Monday, February 25, 2013


Yeah!!!! I am so excited to hear how that night went. I am glad to hear so much of the family came out to send him off. I also want to know about this Nate fellow. Where did he come from? Anyway, life here in Wallace has been going well this past week. I still wish I could have been with y'all just for a few nights before Ryan took off. I hope he is loving his time in the MTC. It is weird that he only has a super short time in there. He will be out in the field baptizing in no time. Hoorah!!!!!
Well Dad I'll thank you for the info. I was just wondering because of a certain investigator situation that we have been working through and then our branch president decided to be a party pooper and tell us that once they are married and start coming back he would have to talk to the husband about excommunication. I just don't feel much love and mercy from this man towards any of our investigators and that is something we have been working with. Speaking of that though, we have made some big progress. At least in my eyes. I came up with that pass-along fireside idea and after pitching it to my companion and revising it and writing it out and stuff we finally presented it to our branch mission leader just to let him look it over. Well he then had his dad, the branch president, look it over as well. He actually complimented me on it and just told me to come up with a solid way to measure success form it and then at branch council this week we will present it to the council to see if we can excite the branch to do some work! I felt good about that response and was surprised to even receive that much. We'll see how it goes. I'll let you know next week unless I get completely shut down and tore to pieces. So other than that we are still in the beginning stages of getting some type of catalyst thrown in the mix of this small branch. Vamos a ver!
Another miracle worth sharing is that we found an investigator who had been taught in the past and has the biggest desire to change his life around. I was going through the area book entering some addresses in my GPS of some former investigators that got dropped in the past. Well Chris was one of them and one evening because one of our appointments fell through we decided to go find some of these people. We drove up and there he was standing out on his lawn with some alcohol on the porch waiting for us to approach him. At first I was like "hmmmmm" and then my confidence decided to wax strong like usual and I was like "just another adventure for the missionary journal." :) We approached him and I started to talk to him about how we saw he had visited with missionaries in the past and we just wanted to come visit and see if he wanted to retry changing his life. Well come to find out the only reason he wasn't baptized in the past was because he went to prison. Good reason I guess. Well Chris has been in and out of jail, has 20 years experience with illegal drugs, has kids who knows where, and right now has the biggest desire I have ever seen to change his life around and find the straight and narrow. He told us it must have been divine intervention that we came that day because he has been wondering where those past missionaries went. Well we set up an appointment and met with him a few days later. That man is one of the craziest men I have ever taught and yet the most enjoyable and the most full of desire. His past life has had such a huge impact on his life that everything he can relate to right now isn't at all in line with the standards of the gospel. Go figure. :) When we taught about prophets and what they do he then went on to say, " So you guys are like prophets, but not really; kind of like a man who is a wannabe pimp, but isn't really a pimp." Yes we got compared to wannabe pimps in our first lesson with him. This guy is the best. :) I am sure I will have more adventurous stories to tell y'all about shortly.
For now that is all I got. I sure hope life is treating you well and hopefully the quiet at home isn't too difficult to adjust to. Well I love you all very very much. Thanks for everything.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham 1

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Elder Ryan Burnham to the MTC

I guess today he is being dropped off. ("Brother "  Elder Ryan Burnham)Tell me everything. How many tears were shed. I will admit that when I read Ryan's email about allowing me to be with him throughout the day on Sunday, I cried. Why would I cry? Anyway, I can't believe this is happening. I am so excited to see how things are going. I wanted so bad to be there this week. I wanted so bad to be there to feel the spirit and to give all my knowledge I can to him. I know he will get more as we write back and forth, but there is so much I want to say to him in person. I sure hope he takes my last letter to heart and just dominates out there. What is Sara going to do now? There isn't anyone home for her. She better stay out of trouble. I miss you all very much and I sure hope everything is going well.
Well for me in my neck of the woods, not much has really happened out of the extraordinary. We are still teaching quite a bit and Elder Young is coming along really well. We went on exchanges this week and I left the area so it was on him to take over what was planned for the day. He had some good lessons in Spanish that he was able to follow the spirit on and I was proud to hear that. My boy is growing up. I am training one of the best.
Well family, I don't really have a lot to say this week. I can't think of anything remarkable that happened. We did have an inactive man come back to church this last sunday. I feel like the Lord is definitely blessing us, but it just hasn't been with anything humongous this week. Sometimes I wonder if that is because I just don't have enough faith in big miracles or maybe it is just not time yet. Hopefully soon though because we have so many investigators that just need to make a few more changes in their lives and they are set. One couple has to get married and another has to give up his smoking habit and another has to just decide to read and put Moroni's promise to the test. I pray so hard for these people and these steps aren't the biggest ones that they could make in life. Right now and where they are at they shouldn't have any problems with just doing it, but for some reason it is the biggest fight. I am pretty bummed that there is a good possibility I might leave in the next few weeks and I won't see the progression of these people completed. That's alright though I know it is all in His time. One day I'll accept that much more freely. :)
Well I love you all and I hope today was a great day!!!
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Oh Man!

I can't believe this is THE WEEK!!! I am so nervous for everyone now. This is going to be crazy. I hope Ryan got my letter and I hope everything is ready to go. I want him more than anything to be 5x the missionary I am. I know that's not hard, but I can promise him that if he will take to heart that letter I wrote him completely he will be better than any other Missionary. The hard part is applying it perfectly. It will be an ongoing process that every missionary must learn. I must say that my progression as a missionary has increased immensely because I am training. When you have to focus on every little detail it really helps you change in the areas that need it most. I am definitely learning a lot. I really feel that this is sometimes much more for me than for my boy. I have been trained in patience and humility and much more. IT IS WONDERFUL. ;) So before I answer your question Mom I just wanted to let you know that prayers have been answered. Last night we had dinner at the branch president's home and we had the best meeting with him there. I kind of took the opportunity to make this dinner into a heart to heart with the president. His son was also involved because he is the branch mission leader. Well we first built the trust by talking sports, which is what I am good at. Then we pulled out the progress record to discuss the work. They looked it over and started calling us out on little things here and there and eventually I just came out and told them how we know what we want things to be like and how they can help us there. He actually agreed with some of the things I said and told me that he has been trying for seven years, but hasn't gotten anywhere. Well I have been working an idea up for awhile now about a pass-along fireside thing and I finally ran it by them. They kind of said in their own way that they aren't really sure it will work. But after explaining more he was all for me expressing this to the rest of branch council to see if it will go anywhere. Now I still have to perfect the idea on paper, but it was definitely a trust building moment with the branch president. I may not be in this area much longer and I may not see any fruits from this, but I am going to get something rolling out here. This area has a ton of potential and I see it and so does my companion and so do some members. Now we just have to get everyone on board to step up there game ans start by building their own unity within the branch and then the missionary effort will follow. It is an exciting thing. I'll keep you updated. Oh yeah so we found out yesterday that because of the increase of incoming missionaries this next transfer this current transfer is only 5 weeks. That means there is a possibility I may be gone soon. UGH!!! Anyway, pray my boy gets transferred and I stay. :) 

Okay now to answer your question. This topic has actually been something on my mind for a while now. I think of Alma 29 and how Alma wishes to be an Angel to travel the world and preach the gospel to everyone. I have been pondering how horrible of a missilery I was back at home. Yes, I feel like I lived a pretty good life and lead by example, but we all know how I feel about that whole example thing. Mom, I am so sad that during my high school years I was not a better missionary. I had such solid friends that I was close too. And yes there might be things that I did that influenced them for good, but did I share my testimony in the way I should have? NO! Did I keep my baptismal covenant in the way I should have by being a witness of Him, YES and NO! Like I said, yes I was a good kid and lived high standards, but I did not express my feelings of the truth like I should have or at least not enough. I did not extend enough invitations to people to change, to join me in activities, to come to church, to read the Book of Mormon. Now I can say that a big part of that was because of the level of my own testimony and how there was still doctrine behind missionary work that I didn't understand, but now that I do I am saddened by it. Everything I am saying reminds me so much of Alma 29. And I am happy with where I am at now and how I am preaching the gospel and I understand I can't go back in time and I have learned from that,  but oh how I wish I could have been better. If all those youth in your class could understand the true joy that Alma talks about they would be on missions in no time. One experience I wish I could have had and that I wish everyone can have is to see a close friend of theirs get baptized and gain a testimony of the truth. I don't care if it is a girlfriend, a best friend, a complete stranger that you get to know through going out with the missionaries, but the joy from taking part in such an experience is the greatest thing known on this earth. God tells us this same thing in the D&C. How great will be our joy? Alma said Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my ajoy.   
 I hope this answers your question Mom. I know I could have been better. I know I wasn't horrible or the vilest of sinners, but I could have been a better missionary and in reality I could have experienced more joy. And isn't that what this life is all about? JOY!!! 
I love you all very much and I sure hope everything is going well. I am excited to hear how things go. I love you soooooooooo much!
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

P.S. Ryan resolve to send your testimony or a BOM or an invitation to some nonmember friend before you leave. Invite everyone to your farewell, especially nonmembers. Leave satisfied.