Family and friends, this week was great. It was super hard but thats to be expected. I am learning alot, and the language is coming along really well. I feel pretty confident in my Spanish and I have only been here for 15 days. I still have a ton to learn obviously but I am so excited to learn and get out in the field. I am so greatful for the oppurtunity I have to serve, and would like to thank all of those who have helped me to get to this point so far in my life. I honestly could not have done it and gotten here without the help of all of those around me. Last Sunday my companion and I got assigned to be district leaders. And just yesterday we got a new district in so thats really cool. Last Tuesday night I had the oppurtunity to hear from Elder Nash of the 70. Their are honestly too many spiritual experiences here to record. Its a pretty constant spiritual high. We have 3 investigators right now here at the MTC and two of them we have invited and commited to be baptized. So the spanish is going well and the teaching here at least is going well. The truth is, I cant wait to get out into the mission field, the MTC is great but I want to be in the field so badly. I just want to help people and teach them the gospel. The gospel if you think about it is simply divine truth. Thats why as a missionary I don't need to sell anything. I am giving people the knowledge and wisdom they need to be happy and come unto Christ. Well, I love you guys. Thanks for everything you have done for me. All the experiences I have been blessed to have with friends, family, church leaders, just everyone that has influenced my life. Until next week,
Wow has this has truly been something else. I honestly cannot believe how incredible it is here. Every minute of the day is a minute that you can be doing something productive and it is honestly the best. The days are super long here, but the week went by quickly in retrospect. It is super weird. So before I talk about how my week went in general I will talk about what happens in my average day here at the CCM(spanish for MTC). We wake up at 6:30, then we have time to exersize from 6:40 to 7:30. After that we have breakfest shower and get ready for the day. After that we eat and go to class. We are in class most of the day. We have 3 class blocks and they are broken up by meals. so breakfest class lunch class dinner class. Then we go to bed. So there is a lot of learning that is done here in the MTC. Especially when you work hard and really focus on what you are doing and what your purpose is as a missionary. Okay, now for the good stuff. This is what happened Wednsday. So for those of you who do not know, my parents(who I love a ton) dropped me off at the curb of the MTC. I gave my Mom a hug then my Dad a hug then I gave my Mother, who I love so much, one last hug before I left and entered the MTC. Leaving my sisters and parents last wednsday was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I was fighting back tears for the next hour or so. After I got dropped off, the people here led me into a room where I got my name badge that says elder burris, then they gave me some general things I need such as books and card and key for room etc. Then we went to this massive devotional with all of the missionaries that came in on the same day as me.It was awesome. Haha all of us sang called to serve, hundreds of brand new missionaries, and I felt the spirit super strong during that. I honestly love the work here. Everyone here wants to serve God. That is why I am here. I want my actions to bless the lives of others in a way that is very genuine and real. I want to make other people happy. It was nice hearing from everyone. I love getting letters, honestly everyone who has any desire to write me do so. I have the oppurtunity to print off the letters earlier in the day and read them so I have more time to actually respond to people. So if you want to write me and you do so I promise I will read it and it means a lot here. I am so glad that I have taken the time this past year to write Taylor Allen weekly because I now realize how special letters are when you are away from all of your family and friends. So yeah the first dau was completely shocking. Just super super packed with things to do and so tiring. But that is honestly how every day is here. It is packed full of things you are invited to do that are going to help you become closer to Christ and bring others closer to Christ. So I got here on a Wednsday right? Two days later, like my first friday here, they had me and my companion teach a lesson completely in Spanish. It was super cool. The investigators name is Ella. She is really nice and we have taught her multiple times since. Then this week we got a now investigator named Evalice and she is a lot harder to work with and teach. But I am learning a lot and it is incredible. My companions name is Elder Smith. He is awesome, we get along really well. He is from Utah and it going to Florida on his mission. We are both really modivated to learn and we compliment eachother well in lessons. He is able to keep conversation going for a longer time then I am able to in Spanish. But I am really good at consicely bearing testimony of what I know to be true and it really brings the spirit. We have been playing some volleyball here in the mornings for gym time and everyone thinks I am incredible. Like I will dig a ball and everyone claps. Its ridiculous. For all my friends out there with calls coming into the MTC the only advise I can really think to give you is enjoy the time you have at home. You will miss it. The work here is great but looking back I wish I would have enjoyed my time with my friends to its fullest a bit more. And the other piece of advise I can give you is as soon as you say goodbye to family and roll up the the MTC be ready to come here and work. I mean really work. That is the only way to be happy here. And when you do that, and really work ahrd and put your soul into this, you will feel joy you have never before experienced. I want my family to know that I love them. Keep eachother happy, Rico and Rocky obviously included. I am doing well here. I have already caught the vision of it. I know it is hard, but I also know that hard things are what make us who we are. Be happy, find joy in everything and be greatful for how much you have. I love you guys. You are everything to me.
Well, Elder Burris officially entered the MTC today. We as his parents are filled with all sorts of emotions. Goodbyes are so very difficult. We know this is where our son is suppose to be and are truly excited for the wonderful experiences he will have and how he will bless so many lives. We are so grateful we had the opportunity to fly up to Provo today and send him off. Can't wait to get his first correspondence.
Hardest thing I have ever done was dropping our son off at the MTC in Provo Utah knowing we would not see him again for 2 years. It is a feeling that is simply indescribable. We love you Elder Burris. So proud of your willingness to serve the Lord.
Last Day with our son. WOW. Feel very sad. Feelings around the house feel empty. A big hole will be left in our family for 2 years. Michael seriously is such a great son and brother. We are so blessed to have such choice spirit.
I can't even start to express how I am feeling right now. Being the last day before he leaves, I am feeling some sadness. I loaded Michael's apple shuffle up with church songs and for some reason "God Be With You Til We Meet Again" started playing. I honestly lost it. I know this sadness with be filled with joy and happiness when he actually gets out there and starts having experiences. Still makes it pretty difficult though.
Tonight Michael will be officially be set apart as a full-time missionary. Our stake president (President Toone) is coming over at 7:00 p.m. and Michael is inviting a few friends to participate. Should be fun.
The last 3 weeks have been super busy. Almost like a blur. I have this dreaded excitement in my stomach. Change is always hard and big changes are coming to our family.
So here is what's happened over the last 3 weeks. Michael graduated from Mountain View High School, received the Melchizedek Priesthood, went through the temple, went on the stake trek for 3 days, gave his final talk in church, and we went to Pomeroy's in Mesa, AZ to get all of his the stuff for his mission (shirts, pants, shoes, bags, ties, socks, deodorant, etc).
WOW, this is really happening. Oh man, I hope I am ready for this.
We decided to get a family photo done with Michael leaving. This is his last Thursday with our family for a couple of years. I can't believe how much our children are changing. We truly have an amazing family. Families Are Forever.