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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Picture of Elder Burns from Armidale

Letter from Elder Burns, 11-28-2010

Dear family,


This week has been a good week Tuesday we had service with the evitts and that is when I cut my leg and BTW my leg is doing fine.

[Got this from Zach earlier this week:

i cut my leg today and had to get stitches but everything is ok the attached pictures are of my leg before


]

Yes margaret got baptized about 6 months ago. She is still active in the church so that is Great!!! 120 WPM is insane I could never type that fast I wish That I could. It Didnt really turn out that well because Brother Maher was sick so they cancelled on us which sucked really really bad so I didnt really Have a Thanksgiving. I havent really asked president why he sent me back here but I just accepted it and am doing my best to work hard. You pronounce his name TOOO'OOO'OOO. I have Been able to follow up with a few people that I taught before one of their names is berry He is really old and funny Another one is teleah and another guy named rob they are all really cool berry came to church last week and so did rob so that was awesome. As for the truck I think you should go with the Toyota Because you have had such great luck with them toyotas are worth the price. If possible it would be smart to get a Diesel truck because they are much better for pulling trailers. The GMC trucks are way nice but they are a little too big and kinda boxy the toyota one looks better. There was a car show in coffs harbour so that is where all of the photos came from. I love you guys so much thank you for everything that you have done for me and the support throughout my life love ya Heaps.

Well Im out of time for now but I will talk more next week hope you like the talk.

ELDER BURNS

This is my 20 minute talk for sacrament meeting!!

Good morning brothers and sisters... I need to repent the greatest sin I need to repent of is that I eat too much!!! When President Evitt gave me this talk he told me to speak on whatever the spirit directs,

And I felt like I should speak on repentance. First off repentance is only made possible because of Jesus Christ. Although Jesus did suffer for us that does not eliminate Our personal responsibility to act.

The prophet Nephi tells us what we must do, this scripture is found in 2Nephi 25:23 it states

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

Therefore we must act in order to be acted upon through forgiveness. First I might ask what is repentance?

Repentance is one of the first principles of the gospel and is essential to our temporal and eternal happiness. It is much more than just acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart that gives us a fresh view about God, about ourselves, and about the world. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments.

Now I might ask why?

The Lord has declared that "no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven" (Alma 11:37). Our sins make us unclean—unworthy to return and dwell in the presence of our Heavenly Father. They also bring anguish to our soul in this life.

Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our Father in Heaven has provided the only way for us to be forgiven of our sins . Jesus Christ suffered the penalty for our sins so we can be forgiven if we sincerely repent. As we repent and rely on His saving grace, we will be cleansed from sin.

In a 1995 Ensign article Richard G Scott gives an example of this life this is what he said.

“Recently, while traveling on an unfamiliar road, I encountered a large temporary sign declaring Rough Road Ahead, and indeed it was. Had I not been warned, that experience would have been disastrous. Life is like that. It’s full of rough spots. Some are tests to make us stronger. Others result from our own disobedience. Helpful warnings in our personal life can also save us from disaster. A damaged road presents the same obstacles to every traveler until others repair it. The highway of life is different. Each one of us encounters unique challenges meant for growth. Also, our own bad choices can put more barriers in the path. Yet we have the capacity to smooth out the way, to fill in the depressions, and to beautify our course. The process is called repentance; the destination is forgiveness. If you have ignored warnings and your life has been damaged or disabled by a rough road, there is help available. Through that help you can renew and rebuild your damaged life. You can start over again and change your course from a downward, twisting, disappointing path to a superhighway to peace and happiness. I want to help you find that relief. To do that it is necessary to give you some background information that will make the remedy more logical and the steps to healing more meaningful.

Every incorrect choice we make, every sin we commit is a violation of eternal law. That violation brings negative results we generally soon recognize. There are also other consequences of our acts of which we may not be conscious. They are nonetheless real. They can have a tremendous effect on the quality of our life here and most certainly will powerfully affect it hereafter. We can do nothing of ourselves to satisfy the demands of justice for a broken eternal law. Yet, unless the demands of justice are paid, each of us will suffer endless negative consequences”.

It is only through Jesus Christ that we can repent. I would now like to ask which of us is not in Need of the miracle of repentance?

Whether your life is lightly blemished or heavily disfigured from mistakes, the principles of recovery are the same. The length and severity of the treatments are conditioned to fit the circumstances. Our goal surely must be forgiveness. The only possible path to that goal is repentance, for it is written: “There is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. …

“The Lord … [will] not come to redeem [His people] in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.

“And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance.” (Helaman 5:9-11)

Obedience and faith in the Savior give you power to resist temptation. Helaman taught: “It is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, … when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to … endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, … whereon if men build they cannot fall.”(Helaman 5:12)

Nephi tells us how the lord will bless us in (1 Nephi 7:12).

Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.

Brothers and sisters let us be faithful to him because that is what he asks of us.

Forgiveness comes through repentance. What is repentance? How is it accomplished? What are its consequences? These may seem to be simple questions, but it is clear that many of us do not know how to repent.

In The Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball gives a superb guide to forgiveness through repentance. It has helped many find their way back. He identifies five essential elements of repentance.

1.Sorrow for sin. Study and ponder to determine how serious the Lord defines your transgression to be. That will bring healing sorrow and remorse. It will also bring a sincere desire for change and a willingness to submit to every requirement for forgiveness. Alma taught, “Justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.”

My favourite experience of someone striving to receive forgiveness is found in the book of (Enos 1:2-8)

And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.

Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.

And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.

And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

And I said: Lord, how is it done?

And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

2. Abandonment of sin. This is an unyielding, permanent resolve to not repeat the transgression. By keeping this commitment, the bitter aftertaste of that sin need not be experienced again. Remember: “But unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return.” Joseph Smith declared: “Repentance is a thing that cannot be trifled with every day. Daily transgression and daily repentance is not … pleasing in the sight of God.”

3. Confession of sin. You always need to confess your sins to the Lord. If they are serious transgressions, such as immorality, they need to be confessed to a bishop or stake president. Please understand that confession is not repentance. It is an essential step, but is not of itself adequate. Partial confession by mentioning lesser mistakes will not help you resolve a more serious, undisclosed transgression. Essential to forgiveness is a willingness to fully disclose to the Lord and, where necessary, His priesthood judge all that you have done. Remember, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

4. Restitution for sin. You must restore as far as possible all that which is stolen, damaged, or defiled. Willing restitution is concrete evidence to the Lord that you are committed to do all you can to repent.

5. Obedience to all the commandments. Full obedience brings the complete power of the gospel into your life with strength to focus on the abandonment of specific sins. It includes things you might not initially consider part of repentance, such as attending meetings, paying tithing, giving service, and forgiving others. The Lord said: “He that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.”

Richard G. Scott states that He would add a 6th step and that is

6.Recognition of the Savior. Of all the necessary steps to repentance, I testify that the most critically important is for you to have a conviction that forgiveness comes because of the Redeemer. It is essential to know that only on His terms can you be forgiven. Witness Alma’s declaration: “I was … in the most bitter pain and anguish of soul; and never, until I did cry out unto the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy, did I receive a remission of my sins. But … I did cry unto him and I did find peace to my soul.” You will be helped as you exercise faith in Jesus Christ. at means you trust Him and you trust His teachings. Satan would have you believe that serious transgression cannot be entirely overcome. The Savior gave His life so that the effects of all transgression can be put behind us, save the shedding of innocent blood and the denial of the Holy Ghost.

The fruit of true repentance is forgiveness, which opens the door to receive all of the covenants and ordinances provided on this earth and to enjoy the resulting blessings. When a repentant soul is baptized, all former sins are forgiven and need not be remembered. When repentance is full and one has been cleansed, there comes a new vision of life and its glorious possibilities. How marvelous the promise of the Lord: “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” The Lord is and ever will be faithful to His words.

Do not take comfort in the fact that your transgressions are not known by others. That is like an ostrich with his head buried in the sand. He sees only darkness and feels comfortably hidden. In reality he is ridiculously conspicuous. Likewise our every act is seen by our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son. They know everything about us.

If you have seriously transgressed, you will not find any lasting satisfaction or comfort in what you have done. Excusing transgression with a cover-up may appear to fix the problem, but it does not. The tempter is intent on making public your most embarrassing acts at the most harmful time. Lies weave a pattern that is ever more confining and becomes a trap that Satan will spring to your detriment.

Sometimes the steps of repentance are initially difficult and painful, like the cleansing of a soiled garment. Yet, they produce purity, peace of mind, self-respect, hope, and finally, a new person with a renewed life and abundance of opportunity.

This scripture will help you know what to do: “Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, … because of their yielding their hearts unto God.”

Brothers and sisters I would ask are you now doing things that you know are wrong? Do you fill your mind with unclean thoughts? Does your conscience tell you that you need to repent? We need to do all of ourselves a favor and not wait. Brothers and sisters Repent Now!!!! dont wait until later the road will be much harder and longer. Make the changes in your life to bring you closer to your savior Now!!!

This Is my testimony That I know with all of my heart that the only way back to god is through our savior Jesus Christ and I know that he lives and loves all of us. I know that Joseph smith is and was a true prophet of god in the latter days and that Thomas S. Monson is gods living prophet on the earth today I cant deny It and I never will. My call to Australia Has brought me so much happiness It truly has been a call from god. Throughout my mission I have never done anything to break the trust that you as members of the church have in us as missionaries. As I have come to learn more and more about my savior Jesus Christ on my mission I have a true Desire to repent daily If we are not striving to repent daily we are not fulfilling our duties as members of the church. I love all of you so much and every moment I spend with all of you please change your lives and become more Like your savior Jesus Christ. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Letter from Elder Burns 9/12/2010

Dear family


This week has been amazing. I can't Believe that Jake is leaving on a mission It's something that He really needed in his life and he will surely be blessed. Last Friday, we found 2 investigators. Their names are Christland and Francis. They are African Refugees from TOGO!!! I thought that was really cool because both grandma and grandpa served there.

Well, we set a baptismal date with both of them for the 9th of October, and they came to church yesterday. It's amazing that they know everything is true and are very, very excited to bring their families with them to church next week, so we are looking forward to that.

I did get the memory card back, so thank you for sending it to me. I should be sending another one back soon with some music cd's that are no longer approved. I thought I would tell you that president Simmons allows people to have guitars, so I have gotten one and am learning how to play it. I am practicing during the extra time we have at lunch and getting really good. I took the initiative to cut my own hair today. It looks really good because Elder Radovanovic has a nice pair of WHAL clippers. So I will take some pictures so that you can see how good it looks...LOL. I think that is really funny that a chipmunk crawled up onto his hand and stole the nut. I have always wanted to go to Timpanogos caves. I thought it would be really cool. I haven't gotten a fish yet, but I will soon. Is Jared still doing well with his schooling? How is his karate doing? Does Breanna have a BF? How about Crystal?...NOT she is too young:).

well I am out of time for now, but I love you guys heaps and look forward to the ever approaching Christmas call...LOL It seems far away but it will come soon.

That's all for now,

Love your son ,

ELDER BURNS

Monday, September 6, 2010

Some Pictures


From Elder Burns, 09/05/2010

Dear Family,

This week has been an eventful one. We had a zone meeting on Friday, and then afterwards we went on a hike. it was so much fun and it lasted three hours. surprisingly, I led the group the whole way. It was up and down mountains and everything. I was soooooooooo tired but it was fun. We found 2 new investigators this week. Their names are Rose and Christland...LOL. They are both African and really want to come to church and learn. As for being out a year, it doesn't really feel like it has been that long. the time just flies by so quickly when you are doing the Lord's work and keeping busy. With the new training, they are still using preach my gospel, but they are focusing on the teaching by the spirit part. We always try to practice teaching every time we go there because they critique us and tell us ways we can improve . But the lesson outlines are still the same.

Fishing was heaps of fun. There were just a ton of little fish though. My hook was too big and I didn't really catch anything. I don't actually have a fishing pole. I just have a side reel for fishing off the jetty. Do you guys have the planetarium passes again? That was always heaps of fun and the dinosaur museum, that would have been awesome. Bree is still moving towards baptism. she has such a strong spirit and I enjoy spending time teaching her. I might have worded it wrong. Me and elder Radovanovic go on opposite sides of the street of the city center. There is just a tiny road, and we always stay within sight and hearing of each other. We asked for permission from president Simmons and he said it was ok. Just as long as we can still see/hear each other. I am really trying my very very best to improve myself as a missionary. My testimony has continued to grow so drastically, and I know more fully that this is the one true church again on the earth I love you guys so much. Mom you have always been there when I needed anything and I love you for that. And Dad, you have always been my friend even though I may have treated you like a Dork. I love you both so much.

Thanks for your love. Still working hard and loving it .

Your son,
(ZACHARY) ELDER BURNS