Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The One with the Stake Talent Show

June 9, 2014

Hermana Burnham's Zone
(Missions are split into Districts of about 4 - 8 missionaries)
(Zone consists of 3 to 4 Districts)
What a joyous week from Houston, TX.  

This week we had a Stake talent show. It was SO great. There are many videos waiting on my camera to be viewed by the world of the Houston West Stake talent. Some of that talent included D. (a youth in my ward) and me playing a song that we composed for the Mothers'/ Fathers' Day activity. He played Violin, and I played piano. It was a mash up of “Una Familia Tiene Dios” (if that is a song in English, I don’t know what the name of it is) and “Families Can be Together Forever”.  It went well and was fun to participate.  

The best part of the night though was that it was a STAKE talent show, so I was with 3 of the 4 wards I have served with in my mission.  O. B. (Waller) was the first to see me and then a few minutes later I hear his mom shouting in the hall:  "Where are you!? You know who you are!"  We found each other and hugged for a longggg time.  Then A. came in (Woodlands) and shouted from down the hall "HERMANA BURNHAM!" I turned around, recognizing the voice immediately, shouting back "A. NO WAYYYYY!!!!!"  And then we both hurriedly walking towards each other to hug, but then, realizing we couldn’t, go for an awkward handshake. Oh missionary life--it is so good! (Hna Jensen caught on camera me accidently running into D. during the talent show and like spinning with my hands in the air to avoid touching him anymore then was needful, hahaha; it is pretty funny).  But, the joy of seeing everyone was dampened a little bit as I realized I also had to say goodbye to everyone. That was not so enjoyable. It was a tender mercy from the Lord to be able to say goodbye to some of the people I had grown to love the most here in Texas. 

Other than that we had some MIRACLES happen! We have been working really hard, here in this hot Texas ocean . . . I mean, air. We had 4 investigators come to Church on Sunday!! MEMBERS ARE THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN MISSIONARY WORK. Does every member of the Church see that? I’m telling you, people, without you we could do nada. 

There is a super cute, newly married couple in our ward--Se llama la familia Enciso. They are both newly returned missionaries and have been married for 3 weeks. He was a teacher at the MTC in Mexico, and they are both remarkable. The two families that came to church were both families they had gotten to know and had called before church to invite. Do you think those investigators came because of us? No! They came because they felt loved and included by someone in the ward! (And hopefully because they wanted to come to church to partake of the fruits of the Spirit.:) )  It was great!!  You people are the key.  Ask the elders who they are teaching. Ask to go to lessons.  Ask if you can give someone a ride.  Ask whom you could invite over for dinner.  Ask who you can pray for.  Ask what your Elders learned in PMG that day. 

The second miracle was with la familia C. They are a family in our ward who has been inactive for quite some time now. They are a married couple with two younger children. The last two Sundays they have come to church and with complete devotion to stay. It has been amazing to watch their return. Yesterday they invited us over to eat at their home. We ate a good meal and then talked with them a little bit. The wife told us of how there is a feeling that just leaves your life when you leave the Church, how peaceful she feels every time she goes to church, and how life is just different when you are fully active. We testified that that was the presence of the Spirit, along with the blessings from Heavenly Father from keeping the commandments. We talked about how the feeling is so hard to describe. The hermano told us how he was so scared to go back because he felt like he would walk in and the hermanos would look at him like: "Well look who decided to come back . . ." He said: "The exact opposite happened." With a broad smile on his face declared: "They were so happy to have me back."   

We all agreed that the feelings of returning to the Church are ones that you cannot easily describe. It touched my heart to watch them try to describe feeling whole once again as they described the joy that has entered their family and individual lives once more. What happened next amazed me. The hermano said:  "I’ve have been thinking of our friend, actually. We know how much he needs this. He is an alcoholic, but he has 4 girls. He has told me he can’t change and that the life he lives is just how he is, but I know that if he knows he is a person who is important to God, that will change. We invited him to come to church with us today, but he couldn’t. He promised he would come next week. But you know what we should do--you should go to his house! Can we all go right now?"

That is the power of the Atonement.  In PMG it says that once people experience the Atonement they want to share the gospel (I wish I had my PMG on me so I could give you the page number to that; I apologize).  La familia C is the perfect example of that! They have been back to church 2 times--not even enough to be considered fully reactivated--and they are already reaching out in a way that I have never seen on my mission—to share the gospel with those whom they love and know it will help. How amazing.  

Is this the gospel of Jesus Christ restored to the earth or isn't it?  That is the question to be answered. Has the gospel blessed your life?  Do you know that the Savior lives? Do you know that God loves you and is your Father?  Can your family to be eternal?  Don't you want EVERYONE to have that same knowledge?  If you are scared, I stand beside you. I am scared and I let people pass by me every day--and I regret it—every. single. day. Those that pass me by? I see their faces in my mind’s eye every night as I kneel down to pray and my heart wrenches that I lacked that courage. But, it makes me better.  

Might we all try a little harder to be a little better.  Might we all stand a little taller and be a little bolder in declaring to the four ends of the earth that "Thy God Reigneth". The calling to share the gospel falls on each of us, not just those wearing the nametag.  

I love each of you with all I have. 

And if you aren't a member of the to the missionaries--they can help. 

Hna B

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