Monday, December 24, 2012

24 Diciembre 2012, Escuinapa Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,

Well this week went by really fast and was pretty busy! We went up to Culiacán for our Navideña and it was pretty fun. It was cool being able to see Elders that I haven´t seen in awhile and to have some fun with them. We played dodge ball, ate a nice christmas meal, had a little devotional with the President, and then had a testimony meeting at the end. It´s funny because now that it´s winter time it´s actually colder in Culiacán than it is here! Looks like I´m just going to have summer time all year long haha.

Tonight we´re going to eat with a family in our branch for Christmas Eve and tomorrow we´re going to eat with our branch president. I´m sure the food will be pretty good and it´ll be nice to spend some time with the members for these Christmas holidays. Although it sure doesn´t look feel much like Christmas time it´s been cool to see some christmas decorations in town and people getting ready to spend time with the family for christmas.. This week we´ve been looking for more people to teach. We´re teaching this teenager named Marcos right now and we want to teach his family more too. They have a Pastelería (Cake store) there in the house. So his mom has been really busy making cakes and selling them to people for the holidays. Hopefully after the Christmas she´ll have some more time to listen to us. We are looking for more people to teach and we went to a Plaza to do some more contacting in the street. We got to know a lot of people and a few of them gave us their addresses to pass by later on, so we´re hoping to see some progress there really soon! I know that the Lord is preparing people to listen to us, we just are going to have to be patient and do our part having faith in Him to find them!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas! I hope everyone gets to spend some time with their familys and remember the real importance of Christmas. I´m thankful for all the blessings I have and it´s nice to see when people really begin to focus on the most important things in life during this time. I love you all and thank you for the prayer and support you give me. Have a great week : ).

Love,
Elder Carlson

Photos: 1- Our Zone plus two random elders, 2. Elder Cruz and I, 3. The most decorated house in Escuinapa


Sunday, December 23, 2012

17 Diciembre 2012, Escuinapa, Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,

Well yet another week has past by and there were ´cambios´! We´re starting off our new transfer and a lot of stuff is going on. Elder Baltich went to El Fuerte today and my new companion Elder Cruz got here like 2 hours ago. Things are going well so far but we´ve been super busy! He´s from Yucatan and was in my zone in culiacan when I got there, so that´s pretty exciting news!

Besides that this week we´re having our Navideña activity. We´re going to Culiacán for the activity tomorrow and we´re going to have it on Wedenesday! So I´ll definitely make sure to take pictures and it will be nice to be able to get into the Christmas spirit and see some of the other missionaries there. It´s weird thinking that it is almost time for Christmas.

This week probably one of the coolest expieriences we had is when we got to teach this old lady named Thomasa. She contacted us and we were talking to her in the door. She said she had talked with missionaries before but hadn´t in a few years. She told us about how her son died and then they went to the Cathedral to have the funeral service and the Priest wouldn´t let them in. He said that he already knew that she had been letting the mormon missionaries visit her, and refused to give her the service. Unfortunately since then she´d been pretty afraid to talk to us, because of what her neighbours and other people like the priest would think. We started talking about Peter and when he saw Christ walking on the water. Peter began to walk on the water too but then he began to sink after a few steps because he doubted. I told her about how we also have things that scare us or make us doubt in life but we need to hold onto our faith. I told her about how the church always faces adversity and opposition, but that I know the church is true and I know that God knows it, so that´s enough for me. We asked her kindly if she´d let us pass in and teach her about where her son is and Heavenly Father´s plan for their family. We got to teach them a little about the Plan of Salvation and the Lord´s temples. It was a great experience and I was glad we could feel the spirit there. We hope that she will be able to keep progressing and are going to visit her this week.}

Well I got to get going, but thank you for all the support and letters you´ve all sent me! I hope you have a great week and that everybody get´s in the Christmas spirit. I love you all and pray for you.

Love,
Elder Carlson

Monday, December 10, 2012

10 Diciembre 2012, Escuinapa, Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,

Well yet another week has passed by and things are going pretty well! In the beginning of this week we did some visions with the elders in rosario. Elder Canul came here to Escuinapa with me and we had the opportunity to visit a couple people. We have some challenges here in our area right now we´re trying to work on, but we got to have some pretty awesome experiences this week!

This week we were preparing Julio for his baptism and we had a couple things we had to plan out. He got interviewed in the beginning of the week and he felt ready but then when it got closer to the day of his baptism we ran into some challenges. For some reason the water was turned off in the church building and we were trying to get a hold of someone to fix that friday. Saturday morning there was still no water and we were pretty worried because he was going to get baptized at 12. After some running around our Branch Presidente decided to send a water truck over. We couldn´t open the back gate where we wanted the truck to enter either so we had to go through the front one, which was further away from the baptismal fount. The hose ended up barely reaching the fount from the front in the end and everything worked out. Even though it was a little crazy we know the Lord helped us out and it wasn´t just casuality haha.. 12pm came and not too many people were there but then the missionaries from the other branch brought more people, and some recient converts in our branch arrived. It finally came time for the ordinance and Julio was baptized. He´s way happy and you could tell that his friend Elli was really touched and proud of him too.

We found some pretty cool girl the another night who was going on a walk with her little girl. She walked right by us and we said hello, and she pretty much contacted us herself. She´s been studying with the Jehovah´s Witnesses and usually those people aren´t really interested in talking to us. She didn´t mind at all though and was really open to talking and had a lot of good questions. Her name is Perla and we ended up teaching her some about the restoration right there on the bank of this street. We´re excited to see what happens with her this week but we felt really blessed with that experience finding her too!.. This week we want to keep trying to find people like Perla. Unfortunately it looks like Iris isn´t going to progress right now and we´ve been needing to find some more investigators.

Hope everybody is feeling the Christmas spirit and is excited for this December. It´s still pretty hot here but it´s not too bad :). Thanks for all the love, support, and prayers. Have an awesome week!

Love,
Elder Carlson


Monday, December 3, 2012

3 Diciembre 2012, Escuinapa, Mexico

Mi Querido Familia!

How´s everybody doing?! Wow, well it´s already december and that´s really weird. We saw part of some Christmas Program that the prophet Thomas S. Monson spoke in, last night. We were waiting for one of our investigators, Julio, to get there but unfortunately he didn´t get there. So we left without seeing the whole thing. Sounded pretty good from the part I heard in the beginning though.. This week things have been a little bit slower but they´re still going good! I had the chance to go to Culiacán for the ´Concilio´ thing thursday. We got to hear Pte. and Hna. Cantú and the Asistentes talk a little bit. We talked a lot about how to retain the people we teach better, the importance of having faith and sharing scriptures that the investigators need. There was a lot of good information and we had our zone meeting on saturday.

Julio is making really good progress! He´s definitely seems like he´s been changing a lot and he seems like a happier Julio. His goal is to get baptized on saturday so we´re helping prepare him more so that everything goes well and that he has a good experience. He´s pretty excited about it and we´re way stoked for him. It´s funny because several times this week we thought about things that we need to teach him or tell him and then he would appear out of nowhere as we were going around town. I know our prayers were definitely being answered because he doesn´t have a cellphone right now because it got stolen, and we wouldn´t of had a way to get a hold of him!.. On the other hand unfortunately, Iris, wasn´t doing so well this week. We came back and talked to her on saturday and she was all bummed out because of her familiy. She didn´t go to church the next day either because she said she needed to clean the house more. Her husband really doesn´t like the church, so we´re hoping we can some how get to talk to him and that he´ll open his heart more.

Besides that not too much else is going on! We´re going to try and find more people this week and we´re excited to try and apply what we have learned this week. Thanks for all the support and especially your prayers. Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Carlson

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

26 Noviembre 2012, Escuinapa, Mexico

Querido Familia,
What´s up? Well yet another week has passed by! Things have been going pretty well with our investigators here in the area too. In the beginning of the week I went on divisions to Teacapan. It´s a pretty small place near the sea and it seemed like a pretty cool town. We were able to find a couple more people who look interested in finding the gospel but it is weird because a lot of people there already know the missionaries. Not like they all know them personally but they know of them, which is good and bad haha. It´s nice to be able to see some of the other areas around here though and what´s going on. I was with Elder Gomez for the day and he´s a hard working missionary, it looks like they´re going to start seeing some more movement in the area soon though :).
This weekend was pretty awesome because Iris came with us to a Noche de Hogar in the church. We had a little ward activity and she participated and even brought one of her work employees. She came with us the next day to church and brought her grandson, even though she couldn´t convince Alondra (her daughter) to come with. She´s progressing really well and it looks like she´s going to get baptized the beginning of December. So we´re going to keep preparing her for her goal. Hopefully we can get Alondra to come with us to church soon too.. Another investigator of ours, Julio, is doing really well too. He went to church for his 3rd time on sunday and he seems like he´s progressing well. He´s going to start reading more in the Book of Mormon so though because he wasn´t sure whether he´s recieved an answer that is is true still.. We´re still looking for more people to teach and we talked with several other people throughout the week. I think we´re doing a good job finding the people who are really interested in the gospel but it is a little sad sometimes to see how many people aren´t really interested. That´s one of the reasons it´s so important to teach according to their needs!.. Overall I think we´re doing a pretty good job though, even though there´s always a lot we could improve on.
I can´t believe thanksgiving already passed by. I didn´t even realize it though until I was thinking about it on saturday haha. Sounds like everybody had a good week and I´m glad to hear that. The weather has been pretty good this week but it still feels really hot all of the sudden sometimes. There´s not too much to complain about though and I´m glad I know the area little better now. Thanks for all the support, your prayers, and love. I hope everybody keeps enjoying the rest of November!
Love,
Elder Carlson

Monday, November 19, 2012

19 Noviembre 2012, Escuinapa Mexico

Querido Familia,

Well this week was pretty eventful and went very well! In the beginning of the week I got to spend some time in Rosario with Elder Flores. Rosario is really pretty and we got to go to some even smaller ranchos that are in their area to visit some people. Looks like there is a lot of people waiting to hear the gospel over there and it was fun being able to work with Elder Flores. He´s from Puebla Mexico and seems pretty awesome.

One of the coolest experiences we had this week is when we went and visited Iris on Friday. Her family kind of totally turned on her and was getting her discouraged about listening to us. Her mom found out she was listening to ¨los mormones¨ and sent her uncle over there, who happens to be a catholic priest, to give her a good lecturing. We brought an hermana from the branch with us and she started gaining a lot of confidence with her and was helping her son peel some shrimp. The hermana used to be catholic too and was sharing a little bit about her conversion and when she felt that she needed to join the church and be baptized.. We had went there planning to give her a tour of the church and it looked like it wasn´t going to happen, but then she decided she wanted to go see the church before we left. The hermana helped give her a tour of the church and Iris told us that as soon as she entered the church she felt a peaceful presence. We got to explain some more and when we brought her back to her house she was telling everybody about the spirit she felt there, even though her daughter, Alondra, thought she´s just being crazy ha.. She wasn´t going to be in town yesterday but hopefully she will come with us to church next week! Either way it was an awesome experience for her and helped us learn more about the importance of bringing members to our lessons.

Saturday we got to go to Mazatlan also because we had some Zone conference combined with Mazatlan and Escuinapa. Presidente and Hermana Cantú taught us a lot and we were able to learn a lot more about how to teach better. We were there pretty much all day and got to have a big lunch there too so it was pretty awesome! Hopefully we can apply all the stuff we learned in our areas and with the people we are teaching.

Besides that some more things here I forgot to mention is that we ride bikes around in our area. Most the time we ride bikes, but a couple days this week we walked around so that we could talk with more people in the street. A lot of people in general ride bikes around here too, because there´s not buses that go around all of Escuinapa like they do in Mazatlan and Culiacan. The weather has a been a little more enjoyable this week but I´m definitely not going to have a cold winter it looks like haha.. Hope everybody is enjoying there November and thanks for all the support you give me! Your love and prayers are greatly appreciated :). Have an amazing week!

Love,
Elder Carlson

P.S. Photos- 1.) Some of the missionaries in Rosario 2.) Our little Zone 3.) In order: E. Juarez, Me, and my companion E. Baltich


 

Monday, November 12, 2012

12 Noviembre 2012 - Escuinapa Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,

Wow! What a week. Things have been going well here and I´m happy to be here in my new area. It´s a pueblo (town) here and in our Zone we work with several other small pueblos around it like Rosario and Teacapan. It´s definitely smaller than Culiacan and Mazatlan, but not like a middle of nowhere feeling either. I actually like the population size a lot :) but there´s some adjusting I´ve been doing too. The beginning of this next week I´m going to go on divisions with Rosario so that will be pretty cool to see how things are going over there too.. My companion, Elder Baltich, is awesome! We both have similar personalities and we´ve been thinking of a lot of ways to plan better and make better use of our time here. It´s cool because some of things I haven´t been as good at with in my mission he is awesome! For example, we´ve been going out teaching with the members a lot more than I ever have before in my mission. And when we do commitments with the people we´re being a lot more direct.

With the Día de Los Muertos activity luckily last week they got a lot of references from that, and we were visiting lots of those references. Probably the most potential people we´ve met are this one lady named Iris and her daughter Alondra, and one of my companion´s converts gave us a pretty cool reference named Judith. Iris is a lady with a ton of faith and accepted to prepare for a baptismal date and already told us she knows the Book of Mormon is true. She has been reading a lot, and said she used to have that book when missionaries visited her a long time ago, but she lost it. Unfortunately she didn´t come to church though and tomorrow we´re going to see what happened and how we can help her to come with us next week. That seems like her only challenge so far. With Judith she has been drinking for a long time but would like to stop. She didn´t really have to the faith to think she can stop drinking so we helped encourage her and we have set up some good goals to help her stop and make productive use of her time.

We´ve been thinking about lots of other good ideas and we´re hoping this week goes even better, but I was pretty happy with how this week went even though we were only able to bring one investigator to church.. We´re in a branch too, which means it´s pretty small but I´ve never been in a very big ward either. I got to meet the President of the Branch this week too, President Chi, and he is super awesome. He´s also a really busy young guy. He works, studys, and has a lot of church work always going on.. All the members who I have meet have seemed super strong in the gospel and upbeat people, so that´s really made me feel happy.

Besides that this week was really hot! Definitely hasn´t felt like November but the last 2 days seems like it´s been cooling down now.. Hopefully everybody is doing well at home. Thanks for all the love, support, and prayers. Hopefully I can tell you about some more cool experiences next week! :)

Love,
Elder Carlson

P.S. I need to take some photos! That´ll happen soon.

Monday, November 5, 2012

5 November 2012, Escuinapa, Mexico

Hola Familia,

Well things are going good! I just got here about an hour and a half ago in my new area. I´m in a part of Sinaloa called Escuinapa, it´s like an hour or little more south of Mazatlan. So it was pretty cool driving through Mazatlan and seeing my old areas!! I´m really excited so far and my new companion seems pretty awesome. His name is Elder Baltich. He´s from Lakeland Florida and has a little bit more time in the mission than me. We´re going to do a lot of awesome work together and we´re excited :).. It was strange and a little bittersweet leaving Culiacán and I got to say bye to a few people yesterday before I packed up my bags. I know that E. Collett will do a good job visiting the people their in our area and will keep finding more. It will be good for him to have a mexican companion for the first time too haha, now only spanish allowed.

Besides that I don´t have a ton of time to write but I´ll try and write some fast! We had the Día de los Muertos activity this week and that was pretty awesome! We contacted a lot of people and we went one day with one ward, and the next day with the other. When we got their the first day we had a special experience. There was a woman there visiting that had lost her daughter a couple years ago. We got to teach some of the Plan of Salvation to her and her 2 other kids. The ward members helped us out teaching and bore their testimonies about the gospel and how we can live together with our families forever. We got to explain about what happens after we die and before the resurrection and testified about Jesus Christ and this opportunity he has given us to all be happy and live with our families forever!

I hope everybody is doing well! It´s nice to hear that everyone had a great time with Halloween. There was some kids that ask for candy from some of the little tiendas (stores) here, and were dressed up. Definitely not as big of a show like in the states but it was cool to see a couple kids dressing up for Halloween... I hope everyone has an awesome week. I´m thankful for this life and know that the most important thing we can all do is follow Christ, help out our families, and show love unto one another. I also know that we all should pray for guidance from the Lord each and everyday and that he is always willing to help us!

Love,
Elder Carlson
 

P.S. Una foto de la actividad Día de los Muertos

Saturday, November 3, 2012

29 Octubre, 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia,
Hey what´s up?! Things are going pretty well here. This last week went by way too fast and it´s weird because this will be our last week before we hear about transfers. We have quite a few investigators still, but we´re always trying to find new ones and help out with the problems and challenges they have. Each person is very different and unique but many of them have similar struggles, worrys, and overall want the best for them and their family! The awesome thing is that Lord can help us out, with ALL of that! It´s just sometimes hard for us to figure that out haha.
Probably the coolest part of the week is when we were walking around one night. We remembered a reference that someone gave us a little bit ago, and talked with a man at that house. He ended up being really awesome and we taught him the plan of salvation. He had told us that his grandmother and cousin passed away a little while ago, and we were able to answer a lot of the doubts and worrys he had. His name is Belem and we´re excited for him! He gave us some awesome tamales too! Unfortunately he had to work on sunday and might be in Mazatlan for a little while. But we have an appointment with him for this saturday. They´re changing a few things about missionary work and everything always is getting changed for the better. One of the things they finally implemented in our mission is that we´re not going to go out knocking doors anymore, they´ve always told us to not have that as a plan, but it was still permitted. For example, if we knocked on a door of some appointment or plan we had and the person wasn´t their, a lot of times we knocked the door right next them too. Sometimes we found new people that way too but overall it´s just not an effective way to find people. We find more people from reference people give us, old investigators in the Carpeta de Area (area book), and contacting people in the streets (like how we met Senovia and Elda!).
I love all the people I know in this area and sometimes think about what´ll happen with them later on down the road. I know that as long as we follow the Lord, everything else will work out fine and we´ll be happy. I´ve been thinking a lot lately about how we should love life for what it is and what the Lord gives us. Happiness doesn´t come from just getting more and more, it comes from loving more of what we´ve got. Thanks for all the support and love you all give me! I pray that God will bless the lives of each and everyone of us and that we´ll learn to recognize his merciful hand that´s always being extended to us.
Love,
Elder Carlson
P.S. A picture from our Junta de Distrito (district meeting) last week :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

22 October 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia,

Well another week has gone by and things are going pretty well. We´ve been having some more success this week with people accepting goals to be baptized. We met a pretty cool family this week too but unfortunately they weren´t able to come to church with us on sunday. We have a good amount of investigators right now but probably the biggest challenge is getting them to come to church. One of the things we want to do more is invite more of the members to help us out with this. We need to start having members come with us in the lessons and motivate the members to go and pass by for them on sunday. It really makes me happy to see people who are concerned about making sure that others feel comfortable and really want to be their friend. I wish we could all be more like that, the Lord taught us all to love one another, and even though it may be hard sometimes it´s possible! I´d have to agree that the best way to learn to love someone, is by serving them and praying to the Lord for them!

The weather is getting a little nicer here now and it´s been pretty enjoyable to not be sweating around going to places haha. Does not seem at all like a cold winter, but I´m good with that. :) Elder Collett and I have been doing pretty well too. We´ve been putting some more goals together as a companionship and look for ways to be more helpful. He´s a pretty funny guy and makes me laugh a lot at the silly things he thinks of doing and does... One of the things we´re trying to work on is talking more to eachother in spanish. It´s really hard sometimes to do that, but it´s the BEST way to learn a different language and not forget it!

It´s awesome to hear how well everyone is doing at home and all the good news. Thanks for all your support and hopefully everybody can get into the holiday spirit! There´s not too much Halloween things here, but we´re going to be doing some Día de los Muertos activity in november, so we´re excited for that! We´re going to head to some cemetarys with our wards and then teach some people more about how they can research theiry ancestry. Don´t know too much about it besides that though!.. Have an awesome week and thanks for all the prayers, love, and support!

Love,
Elder Carlson

Monday, October 15, 2012

15 October 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia!

Well another week has gone by and things are going pretty well. We had the opportunity to meet some new people to teach and those were probably the coolest moments of the week. We were trying to teach one of our investigators, Javier, all week but things kept coming up so he couldn´t meet with us. He went to go see his mom and some other family too, and then yesterday we got to meet some of his family. We were walking in this one area and a guy called us over, it ended up being Javier and he was over there with his brother´s family. We actually already knew one of his nieces and now we started teaching their family! Hopefully everything goes well with them.

We´ve been having more success with finding more people to teach these past couple weeks, but everyone´s got their own unique situation and problem so we´re trying to work on teaching according to their needs more. We have several people we´re teaching that want to get baptized but need to get married first! A lot of people in the world argue more and more against the reasons to get married now. Everything seems more convenient with out that commitment. But the good thing is even though the world´s standards are always changing the Lord always blesses those who follow him. Heavenly Father wants us to be able to have a family connection that wont only last for all of this life time, but also for all of eternity! I think that´s one of the things I´ve been learning more about personally too, is how important familys really are to the Lord. Satan also knows how important familys are, so his main goal is to destroy them! I know that everything is easier through following the Lord and that we can have true happiness only by learning to trust in him and NOT in just our own, very flawed, wisdom. I´m grateful that the He is very patient with us in our debilities and wants to help each and everyone of us.

Besides that there´s not too much new going on. It´s good to hear that everyone is doing well at home. I´m keeping you in my prayers and appreciate all the prayers that help us out :). Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Carlson

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

8 October 2012, Culiacan, Mexico

Hola Familia!

Well things have gone pretty awesome this week! Conference definitely was the most exciting part of our week and we got the chance to bring several investigators to church with us. Our church builiding is one of the Stake Centers in Culicán so the session on Sunday morning was packed!! There was pretty good assitance to the other sessions we went to (Saturday Morning, Priesthood, Both on Sunday) but definitely not the same level as the sunday morning one. There´s a family we started teaching in our other area a couple weeks ago and this week we had a Noche de Hogar activity (Family Home Evening) with them. We watch the Testaments and got to talk some more about Jesus Christ and the opportunity we have to be guided by a Prophet of God in these days. We bore testimony to them that they can go to conference for themselves with a prayer in their hearts and they´ll know if he is a Prophet of God and that Heavenly Father will send them answers to their prayers and very distinct preocupations in their lives. Unfortunately the parents both worked on Sunday, but the kids were able to go with one of the Hermanas in the ward. They enjoyed the Conference and we´re going to focus on the teaching the parents more so that they can progress together as a family.


We´re starting to find even more people to teach and they´re progressing little by little. We have been doing pretty well together as a district and have been really trying to contact more and ask more for more references from the members. We recieved a lot of references this week but had a hard time encountering a lot of them because they weren´t there at the times we passed, ha. But we will keep on passing by and hopefully have even more people to teach!


I liked a lot of the talks at Conference but some of the ones that really stook out to me were the Sunday Morning and Priesthood session. I liked how during the Priesthood session they talked about how we should look at people not just how they are, but how they can become. We can change are whole perspective on life if we really look at people the way Heavenly Father see´s us. Children of God with very distinct blessings and gifts that have an unending potential when we turn unto the Lord humbly! I also liked how much everyone talked about the Savior the sunday morning session. Like the apostle Peter we all need to come truly converted unto the Lord, and afterwards to never turn back. If we truly love him we should be willing to follow him and share his love unto others with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. I love the Lord and I pray that we all can remember Him more and try and become more like Him!


Thanks for all the love and support that you all share unto me. I hope that everybody takes an opportunity to smile and even laugh everyday! And if you´re not really feeling in the mood for it, make someone else smile and laugh, and you´ll feel better too :). Have an awesome week!


Love,
Elder Carlson
 

Monday, October 1, 2012

1 October 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia!

How´s it going? Well things are going well here. Yet another week has passed by and it´s crazy that we´re already into October now! The weather is cooling down slowly, but everybody has said that this is the month when the heat stops. So that´s exciting news. It´s rained a couple times this week but not anything too hard.

Saturday Elda and Lina both got baptized in the morning! Elda and her sister, Senovia, had to work during the day so they decided to have it in the morning. We had to do some running around in the morning and fill up the baptismal fount the night before but everything turned out well. It made me smile being able to see them smiling and laughing right before we performed the ordinances. I baptized Elda and E. Collett baptized Lina. Later on they invited us over to their apartment to have some dinner and cake and it was nice to celebrate a little. The next day at church they both recieved the Holy Ghost and were confirmed members of the church too. The only bummer is that we missed that part because we were bringing our investigator Javier to church and his nephew Armando.

There´s a lot of cool people we´re teaching and we´ve been starting to find some more ones to teach in the other area too. We´ve been really blessed because there´s been several members giving us references and we´re hoping to keep on working more with the members... Today has been pretty low key and we got go to Sam´s Club to shop for the week, so we got all stocked up on food for awhile! We´re definitely lucky to be in one of the couple areas in the mission with a Sam´s Club and Walmart haha.

Besides that, we´re just excited that we´re going to have General Conference this weekend! Hopefully we can bring serveral people to the sessions and invite a lot of people. :) Hope everyone is doing well and that you all remember how much the Lord loves and cares about everyone of you! Thanks for your prayers, love, and support!

Love, 
Elder Carlson

 

Monday, September 24, 2012

24 September 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Buenas Tardes!

How´s it going? Hopefully everybody is doing well and from what I´ve heard you guys are! This week was pretty awesome if I do say so myself. This week we heard about our cambios (transfers) and I´m going to... STAY! Elder Collett and I are going to keep serving here in our area of Culiacán which is good. Things are finally cooling down, I really love all the ward members, converts, investigators, and friends I have made here. I´ll be kind of sad when I have to leave to be honest. The only change that is happening in our district is Hermana is leaving a new one is coming.

Things are going pretty well with our investigators. We´re starting to meet a few more but it never seems to be enough! haha. We´re teaching this really cool guy named Javier who was a reference from some other elders in the zone. He already accepted to be baptized and stop drinking alcohol, after 2 lessons! He unfortunately had to work this sunday so maybe that will be his only challenge for now. Elda (Senovia´s Sister) and Lina are both going to be baptized this saturday so we´re way excited for them. They´re 2 more of doughnut girls we met from awhile ago. It´s been really cool to see all the changes that have gone on with them since that night and they both were interviewed for their baptisms already :)... Besides that one of the really cool things that happened is that this week we got to baptize 2 investigators from the Hermanas area. They converts always seem really awesome and it was cool do be there with them.

We´re excited for this next transfer and have a lot of goals we´re setting. We´re trying to put our faith in the Lord and not just focus ourselves but that definitely is something we could work on! Thanks for all the support and love you guys always share with me. I´ll keep you all in my prayers and appreciate all the prayers you say for me!

Love,
Elder Carlson


 

Monday, September 17, 2012

17 September 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia,

Well this week has gone by pretty well! The other day there was an activity we had a Noche Mexicana activity in the church because it was the Mexican Independence day. We brought our investigator Dulce and her niece with us and it was pretty fun. We got to eat some tamales and other food while seeing a lot of members from the Stake. Dulce enjoyed the activity and is excited to get baptized. We´re teaching her boyfriend Jesus still and they´ve talked about getting married in October. Jesus likes talking to us too but we always have to late at night because he´s a cook and doesn´t get home til like 8pm sometimes. Hopefully one of these days he can get off work so he can come with us to church, but we´re going to try and see what we can do to help them :).

We´re finding people little by little, but that always seems to be like one of the hardest parts of the missionary work. Once we´ve already started teaching them it´s nice to be able to teach them and see them progress when they´re really prepared. There are tons of ways to find people to teach but we want to work more effectively with the wards. We´ve talked about some activities we might be able to do with our ward mission leaders and we´re going to try and use more members in our visits with the investigators.. Sunday was awesome because in one of the wards this family brought a 5 people who weren´t members to church and we´re going to try and teach a mom and her family that live near the church. It´s always a blessing to see new faces who are eager to learn about the gospel of Christ because we know that they will be blessed by the word of God.

We´re going to have a zone activity next week where we´ll do a lot of contacting in one particular area, but they haven´t told us much details about it yet. Sounds like it´ll be a fun change of pace though and I´m sure we´ll see a lot of success in finding people in which ever area we go to that day.. It´s always good to have something to look forward too and we´re eager to see some more growth.. It´s good to hear that everyone is doing well at home! You´re all in my prayers and never far from my heart. Have an awesome week!

Love,
Elder Carlson

P.S. Some photos of the Noche Mexicana, 1.) Dulce, her niece Stephani, and I 2.) La fiesta 3.) Fernando (my convert) and I


Monday, September 10, 2012

10 September 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia,

Well things have been going pretty well here in Culiacán. E. Collett and I have been having some pretty good experiences teaching and got the chance to go to Stake Conference yesterday. One of the general authoritys from Mexico, Elder Ovando?, came to the conference to speak too. We brought Dulce and a couple other investigators and they seemed like they all enjoyed it. We´ve been teaching Dulce a lot lady and started teaching her boyfriend the other night. They both have talked about getting married before and it sounds like they´ll probably get married before Dulce gets baptized. Hery boyfriend, Jesus, seems like he has a lot of potencial too the only problem will be having him come to church with us because he works sundays.

We´ve been learning a lot together as a companionship and really want to start finding more people to teach. We need to start planning better so that we can teach more lessons with the members. I really liked one of the examples E. Ovando said in his talk. He was talking about how this little girl was going on a flight with her Dad. While they were waiting in line they people could see that the little girl had a ton of balloons she was carrying with her from Disneyland. When it was time to get on the plane the flight attendant told her they could only carry one balloon with them for each person. The Dad and her were trying to decide between her 2 favorite balloons to bring with then. The people in line decided to help them out instead so that the little girl wouldn´t have to only pick 2. Everybody who came on the plane grabbed a balloon to sit with while they were on the plane. :) He gave the example that everything can be easier when we decide to work together and it was cool that everybody decided to help out just for one little girl and her balloons. We all can help out with things more in life and as church members we all can do a better job serving and sharing the gospel.

I´m enjoying the time I have here but want to learn to enjoy every moment I have even better. I know that the time I have here will pass by super fast and I think I wish I´d do a better job living up every moment I have here. I hope everybody can learn to enjoy each and everyday that have to live! True joy and happiness comes through serving those we love, and learning to love everybody. We´re not perfect and we don´t have to be perfect. What matters is if we´re making the effort to improve and do good each and everyday.

Love,
Elder Carlson

Monday, September 3, 2012

3 September 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia,

Well another week has gone by and things are going well! This week we got to take Dulce to church for the second time and had an awesome Gospel Principles class we asissted that the bishop taught. We talked a lot about prayer and the importance of praying. There are a lot of reasons we should pray and a lot of times when we´re mad or have done something wrong we don´t really want to pray. That´s when we should probably be praying even more though! We´re working with Dulce more and teaching her mom. Looks like both of them might get baptized soon but we´re focusing on trying to teach them whatever it is that will help them grow closer to the Lord and be happy!

Elder Collett is now used to the food here in mexico which is good : ). We´ve had some pretty good ¨comidas¨with the hermanas that we eat with each day too, so there hasn´t been anything to complain about. We definitely never go hungry here which is an awesome blessing! It´s been cloudy but didn´t rain as much as the other couple weeks. From what everyone tells me is that after this month things start cooling down a lot. So I´m looking forward to the months to come!.. Besides that we´re teaching the Luis´s mom, Yesi, right now and she´s coming along alright. She didn´t have the opportunity to come with us to church yesterday but there´s always next week! Haha. It definitely helps when there´s members that can give us and our investigators rides to church and luckily there´s a few people we know that help us out.

Today we´re going to have our Junta de Zona (Zone Meeting) and we´ve been super busy because we had to go to the offices for E. Collett to sign the rest of his immigration papers. Having an american companion has it´s advantages but I need to stop talking in English so much! Haha, but it´s okay we´re coming along well and both learning a lot together.

It´s good to hear that from everyone at home! Sounds like everybody has been doing well from what I´ve heard. I´m sure all the kids are now getting more settled in with school life which is good news too. Thank you all for all the prayers, love, and support you give me!.. Have an awesome week and you´re never far from my heart and thoughts. : )

Love,
Elder Carlson

P.S. next week i´ll need to attatch some picturesssss

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hola! 27 August 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia,
Well this week has gone by quite fast yet again and things are going pretty well. We have been visiting some of our investigators like Elda (Senovía´s sister) and we found 2 more really cool people to teach this week. We met this one lady after we said a prayer and knocked on a few doors. Her name is Brenda and she works at this sushi place, she has a 6 year old son with a japanese name too that sounds like Yoshi or something haha. She isn´t japanese, but she said the dad is. We taught her about the restoration the first lesson and everything went really well, she had to work this sunday so she couldn´t go to church though. She said she´s going to talk to her boss to try and change her schedule for next week so she can go though.
The other really awesome person we met is named Dulce. We had seen her the other week after we were talking to a drunk guy in front of her house, we asked if we could teach her this week and we did! We´ve taught her like 3 times already and she went to church with us this sunday and brought her little 1 year old girl. She seemed to like the church service a lot and told us not to forget about our appointment we have with her this tuesday. So it´s awesome to see someone so eager to learn about the gospel! We´re going to pray that everything keeps going well with them and that we can help them with whatever challenges they are having in their lives.
Elder Collett and I seem to be more used to our new changes that we have had this week. I´m trying to give more opportunities for him to teach and talk because he´s really quiet a lot of the time. That´s what happened with me though too so I definitely understand ha. He got a little bit sick in the in the beginning of the week too getting used to the food here but is feeling a lot better now : ). We´ve been pretty lucky with the cloudyness and rain we´ve been having still too. There´s only been a few really hot days.
I completed a year of the mission on friday and I ate some sushi to celebrate. Besides that everything is about the same and we´re excited to keep teaching more people. We might start teaching english classes in the church and we´re going to talk to our ward mission leader and the bishop about that this week... Thanks for all the support, prayers, and love! Take care and have an awesome week!
Love,
Elder Carlson



P.S. Photos- Pictures from the top of our house (2nd floor), Our District, and Sushi!

Monday, August 20, 2012

20 August 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia!

Well it has been a really busy couple of weeks! Things are going well and I´m alive so that´s the good news. Last week we were busy with transfers and Elder Lopez, Elder Lopez (my big hearted old companion), and I were really busy running around seeing people. We stayed at the Staff House and the next day I said goodbye to E. Lopez and recieved my new companion E. Collett! He is from Vernal Utah and just got here in mexico so it´s been pretty exciting showing him what´s up here in Culiacán. I´m in the same area, so none of that stuff changed luckily.

Last week we had the chance to baptize Senovia, one of the doughnut ladys, and everything turned out really well! She´s been doing well and with thing that her sister Elda might get baptized soon too. She still hasn´t decided on a day but we were teaching her a lot about the Espíritu Santo (Holy Spirit) the other day. They´re really cool and it´s been awesome to see the changes they have made in their lives now that they´ve been able to learn about the gospel. I don´t remember if I talked about Luis the other week, but there´s a couple kids we have been teaching that we met one night at a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) activity. He got baptized last week and his brother Isaac decided to get baptized on Saturday too. Both of them are doing well and we´ve been talking a little with the mom. She is really nice but told us ¨now don´t go thinking you´re going to baptize me next¨ or something like that haha. There´s a lot of cool people in that colonia we´ve been visiting and it looks like we´re going to teach their neighbours some too. They were asking us some questions about the church after the baptism and we got to explain a little about our purpose here in this life, and gave them a couple Libros de Mormon.

It´s pretty fun being with E. Collett and I´m sure he´ll learn spanish fast because he seems like a pretty smart guy. It´s funny though because it reminds me about when I just got here too. A lot of times he looks like he has know idea what´s going on and the same thing happened to me.. We ate with the Bishop yesterday and we want to start warking on a new mission plan for the ward. We´re going to try and have some of the members who live near our investigators come with us to visit them when we share lessons. It´ll be easier helping them to make friends and feel comfortable when they go to church on sundays. Hopefully we can plan it all out well because sometimes it´s hard passing for a ton of people by ourselves on sunday.

Aside from that things are going well and we´ve been really lucky with the weather this week. Pretty much everyday has been cloudy and it´s rained off and on, so we only had one really hot day. The weather is really random here sometimes but not as bad as I thought it would be either : ).

Hope everybody is doing well and it´s good to hear that everything is going well with those who are now starting school again. Thanks for all your words of support, prayers, and love! Have an amazing week and I´ll keep you all in my prayers too.

Love,
Elder Carlson

P.s. Photos - Baptism of Senovia, Baptism of Luis, E. Collet and I, and Baptism of Isaac


 

Monday, August 6, 2012

6 Aug 2012, Culiacan Mexico


Hola Familia,

Well another sunny week has gone by and things are going well here! It´s so weird because this will be the last week of our cambio, meaning next week will be transfers. I feel like I have been able to learn a lot with my companion, E. Lopez, and it´s weird to think that he´ll be heading home soon to Michoacan.. This week was pretty cool because we ended up finding some new people to teach! We visited a less active family and one of the kids there invited a friend over for the Noche de Hogar (family home evening). His name is Luis and he had assisted church before. The lesson went well with and we gave him a Libro de Mormon. We passed by to bring him to church with us too. We found a few other teenager kids over there that we started teaching too and they all seem to be pretty interested. We talked with Luis´s mom to to make sure she´s fine with him talking the mormons and what not. She seems pretty nice and we taught a little bit to her too.

It´s been raining off and on through out the week, which means the weather has been nice for moments and later really really humid and hot. Today has been pretty good though and we´re enjoying our P-day. We´ve got some more plans to try and find more people to teach this week and we´re going to try and keep working hard even though we´ve been really tired, haha. We´re going to have a zone meeting tonight and it´ll be kind of weird because we´ve always had them in the morning before now. Should be good to learn some new things though and they told us that they´re changing the way the have zone meetings in every mission now. It´s going to be more of a council instead of the zone leaders talking the majority of the time, so it´ll be cool to see how that goes.

Besides that things are going well. Both the Fernandos are doing good and got to recieve the priesthood. Little Fernando passed the sacrament for his first time on Sunday so that was exciting for us. The doughnut ladys we´re teaching came to church with us this sunday too and are a little sad that E. Lopez will be leaving us soon.

Hope everybody has a great week and that you all know that you´re loved! Thanks for all your prayers, kindness, and support! NOS VEMOSSSSSSSSS

Love,
Elder Carlson

P.S. Photos, 1. Elda one of the cool ladys who gives us doughnuts, 2. Last week when we went bowling! : )

Monday, July 30, 2012

30 July 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia,

Well this week has gone by pretty fast but has been pretty tiring too! It was pretty fun to have 2 other elders in the house but for some reason wore me out more too haha. We went on divisions with them for part of the day when they would leave the Seminario. We had the chance to go out to our other area that we don´t get to focus on as much with the elders too. It was cool because we got to visit a few refrences over their who look like they have a lot of potential. It´s definitely hard to work well in 2 areas, and that´s why we kind of end up focusing more on the area we live in! But we can´t forget about the other one completely either ha.

Our district has been doing really well. We´ve been doing well completing with the goals we have set, so we had the chance to go bowling today! It ended up being really fun and was cool to do something different for P-day. We usually have the district meetings in the morning too, but we´re going to have them at night now. So it´ll be interesting to see how things go with the new schedule.

Elda and Senovia, 2 of the investigators we found selling donuts have been doing really well this week. We had the chance to teach them about the Plan of Salvation and helped them to realize more the importance of reading the Book of Mormon. If they don´t know that the Book of Mormon is true, they won´t know if any of the other stuff we´re teaching them is true! Luckily, they both have accepted the challenge well and we´re excited to see how things go with them this week. Besides that we´ve realized that we need more people to teach because we only have a few left that seem to be really interested in learning more. This week we´re hoping to work on finding a lot more people to teach and talked with a couple people in the Church that can go visit investigators with us.

It´s good to hear that everybody is doing well at home and I need to thank you all for the support you give me! I really appreciate the little notes I get from you all. Sorry that I´m lame and don´t get the chance to respond to all of them! You´re all in my prayers and I hope that you have an amazing week. Never forget how important you are because you all are children of God!

Love,
Elder Carlson

Monday, July 23, 2012

23 July 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia,

Hello there! Another good week has gone by. Elder Lopez and I have felt a little bit tired today though, so we took a short nap in the house since it´s Preparation Day, haha. We´ve been working with Fernando a lot this week and he got baptized on saturday. Everything went really well and it´s awesome to see how much he has changed in such a short period of time. His 5 year old little brother, Brandon, was asking about when he can get baptized too but he´s still got a few years to go. Our district has been doing really well in general too. The hermanas had a baptism the same day with us.

Later on today a couple of missionaries are going to arrive and stay in our house for the week. They´re going to assist some other Seminario and from 12pm - 5pm they´re going to work with us in our area each day. It´ll be fun having a couple more missionaries in the house for a few days and we´re going to try and have them help us get a lot of work done visiting people!.. Besides that we don´t have to much going on right now. The hermanas have a couple more baptisms planned for the week and we´re probably going to bring some investigators to them. We´ve got some pretty cool investigators we´re working with but have to start finding some more people to teach also. Today in our District meeting we talked a little bit about how each week we need to be finding new people to teach and came up with a few plans.

It´s been pretty hot this week and I´m already kind of anxious for it to get cooler here haha. But everything is going well and Culiacán is awesome! I hope everybody is enjoying their summer and taking advantage of the time to swim. I love you all and have an awesome week. Thanks for all the prayers, love, and support as always.

Love,
Elder Carlson

P.S. A picture of Fernandito´s baptism : )

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

16 July 2012, Culiacan Mexico



Hola Familia,

How´s everybody doing? Hopefully you´re all in good hands right now! Things have been going well here. It´s rained off and on which has been pretty cool. Sometimes it´s annoying when it´s really humid afterwards but I love the days when it is really cloudly. This week we worked with our district a little bit more. The hermanas went and visited our investigator Jose Ramon, and his wife seems a little bit more kind now haha. That is, the last time we visited she didn´t go and hide in her room and talked to us a little more. I think it´s little by little with some people. We also visited one of their investigators and meet with him. He´s a single Dad and he kind of wanted to here some advice from some men too, we´re excited because he´s baptismal date is for this Saturday and we´re going to assist.

Probably the coolest thing that happened during the week is when this group of 4 women contacted us. They were selling donuts and asked us about what we do and we started teaching them. We taught them about the gospel of Jesus Christ and later on we taught them about the restoration. 2 of them got the chance to assist a baptism of the hermanas with us and went to church this sunday with us. We´ve been having a little more success finding new people which is always awesome.. There´s another kid named Fernando that we´re teaching and he´s been really excited and interested in our lessons. His baptismal date is for this saturday so we´re going to help try and keep preparing him. The good thing too is that he´s already made a lot of friends in the church with some activities we invited him too.

I hope everybody keeps enjoying their summer time. Hopefully the weather doesn´t get too much hotter but I don´t have much to complain about. Thanks for all the support, love, and prayers as always!

Love,
Elder Carlson

P.S. Here´s a picture of Fernando´s baptism the other week and a picture of the baptism we assisted with the hermanas!

Monday, July 9, 2012

9 Jul 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia,

Well this week went by really fast yet again! The most awesome part was that we got to baptize Fernando. He´s the 17 year old guy we have been teaching for awhile. I´m excited for him because he´s doing really well and seems excited to recieve the priesthood too. I think it would be really awesome if he decided to serve a mission one day too! I think he probably will haha.. There´s been a little bit of progression with some of our other investigators.

It rained some more this week which was pretty nice the days that it was all cloudly. Today has been pretty hot but we´ve been inside air conditioning most of the day, so I can´t complain. E. Lopez and I are starting to work with some of the members some more. We still are working on some plans to do more activities in the wards we are in. We thought it would be cool to have a movie night or something on saturdays. Something to get the youth more involved and excited to assist church on Sunday.

Besides that there´s not too much new going on. I didn´t even realize it was 4th of july this week because we were busy that day ha. But it´s not a holiday that they celebrate here anywas. I´m sure everybody had some good BBQs and enjoyed seeing the fireworks.. This week I want to work more on our commitments with our investigators. We´re doing a better job passing by for everybody on sunday for church, but it´s still really hard to bring people to church sometimes! The best way is just to help them realize the blessings they´ll recieve and for them to make friends in the church. That´s our goal for this week.

Thanks as always for all the love and support. You´re all in my prayers and I know the Lord is watching over you. : )

Love,
Elder Carlson

Monday, July 2, 2012

2 July 2012

Hola Familia,
 
Wow! This week has gone by pretty fast! Things are going pretty good here. We heard our transfers on Saturday and... E. Lopez and I are going to stay in the same area together! Haha, that´s what I expected and I´m glad we´re not getting switched around already.
 
We didn´t end up getting to baptize the 2 people we thought we were. Unfortunately Jose Ramon´s esposa doesn´t want to get married still, but we´re going to continue visiting the Hermano. Hopefully his esposa will let us talk to her one of these days too.. Fernando and his parents decided that this coming wednesday was the best bet for when his family would be available. So we´re planning on baptizing him this next week!.. Even though things didn´t work out as planned we were able to baptize Leopoldo. We´re teaching him and his family right now. He really has been wanting to get baptized and is 10, his parents gave him permission and they all assisted the baptism this last saturday.
 
It rain a little bit again today as we were walking around. I´m excited for this transfer and E. Lopez and I have a lot of good plans with how to work with the wards better. We want to have activities every week with the Youth, and also to go on divisions more with the members.
 
Hope everybody is enjoying their summer! Thanks for all your love, support, and prayers. Til next week! Byeee.
 
Love,
Elder Carlson

Monday, June 25, 2012

25 June 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia,

Well another weeks gone by! Sounds like everything has been heating up at home, and it has been here too but luckily there have been some cloudy days this week and it rained a couple nights. We´ve been working with a lot of the same investigators this week but found some new ones too. Fernando (17 year old kid) needs to talk to his parents about some things before he gets baptized. We have his baptism scheduled for this saturday and we´re going to visit him and his family a few times during this week. Tomorrow we´ve got it planned to help José Ramon get married and his baptism is scheduled for saturday too. Both of them went to church on sunday and José is doing really well! He seems a lot happier and is excited to finally get married (after being with his esposa 25 years or something) and get baptized!

We had a little transmision thing we watched last night in the stake center. It was some church leadership meeting that had been taped somewhere in Mexico and Elder Johnson spoke. It was pretty cool because they talked a lot about our need to show Christlike love unto one another. One of the big problems, especially in Mexico, is keeping the members of the ward active. Elder Johnson talked about how church leaders should always watch over their members and really concern about them. If somebody in the ward/quorum/group is having troubles whether it be family related, emotionally, etc we should be visiting them each week. There was a quote I really liked that said, ¨it´s impossible for a human being to deny an act of true love¨. When the people really see we love them and care about their well-being they´ll almost always, if not always, come back.

I feel like I know the area a lot better here now and have gotten to know the members better. Next saturday we´ll already be hearing transfers again, but I think most likely E. Lopez and I will stay together here in our area. I´m excited for the work that we have to do and just pray that I can live up to it. : )

Thanks for all the love, support, and prayers. Have an awesome week and enjoy your summer time!

Love,
Elder Carlson

P.S. Some photos of E. Lopez and our friends. The last pic is with one of E. Lopez´s convert familys in a different area we visited today.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

18 June 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia, 

Another hot week has passed by! Things have been pretty good this week and we´ve been staying really busy. Which is definitely good. It was cool because this week we got the chance to find some new people to teach. The majority of them were from references of other members in the ward too. I´m learning more and more about how missionaries should work with the members lately haha. There´s some cool quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley in PMG that talks about that. Everyone who gets involved in missionary work generally comes to the same conclusion that working with the members is the most effective way to find people to teach! 

That guy who went to church last sunday, Jose Ramon, is doing really good. Elder Lopez knew of somebody that could help us with his marriage problem and when he Jose heard that he was very happy. We´re planning putting a date to pass by with a judge to marry  him and his wife sometime this week, so we´re excited for that.. We´re also teaching this one young kid right now named Fernando. He´s 17 and really a cool kid. He likes to play the guitar and was showing us some songs. He already knows the church is true and has talked with a lot of other missionaries over the years, but we think he might finally make the decision to be baptized soon : ).

Sounds like everything has been going really good at home. I hope it´s not as hot there as it is here, but we´re still handling things pretty good haha. Luckily the buses in Culiacan are a lot cooler than the ones in Mazatlan, in both aspects of the word cool! I´m excited to see what happens this week. Thank you all for your kindness, support, and prayers!

Love,
Elder Carlson

Monday, June 11, 2012

11 June 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia,

¿Que tal? Well this week has been pretty busy. It was definitely a pretty filled week and went well. The seminario thing was awesome! We´d go to the seminario in the morning, leave to work for awhile out in the field, eat lunch, return to the seminario and later on eat dinner there and go him each day. From Tuesday until Friday I was with E. Perez, one of my zone leaders in Mazatlán working out in the field. It was pretty fun and we met some cool people we taught. We got a couple baptismal dates even and we´re hoping to see some more progress with the new people we found. We learned even more about praying specifically and about some of things we should change to have more success as missionaries. One of the most important things is just to remember why we´re out here. To bring people unto Christ!

This sunday was pretty awesome too. We unfortunately didn´t have too many people that came to church (investigators who came) but one of our investigators hadn´t been in awhile. We had challenged him earlier in the week to go and he was really worried about his work, he repairs shoes and didn´t have much business. We taught him about praying specifically and putting our part to serve the Lord and afterwards we always recieve the blessings. He decided to pray asking to have work this week with the condition that he was going to go to church. He showed up to church and I´m excited to go and see him this week to see how things go.

Well, there´s some other news. In the morning we found out that there are some transfers already! My companion, E. Martinez, is going to be sent to Esquinapa (a place a little south of Mazatlán) tomorrow, and I´m going to recieve a different companion named Elder Lopez. It was pretty surprising and I´m hoping everything will go well. There´s some parts of our area that I don´t know super well yet but I know eveything will be fine.

Glad to hear everyone is doing well at home. Thanks for all the support and smiles you give me. Things are getting even hotter here and I don´t know what´ll happen when it hits it´s max haha. Love you all and you´re always in my prayers.

Love,
Elder Carlson

Sunday, June 10, 2012

4 June 2012, Culiacan Mexico


Hola Familia,

Well this week has been pretty good for the most part. We have been working with the investigators with we have and we got a new one who is pretty potential. His name is Manuel, and he´s the friend of one of Elder Martinez´s converts, Victor. Victor brought him to church a couple sundays ago so we taught him this week. He´s already making good progress but wasn´t able to  come to church this sunday. We´re going to keep working with the investigators we have but are still working on finding new ones.

This week one of the exciting things is we´re going to have the Seminario (Seminary) training thing again and E Martinez and I are going to go to it. It´s going to be 4 days so I´m sure there will be a lot of information we learn! We´ll leave in the afternoon at some point to go back and teach a little bit, but sounds like we wont really have much time to teach until saturday. We´re going to pick up 4 other elders who are going to stay with us in our house during the week. Our house is pretty big and we have spear matresses right now so it´ll be cool : ).

Besides that I´m feeling a little bit more accustomed to my new area. Still learning how to get places and whatnot but I feel more comfortable with it. There are some differences in the people and how the area looks than in Mazatlán but for the most part it´s the same kind of deal.

We had a cool Zone Meeting this week and I learned some more about the power of prayer and they challenged us to say specific prayers everyday. You first need to have faith, second make a plan of what you´re going to do, third ask the Lord specifically what you want to happen (time, place, person, specific stuff, etc), and fourth complete with your part the next day. We heard some cool stories about some of the experiences elders have had finding people this way. Even asking things like, today we´re going to leave this appointment and look for a lady with a red shirt who´s family is interested in the learning about the gospel and then they found that lady the next day!

I hope I can have some cool experiences like that in my mission. I´m learning a lot and thankful for all the time I have here. Thank you for all your love, prayers, and support. Have an awesome week!

Love,
Elder Carlson

P.S. Here´s some pictures of our district at the Zoo from last week!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

28 May 2012, Culiacan Mexico

¡Hola Familia!

Well, this week has gone by really fast and I feel a little more adjusted to my new settings haha. I´ve been having a good time with my new companion getting to know the ward members and the investigators we have. There is a lot of people to get to know especially since we are over 2 wards right now but that makes things a little more fun too. We seem to have some pretty cool investigators. There´s one family in the ward that is really cool, Familia Rojo, and just the daughter is left to get baptized, Jessica. We´re going to see how things go reteaching her the lessons and things because it sounds like she´s pretty much ready but just hasn´t made the decision yet. Her brother is getting ready to go on a mission too so that´s pretty cool too : ). 

We need to start finding new people to teach and we had our district meeting about finding new people this morning. There´s a ton of ways to find people to teach but it still can take a lot of work sometimes! That´s why we always need to have a good attitude and it´s important to work with the ward. When you work well with the ward the missionary work is sooo much easier. It´s funny seeing how the missionary works now being a missionary. A lot of people think all the missionary work in the church is left to the missionaries, but the best way to have success is working together with the remembers. They know the people who are ready to hear the gospel and can give the support and encouragement needed.

Besides all that fun stuff it has been pretty flippin hot here but things are just starting to heat up. It´s not as bad as I thought it would be so far though to be honest.. We were givin permission to go to the Zoo today in Culiacán because Elder Martinez and the district hit their goal for the month. It´s not a very big Zoo but it was fun to be able to do something kind of different on preparation day. We had a good time with that and afterwards ate some shrimp tacos with the Familia Rojo.

Anyways I better get going! Hope everyone is doing well and glad to hear from you all. Thanks for all the support and prayers, you´re all aways in mine! : )

Love,
Elder Carlson

P.S. I tried to send some photos but it´s not working : /. So til next week if it didn´t send!

Monday, May 21, 2012

21 May 2012, Culiacan Mexico

Hola Familia,

How´s everybody doing? Well things are pretty hot here and are going good. We had transfers today and I got transfered to Culiacan. My companion is named Elder Martinez and I´m excited for the new area and to start working here. From what he´s told me the wards are pretty cool here. We´ve got 2 wards so I´m sure we´ll be pretty busy. I want to try and start learning the area this week and sounds like we´re going to start looking for some new investigators.. There´s a lot of hills in our area so luckily I´ll start getting back in shape ha. 

Besides that not too much is new. We were teaching Alan Jone´s mom the lessons and it sounds like she might get baptized pretty soon so that is awesome. He´s the kid in our ward that´s on a misssion right now.. I said bye to the Familia Meza on sunday and they are staying really strong and animated in the church so that is is awesome. I want to find some familys on my mission like them. The other family we took to church the sunday before was out of town, but the hermano was still there. His foot is starting to get better but he still couldn´t go to church so we gave him a blessing before we left.

I´m hoping to learn a lot this next transfer and can see there are many things that I would like to improve. I know the best example we can always follow in our lives is the example that Christ put for us.. I hope everybody has a great week and remembers to always pray to our Heavenly Father in whatever we´re facing and to just stop and give thanks for the things that we have in our life. I need to get better at that!.. Love you all and thanks for all the support you give me and your prayers. 

Love,
Elder Carlson

Monday, May 14, 2012

15 Mayo 2012, Mazatlan Mexico

Hola Familia,
 
Hey what´s up! Sounds like everything has been going good at home. This week has been pretty awesome. The weather continues to be about the same and isn´t too bad yet.. We were able to see the baptism of Olivia from the Familia Meza on saturday and it went really well. Her father got to baptize her and it´s so awesome to see how happy they are for following what the Lord wants them to do. Their family seems so unified and strong, even though they´ve commented about problems they have had, like all familys!
 
We went and shopped at Sam´s club this morning which was pretty sweet. They have a lot of american stuff their and we ate some pizza with our district afterword. We´re teaching a different family right now and we brought a mom and her daughter to church on sunday. It went well and we´re really looking forward to seeing them progress even more. We have an appointment with them later today.
 
I´m thankful I have the chance to be here right now. Thanks for all the support you guys give me and I appreciate your prayers and love!
 
Love,
Elder Carlson

Monday, May 7, 2012

7 May, 2012, Mazatlan Mexico

Hola Familia,
 
This week has been pretty awesome. We got the chance to go up to Culiacan and spend the day there friday to hear a conference. A seventy of the area spoke and we got to hear a lot of cool stories from him and his wife. He talked a lot about the power of prayer. He comparted a lot of experiences about miracles he has seen from praying specifically and with faith. If there is a problem in our life we can pray specifically about this problem in our lives and try and think about the way the Lord can help us with this dilemna. If we put our part in the effort and put our faith in the Lord he will always complete his part too.
 
Besides that we´re really excited for this next week too because Olivia, the daughter of the Familia Meza, decided she wants to get baptized this saturday. We ate some gorditas with them on sunday and afterwards taught them a little bit. We were reading in 2 Nefi 31 and after talking about baptism a little bit the daughter said she thinks she´s ready now. I´m excited for the Fam. Meza and really hope I can meet more people like them in our mission.
 
We´ve been learning a lot also about the importance of teaching people according to their needs. Not every person needs the restoration as their first lesson, even though that´s the one we teach the most. It´s important to get to know the person and their real needs before we just jump into the doctrine. If it´s something they don´t need at the moment, it´s not really going to apply to them or stick in their heart! I´ve been learning more about that true conversion only comes through the spirit touching the heart of the people.
 
It´s getting a little bit hotter hear but still not too bad. I´m gonna start carrying a little towel around with me again on the hot days haha. Hope everyone has a good week.. Thanks for all your support, love, and prayers!
 
Love,
Elder Carlson

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

30 April 2012, Mazatlan Mexico

Querido Familia,
 
Hey what´s up? Everything is going pretty here this week and things have settled down a little more. We´ve been starting to work with the ward members a little more and have been finding a little bit more people to teach. Some of them seem like they´ve got a lot of potential too. Elder Running is a good companion and it seems like we´re going to have a lot of success together the rest of this transfer.. We did end up baptizing the Hermana Alba this saturday and she got confirmed on sunday! It was a really awesome experience to see here go through those steps. She seems so happy now and I know she is going to be a good strong member in the church. She´s got a lot of faith in things and it inspires me to increase my faith too.. Her daughter said she still doesn´t feel ready but that´s alright. We´re going to keep on visiting them and when her daughter feels ready to make that step we´ll help her along the way too.
 
It´s starting to heat up here but isn´t completely horrible still. I don´t know how the summer will be but at least we´ve got some breeze in the air here. I guess in some other parts it´s way more of a dry heat and there is like absolutely no wind! So that would kind of blow, hahaha.
 
One of the other familys we are teaching right now is pretty cool. The dad, Ernesto, seems like the strongest one so far but his foot is hurt. He couldn´t go to church that week because he´s waiting on his foot to heal up some more but it sounds like next week he´ll get a ride there. Getting to church is probably the hardest thing to do still with the investigators.
 
I hope everybody has an awesome week. I´m looking forward to see what will happen this next week. Thanks for all your support and prayers!
 
Love,
Elder David Carlson
 
Photos: Baptism of Hna Alba, and our District today!

Monday, April 23, 2012

23 April 2012, Mazatlan Mexico

¡Buenos Tardes Familia!

Well, it´s been a pretty interesting week here to say the least. Things are going pretty well though. I´ve really enjoyed having Elder Brandon as a companion and he´s the companion I´ve felt the closest to so far. We´ve just been good buddies from the start of this transfer. The bad news is that his time with me here in this area has already ended!.. For whatever reason we got a call on friday and they said they need him in La Fuerte, Sinaloa (some small ranch) this monday. He´s going to be a Zone Leader there and it´s funny because that same day he was telling me how he hopes he never has to be one haha... Anyways I went to the bus center with him this morning to drop him off. I feel jipped that he´s already going but I´m sure he´ll keep being an awesome missionary. We´ll probably at least be in the same zone at some point again too.

I got my new companion Elder Runnings this morning too and I´m sure we are going to have a good transfer here together. He seems like a pretty cool guy and we´re obviously here in this area together for a reason. I´m excited to start some more of our plans with helping out the ward mission plan and reactivating some families. I like the ward here but I think they lack a little direction with the ward mission plan. We´re supposed to have an activity this friday so hopefully that will go well and the ward will feel more unified.

Besides that bad news there has been some really good news! We had a lesson with the Familia Meza last week and the Hermana Alba and her daughter Olivia finally decided to get baptized. I talked about them before, the husband, Marco is an awesome member and we´ve been teaching them since before I got in the area.. I think sometimes the Lord might just call us in an area even if it´s to touch the heart of one person in particular and that´s probably why E. Brandon is already out of here now haha. We´re going to baptize them on the 28th of this month, the day after there wedding anniversary too! 

I´m learning a lot about myself, how to be a better missionary, and the gospel lately. There´s sometimes it is so easy to recognize the hand of the Lord helping us out and there´s other times I think we just kind of forget. Then we think that the Lord has forgotten about us. I know that the Lord loves us all and I hope that I can learn how to recognize and follow his will more in my life. 

Thanks for all the support at home as always. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Hope you have awesome week! 

Love,
Elder Carlson