Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, August 24, 2015

Well I'm almost done . . . .

Wait I'm not done yet!  I have one more lesson scheduled for tomorrow right before I go into the mission office.  It's gonna be good!  Sorry there's not very much for me to say.  I got to go to the temple 2 times this past week.  Once for mine and Elder Jacobsons birthday, and another for the departing temple trip.  It was awesome!  We also had a lot of stake meetings with the high counselor and Stake President and Ward mission leaders throughout the stake.  It was great.  This stake is awesome!  I'll tell you more on Wednesday, but ya this past week has been the usual.  Knockin and talking and preaching ya know.  It's been fun.  I've had very mixed feelings about coming home.  I love being a missionary.  Not to say that I'm not excited.  I am excited.  It'll be great!  So I love you all and I'll see ya on Wednesday!  

Elder Nelson

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Gospel Trio!

Man this trio is awesome!  I love it.  Elder Jacobson is an awesome guy and he's working super hard.  We even have a name for our trio.  It's called "Of Testimony and Tears, The Gospel Trio"  Our first album is going to be called "Lions of The Lord."  Needless to say we're having a lot of fun.  We have been pounding the pavement all week this week.  All of our appointments canceled this week and right now we only have one investigator, Maria, who we will be meeting with tonight.  She rescheduled from last week.  It's been hotter than you know what this past week too.  Knocking in 114 degree heat is. . . well I wouldn't exactly say fun, but it's an experience.  Not that I haven't done it before.  We were able to have many great conversations this past week with the people we met, but no new investigators.  We taught and testified and invited, but no one was willing to start meeting or commit, but that's alright.  We're doing our best and we're having fun and feeling the spirit.  Sorry this letter is going to be pretty short, but I don't really have much to say.  We're having a blast working hard and things throughout the zone are going well.  We had Stake Conference this past week and I saw one of my RM friends, the former Elder Larry Wright.  He was the assistant when I came in and it was good to talk to him again.  What else happened??? Mostly just knocking doors.  We ran into a lot of anti-people, but also a lot of nice people who just weren't interested.  It's been fun.  Hopefully we're able to find this week, but even if we don't, we'll be working as hard as possible!  It's gonna be awesome!  I love you all!  

Elder Nelson

Monday, August 10, 2015

Trio Time!

Well I'm going to be in another trio starting tomorrow.  This transfer we have eight missionaries that are leaving mid-transfer.  Our new companion is going to be Elder Jacobson.  He's awesome and I love the guy.  He was in this zone last transfer, but got transferred to North Hollywood.  I didn't think the mid transfers would affect us at all, but we got a call from President Henrie on Saturday and he told us the this Elder had turned over a new leaf and was ready to be exactly obedient.  He told us that he sees a lot of potential in him and that he wants me and Elder Peterson to train him to be an effective leader for his next assignment.  I feel good about it and I think that the trio will be awesome!  I'm excited to work with both him and Elder Peterson for these last 2 weeks of my mission.  

It's been weird this last week, just with the way that I've been feeling about going home.  I'm kind of finally starting to realize that I'm actually going home really soon.  We had a missionary homecoming yesterday at church and there were so many people there.  The whole ward keeps talking about me going home in 2 weeks and it just feels weird.  I'm excited/nervous/all of the above.  But don't worry!  I'm not slackin at all haha!  It'll be really weird tomorrow because I get to see a lot of the group I came out with go home for mid transfers.  I just love being a missionary and I guess it's kinda hard to think that I'm going home soon.  So I guess the solution is not think about it at all!  Well that's kinda hard though, because everybody keeps talking to you about it. . .  see my dilemma here?  It's all good though!  

This past week not to much happened investigator wise unfortunately.  We did have a sweet lesson with Maria on the Plan of Salvation.  She still won't commit to baptism.  She hasn't read yet or prayed yet, but she really wants too.  We've been trying to follow up with her, but haven't been able to contact.  She is awesome, but she is starting work again this week and told us that she works a ton and that she's super busy.  Hopefully we'll be able to stay in contact and see some progress with her.  Other than that we picked up a new investigator on Friday named Mark.  Woohoo!

Wednesday we had MLC which was kind of weird.  It felt unorganized and there wasn't a lot of concrete topics that we were told to train on.  We talked a lot about teaching by the spirit, but it was kinda like we were just told to go train our zones on a couple of things and that's it.  It was good nonetheless though.  Our ZTM on Friday went well also.  Other than that we've been knocking a lot as usual.  We're trying to follow up with a lot of the potential investigators we've been finding, but most of them we can't get in contact with or their not interested at all.  Everything else is going good though.  Our zone hit all of their goals this past month and the zone is happy!  Yay!  I love you all!  Thanks for everything!

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Birthday Bash

Well I'm now 20 years old as of Saturday!  Woohoo!  Thanks for all the birthday wishes and packages and what not.  It was a good day!  That Saturday morning I was on exchanges with one of our district leaders and we had an appointment with a potential investigator at 10:00.  Elder Black had taught him a little bit before and he said that he was open for more, but he gave him a bunch of scripture referances to study before coming.  We studied them and went by.  They were all on faith and works and worshiping God.  The potential invited us in.  His name was ironically, Josh.  Apparently he had been surrounded by LDS people all his life and been invited to things and taught a little bit.  He is Baptist/born again Christian.  He told us he knew a little bit about the church, but immediately after he went into the scriptures and lovingly tried to prove us wrong.  We had a good discussion about faith and works in James 2 and and Ephesians 2.  And also talked about baptism.  We testified a whole bunch and the spirit was there and we told him the only way he can know the truth is by reading and praying about the book of Mormon.  We invited him to do so, but he told us that he wouldn't pray about it, because his allegiance was to Jesus Christ, not our God.  Turns out that he had been fed with anti-Mormon stuff for most of his life just like the majority of the people here that have been to the local churches.  We testified of many different things that morning, just the usual stuff like Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon etc. and my testimony of the church grew because of it. The spirit was undeniably there, although the person for whom it was intended did not receive it.  Unfortunatly I've been in that situation more times than I'd like too, but the experience strengthened me nonetheless.  It was a good birthday bash.  Later on in the day there was a baptism for the Canyon Country 2nd ward and we were asked to teach the Restoration while person being baptized was changing.  We taught it and the spirit was unusually strong.  There were a lot of nonmembers in attendance, including the person being baptized mom.  She cried during the message we shared and it was awesome!  When I finally came home from the exchange, I got in the apartment and there were balloons everywhere and streamers on the ceiling and what not.  Turns out the sisters had come by and decorated our apartment for the Birthday.  It was pretty cool.  And I got a whole bunch of packages too.  So ya the birthday was great!  As for the rest of the week we went on two more exchanges.  The Assistant came with me to Saugus on Tuesday and we taught a sweet lesson to our investigator Maria we found last week and her sister Seetilani.  They are Buddhist from Mexico.  We taught them the restoration and they are super open and want to learn more about Christ and Joseph Smith and the Church.  Right now they are painting their house and we helped them with that a little bit this week as well.  We also went on another exchange with the Solemint elders.  Elder Bagely came here and we worked super hard.  This past week it has been real humid so we have been sweating a ton more than usual.  It's pretty fun let me tell ya.  We also taught Denise again.  She is in the same spot as she was before and we have plans to drop her this next week.  It's sad, but its what we gotta do.  So this next week we only have Maria and Seetilani that we are teaching.  It's been a while since I haven't had more than 1 or 2 investigators to teach.  Man Ive been blessed on my mission.  We are trying our best to find more people to teach.  We're knocking a lot and talking to a lot of people.  The work is amazing and I love it.  I'm excited for this next week.  I've only got 3 weeks left!  I gotta make the make the most of it! 

Love ya!

Elder Nelson     

Monday, July 27, 2015

Hey Howdy Hey!

Yet again another week has flown by. Time is going faster and faster and before I know it I'll be on a plane home. . . but there's no time to think about that.  I have been so blessed these past couple of weeks.  There have been very little concerns and issues to resolve throughout the zone and other than all the meetings that we've gone too we've just been straight workin hard!  I feel like a normal missionary!  It's awesome!  Elder Peterson is such a great companion and I work super well with him.  We work super hard and have been able to find a couple of new investigators this past week.  
The first guy we found is named Tommy.  I don't know I f I told you about him last week, but the first day Elder Peterson came in we knocked into Tommy.  He's a Buddhist college student, but he's super interested in learning about other religions and what not.  He really liked it when we taught him the Restoration.  He's uncomfortable with us praying though, but that'll come eventually.  Not sure of his commitment level to really know if this is true, but we're working with him.  We also taught a girl named Meghan that we found knocking.  We had a really good first lesson with her and set a return appointment to come back, but she told us the morning we were supposed to come back that she talked with her Dad about what we taught her and he wasn't having any of it and said that we can't come by again.  Sad but she'll learn more about the gospel when the time is right.  We also taught a lady named Maria who is super cool.  We are hoping to teach the rest of her family this week.  We found her knocking too.  We've done a lot of knocking this week.  It is great!  I love talking to people.  Like I've said before, most of the people we talk to don't even let us say much before they slam the door, but every so often we are able to teach and testify to bring the spirit to them.  We had a really good experience with this one guy named Brian that we knocked into.  He opened the door and had a super stern, almost angry face.  He was not happy that we were there.  My companion then just went into teaching him about how God loves him and that the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families.  The look he had on his face started to leave.  I then asked him how Jesus Christ had blessed his family and he thought for a moment and then started naming off a couple of things.  It was awesome.  We then went into teaching him about the Restoration and he told us that his sister is a mormon and that he's not buyin it, because we add to the bible and change things.  I then testified to him of how the Book of Mormon and Bible work together and we had a great conversation that eventually led to the root of his concern which was faith.  he told us that having faith in anything was super hard for him.  We then shared a couple scriptures and testified and he told us he wasn't interested, but thanked us for the conversation that we had.  he then told us how moment earlier that he had been arguing with his wife about some stupid stuff and he just went downstairs to cool off and we just happened to ring the doorbell.  Although he wasn't interested, he knew at that moment that God was aware of him and that if he focused more on what really matters, things will end up alright.  I beleive our interaction with him was just a part of a chain of events that will ultimatly lead him up to finding and accepting the Gospel later in his life.  I have had so many experiences like this.  It's so cool to be a part of and know that you are a small part of changing someone's eternity, and i get to do it everyday.  I love it and I'm grateful that God trusts me enough to do it. 
I love you all!
Elder Nelson  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Elder Joshua Nelson is Coming Home!!!

Elder Nelson will be arriving home on Wednesday, August 26, at 10:00am.  He will be speaking in church on Sunday, August 30, at 12:30pm.  Church address:  464 West Germania Avenue, Murray, UT.  Please call Andrea Nelson:  801-635-9235 if you have any questions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Good Ole' Knockin'

Wow this has been a good week!  My new companion is Elder Peterson from Manti Utah.  He's great and works hard and is super funny.  He was in my district when I was back in Van Nuys.  He's been out a year and I'm glad I'm with him for my last transfer.  

Our zone right now is the smallest zone I've had on my mission.  There's only 14 missionaries.  That's smaller than the first district I was in.  It's super nice though and the new missionaries that came into our zone are fantastic.  They're happy, working hard, and seeing miracles.  

It was a good week as far as just being able to go out and work hard.  We talked with a lot more people this week than I have in previous weeks.  We didn't find as much unfortunately, and our investigators are still falling off the map.  We weren't able to meet with Denise this week.  She canceled.  We had a good lesson with Cheryl and we were able to share the restoration DVD with her.  Her daughters sat in on the lesson too!  It was so good and after the DVD she told us that she believes it's true, although her concern is still the same.  She cannot accept the doctrine of there being just one true church.  She still wants to go to her church, but she said that she would come to our meeting someday.  She told us she has a lot to pray about and think about.  At this point it's all up to her.  She knows its true, she's just got to be willing to act on what she knows. We're inviting and following up, but she's still not actively reading or praying about it.  Hopefully she'll come around.  I've taught a lot of people like this and it is so hard when you know that they know and they still aren't willing to act.  We're praying for her though.  We did pick up one new investigator this week.  Her name is Cheryl too.  We taught her the restoration on the doorstep.  She goes to Real Life church and loves the bible, but really liked the Restoration and wants to know more.  Hopefully things go well with her.  

As for the rest of the week, like I said, we were knocking doors!  It finally rained on Saturday and Sunday so we got to knock in the rain which was super fun. I love the rain.  California weather gets old sometimes.  It's always sunny!  It was good to change it up a bit.  We also met with the Stake President and President Henrie and discussed the work going on in the Santa Clarita Stake.  It was funny. President Lindberg turned the time over to President Henrie and he turned the time over to us.  It was interesting because President Hall would usually report on the key indicators and what not and ask us questions throughout, but President Henrie just turned the time over to us and we reported everything.  It was unexpected, but it was a good meeting nonetheless.  

Hopefully this week we'll find some prepared people!  Thanks for your prayers! Love ya!

Elder Nelson 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Last Transfer!?!

Holy cow I only have one transfer left.  Hopefully I'll stay with my companion for the entirety of this one.  I get my new companion tomorrow at transfer meeting.  I think I know who it is and I'm really excited, but I'll let you know for sure next week. 

It's been quite the week this week.  Covering two wards is stressful!  I was in my own area for only two days this week and we weren't there for the full day because we had appointments in the Solemint ward.  The one appointment in our area that didn't fall through was with Denise.  She is still doing the same. She's not praying.  She didn't come to church this week.  She is almost done with 1Nephi though which is sweet.  I'm not really sure what to do at this point with her.  She's an interesting one and questions absolutely everything before even thinking about it.  Like I said last week, hopefully she comes around, but the feeling that I have right now is that we'll have to drop her soon.  Other than her, we didn't meet with anyone else this week in my area.  In the Solemint ward we weren't able to meet with anyone either unfortunately. 

On Wednesday I had MLC.  The Valencia Zone leaders picked me up and took me there.  It was a cool meeting.  We're trying out a lot of new things in the mission.  We're switching district meeting times, Zone Training meeting times, and transfer meeting times.  We're also going to knock from 4-6 every day NO EXCEPTIONS.  Eeryone was super excited for that.  We call it "knockout."  President told us that he has been inspired to try this out and he feels that it will improve the work tremendously.  We're also focusing on teaching with the pamphlets and by the spirit.  We also talked a lot about obedience with the new mission training plan the President put out.  President asked us if we were ready for the changes and miracles that would take place if we were obedient.  The whole MLC was like, ya we are!  He then told us that from what he had seen so far that the mission wasn't.  I completely agreed.  Our mission has been up and down with obedience, but I really hope that it will improve.  From this meeting me and the STL's formed a plan for ZTM.  ZTM went alright.  Just as we were starting the meeting, a homeless man walked in the building and asked us where a bishop was.  We gave him the phone number of the bishop to call him and he hung around for a while and because of that we weren't able to start on time.  We tried to teach him with the pamphlets in front of everybody for training purposes.  We did something similar in a zone conference last year and it was sweet.  We invited him to  stay, and as we started the meeting, he just walked out.  All in all though the zone seemed to take the changes in the mission well and they really liked the new mission training plan.  All it is is our purpose from PMG, which makes sense.  I trained in ZTM on my own for the first time which was interesting, but it all worked out.  Other than that, I'm excited for next week!  Love you all!

Elder Nelson

Monday, July 6, 2015

Emergency Transfer

Well we got a call from the assistants during our dinner appointment yesterday and they asked us if we could excuse ourselves and step outside for a moment.  We did so and they told us that Elder Jones was being emergency transferred to Woodland Hills with Elder Gibson.  We were both shocked at this.  Elder Jones was hoping to stay another transfer in the area.  That would have been awesome, but something happened with some elders somewhere and a couple of people got Emergency transferred yesterday.  The assistants told us to pack and be at the mission office at 9:30.  Elder Jones was released as a zone leader and is now district leader in Woodland Hills.  As for me I'm now in a trio for this next week with the Solemint Elders.  Elder Bagely and Barnett are my companions and we're covering both the Saugus 2nd ward and Solemint ward.  It should be a fun week.  We've got a lot of meetings and things to do.  I'm sad that my companion got transferred so suddenly, but it's all good!

As for the week it was pretty good!  We had our "Meet the Mission President"  zone conferance on Thursday.  President Henrie is awesome!  Sister Henrie is awesome!  I'm so excited to work with them for this next transfer.  They just seem so pumped to be here and the training that they gave us on Wednesday was very good.  The power went out in the middle of the zone conferance, but we still went on with the training in the dark for 2 hours.  It was interesting.  We then moved to another chapel in the valley to finish.  For the training we discussed our purpose as missionaries and the story of Esther and a whole bunch of other things, but the main thing that I left the conferance with is a testimony that the Lord has called President Henrie at this specific time to work with the specific missionaries in this mission.  He's great.  

We also helped a member move out this week and I almost got crushed by a box avalanche.  We were stacking boxes in basically a semi trailer. . . on a slight incline.  We stacked a couple of rows of boxes up to the ceiling and they just started moving towards me.  Before I knew it boxes were falling all over the place and I almost died!  Ok no I didn't almost die, but it was pretty crazy nonetheless.  Needless to say we fixed the incline on the trailer and finished moving without any error.  We had a good lesson on Thursday with Denise at the Wilsons home. We helped her resolve her concern with prayer by committing her to write her prayers in a prayer journal.  She does still have a lot of concerns though with basically eveything,  hopefully once she starts praying about it all she'll have her concerns resolved, but if she doesn't start progressing, we probably will have to drop her in the next couple of weeks, which would be sad.

For the fourth of July, we knocked doors. It was pretty fun!  As fun as we made it.  We actually had some pretty good conversations with people and found a couple of potential investigators.  As you would guess, everyone was busy and had no time.  We got off an exchange that morning with the Solemint Elders which was awesome.  The day prior I was in the Solemint ward with Elder Bagley.  I was thinking to myself the whole time during the exchange that I would lve to serve in this area.  It's a huge area and has huge houses.  It's in the middle of the mountains and it just feels good.  I spoke to soon, because now I'm serving in Solemint!  Elder Bagely is awesome and we had a lot of good conversations with people.  He's from a small farm town in southern utah called Kusherem.  There's like 300 people that live there.  I'm excited to be able to serve with him and Elder Barnett. Anyways, back to my main point.  We had breakfast that morning with a the ward mission leader there which was a great addition to our 4th of July.  We had an awesome dinner with a member family and went to a ward get together at the Lindsays.  that night.  We didn't set off any fireworks, but we did have some poppers and stuff that we played with after planning that night.  

  Well right now we don't have to many investigators and it's pretty hard to find in this area.  this week we did a lot of finding and talking to people.  We found some pretty solid potential investigators and hopefully we'll be able to teach them this week.  Everyone is busy all the time and a lot of people just simply don't want to talk to us.  Or if they do, they want to tear us down. That's basically been the majority of my mission.  But all of the rejection and lack of investigators and teaching is nothing compared to the miracles that I've been able to be a part of.  Like I've said before, I haven't been able to directly see the results of my efforts turn into baptisms, but I've had the assurance almost everyday of my mission that the conversations and testimonies that i've shared with people have had an effect in some way on someone's eternity.  Just being able to have that assurance makes it all worth it.  And who am I kidding, I've been blessed beyond all belief on my mission with the people that I have been able to find and teach.  I've grown so much and I know they've grown too.  I've followed the spirit and Preach My Gospel to the best of my ability and I will continue to do so throughout the rest of my mission and the rest of my life.  The mission has been life changing and will continue to be life changing.  I love it and will continue to love doing the Lords work.  I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Nelson 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Fire in Saugus

Yup there was a fire in Saugus this past week up Bouquet canyon.  Nothing happened though.  I think maybe one house burned down up in the canyon, but no one was in it.  There were also two other fires throughout the week.  One was in Newhall which is where President lives.  President and his family had to get evacuated from their house because the fire came so close.  The firemen used there house to set up watch or something.  We had a stake correlation meeting on Wednesday with him and he was showing us all these pictures of the firetrucks in his driveway and the fire and what not.  They got the fire under control so nothing bad happened, but the smoke was all over Santa Clarita.  We were knocking and the ash from the fire just started raining down on us.  It made knocking pretty interesting.  Fire and brimstone are coming!  I don't know much about the other fire, but its all good!  

We did some service way up in the boonies of our area.  it was almost out of the mission.  We got a referal from a member to go up to this lady and help her out.  She's french and has one daughter and lives in a cabin in the mountains.  It's so cool!  We got lost trying to get to her house and we were running through the woods knocking on doors to find her.  Eventually we found her.  It was fun.  We raked up dead grass on her property since it was a fire hazard and the fire department wanted her to clean it up.  We tried to talk to her about the gospel and she told us that she didn't want to hear any of it.  She doesn't beleive in God anymore since her husband passed away 3 years ago.  She told us that her daughter does though and that she would like coming to church.  We came back later in the week and did more service and talked with them both about coming to church and they committed to come either this week or the next.  We talked with them a little about the plan of salvation also and told us that we could come talke to them more about it this week.  They're sweet.

We also taught Denise which was interesting.  We taught her the last part of the plan of salvation in our ward mission leader's home.  It went well for the most part, but she's gotta be looking at anti stuff or something, because she is making super weird paralells with the bible and book of mormon.  Kind of like Joseph Smith wrote it from the bible.  The thing about it all is that she hasn't prayed with an open heart and really tried to seek for the answer.  She's keeping commitments, but her testimony isn't really growing.  She is learning a lot, but she isn't seeing things spiritually.  We've done our best with teaching and guiding her in the right direction and what not.  We're continuing to teach her and guide her, but she needs to really pray and want to know.  Right now, it doesn't really seem like it though, but hopefully she'll come around.

We weren't able to meet with Sandy this week, but she did come to church with her two kids!  They only stayed for Sacrament meeting, but are planning on coming back next week as well!  She is so cool and the ward did amazing at fellowshipping them when they came in.  The 9 year old, Bryce is autistic and has a hard time sitting in one spot for a long time, so sacrament was hard for him, but they told us they liked it.  

Other than that this week we've been knocking a lot and trying to work with members effectively and what not just to find and teach.  A lot of our investigators are dropping of the radar.  The Hindu man that I was excited about told us that he couldn't meet for two weeks.  Our other investigator Sheryl has canceled a lot on us lately, and the one investigator that we are activly teaching has a lot of concerns.  Things are good though and I'm learning a lot from these people.  I'm doing well and things are going super well in the zone for the most part.  I love you all and thank you for everything!

Elder Nelson

Monday, June 15, 2015


Well I got the package you sent mom!  Thanks!  It was great!  I don't have much to say this week, at least I don't think so.  Whenever I start writing I feel like I don't have much to tell and then I just keep writing and remembering things, so we'll see what happens.

This past week we went on exchanges with all the Elders in the zone starting on Tuesday.  Tuesday was just a day exchange, meaning we didn't spend the night.  The reason being that we had our mission temple trip on Wednesday and we had to leave early in the morning to get to the temple.  The exchange on Tuesday went really well.  Elder Jacobson came with me to my area.  He's a solid missionary and a great guy.  We had some super good conversations with each other throughout the day about the spirit and joy and motivation in missionary work.  We were able to feel the spirit as we talked with each other and build each other up.  We knocked most of the day and no one wanted to talk to us, except for the last door.  It's interesting how much that happens.  You'll go all throughout the day and no one will answer or no one will talk, until the last person.  It was a faith building experience, as everyday on the mission should be.

The temple trip was awesome!  It's weird to think that will be my last one with the whole english side of the mission.  I get to go at least two more times before I go home, since my birthday is in August and I get to go with the departing missionaries in August.  

Thursday we did exchanges with the Solamint ward elders.  Elder Barnett came to my area with me.  He actually came out on the mission with me and we have never really served around each other before, so it was good to get to know him.  He's super fun and loves the work and loves to work hard.  He's a district leader right now and this is the first time he's been in leadership his whole mission and he is stoked for it.  His district meeting this past week was awesome!  It was amiracle actually and was a catalyst to an answer to one of the sisters in his districts prayers.  It was at this district meeting that I was able to find out why I knew I was supposed to be in that bash with the Masters College man last week.  A certain sister in the district has been struggling with having people bash her testimony and beliefs and it's been really hard on her.  Reasonably so too, because people tell us we're wrong everyday and tell us that we don't know anything and that we're deceived , etc.  Anyways,  the meeting was on bearing testimony and doing so in teaching situations and contacts.  We all shared experiences about how we'd seen the power of testimony and I shared the experience we had in the bash.  After the meeting, the sister came up to Elder Jones and I and thanked us for sharing our experience, because that was an answer to her prayer!  She had been praying to be able to relate to someone and know what to do with all the rejection ashe had been facing and she told us that we answered her prayer!  It was so cool and it was all because and inspired district leader chose to train on what his district needed.  It was so cool!  All in all, I love Elder Barnett and he is a great district leader.  

We went on exchanges Friday with Elder Anderson.  He came to my area.  I tried to focus the exhcnage on the same things I talked about with Elder Jacobson and it went really well.  Elder Anderson is great!  

We also taught Denis this week.  We went over the Family Proclamation with her and she agreed with it for the most part, but she had some objections.  Her main concern right now is getting her to pray.  She hasn't prayed about any of what we've taught and it is very evident.  She got emotional when we talked to her about prayer, because she says that she just can't and she doesn't know why.  She did come to church this week though!  She wanted to come to Priesthood with us to see what it was like.  We took her to High Priests to help her see that Relief Society is so much better, but it didn't work.  She liked High Priest's better than relief society!  She said she'd give relief society another shot though next week.  

Other than that, everything is great!
Love you all!

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Transfers, MLC, ZTM, and the most edifying Bible Bash

So for all of yall who want to know.  My new address is 20778 Plum Canyon, Saugus CA 91350.  Its a nice place.  It's considered "ghetto" to the ward.  Our neighbors are a part of the medical marijuana industry, so we always come home to an apartment smelling like weed, but that's nothing new.  In the Valley, everywhere smells like weed.  Anyways with transfers being this week and MLC and ZTM, it was a really busy week, but it was full of great things, and some not so great things. Let me tell ya about it!

So transfers went great and everyone got settled in well to their new apartments and areas and what not.  Some of the new missionaries here in the zone are stoked, and some are not so stoked.  We're working with them though.  MLC was this week which was awesome.  We we learned a lot about miracles and what a miracle is.  The main focus that prepared us most for ZTM was the training we received from the assistants on commitments.  It was really good and definatly something we needed.  

We went on splits this past week with Nate Vandermark.  He's getting ready to go on his mission in July.  He got called to the Semara Russia mission.  he's so awesome.  We took him out knocking with us and we found a new investigator with him.  It was great.  That same investigator we taught on Saturday and the lesson went really well.  he didn't come to church though.

Our zone training meeting went super well on Friday.  People were crying so that's gotta say something.  It was great and the spirit was there.  My testimony was strengthened a lot as I taught.  We did part of a training on sharing miracles and it helped me realize just how amazing a mission I've had.  I may not have baptized a whole bunch of people, but I know that the Lord has used me help change people's lives everyday, no matter how small of a change that was.  It was so cool.  The power of remembering is essential in the conversion process.  We learn that from Moroni 10:3 when Moroni tells us to "remember."  Remembering causes us to recognize the goodness and mercy of God and that will open our hearts to the spirit, and that's what happened during ZTM.  It was so cool!

We also started to teach a 12 year old girl this week named Lexi.  She is awesome and has been taught before.  She has a testimony of the church and the book of mormon and everything, however, her less active mother isn't supportive at all.  It's so sad. I've run into so many situations like this on the mission.  The mother is a convert, but fell away from the church.  She is very iffy on letting Lexi get baptized, and even if she did get baptized, she doesn't live in the most conducive conditions to the gospel.  Her brother always has friends over and they are always smoking and doing drugs and what not.  The dad left them.  The mom just had a baby.  Things are just crazy over there.  We did help them clear out their side yard full o trash, but the mom didn't even seem like she wanted us there.  She said we could help though and we did for about an hour and then taught Lexi and her friend.  Hopefully we can get something to happen their, but it will take a miracle.  

Speaking of miracles.  Friday night we planned to knock a street and we knocked right into a home of some less active members.  The members weren't there, but their son was and he told us that he had grown up in the church, but isn't a member.  He said he was just staying with his parents for a couple days, because he's got some problems in his marriage.  He told us that seeing us and talking with us was exactly what he needed.  I was then able to bear testimony that I knew that god led us here specifically for him to hear us.  I then shared a scripture with him and we prayed since he was just heading out.  He told us that he knew the gospel was true.  We're going back this week. It was so cool!

Saturday morning we had an interesting time.  We talked with a potential who dropped us but reffered us to their neighbor downstairs.  We knocked on the door and when it opened I shuddered.  I saw a big purple shirt with Masters College on it.  He invited us in and had us take a seat.  I was thinking oh crap I flippin hate bashes.  We sat down and said a prayer and the guy tried to act like he didn't remember what we shared, but we got it out of him that he did.  He basically taught us the first lesson and we were like yep that's what we share and then we asked him to pray about the book of mormon and he said that he felt that that's wrong.  He then whipped out his bible and his wife came and sat down and they told us that they were both Greek and Hebrew majors.  He tried to show us that there couldn't be any more scripture or revelation. We then showed him some scriptures.  It was interesting though.  There actually wasn't any contention.  The spirit was there.  I felt it and I know my companion felt it. Eventually we told him that nothing about what we say or share will make sense until he prays about it.  He then got frustrated and told us that we're a cult and that he would pray for us and what not.  It was interesting though, because I knew we needed to be there and both of us bore porewful testimony, to which he could say nothing.  He told us before we left that his whole goal with meeting with us was to discourage us from doing what we were doing.  In fact, the conversation we had, made me want to work harder!  I felt the spirit and I told him that.  We then left.  It was an interesting situation, but it was the most edifying bash I've been in.  

We also had an investigator come to church!  It was Denise.  She had a real problem with it though.  She hated the fact that Relief Society and Priesthood split and that women can't hold the priesthood.  She told us that we were so 1940's and that its 2015 and that women do what men do know.  She got contentious with one of the members which wasn't good.  We told her that next week she could come into priesthood if she really wants to, just to see that they're not learning anything different.  She doesn't have a testimony yet, but she is open and she is reading. We don't think she's reading with the right intentions though.  Our next lesson is going to be all about how she can resolve this issue by knowing if the Book of Mormon is true, and then we're going to go over the Family proclamtion with her.  It'll bee good.  

Well there ya have it!  Love yall!

Elder nelson   

Monday, May 25, 2015

Last Week of Transfers

Well its already the last week of transfers again.  Its crazy. time just keeps going faster and faster.  I've only got two transfers left after this one.  I'm going to make the most of them.  It's really weird, the closer I get to the end of the mission, the more I want to work hard and finish off strong.  As usual, I hope that for these last two transfers I get to train or something, but I'll most likely be staying here for the last two.  I'll let you know next week what happens.  :The zone right now is doing great.  We're finding a lot of new investigators and there has been a baptism every week this whole month.  Hopefully we can keep that up this next month.  The missionaries are happy and working and the wards are good.  The Stake is great and very supportive of the work.  I still think living in a house is awesome.  Things are good.

The work side of things in our area is doing ok.  This week wasn't the greatest week for our area. We had a couple of investigators drop us and we didn't pick anyone up this week.  We're trying to meet more regularly with the investigators we do have, but its been really hard to get in contact with them.  We did teach Josie again this week.  The lesson was good for the most part.  Our goal for the lesson was to get her to pray and she did at the end of the lesson.  It was really good and we all felt the spirit very strong.  We talked about the Book of Mormon and how she'll be able to receive her answer.   Hopefully she'll be able to get to church this week.  She's still laid up on the couch letting her ankle heal.  We also read the Book of Mormon with Cheryl!  It was really good and she loved it!  We read 1 Nephi 1 with her and she thought it was amazing!  Most of the rest of the week we were knocking and trying get in with other investigators, but it was to no avail!  Sadly, we're probably going to have to drop a lot of our other investigators this week since we haven't been able to meet with them.  

We had a meeting with the high counselor over missionary work, Bro. Jensen on Tuesday night.  He is such a good man and helps out all the ward mission leaders so well.  In that meeting we update him on the status of the missionaries and the work in each of the areas and how they're working with their ward mission leaders.  It's really good.  We also met with President Hall, Bro. Jensen and the Stake President, President Lindberg.  He is great too.  The Stake is doing super good and we correlated what we could do to help the Stake do the work more effectively.  It was sweet.  I haven't had one of those meetings since I was in Burbank.  This Stake is so awesome!  The ward is super awesome too.

We didn't have anyone at church sadly, but we did help out in Primary which was super fun.  We taught the Primary kids about the Holy Ghost and the Priesthood and answered their questions.  We also filled up the font for the baptism yesterday which was awesome!

We went on two blitzes on Saturday.  That's where all the missionaries in a district get together and work in one area to find in the area.  On one of the blitzes we talked to a basher which was dumb.  My comp. liked it though.  That's the one thing that I didn't miss about being up here.  The bashers are straight evil.  They deceive and try to catch you in your words and they drive the spirit away.  It's dumb.  I've haven't run into too many, but there have been a few. 

Other than that, things are going well!  This work is great and I love it!  I hope all is well!  Love you all!

Elder Nelson

Santa Clarita Baby!

Well things are well here in the Saugus.  I still love it and I'm still exhausted, but that's good.  Sounds like you all had a good time at Justin's graduation, touring Boston and Salem, and everything else that happened last week.  Hope everything goes well with moving to Phoenix.  I'm almost finished with Soar for USU.  I'm still deciding some things though.

As for the work this week it was great! A member saw my bag at dinner on Monday and basically forced me to take one of their bags to use since mine is falling apart.  So I figure that I'll just use the bag they gave me and give it back to them just before I go home.  This will probably be my last area anyways.  So that was a blessing.  We had interviews on Tuesday with President Hall for the whole zone which meant we had to train and role play with missionaries all day.  It was pretty sweet.  We trained on using the Book of Mormon to resolve concerns and we had a sweet role play with some of the sisters that they said helped their investigator with the lesson they had with him on Friday.  He's now praying for a baptismal date.  We also met with Fernando that night.  We taught him and his sister on the doorstep.  We read a little bit of the Book of Mormon with them and they thought it was cool!  They want us to keep coming back, but he still hasn't told his parents.  We actually got in contact with his dad yesterday and he said that he would love for us to teach his son.  He isn't interested at all though.  He knows that what we're doing and teaching will help his son so he's happy to have us over.  He's from El Salvador and isn't very religious.  

We taught Josie on Wednseday and she is just eating it up.  She is so happy to have us come into her home and teach her and she really wants to come to church.  Sister Murphy, her friend is going to start reading the Book of Mormon with her this week.  

We taught Sheryl on Wednesday also.  She is a Catholic lady we knocked into who loves the missionaries and has met with them before for two years.  She said it was the most spiritual time of her life.  She has never been to church though and only read parts of the Book of Mormon.  She has a really good understanding of the restoration, and thinks that it could be true, but she has had a lot of spiritual fulfillment with being catholic.  She doesn't want to come to church because of that, but she does want to read the Book of Mormon.  She is awesome.  

We went on exchanges this week with the assistants.  I went up to their area with Elder Coles.  I hadn't served around him since my first area, but it was awesome to see how much he has changed and grown on his mission.  He's great and I learned a lot from him about how I can help the zone out.  Back in our area Elder Smith and Jones started teaching a part member family who are apparently super awesome.  They were from a member referral and they all want to come to church.  They're name is the Lippert family.  I've met them a couple times and they are great.  Sister Lippert isn't a member and she really wants to find out what were all about.  Bro. Lippert is less active and his parents are active in another ward, but he really wants to come back.  

We went on another exchange with Elder Laushbaugh.  I went to his area and we worked super hard.  it was a good exchange and we saw miracles.

As for investigators at church we had none, but next week we will have some.  It'll happen.  We have quite a few people we're working with that have a lot of potential and the ward is willing to help out. It's gonna be a great week this week!

 Happy Birthday Emily!  Love you!

Love the rest of youtoo!

Elder Nelson  

Saugus 2nd Ward

Well this will probably be a shorter email since I just talked to you guys yesterday.  That was awesome by the way.  

This past week has been pretty good.  We found 2 new investigators. The first we found was named Josie.  She was actually a member referall.  She loves the church and the missionaries, but just broke her ankle and her friend, Sister Murphy asked us if we could give her a blessing.  We did and she loved it.  She felt the spirit and we were able to teach her.  She was super sad that she couldn't come to church because of her ankle.  She is great and has a lot of time to ponder, pray and study what we teach and she's the kind of person who will actually do that so things should go really well with her.  It'll be great to keep teaching her and hopefully start teaching her husband too.  He's gone a lot so it's hard to get in contact with him.  

Yesterday after dinner we taught this 13 year old kid who was out in his driveway on his skate board.  He was pretty good and he showed me his kickflip and other tricks.  His name is Fernando and he was really interested in the Restoration.  He told us he always wondered why there were so many churches and which one to go to.  He goes to a Christian church right now with his family.  We were able to answer his questions and we taught him the Restoration and he connected really well with Joseph Smith.  He was stoked to hear that there was another prophet on the earth and really wanted to find out more.  We're going back on Tuesday.  I just hope his parents won't shut him down.  That happens a lot when we teach teenagers.  They're so open and are willing to learn and listen, but then their parents just shut us down and tell us not to come back.  It's sad, but we move on.  Anyways, Fernando is great.

We also had MLC on Wednesday and Zone Training on Friday which went great.  All of the training at MLC was on how to use the Book Of Mormon effectivly and its importance.  President went in depth about how important the small plates are and how the spiritual journey that Nephi takes is a paralell of the spiritual journey that our investigators take.  That's one of the reasons Preach My Gospel tells us to commit our investigators to read from the beginning.  It was really cool and I had a reaffirmed witness that the book of Mormon was true.  The zone seemed pretty excited to use the Book of Mormon more in finding and teaching too.  They liked the training and I know we all felt the spirit.  I love the Book of Mormon.  Other than that the zone is doing well for the most part.  I'm doing great and I love being a missionary!  I love you all!

Elder Nelson

Howdy Doo!

Hey!  Holy cow its mothers day next week!  So we were thinking of like 4:00 or 5:00.  We'll probably call you that morning or something.  It's gonna be my last call.  That's weird.  We'll probably still skype and hopefully it will be working well this time.

Anyways.  I got the letter you sent mom.  Thanks Connor for the talk!  It's so good and I'm still studying it.  

The house looks good and I'm excited to see what it looks like when I get home.

As for this week we talked with a lot of people!  Our zone led the mission in the number of conversations and we found a lot of new investigators.  The missionaries are happy and so many miracles are happneing its not even funny!  We went on exchanges this week and I went with Elder Schnepff and the first door we knock on this lady lets us teach her.  Her name was Denise and we've been back one time since.  She has a problem with women and the priesthood, but she has been keeping her commitments, except she didn't come to church this week.  She is very open and willing to learn and knows that we were sent from God.  It's flippin sweet!  

Most of our other investigators canceled their appointments with us, but we're still working hard and pounding the pavement!  We knocked a lot of doors this week, found some good potentials to go by and see.  Sorry there's not a lot to report this week, other than we freakin worked hard.  It's getting hot and its fun.  We also did a service project this week at the gibbons conservatory up Bouquet Canyon.  That was fun.  We directed traffic and picked up trash and what not.  We also went on another exchange with Elder Anderson which was fun!  He's great!  It was a good training and we both learned a lot.  

Anyways I love you all!  

Elder Nelson

Monday, April 27, 2015

Saugus 2nd

Guess what!?  I'm back in Santa Clarita baby!  It's so nice up here!  I love it!  My new companion is Elder Jones who used to be one of the district leaders in the North Hollywood zone when I was there.  He is such a solid missionary and we get along so well.  He's from Idaho Falls and has been out for 10 months.  Both of us are zone leaders in the Santa Clarita zone.  There are 21 missionaries here and most of them are sisters.  The sister training leaders have their work cut out for them in this zone.  It is such a good zone though.  The missionaries here are great.  Another great thing about this place is that I live in house!  Not only that, but we are the only companionship that lives in the house!  Yep, we're pretty spoiled up here, but I'm not complaining.  The house has been rented by the mission for a couple years and usually there is at least one other companionship in there, but they are probably going to get rid of it next transfer, so I'm going to live it up while I can!  It's pretty weird living in a house though.  It's just an empty  house with a table kitchen, living room, and a couple pictures and an upstairs.  Oh and we have a washer and dryer!  I haven't had one of those since I was in my first area.  The ward here is amazing!  It's ward council is so good and our ward mission leader, Bro. Hanamaikai is super good.  He reminds me of Bro. Pallila from Burbank.  The stake is on top of missionary work too with working with their ward mission leaders to help the missionaries.  We have a weekly meeting with the high councilman over missionary work, Bro. Jensen.  He is such a good guy.  He is so pumped about the missionary work being done in the stake and really wants us to be successful.  In those meetings we coordinate with him on how the wards in the stake are doing with the investigators and missionaries, as well as the ward mission leaders and identify things that we could train the missionaries on as well as what Bro. Jensen could train the ward mission leaders on every month.  It's legit.  that's what we did Tuesday night.  

As for the rest of the week, we worked hard!  We taught a lot and had so many miracles occur in our area it was ridiculous!  We talked with more people than elder Jones ever had in his time in the area, and we found five new investigators, which is amazingly good for this area.  We need it too, since a lot of the investigators we have right now are falling off the radar.  Wednesday we found Jamie from knocking.  She just opened up the door stepped out on her porch and sat down on her bench and told us to sit with her as we shared our message.  It was so cool.  She used to be atheist, but has been converted christian for two years.  She goes to "real life church." If you don't remember me talking about that from my first area, I'll remind you, everyone goes there.  She was really cool though and super interested in the Book of Mormon.  Another miracle happened with us finding and teaching her husband.  We went by her house on Saturday and knocked on the door and no one was there.  After we waited for a bit Jamie's husband pulls up in the driveway and asks what he can do for us.  We told him about our visit with Jamie.  He then told us that he's actually locked out of his house, but that he's protestant so he wouldn't be interested, but we talked more with him since he was locked out.  he gained a liking for us and let us share our message we shared with Jamie.  Turns out he told us that his biological grandma who he had met only once had given him a Book of Mormon, and he had read some of it during boot camp while he was in the military.  He said that it was something for him to read to help him get through how hard it was there.  Oh man that was cool when he told us that!  Its so awesome that we were able to teach him and run into him right when he was getting home.  Miracles!  He said he would start reading again.  We're following up tomorrow.  We also taught some returning less actives this week.  Sister Patrick.  We taught her tithing and fasting.  We also read the Book of Mormon with Bro. Blackburn.  He came to church.  We also taught the Pryor family.  They're a newly married couple and want to go to the temple soon. They came to church.  We also taught Nick and Briant.  Nick is a recent convert as of last year.  Elder Jacob smith taught him.  He is awesome, but he hasn't been coming to church, because of work, but he's trying super hard to get it off.  Briant is crazy.  Literally crazy.  He's African American and gives all the missionaries nicknames.  I don't have one yet, but he hates church.  He's a member as of two years ago, and he comes on occasion, but he hates being there.  He's in his thirties, but has the mind of a ten year old.  He's done a lot of drugs throughout his life, and that has had a negative affect on his brain.  He is hilarious though.  After our lesson we walked out the back door to our car and I see something inside. We open the door, and somehow, Brian had gotten inside our car!  He yelled at us "let's go home!"  It was so funny!  eventually we got him to go back inside.  He actually came to church this week which was pretty funny too.  He  just stares at the clock the whole time.  We also are putting together a service project with the young men in the ward for our investigator tomorrow.  It's gonna be great!  We picked up this investigator and her daughter yesterday and we're bringing some of the relief society to teach her tomorrow as well.  She is excited for it and we are too.  We also taught a less active member's boyfriend named Richard.  He's from Columbia and both of them have been studying this book called the Urantia book.  Apparently it was written by Celestial beings.  Melchesidek is one of them.  They expound on Christ's life and spirituality.  It's pretty weird.  They both committed to start reading the Book of Mormon though and pray about it and come to church.  We didn't have any of our investigators come to church this past week.  it was a good week though nonetheless.  The zone is rolling too!  

I love it here and i love being a missionary!  Miracles everyday!  I love you all!

Elder Nelson

20514 Caitlin ln.
Santa Clarita, CA 91350  

"The Legendary Caitlin House"   

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Transferred! Again!

Yet again I forgot to say that its transfer week in my last email!  We got transfer calls on Saturday and it turns out I'm being transferred again.  I'll be still be in a car area and be a zone leader.  I think I'll be going up to Santa Clarita with Elder Jones.  I would love that, but I don't find out till tomorrow!  The rest of the zone is basically being whitewashed.  There are 3 areas in our zone that are being closed and only 3 companionships of the 13 that we have are staying together.  It's going to be a big transfer meeting tomorrow!  There are a ton of missionaries going home and a ton of people being transferred.  It should be a good change for the mission.  That's what this mission needs right now is hope and change, and transfers are a good way to spark a new fire in a missionary sometimes.  Its a time to re commit to be obedient.  to go hard!  To use the Atonement!  That's how we have hope for Eternal Life, and that'll drive anybody if they let it!  Its just like Moroni 7:41.  Read it!  Ah man I could go off on tangents all day long, but lets move back to what I was talking about.  Transfers.  My companion is going to be in a zone leader trio.  That'll be interesting.  Really interesting.  It's a little scary honestly.  I don't know how that's going to work, but I guess that's the way the Lord wants it.  That happens so much at transfer meeting.  When I hear the names of two companions getting put together I'm just like really!?  That'll never work!  It's especially scary if you're in their zone, but it always seems to work out and everyone learns something from the other.  It's awesome! 
Well moving on to my week.  We went on an adventure last P-day up to the mission border that overlooks the whole san Fernando valley and a little into downtown LA.  It was sweet.  We also drove to this dudes house named Stan Beckman who we found programmed into both of our GPS's.  I wanted to knock on his door, but my comp didn't want too, so we didn't.  You should look him up for me.  I want to know who this mysterious man is that is randomly programmed into all the Garmin GPS.  He lives in the hills of Encino.  It's pretty cool up there.  We also went to some ghetto thrift shops in Van Nuys.  That was a little disturbing, but I did find some pretty neat things. I got a haircut. . . . I don't think I've ever really told you what we do on p-days.  Well its usually full of fun things like hiking, basketball, basketball and more basketball. Sometimes we play Ultimate Frisbee, or some other fun games, but I have played a lot of basketball on my mission.  Not so much in this zone though.  Last week we did a California snowball fight.  That's where you fill socks with flour and wack each other with them.  its pretty fun.  Today we're having a zone bbq which is going to be awesome! 
Anyways, We also started teaching this really old less active member who knows a lot about church history and wants to come back to church.  His name is Alvian Schatz.  Yes his name is kind of funny, but he's Jewish so its ok.  He used to go the Studio City ward so he started to go back to that ward this past week, but he's going to church.  He also wants us to teach his daughter so that'll be sweet once that happens.  He's a great guy and he has a testimony, its just really hard for him to get to church.  He's willing to put in the effort though. 
We are also working with our focus fifteen families a lot.  This ward is the only ward in the mission that actively has 15 families assigned for the missionaries to teach.  Unfortuanately most of the appointments that we set with those families fall through, but we try our hardest to make them go through.  Everyone on it is less active, and they're less active for a reason, so its hard to meet with them. 
We had Zone conference this week as well.  it was really good, but  I worry about this zone a lot.  I'm being transferred and I still worry about it, but I'm hoping that this next transfer things will smooth out here and the work will improve.  I've done everything I could, honestly.  Its just sad to see missionaries who have so much potential not take the necessary steps to fulfill that potential and make it to the next level.  We focused a lot on what makes a successful missionary in zone conference.  Something that Sister Hall said was "Success isn't measured by a grade or by numbers, but by how much you change and grow."  That is so true.  If only missionaries could grab on to that statement and realize what truly causes one to grow the most out in the mission field.  Lose yourself in the work and you'll grow and change in ways you never thought you could.  "Forget yourself and go to work"  to quote President hinckley.  I'm really hoping that I'll be able to get  my next zone to do that and to recognize the happiness that comes from it.  The thing is so many missionaries here know that, but they've forgotten.  I'll do my best and serve to the fullest in my next area and help the missionaries take Moroni's counsel and "remember!"
Anyways, zone conference was good and I found out what I could do better and what I can change.  That's what its all about.  We went on a small little blitz/exchange on Thursday with Encino.  The first door we knocked on we found a new investigator.  It was legit!  He had actually been reading the book of Mormon for a little while and we just ran into him.  It was a miracle.
Highlight of the week though was Saturday.  Saturday we were able to teach Lyndsay Lucas.  We'll be passing her off to the Y.S.A sisters next week.  She is awesome.  She hasn't been reading though, but she planned in time to do it this week and to start praying, which has been a real struggle for her.  We also taught Hugh.  he is doing well and he's continuing to pray and read.  He couldn't come to church this week, but will come next week.  We're also going to try and start teaching his mother.  She is never home though and we've never spoke to her.  Hugh is thinking about baptism though, so it's pretty urgent that we get in contact with her soon.  I love that kid.  Satyurday night we went to the temple visitors center with Lloyd Tackwell and his wife.  it was so cool!  The spirit was so strong and he loved it.  We watched Meet the Mormons with him after the tour and he loved that too.  He's still coming to church and we also taught him a great lesson on tithing yesterday.  He's 85% sure about his baptismal date for May 17th.  He's still praying about it, but everyday he says he feels better about it. 
Those were the highlights of this week.  Its been pretty good for us.  Not for the zone though.  Everyone is super stressed out about transfers and its taking its toll on the work.  Things will smooth out this week though. 
As for things back home, its super weird to see the house basically destroyed.  I feel like its not even real.  it'll be weird to come back to a remodeled home, but I'm excited to see how it turns out!  Sounds fun living in the basement and what not.  Also good to hear that Connor came to visit you mom!  I love that kid!  I love you all!  Thanks for all your support!
Elder Nelson 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Norma Jean

Well to start out we talked to this homeless lady this week.  She told us that she was going blind in one eye because Norma Gene gave her pinesol in her drink instead of a coke. . . So she ended up drinking straight pinesol. She then told us that Norma Gene is now going to try and jump us because we talked to her. . . . Moral of the story?  Everyone in Van Nuys is crazy!  And now I'm turning crazy because of it. 

On another note, we had a whole ton of exchanges this past week.  We started out by going with the Northridge Elders.  I went to Elder Bulger's area.  It was a good exchange and we saw a whole ton of miracles.  Things are looking up for these next few months.  Attitudes are changing and people seem to be more positive ever since general conference. 

I went on exchanges with the assistants up in Valencia.  I went up with Elder Shrum.  It was a good exchange and we had a really good discussion about how to help the zone out.   I hope that by the time I leave it, things will be better than when I came in. 

We also went on exchanges with the Sherman Oaks Elders.  Elder Choi from Korea came with me to Van Nuys.  That was fun.  He's still working on his English, but its improved a ton ever since I've known him.  he still struggles to follow along in lessons, but he relies on the spirit hardcore so when he teaches it is really good.  We found two new investigators on that exchange.  One of them was a referral from the Spanish elders named John.  We taught him on Friday and went back on Sunday and found out that he's in jail now. . . What the heck is up with my investigators going to jail?  I guess that's what you get when you're a missionary in Van Nuys.   The other investigator we found is from Nigeria.  We taught him on the street and he wanted us to come back on sunday.  We went back and he told us that he's still earning English and that his native language is Igbo/Nigerian.  There is quite the language barrier, but he really wants to learn and come to church. 

Our investigators mostly stayed the same in their progress this week.  Claudia came to church, but dodged all our appointments.  Stacy's husband is still missing.  Elder Choi and I had a really good lesson with Lyndsay.  Grant Davis came to church.  Lloyd canceled his lesson.  We did find a new Jewish investigator named John this week.  he's been taught all the lessons before in Encino and right now he's working to stop drinking.  I still haven't met him because we picked him up on exchanges.  John actually called us.  He's been taught for along time and is excited to keep meeting with us. He's an active Jew. 

Other than that, notmuch this week.  the zone had a baptism this week!  Yay!  We're trying to find new more solid investigators to build our teaching pool back up. 

Well I love you! 

Elder Nelson

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Oh man this general conference was so awesome this weekend! I loved it so much! I received a lot of revelation and answers to the questions that I had and I'm going to try and implement those answers into my life as a missionary!  It'll be great!  I got your package grandma! Thanks!  

Well we've been working hard and we were able to do a lot for our area this week.  It's been pretty fruitful with finding.  We were busy a lot this week with different meetings we had to go to and we had to move out an old apartment for the mission.  We went to Mlc this week and it was super good.  We were able to take the training that president and the assistants had and mold it to fit with what we felt our zone needs right now.  We gave zone training on Friday morning and it went really well.  We trained on teaching people not lessons.  Both my companion and I felt that we trained in great unity with each other and the spirit was there.  The zone is still looking about the same as far as key indicators go, but the morale of the missionaries is increasing and things are beginning to change.  I can feel it. 

So this week Shemal disappeared again.  Therefore he didn't come to church.  We think we know why he left unexpectedly though.  Let's just say he probably wouldn't feel safe living with the people he shares an apartment with. . . They have threatened him and his family. . . It's not good, but the lord will provide a way for him to progress.  We also taught a lot of people on their doorsteps and looked up some new investigators with partmember families.  It was good.  We taught a whole bunch of less actives this week.  Our lesson with our gay investigator grant was awesome! We talked about the atonement and shared the new Easter video with him.  We show it to everyone.  It's powerful tool.  We had a lot of less actives watch general conference and two of them came to the church building which was awesome!  

I'd say for me general conference instilled a new vision for what the zone can accomplish and what each missionary in the zone can accomplish through faith and maintaining an eternal perspective.  The Lord has suffered me to come here at this time for a specific purpose along with all the other missionaries in the zone? Are we fulfilling that purpose effectively? What do we need to change?  Looks like I'll be having some good studies this week!  I love being a missionary! I really do. I've learned so much and I really know that his work is something that I won't stop when I come home.  Although that's pretty far away.  I still have so much work to do and so far I can say that I've done what the Lord has wanted me too up to this point.  He has so much left for me to learn and experience.  I'm so excited!  I love this work and hope you all get to partake in it daily like I do.  There is no greater joy.  

Love ya!
Elder Nelson

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Hey so my new apartment number is 133.  Sorry I never told you!  I did get your package though mom!  I haven't checked on Grandma's yet though.  So it sounds like things are happening back home!  Pretty cool!  Sorry if this email is a little un focused.  We're emailing in a store at the mall called Curacao, because all the libraries are closed today because its Ceaser Chavez's birthday.  The musci in here is pretty loud.  We can't email at the family history center either because the guy over the stake for family history doesn't like the missionaries right now for various reasons.  It's dumb, but whatever. 

So this past week I went on exchanges with my old companion Elder Riley Smith who is the assistant right now.  I love that kid.  He's awesome.  He really helped me figure some things out that I could do to help the zone.  We taught a less active named Michael who wants to start coming back to church.  He's YSA age and went to church last week, but he sadi he wanted to try the spanish ward so he went there this week.  We taught him the plan of Salvation and read some scriptures with him.  His goal is to eventually get the priesthood.  He's pretty sweet.  We found two new investigators this past week.  One of them was the daughter of a potential that we stopped by.  We taught her the last half of the plan of salvation and showed her the because of him video.  She expressed concern for her brother who passed away a couple of years ago.  It was really good.  The other investigator we found used to be a former.  Her name is Karen. She lives in a place called Sepulveda residential.  Elder Kosmicki has taught her before and he was the one who dropped her.  She thanks everyone who goes to church is of the devil, but she comes to church herself and knows the church is true. . . I know it doesn't make sense.  My companion has deduced that she is not accountable, along with one of the assistants who has taught her before while he was here in this area before.  So why teach her!?  She has been coming to church on her own somehow and she tried to set up an appointment with us and we set it for wednseday.  We told Elder Shrum ( the assistant)  that we had an appointment with her and he told us not to go so we didn't, but we were contacting on Sepulveda and she found us. She came up to my companion and asked us if we could teach her.  She walked us back to her crazy complex and we taught her the resoration.  While we were talking about prophets, she told us that the picture we showed her looked like the antichrist.....  Ya it was weird.  As for right now we're officially teaching her.  Maybe she'll come around and not be crazy someday and turn accountable.  Even our bishop thanks she's not accountable, but she wants to be taught.  We'll see what happens.  I went on exchanges this week with Elder Orchard who got transferred here 6 months ago from Sierra Leone because of Ebola.  He's awesome.  I went to his area and biked around all day!  It was awesome!  I trained him on planning which went really well.  We found a new investigator and a ton of awesome potential investigators.  To update you on my other investigators, we had 3 come to church!  It was awesome!  We taught our 16 year old investigator Hugh on Saturday and he told us he wanted to come to church.  We got him a ride and he came!  It was awesome!  He has come so far from when I started teaching him.  He now prays every night and reads the scriptures.  He starting to ask God for help with the things he's going through.  He used to be Atheist.  He is progressing really well.  Lloyd Tackwell came too.  We had a lesson with him last night which went good.  We taught him about general conferance and set him a baptismal date for May 17th.  He's got a couple concerns to work through still, but he'll get there.  Claudia cancled all her lessons this week, but she came to church.  Shemal still didn't come to church.  He is our main focus right now.  He has such a strong testimony and is sharing the gospel.  He's just not coming to church.  We'll keep working on him.  He's on date for April 19th still.  We taught Lyndsay Lucas about Reading a prayer and got her to commit to read and pray on the bus since that is the only time she has to do it.  She is really cool.  She has a prosthetic leg and her dad Steve is really prayng and reading to find out if this is true too.  They keep committing to church, but  are not coming either.  That is like the missing link for everyone. 

The zone right now isn't doing well.  Our key indicators are still the lowest they've ever been, and there has been some disobedience throughout the zone, but we've resolved it.  The mission as a whole right now is struggling.  It's like over half the mission has been getting trunky.  It's sad, but I can tell you right now, I'm not trunky!  Haha I'm going strong and I will to the end of my mission!  It's like swimming!  You go hard the whole time!  And at the end you make sure nothing is left in the tank!  I'm going to come home and collapse because I'm not going to have anything left.  I love this mission and I'm doing my best!  That's what matters right? 

Elder Nelson