Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The One with Sheri Dew

January 27, 2014 
Hermana Burnham (kneeling, 5th from the right)
 with Sister Sheri Dew (behind Alivia in the blue jacket)

I have a little test for everyone to take... 

This week did Hermana Burnham: 

1) Attend a conference with Sheri Dew

2) Meet Sheri Dew

3) Talk with Sheri Dew

4) Take a Picture with Sheri Dew

5) Tell Sheri Dew that she wanted to BE her 

If you answered YES to all of the above statements, then you win! 100%! Gold star – because I did all of those things and it was AWESOME.  I hugged a woman who wrote the biographies for Gordon B. Hinckley and Ezra Taft Benson.....................it does not get any cooler than that! 

In addition, I agreed completely with the message she delivered. It was about a subject that I believe strongly in (probably due to my brother).  She talked of things she has come to know as absolute truths throughout her lifetime. She quoted LeGrand Richards and said: “‘I think I am much more interested in the long hereafter, than the brief present.’"  She then added: "It is REALLY short sighted to not learn everything that we can learn."  She talked about the importance in gaining knowledge, learning and deepening our understanding. She talked about not being satisfied with complacent knowledge. She said "We have to . . . want the Kingdom of God more than we want anything else. . . .True conversion requires immersion." Wow. It was great!  

Other than that we had a fabulous week filled with fabulous people. A particular favorite of mine was sitting in G and S's house (the couple from Pakistan who don’t speak much English; he speaks a little; she speaks none). G said the following things: 

"She (pointing to S), your age (pointing to me), your body...your body."  You can take that however you might choose, haha. 

As we were asking how to say things in Urdu, specifically, “I love you”, he said: "You say that in my country, they kill you.”  

Another HIGHLIGHT (probably the best part) of this week was talking with J. Man, I love that kid! He is a miracle. His life is a miracle. I wish I could give you full details of what I mean by that, but I can’t. Just trust me when I say that I have never seen such a true change of heart in a person. It is something you always look for as a missionary and something that I have finally found. As he told us his conversion story he said the following about the gospel and I think that about sums it all up:  "It is just a part of me . . . you know?"- J

Saturday, January 25, 2014

More Pictures!

I received two disks full of pictures!  Woohoo!


Hermana Hosking y Burnham

Hermana Durham y Burnham


Pictures from Waller, TX!   (received January 24, 2014)
Hermana Burnham y Hosking with their investigator during a Branch Temple trip.

Beautiful Waller.


She says that Blue Bell is the world's best ice cream!

Hermana Burnham y Hosking (October 2013)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The One About Little Children

January 20, 2014 

What a week.  The first thing that needs to be said:  J IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!! WHOOHOOOOO. He is a cool kid. We got to meet with him after church on Sunday. He is 18 and took lessons from missionaries/went to church for about a year. Then the wards split and he kind of got lost in the mix. This is the first lesson we had with him, but we whip out the baptismal questions and he's like . . ."Yeah....yeah....Yes.....yeah....ooohhhh Law of Chastity, but yeah....yeah." Haha. Bless his heart. What a good kid. We are so excited for him. And he is excited.  Please, please, keep him in your prayers.  Once people decide to be baptized the adversary works SO hard on them.

Hey Grandma Burnham, guess what, he is getting baptized on Feb 15th! :) 

Other than that, we had some other really good things that happened this week. There are lots of really prepared people coming out of the woodwork. What an exciting time to be a missionary! 

We did have one slightly heartbreaking experience this week with one family in our ward. They have a daughter on a mission, but they are not active. Well, he is not active; she is not a member. We have felt a strong need to work with this family because their daughter is on a mission and she is doing exactly what we are doing.  We couldn't even imagine how she must feel about the whole situation. We have tried to get in with them like 15 million times, but never could. This week we went and knocked on their door and a little girl answered. She excitedly says: "It's the missionaries!  Dad, can they come in?" She then excitedly proceeded to tell us that her sister was on a mission. It was very obvious that Hermano O did not want us there. I don't know how to explain it but to say that he was almost a little mocking of what we were doing.  It was just heartbreaking, not because of us, but because he has a daughter doing the same things. Well, we asked if we could share a message and he promptly left the room, so we taught J, his daughter who was visiting only for the weekend.  She is 10 years old. As we began to teach her, a special spirit filled that room.  We read Christ blessing the children and then talked with her about how one day we WILL be encircled in the arms of His love. She was so purely excited; so faith-filled.  

I feel like a great majority of my mission has been spent with children.  I have developed a testimony on the command to “become as little children”.   How trusting they are.  How pure they are.  How willing they are.  How obedient they are.  How close to the veil they really are. The command to become like them has taken on a whole different meaning as I work here. In the O's home I saw this stark difference, like day and night, between a jaded unwilling man and a pure little girl.  

"But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." Luke 18:16   

Might we all strive harder to become as little children – to become more humble, more teachable, and more willing to heed the will of the Father. 

Much Love,  Hermana Alivia Burnham

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Pictures -- January 13, 2014

All the hermanas in our ward. Hna Spendlove and Hna McCleary are indescribable (back). They are so unique and I love them so much. I don't think my mission would have been complete without them! I love this Ward!

Hna Hoj and me.
Just . . . . living life.

Hermana Hoj y Burnham

Hermana Hoj y Burnham

This must have been on transfer day.  I stole this picture from Hermana Koch's blog. 

Hermana Burnham at a mission training.

At a mission training with the Mission President, back row, second from the right.

Pirated from the mission blog.  There are so many missionaries that they had to take two pictures.  It is very small and hard to see, but Hermana Burnham is in the third row, 11th from the left.

The One at 10 Months

January 13, 2014 

Well, happy 10 month mark to me!  Sadly, the ward didn't hold a party for this one, but I am banking on my year mark being the biggest ward party yet.  ;) 

This week was awesome. We are working so hard and I LOVE IT. The gospel mixed with hard work is honestly the answer to all of life's problems (give or take like 2).   We had one awesome experience this week that I thought ya’ll would like to know about: 

There is a potential that we have been trying to get in with for a while now and this week we decided to try him.  We went to his house and his wife answered the door.  It was one of those moments where they open the door and their face changes from "HIIIIII!! Come in!" – to “UGHHH, the Mormons" – in like a split second.  Realizing that she was clearly not very happy about the fact we were standing on her doorstep, we asked if there was another day that would be better for us to come back.  She told us we could come back Monday.  So, satisfied with setting a return appointment, we started walking down the street and decided to knock on the doors of some of her neighbors.  We didn't get very far when a car pulled up next to us.  It was a young kid in his 20's and he rolls down his window and starts to talk to us.  At first I'm a little leery, like, "Ohh heavens, what does this kid want?"  Well, he wanted Salvation, THAT'S WHAT.  He says:   "Hey, did ya’ll just knock at my house?"  We confirmed the question and he said:  "Hey, sorry.  My parents aren't really into all that stuff, but I went to church last week with my cousin (uncle's family are in our ward) and I want to get baptized as soon as possible."   



Hna Hoj and I are both trying to stay calm and not scream right then.  He then asked if we could set up appointments at his uncle's house.  We said – OF COURSE. He then drove away.  Hna Hoj and I proceeded to scream and hug and give prayers of thanks and faaaareak out. 

His name is J and he has taken all the lessons. He just needs to get in the water. We talked with his cousin and there are probably a few things he will have to be taught first, but we were blessed with this new investigator who is willing and ready to change his life.  

It really was a blessing and an answer to prayer. This month the whole mission fasted that the Lord would pour out His Spirit on this area and that the prepared would find us and that we would find them. I stand as a witness of the power of fasting and prayer. Before my mission I had such a hard time fasting and I definitely did not understand it fully or even have a testimony of the principle.  It is things like that that make me THAT much more grateful for the chance to be a missionary.  What would I have done in life without this knowledge? With the testimonies gained?   

"Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer."  D y C 59:14.


Con Carino,
Hermana Alivia Burnham 

P.S. -- We got a call this morning from the Stake Relief Society President telling us that President Pingree has chosen us to be hosts at the conference when SHERI DEW comes to speak in like 2 weeks.  I AM SO EXCITED!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Couple of Pictures

January 6, 2014

I received a few pictures today with her email.  Enjoy!

Hermana Hosking and Hermana Burnham, Waller, TX
(Hermana Burnham's first companion in Waller)

Hermana Durham and Hermana Burnham, Waller, TX
(Hermana Burnham's second companion in Waller, TX)

J and M, Waller, TX
(She taught this sweet couple)

(Audrey, she knows you will love this picture.)

The One from the Woodlands

January 6, 2014

This email is coming from a very happy Hermana Burnham who loves her new area in the Woodlands! I went from the ghetto, to the country and now to the wealth of wealths. I have just been blessed to experience a little bit of everything. In my perfect little world I imagine I will stay in Woodlands for the next 4 transfers and then spend the last one or two transfers back in H5. The end is oh so near! AHHH!  Don't make me go!!!!!
My new companion's name is Hna Hoj (pronounced hoy). She is from SLC, UT and is a perfect person. I’m serious—perfect. She is probably the meekest, most humble individual I have yet to meet here upon this earth. And, she is basically a Calvin Klein model; she is so pretty. She's the best! And I love her!
We have had some really cool experiences this past week and I am really excited about all that this transfer has in store. Woodlands is going to be great!
1.  Our ward is HUGE – at least compared to what I have been used to in the mission! It is so organized. I just sat there in awe. Right after Sacrament meeting a woman (served her mission in Argentina and then married an Argentinian) came up to me and was like: "I looked at you and thought, THE MONA LISA LIVES!"  She now calls me Hermana Mona Lisa. Compliment or insult? Hahaha.
2.  I had the WEIRDEST experience this week of maybe my whole mission. We are walking around trying to find people to teach about the gospel and we see we have a voice mail. The voice mail goes as follows:  "Hi, I am calling for Sister Alivia.  Give me a call back."  In my head I am thinking: "Why would she ask for me as Sister Alivia? Who is this and how does she know my first name?" I call the number back and she proceeds to tell me that two elders came and visited her and gave her my name (Alivia), my phone number (in Woodlands—where I had been for like 3 days), and a picture of me. What? What elders would do that? She was an inactive member and asked me to help her find the name of a Bishop. She wanted a specific bishop, but couldn't remember his name or what ward he served in. So, I am currently in the process of finding this bishop who could be ANYWHERE.  But hey, I guess this is the life of a missionary.....right?
3.  I met two people this week that I fell in love with instantly. Their names are G and S. They are from Pakistan and speak no English. But, they feed us every week and absolutely love us. She opens the door and gives me a big hug and starts kissing my face and then brings us plates of food. We sang them a song and held their hands as we prayed. All she could say in English was "God, good. God, good."  We can’t communicate with them, but we know that the Spirit can. I have never witnessed such a demonstration of pure Christ-like love as I did from these two people. Man, I love them.
So many exciting things lie in store! Can't you feel God hastening His work!
I love you all! muaaaaah!
P.S  Ryan! (Lustgarten) there is a kid in my district (one of the boy missionaries here) who is your IDENTICAL twin! Every time I see him I just start laughing because it is unreal how much he looks like you.  Ha.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Address

Hermana Alivia Burnham
26325 Northgate Crossing Blvd., # 1621
Spring, TX  77373