Monday, February 23, 2015

Another February update

Let's start off with pictures:  As Dallon states "more pictures from hike of me Elder Ching and our zone leaders from left to right on the picture of the 5 of us:E. White, me, E.Clark, E. Spencer, E. Ching

AND "a poor picture of our district haha and then me by griffith observatory"

Dallon sent the following letter and picture

Glad to hear all is going well back home. Sounds like everyone is
having a good time. We had an interesting week, although you will have
to bear with me as I don't have my planner to remind me of all the
stuff we did. On Monday we didn't actually get to go to the Hollywood
sign because those missionaries who said it was re opened were wrong.
So we hiked around the Griffith observatory instead. Our week was full
of a ton of service this week. We went over to Lubia to paint the
inside of her apartment 4 or 5 times this week. we got the boys room
done, and it actually looks pretty dang good if I do say so myself
haha. Then we painted Lubia's room, but we have to put a second coat
on it sometime this week. Painting made up most of our activity for
the week, we spent a ton of time painting. The ward then had a service
project Saturday. We weeded and planted for the local elementary
school. Lucas came and helped out and enjoyed meeting and talking to
the ward members which was great! We actually found a solid new
investigator named Shirley. We got a referral for her, to a massive
apartment complex, everything about the referral seemed like it was
fake, but we decided to give it a try. So we went to the front desk
and asked to visit Shirley, and the person at the front desk called up
to the room and then told us that Shirley "Wasn't feeling well" So we
left unsurprising about the lack of interest, but then as we were
getting to our car the door man from the apartment complex ran out and
told us to come back. We came back and were told that she actually
wanted us to come up and talk with her. So we went and talked with
Shirley and she is super interested in the church. She was raised
Jewish in South Africa, but is not practicing, but she now wants a
religion to join and thought the Mormon church looked very
interesting. SO we taught her the restoration she was super excited to
get a Book of Mormon to read. We told her to read and pray about 3
Nephi 11, because one of her main concerns is she doesn't really
believe that Jesus was the Son of God. She said that she would
definitely come to church in 2 weeks because she is going out of town
the weekends before that. She really loved the Joseph Smith story and
his vision, and felt the spirit very strong when we shared the first
vision with her. Sunday Rod came to church after being out of town all
week! But he had to leave right after sacrament meeting, so we didn't
get to meet with him. Lucas also came to church which was super
exciting. They both really enjoyed it. Sunday morning was super cool
to see Lucas especially because of what we did before church. The
elders before us in this area had put up bunch of origami hearts on
Lucas and Ivette's door with little messages. Ivette jokingly asked us
when we were going to do something for her door a couple of weeks ago,
and we took that challenge to heart. We planned this out for the past
couple weeks, and learned how to make origami stars and everything. So
we sneakily set this all up from 6-8 Sunday morning without even
getting notice. And turned their door into a movie title screen, since
they both love movies. They were absolutely stunned by it, it was
super funny. Transfers are tomorrow, but luckily me and Elder Ching
are staying together here! That is pretty much all of our week. I hope
you all have a great week, I love and miss everybody!
Elder Burnside

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

More Pictures in the middle of February

Dallon sent some more pictures this week.  The far left is Dallon's companion Elder Ching.  The other young man is from the Los Angeles area and is on what they call a mini-mission.  He joined Elder Burnside and Elder Ching for the weekend.  The other 2 are investigators.

On to Dallons email

Everything sounds just the same as when I left haha. I remember doing
the diving tables, but I don't really remember much about diving,
definitely need a refresher. But I won't be doing it for another year
and a half any way haha. Wow its almost like California over there.
Figures that now that I am done playing baseball it gets really warm
at the beginning of the season haha. Well we had a pretty solid week
of missionary work.
Wednesday we met with Lubia, we installed some new locks for her
doors, and surprisingly they work the way they are suppose to! haha.
We then taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and focused on how
reading the Book of Mormon everyday both individually and as a family
will help us to endure to the end. We downloaded the gospel library
app onto her phone, and her kids tablets so that they can listen to
the scriptures together every night.
Thursday Elder Spencer came to my area for exchanges, he was my
district leader in Hollywood, and is now my zone leader. We went and
taught our new investigator Robert, and it was interesting to say the
least. His mom actually converted from Mormonism to Jehovah's Witness,
And so he was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. He even went door to door
teaching people. But he stopped following that when he learned some
things about the how his religion started. So since then he has been
"spiritual" but hasn't been practicing in any organized religion. He
is married, so his wife sat in on the lesson with us,and that is where
it really got crazy. His wife goes by her "spiritual name" Pershia.
She is the one who is really crazy. She believes that she is a
prophetess, and that when she meditates she speaks to our "celestial
brothers." She talked all about channeling, being on the same
frequency, different dimensions, it was pretty weird. She is
completely against any kind of organized religion, because she doesn't
want to offend God and poison herself with any religion. Even though
they believe some crazy things, their beliefs are very similar to ours
otherwise. Robert believes the Joseph Smith story and accepts the Book
of Mormon as the word of God. So he is actually a somewhat solid
investigator. Our main concern with him is his wife, who was against
him reading the Book of Mormon in the first place. But there is hope
for progress there!
In Los Angeles they do something called mini missions, which I had
never heard of so I don't know if they do them elsewhere. A mini
mission is where the youth get to go with the missionaries for a
weekend. The missionaries pick them up Friday evening and bring them
home Sunday evening. I think it is a really cool idea. So this weekend
we had a mini missionary named Elder Topacio with us. After we got him
all settled in at the apartment we tried to go find some less-actives.
We had a really cool experience. While we were looking for
less-actives, we felt the distinct impression to go visit Franco. We
hadn't heard from him since he told us that he might get evicted last
Monday. He was home and let us come in, we felt impressed to read Alma
32:26-41 with him. It is the analogy of faith to a seed. When we read
it we talked about how the when you plant the seed you don't give it
all the water it will ever need right then, and then it immediately
turns into a tree. You have to water it a little bit every day, and
eventually without you realizing it turns into a strong unshakable
tree. This is the same with our faith and testimonies. We need to have
some form of activity everyday where we can feel the Holy Ghost, and
after a while we will have a much stronger testimony without even
having realized it. Then out of nowhere Franco told us that he was
ready to come to church again without us even specifically mentioning
church. And so on Sunday Franco came to church for the first time in
over 20 years!
Saturday we had a good day of service.In the morning we went and set
up an activity for the Relief Society. We then went and helped Lucas
and Ivette move some stuff around, and played some cards and then
shared a scripture with them. Then right after that we went over to
Lubia's to help her paint her apartment. The parts where we didn't let
her little kids help actually looked pretty good haha, but we are
going over again this week to put a second coat on it. We then went
and had a lesson with Rod, he hadn't been answering our calls so we
went to see if he was home. He was, and let us inside and we read 3
Nephi together. We had a good lesson about the importance of baptism,
and Elder Topacio really brought the spirit by bearing his testimony
at the end.
Sunday as i already said, Franco was at church, but otherwise most of
the people we are working with didn't come. After church we went and
had a lesson with our other new investigator named Wayne. We taught
him some of the Restoration and had a pretty good lesson. We had a
really good conversation with someone on the street named Joi. She had
her son taken form her and was really sad, I then shared the scripture
that came to my mind in Alma 7:11-13 about how Christ has felt all of
our pains so he may know how to help us. She was very touched by the
spirit that came. We then had a very powerful prayer with her, and she
gave us her information. It turns out she lives in Inglewood, but the
missionaries over there are now going to start teaching her! We then
took our awesome mini missionary home. It was really cool to have him
with us, and we actually had some great lessons with him I love you
all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Burnside

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

It's February

We had a brief email with Dallon for the first week in February.

Sounds like everybody had a great time with the snow! Everybody here
doesn't know what that is haha. I just have to say why are the
Seahawks not running on second and goal from the 1?!?! Well that
sucks, but whatever I got more important things to focus on. Some one
better keep record of this because it probably won't happen again, but
I did just say that there are more important things than football
haha. Funny you mention street contacting because that was most of our
week haha. We have several different areas we use if we are not trying
to visit anyone. We just try to go wherever there is the most people,
so we use Wishire, and Berverly dr. a lot because there are always
people there. Our mornings go: Wake up at 6:30. Try to exercise until
7, try being the key word lol just kidding. Than we shower get ready
and eat breakfast. At 8 we begin an hour of personal study of the
scriputres or preach my gospel. Than at 9 we have companionship study
where we plan out our lessons we are going to have that day. AT 10
Elder Ching does Language study, he studies Tongan because he was in
the Tongan program for part of his mission. We also tidy up the
apartment a little bit. Than at 11 we eat lunch, and then leave the
apartment at 12 to proselyte.
Most of this week was just contacting people since most of the people
we work with were busy. We were able to teach Lubia the Plan of
Salvation again which went really well. Her and Gavinn our super solid
in the Gospel! We are starting to get Zainn involved too! We got him
with the Young Mens, and they are all going to start playing
basketball every week before mutual. Zainn loves basketball, and
really all he needs is some friends in the church before he gets
baptized. We are going to see if we can get permission to play with
them because Zainn is busy every Monday so he can't play with us on
P-day. We also got to do some service for Lubia! she had about 6 big
boxes of extra books, so we went through them and took all the ones
she didn't want and took them to the library, and sometime we are
going to go over there to help her paint her apartment. We also met
with Lucas and talked a bit about prayer, and he has actually been
praying on his own lately so that was exciting news!
We found two new investigators this week. The first one is named
Robert. We were going through and trying to visit former
investigators, so we went to visit some one named Charlie. When we
knocked on the apartment door we were told that Charlie didn't live
there, but that there was a charlie in apartment 5. So we knocked on
apartment 5, and Robert answered the door, and was interested to hear
our message. It turns out that the Charlie wasn't the one we were
looking for, but it is cool how Gods plan makes these things work out
so you find the people that need to hear the message. Robert was
raised Jehovah's Witness, and actually went door to door teaching it,
than he wondered why no one listened to what he believed to be the
truth. So he researched more into his religion and found some things
that he didn't agree with. Since then he has been "spiritual" and not
religious. Robert looks like what we call a "Bible Basher," but he
actually didn't do much of that when we taught him part of the
restoration. He really wants to read through the Book of Mormon
because he likes to learn about religions. So we are going over this
week to give him a Book of Mormon with our ward mission leader Rod. We
found another new investigator named Wayne. We were trying to visit
potential investigators, and started talking to Wayne on our way to
the next house. It turns out that he use to meet with missionaries
about a year ago. He said he would love for us to come by, so we could
talk. So that was super exciting! But that was about all that really
happened this week, we are excited to visit our new investigators next
week though! I hope you have a great week! I love and miss you all!!
Elder Burnside

I mentioned to Elder Burnside how important having friends and support is in the church.  Friends and support can carry us when our testimonies aren't strong or when we are weak.  Dallon replied

Its so true, there is a stark difference in retention between times
when the conver doesn't have a specific person to befriend and
fellowship him and when he does. And it is also interesting to see how
many people are interested in the church because of the community in
the church and how everyone is fellowshipped. They have taught us over
and over again that the main purpose behind a mission is to build
those habits and testimony so that the missionary becomes truly
converted and won't have their testimony shaken through out their
life. I love you too!

Elder Burnside