Monday, January 19, 2015

Elder Bednar!

So before I tell you about our meetings with Elder Bednar a crazy thing happened today. We were shopping at Walmart this morning and right before we were able to buy our stuff all the power went out! So they kicked us all out and we found out it was out for at least a couple blocks because all the traffic lights weren't working. Luckily Tech still has power, haha. First world problems, huh? Everyone freaks out when there's no electricity.

But Friday and Sunday, when we had meetings with Elder Bednar, were awesome! On Friday was the meeting with all the missionaries. He didn't give an actual talk but first he asked us what we learned from the talks he gave us to read to prepare for him coming. We all could raise our hands to stand and answer. Then he opened it up for us to just ask him questions. It was really cool and he had us focus on just listening to the Spirit and writing down what we learned that wasn't said rather than just writing down our "large plate" notes of what the speaker said. Then he had us look for a pattern in how our meeting went and what we learned from that pattern and how we could apply it to us as missionaries.
The whole mission was together to hear Elder Bednar!

On Sunday we were hoping to get a ton of investigators there but only C was there; she loved it, though! It was really neat because Seminole Branch is in our stake and so I got to see a lot of the members that were able to come up from Seminole for stake conf! There Elder Bednar talked a lot about baptism and the vital importance of it as well as all other ordinances we perform. He also talked quite a bit about Joseph Smith. He was saying how everywhere he goes in the world he takes Lubbock, Texas with him because he shared an experience he had while living here that really strengthened his testimony in him. He even said that this is one of only about six places in the world he can call home. It was pretty cool.

I know that the priesthood of God is on earth again today. I'm so grateful for the blessing priesthood ordinances are in my life and that I can be out here, called of God to bring these blessings to God's other children.

Elder Carlson

Have Faith

This week's been a little warmer than last week. I think about two days have been warm enough to wear short sleeve shirts if it weren't for the wind. Texas wind sucks, but I think I've mentioned that before, haha. The other days have been freezing, as usual. Texas weather is all over the place. You never know what it'll be like from day to day.

Our zone this week has been focusing on getting new investigators since last week was focused on morning finds. We were able to get three new investigators this week because of that! We even set bap dates with two of them. Unfortunately, neither of them came to church on Sunday so we have to bump their dates back. 

The only older investigators we've really made progress with this week is C. We taught them some commandments and she has quite a few issues with one in particular, but she's received an answer that this is what God wants her to do. It'll be a process working with her through this, but God will give her and us strength. She's really in tune with the spirit and has gotten some pretty solid answers when she has prayed to Him.
Our ward mission leader is finally back from being in Utah for 3 months and he's been awesome. He's really pushing our stake family mission plans, which has been a struggle for me on my mission so far because I've never even heard of a family mission plan before now. I guess we don't really need them in Utah, haha. But he's taught us a little more about them and we're going to focus on that a lot more with members now.

Elder Bednar is coming this week on Thursday so we've been given a couple of his previous talks to study to prepare for meeting him. I'm so excited for it! Not only to meet and hear from him, but to see all the missionaries in this mission in one place at the same time will be awesome. The talks he gave us are really neat and I've learned from them how essential it is to ask in faith when you pray. A vital part of faith is action. When you pray you need to constantly remember what you've prayed for and put in your effort and your "trial of faith" so you can receive your answer. I hope you all can have the faith you need to overcome anything the Lord puts in your path. He will always help us through and we will see many miracles if we only have the faith to fuel those miracles.

Elder Carlson

Monday, January 5, 2015

Freezing rain

This week has been good, but pretty crazy. Monday we got a new car! It's really nice and I'm not used to all the fancy features this car has. I'm used to manual roll-down windows, haha! New Years Eve we didn't do much. We just got to get off at 6 and go play games and sports with the other missionaries in Lubbock.

The freezing rain this week has been so crazy! Because of it, the ZLs banned us from using our cars and even our bikes for a couple days. We have crashed a couple times on our bikes even on the days they let us use them, haha. No really bad ones, though. The first day of the freezing rain we headed off to an appointment and before we got there my glasses had a sheet of ice on them so I just didn't wear them for the rest of the day, haha.  Here's a picture of them. This was after they had melted a little, but you see how crazy it was!
When we have appointments we'll lock up our bikes and when we go to get them afterwards they'll be completely frozen over. We had to walk them home once it was so bad. 

As a zone this week we've been focusing on getting 40 morning finds for each companionship. It's taken a lot of knocking doors because no one's outside and most people when they answer will just tell us, "come back when it's warmer". We made it though! And we've met some pretty awesome people, who we'll hopefully be able to see again! 

Not much has happened with our investigators this week. J was supposed to come to church, but wasn't there when we went to pick him up. He gave up drinking, smoking, and tea pretty willingly when we taught him the word of wisdom, though! 
I think that's about it, but I'm super excited for Elder Bednar to come speak to us! I'm not sure if you remember me telling you when we skyped that he's coming to talk to us missionaries as well as the Lubbock Stake. 

Oh! We also got to go to the temple last Saturday! This family invited us to come to their sealing and it was really cool! This guy in our ward did the sealing. The spirit was so strong! I love the temple and am so grateful for the blessing it is. For the opportunity we have to be sealed to our families forever and to be so close to God when we go there. I love and miss y'all.

-Elder Carlson