Monday, February 24, 2014

Stand As A Witness

January 21, 2014

Hey family, so you were right, all the libraries were closed yesterday so we are emailing today.  And a little later than usual cause we had a lesson with Brian this morning.  And I don’t know how long this email will be, cause we have the same amount of time as usual but I am not feeling well at all today :( Don’t know what is wrong with me, haven't felt good since Sunday.  Stayed in on Sunday, took it easy yesterday and this morning I was  feeling fine, but then got feeling super sick again, so ya, probably gonna go sleep after this, but we'll see.  So that is a bummer! But, this week has been pretty good, other than getting sick, which is never ever fun!
So, lets see, well, last Tuesday Sister Cooper went home, so for the past week and still we have been serving with Sister Hedrick.  She is right now our companion, but we still don't know how permanent it will be.  Because of this we've been covering both our ward and her ward, so it has just been a big adventure trying to figure that all out!   :)  So that is exciting!

Wednesday we worked in both areas and we taught Ethan and Giselle, they are still doing great!  And we are still working hard to get them to baptism!  Then there is Ronnie, she had her interview on Saturday and so she will be getting baptized this Saturday.  We should see her tonight (unless of course I still feel like this, then we will figure something else out).  But we are excited for that, it has made our week so far busy as we are just trying to prepare for that!  :)

So last Friday we had some people from the Missionary Department come and we had a really big training.  It was supposed to be our Mission Leadership Council but they invited a lot of other missionaries, and we really talked about our purpose as a missionary; (to help people be baptized so that they can receive the Holy Ghost and experience the Atonement), and how we can effectively teach so that we can help get them to that point.  So it is still something that we are trying to implement and it should be great!  It really will change the rest of my mission, but it will take a lot of work, trying to teach even more simply and really in a way that will allow those we are teaching to participate more so that they can feel the Spirit more in their life! :)  It is going to be great, and I left that all day training feeling really pumped and excited about missionary work.

Then I went on an exchange on Saturday, and it was pretty exciting, just out doing missionary work!   And then on Saturday we sang at a stake conference adult session, and so that was also great.

On Sunday I woke up feeling pretty terrible, so we ended up staying home and not going to Stake Conference.  But we did go to dinner and to see the Wittkops, a family in our ward that we teach. 

Then it was Monday! Pday!   Which wasn't a super thrilling p-day, I still felt sick, but not as bad, we went shopping and then we went to San Clemente to give Sister Andersen a birthday present from Sister Hedrick, and then went to our Zone activity.  Then had dinner with members and saw a recent convert! :)   Then today we met with Brian, and that was a good lesson, and then had lunch and now we are here! :)

So my week was pretty busy, but my brain doesn't work super well right now, so I can't really remember everything that happened, but it was a good week, and we are all just getting used to being in a trio again and trying to figure out how to serve in 2 wards at once.  It is very different, but we are working on it, and so far it is running pretty smoothly.   Me and sister Hedrick take turns driving our different cars, so hopefully we will have lower miles at the end of the month ;)   

Hmmm, so today I was studying about baptism and how one of the covenants we make is to stand as witnesses.  And we were talking a little about this on Friday at our training about how as missionaries we represent Jesus Christ.  And I've really been trying to figure out how I will be able to more fully represent Him in all that I do, so that the people I see each day will have a greater desire to learn more and do more because they can see the Savior through me and all that I do.  I am, after all, called to represent Him, right now I bear my name, and also His, it is an amazing privilege and I love it! :)   So, I invite you to think of the ways that you can and do and could stand as a witness so that anyone who sees you, at anytime can recognize and see that there is something different about you, that they may be able to see Christ shining through you!! :)

Well it sounds like things are going great at home and I'm glad! Busy with Provo comp this week I am sure,   haha I think I will really enjoy going to bed at 10:30 instead of 2!   But, I'm sure it will be great, and Kenna, do great!! :)  It is really weird to think that last year at this time I was still home and just getting ready to help with Provo comp, it really doesn't feel like that was a year ago, I feel like it has gone by so quickly, and funny what Grandma said, but it is true, there will be just a few big things before summer rolls around, but I try not to think about that.  But I am getting to the point in my mission that every time someone asks me how long I've been out it always surprises me that I can now say 11 1/2 months.  It is really weird.  Soon I'll just start saying that I've been out for a long time.   Even though, for me at least, it doesn’t feel like it really has been all that long.  Hard and fun, but really not long as I look back.  Which I have been doing a little bit, just trying to see what has changed about me as I've been out, how I was before, and who I am now.  I'm different, but a good kind of different.  And I love it.  I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to grow in a way that I never expected, and that growing has come as I study the gospel everyday so that I can teach it to others so that they can have this wonderful gift that we have.  So the change didn't come all at once, but day by day, and I think that is how it is in real life.  Change comes daily and slowly, as we do the little things, but in the end it makes the world of difference.

I've also realized that as I'm around others so much (all the time), and I mean ALL THE TIME, which is great, but so different, I get to see others in a different way, but I also see myself in a different way.  And I am beginning to understand more about who I am and what God has in store for me! :)     So anyway, lots of good thoughts this week, must have had a little bit of time to think and learn, but it has been good!

So you asked how the work is going, always could be doing better, we are looking for more investigators right now, and really, we are just trying to find a balance with all the meetings I have, being in 2 wards, choir and then of course now, being sick, but hey, I am giving it my all.  But, my all and my best today will be different than my best tomorrow, but it will still be my best. :)   So, we are working, we are looking, we are getting to know the members, we are laughing at our mistakes, and trying harder the next minute to do better and be better.   

I love being a missionary, for a million different reasons.  And I know I say that a lot that "I love being a missionary" but I really do.   I loved dance in a million different ways, and now I love being a missionary, and I know that this is the greatest work that I could ever be doing right now, and I know that the time not only on missions, but in life, is so short, so I am trying to do better at really giving what I love everything I've got, so I can someday look back and know that there was nothing else I could have given, but that I surely did all that I could.    :)  

So, I hope you have a great week! Good luck at Provo Comp, I'll be cheering for you loud and proud here in Laguna beach! :)  

I love you!!!


Sister Taylor Burningham

Also, real quick I wanted to share a quote with you that I really enjoy.

"God knows that some of the greatest souls who have ever lived are those who will never appear in the chronicles of history.  They are the blessed, humble souls who emulate the Saviors example and spend the days of their lives doing good"  -President Uchtdorf

I just love that!  So, go about doing good!!!


Sister Taylor Burningham

Us at the Temple

With the Ward Mission Leader and his family

Judy at her baptism

Monday, February 10, 2014

Having A Strong Foundation

January 13, 2014

Well hello, and what an interesting week!!! Can't wait to tell you all about it!

So, Tuesday we said goodbye to some members, and then we went to Irvine for transfer meeting!  So that was exciting, Sister Morgan and I stayed together and it is just the two of us.  So, that will take a little bit of adjusting since I've been in a trio for the past 6 months, but so far things are going good, and we are still getting along great!  And just getting to know the ward better.

So that was Tuesday, Wednesday....  We saw Mariana who is a convert of just 2 years, and she is trying to come back to church again, and she has a desire to serve a mission, so that was good to see her!  We also saw Giselle, and that was good, and then we went to mutual to get to know the youth better, because here in Laguna, the youth are really the ones that are on fire!  So we went to their activity, and that was good, and I'm just really grateful that I'm not a teenager anymore!! haha ;)

Thursday was good, and different.  I stayed home with Sister Cooper (the one who got the concussion a few weeks ago, cause she is still recovering) but her comp needs to get out and work, so she's been going on lots of exchanges. So I stayed in most of the day.  We did go to our choir practice though.  And then Sister Cooper slept, and I cleaned the apartment and organized my stuff, which was much needed and really refreshing! :) So that was good, and I was able to just talk to sister Cooper, cause she just wants to talk, and have social interactions and not sleep all day, which is what she needs, but it was good to get to know her a little bit better!

Friday was a busy day, we went to early morning seminary, and then I had a meeting with the Zone Leaders and District Leaders and then the rest of our day was pretty normal.

Saturday was EXCELLENT! Why??? Cause Judy got baptized (say what?!?) So on Thursday I found out that Judy was gonna get baptized.  Apparently she really felt like she needed to get baptized this week, so she called the Elders, and it happened! It was a good baptism, and I was so glad that I was able to go! Plus it was just a miracle, that she got baptized, cause before we weren't sure if that was gonna ever happen after she didn’t back in November, but it was a miracle!  And a happy day! :)  Then we went and weekly planned, and then met with Sister Madrid, and then went home to find Sister Drinkwater and her companion at our apartment as well, so we had dinner with them and that was a party.  Then we went out, and our appointments fell through, so we were thinking about where we should go, and ended up going to see Brian and Kristy (that is what the Spirit told us to do).  And I am just so grateful for the Spirit, and for the chance that I have as a missionary to go into so many different homes and feel the Spirit (either abundantly or not) but it was so wonderful in that home, it really felt like being home, and it was a good way to end our day!

Yesterday was good as well, church and then we sang in a different sacrament meeting, contacted, saw Ronnie, oh so About Ronnie, she is 18, her dad is a less active member, and she met the Sisters last April, but she now really wants to get baptized!  She started to read the bible, (she wants to read everything in order) and she comprehends so well! She really is going to gain her testimony as she reads from the scriptures!  So we are excited for her baptism in 2 weeks!  And mom, she was really excited to show me the conversation that you had with her, so that was fun! :)

So, Ethan and Giselle, their dad still hasn't said yes, but he hasn't said no, and we don't think that he is going to say no. Our Bishop took their dad and their step mom out to lunch on Saturday and Bishop said that it was really positive, and with their dad it will just take some time. So we will still be teaching the kids, they are so awesome. I love them both so much! They will get baptized, just not last Saturday! ;)

Oh, so great story about yesterday, we were contacting at this park, and there was an older man sitting on a bench, listening to a hand held radio, so we went and we started to talk to him, and as we did, he proceeded to tell us that he was the Angel Gabriel and that we were wrong.  Then, during our conversation he also told us that he was Enoch and Moses and King Arthur, so that was really exciting! :) I love talking to people though, it is just so great!   I love that I get to talk to different people everyday, and one thing I've been thinking about is how this is God's work, and if they don't listen, that is their choice of agency,  and because it is God's work, He will provide a way for them to hear it again. But that right now, really the best thing that I can do is just  open my mouth to everyone, even if it is awkward or hard, because everyone deserves to hear the gospel, and the gospel is getting shared right now.  God's work is moving forward, and it is our choice to be a part of it or not! :)  So anyway, just some thoughts I've been having.  And just loving talking to everyone! :)

Dad, I love your little 4 word themes for different years, I love that you and mom love the gospel so much.  The other day Sister Morgan and I were talking about our families, and it just hit me again how grateful I am for the family that I have. I am so grateful for the standards that we not only had in our home, but that we lived.    I know that the testimony that I have really started because of the foundation that I had when I was growing up, so thank you mom and dad, for living the gospel, for loving the gospel and helping me to do the same! I love you!

Well, that was my week, it was a good one, and I am just again just loving being a missionary, this transfer is going to be a good one! I’ll keep working hard, and doing all that I can to help others come closer to the Savior! :)

It sounds like your week was great! I love that you loved your Stake Conference, we have ours next week and I’m excited for that!! Hmm, better get indexing (100 isn't that hard,  I did like 300 the day that we were learning how a few months ago, but they were pretty easy ones to read, but still!  I love it!  It's really fun! )

Anyway, I hope you have a good week!!!! :) I’m sure it will be! Keep being yourselves, and praying for opportunities to share the gospel, whether it is with someone who is a member or who is not, it is still all so important! :)

I hope you have a great week!  I know that this church is true! I know that we are here on earth at this time for a specific purpose.  I know that God knows our full potential! I know that Jesus Christ will help us with all things! I know that the Atonement works! I know that there is nowhere else that I would rather be right now in my life.  I love being a missionary!


Sister Taylor Burningham

p.s. 11 months today!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Time For A Change

January 6, 2014

Well, Happy 2014 everyone!! I hope that this year has started off well, and I am sure that it is going to be a great year, I am really excited for it, and I don’t even really know why! :)  But it just feels like it is going to be a good year!

So, first update about transfers, I’m staying in Laguna beach with Sister Morgan, we don’t know if we will be getting a third companion or if it will just be the 2 of us, we'll find out tomorrow. But Sister Kimball is being transferred!  Weird, she is now the companion that I've had for the shortest amount of time, cause I've always been with someone for more than a transfer, so different!  Also, there have been rumors that all the STL's are gonna be solo, so that will be an interesting adventure, that is for sure! :)

But, anyway, this week was actually really, really great for it being week six! :)   On New Year’s Eve we had to be in at 7, but we were able to have a Zone activity, and we played Tomahawk ball (ultimate frisbee but with a football) So that was pretty exciting.  Then, I went to bed early, and if there were any fireworks, I slept right through them! :) 
New Year’s Day was pretty fun, our Zone Leaders held an activity for not only missionaries in our Zone but also members and nonmembers, and we played dodgeball, so that was pretty fun.  We had a pretty good turn out, and quite a few nonmembers came.  I really love that President Orgill is so open to different finding ideas, so we sure do make it fun!    But, I did discover, or just reconfirmed that I can't throw anything to save my life, but I was pretty good at not letting the balls hit me, but then I'd be the last one on my team, and I'd be pretty useless for getting the other team out.  So. Yeah. It was fun though! Then we went and saw an investigator family that we are teaching, and it was just a great way to start the new year! :) 

Thursday was good, I went on a mini exchange with Sister Hedrick and we taught an awesome lesson to a lady who has been investigating for 8 years.   But she was sweet, and it really was a good lesson! :)   And then we saw some members and I can't really remember what else! :)

Friday morning we got to go to the temple, bright, actually dark, and early at 7 am, but it was a great way to start our day, and I just love the temple! It is so wonderful!  And I'm grateful that we are so blessed to have a temple so close, and really, I can't wait to go even more when I get home, so that will be great!  For now, I'll just enjoy it about every three months ;)  Then we planned, then we had a meeting with the Zone Leaders and District Leaders in our Zone, then we taught Brian the Plan of Salvation, and I just love the Plan Salvation, it is just my favorite! :)

We also got to help feed the homeless Friday night, so that was an adventure!  Different, but after me and Sister Morgan (Sister Kimball was on an exchange) were talking about how now that we are on our missions we love doing service, and it is just so great!  So I hope to carry that love that I am getting here, throughout my life, so that I'll be able to continue serving all those around me! :)   But it was a fun day!

Saturday was pretty crazy, but really good. We got Sister Kimball back around noon then we went to see Don. Did I tell you about him?  He's a 90 year old man that we go and do service for.   So that was good, then we saw a few members while we were waiting for a less active to get in touch with us.  But we ended up just going over to her house, right as she was getting home from a run, so that was a mini miracle!   We were able to talk to her about goals and that was great! :)

We also went to see a part member family, and the daughter used to take the lessons, and she told us that she wanted to get baptized, but didn't know how to tell her mom, who is also not a member.  We told her that everything would be fine and that we would be able to work it out.  Then on Sunday she was talking to the Elders and set a date for January 25, and then got home and told her mom that there was a baptism on the 25th, (not that it was hers though) but later she called and said that her mom had asked her about it, and found out, and actually said she might go to the baptism, which wasn't what Ronnie was expecting at all!  But that was cool, and so now we'll be going over the lessons again with her and preparing her for the 25th!   So that is pretty exciting!  Also, as for Ethan and Giselle, we will know when we see them tomorrow, but, for now, we know they are getting baptized, we just aren't sure when!   So thank you for the prayers, and keep them coming! :)

Mom, thanks for the journal tip! That is a good idea, I'll do that! :)

And funny that you should ask about goals, we've been talking about goals all week.   And how we really should turn to God when we are setting goals, so that it is something that He knows we can accomplish, and something that He will help us with!   I know that as a missionary when we set goals (which we do ALL THE TIME),   if we don't do it with the Spirit, or with the desire to actually go out and work and help these people progress, then we are just setting a goal to set a goal, and it really won't help us in the long run.  We've been challenging people to take time to set goals, and really let God help them, or almost approve of them, so that we can know that those things truly are what God wants us to do!  It has been cool the different conversations that we have had, and how I really want to accomplish the goals that I set this year!  And then to relate that to what you'll be talking about mom, about living a gospel centered life, we've really been talking about how it really is the little things that make the biggest difference in our lives.  Reading the scriptures everyday, praying, going to church, because when we are doing those things daily and weekly, then the rest will be a lot easier, we will have the Spirit in our lives, and we really will be able to focus on God and the things that matter most! So, I hope something in what I just said helps ya! :)

I'm glad things are going well at home!   I love hearing updates and news, so keep that coming!   I can't believe that Kenna is about to start her last semester of high school! Crazy!!!  You're so old! ;)  But I know it will be great!!!  So, all of you keep smiling, keep having fun, keep doing the little things, and keep on loving each other! :) 

I love you all!!!

You are all so amazing!!! :)   

I’ll talk to you soon!!!


Sister Taylor Burningham

Just a typical day...ya know, we just have fun!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Happy New Year!

Well Hello Family!                                                                             December 30, 2013

It's been awhile since we last chatted ;)   I am so grateful for the chance that we had, and that we were able to skype and just talk and laugh, and it really felt like no time had passed at all!   And today, we took a sister missionary to the airport since she is done, and it really just hit me that the time here is short, so I'm excited to work hard and use all the time that I do have! :)

So, you know a little about my week, since we did talk on Wednesday, but, just a quick overview and then the rest of the week!

Tuesday was Christmas Eve, had district meeting, set off the fire alarm at the church, and went caroling! It was great! Christmas was also great! We were at Kristy and Brian’s almost all day!  We ate breakfast and then skyped with you, and that was just fabulous!!! :) I loved ever minute of it!   After we skyped we went and ate dinner at a members house, who tried to set their son up with Sister Kimball, so that was awkward, since he was sitting right there...awkward!  hah!   And then we went caroling, but I felt sick, so we left early.  But we had gone through this gate, and well, it was locked when we were going back to our car, so guess who climbed a fence in a skirt, that would be me. Guess who sat on top of the fence for like 5 minutes cause she was too scared to jump again.  Guess who let this random nice man help her down.  Me. haha.   Oh adventures!

Thursday was a weird day, one of the Sisters that we live with got a concussion last Monday, so we stayed in to help her and her companion for a little bit of the day.   Then we had dinner, with Brian and Kristy and some of their friends, so that was great!  

Friday was good, ish. Can't remember too much oh yes, it came back.  ok.  So exchanges, cause Sister Bergau (the one we took to the airport today)  Went on an exchange with  Sister Kimball, so Sister Morgan went to Newport and I stayed home with Sister Hedrick and Sister Cooper until 2:00.  Then I went to a meeting with the Zone Leaders and District Leaders in our Zone with Sister Kimball.  Then we went to dinner with some members who were kinda crazy, but it was really enjoyable, and so that was great! haha.      So that was Friday!

Saturday we did service for a 90 year old named Don, and then did weekly planning.    Then we taught Ethan and Giselle, and guess what!!!! They have a baptism date for January 11!!!!  We are super pumped!!   And my invitation for you this week has to do with them!    They really, really, really want to get baptized, but their dad still isn't really thrilled with the whole idea, so please pray that his heart will be softened so that these two AMAZING kids will be able to get baptized in 2 weeks!!! :)    So pray, pray, pray!  We do, every prayer! :)  Then we saw another family that we are teaching, but the parents were on a date, so we stopped by and played some of their new games with the kids and with their babysitter, who we invited to church and she said she might come sometime! So that is pretty exciting! :)  

Yesterday was exciting.  We went to church, but ended up missing RS cause we went to the ER where Sister Hedrick was with Sister Cooper (who got the concussion, since she was getting way worse and fell the other day).  But, she is ok, just needs lots and lots of sleep!   Then we met with the Elders in our ward to coordinate some things and then we had dinner with our new ward mission leader and Brian and Kristy's family as well! So that was great fun!

We then drove up to Newport cause we had a surprise sleep over for Sister Bergau, so that was exciting! :)   And crazy, and I didn’t get much sleep last night, but it was good, cause we were able to say goodbye to her today at the airport!  It was also really weird, to be sending someone home that I've known for all of my mission, weird.  It really goes by so fast.  The time we have is so short!  

But it really has been the biggest blessing in my life, being on a mission.  I wouldn't change it for the world.  I love it. I love going up to people and opening my mouth and sharing the gospel with them.  I just love it!  I love that God has given me this chance to learn and grow, to push myself and to find myself as I am forgetting myself and doing what He would do.  I love that the more we forget ourselves, the more that we study the scriptures and as we truly follow the example of Jesus Christ, then slowly, we do become more and more as he is.  And that is a blessing.  That is something that I truly desire, to be like my Savior. 

So,  next time I talk to you, it will be a new year.  Weird.  I can't believe how fast this year has gone.  It has really flown by!   And I took some time last week to set some goals that I actually want to accomplish this year!  So I am excited for those! I am excited for the new year!  A fresh start and really a new beginning.  2014 is really going to be a different, but really good year, I can just tell! :)

I'm glad to hear that you had a good week!  I hope that this week is well, that you (Kenna) have fun at the stake dance tomorrow and that you just have fun!  Smile!  Be happy!

I love you!!!!


Sister Taylor Burningham  

Sending off Sister Bergau