Current Address

Elder Jordan Carlson

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Monday, January 31, 2011

This Could Be the Last Week With Elder Luke

Dear mom,

No box so far.... I’m a little upset, I guess they pick up boxes on Thursdays so it came one day too late for me to get it this week.  Next week is going to be complicated because of changes,  so I might not even get it for two weeks.... we will see.... but I’m not scared of the mail system, every missionary has told me it’s reliable just slow sometimes.

You’re getting an iPad for school?  You would.

Do you want to send me a recipe for M&M cookies, they don’t have chocolate chips down here but you can get M&Ms.
So I’m going to talk briefly about a few things that I haven’t told you guys about:

·      I started reading El Libro de Mormon.... it’s slow going, but I’m understanding quite a bit just because I have read Nephi so many times I think.... we will see how it goes, one good thing is that I interpret the verses differently which helps me find new things!

·      This very well could be my last week with my trainer, he has been in the area for 3 changes which in our mission is usually ripe for changing. It’s going to be really weird with a new companion especially because I’m going to be responsible to know where everyone lives,  all the stuff about our investigators and stuff like that.

·      I don’t know if I ever told you about how much money we get.... every month on the first we get 3000 pesos, or about 150 American. They gave us each a credit card to take to the atm and use it to withdrawal the money, and with that money we buy food, pay bills and stuff like that, but some stuff is reimbursable, like bills, so right now I’m about to get 3000 for giro and then another 2000 for reimbursables. It’s really plenty of money for us because we get lunch every day, but for other areas it’s a lot harder.... before Presidente Da Silva they had 4000 pesos...

·      Down here professional soccer is everything.  It’s called Club football.   There are like 5 Uruguayan club teams.  2 major teams, Club Nacional de futbol and Peñarol.   It’s a huge rivalry and everyone has to choose a side, I chose Nacional because my trainer did, haha, people always talk about it.

About this week…
The other day we were talking to this inactive returned missionary who is now like 28, he has an older brother that is really active in the church and two younger brothers that are inactive.  Anyway he told us that his younger brother Martin was talking to him about serving a mission because he knows its something that he has to do. Apparently a lot of stuff lined up and things happened and it really opened his eyes. So we talked to him about it and he talked to the president of the branch and got his papers for the mission, he has been inactive for about 3 years and he came back to church for the first time this Sunday.  It’s really pretty awesome, he is going to start coming to lessons with us, he won’t be leaving for a while but it’s still really neat.

Olga and Alfredo.  So Alfredo has been working out of town for the past week practically, and this was supposed to be the week of their baptism, but it didn’t happen.  The week before is always the hardest week for investigators, thank you Satan. We didn’t really have any opportunities to talk and meet with him but we scheduled a lesson for Friday around 1 and then they were going to have the interviews after that.   We started the lesson and he told us that he wasn’t going to get baptized.  I’m almost positive now its because of the word of wisdom.  We found out a little later that he drinks wine with his lunch almost every day. The worst part is that we had been visiting Olga almost every day and she was super excited to get baptized, but she hadn’t talked to Alfredo either that much this week and so it caught her off guard and she ended up not getting baptized either.  We don’t know when we are going to be able to baptize them but it looks like we might try to baptize Olga alone and take more time with Alfredo, it killed us both because up until then they were the perfect investigators, never a single problem.... we will see

Oribe is kind of dead as an investigator as of now... we are not going to visit him for a little while to try to spark something again.   Turns out a long time ago he fell in love with a girl missionary... great. He is just a book full of surprises.... we will see

The silver lining is that we have found 3 more pairs of two to teach... a mother son combo that are really awesome, a recently re-married couple that have talked to missionaries before, and new young unmarried couple that is at least willing to listen to us... we will see...

oh yes funny thing that hapened in church....
During the closing song we sang There is Sunshine in my Soul or whatever it is and apparently we weren't singing happy enough, because the 1st counselor of the stake stopped everyone mid song and chastised them for not singing happy enough.  Then after that it was even worse because the piano couldn't get back on track because it's a computer controlled piano thing... it was classic.

That’s all for now!

Love Elder Carlson

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Hot in Uruguay!

My awesome tan line!

That’s really cool about the Sister Palmer’s mom [note from mom:  this is our neighbor’s 91 year old mother who was baptized last Saturday], in fact,  I do know her because I was the Palmer’s home teacher and we taught a few lessons with her there! I might just have to count that as my first baptism –ha ha!
That is so awesome about Kylie getting close to turning in her mission papers, you will have to keep me posted!

I haven’t got the box yet but I should get it this next p day for sure, it’s kind of a process to get the boxes and ship them out to the missionaries. I hope you put real Propel in the box too.

I got a letter from Taylor Mearns, one of my college friends.  He is in Minnesota speaking Hmong.

A Uruguayan Sunset

Anyway, Uruguay is doing great! It was actually a pretty nice week up until yesterday and today, it’s hot! Right now we are in the cyber just dripping with sweat. Olga and Alfredo are doing really really well. They are straight up gold, we taught the word of wisdom and tithing this week, two of the hardest commandments and it just went over peachy. First off they don’t smoke do drugs or drink, they drink tea sometimes and Olga drinks coffee, but those are all easy things and olga has already given it up. We found out the other day that Alfredo drinks wine with his lunch sometimes but it shouldn’t be an issue. Tithing we had to teach without Alfredo because he was out working, but Olga was fine and understood and everything. I can’t really foresee any problems with them, we are going to baptize them this Saturday.  Oh, and they already have tons of friends in our branch.

Oribe is a different story, he is super smart and really fun to teach, but he has a typical evangelical attitude, every church is good and it doesn’t matter which one you go to. we had a really good lesson about the Book of Mormon because he hadn’t been reading.  It brought out a few doubts he has which is good. We won’t be baptizing him very soon, but he still has a lot of potential, right now what is killing us is his work schedule is really messed up. We will see. Hopefully the baptism of Olga and Alfredo will animate him.

We also found a few nuevos contacting yesterday, a few of them could turn out really good, we will have to see.

Storm clouds

So this morning we played soccer with most of our zone and a few members. It was fun but we are all really tired now. Almost every church has a soccer/basketball court that is fully enclosed by nets. It’s really nice. I’m not sure what we will do the rest of the day, probably go get some food, write letters, rest, and then go out to work at 6pm. 

I guess that’s all for now.  Thanks for all the love, prayers, and support.

Monday, January 17, 2011

120 Kilometer Winds!


Thanks for sending the box, I was wondering what your excuse this week was going to be for not sending it! haha, but it’s alright about the photo album, just hold on to it until you fill another box of requests and send it with that stuff. If it makes you feel any better, you probably forgot other things too!
Anyway, so a couple of weird things happened this week. So first off, Thursday morning President da Silva, my mission president, came to my zone, Florida, to have personal interviews with everyone and do a little training. So instead of personal and comp study we went to the church right next door and had a nice little meeting. He talked to us about agency, and of course baptism. It must just be because I’m new but my interview was noticeably the shortest.  Less problems I guess. haha But it was good, it’s always a really good experience when we do something with him.

Then this last Sunday he made another surprise visit and joined the sacrament meeting of the other branch in our building. Oh yes and we got to ask him about our investigator. Did I tell you we have an investigator who killed someone.?  Anyway we do, so we asked President about what we have to do to get him baptized.   It doesn’t look good. Did Spencer ever baptize someone like that.... or Cameron? Oh well, we will figure something out.

Olga and Alfredo are flying.  They went to a baptism in one of the other branches and loved it. And they both have a testimony of the Book of Mormon now.  It’s going really well.   The only bump we have left to cover is the Word of Wisdom.  It’s not a huge problem, they don’t smoke or anything, but we are pretty sure they drink sometimes.   So that is what we are teaching next time.   Oh ya and we have charlas [chats] with them all the time, like 5 a week or so and they both came to church!

Oribe didn’t though... ah it’s frustrating because Olga and Alfredo read every night and don’t understand a thing, but its ok because they are being obedient.  But Oribe is able to understand everything he reads and chooses not to.   Right now we are working on getting him to understand why it’s important to find the one true church, and getting him to understand that there is only one true church. We will see, but we won’t be baptizing him this month I think.

Yesterday started out really unbearably hot and then we had someone tell us that there were 120 kilometer per hour winds that were going to come through soon. They were right.  It was crazy.  I don’t know how fast it was but it was one of the strongest winds I have ever felt.   There were some crazy clouds too, and then 30 minutes before we got home it started raining and we got soaked. I had my dvd player too but I wrapped it up in plastic and it was fine.

Oh yes, I know what you can get Whitney for her birthday, a spanking!  She is the most spoiled out of all of us and she has written me the least out of all our family. Once in a box you sent and once she had you send a bunch of papers from her seminary friends, and none of they were even hers. Lazy.

oh well, that’s all for now!

Love, Elder Carlson!

Monday, January 10, 2011


My District

Sounds like things are going good, so let’s start in reverse order with the things you asked about....

Elder Bendtschneider -  I am so excited he’s going to be in my mission! About the question regarding scriptures… Yes they will give him Spanish scriptures, but yes he can bring his own if he wants. They give you a Spanish triple and a bible but they aren’t the highest quality, and it just kinda depends on what they have lying around.  For example, my district got nice leather BoMs, but they aren’t indexed, which is a little unfortunate.  And we got a really really cheap bible, the ones that cost like a dollar fifty at the distribution center.  So I actually ended up buying a nicer leather bible that is indexed. So if he already has a nice set of Spanish scriptures I would say to bring them and then use the set that he gets from the CCM to give to one of his converts later on in the mission.

iPod. Yes. Thank You! I was actually going to tell you to not use the white or black speakers we already have because I know they are really old.  So it sounds like you got fairly nice ones, which is good! That’s perfect what you did with the money too. The only other things I can think of for music is EFY music, and like I already asked, movie sound tracks are really good, because they don’t have any lyrics and they aren’t as boring as regular classical music. So please please please get a few of those for me,  Lord of the Rings, Avatar, and I heard Inception has a really good one too, and any other ones that you can find.  I have heard some newer Disney movies have really good sound tracks, like Tarzan is really good.
 Also there is a band I want Spencer to see if he could find it’s called "Explosions in the Sky" there aren’t any lyrics too and I’m pretty sure its very missionary appropriate so if you could have him find that and test it, if its not appropriate that’s fine, but I would really like it.  Mo Tab is a lot more boring than I remember.

Anyway. So Thanks for all the help and the support and all the Christmas Wishes!  - A quick shout out for everyone that I received a card, letter or something from recently:
-Thanks Grandma Roe!
-Thanks Phillips family for the Christmas card, it took a little while to get to me but I got it!
-Thanks Gillands for the Letter!
-Thanks Rachel for the Letter!
-Thanks Mom for the soup, haha we ate it on Sunday because our member cancelled on us.

Anyway, Down here in Uruguay. It feels a lot hotter than 86 or whatever you said. Maybe you are looking in the evenings or something. Plus the humidity kills us. We had a member tell us that it was supposed to get to 40 degrees c. on Sunday, That’s like 110, I don’t believe it,  but it was really hot that day.

So we have had a really good week, really busy but we have had a lot of awesome things happen. First off the Lord has been blessing us a lot with investigators, we have found a ton of people!

Olga and Alfredo are the closest to baptism and they are just straight gold. Olga told us the other day that she knows the Book of Mormon is true now from her study and prayers. It was awesome. They both came to church and Alfredo looked just like a member it was awesome.  They are both really excited to be baptized.

Oribe is a guy we found a little while back he is super super smart. For sure the smartest guy I have met in Uruguay, he has a crazy good memory, the missionaries taught him in 2004 way back before Preach my Gospel.  He remembers a lot about the church and still has his Book of Mormon and stuff.  We, after a lot of effort on our part, (long story) got him to come to church.  He is progressing amazingly because he started off with lots of concerns and doubts, but the Lord is just taking care of those for us.  For example, he has or I should say had a girlfriend and brought it up in the first lesson because he knows about the law of chasity,  but just this week he found out she is cheating on him so now the Lord has provided a  way for him to live this law!!! haha

We have so much more going on but I don’t have time, one funny story and then I have to go…

So I went on two companion exchanges this week both in my area, so my comp basically just left for the day and I got a new one, any way one was with elder Stilwell, and the other Elder Whitaker one of our ZLs. So I  was with Elder Whitaker and we were with this crazy old guy who is one of our investigators, named Edilio. He always rambles on about the weirdest stuff, and repeats himself a lot. Anyway,  E Whitaker was really tired because it was right after lunch and Edilio was just rambling on and we both weren’t really listening that intently, but then all of a sudden elder Whitaker looks at me and says "did you just understand what he said?" I said no because I wasn’t listening.   He turns to Edilio and says in Spanish "my friend didn’t understand what you just said so I’m going to explain it to him in English ok?"  Then elder Whitaker told me the story that Edilio just said of how he killed a guy 12 years ago with his little knife he had from lunch.  It was crazy, it was in self -defense. But I guess he went to prison for a little while for it.   This guy is 77 years old and when his was 65 he killed a 20 year old that was about to kill him with a two by four.  Weird things happen in Uruguay.

Anyway,  I Love you all!

More Pictures...

Our house
The countryside.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Alfredo, Olga, Oribe and Enrique

Dear Family,

Mom, just so you know, when you say, "You have probably already heard", you should modify that to "you probably haven’t heard anything" because I haven’t.  I never hear about anything, so for future notice,  if something happens, just go ahead and tell me anyway, because there is a good change that I haven’t heard.... hahha

Anyway, this week was really good, we found a lot of new investigators which is what we need because all the old ones that we had been teaching since I got here have been baptized. Alejandra and Belén both got baptized, and it was the least opposition we have ever had at a baptism, nothing really went wrong like normal, which was refreshing.

We found an older married couple named Alfredo and Olga, they have been married for 40 some odd years and when we first contacted them we only talked to Alfredo, but it wasn’t that great of a contact or anything. We kinda forgot about him but then a few weeks later we saw his house and decided to try back.  It turns out that this week his brother died, it’s sad but its really a blessing for us because the Lord always finds a way to prepare people to receive his gospel.  Since then we have had 3 charlas with them and they have all been fantastic, and Olga came to church this week.  They are a straight up blessing from the Lord, especially right now because it is impossible for us to get a couple married.  We put a baptismal date for the 29 of Jan.

We also found this other amazing guy to teach, his name is Oribe.  He was an investigator like 6 years back, and when we first contacted him he starting talking about the other missionaries that taught him way back then, he even remembered all their names,.  He already has a triple combination and he is super super smart.  The first encounter we had with him he quoted a scripture in Alma - it was amazing! He is going to have some problems to overcome we already know about, but it will be worth it. He is a person that in a few years could be a serious leader in the church.

We found another golden investigator named Enrique.  He is 23 and married, another big blessing, and he pretty much said everything you want to hear as a missionary in our first lesson.  He said he felt like he wants to be closer to God and all this other beautiful stuff, then we topped off the lesson by having him pray on the first meeting, and we knelt for it.  Oh boy that was probably the best first lesson I have ever had, the spirit was so so so strong while he was praying and wow it was awesome, and we placed a date for his baptism the very first lesson,  it was great. The only problem with him is he is going to be moving sometime soon so we will have to really work hard to get everything done!

Anyway, I didn’t bring my camera today so I will send more pics next week, oh yes and if you haven’t sent the box, if you wouldn’t mind putting a small photo album in there, I’m in need and I can’t find any down here. Just a simple one will do.

It’s hot down here....

Thanks for all the help with the ipod and stuff, have fun in Georgia, Dad. Oh yes and we didn’t watch any fireworks on New Years, we had to be in bed like a normal day, but they woke me up and it was really loud and I couldn’t sleep for like an hour!

I Love You All!

Elder Carlson IV