Monday, December 31, 2012

Merry Christmas

I sure hope I hear from you before my time runs out. I was so happy to hear from you and to read those heartfelt emails. I am really blessed to have such a loving family. I guess I am also glad I was able to bring the spirit into the home with a simple testimony. That helps build my testimony right there in itself. Especially since y'all couldn't really understand what I was saying and Dad had to translate. I am glad he knew what I was saying and if not, the spirit filled in. Well since I just called y'all I guess I kind of know what is going on except for the new baby girl. I hope all is well. If they have a name tell me that as well. 

So I have included some pictures from Christmas that you might be impressed with. The first couple are of Christmas day. The first one  is a gift the members got me and my wonderful cheeser smiling at the camera. The food pictures are what Elder Young and I cooked for dinner since no members invited us over. We didn't complain. We actually had a good time getting to know one another through this experience. :)
 The next picture is of a service project we kind of got into. We have an investigator who had to move across the street to another apartment. Well this man only has one leg and is pretty old so he can't really move anything. Well he did have two wheelchairs and two willing missionaries. So as you can see that one picture is of us balancing his dining room table on two chairs. There are many other balancing acts that followed. :) It was pretty impressive what we got done with just two wheelchairs. The last picture is obviously of Elder Young and I. Elder Young is a very smart, dedicated, hard-working missionary. I am very lucky to be able to train such a good Elder. He struggles with Spanish, but his desire to work and do missionary work makes up it. We have had some good times together just within the two weeks. We have seen a lot of miracles this past week. These include new investigators, member help, spiritual lessons, and much more. We are definitely being blessed out here. I love the work and I love y'all. I sure hope life is going well and I hope Jenni is doing well also. I love you very much. Thank you for everything. 

Con Amor, 
Elder Burnham

P.S.  I am now following up with Ryan!!!! I sure hope he was able to read because he already failed at updating me on it. :) I love you Ryan. Keep working hard and I hope you will recommit to updating me on your reading. At least let me know how it goes in your next snail mail letter. Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxooxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holy Cow!!!

What in the world is happening over there? I can't believe Russell is home! Where in the world did this tumor come from? I must say that I am super glad to hear he is okay. When he goes back does he have to stay out a little longer in the mission field or is this going to be as if he never left? I can't believe that boy gets to be home for Christmas. I am a little jealous that he gets to do that and be there for all those boys going through the temple, but I am glad he gets to be there to give tips and really let them know how amazing it is out here.
Well I am also glad y'all are doing really well too. Sounds like it has been a hectic week, but hopefully it turned out wonderfully, which it sounds like it did. I wish I had some advice for that exchange student. It does kind of bug me that he would come to experience such a thing in his life and he doesn't want to get out and do everything he can. I would be having a field day out here in America. i sure hope that he comes to the reality of his situation soon. So if y'all are leaving on the 22nd I will try to send another letter to Ryan by then at the house. So look for it. Well as for me here in Wallace we had a good week. We had a Christmas party/farewell party for a miembra here that is leaving for her mission to Canada. It was a really good activity with lots of good food, and the spirit was definitely present. Some family members of the sister bore their testimony on the work she will be doing and it was amazing how strong the spirit was in there. We were glad to have inactive members show up and nonmembers. It was a good evening. Then yesterday at church we had to speak on Christmas because two speakers didn't show up, so I came up with a talk out of nowhere on Christmas here in America. I guess it went alright. After that we booked it to Mt. Zion for the baptism of Sandra . She is technically out of our area, but since there aren't any missionaries in that area we got permission to teach her. You can see the pictures of her and her husband who baptized her. It was an amazing service and I have never seen such an awesome baptism performed by anyone. Terry is hilarious! (That's her husband.)


 Anyway other than that we had a very regular week. We do have quite a few more potentials, but we will see how it goes.
The other picture is the Rivenbark home. They are some members that we basically decorated their house for them this last week. So we did get some Christmas decorating in. It was a good time though.
Alright so some big news! Elder Beecroft will be getting transferred tomorrow and I will be going with him to pick up my greenie. Yes, I am training a new elder. I can't say I am excited about it because I am not the biggest fan of the training schedule, but it should be interesting and I am sure I will learn a lot myself. I pray for the best and that we as a new companionship do well. You will obviously be posted on that. So when I call maybe y'all can say hi.
Speaking of that I am assuming we will probably call later in the evening, but I'm not sure, so be prepared for that. Plus I don't think I'll be able to set anything up next week because I doubt the library will be open. So let's just plan around the evening time here, like 6-9 somewhere. If not I'll just call y'all over and over until I get an answer, or I'll just talk to my companion's family. :)
Well family, I love you very much. I hope all is well, and I will for sure keep everyone in my prayers. Thank you for everything.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Monday, December 10, 2012

Regocijaos, Jesus nacio!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! Alright so I'll start out with a miracle. Thanks to a wonderful little gift I received from my loving parents Elder Beecroft and I have made some progress. This last week we had an appointment in Rose Hill, a 15 minute drive from Wallace, and we decided that we would go up a little early and bike around the area to do some finding. Well we hooked up the bikes to the rack and drove up there, parked by a fire station, and got on pedaling. Well like I said, thanks to a GPS we found an inactive man who hasn't been visited in a long time. His house was kind of odd and thanks to the GPS we were lead straight to it. Anyway this man is from Honduras and was baptized a long time ago back there, so when he came here it was a little rough making adjustments in the church. Well we just knocked on the door and they let us right in and it was kind of awkward because everyone inside just stared at us waiting for us to say something. It just seemed awkward because we had no idea who was who and what the story was behind the family. Well I broke the ice and found out everyone's name and who was and wasn't a member and all that good stuff. Well it turns out that the man is the only member in that family, he has 7 children, but four are from a previous marriage and don't live with him. The other three are with him and his wife that have been married for the past 8 years. Well I made a horrible mistake and forgot my Libro de Mormon in the car. I was stressing out because I knew they needed a message that was strong and my companion was speaking up in Spanish either. Well I noticed a laptop on the couch. I asked if they had internet and began to help them through the church website to watch a wonderful video on the youth site for the church. We then watched the video of the two kids that talk about their role in the dedication of the El Salvadorian temple and how it brought their parents back into the church and eventually to be sealed. He loved it and we were soon talking about eternal families and if that is something he wanted to share with this family that he has never even shared the gospel with. His own wife hadn't ever even heard of the "Mormons" before. Well the spirit was there and even though I was stressed at first, it went really well and now we will be teaching their family tomorrow in fact. Anyway thank you so much for the GPS. It has been a huge help.
Alright, well Mom... I am doing very well as you can see, it has actually been pretty warm out here the last couple of days, I can't afford to be anything other than exactly obedient, this mission doesn't allow anything other than exact obedience thanks to President Cotterell, and of course I am preaching with boldness. Sometimes I wonder if I'm too bold. It is an art to be able to find the perfect balance between pure love and boldness. We can't be too loving to where we are pushovers, and we can't be too bold to where we are overbearing. Part of missionary work is definitely finding the happy medium and ultimately learning how to teach like the Savior did. That is why we have Preach My Gospel. :)  

So I am super happy to hear there have been some new convert baptisms. I was trying to think back at my life in the Modesto First Ward and I can't really remember that many convert baptisms. It seems like we struggled in that area. It sounds like things are changing though and I sure plan on helping in any way I can when I get back for those few months. I also wish I could meet these exchange students and be their friends. I hope Ryan has started his mission right there at home with Tony. Oh hey y'all should watch the new Emmanuel music video on featuring the Piano Guys. Sara you need to YouTube the Piano Guys and watch some of there stuff and tell me about them. Some members here told us they are super good and are crazy good with the piano and cello. They are why you need to keep practicing. I wish I had musical talent like that. :) Well family I know y'all know I love you, but I'll say it again. Les Amo!!!! Keep up the good work and thank you so much for everything. I sure hope life is treating you well. Feliz Navidad! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Miracles and Blessings

I love my family! I have definitely been blessed this week and I am seeing more and more miracles every week. We didn't even reach all the goals we wanted to, but we saw miracles. Mom, that testimony was wonderful. This week was quite the roller coaster of emotions. We had a lot of appointments fall through, but thanks to good backup plans we were able to see miracles and continue to help new people feel the spirit and hear the gospel. Yes, member missionary work is still ridiculously tough out here, but we were able to receive help where we needed it. I can't really say anything super amazing even happened this week except we got into doors. We added 4 more investigators to the teaching pool which is spectacular out here. Two of them are a young family. S___ is the mothers name and D___ is her 8 year old son. The father is in prison and she really wants to know more about the church. She was telling us how her mom is Jehovah's Witness and she just never agreed with their beliefs and didn't want to get baptized. We talked about the restoration and committed her to be baptized. We have only taught her once so we will see how it goes, but she is really interested so far. She was funny because at first all she wanted to discuss was our beliefs compared to the Jehovah's Witness. She wanted to know what we believed about blood transfusions and celebrating holidays and all that. I think she is searching for somewhere that will bless her family and not seem so crazy to her. Unfortunately I didn't have any doctrine to back up the whole blood transfusion thing, I think I explained it alright. She is a funny lady and we are super excited to see how things go and this week should only be better. 

So we got to watch the Christmas devotional last night which was wonderful. I love Christmas time and it is wonderful out here in this small town setting. The town goes all out and there are activities and parades and flea markets and just busy people during the holidays. It is pretty neat and I always think about that one old town place (Sutter Creek) we would go to after visiting the grave sites of grandma and grandpa. Mom, would love it here and we will definitely have to come back to visit so y'all can see what I'm talking about. 
Well I can't really think of much else to tell you, but I love you. It is so good to hear that the family is doing well. I pray for all of you. How's Aunt Laurie and her man? How's Brianne and college? How's Ryan's preparation going? Keep me posted. Thanks for everything. I love y'all to death. 
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham