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