Monday, August 31, 2015

The Atonement brings life, healing and improvement!

This week has been great, but with quite a bit of change. My new
companions are awesome. Elder Johnson really knows what he's doing and
is so motivated to work. Elder Wrathall is such a funny kid and has so
much potential. That's why he's here in this trio, to learn how to be
a leader. Being a zone leader hasn't been as bad as I thought, haha.
It's basically the same as being a district leader just you're over
more missionaries. Apparently there's quite a bit more traveling, too.
It was a long drive from Lubbock to Borger last Tuesday and we will
have to do it again and back on Friday (maybe it's Thursday, I'm not
sure) for MLC (mission leader conference).

Borger is a town of about 1500 people (quite a bit bigger than
Stanton) and isn't insanely flat and ugly!! The hills do make it a bit
more miserable to bike, though. We have some awesome people we're
working with, but we still do a lot of knocking and finding to try and
get new people to teach. The work is never done and never takes a
break. Also, it's in the Amarillo Stake, so I may hopefully meet the
stake president, Pres Vest.

Pres Heap and the assistants are going around the mission this
transfer and meeting with every single district. Recently, since the
change of not turning in numbers to mission leaders, every key
indicator in the mission is has fallen pretty dramatically. The hope
is that if we can help our missionaries realize this we can raise the
bar and work even harder than before.

I've been learning how much this gospel is about change. We need to
constantly be changing and improving because the world around us never
stops and the adversary never quits. Pres Heap talked a lot about the
Fall and how necessary that is. If we truly understand the Fall, we
understand how vitally we need the Atonement. While the Fall brought
death and pain and hard work, the Atonement brings life and healing
and improvement. He sent us this quote that I love: "Even if we’ve
been a conscious, deliberate sinner or have repeatedly faced failure
and disappointment, the moment we decide to try again, the Atonement
of Christ can help us." We just have to keep on trying and Christ will
make those efforts enough.

I love yall and hope you're never satisfied with who you are and so
continue to progress to the amazing people Heavenly Father intends us
to be.

Elder Carlson

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Transferred to Borger, TX

So I'll just start out with the crazy news. I'm being transferred to Borger, TX and am going to be a zone leader over the Panhandle Zone, I believe. Elder Hanson is staying and Elder Gillette is the new district leader here. Elder Thornton is going to be a DL as well in Fort Stockton and his companion, Elder Holtman is going to be "trained to be a zone leader" by Elder Gavin in Big Spring still. My companions are Elder Johnson and Elder Wrathall (I knew Elder Wrathall in Lubbock).

Transfer night was very stressful because we were hearing from a bunch of other missionaries where they were going and everything and we hadn't gotten our calls! Finally, around 10:30 we get a call from one of the assistants. I answer and he says, "Oh, can I talk to your companion? I won't be giving you your call." He tells Hanson he's staying and his new companion's name and then he hangs up. I'm freaking out because President Heap calls if you're training or being some sort of leader. I sat there wondering where in the world I'm going until I finally got the call at  11:30. I'm kind of nervous, but really excited at the same time. I've learned a lot from being a district leader and have come to love being able to minister to these amazing missionaries in my district.

It's been a great week, though. We got three new investigators and have still been working with A on quitting smoking. He's actually working now with his cousin to quit as well and his ex-wife accepted the invitation for us to teach her the lessons.

One of our new investigators names is P. Elder Hanson saw him in our records and felt prompted to try by again. He ended up right after we set up an appointment with him breaking his arm, which gave him a lot more time to meet with us. God has interesting ways of blessing our lives sometimes.

Anyway, that's about all I can think of right now. I love you all and hope everything goes amazingly for everyone this week!!

Elder Carlson

Friday, August 21, 2015

Quote and picture

Midland Missionaries

Brian sent us this great quote and this picture he drew:

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in.
The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of the people, and then they take themselves out of the slums.
The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment.
The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature."

Monday, August 10, 2015

The perfect spotter

I'm really sad to hear about Brett. It's no fun being away from family during times like this but we had a meeting with Pres Heap this week and what he told us was really neat. He was telling us about spotters in weight lifting. A good spotter doesn't just take the weight when you tell him to, but says first, "No, pick it up!" Even though it may seem like he's a horrible spotter, that's what a good one does. He knows his friend's limits and what he can and can't handle. A good spotter knows that it's in those last struggles that his friend grows the most. That takes a lot of trust, but it's comforting to know that during life's struggles we have the perfect spotter (Christ) there to help us and He will never leave us under any weight we cannot handle.
This week we got to meet with A and her family. Her kids were crazy and loved us. She really tried to preach to us the whole time we were there, haha (that happens a lot in West Texas), but we talked about some basic principles of the Restoration and she accepted a Book of Mormon. Hopefully she'll have the prompting to read it.
It's been really hot this week and we've done a lot of biking around but we've been blessed for it. One day while biking around in the heat we decided to knock one more door before we headed back to fill up on water again. As we walked up to the door a lady pulled up and needed help. They were moving in and as they were doing so her husband threw out his back and right as he did, we biked past down the next street and she saw us. She remembered one of her friends (a member of our church) telling her that if she needed help to just look for two guys in white shirts. We were able to help them finish moving and they wanted us to come over later to teach them! So we have a lesson with them for this Thursday.
Another day I was having a a hard time finding the motivation to go out in the heat but we went anyway. We decided to go try this potential and were able to sit down and have a lesson. The Spirit was really strong and it went really well. God really does know how to help us in times of trial, even if that trial is as little as finding motivation to leave your air conditioned RV.
Love yall!
- Elder Carlson