Thursday, November 29, 2012


So I guess I will start by answering all your questions. Also I am glad to hear that the holidays were so great for everyone. Alright yes, I am in a small branch of mostly English speakers with a few Hispanics that we have to translate for every week.  I am currently trying to change those things. I am trying to bring in more Hispanics and trying to get two other kids to translate so Elder Beecroft and I can sit within the congregation with investigators. The next closest missionaries are either in Clinton or Wilmington i think. Elder Miller is actually in Clinton, but I don't know if he is closer or the zone leaders in Wilmington. I have not yet had to work with sister missionaries or had the privilege to do so, however you want to look at it. :) We haven't even had sisters in any of my districts. There aren't even any Spanish speaking sisters in our mission so I don't know if I will ever serve around many of them. Um, Elder Beecroft is from Taylor, Arizona, but he also lived in St. George for a while. He is the oldest child of 5 where there are 4 boys and one girl right in the middle. Also his two youngest brothers are twins. His dad is a banker or something like that and so far that is all I really know. Like I said he is a pretty quiet elder and likes to keep to himself. I think that's why I am serving with him. He has had three companions that are all pretty close to the same person I am and we are slowly, but surely prying open his shell. :) He is about 6 ft. I think, but you can estimate that from the picture I sent. Yes I am pretty sure that is our house. It is pretty large for missionaries with a ton of space and high ceilings. I love the place we stay in here. Wallace is pretty rural and all the people have always been small town/country folk so they are a lot like Mt. Olive. I am going crazy with the fact that there is literally nothing to do here. We are lucky we have fast food joints. There might only be one park around us and the church doesn't have a basketball court to shoot hoops on. It's all good though. Oh speaking of basketball, yall will never guess who I met. I sat and talked with Michael Jordan's aunt on Thanksgiving day. She is actually a member of the branch and the sweetest old lady. Her older brother is Michael's dad. She is super funny and it was fun talking to her about life. Anyway, I am reading a ton which I guess is good. I have now read Jesus the Christ three times. So this past Sunday we had about thirty five or so people show up to church. It was a rough Sunday and I was a little frustrated with how it went. We had a punk teenager messing around during sacrament meeting and back talking a sister in the ward which everyone could notice due to the size of the building we meet in. One sister gave a talk and she can't even speak English  but she tried anyway and her husband ended up going up there and she kind of argued with him to let her keep trying. She should have just given it in Spanish and let one of us translate for her at the pulpit. It was just an unfortunate sight. the church is so different out here in the East coast and even more in a small branch on the East coast. After church we went home and finished our studies and stuff like that and then we had an appointment and about an hour before the appointment our branch mission leader who was supposed to take us told us he couldn't go and didn't have any excuse. My problem is this man hasn't helped the missionaries out for almost 5 months and he doesn't do anything  I have been a missionary long enough to know when someone is just lazy and doesn't want to help. He is an RM too and has only been home for about 3 years. It is just frustrating to see a Preach My Gospel missionary act like that. Anyway now that i have vented. This branch has a lot more elderly than youngens. That is how small town areas are though. Everyone is kin also so that makes things fun. I can't really think of anything that anyone in the branch needs or what special needs they may have. Everyone here is pretty blessed under the circumstances. What I need though is a GPS for the work here. I have pretty much everything else necessary to really be effective at teaching, but getting around places here isn't the easiest. That is definitely something Ryan should call the mission office about. He should ask about whether or not he will be doing a lot of driving there and if that is the case he should definitely get one too or at least be ready to get one when he gets out there because he may get lucky and all his companions could have one like I did up until now. 

Well family this week has been full of miracles over here. We have definitely been blessed with new investigators and members having non-members in their homes so we can teach them. We did realize that most our help comes from inactive members, but it is better than nothing. These in-actives have a lot of nonmember friends and we are finding them. I wish the active ones would start inviting the people they know. Being out here on a mission has really opened my eyes to missionary work and I understand the doctrine behind it which has change my attitude and behavior about it. I wish everyone could understand this. Exciting members is one of the hardest things to do, besides getting investigators to church. If there was some miracle way to excite every member to do missionary work I would be so happy. Until we find that secret out I guess I am stuck where I am at. For now I send an invitation out to all: Read the Book of Mormon and find one story in there that you can retell to any nonmember friend. Just tell it to someone like you just barely read the greatest novel ever written and you want to share it. Tell how amazing Ammon was at cutting off arms or something and then explain how he did it just because he knew it would help him show the power of God to a people that didn't know God even existed. Find someway to flood the world with the book and run with it. Man, I was a pretty lame member missionary before my mission, but I didn't understand then what I do now. I know this work is the most important work we can be a part of in this day. There is nothing greater then being out working to save souls, to bring the lost sheep home. We have the truth and the blessings that it brings, why are we selfishly keeping it to ourselves? 
Family, I love you all and I am grateful for all you do. This is the best time of the year and I know I am going to be trunky thinking about the holidays back at home, but I am glad i am doing what I am doing. I hope yall have a wonderful week. Talk to you later. 
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ryan's Mission Call

Elder Burnham's younger brother Ryan got his mission call yesterday and will be serving in the Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Mission. He will report to the Missionary Training Center on February 20th 2013!

We are so excited for you Ryan and I know that many blessings will come with 2 great Elders serving the Lord!

Transfer to Wallace

Map of Wallace

Wallace, NC

I am no longer in the wonderful town of the pickles, but have moved to an even more country area. Wallace is my new home and just in the day and a half that I have been here I am already in love with the place. It is very much more country, but it is a booming area and I am super excited to be here. The field is white and ready to harvest. My new companion is Elder Beecroft from Arizona. He has just finished his training and I am his follow up trainer. This is his third transfer out and he is still very green. He is very humble and soft spoken and I am going to have a good time with him. On the ride out to Wallace from the transfer meeting the member that brought me out here told me that I have the job of getting Elder Beecroft to open up and be more confident. He speaks pretty quite around people and just isn't the biggest talker at all. When we are alone in the house/apartment thing he reminds me a lot of Ben, but with more worldly knowledge about stuff like music and actors and things. It's going to be a good time. I bet I only get him for one transfer though because it will be a good time. There is no growth without discomfort so I won't get to be too comfortable before something jabs me in the side. 
So yes, I do miss Mt. Olive especially since it was my home for the last 6 months. I really love the people there and I sure hope I can build those same type of relationships with the people here. This is the closest I will get to the beach as a spanish missionary and I still may never see the water. The 4-man in Mt. olive was always really fun and now that I am back to just the two of us it is weird not having the extra people to talk to during down time. I know they miss me over there too.  It will be interesting to see how a lot of these companions of mine turn out.

 When I get home the ward will be so different. I can't believe Ryan is almost going to be receiving his call to China soon. I really do feel that he could go  to Asia somewhere. I am so excited. I wish we could skype so I could watch it or something. This is so crazy. Is there any news on whether or not Olivia has actually decided to go or not. She told me in her last letter to me that she was going to think about it some more. Missions are going to start booming. 
So the holidays are coming up and being here in the country is really helping me see I need some help. I now have a really young companion who doesn't know the area too well and I could be training soon also, soooo I just wanted to put in a wish for a GPS. My area is huge and I am not going to be able to work out here to effectively on the maps we have. There are too many places I can't get to just by these horrible maps we have. I just wanted to put on a wish list for a small Garmin GPS which I have seen do a lot of good out here. Oh also due to crazy hectic mail time of the holidays the mission has asked us to give you our actual street address so that mail just goes straight there and doesn't flood the office full of packages. 
So my address is now 211 S. Orange St. Wallace, NC 28466 
Well my family, I love you all to death and I am glad to see everyone is doing well. I sure hope Ryan got my latest letter. I love it out here and I have a lot of work to do in this new area. I also hope Sara's knees heal up fast. Yall are in my prayers.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

No Storm Here

 Hello family. This week has flown by for us over here. Everyday seemed to only last a few hours. We are now starting the last week of this transfer which means that I could very well be leaving next Tuesday which I feel is a very big possibility. The storm from up north did not do much of anything over here. I think western Carolina got a little bit of extra snow, but besides a small drop in degrees around here we are safe. I am coming down with a little bit of a sore throat, but it is nothing bad. I guess yall were inspired when you sent me that zicam stuff. Other than that not too many different things took place this week. Elder Goodwin and I did see a lot of miracles though. So now that I have been here in Mt. Olive for 6 months I have done and been just about everywhere when it comes to finding. Well after some planning and seeking revelation I decided that we should look into teaching English as a second language. My companion and I felt that that was a right thing to do, so off we went to making fliers and going to all the tiendas around this area to put up the word. Well that very same evening we got a call for a man who was interested and was looking for details on direction. Well we teach english now every Friday and last Friday was our first lesson. A lot of members said they wanted to come, but none of them could. Well we waited a little while at the church hoping and sure enough a Hispanic couple showed up. I have never seen them before and chances are we would have never found them any other way. Well we had a super good lesson teaching them basic English and how to introduce themselves and then we left them with Gospel of Christ pamphlets to read in both English and Spanish. They were thrilled to be learning and I felt we did a really good job. It definitely feels a little weird treating grown adults as kindergartner's, but it is so nice to teach people something that they actually want to learn. Slowly but surely we will incorporate more gospel principles and hopefully the spirit will help us with that side of the teaching. They also were extremely eager to invite all their friends and family and since that class we have received a few more calls. We are hoping to have a booming class this Friday. We have decided that instead of going to find the Hispanics we are going to bring them to us

Well besides that wonderful event we didn't have too much happen. We did go to the ward trunk 'r' treat which was a huge success and we met a lot of non members. In the pics you can see how creative Mt. Olive members are. :) The election buzz out here is huge. It is almost scary to hear how many people talk about the stress that the country is going through over this election. I'm glad I was able to vote in it. I know this week is going to be full of political stuff as the results start rolling in. It is crazy that I am a missionary during probably the most important election in American history.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham
Also I can't believe it has been a year. It goes way too fast!!!! Love ya