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, October 31, 2011

Mennonites in Uruguay

Dear Family,

Wow, sounds like everyone had a pretty good week. Thanks for all the letters and photos!

I noticed that Spencer is enjoying my clothing.... that is my shirt.
Also the fire pit looks cool! That will be fun with the new patio.

So I feel a lot better, illness-wise, I still have a cough kinda but I’m a ton better.
We have a baptism planned for this week; it’s a cousin of a recent convert. Hopefully everything goes according to plan, She came to church just fine.  We were expecting a lot more people but only two came. We have been finding a lot of new people to teach so our prayers are being answered. Now we have to just get them to start progressing towards baptism.

So last p-day we were on the bus from Montevideo to Florida and we noticed that there were two men talking in English, and one of them had a macbook pro, Americans.  Anyway we started talking to one of them and found out that they are part of 4 Mennonite families that were asked by their church to come down to Uruguay and start their church.... It was a very interesting conversation. He is a really good respectable guy - he lived in some small town outside of Ogden for a few years and has a lot of good friends who are Mormon. Anyway, It was just a really interesting encounter. They are farmers. He knows Spanish, and so does his wife, but his younger children that are with him are learning.  It’s always interesting to see the truths that are in other religions and also to see what it is that they are missing. It seems like a very respectable religion, I asked him about it a little.

So i have been helping my oro to learn Spanish and I have been studying Portuguese. It’s really interesting. I’m enjoying learning it because its way easier to go from spanish to portuguese than it was from english to spanish. Its funny because the pronunciation is the biggest problem.   It’s like someone took the english alphabet and then mixed all the sounds up.... di makes a J sound, ti or te makes a ch sound.... l makes a w sound... all these weird things to remember.

Everything is going really good with Elder Francis. We get a long just fine.  He went to BYU as well before his mission. He is really smart! Anyway, he is getting spanish pretty well, but there is still a lot to work on obviously.  A funny experience.... the other day we were teaching about the restoration of the church and he was going to recount the story of Joseph Smith’s first vision, so we usually say something along the lines of "and in Joseph’s own words he describes...." and my companion accidentally said "and in his own sins he describes..." Also he said "Pecados" instead of "Palabras" it was really funny. hahah He wasnt embarrassed or anything. I had a similar experience when I was an oro but mine was during a prayer! haha

That’s about all for this week!

Elder Carlson

Monday, October 24, 2011

Elder Francis

Dear Family,

I will try to answer some questions first.

I recived the box! Safe and sound and I don´t think anything was stolen. It had shoes, ties, candy, kool aid, portuguese books and envelopes and stuff. I'm pretty sure it's all there.
Thank you very much. I am enjoying everything, however one of  the ties you sent me was fairly ugly. No offense, it's alright though because I will be able to give it to someone I baptize or something-hahah Also I said it would be just fine to send me some of Cameron's ties, he even concented too, maybe for Christmas.

Wow. Max got married! I guess it has been more than a year, but still.

Wow Your birthday, I know it's today and everything it just really snuck up on me. I can't believe we are already at the end of October. It still feels like August or something.

Anyway. I am now with ELDER FRANCIS. He is from Brookings, South Dakota, he just told me that his town is mentioned in the show "Little House on the Praire" so you know its legit.

He's cool, He went to BYU for a year before the mission just like I did. He is really intelligent. He is the first companion I have had that uses bigger english words than I do. He doesn't have very much Spanish experience but his Spanish is better than mine was when I started.  I´m sure he will learn really fast, just have to practice a lot so he can speak more fluidly.

So I have had an incredibly stressful week.  Having an oro (greenie) wouldn't be too bad  alone, but apart from that I have been sick all week. I have woken up every single day with a headache and stuffed nose. Also yesterday and the day before I woke up with gunk glueing my eye lids shut.... pretty sure I have Pink Eye. Conjuntivtis is what its called in Spanish.... It's been rough.... We have been working anyway. I have been taking a decongestent and ibprofen as well as doing what Sister Da Silva told me to do -  this home remedy thing using Chamomile for the pink eye. I think it must have worked because I woke up today and my eyes weren't glued together. Don't get me wrong I still had a fantastic head ache but poco a poco my symptoms are disappearing.  I only had a fever one morning and it wasn't very high. 

The main reason we just keep on working is because we are super busy.  We had a baptism on Sunday after church of the daughter of a formerly less active family and we had to finish teaching and preping her and have the interview and arrange everything for the baptism. Everything turned out good but the road was paved with problems. Sickness, and plumbing were the biggest pains.  The other elders in Estacion had a baptism on Saturday and after they finished filling the font , one of the pipes broke, so we didn't have hot water.  Oh yes and the spicket (i dont remember what its called, the thing you use to turn on the water) for the cold water was broken,  so we finally got the cold water fixed and fillled it with cold water and then Sunday afternoon we dumped pot after pot of boiling water to try to heat it up a little.  It didn't really do anything.  Oh well!  She got baptized, oh yes and for some mysterious reason the cold water came out mixed with a little dirt.  Fantastic so the font was a little more green than normal.  Then the baptismal clothing that we had set aside for the dad and his daughter went missing!!!!! Someone took it out of the closet we put it in.  We fixed that too but oh man what a nightmare.  It was litterally the hardest baptism I have had in my mission, baptism wise.

You are probably thinking , well this isn't a very uplifting experience he is sharing and that's true... but here is the happy part. So because of all the situational problems it didnt really feel, to me, like that special of a baptism.  It's hard to feel the spirit when you are runing all over the place trying to fix everything, and you feel like garbage from pink eye. Anyway after all the problems and the actual ordanice took place, they gave a moment for testimonies for anyone that wanted to.The father, Gustavo, (He baptized his daughter Daiana) got up and bore a fantastic testimony. It really really brought  the spirit and I knew that what we were doing really helped this family. Gustavo has been a member for a long time and he has been inactive for about his entire marriage.  His wife is a member but they have never really been active.  Anyway, he talked about how this is really the first thing that has happened since he got married that made him want to come back to church. It was a very rewarding experience. I´m also really glad that Elder Francis could get a taste of Baptism early on in his mission.

Even though there are some really stressful and dificult moments, I am learning a ton and loving every minute of it.


Elder Carlson

p.s. I dont have my camera with me but I will send a picture of us next week....  Elder Francis is about the same height as me and has glasses.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm Getting a New Companion!

Monday October 17, 2011

Dear family,
Sounds like things are going good....

Bullet Bike is not a brand, it just means the fast kind.... hahah ok ya Spencer's car wasn't fast enough.

Mom what you were talking about kinda sounds like getting a new companion in the mission.... it takes some ajusting.... and lots of humility and patience.... the thing that I have noticed is that humility is the key to getting along with anyone. It's something that I have been working on my entire mission.... Know it all syndrome is not appealing to anyone and it always causes contention, which is of the devil (3 Nephi 11).

SO speaking of new companions, I'm getting one. The change ends tomorrow and we received change calls last night and when I say new companion I mean new, new, new! I'm going to be training a new missionary- oro (gold.... but more commonly refered to in English as a greeny). I have to travel to Montevideo solo tomorrow and pick him up.  I will have to tell you next week about him.  Elder Villar is going to Rocha which is kind of near  33, one of my old areas.

We had a lot of cool experiences this week but I only have time to tell you one.

4 Americans came to our ward yesterday.  One of the four served his mission here in Uruguay about  37 years ago and he came to visit with his wife and brother and sister in law.  Only the ex-missionary spoke Spanish but it turns out that he came down here not knowing if he was going to  see any of his converts.  He had lost contact with them all years and years ago.Turns out that one of his converts is the wife of our current branch president.  She served a mission a few years after she was baptized  and then later got married in the temple.  They have childeren serving missions too. Anyway he was able to talk for a little bit and express his feelings as well as the member.  It was a very awesome experience. After the meeting I got to do some translating for the wife and her sister and brother.  It really was a great experience.  They are all from Austin, TX but before they lived in Ogden  too.  Anyway I don't have any more time.....

Thank you for all the support and prayers.... Tell Andy to write me!


Elder Carlson

Monday, October 10, 2011

Another Baptism!

Monday October 10, 2011
Oh yes I made steak..... delicious!

Hey family!

Well, I don’t know if you will be receiving many more pictures any time soon because the guy who runs the computer place doesn’t know anything about computers.  Imagine that, it’s terrible!  I just hope he didn’t mess up my cameras memory card.

Anyway, well it sounds like things are going well over there.

Cameron told me about his work out schedule.  I too have been doing my morning exercises... haha, I do really like my perfect pushups too.  I weigh 67 kilos o sea 147 pounds... I don’t know if Cameron will ever weigh more than me.

Well the computer guy messed up my memory card.... not permanently but now I can’t access anything on it.... all my photos are in hidden folders so I can’t get to them.  I is so frustrating!

We had a baptism!!!!! Rebeca.  I would send you a photo but I can’t, thanks computer guy. Anyway, she is a friend of three recent converts.  Everything went surprisingly smooth. Sunday after the confirmation we had to walk with her and some other recent converts home but it started raining so we grabbed my two umbrellas, one is broken, my comps umbrella and we both wore jackets.  There were 7 of us walking.  My comp and I got soaked.... que bueno.... Anyway, we found a new investigator named Juan Miguel.... he was a referral.   Pretty much all of his family are members, he is 14 or maybe 12, ages are deceptive here. He is really smart and likes ping pong, and  he likes the church,  He came yesterday and got up in front of everyone and bore testimony.  Basically re-teaching part of the restoration and how he likes it here and feels good and he knows its the true church so that’s why he wants to get baptized.  Awesome right?  Now here is the bad part.... his grandma is either the legal guardian or just has a lot of control in his life because he has to ask her if he can get baptized and he asked about 6 months ago and she said no-.... but this time we are going to ask with him.  All we can do is pray that her heart will be softened.

I got a letter from Coulsen! haha his former girlfriend Erica dear-johned him a few months ago and now she is officially engaged.  He has a really good attitude about it all.

So we only have one week left in the change, time flies.  Also I almost have 13 months in the mission.  Weird!

Last night we started playing all these games and riddles and stuff at night before we went to bed.  It was really fun but it made me remember another game but I don’t remember all the rules.   I don’t know if mom knows this game but I have played it with dad.  It’s called MAU, I don’t know if you spell it like that but hey.  Anyway in order to play I need the rules.   It’s a card game and the twist is that only one person knows the rules and the rest have to play and figure out the rules as they go. It’s fun.  If you could send me the rules I’d be grateful.

I think that’s all.  It has been rainy and gray the last few days, oh well.  I haven’t received the box yet but Pte da Silva is going  to come here on Tuesday for interviews and he will bring it if it has arrived.

Thanks for everything!

Elder Carlson

Monday, October 3, 2011

Conference Was Fantastic!

Monday October 3, 2011
Dear Family,

I like the picture and by the sound of what’s in the box you mailed I’m going to like that too! You put in lots of stuff I want.  I wear a size 40 Ecco, hopefully that’s what they sent.  Anyway.... I knew the Portuguese book existed!

Wow conference was fantastic! I loved it.... I don’t have time to share all the things I loved but I would like to share some of the main topics that stood out to me:

               "Although the standards of the world are changing, God's standards never change -  Commandments not suggestions!” President Monson talked about that two times.... once in Priesthood and again on Sunday
               Standing as a witness
               Lots about Missions (especially in priesthood)
               Also they talked about not using facebook too much hahahah
               I was super excited and shocked when I heard about the tabernacle that will be a temple! It’s super awesome... especially because Provo is so crowded!
               I also liked the talk by one of the 70 about the Book of Mormon... he explained everything very clearly. It's a lesson we teach almost daily....
               Elder Holland’s was of course very good too, and  Elder Packers talk especially for the youth....

So right now we are working with a lot of incomplete families... There are three families that have children that were never baptized....

One is the family Perez. They have two daughters Daiana and Agustina. The parents are both inactive but recently started coming back to church and Daiana (9) wants to get baptized... the main problem with her is she is really shy.....

The family Suarez is an active family with like 5 kids. All active.... one is 8 years old and will be turning nine next week but for some reason he has never been baptized.,.... we are pretty sure that the main problem is his dad. He is active but he has some problems with a couple of the commandments....

Familia Chavez. Andres is a recently reactivated 19 year old that is preparing to serve a mission. His older sisters are members too but inactive, he has a younger sister that isn’t a member that we have recently started teaching.... Andres is a really cool guy he comes and works with us like three times a week.... it’s going to be excellent preparacion for his mission....

WE have some other investigators too.... but I don’t have any more time....

Time is just flying by.... only two weeks left in the change.....

Love Elder Carlson!