Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reading Jesus the Christ

Mom, Dad, and Family-

This week has been a pretty good one. We found 4 new people to teach so that was pretty good. The weather is getting so nice here. Its about 75 degrees today and not very humid at all. That’s pretty much how it’s been all week and hopefully it’ll keep getting colder from here on out cuz I’m loving it You want pictures of Elder Honzic? That was my trainer, I think I sent pictures of him a while ago. Elder Hill is who Im with right now. I know its probably confusing because they all start with Elder.

Im still having a blast here. The only thing I miss is being around other missionaries for P-day. The closest missionaries to us besides the sisters are about 45 minutes away in Defuniak Springs. The whole Jenny situation worked out pretty good. We are still going to teach her. It’s a long and complicated story so I'm not going to get into it haha. But it worked out that’s all that matters. We actually just taught her another lesson yesterday and it went really well. She said she wants to be part of the church and raise a family in it so I think she is getting pretty close. Id say she is probably our most promising investigator right now. We ended up doing a butt load of tracting this week. Its hard to get ward members to get out and talk to their friends and neighbors. Seriously, that is the only way the work is going to progress, is if the members realize that it is their job to get out and find people. I feel for them though, because it is extremely intimidating to talk to people in the south considering everyone is Baptist and pretty much everyone has heard of the Mormons and thinks we are a bunch of Loonies. I guess theres an anti-mormon movie that’s really popular our here called God Makers. Its some ex-temple worker that fell away and he made this cartoon of the temple ceremony that is all false. Most of the people that like to bash out here have that movie and swear by it. Its so annoying.

So Daniel Griffin is putting in his papers? That is so crazy! Has Brett Anderson left for Africa yet? Ive been talking to Ray and Brett a lot lately. Its kinda fun writing letters back and forth with them. Ive also been writing to Emily Labonte a little bit lately. She says shes going down to Yorba Linda for a little bit soon and shell probably come visit you guys. That’s so awesome that you guys talked to Sister Baird. Yeah she was way cool. Her Daughter is Sister Cooksie in our Ward. The Cooksies are probably one of my favorite families out here. So You talked to her for like 30 minutes I here? Sister Cooksie said you guys were both crying lol. That made my day yesterday when I heard she called you guys. I knew she was going to try but I know how our family is with answering phone numbers we don’t recognize haha. That’s awesome that you guys are doing that Prop. 8 thing on the street corner. Ive heard a lot about that out here as well. Everyone is talking about how bad it is in California right now. So scary. But at least we know that whatever happens, it'll all work out in the end.

Ive been reading Jesus The Christ every night before bed. Thank you for sending it out. That book is so amazing. Its completely addictive though. Can you believe how close Christmas is? That is so weird to me. Summer flew by way to fast. I don’t really have any Christmas ideas yet. Ill probably ask for another brown pair of 32”32 express pants and that’s it. I really need Shawna's new address. I wrote her and the family a letter and I cant send it until I have their new address. Anyways, sorry about the boring letter. There wasn’t that much to write about this week. Ill do better next week. I love you gusy with all my heart. Your in my Prayers every night. I love you Mom! I love You Dad! Im way excited to talk to yall on Christmas

Elder Joshua Burnham

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Current Address in Crestview

Josh's local address in Crestview is:
368 Hospital Dr.
Crestview, FLA. 32539

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A great phone call!

Just had a call from a lady named Kathy Baird, who just recently had dinner with Elder Burnham and Elder Hill in Crestview, Fla! She was visiting her daughter and they had the missionaries for dinner. She called and told us how cute these elders were, what a sweet message Josh gave, and how impressed she was with them! She said she thought Josh had been out a whole lot longer than he has been cause he seemed so confident with the scriptures, and seemed like a "seasoned missionary"! He looks great, has gained 25 lbs, and she said the ward there was so friendly and there was such a good spirit there. In fact all of the people she had met in that area were extraordinarily friendly and sweet. All of this information is quite good to hear of course! Makes me realize I need to call the families of these elders we have for dinner. The call meant so much to us!!

Sister Missionary drama

Hey Yall!!
So this week was kind of a quiet week back at home? Im sorry. That’s probably a good thing to have every once in a while though. When are you guys going up to the lake again? I sneeked a peak at the blog site just now lol. Im glad everything is going good back home. I had no idea Ryan was engaged though! Wow that’s crazy. Have you met the girl? Is she cool?

This week wasn’t as exciting as last week, although there was a lot of drama in our district. It was actually quite annoying. I don’t know if dad or chad ever served in a district with sister missionaries, but if they have, they will know what I am talking about. To make a long story short, Jenny(the girl we have been teaching) lives about 500 feet outside of our boundaries which would technically mean that she is in the sisters area. But Jenny has said that she is comfortable with us teaching her and her fellowship is in our ward. Anyways, the sisters freaked out because we called the Zone leaders and they said for us to keep teaching her. So one of the sisters called my companion(Elder Hill) and left probably the most threatening message I have ever heard from a girl in my life saying she was going to tear him a new one and then kill him. Elder Hill is the District Leader by the way so he pretty much takes all the heat from them. I just sit back and watch it unfold haha. I recorded the message and im going to send it home so you can hear it because frankly, I think its hilarious.

Besides that, this week was a little slower than usual. We taught a few lessons so that was good. A bunch of people either cancelled on us or we had to cancel on them because it rained pretty heavy in the beginning of the week so it makes it difficult on the bikes.

We just got transfer information today. This is the first time I am actually staying with the same comapanion for more than a transfer. Its kinda nice because I actually get along with Elder Hill pretty well. Sometimes I get a little annoyed with him, but hey after Serving with my first comp, ill be fine serving with anybody for the rest of my mission.

Although not that much happened this week, I feel like ive still grown a lot. I reflected a lot on my calling as a missionary. I really feel like we are a part of something so amazing. Not just us as missionaries, but the Church in general. Ive taken the Church for granted my whole life, and I feel like im just starting to figure out the importance of it all. I guess im just really grateful to be out here serving the Lord. He has shown me so much. I have been able to make so many changes in my life, and I have been able to realize my true potential as a son of my Father in Heaven. Im sorry I don’t have much to write this week, but just know how grateful I am for how you brought me up and raised me in the gospel. Although ive learned a ton on my mission, you guys taught me the basics of who I could rely on when ever I needed help, and that is what saved me.

I love you guys so much. I love our Family with all my heart. I think about all you guys everyday. And it doesn’t make me sad at all, it gets me so excited for what the future has in store. I have been blessed beyond measure with the opportunity to be out here. I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven that he has seen it fit in his plan to allow me to be an instrument in his hands. I love You Mom! I love you Dad! I love you Katey, Shawna, Chad, and the rest of the Fam!

Elder Joshua Burnham

Monday, October 6, 2008

Missionaries do not teach these lessons, the Spirit does!

Mom and Dad-

Hello again! K my Address is 368 Hospital Dr. Crestview, Fl 32539.Yeah I just got the package on Saturday. When did you send it? Im pretty sure it takes like 4 extra days to go through the mission office. Thank you so much. Its nice to have stuff to snack on. That’s awesome you guys had everyone up at the Lake house this weekend. Sorry about the weather though. Was dad bummed? General Conference was so good. I really liked Elder Hollands talk on Angels ministering to us. That one was hit me pretty good. Which ones did you guys like? I loved how when they announced the temple in Rome, you could hear everyone in the conference center gasp. We watched it at our church building. There wasn’t too many people there because most people just watch it on tv now days.

Yesterday was amazing! In between sessions, we had a lesson with this girl named Jenny. Her boyfriend Ben just got his mission call to New Zealand and a couple weeks ago he gave us a call and said he wanted us to teach Jenny some of our beliefs. Ben is awesome by the way. He totally reminds me of Ray. So anyways, last week we taught her the First Lesson and she just seemed very quiet the whole time. Then a couple days later Ben called and said that Jenny was still very interested and she had read some of the Book of Mormon. So we met with her yesterday and it was such an amaizing lesson. At first she was saying how she just didn’t know how to know for sure whether the Catholic church(which she was raised in) was right or the Mormon church. She told us how everything about the Mormon church just feels so right and it all sounds so good, but she just didn’t know. She then said that she had prayed but wasn’t sure if it was an answer she was getting or just her own feelings. I explained to her that God is always going to give an answer, that’s not the hard part. The hard part is the fact that so many people in todays world are just too comfortable with there lives to actually act on the answer when it is received. I told her that I have seen way to many people on my mission so far that have prayed and prayed and prayed for answer, then they complain and say the church isn’t true because they didn’t receive a sign. Its not because God wasn’t willing to give them that answer, its because they were not willing to act on it and to change there lives. I bore my testimony to her about prophets and about the plan of salvation and eternal families. She then started crying and said she knows its true, but she didn’t know how she would tell her parents. She said that she was scared that they wouldn’t speak to her. I then told her about Mom and how she converted and how Nanna and Boppa didn’t but how they still loved each other. Then we talked about Temples and that they will have the opportunity to hear the gospel whether it be in this life or the next. To sum it up, she expressed how she wants to raise her family in the church. She told us that as she has read about baptism, she gets so excited. ANYWAYS, it was a good lesson. I wish I could explain it better! Words cant describe how happy I was yesterday. We had planned on teaching her the plan of salvation, but for about an hour and a half we talked about stuff that had nothing to do with that. It was a testimony builder for me, that the spirit directs these lessons, not us. Ben called us today and said that Jenny said that every single thing that was said by Elder Hill and I, were answers to questions that she had prayed about the night before. Missionaries do not teach these lessons, the spirit does.
That whole thing probably sounded extremely boastful, sorry. I was just really excited. I hope that all made sence. I love you guys. I wish you were here sharing these experiences with me. I love my mission. Experiences like the the lessons we had with shaheem and Jenny make every bad day worth it. Mom- Yes I am taking my Juice Plus pills. I just took one today I love you with all my heart. Dad- I love you with all my heart too. Take care of the grandkids for me. I miss them so much. I love those pictures you sent. Im fine on cloths, at least till Christmas I love Yall!!!

Elder Joshua Burnham

P.s. The rest of the week was good too. I just realized I didn’t really say anything about how im doing or how the rest of the week went. All I did was tell you that story. Ill do better next week Sorry! I love yall!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Nov 1, 2008 Zone Conference always rekindles the fire


Hello Mom and Dad and Family!

This week was a pretty crazy week. We had Zone conference on Wednesday which always seems rekindle the fire in the work. We made a lot of changes this week with the activities that we do on a day to day basis. We went through and just wiped out all the activities we do that didnt affect our numbers over the last few weeks. Our desire to find people to teach really increased after Wednesday, and we are both happier because of it. Earlier this week, we got a new investigator named Marty. Marty is about 30 years old and has lived an extremely rough life. He was an adopted child and when he was about 10 years old, his parents decided they didnt want him anymore and he went to a foster home. He was living with a foster mom for a couple years until she died. He grew up extremely rebellious, blaming god for all his problems. He has lived on the streets for the past 5-10 years and has been on and off hard drugs. About 2 years ago he got in hold of his Mom who gave him up when he was 10 and he has been living with her. Hes been clean for the past 2 years as well. Anyways, so we met Marty and we taught him the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. Already in one week he has almost read half of it. He is extremely smart and has researched many different religions. He said that that Book of Mormon just ties all the loose ends that were in his mind. He mentioned how he read about the Mayans and the myth of the great white God who visited them and how it makes sense that it was Christ. He said that he has always known that there was just something missing from the Bible and
that there had to be something else. So yeah, we had a lesson with him 3
days ago and asked him if he would be baptized and he said Yes! The date
is for Nov. 22. We have a lot of work to do though. He still has coffee on a daily basis and he is an anarchist haha. Were researching the group that he is part of to make sure there isnt any illegal stuff that goes on in it. Were taking him fishing next P-day because he really doesnt have very many friends. Ill send some pictures home of him. He still looks pretty rough around the edges with his foot long hair and his 6 inch beard, but he is such a good person. So pray for Marty!!

Thats awesome that yall went to the lake this week. I miss that place so much. The weather that we are having out here lately reminds me a
lot of the weather in California. There isnt too much humidity anymore and its about 70 degrees every day. Such nice biking weather! So the wave runners are running well? Thats good to hear. I cant believe we have a master craft and wave runners out there. Jeeze. I dont even want to think about it haha.

Yeah Ray and Brett are both doing good. Its been awesome talking with them.
We are still cracking the same jokes and being all nerdy like we used to so thats fun. Emily is doing really good as well. Shes in the relief society presidency in her ward in Utah so that says something haha. Ive wrote Kimmy about a week ago so Im still waiting on that. Its been really fun keeping in touch with people. It really has eliminated the whole home-sick part of the mission so it actually makes work a lot easier. I still need to write Chad and Katey. I just sent a letter off to Shawna and the Kids so now im working on them. Thats good to hear that chad is so close to being done. Thatll be a blast to have them closer to home.

I feel like my letters have been really boring lately, I'm sorry. Im going to be better at writing in my journal so that I can remember stories throughout the week to tell you guys about. I love you guys and I miss you. But just know that I am happy. This week was amazing. Mom- I love you so so so so much. Dad- I love you with all my heart. The rest of the Fam- I love and miss you all! Bye guys!!!