Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The One with Alma

April 28, 2014 


English classes started this week! Yay! We've been waiting for these since I got to this area! Woohooo! 

I am seriously lacking desires to write a lengthy email today. This week was great! I love the Woodlands. Poor Hna McOmber has a cough. We met a cute old man named O., and we sang "Grand Eres Tu".  He cried. We had interviews with President.  

But more importantly than what I did this week--the gospel of Jesus Christ. I read this chapter in my personal study this week. It is my second favorite story in the Book of Mormon. So, I've decided to copy and paste the whole thing for your enjoyment. It counts as your scripture study for the day! 

Alma 14 (Please attempt to seriously imagine this in your mind as you read):

 1 And it came to pass after he had made an end of speaking unto the people many of them did believe on his words, and began to repent, and to search the ascriptures.

 2 But the more part of them were desirous that they might destroy Alma and Amulek; for they were angry with Alma, because of the aplainness of his words unto Zeezrom; and they also said that Amulek had blied unto them, and had reviled against their law and also against their lawyers and judges.

 3 And they were also angry with Alma and Amulek; and because they had atestified so plainly against their wickedness, they sought to bput them away privily.

 4 But it came to pass that they did not; but they took them and bound them with strong cords, and took them before the chief judge of the land.

 5 And the people went forth and witnessed against them—testifying that they had reviled against the law, and their lawyers and judges of the land, and also of all the people that were in the land; and also testified that there was but one God, and that he should send his Son among the people, but he should anot save them; and many such things did the people testify against Alma and Amulek. Now this was done before the chief judge of the land.

 6 And it came to pass that Zeezrom was astonished at the words which had been spoken; and he also knew concerning the ablindness of the minds, which he had caused among the people by his blying words; and his soul began to be charrowed up under a dconsciousness of his own guilt; yea, he began to be encircled about by the pains of hell.

 7 And it came to pass that he began to cry unto the people, saying: Behold, I am aguilty, and these men are spotless before God. And he began to plead for them from that time forth; but they reviled him, saying: Art thou also possessed with the devil? And they spit upon him, and bcast him out from among them, and also all those who believed in the words which had been spoken by Alma and Amulek; and they cast them out, and sent men to cast stones at them.

 8 And they brought their wives and children together, and whosoever believed or had been taught to believe in the word of God they caused that they should be acast into the fire; and they also brought forth their records which contained the holy scriptures, and cast them into the fire also, that they might be bburned and destroyed by fire.

 9 And it came to pass that they took Alma and Amulek, and carried them forth to the place of amartyrdom, that they might witness the destruction of those who were consumed by fire.

 10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the apower of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.

 11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in aglory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the bjudgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the cblood of the dinnocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.

 12 Now Amulek said unto Alma: Behold, perhaps they will burn us also.

 13 And Alma said: Be it according to the will of the Lord. But, behold, our work is not finished; therefore they burn us not.

 14 Now it came to pass that when the bodies of those who had been cast into the fire were consumed, and also the records which were cast in with them, the chief judge of the land came and stood before Alma and Amulek, as they were bound; and he smote them with his hand upon their acheeks, and said unto them: After what ye have seen, will ye preach again unto this people, that they shall be cast into a blake of fire and brimstone?

 15 Behold, ye see that ye had not power to save those who had been cast into the fire; neither has God saved them because they were of thy faith. And the judge smote them again upon their cheeks, and asked: What say ye for yourselves?

 16 Now this judge was after the order and faith of aNehor, who slew Gideon.

 17 And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek answered him anothing; and he smote them again, and delivered them to the officers to be bcast into prison.

 18 And when they had been cast into prison three days, there came many alawyers, and judges, and priests, and teachers, who were of the profession of Nehor; and they came in unto the prison to see them, and they questioned them about many words; but they answered them nothing.

 19 And it came to pass that the judge stood before them, and said: Why do ye not answer the words of this people? Know ye not that I have apower to deliver you up unto the flames? And he bcommanded them to speak; but they answered nothing.

 20 And it came to pass that they departed and went their ways, but came again on the morrow; and the judge also smote them again on their cheeks. And many came forth also, and smote them, saying: Will ye stand again and judge this people, and condemn our law? If ye have such great power why do ye not adeliver yourselves?

 21 And many such things did they say unto them, gnashing their teeth upon them, and spitting upon them, and saying: How shall we look when we are damned?

 22 And many such things, yea, all manner of such things did they say unto them; and thus they did amock them for many days. And they did withhold food from them that they might hunger, and water that they might thirst; and they also did take from them their clothes that they were naked; and thus they were bbound with strong cords, and confined in cprison.

 23 And it came to pass after they had thus suffered for many days, (and it was on the twelfth day, in the tenth month, in the tenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi) that the chief judge over the land of aAmmonihah and many of their teachers and their lawyers went in unto the prison where Alma and Amulek were bound with cords.

 24 And the chief judge stood before them, and smote them again, and said unto them: If ye have the apower of God deliver yourselves from these bands, and then we will believe that the Lord will destroy this people according to your words.

 25 And it came to pass that they all went forth and smote them, saying the same words, even until the last; and when the last had spoken unto them the apower of God was upon Alma and Amulek, and they rose and stood upon their feet.

 26 And Alma cried, saying: How long shall we suffer these great aafflictions, O Lord? O Lord, bgive us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto cdeliverance.  And they broke the cords with which they were bound; and when the people saw this, they began to flee, for the fear of destruction had come upon them.

 27 And it came to pass that so great was their fear that they fell to the earth, and did not obtain the outer door of the aprison; and the earth shook mightily, and the walls of the prison were rent in twain, so that they fell to the earth; and the chief judge, and the lawyers, and priests, and teachers, who smote upon Alma and Amulek, were slain by the fall thereof.

 28 And Alma and Amulek came forth out of the prison, and they were not hurt; for the Lord had granted unto them apower, according to their faith which was in Christ. And they straightway came forth out of the prison; and they were bloosed from their cbands; and the prison had fallen to the earth, and every soul within the walls thereof, save it were Alma and Amulek, was slain; and they straightway came forth into the city.

 29 Now the people having heard a great noise came running together by multitudes to know the cause of it; and when they saw Alma and Amulek coming forth out of the prison, and the walls thereof had fallen to the earth, they were struck with great fear, and fled from the presence of Alma and Amulek even as a goat fleeth with her young from two lions; and thus they did flee from the presence of Alma and Amulek.

(IMAGINE THAT. Put epic music in the background as they walk through the clouds of dust. If I could send a video of myself acting this out and adequately demonstrate it, I totally would!)

STORIES DONT GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT PEOPLE. Why does anyone even watch TV? Just read the Book of Mormon!

Much Love,

Hermana Burnham

I am lucky to be following the blogs of Hna Burnham's companions.  Here is an excerpt from Hna McOmber's blog (that I stole) giving some detail on this past week.  Thank you Hna McOmber!

“So one of the families we teach is X and her husband, and her brother E and his wife, and all of their kids. We only stopped by for a quick lesson, but it was a miracle that their kids were already in bed and that all four were home from work, so I followed the prompting to teach them the Evangelio lesson, which covers Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost and Endure to the End. When I started talking about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, E's head snapped up and he had this huge look of shock on his face. He and X spoke super rapidly for a couple seconds and he turned to me and said, "We are members of your church!" WHAT?!? No wonder they were such golden investigators. hahah X and E were baptized as youth in Honduras, but went inactive. X came to church on Sunday! They will be a huge support in helping their spouses and children join the church. So crazy!

One day we were walking down River Oaks and we saw this cute old man sitting in front of his house, so we went over and said hi. He is this old, leathery, skinny, blind man with two teeth.  He is from from Mexico. He had us pull up some chairs and grab some water and sit and chat with him. He was SO sweet. I absolutely LOVED talking to him. Then we sang "Grand Eres Tu" for him and he just started sobbing and praising God. . .  

One day we were trying to visit people and no one was answering their door, per usual. It was 8:30 so we had half an hour and no one to talk to! We have a saying in the mission, "If you are craving a mango, go get a mango." Hermana Burnham was craving tater tots, so we drove over to Sonic. haha! We ended up meeting this cool kid and had a really great conversation with him about the church.

Church as a missionary is so crazy. I can't wait to come home and actually sit and enjoy church. haha We stand at the doors and greet everyone that walks in, then we ran up to the stand to sing prelude music with the ward choir, then we ran down to sit with our investigators and less-actives that came (YAY!), then we whispered to them everything that was going on, then we ran up to sing another song with the choir, then we finished whispering everything for the rest of sacrament meeting, then we herded them all into the next room for class, then we ran and did singing time in junior primary, then we ran and herded them to Relief Society and Elders Quorum, then we ran and led singing time in senior primary, then we ran and made a list for relief society to sign up to feed us, then we ran and talked to the Stake President, then we ran and picked up the food a member made for us out in her car, then we ran back in and tried to get all of the right kids back to the right parents and find our investigators, and then we have to thank everyone who signed up to feed us and say goodbye to everyone. It is MADNESS.   

It was so amazing to have our investigator W at church! He is so ready! He loved Sacrament meeting, and the Stake President found us after Sunday School and told us to get him a baptismal date right after church, so we were stoked! But when we walked in to the end of Elder's Quorum, we found him totally surrounded by people all trying to talk to him and our ward mission leader was trying to pry open the doors of the baptismal font... LITERALLY. Needless to say, he is overwhelmed and will not be setting a date any time soon.”

Sunday, April 27, 2014


April 27, 2014
Hermana Burnham's Mission President will be released soon.  Her district, and a few others, had their final interviews with the President this last week.  Here are some pictures I took from the mission blog.
Hermana McOmber y Hermana Burnham

Hermana Burnham's District
(Her district is comprised of 6 missionary companionships)

The Sisters in her district
(Third from left is her former companion, Hermana Durham)
(Hna McOmber is second from the right.  Hna Burnham is on the far right.)

Monday, April 21, 2014

The One Where Pat and Hannah Showed Up At My House

April 20, 2014

Patrick, Hannah and Maeve Hervey!

My title speaks for itself—ya’ll are the best.  Nobody else get any big ideas! Only Patrick and Hannah are allowed to show up at my house from now on [mostly because of Maeve ;)].
This week was so amazing!  We are having so many amazing miracles here in the Woodlands—just one after the other. This week we were walking down the street and a woman just yells "Quieras coka?" I reply:  "Claro!" We walk to her birthday party and greet her family of like 20 people. [She says:] "Cual quieras mi vida?  y cuando va a regresar para ensenarme?"  [When are you coming back to teach me?] Whenever you want, ma’am! Stuff like that has just been happening like crazy and it has been so miraculous.

I also got a free Coke (I never drank coke before my mission. . . . If you eat spicy food, you must have a coke to go with it.  That is just a way of life.  If chicken, rice, beans and chile are presented, a coke, as well, must be presented. Rule #3674 of life.) 

Onto a different note: There is a woman I know who did some things she shouldn’t have done and had to go through the repentance process(who she is and what she did aren’t important.) She has lived the last 2 years of her life in complete dedication to the Lord and His church. She has been completely faithful and active. She has also lived the last 2 years of her life without the sacrament and without being able to participate in any way at church. She feeds us every single week even though she is a single mother with 4 children and limited funds. I love and admire her.  

This week she participated in the sacrament for the first time in 2 years and gave the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting.  My eyes filled with tears as I thought of the power of the Atonement and the role that Jesus Christ plays in our daily lives--the power to cleanse, to make one clean, the heal and to perfect. She came down from the podium and we hugged.  I whispered:  "You did it. Congratulations."  She whispered back: "Thank you. Thank you." 

The Lord lives. Because He lives we can be made whole. We can change. We can be better. There is no greater message that I share with the world every day than that of our Savior.  

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 

That promise is real. I can testify of it because I have experienced it. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.   

Love, Sister Alivia Burnham
We found kittens!

Hno Morales.
This man changed my life. The qualities for my future husband changed from "those listed in the Book of Mormon about Moroni" to "Hno Morales". I met him this week on exchanges in Oakcrest. I adore him.

I just learned that my camera has great editing features!

Hermana Burnham y Hermana McOmber
Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The One Where I Dislocated my Pinky

April 14, 2014 

Several days later
Only the bruising remains
Can a person even dislocate a pinky? I don't know. I know it was bent in directions it wasn't supposed to and I pushed it back into place, but it isn't broken (I assume; I can bend it and everything), so that is probably a dislocation of some sort?

It was during a service project. I was placing bricks around this garden area and I dropped one brick that then landed on another brick with my pinky sandwiched in the middle. How exactly my pinky made it in there I am not sure because I have the smallest pinky fingers mayyybeee on the whole planet earth.  Like, they stopped growing around age 5 and look so out of place on my hands. So, how my little, tiny pinky managed its way in there is beyond me. I will attach pictures for your enjoyment.

Other than dislocating my pinky finger (I’m so embarrassed), this week I also discovered Blue Bell "Southern Peach Cobbler" ice cream……drool.  So good.  I was also thinking at one point about Dad and how he would tell me stories about weird things he would make himself to eat on the mission.  This week, as I thought over what I had prepared for myself, I thought, "yeah . . . I totally understand this now."  When all you have in your fridge is lunchmeat ham, tortillas, pickles and chick-fil-a sauce--you make it work! Haha. I love being a missionary! (Don't worry Mom, that isn't all I eat.)

This week was a phenomenal one. We had some really amazing miracles--so many that I can’t tell them all here on this one email.  But, I will share the one of E.

E. is someone that the Sisters before us had found. He got passed off to Elders and then eventually stopped being contacted and taught. I had heard his name once or twice, but had never talked with him or met him. This week we were sitting in our car getting ready to pray before we headed into a lesson and a man walks past our car.  He then walks backwards until he can see into our windows and then comes up and knocks on our window, scaring Hna McOmber half to death (he is a little rough looking). We roll down the window and he says:  "Are you the girls from the store?"  Not really knowing what he was referring too, but assuming we were indeed the same people, we affirmed.  He goes:  "Are you the ones from the Church with the man and the hill...and the light...and...I can’t really remember".   I reply:  "Joseph Smith?"  "Yes! Yes! Jose Smith! That is his name! I want to learn about your church", he says back. "We can help you with that", I replied.  We set a return appointment and anxiously waited for the end of the week to teach him.
However, he is a single man and he lives at the very end of a rather worrisome street in our area, so we could not, nor did we want to, go alone. But, Heavenly Father, and His infinite mercy several weeks earlier, provided a new family in our ward (La Familia R.) who live 3 trailers down from E. and have a son on a mission and are SUPER gung-ho about missionary work! So we had E. come to their home and we taught the Resturacion and it was so powerful. At the end of the lesson he said:  "I saw you two leaving the store and I was going to get your attention, but you (pointing to Hna McOmber) had already got in the car and you (pointing to me) were standing behind the car . . . twirling or dancing, I’m not sure (how classic Alivia is that, hahaha), but I just knew that I would see you again. I don't know why, but I just knew I would. And then not only did I see you again, but it was that same day! Just a few hours later. That is why I knocked on the window of your car." The Lord works in mysterious ways. I love being a missionary!!!

This Sunday is Easter.

The Savior lives. He is Risen! What words are more joyous?!

I love you all!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The One with the Baby Squirrel at General Conference

April 7, 2014

Baby Squirrel

For real . . . baby squirrel
My title is a little deceiving. There was no squirrel at general conference; or, at least if there was, I don’t know about it.  But, I needed to figure out a way to squeeze two great things into one title.

1. Baby Squirrel. This week I caught a baby squirrel. Yes, I did indeed. It was the COOLEST THING EVER.  So, here is the story.  Monday night we have an appointment for a noche de hogar and we got lost trying to find the member’s house. We were stopped at a stop sign talking to the Hermana on the phone when I look out the window and see a very small creature crawl from a bush and underneath our car.  I am like "HNA MCOMBER DON’T DRIVE!!!!! DON’T DRIVE ANYWHERE!" Hurriedly, I jump out of the car and lie on the ground (in my dress, mind you) to see underneath the car where this little critter had gone. He was sitting right under my seat in the car. It was a baby squirrel. Like a BABY squirrel. Scared that he would bite me or freak out, I grab a piece of paper and try to scoot him from underneath the car. He doesn’t react at all to me touching him with the paper, so I think, okay, I am going to pick him up. However, I didn’t have a jacket or a scarf or anything to pick him up with, so I grab a plastic bag—still  scared he is going to bite me. I begin to pick him up, but can’t grab him with the bag, and he isn’t trying to bite me or anything, so I just decided to grab him with my hands. As soon as I had him in my hands, he fell asleep.  People . . . I was holding a sleeping, baby squirrel in my hands. I could’ve died.  My life is complete.  It was the greatest moment of my whole life.  

Being the person I am, I could not leave the baby squirrel......clearly. So I bought it to our NDH! The Hermana was not too pleased with me, haha; but, her husband loved it.  Her husband isn’t a member, so we totally bonded over the squirrel--everything happens for a reason. Well, we left him in a warm box to sleep outside while we had our NDH and then afterwards I brought him back to his tree. I was very concerned about his survival and might have shed tears over this little squirrel, haha, but we placed him at the base of the tree and he scurried up it very fluently and calmed my fears about his survival. Sometimes, the Lord sends tender mercies to me by means of little baby animals. :)

2. General Conference. How great was that!?  I loved every second of it. I felt more than ever that Heavenly Father was aware of me personally. I received so many great answers. I found a redetermination to be better and to do better. I was deeply impacted by the talks of Elder Zwick (remember when Dad made me pray in front of him when I was like 6, and it was the most terrifying moment of my life...ha), Elder Bednar, President Packer and President Utchdorf.

I love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I know He lives! What great peace that brings into someone's life. This is His Church here on the earth. I am so full of JOY! :)

Hermana B

PS--Aunt Kaly: THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE! I love it all! Love you!