Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Hey howdy hey familia!  Well this letter might be a little shorter since I just talked to you a couple of days ago.  Skypeing with you guys was awesome! Weird to think that I only have one more of those left on my mission.  I really am loving it here and I love being a missionary.  I can't imagine life not being a missionary.  It's like you said Dad, we're almost living in two different worlds. 
I'm glad that all of the family could get together for Christmas.  It sounds like it was a good time.  I had a good time here in Burbank!  We went caroling as a district that night to different homes in a neighborhood and passed out He is The Gift Cards.  It was awesome being able to do that.  WE made some families day and they loved us.  No one got mad which is always a miracle!  As you know mom we had dinner with our Stake President, President Walker.  He called all the missionaries parents that were there and told them how good of missionaries we were.  He's an awesome guy.  Right after he got off his mission, he taught himself how to lock dance which is a type of breakdancing and he joined the dance group called the LA Lockers.  He's got a ton of stories and is super pumped about missionary work.  I'm excited to work with him.
I went on an exchange with my old MTC companion Elder Forsyth.  He's serving in Sylmar right now as a district leader companion.  We had a good time.  We talked to a lot of people that day knocked in the higher part of our area where the big big houses are.  It was fun! 
Dawn didn't end up coming to church sadly, because she had to work, but she committed to come next week.  We're going to do everything we can to help her make her baptismal date for the 24th.  She is golden and wants to change her life, and we will do everything we can to help her understand and make the right decisions to do so, however there is always the chance that she chooses not too act on what we teach her, and if that happens, I'm not going to stress about it.  I've done that to many times over the course of my mission.  I've done the best I can and I will keep doing the best I can.  I love the work here and I'm glad the Lord called me here when he did!  Thanks for everything you do for me! I love you!
Elder Nelson    

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Transfer Week

Well I'm staying for another 6 weeks in Burbank with Elder Smith!  Yay!  I'm really happy about that!  I love it here in Burbank!  It's a fun place even though its a tougher area.  Elder Smith is just a super fun happy guy and he loves missionary work.  I've learned a lot from him this past transfer and I'm glad he's my companion.  We're not the perfect companionship and he's been patient with me this past transfer. 
Elder Miller is leaving our companionship tomorrow.  That means we don't have to cover two areas anymore!  Yay!  It's a sad thing that he's leaving though.  He will be missed!  It's been quite the experience being in a trio for a couple weeks.  Usually trios don't work out, but this one was a good one.  I'm glad we were able to be with him and help him out in his area and with his ward.  His area is getting two new elders and the sisters that were already there will stay.
On a larger scale our zone is getting hacked!  Nearly all the companionships will be having one missionary being transferred.  There combining one of the elders areas in our ward with our area and the sisters area, which means we'll have a bigger area to work in!  That'll be nice!  All of our district leaders are being transferred, so we'll have three new district leaders we have to work with.  One of our STL's is being released and transferred. Their opening up a new area in a ward.  It's a big transfer, but this zone needed it.  I'm excited for this next six weeks.  
On another note, my old companion Elder Smith (white smith) is the new AP!  He'll do great.  I'm excited for him.  His companion who was my trainer is going home this week which is super weird and sad.  We all got to talk to each other this past Wednesday at the mission temple trip which was awesome! 
Anyways, this past week we were super busy.  Monday we had to take that companionship that was struggling to be interviewed by President.  Tuesday we were supposed to go on exchanges with the AP's and go to different district meetings throughout the zone.  We exchanged in the morning and we picked up some elders to take them to district meeting with us.  On the way, one of the got a phone call from the medical coordinator asking if he had told the zone leaders about his doctors appointment that morning.  He hadn't told us anything, so I had to miss district meeting and take this Elder up to his appointment.  The AP stayed at the district meeting with his companion.  I was glad I could help, even though I had to miss district meeting.  The Elder really needed to go to the doctors.  We had to go back to the doctors after district meeting to take another missionary there.  We spent a lot of time up there on Tuesday.  I tried to study, but just fell asleep on the couches they had.  We went by Alfonsis that night and he went off on all his crazy Jewish mysticism stuff.  WE determined that he's not all there and not accountable right now, so we had to drop him.  I've had a couple of investigators that I've had to do that with. 
Wednesday we went on the mission temple trip which was amazing!  Its always so good to see all the missionaries in the mission, especially at the temple.  We had a chapel session in the morning where President Hall spoke and the new 2nd counselor in the temple presidency spoke.  It was amazing and I received a lot of revelation during the session about what the Lord wants me to focus on for the next couple of weeks. 
We also were able to teach Michael and Angela this week.  They are amazing and we taught them about Eternal Marriage.  The lesson was awesome and they committied to go to the temple and be sealed next year!  They are really excited and determined to go next year.  I'm glad I've been able to work with them these past couple of weeks. 
I went on an exchange with Elder Sautia this past Friday which was good.    We did a lot of finding Friday and Saturday. We had a latino couple invite us into their home.  They told us they loved Mormons and that they had taken the lessons before and that they're niece in Canada is LDS.  They we're awesome people and I really felt the spirit in their home.  They told us that they were Catholic and that they don't want to be taught, but we were able to share a spiritual message with them and I know that they felt the spirit.  It was awesome, even though we weren't able to find any new investigators. 
I've really gained a strong testimony these past couple of weeks of how every day God has a purpose for us.  Every day is a sacred day and the little things we do have a big influence on the people around us.  Those small and seemingly insignificant acts of kindness and service to others are really just small victories that have eternal effects on others.  I'm so glad the Lord has purpose for each of us everyday.  Even if we don't see the effects of what we do sometimes, the Lord does and he has a purpose.  I love it here and even though the work isn't as prime as I would like it to be right now, I'm glad I'm learning to see things differently! 
I love you all!
Elder Nelson    

A Whole Week of Crazy

Wow this week has been stressful.  I'm the most tired I've ever been on the mission, but Iove it! Everything is well and the work is moving forward.  Working two areas is hard, along with everything else that has been going on in the zone.  It's been a good learning week though and I've grown in a lot ways.  All three of us have. 
First off, I'd like to invite all of you who read this to keep "sharing the gift"  with everyone!  Post it on face book.  Give the pass along cards away.  Share it with a friend, and invite them to learn more!  When you invite you succeed, and the only way you can fail is if you don't try!  I can promise that as you share the video and/or the card with others, the Lord will cause you to feel more gratitude for the love he has shown to us by giving us his Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior.  The true spirit of Christmas will enter your heart and you will feel a greater desire to be like our Savior. 
Alright.  Now that that's said, here's what happened this week. Tuesday it rained hardcore all day.  It was awesome.  I loved it.  It was our Preperation day as you know.  It was good.  We didn't do anything to exciting, but it rained!  It rained all day on Wednesday too!  Jordan and Jessica already know this.  Sorry you had to come to Disney land on the two days it rains out of the year.  I'm sure it was still fun!  Rain just makes everything so fun!  Anyways, Wednesdy we had our zone conference.  It was awesome.  We have a zone conferace every other transfer and usually we combine zones when we do it.  President trained on becoming more converted through studying the Book of Mormon, giving up rebellion and by doing it.  Doing it meaning keeping covenants and being doers of the word, not hearers only.  He related it to the conversion process we are goin through and to our investigators.  We talked a lot about He is The gift and Christmas.  It was awesome and I received a lot of revelation on how I can turn outward to be more like Christ instead of turning inward.  I loved it!  The rest of the week we were bouncing back and forth between areas all day.  It's super hard to get a lot of work done in one area since it takes about 20 minutes to get from one area to another.  Because of that, the work has been suffering.  Well its not neccesarily because of that, but both areas are starting to die.  We can't get a hold of investigators.  Most if not all of our appointments are falling through and no one is coming to church.  It's stressful.  We're doing all we can and having a lot of fun doing the work, but its been quite the transfer.  Hopefully we can find someone solid this next week in either area.  We still see a lot of miracles and are definatly blessing people's lives though.  We were knocking and this lady from Syria answered and we read the verse in Mosiah 3 to her that talks of Christ and his role and how he will be born of Mary.  She loved it and just opened up to us and told her that we were an answer to her prayers.  It was awesome.  We have great experiences like that all the time.  The people we are able to help however, are not always interested in learning more.  It's interesting how people seem to disregard the spirit.  They feel it and accept that its from God, but then don't do anything about.  They keep goin on with their normal lives the same way they did before.  I guess that's what separates the wheat from the tares.  Those who actually act on what they feel from the spirit.  So ya.  It may sound like I'm a little frustrated with people, because I am.  I'm not angry or sad or anything, I'm super happy and I'm learning of the love that the Savior and Heavenly Father have for each one of us.  I'm learning how they feel when we don't act on what they give us.  All they want to do is bless our life, and that's all I want to do with the people I talk to, but if they're not willing to listen or act on what they feel, there's nothing I can do.  The Lord is teaching me a lot.  Its amazing!  Well, aside from my rant Saturday and Sunday we helped out with the Nativity Festival at the Burbank church building.  You should look it up on youtube or face book or something, because about 2000 people came in total.  Every year our ward puts on a nativity festival where people from around Burbank bring in there nativies and put them on display.  There's performances by other church choirs and artists in the chapel and then upstairs we have a live nativity.  Its an amazing event and so many non members come.  The thing is that the ward doesn't allow us to approach people at the event, because its a "community event." They don't want anyone getting offended or scared.  The job they had for us was holding open the doors for people going to and from the live nativity.  Yep, I played the job of a doorstop for 6 hours this weekend.  Was it demoting? maybe.  Did I like job? NOt particularly. Did I serve the ward?  Yes!  That's what matters!  I did what the ward wanted me to do and I'm supposed to serve the ward!  It was good though.  I did enjoy it.  I really did. 
There ya have it!  My week in a nutshell!  It's been fun and this week is going to be fun too! I love you all and hope you have a good week!
Elder Nelson  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What the Thanksgiving?

Holy Hanukah Thanksgiving is already gone!  Pretty soon it'll be Christmas!  It's almost uncomfortable how fast time is going by!  I feel like I've only been out for a week still!  Ok not really, but you catch my drift.
This week like I was saying flew by and I got some pretty awesome revelation that I need to go to Utah State for school.  It was unexpected, because I have been leaning towards going to BYU ever since I've been out here on my mission.  So many of my companions and friends I've made out here and back home are going there and I have just always wanted to go there, but I prayed about it and it didn't feel right to make the decision to go there, so I waited and kept praying about it and weighing my options about whether to go there or Utah State.  It didn't take away from the missionary work at all. I just waited and thoughts kept popping into my mind about how great Utah State would be just randomly throughout the week, and then one morning during my personal study, my thoughts were just infused with Utah State!  It was crazy, and I got the super strong impression that I was to go there for school.  It was as clear as day to me.  It reminded me of the Mormon message the Elder Bednar does called Patterns of Light.  The answer to my prayer was like the sunrise that came gradually and then finally the sun broke the horizon and everything was just so clear!  It was true revelation and I know that's where the Lord wants me to go.  Needless to say, I'm excited to go, but more excited to be out here serving a mission, which brings me to my crazy week.
This week was crazy.  Good as always, but crazy.  I've never had to minister more to missionaries than I have over the past two weeks.  It's been amazing and we've seen a ton of miracles in different companionships and in the work in our area.  Unfortunately we haven't been able to get in contact with the 40 year old lady we met last week.  Story of my mission.  I've never had a super spiritual first lesson with someone that went anywhere. . . well ya I have.  The thing is, when the people we teach have super spiritual experiences, Satan works on them like crazy, or its just not the Lord's will that they progress usually.  It doesn't matter though, because I know that we work as his instruments and his will will be done.  We did find a new person to teach this week named Kaylin.  He's in his 20's and is one of the nicest people I've met in Burbank.  We taught him the first lesson on his doorstep and it was awesome!  He's going to school right now, so he doesn't have a lot of time to meet with us, but he told us he's really been wanting to go to church now for a long time.  He hasn't been to any sort of church since he was little.  He felt the spirit in the lesson we had with him and it was just great.  Hopefully we can stay in contact with him and continue to teach him.  
For Thanksgiving, we had dinner with the Sanchez family.  They had some of their friends over too and their family and it was really great.  We got to know them all really well and talk to their non member friends and have thanksgiving with them!  It was so good!  I didn't eat too much either.  I feel like my stomach has shrunk on the mission. I can't eat as much as I used too, probably because I'm not working out as hard or as often as I used too.  It's all good though.  We actually went knocking on Thanksgiving and that was how we found Kaylin!  Our ward invited us to play football with them in the morning, but we can only play sports on preparation day, and our mission President doesn't want us to get hurt.  I'm so glad that I have such a consecrated mission president that helps us be consecrated missionaries.  I love feeling like and being a missionary all the time, and holidays are not excluded.  Its awesome! 
We had to help out a struggling companionship this week with some hardcore spiritual intervention.  We went on exchanges with them and they were really good.  Both are good missionaries, but they won't communicate with each other, and if they do, they just get super contentious.  We called President Hall after exchanges to get some advice as to what to do and he asked us what do you think?  He told us to call him back in 30 minutes when we came up with a plan and then he'll give us suggestions.  It reminded me of how the brother of Jared made the stones for the ship and then brought them to the Lord.  President was trying to teach us something.  We brainstormed for 30 minutes and then called him and had an awesome revelatory discussion as to what to do for them.  We planned on going over with them that night to talk to them both and set goals and make plans for them to do better.  I won't get into specifics, but it was so led by the spirit the conversation we had with those two elders and they are doing a lot better now.  It was a great learning experience as to how revelation works and how to be Christlike.  We actually had an MLC yesterday from 9:00 to 5:00 and it was awesome.  We talked about how to be Christlike leaders and how to help struggling missionaries.  It was exactly what I needed.  President actually roleplayed with me and Elder Smith in front of the whole MLC.  It was awesome!  I'm so grateful for him and for Sister Hall.  They have both taught me so much while I've been out here.  I'm learning each day and I love it!  I love being a missionary and I love the miracles that I get to see each day!  Thanks for all the support you all give me while I'm out here!  I'm so grateful and that is probably one of the reasons why I'm so happy! I'm glad to hear Thanksgiving was good for all of you!  I hope during Christmas you'll share He is The Gift with people on  It's awesome!  I love you all!
Elder Nelson   


Yep this week was a crazy one!  We had a lot of stuff happening throughout the zone with missionaries and what not.  We had some sweet miracles in our area though. 
We're taught alfonsis again this week.  He loves the church and told us that he knows Joseph Smith was a prophet.  He hasn't been to church for a long time and he didn't come this week, but hopefully we'll get him there this week.  His only hold up is that he believes in this Jewish mysticism stuff and he thinks that was how Christ worked because he was a Jew.  Something about how we have ten fingers and that they are sephirods to heal and how it is through the tree life which consists of 72 different gods and 8 archangels that each of the prophets in the new testament saw and went through.... Ya so he doesn't quite understand priesthood and he talks a ton about this tree of life/ archangel stuff.... but he believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet and the whole restoration.  We're trying to work with him to get rid of all the false Jewish mysticism stuff.  Problem is that he's been studying it a ton and almost looks at it as if it were scripture.  Its an interesting problem, but it will all work out eventually!  
The Wilsons took us to Del taco on Tuesday for lunch!  They are doing well and they are reading and praying consistently now.  They still won't come to church and we're not going to be able to teach them for a couple of weeks since they're going up to Bakersfield for thanksgiving. 
Something both Elder Smith and I have been working on is praying with precision to meet our daily goals.  We pray over our plans and goals everytime we go somewhere and pray that we'll be able to meet them and to know if we need to chnge our plans or what not.  Wednesday morning we had a crazy miracle happen with this.  We prayed over our plans and goals and that we would be able to be instruments in the hands of the Lord.  We knocked 4 houses that morning and the 5th house we got to we met this older lady and a lady in her 40's.  They just started asking us questions and they were super interested.  Everything we said was directed by the spirit and both of them felt it.  Eventually, the older lady went inside, and the 40 year old just opened up to us about how horrible her life was going and how we were an answer to her prayer.  She felt the spirit and we prayed with her and she started crying.  She knew that what we had told her was true and we set up a return appointment.  It was awesome!  One of the most spiritual experiences I've had on the mission.  The spirit was so strong, and I knew that we were literally instruments in the hands of the Lord.  Unfortunately the return appointment fell through, but hopefully we'll be able to teach her this week. 
From Thursday on, we were helping out the zone.  We had to take missionaries to be interviewed by President on Thursday, and then we had to take different missionaries to the doctor.  That night though we found a new investigator named Kyle.  He's Armenian and about 16.  It's so cool how for the short amounts of time we work in our area, the Lord provides us with so many miracles.  That night we went to dinner with Sal Pallila our former Ward mission leader.  He was the best one I have had on the mission.  Our new one is Brother Stevens.  He should be a good one to work with.  Friday was probably the craziest day of the week.  All I can say is that a missionary went home for health reasons and we are now in a trio covering two wards that are pretty far away from each other.  We don't know for how long we'll be covering both wards or be in a trio for.  Its alright though.  The ward is the Studio City ward and we've been going back and forth from there to Burbank a ton.  It's challenging, but we're working through it!  We got to do service on Saturday for a Baptist church.  We raked up all there leaves.  It was good.  We also taught a couple of lessons and got to go to a baptism that night for the North Hollywood Elders.  I taught their investigator once and he wanted me and Elder Smith to wtiness.  it was Awesome!  Sunday we went to Studio City for sacrament and then drove over to our building for Elders quorum.  Our wards have church at the same time.  That night we had a special mission leadership council with our Area 70 Elder Garnes.  It was so good!  He just wanted to see how the missionaries in our mission were doing and we had a question and answer session with him for about an hour and a half.  It was great! 
Well there ya have it!  Hope you all get fat on thanksgiving! 
Elder Nelson