Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30, 2012 - Mazatlan

David's second companion, Elder Soto
Hola Familia,

Sounds like everybody has been doing good from what I have heard! I´ve been learning a lot each week spiritually and mentally. I´m starting to feel more like a missionary haha... This week has been pretty good! On Saturday we had a baptism. We were teaching the Ward Mission Leader´s younger sister some of the lessons. She hadn´t been baptized still and is 11. The Mission Leader, Juan Carlos, baptized her and said we did what other missionaries weren´t able to do before. Other missionaries were asking her last year if she wanted to get baptized but she said no she didn´t want to hah.

E. Soto and I are still finding new people to teach which is awesome! The hardest thing is finding so many awesome people and then when Sunday comes around there´s a lot of them who aren´t able to make it to church for some reason. We taught a lot of people about the ¨Dia de Reposo`` but that´s still the main thing we want to help our investigators with. Irwing and Marisol are going to get married tomorrow! We´re going to be the witnesses so that will be fun. The day they were going to get married last week Marisol´s baby was born so we obviously weren´t able to have the get married. Everything is going good with them and the baby though luckily. Irwing is excited and we´re planning on having his baptism saturday.. There´s this cool partial member family we have been teaching this week who went to Church with us this week. We´re probably going to baptize 2 of them this month, Isabel and Maricruz. There both in there early 20s or so.

We had a cool experience finding this other 2 girls to teach too, Flor and Rebecca. We taught them the restoration and they excepted everything very well. They weren´t able to make it to church unfortunately but we had a second lesson with them too. Flor prayed at the end of the lesson and she was talking about how she felt different in a really good way and wanted to learn more about Christ. She looked very happy and we told her about how she was feeling the Spirit right then. It´s the first time I´ve seen someone feel the spirit right after their prayer in that way so it was awesome.

Anyways I better get going! Thanks as always for all the support. I appreciate all your prayers and am praying for everyone at home too.

Elder David Carlson

P.S. Some photos of me and E. Soto preaching here in Jerusalem Mexico.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jan 23 - Mazatlan

Hola Familia!

Eveything is going well here! My companion Elder Soto is awesome. We had a lot of success this week and ended up finding a few more familys to teach! We´re going to work with Irwing this week and hopefully him and his wife are going to get married. We checked today on how much everything is going to cost. We´re probably going to be witnesses for the wedding of this couple too so that will be pretty cool. If everything goes well we are going to baptize Irwing this saturday, but his esposa is about to have a baby so there´s that deal too. The new familys we found are really awesome and we got 7 baptismal dates this week. My spanish is definitely improving and I am starting to feel more comfortable with speaking. The main thing I´m trying to work on is teaching all of the lessons still but I feel pretty comfortable with them.
We had a Zone Meeting today and talked about how we can help our investigators more. I´ve been learning a lot this week and have been having fun with the new people we are finding. We happened to visit Maria Guadalupe again and the lessons went pretty well but unfortunately she is working on Sundays so she said she can´t come to church. The main thing we want to work on right now is getting our new investigators to go to church. That always seems to be the hardest part for some reason. Once they start going to church though they are able to feel the spirit more and they can learn how to enter in to the gospel life without the need of us helping them every step of the way. It is important for us to teach the importance of keeping the commandments and that they know when they keep the commandments they will be blessed for doing so.
Thank you for all your support and prayers. I still need to take some more pictures but hopefully next email will attach some more!
Elder Carlson

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jan 16 - Mazatlan Mexico

Hola Familia,

Good to here things are going well at home still! Hope everyone has a good week too. Things are going pretty good here. I got my new companion today, Elder Soto, so we were pretty busy picking him up and dropping off Elder Ward and everything. It was a little more sad than I thought it would be saying bye to E. Ward but I was ready for a change at the same time. E. Ward is going to some place north of Culiacan a little ranch town I guess haha. He´s been in Mazatlan his whole mission too so he felt kind of weird leaving.. Elder Soto is from Hidalgo Mexico and I´m glad that I have a mexican companion now. He´s a little bit shorter than me too, so we definitely are a short companionship haha. He was in the Baja. He actually told me my spanish is pretty good today so maybe it´s better than I thought. I haven´t had any problems commmunicating with him yet either so that is good. Definitely will help me with learning how to speak better this transfer though. He seems like a hard worker and I´m hoping that we can have some more success in our area this transfer! He´s been out like 17 months I think.

We have an investigator named Irwing that we are trying to prepare for baptism. His Esposa is pregnant right now and they are getting ready to have their second baby together. He´s really awesome and went to church yesterday. He already had talked with missionaries before but this time seemed more interested and excepted a baptismal date. They just have to get married so hopefully we can have a miracle with that happening in the future.. Besides that we also have an investigator named Maria de Los Angeles. She had some doubts with her faith because things werent going really good with her husband. E. Ward and I promised her blessings for living the Lord´s commandments and following the example of Jesus Christ and later that day her husband found some more work. So the next time we taught her she was all happy and excited to learn more about lessons. She has been reading in the Book of Mormon and wants to get baptized too, but just has to start coming to church... We have been visting some inactives and want to work more with the Ward. We´re trying to help the ward to grow and have some more excitement. This sunday there was a good amount of people (like 40 I think) and we reactivated an awesome Hermano in the ward.. We´re hoping to find a lot more people to teach this week and I´m going to teach E. Soto the area a little better.

Hope everything continues to go well at home. Thanks for all the love, support, and prayers and always.

Elder Carlson

P.S. Here is a photo with us, Elder Hernandez and Garcia (far right). Garcia is the one from the dominican. Next week I´ll try to get a pic with my companion.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 9, Mazatlan

Hola Familia!!

How is everyones year going so far? Things are going good here for the most part. Next week we are going to have transfers and I think E. Ward is going to be transfered, but you never know! So it will be interesting to see what happens next week. We have been having more luck finding new people to teach and this week but unfortunately arent going to be baptizing our investigator, Emalia, next week anymore. She kind of just decided she doesnt want to keep having the lessons right now, her brother (who is a member) told us. I guess she has done this with other missionaries before too and think its just hard for her to think about changing her life. Theres a lot of people who believe in the gospel and dont have problems accepting it, but have a really hard time changing their lives. But we want to check up on her to see how she is doing still.

Our district got a little changed around again and we have 2 other missionaries in our district now. We played soccer with them this morning and a lot of other missionaries so that was pretty fun. Im trying to improve my knowledge of the scriptures right now because I want to be able to relate them to all of the things we are teaching. This week we are going to focus on studying the Preach My Gospel book for the whole week though because the Zone Leaders thing that we should.. I gave a talk this Sunday too and it actually went pretty good! I wasnt too nervous but then again we didnt have many people in Church this sunday. We had a good meeting with Ward Counsel after church though and are going to start this new missionary program in the ward. We want to have an activity with the ward too.

My birthday went pretty good even though it was definitely different that normal! The lady we ate with her grandkids wished me a happy birthday that day, it was pretty cute. I feel really old knowing that Im 21 though, but dont feel like I am that old really!. Anyways I know that it is still young so I cant complain.

Thanks for all the support and your prayers. I hope everyone has an awesome week and will be praying for you guys too!

Elder Carlson

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Feliz Ano!

Hola Familia,

Hope everyone had a good new years. Things went pretty good here. We ended up eating a lot of fish on new years eve and stayed at a member's house since there is a lot of partying going on this night. The next day when we were out looking for people to teach it looked a little more ghostly around the streets because a bunch of people were asleep. Nothing real crazy happened though!

Things are going pretty good here. We got our new missionaries in Villa Verde last monday and we moved into our new apartment. The brand new missionary is from the Dominican Republic and our district leader (his trainer) is a mexican from Veracruz. They both are pretty awesome though and we had a good week! It's funny because E. Garcia (dominican) has a very different kind of spanish accent. E. Hernandez (veracruz) seems like an awesome missionary and I'm excited to be working with them. Our new apartment is also a lot nicer and we ended up spending a lot of time cleaning it one day because missionarys hadn't lived there for like 9 months!

We went on splits with the zone leaders and got some help from E. Garcia and E. Hernadez on Friday in our area because it's pretty much a new area. When we were over Villa Verde and Flores Magon we mainly walked and worked in Villa Verde. So now we are learning a lot more of Flores Magon and need even more investigators. We definitely had a lot of success with the splits though and got a lot of references from our contacting. E. Sessions went contacting with me and it helped me learn a lot about contacting! It was definitely a good day and we're starting to have some more success in the ward.. We also have a baptismal date on the 14th! We're teaching one of the a ward member's sister the lessons now and she wants her kids to be baptized (they aren't old enough yet though). She decided she wanted to be an example to them and get baptized first though. So it was definitely exciting when she told us that when we were teaching her last week!

I better get going though. Thanks for all the support, prayers, and love! Hope you everyone starts their year out well! I'm pretty sure the Mayans are wrong and we have a lot more years until the world ends, but that's just my guess ; ).

Elder Carlson