Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 27th Letter

April 27th letter
Sounds like a good week. Does doing ok for an old guy mean you got to
first base with out tearing your hamstring? Lol. You guys are reading
in genesis huh, well that is about to get long, boring, and pretty
weird haha. I am in the book of Judges in my bible reading. It would
be cool to go out to the Carolinas for a family get together. Elder
Ward is in South Carolina. Jim says he wants to get into real estate
investing, but he says that he is going to go on a mission first. That
way his dad will have enough money to give him a loan when he gets
back. But I am not sure how set his plan is. He is definitely leaning
more towards a mission than he was a couple months ago which is good.
Our work was pretty slow for us this week. Tuesday was pretty cool
though. I went on exchanges with Elder Macdonald in the Baldwin Hills
area while Elder Shepherd was at a district leader training. It was
really cool because you won't believe who we ran into... Dana! He has
been doing really well. He still goes to church every couple weeks,
whenever he can. He is almost done with trucking school and has really
turned his life around. So that was super cool.
We had a lesson with Ron and he is acting more normal this week haha.
But he isn't really progressing. He told us that he believes he is
doing all that the can to find God permitting his circumstances. But
he isn't reading the Book of Mormon, even though he has a lot more
time then he believes. So we need to figure out way o get him reading
it, otherwise we may have to drop him :( We also taught our
investigator Buff. We taught some more about the Book of Mormon, and a
little bit about the Plan of Salvation. We gave him 2 Nephi 2 to read.
But we haven't been able to get in contact with him since.
For the next couple months we have a cool opportunity. There is a
temple service missionary who served a mission in Nebraska until he
had to come home for medical purposes. But he will now be coming out
with us every week night which will be pretty cool. While we were with
him we street contacted the coolest Jew I have met out here haha. He
is a Rabbi named Hal. Hal loves our church, and wished everyone
understood everything we do in our church more. He said he would love
for us to come by and bring him a Book of Mormon and share more about
it this week. So that was really cool.
Saturday we had a really cool experience. We went over to a potential
investigator named Nancy. She is a lady that is probably in the upper
50's, and we were suppose to have a lesson with her Saturday. So we
went over with a 19 year old member in the ward, Joe who is
considering going on a mission; but when we got there she told us she
was sick. So we taught her about the restoration of the priesthood,
and offered to give her a blessing. She accepted, and when we did she
cried the whole time. Afterwords she told us that the spirit was very
powerful during the blessing, and she said she definitely wanted to
start meeting with us, and she would tell all her friends and
neighbors! It was really cool for us and Joe. It is an experience that
will hopefully push him towards serving a mission.
Sunday we had stake conference which was really good. It was all about
temple work, and the joy that comes from finding and doing the work
for your ancestors. It was also cool because I got to see a bunch of
people from the Hollywood ward. I then went on exchanges with the zone
leaders because Elder Shepherd was participating in a musical fireside
at the visitors center. When we walked back to our car after dropping
off Elder Shepherd at the visitors center, two Ysa girls asked us when
the Ysa ward started. One was a less-active member that moved here a
couple months ago, and the other was her non-member friend. We told
them that it was stake conference, and it had already ended, but we
invited them to the fireside. They then cam, and both cried the whole
time. The less active one said that she hasn't felt the spirit like
that in a long time. And the non-member got a Book of Mormon in
Norwegian and said that she is going to read it because she wants to
feel that more in her life. So that was pretty coo. The fireside was
really good. It was missionaries singing songs relating to the
document, The Living Christ. One of which is my zone leader who is
from Japan and sang in a pop band that is number two in Itunes there.
So it was really good, and the spirit was powerful.
Anyway that was pretty much my week. Kind of slow, hopefully this week
is better. I hope you have a great week. I love you!!!
Elder Burnside
P.S. The picture is of me and the box of chocolates you guys sent. It
was missing a chocolate, so my first thought was that Mom ate it lol

The work progresses

On April 13th Dallon wrote

Wow 2 and 1/2 hours for 6 questions, sounds like tons of fun haha. Uh
oh Aaron is driving?!?! I don't know if I feel safe over here! lol.
Sounds like everyone had a decent spring break, except for Mom :(. I
hope she feels better! We had a pretty solid week this week. This week
was once again full of finding, finding and more finding!
We actually found 5 new investigators this week, which is the most I
have found in a week before. Although one of them has already dropped
us, and three of the others are brothers who didn't seem particularly
interested, but set a time we could come back, so we will see how it
goes. One of those new investigators name is Ahjee. We had a really
good lesson with him Tuesday, and he actually committed to baptism!
But a couple days later he texted us saying he researched the Mormons
and doesn't want to meet with us anymore :( We think he found out
about the history about blacks in the church, and our stance on gays,
to which he is both. But he said he would continue to read the Book of
Mormon, and we will call him in about a month to see how he is doing.
We had a couple lessons with Ron this week. Of course we talked about
having faith again. We really just pounded into him the importance of
reading the Book of Mormon everyday, since he wasn't doing it all the
time. He committed to it, and we will be following up with him
everyday so we will see how it goes. He didn't come to church on
Sunday, although when we went over later in the afternoon, he had been
watching general conference all afternoon, so that's probably better!
haha. He is slowly progressing, he has recognized that since he has started praying that he is thinking better thoughts, and he recognizes
the spirit when he prays. He is just a stubborn old man lol, but he
will get there.
Friday I was on exchanges with one of our zone leaders, Elder White.
We had a miracle at the end of the day. We were walking to a potential
investigator, but we made a wrong turn, and spent several minutes
looking for house numbers so we could know which way to go. When we
finally found a number, a guy turned the corner by us so we started
talking to him. We started teaching him about the Restoration, and the
whole time he was saying, "Wooowwww this is amazing", "How have I
never heard this before" At one point he even told us he was mind
blown haha. When we asked him how he felt after we recited the first
vision, he said he was feeling so many emotions at once and it was
incredible.We told him that it was the spirit, and he is now super
excited to start meeting with the missionaries. The only problem is
that he doesn't live in our area :(. but that was kind of the cool
thing about it, is that we wouldn't have been right there if we hadn't
taken so long to find a house number, and he told us that he never
comes to that area. So that was pretty awesome.
Saturday I had a pretty cool experience. We went to knock on a door of
a potential investigator, and they didn't live there, but the girl
that lived there talked to us, and we had a little lesson with here
there and set a return appointment, so that was a cool little miracle.
Right as we walked away from the door, is when Ahjee told us that he
doesn't want to meet with us anymore. I started to feel a little
discouraged, I felt like that every time we see a miracle, we see the
reverse right after. Right as I was feeling a bit down though, this
lady pulled over in her car, and asked us for some literature, she
said her Mormon friend recently died and was curious as to what we
believe. She didn't want us to come over though. Then right as she was
leaving she randomly said, "Don't get discouraged" I felt the spirit
very strongly when she said that, and knew that God sent her so I
could here that. It was a really cool spiritual experience to pick me
Sunday we had another cool miracle. We were walking to the hospital to
go give someone a blessing, and we started talking to this guy named
Forest; on the street. When we told him about how we had a prophet on
the earth today, he responded, "Isn't a modern day prophet a sign of
the true church?" We just responded "Yeah exactly!" He then asked
about why God only spoke to the Jews, so we taught him about the Book
of Mormon and how God loves all his children. He loved it! We are now
going to meet with him on Saturday, he seems super prepared! Last
miracle for the week: At 8:00 we had only talked to four people so
far, and needed to talk to 24 more to reach our weekly goal of 140. So
we only had 1 hour left, and usually in an hour you can talk to about
10-12 people. But we prayed for help to reach our goal, and in one
hour we had 25 different conversations!
So our week was pretty great, and filled with tons of miracles! I hope
you all have a great week. I love and miss you!! I will talk to you
next week if Aaron doesn't kill you with his driving lol!

Elder Burnside

On April 20th he wrote

Sounds like a pretty good week. Lol I warned you about letting Aaron
drive! haha. And what is this snow thing you speak of? I seem to have
a faint memory of it haha. Thats cool that Sam got his call to
Tallahassee, and it is super weird to think that I will be half done
when he leaves...
Well our week was pretty interesting, we had a couple interesting
lessons. I guess as always I will start with Ron. We had an
interesting talk to say the least. I believe I have told you before
that he is into conspiracy theories, well he told us the craziest one
yet. After he once again mentioned that it is very difficult for him
to believe in God since he doesn't know exactly what he looks like,
and that sort of stuff; he somehow started talking about this
conspiracy that he believes. He told us that there are lizard people
that live in the center of the earth. He told us that their leader is
actually the "king of the world". He then showed us a video of one of
these lizard people attacking someone. So we just kind of ended the
lesson and left because it got way out of hand, and we didn't go back
for several days. But when we visited him again, he didn't talk about
any crazy theories and we were able to have a good lesson about the
Book of Mormon. He then actually came to church, and it was all about
the importance of the Book of Mormon, and I guess that got it through
to him. SO now he is actually going to read every single day. Which
means he is progressing slowly but surely.
We had a lesson with Nandy, a recent convert, on the gospel of Jesus
Christ. We talked a lot about how great the Atonement is, and
repentance. And we talked about baptisms, and the importance of
baptisms for the dead. Which we are trying to get her to go do. Anyway
it was a good lesson, Nandy and her husband troy always have some
really good insights.
Lubia's son Warenn had his 7th birthday, so we went to their little
party. I love that family, they are so cool! Anyway Lubia's oldest
son, Quinn, is married and has a one year old son; so we actually had
the celebration at his apartment. We shared a little message about
praying in families at the end, and they really enjoyed it. So maybe
we will be able to start teaching them sometime soon.
Saturday we had a lesson with a referral we got named Bless. He is
from Jamaica and is interesting to say the least. He is really
intelligent , when we showed up for our lesson he was working on his
invention which he is getting patented. It creates energy, like
windmills and solar panels, but it is more efficient and it can work
no matter what the conditions are. It was pretty cool. Anyway getting
back to our lesson, he was very difficult to teach. He would go off on
some really long crazy tangent after everything we would say. He said
something about how the son is male and the moon is female and they
are married. And he said that in Genesis when God says "Let us create
man in our image" that God was talking to mother nature. So he had
some crazy views, but he really wanted to read the Book of Mormon, and
was very intrigued by the Joseph Smith story. So we are going back
this week, so hopefully we will be able to stay a little more on
topic. haha.
That was pretty much our week. We had a lot of appointments cancel, so
we have a lot of potentials that we are trying to work with. So
Hopefully I will have a little more to talk about next week! I love
you have a great week!!
Elder Burnside
P.S. I actually took some pictures! They are of the super Delicious

cookies we made during weekly planning! Talk to you next week!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

New Companion

Dallon got a new companion this last week, so we finally have some pictures.  Dallon's companion is on the left (Elder Shepphard).  The center elder was going home that day to New Zealand.

Dallon's letter

Sorry my letter is later than normal! Elder Shepherd had to practice
for some missionary musical thing they will be doing at the visitors
center. Life is going quite well! Elder Shepherd is from Sandy, Utah.
He has been out for 20 months now, so he is almost done! Our mission
is also dropping in numbers we have gone form 270 when I came out to
like 220 now. Sounds like everyone is having fun, I hope you know how
to cheat a lie detector! haha. We had a pretty dang good week full of
Our first day we found three new investigators, which is usually a
weeks worth, so that was really awesome. We also got got the
information for over 25 potential investigators this week, usually we
get like 10 in a week. We already have close to 10 set appointments
with potential investigators next week. So we should get a ton of new
investigators! We are seeing so many miracles! We had a referral call
us back and leave the coolest voice mail I have ever heard. He
apologized for taking so long to get back to us, and then went on to
tell us how he wanted a Mormon bible that had footnotes
cross-referencing the Book of Mormon, so he could go more in depth
with his studies. He had already read the Book of Mormon. He really
wanted to talk with us, and at the end he just bore his testimony
about Jesus Christ being his personal Lord and Savior. It was
jaw-dropping! When we called him back, it turned out he has moved out
of our area so we had to refer him :( But it was a super cool
Wednesday we took Elder Singh-Sahota around with us while he waited
for his plane back to New Zealand. He was really cool and lots of fun.
We finally got to have a lesson with our recent convert Nandy, she is
always out of town. We had a super good lesson about the the
restoration. She shared her experience about why she converted which
was super cool. While she was investigating she was having a lot of
trouble believing in the first vision. But then one night she had a
dream about it, and when she woke up she felt the Holy Ghost so
strongly that right there she told her husband she wanted to be
baptized. It was really cool!
Friday we took Ron to the visitors center, and had a really cool
lesson about faith. We read the talk by Elder Holland with him called
"I Believe" and we read some scriptures in Ether 12. We talked about
how since he is praying, he is showing faith and that he has more
faith than he thinks. By continuing to keep the commitments we give
him, he will continue to grow in faith. So we committed him to pray
for faith, and to continue reading the Book of Mormon. I think he is
getting pretty close to baptism, hopefully he will accept soon!
Conference was amazing! Lots and lots of really good talks! I really
liked President Uchtdorf's talk about grace Sunday Morning. Speaking
of which, it was a bit crazy, so we went to the church to watch, than
right as President Monson was about to speak we got a call from the
Visitors Center saying Ron was looking for us. So we told him to stay
there and watch, and so we sprinted a couple hundred yards to the
visitors center so we wouldn't miss to much of President Monson's
talk. It took me his whole talk to catch my breath lol. Then of course
the internet messed up at the beginning of Elder Hollands talk, so we
missed it and Ron decided to leave. So that was no fun. Then we got to
eat 2 Easter dinners, I was so stuffed! haha. That was my week, I hope
you all have a great week. I love you!!
Elder Burnside
P.S. The pictures go left to right: Elder Shepherd, Elder Singh-Sahota, me

It has been a month already

On March 16 I was giving Dallon a hard time about St. Patricks day the following day and he replied with the following.  I also told him about a lesson we had from priesthood meeting where we discussed that whether or not we rejoice in Christ doesn't depend on what we are doing or what is happening to us, but instead on what our perspective is.

Is today Saint Patricks day? I didn't even know, luckily I just
happened to wear the one green tie I have (Since the Jets ones aren't
allowed :( lol). Glad to hear everyone is doing well. Glad to hear
Aaron did well with the scuba diving, the mask activity is always the
hardest one. I really liked that point that you talked about from
Priesthood, that it isn't the activity that interferes with rejoicing
in Christ but our perspective or attitude. That is really an
interesting point it is true though, as they say everything relates to
the gospel, which would then me you could rejoice in Christ through
almost any activity. Our week was pretty good this week, it was full
of a lot of service!
We spent a lot of time working with Ron this week. We went over there
on Friday to talk about how his reading of the Book of Mormon and his
prayers have been going, and to answer any other questions he has. He
told us about a great experience he had with prayer this week. He said
that one day his tooth had been bothering him, and he was pretty sure
that it was going to require a root canal, because he has had a couple
before. But he can't afford a root canal, so he prayed for it to go
away, and after a couple days, the pain disappeared and his tooth was
fine! He said that that was huge for him, and clearly an answered
prayer from God! He was also able to come to church on Sunday, so he
is progressing very well! On Friday we we went over and did some
service for him. We cleared all the furniture out of his house, and
then we vacuumed and shampooed his carpet. It was a lot more work than
we thought when he asked us to help him vacuum and shampoo his carpet.
But he was very grateful and kept calling us his guardian angels, it
was kind of funny. So everything is going very well with him.
Wednesday we got to drive around the mission a little bit. We helped
the senior missionary in charge of housing go around to the missionary
apartments that closed down and clear out everything. It was fun, but
too hot to be carrying couches around. We are already in the 90s over
here and it is still March! We retaught Lubia about keeping the
Sabbath day holy. She is doing great. She talked about how she gets
all her sons together to read the Book of Mormon together, and all the
other things they do on Sunday to try to keep the Sabbath day holy. SO
everything is going very well there.
Sunday was a good day. We had forgotten about the L.A. marathon, for
which they blocked off Santa Monica blvd. So that made it very
difficult to get to church. Ended up being like 10 minutes late to
church, luckily that is when all the members show up every Sunday
haha. But anyway, when we saw that
Santa Monica was blocked off, we tried to call Ron to give him new
directions to church, but he had already left his house, and he
doesn't have a cell phone. We figured he probably wasn't' going to be
able to find his way to church. But he was able to find his way, just
ion time to catch all the talks for sacrament meeting, so that was
really cool. We printed off a longer list of referrals dating back 5
years. So we called a bunch, most of which didn't answer. Although we
need to change how we do that, because one of them called us back this
morning, and since we weren't saving all the phone numbers we didn't
know who it was. When we then asked them what their name was they just
hung up on us. So we will figure out a better way to do that this
week. That was pretty much our week in a nutshell. I hope you all have
a great week. I love and miss you!!
Elder Burnside

On March 23rd I told him about his brother Stevan winning the pinewood derby race and he replied with

Glad to hear everyone is doing well. So is Aaron certified now? Anddoes that mean you are all going on a scuba trip to use his new
skills? I don't understand why you are so excited to be done with
Pinewood Derby? haha. You know by saying that you are going to curse
yourself and end up doing it for many more years to come haha. We had
a decent week that can be summed up in three words: service, service,
and service haha.
We went over and painted Lubia's apartment on two separate occasions
this week. And I think I am getting pretty dang good at it haha. We
now only have one room left in the apartment to paint. She is doing
really well, and is finally getting on her feet financially. She is
working consistently and has saved up almost enough money to get a
car, which means that her son Zainn is going to be coming to church a
lot more. So that is great news. He is really warming up to the
church. When we go over to paint and stuff, instead of hiding out in
his room like he use to, he comes out and chats with us. So there is
progress there.
Thursday we had our temple day. That was super nice, the temple is so
peaceful and calming. I look forward to our temple days. It is the
best place for revelation too. We had a lesson with Ron later that
day, so we went in to the temple with questions on how to best teach
him. it definitely helped because he was tough to teach. He likes to
get off topic a lot, and he somehow related several things we talked
about to some conspiracy theories. But for the most part we were able
to keep him on track and get through the Restoration pretty well.
Friday we got another mini-missionary named Tommie. He was really cool
and a great help. He submitted his papers to his bishop right before
we picked him up, so he is waiting on his mission call! That was when
we went over to Lubia's to paint again.
Saturdays was a bit hectic. In the morning we went to help a
less-active lady Carol move. That actually went really well, as she
was completely packed up and ready to go. So it took a little over an
hour and a half to pack all her stuff into a truck, and unload it at
her new place. We then went and tried to visit some potentials. And
while we were doing so we met a guy named Tesh, who was trying to
unload a moving truck all by himself after his friend bailed on him.
So we helped him out, left him with a card and he told us that he
would definitely come to church, and that he wasn't just saying that
but he actually meant it. He didn't actually come on Sunday, but I
guess we will see next week. Then we went to see how Ron was doing,
because he had to put down his favorite cat the day before. We cleaned
up a bunch more of his house because he said he wasn't going to be
able to come to church unless it was clean. He then asked us if we
could fix his computer, it wouldn't give him the option to put it in
sleep mode, luckily Tommie was good with computers. Although he just
made it worse... now it won't even turn on. So after that happened
Ron said he wouldn't be able to come to church because he would have
to take his computer in to get fixed. So that was a bummer. The way he
acted just showed us he was using us more for service than for
learning about the gospel. Which we are perfectly fine with as long as
he is coming to church, reading the Book of Mormon, and praying. So we
will see what we are going to do with him.
Sunday we only had Zainn at church, but that was really cool that he
was able to make it. Hopefully we can continue to make progress with
him. I love you all and hope you have a great week!!
Elder Burnside

On March 30 he sent

Cool, looks like Stevie is enjoying himself haha. He still doesn't
have the PS4? Dad you are so cruel lol. It is a good thing you never
did that too me haha. I remember Pinewood derby, I remember winning
awards for design, but always coming near last in speed. Of course it
was right after I finished cub scouts that you started making the
super fast cars haha. My week was pretty good this week.
Last Monday we were finally able to play basketball with Zainn, that
was nice, he is actually really good. He then came to mutual the
following night, so we are definitely making progress with him. He
would have come to church yesterday, but then Lubia had an emergency
plumbing problem at their apartment they had to get fixed.
We did a lot of work with Ron this week. We did some service for him
on Wednesday, we think he might just be using us for service, but
thats ok because he is keeping the commitments we give him. He read
the chapter we gave him in Jacob 7, because he talked about how he
would believe if God would just appear to him,and he liked that
chapter. We then gave him 2 Nephi 31 to read about baptism. We took
him to the visitors center on Friday, to see a musical they were doing
called "The Garden" all about Christ's atonement at the Garden of
Gethsemane. We then went over the next day, because he said he read 2
Nephi 31 and had some questions. Again he got back about how he needed
some proof that God was there. So we asked him if he had been praying,
to which he responded that he has been keeping a prayer in his heart.
We told him that it is good to keep a prayer in his heart, and should
continue to do that, but that he also needs to physically get on his
knees and pray, to show that extra effort and reverence to God. So he
agreed to do so, and when we talked to him the next day, he said he
tried it and felt really good about it. Although he said that he
wouldn't be able to go to church because he needed to find a job and a
roommate :/
We were able to see Lucas a couple times this week, that was really
nice we hadn't seen him in a couple of weeks because he gets so busy
with work. He was working everyday form 9 am until midnight! Crazy
there is no way I could ever do that haha. We shared the Because He
Lives video with him, which he enjoyed.
On Sunday we helped our Ward Mission Leader Rod move out. It is sad to
see him go, he is really cool and an amazing Ward Mission Leader. He
was so helpful, he would come to a ton of our lessons, So we will miss
him. And it will be interesting to see who the new one will be that we
get to work with. That is pretty much my week in a nutshell. I hope
you have a great week. I lvoe and miss you!!
Elder Burnside

Oh and I forgot too mention yesterday was transfer calls! I will be
staying in Westwood for another transfer, Elder Ching is going to
Downey. And my new companion will be Elder Sheppard. I have heard that
he works hard and is a great missionary, so I am excited!