Monday, December 19, 2011

Staying strong

On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 11:07 AM, Brianne Burnham wrote:
Dear Family,
This week I was on exchanges with Sister Holmes. She is one of the newest sisters and she is serving in Northville. Served Wed. and Thurs. with her. She is happy and sincere. She is honest with herself and her companions. She is patient and a good listener. She applies what she studies and organizes her day really well. Tracting was hard for her. She isn't as persistent as I can be. I learned I have grown a lot in the last couple of months by going on this exchange. I never thought of myself as bold, but now I strive to have that as part of my nature. I did make her sing with me a couple of times. She was warned about that from her comp. I think I must have a reputation of being the singing sister that sings at all her lessons. Which is true. I do, almost all the time. It's funny thinking about it!
We were able to meet back for practice for the fireside. It was a full program. I sang Oh Holy Night with no piano player, and then later I sang a duet with sister Bishop, with a piano player. The song was called Jesus Was No Ordinary Man. Good and simple. Sister Bishop looked like she doesn't do that very often. Her quite clear voice sure rang simple tunes to those listening ears out in the audience.
I did get the package that the Elders brought me from Jenni. Thank you, but I was warned not to open it till Christmas. Now that I have permission to open it I will do that as soon as I get home. Today we are going bowling with our district for district activity. That's a most common thing to do. I GET TO WEAR PANTS!
We also had New Missionary Orientation this week. It was a busy week for us Sisters. Not a lot of time to have lessons. Our goal is to have 20 lessons a week. We were short and only had 17 this week. :( At the meeting we are lectured by President Homles and the Assistants. We learn about our purpose, how to use PMG, how to be obedient, what the gospel is, and what the doctrine of gathering is. We are also fed an early dinner. It was sooooo Good!
Some highlights of people we met this week are Tony and Dakota.
Dakota is in college has I think two girls and studying biology. He is the son of a potential investigator that lives near us. He was very open and interested in having a healthy discussion, to answer some questions he had about having religion and science in our lives. He is being taught about evolution and biology stuff, that is making him question God and his purpose and even our purpose on this earth. We definitely got caught up in it and stayed way too long. He was fine with it, but as PMG says we should not stay for very long in lessons. SO to us it was too long, but we learned a lot about him and his ideas. We are seeing him again Tuesday. We hope we get in contact with an LDS Biologist soon. Well, very cool experience.
Tony, cool experience two. He was last night. We went tracting and while getting out of the car he was already at the door waiting. We introduced ourselves and mentioned the Book of Mormon. Then all of a sudden I found myself staring at this man in the eyes, not catching everything he was saying, just staring. I knew he was talking about anti-mormon stuff. I knew he was passionate about our souls, but all I could do is look into his eyes and pray he was going to stop moving his mouth and let us answer his questions that were spewing out of his mouth. I learned that some people have pamphlets that prepare them when we come to their door. He used it in front of us and he was reading off scriptures from the Book of Mormon. He was nice, but did not say very nice things about Joseph Smith and other prophets. He mentioned things that allowed me to think to myself and say I am glad I know this thing or that. Even if he doesn't, I am glad we were able to lead him to I hope he goes there to study our beliefs instead of his pastors pamphlets. HOPE goes along way!
Oh and I was sick. Bad bad cold, but I feel better. I sang with it. Not my best performance. I messed up a few times. But I will keep on singing! It blesses lives nonetheless.
Merry Christmas!
Love you,
Finish Strong
Sister Burnham

Another little bit from Sister Burnham:

Sister Bishop and I are doing well. We are serving each other and happy and crying cuz we miss family and praying cuz we love God! I am so happy to be here during Christmas. My heart is full and my mind is simply full of Christmas stories and gratitude for memories of family traditions preparing us for the true meaning of Christmas.

I am probably the most honest trainer. We are slowly getting to know each other more and more each week.

Tell the ward I miss them too.

Love you,
Finish Strong

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Busy, Busy and Cold

We didn't get a letter from Sister Burnham this week but we did find out that she is very cold and obviously too busy to write an update for us. So, if you get a minute you can write her a warm and loving letter to cheer her up! She could really use the pick-me-up!

She has a lot of investigators and she said that Christmas cards would be nice to get. She is working hard and learning the challenges of being a trainer.

Sister Burnham
216 Harrison St #102 Chelsea, MI 48118

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Well I found out this morning from President Holmes that I am training! Her name Sister Bishop and she is from Utah. I am sooooooooooooooooooooooo excited!
She is going to love Chelsea. I Love Chelsea! I meet her tomorrow morning at 9 and then she sets off with me and Sister M around 12:30. I am so happy, yet I am going to miss Sister Jones so much. Wow, mixed emotions. I couldn't believe it was actually happening that I am going to be able to train a sister to be a missionary. Wow, I am not a MTC teacher, but I get to be hands on with her which is even better. It's going to help me remember the fire I had when I came out and I am glad that she is coming to Chelsea. Best first area I think. When I came out to Monroe, I was told that the area was a teaching area. Well, Chelsea is a teaching area, but it is only called that because people when we tract into their homes they talk to us. I LOVE CHELSEA! I am so happy that I can try my leadership shoes on.
So I will let you know how the first week goes. I get an extra hour of comp study because of the training program we have now. YEAH!
Mom, I got the boots! They are perfect for this weather and are working great. I can wear them anywhere. I made the cake as soon as I could. It was good! Thank You! You can send me things like that anytime:)
I am happy Sean is now a missionary. I am happy he is leaving to go work hard. I hope he has all he needs. Make sure you take pictures before you drive into the MTC. Last time we did that thinking we could take pictures off to the side and instead I left right away.
...Read the Book of Mormon everyday! If it's only a verse than its only a verse. But if you do not have the stories and doctrine in your mind at all times you won't give the spirit enough material to work with in times that you need it the most. You have to fill the well within so the Holy Spirit can draw from it. I guess that is for all of us right?
Finish Strong today so God can help you do hard things tomorrow! (Like opening your eyes in the morning)
Sister Burnham

Monday, November 7, 2011

Working Hard in Chelsea

Dear Family,
This will be as long as I can make it because I didn't write you last week. I am so sorry about having you wait. Well I never know whats best. Do I tell you how my week went by covering each day? Or do I just hit highlights that I can remember? Or do I tell you about the studies insights I have had? Or just tell you about the amazing Spirit that is here when Sister Jones and I work together with only love in our hearts and not stress that she is leaving in a week.

I am learning it is difficult to teach someone who is willing to have you in their home, but not want to talk about your beliefs. It is difficult to help them start becoming a seeker of truth. But that is also what we do. Plant those seeds and help those that are not seeking start seeking.
I learned that every one is at different levels. And that if you need to stop talking in mid sentence because you see your comp hasn't spoken for a couple of min, or the person listening has spoken in a few min, then that is alright.
I learned that We Worship God our Heavenly Father. We also worship Jesus Christ. I don't know if we really worship the Holy Ghost, but I do know that I am equally grateful for each. I know their roles and what they plan on doing for me. I know why also.
We are teaching some people who are breaking a serious commandment and they don't know it yet. And we have been advised to share with them and strengthen their testimony in the Book of Mormon first and Joseph Smith, before we teach this commandment. Pray they continue to read and ask questions to God for confirmation of truth that we teach.
I learned on Fast Sunday that there were a lot of families praying for Sister Missionaries in Chelsea. Some went up and bore their testimony for the first time. Almost a whole family went up that are less-active, but are now active and have received a calling to be ward missionaries. AWESOME!
We are also teaching amazing people. The reason is because we have wonderful members in the ward. But even if they are awesome some still choose not to read the Book of Mormon. And of course that is not a good thing. By the way I am in Alma 39. I think I will make it to Dec 23 like President asked us to. Anyways the Book of Mormon is so wonderful and brings so much peace and understanding.
I also bore my testimony in one our lessons on Friday about Family Home Evening and it's vital role in my life as well as all of my siblings lives. I don't know how much it impacted my parents, but my siblings are closer to God because of FHE. I liked when we would be taught by Dad, getting all serious with serious questions about the gospel. One particular story was when they taught us about turning the other cheek. And giving more to another person than your shirt but also you jacket. I don't know if that is exactly in the Bible, but I remember talking about walking with a person one mile then going with him twain or something like that. I learned that I need to press forward a little bit more to myself in how I serve others. And I think my parents and family do really well in that principle.
We gave a church tour that was successful, and yet he wasn't able to make it to church the next day. So we did have only one investigator at church but We were happy that he came! Very proud, of this certain investigator because he is married to a member and he is showing progression in the way he interacts with her and the rest of the ward.
Yesterday we met with a wonderful woman who has brain cancer and is very calm and seems interested in what we teach. OF course she was interested in the Plan, but she had never heard about the pre-earth life. Amazes me every time. She committed to read 2 Nephi 2.
AND BY THE WAY OUR WARD MISSION LEADER IS AWESOME! He is funny and lets us vent and is excited with us when we tell him miracles and asks the right questions. We love him so much and are grateful for every things he does and prepares for. He is catching the vision!
P.S. in testimony meeting and little boy bore his testimony about a nightmare he had. It had demons in it and he was calling out for his family and was praying that his family would be on the other side of this door that he was about to open. Then once he opened the door he heard his dad call him to wake up and get ready for church. And heard his sister in the bathroom. It was a great example of faith I think. It came from a cute 9 year old boy. His sister then bore hers after telling us that she and her little brother practiced the night before what they were going to share. Then their mom gave hers. It was wonderful!
SO I love all of you and can't wait to see who is going to replace Sister Jones. It might be the new sister coming which means I might be her trainer. We will see. I need to prepare always for that job.

Finish Strong!
Love Sister Burnham! xoxoxoxox

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wonderful Week

This last week was WONDERFUL!
Monday- Taught the Bishop's family and had dinner! Taco salad! We committed them to memorize a scripture!
We taught the Covey Family, Carissa, Dee,Todd, and Daniel. And the Schultes. We taught the principle of authority. Worked out well, when Daniel is being a good boy. Daniel is 6! Dee, she is 11 and Todd is 14. We mentioned to them how important authority is and how it is important for baptism.
Tuesday- We met with Sister Dellaire for lunch and helped her put up blinds. We met with Sister Sibley who gets a service project of chopping wood from the whole ward. That happened last Sat. She is very sweet! Met with our Investigator Matt who is 30 and ELECT! He is curious, and searching and understands where we are coming from. His lessons are spiritual and tailored to him. We shared with him the role of the Holy Ghost and he is progressing! He is also dating his fellow shipper! If he goes to church he will go to the stake center in Ann Arbor.
Wed- We had district meeting.We met with the Smiths who came to church Sunday AND STAYED FOR ALL THREE HOURS! YES!!!!! We are so proud of them. We picked up a new investigator in Chelsea. She is a cop for a university and we stood at her door for her, cause she was ashamed of the inside but she was lovely to talk too. Testimony is so important in those moments at the door. Just let one out, and pray they feel the spirit you are trying to convey in your nervousness!
Thursday- We folded laundry for a family and helped clean an upstairs room that was such a burden to them. It was fun! Weird cleaning being fun!!!! We met with Mike, who is our investigator. At that lesson he said, "So, what are we going to do about this baptism thing. This Sat. is coming up, are you going to let me know what I need to do to prepare?" Little did he know, that with his big bag of tobacco we were going to introduce and commit him to the Word of Wisdom so he could prepare for baptism. I chuckled inside but wasn't prepared for what happened next. We had Sister Smith, who is working on this commandment too, give her testimony and definition of the Word of Wisdom, once he grasped the concept that he was not to smoke, drink, or have coffee or tea, he said well, if I can't smoke to be baptized here is the stuff. He gave us all the tobacco he had and cigarettes. That night was cool. He also came to church and survived the three hours because he was getting a ride home. He is quiet and sweet and very subdued. We also met with a recent convert, David Lukasiak, and Sister Smith came to all our appts with us that night which was really good for her to get out of the house.
Friday- We did weekly planning. We were able to talk to a "Less Active" who is struggling keeping house. We met with Matt again and he watched the Restoration DVD with us and said, "That movie answered all my questions about how he started all this." It was so cool to see him commit to read Enos 1 and pray to know for himself what is true. We met Sister Smith's kids and taught them Sabbath Day. The WHOLE FAMILY CAME!!!!!!
Sat- We went tracting in Manchester. We got two potentials living in a trailer park. I love trailer parks now. They have a lot of humble people who are really simple. They listen as well. We continued to stop by people and met with members and the Covey family again. Dee accepted and baptism date is set for Nov 12th. Carissa did as well! We taught the Atonement, simplified! Dee gave a perfect Alma 32 definition of faith. She inspires me!

ALL of our investigators came to all three hours! HALLELUJAH
We met with members and Correlated with our Ward mission leader. I was so happy this week!
Sister Jones and I are singing this Thursday at the fireside and her b-day is on Friday.

Love you,
Finish Strong and You can do Hard Things!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Watch out for Deer!

This week I was amazed at the Love Jesus Offers Me! I LOVE Hymns!
He offered me a chance to live. Last night at 8:40 I hit a Deer going home. The car has a small dent in it and the driver side mirror is taken off and smashed. Tiny bit of blood and Sister Jones thinks she saw the deer wobble or walk away. I did not have my brights on. I screamed loud. We called Elder Harbertson two min. later and pulled off the side of the road. So today we are going to a dealership to see what the cost of the damage is. I didn't even try to dodge it, but I did press on the brakes. It happened so fast for me.

Jesus offered me a chance to find people every day this week. He offered me a chance to trust Him by stopping and helping a lady who was not interested in what we presented, but she wanted us to visit an aunt who is old and sick just down the street. We are scheduling that soon.
Jesus offered me repentance as I slowed my train of thought in lessons and tried to catch myself when I started to complicate things. He offered me a reminder that Sister Jones and I are remembered by the members and we are lead by people that don't even know us. Example was in Stake Conference.

Sister Jones and I are doing a lot more role playing in our Comp study. We are doing this exercise, where I state true doctrine, then she gives a follow-up question and waits for me to answer, then she reiterates what I said and waits if I have anything else to add. It worked out really well today, and I noticed how much courage it takes to teach simply. You share a short sentence and wait to let the person think, when in reality I want to keep talking and sharing all the knowledge I know. Wow, the spirit was sweet and so strong in my heart.
Our goal is to bring people on date and find more investigators. where members can come with us. We are grateful for every referral we receive and contact!
I learned also that my spirit is OLD! So it must have a lot of wisdom already, I just don't remember it. So I thought to myself, then why do I fear when I have a really old spirit in me, so to speak, that has been with God and that gained a witness that this plan was meant to be and is real. So when I feel I can't do something I think about MY Spirit/or ME!!!!!! I can do this. I have that knowledge and that it was created by GOD!
WOW I love the Gospel! Finish Strong! I can do Hard things!
Sister Burnham

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Year Mark

Here are the Missionaries that entered the Mission 1 year ago today!!!!
Happy 1st year Sister Burnham

Elder Robison and Sister Burnham
Elder Robison was in Brianne's MTC District .

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Sister Burnham

We received a couple of little messages from Sister Burnham today. In another one,she challenged us to celebrate her birthday by doing some kind of missionary work. After all that's how she is celebrating. I think we might be able to work something out. Have a great day!
By the way if you want to leave some Birthday messages or how you did some missionary work on the blog I will email them to her next week. Just click on "comments" at the bottom.

From Sister Burnham:
Chelsea is awesome. The members are missionary minded like no other ward. Sterling Heights comes pretty close to it though.

The work is moving along. We are working on speaking clearly and simply to the people we teach. Which wasn't very many this week, 20 lessons, Why are we slacking? I must not be doing everything I should be.

We are ready to baptize people in Chelsea and all the other villages. We are ready to be faithful. Well, we are faithful. We are seeing LA (Less Actives) open doors and letting us talk to them. We are seeing how people are liking Sister Missionaries. We just need to prove to ourselves, to God, that this change will be taken seriously. To the point where there will be no doubt in any ones mind, God sent us here.

We already had a former (investigator) want us to come back, begging that we would. In the same breath she was also telling us she will never believe in the Word of Wisdom and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. But she has read some of the Book of Mormon. Silly one she is.

Okay so I just erased some negative feelings about my teaching skills. I feel better now. I want you to know that we are struggling to know where to go. Who needs us in what village and how do we decide together. We are to the point where we are very sensitive to each other. We know exactly when the Spirit is teaching with us and when HE is not, and we don't have the faith to stop, take a breath and pray.

I feel I need to pray more fervently, with more soberness.

Okay, so, President I was just venting there.

Okay I want to follow the Spirit. I want to be Obedient. I want to love the Book of Mormon. I have done all these things on my mission. So if want to do all of these things, I need to Love my Savior and do it because it is going to be my nature to serve. I want to have charity. I want to have love. I do have a testimony.

I have learned that I talk a lot. Wow, so silence is a goal I will work with this week. Using silence appropriately. Okay, let the Holy Spirit guide.

I will Finish Strong! And God will help me do hard things.

Thank You so much for the birthday gifts. They were perfect. I loved the cheese cake and the nail polish and the Card form Brooklyn. I will want to wear those earrings with a big smile on the doors knowing I got them from you. I will have something to remind me that my family might not be with standing next to me, but you are with me helping me talk to those people that I just meet on the street. Your prayers are heard and we are loving the ward. They are full blown missionaries here and I am hoping I stay here for the rest of my mission.
Sister JONES HAS 5 WEEKS LEFT. I get to kill her off. It is going to be a great help to keep her in your prayers that she doesn't get trunky and continues to progress. I wake up every morning excited to work. I go to bed every night excited to sleep and rest so I can work the next day. I love missionary work. Specifically I love seeing members get excited about it. The Members are my angels.
Happy Birthday to everyone born on this day! And an anniversary for being a one year missionary. How spoiled I feel sometimes and humbled that God loves me to send me to a wonderful family who has shown more support than I could ever ask for.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Transfer to...

This is Sister Burnham's first letter:
I am grateful to be getting transferred. It will be a good change for the area and for me. I am still staying comps with Sister Jones. We will find out tomorrow where we are going to teach.
I love the Conference this month. I love the prayers said and the love the feeling as I share the TRUTH, not my guesses.
I am being converted everyday with each prayer and each confirmation from the Spirit. With each baptism and each lesson. With each Sunday when I take the Sacrament and remember that it is JESUS CHRIST who I am representing. How great is my calling!
Love you so much.
Finish Strong and God will help you do hard things tomorrow. The Work NEVER Stops.
PS Thank you for the Packages! They came at such a perfect time! I love you!

This is her second letter when she found out where she was being transferred too:

Hi I am in a new area. I am staying with Sister Jones and serving in Chelsea. It is a big area. HELL is in our area! Cool!

View My Saved Places in a larger map

Our District has Howell and Brighton.
Our Zone Leaders live in Ypsi. Pronounced ipsee. We have met with some awesome people. The area is beautiful farm land and wide open spaces with five villages. Can't name them yet, sorry. The apt. is nice and clean. We don't have a gym so we went on an early morning stroll around our apt. It is so dark in the morning. But it was nice to experience all this change with Sister Jones. I am very happy we didn't get separated.
We are organizing a lot though. We are making a binder to record the times we stop by to see people and things to keep the ward council papers and information about the members in. It is like a mini area book. Wonderful to have with you. So we are going to PEC tonight.
Talk to you on my Birthday!!!!! I won't open the box til then, but it is very tempting.
Finish Strong and Do Hard things!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Forget Not

A little picture of what President Uchtdorf talked about at the General Relief Society Meeting on Saturday night.

Dear Family,

Oh how I love you!
I am sorry I wasn't able to get a letter from you this week, but thats okay I know that you are so busy. I am surprised when it doesn't come though. I hope you are well and seeing many miracles.
This week was interesting. I was able to sit next to Jenni at the Broadcast. I was able to eat lots of tasty pie and teach a lesson. It was interesting because the two sisters from sterling heights joined. We had a member there and Edna, one of my baptisms, saw me and didn't want to leave me, so she sat in it as well. She is getting up there in age, but it was so cute to hear her say the opening prayer. It was so child like and sweet.
We are working with great people who are wanting to make a change in their life. One investigator is going to tell us in a week if he wants to join or not. We are hesitant because we want to call him every day now and prompt him to recognize the Spirit. I don't know if I need to sit back and let him study and pray for a week or call him. ............ I think I will call him sometimes during the week. He loves us and really cherishes the members.
I am working on asking good questions in lessons. I AM HORRIBLE AT THIS! I just talk to people instead of teach them and that doesn't work. So I am humbling myself. If you have any good questions I can use in my lessons to teach the restoration or the Plan of Salvation or even some of the commandments, please i would love some input.
I am telling myself now that I can do hard things. If I think God wants me to do something and i think it is hard or scary, I am trying to vocally tell myself I can do hard things.
This is the last week of the transfer which means Sister Jones might be staying her last transfer here or she might move for her last transfer.
I struggling in being to casual in some parts of my mission. The way i talk to people or treat others. I need to be a little bit more professional when I am even with Sister Jones in our cozy apt.
It's been a hard week for me, But I will finish strong and do hard things.
I hope all is well, I love you!
By the way did I tell you I sat next to Jenni. I sure loved having her there. I am so spoiled here on the mission. I missed Mom, though. I feel it would have been complete if Mom was there with us. But it is cool Mom, that you were watching it too.

Love you Beautiful Ladies of the Burnham Family!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Zone Conference

This week and last were full of miracles, but today I want to tell you what I learned at the Zone Conference yesterday.
The notes I took are for all of us. But I want future missionaries to focus on this especially.
Teach for Conversion and True Repentance. To teach this we must have lived it. How converted are you? If you are not yet close to knowing with out a doubt who's you are, and where you came from, and what your ultimate goal is, I suggest you find out. In that I have found peace and freedom. Freedom from Satan and temptation. Freedom from fear. Freedom to Love unconditionally.
Make A Goal to do Hard things! Missionaries are trained to do hard things. We live to do hard things. I have made a personal goal to love to do lots of hard things a day. I might even put a number on it later. How many hard things do you do a day?
How comfortable are you with change? When it comes time to go home, will you find it difficult to leave earth, because of change or will you leave your will behind and follow Christ?
How do we offend the Spirit? When you go home from church, how long does it take for you to forget what the spirit felt like? How long does it take for you to become rambunctious and forget what it means to have the Spirit with you always? I am working on this between lessons.
What's the language of the Spirit?
How much of the Doctrine of Christ do you know? How much of it can you testify of?
We teach the people who are seeking! How do we figure out that they are seekers?
Our Mission is too casual, so President Holmes gave us a warning that even on the phone we are being too casual. That is my goal, that I am becoming Christ's Missionary! No more horsing around. I can have fun though but what full fills my purpose!
There are means to the End!

Any insights I would love to hear from you!
Finish Strong!
Love You xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stake Conference

Jennilyn's update:

Since Sister Burnham is back serving in our stake we had the privilege of taking her and her companion out to dinner. Saturday before the adult session of stake conference we went out to eat. Then while Christian was at the Priesthood leadership mtg. I went to an appointment with the Sisters! It was so fun so see Sister Burnham in action. She is a great senior companion and everywhere she goes she fills the room with such a wonderful spirit!

We went to visit a less active in the ward. Sister Burnham and Sister Jones taught and sang about the joy and peace we can find through song and developing any talents that the Lord has blessed us with. We should use these talents to brighten someones day, to share the gospel and help build up the kingdom of God.

When they sang the spirit was so strong and I couldn't stop the tears. Sister Jones is such a wonderful young woman and they work so well together! I am so thankful that I got to see her and mostly HUG her again! I never realized how much I missed her since she was serving in our ward back in March.

I also saw her mission president; Pre. Holmes and he had nothing but great things to say about Brianne. -of course-

Don't forget Sister Burnham's Birthday is October 10th. Send her some great letters for her Birthday!!!

Brianne sends all her Love to everyone and all those that are caring and praying for her.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Convert yourself

Sisters in front of the Detroit Temple

Sister Burnham didn't write a big letter but she did write a great letter to her soon to be missionary Brother Sean.
So I was watching a missionary clip from Elder Holland that really opened my eyes to what my attitude should be like on the mission. Elder Holland was saying that in previous years the missionaries coming home were falling away from the church. And when President Hinckley was alive he said that their must be something wrong with the mission preparation. Missionaries shouldn't be falling away from the church after their mission if they were truly converted. So my advice this week is to truly convert yourself as much as you can before the mission. Elder Holland reminded us about Peter and how he went back to his fishing after Jesus was crucified. Then Jesus came to them asked them to cast there net on the right side and they did. Peter then realized that it was the Savior and he jumped out of the boat to swim towards him. He was then made breakfast by Christ, and asked three times if he loved the Savior. The qualification to be a good missionary is to check how much you really Love the Savior. How much do you know him? So Elder Holland was yelling on the microphone saying we are to leave out nets which were things Peter lived doing and to go feed the sheep. It was a question I even asked myself. Do I really love the Savior. PMG was made to help convert the missionary so he/she can help convert the investigator. The other memorized discussions were not as useful in this endeavor. So he said you should know PMG and use it your whole mission. Get very comfortable with it Sean. And I laminated mine at the MTC in one of the buildings called the TRC. I think it was upstairs. Anyways that is where I also got my Pat. Blessing shrunk and laminated. So, PMG is to help you know how to study for any concern that someone would need. Know the Book of Mormon stories. We are expected to become better teachers than Elder Holland was or Dad when they were on their missions. You will not have time to do all the activities that it says to do for personal study so try to do some before you leave. I pray that you are not feeling over whelmed and I love you and hope you liked this advice. Good Luck this week. Love you, Finish Strong! xoxoxox

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ryan's Eagle

A letter from Sister Burnham to Ryan.

Dear Ryan,
I hear you are getting your Eagle Scout Award! Sweet! I am so excited that you are going to look back on this moment and be proud of what you were able to participate in. You were able to show you can be a leader. I am very proud of you. I am very proud that you were able to accomplish this. I know that it was hard, but you did it. I would love to know what you learned from it.
As your older sister who is having her own experiences here in Michigan, doing hard work, I want you to know it doesn't end. Work will never be over. Work is a way to learn ways to use this God given body. Work keeps us healthy and strong. Work is never accomplished with out faith and humility as well. Give thanks to Heavenly Father for giving you the ability to get your Eagle Award. And you will find that He will bring more things in your life that He trusts you with. Even people's souls. This award if you look at it as something you can actually prove to yourself that you have it in you to be an AWESOME person! You have it in you to show others that they can do it. You have GREAT WORTH in my eyes. I love you and will be looking forward to serving with you more after I get home.
Do you remember when we read the scriptures together on your bed when President Hinckley asked us to reread the Book of Mormon. You were in Mosiah and we read a chapter together. That was one of the first times you and I read scriptures together. I don't know if we ever did that again. But I tell my investigators and other people here that when we got to the end of Mosiah 2:40 -41 I remember thinking how I was happy. I had that happiness when I was reading scriptures with you. I felt the spirit and it must have been important for me, if I remember it so clearly after all these years.
Please keep sharing people what you know to be true. Please keep developing your talents and spiritual gifts. Be trusting! Trust that God's hand is in your Life. You will realize that more, as you prepare to go on a mission.
I wish I was there Ryan. I wish I could give you a hug to let you know I love you. You can do great things if you keep giving the credit to God. Be patient with yourself when you are struggling. God knows whats going on, and he has a plan for you. I know I kind of steered off from the Eagle Award. Sorry! Please be Strong and know that you have two great parents that know what ever you choose to do that is a righteous desire that they are going to support you. You will see that on Friday. Give thanks to God! Boast of your God! Be a witness that you are a Son of God and that he gave you everything to learn and to grow.
I love you,
Finish Strong!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Feelling Better

I am feeling better. I am 100% healthy. I am glad you liked the letter I wrote to Sean. I had an inner ear thing. I had water in it or something that made me so dizzy I would throw-up if I stood up or started walking. I hated it so much! It was that I had a bad cold the week before. No BUENO!...
This is where I love agency. Agency is the freedom to choose to follow God or not. And in this I am studying what God's priorities are for me, in this area. Some areas, God's priority was to tract, or get to know the members fast, or to spend time reactivating this person or that couple. ... Knowing my purpose as a missionary in Michigan is becoming clearer as I focus on my strengths use them, and then continue to work on my weaknesses as well. When I saw how bearing my testimony was so much easier than before I saw that as an accomplishment and felt the Spirit tell me to keep going and started recognizing more things like that.
I am studying out of the New Testament more. Trying to be able to tell more stories in my teaching. "Teaching like Jesus is fun to do, to do to do to do!!!!" (recognize the primary song?) I have some Book of Mormon stories. My favorite is the Tree of Life and also the story of Teancum. When Teancum was angry and went and tried killing the enemy king he failed and died himself. Captain Moroni was so grieved to hear that his friend, who was so righteous, got too caught up in his revenge and died. I use that for anger problems, obviously! All the things I am studying for investigators, we have been teaching. For example, I am studying Judgment day. I was talking to an investigator who said he knows his mom is in heaven. I asked him about Judgment day and if he believed in it. He said yes. So then I followed-up with the question, "If you believe your mom has not experienced judgment day, why do you think she has already made it to God?" He was interested and understood my question. I bore testimony of the spirit world and how we can feel our loved ones near, and that there is more to learn about the after life. He told me, that through the four missionaries he has been taught by, he doesn't remember ever learning about Judgment day. This all happened the first day I met him. I now want to boast of my GOD! Wow, things like that happen, where you know you were sent to an area for a specific person or many persons. God sends his children. My job is to catch them with love and concern and help with their progression.
I am working on organizing good questions to ask and good commitments to leave with people. ... Jesus, as our perfect example, didn't remember the pre-earth life. But through prayer and studying and much faith he came to know quickly who he was and declared it to many people. I want that! I want to know who I am and declare it with Humility to many people. That is a goal to set. As a missionary, goals are so important. I love to set goals now.

I love you Burnham Family! I pray that you are healthy and strong! Keep up the missionary work and find out who you have always been. You are the Noble and Great ones. Read Abraham 3.
Love, Sister Burnham

Friday, August 5, 2011

4 Miracles

Dear Family,

This week was pretty awesome. Sister Jones and I are moving the work along with the Holy Ghost as our third companion. WE are striving to become better at finding people to teach and inviting them to church.
Oh, where to start. Well the miracles this week, are:

1) We got new inv. He is wonderful. He has a open heart to learning truth, he doesn't want to convert exactly to the church, but he wants to learn all he can about us and what we believe. He doesn't know what God really has in store for him. Sometimes I feel like the host on the price is right. I know what is behind door number one and number two, but I can't pick it for them. I can guide them to one, but if are not willing to listen, then they might choose the wrong door. He is 19 and works at a funeral home. SO we are excited to teach the plan and some of the questions of the soul he is wondering about. He said to us after we talked about the book of Mormon, "I need to go to the store and get me one of those." Never have I heard that come out of someones mouth here in Michigan. WAY COOL! We were happy to give him one then.

2) Sunday we had run out of food and when we got to the fourth hour of church the wife of the second counselor in the ward bishopric brought us wraps for dinner. And another member brought us each a green apple. It was an answer to a prayer. I felt like those orphans in the Christmas story about their oranges. I was so thankful for my apple.

3)We had the monthly mission fireside this week. We were able to bring two investigators to it. Brother Fryer and PJ. We watched the Joseph Smith Movie the longer one. It was AWESOME! It was a miracle we got them to come. And we were able to see where PJ is in his progression towards the gospel. I would love some insights or testimonies from the youth who are sixteen. PJ is Sixteen and I feel someone at home can or will connect to him.

4) CARL GOT BAPTIZED SATURDAY! He was my investigator in Romeo. We started teaching him. And we put him on date and he made that date. He is over 70 years old. He entered the waters of baptism in the afternoon. We got there a little before twelve and saw the branch filling the font with buckets and pitchers and trash bins. It was not being filled very quickly so I got to help fill the font. It was so cool to see every one pull together. Even President Holmes was helping out, and took a scary slip from the water on the basketball court. He was right in front of me. He was quick to get right back up and keep helping. What an example. Carl was so appreciative for us Sisters. He calls me shorty. He kept thanking us for getting him started. When he got baptized after he stood there hugging Brother Bishop who baptized him. I was so emotional and filled with so much JOY! Again I saw another one of my investigators baptized. WHAT A MIRACLE!

There are so much more but I am running out of time to write them all.

TO answer some of your questions. The heat is hotter when you walk out side and you feel like you are in a spa. We have tracted some days where it is 90 dgs but it feels like 100 and wet. Homes mostly have air conditioning. I went and bought two lighter summer shirts though. One member got on my case when she saw me wearing my turquoise shirt that I got at Kohl's with Aunt Laurie. She told me that if I don't get some more shirts then she will personally go shopping for me. I didn't want that so I did it last week.

In my personal studies I am reading the New testament. I am trying to be more familiar with the scriptures and understanding how to recognize the Spirit.

Sean, I have a challenge for you this week. Will you allow God to prepare you more for your mission, by writing down times you have felt the Holy Ghost and study how you recognize it? If you can recognize the spirit now then you will be prepared more than any missionary. Teach the family how to recognize the spirit too. Tell me your insights.

Love you all,

Finish Strong,

Sister Burnham

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

All Work, No Play

I finally got some pictures of Sister Burnham to put on the blog so here are a few cute ones I saw.


Sister Burnham doing some service

Gotta love the tennis shoes and skirt!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sister's Trip Downtown

All the Sister's in the Detroit Mission took a trip to see downtown Detroit.
Here are some pictures from their trip.

The work is moving along

Sister Jones and Sister Burnham
Usually when I prepare to write you I am so excited, then when I sit down to type everything just leaves my mind. It is so weird. I really need a new memory. So, this week I have made a couple of discoveries. I have found that I don't give out commitments very well. I want to focus on leaving reading assignments from the Book of Mormon. I think that would be a good start. My hope is that I can give out better commitments that apply specifically to their needs as an inv, mem, or LA. That is my goal this week. Commitment Focus. I will tell you how it goes. I am hoping that I will be able to see a change in my investigators and see them progress as I am bold with giving invitations. I am studying from PMG (preach my gospel)and praying for the spirit to help me. Its worse with Member lessons. So I am trying to adapt my teaching to those that are high on the spiritual level as well. It is easier to start simple. So the faith I have right now is based on the many people I have already seen repent and change and go through baptism.
1) Sister Jones woke up this morning after going to bed at 3 because she couldn't sleep. She cleaned the whole apt last night while I was sleeping. She is doing fine now, but I worry lack of sleep will kick in soon. I have not witnessed a mad Sister Jones yet...! I hope she sleeps good tonight.
2) An inv's wife shut the door in our face. We walked away slowly and then we hear him running out to greet us, apologizing for that. He stayed and talked to us more about his life and situations. He doesn't see himself joining the church, but he does want us to teach his daughter somethings. Little does he know!
3) A member called us last night and gave us a referral!
4) Our new inv is Miss Ervin. She is wonderful and welcomed us into her home for 10 min and we were able to set up another time to meet her.
I am hoping to see more miracles this week in the singles ward. It's dwindling in my eyes. I want to see more of the missionary work progress in that area. I pray that we get more referrals from them as well. And I am really sad Nick and Tony are not active any more. They are supposed to be coming. I was surprised to see that they have not come to church the past months I was in Romeo. :(
I am finding it difficult to focus on two wards. But my desire is to be comfortable of my surroundings enough to be able to know people quickly. The wards are bigger and it is taking me longer to get to know everyone. Sister jones was so shy, that we still haven't met every member yet. But that will change. Sister Jones said since I have been here we have had more member appt ever. They are amazing and have done such good work here in Bloomfield. I love being here after Sister Klinlger. She left a good part of hers self here, and I can see how the ward members loved her. Just how they treat us, its fantastic.
The work is moving along. Sister Jones wants dramatic growth, and I have to keep reminding her to except the gradually climb, however slow it might seem, as long as it is climbing higher than before than I am happy. She so desperately wants a baptism, she overwhelms herself sometimes. I have done that too, but my state I am in right now is that I am just grateful to be here and teaching and sharing my testimony with every one that lets us talk to them for a min.
Finish Strong
Love you and will write each of you this week. I loved every one writing me.!

Sister Burnham found Burnham Rd. up in Bloomfield Hills Michigan!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Buenos Dias

!Buenos Dias! !Familia!
This past week has been so good for me. My Comp Sister Jones is from Otto Wyoming. She and I are very much alike. We laugh at each other all day and are being silly and sing in almost all our lessons. She is a beautiful alto singer which means I have to take on the role of the's turns out better when I have her singing louder than me...just kidding. Last night we had an experience with music. We sang to Sister Beckett who I have connected with so quickly. She and I had a moment after I said the prayer. It was the first time meeting her and after I finished she said, "This sister has God's spirit within her, she is connected." I was so touched. The next time we met with her Sister Jones and I sang a few hymns, and she kept saying that she couldn't describe the feelings she was having as we were singing. She trusts us so much. She compared me to her son as someone who she would pray with to really feel like God is in the room. She said she loved praying with her son, more than by herself. I was reminded of how powerful the Spirit can be.
What is so interesting is that this has happened many times on the mission. When I was at a leadership training meeting in Lavonia last month, we were practicing, on a few members, how to find people's concerns. When it was my turn I was so nervous. But when I starred at her in the eyes, I all of a sudden felt so much love for the woman. She started to cry, and even though you could hear the other missionaries teaching, it felt like I didn't have to say much to bring the Spirit into her heart. She told me how she saw at the beginning I was nervous and she was anxious for me, but then when I started to talk all of sudden I had things under control. It's the best feeling ever. And I am grateful to be able to participate in miracles like that, often.
More about Sister Jones, she is a farm girl. She owns cows and pigs. They have over 70 cows. She is a hard worker. Oh side note before I forget, we are getting a new car, 2011 Ford Fusion. YAHOO! Anyways, she was supposed to train, but God had other plans for her. We bought tons of veggies. Our fridge is packed full of green stuff and mushrooms, onions, and eggs and squash, and watermelon. We are working on eating healthy! And we do tye-bo at the church every morning.

How are things in your new area? The area is big and rich! The houses are big. I did find a Burnham Rd and Burnham Ct. There are actually two Burnham Rds. We ARE GOING TO TRACT THOSE BEFORE I LEAVE THE AREA! The ward is a normal size.

Is Sister Jones as wonderful as you expected? Yes

How often do you get to see the other sister missionaries? There is a companionship Sister Vance and Vanici that serve in Sterling Heights. I am back in the same district I was before I went to Romeo.

Is there a new area opening up for Sisters somewhere? Sister Klingler is training in a new area being reopened called Waldlake I think.

You only have a handful of Sisters in your mission, right? Yes there is nine. One tripanionship is in Hillstreet's area. Sister Dunn, Sister Pollock, and Sister Packer. Both sister Pollock and Sister Packer are leaving in a few weeks.

How are the wards you're serving in? Awesome! I can't believe how much potential there is for both wards to grow.

Do you go to both wards every Sunday? Yes I bring snacks too!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Transfer and Happiness

Hi Family I got transferred to the area I was just doing exchanges in. I am in Bloomfield Hills. My Comp is Sister Jones. She is going to be one of my favorite friends ever. I love it here already. We cover two wards. One regular and one YSA Ward. Yeah Finally! I am So happy!

Dear Family,
I want to express to you how much this last week of the transfer has been the icing on the cake. Sister Dunn and I found out about transfers a day earlier than the rest of the mission. We were told that we are both being transferred out of the area and being put in different companionship's. Elders are going to white wash into Romeo’s Area now. Lucky for them the appt was newly organized and clean. I think one of the reasons we are transferred around different areas, is because the sisters need to do a deep cleaning every three years after the elders. Hahaha! That was told to me at church this Sunday from a member. I was happy to be there to here that.
So since Friday we have been saying goodbye to people. Sad this is Sister Dunn’s first transfer so she is taking it hard. It was so sweet though at church this week. At church the branch presidency called us up to share our testimonies since we were leaving. Sister Dunn went up first, and then I went up. I took that opportunity to sing hymn#158, Before Thee Lord I Bow My Head. I find singing is the best way I can express my testimony and the joy I feel. Sacrament meeting was perfect for all of us. They talked about being good examples and Choosing the Right. It was so good it made Carl cry. I am sad no one else of our investigators could attend.

We said goodbye to Carl and Mark today. It was a sweet touching moment. They let us know that we did our job, and that he will always be grateful. They were super emotional. Let me tell you, that when old men cry, I mean really old men cry my heart just sinks and reminds me of my grandpas. I miss my grandpa recently, when I was called a “Little Angel” from one of them. I soon went back to the time when I would dance with my grandfather and he would tell me that I was his little angel. An Angel has been described as someone who speaks the Word of Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost. I will keep studying and feasting upon the word to always be prepared to be someone’s angel. And that goes for all of you too. Be that angel to someone else and share your testimony so that they may feel that goodness they might not have felt ever in their life. It is a small and simple thing that brings the Spirit into someone’s life. Go for it!
Last week I was on exchanges with Sister Jones. She is leaving in 3 months and soon going to be training. We were in Bloomfield and the cool thing was the temple is right next door to the stake center. And I got to go to the temple on Thursday Morning. I needed a reminder! It has been too long. And I am so lucky to be able to go every quarter. All the Sisters went with President and Sister Holmes and the Assistants. We had a few members from each of the areas come along as well. It was Awesome!
I learned from Sister Jones how to humble when teaching. I learned that with the spirit you can have the courage to say the right thing. We met with a young man named Shawn. He is in the army. He is turning 20 in Oct. And I thought about Sean and how he should be getting his call soon. SOOOOOOoooo WHERE IS HE GOING? !!!!!!
I love the Work and will miss Romeo very much,
I always grow more from each area I have been in. Monroe, Sterling Heights, and Romeo.
Finish Strong
Love You!

Today Brianne hits her 1/2 way mark!!! Send her some extra love and letters to get her through the next 1/2 of her mission!
Thanks for all your prayers for Sister Burnham.