Called to Serve

Called to Serve

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 

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