Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year

Hello Everyone!

Well this week has been pretty good. A little tired. But well. Yeah so Tuesday we had an appointment with that one lady. It was super bad. The spirit was not there at all not even 1%, frustrating and the guy was just frustrating in general. He presented his church like a business plan. Clipboard with paper. Along with a little bible. and grrrr. I know the bible is not perfect but the longer I’ve been out here the more frustrated I get with different bibles. Every translation is different and they all word things differently. Well. Basically this other church believes the sacrament is the Passover and is only done once a year. They don’t celebrate holidays, and oh they believe Jesus Christ came again already in 1940 or so. We asked if we could start our conversation with a prayer and they straight up said no,
Because we don’t believe in 2nd coming Christ and so forth, and they they started doing their prayer. Super weird and the spirit literally left and it just made it hard. Owell. Also the same day we got cussed out by some dude on the street. He started calling us devils and cussing and basically spiting at us and they he started threatening us so we just left. I hate that street, for many reasons now. owell. Wednesday we did our studies and they went to Mario’s and I made my call. I felt bad, my companion called and no one picked up so for 2 hours he just sat there. But right after that we went to Isabel Morales and taught the law of chastity. It went well. She said that her mom left her dad because he didn’t want to get married, and she said she might have to do the same thing. So that gave us hope, because noel does not want to get married at all. After that appointment my companion called again and got to talk to his family for a while. It was just a trade off.

Thursday was alright. My companion had a Leadership meeting that we had to go to. It was alright, president has a lot of new rules that I think are good. As my companion said, he’s glad our district has no problems with these rules. After we went to find Marcos but he was not available, but we ended up talking to his neighbor for a while and his name is William. He came to our church before and really liked it and his aunt is a member who is coming back. He wants to get baptized and also his cousins are interested too. It was a great find and I hope they will start to progress. He came to church, but left before we could talk to him.  Friday was splits. So I went to another area. It was good, did a lot of riding. Let’s just say one of the companions is leaving this transfer and the other is a follower, so they don’t do much I think. Then that night there was a call and Elder fiddler, the Elder I was on splits with, and he was being emergency transferred the next day at 10 am. So he stayed up till 12:30 or so packing up. It was a long night. Then because the zone leaders had to drive that companionship up to the office, they were short teachers for English class. So we taught the intermediate class. I was super confused cause I had no idea what was going on. Then after we got back from class. We had to walk 2 miles to meet up with other elders to get a bike. Yeah my companion's bike's chain completely broke. and the bike died. Now he has a super awesome bike so we get around a little quicker.

Other than that nothing much new has happened. I was super happy to be able to Skype with you. It was a great day. I loved to hear your voices, and see you. Thanks for all that you do for me. For your prayers and love. I know that this is the Lords work and no matter what happens I Know that it is for a purpose. I Love each and everyone of you  and pray for you all the time. I hope you all had an amazing Christmas! and have a happy new year. I’m assuming that president will sent a message about a curfew that night. Thanks for all your letters and cards that you sent me. It was a great time to read and hear about each of you.

Have a happy new year.


Elder Hollingshead.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Well Skype should be a go. The member said they should be able to hook me up with a camera and computer. I honestly don’t know when we’re calling. Probably around 12 here. Remember the time difference.  I guess I’ll call you first or shoot you a text or something saying I’m ready. I’m excited to see everyone and talk to you. 

 Well first things first. Yes *** got baptized! It was an awesome service even though we were not very prepared. Our Ward mission leader is supposedly the one who goes before hand and turns the water on. He told absolutely no one that he was not going. We were running a little late because we forgot something at the apartment. When we got there like 5 min before it was supposed to start the font was just barley to the 1st step. and it was supposed to be at the 4th. Oh and we heard that it takes close to 2 hours to fill. Let’s just say there were many miracles. The Zone leaders weren’t coming, but they had the clothes. Thankfully there was a Tongan bishop who had a bunch of plus sizes that we could use.  But over all the service went well. It was his birthday the exact same day also, and he was just super happy. His face was beaming when he got out of the font and came back into the room. Sunday was good. *** came to church. She is progressing really well and is very prepared. Her guy friend she’s living with ( yeah, they’re not married) is a little hard headed. He loves meeting with us and talking with us. does not see the need to change. He smokes and has no desire to quit. and that’s not the only one he has problems with. The word of wisdom lesson went awesome and a goal that Isabel made even before we met with her is that she wanted to celebrate the holidays Alcohol free. She is more than willing to give up coffee and follow the word of wisdom. This Thursday is the law of chastity. Let’s hope it goes alright.

 And then randomly a lady stopped us on our bike and started talking to us and we planned a little bible study and since she does not celebrate holidays we doing it Christmas eve. yeah... she’s interesting. She insists that the Sabbath day is on Saturday, and that holidays should not be celebrated because they are of "Men". It sounds like a very interesting religion. So we are going to study and then share the restoration. Thank goodness it’s in English not Spanish.

 Sunday is also played for the choir in our ward. The program went well, and from my point of view, the guys sang a whole lot better than the women. Kind of the opposite of all other things. Oh and we had a mission Christmas devotional on Saturday with president. It was good. long we left at 7:15 or so to take the bus, and got back at 4 yeah. owell. Just a very simple read aloud sing along part then lunch. I honestly don’t know why it took so long. And I was expecting mail. I got the package not last Friday but the Friday before that. I told the ZLs to drop it off and they never did and I’m still waiting for it now. They are dropping off all the mail tonight finally. I’m excited.

That’s really all that’s happening around here in LA. I Hope everything is alright back at home. Enjoy Christmas Eve’s eve. I have learned that Hispanic and American traditions are very different. For them any holiday is an excuse to party and play loud music. For them the holiday is Christmas Eve. That’s when they party all day and night till midnight and then open presents then. Christmas day is just a day off. Basically. I’m the weird white kid who does everything the opposite. And my companion is Hispanic so for some reason he thought we called on Christmas Eve and I had to tell him that it was Christmas day. It’s super weird. I’ll get used to it. So yeah it will be Wednesday when I’ll see you.

I love you all and hope you all have a very merry Christmas. Enjoy breakfast at grandmas and having all the Christmas traditions. See you Wednesday!

Elder Hollingshead
Making Tortillas


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Los Angeles Temple

Z in the Apartment

Happy Holidays. I think if finally hit me that Christmas is next week, even though it does not feel like it at all. I was just getting used to the cold weather, then I got the blanket n stuff, then Tuesday, our apartment got checked and the guy lite the pilot on the heater, so that was working, and he also called in the window. Needless to say, we have a nice warm, non-drafty apartment now. and then this week came, no rain and it warmed right back up. So yeah it definatly does not feel like Christmas. Many has this week been tiring. Wednesday we had Temple day. President wants us as missionaries to use the bus more, to contact people. So yeah we took the bus to Santa Monica, which meant we had to wake up around 4 to be at the bus stop before 5:30. Then an hour and a half bus ride to get us to the temple by 7:15. Yeah, then we took the bus back. so it was a long day. at one of the stops where we switched buses. there was a couple of members from the 4th ward. It was in Hollywood. and he started joking around with us, and another member tried to sneak up and scare us, thinking we were their missionaries. It was funny. They helped us out, and asked the bus driver to let know when to get off. Super funny.

The rest of the week. has just been long. We had a 2 hour lesson on the plan of salvation with our new investigator Isabel and her hopefully husband. It got super long and repetitive, but they did go to the Christmas party on Friday.  Social conversion is completely down, now we got to get them to come to church. That’s the #1 problem with most investigators, church attendance. Most of early afternoon times were helping *** find a place. He found one Friday. We were super excited! so we had a plan to move him the next day. The only problem was he was working a double shift, or almost 24 hours. and of course he got of super late. So we could not find him. He has no phone and no way to contact us. He finally got ahold of a phone and called us. at 7:30. He said he went straight from work to the bank cashed out basically all of his money and went to the new place and paid, but he couldn’t move in till the next day (Sunday). We called the Zone leaders and they told us that unless we were 110% sure he was moving the next day, he could not get baptized. So yeah it did not happen at all. We were afraid to break that to him at church the next day. We were bummed, but relieved cause we were not really ready at all.

So yeah at church we talked to him and he told us that it was completely fine to push it one more week cause his birthday is on Saturday! Yeah so that was fine and then we needed to move him out that day, because the Hermana wanted him out. Nobody was available to help, obviously so we went to lunch at someone’s house. and the Less Active member there, who has a huge hauling truck was available. But he had one condition, we had to help someone else move that was living next door. We were desperate so yeah we moved two people yesterday. Not the Sabbath day I expected. But *** is moved and Plans are being made for this Sunday. Then Only Problem is that he absolutely has no money until Thursday. So we hope everything is alright this week. But even with this financial situation he wants to pay tithing, but can’t cause he not a member yet.

After the moving yesterday, we went to a missionary fireside. *** and his Sister are Eternagators. I think it’s been 2+ years. He has a testimony, but doesn’t want to change, but they wanted to go to the fireside so we went with them and even though we were like 25 mins late it was still a goodtime. got a ride back from a member, and then we waited for the transfer call. We were both a little anxious, but president did not make many changes and were both staying in the area.

Even through, the tiredness, homesickness, the hard work, and just crazy life here in LA, I am glad I’m here. I’m learning so much and it just beginning. 2 years will go by fast and I just can’t wait for the next crazy thing that’s going to happen. I love this gospel and I love this Christmas season. I can’t wait to talk to you! Enjoy the holidays and truly remember what Life is all about. This week has been hard to focus on what this season is about because of all the things that have gone on, but I know that our heavenly Father Loves us and Cares enough for us that he sent his Son Jesus Christ To this earth, to be Our Brother, Our Savior, and Our Redeemer. My 2 favorite Christmas Songs this year. O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and What Child is This.  Why? First of all they are awesome! and they really remind me of the true meaning of this time of year. I love you! (or as Elder Stone emailed me today) I Love Y'all! I keep you in my prayers, and I hope you keep me in our prayers also. Have Great Week.


Elder Hollingshead.

PS Enjoy the pictures! That’s our apartment. yeah its messy, we didn’t get to clean it up last week. That’s the temple. and us on the bus. And find the Hollywood sign! Probably got some of this mixed up.

Z with a Member at the Temple

Some of us at the Los Angeles Temple

On the bus to the Los Angeles Temple!

Elder Hollingshead,  Elder Marin & Some Members

Do you see the Hollywood Sign?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Hola Familia y Amigos’s been cold. Like really cold. I don’t think as cold as mesa but we have no way to escape the  coldness, it’s just cold everywhere. Even everyone here in LA is acting like its freezing. It would say upper 50s to low 40s maybe and they just complain. I think it’s nice other than the fact that when I’m riding my face turns to ice and I can’t see cause my eyes tear up in the cold. Oh and I think it’s been on a role. 4+ weeks in a row with rain. It poured last Friday, It poured this last Saturday, and so it never gets a chance to warm up before it rains. So put it this way, I got all the packages you sent and I am Eternally Grateful for the PJs and the Warm Blanket. I finally slept warm! I really shouldn’t complain, cause it snowing everywhere else. But Over all this week was good and bad, mostly frustrating. I think we really only had like 3 lessons. We had tons planned with backups and everything and seriously I think almost all of them canceled. Super frustrating, especially when it’s only like an hour before, or as we pull up. But yesterday ended on a super good note. No *** did not get baptized, BUT, we did find a place. Basically all Saturday night and Sunday afternoon was taken up helping him find a place. But He found one and he’s planning on moving in early this week. So yeah this Sunday *** is getting baptized.  Also yesterday was the Christmas devotional and he took us there and he enjoyed it. I thought it was a great devotional, music was awesome and the speakers were great, I thought it was interesting that only President Monson spoke and only for 5 min.But Overall it was great. Me and my companion feel bad sometimes because *** is our go to guy, any sort of activity and we want to go we just call him up and he takes us. Also Mondays, because we are lazy and don’t want to ride our bikes, we get a ride from him for shopping. owell, he’s willing and loves the missionaries.

We did visit the family that came to LA English. They seemed golden but,...not as golden as we thought. Lesson went well, the dad likes to talk a lot, and ramble so a short lesson turned out to be long. and at the end he said no to the baptismal information. So we will try to keep visiting teaching. Oh and *** ***, he Moved and we were supposed to help him, but when we got the member and truck and went to his place he had already moved. and we still haven’t been able to call him to see if he lives in our area. So he’s on hold right now. But Last Monday, we called one of our investigators and invited her to a FHE and she came on late notice and LOVED IT! She wants to do her own now, but she lives in a super small apt. she offered to bring refreshments tonight though so yeah. Social Conversion Down now she just needs a ride to church. Other than that nothing much has happened that has been super crazy. OH Before I forget. So as a mission normally 30% of all baptismal dates that we set actually end up being a baptism. President Weidman wants to double that so as of the 1st of Dec there were 140 or so dates for the month of December. So on a normal month only 44 would get baptized. He wants as a goal 89 for this month. So he has asked us missionaries to Invite Every Member, Investigator, and us personally to Pray for 89. So if you would like you can join to. It would be greatly appreciated. When we told Marcos about this goal, he got a smile and then look at us and said so ill pray for 88, cause I’m the 89th. WE got a laugh and that to me just shows how ready he really is. 

Well on Wednesday we have Temple day, so I’m excited to do a session, in English again. We’re going to try and get an investigator to come with us and see the lights sometime cause I personally want to see what they are like. Then Next Sunday is the transfer call. I can’t believe it’s already here. I had my final training meeting and in it president asked all the trainees if they think they would be ready to train next transfer.... I said "I’d be nervous but if you feel that I’m ready I will gladly accept." yeah so who knows maybe I’ll train. My companion really wants to stay another 6 weeks, but he thinks he’s leaving. So who knows maybe I’ll be the senior comp in the area. It’s crazy to think about.

Well I miss You ALL. I love you and pray for you each day. Thanks Mom and Dad for all you do, and for all the things you send me :) Christmas would not be the same without the music. It’s something I’m defiantly going to miss this year. Singing in choir, especially Holiday dinners. I love the music that you sent me and when I saw Piano Guys I was a little confused cause it wasn’t on the list but I thought owell. Well needless to say I’m glad you sent it. I had no idea they had a Christmas cd. Thanks for the Tree, My companion got a kick out of it but owell. It still needs to be decorated but who knows maybe it won’t ever. At least there’s some Christmas spirit. I love you all and hope you all have an enjoyable season. Merry Christmas.


Elder Hollingshead


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hello Everyone!

Wow this week has been crazy. The beginning of the week was alright Tuesday was frustrating because all of our planned visits when we got there, no one was home so yeah super frustrating and then our day was cut short because of LA English, owell those classes are awesome. IT has been super hard keeping up with the advertising. Big area with lots of people who need the class. Our biggest problem is money. It costs to print and buy tape right, and it’s becoming a problem, we asked the ward if they have a missionary fund that we could be able to use a little bit of money to keep up with all the materials for the class, but they never got back. Oh and our bishop is out of town for 5 weeks to El Salvador. So Yeah isn’t that Great! Owell His counselors are awesome and are willing to do a lot for us so I think it will be alright. Wednesday was interesting. There was a missionary fireside for our ward on the 30th that we had no plan, so we needed to plan. So what went from a 30-40 min. meeting to plan what we were doing. Ended up being almost 2 hours of prime Proselyting time. Me and Elder Marin were getting very frustrated and just wanted to leave. Owell we got it planned. but the rest of the night was hard because that meeting threw everything off. That’s the one thing I didn’t expect was all the different meetings. Thursday was Interesting. We wanted to visit with *** because our 2 previous appointments got eaten up by other things out of our control. So we went over to the house and The *** family was working on Thanksgiving stuff. So we offered to help and she said that she needed a bigger table and more chairs so we called ***( a recent convert who will do anything for the missionaries) so he picked up a table and we went with *** to pick up chairs from the Church building. Then after a while we went over to the *** who were actually coming to the *** also for dinner. After that we had about an hour with no real plans because what do you do at 6 o’clock on thanksgiving night. No Investigator will meet with you. If you go to any other member’s house they are going to feed you. so we just went back to the Tobars and just chilled. I felt lazy and not very productive, but what do we do? Dinner was good. I was kind of expecting a somewhat traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but nope. Pan Con Pollo (a very authentic Salvadoran dish that is super good) also tamales with lots of was awesome. So yeah. Thursday was good. Defiantly was homesick, for my first real holiday away from home it was pretty hard. I defiantly miss you all. But just think in 23 days I’ll be calling you. or skypeing... still not for sure. I’ll keep you updated on that. I hope I can Skype and see all your faces.

So yeah Investigators. Jose the self-referral is super awesome Elder Marin met with him I went on splits Friday night so I didn’t get to see him but they set a baptismal date with him for the 29th of this month. Here’s the catch he’s moving. Which is good because the environment he’s in right now is horrible. But he said 58th.... 58th place is in our area because it’s before Slauson. 58th street however is on the other side of the Slauson in a completely different Zone. owell we were going to help him move yesterday but there was a misunderstanding and our truck we were going to use was unavailable so he’s moving Thursday. So we hope he’s still in our area. Oh Yeah So Splits. Since Elder Marin is DL we go on lots of splits.  I went to another area, on the other side of the zone. We live 5-10 mins away from the church building. They live 45+ mins away from church, yeah and I was on another person’s bike.... let’s just say it was small EVEN for me, and it was in not the best shape. It was a long ride! Then we had English class again, super good also got 2 other dates with investigators. The ZL's are smart. During the spiritual thought they just did the restoration. And also a baptismal invitation. So we have 4 dates this week that was awesome. After class I went on splits with the zone leader. Elder Haro, from Where? Sacramento California. Yeah that was cool. We visited a less active and then Marcos. but the split was cut short because of the ward fireside we were in charge of. I would like to explain what we did but it would take forever so in short it was about bringing people to Christ through missionary work. Super spiritual and even though there were only like 20 people there it was good. And after that I finally got my package. Wow I really didn’t know what to expect all I know was It was heavy and it had my name on it. Thanks for all the food! I’m super excited. You do really know my favorites.

 Well To end as this weekend has passed I just want to express my gratitude for each and everyone of you. I love you and pray for you always. I'm Thankful for This AWESOME opportunity to serve the lord in Los Angeles. I know I have a lot to learn and a lot to do better, but it really has been the best 3 months of my life. Defiantly not easy, sometimes not even very fun, But worth it every second. Though the homesickness, and the trials and the tiredness, it is still worth it and will bring great blessings. I’m thankful for the gospel. Throughout the last 2 months or so I have seen the gospel literally change a person’s life. I have seen the blessings that the atonement has given, and the love that our Heavenly Father Has giving to each and everyone of us. I know that This is the True Church on The Earth, without a shadow of a doubt I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives. Make sure that throughout this Christmas season that you remember What it’s all about.  I love you all. And I’m thankful for all the love and prayers for me. 


Elder Hollingshead