Tuesday, June 23, 2015

HAPPY LATE FATHER'S DAY EVERYONE! I hope it was a fun day :) especially Papa!
A lot of fun stuff happened this week.
Probably the biggest/best event that happened this week was Stake Conference! Not just Stake Conference itself but the entire day! One of the best talks (in my opinion) was given by President Schmitt! At the end he invited everyone in our entire stake to have a kneeling prayer with their family and ask our Heavenly Father for missionary opportunities. Specifically to set a date to have someone in YOUR home for the missionaries to come over and teach! This work needs to hasten and the only way that's going to happen is if members really kick it into high gear haha! I'm going to extend that same invitation to you family! Our Stake President told the entire stake his goal so that he would be more inclined to accomplish it XD cool guy.

After Stake Conference we went to the Mandarin Sister's 3 baptisms! I was pretty much bawling the entire time (even though it was in another language), the spirit was so strong. But the reason why we went was to meet with our investigator K! She had never seen a baptism before and loved it! But what was even cooler is that while we where there, A sister in our ward came up to us with a younger co-worker of hers. We went into a side room before the service started and taught her the basic principals of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. We asked her if she would be willing to follow the Saviors example and be baptized and she said YES! We get to meet with her and Sister Agnew (lady from our ward) this next week! Woooooo it was cool. Sister Agnew literally took on the challenge Mission President extended everyone in under a days time.
She also asked where I was from and told me that she thought I was from England... "you just look so sheek and regal"... It made me feel really good so the rest of the day I was tricking Elders and Sisters and the Spanish President's fireside.. Everyone was totally convinced I was from London England! I've got a pretty spot on accent ;)

I think Sister Schmitt really looks and reminds me of JULIE! Boo! If you want to be a Doctor, I think that profession would really fit you haha! I see President and his wife a lot and she just reminds me so much of you! It's just fun :)

I think ya'll should keep up the tradition of doing family work in the temple for birthdays :) The spirit of Elijah is SUPER strong out here. I just want to do family history work and go to the temple all the time, but I can't XD KEEP IT UP! WOOOOOOOO!!!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!

-Sister Carlson

Friday, June 19, 2015

20th and 25th Wedding Anniversary

The Ockey's have lived two houses away from us for the past eighteen and a half years. Their oldest daughter and all of our daughters have been close friends ever since they were little. We feel very fortunate and blessed to live by such wonderful people. Tamra is a great example and Spencer is probably one of the funniest people I've ever met. They make a beautiful couple!

We celebrated together by going out to eat at Cafe Rio and watching the movie Cokeville. I remember when the small elementary school in Cokeville was held captive for two hours back in 1986.  I hadn't met GW yet but I'm so glad we went and watched the film together. It was how a community pulled together during a serious crisis. I am grateful for our little neighborhood over the years. We have supported one another and have been blessed in so many ways. Life truly is good.

June 16th 1990

Mountain Green, Utah

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sister San Diego

Hello my family!
Our house is leaking!?! What? Haha!
This week has been crazy! It started off with us getting iPads! We
can't do much on them now because our entire mission is still on
"phase 1". Phase 2 will be putting our area books and records online
(which will take the entire mission... A long time). Facebook n' stuff
like that won't be until like.. Phase 12. I don't I will be using it a lot but I
have to today because the library computer lab was full :( which means
no pictures from my camera.

After Zone Conference (about the iPads) we went on exchanges with the
Sister Training Leaders! Sister Seadan and I stayed in our area while
Sister Starr left us.... Sniff.
Nah, it was fun :) Sister Seratto is the bomb.com. BUT SHE LEFT TODAY!
Back to Provo Utah.
I don't remember if I've mentioned this before but Sister Saedan has
been on her mission for 15 months and Sister Starr for 5. Speaking of
months.... I've been here for more than one now!!!! Wahoo!

We took one of our investigators (R, 84) to the Mormon
Battallion!! He loved it haha! We called him up yesterday to schedule
another appointment with him and he really wants to take us  out to
get some real Mexican food! (Haven't had any yet) he also started
talking about baseball and the Padres game. (Which we just got back
from!!!! We got special permission to go :) it was fun!) he was
talking about how fun it is to drink at games... We know what we're
going to teach him next.  And he wasn't lying! Everyone was drinking
tons of beer around us and having a good ol' time. Sister Starr
screamed when she found out we could go to the game. She's a huge
baseball fan! What I thought about it?... A little boring haha

prayer no less. She was in the middle of saying something when he laid
one her. Ok... It was a dog... But still. It took everything I had not
to burst out laughing. Big brown labs give slobbery kisses ;)
especially when your mouth is open! One of the first things I noticed
here in San Diego was that everyone owns a dog. Everyone. It's
abnormal to see someone walking down the street without one!

More interesting stories: we were visiting K (our investigator who
is getting baptized after her birthday) at the place where she works.
It's a candy shop on steroids! There's actually my little pony
plushies the size of humans all around the place with rainbow walls
and candy covering every inch of the store. But the weird part was
when we walked to the back of the store there was a see through
wall.... And on the other side was a bathroom...................... 
A couple days later we found out when you lock the door it fogs the
glass... But at the time we didn't know that!  Just a few days after
that both Sister Saedan and Sister Starr saw a man changing into a
wet suit from his birthday suit in the middle of the road. I was occupied
at the moment and I'm glad I was.

We're teaching a girl from China and a Man from Turkey! I'll start
with L. Her mom is taking lessons from the Mandarin Sisters, but
she doesn't speak the language very well so we got to teach her in
English! She's an incredible 13 year old who already loves "bible
study"! (Most the people here -in my opinion- are Asian. Then a lot of
people from India and the Middle East.) Z is from Turkey and speaks
Turkish and Arabic. We have Arabic Elders but he wanted to keep being
taught from us! Haha :)

It's a small world! 2 days ago on Sunday, after Sunday school, we were
talking with this guy in the hallway about some of the missionaries he
knew. I asked him what mission he served in and he said Washington DC!
So I asked him "north?" "Ya why? Do you know anyone up there?" "YA!
Half my MTC district just went up!" "Oh... I probably don't know them
then." "I also have a good friend who's been up there for a while, do
you know a Michael Van Wagoner?" He then yells: "I TRAINED HIM!!!!!!"
Yep. Met Mike's trainer haha! He took a picture and I think sent it to
Elder Van Wagoner :) it was so random! But cool!

And now here I am! Just got back from the Padres game like I mentioned
before! To answer some questions: we drive a 2013ish Toyota Corola.
It's red and pretty. We don't ever bike or walk really unless we're
street contacting :( I kind of wish we were riding bikes because the
weather is beautiful. No, I haven't been home sick really. Actually
the one time I kind of was homesick was when I was watching Peg sing!
I don't know why but I suddenly really missed the Carters!!  hmm.. I
haven't gotten my laundry stolen yet BUT! Today there was a huge black
widow in the laundry room!

Again sorry that I can't send any cool pictures.... I was going to
send a ton this week! I felt really sad when we say that the library
was full!

I love you all!!!
-Sister Carlson
My mission area.

Washington DC and Dixon Middle School

Jewels and Josie going on the same trip.


Waiting at Salt Lake Airport. First time for Jewels on an airplane!

World War II Memorial


Jewels favorite museum. Air and Space.

Mr. Sudweeks

Vietnam Memorial

Lincoln Monument
Elder VanWagoner found Dixon Middle School students on the third day of their tour.

What a great experience for everyone.
They all made it back home safe and sound! 
I emailed a thank you to one of the teachers that went on the same trip.
Here is what I wrote:

Dear Teacher,

Thank you for the photo of Jewels at the Vietnam Memorial. That was one place we did not visit when my husband and I toured Washington DC twelve years ago. I'm sure Jewels was touched as I'm sure she has been throughout the entire trip. 
When my husband and I traveled to DC we took my father-in-law who served during World War II. Since we had to push him in a wheel chair for most of the ten day visit we only had the strength for certain places. I think we spent most of our time at the World War II Memorial and the airplane museums. When I first heard about Dixon Middle School's trip I did not want Jewels to go at such a young age. If you were to ask her, I was the one who was too concerned about a fourteen year old traveling across the country without her parents. But during a stressful family council I got voted out. Today I'm grateful that I got voted out. The judicial system is such a blessing in our home as well as in our country. Jewels will never forget this wonderful experience and it never would have been possible if it weren't for you and the other teachers from Dixon Middle School. She really worked hard to earn all of the money which also made me realize her willing heart.

Once again, thank you for all your hard work and being involved with such a great trip!

Sincerely, Marci Carlson

Friday, June 12, 2015

Water Damage

Summer break is still going great even though we have no running water turned on in our house.  I came home from a stake meeting late Tuesday night and found Jen and GW running around the house in a panic.  First they showed me the water coming out of a light fixture on the ceiling, not good. Then they were filling up the bathtubs with fresh water, smart idea!

There was a water spot in the carpet upstairs in the hallway earlier that day, but I thought someone had spilled a glass of drinking water or some kind of liquid.  I even took a blow dryer to the wet spot and put a fan on it that afternoon. When I went upstairs after my meeting the wet spot was much bigger! We were having our first water crisis in twenty-five years of marriage! GW finally turned off the main water valve and we started investigating.  That included cutting holes in my beautiful ceiling and taking out the walls in the furnace room. With the flash light GW could see serious water damage all below our hall bathroom up stairs.

Jewels is gone on her first trip to Washington DC with her school so she doesn't even know we are living like pioneers here in our lovely home. Thank goodness we still have electricity and air conditioning. Last night we turned the water back on thinking it was just the drain to the bathtub that had broken, but nope the leak came back again during the night.  So we hurried and took our hot showers and I filled up my bathtub to the top again.  We had only used half the water from the tub for two days. That water has been a life saver!!
While GW is at work I've been cleaning up all the sheet rock mess, drying the carpet and clearing out the bonus room in case we need extra room for our new bathroom project.

I've been wanting to renovate that bathroom for some time now.  Since GW is a "doityourself" kind of guy and we have youtube for help, we are now ready for a new adventure this summer at the Carlson home!

June 13, 2015

After four days of no running water the leak was found! First day we thought it was the drain from the bathtub. We turned the water back on and the leak came back. Second day we thought it was the toilet. Turned the water back and the leak came back. Third day we let everything dry. Fourth day a friend of GW's mentioned another idea, so we cut a hole behind the shower from the bonus room and turned the water back on. Lo and behold, there it was!! Who would think a leak would be so exciting to find!!!



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

First Week of June by the ocean.

Hello Everyone!

Let's see.. what happened this week.. I think I'm going to keep this email a tad bit shorter so I can send ya'll more pictures. Pictures speak more than words right?!

I SAW PEG ON TV TOO!!!!! It was awesome :) haha! MY companions were like "AH! She's soooo pretty!"
We watched Elder Perry's funeral service on Friday?? (I think..) Right before our Zone meeting. 
The Battalion sisters and ASL Elders are also added to our area! Makes things super fun. I've been having a lot of opportunities to sign! This past fast Sunday, I was able to have an interesting conversation in ASL with a man named J! The Deaf Branch meets right before our ward (the're UC 1st and we're UC 2nd) so you can usually catch a few people signing if you're there early! (which we are ;) sister missionaries are always early *wink wink*) He taught me a bunch of signs I didn't know like temple recommend, prophet etc. I don't know too many church related signs so it was amazingly helpful! 

What's interesting here and something I need to get used to, was the fact that we are not allowed to tract basically anywhere. Or even street contact in some specific areas. A lot of what we rely on are the members. I can see how it hastens the work with new investigators having a support system as they start coming to church if they were refereed by a member in the first place. I've come to realize it's a lot safer as well, especially for the sisters. Both my companions have been held at knife and even gun point here on their missions. BUT DO NOT FEAR! The worst that has happened to me was being spit on.. ha.

Something cool that I wanted to share: A STORY! We were doing a service project over at a members apt and by the time we were done, we had the opportunity to share a quick message. I shared with her a quote by President Hinckley that says "Never assume you can make it alone. You need the help of the Lord. Never hesitate to get on your knees in some private place and speak with him." After that she shared a story about her friend in Germany & the lesson that friend gave to her primary kids. Her friend brought this white, clean kitchen plate to her lesson and let the kids scribble all over it with marker (of course they were like.. ooooohh we never get to do this) She then wiped away the marker with a towel and explained how most people see the Atonement this way: sin wiped away with Christ's help. She then stated "But this is how the atonement really works" slamming the plate to the ground, shattering it to pieces. We literally are broken & shattered by sin and cannot make it back to our heavenly father. Taking out a new, more extravagant china plate she explained to he children how we need to become something more than we are, and the ONLY way we can is through Christ's Atonement.
End of story

Life is good! It's actually been a little hot the past 2 days! A few minutes ago we went shopping and also visited the Mission Office to wash our car for Zone Conference tomorrow! I think we're playing some kind of sport outside with our zone after i'm done writing here at the library. To answer some questions: I usually eat cereal for breakfast and a banana. Apple and peanut butter for lunch, and if we do eat dinner on our own: chicken? pasta, rice etc.

 A family of girls we get to teach.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Provo West Stake Pioneer Trek 2015

Ma and Pa Jensen Family                                  Vanessa & Jewels             

More awesome photo's taken by Michelle Tuinei.

 Eliza               Jewels        Hanna

Brother and Henny Penny

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

First area is on the coast!

Sister Star

Sooo much has happened and I really don't know where to begin.. WELL! For starters I have TWO companions! Sister Starr from Utah and Sister Saedan from Thailand! (Sigh-dun, I just think of sigh-duck to remember her name) THEY ARE THE BEST! Sister Saedan has been here for 15 months and Sister Star has been here for 5. We live in an apartment with one other companionship, Sister Smith and Sister Cava (YSA). All the beds are in the front room while the two bedrooms are used for studying. It's pretty fun :)

Sister Saedan reminds me a lot of Heidi and Camilla Shaw. Just mix those two together and TADA! But she is still learning English so while she can speak perfectly, the accent is sometimes hard to understand. Sister Starr is literally Brianna Carlson XD She's hillarious and just as much of a goofball as I am. Together with some Mongolian Sisters, we make up the UC (university city) 2nd ward! That's in area number ONE of the San Diego mission :) right by the coast! It's beautiful here! And the people are amazing! Like I mentioned in my letter home (I don't know if ya'll have gotten it yet) I have P-days on Tuesdays. If ever you want to send me something do so through the mission office!

My first night here I went out with two Battalion sisters (sister Ownes and Sister.. french girl. woops) And we went street contacting by this harbor park area. IT WAS FUNNY! Sister Owens and I ended up talking with this drunk guy and a women who apparently almost married Joseph Smith's great great great grandson or something. It was an interesting experience ;)

Sister Whitcomb
You can dig for gold at the Mormon Battalion Visitor Center

My first day with my two trainers began with a service project! Every Wednesday we get to go to Grandma's house (she wants us to call her that) and do any little thing she needs help with. Last week we helped her move things from the 3rd floor to the first floor so she doesn't have to make so many trips up and down the stairs. After sometime I got to meet Grandpa! I was warned a little a head of time, he suffers from something like dementia and can't remember most things. He basically helped us out and while doing so giggled the entire time and would occasionally repeat what we told him over and over. He's totally crazy but that experience was so much fun! He won't remember me but he knows I'm a missionary and gets special permission to hug the sisters haha!

Another fun story:
Once upon a time there was a man running down the street with a human leg. Yes. A human leg! Nay, not the entire leg, just the bones. He saw us looking at him funny so HE approached US! We had a fun conversation about bodies and souls and asked if we could talk to him some more. He said YES! We'll be seeing him soon :) (He found this skeleton out for his morning jog. He said someone already took the head so he grabbed a leg. His girlfriend loves dead stuff so... romance)

We have a few investigators and I haven't had the chance to meet them all. The one who's progressing the most is a girl named K. She's an amazing 17 year old gal who was practically abandoned by her parents. She lives with some members in our ward who are AMAZING! This last Sunday we had a lesson with her and we basically talked the entire time about the BoM. IT WAS SO SPIRITUAL! Our mission ward leader was there a long with some of the family she lives with. At the end I asked her to commit to being baptized November 28th and she said YES! She can't be baptized sooner or else she would. Her birth parents won't give her permission for who knows why, so she has to wait until she is 18. sigh... I'll remember that lesson for all  time and eternity.

All is well! Mom take comfort in knowing I'm in the BEST area :) Flying on a plane was crazy fun! I think I wrote about it in my hand written letter home. (Mission President made everyone write home while we were at his house) Take off and landing were the best. I spent most the flight sleeping...(Monday night I only got two hours of sleep at the MTC) Sister Cortello and I sat by a member who lives in Utah but goes to San Diego a lot for work. I would of converted him otherwise. The weather has actually been pretty rainy the last couple of days. Which is nice because of the drought here (every week our water is shut off for a few hours.. not too bad. It was just weird when I tried washing my hands today and nothing came out) OH! Talking about today! I went to the Temple! IT'S "B-A-UTIFUL"!!!! 

I will now spend my efforts in seeing if my camera will work this week :)
-Sister Carlson (or Sister Car.)
Sister Saedan can't pronounce my name very well so... ;)