Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hello From Laguna!

Hello Family!                                                                                       May 27, 2014

Happy Memorial Day yesterday! I hope it was a good one! 

So lets see...this past week was CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY!!! To add to the craziness I'm on an exchange in Laguna today with Sister Hurst.  Fun right?  But I'll get to that in a minute!

So lets see...I've been adventurous this week.  Monday night we went to a lady's house in our ward and she did acupuncture on us, so that was exciting...We discovered that it did nothing to me...that apparently means that my body is all balanced, so that is a good thing!

Tuesday lets see...I had a Sister Training Leader Council, and we talked about Spiritual gifts, and how we all have different gifts of the Spirit, and the ways that we can help all the sisters in our mission recognize that they all have something to contribute to the work! :)  So that was really great! Then, for dinner we ate at a member of the Chinese Branch, and guess what, I had duck!  And it was delicious! :)  haha, but I'm still trying to get used to real Chinese food, cause it is just different than what we are used to.  But the members are so great in the branch (which may be turning into a ward this Sunday, so that is really exciting!)  But they are great, and they just love that they have sisters now, so that is a big blessing.

Wednesday was a CRAZY day.  So we woke up, studied, helped Sister Staley pack (she had to go home cause of being really sick, but hopefully she will be back in a few weeks!!)  Then we went to In and Out with Sister Conner and her companion, since Sister Conner had promised Sister Chua and Sis Staley that she would take them there.  :)  So then we went to language study so Sis Chua can get better at her Chinese, at the same time Sis Staley had an interview with Pres. Orgill who told me that he wanted me to go on an exchange with Sis Hedrick that night.  So that was exciting, and then Sis Conner came with me on the exchange, so we had to run and drop her comp off with some other sisters, and then see a less active before taking Sis Staley to the airport, then driving to Laguna Niguel to get Sis Hedrick and drop off Sis Chua.  So that was Wednesday.  It was really exciting!  haha.

Thursday we went with another sister who was going home to the airport, to send her off, and then we rushed to choir.  Where I didn't end up singing, Sis Hurst was there, and I just kinda had a mini break down, just with all the sudden changes, I was like...ahhhh why is this all happening right now!!?!?!   So I cried, and talked and felt a whole lot better after that!  And then Sis Chua and I taught our investigator Carl, and that went well!  He is making progress, it is slow, but it is still progress!!! :)

Friday was GOOD!  A good day. We got to go contacting and teach lessons, and I just really felt the Spirit.  And as I was studying in personal study I read "and we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ and we prophesy of Christ and we write according to our prophecies that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins" 2 Nephi 25:26.  And I just remembered that truly everything that we do and everything that we believe is centered on JESUS CHRIST!  He is everything, and He makes everything possible!  And I am so grateful for Him and for His sacrifice!  One of my favorite quotes is, "if everyone truly understood the atonement, they would never be unhappy," and I think that is true.  And it was another one of those things that just hit me, cause I was still feeling like things were rough (life is rough...silly me)  but, if I turn to the Savior and live righteously I will find happiness! :)  So that was a good part about Friday!

Saturday we had interviews with Pres. Orgill, and that was just fabulous. I realized why these past few weeks have been so hard.  One, because change is hard, and I am not always a fan of it.  And two, because I just came from a ward who LOVES their missionaries, to a ward who barely started letting their missionaries come to ward council.  It really has been a shock to the system.  But  I know why I am here, I know that I am supposed to be with Sister Chua and that as Pres. Orgill called it, I'm here to help the "Thaw" of the Oak Creek Ward.  And don't get me wrong, the members are great!  And I've loved everyone I've met so far, but I think I am just realizing how much more can happen as the members are more involved with the missionaries.  So we will see what happens! :)  I also got a blessing from Pres. Orgill. I feel so blessed to have had that opportunity so many times as a missionary! :)  The Spirit is always so strong and I really am reminded how much God is aware of me and how much He loves me and has a plan for me!! :)  So that was great, and I was able to leave with greater strength and greater faith!  :)  Also,  he said that I will probably stay with Sis Chua in both Oak Creek and Yale for the rest of my mission.  So, I'll be starting to learn Chinese this week, so that I will at least be able to bear my testimony and contact people in Chinese. So I am really excited for that! :)  Should be really fun.  And hard, but fun :)  I look forward to this new opportunity!! :)

Sunday was good.  A lot better than the week before! :)  We did the same thing, going to ward council and Sacrament in Oak Creek (where I was asked to bear my testimony, so that was good)  and then we went to the Yale Branch!  :)  So that was great!!

We also talked to 105 people on Sunday evening, and that was just so great.  Sister Chua and I were both so happy!!! :) I love talking to people!!

Yesterday was good, we went on a hike, in Laguna (basically we can go anywhere since we are serving in the Yale Branch, and that covers ummm I think Orange County...so that is fun).  But we got to see the ocean, and I love it so much!  We also cleaned and went to zone activity!  Then to a members family bbq where I remembered that it was a holiday! Then we taught an investigator and his mom and brother (who are already members) and that was good.  And then we exchanged.

So I am in Laguna today.  Some of the sisters last week had expressed concern about how Sis Hurst was doing with training after 12 weeks of being a missionary, and they suggested I come on an exchange with her.  Sister Hurst is doing fabulously! :)  So no worries there, I realized last night that this exchange really is a tender mercy from the Lord. I love Laguna, and not because of the area, but because of the people.  And that is what I miss the most, and today we will be blessed to get to teach a few of our investigators like Linda and Michelle.  We will also be teaching Ronnie tonight, so you'll probably get a picture ;) haha.  Anyway, it feels good to be back, even if it is only for a day.  I'll enjoy it, and make the most out of it, and then go and work as hard as I can in my own area!  :)  And I'll work hard at trying to learn Chinese too ;) 

So, things have been crazy, my emotions all over the place, but I can tell you that I am happy.  Why?  Because of so many reasons.  The Gospel is true! God loves me!  You all love me! I get to see the ocean today!  I feel the Spirit all the time, and I get to share the greatest message ever with all those around me!  Missionary work makes me happy.  The gospel makes me happy.  Knowing we will be together forever makes me happy.  Sister Chua makes me happy, oh man, she is so great! I love her!  So, things are good, and I am going to continue to work hard , and hey, I'll do whatever is required of me.  :)

I love you all and I hope that you have an amazing week!!!!! :)


Sister Taylor Burningham

P.S. Wo de ming jiao Bing Ning Han Jiemei (my name is Sister Burningham (except “bing ning han” doesn’t exactly translate to Burningham like “bing” means ice in Chinese, but it sounds similar) so this is what I am learning!)

Also, wo shi chuan jiao shi. I am a missionary. :)

I love you!!!

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