Monday, October 29, 2012

No Bad Weather Here

This week seemed to fly by today. First of all we have gotten a lot of members telling us that we should be careful and that the storm may keep us inside, but so far all we have gotten is a little wind. It is starting to cool down, but really over here you wouldn't even know there was a hurricane hitting up north. I hear it is supposed to tear through New York. That must be exciting. We are doing great down here. I have heard a couple member say that they couldn't care less if New York got hit bad, those crazy Yankees. Gotta love the south. :) Mom, the suit should show up on the Internet by now. I got it at Belk, it is bigger, it is a dark blue, and it makes me look pretty darn gorgeous. Thanks to birthday mail, and holidays and stuff happening I have been kind of slow at getting snail mail out. I am trying my best though so that is why pictures haven't been sent yet. Thank you so much for the package by the way. It was funny to see those pasta sides in there. Those are pretty much one of the most popular foods that we as poor missionaries eat. Those emails were super good to read also. Thank you for everything.
This week was really good all the way around. We have been doing a lot of work with less actives, which is usually in English since there are only like 6 Spanish members here. It is really rough work, but we are doing our best. We just found two new investigators and set another baptismal date, which we are excited about even though I will probably get transferred before that happens, but that's okay. Another big thing we are starting this week is Elder Goodwin and I have put up fliers everywhere throughout the local tiendas to start up an English class. We will be teaching English to Hispanics every Friday at 7p.m. We aren't exactly sure how well of a turn out we will get, but we have already gotten calls from people that saw them in the tiendas and want to come. I don't know exactly how to teach people a second language, but we are just going to try our best to do what the MTC did with us. Our goal for this is to teach them English by teaching them how to do simple things like talk to God, and other Gospel things which will help them learn how to communicate in every day situations, and also to feel the spirit. We plan on giving out a Book of Mormon in both languages for reading material. We are excited and hope to see some miracles come from this, so we can only pray and have some hope. We have been working hard with less actives which includes Cary Turner. He is my favorite member and is the most interesting man in the south. He used to do reenactments up in Gettysburg and all that jazz and he knows way too much about the civil war and the confederacy. All I know is I probably would have joined the south if I could go back in time to fight in that. He has so many interesting stories and his life is like a national treasure movie. He is currently trying to seek out his cousin's body that got left behind in Cambodia after a battle on the island that the marines were sent to take care of because the U.S.A had a ship with heroin on it to help pay for the war or something like that. Anyway his cousin was sent there with a bunch of other marines to basically be a decoy without knowing it and got killed because he was left behind by a chopper that was supposed to rescue them. Anyway if he gets all the pieces put together and can prove anything then he is convinced that the government is really trying hard to cover things up. All I know is that I could sit down with that man for hours and just listen. He is a wonderful person.  
Well other than that we have been testifying to everyone and just doing what we have been called to do. I don't have any crazy pictures for you today, but they will come. I love you all very much and I'm thankful for all you do for me. Keep up the good work.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Monday, October 22, 2012


Hey there family. I haven't received the package yet, but I am saying thank you now ahead of time. You may have already noticed, but I did already find a suit last week and it looks really good. I am sure you have already seen the purchase. Anyway, it sounds like yall had a good week besides the cold and the knowledge that this was your last primary program. It is kind of weird how fast the gospel seems to be spreading in some parts of the world, but in fun little Modesto it seems to be kind of slow. Once that one elder writes his mom again I am sure things will pick up. Are those elders in the ward leadership at all or just two Spanish elders they sent over there. I am also curious to see how Pres. Gelwix does things compared to my presidents. 
Well this week was kind of a rough one. When it comes to numbers we weren't the most successful, but both Elder Goodwin and I feel like we worked really hard and are satisfied with our efforts. We didn't teach a whole lot of new people, but we were able to contact and spend some time with some long lost inactive members. This week coming up is going to be pretty busy. We have starting implementing something new in our companionship which I feel has been a huge help in our efforts to reach out to these less actives. It is called seeking out the higher law questions. Basically we do our best to be as observant as possible and with the spirit/gift of discernment, we are able to ask these people specific things we can help them with. For example we will be talking to an angry man who hates us "Mormons" and when we take the time to realize that he has a tree that is fallen and instead of asking if there is anything we can do to help him and just jump into specifically trying to set up a time to help him out by serving him we find that it softens hearts a whole lot quicker. It is nothing too amazing, but by living the higher law we are going to get in more doors and help more people come to Christ. 
Well that has pretty much been our week. Oh also since the ward here isn't too fond on singing and since they are starting a choir for the first time in years, all four of us have volunteered to support the ward we serve in and be the only tenors in the choir. Good for me, right? Member trust is what it is all about! :) 
Well family I love you all very much  and am thankful for everything. 
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Monday, October 15, 2012

Great Birthday

That was probably the funniest email I have ever received. I am glad to see that my brother is crazy and loves the gospel and Italian. I wouldn't be surprised if he got called to Massachusetts Italian speaking now. I am way excited for him and I can't wait for his letter. Mom, I don't really think I need anything specific in my package. I did get a ton of treats from Aunt Laurie and Jenni and the kids that will probably make me fat. I can't really think of anything. So the whole suit situation, I haven't figured it out yet, but it is worse than we think. So my black suit is too small and can't get let out and my brown has a rip in the crotch. So I am getting the brown one fixed which should be cheap and right now we are searching for cheap suits that I can buy. I am doing my best to be smart about this and bargain shop. But in reality I don't have too many options. I am using my noggin though, I promise. :) So I did have the best birthday ever and had a baptism. Brenda got baptized and the man standing next to her is Bro. Thigpen who did the baptizing. We didn't get a picture of her in baptismal clothing because her excuse was that she wanted to look good and also she wanted to take it on Sunday after she had time to blow dry her hair because being black meant her hair was going to be destroyed from the water. Whatever it went really well and I was so happy to see her go through with it. She has an incredible amount of faith. Apparently the night before her baptism her sister had a heart attack and died which totally threw her family for a loop. She could have decided not to go through with it, but she came out and said that there is no reason for her to back out now. She has had so many things happen to her since we started visiting her that could definitely be taken as a bad sign, but she understands the plan of salvation well now and recognizes the importance of being tested. She is amazing. On Sunday we got to church early to help set things up, plus we had to translate again because our translators were sick. Anyway, we were so excited and then church started and there was no Brenda. Now we were stressing and praying and everything. Then they started passing the sacrament and still no Brenda. We were so bummed. Well right after the sacrament was over she comes strolling in and sits down. Bishop Wiggins immediately calls her up to the stand and she was confirmed. It was such a relief! I was flipping out. Also after the blessing was over she started shaking hands with those in the circle and she gave them a hug as well. Well Elder Goodwin and I both were hugged by a woman in front of the entire ward. I won't lie it was pretty great. :)


  Well after a wonderful service we left church and went over to Bro. Sutton's for dinner. That is where the pig head pics come in. Yes, he fed us a pig head for lunch with sweet potato biscuits. It wasn't too bad, but the brain tastes like liver and I don't like liver. Just another crazy day with Bro. Sutton.  It was definitely a good week though.
We put in a lot of hard work and now we are celebrating......for a few hours. :) Now we are back on the finding boat and searching out the truth seekers. If you know anyone let me know.
I love you all and I am very grateful for everything. A new SD card should be getting sent soon. I hope everything is going well and know that I love yall.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Monday, October 8, 2012

That's what I'm talking about!!!

This conference was absolutely amazing. Yes I did get to see it and in fact I did just about the same thing you did Mom. I leaped up and called it out and all four of us that were at the church building just started talking about how this will probably change Mormon culture forever. So many things crossed my mind as I discussed this change with the elders here with me. I'll go ahead and explain. First of all yes I thought immediately about Ryan and how this would effect him. I am so glad that he is eager to get the paper work in and get going. I thought that he might have decided to get a semester in at BYUI first, and I'm still not sure how the timing would work for him, but I am thrilled. This would also mean that it wouldn't be as long before I see him again. The other thing I thought was how lucky he is to be able to leave earlier. ...
I am super thrilled for a lot of my friends that will probably leave now, like Olivia. We are going to see a ton of missionaries. We are definitely in the last days. I can just imagine the MTC president going "We better make some more room quick!" I can also imagine that more MTC's will be built and training programs will probably be improved to speed up the process. This is definitely an exciting announcement. I am so glad we have a prophet of God on Earth right now to guide us and receive these amazing revelations to further His work. Please keep me updated on how things go with this back at home.
Now for the other talks I must agree with Russell M. Nelson's plea to ask the missionaries. I just really hope we see some miracles from it and see how people begin to trust the elders more. President Cotterell told us that the sessions of General Conference we see on our missions are going to be the most important in our lives. As I thought about that I couldn't help but think that I need to be a better missionary forever, I am going to have troubled kids so I better learn how to teach them correctly, and I better love my wife. :) I don't know what you got out of it, but that's what I kept hearing. Jeffrey R. Holland always knows how to singe our eyebrows or sizzle our socks. He just makes me want to be better. I encourage everyone to give heed to that man's message. General Conference is definitely the fastest weekend on your mission and I sure wish it wasn't so short. 
On the other side of things, we were able to teach a few lessons in between sessions and throughout the work. Our investigator Brenda is going strong and we have been working hard to find others. Today is the beginning of suit season so we have to wear our coats everywhere and my companion isn't the happiest about it, but it is what it is. It has been a busy first week of the transfer, but really good. 
Well I have to say that I love you all to death. Thanks for everything. I am so happy to now that things are going well. I'm excited to hear from Ryan. The world is definitely in for a treat. The armies of heaven are rounding up and nothing is going to stop the work from progressing, nothing until the Great Jehovah says the work is done. I am thankful for a prophet's voice in these days and that I am now serving my Lord and Master during such a historical time for the Kingdom of God here on Earth. I also want Aunt Laurie to know that the gospel is fun and even though her mission president said we don't have fun mine has come out to say that we better be having fun or we probably need to repent. There is nothing more fun than living and doing the things we should. And it definitely brings the JOY! Love yall.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Monday, October 1, 2012

Staying in Mount Olive with the MICE

It seems like so many things just blasted off this last week. I am glad to hear so many stories of people continuing to progress in life no matter what the circumstances. I am also glad to see how great my family is doing. ...
Okay, so transfers are actually tomorrow, but this lucky guy is staying in Mount Olive for another six weeks. I did not want to leave and in fact I wrote the mission president and asked him not to transfer me and I got what I wanted.  So I will be working my tail off for another transfer here. I am super excited because yes, this week was booming. We taught a lot of lessons, met new people, and set a baptismal date for my birthday. So it should be a really good month overall. We have been working hard and trying our best to not let a moment pass by where we aren't finding opportunities to teach. The work is going well.
So I have attached a few pics of things that have happened. One is of a mice problem we had in the home, that we caught with wonderful mice traps. It was funny because we chased one mouse through the house and trapped it in my closet where all my stuff was so instead of taking everything out we just bombarded the closet with 5 mouse traps and waited. Well when we checked up on it we found two dead mice instead of one. I don't know how long they have been here, but we haven't seen any since. Then the other pic is one of our last district meeting this last transfer and I believe the only one leaving is the mexican elder, so not too much movement around our area. Well that is pretty much my update for now.

Oh I just remembered it looks like my muscles are so ridiculously huge now that my black suit is too small in both length and width soooooo I may be thrift store shopping soon or wherever I can go to find another suit because suit season is starting back up after conference weekend, which means that we have to where suits all the time now, so I will be needing a new one. I'm just filling you in on the suit situation, just in case you wanted to chastise me or something or tell me something else.

Well family I love yall a bunch and I'm glad to see everyone is doing well. Hey I think something that would be absolutely spectacular is if yall could send pics out to me of the family. I only have like one and I keep getting asked about pictures of yall and of things we have done. So just random pics of whatever with the family would be neat. Thanks a ton. I love you!!!!!
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham