Friday, November 21, 2014

From Mescalero to Lubbock.

Brian was sad to be leaving Mescalero so soon, but looks like he's being well cared for in Lubbock.  This pic was at a member's home right after he got there.

So sad news this week... I'm not in Mescalero anymore. We got a call from Pres. Heap Friday morning and he gave us the news that I was leaving the next day after G's baptism. So Saturday right after the baptism I left with Pres and Sis Heap to Lubbock. It was pretty convenient that they were coming up for G's baptism in the first place and it was awesome because Pres Heap got to baptize G! I am so glad I got to serve in Mescalero and especially meet G. That branch really needs solid priesthood leaders and I know G is just what it needs to grow and eventually become a ward.

So the reason I got moved is quite the story and the Lord definitely had a hand in it. A while ago (I'm not sure exactly when), our land-lady in Mescalero called the mission office and complained that there were three of us in the apartment. They tried everything to get her to allow it, but she wouldn't allow it for some reason. Then that night, the Brethren emailed Pres Heap and let him know they were sending Elder Stuart, who was waiting for his visa, to Taiwan this Tuesday. This is weird because they usually wait until transfers, but they felt impressed to send him now.

Oh, yeah, and my new companion is Elder Geverts. He's from California (I'm pretty sure) and is a convert to the church. He's also the only member in his family currently. He's pretty sweet and is the district leader. I'm excited to serve with him. Also, we got snow yesterday!!! Which was awesome, but unfortunately I left my beanie in Mescalero, haha.

I am really sad that I had to leave Mescalero. It was by far my favorite area so far. I trust the Lord knows what He's doing even though I would never choose Lubbock over Mescalero in a million years. I just hope He'll let me know why He needs me here more than there pretty soon. No matter what you should do what the Lord calls you to do. It may seem hard and like you'd be happier if you didn't follow what He commands, but it'll all work out in the end.

- Elder Carlson

Monday, November 10, 2014

Loving Mescalero already!!

I was just going to start out by trying to say how much I love Mescalero already, but I don't think I can find words, haha. It is gorgeous out here, especially after being in dry, barren West Texas. It's kind of chilly up here already so I'm getting some more sweaters today when we go shopping. I hope we get snow soon. Getting out here kind of sucked because it's clear on the edge of the mission, but it was worth the long day of driving. Our apartment is really small and I had to sleep on the floor the first night because we were waiting to get a bunk-bed so we can all fit, haha. It feels kind of like we're camping because we're up in the mountains and living in a little cabin.

It's been such a drastic change from Midland. We have so many people we're teaching, it's crazy! There's about 160 people in the branch here, but only 15-30 people come each week. So we have a lot of less active work to do. Missionary work here is pretty different than what I've experienced before so far. We can't knock or ride bikes (I had to just leave my bike in Roswell with the zone leaders) and people are a lot more open to the BoM because it's about their ancestors. It's strange having a car, too and we can't live on the reservation so we have to drive a ways to get onto it.
We have one investigator who's super solid and he's getting baptized this Saturday!! He was an ordained minister of a Judo-Christian church and so he knows a lot about religion and it's so cool to see things just click when we explain it to him. We're still working with his wife and had one of the most amazing lessons I've had on my mission so far with her last night. It was great because we were scared for a while that if he got baptized he'd get kicked out and then he'd have to leave the res because he's not Apache. But now she sees that she needs to be baptized too!
My companions are great. Elder Murray is from Murray, Utah (awesome, huh? haha) and Elder Darby is from California. They are both great missionaries. Darby is the DL and is super in tune with the spirit and is great at finding new investigators. Murray is still in training, but is already a great teacher.
Elders Darby, Carlson and Murray

 I'm so happy I get to be here serving the Lord and bringing His gospel to the Lamanites. I hope y'all are doing great too and are happy and serving others. I love and miss you.
- Elder Carlson

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Transferred to Mescalero!

So I have a lot to tell you this week. First of all, we finally got a new investigator! She was actually an investigator in the past, but she's insanely busy and the missionaries lost contact with her. She's really cool and has investigated a ton of churches in the past and has developed a lot of similar beliefs as us from that.

Unfortunately, we got transfer calls this weekend and we're getting white-washed out of this area. I'm really excited, but I hope the new elders don't lose track of her. I'm sure they'll do great, though. I'm going to Mescalero, New Mexico. It's an Indian reservation and I'll be in a trio with elders Darby and Murray(who's being trained). Apparently they've been having a lot of success, so I'm really excited to go there, but I'm kind of sad to be leaving. I feel like I just got to know this area and the people here.

We had a "mission trip" this last Thursday where Elder Pino of the Quorum of the Seventy came and talked to us. It was really neat. He talked a lot about working with members because that's really the best way to do missionary work. Street contacting and tracting are not very effective. Elder and sister Pino were awesome, but they don't speak very good English, so they had to have some missionaries translate for them, which wasn't too great sometimes, haha. It was still really great.

Also, I had a great time at the temple Saturday! It was so great to feel that spirit in the temple again. There were a lot of missionaries there. I guess everyone was just trying to cram in a temple trip before the transfer's over. We were in the same session as some other missionaries here in Midland and even ran into some sisters that were in my last district. I also ran into the ward mission leader in Seminole (he works in the temple) and a ton of exciting things are happening in Seminole. The kids in that part-member family are getting baptized soon and a couple inactive families we were trying to work with when I was there are finally active!!
I think that's about it, but it's been a pretty eventful week. I'll end by saying I love the temple! I know it is the house of the Lord and we are so lucky to be able to have a temple in our mission. I think we take temples for granted a lot of time in Utah because there's so many so close. I hope you all go as much as you can and partake of those tremendous blessings that come from the temple! I can't express my gratitude for temples enough! I love y'all and hope all is well.

- Elder Carlson