My dear dear family,
I hope you are all doing super well. I love you and I pray for you. Thank you for your support here. There are many missionaries without their family backing them up. Thank you Kirsten for the DearElder and thank you everyone at the family reunion for the sweet notes. It was fun to read them and think about you all. Jon, your new job sounds great! What an opportunity! is is in provo? how did you find it? Also, thank you mom for the package. I know you love me because you sent me wal-mart smiles. They are my favorite! :) the kids love the stickers. thank you thank you thank you.
Well, this week Sister Cedillo and I had a good talk about conversion. People often ask us how long we have been members or if we are born in the church. I was thinking about Sister Cedillo's conversion story.She really is an incredible missionary! I wish you could meet her and hear her speak. She's a powerful missionary guided by the spirit and bold in her testimony. I love hearing her testimony because people listen! it's really neat. Sometimes It's hard not to wonder if people listen to my testimony. It happens a lot where they give me a look of "oh you were born in the church. your parents made you do this." Then i share my sincere testimony and they respond with "wow, you really do speak spanish." people don't always want to listen but when they do I want it to make a difference and i want it to help them on their rode to conversion to the Lord and to his church. i think about our FHE via skype where we mapped our conversions. Every person had their own ideas of how to do it. Every person had their own experiences that were the landmarks of the testimonies. Missionaries are good. Missionaries are important. Bur missionaries are NOT landmarks. We invite others to act by reading, praying, changing, repenting, coming to Him. Elder Holland said, "There are many excellent men and woman but there are very few excellent missionaries." An excellent missionary focuses on the people and teaches them the simple fundamentals. I'm working hard to better apply the fundamentals to my life and to help others see that the gospel is never too hard and the blessings are always worth it. Hector and Maria's son died this week. They are hurting but they are humble. We are teaching the other half of the Plan of Salvation this week. I'm excited for them to understand and receive the comfort that i know the plan of salvation brings. We dropped Ilda this week. the opportunities, the blessings, our salvation, everything is ours if we want it. So what's stopping us and how do we turn that stumbling block into a building block. Ilda refuses to change. She told us she will never be baptized and she won't change religions. The way she talks shows that she feels and knows that it's different but tradition pulls her back over and over again. Someday she will know. She said she will keep reading the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is powerful. I'm praying that she will let it soften her heart and change her perspective. Family, I really love you! You mean a lot to me! thank you for your individual examples and thank you for your prayers. I look forward to hearing from you again next week.
All my love
Dear President Neider,
This was a another great week. What a surprise. I guess i should stop being surprised at how much the Lord blesses His missionaries because i think I've been surprised my whole mission. I want to count the blessings and thank Him for the blessings every day. I feel like i learned a lot from Sister Cedillo this week. I started a new tradition for my mission where i make a list of the ways my companion demonstrates whichever Christlike attribute i am studying. I studied faith and It was so so easy to see how sister Cedillo demonstrates her faith. It has been a great blessing to be her companion. Well, this week we had some exciting things happen. A ward missionary prepared a lunch for the men that look for jobs outside of the nursery. The Desert Bloom Elders, this member, and us talked to EVERY single person there. It was a fun way to talk to people and present the Book of Mormon. The majority of the men are from other areas so we walked away with lots of referrals for others but it was still a neat experience to introduce and testify of the Book of Mormon to so many people. There were a few that were excited, many that listened, and a few that only wanted to argue. Either way, we have faith that it made a difference somewhere in one of them....or maybe in the wife or roommate of one them that will see the Book of Mormon and read it. I don't think there is any reason to ever lose faith. It's easy and tempting sometimes but my new personal motto is "where is your faith? CHOOSE to have faith, Sister Burrup!" I have felt it give me courage and i have felt it motivate me and i have felt it cast out my disappointments and frustrations. Faith is the first principle of the gospel for a good reason: without it, we can't really get anywhere or do anything. Next time you see me, President, I will have more faith! Thanks for representing the Savior well and helping us come closer to him. It was fun to see you in the car at the light. It made our day!