Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, December 30, 2013

Hola You Guuuyz!

So ya Christmas was awesome!  We worked hard all week as usual!  I love it!  Skyping was amazing and thanks for all the presents yo!  I loved them all!  I have so much candy now!  I don't know how I'm not fat yet.  I've only gained five pounds my whole mission and I eat like a starved pig!  So me and my comp were looking at the price tags from the bishop and it turns out they probably ended up spending over $70 on ever missionary and there were 8 missionaries at his house that morning.  Crazy!  Don't worry we thanked him a lot!  They're awesome!  Well since Christmas, we have taught Selvin and Chad.  The lesson with Selvin and his grandma and mom was amazing!  The spanish missionaries came with us because Lucy and Laura have expressed an interest in going to the spanish branch just to check it out.  The Spanish missionaries introduced themselves at the beginning of the lesson and set up a time they could come over next week.  If  Lucy and Laura start to go to the spanish branch, the spanish missionaries will have to start teaching them.  We didn't really teach much, we just let Lucy and Laura ask us questions and we resolved a whole bunch of concerns.  They have told us that they love church and that they love having us over because they feel peace and they know that this church will improve their family.  Selvin already knows so much its so cool!  By the end of the lesson, we got Lucy and Laura to agree on allowing Selvin to get baptized on January 25th!  He was so excited and happy!  Lucy and Laura said they would be baptized, but only once they felt more comfortable with the commitment that they make at baptism. Laura's main concern with Selvin is that she doesn't want him to go on a mission.  Selvin keeps talking to them about going on a mission!  He's so cool!  Lucy had the same concern last week, but this week she told us that she thinks that it would be good for him.  She said that way she could teach him how to be self reliant.  Lucy told us that if she feels comfortable once the 25th hits that she will be baptized too.  I think all three of them will be ready by then.  They have been reading and praying and they "feel" that its true.  They also want to start bringing their other kids to church--one is 9 and one is 13.  That would be awesome!   One of my dreams on the mission is to baptize a whole family and see them get sealed in the temple a year later!  I can't wait until the Crosby's get sealed in a year!  They are amazing!  We taught the crosby's this week as well!  Jamie just had her baby Luke James Crosby.  Jason has still been having a hard time with health issues, but they are so strong and just an amazing family.  We taught Chad as well.  He relapsed on smoking, but he's not letting it get him down.  We talked about repentance and the Atonement and I even offered to give him a blessing, but he declined.  We taught him about tithing and fasting as well.  He just absorbs everything we teach.  It is so cool and it's fun teaching him.  Other than that, we did a lot of finding this week and got a whole ton of potential investigators with return appointments for after the holidays.  This week and next week should be stacked with new investigators so I'm stoked!  We're going to start working with more less active and part member families too so that should be good.  I can't believe how much I've grown in just 4 months.  I'm loving it! It's hard but I'm loving it!
Well that's all for this week folks!  Thanks for everything and I love you all!

Elder Nelson 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hey everyone!! It's Christmas and there is no snow.  It stinks.  The weather is boring here haha!  It's no biggie though!  This week was awesome!  Before I forget, we are probably going to skype around 3:00 or 4:00.  Since Ryan and Dannie are going to be gone for Christmas, we should use Google hangout, that way I can talk to everyone!  That's what a lot of other missionaries do.  I don't know exactly how it works, but we'll figure that out on Christmas!  Our plans for Christmas are as follows.  We will go over to Bishops for breakfast, study and then knock doors until 3:00 or 4:00 when we skype.  Then we'll go knock more doors! Yaaaaaay!  We knock doors alot!  It's going to be weird knocking doors on Christmas. We're probably going to get shot, but whatever!  If you don't here from me on Christmas you'll know what happened!  Anyways, it says in the handbook we're only supposed to spend 45 minutes on skype, but we'll see what happens.  So ya we should do the Google Hangout thing like I said before so I can talk to everyone!  This past week was awesome!  We knocked doors a whole lot as usual.  We got to go to the temple on Wednesday which was the best thing ever!  It was so good to go to the temple again!  It's so cool how no matter which temple your at that you can feel the same spirit!  It was cool!  After the temple on Wednesday, we went to an appointment that we set up with a potential investigator that we found on tuesday.  Her name is Amy and we taught her the restoration.  She is in the process of converting to catholicism.  She is taking RICA courses or something, but she said that what we taught her was really moving and that she would read and pray about what we said!  Super cool!  We have a return appointment for this Friday.  We taught Chad 3 times this week!  He is so cool!  He's on a nicotine patch right now to quit smoking and he should be off it in the next two weeks in time for his baptism.  We also taught Selvin Lucy and Laura this week.  Lucy and Laura had a lot of concerns about Selvin maybe going to fast.  Selvin wants to go to seminary, but they won't let him because they think he's working to hard.  I feel so bad because he wants to be baptized so bad and he knows like everything already!  He's amazing, but Lucy and Laura are holding him back. We can't baptize him without parental permission.  They like church and they love having us over, they just don't want to make the commitment to be baptized yet.  They also had a lot of concerns about Joseph Smith and which we resolved and we also watched the Restoration DVD with them.  It was good.  We taught chad the plan of salvation which was really great and spritual.   Anyways, we knocked on doors a lot this week and got a lot of potentials this week so that was good too!  We also ran into two bible bashers this week which was sad.  Bible bashers teach me alot about how satan works.  They all just tell half truths and try to catch you in your words.  It's kind of like how the Pharisee's talked to Christ.  They try to tear your faith apart, but really all they're doing, for me anyways is building it up.  They are so spritually blind and it makes me so sad.  Yesterday night was one of the bashes we got into.  We went up to talk to these people in their driveway and they asked, what's your view on heaven?  Right then the spirit just left.  When somebody asks that you can know that their from the masters college because they all ask that and then go off on how it's not our faith that saves us and what not.  We explained to them the three degrees of glory and then they just started going off about how we've been deceived and what not.  We listened to them for what seemed like forever, and finally I just pointed my Book Of Mormon at them and bore my testimony to them and walked off.  I know they felt the spirit, but like I said before they've become so spiritually blind.  Anyways, moral of the story is that I can hold my own against bashers and that all they do is build my testimony.  Well I gotta go so I love you all I'll see ya on wednesday!!! I got your packages too and they're great!
Elder Nelson

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


So this week has been probably the most productive week of the mission so far!  It has been amazing!  We found 5 new investigators this week! One already has a baptismal date for January 18th!  It's crazy!  We're usually lucky if we get 1 new investigator!  We found this family on Monday night that we knocked into!  It was so awesome!  We're teaching them later tonight.  Their names are Janice, Cole, and Clay.  We knocked on the door at like 8:40 at night and she just started asking us all these questions about the church and said that she had always admired people who had a faith in Jesus Christ.  We were so excited!  It was so cool!  We taught her and her kids the restoration.  On Tuesday we had zone conferance at the North Hollywood Stake Center.  It was amazing!  I got so much personal revelation and revelation for the area!  It was fun so see all my MTC buddies.  We had car inspections before Zone Conferance as well, and I'm driving the oldest car in the mission.  The 2010 Pontiac Vibe.  It's in super bad shape.  It has so many scratches and dents.  It's the joke of the mission!  I should only be driving it for one more transfer thankfully.  We'll probably get a new 2014 Corolla next transfer which will be sweet!  Anyways, zone conferance lasts for 9 hours.  It was a long meeting, but I got a ton out of it.  Wednesday was awesome as well!  We knocked on this old lady's house who talked to us forever!  Her name is Elaine and she is super lonely.  She is living alone.  Her husband has Alzheimers and is in Washington with her daughter.  She goes to this methodist church, but she was super open to learning from us.  We taught her about the book of mormon and prayer and what not.  It was good.  Thursday, we got a headquarters refferal saying a guy named Chad was interested in the Book of Mormon and wanted help to quit smoking.  We knocked on his door and he let us in.  He's recently been going througha very rough time in his life and has started to acknowledge God.  He has been Atheist for the last ten years.  We taught him the Restoration and left him with a Book of Mormon.  We've taught him 3 times since then and we already have a baptismal date set with him for January 18th!  He is so cool!  He has a true desire to change his life.  He used to have problems with drugs and is now trying to quit smoking!  Also, he looks like he's 28, but he's 19.  He came to sacrament meeting on Sunday and a little bit of Gospel Principles.    Chad had got a ride from his parents to the church, but he didn't have a ride back.  Since we aren't allowed to give investigators rides, we walked with him home.  We explained the millenium a little bit just so he wasn't freaked out.  He is very accepting of everything though so it wasn't a problem.  Thursday, Selvin and the Palomino's cancelled on us.  Lucy, Selvin's grandma, is sick.  The Palomino's were running errands or something.  On Friday, we had an exchange with the Zone Leaders. Elder Stucki, who served in the Northridge first ward last transfer came into my area.  Lindsy and Ryan, you know him!   We knocked doors the whole time.  It was pretty uneventful.  Saturday morning, we taught Elaine again and the lesson went really well.  We retaught the restoration and we emaphasized the importance of Christs church and prophets.  She told us it made since and asked us why no other churches besides ours had prophets.  The spirit was definatly there.  We got a soft baptismal commitment from her and are going to try and set a date with her tomorrow.  Saturday and Sunday night, we went to the big Stake Christmas concert.  It's a big thing out here in Valencia.  there are som many nonmembers that come to it.  They take out the first four pews in the chapel and bring in a full orchestra to accompany the choir.  The director, Richard Rich, wrote the music for The Fox and The Hound and a couple other disney movies.  It's high quality, professional stuff.  Kirby Heybourne, the guy from the RM and church movies and stuff was the narrator of the Christmas story.  He lives in the Valencia ward.  Pretty cool.  The concert was so amazing!  The Palomino's came and we tried to meet up with them, but we couldn't find them!  Sunday night's concert, was a full house and people were standing in the back of the gym.  It was crazy.  Anyways, this week was a good week.  Super busy, but busy is good.  Happy Birthday Jessica! Happy birthday Grandma Church!  I love you all!
Elder Nelson     

Monday, December 9, 2013

Transfer Week of Crazy

This week has been crazy!  It was the first week of transfers.  My trainer got transferred to be a zone leader in North hollywood.  My new companion is Elder Davidson!  He's awesome!  He was a zone leader in Encino and came up here to be district leader.  My area got split as well so now my area feels super small.  It's weird.  I was the only one who new the area and i had to explain everything to the new sisters and Elder Davidson.  It took a long time to get all the records transferred over to the sisters area, but everything is good now.  Jezebel, who is in the sisters area told them that she wanted to be baptized.  Elder Davidson and I taught the palomino's this week and Selvin lucy and Laura as well.  We slevin and his family the plan of Salvation and it was a really spirit filled lesson.  We invited them to be baptized, but Lucy spoke for everyone and said that she wasn't able to make that committment yet.  When we inveted them, Selvin was just nodding his head and laura was smiling.  All of them came to church this week and we got the chance to teach Gospel Principles.  We taught the 3rd lesson from Preach My Gospel, The Gospel of Christ.  It went great.  The lesson basically just turned into a testimony meeting and Lucy was there to feel the spirit testify to her that baptism is what she needs to do.  We are going to teach them later on this week and hopefully we will be able to set a date with them.  The lesson with the palomino's was good.  We taught them on prayer and studying the scriptures together as a couple.  We committed them to read and pray together.  They just need to do it now.  They have been coming to church on and off, but they haven't been keeping their committments.  Hopefully they start progressing soon.  I went on an exchange with the Copper hill east elders on friday to saturday and it was a fun exchange for me.  Elder Bulger came to my area.  We had a good time.  We did a lot of finding as always and got nobody.  Here's a funny story from the exchange.  We were finding and Elder Bulger and I felt like we should walk up this street on this hill.  We got to the top and there was this house with a guy handcuffed on his lawn surrounded by 4 or 5 police officers yelling, "I didn't sell no drugs or do drugs.."  They were just arguing.  We were walking by across the street and Elder bulger just yells, "Whats up!?"  to the guy arguing with the police.  When he yelled I just thought to myself, "what the heck are you doing!?"  Everyone just stopped and looked over at us.  The guy cuffed on the lawn yells back, "nothin much just hangin out!"  The police officers just busted up laughing.  it was hilarious.  That's my finding story.  Not much happens finding other than running into bible bashers.  We ran into a couple this week.  That was fun.  Sometimes it feels like the bible belt up here!  Anyways, not much else happened this week.  I love my companion even though we have no unity in contacting or teaching yet, but we'll get there.  We're working as hard as we can.  to tell you a little bit about my new comp.  He enjoys sharpening knives in his spare time, shoots guns competetivly and worked at a scout camp before he came out here.  he's super cool haha.  I love you all!  Thanks for the Garmin mom, Grandpa and Grandma!  I didn't get the scriptures yet.  I do get to skype on christmas.  We're going to the bishops for christmas and we are going to skype from there.  Should be fun!  We're going to the temple as a mission in a week and a half.  i'm excited!  Keep writing me I love it!  i love you all! 
Elder Nelson

Monday, December 2, 2013

Transfer Week

I'm officially done being trained!  Yay!  But really I still have no idea what I'm doing haha but whatever!  This week has been awesome and super tiring with all the exchanges that I went on. . .again!  Tuesday I went into Korean work with Elder Kang.  It was fun.  We went to the stake center and made a tracting list of Koreans and went tracting for about 2 hours.  We only talked to 2 Koreans.  One of them was through the window.  Korean work is weird.  When the Korean Elders start talking to a korean, they don't just start talking korean to them, they start in English, then they ask if they're korean and start talking in Korean.  I think they should just start talking in Korean instead of asking if they're korean or not.  I don't know though because I'm not in Korean work.  Anyways, I feel bad for Elder Kang.  He hasn't had much experience with contacting people, and he's not the greatest at the language yet.  I kind of took the lead until he would ask if they're korean.  He's learning though and he is super humble and willing to work.  I love the guy.  He's from Georgia and he was in Jeff Hunters MTC district.  We get along really well. 
On Wednesday, I went outside of my area again with Elder Holdaway who is Elder Swyers trainer.  Elder Holdaway has only been out one transfer longer than me.  He's from Payson Utah and is in a bike area.  I love going into bike areas.  It's so much more fun than being in a car because you can talk to everybody and you just feel good!  I worked on finding by the spirit with Elder Holdaway.  He is probably the most awkward missionary I have been contacting with.  He doesn't really like finding, but I tried to help him out the best I could.  I found myself dominating in some situations, but I couldn't really help it.  Basically what he would do is go up to somebody and ask them to read the book of mormon with little or no explanation at all.  It was just weird.  He's really good at teaching though as well as working with members.  He can talk to members just fine and he's a really fun guy, but he doesn't know how to talk to strangers.  He's learning though.  I learned a lot from him too.  Him and Elder Swyers work really well with members, which is something that Elder Ehninger and I could improve on.  We ended up finding two solid potential investigators that day though!  AJ was a guy we found working in his garage.  Him and his wife have been going to a couple different churches and they know the bishop of those Elders ward.  We gave them a Book of Mormon and invited them to church and they said that they could stop by after the holidays.  The other potential we found was Slem.  He's Israeli.  He was born in Germany and went to a ton of different religion schools.  He told us that he had a lot of questions that Jews, Catholics and a ton of religions couldn't answer.  I asked him what those questions were and he wouldn't tell me.  We ended up giving him a Book of Mormon and I told him that all the questions that he has could be answered by reading that book.  He said he would read it.  He told us he's read the Torah, Quaran and the whole bible and knows a lot of religious history.  He knows something is there, but he is just searching.  He asked if he could come to our church too!  It was cool.  He said that we could meet with him as well.  I dominated in that one super bad.  I felt bad that I didn't let Elder Holdaway get a word in. We almost didn't knock Slems door.  We walked past it and I got a prompting to turn around and knock on it so I did. Anyways, he was a cool guy.  Thursday was thanksgiving!  Yaaaaay!  It was good.  We went to the Estrada's for dinner which was nice.  It's not the same, but it was nice.  We have so many left overs!  We did weekly planning on Thursday as well which took a super long time.  Friday, I went into Elder Bulger and Elder Baughans area with Elder Bulger.  Contacting with him was weird too, but we found two potential investigators!  It was good.  Elder Bulger is a little big headed though.  He's always talking about how his patriarchal blessing says that he's going to be close with his mission president or something.  He interprets that as, "I'm going to be an assistant."  It's super annoying.  Other than that he's great.  Sorry about telling you all the faults other missionaries have.  Really I love them all, I just haven't been with my real companion as much as I would have liked.  He's the best.  Anyways, Saturday was amazing!  Jezebel, Selvin and his grandma Lucy came to a baptismal service.  They all loved it!  They all came to church on Sunday too!  Lucy loved gospel principles and Relief society.  She told us that she would be back next week because she liked it so much!  The Palomino's came to church too!  We haven't had any contact with them for the past couple of weeks so we were really surprised.  They only stayed for Sacrament meeting, but we were glad they were there!  We had 5 investigators at church!  It was crazy! Crazy awesome!  We're going to try and set a baptismal date with Lucy, Selvin and his mom this week, but we'll see what happens.  I forgot to tell you that on Saturday we got transfer calls and on Sunday we got leadership calls.  Elder Ehninger is being transferred to a car area to be a zone leader.  I called it!  Elder Holdaway is training again and Elder Swyers is being transferred.  Elder Kang and Qualls are both being transferred as well.  Also our area is splitting.  We're getting two sisters this coming transfer.  As for me, I'm staying as well and its safe to say that I'm going to be a district leader buddy again.  No one in our district got a leadership call for district leader so they have to be importing one.  Transfer meeting is tomorrow.  There's a chance that my companion right now might be made zone leader over Valencia because Elder Chandler is being transferred as well.  That would be so cool!  Anyways  I loved all of the Thanksgiving letters from the family!  Its so good to hear from everyone!  I just want to say that I'm thankful for all the support that I have received thus far on my mission!  Sorry you were sick after thanksgiving!  I couldn't be doing this without you all!  I love you! 
Elder Nelson