Thursday, May 19, 2016

Beginning of March

March 7 Letter: (Dallon confirmed his release date has been changed from July 6 to July 13):

I am glad you all are doing well. I am glad Aaron is doing good. Sounds like you all had a good week. Yeah I heard that my date had been moved back a couple weeks ago, but every time I emailed I forgotto tell you haha :)
My new area is pretty cool, definitely more ghetto than the rest of my areas. We don't actually live in our area because it is too ghetto.  Our apartment is on Cordary Avenue in Hawthorne. But our area from west to east is the 110 to Alameda, and north south is Manchester to Imperial. We cover the SouthWest LA branch, and they meet at one of
the tiniest church buildings on San Pedro and 107th. It is just a tiny chapel and 3 class rooms, it is really small. My companion is Elder Pearson. He is from Jackson, Tennessee. He is really cool. He has been out for 5 months and works really hard so I like him.
We had a good week. This area has lot of humble people who are prepared to hear the gospel. We talked to this one lady named Sammisha, and she was pretty. Ghetto so we didn't think too much of her but we went back for our appointment. And she has a massive family that was all pretty interested in our message. We set dates with them for April 3rd! They didn't quite understand everything but they wanted to be baptized. And there is a guy there that is really interested named Timothy, he is a gangsta dude and is pretty funny. We went back and he had read and really liked it, everybody else is just kind of lukewarm right now. We watched the restoration movie with them and they liked it. While we were watching one of the ifs said, " I thought this was a movie, I didn't know it was a real story!" So that was really cool.
We also set a date for March 27th with a guy named Remey. His wife got baptized last Sunday. He is cool but he is super shy. He didn't want to be baptized because he didn't want to be "the center of attention". But he is doing good.
But yeah this area is great. We have a bunch of other people that we are teaching, and everybody is very open to us. So we are having great success! It is also amusing to just see how ghetto some of these people are, it's pretty funny haha. Well I hope you have a great week!
Love you!!
Elder Burnside

March 14 Letter:  (They got soaked by the rain and had a mini-mission companion)

Glad to hear you all had a good week. That is cool about the missioncalls, and cool about Janelle and Gabe. When would they come to White Rock? I am sure you guys are very excited for that. So Watts is fun I am enjoying it. The people all just make me laugh because they just fit like how you would picture the ghetto. We have had plenty of
experiences with super drunk people in like the middle of the afternoon. We teach this guy named Timothy who is pretty cool, I really like him actually. But he acts like such a gangsta, and when he prays it is so funny. He just talks ion his gangsta language to God
like' "man you know what Im saying" and all that kind of stuff. So I like this area, especially because everyone is humble and we have lots of people to teach! The branch is super small, just a tiny chapel with like 6 or 7 rows and like 2 classrooms. So it is interesting. I have already seen it tagged once. We were suppose to have a baptism next Sunday for a girl named Itzia who is really cool, but we are hitting a major road bump called the U.S. judicial system lol. So she is a senior in high-schools as is her 17 year old member boyfriend. He got her pregnant a couple months ago, so her parents kicked her out and the only place she had to go was her boyfriends family. She really
wants to be baptized, but they are cohabiting since that is her only option. So the only way for her to get baptized is to marry them. But he is only 17, and the courts are giving us a lot of problems getting the marriage licence. We tried Friday, and then they told us we had to go to court. So we spent two hours at the court this morning just for
them to tell us that they don't do that stuff and we had to go to a different court :/ UGGHHH So yeah I have had enough court to hold me over for a while and now I am not exactly fond of the U.S. courts haha.
We are also teaching a guy named Rammy. His wife got baptized the Sunday before I got here, and he is really cool but super shy. He says he doesn't want to be baptized until he has read the whole Book of Mormon, so we really talked about getting a witness from the Holy Ghost. We read 2 Nephi 31 with him about baptism, and then the parable of the seed in Alma 32. We told him how he won;t have a perfect knowledge, but he can know that he is feeling the spirit and that this is good. So that helped, he has a date for March 27th. I definitely think he will be baptized, just maybe not that soon, still got a little ways to go.
But yeah other than that we have just had a lot of referrals that we have had one lesson with, but will meet with again this week. They seem pretty good, so we are excited. We are doing great, the area is going super good here, tons of teaching so I love it! I love you guys too and hope you have a great week!
Elder Burnside

Way too Far behind; February Posts

February 22 Letter:  The Elders were getting caught in the El Nino rains

Cool I am glad you got it. Yeah I want to go there and room with Joe Lee, as well as Kaleb Rickman, and Howard Saavedra. But those two haven't gotten their tracks yet.
I do want to retake the Calculus 3 class, but as for the other classes I have no idea. I am glad you had a good week, even if it may have been a bit busy. We had a pretty good week ourselves.
We had a super cool tender mercy on Monday when we met Julia and Wesley. They are a divorced couple that we saw talking in their backyard that night as we walked home. It was already after 9 and they were across the yard with no gate to walk over there, so I was going to just continue going home, when I felt a distinct impression to go talk with them. So I asked if we could give them a card, and he was all like, "ok just make it quick". So we told them who we were and what we do, and they said they were going through a rough time right now, and asked if we could share a message with them right then! So we talked about the strength that comes from Jesus Christ's atonement, how they have a loving Heavenly Father, and how we have a prophet to lead us today. It was good, and so we gave them a Book of Mormon. It was really cool to see God show us who he had prepared for us.  Martha is doing great! We taught her about tithing and fast offerings, and the members with us shared cool experiences with her. So that went well, we also taught her about temples, and she is excited to go do the work for her deceased father. Who, cool side note, was a heavyweight champion boxer in Mexico. Sadly she was sick so she missed church Sunday, and we weren't able to take her to the Visitors Center, but she is doing good. She will have her interview for baptism this week, and then we will have the service on Sunday!!
Steve is still the same. Nothing has changed with him. Still coming to church every week, enjoying it all, just not able to quit smoking :/ But on Sunday we took him to the Visitors Center and we got to see a fireside by Jenna Kim Jones. She is the narrator for the movie Meet the Mormons. She talked about how living. A happy life comes from
setting and living gospel standards. It was good and pretty funny.  That has pretty much been our week, other than the other day when some born again Christians freaked out on us. We were contacting a referral, and he lived in a Christian based half way house. So the care taker guys came out and freaked out on us, and told the guy we were visiting if he took the Book of Mormon they would kick him out of the house. So that was frustrating mostly because they are hurting the guy we were visiting, who was a super cool and nice dude who is really turning his life around.
 But that was our week. I love you guys and hope you have a great week!
I will talk to you later!!
Elder Burnside

February 29th letter:  A Baptism!

Wow sounds a bit crazy but I am glad Aaron is okay. I will definitely keep him in my prayers. I am glad you enjoyed your week though. Our 0week was pretty solid, and awesome on Sunday.
It was awesome because Martha got baptized! She chose me to baptize her too! So that was super exciting because it is the first time on my mission I have actually done the ordinance. I have really enjoyed teaching Martha I have seen her change so much, the gospel really changes lives a ton! After her baptism she was the happiest I have ever seen her, just absolutely beaming with the spirit it was really cool. Especially because I couldn't get her back up out of the water :/ She slipped and In couldn't lift her up all on my own. So she fell and then I had to pick her up out of the water as she flailed around,
so it definitely would have been entertaining to watch. But would you expect anything else from me :) lol. But it was good. I will send pictures later.
We taught Steve and he was a lot more sincere. Usually he tries to avoid the topic of smoking and tells us he is doing alright when we just ask how it is going. But this time as soon as we sat down he just said guys I am really struggling. And so we talked about it, and it seems like he has finally hit that first step of repentance for smoking. He finally sincerely wants to quit and is really going to try.
We did temple service which was fun. It is crazy how much they do to really keep the temple clean and holy. And it truly is kept like the house of the Lord. We also had transfer calls last night, and so I am....... Leaving :/ I will be going to Watts! I finally truly hit the ghetto, I hear my area is the worst part but I guess I will just have
to find out. So that is a bit exciting, but I also get a car which is really exciting! Lol. My companion will be Elder Pearson, he is pretty cool and has been out for 4-5 months. I like him so it will be a lot of fun. I hear a lot of crazy stories about the branch in Watts so I am kind of excited. Well I love you and hope you guys have a great week!! I will talk to you later!

Elder Burnside