Wednesday, February 29, 2012

English exchanges

Hola, Elder y Hermana

This week hasn't been too exciting. Except I went on exchanges with the English elder in the town over for the day on Wednesday and that was pretty fun. Let me tell you teaching and contacting in English is so much easier and pretty fun compared to a language that you are still learning. :) We even taught one of his investigators the first lesson and I was so comfortable and smooth in English. Except I kept saying Jesucristo instead of Jesus Christ. But that's okay it worked out. Exchanges are actually quite exciting. Change is nice out here since we do the same thing everyday as missionaries.
So later this week we had lunch with Sister Fuentes in our branch who fed us deer steak and some cheesy Mexican spaghetti. I loved it, but my comp. didn't.Anyway, after we finished eating we started to talk to her about her BOM reading when the doorbell rang and two JW's (Jehovah's Witness )came in. One of them is one of her friends and they are pretty close, but unfortunately she is trying super hard to give her testigo crap. She apparently comes to this Sister's home every Friday and teaches her testigo doctrine and gives her anti-Mormon stuff. It was awkward while we were there, but we just tried to be nice and eventually waited them out. We weren't going to leave her that day until they had left. So we just sat and waited in the living room with them waiting for some false doctrine to be taught. Luckily nothing bad happened and they left without any issues. So after we left we asked how Sister Fuentes feels right now. She said confused. She said for some reason the testigos make sense in her head, but her heart tells her that the Mormons are right. It was perfect because we just taught a wonderful lesson on the Holy Ghost and bore witness like bosses. We didn't fight her on trying to prove whether we are right and the testigos are wrong, but we testified and then told her that there is someone who knows. I told her that she just needs to ask our Heavenly Father and she will receive an answer. She told us right there that she knew the answer, but she was now scared to tell her friend and risk losing their good relationship. So our next goal is to help her through that. We will see how it goes. That was a bomb lesson though.
Then this Sunday was stake conference for us and we were in charge of making sure all the Spanish members had headsets. So we missed the first part of the first talk, but we got to hear most of it. It was weird because it was broad casted from Salt Lake. It was good though, and Elder Richard G. Scott spoke. He threw down on treating women right, and dressing modestly, being good parents, and the importance of getting married. It was such a good talk that lots of our branch members really needed to hear. I hope it stuck with them. That was about it for Sunday though. Oh except dinner with the Issa's. They are such a wonderful family. President Issa and his wife are awesome. She made some good lasagna and then just loved to talk about our families with us. Oh and Ryan I am not fat. It's just the picture. I'm a solid 152 right now and at least I don't think I'm fat. I am riding a bike and it kills me. I can't come home fat, so I'm trying hard to work out and eat healthy. Sometimes it's hard when we get fed so much and if you don't eat a lot the Hispanic members think you don't like their food. I'm trying to find out all the tricks behind not having to eat like fourths at every meal. UGH!!! It's all good though.
Well it's good to hear that things are all good. Sorry to hear that about Ryan though. Man you are just a wreck. Maybe you should start holding people's hands when crossing the street and stuff like that. Who knows what will happen when you go up to school. Speaking of which have you decided yet? Time is running short. :) Oh also if you buy the music I can have it on a CD, but if it's not then I am not aloud to own a burned CD. I can only have burned CD's if you already own the music. But to be safe it's probably better if it's not burned. But yeah just any Spanish music would be nice. There is no restrictions on music. As long as me and my companion agree on it and if we think it helps us think of Christ. And also with the athletes I doubt that there are very many if any Spanish futbol athletes, so just send me a hard copy of what you can. Thanks Bud you are the man.
Hey Mom could you get me Russell's address? I have send him two letters now and they have both come back to me. I guess I don't have his address right or he is not in Las Vegas. Anyway if you could do that I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Hey Dad I realized the other day that I don't have my priesthood line authority. I never got a copy of that. Could you get me a copy of that or is it done some other way? Just interested in seeing that.
Well guys I love you all very much and I'm glad to hear you are all doing well. Keep up the good work. I love you to death.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Picture taken by Sister Issa
Letter to Elder Burnham's parents from Sister Issa

Dear Families,

We had the great pleasure of having your sons over for lunch this afternoon. As they prepared to share a message with our family, they all sat down together on the sofa and I snapped this picture thinking of the mamas of these sweet elders and how they must miss them. My husband and I have been called to serve in the spanish speaking branch and I cannot tell you how much your sons do to move the work forward in our little unit. They are happy, hard working, well mannered young men with wonderful testimonies that help strengthen our members. They are truly a blessing to us. Our own son is a full time missionary in Hawaii and although we are very grateful and aware of the great blessings and opportunities their missionary service allows them, we also know that they are missed by their families. Thank you for sharing your young men with us. We'll do our best to watch over them and feed them (although I suspect they've already told you that the branch DELIGHTS in keeping the fed).

Best regards,
Regina Issa

Monday, February 13, 2012

Planting the seed and eating good food!

These are pictures from the MTC

... I'm glad that Brianne and I can be a cause of spreading the gospel without even having to be there. ...If there's something I learned is that it's all about planting the seed. All we can do is pray that something will cause that seed to grow. Just like Alma 32 states. If it is a good seed and if they just have the smallest of a desire then over time it will swell in their breast.
...They love to feed the elders. And I am loving to eat their latino food. It is sooooooooo good. We had taquitos con papas this last week which is like a taquito filled with this wierd potato paste stuff. It's hard to describe, but it is so good. Anyway I was just wondering.
So I found out that Elder Mills [from MTC district], in Tennessee is doing good and he said it's because his zone leader is the man. His zone leader is some Elder Bolton. :) I thought that was interesting.
So here's a spiritual thought I came across today. In 2nd Nephi chapter 4 I believe is when Nephi is talking about how he feels horrible for being a wretched man and being mad at his brothers. Well as you read he then realizes his issues and how he needs to repent and he starts to thank God and realize that it was all on God that he is where he is and all this stuff. Anyway I would recommend everyone to read it. But the reason I loved it so much is because I would say that being truly converted is following the example Nephi and coming to the same realization he did. We are nothing without God. I always asked the question, what does it mean to be truly converted? Well now I think I have a good idea. Between Alma 5 and 2 Nephi 4 we can really learn the answer and hopefully strive to reach that point in our lives...
Well I love you all. Keep up the missionary work. It is your responsibility after all. ...

Love Elder Burnham

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Good and Bad

Elder Burnham's District
Um...this Sunday was good and bad. We did have our baptism which was awesome. Oscar was baptized finally. We had a great service and some of the members bore their testimonies at the service and just started to bawl. The spirit was so strong. We baptized him on Sunday right after sacrament meeting because its the only time we can get most of the members of the branch to show. It's amazing how many of the Hispanic population here works almost non stop everyday. The people here are very humble and can just be happy with such simple means. Well except for the fact that they all own the biggest TV's. They live in tiny trailers, but rock 50inch TV's it's ridiculous. The other thing about the Hispanic population is that they are so nice. We get first lesson appointments all day, but then instead of telling us they aren't interested the next time they just avoid us or they just don't answer the door, even when they know we know they are there. The peep wholes don't really hide whether you are looking through it or not. It's fun to just stare them down. We try to stare them into the guilt to let us in. :) So anyway now that I went off on that rant, the reason the rest of Sunday wasn't so great was because all our appointments once again fell through. It was such a boring Sunday after the baptism. So far that's been the highlight of the week. Not much has happened except finding a lot of people for first lessons. It's unfortunate.
Oh we did have interviews with Pres. Cotterell on Thursday. I went in there with so doctrinal questions that I was hoping he would answer for me, but he basically just rebuked me and told me not to think so deep. He told me if it won't help my investigator then just don't worry about it right now. He said stick to only studying preach my gospel and the scriptures within it, and then after I have mastered it and mastered teaching it then I not only will receive some of my answers, but then I can start digging deeper into it. It was not the answer I wanted from him, but it was definitely a good learning experience. Pres. Cotterell is the man and I'm kind of sad we lose him half way through.
Well it was super good hearing from you. I hope all is well. I love you guys to death!
Hey you should trade emails with Russell's mom so that she can forward my stuff to him and you can forward his stuff to me. And we already have been writing through snail mail, but it would be nice to hear about the other stuff. Well keep up the good work. Oh hey I never heard how the Severe BOM ended up. Any signs of interest? Did they respond to it? Let me know how things are going?
Also Ryan go out with the missionaries as often as possible. I feel bad now because now I realize how hard it is to get members to go to lessons with you, and its important that we have a member present in as many lessons as possible. So make it a goal to get out there Bro! Also I hope the whole family is trying to find missionary opportunities. If we really want to put our will in line with God's will and if his will is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man then we should be trying to do the same. Which is by sharing the gospel.
Well keep up the good work and keep the love coming. You guys are the best.
Buenes Suerte y Hasta Luego!

Elder Burnham