Thursday, January 16, 2014

January 6, 2014

Hola familia!

Sooo, I have some stories to tell about this week! BUT, I also have a semi-lame keyboard, so this will be an experiment to see how much patience I have :) So if my sentences seem abrupt, that is why!

There is a less-active lady that we have been visiting lately, named Je..n. Her daughter, Ta...ya, is not baptized--so we were hoping that as we meet with Je..n, eventually her daughter will be home and join us. Anyways, we scheduled to share a Christmas message with her on Christmas Eve, and then this last week we scheduled an appointment to meet with her again. We planned to introduce the Book of Mormon and talk about prayer--our standard first lesson that we have with the people we teach. Her daughter wasn't there, as usual, but oh well. We started talking and she brought up how neither of her kids were baptized, and then she says "In fact, I don't think that I was ever baptized, either." WHAT? We had been counting her as less active lessons, when really they were other lessons! And we had been thinking of involving her with fellowshipping La...y--it's a good thing that we didn't! Haha. Anyways, it became clear during the lesson that, although she loves us, she isn't the biggest fan of Mormonism. She pulled every complaint in the book--"Why do you need another book?" "Why can't everyone go in the temple?" "I think that this is a cult" etc. But she just wouldn't really listen to our answers, so eventually I just bluntly said, "Je...n, I think that your problem with the church is deeper than any of this. Has someone in the church offended you?" And of course, someone had.  So she told us the story (I've grown sooo insensitive to those...honestly!).

At the end, she said "I'm sorry, but I just don't believe in your Book of Mormon." I think that my response shocked her a bit--I said, "Well, of course you don't! I wouldn't either, if I had never even opened the cover or prayed about it." Definitely not what she was expecting. Needless to say, we committed her to praying about the Book of Mormon that night, and she said that she would.

On Thursday night after planning, we got a text from one of the Bishops in Leeds saying that he had someone that needed to be baptized on Saturday. No big deal. WHAT?! It turned out to be this 11 year old, Ca.......n, who had had missionaries for a long time but his dad wouldn't let him get baptized until the dad was worthy enough to perform the baptism. The kids all go to church with their mom, but getting Dad worthy has been a problem. Anyways, the family was moving Sunday morning to another state, and I guess the dad decided that it was finally time--so he called the Bishop and told him that he was finally ready (the Bishop has been working with him for quite some time). Anyways, we hadn't taught him all the lessons yet--Sister Ri....a had taught the Restoration, but that was it (sisters before us had taught them) We went over on Saturday morning and within 40 minutes taught him the Plan of Salvation, Gospel of Jesus Christ, Word of Wisdom, Chastity, Sabbath Day, and reviewed all of the baptismal interview questions. Good thing they already knew pretty much everything from going to church. After the lesson we all went over to the church and met our District Leader (Elder He.......t) for the interview. He and his brother Ca....on (who is 8 so he didn't need the lessons) were both baptized and confirmed that night. Craziness!

Well, I need to get going! Sorry to cut my stories short. Love you all!

--Sister Burner
New Years zone activity


Skyping with family on Christmas!

Christmas program at the St. George tabernacle!

Christmas district activity

December 30, 2013

Hola familia!
This week was pretty slow with teaching. In fact, when we did our weekly planning on Friday, we hadn't been able to teach any of the lessons that we had planned. Everyone was out of town for Christmas, or cancelled for some reason or other :( Sad day! But we were able to pic up a new investigator, Larry, and teach him a few times! Yay! And we have seen a couple of our investigators since Friday. We are really praying that this next week will be a lot better and that everyone will be back in town!

Story behind Larry--it was actually a set of elders in our district that found them! Elder Da...y and Elder Le...e came to our Zone Activity on Christmas super excited about a new investigator that they were going to have a lesson with that night at the VC. But, that night we got a call from them and they told us, "Hey, so that new investigator that we got...actually lives in your area. Would it be okay with you if we taught him?" As you can guess, they got a big NO on that one. Poor guys. It went something like this:
Them: "Hey, so that new investigator that we got...actually lives in your area. Would it be okay with you if we taught him?"

Me: "Have you seen him more than one time?"

Them: "Well, no, but he really opened up to us!"

Me: "Well, seeing as you have only met with him once he most likely has no critical emotional attachment to you. So I see no need for you to teach him. I strongly believe that we have been placed in this area for a reason, and we are the ones who are supposed to teach those who live within our area. But we will let you know if we have a problem that necessitates your teaching. What was his address?"
Haha those poor elders! Sister Ri...a was trying to practice saying what I had said after we hung up the phone. I have no idea where all of this boldness comes from. I'm definitely not as passive as I was before my mission!

We contacted La...y the next day, and set up an appointment for the following day, which went great! And we had a member that lives nearby give him a ride to church on Sunday. Next appointment is for tonight! I am excited to see this man progress and change his life as he strives to center himself on Jesus Christ.
I love you all and hope that you have a fantastic New Years!

Sister Burner

Monday, January 6, 2014

December 23, 2013

Hola familia y amigos! Feliz navidad a todos, espero que tengan felicidad y amor por todo esta semana :)

This has been an amazing week! B..n's baptism was yesterday and it was incredible. By far the most spiritual baptism I have been to. This kid is...amazing. He has so much potential! Tons of people from his "school" came, as well as people from the ward. You probably remember the situation--Bishop Ah.....n owns this facility for troubled youth, and he noticed a spark in B...n. B..n would always talk to the returned missionaries that were on the staff about the Gospel. So then we started teaching him, and he fell in love with the Book of Mormon. I'm pretty sure he finished the whole thing in a matter of 8 weeks or less. Each week he would tell us in animated detail about where he was in his reading.

The baptism was performed by Bishop Ah....n. As the two of them stood there in the water and Bishop Ah....n got ready to say the prayer, he paused for a second because he couldn't speak. Tears were coming down both of their faces, and I'm sure many faces of those watching. After a minute, he baptized B..n. As they were getting ready to come back out, we sung "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" and "I Believe in Christ" to keep the Spirit there. Afterwards, B..n got up and bore his testimony. He is such an incredible young man; I know that he will do great things! He is planning on leaving on a mission as soon as he can.

The other day as I was getting ready for bed I was thinking about Christmas coming up, and I had this realization that I am slightly embarrassed hasn't occurred to me before. I was thinking about how, yeah, the birth of Christ is great, but the Atonement is what is most important. But then I realized that what we celebrate at Christmas has slightly more to do with our Heavenly Father than it does with Jesus Christ; "For God so loved the world, that He gave is only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him be saved." (John 3:16-17). God knew perfectly well what He was sending His Son to do here on Earth; He knew everything that He would suffer, and the sacrifice that He would make. I guess we could liken it to a mother sending her son off to war--the hardest part is the good-bye. At Christmas time, celebrating the Savior's Birth, we are celebrating the sacrifice that God made in sending His Son to the world. Or at least, that's what I would like to think :)

And just as I said last Christmas, I feel blessed that as I celebrate God's greatest gift to us this year, I can be giving others the second greatest gift that I have power to give.

On a lighter note, last night we had our Missionary Christmas Program! I was super excited to be in St. George area this year so that I could participate. All the missionaries in Washington County met at the Tabernacle and sang. The Tabernacle was pretty much full! It was really neat. I took pictures, which I will send to you :)

After the Christmas program, I was out in the audience saying goodbye to a couple of the other sisters before heading out, and this little 9 or 10 year old girl ran up and gave me a huge hug and said, "I found you!" I was slightly confused how I knew this girl, but it was really cute! Her mom was a little confused as well, so she asked her, "How do you know her?" And she replied, "The primary activity!" I guess that she was one of the 1000 primary kids that came through the Visitors Center a few weeks ago, and she was in one of the groups that I did--amazing that she remembers me! How sweet is that?

 Know that I love you all so much, and I am excited to get to speak to some of you in two days!

Sister Burner