Monday, December 31, 2012

I will keep pushing myself until I get the most out of my time here

Hey Family!

It’s been a crazy day...and a crazy week. I am feeling pretty stressed out and my companion is killing me. He just won´t listen to me, and he just keeps killing everything. Our sector is suffering a lot from it. I am so stressed out. This seems to always happen with the new missionaries I get.

I am glad to hear that you had a good Christmas. Here they do the New Years thing by copying what the gringos do. They throw parties and drink till you can´t find your way home. It’s a weird time, because we have to be careful thanks to all the drunks.

I am glad to hear that everyone there is progressing well. It makes me happy to know that you’re all so well. It’s weird that Silas is a priest and that Sam is in the MTC. Thanks for the picture. I like to see how he is. The family for me has become way important. I care a lot about all of you.

Sounds like things back there with Krista are hard. Looks like Sam knows how to be a good boyfriend. He always had a weird charm about him. Tell Brock the next time you see him to take it easy. I know it’s got to be hard for him. Things will all work out. Invite him to write me if he wants to. I´d be up to talk with him.

I know Sam will do well in the MTC and mission. He is starting to realize that he really does have a testimony. I think it was in your blessing Mom...but it talked about us, your boys, and spreading the Gospel. We have a work to do, this family of ours, and God has to prepare us to do it. We will all understand when the time gets here as to why it’s been so hard for us. I will be writing Sam every Monday to let me vent and to give him advice. He is a strong guy. Don´t worry, he will make it to the field.

As for things here...I am striving to stay alive. So many problems. The closer I get to the end of my mission, the more and more problems and trials there are. It’s only fitting for an end of mission experience. I am proud that Silas didn´t cry when he saw me on Skype. It’s funny how deep his voice has gotten. It’s pretty funny, everyone thought that Mom was my sister. Haha, they were all shocked afterwards. As for me, I will keep pushing myself until I get the most out of my time here. I won´t die, I will just come home..a bit "tired". Not much time to make the most of the time I have now.

Sorry I haven´t written more...I want to write Sam before my time goes. I love you all!



Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Skype - The Silence of the Lambs

We were able to Skype with Ben in Chile.  That is our last Skype before he returns in March.  He was very happy and upbeat.  He said that the mission president gave him permission to email Sam directly, and that he and Sam sent emails to each other today.  He said that the thought of leaving Chile is bittersweet.  He looks forward to coming home to Utah, but he is sad to leave his home in Chile.  He said that the beds in Chile are not very comfortable, and he looks forward to the beds here in the US.  He said that, to date, he has never been bitten by fleas (a common problem in Chile).  He said that even when the house is infested with fleas, everyone but him gets bitten.  He says he must be too spicy for the fleas to want to bite him.  He said toward the end of the mission, all of the missionaries report being tired and walking around feeling like zombies.  He said he is starting to experience that, too.  He said he doesn’t have any idea of where he wants to go to college, but he thinks that he wants to major in computer science with a specialty in network/internet security.  He was able to Skype from the momita’s house.  They were getting ready to eat dinner.  Tomorrow they will stay in their house pretty much all day (they are not allowed to tract or contact on Christmas day).  He has a dinner invitation with investigators tomorrow night at 8pm. He said that for Christmas the Chileans buy a live lamb for Christmas dinner.  He said in the days leading up to Christmas, you hear the lambs as you walk through the streets, but today it's silent.  They take the lamb and butcher it and cook it for Christmas dinner.  He said it's an honor to be invited to their house for the butchering of the lamb, but it is terrible if the person doing the killing doesn't do it right.  He said he has never gone to see one butchered.  He said it would bother him too much.  He said that he has learned a lot of magic tricks while on the mission and that he has learned to play a lot of the hymns on the guitar.  He says that comes in handy when doing missionary work.  His bird Fezz saw him on the computer screen while Skyping and tired to snuggle up to his face on the screen and preen his hair.  They whistled to each other.  His bird still remembers him after almost two years.  That made Ben happy.
fezz skype snuggle
Fezz trying to snuggle up to Ben’s face on the computer screen

Monday, December 17, 2012

It’s a bit weird to see how much you all change

Hey family! Still not any garments in sight. I went this morning and didn´t find any. I am sure they will come. It might take time but it will get here, because is Christmas and all. WOOOOH FAREWELL TALK! I remember mine...tough stuff. However, I now can give a talk in front of a ton of people and I can do it we are alright. Sam will be able to give a great talk after he is done with the mission. Tell Sam to write down as much as he can in the setting apart. The other day we were talking about it, and there are a lot of prophesies that happen in them that come true. The MTC will be awesome...tell him to eat all the cereal that he wants to. It’s the best part about lunch. I am going to get permission from President to write to Sam by email. I know he will give me permission. The other day I got a call and I had to go into the office. They wanted to buy a program to use to make videos for the missionaries going home. The program they were using before was hacked. So I bought the thing...I felt so cool talking to President, telling him the pros and cons of the program I want to buy, and then getting permission to buy the thing. I had to talk to the Finance guy and everything. I felt so...big. Then I had the office people make 4 copies of the installers so that it doesn´t get lost or broken. When I look at the pictures of you all I feel like your’re all so different. I don´t recognize Silas much any more. It weirds me out a bit. I can´t wait to see you all on Skype. To be’s a bit weird to see how much you all change. SKYPE INFORMATION
I think we should do it the 24th of Dec. at 7:00pm MY TIME. Everything should go smoothly. I will be doing it in the house of the momita. I think her internet should go quick enough. I will be verifying your answer this Friday. I love you all. Things here are going well. It’s been a bit tough for me. Lots of things happening. But everything will be fine in the end. We have to suffer at times, and work when the strength isn´t there. These moments, however hard and long they may be or seem, are evidence that God can do everything. He can make me walk when I can´t. He can help me speak when I have not words. My body has been suffering for quite a while now. Today I feel like I got hit by a truck. I think I will go home and clean the house and just relax a bit. Maybe I will play the guitar today. My companion is doing fine. He doesn´t like to walk fast, but he is starting to become more himself, I guess you could say. When he makes jokes and acts normal things go well. But then there are times he tries to justify sinning and those are the moments that this diamond in the rough becomes a diamond in the toilet. I know however that there a blessing in store for both he and I if we get over the hard parts. GOOD NEWS THOUGH....I am happy! I glory in my tribulation and love the new challenges that come to me. I am happy because a good friend of mine is going home to see his family and I am so happy that he can finally see them again. He will need it. He is a good guy. I love you all so much! I wanted to let you know I got the package of Grandma and Grandpa Burge. Tell them thanks for supporting me. Just between you and me...I think we need to get gramps in the "water". Don´t know how...but the Lord does. Take care, Elder Benjamin Burge

Monday, December 10, 2012

This has been a really weird week

Hey family!

NOTICE: I bought an electric shaver because I had problems with my manual one and I had been using the electric shaver from Elder Marcel.

This week has been really weird. My new companion was doing well...but now we are starting to see things. We live in the house with 4 missionaries. The other day we had a lesson and my new companion started talking about his "past life" and about all the "drugs" he took. It went south and he wouldn´t listen to me nor stop. I was so mad afterward. So we talked about it, and he told me that he was doing everything all right. He told me it was "inspired by the Holy Ghost". When we were talking about it the Zone Leaders got home and started to listen in. They too started to try to show him that he was doing something wrong. He then said to all of us. I am right, and I don´t see anything wrong with what I did. We then showed him in Preach my Gospel and the scriptures that were very clear. They left and he looked me in the face and told me...I am still right. I felt...pain for him saying that. If he is not careful, his pride will bring him into apostasy in the mission. I felt a godly pain. We had done everything we could...and his pride made him deny the help we have to offer. I know that’s how God feels with us, his children. I am however very surprised about how patient I have become. I am able to control my anger much better now. It also causes me to feel godly sorrow for those who choose not to obey the commandments of God. It looks like the challenge has returned. This time I will conquer it. I can see clearly the difference between my knowledge from before and my knowledge now.

THE TEMPLE!!!! Haha, that’s so funny about the comment Sam made. I love the temple. I love the feeling it gives me. I still remember, when I look at the picture in the preparing for the temple booklet, when I was there in the Salt Lake Temple. I felt such a happiness. I miss the the temple. I want to go either THE DAY I get back or THE DAY AFTER. The temple is the best place on earth. Now that Sam and Brock are endowed with power from on high they can go and preach the gospel. The older I get...the more my testimony of God and miracles grows.

Sounds like Brocks talk was a good one. He would be following the advice that Joseph gave once about praying much and keeping your talks short. I can´t remember clearly what he said. You can find it in the Teachings of the Prophets: Joseph Smith book. I have been in the position of having to fill 30 minutes of the sacrament meeting before. It isn´t too hard to do it if you read the scriptures everyday, and really “study". You´ll have to send me a copy of the talk Sam gives. I would like to see it.

My package got here from you all! I thought it was a great package. I shared with some people here and they liked the food. The reindeer has been a hit. The APs were at the house when I opened it and they were all like, "NO WAY...THAT’S SO FUNNY". I enjoyed it. The garments haven´t gotten here yet but there were many packages in the office today when I went. But they were all still in the "to be sorted area". Cambios are this coming week so I won´t be able to get it till probably next week. I loved the package though. It was really cool. Thanks for loving me. I know it’s got to be hard that the kids are leaving the house. All is well, however. Time goes by very fast, and the Lord will help you feel that we are still close to you. We are only gone for 2 years. Then we will be back, getting married, and giving you beautiful grandchildren. It will be amazing the blessings that you´ll receive.

Eric is already home? That’s so strange because I know Elder Smith who was with him in the MTC and they don´t leave till next week. That’s so strange. I bet he has a weird accent.

They haven´t announced anything about Skype, but they will, don´t worry.

Things here are going good for us. Just a little more time till Christmas! I hope you all enjoy it. It’s a good time of year.

I love you all.



It’s called a Moroni Letter, because Moroni’s on the envelope


The letter


Another picture


Another photo of Francisca’s baptism


Working with Elder Marcel


Elders Guerra, Marcel, Burge, Hurtado


Sunday school

Monday, December 3, 2012

I got my carta moroni & a grandson

Hey Family!

Hey I need some info from you all...I got my Carta Moroni (the letter that tells me I have 3 months left and they need to update my info so that they can buy my plane ticket).

Name of the Stake President: Chad W. Allred (if this has changed I need the direction of the new stake presidents house).

Name of the Bishop: My paper says Kevan L Whipple, but it’s not him. I need the full name of Bishop Gibbons and his house address.

Everything else should have stayed they same...same house, phone number, and airport. I feel stupid because I took pictures of it and wanted to see you a picture of it home but I forgot to bring my cables.

I am glad to hear that an Apostle came to see you all there. It’s got to be cool to have one there to see you all in person. Have you seen their eyes? I swear they can read the entire soul. I remember when I was in the MTC I got to shake hands with Elder Anderson and his eyes ate me alive!

So...3 days ago I get a call from President. Elder Burge I have a challenge for you. Your kid, Elder Guerra was training a new missionary but it’s not working you’re going to have to train him. So Elder Marcel was sent to Rio Bueno and I am here now with Elder Hurtado. Elder Guerra told me, when I got to the bus station, that he only wanted to be put with a gringo companion. This weird. He is from Bolivia. He, to be honest, is a strange guy. I now can see the difference between Chilean Spanish and Bolivian Spanish. I like Chilean way more!  I have to teach him a LOT of stuff. He didn’t know what apostasy was. Pray...A LOT! I’m going to need it.

Strange Fact of the Day : I am training my niƱeto (Grandson), who is also my Hijo (Son). I feel like I am back in Grantsville where everyone is related. haha

My fate for the rest of my mission is set...When I get done with him I will have only 6 weeks left. This means that I will ETERNAL DISTRICT LEADER! It’s so sweet! Everyone is laughing about it. I will probably end my mission here in Rahue. The chances of me leaving are nonexistent. But I am actually happy about it! I get to make friends here and give it my all. Plus, the last day I want to head back to the other side of Osorno to visit my last Barrio. It would be sweet.

Sunday, I got told at like 10 o’clock when church started that I would be teaching the Principles of the Gospel class. I had 20 students, 5 of which where investigators. It was sweet! I taught about the Second Coming and we laughed a ton.

If I was on Facebook my status would be: Still looking for new investigators. It also, strangely enough, started to rain again! This is very odd for summer. But hey, that’s cool still.

I am glad that you are all doing well. It’s so cool that Sam will be endowed! I love the Temple, and I want to go to it either the same day or the day after I get back from the mission. I am going to my favorite temple! Maybe when Sam gets back he will be home in time for my....WEDDING! Haha, just kidding.

I love you all. Please keep reading the scriptures, going to church, and praying everyday. It’s so important. I am probably the most worried about keeping these habits I have made. They say that good habits are easier to get rid of than bad ones. I want to keep getting up at 7 and doing my scriptures study. It’s so important.

Tell Sam that I will be waiting for some good pictures of his mission and companions. I can’t wait to see the difference between our missions. He will be a great missionary. And he will baptize lots of people. I just know it!

Take care,