Monday, April 25, 2016

Pictures in Comanche


So this week after district meeting we went on exchanges with the elders in Brady. They both came here to Comanche with us so we were able to do a lot of work. We got two new investigators that day along with another new investigator (who I told you about talking to last week) later in the week. So it's been a pretty productive week I'd say. One of them is a lady named B. She is a Baptist and has gone on some humanitarian mission trips for her church. Elder Felts and Elder Walston taught her on exchanges, but from what I heard, it was an amazing lesson and she is super prepared to hear the gospel.

We did quite a bit of service this week too. It was the first week since we've been here that we finally hit our goal of 10 hours of service. A lot of it was for Sis. M who's in our branch. The missionaries before us broke her riding lawn-mower so we had to fix it. They had told her the drive belt had broken, so we took it all apart to replace the belt and found out it wasn't broken at all. So we put it all back together  and found out the only problem was that a pin that holds the belt on one of the pulleys was bent... It was a lot of fun, though, and after we mowed her lawn with it.

We also did some more service for the museum here in Comanche by moving some furniture for them from the library to the museum. Another place we like to do service at here is "Caring for Comanche". It's kind of like a thrift store but they give a lot of the clothes away to those who are in need. Some of the churches in town are assigned a week when members of their churches come and volunteer to be the ones who run the place. Since most of them are older, we do a lot of taking out trash and moving around the heavy bags of clothes. It was pretty neat this week because the church that was volunteering was the Eastside Baptist Church. I'm not sure if I told y'all that we went to a revival at that church a couple weeks ago (we were invited by an investigator) but because we went, some of the people there recognized us from that.

I know that this truly is the Lord's work. This is Christ's true church and it holds the fullness of His gospel. I love serving the Lord and am honored to hold His holy priesthood.

Elder Carlson

Monday, April 18, 2016

Service and Finding

This week has been full of service and finding. We have been meeting a lot of people, but it's difficult to meet consistently with them. I think making and keeping appointments is a forgotten art in todays world, haha. One day, when we were knocking an apartment complex here, we were talking to this guy about prayer. He was talking about how he never asks for anything like a TV or something he wants. It reminded me of what it says about prayer in the Bible Dictionary: "Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other." As I taught him that, it really stuck out to me. Our will is really the only thing that is uniquely ours that we can give to the Lord. If we are truly praying with real intent then we are wrestling to pull our wills in line with our Father's.

We've done quite a bit of service this week too. When the first missionaries got to Comanche about 3 years ago, we were told, there was not a very warm welcome. So many people had pre-conceived notions about who the Mormons are and how horrible people they are. Doing service was key to opening the hearts of the people here. Now when we go to places like the museum, the dog shelter, or chamber of commerce, we hear a lot of praise of past missionaries and what they've done. Service truly is the gospel in action and can change people's hearts.

I love you all. The gospel is true and was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. Remember how blessed we are to have the blessings of the priesthood in our lives including the opportunity to participate in priesthood ordinances. Never take those or any restored truths of the gospel for granted.

Elder Carlson

Last Zone Conference

This week has gone by so fast. Part of the reason might have been because we were in San Angelo for a couple days. We had zone conference on Thursday and went on exchanges with the zone leaders after that until partway through Friday. The change of feel between big cities and small towns is so different. I'm still getting used to being in a small town where there isn't usually lots of people out to talk to.

We got to meet with a man named M this week. I'm not sure if I told you about meeting him last week.  He is very open and it was one of the best lessons I've ever had. He really understood the restoration and the need for it. He really wanted to come to church, but had to work. He also committed to be baptized and we'll set a date with him next time we meet with him.

I had to bear my departing testimony at zone conference because it was my last one on the mission. It makes it seem like it's almost over, which just makes me want to make every moment count from now on. I love doing missionary work! I've grown so much and there's nothing better then feeling the Spirit work with you and seeing how the gospel changes people. I love you all and pray you will continue to let the gospel change you every day.

Elder Carlson

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Eventful week!!

So it's been an eventful week. A lot has happened. Comanche is a neat little town and Elder Felts and I are both amazed at how green it is here. Elder Felts is new to Comanche this transfer as well, but served in Abilene previously, which isn't too far away. Even so, it's still the greenest place we've seen on our missions. I also noticed when I first got here that it's a lot more humid than Roswell, which isn't hard to do. 

Tuesday (transfer day) was long. We had to leave the Roswell chapel at 7:00 NM time for Hobbs. I was there until 4:00 NM time when I left with a member and was dropped from member to member from Hobbs to Odessa to Big Spring to Abilene. I got to Abilene at 9:30 TX time (which is 8:30 NM time) so we stayed the night and first thing in the morning drove to Comanche. 

When we got here, the first people we met were the W's. They are a very kind member family who basically take on the role of parents to the missionaries. They feed us almost every day. All of the members here are great. There's only about 13-14 members that come actively. We spent the first couple days trying to meet a lot of them. 

Elder Felts is from Logan, Utah and has been out for a while as well. He came out about two transfers behind me. He's a ginger. He's a really good guy and I think we'll get along great while we're companions. He was also companions with my trainer, Elder Christensen, so we both have some funny stories to tell each other about him.

My time in Comanche I can already tell will be eventful. Our second day, we were out knocking some doors to finish up the day. At the last house we decided to knock, the door was open and they just had the outer glass door shut. There was a man in a recliner who looked over at us when we knocked. As he got up I saw him reach over to the table and grab something that he put behind his back as he answered the door. He opened it a crack and just stared at us, so I start in with our finding approach. As I'm talking, he puts his hand one the door frame and I finally see that what he grabbed was a big, curved knife. He didn't get to use it, though, because he suddenly and unexpectedly fell, face first, toward us. Elder Felts tried to catch him, but the man fell to the porch and hit his head on the metal pillar thing on the corner of the porch. His wife runs out to find his head bleeding and with a finger with a compound fracture. The first thing this man says when he comes to is, "Get me a cigarette!" So he laid on the porch and smoked until the ambulance arrived.

Well, that's my Comanche story for y'all so far. There will probably be a lot more where that came from. I love you all and hope your week goes wonderfully! 

Elder Carlson