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



Monday, October 28, 2013

Peninsula Branch

Week 3, dad you would just be getting to Hong Kong if I were you and you were me and I would use your body to get to the top!!
Thank you family so much for getting me the language study materials!!! I have to eat and sleep Chinese if I want to keep it in my brain!!
 The Chinese program is still green, we are trying to figure out how to get the IN on the Asian community. I feel like a cop. We drive around all drive, on the prowl for Chinese people. We have been hitting up orchestra shin digs and Chinese school, things Chinese people love. they love working their kids to the bone, that's half the problem right there. We never have time to meet with them cause they are working or taking their kid to soccer/acting/violin/dance/math. But man, there is this Church called The Bread of Life, and it is the great and abominable church that Nephi saw. A ton of Asians go to it, and they have like an Anti-Mormon class and sermons. We were teaching a lady the was baptized into that church, and they other ladies found out and they just fed all this stuff to her aaah!! Im going over to ask her to hem my pants and we will see how it goes. BUT we had an awesome lesson the Jehovah Witness. Its amazing what people can learn from the spirit. I have been trying to make myself small and let the Lord and the Spirit teach.
Like we were teaching the JW Queenie, we just tried to be as simple as possible, and she totally got it. She was like, " yeah, that makes sense, Gods power was gone from the Earth and he needed to restore it."
but with teaching ahhh, I really need to change how I teach. D&C 50:15-22 slapped me in the face!! Pretty much, I need to stop thinking that a perfectly fabricated lesson, with the right words at the right time and the right whatever will convince someone that it is all true, this "step aside spirit, I can handle this," mentality will never work. Ahh I need to make myself as small as possible and let these wonderful people build a relationship with Heavenly Father and Christ.
It is crazy, the thing I love the most about the mission is also causing me the most grief. When we meet a family, I can see it so clearly, I can see what the Gospel will do for their lives, how much joy and peace and comfort and direction they will feel on a daily basis, I can see the love they have for their families already, and how much peace it will bring to them when they truly on their bones believe that they will live with them forever. I love it!!
But then, the plummet of my soul happens. They don't show up to church, they don't keep their commitments, we cant meet with them more than once a week, and they don't progress. aahhhh, but I am the clay in my masters hand ( Elder Gowdy told me this) and the more I am pounded the softer I become and the easier it is for Him to mold me into what he wants me to be. I lobe you all, I am having the time of my life in the Los Angeles California Mission!!
Dragon Ally
My el ninos
the lake friends and all, can we pull out a win, only Colby Bryan can tell us that!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tsai Niao

Tsai Niao (vegetable bird) that is the term for greenies in the Chinese District,

Dang, 2nd week, everything just moves so fast, its hard keeping it all together!!  Finding Chinese people is hard in Palos Verdes ( well, receptive Chinese people) the China Town is in the Arcadia Mission so we have to really come up with strange finding methods.  So the Chinese mission in LA is split into Chinese A and Chinese B, I am in Chinese B and we cover the southern part, while Chinese A covers the north (which has UCLA and USC which have a lot more Chinese people) Its funny, right in between the A and B is South Central where the ghetto and the shootings are, most of it is red-zoned and you can’t go there without a member, preferably a big black member.  But I would have to be transferred to A first, and that may not happen for a couple transfers. But like I said, we are really trying to get South LA Chinese to take off. We are teaching two English Classes a week, we mostly have pretty wild people show up. To find actually Chinese jiaren is the problem we are having. Because for every 20 houses is a Chinese family, so tracking is just too ineffective, ahhh its frustrating because as we drive around I see them, but street contacting is pretty ineffective too! 

Hey mom and dad, learning Chinese out here is hard because half my lessons are in English!!  Could you send me some like audio Chinese Book of Mormons I could listen to in the car, like a dictionary with the 500 most used Chinese words ( preferably pinyen not buh puh muh fuh), ( mom, don’t send stuff for writing characters, that is so far in the future!!) But anything that could help, cause AHHH I know why this is the hardest language on Earth!! But yeah, CD's of people talking in Chinese would be way awesome, cause I get a lot of “ting bu dong!” (What!?!?)

Our investigators are pretty freakin tight though, we have Queeni, she is a JW (jehovah witness) but she said that if she knew the BOM was true, she would change. We have this guy, Betal, who is working here illegally and has a crappy job that makes him work on Sunday, but the MP cleared him for baptism cause he is GOLDEN. Now he just has to get a Saturday and Sunday off. It ripped my heart out to not see any of our investigators come to Church, but we just got to continue to teach them and help them understand why Church and remembering our Savior is the most important thing they can be doing in their life. 

I love you all so much, sometimes I'll be driving late at night and ill think " are you kidding me, I’m on mission right now!!" and it’s the best feeling I have ever felt and its what keeps me going.


Monday, October 14, 2013

I've flown the coop!!‏

Oh man, I don’t know how I got away with this, but somehow, I am in LA!  Dang, you guys want a run-down of my past couple days???  You do?  Alright here we go!! ( man, if I didn’t have so much playful banter in my emails, I would get done a lot faster, but then where would the spice be, ahh I’m doing it right now!)

So first celebrity sighting!! I saw Mitt Romney....but it was at SLC so doesn’t quite count yet. So, I take the plane here, right, and guess who I sit next to...I’ll tell you who, Bernadette Carovo. Who is that you ask, but my first investigator.  The entire plane ride I gave her the first lesson and she was so receptive, she said she had to hold back tears when we talked about Christ and the Atonement. ahhh I gave her a Book of Mormon, and saw her off but that’s as far as I could go because I had to give her info to the English missionaries.

So, I get to LA, and it’s sweet!  The Mission is split up into Chinese A and Chinese B. My companions and I (elder bowman and elder bergesen) are the only ones in Chinese B and only 2 elders are in Chinese A, so we only have 5 Chinese Elders for a city of 7 million people. But dang, I am in the city of Torrance and Ranchos Palos Verdes, and it is pretty ritzy. The branch is awesome, they feed as a ton of food, like 4 or 5 times a week we are out with members. Teaching has been pretty sporadic, our branch has not had a baptism in 2 years, BUT that’s all going to change!  We have to build a relationship with them so they trust us with their referrals. So far I have only taught 2 less actives and given 2 dinner thoughts and tried to contact at our English Class ( the craziest people show up to English class, this one guy brought some nice polo ralph Lauren underwear for the Elder and some old pizza hut, he also had a bald spot that he covers with this spray-paint stuff) but those are my kind of people, they get me!!!

This week we will be teaching some real investigators and I can’t wait for that. Contacting is hard though, we drive a ton. Oh yeah!! I am the main driver because Elder Bowman doesn’t have a license and Elder Bergeson got in an accident and got revoked. So just cursing around in the ford focus all day, racing lambos. Well I got to go, love you all!!
Elder Burr

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

LA here I come

Cool last week!! I have to say I am really happy with the MTC experience I had, I got to see two Apostles, General Conference, priesthood session, tons of amazing devotionals, and this group from BYU called Vocal Point performed and they were so awesome and spiritual. Because they all got off their missions like three years ago, while most of the other talk givers got off their missions then fought in the Civil War. 

Well, I step onto the Front Runner at 3:30am this Wednesday, I guess I’m as prepared as I'll ever be. I am so excited to have a new start in this mission. No one knows anything about me, I can be the person I have always wanted to be. You know what I mean?? I can change my attitude and personality to that of what I have always personified. But oh man am I scared to speak the language, but hey, I can either have faith in the Lord or not. I would much rather have it me and my comp and the Lord vs THE WORLD than anything else. 

But dang, thanks to General Conference, all the members are going to be pumped out of their minds to help us, I’m super excited to have us all be untied in one heart and one mind ahhh!!!   Well, I can’t wait to start sharing the real deal stories!!

Love you all

Elder Burr 

Sister Skillings arrives at the MTC

Missionary handshake greeting
The District

Not sure what to say

Cooped up for too long