Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cold In California

Dear family,                                                                           December 9, 2013

This week has been a good one!  I'm getting more and more adjusted to Laguna Beach, and it really is a nice place.  But I have to tell you, it is getting cooler here. I even brought out my coat, which I haven't worn since the MTC, this week, and I've been wearing it at night! :) So that’s been fun, and weird! It also has rained here, no snow ;)  haha, but sure doesn't feel like December, now it feels more like...hmm October.  Or early November, so really I can't complain.  Plus I can see the ocean every day, but it is still weird to not have snow this close to Christmas.

So a little about my week.  

As an STL, (Sister Trainging Leader) I go to many, many meetings.  It is quite...great. I used to think I had a lot, but now, I'm just learning to love meetings ;) thankfully they are all great and all about doing God's work, so really, they are wonderful, but there are lots!  

We had our mission leadership council on Thursday, and that was just great! :)   It was an all day thing though,  but it was really powerful and really spiritual. We talked about a lot of things, but one thing that really stuck out to me was this "Satan is the master of complexity, and the Savior is the master of simplicity."  It was said by someone in a conference that President Orgill attended a few weeks ago. But, I really liked it just because we as people do tend to complicate things, and we just need to remember the Savior, because He is our perfect example, so I want to do better at following Him.   This is His work, and He knows what will work best, and I just feel so privileged to be an instrument to Him at this time! This is HIS WORK!   And His gospel.   I love that He has called me to share it with others. I love that we are able to find those who are ready, and that they  are just willing to live the gospel and you can just see the Atonement at work!  So amazing!

So, an amazing Story!   So, last week Brian got baptized, well his grandma, "Grandma Joyce" is now taking the lessons (in another ward, but still, awesome!!!)  So that is great, it was such a powerful baptism, she totally felt the Spirit, and is just ready to accept!  And then, Brian’s parents came to church today, cause Brian was getting confirmed, and then they invited us to come over on Christmas, after we had called from Brian and Kristy's :) So, I'll be taken care of on Christmas, by nonmembers, which is just cool!!! Miracles happen everyday!

So lets see...what else.  Oh, so our ward does this big event every year called "O, Holy Night."   They have people donate nativities that other people can walk around and see, and music and a live nativity outside!  So it is just lots of fun.   But anyway, on Friday we, as a missionary choir, sang that night, and since it was our ward we were there long before we sang.  And then...Sister Kimball and I got asked to be in the live nativity for a while.  We didn’t have to do anything, just stand there.   But I was an angel,  and Sister Kimball was Mary.  And our assistants were Wisemen.  And a few other Elders were shepherds and Joseph.   But we were out there for like 45 minutes, and it was pretty cold, so that was an adventure.  And not something I ever expected I'd do on my mission! haha, but it was pretty funny. I’ll try to get pictures from someone, cause that will probably be an awesome picture.

Saturday was a weird, but good day!  We had a sister’s lunch with all of the sisters that Sister Kimball and I are over at the Mission Home, and that was just a lot of fun!  We had lunch, and then did a short little training/thought about unity. Then we did a little white elephant gift exchange.   So it was a good way to get to know the sisters before we start going on exchanges this week!:)   So that should be exciting. :) Then we had a choir concert in Newport, so that was a different part of the mission that I hadn't been in yet!  So that was good, but it was just a weird day cause we didn’t do a lot of normal missionary work.  

So that was my week!! Getting colder here, and it is weird, it kinda is starting to feel like the Christmas season as we see Christmas trees in people's homes and we watched the Christmas broadcast last night, but just isn't the same.  But that just means I won't miss it as much, cause it doesn't feel like Christmas,  in the normal way, but I'll get to talk to you, so that will just make the day really special! :)  But, this year I have been more focused on the Savior, and how without him, we wouldn't be here, so I'm grateful that we have a set apart time that we can really celebrate his birth and what that can mean for each of us! :)  

Your week sounds good!  Funny that you had a birthday celebration for me and Kaytlin and we weren’t there, but ya know,  we were there in spirit!   It is weird, hearing about all the things that you are doing, that I usually am doing, and I miss it, but at the same time, I just feel like I'm having a really long summer vacation, with a few cold days.  haha. :)   SO that’s me!  But sounds like things are fun, be careful driving in the snow! :)    Glad to hear that you've been safe so far! :) I’ll look out for the packages mom!  Speaking of packages, did you get the 2 I sent home for Christmas? Just wondering, cause you never mentioned them!

I'm so glad that you took my challenge!  I love that you are trying, and I know that it is hard! But hey, whether the gospel conversation is with a nonmember, or a member, or someone who fell away, or someone returning, it is the same, because we are helping them, and how great shall be our joy (D and C 18:15-16)  :)   So keep it up, just be aware of the people around you, and pray to recognize the opportunities. Be a friend.  Post a quote.  Really anything and everything that will help someone feel the love of the Savior! :)  Especially at this Christmas season!!!  I love you all!  And I can’t wait to see your beautiful smiling faces on Christmas!  It'll be great! :)

Also... funny story, the other day an elder asked me how long I'd been out on a mission, and I said 10 months. Then paused and felt a little shocked that that is how long I’ve been out!! Crazy crazy!!  Anyway, I love you!

Have a good week!  Also, in your next letters, could you share your testimony with me! :)  Love you!


Sister Taylor Burningham

Sister Macey from my ward in San Clemente came to a Mission Leadership Council that we had.  She sent these pictures.  

Me and Sister Macey

Me, Sister Macey and Sister Drinkwater

Sister Jackson, Sister Macey, Me, Sister Drinkwater

Sister Macey and President Orgill

Sister Jackson and Sister Drinkwater teaching

Me and my new companions with Sister Orgill

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Laguna Beach and Thanksgiving

Dear Family,                                                                             December 2, 2013

As you heard, or saw, from the picture from Bishop Galland, I'm now in Laguna Beach!   It is another beach city (obviously)  and well, I love it so far!   I am companions with Sister Kimball and Sister Morgan.   And…I got called to be a  Sister Training Leader with Sister Kimball.  So that should be exciting!    We are planning to have a lunch at the mission home with all of our sisters this Saturday and then...lots of transfers, and lots more meetings.  This is my life right least a third of it is spent in meetings, and the rest...finding and teaching and baptizing! :)  So, that will be exciting.  I was kind of expecting it, but I didn’t know until transfer meeting when President Orgill said it. should be good though I don't think it has really hit me yet.  But, something new, and to keep me busy.

So. I'm in Laguna Beach, and really, it doesn’t feel like December AT ALL!!!  Which is weird, but ya know, makes it easier to not think about the usual things that we do around this time of year, since it literally felt like July yesterday!   Crazy.  But,  this area is really awesome.  So Sister Kimball was already here, which is nice, so no white washing, but just working hard.  We have a lot of investigators here!  And lots of work to do! :)  One of our investigators that we met on Wednesday, is Brian.  And he got baptized yesterday!  So that was great to attend, and get to know him a little bit before he was baptized.  And we are excited to teach him and his wife Kristy the new member lessons, as well as teaching their kids, Giselle and Ethan, and hopefully the kids will be getting baptized in the coming weeks! :)   So that is pretty great!  We have more investigators, but I haven't met any of them, so I can't really tell you about them yet! :)

It sounds like thanksgiving was great! :)   We had it at Bishop's house, and he has 8 kids.  Some of his wife’s family was there, so there were about 28 of us total, and it reminded me of being home, so that was a good familiar thing! Though, it really didn't feel much like Thanksgiving to any of us (me and my companions) we haven't figured out why yet, but it just didn't.  But we were taken care of!  And I'm glad that you had a fun Thanksgiving, and that you were able to start getting things decorated.  We don’t have decorations (yet) for our apartment, but we are excited for Christmas, I live in an apartment with 2 other sisters as well, so there is 5 of us, so that is fun and crazy, but it will be good!  And I'm excited to spend Christmas here,  Kristy and Brian already invited us over for Christmas, so we'll probably be skyping from there. :)   So, that is good news! 

This ward is great, the chapel is small, and funky shaped, but it is a great ward from what I've seen so far, so I'm excited to be in this area!  Plus, I feel like everyone I meet, I already know.  It's kinda weird, and I haven't figured out why yet, but it is good!  :)

So this week has been good, just trying to get adjusted to new things: new area, new companion, new apartment, new ward, etc.  But things are really going well, and I'm grateful for the change, and for the opportunity I have to meet with more people and help others progress in the gospel!

Hmm what else?  Let’s see, yesterday we went contacting and that was fun.  We talked to about 80 people in an hour, welcome to a beach city!     haha, we ended up teaching 2 lessons during it as well.  And with one of them, we  invited the girls to the baptism last night, and they wanted to come, but didn't show up.  Sad, but they both have book of Mormons and cards.  So If they have questions, or if God has that in His plan for them, they will find missionaries again.  But it was really cool how we found them, just shows that God does know each of us and he will put us in places where we can help people! :)

OK, so about my companions.  Sister Kimball has been out a month longer than me, and she is from...all over the place, she actually left from Switzerland to come on her mission, but her family has since moved to Highland, Utah.  :)  She is great, and we get along well.  She had a feeling the other day that we'll be companions for a while, which would totally be fine!  And then Sister Morgan is great also!  She is from Texas, and just finished getting trained!  So we are all excited to work together! :)

So, things are good, the work is great!  And things are just progressing!   And, I have an invitation for you!   Set a goal as a family for how many gospel conversations you can have this week with non members.   Then pray everyday every prayer to have opportunities to share the gospel.  (Talk about a doctrine, bear testimony, teach a simple truth) and you don't have to force them, they will come as you open your mouths to share. I promise!  So will you accept? I'm excited to hear how it goes.   And also, they don’t have to be people who are ready to be baptized, it can be anyone, and about anything!   Even if you are just planting a seed, it is missionary work! :)    And that is all that God is asking us to do! we have the most amazing thing out there! think of ways that you can share it this Christmas season! :)

I hope things are going well, sounds like the week was pretty good! :)

Have fun dancing this weekend Kenna! :)  You'll do great! :)

Keep smiling, keep thinking of our Savior!  Keep doing good things!!!

I love you all!!


Sister Taylor Burningham

This explains my last companionship...I'm crazy ;)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Miracles and Blessings

Dear Family!!!                                                                                November 25, 2013

First off, have to say, Kenna, sorry that you are sick! I have a bad cold too…so that is no fun!!!   But, other than that, things are pretty good here in Irvine.

So here was my week in a word.  OK maybe two words.  Hard but happy.    Why??  Well lets see...Judy hurt her back, so there was no baptism :(    And Kelley got nervous again so no one got baptized.  And we were pretty bummed about that, but at the same time, I felt happy.  I know the church is true! I know that God is real! I also know that these two sweet sisters have felt it, and well, maybe they just needed more time.   I also remembered I think on Thursday, after we found out that Kelley wouldn't be baptized either, what President Shumway had said in my setting apart blessing, that I wouldn’t see many baptisms, but that I would see Miracles!  And that I have.  I didn’t come on a mission to baptize.   Well I did, but I knew that wasn't going to be my purpose.  Some missionaries reap, others sow. I've done a little of both.   And I just feel so blessed to even be on a mission, to be sharing the gospel, and my testimony! :)   I just love this work!  So even though it was a hard week, God was carrying us, and I am so glad for that! :)

Lets see...what else happened.... :)  Trying to remember.   We taught Jung, and Sister Lang testified boldly! :)    Ben, Shirin and Elizabeth are doing great! :)   Kelley is doing good, we also saw her on Saturday, and just helped her feel better, she's been feeling down all week....hmmm maybe she should have gotten baptized ;)   haha, well, she should have, but I know she has her agency! :)   

We met a less active this week, her name is Nancy, and she actually ended up coming to church!  So that was pretty awesome! :)    We had choir like normal, and sang at an Inter faith thing last night in Laguna beach, and that went really well!  So that was fun, and we were able to share the Spirit with all of those there.  

December is going to be busy, we have quite a few performances, and so that will be great! Singing in the Choir has been really fun and enjoyable!!!

So, I’m sure you are dying to know whether or not I am getting transferred, but we'll get to that in a minute :)

Things are going well out here, and I have an increased desire to serve and to just do my best every single day! The days are starting to slip by even faster than they were before, I am not sure where the past 6 weeks have gone, because this transfer was so short.  It just reminds me of what Sister Longhurst told me, about how transfers just go faster and faster.  I didn't believe her.  But I sure do now!!! :)  haha.   But it is great!  And I’m just trying to enjoy every single day!!!! :)

OK.  So about transfers. They called us on Saturday night, and our district leader started going through the list of people in our zone who are getting transferred (nearly at least one person from every companionship is leaving),  and then of course, he waited to tell us last which of us would be leaving.......  So...... I've been packing my bags, cause tomorrow night I'll be in a new area!   :)  Which is exciting, and I really wasn't expecting it.  But hey, I know that it is right, I can just feel the spirit! :)   So I'll be leaving Irvine. Both Sister Lang and Sister Putnam are staying, and they will be on their own!   Sister Lang tells me that I’m abandoning her, and every time she does, I just look up and say "talk to Him."  But, really, they will do great!   The ward is sad, and they had me and the elder that is leaving bear our testimonies yesterday.    I have loved serving in this ward!  It has been a great blessing!  They are so wonderful! :)   I really have grown a lot as well as I was senior companion and a trainer!  Now onto new things!  I have no idea where I’m headed.  No idea  who I'll be with!  So it will be an adventure, but a good one I am sure! :)  And I’ll tell you all about it next week!!! :)

As for thanksgiving, I'll probably be eating with a member... but not sure, cause I don’t know where I’ll be yet, but I do know that I’ll be taken care of!  :)  And mom, I hope I get turkey too!!!    

So, things are good!  Just getting everything packed, and tonight I'll be stopping by some members that want me to say goodbye!  Which is nice, I feel their love, and I love them too, so that is a blessing! I hope my next ward is just as great! I'm sure it will be!!! :)

I love you all!

Have a great week!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!


Sister Taylor Burningham

These are the missionaries in my ward

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Time To Get Wet

November 18, 2013

Well dear family!  This week has been a good one, a busy one, a tiring one, but God is always there to carry me through! :)

So let me think...what even happened this week????  Good question.  On Tuesday we taught Kelley and invited her to be baptized this Saturday, she said yes, and had her interview, she is clear to be baptized, but yesterday she got nervous about the date, so we are praying real hard for her, and prayers in her behalf would be great!   We also taught Judy, who had her interview yesterday, and she is GOING TO GET BAPTIZED on Saturday!  So this week is going to be a crazy one, getting ready for that, but we are excited and she is excited!    So that is what will be happening this week!  :)

We also invited Ben, Shirin and Elizabeth to be baptized, and they said that they want to learn more before they get baptized, but they still come to church every week and we have a standing appointment with them once a week, so they are progressing, just slowly!

Wednesday was good, we had a zone training, and that was good!  We also had choir, and then we taught Jung.  (Oh did I mention that he also gets taught by president Orgill???) Haha, anyway he doesn't get the priesthood yet, but he really wants to know all about our church before he decides what he is going to do about it.    So that is sometimes stressful, but it is also good.  He also said this "Sister Putnam and Lang are good singers.”  (we sing with him)  then he said, "Burningham not good singer, but good teacher."  Haha. It just made us laugh, and well, obviously I can't sing, but that's ok, I'll keep singing anyway, cause I love it! :)

Thursday was good, we saw Charlotte and her daughter (and they came to church cause we sang in Sacrament meeting!) so that was a miracle! :)   We also saw Kelley again, and were just helping her get ready for baptism! :)

We also went to a Relief Society activity, cause Shirin went, it was a good use of time!  Plus we got to know the sisters in this ward better!  And many of them are a bit anxious cause transfers are next week, and both Sister Putnam and I have been here for 4 months,  so we could get transferred.  But we'll find out Sunday night.  But this week we are just going to go out and kill it!  And have baptisms!! :)  So yay super exciting!   Hmmm also, I'll tell you my transfer predictions…I think I may be going.  Which is sad cause I love this area, but I really think that my time here may be close to an end.  But we'll see.  Do you have any guesses??? :)  Before I tell you next week!?!?!

Friday was supposed to be planning day, but we didn’t get much planning done.  We did this thing called "nails and tales" and we went to a senior center and painted their nails and asked them about their family history, so that was fun! And just being there reminded me of all the times we danced at senior centers, and that was a good memory, I’m glad I had that opportunity to do that! :)    Tell Angela thanks for me! :)  Then we had lunch, and then went and learned more about family history, and I attached documents to people, mostly just census records, but it was still cool! Then we taught Mackey, and that was good!  Just continuing to make baby steps with her! :)   And then we also saw Jung again, and that went well.   We did sing, and teach him more about the priesthood! 

Saturday we had lunch with Kelley before her baptism interview, so that was fun! :)   Then we planned.  And I can't really remember what else happened.

Yesterday really didn’t even feel like Sunday.  Why? K, here was our day, got up, got ready, practiced for choir at 8:00, sang in the first ward, then went to our own Sacrament Meeting.  Then Judy had her interview, and while our District Leader was interviewing her we hung out in the mission office, and missed Sunday School and Relief Society.  And then we went and got Sister Murphy cause her comps had a meeting with President, then dropped her off after we studied, went to dinner, which was great!  And then went and taught a member.  It was a go, go, go kind of day, but it was great!  And I think I prefer busy days to days when there isn't much happening!

And then today!   :)   Today is pday.  Yay!  Haha, much needed and I always love them! :)   HMMM, but really things are going good, and I am so grateful that I am a missionary right now! :)  It is just amazing.   I love that I am able to see the atonement at work everyday. I love that I can share the gospel with my whole heart. I love that I am a missionary.   I just love it!   I know that this is where I am supposed to be!  I know that God has a purpose for all things! I know that the Church is true!  That God loves us and knows us and truly wants us to be happy!   I love this gospel! I love the plan that God set up for us! I love that there is more to life than just this life! :)  I love it!!!

I hope you all have a great week!  Things sound good (and cold) at home, I'm grateful for the warmer weather, but it still is chilly at night ;)  Haha.  I feel blessed to be in California though! :)   I just feel blessed, full and happy right now.  I'm so grateful that I felt like I needed to serve a mission, and then heeded that prompting.  I feel like people talk about the things that get in the way of them serving, but I feel like I took of running and didn't look back. But I'm grateful. I'm grateful for the time I've already served, and the time I have left. It's going so fast, but I'm enjoying every second!!!!

I love you all!  Have a good week!


Sister Taylor Burningham

Just taking some pictures while Kelley has her interview

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Spectrum, Choir and Irvine

Hello family!!                                                                         November 12, 2013

It sounds like your week was a pretty good one!  Again, cause yesterday was a holiday, we are emailing on Tuesday! Which always is a little weird (funny cause for the first third of my mission my pday was on Tuesday! now that is just weird to me!)  But, anyway, this week has been a good one. We did a few mini exchanges just cause other companionships had meetings but not all of them had to go, but for one Sister Lang and I opened a window, and we talked to so many people, and did teach a lesson, but we didn't get the girl’s number, so that was a bummer.  But it was weird to be working with just one companion again, but it was also good!  

On Wednesday we did a training at district meeting.  I’m still not a huge fan of getting up in front of people, especially people who are close to my own age, but it actually went really well.  We did a training on asking members for referrals, and then helping the members who didn't have referrals with ways that they could have them in the future.  We've also been trying harder to ask for referrals since we are really bad at that.  So far we are getting better at asking, but not many people have them, but we will keep trying! :)

Thursday was really good, we were able to teach Mackey, and right now her husband isn't interested, but we are just taking baby steps with her so that we can help her be more comfortable with the gospel, and her husband as well!  We also taught Kelley, and she is doing so good! She agreed fully to pay tithing once she is baptized, and she has been drinking blue Powerade instead of iced tea, so she is really progressing!!! :) Which is just great!  

Mom, I think it is funny that you had an activity about Family History.  Cause all the missionaries in Irvine right now are getting trained on how to use familysearch so that we can help our investigators.  We have 3 classes and did one last Friday, and at the end we were able to just look at our family lines, and guess what, on Grandma Farrer’s sides one of the lines goes back to Adam and Eve  (there may or may not be some people missing, but it was still kinda cool).  But we do have a lot of work to do, even though a lot of work has been done! :)  But it should be fun, and a great tool to use in our teaching!

We talked to lots of people this week, so that was exciting, no new investigators but still working hard to find more!
We teach Judy tonight, but she is still on track for baptism, so that is exciting! :)

On Sunday we taught the Beehives, and that was fun! I love Young Women’s! :)  It is just great!!

Sunday night I got to go to San Clemente.  Our choir did our first performance at a youth fireside in San Clemente. So I got to see some of the youth that I worked with, and that was just fun! :)  And it was really powerful singing, it was great.  I kinda really like performing, though I do like dance a little more than singing ;) haha dad, always telling us to quit ;) but no, I really do love it!  But it was fun, and I'm excited to do that more!

So yesterday was Pday, and no email so we had a little extra time, so we went to the Spectrum mall, and my dear family, it is huge!!!!!   We were looking for rings and hair bows, but we didn't buy anything.  But it was a fun activity and did remind me more of the California I am used too, cause my area in Irvine is mostly just homes so we don’t see much of the outside world here.  Lots of trees (all of which are still green, which is weird)  but,  it was just fun! 
So, things are good here in Irvine.  Working hard, and planning to work harder still. :)   Happy 9 months tomorrow!  

Transfers are coming up, and dad to answer your question, we have 6 stakes in our mission, New Port, Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita, Laguna Nigel, Mission Viejo, and San Clemente.  And each of those stakes have at least 7 areas. I think, I’m really not sure, so I really could go anywhere, but we won't know till the 23rd if we are getting transferred. I have a feeling I may be leaving, but who knows, only time will tell.  And I will go wherever the Lord wants me to go.

I also should mention, I am pretty blessed to be in this mission, there really isn't any crappy areas, I mean, our whole mission is in Orange County, California, so that is a blessing,  it's just hard cause everyone is comfortable with where they are at in life!  But we are working hard, and we will find teach and baptize!!!

I have also really learned that in our weakest times, as we turn to the Lord, as we give him ourselves, He is able to make us better, and help us be strong.  And that is really something I have found the past few weeks.  I am so blessed to know that God is there, that He is always willing to hold us up, and no matter what trial we may be going through, He is there, and that brings me so much happiness.  I heard once that life is just hard, with a few happy moments.  And I don’t know if I’m just optimistic, but I disagree.  I feel like life is happy (hence the Plan of HAPPINESS) and that their are hard moments, but we learn and grow and we are able to get glimpses of the eternal happiness we will have when we return to our Father in Heaven.  And I just feel like there is more good than bad in my life :)  So that's just me.

Have a great week!  Stay safe!  Do good things!

I love you!!!


Sister Taylor Burningham

Adam & Eve on FamilySearch