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.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Carpincho Milenesas

[NOTE FROM MOM:  In my letter to Jordan I told him the summer sausage we sent him was confiscated at customs at the airport in Uruguay...]

Dear family,

NOOOO!!!!! But I love Summer Sausage..... I know missionaries have gotten them before, I think they don't bother with the mail system as much as they do in the airports. Haha oh well, I still haven't gotten the packages but they should be coming soon, my guess is Wednesday or Thursday. But thanks again.....

Yeah so the temperature is dropping down here too, but it's not going to be going up any time soon....  It rained a lot this week, on Wednesday and Thursday it was raining like the entire day and through the night. There is a small lake in our area, and it flooded like crazy all the river area around it got flooded and in one part it got all the way up to the road which had to be at least twenty or thirty feet away from where the normal beach was... It's pretty awesome looking. But other than that it didn't really flood anywhere else. 

So a couple of weeks ago I sent you a picture of a Carpincho, its the big hairy rodent that we saw at the zoo, Well it's illegal to kill them here in Uruguay but people still do it... Anyway we went to this little restaurant place in our area and my comp Elder Moffitt asked the guy if he had any milenesas of chicken but the guy said all he had was Carpincho milenesas, so of course we bought some! It was interesting, Everyone always talks about how good it is. I think mostly because its rare. but yeah I like it, it was a fairly gamey taste. And it was kinda dry, we had to reheat it in the microwave so I imagine that it would be better fresh, but yeah it was kinda like a juicy thicker beef jerky, so I liked it pretty good. Also I think I have told you but a Milenesas are like breaded deep fried chicken or beef, really good.... So that is my first really exotic food I've gotten to eat....

This week church was a little different, first thing, the Davidsons were in our ward again, and we went into the cultural hall and everyone was together because it was the fifth sunday, but instead of having Priesthood or Relief Society we looked at the ward list on a projector and people were supposed to just call out if they still lived at the same address.... I thought we were going to leave and have sunday school after the first hour but i was wrong everyone, the whole branch, including one of our investigators stayed and continued identifying old members, toward the end of the two hour bock we were just about half way through all of the 500 some odd members, part of me was wondering if Elder Davidson was just going to send the Deacons out to grab the sacrament and pass it around while everyone else kept working. haha, no but then we had a normal sacrament meeting the third hour like normal, it was a really weird sunday, especially for our investigator, she probably left really confused.... 

Also at church we had an elderly sister that had been going to a different branch because the branch she was supposed to be going to (ours) conflicted with her work schedule. But I guess she got it changed around because now she is coming to our branch like she is supposed too... anyway. This sister has always really like the missionaries, she always gives them food and stuff. Unfortunately she has been going about it the wrong way. We first heard about this Sister from the Elders in the other branch, for a long time now the elders from Plaza, the other branch, have been leaving their area Saturday night to go and have dinner with this Sister that lives deep within the boundaries of my area. Its obviously a waste of prime time, saturday night and all, but also you aren't allowed to leave your area, especially for a reason like that. The elder that came to Trienta y Tres with me put an end to that tradition and to make matters worse the Sister had been giving the Elders money for more food. So he had to explain that we can't accept money and that she needs to go to her proper branch and she should feed the missionaries in her own branch! haha he did the right thing, it's sad because she has good intentions but she was supporting missionary disobedience, which is not good! Anyway so she talked with us on Sunday and told us that she wants us to visit her.... then we went back into the church because we had to go grab some stuff before we headed off to lunch, when we came out she yelled for us to come over across the street, she was standing outside of a restaurant and had just ordered us a pizza.... yeah.... She is a really nice lady but we are going to have a talk with her about the appropriate time to give us things.... hahah 

Other than that we have a ton of work right now. We are finding a lot of new people to teach and we are about to start into this contact every single member business.... it's going to be a lot to do.... but yeah, 
Damion is doing awesome, We had a really good lesson with him on Thursday and he told us that he probably wasn't going to be able to come to church because he had work and it was one of only three days that they had given him for that week. We explained that it was really important and that he should try to talk to his boss and see if he can get that day free or at least get those three hours free.... Saturday we talked to him again and he told us that his boss wouldn't give him the time off so he told the boss that he had to quit so he could go to church! It was awesome! He said that God helped him find a job the first time and he knew that he could help him again. We were so excited to see him in church the next day! But.... He didn't come..... It was awful, we even went to his house during church to see if we could get him... We talked to his mom and she said that he had a really bad night and couldnt sleep at all and he only recently went to bed, We had a member with us who just so happened to be a male nurse that has worked with him in the past. The member guys said that if he just went to sleep now he wouldnt be waking up any time soon because of the medication that he is on..... It was really unfortunate.
But on the bright side we had an investigator that we weren't expecting show up. It's an older lady that has problems walking but she ended up walking all the way there by her self, probably a little slowly but she made it! it was awesome!

Well we are going to keep working, everything will turn out good! 

Love you guys! Thanks for everything!

Elder Carlson! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

No More Bikes

Dear Family,
Well, sounds like the box you are sending should be nice! I think I probably won't get it for a little while, maybe like 4 or 5 days after they bring it to the mission home! It is really nice of the Roney's to take everything to Uruguay - I hope they make it through customs.  Did you know they are ridiculously rich? haha but its true....
So it doesn't seem like a full week has already gone by, nothing really significant happened... just work work and more work, basically we are about to start cleaning the books in the entire district, we are going to have to visit every single member on record to see if they still live in the area or if they are still living at all, then if we can't find them we have to talk to at the very least 5 neighbors to confirm where they are.... it's going to be a pain, the idea is to be able to send their records to where they actually belong and basically cleaning the books. The reason is that in order to become a stake, you have to have at least 20:1 ratio of members to  Melchizedek priesthood holders so if there are less members on the books then we need to have less priesthood holders to qualify.... anyway its going to be a huge job to do and it's basically up to the missionaries..... But recently we have been working with a lot of inactive priesthood holders to get them reactivated and we have been having a lot of success. There were like 6 priesthood holders that came to church this week that are inactive. Also in one family the husband is the only member and we are going to start working to baptize everyone else and reactivate him! Sunday morning my comp and I went on splits with two members and we went and got some investigators to come to church, both of us were successful and we ended up having 4 investigators in church.  We won't be having a baptism this week but we should have one the week after....
One of the investigators names is Damion, he is a really awesome guy. He is 31 years old, unmarried, he has family that lives really close but he pretty much lives alone. A lot of the members already know him because a while back he was kinda known as the town drug addict, a lot of the members were suprised to hear that we are teaching him, but I've been really impressed by the positive response the members are giving us, everyone recognizes that it's something that really can change his life, the first couple times we visited Damion all we talked about was baptism, he is probably the most excited investigator i have ever had to get baptized, He really is looking to be clean and start over, turn a new page. He is kinda crazy, maybe from the drugs, haha, but really he is such a nice person, he loves to sing too. Every lesson I leave from I always feel the spirit, We taught him the Word of Wisdom pretty quick off the bat to really see if he was willing to change his life, or if he was just saying that. He is doing a great job at quiting smoking, its really impressive, I cant wait to baptize him!
So the other week we got our helmets stolen, i think i told you, so we bought new ones, then this last Wednesday we were at the church and I didn't want my helmet to get stolen so we locked them up, and when we came outside after the activity my comp's bike was gone.... so we aren't going to be using bikes any more, haha we actually aren't allowed to buy new bikes if they get stolen because Pte Da Silva is trying to get rid of them....
I think thats all of what I had to tell you!
Thanks for everything!
Love Elder Carlson!
P.S. No the apartment doesn't have heat, I think heat is even less common than AC.  
Also Eimi's inactive grandpa came to church! We are still working on the father....

Monday, May 16, 2011

President Davidson

Hey Mom!

A recent trip to the zoo...

So we finally moved in! We were planning on having the Zone Leaders go and sign the contracts and everything on Wednesday and then moving out later that day.... Things did not go as planned. They went there and after many, many complications it came down that they wanted 10,950 some odd pesos before they gave us the keys, that's about 500 dollars, 5000 of it was for the rent, and then the rest was like a safety deposit and some taxes or something, it's not like a problem or anything but they just never mentioned it before.... Anyway we had to wait on the financers to get clearance from president Da Silva to give us the money. Our hilarious Zone Leaders Elder Sluder, and Elder Powell decided to play a little joke, so when he was talking on the phone the financer was telling him that he should have the money to him by Friday, and elder Sluder decided to just say out loud, "So about a month" just to throw off my comp that was listening in. The financer was kinda confused, but it ended up tricking us pretty bad, we had already packed almost everything, Anyway later that night they gave us a box and said it was a present for us, inside was six ballons with keys in them and then the signed contract on bottom! yeah! freedom!

We moved Friday, the plan was to move at 1 o clock and be done by 3 or 3:30 ish, things did not go according to plan. The hermano that was supposed to bring the truck didn't show up till 430 ish.... so we did a lot by hand in the down time, we cleaned out the old house and got everything out, it only took like 30 minutes once he finally arrived, The worst part was that the whole time we kept getting signs that he would be there soon, but it kept getting delayed so there was a lot of down time that day.....

Later that day, Friday, we had two baptisms! yeah! Erica De Los Santos, sister of Lorena who we baptized two weeks ago, and Eimi (Amy) who is from a family of inactive members, that had investigated the church a few years back but ended up not getting baptized.
It was great! President Davidson (I will explain who he is in a second) came to the baptism and gave a little talk at the end and it was super perfect for the situation because the father of Eimi isn't a member and it was totally talking to him. Then after that, Pte Davidson went and talked to a few of the members less actives that came and to the dad personally! It was awesome.

President and Sister Davidson are here on an asignment by the area presidency to live here in 33 and to help us become a stake. He was a mission president in Mexico Guadalajara, then he was the Area Secretary now he is a cousler for our mission president. The way the priesthood keys work with a district, the Mission president is technically the stake president for the District, so all keys flow through him, so he has been delegated the keys through pres Da Silva, so he has power to make changes in the District. Which is really helpful, because there are a lot of little problems with leadership and stuff, for example our presidente of the branch is kinda a bumb, he hasn't come to any of our baptisms we have had since I've been here, he comes to church but usually has some nasty stubble beard thing going on, he never comes to our ward council meetings.... anyway, I'm guessing there might be some changes made here shortly....

Some pictures from the zoo... 

A Carpincho.... they are only found in Uruguay and the largest rodent on earth.... interesting right?

I cannot believe that school is almost out already, One year ago today I was selling alarms in Houston, that is ridiculos to me! Time is flying by so fast.... it's almost scary. 

I thought of a few more things for the box....

-Summer sausage
-Sunflower seeds, maybe jalapeƱo flavor
-Potato salad recipe as well as recipes for pumpkin cookies, and bread
-DenTek comfort clean floss picks, (that's the brand I have right now but any shoud do)
-Appropriate mission music but in Spanish (not hymns) if you can find some, maybe ask Spencer for some suggestions

Also if you could, try to send a email to Zac Harmon and Riley Bennett, I sent them both letters a long time ago and haven't got a response, I don't know if they ever got the letters, so if you could send them an email or have their parents send a quick note to them to see if they got the letter, or to remind them to write me back. Thanks.

That's about all for today! I'm having fun and loving every minute of my mission! 
I love you guys and am really grateful for your love and support.

Love Elder Carlson!

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Wish List

Hey guys!

Well there isn't a ton to say in this letter because we got to talk and all, which was fun, but yeah...

First off the box...

Perfect push ups would be nice.... ps how much did those cost?
Peanut butter
Chocolate chips
Peperidge farms, Soft Baked Nantucket chocolate chip cookies, (They are amazing! My comp got some from his grandma!)

Instead of burning cds with music, you could buy a flash drive, like a 4 gb or something and send that with the music on it.... it would make my life a lot easier, you should be able to find a 4gb flash drive for 10-15 bucks, i found an 8gb here in Uruguay for 25 bucks.... 

Musicwise, i would like 
  • Josh Groban, all that you sent me and anymore if you can find it...
  • Disney, especially if you could get the entire Tarzan sound track. And they have the entire sound track for tarzan in spanish as well. i would also like that if you can get it....
  • The Inception sound track
  • EFY cds...
  • Mindy Gledhill
  • I have a bunch of christmas music on my harddrive, especially i would like, Lex De A.... something something i can remember the name but its good....
  • And christmas music wise i have another artist, its some italian name i cant remember..... sorry its so vauge but just do your best :)
  • Jon Schmit, he is a piano guy that is really good....
Thank you in advance....

Anyway, so it has been a fairly uneventful week for me, but for my ZLs not so much, they had a special ZL meeting with president that they do every 3 months or so and they introduced a lot of new changes....

First off we thought that Pres. might outlaw dvd players, but he did just the opposite, he now wants every companionship to have at least one. Its part of a study program he is instituting.

Originally we woke up at 630 excersied, ate, showered, and started personal study at 8, and comp study at 9, and then went out and worked at 10, and then worked till lunch and then came back after lunch and did language study for an hour and then went out again usually around 230 or 3 and worked the rest of the day....

Now we are going to be studying a lot more in the morning. 8-9 personal study, 9-11 comp study 11-12 language study, then we have lunch and work from 130 ish till 9. Its going to be really different, 4 hours of study compared to 2 hours, its going to be interesting. And we will have to deal with trying to work through the Nap time....

But thats about all for now!

Love Elder Carlson!

Monday, May 2, 2011


Dear Family,

So I’m going to try and call you guys at 2 o clock Uruguay time, which should be 11 your time, I think. If that doesn’t work out I will probably call at 8 o clock Uruguay time. But plan on 2.

I will call you like last time, and then you will call me back.

We will have around 40 minutes like last time. The time limit doesn’t seem to be a huge deal this time. It really just depended on my Zone Leaders, last time my ZLs felt like president Da Silva said "Not a second more than 40 minutes" this time my new ZLs says it really doesn’t matter as long as you aren’t talking for three or four hours.... President Da Silva has yet to release an official stance on the matter....

Anyway, I really cannot believe it’s time to talk to you guys again. It seems like a month ago or so that I called last time.

Well we got Change Calls last night. I’m staying put, with my same comp. Nothing is happening different for us. It’s kinda boring. but oh well.  My comp almost definitely will be changing next change though... we will see what happens, this last change went really really fast. It’s crazy.

So last night, since it was "change night" we decided to have a nice family dinner together. On Sundays we have to be in the house at 8 o clock instead of 9, so the offices can get the numbers for the week, so we had a little extra time so we prepared a full chicken, we baked it in the oven marinated in sprite and BBQ sauce.  I made those oven baked potatoes of yours that you sent me the recipe for a while back. They turned out really good. We don’t have celery seed down here in Uruguay but we didn’t really notice the difference. We also made a side of Alfredo sauce and noodles just to make sure there was enough food, and then had some ice cream for desert. You can buy these pouches of powder that you mix with milk and just freeze and it actually makes some pretty good ice cream, it’s not hard or like a block of ice either. Anyway everything it turned out really good, so we are going to start doing it every change day night. Next Sunday we are going to try making hobo dinners in the fireplace.

Chicken dinner!

So, we had another Baptism this week! YEAH! Her name is Lorena, she is a 13 year old girl whose entire family is less active members. She is actually really smart. She is friends with a few of the other YW in our ward and with Romina the girl we baptized last week, so I was thinking the reason she was going to get baptized was just because her friends are members, but when we went over the interview questions it surprised me how serious she was about it all, she had really good answers to all the questions and there was a member girl that was there with us in the charla who even said something like "What happens when you guys leave and the missionaries stop visiting her and she goes inactive like this other girl I know" and Lorena was just like "What! I’m not going to stop going to church! I want to keep learning and stuff!”  It was just really cool, Honestly she probably doesn’t understand the true importance of the church and baptism but she is really demonstrating true faith by her willingness to follow the commandments, even if its a little blind obedience. Kinda like Adam making sacrifices even though he didn’t know why.... Anyway it was just cool.

We are teaching a bunch of people right now that are at the point of getting baptized, so we could end up getting like 10 baptisms this change, it all depends on how they use their agency.... but we are going to get like 3 or 4 for sure.

Love Elder Carlson!