Monday, December 21, 2009

Letters from Elder Burns on 12/20/2009


Dear Jared,

The reason that my hair is so short is that my mission president said it could be.  My companion is awesome! Nikki is 3 years old?  LOL

Dear Family,
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I am doing awesome I miss you guys so much. But I stay busy enough that it doesn't get to me.   Uncle Sterling has gone through a lot in his life and he has always been able to pull through, but I'm sure this is one of the hardest things or maybe the hardest thing that's happened to him in his life, but as he has in the past, he will pull through.  I know that he can. But I will always keep him in my prayers.

OH BTW Josh Thomas got his mission call to Lansing, Michigan.  That is so awesome!

The missionary work has slowed down a little bit.  It's just really hard to get a lesson with people because everyone is so busy. This last couple of weeks we have had the chance to go out caroling with brother Brooks, our ward mission leader, and a bunch of members in our ward.  We went around to non-member homes that the ward members selected and sang.  After the first verse of Silent Night, one of us stepped forward and bore our testimony of the Gospel, and alot of people accepted our invitation to learn, but not until after the Christmas season. It is quite difficult to get people to church.  A lot of it comes back to how well you teach, and I'm still working on getting better.

Australians really aren't that receptive to missionaries, because most are American, and they dont really like Americans, but yes, usually if they accept to learn, they are very serious about it.

How did grandma brown hurt herself?

I think it's (Jared's anger difficulties) something to do with the fact that its starting to really hit Jared that I am not there.  It's a great change in the Christmas time.

oh, Btw, Christmas zone conference was alot of fun.

I love you so much and am so thankful for your love for me.

P.S. could I get a recipe sent to me for mom's peanut butter bars.
I havent opened the package yet.



Dear mom,

I love my new area in richmond it is so awesome the ward is so focused on missionary work. Elder Bennett is awesome.  He is a legend, and he is probably my favorite companion so far in my mission.

I got the package but I havent opened it yet.

I have 3 members that I am spending Christmas at.  2 of the families are the Pauna families and then the Wilcox as well.  It will be awesome!

I cant wait to talk to you either. I get to talk for 80 minutes!

Love you tons!

your son

Dear crystal

I LOVE YOU TO I miss you tons

My companion is awesome!  I still think you are a nerd, but thats ok :)  Got to go.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Arial View of Richmond, Australia


Richmond, Australia

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Letter From Elder Burns, 12-13-2009


Ya I cant believe I got transferred, but I'm over it because my new area is so awesome I will have to send you some pictures when I get more. This area is a little bit less productive than Newcastle because there aren’t as many people, but the ward here is amazing all of the members are focused on missionary work. just yesterday we had the opportunity to go out caroling it was awesome we went around to non member homes and after we sung the ward mission leader brother brooks invited them to learn about the gospel. Christmas time is the best time to share a message about Jesus Christ. We have a baptism coming up on Saturday. His name is Amul, he is an Indian fellow. We are also teaching a lady that is 81 years old, and she should get baptized by the end of the year. Grandma brown and the entire family is always in my prayers. This last week I’ve had the feeling that something wasn’t right, and now I know what it is. I just kept thinking about Sterling and Teresa for no real reason. Thank you so much for your encouragement it helps me so much and I am so thankful for you as a dad. Let me know how Grambo's health is going. I love you so much your awesome.




To Mom,

After being in Richmond only 3 days, I am loving it so much. The area is awesome. This area is a fair bit less productive than the Newcastle area, mainly because of the population difference. We have a baptism coming up on Saturday. It is so awesome! His name is Amul, and he is Indian. We are also teaching an 81 year old lady and she should get baptized by the end of the year. How is Grambo’s health? I really worry about her. Thank you so much for that awesome talk. It’s really good, the young women will love it. BTW have the young women said anything about me since I’ve been gone....:) I love you tons

I’ll have more to report next week.




Dear Sarah,

I miss you too, and the work here is going good as well. Have you had the opportunity to save up money for a car...? I love my mission so much. I love Richmond, but I miss Newcastle. My companion, Elder Bennett, is kind of a nerd, but he is awesome. No problem, I am happy to let you use the room. You are so awesome.


your brother


Dear Crystal,

My mission is going awesome and I am loving it....!:)

I love my new companion. He is kind of a nerd, but I love him... Well I guess I have to...:( His name is elder Bennett. I think he might like math class as well...You guys would make an awesome couple seeing how you are both nerds. Just think, all you have to do is wait for a year and everything will be ok. You wont have to worry about it anymore.

You’re awesome! I love you tons.


your brother



Monday, December 7, 2009

Letter from Elder Burns, Dec 6, 2009


This week was probably the hardest week so far in my mission. Mainly because we had so many appointments fall through. Ya, it's way cool that there are other missionaries they actually stay in the same flat (a flat is a house here) lol.

I'm not a senior companion, but I basically am.  My companion has been out for a year, but I still am the one that plans our days and calls the members. So ya, I basically am, but he has been out longer!!!

We actually had a baptism on Saturday.  Elder Lord baptized him.  His name is Michael Badier. Michael was a miracle baptism.  It was amazing how we ran into him.  We where walking out of an appointment and we walked past him and he said "hey elders."  It caught us a little off guard, so we talked to him for a while and found out that he had been taught by the missionaries a few years back.  Also we found out that he has read the book of mormon 4 times, and he knows it's true.  He had already had a baptismal date in the past. What set him back was his smoking, so we helped him quit.  3 weeks after we met him, he was baptized.

We're working with a few people right now, but nothing is really moving forward at this time, but we will come back. One really awesome thing we are doing is teaching this family from Laos.  The dad's name is DONE, the mom's name is AT.  There are 4 girls, the oldest - she is 15,  her name is DAN-MALA.  PHOUTMALLA, age 13, DONA SETE, age 11, and UMALA, age 7.  They are so sweet.  Phoutmalla made me and Elder Lord Christmas cards, and she drew pictures and stuff - it was so cute.  The only problem we have with them is they have no car, and its hard to find a ride for 6 people lol, but we are trying. Ya, we set goals as a companionship every day.  Our goal for the year for baptisms in the mission is 252, right now we are at 215, which is awesome, but it's still far away.  We work with members every day to get them to appointments and to fellowship.

Well, I love you tons!




Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Photos from Australia

These photos were provided by Sister Shireen Sills from Newcastle, Australia. She and Michael Gould were kind enough to have the Elders over for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Letters from Elder Burns 11/29/2009

Click Here to view Full Blog
To Jared:
Dear Jared,
20 pounds (the turkey) lol! That's huge! I am so happy that you are doing well. Pokemon cards!!!! That's awesome. I wish I could play. Dad is awesome isn't he. I hate cats they scare me :) LOL I love you tons, Jared. Keep being nice. I miss you

To Dad:
Dear dad,

I am so sorry for the loss of your uncle and a dear friend to all of us. This message came as kind of a shock to me. Roger was one of the greatest men I have ever known. He was always kind and loving, but when I think about his passing, I think of the joy he must be feeling being able to embrace his father once more. Roger is definitely one of those wonderful people teaching about the Gospel to all the people in the spirit world, but Roger's passing is sad and it effects our hearts here on earth, but it brings me great happiness to know that he is with his dad again. Think of all the people that he will help in the spirit prison. Sure, we love him tons, but life is just a short part in God's plan for all of us. God needed him in heaven - he needed his wonderful spirit. Above all, what we all need to do is to trust in the Lord because through the Lord we can all achieve eternal life/everlasting happiness. You will see Roger again, he is not far away and his spirit is still with all of us,
but lets drift away from that now. I can't believe that Jared is doing so well. and that Breanna and Sarah are going on dates and stuff. It's awesome! How is Breanna's car doing? It has alot of miles on it.
I'm not too sure when I will call, but I will let you know in plenty of time.
I cant believe that christmas is so close its sad. Is it snowing there yet?
The heat is nice here its not too bad. I love you tons. May the lord be with you to lead and guide you. You are such a great example to me.
Love your son,


To Mom:

Dear Mom

I actually am having my Thanksgiving dinner tonight with Michael and Shireen. It's gonna be awesome. One thing I would like to ask is how is Grambo? Is her health OK? Tell me everything - I pray for her every day that she will be there when I get back. I pray for all of you as well. Thank you so much for that message I really needed to hear it: “LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST LIVE EVERY DAY LIKE ITS YOUR LAST DAY”. I'm crying right now, that little message really strengthened me. I know that rogers passing is really sad but I also am so happy for him. He now has the opportunity to embrace his father once more. He was such a great man and still is a great man teaching people in the spirit world about this wonderful Gospel. Though we may not see him, Roger's spirit still surrounds all of us and helps us. I love you so much. Thank you for being such a great example to me and all of our family.
Love your son,


To Crystal:

Crystal, I love you so much! I know for myself the power of prayer, it has helped me so much on my mission. The Lord will greatly bless you if you follow his commandments. Sterling and Teresa have had a very, very hard life, but they both have strong spirits. That is so awesome that they (Paul and Jessica) are getting the discussions. Well I love you tons!
Love your brother,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Letter from Elder Burns, 11-22-09

To Mom:
Hi, mom! Michael and Shireen are going to make a Thanksgiving dinner for us. It's gonna be awesome! Elder Lord is awesome! I think that the address that you have for our place is the mission home. Our house address is 5/2 HEDDON STREET, and that will give you a better view. I'll send pictures of the house next week.
We're going to come back and visit right after my mission, lol. We have to come back and visit Michael and Shireen.
I love you tons! I'll talk to you next week.
To Jared:
Dear Jared,
I love you too. You are so awesome! I miss Speed Street .
And you, lol! I haven't eaten a joey and MY HEAD IS NOT THAT BIG LOL!
To Dad:
Dear Dad,
I know! I can't believe I've already been out for almost 3 months. and that Thanksgiving is coming very soon. Luckily, I have Michael and Shireen to look after me. They are making us Thanksgiving dinner, and Christmas too. Shireen is getting me Pop Tarts for Christmas, lol!
Ya, it's so awesome that we have a baptismal date with Michael Badier on the 5th of December. He hasn't smoked in 2 and a half weeks, and he is still going really strong.
I can't believe that you heard from Andy Varney. He was the manager of the Central Ogden store.
We don't have the car now. We did when Elder Kingi was here, but now it's gone. We either bike or take the bus, but it's been extremely hot here. Yesterday it was 42 degrees C, but that is about 110 F, so it's extremely hot.
I'm already loving my mission, and I will miss all of you for Christmas. I have bought stuff at suburbs of Newcastle, our house is actually located in Broadmeadow.
I've got to go but I love you tons!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Letter from Elder Burns 11/15/2009

Dear, family
There are a few things about my new companion that I like. He is an extremely good teacher and a very hard working missionary, and I am striving my best every day to learn to love him.
What's happened with Cheng is that he hasn't been able to make it to church because he has school exams and stuff that happen on Sunday, so what we did is we had to move the date to the 5th of December so that he could come to church a few more times before getting baptized. He just needs to gain the desire to come to church more.
I will get to go to the temple when we have Christmas conference. It will be awesome but its too far to travel from here.
One really cool experience that I had this week was of course to baptize Michael, and that was so exciting!!!!!!
What was really cool is me and Elder Lord where walking out of an appointment with an investigator that really wants to get baptized, but he wont be able to until January because of criminal stuff. We where walking away when this guy walked past and said "Hey, elders. How are you?" We were caught a little of guard, and we found out that he had been associated with the church for a couple of years, but had just moved into the area and hadn't seen missionaries for a few years.
He had been taught everything for about eight months and he wanted to get baptized but the only thing that was holding him back was that he couldn't quit smoking. So we told him that we could help him stop smoking and we would come around and teach him. He has been off smoking for 6 days now, and still going strong. We are teaching him as often as possible. He wants to be baptized in 3 weeks, so that's way awesome. The Lord prepares people all around us, we just need to find them.
One more thing - continue on to read in chapter 3 of second Nephi as well. It's very powerful and I love it.
That is so awesome that you are losing so much weight and making that commitment.
I have lost another 5 lbs this week, so I'm continuing to lose weight and it's awesome.
I love you guys so much. I'm going to email pictures as well really quick.


Pictures from Newcastle, 11/15/2009

Here are some pictures from Elder Burns.  Enjoy.


Elder Kingi and Elder Burns by the water

Elder Kingi on a Skateboard!

With Michael

Watching the surf


The Beach

Elder Burns and Elder Lord

Elder Burns' First Baptism

 Elder Burns, Michael Gould, Elder Kingi


Elder Lord (Elder Burns' new companion) is pictured in the large group photo standing to the right of Elder Burns.

Congratulations to Michael Gould for being baptized.  We are proud of Elder Burns for being there to help guide Michael's conversion to the Gospel.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Letters from Elder Burns on 11-08-2009

Dear mom,
I can't believe I have already been out two months it's so exciting guess what!! Transfers happened this week and I am losing elder Kingi. Th mission president thinks I am ready to be on my own. I'm the only one in my intake that isn't going to be trained the full 2 transfers. Guess what else - this Friday the 13th, Michael Gould is getting baptized. It's so awesome I will get to perform it. My new companion is going to be Elder Lord. Hopefully the name says tons about what kind of a missionary he is. I will miss Elder Kingi :)

I'm sitting at about 235. I have lost heaps of weight its wonderful because right out of the MTC I weighed 257, so that's 22 pounds and its awesome - I feel great. That's way cool that Alan is going to Seattle, Washington. I can't believe it, but ya, he should totally teach Mary!

I am so glad that the girls and Jared are doing well. I can't believe that Mikey got baptized. It's so awesome that he is finally a member of the church. I love you tons and wish you the best. love your son elder burns.
Breanna, I am so so exited that you got a car! How are things going with my car lol. It does make you look freekishly tall lol. Those teens classes are so awesome, they help tons. How much did you pay for it and how many miles are on it? You are always in my prayers I love you tons.
your Bro
Crystal you are so awesome. I love you so much and I am doing wonderful. I can't believe that Breanna got a car. I still love my companion. He is leaving though because of transfers. I'm getting a new one. His name is Elder Lord. I'm so excited. Well I love you tons, you're awesome.
your brother
Dear jared,
I love you tons and miss you as well. I have been hearing great things about you and I am so excited that you are being nicer to everyone. I got attacked by a bird this week while I was riding my bike. It kept flying down and pecking my helmet - it was funny. You're awesome!
love, your brother
Everything here is going wonderful. I am continuing to learn and to grow from Elder Kingi's teachings. It's amazing how I can feel the spirit so strongly every day when I am out teaching on my mission. I love it. Elder Kingi is such a hard working missionary and I am lucky to have him as my companion. I will print out your testimony and show it to Michael. I know it will further strengthen his testimony just as it has strengthened mine in reading it just now.
We actually went to an all you can eat place called Diggers. It was just for Halloween to celebrate. It was really nice and they even had a chocolate fountain. The main foods that I eat here are lamb chops, chicken, pork,
KFC, sausages and Rice and Pasta. It's really nice.
I decided to do that [mark the Book of Mormon references to members of the Godhead] so that I could show to an investigator how Christ focused the Book of Mormon is, and also so that I would have a better understanding of the Book of Mormon.
What the church does with medical stuff like that is we still have to pay for it, but they will send me a reimbursement for that amount. The only reason I used the home account was because it was the end of the month and I was out of money in my mission account. I don't need a copy of my yearbook, it's alright. Everything is going great with Cheng, and he is committed to the 21st. Although the 21st was just a goal we are still shooting for that date.
I haven't heard from them [Grandma and Grandpa Burns] but I'm sure I will soon. Pass on my love to Grandma Brown. I love her so much she is such an example of kindness and love to all those that she meets.
Transfers are today and I am losing elder Kingi after only one transfer. I'm supposed to be trained for 2... oh well, the mission president thinks that I'm ready to go on by myself, so I will be getting a new companion named Elder Lord. I have heard lots of good things about him. He will be a zone leader as well - it's awesome, and I will be able to baptize Michael. He will be my first baptism. I'll send pictures next week. I'm so excited his baptism got moved forward to this Friday the 13th - kinda scary lol. Well
for family scripture study, read through 2 Nephi chapter 3 - it testifies of Joseph Smith. Love you tons
Your son
I'm off now, I love you so much send my love to the family. I miss you guys but not to the point that its getting in the way of the work. I'll email you next week love you tons.
your son
my area didn't flood too bad. Everyone is ok, it wasn't too bad.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Letter from Elder Burns, Nov 1, 2009

I'm sorry that my letters arent very specific. I am always happy. I really enjoy what I am doing.  I am continuing to learn more and more about the gospel, and I am able to teach really well now.

Our area is doing really well me and Elder Kingi's numbers seem to surpass everyone else's in the mission. We always have the most lessons with a member present and we visit tons of less actives. This week we had 4 investigators at church and the less actives that we went and visited came to church as well. I continue to see the Lord's hand in changing the lives of these wonderful people.

My studies now days consist of preach my gospel lessons and lesson plans and I am reading the entire book of mormon and highlighting every reference to God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. I just started 4 days ago and I'm already through chapter 20.  It's awesome and I should finish by the end of the year.

Me and Elder Kingi are getting along wonderfully - we have our moments but we get over them quickly and dont really have any problems. We are learning how to teach better every day.

I haven't had the chance to play the piano yet, but I'm sure I will sometime on my mission.  The days just fly by. I can't believe I have been out over a month already! I'm almost finished with my first transfer and then the next one will only be 4 weeks.

Every day I wake up at 6:30 and exercise and then at 7,  I shower and then I eat breakfast.  Then at 8, I start personal study, and at 9 we start companion study.  At ten we usually start the day with some finding gq/tracting, then we take a 30 min lunch break at 1:00 and at 1:30 we go out until about 6:00 for dinner.  Sometimes we don't take dinner until 9:00, when we have planning and then we usually just go to bed after planning.  And that'ss the wonderful life of a missionary!!!

I do have more pictures to send you I just forgot to bring my camera with me to do email today which kinda sucks.  They dont celebrate halloween in Australia, but we still did we went to an all you can eat buffet to celebrate it cost about 20 bucks it was amazing though.  I love the food here we eat lots of meat mostly chicken lamb chops and pork chops, and a fair amount of sausages lol but ya I am loving it.

Me and my companion are both doing the weight loss but what sucks is he doesn't have any to lose, but it's still going well

I have gotten letters from the Thomas family. Also from Josh Stock,  and one from Jake Bean.

I love getting the mailed letters as well because then I have a hard copy to keep forever and its very nice I have recieved them it takes about 2 weeks for the letters to get here.

HMM what do i want for christmas A couple of preparation day T-Shirts and a really nice Belt because the ones I have are already falling apart.  Get the belt in sizes 36 to 40. send me a case of mountain dew lol its too expensive here.  I would have to say that my favorite candy bar has got to be the snickers bar.

I havent gotten a letter from a couple of people but its not that big of a deal.  I am so happy that I made the choice to come on a mission.  This has already been one of the best experiences of my entire life and I am so thankful to have you as my parents you have helped and guided me to this point. I have also enjoyed everything that the family has taught me.

Everything is going well Michael Gould is still planning to be baptized on the 14th of November the same day as Jessica's marriage lol. Last night I committed for another investigator to get baptized it was so awesome! I committed him to be baptized on the 21st of november which is awesome!!!!

One more thing is if you could send me a copy of my yearbook!!!!!!

That would be awesome and by the way my bike is paid for the used one was in almost perfect condition so I just got that one.

I had to use 60 dollars for the doctor visit so that is where that went.

Send me Pictures of the family.




Sunday, October 25, 2009

Letter from Elder Burns October 25, 2009

Dear Family,

I am doing wonderful I am continuing to learn and to grow from my mission experience. I am having loads of fun I enjoy Australia so much. We get about 6 new investigators a week, some of them stick with it, some don't, but we do our best.

I am so excited that the girls are going to have the opportunity to take the teens 2 class. It will be a great experience and I am so happy for them. I have not had a opportunity to see a Koala bear, but they are supposed to be really cute.

Right now we have three really good progressing investigators Michael Gould, Cheng Yu, and Rueben Sang. Michael is the only one that has a baptismal date, but the other 2 are still strong.

The Spirit guides me mostly when I bear testimony, but yes, the Spirit guides me in all I do.

I love you with all my heart.

To Jared,

IDK what I want for christmas!!! Jared, you are so awesome. I haven't eaten a Koala you silly. I guess if you where really good at it (Throwing A Boomerang) you would be able to kill it (A Kangaroo). That would be funny.

To Mom,

How are you? I love hearing from you every week and I love the opportunity that I have to serve a mission. I have been working very very hard to become better at teaching and it is coming along well. I am still losing weight. I have lost a total of about 15 lbs! It's awesome! I'm gonna come home skinnier than ever - it will be awesome. I have been out a month and a half and I love it here.

Well my time is gonna cut short.

I love you tons


To Grandma,

Oh how much i wish that I could be there with you right now. Your celebrating your 80th birthday IM so happy to have you around.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!. that is so exciting that you where able to have all of your family over for your birthday.

I want you to know that I think about you every day and I hope and pray that your health will stay in good condition.  I am so blessed to be able to serve a mission and I am blessed to have you as my best friend and my grandma. well I love you tons Im gonna have to go.

I love you so much


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Letter to Jared from Elder Burns October 18, 2009

Dear Jared,

Yes, kangaroos are very very fast. You can catch them but it's very hard

Dominos Pizza here is terrible, it's not near as good as home, but I am still loving it here and I am happy your goldfish are still alive!!!!!

love you lots

Letter to mom from Elder Burns October 18, 2009

Hey mom,

Thank you so much for the spiritual thoughts - you always know how to brighten up my day.  I am so thankful for everything that you do for me.

This last week was awesome I got called upon in sacrament meeting to teach the gospel principles class.  It was awesome - we taught about the second coming.


Letter to family from Elder Burns October 18th, 2009

Thank you so much for doing that for me and Michael(Editor's note: I put their names in the Temple) I have already seen a great change in Michael.

Newcastle is a port city on the coast. It's about 90 degrees daily but it's windy so it feels like it's 80, so its pretty nice here.

We're in a city area so we have to go just a little way out so that we can see them[kangaroos], but ya there are alot of them.

I havent been called to speak in church yet, or sing, but yesterday i was called upon to teach the gospel principles class.  So I taught Michael and Deseret, she is a recent convert.

Well twice a week, we have a barbeque at which we eat chicken and sometimes pork.  I mostly eat stuff like pasta and cereal, a lot of hamburger,  so I eat pretty well and we get fed 2-3 times a week from members.

Doing laundry is easy because we have our own washer and dryer so its kinda nice. I'll have to get pictures of the house that we are living in - it's pretty awesome.
I am so glad that you are making the commitment to lose the weight.  I havent lost any more weight since last week. because we ate out this week, but things are going awesome here.

I'll make sure to send you more pictures next week.



Monday, October 12, 2009

Email from Australia - 10/11/2009


Me and Elder Kingi having a barbecue

Elder Kingi


My First Tracting Door

I really was able to eat kangaroo its way way good I loved it.

I have continued to work very very hard and just this last week we where blessed with 4 new investigators. The baptismal date for michael had to be set back because we found out that brother gould had some other problems but we are still working with him tons.
some of the new investigators names are kyla, cheng, ashley, lisa.
and when we teach some of them their families will become new investigators as well. its so exciting the work of the lord is amazing
this is already the most memorable point in my life. I know that the church is true I know that we are led by a living prophet today.
And I love Joseph smith for fulfilling the lords council and establising christs church again on this wonderful earth. And only through Jesus christ will we be able to live with our father in heaven again.

Ya jared my companion knows the HAKA he says it is alot of fun

I am so happy that you got more fish.

and dont say that stuff about dad he may not show that it hurts his feelings but it really does hurt his heart he is your dad show him how much you really do love him by being nice.


To Mom,
mom I want you to know how much i love you and how much I have been able to look up to you througout my life. you are the most amazing mother that anyone could ever ask for.

I pray for you and the entire family each and every day and I love you so much.
This week has been amazing we were able to get 4 new investigators its so exciting.

I love you lots


Dear grandma,

I want you to know how much i love you and how much I look up to you.
you have always been there in my time of need and I greatly thank you for that.
I love austrailia and I love the people there is no greater work than what I am doing now I am bringing others to christ this opportunity will not come again and I want you to know that I am making the most of my time.
Every day since I have been here i have brushed my teeth and done my hair I have shaved too!!!
I am doing the lords work I love you TONS!!
your best friend/grandson

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Written Letter From Elder Burns received 10/10/2009

Dear Family,

Australia is so awesome! I love the food, the people are a little ignorant, but they are still nice. My first week here was awesome. We have one investigator with a baptism date. His name is Michael Gould. He is a lot of fun. He has some weird concerns about Church History, though. So the date we had set for the 17th of October might not happen, but we are working really hard with him so we will get him baptized soon.

We taught 0 lessons with a member present, 5 other lessons, 1 progressing investigator, 1 new investigator. Her name is Ashley. We taught 3 less active lessons. IUt wasn’t really that great of a week. I was really sad on Sunday. None of our investigators came. But we will get them to come.

Kangaroos are so awesome. We got to chase flocks of them around. OH!!! One very cool thing is that the mission president put out a challenge for the biggest loser!!! The companionship that loses the most weight gets to go to the movie theater with President and Sister Scruggs. So we are dieting and exercising heavily so that we can win. I’ve already lost like 5 lbs. My companion, Elder Kingi is awesome. We are learning to teach better together.

Our apartment is way nice. No A/C, but we have fans, though it hasn’t gotten that hot yet. The wards here are small – only about 50-60 people. How are things going at home?

I would love to hear again soon from all of you, but so far everything is wonderful. I love you tons.

Your son,

Elder Burns.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

News from Elder Burns - Week of 10/4/2009

Sorry I havent sent much, I've been extremely busy with the work and getting settled in. The reason I didn't write you this last Monday is because it was a public holiday and the email places werent open yet.

I had a really good first week, it kind of pissed me off a little that none of our investigators came to church.  It kind of sucked.

I am doing so wonderful.  The work is going great I have been able to teach alot of lessons and I am getting better at teaching with the spirit.

The people here are just all around grumpy. you just dont find very many happy people.

My companion ELDER KINGI IS SO AWESOME! He is from New Zealand and he is Maouri.   It's a type of native to New Zealand.  He is a zone leader and knows alot about the gospel and is very good with finding people.

The church here is awesome.  The ward consists of a good 60 members which is kind of small, but they are wonderful.

We have one set baptism date which is for the 17th of October for an investigator named Michael Gould.  He really is alot of fun. He has a really small drinking problem that we are working on with him, but I have a strong feeling that he will make it.

I haven't got to hear any of conference yet.  It will be broadcast this Saturday and Sunday at the chapel.  The buildings here are awesome.

I love you guys so much, sorry for the delay.

OH!!!!  One more quick thing before I have to go is that I've lost like 10 pounds, which is awesome!  The mission president put out a challenge that whichever companionship loses the most weight will get to go to the movie theater with president and sister scruggs. So we are going to do it, I have until Christmas.

lots of love,
your son
Elder Burns

Monday, September 28, 2009

Elder Burns is calling home tonight!

thank you so much for all you do you are so awesome you will be getting letters from me in a few days i sent them out this morning!!!
i wont be calling you till after ten tonight i dont even report to the travel office until 4:30 pm.  i love you lots ill call you tonight at about ten thirty 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More news from Elder Burns

To Dad:
The Spirit is amazing like none other.  Our lessons focus on missionary work specifically.  I am enjoying the scriptures.  I teach not through memorization but by the Spirit.  Nothing new about Australlia.  Well, I love ya lots.  I'm out of time.  You're awesome.  I love you so much.

To Mom:
St. John 10:16  "and other sheep have I which are not of this fold. Them also I must bring and they shall hear my voice and there should be one fold and one shepherd."  This is testifying in the bible of Joseph Smith as the shepherd.  The Book of mormon is the sheep that is not of this fold.  The fold is the bible.  This scripture is amazing.

D&C 42:12 "And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principals of my gospel which are in the bible and in the Book of Mormon in which is the fullness of the gospel."  This is what I'm doing as an elder, as a missionary.  The Book of Mormon is the word of God.

Well, my mission companion :) He is so awesome.  5 Foot 3, 100 lbs and  and he is of Asian descent.  He is full of the spirit.  One of the coolest things about him is that he has a black belt in an ancient Chinese martial art so basically, he kicks my butt.

So we had our Tuesday night devotional which is the one that is the apostle devotional.  We got to have Jeffrey R. Holland speak to us.  Man is he powerful.  I think he will be the prophet one day.  He is amazing.

Well, I've g2g.  Love you lots.
your son

To Jared:
How are you doing?  I love you so much!  I love the MTC.  I am learning so much about how to teach the Gospel.  I'm so sorry to hear that all of your fish died.  Here are a bunch of the stars (picture hand-drawn stars here) that I am looking at now.  I just know that no matter what, we can both look up at the same night sky.

To Breanna:
The  MTC is a life-changing experience.  The Spirit is like none other on the entire Earth.  I miss you so much also, you are awesome.  Miss you so much.  Let me know how things are going at home.

To Crystal:
Crystal, you are so awesome!!!!  I love you so much you are always in my prayers.  I don't learn the accent until I am out in the mission field.  The MTC is amazing.  The Spirit is awesome.  My favorite part is the Spirit.  The food is awesome.  Just recently, I cut down my food intake because I was gaining weight.  Well, g2g.  Love you lots.

To Grambo:
Boy oh boy!!! The MTC is amazing there is no other place much like it in the world!!  I am enjoying everything about the MTC.  This last Tuesday we had an apostle come and speak to us.  It was Jeffrey R. Holland!! 

He is my favorite speaker.  He talked about missionary work.  He is so awesome.  I love you so much.  You are awesome.  You are always in my prayers.

To Sarah:
You are so awesome.  I am so happy to happy to have you as my sister.  You're such a great person.  I'm happy you got a fluffy purple dress it is awesome.  I haven't learned any new words.

Well I've g2g

Elder Burns

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Zach's First Letter 09-15-09

Dear family,

This letter may be short due to the fact that I am so involved in the work.  The MTC is like no other place on earth.  The spirit here is unbelievable.  The food is amazing.  I am learning so much.
My first companion, Elder Da Rosa, he is a very small asian young man from South Carolina.  he is very quiet, but his spirit is so strong, he will be a great man among many.  I have learned to love him so much.  He has helped me to grow.  BTW, Elder Da Rosa weighs 95 lbs, so I am more than double his size which makes us a very awkward companionship but it is wonderful.  Well I'm going to get back to work.  I'm going to the referral center.

With Love,
Elder Burns

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Zach Enters the MTC

Zach says to his mother..."I'm ready mom."
It was an interesting experience, going to the MTC to drop off our son.  It was quite as I expected, which I didn't expect at all.  I know they TOLD me it was going to be very quick - no time to say goodbye or anything.  I just didn't BELIEVE them.
A couple of missionaries came over to the car, took his suitcases out, I took a few pictures, then someone came over and distracted us for a minute and he was gone!  At least we'd had time to talk right before going there, and take him to lunch, and to Grandma Brown's house.  I even went to breakfast with him and his friends that morning.
Now, however, looking back on the day, I wish I'd taken a few minutes to talk with him privately.  To tell him how much I love him and I'm going to miss him.  I know he knows I love him, but I really needed to say the words and give him one last hug.  I wish he hadn't been taken away so quickly.
He's there, however, and studying and praying and learning.  In a couple more weeks, he'll be off to Sydney.  I know he is excited, and he's happy there.  We already received a couple of emails from him, though I'm not going to post them here.  It seems that despite being there for only a few days, he isn't missing us at all...he wants us to send him Cheetos.  CHEETOS!?!?  That's what he's thinking about in his first email to me? LOL
I heard a report from his grandparents that his companion is of Chinese descent.  Not only that, he is very short and skinny, and Elder Burns could lift him with one arm.  They also reported that Zach could say nothing negative about his companion, even when he was a distance away getting his food.  He commented that his companion is very knowledgeable in the gospel.  Good for him!
I will post letters and photos and other information here as I get it.