Monday, July 30, 2012

Como estan?

It seems like the week went pretty well for all of you. I'm definitely blessed to have such a faithful and active family that can recognize the blessings we have recieved. Mom, yes you can use your spiritual preparation for those camp girls as an excuse this time. ;) I know you worked really hard on that and I'm sure the Lord is pleased. Now you don't have that excuse anymore so you get to be a regular super member missionary. I'll tell you though, I wish we had more of those in the ward here. Things have really been struggling. Apparently 7 of the 13 converts from this past year have already gone inactive and it doesn't seem like anything for retention is being done. We have been getting quite frustrated with the leaders here lately. We actually just got a new ward mission leader who is 80 something and does everything exactly as the handbook says it should be done. We are excited because we know for a fact he will start pushing the ward council where its probably a little uncomfortable, but they need it. The squeeky wheel gets the oil right? Besides that though things have been alright. We have been doing really well with our investigators and helping them come unto Christ except for one piece. It is so hard to get these people to church. They all told us they would be there, and we tried everything we could to help them, but come early Sunday morning and no one came. It is so tough to get them out to the church and two of our investigators literally live around the corner from the building, like a 30 second walk. I just don't get it. I feel like things are really going to change soon though. 
So interesting story, this week we tracted into a family that was hispanic and they were having a dinner at their house with a ton of people after their church service on Saturday. They are 7th Day Adventists and they are super nice. They let us right in and even ended up giving us food which is normal for their culture, but I have never met such a nice wonderful family from another faith who was so willing to invite us in and hear us out and even feed us. Most hispanics are exremely nice, but they were over the top. We ended up giving out copies of the Bookof Mormon and DVDs and they just loved it. Hopefully something miraculous will come from it. 
Now for another crazy story. You asked about the blood. I thought about attaching a video of what happened that my companion took, but I decided that would have been a bad idea. Well, our ex-ward mission leader is a hog farmer and spends a lot of time wirh piglets that he actually has to castrate as part of his job. No, we did not castrate any pigs if that is what you are thinking. BUT, a member in the ward knew that this was his line of work and she has a puppy that she doesn't want breeding. I don't know why I'm actually telling you this because you probably don't want to know this, but yes I was volunteered by Bro. Sutton to help him castrate this dog. I was wearing an apron and everything, but.. well yall can imagine. I hope that doesn't disgust you too much. I'm just out serving the people and trying my best to gain trust and help them help us. I sure hope my companion erases that video off his camera though. 
Well that was pretty much our week. We have had a lot of changes and a lot of good lessons and hopefully we will start to see things progressing in this ward. I hope yall are doing wonderful. I love you to death. Keep up the good work and don't forget me in your prayers. If there is anything I can do for anybody let me know. I want to know how Ryan's lesson in church went also. Oh also I don't know what its like out there, but politics is heating up out here. And here in the south they HATE Obama. Its so bad. I hear so many comments about that man. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said Pray for Obama- Psalms 109:8, so I had to look it up. Check it out. Well I love you and I'm grateful for the support. 
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mosiah 4

Wow reading that email made me tired. Yall had quite the week. I'm glad to hear it was so successful and the spirit was present. Brianne is lucky that she has had so many opportunities to use what she has learned on her mission already. Sorry to hear the week didn't start too great for Sara. Hopefully it will only get better every time. So things over here are starting to look up. I'm sure you noticed, but I had to replace two white shirts already thanks to animal blood and a cat. Luckily JCPenny was having a really good deal. ;) Well this week we have been working really hard and we have been blessed.I tell you it is such a blessing to have people to teach. I don't mind finding, but teaching is just sooooooo much better. We have set 3 new baptismal dates and we are very excited about where they are going. The progression of these people is absolutely spectacular. One of them is a black lady who is so funny because she is a choir member in her baptist church and she prayers like a boss. She just knows how to get into her prayers and really feel what she is saying. Its kind of hard to help her understand everything, but if we teach as simple as possible and slower she understands it. The other two investigators are actually a young hispanic couple that lives literally around the corner from the church. They have had missionaries teach them before, but I guess this time there is something different. the wife even walked over to the church yesterday morning. Now we have to work on the husband, but we are excited about them. We haven't really had any amazing, out of the ordinary experiences this week, but we have had success and we have seen the hand of the Lord in this work.
Brianne to answer your question, I must say that Mosiah 4 has been the chapter of my week. I think it is by far one of my favorites in the whole book. King Benjamin really helps understand things by putting them in terms even we in this time can understand. It's simple and frank and there aren't any gray areas. Just be obedient and love the Lord and understand that it is only by His power that we retain those blessings he has given us. Read it, love it, live it!
Well family I love you all to death. Keep up the good work and know that yall are in my prayers.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Monday, July 16, 2012


Well sounds like life is pretty darn hectic. I know yall will be running around and I guess at camp now, but sounds like things are great. I really hope camp goes wonderful for all of you. I'm also hoping Ryan has a good time working hard and staying out of trouble. I can't believe how time is flying.  Hey I wanted to apologize for my last letter and how much of a downer and whiner I was about the area. I was really having a tough week and I had to let it out. This week has been so much better. Sacrifice has definitely brought forth the blessings of heaven. We were without a car for this week because it was at the body shop due to a member backing into us. Anyway this meant that we would be completely reliant on the members for exchanges and our pitiful biking skills in this 100 degree weather. Actually it rained quite a bit this week and of course on the days we hit the bikes. That was a wonderful blessing for the crops around here and the turkeys, but I think God was reminding me of my purpose and who is still in charge. And probably just to stop my whining and work hard. Anyway, like I said we were very much blessed. We have gotten our teaching pool back up to about 7 investigators, 3 of them have baptismal dates, 1 came to church, and 5 members came out on exchanges with us. We were really happy for what happened this week and the blessing we saw. The really great thing is that two of them are a young Hispanic couple that are legal and married. Yay!!! We really have been improving every day and we are so grateful for what we have been given. 
I think that is pretty much all I can think of for now. We did eat crazy again this week. We had Souse meat or head cheese, chicken necks and backs, liver pudding (all the organs and insides of a pig mixed together and ground up), and chicken gizzards. I can honestly say I did not enjoy any of those selections. :) 
Well I love you all to death and am so grateful for your prayers and the prayers of the ward. Thank you for all the support you give me. Hey here is something I learned in Sunday school from a super funny southern man. Beware of expressing your intelligence to the height of your ignorance. :) 
Love ya muchisimo. Yall are in my prayers!
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Prayers for Elder Burnham

Well our fourth of July wasn't as exciting as yours. We did our best to work hard in the morning to teach people because we knew as soon as the sun started to set we wouldn't be super successful. So we taught a few people mainly Hispanics in the morning. Then as the day went on we were able to talk to a few people, but nothing too promising. At about 5 there was a party in the park for the entire city where they serve free food and have music and just enjoy the heat I guess. Oh and of course there were free pickles and the music was all christian gospel. Other than that not too much happened. I am really worried about the Spanish work here because it is looking like we are almost starting from nothing. None of the Hispanics in the ward have come to church the past three weeks in a row so we haven't even had to translate or teach. This means that even if we did bring an investigator there would be zero fellowshippers that can speak Spanish and it would be all on us to get them to feel the spirit and enjoy the meeting. It has been really tough. I wonder if they will continue to keep Spanish elders in here if the Hispanic members just go inactive. Anyway other than that we have been trying to work with the bishop and other leaders to get things rolling, but it is just so hard to excite these people to not only do missionary work, but to just be a friend. The church just doesn't run as smoothly as it should. Now I know every ward has their problems, but it is really tough out here. Tell me, how can I pump these people up. How have missionaries pumped yall up or the ward. Things have just been really tough this week. We also found out that we have to take our car into the body shop today because a member backed into it a while ago and now it is finally clear to be repaired which also means that this week we will be without a car in the heat and relying 100% on members. Keep us in your prayers! Well besides that we are working hard and doing our best. We were able to help a lot out with some of the members in their gardens. We picked corn, watermelons, blueberries, and jalapenos. Oh we also ate crazy again. This week was tacos con lengua y tortuga stew. :) We actually found the turtle on the road and just picked it up because our ward mission leader said he would prepare it for us. Well it tasted alright.

Anyway that has been my week. Today is the start of the second transfer here for me. Time sure is flying by. Well I hope you are all doing well and know that I love you. Keep up the good work. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Yall are the best!

I have to say that all my siblings are a trip. I love you all. Sara that was such a good email and definitely put a smile on my face. If everyone in the family didn't get a chance to read it yall should ask her to show you. :) I cant believe Jenni is prego again. That is so awesome. I'm exited for that when I come home. Other than that I just love all of you. Mom, I have read that scripture in ezekiel. In fact Pre. Marshall shared that exact scripture and explained it to me when I had my interview with him to go to the temple for the first time. Also I guess you don't remember, but on the drive up to the temple for that endowment session I shared that scripture and explanation with you and dad. :) It's okay though we all need refreshers. hahaha
So I hope Ryan is doing well...
And I hope Brianne is doing well...
Well things here are going great. Besides the fact that it was 105 and 80% humidity everything was just dandy. Our week was as good as we had hoped, but we definitely worked hard. We did so much this week to find elect people and we literally sweated doing it. It was a tough week, because we really did a lot and at first we had a lot, but slowly our lessons began to fall. People for some reason just couldn't keep their appointments this week. It was very upsetting. But on the upside we did find one man who was a friend of a member we had with us and he with his young family seem very promising. When we knocked on his door he told us to wait just a minute because he was finishing up the spaghetti he was making for his dogs. They do what they want out here. Anyway he finally invited us in and we began to meet this wonderful man. He is 32 and has two little kids. They are married which is soooooooo wonderful since everyone else we teach seems to be just living together and starting families, but never getting married. It's a real problem out here. Anyway we were excited to hear that and come to find out he had just started reading a book that has inspired him to find spirituality and a church. Well HERE WE ARE!!!!!! It was great, we explained a little about the plan of salvation because he showed a concern about wanting to have an eternal family and everything just went well. We are excited to see where this goes.
Other than that we taught a lot of lessons, but nothing as solid as that. This week should be an interesting one though. We have the 4th coming up and who knows what these southerners will have cooked up for that day. I assume we will see a lot of confederate flags next to the American one though. I love the south. These people are so great. A lot of them are very hardhearted and stuck in their ways, but they are still super loving and just amazing. Plus I'm falling in love with the southern draw. Well that's pretty much been our week.
Oh we did lose Pres. Cotterell the 28th. President Bernhisel and his wife are here and already working hard I assume. We officially meet them tomorrow so that will be exciting. Other than that the only other exciting thing is what I have eaten this week. It's funny that yall can almost expect some random food thing to be in my emails almost weekly.

corn worms - Yuck!
 Well this week it was corn worms. You will be seeing pictures eventually and a couple videos whenever I send the SD card. But anyway we were out shucking corn with our ward mission leader and almost every cob had these little caterpillar worm things on them and he decide that was going to be our dinner. So we collected them and fried them up over the fire we started. We just stuck them on some tinfoil with a little butter and salsa and that was what we ate. Surprisingly it was decent. I don't know how to explain it any other way. I guess yall could try it. :)
Well that was our week in the grand ole city of pickles. 
                                                        Click on link to see what Elder Burnham means.
I love you all very much and am very grateful for your support and prays. Thanks for everything.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham