Van Nuys Week 1

Friends and Fam,


My goodness, so much happened this week! For this week I’m gonna have to go #ElderTravHatStyle in my email to make sure I get all my thoughts down and keep it in a nice and orderly style (and to prevent me from going over the 2 hour time limit I have on this computer). Here goes.


The Hood

First things first. My new area is the ghetto and it’s literally the best thing ever. As you can probably tell from the subject line, I’ve been transferred to the Van Nuys 5to ward in Van Nuys, California (the “heart of the valley” as they call it). I suppose it’s not super super ghetto, but it’s close enough to make me pretty happy. There’s still a ton of Latinos everywhere so the Spanish is still going strong. Basically everyone is either a cholo (Latino “gangster”) or a borracho (Latino drunk/alcoholic) so we’ve had some good times the past few days. Actually, just today while waiting at a Laundromat for our clothes to finish up we literally sat in the car and watched a group of 3 grown men/middle-aged Latinos drink too many beers and snort some cocaine. Fun stuff. Safe to say we didn’t stick around for long haha.


New Comp

Elder Kimball’s his name and he’s the most bomb missionary ever. He’s only got 3 months left on his mission so if things work out we’ll probably be companions for that time. I’m super stoked to work with him. He’s been a zone leader for most of his mission and also served as assistant to the President a few months back. So basically he’s bomb, as I said. We compared our pre-mish life a couple days ago and I’m concerned he might be a clone of me. We’re actually the same height also… But luckily we’ve only been mistaken for twins once so far.



Hot dang it’s so nice. Small, but nice. I mean for crying out loud, our sink is one of those super fancy ones that flows out like a waterfall. Pics next week for sure. My desk is straight up late 1700s style…pretty sure George Washington owned it at some point. And then our stove. Ahhhh it’s gas-powered!!!!! Easily the best part of the apartment. The entrance to the parking area is a one lane mini-roller coaster down a couple stories so that’s a little stressful at times. But other than that we love it.


New Ward

We had Stake Conference this week (which was so great btw) so I haven’t met very many new members, but we did have a meeting with the Bishop. He’s so bomb too. He was basically like: “Please try to be patient with me because I’m going to be busy a lot of the time but I know that missionary work is the most important aspect of the church so I’m going to do all in my power to help you all out and make sure you have what you need”. Oh man. So good. We ate dinner with him too last night (pupusas…please learn how to make them mom) and at one point he held his dog and made it “Zumba” dance so I’m looking forward to work with him to say the least.



Obviously with my new calling as zone leader we’ve been assigned a car full-time. And lucky me, I got assigned to be designated driver! Not. It’s not exactly my favorite. In fact it’s kind of terrible haha. Van Nuys parking is a strug every day. Pretty much Van Nuys driving is a strug every day. Here in good ole California there’s hardly any things known as a “left green arrow” so every time we have to turn left at a stoplight we’re putting ourselves in the Lord’s hands. Just a tad stressful. But no scares quite yet. I find myself getting honked at at least 3 times a day but no worries.



Elder Kimball and I are zone leaders over the Burbank zone, covering essentially most of the North Hollywood/Burbank area and Van Nuys. President Hall switched up the zones this past transfer meeting: essentially we went from 4 zones to 3, therefore the zones are sooooo much bigger. Lots of driving practice for me then! Whoopie. We’ve also got 24 missionaries under our stewardship which is quite a large number in this mission haha. That means lots of exchanges! Fun times ahead. Oh yeah, and about 8 missionaries of that 24 are in the process of being trained which means 8 of the 12 companionships are in the training program. It’ll be fun to work with all these new missionaries moving forward.


I think that just about covers everything. If you want a short summary version: Van Nuys is legit. Definitely looking forward to work here in the coming weeks. We’ve got a few investigators we’re excited to work with, the struggle as usual has been getting them to church. But the work is progressing here in the valley of San Fernando! And from what I hear, throughout the world as well. Exciting times to be a missionary. Have a great week everyone.


Fiel con firmeza,


Elder Allen



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