Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August 24th Letter

Start with pictures,which Dallon called "our version of Straight Outta Compton"

And his letter

Wow sounds like dad has actually been doing a lot of work lately haha.
Yeah you are correct, I will fly home on the 6th of July. Sounds like
everybody had a good week though. I am glad to hear you all are doing
well. Our week was a bit of a struggle.
Our focus all week was on Johnathan. We visited with him every single
day to keep him ready for his baptism. On Wednesday we had him meet
one of the recent converts in the YSA ward named Tracy, and had him
talk to her about her conversion story. She is a super solid recent
convert, her testimony is very strong. She told him all about how she
had people against her being baptized, and all these other things to
stop her, but she went through with it and was very blessed. She told
him all about all the blessings she has received from baptism and the
gift of the Holy Ghost. She told him how grateful she was, and how he
is surrounded by people that are there to help and support him. It
think it really helped him a lot. Then on Thursday we took him around
with us pretty much the whole day as we visited members in both the
palongi and the Tongan wards. He heard a ton of testimonies that day,
and we got a lot people who were going to come to the baptism.
But then at 4 in the morning Friday he texted us that he saw some
things that he didn't agree with and didn't want to be
baptized...again :/ So we met and talked with him a bunch on both
Friday and Saturday. We answered all of hi Anti-mormon material for
him. But in the end he still chose to not got baptized :( That was a
bit sad. I don't think I have ever worked so hard to get someone
baptized on my mission as we did for him. If only the investigators
understood all that the missionaries do haha. But he just wasn't
ready. I am pretty sure he knows he needs to get baptized, and he
loves the church to; he is just not ready to act. He is comfortable
where he is and doesn't want to do the things necessary to be a member
of the church. I told you last week about how he made a plan to read
as much of the Book of Mormon as he could by Friday, but all he read
was the introduction, he looked up a ton more anti-mormon material
than reading in the Book of Mormon. \but he is one of those people who
will eventually be baptized, it is just going to take time.
So with that taking up much of our week we didn't do much else. We are
trying to meet up with Shad, who is a Tongan investigator. The rest of
his family is recent converts, but Shad was staying with his dad when
it happened. He has told his family that he does want to be baptized,
he is just very difficult to meet with because of his family
situation. But he will get baptized sometime over the next couple
weeks. Our other main investigator Jeannine was sick so we couldn't
meet with her either. She has been on vacation and just got back last
week, but has been sick so we haven't been able to teach her.
Apparently she wants to be baptized, just in a river in Montana. So
that is her only concern. Other than that not much is going on.
Visited some less actives with a little success, and knocked on a lot
of unanswered doors haha. I hope you have a great week! I love you!!
Elder Burnside

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 17 Letter

Starting with pictures that are 2 weeks old.  This is Elder Burnside with his previous companion Elder Shepherd in the middle and his new companion Elder Lee on the right.

And now his letter.

Our apartment is pretty nice, and it is right next to the airport. We
can't really see the beach though :/ But it is pretty annoying
sometimes to have a conversation with someone when a plane interrupts
you every 60 seconds. Thats crazy that schools started again, time
flies by so fast! I don't know why you would think I would make an old
age joke, I respect my father too much to do that...lol. But it sounds
like everybody had a good week, so that is good.
Our week was pretty much a straight up war with Satan over Johnathan.
Pretty much everyday something came up that made him not want to be
baptized. I have never seen someone get so much Anti-Mormon stuff in
such little time. Everybody around him was telling him not to get
baptized, and they were telling him all these awful things about
Mormons that contradict the bible. We met with him several times, and
his baptismal interview just kept on getting delayed all the way until
Saturday, and he seemed pretty solid. Then at 1 m the day of his
interview he sent us this long list of Anti-mormon stuff as reasons
why he couldn't be baptized. So we took him to the visitors center and
had a lesson there with President Weidman. It was super powerful! We
were going to just address all of his Anti Mormon concerns but the
spirit took the lesson another way. We just taught about the Book of
Mormon and Joseph Smith. He expressed concerns about his family being
against it. So I told him the story of Mom's conversion, and how much
that has blessed our family, and that really helped him. So he is
going to try to read the whole Book of Mormon by Friday to get his
answer, and even if he doesn't he is going to show his faith and be
baptized Saturday! So we are excited for him. It was just crazy to see
how hard Satan was trying to stop him, he was going all out.
We met a couple less-actives we are going to start working with. One
was named Curtis. He is married and has two kids, and hasn't been
active since he was 24 and is now 40. His wife is Jewish, but he wants
to get their daughter baptized still. It was cool to see that he still
has a testimony, and is very open to the church, it is just his wife
isn't for it. We also met a woman named Tina she is a single mom with
3 kids. She doesn't feel the need to come to church, she expressed
that she has some disagreements with some doctrine. But she is willing
to let us come back and share a message anyway.
Our other investigator in the English ward, Jeanine was sick. So we
weren't able to meet with her. And we weren't able to meet with our
Tongan investigator Shad either. So that is about it for our week. I
hope you guys have a great week! I love you!
Elder Burnside

August 10 Letter

Let's start with pictures. The first is Dallon with a YSA member named Ian, The second is with Napolean and the third is with Fito and Blanca

And now Elder Burnside's letter

Sounds like everybody had a good time. Thats cool that everybody was
able to come up to snowflake. It is not very often that everybody is
able to get together. Sounds like a fun weekend. I will continue to
keep everybody in my prayers.
So it turns out that I am actually not in the ghetto haha. I am in the
nicest part of the Inglewood zone over in Century city. So it is
pretty good, and we actually stay over in like Santa Monica. I don't
know the exact address but it is at xxxxxxxxx. It is on
Centinela one spot above the corner. So we double cover wards. We
cover the Westchester 1st ward and the 3rd ward. The first ward is an
English ward and the 3rd ward is a Tongan ward. So i am not sure of
our area boundaries, because for the Tongan ward we cover the west
half of the mission. So they actually speak Tongan in sacrament and
meetings, so I have no idea what is going on haha. But they are all
super cool and love missionaries, we get fed way too much! lol. I am
having lots of fun! My companion Elder Lee is super cool, already one
of my favorite companions. He was born in South Korea but was raised
in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was called Korean speaking and has been out
for 9 months. His brother actually served Korean speaking in this
mission too, in fact he left the mission one week before Elder Lee
arrived. So Elder Lee is super cool.
So there are not a ton of investigators in this area. But one we are
working with is named Jonathan. He was born in the Dominican
Republic, and is 30 years old. He had a baptismal date, but then
looked at anti-mormon stuff and decided he didn't want to be baptized
the day before I got here. But they set up a make it or break it
lesson for my first day here. And so we took him to the visitors
center and showed him some things about the temple, and we taught the
Plan of Salvation. The lesson was awesome! We reset his date for the
16th and he is set to go for that. His main problem is that his
parents and siblings are very against him joining the church, so they
give him a hard time. But he knows what he needs to do and he is going
to go through with it.
Other than Jonathan though we don't really have too many people we are
working with. All of our other investigators we have were unable to
meet with us this week. So we spent it all looking for new
investigators and visiting less-actives. Not too much success, but
hopefully more will come next week! I love you all and hope you have a
great week!
Elder Burnside

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Transferred again

Let's get all caught up with Monday August 3rd's letter.  But first pictures from Elder Shephard's departing missionary fireside

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And onto the letter

Yeah she is a ward missionary, and I saw her at the departing missionary fireside, because elder Shepherd is going home. Sounds like you all had a great weekend. It is good to spend it with the family. That is a cool story about our ancestors. I knew that they came at the end of the pioneer period, but other than that I didn't really know anything.
We had freakin awesome week! We taught Victoria a couple lessons. The first one went really well. We taught about tithing and fast offerings. She accepted it, and had no problem paying it if she got baptized. The second lesson not so well. We have pretty much taught her everything, but she still hasn't come to church, so we decided to teach about revelation through church attendance. We started teaching, and she stopped us and said that if we were going to just tell her to come to church all the time then we didn't have to continue meeting. So we backed off that and just read 3 Nephi 18. Which talks a lot about church, but we just talked about the ones that didn't really mention church, and let the church ones just be in the back of her mind. So we don't know what to do with her, she isn't coming to church so we might have to turn her over to the Lord and stop teaching her.
We had a couple good lessons with Napolean. We talked about Charity one day, and how it is all about what is in your heart. And then on Saturday we read Jacob 4, which is a really powerful chapter. It talked a lot about how the Jews rejected the simple truths, and wanted stuff they couldn't understand. So that is what they got, and because of that they were blind to Christ and didn't accept him as their savior. Ms it just made me think about how sometimes I get bored of the basic principles of the gospel, and want to hear other things. But we need to cherish those simple truths because they are most important and if we don't then we will lose them.
On Wednesday I stayed in my area for exchanges with Elder Babo. He is super cool and is from the island of Quedapest. We visited a referral named Johnny, he is 17 and ran into the missionaries about a month ago. So we visited him, and he said that he has never really learned about God before and wants to build that relationship with him. So we were all like "you ran into the right people!" Haha. And we taught him the restoration and set a baptismal date for August 23rd!
We then went and taught Fransisco. We had previously set a date with him for July 19 but then he went MIA for a couple weeks. So we stopped by and both him and his fiancée Patty were there. That was the first time we had met her and she was actually really interested. So we taught them about eternal families and set baptismal dates with both of them for August 30th! It was an awesome day!
Then the next day the sisters gave us a YSA referral named Jason who they had set a baptismal date with. He is super prepared! They gave him a Book of Mormon Sunday, and then when we met with him Thursday he was already in 2 Nephi 25! It was super cool.
On Saturday we went on splits, and I went with the bishop. It was fun to go with just a member. We taught a referral named Tray. He use to be in gnat activity and jail and all that good stuff. But then through Christ he had been able to change his life. He now is married with 2 kids and very active in his church. He wanted a Book of Mormon to see what separated Mormons from everybody else. So we taught him about the priesthood authority, and set a time to teach him again.
Then Sunday was not as good. None of our baptismal date dates were able to come to church :/ The departing missionary fireside was really good. 33 missionaries were going home, it was so packed full of people. It was cool to see Elder Shepherd again. Then afterwords we got transfer calls... I am leaving :( Right after we had all that success, I am getting transferred. It really caught me off guard. But I am going over to Inglewood. That will be my most ghetto area, so it will be fun haha. My companion will be Elder Lee who is from Michigan. It will be fun!
Well I hope you all have a great week! I love you and will talk to you later. Here is some pictures from the departing missionary fireside.
Elder Burnside

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Rest of July

Start with some pictures from July 20.  The first two are from their temple trip.  Third is a note someone left on their car (I'll never understand some people).

and now the letter

Sounds like you all had a good week. I am glad Aaron had fun, and I am sure it was good to see Grandma and Grandpa again. That's crazy how much rain you are getting. It sounds like everywhere except California is getting a ton of rain this year. Although it did rain Saturday and Sunday here, high was nice but now it's really humid :/ anyway we had a pretty good week.
Tuesday we took President Weidman to a lesson with Lumi and Victoria Tuesday. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and it went awesome! They both committed to baptism on August 16th. Although Lumi called us a couple days later and she doesn't want to meet with us. anymore :( But August 16th is still the date for Victoria. It turns out that they are both schizophrenic which is why they have trouble committing, so we are trying to get over that.
We had another lesson with Victoria Saturday and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It went really well, she wouldn't commit to church this week but said she would next week which is a lot better than before. So she is progressing well.
We had some good lessons with Napolean. We finished 2 Nephi and did the first chapter of Jacob. On Thursday we talked about blessings. And how Heavenly Father blesses us. It was really good for him. It is really cool because he is starting to pack up his stuff, he is ready to move out so he can get baptized! It will happen anywhere between the next couple weeks or the next couple months. He is just fed up with it, and he is so excited to be baptized!
On Sunday we only had 1 person at church. So that was no good. But a high counsellor gave a really good talk at the YSA sacrament meeting. He talked about how the commandments are all about love. How they all either increase our love for God, others, or ourselves. And just how it is all about becoming more like god, which happens when we increase in love.
Sorry today's email is so late, I was finally taking my drivers test. Don't worry I passed haha. They hadn't asked me before because apparently they never got the papers we were suppose to fill out before my mission. But now they are running out of drivers so it looks like I will drive next transfer. I love you and hope you have a great week!
Elder Burnside
Barely haha, the hard part was parallel parking, because I have never done that. But I figured it out after 2 or 3 tries. We get transfer calls on the 2nd of August. Thanks for your prayers. I know they help!

The July 27th letter had 2 pics he said

Went to the Rob Dyrdek fantasy factory with the ASL elders on the left. Elder Monegro then elder Saavedra. Then it's Elder Westergreen, me, elder Babo, and then Elder Rickman. Sent from my iPad

The Letter

I am glad you all had a good week. Sounds like you did a lot of scuba stuff haha. That's good you got to play softball, that's insane how much it got rained out. I can't wait to play again haha. That is cool you got an iPad. I do keep mine, and it came with a case and screen protector, so it's good. I was actually looking at our family tree, just trying to see how far it could go. I got to 169 a.d. Our week was pretty good.
We taught Victoria a couple times this week. On Tuesday we taught her the Word of Wisdom. She understood all of it, and accepted it all except for coffee. She doesn't see why God would ban coffee, but she is praying about it. We taught her again on Friday, but I was a way on exchanges. They taught her the law of chastity, and I guess she already lived and believed it. So that was good. She still Wouldn't come to church though, so that is what we are still working on with her.
We had several good lessons with Napolean. We read chapters 2 and 3 of Jacob. And I really liked the first verse of Jacob 3. It says that If we have a pure heart and faith, Christ will plead our cause. That is such a cool line. Then on Thursday we talked about the comforter and we read Romans 5:5-6, and I realized that the Holy Ghost comforts, guides, protects, and all of its other jobs BY witnessing of Jesus Christ. The witness of Jesus Christ is what gives us comfort, because it lets us know that he is there to help us and he has a plan for us that will make everything work out for good in the end.
As I briefly mentioned earlier I went on exchanges Friday with Elder Hamblin in his area. He goes home next week, and is actually from Farmington. The only other New Mexico missionary out here. He is my zone leader, and was my zone leader when I was in Hollywood too. We taught on of their investigator's sisters named Leslie, and she accepted to be baptized on the 23rd! We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ, and she loved it.
Saturday we trained with Justin. We did some sword fighting stuff with bamboo sticks. It was pretty cool. We then told him about the pioneers and invited him to the Pioneer Day activity, but he wasn't able to come. The Pioneer Day activity was fun but we were only allowed to stay for an hour.
Sunday was good. There is a part member couple that has been coming the past month or so, and they always sit right next to the door, and as soon as sacrament ends they take off. So the past several weeks we have been trying to catch them, but we always get caught up in the crowd. But this week we were able to talk to the, and set up a time to visit them not this week but next. So that was good, and about it for our week. I love you and he you have a great week!
Elder Burnside

Sent from my iPad

Finally getting around to posting again

Let's start with Dallon's July 6th Letter

I know it is crazy to think it has been a year! I feel the same way, sometimes it feel it has flown by and other times I look back, and it feels like that was forever ago. Umm highlights huh. Well of course I have to say the 4 baptisms. Just all the people I have met and friendships I have made have been super cool. Goals for next year I don't know if I really have any specific goals, but I would just have to say continue to grow in learning to fell and follow the spirit. And then of course continue to help others come into Christ, and more baptisms! Hahaha. Sounds like you all had a good week end.
Our week was pretty good. We taught Lumi on Tuesday. We talked about her reading in Alma 32. She understands more of the Book of Mormon then she gives herself credit for. She understood that she needs to continue to nourish her faith and that it would continue to grow. And more importantly she is willing and wants to continue to read pray and go to church. We taught her the plan of salvation as simply s we could and she seemed to understand it. She wasn't able to come to church because she went out of town, but we are still on for her baptism Sunday!
We also finally met with Fransisco. We just stopped by on Thursday. We shared what our purpose was and the importance of church attendance. We told him that we were here to help him come closer to Christ, but could only do that if he did what we asked of him. So he committed to come to church on Sunday, but didn't show up :( so we don't know what to do with him.
Wednesday we had a zone conference. It was themed on mighty prayer. We talked a lot about how we can have mighty prayers and how they will hasten the work. There was one comment that I found very interesting. They said when we pray in the name of Jesus Christ that means that we are offering the prayer Jesus himself would offer. So when we pray we need to follow the spirit so that we can know what to pray for in order to do that. I thought that that was very intriguing.
On Friday we weren't able to get anything done, because our apartment manager knocked on our door during our personal study and said that the people were here to take out our carpet. We had no warning and were completely unprepared so we started trying to move everything out last second, and we have some extremely heavy furniture haha. And then of course the company sent only one guy to do it because they thought the room was unoccupied. So we spent all day at our apartment waiting for him to finish the carpet. Not too much fun.
On the Fourth of July we went to a barbecue at a members house. It was fun and the food was really good. Then we weekly planned and watched fireworks for the rest of the night. It was crazy there were so many fireworks, it was cloudy and so they just lit up the sky it was pretty cool. But that's it for my week, I love you me hope you have a great week!
Sent from my iPad

And on July 13th Dallon sent this

Sounds like a good week. Figures dad isn't doing anything at work
haha. That is cool that grandma and grandpa are coming by. It is good
to know that Jet is still causing as many problems as possible haha.
But it sounds like everybody is having a good time.
We had an okay week. The bad part was with Lumi. We met with her on
Wednesday. But she told us she doesn't want to be baptized :( she
wouldn't give us a real reason though. We think she is having negative
family pressures. But she did agree to keep meeting with us and still
continue to pray about baptism. So it seems like she still wants to be
baptized but her family has made her unsure about it, so we will keep
praying for her!
Something cool though is that she lives in a group home, so she gave
her roommate Victoria a Book of Mormon and we came over and taught
them the restoration. Victoria had decided to start from the back of
the book and had read Moroni 10. And she loved it! She said that she
already know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. So we invited
her to be baptized, but she was still unsure about joining our church
so she said she would pray about it. So that was a cool experience.
We had a couple good lessons with Napolean this week. We read 2 Nephi
32 with him and that is a great chapter. It is very powerful about the
power and role of the Holy Ghost. We also talked about believing, and
the blessings that come to those who believe. I always love going over
there, we all learn a lot.
We taught Stevan the goal of Jesus Christ. He liked it and knew a lot
about it. When we invited him to be baptized, he said that he would
feel like he was betraying his pastor who he is very close to. It
really feels like he is more into it for educational purposes, but
that can always change!
On Friday we went on exchanges. I went to elder Westergreen's area in
Redondo Beach. That was fun. We taught another guy who was into it for
educational purposes, and we answered a lot of his questions. Then at
the end of the day we built a fort in the apartment and slept in it. I
included a picture. It was lots of fun!
That was it for our week thought, not bad just trying to help Lumi get
to baptism. I hope you guys have a great week. I love you!!!
Elder Burnside

Sent from my iPad