I'm finally a missionary, ahaha! I love it here already, but it is crazy hot. I am in a city called Seminole right on the border of New Mexico. it is a pretty small town and the wind literally never stops blowing here. And it seems to always be blowing the opposite direction we're biking. It cools us off sometimes, but some days it's a dry wind and is hotter than if the air was standing still. We used to have a car here Elder Christensen says (he's my trainer) but I think some Sisters crashed or something and so they gave them ours. So we bike everywhere, which is hard because there are some investigators we need to see but they live way too far away to bike (like an hour by car).
Days are really long. It seems like I've been here forever already. Elder Christensen says the first week is super long, but after your first Sunday you suddenly are almost done with your mission. Unfortunately, even Elder Christensen feels like these days are long. For some reason every single person we go to see is gone when we get there. I've only been in two lessons with investigators that I can think of right now. Yeah, I think we've only had two. One was this Mennonite family of ten (Mennonites are of German decent. They speak German as a first language, then Spanish usually, then, if you're lucky, English as a third language. There are a ton of them here in Seminole so it's awesome that we get to teach some!), the other was this man named Cory. We taught him out on his front step and he had some pretty deep questions about the Plan of Salvation that came up even though we were teaching about the Restoration. There was also this family that was way solid with baptism dates and everything, but the first time I met them, they gave us back their Book of Mormons and said they wouldn't meet with us anymore.
The Branch here is only about70-80 members that come consistently. There are some really amazing recent converts I've met. We go read the BoM with one lady a lot. She is amazing, with a super strong testimony and follows every commandment and is so dedicated to the church, but can't be baptized yet because of her parole. We're trying to fix that though. We're even going to her father's house on the fourth of july for some Texan BBQ! i'm so excited, haha.
I met this amazing lady. She got baptized not too long ago, but has had an insanely hard life. She was actually on her way to commit suicide when the missionaries found her. They asked her one question, "Have you ever heard of the Restoration?" and she got goose bumps and new she had to talk to them. They never gave up on her and literally saved her life because they showed her they loved her. She is so strong and strengthened my testimony of why i came out here so much.
I love it here, even though I have to endure the endless biking through the windy heat and nobody being home. I have already seen how much the gospel can save not only peoples souls but their lives also. I am so blessed to be out here and to be meeting these people. There are some interesting people in Texas and most of them aren't willing to listen to us because they all belong to one of the million different churches they have here. I love you all and miss you.
Love, Elder Carlson
Also, my address here is:
P.O. Box 543
I'd love to get more letters because i can read those the day I get them, but emails i only have an hour on Mondays to read and reply to. Tell all my friends to write me too. Letters would be great to get.