Monday, April 1, 2013

Sister Carlson

Dear family,

Hellooo from Florida! Even though you said that not a lot has gone on at home, hearing about Jessie's wisdom teeth and the Young Women's Conference was still really exciting! I remember you mentioning that Dad was going to have something done. How did that go? He's had a busy week! I love that Christopher just got baptized!!! I don't really think that I can look at your blog since the only websites we can look at are Facebook, lds.org, and mormon.org. (Sister Crowton is a Facebook missionary). President Barry is more strict when it comes to that. We can't even read letters during the week - only on P-days, but he and his wife are so amazing that I have no problem doing it! This is part of the reason paper mail is best since most of the time I'm not in a place I can print out emails to read.

It was so cool to hear about Grant getting his call!!! That is so exciting that he is speaking Check! He is going to make a great missionary. :)

I'm finally getting the hang of Gainesville (sort of). We live right off of Newberry road, and from there, I can make my way around with the many churches as landmarks. The 'three dolphin' Trilogy Church when you go over the overpass, the North West, North Central, North East (and other directionally based) Baptist Churches all over the place (the central one being the biggest) - I've even seen a Korean Baptist Church! The First Church of the Nazarine is by one of our investigators. To get to the stake house where the GV 2nd ward goes to you have to get on Newberry, turn left in between the Missionary Baptist Church and the First Assembly of God, turn right at the midget palm trees (not left or that will take you to the Power House Church) and our church is right next to the gigantic School of Rock. Some of these churches are just warehouses with names in front of them, but some of them are real architectural pieces of art! I'll take some pictures driving by or something.

Last week on Friday-Saturday, Sister Crowton and I went to Macclenny so she could do a trade-off/evaluation of the two sisters working there. Sister Ashcraft and Sister Carrigan. It was so good to see Sister Ashcraft again! There are a lot less trees than in Gainesville - real deep south kind of place where EVERYONE has the accent. The sisters there live with a member who I love! K is a convert and during Saturday morning session, our trainers jumped us and said that we are going to teach her the first lesson and that she would pretend to be an investigator. I had a really good time with this lady! One of her burning desires is to move to Utah and go to school at BYU. 

For lunch on Saturday we ate BBQ ribs that Preacher Man made! Preacher Man is a preacher and on Saturdays, he sets up a stand behind a store and makes BBQ. The ribs that we got there were basically amazing. Sister Crowton tells me that the BBQ sauce here in the South is a lot different that anywhere else. It's mustard based or something. Jake wouldn't like the heat but he would LOVE this!

One cool experience that I had there - Sister Ashcraft and I were visiting some less actives and we were meeting with this grandma who was baptized last year but was still struggling with smoking. When we were talking with her, I felt the Spirit more strongly than I ever have since coming out telling me that I needed to promise her something. I don't know how this would help her, but I told her that if she would read the Book of Mormon for 30 minutes every day, that God would grant her the power to overcome smoking. It was kind of a surreal experience. I feel that that could apply to anything that we are having problems with in our lives too.

Members of the GV 2nd ward love to feed us (I have had to make a vow that I won't overeat while I'm at member's houses because they make such good food!). The Loosli family fed us last night for Easter dinner - it was so good! They're kind of a health conscious family though so they had a wide variety of fruits and veggies to choose from. Believe it or not Sister Crowton LOVES doing dishes so after we ate we washed dishes! The Loosli family has seven girls and they had a lot of extended family over as well so there was a LOT of dishes, but Sister Crowton was so excited to do so many dishes that it made it really fun! :)

Today for P-day our district is going to eat at a place called Moes. The Elders who work in our ward with us (Elders Jenkins and Greenlaw) absolutely love the place so I wanted to try it out. Sister Crowton is kind of hesitant because she had a bad experience there (they put cucumbers on her salad and she hates cucumbers) but she was willing to go again so I could try. It's not very common to have Elders and Sisters in one ward together. Last 
friday was the Weekly Planning Session that goes on for 5 hours or something. Elder Jenkins gets so bored that they have had a tradition to make a cake! They eat half of the cake and they brought us over the other half! They make really good cake. :)

Later on today we're going on another trade-off from 5pm today to 5pm tomorrow with the sisters in the Gainesville YSA Branch. Later this week we have another trade-off with the sisters in GV 1st ward (Sister Major and Sister Houtz). We'll hardly be in our own area! On top of that we have Zone meeting this week that takes a little longer than District meeting. Whew. Busy busy busy! Love it! We don't have a lot of investigators at the moment so it probably won't affect anything.

I'm so excited for Conference! We've been inviting everyone we meet with to prepare and write some questions down and to watch it! You guys at home should do that as well. Sister Crowton and I are!

I love you all!

~Sister Carlson