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