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.

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