Today I taught the priesthood lesson. It was the Elder's quorum presidency message we do every month. This month I chose to do missionary work. We spent quite a bit of time talking about service. I used your picture that was sent yesterday as an example of service creating missionary opportunities. It is true that service allows people to see us as disciples of Jesus Christ and opens their hearts to have spiritual experiences. I also pulled material from Clayton M. Christensen's book Everyday Missionaries. He focused in one chapter on the fact that when people are wealthy and comfortable they are not humble and open to the spirit. When this is the case we can often get better results by inviting them (investigators or less actives) to help us serve someone. He has a lot of good stories in the book. It is an interesting point, asking those we want to share the gospel with to serve.
Dallon sent his weekly email
Thanks for the package, the brownies were good. It has been a pretty good week here. As you saw we are helping a less active and a non-member landscape their apartment complex, we are going to be going over there for the next several Saturdays to help out. Saturday we helped them take out several bushes. It was fun, service is one of our favorite things to do. It was a pretty productive week. On Tuesday we had our first lesson with Mark, who had randomly showed up to church, we taught him the restoration, and he committed to baptism on the 24th!! He is 24 or 25 and designs mobile apps, so he is pretty cool. Sunday was a crazy day. In testimony meeting a guy that is not part of the ward got up there, he talked about Hitler and then he told us of his mission in Austria and about how one time he jumped up on the table and said in German: people of planet earth I have a message from planet heaven, there was a prophet named joseph smith junior who has restored my gospel. So he was pretty weird, especially because he first told his story in German, and very loudly. Then third hour we had to try to escort an extremely drunk and unstable less active off of the premises , so we missed all of elders quorum, and that was an interesting experience. As you can tell the people here are pretty crazy, but they are all super kind and loving. Also on Sunday we had a really old lady named Pat who has been investigating for 5 months now; who has been scared of baptism, watch a baptism on Sundayand she said that baptism would be easy, so maybe we can have 2 baptisms this month!! Apparently Andre Ethier's wife is an active member in our ward, so I need you to mail me my Ethier jersey so I can get it signed when I go over there., so that has me pretty excited. We can use voice recorder, It just can't have headphones. I like your point about asking investigators to do service, we may try that. Service is a very good way to feel the spirit. I am glad to hear you are all doing well and having a good time, and have felt the blessings from me going on a mission. I know I have already been extremely blessed for serving the lord. I love it here in Hollywood, the people are crazy, but the spirit is strong and the work is hastening. I love and miss you all, can't wait to hear more from you.I appreciate all my son is doing. I told him that I hope he is writing down his experiences as they will be of value to him and his family someday. He followed up with:
I have been writing them down in my journal so don't worry. I will have plenty of them for people to read when I get home. It has been pretty hot, mostly because the humidity has been around 70 percent, which isn't very fun. We usually teach about two lessons a day. I am in the Hollywood 1 area so our boundaries are: North Mulholland/Hollywood hills, East,, Gower St, South, Beverly, West, La Cienega, north. It is in somewhat of a right triangle shape, I can take a picture and send it to you next week.
Interesting enough, I got an email from the father of Elder McKean Taylor (Dallon's companion). I would like to share:
I was just chatting with my son Elder McKean Taylor who is your son's senior companion and trainer. I wanted to touch base with you and let you know how proud my son is of your son. He told us of a great experience they had this week and I thought I would share that with you and your family. His email is as follows ........So this week I have a great story to share that I Elder Burnside and I have talked about all week! So as I had shared in my letter last week, we received two new investigators last Sunday who just randomly showed up at church wanting to learn more. We were able to meet with one of the guys this week which went really well! We met with him last Tuesday at an outside mall to share a lesson with him. After getting to know him and learning a little bit more about what he does for work, we got into the lesson. As we began to teach him the Restoration, the Spirit became really strong even amongst the chaos that was surrounding us. It was Elder Burnside's first lesson that he was able to teach in the field. Before the lesson, I had asked him if he felt comfortable and ready to teach, he hesitantly said yes, so I told him that if he just opens his mouth, the spirit with fill it. While teaching him, we taught so well that it was probably one of the best lessons I've ever taught. Elder Burnside did so well I was remarkably impressed. At the end of the lesson, we invited him to be baptized onAugust 24th and he accepted! I can't even explain how great our joy was after hearing him say, "Yeah for sure, I would love to be baptized, are you sure we can get all the lessons in by then?" As we concluded the lesson and left our separate ways, I couldn't help but say, "ELDER BURNSIDE!!!! YOU DID AWESOME!!! I never taught that well when I got to the field, well done Elder!" I was delighted to see at least a smile come off his face. :) It has been a great week! On Tuesday, I was privileged to attend a leadership training that all leadership in the mission was invited to attend. It was quite long, but it was a great training because it motivated me to work even harder in my area since it can sometimes get discouraging. For the past two weeks we have been meeting with our recent convert Wendy who was baptized back in March. We have another miracle to share with her that happened this week as a result of praying and having faith. As I have said before in previous letters that Wendy is a sweet, soft hearted and soft spoken lady. She has been having a hard time recently understanding the scriptures so every time we have met with her this week, we have gone over some of the chapters that she has been reading. She asked us this week how she can understand them more fully. I gave her my advice by asking her to pray sincerely before she reads that she will gain a more understanding of what she's reading and that the spirit will guide her. She accepted the challenge and said she would. About 3 hours later, she called us and said, "Tylor Tylor!! You wouldn't believe it!! I did exactly what you told me to do and it worked! I prayed really hard and then read the scriptures and I understand what I'm reading now! You're such a blessing!" Then replying, "Wendy, its not me. It's your Heavenly Father. He is the one helping you, I'm just an instrument in His hands." Now, my joy for her was more than words can explain and couldn't help but thank Heavenly Father for answering her prayers after extending that invitation to her. How great of a week it has been here in Hollywood! Miracles are happening and prayers are being answered, we must act in faith that we will receive an answer. Elder Burnside is doing great at adjusting to missionary life. My testimony has been strengthened so much this week by the many miracles that have happened to us in the great work. If it wasn't for our loving Heavenly Father, these miracles wouldn't be possible. I thank you all for the love and support that you give to me. Keep up the great work in all you do each day and may the Lord continue to bless you in all you do. Have a great week everyone!
As you can clearly see, these two missionaries are doing such a great job out there. My son really likes Elder Burnside and together they make a good pair. I also heard about your family praying for your son's trainer before he actually came out and that was so impressive to our whole family and I want to sincerely thank you for doing that. Our son had never been away from home more than about 5 days when he left and it was very difficult for him at first and is still difficult on his father. LOL But he has embraced the work and is truly working hard for the Lord and your son is right there with him. I appreciate the fact that your son is the person that he is and thank you for raising him the way you did to be of help like he is to my son.
Thanks again and I hope you don't mind me sharing this with you. I'm going to send these boys a pizza on Wednesday evening so they can enjoy it together.
This was a fun and powerful experience for me to communicate with another father who is doing and feeling the same thing as we learn and listen to our fine sons who are serving the Lord.