Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Mom, it sounds like you are doing absolutely wonderful over there. When the branch president presented the whole new way to teach out here I got super excited. I am actually really excited to see how things are going when I return. I have a feeling that this same program will be implemented into the adult classes as well. Teaching the gospel is such a sacred responsibility and I hope it is something I will have the privilege to do the rest of my life. Whether it is as a teacher in Sunday school or a ward missionary or wherever I am. I am super excited to hear more about how your class goes and the preparation for it. Teaching your class is a whole lot harder to do compared to the adult class where there are still manuals. Anyway, I am super excited to hear back from y'all.

So yes due to the holiday I didn't get the opportunity to email. We could have done it a different day, but we were super busy this week. I guess that is a good reason for not writing y'all. Elder Young and I are teaching a lot and on a finding frenzy. I know it is never about the numbers in this work, but is good to see where the Lord is blessing us on paper. :) We have been biking a ton this week due to minimal miles, in the freezing cold as well, but as we all know sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. We are working really hard with the investigators we have now and it is always great to be teaching, but we are still working on getting those members involved. We have brainstormed a lot of ideas on how to get things rolling and some things that may bring some more unity within the branch, but it will take an energetic branch council and willingness to get things going. That is where we lack. We will see how it goes. A new young couple from Apex just moved into the branch and from what we hear he is pretty solid. Maybe he is the answer to our prayers in the branch. We'll see. :) 

So a lot has happened in the past two weeks and it will be a little tough to tell you everything. But real quick, we have a part member couple looking to get married so the wife can be baptized, we have been dropping and finding investigators consistently, we had five new investigators in one day and in one trailer park, and we two investigators finally come to church this last week. It feels so good to have progression. My companion shared with me from his studies this morning how Ammon was serving the king three days, just watching sheep, before anything happened. He explained to me that he feels that Ammon probably was wondering what in the world he was doing or what the Lord had in store for him in that position. Well three days later we read how excited Ammon got when he finally had the chance to show his power and get some action going in his missionary work. Elder Young then expressed how some times he feels that he has no idea why we are doing certain things or he feels he has no idea why the Lord has us in a certain situation when he does, but if we patiently endure for even three days of riding bikes in the freezing cold we will see the reason and the opportunities arise to share the power we have. I know that this is true and we have definitely witnessed it lately. It has been a roller coaster of a week, but we are definitely grateful for the ups of the ride we have seen. 

Well family I love y'all a ton and am very grateful for all you do for me. I sure hope life is treating you well. I know that Ryan's time is slowly coming around, I hope he's ready. :) If I can do anything for anyone let me know. Oh hey how is Russell?(For those of you that don't know Russell.  He is Sean's friend serving in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission that came home for a few weeks to have a benign tumor removed from his head.  Ryan got to do some great missionary prep with him during that time.  He went back out to the mission field and was called to be a Zone Leader.  A couple of weeks later he slipped on ice got a concussion and some stitches, but that's another story.  All is well, the Lord watches over his flock.)  Any news on him going back out? I sure hope he is alright. Well I love you keep up the good work. Oh one last thing, Mom. That love that you were talking about in your last email when describing Sis. Wagner's lesson. You are very much right that we need to love these people into the fold. But at the same time we have to remember that we need to love the people enough to open our mouths and testify of what we know to be true and that will bring these people that same amount of love. Living as a good example is excellent, but it isn't enough. We have to act because God expects that of us and that is why we have that ability. I don't mean that because you aren't doing it, but it is something I feel strongly about and I have heard too many times of members that only want to do missionary work by being an example. There is a lot more to it. But obviously it takes that love and charity to do it. That is something I understand better now than I ever did. Love ya mom! Talk to ya later.

Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Week 4 of Training

It seemed to me that this week just flew by. We had a lot of crazy experiences that were really good and one horrible experience. We are teaching a lot of people and are pretty much busy all the time which is pretty wonderful. I think the best thing about this week is that we have really seen the faith of our investigators grow. We are teaching an older black man, Leroy, who doesn't even know that God exists and it is amazing to read with him and pray with him and for him to start to build a relationship with his Father in Heaven. Along with him we are teaching a Hispanic family that is starting to do more things as a family. They are really enjoying scripture reading and family prayer. Elder Young struggles with understanding everything, but he really has a desire to help them feel the spirit and do what he can to help. I had him lead our lesson on the Plan of Salvation with them and he did really well. It was a little shaky, but I was right there if they needed help to understand. The spirit was strong and we had a good evening with them. So we definitely had a good amount of spiritual teaching opportunities and seeing real growth, but we had one major problem. We are working hard as the missionaries in doing what we need to further the work out here in Wallace, but the branch council is not so helpful. This last week we were chewed out by the branch president for what our branch mission leader doesn't want to do. Instead of going into details I'll just say that we were chastised in front of the other council members because the branch president doesn't understand what our role is or what the relationship between the missionaries and the branch is supposed to be. It was ridiculously hard for me to hold my tongue in there and not fire back at him for many things that need to change because I know my purpose and I know my role in this area and how to do it and others in that room don't really understand what theirs is. Well after a long planning session with Elder Young and a perfect teaching opportunity for me I went through with Elder Young what needs to change and what we are going to do to make things start turning into what they need to be. This will take a lot of prayer and love on my part so I don't cause more problems, but I am certain that this event was a start to what I need to do out here for the missionary work in this area. I am confident that with this "extra assignment" to everything else we do the Lord is teaching me love, patience, charity, and much much more. Elder Young is going to be pro at member missionary work by the time he gets transferred. I must admit that that night was full of frustration and repentance on my part, but I have overcome those feelings I had and am more pumped or inspired to work out here. I will leave this area better than I found it.
Well aside from that family we had a great week. We had a training meeting for just trainers and their trainees which went all day and took forever, but was really good. My boy told me that he was glad I was his trainer compared to the other elders he saw. I guess that is a good sign. We get along pretty well and haven't had many disputes. Occasionally we get into little debates about dumb things like running, food, ways to cook the food and other funny things. It is always a good time though and good unifying moments. Yesterday in fact we got in one about the doctrine behind "soul-mates". It was really funny, but I finally helped him realize that they don't exist. Gotta love missionaries. :)
Well family I love you all very much and I sure hope everything is going well. It sounds like Jenni and the baby are doing well so that is good. I miss you all and I am very thankful for everything you do for me. Y'all are in my prayers forever. Que Dios les bendiga!
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Wow that was really neat to see the pics of my new baby niece. The family is constantly growing while I'm gone. It was good to see the family. Jenni sure looked pale in that picture. I hope everything is going good over there. So it sounds like y'all haven't done too many exciting things besides house work. I know that is a blast. 
Well this week for us has been kind of up and down. Some days were really good and others were kind of blah. We definitely still saw and recognized miracles throughout the week, but it just seemed like a non-exciting week. Well actually we did have two investigators come to church which is always super exciting. The work is going well here. We have two families that are coming along pretty well. Unfortunately no one has made resolutions to do missionary work except one brother has decided to do more and he is pretty much the only member of the branch council that helps us out. It sure is amazing to see how these wards and branches function inside and out and to learn from what they do. 
Well since I can't think of anything too major that happened I'll just tell you two experiences we had this week with our investigators. So the Hispanic family we are teaching had a pretty impressive experience. Hispanics are pretty well known to have dreams or "visions" about religion and things pertaining to God. Well this week we were on exchanges so Elder Young wasn't with me for this lesson. In fact I had an English missionary with me so he had no idea what was going on and just sat and smiled at the baby girl the mother was holding. Well I taught the entire lesson on baptism and what the covenant means and why we do it and all that jazz. Well in the middle of the lesson I felt prompted to just ask them if they had ever prayed as a family about anything we have been teaching them. The father then began to tell us how they prayed one evening and that night he had a dream where we had come by and taught his family something and then when we left we extended our hands for a hand shake. Well everyone accepted our hands except his sister that lives in Honduras. And she began to yell and tell them that we were from the devil. Well he said that as she started to drive us out him and his family right there began to defend us and he just felt really good about everything. He said that he interpreted that dream to be his answer that this is what his family needs. Pretty neat, right? I was impressed and our next appointment with them I had them tell Elder Young all about it as well. He didn't understand one bit of it, but I got to hear it again. :) It was pretty amazing and that family is progressing smoothly. It was a good day. 
The other experience was the other family we are teaching, who are super southern white people. Well the father is like 75% Cherokee Indian, but super heavy Pentecostal. Well we got to teach him for the first time with his boy this week and he just went on and on about religion and his experiences in the military and how it has affected his outlook on religion and God and all that stuff. Well we through a curve ball that he wasn't expecting. You see we have this little blue book called the Book of Mormon and it is all about his wonderful ancestors and their relation to the Tribes of Israel and how they too need to come to a knowledge of their Redeemer. Thank you 1 Nephi 15:14. It was funny to see his desire change once we introduced that. We didn't even get to talk about Joseph Smith or most of the restoration for that matter, but we felt like he needed to hear that right then and he has now committed to read and pray about it. The power of that book is indescribable. We have to flood the Earth with it. It was a pretty good day I would say. 
Well family that is all I have for now . I sure hope things are going well over there. Live long and prosper!!!
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham