Monday, September 29, 2008

Just throw out tht little extra effort....and the Lord really does bless you for it!

Hey Mom and Dad!

Im glad to here everything is going good back home. Yes I got your package Thank you so much. I get so excited whenever I get letters or packages. Some of that stuff I probably wont be listening to because there are some love songs, but you put some really good ones on there as well. I love the Jason Castro songs! I can definitely listen to those out here because its all gospel. You should so send me out his version of somewhere over the rainbow! But yeah, thank you for those CDs and also the goodies. Oh and thank you for remembering Kimi’s address. Im actually trying to write people on my P-days now. Im gonna try and write the rest of the family either today or next P-day. I have been writing Ray and Brett as well so that’s been fun. I’m so jealous that you get to go to the Temple! Missionaries out here are always talking about how much we miss the temple. I really do miss it. I regret not going more often when I had the chance to.

This week has been one of our better weeks here in Crestview. I found that when just throw out that extra effort and try to just step out of your comfort zone a little bit more than you are used to to talk to somebody, the Lord really does. Bless you for it. For example, this last Tuesday, We were biking around visiting Less-active members and by the end of the day, we were dead tired. We had one more house to visit and it was the farthest one on the map. We pedaled all the way there just to fid that they weren’t home. So as we were about to bike back home for dinner, We noticed that there was a lady sitting out on here front porch right next door to the house we were at. So we kind of sighed and went to talk to her. She was a nice lady but she really didn’t seem to interested, but we still felt good about throwing the invitation out there. So anyways, as we were biking home after a long day of not really any success, all of a sudden this young black man runs out in the street and stops us. He asked us what we were doing riding around in such nice cloths. We told him who we were and taught him the The Restoration in about 3 minutes. When we told him about Prophets and Apostles on the earth today, he was like, “ No way! Really?! Like, a real Prophet like Moses or Abrham? Wow!” This kid (Shaheem) is so prepared for the gospel. I honestly feel that its because we threw out that extra effort that the Lord allowed us to find Shaheem, or rather, for him to find us. Im not saying that to brag, im just saying its awesome how when we show the Lord that we are willing to go just that little extra distance, he ALWAYS delivers. Anyways, long story short, we ended up setting up a return appointment with Shaheem and we asked him when he receives an answer that the Book of Mormon is true would he be baptized and he said, “Yes sir!” So we are very excited for him.

Other than that, Were teaching this other married couple now who I guess you would call eternal investigators. The missioaries have been going to there place for the pst 8 years and they take very good care of us. They feed us when ever we go over there and we actually have benn going over there for fishing on the last 2 P-days haha. They have 70 acres of land, 1 lake, 3 fishing ponds, and a swamp. It’s the most beautiful land I have ever seen. Were going ove there today to go fishing again.

Anyways, I only have a couple minutes left to type. I am alive and Kicking. I don’t wear my seatbelt, but I do wear a helmet This week has been so much better. Yes, I am still very happy out here in Florida. I love you guys so much. I don’t know the address right this moment, but I am sending pictures home this week so I will put our home address as the return address. Its just scary though becuae I get tranfered and you send a letter to the old address, most likely the missionary would be to lazy to forward it right away. I don’t think im getting transferred though so ill give it to you. I love you guys so much! Thank you for everything! Mom- hows the business going? I love you so much! Dad- Is this practice still going strong? I love you so much also! Bye guys!!!! Tell the Family I love them!

Elder Joshua Burnham

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chased by the dogs

Mom and Dad-
So you guys didn’t go to the lake at all this week? Sweet haha. Ill have to see pictures of moms new haircut. This week was kind of depressing. The work was good, but aside from that, I was hoping to get some letters this week. I wrote a few of my friends a while back and havent really heard from them yet. Oh well. So your sending off the CDs and some pictures? Awesome! I love getting pictures from you guys. I really don’t have nearly enough.

So funny, the other day when we were riding our bikes, all of a sudden two dogs jump out of the bushes and chase Elder Hall for about half a mile. I swear these dogs were the fastest dogs I have ever seen. He was in front of me so of course I was just watching the whole thing and laughing my head off. I have never seen a 210 pound man bike so fast in my life. There were some people watching the whole thing too that were pretty entertained. But anyways, after the dogs were done with My companion, they looked back and saw me not to far behind. So they quickly hide behind the nearest bush, and sure enough, as I ride by the bush, they jump out of the bush at me and start chasing me down as well. But at that point they were a little more tired and I had my foot off the pedal ready to kick one in the face if it got close enough. We escaped with our lives so I guess that’s good.

Yeah so far this area is really cool. Im getting used to the whole bike thing. I think at this next Zone conference we are going to petition for a car though. This area is pretty big for a bike area and there are a few places that we just cant get to with out a car. So hopefully that works out. This is definitely a different area from Fox Run though that’s for sure. There are some weird people over here. Theres two areas that we never go through at night. One of the neighborhoods we call Crackville, and just on the other side of the street is Dope District. We have a black friend who lives there and that’s what he calls it. He says he will keep us out of trouble when we ride through there haha. We kind of have like, 3 different classes in Crestview. We have the completely rural red neck area, the more family oriented neighborhoods, and of course the ghetto which is my favorite place to go. I really don’t know why, I think its because the people are just so much more humble there so they will sit and talk to us all day long. Our apartment is the biggest one that I have been in so far. Its actually really nice. The members feed us very well in the area so we hardly ever have to make our own dinner. The only concern in this area is that since it is more inland, there tends to be more tornadoes up here. So Good!! I hope I see one.

Im trying to think of anything else exciting to tell you. Oh yeah, last week for P-day, we got permission to drive 30 minutes north to Alabama. The sisters drove us up there. We went to a little town called Florala, Alabama. It was awesome. Such a beautiful area. I took a lot of pictures so ill be sending those off soon.

Well, nothing else to special to tell you guys. Im still as happy as can be. I love it here. My studies have improved so much as ive prayed for help. The Lord is helping me and lifting me every single day I am out here. I really miss the Temple by the way. I know, kinda random, but I do! I miss you guys. I love you sooooo much. Tell the Family how much I miss them and love them! Mom- I love you!!!!! Dad- I love you!!!! Katey, Keegan, Chad, Emily, Parker, Shawna, Andy, Julie, Ryan, and Kenna-I love you all!!!!!!
Bye yall

Elder Joshua Burnham

Friday, September 12, 2008

Transfer to Crestview...The Lord is on my side

Mom and Dad-

This week has been a really good week actually. It was so weird when I found out that I was getting transferred. I really thought that I was going to be in Fox Run for at least like two more transfers. I loved Fox Run. The Pensacola Zone was just so great. I really do miss it. But im excited about this new area. The only thing im not excited about is the fact that it’s a bike area! Lame, lame, lame. Itll be nice to get back into shape though haha. Maybe ill shake off the 25 lbs that I have gained out here. It is so weird, I am still as skinny as can be, but my stomach sticks out about 7 more inches than the rest of my body haha. All the weight I have gained is all in my stomach. It looks really weird. Anyways, my comapanion is really cool. We already get along really well. Hes kind of a dork though. He looooves superman and he Loooooooooves star wars. But other than that, hes actually really cool and we have a lot in common.

Crestview is a pretty simple area. Its more rural than Fox Run that’s for sure. Half of this area is a little more city, and half is extremely back country. There is a ton of military in this area because its next to Fort Walton. We are actually in the Fort Walton Zone. I havnt really met any of the other missionaries in our zone yet. Our district is pretty cool though. We have two sisters; Sister Bartson and Sister Malcom. My comp (Elder Hill) has a crush on Sister Malcom haha. And then the other missionaries in our district are Elders Lewis and Treasure. Elder Lewis is the one who I came out with the first time who I said was awesome. Hes our district leader.

So that’s awesome that you guys had a lot of the family down for a little bit. Im so jealous. I bet that was so fun. And I cant believe you guys bought sea dews! That’s so awesome. Those will be so much fun out there for everyone. I bet Julie loves them.

Im glad you got the pictures. Yeah that’s fine if you put some pics on the chip. But I would rather you get them developed so I can have them to put in a picture book or something. Im trying to get more pictures. As far as the pics I sent you, you can take the chip to any Walmart and usually they have these machines there that you can just stick the chip in and they will just develop the whole chip. Im just going to start doing that before I send you guys the chip. I just found out you could do that like a week ago.

We don’t have as many people to teach in this area as we did in Fox Run, but the people that we are teaching seem like they are a lot more promising. We have about 6 or 7 investigators. I haven’t met each one of them yet, but from what I hear, they are amazing people. We average about one or two full lessons a day here so its not to bad. The Lord will help this area to grow, I know it.

I will send Boppa that letter today. I have a lot of letters to write today so I will add him to the list. Ive been writing Ray and Brett so that’s been fun getting letters from them. It sounds like they are both doing very well. I miss them a lot. Anyways, I am back to using dumb library computers that only give us 60 minutes to write all our emails like I had back in Navarre. So im gonna go write President now. If I have some extra time, I will get back on and write a little more. I love you guys so so so so much. Seriously, a day doesn’t go by where I am not thinking about the family. I hope you don’t ever worry about me. Im loving life right now. I have never been so happy. The lord is blessing me in so many different ways. If I am ever struggling, he gives me the strength to cope. There is no need to worry. The Lord is on my side. I love him and know that he lives, and is watching over me. I love you Mom. I love you Dad. Stay close to the Savior. Make sure the rest of the Family is too. I Love Yall!!!!!!

Elder Joshua Burnham

"But for a small moment"

Mom and Dad-
So yeah the storm was actually pretty sweet over here. It was mainly tropical storm conditions which is still unlike any rain ive ever seen. The storm has already passed but there is still some thunder and lighting going on outside. Did you here about the other tropical storms out in the Atlantic right now? Hanna, Ike, and Josephine. They say its really crazy to be having so many storms back to back like this. So maybe we will have better luck in a couple weeks with another hurricane haha. But anyways, of course mom, I am safe and yes my seatbelt stays on. It was on in that video! I promise!
So guess what? Im getting transferred again tomorrow! I’m moving to Crestview Florida. Its in the Fort Walton Zone. Im going to be with Elder Hill. I hear he’s a really good guy. Its kind of bitter sweet because I love Fox Run. I really don’t want to leave the people here. So I don’t know what to think yet of these transfers. The one really good thing is that im going to be in Elder Lewis’s Zone. That’s the one I was in the MTC the first time with who I loved. He’s so awesome. I really excited to serve around him.
So I’m glad you liked the pictures. Whats the name of the blog sight? Ill see if I could get permission to check it out Im taking tons of pictures with the other chip because I feel bad about how long it took to get pictures out to you guys. I just took some awesome pics yesterday of a banana spider next to our apartment. No joke, this thing was as big as my hand. And im not exaggerating! It was pretty cool.
So this week was still a pretty slow week just like last week. Elder Keesler was still pretty sick so we didn’t have a chance to do much. We found a few new investigators and taught a few different people but that’s about it. Plus we couldn’t do anything all day yesterday because of the storm. Oh crap! I just realized I forgot to tell you we didn’t have P-day yesterday. Our p-day is today because of Labor day. Sorry, I’m sure you weren’t expecting an email anyways because of the storm so I think im good.
Definitely take some pictures with chad and take some next time you go to the lake. And could you maybe print off some of the better pictures I sent you guys? I would like to have some of those pics. Next time ill get some developed off my chip before I send them to you.
I just listened to a really great talk this morning by Maxwell for my personal study. I forget what its called! Dang it! I was going to tell you the name so you could look it up. Ill write it down when I get back and tell you next week. Its sooo good. Oh I remember!! Yes!! It’s called, “But for a Small Moment” Its one of the best talks that I have heard up here so far. If you haven’t read it, you guys should read it this week. It changed my mission when I first read it in Navarre when I was serving with Elder Honzic. If you have any good talks for me to read, let me know.
Oh yeah before I forget, Dad- can you burn me a couple CDs off the computer? If they are still on there. They might have been on the old computer. Can you burn me Alexi Murdoch and also that really good “slap guitarist” that we really liked. The one that had that video? I think the song was called drifting. Thers no lyrics. That kind of stuff is approved out here for P-days so if you could do that that would be really cool.
Anyways, I have to go email president now. Im glad to here everything is going good back home. I love you guys so so much. I hope you know how happy I am out here. I havnt had a baptism yet but that’s OK! Some of the conversions ive seen have been better than seeing a baptism anyways. I love you guys. Tell the family I love them too. Bye
Elder Joshua Burnham