Wednesday, May 2, 2012

See you Wednesday

I am sending some boxes by mail. My suitcases are not going to be heavy. I have one skirt I will be wearing it, and two shirts. One I will be wearing. I have garments but I need new ones. And I am going to need tissues so bring a handkerchief please! I want to see your pretty faces, and bring all of the people I taught with me. Bitter sweet I guess. I am so nervous to go home. This last week is such a blur. I really have been spontaneously freaking out. Saying goodbye is never fun. SO I Have not cried yet, accept when we didn't have a ride to transfers and a sister in our ward asked if she could do anything for us. She immediately said she would be our driver. Prayers answered. I really want one of those missionary planners for RMs. I have seen one from a RM from here and it looks very useful. 

I love you all, and really want to keep finishing strong! 

See you Wed.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What we are made of

Dear Family,

I just got info sent to me about baggage and things to prepare to return home. I am not in a very happy mood. I am nervous and can't believe this is my last week. My stomach is in knots and I am overwhelmed with getting trunky all of a sudden. Did you know that I finally understand the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people." This is because there is no comfort in the growth zone, and no growth in the comfort zone. I have to realize that this is just an end to a chapter in my life, that is all. SO what an e-mail Mom. That was such a great one to really end on. I am thinking about how much I love and appreciate the temple. It really does bring hope and peace.  So I don't know what to say, about last week. Sean's letter tops it, for sure. But I can tell you that my investigators are progressing and I have not one inch of fear this last week to talk to people. It might have something to do with me going home and trying to leave the area better than I found it. I feel I have. I am so excited for Sean. I have the best brothers in the world.

Sunday we only had Jessica at church. She didn't stay for other meetings, so we had a singing lesson during gospel principles. Only Brother Lukasiack and Sister  Ratza and her mother-in-law were there. All active members. Sister Ratza and Sister Rogers sang hymns while I played. I am getting better at the hymns Mom, you should be proud of me. I hope Sara and I can play together. And the Bishop came in and sang the last song with us. It was very good.

Sister Rogers spoke. She was so nervous and cut it short. The first counselor to the bishop came to her afterwards and said that they forget sometimes how inexperienced and young missionaries are. I think he was saying that to comfort her, but man I didn't take it that way. Hahahahaha! Well, I sang again with two other sisters. We sang, "Lord, I would Follow Thee." It was great.

We met with a lot of members trying to help them invite their friends and family to ward activities and things. And tracting! 

Thats it!
Sister Burnham
Finish Strong!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Worth of Souls is Great!


Dear Family:
There was one lady who came out with this sad look on her face. I didn't ask what church she belonged to but she was adamant that we were deceived because we had the Book of Mormon. The concern was we were adding to the Bible. ...Sister Rogers... asked if she could bear her testimony after the lady bore hers. The lady said no of course. Typical, but, I then asked the lady to say a prayer. She was more than happy to offer a prayer for our sad souls. It was quite interesting. The lady prayed that we would really study our faith and make sure that we were getting right information. I loved that prayer. Yes in it there was a little different doctrine that she was trying to plant a seed in our hearts, didn't happen, but she tried. And so that's how some people are.
I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting about the Worth of Souls. Bishop Hicken was in for a treat. My goodness was I so excited! Afterwords he let me know how much he loved the talk. He said he wanted to give me a hug if he could. I was able to talk to Brother Taepke, a member and convert. He was divorced a long time ago. And he said to me with a red teared face, "After hearing your talk I will walk out of this meeting a changed man." He stumbled over it because of his emotions, but he is older than dad and I assume very sensitive. Wow, was I touched by the spirit. Being an instrument in God's hand is like no other. I can't describe the love I had for him at that moment. Again I couldn't hug him, but I sure wanted too.
Then Sister Schulte told me I made her cry and that she was so glad I am serving here.
Then Sister Taylor the music director said that she needed to hear that. And invited me to sing with her next sacrament meeting, the hymn "The Lord, Is My Light." She gave me a hug then I could feel the love leave my body, and she started to cry. I was shocked and so humbled at that moment. She tried to hold back the tears so no one would notice. I was then thanked by others as well.
It was great to get a text from Jessica Hall our investigator last night. She mentioned how she and her LA husband Jimmy who has been to church four times in a row now, prayed together that they both would be edified and get something from church. She said they both were touched by the words that came out of my mouth.
I am so glad that I can give the credit to the Godhead. I am humbled and will always look back on this day and remember the hearts that were touched. My heart if full for this ward and all the members. I will miss them so much. I am grateful for being transferred here.

Cool! thing just happened the sun all of a sudden appeared and the warmth feels good. I love those aha moments. It's great to know that when I go home my Stake President will not be there. So for a day or so I get to continue being a missionary until my Stake President gets home and can catch me to release me. Can you imagine Sister Burnham being chased because she doesn't want to be released. Hahahahaha! It was a good joke, but there is a time for everything.

I hope you have a great day.
Love, Sister Burnham
Finish Strong!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Conference Weekend =)

This week was amazing. I am so happy to tell you that I am still staying focused and still going to be focused on my purpose til they come and take this tag off themselves. BRING IT! I am so pumped for this last month. We have lots of work ahead of us. And there is no room for fear or procrastination. I have been working with Sister Rogers with role plays. She is still getting away with a lot during lessons. But she will soon see that the work gets more exciting as we invite others to repent. She is so funny. I am not sarcastic, and she is really sarcastic. So that is our next project. How to find a happy median. We went to the BIG HOUSE today. The stadium is huge and we got a tour of the stadium and suites that rich people watch the football games in. We got to stand on the turf and some elders raced the 100 yard dash. It was fun to be with our zone and President Holmes came as well.

Are any of you jealous? I did take pictures.
Conference was perfect for the inv that watched it. Sat we watched morning with Houston and afternoon with a member. Sunday we watch both sessions with Martha who says she is planning on coming to church taking her daughter with her. This is a big step for Martha. She knows the Book of Mormon is true and she knows that what she feels is the spirit. She says she hasn't felt that yearning to go to church since she was a teenager. I am so proud of the area and we are again falling behind in finding so we are again refocusing and tracting more. I have good and bad weeks when it comes to finding. It will get better.
So Sean said that he liked priesthood session. He is doing so well. The number of people he has on date to be baptized is so amazing. I am so proud of him. He should continue what he is doing. He might make a district leader soon and then make his way right up to AP.
We went to Specialized training as well twice this week. Took a lot of time out, but it was good to go over special needs of the mission. President Holmes wants us to focus on the fundamentals of PMG. We have been straying a bit from that. We are trying to work with the spirit more, and trying to pray with more intent and make it a goal for each missionary to baptize each month. That is possible. I know it!
Thank you for the motivating and inspiring thoughts. I love how hard our family works. And I love how Ryan said that he recognizes how blessed he is to have parents who provide him with spending money and helping him along with other things they provide. I know as long as our family gives to each other and continues to give thanks to God for how awesome our family is we will be blessed. Or one of us will all of a sudden get cancer and then we will have to be tested in that way. Because our family is just too awesome. I love you Mom and Dad, and the rest of you! I am so proud of Sara. And I agree with Sean. Stop having crushes. Just stop growing up.

Love YOU! Finish Strong!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Three investigators

I have about thirteen min and I am so way behind in writing this letter.
SO this week we had three investigators at church. Jessica brought her less active husband.
Kollyn is 15 and is starting to go to ym's with a member of the ward. YES!
And Pat is a regular.

The testimonies were perfect. This was Kollyn first time. We gave him a church tour on Sat to get him ready for Sunday. He stayed all three hours. I hope he comes next week. He is still working on the faith part of his lessons and reading. He is not at all responsible. He has been to everywhere I never want to be. Example, juvie! Anyways we are seeing progress so that's good. He doesn't swear around anyone except his aunt and family who adopted him when he was a baby.

I sang at a fireside on Thursday. Houston came to that. I sang the song I memorized at home. Dad do you remember singing it with me while I played. Well I am much better at playing the piano now and still going to keep it up. I sang and played the song. I dedicated it to Dad and all the others dads there. It was perfect. It was, "Whom Shall I Serve."

We are teaching members from an outline President gave us called, "Seize the Mormon Moment." So we are teaching this and really getting success from families. They are more open and we are team teaching really well.

Love you,
Finish Strong!
Sister Burnham

Monday, March 19, 2012

Quick note from Sister B.

Oh man! A lot has happened this past week.

2) Mom came to Michigan wow!
3) Car got broke so we walked everywhere
4) Taco Night
5)Yes, I got bangs. My comp cut her hair so I thought I would do something too. If it doesn't look good, LIE TO ME! Hahahah!

I am so excited to help in Dexter to help pick up trash and garbage where the tornado hit. Hopefully this is a wake up call and people will soften their hearts. We hav not been able to find any investigators in Dexter my whole 6 months I have been here.

Our car broke on wed. So we have no car until today or tomorrow. The gear got stuck in reverse once and we had a stranger call his friend who is a mechanic and change the gear manually. So then we drove it home and the next day drove it to the dealership and the man said, "YOU DROVE THIS HERE? ARE YOU CRAZY? THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS GIRLS!" I said, "Well, we were driving on a prayer." He was so shocked because something that is supposed to be attached the to the engine wasn't, so that we could shift gears. Just a little small part broke. But if we hadn't figured out it was broken, then we would have been in that tornado. We were planning on that day to go to Dexter and proselyte, because our ward mission leader is pressing us to work more in that area. So we were set on going but, I am glad the car stopped working. It is interesting how everything falls into place.

Our ward had a taco night/auction for girls camp. It was so good. A member got us these peanut butter and chocolate bars/fudge treats. Yum! And we had some non-members there and our mexican investigator Andres was there. I wish Sean was here to teach him. I really do.

I love you so much! The Easter package was perfect. The granola reminds me of home and the stuffed dog is perfect to keep me company at night. I am trying to get as much rest as possible at night, because it is my last transfer and I am not going to go home with regret. I hope Houston and Jessica get baptized in April.

Love you!
Finish Strong!

FYI There was tornado warnings last week in Chelsea, Ann Arbor and there was extensive damage in a town near Brianne called Dexter.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Incoming missionaries

Here are the newest missionaries in the Detroit Michigan Mission

Elder Cowen, Elder Vass, Elder Valdon, Elder Salazar, Sister Rogers, Sister Simcock, Elder Slawinski, Elder Hart.

Sister Bishop and Sister Burnham with their newest baptism

Gladys Knight is coming

Wow! Let me just tell you Mom that you are the best. If you want, can you plan every semester for me? It interesting to think how much planning is involved in mission work. And to think that is one planning event I don't have to do. I am so happy about that, and excited to hear about your phone call with Jenni and Buddy. It makes me smile!

So the Gladys Knight Fireside will be the biggest missionary move here in our mission. All members who are attending have someone coming with them that is not a member. We have three who are taking us. We have a total of four investigator coming to this. We wish we had more. We might have a chance to get maybe one more investigator to come. You always can fit one more person.

SO this is what I was told. We are going to hear Sister Knight's testimony and conversion story. We are going to hear her direct the choir that travels with her. They are mostly white. But I hope that it sounds like full on soul music. I am so happy that we have her coming. She did go to Oakland CA to perform. I know that because our stake president was mission president in Oakland at that time. They will be performing in the church building. 1000 seats will be set up or more I think each performance. We have to be there an hour early. I am going Sunday at 7:00. It is going to be something I have never heard or seen before. Missionaries have to come with an investigator. They don't go with out one.
New commandment=Thou shalt not come to the Gladys Knight Fireside with out an investigator. :) 60% music and 40% testimony.

I did get the package! And it is awesome! Lot's of snack food. We need those while we drive from one appt to another. It was perfect. She sent me enough to last my mission. :( So sad and weird to think that March is my second to last month here. But I am not the same person I was when I left. I am more determined to set goals and reach them. I have less fear and more faith. I know my purpose and have God on my side! And I have wonderful parents and siblings that are so supportive. And I do miss you very much!

And also we had Stake conference this weekend. We have an awesome week full of investigators again being fellow shipped and working more with members. I just have to make the phone calls. YEAH!

We had two investigators come to church. We are working with an investigator that is 15 who really likes the air force and is being fellow shipped by a family of 8 kids. There oldest son is 17 and daughter is 15. Perfect!

So this is what I need to work one this week. REFERRALS AND BAPTISM INVITES!
I am so bad at asking for referrals it is sick! UGH! Anyways I am really going to desire and pray every day that I can start being a missionary who finds new investigators through members because I asked them. If its the last thing I do! Okay now that I committed to you I need to commit to God and I will be fine.

Finish Strong!
Sister Burnham

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Trump The Newsletter for the Michigan Detroit Mission

The Trump The Newsletter for the Michigan Detroit Mission

January, 2012 through February, 2012 Edition

Elders and Sisters, it is such a great blessing to be united with you in inviting and helping others come unto Christ. As we focus on building “faith unto repentance” (Alma 34: 15-16) and helping individuals and families enter the covenant of baptism, it is important that we recognize the purpose of these steps is for them to receive the Holy Ghost and truly be born again. The Prophet Joseph Smith said:
“You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half—that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost.”
It is faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance and baptism that bring us to the point that we can begin to receive the supernal gift of the Holy Ghost.
“For the gate by which you should enter is repentance and baptism by water and then cometh the remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.” (2Ne 31:17, see also D&C 33:11).
To Be Born Again
It is important that we remember the ultimate purpose of the gospel is to change our hearts, to be born again. (see: Mosiah 27:24-27; 5:2-3,7; Alma 5:7,10-14; Helaman 15:7-8; Ezekiel 11:19-20).
President Benson related the following from President David O McKay: “After falling asleep, President McKay beheld in vision something infinitely sublime. He saw a beautiful city, a great concourse of people dressed in white, and the Savior. 'The city, I understood, was his. It was the City Eternal; and the people following him were to abide there in peace and eternal happiness. But who were they? As if the Savior read my thoughts, he answered by pointing to a semicircle that then appeared above them, and on which were written in gold the words: These Are They Who Have Over-come the World-Who Have Truly Been Born Again! When I awoke, it was breaking day.'" President Benson added: "When we awake and are born of God, a new day will break and Zion will be redeemed" (A Witness and A Warning, 65-66).
“Being born again, unlike our physical birth, is more a process than an event. And engaging in that process is the central purpose of mortality” (Elder Christofferson, Ensign, May 2008, emphasis added).
“The purpose of the gospel is . . . to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature” (David O McKay, as cited by Elder Bednar; In the Strength of the Lord).
“Our great personal challenge in mortality is to become “a saint through the atonement of Christ” (Elder Kent Richards, April 2011).
The Holy Ghost is the greatest gift we can receive in this life
It is the Holy Ghost that administers the baptism of fire whereby we are truly born again. As we focus on the baptism of water we often fail to recognize (Continued on page 2)
President Holmes’ Message
Being Born Again - Mosiah 27:24-26
and understand the power and blessings of being born of the Spirit. The baptism of water is to bring us to the state that we can receive the baptism of fire, the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost then becomes the vehicle by which we receive every good thing in our lives, including a new heart. This is why the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift we can receive in this life.
“Speaking from the perspective of eternity, eternal life is the greatest of all the gifts of God. But narrowing the perspective to this life only, the gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift a mortal can enjoy” (Bruce R McConkie).
“Nothing in this life is of greater worth than the supernal gift of the Holy Ghost. It is the source of joy, peace, knowledge, strength, love, and every other good thing. With the Atonement, it is the power by which we may be changed and made strong where we are weak. With the priesthood, it is the power by which marriages and families are sealed together eternally. It is the power by which the Lord makes Himself manifest unto those who believe in Him. Every good thing depends on getting and keeping the power of the Holy Ghost in our lives. Everything depends on that” (Elder Lawrence Corbridge: The Way, October 2008).
The Mission of the Holy Ghost
The Holy Ghost is a comforter, a guide, and a sanctifier. A loving Heavenly Father, knowing we were going into a lone and dreary world, would not leave us comfortless but has provided the Holy Ghost to bring peace to our hearts and our homes. He also knew we would need a guide to lead us through “a dark and dreary wilderness”. The Holy Ghost is that guide. (John 14:26; 2 Nephi 32:5)
While we often speak of the Holy Ghost as a guide and comforter, we speak less often of His sanctifying mission and transformative power as He imparts the Holy Spirit. While repentance brings a remission of sins or justification; the Holy Ghost, the baptism of fire, sanctifies us, or purifies us from the effects of sin. (See: 2 Nephi 31:13; John 3:11; 3 Nephi 9:20;11:35; 12:1)
“The Holy Ghost is a Revelator: he is a Sanctifier; he reveals truth, and he cleanses human souls. He is the Spirit of Truth, and his baptism is one of fire; he burns dross and evil out of repentant souls as though by fire” (Bruce R McConkie).
As a result of the cleansing or sanctifying effects of this baptism of fire we are able to receive a greater endowment of the Holy Spirit. That Spirit/light/matter brings with it the attributes of Christ, the divine nature, the fruits of the Spirit. Being thus transformed, we become increasingly like Christ as we receive more and more of the Spirit. (see: Alma 13:28-29; Mosiah 3:19; 5:2-3; Galatians 5:22)
“An intelligent being, in the image of God, possesses every organ, attribute, sense, sympathy, affection, of will, wisdom, love, power and gift, which is possessed by God himself. But these are possessed by man, in his rudimental state, in a subordinate sense of the word. Or, in other words, these attributes are in embryo; and are to be gradually developed. They resemble a bud -- a germ, which gradually develops into bloom, and then, by progress, produces the mature fruit, after its own kind. The gift of the Holy Spirit adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It develops and invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, invigo-rates, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and (Continued from page 1)
(Continued on page 3)
life to the whole being.” (Parely P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology pp. 100-101)
How do we receive the Holy Ghost more abundantly in our lives?
The Gospel or Doctrine of Christ is a repeating process, an eternal round of increasing faith in and knowledge of Jesus Christ, which leads us to recognize our sins and motivates continuing repentance. We then witness that repentance initially in the covenant of baptism and subsequently in the sacrament, and as a result of these ordinances receive a greater endowment of the Spirit (see D&C 84:20-21). Enduring to the end is simply continuing this process of receiving light until the perfect day (D&C 50:24).
This redemptive and exalting process is fueled by continually increasing our faith in Jesus Christ; nothing is more effective at increasing our faith than feasting on the words of Christ. As we feast on the word and our faith increases, our knowledge of God and consequent desire to be one with him grows. This always and naturally leads us to repent; to change our ways, to conform or yield our hearts to him. As we repent we yield our hearts to God, this yielding, entitles us to a greater endowment of the Spirit. The Spirit that is imparted enables us to walk in the more righteous path we just committed to. Thus, we receive grace for grace and grow from grace to grace. This is how we access the grace of Christ or his enabling power that comes to us through the Holy Ghost.
Repentance is the process by which we grow closer and closer to God. Repentance is motivated by knowing more about God and the subsequent desire to be more like him.
The Sacrament is the most frequently repeated ordinance in our gospel lives because it is central to this process. Each week as we renew our covenants in the sacrament, we do so “that [we] may have his Spirit to be with [us].” Or as Christ, talking of the sacrament, promises, He will dwell in us and we in him (John 6:56, see also John 15:1-8).
As the ordinances of the sacrament suggests we need to be patient as we engage in the process of being born again. It is in our daily feasting and daily obedience to the light we receive that we gradually weave a Christ like life. President Benson taught this powerfully when he said:
“We must be careful, as we seek to become more and more godlike, that we do not be-come discouraged and lose hope. Becoming Christ like is a lifetime pursuit and very often involves growth and change that is slow, almost imperceptible. The scriptures record remarkable accounts of men whose lives changed dramatically, in an instant, as it were… But we must be cautious as we discuss these remarkable examples. Though they are real and powerful, they are the exception more than the rule. For every Paul, for every [Alma], and for every King Lamoni, there are hundreds and thousands of people who find the process of repentance much more subtle, much more imperceptible. Day by day they move closer to the Lord, little realizing they are building a godlike life. They live quiet lives of goodness, service, and commitment. They are like the Lamanites, who the Lord said "were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not" (3 Nephi 9:20;Ezra Taft Benson, October 1989).
After Christ had taught His gospel to those in ancient America and his ordained apostles re-taught them, “nothing varying from the words Jesus had spoken,” the greatest desire of their heart was “that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them” (3Nephi 19:6-9). Being taught by the perfect teacher, they had a clear vision of things as they really were and wanted more than anything to have the Holy Ghost. This should set a pattern in our lives, that above all things we desire and seek for the Holy Ghost. As Elder McConkie testified:
“As starving men crave a crust of bread, as choking men thirst for water, so do the righteous yearn for the Holy Ghost.
“There is no price to high…no sacrifice too great, if out of it all we… enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Bruce McConkie, New Witness for the Articles of Faith).

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Companion

Dear Family:

I am struggling! My mind is going here and there all the time. I have way too many worries about my investigators and I can't do any thing about it. I will not let it get to me. I just wanted to let you know. Sister Rogers is different than Sister Bishop. I told my self that comparing the two would not be healthy or good for Sister Rogers, so I am patient and trying to leave everything up to God. I am surprised how our week went....

Sister Rogers is 2nd of five. She has an older brother who served in Italy. She has two younger sisters, then the baby brother is 16 years old. We did a personality test with the whole mission to help President Holmes out. I turned out to be yellow and then my second highest rating was a blue. Sister Rogers is all White! I don't have time to explain that but if you look it up maybe you could find out what personality test we took. I think Dad is a Red and Mom I think you are a Blue! I think Sara is Yellow and Ryan as well. I think Sean is a little Blue and Yellow.

So this week I was hit with discouragement. I was thinking about how I could work with my investigators trying to imagine me staying here for the rest of my life. Thinking that makes me want to actually work harder, because I am motivated to see progression. Instead of slacking off, I have been praying harder each day for each min to be focused on my purpose. I can see what ruts I have created and what investigators I can imagine dropping for a time. Remembering all the people here I have met is difficult, so the area book is so important and writing notes about them and then remembering to call them soon after you met them, this is all going through my mind all the time.

Well, I am not perfect and my desire is to be the best missionary I can be. I am feeling a little bit more hopeful than I have been in the past, because I am not seeing progression, so I have to rely on the promise that if i have a hope for things that I can't see yet, God will see that as a willingness to bless us with the strength, and impressions to find new inv and help the ones we have progress towards baptism.

Missionary work is not a piece of cake. It is like running on a treadmill for 18 months. And sometimes the speed goes up when you don't want it to. But if you quit and step off, you have failed yourself, and could have come out more refined and in spiritual shape. I am staying on that treadmill until it kills me. I don't want to regret the time I spent to serve GOD! I thank you for all your prayers. Sister Rogers and I will soon get into a good routine and this area will be on fire.

You know about the Gladys Knight Fireside? She is coming to our Mission. She is performing Friday, Saturday and Sunday; March 9th, 10th and 11th. ITS supposed to be the greatest missionary opportunity ever. So we are really trying to focus on that. We are planning on going with our Lesbian couple. They still meet with us. One is not being taught, but the other is still reading the book of Mormon and loving it!
We had this big meeting where people from the choir came and told us about it and what we needed to do to prepare people for it. Our ward better be awesome at bringing people!

Anyways Love you all!
Finish Strong!

Sister Burnham

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Training again!

I am not getting transferred. But Sister Bishop is. We will go to transfer meeting tomorrow at around 9:30. I have to go earlier because I am TRAINING! I am going to train my last two transfers. I am going to stay in Chelsea and get killed off here (meaning she will be there until she goes home). Probably by my new sister. It's so cool to get to train. I love the spirit she will bring and the new ideas and the energy and hopefully she will be flexible with anything. Sister Bishop is doing fine with the change. She is excited to grow in another area. But she will miss the families and individuals that made her grow the most.

I am so excited. I heard that she might be from England or Australia. And we are going to have such progress with how the ward is implementing missionary work more in their activities so that we can attend with our investigators. We love the members in the work. That reminds me how often do you see the missionaries? Are you hogging them? I hope you see their love for you. If you don't, I give you permission to let them know they need to show some LOVE!

How is the work in Modesto? Is our area big? I will let you know tomorrow who my comp is. I am so happy today! Even though we don't have a lot of lessons planned this week, it's going to be a really good week. I am looking at a new attitude with all of the changes. I read a talk from Elder Ballard called In the Strength of the Lord. He talks about the enabling power of the atonement. He says that we are to pray for strength while we are burdened. Not pray that [our] burdens change. So I am grateful for my burdens. I am thankful that the Lord helps me look at them differently. I am excited and less stressed. I know that circumstances come to pass. And when they pass, if I had faith and acted with patience and diligence, I know I came out better than I was. I am tired of being fearful. I am tired of being doubtful. I am tired of being tired. So I know that God knows my weaknesses and he knows how much I desire to do a good job. When I stretch my mind, and pray for help, then will the Lord fill in the rest with his grace! My Love for the gospel is full. I love how simple it is.

Elder Burnham so you should give me advice since you are being trained and I am a trainer. Tell me things you liked or disliked that your trainer did. It doesn't hurt to get some criticism here or there. I think it is cool, because it's like I could be training you. And that thought means a lot to me. I know I wouldn't be able to help your Spanish. But I could help you show love and interest in your lessons or show you what [to] do when lessons cancel or let you know that it will be all right in the end. I am so proud of you! Finish Strong!

So quickly this last week was amazing! We might not have gotten new investigators or had lots of potentials or had more than 20 lessons. What we did have happened with a few families. Sunday, Sister Tanner, the Smiths, and the Freys came to church. Sister Tanner is close to being reactivated. The Smiths dad is home from being gone for a few months. And the Freys are struggling with family issues and had the faith to come. Seeing them plus our two investigators at church was wonderful. They stayed all three hours! Yahoo!
We almost had two other investigators come, both with the same first and last name. But one I think slept in, and the other couldn't get her LA [less-active] husband up to come. These two though, have accepted the invitation to be baptized. They will not commit to a date yet. One needs permission and another needs to talk about it with us next time we meet. But when our invvestigators get baptized, their families are blessed and future generations are brought into the gospel. I love families who have the courage, attitude and faith to teach the gospel in the home!

I really want five of our investigators to be baptized in the next month. When they start coming to church regularly it will be down hill from there. And some might be able to take family members with them! It's so exciting here in Chelsea.

What I need to focus on is my purpose and the spirit's purpose. If I don't have the spirit and live to maintain it's companionship, I am dead meat, LOST, a goner, POOF! Hahahahaha!

If I want to fly high I need to keep that string connected to the Book of Mormon and the commandments and prayer. My pride won't allow me, and will sever that string, and I will plummet to the earth in a broken heap. Just like a kite would, if you cut it's string. I know how important Jesus Christ is. I love him! I love the Godhead!
I also love all of you!
Finish Strong
Sister Burnham

Monday, January 30, 2012

Janurary is almost gone


The parable was great Mom. Thank you for sending that to me.
And Dad, I bet your talk was great. You should send that to me too. Ryan I pray you win! And Sara, I really enjoy your letters. Don't forget to write me. Even if it is a small paragraph.

So this is my last week of the transfer. I have two transfers left or three months. President Holmes interviewed me this week and talked to me about trying to go 110 percent these last three months. And that's what I plan to do. My faith can grow a lot and my diligence can be refined. My Love for the Lord is really high, but can always be greater. Did I ever tell you I really love it here. I love serving these Michiganders!

My vision is to leave behind a legacy. A good one! One that leads an example for future missionaries. One that I will be proud of. And so I desire it. I and so it will be!

This week was another good week. We had the zone leaders texting us multiple times to encourage us to get standards of excellence this week so that we could get zone of excellence. We were short baptism dates and people at church in our area.

I am really loved. I see God's Hand in his work and I am so thankful for his guidance.

WE FOUND A TRAILER PARK! JACKPOT! WE ARE SO EXCITED! WE ALREADY HAVE FOUND TWO FAMILIES TO TEACH. THAT'S RIGHT, FAMILIES! Not single individuals. I never thought I would get warm fuzzies when entering a trailer park. Haha! It was so exciting. WE GOT 11 MEMBER PRESENTS. That's the most I have ever seen done by my companionship. The sign up sheet is really working. We just pass it around in Relief Society and Primary and if we have time the rest of the classes the last hour.

Let me tell you though. It is hard to have the whole ward on your mind and all your investigators. Trying to find good fellow-shippers for our investigators are not difficult, it's just remembering to make contact with them enough to have us and missionary work on their minds. We are insight hopefully and in-mind.

I am again testifying that I know the Book of Mormon is true and that it is the tool I should and do use most when I want my investigator to come closer to the Savior and have a broken heart and contrite spirit. SO READ IT!

That last part was a reminder for all of us! I get intense randomly!

Sister Bishop was great at following a prompting on Sunday. Sister Hall and Brother Hall were sad that they were not involved with their daughter-in-law's lessons. Sister Bishop came to Sister Hall not knowing this and asked her if we could see them every other week with Jessica. She almost was in tears, thanking Sister Bishop for saying that. She ran to go get her husband and they were so excited to get that moving. So we will teach Jessica one week at the Temples and one week at her in-laws. I hope Jessica is okay with the change. Seeing investigators the same time and place helps them get into a routine to expect and lean on. But change might be good.

I am so happy Sister Bishop is progressing! I am too and I love it!
If I train again that would be awesome!

We will Finish Strong!
Love You!
Sister Burnham

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Buenos Dias!

I don't know how to explain to you the feeling in my heart right now. After reading your letters, and reading Elder Burnham's letter, then reading how the mission did this week, my heart is bursting. It feels on fire really! It feels like life has purpose and that I am a part of something bigger than all of us, yet we have a chance to put our two cents in. Wow, I am just so amazed. WYATT ... GOT BAPTIZED YESTERDAY AT AROUND 1:30. We had great testimonies shared by Wyatt's aunt and by Wyatt's mom. I am so proud of them. They ... really needed the opportunity to share their testimony. Bishop Hicken is so wonderful! He has so much he has to do, and yet he had found time to baptize Wyatt and confirm him. We got permission from President Holmes to do that. So we had lots of people that were not members there. Their whole family and extended family and his mom's Boss came. We had them write their thoughts on index cards again like I have done in the past. Everyone said that was a wonderful idea. I was so proud of the people who participated.
That's why I love baptisms. Testimonies bloom and grow at these things.
I have really been blessed with a great ward family and companion. We are happy to say we had four investigators at church. Amazing!

Oh man there is so much to tell you, I don't know how to get everything in and still try to give what I say justice. It was a great week.
Investigators we have are all at different levels which is a really hard thing.

Mary came to church. Sacrament meeting was about the Book of Mormon title page, and she opened up her own and followed along. ...
Jessica ...has an amazing boss named Brother Temple that is allowing us to teach her in his home every Friday.
We got a "less active" sister and her visiting teacher acquainted after a year of trying to get a hold of her.

So pretty much our members are really reaching out more to magnify their callings.

I just love this area! Faith! That is the word Pat said to me after the Baptism. He said it! Faith is the foundation.
We need to get to know a lot more of the members and we are passing out a sheet in church that helps members know when our lessons are for the week and they sign up for it. We have a potential amount of 13 members present to our investigator lessons. THIRTEEN! I have never thought that could happen in an area I was serving.

Finish Strong!

Sister Burnham

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Awesome Week!

(I don't have any recent pictures of Sister Burnham so this one will have to do for now)

Dear family this week was awesome and I will try to write everything in it as possible. I am running out of time even now so I hope I get as much as possible.
Last week was a miracle week like always yet this week was a little different. It just felt like our faith took it up a notch and the investigators we are finding are continuing to be elect and ready to accept the Book of Mormon and a living Prophet. They are also seeing Jesus Christ teachings in the Book of Mormon which is what will bring them to know that this is His church.
Tuesday we attended specialized training. It was so good! Some things we were given were a case study and how that I absolute love. Its about sisters who help an area turn into a baptizing area. They worked with members. And the miracles came from little things the sisters made sure to do. We are trying to apply this. We are always giving thank you cards to our members. We are getting to know more and our faith in them, our love towards them increased so much over just a few hours. I mean that is how awesome the Holy Ghost works. Just in a moment of hours after discussing goals Sister Bishop and I were receiving referrals and getting calls back from potential inv.
Training meeting helped me look for spiritual gifts that are unique to me that I can consistently use in our lessons. I was able to go on exchanges with Sister Hoopes and Sister Thomas. They are in a tri-panionship in Saline. They came to Chelsea to serve with me for a day while Sister Bishop went to serve with Sister Vance in saline. They absolutely needed to be in Chelsea. They needed to serve and have the chance together to make out what their gifts and talents are as well. I made sure that I communicated very well, that we were together for a reason. That we needed to focus on some goals and be open with trying new things. They both were ready and willing to talk about and do anything I asked or suggested. It was cool to serve in a tri-panionship. I had never done it before. I actually felt them growing as missionaries over that exchange so much it's ridiculous!!!! Sister Hoopes is really good at stating her purpose and letting our inv know in a loving way what we expect from them. She is upfront with her question which can sometimes seem harsh or miss understood as unfriendly, just depends on the personality. We never had a problem though. She learned that she can give Sister Thomas has a whole lot more room to stretch herself, by not talking. Sister Hoopes said that if she could just learn to shut her mouth for Sister Thomas to speak, Sister Thomas would actually be able to find talents and gifts that we all know she has.
Anyways I learned a lot from them and made a goal myself to really recognize promptings in lessons. So cool to feel so much love for people. I was sad to say goodbye but I know they are going to be awesome and apply what we talked about.
We have awesome news! Wyatt is getting baptized 22nd on Jan. And then Heather is still on for the 28th of Jan. We are trying to get everything ready. I am so excited to see Wyatt baptized. My heart is bursting even as I talk about it. He is so ready, and this will bring the family so close! Pat is working on applying the atonement. He doesn't forgive himself very easily and so he has a lot of burdens he keeps on his shoulders. It has made him very humble though. Pat needs to really understand and apply how to properly repent. It will be good for him to listen to some conference talks we gave him about repentance. By the way we found his concerns finally while his wife wasn't home. I didn't have enough time to call a member, and luckily we had a tri-panionship so God knew we needed this time with him with out influence of wife or son.
Oh my goodness there is so much.
We went to a members dinner! The temples are great missionaries. They invited a woman who is related to a member family in the ward. She is working for Brother Temple. Anyways after eating his famous sandwiches we were able to teach them about following Christ and having a living Prophet on the earth today. Brother Temple flat out said that he knows she is going to join. He was very bold with her, which she is nice enough to deal with. She likes how we teach so we gained her as a new inv. The temples were great at bearing their testimonies and we are seeing them this week again. Its a miracle because we have been trying to teach Jessica for so long. She is the daughter in law, that's it!
Sister Dallaire has not been doing well, and her grandson is living with her, so she is excited to have him help her read every night. And she is hoping he will want to learn more too as we go visit her. POTENTIALS!!!!!! REFERRAL!
Tom is an investigator that almost dropped us because of temple stuff online. He saw I guess the ordinances from people who were excommunicated. Well, it frightened him and he called us and told us not to come back. Well, sister Burnham doesn't like to give up when the spirit tells you to go back. So we did! Long story short he is still investigating...FEW!
Jessie is another inv who the members are really fellow shipping. Jessie is 17 and is the only investigator that has been to the most member dinners. She just is lucky that way. It's nice that we get fed.
One more thing Becky is a new inv and we met with her and her son Colby last night. SHE LIKES THE BOOK OF MORMON! She thinks it is easier to read than the Bible and wants her son to read it. I tried to invite her to church or baptism but there was no time. We got there just enough to follow up answer questions and then say a opening and closing prayer. All of a sudden her family pops in and she tells us every Monday night is game night with her sister's family. SHE IS ALREADY DOING FHE! so cool right?
Anyways she has a concern about Churches saying that their church is the right one. Well, I know they do that, but it is awesome to know ahead of time that she is going to come to know Christ more by living the Gospel. And the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints lives the Gospel.

I am so full of more but I ran out of time! Love you and know that we will

Finish Strong!

Sister Burnham

Monday, January 9, 2012

Little Tribute

Today I was so excited to tell you about the wonderful miracles that happened this week. But first I want to pay tribute to Aunt Carol ( Sister Burnham's Great Aunt Carol passed away last Tuesday)
and share some memories I have of the Barnes family. There are not many but few that really have made a difference.
1) Uncle Jim dancing with me at Jenni's Wedding
2) Aunt Carol's voice sounding like grandma's
3) The house and spending lots of time upstairs
4) Preparing food in the kitchen, fruit pizza, olives, snacks. It seemed to be on Sundays!
5) I am sure they came to a dance performance or two.
6) How pretty she was in her dress at her daughters weddings.
These are just some I have remembered. It was wonderful to learn from their testimony.
This week we had found 4 new investigators. Tom, Shirley, Jerry, and Mark are all so different. My absolute favorite this week was how we had a goal to find three. My faith has grown to see how none of this was done by our own doing. God absolutely put them in our path. It is so cool to have seen this week take shape. Heather is on date to be baptized on Jan 28th. Wyatt is FINALLY getting baptized on the 22nd. His Mom has been planning it since yesterday. I hope and pray God will strengthen them these next few weeks.
I learned how grateful I am for the Church website. Heather has been progressing so much because of the movies and conference talks on the cites. She has started to, study, journal and I am praying that she comes to church these next few weeks.
Sister Bishop and I have been studying why we invite people to be baptized the first visit. We are still trying to rap our heads around it. I thought I knew why, but if I really did, I would be acting on it. So what I feel I need to do is act on faith and listen to the spirit and always be prepared to invite them, just in case the spirit dips his bucket in my spiritual well and wants to use me in that way.
This all started after we taught Mark with a member present, and it went well. Which means, we left him to expect more and the spirit was there. But we were thinking about why we didn't invite him to be baptized. We team taught the lesson better than we ever had in past lessons. We nailed the inspired questions and helped him understand the need for a prophet. It was cool to see him nod his head like missionaries do when they want to show interest even though they don't exactly know what you are saying. Missionaries think if you are nodding your head they won't be asked questions. Nodding your head is a definition of participation to a missionary. (Sister Burnham's theory)
We are trying to find out how to best be prepared each lesson to invite someone to be baptized and what the signs are from the spirit that we can look for to feel more confident in inviting them.
We also met with Tom. A Simple miracle was that after dinner at a members home the lesson they were coming to canceled. Sister Bishop thought of Tom and we decided he was the best back up plan. HE TOTALLY LOVED THE MEMBERS AND TOTALLY LIKES WHAT WE ARE TEACHING! He is vegan. No animals! He only has lots of wild deer roaming his property and 69 turkeys in nests in trees. Is is so passionate about them that he so prepared for the millennium its not even funny. I am so excited for him to see his potential as a Priesthood holder and a loving teacher of the Restored Gospel! He is so Awesome.
Sunday we had church and a baptism afterwards. pat and Wyatt attended and that's when Wyatt committed to being baptized.
By the way we have an amazing ward mission leader and his wife. They gave us a portable heater for us to borrow, because our heating is not yet fixed until today or tomorrow. It went from 64 to 70 very nicely. I am grateful for their charity!
I love this next week. We are trying our hardest to get members more involved. We are learning that Jesus Christ is so much helping inspire us and strengthens our faith in him each day.
Finish Strong!
Sister Burnham

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


(Picture taken October 2010)

Wow, a lot happened to the family this week. It was awesome to read about how again my family is so wonderful and the best fit for me. I love being a Burnham! I stand proud when some one calls my name. "Sister Burnham, tell me about your self. Sister Burnham how are you. Sister Burnham thank you!" Being Sister Burnham is so cool!
Tuesday we went tracting near an investigators home. We had never been down that street so we decided it would be good. Met Becky who is a member of the Greek orthodox church. She joined as an adult with her kids. She researched it, and she finds it is some what close to whats she believes. We gave her a Book of Mormon to read and bore our testimony of its purpose. She committed to read some and talk to us about it. She also thanked us, because she was glad she finally understands how we are Christian. After I told her about Joseph Smith's vision it clicked for her. We have stopped by recently but she needs more time to read. We just don't want to lose her.
Friday we taught Jessie. She is at the point where she understands how important coming to know the Book of Mormon is true and gaining a testimony of the Restoration. She agreed to be baptised as she comes to know the truth. Great moment for a missionary and their investigators.
We went tracting the rest of the night for quite a long time. And we got into one door where this old woman let us in. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon and she agreed. She was hesitant, but we got her number to call her in the next week.
We spent New Year Eve Night with Sister Sibley a widow, but quite loving. Our goal was to memorize The Living Christ by the end of the year. So we recited that to her.
At church Sister Bishop and I spoke on goal setting and missionary work. Sister Bishop focused on desires, and I focused on becoming what we set our mind on. Goals help us focus our thoughts. Focusing our thoughts help us have clear direction and ultimately more faith in Christ and reach our potential.
I am getting overwhelmed this month because we have so many investigators that we see could get baptized this month if they decided to get "cracking" and read the Book of Mormon and go to church.
Finish Strong
Love Sister Burnham

Monday, January 2, 2012

Skype with Family

Skype from California and Michigan

Sister Burnham was able to call home on Christmas and while she was talking to her family in California us here in Michigan were able to join in on the conversation via Skype.

Sister Burnham had a lot to say and sounded so good! She is working hard in the bitter cold.

A little joke from Sister Burnham... "I have to go to "hell" and back to go to district meeting."

(Since the city of Hell, Michigan is in her area)