Called to Serve

Called to Serve

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 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mid Mission Crisis

Sounds like everything is going well at home!  Happy Birthday Grandpa, Ryan, and Jordan!  Thanks for making a rock for grandpa for me mother!  I'm excited for the package.  It sounds awesome!  How's Emily liking High School?  What classes is she taking? Alec Crosby is going to New Hampshire!?  That's so sweet!  He'll love it!  Sounds like Christopher is getting ready to go to the MTC soon!  That's exciting!  He'll be a great missionary!  Jackson is coming to California!?  He's going to freak out.  Oh well.  Weird I hit my year mark last Thursday.  I'll probably go through a mid mission crisis or something!  It doesn't feel like I've been out a year.  I don't even want to be out a year!  I still have so much I gotta do!    

Anyways, we had a pretty good week this week.  We taught Ivan again this Tuesday.  He was as gangsta as ever.  He told us he read through the Plan of Salvation Pamphlet 3 times since we saw him last and he taught us the whole plan of Salvation from beginning to end.  It was so cool!  He's great.  We taught him more about the book of Mormon and the Priesthood and Keeping the Sabbath day holy.  We committed him to baptism and he promised to come to church this Sunday.  We haven't been able to keep in contact with him though.  He wasn't home for our appointment on Friday and won't answer his phone and didn't come to church.  Ya that's how it goes most of the time when I commit someone to baptism.  They fall off the face of the Earth, but we'll keep trying by because he really does feel the spirit everytime we come over and when he reads and prays.  He told us himself he knows its all true.  

Later on Tuesday we had interviews with President Hall which was great.  I was going to ask him if I could have lunch with Lindsy since she's 10 minutes away.  I got in the interview and I immedietly knew his answer would be no, but I asked him if its okay if I see her at Stake Conferance since that is in 2 weeks.  He said to not seek her out, but that if I do see her, I can talk to her and give her a hug.  I then just asked him questions on how I can help my district. It was so good to talk to him and see him.  Interviews are like the one time that I actually get to talk to President 1 on 1 since he's so busy.  It was great.  

We also taught Lillian and Jose that night too.  Elder Blumel found them before I came in.  Lillian has been reading the Book of Mormon though and she told us she knows this gospel can help her and her son.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation and committed them to baptism and to come to church.  They didn't come to church. No one came to church, except for recent converts that we're teaching which is good. This ward has a lot of recent converts that have been starting to go less active.  The ones in our area are still going strong though and we visit and teach them regularly.  

All of our Baptismal dates dropped.  Princess Clemente is just not interested right now.  She just refuses to participate in the lessons we teach and keeps telling us that she is already going to church with her friend.  We did go on exchanges with the Zone leaders this week and she asked a ton of questions on the temple apparently, so thats good.  She'll get there one day.  She told us she knows the Book of Mormon is true.  For right now, we'll keep going over to teach her Dad the new member lessons.  Esperanza and Lluvia dropped too because I have actullay never met with them since I've come into the area.  Elder Blumel says their solid, and I beleive him, but they keep canceling appointments and are going through a lot of financial and emotional struggles right now, so the missionaries are not their top priority now.  As with Princess, They'll get there one day as well.  

We did start teaching an Armenian family this past Thursday.  Jorge and Lili.  Jorge is about 15 and is really interested in learning about other churches.  We met him on the street.  He's part of the Christian club at his school.  His mom Lili and him go to an Armenian church, but they're super nice and open.  There are a ton of Armenians here and they are super prideful about being the first christian nation in the world.  They're usually pretty closed off, but Jorge and Lili are open.  Lili didn't really understand the Restoration.  She felt the spirit though.  She doesn't speak very good english, but Jorge does.  he told us he'd read and pray.  1st Armenian investigators of my mission so far.  

Friday we went on Exchanges with the zone leaders.  I went with Elder Dahlke to his area.  it was an eventful exchange.  We taught a pretty good lesson to an investigator, and after the lesson, the member that we had with us saw his friend in one of the rooms that he hadn't seen for a couple years.  Turns out his friend used to live with a Mormon family and went to church with them.  He said that he'd sit in with them next week.  Miracle!  We also taught this guy who's father tried to bash with us in spanish.  It was quite the adventure.  It was the first time I got bashed in spanish.  His son translated, and we just said a closing prayer and left because all they wanted to do was argue.  90% of the people we talked to the whole day were Latino.  It was great!  Also at 2:30 in the morning, the fire alarm to our complex went off and we stood outside for 20 minutes while everyone in the complex just stayed inside their rooms.  Someone just pulled the fire alarm.  It was an interesting experience.  it was a lot of fun though.  Elder Dahlke is from Idaho and reminds me a lot of Jense Gray.  He plays Trombone and Jazz is one of his passions so we connected really well and had a great time.  

So ya!  It was a great week!  My district meeting went really well too.  The Kempfs  have been having a harder time.  They just barely hit their halfway point in their mission and all the people they've taught and baptized ahve gone less active.  I did my district meeting on receiving revelation for each of the areas your in and gaining a greater vision for your mission.  I related 1 Nephi 19:1-5 to missionary work and receiving revelation for each of our areas.  I learned a lot from it and afterwards the Kempfs thanked me for the district meeting and told me and the zone leaders that that was exactly what they needed to hear.  It was really good to hear that because I was really unsure if this was what the district needed going into the meeting, but it went really well and the spirit testified.  It was great!  

Well there ya have it!  That's my week!  I love you!

Elder Nelson