Friday, May 30, 2014

Becoming Converted to the Lord

Hello!                                                                                                             March 17, 2014

First off, congrats PHS for being 10 time state champs!  I am grateful that I was able to be a part of that, at that time in my life!!!

This week has been a really great one!  I wasn't sure what to expect at the beginning with 3 exchanges and Mission Leadership Council, but it really was a great week and full of miracles!  

Our first miracle is Ardell,  we met with him on Tuesday, and taught him the restoration.  And right before we taught him he was like "oh, after we talked last week I looked up your church online” (my mind was like "oh great, he found some anti stuff.... this is going to be fun), but instead he goes, “and I found this book, and wanted to know if it was the right one.”  He had downloaded the Book of Mormon to his phone, and he had already started to read it!   Before we even taught him, is elect?  I would certainly say YES!!!!   :)    Anyway, so that was reall, really great!

My days are all running together, but it really was a good week.  So we are now teaching Ardell, and he came to church and loved it!    Also, we started teaching a couple, Christine and Miles, who are great, and hopefully we will be able to help them progress!

We had Mission Leadership Council and talked about finding, and Joyce Tan came again and we reviewed windows, and my faith has been renewed in them!  :)    Also, because of an exchange I was able to attend the temple again this week, I actually went to a Samoan session, so it was fun to wear headphones.  But really, I was so grateful for the opportunity to be in the temple again. I really do love it there!  The Spirit was so strong as I sat in the celestial room.  I never wanted to leave.  But it did help me feel refreshed and full of the Spirit.

So this week was a great one, things are starting to happen as we continue to work hard.   But something is also changing inside of me, and it has been for the past couple of weeks.  Just the things I've experienced, the things that I have learned and felt, all have been helping me learn and grow.    See, I loved being a missionary, but now I LOVE being a missionary.  I love this gospel, and something finally has clicked in my brain.  And I have a greater sense of urgency.  I know how to be a missionary, I've been doing it for quite some time now.   Now, I feel as though I myself am being more converted.   And here are some of the things that I have been doing that I feel have helped that.
I've been reading Preach My Gospel, a chapter every week.  I read several chapters from the Book of Mormon each day.  I try to read one chapter from the New Testament everyday as well.  I am more engaged in all the lessons that I am in.  I pray for charity, so that I can have greater love for all of God's children. 

I feel the Spirit more. I really do.  I feel as though the little things (especially reading) have made the biggest difference.  I am a missionary, do I have spare time? No.  So when do I read?  At lunch after I've eaten, or at night after planning and after I've written in my journal.  I feel as though as I have made myself be more focused on the words of God, that I think less about going home, I think more about what I can do right now to be a better missionary.  But not only a better missionary, but also a better person.  

I was telling Sister Hurst the other day, that I don’t know what changes people will see in me when I go home, because many of them have been/are internal, things that I did before my mission that I didn't really like, but I am changing, and in that way, I will be different.  And I think it will be evident in my choices.  And no, I didn't come on a mission so that people could see that I changed, I came on a mission because the Atonement of Jesus Christ had healed me, and cleansed me, and I wanted (and still want to) give that to all I can.  Because that is the greatest gift that we can invite someone to have.  Will all receive it, sadly no.  But, I go out every day and invite others to come unto Jesus Christ, by inviting them to exercise faith in Him, and in His atonement, to repent, to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, and then to endure to the end.  This is the great message that we have to take to all who will listen, what a calling, what an honor.   It is hard.  It is scary.  But it is true. It is powerful.  It is full of hope.  It is full of promises.  And I know that.  I know that as I live it every single day. I am not perfect.  Not even close. But, I pray everyday that God will forgive me, and help me when I fall short.  And He does.  I have felt the Enabling power of the Atonement this week.  There is no way that I would have been able to go through it (being with 4 different companions throughout the week) Without His help.  It is in Him that I get strength, and it is in Him that all these miracles we see are possible.  He is the source of my joy! :)    I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly father!  And for a Savior who atoned for me!  I am so grateful that our family is eternal, and that this time apart is but a small moment when compared to eternity!!!

I have a quote that I want to end with "When we become truly converted to Jesus Christ, committed to Him, an interesting thing happens: our attention turns to the welfare of our fellowman, and the way we treat others becomes increasingly filled with patience, kindness, a gentle acceptance and a desire to play a positive role in their lives.  This is the beginning of true conversion."  I don't know who said that, but I know that it is true.  Because I have seen how I react and what I do in situations that previously I would have reacted differently.  I am so grateful for this gospel, and for Jesus Christ whose atonement makes it possible for us to change if we want to! 

I love you all!  I hope you have a great week!!!

Moroni 7:45-48


Sister Taylor Burningham

P.S. It was 90 degrees in Laguna Beach yesterday!  Hello…summer?  

Have a good week!  You are in my prayers!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Inviting the Forces of Light

Dear Family,                                                                                                            March 10, 2014

First off, I can't even believe that Trevor is home! That is really crazy to think about!!!  I can't believe that he already served for 2 years, time goes by so fast!   But I love the pictures, it looks like he is happy!  And that is just great! Though,  I am sure adjusting is weird,  I can only imagine. Luckily for me, I still have some time before I even have to worry about that! :)

This week has been a GREAT one!  There are so many things happening, and well, we are really throwing ourselves into the work, and doing all we can to find more people to teach, and I feel like the Lord trusts us, because we are finding more and more people! But, I will talk more about that as I go throughout my week!

So, Monday night was an adventure.  We got home, and we planned, and because we were going to the temple early Tuesday morning, Sister Hurst was going to shower that night.  The other sisters that we live with weren't home yet, which we thought was strange, but didn't think much about it.   I was downstairs, and then all of the sudden Sister Hurst yells "Sister Burningham, come up here right now!"  She sounded a little panicked, so I ran upstairs, and she says, "did you put a box in our bathtub?" would be weird, why would I do that?  But, there was a box in our bathtub....    with something inside of it, but we were too afraid to look.  Haha.   So, then our roommates call us, and ask if we have seen the box yet, we say yes and they tell us that there is a mouse in it, because they saved it (why they put it in our bathroom, I really have NO idea!)  So then we started freaking out, and we opened the box with a hanger, and sure enough, there was a BIG mouse/rat.... not really sure what it is. But it was gross, and so the sisters, when they got home took the box outside, and now the mouse has a home in the outside world.  But it was a great adventure to start our week!!! :)

Tuesday we went to the temple, and that was just GREAT! I love the temple so much!:)   We also taught Michelle again, and also two of her kids, Morgan and Zach, who are also interested in taking the lessons! So that was a miracle!!! :)
Wednesday both Sister Hurst and I were SICK!  There has been a bug going around, so that was no fun.  So we stayed in for most of the day, to get better, since we had to cause we had things to do and Zone conference on Thursday!

So Thursday was fantastic!  We had our zone conference, and we all got trained on the different style of teaching that we are, in a way, piloting, so that was great!  And then President Orgill talked to us about Agency, and it was so powerful!   But he mainly talked about how everything we do, especially the little things, either invite the forces of darkness, or the forces of light.  We either give the adversary permission to work harder at us, or we give the forces of light, the angels that God has promised to come and help us!   He also talked about the ways that we invite the forces of light, as we pray, and study.  As we serve and do good.   Really, as we live the gospel and try hard to do good things, we are inviting God to come and help us even more.  So, now I've been thinking, “is this going to invite the forces of light, or darkness?”  It really is interesting to think about, because we ALL have Agency.  We can do whatever we want truly, and that is God's gift to us, and I am so grateful!   And now, I am just trying to do good!  So this week, focus on how you can invite the forces of light into your life! :)

After Zone conference, we went contacting and there was this guy that drove past us on this little road, and he stopped and reversed, and asked if I was holding a Bible (I was holding a Book of Mormon).   We told him who we were and what we do, and he told us that he had always wanted to know what we believe, but didn't know how.   So, we are going to teach him tomorrow.  His name is Ardel, and he is pretty pumped to learn more about the gospel, so we are excited to teach him!  And it was just evidence to me that we will be led to those searching, or they will be led to us. :)  What a miracle!

Friday was good! Planning day, and all of our appointments canceled for some reason or another, but we did end up seeing Ronnie, and taught her the plan of salvation...which you already know because she sent you that video of me teaching.  She's one funny girl, but we love her.

Saturday.... gosh, can't really remember what happened on Saturday. :)   Silly me.   But, we did have dinner with our ward mission leader, and a part member family, so that was great!

Yesterday was good!  We had ward conference, and then in ward council after church it really just hit me how much is going on this area, and how there is so much potential, and as we keep working hard ourselves and with the ward, that this area will be blessed.  I feel so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve here in Laguna Beach.  Amazing things are going to be happening now, and in the near future. I hope I get to stick around to see it! :)

In the past week, I have seen a change in myself, and I don't really know what started it.  Maybe it is that things are starting to happen, so I am more excited about that!  I do think a lot of it is that, but another reason I think I can just see, and am understanding that my time on a mission is so short.  And I've worked hard my whole mission, but I feel myself pushing harder and giving even more. (More that I didn't realize I even had), because I truly do want to make every moment count.  And so far, it has.  I am so grateful for this chance that I have right now in my life to be a missionary!  What a great thing to be doing right now!  I absolutely love it! :)  And I love that there are so many people who don't have the gospel, and that everyday I go out and try to find those who are ready, who are willing to listen! What joy comes from sharing the gospel! I love it! :)  

I've learned so many things as I have been a missionary, but this week I have really been blessed to have the gift of the Holy Ghost, and everyday I learn more about how I hear it's small voice, and how it teaches me.  I am so grateful for this gift. I think I would be so lost without it!  I am also so grateful, just as you mentioned that Trevor was, for eternal families!  What a blessing!  And I just want people to have that! :)   

I love this gospel! I know that it is true!  And I know that it is true, because I have asked, and I have felt the Spirit testify to me as I've read, and as I've shared it with others!  This gospel is so amazing! I love it! :)    I love it!

I hope you have a great week!

Good luck at Nationals Kenna, I'll be praying for ya, and cheering for you in my heart!


Sister Taylor Burningham

Our new friend.  In a box.  In the bathtub

Me and Sister Hurst

Me at the Newport Temple

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Let's End the Drought!

Hello!!! :)                                                                                        March 3, 2014

This week has been pretty good one, and well, it also has been RAINING which is also great! :)

So this week we have been teaching a lot of members, which means we are getting better and better at teaching the restoration, so that is pretty exciting! :) Sister Hurst is fabulous, and I swear she came pretrained, so it has been a blast working with her!  And I am really looking forward to the weeks ahead! :)

This week has been good, I had realized though that the work in Laguna was waning, and we were struggling to find people to teach! So we've been doing all that we can, cause I know that as we do our part, the Lord will help us with the rest.  So, we've been contacting, we've been calling former investigators, we've been asking EVERYONE for referrals, and well we are just trying new things and going to different areas, in hopes of getting different results! :)    And we did! This week we were able to get two new investigators!  So that is really fabulous! :)   One of them is a lady named Michelle, and her daughter who is 10 was baptized last year, and I'm not sure why Michelle wasn't baptized, but we had a really great lesson with her on Friday with one of our members, and we will be teaching her tomorrow, and having dinner with her sometime next week, and well, it is great! And it really does look promising!   The other is a man named Abe.  I actually met him on Christmas Eve when we were downtown contacting.   When we first met him, he tried to bash with us, but we have run into him a couple of times, and he did want to meet with us.  So we were supposed to teach him on Wednesday, but that didn't end up working out, so we ended up teaching him on Saturday.  You could tell that he felt the spirit, but he was also trying to fight it a bit, so we are praying that his heart will be opened so that he will accept the gospel.   So that was GREAT!!  And we were super pumped about that!!

Also, we have received a few referrals from members, and we will hopefully be meeting up with them this week, and we will see where that goes!

But, this week, just as we have been in member’s homes and out talking to people, I have felt so blessed to have the gospel. I am so grateful that I was born into this church.  And I am so grateful that we have the knowledge that we do.  We have also been teaching the restoration a LOT!  Which is simply great!  God really does love us so much, and that is why He brought His gospel back, so that we could have it!  And He has also given us families so that we can learn more about Him, and well, I am also just so grateful that we have the knowledge that families are forever!  What a great message of hope! I am so glad that I am out here, and sharing that message with all who will listen!!

This week has also been WET! Lots and lots of rain this week! I've really enjoyed watching it rain!   I have missed having a change in weather, so it was nice!  And much needed! So, this week we got rain to help with the drought in Cali, and then we are also just building up this area, and making it be better!  Because we really can find people, there are so many who are searching, we just have to find them!  And as we do our part, we will be led to them, or they will be led to us! :)

I am so grateful for this gospel, and I am so grateful for my testimony.  I know that this church is truly God's church here on the earth today. I know that He loves us, and because he loves us, he has given us families and he has also given us people in our lives to help us!   I love that the gospel really is simple, we have faith, we repent, we are baptized (or we keep our covenants), then we have the Holy Ghost, and then we keep doing good, and we keep building our faith.  It is simple, hard sometimes, if we aren't doing the small things, like reading and praying and attending church, but life is so much easier when we are living the gospel! That is why we have it.  That is why it was brought back, so that this life wouldn't be such a challenge! I am so grateful that we have it, and that it is true!  And that we can all know for ourselves that it is true! :) I love that!  And I love the plan!  :)  It is all just so glorious!

So, my week was a good one! :) Lots of things happening, and lots of things that are about to happen!  So that is really exciting! :)

It sounds like your week was good, and this upcoming one is also gonna be good!  Super Crazy that Trevor is coming home on Thursday, I can't even believe that, two years really isn't that long, it has gone by so fast! :)     And Nationals is next week, man, that is super fun! I can't wait to hear all about it!   

I am so glad that things are going great, and that life is good! :) That is how it is meant to be! :)   And I am so very grateful! :)    

So this week, be happy, smile, LOVE THE LIFE YOU LIVE! And try to share this joy that you have received with someone else, whether you are able to share your testimony, or just brighten someone’s day, help someone else feel the love that God has for them! What a great gift you can give to anyone! :) 
I love you all!

Have an amazing week!!

And I will talk to you real soon!!


Sister Taylor Burningham

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Miracle of God's Love

Hello!! :)                                                                                  February 24, 2014

This week has been a good one, still adjusting to the new companionship, but things are GREAT and miracles are going to happen this transfer!!! :)  

So, I guess I will begin with Tuesday, we emailed, and then made some stops in Laguna Beach and did some service for the Wittkops, and then headed up to Irvine for transfer meeting!    Which was super exciting!  And I got my new companion.  Her name is Sister Hurst, and she is just so great!   She is from Farmington and has 4 older brothers.    She plays basketball, and she is just a super hard worker,  we both want to keep working hard and seeing miracles, so we have been, and we will continue to, in all that we do!    So, we've been working well together, she is a solid missionary, and I already feel like she is an experienced missionary rather than someone who just came out into the field.   So, that is great! 

And so far so good, so we are excited for this transfer, and we really have a vision of having weekly baptisms, so now we are just praying to find those individuals who are searching for the Gospel so that we can help them partake of the fullness of all of God's blessings! :)   Cause that is why we are here as missionaries!  At first I wondered why our focus was baptisms, and how we would set goals for those people that we wanted to get baptized, but it is so important because it is the only way that they can return to live with our Father in Heaven, and well, I want that for myself, but I also want that for others around me, so it is just so great that I can be a missionary, and even though not everyone listens, we talk to everyone so that we can just find that one person, because sometimes that one person will make a big difference in the lives around them! :) So, I'll just keep trying to find those ones who are searching, so that they can enjoy all the blessings that we enjoy! :)

So Wednesday was good, we had choir practice a lot this week since we had a big event on Saturday, and they recorded it, so maybe we will get a CD or something, so that would be cool.  But practice, then we went and saw some members, because of the new teaching style we've been trying to implement we've been practicing on members, and I know I still have a lot of work to do, but it is becoming more natural, and it is easier to listen to the Spirit more as we are teaching.  :) So that is great!  

Thursday we had district meeting and then choir, and we also saw the Wittkops, and Ethan and Giselle, who are just so great!  They are so great! We shared the Mormon Message, "Earthly Father Heavenly Father" with them, and it always hits me hard, and helps me remember the trust that we should have in our Heavenly Father, and that it should be just like the trust that little children have in their parents!  So great!

Friday we had an EXCELLENT planning session, and this week is going to be a good one, but hard, simply because we are pushing our selves, and well, we are going to find more people to teach, and help more precious souls come into the gospel!!  

On Saturday I had a Sister Training Leader Council and we talked about Alma 26:22 and about the fact that we are doing the things we need to be doing to help thousands come into the gospel.  But one of the parts we are missing, or at least we need more of is faith. (Moroni 7:21-33) But I just realized that as we ask in faith, and then as we go out and do all that we can, that really is possible, it is possible for our mission to baptize thousands, as long as we have the faith and we work hard.  They did it then, why couldn't we do it now?!?!  So, now I'm praying to have more faith, and going out and working hard! :) 
I also had an interview with President Orgill, just cause I've felt a little stuck in my Spiritual progression.   And one thing that hit me hard as we were talking was the love that God has for me.  It is something that I think I forget about often. I don’t know why, I teach it nearly every day, but is something that I struggle with feeling,  But as I was talking to President Orgill, I just felt the love of God, and I am so grateful for President Orgill, and for the power of God (the priesthood) that helped me feel the love of God on Saturday, and everyday since.   I am so grateful as well for the atonement, and the love that is shown in that act, and that because of the atonement, I am made whole! I am clean! And yes, I make mistakes, but because of the Savior, and His help, I can overcome, and I can continue to endure, because he loves me!  And that is such a miracle! :)

Yesterday was great.  Brian's Grandma, "Grandma Joyce" got baptized, I feel lucky to have been able to teach her a few times while being on exchanges.  And it was just a great baptism, and she was just so happy!  This gospel truly brings happiness to all those who live it and take part of it!  Such a great blessing!!!!!!!

So, this week is looking good for us! I am excited for it!!!!  I love you all, and I hope you have a great week!!!!


Sister Taylor Burningham

p.s mom, it is still a bit weird to me that you met one of my recent converts without me, but hey, I do think it is cool! :) And so did Ronnie, so I'm glad! :)

Love you!