Monday, October 27, 2014

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

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