Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Well this week was... well... it was another week.  We tried our hardest and worked as much as we could.  Wednesday was the only day where we taught our investigators this week.  We taught the Sara Friel first and we talked about the importance of prayer, Book of Mormon and Church attendance.  She has been investigating off and on for the past ten years.  She has two sons who are 11 and 14 I think.  I've only met one of them, henry.  She has a strong testimony of prayer and she told us she would start reading the Book of mormon again.  She didn't come to church though because she always working out at this ranch with her son and riding horses.  She is really difficult to schedule appointments with because of that, and as of right now we don't have a return appointment with her. 
The other investigators we taught were the Palomino's.  They had a lot of questions about the temple and baptism which we answered.  We found out that Ernie is only investigating because of his wife, Leticia.  he doesn't really have a desire and he was really uncomfortable at church last sunday.  Leticia is progressing though.  She has been reading the Book of mormon and praying.  She told us that she liked church last week.  We taught them kind of the same thing we taught Sara Friel.  We told them how much this gospel blesses families and how it can bless their families.  We committed Leticia to keep reading and praying and we tried to do the same with Ernie.  He told us that he wouldn't be able to do it everyday because of school.  He doesn't really have a desire, but we're trying to igure out how he can get that desire.  At least he is supporting his wife.  We want them both to get baptized though, not just Leticia.  If Leticia gets baptized, and Ernie doesn't, she will most likely go inactive.  I don't want that.  Ernie will come around.  We're going to try and get him involved in service and feel needed.  We think that will really help him.
We had a six week new missionary training with president hall on Friday which was awesome!  it was so good!  It was a 9-5 meeting but it was worth the time.  We just talked about how we can be better companions and how faith really works.  It helped me realize that numbers don't reflect how hard you're working.  They don't measure your success as a missionary.  Numbers don't mean anything.  it's all about the work.  if you're working hard and trying your best, you're succesful.  There was one part of the meeting where President opened it up to questions, and there was this one spanish missionary, Elder Durrant who kept asking these stupid questions wasting everybody's time.  One of the questions he asked was how to reject a jehovahs Witness!  Come one man!  have you ever knocked on somebody's door?  Everyone was like "Is this guy serious?"  You could tell president was asking himself the same question haha!  to answer elder durrants question he told him to role play with him.  So elder Durrant got up in front of half the mission and role played with president.  Durrant was the jehovahs witness and president was the missionary.  President politely rejected him and shut the door.  it was hilarious!  Anyways, half the mission knows who elder Durrant is now.  Needless to say there are always missionaries like Elder durrant in all the meetings i've been to with president.  The whole mission knows who they are.  i probably shouldn't even be talking about them, but i just think it's hilarious some the questions they ask.  They do waste time though. 
Our ward had a halloween party on Saturday which was awesome!  We had so much food and there were so many people there.  It was fun to socialize with the ward and some members brough non-member friends which was awesome!  We introduced ourselves to them and hopefully some of them will become new investigators. 
We do have a really good potential investigator who we are going to try and teach soon.  her name is jezebel.  She is 14 or 15 and has been coming to church for the last couple of weeks with her aunt who she lives with.  She really likes church and is really close with the howell family.  We talked to her yesterday and she told us we should come and teach her sometime.  We asked her when we could come over and she went to ask her Aunt sister wagner.  Sister Wagner was all like "are you sure you want to do this?  Are you sure you want to take the lessons?" etc.  She kind of scared jezebel and we weren't able to set up a time to come over, but Jezebel likes us and she wants to learn.  Steve howell, their home teacher is going to talk to Sister Wagner and tell her to not make it such a big deal.  Both their families are really close and we talked with the howell family and how to fellowship them and help jezebel and the whole family really.  the only member in the house is Sister wagner.  her husband used to investigate, but he stopped because of a question he had about the blacks and the church.  he's black.  he used to be a rapper. but now he's a bus driver.  I don't know if you have heard of marvin perkins before, but he is a black guy who knows basically everything about the blacks and the church dealio.  he travels around the country teaching about and he even has his own dvd called Blacks and the priesthood.  needless to we are going to use him.  look him up! he's awesome!
Well thanks for all the letters and stuff!  i love it and it really helps me out!  I love you all and I
l hope to keep hearing from you!  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Letter from Josh Dated October 21, 2013

The Crosby family has been baptized! Yaaaaaaaaaay!  They are the most awesome people I have taught in this mission so far and I'm so happy for the decision they have made!  They have such strong testimonies of this gospel and they know that it will bless their family for eternity.  Both of them love the Valencia 3rd ward and the ward loves them.  We love them! They love us!  We have dinner with them and teach them every wednesday!  Both of their kids, Ashley and Mason so funny!  You show them a picture of Jesus and they yell "Jesus Christ!"  It's awesome!  Jason already has the priesthood and they both got their temple reccomends on Sunday!  They are so excited to do baptisms for the dead!  They love this gospel so much and it is the coolest thing to be a part of their growth!  Their baptism was amazing!  There were so many people there that we had to move it to the chapel!  If you can't tell, I'm so happy for them!  Aside from the baptism, this week was a lot of district leader work as usual but I'm cool with that!  My companion is such a good district leader!  The Korean Elders (Elder Kang, Kim, Qualls) car got broken into as well last Monday.  Me, Elder kang, and Kim were going to go get some lunch while my comp. talked with Elder Qualls (Korean Coordination Leader) about the boundaries.  We found that someone had smashed the back passenger window and that they stole their GPS.  We were so surprised!  Crime only happens in the valley! Not in Valencia!  Valencia is like the 6th safest city in the U.S.!  Well we reported it to the police and they got their window fixed. We went on two exchanges this week.  I went with the Valencia 2nd Elders in their area on Wednesday.  On Friday we went on exchanges with the assistants Elder Wright and Elder Kottcamp.  Elder Wright came with me to our area and it was such an awesome exchange!  He is such a good missionary and I learned so much from him!  We also got two new potentials that day and got to teach the Palomino family for the first time in 2 weeks!  We taught them the Restoration and committed them to come to the baptism on Saturday.  They said they would, but they didn't.  Ernie the husband got a migraine.  They did come to church though with their son Alex!  They came to gospel principles with us and the topic was Eternal marriage.  Ernie and Alex did not want to be there.  They were super uncomfortable, even though the ward was super friendly to them.  Leticia, the wife is the only one who has been keeping her commitments and reading the book of mormon.  She wanted to be there.  The Gospel Priciples lesson sounds like it should have been good right? Wrong! It went way to deep and was not investigator friendly!  The teacher who used to teach Gospel Doctrin is now the Gospel Principles teacher and this was his first time teaching.  Needless to say, Ernie and Alex wanted to leave after the lesson and Leticia wanted to stay.  They got into a little argument which was super awkward.  They eventually left.  I felt so bad, but there really was nothing I could do.  I think Ernie is turned off to religion all together and that he is only investigating because Leticia wants to.  We're going to try to make him see the blessings that come from the gospel in our next lesson and hopefully get him to actually have a desire to find out if the church is true.  Leticia, however, is golden.  She just needs the support from her family.  So all in all, it was a good week!  Our zone has been baptizing weekly for this whole transfer and I'm pretty sure that we are leading the mission right now with baptisms.  The thing about the work in Valencia is that it's really hard to find people who are willing to hear you, but when you do find those that will, they will get baptized.  It's surprising to hear from other missionaries that this zone used to be dead!  There is so much work to do and I love it!  I hope all is well at home!  I love you all! Thanks for the support!
Gawm-Sawm-Nee-Daw! (Thank you (in Korean))
Pictured: Elder Ehninger, Elder Chandler, Elder Holdaway, Elder Nelson
Elder Nelson

Monday, October 14, 2013

This week was fun and hard as usual, but that's how it goes.  I got to go on two exchanges this week with Elder Chandler (one of our Zone leaders) and Elder Jeong, a Korean Elder.  It was a lot of fun!  Elder Chandler is so cool!  He is from Hawaii and has been out for nine months.  He actually knew Trevor Hanks when he was at home in Hawaii!  He was Elder Hanks mini missionary and they are really good friends!  It was funny when we found out that we both knew a Weston Hanks from Taylorsville haha.  Elder Jeong is from Korea but moved to Provo 3 years ago.  He has a really thick accent and I couldn't understand him for half the exchange, but it was fun anyways!  Zone Conferance with Elder Kapischke was so good!  Nothing in the mission changed.  We are not getting I-pads yet or using facebook or anything, but it was a great conferance.  It was all day and it was basically just a question and answer session.  One thing me and my trainer are going to try to implement from this conferance is bring investigators with a baptismal date with us to other investigators lessons.  That would be so cool!  We just need to get the investigators now haha.  Nobody ever wants to listen to us.  Everyone here in Valencia feels like they already have it figured out.  Everyone is super nice, but its just sad.  We try our best and do everything we can do and yield no results, but it doesn't matter.  It doesn't matter if you have people to teach or not, just as long as you're trying your best and learning from it.  I'm not saying that we have nobody to teach because we do.  We actually have a baptism this Saturday for the Crosbys!  They are awesome and I love them so much!  They have so much faith and such a strong testimony.  I love teaching them because they are so accepting of everything and they basically know everything already.  Sister Crosby is having a hard time giving up coffee but she is trying.  The worst thing that can happen is that we have to push back the baptism, but other than that they are golden.  We weren't able to teach the Cosatta's or the Palomino's last week.  The Cosatta's were busy, and we feel like we are not very high on the priority list for the Palomino's.  The Palomino's have been taught the first three lessons and have been invited to be baptized, but they feel that they aren't ready yet.  we haven't met with them in 2 weeks and I hope that they are willing to meet with us this week.  Nothing else really happened this week.  We have been finding a lot and we have only been able to get one potential investigator from it which is a blessing.  Thanks for all the packages and letters!  Its so nice to hear from everybody and it helps me out so much! I hope everyone is doing well!
Elder Nelson      

Monday, October 7, 2013

Josh's Latest Letter

Hello everyone!  Sorry about last weeks letter.  I don't know how it got cut off in the 6th sentance and I don't remember what i was talking about.  All well.  This week was good!  We went on two exchanges this week.  My first exchange was with Elder Kang, one of the Korean missionaries.  he came over to my area while my comp went to theirs.  Elder Kang has only been out as long as I have, and he has never done English work before.  It was good for him to take a step back from korean for a day.  We learned a lot from each other and had a good time.  Elder kang was in Jeff Hunters MTC district.  They were pretty good friends.  On Wednesday we went on another exchange on Wednesday with the Valencia 2nd Elders.  I went over to their area.  they are in a trio and I was with elders Baughan and Swyers.  They are also in a bike area, so i got to ride my bike all day for the first time!  it was so awesome!  I kind of wish that i was in a bike area because it feels so good to ride a bike.  I'm kind of sick of the car.  We have to give everyone rides and it takes a lot of time out of our day.  anyways, the exchange was good.  They introduced me to some of the new members that moved from V2 over to V3 with the whole boundry change last week.  One of them was the Larson's.  I'm glad they called you mom!  They're great.  thursday was zone training meeting which was great as well.  I love our zone leaders.  Their names are elder Chandler and Elder Choi.  elder Chandler is from Hawaii and elder Choi is from Korea.  english is his second language and he was called english speaking.  he does help out with korean work from time to time when he goes on exchanges.  They are so awesome and loving. elder Choi is going home next transfer along with elder Smith, Powell and Ah Chee.  They all got up and bore their testimonies at the end of the meeting and it was amazing!  The spirit was so strong and their testimonies really helped me out.  We also taught the Crosby's our investigators with a baptismal date this past week.  We inherited them from V2 with the boundry change.  they are so awesome!  They have been prepared so well!  they have been investigating the church for about three years and their baptismal date is the 19th, however, we are probably going to push it back to November 2nd because of the boundry change.  if they got baptized on the 19th, they would have only been able to go to their new ward once and they won't have anybody at their baptism because we wouldn't be able to announce it the week before in Sacrament meeting.  We still have to teach them quite a bit, but they have such a strong testimony of the gospel.  They have two kids who are like 2 and 3 years old I think and they are crazy!  They have a real hard time controlling them in sacrament meeting, but it is their dream to raise them in the church.  Brother Crosby even wants his 2 year old son Mason to go on a mission! It's so cool!  they study the scriptures every day and have a lot of support from their old ward. They haven't been able to meet very many people from our ward yet, but they will love our ward.  I love our ward!  They are so awesome to the missionaries and we get fed almost everyday!  We weren't able to teach the Palomino's this week.  They cancelled on us, but we are hoping to meet with them this week.  We ate dinner with the Casattas this Friday, 2 new investigators that we got 2 weeks ago.  they are so prepared to receive the gospel.  They're daughter Stephanie is a convert and married a return missionary and lives in Utah.  The Casattas like to talk a lot, so we weren't able to teach our lesson that we had planned out for them.  We were over there for 3 hours and we invited them to General Conferance and talked about family history.  They were so interested in family history and they wanted us to help them with it sometime this week.  Brother Casatta also loves the Salt lake Temple and wants to be sealed.  The only problem that they have with the gospel is Joseph Smith.  They ran into some Anti Mormon stuff like a month ago saying that joseph smith was a fraud, but Stephanie's husband Briant (the RM) talked to them about it and they are saying that the Book of mormon could be true.  They are so cool and i love them so much!  We also got one new investigator this week.  When me and Elder kang were on exchanges, we visited a former investigator named Sarah Freil.  We knocked on her door and she invited us in!  it was so unexpected!  We ended up talking about the Book of Mormon and Prayer and set up a time to come back this Tuesday.  Looking at her old teaching record, she seemed like she was progressing very well, but she dropped the old missionaries because she wanted to study on her own.  She does have a testimony of the Book of Mormon though and I really think she could be baptized.  We just need to get to know her better.  conferance this weekend was so amazing!  I loved it so much!  Some of those talks just spoke to me and really helped me out.  it's so easy to get discouraged out here and feel inadequate, but listening to Confearance was what I needed.  The Lord is watching out for me.  It was awesome to see a lot of my friends in priesthood session!  I saw Ben, tyler, nefi and a whole bunch of other people that I know from Murray!  this next week is going to be crazy!  We have 3 exchanges this week, and i'm leaving my area twice in a row.  On Thrusday, we have a general authority coming to the mission for Zone conferance on Thursday.  it's elder kapishki from the mission department.  Rumors are flying around that they're going to make this mission a no tracting mission, get facebook, ipads, or something crazy like that which would be Sweet!  having an ipad would be so nice!  Well I hope everyone is doing good at home!  I love you all!  Write me some letters!  
Elder Nelson