Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Reflect the Light

Dear Family!                                                                                    June 2, 2014

Sounds like you had a big week with Kenna graduating and dad getting released (finally)!  But I am glad that it was good!!

This past week for me has been better than the first two this transfer.  I don’t know why this transfer has been so hard for me, I don't remember it being this hard when I got transferred to Laguna, but I do have good news, that I am adjusting, and I feel normal again!!! :)

So about my week!  Tuesday was a tender mercy from God!  It was so great to be in Laguna.  I got to see so many people!  It was so great!  One miracle that I know was probably a big reason of why I went to Laguna on Tuesday was Catherine. She's been really struggling with some personal things, and we stopped by her little store in Laguna, and I was just able to talk to her and share with her things that have helped me in the past.  It is so interesting, cause there have been moments in my mission where I have wondered if the experiences I have been through actually will help me or someone else.  But Tuesday was a great testimony to me that I am here for a purpose, and it wasn't just with Catherine, but it happened again and again throughout my exchange with Sister Hurst.  We also saw Brian and Kristy, in the course of that conversation Kristy talked about how there are some missionaries that really struggle being in certain areas, wondering why they are there, and sometimes leave feeling like they really didn't do much.  Or that, “oh I only helped this one person, that isn't much at all.”  And as she was talking, everything she was saying were thoughts that I'd been having the past week, and so I just started bawling, and Sister Hurst was like, "Yup, Sister Burningham needed to hear that."  And it was just so interesting, cause I hadn't said anything, Kristy had just started talking.  It was a miracle. :)

I also got to teach Lynda while I was in Laguna, and that was great!  It was crazy though, to see the change in her from just 2 weeks! The gospel really does change us, emotionally, physically and spiritually!! So that is good!  She is scheduled to get baptized this weekend, so hopefully I will have pictures next week of that!!! :)  So that is really great!  The gospel is so amazing when we let it into our lives! :)  And that also goes for Michelle who we were able to teach, she has been reading the Book of Mormon, and it is changing her! So cool!! :) I love the little miracles I get to see everyday as a missionary!

Wednesday things were back to normal with Sister Chua! :)  And that was great! It was a blessing to go back to Laguna Beach for a day, but I knew things were looking good when it felt almost normal to be back in Irvine with Sis. Chua! :)  We get along great, and she is just so wonderful!  On Wed we taught our investigator named Carl.  We taught him the plan of salvation, and with almost every part of it he wanted biblical proof.  At one point I just looked at him and said "Carl, I don’t know everything, I don’t know where to find everything in the Bible or even the Book of Mormon, but I know that it is true, God does have a plan for us, and that is what I know."  When people want proof, we really can't give them all that they want, because we don't have it all yet.  But we can testify.  Because I do know that God has a plan for me, that it started before I came here, and it will continue after this life!  I know that.  I don’t know what it will be like, I don't know what color I'll be in heaven, I just know that God's plan is perfect.  Carl still wanted more scripture verses, which we promised we would look up for him, but even in the past few weeks, his heart has been softening (how can it not if he is reading the Book of Mormon?!?!? It is true, and it will change your life if you read it!) So even though his progress is slow, he is an honest seeker of truth, and I'll be honest, I prayed about dropping him as an investigator, cause sometimes I am just like “ahhh that question really doesn’t matter right now....” but I know that he is a child of God, and God still wants us to meet with him and talk to him!  So we will!  And we'll just keep testifying!

Thursday I had Mission Leadership Council!  And that was great! One thing that really stuck out to me was when the first counselor in our mission presidency, President Ellis talked about how we need to keep lifting the faith.  He shared a story about a man who was once asked, “what is the purpose of life?”  This man, answering the question told of a story when he was young and had found a small broken mirror, which he played with and made a game of reflecting light into dark places.  He talked about how as he got older, he realized that if he tried, he could reflect light into the hearts of those who had darkened hearts.  And that that was the purpose of life.  Pres. Ellis had a small mirror, and then turned off the lights, but on the projector was a picture of Christ, which, when Pres. Ellis held the mirror up to the projector, the image of Christ was reflected onto the Ceiling.  We have the blessed opportunity of reflecting Christ's light to a world where there is so much darkness.  I've been thinking about this the past few days, and realizing that it is some of the little things that we do that can really reflect so much light, smiling at someone, waving, talking to someone, helping someone that needs a hand, sending someone an uplifting text, or writing a note to someone.  In these simple things we are sharing the light.  We are not the source of the light, we can only reflect it! But as we do, others will want to come to know Christ, because they know us!  So, this week, reflect the Light, Christ's Light :)

Friday was a rough day for me, I am not really sure why, but I really have just been feeling like I have been being attacked by Satan, which can only mean one thing, that good things are about to come!  Which I really feel like they are!  But I got a blessing and I've been feeling a lot better since then!!!

Saturday we had a great meeting as a zone and yesterday we had a fast that we can all set a baptism date this week for one of our investigators! Which is super exciting and that pumped me up! :) 
Yesterday was great!  Both testimony meetings were great, I even shared mine in Oak Creek, and things are looking bright there! So that is great news, we have a ward FHE tonight and we will be focusing on getting to know more of the ward members! So that should be great! :)

And then, as you saw from Pres. Orgill's facebook, the Yale Branch became a ward!  So that is so great!  There was such a great spirit in the chapel as the members shared their testimonies about how they felt about God and this new change!  :) So many didn't think that they would ever become a ward, so it was really a miraculous moment! And sister Chua leaned over to me and said, "now we are going to baptize." haha, so that is our goal, to baptize. 

Baptisms are hard to come by here in California, but when they do happen, when we are able to see someone progress from the time we begin teaching them to the time that they are in white and making a sacred covenant with God is so wonderful!  They truly are some of the sweetest moments I've experienced on my mission. I know that the field is white, ready to harvest, but one thing that I learned, that is actually a quote from Pres. Hinckley which is my favorite right now says, "Do your best, your very, very best, work hard and say your prayers and leave the harvest to the Lord."  Because this is His work, His children, and we are His instruments!  What a blessing, and now I'll just go out and work hard!!!!

Also, I wanted to say one more thing about Sister Chua, I love her so much!  She is such an example to me, and I'm supposed to be her trainer.  But she is a convert of just over 2 years. Yet her testimony burns deep into your heart.  She is so amazing, and I am so grateful that I get to serve with her!

So things are good, they are bright and well, my Chinese, not so great. haha. But we'll keep working on that one ;) I feel so blessed to be a missionary, for the things that it has already taught me and the things that I will continue to learn as my mission (and my life) goes on.  Such a blessing!!! :) I love it so much!  And well, I'll be the first to say that my mission is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but it also probably the best :) I love it, every minute!!! 

I hope you have a great week! You are so amazing! I love you all!!!


Sister Taylor Burningham

Missionaries of the new Yale WARD

My book to help me learn Mandarin

On my hike in Laguna

Me and Sister Hurst being silly on our exchange

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