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



Monday, May 26, 2014

Ghetto Justice

Got in my first car accident. But don’t worry! It wasn’t my fault. We got rear-ended in the hood so we were little scared the guy was going to whip out a 9mm when we asked for his registration, but he was a friendlier black-guy than most. But it was really funny, because he gave us a call a little later and was laying down some ghetto rationalization, " No need to call the Pohlice mahn, I know I guy, he can fix you right up, I got the cash so hard, let’s put do this right now son, no need for the poh-poh." 

It’s funny how hard it is to talk to everyone sometimes. I have noticed it is so much easier to do it in a 2nd language, but we just don’t have enough Chinese people here so I do it a lot in English. But a blessing I found with talking to everyone, (besides spreading the gospel) is that through contacting as many people as I can, (we have to do 20 people a day) my mission becomes so much more interesting!! I have talked to some crazy people and I have talked to some really amazing people. I mean, my mission isn’t exotic or super foreign and that is something that has always been in the back of my mind, but it’s cool to walk down a street and contact Muslims, Jews, atheists, Koreans, Chinese, black, Latino, whites. I swear, my testimony has been more challenged street contacting than any lesson I have had.

I hope the family has fun this summer! It is so cool that Mom is learning all this cool college knowledge. Spending all my time at USC makes me remember how much I have forgotten and how hard it will be to start school up again. 

DAD find some pictures of you and Brother Michael Stanely from back in the day. 
That is so cool that Mom sent the missionaries to her home, keep at it Mom! I bother and anger people every single day, but so many stories of persistence and love unfeigned lead to success!

I hope the family is going to take an awesome camping trip this year!! Maybe to Goblin Valley?? If you do, take some pictures for me. 

I had a chance to go down to the Palos Verdes Chinese Branch this week because they had a baptism so I got to see Regina!! She was so happy and so relaxed. She still feels like church is really long, but it was so cool seeing the whole branch take care of her, asking if they could hold her kids for her and stuff. Her husband still doesn’t support her but she is so solid. 

Chen Bowen was the very first Chinese contact I had a USC and now he is on the path towards baptism. He is so humble and so awesome and so very good at ping pong. 

I love you guys so much! Thanks for everything!

Elder Burr
May 8th CLAM International Zone Conference

Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm a seminary teacher . . . kind of

So we started a Chinese Institute Class!! And we are going through 1 Nephi this summer. You may even be able to get 1 credit for it. It is super stressful but hopefully will yield fruits for the kingdom!

So while I was preparing for the lesson, I read something in chapter 1 that really stood out. I feel like I was taught this in seminary a long time ago...but I probably forgot....or had skipped class. Anyways ( my sins are behind me don't skip class Mellissa and Tina and Becky).

Lehi leaves behind everything and goes to the wilderness. In the scriptures it says he leaves his gold, silver and his precious things and takes with him his family, necessities of life, and a tent. Then right after that, he builds an altar of sacrifice and gives thanks to the Lord. And I never ever noticed this before! Lehi takes the time to stop, build an alter and kill a lamb because he is so grateful for what he has. And it’s not the tent or the provisions, it’s his family. And he is so grateful that the Lord showed him the way that he could preserve his family and they could continue to be with him. I love this! I love that even 3000 years ago, the core principles of Jesus Christ's gospel are the same. Families! Even 3000 years ago, this Gospel taught that families are the most important unit in this life and in eternity. Lehi knew this!! He read the Book of Life!! This is the restored Church of Christ. It’s not just some American Church or some good worldwide church, but it is THE WAY we go back to live with God.

I am so grateful for my family! I am so grateful for the felt boards that taught me bible stories, and for the cartoons and for all the family home evenings for the firesides you took me to and for waking me up in the morning to go to the temple. Thank you for going to Church every week to show me that this was important to you! Thank you for attending all the meetings and paying fast offerings and paying tithing. These and so many more things are things that taught me that molded me. That gave me the testimony that I now share with all these other people.

I know for a fact I can’t convert people past my own conversion, and a Gospel-centered home was what allowed me to be converted. I don't know why but the song “Tell me the stories of Jesus" keeps playing in my head. I am so grateful that my parents told me the stories of Jesus, my Savior and friend!!

I am not sure why this letter turned into the way it did. Sorry if it was weird!

I love you all and have a great week!
-Elder Burr

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Hey! It was so awesome talking to you. Happy Mother’s Day Mom, I love you so much thanks for helping me get on a mission!! Thanks Grandma too!! I love you too!

I will share a thought I had the other day. So, I remember that someone told me a while back that all this doesn't matter, that our missions and everything does not matter because everyone is just going to get the gospel in the Spirit World and everything will be fine and dandy. I didn't know how to respond then, but now I would say that it is important, it is SO important. This is our one chance at mortal life. This is our one chance to follow Jesus Christ's Gospel and through that, gain experience and spiritual knowledge. Which is the only thing we can take after this life. And it’s the Gospel that gives us the experiences and knowledge that we want with us for eternity. Not the worldly and cheap things that we are surrounded with. The things that the world tells us are importance. None of that will last. And our missions are the time that we can tell people this. That they can experience for themselves. They can start walking on that straight and narrow path and they can start collecting those precious spiritual experiences and treasuring those other sacred truths and take those to eternity. This is our time. This is our 4 minutes!!! It matters so much. I’m not sure if this made sense, but yeah I love you guys so much, thanks for everything!

-Elder Burr
Little Tokyo with Elder Bria
Elder 兵士 PFC
Trojan Country

Monday, May 5, 2014

Wad-up Cuz and I love College

WOW! This is area is way different than Torrance. So my last area was pretty much Utah, now we are just living in the hood. We are the only white people in our neighborhood. Black people are so awesome and crazy. We live at Crenshaw and Jefferson. hahah I can’t get over how funny it is to say that out loud. Creenshaaaw and jefahsun. It’s crazy because USC is like this multi-million dollar place that gets so much money, and literally right outside of it is just utter poverty. It’s super sad.

haha I know the Lords house is a house of order, but the mission forgot we were moving into a new place and we didn't have power from Tuesday to like Friday. It felt like I was camping, using a headlight to write in my journal and brush my teeth. haha!!

Oh MAN! USC is nuts, finals are this week, but I have no idea how these students find time to study, all they do is drink alcohol all day and all night!! The institute building is right next to the frat houses. This area has so much potential. So we are the first Elders ever to focus on just USC, and the last Elders didn't come here ever because it was too far. So pretty much we are starting this area off fresh. A lot of relying on the Lord will go down.

MIRACLE!!! Regina got baptized!! ( Regina is Leo's sister) I was so so so sad that I could not finish teaching her, but pretty much 6 days after Leo got baptized, she just knew it was right and she didn't need her husband to join with her like she thought she did, she just trusted in the Lord and went for it. They are a super solid FAMILY. Her two kids are the cutest ahh man!!! I need to send you guys a picture of them. But I have a testimony that it is the Lord that guides this work and not us fools that can’t even speak the language.

Hey, Family, thank you so much for the love on my birthday!! Amanda, your gift was so awesome, I have a goal to memorize like 60 a week! Thank you and for the D&C!!! I am literally the only missionary in LA that has this stuff. And family the photo album was awesome and Grandma thank you so much for writing me! I hope that Dad's foot gets better. Tori, don't listen to him, if he wants you to get him a cherry-coke, you can’t do it!

I also wanted to share a little miracle, that God answers our prayers!
So pretty much, I am doing walking missionary work and street contacting for the first time on my mission. We could never do it in Torrance because it just wasn't effective, but it kind of works here. So about 30 minutes in, I feel like we need to say a prayer to find a new investigator. Like 2 and half hours past and we have nothing, at this point it’s 8:45 and we should head home to make it back by 9pm. We go in grab a drink from the church building and are ready to go when I say to my comp, “hey, let’s just talk to one more person." And we did, we went out and we got a return appointment with Adam, a guy from Guang Zhou China. I love it! I love just going one more, just giving God a little more. Talk to one more person, give up one more bad habit, read my scripture a little longer, pray a little more meaningfully. Yeah, I feel like often our actions satisfy God, but when we sacrifice that little bit, He is overwhelmed with joy. That we had all the reasons not to, but we chose to follow him.

I love you guys, I can’t wait to talk to you on Sunday, I will call around like 5pm or maybe 2pm.

Elder Burr
CLAM International Zone