Monday, March 26, 2012

Family will live!

Hola Familia,
Good letters this week, I really appreciate them. First of all now I know what my siblings think of me. Thanks yall are punks. :) No it was good to hear even though I know you are wrong. :) I'll let you know that I am learning daily and I'm sure I'll be totally different when I get home guys so don't worry. And Sara I have to care about the way I look because how else will I be able to score a beautiful wife. You can't tell me that you as a teenage girl doesn't care about the way you look. Do you want a fat nasty dirty brother? :) Well I'll be honest and tell you all that what Mom and Dad said are probably the things I'm learning the most and are some of the greatest lessons that I can see being thrown at me almost daily. Ryan and Sara's comments are going to take time. hahaha
Dad can you send me the address that you have from Russell's snail mail? I still haven't gotten in communication with him. That's pretty awesome that he wrote you. I noticed that you send him and the other guys some of those awesome messages. Your thoughts and messages really are helpful and wonderful to read. Thank you for helping me grow even while I'm out here.
Mom first of all no we weren't able to meet up with C___, but we did set three new baptismal dates this week with knock-ins. We first met up with I___ from Peru who I think let us in only because we are gringos that speak her language, but it worked and she accepted our message. We found out that she even has a friend who is a less active member living in Morrisville. Then later in the week we went out with Presidente Issa. He took us out to eat at some Mexican restaurant and then we drove all over town going to lessons. He is awesome because even if one lesson falls through in Raleigh he will stay with us and drive us back down to Apex for another potential we might have. Anyway, with him we had zero success all night until the last door that we knocked on. We thought it was a lady that we had met weeks before, but when the door opened it was a young man who apparently just moved in. So we have no idea what happened to that original lady, but we are okay with that because we are now teaching A___ and E___ in what used to be her house. They are these two funny young single kids, not living together, not married, but are really good friends or at least we hope. Anyway, they were both really excited to learn from us and before we even taught the restoration A___expressed a desire to be baptized in the church and eventually get married in the church. He REALLY wants to get married, it was pretty fun to hear him explain this in front of his friend that is like a perfect candidate for marriage. Anyway we set two more dates and called it a night. It was a great week for finding and progressing. That was basically the highlight of the week besides on Friday when we had a meeting in Knightdale with Elder M. Keith Giddons from the seventy. He came and spoke to just our zone and we had like a discussion, not even just a talk. He taught more of the doctrine behind the Abrahamic covenant and how we covenanted as members of the church to do missionary work. SO.... GET 'ER DONE!
It was a good experience and I learned a ton. Something that really stuck out to me that I think you guys might like is he shared a scripture in D&C 31. Verse 5 talks about working hard and how are family will live. Read it! Anyway I thought about our family first and how as long as I give it my all then my family will be blessed. What I get out of it is that if we work hard and put our all into the work of the Lord, meaning everyone not just missionaries, then our families can live and hopefully rekindle something that can bring them back strong. Anyway I thought you might like that scripture.
Anyway, les amo mucho!!!! Keep up the good work. like nephi said, don't trust the arm of flesh but trust in God.
I hope you all are doing wonderful. I love you all to death.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Monday, March 19, 2012

Feeling Full!!!

Hey guys how are you doing? I guess this week was super boring or something? :) I know for me it was definitely up and down. The beginning of the week was full of dropped appointments, but then near the end of the week things kind of slowly picked up. Thursday we were in the apartment until 5 doing studies and weekly planning and area book work, then a member came and picked us up for dinner. We headed to their house in Holly Springs and had dinner with their pretty large family. Hmno. Rodrigues fed us, his three daughters, their husbands,and three granddaughters. It was a fun dinner since the husbands are gringos and speak Spanglish. So one thing I didn't know before hand is that this family treats the Elders separately at dinner because they like to watch us suffer. So we get extra large plates with double the amount of food while everyone else just eats normal sizes and watches us die shoveling the rice, beans and chicken in. Then one of the daughters went into the kitchen and brought two mountains of ice cream in two bowls for just me and my companion. The family didn't even eat dessert, they just laughed at our suffering. They filled a bowl full of two flavors and added peaches to it, cookies, MnM's, and syrup. I was dying. But for the member trust I forced it down with a smile on and hoped that I could run it off the next day. These Hispanics are crazy about making me fat. I refuse!!!!!
Then Friday came around and we finally had a member present and a solid lesson with___. We found this guy by just knocking around and he let us in right away. He originally told us his name was Mario and then our second lesson he decided he trusted us enough to give us his real name. It was so nice to finally have another investigator that was interested again. He had so many questions and was so willing to learn more. I have faith that he is part of the elect. I can only pray though. The other great thing about that lesson was we had a member with us who was somewhat inactive because when he moved here the records about his priesthood got lost so he wasn't recognized as having the Melchizedek priesthood. But later they found paperwork that proved that he did and now he is super willing to got out with us and teach lessons. My companion and I have done a lot of work with him to show him that even when people make mistakes and do us wrong there is no reason to get down about it. Just stay faithful and keep working hard and all will be well.
Other than ___ we had some good success with tracting this week and finding more people, but we aren't completely sure how they will turn out. We have been working hard and have seen that it pays off. This work is definitely guided the Lord and it is so awesome to watch how he works. Even if I can't understand it.
That reminds me, I have made it a part of my personal study to make a list of things in the world that express God's love for us and prove that He exists. I would like to see what you guys come up with also. Maybe next week we can swap lists. Also I still want yall to answer that question I sent you a couple weeks back.
Well I love you all and I hope things are going great. Keep up the good work and let me know how life is. You guys are the best. Gosh I love my family to death.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Another email from Elder Burnham

It was good to hear from you. And it's so awesome that Brookie is getting so much closer to that big date. I'm glad she is loving the scriptures. It remind me of a promise my mission president made to our zone at our last conference. He told us that if we will read the scriptures everyday with our children then not one of them will ever fall away from the truth. I think about how hard it was for our family back in Modesto to do that and we really didn't start reading as a family until before I left, but I know the power behind the scripts and that reading them daily really does have the power to keep that testimony strong. Pres. Bednar made the same type of promise to us in the MTC, except his was personal and that if we would continue to read the BOM with a question in mind then the mysteries of heaven will definitely be opened unto us. I have never read the BOM so thoroughly in my life.
Well it was great hearing from you and I hope you guys are doing wonderful. Oh and you may love the heat, but it SUCKS on a bike. This last week we were at 80 degrees with 100% humidity. woo hoo! Luckily we get the car this week.
Well I love you guys and I pray for you daily. Keep up the good work.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hoping for a better week

Wow guys that was some of the greatest emails I have read from you guys. Thank you so much. I really felt the love and the spirit that is dwelling back at home. I hope you guys know that I thank my Heavenly Father daily for that fact that I was blessed to grow up in a home where the true gospel of our savior is taught. Thank you all so much. I sure hope those two younger siblings of mine appreciate it. They will eventually. :)
Dad that description of the crucifixion was intense, but I want to share it with everyone. It really does help one to understand that Christ went through so much for us. And the crazy thing is that the crucifixion part of his suffering wasn't even the worst of it. He really did suffer all pains and afflictions for us so that he could know us perfectly so that he knew exactly how to succor his people. I know that because of that great sacrifice all things are possible and that our family is going to be together for eternity because of it. Thank you for that. Keep sending me those things.
Mom, I hope you enjoyed that trip! Why is it that as soon as I leave all these awesome trips are getting planned. Thanks to Sara I now know that Ryan is headed to China! Punks!!!!! All well you guys don't get to be in NC where the fun is really happening. :) Anyway, that is way awesome that you got spend time with the Fam and even see Darrin and Nicki. It's good to know that they are all doing good. Tell them all that I love them.

So this week was a long and frustrating one. Just about all our lessons fell through. We were on track for 12 member presents in lessons and none of them worked out. We would go out to our lessons with the members and come home feeling horrible for wasting their gas and time. We spent so much time walking around to other potentials and nothing came of it. It was a tough week for us for sure. Hopefully this next week will look a little brighter. We have some good possibilities set up, but all we can do is pray for exito.
Entonces, no se lo que pensar de este semana proxima. Pero, una cosa buena, es que nosotros tenemos tres citas por cena. Estoy muy animado! Mi companero me dijo que nuestro cita este Jueves es con una familia que dara un Monton decomida. Recuarda que yo no quiero estar gordo, pero siempre me gusta la comida latino! Tendremos que ejercer mas duro la proxima dia. Entonces, estabien. Si estoy enfermo despues, tengo Pepto Bismal! :) Aunque, hay una cosa quepueda estar feliz.
Well I love you all guys. Keep up the good work and keep the love coming.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Thunderstorms and Goals

Well I can't believe Brianne is almost headed home. That sure went by fast. Oh and I'm jealous she has that concert thing she gets to got to. Our mission has a temple trip at the end of this month, but that's the only special thing so far. Oh we found out that our new Mission President is coming in July. President Senior and his wife are from Mesa Arizona. He is around 51 I think. I'm excited to see how it goes, but at the same time I kind of wish I was having the same mission pres. the whole time. All well, it's all good. Um, today is the start of my second transfer. I can't believe I have been out for this long already. It's already 4 months done. That's nuts. This last transfer was really awesome and I guess that's why it went so fast. I'm assuming this next one will be even quicker. It looks like we will probably have another baptism by the end of March and another shortly after. Hopefully. We are teaching a woman we found the other day who we thought was not a solid investigator at all. I didn't think she would even open the door for our appointment, which we had a member for too. She surprised us and was there. We started the lesson and it was the most in tune Elder Carlisle and I have ever been with each other. My Spanish was pretty decent too. We asked her what her expectations were for us and she just told us that she knew we were religious men and that she just wanted to hear about the Bible from us. I got a fat smile on because we don't believe in the Bible in this mission. President has made it clear that we don't teach from the Bible because it's the BOM that is perfect, not the Bible. So we didn't mention the Bible once in our lesson except to explain that Joseph Smith read in Santiago 1:5. It was awesome. The spirit was so strong and she started to get emotional and then I was getting emotional and then it was just gross all up in there. :) But we just taught to her needs and let her know how this will bless her life and her family life. We left her with a BOM and she even prayed for us at the end of the lesson. Nothing could have been better. That was a solid day and we have a return appt. with her this Tuesday, hopefully it's just as powerful.
Well I'm trying to think of anything else that happened this week that was amazing or inspiring, but I can't really think of any. Um... I got a haircut. Oh there was an awesome thunderstorm here the other night that actually woke us up. It was so close. I felt like we had paparazzi outside our window or something. It was so awesome so awesome to watch. Not so sure that it was worth losing sleep over though. Oh and the rain made me had to pee that night soooooooooooo bad! It was a crazy night. :)
Well that's all that I can think of right now. Oh, so I have made it a tradition now that I'm going to answer some questions at the end of each transfer and I wanted to ask you guys one of them also. The question is: "What changes would you like to see in yourself at the end of your mission?" So my question to you is, What are some changes you would like to see in me by the end of my mission? Just curious.
Well I love you all so much and I hope all is going well. Thank you so much for your support. Keep working hard and keep me posted. I love you all to death. Keep looking for those missionary moments.

Con Amor,
Elder Burnham