Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Getting Transferred

Well another week has gone by full of miraculous fantastic exciting miracles!  Sadly, the transfer fairy chose me to leave to a bike area. . .somewhere.  I'll find out where tomorrow at transfer meeting.  I'm so sad to leave this area, but it is what it is.  I'm grateful for the amazing time I've had here in the Seco Canyon Area!  I did send the sd card finally.  Sorry it took so long.

Anyways, this week was a longer week than others, but it was amazing!  Here is a summary:

Tuesday we taught Chad again.  He is doing so much better!  He hasn't smoked or done drugs for the past month almost and he committed to come to church this Sunday!  He wanted to talk to us about the Bible and give him advice on it (Where to start reading etc.).  It was an ok lesson.  We basically just answered questions.  We're thinking of passing him off to the singles ward Sisters.  We told him about the singles ward and left the choice up to him.  He said he would think about it.  The rest of the day we knocked and knocked as usual.  We had dinner with the Ramirez family which was awesome!  Lucy makes the best fried rice I've ever had!  We taught the gospel of Christ afterwards and it was an amazing lesson.  The whole family has heard all of the lessons multiple times and they understand.  We asked Laura to be baptized with the rest of the family on March 8th, and we all just sat there in silence for like 2 minutes to let her think and let the spirit work.  Finally, Lucy broke the silence by saying, "Chris and James, do you want to be baptized with your mom?"  They both just nodded their heads and the spirit just took over and she said yes!  The whole family is being baptized on March 8th!  Sadly, I'm not going to be there.  I'm so glad I was able to teach that family.  They made me a card and gave it to me on Sunday.  Lucy started crying when she said bye to me.  Jose told me to come back after my mission so that he can take me to six flags!  That'd be sweet!  Anyways it was awesome!

The rest of the week we knocked....all day every day!  It was long!  I feel like I've knocked my whole area like 3 times already.  Thursday we taught the Ramirez family again.  We had a great lesson on obedience, prayer, scripture study and the priesthood.  Friday we got a headquarters referal for an old lady that speaks Farsi and very little English.  We went to the old person home she lives in.  She's from Iran and was raised Muslim.  Her daughter was killed for converting to christianity.  She came to church on Sunday and told us that she's scared for her son in Iran because if they find out that she wants to convert to christianity, they'll kill her son.  She's like 85 and super lonely.  We talked to her for like 45 minutes and we could barely understand her.  She's super solid, but we're going to have to find a translator to teach her because of the language barrier.  

Sunday was super sad saying bye to the ward.  They had me stand up in Sacrament and give my testimony.  I love this ward so much!  They are so cool!  Currently I'm in a tripanionship with Elder Stucki my zone leader because Elder Larman my other former zone leader became assistant yesterday.  I'll get a new companion on Tuesday and I'll be biking everywhere! I'm so stoked!  It's gonna be awesome!  I love you all!  

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Awesome 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

Monday, February 10, 2014

Long Driveways

So hey well here's another letter!
This week was interesting.  It was looooong!  Probably because we weren't able to do much teaching this week.  We haven't been able to teach anybody except for the Ramirez family this week.  All of our investigators besides the Ramirez family have been dropped this week since we haven't really been able to actually teach them.  It's kind of sad, but it's ok.  They're all amazing people and they'll come around one day.  We taught the Ramirez family Tuesday night and we basically just held a family council talking about baptism and when everyone wants to get baptized.  Lucy and Jose decided to get baptized on Feb. 22nd and originally they were the only two who wanted to commit to a date.  The last lesson we taught them, we left them with a committment to pray about baptism as a family, but they didn't.  They had all prayed about baptism individually.  We asked how James, the 9 year old felt about it and he said he felt good and that he had been praying about it.  We asked him if he would commit to a date and he told us he would, but that he wouldn't do it on the same day as Jose and Lucy because he wants to do it alone.  It was pretty funny.  He said he was thinking sometime in march, so we committed him to March 8th.  As for Chris and Laura, they told us they want to be baptized, but that they will wait until Summer.  They're all such a golden family.  I love it and I'm so grateful that I've been able to teach them.  They're progressing so well!
Tuesday morning, we went to Pep boys to change our battery in our car.  We had to get jumped twice on Monday.  We also had to get jumped in the pep boys parking lot just to drive it around back.  It was funny.  The pep boys mechanic people ended up calling Elder Phillips our car coordinator person and asked if he wanted them to fix up everything, and he said yes, so we were at pep boys for 5 hours that day.  We got new tires, oil change, battery etc.  It was so long!  Afterwards we went to the mission office, and gave Elder Phillips the receipt.  In return he gave us a brand new car!  For reals this thing was brand spanking new!  He drove it off the lot that morning I'm pretty sure!  It was a 2014 Ford Fusion!  It's so nice and is the newest car I've ever driven.  It only had 40 miles on it.  It's honestly scary to drive because its so new!  New car smell and everything!  It is beautiful!  I gotta say though, it was sad saying goodbye to good old Vivian the Vibe (The old car). 
Wednesday was full of knocking and knocking and more knocking.  We knocked on a couple doors in our complex and we were walking on the street of the complex when one of the people that works in the office drove up to us on a golf cart and asked us if we'd seen any salesman knocking in the complex.  Even though we were pretty sure we were the "salesman" we told her no.  We then went and knocked somewhere else.  Well from that we can deduce that you have to be sneaky when you decide to knock in the complex you live in.  You don't want to get kicked out of the complex you live in!  Anyways, lesson learned.  My stealth ninja knocking skills must be developed more before we knock in our complex again.  We found a couple potentials on Wednesday also, so that was good.  We've dropped most of them already though which is sad, but its ok because we're just going to find more more solid people instead!   
Thrusday was filled with weekly planning and a really cool story!  So a couple days ago we got a refferal from the Korean Sisters.  They live in the same complex as we do and they knocked out their building.  They gave us a potential (Who we haven't been able to contact yet) and a less-active they knocked into named Eddy.  The ward doesn't have any records indicating that an Eddy lived there, but we went by Thursday night.  He invited us in and basically told us his whole life story.  He is so cool!  He's in his 40's I think and hasn't been to chruch in like 3 years.  He was divorced three years ago and disfellowshipped a little bit after that.  Anyways, I could go on and on about his life, but he told us that he has been going through a real hard time in his life and that he'd prayed for strength to get him through and the next morning after he prayed, the Korean sisters knocked on his door!  So cool!  He told us that he didn't know whether to take it as an answer or not, but either way, its so cool!  We're going to be stopping by this week.  He told us he still has a testimony and everything, but that he just stopped going to church.  Anyways he's awesome and we're going to help him.
Friday we had zone training meeting for 3 hours which was great.  After the meeting we went on exchanges with the Copper Hill Elders.  I went with Elder Holdaway into his area which was a lot of fun!  It's a bike area and I love biking instead of driving around in a car!  It's way more fun!  We did a lot of knocking and we also helped this family  chase their dog off of a mountain.  It was funny.  All of the kids were crying because the dog had ran away off into this mountain, so we chased after it and herded it back towards them so they could pick it up.  Once they got their dog back they thanked us and the kids asked us, "Who are you guys?"  We responded with a resounding, "were the missionaries!"  We set up a time to come back and teach them this week.  It was funny and a lot of fun. 
Saturday was unusually slow after we exchanged back.  It was looooong.  We had a couple of appointments, but they all fell through.
Sunday the Ramirez family came to church as usual.  The rest of the Sunday we tried to visit some potentials and former investigators with no luck.  We also knocked a little bit.  My comp let me choose the last house to knock before we went home for the night, and there was this house with a long driveway on the street we were on and I told him we should knock that one.  He told me that the last house we knocked with a long driveway yelled at us, so I responded with "it's fun to get yelled at!"  We ended up knocking on the door and this latino guy answered the door and started yelling "Respect me!  You don't try to convert me, and I don't try to convert you!"  We were then like "Is there anything we can do for you?"  He responds with "Respect me!"  It was hilarious!  I guess walking up peoples long driveways makes them mad.  All well!  The ways we get rejected are so interesting sometimes haha! 
Well thats all folks!  Until next week!  I love you all!
Elder Nelson

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hola Hombres

Hola Hombres!  Sounds like everyone's doing good back home! 
This week was another week full of work.  We went on two exchanges and taught a lot of people.  We also had Zone Conferance on Tuesday which was amazing!  I never thought I would like sitting all day in a 9 hour meeting, but I thought wrong!  It was so good!  President and Sister Hall are amazing and are truly inspired leaders of this mission.  We talked about the new mission training plan and we specifically focused on teaching simply.  It was so good and I got so much out of it.  It got me so pumped for this next year.  Presidents dream is to have every missionary baptize monthly and in order to do that, we need to study better, talk to more people, and teach simpler.  It was great.  After Zone Conferance, we went to the Ramirez family home to teach a lesson.  We had planned on teaching the Plan of Salvation, but we got in there and asked Lucy how she was feeling about baptism and she just broke down crying and told us that she doesn't feel like she deserves a blessing as great as baptism.  She told us she doesn't feel worthy.  She understands that it is necessary for one to be baptized, as does the whole family, but that she doesn't feel worthy.  We brought Jason Crosby with us, our Recent convert from October to help us teach, and he was able to relate with her so well.  He shared how he felt before he got baptized and how he knows that its hard.  He told her that it was the best thing that she could do though and that when you're baptized you feel clean because those sins are washed away.  We shared a couple scriptures with her and assigned her to read Alma 36.  She felt better after about an hour.  She still wants to get baptized so everything is good.  I was so glad that we invited Brother Crosby to come with us to the lesson.  What he said really helped her.  Thursday I went on an exchange with the Korean Elders into Korean work.  We didn't do much.  The Koreans are trying to advertise their English class a whole ton lately, so we worked on that and tried to find places to put up flyers.  It was a long day.  Friday we went on another exchange with the Assistants.  Elder Wright from Coleville Utah came with me into my area.  We taught the Ramirez family again that night and we taught them the Plan of Salvation.  It was a good lesson and we committed them to pray about getting baptized as a family.  Laura still doesn't feel like she is prepared, and Jose is on the brink of committing to the 15th as a date.  Lucy wants to get baptized with Jose, so hopefully once they pray as a family, the Holy Ghost will touch them all and they will all want to get baptized on the 15th!  They're all ready to be baptized.  We went over the baptismal interview questions with them and everything.  Later on that night we went to a Member named Noel Larson.  He's an active member who is in his sixties, but he lives with his girlfriend.  It's weird.  His girlfriend Janice is a nonmember and has been taught by missionaries before.  We went over there and shared a short message with them and tried to include Janice, but she refused to read or committ to anything.  She kept saying that she didn't beleive in God and her and Noel got into an argument.  Noel told her that she had no foundation for life.  It was awkward!  She asked us some standard questions (Why do bad things happen etc.)  Which we answered, but she denied them all and refused to do anything.  It was a fun experience, but a weird situation.  The next morning we knocked a lot of doors and found a few potential investigators.  We went to an appointment with a super solid potential (or so we thought) named Brian.  We met him like 3 weeks ago and told us that he was a man of his word and that he would read the whole book of mormon before we come over.  We went to his house and he inveted us in, and told us his religous backround and asked how we came to be mormons.  He then went off about all his problems with mormonism and he would not stop talking!  He was the most anti-mormon person I've ever met on my mission.  Anyways, we eventually just stopped him and bore our testimonies and walked out.  It was fun.  He wanted to argue and you could tell that he was mad that we weren't argueing.  It was funny, but he was so blind, spiritually that is. That exchange was awesome.  I always learn so much from the assistants.  They are such good missionaries.  Super Bowl Sunday was great fun.  We had a great day at church and the Ramirez family came to church again!  They all stayed for three hours this time and got to see Selvin get the Aaronic Priesthood which was amazing!  We helped our neighbor move in too.  He's from Palmdale and moved here for work.  He doesn't have a lot of stuff so moving only took about 30-45 minutes.  His brother was there to help and he had a lot of questions about the church and missionaries and what not.  Hopefully we'll be able to teach them soon.  Anyways, that's all I got for ya this week!  Until next time!  Love you all!
Elder Nelson