Monday, December 15, 2014

It's starting to feel a lot like christmas...

2 weeks worth of letters from Dallon:  Let's start with the pictures from this week.  He includes the temple and a picture of a car fire they witnessed for something a little different.

Anyway here is the current Dec 15th letter.  To understand some of his comments you must know I had mailed him a scripture that I enjoyed.  My email stated   [With it being Christmas, it was interesting that Aaron and I are getting to D&C 93 in our reading. That section is about revelation given to John the apostle in the bible. but the verse I enjoyed this morning was D&C 93:13-14 "And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness. An thus he was called the Son of God because he received not of the fulness at first".  I have now heard this discussion from at least 2 other times this christmas. The idea that Christ was not born immediately knowing all about his father, but he had to learn similar to the way we do. Perhaps it was so he could better understand us and our point of view, but it also may have been the only was he could show that he was perfect in showing perfect faith as his knowledge grew and developed. It is interesting to think about.]

I have picked up a little bit of Spanish, I can introduce myself and
give someone a pass along card, but that's about it. We have also been
listening to a lot of Christmas music, and i I had to pick favorites,
it would also be O Come O Come Emmanuel, and then I like Angels We
Have Hard on High, I think that's what it is called at least haha. We
actually sang with the ward choir for the Christmas program yesterday.
Sounds like you all ha a good ward Christmas party, Mom sent me a
picture of that board everybody wrote on which was pretty cool, thank
you for that. The lights at the temple are really good, and ti is
technically out of our area, but the church building is also right
behind it, so we go over there all the time. We didn't hear about any
big fire, but we did see a car start on fire which was pretty crazy.
That is a really cool scripture, I don't think I have read that one,
it is a really interesting topic to think about. It makes sense
though, because he ha to go through everything we go through, and he
can't really do that if he starts with the sure knowledge of our
Father in Heaven.
This week was pretty slow, pretty much all the people we are working
with were too busy his week. Richard called us saying that he was
offended at church and so he didn't want to set up any Christmas
lights, or go to church anymore. I guess he does this a lot though,
because he suffers from a minor case of schizophrenia. So he doesn't
respond to us anymore, and it looks like we will just have to wait
until he gets over it and comes back to church. Lubia and her family
ended up being busy because it was her son Zayne's birthday, so we
didn't meet with her either this week. Lucas got hired on to edit a
couple of movies at Paramount, and he got hired by Johnny Depp to
paint a portrait of Johnny Depp's mom, so he was super busy working
all week. We were able to have a good lesson with John though. We
talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ, so faith, repentance and
baptism mostly. A lot of what we talk about is review for him, since
he took the discussions with the sisters before he went to Wisconsin
for the summer. Our main focus was the importance of baptism. He knows
that everything we teach him is true, and he has a testimony of the
church and everything, he is just scared of what his family and
friends will do if he got baptized. We pretty much told him that it
would be okay, and we asked him to pray for his friends and family to
have softened hearts. Which he committed to do.
Then on Saturday we took him to the baptism of Bram's son Zaylin,
which ended up being a really good experience for both John and Bram.
Bram's 3 year old daughter sang I Stand All Amazed, as a solo which
was really impressive, and also very powerful. The elders quorum
president gave a great talk about baptism, and shared the scripture in
2 Nephi 31:4-7 which talks about how if Christ was baptized, then we
really need to be baptized. Then the young men's leader gave the Holy
Ghost talk and it was really good. He talked about how we need to live
worthy of the Holy Ghost, and compared it to receiving a gift at
Christmas and how if we don't live worthy it is like just throwing
away one of our Christmas gifts with out even opening it. So the
baptism was really good, and we can just feel that both Bram and John
are getting really close to being baptized. Otherwise the rest of our
week has been spent talking o people on the street, and trying to
visit less actives that nobody knows. The other day we were in Subway
getting one of those 2 dollar sandwiches for lunch, and we started
talking to the two employees working their and they were very
interested, an wanted to hear more sometime when they weren't working.
So we are going to visit them this week, and are excited for that!
Hope you all have a great week! I love and miss you all!!
Elder Burnside

And his previous week email from Dec 8th:

I am glad that you enjoyed my beautifully drawn cards hahaha. Its
good to hear that they are actually starting to put you to work over
at the lab haha. Its too bad you didn't like Buffalo Wild Wings as
much as I have. They got the light put up on the temple this week, and
they look really good! They almost have as many lights as you do!
haha. We had a pretty good testimony meeting too, one of the primary
kids got up and told that little poem of the man looking at the
footprints in his life and only seeing one pair at the hardest times,
but that was because that is when God carried him. He then bore his
testimony that God loves each and every one of us, and that he wants
to help us. It was pretty powerful.
We taught Rudy the restoration this week and it went really well! He
told us that he got into a really bad accident a couple months ago but
walked away without a scratch. He said that he knew God's hand was in
that and that since that time he had been searching for the truth, and
felt that we were an answer to his prayers. He committed to read the
Book of Mormon, and he committed to Baptism! The only problem is that
he lives outside of our area :( He works at a magazine stand in our
area, but lives over by USC. We are going to go back this week to read
the Book of Mormon with him, and get him all set to go with
missionaries in his area. He is just so ready for the gospel in his
We also started teaching lessons with a guy named John. He was getting
taught by the sisters earlier this year, but then he went to Wisconsin
for about 6 months, he is back now and ready to continue the lessons!
We went over the Restoration again, and we are now doing a Book of
Mormon read with him. He is so close to being ready for baptism, we
are going to commit him in the next lesson this week!
We went to a fireside by the pianist William Joseph on Thursday, we
went with a part member family Tiffany and Bram. Bram is the
non-member (pronounced Brahm), and has been going to church for
several years, but the missionaries have never been able to commit him
to baptism. The fire side was really good, and William Joseph talked
about how God gives us light, and we need to do things that continue
to bring that light, otherwise we will lose it. It was really
powerful. We then set an appointment with him for yesterday. It was a
little bit intimidating, because we were told of stories where he made
the missionaries cry, and just that he was hard on the missionaries
overall. We talked about how God is our loving heavenly father, and
how he blesses us with families and the importance of the Book of
Mormon. At first the discussion was pretty shaky because their was so
many distractions, but we asked their 8 year old son who is getting
baptized Saturday to bear his testimony about how God is our loving
heavenly Father, and that brought the spirit immediately. The spirit
was powerful throughout the rest of the lesson, and we discovered his
concern which was he was afraid of commitment because he isn't
completely sure if the gospel is true. He said that he need to do a
better job on his part to find out if it was true or not, so we
committed him to join us on our book of Mormon read. His wife told us
that he said it was the best discussion that he has had, so that was
pretty exciting!
We had a lesson with Lubia on Friday and we talked about the Word of
Wisdom, and she committed to stop drinking coffee, so she gave away
all her coffee supplies that night! It was a good lesson, and she is
so excited to be baptized, she is already asking about the programs
and everything. She is great!
We met a young Jewish guy on the street on Saturday. His name was
Matan, which is Hebrew for gift. Which is pretty cool since we were
telling him about the whole He is the Gift initiative. He said that he
was really confused religiously, and he was excited to learn more. So
we are going to meet with him this week!
So our week was really good, there was a lot of the Lord's work to be
done! It was nice to have a lot of discussions after the work had been
slow the past couple weeks. I love and miss you all, and hope you have
a great week!!
Elder Burnside

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

We sent Elder Burnside a picture of our lights for Christmas that we did just after Thanksgiving

He sent the following reply, I had asked where his apartment is so I could mark it on the map we are keeping for him.  I XXX'ed it out.

We enjoyed thanksgiving we went with our ward mission leader to one
thanksgiving party for lunch, and then another family brought us a
bunch of food for dinner, so we ate very well! Our apartment is on
XXXXX, which is near Fairfax and Pico. Sadly we couldn't
participate in any turkey bowl, I tried to get Jeremy to go to it, but
I guess he had work. You did a good job putting up the lights. I had
talked up our light system, and it lived up to the expectations haha.
Monday there was a fear of riots because of the Ferguson supreme court
case, so we had to stay inside. At one point we counted 10 helicopters
around our apartment it was a little bit crazy, but not to bad.
We spent the rest of this week working with Richard, Lucas, and Lubia
and her family. RIchard is a less- active that has started coming to
church the past couple weeks, and even bringing his less-active
grandma. We go over there once a week to read the Book of Mormon, and
this week we read 2 Nephi 9, and we talked about how great the
atonement is and how it truly is infinite and can cover any mistake
that we will make in this life. Then this week we are going to go and
help him put up some Christmas lights, so that should be fun!
We went over to Lucas and Ivette's house for dinner. They love the
missionaries! Ivette is active, and Lucas came to church for the first
time in 17 years right before I got here, so we just talked about the
spirit that he felt at church, and he said he really enjoyed church,
and will come again when he gets the chance. He has to work a lot on
Sundays, but we were excited to heard that. He talked about how he
really liked how a lot of people came up to him and introduced
themselves and talked and were very friendly with him. Fellowship is
very important, a lot of times that is what gets people to church, and
then the spirit is what keeps them there.
We went and taught Lubia and her family the restoration again. We
watched the old restoration video, and a video about the restoration
of the priesthood. It was good, her two older kids were there and they
both enjoyed the video. We mostly focused on how important the
priesthood authority from God is, and how that is needed for baptism
and other ordinances. her and her 9 year old son, are pretty solid for
baptism. We are just having trouble getting her 15 year old son Zayne
involved. We got him to go on a hike with the Young men on Saturday
that he liked, and then we also got him in on the lesson so that was
great. But then on Sunday, Lubia left all her kids at home, because
they had a friend over. Otherwise everything seems to be progressing
with them.
Yesterday while we were out and about talking about the "He is the
Gift" campaign we met a guy named Rudy. He is married and has a son.
He isn't super religious, but was very interested about the Book of
Mormon, and what we believe overall. We had a good conversation about
the atonement and the Book of Mormon, and he agreed to meet with us on
Tuesday, so hopefully that goes well! That was about all for our week,
I hope you all have a great week. I love and miss you all!!!
Elder Burnside

Monday, November 24, 2014

1st week in Westwood

Dallon just finished his first week in Westwood 2nd ward which covers part of Westwood and part of Beverly Hills.  He sent some pictures from his previous area of investigators and 1 picture of a street in his new area.

I told him he needs to do street contacts along Burnside Avenue.  Anyway here is his letter:

The first week with Elder Provost was really good. He is from Utah and
loves rodeo and baseball, which of course we can relate about. He has
taught me how to rope at night on his roping dummy that he has, it is
a lot of fun. We cover the Westwood 2nd Ward. Our are goes from
Fairfax to the 405, and from Santa Monica down to the 10. A large
portion of our area is the Jewish Community, so that provides a little
bit of a challenge. Most of the week was spent just taking me around
and introducing me to the people that we are working with, both
members and non members. There is a family with a Single mom and three
kids we are working with. The mom and the 9 year old son (Lubia and
Gavinn) set baptismal dates for January 10 right before I got here.
So now we are working on involving her 15 year old son Zaine and
trying to move up their baptisms. We also work with a less-active
named Lucas, he is super cool. He went to church for the first time in
17 years the Sunday before I got here. he is an artist, and also does
stuff for movies, he helped work on the new transformers. My first day
here on Tuesday I was asked to prepare a talk. It went well, we are
getting kicked out of the visitors center and are being told to return
back to our apartments for the rest of day because of supreme court
case in Missouri talk to you next week I love you all!!! Sorry this
had to be short!
Elder Burnside
His companion is from Wallsburg, UT and he got back on the computer and sent the pictures:

The ruling actually isn't supposed to be released until later this
afternoon, so I have a little more time so here are some pictures.
They are of me Elder Ward and Dana, me and Alfred, and a street in my
new area.

Elder Burnside

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Elder Burnside is being transferred

Start off with a short video that was emailed to us by a member

It was nice to see him and his companion (the blond guy).  We also got a letter announcing his first transfer to the westwood/beverly hills area.  Hopefully we'll know more soon about the area.  Looking at he is probably in either Westwood 1st ward or Westwood 2nd ward.  His letter is as follows:

Hey everybody! So I get 140 dollars a month as long as I don't have any fines. We usually just drive the car until we run out of miles, we have 800 miles per month. The other companionship was ELder Spencer and his trainee Elder Pierce, they are the other companionship in our tiny district. They are hilarious, we talk with them all the time. We are allowed to Skype on Christmas, as long as we find a family that will let us use there account, which shouldn't be a problem.
This week was pretty good. On Monday we found a new investigator while street contacting, his name is Marvin. His situation is interesting... he is gay and lives with his partner and two kids, so that will be an interesting situation to handle. But he really wants to learn about Jesus, and we will try to meet with him this next week.
This week we also made a big focus on making a list of all part member families both active and less active, and meeting all of them, because 52 percent of part member families end up getting baptized. One family we met, the Pittells, the wife was less active and the husband and their three kids are all non-members. The oldest kid seemed pretty interested, and the whole family was open to us coming back, so we are going to visit them this week.
On Thursday we had temple day so I got to go through the Los Angeles temple for the first time. That was a really cool experience. That temple is HUGE, and is is extremely beautiful. Then on Friday Elder Ward got to go to the temple again because he goes home at the end of December, so I went on exchanges with Elder Edwards who is a zone leader of the zone next to ours. He is also the missionary who trained my trainer Elder Taylor. It was fun talking to him and teaching with him, he is a very good teacher.
Saturday we went with the Ward to invite less actives to the ward thanksgiving dinner, the ward as a whole tried to go visit 100 less actives. All the missionaries went on splits with members, and I went with a recently returned missionary named Mosiah. It was cool to compared missions, and also learn from his approach to talking to people, since he had just finished doing it for two years. We got 1 person to answer there door, and he seemed interested enough to come, but he also wasn't exactly excited to see a missionary. We left 3 notes, and found out that 1 person moved, over all the ward left 25 notes found that 15 people had moved, and invited 5 people through a face to face conversation. SO that results weren't to bad, 2 new investigators were also found. After that we went and helped a member move, and he couldn't find parking close to his new apartment complex, so we had to carry his stuff for what seemed like forever haha, but it was fun. We also visited a referral named Anna, she is super interested we brought her a book of Mormon, and she said she planned on reading it cover to cover, and was overall really interested, so we will visit her next week, as she is a very promising investigator.
Sunday was good until the end of the day. Because I will not be visiting any of our investigators as I am getting transferred tomorrow.I am going to Westwood, which is in Beverly Hills, which is pretty cool to go to Beverly Hills, but I wasn't ready to leave Hollywood. I love the people here, Dana and Alfred are my favorites! But I guess it is time to move on.My new companion will be Elder Provost who was trained by my current companion Elder Ward. I will talk to you all from Beverly Hills next week, have a good week, I love and miss you all!!
Elder Burnside

He also sent another note to his Mom.

> Hey Mom, so I am getting transferred to Westwood tomorrow, which is in
>>> Beverly Hills. I love the people here in Hollywood and wasn't ready to
>>> leave, but Beverly HIlls will be fun. We just found a couple promising new
>>> investigators this week too. The letters have been shorter because we
>>> haven't really had any one to work with, but they were going to start
>>> getting longer again. I am keeping a journal, and I found a journal in the
>>> apartment that I am going to have people write in for me. Sounds like
>>> everything is going well, I hope you all are having a good time. I love you
>>> too!!
>>> love
>>> Elder Burnside

> Ya I was surprised by the transfer too, I had almost forgot it was transfer
> week. My new companion will be Elder Provost, he was trained by my current
> companion Elder Ward so that is pretty funny. Yeah I will miss Dana and
> Alfred they have made a big impact on me at this point in my mission. I am
> already mostly packed, only a little bit left. Love you!!
Oh and about that list that the president sent to you for Christmas,
we can get all that stuff at the 99 cent stores, so you can send
whatever you want, as long as it isn't absolutely huge haha. All the
missionaries were kind of frustrated when we saw that list haha. Just
wanted to let you know, I love you lots!!

Elder Burnside

That's it for this week

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Elder Burnside's last 2 weeks

Why don't we change things up and start with pictures that Dallon sent on November 3rd.  I think he had fun on his birthday.  As you can tell he likes candy and treats.

Here is  his November 3rd letter
Thanks for all the Birthday wishes!! Sounds like everyone had a fun Halloween. The primary kids testimonies are always fun, there is a kid here who gets up every month, and thanks his dad for waking everyone up to go to church, and he says he is grateful that UCLA won and all kinds of funny stuff, everyone loves his testimonies. We had a good week this week with our investigators Alfred and Dana.
Dana got into trucking school and has several job interviews lined up!! We were able to read the intro to the Book of Mormon, and the testimonies of the witnesses and Joseph Smith's testimony. We taught the restoration, and at the end he just told us that he better read the book and find out if it is true. He committed to read the Book of Mormon everyday! He came to church yesterday , and really loved the testimonies, it was perfect for him because most of the testimonies talked about peoples conversion stories with the missionaries. So they all applied to him very well. His only concern real concern that he expressed is that he believes all good is good, and that it doesn't matter what church you are a part of as long as your are doing good in the world. But we know that that concern will be resolved as he gains a testimony of the Book of Mormon and continues to feel the spirit that we bring, and the spirit there is at church.
Alfred is still recovering from his eye surgery, but we made some real progress with him. Earlier in the week he was watching some show called Ancient Aliens, and the show mentioned Moroni, so when we came over later that week he was really interested in Moroni and wanted to learn more about him and the book of Mormon. So we taught him the restoration and had a really good conversation about the Book of Mormon and the importance of Jesus Christ. He expressed beliefs that are kind of similar to ours, but are way out there. He pretty much just replaces God with Aliens, so that is a concern that I haven't seen before, but we know it too will be resolved as he reads the Book of Mormon. We left him with a Book of Mormon, and bookmarked 3 Nephi 11 the part when Christ comes to the Americas, and he promised to read it when he was recovered from his eye surgery.
We had lots of fun celebrating my birthday! For lunch we went with the other Hollywood Elders to Buffalo Wild Wings, our favorite place to eat! There they sang me Happy Birthday and we had a good time. Then after that we just went to several members homes where we got loaded up with food, cheesecake, and some candy. When we were walking back to our car to head home, we saw someones old SUV die so we decided to go help them.We tried to push the car to the side of the road, and it was TIRING. We pushed it a block uphill, and when we talked to her afterwords found out that she forgot to take off the e-brake! It was all good though, we gave her a card and headed home. We had a curfew of 6:00 because Halloween gets pretty crazy in LA. They have a massive Halloween party for gay people right down the street from our apartment, so we were happy to be in by 6 and avoid that.
So we had a fun week this week with plenty of progress. I hope you all have a good week. I love and miss you all!!!
Elder Burnside

I know his emails are getting shorter/fewer a little bit.  I suppose that means that he is getting comfortable with both the work and where he is at.  His email on November 10 was shorter and to the point.

How was everybody's week this week? I hope you have all had a good time. Our week was okay, we had some progress but not that much.On Wednesday Elder Pierce, the new missionary came on exchanges with me, and we just went and talked to people on the streets for pretty much the whole day. It got pretty tough, that was the most rejection I have ever had street contacting. At one point 17 people in a row told us some form of no not interested. But in the end we actually got several potential and new investigators that we hope to meet with this upcoming week. So it was a solid day.
Saturday we had stake conference, and since we were getting a new bishop, we had two members of the quorums of the seventy there. One was Elder Craig Cardon, and I can't remember the other ones name, but they gave really good talks about the work of salvation, and the part that everybody plays in it. One focus they made was that everybody needs to get to know there neighbor, and far to often we enclose ourselves with members of the church and need to outreach more. So it was really good.
Then on Sunday the new stake presidency was called. And they had all the former stake presidency and all of the new stake presidency bear their testimonies. It was a pretty powerful meeting. They then spoke again on missionary work, so that was a really important focus this weekend.
We didn't really have a chance to see Dana or Alfred this week, we were able to visit them each briefly and they are both doing well, but we didn't have a chance to make much progress. Our week was mostly just talking to people on the streets, as it will be this next week too. Its moving a little slow right now, but that just means the work is going to speed up shortly. Hope you all have a great next week! I love and miss you all!!!
Elder Burnside
Well that is all for the last 2 weeks

Monday, October 27, 2014

Post before Dallon's birthday

Let us start with Dallon's letter from Oct 20
Sounds like a fun week, with lots of fun activities. A member here named Brother Marquardt had us over for dinner on Monday, and he also loves to scuba dive, he has gone all around the world doing dives. He has traveled the world, working as a magician, so whenever he can he goes scuba diving too, and he has a lot of cool stories as well as amazing magic tricks. Well your week sounds more a little more exciting than our week was.
My first day with my new companion Elder Ward was really good. We had a lot of success street contacting. We found 4 potential investigators in an hour of street contacting. Two of which seemed very interested, and were really engaged in our conversations about Jesus Christ. So that was really cool.
Then we got exciting news with Dana!! He got himself a job doing maintenance from 9-7 5 days a week. Which means he will make more money so he can get an apartment, and he doesn't have to work on Sundays so he can still come to church!!
Then we are still slowly but surely working with Alfred and his wife Pauline. We did some service for them on Saturday, and then went over there for dinner on Sunday. After dinner on Sunday, Alfred told us that because of the bad experience Pauline had in Denmark they were not ready to come to church, but that because of the fellowshipping we have been doing, she is opening up to it more and more, and he is open towards the church now too. It was awesome to hear that our service has really touched and helped them, and as long as we keep going over there and helping them, and invite them to activities, they will eventually come to church. They said that they would probably come to the ward Halloween party, so hopefully that goes through, and they meet and make friends with a lot of the ward members.
Other than that nothing else has gone on. Elder Ward has been sick pretty much all week, so we weren't able to meet with our potential investigators that we found, and have spent most of the week in our apartment. He is feeling better today, so hopefully this next week will be full of hard work and success. I love and miss you all!! Can't Wait to hear from you!
Elder Burnside

He is from South Carolina and has 11 siblings!! It was very boring, I read from the scriptures, took a couple naps to catch up on sleep, but that was about it. It is still warm here, during the day, but then it cools off at night into the 50's. I really do appreciate all the different people I have met, especially being in the Hollywood ward, I have learned so much from them. The jets are just doing awful this year :(, at least it is the year I can't watch. How much longer till Rex Ryan gets fired? I love being out here, and I have just had so many really cool experiences. I love you!!
Elder Burnside

Elder Burnside's letter from today

How is everybody doing? I hope you all are doing well. This week was a pretty frustrating week for us. So there is not too much to share. Since Elder Ward started feeling better on Monday, we were ready to get back to working hard. We set up a lot of appointments only to have each and every one of them get cancelled at the very last second. We had over 15 appointments fall through, so it was a slow week.
The only appointments that didn't fall through were with Alfred. We went over there Wednesday and did some more service with him on his house, and he told us that he was going to have eye surgery the next day. When we called him on Saturday we found out that he was really feeling awful, and he wasn't recovering quite like they expected him too. So we got to go over there and give him a blessing, which was good. Both him and Pauline really appreciated it, the spirit was super strong. We hope that the blessing will now give us a chance to share the gospel more, and make some good progress.
As we had good news with Alfred, we got bad news with Dana. We weren't able to meet with him at all this week, but we talked to him on the phone, and I have just never met anybody as unlucky as him. One day after he got the job, the company went under and had to fire everybody, and then he came out to find that he had a broken tail light, and then he lost his phone. So he had to spend all his money on fixing his car. Again. And he had to buy a new phone. So he spent this week down in Long Beach with some family to just kind of step back. It is frustrating how he can not catch a break, and amazing how through it all he still is incredibly grateful for what the lord blesses him with. Every time we see him, he tells us the new bad news, but then he immediately precedes to show Gratitude for all the little blessings that he sees in his life. We know that now is his time of trial, and that he will be blessed immensely once it is over for staying faithful.
On Saturday there was the ward trunk or treat, so the missionaries all got together to make a trunk. I got dressed up in armor, and we gave the kids a little mini lesson on putting on the armor of god. It was a ton of fun, and everybody enjoyed it.
I hope you all have good next week. Have lots of fun. I love and miss you all! Have a Happy Halloween!!!!
Elder Burnside

Cool. Me and Elder Ward are doing well, we get along together very well. The only problem with him is he goes home December 30. So he is excited to go home and is what we call trunkie. So he can make me a little trunkie at times but we still do good work, and he is really cool. I am low on my account because we had 2 parking tickets in August, so I only got 60 some dollars in September, so most of that is from back in September but I am ok with money now. Primary program sounds fun, there are more kids in the primary, then there are members here that showed up on Sunday. There was a stark contrast in the number of members this week than there was last week when we had our primary program. Your email contact always says R&D Engineer, what exactly is that because I just tell people you are a mechanical engineer. I get Grandma's emails, and we email back and forth. It is cool to compare our missions to each other. I got Grandma's package which was really cool, but I didn't get yours yet. I love you too, and I will pray that you get the job!
Elder Burnside

He attached the following pictures

Update 2 of 4 weeks

Dallon sent this letter on October 6
Hey, sounds like a pretty decent week. That's too bad about the baptism, I hope that he still decides to get baptized. That's good that you were able to see Brandon, even though you may not be getting through right now, you need to just keep that influence there, so that when he does open up to it, he will know where to go. An electric razor would be nice. Maybe maybe a new pair of jeans, the ones I brought were pretty small to begin with, and of course treats. Otherwise I can't really think of anything, but I will let you know if I do. Our week was pretty quite too. We went on exchanges twice this week, and had general conference on two other days, so I really only spent 3 days working in my area.
Monday nothing really happened, and Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Spencer. We went and taught one of his investigators at the institute building at Santa Monica Community College, where President Weidman decided to join in on the lesson at the last moment. Second time in a week that I taught a lesson with him, and both turned out really well. He has such a strong testimony, and he knows a lot about the gospel so he has been able to answer tough questions.
Wednesday we got to actually watch Meet The Mormons this time. It was a really well done movie, and I would recommend it. It comes out in theaters this week. It talks about 6 different Mormon families around the world, and about how their faith affects their lives.
Thursday we had a pretty cool miracle. We were street contacting and started talking to this one girl who attends college in the area. We talked to her for a little bit and she was really interested but she had to get going, she said that she would love to read the Book of Mormon in her first language (Spanish), if we had one. Which we didn't but we told her we would get her one, then right as she was leaving the Spanish elders happened to ride by on their bikes, and we were able to flag them down and give her a Book of Mormon. It was really cool because the Spanish elder never go to that are, that just happened to be the quickest way to their dinner appointment.
Saturday was general conference of course, and the two talks I really enjoyed were the Elder Holland's and Elder Uchtdorf's. We went to the stake center to watch it, and it is really weird because if you looked at the building you would guess it was Catholic. It was huge and hag a bunch of stained glass windows, and just looked completely different then the normal church buildings. I enjoyed Elder Holland's talk about helping the needy. And how Christ was technically homeless during his ministry yet he was all about serving others. Missionaries watch a lot of Elder Holland talks, so I have come to really enjoy his talks. I too enjoyed Elder Uchtdorf's "Lord is it I?" talk. It was an interesting point that none of Christ's apostles accused anyone else, but instead asked if it was themselves. I had never thought about how much humility that they showed right there. I had always thought of it as a lack of faith, but really they were just were just trying to improve themselves, and perfect their faith. I really enjoy listening to Elder Uchtdorf, he is my favorite.
Sunday was awesome. General conference was good, they kept talking about sustaining the prophet, so I thought he was going to come out with some crazy new announcement, but it never happened. Elder Eyring's talk was really good, about receiving confirming revelation. The spirit was just really strong during it, and I enjoyed his story about the inspiration his parents would receive. Then after General Conference we had Sister Pat's baptism!! It was the most interesting first baptism. There were no talks, just a song prayer and then the baptism. We did it at the pool at her apartment complex. So there were a bunch of people that were at her pool that watched it. That is normally a good thing except there was a gay couple that either took pictures or recorded it, so you may or may not see us on the internet. Then when they actually did the baptismal ordinance the member dunked her before she was ready, and she freaked out a bit because she got water up her nose, she came up pointing her finger and yelling her husbands name. It was actually pretty funny. But after she changed she was so happy and thankful towards us, you could tell she was feeling the spirit. Overall it was an awesome experience, like most of the church stuff that goes on here, it was chaotic, yet still full of the spirit. Not a lot happened this week, but the few things that did were awesome. Hope you all continue to have a good time, Can't wait to hear back from you. I love you all!
Elder Burnside

He attached pictures for the baptism

Then he followed with

The member baptized her, but Elder Taylor went in as backup in case he need help, since she is old and fragile. I got too go, but I will talk to you next week, I love hearing from you all. I love and miss you!!
Elder Burnside

The following week he emailed us again

Sounds like you all had a fun week, the balloon fiesta is always really cool. This week was really slow. We don't have many investigators right now, so we spent most of the week contacting and trying to find new investigators. Sadly there is not much to report about there. We did make progress with two of our investigators though, Alfred and Dana.
We have continued to help Alfred pretty much remodel his house. WE built a new railing, put in a dishwasher, and helped him fix his windows. He is extremely grateful for all the service we provide him, he said that he has seen missionaries plenty of times before, but none have actually offered to help him out like we did, and so he has never really connecting with any other missionaries before. His wife Pauline is grateful to, and she has really opened up the past week, she has started to talk about church with us, and she even said that they will start coming to church next week! Because of all that we have done for them.We are really excited for them, we took them to the departing missionary fireside last night because Elder Taylor's last companion who found them is going home. There they met several members of the ward who they really connected well with, and will stay in contact with. So slowly but surely we are getting them to church. It was crazy before we took them to the fireside, because they had us come over to barbecue, and the grill just completely went up in flames, right on the deck! When we tried to spray the fire extinguisher on it, we couldn't get it to work! Luckily in the end it only left scorch marks on the wood, and didn't actually burn anything, and we were able to put it out. But it that was pretty exciting.
We met with Dana the other day, and we read the first three chapters of the Book of Mormon. He said that he had read a couple chapters, just from randomly opening and reading a chapter, but never from the beginning. So we sat down and read with him, and the spirit was so strong, he loved it! He wanted to keep on reading for awhile, but we had to get going to another appointment, so we told him about Book of Mormon class,and he said that he would go this week.He told us that he really wanted to read more of the Book of Mormon and that he would start reading it from front to back. He is such a solid investigator, and I am sure that he will be baptized, but he needs to find a home first. He has somebody who is going to help him find housing though, so hopefully it won't be long.
Then transfers are happening tomorrow! I am staying here and will be with Elder Ward. He has been serving on the other side of Hollywood, so I already know him. He is going home at the end of the year, so he is on the opposite side of his mission from me. My trainer Elder Taylor will be going to the most ghetto part of the mission over in Watts. SO wish him luck lol. I am excited for this next transfer! I miss and love you all!
Elder Burnside

Thanks, I have really come to love doing service for people, it really is the best feeling when you serve someone without expecting anything in return. I am excited to serve with Elder Ward, we have a lot in common. Is Brandon there? How is he doing? Elder Burnside

I will post more letters in a bit

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Finally a post on Dallon's Mission Blog.....

My son reminded me that I am being terrible, since it has been so long since I updated this blog.  I guess you are seing my procrastinating side.  Well let's look at believe it or not 4 weeks worth of letters.  Start with September 8,

I can't believe that you waited until right after I left to get football back!! And just in time for the Jets to win the super bowl too! Anyways this week was pretty solid, there wasn't anything that was super exciting, but it was a good week. Wednesday was our most exciting day, we were running from appointment to appointment. First we went to visit a guy named Bart. He is in his late 40s and he is a big guy that is really into fitness. He is a return missionary, but he hasn't been going to church since he got excommunicated several months ago. We got his info when he saw the Spanish missionaries in Subway, and told them that he wanted the missionaries to come by some time. We had a nice conversation and got to know him. He still has a testimony of the church, and knows that it is true, the only thing stopping him is his addictions. He is a pretty cool guy, and we will probably try to stop by again this week. After that we went over to see how Mark (the one who was raised Jewish) was doing with his Book of Mormon reading. We found out that he had already finished it!! It was full of tabs and highlighted verses, and he said he was going to read it again so he could understand better. He still had lots of concerns, but the main one was that he says he can't pray with a sincere heart because he does not believe in God, and does not believe that he will get an answer. Otherwise he said he would do it. He then asked us to stay, so we could teach his girlfriends who was on her way over! When he did that it just confirmed to us that he has felt the spirit, and somewhere deep down he has a belief that what we teach him is true. Our lesson with his girlfriend, Tatiana, was ok. She wasn't as open to the gospel as he is, and mostly just asked us questions about the word of wisdom, and the law of chastity. She was mostly just trying to make us look bad, but by the end she actually understood the word of wisdom and law of chastity, and she said that she would read the Book of Mormon if she had any free time. e had a really good lesson there, but it went late and we were on our bikes. So we biked as fast as we could to the church which is on the other side of Hollywood so that we could go to Book of Mormon class because Annette said that she would go. She ended up having to cancel at the last second though. After Book of Mormon class we went to have dinner with a guy we met on the Street last week named Hyrum. When we met him we thought he was just a less active, but after talking to him more it appears that he is the only person in the world named Hyrum who is not a member of the church. He said that his dad was a member but his mother wasn't. But his dad went inactive so Hyrum never got baptized, but he saw the missionaries a lot growing up. So when he saw us on the street last week, he jumped on the opportunity to talk to us and invite us over.
He is a pretty spiritual person he prays a lot, and all that kind of stuff, But when we invited him to church right before we left; his whole mood changed and he made up some excuse on the spot. SO that was our super busy day.
Then Saturday we helped our bishop move out of his apartment, he is moving to Gilbert, Arizona, so we too will be getting a new bishop in the next couple weeks. His apartment was a 2 bedroom, so it was a decent size but not huge or anything. But he had a ton of stuff. He filled one of the extra large moving trucks to the brim, we were barely able to get everything in, it took some extremely good packing skills. A lot of people came to help though so it was really good, we had probably 15-20 people there.
Sunday was a little bit disappointing. We had four or five investigators who said they would try to come to church, but they all had to cancel last minute. SO we haven't been able to meet with Imran or Annette at all this week. Although something funny happened. This lady that we met on the street only speaks Russian, but we gave her a card with the church address and tried to tell her to come. And for the past three weeks she has come to church, but we haven't been able to find anybody to talk to her in Russian so we could find more out about her. Than this week we finally found someone who could translate for her at church, and when we started talking to her, we found out that she moved here about two years ago, but that she was a member of the church back in Russia and even had a temple recommend! So that was pretty funny. Anyway that was my week. Love you all and can't wait to hear from you!
Elder Burnside
He did follow up answering a couple more questions

Well I got to get going here in a couple of minutes. I will keep the good attitude, because everyday we see the blessing of the Lord, and know that we are doing his work, and that he is right there with us to help us out. It is crazy how much I have learned on my mission in just 9 weeks. I'm pretty sure the money comes from the first option and not the second lol. Hardest part now is not being able to watch football, I saw the patriots dolphins score on the front page of the newspaper while waiting in line at the store today. It would have been cool to watch, but I know that I am doing something more important. Can't wait to hear from you again.
Elder Burnside

Now onto September 15th

Sounds like everybody had a fun week. Wow, Stokes will be speaking Hmong in Wisconsin, I bet nobody guessed that. When does he report to the MTC? Sounds like a really good new bishopric. We will be getting a new one too any week now. We had a pretty good week.
Tuesday was our worst day though. Mission President called us to tell us we are not allowed to teach Imran anymore. Since he lives in Malibu, we had to let the missionaries there teach him, and we haven't heard anything from him since. So that was kind of frustrating since he was our best investigator. But it is all ok, as long as he still learns the gospel.
Wednesday was a pretty good day. We had gotten three or four referrals from on Tuesday night. It was pretty funny because one of them was fake. So when we called it ended up being the church of Scientology. We had a good laugh about that one. We were able to see Annette for the first time in a week. She hadn't been answering her phone, but we had a good lesson about the importance of prayer and reading the Book of Mormon.
Thursday was awesome. In the morning we got to go over to the temple and do service there. We tore out all the grass on the side of the temple, because it had some kind of weed in it that is illegal in California. Then we got to help carry a new carpet that was about 80 feet long into the celestial room, and help put it in. That thing was freaking heavy, we all thought that that was going to be the easy part of temple service, but it ended up being way more tiring then tearing out the grass. Then for dinner we went to Rosco's. Where we had chicken and waffles, and surprisingly enough the two go really well together. We then had a really cool experience when we went and contacted at one of the malls. We took a member with us, and we started talking to a guy around our age named Jose. The member asked us how our favorite story in the Book of Mormon has helped us in our life. Then while we were testifying he stopped us and said that he had this really amazing feeling in his heart, and wanted to learn more. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and he was excited to read it. The only bad part is that he lives in downtown Los Angeles so we had to refer him to other missionaries.
Friday I went on exchanges with the new zone leader Elder Villalba. He is from Uruguay. It was pretty much like a day off, because he is a Spanish missionary, so I just sat in on lessons and pretended like I knew what was going on. Then occasionally I would talk to an English speaking person while we were on our way to our next appointment.
Saturday was a lot of fun. The Spanish ward had a celebration for independence day in central America. They had a bunch of food from different countries, and each country did a native dance from its country. We brought one of our investigators Dana. He is a black guy that got out of jail in April, and sells water on Hollywood boulevard. He served 20 years in jail, and he became pretty religious while in jail, so he loves it whenever we stop by and talk about what we believe. So he really enjoyed it, and said that he would start coming to church as soon as he found a normal 9-5 job. He is really cool, because he talks to all the other venders on Hollywood boulevard about us, so we have a couple potential investigators that we have found through him.
Sunday we had a pretty good sacrament meeting. It was missionary themed, so me, Elder Taylor, and Elder Ward all spoke, and then they had a convert who has a grandson on a mission speak. They had me bear my testimony, and I talked about my experience with Thomas, and how the gospel makes people better. Then Elder Taylor gave a talk about the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion. Elder Ward gave his testimony and talked about how he prayed on his mission, and received the answer that the Book of Mormon is true. Everybody really enjoyed it, and the gospel principles teacher said that the spirit was really strong, and that he felt that there was going to be a huge missionary effort in the near future, and that the ward was really going to change. So sacrament was really cool, but our investigators that said they were going to be there all had to cancel. Overall it was a good week. The mission is already starting to fly by, I can't believe that I have already been out for over two months! I love you all, and can't wait to hear from you..
Elder Burnside
It was really disappointing that they couldn't continue to teach Imram, but the spirit provides and new opportunities are provided as you can tell from his letter.  It is always inspiring to see the work progressing and the new contacts they make.  On September 22 we first got some pictures from a less active that they have been helping.

Elder Taylor and Elder Burnside,
You were both Fantastic!
Thank You for Your help on the applying the deck coating and painting the house.
I enjoyed our fellowship and you help on getting it done.
Here are pictures of you both after completion.

Then Dallon sent a letter that day:

Cool, sounds like a fun week. I'm glad stevie enjoyed the card. We are actually going to go play ultimate Frisbee today, although it isn't as fun here because we can not go with more than two other companionships. It is cool to hear about your home teaching of him, it sounds like he is pretty open for the gospel, which is great. We had a pretty good week this past week.
Monday was pretty cool, for non-missionary related reasons. After we finished emailing and all of that stuff, we went and had dinner with a member who is a professional magician, and works at the magic castle. He showed us his best trick, one that he had made up himself, and it was pretty amazing.
Tuesday was good too. We went and set up a couple more cameras for the member we have been doing service for. Although I mostly just helped his son with algebra homework, while everyone else set up the cameras. Man I thought I was finally getting away from math homework when I came on my But the service was good though, his son finally began to understand how to do it, and is now passing his math class. Then that night we went and contacted a referral that was way up in the hills. He and his wife had rented a cabin from a Mormon family in Utah for a couple weeks, and the family had given him a nook of Mormon, and then sent the referral to us. When we first showed up, he was extremely uninterested, and did not want to talk, But as we bore our testimonies on the Book of Mormon and how we have seen God in our lives, he began to open up and by the end of the discussion he said we could come back sometime. It was really cool to see the spirit slowly but surely soften his heart and open his mind as we bore our testimonies.
Wednesday we went and met with a recent convert. Our mission president has asked missionaries to really put a focus on getting recent converts the priesthood, and getting them to the temple for baptisms for the dead, and for endowments. SO we went over there and started talking about the importance of going to the temple. He told us he had already gotten his recommend but hadn't gone because he has been having doubts lately. He said that he hadn't been feeling anything when he prayed or read the book of Mormon lately. Which led us to a good discussion about how when we have those doubts or are struggling with our faith, that is when we need to go to the temple, and feel the spirit there, so we can receive personal revelation, and receive answers to our questions or doubts. So it went really well, and at the end he said that he would go to the temple.
Thursday we helped a potential investigator clear out his backyard. His name is Alfred and he is a non-member who's wife is a less active from Denmark. They are going to Europe for a couple months, and really needed to finish stuff up on there house because they are renting it out. He is really cool, but not really interested in the gospel. It was fun service to help out with though. Then later we found two new investigators while street contacting, one is a 16 year old in high school named J.R. and the other was a girl named Nakita who moved here recently from Australia. Her family is all Jehovah's Witnesses, except for her, but she was super interested and asked us question after question. We are going to meet with both of them this week, and try to set up a baptismal date with each. We are pretty excited!
Friday we went back to Alfred's house and helped pain his house and coat his deck with protective stuff. It was a lot of fun. We also helped a member tear out the carpet in there room. We did a lot of last minute service this past week.
On Saturday we went back to Alfred's just to see how it all looked, and set up a time to come by next week. It was cool because he was super thankful, and he had told his neighbor that he had some cool Mormon guys helping him with his house. SHe then asked him if he could get us to help her too. So he asked us if we could help both of them, and when we said yes, he said that we could even share a message with the two of them afterwords! So it was really cool to see service open somebody up to the gospel. Hopefully as we continue to help him with his house and share the gospel with him, he will become more and more open. Later we got a call from some missionaries that Paul is going to get baptized. If you remember, Paul was the guy who showed up to church the same week that we found Mark (the one who dropped us), But we then later found out that even though Paul lived in our area, he was getting taught by missionaries in Sherman Oaks. Apparently he accepted there baptismal invitation last week, and will get baptized there on Sunday, and then will start coming to our ward after that. SO we were happy to hear that he is going to get baptized.
Sunday was a little disappointing, because all of our investigators that said they would come bailed on us. But we still had a good service. We got a new bishop, so our sacrament meeting was pretty similar to yours last week. THat evening we went over to Brother Forsyth's nieces house, to talk to update them about a referral they had given us. We ended up meeting his other nephew who lives in Los Angeles, and having dinner over there. So that was pretty cool. THis past week was good, but we think this week will be better. We have a feeling that we will set at least one baptismal date, hopefully It works out! Love you and can't wait to hear from you all again.
Elder Burnside

Kind of funny that we are just getting one letter without as much back and forth on Monday's.  I think Dallon is getting more comfortable where he is and maybe less homesick.  It is so good to see him progress.  He sent the following letter the next week on September 29.

How is everything going? Sounds like you had a good time at Brandon's birthday. I have heard that you are not keeping up on the blog... you better get on that! lol. We had a really good week this week, it was full of miracles. The beginning of the week was kind of slow, but then it really picked up at the end.
Monday and Tuesday were pretty slow, and not much happened. On Wednesday we got to meet with Paul. We taught him the last little bit of the lessons he needed, and then gave him a baptismal interview. His girlfriend who introduced him to the church was actually less active right before meeting him, but she had a very strong testimony that she bore at the end of the lesson. Paul loves the church, and was super excited to get baptized, (he ended up getting baptized in his girlfriends ward which is outside of our mission so we weren't able to see it). But it sounded like he had a really great experience.
Thursday we had an awesome experience. Wednesday night we talked with our potential investigator Dana, and we all decided to fast for him on Thursday. He had served 20 years in Jail, and got out in April, but hasn't been able to find a job, and is living out of his car. We love Dana because even through all his struggles, every time he sees us he tells us how the Lord really blesses him, and he is so grateful for all of his blessings. He just has amazing faith. Anyway we fasted with him so that he could find a place to live and a solid job. When we met up with him for Dinner he was so excited. He told us that he found a place where he can stay for free until he has enough money to rent an apartment, and he got accepted into trucking school! He has wanted to be a trucker ever since he went to prison. He knew it was because we fasted. The coolest part for us was that we got offered so much food through out the day, things were happening that never happen . We had people that we were just talking to on the street offer to buy us food. We were having members invite us over to eat. We had at least 5 people offer us food through out our fast. We stayed strong though and declined them all. But it was really interesting to see Satan working so hard through out the day to get us to break our fast, and then seeing huge blessings after staying faithful. It was an awesome experience, and it is just an amazing feeling to see Dana so happy because of the blessings he received from our fast. And after he saw those blessings he agreed to come to church with us, which is a tough decision for him since he really needs to keep working to make money for an apartment.
Friday was just as good as Thursday. Our investigator Pat is married to a member, and has been coming to church for over a year. She is 81 years old, and really struggles with the idea of baptism. She is very afraid of getting baptized and always says she can't do it when we ask her about a baptismal date. On Friday we took a member over to her apartment so we could just practice the dunking for baptism. It took almost an hour of talking to her before she would even get in her pool with the member. She actually loves getting in the pool, she is just very afraid of going under the water. It took about another hour for her to actually dunk her head in the water. After she did, she still wouldn't accept a baptismal date. SO for another hour we talked to her about how happy she would be, and how she could have an eternal marriage in the temple. Then after all that and after her husband, the member we brought, and us all bore our testimonies she finally accepted to be baptized on October 5, this upcoming Sunday! She is still very afraid, but has decided to rely on her faith, because she knows it all is true, and we are all very excited for her!
Saturday was a lot of fun. IN the morning we went to a zone conference to watch the new church movie, "Meet the Mormons". But after about 15 minutes it stopped working. That was kind of disappointing because it was really funny. So instead we watched a talk by Elder Uchtdorf about having no fear. The talk was really good, and I liked how he talked about Peter. During Christ's ministry Peter was full of fear, he had the whole walking on water incident, and he denied Christ three times. Yet after Christ's atonement he was made president of the church, and from that moment on he was a changed person. He boldly testified of Christ, even though he faced increasingly harsh persecutions all the way up to the time that he was crucified himself. Elder Uchtdorf continued to talk about how we are just like Peter, and even though we have fears, if we put our faith in Christ like Peter did we can accomplish so much. So I really liked that. Then we went and did some more painting for Alfred, we have about half of the house painted now. He is so grateful, and is slowly but surely opening up to the gospel. Then Saturday night we brought President Weidman to a lesson with Mark and Tatiana. With President Weidman there, the spirit was extremely strong. At the end of the lesson Mark said he loved the idea of what we had told him, but he just can't accept it to be true yet, but he committed to pray about it. Tatiana said she needed more of a sign that what were teaching was true, and agreed to actually read the Book of Mormon this time. It doesn't sound like they made a big change from the outside, but we could tell that they felt the spirit, and had come closer to accepting the truthfulness of the gospel.
Sunday was really good too. Paul was confirmed, and the new bishop gave him a very powerful blessing during it. Dana came to the meeting and really enjoyed it, so much that he was telling everybody on Hollywood Boulevard how great church was. A member told a cool story about how she normally rides the bus to the beach, but felt prompted to drive her car last time.Then when she was getting ready to go, a guy came crawling out of the water in severe pain. When the life guard attended to him it turned out that he had dislocated his knee. The guy said not to call an ambulance because he couldn't afford it. But he had no way of getting home, when the member asked him where he lived she found out that he lived across the street from her, and she was able to give him a ride home. She talked about how great it is to follow a prompting from the spirit, and then see the rewards from it later. After church the other elders had a baptism service which Pat came to. It was a really great service, and afterwords Pat said that she was still ready for baptism! Towards the end of the day we were reporting our numbers for the week, and saw that we hadn't had any new investigators, we decided to say we got one, and prayed that we would be able to get one by the end of the day. Shortly after the prayer we saw a guy open the hood of his car, and really struggling with something. Luckily Elder Taylor is really good with cars so we went to help him. It turned out that before work his phone had slid down his windshield and somehow fell inside the fender. He really needed it too because he was living out of his car, and currently in the search for a new apartment. While we were working on getting it out, we called it to see where in the fender it was, and it turned out that he was a former investigator in our area. And after talking to him for a while he said that he was re interested in the church, and wanted another Book of Mormon since he had lost his. It was such a miracle to answer our prayers. Hopefully next week is a good as this week was, we are excited for the baptism! I love and miss you all!
Elder Burnside

Monday, September 1, 2014

It's been 2 weeks.....

I haven't updated in 2 weeks.  Let's begin with Monday August 25th.  We asked how Elder Burnside was doing as he had had some disappointment the pr

We did get reenergized, and were out working hard again. We have had no contact with Mark, but there are a couple members that are trying to stay in contact with him now. I got the package, and will return the recorder soon. The mission president said that we will have IPads by the end of the year, and we will have to pay 400 dollars for them is what I have heard. We got to the temple 4 times a year, but they last went right before I arrived, so it will be a couple more months until we go again.
Monday we just hung out at the church during the rest of our preparation day. Then we had a meeting with bishop and the ward mission leader about how we could get the ward more involved with missionary work. We decided to start having missionary moments shared in church like during opening exercises, and just basically have missionary related announcements each week.
Tuesday I had my second new missionary training. We discussed how we could plan better, importance of being exactly obedient, and driving safety. Our mission president says that a training is only successful if you change something because of it. We decided to start trying to plan things that are in the same area to reduce the amount of time in the car, and we have been able to talk to a lot more people because of it. WE then went and did some service for a member by installing some security cameras for him, and that was a lot of fun. We then spent the rest of the day inviting investigators to our ward luau party, visiting lees- actives to invite them, and visiting member to have them invite friends to the luau. We spent the next couple days doing the same thing pretty much.
On Friday we met a guy named Hyrum who said he was not a member but that the rest of his family is, we are pretty sure he is a less active. He was excited to see us, and wants us to come by for dinner sometime when he is not busy. He said that he is CEO or something like that for a local brewery so he is busy most days. hopefully we can meet with him soon, he sounded like he would be open to coming back to church.
Saturday we did helped Bro.Goodall and Yvonne continue with their landscaping, but we didn't take any photos, sorry. Then we went and helped set up for the Luau party, both the English and the Spanish ward were going so we were hoping for a big turnout. A Polynesian family in the ward was hosting it, and it ended up being a lot of fun. They had two whole pigs with the apple in their mouth and everything. We were expecting about 15-20 non-members to come, and then we would take them on a church tour afterwards. But almost everybody canceled on us at the last second, and we only had two investigators show up, and the other set of elders had 3. We still had a good time, our investigators really enjoyed it. I met I met and talked to Sister Ethier there, and she said that she would get my jersey signed, and it was just in time to because she was heading back to Arizona after church because there kids were starting school there. After the party we took our investigators, who were Mark (the one with the Jewish background) and his girlfriend Tatiana who is from Macedonia. They enjoyed the church tour, and said that they would come to church whenever he got work off on Sunday, so that was exciting.
Sunday I got my signed jersey back!! And she said that she would try to get Andre to send us some signed baseballs!! Church was cool, we had one nonmember come to church. His name is Imran, he is from India, and is apparently a huge rock star in south east Asia, and is trying to get more popular here in America. His story was pretty crazy, he used to party and do drugs with a bunch of celebrities, one that he mentioned was Nicki Manoj, but then exactly 4 weeks before he came to church Steven Tyler told him that he needed to get sober and come closer to God. So he just stopped doing drugs right there, and he said he felt something, which he pretty much described as the Holy Ghost. Then last week he was walking in Japan and happened to stop by the temple, and he said that he had that same feeling but a lot stronger, and it was way better and stronger than any drug that he had ever taken. He said that he felt it again at church and now he wants to learn more, so that was a really cool experience.
Have fun in San Diego, I love you all!
Elder Burnside

And Dallon sent pictures!!!  Of course they are of his jersey that he gave to Sister Ethier who got her husband (Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Andre Either) to sign.  That was his exciting news of the week.

 But he did have some more to say.

It was pretty exciting to get my jersey signed, that would be super cool if I met him, but I don't think that it will happen. I do remember the Luau from Hawaii, and this one was similar, I think they did a couple of the same dances. Thomas did email me yesterday, he is doing very well, and is trying to share the gospel with his friends! That is a good scripture, we too often forget that, and want some big manifestation of God or Jesus Christ, but the most powerful experiances we have come from those peace of mind situations. We should remember that Laman and Lemuel saw angels, yet they still didn't have faith.
I love you too
Elder Burnside

Transfers are next tuesday, I probably will stay here but there is a chance that Elder Taylor will get moved because he has been in the Hollywood ward for 5 transfers, I think that he will stay but we will see.

Dallon also sent pictures from their ward luau activity, and one from the front of the church....

Now onto Monday September 1st.  Dallon is staying in Hollywood at least a while longer.  He did not send any pictures but did have some things to say...

Hey everybody, looks like you had a good time in San Diego this weekend. Thanks for the pictures, I almost forgot what you all looked like... just kidding. The pictures were really cool though. We still haven't talked to Mark yet.Imran who showed up to church last week has progressed very well. He has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday, and takes it everywhere with him. He came to church again this week and we taught him the restoration. At the end of the lesson we tried to commit him to baptism; he said that he knows that everything we told him was true but that he is not ready to commit to baptism because of his position as a rock star and part of a family that is very high up in the Indian government. He said that he would pray about baptism though, so I think we will actually have at least one baptism this transfer!
Our other investigator who could get baptized this transfer is named Annette. She is an older woman that was a referral from We met her on Thursday and than came back Friday to give her a blessing and teach a little bit of the restoration. Annette has some physical disabilities due to a minor stroke she had in the past. She enjoyed the restoration pamphlet we gave her, and was excited to come to church. She was only able to stay for the sacrament meeting but she really enjoyed it.
On Monday we taught an investigator named Bree and her family. She is a single mom with 4 kids, and she plays music for other christian churches. She has been top bible school, so it will be interesting to see hope our teaching goes. We didn't actually have time to teach any of the lessons, so we just got to know them and told them the story of the stripling warriors and their faith. Which she said really applied to them, because they have been having some problems lately that have been testing her faith.She seems to be pretty open to the gospel, she accepted the Book of Mormon we gave her, but she is really busy and it is hard to get a hold of her.
This week was transfers week and we got called last night to see if we are staying or leaving. After much prayer and fasting we are both staying in Hollywood! Elder Johnson who is the bigger elder in the other companionship is going back to American Sign Language, and taking his place will be elder Ward. One of our zone leaders got transferred to Santa Monica, but I don't know who is taking his place.
This weekend was fun, as Saturday was Elder Taylor's 20th birthday. A member took us to Buffalo Wild Wings to celebrate on Saturday because that is one of Elder Taylor's favorite places to eat. That was really good, and a lot of fun.On Sunday the Fe-esgao family, which is the Polynesian family that was in charge of the luau, had us over for dinner. They made some good barbecue chicken and then cake and ice cream afterwords. The members here are all really cool and nice.
Overall it has been a really solid week.

It is ok, you don't have to find any pictures. We had plenty to eat at the Fe-esago's home, you are right they do eat a lot. I did get the box, thank you. The pillow and blanket is plenty. Make sure you enjoy the heat, as it won't be in Los Alamos much longer. I love you too.

First we all know that Stevan is the only buttmunch around here. I actually just got my haircut today by a less active named David. His brother is the mission president in Las Vegas. His Brother is also married to Neal Maxwell's daughter. David is really cool and does a really good job. He did the hair for the celebrities at the Emmy awards and also does it at most other award shows. My hair looks different in the pictures you have seen lately because Elder Taylor has gotten me to start styling it with gel.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Monday August 18 Letters

I'm a little slow in getting Dallon's letters posted this week.  I figured I better get them done before his next ones show up tomorrow.  We had been asking Dallon about pictures and about how he contacts or finds investigators.

I didn't take any pictures this week, but the other Elders did, and I will send them either later today or next week. I didn't get the package but it is fine. To answer your questions, we are in the city part of Hollywood so it is very different from Los Alamos. We get referrals to people, try to do service, or we street contact. Street contacting is where we just walk along the streets and try to talk to people, nobody really tracts anymore. We usually do it on the side streets of Hollywood Blvd. or the side streets of Sunset, where there are still a good amount of people, but not too many to start a conversation.
This week was going pretty good, but then it ended pretty poorly. Monday we tried to go to the Hollywood sign, but it was closed, so we took pictures in the next best place, which I will send eventually. We went as a zone, but apparently that is against the rules, so you won't see anymore zone pictures.
Tuesday I went to my first zone conference. We talked about how we represent Christ, and needing to remember that. Then there was a huge focus on retaining converts. We are suppose to find a "mentor" for our investigators, who will attend lessons and be friends with them. They did a study and found that when using a "mentor", 95 percent of the converts stay active. So we pretty much just talked about how we need to refocus on the mentor program.
Wednesday we went on exchanges. I went with Elder Spencer, and worked in his area which is the east side of Hollywood, which is the poorer side. Elder Spencer is the tall one with brown hair in the service pictures. He is from a little farm town on the border of Utah and Idaho. He has been out for 16 months. We ate at an Armenian family's house, and I found that Armenian food is really good. They love feeding the Elders, and told Elder Spencer and Elder Johnson that if they didn't have a dinner appointment that they should go eat there. So Wednesday was fun just to go see the other side of Hollywood, and talk to the people there.
Thursday was really good. Our street contacting was super successful, we found two investigators and a less active who wants us to come by sometime. Then we had our last lesson with Mark that went pretty well. We taught him the Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, and The Laws of Tithing and Fast. He thought that everybody should follow them, and that he already had no problem with them. So it was a super successful day.
Then Friday was probably the worst day I have had on my mission. We are having a luau, so we went to the church to make some flyers to give to nonmembers. While were there Mark texted us saying "My final decision is not to convert, thank you for the lessons I really appreciate them, but we will not need to meet anymore." That was pretty crushing. We asked him if we could just meet up at least one more time, but he said no and thanked us for doing a great job of sharing the gospel with him. It was really tough to do much the rest of the day, because that just deflated both of us. Then we were told to watch a video called missionary work and the atonement by Elder Holland. Which basically said that Jesus bled through every poor, which means salvation is not easy, so neither is missionary work. It is on YouTube, and was very powerful.
Saturday we set up a bunch of security cameras for a member, and that took forever because The wires didn't work right, so we had to go get all new wires, and we ended up spending a good portion of the day working on that.
Sunday was good, we had a couple older Armenian ladies that we street contact show up to church, so that was good. Then in the Afternoon we went to the departing missionary fireside with one of our investigators named Earl. All of the departing missionaries bore their testimonies there, it was a really good meeting. They all seemed to focus around one idea, which was change. One thing I heard that I really liked was that Faith is not just believing in something you can't see. Faith is an action word, it is taking an action based off of that belief. The example they gave was, faith in Jesus Christ is using his atonement by repenting everyday and attending church every week and partaking of the sacrament. Earl really enjoyed it, and he committed to star attending church again, so hopefully that happens. This week was pretty up and down. Hopefully next wee is a little bit better. I love you all.
Elder Burnside

I tried to give Dallon a boost and to let him know not to give up on the investigator even when things don't go well.  We are proud of him when he perseveres through adversity.  I know he is learning so much about himself, his faith, and God's children.  He also sent this email.

We do laundry every P-day right after we finish emailing. P- day is good, we don't usually do that much playing since we only have from 10 to 6. We also have to grocery shop, but we have enough food this week to skip that. WE get fed by members about 3 times a week, we probably eat out around 7 times a week, all other meals we cook ourselves. The temperature so still super hot here. I was reading a quote form the third prophet John Taylor this morning about Joseph Smith, it said that besides the Savior No man on earth has done more for mans salvation then Joseph Smith. I never really thought about just how huge Joseph Smith was in the Plan of Salvation until that. Hopefully you respond before we leave the library, we might get back on email at the church later, in order to send pictures.

The pictures are here

 He also sent a couple more pictures with an email

Yeah there are 14 in our zone, the zone leaders didn't come with us so they are not in the pictures. Here are some more pictures. The first one is from before I got herre, I don't know how to get rid of it so you can just discard it.
I love you too,
Elder Burnside

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Week goes by...

Another week in Hollywood ward.  The elders are doing service at an apartment complex, landscaping, etc.  One of the people they are helping sent us this picture.

It is good to see the elders doing good work.  The service they do is valuable for both helping those in need and boosting their testimonies and spirit.  Dallon sent the following email.

Cool, it sounds like everybody is having a great time. This week wasn't crazy like last week, but it was good and went by super fast. We taught Mark the 2nd and 3rd lessons, which went super well. He completely understands everything we teach him, and it all just makes perfect sense to him. He is just a perfect investigator. This week we are going to finish the lessons by teaching him the commandments and laws and ordinances. The spirit is just so strong when we teach him, and it brings us so much joy to teach him. I have come to know that when you teach others the gospel that you can really feel God's love for them very powerfully.
We have another investigator named Mark who we took to the visitors center on Tuesday. He is 24 and an atheist with a Jewish background. He had come to the missionaries just before I got here, asking for a Book of Mormon. He works a lot, so that was the first chance we have had to meet with him. He enjoyed the trip, and wanted to come again. We did the Christess room, the Jerusalem room, Modern day prophets, and then watched a really good Mormon message called The Hope of God's Light. He seems genuinely interested, and said that he would try to come to church this Sunday!
On Thursday and Saturday, we went and did service as you could tell from the picture. The person that takes the pictures is Yvonne, she is a non-member who lives at the apartment complex. The guy with the long hair is the apartment manager, he can't get the owner to approve and pay for the landscaping, which is why they asked for our help. They are all going to be out of town next week, so we won't go back for another 2 weeks, which means no pictures:(
On Friday we went on exchanges, since Elder Taylor is the district leader we went on exchanges with the zone leaders, who are Spanish speaking. SO for most of the day I just ate Spanish food, and listened to our zone leader, Elder Gillman, speak Spanish to people.
Sunday was enjoyable, I actually got to go to class this week. For the second week in a row, there was a homecoming talk from a missionary. He talked about how no matter how unqualified we think we are, if we have faith the lord will bless us and give us the power to do great things. I enjoyed his talk. The return missionary is also friends with the singer David Archuleta, so he came to hear the homecoming talk. I got a chance to shake his hand and talk to him for a minute about being a missionary, which was pretty cool. We also met a 12 year old girl named Aleia Rose who just signed a contract to sing with Disney, so it was pretty cool. In class we talked about how great the greatest gift is the gift of the holy ghost. Several convert shared their testimony about how it has changed their lives, so it was a good lesson.
I have a couple questions for you Dad. first is a question another missionary asked that I couldn't answer, If people can be healed by their faith alone why do we do priesthood blessings? Also I was wondering if you have a specific example of the blessing you have received from me going on my mission. ONe last one, Was this email descriptive enough? Hope you all have a good week, can't wait to hear from you.
Elder Burnside

I told him
"I have received several powerful witnesses of the spirit that the work is true when I was helping you to get on your mission and again when I am sharing in your experiences. How do you describe a powerful witness of the spirit. For me, it is a thrill that courses through out my body, accompanied by a mental assurance to the truth of what I have heard. It is probably that mental assurance that makes it so different from routine thrills, like a roller coaster. At that moment I can't imagine anything else beyond god's love and the truthfulness of the work. The point of this life is to try to get that way more often. That is the main way that I have been blessed by your missionary service. I have also been blessed to share some of the gospel with coworkers as I describe your experience in Hollywood. In fact I just paused and showed two coworkers, who just walked in, your last picture and described what I was doing. I bore a short testimony about how important it was to immerse yourself in the work and how that allowed you to feel the spirit in a way that was otherwise unachievable. I have also been blessed financially as we have paid for your mission.
Your other question. Yes, we can be healed by faith alone. If we have faith, however, won't we do what the Lord has asked and obtain priesthood blessings? The power in the priesthood is real, that power combined with the faith and prayers of MULTIPLE people involved in the performance of the blessing ordinance, can accomplish more and allow our father in heaven to bless us more. Certainly, if I could not get a priesthood blessing my faith may be sufficient, but if I can I will. "

I really believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives and brings us real happiness.  Jesus Christ was truly the son of God and is the means by where we can return to live with a heavenly father as families in the eternities.

To conclude this weeks exchanges Elder Burnside did apologize for not sending more pictures and sent the following one as well.