Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009 "He said I was going to have an amazing wife!"

Apr 27

Mom and Dad-

Hey guys:0 That is so great to here that the Brady’s are all doing so well. So Tanna and Ray are both coming home on the same day? That’s pretty cool. I love the pictures that you have been sending through e-mail. Shawna has been sending some too. Julie and Ryan look so old! Is what grade is Ryan in right now? I really should write Shawna and ask her, I have been really bad about writing her. Actually, I have been really bad at writing everyone in the family, I’m sorry everyone! I’ll do better! Brett is coming home in three weeks? Wow, I cant believe that. He just wrote me an email last week, and he sounds pretty trunky haha. He has permission to use my wakeboard Dad, just tell him Actually, its up to you if he uses it, because I didn’tto be careful even pay for it. That will be fun to have one of the guys back. You will have to tell me all about his homecoming talk. It would be really I wonder how muchcool if you could record it and send it out to me he’s changed. Do you know if Ashley is still active, or if they are still planning on getting married? Tell him to at least wait until I get back. I don’t want all of my best friends to get married before I get home!

So this week was another great week. We had Zone Conference on Friday which always seems to give me the extra boost that I need. I cant wait for you guys to meet President Summerhays, he is just such an amazing person. Yeah, that will definitely be fun for us to come back out and visit all of the areas out here. There are some awesome families that I would love for you to meet.

Elder Gooch and I are still having a blast together. I have been learning and growing so much over the past few months, and the best part is that I asked President if he was going to be moving us at transfers in a few weeks and he said that we would both probably be staying here, so im excited about that. We did a lot of less-active work this week. One of the guys that’s we found was Brother Robertson. He was so cool. He was probably in his 80’s and is a high priest. He was once David O. McKay’s home teacher, and he told us all kinds of great stories about how he would race the Prophet at stop signs in their old Cadillac’s. We also found three new people to teach who all seem pretty solid. We were pretty busy this week so we didn’t have the opportunity to go back to the Buddhist temple, but we have plans to go eat lunch over their this next Saturday. Reed is still set for May 9th. We had some good lessons this week with a couplePlease pray for him different investigators, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

So you guys are thinking about getting a place in Utah, but still renting in California? Would you be spending more or less on that then the house payment right now? I’m just curious. I’m excited that you guys have all these different ideas, I think you need the open spaces, rather than the congested city life. Have you still been able to save some money with the whole horse and boat thing happening? I don’t want you guys to worry about me, I want you to do whats convenient for you. It really wouldn’t bother me that bad if I came home to a different ward. I would probably just go visit all of them.

My studies have been pretty cool lately. Elder Gooch and I have some really fun companion studies. Ive started reading the Doctrine and Covenants at night now and marking them the same that I did with the Book of Mormon. Its really cool to read the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants together, because both of them provide such a powerful witness that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet, and that all of what we have in our lives is true. Its going to be so much fun when I can talk about all this stuff with you guys. I mean, companion study is fun out here and everything, but I think it will be so much better studying and sharing insights with you guys. I think for sure I want to live at home for a couple months before I move anywhere else. Sorry, im probably making you guys trunky and I still have a year left. Im so happy out here though. I feel like I have already gained so much experience out here just in one year, so im excited to have another one to grow even more. In Zone Conference, President sealed a promise on us that whatever amount of sacrifice we put in to our service, that we would receive an hundred fold in return in this lifetime. It was a pretty amazing promise. He keeps telling me in my interviews what an amazing wife I am going to have haha! I thought maybe he just told that to everybody, but I asked a couple of my companions, and they said he has never mentioned anything like that to them, so I guess my wife will be pretty cool according to President

So is there anything cool going on in the home ward? Any new move ins or move outs? Who is planning on going on there mission next? I love you guys. I think im going to go now. Im going to a produce store after im done here and we are going to by tons of fruits, vegetables, and grains, and were going to go on a week long health food diet and see if it gives us anymore energy through out the week. Elder Gooch is mainly just excited for the incredible poo’s that its going to give us, which is definitely going to be a plus. Well, I love you Mom, I love you Dad, I will be calling in a little less than two weeks. I don’t know if I will be calling Robbie, if I did, it could only be for a minute, because its MOTHERS day not call everyone day haha. So I dunno, we will see. Anyways, I love you all

Love, Josh

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Great Week

Mom and Dad-
Wow thanks for that super long email I love reading all about what is going on back home. That is probably one of the coolest things ever that Andy is now making grills for MMA fighters. Is that just a small little side thing or is he going to make that part of his practice? Its sounds like you guys had a fun week. Do you just go to Church up at the Overton ward?
This week was another great week. We reached all of the goals that we set for the last two weeks so that’s pretty cool. The appointments with those kids that we met didn’t end up working out. We went and knocked on the door, and an older lady answered and said, were Christians, and I don’t think my daughter understood what you were giving her. So yeah, that was pretty lame, but we did have some other really good appointments that did go through. We met with a man named Farencox on Saturday (probably the coolest first name ever) and we had a great lesson on the Restoration with him. He is a really neat man, who hasn’t affiliated himself with any church because he does not want to be deceived. He says that he just reads the bible and relies on the spirit for all of his knowledge. Its pretty interesting, because he has so many of the same beliefs as us, because he hasn’t been tainted with all these other crazy doctrines from other churches. So we have high hopes for him. Reed is our other investigator who is doing really well. Were going to set a baptismal date with him tomorrow for May 9th.
Friday was probably the best day this week. We met a less-active lady from our Ward named Nikki, who was baptized a couple years back. Well, Nikki is from Thailand and although she is a member now, she still goes to the Buddhist temple every week and eats lunch with the Monks there. So she ended up inviting us to the Buddhist temple to eat Thai-food with these monks who just came from Thailand last year whos names were Su-Tom and Su-Chet. It was so cool to eat with them and to see their culture and what they were all about. We had a Thai Book of Mormon that we were going to give to the Monks, but it turns out that they already had one. They have heard about the whole Restoration from previous missionaries. They told us that we could come back every week and eat lunch with them in their temple so we are pretty excited about that. The food was the best food that I have had in a long time. Su-Tom actually invited us out to Thailand with him when we get off our missions, but im guessing that might be a little too expensive.
K, so I found this awesome Sermon by Joeseph Smith called the King Follet Sermon. If you guys have not read it, type it in on google and read it! It is the most incredible discourse ever! Joseph Smith Smith uses the bible to prove that God was once a man like one of us and that we can become as he is. Seriously, you both need to read it, consider it a Homework assignment haha. I really want to talk to you about it next week in emails, or maybe even when I call home in about 3 weeks Ive had some really interesting studies lately. Im reading the Book of Mormon for the most part in the Mornings, and Now ive started to read the Doctrine and Covenents at night when were done with everything. I forgot how cool that Book is. Its all just such a great testimony builder that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet.
After im done emailing, The Hensleys from our ward are taking us to Destin to go fishing off the Jetties. I guess the fishing out here is amazing. Last time they went they caught 12 Red Fish in 3 hours that each weighed about 40 pounds, so im really excited to go. Ill take lots of pictures for you.Ill make suere to send some home this week Sorry I don’t have as much to write about as you guys did, I had a good week, I just cant really remember all the specifics. We did a lot of tracting. I should start writing down all of the funny little tracting stories that happen every day in my planner so that I can tell you. Anyways, im gonna go now. I love you both so much. Thank you for everything. I love you Mom, I love you Dad!
Love, Josh

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tornado Dodging

Hey Mom and Dad-
We got to the library a little later than usual today. There were Tornado warnings all throughout Fort Walton and Destine today so we were stuck in for a while. A tornado warning actually means that there is a for sure chance that a tornado is going to touch down whereas a tornado watch is more just like saying it’s a possibility. It was really crazy this morning, we went outside before we even heard there were supposed to be tornados, and within 30 seconds the temperature dropped like 10 degrees and the clouds were all spinning like crazy above us, so that kinda freaked us out. And then after that, the tornado sirens started going off down at the base, so then we really got freaked out and went inside. I have never seen storms like these in my life, its actually really exciting. So anyways, when the rain stopped, we decided to bike over here to the library, although there is still a tornado watch until 5pm. We got pretty soaked coming over here, so that was fun. Don’t worry though, even if a tornado comes, I wore my helmet so I think ill be ok.
That’s so scary about parker, im glad hes ok now. Thatll be so much fun to go up there and see them in St. George. Dad got a whole week off? Is that for Easter Break? That’s way cool. Easter was pretty fun. We went over to a members home and we got president Summerhays’s permission to watch “The Robe.” Have you ever heard of it? It’s a great movie from the 50’s about one of the Roman soldiers who Crucified Christ, and the whole movie is from his perspective and how he turns his life around and ends up believing in Christ and fights for Christianity. Its really good, you should watch it. I know how Dad likes his old 50’s movies haha. Watching it actually totally made me think of you Dad. So that’s pretty much all we did on Sunday night. A lot of really cool things happened during the day though. We have been having a pretty hard time getting people to come to church lately, so we always do our best to invite our investigators and less-active members to come, but we don’t usually get our hopes up too much. On Sunday at church though, we had two non-members that just showed up out of the blue after saying they weren’t going to be able to make it, and about 4 less-active members showed up as well. So we had some really awesome things happen on Easter.
The rest of the week was really good too. We have been specifically praying this week as a companionship that the Lord would loosen our tongues and speak through us as we try and find people to teach, and it has been really amazing what He has been doing for us. We found ourselves saying things to people while tracting that we haven’t normally said before. We had one specific experience while tracting the other day. We knocked on this door, and this teenage girl answered the door with two guys about our age standing behind her. They had some loud rap music playing in the back round, and they all seemed to be a little hung over haha. So we talked to them for a little bit, and the girl said her parents were out of town and that they had the house to themselves. Elder Gooch asked if we could come in and share a message, and they actually let us in. When we got in the house, one of the guys was like, “ go turn off the music and lets listen to what they have to say.” So they all sat down and Elder Gooch and I started to bear our testimonies of the Restored Gospel and how the Book of Mormon had Changed our lives. The spirit was so strong and they all listened to what we had to say. One of the guys(Chase) seemed really fascinated with everything that was said and had a completely different countenance then when we first opened the door. They all said that we could come back next Saturday and teach them, so that was a really cool experience. We found 6 new investigators to teach this week, and they all seem pretty solid. Its really cool how much of a difference it makes in the work when prayer is involved. Prayer is everything, life would be a waste of time without it.
We have a lesson tonight with Reid, who is one of our more solid investigators, so hopefully that will go well. Were going to watch a 20 minute restoration DVD with him and then go into a little more depth on it for him. This upcoming week should be a good one, we have a few different teaching appointments set up and we have a long list of less-active names to go visit as well.
Thank you so much for that package you sent me. Ive already eaten all the Samoas. I cant believe I have already been out for a year, it has flown by so fast. I have such mixed feelings about how fast it flies by out here. Yeah, its going to be so great to see everyone back home, and get started with the rest of my life and everything, but at the same time, I love it way to much out here to ever leave. This is definitely the high point of my mission right now, I love it so much.
Well, I think I have to go now, the storm outside seemed to die down a bit so I think were going to get out of here before it picks up again. The family is always in my prayers, I love you guys so much! I get to call you in less than a month! I love you Mom! I love you Dad! Love, Josh

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

General Conference Weekend

Mom and Dad-

That’s so cool that Chad and Emily are finally done and ready to go. They must be so excited! That’s way cool about the Webbs and there new lake house too. Brett will enjoy that. Are they getting pretty excited to have him back? I just got an email from him saying that he has 6 weeks left! That is so weird. So you want me to go to school in St. George? I don’t know, ive really been looking forward to going out to the provo area but who knows, maybe I will change my mind within the next year. Besides, I will have some time to decide when I get back as well because before I go anywhere, I really just want to go community college at FJC or something along those lines. Anyways, things have been good here. Thank you so much for that blender! You didn’t buy it brand new did you? I really hope not, that would make me feel really bad. But seriously, thank you so much.

This week was pretty average. The storms out here made it really hard to do anything. There were thunderstorms for about three days straight so we couldn’t go out at all in that time. It was kind of annoying because the same thing happened last week. It made it difficult to reach our goals for the week because of General Conference as well. How good was General Conference?! I hope you recorded the first session back home, it was really, really good. My favorite talk of them all was probably Elder Holland’s talk on the Atonement. The stories that President Monson tells are always good. Oh and Elder Perry’s talk on member missionary work was really good too. I loved how he related it to that lost sheep on the hill side, and how the sheep probably wouldn’t listen to the rescue team, but if the Sheppard were there, the sheep would most likely follow his voice. Usually Christ is the Sheppard in these stories, but I loved it how he said that the members are the Sheppard to these lost sheep, because in reality, the members are the ones who have the non-member friends, neighbors, and co-workers. These people aren’t going to listen to strangers, but they will listen to you guys. I don’t know, I just thought he really hit home with that.

Something really weird happened this week. K, so a bunch of new missionaries just got out here, and we have a new sister in our district who’s name is sister Hall. Every night Elder Gooch has to make a phone call to the sisters and make sure they are in safe. So on Wednesday, he made the call and the new sister answered and asked if she could talk to me. So he hands the phone to me, and I was kind of confused. Anyways, I took the phone and Sister Hall was like, “Elder Burnham this is Jen Hall, do you remember me? I was like What the crap?! I went to institute with this girl and we were totally friends with eachother. We hung out every once in a while! Really weird. I had no idea she was even planning on going on a mission, so it really wierded me out when that happened. Such a small world.

I really don’t have to much more to say about this week. Like I said, we weren’t able to do that much. You wanted to know more about Elder Gooch? He just way cool, theres not too much more to say. Hes really dorky, but just so fun and easy to get along with. We have a lot of the same interests about music and all that stuff. And we both enjoy working hard so that works out good. I don’t know what to say, he just a really great companion.

I finished the Book of Mormon this last week, so im starting a new one and Marking in 5 different colors the Gospel of Christ. I just got done with 2Nephi. The last few chapters in 2Nephi are so good! You should go back and read them. It explains The Doctrine of Christ so Simply. I was talking to Elder Goch about it this morning, and its really cool how in just1 or two verses in 2Nephi 31, it says the entire Gospel, Faith, Repentance, baptism, Gift of the H.G., and ETTE. In the bible, to these basic simple doctrines aren’t ever even found all on the same page. Nephi makes it so simple of the exact steps we need to take to be saved. Another thing that’s really cool, is how in 31:10, Christ says, “Follow thou me.” And Nephi says, “how can we follow Christ save we be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? Some people out here are so dumb! Christ tells his disciples multiple times in the bible “follow thou me.” We cant follow Him by just saying “I believe” like so many of the Baptists out here believe. I completely undersatand how they can get so lost though, because the bible can make such simple doctrines so complicated at times. Sorry, that was a weird tangent, I just cant explain enough how cool the Book of Mormon is.

How is Dads Practice coming along? Is the economy effecting you guys in a negative way at all? I don’t really get the chance to hear anything that’s going on so im always in the dark about how everythings going in the outside world. Are you still doing the Teris Toys business Mom? Has anyone been wakeboarding yet this season? I bet the weather out there is starting to be really nice, it is here. Anyways, Im going to go now. I love you guys so much. Thank you for everything Your emails and your prayers help me so much. I love you Mom! I love you Dad!

Love, Josh