Monday, January 31, 2011

Moving forward and learning much

Sent: Monday, January 31, 2011 10:11:52 AM
So my efforts are combined with a lot of prayer and lots more focus on having a spiritual experience every lesson. We have three people, who we hope to be baptized in this transfer. I am getting close to each, even though they are so different. I have read through the Book of Mormon and almost finished and have kept at my goal for reading every night and morning. I am at Moroni. It has helped my companionship some how as well. Sister C and I are doing better than ever. She told me last night that she has not been able to get as close to her companions as she is with me. I can't compare, but I thought it was natural that when you live with someone 24/7 that you would get close. I always welcome conversation and life lessons or stories. But, Sister C said that she never was open with her companions that much. Which to me made me so happy that finally she can. I will never forget how much she has lifted me up.
Some things about Sister Corbridge is she doesn't like to feel like some one is attacking her or critiquing her. If you are questioning her integrity that is hard for her to listen which is understandable. She and I are working to respect each other when we are listening to each other in the morning. She drives and I back the car. I do not like this rule. But I do it. It's the only time I can make a dance move. (The mission rule is that one of the companions has to stand outside the car and guide the driver whenever they back out of a parking spot.) When she eats food she likes ranch with almost everything. She sleep talks. I have only heard her scream once. She likes that I take five min showers because that lets her take 15 min. ones. Which to me seems so long. She likes to laugh and doesn't care that she forgets things or peoples names or makes mistakes. When she does miss a turn or gets something wrong every time she says, "Thus is Life" Oh man it got on my nerves at the beginning. But now I am slowly getting used to it. It's hard, cause I make such a big deal when I make a mistake. Just wait family I will come home changed in so many ways.

My favorite thing to study is the Book of Mormon index and remembering the stories from it. I have actually been able to teach about how important going to church is by comparing it to the pattern I found in the scriptures. Every time people got baptized they established a church. EVERY TIME!!!! And the People of Ammon are amazing because they are so charitable to take in the lamanites without complaining. I love that part. I also look up to Captain Moroni through different eyes.
Another thing I have found I like reading is 3 Ne 18. I love reading about the sacrament. I wish I was better at preparing myself each day to take it every Sunday. Maybe that could be my challenge to all of you to figure out as a family or personally what you can do to prepare your whole soul to take the sacrament. I will follow up, so let me know how that went.
I figured out of all the bad people during Mormon's life there had to be that one good woman to marry and have Moroni. So I hope I get to meet her. I hope I get to meet Alma's wife and Helamen's wife as well.
I have also had a theme when I teach about being patient. And being diligent while you are being patient. That has helped while we have to wait to see someone or teach them. It adds to someone's virtue if they can be diligently waiting for an answer from God.
The only thing that is strange that I have had is Snail, and Calfta. Snail was here in SH (Sterling Heights), and the Calfta was a Lebanon pita pizza. It was like a smashed beef spread on top of a pita bread. Really good.
Thanks for the package I have the CD and it is wonderful. I miss hearing kids sing so it was perfect. We just finished cleaning our clothes and our whole apt. It just needs the floors mopped. We are getting a new mop, broom, and bath rugs. Who knows when these were cleaned or used last.
We have planned to go on exchanges with Bloomfield and Romeo areas so I will tell you how that goes soon.
We are using the members as best as we can. And they are receptive to the phone calls and favors. We are in a really good ward. They might not be as big as CA wards or Utah Wards but it is a great place where we are not afraid to bring investigators to church. We almost know everyone in the ward, active and inactive. We are being strengthened as we go to lessons with members. They are seeing the potential the work is bringing. I am proud of my companion, and think all we need now is a third person and the sky is the limit.
I love how we are growing together, as one. Before it never felt like that. I thought I was the only one learning. But now it is mutual, and if it doesn't feel that way we start talking about it. Since we have been seeing our decisions turn into blessings we have found a new strength. The spirit is being felt all over the place.
We are working on a talk about the story of Goliath of Gath, by Pres. Monson. How everyone has a Goliath. You should read it. I really like how in the talk it said that without the Cross we would not have Christ. This idea of five smooth stones of courage, prayer, humility, love of duty, and effort, is what we are teaching the members and less-actives and anyone who has an addiction. We are excited to finish our lesson plans for this week.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

No Sugar and Exercising!!!

Another great email from Sister Burnham. Lots of investigators to talk about!!!

Well, We thought the Library would be closed yesterday, but it wasn't. I hope it's alright that we are e-mailing you today. One of our lessons were not home so we took the time to e-mail. We have had some great miracles come about.
An investigator is trying to quit smoking. He has a big interest in the Book of Mormon, and he is so nice. He was confused why God would command Nephi to kill a drunk man defensless named Laban. We are not having sugar desserts to help him quit smoking. I think if we help him learn about the power of prayer and the Holy Ghost and tie everything to the restoration he will be prepared to be baptized in Feb. We are excited to see what the Lord has in store for him. Did I tell you he is full blown Italian, it is AWESOME!!!!!

Another girl is a great story. She was watching a TV show and a Mormon ad came on. She felt a burning in her chest which surprised her. She called for the elders to see her. They taught her for a bit, but dropped them soon after. Then later on she felt something missing in her life. She kept going back to what she learned from the elders. She then read about a girl who died of cancer and wrote to the pastor who wrote a sermon based on the girls funeral. She was so touched. The pastor wrote back and told her with confidence that she needed to find a church near her and attend it regularly. She then right afterwards checked her phone and saw that Sister Corbridge and I called. That was her answer and called us back. We set a time to meet. She was so nice. Her place is so organized. She wants to be baptized on Feb. 5th. But then she couldn't make it to church because she was baby-sitting her grandchildren so we have to move her date to Feb 6th or later. But she is ready. She even told us that she knows already that this is what she wants to do. I am excited also to teach her. I love her already.
We have contacted a few of former investigators that have been dropped for some time and have set some appts up. I am grateful for all of the opportunities and potential these might bring. Sister Corbridge and I fell that every day is different. We really never know for sure what the Lord is going to have in store for us. But we do press on and try to follow the promptings of the spirit.
I have been relying on Sister corbridge more than I thought. And now we are slowly getting back into the grove of things. There is a lot of work ahead of us and we finally feel the investigators trust us. And the members are so excited for these Church tours and how they are going to affect the work.
SO we are teaching the members a lesson on Amazing Grace. But with the Mormon twist. That we have grace after all we can do. We had a dinner at a members house. They invited a couple of friends that were not members. Breakfast for dinner. And no dessert because we are quiting desserts for an investigator. If the investigator doesn't smoke we will not eat desserts. It is going good so far. So we taught the Amazing Grace lesson and then I sang it in front of the guests while still at the dinner table. It was great. They loved it. But we didn't have time to make any appts with the guests. Hopefully we can do it again and they would be interested. A member in the ward is the angle who made that all possible.
We found the gym.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited. But we had to make a few changes with our schedule to use it. In the mornings we study from 6:30-8:30. Then we workout from 8:30-9:00. Then we get ready for the day from 9-10. It worked this morning and it is a nice change. I am in Alma 25. I started reading the Book of Mormon over again highlighting my small Book of Mormon that Chris Sevy gave me. I am also finding out how much of a perfectionist I am. Some days I am okay, and others I even get on my own nerves more than I get on Sister Corbridge's nerves.
We still have not been able to get any tours planned. I hope the fliers that are being made will help convince the members that we are really going with this and that we need there participation. Our Ward Mission leader is making them. His career is in advertising so he is going to a professional job. YEAH US!!!!!!
Thank you Family for everything and I thank the Lord for the Scriptures that have been the Grace of the Lord during this time.
PS, Mom please make sure the letters that go to the ward are edited. I make so many mistakes because I am writing as fast as I can to get everything I want into one hour. And I can't wait for the package!!!!!!!
Dad, I would love to get a copy of your talk and any notes you took from President Marshall.
Jenni, I missed you at church!! So cool to say! I hope your headache is gone. Brooklyn was so cute this Sunday. And Sacrament Meeting was so good.
Sean, Don't forget I love you and wish that you are learning a lot spiritually at BYU. I want to here more about what you are doing!!!
Ryan, You too!!!! I love you and hope you are being nice to Sara. How is driving? How is school? How is Cemetary!!
Sara, I still miss your art work. I miss your sweet voice. But I know when I come back you will be just as sweet or even sweeter. Be strong and don't forget to write in your journal. I hope that you are reading your scriptures everyday.
Oh that goes for all my younger siblings. I love you and wish that I could bottle the love I feel here and send it to you. It changes hearts here in Michigan. This Love is for everyone. Find out what you can do to receive that Love. Heavenly Father is just waiting very patiently to give it to you.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Baptism in Stering Heights

Brother and Sister Ames

Elder Phinny and Elder Pederson
who were serving in our ward before Sister Burnham and Corbridge

“The intensity of our desire to share the gospel is a great indicator of the extent of our personal conversion.” –Elder Dallin H. Oaks

And the Baptism on Saturday was Awesome. The baptism talk was given with an object lesson, using legos. We are the natural man with legos who can't build themselves. But when we choose to be baptized the Master builds us. But legos are perfectly obedient. We are not. The talk on the Holy ghost used the compass and a metal pen being temptation or friends who are pressuring us to do bad things. These were so well done. And they were more child based because Nichlolas (8) was being baptized. Brother Argabrite that was to baptize Robin and Alan was late. We had to start late but he made it in time for the actual baptizing. So no worries. Jenni was awesome and I am so lucky to have family witness the same miracles in person. I am one of the luckiest missionaries. I have heard that there is a rumor going around that some of the members are nervous about the situation with Jenni being in the ward. But are now surprised that I am taking it so well. They keep complimenting me. It is kind of cool!!!!!!!!
This week has been led solely by the spirit. The people we met and contacted were not planned. But we did thank our Heavenly Father for every lesson.

I love my Family! I love this Ward! I love this Mission!
I love my Savior! I will Finish Strong!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

Sent: Monday, January 3, 2011 8:17:11 AM

Here are some little snip-its of Sister Burnhams last email:

Mom, please send the CD. That sounds wonderful! You can scan anything you want. Did you like how it turned out? Thanks for that e-mail too. I loved hearing about what you did for Christmas and New years. Thanks for the advice and Sister Walkers story. I have been given some good advice here too. I went on an exchange with another
Sister here in my district. I learned a lot from her. I hope you like the stories that are in this letter. And no I didn't take any pictures really on Christmas or New years. Sorry. But I did send the card to you so hopefully you get it soon. It was weird seeing Jenni at Church this Sunday. But it was a cool weird. I love her so much and I love the munchkins!!!!! We can only see her at her house twice a month but that is okay. Oh and we got a couch from the Gertches!!! Yeah!
The Bishop is awesome! He is so excited to help us with referrals. He is a tease to. I feel like he could be my uncle or something. I love the ward!When I don't understand something i have to talk it out, but sometimes i don't want to hear advice until I know i have said everything i wanted to say. But as missionaries we are to testify, Sister Corbridge reminded me. I had the hardest time getting through that. It's like at door approaches. but maybe with door approaches I just am afraid. So that is something I am praying for. Just to have faith to rely on the spirit to send a message to the people I am talking to.
I have been able to talk more because Sister Corbridge has lost her voice. So that was fun this week to deal with. One thing I have noticed is that recently whenever i choose to sing at lesson, the people really seem surprised. Like they are able to hear beautiful hymns sung at no cost. Sister Corbridge loves when they are silent and reverent after I finish. I just love bearing testimony through song. Singing really is how I can find the courage to communicate. Who can deny the spirit when you here the hymns. It is so cool how the hymns soften hearts.
Well people are getting used to us. And our ward family has been getting more attendance since we have church at 1 now.

So the ward mission leader and ward missionaries are really interested in what us Sisters are going to do. We are defiantly not going to do it alone. The ward will have a big part in there progress.