Monday, September 29, 2014

Adjusting to Midland

This week has been really long. And my feet hurt more than they ever have in my life, haha. Midland is awesome! But our area is huge and, like Seminole, it's supposed to be a car area, but we're stuck on bikes. Only Elder Morley likes walking more than biking, so we do a lot of walking. It's weird being in a big city now, since I got used to the small town life of Seminole. We don't even live in our area and have to walk about ten minutes to get to it.

It seems like this area will be a little harder than my last area because I feel like the poorer people of Seminole were a lot more humble and ready to accept the gospel. We're also working with a lot of less active members because there's so many! Probably almost half of the ward is less active it seems like! We've only had one lesson not with less active or active members this week and we only have one investigator right now and she might get deployed soon.

We did meet this one guy morning finding one day and taught him a lesson. He soaked it all up and loved it and accepted a baptism date already! But we had to turn him over to the sisters in the YSA ward so we probably won't see him again, or at least we won't be the ones teaching him.

Sunday it was really nice being in a ward again, but I feel like I know nobody, haha. There are three sets of missionaries in our ward (including Morley and I) plus two other wards in the city and a Spanish Branch. I'll have to get used to having so many other missionaries around. One missionary in our ward, though, is Elder Garey, who was in my MTC district!! It's great seeing him again and he's already training. After church Sunday we had the other elders in our ward drop us off in one part of our area. We spent the next five hours walking around visiting people and just contacting people (well, five hours including the hour and a half walk back to our apartment). I have some gnarly blisters from that, haha. While we were out there we talked to some people who only spoke Spanish and so I tried to talk to them, but I pretty much suck at it, haha. They probably didn't understand a word I said.

It's been kind of a hard week adjusting to Midland but I think I'll like it here and I hope we can find some people to teach or at least I can figure out how to help less active members better. I love and miss you all.

- Elder Carlson

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Transferred to Midland!!!

So we got transfer calls Saturday and I'm going to Midland!!! I'm super excited! My new comp's name is Elder Morley and it's his first time being a senior companion and they said it would seem like I'm senior comp sometimes. I've heard only good things about Midland. It's going to be quite a change going from a little town like Seminole with only one branch to a bigger city with four wards. Elder Christensen is staying in Seminole and he's training again!

Other than that, it's been a pretty slow week. The weather has been all over the place. It's rained a ton and been sunny some days. One day it was super sunny and warm outside so we went out to see the B's (they live just outside of town). Once we got to the edge of town, it started pouring and we were instantly soaked. The weather here's pretty crazy.

I feel like more happened this week, but I can't remember, haha. I've been busy today packing because I'll probably leave Wednesday and I'm not sure how much time I'll have later to pack. And my new address is: 3601 Andrews Hwy #405 Midland, TX 79703.

I wish I had more to say this week, but I'm sure I'll have plenty next week with being transfered and all. I love you all and miss you!

-Elder Carlson

Monday, September 15, 2014

Not a greenie anymore!

This has been kind of a slow week. It's actually been pretty cold here recently, too. I think Texas just chooses to skip over fall and go straight from summer to winter. It would be perfect temperature if it weren't for the wind and riding on our bikes just makes the wind seem stronger and colder. Friday we got a ton of flash flood warnings. We pretty much ignored them and went to our investigator's house for breakfast and payed the price by getting soaked on the way back. That day wasn't very fun because we were told to stay inside unless we had a set appointment because the weather was so bad. We tried to go to the post office, but the street we usually go down to get there had literally turned into a river. We had to get creative with our pedaling to try and avoid soaking our shoes again.
We had Stake Conference this week and it was awesome! We only got to see the meeting on Sunday because it was in Lubbock and they only broadcasted that meeting. It was a huge meeting because they were splitting the Lubbock and Roswell stakes into three stakes!!! It's super exciting and Elder Teh from the quorum of the seventy, who spoke at last conference, by the way, came to preside. It was fantastic and Elder Teh pretty much threw down on temple attendance. I hope y'all realize what a blessing the temples are and we are so blessed to have one so close (especially for everyone in Utah). I've been missing seeing temples so often and especially miss going to them. I hope the members got the message here and we're able to go there with them soon.

I'm not sure if I told you about the B family. The family that moved here from Utah introduced us to them at dinner last week. We were able to have a lesson with them yesterday and they are so solid! I'm so excited for them!! it's amazing to see how the Lord prepares people. They were telling us how they were raised thinking that Mormons were insane and to avoid us at all cost but how different things just in the past year have made it possible for them to be able to be more open to hearing the gospel now.
Oh, and I'm officially not a greenie anymore! We're done with the 12 week training program and so today is the first day I'm not in training. It's weird because last week was a seven week transfer instead of the usual six week ones, so I get a week of this transfer not being a greenie, haha. We get transfer calls next week and I'm pretty sure I'll probably be transfered because I just got done with training. I want to leave, but don't at the same time. If I do, I'm going to miss the people here a lot. I love you all and hope y'all always remember what a blessing this gospel is and feel that desire to share it with others.
-Elder Carlson

Friday, September 12, 2014

Zone Conference

Exciting changes!

So this week has been pretty awesome. We had zone conference Wednesday and Pres Heap made some exciting changes to the rules! There used to be restrictions on how many meals we could eat with each member every month and how many a week, but now we can eat with them anytime. The branch is pretty excited about that, haha. We can also do 10 hours of service each week instead of only 3. And the best change, I think, is that we can now go to the temple once a transfer! We used to go in big groups like every 8 months or something, but now we can go with investigators or members (as long as we can get rides because we didn't get a car and even if we had one we wouldn't have enough miles for that)
Yes, it has been very rainy this week. Actually, it only was on Thursday through Saturday, but when it rains in Texas, it rains hard. We would leave our apartment and be completely drenched before we left the parking lot. Plus, there's no drainage system here, so we've been riding through puddles that go up to our ankles when we're on our bikes. My shoes are still a little damp, haha.
This week at church S brought her son and he really liked it! He got offered a job by one of the members at church and he's super excited about that. Because of that he's decided to stop smoking and hopefully he'll start reading the Book of Mormon! Unfortunately, his sister didn't come to church this week because she was visiting her boyfriend.
I think that's about it, but this week I am very thankful for the rain because it brings cooler weather but also for a dryer in our apartment because we've used that a lot this week. I love you all!
- Elder Carlson

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Praying for a car!

Sorry I wasn't able to email yesterday, but the library was closed because of Labor Day. Not too much has happened lately. We have been trying all week long to meet with S's daughter, but their whole family is crazy and drama-filled, haha. She's been gone pretty much all week but fortunately we're going to meet with her tonight. With school starting it's been difficult to meet with any of our investigators consistently, which is frustrating. Fortunately, we were able to find out where our investigator got moved to by CPS and we know his foster parents names so hopefully the missionaries there will be able to help him.
This week was kind of rough because on top of everyone cancelling appointments on us all the time I got kind of sick (don't worry Mom, it was only a minor cold) and also twisted my ankle. It swelled up quite a bit and made it difficult to walk and bike. Fortunately, it's pretty much back to normal now.
We were able to finally make it out to another city we're supposed to cover this week, Seagraves. Bro. A was able to drive us out there because we had a referral from the Branch President there. The guy we were reffered to was out of town for another week, we found out, but we were able to visit a less active lady who lives out there. We have zone training tomorrow and supposedly if areas receive a car, it's usually at zone training. So we're hoping and praying because we need a car here.
Like I said, not much happened this week, but it's super exciting to hear about all my friends leaving on missions soon! I hope y'all always remember how much the Lord loves each of you and always be looking for His hand in your life every day. I love and miss you all.
- Elder Carlson