Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, March 10, 2014

Another Week in West Hills

So first off, I'm going to answer all of Dad's questions in the email he sent me.  How do I like Canoga Park in the West hills ward?  It's an awesome area and I love working in it!  I don't like the ward as much as Seco Canyon, but that's probably just because I was there for 6 months.  How does it compare with Valencia?  Its so different from Valencia because there are people everywhere on the streets!  All you have to do is go outside to talk to people, where as in Valencia you have to knock doors to contact people.  Finding people to teach here is a lot easier than Valencia, but the people you teach here aren't as solid as they are in Valencia.  They don't keep commitments and appointments and its harder to get in contact with them.  Nobody is on the streets in Valencia.  How do I enjoy lving and working with my new companion?  My new companion Elder Smith is awesome!  He's from Mapleton Utah and has been out a transfer longer than me.  He's a hard worker and he's focused.  We work and teach pretty well together seeing as we've only been together for two weeks.  We get along really well.  How has it been riding a bicycle everywhere?  It's so much better than driving in a car everywhere!  We get to talk to so many more people and I love biking!  It keeps me energized!  I have my bike that I loaned to that missionary a while ago and its running pretty good.  There have been some problems with the brakes rubbing, but I fixed that.  It's now running smoothly.  Do we ever plan mountain bike rides for P-day?  Answer is no.  I'm sure that President would have a problem with that and in the missionary handbook  says not to do anything that could potentially put your safety at risk.  Our ward mission leader Borther Radstone has taken missionaries mountain biking in the past, but as much as I want to go, I want to be obedient even more.  "Obedience is the first law of heaven."  (Preach My Gospel)  Have I seen any gang members?  I have not yet, but I've been told to not go to particular areas after dark, as that is where they usually are.  Gang Activity? None yet.  Are there any gangbangers in my area?  Maybe, probably.  I think I talked to one yesterday actually, now that I think about it.  He was on his way to do a drug deal, and he was all tatted up.  He was carrying a bag full of pills and what not, and he told us he was "going to do what [he] does best."  It was interesting.  I am teaching a former gangbanger from Florida named Denorris.  He's not gangbangin no mo.  Do I see them when I go to district meeting?  No.  Where is district meeting?  At the church.  I hope that answers your questions Dad!  

Anyways, here is an overview of the week.

So Tuesday, we went on exchanges with Elder Quizon and Elder Smith, (black Smith).  Elder Smith and Elder Smith went to our area, while I went with Elder Quizon to their area.  We had a good time!  I've never been cussed at so much in one day!  It was funny and sad.  We just talked to a lot of crazy people I guess.  Elder Quizon is originally from the Phillipines but his family now lives in Virginia.  He's a great missionary and he's been out for four and a half months.  We just contacted potentials the whole day and talked to people.  It's so nice because he actually knows some spanish!  All I can say is that we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  We share a message about Jesus Christ and family.  I know the message we share can bless your family.  Can we send some other missionaries who speak spanish to your house?  Thats it.  25% of the time it works!  Spanish people are so nice and they're so open.  With Elder Quizon, we got a ton of spanish refferals to send off.  That night, we taught their investigator Angelina and her two daughters about prayer, scripture study and keeping the Sabbath.  They are so awesome!  The lesson was great and was so spiritual!  The last time they taught her, she asked them for pass along cards to give to people on the street.  They gave her about 50 and she passed them all out to people and she asked them for more!  She's so awesome!  She's getting baptized soon.  Investigators are better missionaries than members a lot of the time.  Selvin told us that the Monday after he got baptized, he gave 2 Books of Mormon to his friends.  So cool right?  If investigators can do it, members can do it!  But they don't.  Anyways, Wednesday we exchanged back and we contacted some potentials.  Elder Smith and Elder Smith had a fun time on their exchange too.  We just contacted all day on Wednesday.  Thursday we had a super cool miracle, we were going to a less active to teach him, but he didn't answer, so we decided to contact around the area.  There weren't a lot of people on the street in the area we were in, and we eventually came to a corner.  If we went straight or left we would go out onto the busy street where the people are, but if we went right, we would hit a dead end.  There was no one on the street to the right, but we got the impression to go right so we did.  We found ourselves at an apartment complex with no gate and felt like we should go in.  We said a prayer for guidance before we walked in.  We go in and walk up some stairs and knock on apartment 19.  This black lady answers the door and we talk to her about the restoration and about a modern day prophet.  She then invites us to sit down on her porch and tell her about it.  She was so interested and we taught the Restoration lesson and she said that it made sense that God would call another prophet.  It was so cool.  Her name is Elena.  We ran into her on the street yesterday and she was drunk out of her mind.  She told us that she had been reading the Book of Mormon though!  That's good!  We'll work with her on drinking though.  Friday was amazing and horrible as well.  I'll start with the horrible.  We had a lesson to go to with an investigator named DeNorris, and we needed to get a member to come.  We called a ton of people and finally we got Bro. Baca to come.  He's a former bishop, so you think he would be good right?  No.  We got in their and DeNorris told us about how he was a gangbanger in Florida and how he was in jail and that he has a girlfriend with 2 kids in Massachusets and one on the way.  Bro. Baca took over and talked about repentance the whole time and made him feel chastized without chastizing him.  It was horrible.  We're going over there later today though and we feel good about the lesson we've planned for him.  Later on in the day, we had a lesson with a potential named Samantha.  We brought an awesome member, Bro Taylor, with us.  Samantha and her older brother Carlos and younger sister Stephanie sat in and it was a great lesson!  Their parents weren't there, so hopefully they'll get onboard too.  They're Catholic and they all committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon together.  They're super cool.  Saturday we met with an investigator named Debbie.  She's in her 50's.  We taught her last week with the Sisters and this week we got there and she just broke down crying like 5 times.  She says she has empty nesters syndrome and that she has no one to talk to.  She told us that she's Catholic and doesn't want to change, but that she loves it when we pray and read scriptures.  She's been going through a real hard time and needs friends.  We called members for an hour to get one to come to the lesson, but no one could.  She needs members to befriend her. We invited her to church and she said no because she's Catholic, but later on that night, she called us crying and told us to pray with her.  We did and she said she felt better.  She then texted us and and said that she talked with her Sister in Virginia who told her that she had been praying and God told her to go to the Mormon church.  We invited her to come again, but she said that church was to early and that she has sleeping problems.  She said she didn't have any of her "pumpkin powder to put in warm milk, natures sleep aid."  Ya, she's kinda crazy, but she still has potential.  Sunday we had no investigators at church for all 3 sets of missionaries.  All of Sunday we just contacted potential investigators.  This week was a good one.  Full of miracles.  Thanks for the package!  It was awesome!  I love you all!

Elder Nelson    

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