Monday, March 31, 2014

The One with the Guy from the Library

March 31, 2014
"No kidding, a frog jumped onto my nametag!"

Transfers on 3/26/2014
Hermana Burnham is remaining in Spring, TX
Can you tell that her mother misses her? 
While I recognize President Pingree in this picture of Elders,
I posted it because Hna Burnham is in the background with Hna Hosking
(at least I think it is Hermana Hosking)

Hermana Burnham y Hermana McOmber
Staying together in Spring, TX
I also debated naming this email, "The One with Peanut Butter", because this week I found the most delicious peanut butter known to man annnnnd have probably eaten my weight in its deliciousness. Yumm, peanut butter.

I have so many things I want to write this week; so many ideas running through my brain!! Maybe I will write all of them and this will just be a really long email...

I will start with our miracle this week (and the name of my email).   About 3 months ago, on P-day, I was sitting in the library emailing you, my dear family and friends, while sitting next to a man.  I began to talk with this man and learned he had a lot of friends who were members of the Church. I gave him a pass along card and committed him to visit (because I am a missionary and that is what we do).   Well fast forward to this week. Hna McOmber and I decide to try and visit a woman in our ward (E. R., the one from the fasting story). With E lives J, whom we also teach (I have included her in stories as well).  So we went to try and see one or both of them. However, a man opens the door. He opens and says "Heyyyyyy, I know you! Do you remember me? We met at the library!"  "Of course! Hello!"   I reply, "What are you doing here?"  "I just moved in here this week", says he.  Yes, everybody, that really happened. The guy, D, who I met three months ago at the library just moved in with a member of our ward and one of our investigators. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen every day! We proceeded to talk with him about the Church and clear up a few misconceptions. He ended up saying. "Okay, I think I will come to church on Sunday (we didn’t invite him, he just said that); but, you should get my number to make sure that I am there."  He didn’t come, haha. BUT, we have super high hopes for him! And he will come eventually!

On Friday A (RM of about 4 months) got married to D(who she wasn’t dating before she left).  It was a joyous occasion!  I giggled the whole time because I felt uncomfortable being around so many lovey dovey things.  I think we can all rest assured that I am going to be an awkward returned missionary. But, it was so fun to see some people from H5!  Lots of hugging and rejoicing occurred.

Then we had the Women’s General Broadcast on Saturday! It was fabulous, and I have 5 of my 7 mission companions in my stake (Hna Howard is in Chile and Hna Hosking is still in the middle of nowhere, haha). Being in a Spanish stake is absolutely amazing. The Hispanic women here never cease to amaze me! Like I did in conference 6 months ago, and like I will do next Monday after general conference, I will now list the things that I wrote in red while taking notes during the session:

-We simply cannot call ourselves Christians and still continue to judge others and ourselves

-If there are barriers it is because we ourselves have created them

-The work of a disciple

-Step forward in righteousness

-But especially as nurturers

There ya have it folks!

WHO IS EXCITED FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!! THIS GIRL! AHHHH. This is like Christmas! Whooohooo!

To end, I copied below the story from last General Conference as told by President Thomas S. Monson. (How great is it that we have a living Prophet?) I read it this morning in personal study and re-determined to be happier and more grateful—all the time.

"As I have traveled far and wide throughout the world fulfilling the responsibilities of my calling, I have come to know many things—not the least of which is that sadness and suffering are universal. I cannot begin to measure all of the heartache and sorrow I have witnessed as I have visited with those who are dealing with grief, experiencing illness, facing divorce, struggling with a wayward son or daughter, or suffering the consequences of sin. The list could go on and on, for there are countless problems which can befall us. To single out one example is difficult, and yet whenever I think of challenges, my thoughts turn to Brother Brems, one of my boyhood Sunday School teachers. He was a faithful member of the Church, a man with a heart of gold. He and his wife, Sadie, had eight children, many of whom were the same ages as those in our family.

After Frances and I were married and moved from the ward, we saw Brother and Sister Brems and members of their family at weddings and funerals, as well as at ward reunions.

In 1968, Brother Brems lost his wife, Sadie. Two of his eight children also passed away as the years went by.

One day nearly 13 years ago, Brother Brems’s oldest granddaughter telephoned me. She explained that her grandfather had reached his 105th birthday. She said, “He lives in a small care center but meets with his entire family each Sunday, where he delivers a gospel lesson.” She continued, “This past Sunday, Grandpa announced to us, ‘My dears, I am going to die this week. Will you please call Tommy Monson. He will know what to do.’”

I visited Brother Brems the very next evening. I had not seen him for a while. I could not speak to him, for he had lost his hearing. I could not write a message for him to read, because he had lost his sight. I was told that the family communicated with him by taking the finger of his right hand and then tracing on the palm of his left hand the name of the person visiting. Any message had to be conveyed in this same way. I followed the procedure by taking his finger and spelling T-O-M-M-Y M-O-N-S-O-N, the name by which he had always known me. Brother Brems became excited and, taking my hands, placed them on his head. I knew his desire was to receive a priesthood blessing. The driver who had taken me to the care center joined me as we placed our hands on the head of Brother Brems and provided the desired blessing. Afterward, tears streamed from his sightless eyes. He grasped our hands in gratitude. Although he had not heard the blessing we had given him, the Spirit was strong, and I believe he was inspired to know we had provided the blessing which he needed. This sweet man could no longer see. He could no longer hear. He was confined night and day to a small room in a care center. And yet the smile on his face and the words he spoke touched my heart. “Thank you,” he said. “My Heavenly Father has been so good to me.”

Within a week, just as Brother Brems had predicted, he passed away. Never did he dwell on what he was lacking; rather, he was always deeply grateful for his many blessings."

Might we all be a little more like Brother Brems...

Much Love,

Hermana B

Monday, March 24, 2014

The One with the Pollen

March 24, 2014
Pollen Puddle

Hermana Burnham (center), Hermana Hoj (yellow), and Hermana McOmbre (white scarf)
I do not know the other two Hermanas
 This email is going to be all over the place. What's new?  

1. If you have allergies, shoot, even if you have never had allergies in your life, I would not suggest moving to Texas. This week was defined by pollen.  Pollen everywhere.  I kid you not, our car turned from red to yellow this week. The pollen fairies came by and heavily sprinkled pollen on every surface visible.  Sometimes it even rains and you would think that would calm the pollen. Oh no, this pollen can’t be calmed, my friends, it just becomes pools of pollen throughout the streets.  It looks like giant puddles of chalk, but it isn’t; it is pollen. 

2. Amber, thank you for the Girl Scout cookies!! I got those two weeks ago and realized yesterday that I had not given you a shout out! How terrible of me! THANK YOU!!! 

3. A member in our ward has a son who came home from college for spring break. I saw him at a ward activity and proceeded to stare at him for a solid 5 minutes (probably creeped him out a little bit).  I swore I recognized him and knew who he was until I realized where I recognized him from: HE LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE FREDDY FROM i-CARLY. Spitting image, people. Spitting. Image.
4. Our awesome miracle of the week is W.  W is a man we tried to find when I first got to this area. He was an old investigator from our area book. He had been to church like 4 times (miracle) and he seemed totally golden. We went to his house annnd he didn’t live their anymore.  It was a white family.  Dang.   

Well, fast forward 1 month and we knock into a woman named J.  This woman just happens to know a Hermana in our ward and so she let us in. We talked with her for about 10 minutes and have been trying to meet with her again ever since.  

Fast forward 2 months. This week we went to try and see J. We walk up and there is a man washing his car and we ask if J is home. He goes inside and gets J. We talk to her, she says she is busy, so we set a return appointment. This man was then sitting in his garage. We start to walk away and I just wave and say "mucho gusto!" -- as we walk past their driveway to get to our car.  Once we had passed the driveway and had almost gotten to our car we hear him yell:  "Son Mormones?"  I turn around and . . . being the person I am, I reply, "Claro. yyyy usted es Catholico?"  ("Hey, are you Mormons? Yeah, are you Catholic?") He laughed and walked up to us and said, "No. I don’t have a religion, but I did meet with some missionaries a few years ago. I went to your church a lot, too."
After we had confirmed that they were Mormon missionaries, and it was in fact our church he had attended, I asked for his name as I reach out to shake his hand.  He smiled and said:   "W. R.”   WE FOUND W! A golden, old investigator now living (as friends; Julia has a husband) with a potencial!? AHHHHHH. He was like:  "They just stopped coming, but I still want to go to church. When are you going to come back to my house?"  Setting up his own return appointment?  We will take it!  The Lord is so good to us! "I ask you . . . have miracles ceased? I say unto you NAY!" 

5. Hna Hoj is getting transferred :((((((( .    I am so SAD!  But, I am excited to take her super comfortable bed, haha.  She is one of my very best friends from the mission and I am going to miss her sooo much; but, she is going to marry Zack and then we are going to be together eternally, so no worries. 

I love you all <3  

"Let the residue continue to preach from that hour, and if they will do this in all lowliness of heart, in meekness and humility, and long suffering, I, the Lord, give unto them a promise that I will provide for their families; and an effectual door shall be opened for them, from henceforth." Doctrine and Covenants 118:3


Monday, March 17, 2014

The One Where I Am One Year Old

March 17, 2014

This is how it feels to turn "1" on the mission

Well I hit my year mark this week. So, that was really weird. I attached a picture of my year mark and how it feels to be a year old missionary.  It was taken at 6:20 in the morning. We took that picture and I said:  "I’m gonna send this home and say 'This is how I feel a year into my mission.'"    Hna Hoj says:  "You feel like a boy?"   Hahaha.  So, this picture can be referred to as my "year in the mission" picture or my "boy" picture.

Some exciting news: The night of my year mark, I awoke to Hna Hoj saying:  "Sister B . . . you woke me up sleep talking last night. You were talking in Spanish."   POR FIN. How ironic is it that on my year mark EXACTLY is when I finally sleep talk in Spanish?  I sleep talk like every night people, and I finally talked in Spanish.  It is a miracle.  

It has been a great week and lots of great things have happened. As I was waiting to write ya’ll, so like an hour ago, I received a call from one of our investigators who is about to get deported. She was asking me to come with her to court (something I wish I could, but cannot do).  I then spent the last hour trying to contact people to help her to no avail. That is the life of a missionary everybody--happening right now.  This is definitely something that only missionaries who serve Spanish speaking in the U.S. get to experience.  I can’t even number the times I have dealt with this on my mission. It is heartbreaking because there in nothing we can do to help!  

In better news, J came to church accompanied by his nonmember sister this week. :)  We also had another investigator at church and two menos activo families!!  It was rather joyful. Oh, also, I spoke this Sunday. All the missionaries did.  

Then last night we received this text from J:  "Just got done reading my scriptures. ‘Bout too go to sleep.  Just wanted to thank ya’ll for everything ya’ll have done for me.  I was blessed to meet ya’ll. Ya’ll have truly changed my life in a way I’m so glad I met ya’ll . . . one of the most important things in my life was meeting ya’ll and having ya’ll in my ya’ll goodnight."  

1. How much do you love the abundant use of “ya’ll”?


3. What a tender mercy was it that he sent that to us? :) Heavenly Father is so good to us.

Sorry this email is super sporadic.

Alivia wrote:  "S!  Doesn't she have the most beautiful smile you have ever seen?"



Thursday, March 13, 2014

One Year!

MARCH 13, 2014 . . .

Hermana Hoj, Hermana Burnham y Hermana McOmbre
On March 13, 2013, our sweet daughter, Hermana Burnham, entered the Missionary Training Center, in Provo, Utah, to begin this wonderful journey of serving as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I cannot believe that it has been a year already.  At the same time, I cannot believe how slowly the days pass sometimes.  It is a strange dichotomy! 

I absolutely LOVE being a missionary mom.  I know that there is no place she would rather be at this time in her life, and there is no place we would rather have her be right now.  What a marvelous and personal blessing for our family. 

Thank you all for your love and support of this wonderful young woman. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Stolen from Hermana McOmbre's blog:

Flooded Streets

Hermana Burnham receives Girl Scout cookies (Thanks, Amber!)

Hermanas Mower, Hoj, Burnham, Driesel and McOmbre

The One About Prayer

March 10, 2014 

I have probably named an email this already, but it is a pretty important topic, so it can be duplicated. It is also played a HUGE role in my mission, so, another reason I do not mind duplicating it.  

First, can I just talk a little bit about Spanish? I have come to a [personal] conclusion about Spanish. People who serve in other countries become fluent quicker because they are totally immersed in another language. This causes them to develop a Spanish brain and an English brain. A side effect of this is, if not kept up well, they can lose their Spanish brain when once again immersed in English. People who serve in America, speaking Spanish, may not become as fluent as those who serve outside of the country. Of course there are the exceptions—people who learn the language really fast and well, but we are talking generals here. As a result of serving in America, speaking Spanish, you develop what I like to call "SbMrUaSiHn" where you think and talk in both languages at the same time. Some people refer to this as Spanglish. This has been the case with me. This "smushbrain" has caused me to say things such as "porcause" and pause because I can no longer think in any language. It is a common side effect to have long lapses of time where you can think in neither English nor Spanish. Upside of Spanish speaking in America, you have been forced to learn Spanish on your own, without the aid of immersion, being constantly surrounded by English; so, the Spanish that is learned is much harder to forget. That is the conclusion I came up with this week about Spanish.

We had the great experience this week of finding two new FAMILIES to teach. We love families! We had decided as a companionship to pray that we would be able to find a family to teach, but in true pattern with the blessings of the Lord, we received more than what we asked for! The Lord is so good to us!
In addition to that answer to prayer, this week there were several times when I was feeling rather sick. One time, after walking for several hours, I do believe I pulled a muscle of some sort. After walking for an hour I was finally like, "Hey, can we sit down and take a little breather?" We sat down and I said a little prayer in my heart that I would be able to make it the rest of the way home without the pain. I stood up and the pain was gone. It never returned! Then several other times during the week I was in situations where I just pleaded in my heart for the Lord to help me get through a lesson or meeting and I was IMMEDIATELY relieved of my sickness. I feel like one of those "Godpost" writers writing you about these things, but this is real life! They aren’t coincidences; they are answers to prayers! And again, in the true pattern of the Lord, I have felt the blessings tenfold what I have asked. I have found, with this sickness, that the days I am most sick are on Mondays, P-Days, days where I do not have to be out. The days where I have asked the Lord to get me through, the days when I have work to do, I can get up and go out with little to no problem. The Lord blesses us! He answers prays!

I was studying today in 1st Nephi, chapter 17, and verses 8-10 caught my attention:

8 “And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.

 9 And I said: Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?

 10 And it came to pass that the Lord told me whither I should go to find ore, that I might make tools.”

The Lord gave Nephi a commandment that he was not quite sure how to fulfill. So what did Nephi do? He prayed. How did he pray, I ask? Did he say "How do I do it?" No, he came up with a solution.  He realized the first step—he needed tools. He went to the Lord asking where to go find this type of material, so that he could make tools, after the manner he had been shown. He was specific.  Specific prayers receive specific answers.  

I love you all,

Hermana Burnham

The following I stole from Hermana Hoj's blog:

"Speaking of families...we took a little time this week to do some family history and I found some awesome stuff! I found the stories of the people mom told me about who knew Joseph Smith and kept reading more about them and on that line. There is some seriously amazing information in there! Some of them got their patriarchal blessings from Hyrum Smith, some were imprisoned for defending Joseph...whoo! Sooo cool!! Found out that one of our ancestors (I think his name is John Taylor) was one of the 20 men picked to be Joseph's bodyguard. And guess what? One of Hermana McOmber's relatives also was one of them. And then Hermana Burnham's relatives knew Joseph too, so we're thinking that they all knew each other! How cool that they were working together to help others come to Christ's church, and here the three of us are today doing the exact same thing. And again, SO COOL!!!!"

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pictures -- March 4, 2014

I received two disks full of pictures yesterday afternoon.  Here are a selected few, in random order:

I love that she has a "wall" of things sent to her by family and friends.

Just a bit of rain . . .

I sent her a new pair of shoes for her birthday (same brand, different color).

She sent comparison pictures of the new shoes and those that are 11 months old!

Happy Birthday, Hermana Burnham.
So grateful for the sweet family that made her a cake.

And the missionaries that silly stringed her . . .

I love this picture of Hermana Burnham and Hermana Hoj.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The One With F Round 4

March 3, 2014 
Just a silly sign that we saw . . .

Birthday gift from the Adams family
I love it!
We had stake conference this week! Elder Pino from the Seventy came. It is so fun to be in an all-Spanish stake.  It was a blessing to have a general authority to speak with them in Spanish, as well.  It was a grand ol' time.  Missionaries do not usually attend the Saturday session, but we did and all the missionaries sang "Called to Serve."  If anyone is unaware, since beginning my mission, I can NOT sing that song without getting choked up aaaaaaand I'm a missionary, so we kind of sing it a lot. But, it was a great opportunity to serve our Stake and also to hear Elder Pino speak.  Here are some notes I took from the meetings:

"Just like God has called more missionaries to serve, He has prepared more people to receive the message they bear."

"Our success [in this Stake Conference] will be found in what we take, and then implement in our lives."

"We cannot assume others know how much we love them. We have to tell them!"

"If you want to be free, put your own house in order."

"Yo testifico que El es un ser real." (This one has more meaning in Spanish, in my opinion.) I wish ya’ll could have heard him say that--it was powerful.  What a privilege.

I think the best part of the night, though, was seeing all the families from Waller (they turned into the chapel and the little kids, in unision, "HNA B!!!!!" I could’ve died; it was such a happy moment), except for 1 of my old missionary companions and F.

Remember F? He was a menos activo that we found by miracle one night? He then bought us papusas like every week and gave us TONS of mangos? He then proceeded to fall off the face of the planet and be re-found THRICE. Well, he happens to actually live in the ward where Hna Parry is serving and is in our stake.  I spotted him as we were singing and BEE-LINED it to him after the meeting was over. I shook his hand and was like: "HERMANO!!!! I’M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU!!"  He got really serious and just goes: "Hermana B, I know that when you found me I was in the Church and then out of the Church.  But I want you to know that I am IN the Church.  I am in it.  I am not going anywhere.  I am preparing to receive the priesthood. I have my paper (that's what he called it, haha) for the Temple. Thank you . . . thank you for serving."

It was one of the greatest tender mercies I have received from Heavenly Father on my mission (to be able to see and talk with him in person) . He is one of the greatest miracles I have witnessed and I love him.

What a grand opportunity I have, right now, to dedicate all of who I am to this great work. What a blessing we have been given as missionaries to participate in the work of Salvation--for truly that is what it is.

Hermana B

Shout outKirstin, Luke and Kids: Thank you for the birthday package! I loved it. I especially loved the mustache cup and I use it every day. My favorite part of the mustache cup is the human hair that is caught between the walls--so it doesn’t touch my water, but is totally visible. It is my deepest wish that that is a hair from someone's mustache.  Pictures included. Love you guys.

One more shout out for the blog:  Chloe Baker: HAPPY  BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Zone Conference Picture

Just a simple picture . . .

Zone Conference
(Stolen from the mission blog)