Monday, October 19, 2015

Strive daily to remember Christ

This week has been pretty crazy. We've had a lot of lessons set up this week. Unfortunately, we were only able to teach 10 out of our 30 or so of our set lesson appointments. That's just the life of a missionary. You have to learn to be diligent and keep working hard even through disappointment and the constant tiredness, haha.

We've started teaching this family who were former investigators from about 2 years ago.  They have a 4 year old autistic son, who makes our lessons with them crazy and distracted, but fun. The dad keeps telling us how the two main times in his life he's prayed and asked for guidance, the missionaries have showed up at his door. They are an awesome family and even came to church this week!

Also this week I've been ponderizing Alma 37:36, which says,
"Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest
 let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed  
upon the Lord forever." 
I love how everything in the scriptures turns us toward Christ. He is the message I am out here sharing. He is who our thoughts and actions should be focused on and we should always strive to follow Him more perfectly and come closer to Him. I love Him and am eternally grateful for the gift of His Atonement and the impact it has made in my life. I love you all and hope you strive daily to remember Christ.

Elder Carlson

Watchful unto prayer

Elder Carlson and Elder May

This week started out pretty crazy with transfers and everything. Being a zone leader we have to be at the transfer site for most of the day to make sure everyone gets where they're supposed to be on time and coordinate when some missionaries go on exchanges for a while waiting for their new companions (the Amarillo ZLs deal with that more than us because the transfer site is actually in Amarillo).

Elder May is a pretty neat guy. He's an amazing missionary so I have a lot to learn from him. He's from Bozeman, Montana and has been out for almost a year. The Heaps are from Bozeman too. Pres. Heap was actually Elder May's stake president back home and was over all the seminaries there so he saw him in seminary sometimes.  He really likes working with part member families and less actives so we've been cleaning up the ward roster trying to look for the families we don't know on that list. He's a lot more organized than me, which helps us be more effective and be able to focus on the most important things. We've been doing a lot of finding and knocking as well and have met some awesome new people that we can hopefully start to teach now. 

One thing I've learned this week is how important it is to always keep your eyes/minds focused on the Lord. Like the Nephites when Christ comes to America, we need to turn our eyes to heaven so we can hear the voice. If we are to hear the voice of the Lord in our lives we must be watching and listening for it, especially by being in the scriptures and even ponderizing scriptures. Like President Heap says, "It's not a design flaw that God gave us two eyes, two ears, and one mouth."

I love you all and hope you will remain "watchful unto prayer" and can feel Heavenly Father's love for you always. 

Elder Carlson

Monday, October 5, 2015

Borger missionaries and Dumas district

Let conference talks spur us to action!

It's been a very busy, crazy week. We got transfer calls Saturday and Elder Johnson and Elder Wrathall are both leaving to be in other trios and training. There's a lot of new missionaries coming in lately so a lot of missionaries are training, even some of the zone leaders. My new companion's name is Elder May. He was just in Lubbock as a ZL and Elder Johnson was companions with him previously too.

We were busy earlier this week with a lot of service and appointments, which is a missionaries dream. Thursday is when it got real crazy, though. We were doing service for our landlord when we got a text letting us know a young man in our ward was missing. Apparently, he left at 9 the night before to get some milk from the store but nobody in the family noticed he wasn't home yet. In the morning his car was found parked on the side of the highway with his wallet still inside (plus he left his phone at home). We went to help and went out in a couple of the search parties for him. It was a long day for his family I'm sure. Luckily we heard the next day that in the middle of the night he was found in the ER beat up and confused. It's good to know that there are good Samaritans out there who would help him get to the hospital. 

General Conference was amazing this weekend, as always! We spent most of Saturday at a members house listening to it while we helped him remove the drywall in their kid's room so we could put insulation in. For the priesthood session and on Sunday we spent it at the church watching and there was a potluck in between sessions. It was really neat seeing three new Apostles called. We are so blessed to be led by these inspired men today and to continually receive direction and revelation from the Lord through them. 

I've learned a lot from Conference this weekend, but one thing especially was how important it is to spend as much time in the scriptures as possible, whether you're studying or "ponderizing", and to do all we can to have the Spirit with us always. The Holy Ghost really is one of the greatest gifts we can receive in this life. His companionship is something we need to work our hardest to always have. I love you all and hope that you will let what you learned and felt during this conference weekend change your life for the better. It's not a time we can just sit back and listen to some good talks, but we need to let the words of these chosen men and women sink into our hearts and spur us to action. 

Elder Carlson

Busy week

We've been busy this week. One of the APs came on exchanges with us this week. We were able to get so much work done with four of us in the same area! We got three new investigators in just the two days he was here and 15 lessons total throughout the week. He taught us a lot about leadership as well. The root of it really is just to love them.

One of the people we met is T. She lives in our apartment complex and is really interested. She grew up going to church but when she was in high school her church kicked out and shunned her and her family for some reason. She felt like God abandoned her, but when we came along she agreed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, which she did. She felt God's peace and told us it was a very emotional experience for her. We're excited to teach her.

We've also been teaching this guy who is the cousin of one of the members here and has met with missionaries on and off for about 6 years. He's really sincere but just never comes to church. This week, though, we were able to start teaching his girlfriend. We're hoping she'll be able to feel the Spirit and motivate him.
We've been trying to work with church leaders better in this area too. We have started putting together a ward mission plan and are now going to start meeting with the Stake President once a month hopefully to correlate the work with the stake's vision as well. It's helped reemphasize for me how important member missionaries are. We can work really hard as missionaries and knock and knock and knock, but there's a much more effective way to do it if people are able to be influenced and brought to the gospel by their friends. 

I love you all and hope your week is filled with joy and miracles.

Elder Carlson

Missionary Leaders Conference