Monday, April 4, 2016

First week in Van Nuys

April 4, 2016

Well It's my first week in Van Nuys! The Straight Hood of the Valley. My Trainee is Elder Silva from Langley British Colombia, Canada! He's such a sick guy and we get along so well because we are honestly so similar. We both joke around so much so there's hardly ever a span of more than 5 minutes where we aren't dying laughing about something. When someone slams a door on us one of us will just crack a joke and lighten the mood!  I also got super sick this week and couldn't stop coughing. We thought it was bronchitis or something but we didn't go to the doctor because we needed to do work! You have to do work when you are white washing! Anyway it got super bad and I lost my voice from all the coughing. I cant think of a better way to train your trainee than to physically not be able to talk to anyone so they have to talk to EVERYONE hahaha! He's been getting some good practice.

Anyway, we have been working with a few people already. We are really focusing on a less active named Marius. (He said we could share this with our friends and family) He grew up in the Mexican Mafia and honestly just had the hardest life. He's covered with tattoos all over his body and you would think he would be a really hardened guy but he's the total opposite. He has the biggest heart ever and has the strongest testimony. He spent most of his life as a big time drug dealer for a lot of celebrities here in California and thought life was great because he had all the money he could ever dream of. But then he found the Gospel. That was the only thing that could get him to change his ways and turn his life in a different direction. He had to make sacrifices though. No more dealing...which meant no more money. So he acted in faith and joined the church and the Lord blessed him by showing him talents he had that he never knew about. He is now a producer in the music industry and he is SO good at what he does! That was a huge testimony builder that the Lord always blesses us when we make sacrifices to be righteous. We have regular meetings scheduled with Marius now and I can't wait to work with him.

We are also working with Brother Solis, another less active. He also has such a strong testimony. He reads the scriptures frequently, listens to conference talks and reads church magazines all the time, but he will not come to church. He was offended by a Bishop over 10 years ago and will not let it go so we are trying to work with him on that. I just hope we help him see that he needs to let the Atonement work for him.

We currently have no investigators and that's why they are white washing the area. It's kinda disappointing to leave an area that you get to thrive finally, for an area with not much there. But I know the Lord will help Elder Silva and I get this area bumpin. We've just gotta work our hardest and have faith. We have already seen miracles this week with the referrals we have been contacting. There are a few lessons set up for next week already which is awesome progress!

Message of the week: Conference was sick! How awesome is it that we have a living Prophet and Apostles on the earth to lead and guide us. If you listened to Conference for even 5 minutes you know that their messages are inspired and from God. I had so many favorite talks but the Prophets short Message on Sunday morning was amazing. He talked a lot about choices and how they have an affect on everything we do. He said, "Decisions determine destiny." That is so true. We all need to weigh out our decisions on an eternal level.

Well I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!

Elder Jensen

Elder Silva and I at General Conference. I am deathly ill.