Monday, December 22, 2008

3 days before Christmas-Right after our first phone call!

Hey Mom and Dad!

That was so fun getting to talk to you guys! I felt so good just getting to here your voices. Things have changed just a bit for Christmas. I probably wont be able to call until about 1:00 pm central time, so it will be 11:00 your time. I am so excited to talk to yall. I forgot to ask you one important thing on the phone though. When do you want me to sent the memory card home? I could send it today, but then you wouldn’t get all the pictures that I take on Christmas. I think im just going to send it to yall the day after Christmas so that you can get more pictures. That will also give me some more time to make a longer recording on the tape recorder

Theres not really that much to say right now because I just talked to you and Im going to have a lot of stories to tell you on Christmas! I already told you the highlight of my week last week. It was so awesome. We were riding our bikes to an appointment with a new investigator, and as we were riding, some kids that were skating on there ramps were making fun of us saying, “Come ride your bikes off our ramps!” They were all laughing at us. So I turned my head around and yelled back, “We will on our way back!” So after our appointment, we were riding back, and sure enough, the kids were still there. They thought we were just going to ride by again so that were still kind of laughing at us. Then I turned the corner and stopped right where they were skating and I asked them what kind of decks they had. They were a little stand offish at first, but then one of the kids who looked like the oldest of the group asked me if I wanted to try. So I got on his skateboard in my brown Bostonian dress shoes and my white shirt, tie, and slacks, and landed a 360 flip on the first try. Right away all of the kids opened up and all started letting me ride with them. While this was happening, Elder Hill was talking to their youth pastor about the restored gospel. He saw that I was messing up my dress shoes, so he took his shoes off and let me where his. After about 45 minutes, we ended up leaving, and we thought that was the end of it. But the next day we got a phone call from the other Wards ward mission leader saying he had talked to some youth pastor that said he was extremely interested in the message that these two young skater missionaries at taught him the day before! So were going to go back this week and talk to this guy more!! So yeah that’s our fun missionary story for the week. My mission has been full of these types of experiences so far. I don’t know why the Lord has blessed me so much when I am such a punk haha! I love Him for it though. He understands me perfectly, and im starting to understand Him a little more every day. I love how it works. Prayer has completely changed my mission and my life. I love it. I am so grateful for everything I have and for the miracles that I have seen out here.

Mom and Dad, I love you guys so much. Thank you for everything you have done for me. Thank you both for the patience that you had with me. I love you with all my heart. I am SOOOOO excited to talk to you on Thursday!!! I love you!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!

Elder Joshua Burnham

p.s.- Sorry this was a short one, I figured I wouldn’t say as much so that ill have more to tell you on Christmas

Monday, December 15, 2008

Josh's first baptism!

Mom and Dad-

So yeah everything went well this week. The baptism was awesome. Her boyfriend Ben was actually the one that baptized her. It was such an awesome experience. She is still going through a lot with her parents, but her testimony is just so strong that I don’t think anything could break it at this point. After her baptism on Saturday, Jenny went with her parents down to Destin for some family thing. I guess her Dad totally cussed her out and said that as long as she is living with them, that she will have to go to the Catholic Church. We were pretty stressed out when she called us and told us all that because her confirmation was the next day (Sunday) and so was her parents church. So she ended up calling Bens dad and he drove 45 minutes down to Destin to pick her up so that she could make it for the confirmation. She was stressed when she got to church, but after she was confirmed, she just looked like she was at peace with it all. Then I guess on Sunday night, her parents called the catholic priest over and he met with Jenny. She said that he asked her three questions. 1.) What is your reason for leaving the Catholic Church? 2.) Are you doing this to rebel against your parents? 3.) What is their (Mormons) view of the God Head? She said that all she did when he asked her these questions was bear her testimony that Christ lives, that he is the living son of God the Father, and that there are authorized Prophets and Apostles on the earth again, and that we don’t need to just rely on the bible alone, but that there is additional scripture and latter-day revelation. Anyways, I cant describe every situation as well as I would like to, just know that it all worked out very well. I couldn’t ask for a better Christmas gift than the joy we had at that baptism. It was awesome.

So anyways, yeah you can have those scriptures, and make all the marks in them you would like. Im going to hang on to the ones ive got. Sadie is so funny, I miss her so much. The other day we were tracting, and I looked on a window and saw two huge black and white Great Danes. One of them looked identical to Sadie, and she was just staring at me with her ears all perked up! Im not gonna lie, I got kind of teary eyed haha!

The works been pretty good this week. We found a couple new investigators, they both seem pretty promising. We got permission from the mission president to go caroling with the sisters last night as well, so that was pretty fun. We had some pretty awkward experiences actually haha.

That good that you have all your shopping done. I don’t yet. Im trying to find some cheap little things for our district cuz I guess everyone is getting eachother stuff and I don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t get everyone something. I am sooooo excited to call you guys. Ill be calling probably the night before to set everything up so be ready Its so wird that it has already been 7 months since we talked on the phone last. Im taking some good pictures for you guys so I hope youll like em. Thank you so much again, I still cant believe yall sent me a camera! I hope you didn’t send me to much in the package, ill feel really bad

K well im sorry that this was kind of a short one, There is a ton of people on the computers today so we didn’t have to much time to write. And I don’t feel too bad because ill probably be sending a Christmas card home this week. That’s right, we made Christmas Cards at walmart haha. Im good as far as food goes, we disposed of all the cakes this week so were good now haha. But anyways, I love you guys so much. I am so excited to talk to yall next week. I love you with all my heart Mom!! And I love you too Dad!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dec 8, 08 Jenny's baptism set for Saturday

Hey Mom and Dad-

`This week as been a good week, we have been doing a lot of tracting lately. For a while there it seemed like we had a ton of really promising investigators but they all seemed to have fallen through the cracks lately, except Jenny of course. So we have been looking through our records and doing a lot of prayer and fasting so that we can find more people to teach. Its been kinda tough, but the Lord has definitely helped us out. We had about 3 days this week of non-stop tracting and did not find a single person. By the time Friday came around we were getting pretty discouraged. Then at Zone Conference on Friday we ended up getting a referral from President Summerhays and another referral from Head Quarters. Then on Saturday we got another referral from head quarters. So we are pretty excited to go see them this week.

Jenny is still set for this Saturday. She is so excited. I don’t think her parents are going to come, but she said she is fine with that. It really is one of the best Christmas gifts I could ask for. She is so solid in her testimony. She just had her baptismal interview last night and we have the whole thing all planned out and ready. Ill make sure and take some good pictures.

Thank you so much for the camera!! Oh my gosh, you really didn’t have to get me such a nice one! Seriously, thank you. I love you guys so much. I went ahead and bought another memory card for like $15 so I hope that’s ok. Both memory card were in the other case that got stolen. The cool thing about this camera is that I can put other memory cards into it and just copy their pictures to the internal hard drive of the camera and then just copy them from the internal hard drive back to my own memory card. I hope that makes sence. It makes things much easier. And the good thing about that is that a lot of the p-day district pictures that I lost, I now have them back because Elder Hill had a lot of them on his camera. So im way excited about that.

Im ok as far as presents go, really, I guess the only other thing I would want is pictures. Even just pictures of the house, and the back yard, and the animals, and that kind of stuff, and of course pictures of the family would be awesome too. And if there are any good talks that you like, you could always print of some of those.

I don’t really have too many fun stories from this week. Zone conference was probably the best thing. I love the spirit that is always there with all the missionaries and President Summerhays. I always look forward to the interviews that I have with him. Seriously, this man is inspired. Every time I talk to him it seems like he knows my exact thoughts, because he always says the exact things I need to hear. I cant wait for yall to meet him.

Oh yeah, I guess another thing I would like is some more Juice Plus pills. I finished them off a long time ago. Seriously, you guys would be so dicusted if you looked inside our fridge. Members just keep making us cakes and pies and cookies. And then after zone conference, we got stuck with all the left ove deserts. We have 3 huge cakes, 3 full pies, about 200 homemade cookies, a batch of brownies, and a tub of ice cream. And then of course our main course meal when we don’t go to a members home for dinner consists of Spagettios and either microwave corn dogs or taquitos. So yeah, those juice plus pills would be nice haha.

That’s fun that you went up to Boppa and Colleen’s. That dinner story made me laugh really hard haha. When is the last time yall went to the lake house? Your probably pretty busy lately with work and with getting ready for Christmas. I am getting so excited to call home. The pre-call to set it up will either be the Monday before Christmas (our p-day) or on Christmas eve. We still need to figure that out, I will let you know next Monday.

Anyways, I love you guys with all my heart. Is there any kind of trinkets that you or the kids would like for Christmas? Mom and Dad, I love you and miss you so much. I hope you know how happy I am out here. I love my mission. It means everything to me there is no where else in the world that I would rather be. I just wish you guys were here to share these experiences with me. I love you Mom! I love you Dad! Merry Christmas!!!!

Elder Joshua Burnham

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Current Address for Josh: 12/1/08
368 Hospital Dr.
Crestfiew, FLA 32539

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dec 1, 2008 I'm so grateful for my family this Thanksgiving

Dec 1, 08

Hey Mom and Dad-

Wow so it sounds like the holidays are going to be pretty fun back home. That’s awesome that chad, Emily and parker are coming home for a while. Yeah, im allowed to call anybody in the family so you don’t have to worry about staying with everybody if you don’t want. Were allowed to call a day or two early so I will most likely call on Christmas eve just for about 5 minutes to set up a time and what not. Im am so stinkin excited! You really don’t have to get me much this year. As far as the ties go, I know that express has skinnier ones and regular sized ones. I would rather go with the regular sized ones. Im not a huge fan of the real skinny ties anymore. You can just send the package to the Crestview address. Tranfers were last week and we are both staying here for another 5 weeks. Can you believe at the end of this transfer I will be hitting 9 months? So crazy. I don’t know where all the time has gone. I will be a third of the way done in about 9 days. But who’s keeping track anyways? Haha.

So dad bought a Nintendo wii? Do you guys play it a lot? I know that bowling game that comes with it is pretty fun. The kids want a new trampoline? Are you really going to buy one? Remember what happened to me on one of those things? Haha

Anyways, thanksgiving was a blast. First we went over to the Mozina families home at around 2:00pm and had our thanksgiving over there. Their family totally reminds me of ours so that was really fun. Theres two boys in the family: chris who is 22 and Justin who is 16. They are so funny . And then their sister amber who is about 21 just came home from BYU so all three of them together was a crack up. We played pictionary for a while with them, and then we went over to an investigators house for a second thanksgiving dinner. This is when things got a bit interesting. This investigators name is Chuck. His daughter Miranda who is 18 years old , got married to a less active member of our ward (Jeremy) who is about 30 years old. He grew up in detriot so he is pretty gangster looking haha, but he is way cool. Anyways, Chucks Daughter Miranda got baptized about 3 months ago, but after about two weeks, she went crazy and started doing drugs and cheating on Jeremy. So for the passed three months, hes been trying to get a divorce with her and she has pretty much been living on the street. So I say things got interesting at Chuck’s house, because he had Mirand and her friends come over, and also invited Jeremy as well. So yeah things went pretty crazy over there. There were a few choice words said, but finally Miranda and her friends left and everything went good after that. We had some good laughs and dinner was amazing. Chuck is about 70 years old, and hes from Boston so he has the coolest accent. Hes really hard headed, but extremely smart and very nice. So yeah Thanksgiving was good

The rest of the week was decent. Elder Hill was sick most of the week, so most the time I was on the phone trying to call potential investigators to set up appointments. That got pretty boring after a while. He says hes feeling better now though so hopefully this next week will pick up. Sometimes I feel like im the only one who wants to actually get up and work. Its getting a little frustrating, but oh well, it’s the frustrating and discouraging times that you grow the most right?

So yeah like I said, you can send stuff straight to here for the next 5 weeks. I havnt gotten any mail for a while now so im excited to finally get something haha! That’s awesome that Emily called you guys. What did she say? Tell my friends to write me! Actueally, most of them have, im just a bum and it takes me a while to write them back lol. Brett sent me some Hillarious Halloween pictures so that was pretty fun.

Anyways, I love you guys. I thought a lot this thanksgiving about all I am grateful for, and there is nothing on earth that I could be more grateful than my family. I love you guys so much. I pray for you everynight. Keep praying for me and especially for my investigators, especially Jenny. Shes still getting baptized on December 13, but she needs all the prayers she can get because of her family. Mom- I love you with all my heart. Dad- I love you so much also. Say hi to everyone for me and tell Chad and Shawna they need to write me back! Im going to write Katey today, and Boppa too because I got another letter form him. Anyways, I love yall!!!!!

Elder Joshua Burnham