Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Van Nuys

Wooooooo!  I'm in Van Nuys!  I knew I would come here at some point in my mission.  I'm not a fan of the car area.  Biking was so much more fun and energizing.  This area used to be a bike area, but they switched all the Van Nuys areas to car because people kept following the missionaries around on their bikes and stealing them.  The thing is, all the Spanish missionaries here are on bike, so I'm wondering how they don't get their bikes stolen!  The area is a lot like West Hills.  Its a barrio and there are spanish people everywhere.  It's fun though.  We cover part of Van Nuys, Panorama City, and North Hollywood.  It's a good area.  We have a lot of investigators and a lot of recent converts we're teaching.  My companion is named Elder Blumel from Orem.    He's a good missionary and we get a long.  

The district is all the missionaries in the Van Nuys ward and the Northridge ward.  Speaking of which, I'm emailing at Lindsy's church building right now..... weird.  The district is awesome though.  We have 4 sets of missionaries in Van Nuys, including a senior proselyting couple, the only one in the mission.  Northridge has two sets of missionaries as you know.  They are all just awesome hard working missionaries.  Lindsy you better go out with the sisters! 

We have so much work here!  We have about 14 investigators and 3 are on date.  It's awesome.  We didn't get to work much last week though because I had meetings up in Santa Clarita all week.  It was good though.  I learned a lot.  I had to go to a District leader meeting on Thursday for about 5 hours and then to a 6 week followup training for my new companion on Friday most of the day.  Tuesday we were up in Santa Clarita most of the day too because I had to stay after transfers for the new DL training.  All of these meetings were awesome though and I learned a ton on how I can halp my district.  

Our investigators that have a baptismal date are Princess Clemente, and Eperanza and Lluvia.  Princess is the daughter of a recent convert that was baptized about 3 months ago.  She is 14 and is the typical bratty teenage daughter.  They're from the Phillipines and she's still learning English, but its a lot better than her Dad's.  We taught her about tithing and the importance of church reading and praying.  it was good.  The problem with her is that she's only been to church once and her date is for the 7th.  Her dad would take her to church, but he's tight financially and doesn't have a job so he has to go to malibu to do work  and get money for his family.  He's solid though and reads everyday.  The Kempfs (Senior couple) are working on getting him a job so that he doesn't have to work on Sundays.  The mom however works on Sundays as well and won't let Princess go without her Dad.  So were praying that things will work out with that.  I haven't met Esperanza and Lluvia yet.  They have a date for Sep. 21st.  which they should make.  The concern with them is getting them to church since they haven't been yet, but they know everything is true, or so I'm told by my companion.

The ward here is great.  The bishop has a solid ward mission plan and we have a solid ward mission leader.  There are a ton of Philipino's in this ward which is great because they can help us out with people who speak Tagalog.  Anyways, I'm excited to work here and I know the gospel is true.  

Love you all!

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Letter from a Member in West Hills

Sister Nelson - we again enjoyed dinner in our home with Elder Nelson who we absolutely love.   Our whole ward loves him - I think we all think of him as our son.  We are so sad that he has been transferred and will be leaving us but I know there are others who will be greatly blessed from getting to know him.   You should be very proud of him - he is a great missionary and a wonderful person.   Many people in our ward are all the better for having had him here.   Thank you again for sharing him with us. 

Karen Peterson

Goodbye West Hills

Yup I'm getting trasferred!  And I got called as a district leader to a car area, which means I'm either going to Castaic, Chatsworth, Sylmar, and Northridge since those are the district leader car areas in the mission that I know of that are opening up!  I'm totally going to go to Northridge!  That'd be so awesome!  I'll find out tommorrow at transfers.  My last companion Elder Smith is going zone leader and Elder Baughan is going to be training a new missionary.  So yes I'm way excited about transfers!  It'll be sweet!  

Kristopher is going to St. Louis!  That's so cool!  I'm so excited for him!  His mission is probably huge!  Every mission is huge when you compare it to here.  This mission is so small!  I got your package Jessica and Jordan so don't worry about that!  Mom they didn't have the package in the office and I still haven't get the other one you sent.  Kami Church is now Kami Hill!?  Oh my gosh that's crazy!  I'm happy for her though!  Congratualations to the new couple!  The cabin looks so cool Grandpa!  Those polygamists must be working pretty hard!  The shoes that I got from the missionary depot were Dunhams and they are great.  They are in good shape still so you should tell the guy that works there.  

Anyways, this week has good.  The work here is dying down a little bit, but we've been working hard.  We found some new investigators.  The first is named Gary Goodman.  He's in his fifties and is a super chill guy.  He has a sweet Amazon Macaw that he lets just hang out on his porch.  It was there when we knocked on the door and kept saying "hello" to us.  It was pretty funny.  We started to teach a former investigator again named Angelica.  She's really solid and interested in the Book of Mormon because she's part Apache indian.  Marisa is doing well and we're still teaching her the new member lessons.  No less actives or investigators came to church this week.  This coming week should be good for Elder Baughan's trainee because we have a lot of appointments with some solid investigators and people we've found.  I'm sure they'll have a lot of miracles. 
With transfers tomorrow I'm going to be in Valencia from about 9:00 to 3:00.  Transfer meeting is only an hour and a half, but we have to get there 2 hours early for a trainer training and then I have to stay after for district leader training.  Should be fun being district leader.  I'm excited.  I've learned a lot from the district leaders I've been with and hopefully I can implement what I've learned from being with them.  I have to conduct a 90 minute district meeting each week for the district which I'm looking forward to as well.  When I was with Elder Davidson he had me help him prepare and train with him and I learned so much when I did that.  Now I just get to learn more!  Should be good. 
Other than that everything is good!  I'll let yall know where I end up!  I'll have missionaries tell Lindsy and Ryan where I'm at if I don't go to Northridge!  I hope everything is great at home!  Love ya!
Elder Nelson

Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy Birthday!

Yay, I'm 19! I'm so old I can't stand it!  Ya the birthday was good!  I didn't do anything special, just tracted and street contacted.  We did go to Denny's with Marisa and Isaiah so that was fun.  It was a solid day.  Sadly I didn't get your package Mom and Emily.  I did get Grandma's package and letters from the Kings and Edlings though!  Thanks for that!  They were awesome!  Hopefully your package makes its way around to me soon!  Preferrably this week sometime because transfers are next week and I'm probably leaving.  It's not very common for a missionary to stay five transfers in the same area in this mission, but it does happen, and I have a weird feeling that it might happen to me just because I'm so ready to leave the area.  I love the area, but I'm just ready to go somewhere else.  If I do stay, it will be interesting, but I can handle it.  I do get to go to the temple this Wednesday for my birthday with Elder Baughan and I'm really looking forward to that. 
This past week was a little slower than usual.  We didn't find anybody new and didn't teach as much as usual.  The Nicklow family canceled their appointment with us and are going out of town this week to go camping, so we won't be seeing them for another week.  We did teach Bertha this past Tuesday.  She is still as prepared as ever.  We had a good lesson on the importance of the Book of Mormon and reviewed the Restoration with her.  She told us that she believes all of it. She had tried to read the Book of Mormon during the week, but she said she can't read the text because its to small, so we're getting a large print copy for her.  She is a little harder to teach because she talks a lot, but she's awesome.  She told us she wants her son to start learning with her too and to bring him to church.  She also said that the 7th day Adventist that she's meeting with is wanting her to be baptized in that church, but she said she won't do it, because she doesn't feel that its right.  That's good.  She told us that she feels right about us and that we should continue to teach her before baptism.  She also said that she would try to make it to church for an hour on sunday because she has to work.  She didn't make it though, but hopefully next week. 
We also taught James again.  Despite the impression that I got from him last time about being able to understand better, I was wrong.  He still can't understand.  He must have a learning disability, because he told us that its really hard for him to learn anything.  He is reading the Book of Mormon though and coming to church.  He is still holding on to all the Catholic traditions and what not though.  He can't let go of Catholicism, but that's okay considering he has a mental disability.  We'll continue to try to teach him and be as patient as possible, but if he doesn't come to be able to understand during this life, I know there are missionaries waiting to teach him on the other side, where he will be free from his disabilities. 
We taught the Indian family too.  They are still reading the Book of Mormon as a family as well, except for the Dad.  We taught them about how if the Book of Mormon is true, then there is only one true church and that church is our church.  It was hard with the language barrier, but the kids understood it and accepted it.  We think the Mom understood it as well.  We couldn't have put it in any plainer terms.  She told us she would at least try to make it church this sunday, but she didn't make it. 
We only had one other investigator lesson this week and that was with Soloman, our investigator from Kenya.  We haven't taught him in the last 2 weeks so we reviewed the Restoration and focused on the Priesthood.  he had been reading and he believes the Book of Mormon is true.  He came to the realization that what we were teaching meant that only our church holds that priesthood to baptize.  He told us that he "needs us now more than ever,"  and that he considers that we could be "messengers from God to help him attain salvation."  We were like that's exactly what we are!  He committed to come to church this next week and to continue to read and pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true.  This lesson was a lot better than our other lessons with him, because he actually stayed on topic, rather than go off on random tangents like he usually does!  It was great!  
We did have two less actives come to church this week!  Our Indian, Shiraz Verma and an older guy named Bro. Hurt whom started teaching a couple of weeks ago came.  It was great.  We also had zone conference on Wednesday for 8 hours!  it was amazing!  I got so much out of it!  President talked a lot about the law of Consecration and how we asm missionaries get to live that law closer than at any other time in our life!  We also talked a lot about tteaching lesson 5.  It was so so so good.  The mission is also piloting a new program called Just Serve.  Each companionship in the mission is supposed to try to get 10 hours of community service in per week.  It should be awesome!  I love doing service!  We're probably going to start volunteering at the Salvation Army and a bunch of different rehab centers around our area since we have a ton of those.  It should be fun.  Yup, that was my week!  It was fun! I'm loving the mission!  Thanks for all the Birthday wishes and everything!  Love you all!
Elder Nelson