Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Buon Natale, Everyone!

I got emails from Sister Spriggs and the Moon family, both of which contained adorable pictures that focused me on family and how wonderful--and quick--life is.  I saw Baby Anziano Burton in my super young mamma's lap, and I saw Adri and Lauryn Moon--who in my mind are, like, newborns--riding horses with their little brother.

It's hard to believe how fast it goes.  One Christmas after another, and suddenly you're a missionary.  A few later I'll be a f-f-faaaath... yeah, I don't wanna talk about that.

Before I go, I want to recount to you all a few Christmas miracles!  They both involve me getting really mad or sad, and then being super humbled by God's awesomeness.  Firstly, because someone was a little slow getting out of bed (coughanzianokesslercough), we missed our train to Milan on Thursday by a matter of minutes.  I was...really upset.  We ended up taking another train an hour later and arrived at the Milano Centrale station at 11, which is when we were supposed to be at the Lampugnano church building.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Good will towards men is peace on earth

Well, as far as numbers go this wasn't as good of a week.  But that's okay.  We did teach 10 lessons, which ties for the 3rd best week I've ever had (and that shows how much of a miracle 21 was, eh?).  This week will be even less, but that's because we had Zone Conference all day yesterday, today's PDay, and tomorrow we're going back to Milano for some New Missionary Training.  That'll be so fun.

We're working pretty closely with one young Italian guy we met going house to house.  He has a strong faith in Christ already, but is having a hard time accepting our invitation to read the Book of Mormon.  He likes us, though, and we love him, and as we keep meeting (in a new convert's home!) and feeling the Spirit together, I think he'll change his mind and start to search for the truth.  Anziano Kessler says we'll baptize him.  I don't disagree.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

We did it!!

Anziano Kessler and I had one of the craziest and most amazing weeks of my entire mission so far.  What a way to start his.  First of all, he is AWESOME.  I love him with all my heart.  The best trainee I could possibly imagine.  He's funny, goes with the flow, is simple and sincere and eager to learn, and he loves life.  He also loves bread and little children.  So, clearly, I love him.

Anziano Petterborg (who I also love) was a trickster on his bike.  So, not surprisingly, it broke with Anziano Kessler before long.  We happened to be really, really far from home when the wheel seized up and the back brake broke.  We left both our bikes there, tied up to a pole, and walked home in the freezing dark.  The next morning we went back, mounted his bike on top of my bike, and carefully led it home.  It was hilarious, a great bonding experience, and I get the feeling I'll be able to use it in a talk or something one day.  There's gotta be a parable in there.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Super Excited

What an amazing week!  Did I see this many miracles at the very beginning of my mission?  Probably not.  I was sick and bedridden for two weeks instead.  Ha!

On Thursday morning we all headed to Verona's biggest train station.  I said goodbye to Anziano Petterborg who went with a few other missionaries down to Bologna, eventually to head towards his new home in Livorno.  I'm gonna miss him, he is a dedicated Elder and a wonderful companion.

I got on a fast train with a few other missionaries from other cities and headed to Milano.  There were only 13 new missionaries this transfer, thus 13 trainers together in a room in one of Milano's chapels receiving a little instruction from President Dibb.  He talked up the role of a trainer a lot and brought us to a realization of our duty.

The new missionaries walked in, wide-eyed and exhausted.  None of us new which we were paired with yet.  One by one we stood at the front of the group, talked about the cities we are serving in, and then read out our new companion's name from a slip of paper from the Assistants to the President.  Mine is Anziano Kessler, and he's awesome.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I had a bunch of almost ridiculously exaggerated highs and lows this week.  To be brief, as we were expecting Transfer Calls, we learned that our Zone Leaders were in a car accident.  Nothing too dangerous, but they both went to the hospital for check-ups (and now they wear neck braces, ha!).  

Maybe because of that, Verona was left out of transfer calls on Monday.  Thanksfully, Anziano Modugno gave the Assistants a call to let them know we didn't know anything yet.  So Tuesday night, after I had given up hope of any changes this next transfer, I got a call... from President Dibb.

"Elder Burton, we'd like you to train this transfer."

"...Oh!  Uh... okay, P-President."

Needless to say, I'm a bit nervous.  A lot nervous.  But I'm also excited.  This'll be a really cool experience by any standard.  I have a lot to learn, and this'll be a new way to do it.

I guess I don't have a lot to say this week.  My mind's already pretty focused on next week.  I'm headed to Milan tomorrow morning to pick up my verdino (greenie).  I'm sure my next email will be pretty full of... new experiences.  And pictures.  Heheh.

I'll miss Anziano Petterborg a lot.  He's been my favorite companion so far.  A real friend.

Lots of love!  Sorry, I'm pretty distracted.  I guess that's imaginable.

Anziano Burton

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


What happened this week... C received the Aaronic Priesthood.  The other elders I live with have been working with a less active family who are now preparing to have the father baptize the 11-year old daughter this week.  I got to visit them yesterday with Anziano Modugno during a companionship exchange.  What an amazing spirit there is in their home right now.  They are all so happy.  The gospel brings real joy.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

That's What Progress Is

We had a great week.  Our list of investigators is growing, along with our list of potential investigators.  That means more lessons, more meaningful studies, more joy in the work.  I'm excited.  Andiamo.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I'm using a keyboard without a mostly-broken spacebar.  Ha!

I love you, too, Nan!  (That's what I call my grandma, for those of you who aren't Nan.)  Thank you for being such a wonderful grandmother to me, a loving mother to my mom, and a great example for all of your posterity.  I'm so grateful for all of your good choices.  They led straight to me, after all!  Hope you're doing great.  Love your hair.

Happy anniversary month to Oma and Papa Tom!  Fifty years is a quite a bit more than my two. That's a real commitment there, and another wonderful example for me.  I'm figuring out that my life has been full of good examples.  I hope I get to be one for somebody else one day.  Maybe an adorable blonde daughter or something.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

You Never Know

I'm so glad Gentry got the letter I sent!  Hope it was a terrific birthday.  Cute picture, too, Mom.  Jed looks older already!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TEENAGER BROTHER!

It's strange this time of year.  I want to be excited about Halloween and Thanksgiving, but... neither of those really exist in Italy.  So I'm left to be excited by myself.  You can imagine me drawing creepy pictures at my desk and pretending my outstretched fingers are a turkey.  Yay...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

In the right way

Buongiorno, everyone! Sorry for the super-short blog last week. I can't promise this one'll be a mammoth, but at least it's of high-quality--as far as the contents go.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GENTRY!!! I lovelovelove you so much, and I hope it's the bestest birthday you've ever even had! I'm sending a letter to you today, too. Hope it reaches you by the 28th.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Church in Verona

We're having a baptism this week.  Nothing's changing in Transfers.  We need prayers for our investigators.  Also, I'm happy for G that her braces are coming off soon, I got a bunch of letters that I'll try to reply to this week, thank you for all the prayers and support and for being good missionaries where you stand!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Conference is one giant miracle

Let me first ask all the praying folk who read this blog to keep Anziano Petterborg's family in your prayers.  His greatgrandmother passed away this week.  She was physically weak, but mentally sharp, and her passing--as every passing--is hard on the family.  I can't imagine losing someone I love while on my mission.  God will comfort, and I ask you to pray with us for that comfort to be felt.

General Conference was amazing and inspiring.  In Italy we don't get to watch the final session, Sunday Afternoon, but the eight hours I was able to attend flew by and were full of answers to questions, uplifting messages, and catchy phrases to keep me going.  My favorite was President Uchtdorf's "You Can Do It Now".  I also gave rapt and smiling attention to Elder Gifford's "Exclamation Point" talk.  He was a living exclamation point, and reminded me of my mom in that respect.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Center of Our Faith: Jesus Christ

I can't tell you how excited I am for conference.  I thought I was excited for The Dark Knight Rises or The Avengers back home, but that's nothing compared to how jazzed I am for General Conference this weekend.  Also, for our mission, October 5th is the Return to Normal Schedule (we've been waking up at 7 for a few months and everything was pushed forward half an hour), and we get to start wearing suit coats every day!  Haha!!  October is my favorite month for a reason.

So there's a lot to look forward to.  Unfortunately, we didn't teach 21 lessons last week.  We only taught 12, in fact.  That's mostly my fault.  We worked super hard the first three days and, in my opinion, kind of burned ourselves out.  After that I got sad and sadness turned to laziness and... well, I'm far from perfect.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Share It!

This week we were interviewed in the church by President Dibb.  I'll have to get a few pictures of the meetinghouse here in Verona, it's amazing.  The Spirit is so strong every time I'm in there.  We love to have lessons within its walls.  So, at an appointed time, we rode our bikes there to meet with our mission president and spend a few minutes in an office with him to chat about the work and receive some inspired counsel.

Among many great words, he challenged our companionship--with both Anziano Petterborg and I, separately--to teach 21 lessons this week.  Twenty-one.  That may seem like a laughable number to elders in South America, but to Italian missionaries... well... I think the most I've ever taught in a week is 11.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

See? I told you

My siblings are so cool.  Audrey's happy at BYU, Gentry's giving conference talks, Jed's running faster than Forest Gump, and I'm just basking in their glory.  What a privilege to be an older brother! I haven't always been a very good one (read: very nice one), but I'm glad I didn't seem to do too much damage.  Everyone's running strong, and I think we've got our goodly parents to thank for that. Thanks, Mom and Dad.  (Especially Mom.  [No offense, Dad, but we both know she deserves an extra pat on the back.])

I have pictures!  Lemme just upload them here...
Here's the new crew, with a couple familiar faces:  Anziano Modugno (I love him!),
 Anziano Pinnock (yes, the "famous" one from YouTube),
Anziano Petterborg (indeed related to the school nurse in Napoleon Dynamite!),
 and me (wee!).  Aren't we a pretty bunch?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Almost Skipping

I got the birthday pictures!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  And even more thanks to everyone who was involved in the most personalized, touching present I've ever received.  How fitting for such a monumental birthday: two decades, celebrated in Italy.  Wow.  I can't believe how lucky I am, both for where I am, what I am, and who loves me.  I love you, too!

I catch myself thinking of my family more often as of late.  We met with a lively woman from Ghana this week who's first child is almost two years old.  She's very intelligent and observational, and she talked about the beauty and miracle of raising children.  Family is so important and so powerful.  It can bring unbridled joy.  Makes me think of something a friend of mine in Padova used to say: "You haven't lived until you've planted a tree, written a book, and had a child."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

This is way better than going to Hollywood

Buon Compleanno Anziano Burton
Thank you, as always, for the wonderful email, Mom.  I always feel so loved when I open up my inbox.

Unfortunately, I won't be seeing the famous Ferraran Balloon Festival.  I thought I would be staying here for a really long time, what with there being a new Mission President with unpredictable transfer methods.  Instead, I got the call this week: I'm being transferred.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

And now I'm 20

Heeheehee!  Oh, Mom, you make me laugh!  I love you so much.

I went to Bologna on Monday for our weekly District Meeting, and there I was BOMBARDED by a sack of mail and packages!  Wow, what a birthday surprise!  They had built up at the office and then sent them along my way with my Zone Leaders who live in Bologna!  Unfortunately I don't think I received all 20 cards that you sent: 18 clever birthday and two packages, one with chocolate and one with American deoderant.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Take good care of the Light you're given

Soaking in Ferraran Rain

Wow, thank you for sharing that wonderful learning experience, Mom.  You are a great teacher with a contagious love and respect for Heavenly Father, and Gentry is wise beyond her years.  I miss Family Home Evening!  There is an American family here in Ferrara, stationed for the Air Force, that we visited a few Mondays ago.  Their Family Home Evening (complete with a spiritual thought, activity, and chocolate chip cookies!!) brought back so many wonderful memories of doing the same with my family, every Monday night for nearly twenty years.

Nearly twenty years... whew.  Let's save that terrifying thought for next week, eh?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Will you sing along?

 Wow, what an email!  Thank you, Mom.  I'm glad I have people like you, Agent Larson, and my dearest friends--missionary and non-missionary alike- -who write me such heartfelt, uplifting emails so often.  I'm truly blessed with a huge and dedicated support group, such that when I think of you all, sorrow flees away.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Just be happy.

What a difference a week makes!  I can't say this was the best week of my life, but I chose to smile, and that made all the difference.

Anziano Marin is awesome.  We really bonded this week, talking and laughing and sharing experiences and making inside jokes.  He's from Los Angeles, which is super cool, and he's the type that just chugs along and keep smiling.  He always wears a squinty little smile that reminds me of Audrey.  He wants to be a computer programmer for the Air Force one day, and he's a good missionary with a huge drive to change things and make a difference.  I love him, and I hope we get two transfers together.

And Ferrara?  Yeah, it's small.  Yeah, it's hot.  Yeah, the people aren't exactly groping in the dark for the truth.  But it's BEAUTIFUL.  I mean, classic ancient Italian gorgeous.  I'm going to take a ton of pictures today and I'll send them in next week's email.  This internet spot is pretty great, good prices and quick service.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lift Where You Stand

This week I shared with Anziano Burton a photo and quote: "Tempered glass, like tempered steel, undergoes a well-controlled heating process which increases strength. Thus, when tempered glass is under stress, it will not easily break into jagged shards that can injure.  Likewise, a temperate soul—one who is humble and full of love—is also a person of increased spiritual strength. With increased spiritual strength, we are able to develop self-mastery and to live with moderation. We learn to control, or temper, our anger, vanity, and pride. With increased spiritual strength, we can protect ourselves from the dangerous excesses and destructive addictions of today’s world."- Elder Kent Watson, October 2009 General Conference
Lessons from Home: When Tempered Glass Meets a Pebble
I remember listening to that talk in 2009.  I think about being "tempered" often, as well as the idea of the refiner's fire, that the mission is burning away infirmities to leave behind pure gold.

Well, Ferrara's hot enough.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The way of the mission

(told Elder Burton about reading awesome Elder Tyler Holle's reference to Ky in his letter home this week)
I got an email from Elder Holle, too.  That's funny, I was thinking about him this week as well.  Must have been a connection thingy, like Twilight Zone but more spiritual.  I love that man, my semester rooming with him at BYU was one of the best times of my entire life so far, and I can't wait to see him again and watch how far he goes in life.  He's an amazing example for me.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Keep progressing!

Tate's home?  Tate's home....  Tate's home!  Holy ravioli!  I can hardly believe it!  Give me a second to compose myself here.  I was there when Tate opened his call, over two years ago.  I remember how he shouted "SUVA FIJI!" and we all jumped around the room with unbridled joy.  I remember saying goodbye to him at the airport.  I remember wondering where in the world I would be when he came home someday.

Well, here I am, sitting in a dirty Internet Point in Padova, Italia, listening to tiny cars drive by outside while I try to stop myself from typing Italian words that jump the front of my mind faster than their English counterparts.  Here I am, following Tate's amazing example, spreading the true gospel to the wonderful people of Italy.  Here I am in a sort of daze, looking at pictures of Tate and my family back in Pasco, trying unsuccessfully to imagine our future reunion.  I'm sure it will be just as joyful as the day he opened his call, if not more so.
Congratulations, Tate.  Benfatto.  Thank you for your unmatchable friendship, your lifechanging example, and your love for me and your family and the Lord and His work.  Thank you so, sooo much.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Sounds like your 4th of July was a blast!  Mine was...less America-y than I was expecting.  Then again, I am in Italy, and they don't give a flying feather about America's Independence day.  Oh, well.  I still shouted "AMERICA!" in my apartment a lot.  Which still doesn't have hot water, but that's okay.  At least we got our electric oven plugged in!  (Ironically, the power has gone out twice in the last week... but it always comes back on.  Good lesson in patience.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Wow... this was a great email, Mom.  It's so good to hear from home.  Thanks for all the great details.  And you didn't have to say "School House Rock" in parentheses.  I've been singing that song for a month!

You've always been a big Fourth of July fan, Mom.  Maybe it's because you were born in July, or maybe you just have an innate love for our wonderful country.  But it's only here in Italy that I've been realizing just how wonderful our country really is, and how much I love the 4th of July.  Everything I see that reminds me of home--the stylish t-shirts with the American Flag patterns, the hats that say the names of American cities--makes me shout "AMERICA!" really loud.  I've never been more excited for the 4th... tomorrow.  I'll have to sing every America song I know.  "GOD BLESS AMERICA, the land I love!"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Good Experience

Unfortunately, the Mission Training Broadcast aired at midnight around here, so I haven't seen it yet.  I've heard about it... strange waves are on the horizon for missionaries.  I'll wait to form an opinion until I've seen it for myself rather than hearing rumors that spread between missionaries like la peste.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AUDREY!  You're gonna be an adult in two days!  That is so, so, so weird.  Then again, you've kind of been an adult since we were, like, 5 and 7.  I'm so excited for the rest of your life.  You're going to have lifechangingly wonderful experiences at BYU, and that makes me so happy.  I miss BYU.  Enjoy every second!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Mom, you're the best.  Ha!  I love picturing you writing these things.  You're always smiling when I do.

Audrey has a job?  Gentry's at Girls Camp?  Jed's going for Eagle Scout and owns a pellet gun?  What is happening to my family!!?  It's times like these, when there's a huge change in my life within the course of a week, when I realize how much things will have changed in two whole years when I come home.  Won't G be, like... dating?  *shudder*

Yeah, tons happened this week.  Let's see if I can make this coherent.  It'll be a challenge:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Things Change

Those pictures were so great to see, Mom.  Thank you!  Audrey's graduation party looked so fun (and strangely familiar...), Gentry looks gorgeous and ready for high school (...WHAT!?), I'm thrilled Nan got to come up and liven up the place a bit, good to see a picture of dad in there, and of course Jed is super cool.  You look so young, Mom!  How do you already have 2 kids graduated from high school?

The mother of a dear friend to the missionaries in our ward passed away this week.  Her funeral is on Friday.  I'll probably sing.  She was a very old Brazilian, had only one lung and limited memory, but she was a saint if I've ever seen one.  Carried a picture of Jesus with her wherever she went.  Used to volunteer in the temple every day back when she lived in Salt Lake City.  And she loved the missionaries.  She recognized us every time we went over to their house, even though she could hardly recognize her own family.  Our friend is doing fine: he knows the Plan of Salvation and that his mother is a lot happier and more comfortable now that she has been for a good number of years.  Even so, losing a parent is very hard.  We're praying for him.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Often Fun and Always Rewarding

HUZZAH for the Columbia Basin Ward!  Bishop Merrill was amazing and I love him so much for the support he always gave to me, and I am so excited for Broth...um, Bishop Stock and his family!  In bocca al lupo, davvero!
Mom, don't worry that the email didn't go through last week.  Sorry that this one sarà super short--I opened my inbox to 21 emails!!  Troppo!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The End of May

Congratulations to my sister Audrey on her graduation this coming week!  That's crazyweird and super exciting.  Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TATE STOCK on the 1st of June (same day as graduation, if I remember right)!  He was my first really close friend to go on a mission (to Fiji), and he'll be home in, like... a month?  Something like that?  So bizarre.

Some of the things that happen in Italy spark weird memories from a long time ago in my head.  I can't think of any other good examples right now, but it's amazing how a new situation can bring to mind things you've long forgotten about, but are somehow helpful.  It's such a huge and lifechanging thing to live here.  I love it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

There's Always Something to Love

I'm trying to send a ton of pictures, so this letter will be short, but the most important things are that I love you, I love God, and I'm so happy to be in Italy!

 I experience the gift of tongues, like, every day.  In other churches, "the gift of tongues" is very different from what we believe, which is this: God fulfills his promise that every nation, kindred, tongue, and people will hear His word by giving his messenges the ability to learn and speak those languages with the help of the Holy Ghost.  Not only do I experience that in lessons, when I'm teaching in Italian and suddenly have a word or a whole sentence pop into my head that I've never even studied that helps teach a gospel principle, or when Anziano Modugno suddenly speaks perfect English when he needs to teach something to an African.  It's really amazing to see.  Daily miracles.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

To Sense

Ciao, tutti!  Come va?  Posso sentirmi che sto diventando fluente in Italiano, e questo è un sentimento stranissimo!  Who'd'a'thunk that I could be speaking this much Italian in less than two months in Italy?  I've definitely had the Lord's help, and I honestly think I'll reach my goal of fluency after 3 months.  June 20, vengo!

Lots of great stuff to write about this week, but almost zero time.  So I'll be brief and share a lot: "a little about a lot of things", as my mom always says.  Speaking of which, Happy Mother's Day to all the mamme out there.  I got to Skype mamma mia and Dad on Sunday and see/chat with my family, and that was so much fun!  I think next time will be better since I have a more clear idea of how it works and what to say.  The time difference was sure weird, though... everyone but my mom was dead tired.  Ha!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Filled With Love

I reminded Ky: If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill (a great quote from Grandma Eyring).

I love the "right path is uphill" quote.  I've been using that since the MTC and I didn't even know it.  Ha!  Also, last night, I was dying to remember President Lybbert's name.  For the life of me I couldn't get past the L-Y.  I was laying there, half asleep:  "Lyman, Lyter, Lythuania, Lysterine..."  It was so frustrating.  I could see his awesome hair and smiling face, and could even feel his excited handshake after I told him where I was called to serve.  I'm not even sure why I was thinking of him.  Maybe he was thinking of me.  Who knows?  Anyway, the second I woke up I said, "Lybbert!" and that put a spring in my step for the rest of the day.  Random start to this email, but it's making me smile, so va be'.

Happy Mother's Day, indeed!  I've sent you a big sappy letter, Mom, so be expecting that.  I have the best mother in the world, and even though every missionary says that, I'm the only one that's telling the truth.  I know because the Spirit is nodding smugly in my heart right now.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Passo dopo passo!

This is my story.  Wow... Mom, you made me tear up!  I love you so much, and thank you for including those comments from the blog.  All I need to be happy is remember how many people love me.  I am unbelievably blessed.  I don't apologize for my honesty last week, but I do apologize if it brought anybody down to think I was down.  I mean... I was down, but why do we fall, Bruce?  So we can learn to pick ourselves up.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

More than a Month

Anziano Burton hasn't heard the Sunday afternoon session of Conference yet, so I sent him this line from one of his favorite speakers:

What was once a tiny seed of belief for me has grown into the tree of life, so if your faith is a little tested in this or any season, I invite you to lean on mine. I know this work is God’s very truth, and I know that only at our peril would we allow doubt or devils to sway us from its path. Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. (2013 April General Conference, “Lord, I Believe”, Sun. Afternoon Session - By  Jeffrey R. Holland)

Geez, I love Elder Holland.  Thank you for that quote, Mom.  Fan the flame of faith.

Y'know the thing about flame?  It's hot.  And it hurts.  But I'm crossing my fingers that what everyone says is true: it's a refiner's fire.  It burns away all the impurities and leaves a block of pure gold to be shaped into something valuable and beautiful.  But right now... it's just hot. And it hurts.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Give and Take

Goodness, so little time!  I'm going to apologize right now for all the people who write me personally that I'm not replying to yet.  An hour and a half is not enough, so I'll probably stick to making the blogs as all-inclusive as I can.  Thanks and love to all who write me!

Got a bunch of letters.  Will reply and send them sometime this week.

I've got a ton of stuff to write, so sorry if I miss any questions.  Send them again if I do!  I hate being rushed... andiamo.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

"We've been having such successful days."

Okay, this has just been a bad week for writing, but a fantastic week in literally every other possible thinkable way.  Thank you for the compliments and questions, Mom.  I promise I'll answer them next week.  I only have about fifteen minutes to write right now.

"We've been having such successful days."  Anziano Burr just said that from behind me, and it sums up what I wanted to say pretty well.  Next week I'll go into more detail about FINDING, when we go out on the streets (we call it strada) or go to where people live (casa) and the difficulties/joys that come with that.  I'm ALL BETTER from that nasty two-week virus, and I've gone out to several places in Padova, especially Centro, several times now.  I don't know if I can really call myself experienced since I've had all of four or five days of real missionary work, but at least I'm not scared to pieces every time I get on my bike now.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

All Better

Virus is gone after two weeks, all better.  Mi sento ottimo!  Amazing week, but no time to write now.  Spent the whole day in Venice (yeah, VENICE) and teaching English (so fun).  Will probably find time to write tomorrow.  Lots to share--plus I got everyone's mail, so thank you so much for that.  Vi voglio bene!  Forza Italia!!

Anz. B.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Something Bitter First

Buon giorno, tutti!  I don't have much to write this week because I've been sick the WHOLE TIME.  I'm not sure who told you we're all sick, but that's not true.  In fact, I tried to go to a New Missionary Conference in Milano on Friday, but AFTER getting all the way there my fever hit full swing and dear Sister Wolfgramm sent me back to Padova to see a doctor.  I was kind of expecting some other new missionaries to be sick, like we got it on the plane or something, but that wasn't the case.  I'm the only missionary out for the count in all of Italy.  It's a horrible feeling, but at least I'm getting better--thanks to a ton of medicine.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Ciao, tutti!  Unfortunately I don't have that wonderful of a letter to write this first week in Italy.  Remember when Elder Roundy's companion was sick?  Well guess what... I'M the sick companion.  I've been down with a virus since day 2.  I felt awful, my head was heavy and dizzy, I still cough up nastiness all the time, and I've been running a fever for the last week.  We haven't done much missionary work, unfortunately.  I feel really bad for my companion, but he just laughs at me and tells me he'd rather me survive my first week than die trying to run faster than I have strength.  But I'll tell you as much as has happened... which, now that I think about it, is still quite a lot.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mio Figlio

Anziano Burton is where he belongs!  He called yesterday from the airport en route to Milan. He sounds great, ready and sweet, and we recorded some fine Italian as he described the First Vision.  This morning the kind mission office called to say he arrived safely and after training, he will be making street contacts in the centre of Milan! We are so happy!  He has been called to serve first in Padova with Elder Burr.  He must be thrilled! He can email Wednesdays, starting next week.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Will Never Forget

Something happened one whole week ago that you will not believe.  I would consider it my first "miracle" on the mission if I didn't believe that being called to Italy in the first place is a miracle.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Think about it! Literally!

I told him I was reading his favorite book, Dante's Inferno, and watching Italian movies with English subtitles.  He was excited!

Reading Dante!?  That's the best news of my life!!  As long as you read Dante's Inferno and the Scriptures, you're pretty much set.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

So, so, so Blessed

I accidentally typed "2/28/93" at first in the subject bar and realized I'm almost 20 years old.  That was a weird slap in the face to start an email with.

Anyway, hello, all!  But mostly Mom!  I feel like I write these things to my mom, even when I know there are probably dozens of others who like to read them.  Even so, I like to make my mom laugh, so attribute any humor in my emails through the next two years to my desire to hear my mother's giggle in my head.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Get it? Got it. Good.

Anziano Burton's email came today...yes, Mom loves Thursdays! We hesitantly asked him about 10 questions and here is his response:

Yikes!  That was WAAAY too many questions.  Haha!  I should have said "ask me three things at a time" or something.  One question can go a long way and remind me of things that happened this week.  I'll try to answer as much as I can, but next time it'll help if the Qs are a bit more focused.  Thanks, and sorry for the rushed answers!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tutto ben, tutto ben!

It FINALLY came!  Elder Burton's first word home!  Be sure to click "Read more" after the page break for the full letter.  If you have any specific questions for him, please leave them in the comments and we'll ask for next week.  So Very Worth the Wait!


Okay, first of all, I'm so sorry it's taken this long to email you.  We seriously are constantly busy all the time forever in the MTC.  They have our schedule (EVERYONE's schedule, all 3000ish!) totally planned out until the end of our MTC stay, which is March 19.  So yeah, we fly to Italy on Dad's birthday, and until then, we're busybusybusybusybusy.  And I absolutely love it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ciao Time

Open house after Ky's Anziano Burton's Farewell!

Welcome to Elder Burton's blog!  Make sure to enter your email address at the top of the sidebar for updates.  As Missionary Mom, I'll post his weekly letters (hint hint, Ky!) for the next best two years.  Enjoy!