Baptism Nov 7 2009

Baptism Nov 7 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

14th Week in Spokane

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! this was a pretty eventful week! I told you last time about Cheryl and Triston and how they are getting baptized January 2, well when we met with them this week they decided that they didn't want to wait and that they want their family there so they were actually baptized last night, Dec. 27!! The service went way good, the Holy Ghost was definitely present and everyone in the room could feel Its presence. They are going to be very strong members of the church and we are excited to watch them progress! They will be ones that I will stay in contact with for the rest of my life! Jessie came to the baptism as well and afterwords she was talking about how she's excited for when she gets baptized, so we are excited about that because we haven't even talked with her yet specifically about getting baptized but she knows that its what she needs to do! I also had a very interesting, but very good teaching experience this week. We were on our way to see someone else when I saw this guy named Jessie Jones, I saw him through his window and the Holy Ghost told me that we need to go see him, so we turned around and knocked on his door and he let us in. Well we started teaching like normal and we tried to read out of the Book of Mormon, but every time we would he would act all weird and pretty opposed to it. So I decided to switch gears a little bit and teach him more about the book of Mormon, now this Jessie Jones is a little bit different then most, and he talks like this: "ya man, sweet man ya that's awesome man that's sweet ya" so that's how he talks. I figured out real quick that in order for him to really listen and pay attention and understand is for me to talk the same way. So with that being said, I stood up, so my companion did too, and taught the rest of the lesson standing up and talking in kind of a loud voice, just imagine like one of those sermons you see on TV early Sunday morning.. kinda like that, except a lot more animated and a lot more interactive, I asked him a lot of questions and let him teach himself, it was pretty cool to watch him answer all these questions and watch it form in his mind the point we were trying to get across.. so I asked him, "did you know that Christ is going to come again?" and I guess he's not all that familiar with the bible so he said he'd never heard that so I showed him quite a few places in the bible where it talks about Christ coming again. Then I said what do you think, is Christ perfect and is He the same yesterday, today and forever? He said yes, so I said so what do you think, since Christ called twelve apostles when He was here the first time, do you think He will again? He thought for a minute and, said yes He will. I said that's right, He will. Then I asked him about what he knew about John the Baptist, well he didn't know much so I taught him about John and what his roles were.. 1st he was called to be a prophet to prepare the way for Christ and second to be the one to baptize Christ because since he was a prophet he had that Priesthood authority to do so. So then I focused on the part of john being a prophet called to prepare the way for Christs coming. so I asked Jessie, what do you think, we already established that God is the same yesterday today and forever so will He call a prophet before Christ comes again to prepare the way for Him, like John? So Jessie thought about it and said yes, He will call a prophet. So I said that's right, He will!! and then I showed him some scriptures in the bible that talk about how there will be prophets and apostles before the second coming of Christ.. there's a couple in Ephesians and it talks a lot about it in revelations, especially in chapter 11, and many more places, but those were the ones I showed him. Then I told Jessie well guess what.. it has happened, the time that prophets prophesied thousands of years ago where there will be a prophet on the earth again is happening right now! Then we talked more about the book of Mormon and why its important. Then he asked me how I know all of this is true. So I told him the truth.. that I have prayed about it, all of it, and the Holy Ghost told me that it is true, all of it. So I bore my testimony on it all and then he was all excited and said, I believe you, I don't know why I believe you, I can't even picture it in my head, but I believe you, I believe that the book of Mormon is also the word of God like the bible, I believe that there's a prophet today. So then we explained that the reason why he believes everything is because its true and because the Holy Ghost is testifying it to him through his thoughts and feelings.. so that was a really long story and I'm sorry if you got bored with it, the reason why I wanted to tell you about it and why it was of significance to me is because it was totally out of the normal for the teaching style, but we taught everything exactly how he needed to hear it, and the cool thing about that is even though it was different, the Holy Ghost was leading me through it every step of the way, telling me what to say and telling me which scriptures to share, and not only that but it was very apparent that the Holy Ghost was working with Jessie through out the whole thing and by the end he took a book of Mormon and said that he was going to read it because he knows its the word of God, because it is!

Monday, December 21, 2009

13th week in Spokane

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Well we didn’t end up doing a whole lot this week cuz my companion has been sick. But out of what we were able to do we had a way good week! we started teaching this couple named josh and jenny and they have two kids, 18 months and 1 month old, her sister is a member and has been trying to get her to talk to missionaries for a long time so when we tracted into her they were excited from the get go. We were also able to teach this girl named katie, she just barely had a baby and she said that all her siblings and her dad are members but she has lived with her mom so that’s why she’s not a member yet, but she used to go as a kid so she’s pretty familiar with everything and so when we tracted into her she was excited too! We were also able to go teach this lady named Jessie, her daughter just moved back in with her and she was baptized about three months ago and she’s actually Natasha's half sister, Natasha is the girl that we baptized in November. So Jessie came to church last week and that’s how we met her and she sat in our lesson in gospel essentials class then we went to her house and taught her this week about the restoration and she also came to church again yesterday so we are excited about her and we feel like she is ready to be committed to baptism! We also taught Christine, she is on date to be baptized on Jan 16, we taught her about the plan of salvation and she really enjoyed that, she said that it answered a lot of her questions that she had about where she came from why she’s here and what’s gonna happen after this life, she's progressing but she has a lot of health problems and is on oxygen so she has a difficult time coming to church. We also were able to teach Cheryl and Tristian, she is about 40 and he's 10, they are awesome and we taught them this week about baptism and put them on date to be baptized Jan 2! Tristian is way cool, he absolutely loves it when we come over and he loves going to church and they are way excited about their baptism! So that was pretty much our week. I hope all of you have a merry Christmas!

12th week in Spokane

Well I hit my five month mark this past week! Kinda weird.. We had a way good week again! We ended up having five people that we're teaching come to church yesterday, it was way sweet!! Audrey, Tony, Cheryl and Tristian, and Jessie all came and elder Wilson and I prepared a way sweet lesson on the holy ghost and taught our gospel principles class and then we met a guy that came to church and liked it and we'll start teaching him this week! Also we went tracting on Saturday in this apartment complex and we were able to find a few more people to teach.. Well the email has been really slow today and I’m outta time but I'll have more to tell ya next week, I love ya!

Monday, December 7, 2009

11th week in Spokane

This week was way sweet! We taught Christine about the Priesthood cuz she asked why she needs to be baptized again because she was baptized in her old church, so I went with my ward mission leader and we explained everything and it went really good! The biggest obstacle for her is coming to church because she is pretty old and has a lot of health problems, she’s on oxygen and her tank only lasts two hours so we are trying to get her to come to church and just stay for an hour. We also met with Doug and Cheryl and their son Tristian and it was a way good visit, Cheryl told us, talking about the book of Mormon, "I really like reading this, whenever I read the bible, it seems like everything isn’t really all that clear and it leaves it open for different interpretations, but in the book of Mormon it spells it out exactly and its all clear and there’s no room for question" it was so cool! And Tristian, there ten year old son, absolutely loves it when we come over and we're like his best friends and he's always disappointed whenever we leave! Then we had a way good lesson with Mary, she says that she feels the tug at her heart that this is what she should be doing but she’s scared because of all the weird things she’s heard about Mormons her whole life. So we gave her a lesson on how to recognize the spirit, we read with her out of Galatians and Moroni and Helaman about the spirit, then we told her that if we pray generally we get a general answer, but if we pray specifically then we will get a specific answer and so we invited her to read Mosiah chapter 18 and then when she gets done pray and ask the specific question if she should be baptized and join the church and told her to pay attention to the feelings that come and to keep in mind the scriptures we shared with her about the spirit and promised her that the Lord would reveal His will to her. So by the end of Friday we were feeling pretty good about the week, but then on Saturday we get a call from a guy named Jim and he says that his girlfriend, Audrey, would like to learn about the church. Jim hasn’t been to church in a really long time but he served a mission and has been teaching Audrey a little bit about the church and convinced her to let us come and continue to teach her, but she was pretty apprehensive about it so they invited us to go with them to a big nativity thing that the church hosts. It is a big community event where lots of people come put their little nativities on display and then there’s concerts in the evening from different churches in the area and there’s probably a couple thousand nativities you go around and look at, its really neat.. anyways so they invited us to go with them to this to kinda get to know Audrey and for her to see if she wants us to teach her. So we went and had a really good time and we all got along really well and then after the nativity she wanted to take us out to eat so we did and we just kept getting to know each other better and of course eventually the conversation turned into talking about the gospel and she opened up to us and started asking questions and we answered them and the whole night went really well and at the end of the night we invited her to come to church with us on Sunday and she said that she would, so she came to church and it was a way good testimony meeting and the spirit was there and she really enjoyed it. Then last night we went back to the nativity with Sarah and Nina, the two students from Germany and that went really good, they both came to church too. So that was the highlights of our week and we are excited to see what happens this week as we continue to teach these wonderful people! Well I hope that everyone is having an awesome Christmas season, I love you all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

10th Week in Spokane

I hope that everyone had a good thanksgiving! We had 4 different meals! talk about bein stuffed!! Well we had a way good week! We got a call from a guy in our ward to come over and give him a blessing because he's old and going into surgery soon. So we did and his wife isn’t a member but while we were over there she said that she has gotten a strong feeling that she needs to join the church! So we started teaching her and have started to prepare her for baptism! We set a date for her and she said that they would pray about it and let us know this week when we go back! We also started teaching this kid named Roma from Russia, he actually lives about 30 miles from the Mongolian border and said that he’s been to Mongolia quite a bit to go fishing! So that was neat, and he said that he's got lots of questions for us next time we come over, and we're supposed to go over there tonight so that will be good! But he goes back to Russia for good at the end of the month so we're just focusing on getting that seed planted! We area also teaching a part member family, the Cavines family, the dad and one of the daughters are members and he has a son that is turning 8 this month. But he hasn’t really come to church for a long time so this week we are going to tell him that its time for him to come back and to prepare himself to baptize his son, and hopefully one day soon the rest of his family! Another lady that we are teaching, her name is Mary, said that she feels the spirit every time we come over and when we taught her about Joseph Smith and the restoration she said that she has zero objections to it, she said that "if God wanted to call a prophet today, who are we to say that He can’t" we both were like EXACTLY!! Why can’t everyone understand that?? So that was a good experience and she told us that she feels that its right but that she needs some time to really get the answer for herself that this is the direction that the Lord wants her to take. We are also teaching a couple named Doug and Cheryl and they have a ten year old son. They just moved into the area and have started going to church so that’s how we met them and in visiting with them we learned that they aren’t members but just like coming, so we've started teaching them and it has been going way good!! And we are teaching about twenty other people that are slowly progressing, so the work here has been way good and we have been way excited about it! Well today I just figured I'd give you an update on some of the people we are teaching. I love you all and hope everything is well!

Monday, November 23, 2009

9th Week in Spokane

Well, this coming week will be an eventful one, my birthday on Wednesday and thanksgiving on Thursday! Wednesday should be pretty fun, we are having dinner at a members house, then we are teaching a family about prayer and having daily prayer with each other as a family. Then right after that we are teaching at a missionary fireside for all the 16-19 years old in our ward. Then after that we are going to another members house for cake and ice cream! Then to be honest, I’m not looking forward too much for thanksgiving cuz we've got five different dinners to go to throughout the day!! I will more then likely end up puking before the day is over haha!! So this past week went pretty good, we found four new people to teach, and a couple of them have been really interested so we are really excited about that! well unfortunately I really don’t have much time today, but we have been focusing our lessons this week, whenever we talk to anybody, on thanksgiving and getting into the spirit of it. Elder Bednar in the October 2008 conference challenged each of us to offer a prayer, individually and as a family, asking for nothing, but giving only thanks. Because absolutely everything we have came from God and I know that I am definitely grateful for all that He has given me. I'm extremely grateful for this opportunity to be on a mission to be able to serve Him and to teach His gospel full time for the next two years! I'm also grateful for all that I have learned, I have come to a new understanding of why I’ve come to the earth when I have and what my purpose here is, its a wonderful feeling. I'm grateful to have a wonderful loving family who supports me back home, and to have the friends that I do. Each one of you have had an impact on my life in a way that has led me here and I will be forever in your debt. I love you all and wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. So to reiterate Elder Bednar’s challenge, I challenge each of you this thanksgiving season to offer a prayer to our God and ask for nothing but to give only thanks to the many things that He has given you. I promise that as you do you will feel the true spirit of thanksgiving and upcoming Christmas and you will feel God's love for you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

8th Week in Spokane

We had a way good week, we were finally able to get a hold of some people that we've been trying to for a while! And they are way sweet! There’s about six people that we feel like are ready this week to be committed to baptism, so we are way excited for that! Other then that there’s not a whole lot new to report on, hopefully it will be a bit more exciting next week! And don’t forget, my birthday is comin up next week!! love ya

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

7th Week in Spokane Washington mission

Well I hit my four month mark on Sunday.. kinda weird cuz it feels like its been way longer then that but oh well.. Natasha got baptized on Saturday! it was a way good service and I had the opportunity to be the one to baptize her so that was way awesome! Her brother and uncle came and they will hopefully be joining her soon!
we had a way sweet experience tracting this week, it was in a different area so we won’t get to teach her but we were out tracting and knocked on this lady's door named Joyce, and we taught her on the doorstep about prophets and about how Christ has restored His church and we said a prayer with her and she said that she would be interested in learning more so we made a return appointment. Well a couple days later the missionaries called us up to tell us about the lesson they had with Joyce and so this is what happened.. she and her husband were fasting together about which church they should join and right as soon as they ended their fast, we knocked on their door. So the missionaries taught her more about prophets and taught her about Joseph Smith and how Christ restored His church. By the end of the lesson she said she knows its true but still wants to keep studying just to make sure and read from the book of Mormon! So that’s way cool to me that the Lord led us to her right when she ended her fast! There is no doubt that the Lord has a hand in this work and that it is His work and He guides it in every way.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

6th Week in Spokane Washington Mission

Well, not a whole lot happened this week so this ones going to be short. So at the beginning of the week we had two people on date to be baptized on Nov 7th, Natasha and Nick, one from each ward. Well a few days ago, Nick said that he’s not interested anymore, so that bummed us out, but Natasha is staying strong and is still going to get baptized on Saturday so we are excited about that! So this coming week will be getting the baptism organized and all the logistics figured out. Also, this past week we were able to get five new investigators, and three of them have families and they seem really interested! Also we had the trunk or treat this past week, we went to three different ones, the three wards that meet in our building, and it was really good! In the 22nd ward we had two investigating families come so that was exciting! Well that’s all for this week, sorry it’s boring but it will be better next week! I love you all!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

5th week in the Spokane Washington Mission

Hello! alright so when I got put here at the end of September we didn’t really have very many people to teach, in fact it took about 4 days before we even taught a lesson. so we really focused our efforts in the month of October in finding new people to teach. Well, the Lord has blessed us this month with 17 new investigators and as of right now we have two people on date to be baptized on Nov 7th!! This passed week we started teaching this girl named Natasha and she is loving everything and so we extended to her the commitment to be baptized and she accepted! so now we are meeting with her 3 times a week to make sure she is taught everything and has a testimony on those things. Well I mentioned last week that we got another companion, Elder Smith, well he had some health problems these past couple weeks and so they decided to send him home, so now its back down to Elder Wilson and I. Elder Smith is a great missionary, he really taught well and with the spirit, we wish him luck as he recovers! Well I’ve been here for five weeks now and I’m lovin it! we've been blessed with a way good month that has great potentials for this upcoming month so we are definitely excited!! Well I know that in missionary work there are no coincidences and so i know that there is a reason why I’m in Spokane right now other than Mongolia, so I made it a goal and I’ve been praying to find the reason why I’ve been sent here. Well I’m happy to say the answer has come! There’s an 18 year old guy who hasn’t come to church in a long time. the Lord wants him to go on a mission and on Wednesday while we were meeting with him the Spirit told me that he is the reason why I’ve been sent here, to prepare him to go on a mission. I think that that was the most spiritual lessons I’ve been involved with so far on my mission. its amazing how well the Lord knows each one of us and loves each on of us so much, and Cody, that He would stop me from going to Mongolia so that I can talk to him and help prepare him and let him know of the great blessings that come from serving the Lord. I know that He knows and loves each of us so much and so well, beyond what we can comprehend, my testimony of that grows more and more each day as I watch what people He places in our path. I'm grateful to have this opportunity to serve him in His work! I love you
-Elder Burns

Monday, October 19, 2009

4th week in the Spokane, Washington Mission

I made it through my first transfer! transfers are tomorrow and Elder Wilson and I are staying together so I'm happy about that, and we are also getting a third companion named Elder Smith so that will be cool. Well we had a really good week. We found 7 new investigators and taught about 20 lessons. We had a way good lesson with this guy named Nick, he’s 18, we taught him about the restoration and then I asked him to be baptized and he agreed! So that will be on Nov. 7! so now we are gonna meet with him a few times a week and make sure he’s really ready to make that covenant and make sure he understands everything that it involves! We’ve become way good friends with this awesome member family named the Schlerfs, they are way cool and have amazing testimonies.. So we are going to introduce Nick to them to get him some friends in our ward. Nick is in the 22nd ward so that will be really good because they haven't had a baptism in a couple years. We also had a way good lesson with a less active 18 year old in the 15th ward named Cody and we went with one of the high priests, Brother Kunz (he’s pretty closely related to President Monson!) anyways, Brother Kunz pretty much straight up told Cody that he needs to go on a mission, so we had a good lesson about that and I was able to tell him about my experience and why I decided to serve a mission and gave him Doctrine and Covenants 31 to have him read and pray about and he said he would and things are looking good there. Another new investigator we got this week is Jeff, he’s a manager for an apartment complex that we tracted one day, so that’s good because usually the managers just kick us out, but we taught him the restoration and he seemed open to it and we explained the Book of Mormon to him and he said he was going to read it before we ever even gave it to him so that was exciting, we haven’t been able to have a follow up lesson yet but were hoping for tomorrow and we'll get his thoughts on everything, and teach him the plan of salvation. So ya, a lot of good things will be happening in the next couple of weeks that I’m really excited for. Tonight we are teaching the German girl, Sarah, again and we are doing a family home evening with her and the family she is staying with. Well we had our meeting with Elder Bednar on Saturday. It was awesome!! It was cool because there wasn’t any lecture or prepared talk or anything like that, it was just a whole 3 hours of questions and answers with him. For most of the time it was him asking the questions but then he opened it up for us to be able to ask him questions, he said for the most part never again will we have an opportunity like this where we can ask an apostle of the Lord any question we want. So ya.. That was awesome!! But he did make us promise to not really repeat anything that was said in the meeting, so just know that it was a very spiritual experience, one that I’ll never forget. I know this church is true, I know that Elder Bednar is literally Jesus Christ's apostle and that President Monson is Gods prophet to the world today. There is no question, there is no doubt.
I love you

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

3rd Week in Spokane Washington Mission

Well week three here in Spokane Washington! Our teaching is starting to pick up which is awesome!! We had some way good lessons this past week. On Tuesday we taught this boy that’s eleven years old that wants to join our church and is going to scouts and everything, we read Enos with him and committed him to pray each day. There’s a foreign exchange student from Germany staying with a member and she was confused about our religion so we started teaching her and then this last Wednesday we showed her the restoration DVD in German and things started making a lot more sense to her and we gave her a German book of Mormon so things are progressing there. Then we met with her again yesterday for a little bit at church and she brought her friend Nina who is also from Germany and we gave her a german book of Mormon. Then on Thursday we met with this guy named west. West is a rapper, he’s actually really good and has an album and is in the process of making a video. Anyways he said that our visits with him have inspired him in a lot of his songs and that his life is going way better then it used to. He asked us to share our testimonies with him and our reason why we decided to serve a mission and while we did he took notes and said that he’s going to use our experiences. I had a strong impression to share with him Helamen 5 where it talks about having a sure foundation in Christ, but right as I was about to share it with him my companion elder Wilson said that he wanted to share a scripture with him so I got a little disappointed but then he started explaining the scripture and it turns out we were sharing the same scripture, so that was a really cool experience and West was able to open up to us and share about his turning point in life. He’s an awesome guy and we're starting to see some progress with him. Then on Friday we taught a guy named Jeffrey. He looks identical to my brother Phil, same exact facial features.. He’s just about six inches taller and about 100 pounds heavier.. But it’s actually kind of scary how similar he looks. Well we taught him about the book of Mormon and some basic beliefs of the church and we gave him the family proclamation pamphlet and I'm excited to go see him again, he’s a super super nice guy. Well here’s some news for ya about the mission.. On Saturday elder Bednar is coming to do a mission tour!! So I’m gonna be able to meet him and we have like a three hour meeting with him so we are all way excited about that! Well I’m excited for the upcoming events here, its gonna be a good week, we have a lot of good things planned and we've set some awesome goals! I love you!

Friday, October 9, 2009

2nd Week in Spokane Washington Mission

I can’t believe another week has gone by already!! I think this was my fastest week yet! Kind of crazy! Well things are going ok, nothing really too exciting to report on.. We taught a few lessons, not as much as I was hoping, but it’s alright.. My Mongolian is pretty much slipping away and there's not really much I can do about it, but I'm sure that once I get into the country it'll all come rushing back.. Conference was really good! We got to see all the sessions but one at the stake center and then one at a member’s house, it was so good! Definitely grateful for that extra boost, I definitely need it! So we keep getting told that our area is cursed with no baptisms cuz there hasn’t been one in a couple years.. So I've made it my goal that by the time my visa comes through, we'll have at least one investigator on date. So prayers concerning that would be helpful! so one lady that we taught is extremely educated in religion and has absolutely zero faith, she would tell you that she’s full of faith, but if she cant see factual evidence of something, it doesn’t exist, its really frustrating, but she is at least willing to listen, even though everything we tell her she shoots down because she cant see any evidence on it, but that’s just when we bare testimony and leave it at that, I don’t know, I’ve got a few ideas for her so we'll see how it goes, her and her husband are extremely nice people and say they always invite missionaries in, but for now, she is WAY too prideful to be taught. We did tract into some good potentials that we are going to see this week so I’m excited bout that! Well I love you all and you are all in my prayers! I’ll do my best to make next week's email more interesting!!

Love ya!

Elder Burns

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1st Week in Spokane, Washington Mission

Ok so a lot has happened since the last email.. About 8 hours after I sent it we got our reassignments.. We all got sent to different areas.. 3 to salt lake, 3 to Montana, 2 to Boise Idaho, 3 to Colorado Springs, and 2 to Spokane Washington! So I am now in Spokane and lovin it! so last Monday I left for the airport at 5:00 am and had an hour and a half flight and when I landed my mission president and his wife were there waiting for us.. It was me and Sister Adams that came so we got some funny looks in the salt lake airport and one guy asked if the church had changed policy and let elders and sisters be companions.. It was pretty funny.. so my new president's name is Larsen, they are really nice, he was born in New Zealand and went to the church college over there so as soon as he found out I'm a Biesinger he was excited! So the first day we went over to the temple and met some of the elders and hung out with the president and his assistants for a while then I got set up with my new companions.. Elder Bertoch and Elder Itgel.. they’re really cool, Elder Itgel is from Mongolia so I was pretty excited bout that, I stayed in the Spokane Valley by the way, i'm only about ten minutes away from the mission office.. So Mondays are preparation days so we played ultimate frisbee for a little bit then hung out for a little while gettin to know everyone. then we started talking about our plans for the night and turns out we had a lesson planned so I got kinda excited/nervous about that then I found out that we were going to be teaching the law of chastity so I though it was pretty funny that my first lesson in the field is gonna be on that.. So we went to the girl’s house, named Jessica, and started talking to her and what not, and we started talking about the law of chastity and she just kinda laughed and said that it was dumb and made us change the subject.. So we did and then after a little bit she started talking about demons and weird stuff like that and was acting all weird so we asked her if she was drinking and of course she was, so we left.. So that was my first lesson haha! Then the next day we taught a couple different lessons.. Taught about the Book of Mormon, which went really well, it was to this young couple that seemed really interested.. Then we went over to another investigator's house and taught them the word of wisdom, it went pretty well, they didn’t understand the reason for tea but they agreed with everything else. The husband said that he doesn’t want to give up smoking just yet but we'll see what happens.. Also I had my first experience with tracting that day, Tuesday, it was interesting.. We tracted into some interesting people.. then on Wednesday we had zone conference which was really good and learned a lot of stuff then that night we went back to the lady’s house, Jessica and talked to her about the word of wisdom and she said that she would quit smoking and wants to try the church's 7 steps to quit smoking program so that will be good... so since Elder Itgel is from Mongolia and is learning English, he has an hour of language study everyday so I started doing that with him and its super nice because he can help me with Mongolian and I can help him with English, and during the day while we were out and about we would talk Mongolian to each other.. by the way that area is a bike area but since I hadn’t planned on going stateside I of course don’t have a bike so we just walked all around town, which was good because we were able to talk to a lot of people on the street but it was pretty tiring, especially since all I've been doing for the past 11 weeks is sitting in a classroom. But the area is fairly small, just covered one ward, the Sullivan ward.. So on Thursday we had an elder in our district that went home because of medical issues and so since I was in a threesome I got transferred to take this elders place. Which was kinda disappointing because I was looking forward to being with the Mongolian elder, but it’s alright because my new companion, Elder Wilson is pretty cool.. so my new area where I will be for the rest of my time here covers two wards and is a pretty big area, so we have a car but we are limited to a certain amount of miles per month so we've been biking instead of driving.. I’m using the elder's bike that went home.. So we've done a lot of tracting and I’m getting kinda used to it.. It’s not as bad as I envisioned it.. we only taught a couple lessons on the restoration which went pretty good to some foreign exchange student from Germany so we'll see what happens there, we tracted into some good people who have some potential.. So everything is going really good, I like being out in the field talking to real people.. so far I've been cussed at, stuff thrown at me, and people trying to chase us away, but those are always fun, I get a good laugh at it.. Well I look forward to this coming week and the things we've got planned! Love ya!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Phone call from Greg

The last email was sent to us on September 17th. That afternoon Greg called us and told us that he had been reassigned and was leaving on Monday September 21st. He was able to call because he wouldn't be able to email us before leaving. It was great to hear from him. He was very excited. He was assigned to the Spokane Washington Mission. He said there were a few Mongolian missionaries there but he didn't know if he would be assigned to be a companion to one. On Monday morning around 7 a.m. he called us from the airport. We had a nice visit and he gave us the new address. Here it is:

Washington Spokane Mission
Elder Greg Burns
820 S. Pines Rd. Suite 101
Spokane Valley WA 99206-5420

He sounded very upbeat and excited. So send him some mail. I will post his apartment address as soon as we hear. We haven't heard anything else. I don't think we will get an email this week. We don't know when his new p-day will be. We think it might be on Monday's. Katie says usually you fly out on the p-day. Keep him in your prayers. We send our love to you all.

Greg's Mom

10th week in the MTC

Well today is the last preparation day before we take off!! Last Thursday we got our flight plans! We leave from the MTC at 5am and our plan leaves at 8 to Los Angeles, then we have a three hour layover then we head to South Korea for a three hour layover then onto Mongolia!! So ya those came to us Thursday night. Our lesson that we taught on Friday went really good, probably our best one yet! Then right after we taught we did our normal ritual and went over to the travel office and got some otter pops! The lady in the office has a daughter that went to Mongolia on her mission so she really likes us! So while we were in the office we were informed that our visas will not be going through on time and as of right now there’s not an ending in sight.. So for that reason, they told us that we are getting reassigned somewhere stateside temporarily until our visas come through.. We haven’t found out yet where we're all going to but we will probably be all spread out across the country.. They said that reassigning goes through the same process as getting our first assignment, so it’s pretty much like getting a call all over again! It’s kinda cool and we're all pretty nervous and anxious to find out where we end up! It will definitely be weird because we've spent the past 10 weeks learning Mongolian, how to teach in Mongolian, and how to teach to Buddhists and atheists.. So now we gotta teach in English, to Christians.. It’ll be interesting ha-ha!! But we know that Heavenly Father has a reason in mind for having us go stateside for a little while, and we are all determined to find out what that reason is! So ya the next few weeks are definitely going to be interesting. I just hope that I don’t loose too much of my Mongolian!! But we did find out that there are roughly 30 Mongolian missionaries serving in the state so that means chances are pretty good that we'll be put with a Mongolian companion! Ha-ha I wish that was true, that would be awesome!! But like I said, there’s a reason for it, so imp not too concerned bout it, I know that the Lord will bless me! So my next email to you will be in my new area, kinda weird to think that there’s life outside this MTC! Alright so, moving on.. On Tuesday night for our devotional, we had my favorite apostle come and talk to us! That’s right, Elder Holland came!! I've literally been praying everyday since I got here that he would come, and he did!! His talk was awesome! Definitely got me pumped to get out there and start teaching real people everyday!! Everything he said and talked about rang true in my heart and in my soul, it was an incredible message and I'm so grateful that I could be here for it! Well that’s all the news I got for this week, my emails from now on will be completely different as I’ll be out teaching and bringing people to Christ! I look forward to telling everyone all about my experiences in the upcoming couple of weeks and the upcoming couple of years, I really appreciate all of your support and love, it has helped me through the hard times, and yes there has definitely been hard times, but I am grateful for all of you and am anxious to hear how all of you are doing! I love you
-Elder Burns

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nineth Week in MTC

Alright so I’ve been tryin to do this for like a month now but I never have enough time at the end so I decided to start it at the beginning and give everyone a little taste of Mongolian.. here’s my nametag..
Ахлагч Борнс
Хожмын Уеийн
Гэгээнтнуудийн Сум
so that’s pretty much it, there’s a couple of letters that didn’t work so I had to replace them! Well last week my companion and I had the opportunity to teach a real live Mongolian family! it was a husband and wife with an 18 month old baby and the husband's sister.. It was awesome! one thing that got me excited was that I could actually understand most everything the husband said, but nothin the other two said haha but that’s alright that’s what my companion is for! But it went really good, they were super funny, they’re awesome people! Then after that we taught two other Mongolians and two returned missionaries and that went super good.. It was the best teaching experience I’ve had yet! that was on Friday.. On Sunday and Monday too i had awesome teaching experiences too just with other missionaries.. We’ve started preparing two minute uplifting messages for other missionaries because we know how hard it is and how discouraging it can be so we’ve started praying to be able to find those missionaries that will need to hear our message, then we just start walkin around and follow the spirit.. its awesome! Well we've also started going Mongolian full time! its been pretty fun and I’ve learned a lot but there’s sooooo much that I don’t know and it gets pretty frustrating when trying to explain what I wanna say!! but oh well, it will come. We’ve also started teaching a progressive investigator.. We’ll teach the same person almost daily so we're lookin forward to that. So guess what!! we get our flight plans today!! And if all goes well and no visa delays.. We got less then 2 weeks left and then we'll be in Mongolia!! Well I love you all and hope to hear from ya soon, i love teaching and am anxious to be doing it full time.. love ya

Eighth Week in the MTC

Well we're eight weeks in now and only a few more days till we go completely Mongolian speaking! not too sure how ready I am for it but it'll be fun.. One thing I forgot to mention last week is that I was made the new district leader. There’s 7 different districts in our zone.. Two Indonesian speaking, one Malagasy, one Mongolian, and three English so I was made the district leader over the Mongolians last Sunday. So things have been going pretty good there! well if there’s no visa delays then I only have two more emails to send after today.. weird.. and then its off to Mongolia!! hopefully I’ll feel a bit more ready to go then i do now.. I feel like my speaking is doing alright, but my listening comprehension definitely needs works.. my companion elder marquis had a really good listening comprehension which I’m really grateful for while we're teaching the lessons because he can jump right on the answer.. so I’m hopin the two weeks of straight Mongolian will help me out with that. well our lesson last week went pretty good, it was the first one that both of us, elder marquis and i, went into it without any notes and it turned out pretty good.. so I’m pretty sure we're gonna be doing that from now on.. it makes it a
lot more enjoyable because your not so focused on what your gonna say but your focused on the person you’re teaching.. so this week for our devotional we had elder Sybrowsky come talk to us, it was cool because that same day he asked 3 of the aposltes what they want him to tell us, so it was like hearing from four different people.. the message was really good and i had a really good experience during it that has changed my attitude for the better! Oh ya I almost forgot.. we got a new teacher this week.. Brother Mortensen.. he just got off his mission from Mongolia two months ago, he’s really great.. we had to get another teacher because sister Marta, our native teacher, graduated from byu a couple weeks ago so she because of her student visa situation she’s not allowed to work here anymore. Well my time is up i love you all

Sunday, August 30, 2009

7th week in the MTC

Well I’m seven weeks in now! I’ve got less than two weeks left till we switch over to Mongolian permanently! I’m getting kind of nervous about it ha ha. Well last weeks lesson didn’t go quite as good as I was hoping, I started with using notes but then finished up without them, but this week I’m not even gonna take notes with me so that i'll be forced to teach without them! All the Indonesians in our zone are leavin on Tuesday.. it will be weird cuz they only got here a week before us but they’re leaving four weeks before we do and there’s about 20 of them so we're gonna be empty for a little while. It was really cool on Tuesday night for our devotional we had Elder Richard G Scott come and talk to us! He gave an awesome talk and we all learned a lot.. It was an awesome experience to have one of the Lords Apostles come and teach us! and I was only like 5 rows back so there was a couple times that we made eye contact!! well we taught English again this week, its pretty fun because we get to interact with all these new people so its a good change from sitting in our classroom all day long, it’s fun teaching, I’m excited to be able to do it in Mongolia! Part of our visa requirements is that we have to teach English for 16 hours a week, so that’s why we're starting now to learn how to teach it.. It’s funny because we all know it but to teach it is a completely different story, its fun. I can feel my testimony growing each day and I’m so glad that I can be in this place learning and growing where everything is concentrated on the gospel and strengthening your knowledge and testimony and spirit. I know that there is nothing else I would rather be doing with my life right now and I know that I am where the Lord wants me to be when He wants me to be, there is no other time in my life that I would have been prepared to serve like I am now and I know that Heavenly Father knows that and that’s why He has entrusted me to learn such a difficult language and to teach the people of Mongolia about Him and His Son Jesus Christ and to take to them the knowledge of Christ's gospel. I know that we have a Prophet of God leading our church and it’s through direct revelation that he can lead and direct the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Each day my testimony in these things and so much more grows and I have had many confirmations of these things. I love you all and hope to hear from you soon!

6th Week in the MTC

6 weeks in! Everything is going good here, the language is coming along really well, only three more weeks and we have to start talking in Mongolian exclusively for the rest of our stay here at the MTC so I‘m looking forward to that! this past week we started teaching english to the international missionaries, its been a really fun experience, english is a hard language to teach I decided! also this week we in the Referral Center we were able to get 42 missionary referrals in about an hour and a half, it was really fun and I’m looking forward to next week! We teach the 3rd lesson tomorrow, I’m not feeling as comfortable with it as I was last week, last week I taught with no notes.. Well I love you all but time is out

Thursday, August 13, 2009

5th Week in the MTC

Alright so I’ve got some exciting updates… my teacher just back yesterday from spending a week in Mongolia with his wife. He said that he was in contact with the mission president there pretty much the whole time and said that he will be in contact with him daily from now on. So here’s the news… he said that it's becoming more of a proselyting mission, that we can now go up to anyone and start out talking about the church and we don’t have to go through any of the loopholes anymore. He also said that the ratio of Mongolian missionaries to American missionaries are now 2-1, there are 125 Mongolian and 75 American, so chances are extremely good that I will have a Mongolian trainer, which will be awesome! He also told us to go ahead and expect to have visa problems, he said worse case scenario we will be transferred to the states for a few weeks while everything gets worked out, and we won't know until the day we're supposed to leave, so that will be exciting! K so this part was pretty weird and he hesitated telling us but it’s a culture thing that when you’re sick in Mongolia, it’s a health remedy to drink your mother’s urine!! So as you can imagine that threw us for a loop! He said that it is pretty common to be offered some if you get sick! But he said that you can usually get out of it by saying that your mother would be offended if you drank someone else’s urine!! There’s also a bunch of other funny culture stuff he told us about but you'll just have to wait to hear about those when I get to experience them! I’ve made a break through this last week in the language and things are going really well and coming really fast! I should be able to give this week’s lesson without using any notes which will be a HUGE step for me, so wish me luck! Well I love you all and hope to hear from you soon!
awklagch burns

Thursday, August 6, 2009

4th week August 6, 2009

Can you believe its been a month?? I sure can't, the first week week went by really slow but since then it all seems like one big day with a couple naps here and there. I've pretty much lost all conception of time, weeks just fly by.. Well I told you that I'd tell you a couple facts I learned about the Book of Mormon.. so today with all the technology and resources we have, it takes a group of translators on average 4 years to translate the Book of Mormon from english to another language. Joseph Smith had roughly the education of a 5th grader and translated the Book of Mormon from refined egyptian to english in 63 days! A good translator can do at most one page a day, Joseph Smith did 8-10 pages a day and during this time he had a church to run, a family to take care of and mobs chasing him.. There is no question that God had a hand in the translating the Book of Mormon. I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, like the Bible it is another testament that Jesus is the Christ and our Savior. I love you all!

Friday, July 31, 2009

3rd. Week in the MTC

this last week was pretty good, we taught the 1st lesson 
in Mongolian on was kinda rough to get through
but we did it and i felt pretty good about it.we've been
working on it throughout this week as well to get it down
better and get the vocab memorized and we'll give it again
tomorrow,i feel a bit more confident about it this time!
we've also been working on small talk type conversation
and have started working on whats called taxi referrals,
in other words we just talk to someone for like two minutes
and then give them a short one minute explanation/
testimony of God and Jesus Christ and to get them to commit
to us to come to their house (ger) and teach them more.
Since Mongolians are Buddhists they don't anything about
god so we have to start from scratch and work our way up..
but the funny thing is that the majority of them have seen
the passion of Christ it got translated and it was this
huge epidemic that swept through the country and everyone
saw it! so most of them have heard of Jesus Christ, they
just don't know understand His role and what He did for us,
so that's a good thing to hit em with.. just a real quick
explanation and them with a cliffhanger! also another
really cool thing about Mongolians is they are so nice
welcoming that if you ask to come to their house they
will say yes just about every single time and they'll
let you in and listen to what you have to say. so we've
been working on short conversations-and testimonies.
this last Tuesday for our devotional we had elder
Dellenbach come and talk to us about how much of a
miracle the book of Mormon is, it was really
interesting and i wanna tell ya all about it but im
outta time so if i remember I'll do it next week!
well i love you all and hope to hear from everyone shortly
sooo... write letters!!!

I will email to Greg any comments that are made so he can
read them. Greg's mom

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Second week in the MTC

I think I was getting a little too confident in the language because when I started translating the first lesson I realized just how much I didn't know about the language! but no worries I learned what I needed to be able to do it.. but now I'm working on memorizing it all and let me tell ya.. it aint as easy as memorizing my testimony! but its coming along and we're giving it tomorrow so wish me luck! Time has started to pick up speed.. it seems like I just barely wrote the last email... we started doing the call center, last week we did outbound calls which I didn't like very much cuz it just felt like I was a salesman but this week we did inbound calls where people call in to ask about the church and I liked that ALOT better, I got a family and an old man to agree to have the missionaries come and teach them about Christ so that was a neat experience because we were able to work with real people which was a nice change and somewhat nerve rackin too!

Have you ever seen the Disney movie the other side of heaven?? if not you should check it out, its about a missionary named John Groberg who went to Tonga.. well on Tuesday John Groberg came to talk to us, he brings with him a strong spirit that was felt by everyone there, he talked about how the temple is the end result in everything we do in the church, he had a lot of good insight on families and missionary work, it was a great devotional! Its interesting to watch all the other missionaries leave and to think about the day that I?ll be leaving for the airport to head to Mongolia.. We've had 3 groups so far leave in our zone and the elders that came in the same day as us leave on Monday and we'll still have 9 more weeks!! Our zone consists of everyone on our dorm floor.. We have us, the Mongolians, Malagasies, Indonesians, and a few state side english elders, so its kinda funny to walk through the halls at night and hear all the different languages! well my time is running short and I wanna thank everyone for your prayers and your support, I have felt them and I love you all. I love this work and hope and pray that the Lord will continue to shape and mold me into the missionary He needs me to be and into the man that I was foreordained to become!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ist. week in the MTC

Well my first week is officially up! my companions name is
elder marquis, we've got a whole lot in common so its been
good! making it to the first Sunday wasn't nearly as hard
as people kept saying it is.. the first day was all just
informational which was kind of disappointing because i
wanted to jump right in to the language but no worries
because the next couple of days we got slammed with it!
they use the cyrillic alphabet which has been fun
getting used to, we can all pretty much read everything
just fine and can bear a simple testimony, by this time
next week we should be able to give the first discussion
in the language which is kinda hard to believe but not
really considering the rate we're learning, i can already
see the effects of the gift of tongues and its amazing!
there's 13 of us going, 7 elders and 6 sisters, we tie
with the largest number going at one time and double the
amount of the most sisters to go. we had our first
devotional Tuesday night and it was awesome, it was
Robert R Steuer, he was able to bring the spirit and
we all felt it and it was a good reminder that i am where
im supposed to be, when im supposed to be and going where
im supposed to be going. the holy ghost has confirmed
that to me many times this past week.. I love this place
and im glad i get to spend twelve weeks here.. im really
excited to learn this language so i can go and teach the
people of Mongolia and bring to them our Father in Heaven's
gospel to bring them true happiness in this life! My
testimony has grown so much in the past week, im anxious
to see what eleven more will do to me! I love you all very
much and thank you for your support! by the way.. everyone
here gets like three letters a day and ive only received
two.. total! so come on make a missionary feel loved and
send me some mail!!! there's an awesome sight thats free
and i'll get the letter the same day you write it, its
called and all you gotta do is find my
name.. its pretty self explanatory but that would be
AWESOME!! well my time is running out, i love you all and
hope to hear from EVERYONE shortly!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Well its the last day before i go into the MTC and i'd just like to say I love you all and thank you so much for all of your support.. you have all helped me to get to this point.. I hope to hear from ya while I'm out there but if not I'll see ya in a couple!!