Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hello Everybody!

Well this week has been very interesting to say the least.  lots of biking or walking should i say. Tuesday we had new missionary orientation. That was long and super and kind of boring. The talks were good in the beginning other than the fact that our ride was late so we arrived almost to the end of the first one of 3. President is super excited and our practice for the meeting was to see if we could do a restoration lesson in 5 min. Super Crazy right. they want us to be able to teach quickly clearly and plainly. so obviously 5 min lesson doesn't include time for questions but its the thought of getting it to the point is what president wants. the other hour and a half was for driving safely videos. most of them were like drivers ed all over again. Owell. then that night while we were at the ***. We usually don't lock our bikes up because there is a fence and they are way in the back behind another house, but if you remember the drunk guy a week or so ago. yeah he stole my companions bike. im still not for sure why he didn't go for mine,(probably cause he was drunk) but yeah so the rest of the night was walking in our areas we probably shouldn't. So lesson learned Lock our bikes up even in gated places. So my bike was locked up on a window for two days till we got the time to go there an picked it up.   

Then next day was completely walking. My companion does not have the money to buy a new or used bike. he is literally broke right now. So walking day was long. my feet were on fire! as much as we could though we would ask members if they would give us a ride from place to place. Thursday during our lunch hour, my companion decided to try and take the 2 broken bikes and put them into one working bike. I though he was crazy, and soon he was stumped. Thank goodness i'm a somewhat mechanically minded person. I guess more than i thought. I took the back tire, and gear changer off the one bike, and some how put it on the other. and It WORKED! its not perfect, and the gear thing likes to get loose so about twice a day i have to get down there and tighten it back up. When my companion saw me put it together he was super amazed. So yeah anything is better than walking. so by thursday we were back on bikes. then friday came, as we turned a corner all the sudden i hear a very loud hissing sound coming from my bike. at first i thought it was just something stuck in the brakes or around there but then i realized my tire was getting low. Yep a piece of glass went right through the tube no problem. After that the tire stayed somewhat pumped up and it was enough to get me around. then after another stop it was completely flat. so i pumped it up hoping it would get me home and it got me half way and then i walked the rest not wanting to do any more damage. We got to our apartment and my companion went to grab his keys and they were not there! we backtracked a little but no luck. knocked on the mangers door at 9:45 but no answer. we had no chance of getting in. all the windows are barred. our Zone leaders called us about this time and we explained the situation and they said if we had no chance of getting the keys to call and they would let us sleep at their place. So yeah we called them a few min. later and told them to pick us up. Needless to say it was a long night, didn't get to bed until 11 and this was after a super tiring day. they were nice and let us sleep in their beds, while they slept on the couch and floor. Then next day i fixed my tire then had District meeting and Interviews with President. Didn't leave until 4:30.  

So yeah it was a long week, and i'm just super tired. As far as it goes with investigators nothing is super new. Didn't get much of a chance to meet with them alot.  but the one who has a baptisimal date came to church again, and a baptism without us even inviting him. His Girlfriend i think basically told him, that if he didn't come to church continue to read and pray as a family that she wouldn't marry him. Owell I hope that it will still go though. And yeah there was a baptism yesterday, A teenage kid whos mom was a member, but dad was a muslim. His mom died 5 years ago and his dad gave him the choice of which church to join and he decided to be baptized. Super cool kid and he was super happy. And the ward found out yesterday that I play piano...... Needless to say I'm using my Hymn playing skills for the ward now. I played 4 songs For sacrament meeting, the one for priesthood meeting, and the 2 at the baptism. Then next step is organ. They asked me if i would play the organ but i told them i didn't know how. So if i get a chance i guess ill need to figure out how to play organ. Supposedly they have the hymns programed on the Organ but people don't know how to figure it out.... So yes i put my piano skills to work, I feel this will be a pretty often thing. So I don't know what else to Say. Other than I am tired and hope to take a nap later today.  

I love you all. Thanks for your emails, And Samuel Opie. I'm So excited For you, You will Do great. I hope your reading this or that would be weird. And Russia,...that's going to be Awesome. Ben Good luck. Enjoy you last week at home! and i Would like your Email and or Mission Home addresss. I love you all and wish the best for everyone. There is a scripture i would like to share but i done have my Book of Mormon with me, so it will be next week. And Yes i did get my package along with Kelcies Letter. Its nice to have a jacket now. I'm not used to this at all but the last week, every morning it is super foggy and cold, then  around 10 or so it clears out and then comes back around 7 or 8. super wierd. just very Humid compared to Arizona.

Love you all again, and your all in my prayers. Hope to hear from everyone soon. 

Elder Hollingshead

Monday, October 21, 2013


Well another interesting fun week. Lets see. well over the course of the week we got 4 new investigators, which we were excited about. There were a couple of really long days. hot, biking for 3-4 hours straight stopping at peoples houses for a few min and most the time no one was there or they didnt have time to talk. those nights i was super tired. Owell as everyone says Get used to the next 2 years always tired. Most the time I do most of my exercise at night before bed. Mornings im usually too tired, groggy, and cold to get up and do much so we go run around the block a couple of times then get ready for the day. Sunday cause we dont have exercise time, i made biscuts, my companion was super happy and he at most of them in just a few minuets. He acted like it was super hard to make them, then i showed him the recipe and he realized its really not that hard. this week is going to be interesting though cause when we got our dinner list back (its weekly in this ward) only 3 nights were filled of the 7. yeah ouch. so i think were just going to call some people up and ask them if they are available to feed us. most the time they are so its not a big deal. As long as there not too many nights with 2 dinners. that was yesterday. at 2 we had lunch with the Islas, which was super good, then about 4 we went to the Elders Quorum presidents house cause they were having Seafood soup. The soup was good, but i was so stuffed and so tired i could not eat it. i felt bad cause they thought i just didnt like it i kept reassuring them it was great, and it was, but i was not hungry.

SO the fun story this week. last week at the ****, (the family we visit almost every day) there was some drunk guy who they dont know was sleeping on the porch. The next day when we went to go back, he wason the street and he stopped us and they just started yelling at us. "yo  no quiero aqui" (i dont want you here)and a bunch of other stuff. he was acting like he owned the street, but he doesnt even live there. He said he was going to call the police on us, and we jsut kept telling him go ahead, but he wouldnt ever do it. then he started pushing us around. My companion was getting ticked off and explained to him why we come and what we do. then he was telling us how we were keeping him awake at like 11 o'clock at night (which is not true we have to be in by 9). Owell we ended up just leaving. and then he was there again last night! grr.... he was just making the whole family mad, and it causes a lot of issues. Owell hopefully we can figure out what he wants from them.

 So yeah with all the biking and exercise my appetite has definatly grown and i feel like im gaining a little weight. Good right! but me and my companion are opposite. Hes trying to lose weight so im the one packing as much food as a i can. after my exercise ill eat another bowl of cereal or oatmeal and he as a smoothee twice a day. So yeah its just funny. On to our investigators, its weird cause alot of the older ones expect us to be some sort of marriage counselor. every time we have to refer them to the bishop, But they still expect us to fix thier problems. For one of them we watched a conference address from earlier this year. the Home School Of life. and we show them that a happy family needs to be founded upon these priciples but thats as far as we well really go in counseling them. But our one investigator who we thought was gone for sure, randomly without invitation came to church. Me and Elder Marin Looked at each other and said What???? so were still not for sure if the marriage is going to go through but as of right now it is scheduled and so is his baptisim, but its not till december.  So well see. Another one is a little girl, her parents are members but definatly do not have a testimony of the church, or the Book Of Mormon. really frustrating cause she kept interrupting our lessons with nonsense ???s the girl is ready so we just need to review all the lessons cause shes already been taught everything  and is super ready and super smart. i think the family comes to church because of her. The other 2 investigators are an older couple who were a refferal. we hope they progress, but they would not set a baptisimal date, and she works sundays. Another family has and interesting story. His son lives in Mexico and just left on his mission a couple of weeks ago. he reffered his dad and his family to the missionaries. he super nice and i think wants to change but he hasnt come to church yet or gotten married so we hope they can get marrried soon and then start progressing. Other than that all the other people we talk to are potentials, less actives or part member families.

Well its been good to hear from you all. Remember i still would like addresses!!! I can only write a few people right now and i would like to write you all. even if its just an email. anyways I love you all keep up the good work. Thanks for all your prayers in my behalf. A scripture that i really like this week in my studies is In Mosiah 16:9, It basically says that We always need to look to the Light or Christ to be spiritually born again. I thought it was good and i hope all of you look to the light! i love you all, and pray for you daily. keep up the good work, as Blake stone always says to me. You are all awesome and great examples to me. And for those of you receiveing Mission Calls soon Let me know i would greatly appreciate knowing.


Elder Hollingshead


Monday, October 14, 2013

Hello again!

Well week 2 here has been just as interesting. Days seemed long, but the week seemed short. Well to start out wow I have a new niece! you will have to send me pictures. i cant wait to see. Although this week i learned a lot, it was kind of frustrating when you make plans that are very very reasonable, and then as you go through the day nothing goes through our no one is home or as this week our Investigator who was not really progressing, but then became progressing and  yesterday basically it sounded like he dropped us. that was a bummer because whenever we taught him and  listened to him talk, he sounded golden and was super ready to be baptized, but it ended up not working out. Thanks for my bike! yeah i got a call Tuesday from the office and they said it was in the garage, i must have missed it. our Zone leaders had a meeting up in  that area so they went and picked it up and dropped it off at our apt. later on that  night. I set it up the next morning and and did some adjustments the next couple of days and its an awesome bike. Defiantly makes the long rides much better.  Wednesday morning it was cloudy and basically the whole day it rained/drizzled all day. so i was a little wet, but the best was at around 6:30 we just finished a visit with a Part Member family and as soon as we said Amen. it started pouring like none other. not only did we need to go somewhere else, that somewhere else was about 5 miles away at the church bldg. Thankfully the member gave us a ride and we picked up our bikes the next afternoon on our way over in that direction. So yeah. 

But because it rained the couple of days right after that, were super cold and windy. Mornings were the worst. i found a huge jacket in closet from another elder so i would wear that. And also one of those cold days we went to an 88 year old members house, she was cold and felt bad for us and gave us little hats. it was the best. One morning it was super foggy and cold but it warmed up that day. I was going to get a sweater vest today at the store but we ran out of time. So a little bit about the ward.  our apt. is the closest to the bldg in our district. 12 missionaries 10 elders and 2 sisters all go to the same ward. that just tells you how big the areas are. Lots of different things happen that us elders don't agree with. one of which is that members choose which ward they want to go to. they know they shouldn't but no member, bishop, or president will stop them or try and change their mind so yeah. that just one example. people don't really work on activity. that's a major problem cause there are so many inactive members in our area alone we don't know what to do with them. Oh and you asked if i speak Spanish and English at different lessons. No There is an English ward that covers about the same area, and there are i think 4 elders over that area, and that makes up our zone. So no I do not teach English. But Most of the parents and adults don't know any or very little English, it depends on what they do for a living. BUT, all the kids usually speak English and Spanish, so if we are just talking to the kids we usually talk English or Spanglish. 

Red Districts or areas. These are just places to Avoid. There are specific rules for each area but we haven't been able to find much for ours. we did Find a specific area but not much about it, and it makes night time hard. basically its from Normandie to the 110 Freeway that we are supposed to avoid after 7 and soon to be 5 in the winter. What are we supposed to do? we don't know. we asked our Zone leaders about it and they said, if you don't feel the spirit don't go into the area. Well I hate to break it to you but when I'm riding a bike i its hard to feel the spirit because people are cussing you out, saying or doing all sorts of things. The only way to cope with this is to Ignore it. its pretty easy, once you've heard it enough times it doesn't even phase you. As My Companion said You are a servant of the lord nothing people do or say can bring you down, just ignore comments get used to them and never think of them again. And it works. So yeah. Lots of black people quite a few Hispanics. and don't think they are all Mexican. I've met very few Mexicans, lots of El Salvadorians, Guatemalans, and a few other central american countries. Its pretty fun cause each of them have their specific foods and specialties that are all super good. Defiantly getting Fed a lot and my Appetite has grown cause I'm biking around everywhere. That's pretty much all i know about the area. lots of cool and weird people. 

I could go on and on with all the different Investigators, but that would take forever. none of them are considered progressing cause either A) they are not keeping commitments, b)not going to church, c) were progressing but an issue came up are now not progressing. Its frustrating but as they all say, if we do our best with teaching and telling them all they need to know then at the end of the day they still have agency and can choose to accept or reject our message. That's the truth, it doesn't mean we wont be sad or devastated but we can still keep in contact and challenge them. so yeah that's about it. I love you all!

Thanks for you prayers and i'm going to be sending a some letters this week so yeah. Thanks for your prayers and ill talk to you all next week. I love each and everyone of you and you are all in my prayers. I hope you are all doing great. Send my love to amber and Lydia and send me some pics.


Elder Hollingshead


Oh don't worry about getting an over coat. if in need to ill get one as i need it but as of right now ill be getting a sweater that should do me good. im not really out side much in the morning. we don't leave the Apt. Until about 1.

And What Dorene is Getting Married. That crazy girl. Wish her my luck, if you see her.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

First Week


Well this weekhas been interesting. Started offat 2 am in mexico city, and when we got to the busses wegot yelled at because we werelate. we were supposed to be there at 2:30 butwe didnt get there untill about 2:45. owell we got there with plenty of time to spare in the airport. I was going to call but ran out of timeand then somebody else was always using the phones.  i wish i couldof but as far as i know itwould havebeen around $100 dollars so yeah lots of money. The flightwas long and not very comfortable so i didntsleep well. But i met an enginneer and an older coupleat the air port. The older coupleactually were from mesa/gilbert but i dont rememberthe name. He is a lawyer for the church and works with missionary legal problems. Then the enginner was there because they are starting a project on the temple. its going to be shutdown for a year or so and have somestructural work done. He was down finalizing project details so we chatedfor a little cause he satnext to me. Once we got into the states As soon as we went throught the doors, we were met by the AP and president with anothercouple and we also met up with 19 othersfrom  Provo.So in totalthere 29 of us there on the same day, a few are visawaiters so owell. We went to the temple and met our temp companions, andhad some interviews and got our medical and money cards. THen i went to my temp companions apt,for theday and night, we went and knocked a couple of doors and then taught an english class.

That area was weird. it covered west hollywood and that place is weird. one street was super GAY, rainbow flags and crosswalks n such. you couldnt hardly look outthe window cuas it was bad. But imnot there now. The next day we went back to the temple lot building, got our actuall companions because that was transfer day. My Companion is Elder Marin from Texas, Houston. We are in the CentralZone, Madden area, and Inglewood 2nd ward. ITs an interesting place. A little scetchy sometiems. but awesome. Oh and when is my bike supposed to be here. Cause it as far as i knowit wasnt in the mission home. Im riding the "legend" right now. it is literally a legend, its old and i sometimes wonder how its lasted this long. and yep i have a bike area. quitelarge too so it takes a while to get anywhere cause me and my companion cantride very fast. Last night we dont excactly know where are red areas are so we were just riding and themorethe night went on the more scetchy it got sowere stilltryingto find the red areas. Our transfer goal is to work on less actives, There are lots around hereand so were are just going around visitingevery less active, inactive and part memeber famillys. ITs fun and sometimes i wonder howthese people are inactive. Owell. Theres one family we visit almost every night causethey are a part member family with lots of problems. Mom is nice but has no interest in coming,the restof the family is mostly active or completly inactive. Were working really hard on the 3 teen age girls. So its fun, aparently since a couple ofmonths ago the family has improved a lot.

lots of Food, all the time people are giving us food. infact tuesday we have 2 dinners, thatsgoing to be fun. Lots of good food and not too much weird food. although i thought i was going to eat a guine pig onetime. A member who was playing a joke on us...long story short they couldnt help but laught at me the fresh out of the  MTC Greeny. we had chicken, needless to say.

I ve been so tired. last couple of nightsafter we get in its so hard to stay awake. I went to bed early one night on accitdent. owell. Conference was definatly a great time. great talks but i dont know about you  but i enjoyed saturdays talks much better than sundays.  they were all good but saturdays definatly stuck a lot more. inbetween seesions we would eat snacks then a member weould come in and ask if we had food and then they would bring us lots of food. it was awesome. we got a couple of our investigators to come and watch conference, so we hope it has an effect on them. And who said LA was nice. Its cold in the moringins like i need a jacket so mom if could send me my grey jacket that weould be nice, then the day time is just sunny and toasty, not as bad as mesa, but people said a month ago it was in the mid 90s and miserable. and were on bikes so we get pretty sweaty. Oh, and none of the apartments, at lest not missionary ones have AC so you just have to go with it. Owell. since we have bars on our windows we can keep them open so yeah, it just means you hear the traffic andall the otherstuff thatgoes on outside too. someof which iwould rather not hear. Lots of vulgur and crude people here. Its crazy. 

Well thats about it that has happened. P day is monday so ill talk to you in a week.

Id sent some pictures but i havet had time the scedualis crazy. my usual down times in the MTC are the busiest here so im still trying to get used to the schedual.

Love you all, thanks for your prayers and keep themup,these next feww weeks are going to be rough. ill try and write letters soon when i have time. 


Elder Hollingshead

ps, mom umm it says on my bike paperwork, that i need to lock it up a certain way for the warranty to work but it doesnt say what that way is could you sent that to me. And thanks for the package it was great. thanks for the snacks. and keep me posted on the bike. maybe i just missed, let me know.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Arrived Safely

Zerin arrived in Los Angeles on October 2, 2013.   President Weidman sent the following pictures of Zerin.
Zerin with his companion Elder Marin

Zerin with President & Sister Weidman

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Leaving CCM

October 1, 2013


Well this is my final goodbyes from the CCM. This last weekend has been crazy. Lots of things have happened and lots of things have changed. Ill be waking up about 2 in the morning here and getting on the bus at 2:45 and leaving MExico at 7:30. I should be in LA about 9:30. So yeah today has been weird and hectic. so have the last couple of days but to start out lets go with Friday.  All day friday was IN field orientation. It was long, learned a few new things but mostly just reviewed priciples and what the field is going to be like. it was very long, very repitious, and somewhat boring. that was our friday. oh but i did forget, on thursday our teachers brought tacos in. They were soo good.  definatly some of the best tacos ive ever had. but im still debating whether or not they beat the ones in rocky point. Owell Saturday was really fun. we just chilled out and did our studies and since it was our last language lesson we played games and activites to test and help our vocabulary. Sunday was fun. It was fast sunday we all bore our testimony in sacrament meeting. And had some awesome lessons given by our Presidency. Sunday devotional was different. instead of watching a rerun of a previous MTC devo, we had Our MTC administrator or basically priciple come and talk to us. It was an awesome talk. He talked about immersing yourself in the work and forgeting the past, and looking forward in faith. Great talk. Then after that we had dinner and then took pics for a good hour. our teachers came and took pictures with us. we got a lot of pictures, to say the least. We had a little testimony meeting after and said goodbye to 2 of the Hermanas, they left a 2 in the morning, that one wasnt as hard. It was watching the other hermanas leave at noon and watching them pull away on the bus that was hard on the rest of us. As much as were ready to leave the CCM we are going to miss them and it was hard to watch them go but we all know its the lords work and, its just part of a mission getting to know people and watching the leave or you leave. Anyways Yesterday was just kindof a casual day, nothing to big happened other that we saw our teachers for the last time. well kindof they stopped in this morning after our personal study to say thier final goodbyes. We all exchanged emails so we can keep them updated on our mission. They are super excited for us. Today has been interesting. we had somewhat of a lesson this morning. it consisited of watching 2 episodes of the District. It was fun. Oh i forgot. last night we had a good study about how we can get through the hard times during our mission. we all shared scriptures and then also talked about the atonement and its power we should use in our lives.  It was one of the better discusssions we have had for a week or so. i was sad the hermanas didnt get to be there to study also, but they were all getting settled in their missions. So yeah. the rest of today has consisited of laundry, getting our iternerary and bording passes printed, packing, emailing, and then tonight we have our final devotional, and  then were off in the early in the morning. Its just been a crazy day. and tommorow is going is going to be a long ,long day.

So my feelings about leaving the CCM. well its definatly going to be a change. lots of new things to learn, and to do. Im going to miss this place. the first week all i could think about was when my 6 weeks was over and we could get out in the field. Although IM still super excited to go to the feild, it also brings a littly anxiety and nervousness. Im feel very prepared and ready and excited but im still nervous about the language, and the fact that i could very well teach a real investigator in the next few days is kindof freaky. Im super excited to teach, minus the huge factor that its in spanish. Owell ready or not LA is coming in approx 14 hours.

So something that ive figured out about Latinos here is that they love to take pictures. And to just joke around. sunday night we went and got some pictures with a few latinos on our floor, and they just went crazy, and longer you take pictures the more latinos come to be in the picture. They just love it. Its funny to talk to them about anything they make it so enjoyable to talk to them. So yeah but like everyone on our floor in our rooms left monday morning, so its been very quiet in our dorms the last few nights cause were one of the last people to leave this week. Oh and a new thing that is happening is international Missionarys that are coming to the MTC (like me) are coming wednesday not tuesday anymore and the Latinos are coming tuesday. Something weird but i guess it makes schedualing easier.
I think that is all i have to say, I love you all! You are all in my Prayers.  Good luck in all your endevors, and Remember that Christ is always there to help you.

I wish you luch from Mexico and Ill talk to you in LA, i think on monday, or whenever my P day is.

Elder Hollingshead

CCM District and CCM Mission President

Zerin with CCM Mission President & Wife

District at CCM sign - now you know what CCM stands for!

CCM Campus

Zerin with instructor Sis. Velaquez

Zerin with instructor Elder ?Lara?

The District

Zerin with instructor Sis. Callejas