Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Hey howdy hey familia!  Well this letter might be a little shorter since I just talked to you a couple of days ago.  Skypeing with you guys was awesome! Weird to think that I only have one more of those left on my mission.  I really am loving it here and I love being a missionary.  I can't imagine life not being a missionary.  It's like you said Dad, we're almost living in two different worlds. 
I'm glad that all of the family could get together for Christmas.  It sounds like it was a good time.  I had a good time here in Burbank!  We went caroling as a district that night to different homes in a neighborhood and passed out He is The Gift Cards.  It was awesome being able to do that.  WE made some families day and they loved us.  No one got mad which is always a miracle!  As you know mom we had dinner with our Stake President, President Walker.  He called all the missionaries parents that were there and told them how good of missionaries we were.  He's an awesome guy.  Right after he got off his mission, he taught himself how to lock dance which is a type of breakdancing and he joined the dance group called the LA Lockers.  He's got a ton of stories and is super pumped about missionary work.  I'm excited to work with him.
I went on an exchange with my old MTC companion Elder Forsyth.  He's serving in Sylmar right now as a district leader companion.  We had a good time.  We talked to a lot of people that day knocked in the higher part of our area where the big big houses are.  It was fun! 
Dawn didn't end up coming to church sadly, because she had to work, but she committed to come next week.  We're going to do everything we can to help her make her baptismal date for the 24th.  She is golden and wants to change her life, and we will do everything we can to help her understand and make the right decisions to do so, however there is always the chance that she chooses not too act on what we teach her, and if that happens, I'm not going to stress about it.  I've done that to many times over the course of my mission.  I've done the best I can and I will keep doing the best I can.  I love the work here and I'm glad the Lord called me here when he did!  Thanks for everything you do for me! I love you!
Elder Nelson    

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Transfer Week

Well I'm staying for another 6 weeks in Burbank with Elder Smith!  Yay!  I'm really happy about that!  I love it here in Burbank!  It's a fun place even though its a tougher area.  Elder Smith is just a super fun happy guy and he loves missionary work.  I've learned a lot from him this past transfer and I'm glad he's my companion.  We're not the perfect companionship and he's been patient with me this past transfer. 
Elder Miller is leaving our companionship tomorrow.  That means we don't have to cover two areas anymore!  Yay!  It's a sad thing that he's leaving though.  He will be missed!  It's been quite the experience being in a trio for a couple weeks.  Usually trios don't work out, but this one was a good one.  I'm glad we were able to be with him and help him out in his area and with his ward.  His area is getting two new elders and the sisters that were already there will stay.
On a larger scale our zone is getting hacked!  Nearly all the companionships will be having one missionary being transferred.  There combining one of the elders areas in our ward with our area and the sisters area, which means we'll have a bigger area to work in!  That'll be nice!  All of our district leaders are being transferred, so we'll have three new district leaders we have to work with.  One of our STL's is being released and transferred. Their opening up a new area in a ward.  It's a big transfer, but this zone needed it.  I'm excited for this next six weeks.  
On another note, my old companion Elder Smith (white smith) is the new AP!  He'll do great.  I'm excited for him.  His companion who was my trainer is going home this week which is super weird and sad.  We all got to talk to each other this past Wednesday at the mission temple trip which was awesome! 
Anyways, this past week we were super busy.  Monday we had to take that companionship that was struggling to be interviewed by President.  Tuesday we were supposed to go on exchanges with the AP's and go to different district meetings throughout the zone.  We exchanged in the morning and we picked up some elders to take them to district meeting with us.  On the way, one of the got a phone call from the medical coordinator asking if he had told the zone leaders about his doctors appointment that morning.  He hadn't told us anything, so I had to miss district meeting and take this Elder up to his appointment.  The AP stayed at the district meeting with his companion.  I was glad I could help, even though I had to miss district meeting.  The Elder really needed to go to the doctors.  We had to go back to the doctors after district meeting to take another missionary there.  We spent a lot of time up there on Tuesday.  I tried to study, but just fell asleep on the couches they had.  We went by Alfonsis that night and he went off on all his crazy Jewish mysticism stuff.  WE determined that he's not all there and not accountable right now, so we had to drop him.  I've had a couple of investigators that I've had to do that with. 
Wednesday we went on the mission temple trip which was amazing!  Its always so good to see all the missionaries in the mission, especially at the temple.  We had a chapel session in the morning where President Hall spoke and the new 2nd counselor in the temple presidency spoke.  It was amazing and I received a lot of revelation during the session about what the Lord wants me to focus on for the next couple of weeks. 
We also were able to teach Michael and Angela this week.  They are amazing and we taught them about Eternal Marriage.  The lesson was awesome and they committied to go to the temple and be sealed next year!  They are really excited and determined to go next year.  I'm glad I've been able to work with them these past couple of weeks. 
I went on an exchange with Elder Sautia this past Friday which was good.    We did a lot of finding Friday and Saturday. We had a latino couple invite us into their home.  They told us they loved Mormons and that they had taken the lessons before and that they're niece in Canada is LDS.  They we're awesome people and I really felt the spirit in their home.  They told us that they were Catholic and that they don't want to be taught, but we were able to share a spiritual message with them and I know that they felt the spirit.  It was awesome, even though we weren't able to find any new investigators. 
I've really gained a strong testimony these past couple of weeks of how every day God has a purpose for us.  Every day is a sacred day and the little things we do have a big influence on the people around us.  Those small and seemingly insignificant acts of kindness and service to others are really just small victories that have eternal effects on others.  I'm so glad the Lord has purpose for each of us everyday.  Even if we don't see the effects of what we do sometimes, the Lord does and he has a purpose.  I love it here and even though the work isn't as prime as I would like it to be right now, I'm glad I'm learning to see things differently! 
I love you all!
Elder Nelson    

A Whole Week of Crazy

Wow this week has been stressful.  I'm the most tired I've ever been on the mission, but Iove it! Everything is well and the work is moving forward.  Working two areas is hard, along with everything else that has been going on in the zone.  It's been a good learning week though and I've grown in a lot ways.  All three of us have. 
First off, I'd like to invite all of you who read this to keep "sharing the gift"  with everyone!  Post it on face book.  Give the pass along cards away.  Share it with a friend, and invite them to learn more!  When you invite you succeed, and the only way you can fail is if you don't try!  I can promise that as you share the video and/or the card with others, the Lord will cause you to feel more gratitude for the love he has shown to us by giving us his Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior.  The true spirit of Christmas will enter your heart and you will feel a greater desire to be like our Savior. 
Alright.  Now that that's said, here's what happened this week. Tuesday it rained hardcore all day.  It was awesome.  I loved it.  It was our Preperation day as you know.  It was good.  We didn't do anything to exciting, but it rained!  It rained all day on Wednesday too!  Jordan and Jessica already know this.  Sorry you had to come to Disney land on the two days it rains out of the year.  I'm sure it was still fun!  Rain just makes everything so fun!  Anyways, Wednesdy we had our zone conference.  It was awesome.  We have a zone conferace every other transfer and usually we combine zones when we do it.  President trained on becoming more converted through studying the Book of Mormon, giving up rebellion and by doing it.  Doing it meaning keeping covenants and being doers of the word, not hearers only.  He related it to the conversion process we are goin through and to our investigators.  We talked a lot about He is The gift and Christmas.  It was awesome and I received a lot of revelation on how I can turn outward to be more like Christ instead of turning inward.  I loved it!  The rest of the week we were bouncing back and forth between areas all day.  It's super hard to get a lot of work done in one area since it takes about 20 minutes to get from one area to another.  Because of that, the work has been suffering.  Well its not neccesarily because of that, but both areas are starting to die.  We can't get a hold of investigators.  Most if not all of our appointments are falling through and no one is coming to church.  It's stressful.  We're doing all we can and having a lot of fun doing the work, but its been quite the transfer.  Hopefully we can find someone solid this next week in either area.  We still see a lot of miracles and are definatly blessing people's lives though.  We were knocking and this lady from Syria answered and we read the verse in Mosiah 3 to her that talks of Christ and his role and how he will be born of Mary.  She loved it and just opened up to us and told her that we were an answer to her prayers.  It was awesome.  We have great experiences like that all the time.  The people we are able to help however, are not always interested in learning more.  It's interesting how people seem to disregard the spirit.  They feel it and accept that its from God, but then don't do anything about.  They keep goin on with their normal lives the same way they did before.  I guess that's what separates the wheat from the tares.  Those who actually act on what they feel from the spirit.  So ya.  It may sound like I'm a little frustrated with people, because I am.  I'm not angry or sad or anything, I'm super happy and I'm learning of the love that the Savior and Heavenly Father have for each one of us.  I'm learning how they feel when we don't act on what they give us.  All they want to do is bless our life, and that's all I want to do with the people I talk to, but if they're not willing to listen or act on what they feel, there's nothing I can do.  The Lord is teaching me a lot.  Its amazing!  Well, aside from my rant Saturday and Sunday we helped out with the Nativity Festival at the Burbank church building.  You should look it up on youtube or face book or something, because about 2000 people came in total.  Every year our ward puts on a nativity festival where people from around Burbank bring in there nativies and put them on display.  There's performances by other church choirs and artists in the chapel and then upstairs we have a live nativity.  Its an amazing event and so many non members come.  The thing is that the ward doesn't allow us to approach people at the event, because its a "community event." They don't want anyone getting offended or scared.  The job they had for us was holding open the doors for people going to and from the live nativity.  Yep, I played the job of a doorstop for 6 hours this weekend.  Was it demoting? maybe.  Did I like job? NOt particularly. Did I serve the ward?  Yes!  That's what matters!  I did what the ward wanted me to do and I'm supposed to serve the ward!  It was good though.  I did enjoy it.  I really did. 
There ya have it!  My week in a nutshell!  It's been fun and this week is going to be fun too! I love you all and hope you have a good week!
Elder Nelson  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What the Thanksgiving?

Holy Hanukah Thanksgiving is already gone!  Pretty soon it'll be Christmas!  It's almost uncomfortable how fast time is going by!  I feel like I've only been out for a week still!  Ok not really, but you catch my drift.
This week like I was saying flew by and I got some pretty awesome revelation that I need to go to Utah State for school.  It was unexpected, because I have been leaning towards going to BYU ever since I've been out here on my mission.  So many of my companions and friends I've made out here and back home are going there and I have just always wanted to go there, but I prayed about it and it didn't feel right to make the decision to go there, so I waited and kept praying about it and weighing my options about whether to go there or Utah State.  It didn't take away from the missionary work at all. I just waited and thoughts kept popping into my mind about how great Utah State would be just randomly throughout the week, and then one morning during my personal study, my thoughts were just infused with Utah State!  It was crazy, and I got the super strong impression that I was to go there for school.  It was as clear as day to me.  It reminded me of the Mormon message the Elder Bednar does called Patterns of Light.  The answer to my prayer was like the sunrise that came gradually and then finally the sun broke the horizon and everything was just so clear!  It was true revelation and I know that's where the Lord wants me to go.  Needless to say, I'm excited to go, but more excited to be out here serving a mission, which brings me to my crazy week.
This week was crazy.  Good as always, but crazy.  I've never had to minister more to missionaries than I have over the past two weeks.  It's been amazing and we've seen a ton of miracles in different companionships and in the work in our area.  Unfortunately we haven't been able to get in contact with the 40 year old lady we met last week.  Story of my mission.  I've never had a super spiritual first lesson with someone that went anywhere. . . well ya I have.  The thing is, when the people we teach have super spiritual experiences, Satan works on them like crazy, or its just not the Lord's will that they progress usually.  It doesn't matter though, because I know that we work as his instruments and his will will be done.  We did find a new person to teach this week named Kaylin.  He's in his 20's and is one of the nicest people I've met in Burbank.  We taught him the first lesson on his doorstep and it was awesome!  He's going to school right now, so he doesn't have a lot of time to meet with us, but he told us he's really been wanting to go to church now for a long time.  He hasn't been to any sort of church since he was little.  He felt the spirit in the lesson we had with him and it was just great.  Hopefully we can stay in contact with him and continue to teach him.  
For Thanksgiving, we had dinner with the Sanchez family.  They had some of their friends over too and their family and it was really great.  We got to know them all really well and talk to their non member friends and have thanksgiving with them!  It was so good!  I didn't eat too much either.  I feel like my stomach has shrunk on the mission. I can't eat as much as I used too, probably because I'm not working out as hard or as often as I used too.  It's all good though.  We actually went knocking on Thanksgiving and that was how we found Kaylin!  Our ward invited us to play football with them in the morning, but we can only play sports on preparation day, and our mission President doesn't want us to get hurt.  I'm so glad that I have such a consecrated mission president that helps us be consecrated missionaries.  I love feeling like and being a missionary all the time, and holidays are not excluded.  Its awesome! 
We had to help out a struggling companionship this week with some hardcore spiritual intervention.  We went on exchanges with them and they were really good.  Both are good missionaries, but they won't communicate with each other, and if they do, they just get super contentious.  We called President Hall after exchanges to get some advice as to what to do and he asked us what do you think?  He told us to call him back in 30 minutes when we came up with a plan and then he'll give us suggestions.  It reminded me of how the brother of Jared made the stones for the ship and then brought them to the Lord.  President was trying to teach us something.  We brainstormed for 30 minutes and then called him and had an awesome revelatory discussion as to what to do for them.  We planned on going over with them that night to talk to them both and set goals and make plans for them to do better.  I won't get into specifics, but it was so led by the spirit the conversation we had with those two elders and they are doing a lot better now.  It was a great learning experience as to how revelation works and how to be Christlike.  We actually had an MLC yesterday from 9:00 to 5:00 and it was awesome.  We talked about how to be Christlike leaders and how to help struggling missionaries.  It was exactly what I needed.  President actually roleplayed with me and Elder Smith in front of the whole MLC.  It was awesome!  I'm so grateful for him and for Sister Hall.  They have both taught me so much while I've been out here.  I'm learning each day and I love it!  I love being a missionary and I love the miracles that I get to see each day!  Thanks for all the support you all give me while I'm out here!  I'm so grateful and that is probably one of the reasons why I'm so happy! I'm glad to hear Thanksgiving was good for all of you!  I hope during Christmas you'll share He is The Gift with people on  It's awesome!  I love you all!
Elder Nelson   


Yep this week was a crazy one!  We had a lot of stuff happening throughout the zone with missionaries and what not.  We had some sweet miracles in our area though. 
We're taught alfonsis again this week.  He loves the church and told us that he knows Joseph Smith was a prophet.  He hasn't been to church for a long time and he didn't come this week, but hopefully we'll get him there this week.  His only hold up is that he believes in this Jewish mysticism stuff and he thinks that was how Christ worked because he was a Jew.  Something about how we have ten fingers and that they are sephirods to heal and how it is through the tree life which consists of 72 different gods and 8 archangels that each of the prophets in the new testament saw and went through.... Ya so he doesn't quite understand priesthood and he talks a ton about this tree of life/ archangel stuff.... but he believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet and the whole restoration.  We're trying to work with him to get rid of all the false Jewish mysticism stuff.  Problem is that he's been studying it a ton and almost looks at it as if it were scripture.  Its an interesting problem, but it will all work out eventually!  
The Wilsons took us to Del taco on Tuesday for lunch!  They are doing well and they are reading and praying consistently now.  They still won't come to church and we're not going to be able to teach them for a couple of weeks since they're going up to Bakersfield for thanksgiving. 
Something both Elder Smith and I have been working on is praying with precision to meet our daily goals.  We pray over our plans and goals everytime we go somewhere and pray that we'll be able to meet them and to know if we need to chnge our plans or what not.  Wednesday morning we had a crazy miracle happen with this.  We prayed over our plans and goals and that we would be able to be instruments in the hands of the Lord.  We knocked 4 houses that morning and the 5th house we got to we met this older lady and a lady in her 40's.  They just started asking us questions and they were super interested.  Everything we said was directed by the spirit and both of them felt it.  Eventually, the older lady went inside, and the 40 year old just opened up to us about how horrible her life was going and how we were an answer to her prayer.  She felt the spirit and we prayed with her and she started crying.  She knew that what we had told her was true and we set up a return appointment.  It was awesome!  One of the most spiritual experiences I've had on the mission.  The spirit was so strong, and I knew that we were literally instruments in the hands of the Lord.  Unfortunately the return appointment fell through, but hopefully we'll be able to teach her this week. 
From Thursday on, we were helping out the zone.  We had to take missionaries to be interviewed by President on Thursday, and then we had to take different missionaries to the doctor.  That night though we found a new investigator named Kyle.  He's Armenian and about 16.  It's so cool how for the short amounts of time we work in our area, the Lord provides us with so many miracles.  That night we went to dinner with Sal Pallila our former Ward mission leader.  He was the best one I have had on the mission.  Our new one is Brother Stevens.  He should be a good one to work with.  Friday was probably the craziest day of the week.  All I can say is that a missionary went home for health reasons and we are now in a trio covering two wards that are pretty far away from each other.  We don't know for how long we'll be covering both wards or be in a trio for.  Its alright though.  The ward is the Studio City ward and we've been going back and forth from there to Burbank a ton.  It's challenging, but we're working through it!  We got to do service on Saturday for a Baptist church.  We raked up all there leaves.  It was good.  We also taught a couple of lessons and got to go to a baptism that night for the North Hollywood Elders.  I taught their investigator once and he wanted me and Elder Smith to wtiness.  it was Awesome!  Sunday we went to Studio City for sacrament and then drove over to our building for Elders quorum.  Our wards have church at the same time.  That night we had a special mission leadership council with our Area 70 Elder Garnes.  It was so good!  He just wanted to see how the missionaries in our mission were doing and we had a question and answer session with him for about an hour and a half.  It was great! 
Well there ya have it!  Hope you all get fat on thanksgiving! 
Elder Nelson

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Barev zez!

Yo!  Alright so this week has been a pretty crazy as far as helping out missionaries throughout the zones go.  It's been taking some time away from the work, but whenever we have been able to work in our own area, we've seen a ton of miracles.  We've really been working on listening with love and being bold with people in our conversations and our teaching and its been awesome!  We've had some of the best conversations with people this week of my whole mission, even though only a few yielded visible results.  It's been awesome. 
So to start off we had an exchange with the Sylmar Elders on Tuesday.  I took the DL's companion to my area.  The exchange was alright.  The thing about it was we had to take some missionaries to the doctors and we were there for about 2 hours, so we didn't get to work as much as we would've liked, but it was good to able to help them out.  We taught a really good lesson that night to Michael and Angela who are recent converts.  Wednesday was just one of those days where everyone rejects you.  We had some really good conversations with people that were spiritual, but everyone rejected us, some hardcore, others not as much, but, the whole week kind of felt like that.  It was a good week though nonetheless.  We ran into a basher who just opened the door looked at us and just started laughing.  he then asked us, "do you even know who Joseph Smith is?"  he then went off on a whole bunch of anti-Mormon stuff about Joseph Smith.  We had a couple of those this week, but it was all good.  Every time we get that, I just gain a stronger testimony of what real truth is.  I'm really starting to understand the concept of light and truth and how more truth leads to more light and so forth, like in President Uchtdorfs talk in General conference.  That night we had dinner with the Sanchez family and invited them to Stake Conference.  They said they would pray about it and talk about it.  Nomi, their nine year old told us that she had been reading the book of Mormon and that she's been looking up a lot of the words in it in the dictionary.  She is so awesome and so smart.  Hopefully we can strengthen them enough to start coming to church.  Nomi would just eat it up.  The wife of the Sanchez family is more apprehensive about going to church than the husband.  The husband is more like a go with the flow kind of guy while the wife is more controlling and likes structure.  Their awesome though.  Bishop is going to go over there this week and introduce himself and sit down with them to talk.  Should be good.  Thursday was a long day.  We had weekly planning and we ended up driving up to Santa Clarita to grab the old Burbank 2nd sisters apartment keys to get there area book for The B2 elders.  The sisters area closed down so those elders cover the whole ward now.   The rest of the night we knocked and we also taught the Wilsons.  They are doing well, but are still resisting coming to church for some reason.    They are reading the scriptures now though which is good.  Friday we went on exchanges with the Burbank 1st Elders and I went with the DL in that area.  Elder Kosmicki.  He's been out for 6 months and is a good missionary and really confident in what he's doing.  It was a good exchange.  That morning elder Smith and I taught a lesson with bishop to a former investigator named Elizabeth.  She is awesome.  it was an amazing lesson and she was crying at the end of it.  She felt the spirit and accepted all of it and committed to be baptized.  She wants to go to a baptism though before we put her on a date.  She is great.  Saturday we did service for a member.  We helped him lay sod on his lawn.  After we knocked and then went to the Saturday Session of Stake Conference with Elder Sitate of the Seventy and Elder Sabin of the San Diego Area Presidency.  It was awesome!  On Sunday our Stake Presidency got reorganized and Our ward mission leader got called as the second counselor!  So we don't have a ward mission leader anymore.  He was the best ward mission leader I've ever had on the mission.  It was sad but he'll do amazing in the stake presidency.  The group that was called are powerhouse together.  The rest of the day, we knocked and went and helped out some missionaries with companionship sturggles.  it was a good week and I learned so much!  I love you all and I'm praying for you!
Elder Nelson 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Amazing Week!

So this week was amazing!  We ended making a last ditch effort to teach Chad on Tuseday!  We were going to explain to him that we were going to drop him if he wouldn't keep his commitments and start coming to church.  As soon as he opened the door you could tell that he was so happy!  He let us in and told us that he'd stopped smoking for two weeks and that he's been off of drugs too!  He said he feels so good and happy!  It was so cool!  The Lord answered our prayers!  He told us that he would start reading and praying again and he committed to come to church this week since he was out of town yesterday!  he is so cool!  It was a miracle!  That night we taught the Ramirez family.  All we did was talk about baptism and one of the first things that Lucy said to us was that Chris had told her the night before that he wants to get baptized!  It was so cool!  After a lot of arguing between brothers and grandparents, we decided that the whole family would get baptized on March 8th.  Everyone has committed except for Laura, the mom.  However I think that she'll commit this week.  She is awesome, but a little more reserved than the rest of the family.  She'll come around!  She knows it's true, she's just afraid of the commitment.  I love that family!

Wednesday was awesome!  We knocked all day and met some awesome people!  We got a lot of potential investigators!  It got up to 95 at like 1:00 which is like the most non productive time of the day.  Nobody is ever home, but we knocked and knocked and knocked. . . then did some more knocking.  It was fun!  It's interesting.  I'm finding that the more I work, the greater desire I have the next day to do it again!  Faith starts with desire and my desire is increasing, so therefore, my faith is increasing also!  I love it!

Thursday we taught our new investigator named Sandra.  She is a friend of a member in our ward named Sister Collete.  Sister Collete gave her a book of mormon and has been inviting her to church for the past like month.  She had us over to her house to teach Sandra the Restoration.  Sandra is Catholic, but told us that she believed everything we said.  It was a good lesson.  There is a bit of a language barrier though.  I don't think she understands English very well so we might be passing her off to the spanish missionaries.  She is pretty solid though.  The rest of the day we knocked and did weekly planning.  

Friday we knocked and knocked all day!  We officially got kicked out of an gated apartment complex that we snuck into.  We sneak into it all the time.  We only knocked two buildings before we got kicked out.  It was fun!  there goes something off of my mission bucket list!  It was kind of lame how we got kicked out though.  There was no fight or any degree of chaos involved. They just drove up to us on a golf cart and told us that we can't knock in here.  So we left.  We taught the Ramirez family again that night.  We taught the Plan of Salvation for James since he had never heard it before.  it was a good lesson.  

Saturday we taught two of the most solid new investigators I've ever had.  The Ricaldi family.  They're a ref feral from bishop.  They live in the house of som members who moved out to Utah.  Those members gave them a Book of Mormon and told them a little about the church.  Greg and Michelle Ricaldi have three kids and they have been going to Real Life Church for the past couple years, but stopped going because one of the child workers was arrested for child molestation.  They are now looking for a new church.  They had so many awesome questions and were super interested!  The thing is, they act exactly like members already!  They are so cool!  The only concern they have is church being at nine.  They loved the Restoration lesson and they asked us if we could come back.  usually we have to ask them!  It was so cool!  They're so solid!  I just hope I don't get transferred so I can teach them some more!  We then knocked the rest of the day as usual.  

Sunday was one of the best Sunday's ever!  The Ramirez family came to church and Selvin gave a talk!  He told us his conversion story which is so cool!  Also our Elders quorum president Brother Baker gave a talk on family and marriage and the temple that was super good!  Lucy and Laura were bawling!  I think Laura is starting to realize that she should be baptized with her family!  Gospel Principles was really good for once too!  We talked about the fall and everything was super simple.  Every weird comment that was made, Bro. Howard shot down.  Also Jason Crosby got the Melchezidek Priesthood in Elders Quorum which was so awesome! The sisters investigator Linda got her answer that the church was true in Relief Society too.  It was an amazing church meeting.  After church we studied and visited a couple potentials.  We visited this old couple, Don and Joane who let us in.  Both of them are Catholic and they're interested in learning about mormons because their granddaughter is marrying an RM in Vegas and is starting to read the Book of Mormon.  We taught them the Restoration, and they told us that they had no intention of joining the Mormon church. (That'll change.)  They said they would read and pray about the Book of Mormon.  We explained to them that either we're lying to their face or we're telling the truth.  They told us that they thought we were telling the truth.  It was pretty cool.  They are so nice!  Both of them lost their previous spouses to cancer and they have only been married for 3 years.  It was fun teaching them.  They had a lot of questions.  

Anyways, that was my week!  It was amazing and full of miracles!  Elder Davidson and I have been experimenting with food for the past couple of weeks.  We don't get much interesting food here in California, so every week we go to the canned food isle and buy something really interesting.  We've tried canned raw crap that we thought was cooked in Mac and Cheese (Yellow Death) and Sardines and a couple of other things.  We're going for anchovies or xavier or something this week.  We experiment a lot and so far none have been very good.  There has been one good experiment though.  Put siracha sauce on a PB&J to make a sweet and spicy PB and J!  It's interesting!  P-days we do fun stuff like Ultimate frisbee with the zone.  Last week we had a nerd war with the whole zone in the gym of our church.  It was epic!  We had bishops permission so don't worry!  Know that I'm praying for all of you!  Thanks for everything you do!  I love you all!

Your favorite missionary
Elder Nelson

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Wow this last 6 weeks was probably the fastest 6 weeks of the mission.  It's already transfer week and my companion Elder Ford is being transferred sadly.  He's off to be a district leader somewhere.  This past week has been a good one though.  As always we saw a lot of miracles!  You're probably sick of hearing me say that, but its true!  We've been able to help out our zone a lot this past week and haven't gotten much time to work in our own area.  Also my companion has been sick all week, and somehow we found a new investigator.  I'm telling ya. . . MIRACLES BABAAAAAY!
 Wednesday we had to drive up to the mission office to pick up some Elders that needed a ride back.  They had to drop off their car there because it was a medical car and they didn't need it anymore.  Elder Ford took a nap most of the day until the evening time because he was sick.  I studied and got caught up in my journal.  Have I told you how hard it is for me to write in my journal as missionary?  I'm getting better at it, but there are times on my mission that I haven't written and I've regretted it.  Anyways, that night we went to the Sanchez family for dinner.  it was really good.  Still a bit awkward like the last time, but good.  We taught them the importance of studying the scriptures and praying as a family and they committed to start reading everyday.  We should be going over this Wednesday as well.  I know they know that it's a good thing we knocked on their door, but I think that as of right now, they don't know what they want.  I have a plan to address this next lesson and its going to be good.  That family has so much potential and I know the Lord led us to them for a reason.  I have a really good feeling about them and I hope that I can teach adequately enough for there hearts to be touched by the spirit and have a desire to come back to church.  Thursday we spent almost the whole day with some elders at a doctors appointment in Mission Hills.  It was a long day.  Elder Ford was really sick and when we got home at about 7:00, he went straight to sleep.  We still hadn't done weekly planning, so I had to do that on my own.  He knew he was going to get transferred anyways, so he left it up to me.  Friday we. . . I can't really remember. . . wait for it. .. Oh ya it was Halloween!  I almost forgot!  That was weird.  Anyways.  We had to wake up early that morning to bring one of the missionaries in the zone up to the office for his departing temple trip.  After that we spent most of the day in the apartment since Elder Ford was still really sick.  We did go out later in the day though and try and contact some potentials.  No one was home.  it was weird too.   People were trick or treating by 5:00 and we were out on the streets still.  No one got mad at us which was nice.  We had a curfew of seven and the rest of the night we cleaned the apartment.  I also cut my own hair for the first time!  it looks pretty good too If I do say so myself.  Saturday we worked almost the whole day!  We got to go on splits with the Armenian elders and talk with some Armenians.  We even said a prayer with one of them.  it was sweet!  We got a lot of potentials too.  it was a good day and it felt good to be out working all day again.  We got transfer calls that day too.  Our zone is mostly staying, with a few exceptions.  One of the sisters' areas is being closed and both of those sisters were really sad about that.  Sunday we had to bank out of church early to bring that departing missionary up to the office for his departing interview.  Elder Fod said goodbye to a lot of members yesterday and his recent convert Michael.  When they said goodbye, Michael gave him a big hug and told him that he had changed his life and eterenity.  It was powerful.  That man has changed so much and it was hard for my companion to say goodbye.  But that's what you get for being a good missionary.  It was a powerful moment.  Anyways, we knocked and found a couple more potentials throughout the day, and ya! It was good.  We found a strip of Arabic apartments in this complex that we're going to bring Arabic stuff to next week.  That'll be cool.  Well,  it sounds like things are going swell back in the great walled city of Salt lake. (Say that in an English accent!)  I love you all! 
Elder Nelson

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Just Keep On Tracting!

Well howdy!  To answer your question dad, no your emails aren't to long.  I can read pretty fast, and I have time to read them, and if I don't I can just print them out.  They're great!  Also thanks for the package Mom and Grandma!  They were great!  I love all the stuff that you sent me from your mission grandma.  There's a lot of things in there that I can learn from! 
Well as you can see, from the subject, we've been knocking a lot!  Nothing out of the ordinary though.  That's really all you can do to find in this area is knock.  Its all residential like I told you, but we're really trying to talk with everyone, so whenever we're driving somewhere in our area and we see someone on the street, we pull up next to them in our car and start talking to them.  When I was with Elder Smith in West Hills, he told me that he and couple of other missionaries in the zone would even stop cars to talk to people.  He found a really solid investigator family by doing that.  We haven't tried it yet, but we will at some point.  Needless to say we're talking to a lot of people, especially our area, and seeing a lot of miracles in our area and throughout the zone.  It's awesome!
We went on exchanges Tuesday to Wednesday with some of the Sylmar Elders.  I went up to Sylmar with one of them and they're are just killing it in their area.  They have so many investigators and are finding a ton!  We found 4 new investigators that day and talked to a lot of people.  I was in the zone working in the ghetto up there.  So fun!  The missionary I went with is so solid.  His name is elder Jones and he's from Idaho Falls.  He's only been out for 4 months, but he's great.  We found a family and taught another person just knocking.  Miracles are going down up there.
On Wednesday we knocked and knocked and then knocked some more.  We got a few potential investigators and set up appointments with them.  That's the thing about this area.  We are setting up a ton of appointments with people and they're all falling through.  I guess that's the problem with every area, but somewhere, somehow, some of them will eventually go through.  The conversations we're having with people are really good too.  That's another focus.  Have quality conversations with people about the gospel.  Its not just about the quanitity.  That night we taught the Wilsons again. We watched a church movie with them and the spirit just flooded the room.  Once it was over, we kind of just sat there in silence listening to the spirit for something to say.  Eventually each of us bore testimony of the savior and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was awesome.  They're taking us out to dinner tomorrow and then we're going to continue teaching them.  I think the more they feel the spirit, the more they'll want to come back to church.
I went on another exchange on Thursday with Elder H in North Hollywood.  That area is exploding with work too.  Elder H was trained for 6 weeks by my trainer Elder ehninger.  He's changed a lot since the start of his mission and he and his companion are seeing a lot of miracles.  They probably have the most investigators in the zone right now that they're actively teaching and they are finding some pretty golden people.  They don't really knock in their area since there are so many people on the street, but we knocked for about 30 minutes and found a new investigator from it.  It was great.  We also talked to an atheist dude who tried to bash with us.  His point was that you can't just believe people because they tell you something.  I didn't try to argue with him. Actually I didn't say anything at all, but elder Hyde did.  it went nowhere, but it got me thinking, how do we really know the truth of something?  By experiencing it for yourself. When a science teacher teaches something, usually they'll have you do an experiment to experience it yourself, so that you can know the truth of the principle being taught.  The same goes with everything taught whether it be on the scientific side, or the spiritual side of things.  Just because someone said they did something in a lab somewhere in France, doesn't mean that you know they did it.  They could be outright lying! Anyways, I won't go off rambling, but the things that that atheist told us really built my testimony of what truth is and how we can know truth.  The only way to know truth is by experience and through the power of the holy ghost.  Well we talked to 70 people on the exchange that day.  It was great! 
The next day we had to go on on an exchange with Elder S because his companion is still having concussion issues.  They've been in the apartment a lot of the week.  I went out with him all day while Elder F stayed with Elder C.  It was good.  We knocked all day again and taught some of their investigators.  We exchanged back at the end of the day.
Saturday we continued to knock and knock and we found quite a few potential investigators.  It was a pretty fruitful day.  We also went on splits with the Armenian elders from the arcadia mission again which was fun.  That night we found a new investigator!  WoooooHoooo!  It was interesting.  We had an appointment with this family and they invited us in and started calling there whole family together almost like they've done this before.  We talked to them for about five minutes and told us they were actually baptized a couple years back in Hawaii and had been sealed in the Temple and went less active.  They have 3 kids.  Kolbe, Naomi and Kaylyn.  Naomi is 9 and isn't baptized.  The parents are Jamie and Ed.  They're awesome and want to have us over for dinner on Wednesday this week.  They went less active because of the way the members were acting when they moved to Long Beach.  They were super political and it was hurtful to them and they stopped going.  They still have testimonies though and are willing to have us teach them.  They don't really know if they want to come back to church yet, but we'll help them get there.  We taught them the Restoration and it went well. 
Sunday we didn't have anyone at church.  We knocked more though and at this one door this guy named Joshua answered.  He had like a surfer look to him and he talked like a surfer, except preacher style.  It was an interesting experience with him.  he told us that he plays piano and sings to worship and my companion was like "well lets hear ya play!"  He invited us in and sung a 5 minute song to us about Jesus.  It was pretty good!  We then asked him how he came to have such a great faith in Christ and he told a 45 minute story that seemed very rehearsed, probably from telling it so many times, but it was moving nonetheless.  He prayed for us and then we left.  It was good to see that he had a faith in Christ, but he just wasn't open to more.  It was fun.  Experiences like that happen all the time out here, where people invite you in and then they just try to preach to you.  Sometimes, some of what they preach is true, but even when you offer them more, they don't think that there is more and to say that there is more is to say that God is a liar.  Its sad to see the subtle craftiness of what the philosophies of men and the devil do to people.  God is continuing to reveal truth to us today and is always waiting for us to show our faith so he can bless us with knowledge.  This church is so true.  I don't see anyway that it possibly couldn't be.  God is a god of miracles and he does not and will not stop to reveal truth to us. 
Thanks for everything!  I'm loving it out here and I'm seeing miracles everyday! 
Elder Nelson   

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Aloha!  Yo es muey bien!  That's why I'm called to speak English. 
So ya this week was another crazy week.  I'm more tired than I've ever been on my mission which is probably a good thing, because it means I'm working hard I think.  I know we're supposed to account to the Lord in our prayers at night, and I think if you fall asleep during your accounting, its pretty good evidence to the Lord that you've worked pretty hard right?  Ya that's probably not how it works, but I needless to say that has happened many times on my mission, but I'm working on it. 
Well so again I didn't really get to work in my own area almost all week.  It was for a good cause though.  Helping out missionaries and such is always a good cause.  Tuesday we had interviews with president hall which meant us and the Sister Training leaders had to spend literally all day at our church building in Burbank training missionaries while their companion was in interviews.  It was good.  We role played with each missionary and went through their area books to make sure they were up to date since we should be getting I-pads in the near future.  We have to transfer everything from the area book onto the Ipads which takes forever, so President wanted us to make sure they were organized and ready to go.  I didn't tell you before, but we were supposed to get ipads 2 weeks ago.  We even got all the ipads shipped to the mission office and had people from salt lake scheduled to come and give us trainings that week, but the mission department told us to hold off for a couple of weeks because some missionaries somewhere did some stupid stuff with their ipads.  We don't know what they did, but it must have been pretty dumb to have the mission department suspend the rolling out of ipads in our mission.  Anyways, it was a long day of interviews.  I was told that interviews never get done on time.  The last 2 times they've had interviews here, we didn't finish until midnight.  Tuesday ran right on schedule the whole time though and we finished by 7:30.  After that we had to take peoples area books to them since they left them at the church.  We then had dinner, and after said a prayer to start planning.  Right when we fnished praying, we got a text from some missionaries telling us that they had been in a bike accident and that they needed help.  We drove there and there was an ambulance, cops and a fire truck.  It was like a repeat of last week except it was night.  The companionship took the ambulance to the hospital and we took there bikes and drove behind them.  Turns out one of them broke their arm.  We were at the hospital until midnight and then at a 24 hour pharmacy getting them medication for another hour.  We didn't get home till 2:00.  It was a fun night.  The next morning we went to district meeting and went on exchanges with the North Hollywood Elders.  It was a good exchange.  I went with Elder Bodily to North Hollywood.  He's been out for about 4 weeks and we saw some miracles.  We got to testify to an atheist who had a complete change of heart.  We found a new investigator and taught one of their investigators who wants to be baptized.  
We went on another exchange Friday.  I went to Sylmar with Elder Holdaway.  He's a district leader there and their area used to be car, but they totaled their car a couple weeks ago so we biked everywhere.  It was a fun exchange.  Their area covers part of Pacoima which is the ghettoist ghetto of the valley!  It was amazing!  I felt like I was at home.  There were so many people to talk to and so many Spanish people as well.  I got to use my Spanish again and we got to send out a lot of referalls and teach a lot of people.  One of them was a new investigator.  People there are crazy.  One guy tried to bash with us.  It was stupid though.  he had no idea what he was talking about.  Bashers in the valley are just dumb.  Santa clarita they actually know what they're talking about, they are nevertheless spiritually blind though.  Its sad.  In Pacoima we tried to contact a referall and we went throught there front gate to get to their house.  As we went through, a giant pitbull happily trotted up to us and started licking my hand.  I freaked out because I thought it was going to attack, but it was nice.  I tried to hurry out of the gate, but when I opened it up, the dog bolted out of it and started running down the street.  It ran away and got all the dogs squealing and barking all along the street.  We couldn't see it it ran so far.  My thoughts were, "oh crap, I just let out a ravenous pitbull onto the streets of Pacoima."  it wasn't really ravenous, but I did think that it might attack some smaller dogs.  Long story short, it ran up and down the street and we were chasing it trying to get it back into the gate.  Eventually it came back thankfully.  The referall wasn't even home, but it was a fun experience nonetheless.  That day we worked on talking with everyone.  The elders there aren't doing it, but if they did they would find a lot more.  We talked to about 50 people that day.  They usually talk to 7 a day on average, but they're working on improving.  it was a good exchange.
Saturday, we had a bbq at our ward missionleaders house for most of the ward and less actives and investigators.  It was a real success.  We had investigators and less actives come and they loved it.  We had a real good time.  Our ward mission leader is great, and does a lot fr us.  Plus he gives us free subs from his sandwhich shop.  Next time you're in Burbank, go to Santoro's!  it's so good! 
Sunday our investigator Peter came to church which was good. That night we went to a meeting with the stake presidency and the high counselor over missionary work in the stake and the mission president.  it was an interesting meeting and I learned a lot about how the stake and the mission president correlate on the work.  We talked about different wards and went over the key indicators for the last month and came up with ideas to resolve problems.  It was really interesting.  The rest of the night we knocked. And knocked and knocked
Then we knocked some more.  That's what we do in this area, is knock.  And go by potentails and less actives of course. 
It was a great week!  I love you all!  The package was awesome!  Thank you so much!
Elder Nelson

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 2 of Crazy

Oh my gosh this week was so tiringly busy with helping out missionaries.  Since I've been here, I haven't had one normal day of just pure missionary work in my own area.  We've had to do so much driving going all around the zone to help out other missionaries.  It's tough and right now I honestly would rather just be a normal missionary that gets to work in his own area and not worry about other missionaries.  That would be nice, but enough of my complaining.  I love the missionaries in my zone and I love the fact that I get to serve them and I know the Lord wants me to learn from having this assignment.  Its been fun, but frustrating, but that's just how missionary work is.  That's how everything in life is.  You just got to make it fun even if it is frustrating.  Anyways, let me tell you about the week.  It's been real fun and I'm learning a ton, only because of my love for god and is only begotten son.  (Like my rhyming?)
So after I emailed last week, we had to drive some missionaries up to the office last week for interviews with president.  President was about two hours behind schedule, so we were up there for about 3 hours.  We then had to drive all the way back to Burbank and drop those missionaries off, and then drive up to Sylmar and bring those Elders up to the office to fill out and car accident report.  They had gotten in a car accident the night before.  that took about 2 more hours.  We then came back and worked for the last couple hours of the day.  The next day we took our preparation day since we didn't get one on Monday.  We went up to the Hollywood bowl lookout which is the border of our mission.  It was so cool!  You can see all of L.A. and the Hollywood sign.  It's over in Studio City.  There are some huge houses over there.  A lot of movie stars live over in those hills.  It was sweet.  We did do some service that morning for one of our potential investigators named Dana.  She's crazy and is a hoarder.  She has so much junk just lying all over her house and garage and her yard probably hadn't been cut in over 6 months.  It was long.  She is also a rock collector, so she had this giant pile of rocks that we helped her sort out.  We cut her grass using an old lawn cutter tool with a blade on the end that you swing back and forth.  it was fun and she appreciated our help.  That night we knocked and found a really solid family that wants to listen to us.  They've kept in contact with us all week, but keep pushing appointments back, so hopefully we'll be able to teach them this week.  Their names are Ed and Jamie.  They have 3 kids and are super cool.  Wednesday we had Mission Leadership Council (MLC) where all the zone leaders, sister training leaders, and assistants and president get together and council on how the mission is doing, what we can improve on and where we want to focus our efforts.  It's a 9:00 to 5:00 meeting and it was awesome.  We got a lot of training from President and Sister Hall trained some too.  The mission as of right now is not doing as well as it was at the start of the year.  Everything has gone down.  New investigators, lessons, baptisms, you name it.  We talked a lot about 1 Nephi 16 where Nephi's bow breaks and how the bow lost its spring and how we can make our own bows like Nephi by doing all that we can.  it was super good.  We talked a lot about the mission training plan and how we can focus more on that and how we can better work with members.  All of the counsel and ideas posed help us prepare for our zone training meeting that Friday, which we have once a month.  It was super awesome and I received a ton of revelation on how we can help and inspire the missionaries in our zone, as well as how I can improve myself.  I loved it.  I got to see Mitchell Bagely there too.  We went to high school together and is a zone leader on the Spanish side, so that was fun.  Thursday morning we planned out our zone training meeting with the Sister Traning leaders and then went over to a struggling companionship's apartment to talk to them and help them resolve things with each other.  Neither missionary would open up and they told us that things are going better, but neither of them are happy and they're not working well together at all.  We set up an exchange with them.  The rest of the day we had a weekly planning session and then went on splits withmembers visiting less active families and part member families.  Friday, we spent 6 hours in the emergency room.  I ended up breaking my arm in three places. . . not really, but we really did spend 6 hours in the hospital that day.  We went up to the church for Zone training meeting that morning which was supposed to start at 8:30.  We got a call at 8:30 from some elders.  he told us that his companion, elder Choi, had gotten in a bike accident on the way there and that the paramedics were there and the cops were on their way.  We told the STL's to take over ZTM and we rushed over there.  We pulled up and saw this elder sitting on a flatbed trailer with 3/4 of his face bandaged up, blood all over his arms and face and a pool of blood on the ground.  Paramedics were surrounding him and putting him on a gurney.  We talked to his companion, and he told us that he had been waving to someone and didn't see the trailer and ran into it with his bike and flipped onto it and hit his face on the bed of the trailer.  The paramedic told us that he would need stitches and might have a concussion.  We then grabbed the bikes and went back to the church and told the zone what happened, and said a prayer for elder Choi.  We had to have the STLs do the whole training since we had to go to the hospital.  Elder Choi refused all pain medication while he was there.  he had to have like 30 stitches along his face and while he was there had two cat scans.  he fractured three of the bones surrounding his eye socket.  Elder Choi is Korean and doesn't speak much English.  This is his first transfer in English work.  He is tough!  I love the guy.  It was a crazy day that day.The next two days were great though with General Conference!  I loved it!  I loved it all!  Some of my favorite talks were President Uchtdorfs talk the Saturday morning session and absolutely loved President Monson's talk in the Priesthood session.  They were all so good and I got so much revelation from them.  Another cool thing we did this week is contact a movie star, well not really a star, but he's in a lot of t.v. shows like Scrubs and That 70's show.  he played Zultan in Dude where's my car.  I've never seen it nor watched any of those shows, but he was really receptive to us and told us to come back this week!  Watch out, we might start teaching a famous person!  That'd be so cool! 
Well There's the highlights of  my week for ya!  I'l loving it here.  Knocking doors is great and this ward is great.  I love the zone and I love this gospel.  My testimony is growing everyday and I know that the Lord has sent me here specifically to declare His word!  I love you all!
Elder Nelson 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Burbank 3rd Ward

That's right, I'm now in the Burbank 3rd ward in the North Hollywood zone!  I love it and am so excited to be here and to be able to help out the missionaries here in the zone too.  It's been a tiring stressful good fun week this past week.  My new companion is Elder Ford.  He's from Okeechobee Florida and has been out about 3 transfers longer than I have.  He's great.  He loves to work hard and is hilarious.  We teach and work really well together.  The work here in Burbank 3rd is absolutely dead right now.  We have no investigators.  We are teaching a recent convert named Michael though.  He's really cool.  The reason Our area is so dead is that for the past transfer, Elder Ford was in a trio with another set of missionaries from our ward because his old companion got emergency transferred.  He covered two areas, but didn't spend a whole lot of time in our current area.  The area I'm is super small and is known to be one of the lowest finding areas in the mission.  Its a tough area because its all houses.  Everyone is rich and there area a lot of Armenians.  Its super nice though.  I love it.  It feels a lot like when I was in Valencia.  Our whole area is up on a hillside that overlooks the whole valley which is super sweet.  Unfortuanatly we haven't been able to work in our own area as much as we would like this past week since we've been helping out missionaries around the zone with transfers and baptisms and what not.  I've never driven so much my entire mission.  I don't like it.  I hate car, I really do.  It's fun though being able to serve and help out other missionaries though.  On Friday we went on exchanges with the assistants which was awesome.  I went with Elder Bertoch up to the Wiley Canyon ward in Santa Clarita.  He used to be the zone leader in North Hollywood.  He's great and I learned a lot from him.  He's from Roosevelt Utah.  It felt good to go up to Santa clarita again.  I forgot how nice it is up there.  It feels like Utah wlaking around on the streets up there.  Elder Bertoch was my trainers companion for 2 transfers in Horth Hollywood as well.  He's great and I'm so glad I was able to go on exchanges.  Saturday we went on splits with the Armenian speaking Elders serving in the Glendale 1st ward.  They are technically part of the Arcadia mission, but their area is all of LA county. When we go on splits with them we only stay in our area, but like I said, there are a lot of Armenians in our area.  The Elders names are Elder Tovoyun and Elder Debry.  Elder Debry is the grandson of Robert J. Debry, like the guy you see on T.V. saying "one call, that's all!"  Ya he's practically famous.  elder Debry is great though.  Whenever he talks to the Armenians they get so excited!  They freak out and are so surprised because he speaks so well.  It's pretty funny.  They're super nice when you have an Armenian speaker with you.  No one that we talked to was really interested though.  all the Armenians go to this super big Armenian church here in Burbank.  They're pretty rude and mean when you knock on their door, except when you speak Armenian.  I need to learn Armenian now haha.  We usually go on splits with them every 2 weeks. 
The ward here is awesome.  I love them all.  Our ward mission leader is named Sal Pallila and owns a sandwhich shop called Santoros here in Burbank.  He lets us eat for free there.  He's great.  He works hard at his calling too which is really helpful.  We have a lot people that work in the movie industry here too.  On Thursday I got to have dinner with the Johnson family.  They are so cool!  Bart Johnson, the father, is an actor and played the Dad on High School Musical and he's doing a T.V. show now I think.  His wife is Blake Lively's sister.  She is an actor too, and is a convert of about 10 years.  Blake Lively even came to church on Easter with her.  We also have Bro. Heater in our ward.  He's our gospel principles teacher.  He's the twin brother of John heater, the guy who plays Napoleon Dynamite.  John is in the Studio City ward.  There are actually a lot of people that come to our ward which is a big change from the last two wards I served in.  it feels like Utah!  The only problem with the ward is that they are super prideful about being the "best ward" because they had the most baptisms out of the whole mission on the English side last year.  They had like 16 or 17 baptisms I think.  They set a goal this year for 40 baptisms.  The ward has had 4 so far, and its almost the end of the year.  Hopefully I can help them out a bit.  I have a really good feeling about this area, I just need to help the members help us to find new investigators, because we can't with just knocking.  Every door in this area has been knocked probably about 10 times this year.  We can't get to the people, but the members can.  I'm excited for this area though.  This is going to be a good transfer. 
I forgot to tell you that on Wednesday the whole mission got together for a private screening of meet the Mormons up in the Valencia Stake Center.  It was really good!  We're supposed to encourage members, less actives and investigators to go see it.  We can't use it as a proselyting tool though.  it's going to be playing in different theaters around the valley.  You all should go see it!  It's really good and you should bring all you friends! 
There's ma week!   
Well I love you all! 
Elder Nelson
1800 Grismer #104, Burbank, CA 91504

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Yep I'm leaving Van Nuys!  I'm kinda sad about it since I just got here and we've been having a lot of success with our crazy investigators.  I'm excited for this next transfer though.  I got a call from President on Saturday and he asked me to be a zone leader.  I was pretty surprised, but it should be fun and I'll learn a ton!  There are only three zone leader areas that I could be going too.  Burbank 3rd, Woodland hills, and Stevenson Ranch.  There actually is a slight chance that I might come back to the zone leader area here in Van Nuys, but that probably won't happen.  I wouldn't have been told to pack if I was staying in the same ward.  All three of those areas sound like a ton of fun though so I'm super excited.  I'll find out where I'm going tomorrow.  As for my companion, he'll be staying here in Van Nuys for another 6 weeks.

This week has been a lot of fun.  Crazy things happen when you're in Van Nuys!  Actually not too many crazy things have happened since I've gotten here.  I've only had a gangster yell at me to stay off his block and I got mugged on Saturday too. . . . Okay I didn't get mugged on Saturday, but that would be a good story to tell if I did.  Any who, on to the week.  District meeting on Tuesday went really well.  I trained on Ch. 8 of Preach my gospel with a focus on goal setting.  It was awesome and really spiritual.  This district is so awesome and I'm real sad that I don't get to serve with them for another transfer.  We always have the best discussions in district meetings and I learn a ton from all of the missionaries in the district.  We did pick up a new investigator later on that day.  His name was Matt Phon.  He was raised Buddhist but doesn't know what to believe and is interested in learning about other religions.  We taught him the Restoration.  We'll probably be passing him off to YSA sisters since he's in his 20's and going to college.  Tuesday night we met one of the most prepared people ever!  Her name is Delia and we met her on the street outside her house.  We started to talk to her and she completely opened up to us and told us how sometimes she questions her faith in God and Jesus Christ and that she feels like something is missing and she doesn't know what it is.  We both testified to her of the plan of Salvation and the spirit was so strong!  She started crying and told us to come back the next morning so that we could teach her.  She was busy and running out of her house.  Sad to say that we went back the next morning and she wasn't home.  We tried calling her and stopping by later on in the week, but we can't get in contact.  She is so prepared and hopefully my companion and his new companion can get in touch with her.  Our investigator Lucrezia has been pushing back our appointments everyday and she didn't come to church this week.  We haven't been able to meet with her at all this week and she hasn't even started reading the Book of Mormon.  She keeps telling us that she will every time we talk to her, but she hasn't yet.  It's frustrating, but hopefully everything will work out with her.  We also taught Tiffany and Brian a part-member family this week.  Tiffany is a less active member and Brian is the non member.  He's been taught by missionaries before, and did have a baptismal date, but he felt like he should wait to be baptized, because he didn't know if this was what the Lord wanted for him.  We taught him and Tiffany the first lesson and he said that he's still open to reading and praying.  Tiffany doesn't come to church because she works on Sundays.  We taught Jonathon on Thursday.  We went over the Restoration again and he still wants to be baptized and start coming to church.  He didn't come this Sunday though unfortunatly.  We also taught our alcoholic investigator, Mike Hernandez.  He's been taught for the last 4 months and hasn't been keeping any commitments.  its sad, but we need to drop him.  My companion thinks otherwise though.  We taught Ivan, our Christian Gangsta rapper investigator on Saturday and he's been reading a ton!  He's up to 1 Nephi 20 in the Book of Mormon and there is a noticable change in the way he acts.  He's a lot calmer, but is still just as excited about the Book of Mormon and baptism and confirmation as ever.  He really understands it too!  We taught him the Plan of Salvation and about Temples and Family History which was awesome.  He committed to come to church this weekend, but texted us on Sunday and told us that he wasn't going to be able to make it.  The rest of that Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Eisinger in Northridge.  I'm sure you all know that he brought me to Lindsy and Ryans without me knowing.  He told me we had dinner with the "Hamples" and when we got there surprised me.  It was a lot of fun and really good to see them!  Elder Eisinger thought it was hilarious.  We had a good time in that area though.  its a pretty rich area so they don't have many investigators they're working with right now, so we knocked and contacted all day and found some pretty awesome potential investigators.  Saturday we found a new investigator that almost started to Bible bash with us.  it was interesting.  I told my companion that he probably shouldn't go back there, but he set up an appointment with him anyways for tommorrow.  It'll be bad, but he'll learn.  

So ya it was a fun week!  Sounds like Yellowstone was fun!  I'm loving the work and I'm learning a ton!  The gospel is true!  I love ya!

Elder Nelson       

Family Reunion

Well I'm sure you all know that I saw Lindsy and Ryan at Stake Conferance and sat with them during the meeting.  It was great!  I saw Mckenzie too!  It was so awesome to see people from back home! 
Sorry I didn't say anything about the package last week!  I loved it!  It was so amazing!  There was so much stuff from everyone and I loved seeing what everyone's done for the past year.  Thanks so much!  The book that you made for the first year of my mission was really cool too.  I loved it, I really did.  Happy Birthday Dad!  Anyways on to my week

So we taught Ivan twice this week.  We read the Book of Mormon with him on Tuesday to help him understand it better and then taught him the Word of Wisdom on Friday.  We taught him in the morning on Friday and he had a hangover ironically.  He did commit to live it though and give up drinking and coffee.  He was a little reluctant to commit because he knows it'll be hard.  He did it though.  We're not sure how he's doing though because he won't answer his phone.  He should be coming to church next week though.  

I went on exchanges with Elder Larman this last Tuesday.  it was the last exchange of his mission.  It was a good one and I leanred a lot from him.  He's been in leadership basically his whole mission and used to be my zone leader and just got done being assistant.  He helped me out and I did my best to help him out with the work.  He's not trunky at all and is working super hard which is great.  All of our apointments fell through that day so we mostly just contacted the whole day.  We had a lot of fun. 

We taught Lucrezia on Wednesday.  She hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon so we read with her.  She canceled our other lessons throughout the week and she called us Saturday night and told us that her daughter got hit by a car and that she was in surgery.  She's doing alright now but she was super sad about it all and asked us to pray for her and her daughter.  She was going to come to church but because that happened, she didn't.  

We also taught our  investigator Jonathon 3 times this week.  He's got a whole bunch of mental diseases like schizophrenia and PTSD.  He's super funny.  We teach him outside his house and he's on date for baptism for October 26th.  

We had a zone conferance this Thursday with Elder Carlson.  It was awesome.  He talked a lot about consecration and teaching and contacting.  It was really good and I got a lot of revelation.  

Other than that not much has gone on!  I hope all is well!  

Elder Nelson 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Josh & Lindsy Together Again!
Josh is serving in Lindsy's stake and they got to see and sit by each other at Stake Conference.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Alright Dad so I'll start off by answering your questions.  How's my new apartment?  It's great now that I cleaned it all out.  When I came in it was pretty gross.  My companions trainer wasn't the cleanest guy and he finished his mission and left a bunch of his stuff lying around and it was just gross.  So we've been spending a lot of time cleaning it these last couple of Preperation days and it is so clean now!  Its a good thing we cleaned it  hardcore because this week we have a Elder Carlson from the 70 coming in to do a mission tour and he's going to inspect a couple of apartments while he's here.  And guess what is profession was. . . a general in the US Airforce!  I kind of hope ours gets picked because its so clean.  If he inspects a bad apartment, thats what he'll talk about to the mission.  He'll tell us the importance of cleaning our apartments instead of focusing more on missionary work.  So ya on to the next question.  How am I getting along with my new companion?  We get a long great!  He's still figuring a lot of things out about missionary work, but he's a great missionary nonetheless.  His name is Elder Blumel if you remember and he's from Orem.  He's 19 has been out for 2 transfers.  He is very quiet until you get to know him.  He's super funny.  The only thing that I struggle doing with him is companion studies and weekly planning sessions.  He doesn't ever tell me his opinion on anything and just follows my lead which isn't the best.  I try to get him to take the lead in a lot of things, but it just doesn't happen.  In teaching and finding he's great though and we have a good time with each other.  Hopefully I can help him with companion studies and planning.  I've been trying and he's improved a little bit.  Does he help me with district meetings?  No.  He's willing to though.  I haven't given assignments to anyone else to help me give trainings yet, but I'll probably involve him in my next training.  Next question.  How many Elders and Sister and Old couples are in the district.  There are 3 sets of elders, 1 set of sisters and a senior couple.  So 12 missionaries including us.  One set is the zone leaders though.  Where do we hold district meetings?  The plummer building.  Ryan and Lindsy's church building.  When is Stake Conferance?  This week.  Why do I like Van Nuys better than West Hills?  Because there is so much work here!  I love it!  I've never taught so much before on my mission.  This transfer has been the fastest transfer of my mission so far.  The ward members are great.  The bishop is great and a lot of them are able to come to lessons during the day.  The area is just a lot of fun.  I really liked West Hills, but I was ready to leave when I did, and it'll probably be like that here too.  The people here are about the same as they were in West Hills. Everyone is Latino and speaks spanish.  Either that or their Armenian.  You seldom find white people.  Its fun.  There are no Korean and spanish missionaries in my district.  The spanish missionaries are basically segregated to be by themselves.  It's almost like a whole other mission on the spanish side.  They have their own districts, zone leaders and assistants and our areas overlap each other.  The only time we really have contact is if we see each other on the street or live in the same complex or something.  There ya go Dad!  I hope I answered your questions sufficiently!

As for the week this week.  We had an awesome week.  We didn't find any new investigators surprisingly, but we did teach a lot and have a lot of success.  We taught a recent convert named Mike Bennet last Monday night and he is amazing.  He gave a talk in sacrament meeting on the Holy Ghost last Sunday and it was so good.  He has such a strong testimony.  he's a single father and is 50 years old.  He has a bunch of tatoos and his daughter is 3.  He lost one of his daughters a couple of years back and lost his Fiancee to cancer two years ago.  He's amazing and we're teaching him the new member lessons.  Tuesday we went on exchanges with the northridge Elders.  I had Elder Peterson who has only been out for 3 weeks come to my area.  He's from Manti Utah and is an awesome guy.  We worked a lot on contacting and we taught a good lesson to our investigator Lillian.  We originally planned to teach her the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but she had some questions about the Restoration and some concerns that we resolved.  She has been studying and praying a lot and has a testimony, she just hasn't been to church.  We've taught her the importance of coming and committed her to come, but she just hasn't come yet.  The lesson with her went well.  She has a son named Jose who has some sort of mental problems, and he's 18.  He's really quiet, but he sits in the lessons.  Elder Peterson and I had some interesting contacts the rest of the day.  One of them was this jewish guy who freaked out at us for walking through his gate to get to the front door and cussed us out.  It's always fun getting contacts like that.  We did see a lot of success after that though with the rest of our contacts.  Wednesday we taught our investigator that we found last week named Lucrezia.  She's from New York and has a really cool Brooklyn accent kinda like Marisa Maneiro!  We taught her the Restoration and she loved it!  WE set a baptismal date with her for Oct. 19th and she's really excited.  We taught her again on Saturday and she came to church on Sunday!  She even got up and bore her testimony  to the ward!  It was so awesome!  She is a miracle.  Elder Blumel found her on exchanges with Elder Matthews.  She told them that she had been praying to find out what Gods will was for her and they showed up so she took that as a sign.  Miracle!  We also taught the Clementes. Bobby had some questions about the Fall so we had a great discussion about that and by the end he basically just bore his testimony to us in his broken English.  He only speaks a little bit.  His native language is Tagalog so we have a philipino member come with us to translate.  His daughter Princess sat in, but she wouldn't participate.  We're praying that she'll have a desire to actually act on what we've taught.  Thursday we taught Lillian again and it wasnt the best lesson.  She talks a lot and went off on random stories.  Even though she committed to come to church, she told us that she couldn't come this week.  Frustrating.  We also taught Mike Hernandez that evening.  He's an investigator trying to get off of Alcohol, but he won't come to church.  That's the holdup.  He has been sober for the last week though and is reading.  We just have to get him to come to church.  He wants to be baptized and knows its all true.  I haven't taught him as much, so I'm not sure exactly what he needs yet.  Friday we finally talked to Ivan again.  We taught him part of the plan of Salvation and he committied to come to church, but Sunday morning he told us he was having issues with his asthma.  The lesson was interesting with him.  He told us that he gets inspiration to write his songs when he's drunk so Word of Wisdom is a big issue.  He told us that because of his songs, " them gangstas in th hood aint gonna wannabe gangstas any mo."  He rapped one of his christian raps for us and its pretty catchy.  "When I throw up that C, it Stands for Christianity. When I throw up that B its the blood Christ shed for you and me."  C usually stands for crips and B is usually for bloods in case you didn't know mom.  So ya he's interesting.  We also had a gansta later that night tell us to get off and stay off of his block.  it was great.  Sunday we taught our investigator Jonathon.  He's been in jail, is an alcoholic and drug addict in a sober living and has been sober for 2 years.  He has PTSD, schizophrenia, and is just crazy, but he does have real intent.  WE read the Book of Mormon with him.  He's a fun one to teach.  He really does want to change though and he's very interested.  

So ya.  That was my week, for the most part.  Its been good.  Sounds like a lot of fun things are happening at home!  I love you all!

Elder Nelson