Monday, June 13, 2016

April 4th and 11th Letters

Let's start with the April 4th letter.  Included are zone pictures

and the letter

Sounds like you all had a good little vacation, I am glad everything went well. I am sure you all will have fun with the baby shower. Yeah conference was great! Lots of super good talks. It was a little bit of a pain because we had a lot of technical difficulties, but I still really enjoyed it. President Uchtdorf is always my favorite, I really enjoyed his talk. I liked a lot of the talks about remembering our divine potential, and how we should use that when making decisions and that kind of thing. Our week was a little rough at first, but finished great.
So in Wednesday morning we were walking around between potential investigators and we see Timothy, so we walk over there to talk to him. And he just didn't seem right, he wasn't excited to see us :/ so we started talking to him, and something happened, cause he was not the same person we met. He just started going off about how if he had been baptized it would have opened the gates of hell and released Satan. It was crazy, I think drugs played a part in that :( so it was pretty sad.
Then later we found out that our super cool and very sincere investigator John was in jail... So he wasn't able to meet us haha.
But then towards the end of the week we had a couple super cool miracles. The elders over on LA had a family of 3 that they were teaching that had baptismal dates move into our area. They came to general conference and that was okay, they have a lot of potential, but they want to go back to LA. But we are meeting with them this week and will hopefully be able to get baptized soon.
Then halfway through the Sunday morning session a less active member showed up with 2 random nonmembers who want to be baptized! They told us they love this church because they have been before, and that they are willing to do whatever it takes to get baptized! It was super cool! Our whole lesson they just talked about how much they want to get baptized, so we are stoked for them! They have dates for April 17th! They are super cool! The Lord is really blessing us so much!
I love you guys!! I hope you have a great week, and I will talk to you later!!
Elder Burnside

and the April 11th Letter  which starts with some pictures of their district at the temple.

And the letter

I am glad you all had a good week. Sounds like you all had a really fun week. I am glad everyone enjoyed the baby shower and that the baby got a bit spoiled. Sounds like you all had fun with the Illums. Lol it's funny just the other day I was talking with one of the other Elders that I have become friends with about maybe bringing a dirt bike to Idaho to go dirt biking with him haha. Our week was pretty good too.
We had our temple day this week. That was nice. That is like one of things I always look forward to the most. The spirit there is so strong, and it really stays with you through out the rest of the week too. So that was cool. And then the next day we went to do baptisms for the dead with a recent convert named Ira. Who by the way is from Taos, so that is cool. I got to do confirmations there, and that was a lot of fun. He really enjoyed that.  
We had a couple lessons with Tanika, Tori, and Kaliyah. They are a cool family that is getting baptized on Sunday. They are a referral we got from some other elders. They asked us about some Mormon rumors they heard, and then after we gave them an answer one of them said, " OK cool, but it doesn't matter anyway, because I prayed and God told
me this church is true so it doesn't matter what anybody says" So they are super prepared. WE took them to the Visitors Center too, and they loved it. The two girls were asking a bunch of questions about missions, because they want to go on one after they are baptized! They are a super cool miracle.
But otherwise that is pretty much our week. I love you guys and hope you have a great week!!
Elder Burnside

March 21 and 28 2016 Letters

Trying to get caught up on the blog.....  Start with the March 21 letter including a picture of Elder Burnside with a investigator's new dog.

I am glad to hear all is going well. I hope everything works out with Brandon. That is crazy it is your last pinewood derby, you know you will secretly miss it haha. Janelle's baby shower should be fun, we went to one this week that was enjoyable, and had really good food :)
That's too bad you weren't feeling well, but I hope you are doing better now.  Our week was pretty good. Itzia went to the court again and is now going to have a hearing on April 18th for them to get married. So that is good, but it sucks we have to wait that long to get her baptized. We had a good lesson with Rammy. He is progressing slowly but surely.  We had a lesson about prayer, and talked about praying about baptism.  He said. A prayer for us at the end of the lesson which was a first.  So he is opening up and doing good.  They were filming a tv series from the movie Training Day with Denzel Washington in our area. So we walked through and saw a couple of the stars. One of the actresses came up and asked us if we were real. We were all like, uhh... Yeah. And so she started telling us about her Mormon friends and she actually knew a ton about our beliefs. So that was cool.
Then on Sunday our investigator Timothy came to church which was really cool because he had kind of just disappeared and he is really solid. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of Wisdom afterwords and it went really well. He is really solid to be baptized if he can just resist the temptations of the Word of wisdom for the next two weeks. But he is super cool so it was really exciting. But yeah that was our week. I love you guys and hope you have a great week!!
Elder Burnside

And the March 28th Letter.  Start with pictures of investigator Timothy.

I am glad you are doing good. Sounds like you had all your meetings go well, I hope your ones this week go well too. Sounds like you all are having a great vacation.  Considering you almost forgot too email me lol. But everything is going well over here too.
We took Timothy to the VC, and he has been doing good with the Word of Wisdom. He is good to go for April 10th! But it was cool to see the spirit touch him so powerfully,that was the happiest I have ever seen him! He felt it so strong, that he brought his 9 year old cousin Jovann, and now he will be baptized with him on April 10th too! He is super excited to be baptized, and just absolutely loved primary. So we are excited for them, they are super solid. So that is going really well.  We had a lesson with Rammy this week. We did it all about prayer and shared our experiences about prayer, and watched a  video called Origin. We read 2 Nephi 32, and at the end we got him to pray in front of us, which was a big step. But he hasn't prayed as much as we would have liked when we followed up. But we recommitted him and he is praying about baptism now.  
Sorry this letter is short, I am running out of time, and can't think of much else that happened this week, It was mostly just fortifying those that we are teaching. But I love you guys and hope you have a great rest of vacation and a great week!!

Elder Burnside

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Beginning of March

March 7 Letter: (Dallon confirmed his release date has been changed from July 6 to July 13):

I am glad you all are doing well. I am glad Aaron is doing good. Sounds like you all had a good week. Yeah I heard that my date had been moved back a couple weeks ago, but every time I emailed I forgotto tell you haha :)
My new area is pretty cool, definitely more ghetto than the rest of my areas. We don't actually live in our area because it is too ghetto.  Our apartment is on Cordary Avenue in Hawthorne. But our area from west to east is the 110 to Alameda, and north south is Manchester to Imperial. We cover the SouthWest LA branch, and they meet at one of
the tiniest church buildings on San Pedro and 107th. It is just a tiny chapel and 3 class rooms, it is really small. My companion is Elder Pearson. He is from Jackson, Tennessee. He is really cool. He has been out for 5 months and works really hard so I like him.
We had a good week. This area has lot of humble people who are prepared to hear the gospel. We talked to this one lady named Sammisha, and she was pretty. Ghetto so we didn't think too much of her but we went back for our appointment. And she has a massive family that was all pretty interested in our message. We set dates with them for April 3rd! They didn't quite understand everything but they wanted to be baptized. And there is a guy there that is really interested named Timothy, he is a gangsta dude and is pretty funny. We went back and he had read and really liked it, everybody else is just kind of lukewarm right now. We watched the restoration movie with them and they liked it. While we were watching one of the ifs said, " I thought this was a movie, I didn't know it was a real story!" So that was really cool.
We also set a date for March 27th with a guy named Remey. His wife got baptized last Sunday. He is cool but he is super shy. He didn't want to be baptized because he didn't want to be "the center of attention". But he is doing good.
But yeah this area is great. We have a bunch of other people that we are teaching, and everybody is very open to us. So we are having great success! It is also amusing to just see how ghetto some of these people are, it's pretty funny haha. Well I hope you have a great week!
Love you!!
Elder Burnside

March 14 Letter:  (They got soaked by the rain and had a mini-mission companion)

Glad to hear you all had a good week. That is cool about the missioncalls, and cool about Janelle and Gabe. When would they come to White Rock? I am sure you guys are very excited for that. So Watts is fun I am enjoying it. The people all just make me laugh because they just fit like how you would picture the ghetto. We have had plenty of
experiences with super drunk people in like the middle of the afternoon. We teach this guy named Timothy who is pretty cool, I really like him actually. But he acts like such a gangsta, and when he prays it is so funny. He just talks ion his gangsta language to God
like' "man you know what Im saying" and all that kind of stuff. So I like this area, especially because everyone is humble and we have lots of people to teach! The branch is super small, just a tiny chapel with like 6 or 7 rows and like 2 classrooms. So it is interesting. I have already seen it tagged once. We were suppose to have a baptism next Sunday for a girl named Itzia who is really cool, but we are hitting a major road bump called the U.S. judicial system lol. So she is a senior in high-schools as is her 17 year old member boyfriend. He got her pregnant a couple months ago, so her parents kicked her out and the only place she had to go was her boyfriends family. She really
wants to be baptized, but they are cohabiting since that is her only option. So the only way for her to get baptized is to marry them. But he is only 17, and the courts are giving us a lot of problems getting the marriage licence. We tried Friday, and then they told us we had to go to court. So we spent two hours at the court this morning just for
them to tell us that they don't do that stuff and we had to go to a different court :/ UGGHHH So yeah I have had enough court to hold me over for a while and now I am not exactly fond of the U.S. courts haha.
We are also teaching a guy named Rammy. His wife got baptized the Sunday before I got here, and he is really cool but super shy. He says he doesn't want to be baptized until he has read the whole Book of Mormon, so we really talked about getting a witness from the Holy Ghost. We read 2 Nephi 31 with him about baptism, and then the parable of the seed in Alma 32. We told him how he won;t have a perfect knowledge, but he can know that he is feeling the spirit and that this is good. So that helped, he has a date for March 27th. I definitely think he will be baptized, just maybe not that soon, still got a little ways to go.
But yeah other than that we have just had a lot of referrals that we have had one lesson with, but will meet with again this week. They seem pretty good, so we are excited. We are doing great, the area is going super good here, tons of teaching so I love it! I love you guys too and hope you have a great week!
Elder Burnside

Way too Far behind; February Posts

February 22 Letter:  The Elders were getting caught in the El Nino rains

Cool I am glad you got it. Yeah I want to go there and room with Joe Lee, as well as Kaleb Rickman, and Howard Saavedra. But those two haven't gotten their tracks yet.
I do want to retake the Calculus 3 class, but as for the other classes I have no idea. I am glad you had a good week, even if it may have been a bit busy. We had a pretty good week ourselves.
We had a super cool tender mercy on Monday when we met Julia and Wesley. They are a divorced couple that we saw talking in their backyard that night as we walked home. It was already after 9 and they were across the yard with no gate to walk over there, so I was going to just continue going home, when I felt a distinct impression to go talk with them. So I asked if we could give them a card, and he was all like, "ok just make it quick". So we told them who we were and what we do, and they said they were going through a rough time right now, and asked if we could share a message with them right then! So we talked about the strength that comes from Jesus Christ's atonement, how they have a loving Heavenly Father, and how we have a prophet to lead us today. It was good, and so we gave them a Book of Mormon. It was really cool to see God show us who he had prepared for us.  Martha is doing great! We taught her about tithing and fast offerings, and the members with us shared cool experiences with her. So that went well, we also taught her about temples, and she is excited to go do the work for her deceased father. Who, cool side note, was a heavyweight champion boxer in Mexico. Sadly she was sick so she missed church Sunday, and we weren't able to take her to the Visitors Center, but she is doing good. She will have her interview for baptism this week, and then we will have the service on Sunday!!
Steve is still the same. Nothing has changed with him. Still coming to church every week, enjoying it all, just not able to quit smoking :/ But on Sunday we took him to the Visitors Center and we got to see a fireside by Jenna Kim Jones. She is the narrator for the movie Meet the Mormons. She talked about how living. A happy life comes from
setting and living gospel standards. It was good and pretty funny.  That has pretty much been our week, other than the other day when some born again Christians freaked out on us. We were contacting a referral, and he lived in a Christian based half way house. So the care taker guys came out and freaked out on us, and told the guy we were visiting if he took the Book of Mormon they would kick him out of the house. So that was frustrating mostly because they are hurting the guy we were visiting, who was a super cool and nice dude who is really turning his life around.
 But that was our week. I love you guys and hope you have a great week!
I will talk to you later!!
Elder Burnside

February 29th letter:  A Baptism!

Wow sounds a bit crazy but I am glad Aaron is okay. I will definitely keep him in my prayers. I am glad you enjoyed your week though. Our 0week was pretty solid, and awesome on Sunday.
It was awesome because Martha got baptized! She chose me to baptize her too! So that was super exciting because it is the first time on my mission I have actually done the ordinance. I have really enjoyed teaching Martha I have seen her change so much, the gospel really changes lives a ton! After her baptism she was the happiest I have ever seen her, just absolutely beaming with the spirit it was really cool. Especially because I couldn't get her back up out of the water :/ She slipped and In couldn't lift her up all on my own. So she fell and then I had to pick her up out of the water as she flailed around,
so it definitely would have been entertaining to watch. But would you expect anything else from me :) lol. But it was good. I will send pictures later.
We taught Steve and he was a lot more sincere. Usually he tries to avoid the topic of smoking and tells us he is doing alright when we just ask how it is going. But this time as soon as we sat down he just said guys I am really struggling. And so we talked about it, and it seems like he has finally hit that first step of repentance for smoking. He finally sincerely wants to quit and is really going to try.
We did temple service which was fun. It is crazy how much they do to really keep the temple clean and holy. And it truly is kept like the house of the Lord. We also had transfer calls last night, and so I am....... Leaving :/ I will be going to Watts! I finally truly hit the ghetto, I hear my area is the worst part but I guess I will just have
to find out. So that is a bit exciting, but I also get a car which is really exciting! Lol. My companion will be Elder Pearson, he is pretty cool and has been out for 4-5 months. I like him so it will be a lot of fun. I hear a lot of crazy stories about the branch in Watts so I am kind of excited. Well I love you and hope you guys have a great week!! I will talk to you later!

Elder Burnside

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

February 15th Letter

Just a letter this week no pictures:(

Sounds like you all had a good week. That is super cool about Caitlin getting her mission call, that will be pretty cool. Our week was pretty good, but nothing too spectacular.  We taught Steve a bunch but he is still the same. He wants to be baptized and wants to quit smoking and everything, but at the same time he isn't really committed to quitting smoking. We also taught Joe and he was doing really well until Friday he suddenly tried to drop us because it was too hard to quit smoking, but we just takes to him about the blessings of baptism and how much he wanted those and it was all good again. But then we went by after church on Sunday he dropped us for real, and said that he couldn't do it and had found another good church were he talked to the pastor and liked him. But hopefully he will come back to meeting with us, we let him know we are always here, and how much more this message can bless his life.  We also taught Martha several times. She is doing really well, she went like 4 days with out smoking me then got really anxious and smoked the end of one on Saturday but she is trying really hard and doing really well. She has come to church the past two weeks and really enjoys it. We are really excited for her she should be blue to be baptized on February 28th hopefully!!  Otherwise not much going on, we haven't been blue to meet with my of the baptismal dates we set, the family has kind of ignored us and we haven't gotten ahold of Monique.
But I hope you all have a great week! I love you guys!!! 

Elder Burnside

February 1st and 8th Letters

Well lets start with a February 1st Letter.  There are a couple pictures with Dallon, Elder Frigetto, Steve the investigator and a member named Frank.

On to the letter.  The previous week Dallon had not received our emails due to trouble with his email account and we sent the following picture of his new nephew due in June...

Yeah I got your all's emails, they just showed up about an hour after preparation day ended. I am glad you all enjoyed church and your lesson went well. That is a super cool picture!! I can't wait to be an uncle when I get back! You and the buttmunch better keep practicing basketball, I have gotten a lot better on my mission since that is pretty much all we do on P-day hahaha. Lol uh... I have no idea what I am doing for rooming for school, I will probably try to go with some of my companions, but we haven't really indepthly talked about it. I also have no idea about classes, that still seems away off! Being a district leader is good. I am over us, and the one other set of elders in our district. I just see how they are doing, go on exchanges with them and see how they are. And then the bad part is just that I have to do trainings at district meeting on Fridays. Luckily our district combines with 2 other districts, so I only have to train every 3rd
Friday. Anyway our week was solid. We are working with Steve pretty much every day. He is doing good. We had a lesson where we were very bold with him and pretty much told him he had to step up his game. So after that he said he prayed a lot and that by Yesterday he would be smoke free. Well yesterday came and he still smoked one cigarette, but it is progress. As of 12:30 today he was still smoke free, and it better stay that way! Haha. But as of now he is going to be baptized on the 14th. We took him to the Visitors Center again yesterday. He was really happy to go and enjoyed the spirit there. He also enjoyed walking around the temple, and is excited to be able to go in! So that was good. We met with Martha a couple times. We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of Wisdom. Both lessons went really well. We are still trying to get her to read the Book of Mormon, she likes it and says she will do it it then it doesn't happen. We are now going to start working with her on quitting smoking, but she seems up for it, coffee seems to be a bigger concern for her. She was excited to come to church, but then wasn't able to make it because her daughter had a miscarriage :( So she had to go comfort her and stuff, but it is an experience that is helping her see the need to be baptized, and increasing her desire to be baptized. She is excited for it! We also met with Stephanie, she too hadn't read from the Book of Mormon, seems to be a common theme among investigators haha. So we read with her, and she said she has been praying about being baptized and stuff, and hasn't gotten her answer yet. So she said she would keep reading and praying, so she is doing ok.  So that was our week. We were still able to get good stuff done, even with multiple bike breakdowns. Elder Frigetto broke his spokes one day, and then the next day I broke my axle that caused problems haha. Then the day after that. We lost our phone and all of our contacts. So I definitely know that the Lord's hand is in this work, and that Satan will his try his best to stop it. But as long as we keep going in faith, he will never succeed! I love you and hope you have a great week!
Elder Burnside

On to the February 8th letter.   There are pictures of the Dallon's zone

I know it is crazy how fast it goes by! I am glad you had a good week, and one of us got enjoy the Super Bowl haha. Sounds like everything is going good and I am glad you are feeling better. That is super cool that the missionaries are having a lot of success! We are too and had an awesome week!!
We had a meeting on Tuesday where President Weidman pretty much told us that we needed to step up and visit all of our I contacted referrals. So we did and tried to contact a bunch of referrals. One of which was for a girl named Ally. So we knocked on the door, and a girl named Monique let us in. Turns out that Ally is actually her daughter and Ally had gone to church with her Dads family in Utah, and so Monique became interested in what we believed. So we taught her the Restoration and she really liked it. She really has a good faith in Christ and is willing to do whatever to follow him and help her daughter. So she committed to be baptized on March 6th! That was super good!
On Friday I got to go on exchanges with my old companion Elder Provost. That was a lot of fun, I like him. And it was pretty cool to see how we have both learned and improved since we were together last Christmas. But while I was away from the area Elder Frigetto had a couple cool contacts. We taught one named Heidi, and she is sooo prepared! She met with missionaries before and was going to be baptized until an emergency move and she lost contact with the church, but she even tells people that she is Mormon! Sadly though her parents don't really speak English so we had to refer her to the Spanish Elders. That was pretty tough to do. But during our lesson with her I had a feeling if we referred her God would really bless us. Then right after we referred her after our lesson we visited another contact Elder Frigetto had named Madeline. And we set baptismal dates with her, her husband Manny, and their 2 kids Jesse and Thomas!! It was a super cool miracle. She has been praying to God to improve her relationship with him, and for guidance, and is taking this as the answer! It was a very powerful lesson, she teared up when we shared the First Vision, and they are a very prepared family! So we are super excited for them!!
Nothing really has changed with Steve, he is still smoking a little each day. So once again we are moving his date back :/ That is getting a little frustrating. But everybody else is doing great. Joe his roommate has quit smoking and came to church and enjoyed it. He keeps all his commitments, the only problem is understanding his comments now.
Martha is doing well, she came to church and really enjoyed it. Stayed for all three hours. She has given up coffee, and is now in the same boat as Steve, and just needs to quit smoking. She is also down to just a couple a day, and is very close. So we are working with her!
But yeah that is our week, pretty solid for finding new people! Now we just need to get the ones we are already working with to quit smoking! I love you guys and hope you have a great week!! Talk to you later!
Elder Burnside

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

January 18th and 25th letters, WOW I'm almost caught up.

Starting with the January 18th letter.  There were pictures of Salamasina's baptism, Dallon on exchanges, finally them the spanish elders and a member named Frank.

I am glad everything is going good. That is cool you got a raise, that means a nice new sports car will be waiting for me when I get home right? Haha. Sounds like everybody. Is having a good time. It was actually my last companion that was from Vegas, Elder Stevens is from Spokane, haha.
Are week was like ehh. It started weak, but ended strong. We were trying to set up a time for bishop to come visit them. They tried to mute the phone, but it messed up, because we heard the conversation that Jeffry and Lilly were having. And they were basically saying that we don't understand and are too demanding. And then Jeffry just hung up. Then Lilly called us 10 minutes later, and said they don't want to be baptized, and was pretty hesitant to let us come by. We finally coaxed her to let us come by this week, so hopefully that goes well. But that was pretty depressing.
We went over and taught Steve everyday this week. That was pretty good. Really just trying to get him to quit smoking. He is struggling, but has progressed he smoked 2 cigarettes on Sunday. Which was actually improvement. But he needed to smoke none to reach his baptismal date, so we might have to move back his baptism. But that is the only thing stopping him, he loves coming to church, he has started reading the Book of Mormon more consistently, now all he has to do is just quit smoking! It is getting a little frustrating, but Satan is working on him pretty hard.
Salamasina got baptized yesterday as you probably saw from the pictures! That was awesome. It was a little worrying cause we couldn't get ahold of her or her family before church, and she had to come to be baptized. So we were getting pretty worried, but then she showed up 45 minutes after church started, but she came! So church was good, and then the baptismal service was good too afterwords. I gave the Holy Ghost talk and Elder Stevens baptized her. It was a really good service.
Transfer calls were last night. Elder Stevens is going to the Southwest LA branch in the ghetto, and I am staying here. My new companion will be Elder Frigetto, he is new and will be in only his second transfer. Otherwise I don't know anything about him. And I am going to be District Leader again, and this time it will actually be official haha. But yeah other than that not much happened. I love you and hope you have a great week! Talk to you later!

Elder Burnside

Now the January 25th letter but starts with pictures of Elder Burnside and Elder Stevens during their last night together.  Also I've included a picture that was texted to us on Sunday morning January 24th.  My sister was in California to start a cruise with her family, Sunday morning they went to the nearest ward building to attend church and guess who they ran into:)

I don't know what is up, but I am not receiving any emails today. I don't know if I am in;over or if my email just isn't working lol. But we had a pretty good week. Elder Frigetto is cool. He is from Grand Junction, Colorado. He has been out for 2 months, so he is pretty new, but he is super good.
As you heard, we say Aunt Cheri and Uncle Mark at church! That was a crazy cool surprise. I almost didn't even recognize them at first haha. I got to confirm Salamasina. That went well, she is solid and going to be an awesome member of the church.  We went and taught a girl named Stephanie this week. She is a senior in high school. And has a good faith in Jesus Christ. She was very open to hearing our message, and committed to be baptized on February 21st!! She was excited to read the Book of Mormon, but then she cancelled on our past 2 appointments. But she is pretty cool.
Steve is well.... Steve. Came to church again, but he is still smoking a couple cigarettes a day, and not reading the Book of Mormon as consistently as we want him to do. He really has the desire to be baptized, but I don't fell like he completely has a desire to quit smoking. But he is doing well, and we will slowly get him there.
We had a really good lesson with Martha this week. We read the first chapter of first Nephi with her. And she really liked it, she hadn't read because she thought it would be difficult to understand, but she said she understood the chapter perfectly. And she really liked it and wanted to keep going. So hopefully that gets her to keep reading. She shared several experience said about how she has come In contact with the church a lot through out her life, so it was cool to see how the Lord has been preparing her for a long time. She seems a lot closer to baptism, and we committed her to come to church next week. It was a good progression from the last time we met with her. So that was exciting.
In other news we got a death threat this week... Steve lives in this group home, and we showed up one day and one of the crazy people there just got up in our face about how he was going to mess us up and kill us. It was pretty sketchy, I didn't trust that guy to start. But yeah now we meet with Steve at the church instead of his house.
Anyway it was a pretty good week. Me and Elder Frigetto are doing well, and the work is going pretty good. Hope to hear from you all soon! I love you and will talk to you later!!
Elder Burnside