Monday, March 28, 2016

Transferred to Comanche, TX

So I'll start out by talking about transfers because there's a lot of new stuff. I am being moved to Comanche, TX (from the far west of the mission to the farthest east, haha). I'll be a district leader with my companion Elder Felts.  I also think we're white-washing the area. Here in Roswell Zone they are making Elder Wardell (who was a DL) the other zone leader with Elder Woodland. They're also moving them to Rio Hondo ward and the sisters are moving to Linda Vista.
It's been a really good week. We got a couple new investigators and got to go on an exchange with the assistants in Lubbock. We did a lot of contacting people on Tech campus, which is very different from missionary work I'm used to. There's just so many people there.

On Easter Sunday, it was a very spirit filled day. We had church and since it was fast Sunday and all of the elders are leaving the ward, Bishop wanted us to all bear our testimonies. We did plus there was a beautiful musical number sung by one of the members. One of our new investigators, A, we met with that day. She is Hindu and is originally from India. We had a very spiritual lesson with her watching the #Hallelujah video and teaching her about the atonement. Then we had dinner with another member family and they invited non-member friends over. It was a lot of teaching and testifying of Christ and His Atonement. The meaning and promises of Easter is beautiful and I am so grateful our Savior, Jesus Christ endured the will of the Father and made it possible for us to find new life.


Elder Carlson

Monday, March 21, 2016


I don't even know where to start. It's been a good week, but really busy getting everything ready for R's baptism. We had her baptismal interview on Tuesday. We were still a little hesitant on moving her baptism forward, but on Wednesday we had a really spiritual lesson with her and knew that it would be good for her baptism to happen on the 19th. So despite the extra work it took, we got everything ready and her baptism went great! (I'll send some pictures) It was very spiritual and there was a lot of support from the ward.
Another thing that added some hectic-ness to our week was a last minute zone conference on Wednesday night. It was kind of crazy setting it up the day before and trying to fit it around mutual, but it was a really good meeting. It was about the new Easter initiative, which I'm so excited about! I love these initiatives because they bring the Spirit so quickly and make doing missionary work so easy and Christ centered, just how it's supposed to be.
Recently, throughout the mission we've been focusing on the basic principles of missionary work and simply working on making our training meetings more focused on training and practicing those basic skills. Since starting that about 5 weeks ago, it's been amazing the change there's been. The mission went from about 2-3 convert baptisms a week on average to there being 15 convert baptisms these last two weeks! The basic principles of the gospel are so important and if we focus on those and simply strive to understand and apply those most basic aspects into our lives, the Lord can trust us and He will provide. If we choose to do things our way, we're left to "kick against the pricks", but doing things the Lord's way assures us His help and miracles.
I love you all and pray that you will remember Christ and the beautiful message of Easter, that "He is not here: for He is risen." Because of that miracle, we can find new life through Jesus Christ.
Elder Carlson


It's been a really fun week! Tuesday we went up to Ruidoso for district meeting and then just stayed up there in Mescalero for exchanges. I love that place so much! Every time I go up there I realize how amazing mountains are. The drive up from Roswell is almost surreal because I'm not used to mountains anymore, haha. We had to leave early on Wednesday to get back for interviews with President Heap, but we came back up on Friday to interview one of their investigators for baptism.

Sunday was a crazy day, too, but really enjoyable. We had to wake up extra early (and not only because of the time change). There was a new high councilor called for the Fort Sumner Branch named Bro Logan, and he's really pumped about missionary work up there. He's going to start driving us up there two weekends a month for Saturday and Sunday. So yesterday we got to go up there with him for church. During sacrament meeting a sister did a musical number where she played her guitar and sang, which was really good and brought the spirit very strong. Something like that would only happen in a place like Fort Sumner, though, haha.

We got to make it to the last hour of church in Roswell, too, and right when we got there R told us she had decided to be baptized on the 19th rather than wait until the 26th. In our lesson on Saturday, Elder Woodland brought up jokingly to move it to the 19th, but she was super excited about that, so we invited her to pray about it. So now this week will be hectic trying to prepare her for it and get everything ready, but I'm kind of happy it got moved up. She's super excited and was telling everyone at church about it.

I want to share a quote I learned from Elder May in Borger, but the principle it teaches I've been very impressed with this week. Winston Churchill said, "To every man there comes that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a special thing fitted to his talent. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour." And then Pres. Monson said, "When the time to act arrives, the time to prepare is over." I encourage you all to prepare yourselves. Keep God's commandments, learn to recognize and follow promptings of the Holy Ghost, and stay worthy by making the right choices day to day (even if they are small decisions) to fulfill the work the Lord has in store for you. I love you all. Have a great week!

Elder Carlson

Improving training meetings

This week has seemed long because a lot has happened but at the same time it feels like it's flown by. Tuesday we had zone training. Throughout the mission we are focusing on improving the productivity of our training meetings (district meeting, zone training, etc.). Rather than the leader getting up there and giving a sermon/teaching the whole time, we are now focusing on role playing and practicing the skills being taught. That way it's more us learning and applying skills like it should be. So we focused on recognizing and relying on the Holy Ghost when we teach. I feel like God's been trying to teach me that a lot recently. I need to get better at and put more focus into recognizing when the Holy Ghost is speaking to me. As a missionary, the Lord blesses me with His spirit so abundantly in order to do His work. Anyone who is fully engaged in His work receives a more abundant portion of the Spirit.
We've also been meeting with R every day this week almost to get her ready for her baptism. Yesterday at church we were talking about the Holy Ghost in Gospel Principles and she shared a really neat, powerful experience. On Saturday we taught her about fasting because the next day was fast Sunday and so she decided to fast for her husband to get off probation in Texas soon so he could move to Roswell with her and their family. It really hit her that night how hard it was to be a single mother, but as she prayed she felt the Lord's Spirit telling her to just hang in there and keep going. I know the Lord loves us and that He sends the miraculous gift of His Spirit to show us the great  magnitude of that love.
We also started teaching a couple named M and J. They are very kind and sincere and asked a lot of questions during our lesson (missionaries love questions). J is very passionate about modesty and loves that the Church is "old fashioned" as well. They will make great Mormons, haha. We also taught the institute class at NMMI yesterday. One of the cadets has been bringing non-member friends and a couple of them are interested in learning about the church.
Overall we have been blessed this week and we are going to get to go up to Mescalero on exchanges this week! I'm way excited! I love you all and hope that you will feel an increased measure of the Spirit as you strive to serve the Lord.
Elder Carlson