Monday, June 30, 2008

Banana spiders are the worst...

Hello!!!! How has this week been? Im assuming you guys are at the lake house right now enjoying the weather out on the back deck with ice cold pepsis and two crazy dogs running around. Aww that sounds good right now lol. Just kidding, im loving it out here right now. This week was a bit frustrating because most of the 14 investigators we found last week while tracting aren't really interested anymore. It really is difficult to find solid investigators through tracting. The most effective way to find is through the members. Were trying to get them to do there part out here. We still have a lot of people to teach though so its all good. We just set a baptismal date for July 19 with Lisa and her 10 year old son last night. They are both really excited but Lisa has some concerns about not having enough time to do her church calling. Pray for her But she said shell be ready on July 19, and her son Michael is ready as well so that's Elder Taylor and I are way excited for that.We went and saw one of our other investigators (Andrea Johnson) who is about 16 about a week ago. At one point her whole family was going to get baptized but they've been having some problems. But it was awesome when we talked to Andrea because we didn't even have to ask her if she still wanted to. She flat out said that she is still gonna get baptized even though they are going through all this stuff. So that's another person we are excited about.On Wednesday, we had an appointment set up with a guy named john who came up to us at transfer spots about 3 weeks ago and said he was interested in the mormon church. So we set up to teach him a lesson at the church, and he ended up showing up with one of his friends. Well, they came through the doors of the church each of them having a binder full of papers, a tabbed upbible, and a tabbed up book of mormon. Turned out they were Two Baptists and they were ready to tear us upart haha. It started out good. We started to teach the first lesson and they couldn't contend with anything we said concerning the need for priesthood authority and prophets. But of course it turned sour because they finally started just flat out telling us that they wanted to save us and that they knew we were in darkness. They worked up some tears as they bore testimony that they had prayed and received a witness from the Holy Ghost that Joseph smith was not a prophet and that the B of M is false. It really was sad to see these guys. They were so brainwashed. You could just feel such a negative spirit with them in the room. All we could do is bear our testimonies because nothing we could have shown them in the scriptures would have changed their minds. They tried to set up another appointment with us and we told them it would be a waste of time but that we would play b-ball with them on one of our P-days or something. They were our age so that might be kinda fun.Teaching is getting easier for me now. I don't get all nervous anymore and I can tell im getting more and more help from the spirit as I continually pray and study the doctrine. Elder Taylor is awesome. Im sad though because he is most likely getting transferred in 3 weeks. Theres a possibility I might be training already. There are 14 new elders coming in so I might get to train one of them. Im kinda scared, but itll be fun if I get to do that.Were getting fed pretty good out here. Did you see the pictures I sent of the chicken hearts and giblets? The chicken hearts were actually really good! I couldn't stop eating them. That was my last night in Navarre. Out here in Pensacola, the cooking is a lot more southern style then in my old area. They just kinda throw whatever looks good into one big pot and cook it up. Last night some lady was like, I feel like corn, no actually shrimp, no actually I want baked potatoes, ahh what the heck. Then just throws everything she felt like eating into a giant pot with a bunch of spices and sauces and cooked it up. It was so good! Like I said I way about 155lbs now.I just love it here. The food is great, the members are awesome, our investigators are the coolest, and the area is beautiful. What more could I ask for? Of course if you guys were here thatd be pretty sweet too haha.I got the pants you sent. They are perfect. Thank you so much. And the samoas made my week so thank you for that as well.I hope you looked up those banana spiders on google. They are the worst!Oh yeah before I forget, im running low on proactive. Could you possibly send we another package of it? Im so sorry, thatll be the last thing I ask for until my birthday haha. You don't even wanna know what I want for my Birthday. Its something that would make my life so much easier out here. Well, you know how mom is horrible with directions and maps and all that stuff? Well sadly I inherited that and im about to take over this area and I still have no idea where I am half the time. I here you can get GPS systems for like $99 now at walmart now. Just a thought. Ponder about it. Pray about it. Just kidding, I don't need one. But they are way cheaper now and that's the only thing I can think of for my b-day and its something I could use for the rest of my mission… I love you guys with all my heart. Thank you for the emails and your prayers and everything you have done for me. Mom- I love you. You mean the world to me. Thank you for everything. Dad- You're the best dad I could ask for. I love you and thank you for everything. Bye guys! Say hello to the fam! Tell them I write them next week I promise!I love YOU!!!! Love, Elder Joshua Burnham

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I've gained about 20 pounds...

This week was another awesome week. I didn't get any emails today though haha im kidding. Just make sure you send 2 before next week to make up for it lol. So what have you been up to this week? Did you go to the lake at all? I wanna here DETAILS! Like I said, this week was awesome. The heat is really starting to pick up but its bearable. Elder Taylor and I did a lot of tracting over the last few days to try and get some new people in our teaching pool and we found 6 new investigators to teach so that was really cool. We have a few different teaching appointments daily. It feels really good to be getting out everyday and getting actual results. Its definitely not us though. The Lord has given us these people to teach and I am so grateful to be a part of his work. Elder Taylor is so awesome. We get along so well. He is hilarious and extremely in tune with the spirit at the same time. I love him. But he is most likely getting transferred next transfer because he has been here for 9 months. So yaim kinda nervous because all the people out here love him and after he leaves im taking over the area, its alright though. What ever happens will be a learning experience. Do you wanna see the craziest spider ever? Go on Google and look up banana spiders. That's what im dealing with out here! No joke they are as big as your hand. Ive only seen one so far. It was right in front of someones door while we were tracting and I almost ran into its web. But E. Taylor said in the more rural areas he served in, it was guaranteed you saw at least one a day. So insane! Ill snd you a picture the next time I see one. We just had a pretty good thunderstorm yesterday. There has been probably about 4 thunderstorms since ive been here and its only been about 2 weeks. I guess that's pretty normal out here in the summertime though. I love it! We were gonna go tracting in it yesterday but it was literally a monsoon. 5 seconds in it with an umbrella and a reain coat and your still soaked. Its awesome. So I here Ray is a district leader now? That's way cool. Hes been out about 8 months now right? And didn't Brett just hit his year mark not to long ago? That blows my mind. Time really does fly by. The days are slow but the weeks are fast, if that makes any sence. Next Wednesday will be my 3 month mark! It really has gone by so fast. So the house that we live in is great. I think I told you, the members name is Brother Allen. He has a 52 inch flat screen TV so that's pretty cool. We sometimes watch old general conferences or preach my gospel on DVD. Then, as I went exploring in his closet I found an old guitar witch I tuned up so we can play on P-days. I still have that little guitar hymn book so that'll be fun. As far as dinners go, We usually have dinner appointments. But if we don't have one all day, I usually will eat one peanut butter and banana sandwich for beakfast, two peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, and two for dinner. With spaghettios and raviolis thrown in as snacks throughout the day. I actually eat tomatoes and onions and all that good stuff now. I just stepped on the scale a couple days ago and I weighed 154 lbs. so i've gained about 20 pounds since I left home. Im shotting for 165 by the end of the transfer. Ive been using that perfect pushup every morning. We exercise every morning from 630 to 700. Like I said, we were pretty exhausted this week so today before we came here to write emails we took a 3 hour nap! It felt so good you have no idea. Our room is a mess so after this were gonna go clean it out really well and then do some shopping for food. By the way, I fixed my watch so I didn't by a new one. But I could still use some of those pants if they are on sale… Ummmm, I'm trying to think of anything else we did this week that is worth writing about. Pretty much we just tracted all week whenever we didn't have an appointment to go to. This area is exploding right now with new people to teach almost everyday. The members are awesome. I havnt met them all yet but the ones I have met have been really nice. They feed us really well here in the south. Im having to fight really hard from saying "ya'll." Like I said in the last letter, This area is beautiful. I love it here and I wouldn't give this experience up for the world. I love the people I have met and the experiences I have had. I hope you got the pictues I sent. I sent them out on Wednesday so you should get them within the next couple days if you havnt gotten them already. Well, I love you guys. Im gonna go write President Summerhays. Have an awesome week and say hi to everyone for me. And make sure you write me next week!! Haha just kidding. I love you. Mom- Hope the little business is goin strong. I love you with all my heart. Dad- Hope the practice is doing awesome. I love you with all my heart also. Bye guys
Love, Elder Joshua Burnham

Monday, June 16, 2008

I love my Savior!

All I have to say is WOW! I love my new area. This is what I thought of when I thought of Florida. Giant willows everywhere, plantation homes, moss and vines hangin off all the trees. Its beautiful here. There are way more mosquitoes though so that's a bummer. Its nothing like the other area was in. Navarre was more residential in most areas. Here in fox run theres is a lot more space. I wouldn't say ist a rural area though because some of these plantation homes are giant. My companion is so great. Everybody loves him. He has a heart of gold. Hes a stellar missionary and he has so much love for the work. I guess about 8 or 9 months ago, this area was one of the worst areas in the mission as far as finding people to teach. But ever since My comp. got here about 8 months ago, its been exploding with new investigators and baptisms. In Navarre we only had about 3 investigators and there hadn't been a baptism in months. Right now in Fox Run we have about 16 investigators we are teaching, 4 of which we just found yesterday while trackting. We have about 3 baptismal dates set up as well. We are teaching about 3 investigators a day. I love it here. I love my companion. Me and him get along so well. I just cant even explain how excited I am to be here. I think that first area was just a big test for me or something. I dunno, I just know the Lord put me their for a reason. That was probably the hardest month and a half of my life. But the He has blessed me now with an awesome area and an awesome companion. My district is a lot bigger than my last one. We have 9 elders in our district where as last one we had 4. So thatll be fun on Pdays and stuff. Sorry about the money ive spent on the home card, we only have 130 dollars a month on the mission card and on the last couple days in Navarre I bought a lot of Dip and Dots and Mcdonalds. I take it easier this transfer I promise. The storms here in Fox Run I guess are a lot more intense and frequent than in Navarre. They say this area gets the most rain in the U.S. or something like that? I dunno. Google it for the facts I guess. I promise im sending pictures home tonight. Sorry ive been so bad with that. There wasn't that much to take pictures of in Navarre but theres tons of cool stuff here so ill fill the card up today. Theres a mail box I saw that says 8769 ½. That was pretty cool. Wow now that I think about it that's pretty lame. Whatever. We went trackting yesterday and out of nowhere a thunderstorm came in. so we were knocking on doors in the rain. It was way fun. Eventually someone let us in cuz we were getting pretty wet. We had a good discussion with them. I don't know what else to say other than I am so happy here. I love it. The work is the most rewarding work you can possibly do and I am learning so much from Elder Taylor. Im actually excited to wake up every morning at 630! We work out every mornig until 7 so that's good. We live with a member named brother Allen who is about 70 years old. Hes really funny. I didn't think I would like living with a member but its actually really cool. It keeps us in line haha. Could you see if there are any sales at express for their slacks? Those dickies just get way too hot out here. The express pants I have are perfect and they aren't to expensive. I like dark brown, dark grey, and black in a 30/30. You don't have to get any if theyre not on sale but I could really use some. Thank You soo much for the samoas! I cant believe they sell them on ebay hahaha. That made my day. And thanks for all the other stuff you guys have been sending me as well. It makes me happy to get pictures of the fam and what not. Well I think im gonna go now. I have to write my weekly letter to President. I just want you guys to know how happy I am here and that im staying safe so don't worry. I love the work Im doing and I know its true. I love my savior with all my heart. Im happy to here your all safe and happy. Mom- I love yo so much. Keep working hard with the business and keep loving dad Dad- I love you so much too. Thank you so much for supporting us all our lives. Keep loving mom I LOVE YALL!!!!! Love, Elder Burnham
P.S.- I don't have my exact address right now. Just keep writing the mission home. It works best that way anyways.

Elder Burnham and Elder Taylor

Monday, June 9, 2008

what kind of member I want to be...

So I found out a few days ago that either me or elder honzic are getting transferred so im getting pretty anxious to find out. President is sending us the information any time within the next 30 min. to an hour. Im sorry if this email doesn't end up being very long. We have a lot going on today. Since transfers are this Wednesday we wanted to go out to Destine Florida. I think that's how you spell it at least. Its supposed to be the nicest coastal area around and there are some cool outlet stores I hear. So that will be fun. Me and Elder Honzic are going to take a lot of pictures up there today since these will be that last couple days we have together. Im so excited to see who my new comanion will be! Sister Summerhays said that he is one of her favorite missionaries out here and that hes a really loving, caring person. But she wouldn't tell me who it is. So im just sitting hear waiting for that email to come and then I think were going to take off. Destine is about a 30 mile drive. Ya the heat is getting pretty intense out here. We drive the car most of the time but every Friday we do a ton of service and ride our bikes all day so that gets pretty hard. It feels good to work hard like that though cuz then sleep feels extra nice. The mosquito situation is pretty crappy too. Theres a ton of them up here. Not as many as I thought there would be though. I love the pictures you guys sent me. Some of them were the same ones you sent me a few weeks ago though haha. Its all good. This week has been tough because like I said, we found out early that we were getting new companions so we have been really anxious all week for Monday to get here. But now its finally here so were happy As far as investigators go, we don't have any new ones. We just went trackting 2 days ago and found someone who seemed really promising but he gave us a wrong address. That's so frustrating. I mean, why don't they just say they are not interested? Oh well. The investigators we have right now are way cool anyways and they are all progressing pretty well. The last couple days have been good. We went to brother bryants last night and he had the laker game on while we were eating dinner. I gave into tempatation just for enough time to see them get there butts kicked haha. Laaaaame! Ya sorry I told you to send me those pants. I forgot I messed them up and made them all tight for that new years party at jessicas house. So I dont think ill be wearing those out here. I hope its alright with you guys if I buy a cheap pair at the outlets today cuz those dickies get pretty hot out here. As far as dinners go, We were getting fed every single night for the first half of our transfer, then we sent a member epistle out to all the ward members encouraging them to do missionary work. Ever since then we have only had dinner appointments maybe twice a week. This week we don't have any. Its really frustrating out here trying to get the members to do there jobs as missionaries. Its good though because im really starting to get a sence of what kind of member I want to be when I get home. Its weird because ill have really bad days and ill just get down on myself , but then the next day ill look back and realize I learned more that day then I did on a really good day. Don't worry though I havnt really had any bad days since the first week I got here. Ever sice then its been uphill and ive been learning so much. I really do love it here. It's the hardest work that I have ever done but its also the most rewarding. God has played such a huge role in my life in helping me to teach his children. Ahhhhh!! Im getting so impatient right now! I'm still waiting for Presidents email! I'm hoping to get it before I get done writing you guys so I can tell you where im going. Anyways, I gotta go write my email to the President. Like I said, Im sorry this letter wasn't very detailed. Were kinda short on time. If I have time after I write Pres. Ill write a little more and tell you who my new comp. is gonna be and where im going. Mom- I love you!!!! Dad- I love you!!! Love, Elder Joshua Burnham

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Lord has strengthened me...

Hey guys! How are you?? This week has been a good one. On Monday(memorial day) we went to a couple of different bbqs so we were fed plenty of food. Oh wait I probably already told you that last week because our p-day was on Tuesday. Oh well. On Wednesday we went to an old people home and got free lunch from them. Usually every Wednesday we go over there in the afternoon and help fold newspapers for service. That's one of my favorite things to do in the week cuz all the old people are so full of energy and they love playing 50's music while we work. Old people are cool. And then every Wednesday night we teach Bobby. Hes progressing but very slowly. Its getting kind of annoying because we know hes ready. Thursday was Mission Tour which is where we go up to pensicola and get trained. Usually they have a general authority there but this time it was some guy who helped put together preach my gospel. There were 3 different zones there so it was way fun seeing all the different missionaries. And I finally saw elder Lewis! That's the one I told you about from the MTC the first time I was there. Hes way cool. I took some pictures and ill make sure and label them somehow. Friday was probably the hardest day we had this week. We usually rode our bikes to the zoo for service. That's about a 20 mile round trip. Then we rode about another 10 miles to some members house to do yard work. We laboured for about 6 hours in 100 degree heat and extremely high humidity. It felt good though Saturday and Sunday we spent most the day in pensicola for stake conference. President summerhays spoke at the Saturday session. He is so amazing. I swear he could be one of the 12 one day. So that pretty much sums up the week. We did go tracting a few times but I wont go into detail about that haha. Lets just say it isn't too effective in this area. Transfers are next week and im pretty sure one of us is getting transferred. Im getting pretty excited lol. Im having a great time here though. Me and elder honzic get along I guess. We have our good and bad moments. Hes funny. I just started writing in my journal this week. I don't know why I didn't start in the MTC. I know im going to regret that later on. And im really sorry I still havnt sent any pictures. Im working on it I promise. I have some good ones but I wanna send you a bunch so ill make sure and take a lot this week. I feel really bad because I havnt written anybody in the family. Keegan sent me a really cool tie and and everyone else has sent me letters and candy and stuff. Im just really busy and we don't get that much time to write on these computers. Im gonna write everyone soon. Tell them I said thank you for everything and ill write this week or next week at the very latest. I love our family. Seriously we have the best family. You don't even know what a chaotic family is until you come out here. Some of the families in our ward are so torn up. Its really sad. We are so blessed to have what we have. I am so grateful to have grown up in our home and raised the way I was. Thank you so much The work is still moving slow so keep my area in your prayers. The Lord has strengthened me so much in the past week. Every one of my prayers has had an answer and ive received so much comfort and joy I don't know what to do with it. Its hard because I still have some difficulties with my teaching skills and I wish I could just speak what I feel. But I know these things don't just happen over night. The Lord helping me what step at a time. That's awesome that you guys have been spending time at the lake. I miss it up there. How is that class going by the way?There are a few things I could use… Can you send me a couple different Tabernacle choir CDs? And also could you send me a pair of black express pants. I think there is still a pair in my room or in those bags in the garage so you don't need to buy any. And I think that's it. Oh and an ipod charger that plugs into a wall outlet. Thank You K Im gonna go. Thank you so much for your emails. I love reading about whats going on at home. Mom- Im glad to here your business is still going good. I love you soooo much. Thank you for being the best mom ever. Dad- that's awesome the practice is going strong. Thank you for supporting the fam I love both of you with all my heart. Tell the family I love them! Talk to ya next week