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

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