Thursday, February 19, 2015

Elder Ryan Burnham's Homecoming

Ryan is home! A happy family and an especially happy Mom! 
We are so proud of you and glad to have you back with us.

We hope you know how proud of you we all are!
BTW, love the shoelaces. That was my kids idea, so they can spot him coming down the escalator.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Elder Burnham

I just received Ryan's itinerary in the mail along with a letter from his mission president.  Although these letters are probably "form letters" there does seem to be a portion that is a sincere message from President Walkenhorst.  I thought I would share it with you...
"We cannot thank you enough for sharing your son with the people of the Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mission.  Elder Burnham has represented The Lord and your family extremely well.  He has been dedicated to The Lord's work and his Christ-like love has earned him many friends and admirers.  He is loved by all, especially by his companions.  He has been a wonderful example of a valiant servant of the Lord.  You have every right to be especially proud of his service."
 Elder Ryan Burnham will fly out of Oklahoma City, OK at 10:10am on Thursday, February 19, 2015.  He has a layover in Atlanta, GA for 3 hours.  Then he finally arrives at the San Francisco Airport at 6:38pm that evening.  WooHoo!!!  Happy Day!!! =)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Getting ready for his Return Home

This week has been a good one, A brother Turner that I have been teaching out on Ft. Sill was baptized! He is awesome! He came up to me 3 weeks ago (his first Sunday) and said he knew this was the truth and he wanted to be baptized that day. It was actually pretty hard to help him understand the requirement of attending 3 times and received all the missionary lessons. He endured and he finished them up and jumped into that freezing cold water! It was awesome! Next week there will be another one, who has had the same desire. Sis. Knight wanted to be baptized last week, but has to wait until next Sunday.

I'm glad to hear that Sara's celebration was so positive! I did receive a short email from her which shared her enthusiasm for her cereal and chocolate milk! She's so funny! I can't wait to make some mends and create some good memories with that not-so little girl!

My bike will be shipped off today. There shouldn't be anything else I will be sending home via mail.

So some last minute requests; What is Bishop Chapman's email? I haven't heard from him ever, and I was hoping I could get an idea on what it is he will have me speak on for my returning talk. I would like to prepare. Also, Dad needs to start prepping any and all firearms he currently has. Serving in Lawton has caused me to really miss those bad boys. Itchy fingers ya know ;) Just some things to look for, maybe speak with Dr. Tolboe. Would there be any volunteer positions open at the hospital. Or do you know of any short-term job openings. Are there any home projects that need to happen, or at the shop, or even at Jenni's house? I think my biggest fear is not having anything to do. So if there isn't anything you can think of, I'm sure I could come home, break something and then fix it :)

Did y'all get the picture Bro. Tucker sent you? I may or may not have forgotten your cell #.

Anywho, this week should be an exhausting one! Hold me accountable for it! I will work hard to the end! Once I hit Sunday my proselyting time hit's just about nothing. Sunday I will be on Post all day, then Monday is P-day and we have appointments with our WML who is like a brother to me. We will be having a last FHE with them. Then Tuesday is basically the same thing. It is booked full of appointments from members who want us over before I leave, I did get to setup an appointment with an investigator, so I don't feel too bad. I told all the members they have to do their best to invite a nonmember into their home for our last hoorah. We will see how effective I can make these last days!

I love you all! I'm excited to work with E. Gentry. Sounds like he has had a great impact on our ward! You will have to tell him and his companion that I will be at their disposal when I return! We are going to make his last transfer a fulfilling one as well!

NEVER a Second Wasted,
Elder Ryan Burnham

Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy and NO regrets!

 Thank you!

I love you!

This week has been a great one! We were able to see two individuals enter into the covenant of baptism. However, it wasn't the two I had been earnestly praying and hoping for. Sis. Ray and Riebe felt they had not received a discernible answer to their prayers on baptism. It was one of the most painful things for me to hear. I had so much hope, and faith that God would prick their hearts. It was a hard pill to swallow. I was holding back tears when they told me. They asked what the matter was, but all I could do was tell them I love them, and so does God. I gave them each a letter addressed to Modesto, and told them they have no excuse not to write. I even put the stamps on! They graduate this Friday and both head to Ft. Hood out in Texas. It certainly was a growing experience. This is where I look up to God and say, "alright it's in your hands now. I did what I could, I wont give up on them, but It's yours." 

Jesse Martin was baptized, I will attach a picture of his baptism. He asked me to perform the baptism and E. Bueno to confirm him. It was a great experience. While drying off and changing he told me two things. He said "I feel clean. I've never felt this clean." and "I will never forget this day!" I just about started balling like a baby. It finally hit me, I have 3 weeks left. We don't have anyone else on date to be baptized. That means that Jesse was my last baptism! The requirements are 3 times at church before baptism. It was a blessing to be dressed in white with this changed man

It was great! He already has a calling lined up. He will be teaching Elders Quorum. In fact he told his wife who has been a member about a year now and she got all upset because she still hasn't received a calling. Jesse called the Bishop out there, and they are now going to get her a calling. He is so solid! It's amazing what truth can do for a life. He was strict Southern Baptist, who chased missionaries away for years. Well, his wife was fellowshipped by one of their great friends while Jesse was deployed to Korea. She in turn was baptized. Jesse came home a little disturbed by the change, but knew he needed to look into it, if for no other reason than to support his wife. He then was shortly transferred to Ft. Sill where he met us. Now he is preparing to enter the Holy Temple and be sealed to his wife and five year-old son. I love the man dearly! 

The other baptism was a soldier out on post. She is great! She has been worked on by God previous to coming to Ft. Sill. She said that she had always felt God pulling her towards the Mormon faith, but that she was scared to act. Her first week here she was approached and committed to baptism. the next week she came back and scared us all by saying her husband said he would rather her not.......... she then said, "But I told him it's what I'm going to do, so support me!" She was then baptized! The strength of the converted is amazing!

I love the Doctrine of Christ, I love the Atonement, I love truth and light, I love the Book of Mormon, and I love God!

I am happy! I have no regrets! I will finish strong!

NEVER a Second Wasted,

Elder Ryan Burnham

Monday, January 19, 2015

Miracles are great

Miracles are great! In case you ever wondered. I finally received my flight itinerary in the mail this week. That was a hard day. I thought I would be able to handle all this coming home junk. It immobilized me for a good hour or so, so I called President and just said "Hey, I did not think this would happen, but it is, any advice?" He said something I did not expect, and something I completely expected. He said: "Elder Burnham it's coming, and you know it. If I knew how to prevent or fix these feelings it would have been done and you would be all happy and baptizing someone right now. It is natural and you just need to take some time to commune with your Father and work this out. Remember that working hard to the very end is the best and I know you will do it, so do it!" It was a very short phone call, it was all I needed. Just hearing the confidence of my President in me gave me the strength to get up and work. The rest of that day was amazing! We gave a few blessings and had a great correlation for Post. Since then, I have been happy and have accepted the inevitable. I am happy to come home. I am satisfied and fulfilled! I have no regrets! I am proud, and have received the assurance that God is proud as well!

We had another baptism on post this Sunday. He had been coming for 5 or so weeks, and he came up to me before Sacrament meeting started and told me he is ready to commit himself to God and be baptized. It was awesome! I also was able to invite two other soldiers that I have been working with to the baptism and they are praying for baptism this Sunday. I have been praying more earnestly than ever for these two soldiers. I feel a very odd connection to them. They are both women, and from completely different backgrounds. One is Sis. Ray 20 yrs old, from Georgia, married, a Jehovah's Witness, and has been homeless for most of her life, and joined the army. The other is Sis. Riebe she is 18 from Wisconsin, Catholic (but hates the Catholic church), lived in Spain for 2 years as a nanny, and joined the army reserve. All I know is I have truly come to see them as my sisters and I have this burning desire to help them to those waters. They Graduate this next Friday, so this Sunday is their last. I have been praying so hard that they receive the witness and then ACT! I know it may be more of "my will not thine" but I know it can happen. I know God wants it to happen. I wont give up on them! 

This Saturday Jesse, a man we have been working with since I got here, will be baptized. He has elected me to perform the baptism and Elder Bueno to confirm. It will be an amazing day! I'm super excited! 

We have interviews today with President, I'm a little nervous/excited to see what the final interview will be like. Unless he interviews us in the Mission home one last time. I don't know. I had a bunch of questions for him, but I felt the prompting of the Spirit to throw them all out and accept all counsel and to only ask what I am prompted to ask. 

Today is going to be a good day! I love you! I hope your day goes just as well!

NEVER a Second Wasted,

Elder Ryan Burnham