Friday, March 29, 2013

March 12, 2013

Dear Mommy Daddy and Kenna!!!                       March 12, 2013

Hello, It really is hard to believe that another week has come and gone, amazing!
This week has been good,  I got a bad cold when I got here, and this past week I've been coughing A LOT but I'm getting better!!   It is so good to hear from you!  They do mail kinda funny here, so we get it on Monday's at our district meeting, so the letters I'll be writing you will be in response to the ones from last week, so Idk if we could get that changed, but it's ok.  cause I love to hear from you, and even if we are kind of off, we still can share experiences and well... ya :)    So keep writing!!  Oh, but last week was weird, cause the first Friday we had a meeting, and got the mail.  So yesterday was the first time we've gotten mail since my 3rd day here.   I was trying to be patient, and not worry.  What helped was turning to the Lord, and really trying to work!
This past week has been a little slow, and a little rough.  But we've seen some miracles as well!!!   So... let me see... A lot of our appointments fell through.   We had days where by the end, we hadn't felt like we'd done much, because when your plan and your back up fall through, you turn to the Lord... But even then, it was hard!  This week we've been going to see the part member families in our ward.  Some of them welcome us in, but are not interested.  Others say "just don't come back,"  and others do want us to come and talk to them.  So we'll see what comes out of this!    I've been a lot more comfortable this past week, I'm getting more used to the schedule, the people, and I'm just relaxing in the sense that I am becoming more comfortable with being a missionary.  

The work is progressing (sorry I'm all over the place today, but I'll try to say everything I need to!).   As I think you heard, there were 58 new missions created, or will be created.  One of them is here in California.  The Irvine mission.   The top four stakes in Carlsbad will be joining 2 stakes from the Anaheim mission to create that mission.  The area I'm in will be a part of the Irvine mission come July.  We aren't sure, but we think that those of us who are already in the four stakes will be switched into that mission.  So if I’m still here, I may be in a different mission come July!   So I guess we'll see! But that is exciting!   Also, because of that, our mission has set a goal to have 300 baptisms by June 30!  How amazing is that? 300 more people coming unto God!!!   We have 71 right now, so the average is about 3 per ward, so we are really working hard to reach that goal.

We've seen a few miracles this week.    First, we are working with a man, Rich, who is engaged to a less active,   we went over to their house, just to see her on Sunday night.   Not planning to see him, since he was out of town this past week.  But while we were there, he came home, and we had a lesson about the Book of Mormon.  He was so...interested, he really wanted to learn more about it, he thinks that it is an interesting book, but he was asking about the Savior, and how he came and talked to the people here, since he didn't know.  We read 3 Nephi 11 with him, and the spirit was just so strong!  We hope he will be getting baptized this summer. He just needs to get married first :)
Also, on Sunday, we were just there, and this lady came up to us, and said her name was Dora.  She had a man with her.   After Sunday school she came up and told us that he is investigating the church, and he is ready for the lessons.   We teach him Thursday night!!! But, the Lord is preparing people, and as we work diligently to find, the Lord blesses us, and we are given people!  

We have one other investigator, Amanda.  She really just needs to try her faith and come to church!   We weren't able to see her this past week, cause she's been sick.  But we hope to see her soon!!

I'm learning a lot of things on my mission.  One is to like salad.  We have dinner with members every night (except Tuesdays)  and every night pretty much, we have salad with our meal.   I can't say that it's growing on me.  But it’s not terrible.  :)    I'm also learning about the Lord, and talking to Him through prayer.   I love praying (which is good cause we do it a lot every single day!)   And I'm learning to trust in Him, that He knows what He's doing, and what we need to learn from each and every experience!  It is humbling, and remarkable!  The spirit is an amazing gift that we all have!    

I'm glad to hear that all is going pretty well at home!  I'm glad Tyra liked my card!   I cannot believe that she is 12!!! NUTS!!!! But also very exciting, I think that she will LOVE young women’s!!! :)    Say hello to everyone for me when you see them next!
Can't wait to hear more details about Nationals....  What was the placing in team match?  I'm sure you guys all did well though!!   Kenna, I do love your hair, reminds me of when I dyed mine.   It's pretty!   But,  however you choose to keep it is your choice! :)     It is beautiful either way!
I love your letters.   Like I said, we got mail yesterday, and I devoured them...thankfully, we'd already planned for the night so I could do that!!! I love hearing from everyone that sends me things! :)  

I love being out here.  It is beautiful (glad you liked the postcard.  ;)  I saw it and had to send it!)   At nights it does get cooler, and I've actually worn my coat a few times.  The cold is different here, it’s wet.  But it has been pretty nice!!   And a few of the days have been pretty warm!  It's nice!   :)   But, I love the work.   I love contacting.  Not sure why, because it is scary, and most of the time, people ignore you, or say no thanks.  But it pushes me out of my comfort zone.   And well.... helps me grow!!

I'm talking more in lessons ;) now that I'm warming up! Which is good! I'm learning and progressing!!!  And still not even believing that a month ago (seems like yesterday) I entered the MTC.   But, wow.  :)  Missions are great.
we talk to a lot of people.  We are trying to get the members of our ward more involved in missionary work, because Sister Longhurst and I cannot do it all alone.   So we are calling on the ward.  It's just hard because people here are so busy.  If there is ever a free moment, they go to the beach to surf.  But we are trying, and the Lord will bless us!!

Can't wait to hear from you again.   I love P-days, by Monday I can tell that I need P-day so that I can get back to work without burning out!   But it is great to be able to hear from you!
I'm excited for Natasha, she will do great!  :)   I will ask Sister Longhurst if she knows anyone where Ethan is at!  Super cool!  In the church, it is just such a small world.    (The other day we met a member who asked if I knew Lauren Holmoe (I went to school with her)  This lady was friends with her mom)  Small world though!

My homesickness hasn't been too bad.   I think it got bad Sunday night and yesterday morning, cause I felt like it had been awhile since I'd heard from you.   I wondered what you'd been up to...  It was just a little hard.  But,  I am good. In those moments, I pray and then get to work.  My goal this past week, and to continue, is to try a little bit more each day, try harder to be a better missionary than I was the day before.  I can see that it helps, and gives me a reason to push myself a little bit more!!!

OK, so I hope you haven't sent the package yet... cause I thought of a few things that I also wanted.... So hopefully you get this, if not, they aren't needed, so just whenever you get the chance.     Here are the things:   my blue shirt that I love (I’m going to wear it under my suit jacket), there is a spiral notebook on my bookshelf, middle shelf, towards the right.   It isn't a regular notebook, but it has poems in it... that I’ve written, and I was wondering if you could send that so I could write some more in there!.  Also, that pink scrapbook that Racquel gave me (top shelf of bookshelf)  Because it is not very full, but I can print out pictures, and fill it, instead of buying a  whole new one.  Oh and also my wicked shirt... :)  Please and thanks.   But that's it.   So not necessary... but I'd like those :)  Mom-I got the 60 dollars on my card for food and such....   So that is how it is reimbursed.   

Thanks for the emails, and the love that I can feel!  It sounds like you are doing well, and I am glad!  You are in my prayers, and close to my heart!!  I'm so glad that we are able to talk to each other through email and letters!! :)   
I love you all!  The work is progressing!  Look around you, and see people that you see or talk to everyday, think of what could help them in their lives, the parts of the gospel that could bless them!  Share it!  (even if they aren't members, or less active!)   Talk to them.  Pray for them!  And keep working on being diligent this week! :)      I'm glad you took that challenge!!!  

I love you all!    Stay close to the Lord, and recognize all those small tender mercies of the Lord!  Write them down!  In your journal. in a letter.  Somewhere.  So that they are recorded!!

I’ll be writing you this afternoon (letters) as well!! 

Love LOVE love LOVE LOVE you!!!!

Love always, Sister Taylor Burningham 

P.S.   Can't believe Trevor has been out a year! Time flies! (also, do my emails get sent to him do you know?  if not that's ok I was just wondering!) 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 5, 2013

Hello Family!!! :)   

It has been quite a week here in San Clemente.  I cannot believe that I have only been here for a week, it has really gone by fast, I get home at night, and think, is today really already over?   And then when I wake up and go running (we run, and walk a little too, so I'm doing good!)   I can't believe that it already is going that fast.  

Tuesday is my P-day, if I didn't mention that in my letter, I honestly cant remember.  But   Anyway, so a week ago I was able to talk to you on the phone, and now I'm here in the library emailing you. :)
Ok, so you asked lots of questions, I'll try to remember all of them, and just tell you really about my first day and my first week.

Our plane ride was a good one, it was pretty short, we got to the airport, and all of the sisters in my district were kinda freaking out, saying "wow, this is really happening, we are really here".  It was sunny and bright, and warm (actually a little cool).  But a lot different than the Snow storm we had left behind (that was a gift from God as Sister Mortensen said as we looked out the windows in the airport in SLC, the last day in Utah, we got snow!!!!)   That was pretty cool.   We came down the escalators at the airport, and there was the mission president.   He knew our names without looking at our tags.   Which was cool.  We went to the mission home where we had lunch and they talked to us about different rules, and we all had interviews with the mission president, so he could see who we should be companions with!!!   We headed over to the mission office in Vista, and they told us more things.  It was like the MTC (first day) all over again, my head hurt, but it was allright.   We then went to the transfer meeting, and we sat there.... and we were introduced, then one by one they told us who our trainers would be.
As I mentioned in my letter, my first companion is sister Longhurst. She is from Layton Utah, and has been out about 10 months.    She is really nice, and she tells me that I don't act like a greenie at all.  Which is nice, and I'm trying to do the best I can :) 

We have a small apartment, I'll take pictures and send them (I tried to forward an email from an elder from the MTC in my district, but I don’t know if it worked)  Anyway,  we have a car.  A 2010 Toyota Corolla. It’s...tanish grey or grey or just a plain color ;)  anyway, I don't drive... I'm in charge of our cell phone.   Which is a little weird to me, I forget it some of the time, I’m just not used to having a phone (how funny)  but, it is nice that we are able to keep in contact with the members, and less actives!   

So my first night, we had dinner at Carl’s Jr.  and then we went and made some visits.  I met the ward mission leader Brother Dove.  He is nice, and pretty awesome.  All of the members are.  We have dinner with a member family pretty much every single night,  which is pretty cool!  Very interesting to see different people.

Here in San Clemente, there are so many different types of people.  A TON of people live in apartments, which is really different from in Provo!  There are so many apartments, and then there is also an area in our area (ward) that have HUGE houses.  Think grandview hill, but bigger.   And I am not even kidding, there are some very nice homes!!

In our area (which is the ward boundary (how do you spell that???))) anyway, there is a military base, Camp Pendleton.  So we go up there every few days, to talk to members, one of our investigators lives up there, and then less actives.

I wrote you a letter last week in a lot of frustration.    I sometimes still feel that, but things are getting better.    We do visit A TON of less actives, and it is exciting when they come to church.  And it is nice to talk to them.  But a lot of them just need friends.  So come on visiting teachers, ward friendly!! That’s what I feel like saying anyway!  But it has been good to visit people.

We have two investigators right now.  Amanda, she is the one that lives on base.  Her husband is a less active and they have four daughters.  She's been investigating the church for I think actually a few years.  She is scheduled to be baptized in June.  But we are hoping to push it up to April, which would be cool, because I will be here for sure!! :) (We have a 12 week training program)     I don't really know what her reservations are, I've only met her once.  But we'll be teaching her this week.   Thursday I think.  so I hope that goes well!
The other is a man, Rich, who is engaged to a less active member.   He is only semi interested in the church, he thinks it is interesting.  So we'll work on him :) 

We do visit a lot of less actives, and this week we've been trying to go see potential investigators that are in our area book as well as part member families (most of which the members are less active).  Some are nice, some just say "oh we're good thanks" and shut the door.   Sometimes it feels tedious, but I do feel that we are doing the Lord's work, and hopefully we are going to help someone along the way!!
I've met so many people, I've tried to keep them all straight!  But it is getting better.

I am smiling :)

I am grateful to be in California.  On our morning runs,  it is usually cooler and the smells really just bring me back to memories of Disneyland.   I love it! I love that I am able to remember things, and well... it is all just really exciting! :)  

I am serving the Lord.  I am on His errand.   We pray all the time, it really is great you know, talking to God.   :)  Try to do it more and more every single day!!!

Whew, lots of typing, lots to share.  I’ll also write today!!  So my letters will get to you soon I hope.   I will let you know then what things you need to send me, I have a short list, but I can't really remember... ;)   it’s back at our apartment.  But I'll let you know!

I love the area.  I'm learning to love the people.

But what I'm really learning is about the Atonement  and the Savior.    He is the reason I am here today.  The atonement is real.  

In relation to that, I've been studying the attributes of Christ (Preach my gospel chapter 6)  and trying to work on one a day, I'll start a rotation.  So, I wanted to challenge you to do this as well, but for you,  you can choose to do it daily or weekly.   Take time to study each day an attribute from PMG ch. 6, and then let that be your focus for the day!  Think of why it is important, how the Savior portrayed that attribute, and how you can use it in your day to day lives.  I'd love to hear how that goes in a few weeks!!! :)

I love you!  I love hearing from you (though we only get mail once a week here... which has been a little tough, but,  I think it does help us focus a little more. even though it's hard.  I write in my journal every day.   You'll probably be getting it....I don't know, May or June.  AHH I write a lot.   

But, anyway.  The work is pressing forward.  I'll share more in my letters!

I love you!!!   I miss you!!!

Love, Sister Taylor Burningham

P.S. Tell everyone on Varsity Good luck, and that it has been weird to think about nationals starting today, and not being there.  But good luck! I wish you all the very best! Can't wait to hear about it, and see pictures!!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

February 25, 2013

February 25.2013

Hello Family!!!!

The MTC has been a GREAT experience.   I have truly loved every single second.   I already wrote your letters, but I'll say different things in the email, so that you can hear even more!  :)  I also sent my schedule of what I've done here, so I hope you get that soon.

I CANNOT believe that I will be in California this time, tomorrow!!  We leave the MTC at 5 am tomorrow morning... Dad said you wanted my flight info, so you could track my flight. So its Delta Airlines Flight 2295 we leave SLC at 8:30 tomorrow morning  to San Diego. :)     OH, and I bought a calling card.   So when we get to the airport I'll call you, so be ready for that!!  I guess I'll just call mom's phone :)   And I'm not sure if I can call when I land too, but I think that I can, so I'll try to!  Can't wait to hear your voices!!  But I'll call you once when we get to the airport and settled, before our flight!   :)

This week at the MTC has truly been a good one.  I feel like I've come so far, but I know I still have a ways to go, but it has been really great!  Hmm, so Monday was P-day.  Tuesday was different because we had a devotional... Craig C. Christensen spoke, and that was really, really good!   We've had LOTS of class this week, but Brother Jacob and Brother Smith (our regular teachers) are great! And so is Brother Hilton, Sister Taylor (ahhh weird to hear my name)  and Brother Starkie (imagine Elder Holland, 24 ish and ginger (like super orange)) and that's brother Starkie).  They are all so happy.   And so... just inspiring, they have great stories!

We've been teaching investigators, and that went well (they are just our teachers)  But we also do TRC which are volunteers from out in the real world, and well.... I had an AMAZING experience on Thursday, but I wrote about it in my letter, so you'll have to be patient for that.

But my faith is growing.  The Lord really does know each and everyone of us.  Personally.  He knows what we need to hear, and sometimes, He knows things that are going to happen, and He prepares other people.   Like, a sister in our room, Sister Scott, felt when she was packing that she should bring her hot glue gun (who brings a hot glue gun on a mission?)  but, she did.  Then another sister, Sister Ryser, has a little statue (can't think of what the brand is called... but we have some) but it is an angel.   But the head broke off, and she was sooo distraught because it was a gift from her dad, to help her remember her mom who passed away.   But Sister Scott, was like "it's OK, we can fix it, I have a hot glue gun"   So, it may not really have been something big to you or me, but for Sister Ryser, that helped her know that God did know her.  That really helped my faith, just because He does know us, even the little things, everything is important to Him.  If it is important to us, it is important to Him! 

We also had in-field orientation, that was a lot of fun!   It was an all day thing, but it was so good.   So mom, I don't know if you remember, but that one time when we watched "The District” together, there was an elder, Elder Christensen, that was a missionary.  Well he taught one of my classes!   That was pretty cool.  In that class we practiced street contacting, just like talking to another missionary we didn't know, and then telling them about our message, briefly.   As we sat down he said "Was that awkward" mumbled 'yeses'  "well, if that was awkward, just wait till the real world, it's EVEN MORE awkward!"  Haha.. Probably true.  But also exciting. 
Our Branch President gave us pass-a-long cards and I bought a Book of Mormon, the goal is to give that away on the plane.  Scary! But also exciting!  This is salvation we are talking about!  I can't wait to give that to people! :)

So, this week has been a good one.  I have LOVED getting your letters, and packages. :)  They always brighten my day, and help me feel of your love, even from a distance.   If I knew how to send pictures, I'd send a few from my camera, but you'll just have to wait until I fill up my SD card.   At this rate, you'll have it fairly soon.   

My district is amazing.  I really am going to miss them!  (some of them,  are going to Salt Lake West, and the rest of us to Cali)  But, that will be a hard goodbye tonight.  We've grown close together as we've learned about the gospel and missionary work.  Oh, just in case, I don't think the MTC is like a prison, though at our first branch presidency meeting (with them)   one of them asked "what is the difference between the MTC and the Utah state prison?   They get visitors."   haha!! I laughed.  It's true.  But the spirit here is amazing.  I LOVE IT!  I'll miss it!  I don't feel trapped :)  It has been a great experience!   And I am excited to get out into the field, though it will be different!   :)

ooo So Last night, Sister Setoki was sick (she has found out recently that she is either lactose-intolerant or has an allergy to milk)  So she is still trying to see what she can eat.   But she was feeling so sick last night.    So, after the devotional, we went and found two elders from our district, and it was probably their second time that they had given a blessing.  But it was beautiful, and she is better today!  :)   The Lord has amazing power!

Well, obviously, I don't type very fast, cause it's almost been 30 minutes!

But, I hope this week is well!  I can't wait to talk to you tomorrow, that will be great! :)

OH, and Kenna, CONGRATS ON GETTING FOURTH!!! :)  I'm so proud of you!  You are doing great! I love you!
I love you all!  :) 
Thank you for your support and love.  I know that I am supposed to be here.    Looking back at my life, and looking ahead, I am supposed to be on a mission.  The Lord has called me, and I will do His work.   I wrote this in your letters... but go to youtube.  type in "missionary work and the atonement"  it has Elder Holland and a few other apostles talking.  Absolutely amazing.  Helped me understand my purpose, just a little bit more.  I love it! I cried.  :)  But it was great  and I wanted to share it with you.  And now I'm writing sideways..... I dont' know how to fix that ;)   oh well...  not sure what I pushed either.... :)  makes it more exciting right?

I love you!  I love you mom! I love you dad! I love you Kenna! :)   You are in my prayers,  you are in my heart.    We are blessed.   I know it.  I have felt it! :)

Have an amazing week.   I'll talk to you soon! And I'll let you know if there is anything I need once I get to Carlsbad.   :)  I'm sure I'll be able to write you soon, so you know where I am!  that will be exciting.  And maybe, if I can figure out pictures, so I can send a few!

OH, mom, when you were shoveling, we (my district) was singing "Come thou fount of every blessing" Which by the way sounded amazing, and I recorded it.   So you'll get that when my SD card comes, but then, with the big flaky snow, before lunch we went and enjoyed it, and took pictures.  It was fun.  I may not miss the cold, but I will miss the Snow.  I’ll miss Utah I think too.  That will be a hard adjustment, but I think I'll be ok.  I’m doing the Lord's work :)  

I love you!

God be with you!

Love, Sister Taylor Burningham