First Week in Sylmar

It’s been a relatively easy transition from Sherman Oaks to Sylmar. It’s weird being transferred with only 12 weeks left on my mission. I was really hoping that I could stay in Sherman Oaks for the rest of my mission but I guess that was not what the Lord had in mind for me at this time.

Transfer day went quite smoothly. We had to be up at the Valencia stake center super early which was boring but it was nice to be able to greet all the missionaries as they pulled into the parking lot to transfer luggage. Afterwards, we received a ride home from the senior couple serving in our new ward. I love the senior couple, they also are serving in the Van Nuys ward which I have served in a couple of times. As soon as we got groceries, we labored over the area book and map to figure out where our boundaries were and where to start knocking. We eventually got to knockout around 5:30 with dinner at 6:15. The dinner was fun, they are such an awesome family. We also have a companionship of sisters in our ward which makes things lively in the ward.

Wednesday we again labored over the area book and after much blood, sweat, and tears finished it at 3:30, just enough time to go to knockout. As I soon figured out that day, the streets here are at a strange 45° angle from the rest of the grid system that is in the San Fernando valley so we were both getting lost and not figuring out where to go. Fortunately by the end of the evening we knew how to get home, so that was a start. We met our ward mission leader briefly that evening and had an impromptu dinner with another really awesome family in the ward.

Thursday, we had an awesome district meeting about the atonement and how to teach it so our investigators understand and it and have a testimony of it and how we as missionaries also need to understand and have a testimony of the atonement as well. After KnockOut, we attempted to meet as many of our investigators as possible, but none of them appeared to be home.

Friday, We tried to meet even more of our investigators but again they weren’t home. Later in the evening, we met our Bishop. He’s super awesome, it’s his second time serving as a bishop, he served as a mission president from 2001-2004, is a convert and was baptized in 1979, and is from the Philippines! After him, we met one of our investigators for the first time and taught him about the purpose of prophets.

Saturday was a bit of a struggle however. In the afternoon we had stopped by a potential investigator we picked up earlier in the week. I suggested to Elder Postelnicu that he take the lead to go to the next person we had planned to visit, he got really frustrated at that idea and didn’t want to do so. After a bit of trickery on my part, I forced him to bike in front of me and he led us our apartment. I asked some inspired questions as to why we were here and at one point I was nervous for him that his he didn’t have much of a testimony of the gospel. So, I texted the zone leaders (we live with them) and asked if they were home. They were, so we came in to the apartment told them every thing that happened, they went to talk with him, and then Elder Postelnicu and I talked and I think things are going to get a lot better from now on. After KnockOut, we visited as many of our investigators as possible and met quite a few, they all told us to come back “tomorrow.”

Sunday, we had church which was so nice because we were, more or less, dying to meet the ward. After church, we had a bunch of “appointments” but sadly all of them except for one fell through. The one lesson we did teach as on the plan of salvation which I’m beginning to realize I know too much about and it’s showing in my teaching of it. During knockout we got in to a bash about whether or not a prophet is on the earth today. We then had dinner with the same member family that we had dinner with on Wednesday.

I love being a missionary, these experiences have definitely been for my good and I am excited to put the things I have learned to the test when I get home. I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I know the gospel that is taught within the church is true.

Elder Blodgett
California San Fernando Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints