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

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