Saturday, February 21, 2015

21 August 2013, Well Done Elder Carlson

David returned home from his mission on August 21, 2013. Unfortunately there was a delay in the airport in AZ that delayed him arriving in San Diego. But, he got here and the whole family was very excited. There to greet him at the airport were mom and dad, the Robinson family, the McKamey family and Damien and his girlfriend Jessica. We had a family party on Saturday for David and much of the Kret and Carlson family was there. David gave a wonderful homecoming address the Sunday after he arrived home.

The change in David was wonderful. He is still the fun-loving, easy-going person that he always was. But, he is more self-confident, even more thoughtful and has a wonderful testimony. He has a special love for the people of Mexico. It is clear that all of these traits will remain with him for the rest of his life.

David's mission was a great sacrifice for him but he made it gladly. It was a sacrifice for his family as we missed him dearly. But, we would not have changed a thing. He, our family and many people in Mexico were blessed through his service. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

12 Agosto 2013, Guasave Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,

Hey! Well things are going pretty good here as usual. I feel like I´ve been learning a lot this transfer. There have been some challenges here and there but I´ve realized lately that every challenge we have in life can serve for our own good. In addition to challenges, I´ve also seen some of the best blessings throughout my whole mission! I´m excited for what the Lord has in store for me and have a testimony now that HE always completes HIS promises! We´re the ones that sometimes don´t complete so well, but the good thing is how willing he is to forgive us when we turn to him with a broken heart. It´s amazing :).. It´s weird thinking about how fast this time will be coming to an end but I know I´ll always be able to apply the things I´ve learned at this time. I´m excited for this week and know that it will be one of my best.

I´m glad everybody has been doing well at home. Summer time is a great time of the year to get together with the family, work, and play. The weather here has been pretty crazy lately. It´s super hot all of the sudden and then it rains, then it goes back to be hot, and right now it looks like it´s sprinkling. Today it has been a pretty cool day though so that´s good. Guasave has been needing the rain too.

Our investigators and the members have been doing pretty good too. Unfortuantely, Hugo and Uva, still haven´t decided to get married. We trust that the Lord will help them decide what they´re going to do and for now we´re going to rely on the help members can give us and continue encouraging them to keep the Lord´s commandments. One of the cool experiences we had this week is when we were talking to a lady in a little store. We were teaching her a little bit and a kid, named Luis Carlos, came and tapped me on the shoulder. He felt embarassed afterwards when he realized I wasn´t the person he thought I was. He told us about how the missionaries used to visit him and his family. Later on we stopped by and met his mom, Flerida, at the door she told us that she wasn´t really intersted at this time and we mentioned that her son had told us about them. As soon as we mentioned her son she said okay and told us to pass on in. We taught Luis Carlos (he´s 11) a little bit about who God is and why we should obey him. His mom listened while we taught him. We invited them both to church after teaching a little more and said that we´d pass for them on sunday. When we passed by sunday morning nobody left after several attempts knocking on the door. We went to church as normal and the second hour of church Flerida, the mom, walked in to our class to our surprise. She had brought Luis Carlos and her older son Oscar too.. During the class she payed attention well and told us her experience about when we arrived at her house. She prays pretty frecuently but the night beforehand she said she had prayed a lot more sincerley that normal. She begged the Lord to help her and her family and that she could know what path to take for their happiness. She recognized later on that us arriving to her house the next morning was an answer to her prayers. She had no idea that we had talked to Luis Carlos the other day.

I´m thankful for the experiences the Lord has blessed us with like these. I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers and have witnessed the ways that He works. He can help us many ways but a good amount of the time he blesses us through the service of other people. Each and everyday that we choose to serve someone we can be that angel that Heavenly Father sends to help us in our struggles.. I pray that we all can serve on another and trust more in God than in our own talents and habilities. Have a great week! I love you all and appreciate your prayers, love, and support.

Elder Carlson

P.S. Photos: Lunch with an hermana in the ward, Our ward mission leader invited us to eat carne asada on sunday!


Monday, August 5, 2013

5 Agosto 2013, Guasave Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,
Well this week has been quite eventful and there´s been some good changes going on in the ward and in the mission work. We had our meeting with Pte. Munive tuesday and it was really fun. We had a good time together and then afterwards started having our different subjects we were going to talk about. I enjoyed the plans we made to work more with the members and a good reminder of how we should be obedient. I know that we are more happy in our lives when we are obedient to God´s commandments. I think one of the best blessings that we can recieve from Heavenly Father is a clean conscience. It doesn´t mean we´re going to be perfect but I know that the power of the atonement is real. I know that Jesus Christ can help us to change any error or mistake we have made. It´s that love that we continue trying to teach our fellow brothers and sisters, whether they´re members or a man standing in the street.. At the end of the meeting I got the chance to bear my testimony along with a couple other missionaries that are going to finish the mission together with me. I could feel a special spirit and I know that the Lord pleased with us. The challenge now is to continue applying everything we have learned, and to keep on searching for spiritual experiences even one day when we don´t have a missionary tag on. We can always have it on our heart. And that promise is for everyone, inculding those who haven´t gone on missions for the church.
My companion and I have been doing well. I´ve learned a lot from him this transfer and I hope I can learn a lot more. I know everybody has special gifts the Lord has given them, and we can even help people to recognized the gifts they have or can develop.. Our zone meeting went pretty well too and all the missionaries left with a good spirit. Sometimes those meetings start out and you can see where people are at emotionally and spiritually by the countenance on their faces. I was worried that a lot of them are discouraged right now. I think the practices we did helped them to realize the potential we can achieve and remember our purpose here as missionaries.
I´m proud of all the good things that are going on at home and love hearing about all the activities going on. I know that their is no greater joy that we can have, than with our own familys. The joy can only be greater and eternal if we strive to practice righteous principles and teach one another to do what is right. Keep enjoying all the time you can together with your families.
Hugo and Uva are doing well but they still haven´t decided when they want to get married. Hugo wants to but the mom, Uva, has been skeptical even though their family relationship has grown distinctly. We keep praying for them and are going to do all that we can. I think everyone will have a few moments that the spirit inspires them what to do. The Lord is never that far from us, but He waits for the moment that we humble ourselves before Him and fall into His arms... I love you all and I know that Heavenly Father has a perfect love for his children.
Keep it up.
Elder Carlson
P.S. Photos: We got to go bowling with President. And play some ping pong. Here´s the guys in the Zone Guasave.

Monday, July 29, 2013

29 Julio 2013, Guasave Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,
Hey!!! Well things are going super good here! I´m really excited and happy today for some reason haha.. We´ve seen some good progress here in our area and I can tell that the Lord is blessing us. I pray that we can continue to progress spiritually and help out as many people possible to follow the path of the gospel.
This last week we were able to visit several less active members. We had some special experiences with them and I feel like the Lord put them in our path. We also are continuing to find new people to teach and are working with the familia Loredo. They´re doing great!.. We had a Family Home Evening last week with them and it turned out well. We were able to watch a video about the family, and everyone talked about how they could contribute to be a more unified family. The role of each person in the family is very important. The next visit in the week we planned on verifying how Beatriz has felt with her testimony of the church and inviting her to be baptized. We had a good conversation about the spirit and how it testifies to us, and she told us she believes that this is the only true church. She had been a little afraid of the commitment with God after baptism, but she told us on monday she was going to tell us she wants to be baptized. She just felt a little embarassed about saying it front of one of the members that was there with us. We asked her if she wanted to be baptized this week or the next week, because she is already living the commandments necessary and she decided to be baptized this last saturday! The baptism turned out great even though we had to fix everything up pretty fast and didn´t have much time to invite people. Several people attended the baptism and everyone gave Beatriz a warm welcome to the ward.
Besides that, the youth continue to be really motivated lately. Fernando bore his testimony on sunday, it was short but sweet. It´s great to see the progress people make and you can definitely see a new spirit in people after their baptism when they are baptized with a broken heart and a contrite spirit... E. Casimiro and I have had some good conversations this week. We´re setting more goals together to live up everymoment we´ve got. We´re going to help the ward organize a ward mission plan, so that everyone can get a little more involved. We´re starting to invite families to make lists of people they would like to share the gospel to, and are helping them learn how to compart the gospel.
I´ve felt very greatful with my Heavenly Father this week. I know that he is control of everything even when the world seems hecktic to me, and this week was a good reminder of that. We´re trying to follow the will of the Lord, and we are going to ask Hugo and Uva how they´ve felt about marriage lately. They seem like they have made a lot of progress as a family this week, and we´re trying to figure out where they´re at.
Thank you all for you love and support. I love my family! It´s really helped me throughout my mission and continues to help me. I pray that all is well at home and that we can count our many blessings. You´re in my prayers as always.
Elder Carlson
Photos: Celebrating 23 months, Baptism of Beatriz, Hot Dogs!


Monday, July 22, 2013

22 Julio 2013, Guasave Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,
Hey! Well things are going pretty fantastic here right now in guasave. There was a lot of rain this week so things have cooled down with the clouds. Sometimes randomly itエs super humid too and still pretty hot, but maybe I just feel more used to it also? Haha.. Itエs great to here about all the progress going on at home and the adventures that have been going on this summer. Itエs good to take a moment and enjoy life :).
This week Fernando came back from EFY and he had an awesome time. Even though he has just a little over a week baptized he got up and bore his testimony in front of everyone he told us. He made some good friends and overall the the whole experience sounds like it was a success. The youth all came back spiritually recharged and energized.. Luckily with the familia Loredo too, Uva came back home and things are going pretty well with her and the dad Hugo. We had a great lesson with them in the beginning of the week and talked about the importance of families. We talked about how marriage is ordained of God, and the purpose the father and mother have in raising a happy and successful family. She decided itエs time to put her trust in the Lord and they seem like since then they have had a lot more unity at home. Weエre just praying that theyエll put a date on getting married soon! Weエve got a family home evening activity with them tonight.
Besides that E. Casimiro and I are doing good. Ever since we decided to sit down and make some plans together we have had a lot more unity. Weエve had some great lessons this week and I know the Lord is blessing us for working together with the same purpose.. In general that seems like what the theme of this week was in my life. Everything was tied to unity. Weエve got some good goals and plans we talked about to help the zone to be more unified and set and complete our goals... Itエs amazing to think about how the Heavenly Father works in unity with Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost too. Theyエre 3 seperate beings with the same purpose. ィFor behold, this is my work and my glory葉o bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.ィ Moses 1:39.. Like them we must also work together in unity to help fulfill the purpose of God.
Iエm excited to continue working at this time and know that thereエs a lot more to be learned. Sometimes I want to know more about my purpose or exactly what the Lord would have me do at this time. Iエve learned that itエs good to study it out in our mind first and then ask the Lord if itエs okay.. Prayers are needed for us to recieve guidance in our lives. ィBehold, I say unto him, he exalts himself and does not humble himself sufficiently before me; but if he will bow down before me, and humble himself in mighty prayer and faith, in the sincerity of his heart, then will I grant unto him a view of the things which he desires to see.ィ D&C 5:24.. Iエve recieved a cleaner view of things through prayers and I know that it can help us to figure out what exactly we should be doing in life. It makes us stronger and able to appreciate life in a way more similar to the Lordエs view of things.
Have a great week and I pray that we can all humble ourselves and seek the counsel of God in our decisions. Surely he will help us to do what is right and to find true happiness. I love you all!
Elder Carlson
Photo: Spicy pizza time.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

15 Julio 2013, Guasave Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,

It´s good to hear how well everyone is doing at home. Sounds like it´s been a successful summertime so far from what I´ve heard. It´s a good time for some warm memories.. Well things are going pretty good here. This week we have had some good visits with the people we´re teaching and we have been getting to know the members a little better. I was thinking it would be good to talk about service the first sunday of the month during testimony meeting but I didn´t get to bear my testimony. This week the ward gave me and my companion the chance to talk though, and I got to talk about missionary work. I added some of the things I was thinking about saying last week in my testimony about how service is needed in missionary work. It was great to see how the Lord gives us opportunities to grow and share spiritual insights with our brothers and sisters.

We´ve been visiting the familia Loredo Soto and they´re going through some problems right now. Hugo and Uva don´t know if they´re going to continue together or not. It´s sad because the gospel isn´t meant to break families apart but everyone is going to make their own choices too.. Although the family is going through a rough time, Hugo and the kids have been staying pretty strong spiritually. Fernando felt the desired to be baptized and we helped him to prepare for the promise he made with the Lord. He was baptized on friday and he seems like a good teenager that´s going down a good path in life now. He´s also excited because today him and some of the youth in the ward left for EFY (a church youth activity week). I´m sure he´ll have a lot of fun while he´s there and he´ll feel even more spiritually strengthened.

The members here are really supportive. I just wish I could make everyone feel the potential they have as children of God. It´s a little hard to do though, because I struggle trying to find out how much potential I have as a child of God. But I know that even if we only had that little bit of knowledge, nothing would be impossible to us. If there´s something you want to improve in your life, now is the time to do it. Nobody is else can force you or prevent you from doing what you put to mind. It´s just a matter of thinking upward, not down.

I love you and thank you for all the support and prayers. Keep up the good work. If you think you can´t make the world much different don´t worry about it. Because what you can do, is make a difference in somebody´s world.
Elder Carlson

Monday, July 8, 2013

8 Julio 2013, Guasave Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,

Hey! Well time keeps passing by and it´s been pretty crazy but things
are going good.. This week we had another little confernce in Los
Mochis but this time with all the elderes in Sinaloa. It´s nice
getting to know Presidente Munive more. He´s an awesome guy, and a
great mission president so far. Hermana Munive is really nice too and
has a soft attitude, she takes the motherly role very well. We got to
know their 2 youngest kids too, they have 2 daughters and 1 son. Their
other daughter we didn´t get to know because she´s in Idaho right now
but will be coming to visit soon before she leaves on her own
mission!.. They´re a great family and I can´t wait to get to know them
even more and work together with them. Pte. Munive told us some
experiences from his mission and I liked his advice on enjoying our
time here in the mission. It passes by really fast and it´s important
to enjoy each moment.

I´m getting to know my companion better, E. Casimiro. He´s a
hard-working elder and we just had transfers because the new mission
here is on a different transfer schedule. It´s been weird having it
all soak it, I can pretty much count on it now that he´s going to be
my last companion and that this is my last area... Aside from letting
that information sink in everything has been going quite well! The
people here in guasave are very friendly. It´s easy to enter in a new
house and we´re constantly getting to know new people. I´ve been
playing the memory game trying to memorize everybodys names and
getting to know the members too.

We´re teaching the familia Loredo Soto still and the dad, Hugo, and
his son, Fernando, are doing awesome! They´re both progressing more
and it looks like the son will be baptized soon. Hugo and Uva still
need to get married and we had a good lesson with them. We found out
that she still has a lot of fears of Hugo going back to his oldself.
We had a good discussion mainly focused on forgiveness. One of the
scriptures we shared was D&C 64:10

9 Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for
he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned
before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.
10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is
required to forgive all men.

Hugo has been showing fruits of his repentance and his wife, Uva,
began to realize it´s going to be necessary for her to set aside her
resentment and bad feelings towards him... We have a few other
investigators who are coming along too and others that haven´t been
progressing quite as well. We´re going to set some good goals to keep
finding people and help the people we´re teaching prepare to make
covenants with the Lord.

It´s great to know how well everything is going at home. I appreciate
all the love and support you show me. I hope that everybody is
enjoying the summer time :). I love you.

Elder Carlson

P.S. Photos: 1. The best zone ever, Guasave! 2. Cool guys from Sinaloa
and with the Assistants! 3. Riding on the bus.