Monday, December 29, 2014

No Room for Growth in the Comfort Zone

There is no room for growth in a comfort zone. 

I like thinking of it in terms of each of us being a goldfish. Goldfish grow based on the size of there surroundings. And I myself I don't want to be in a fish bowl. I want to be in the biggest tank. In that tank there is everything we need and excess room to grow. This last week we were in a lesson and I was taught in terms of this fish tank analogy. In an ideal tank, there is ample food, a filter, and an owner who cleans the tank. The owner is our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The feeder is the prophet who we do learn from. And the filter is the spirit. If we don't allow our tanks to be clean, we can't have the spirit.  If we don't feast upon the words of Christ how would we grow.

I taught the Restoration all the way through, I even taught the full account of the first vision . . . to President and Sister Brown! I know that even though I was so scared, that Heavenly Father helped me every step of the way. I know he knows each of us by name and loves us. I know that we are made in his image. And we can be perfected through him. I know He is our Father and I know we can talk with him through prayer. I know it's through the scriptures and the conferences talks we can learn of Him and how we are to live our lives. I know He lives. I know that because He lives, we too live. I know that when we learn of Him our desire to follow Him will increase and we will desire to share it with those around us. We will desire to serve him because of our love for him. In time we to will be like him. "When we decide to embark in the service of God, great things begin to happen in our life and the lives of people around us. We learn of Him. We come unto Him.” —Neil F. Marriott of the Young Women general presidency I know this statement is true. What did you do this year?

Love, Sister Burden

P.S. Thanks to everyone for my Christmas gifts and packages, we had a great Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Progress of the Fort Collins CO Temple

Pray with Faith and Your Prayers Will Be Answered

This week has been really good. With that said Monday was the start of it all . . .

Chris, our investigator messaged us telling us he would be back in town (he works in Utah on a oil rig). He invited us to dinner and to share a message. I was so excited. He has such a great family. I know we didn't meet him by chance. We first met Chris trying to visit a family in the ward. They were busy so we couldn't. Walking back to our car we met Chris. We started with a service approach since he was removing stuff from his truck to his house. Although he didn't let us carry it, he instead stood talking with us and told us he wanted to know more. We gave him a Book of Mormon. Well, Monday we went over and shared a message and gave his wife Mariah a Book of Mormon too. 

Tuesday, while doing service Carmen, (She is Catholic) we were helping at Restore, we were in the middle of service and she closed the door and told us of her sick sister in Australia and how she was dying and how she was going to visit her soon but worried her sister wouldn't make it that long. We talked with her about blessings and how she could have missionaries go give her a blessing. She asked us to say a prayer with her. She also told us she'd like a blessing, so later we called the Elders and they agreed to do so. Carmen is so great. We went caroling with some other missionaries this week and had the chance to go to our mission President's neighbors. His neighbor Connie told us to come back (tomorrow) and we should be able to share a message.

 This week we invited one of the families feeding us dinner to invite a nonmember and they did. Kathy (the friend) told us to come by and share a message with her, we also gave her a Book of Mormon. Holy Cow how great is that!

Things are great in Loveland, so many great things are happening. We have so many potentials and have picked up 7 more this week. (we had 17 at the beginning of the week now 7 more!!) We were very blessed to be able to see so many people this week and be lead by the Spirit to find new investigators this week!

Yesterday we were finishing up weekly planning (because we've been so busy this week and could not finish on planning day) and Sister Clark looked over at me (while texting Chris) and says "I want to tell Chris if he reads from the Book Of Mormon it will snow" (he's been asking us to pray it will snow) last night we were at his house helping wrap gifts and having dinner after dinner we played 'Jenga ' and the deal was if we beat him he had to read from the scriptures . . well, we beat him 4 out 5 games. When he started reading it wasn't snowing . . . he read 6 verses, we looked outside and the snow was down pouring! Holy Cow! Crazy! Right?!!?!?? Today he messaged us and told us we are angels because its snowing. The spirit will always tell you what to say. And what to do. "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:22–23, 26).

Parley P. Pratt gave us a vision of what the gift of the Holy Ghost could mean to us when he said:“The gift of the Holy Ghost … quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being” (Key to the Science of Theology, 9th ed. [1965], 101). Listen or Read the Whole talk here

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It Is Better To Be Obedient!

Another crazy week....

I went on Exchanges again...this time I hated it. I know no one is perfect, but I really wanted the opportunity to learn different ways of teaching, sadly rules were broken by this missionary I served with and no lessons were taught. It's sad to be around missionaries and see disobedient behavior. I was disappointed and the whole time wished I could be back in my own area. But lesson learned was YOU CAN HAVE FUN AND BE OBEDIENT vs having fun and being disobedient.

I had the opportunity to go caroling twice this week. It was lots of fun. Out of all the people we sang to, only 2 DIDN'T for those who cried, not sure if it was because they were in pain from hearing us singing or because they loved it...probably both lol.

We had our Christmas Zone Conference this last week, pretty sure I've never seen so many missionaries crying. It was a wonderful day filled with beautiful musical numbers and testimonies. The day was really centered around Christ and we have started a new Book of Mormon reading where we are going through and highlighting all things about Him. So we highlight His names, His words, His doctrine, and His attributes. I have really loved it so far and gotten so much out of reading the Book of Mormon in this way. This is something they asked us to start doing....guess I've gotten a little carried away because its something I've been doing for weeks! I'm in the book of Jacob already. So I'm a tad bit ahead, but have loved doing it, you just get sucked in and it's hard to stop reading.

We were able to give one of our potential investigators, George, a Book of Mormon which was so great. We were able to talk about the restoration. It was great! So we will see what is to come with him. We decorated the gym for the Christmas party and it was pretty great. 6 hours of service! I'm pretty excited about that. Sadly my battery on my camera was dead that day so I don't have any pictures. But I'll ask and see if anyone else got any it was so beautiful. Thank you everyone for all your letters, emails, and packages! I love you all.


Love, Sister Burden

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Lord Puts Words in Our Mouths

This week was a little crazy.
Every week seems it.

 Mary had her gallbladder removed on Tuesday and is recovering. My companion and I went to Golden Correll and ATE. Its something her family does every Christmas. A member had given us a gift card and we went. It was a hard week but the memories we made that night are ones that will last a life time.

This week we had the opportunity to meet one of our Potential Investigators at the Family History Center. While there, a miracle happened. I was feeling a little homesick for the first time in my life. While at the Family History Center helping our PI, I saw a man with a University of Kentucky cap on. I walked across the room and asked where he was from he told me Kentucky! I asked him where in Kentucky and began to talk with him about people I knew from Lawrence County and Johnson County. He told me of a family I know very well. I then found out he was Wendy's dad. Breanna's Grand dad. I soon felt so happy. From that point on I no longer felt homesick. I was able to increase my testimony about prayer, and how God answers our prayers through others. I'm so grateful for this experience.

One of the families we meet with weekly on Wednesdays, the husband is a member and the wife isn't. Well, I struggle meeting with them because he always ask all these questions and I never seem to know the answers and they are always about what other churches believe and hardly ever about what our church believes. I started doubting the strength of my own testimony and through that I was able to see, I know enough and that it's not important to our Heavenly Father if I know all about other churches. I knew my testimony was true I never doubted that but I realized I didn't need to know all these other things. I no longer felt lost. And I had the courage to open my mouth and share what I truly know. Later we walked out and my companion told me that was one of our most powerful lessons in that home we've had. I then realized my testimony was enough. I wasn't alone like I felt when he was rambling about other religions. Heavenly Father helped me say what he needed me to say.

 A couple weeks ago we did service and I was finally able to get those pictures. We had like 5-6 layers of clothes on so we all look huge but I loved doing the service so here they are.

 I wanted to end with this quote from President Uchtdorf: "If the Savior were among us today; we would find Him where He always was-ministering to the meek, the downcast, the humble, the distressed, and the poor in spirit. During this Christmas season and always, may we give to Him by loving as He loves may we remember the humble dignity of Hi

s birth, gifts, and life. And may we, through simple acts of kindness, charity, and compassion, fill the world with the light of His love and healing power" 

Sister Burden

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Very Happy Thanksgiving

The week was amazing! Thanksgiving was amazing, typically a holiday I hate and would rather sleep through - as a missionary that's not an option. And I truly enjoyed it. It was super nice being somewhere I felt needed and wanted. It was amazing the love I felt for others, and knowing that was how my Heavenly Fathers feels for each of us. It was a pretty great experience to feel of that love.

So, the picture of me holding a worm if because of a deal I made with a child . . . her mom wanted her to get dressed in nice clothes, and she didn't want to . .  so our deal was that if she got dressed in nice clothes, I'd hold some of her worms from her worm farm....yes, a worm farm...yuck! Well since she did her part, I had to do mine. Teach me to make deals with a child.

I got myself into another bad deal as well since one of our members struggles with keeping our commitments. I told him if he wrote his testimony in a B.O.M I'd speak in sacrament . .  so guess who had to speak in sacrament. That's right me. Scary stuff in a family ward. With loads of people.

Next picture is from Sunday 11/30/14 at Mary's baptism! Yah! Best day ever! She was so great and the whole thing was amazing! Biggest turn out I've seen at a baptism (40ish people) The ward was super supportive. Mary was also able to receive the Holy Ghost without having to wait until this following Sunday since she has surgery on Tuesday. It's crazy to think she is now a member and just looking back on that day we met her.

Here is the full story of our meeting Mary:

So, since we were doubled in, the only name we knew was the family we'd be living with and the ward mission leader so when we got the home we'd be staying in, Sister Meadows told us some more people and their callings, sadly the ward list we had was out of date but we decided to call and introduce ourselves to the mission leader. He then told us we had dinner with the Smith family. So that night we went to dinner. We met Phyllis and Mary. We decided to share a lesson. Then later we found out we went to the wrong dinner! But Phyllis and Mary had dinner for us so it all worked out for us in the end. The night we met Mar,y at the end of the lesson she expressed her desire to be baptized. So we began teaching her. One day we were talking about Prayer, Phyllis told us the very first time we ever knocked on the door she had just finished praying that Heavenly Father would send someone to teach her daughter! Holy Cow! How crazy of a story, and to be part of it. Heavenly Father is so great.

The next picture is the West family. I love them. There couch is so comfy you just sink right in! The family is so great. They did so much to make this Thanksgiving a great one. 

D&C 8:10–11

Remember that without faith you can do nothing; therefore ask in faith. Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not.

Ask that you may know the mysteries of God, and that you may translate and receive knowledge from all those ancient records which have been hid up, that are sacred; and according to your faith shall it be done unto you. 

Check out this talk, super powerful!
Love, Sister Burden