Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hola! Nov 28, Mazatlan, Mexico

Hola Familia!

Well it´s been another week here in Mexico! Thanksgiving/Dia de Gracias definitely wasn´t the same but we ended up eating a lot of food still. In the morning our investigators Marcos and Terre got married! We were witnesses at their wedding and everything. It was pretty fun and I was really happy for them. Later on they gave us some food before lunch. Then we had lunch and somebody ended up giving us some dinner that night too! So that was 3 meals when normally we just get feed once a day haha... Besides that this week has been pretty busy though with other randomness. Presidente Cantu came down here to Mazatlan to give everyone here some interviews. It was pretty short and he mainly just asked me how things are going. I told him I feel much more adjusted to Mexico now then I did at first, and our interview was kind of in Spanglish since he knows English too. Kind of funny.

In the beginning of the week we had divisions again. So I was with Elder Lopez for the day again. We ended up teaching a lot of lessons that day too so I felt a little more confident with my missionary life. At the end of the week we had Stake Conference! That was awesome too. President Cantu and his wife spoke at that too. All the talks were pretty good. Although at some points it was a little harder for me to pay attention then others. When I have a hard time paying attention it starts being harder to understand spanish too, haha. But for the most part I´m doing a pretty good job listening I think : ). And the Spanish is starting to get a little easier... Then on Sunday we baptized Marcos and Terre! Elder Ward baptized Marcos and I baptized Terre! It was pretty awesome seeing them make that step and how happy they were afterwards. I was definitely happy for them and it´s nice having had my first baptism now.

Besides that we are pretty busy today! I have to go get my haircut pretty soon so got to get going. We don´t have a ton of people we are teaching right now so our main goal is going to be finding more people. Sounds like everybody had a good thanksgiving and that´s good to hear! Thanks as always for all the support, love, and prayers.

Hasta Diciembre,
Elder Carlson

p.s. attatched some pictures of the wedding and baptism! have fun!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 21, Mazatlan Mexico

Hola Familia,

Hope everybody is doing well and excited for Thanksgiving! We have dinner with some family for "dia de gracias" but nothing special I think. They don´t really celebrate that here. Things are going pretty well. We didn´t end up baptizing the people we thought we were going to but E. Ward baptized an 8 year old girl in the ward.. Luckily the birth certificate for Marcos and Terre finally came so they are going to get married this week though! And then shortly afterwards we are going to baptize them. They are excited but I don´t know all the details yet. Also, with our other investigator Maria Guadalupe we still working with and teaching the lessons but we don´t know when she wants to be baptized either. We have stake conference this next weekend so we won´t be able to have anybody confirmed on sunday if they get baptized. Baptism is important because it is one of the first steps we can make in the gospel and it´s important to have the covenant between us and God. But it´s also important for our investigators to know that it´s not our only purpose to be there. We want to help them with whatever they are going through and help them come closer to Christ.

We went to a little party at one of Fernando´s brothers, just stopped by and said hi. We ate some cake and "pizza" and that was pretty good. Definitely not like the pizza at home though. We are working with some other investigators right now and that is going well but we want to find more. We are looking for more people to teach all the time. We did end up finding 2 new people to teach though in the street one day. There were these kids calling us over and we didn´t go over right away. We ended up walking back over by that street though where the kids had been and talked to the people there. There were 2 guys who had lived in Utah for 15 years or so and then got deported back over to mexico! They were telling us a lot of crazy stories but also how they want to change their lives. So we´re hoping to see some progress with them. We taught them a little bit about prayer and have just gotten to know them a little bit so far.. Besides that things are pretty much the same. It only rained that one day last week! So that was good. It´s still pretty hot but cooled down a little bit again. Hoping to have a good week of teaching : ).

Thanks again for all the support. Appreciate all the letters and prayers.

Elder Carlson

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, Mazatlan Mexico

Hola Familia,

Hey! Things are going pretty good here right now in Mazatlan. I had another pretty good week. Today it was raining off and on and when it rains here it rains pretty hard! This has been my first experience with that though and ended up being kind of fun.. We have had a lot going on this week but are still trying to find more people. On Saturday though we had our first baptism! Elder Ward baptized this 9 year old boy named Fernando. We had been teaching him the lessons because his grandma had asked E. Ward and his previous companion if the missionaries could when they have time. His grandma and some of his other family are members in the Church but they hadn´t gone to church for awhile. So he and some of his brothers had been going with their grandma to church each sunday. We also had some Zone meetings this week. We had a Zone meeting in the beginning of the week where we worked together on how we can set some more goals. Then on saturday we had a Zone conference where President Cantu came down. He gave us a lot of good information too. We learned more about how we can plan effectively for the week and the things we need to be doing to have the spirit. We always talk a lot about how important it is to have the spirit during our lessons. We need to be thinking about our investigators during personal study time too so that we can share scriptures with them and find out what exactly they need to hear.

This week we have a baptism scheduled for Maria Guadalupe. She excited for her baptism and we saw her at Church on Sunday so that was good. We had one of the members in our ward go with her too so that she doesn´t feel awkward going alone. It´s really important for the people we teach to have friends in the ward too. That´s one of the things we didn´t talk about as much in the MTC that  I have learned more now. We´re working with Marcos and Terri right now and they are still waiting for the birth certificate needed for Terri so that they can get married before we baptize them. It is supposed to arrive very soon so we are hoping to baptize them this week too. Besides that we really want to find more people to teach so we are hoping that we will be able to find some new investigators this week. I´m trying to talk more during the lessons but Spanish is still hard. Every week it is getting a little easier, but mainly understanding it is getting easier still. The talking part still has it´s difficulties. I´m enjoying it here and it has cooled down a little bit so that is good!

Elder Carlson

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011 Mazatlan

This is David's Mission President and his wife - President and Sister Cantu.

This is David and the guys he traveled to Mexico with. The guy on the right - Elder Morrise - was his companion in the MTC.

This is Elder Lopez with David. He's a Mexican native. He and David went out and worked together in November 2011.

This is David's first Mexico companion. His name is Elder Ward. He's been out 4 months longer than David.

Hola Familia!

Well I´ve survived another week in Mexico. Things have been going a little better with the language. I´m able to understand a lot more of what people are saying now but still having a lot of difficulties with the speaking part. Poco a poco, people say, which is little by little. So I´m adjusting to that still but will be for awhile. Elder Ward said that one of the best things that I can do is just to read in the spanish book of mormon. So I´m going to try and do that more when we have our little personal study time for an hour in the morning. We eat each day with someone from the ward at 2pm and that is our meal for the day. At first when I heard that I was like wow I´m going to be starving, but I´m definitely not. We eat breakfast before we go and have a pretty good size me at 2 every day by someone who signs up to make us food. Then sometimes I eat random food at the apartment at night too.. But things are going good! I´m feeling a little more adjusted to Mexico now. But there are definitely weird things I see everyday that I didn´t realize haha.

In the beginning of the week we had divisions. Where I got to switch companionships for the day. I had Elder Lopez for the day who is from Mexico so I got to use my spanish a lot more. E. Ward talks in spanish pretty much all the time but since he can understand english it´s easy for me to get lazy and say things to him in english. So this was defintitely a good experience for the spanish and ended up being a good day for teaching too. We taught some of there investigators in that area of Mazatlan and I helped answer there questions. E. Lopez has been in Mexico longer than me but has less time on the mission than me. So that was kind of funny. We both are definitely learning a lot of stuff still but we did pretty well... Then later in the week we had some good lessons and some strange ones. One of them was with a pastor from a different church. He was very nice at first but then at the end wasn´t intrested at all. The hardest thing in our area right now has just been finding new investigators. But we did teach someone who had been having the missionaries over before. She already had all the lessons but hadn´t been taught since like June so we decided to stop by and see her. We were just starting back at lesson 1 talking about the restoration of the gospel and spent some time getting to know her. She ended up opening up a lot and told us about how her husband had died several years ago and how that was hard for her. E. Ward asked if she knew that she could see her husband again after this life. And she didn´t know that! So we taught her a little bit about how she will be able to see him again and then asked her if she wanted to pray to know that these things are true and to feel the spirit. So we had a prayer and then were just silent for a little while. I could feel the spirit pretty strongly and then we asked if she could feel it. She said she could and said that she felt really good and at peace. We talked to her a little bit more and then asked her if she wanted to be baptized and she said yes! It was pretty cool to see someone taking that step in the gospel.

Besides that we have been working with our other investigators that we have. Two of them want to get baptized but need to get married first. We are waiting on her birth certificate to get sent to her because she needs her original one for the marriage license apparantly. So hopefully it comes soon! They come to Church every week and things have been going good with them. We also have a 9 year old boy we were teaching some of the lessons too. A lot of his family are members and he is going to be baptized this week! So that is great too.. We are trying to find more people to teach. We didn´t do as much tracting this week but got some references of people to visit so we are going to check up on them.

I attatched some photos with me and the mission president when we got here. Elder Morrise and Hill, the ones I traveled to Culiacan with. Me and my companion Elder Ward.. Me and Elder Lopez too!.. Things are going good though here and it has cooled down a little bit. It just is a different cool here. Never really gets cold haha, but right now it is pretty bareable. Thanks for all the support, prayers, and letters again!

Hasta Lluego,
Con Amor,
Elder Carlson