Monday, June 25, 2012

Hot and buggy

So to answer your questions, no I have not eaten all the goodies and I'm not even close. Um, yes it is ridiculously hot now and humid. I'm in for a treat this summer and everybody tells me I haven't even seen the worse. Another thing is that all the bugs are coming out to play now too. It is disgusting how many bugs exist here. I heard that they find a new species out here every year. This place is just crawling and buzzing and flying all over your face and ears and it is driving me crazy.
Other than that things are going well. We have been doing a lot of less active work out here and trying to find, but that is struggling. We had a good amount of lessons and taught lots of new people, but none of them were interested. How can you reject the amazing message we have? Well I am accepting it and just trying to work harder. WE have one solid investigating family right now and hopeful we can get them to church next week, but that is about it. It's amazing how much easier it is to set a baptismal date than to get them to come to church. Hey Brianne what were some ways you were able to help your investigators come to church? Well, other than that we have been doing great here. We didn't eat anything weird this week, but we did receive machetes and we did some landscaping for a member. The country is wonderful. :)
Well I love you all and I'm so blessed to have the family and friends I have. I definitely keep all of you in my prayers every night. I love you all to death. Keep working hard.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lots of Service

I am definitely bummed that I missed such an amazing experience. I think it is so funny that as soon as an apostle is scheduled to come visit everyone decides to be active for that week. Well hopefully sacrament meeting continues to stay super full for awhile. So first of all I want to thank you so much for the package. It was crazy because the day before I got your package, my wonderful Aunt Shelly had sent me one with a TON of goodies. There was literally 5 big freezer bags fulls of cookies, brownies, rice krispies, and some chocolate bars from heaven. I don't know what I'm going to do now that I have so many sweets in the house. I'm seriously doomed. There is too much to even share and not get fat. All well! :) So while it's on my mind, I thought Paige was in Europe or she was or I sent a letter out there for nothing. Let me know what's up with that. Also the socks are wonderful and I am very grateful for all the things you sent. I put that great spiderman picture in my binder where I keep all my talks. It is the cover. I love you all and I am super grateful for all that you do.
So this week has gone by crazy fast. We did a lot, but it seems like our numbers weren't affected all that much. We did do a ton of service which was great and I think next week we will start to see some blessings from all the work we have been doing. We had four major service projects that we were able to find, which were kind of different and interesting. The first one was helping an elderly man in the ward out in the farm. We first pulled out all his corn stalks by hand which destroyed our backs, and then we got on our hands and knees and harvested potatoes, snap beans, and jalapenos. Oh it was funny because this man is hardcore southern and his accent is hilarios, but for the longest time I thought we were digging up "Ice taters", but then as I caught on it hit me that only because of his accent were we digging up "Ice potatoes", but they were really "Irish" potatoes. I love the south. The people are sooooo hilarious. Anyway that same day after harvesting veggies, we had another service project planned where we went to less active sisters home and helped her clean her snake tanks. She has a closet full of about 25 different kinds of snakes and we had to clean their tanks. So I handled snakes for an afternoon and cleaned out their poo filled homes. Those things can get really nasty. Then the next day we went up to the Eagle's nest campground and spent three hours building a huge burn pile out of all the brush and fallen branches and junk in the area, then we lit it on fire and watched. That was fun besides singing my arm hair a couple times. Then later that day we helped our ward mission leader go over to his girlfriends house and paint the outside of her home because a tornado hit it and tore off a ton of the siding so they were redoing the outside or something like that. So we helped out a lot I felt and hopefully we will start seeing the blessings in the rest of our work. 
Other than that we worked hard finding and teaching and doing all we can, but we only were able to find one solid investigator this week. It was nice because she owns a mexican/salvadorian restaurant that we ate at and that's how we found her. She accepted a baptismal date on the first lesson and she plans on having her family present for the next. We are excited for that. 
So other than that not too much happened. Oh we did eat pretty odd this week. We had pig stomach and turkey neck.

 My companion also caught a garden snake and gave it to our ward mission leader who stuck it in the freezer and is going to cook it up for us to put in a soup. I guess when you are out in the country by yourself for this long cooking weird things keeps you busy. I don't know, but I eat whatever they give me. :) 
Well that was pretty much my week. Hopeful this next one is going to be better. I love you all and I hope all is going well. 
Here is a quote I read from Elder Richard G. Scott: "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day." 
Pretty inspiring I know. Well I love you all. Thanks for all the support and love. I am very much blessed to be part of such an amazing family. 
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Love yall!!

Well the country is slowly but surely growing on me. I am super impressed how important it is to these people to have three things: a huge garden, a tractor, and a church. I love the people out here and the work is going well. This ward is a little slow when it comes to doing missionary work, but we are changing that quickly. I think it is because of the massive amount of less active members that belong to this ward. It is crazy how many people we find out are members or are excommunicated members or members that want their records removed and so on. It is so sad that we have to do a ton of focusing on the rescue effort here. I don't have a problem with it since an apostle of the Lord said that rescuing is just as important as baptizing, but it is just depressing dealing with all these sad stories and horrible excuses of being offended and stuff like that. Plus they are all white people so I don't speak as much Spanish as I used to. But we are working hard and trying to find as many people as we can while working on the rescue effort. I love the people out here and luckily they love us too. It was funny because Saturday my companion and I had planned to spend quite a bit of time finding Hispanics and visiting some less actives and we had gotten that done pretty quick since not too many were home at that time, so I suggested we go to the ghetto part of the city where some members won't even take us. My companion was hesitant and kind of scared, but I convinced him so off we went to visit the ghetto. I don't know why, but I love teaching and talking with the black people. All my companions are scared of that work, but I get a kick out of it. I guess it just spices up the day. Anyway the second house we visited there was an older couple and their granddaughter. I contact them and the man first says to me, "Boy, do you know what block you are on?" And I just responded without thinking, "Well, this one." Then I continued talking about our message. He just laughed at me and didn't want anything to do with it, but his wife said she would hear us out. So we taught her and her granddaughter the restoration and even set up a return appointment. I just feel so comfortable over there. Probably too comfortable. After that lesson we walked further down the street and talked to some more crazy people, but no one too receptive.
Um, let's see this week, we had our last zone conference with President Cotterell on Wednesday. That was the last day our zone will ever see the Cotterells as missionaries. There he pulled up President Bernhisel's page and we read it as part of the conference. My comp and I get the feeling that he will be a little softer than Pres. Cotterell. He is an infertility doctor. You all should read his and his wife's page and let me know what you think. 
Anyway other than that the only other highlight of the week was doing service up at a girls camp up here and using a zero turn lawn mower to mow the giant field. It's like four wheeling and mowing a lawn at the same time how great is that! 
Well that was pretty much my week. It was a good one and I am learning so much out here. I am so thankful for the people that are searching for the truth and that I get to help them find it. Which reminds me, we had two investigators at church this week and that was a miracle! Plus I could tell they really enjoyed it even though we had to translate the talks for them through headsets. Oh yeah the missionaries do everything in the ward that is related to Spanish work. It's a little frustrating that so much is pawned on to us because the ward is struggling on trying to figure out how to be a functioning ward, but we work hard and help everywhere we can. 
Well I love you all and I'm glad to hear the trip was fantastic and that life is just dandy. Keep working hard and keep the love coming. 
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Picture Time


So I am no longer in the wonderful city of Cary. To be honest I do miss it over there and even my companion, Elder Forsey. we got along really well and saw success. So we had transfers on Tuesday and because Elder Forsey is training he had to be there early to receive some instruction and stuff from President, so I had to go early with other elders and set up the greenie's bikes and the rest of the things for the transfer meeting. This was President's last transfer meeting and surprisingly you wouldn't have been able to tell if you were there. He kept his cool through the whole thing and even cracked some jokes about the dying elders. :) Anyway after hearing some testimonies from some missionaries leaving the transfers commenced. Ahora estoy en el campo! I am now serving in Mount Olive with Elder Munoz. 

 This area is pure country and far away from any regular city like place. The library I am in right now is the size of our living room. I don't really know how much I like it here yet. It is an English ward with a Spanish group though which means that I will be really busy because we do both the English and Spanish work here. Elder Munoz is from Utah so don't let the last name fool you. He is learning Spanish for the first time also. He is only one transfer older than me and seems to be pretty cool. We'll see how this goes. On the way here from transfers we literally saw dozens of tobacco plantations and apparently even some of the members here own a few. Maybe I'll do some service out there. :)
So it was good to hear Ryan graduated and is now an Elder. I can't believe I've already been out 6 months and the family is growing up just as fast. You all are lucky that you get to go see the family and I'm guessing Brianne will be touring her mission while she is there. Well it definitely sounds like everything is going well and enjoyable. I love you all very much and am extremely grateful for all that you do for me.
Brianne, we found Ingrid tracting and I think I knew she was ready when she really decided that quitting coffee was necessary to feel the spirit more. When she told us that I knew she was understanding more and feeling more every time. I think she knew she was ready when she saw how loving the branch members were as they heard more and more about her having a baptismal date. The more she progressed the more friends she made and it was confirming to her that this was something special and correct. 
Ryan, you definitely have something special and I am glad to hear you are willing to treasure it and magnify it. Keep up the good work and keep me updated on how this summer goes and the whole schooling situation. 
Sara, you are amazing. Your little emails to me always make me laugh. It's good to see how you are growing, learning and just getting out there. Keep kicking butt hermanita.
Well I love you all very much and I hope everything is going well. Let me know how the trip goes.  
Con amor,
Elder Burnham