Monday, June 30, 2014

That They Might Have Joy

Hello Family!                                                                                                 April 14, 2014

I am glad to hear that tour was FUN! :)   The tour to San Francisco when I went...could it have really already been 3 years ago?  Man, where does the time go?  But that was probably my favorite tour, so I am glad that you were all able to enjoy it last week!! :)   For me, first off! I'm better! :)  Hurray!  I started feeling better last Monday, so that was really nice! :)    And then we went out and got to work!  This past week has been a good one.  I am really seeing what we are capable of as a companionship and as a mission.  If we are willing to put in the work and pay the price to be good missionaries! :) So that’s what we are working hard to do.

So, you mentioned the 40 day fast that I sent you, I am glad you are taking the challenge!  It is been a great thing for me already.  Going without things that aren't bad, but they distract from the Spirit, so it really has been great to see already how much more I feel the Spirit as I am working on letting go of the little distractions and focusing even more on all the people around me!  Blessings are already coming.  But I'm not doing it because of that. I want to be a better person. I want to be a better missionary. And it is already changing me, the gospel is anyway!  Which, I found a cool quote on that this morning:  “We can change our behavior. Our very desires can change. How? There is only one way.   True change--Permanent change--can only come through the healing, cleansing, and enabling power of the atonement of Jesus Christ.  He loves you-each of you.  He allows you to access His power as you keep His commandments eagerly, earnestly and exactly.  It is that simple and certain. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of change." - Russell M. Nelson.  I love that.  I see everyday, I invite people everyday, to change their lives and come closer to Jesus Christ.  Well, I feel if I invite people to do that, I should be doing the same thing!  :) So, I continue to daily embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and as I rely on my Savior, I am changed! :)

 Anyway, back to my week!  Tuesday I had a Sister Training Leader meeting, to help plan a little bit of our mission leadership council.   So that was fun.  And good. And also weird.  Sister Drinkwater goes home in like 3 weeks. It is pretty crazy to all of us, she really has been such a great help to me, and to so many others.    It will be sad to see her go, but hey, life goes on :)

Lets see…trying to remember my week ;)  On Wednesday we were able to see Brian and Kristy and Ethan and Giselle and read the Book of Mormon with them.  Everyday I feel of it's power. I do not know what I would do without this wonderful book! Read it! :)  And we were also able to see a few members and that morning we had a really good and interesting district meeting.  We talked about how we need to be more excited about DOING the work.  I mean, I'm pretty excited about this work!  But I realized that I am more excited when I am writing about it in my emails or my journal, so I am working on being more excited about doing the work!  And that has helped me a lot.  I love talking to people.  I love getting rejected over and over. I don't know why I do, probably because I know that it is true! So yes, even though it is hard, I will continue to put it all on the table so that I can just find even ONE person who will listen, because that ONE makes every rejection worth it! 

Thursday I had Mission Leadership Council, and that was really great! We talked a lot about a lot of different things actually, but I think one thing that stood out to me was how we are trying to create a Celestial culture in our mission, and that will mean sacrifice on our part!  But what a wonderful thing to be a part of, to do and to create.   So I guess, just realized this, that a good theme  for this week could be "it's hard, but it's worth it."   Because it really is.   :)  And it gets easier as you keep doing what is right! :)

Thursday night we also had a window where we had a lady yell at us for several minutes, which actually was quite funny, since we had gone up to talk to her, and she just stood up from her bench, and moved to another one, where she then started yelling things, but it was a pretty noisy area, so I don't know what she was saying.  So we just kept talking to people :)   But it made for a fun window.

Friday was good, I went on an exchange with Sister Hedrick, and that was great! :)
Saturday night we had dinner with some former investigators and their member friends.   And then yesterday, Jamie, this nonmember came to church and wants to take the lessons!   We can't meet with her this week, cause she is going out of town, but we have an appointment for next Tuesday! So that is a great miracle!

Yesterday seemed to be full of those.  See, we have been working hard. Trying as hard as we can to find new investigators and it has been pretty rough.  But yesterday, it was evidence that God is aware of all our efforts.   See, so Jamie came to church and wants to take the lessons. Another lady also came with a guy in our ward, and she is interested in learning more, and then we are teaching Ronnie's sister (oh by the way, Ronnie loved the chocolate you sent her! so thanks!)  Tonight at our Bishop’s house.  So we have many potentials, and this week is really just gonna be a great one!  Lots of things are happening, and we are gonna keep working hard so that we can find teach and BAPTIZE!  So that more of God's children can return to Him.   :)

Also, I got thrown under the bus yesterday by Sister Hurst.  She gave a talk in sacrament meeting, as did one of the elders (who has also only been out for a short time).  But she said something along the lines of, "so, I've been out for 2 months, and this is my first area, and I'm speaking today, but I should let you know that Sister Burningham and Elder Schumacher (the other elder in our ward) have been out for 18 months and almost 18 months, and they haven't given a talk yet.."  And then she began her talk.  It was actually pretty funny, and then the rest of the day people would say "good job Sister Hurst" then look at me and ask "when is it your turn?"  So I may have to speak soon, but that's ok :)   haha.  But it was pretty funny.

So that was my week, and this week should be a good one!!   Lots of good things happening.  Get to do Trainings at Zone Training Meeting on both Wednesday and Thursday for different zones.  And then on Friday I get to go to the temple!  And then on Saturday we are having a combined mission conference with the Anaheim Mission because Elder Neil L. Andersen is coming to our mission!!! :) So we are looking forward to that!  And then Sunday is Easter!! So, it should be a great week! :)     We will keep working hard and doing all that we can to fulfill our purpose as missionaries!

One last thought, I was reading today, 2 Nephi 2, and I was thinking about this line "that they might have joy."  God's ultimate purpose is for us to be HAPPY!!! So, this week I want you to be positive everyday, look for the good, be grateful, serve and give to others.  Find the Joy that comes as we do what is right! I know you will be happy and I can't wait to hear about your happy week ;) 

I love you all!


Sister Burningham

A Week With the Flu

Hey Family!!!!                                                                                       April 7, 2014

How is life up in northern Cali? Down south it is pretty great!  This week has been one of the weirdest ones on my mission.

So lets see, where to even begin.  Tuesday WAS GREAT!  We taught a few investigators (Ardell is still on track for baptism), and saw some members.   Then we had dinner, just at home cause it was transfer day, so we didn't have any members sign up, in case either of us were getting transferred.  But, as we were leaving our apartment to go to our evening appointments, Sister Hurst told me that she was feeling sick, but that she felt like she could make it through the evening.   We got to our first lesson, which was with an active member family, and Sister Hurst made it through the lesson, but ran out the door in the middle of the closing prayer and threw up :( no fun!!   So that was a BUMMER!  So, for our next appointment, with Ronnie, I went with the member's daughter who is a senior this year, while Sister Hurst hung out at their house.   We went home after that, only to find Sister Hedrick sick as well.   So that was great!  We caught the flu!   So on Wednesday Sister Carlson and I were crazy people as we ran from different meetings, to Irvine to see President Orgill, and then all over both of our areas to get to our appointments.   :) So that was GREAT! 
Then on Thursday Sister Hurst was feeling a bit better, so she went out with Sister Carlson, and I stayed with Sis Hedrick and deep cleaned our kitchen (gotta get rid of all the yucky germs!)   But I went with Sister Carlson for the evening, cause Sis Hurst ended up feeling sick again.   So we finished the evening, going home to plan, knowing that me and Sis Carlson were getting sick.

So Friday, we were right, and we were sick! Yay for having the stomach flu! Great fun! :)   We planned for our week, and then Sister Hurst and Sister Hedrick who were feeling better went out, while we stayed in.  But we did go to dinner, bad idea though.  The sweet member fed us KFC.   uhhh yucky when you are sick.  We felt pretty terrible after that.   So we got blessings from the Elders, in hopes that we would be better for conference. 
Conference was FANTASTIC!   I loved all the sessions, and it was just so great! I got a lot out of it, and I know that one thing I really need to do is have more faith in God and in His plan for me!  I also loved how much they talked about doing the little things, those things are really what are going to get us through these last days!  And I am grateful to be getting in a better habit now as a missionary.  Those little things, prayer, scripture study, and FHE really are going to make a big difference!  So keep doing them! :)   I am also so grateful for all the wonderful testimonies and for Jesus Christ.  He really is at the head of our church!  I am so grateful to know that He is my Savior. And that no matter what happens, He will help us. The atonement covers everything!  And because God loves us, He is going to help us!  We will have trials and challenges, but if we are living the gospel, we will be blessed!    :) 
So Saturday after conference Sister Carlson and I watched 17 Miracles as we were still sick :(  Yesterday was good.  And I was gonna tough it out!  Still felt pretty terrible, but I was so sick of our apartment. So we went to dinner, and I felt even worse.  So we saw one member and then came home.  And I went to bed at like 8:30 last night.  And woke up feeling sick.  So I don't really know what is going on, and why I'm still sick, but I hope it passes soon! 
The good news is that even though we were in a lot, since we live with others sisters we were still able to got out and work!  Not as good as we normally do, but it just helped me know how much more capable we are when we aren't sick! :)   So this week there isn't much to report about people, cause we didn’t see a whole lot of them.   But I hope this next week is better, I hope I’m better soon too!  

But, Still, there is a smile on my face, why?  Because the Church is true! God loves me!   Blessings will come as I am diligent and faithful.    I know that this Gospel is true. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to go out each day and share it with those around me.  What a blessed opportunity.  I feel lifted by the atonement each day! It really does give us strength just as Elder Bednar said!   I love it!  I love the gospel, I love being a missionary! 

I love you as well!  I hope you have a good, fun, safe week!  :) Enjoy Cali, enjoy the dancing,  just enjoy the journey!   A quote, not from this conference, but from one previous that I read this past week, "It's not a race, it's a journey, enjoy the moment."  President Uchtdorf.   So, truly enjoy EVERY moment, so that someday we can look back, and smile, remembering what we did while we were here!
I love you all! :)


Sister Taylor Burningham

We know how to be sick
Sister Hurst & Sister Hedrick

Me and Sister Carlson
What a great week

Friday, June 20, 2014


Dear Family,                                                                                        March 31, 2014

There are so many things that I could title this email, for it was an exciting week!   There were many things that were good and fun and different, and well, there has been a lot on my mind, and a lot that I want to say!  So, we shall see what comes out!   
So lets see, Monday night was good, we taught Michelle about the Book of Mormon, and she has been reading it everyday, and you can already tell the difference that it is making in her life.  So that is one thing that happened this week, my love for the Book of Mormon grew.  We really will grow closer to God as we read it.  We really will come to know Jesus Christ as we feast on it's words.  The Spirit will enter our lives in greater abundance as we read it.  It will change the world, one life at a time, and I know that it is changing mine.

Tuesday was a good day.  We had a window, and during that window we talked to 152 people.  Granted, most did not want to listen, and only about half took a card, but we talked to 152 people in one hour!!!!!  It was pretty fantastic, and it was fun. It made me excited and happy about missionary work, and about this gospel we are sharing.  It is so wonderful! :)   It is just so great!  Also, I know that the more people we talk to, the more people we will find to teach, and the more people we will baptize!   So, this week we talked to 316 people.  It was really cool.  I am glad that we have to keep track of how many people we talk to.  At first it was more about the numbers.  I don't know exactly when it changed, but now it is about the people.   I want to help as many as I can come and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ! :) So we try to talk to everyone.  It can be hard, but it really is so fun!

So this week we talked to a lot of people, taught lessons! :)  Things are going well missionary work wise, we even had a baptism on Saturday.  It wasn't anyone we are teaching though, one of the elders, Elder Tanefski, he is the only member in his family, and his dad came down from Nevada to be baptized by his son.  It was a really unique and wonderful thing to see!  The Spirit was strong!  It was right after the Women's broadcast as well, so we were all full of the Spirit from that, and then we went and got to see this man get baptized, it was a miracle!  :)  Also, just a side note, at the baptism, they had an octet from our choir sing.   (4 elders and 4 sisters) and I sang! Ahh... :) haha.  But, I must be able to sing at least a little bit (remember Jung?)   But, it went well, and it was powerful, and a cool experience, but scary!!!! :)

Lets see...we've been spending more time outside,  and since summer is coming, the sun is closer, so we got a little burned this week, but we learned our lesson and will be wearing sunscreen from now on! ;) But I do have to say, I am getting a fabulous watch tan line.  ;)    But, anyway, things are good.  Ardell is still great!   He is solid, and still set for baptism!  So, hopefully we will get to see him two times this week.   Michelle is great, like I mentioned before! And Ethan and Giselle we weren't able to see this week, but we are hoping to get to see them soon!!!

Ok what else.  Oh, transfers are tomorrow, but Sister Hurst and I are staying the same. :)   We guessed that we would stay together, since she is still getting trained, but weird things could happen.  But I’m glad I get to be in Laguna Beach for at least 6 more weeks.  I'd love to stay here until the end of my mission, but we will see how that goes!   I'll go wherever the Lord calls me!!!

Hmmm oh yes, So yesterday, President and Sister Orgill's daughter came and spoke to our mission, she talked about her story and about how we become who God wants us to be through pressure and polishing.   It was very inspiring.  And we really do all have different challenges and concerns and things that we all go through.  We all have a story.  It is written in part by our choices, but also by the things that we experience.   Our stories are so unique, and so personal. Everything that we go through is exactly what we need to return to our Father in Heaven and become like Him! :) I am grateful for my own story. I am also grateful for all the hard things I have been through.  One of my favorite quotes from Jodi (the Orgill's daughter) was this: "I wouldn't be here now, if I hadn't been where I was then."   I am so grateful for everything that has led up to this point in my life, and for the things that I will yet experience.   :)

The last thing I wanted to talk about was the Plan of Salvation.   We taught a member last night, practicing teaching the plan of salvation.  And at the end we were talking about what the P.O.S means to us personally, and she was telling us about how in a Relief Society lesson once she asked the women to share just one word that described the plan of salvation to them.  She shared how there were so many words, because we are all so different.  But I was thinking about it, and I think the word that I would use is hope.  The Plan of Salvation gives me so much hope.  Hope in who I can become.  Hope in God.  Hope in his plan for me.  Hope that there is more after this life.  Hope.   I love that word, I really do.   

So, I HOPE that you have a great week!   Enjoy conference, follow the inspiration that you receive, and do all you can to draw closer to the Lord! :)  I love you all, and I you are so great! I feel so blessed, in so many ways!!!!!!!

I love you!!!


Sister Taylor Burningham

Sunday, June 1, 2014

There is Always Hope

Dear Family,                                                                                               March 24, 2014

This week has been a good one.  I've been reviewing my planner and my journal to actually remember everything that happened so that I could remember what to tell you! ;) Still same old me, forgetting things ;)   But, really, this week was a good one!  There were many miracles, and just a lot going on!  Such an exciting time to be a missionary! :)

So being an STL, I go on one exchange with each companionship that I am over.  So this transfer I was over 3 companionships, and so we go out to see how they are doing and really, we help with the emotional aspect of missionary work.  It really is so crazy how many missionaries are struggling.  I feel so blessed to not struggle as much as some. It is hard work, but I really am learning to rely on the atonement!  :)   So I go on exchanges, I go to Mission Leadership Council and then I do trainings at meetings. I also meet with the Zone Leaders and District Leaders in my zone and we help each other know how we can be better leaders and help the missionaries that we serve. :) So those are some of the things I get to do, along with all the things I do as a missionary, and as a trainer!  But it is fun!  And God helps me! :)

So lets see, this past week was zone training meetings, and since I am over sisters in 2 zones I got to do a training on Tuesday and on Wednesday.   Sister Kimball is also over the same sisters, so we planned and got the training ready together, then on Tuesday morning she texted me around 7:30 telling me that she was sick.  So, I got to train by myself.  The first part was a little rocky. So I just prayed, cause I didn't know what to do, I didn't know exactly what to say.  And then all of the sudden I was crying, and testifying.  And it hit me how passionate I was about the work.  How everyone we talk to really are our brothers and sisters.  And how we should want to talk to everyone because we have the gospel and they don’t.    It was a powerful moment for me, because not only did I realize truly how important this work is to me, I also was again reminded that God will make our weaknesses become strong, He helped me share with the missionaries the Spirit that needed to be felt.  I also realized that I should be testifying more, because it really does bring the Spirit.       
Wednesday I got woken up early by Sister Carlson, and I was so confused!  But she told me that I needed to go with sister Hedrick to teach seminary. So off we went to early morning seminary! That was an adventure, but it was fun! :)  And then we had our zone training meeting, but Sister Kimball was better so she was able to help with that! :)  We got to teach Ardell again, he is so solid! :)  He is great!  And he is progressing towards baptism!  So that is fantastic!   :)  We also were able to teach Ethan and Giselle this week, they so want to get baptized! So we pray for them all the time!  :)  We know our prayers are heard!

Hmm, so I don't do this often, but I feel like I need to share part of what I wrote in my journal this past week, Wednesday I think. I wrote, "I feel that my mission is a gift from God. I've learned how to truly love people. I've learned to tell the truth and declare repentance.  I've learned how the atonement truly helped me. I have become free. I've grown to love the priesthood. I've received personal revelation. I am becoming converted to the gospel. I am truly becoming who God intended me to be.    My eyes are being opened, and my understanding of the gospel is growing.  And the things that used to matter, don't as much. I want eternal and complete joy.  And I know the gospel will help me get that now and in the future.     With the help of God, all things are possible.  I am so happy. :D Truly happy!  A happiness that comes from God, not from the world."   

This gospel is true!  And I get to go out and share it everyday!   We opened a few windows this week, and found a few potentials.  We also talked to over 150 people this week.  We will find the elect. We will find those who are searching. I know it, because we are doing all that we can, and sometimes I feel like we even do more than that, but it is so fun.  Being a missionary is hard, but it is FUN!!!!! 

On Saturday we went on an exchange with Sister Drinkwater, she came to Laguna for a day!  So that was pretty fun! :)   It was good to work with her again, she inspires me.  But after we dropped her off with her companions, we had a few more people that we wanted to stop by, I wasn't feeling good at all, but we went to see this less active lady that we hadn't met before.  She opened her door, saw who we were and she said, "Oh, there is no hope for me, I will never be going back to church."  It makes me so sad when people say this.  She is happy and content with her life.  But she doesn't and won’t have all of the blessings that God wants to give her.  Our hearts were depressed.  We were sad, and as I was writing in my journal later that night it hit me, that there is ALWAYS hope!!!  God loves each of us.  He never gives up on us, we tend to give up on ourselves, but HE NEVER DOES!   Those who have fallen away, they will someday come back, and He will welcome them with open arms!  But I know that there is always hope, because God is kind, He is merciful, and He wants more than anything for all of His children to return to Him!   I feel blessed and humbled that I have been called and set apart as a missionary to go and share this with whoever will listen.  And for those who do not listen, we pray for them, that their hearts will be open (Alma 6:6).   But truly, there is always hope!!!!!!

So this week was a good one.  Total we taught 22 lessons.  I don't know if I have taught that many lessons during one week my whole mission, maybe, but I don't know.   I am beginning to see that we really are capable of so much more! :)  And we are working hard to get there! :)   So things are looking bright, and this week is going to be a good one! I am excited! :)

I love you all!  And I too am excited for Conference!   Both General Conference and the Women's Conference that is this weekend!  Oh, speaking of this weekend, I can't remember if I mentioned this, but one of the Elders that serves in the Laguna Beach ward with us, he is a convert of about 3 or 4 years, his mom passed away when he was young, but his dad is coming to Laguna on Saturday to be baptized by his son!   It is a really cool story, and I think it will be a very spiritual experience!    So, looking forward to that, and we will be inviting as many people as we can to come and attend that!  It should be a good one! :)

So let me think, I think that may be everything for this week! But, I do know that the Church is true! I love this gospel, I love my Heavenly Father! I love you all as well!! Keep doing good things, keep doing the little things! You will be blessed!  I love you!


Sister Taylor Burningham