Current Address

Elder Jordan Carlson

Send emails to: with ELDER JORDAN CARLSON as the subject line. The mission home will print the email and send it to Jordan.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Alejandra and Belen

How's everthing going back in Utah?
Well I don't have a ton to say because I told you guys just about everthing on the phone...
So Sunday night we had change calls, we get a call from our district leader telling us who is going and who is staying. We are in a four elder house and we were expecting one elder that has been here for 3 changes to go, but we are all staying, the only change was that my comp is our new district leader now. so nothing major.
Yes we have a microwave. I guess a lot of the houses didn't but then just a few changes ago the offices got microwaves and ovens for all the houses.
I hear the fireworks down here are even bigger on new years eve, so that should be cool. haha
We have two baptisms this Friday. Alejandra age 15 and Belen age 9. Alejandra's mom got baptized a few months back and at first Alejandra wanted nothing to do with the church, but a change happened and all of a sudden she started coming to church and reading a ton in the Book of Mormon. Anyway this is a long overdue baptism because they have both come to church 6 times which is way more than they need in order to get baptized. But it should be good, Belen is the cousin of Alejandra, her mom is a really inactive member and we weren't sure if we should baptize her because she didn't have that much support, but at the Christmas conference with Pte. Da Silva he dropped cane on not baptizing someone because you think they might go inactive. He said those were thoughts put there by Satan and everyone has agency and we aren't the ones to decide how someone might use their agency. So we are baptizing her, but it shouldn't be a problem because Alejandra and her family are supporting her really well anyway.
Sorry it was short, but I don't have much more to say.
Love you guys!
Elder Carlson IV

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Elder Stilwell

Jordan with Elder Skyler Stilwell, his district leader and friend from Timpview.

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Crazy to Think That Cam's Home

Dear family,
That is so fun about Cam coming home. I realized half way through sat. that it was the day he was going home, it's so crazy to think about. gall, So guess what? I had my 3 month mark the other day, I'm already 1/8 done with my mission, 12.5% - crazy right?  I like those pics you sent, I hope that sign gets all ripped up and ruined so you have to buy a brand new one for me- jk! and then Cam has gotten taller holy cow, ha.

Ok so I might as well start with the calling stuff. We are going to do it Saturday the 25th at around 3 pm  my time which I think is 10 am your time but I'm not sure.  I will call you guys for just a sec to tell you to go ahead and call me back. You need to dial:  

Plus if you have a calling card or something all those numbers first. Anyway I think the best way is for you guys to just get a calling card. You could use gmail to call me but I don't know if it would be easier with all the people, dad knows how to do it.
We only get 40 minutes, so you better make a list of things you want to tell me. This isn't one of those lazy Philadelphia missions where you get to call all day, we are going to busy christmas day! haha
So I don't think I have ever told you but everyone down here drinks water with carbonation, like mineral water, or club soda, it's so nasty, but they all love it, I do not. We aren't supposed to do this but all the missionaries just drink straight from the faucet with out filtering it, it tastes fine and it's really is pretty good quality, but they gave us all a filter its just a pain, and we always make juice, Tang is super big down here.
Last Friday the 17th we had a big Christmas conference with the entire mission! It was crazy, there are like 200 of us. I got to see all the guys from the CCM again which was cool, and we found out that I have a twin in my mission that just barely left so I had all these other missionaries coming up to me and saying I looked exactly like this other elder.

Pres. Da Silva and his wife talked and we all sang a musical number and they had lunch, which was really good, it was just some chicken thing but it was catered so they had coke- which is against our mission rules, well, we are only prohibited from buying coke, if someone offers it to us we can have it!
We have a baptism coming up this week, Alejandra, she is 15 and her mom joined the church just a few months ago, it should be good, except we have had to change the date of the bap. like 3 times, it should be on the 31 of December now though!
We have been working really hard to find new investigators because recently we have kinda run out because they are all getting baptized. We found two families, Veronica whose husband is military and is in Haiti right now, and the Marias, a grandma and her granddaughter. The grand daughter is hilarious, she is like 13 and she has a million questions. For example we tried to teach the plan of salvation and we were explaining the first principle, the pre earth life, and we explained that God had a body and we didn't which led to questions about if God and Jesus are alive then where are they?  We said heaven, and she was like, well then they are dead. Then I said something to my comp in English and she was like, you speak English? Wait, when he talks to you in English, do you understand it in English or in Spanish? I almost started laughing. We didn't even make it past the first principle because she had so many questions.
Anyway I will make a list of cool things to tell you for Saturday. Merry Christmas!
Love, Elder Carlson IV

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another Bautismo!

Dear Family,
Haha sunny, warm??.... those are not the words to describe this week. It has been really really rainy.  On Friday it started.  In the morning it was sunny and beautiful and just by chance I cleaned out my backpack, and just by chance I took out my umbrella that I had been carrying around for 3 weeks without use. And just by chance,  Friday we got dumped on!  My trainer didn't have anything either so we just worked in the rain. The water proof Eccos worked great! Anyway the next day started out sunny and hot as well, but I wasn't going to be fooled!  I brought my umbrella, and guess what? It started raining, but whats more, it started to hurricane, (hurricane is now a verb, i just decided it) and there was some super strong wind, anyway the umbrella broke because of the wind.  I got way way way more soaked than Friday, literally as wet as I would have been if I jumped in a pool. It was crazy! The most powerful storm I have ever seen, it was worse than the one that Cam and dad and I were driving in in Virgina a few years back. It was neat though, haha,  except everything we had was soaked and we were trying to get things done. We ended up jimmy rigging a clothes line inside of our house.

Anyway, we had another bautismo this week, I can't remember the English spelling of bautismo. His name is Antonio, he is awesome, really humble and lots of faith. He has had some set backs with the bautismo process and he works a lot so its been hard but we finally got it done. Then on Sunday it was pouring down rain again and a ton of members didn't even come to church but Antonio was there! It was a serious blessing.

Other than that, everyone I'm around always talks about how fast the mission is going. It really didn't seem to be going that fast until these last few weeks, the first change is the longest, but I can already feel it starting to fly by! It's crazy, its crazier to think that Cam is done. So weird, it will be fun to talk to you all on christmas, I will email you more details about that next week. We will figure everything out and let you know when. But as for homesickness it really is a joke to me, we are way too busy to even think about home. And the seasons are so different that nothing reminds me of Christmas even when I see a Christmas tree in a house or something. Honestly I'm good so don't worry. But as for the presents I have been really good about not opening them. The other day I did get into the rice crispys and made some treats :) and then yesterday we were making doughnuts and I decided that I needed some hot chocolate to go with them and I happened to notice this suspiciously shaped cylinder in my box, and I figured that since it was rainy and cold and this is probably the only cold day left before or after christmas that I might as well take advantage of it. But nothing more. Promise!

I could use a few things in the package with the ipod...
-water proofing spray from like Sportsmans or something (i found out my coat is a little less waterproof than we thought)
-Gatorade mix, only fierce grape or orange like one of the big ones :)
-conversions, if you could attach a pdf of a bunch of american to metric cooking, tempurature, and other conversions!
-and then some recipes maybe, maybe potato soup and then cookies or brownies or cakes or something, but they don't have chocolate chips down here so be warned!

That's all for now

Elder Carlson IV!

Monday, December 6, 2010

First Baptism!

My First Baptism!

Dear Family,
Haha mom, do I have a car?  Ya right, haven't you learned anything from your missionary moms email group? Only the assistants have cars, a few areas have bikes though, but not us. Yes it is hot here so far it's like 90 ish with humidity. And no one has AC.
Dad, on p days we go to the ciber (cyber cafe, to do email).  We can go to stores and stuff, I bought a sweet Uruguay jersey last week.  We play sports, almost all the chapels have sports courts with basketball hoops and soccer goals. We do play soccer but most of the time there are only 4 of us so its not that fun so we don't play a ton. Oh yes and they have ping pong tables in all the chapels.

Here is another picture of our apartment

Anyway, This week was pretty fun. Not too much happened, but one of our baptismal dates got cancelled because our investigator moved away. It stinks but there is a bright side. We had already kinda counted her out because we recently found out that she was still together with the father of one of her daughters, and therefore not living the law of chastity. She had wanted to marry him but he wouldn't because his mom forbid it because our investigator (Andreina) has another older daughter from another guy. Anyway we had a little milagro because after our law of chastity lesson she pretty much told us that she wasnt going to be able to live this law because she couldn't get married, so we kinda counted her out. But a few days later we talked to her for like 30 seconds at her mom's house and she said she had a special invitation for us, we assumed it was to her going away party or something, but really she was going to ask us to be witnesses at her wedding! It was awesome! She is still moving but she is going to get married in like Feb or something and then the missionaries in San Ramon will baptize her if all goes as planned.
I feel like I have left out big parts of Uruguayo culture in my letters, I think I have never really told you about mate. In Argentina we would always see people drinking mate in their houses and stuff, but here in Uruguay it is EVERYWHERE! Everyday we see people walking around with their mate cups and a thermos full of hot water. We see people on bikes and motos carrying their stuff and drinking it while they drive. It's crazy how addicted everyone in this country is to mate. Ha ha good thing it's not against the word of wisdom. But missionaries aren't allowed to drink it, mostly because drinking mate is kind of a social thing where people sit around for hours talking and sharing the mate, and that would be a huge waste of time for us. 
Oh ya, yesterday I had my first ayuno (fast) in Uruguay! Its easy to fast down here because we never eat dinner and breakfast is pretty small, so they start their fast after lunch on Saturday and fast until the closing prayer in sacrament meeting (which is the last meeting of church) they they go eat another huge lunch!
I don't know if i have mentioned it but Elder Skyler Stilwell is my district leader, It's the elder from my high school, and his dad is a salesman for Action target. I think you guys knew he was out here. Anyway I went on a companion exchange on Friday with him, it was fun. we talked about action target and provo and stuff.
Anyway thats all for now.
Love Elder Carlson IV

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Thanksgiving

Dear Family,

Lets see.... Dad asked, Did I do anything for Thanksgiving....
Luckly it is so dramatically different than any other Thanksgiving I have ever had that it didn't feel like Thanksgiving at all, otherwise I might have missed it! We had lunch with some members, and by lunch I mean they gave us a bag with two ''Hamburgers'' each in it. With moldy bread, I really don't care though, we have had some really really good lunches though. By the way lunch is the new dinner down here. We don't eat dinner. One day we had these amazing milanesas and rice, with an almost mexican salsa, which you do not get down here, and then ice cream! Oh yes and the other day we had this mix of stuff, rice, peas, carrots, some meat I think, and eggs, hardboiled, but they looked funny, instead of being completely opaque they were semi transparent. and really big.... we learned a little later that it was ostrich egg. Yum. haha They tasted pretty normal.
Ok here is a bunch of stuff really quick....
  • We had two baptisms this week! awesome! I baptized Axel... I will send a pic. It was fantastic.
  • I got to introduce myself in church this week, it could have gone better.
  • I don't think I have mentioned it ever but the way people greet each other here is with a kiss on the cheek, they do it for everyone, except missionaries! It makes getting things started at church and stuff take forever!
  • Everyone here rides scooters or motorcycles, hardly anyone has cars, once I saw an entire family on one scooter, two little boys in front with dad, then two little girls smooshed between mom and dad. haha 6! Six people on one scooter.
Bad news, for some reason, the government takes a vacation in January, and only the government is allowed to marry people, so for all of january we won't be able to get anyone married, which is a problem if we expect people to live the law of chastity....
I think thats about it.  I love you guys!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Every Chapel Has a Ping Pong Table

Hey mom!

To start with I'll answer your questions...

1.  We get fed by members a lot of the time in this area, It's pasta and meat or potatos and millanesas, which is like a chicken fried steak, or we just make some food or have cereal.

2.  We hand wash our clothes, I will send a pic of the laundry room, but we have a member that does it for us sometimes.

3.  Homesick. Really? haha No I'm not,  and I'm not lying either. Missionary work is hard but it's not like I want to go home. It really is going to be fun too, once I learn Spanish and all.

4.  Safe? Yes this area is about an hour from Montevideo, its pretty rural, an I haven't had any reason to worry so far. Plus my comp is a big Polynesian.

5.  What do I need? I will get to that later....

Anyway. So the otherday we were walking and all of a sudden we saw an elephant. yup. Turns out a german circus is in town.

I thought you might be interested to know how we get our money every month. At our first meeting they gave us a credit card with our name on it, and every month they put cash for us to withdrawl from a ATM, it's about 150 american I believe, 3000 urg

So as you can see from the pictures, our apartment is dirty. We were going to clean it today, but we ran out of time really fast.  And I'm running out of time to email.

Every chapel has a ping pong table in it. So if you could, please send my ping pong paddle in the next box you get together. Oh yeah -  thanks for the Christmas box I got it today from my ZLs. It looks like it only took 10 days to get to the mission home. After it gets there, they send it via the bus system to my area, we get a box with letters and other boxes everyweek on pday.
Yesterday, they had everyone in my old district come back to Montevideo and do some medical tests. It took the first half of the day for us, but for some of the guys that are in areas 5 hours away, it took up all the time.
Anyway, so two of our investigators names are Richard, and Axel. They are both getting baptized this Saturday. They are awesome! Richard is 19 years old and Axel is 11. Richard is doing so so so well, and they both know everything pretty much. Our biggest problem right now is that all the investigators we have are ready for baptism, so as soon as we baptize them we aren't going to have anyone left to teach.... So we are working on finding new people to teach.
I do want an ipod sent out soon, but I don't have the time to tell you some of the music I want. You can go a head and start getting it ready if you want, and next week I will send you a list of some music I want you to include. Other than that and the ping pong paddle iI think I'm good.
Thank you so much for the Christmas package and the stuff to make no bake cookies! It was perfect timing. I'm going to try really hard not to open anything else. But since I could see what it was, I figured it was fair game. p.s. peanut butter doesn't exist down here but pretty much everthing else does, so if you get in the mood to send a package, peanut butter is always welcome.
Thats all for now I guess.
Elder Carlson IV

Jordan at the Buenos Aires MTC

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Greetings From Uruguay!

Jordan and his trainer Elder Luke

Hey mom, 
So I get to send you another email now that I'm in Uruguay! Well I made it just fine. The flight only took about 30 minutes and then we got all our stuff and president and all the office elders were waiting for us. We went back to the mission home which is right behind the temple. The temple is awesome and it's weird because it's like in this total residential neighborhood. Anyway we had a few training meetings and interviews and then got assigned our trainers and areas. My trainers name is Elder Luke, he is from Southern California and he has been out about a year. So far things are going great. Our zone is called Florida, Our area is called Estacion, its a little town about an hour and a half from Montevideo, its pretty flat, but more hilly than Buenos Aires was.

We live like two houses down from our Church, and not going to lie, I wasn't expecting our house to be quite so humble, I guess I'm just spoiled from my CCM hotel experience for the last 9 weeks. It's not bad or anything but it does need a little cleaning. Oh yes, and our water heater is broken, so I'll have freezing cold showers for the next couple of weeks.  

My companion has been working hard in this area and had 8 baptism last transfer which is really good, we have two more this week and a few more down the line. We went out contacting yesterday and taught a lesson in a house and went to the store, that's about it. Today we have five or so lessons and contacting the rest of the day, We have a lot of people that are preparing for baptism that need a lot of attention. It's really exciting and I'm liking it a lot so far.
A few changes concerning email though. I am still only allowed 30 minutes every week, but from now on I cannot receive emails from friends, only immediate family. However, they have provided a way for my friends to email me or write to me quicker. 
If you send an email to they will print out the email and send it to me.
it is Important that you put my name ELDER JORDAN CARLSON as the subject line for the email so they know who the email is for.
Also as far as packages they say the mail is reliable but slow average 2 to 3 weeks but sometimes as much as 5 so plan accordingly, And you can get a package to me fairly easy as long as the contents are less than 40 dollars and you should write on the description something general like ''Missionary Supplies''.
Also things happened so quickly at the mission home I completely forgot to get my box, but I think they will just send it to me out here, it shouldn't be a problem.
One las thing. If you go onto    and find the section for CCM and then go to grupos and find grupo 489 they should be posting a group photo soon, probably within the next few days or weeks not sure.
Make sure everyone knows about the new email info.
Thats all for now!
Elder Carlson IV

A Letter from the Mission President

16 November 2010
Dear Carlson Family,

            Today we went to the airport in Montevideo, Uruguay, to pick up Elder Carlson and welcome him into our mission.  He arrived a little tired, but full of excitement and enthusiasm to get to work.
            We have spent the day with him getting to know him, and we have recognized that he will be an asset to us here in the mission.  With this time that we have had with him he has shown many talents that will be put to use in blessing the lives of many wonderful people.
            Today was the day of transfers; he met his trainer and then headed off for his first area so that he could start ¨ [bringing] to pass the immortality and eternal life of man¨.
            We are now sending you a photo that we took with him this afternoon.  As you can see, he is extremely excited and ready to start.  We are so excited to have your son with us and hope that you receive this photo with excitement and pride in all that your son has done to prepare himself for the opportunity that he now has to serve the Lord for the next two years.

                                                                                                          The Da Silva´s

Jordan and President and Sister Da Silva

Monday, November 15, 2010

A quick note before leaving the MTC...

I only have 7 minutes but...
Proselitismo was good, I really like the city we are in, or were in, it seems like a big city but really it's just this tiny suburb of Buenos Aires.
We got to talk to our JW guy again it was interesting and he said he would read in the Book of Mormon and pray about it. We put him as a reference for the other missionaries in the area.
Guess what! There was a McDonalds in our area!  It was awesome. I got some food there! Anyway I'm looking forward to getting to Uruguay. It's going to be different being out of the MTC and all.
Oh yes and I have been meaning to tell you that on the way to our areas on Saturday we go through this toll area where the highway gets wider and at its widest point it was 42 lanes wide!!!! its huge! I wish I had a picture but I don't. Maybe on our way to the airport I can get one of it. Anyway that's all for now.
I love you guys
Elder Carlson IV
P.S.  I think my new pday is going to be Monday but I'm not sure.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Can't Wait to Get to Uruguay!


So things are going great over here in Argentina. The CCM is getting pretty boring so I am so excited to finally get out of here! Yes they are sending us to Uruguay by plane but no  I don't get to call you. Nice Try. But I think I get to write you another quick email on Monday because that is our last day here. Maybe I will just upload a picture or something. But anyway its getting pretty hot now days down here....

I haven't really mentioned my roommates, they are pretty funny. At first we had 4 Latinos as well as my comp and me but then one of them ended up going home which is sad but he was not doing well. It was pretty noticeable. So they moved his comp into another room. So now its just the 4 of us. Elder Robayo is from Sweden. Yep Sweden, His parents are Colombian but he has lived in Sweden since he was like 2. So he is fluent in Swedish, Spanish, and pretty much English. He has such a funny personality, and the mix of cultures is just hilarious. For example, He joined the Swedish army before he left for his mission so when he gets home he is probably going to go to Afghanistan He says the army there is a joke and he won't really have to do anything dangerous. His comp. Elder De Oliviera is from Brazil but has lived in Argentina for the last 10 or so years. So he speaks Spanish and Portuguese and fairly good English as well. He is a pretty cool guy too. 

Proselitismo this week was really different. We changed areas like I said so we didn't get to go to Mauro's. Anyway we switched to an area called Banfield, It's a suburb of Buenos Aires. Anyway my comp and I were in the downtown area of this suburb. There were big tall apartment buildings and stuff, and all these cool restaurants and shops, and in this one area was a full on street market. It was like an outside mall or something it was pretty awesome. The only problem was everyone was in a hurry and didn't really want to listen to us. We had a residential area as well but it was really rich, the first guy we saw in it we started talking to and he spoke perfect English and he was telling us that this neighborhood was nick named "El Barrio de Ingles" basically the English neighborhood. We didn't have very much success there because all the houses had intercoms and no one would come out. But we found one guy named David and started talking to him for a while. He spoke English as well which turned out to be a blessing because he was a JW and he started talking to us in depth about the bible. Anyway he hadn't ever heard about the Book of Mormon so we started telling him about it and told him Moroni's promise that he can know for himself. He agreed to take it and the read and pray, but he said he was going to study some of it and make sure nothing contradicts the bible in it. He said if he doesn't see any contradictions then he won't have a problem with it. Needless to say our next lesson is going to be focused on what makes our church different. We got that a lot, people saying that all the churches are the same, even when you talk about the Restoration. Seriously everyones favorite word down here is "claro" it just means clear but they say it all the time when they are agreeing with you or if something is obvious. Anyway there was for the first time legit businesses in our area so I got to use my credit card, Mom I would like you to check on my bank and see how much it ended up costing me in American dollars for what I bought. It cost 21 pesos so if you could tell me how much American I would appreciate it. We went to a Shell gas station and they had more lays potato chips. They didn't taste quite the same but it was close. It brought me a little joy. haha

Another mini experience that happened today -  We were having our class outside for the fun of it, and we saw a person walking past the fence so we decided to go and talk to them like we would if we were proselyting like normal. anyway I went with another elder, Elder Lythgoe and we started talking to her and Elder Lythgoe asked "Would it be important to you if you could live with your family forever" and I guess she didn't really understand his Spanish or something because she answered back "well of course! I already live with my family!" Anyway so we added "After death?" and she got this look on her face like it just really struck her, and most of the time when we proselyte people just agree with us and don't really think or listen about what we are saying, but you could tell she actually thought about it and it caught her off guard, anyway she was in a hurry but she told us her address, which happens to be right across the street from the CCM, so hopefully we will be able to talk to her again!

I'm really excited to get out of here. For the most part all we ever do now is review and its getting really boring. I'm super excited to be forcibly immersed in spanish because I really want to speak it and I know that is going to be the best way. It's going to be a big change from the CCM, but it's interesting.   I was thinking about what my expectations for the MTC had always been growing up and for some reason I never really pictured learning spanish in the MTC. I always saw myself getting out to my area, meeting my American trainer and learning spanish there. Maybe that's what they do in the Provo MTC, but certainly not out here. It is a huge blessing to be in Argentina already, even if it means my mail takes longer and I don't get boxes of cookies every week from mom. But I'm really excited to call on Christmas, and the main reason is so I can talk to Spencer in spanish! hahah sorry mom. 

Thanks for all the love and support! I can't wait to get to serve the people in Uruguay!!!!

Love Elder Carlson IV

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Elder Anderson Visits the CCM

Hey mom!
Things are going pretty good down here in Argentina. Its getting hot now days, and humid! So humid it reminds me of TX.
Elder Anderson came and gave us a little devotional on Sunday. He didn't have that much time but it was really awesome. First off I was on the first row like five feet from him. Second, he speaks fluent French and Portuguese but he is still getting his Spanish down so he talked just fine but he used fairly basic words so I understood every single word he said. And it was just really cool to see an apostle so unofficial. It was a fairly small group and he was in a hurry so his wife gave a little message first and he kept interrupting her and adding things it was funny.  Oh and he kept making her switch to Spanish even though you could tell she didn't want to speak it haha.
Anyway Proselitismo was good except we didn't get to go to Mauro's because he was at work :( It really stunk, we went by his house like 4 times just to make sure. We ended up calling him on Monday and talking to him and he said that he had read in the Book of Mormon and he was anxious to talk with us because he had some questions for us! It was awesome... until we found out that we are moving areas and there is nothing we can do to change that. I'm pretty upset about that and so is another companionship in my district because they had another investigator that was progressing a lot as well. Oh well hopefully the other missionaries aren't too busy to go see them. That would really bug me. Nothing I can do though I will just have to find some new investigators this week. Other than that we had two really good contacts last week where we gave them a Book of Mormon, shared Moroni's promise, and gave a brief lesson on the restoration and Joseph Smith. But we won't get to go visit them either so...
I'm ready to leave the CCM, I'm getting really bored now. we have learned all the spanish grammar rules so now all we do is review and practice teaching. I'm ready to just teach for real. Less than two more weeks. In fact next Tuesday it will only be 1 week!
That's cool about Midland. Flying all the way to midland? Spoiled. The best we ever got was to Dallas and a five hour drive or something like that. I will be in the field for Thanksgiving. Who knows what I will do for that. I'm thinking Asado.
Cameron gets home soon. Like a month and a half right? That's exciting. 
I can't really think of very much more. I'm sure I will find something later that I forgot to say and send you a letter or something. But yup. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Wow this week was great!

It was only the 10 North Americans for the entire week so it was a lot more peaceful, quite, clean... etc and they feed us better food as well! For example just last night we got this really really good ice cream from some famous Argentinian ice cream place. Delicious!

Anyway the good stuff.... Proselitismo.
We started out going to an appointment we had with a lady named Nora, we didn't talk to her much last week but we did find out her family is really important and basically just bore our testimonies and asked to teach her again. We came to her house in the morning and she wasn't there. :( So we went to our next appointment, Ramón, He wasn't home. :( So we went around proselyting and tracting trying to find new people before we went over to Mauro's house at 11. Nothing. We went over to Mauro's and saw his little son playing outside and his wife. We asked if he was home. Nope. Typical. Obviously we were devastated but we decided to try back a couple times throughout the day. That's when our luck kinda turned around.

Right next door to Mauro is Ramón. We were able to catch him (Ramon) and talk to him, he didn't go to church like he said he would because he said he thought we were going to go with him, even though we did our best to make it clear that we wouldn't be there. Anyway we talked to him for a while and ended up going in to his house. We found out a lot more about him. His wife is a JW and has been have some problems with her, but they both want to get back together. We talked to him a little about what makes our church different and recommitted him to go to church. He even asked if we wanted to come play soccer on his team after church. Another explanation that we are only around on Saturdays and a little message and we went back to tracting.

Went by Mauro's house again. Nothing. Kept tracting and it wasn't going very well. I felt like we just weren't finding anyone to listen to us. We caught Nora later but she just pulled a classic excuse. Next week. Anyway we ended up finding three or four more people that actually paid attention to us and set up a few more appointments for next week. It was about 3:30 when we decided to go to Mauro's again. It was pretty much our last chance to be able to teach him a lesson because we needed to leave our area around 430 ish. Anyway we were walking on his street almost to his house and we both said a little silent prayer in our heads, in just a few more steps we could see him standing outside his house! We started talking to him and asked if we could share another message. We expected him to welcome us with open arms and lead us upstairs immediately but he was a little hesitant but we ended up going up stairs anyway. This time it was just him. His wife and three (or four, im not sure) kids were nowhere to be seen.

We started out by asking how his week was. Mal. he said. Bad? What? He went on to tell us that in this last week he had some problems with his wife and they were most likely getting separated. And he might be getting fired from his job pretty soon because business is slow and they don't really need him right now. Great. We did our best to understand everything he told us and to be led by the spirit. I bore my testimony about Alma 7 : 11-12 how through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, Christ took upon him our afflictions and infirmities as well as our sins. I told him that I don't fully understand everything he is going through. I don't know where to find him a new job, and I don't know what to do about his wife. But Jesus Christ does. It was really amazing to see the spirit testify and to feel the spirit helping my Spanish. He also told us that right now is really hard as well because he still feels the guilt really strongly for some things he did back in the day, and it gives him bad thoughts. My companion did an excellent job of testifying of the cleansing power of the Atonement.

The spirit was there even more strongly than last week. We taught him a little more and basically just asked a few questions to see if there was anything we could do. We talked about Repentance and through Baptism you can be completely cleansed of your sins. We commited him to read chapter 7 in Alma and pray about it and we got his phone number so we can call him during the week and check up on him and remind him to read and stuff.

It topped all my other CCM experiences so far. And we still have another week to teach him, which is awesome. We called him on Tuesday and he said he hadn't read yet but he was going to Wednesday because the entire country has work off because its a census day. Hopefully he was touched by the spirit and will actually read. He said he had been praying every night too! Which is great!

Anyway. More exciting news....
On Sunday, One of the 12 is coming to visit. At first they told us it was going to be Elder Christopherson, but I think they were wrong and it's going to be Elder Anderson! It's so exciting. They have been cleaning this place like mad, trying to get everything ready for him. We have been doing a lot of service to help out as well. I will have more about his visit next week!

Presidente has been out of town since Sunday. It's weird. We never really realized it but we don't really have adult supervision most of the time. Like in the mornings and nights some days there has been absolutely no adults there. It's weird. But the CCM manager Bishop Gomez Paz has been pretty much in charge while presidente has been gone. He is the one that got us ice cream last night. Honestly it feels like Mom and Dad are out of town and our neighbor is staying over and babysitting us. haha its interesting. But I think presidente gets back tonight. He was at some meeting for all the mission presidents of South America or something, that's why the apostles are going to be in the neighborhood!

In other news. one of the elders in my district went crazy... not really but one day while we were practicing in our district all of a sudden he started acting kinda weird and he said he couldn't remember, couldn't remember. I thought he was talking about the sentence structure we where talking about. But he meant that he literally couldn't remember. He got like mini amnesia. It was crazy he really couldn't even form sentences. He forgot most of his words but he understood us and everything. He even forgot all our names. It was pretty scary but he is all but better now. He went to the doctor but they didn't really know what was up. They are going to go back later to find out more.

Thats all for now... Except Mom you sent me those address, thanks. but i have one question. Riley B.'s address says Netherlands and he is actually serving in Norway. if you could fix that I would greatly appreciate it!

Elder Carlson IV

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Hey mom!
Thanks for the list of addresses!
Just curious- how many days does it take you to get my letters? I sent one for Sam to our house that I want you to forward, it sounds like you haven't got it yet but I sent it Sunday so it probably went out Monday, make sure to mention when you get it in your next email.
So I remembered about your birthday, I was going to send you a real letter but I forgot... lots of stuff is going on here hahah. But, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!
So Proselitismo was awesome this week, we went to a new area (we change every three weeks) and its a lot more lower class, which is a wake up call because it’s still not the worst. All the roads are dirt except the road we drove in on. I don't know why but we were just working a lot harder than the last area or maybe we were just having more success, but we ended up getting 5 appointments for next week. But that’s not even the best part. We saw a guy with two little kids walking on the other side of the busy street in our area so we hurried up and crossed and started to talk to him, his name is Mauro. We started talking about how families can be together forever, he told us that he was in a big hurry to take his kids somewhere but that we could come talk to him at his house in like 15 minutes, We got him to write down his address and stuff and then we continued to proselyte. The next guy we talked to started out good as well but then it turned in to some JW ranting at us for like 40 minutes. Of course we couldn't understand him, so it took forever to get away from him but when we finally did we went over to Mauro's house.
Its hard to explain how a lot of the houses are here. His is like a two story but the entire 1st floor only has 1 wall and nothing really downstairs. The main part of the house is the second floor and you have to go up this really sketchy metal staircase to get inside, Inside was actually pretty nice, really well maintained at least. We went to his house and at first we thought he wasn't home because his little daughter was saying something to us in Spanish and we didn't understand her and his wife was looking like she was waving us to go away, but really she was telling us to hold on a second. We got to go into his house and teach him a real lesson! It was awesome. Everything went perfect like a Preach My Gospel movie or something. We came inside and gathered his family and he turned off the tv without us even asking. We had an opening prayer and began teaching him about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In retrospect we should have asked him a few more questions in order to learn more about his background and everything but we were just really excited to get into a house for the first time!!! Anyway we taught about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and bore testimony, it was amazing how strong the spirit was throughout the whole lesson! We committed him to start reading in the Book of Mormon and pray to know its the word of God. I really really really hope he keeps his commitment. We set up another appointment as well and we are really excited to continue teaching him and his family.
I have more stories about proselitismo but no time.
So transfers are coming a little early, we won’t have any Latinos for a full week instead of just 2 days. It’s going to be 11 North Americans and that's it for a full week. Also we are going to be getting 13 new North Americans in a week and another 40 Latinos or so. 13! And they are all going to my mission – Montevideo.
I'm loving the CCM but I'm getting ready to leave! Only 3 and a half weeks left.
Love Elder Carlson IV

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Playstation at the CCM?

Thanks so much for all the letters and stuff! I got the package/envelope thingy today! I think it arrived this morning too. So it took like 17 days? sad. I got your other letter as well, it came on Friday.

Sounds good with all the APX stuff, you guys will figure everything out. Good idea with the TV. I'm still not sure what I want to do with the gift card, cause I really do want an ipod but I'm not sure if its going to be a good idea to send one out here. Anyway if you want to buy it that would work great, full price or a discounted rate, I don't really care.

Oh ya and the weather is fantastic here. Its like the perfect temperature all the time right now and it's only rained like twice, its kinda rainy today too...

So I made a little list of some of the things I wanted to mention to you guys:

Today during our district leader meeting, President George told us that he wanted to find some more ideas for things to do when it is raining during our physical activities time. He told us that they buy all the groceries from the same store so they have a bunch of reward points and they were thinking about getting a Playstation 3 for rainy days. Yup a Playstation, for the missionaries. He asked us a few questions about how many people could play it and stuff, anyway after the meeting we all realized it was probably a terrible idea so we are going to tell him next meeting. It seems so opposite of a missionary. He was only going to be buying sports games and stuff but still....

So this Saturday marks the half way point of our stay the the CCM, Its pretty crazy to think about that. It still feels like the first week. And just because of the way they are doing transfers this coming week, the Latinos and the Montevideo West guys are leaving on Thursday almost a week early, it's because of some mission presidents conference or something but we are going to have a full week of only 11 guys as opposed to 50ish which will be very nice because they usually give us better food those days! :)

So food.... My entire concept of what a casserole is has changed dramatically. On Fast Sunday I realized exactly what I want to eat and I forgot to have you make it before I left - Yummy potatoes and ham! Oh I miss real casseroles so bad. They have these nasty bricks of various vegetables and eggs with corn and it's just gross. Today was the first day that I just did not eat my lunch. It was two pieces of two different casseroles, one was this stringy corn mush with a piece of cheese over it and the other was like an egg casserole stuffed with weird cream cheese. Thank goodness for the bread. We have 24/7 access to rolls, our only means for survival on days like today. haha

Proselitismo was great this week too! It's hard to remember everything about it because it's two days after p day, anyway I had two really good experiences where we taught about the Book of Mormon and testified and committed someone to read it. The bad part is we are switching areas so I never get to see those people again. One of the guys spoke perfect English, it seemed to me like he was a little more interested in the fact that we both were from US but he still accepted the Book of Mormon and we told him about Moroni's promise and that seemed to get his attention. The other guy was 100% Spanish, he was telling us how he believed in God but not any religions or the bible because it has been changed a bunch and it's up to so many different interpretations, anyway I told him about the Book of Mormon and how he could know for himself, he didn't seem interested at first but we shared Moroni's promise and got to know a little about him and he really opened up and by the end he seemed really interested and committed to read.

We found a legit store in our area too! Before we had been going to these little convenience store things with really limited selections or to the bakery, but we found like a supermarket with clearly marked prices and a normal selection! It was awesome I got a bunch of different snacks and stuff for after Fast Sunday! The weirdest part was, the entire store was run by Asians! It was bizarre because they only spoke Spanish but they were 100% asian, it threw me off so much that when the lady handed me my bag I said 'thank you' in English!

My BYU roommate Sam Dearden wrote me a letter! It was so unexpected and awesome! He is serving in Chile right now but it still took over 2 weeks to get to me. I'm not sure how I will write back but it was awesome to hear from him!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Three Weeks Into My Adventure!

What's up family...
Lots has happened this week, too much to remember even, but i will try my best...

First off today marks the 3 week day of my mission adventure! It's insane because it literally feels like yesterday that I got here! We got three new white guys today, two from SLC and one from CA.

Last night we were sleeping as usual and all of a sudden there was this weird sound coming from the air conditioner that woke me up. It was a high pitched kinda whiny sound and I thought it was a problem with the air conditioner. I turned off our fan and tried to get it to stop but I couldn't. My comp woke up and we realized it was an alarm clock stuffed inside a compartment inside our air conditioner. We turned it off finally and realized that there was some ringing still going on. I realized what was happening. Some of the other missionaries thought it would be funny to put three alarm clocks all set to go off at 1:00 a.m. hidden in our room! We found the other two really fast. Turns out two other rooms in my district had the same thing happen to them too! It's sort of a tradition I guess to do it the day all the latinos leave, I guess the North Americans have a better sense of humor than the Latinos.

Anyway this morning I was writing in my journal after breakfast and one of the guys in the other district came up to my room and said presidente wanted to see me. I pretty much knew why. Our district leader Elder Bush has been doing really well with Spanish so they decided to advance him into a different class, leaving us Leader-less. Anyway, Presidente has called me as District Leader for our district! cool right? haha I will try not to let the power go to my head...

Conference was amazing. My favorite yet. Maybe cause I payed attention to the whole thing for a change. That guy with the British accent did have a good talk, especially for new missionaries, obedience no matter what kinda thing. I tried to take notes through the whole thing but ended up taking less and less as I became more and more engrossed by the talks. Elder Holland's talk was amazing as usual, It feels like I am constantly being reminded how very very blessed I am. Thanks mom and dad!... haha

We got to watch the Joseph Smith movie after conference which was just the icing on the cake. A lot of the guys had never seen it before, it really is a huge testament to the life he led and all the amazing things he did.

Lets see...

Oh yes! we got to take pictures on Sunday because a bunch of guys were leaving to their missions, so I will attach some, you can finally see the CCM!

I feel like I am finally getting a grasp on Spanish! I can use the words I know to form sentences! Hurray for me! Before it was just reciting pre memorized stuff! Proselitismo went pretty good this week, we didn't get to teach Martin because he was at work, we will have to try again next week I guess. But we did find new people to teach this week, I gave a book of mormon to this guy and he spoke english ok so I was able to bear a powerful testimony in spanglish which really helped but we committed him to reading and praying about it.

Another thing I'm excited about is how I am learning all these important scriptures and memorizing them and finding awesome ways to apply them. I feel like I'm extending my doctrinal foundation a ton and I love it, I have been reading the D&C straight through and I am finding so many new things and amazing scriptures.

I can't think of much else to say but I did send out a letter today and I might send out another, I sent a list of people I would like you to find addresses for. Thanks a lot I appreciate all you have been doing to keep my friends up to date.

Oh and I think I might have you send out an ipod... if your package ever makes it.... I received your first 'dear elder' on friday but nothing before or after that.

I love all of you guys, thanks so much for the prayers and the support.

Love Elder Carlson, IV

Thursday, September 30, 2010


So that is super awesome about Stephan! He is going to love it! I´m sure I will see him around once he gets out into the mission field!
Anyway i will try to remember everthing I wanted to say.
Thanks for sending stuff, but I haven´t recieved any mail from anyone just so you know. I think I gave you the right address but there could be one small change. it should be
Elder Jordan Carlson
Argentina MTC
Bonpland 2349/55
(c1425 FEW) Buenos Aires
The only thing that I think might have got messed up is the ´FEW´ i might have put ´FWE´ because there is a paper in my room that says that, but its a missprint.
Anyway some crazy stuff has happened here. Not too crazy. Our water supply is currently cut off, we haven´t had fresh water in like 3 days, but its no big deal we just drink a lot of orange juice during meals and stuff. We weren´t able to shower either for the past few days but just recently they filled up the tanks for the building with river water so we can at least shower and use the toliet. They are supposed to have it fixed by tonight I think though, but that's what they said yesterday too so we will see.
It rained for the first time. It was crazy it was really strong rain and it was like the entire day, on Tuesday and quite a bit on Wednesday too.
Thanks for forwarding those letters, I also sent one to mark, make sure he knows the correction to my address, you can use my phone to get his phone number or just send him a message on facebook or something.
Everyone is allowed to email me so you can post something on my facebook wall or something or on my blog telling everyone to email instead of write letters, Also I have heard the takes like 14 days to get to me so you will probably want to avoid that as well.
We have our first transfer coming up this next week, we are going to be losing 50 Latinos and 15 North Americans, right now we have 50 latinos and 26 North Americans, then we have 2 days of only 11 missionaries in the whole CCM and then in exactly one week we get 40 Latinos and 3 North Americans, the 3 white guys are going to Montevideo West, but its still cool.
I don't think i have ever mentioned it but all the latinos here can't say my name, really they just can't say the L so they always pronucne it Carson, I eventually just started saying it like that too for simplicity sake.
We are going to have a really weird schedule for G.C. on Saturday and Sunday, first off we are still going proselyting which is cool and then we are watching a recorded session after that, and priesthood session live, which starts at 9pm our time and goes to 11, so we will be going to be a little late on saturday, then on Sunday we are watching the other Saturday session and the Sunday ones. I am really excited for it. Especially because its in English!!! We have had a few firesides and things and most of them are in English but when ever we have a Spanish only meeting I don't really get very much from it, just a small nap.... haha
By far the coolest part of the week has been Proselitismo.
Saturday they bussed us out about a half an hour into Buenos Aires into an area called Itzango or something like that and we went off in our companionships and preached the gospel, in Spanish, or kind of in Spanish. haha It wasn´t scary or anything like that becuase we had worked out before hand what to say to people when we first found them, the hard part was trying to understand what they said back, and formulate a response that even remotely related to it!

We ended up talking to a lot of people mostly just walking on the street, We were able to have quite a few meaningful contacts and passed out like 16 or so folletos (pamplets) about the restoration, or plan of salvation, anyway if nothing else we planted a few seeds... But even better than that 3 people accepted an invitation for Baptism! jk, no but for real three people agreed to have us come teach them more!
The thing is... I think the first guy that agreed was just trying to get us to stop bothering him, I'm pretty sure he gave us a fake address, But the next guy was legit interested, he was a younger guy like 25 ish and he was on his way to visit his sister, his name is Luis. The only problem is he live really far outside our area so we just gave him as a referel to the real missionaries in the area. The last guy is named Martin, He is the only one that we will actually teach, We set up an appointment for saturday morning which works perfect for us, haha there is this one question we would always asked people while we were talking to them trying to spark some interest ''Que es lo más importante en su vida?'' it just means what is the most important thing in your life? Anyway usually people say, family, health, or God. but this guy said something and he was the only person we didn't understand! perfect right? any way we are preparing to teach him the first lesson! We will see how it goes!
We also got to go buy some candy and stuff and little stores that are in our area. It was pretty cool especially because all the guys here are always raving about the Panarias, Bakeries. Down here they put this stuff called ''Dulce de Leche'' on everthing! its like a chocolate carmel stuff, its way good! They put it in bread, in cookies, all sorts of stuff... we even get it during regular breakfast in the CCM... anyway I'm running out of time oh ya and there are dogs everywhere. just running around or chilling, I'm not a fan.
Proselitismo was one of the most humbling expirences. I was constanly reminded how blessed I really am. I need to remeber that. Its just amazing. Oh ya and everyone we talked to was really nice, even if they didn't want to listen to what we had to say.
I Love you all!
Elder Jordan Carlson IV

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Life at the CCM

Hey mom,

Things are going pretty good so far. The food isn't bad but its cafeteria style so its not that great. We had this french fry casserole thingy today which was actually really good. So far the worst has been the chilly stuff we had the first day. Anyway, I have realized while writing in my journal/emails. that my mind tends to wander. Its like A.D.D. for writing stuff, but it will try to stay on task, and i think i mentioned this but my mind is already being corrupted by Spanish, so my already bad spelling is about to get worse. Thank goodness for spell check.

Spanish is hard, its definitely going to be a challenge. When ever i think i´m doing good, one of the Latinos asks me a simple question, and i have no idea what he is say. It´s all very humbling, which is good i guess. haha. But honestly its hard to believe its been a whole week, but at the same time, It feels like its been forever. Its weird, i´m really excited to go proselyting on Saturday, but its going to be almost useless cause i don´t speak or understand near enough Spanish to do any good. haha. In classes they are trying to prepare us to go proselyting by making us memorize a bunch of stuff, and learn how to bear our testimonies. Basically we are going to go out on the street, ask some one how they are doing today? have no clue what they say back, and then bare my testimony to them! i´m excited because we get to go out somewhere in the city. Its crazy some of they guys have gotten really far with investigator just visiting them a few times and only on Saturdays, One companionship has a baptism date set for a investigator!

The thing that i don´t really like about the CCM, (Argentina MTC) is the days just blend together, kinda like working for APX because you don´t have anything to look forward to except leaving. On my mission i will be doing the same thing all day but i will have people that i am working with and progressing towards baptism which will make it a lot better. Its alright though because i am having a lot of good experiences while i have been here already.

For example,
One of the things the teachers have been stressing a lot since we have been here is the importance of having the spirit when you are teaching lessons to investigators, even if its just a fake investigator. One time we weren´t taking the role playing very seriously and we got chewed out by Hermano Zanzi, he is one of the teachers. Anyway, so we have all been working on that, and like the next day i was teaching with my companion to our fake investigator, and we had the spirit with us and the lesson went way smoother and you could feel the power of the spirit when we testified even though it was just a few memorized lines of Spanish!

Another cool thing about the CCM is that all of the ''North Americans'' (ha ha that's what they call us) are going to Uruguay Montevideo, except three of the guys are going to Montevideo west. its great because I'm getting to know these guys pretty well and I'm excited to see them and work with them later on in my mission! The Latino elders are only here for 3 weeks and they are all going to different Argentina missions, I have no clue where the Uruguayan Elders get trained but i hear i´m going to have mostly local companions once i get out there.

My district is made up of 8 of the 9 guys that flew out from Dallas with me. The 9th guy was from Louisiana but spoke perfect Spanish, so they paired him with the Latinos and he is only staying for 3 weeks as well.

My companion´s name is Elder Spilsbury, he is from Henderson, NV. He is a pretty cool guys and is picking up the language a lot faster than I am, side note, every single one of the guys in my district has had Spanish in high school or something for at least 2 years, except me. I took German. cool right? haha anyway, he is doing well with the language so hopefully our proselitismo wont be a waste. All the guys that have been here for 7 weeks always talk about the awesome candy they buy when they are out proselyting so that is fun, but i´m just looking forward to leaving this place for a while and full on practicing what they have taught us. We will see how it goes.

I can´t remember everything i wanted to tell you, but i feel like Ive done a fairly good job so far. oh some of they guys were saying that it takes like 3 or 4 days for a letter to get from me to home, and like 2 weeks for one to get from home to me? not sure why but we will have to see! I might have mentioned but they said large padded envelopes usually make through, so if you wanna send me something feel free! I like most candy.

And so you know, I´m only allowed to receive letters on Thursday, I can only write letters on Sunday and Thursday and emails only on Thursday

Elder Carlson IV

Thursday, September 16, 2010

9/16/10 Jordan Made it to Buenos Aires!

Hey mom!
Well they are letting us email you now and it sounds like every Thursday! This place is pretty cool, its really flat, no mountains. The Temple looks really cool but they are completely renovating and adding a huge piece onto it. The MTC is fairly small, it looks like an apartment complex or something, but inside it looks just like any other church building. We haven't done all that much, ha ha but these keyboards are a little different, i couldn't find the apostrophe for like five minutes! I got assigned a room but i don't know who all is going to be in it, but it looks like 6 or so to a room, two of the white guys i met in Dallas are in my room but that's all i know for now. I don't really know what to say... Customs and immigration was a breeze i was kinda worried about it but it wasn't a problem at all. It kinda seems like anyone who pays the $140 entrance fee gets to come in. Anyway, I have already had an interview with the MTC president down here, he seems really nice. His name is President George and he is white! thank goodness. I was just waiting for another interview thing with his wife and i was in a room with two other guys both are from Buenos Aires and don't speak any English, haha this is going to take some getting used to but i'm up for the challenge. And i have 8 other gringos to do it with! Oh ya! and i already ran into a guy from Timpview! Grant Holden, i haven't had a chance to talk to him so i don't know if he is going to Uruguay or somewhere else. Thats about all i have to say for now
ps. They said we are not allowed to take any pictures our entire stay at the MTC until the very last day. So don't be expecting anything for a while!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Uruguay Montevideo

The Call.

My mission call arrived at my house, in Utah, on Wednesday May 19th. I was working for APX down in Houston, Texas but, my parents really wanted me to open it at home with them, so we planned to have the call get sent to Utah and for them to fly me home for a bit to open it! I got back to Utah around 5 p.m. on Saturday, almost the exact same time as Coulsen Phillips got in from AZ to open his call that also came on Wednesday! My flightback to Houston left around 3 p.m. the very next day (Sunday) and my dad wasn't going to get home till late that night, we ended up waiting for him to get in and I opened it there in my kitchen with my friends and family.

Now that I think about it, before I started reading the letter I saw the passport application so had I been thinking clearly I might have gotten a hint at foreign before I began reading...

Uruguay Montevideo. Spanish. Argentina MTC. September 16, 2010.

Needless to say I was (and still am) ecstatic! I have never heard of anyone going straight to the Argentina MTC so that is pretty cool, and I'm really glad I get to learn Spanish. My brother who is currently serving in PA wrote me a letter telling me how I better not go spanish speaking because if I do it will make him the 'outcast' brother.

I am so excited to be able to serve the saints down in Uruguay, I wish I could leave sooner, but I know I could use some time to prepare! Thanks for all the support and congratulations!