Monday, July 28, 2008

they treated us to Chile's for my B-Day!

Hello again Thank you guys so much for all the birthday stuff you sent me. Everything was so great. That GPS seriously kicks butt. It has helped me out so much out here. Its one of the coolest things ever haha. Yeah my birthday was really fun. We went over to a members house named sister Thomas. She had a surprise Lunch in at her little apartment and she invited the Pine Forest Elders from our district to come and surprise me. Our new district is soooo awesome. Im actually with some of them right now. They drove us today because were almost out odf miles. Anyways, so yeah sister Thomas is a big black lady who everybody in the ward loves. Shes a true southern black lady haha. She cooked us a huge breakfast consisting of: grits, hash browns, eggs, biscuits, and steak. We had a lot of fun over there. After that we did service all day in Dixie Bowman's backyard again. It is SOOOO HOTTTT HERE!!!! Im seriously dying. After service, some other members (the Smiths) took us out. They are probably my favorite family in the Ward. They treated us to Chiles for my B-day. So I actually had a really fun Birthday.Oh yeah I forgot about my new companion! Hes a really great kid. His name is Elder Keesler. He is about 5 ft tall and has serebral Palsy in the right side of his brain so he has some problems with his right arm. But seriously, he is probably the hardest worker I have ever seen. Hes been a Zone leader for the past 9 months in panama city so he is a top notch missionary. I love him. I don't know why the Lord keeps blessing me with such awesome companions! But anyways, he has a ton of fresh new ideas for FoxRun so im way excited. Hes going home in 3 months so im guessing ill be killing him off here in this area.So today has been an awesome P-day. The district got together and played some basketball at our church building. Tonight the district leader is suprising the district with something fun I guess. Were all meeting at some members house and supposedly were doing something really fun. Whatever it is, they got it approved so no worries haha.I keep looking at those boat pictures you guys sent me. Did you get the new decals on it yet? Or are you just going to keep it the way it is? It already looks so nice. Ahh it kills me haha. So you went out to the lake this week? That's fun. Thatll be so cool if Jared and Andy get a place up there. Were taking over!!! Ive already met some awesome missionaries up here from Utah and we will definitely have to have them come out to the lake house when I get back. You will love some of these guys. They are some of the best friends I will ever have.Is anybody else home yet? Sean should be home soon right? Can you send me Rays address? Im gonna start writing him. Ive been writing brett a little. I should probably start writing the family a little more too. Tell them im sorry.Anyways, sorry I didn't have too much to write this week, ill do better next week. I love it here so much. I love the Lord and the challenges that he has laid in front of me to allow me to grow. I love you guys with all my heart. Ill send pictures soon I promise. Mom- I love you! Dad- I love you! I love you Family!!!!!!!!!!!Love, Elder Joshua Burnham

Monday, July 21, 2008

I KNOW who I am relying on...

Thank you sooooo much for the package!!! Seriously I wasn't actually expecting you to get me that gps! It is so awesome. Ive already entered in most of our investigators addresses and some of the members. It will help so much, especially when I get transferred somewhere down the line. All the goodies you sent were great too. We chow down on those jelly bellies every day during companion study. Oh wait, dang it! Sorry, I guess I just gave it away. I already opened my presents. I couldn't help it!!!! Im sorry! But seriously, thank you so much. I hope you didn't spend too much on it.
We just got our transfer information, and yeah Elder Taylor is leaving. He got got to be a Zone Leader in Dothan, Alabama. So im taking over this area, and my new companions name is Elder Keesler. Hes coming from the Panama City zone where he served as a zone leader for a while. Elder Taylor says hes a really cool guy and an awesome missionary, so im excited. The best part is that he is only about 5 ft tall so im actually going to be bigger than someone for once Im really happy that im staying here in Fox Run because I just love it here and the people have been some of the gratest people that I have ever met. I am going to miss Elder Taylor though. He has been such a great example of the kind of missionary that I want to be out here. The kid literally runs off faith. Everything that he does is based on him relying on the spirit. Hes been great and he will be someone who I will definitely keep in contact with when I get home.
This week has been a fun week. We got a lot accomplished. We are working with this lady named Dixie Bowman who is just about the coolest old lady that I have ever met. She is as southern as can be. Weve been helping her out in her yard which is completely overgrown with thick trees and bushes about 6 ft tall. Were working on clearing it all out for her. I don't even want to talk about the ridiculous spiders I have seen working in there. There are brown recluses all over out here. I guess when you get bit, the poison just starting eating away at your flesh and it keeps going until you get the anti-venom. I saw some picture at a members house of him when he got bit and her had a hole in his back about the size of a gratefruit and about 3 inches deep. He said every day for a few months he had to scoop out the green decaying flesh. So anyways, that gives you kind of a good idea of the type of bugs im working around out here. Don't ever make fun of me again for my fear of spiders because you havnt worked out here in the south! Haha j/k. But anyways, pray for Dixie, she has a hard time believing more than just the bible but she would be such an awesome member.
Then There is Jim and Debbie coy who are an awesome older couple we are teaching. They totally believe the Book of Mormon and are progressing a lot so keep them in your prayers as well. The others are Lisa Eisner and her son Michael, Kathy Pack, Andrea Johnson, Ivan Juarez, and a less active girl named Eva. These are our main progressing investigators so yeah that would be so awesome if you could keep them in your prayers. These people are amazing, I havnt met to many people in my life that have had better hearts.
I cant believe Eric is home already!! What in the world! That's so awesome. I bet his brother is so happy to see him. Brett just hit his 13 month mark. That really just blows my mind. Time really is flying by out here. In just a couple weeks will be my 4 month mark. There has been some hard times but overall, I wish time would slow down just a little bit. Ive learned so much about myself out here and more importantly ive become so much closer to my savior. It hurts me to see people out here who say they know God and say they are saved, but really they just see God as some mysterious amoeba floating around in space somewhere. I am so grateful that I KNOW who I am relying on and that I KNOW exactly who am praying to when I kneel down at night. I am grateful that I Know that God sent his son to the earth to atone for the sins of all of us, and that I KNOW he lives again, with a glorified body of flesh and bones that is as tangible as can be. We KNOW who God is. And because we know this, we know what our potential is and who we can become. Is there any greater knowledge than this? I couldn't be happier than I am right now, knowing exactly who I am serving, and knowing what he has done for me.
Thank you so much for everything, for raising me the way you did. Mome- You're the best mom ever. I love you sooo much. Dad- I miss you and love you with all my heart. I miss you both. Im glad to here all is well back at home. I still cant believe you guys got that boat haha. AWSOME! Well I gots to go. I LOVE YOU!!!!!
Love, Elder Joshua Burnham
p.s. Were about to play basketball at the stake center with the entire Zone. Im excited:)

Monday, July 7, 2008

the gospel has shaped our family...

Mom and Dad- What in the WORLD!!!!! You bought that boat?!?!?! Wow I am actually really jealous right now haha. Just kidding. But seriously that is the coolest news ever. Youll need to send me some pictures. How does it drive?? That really stinks for you guys though, how are you gonna ski? When I was reading that I was drooloing all over the key board by the way. Thanks a lot. How did everyone else like the boat? How fast does it go? Ok im done asking about the boat. La la la la la. This week went a little better than the last week we had. We found about 6 new investigators through tracting so that's nice. We ran into some old English lady who talked to us for about 2 hours on how the whole bible is a bunch of silly rubbish. She wouldn't let us leave!! I got pretty impatient with her and kind of offended her but whatever haha. In that same day we found another guy who was a bible Baptist and when we told him who we were he was like, " Im sorry but unlike you two, me and my church actually believe in Jesus Christ." And when we bore out testimonies that we did he was like, "That's just semantics. We all know that your church doesn't believe in him." It is so frustrating because everyone here in the south has that same mind set. They all have a specific date that they were "saved." J. Golden Kimball said, "It would be easier to just burn the whole south down and do baptisms for the dead." Haha. Were making preparations for that because seriously that would be so much easier! Its really fun though because its really giving me a strong desire to know the scriptures better. We only get an hour of personal study every morning, but seriously mom and dad, my study skills have improved 100%. Im recieveing so much help from the Lord. Its awesome. Yesterday some lady gave us about 7 lbs of frozen crawfish so I think were gonna cook some up tonight for dinner. Yummy. Weve been getting fed real well so don't worry. We go over to a member named sister Thomas's a lot to eat. Shes a big black southern lady and she loves feeding us. She always makes candied yams. She made sweet potato fries last time we were there. Shes one of my favorite members out here. For 4th of July we went over to her house to eat and then we went to one of our investigators houses and watched her kids light off fire works. It was a good nigh. Did you guys go to any kind of firework show? Like I said, we lost a lot of our investigators last week but we made up for it this week. We are still teaching about 2 people a day. All of our investigators are way cool and they all have a lot of potential. Please keep praying for them. It kinda stinks cuz Elder Taylor is getting transferred most likely on the 23rd of this month so im gonna have to celebrate my birthday with some missionary I don't even know. Lame Sauce! Itll be fun though. Sister Thomas is having us over that day and she said shell cook whatever I want. Shes the coolest. So I just want to let you guys know how much I love it out here. I really do. This truly is a life changing experience. It gets frustrating at times but those frustrating times are when my faith and trust in the Lord kicks in and my Testimony is strengthened in every experience I have. I know what kind of member I want to be when I get home. I know what kind of father and husband I want to be. I have found what truly makes me happy. Our family means the world to me and the gospel has shaped our family into what it is today. Thank you for raising us the way you did. Well anyways, I gots to go now. Mom- I love you so much! I hope the business is still working out Dad- I love you too! I hope the practice is kickin butt and that is so awesome you got that boat. Well I love you guys both. Im sorry this letter wasn't very long. Ill write a better one next week. I had a lot of different people to write today. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!Love, Elder Joshua Burnham
P.S. Im going to write an email to Shawna. Ive tried sending her one but it keeps getting sent back to me so could you just forward this to her?
Shawna- Hello Sis! Seriously those letters you sent from Julie and Ryan made my day! Haha the one from Ryan made me laugh out loud in the library im in. Tell Julie no I haven't seen Jesus in person but if I do, I will make sure I tell write her and tell her all about him. Thank you so much for that poem you wrote. It was really beautiful and heart felt haha. OMG I cant be serious with you. Just Kidding. I love you Shawna. You're the best. Your kids are the most amazing kids in the world. Tell them that I miss them and that I love them. Tell Andy I miss him too and give him a dead arm for me. Seriously. Well im gonna go. I love you Shawna!Love,Elder Burnham