Monday, July 29, 2013

Better than a box of chocolates

This week was wonderful, but there is so much more I wish we could have done. Time just doesn't want to be there for us. So first of all I am glad to hear this week was good for y'all. Yes Jenni you are getting old and I am too in the mission age. Pretty soon if you procrastinate enough I will be home to help paint that home of yours. We would have a good time doing that. I'm not sure exactly where Mom and Dad went , but I sure hope Sara is working hard and getting things ready for school. Water Polo is going to be awesome. You will definitely need to be fierce and play no games. I am excited to see how that goes. Read a lot Sara and please don't slack on those assignments. You are the last to go through high school and I sure hope you show all of us up in how well you do. Goals for the future have to be set now. Probably my biggest regret of high school is not planning far enough ahead in the beginning. I am excited for you.
So on this side of the world things have been great. As you can see we had a wonderful baptism where Bro. Vincent entered into a covenant with God. Their little family is great and are going to be doing a lot for this ward here. His wife has been through a lot through her life, but she found a this guy who is bringing her back into activity with her Savior. They are great to be around and to learn from. This week has been full of working hard at helping investigators progress and become commitment keeping people. The other thing about that is I have been stressing over how to get these other missionaries to do the same. I have been throwing down on accountability with the missionaries, but now its time to approach the love and charity side of things. :) We had interviews with Pres. Baker this week and he is excited for some of the ideas I have come up with that are actually totally different than anything my last two presidents would have allowed. Its fun being an older missionary that kind of gets to mold some of the mission culture here. Hopefully things stick after I leave.
Well other than that I have found myself being asked trunky things like about school and housing and I guess I need to just ask Brianne to keep her eyes and ears open and be ready for all that. I have zero idea on when and what to do about all that why i am here. I am almost nervous to have to go back and deal with all that real-lief junk. ;)
Well I love you all a ton and hope life is treating you better than a box of chocolates.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Vincent Family

Monday, July 22, 2013

Represent Modesto!

I'm glad to see that all my childhood friends are the best missionaries ever. Representing Modesto!!! I'm also glad to see that the family is surviving all the craziness that is going on. This week has been pretty crazy for us as well. Lots of changes are still being made and as leaders we are shaping the new culture of this mission. We have been doing a lot of changing up the way we hold missionaries accountable and how we can better unite the districts and the mission in whole. I'm afraid it may take a while before a culture is completely established. The mission president has been trying to figure out what will work best for who and where. These next couple of weeks should be interesting. I have a lot of work to do. the unfortunate side if it is that most of it revolves around missionaries instead of investigators. We do have quite a bit of progressing investigators and even a baptism coming up shortly. One miracle is that this Sunday the bishop had asked our recent convert's husband to speak and he bore a powerful testimony. He was the first speaker and even though it wasn't the longest talk it was inspiring. Other than that this week was just busy work. We are excited to see some results from this throughout next week as some ideas are applied.
My little brother is getting so old. He is filling out nicely. ;)  I sure hope we can be companions sometime soon. I hope he understands that being called as a trainer is going to train him more than it will his boy. I'm excited to see how that goes. Hey did y'all get my SD card. Hopefully it wasn't wiped clean like Ryan's.
Jenni that was a nice looking house. All I could think of though was the task of trimming all those bushes and stuff outside the home. I feel like I have done those kinds of things a ton out here so I naturally notice the work. :) Have fun with that.
Well family I love you all a ton and I'm glad to see things are going well. Sara keep reading a ton and go for gold in whatever you decide to do. I love you all and I am excited to hear how next week goes.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Address

Here is Elder Sean Burnham's New Address for his new area in Virginia:


Virginia Chesapeake Mission
1115 Cherokee Road
 Portsmouth, VA 23701

Great Week

Sounds like everyone had quite the week. Girl's camp sounded like way too much fun. It is good to hear the men were so willing to scare some poor innocent girls. I would have loved to join in the fun. :) I'm glad Jenni and the family is all situated almost. I am excited to see the new house and see all the fun they are having in the country. I hope yall are planning a big garden. Everyone out here are garden masters so I'm learning a lot through the service we render. Everyone is preparing for the massive civil war they think we will be having soon or the apocalypse. People are crazy in the south.
So for our hectic week or at least mine as I have to help so many companionships figure things out. There has been a lot of changes to the mission life out here and we are all adjusting. The biggest one is that we now have sisters in our are and they have no idea what to do. Having been in this area for 4 months now I am in charge of getting things together for them and making sure they are ready to get to work. Plus I am in charge of holding them accountable each week. Fun stuff! We have been working hard in literally every aspect of this work possible. Lots of progression has been made and we are excited for anything else the president can throw at us.
Another crazy experience was I was interviewing a man for baptism this week and the elders had failed to go over some very important worthiness questions with him before the interview date. Well I sat through an hour long interview hearing this man's testimony/life story and only ended up having to tell him that our mission president would have to interview him due to some things that took place in his life. That was not a fun experience. I think everything will go well though and he should be baptized soon. I then immediately let those missionaries know to NEVER skip that question when preparing an investigator for baptism.
Well other than that we had a great week and only a better one coming up. I am excited for the work. I love you all and I hope things are going well.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Monday, July 8, 2013

Virginia Here I Come!

So first off I want Ryan to know that no where in the white handbook is there a rule against hugging the opposite sex. It does say that there shouldn't be any inappropriate relationships, but I don't think that situation falls into that category. I also must add that sometimes it is necessary to follow the spirit of law and sometimes the letter of the law. You use your own judgment, but I will say that I have given hugs out when needed. :) Also I want to say that I am super excited for him to train. I want so bad to train again before I die. It is the best growing experience a missionary will ever go through and it help them become such a better missionary. You get to fill all the gaps that your trainer missed. Be exactly obedient, work hard and don't ever be prideful! :) I am sooooo excited to hear about how this goes.
Well on my side of things transfers is this week, but the rumor about a huge flip flop in the mission is not coming to pass. In fact there is only one elder leaving my district this transfer. The biggest change is that we are receiving Spanish speaking sisters here in smithfield. They are moving right around the corner from us so that will be weird, and I don't know exactly how we are going to split the work here since we are both bilingual companionships. I'm just going to pawn all the single sisters off to them and wish them luck. ;) Our ward mission leader is super excited  so we'll see how it goes. This means I will have the biggest district in the mission I believe. We will now have 7 companionship's. It is going to be a crazy transfer. I am excited though. I have come up with some pretty great ideas to get the member work moving. I sure hope with sisters here that will just allow them to take off faster. I have no doubt that it will since sisters seem to always bring an increased amount of excitement when they come to an area for the first time in years. I am having a good attitude it about it for now so unless I get calls for blessings every other night we should be just honky-dory. :)
President Baker is awesome. He reminds me a lot of Ben Walker. He is tall and lanky and he is has an awesome sense of humor. ;) He has already made some big changes like transfer days and when we have district meetings and other little stuff. For the most part though it shouldn't effect the NCRM missionaries too bad. I'm excited for the change.
Other than that this week was crazy. It seemed like we were hardly in our area to do work. Somehow we were able to find 5 new investigators while in the middle of driving to and from Virginia, which takes three hours from here, having a surprise zone meeting and being told the 4th was a non-proselyting day. It was a weird week. I'm glad we were able to work hard amidst the chaos.
Well things have been going great and we have a lot of work coming our way so keep us in your prayers. I am on board with Ryan being my trainer as well here in two transfers. I would serve under him with no problems at all. I'm sure he could teach me a lot. I would also enjoy teaching those spanish families as well. Mom work your magic. :) I love you all and I hope this week of camping and box-moving will be full of excitement and missionary opportunities. Go get 'em!!!!
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Monday, July 1, 2013

New Mission President

What a week y'all had. I'm glad to hear that everyone is still intact and ready for the next phase of life. Even Ryan had some crazy experiences. Over here we didn't have so much craziness except for the weather. I feel like this week was a rough one for us, but when I look back at previous weeks it wasn't all that terrible. I just don't like the feeling of a stand still I need to be improving or changing something or I feel that not much happens. I guess that is a lack of patience in me. This next week will probably be pretty crazy with the official mission changes going to be taking effect. I am already seeing things as a district leader that I didn't deal with before. We actually get to meet the mission president this Tuesday which will be exciting. I guess we will see how things go in the short two hour meeting in Portsmouth, Virgina we will be having. All we keep being told is there will be a lot of changes and in the first transfer President Baker wants to completely switch everything. The Zone Leaders also told me that he is not as laid back as President Bernhisel, but he isn't as strict as President Cotterell. I mean he has only been out like a week so we can't really judge him yet, but we will see.
Well other than that we had a week of service this past semana. We did some major yard work with the ward around Smithfield and we also helped a few families move. WE Mormons are the greatest moving company known to man. Some non members that were there were impressed with how well we work together and just move those boxes right along. Other than all the service rendered we were able to teach some of our investigators new things which brings out new doubts which makes our jobs fun. I must say that the best feeling ever is when you study for an investigator and you come across a scripture that you just know will rock their socks. You get a fat grin on your face and that kind of evil chuckle comes out as you think to yourself, "muahahaha they can never deny it after reading this. This is exactly what they need to hear." :) Oh I love the morning study schedule. Well other than that not much has changes around here. We did add a sister to the companionship we already had thanks to some drama that went down between another companionship. This is what I was warned about. It shouldn't be too bad though. ;)
Well my lovely family things have been going great here amidst the beautiful summer lightning storms and all. I hope the heat isn't killing y'all too bad over there. I love you to death and hope all is well. Tell Michael I love him and hope he doesn't get married too fast.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham
P.S. Make sure Claire gets this message. "djbhfklsdhguisdbnfguilsduilfhilfugdvkljdfguisdghldfhvuisdgfvjklnsdbfkljghsdfuilgh"
It means I love all those kids a ton and I can't wait to get those hugs and kisses.