Tuesday, October 28, 2014

99 Days

WOAH!!! Double-digit countdown begins today! Who would have thought that 35 days would go by so fast?! I only have 99 days left to prepare!! Before I know it, I will be in the MTC (Missionary Training Center). 

35 days gone only 99 days left until the most sacred, challenging, exciting experience to prepare me for the rest of my life. How lucky am I to go serve the wonderful people of Cape Verde!!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Land of Light

The following clip is about the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cape Verde.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Facts About Cape Verde

Where is Cape Verde?? It is about 350 Miles off the West Coast of Africa. 

How many people live there? About half a million.

What is the total land Mass? 1,557 sq miles (about the size of Rhode Island)

What is the time difference between Salt Lake City (SLC), Utah and Cape Verde? Cape Verde is 5 hours ahead of SLC.

How far away is Cape Verde from SLC? Cape Verde is 5,449 miles away from SLC.

What do they speak there? Portuguese and Creole. 

What ethnicity are the people? Most people a mixture of African and European.  

What do they eat? Fish, Rice, Beans, Corn, seasonal food items like Mango's, Bananas. Really it is the basics.

How do you travel between islands? By boat or airplane. Airplane is more popular and faster. 

What is the weather like? Tropical so about 68-89 degrees Fahrenheit year round with humidity between 40%-80%. Each island has a different climate and humidity. It has a wet hot and dry hot season. The wet hot dry season is from August - October. The wind is always blowing and the sun is always shining.

How many islands? 10 but only 8 are inhabited.

What is the largest peak? Pico do Fogo. Which is also the largest active volcano in that region but has not erupted since 1995. It is 5,249 feet wide and 9,281 feet above sea level. 

Will you get hurricanes? It is really unlikely but it could happen. Some hurricanes that hit the east coast of the United States start down my the Cape Verde islands due to the warm waters around the islands. They are usually called Cape Verde type hurricanes. 

How big is the LDS Church there? About 10,000 members. Just the 1 mission with 31 congregations and 2 family history centers. There are 3 Stakes and 1 district. Currently there is no Temple. 

What is the dominate religion? Roman Catholics.

Here are some pictures of Cape Verde:

Map of Cape Verde
Typical Dish




Sandy Viana desert 

Serra Malagueta mountain range

Beaches & Boats good for tourism

Normal houses
*All Photos & Info came from Wiki or Google Search

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dear Sister Burke

Dear Sister Burke,

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the CAPE VERDE PRAIA MISSION. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Portuguese language.

WOW!!!! I am going to Cape Verde!! I am so Excited!!!!! For those of you who don't know where that is it is about 350 miles off the West Coast of Africa! I AM GOING TO AFRICA!!!! WOW!!!! I am in shock!! Last place I expected to go!!! I know this is where the Lord needs me! I am so excited to serve Him! I am truly blessed for this opportunity!! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

My Story

Being a girl serving a mission is not required but it is appreciated. So that leads to the questions of why I want to give up 18 months of my life to serve? Well, this answer is not simple so let me tell you the story of my decision to serve.

When I was a little girl about 8 years old, I had a great desire to serve a mission. At age 12, I started vocally saying I wanted to serve a mission. At that time, the girls served missions at 21 years old and boys served at 19 years old. I had my life planned out. I was going to graduate high school, get my bachelor's degree, go on a mission, then come home get married and live happily ever after. I also wanted to pay for my mission all by myself.

As I grew up the desire to serve a mission never left. At 16 years old, I got my first job and met a boy. At 17 years old, I started dating the boy and told him that I wanted to serve a mission. He did not think much of that and we continued to date. 

At 18 years old right after High School Graduation in May of 2012, the boy and I talked about marriage. That is when I started to question if a mission was right for me. I prayed to know what I should do. I received an answer in the simplest unsuspecting ways. I was sitting in sacrament meeting when a returned sister missionary got up to give a talk. I do not remember what her name was or what the talk was about. All I remember is the first thing she said, "If you are thinking about going on a mission but don't know if it is right for you, go! The reason I went on my mission was for my future children. They need a mom who is strong in the gospel. A mission helped me become strong and will forever benefit my life and my future kid’s life." That hit me so hard. I needed to go on a mission not for me but for my future kids. I then told the boy that I would not marry him or even consider marriage until after my mission, which was still 3 years away. I also told him that I wanted to marry a returned mission for the same reason I needed to serve. 

October 2012, I was in my junior year of college. I was 18 months away from getting my bachelor's degree and 4 months away from turning 19. This general conference was going to be one to remember forever. President Thomas S. Monson got up to welcome everyone to conference and said, "I am pleased to announce that effective immediately, all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. . . .

As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21." 

I was in shock! I was 4 months away! I could turn my papers in right then!! However, I was 18 months away from graduating. The boy could also leave right now. Everything seemed be happen so fast I just did not believe it. I decided to pray. It felt like I should stay and finish school before I serve but I never got an answer. So I pushed forward working towards my degree.

In 2013, I watched almost all of my friends receive mission calls and leave for missions. That was hard knowing I have always wanted to serve but it was not my time. The boy decided he was going to serve a mission not because I wanted him to but because he wanted too. In October, he received his mission call to South Carolina Colombia Mission leaving February 5, 2014. That was hard knowing he was going to leave a few days after my birthday and a few days before Valentine’s Day. We both know this was the right choice. 

January 2014 I had just began my hardest semester and second to last semester before I graduate. Time was also getting closer to my best friend leaving. My savings was completely used up due to school and I was stressed about being able to afford my last semester of school. I did not want to take a loan out because I had to be debt free to serve a mission. I prayed for help. A few days after my prayer, I got an email about a new summer scholarship for graduating seniors. It felt too good to be true. I fit into ever requirement but two. I applied for the scholarship the same day and 3 weeks later got an email saying I got the scholarship. This was an answer to my prayers. It was just a little more than half tuition and was an answer that I was where I needed to be. 

February 5, 2014 I said goodbye to my best friend. That was one of the hardest days of my life. I imagine that is how it is when we decided to come to earth and leave our Heavenly Father. 

April 2014 I began to pray to see if I really should serve a mission. School was almost over and I needed to know what direction to take in my life. As my mom and I went to watch the general women's meeting, the opening song hit me so hard. Hymn number 264 "Hark, All Ye Nations!" The chorus was the answer to my prayers. "Oh, how glorious from the throne above shines the gospel light of truth and love! Bright as the sun, this heavenly ray lights every land today." As the choir sang this song, all I could think about is how lucky I am to have the gospel in my life why would I not share it? So once again, I knew I needed to serve a mission. 

May 2014 I started my last semester of school. I transferred my records home and met with the bishop. I thought I was ready to start my mission papers and my journey of a mission. Unfortunately, things came up. I postponed my mission for a few months. This was hard for me to wait longer but I knew it was for a reason. 

August 2014 I graduated!! It feels so good to graduate debt free. I also got a new job. My first full time job. In 5 months, I will also have enough money to pay for my mission. This job was where I needed to be to be able to afford my mission. All my dreams were coming true. I started my papers and it is finally the right time for me to begin the journey of a mission. 

From there I got my mission call to Cape Verde Praia Mission leaving on the year mark of my best friend and speaking Portuguese. I know I need to serve a mission. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had in life to get me to this point. I am also very lucky to have a job making enough money to pay for my mission. I am so excited to finally be able to serve a mission. Cape Verde here I come!!! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Welcome to my blog!

This blog is all about my adventures preparing to serve a mission, going on a mission, and life after a mission. As of right now, I have just started my mission papers. I am really excited to serve a mission! But first let me introduce myself. My name is Torilyn Burke. I am 20 years old. I am the oldest of 3 kids. I currently have a boyfriend who is also serving a mission. He is in the South Carolina Colombia Mission and has been out 7 months now. I have my Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from Utah Valley University. Yes, a Bachelor's Degree!! I am an overachiever and got my Associates Degree the same time I graduated High School. I love learning! I also love photography (check out my other blog torilynphotography.blogspot.com)!! I am excited to share my journey with you!! 

I would also like to share my testimony. I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church upon the earth today. I know that God talked directly to Joseph Smith in bringing the restoration of the gospel to this dispensation. I know that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that Christ lived, died, and was risen again. I know the power of the Atonement is real and that it is available to everyone. I know that we too will be resurrected because Christ broke the bands of death for us. I am so grateful for that opportunity to serve my Father in Heaven. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is the true living prophet on the earth today. I know that we all have a loving Father in Heaven and He watches over us. I testify of this in the name of Jesus Christ, our savior. Amen. 

I am excited to share my journey with you. 


Sister Burke