Had dinner at the Osbourne's as my last dinner in Hollywood! It's a sad feeling. For p-day we played bball and chess. Elder Sambat beat me in Chess as always haha. Packed up everything tonight so I'm all good to go tomorrow morning to my new area! Transfers changed now so we don't have a meeting, we just get a member to drive us to our new area. So our ward mission leader is taking me. It's annoying having to pack everything up! Gonna miss Hollywood. I definitely know my way around it after driving in it for 6 weeks! Gonna be fun to come visit in years. We actually met a nice lady on the street today! She called across the street to us and said "Hey Mormons! Keep up the great work! Jesus loves you!" So that made our day haha. LA is getting very wicked but there are still good people in it! Really the only reason why this place hasn't been hit by a meteor yet haha.
Well now I know what it means to be stressed as a missionary. I packed up all my stuff last night, met with our ward mission leader at a gas station, and he drove me to the zone leaders apartment in Inglewood. Met my new companion Elder Stevens, got our car and we drove to our apartment. Had no idea where our area boundaries were, where the church was, and the area book hadn't been updated so we didn't know who the investigators were. It was rough. We finally figured out where the church was so we went there and tried to update the area book onto our iPads but it wouldn't work. So we street contacted around the church. Turns out that the church isn't in our area and all the people we had talked to were out of our area haha. Finally got a hold of the sister in the branch who was in charge of our dinner calendar and learned about the area a bit. Met with our branch mission leader at 7 who brought us pizza which was awesome. He is so cool. Super hard core and all in for missionary work. Reminds me of Mark Harker haha. Elder Stevens is cool from what I can tell! He is a runner. Won state for long distance running. He is from Spokane Washington. Elder Peirson who was in the MTC with me is in our district along with an elder that was in my zone before who is now the district leader. Our area is quite ghetto. Didn't really realize until I saw it haha. At least we know the police are always nearby! Gonna be a crazy transfer.
Today we had a missionary broadcast and got to listen to Elder Anderson, Elder Bednar, and Elder Oaks so that was awesome! Tons of really good instruction. Elder Griffin replaced me in Hollywood and is with Elder Sambat now. He was my district leader in the MTC. It was good to see him again! We went around today trying to contact our referrals and get things going. It's so hard not knowing the area because we don't know how to use our car efficiently. In the car so much. Our area is pretty big! My district leader is Elder Zabriskie and our zone leaders are Elders Dunn, wheelwright, and haviland. We contacted 3 referrals today. 2 only wanted bibles and the other wasn't interested anymore. We met a homeless guy today though who was pretty cool! He had been in the army and showed us his battle wounds... Haha. Tonight we met at the church with a bunch of the elders and high priests in the branch and did splits. We all went and visited different less active and part member families. I went with brother Soriano to see a sister who hasn't come to church for a few months. She let us in, we visited and we shared the 3rd lesson. Went super good and she committed to come to church this Sunday and even accepted a ride! So that was awesome. Only thing was that as I tried to walk past her out the door she gave me a hug.. Haha. Brother Soriano just laughed at me! 'Twas a tiring day.
This morning after studies we called a bunch of referrals that the past missionaries had received. We talked to 10 on the phone and ALL of them just wanted a bible delivered to them... Soo looks like we will be delivery boys. Gonna try to introduce the BofM to them when we deliver the bibles though. We had to go to a training from 12-1:30 and then did weekly planning after that. Called all of our investigators and set up appointments with them this weekend so now we are finally getting a hang of the area haha. No more straight street contacting all day.. Woo! Had dinner at the Garcias who are awesome! Told us that if we ever don't have a dinner that we are to just call them and they will feed us. Did we ever tell that to our missionaries? Mom? Haha After that we went and saw a less active family. Didn't set up an appointment just showed up. They are converts and the mom has to work a ton. The 16 year old daughter was baptized when she was 10 and they have a 12 year old son who was never baptized because the step dad said no. They said the elders hadn't come over in over a year so they felt like they were forgotten. We shared a message with them and offered to do family home evenings with them and they said yes! So we will be seeing them every week now. Awesome family. Hopefully the step dad will soften up. Elder Stevens and I are getting along great! His driving scares me though. Yes mom there is someone worse than me haha. But it was a great day!
Had district meeting this morning. Our district has 4 sets of elders in it. The training was super good! We practiced by role playing how to promise blessings when we ask an investigator to make a commitment. It's essential because who's gonna do something unless it benefits them? Not many people. So when we help them understand the blessings that come from keeping commitments and acting it gives them incentive to do it. I wish I had known all the blessings that come from going to church. Yes to learn but there is so much more! We as members when we invite our friends to activities, church, and such we need to always remember to tell them why. I wish so badly I could go back in time and invite all the non members in my grade to mutual, church, dinner, seminary, parties, movie nights, everything! I was such a slacker. Anyways.. We met our investigator Keith today and just followed up with him, addressed his concerns and he committed to church this Sunday! A ride from a member and everything. A tender mercy was that one of our investigators who didn't have a phone # we decided to just go to his house and when we pulled up a guy was walking down the sidewalk and it was him! Had an awesome lesson with him and shared the "always remember him" video and he also committed to church! Then to top off the night we had set up a lesson with a potential investigator, went to his house and his wife answered the door. We ended up teaching them both the restoration, and they both committed to be baptized on Feb 21st! It was sooo cool. The husband works on Sunday's but said he would try to get it off and the wife committed to come to church! Amazing how God prepares people. Awesome day.
Miracle Saturday. So we first went to deliver a bible to 2 of the referrals that we had gotten. The first we showed up and she was super nice and thanked us for the bible and asked what made our religion different than others. So I pulled out the Book of Mormon in my bag and explained it. Her first words were "So do I just go online to get one of those too?" Haha so we gave her one and got a return appointment! She was so cool! Right after that we went to the other referral but she was in the shower so we street contacted around for a half hour and got 3 peoples #s and return appointments! Then went back to the referral and she invited us in! Went inside and talked with her, ended up that we started talking about the Book of Mormon as well, she asked "So your church meets on Sunday's at what time? I want to come tomorrow." So we gave her it and a Book of Mormon and she committed to come to church tomorrow! Also got a return appointment. Then we went and street contacted and met a guy who was a "bible" guy as we like to call them haha. He was cool but it was interesting because I just seemed to be able to quote a lot of bible scriptures to him and he was amazed, asked us where our church was, asked for pamphlet, said he was going to come to church and wanted to stop by with him tomorrow! So that was crazy awesome. Right after we finished talking to him a different guy walked up to us, asked for our phone #, told us he wanted to come to church and take the lessons, and asked when he could get baptized.... Woo! Best question a missionary could get asked haha. Got his info and a return appointment. Went to our original appointment, went great and she committed to church, and asked for a ride! It was such a cool day. Oh and we met a lady named Momma D who was probably the coolest lady I've ever met haha.
Church at the branch was super cool. First time I've ever been at church and the only white guys were the missionaries haha! Every member is so awesome! Everyone was Hispanic, black, Samoan, and Tongan. We had two of our investigators come to church which is a miracle because our area has not had an investigator come to church in almost a year. They stayed for all three hours and said they enjoyed it! We got to know more of the members so it was awesome. After church we took the sacrament to a few people and then met with 2 of our new investigators both who we talked to for a bit and had to reschedule. But it was all good it was nice to meet them. We had a late lunch, and an early dinner so mid day we didn't get much done but tonight we contacted a bunch of referrals and went and visited a less active. She was baptized just over a year ago... 23 and said she got offended at church so she went back to her old ways. So sad how someone could feel the spirit so strongly enough to get baptized, then forget everything they felt just because of someone else's mistake. Shows me just how real Satan is. We gain such strong testimonies and he tempts and puts doubts into our minds in just the right way to make us slowly start to forget the testimonies we once had. I remember in a talk that Elder Bednard gave about this and he said that if members were to just read the Book of Mormon every day, pray when they starting having doubts, and search for answers through the church, they would never fall away. Wish everyone understood that. Doesn't make sense to go to Satan's resources looking for answers about the church. I think it was Jeffrey R. Holland who said "It's like wanting to know who Jesus truly was and going to Judas." Not exactly like that in all cases but about 90% true in all cases haha.
Alright well it was a good week! Not stressed anymore with the new area and Elder Stevens and I are getting along great! Still working on taking more pics. Our apartment isn't too great but it works. Our area is truly in the hood so it's a party! Can't go out after dark so we set all our appointments from 6 on. Most of the gangs all respect us and we talk with them, but there are a few that think we are detectives or something so they avoid us. Just as long as they don't take to take us on haha. Can't walk on the street with our iPads or wallets. We have had a few guys stop us and ask us what was in our pockets and bags. We just say scriptures, tell them who we are, invite them to learn more and they forget their plan to rob us. Works like a charm every time! Plus my Spanish has come along a ton! Gift of tongues is real. Hope you all have a great week!
ST- Ether 12:27. Think about how you need to apply it spiritually.