Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"I Don' Want No Burnin' in da Bosom!"

This is what Marisa said in gospel principles yesterday.  She is hilarious.  She went on to say, "I be prayin fo no burnin cause I don't want nothing catchin on fire!"  We explained what it really meant and it made sense to her.  We talked about the gift of the holy Ghost which was perfect, because Marisa was just confirmed in Sacrament meeting.  Elder Baughan confirmed her.  It was great and she's doing great! 
To answer your questions dad, Canoga Park does not feel like home even though I've been here for over 3 months.  I was in Seco Canyon for 6 months and that felt a lot more like home than Canoga Park!  I was there forever!  Do I take pride in showing my new companion the area and the members who I can count on to help us?  Not really.  He knows the area pretty well now that he's been here for 3 weeks already. Not many members are coming out with us anymore.  There's only a couple of members you can count on and he knows them.  What do you see of the infamous gangs and gang activity there?  Honestly I haven't really seen anything.  We do have this really ghetto street next our apartment, but I haven't seen any gang activity yet.  We hear gunshots every once in a while and cops drive around pretty frequently.  We did see a teenager riding down the street yesterday with a bullet proof vest on and a bandana.  He also had a ski mask.  It was interesting.  I wish I could've taken a picture.  The really crazy things happen in Van Nuys and Pacoima.  My trainer has some crazy stories from when he was in Sylmar, which covers part of Van Nuys and Pacoima.  Other than that, life is peaceful in Canoga Park.  I can't believe Alec Crosby is putting his papers in for his mission!  That's so cool!  When is Kami getting married?  The pictures of the cabin look so awesome!  There's actually floor now!
Anyways, things have been going smoothly here in Canoga Park.  We've been teaching our investigator Melissa for 3 weeks now.  She came to church yesterday.  We taught her 3 times this week and she has a couple of concerns that we're trying to resolve.  She is having a hard time accepting the fact that priesthood authority is needed and that Christ set up His church.  We've showed her scriptures and she just interprets them differently.  Everything we've taught makes sense to her, it just goes against what she was taught growing up.  She keeps saying that all you need to do is believe in Christ to be saved.  She told us that everything we taught her makes sense and that it makes sense that God wouldn't just stop revelation given to prophets.  She's felt the spirit everytime we teach her and she even said a prayer at the end of a church tour we gave her and asked if this is where she needs to be.  She paused for 15 seconds in the prayer and then closed.  She told us in the next lesson that during that time she "felt God" but that she still doesn't know if this is true or not!  She's had multiple answers to prayers and she's reading the Book of Mormon.  She just hates the fact that there is only one true church.  Its hard for her to accept, but she's progressing.  Just pray for her.  She's awesome and things will work out with her. 
We also taught the Dawes girls the Word of Wisdom this week.  We still don't know what to do there, but we feel like we should still teach them even if it won't lead to baptism.  We're also teaching Marisa still.  She's awesome.  I wish I could record the things she says.  So funny!  There hasn't been any progress on the custody with Isaiah, so we're still praying for that to work out soon as well.  We found 2 new investigators this week from street contacting.  One's name is Nora, and she's around like 16.  She didn't hold our follow up appointment yesterday so she's not to solid.  Our other new investigator was Soloman.  He's from Kenya and has been living in the U.S. for 4 years.  He's a born again Christian and is so nice!  He let us into his apartment and gave food and soda.  The thing with him though is that he goes off on rants about random stories in the bible.  Anytime you ask him a question, he'll go off and talk for 10 minutes about something that is completely irrelevant.  We're going to have to take a different approach with him.  He wants to keep meeting with us and to come to church.  We weren't sure how much he understood of the Restoration, because we eventually just stopped asking him questions because that doesn't work with him.  He's awesome though.
Another cool thing that happened this week was that I went on exchanges with my trainer!  It was so fun!  He has changed so much!  He's a lot more fun and funny, not as up tight, and an even better missionary than when he was with me.  Zone Leader life changed him so much!  We taught 3 lessons on the street to 3 different amazingly prepared people.  We taught so well together!  it was powerhouse!  We even committed one to baptism!  None of them live in our area though, but it was still amazing!  he gave me a lot advice that is helping me out with my companion.  Elder Baughan is awesome.  It's pronounced Bonn by the way, kinda like james bond without the d.  He just has a different outlook on things and missionary work in general.  I won't tell you the negatives because he really is great and I do like him, but its kind of hard to work with sometimes.  We do work very differently, but its all good.  Things are movin a long.
Yesterday we had a cool experience.  We gave this couple we met on the street a few days ago an Arabic Book of Mormon.  That's all they speak is Arabic.  We knocked on their door and they invited us in.  turns out they're from Syria.  They wanted a bible, but we don't have Arabic bibles so we gave them a book of Mormon and all the pamphlets in Arabic.  They gave us this bread that was super good and offered us beer, tea, and coffee.  it was funny.  We are going to try to geta translator to teach them, because they're open!  That'll be interesting if we do start teaching them.  
Well, that's all for this week!
Elder Nelson
*Cultural Fact:  The valley is ghetto! 

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