Current Address

Elder Jordan Carlson

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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