Monday, August 26, 2013

pictures from Elizabeth City


 the 4 of us in E.C. when I first got to the area.

 An investigator who finally got married legally so she could get married and that is them holding the certificate.


I am officially in 1006 Weeks St. Elizabeth City, NC 27909. This is a totally new experience. Everything I have ever been taught as a missionary hasn't been taught here. I am following up the training of elder Merkley. (He is the one eating the sandwich on my left.) We live in a house, which is nice an spacious even with all four of us in it. I am going crazy though. The way things are done on this side of the mission is completely different. To best explain it all I can say is that it is like it has been hippified. Everyone is all just about being happy and nobody cares about our progress or our numbers and we don't need to be held accountable to anything. It is driving me crazy. Luckily my companion is new and sees the benefit of the things I have been taught, so I can still have an influence there. I am doing my best to keep an open mind to all their ways and I am feeling around before I start opening my mouth and making suggestions or even asking questions. I just feel so lost. I definitely feel I know exactly why I am here though. I'm positive that President has put me here for a reason and I am going to do my best to make the most of it. We have a lot of work to do here. Well other than that this area seems to be alright. It is near the water which is nice and it also has a lot of Hispanics which is nice. This area hasn't been open to spanish missionaries for very long so we don't have the numbers I wish we had, but we are working on fixing that and getting things going here. The active Hispanics now are solid though and love to help us out so hopefully we can get a move on. We play soccer every friday night with lots of non-members which is looking like a great finding idea. There is a lot of potential out here, but it wont blossom over night. My companion is humble and we seem to get along just perfectly. The ward is a little unfriendly, but luckily I get to work with the nice humble hispanic group that loves everyone even if they can't speak your language. My first sunday here was odd. I had to translate everything including a temple recommend interview for a member. That was interesting especially since he had had a disciplinary council recently. It wasn't the warmest welcome, but that's okay.
I have so much I want to do and so much I need to do. I know I can help this district a lot and I can definitely help my companion a lot. I am excited to sprint through this finish line and collapse on the other side exhausted. I have only just begun. Um in your last email there was a lot to respond to so I hope I got most of it figured out. Oh president said he received the letter but hasn't had time to give it any consideration yet though. Maybe if Ryan's president can make a quick move on it first and contact my president then chances may be better. I'll keep addressing it with him though. Other than that I think that is all. I have a lot to learn and to teach. Its exciting stuff. Well I love you all and everything is going well. Dad make me the ward mission leader for the 3 months that I'm home and I'll whip that missionary work into shape. ;)
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Smithfield, North Carolina

Elder Burnham with Leonarda, the lady who got married finally. That was his last day in Smithfield.

Elder Burnham with the Gruvers, an older couple that spoke spanish so they helped us out a lot.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Last Day in Smithfield

The Gruvers, an older couple that spoke spanish so they helped us out a lot.
Is me with Leonarda, the lady who got married finally. That was my last day in Smithfield


My first district in Wallace, NC. My companion is on the far right Elder Beecroft.

This is the district from youngest in the mission to oldest. (Elder Edmond, Elder Beecroft, Elder Me, Elder Caldwell, Elder Randall, and Elder Hartley)

One of my favorite missionaries, Elder Taylor Shirrod

Wallace, NC on Christmas day.

My last district in Wallace, NC from youngest to oldest.
Me and my hijo, Elder Young, playing tennis on preparation day.

This Honduran family investigated FOREVER and never got baptized. I love them to death
Ah the Verdin family. They make some of the best tacos!

Sister Gray and her grandaughter. This is Michael Jordan's Aunt.
Hermano Del Angel, our biggest member missionary helper in the Wallace branch

One of my favorite companions, Elder Sosa from Honduras. I love that pudgy hispanic.

Big boy Elder Bush, he looks like Mr. Incredible

The baptism of Yammi Vargas and her grandmother Dominica.

The baptism of Dominica's husband

MTC Companions half way through our missions, Elder Miller and Elder Adams.
Elder Olson

My district in Smithfield, NC


Me and my second mission president and his wife. The Bernhisels. This was right before the mission split and I was going to have a third mission president.

My last zone conference in Wallace, NC

The Maley family's baptism.
We were basically forced into dressing like this from a member to get free Chick filet. Totally worth it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Elizabeth City, NC

This week may not have been super eventful for y'all but over here we had a lot going on. First thing is that I am getting transferred probably to my last area of the mission. President called last night to let me know I'll be serving in Elizabeth city, NC. I guess that is somewhere on the outer banks and apparently they have a Spanish branch out there. The odd side of that is he kept specifying I will have the responsibility to help a young missionary get back on track. He has only been out for 6 months and President wants me to "help him out". I guess this will keep me from being trunky... I get bussed up there on Thursday. I'm going to miss Smithfield and all the people here. This ward really does feel as close to home as it can get out here for me. I'm positive I'll be coming back here sometime. My present companion, Elder Leisek, will be taking my spot as the district leader over this district as well as training. This is going to be sooo good for him. He has been praying to be a senior companion for 14 months and now he is getting it all in one big swoop. I'm excited for him. Other than that we have had a ton of service opportunities as well as helping members to do missionary work. We have been able to get a few families to invite recent converts into their homes to fellowship them as well as getting other members to invite friends and family members to finally meet with us for the first time. I have done so much pushing for this and now that we have the ball rolling I am getting transferred. Typical...
... Well keep up the good work and I'll talk to you later.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham
Elder Burnham and Elder Leisek

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I'm glad to hear that life is getting back into those crazy days of school and and other fun stress. Sounds like the ward is really starting to to enjoy those missionary talks. Hey just wondering, but what would a talk in the first half of November have as a topic? Just thought I would ask? :) This week for us has been full of member work. Well I'm assuming the world is changing to that culture and to be honest I have a feeling that the missionary work is going to struggle a little bit out here for a while until we can really get that culture embedded into the member's heads. It sounds like from that one broadcast that the brethren don't want us knocking on doors. I COMPLETELY agree with them. Well we have set goals and made great plans to get these members going. We have had some great success in getting these people excited to make their own plans to share the gospel. We still have a lot of work to do, but I have a good feeling that even if we don't see immediate success it will come shortly. Probably after I get transferred, but that's okay.
Other than that we have seen some other little miracles. This week we went to the courthouse and got all the info needed to know how to get two illegal hispanics married. That, my friends, is a tough job. At least both parties have consented to do what they can to get it done. This means Leonarda's long wait to get baptized may be coming to an end. We are excited. Another miracle is I'm worthy again as President Baker came down to get my recommend updated. :) Other than that it has just been a simple week of gaining member trust. There is a lot more to do that we have planned this week, but things are happening.
Oh another thing is that I went on exchanges with an older missionary who is going home next week, which may have made me a little trunky since most of what he wanted to talk about when the day was coming to an end was BYU and marriage and other real-life junk. Anyway it does make me think about housing and all that other stuff I will have to worry about. Just wondering if there is any updated news on that stuff and also if Brianne or someone could look around for jobs open as well. Maybe she could see what requirements they are asking for now at the MTC. Just thought I would throw that in there. Well I love you all and hope this week goes great.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham
P.s. I really enjoyed reading that letter to the presidents. I pray that it will be seriously considered and even more that it comes to pass.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bishop LOVES us

Wow yall had a super great week. I wish I could have been there to see all those great experiences. I love the spirit I feel just reading about how our family is growing and progressing. This week has been just a happy week all around. The family is doing great, Ryan is fluffy ;), Sara is excited for school, Brianne has my back for school, the grand kids love the grandparents, and the members here in NC are loving the work. We have made a huge push to focus so much more on the members. This Sunday was brilliant. We saw less actives bear their testimony, we had new people come to church, we had investigators make progress after a long time of fasting and praying, and member trust is building. It feels good to be making progress with these people. The best part is Bishop LOVES us. That is one thing that has been a struggle in this area in the past and we have blown it out of the water. Not that it is a competition, but the sisters have nothing on us. I mean having 6 months in this area may be part of that reason, but hey I love the members and we just get along.
Two huge miracles outside the members is that one of our investigators has finally made progress with getting her man to marry her so she can be baptized and she really wants us to be her witnesses. Super exciting stuff. The other is that a 13 year old boy that wants to get baptized came to youth conference and has made progress with his mom who was super anti. Poco a poco vamos a llevar a cabo el plan de Dios en esta area. :)
Hey mom thanks for taking care of those pics as well as sending that card. So i found out that i will be going home a week earlier than expected thanks to a shorter transfer because of the mission change. Also my temple recommend expired last week and President hasn't been able to interview me yet. Elder Leisek keeps joking with me that he can't work with such an unworthy creature. Its not my fault! We are having fun and making the most out of this transfer. I'm afraid this will be my last one here in this area.
I love what has been going. I hope y'all are doing well and keeping the good work. Well I'll talk to ya later.
Con Amor,
Elder Burnham

Friday, August 2, 2013


Just me and one of the funny priests in the ward.
A recent convert, Brother Wormsley to the right and a super helpful ward missionary to the left, Hermano Luis

Another crazy YSA kid, Devon Carey

A crazy funny family whose name I cant remember.

Me and the cereal I lived off of for a couple weeks

A reunion with an old zone leader of mine at a transfer meeting.

My zone's stats on our key indicators. I guess that was the business side of me coming out in our zone meetings.

We saw this lady sitting in the window while driving to an appointment and could help but laugh at her and the words on the window.

All those giant weeds we were looking at was our service project one morning. Missionaries will do anything for member trust.

All this crap is what was hidden by the jungle of weeds from the above picture

This is what it looked like after we cleared out a ton of the weeds and trash. So fresh and so clean

. Inside a super wealthy members home with a home theater. I find her and him attractive. ;)

Just crazy greenery in NC.

The aftermath of a members home catching fire. Cool story about how everything was burned up on that side of the house except the dresser containing her garments.

An old 19th century sewing machine.