Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, March 16, 2015

Van Nuys--The Ghetto

Man what a week it's been! We had a really good week this week. It's was transfer week too so we had a lot of missionaries that needed help with their apartments and bikes and luggage and stuff but it all went really smoothly.  Hopefully this next transfer will be a good one for the zone.  Things are slowly starting to get moving here in the zone.  We set a goal of three baptisms for the zone this month, but we haven't had one yet and we are looking at only two for the whole zone going through this month ,but it should be a really good month in April.  We have a lot of dates that should go through.  

That makes me so happy to here that Tim Taylor is the new stake president! I was kind of bummed to hear that President Hall was getting released, but when I heard that is was Tim Taylor I was so happy! He'll do great! It sounds like your doing really well in your calling dad! Same with you mom! 

So we found out who our new mission president is going to be! His name is President Henrie and he is living in Park City right now.  He'll get here on June 29th.  With him coming in there will be over one hundred  missionaries who go home within the transfer before and two transfers after he comes in. So he'll be working with a lot of new missionaries. That also means a lot of missionaries who are staying after the transfer in August will be in leadership, and that means a lot of releases are coming, so I'll probably get released either this upcoming transfer or the one after that, and hopefully I can train for the last couple of transfers of my mission. I still have trained anyone my whole mission and I really want too.

As for the progress of the work in our area, things are moving along really really well.  I am thinking i told you last week that we taught Claudia the word of wisdom. She has been off of coffee ever since then! It has been a miracle for her.  We taught her again this week about keeping the sabbath and she loved it.  At the end of the lesson I gave her a tithing pamphlet to read and she flipped out at us.  She told us that she would not be able to pay tithing, especially with the small amount of money she has.  We taught her and bore testimony to her that God would provide a way for her just like he did with coffee, but she wouldn't have any of it.  Surprisingly, while she was yelling at us both us and our member were really calm and all three of us felt the spirit hard core that this was supposed to happen.  She was angry, but we said a prayer and left.  Needless to say she won't be able to make her baptismal date for this coming week, unless she commits to live it.  She told us before we left that she didn't want to ever talk about it again.  She came to church though on Sunday and wanted to talk to bishop about it. We are going to try and set up an interview for her on Tuesday since that is usually when he is available.  She'll get there eventually.  

Lloyd Tackwell came to church too, and the sacrament meeting this Sunday was very uplifting. We had two recently married byu students speak and it was awesome.  Lloyds date has been dropped as well.  We weren't able to meet with him, and he rescheduled for next Sunday. Yesterday was very stressful. Well it was just the morning that was stressful trying to get our investigators to church.  Shemal and Stacy didn't end up coming because the car seat that they were going to use for their daughter was taken in there roommate’s car.  We had a ride for them worked out and they called us last minute. They were really bummed they couldn't come to church.  They had been looking forward to it all week.  We taught Shemal also three times this week though and he is golden. He really is and he has a strong testimony.  He reads every day and prays individually and with his wife.  He's awesome. We had anoher investigator text us and say that they couldn't come until next week too.  During sacrament meeting though, towards the end of the meeting, I looked to my left and I saw Ali our Muslim friend from Uganda sitting there smiling! He had been there the whole meeting sitting by himself.  Once the meeting was over a lot of people greeted him before we could get to him.  He loved it. We got to him and he told us that he loved the meeting and had been taking notes.  It was so good to see him there. He looked so happy and he stayed for gospel principles.  He loved that too, but after that was done he told me his situation.  He prefaced it by saying, "I beleive it and I like it." He proceeded by telling us that he loves the things we teach and wants to be committed, but right now he is living with his Muslim brothers.  His dad is really rich back in Uganda, and if his dad found out that he was meeting with us and going to church, he would have his brothers kick him out of the house onto the streets.  I told him that since his family situation was being jeopardized by meeting with us that we couldn't teach him anymore until he got his own place and was on his own.  I told him that he is always welcome here and that we'll keep in touch with him.  He agreed and also told us that his brothers think that he is just joking with us when he meets with us and that they think that instead of him being at church, he's out looking for a job.  It's a tricky and sad situation because he is awesome and golden.  I'm happy that we were able to help him see the joy that comes from believing in Christ and now he has a desire to be a part of the church, he just has to wait.  He's awesome and it feels cool to know that you were a part of converting a Muslim. 

The rest of the week has been a lot of finding.  We found six new investigators this week! That was great! We are doing well as a companionship and the zone companionships are doing well for the most part right now.  I hope you all are doing well back home! I love you all! Happy birthday Kelsey! (Sorry I'm late)

Elder Nelson


Shamal got married this Tuesday!  woohoo!  it was so awesome!  Bishop married them in the relief society room and we were the only spectators.  It was so cool and the spirit was so strong.  Afterwards, both Stacy and Shemal said that they had felt that a burden had been lifted and that they were super excited that they were finally married.  It was so cool!  The power of repentance is real and they did it!  They're living the Law of Chastity now.  So that was a first for the mission.  We also taught him the word of wisdom this week, and he has no problems with that, since he gave up everything from when the missionaries had taught him before.  They didn't make it to church on Sunday though, which was a little sad.  They were confident that they were going to show, but they told us that they had a family emergency that came up.  We still don't know what happened, but hopefully everything is okay.  We'll be going over there tomorrow after transfer meeting.  Oh ya it was transfer calls this week.  I'm staying here another with my comp.  It should be a good one.  All we're doing is moving from one apartment to another in the complex that was kept open last transfer.  That apartment has an annual lease on it while ours doesn't, so there shutting ours down.  We don't have the keys to the apartment, but we broke in and have already moved most of our stuff in.  The things you learn how to do on a mission. . . . .  We'll get the actual keys tomorrow at transfer meeting. 
We also taught Claudia the Word of Wisdom this week with the Sellens, the new senior couple from Alaska.  They are so awesome and we couldn't have taught that lesson without them.  As soon as we told Claudia what the Word of Wisdom was, she told us, "I can't do it."  She said that probably twenty times for about 45 minutes as we talked about it and the promised blessings of just trying.  She has been addicted to coffee for over 50 years and ever time she's tried going off, she's failed and she gets hardcore migraines.  It was a big deal to her.  She finally perked up when she asked if she could have hot chocolate instead.  It was pretty interesting.  She was just like, "Oh I can do that!"  The spirit totally calmed her down by having her ask that.  She's been off of Coffee now for the past 3 days and absolutely loves having hot chocolate in the mornings instead, and she's having now withdrawls.  It's a miracle!  She also came to church and loved it!  She's progressing well! 
We taught Lloyd Tackwell also and he's doing well.  He told us that he didn't feel comfortable getting baptized so early and that he doesn't feel like he knows enough.  He told us that he would pray for a date himself and tell us later.  it was a good lesson though.
We also had MLC this week and zone training which went well.  We mostly trained on getting investigators to sacrament meeting and having member present lessons.  It was a good training.  The zone seemed to respond well to it.  We picked up some new investigators this week also, but we're probably going to pass them off to Spanish, since most of their families speak Spanish. 
Other than that we taught a lot this week to our other investigators.  Hopefully we'll be able to get them to church this upcoming week.
Thanks for writing and for all your support! Love you!
Elder Nelson

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Baptismal Dates!!

Hey yo!

So to start off, I'm going to talk about ward missionaries since you are now one of them dad.  That's flippin sweet by the way.  So what you're doing as a ward by going out everyweek and contacting less active and part member families is more than any ward missionaries have ever done to help us find.  You are actually fulfilling you're purpose that way.  All ward missionaries that I have worked with seem to think that their purpose is to just help us teach, which it is and its awesome when they come with us, but they're supposed to help us with everything else as well.  Finding, teaching, baptizing, retention. . . etc.  So going out everyweek for an hour is amazing!  That way you're helping with everything.  make sure to let the missionares know when you're available to help them teach so they can call on you for teaching appointments when needed.  Let them know if you find anyone that would like to have them over when you go out every week, and just be there to help them.  It sounds like the ward is actually doing stuff and going out and trying to make things happen.  It's been a long time since I've had a ward that did that or was willing to devote time to find and teach on their own.  Actually I don't think I've had a ward that has done something that effective ever.  So keep doing that.  If you feel like you could do more on your own, do it!  That'd be sweet!  Just let the ward mission leader know and the missionaries know.  

Anyways, enough of my ranting  This past week was good.  We didn't find any new people to teach, but we're making real progress with those that we are activly teaching.  We had 2 people come to church yesterday which was amazing!  I haven't had anybody come to church since I was in Burbank!  Claudia and Lloyd Tackwell came.  We set a baptismal date with Claudia for the 22nd of this month and the same with Lloyd.  We found Claudia about 2 weeks ago and she's been reading and we taught her 2 times this week.  She's solid.  We had a super good lesson with her on the Plan Of Salvation this week and she loved church.  We picked up Lloyd Tackwell last week.  He is the husband of a member and was being taught by the senior couple in the ward, but they left.  We introduced the new couple, the Sellens to them yesterday.  We had a really good lesson with him yesterday on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He has a couple of concerns still but they chould be resolved before his date.  We had to push Shemal Nezhadyian's date back to the 6th of April because he didn't come to church this week and he still needs to get married.  He's sweet though.  We taught him twice this week.  We also taught Steve Lucas the Gospel of Jesus Christ as well.  He has been taught for about 2 months and was found knocking.  We're teaching him and his daughter lindsy, but she wasn't able to make it for our lesson.  He committed to April 12th.  he was supposed to come to church, but he didn't for some reason.  He's great though and really understands everything super well.  He's keeping all of his committments, its just hard for him to get to church.  Same thing with everyone else.  We've been teaching a lot which has been awesome.

We went on two exchanges this week too which was good.  The zone is doing a lot better and this next month of March is looking really good.  The zone should be having more baptisms this month and finding is going up.  Its been good.  

So ya all is well in zion!  Love you all!

Elder Nelson