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Elder Burr
California Los Angeles Mission
1591 East Temple Way
Los Angeles, CA 90024



Monday, September 30, 2013

They've come a long way!

The Dynamic Duo is back together in the MTC.  We had our doubts a few years ago that they would ever make it here.  We are so impressed with and proud of both of them.
Elder Alex Burr
Elder Hayden Witt
thanks for the picture Hailey

Don't you just love phantom planet!!

First things first, who is the child actor, he played a small role in some movie I can’t peg, he had blonde shaggy surfer-dude wavy hair, blown back, dominant forehead, his small role was to annoy the main character, possible Arnold Schwaranegger I don’t know, but if you happen to see this description, tell me, because its driving me nuts!!

Anyways, haha dad I don’t know if I ever thanked you for the Dumb and Dumber quotes, haha Elder Cluff and I had a good laugh over that! I got my travel plans! I leave at 4:30am Wednesday!! My flight leaves at 8;30 and I make it in LA at 9:30am. I don’t know if I have a chance to call home, but I will get a calling card and if I can I’ll try. Ahhh the last week is so hard!! Trying to focus and not letting your language plateau have been the biggest challenge! It’s going to be hard leaving my district, I feel like since I spend 2 months of my life, where I was so exposed and emotional and have grown so much with them, it is crazy I am not going to serve my whole mission with them. I wonder what the field will be like. I’m scared to talk to real Chinese people! I'll tell you that much, I sound so weird when I talk Chinese, but hey, as my good friend Elder Schirmer told me "open your mouth and miracles will happen." Our call as Zone Leader got extended a week because we have some surprise Elders and Sisters coming in this Wednesday! What a blessing! Only 2 Elders though.... ;( and still no one going to LA. Hey, is the Chinatown in my mission? We had our last Sacrament meeting on Sunday (because of general conference) and we sang the new Sisters in Zion/Heleman’s Army song and it was crazy because we couldn’t finish the song because everyone was crying!! ahh it was just a mess, WHAT HAS THIS PLACE DONE TO ME!!! It has given me a little more facial hair though! With General Conference coming up and the rumors of women petitioning to get the priesthood and go to priesthood session, the speaker at our devotional addressed it. It make me think about how amazing sister missionaries are, how they are so hard working and how they only need a year and a half to do what take us guys 2 years. Also, that just because women don’t have the priesthood doesn’t mean they don’t HAVE the priesthood, the whole point of it is to serve others, to bless others’ lives, it does nothing for us really. I have never really had a chance to exercise my priesthood in blessing and stuff, I am excited to go out in the field and LOOK for opportunities to use this gift from God to serve others. To just use my life to serve others. It’s not even my life, its Heavenly Fathers.

I get one more P day before I leave, but every day feels like a salutation to the MTC, this stage of my mission is coming to a close, and in all reality, there are things that I wished I would have done different. I’m going to take this feeling and go into the mission field, and just try to consecrate my time and my decisions to the Lord, because then he will bless me. I hope and pray I can carry that habit into the real world, but hey that’s freakin far away so, I still have time to practice. Time is short, this is the life that matters, and I want to do it right!!! 

Love you guys!!

Elder Burr
Brother and Sister Tang
Elder Ng
Travel Plans!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chinese Accent

First things first...MOM!!! We didn’t haze a new Elder!!! I am not a trying to turn the MTC into a frat house!! Although you are right, I should not have pressured the Dr Pepper onto Elder Sweeten, thank you for keeping me in check.

Anyways!! This week we got to welcome the new Elders and Sisters. It was the craziest experience because only 7 weeks ago Elder Montierth and Elder Sanford (my first zone leaders) were showing where the laundry room is, where I eat, where the best studying bungalows are!! Ahh, So we have 4 elders and 4 sisters in the zone now and they are just the best. I'm happy the Sister Training Leader is the one who handles all the Sister because there is one new Sister who is crazy, in the sense she is always ditching her companion and chest bumping Elders, and they have another crazy sister, who is crazy in the sense she wore a snake skin dress her first Sunday, BUT WHO CARES because they are missionaries and they are set apart and they have a mantle on them. Amanda was so right when we said that we were called to our places for our personalities and we have to hone those traits if we want to find and teach our pre-earth life pungyoumem (Friends!!) 

We got a new investigator today, and I can’t understand her Chinese at all! (well I can’t understand most Chinese) but hers is way slurred, what’s up with that Mom?!? What kind of accent am I going to end up with?!? 

I snuck into a video that the church put onto the LDS Newsroom website. If you want to see what I have become, you can check it out, it’s in the gym, I’m in the back, being sporty and what not. 

I have two weeks left and it’s blowing my mind!! I am so excited to go because I have been here for so long, but I am scared to go because my Chinese is terrible and I need to know more!! But in a way, it’s always like that. The world keeps turning and the world keeps becoming worse and worse, and whether we are ready or not, it’s going to come at us. We have to use what we do know, the gospel truths that are etched into our hearts, the simple yet prophetic truths that we have learned since we were kids (god loves us, he has a plan for us etc. etc.). Because I can only say things like that in Chinese, but they are so powerful and so life changing. 

I had an awesome time going to the Temple, I hope I still get to go when I’m in the field. I realized today that God put so many things on this earth that he didn’t have to, like sunsets and tigers and peaches. God is all knowing, and nothing he did was by chance. I know he knew that we would love these things that they would make his children happy. And then I though about Satan, and how he is so angry, that the only thing he can actually do, like physically, like his entire purpose in ever action he does, is to bring terror and pain unto Gods Children, his own brothers and sisters. He is so tricky, and we cannot allow him to deceive us. We have to remember that we have this beautiful world and that everything in it is from God and that every little tiny thing in it that brings us joy and happiness is from Him. 

I love you all, every day I try and try and try to make you proud, to be worthy to be called your son, friend, and brother, whatever it is.

-Elder Burr

Monday, September 16, 2013

Wo Ai Everyone


Another week! I have 2 more weeks of normal stuff and 1 week of weird stuff and 3 days, and then I am peacing out to the land of Ice Cubes and Tom Bruise!! I'm finally going to get plugged into the social pipeline!! ( name that terribly, worldly movie) 

I gave my first priesthood lesson as zone leader, it went swell!! Teaching in unity is something Elder Matao and I got to work on, but he has a lot of thoughts he's got to get out of that poly body of his! 

AHHH! We get 5 new elders and 4 new sisters this Wednesday. Two of them are international so I will pick them up Tuesday and then show them the ropes, tell them the best places to sneak naps.....NOT! ( lead by example) 

We have this one Elder in our district who is the holiest of holy, of course his name is Elder Sweeten, cause he is so sweet, he has his own Mormon Message and everything ( it's called fulfilling your Duty to God) so anyways, he has never had caffeine before and we smuggled in six caffeinated DP's and were trying to get him to drink it for like and hour! It was way funny at first, but then I felt kind of bad after. 

We received a new Elder in our room, he looks exactly like the kid from Up. He already knew Mandarin coming into the MTC so they sent him to learn French and his French District left so he is with us now. He is nice and soft to say the least, I'll get a picture with him.

We had a pretty wild discussion with the French Tri-panionship in our dorm. They have for a long time been wasting study time to go and talk to Sister Missionaries or watch Mormon Messages. So we had a heart to heart with them, that evolved into just a testimony meeting of why we are here and whose time this is. The conversation made me realize, that as of right now, every missionary in the world is living the highest law ever, the law we will live in heaven, the Law of Consecration. EVERYTHING that is being done is the Lords. Whether its the time spent, or any success I have, or anything I learn, is from the Lord. These next 23 months are so precious, I will never have this opportunity again, and I hope and pray I will not have any regrets at the end of it. That I can pray to Heavenly Father and he can tell me "well done my good an faithful servant."

The 'everything' talk made us all also think about Jesus Christ, and his sacrifice for us, that it was everything ever done and everyone. He loves and sacrificed for everyone. Whether the person has screamed with every fiber of their being, that they don't believe in God or that they hate Christians and Jesus Christ. Our Savior still atoned and suffered for them. And I am so grateful for Amanda, and her example of truly seeing people through Christ's eyes, like the beetle-nut dealer. 
I love you all so much!

Elder Burr

Monday, September 9, 2013

Another day another doll hair


What a fun week, I’m probably just so excited because TRC went so good on Saturday (even though one of the ladies we taught was like a Tiger Mom that said, don’t spend so much time getting to know me, just teach AND get your grammar right!) But it was awesome because I just had a good amount of words flow! 

It was very sad to hear about Grandma Morgan, I was really lucky to see her before I came into the MTC. Tori and Amanda hit it right on the nose when they talked about how it was so good Mom made us perform for her at her house. I don’t recall high heels, although I do recall KFC, Popsicle, funny contraptions in her bathroom, awesome exercise things in the basement, and having the biggest birthday parties ever at the park. 

When I got that letter about Grandma Morgan, I thought about families and how lucky I am to have mine. And it was awesome because in class we had a discussion about our name badges. And when I looked at it I realized that I don’t have my name anymore. There are two names on the badge, Christ's name and my Family Name, Burr. I am representing not myself, but the two biggest things that shaped me, that made me who I am. I am so grateful for growing up in the family I did, I am so grateful for growing up in the Church, and I am growing to appreciate my heritage so much more. NOT THE LANGUAGE THOUGH (JK I like the language).

I am also really excited because for some odd reason, the Branch President decided to call Elder Mataoa and me as the Zone Leaders. I guess we just showed great leadership and regalia with our Hymn selection.  I am super excited for it because we receive new missionaries on the 18th and I will get to introduce them to MTC life and tell them all the things I wish I knew. I looked up to my Zone Leaders so much, I have been praying so hard that I can be the example they were to me. I think this will be really good for my companionship too, as the work was done one-sided in our last calling, but talking and getting to know people is much more Elder Mataos forte. It’s fun, I go around every night and I talk to everyone in the zone, and just be friendly with them, make them laugh, make sure they are doing fine.  I am a little worried though, because a few Elders in our district are very behind with their Mandarin, and I don’t know how to approach it. Five weeks ago I would have been just blunt and like “hey, get your act together idiot." But now I know that compassion and being meek and understanding is the only way to get to people, like Amanda said with her beetle-nut dealer. Guys, pray for me, pray I don’t fall asleep on the stand during sacrament, that I will know how to help the missionaries, that I will be able to learn more about Christ and his example and be like him. Aaahh! Teaching lessons to missionaries is so scary, every time, people just look to you for all the answers! BUT don’t worry, I am excited for it.

I have been reading John 16 a lot, I’m not sure why, but it’s just so kind and gentle. It is the Savior at his most comfortable I feel like. It really is true though, we are all his children and he knows all of us, through his atonement. I have seen that even though I butcher the Chinese, the spirit is there, and it will testify to people. They will hear his voice, like in John 10:4. We have all heard his voice before, in the past life, and I believe that people out in the field will remember it, when we share the gospel with them. I love you all so much.!!

Elder Burr

P.S. How is Lindsi doing? (I sent him Lindsi's letter but had not received it yet)

P.S.S. I forgot Wyatt is speaking Finnish, that is harder to learn than Mandarin. MORE MOTIVATION!!!

P.S.S.S Thank you for the Dear Elders, I love them so much, I always forget to respond to them, I will start doing that.
District Leader Keller, Zone Leaders Burr & Mataos

Monday, September 2, 2013

Greco-Roman District

Wo de jiating!!!!

Guys, guys, GUYZZZ!! What am I doing here? Why am I learning Mandarin? Why am I learning so many Disney songs in French?!?!?! I'll tell you why, because I am meant to preach the gospel to all the world. People are out there and they do not know that they have a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior and they can pray to every day. Alma 5:7, they are in a mist of darkness and they know not where to find the light. And for some crazy reason I was lucky enough to be born in the Church and learn about it. I need to get them to Alma 5:13, I NEED TO!!

I don’t know why I started the letter right off with this, maybe it’s because I kind of lost track of that whole concept this week. And when I lose track of this big picture, that’s when I slip into bummer mode. BUT I WON’T! Like they taught me on Heritage Tours (remember, remember) remember the Saviors love for me, remember the sacrifice, remember the blessings, every second of every day, I must remember these things. 

Hey guys, Sister L. Burr left for Nashville, you guys should forward me her emails or something. I want to try to do host pick-up this week because Hayden is coming into the MTC. Hopefully he comes into the main campus and not the west campus.

Guys, French people are crazy, I’m pretty sure one of the frenchies in my room does not believe in the Holocaust, he says he can back it up with scriptures about the gadianton robbers. They sucked me into doing their ab exercise that they do every night. This would be a normal thing, if the ab exercise was a normal AMERICAN exercise. But it’s NOT, its European so it involves them just punching each other in the abs for like 3 minutes. So guys, imma be rippped when I get out of this Empty Sea....but my kidneys will also be permanently damaged. hmmmm Be soft and have a functioning body.....or rock solid and pee blood. It’s a hard call. They are also way into Roman Greco wrestling. We don’t have any sisters in our District so the testosterone levels are at DEF CON 4. 

Thank you all so much for the letters. I guess I never responded to Tori for her email either, it was so awesome and it is so cool you got to see Elder Holland. He is amazing, (even though he makes me feel like a crappy missionary every time I read his talks) but hey! That’s what these kinds of tests are for! My companion is very thankful for the shoes, even if he has not matured enough to properly express his emotions yet. He is very grateful. Man, I really think a huge gap of development is between 18 and 19, but it’s all good. Because the age change was fulfilling prophesy and that’s sweet! That’s like Revelations business with dragons and stuff.

That is so cool that Rebecca is the taxi driver now! I bet she is the safest driver ever. No speeding, rolling stop signs, doughnuts, underground street racing for pink slips [dad ; ) you get that one??] 

I want to be like Rebecca, I want to not just be obedient, I want to be righteous, because I know God is looking for every little excuse to bless my life and only through loving his commandments and pure righteousness will I be blesses. I find myself reading 2 Nephi 4 a lot. Especially verse 17. I am so mad at myself that I did not see the bigger picture that the Lord WANTED to bless my life so much more than I allowed him. Oh, what wretched man am I. But I love Chapter 4 because it all turns around in verse 19. I know who i have trusted in, Wo de Jiezhu, Yesu Jidu ( My savior, Jesus Christ) 

I love you all, thank you for your prayers and support and for teaching me all the things you did and believing in me.

Elder Burr
Language Study . . . WOOF!
Buns of Bronze
Wrestling Cage