Monday, November 25, 2013

Hello Everyone!

Hey so yeah this week has been pretty great. COLD! Yeah it rained a little bit this last week, but mostly got colder. I Thought Arizona was a desert. Yeah it’s a desert here. Hardly any rain. Just humid and cold. Most of the rain was just enough to get the streets wet and make it miserable to ride a bike. I think I wore my jacket all day for a couple of days. If there is anything I do want it’s a blanket. Our Apartment has a couple of windows that don’t close, at all! so that’s cold, on top of that our heater doesn’t work. sooo.... let’s just say 2 sheets on top of me and wearing a jacket and socks just aren’t cutting it anymore. IT just cold. During the day its fine with my jacket it’s usually in the upper 60s and night it’s just humid. Owell. We’ve been trying to contact our referrals from English class or just referrals in general but either the address is missing the apt# or the apartment complex is locked up. My companion has something against calling cause he says it’s easier to refuse an appointment over phone. Which is true, but if you still haven’t been able to contact in a week you need to call so that’s on our list of things to do tonight. But one of the referrals just randomly called the zone leaders and said he wanted to learn more about the bible so we went and taught the restoration. The only problem was that he lives in the back of a computer repair shop; literally his room is like 5 2x4s with drywall slapped on the side. So it was really loud and hard to feel the spirit. He’s a super awesome guy though, so we are just going to have to figure out a place we can go and teach instead. 

I hope there was nothing in the package that needs to be taken out or eaten quickly. I probably should have told you, but Mail day is Friday after district meeting. so that’s then only time I get mail, and also this last week we had zone conference so mail day was Wednesday. So yeah it’s going to be a week and a half. Owell. Yeah Zone conference. Was good, but super long. I don’t think I’ve been to a meeting with president that did not go over time by at least 20 mins. The conference was supposed to be 8-1 we didn’t get out of there till 2:30 cause we had to get mail, but still way too long. The meeting was great talked a lot about making better use of our time and how Elder Ballard thinks a good # of contacts is 20 a day. Let’s just say me and elder marin are not even close to that. So were trying to do better on that. He did get one Christmas CD to start the season off. and thanks for sending the CDs I’m excited. It’s so Weird to think that its Christmas time. Thanksgiving came way too fast. IT does not seem like it’s been 3 months already and I just hope I don’t get transferred. Transfers are a week early on the 18th. So yeah it’s going to be a shorter transfer.

Man are we going to get fed a lot this week. Saturday was the ward party and lots of food was there and they also gave a to go box, that I filled with lots of food. Sunday We had lunch with a family in the ward and there were 8 missionaries there, and also a bunch of other people. Lots of food, and it was super good food. Then we also had dinner later that night with a less active. Today we have dinner with a member who makes awesome food. Thursday we have A Thanksgiving dinner with another Family. So yeah lots of food.

Well I love you all. I hope you have a Wonderfully Awesome Thanksgiving! Is the ward going to do the usual Party the night before with the deep pit turkeys? Send me some pics of the family. And enjoy the food! Tell everyone I love them and can’t wait till Christmas to talk to them! I hope as we go into this Christmas season we will all remember the True Meaning of The Season. Have Fun Decorating the house. I will tell you that I’m going to miss sharing this time of the year with all of you. You don’t realize how much you will miss it until it comes. Thanks for all your love and support, and always remember to pray. I love and Pray for you all the time. Have a Great WEEK! I hope Grandmas house get finished finally and she is enjoying being at home again. Send her my Love.


Elder Hollingshead.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hello everybody!

Man has this week been crazy. Tuesday was normal, and we had a few more people at English class. Wednesday was alright. We had dinner at Mario Martinez’s house and it was great then we had ward correlation and all the mission leader wanted to talk about was planning a ward activity. I guess technically it could be a good activity for missionaries, but I feel like the ward should be planning it not us! owell since they asked us to we are doing it.  Transfers were Wednesday, and so we have a new zone leader, Elder Haro, super awesome! people say he is probably one of the best missionaries in the mission. He had awesome ideas on how to get English classes in a better condition. we were all kind of lost. He has great leadership and knows exactly how to do it and what we need to do it.  We got 2 other elders. They are cool, just haven’t talked to them much. Also got a new sister. Her Spanish is awesome and she just got out of the MTC, then we asked her how she learned such good Spanish? she apparently has lots of years of classes. but she is super ready and has and awesome spirit of missionary work. Thursday was interesting. last minute President called all the district leaders to a training. so I thought I was just going to go with another elder in our zone for the 4 hours, but no as we were going to get picked up, I realized that I was also going. so yeah there went the whole afternoon. it started at 1 and finished around 3:30. The training focused on how to improve numbers. Even though Numbers aren’t supposed to really be our focus it should be on people. But He had a meeting with Elder Ballard recently and made a few changes to the mission. Instead of mission standards, he created Area standards. So we make the standards. In the next 3 months we plan to have around 5 baptisms, so with a little math supposedly we should have like 5 people to church, 6 progressing, and 8 new investigators each week.! talk about a major kick in the face! yeah our numbers and new people we have talked to are not even close. so lots of things to work on.

So yeah that was an interesting meeting. The drive there was long and even longer on the way back. usually we take the 405 cause it’s the closest. instead we took the city way. Let’s just say I forgot how nice LA can be! living here in the hood for 7 weeks now definaly changes your perspective.  And I hate Traffic. meeting got over at 3:30 we did not get home until a little after 5. usually it takes 20-30 min. so much traffic. Friday district meeting, went alright my companion is still not feeling prepared. So basically I’m his assistant even though that doesn’t exist. Got a letter from Ben and Hallie so that was super fun. Then we just had a normal day. Marcos is ready to be baptized. He just needs to move out. Monica is ready, just we can never meet with them, cause they are "busy". owell we have an lesson planned for Tuesday with them. We still a little stumped on how to teach a 10 year old the law of chastity. The only thing we came up with in District meeting was to talk with he parents before and have them as much in the lesson as we are.  Sonia and Max are super nice and kind old couple. They have lots of health problems and money is tight. He can’t read cause he had some sort of stoke and lost the use of his entire left side. she has horrible vision and can’t read the book of Mormon. so we are trying to come up with a giant BOM and or some way of getting it on their phone if they can. other than that nothing new with investigators.

LA English. Saturday we had 7 new people plus 5 returning, and a few members. And there is a family that came, and we gave them a church tour and they said that this is what they want for their kids. and they live in our area! along with 2 other referrals from The classes. One of them has a book of Mormon and said that she thinks god led her to these classes, and she is dedicated and took an hour long bus ride to get there. she’s in our area too. lots of cool things are happening. Then Last night there was a fireside at the Visitor center. Chad Lewis and his wife. He was an NFL player and a lifelong member. so we had to bring and investigator for us a missionaries to come. so we called Marcos, and he seemed very interested and told us he would take us. so when we arrive at his house at 6, he wasn’t there. :( something with some stray dogs and he called the police and took pictures then the owner walked up and started arguing and claiming he was doing something with the dogs, so he walked inside grabbed hymns and a Book of Mormon and drove away. so we started going to others houses on our backup plan and about 20 mins later he called and said sorry and told us that he was still ready to go. so we rushed back to his house and quickly got there. I mean quickly! for a clam mellow guy he drives like a maniac, and then the left arrow right before the temple took like 10 min to change. He said he would have run the light if we weren’t there... Owell we got there just has They started to speak. Awesome fireside. Talked about lots of experiences he has had. and the bulk of his talk was about a trip the NFL asked him to take with some recently returning military. 3 had artificial legs and one had depression problems because of things that had happened. They were to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro (probably just butchered that spelling) in Africa. 4,000 feet to 19,000 ft. in just over a week. Lots of stories of how some of them couldn’t make it. they were not required to be on oxygen, and that really took its toll on all of them. Between 17000 and the top was called the danger zone because of the lack of oxygen. it was so bad that one of the team members was so sick they had carry him down the mountain to go immediately to the ER, but as soon as they dropped out of the danger zone he was completely normal. So moral of the story is Don’t go into our danger zones! we know exactly what we should and shouldn’t do. don’t push the limits. That fireside was a changing moment I think for Marcos. He was glued to the speaker the whole time and within the last week his whole attitude and testimony has changed. I can’t wait.

 Other than that life has been good. lots of good and lots of long days. No matter how long the days feel like though, I feel and know it’s worth it. I hope I stay here for a long time. scripture I found this morning that I thought was good is Ether 12:4 look it up  and always have hope for the best, cause that means its hope in Christ.  Thanks for all your love and support. I pray for you all every day, and hope for the best with all of you. have a Great week!


Elder Hollingshead

 p.s. squid is not that bad of a meal. all the Mexicans have the craziest food.


Monday, November 11, 2013


Well the no big news, still going to be here in the Same Area for 1 more transfer, except the only difference is that they split our district and My Companion is one of the New District leaders. He does not want leadership at all! It was funny when he got the call he defiantly let the AP know how much he didn't want to be DL but that's about it. Let’s see where to Begin. Los Angeles English, Tuesday first class 5 members showed up that was it. Kind of boring so me and a couple of other elders played the piano and I tried to play the organ. Yeah didn't go so well, maybe I’ll figure it out someday.   Wednesday was alright. We visited a less active member whose son just arrived here in the states from El Salvador. He’s 17 and it was good to hear that he got here finally. Last we heard was he was in Texas at Immigration trying to get his papers ready, and they didn't know how long he was going to be there, it could take up to 3 months, but it was about 2-3 weeks.  He doesn't know any English so were trying to get him and his mom to come and learn English. In Salvador he was very active and is preparing to go on a mission so we hope it will re activate his mom, and convert his step dad. It will be a slow work in progress. But there is progress. Thursday We taught ***, and his wedding was called off again and now it’s for sure so we just have to wait until he moves out of the house and then he can get baptized. He has come to church 2 weeks in a row by himself in a white Shirt! That’s big progress. It used to be his the Hermana in the ward trying to drag him out at least in a polo, but now he does it on his own. Also in that house there is a less active Returned Missionary who works Sunday so he can’t go to church. But he just told us that next week his schedule changes so we are going to go hard and get him back to church. Friday was Zone training meeting. It was super good. About prayer and I have a few goals and things I'm starting to work on in prayer. Then later that night as we were putting up LA English signs up we locked our bikes and came back and some Hispanic neighbor told us some guy was checking out our bikes but the man kept an eye out thankfully  and got him to go away. They were locked! 2 locks to be exact, but as my companion said, his got stolen with 3 so hopefully it never happens but its LA you never know. But as we rode away after that, almost in the exact same spot/ corner. My front tire basically blew out. It was flat in about 15 seconds. That just made the day a lot worse.  Thankfully when we got to ****** house he had patches so I fixed the tube while dinner was being cooked. He is a lifesaver. Saturday English class. About 16 people showed up, half were not members and 5 or so said yes to Missionary lessons!!!! We were super excited. Then because there were 4 people in our zone who needed to go to training, my companion being one of them, the rest of the zone got ice cream and then chilled at the chapel for a while until they came back. It was a very boring 2 hours.  We visited a less active ***, he has such a strong testimony of the gospel and me and companion can’t figure out how he became less active. But the LA English class is the key. He said to us that this is the start of him coming back, cause he wants to come back. Yesterday was just a normal Sunday nothing to exciting. Walter, a referral, we visit him the last Sunday, he is super prepared and wants to change so we hope to start making progress with him these next couple of weeks.

Well that was this week. Oh and if forgot the mission just got a new language. Farsy, probably just butchered that spelling. It is a language spoken in the Middle East and 4 elders have been called to speak it. One for sure was in the MTC with us Elder Larkin. He is super excited and supposedly there's another missionary that is going on his 2nd transfer that is starting this language. The only problem is that a Book of Mormon has not been translated yet into the language, no MTC material, only members and probably a dictionary. Super weird, and not quite for sure the reason for it but yeah.

But anyways what about home? Anything New? Did grandma move in yet? Tell here thanks for the note on the letter. I Love her So much. I also got a letter from Blake.  Yeah it was nice. His mission is completely opposite. He said he drove an hour to another city in his area. Jokingly but probably true he said his area is probably the size of my mission. Oh well. Life has been good here. I got cussed out the other day as we rode by a house. Not the first time but the closest I’ve been to someone like that. Today is going to be a little tight schedule. We had to go to the mission office to do letters right now because the library is closed for Veterans Day. LA Traffic is horrible.  Then we also want to do lunch with zone. and we still need to shop and do laundry. I guess no nap today :(....  Well I love you all. Sounds like Ellie likes here new swing up in flagstaff. Hope you all had fun up there. Weather sounds great up there what's it like in Mesa. Here is probably 70s in the day but because of humidity it gets super cold at night so long sleeve works but it just gets hot during the day with it on so it’s hard to decide. Love you all. Stay strong and Love the Lord. Work on Prayers, it’s something that may seem small and insignificant but if you work on more specific and detailed prayers that make you closer to your Heavenly Father you will receive blessings beyond your imagination. I love you all and thanks for all your prayers.


Elder Hollingshead 

Monday, November 4, 2013


Well this week has been very long. Thanks for the Jacket. Monday night as we rode to they **** it started Pouring! so needless to say I got soaked. it was an interesting night. Tuesday was interesting, My companion had a little training thing so for 3 hours i just sat in the hall of the church building reading and talking with other Elders and trying not to fall asleep. Then the rest of the day was pretty uneventful, our Appointments that we had planned all week and scheduled most of them didn't happen, and we ended up having lousy Numbers. And no I'm not playing the Numbers game, but when you make plans and prepare for an hour each day for each of the lessons you are going to teach, and then you end up no teaching it gets very frustrating. Wednesday was alright other than having a crazy dinner. A Less Active called I thought to confirm the appointment, but it was actually to change it to 7, but we have weekly coordination with the ward at 7 at the other end of the area. needless to say, he convinced me to order a pizza for us cause we wouldn't take the money he was trying to give to us to buy food, cause were not allowed to take money from Other People. the pizza ended up not getting ordered somehow so we were late to the meeting and still hungry. he made it up for us and bought us a pizza after the meeting. Thursday was uneventful. We have our normal studies but we also have the 2+ hour weekly planning session that is always held right after lunch. Oh and since it was Halloween President wanted us in our apartments by 6pm as you can see there isn't much time to do anything. so we got our bikes from the house that we left them at, then taught a lesson, and ate dinner at the same house then went back home! the rest the night was boring. All the other missionaries were calling and trying to occupy time by talking to us, most of it was time to relax and read conference addresses. and I found a new Favorite Speaker. Elder Christofferson. I have found his talks lately to be my favorite. and I cant wait to get this months Ensign. Thank goodness my Companion has years of conference addresses sitting next to his desk. Friday was Exciting, and super tiring. We had our regular District Meeting, but with very Important news. Los Angeles English Classes are starting up in our zone.

LA English was created by the Mission. It is super professional, and very planned out. There are 3 classes, beginning, intermediate, and advanced. The purpose behind these classes are to 1 Teach and 2 most importantly Get Referrals! Here are some statistics about the Program. In the Arcadia Mission right next to us. A similar program has reported that in some areas approximately 90% of all baptisims were referrals from the English class.  WOW that surprised me a lot, then Statistics from LA In South LA and Inglewood Cities, the Hispanic population is between 40%-50% depending on the area. Lots of people that don't know English. So now instead of walking up to people and doing street contacting if a Hispanic person is walking well pull our English class card out and tell them about it. What Hispanic in LA doesn't want to learn English,  and its Free even better. So the last 3 days in the early afternoon when people are usually not available that's what we do, walk up and down streets taping signs with pull tabs and giving people cards. We hope it will have great success.  Because we are walking a lot and its hot and sunny, it definately wore me down. I was so tired, and it was fast Sunday so yesterday until about 4 it was hard to keep walking, when you have no energy left at all, bu you know how they say work is good for you. I Believe it as soon as we started to ride bikes and walk I seemed to have a little bit more energy and it definately woke me up and kept me going till about 5 when we had dinner. But there is one benefit from Day light Savings time. The Change happened Sunday Morning, which meant we got one more hour of sleep that night. It was good me and my companion were both super tired and the extra hour did me good and refreshed me, but the extra hour only happens once a year so still no sure its worth it. I was just getting used to of it being dark when we wake up and now its light again. Oh well.

Other than that Language study is hard. it happens only 5 times a week, for an hour, definately not enough. I understand 80% of what people are saying but I don't talk much at all which is a problem. I'm not saying its my companions fault but he's a native Speaker and he doesn't have to think about it so he can just ramble off whatever he wants. so sometimes I hardly get to answer questions and talk other than where I'm from, how long I've been out here. so understanding is alright but speaking is hard. Oh and its a super small world! so in our ward there is a guy  named Ivan. he looks American but from Mexico. Super nice guy and Guess what! He's from mesa. he speaks fluent Spanish and decent English and also graduated from Westwood. I remember the first time we met and I told him was from mesa he was like " don't tell me you went to mountain View" oh well he's super chill.  He got married right after high school and about a year ago he got a divorce. So at his rock bottom time in his life he decided to come back to church. and has been active for a year now and has definately changed his life around. But he has a 2 year old son who lives in mesa so every 2-3 weeks he goes back and visits his son for a week. and this was the week so at church he came up to me and was talking about Mesa and they showed me a picture of him at Backyard Taco! he says that is uncle is the manager. So then i told him that they church building right across the street is my building. and i live right down the street from it. He was super wierded out that we have so many connections, and how we probably crossed paths multiple times. he said he grew up by Mesa Dr. and University and I told him that I have a bunch of family there and I told him the name Lamoreaux but he didn't recognize it.  so yeah super weird and awesome.

A scripture I found this morning Mosiah 5:15. Steadfast and immovable. I've always like that phrase and this scripture has an awesome promise if we are steadfast and hold to the rod. Keep up the good work everyone. thanks for all your prayers and love that you have. I  love you all and hope be able to write you soon, now that I finally got addresses. Oh and that super cool that Katie Holt is going on a mission, to Puerto Rico! if you see her before she leaves tell her good luck for me. And Thanks again for all your examples that you were to me growing up.  Hope you all had a fun Halloween!   Love you all and I'll email you next week, as the last email of the transfer, hope my companion or me don't get transferred from this area cause its awesome.


Elder Hollingshead