Monday, May 27, 2013

The One with THE Miracle

May 27, 2013

Wow.  Do you remember how last week I wrote an email saying that I knew this was going to be a good week and that I would write a lot this week? WELLLL . . . let me tell you . . . the Lord blessed us this FULL week, so this email is going to be a little bit lengthy. 

Within this email I will discuss the following things:

1. Things you probably don’t know about Texas

2. Fabrizio

3. Dogs

4. That one time our apartment got broken into

5. Maria y F

Believe me; I have narrowed this list down. I could tell you stories on stories for this week, but I will leave you with these 5. 

1.  I have noticed some random things about Texas.  Maybe it is just the area in which I live, but the whole "Things are always bigger in Texas" saying? No. Everything here is smaller?  I don’t understand.  Second thing I bet you didn’t know . . . there are dead frogs everywhere, haha.  I bet you didn’t know that!  Where do they come from!? I don’t know! They are just everywhere! Third thing—I don’t think I had ever seen an un-neutered dog until I got here. No one neuters their dogs. (AKA: Why there is such a terrible dog problem.)  Next, even when it is cold, it is hot.  HOLY COW, IS IT HOT. You can literally feel the air you are breathing in, but I actually love the humidity. But MAN, is it hot and apparently we haven’t seen nothing yet. I already told you about the mailbox thing. Everyone has crazy mailboxes here. Last, you know how in Washington people have like super friendly beagles but have "BEWARE OF DOG" signs to be cute? Yeah. When people have them here and it means "If you enter this gate you are going to get killed, so seriously don’t come in."  Welcome to Texas.

2. Fabrizio :). So this week we were heading back to our car from an appointment that fell through, but we couldn’t get out of the gate that surrounded this apartment complex. So this guy runs over and is like "Oh, I will help you! I’m a member of your church!"  We were both like "Wait...what?" And he says, "I am a Mormon!" This guy proceeds to tell us about his conversion and bears his testimony.  He recounts Lehi's dream and is telling us how he wants to get back to church (inactive) because he knows that is where he will find the love of God (the fruit). He is a rock star! PLUS, he is from El Salvador, but he has blue eyes! How cool is that? Anyway, he got baptized up in the Hafer area, so he wasn’t even on any of our records down here, so if he hadn’t happened to help us that day, he might not have ever been found! Now we get to teach him and help him get reactivated! :)

3. Dogs. You guys, we almost got mauled by dogs this week. Dogs HATE missionaries!  I don’t even know why! We were just walking along and BAM — near death experience.  So, here is the story. We were walking down the street and there is a gate. There is one big dog, chained up, and then two medium size dogs that aren’t chained up. The big one is barking at us, but the two medium ones are just chilling, so we just keep walking. Well, we get to the point in the fence where the gate is and we see the gate is open. We are trying to decide whether we should go in the fence and risk the two dogs coming after us or be safe and just keep walking. We decided to be safe.  Guess what? It was not the safe choice. Like 10 seconds later we hear barking and the pitter patter of paws and turn around to find these dogs bounding after us. Hermana Parry TAKES off running and so I don’t have much of a choice, so I take off and we are both just sprinting as fast as we can because these things are literally about to kill us.  I yell "GET ON A CAR!"   She turns into a driveway and we both leap onto a random person’s car (in our skirts, mind you). When the dogs realized they were not going to get us, they headed back for home. However, the owner of the car came out and was like "What are you doing on my car?"  So, that was awkward. "Ummm there were these dogs . . . and scared . . . and we jumped . . . and yeah. . . ." But he didn’t get mad, so that was a blessing.

 4. So last night we got to sleep at President's house because we had a little experience we like to call "Remember that one time we were at home and our apartment got broken into?"  HEYYYO. Mom, don’t freak out. So, we were sitting in our apartment.  We had just gotten home from church and so we were just grabbing some comida before we headed out to appointments.  I was sitting on the opposite side of the living room away from the door and Hna Parry was sitting on the couch right by the door. I saw the door open and then I hear Hermana Parry start screammmming as she jumps off the couch and heads for the door. I jump up to help her and she is just screaming "GET OUT! GET OUT!!!!!" and pushing against the door.  After slamming the guy pretty hard, he gave up and then he and his friend ran away. So.....that happened. Yupp. Hi mom :) Are you dying? I’m safe, I promise.

 5. Now the reason for the title of my email. This week we had one of those miracles that you hear about in general conference/from that crazy guy who sits in the foyer all of church and tells stories that you’re like "Wise tale? Those kind of things don’t happen." WELL, we had one this week. It was MIRACULOUS. So, we had a guy in our area book named F. He and his wife had only received one lesson antes, but we decided that we should go try and see him. So we went on Saturday. He answered the door and within 5 minutes of talking to him he was crying, just crying.  He was saying -- "I just want to change; I just want to change, please help me, angels, please help me."  He was pretty drunk, but like the most sincere drunk person I have ever met and, believe me, we talk to drunk people a lot. We couldn’t go inside because his wife wasn’t home (and he was drunk, haha), but he asked us to come back the next day. So we went back yesterday and his wife answers the door and tells us to come in. We didn’t even start to teach and she goes "Estoy listos ser bautizado en La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias" -- which means: "I am ready to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". This women, GAH, this women, met elders when she was 12 years old and has been waiting since then to be baptized. She is now 66 years old. She goes, "Me and my husband are ready to be baptized."  She continues to recount the Jose Smith story and says, "I know that he is a prophet of God; I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God." !!!!!!!! THEN, as Sister Parry and I are sitting there trying not to scream, we start our lesson. We read 3 Nefi 11, when Christ comes. F is just crying. He struggles with a drinking problem, but he wants to change SO bad. And he will! YOU GUYS, the best part -- they are MARRIED and neither of them work on Sunday!!!!! They are so prepared! It was the most amazing miracle in the entire world! We said, "Will you prepare to be baptized June 22, 2013".  They say "What do we need to do?" Maria wrote the date down and started taking notes on the requirements for baptism. It was a miracle. 

That was my week! I love you all so much. The work continues! And it continues to be great! Pray for Gulfbank. 

Hermana Burnham

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The One to her Dad

May 20, 2013

(This came in an email to Jeff, in response to his email to her.)
[T]he work is so good . . . even when absolutely nothing comes of it (this week).  I was basically in Germany this week Dad, haha. Nada.  A story? Man, this week was so slow; I don’t have a whole bunch of stories, but I guess I can tell you one...

This one day had been especially slow. Nothing was going on. In fact, we probably wasted a little bit of time just wandering because we were so lost as to what to do. Night came, however, and we were helping a woman in our ward with her YW activity. We went to the YW activity and everything was just dandy.  We were heading home when we got a phone call from J.

FLASHBACK: We met J my first day here. I felt like we should knock one particular door and so we did and this cute lady immediately let us in (doesn’t happen). We had a pretty solid lesson with her. It wasn’t amazing, but it was definitely solid.  Her husband had even joined us about half way through. She enjoyed our message and invited us back. We started teaching her and A. It wasn’t long before we realized that she was interested and he was not. He just liked to Bible bash us. (In Spanish, so it isn’t really Bible bashing—it is more like him preaching at us and us not knowing what he said, and so, just moving on, haha). We were both kind of bummed because we knew she couldn’t progress unless he was on board because that is just how the Latin culture is. One day we stopped by and J was alone. She told us how A was a very jealous man and how she didn’t have feelings for him, but she had nowhere to go. But he abused her and wouldn’t let her associate with other people, etc., etc. Terrible situation.

Back to the story. We got a phone call from J. She called us saying she had left A. They had been watching some kids and he severely harmed the children (I won’t even tell you) and her, also. They got into a big fight and she decided to leave. She called us in tears because all her family is in Honduras and she has absolutely no friends and had nowhere to stay the night. We were the only people she knew. My heart was 1000% broken. It was late at night and we couldn’t get a hold of anyone with which she could stay. She wasn’t allowed to stay with us. We had to call her and tell her that we couldn’t help her. Both I and Hermana Parry sat in Hermana T's car and just cried. There was nothing we could do and we felt so terrible.

It was then that I realized why people say a mission is hard. It isn’t the long hours or the blazing heat or being away from your family. It is wanting to help and having only human capacity. It hit me like a wave that I was a 19-year-old girl and there was no way I could do this. No way. I could not do this alone. I got home and just poured my heart out to Heavenly Father. Most people think that when you pray that sincerely then you are just blessed immediately. That was not the case. This week was hard. Not like my attitude; I was happy and such, but just doors were not opening, people were avoiding us, the works. Sometimes, God has to put you through the fire to see how much you are willing to do. Even though the work is hard right now, it is so good at the same time. You know that "sweet to the taste, bitter to the belly" thing? That, but the opposite. This next week is going to be filled with so many good things! I can just feel it! The Lord is going to bless us this week, I just know it. As missionaries, we just have to rely on the Atonement, always.

Updated Information

May 23, 2013

Alivia's mission sends out a monthly email to the missionary's family.  It was really fun to read, especially in light of Alivia's very short email, posted below. 
In that email we learned that as of May 1, 2013,  the mission office will no longer forward mail to the missionary.  Thus, mail sent to the Hafer Road address will be delivered only when a missionary is at a zone conference, interview, etc.--meaning it will take longer for the missionary to receive mail.   As such, please send your letters to the "Current Address", listed to the left.  When Alivia is transferred, I will post her new address. 

As per the newsletter:

"Upcoming Transfer date is 5 June. Please remember to not mail letters or packages for a few days before that date and until you receive an updated address from your missionary." 


The One that is Really Short

May 20, 2013

This week, I noticed that mailboxes are something totally unique to Texas. I don’t know if it is just my area, or a Texas thing, but everyone tries to outdo everyone else with crazy elaborate mailboxes. How weird is that, right? It is so funny. I feel like most of my pictures are of mailboxes.

Sorry, my email this week is going to be really short! My email time has been really sporadic today. I love you all! This upcoming week is going to be a great one and I promise that next week will be an email full of a lot of good stuff.

Seriously, this is the most pathetic email ever written; I am so sorry. Mom, please don’t kill me. I am happy and healthy and doing great! Sister Parry and I are the best of friends and have a lot of fun every day. Please continue to pray for this area.

I love you all!!

Hermana Burnham

P.S.:  Thank you everyone for your letters and packages (Lin, Kirs and Mom). You are all the best, best, best!!!! Thank you!!!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The One with the Mariachi Band

May 13, 2013
(Alivia has been out for 2 months now!)

I have no idea if that is how you spell Mariachi. Hi Everyone. :)

It was so good talking with Mom and Dad yesterday! And Zack...kind of, haha. I love you guys! I miss Max. We had a dinner appointment right after we finished Skyping and we were reflecting on the fact that it doesn’t even really feel like we talked to you guys--the work moves forward!

If you are wondering about the title, this week we had an awesome ward party! It was our "Feliz dia de Madres!" party.  It was so fun and the food was sooo good. Pollo Asada? Yes pleaseee! YUM. But the best part was that the priesthood all chipped in and bought this cute Mariachi band! They were so good.  All of the cute old Mexican couples in our ward were doing these cute Mexican dances, and it was just so cute. Man, our ward is the cutest. How many times can I say the word cute? That is the only way I know how to describe it though. It was delightful. The only downside was that Hna Parry and I got lost on our way home and wound up in...heaven knows, we accidently broke a mission rule because we got home way past curfew. But, I swear, it was a 10000% accident.

I just can’t tell you how much I love being a missionary. Today, I am just in the best mood.  I feel like I could just smile all day long :) Gah. I love it here! The weather is beautiful outside!  It is perfect! Today is just a great day, you guys. Smiles all around—for everyone. Are you reading this? One the count of three, smile . . . ready? 1-2-3 SMILE! :) Now, don’t you feel great? I sure hope so.

After talking to the family yesterday, I feel like I don’t have anything new to say. But, I will share one milagro from this week.

The day of the Mother's Day Party we got to church and found a "missing persons" sign taped to the door of the church. It was Hermano R.  Hermano R is this inactive member of our ward. Hna Parry and I go to his house every week, however, because Hna R feeds us (she is active and the best.) Hermano R has a pretty severe drinking problem and sometimes forgets to wear his teeth [that is always an adventure :)]. Well, we arrived at the church building and found this sign. I immediately start bawling...because...I am me. Sister Parry and I had not heard any news about what was going on and we were just both so scared for him. We talked to our district leaders and found out he had gone missing on Thursday (it was now Saturday) and was drunk out of his mind. To put this into perspective, Hermano doesn’t just have a drinking problem, he is also in his 70's and has severe Alzheimer’s. My heart was just breaking at the thought of Sister R and how scared and lonely she must feel. I couldn’t hold back tears. The area where we live is pretty rough and if a person is missing for over 24 hours, it is a pretty safe bet they are no longer living. Man, those few hours were the worst. But THEN, obispo arrived. Along with him he brought the news that Hermano, through some pretty insane circumstances, had just been found! He was safe back home! But you guys, when he came to, he realized that what had happened was a result of his drinking and so he came to church with Hermana the next day! Man I love him! I am so glad he is safe. He even wore his teeth. :)

That is one of our miracles this week. The work continues. The Lord is great.  I love you all.
Hermana Alivia Burnham

Arriving in Texas

On April 24, 2013, Hermana Burnham flew from the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah to the Texas Houston Mission. Here are some pictures captured by those who met the missionaries at the airport and welcomed them to the mission on the 24th and 25th. These pictures came from the Texas Houston Mission blog! I was so grateful to President and Sister Pingree for providing us with the link so that we can see even more of Alivia's experience!
At the Houston airport! (Alivia is on the far right, front.)

"Behold a Royal Army" -- 40 missionaries reported for service on April 24, 2013.  Ten of these missionaries are "visa waiters".  The ten will travel to other countries once their visas arrive. 

Real food!  Seated to Alivia's left are Sister Draper and Sister Woodard.  These two sisters were in her district at the MTC.

Again, the missionary group that arrived on the 25th.

Meeting her trainer, Hermana Parry.

May 11, 2013 -- Alivia's with her district outside of the Houston Temple.

More Pictures

How we feel after being kicked out of Faith Fest because we are missionaries for
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

My first picture in Houston!


Here are a few pictures.  I apologize that they are not in date order!

Alivia's District at the Missionary Training Center.

An armful of kittens (including a three-legged kitten)!


Yes, this is real in Texas!

The largest aloe plant known to man!

We found Narnia (Hermana Parry)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The One with the Three-Legged Kitten -- May 6, 2013

Hola Familia y Amigos! It is great to be here with you this week :) Let me start with some shout outs:

Michelle Tryon and Sister Tryon: You guys write me every week. I know I have not been super good about writing you back, but THANK YOU.  I appreciate them so much. I know that every week my letters from you two will be waiting. I love hearing from you! Thank you!

Aunt Kaly: I got both of your packages in the MTC! I sent a thank you card and I hope it got to you. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Those always made my day! Those little post it notes are so cute! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Kirstin: I want pictures of the kids, por favor! 

Audrey: Are you still alive? Write me back, for goodness sake, woman!!!!

Okay everyone, I forgot to do this last week, but I do get mail directly to my apartment. My address here is: 12655 Kuykendahl Rd, #6102, Houston, TX 77090.  So . . . if you send letters, then you can send it here. :)  If you send packages, send those to the mission home (the original address listed on the blog—Hafer Road).  And Kyle, send your letters to the mission home, still, because your letters take like 10 years to get here and who knows how long I will be in this apartment. [Editor’s Note:  Please feel free to write to Alivia at this address.  We know she will be there for at least three more weeks.  She may be transferred after that, but we will not know until transfers occur.  You can use the address listed to the left of the blog (Hafer Road address) if you choose.  All mail sent to the Hafer address will always make it to her.]

I am sure you are wondering about the subject of this email, or title of this blog post. Yesterday I had the very difficult experience of rejecting taking home a cute little three-legged kitten. It was one of the hardest moments of my mission, hahaha.  But seriously, we came out of a cita (AWESOME! Maybe I’ll tell ya’ll the Jaquelin story one day) and these little kids that always play outside come running over to us holding all these kittens. (Little kids love the missionaries. Seriously. Love us. It's great.)  Apparently, one of their cats had just had a litter of kittens and they wanted to show them to us. They were SOOO CUTE, and one of them had only three legs!!  AAH. They were like "Do you want one? You can take it! Just take it!" I WAS OFFERED A FREE, THREE-LEGGED KITTEN YOU GUYS!! AND I HAD TO SAY NO! (*sigh*)  Such is the mish life.

On a more Spiritual note, the work is great. It is so great. We are working really hard right now to strengthen and unify this Ward, as well as get them all excited about missionary work. Getting members involved in lessons is sometimes a challenge, but when they are there our lessons are so much more powerful. Hermana Gandara is one of the cutest old women on the face on the planet and she came to a lesson with Marta last week. She just laid it on the table. She bore her testimony and talked about how the Church has changed her life.  She was so bold!  She did GREAT!  We were so proud of her and so, so thankful for her.  It is even more amazing to me because her family isn’t LDS (her husband or children). In fact, when we went to pick her up for our cita her husband kind of stormed out of the house going "YO SOY CATOLICA! NO MORMONES!" Ha. Anyway, she is fabulous.

Our Bishop and his family are such Saints. He is Hispanic, but very much an American. Sister Marin and the girls are white. They, I can’t even tell you how much they help us. Sister Marin is like the mother of our district. She makes us these huge (non-Mexican) meals and drives us places and lets us do laundry at her house, and man, she is just a saint. The bishop is working so hard with the Ward and works himself to the bone. Their family is just amazing. 

We had so many miracles this week. I remember thinking about my mission and being so excited to have those crazy, cool mission miracle stories that people tell at their homecomings. I thought I would have like 2 or 3. No. Let me tell you, miracles happen every single day. EVERY day.  I just don’t know where to start or which to share! The mission is just great!

I will share one story that is near and dear to my heart. One day we were tracting and it was almost 8:45 (when we head back to the apartment) and it was dark and we were in a pretty dangerous area and we were kind of winding down. Well, we decided we should knock one last house before we went home. It was the last apartment on the little stretch we were knocking.  It was by this alley and the dumpsters, so we were both kind of scared, but we felt like we should do it anyway. So we knock this door and this young girl answers. After talking to us for a minute or so, another little girl appears. Their names are Christina and Anita. They are 10 and 8. They were home alone and I told them they should never open the door when they are home alone, ESPECIALLY where they live, but I was glad they opened it for us. We ran to our car and got children Books of Mormon—one in Spanish and one in English. We read the story when Christ blesses the children in 3 Nephi. They loved the story and told us about their belief in God and how God has helped them. It was a really sweet little moment, but then they went inside and we went home. Well, we were in bed that night when at 10:20 our phone rings. We answer and to our astonishment, it was these two little girls. They had gotten our number from the inside cover of the book. They said "Hi...dis is Christina and Anita....we were just wondering when ya’ll was comin’ back." Christina proceeded to tell us about a problem she was having at school and she started crying and asked us to please pray for her. It was such a sweet moment. Man. I don’t know if their parents will let us teach them, or if we will ever see them again (their parents are avoiding us), but I pray that the Lord blesses those two little girls.

Something I love about being a missionary is the trust people have in you. I mean, it might be because we are two white girls walking around a very ghetto area, but people tell us, on a daily basis, they thought we were angels walking down the calle. Also, almost every person asks us to pray for them. Usually people aren’t interested in the Church, but they can tell we are disciples of Jesus Christ. Now, I am just Alivia Burnham, but I have been called to be a minister to the people here in Gulfbank. Because of that, I am blessed with the Spirit. People don’t see me and think "OH look it is Hermana Burnham! An angel!",  but they recognize the Spirit. They can feel that. It is amazing to see. Like I have said in every other email, I still can’t believe I am out here. I love it so much. I love these people so much. 

The Church is true. As Brendin said "I mean, come on!" I second that. 

I love you all! Make good choices. Be the best you can be. Pray. Read your Scriptures. If you want to know the secret to being a super awesome member of the Church, I just gave it to you. Pray. Read the Scriptures. Be Obedient. You are golden. 

The One with Texas -- April 29, 2013

Howdy? Hola? Hello?  I don’t quite know how to start this one.

I am in Texas! Can anyone believe that I am here? I sure can’t. I think I have written that in every email so far because I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE I AM ON A MISSION. I love life. Okay so let me start with some things unique to Texas:

1. Sometimes you randomly find horses tied up to things, and my area isn’t even in the country, haha.

2. When it rains--IT POURS. Exactly like Florida, except worse. Mini story . . . sometimes we use the rainstorms to our advantage. We tract a whole bunch and we try to tract when it is raining because then people feel bad for us and let us in. Is that manipulative? Nah. But seriously, a few days ago we were so wet. We looked like we had jumped in swimming pools, but it is way warm outside; so, it's fun.

3. I found a frog.

4. There are puppies and kittens EVERYWHERE; so, I think I’m in heaven . . . except they are all super malnourished and flea ridden and stuff.  Pero, esta bien.

5. I might as well be in Mexico; the only Caucasian people I see are missionaries.  I am not exaggerating. I think we have talked to one, maybe two, white people.  My area is 98% Hispanic, and the other 1.9% is African American.

6. Little kids speaking in Spanish is hands down the cutest thing in the whole world.

7. I feel terrible because none of the Latinos can say my name.....

Okay, so now let me tell you about my first few days in the mish. We arrived to the Houston airport at about 2 on Wednesday afternoon. Our mission president, his wife and the Aps [editor’s note:  Assistants to the President] were there to greet us. My mission president MIGHT be the greatest man who has ever lived, besides my Dad.  He is awesome, and so is Sister Pingree. They are young, probably early 40s, and they have their whole family here with them. They have one daughter who leaves on a mission in just a few days for Seattle! :)  Their youngest son, Joseph, is 11.   I want him to marry Emmeline.  He is the best. I could have life discussions with that kid.  Anyway, so we landed and that whole day we sat and talked with President and such. We slept at nearby members’ houses and then the next morning we met our trainers. 

My trainer’s name is Hermana Parry. She is super cute. She is really bubbly, excited and positive.  She is 19, too, but turns 20 in Sept.—and get this—she has only been here for 6 weeks. Yup.  One transfer and she is training. That should tell you how awesome she is. There is only one other person in the whole mission who has/is doing that. Pero, neither of us speak Spanish very well. Hers is way better than mine, but it is still definitely an experience teaching with VERY limited Spanish. We are working, working, working though!

I was assigned to Gulfbank! Gulfbank is the very bottom area in the mission, as far south as our borders go. What up Houston North Stakeee! I am in the ghetto! YESSS! I was so hyped to be in the ghetto. The area just recently (like one or two transfers ago) opened up, again, because it was too dangerous antes. Mom, don’t freak out; I am safe. The Lord protects His missionaries, but yeah I’m in a pretty sketchy place. I love it though! These people are so humble. They have nothing. Sometimes I drive down the street and really do think I’m in a third world country or something because people live in like the most terrible conditions – hand-built scrap metal/wood houses on dirt roads. It is crazy.  I remember hearing missionary stories like "And then they dropped us because a family member was killed last night"  or "Their daughter was assaulted last night, so they can’t meet with us today", etc., etc.   I didn’t realize I would be THAT missionary, experiencing those things.  But those are the things we deal with every single day.  It is remarkable how much people are willing to tell missionaries in the first 3 minutes of meeting with them. These people deal with more than I can even imagine. They are things I had only ever read about in books or seen on TV and these people are living it every day. Please pray for the people of Gulfbank. They need your prayers.

Like I said earlier, Hermana Parry and I have been working hard! We have basically a negative teaching pool (so like no one to teach), but since Thursday afternoon we have found 14 new investigators! You guys, that DOESN’T happen, at least not in our area. It is honestly a miracle. I will tell you one story, even though there are many similar to it. One day, we were on a way to an appointment with a man named Manuel (man I wish I could tell you every story because his is AMAZING).  Anyways, we were walking down the street to get to his house and I saw this cute, green trailer with flowers and plants all over the place. It kind of looked like a really beautiful jungle. We decided to knock it. We hadn’t even gotten to the door when this old lady came walking out and calling "Hermanas, misinoneras!"  We walked up and she immediately hugs and kisses us. (You get kissed a lot here, but not by people you just barely meet.)  We told her "Somos misioneras del la iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los Ultimos dias" (aka the only thing I can say in Spanish, haha).  We asked if she had heard of our Church before. She goes "Oh si, si, aprendiendo antes."  She then basically recites to us the first vision. We ask how she knew the story . . . you guys . . . she had been meeting with missionaries 21 years ago in Mexico; but, she moved to Houston and hasn’t seen or talked to them since. YOU GUYS –THAT'S A MIRACLE. We went back yesterday and taught her. She is the absolute sweetest old lady in the whole world.  Her name is Marta. We read with her in 3 Nephi when Christ comes to the Lamanites.  I don’t know what the outcome will be with Marta, but I have high hopes.

Life is great in Gulfbank. Missionary work is hard. People laugh at you. People avoid you. Dogs hate you and chase you away from like every house, haha, but those few moments, like the one with Marta, make everything so worth it. I’m not going to sugar coat things, a lot of times are really discouraging, but you always have to keep a smile on your face and press forward "With steadfastness in Christ."

I love you all

Te quiero muchisimo,

Hermana Alivia Burnham