Friday, March 15, 2013

Ben is back!!!

Ben arrived at the Salt Lake Airport at 10:12 am this morning, along with Elder Hauver and Hermana Johanson.  His Uncle J showed up and surprised us all.  He was released by President Droubay at 12:30 pm.  Ben has a thick Chilean accent and keeps saying things in Spanish.  He said it feels very different without the missionary name tag on.  His clothes are pretty worn and everything smells like a camp fire.  He said it’s strange being just Ben again.  He has some parasite meds he has to take today and tomorrow as a precaution.  He also has to get a TB test.

His trip home was long and tiring.  On the 13th, he had a two hour bus ride to the mission home in the morning.  Around 9 pm, after spending the day at the mission home, they took all of the departing missionaries to the bus station for an 11 hour overnight bus trip to Santiago.  At 8:10 pm on the 14th, he had a 10 hour flight to Atlanta.  After a two hour layover, he had a 4 hour flight to Salt Lake.  We are so glad to have him home. 

He reports to the Stake High Council on Sunday at 7:30 am.  His homecoming talk is on March 24th at 10:50 am.  

airport 3

Kayleigh’s welcome home banner and a photobomber

airport 2

Silas and Kayleigh greeting their brother

airport 1

Greeting mom and dad

airport 4

Uncle J showed up and surprised us all

Monday, March 11, 2013

The end of these two years has knocked on the door…


Well the time has finally come. The end of these two years has knocked on the door and in 2 days I will be heading home. I attached the most recent copy of my flight stuff but it looks like nothing has changed. My next Sunday will be in Utah! How strange... I have many stories for you all and I am excited to see you all. I have been so nervous and each day I grow more anxious about the things that will now have to happen. I will have to show you my scar from my operation! That last time I was there I didn´t have it. Everyone here wants my number and email and stuff to be able to talk to them. Hermana Rappleye called me the other day for tech support and jokingly said, "You´ll have to leave your number and address for when we need tech support". My companion was on edge yesterday and he said, "Elder I don´t want you to go." It’s not hard to say goodbye, but yet it’s sad. So many memories here in Chile and so many friends have I made. I hope to stay in touch with many of them.

That's so cool that he has his test the same day I get back! I have been sent on a mission for a family of investigators here. They asked me if I could take some stuff home for me for their sister that lives in Utah. She is in Eagle Mountain. I talked to her by Skype yesterday. I will be driving down to their place to drop off the stuff. I will probably go Saturday or something like that. We can take a trip down there maybe to meet a Chilean lady!

The biggest fear I have about coming home is stopping all the good things I now do. Like for example...getting up early, reading my scriptures, praying lots, and other things. I am making plans on how to keep myself going on this stuff. Like, buying the institute study guide for the Book of Mormon and other stuff like that. It’s funny how now, I don´t worry about giving a talk or going to church. I worry about the stuff like what to study in the scriptures when I get home, or what to pray for. As for Kayleigh and Silas, you should tell them not to worry. Unlike most missionaries, I won´t judge any of you for the stuff you do. I have learned that judging and criticizing is the worst way to help people progress. The way to help people is by inviting them to come up to the good things. Like putting together a family home evening, or inviting them to read with me. Haha, just relax! I love you all so much. We are going to have a blast!!! I will speak all day in Spanish to you all and you won´t understand anything! MUHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I am going to leave lots of clothing here because most of it is old and too big for me. I lost a lot of weight...I have to just keep the weight off! I am thinking about buying some small gifts and then buying some Chilean candy so you can try it.  It should be cool.
See you in a few days.


Elder Burge

Monday, March 4, 2013

It has been bittersweet…I am more Chilean than the beans…

KAYKAY YOU CHANGED YOUR HAIR! I didn´t know who it was until I zoomed in. You look more like mom now! It has been bittersweet. Last night my companion and I cried like little girls. I am stressed out about knowing if I have done all that I could have...and he made me cry. Then he cried as he started telling me about all the things that I have done for the people. Then that made me cry again! Then we took all the numbers for the zone and went to bed. It’s a lot tougher than I thought. It’s my last week...and no one knows it really.

Like you have heard me say body is dying.  I can know tell you I am experienced in having tendinitis. I have it in both my feet. I hurts to walk...and sometimes it just hurts. I just had deja vu. I have had a lot of that recently. Mom, don´t worry. I will be able to rest my feet when I get home. The doctor said it’s the only thing I need to do for it to heal up. So, in one week from now I will rest. I don´t know if I told you this before...but about a week ago I saw a doctor lady who was looking at all the feet of the missionaries and she looked at mine and told me, these are feet of a great missionary. I asked her why and she said...because they are very, very callused feet. She then took a knife and cut them off. Crazy cool!

I am ready to paint the room! Pick a good color, save some newspapers and lets go! Then we can chop like a meter of wood! Haha, it would be cool. Just to let you know I have lost weight and I will be happy to show all my carnets and the weight loss in the mission.
Crudos...are actually good and I didn´t get sick! LOOK AT THAT! Something that is horribly gross to look at and think about that is good and safe! Speaking about food...taco soup would be cool to eat. I honestly will just be happy to be eating moms food again! I want to try to lose a bit more weight, so if you want you can make salad and I will show you just how well I can now eat it. CHOU NO MAS with resting! I have 14 hours in a plane to rest...I will be hanging out with you all instead. I have learned how to sleep in buses (airplanes included)!!

I am so arms are so burnt that I look just down right dumb when I have shorts on. I am so white and my arms and head so brown! Sometimes they ask me what part of Chile I am from! I am more Chilean than the beans! (Classic Chilean phrase)
I don´t feel like I have changed at all to be honest. I feel that everything around me has changed and yet I have stayed them same. I am sure that it’s not true but at least I feel that way! For example when people that speak English try to speak Spanish their voice changes. Mine does not! I have the same voice when I speak Spanish as in English. Everyone is amazed about that.

As for the’s going to have to stay here. It’s too much work to bring it back to the states.’s not a good guitar so I am not to worried about it.
See you all next week!

I love you! Chou!

Monday, February 25, 2013

I ate crudos…and taught a family using Skype

Hey family!

I am now 21! I can officially go apostate and drink myself a fortune in Vegas!! WHOOO HOO! Just kidding.

Mark is the intern from Upgrades Etc. We have stayed in contact for a while. He is a really good guy. He isn´t a member of the church. He left Upgrades Etc. and started his own business.

Sounds like Sam likes Portland. I am guessing that most of his mission is in the city. Sam might have had Mexican food, but I ate something yesterday that will make you grossed out. I ate crudos. It’s a typical dish of Valdivia. It’s raw ground beef with sauce on bread! I didn´t have my camera with me...what a bummer. My companion didn´t want to go I did! I grabbed the crudo and took a bite. I was scared at first and I was way nervous. However, I didn´t let that stop me. I ended up eating 2 of them. It was actually really good. 

Silas the sluffer. We are very similar...I remember doing that too. All I can tell you is...just listen to Dad and Mom. I know school can be boring and all...but you´ve got to just push through it. I bet you´ll end up like me...wanted to go back to school once your out of it. I have learned to do things I don´t like by finding something I do like in the class. Works pretty well...

Sounds like things at home are changing again. Mom is going to be teaching a different class and Silas is getting big and giving talks. It’s cool to hear all about those things. In 2 weeks I will be coming home and be able to see all the changes. If you want we can paint the rooms. I learned how to paint while on the mission. I am a pretty handy guy now that I can chop wood, paint walls, etc. It’s going to be so cool to see you all again. I will be coming back to winter.

Things here are going well...the other day we were teaching a lesson when the family told us that they had a sister that lived in Utah and is Mormon. They called her on Skype and she taught a lesson with us. She is Chilean, but she married one of the missionaries who taught her and they moved to Eagle Mountain. She was way cool. She speaks Spanish and English. She is very gringo. I heard that it is snowing over there. That’s got to be pretty cold.

I love you all so much, and thanks for writing me.

Take care,


Monday, February 18, 2013

In less than a month…I’ll be there!!


I am completely with you. In less than a month I will be there in the house again. So strange...We are inviting people to be baptized for a date that I won´t be here in Chile. Yasna and Alexandra are doing well...we have been sharing with them this week. They didn´t get to church because Alexandra was tired. She stayed up until 2 in the morning watching tv. We have a Noche de Hogar tonight and they are coming! WHOO HOO! As for Elder Ewok....he got another change. President is losing his patience with him. If he isn´t careful, he might just end up getting sent home. He still hasn´t told anyone why he came on the mission. The reason that I believe he is here is for his girlfriend (the daughter of the stake president). I hold the record for the most time with Elder Hurtado! And I hold the most respect too...they told me he is always asking how I am. Haha

YA! Silas is driving! He will be driving by himself in no time flat. I was way nervous about driving with Yearby. He has to tell him for me! My sister is a crazy, playing basketball chic! That’s pretty cool. I am pretty good now with a soccerball under my feet.

Resounding joy......I have felt resounding joy. You don´t feel it all the time...but its part of the mission. Like for example Elder Amato is really inpatience with the people. He yells at them and gets mad. He makes rude comments and other things. The sector is now one wants to talk with us. He also, doesn´t try very much to do things. He doesn´t want to do much...I think he is a bit trunky. It’s been tough.
As for the birthday money...that sounds fine to me! I will be happy to buy you all something cool!
As for my shouldn´t be too bad. I am not used to speaking for 20-30 minutes. No hay problema. It will be weird to sing, pray, talk, and stuff in English. So strange...

Until next week! Take care!

Monday, February 11, 2013

An experience from reading the Book of Mormon

Hey family!

Looks like your right...Last week’s email didn´t get there! I’m sorry...I sent the email again. I am doing well! Remember in the first of my mission I got here with some Latin Elders? One of them is now my companion! Elder Roberto Amato. He is awesome. He reminds me a lot of Josh. He has the same way of speaking and is really cool. He is from Mendosa, Argentina. He was here before me, then he got into a accident with his foot and well...had to go to Osorno to rest for about a month. Now he is back and working well. The week has been kinda hard for us. Lots of rain again, and the people this week were really busy. We did however have a family of 2 come to church. They are Yasna (Jasna) and Alexandra. It’s a mom and her daughter, but they are amazing and she had a great experience with the Book of Mormon. She read it, and couldn´t sleep the entire night. She finally just got up and starting cleaning the house and left to go do some stuff. She didn´t feel tired and it was raining (which she hates) and she said she felt a burning in her chest. She was filled with joy, and she then for some reason knew that it came from reading the Book of Mormon. It was amazing! She is now progressing well.

Time is sure flying by. Not much time till I am on a plane going back home. It’s now come down to working as best as I can to keep working hard. To be honest, at times it’s hard. After 2 years of work you’re tired. But I will keep on going!

Mom dreamed shoes are dead (tennis shoes). They are held together by the last of the glue they used to make them with. It’s so funny! I got a good 2 years out of these guys! What do they want me to talk about when I get back?

As for the birthday package...don´t worry about sending it. I would love to receive money to buy gifts for you all! I already went looking and found a few things I want to buy for you. Haha, I hope you´ll like what I want to get you. It’s a secret so you can´t know anything about them till I get there! I want you all to have something that you can show off to all your friends.

As for me, I am doing well. Everyone here brings up the fact that I end my mission and ask me if I am ready to go home. It started raining again, something that I won´t miss at all. I used to love the rain...but I don´t now....haha.

I love you all,

Con CariƱo

Elder Burge

Now more than ever we need to be strong…

Hey family

It’s sad to hear the Ace died. I know he will be ok. We will just have to wait till he becomes a GIANT RESURRECTED ANGEL BIRD OF DEATH! Haha, things will go well. As for me, the whole death thing isn´t that bad. Its getting easier to handle. I feel sad, but I know what happens. So that brings me a sweet peace that comforts my soul. At least you did your best to make him feel better. I am relieved to hear that the others are doing ok! At least they can keep being happy!

The patriarchal blessing of Kayleigh sounds BAKAN (cool)! She is lucky...seems to me like maybe she´ll be around still when the Lord comes. I am sure that part about death will be important later in her life. The Lord always prepares us for the hard things to come in our life. So, now all of us have our blessings...does Silas have his?

We live in times when people will be confused and lost in the world. Now more than ever will we need to be strong reading the scriptures, praying much, and going to church. It’s sad...I feel that the entire world is going down hill much faster every single day. I don´t know what to think...I feel sad. I can feel the adversary trying harder every day to make me fall into small things. Many missionaries are becoming unmotivated.  Many doubt and have trouble with past sins. It’s a raging battle field out here. Prepare as best that you can.

Thanks for sending the information about college. I have prayed and fasted for answers. I know that they will come. I have a feeling that you will give me the answer in the things you send. What kind of cool things do the computer scientists do? It’s been so long since I have been able to learn about the different parts of my hobby. I am thankful for your help. I love you.

Well...I will send a few pictures.


The mission logo


A delicious Chilean sandwich


How are you going to eat all of that Elder?


The seals are always ready to get dunked!!!


Stocked up with my favorite desserts