Monday, July 27, 2015

God answers prayers

So I guess I should probably explain a couple of those pictures, huh? The one where I'm holding something, it's a horny toad we found outside a recent convert's house. They're all over the place here. We've seen a couple tarantulas lately as well, but haven't caught any of those yet. The one where I'm holding some wood, we took apart the bed frame in our trailer's "master bedroom" so our study room would be more roomy. It ended up being more difficult than we expected but once we got it up we got creative and turned it into a makeshift supply shelf as well. I'll have to send some pictures of it finished.
This week we had zone conference, which was really great. President Heap instructed us on how we need to teach like the Savior, who is the Master Teacher. It never ceases to amaze me how many different things we can learn from the scriptures and especially from what Jesus Christ did and said. One thing I learned in particular was how the only authority Christ taught by was that He received from the Father in contrast to how the scribes and others taught in those days by authority of others' words. I have been ordained of God and have His authority as well. It's a big responsibility but I'm so glad He qualifies who He calls.
One cool miracle this week happened on Tuesday. We were heading back from a lesson in Greenwood and when we got back to Stanton we didn't have much more time until we had to go in but we decided to go try one more person. We weren't actually 100% sure which house he lived at so we knocked a couple and the second we tried this lady answered who seemed super happy to see us. It ended up that she had been praying on the way home to know if she was going down the right path and for some direction from God and then right after she got home, the Mormon missionaries showed up on their doorstep for the first time in the 8 years they've lived in that house.
I know God answers prayers and knows us each individually and loves us too. I love y'all too and hope everything goes just superb for you this week.
Elder Carlson

Monday, July 20, 2015

Greenwood / Stanton

Elder Carlson's District


It's been a good but hot week. Has it still been as hot there as it has been?
This week we got two "new" investigators! The first is Bro. C. His whole family is members but he's not. He's been coming to church for a while, though, and now is taking the lessons! We had a really spiritual lesson with them last Monday. And we'll have another tonight.

The other one used to be an investigator and was coming to church regularly and getting ready for baptism last time I was in this ward. We were over at a less active member's house and he wanted us to come over later that day. Our lesson with him started out not so good. He was very adamant against authority and our church's "hierarchy" but we were able to remind him of the testimony he had gained in the past of the Book of Mormon and what that meant. So he came to church on Sunday! And brought all his kids!

Also, our investigator, T, came to church this week! She lives with her grandma and is really active in her Baptist church but is willing to find out if what we've taught her is true. Lately she's been trying to get an answer to prayers about the BoM but hasn't felt anything yet. Coming to church was a big step for her, though.

On Wednesday we were out knocking some doors out in Greenwood and this random guy pulls up in his car and asks if we're JWs. We told him we were Mormons and he was pretty happy about that and started asking all about our beliefs. Now don't freak out at this next part, Mom, but we ended up hopping in his car and just cruising around Greenwood for a while teaching him basically the whole restoration. He even took a BoM and I really hope he can feels the Spirit from it. I just really think it's funny how as a missionary all those rules about not talking to strangers and not getting into a car with a stranger is just thrown out the window (unless the Spirit tells you otherwise) haha!

Also, we finally got our po box! So our mailing address is:
P.O. Box #1285
Stanton, TX 79782

I appreciate the comments on love this week, Mom and Dad. Recently I've been praying a lot for more charity because it is such a vital part of missionary work. With enough charity everything seems so much easier because you're focusing on serving others rather than yourself. It takes a lot of work to have charity all the time and to be able to help Christ heal others, but the rewards are so great!

Elder Carlson

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Trailer... and Pythons

The Atonement covers EVERYTHING!

So we are officially completely moved into our trailer!!! On Tuesday (our last day in our Midland apartment) we spent pretty much all day moving stuff into our trailer (including our new fridge!) and cleaning the apartment very thoroughly. It's not bad living in the trailer, I kind of enjoy it, but what isn't too fun is sleeping in my little cubby in the wall. The AC doesn't get to it too well so I just put a fan at the opening at night and whenever I move around I usually bump something (my head, elbow, butt, or knee) into the side. Showers in the morning are really cold too. But that means I use less water in the mornings, though, which is good. Elder Hanson seems to be immune to the cold water, which I'm impressed with. But he's always freezing at night while I'm burning up, which I don't really get... 

The 4th of July was pretty fun, but it always kind of sucks being isolated from other missionaries in these small towns. We mostly just watched Mormon Messages (after 6, when we were supposed to be in) but we also got to go help give a blessing to a less active member (which ended up being really spiritual because we were fasting too).

On Wednesday, after district meeting I got to go on my first exchange as a district leader (that wasn't with the ZLs). I was in Big Spring with my MTC comp, Elder Thornton. It was really fun being there. I even got to hold a couple pythons. But it's hard sometimes being responsible for these missionaries when they're going through hard times. I feel like I never know what to do to help them be happier and/or be better missionaries. All I can do is try and turn them to the Savior because His Atonement covers everything. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. But we just have to do those things that will allow it to work in our lives.  

I've been very impressed this week with how simple the gospel really is. Everything turns back to Christ(2 Nephi 25:26) and remembering/coming closer to Him. That's why the sacrament is so important as well as the BoM. We will receive answers to prayer, increased faith, and guidance, as well as many other blessings as we feast upon the words in the BoM daily. I hope y'all will continue to keep building your faith by learning from and living the teachings in the BoM. I love all of you and hope y'all stay safe and keep having fun.

Elder Carlson