7th, 2014

My dad and Scott's grandfather, Papa Jess passed away suddenly on April 3rd.  It was so difficult not to be able to speak directly to Scott, but I spoke with his mission president and part of the letter Scott wrote to me is included here:

There is a line in my patriarchal blessing that states "the love of your family will always accompany you such that you will never feel alone." This is true. I've always felt the family's love as I've served as a full-time missionary. However, I especially feel Grandpa's love for me and I have a certain knowledge that he is doing very much of the same things I am doing now. He is happy! I know it. You are always happy in the work of the Lord and he is doing the work of the Lord. 

I hope you are not worried about me. I am happy. There is a selfish part of my heart that wishes I could have seen Grandpa one more time, but it is drowned out in the overwhelming joy that he is home. He is with Grandma Mary. He is with his beloved friends. I am so grateful for him and his continued diligence even now on the other side of the veil. 

Dad mentioned that he wanted me to share a memory/thought of grandpa  - 
I remember that he would always make me laugh. I remember when he'd tell us bedtime stories when we lived in Canada. I remember his weekly phone calls full of Jesse jokes. I remember his love of airplanes and his undying passion to share all the pictures he found with me. I remember the M*A*S*H episodes and all the old British TV shows. I remember how much he loved me. Most importantly, I remember that he was faithful. I think often of his service as a full-time missionary. I look at his mission pin, and I remember his service. It inspires me to follow his example.  

Elder Scott M. Burdick  

Good Eggs

March 31st, 2014

Dear Mom and Dad,

Neb ob niam txiv yog ob lub qe zoo

So...this means: You two mother father are two good eggs (or You're two good eggs). 

The sugar cookies were awesome! I took some pictures of them. I couldn't finish all of them, so we shared them with the zone. Everyone loved them....we truly "feasted" on the word of God. :) 

Also, thanks for the bug-money! Once again, your clever ways of gifting money never cease to amaze me! Its always quite a site to see two Mormon missionaries unfolding origami money to pay for food. haha

Its bitter-sweet that the house was sold eh? Tell Gramps I love 'em! 

One of the assistants gave training last week at zone conference and made a priesthood promise that if we did these specific planning guidelines for helping people attend sacrament meeting, that we would double our sacrament meeting attendance....totally happened (2 to 4). CRAZY MIRACLE! 

One of our old members passed away this last week. He was awesome. Definitely will be missed. He was one of the first Hmong people to join the church. He actually converted back in Denver. 

Bishop's family (as you already know) had a birthday dinner for me and their daughter Kim. Their family is awesome! They're the best! 

This week has been a little crazy. We've had to made two Walgreen's runs because we've been sick. Elder Doane actually got me sick but you can't really control that when you're with one another 24/7! So we haven't been at 100%, but still surviving! :) 

Well that's the week in a nutshell right now! I really appreciated your spiritual thoughts! thank you! 

Let me know if you have any questions! Love ya all! You're the best! 

Elder Burdick

Happy 21st Birthday Elder Burdick

March 24th, 2014

Thanks so much for the birthday wishes. I got the presents today and I also got the shirts! Everything fits awesome. It was greatly needed. I almost died when I saw all the awesome sugar cookies! Gotta love 'em! Also, the fruit leathers are delicious! Elder Doane loves it when I get candy, because I pass most of it on to him. My secret plan is to make him slower than me when we run. 

Highlights of the week: 

We had an awesome zone conference. We all brought our Patriarchal blessings and sought out revelation for how we could spiritually discern the Lord's vision of us. It was amazing. 

President also gave a great training on the law of the price-tag. Everything in life "costs something." We've got to be willing to pay the price. 

Working with our members has been going really well. We've been seeing more people that have been referred by members. Its going super! You should totally read the Power of Everyday Missionaries. It blows your mind. 

Also, crazy that papa jesse's house already sold! Congrats! Also, its awesome to hear you like your new callings! Good luck in that Pathway program. Keep me updated. 

I went on an exchange with Elder Lord this last week! It was AWESOME! He's a solid missionary and a great leader. 

Anyways, thanks for all you do! Love ya'll! 

Elder Burdick 

A big party was held for Scott and Bishop Lor's daughter, Kimberly who turned 15 on March 26th.  Hence the 36 on the cake!

Farewell Elder Bone

March 17th, 2014

Hello Everyone!

It sounds like you have crazy weather back in VA, eh? 

Your callings sound all over the place too! Lots of work for the empty-nesters :) 

Also, the cousins sent me some money for my birthday. They're awesome! Please thank them for me. I need to get an email out to them as well. 

Highlights of the week: 

Monday: We said goodbye to Elder Bone. Super sad! We had Pho at Sheng's house and helped her move some old couches out to the street. 

Wednesday: Transfer Day craziness! Its a mess when 300+ missionaries are moving around the mission between 7:30-10 am. We had a team up with one of the members in the ward that is a nurse. She confirmed the reality of Valley Fever...kind of scary. 

We've also been teaching a man that is very hung up on Saturdays being the day of worship...Acts 20:7 

Sunday: Good church day! We taught one of the youth classes. Also, 2 of the members that got assigned to serve in our ward were released. Super Depressing. One of them was Scottish and he is awesome (found out that he was a pro-soccer player in the UK back in the day). The other one is my hockey buddy and he's been serving as the Young Men's President. So it was sad to see them go. 

Spiritual thought: 
Laman / Lemuel's bad attitude: 1 Nephi 2:12 ; 3:5 

-They murmured because they knew not the dealings of God. 

-They murmured because it was a hard thing that was required of them. 

Nephi's good attitude: 1 Nephi 2:16, 19-20 ; 3:7,15 

-He had a testimony of what he was doing. He had "great desires" to know the mysteries of God. 

-He was willing to do HARD things because he had an understand of his Father in Heaven. 

The same can be said in our life. When we murmur; When it's too hard - we haven't fully come to an understanding of our Father and His plan. However, when we gain this understanding - nothing is too hard. We do a Philippians 4: 13! 

Love ya all! xoxox 

Elder Burdick 

Staying with Elder Doane

March 10th, 2014

So this week has been crazy! So we didn't drive through any trees at Yosemite. I think you might be thinking of Redwoods near San Fran. 

The new Hmong missionary isn't going to arrive until next transfer. So East and West side are going to be combined for 1 transfer. Me and Elder Doane are staying the same! Best ever! One of the sister areas is being doubled out and elders will be serving there now. 

What's new: 

We found the coolest person ever! She is related to one of our members and she totally loves reading the Book of Mormon. She has had tons of golden questions etc. and she came to church last week! Super awesome. 

This past sacrament meeting was very spiritual. One of the YSA members talked about the importance of doing the vicarious work for our kindred dead. She talked about how her father struggled with doing the ordinance of baptism for his deceased father, but after he finally decided to do so, his father appeared to him in a dream in white robes and basically told him that they would be a family together forever. Made me want to cry! 

Also, two of our investigators walked in an hour late into Sacrament...forgot to change the clocks...classic. I don't think people understand the emotional roller coaster they put missionaries on when they don't come to church on time. 

Anyways, ask me some questions, I'd love to fill you in! 

Also, I'm not a stick...and I'm definitely eating. We are eating healthier though and we do a 4 mile run every morning so I'm thinning out, but am still big. I have tons of muscle etc. I do a workout after our run as well. But we eat tons of more veggies and fruits than before. 

But anyways...

Love ya all lots! 

Elder Tseem Fwv Leem Vaj

BiggY NewsY

March 3rd, 2014

So I got permission a month ago to go online and apply to BYU-Provo. Turns out, I got in. So...surprise...

I will be writing a longer letter after my haircut, but suffice to say: Go COUGARS and I'm going to be livin' with Elder Doane...in Provo. 

Spiritual thought: 
God is a God of miracles. 

<3 Ya 

Shortest 'Letter' Ever & Sequoia Visit

February 24th, 2014

So we're headed to Sequoia. I will be sending pics of everything next week. I love y'all! 

Elder Burdick

Presidential Visit

February 17th, 2014

Weekly Highlights: 

Our running route next to a small drainage canal is a fave. We call it Bridge to Terabithia because of its' cool bridges. However, it's been renamed Dead Man's Ditch because they found two dead bodies in it last week. So now when we run, we always scan the water very carefully. 

President Obama visited Fresno. Totally saw Air Force One parked right across the street from the apartment complex at the airport. Pretty cool. 

Next Monday, we are going to Sequoia to see the giant trees! 

I went on an exchange with Elder Rector. He joined the church while I was a missionary and is now serving here in the CFM. He is an awesome missionary! Super genuine and sincere. I love 'em. He plays hockey and such so that's a plus. 

Two of our investigators came to church. Always a good Sunday with investigators. 

We met a member's non-member mother and she is a saint. We went to go visit her grandkids and she totally whipped up a meal out of nowhere for us. She's awesome! 

Spiritual Thought: 

This is a thought from the essentialism training from Greg McKeown... 

He talked about how very little attention and focus we give the here and now. So often we are consumed in the past or in the future, but there is such satisfaction in the "here and now" of life. As we focus on the MOST important things now, we will have joy in fulfilling our essential mission. 

Well I love you all! Don't stay sick, get better soon! 
Elder Burdick (Tseem Fwv Leem) 

Running & Losing Weight in the CFM

February 10th, 2014

Hi Everyone,

This is my week in a nutshell: 
Tuesday- Got my best time running our usual route. Its somewhere between 2 and half to 3 miles. 17 min 40 sec. Getting skinny.

Also, we had district meetings. I attended Elder Rasmussen's training. He did a suggested activity out of the back of PMG chapter 2. It turned out to be really good. Elder Bone also gave a short training on the Holy Ghost. Also, Elder Xiong gave a mini-training on Being Hmong 101 (helping us internalize the culture more). Elder Rasmussen did a great job. He's a leader that teaches by example.

Wednesday- Leadership training. I've been thinking a great deal about how I can better fulfill my potential as a missionary. I want to make sure that at the end of every day that I've completely exhausted myself and pushed myself to my outer-limits. Quote: 
"There is no passion to be found in playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."

Thursday President's Interviews. I've been thinking about how I can use my time most effectively so I can squeeze everything out of my mission. President mentioned that 30 extra minutes each day, that are essentially 46 extra days of one's mission. I want more time as a missionary, so I'm going to use every little bit of time the best I can.

Friday- Weekly Planning. Start of exchange with Elder Rasmussen. 
Sunday- 3 Investigators at church. Awesome! Also, bishop brought a whole family to church in response to our FMP visit. MIRACLE CENTRAL!
Today- Crazy preparation day as usual. Not enough time to do everything. 

Thanks for the awesome package! <3 Happy Valentine's Day.
Elder Burdick

Super Short Letter and Meeting Sister Doane

February 3rd, 2014

Hello Everyone,

Mom--Please contact Elder Doane's mom since she will be in DC*  

Today was our deep clean of the apartment. It took 3 hours and our home is now beautiful. 
But I'm running behind the power curve...however, I have some good stories to tell you next week! 

Our investigators came to church! It was the best! 

Anyways, I love you mama bear. Sorry for being lame and not writing. But I will get more info to you next week. 


Elder Tseem Fwv Leem Vaj 

*NOTE:  Sister Doane and I had dinner and it was so nice to meet her and we had a great time. 

Fresno Days: Zone Leadership Meeting and Soccer

January 27th, 2014

Hello Everyone,

This was our week--

Monday: Played intense frisbee and soccer...tore up my leg pretty good. Lots of fun! 

Tuesday: We had a zone leadership meeting. We identified a vision for the zone: "Being more committed to our missionary purpose." That evening we went with a team up to go visit a potential and the potential wasn't there so I awkwardly at the door step say "...well...ummm...could we teach you?" And they said yes. So that was awesome in spite of my fail. 

Wednesday: District Meeting. Lots of fun. After we went and ate a pizza buffet. Our 'not eating out goal' is not going well right now, but I will prevail. Then that evening we went with another member to go visit a couple. Lesson was all over the place, but in the end it all worked out. They set a date for baptism. Conversion sure is crazy and messy but awesome. 

Thursday: Exchange with Fresno West Zone Leaders. We had a great day. We did a baptismal interview in the afternoon and then followed up on Hmong New Years potentials the rest of the day. Crazy story: We look for this one house and can't find it. We call the people and they tell us the correct address and so we eventually find it. Then when we're inside, there is this little girl (maybe 2 or 3) who has an open 7-up can and is spilling it everywhere...but she was adorable. Then half way through our conversation, random people show up for a therapeutic massage. So we decided to just pray for them, then the husband that had a stroke recently, came into the room. He now uncontrollably laughs so during the prayer, he was breaking out into laughing fits. So pretty crazy. 

Saturday: More baptismal interviews...super awesome! 

Sunday: Miracle. 2 of our investigators came to church! Yay! 

Monday: Emailed you! Love you guys! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fresno Days: Zone Conference

January 20th, 2014

So highlights of the week: 
Zone conference on Wednesday! Super inspiring. I forgot my notes...so I don't have any specifics but it was great! 

"We are here now, because in the primeval world, we did not flinch." 

Friday: Temple Trip! Awesome! I can't wait to go with the whole fam. Tons of good stuff to share with you! 

Sunday: A returned missionary came home from his mission and gave a very moving talk in sacrament meeting. His dad, passed away while he was serving his mission. It was when me and Elder Xiong were companions about a year ago. Very sad. However, his dad went to the temple right before he passed away. Anyways, his son is awesome and served in Indonesia. 

Today: Bonding with the zone...playing sports. Zone unity! 

Also, Sister Duvall wrote me! I have to get back to her too. 

Well, shoot me some questions! Love YA ALL LOTS! 

Es Daws Tseem Fwv Leem Vaj 

Fresno Days: Ward Conference, Exchanges, and a Great Week

January 13th, 2014

Hi Everyone,

Here is a wrap-up of my week--

Tuesday: We had a meeting with all the district leaders. Went super well. Its really cool when missionaries counsel with one another and you feel the spirit helping you find solutions to real problems. 

Wednesday: Had an awesome zone meeting. All the missionaries that gave training were great! Loved it. 

Thursday: Exchange with Elder O'Pry from Florida. He's really good missionary. He is built like no other. MMA/Boxing fighter. We talked to quite a few potentials and taught some cool Hmong people. The one guy we talked to went off on war stories from Laos. Its crazy to hear what people went through and survived. 

Saturday: Exchange with Elder Schoen from Texas. He's a visa waiter going to Brazil. I went out on Open Your Mouth the first day he got here. I love 'em. He's super bold and personable with people. I'm gonna miss him when he heads out to Brazil. 

Sunday: Ward Conference. Crazy time translating for sustainings etc. Lots of weird church words...."It is proposed that we sustain...." Could you bing translator that for me? Haha. 

Anyways, we had a great week. I have to go bond with the zone though. But I will have a really detailed letter next week. I took a lot of time to write President so I'm short on time. But know that I love ya all! 
Elder Tseem Fwv Leem Vaj