Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, February 23, 2015


We started off the week with interviews all day on Tuesday.  During interviews, the zone leaders and sister training leaders train the other missionaries who are waiting for their interviews with President.  The training went alright.  it wasn't the best.  Most missionaries don't take it to seriously.  We trained on roleplaying and making them effective and also keeping your area book updated and organized.  We did that from 9:00 to 6:30.  I was the first one to be interviewed by president.  It was a good interview and I got a lot of advice from him on what I can do to be better and help out the zone.  All the companionships in the zone are doing well for the most part, its just getting them to work effectivly and find new investigators.  That's something the mission is struggling hardcore with right now, our zone included.  We used to be the highest finding zone on the english side of the mission last year, and we haven't been finding anywhere near where we were last summer.  It's frustrating and a little worrisome.  the capacity for each of us to find a lot more is there, its just not happening for some reason.  We've got some ideas that we're going to work on with the zone this next week with exchanges and training oppurtunities and such.  So hopefully that will go well.  I love President and having interviews with him, they're so short, but they help me out a ton.  It's been a while since we had interviews.  
I got to go on exchanges thi past Wednesday with the assistants again.  I went up to their area again, but this time with Elder Shrum.  It was a good exchange and we worked a lot on working with the members in his ward.  We talked to a lot fo people too and had a good time. I always love going on exchanges with the assistants.  They always seem to help me out a lot.  We actually picked up a new investigator while I was up in the assistants area.  Her name is Claudia and we've taught her twice.  She was a referal from the spanish missionaries and they helped her move into her new apartment.  She is a hoarder and we've been doing a lot of service for her, organizing and cleaning up her apartment.  She's a little crazy, but super nice and she absolutley loves missionaries.  She was baptized, but never confirmed in 2009.  She backed out of confirmation because her friend said she was going to disown her if she was confirmed, plus she admitted that she didn't know what kind of commitment she was making.  She's accepted a baptismal date for March 22nd.  She's excited to start coming back to church, but the date for right now is tentative.
As for Shamal, he's been really sick this week.  he has Irritable Bowel Syndrome and he had a fever, so we couldn't teach him this week sadly.  He didn't come to church either.  No one did.  We had a lot of commitments from a lot of different investigators, but they all cancelled last minute for various reasons.  It's frustrating, but what can you do?  
We taught our investigators Steve and Lindsy the Restoration this past Friday.  Steve is lindsy's father and Lindsy is about 21 years old and has a prosthetic leg.  They are so cool!  We haven't been able to contact them for a while, but they have been reading the book of mormon.  They really think that it all could be true and that its a good thing.  Steve's wife is meeting with the Jehovahs Witnesses right now.  They don't have the best relationship and she isn't interested at all.  Both Steve and Lindsy are solid though.  hopefully we can get them to church next week.  We aslo taught Hugh, the Jewish born 16 year old the Plan of Salvation.  He has a real hard time with the concept of prayer, but we got him to pray this past lesson.  He seems a lot happier since we've started meeting with him and he enjoys our meetings.  He keeps saying he's not ready to commit to any religion yet, but that he still wants to learn more.  He really wants to find out if God is there and he's definatly coming closer to finding out.  He's been reading.  he just needs to start praying consistantly.  We've got a good fellowshipper to bring to our next lesson with him.  
I went on exchanges this week with Elder Hyde out in Encino.  it was a good exchange.   We focused on seeing the miracles and the purpose of why we do so many little things in the work.  We found a new investigator on the exchange and a lot of people who were interested.  It was a good one.
Well to end off the week I got to see Lindsy and Ryan at Stake Conferance which was sweet!  I sat next to them during the Sunday session.  The meeting itself was great too.  Elder Auna from hawaii was presiding.  that man is great and I got some good insights from him. 
Anyways things have been going good!  I love being a missionary!  Its the best thing I've ever done!
Elder Nelson 

Monday, February 9, 2015


Well this week was interesting.  We had MLC this past Wednesday which was pretty good.  We talked a lot about how to work with members and how to make role playing more effective.  It really got me pumped to work with the members of the ward more effectively.  My companion has had success from working with members in the past.  I, however have not had too much success, but hopefully we can start getting some referrals and some new investigators from the members.  I honestly just like finding the old fashioned way.  Street contacting and knocking and talking with everyone you see!  It's fun (if you make it) and I just always feel successful, even if we don't find anyone to teach from it.  But I do need to work with members more.  I just have a tendency to do things on my own, and if members aren't referring people, you might as well go find them yourself, but that's not the point.  We're supposed to strengthen the members and help them do missionary work.  I've always known that and that's always been the goal when I visit members, but I haven't seen much come from it.  Anyways, that's going to be a new focus for this transfer.

Zone Training meeting was alright.  I felt like a lot of the missionaries felt like they had heard it all before and didn't take to much from it though.  Those that actually came prepared and seeking revelation got it though.  They told us. 

Tuesday our investigator Shamal was supposed to get married to his roommate at the church, but they weren't answering our calls or texts, so we decided to stop by the home an hour before the wedding.  We talked to Stacy his less active roommate and she told us that Shamal left on Saturday and hasn't been back since and she doesn't know where he is.  So the wedding was canceled and we later found out that he was in jail for driving without a license.  So he's probably not getting baptized anymore.  

Our investigator Richard dropped us on Thursday.  His girlfriend who has been meeting with the Spanish missionaries has been exhibiting behavior that he doesn't like.  He blames it on what the missionaries are teaching her.  Apparently she's been a lot meaner and is making stupid decisions.  She is going to get baptized though.  He told us that he's willing to meet with us and talk to us since he likes us, but he's not going to do anything with what we teach him.  You meet a lot of those in Van Nuys.  

I didn't tell you before, but we've been teaching a less active named Grant Davis.  He's living an actively gay lifestyle, and is going to be on America's Got Talent this coming season.  He is awesome.  he recently had a breakup with his boyfriend  that he' been living with and has wanted to learn more about the church and how it can help him.  He grew up in the church.  He's 18 and is living alone.  We've taught him the first three lessons and he has been keeping all of his commitments and has told us as of Sunday that he has gained a strong testimony.  He feels closer to the savior and that he finally has a relationship with his father in heaven.  We had a lesson with him on Thursday and his mom and his friend were visiting from his hometown in Carson City Nevada.  His mom is still active and his friend is a non member.  She was super interested in learning what we were teaching and Grant taught her the restoration!  We filled in some gaps and then we taught Grant and her the whole plan of Salvation.  She had a lot of great questions that we answered and she told us that she felt so good about what we were saying.  We asked her if she thinks that what we told her is true and she said yes so we committed her to baptism right there!  it was so cool!  The spirit was so strong and she was crying.  Grants mom and friend have left back to Carson city, but we sent them out as a referral.  hopefully Whitney, (Grants friend) will follow through on her commitment.  She is awesome.  Grant asked us a question in one of our lessons about whether or not he could embrace the full gospel while living an actively gay lifestyle.  We brought a talk to one of our lessons by President Monson called The Peril of The Wedges.  We read through a part of it with him and he told us that from reading that, it was the first time he had questioned his sexuality in a long time.  It answered his question correctly and directly and helped him know what he needed to do.  He came to church on Sunday and we had a lesson with him after church.  He sung what he was going to sing on America's got Talent for us and he is sooooo flippin good!  vote for him when the show starts!  Ya he's making a lot of changes in his life and its an amazing thing to see. 

I went on an exchange with Elder Stead in Mission Hills on Friday.  It wasn't my best exchange.  He's a great guy and we're good friends, but I didn't feel like I trained very well.  He didn't like ZTM too much and my focus was on improving role plays and making them effective.  We had a good time, but the focus wasn't there.  All well.  I took what I learned from it and I'll do better next time! 

Sunday we found a new investigator and taught a lesson to our basher investigator Sister Boddy.  Sister Boddy was super good this lesson.  We talked about the sacrament and how Christ instituted the sacrament in America in 3 Nephi 18.  She was super into it and committed to start reading again. 

The rest of the week was a lot of driving around the zone to help out missionaries and what not.  We had a couple of other investigators drop us, but we'll just find more!  Ihings are good!  I'm a little tired of being a zone leader, but I'm doing what I can!  I do cover Lindsy's stake by the way.  We'll probably see each other at Stake Conference again! 

Love ya!

Elder Nelson  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Back to the Ghetto

Well I'm back in Van Nuys!  Not to sure how I feel about being back in the ward yet.  Its a little weird and the area is just ghetto.  I like ghetto, but it just doesn't feel as clean and pure as the beautiful land of Burbank.  Probably because its not.  The ward here is very sparse and sacrament meeting attendance is low.  There are only a handful of active Melchizedek Priesthood holders, and there is so much less active work.  Our bishop is one of the best bishops in the mission though.  His ward mission plan is da bomb!  Its the most effective one I've seen in the mission and he knows how to use the missionaries to help his ward.  There are 3 sets of missionaries here as of this coming week.  There used to be 4 with the senior couple, the Kempfs, but they're leaving for home this week.  They have been proselyting missionaries for the ward for the whole year of their mission here and the ward loves them.  They're throwing a going away party for them on Tuesday.  They really are awesome missionaries.  They were in my district when I was here last year.   My new companion is Elder Kosmicki.  He's from Nebraska and is 20 years old.  He's been out for 9 months and he's a great missionary.  He's been a zone leader for a transfer and is very confident in everything he does.  This transfer is going to be a good one for the both of us.  We've bonded this past week really well and have recognized that both of us can learn a lot from what the other has.  We're good friends already.  We do work a little different from each other, but we're working things out and we've seen some success this week in our area.  

We found two new investigators this past week.  Both were former investigators.  The first was named Richard.  He is one of those guys who just has had bad luck his whole life.  He's really trying to figure out why so many bad things happen to good people. We taught him the plan of Salvation and we answered his question.  His grilfriend has been meeting with the Spanish missionaries and he has gone to the Spanish ward before, but the thing is , he doesn't speak Spanish.  I don't know how he communicates with his girlfirend either because she doesn't speak a lick of English!  It's quite the oddity. We also started teaching this guy named Lieutenant.  He's a Vietnam Veteran with 2 purple hearts.  He was part of the special forces and during battle he lost the use of his right leg so he is in a wheelchair.  He has the mouth of a sailor and is a drug dealer.  No joke.  He really wants to come to church though and he's willing to take a cab or the bus there since not very many people in the ward have cars either.  He'll be an interesting one.  We are also teaching a less active named Cyndi Logston.  She has been coming back to church since December and is working on getting her Patriarchal blessing.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation this past week too and it went really well.  She hasn't stayed for all 3 hours of church yet though, but hopefully she'll stay next week.  We also taught this part member family, the Boddy's.  The wife of Bro. Boddy is Philipino and not a member.  She is Catholic and likes to bash with us, but she's actually warming up to our teaching.  Bro. Boddy is a less active and from what I saw when we went over, only wants us to teach so that he can prove his wife wrong.  He is not a happy man.  She seems very happy though.  She is willing to come to church, but she's embarrassed because her husband won't pay tithing.  Hopefully we can get something going there.  One of our other investigators is supposed to get married by bishop tomorrow at the church.  His name is Shamal and he's the husband of a less active.  he actually got baptized a year ago in the Arcadia mission, but he was never confirmed.  He really wants to get baptized, and he had a date for the 8th, but we have to push it back because he's flakey on appointments and our bishop has to work out paperwork with the other mission president and our mission president.  I got to go on exchanges with the assistants this past Friday to Saturday with my old Companion Elder smith.  It was awesome and so good to work with him again.  We've really become great friends and we had a very uplifting exchange that I definately needed.  

It should be a good week this coming week.  We have MLC Wednesday and ZTM on Friday.  The Grenada Hills zone seems to be pumped up for this coming transfer and they had a good week this week.  I know North Hollywood killed it this past transfer, so hopefully we can transfer that same fire to this zone. 

On another note, I got a call from the mission office this week telling me that no one in the mission got accepted to go home a transfer early.  So there is no way I'm coming home in July.  My realease date is going to stay August 26th.  So hopefully I can go to school still even though I am coming home 3 days before it starts.  

Thanks for all you do!  I love you!

Elder Nelson  

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