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