Monday, March 28, 2011

Hard Working Sisters!

The Martin Family
This week especially spiritual. We were not prepared to be so filled with the spirit. Sister Corbridge and I have been experiencing some changes in our teaching. For example, when we teach a family or a couple of some sort and they are at different levels of spirituality, we tend to split up and teach each separately in the same home. It naturally happens. We were teaching new investigators that were member referrals. As soon as we were sharing our testimonies we noticed the Husband was not going to let us get anywhere with what we wanted to share. So he and I connected and I started talking to him, and sister Corbridge moved away from me and closer to the wife and talked to her. I ended up kneeling next to the husband and teaching him to his needs and what he needed to know so that he would read the Book of Mormon. Sister Corbridge explained to me that her little lesson with the wife was very much like she was in heaven. She was able to bring the Spirit to a higher level, and prepared the wife to come to church and read the Book of Mormon and trust us more. I was surprised afterwards that even though we don't teach like that most of the time, it worked then. And they are solid at keeping their commitments.
We are also using the technique we learned in District Meeting in our Member Lessons. We are finding out what they need to do then what they need to feel, then what they need to know. We recap, then commit, then ask them to pray and ask God to help them with this commitment we just extended. We sit in silence and let them write down some thoughts that might come up and Thank them a lot for allowing us to have a spiritual experience with them. Oh man, it feels so good afterwards.
The fireside was extra special. Maybe because the Recent converts were all taught by Sisters!!!!! I have a new appreciation for the leaders of the church reminding me that I mean something to my recent converts even after I leave the area. I need to make sure that I remember that I stay focused. I was impressed the first speaker had the ability to be the comedy relief for the night. I was then surprised at what Tony Gentile and Nick said. Nick said the two words that describes our lessons with him were, AWESOME and WONDERFUL! Tony said that treats and women were his weak points. So I guess it was good that they sent sister missionaries when they did so that we could teach him. But I have to be honest, Sister Corbridge and I both blushed when he said that, embarrassed probably.
They both are planning on being ordained with the Priesthood next Sunday or the Sunday after. Temple is their next goal and I am so overwhelmed with emotions when I think about the Opportunity to see that this is for real. It was also special to have Jenni, my sister, to be their to see what I get to experience here while on my mission. I also want to tell you how much Elder Hudsaker and his wife really touch my heart when they talk to me. Like I am their own granddaughter. He cried when he told me how much he loved my singing. He said the whole song was good but the last note was the ringer for him. They make me feel like I already have known them for a sometime.
Man I am crying already.!!!!!
The baptism was beautiful. I was able to sing with Veronica who got baptized. And I was able to see a husband embrace his wife knowing that this is a beginning to take the step to be together forever. Hope and Love that filled the room was so thick.
The ward was touched the next Sunday when she was asked by President Lance to share her testimony. Both Sister Corbridge and I held our breath while she slowly and very shaky gets up there. She did great. She hates speaking in front of people. But the ward was touched and is getting stronger I think. All of the members are amazed at what has happened over the last couple of months.
Sterling Heights Stake President and the Martin Family

Because of the many miracles I always assumed this was a common thing to baptize three people and confirm them the next day. Then another family in a couple of
weeks and then another one after that. It has happened so frequently while I have been here I have been expecting these Baptisms to happen more often. I wonder what will happen as I grow more in my Faith in the Work and what God has in store. I really want to kill Sister Corbridge off (this means be her last companion before she goes home) Her last transfer the next one, and it would be the greatest thing ever. We have been through so much and I have seen the effect of our faith. I would just like to see her through her last moments of pure Joy in the Work. I am going to stop talking about this cause I get emotional every time.
I love her so much and sometimes even though we can't stand each other sometimes it can't change how we have come through for each other. If I ever had such a companion God sent me the best to improve my faith and my teaching skills. I know I still have a lot to learn.
I know that this is what God wanted, and I know that the Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost is the foundation of our lessons. Jesus is our focus when we teach together. The Holy Ghost is that third companion and with out him we don't speak. We have gained an enlightening in our hearts and mind when we teach by the Spirit. With the spirit it is possible to finish strong!
Sister Burnham

Monday, March 21, 2011

GOD is In the Work

Last week was a miracle. I was sick with a really bad cold. It was so bad people canceled to meet with us because they didn't want to get sick. But for some reason God allowed us to reach our goals and bring us new people to teach and have lots of opportunities to teach. We have been concentrating on the power of prayer and sharing the Book of Mormon more. We are working on teaching about the Holy Ghost as soon as we are told to by the Spirit. I am surprised we are teaching people from years 9 to 70. And those that are on date to get baptized are solid. Recently Edna the 70 year old is the Aunt of a convert of one year . She is wonderful. We show her we care and she responds to every question we ask her. I can't understand what comes out of her mouth though. She talks with a southern accent plus marbles in her mouth. So Sister Corbridge has to repeat or interpret for me. I even tried sitting really close to watch her mouth. It helped a tiny bit. She knows that she needs to be baptized with the Priesthood and that this is only a beginning. She wants to be baptized on April 23rd.
Sunday was fun. We sang in the choir. IT WAS AWESOME!!! Veronica, who is getting baptized this sat with her mom Rita, sang with us. Her first time with us practicing and she was brave enough to sing, standing in front of the congregation and belt her little heart out as well as she could. I am impressed by her lack of fear. I also appreciated the Stake President commenting on how the Martins are wonderful and recognized them. I find it satisfying when my recent converts and investigators are praised and noticed. I love seeing the spirit embrace them in front of me.
Brother Randy Clark or Brother Ray

One more miracle! On Tuesday night Brother Randy Clark was set up to see the Bishop. He was so worried about it. He was not happy about it at all. He felt it was some kind of disciplinary thing. He told me on the phone that he saw no reason why it was so important to see the Bishop and talk to him. He kept telling me he would lose 50 dollars that night because he had to see the Bishop. But I pressed on him that he would be blessed, that he committed to see us at 8 and that even if he forgot he needed to follow through. So he came grudgingly. What made him come were the kid clothes he had, I told him to bring them and give those to us so we can give it to a family who needs it in the ward. That's his soft spot. He is willing to do anything nice for some one else. When we got there he was still upset. So while he was meeting with the Bishop, I was sick to my stomach wondering what we will have to face afterwards. Will he storm out of the church, will he stay angry? To pass the time I read out of the D&C 136. In there is talked about if you borrowed things you need to restore it to the person you borrowed it from. We through away His helmet ashtray recently and he knew it was us. At the time we felt it was a good idea. He told us that it was his dead brother's dead best friend's. If you followed that way to go. He made us feel so guilty. Or at least I did. Sister Corbridge is able to brush it off easier than me. The thing is was that we couldn't replace it. It was already gone. To my surprise here comes Brother Ray laughing and walking with a jump in his step, thanking the Bishop for the advice he gave and the scriptures that was shared. I WAS SO SHOCKED! I couldn't believe how changed he was. He was so excited about the deeper doctrine in the D&C and when I told him to just flip to a scripture and point to a verse and read it that it would be good. I did that in front of him. And the scripture that I randomly picked fell on the promises for keeping the word of wisdom. Brother Ray's jaw dropped. He said to me that the Bishop had just discussed that scripture I just randomly picked. He told me he is convinced that I am sent from God, and that the Spirit was there. IT WAS SO COOL!!!!! I felt even better.
These kinds of experiences strengthen testimonies. It is so wonderful to be a part of it. With God, we can finish strong.
I feel better. I am singing in the Missionary Fireside on Thursday. Consider The Lilies! And leading the Music. That one I didn't plan. But I am happy to do it. Two Baptisms this Sat at 2.
I also am going to try and send pictures that I printed out from Sister Corbridges camera.
The Weather is rainy some what but nice mostly. I can deal with it much better than the snow and ice.
Love you SOOOOOO Much!!!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Working Hard and Happy

“No one can ever enter the celestial kingdom unless he is strictly honest.” –Joseph Smith, Jr.
This week was filled with miracles and we are finding people through members up the yeeyang!!!! Sister C gets to teach a recent convert's parents here in Sterling Heights. The recent convert was her second baptism.
The new investigators we recieved were miracles. We prayed with a lot of faith that we would find people to teach. Our prayers were answered through member referrals. We have potential to have a the Martin's baptism on the 26th and then on April 9thMaybe Peggy Alan. We have been encouraging our investigators as much as we can. We have been teaching to there needs and being REAL with them. They see us as humans with love and the intent to help them instead of changing them. I have learned that the Spirit provides the change. We ask them to commit so that they can gain faith knowing it's coming from their will. We have been on fire! I feel like my prayers are being answered more than in my whole life. I have just noticed miracles over and over. I feel so much indebted towards my God. That is my motivation. After I witness a miracle We pray in thanks EVERY TIME!
We are spreading the word about and church tours, to everyone we teach. I see that becoming a valuable teaching tool in some of the homes we visit. Will you as a family or individually complete a profile on that would be wonderful. Then we could share our family member's testimonies! Tell me when you have them finished thanks.
Church was great this week. Four investigators came. That was a miracle. And our reactivated members are coming frequently as well. We are overjoyed! I love being here in sterling heights.
I do need some advice! How do you through a surprise birthday party while still keeping the mission rules? Sister Corbridge is having her 27th on the 31st of March. I guess we will have a fun Planning Session that Friday!
It was great to here from you mom and dad! Thanks for making me laugh!
Some funny things we have experienced this week. Sister Corbridge let me dye her hair ash blonde. That means very very blonde! It came out really cute! Umm.. other than that we are just having fun laughing at each other and with each other.
I don't think I want to see pictures of the kids until after I get home. I want that dramatic effect of seeing them so changed and big!!!! We will see how long that goes for. I might change my mind.
Love you,

Monday, March 7, 2011

14 Baptisms and more to come!

Sent: Monday, March 7, 2011 8:36:51 AM
Subject: Re: It's March!

From the Assistants:

14 People entered into a covenant with their Heavenly Father this week that will bless them for the duration of their lives upon the earth, and for all eternity. As far as we know there have not been 14 people baptized in a single week in our mission for a really long time, if ever. That is so great! The only thing that limits us fro
m bringing forth “much fruit” is ourselves; the things that are now happening in the mission are a testimony that we are more fully allowing our Heavenly Father to do his work by getting ourselves (our will) out of the way. Let us celebrate the good that is happening in the mission and let us never forget the source of our success. Thank you for all the good that you do!
“I do not dwell upon your faults, and you shall not upon mine. Charity, which is love, covereth a multitude of sins, and I have often covered up all the faults among you; but the prettiest thing is to have no faults at all. We should cultivate a meek, quiet and peaceable spirit. Have the Presbyterians any truth? Yes. Have the Baptists, Methodists, etc., any truth? Yes. They all have a little truth mixed with error. We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up, or we shall not come out true “Mormons.”” – Joseph Smith
Mom, you asked about my health. I am trying to eat healthier but it is a work in progress. I am not off sugar anymore but I am not going crazy eating a lot of it either. Sister Corbridge and I do pool our money together. I am the only companion she did that with. I told her that I didn't want to have any separations like that to have to deal with.

I have been stressed this past week with all the baptisms. We had a hard time with convincing the Bishop and the Ward Mission Leader and the Elders Quorum President that Brother Randy (Ray) Clark was a great candidate to be dunked. They thought a few more weeks later would be best. But the Lord provided a way this last Sat. And we ran with it with all the faith Sister Corbridge and I could gather up. My prayers keep getting simpler and with much sincerity. You almost sound like a little child, pleading with the Lord on what to do, or how to diligently wait patiently for things to happen or not happen. Brother Ray was almost late to his confirmation because he helped someone prior. He is always a good friend to every one he meets, as long as you do not have a uniform on that says Police. Hahaha! I love being here and love it that I am staying with Sister Corbridge another six weeks. She has one more transfer after this. I think I might " KILL" her off. If so, she said I get to go out to eat with her and the people leaving. Yes! But thats only if I stay with her the whole 12 weeks she has left. Brother Ray and Brother Gertsch

Brother Ray, Nick, Sister Corbridge, Tony, Sister Burnham

The baptisms were amazing. I spoke on enduring to the end. I used the footprints
poem that was on my journal. Remember? I also bore my testimony of how we should always treasure the scriptures. Brother Ray said that Sister Corbridge sang so well, but it seemed nice for her to give the floor to the little girl who sang with her. Brother Ray said I was totally opposite. He said I took over the stage and looked so comfortable speaking like I have done this my whole life. It was a humbling experience. I noticed at that time how I need to refine myself so I don't seem too over powering to some. But I am embracing the gift that I don't have stage fright!

We had investigators and some non-members there as well.
I am blessed to be here and participate in these people's lives. What was cool is that Brother Martin bore his testimony. He talked about how he was reactivated by us. The song that changed everything for them was #158. I sang that hymn that night (several weeks ago) with all my heart and looking at Brother Martin's face afterwards was the miracle. His countenance changed and it's all history from there. I love that family.

It was great that you had those BYU boys over. I am proud of my family so much. I am really happy Ryan is doing well in swimming. I was a fan of swimming. I am so excited to hear about the different activities Sara is involved with.
(YW) Good luck with the wet weather. (I told her about the rain and snow and wind we are having lately in modesto) I am writing back to whom ever writes me. I love getting letters now. So it is only fair that we send them letters. Sister Corbridge and I sent thank you cards to people in the ward. They really liked that. I was surprised how much. Thanks to Diane McRae for sending me a package of letters. If someone could send me her address that would be sweet!
WE ARE STAYING TOGETHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so excited!!! We have many more goals this next transfer. Finding people through members is potentially going to be the way we find people. But I am so excited for the baptisms that are arising. The Martins. Rita and Veronica are in the bag. They want to be baptized either this Sat. the 12th or the following Sat. We have been trying to help Brother Martin prepare to baptize them. He had not been to church for over 13 years. It has been miracle after miracle. All I have learned is that God is going to have his way. I will have to learn that lesson sooner or later. It was the Spirit who confirmed each and every one of our new members of the Church. I am blessed to be here. I am blessed to have stayed with Sister Corbridge. I am blessed to have friends in the ward that are trusting our judgment more and more. I am finding how important prayer is. The Book of Mormon can relate to everyone as long as they have a broken heart and contrite spirit. I have seen the different stages of progression. I love the diversity in the work. It keeps each day new and fresh. I have to be honest that I had my faith worked on, the past week and a half, but it has only been strengthened. With God anything is possible. If Brother Randy Clark wants to be baptized, and that was a miracle, anyone from his situation can get baptized. I love the support I get from the Lord. He is there lifting us up right when we get on our knees and pray. I am prepared for a month of interesting conversations and lots of patience and lots and lots of love. I know if I keep my purpose in mind 24/7, between my goals and the District's goals we will be able to accomplish exceedingly great heights!!!! Even though our brethren are sleeping, we are pressing forward in the night! (not sure what that means) We will finish strong!
This month our District goal for baptisms is 8! We are providing five of the eight! Pray we meet our goal or exceed it!