Monday, July 21, 2014

Grateful to be sharing the gospel (and for AC)!

So first off I'd like to say how grateful I am for air conditioning, haha. The guy came by on Monday to fix it but then he found out they sent him the wrong part to fix it with so he said it would be a while. We weren't too happy about that so we actually slept in the church monday night, haha. It was a lot cooler but the floor was really hard. Tuesday we had interviews with Pres Heap which was awesome. I really love Pres and Sis Heap already and that's great they sent you that picture. After that we got back to our apartment and found out that our AC was fixed!! That was a good day, haha.
It seems like this week has been so long so I might not even remember everything that happened. It was a lot of riding around in the heat again without much success. I was so excited Saturday because we were expecting to have 13 investigators at church Sunday which would have been awesome! One family showed up but nobody else did. Some others really want to come, but their dad isn't really open to it yet and wouldn't let them come.
Sunday was fantastic this week, though, because we had a baptism! The elders in Lamesa come to our branch here because there isn't enough members there to have a branch. They were the ones who were teaching the couple being baptized.  They got married last week so that they could be baptized this week and it was so amazing. Elder Christensen and I had to clean out the font Saturday, though because the Lamesa elders can only leave their area for church and the church is in Seminole. It was really nasty and took some scrubbing because it hasn't been used in a while, but it looks better now. Anyway, the baptism was fantastic and Elder Christensen and I had to fill in the time while they were changing before they were confirmed and so we taught the restoration lesson. Then we got to be a part of the confirmations which was also really neat.
During church was ok, but Elder Christensen had to teach the spanish class (he's a spanish missionary if I haven't told you before) and so I had to be in there with him. It was really boring, haha. I understood the basics of the conversation but i couldn't contribute and Elder Christensen made me read a section from the book in spanish, haha. That wasn't too fun.
Well, not much else happened that's too exciting this week, but even though being a missionary is hard and hot and seems frustratingly uneffective sometimes, I love it. I'm still not that great of a teacher because we don't get too many opportunities sometimes, but i'm feeling much more confident when I do and Elder Christensen said I don't say "um" as much anymore, haha. I love you all so much and hope you all keep reading the scriptures and studying in Preach my Gospel because I know it can help everyone. I know the Lord has helped me so much out here and i love Him and His gospel so much. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be sharing it with everyone we can find and I hope you all are doing the same.
Love, Elder Carlson

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Enduring heat and dogs

This week has been kind of long and definitely hot. Our AC stopped working last Tuesday I think and so it's been almost 90 degrees in our apartment all week. We called our apartment manager quite a few times until someone finally came to check it on Thursday, but we found out that the compressor was broken so they had to order a new one. Long story short, our AC still isn't fixed, but they told us the part would be in today and they'd fix it today. Hopefully they do because we got a fan, but that only helps if you sit directly in front of it.

Last Tuesday we got to go to Roswell to meet President and Sister Heap. They are awesome!! i'm really excited to serve under them because they really seem in tune with the spirit and you can just tell he will be a great mision president. Roswell was cool with all it's alien stuff all over, but it was about a 3-4 hour drive which wasn't too fun. I got to see Elder Arave again because he's in my zone, which was awesome. He met Elder Garey's family and said that was really neat.

Something President Heap said in Roswell about our mission: "It's not hell, but I can see it from here". HAhaha, that's definitely true and I can tell you that I can definitely feel it too. I may not like Texas yet, but I definitely love the people here. They are all so kind, but I don't like their dogs sometimes. Especially the chihuahuas. They run right up to you as you bike by barking their ugly little heads off and you're scared you'll run them over (even though I almost want to sometimes, haha)

Anyway, I really love being a missionary, but it's frustraring sometimes because I really haven't been able to teach a whole lot yet. We've had one lesson with that Mennonite family since I've been here and it seems like whenever we have an appointment with someone they always bail last second. I guess I just have to keep being patient and do my best. I know the Lord will bless me for that and it's His work, not mine so He knows how to do it best.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 2 in Texas

It's true what they say that once your first Sunday is past time flies by. This week has gone by so fast!

Seminole is kind of a smaller town. Our area actually encompasses a few other towns, but they are impossible to get to on bikes unless we bike through the farmland and oil fields literally all day, so I haven't been to any of those other towns. P-days we don't do much. We go shopping for food and come here to the library to email and do laundry just in our apartment because, luckily we  have a washer and dryer in our apartment. We cook a lot of our own food because Pres. Augustin made a rule that we can only eat at a members house three times a week, but we don't even get fed that often.

Yesterday we had an interesting experience. We were biking down a busier street just after leaving a members house when this big tattooed guy on a motorcycle comes up next to us and yells, "Hey, pull over up here for a minute!" My first thought is, "We're going to get beat up or mugged or something" but we pull over and so does biker dude. He turns off his bike and says, "How are you Elders doing?" That really threw us off, haha. It turns out that he just moved from Utah, is a member and was wondering where the church is. That doesn't happen to often in Texas, haha.

We didn't do much on the 4th because they called us that morning and told us we ahd to be back in our apartment at 6:00. So we ended up not having the BBQ until the 5th and we just sat around and listened to Christmas/Disney music from 6 to 10, haha. For some reason that's what Elder Christensen wanted to listen to. I really like him. He;s funny and goofs around sometimes, but knows what we need to do and is a great example. He graduated the same year as me and is from Odgen and has been out for 7 months. I'm the first person he's ever trained and since his last comp "died" (went home) and I was immediately "born" (got to the mission field), he calls me his phoenix, haha. I like that a lot better than being his greeny or trainee. Also, some members brought us some pie and icecream that night because they knew we had to be in really early because of the holiday. They're awesome.

The BBQ was great! They use a lot of peppers in Texan BBQ, but it's really good. We had these things called "armadillo eggs", which are jalapeno peppers stuffed with cream cheese, baby shrimp and bacon bits (or whatever you want to put in it with the cream cheese) and the whole thing is wrapped in bacon and BBQ'd. They were amazing! ahah! They're kind of hit and miss, so occasionally you get a really hot one and I did. It was so hot!! We actually went out to the farm where we had the BBQ quite a while before we had it and helped the man who's farm it is weed. There were so many weeds, but it was pretty fun and I didn't get as burned as my comp did which is reallly good, haha.

Sunday there was almost nobody there so church was only two hours. Right after, though we taught this family who has been coming to church, but they aren't all members. Our goal is to get the dad to be able to baptize his kids. It was the most amazing lesson I've taught so far, because we didn't even do that much teaching! the mom and dad were talking a lot and really teaching themselves. i'm pretty sure I almost cried a couple times and by the end, their dad was even tearing up.

I'm loving it out here! It's hard work and I don't exactly love Texas, but I love all of the people, even when they're straight up ignoring you or dodging your questions and telling you for the fifth time that they already have a church. I love you all and  hopefully I can figure out how to send some pictures, although most of them are just from the MTC.

Elder Carlson