Monday, December 28, 2009

Dec. 28 Merry Christmas!

Hey Mom and Dad-

It was so much fun getting to talk to you guys on Christmas. I was so happy all day. It was great getting to talk to the rest of the family as well. You will be happy to know that i did end up getting your package. It was in the front office and was probably there since wednesday. Thank you so much for everything. You got me way too much! I love you guys. It was nice getting a second Christmas to open presents. The sweater is perfect and all the snacks and gift cards you sent saved me this month because i have very little money left on my mission card. Thank you so much.

I ended up buying one pair of nicer slacks today for $50 and a good pair of shoes for a little over $60. I will now be able to last for the next four months, so thank you for that as well.

It is so wierd that my last I dont have any more phone calls! It feels life all of a sudden everything is going light speed now that the holiday season is pretty much over. Talking about school on the phone was just so wierd. Am i going to survive in the real world? Am i going to be a huge dork? Oh well if i am. I will just find a dorky girl in New York somewhere. I AM JUST KIDDING! But seriously, i am so excited to see you guys and spend some time at home. It is going to be hard to leave here though. I honestly dont care very much about the plane ride home. I would actually rather sit next to you guys. Seriously, i mean it.

Well, i dont have too much more to talk about, seeing that i already pretty much talked to you about everything just a few days ago. This week was a good week. We found a few new investigators, and one of them seems really solid. I gave a talk at church this last sunday as well. I hope you guys have a great week. I love you so much! Be safe and wear your seatbelts when your driving!

Love, Elder Josh Burnham

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dec. 21

Hey guys!

You havent gotten my letter yet? I sent it off on Thursday so hopefully you will get it today. Sorry you had to call the mission to get my adress, i wrote it down on the letter i wrote and i was hoping it would get to you by Saturday.

Anyways, i wrote all the details of last week in the letter that you will most likely be getting today. The new area is great. It has alot of potential, i am just trying to endure until next tranfer................. I guess the leadership in the Mobile hasnt been very strong in the past few months and that has made an impact on the whole Zone. I am just trying my hardest to think of ways i can help some of these missionaries make changes. Its really hard for me after working so hard in Fort Walton and Troy, to see missionaries who just kind of do things their way. If i have learned anything from my mission, it is the fact that if you are shooting for anything less than exact obedience, you will not be guided by the Spirit; and if you are not guided by the Spirit, then you cannot have real success in the work. So anyways, thats why the adjustment was a little difficult here. But, things have gotten alot better. My companion is getting more and more motivated every day, and our Zone had one of the best weeks they have had in months this week. So things are picking up. I really enjoy getting to work with President Summerhays. He seems alot more open with the zone leaders. In my interview, he told me alot of things about the Zone, and gave me alot of encouragment to help make changes in some of the areas. I cant wait for you guys to meet President.

This week was so much better than last week. I talked to ...(the other elders)....told them what i wanted out of my mission and asked for theirhelp, and( they) have made alot of changes and are working alot harder. We have done alot of tracting, but still dont have anyone too solid that we are teaching. I have had some really great studies that have altered the way i look at things in my life. I finished marking my last Book of Mormon in August and started another one. I am marking the Blessings and Conditions again. That book has been such a source of strengh for me throughout my mission.

As far as my responsibilities go, all we really have to do is help the missionaries in the Zone to be motivated and be examples for them. We go on alot of trade-offs with younger missionaries and help them in their teaching and finding efforts. We conduct the meetings at Zone Conferences, but President does the main bulk of the Training. Also, every month we have Zone Leader Council in Crestview where we receive leadership training from President on how to encourage and help the missionaries in our Zones. There really isnt too much more than that. Its fun. I actually really like helping the othe Elders. I have served with or around a few of them in this Zone earlier on in the mission, so it is fun to work with them again.

So yeah, that is pretty much it. Ill be able to talk to you more about all the details on the phone in FOUR DAYS!!! I am so excited to talk to you guys. I wont be calling early to set up a time, I will just call you early in the morning like last time and set everything up. Ill probably call around 7 or 8 pm my time. I have so much to talk to guys about, i can hardly wait:) I will write things down this week. I have been religiously writing in my journal over the past 5 months as well so i will have that by me when i talk to guys. We are going to have district meeting on Christmas morning, then we are going to the Soup Kitchen to feed the homeless. I am looking forward to that. After that, we are going to The Shlamers for either lunch or dinner and they said we can just use their phones. We will find out exactly what time we are going over there and i will let you know Christmas morning. The rest of the day, when i am not talking to you guys, we will most likey be tracting. I hope you write stuff down too so that you dont forget anything!

I think the package you sent will be fine. We have a pretty secure mail box that you need a key to get into; and if it is too big for the drop off box, our apartment is on very botton floor of the building and is pretty much the only one down there. Its pretty secluded, so i think the package will be fine, even if they just drop it off.

I promise to be careful over the next ew months, but you guys have to promise to be careful when you go up Skiing. That is going to be so much fun. Did you get to Ski at all last year?

Well, i will stop now so that i will have something to talk to you about on Friday. I love you guys. Please be careful traveling this week. I love you so much. Tel everyone i said hi and i cant wait to talk to them!!!!!!!!

Love, Elder Josh Burnham

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dec 14, 09

Hi mom and Dad:)

The computers have been the most frustrating thing ever today! I wrote you guys two emails and i am not sure if either of them ended up going through, so this is my last attempt. I actually need to go, but i am going to write you a letter when i get home and send it off in the mail tomorrow. I love you guys so much! I am so sorry!

Love, Elder Josh Burnham

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dec 8, 2009

Dec 8, 2009

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

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dec.7 I'm going to be a zone leader in Theodore

Hey Mom and Dad-

We just got tranfer information, and i am going to be a Zone Leader over in Theodore, Alabama. I am actually a little bit surprised right now. I thought i would be here for at least another transfer and i definately never thought i would be go zone leader on my mission. It will all be ok though. I am going to be serving with Elder Fox. I have heard a little bit about him and he seems like a really good missionary. One of the cool things about leadership is that i dont have to worry about serving with a missionary that doesnt want to work at all, so thats good. I am really going to miss Troy though. There has been so many good people out here. Ed is probably the one i will miss the most. He is one of the miracles that i have witnessed on my mission. His wife mary is slowly coming around. She is so sweet, and Ed has a very strong feeling that one day they will be sealed in the Temple. There are some other really great people too that are going to go really far, and i am a little sad that i dont get to teach them any more; but at the same time, i am pretty excited to go to Theodore. Theodore is in the Mobile Zone. It is probably going to be the most Southern place i have been in so far. From what i hear, there are alot of ghettos out in that area, but i will be careful , dont worry. I am guessing this will be the final area of my mission.

This week has been good. We did alot of service for this less-active family by putting up their Christmas lights. Tracting and Contacting didnt produce too much success this week, but we were still able to find a few people. We had a really great lesson with Dora and her family on Tuesday. We approached it a little bit differently this time. Instead up going in and just teaching a specific lesson, we started off by asking, " what questions do you have about God?" It went so well. Each question that was asked was so profound. The Spirit was working through everyone in the room, inspiring each member of the family with the questions they should ask. Then instead of us just answering there questions right away, we asked, "Well, what do you feel the answer is?" Because of how strong the Spirit was in the room, each person was giving true doctrinal answers to their own questions. Even the 11 year old boy that was their asked the question, "well if God created us, then who created Him?" It was a really great night. Later on in the week we had a really good lesson with Ed as well. He was telling us about his first revelatory experiences that he has had since he has been baptized. He recieved two very strong answers this week that the Church is the one true Church. The testimony that he bore of those experiences in that lesson was so powerful, and helped to root my own testimony even deeper of the truth of this work.

It sounds like you have a fun few days with Parker. I am so excited to see all the kids. I am also really excted to see the dogs, as lame as that sounds. I laughed when i read about sadie getting all freaked out from the heater and then climbing in bed with you. She is so funny.

I thought of a couple things i could use out here. I could use a black sweater. I know express has black sweaters that fit me pretty good. I could also use some gloves. Just some thin normal cotton or wool ones. It is getting really cold out here. Just yesterday it dropped to 24 degrees and was supposed to snow, but it never did. For now those are thonly things i can think of.

I am sorry there is not much more to write about. We had some other lessons throughout the week and some doors slammed in our faces, and some cookey people we talked to, but i always feel like i am boring you when i write the little details that dont really matter. I am a little nervous right now to leave Troy and go to Theodore. Leadership scares me because i still feel like i dont know anything about it. But it will be a good change. I know the Lord will fill in for my weaknesses and give me the strength i need. He has done it for the past 20 months, so why would he stop now?

I love you guys so much. Christmas is going to be great. I cant wait to talk to you. Tell everyone that i love them!

Love, Elder Josh Burnham