Baptism Nov 7 2009

Baptism Nov 7 2009

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

31st week in Spokane

I've decided to do something a little different today. I'm sorry but there will be no updates this week. This week I need to bare my testimony. "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word, that they might have everlasting life." My purpose as a missionary is to bring others unto Christ. But first I have to be completely converted to be able to teach truths and through the Holy Ghost. I want to make it absolutely clear to everyone that comes across these words that I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. That He is my Savior and Redeemer. I know that "there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent." There is no question in my mind that He lives. If He were to appear to me, I wouldn't know any better then than I do now that He does live. I see His love manifested in the people I teach. I see His Atonement take affect on those that turn towards Him, its a very real power, and a truly humbling experience. I know that God, our loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ appeared to a 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith in answer to his humble prayer. I know that through Joseph Smith They restored Christs church again on the Earth by calling twelve Apostles and by restoring the Priesthood authority to baptize and perform other saving ordinances. I know that the Book of Mormon truly is an ancient record of the people here on this continent from the years 600 BC to 421 AD. I know that in it contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel. I echo Joseph Smith when he said, "A man will get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book." I know that Joseph Smith translated this ancient record by the gift and power of God. "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world than any other man that ever lived in it." I know that this is true because I know that the only way to return back to live with God is found in this church and this church alone because this church is the only church that has the Priesthood authority to perform all the sacred ordinances necessary to make it back to God's presence. I have studied the scriptures and they have been opened to my understanding and the mysteries of God that are contained in them have been revealed to me through the Holy Ghost. I understand the reason and purpose of my life. I understand why I have gone through the trials I have been through and the situations and places I've been put in. I understand why it is necessary for me to serve here and now. I am so grateful to have a Prophet on the Earth today to let us know Gods will concerning all of us that live here on the Earth, because he is not just the "Mormon prophet" he is God's prophet to all the world. His voice of guidance is for each of God's children and we each need to listen to him. I know that Jesus Christ will come again. I know that this church, His church, has been restored to prepare the world for His millennial reign. That time is coming quickly and we each need to prepare ourselves physically and spiritually. Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance. Come unto Christ, follow His example by being baptized by someone holding that Priesthood authority of God. I have said things that can be taken to be pretty bold, but "do ye not suppose that I know of these things for myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true." I have studied these things out for myself then I have asked God in the name of Christ if they are true. God does answer prayers. He has answered mine in the affirmative that the Book of Mormon is true. And with that everything else follows. I you do not have a personal testimony of the Book of Mormon it is time that you step up and find out for yourselves if it is true. The world is going to get worse before it gets better and by the time it gets better it will be too late. Find out now. The Devil hates you and wants you to fail. It is absolutely necessary that we each have a testimony of the Book of Mormon because without it we will fall. Nephi said it best as his dying testimony about the Book of Mormon, "hearken unto these words and believe in Christ, and if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words for they are the words of Christ and He hath given them unto me and they teach all men that they should do good. And if they are not the words of Christ judge ye. For Christ will show unto you with power and great glory that they are His words at the last day and you and I will stand face to face at His bar and ye shall know that I have been commanded of Him to write these things notwithstanding my weakness. And I pray unto the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in His kingdom at that great and last day. And now my beloved brethren, all those who are of the house of Israel, and all ye ends of the Earth, I speak unto you as the voice of one crying from the dust: Farewell until that great day shall come. And you that will not partake of the goodness of God and respect the words of the Jews and also my words which shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the Lamb of God behold I bid you an everlasting farewell for these words shall condemn you at the last day. For what I seal on Earth shall be brought against you at the judgment bar for thus hath the Lord commanded me and I must obey." I have been commanded by God to speak and bare my testimony boldly and to cry repentance unto each of His children that I come in contact with. "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word, that they might have everlasting life." I say these things with all the authority given me by Jesus Christ as His disciple in His name, Amen.

Monday, April 19, 2010

30th week in Spokane

One thing that comes along with being a missionary is the blessing of meeting all sorts of new people; no matter how normal, or strange they might be. And let me tell ya, I've met quite a few strange ones! But we met a man this week that tops them all a hundred fold! Let me introduce to you Terry.. When we first knock on the door Terry cracks it open and says "who is it?" When he saw who it was he closed the door. My companion and I looked at each other just long enough for the door to re-open and out walks a man who is wearing nothing but sweat pants, he's about 6'3" 240 pounds, he's not fat, not skinny, pretty broad, about 45 years old, has a long scraggly beard and long hair. I immediately knew that this was going to be a fun door! He starts the conversation by comparing himself to Job because of a skin infection that he has, and in the process of showing us this skin infection he seemed to think it was necessary to show us his butt. Then he proceeds to make a real quick reference to how he has died before, in paradise, but has risen again. Then he started to get extremely excited, raising his voice and waving his arms around and immediately he commands us to name off all of the ten commandments and he squatted and listened and waited. We were caught so off guard by it that we kinda stammered and slowly named them off and as we said them he would get all sorts of excited and when we would get one out of order he would completely tense up shake a little, almost angry like and would try to calmly correct us and then would say continue. Well we ended up talking to him for a little over an hour because to be honest, at first it was amusing to watch him get all excited and prance around and I figured I'd never get a chance to talk to someone this weird again, so I took advantage of the opportunity at hand. I'll try to make this as brief as possible while still getting the gist of it so bear with me. After further questioning we found out that terry was working in Hawaii (paradise) while he was jumped and beaten to "death" he said he was dead for three hours. But then he rose again, but what came back was not the old Terry.. he said that his "death" is what caused his eyes to be open and he understood so much better the Bible and he found all sorts of these codes hidden inside of it (he twisted so many things around it was seriously eerie). All of his searching and all of his twisting made him come to the conclusion that he is Jesus re-incarnated. Because he came to this conclusion he decided that he needed a body guard so he prayed for weeks on end for a body guard to come to him, and that's when he found Moses re-incarnated. Moses is a Mexican guy in his early twenties, he described him as good looking, perfect skin, beautiful long black hair, had all sorts of tattoos that to him symbolized a lot of different things that he twisted around from his bible searches. Anyways, Terry couldn't prove that this guy wasn't Moses, so therefore he is Moses re-incarnated. Terry said that he poisoned them both to prove his theory. Terry died and rose again for the second time but Moses never died.. Anyways, I was starting to get a little mad by this point because now he's putting other lives at stake. So his conclusion was that he and his Moses friend are the two witnesses that it talks about in revelations 11 and that they were going to go over there very soon. The prophecy about the two witnesses for some reason has always intrigued me and so I have done a lot of research and study on the subject so I quizzed him about it and of course he got stumped and changed the subject. Anyways how this encounter ended was by him telling us a story about how he was over at someone elses house (because he goes around preaching like we do) and he said that one lady was in complete tears because what he told them was frightening her and so she said that he was a lier and that he is twisted and then she said that she denies his god, so he "prophesied" that because she had denied his god that someone close to her was going to die. By this point I was sick of hearing his blasphemous remarks and without thinking I just opened my mouth and said I deny his god and I'll deny it three times, so I did. I told him I do not deny my Father in Heaven, I do not deny my Savior Jesus Christ, what I deny is everything that you have said, its not true, you have twisted the truth. He had a very frightened look on his face and he acted like I was the plague, I told him we were leaving and I stretched my arm out towards him and he ran down the stairs to try to get away from me, it was quite the sight. I felt pretty sick for the rest of the day, it was from the fact that I allowed myself to be in the presence of such an evil spirit, one of the many lessons learned from that is to leave much quicker next time we run into another "Terry"!! But, God is aware of His missionaries and as soon as we left from there we ran into a guy that was walking down the street and we taught him the restoration! Sorry to start off with such a weird story, but i just thought I'd amuse ya a bit! In spite of Terry, this week actually went really well. the work here is starting to pick up quite a bit. We found five new people to teach and the Frodshams made a lot of progress! We also had zone conference this last week and that went way good, we talked mostly on the importance of prayer and the importance of getting the people we teach to pray. because that's the great thing about being a missionary, we don't do any of the converting, all we do is teach and invite and then we step aside and let the Spirit take over. As we applied what we learned from zone conference we were able to witness a few miracles take place. The power of prayer is real and is essential to our progression in this life as we each make our journey to come closer to Christ. I know this is true.

Monday, April 12, 2010

29th week in Spokane

Well I'm still tryin to get used to the new area, things are going way good though. My companion is awesome, Elder Errico, he's a pretty goofy guy so it makes for never a dull moment so that's good! There's definitely a whole lot less teaching going on here then in my last area, our teaching pool currently consists of about 4 people. One is Francisco and his girl friend Tammie. Last time we met with Francisco we talked a lot about baptism and he said that he would pray about a date. Another guy is named Jeff. He lives in an RV next to a house that he's remodeling, he understands and realizes a lot of things that most people don't when it comes to religion and the origin of most faiths so that was cool. Anyways he's a really nice guy, said that we could stop by any time but he said that he would never ever go to church. So we will just have to work on that.. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he said he'd read it. Next is Monwell.. They tracted into him about a week before I got here and he said that they could come back so Errico and I went and taught him the restoration, he didn't seem to have any objections and he seemed to understand it just fine. He hates reading though so we gave him a restoration DVD to watch for homework. Alright so I saved the most exciting one for last. Their names are Steve and Tiffany Frodsham, they have three kids.. amber is 14, Josh is 11, and Ashley is 9. Tiffany's brother was living with them but just moved out last week, the other Elders before me taught and baptized him before I came, but his conversion story is really inspiring. Anyways Steve and Trish and their family are still investigating the church, they are just about there too, they just have a hard time accepting a prophet and the book of Mormon, but everything else they're good on. They are pretty much Mormon already I mean they even love jello! So please, please pray for them! Well a little bit more about the new area.. It really reminds me of home, there are mountains all around us, Wenatchee is just this big valley with the Columbia river running through it. We actually live on top of one of the mountains so its real fun to ride our bikes down, not so much fun riding them back up though! For all you Utahn's. picture Draper and Suncrest.. Basically we live on the very top of Suncrest and we cover all of draper so its basically one giant hill. So I'm hopin that I'll loose a few pounds while serving here! But we do have a car from Sunday to Thursday so we are only on our bikes Thursday Friday Saturday. So because we are starting out with a little teaching pool we have been spending a whole lot of time tracting and trying to find new investigators. So all is well here in Wenatchee Washington, I look forward to reporting to you all next week! I love you!
-Elder Burns

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

28th Week in Spokane

HAPPY EASTER!! we had another way good week! We got a whole lot of teaching done! General conference was awesome! It hit way hard on families, it was good. on Saturday Grandma Chris got baptized!! It was such a good service, the spirit was way strong! We made an agreement that as soon as she got baptized then she could adopt me as her grandson. She adopted me, two other missionaries, the bishop, and brother Watson! It was a good day! We all took a picture together with her and all her grandsons! Also on Saturday, in between conference sessions, we went and saw Brian and Dusty.. Dusty was baptized a few years back.. We had a lesson with them, we read 3 Nephi 11 together and then we invited him to be baptized and he accepted! He is shooting for April 24!! Alright well we got transfer calls Sunday night and.... I'm getting transferred to Wenatchee, its about 2 hours west of Spokane. My new companion is Elder Ericho, he came out on his mission in October, he came out with Elder Moleni, they were actually companions in the MTC together so that's pretty cool. Well at first I was pretty upset that I was getting transferred because it seems like I just got here and it feels like there's a lot more I could still do here, we have four people that are ready to be baptized that I won't be able to see. But what's important is that they are getting baptized! I am excited though for the new area, it will be a good chance for me to grow and to help out the people out there, it will be good. Oh ya! Elder Moleni and I played out an April fools joke on the other two missionaries we live with, it was perfect! We built it up over three days so it wouldn't be obvious that it was a joke. What we did was whenever we were around the other missionaries we would act like we completely hate each other and we did that for three days and on April 1st we escalated it to where we were just yelling at each other and I took the phone, went outside, and acted like I called our mission president, but instead I called another elder that sounds like our president, talked to him for a bit, had him talk to Elder Moleni, then Elder Moleni came back in and said that "president" would like to talk to everyone and he said real calmly, "Elders, April fools." Then he hung up. Their reactions were perfect! They were in complete shock.. It took them like two days to finally get over it! Also that's the day that I received my Easter package with my bike in it! Thanks so much to the Lydes for providing that! Its perfect! Well I'm looking forward to the new area, its in the boonies so it will definitely be different! I love you all and hope you had a Happy Easter!!