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



Monday, September 22, 2014

Awesome Blossom

It was an awesome blossom this weekend, Eric Xiao got baptized!! It was a great turnout, people hanging out of the windows, kids running trying to hop in the font. It was super good. The last Chinese baptism in this ward yielded very small returns, so we called a lot of ward members and invited them. Ahh man, it was so good.

So Eric's story is, when he was in college in China, he had a friend that introduced him to God. And one night, he offered up a prayer to know if God was really out there and if he really cared about him, and he got an answer, he knew God was there!! Alright Step 1 down, now Step 2 is finding God's true church. So he eventually makes it to America and he joins up with just a local church and he likes it a lot, his knowledge of the Bible grows and he is strengthened in Christ. Next thing you know, he is eating at some K-Town BBQ and he find our English Class add! Next thing you know he is reading the Book of Mormon, and he is feeling the Spirit and he knows its true, next thing you know his old church buddies are telling him we are brainwashing him and that we aren't Christian, and he stands up to them and  tells them he knows The Book of Mormon is the word of God!! All this within a week and a half of meeting with the missionaries for the first time. Super on board, super pumped to be baptized, BUT he gets a stumbling block..... living prophets... he starts to dwindle in faith and ends up sending the missionaries a text saying he is done, it is just too hard to be a part of the Mormon Church...devastation sits in.... We go for one more shot, a lesson with us the Mission President, it's a good lesson, but definitely didn't crash the walls of the prison. Eric goes home, prays about the things we taught him, and he gets his answer! God has always worked through prophets and the Church is Gods true Church and contains the fullness of the Gospel!

Why am I telling you this? Well, as I stood there and was a witness for his baptism, I was looking down on him in the font, I could imagine all these experiences that he had, all these struggles and blessings taking him to this very moment and sure, I tried my best to lead him there, but ultimately it was his loving Heavenly Father that brought him there. Oh man, it was an awesome baptism. Eric was just so overwhelmed. In the bathroom he was just weeping and saying 'thank you, thank you so much.' AND even better, at the very end, when we were all eating snacks, President Weidman came through the door and surprised Eric with a big old hug, Eric pretty much lost his mind.

So, I also wanted to share an experience. We were contacting on UCLA and I see this guy, I ask him if he was a student, he said no. He was heading to the UCLA Hospital to see his daughter. His daughter was 14 years-old and had ran away from home, then had tried to commit suicide. The father had just barely found out about this earlier that day. I just didn't know what to do at that point. But, I decided to ask the man if we could pray with him, so just there in the middle of the street, we offered up a prayer for his family. Right after we ended, he said thanks and had rushed off, but we gave him our number before he left. I was a little bummed about it for the rest of the week, I wish I could have helped that man more, I wish I could have taught him something to give him hope, but all I could think of was to pray with him and the prayer didn't really impact him. But, I got a call from that man 2 days ago. He is probably the only person that I have given my number to that has called me back! And he was sounded so much happier! like 1000x happier. He expressed his thanks to us, he talked about how the prayer we had together gave him the strength to enter that hospital and face what he had to face in there. He said that things were looking up with his daughter and the doctors were giving a good prognosis. 

Family! I just want to share my testimony of prayer. Sometimes it is hard to pray, we will fall asleep, our minds will wander, they won't be heartfelt. I know I have experienced all these on my mission. But prayer is an act of faith, and faith always precedes the miracles. And Eric's baptism and meeting this man really were miracles, and they both had to do with prayer. 

Thanks for reading this super wild letter! Love you guys! 
-Elder Burr
Eric's baptism. Elder Bria did the baptism. He almost forgot the words in the font, but it was all good.

Elder Bowman and I back together for a day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

God guides this work!!

So! cool stuff! This Monday we had a lesson with the Mission President, President Weidman. Super nerve racking!! I was pretty scared to teach with him, but it was like a normal member-present lesson, only that he was super awesome and I actually trusted what he told to our investigators. (sometimes we have members tell investigators stuff like, "yeah baptism, it's not that important now, you can just do it in the next life.") So the investigator we taught was Eric Xiao. He was a golden investigator but he got hung up on prophets and then he started to digress fast! We are talking Degrassi the next generation status. So we called in the big guns and had a lesson with President. And I mean, the lesson was a really good lesson and it was really spiritual, but I could just see on his face that he just wasn't at peace with it. And so he went home and he prayed, and he said that he expressed to God why he didn't believe in Prophets, and God answered Him! He said the feelings he got right after he expressed his concerns were so real and vivid, and these feelings were telling him to trust in the Prophets and that God has always always worked through Prophets, and to just trust in God's Plan.

I only had 2 or 3 lessons with Eric, but those lessons just made this transfer so worth it! And even made my mission so much more worth it! 

Other than that, its been a pretty normal week. Being in a family ward is so weird!! It has Deacons and old ladies and everything in between. haha It reminds me a lot of good old Cedar Hills 5th. And when I thought about that, I started to think about the person I was before my mission. I just can't believe how much I didn't understand about the Gospel and how much I took it all for granted!! But don't worry, I have repented of these things! 

So hiking to the Hollywood sign was a bust, the trail up was closed down, but don't worry, I still have like a year to do it. 

I am making a promise to take a picture a day! I need to start doing that, and also writing in my journal.....

Well, we gotta go. Love you guys! Good luck in school. I can't believe Rebecca is a Senior! How old is Mellisa? 14? 8th grade? Is Tina driving?? 

Love you guys!! Have an awesome week!

The closest thing to the outdoors I have seen all year


Man, Santa Monica is so CLEAN!! This new area is so different. A lot of things are so different. Pretty much everything is different but my companion. If you don't remember Elder Bria, he is the thick Elder from Tennessee that likes to wrestle. BUT our new apartment is super nice, so we have to keep the fighting to a minimum. This new place has AC!!! The first night I was there, I fell asleep and woke up to AC and I thought that I was home in Utah. I am for reals. It was super weird! I also am getting to drive a new car, 2014 Corolla!! It is super nice, I am super scared to mess it up, LA traffic is crazy. I was in another accident 2 weeks ago with my District Leader. hhaha It was a funny story because an English class student was the one that hit us!

So also in the new area, I am in a normal ward again. Like with families and stuff. HEY Valeria Chow's sister is in my ward. We have Gospel Principles in Chinese together! But being in a normal ward is cool. Not a lot of Chinese speakers are in this ward, but they just had two baptisms before I came in so it is all good!

I don't have a  lot of time because we are going to hike the Hollywood sign! Talk to you next week! Love you family, tell me how your lives are going!!

-Elder Burr

Monday, September 1, 2014

I Bruined my life

First things is first, I want to express how grateful I am to all you guys. You email me every week and pray for me and it really really does support me through a lot of trial! I could not serve if it were not for you guys.

AHHHH!!!!! I am being transferred to UCLA. I am so torn. The work was going very well in USC. We had 18 Chinese people at church last Sunday and 13 of those were non members. IT is exploding here! I am so grateful that I was able to do my part in the Lords vineyard and I 100% trust in the mission president, that he is guided, by God, to guide this work.

So during the football game this Sat we went contacting on campus, bad decision. It was pretty much like coechella ( or Woodstock for you older folk), but my companion and I thought that since we stuck out so bad, it would be super easy to find the elect people!! but oh man, who we found was Tawnya. So she stopped us and I just thought that she was your average sorority girl, but all of a sudden she started whipping out all this bible stuff and all of a sudden this Alpha Delta Alpha girl wanted to bash! Like all bashes, it didn't go anywhere, and in the end she left is with these words. " There is no such thing as revelation, no such thing as prophets, its done, its finished, we don't need anymore, God will not give us anymore." ......it was a super intense moment.  and you know, as I left that conversation, I just couldn't stop thinking about what she said. And I was just thinking, how I don't think I could live in a world where God does not want to talk with me. I just really believe that God's Gospel is constantly unfolding, it for sure is unchanging, but it is always unfolding. I wish that people would just listen sometimes, just sit down and talk with us. Mostly Americans really, who think they have it all. Because I have seen it in the eyes of my investigators, when I tell them that God is our loving Heavenly Father and he want to hear them and he wants to guide them through a living prophet, their eyes just light up. right now I am teaching 2 girls, Li Bing and Li Jia Ying, and they just get it. They both are just so sweet and so willing to learn. They have a soft, willing open heart. And so many Christians right now just need to do that. To open their hearts, and be willing to get to know Heavenly Father again.

These Chinese people really have been an example to me. the recent converts to the investigators. They have all taught me so much.

I am really bummed to leave the USC ward, but I know it has a very solid foundation, and these guys that have been baptized may be leaving in a year or two, but their legacy will remain!

hahah so we got all our investigators to an activity this past Friday, bonfire on the beach!!! we couldn't go of course, but when we followed up on them after, they all just loved the s’mores!! They were like 'it was so sweet, but oh, it was so good!!.' haha I don't know why, but we have mainly been teaching girls lately.

OH MAN!! Heart Breaker experience, we had our first lesson with this girl, Qing Qing. It was such a good one, so powerful and she just had so many good questions. We even watched 'Hope of Gods Light' and after the lesson, she just looked so torn up, so confused inside. Then, she sat there for like 15 seconds, just thinking, with the most knotted up look on her face and she said, 'listen, guys, I am part of the Party (communist party) and no matter what I learn or what I feel, I just can’t accept it, so let’s not meet again." ahhh it was so hard, because her mind was pulling her away from what her heart was telling her. And now she has been off the radar, and I am getting transferred and I can’t look for her, but it just made me think about what it means to give our hearts to the Lord. That even if we think it is good, and correct, it can still be not of God, and giving our Heart to Him who is Eternal involves humbling ourselves and realizing that we are still children, and that our loving Savior and Heavenly Father want nothing more than to guide us and show us the way of true happiness.

I love the mission! I love my family and I miss you guys! Hope all is well and I hope you have a good Mid-Autumn Festival!!

-Elder Burr