Monday, April 29, 2013

29 Abril 2013, La Paz Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,

This week we have been doing pretty well! We´re actually in culiacán right now because we´re having another meeting down here. We got to culiacán today and the meeting is going to be tomorrow.. One of our cool experiences this week is when we were looking for a house to rent. We´re thinking about changing houses and we talked to one of the ladies that lives there, named Daniela, and at first she didn´t seem too interested at first. She told us she doesn´t believe in God too much. We began to talk to her about God and focused on our relationship with her family. She told us about how they were having problems and it didn´t seem like they would be able to last together for eternity, like we teach, if they don´t even get along right now.. My companion showed them a picture of his family and we began to talk about how the gospel has blessed our own lives and we´ve seen the blessings in our familys. If we have things that aren´t going too well with our relationships right now, that´s even more of a reason for us to come closer to our Heavenly Father! If there´s anybody who can heal the wounds of a broken heart it´s through Jesus Christ and his eternal sacrafice for us. She ended up letting us in and we got to talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We taught her the importance of faith, repentance, and being baptized for the remission of sins.. Daniela and her 15 year old daughter Anet accepted to prepare to be baptized. Daniela in particular told us about how she had been asking the Padre in the catholic church about being baptized, but she still hadn´t gone through the process to do so. She realized that baptism is more than just becoming the member of a church, Jesus taught to be baptized so we may be cleansed from our sins. Daniela and her 3 kids came with us to church on sunday. They seemed to like it and we´re hoping to get to know the husband soon.

Besides that we have been working with some of our other investigators. Unfortunately, Vidal kind of has disappeared of the face of the planet. He moved back to where he lived before he was in the apartments we were visiting him, and have kind of lost contact. Hopefully one day later on he´ll come back into contact with missionaries but it looks like right now might not be his time... I´m getting excited for the visits we have coming up. May sounds like it is going to be an awesome month. Tomorrow is Día de los Niños, it´s like mother´s or father´s day but for kids. We´re doing an activity with the stake on May 3rd visiting an orphanage and we´re going to have a little skit and play with them and stuff. Sounds like that will be pretty fun too!

I love being a missionary and I love the opportunity we have to get to know people and to compart this knowledge that we have. I know I can always dedicate myself more to be a better son of God and I´m really glad he is patient with us!.. I enjoy all your e-mails even though I´m sorry I don´t always get the chance to respond to them all. I know that Heavenly Father knows each and everyone of you and whatever you´re going through he is willing and ready to help.. That´s one of the biggest things I´ve learned during this time is that we´ve never really been that far away from him. We just need to be willing to listen to His voice and follow His son´s example!

Have a fantastic week and I pray that everything continues to go well at home!

Elder David Carlson


Monday, April 22, 2013

22 Abril 2013, La Paz Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,

Well yet another week has passed by and it looks like April is flying by before I even realized it started! In the beginning of the week we had a few guys stay at our house from the Zone Comondu because they had their interviews with Pte. Cantú monday night. Tuesday we had our interviews and it was a great opportunity for us to receive guidance from our Father in heaven. Presidente announced to us that we´ll be having the visit of Elder Holland in May, which was also great news to hear. It will be the first time having an apostle of the Lord here in the mission field since I´ve gotten here. We´re all really excited and are looking forward to what there is in store for the mission Culiacán México! We´ll be doing our part to prepare spiritually for whatever there is to come and I´m quite eager to find out. :)

We´ve been preparing some more people for baptism and trying to find more people who need the gospel in their lives at this time. Vidal and Flor are really close to getting to their baptismal date but it looks like we´ll need to push it back a little back, maybe for the beginning of may. They needed to come to church with us this sunday before their baptism but both of them didn´t show up for whatever reason. I was a little worried but know that everything will work out as Lord has it planned if we do our part. It is pretty frustrating the last minute problems Satan always is scheming to put in our way though! Haha... Besides that we´re also teaching a family and theirs two little twins who are going to get baptized in may. They´re named Jose Luis and Luis Angel, they used to drink coffee and black tea but haven´t been drinking it since we committed them to give it up. They´re excited and pay attention pretty well during the lessons we teach. It was pretty awesome because their family has been less active for awhile, and their mom started going again. And this last sunday the whole family went! The dad and a couple older brothers were there too. We´re trying to help them remember what they felt when they entered in the church and create a firm foundation so that they wont fall away later on. We´re planning on having a Family Home Evening activity with them tomorrow.

I´m learning a lot from Elder Snow and we´re always laughing together. We´re putting some goals so that we can be a little bit more organized but I´ve felt pretty good with our unity and teaching... One of the things I have been learning a lot about is the importance of consistency. For example, it´s better to work out a half hour a day 6 days a week for a month, than try and work out once a month for 6 hours all at once. The consistency is what makes us strong physically and we can apply it spiritually too. I´m trying to develop better study skills and glad we have the opportunity to study everyday! I know I can take advantage of that time better though.

It´s good to hear that things are going well at home and I pray that we all can have our own spiritual experiences with the Lord. One thing Hna. Cantú told us that I really likes was that when Christ came here and visited the people in the Americas that it may have been cool to see him give a big speech or talk to everyone as a group telling them about what they need to know. But he made sure that each of them had the chance to touch the marks in his hands as he walked by them. He knew that it would be even more powerful for them to all have their personal testimony of his divinity.. We all need to look for our own special connection with Jesus Christ too and gain our own testimonies. I know that He lives and I have felt his love in my life. This should be enough to get me through any day or task the Lord puts at my hands. I invite you all to do the same! I love you!

Elder Carlson

Friday, April 19, 2013

15 Abril 2013

Mi Querido Familia,

Well this week has been pretty good! We have been finding some new people to teach lately. Ana Jazmin´s familiy gave us a reference of some other family and we started teaching them. The dad seems a little crazy, but at least not mean, and the mom and 2 daughters seemed pretty interested. We´re going to see how things go this week with them but hopefully they´ll come with us to church this next coming sunday... We stopped by and visited Vidal and Flor (another reference from an Hna). Vidal and Flor are both preparing for baptism but haven´t been reading much in the Book of Mormon yet so we decided to read some with them. We read in Alma 7 and it seemed like they were able to understand a little bit more about what Christ has gone through to free them from their sins. They both have the desire to recieve a remision of their sins and have commited to read daily in the Book of Mormon to know that is true and learn more about what God has in store for them personally. Are Ward Mission Leader went with us to that lesson and it was pretty cool... His name is Hno. Nieto and he´s a really good guy and he was telling us stories about his mission later on.

Besides that things are getting a little bit hotter here but not too bad. The house was pretty dirty so I was cleaning it and thinking about how we feel so much better when a house is cleaner. We feel the same way, but even better, when we´re clean spiritually too... Elder Snow and I want to start running in the mornings this week so we´re hoping to form that habit. We get along super well and we have been joking around a lot together (when it´s appropriate) but at the same time we´re making sure to keep working hard. We have been praying to find more investigators that are willing and able to go with us to church on sundays! I´ve really noticed throughout the mission that the people who go to church always progress while they are going. And those that have a really hard time going to church take much longer to progress.. The example we put sometimes is that the church is like a hospital. People go to a hospital because they are sick and need to be cured. People that go to church, don´t go because they are perfect, they go so that they can be cured spiritually too! I know that Heavenly Father loves us no matter what, but we are the ones free to choose whether we´ll let him in our lives or not. There is a scripture in Luke 15 that I really like that talks about the joys of repentance.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 I say unto you, that likewise ajoy shall be in heaven over onebsinner that crepenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Thanks for all the love and support from home. I´m thankful for all the answered prayers of Heavenly Father and for the help that he is always willing to give us.
Elder Carlson

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

8 Abril 2013, La Paz, Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,

Well yet another busy week has passed by! Things are going well here. We went up to culiacan for the concilio and came back here to la paz. I am with my companion Elder Snow now. He´s from Utah. We had the chance to go to the general conference this weekend too.

The beginning of the week I was with a couple different missionaries working with them in the areas until we went to culiacán on wednesday. The concilio was thrusday and we flied back that night in the afternoon. We had several missionaries sleeping over at the house to because they we´re heading over to their areas the next day on friday... Then on friday we had our Zone Meeting. It went well and it´s pretty exciting having Hermanas in the zone now. They seem like they´re already helping the areas progress very well! A couple of them were in my district from when I was in culiacán too so that´s cool.

We got to teach a few people yesterday though and E. Snow got to meet Ana Jazmin and Carlos´ family. We taught them about the word of wisdom and the husband commited to start living the commandment. It was great to see that he could understand the importance it would be in keeping this commandment for the good of his health and his family.. Vidal came with us to the conference sunday morning too and is excited for his baptismal date. He´s preparing to be baptized and reading in the Book of Mormon. We´ve got an appointment with him tomorrow and I´m excited to teach him, since this week we didn´t have the chance to visit him too much.

In the conference we learned a lot about the spirit and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We all have the ability to the feel the spirit, because it testifies of the things that are true. We all have something called the light of Christ too. For example, a person might see an old person boarding a bus and offer the elderly person to take their seat up front. Some people might say it´s just good manners or human nature, but it´s the light of Christ that inspires us to act out of love and care for others. It´s a force that inspires us to do what is right... The thing is that a person who recieves the Gift of the Holy Ghost has the ability to make someone else feel that spirit and recieve personal revelation for their own lives and those who correspond under their authority. This gift is something that we have to earn though. We have gift after we recieve it through the laying on of hands, but it is not active in us unless we a worthy of it.. I learned a lot about the importance of continually repenting. We have to be actively repenting and keeping the commandments to be worthy of such an amazing gift.

I´m thankful for all that God has given me and I hope we can see a lot of movement here in our area these next few weeks. I´m excited for things that we have to come and know that the Lord loves each and everyone of us... Have a great week! I love you all and pray for you as always.

Elder Carlson

Monday, April 1, 2013

1 Abril 2013, La Paz Mexico

Mi Querido Familia,

Wow! Well, it´s time for changes yet again. My companion, E. Hernandez, left this morning for the airport at 9:30 am. I've been with one of the other E. Hernandez's in the zone today and things have been going well. We got to walk around and take some more photos by the shore and what not.. There were lots of changes here in the zone and there are going to be Hermanas (sister missionaries) here now! They haven't been in the baja for the whole mission from what I've heard so that's cool news.. I'm going to be with E. Snow this change. The funny thing is that I won't actually see him until thursday most likely when we head to culiacán and then we'll come back to la paz after a meeting there in culiacán.

This week we got to do some divisions again and I stayed here in the area with yet another E. Hernandez, haha. There were 4 different ones in the zone. This week was semana santa here and that's when a lot of people remember about when Christ died and resurrected, but the most common tradition is to go party and camp on the beach this week. Although many people were at the beach we had some success finding people and teaching them. We got to teach Vidal more and he's progressing really well! He promised to read in the Book of Mormon and agreed that it would make sense for God to continue showing his love unto ALL his children in these days, and in the times of the Bible. He came with us to church this sunday for the second time... During the week my companion and I also got the chance to teach Ana Jazmin and Carlos' family. They both are excited to prepare to have an eternal family and reading and praying together more often. They're getting legal documents from chiapas gathered so that they can get married in June. We're way happy for them and I hope I have the chance to be here when they get married!

I've been learning more and more about the importance of familys in Heavenly Father's plan for us. I'm glad that God has given us the chance to live with our familys here in this life and know that he wants us to live with them after this life to and to return to him. Everything that comes from God allows us to have a better, happier, and more unified family. Everything from Satan on the other hand makes are family relationship worse, unhappier, and less unified. The way to judge whether something is good or bad can be so clear to us!.. I know that the most important attribute we can develop in this life is charity and the pure love of Christ for our fellow brothers. The best way to do that is by serving them and putting our faith in the Lord... I hope everyone has a great time reflecting about Christ and what he has done for us.

Thanks for all the love and support. I'm glad to hear that things are going well at home and pray that even when we are having hard times, we can choose to be happy and press forward... I love and pray that we all can focus on what's most important and see what great joy there is to come as we choose to have faith, keep the commandments, and love one another.

Lots of Love,
Elder Carlson

P.S. Photos: 1) Our District 2) Companion and Ana Jazmin's Family 3) E. Mejia and I