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)