Monday, October 27, 2014

Going to the temple!!!

So not a lot happened this week. We've still just been doing a lot of finding, which is not fun. I'm getting a lot better at it, though. It's quite a bit easier for me to just walk up to someone and start a conversation now. I've been kind of frustrated still not seeing much success from anything we're doing. We have found some people who seem pretty interested but the oil field screws that up because of the insane work schedules it's workers have. It's hard to get in touch with them again. Especially since we don't have a car and our area's so huge. Plus not even living in our area doesn't help. There's not much we can do but just keep trying and always seeking for the Lord's guidance.

I'm excited for Halloween this week, but it doesn't feel like it's coming up at all. It's still really hot here. For a couple days it cooled down and felt really nice. It even rained one day (which kind of sucked because we got soaked), but it didn't last too long. On Halloween we only proselyte until 6:00 and then we'll probably go play sports with the other missionaries in the city like we do on p-days.

Also, we set up a time to go to the temple with some members next Saturday! I love how we're able to go once a transfer now!! I'm really excited. I know the temple is truly the house of the Lord and we are so blessed to have temples so near by. I hope yall will continue trying to go as often as you can. I love and miss you all.

- Elder Carlson

Everything centered around the Atonement

Nothing really new to report on here this week. The most exciting thing this week was probably that we went on exchanges on Tuesday. I got to go up to this small town called Big Lake about an hour drive out of Midland with our DL. It was weird going back to a small town since I'm used to Midland now. We pretty much just went "morning finding" most of the time I was there (I'm not sure if I explained that to you, but it's pretty much just talking to everyone we see on the streets... and not just in the morning). We also went on splits to visit some less actives, which was fun because they were actually home, unlike most of the time in Midland.

We still don't have any investigators yet, but we have some potentials who seem like they'll be really solid once we can actually meet with them. People here in Texas have the craziest work schedules. So many people work for a couple weeks straight all day every day with only a few days off every once in a while. Others just have no set schedule and are basically always on call. It makes it hard to set appointments.

Random side notes: We found a turtle this morning near our apartment.
Some members gave us goat meat to try this week. I also think I forgot to tell you about when I ate menudo in Seminole (that's basically stomach soup). And thanks for the pictures again!

Oh, I also gave a talk yesterday in church. I still hate giving talks, haha. Hopefully by the end of my mission they'll be at least a little easier. It was on the Atonement, so it wasn't bad. That's a nice topic to speak on. Everything in the gospel and everything we teach as missionaries and in our lives is centered around the Atonement. I'm so grateful the Savior had enough love for us to do that for us. I'm so grateful for the times I've been able to feel it's power in my life. I hope you all realize this tremendous blessing we have been given and take advantage of this gift every day. I love and miss you all.

- Elder Carlson

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ute fans in Texas!!!

Mission wide fast

This week was pretty much the same old thing. Lots of walking and biking and trying to talk to people without much success. Hopefully things will pick up soon. We had a mission wide fast on Sunday to help us do better with finding people to teach because I guess since the big rule changes that were made our numbers on that have dropped. I think it'll just take a while for us to figure out how to balance all the resources we have and make the most of them.

Sunday we also got a ride from a member out to the county roads where we can't really get to on our bikes. We weren't able to see the referral we were going out there to see but it was good to finally get out there and see some of the less active members out there. We even got the opportunity to help one lady by moving her broken fridge out of her house.

We've also been able to meet with some part member families this week. Tuesday we went to the B's and were able to have a lesson with them, which went really well. Mr B is the only non-member in his family and he said he'd start reading the Book of Mormon, so hopefully he will. We also got to see the G's and Bro G, who hasn't come to church for about 12 years, came to church on Sunday! It was probably just because his wife was speaking in sacrament meeting, but hopefully he felt the spirit and will want to come back.

Also, our one investigator moved to Arizona this week. We weren't even able to teach her since I've been here and I didn't even know she was an investigator the first time I met her! Oh, well. I guess we'll just have to keep trying to find people and hopefully our fast will help speed up the work.

It sounds like y'all are having fun and thanks Mom for the pictures from Park City! One of the things I really miss right now is fall, haha. A few of the trees here are losing leaves slowly, but I doubt many of them will change colors and look as pretty as it does in Utah. I love and miss you all.

- Elder Carlson

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference

So this week was awesome! Mainly because of conference. We were able to watch it at one of the church buildings in Midland. We watched all of the sessions there except for Sunday morning because a member family invited us over to watch it with them and have breakfast. It was really fun because we got to do conference bingo with their kids, haha! It's great getting to know the members, but I think I get more out of conference without little kids running around and hanging off of me, haha.

This week we also had a zone conference, which was great because we got to see "Meet the Mormons". It's a fantastic movie and I encourage all of you to see it and bring all of your friends when it comes out! It's a great way to help everyone understand how normal Mormons really are and how the gospel blesses our lives without talking to us pushy, preachy missionaries. Unfortunately, it's most likely only going to be shown in one or two theaters in this mission, but I'm glad Pres Heap was able to get a copy and show us.

We haven't had too much luck teaching anyone this week, but we've been on our bikes a little more because we've been going out to the farthest out part of our area a little more.
God has blessed us a lot with safety this week. Biking around Midland is kind of scary. The traffic is crazy and there are some crazy drivers. We saw J again (the guy we found who we gave to the YSA sisters) and he found out he has a tumor on his lung and started chemo recently. It's not a coincidence we found him and were able to help him feel the joy of the gospel before this happened. Please pray for him.

I think that's about all the major things that happened this week. I'm so grateful for a living prophet today and for the opportunity general conference is to hear from him and all of God's chosen apostles. I hope you all can continue to find your own testimony and if you already have it continue to nourish it so it can grow and increase daily. I love you all.

- Elder Carlson