Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Almost dying and other foolish decisions

First and foremost, forgive me for not writing for two weeks.  I´m a fubeca.  

Almost dying:

-this week we went to the city again to attend a new missionary training.  Yup.  Five months into my mission and I am still considered a greenie!  We had to take buses and then ride a train and the train was really packed.  My companion claims that she forgets I am American sometimes and so she hopped onto a completely packed car last minute.  I ran to follow after her but as I hopped on the door started to close and there was no space for me.  The door hit me and some man grabbed me and pulled me into the train.  It was terrifying.  I will try to not be so obviously unacustomed to public transportation in the future

-Another day my companion bolted to cross a busy street and I followed after her (sensing a pattern here?)  and I was a foot away from getting ran over by a car.  Needless to say, I will not follow my companion so blindly in the future hahaha.

Other foolish decisions:

-A family we are teaching had a churrasco party and cooked a tooon of meat.  They piled a ton of it on my plate and awaited patiently to see if I liked it.  I cut a piece of chicken and took a bite, and quickly realized that it was completely, 100% raw.  I was internally freaking out, but I did not want to spit out their food in front of everyone so... I ate it.  Yup.  Raw chicken.  It was repugnante.  I later spazzed out to my companion and thought I was going to either die or develope chicken-like super powers.  She acted like it was no big deal, and I haven´t gotten a tape worm yet, sooooo fingers crossed!

Missionary Sundays:

-I remember Sundays in my past life.  It was a much simpler time.  I woke up, went to church, came home and took a nap.  Sundays as a missionary is a lot like what I think being a mother on Sundays is like.  Except instead of yelling at your kids to wake up and get dressed for church, we walk 10 miles uphill to pick up all of the people and families we are teaching.  Though I must say walking in a gang of 12 people to the chapel is the best feeling!

It is hard to believe that I have now been in Brazil for a whole month!  My Portuguese is getting better and better each week, and I am loving the culture, the people, the city, and even the rice and beans.  

Fica firme!  Know that I pray for you!


Sister "Burk"


Transfer calls were yesterday!
...And I get to stay at least another 6 weeks with my lovely companheira in Osasco!  Whoop whoop!
We are moving to a new apartment this week as well and I can´t wait to live in a place where my suitcases don´t take up half of the room!
This week was truly incredible.  We had a sisters training meeting in the city and President Del Guerso showed us a bunch of charts and stats of areas where he put sisters instead of elders.  The work in every area skyrocketed.  WHATTUP SISTAS!  Elders, you are okay too i guess :)
This Saturday we had 2 baptisms!  Rafael and Laura, a brother and sister and the very first people I ever taught in Brasil.  It was a miracle and the happiest I have ever been in my life.  (I am trying to upload pictures but it is not working!)
After the baptism we planned an activity for the ward and it was a blast! Over 60 people showed up! 
I love my mission so much.  Every day is so difficult and so happy at the same time.  It is full of literal uphill climbs and dissapointments and rejections, but it is worth it.  Because every person is worth it.
Sister "Burshie"

Monday, January 13, 2014

Miracle of the Area Book

Hi everyone!  This week I want to share a truly miraculous experience I had this week. 
Last Tuesday we had a meeting in the city and had to travel by bus with our area book.  An area book is a giant binder full of records of all our efforts, all the information about the area, and basically everthing that is important to us and makes it possible for us to work in this area.  After the meeting, we had a lunch appointment and walked a loooong way to get there.  At some point on our walk, we stopped to take a rest and my companion who was carrying the area book, set it down for a second on a ledge.  When we started walking again, she forgot it there.  We realized this after lunch and ran back to get it.  And it was gone.  We looked everywhere and asked the neighbors, but no one knew anything about it.  Trying not to freak out, we stopped and said a prayer, asking for help to find the area book.  As soo as we said "amen"  we immediately crossed the street, walked a ways down, and there we saw it... a large stack of papers lodged in between a car and the curb.  Every single paper and record was accounted for, just without the cover.  When we picked them up to look through them, we saw scortch marks on the cornes of the pages.  Somebody had tried to burn them.  But somehow, all that burned was a small corner. 
This work is the Lord´s work.  And it can´t be stopped. 
I hope you all have looked for God´s hand in your lives, it is always there! 
We had another baptism this week!  Her name is Rosangela.  Her sister is the Relief Society president in the ward here!  And what a way to kick off the new year, making a promise to follow Jesus Christ.  A new start. 
Happy New Years!  Feliz ano novo! 
I love you all dearly!
com amor,
Sister Burch
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Friday, January 3, 2014

Pictures from Brazil! São Paulo West Mission

Inline image 1Okay I lied.  Vegas Nativity with my sweet H!

Inline image 2My ZLs took my departure pretty hard
 Inline image 3My mission momma!Inline image 4
 President and Sister Ahlander!
 Inline image 1Behold!  My first baptism in Brazil!  This is Lapenta and he is a stud.  He came out of the water and shouted AMEN!  He calls me girafa because I am tall and I try not to take offense :)
 Inline image 2My comp sometimes tries to carry me up the hills.  

Inline image 3
 Inline image 1Feliz Natal with this lovely family!  We ate BEANS and RICE and MEAT.
 Inline image 2Osasco até o fim!
 Inline image 3FELIZ ANO NOVO! 


Alex at Thanksgiving with the Sister Wives
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I finally made it to Brazil!... Brasil?

Tudo bem!
Não posso acreditar que eu realmente estou em Brasil!
I travelled for over 24 hours Monday and got here late Tuesday.  Us Americanos promptly went to meet President Del Guerso, who does not speak any English.  Needless to say, it was a quick interview.  It has been pretty hit or miss when it comes to being able to communicate with the people here.  They speak so FAST. 
My companion is Sister Marcon.  She is from Northern Brasil and does not speak a lick of English.  With the exception of the phrases "fetch!" and "oh my heck!"  I am currently living in the city of Osasco.  It´s one train and two bus rides outside of São Paulo.  We live in a one bedroom apartment with 2 other sisters.  Luckily one of them is from Peru and translates things into Spanish when I don´t understand. 
Although my Portuguese struggles, I have almost mastered 3 important things:
1)The Brazilian cheek kiss
2)The Brazilian finger snap thing
3)How to use Brazilian toilets...  hopefully I figure that one out completely soon

I love Brazil!  The people are so kind and patient with me when I have no idea what they are saying.  I have been doing a lot of smiling and nodding lately.  It is usually pretty effective, with the exception of a few instances. 
One day we were talking to a man at a newspaper stand and he told me I was a "filha da luz."  Which literally translates to "daughter of light."  My companion later told me that it means "child of Lucifer," so in retrospect, my response of "obrigada!" was less than appropriate. 
Another day we were sitting on a bench outside a market and 3 different people walked up to us and asked for our message.  While we were just SITTING ON A BENCH!  That does not happen in the States. 
Well I don´t have much more time but I will try to send some fotos.  Feliz Natal!  Eu amo voces! 
Sister Boorsh
P.S. my name is impossible for them to say

P.P.S.  here is my address:

Rua Euzébio de Souza, 121
Jardim Londrina
05638-100 São Paulo/SP
Eu amo as cartas!


Hi everyone! This is Austin. I've been helping Alex by posting her entries to her blog for her. Alex has mentioned that some people are apparently unable to view the photos I've posted for her here, and if that's the case for you, I apologize! I'm not sure why that's happening for some people, but if you send me an email at and let me know this, I would be more than happy to forward you her direct emails with the original photos so that you can see them. I would also suggest making sure you've waited long enough for the photos to load - they're very large files - and that you've tried other computers or browsers - sometimes the formatting of the photos won't work with certain applications or systems. Thanks! :)