Friday, August 1, 2014

The Things I've Learned

Hello family,                                                                                                       June 23, 2014

Glad to hear that our kitchen looks normal again!  That is great news! :)  Haha, glad that things are going well for you all as well!!!  For me, this week was so bizarre. So weird.  And it was hard.  And I was sick! So that didn’t help any.  So lets see....

Tuesday was great, we got to do service, and we talked to a lot of people, and we were both happy and all was great.

Wednesday was rough. I don’t know what happened to me, but I woke up and I just felt overwhelmed and upset and sad and all sorts of emotions and in companion study I broke down, and Sister Chua just told me that everything was going to be all right.  :) And it was.  Sister Hurst called me, and I broke down again (I think it was a little bit of me freaking out about how I don't have much time left as a missionary), so we ended up doing exchanges and so that is why I went to Laguna Beach.  Don't get me wrong, I love Irvine, but I needed to see the ocean, I needed something different, so I was feeling pretty selfish. So that is why we did the exchange.  It was good to be back again, good to be remembered and just feel loved by those who I care so much about. So we did see Ronnie, and randomly there were some goats by her house, and that is why you got videos and pictures from Ronnie of me feeding goats.  You're right mom, never a dull moment as a missionary, that is for sure!!  Also, super awkward, but when we went to see Ronnie, there were some youth at the park by her house, and one of the young women came running over and gave me a hug, and then, a guy who got baptized last summer, I think, came running up to us as well and was like "my turn."  I stuck out my hand and was like "no way, can't hug me, not gonna happen."  But he ignored me and hugged me and Sister Hurst.  Awkward.  He was also wearing a swimsuit, so no shirt.  Super awkward.  Then we fed goats.  Life is crazy and weird as a missionary, but it sure makes for good stories ;)  haha.

Thursday was a lot better.  We had district meeting, and then we got to teach Mike.  Mike is so great! He was a former, but he wants to meet with us again, we still aren’t sure how much potential he has to being baptized yet, but we will be seeing him every Thursday.  Then we went to choir, late, and I just decided, well I'd actually been thinking about it for a little while now, but I’m not going to do choir my last transfer, I just want to go out and be a normal missionary (as normal as you can be haha...) and find, teach, baptize and see many miracles.  So we went there, then after dinner I felt so awful.  We went home and we texted the elders and I got a blessing.  And I've been trying to figure out why I've been sick.  Cause I keep getting sick.  And I feel like God has wanted me to rest, but also, one thing that was said in the blessing was, "take time to reflect on the things that you've learned on your mission."  And so, I've been able to do that, since being sick is SUPER boring as a missionary!!  But I'll get to that, and my thoughts on that in a minute.

Friday I felt all right and our choir was recording our songs to make a CD, which took ALL DAY.  Super long.  And I only made it through 2 songs and then I sat out the rest of the time, and I was like, "why am I even here today??"  Still don’t know the answer to that one, but that was Friday.

Saturday was CRAZY.  We went to the new trainers meeting (cause Sister Chua and I are both co-training, finishing training Sister Lin, the other Chinese sister, to get them ready to be in the Yale ward by themselves next transfer).  So that meeting was GREAT!!!!! I just felt the spirit so strongly and it was just a great meeting.  Then, we did a mini exchange, and Sister Larson came with me to San Clemente cause Ed got baptized!  :) So that was great.  What wasn't great was that traffic on the freeways was AWFUL and we walked in during the musical number, literally minutes before Ed was baptized.  Crazy, but at least we got to see that.  :)  Then the rest of the day was a blur...and I was frustrated and sick and tired, but eventually we did get home and got transfer calls, and both Sister Chua and I are staying, but we will be going to transfer meeting tomorrow cause we'll be getting sister Lin :)  So that will be great!

Yesterday was a miracle.  I love the sacrament.  I love being companions with sister Chua.  I love the experiences that God lets us experience while we are here on earth. 

Yesterday Lynda was baptized.  It was a very powerful and spiritual baptism.  She has just changed so much from when we met her 2 months ago, and that really is one thing that I've learned as a missionary, that the gospel changes people.  It has changed me, and it changed Lynda.  So that was one of the sweet experiences that I was able to see this week, and what a blessing that was.

So this week has been an interesting one.  My emotions have been all over the place and I really have no idea why.  But since I've been sick I've been able to think a lot about the things I've learned and the things I've experienced.  And I'm not going to share all of them with you today, cause there are still things to learn, and still time to have even more experiences!  But I think one of the greatest things that I've learned this week especially is that God is in the details of our lives.  He has a plan for each of us, and we do not know what that plan is all the time, but as we trust Him, he does lead us along.  And I guess going along with that I've learned that this is God's work, He is the master of the harvest, He wants even more badly than we do for His children to return to Him.  Some take more time than others, and others are ready to be baptized right away.  I feel so blessed to be serving as a missionary, and to take part in this great work! It really is so amazing, I love it!  And you are right dad, sometimes we are laying the foundation for future missionaries, and that is a miracle just as much as a baptism is.  I love this work, I love sharing the gospel everyday, and I plan to continue to share it always.  I love the gospel, and I just love life.

I was able to have a conversation this week with Sister Putnam, it was on Friday, when I was feeling really crummy at choir and so was she.  Her current companion is about to go home (like 2 days) and she was just like, "Sister Burningham, it is OK to be excited about going home, just keep working hard, and doing your best everyday."  That is what the Lord wants, that is what He asks, to do our very best.  So I won’t lie and tell you that I'm not excited about coming home in a few weeks.  But, what I am more excited for right now is too just live in the now, to work hard, to talk to everyone that I can, just like I have been for the past well, long time.  haha.  But I am just gonna go out and work, and love the people and love God, because that is really all I can do.  Miracles come, blessings come, and we just keep doing what is right, and we will see God's hand in our lives. :)  And that is a great miracle!!!

So I hope that you all have a great week! I am looking forward to the new adventures that comes as we'll be in a trio, and getting used to that!  But it will be great! :)

I Love you!


Sister Taylor Burningham

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