Monday, December 29, 2014

This Is The Place

Hello friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  I loved getting to talk to my family (even though I could barely speak English).  

And now, allow me to present me new area and companions... (companions!)

My new area is called Vargem Grande Paulista.  In other words, Zion!  It is the middle of nowhere!  Throughout my entire first week I had to keep asking myself, where are we?!

This area is the exact opposite of every other area I have been to.  Instead of waking up in the middle of the night to macumba or people blasting their stereos on the avenue, we wake up to roosters crowing.  Instead of catching buses to get to our appointments, we walk along dirt roads for hours.  Instead of talking to people on the streets, we watch tarantulas fight with other creepy Brazilian insects. (picture below... spoiler alert, the tarantula lost...)

Everything here is much calmer, slower, and more peaceful.  It is the perfect place to spend my last transfer.  

And the other big news is that I am in a trio again!  Our trio has a Brazilian, a Colombian, and an American.  Oh, the diversity.  I love Sister Pereira and Sister Zarante!  Vargem Grande is Paradise!!!

A White Christmas

This Christmas, our friend José, gave an incredible gift to our Savior.  He was baptized!  José is a huge example of dedication and gratitude.  He has many health problems, but every Sunday he shows up at church in his Sunday Best.  

Our ward, being in the middle of nowhere, does not have its own chapel.  We meet in a 3 story building that doesn't have an elevator.  José can't climb up to watch Sacrament meeting, so every week he patiently waits below.  

For his baptism, we had to go all the way to the stake center, because our "chapel" doesn't have a baptismal font!  José, being hefty as he is, was baptized by 3 elders!!!  They were so nervous, but it all went perfectly! 

I know that God has a purpose in all things.  I didn't understand why I was transferred, but I know I am here for a reason!  I was reluctant at first, but I know that when we trust in the Lord, He will show us his plan, and someday we will see perfectly why everything happened the way it did.  

I love you all!

Happy New Year!!! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Feliz Natal, São Paulo Oeste!

At the crack of dawn, I packed up my suitcases and went to the stake center to catch a bus with my zone to our mission Christmas party!  We weren't quite sure where we were headed, but drove for what seemed like an eternity until we reached paradise!  We went to the church's campgrounds in rural São Paulo!  It was beautiful, and what I thought Brazil would always look like!  

We had so much fun with our zone presentations and we even got to wear PANTS and play VOLLEYBALL!  It was perfect.

If you want to see more pictures and videos go to the Mission's facebook page:

Missão São Paulo Oeste

I am so grateful for this time of year.  I will keep you all in the dark about where I ended up with the transfers!  (mostly because I am out of time)

Watch this video and remember that "He is the Gift"!

Sister Burch


Saying goodbye to Educandário was not fun.  But I will always look back on this time of my mission with happy memories.  I love these people!  

Aparecido got baptized 4 short months ago and already recieved the Melchizedek priesthood.  This Sunday he was called to be assistant to the ward mission leader!  And Tony recieved the prieshood last Sunday!!!  I am so proud of them!

Me and Sister Tait were teaching 3 sisters.  They are wonderful!  One of them was a Catholic nun for 7 years!  I hope to come back for their baptism!!
Educandário, eu te amo!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Things Unexpected

Every day, I diligently plan my future.  I plan where I will go, who I will see.  I plan my weeks thouroughly, and I make goals each month, transfer, and trimester.  After all of this thourough and often tedious planning, we see how things unfold and realize how it is never at all what we had planned.
This week some pretty unexpected things have happened.

​Sister Tait's grandparents came to visit

​President told us that our ward will recieve a pair of elders.  The educandário ward will now have 6 missionaries!

​President Del Guerso took us to Mcdonalds after working in the São Paulo temple square.  hahahaha #sunburnt

And lastly... I've been transferred.

This is us being sad.  #companheiraverdadeira
And I have no clue where I will be going or where with whom I will spend Christmas!  Ahhh!!!  But.  You just have got to come what may and love it on the mission.
Heres to surprises!

Sister Burch

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Brazilian Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope you all had a great day and were able to recognize all of your blessings... and eat lots of pie in my honor.  

Turns out that Thanksgiving does not exist, and unfortunately, our lunch fell through that day.  So me and Sister Tait went to the fair and ate some churrasco and pastel.  This Thanksgiving was very different from last years, but I am sincerely grateful for my life, my mission, and all of you.  OBRIGADA!

Here are some things I am thankful for these days...

The temple of São Paulo

All my sistas

​Multi zone trainings... this time I was forced to give my departing testimony.  I cried a lot.  hahaa tristezaaaa

Christmas themed family home evenings!

As I sat in sacrament meeting this week, I looked around me and felt so much love for the people by my side.  This week, three women who have been less active for a long time came to church.  I sat there reflecting and felt so much gratitude for the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us.  He paid the price for our sins so that we wouldn't have to suffer as He did.  My heart filled with so much love and gratitude for the fact that each week, I can start over again; that although I am not a perfect missionary, I can be better every day.

 "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him;he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Mosiah 14:3-5)  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Week 1 Aventuras

During a long week of running to and fro, some spectacular things happened...

::a man who stopped us on the street and started to cry when we told him we were missionaries of our Savior Jesus Christ

::we knocked the door of an English Club and got the owner to agree to let us do a Christmas night with all of his students.  hellooo referrals!

::all of the Sister training leaders had a meeting with President Del Guerso and after we got to eat free churrasco, whoop whoop!

::we found a family of 6 who are all wonderful people.  This Sunday, they showed up at church all by themselves!

::we have been doing family home evenings with all of the members.  Our theme is Christmas!!!  (Thanksgiving does not exist here, so they just jump to Christmas) Our message is simple and creative and involves a manger that I made myself.  We are proud of it.  

I love you all!  The church is true!


Sister Burch

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Baptism that fell from... Bahia

What a transfer it has been!  I could write a 10 page love letter to this transfer, to Educandário, to the members in this ward, and to my companion.  

Instead, I will just quote what Sister Borges said in our companionship study this morning;

"Sister... eu vou casar com um homem igual você."

I love the mission.  And I hate transfers.  Sister Borges got sent away to Osasco, minha terra de infância.  But the crazy, unbelievable, insane, not expected, bombshell news of this transfer is that of my new companion....
Sister Tait!!!

My first companion from back in the day at the Provo MTC.  We started this journey together and it looks like we will finish it together as well.  How poetic!  I am so excited and happy and I know there are big things ahead!

This weekend God sent us a tender mercy from Bahia.  Antonio moved to São Paulo about 3 weeks ago and stopped us on the street.  He admitted that he had already been going to church for a year and had already been taught by 10 pairs of elders.  We taught Antonio with power and authority and he finally made his own decision.  And was baptized!!!  It was such a powerful and spiritual experience.  I am amazed at how aware God is of each one of us.  

And if you do the math correctly, 10 pairs of elders=1 pair of sisters.

Just kidding, elders.  You are great :)

I know that God lives and that He has prepared a "foolproof plan" for each one of us.  I know that when we ask, he answers, and when we seek of him, we find.

Mormon Helping Hands

This week in the Raposo Tavares Stake center, we had an open house!!!  We volunteered to help out and were pumped to use our yellow vests!  There were hundreds of visitors and we were instructed not to talk about the church with anyone unless they specifically asked us for information.  Welp... Sister Borges and I were slightly disobedient to that instruction and talked to every single person who passed us by.  Success!  And we got nearly 90% more addresses and referrals than the elders.  #glóriadasmulheres  

Street Contacts

Being a missionary requires a lot of work and effort.  Nothing can happen until we find someone to teach.  This week on that quest, we talked to 230 people on the street.  The people ranged from kind and receptive to extremely rude.  The experience gave me some insight and the oppurtunity to understand São Paulo a little better.  

São Paulo is the strangest mixture of people and things.  It is probably the city with the most crime and iniquity in Brazil, whilst also being the city with the most churches in the entire world.  Okay, I have no statistical information or proof, but it has got to be true.  There is a church on every corner, in every hole in the ground, 3 on every block.  There are churches next to bars, in bars (really), on top of supermarkets, and in the parks.  There are churches entitled...

"Queen of the Apostles"
"Jesus, the fragrant and beautiful" 

There are churches in São Paulo that jump and yell, churches that 'cast out demons,' and churches that do animal sacrifices.

Like I said, São Paulo is diverse.  There are people who stop to talk to us, people who run from us, people who are 'in a hurry,' and people who would rather cross 6 lanes of freeway traffic than pass us by.  True story.  

But every day we miraculously find the few who are truly searching for truth.  And when they come and see what we have to offer, and take a tour of the temple grounds, every time, they see and feel why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is very different from the rest.

sisters working hard... photo by cassia

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Come and See

Oi povo!  My life is right in line with spring here in São Paulo.  (Spring in October?... the southern hemisphere is confusing.  And the toilets really do flush in the other direction).  The flowers are blossoming in the trees and I am on to new beginnings as well.  Week one in my new area was perfection.  My new companion, Sister Borges, is wonderful and is from Rondônia.  I think that is somewhere near the Amazon...?  Educandário is a lot like Campo Limpo, but a little less poor, and the people actually stop to talk to us on the street.  Success!  I am loving it!  We live in a tiny house on the major avenue and when busses pass by, our whole house shakes. Sometimes I think it will collapse hahaha.  #firstworldthirdworldproblems  

But what made this week truly special was General Conference!  What a privilege it was to hear the PROPHET and APOSTLES speak to us in OUR DAYS.  Did you miss it?  Come and see!  

God lives and loves us.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  And although we change, he does not.  And since the very beginning of the world, God has worked in one way; by calling prophets.

 Amos 3:7 "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."

God made it very clear that he would never do anything without first calling a prophet.  He did not leave us abandoned and lost.  Since Adam he has called prophets to lead and to guide us.  Why would today be different?  If God never changes, why would his church be any different from the church that CHRIST established himself? Christ established his church with a foundation of prophets and apostles who had the authority of God on the earth.  This church was lost when Jesus and all of his apostles were rejected and killed.  But God does not forget about us.  And he called a prophet again.  Until today, there is a living prophet on the earth.  There are 12 apostles, and they have the authority of God.  

The Church of Jesus Christ, the same church that He, the son of God, established, is on the earth today.  

"To comprehend the works of Christ, one must know Him as the Son of God; to the man who has not yet learned to know, to the honest soul who would inquire after the Lord, the invitation is ready; let him 'come and see.'" 

My invitation to all is to watch the conference, and ask God if it is all true.  Come and see for yourself!  

com todo meu AMOR e CARINHO,

sua querida sistinha  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

3 Reasons why I love Educandário

1.  It is the home of the Pullman bread factory, which makes the entire neighborhood smell like bread baking and donuts.  

2.  There is a farmers market every Thursday right outside our house.  This week I bought a dozen bananas and 3 avacados for 2 dollars.  #lovebrazil

3.  Nearly every person we talk to lets us inside to share our message.  We are ALWAYS BUSY!!!!!  

I <3 Educandário

I got to go to the temple 3 times this week, so needless to say, I am insanely happy.  We continue to work in front of the São Paulo temple every 2 weeks, as the church is constructing a visitor's center!  This week Sister Borges and I talked to 108 people in one afternoon.  It was awesome. 

I love you all so MUCH and send you all hugs and kisses (if that is allowed?)


com amor,

Sister Burch 

Monday, September 29, 2014


things are happening!

I have been transferred.  After 6 months in Campo Limpo, I am off and away to my next adventure in Educandário.  As a Sister training leader.  I am still waiting for President Del Guerso to call me back and tell me that he changed his mind or that he was only kidding...  :)  

But really, I am excited for the new calling and new responsibilities.  And if Campo Limpo taught me anything, it taught me that I am capable of doing anything.  Anything that the Lord asks or expects us to do, we can do it. 

"... I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12)

My motto.  Believe it.  Sister Barboza and I worked up until the very end of our last week together.  And it ended in the most beautiful way.  

Our friend Everton was baptized!!!  We have been teaching him for 5 months.  FIVE MONTHS.  I never thought I would see this day.  Miracles happen.  And the baptism was truly beautiful.  Every person is worth it!  

até logo,

sistinha burch