Monday, June 16, 2014

Sister Florida

Sorry this is getting out late. We had a fun
District P-day! Sister McCann and I planned all of it. "Uplifting,
Unifying, Fun Games and Food with Friends fo' Free!" 
Last p-day we decided that we forgot to get something so we went last
minute to a local publix grocery store, and as we were checking out,
the cashier paused me and asked to see my name tag. When she did, she
was so excited!! She lives in another area and is getting ready to be
baptized! We weren't even planning to go to that Publix. The Lord just
made us forget whatever so we would go see her. Really cool.
On Tuesday we had just dropped the other sisters off to their
appointment after a dinner appointment. As we were driving down
Normandy, suddenly our car starts shaking! We pulled over in front of
a subway and looked. We got a flat tire. Luckily we only had to look
lost for about a minute when a Subway worker comes out and changes our
tire to the spare for us. A nice nail that ended up being too close to
the side wall. By the time everything was finished, we had to head
home slowly. The bad part was that interviews with President were in
the morning, and those were being held at the Orange Park Stake
Center, which is a 20 minute drive down the freeway. We had to cram in
getting our tire changed before heading to OP. It all turned out ok.

Interviews were so great!! President is giving all the missionaries
who don't have that much time left a theme scripture. Helaman 10:4-5.
I cried when I read it!
On another good note, we have a new gator who has great potential to
be baptized! R is a motorcycle...drifter...kind of person and got
stuck here in west side JAX. He's been coming to church pretty
regularly with a friend, and we've taught him the first lesson, but he
was planning on leaving soon so he wouldn't be able to be baptized.
His plans were unexpectedly changed! Don't know how long he's staying,
but hopefully we can nail him down long enough. We'll see.
I finished to Book of Mormon! It was amazing. The words that have been
sticking out to me on this read have been "remember" and "desire".
I've also been noticing how important daily scripture study is. Crazy
important. The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. So watch
your step! Don't miss personal scripture study even once!!!
We dropped all of the Whitehouse sister baptismal dates
and taught this cute couple the Plan of Salvation. 
We had dinner which an older couple named the N's. We asked them
their conversion story and it blew my mind!! They were both raised
Catholic, but Sister N always knew that it wasn't true...because she
has memories of the pre-mortal existence!!!! She searched all of her
adult life to find the true church, until she concluded that it must
not exist. She resigned herself to go to the next church that knocked
on her door. The missionaries knocked on the door the next day, and
her husband, who never lets people in, but let them in because one
reminded him of his old boss! Anyway, all they had to say was "we
lived with God before this life" and she got baptized in two weeks!
They're so awesome!  They did the #discoverthebook challenge. Did
y'all? I don't see anyone's Facebook pages. You should send me your
pictures! President said in interviews that if everyone who was
invited to participate did it (75,000 people) it would reach 250
million people!!! Remember the next event #searchthebook. Share your
favorite scripture in your favorite reading spot!

Anyway. I love y'all!!!! Keep going strong.
Love, Sister Carlson

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sister Florida

Hello Family!!!!
I loved the emails I received today! Especially Julz. Very
detailed. Very nice. I especially liked the part about this C
boy. Which was almost the whole email. JESS! I am desirous to learn
of these things from thee! Congratulations, but write me! :)
Well, we had a pretty awesome week! It seems like every week is
awesome on the mission now. Maybe a year ago this week wouldn't have
been so awesome, but when you realize where the center of the Earth
is, everything is awesome!!! Almost every single appointment this
whole week fell through and every member who we take to lessons went
on vacation. The summer rains have returned and the steaming asphalt
sauna is back. Skirts caught in tires, ouchy tummies when members feed
you dinner and they don't understand what 'no gluten' means and you
don't want them to feel bad. BUT WE HAD AN AWESOME WEEK! The Lord
freed up our time so we could contact 18 referrals and blasted through
the new member list. Our Ward gets around 50 new move ins per month
and almost all of them are either less active or bogus addresses.
Guess who gets to find them? The missionaries! Our report of addresses
to the clerk this week was very long :)
One of the more interesting dinners we had his week was with the
B family. A grandma, her sister, her daughter, and her
granddaughter. They were recently reactivated when I came into the
area. I'd been to visit their place once or twice, but very briefly.  The fried chicken 
was really good. Fried with spicy corn flakes so it was gluten free. That was a plus. 
We gave a thought about the plan of salvation, encouraged them to invite friends
 to church and left. They gave us the leftover chicken in an empty ice cream 
gallon bucket. The Elders didn't live that far from where we were at. We hung t
he bucket on their door nob and got some smoothies. TheElders said they loved it. 
I've officially been in this area for six months. My second dinner
appointment here was the last Friday of the month of November. We had
dinner with Sister Lara and gave a General Conference message from the
ensign. This past Friday we did the same thing. That is so strange.
Missions seem like time bubble vortexes.
Sunday night we had a lesson with the F family again. I might have
mentioned them a little while ago. They're from Jamaica. Very nice
accents. I love to listen to them. Brother Fong was describing to us a
revivalist in Jamaica who he believes is a false prophet. Brother Fong
said that he would blow at people in the crown and people would faint
and fall over. He claimed to be a healer and called up Sister F's
grandmother to the stage in the large tent he would hold meetings in.
He took her walking cane/crutch thing and broke it in half, commanding
her to walk! She did. She walked all the way back to her seat. She was
hospitalized the next day for putting too much strain on her body.
Crazy. They have a lot of stories about Jamaica. I'm not sure when Mo
is coming home from her mission, but she's gonna come home with some
I love y'all! But I must be going now.
~Sister Carlson