Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hola Familia! November 25, 2013

This week was awesome! We went on 3 exchanges again as usual and 3 more this week.  This is the last week of the transfer.  I probably won't be transferred, but my companion probably will.  He's been here for almost six months.  I think he's going to be transferred to the valley and become a zone leader somewhere.  He's to good at being a district leader! 
This last week has been great!  Last Monday we only got about 45 minutes to find and we found two potentials!  One of them with a return appointment!  We were so excited!  They lived across the street from each other too.  It was cool.  We were about to get in our car and leave, but I kept looking at this house.  I told my comp that we need to knock it and we did.  This lady named Lynn answered the door and she told us that she would love to sit down with us.  She said she loved discussing spiritual things, but that she disagreed with mormons.  She wanted to meet with us nonetheless and told us to come back on Thursday at 7:00.  Usually people who want to meet with us just like that are Bible bashers.  She didn't give off the bible basher vibe though so we were excited.  I'll tell you what happened with her later in the email.  That night we went to dinner with the Kellog family.  They are all members except for the husband.  The two daughters that they have are partially deaf and the husband, Jeff is almost fully deaf, but can read lips.  They are such an awesome family and Jeff is super nice.  He comes to church sometimes when his daughters are doing something in Sacrament meeting.  Missionaries have tried to teach him in the past, but they had to drop him because of his hearing.  Since he can't really here well, his speech and voice sound really different and its hard to understand him.  We refferred them to the ASL (American Sign Language) missionaries about a month ago and they haven't been able to meet with him yet.  They've been updating us on their progress though.  There is a sign language branch in West hills, but the missionaries might end up coming here to interpret for him. 
Tuesday I went on an exchange with Elder Swyers from the Copper Hill ward.  He came into my area and we went finding for most of the day with no success.  That night we had dinner with the Crosby's our recent converts.  We tried to teach them about keeping the sabbath day holy after dinner, but it kept getting off topic and the kids were going crazy.  Jason had a rough day and was super frustrated because he's been to so many doctors who cant diagnose the problem that he has.  He has started to become intolerant to certain foods and he sometimes gets "brain fog" as he describes it.  We talked about that for quite a while and I ended up giving him a blessing.  That was the only reason we were there that night.  We didn't need to teach them anything, we only needed to give them a blessing.  It was good.  After the Crosby's we went to the Bowmans to teach Heather, a recent convert and Bill her husband who is less active.  The lesson went really well and we taught them about prayer.  Bill is still recovering from a surgery that he had about 6 months ago on his back.  he wants to come back to church, but hasn't been able to because he has been in so much pain.  Heathers conversion story is really cool.  I don't have much time to tell you about it, but I will in a later email. 
Wednesday, we had interviews with president which was awesome!  President Hall is so cool and is such a great man!  They took forever though because we had a training from the zone leaders and we had to wait for some other Elders to take them home.  We ended up going on another exchange with the Korean East Elders.  I went with Elder Sung into the Korean area.  We didn't do much.  Elder Sung has been really depressed and we ended up just talking a lot.  He is from Herriman, and was in perfect health until he came out here.  When he came out here, he got really sick and has been for the 18 months he has been out.  He's had a really rough mission.  Eventually we started driving towards Stevenson ranch to work around there.  We ended up getting going to members house to give their grandson a blessing.  None of them spoke any English so I couldn't understand anything, but luckily the other Korean Elders came and helped out with the blessing.  
Thursday we had weekly planning as usual.  That takes about three hours out of your day.  We got to teach Selvin and his family though!  It was awesome!  He lives with his mom Laura and grandma Lucy!  Lucy spoke for everyone haha. She was definatly the matriarch of the family.  The Lesson went really well!  We taught the Restoration and it looked like Lucy and Laura were about to cry!  The spirit was so strong!  We committed them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith as a family and they told us they would all come to church on Sunday!  Only Selvin ended up coming to church, because Laura had work and he said Lucy was unable to come.  He told us that they had been reading though and that they like it so far!  We are teaching them again later on this week.  We were supposed to teach Lynn that night too, but she canceled on us.  She said we could stop by again sometime though!  We are planning to go over there tonight.
Friday we went on an exchange with the Zone Leaders.  It was awesome!  It was the best exchange that I have had since I went on an exchange with Elder Wright, who is one of the assistants.  Elder Chandler came into my area!  We had so much fun!  We ended up finding 3 potential investigators!  I learned so much from him and it was just awesome!  We ran into some drunk guys who said the most vulgar things I have heard on my mission so far, but one of them reffered us to there mom who lived up the street.  We tried to contact her and we got no answer.  As we were walking back down the street, this chihuahua started barking at us from behind the fence in the front yard.  The owner came out and we talked to him.  His name was Carlos and he was from El Salvador.  He told us that we could come back sometime.  Our other potential came from knocking on this lady's door.  We told her about prayer and asked if we could say a prayer with her for her family.  She said we could and we did.  After we said the prayer, her countenance just changed and we asked if we could share a message with her family sometime.  She said yes and that we should stop by the next time we are in the area.  Our last potential, we got from knocking on a house with loud rap music coming from it.  This 16 year old kid answered the door.  He ended up giving us his number and we gave him ours.  He said we could call him or stop by sometime.  That night, we ran into some masters college students.  Masters College is a born again christian school that teaches anti-mormon propaganda.  The school is in our zone in the Newhall area.  Elder Chandler used to serve there.  He told me that for one of their classes, they are required to take the lessons from the missionaries and then drop them.  Elder Chandler said he taught a lot of Masters College Students.  They also teach their students how to bible bash with the missionaries.  It's basically the school of the devil.  Me and Elder Ehninger ran into a Masters college professor a while ago and he just shouted at us that we didn't beleive in Christ, even though we were telling him that we did.  It was frustrating.  Anyways, Elder Chandler and I ended our dinner 30 minutes early so that we could get some ice cream.  We went to this place called Rita's at 8:30.  It was so good!  We were sitting at the table when this girl came up to us and sat down at our table asking us if we were from utah.  She had a Huntsville Utah shirt on and I told her I was from Murray.  She said she grew up in Ogden and that she was a born again christian going to the Master's college.  She then asked if all mormons wear nametags.  She was obviously not from Utah haha!  She tehn started asking us all sorts of questions about the plan of Salvation and the three degrees of glory and then her other masters college friend joined in, and before we could answer any of their questions, they asked more questions and asked where our answers came from and where they were in the bible and what not.  They were just trying to bash with us and it was so dumb!  Masters College is the worst!  They are so hard hearted!  The next morning was good though, we taught Jezebel and we got a soft commitment towards baptism!  It was such a good lesson!  She said she would start reading and praying with her aunt.  That Saturday, Elder Ehninger had to do some baptismal interviews for the Assistants investigator family the Maxfields.  They are so awesome!  
Sunday was good too.  Jezebel and Selvin came to church.  We met with the bishopric after church and discussed the ward mission effort and how ward missionaries are supposed to work.   It was a good meeting and we are going to try to improve how the ward missionaries work and how we run ward correlation and Ward Council meetings.  It should be good.  Bishop Day is our new bishop as of last week and he's doing a great job.  If I stay in this area for Christmas I am going to be able to skype from his house!  It should be good!  Oh and don't worry about thanksgiving!  I'm going to the Estrada's for Thanksgiving and they make really good food! 
Anyways, this last week was great and this week is looking even better!  We're hoping that we can get a baptismal date for Selvin and his family as well as Jezebel!  Thanks for all of your letters!  I love hearing from you all!  I love you!
Elder Nelson

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Josh's Weekly E-mail from November 12, 2013

Well this week was fun! Sorry I didn't email on Monday.  It was veterans day and all the libraries were closed!  I went on an exchange on tuesday with Elder B.  He's from north Carolina.  I went into his area while his new missionary went to ours with my comp.  It was a good exchange, yet it was frustrating at the same time.  Elder B has been out for 6 months and recently him and his companion have been having a hard time finding people to teach in their area.  We tried to contact some potentials throughout the day with no luck and then we went finding.  We knocked on some doors and I saw this guy who pulled up in his car across the street.  I smiled and waved at him and he did the same back!  Most people don't haha but I had a prompting to go and talk to him, but we were already knocking on another door!  Dang it!  We knocked on a couple more houses then turned around and I had the prompting to knock on the door of the house the guy went into.  We did so and this lady named Julie answered.  We told her about the Book of Mormon and Restoration and she told us that she had some mormon friends and that she had always been curious about what they believed, but she had been to afraid to ask!  We set up an appointment with her for the next tuesday and committed her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.  Miracle!  
 We were supposed to go on an exchange with the zone leaders on Friday, but they cancelled because one of them got sick.  They also had zone training meeting that they had to do as well.  It was a good meeting.  We talked about how to receive revelation for our areas and about the faith cycle.  The cool thing about it was that I had a personal study the day before where I learne for myself what they were teaching through revelation.  It was awesome!  I am really starting to understand how the spirit works and how to follow it in every aspect of the work.  I've been praying to know how to do that and my prayers are being answered everyday.  I'm learning everyday and becoming a better person and missionary everyday.  That Friday night, we ran into this big black guy outside of a house by a referral we were trying to contact.  He knew who we were and everything, but he kind of started trying to bible bash in a non-contentious manner.  We were pretty sure this dude was a preacher from the way he talked and how well he knew about the bible.  The weird thing about the whole situation was that the spirit was there.  Usually when someone wants to bash, the spirit isn't there, but it was!  It was pretty cool.  We talked about bishops and Elders and the Book of Mormon and what not.  We were able to answer all his questions and he wasn't trying to tell us what we beleive like those guys from the masters college.  Those guys aren't good news haha.  Anyways, he was from out of town helping someone move.  He was with another black dude named James.  He didnt say anything the whole conversation.  Michael was the black preacher guys name.  It was a fun conversation.  
Saturday we helped our member neighbor across the street move in the morning.  That was the first service activity that I have done on my mission so far.  We are always looking for service, but we can't ever find any.  We see people moving or working in their yards a lot and we always ask if we can help, but people always tell us no.  All well.  We're tryin.  After service on Saturday, we tried to visit some refferals who weren't home.  We ended up talking to this latino guy next to one of them.  He was from Maddera California and he told us that he wanted to follow God because he had seen his hand so much in his life.  His wife was recently cured of cancer.  We told him about the Restoration and the Book of mormon and he committed to read and pray about it and he accepted the invitation to have missionaries teach him when he got home.  We got his address and texted in the refferal.  That guy is going to get baptized.  We felt so good about him.  His name was Charles.  We then started driving to go see another potential, but my companion got a prompting to turn onto a street that we had never been on before.  We stopped the car, prayed, got out and started walking.  We ended up following the spirit to a circle where we were greeted by this mexican gangster guy doin his mexican gangster wave at us.  It was funny and awesome.  We went up to him and he said he thought we were the Jehovahs Witnesses that he studies with every monday.  We explained that we were missionaries and we talked about Christ and the book of Mormon.  His name was Berny and he told us that he had been trying to "strighten up."  He We gave him a Book of Mormon and committed him to read and pray about it.  He also accepted the invitation to be taught be the missionaries in Santa Anna as he was from out of town as well.  It was cool.  Berny is gangsta.  This whole day was filled with spiritual promptings and we both came out of it having learned so much!  The more you follow the promptings of the spirit, the more the Lord trusts you.
 Sunday was amazing too!  We got muffins in Ward Council because it was Bishop Hansen's last sunday as bishop.  The Palomino's showed up for sacrament meeting as well as Selvin!  We got a new bishop. Bishop Day.  He is great!  I taught him and his family with one of their nonmember friends last week with the koreans.  He is going to be a great bishop!  I can't wait to work with him!  The Palomino's left after the 2nd hour, but Selvin introduced himself in priesthood by saying, "I'm Selvin and I'm hoping to be baptized to this church.  I've read the whole Book of Mormon and I've prayed about it and I know it's true."  AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Where did this kid come from!!! Miracles all day ery'day!  His parents are going to allow him to be taught and he told us that his mom is going to come to Sacrament meeting next week! Unfortunately, we can't start teaching them until next week because they're busy.  We are going to teach his whole family!  It'll be amazing! 
Yesterday we received info that Elder Jeong is being emergency transferred to Encino.  Elder Jeong is awesome!  I went on an exchange with him a couple of weeks ago and I'm sad that he's leaving.  He wanted to go on an exchange with Elder Ehninger before he left because he hadn't had the chance to yet so we did a mini exchange yesterday at 7:00.  Elder Sung came into our area with me and my comp went to Elder Jeongs area.  Elder Sung is from Herriman and has been out for a year and a half.  I'm going on another exchange with him wednesday.  He's great.  We exchanged back this morning at district meeting.
Anyways, this week was great!  It's going to get crazy in these next couple of weeks though because we have to do 3 exchanges a week for the rest of the transfer.  It'll be fun.  I like exchanges.  It's my companions birthday this Thursday so that's going to be awesome too! 
I love you all and I hope to keep hearing from you!! You're the best!
Elder Nelson
First Baptism!!

The CrosbyFamily

Hiking on P-Day