Open House & Homecoming Talk {info}

Open House @ Carsten's House: August 10th from 5-8pm
621 W Basswood Ave
Queen Creek, AZ 85140
{Ironwood Crossing}

HOMECOMING TALK #1: August 11th at 11am
{Ironwood Crossing} LDS Church Building
41246 N. Barnes Parkway
San Tan Valley 85142

East on the 60
take the Ironwood Dr exit heading south
Go 10 miles
Right on Era Mae {church is at the end of the street}

HOMECOMING TALK #2: August 18th at 11am
{Boulder Mountain} LDS Church Building
10036 East Brown Rd
Mesa, Arizona 85207

From the 60
take the Crismon exit and head North
Go to Brown and you'll see the building on the NE corner

PLEASE choose either date to hear him speak - He's looking forward
to reporting on his mission, and even more EXCITED to see you at his open house to
catch up and say HELLO :)

Letter from Carsten - July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013
(The one where illegal fireworks are all the rage)‏

Well, it was quite a week. It was the longest and fastest week I've had in a long time, it really didn't make sense. the week flew by, but i cant believe that last week was when I gave a talk and we had a BBQ! it feels like that was months ago. so the time warp continues on.

As for the week, it was a bit of a pain finding people, we didn't teach much or find like anyone which was too bad. But we keep going out and working anyways! It was a trying week for sure, but we keep learning lots of good lessons. And that was basically the week!

Still doing great and I cannot believe its like 3 weeks until I go home! Super weird.

love you all!

(new camera my little sister Gabby sent me...I LOVE IT)

Letter from Carsten - July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013
(the one where i gave my first talk in the mission field)

So things have been great, hectic, and fun. Thursday we had a great basically mission conference with President Hall and learned a lot of really cool things, and then got new phones! Yesterday, Tania was able to get confirmed (Elder Linford did it in Spanish!) and that was a great experience. I also had to give a talk on Sunday :) it was cool, usually i freak out and run out of things to say and finish early, but this time it was a good talk, i didn't even feel nervous, and i went over time. they had to tug on my jacket and our ward mission leader was supposed to talk after me but we didn't even have time - oops!
Time continues to accelerate regardless of how close to the end of my mission i am, its pretty surreal. But things are great, Elder Linford is learning a lot and our area is basically without people to teach so we just try and find all the time, and things are great!

Letter from Carsten - June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013
(The one where Tania got baptized)

Well, its been a CRAZY week, though i think i say that every week. But with all the meetings we have had, and various other random things like helping the sister missionaries in our district buy the right bikes, and going to crazy awesome church broadcasts, its been hectic.
First ill start off with the transfer details. We stayed the same, i will finish Training elder Linford and then be transferred to Arizona :P But the mission has gone through major changes! What was before 1 mission is now going to be 2 missions. and the 2 zones that were in the valley before are now 4 spanish zones!
And the district has changed a ton! Hna Hardy, an amazing missionary, went from being training to training right off the bat. shes in her 3rd transfer and is training Hna Allen, whos is hilarious and from utah. And they are on bike in the new sylmar bike area. And the Sylmar car area we got 2 awesome sisters, Hna Redondo from columbia and Hna hansen from Arizona, and they are also hilarious. And Elder Winward is training...again! in a trio, and he wont finish the training because he is going home! And his new companion is Elder Lo'amanu from Utah (but hes tongan).
So the district went from 6 missionaries to 9 in our ward! and its the best district of my mission, we have so much fun! I am like kind of sad that i have to go home :( cause this distric is incredible and the work is great right now and there are so many changes goin on, i just dont even wanna stop! didn't think id ever get to that point but i have, i love it here and i don't wanna leave! And last nights worldwide broadcast from the church started up the technology age of missionary work, what? facebook? blogging? skype teaching lessons, emailing and friend shipping investigators and less active members? yep. Thats all happening, and im leaving! dangit! And missionaries will start spending more time at our chapel on the computers doing stuff and being at the church a lot. its the coolest thing ever, no more dead hour with noone on the streets! Oh these new missionaries dont know how good they got it!
And in other news, We had a baptism yesterday too, and it was incredible. Tania Zamudio, the oldest daughter of Jose, got baptized. it was an incredible baptism, and now the whole family is active in the church and love it all! They are the best family of all time! Tania did so much and has changed so much its crazy! So that was a sweet experience. I got to do the baptizing, which was an honor. and yeah! things are great/crazy/awesome and im doing well :)
love you all!

(new district photo)

Service Project - June 2013

Service Project
(the one where they dug out a pond)

Carsten sent pictures of a service project he and other missionary's helped out with. A family needed a pond structure taken out of the ground, so they all got together to take it out and clean the area up a bit.




Flour Sock Football - Pday fun June 2013

Here are a few pictures from one of Carsten's p-days where the guys filled up socks with flour
and played tag football! He said it got a little crazy, crazy FUN that is!

Letter from Carsten - June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013
(the one where I began the final transfer)
Its official, as of today! I begin my final transfer. I'm staying right here in San Fernando area to end my mission with my awesome trainee Elder Linford! The mission is changing a ton since there's a big mission split in a few weeks, and all the changes in the transfer tomorrow determine which mission each missionary stays in. super crazy!
Things are great, just trying to work hard and not get trunky! But its not too hard, good area good ward good district, and good new companion all make it easier.
This Sunday we are hoping to have a baptism for Tania the daughter of Jose our recent convert. If all things go according to plan anyways! But we are excited for her, and she is sooo excited to be baptized. In the last month she has become a completely changed person. The gospel has taken her and totally changed everything for her and for her family, and she is very happy. She loves to share her testimony of the book of Mormon and the church, and was able to overcome some more very challenging obstacles and is now very ready for baptism! She came to church again yesterday and loved it. and We gave a blessing the other day to her 2 year old daughter so that she would behave in church (it was a miracle in and of itself that she let us give her the blessing) and Sunday rolled around and she was quiet and well behaved all 3 hours! crazy right?! It was way cool. She loves it, she even cam to the fathers day ward activity Saturday too. So yeah things are going great here!
Just lovin life and trying to go out in a blaze of glory (but in a good way!)
Love you all have a good day!

Letter from Carsten - June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013
(the one with a week of hard times)
Well, this week was a little tougher than others. We had tons of lessons planed and brought out a LOT of members with us to all of them, and would even call the investigators the night before. But just about everything would fall through every time. and when the investigators would actually be there, the members would fall through, and we cant go into a house with no guy home, so we just wouldn't teach. so that was tough, but every time that wed had a super hard day, the end of the day there was always something awesome that happened, so i guess its all worth it huh?

Tania, the oldest daughter of our recent convert Jose. She's been doing pretty well, and was having some crazy experiences with prayer. She prayed and asked if the book of Mormon was true, and received a spiritual confirmation that it was, but then would get all the scary visions and images in her mind when she would think about it. and she said she knew it was just opposition. but we gave her a blessing to get rid of them and it didn't do it right away, and then last time she told us crying how her prayers had changed and how it doesn't happen anymore and she is so happy now and has seen a huge difference in the gospel. she was asking us what she has to do to be prepared for her baptism. so yeah things are going great. but then she didn't come to church, and we still aren't sure what happened. we will figure that out tonight.
But yeah, things have been crazy, and hard, but rewarding.
We were also able to confirm Genaveve as well, which was awesome. And other than that just working hard! this week we get to go to the temple, and then its a new transfer! things are great here in sunny California.
Love you all!

Letter from Carsten - June 3, 2013

June 3, 2013
(the one with the miracle weekend)
So things are going great in ole San Fernando! Yesterday was a great day. Jose Zamudio, probably my favorite investigator ever, was baptized last week, and yesterday was confirmed! That was a great experience, and then during church, the ward had interviewed him and he received the Aaronic priesthood immediately! He's doing super well, and loves the ward. He got a strong social conversion, and an even stronger spiritual conversion. 
On top of that, his oldest daughter Tania finally came to church! We had an extremely spiritual lesson with her on Saturday, and helped her know how to gain a testimony of the BOM, and she said she had already prayed and already knows that the book of Mormon is true and is excited for her baptism coming up on! But she just needed to get to church, which she did. and she said that whenever she would think about the spiritual confirmation she got of the Book of Mormon. she would have these strange scary images come to her mind of weird scary things. She says she knows that's just opposition, so she asked for a blessing, which we gave.
If that weren't enough, that night we had another baptism! Yep, Genaveve, Breanna, and Destiny got baptized! they are younger girls we found them knocking, their mom was less active. They were SO excited! Elder Linford and I both did the baptizing,, and since Breanna and Destiny are 8 we did their confirmations right after too. it was a really great night, and a great day in general.
So yeah! things are great here! love it!
PS: My bike and I are coming HOME in 2 months!
See ya SOON!

Letter from Carsten - May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013
(the one where the miracle man got baptized and we biked on a mountain)
Well, its been a crazy week! Jose Zamudio, one of my favorite people iv ever been able to teach, got baptized on Sunday. He was baptized a little over a month before we started teaching him, and since the first time we met with him he hasn't smoked or drank a single time. And he was smoking a drinking a lot before. So he's a miracle. His wife and one of his daughters are very recent converts, and Teresa his wife was soooo happy that he got baptized. We are already preparing them for the temple and they want to be sealed. its been great, he's super awesome and really funny, and reminds me a lot of a Mexican version of my dad. Tall, huge, and hilarious. But he doesn't speak English LOL, he's my Mexican father. But it was great.
And then, yesterday was Memorial Day, so all the libraries were closed, hence the late email. But the ward threw a huge ward party, and it was great! it went basically all day long and they were playing guitars and singing Mexican music, playing volleyball and other games, and there was lots of food, it was great! Even José and his family went, and they loved it, they are already like best friends with the whole ward.
Since it was also p-day so we weren't just gonna chill all day, we decided to be adventurous. so we met the ward at the park, but then we 4 elders went on a bike trip up the mountain right next to the park! And it was awesome, we went something like 3.5 miles in an hour and a half, and then rode down in 13 minutes lol. I was pretty glad i had recently replaced my brake pads and cables! But Poor elder Linford broke his bike. We were pretty blessed, cause it didn't break until the very end of the trail and he was stopped by a nice soft bush. but Elder Linford is huge. and his bike is huge. and his brakes almost don't work. We should have put that into consideration for this trip. Anyways, the brakes finally gave out in the back and jammed the rim, which for some reason then bent and broke to the point where it couldn't spin. It was awesome! But were glad he lasted till the end. and then we took it to our apartment, and i was able to replace it ith a spare rime and gears and lube it up and replace the brakes, so now its better than it was before haha.
But yes! things are great around here! We have another 3 baptisms coming this week, and are super busy! but that's the way i like it.
Love you all!

Letter from Carsten - May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013
(the one where time morphs together)

The MTC time morph is back! Elder Linford brought it with him to California! I feel like Elder Linford has been the only companion of my whole mission cause it seems so long. But i also feel like every week fly's. hence, the MTC time warp. Months are days and days are months. But its good! Elder Linford is learning quickly, and I'm making sure he has lots of great habits and is obedient from the start. He's already a better missionary than I was for the majority of my mission LOL, all that's to President Hall. But he is doing great, people know what he says when he opens his mouth, and he understand so basically everything.

Jose's baptism had to get moved back to this coming Sunday, it was gonna be yesterday but some crazy stuff came up. But he had a cool trial that ended with him reading about the Prophet Thomas S. Monson and gaining a spiritual confirmation that he is indeed the prophet, so he is super ready for baptism now! We go there every night at 8pm...Every night!
And that's all i can think of!
Love you all! 


Letter from Carsten - May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013
(the one where my hijo was born)

Yep, its official, I'm a trainer. My companions name is Elder Linford from draper Utah, and we have now survived one week together! He's a really cool guy, he just barely turned 19 on Saturday. We get along really well, and he has adjusted to things pretty darn fast. He's already pretty used to the daily does of life, and he's getting good at missionary work quick and learning Spanish too!
Elder Linford is starting from basically nothing with Spanish, but its cool cause the people we are teaching will get to see how huge of a difference the gift of tongues will make and that's always cool. Today we will play some sports (YESSSS!) and then go buy him a bike.
His first week here and we found 5 new investigators, 4 of which were knocking doors. And that's more in one week that any other week I've been in this area. so that was sweet :)
Oh and other news, his like 3rd day here his bathroom flooded! and it totally nailed the downstairs neighbors, but they were really nice to us. But yeah, he was like a literal professional carpet cleaner before the mission, so he shut off the water, we dried up some, and then the carpet was drenched, so he just goes ok, lets dry out the carpet and pad, and yanks the whole carpet out of the floor! didn't even know you could do that. But he did, and it was good as new the next day.
And mothers day calls were awesome! Thanks family for loving me and talking to me :) And thus ends my last phone call home....CRAZY! Its gonna fly with my new young companion.
love you all!

Letter from Carsten - May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013
(the one where I was called to train)
Transfers! Elder Garland is going somewhere on bike, and i am training. Yep! I'm getting a new missionary, and training him for my last 2 transfers. Details to come on who he is, where he is from, and if he speaks Spanish or not haha. But that's the biggest news right now!
The areas incredible, the ward is awesome, the bishop loves us, we are surrounded by crazy people, and I only have moments to save and send. so goodbye!

Letter from Carsten - April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013
(The one where Jose had LOTS of good Questions)
Well, things are going great here in old San Fernando. we don't have a ton of investigators, but the ones we do are awesome! For example, Jose is the husband and dad of Teresa and Erica, who got baptized over a month ago. And he didn't ever talk to us before, but all of a sudden we got a call and he had met with our bishop and wants to stop smoking and drinking and change his life! and things have gone great! He's already got friendships with ward members, loooooves church, loves learning, and took notes and wrote doubts from stake conference, which we helped him understand. But he's doing realllly well, and we got to help him set a baptismal date for may, we are pretty excited for him. Every time we go over there it makes our week. he rocks.
We are teaching a few other people that are super cool too, and we have different investigators progressing at different levels, which is good! just working on finding. But knocking is pretty funny with Elder Garland, we have a good time with it. And the ward is still awesome and very helpful. Next week is transfers! we will see what happens. love you all!

Letter from Carsten - April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013
(the one where we had cool miracles)
So we had a lot of cool miracles this week.
One of them had to do with a lot of tiny little factors that led to us an incredible family. we followed a prompting to go to an old investigator and ask for a referral, which as I did I could feel that I wasn't coming up with what to say, it felt like they were being given to me. The person accepted and gave us an incredible referral even though she wasn't at all interested!
And the other cool miracle is teaching a super cool lady that had ALREADY read up to 2 Nephi 4 in the Book of Mormon BEFORE our 1st lesson with her, who then accepted a baptismal date.
So things rock here! 
Today we have a zone BBQ and its gonna be sick!
that's it! love you all!
(my life long goal being realized)

Letter from Carsten - April 15, 2013

April 15, 2013
(the one where Marisol got baptized)
So yeah! biggest, and freshest in my mind is that Marisol got baptized yesterday! I got to this area and we started re-teaching her after a month or so of  no contact, and she was suddenly golden and excited about the gospel!
So we taught her all the stuff and she got baptized! it was pretty cool. She's gonna be a good help for the young women here. and she's already good friends with the girl Erica that was baptized the week before i got here.
We have a few more people similar in age that hopefully could have a baptismal date soon too! so that's been pretty cool.
We do baptisms in the stake center, so i got to see a bunch of people from Arleta and Van Nuys wards that I hadn't seen in a good while! that was really cool! So yeah, yesterday was a good day.
Now we just gotta hit the pavement and knock doors till we find some more people that will progress.
That was the highlight of the week, other than that things are normal, trying to find the prepared and teach with power and authority. Elder Garland and i do really well together, we have a good thing going on, and members started feeding us a little more. And the Elders in my district are hilarious and we get to see them often. So things are good! This week we have a zone conference with President Hall, supposedly it'll be a really good one!
Anyways, love you all! adios!

Letter from Carsten - April 8, 2013

April 8, 2013
( the one where we had general conference an preparing a baptism)

So, general conference rocked, obviously. It was a great recharge for us missionaries to get out there and hit the pavement.

Our awesome investigator Marisol, a cool 17 year old girl, came to all 4 sessions of general conference! And she loved it. she is excited for her baptism this Sunday.

Everything has fallen well into place for her, we are super excited. Other than that we're working hard at finding. The only real finding activity in this area is knocking - we cant even go street contact cause the streets are always deserted. yet there's not enough room on the curb to park your car cause there's already 500 too many parked there! so its not like a ton of people don't live here.

But we knock away. we have a few investigators that could progress so well right now, but things just get in the way. But we will continue working with em! anyways, that's all i can think of!

Love you all!

Letter from Carsten - April 1, 2013

April 1, 2013
(the one where I got transferred with a new companion - Elder Garland aka Bieber)
Well hey! So the big news of the week, i got transferred! yep, no more Palmdale :( I'm gonna miss that place a lot, especially cause we had so much work to do. but that's ok.
Some sister missionaries completely took over our area and should do well with our investigators, and Elder Neff stayed in Palmdale he just went to the other area in the same ward! which is super funny. So he will be able to guide them as they teach our investigators.
I'm in the valley, in San Fernando. The ward is huge and pretty good, the only down to that is that 3 member families live in our area! so that's pretty rough on dinners and findings. We don't get meals with members very often here
Today we went to Costco cause Elder Garland, my new comp, has a Costco card! Got my beloved muffins!
My companion is from Canada, and i call him Elder Bieber. But then he gets upset with me so i take it back -  hes super cool though. I'm his 4th companion and this is his greenie area, he has been in his first area for 8 months. but its a good area, its just really hard to find for me cause i am used to a good area book of people to visit and a lot of members to ask referrals from, and this place doesn't have that. 
I'm used to being able to street contact a lot, but for some reason the streets here are almost always empty, no one walks around. so I'm definitely taking a minute to get used to it. But yeah that's the update! cant think of anything else!
love you all lots, have a good April fools day!

Letter from Carsten - March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013
(the one where 9 people came to church, a kid vomited in sacrament, and we got pink-washed)

Well, its official. I achieved the self-given award of the most hectic Sunday of my mission, but it was sick! some investigators we found the night before came and loved it, we had tons of people at church and they all liked it, and it was great. but we had a lot to juggle with the baptism of Juanita later that day, and keeping everyone on track and happy.

A kid of the new investigators threw up in the chapel in sacrament, which we had to clean in front of everyone! and it smelled bad, but it worked out.

We had to say goodbye to the whole ward and take pictures, because we found out that me AND Elder Neff are being transferred out. so, things have been crazy. this area has exploded with work, we have soooo many people to teach and soooo much to do.

Yesterday we had a baptism for Juanita, which went extremely well, and then next week and each week after that for over a month, there is a baptism here every week. and we wont get to see any of it. this area is nuts, we typically have around 8 people at church! weekly! its so crazy! so things have just been insane. and then, we found out we are both being transferred. and, get this. ITS A PINKWASH! which means that they are replacing us with 2 sister missionaries! oops, gotta clean the apartment better hahhaha :P but yeah its good actually, cause we only teach women, which means its hard for us cause we have to have a guy with us. so they can take good care of the women, and typically, sisters find more men and teach them more than elders, which is what this ward needs. so things are going great.

So thats the update. its crazy, we have more things to do today than like ever before. haven't even started packing lol, and still have a lot to do to prepare the house to take over our area. we will see what happens. anyway, love you all!

Letter from Carsten - March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013
(the one where I had a birthday - I'm 21)

Hey! so our area is so busy! we are teaching tons of people, and we keep forgetting entirely to teach people. we are working on our planning, but things are going well.

We had 8 people at church and some even liked it! and we have been doing lots of stuff here, its really tiring. but things are good!

I had a birthday, but got hit with mega bad allergies that day, that was lame. but i got some cool gifts from family home and members here, and we went to ihop for my birthday lunch with my favorite youth!

So all in all, super good week, super busy work. i don't even remember well what's happened, but I'm out of time essentially so you'll just have to ask me the story of Palmdale when you see me in person after the mission :P

love you all!

Letter from Carsten - March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013
The week of new families to teach!

Hello! So ill just get to the nitty gritty. This week was awesome, and the best part was that we found a sweet new family! they were a referral from our zone leaders who cover our area but in English. so they contacted them and we found them the next day and taught them! they were super cool, la familia Perez. and we invited them to come to church, and guess what?? they came :) it was sweet, but they only stayed for the first hour. but they are really cool, and we are excited.

And the other miracle was Miriam, she is the best ever. she loved all 3 hours of church, has been given all the class manuals by members who she's already friends with, and gave us dinner the other day. she practically seems like a member, its great. and she found out that her good friend and hairstylist is a member of our ward! so things are going great. and that's the update!

Letter from Carsten - March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013
(The one where we baptized Leticia Lopez)

This week was crazy! do i say that every week? i think i do, but oh well its always true. So why it was crazy. Well, i got sick with the flu, and stayed in a members house one day all day long and slept while Elder Neff went and working with another Elder in our area, and then i got back in the game and got 4 flat tires from the tube i bought last week, and things were crazy!

But in he thick of it all, yesterday we had a great baptism! Leticia Lopez was a referral that we contacted end of January, and met with her 5 times before she got baptized! she was super prepared, and we don't even feel like we did anything, but it happened! We woke up at 5 in the morning yesterday to fill up the font (the only time she could do the baptism was BEFORE church) and turns out the water heater was broken AGAIN, so the water was freezing cold. And she has a fear of cold water. Well, she did it anyways, and after she got super dizzy and was feeling really bad after cause of the cold, but then we were able to do the confirmation same day at sacrament meeting right after, and she came out of it all super strong! So she's great, and church was amazing. On top of it we had 5 people at church, which we somehow managed to juggle among the 5 billion other things we were taking care of, and things worked out really well!

So yeah, things have been crazy, but for real. maybe all my other emails say things are crazy without too much meaning, but this week was crrrazy. love it! haha so yeah, have a good week!
(enjoying one of my P-day's hiking)

Letter from Carsten - February 25, 2013

February 25, 2013
The week of sickness
Ohhhhh boy it was a good week - had a lot of goooood lessons, and 7 people came to church! and next week, if all goes to plan, Leticia should be getting baptized! so things are going really well. We learned a good lesson on patience and diligence.
The 2 weeks before we had been struggling a lot to find people home, cause we had lots of good appointments, and then they pretty much all cancelled. but because we kept working super hard, this week we began to see the success, and its been awesome! So lots of good stuff going on.
But then i had a lot of flat tires, and bike problems, and got super sick. so i know were workin hard haha, and something sure doesn't want us to have the success were having! it sucks that I'm sick on pday and cant play sports, but its probably the best day i could be sick cause hopefully we can work tomorrow. 
Anyways, that's it! love you all!

Letter from Carsten - February 18, 2013

February 18, 2013
The week of transfers - we both STAYED!
So yeah, transfers are on Tuesday, and the zone is gonna be changing up a bunch. But Elder Neff and I are staying right here to keep working hard. Which is good, iv been learning a lot from Elder Neff, he's taught me how to enjoy finding, and how to stop and street contact people on the street and stuff, it leads to some crazy conversations haha. According to some people, sin doesn't exist, Jesus hates you, and who knows what else. the point is, there's a lot of work to do in this world, these poor people believe the craziest things. 
So all in all, things are great. lots of disappointments, and cancellations, but Leticia came to church and made friends, and I got to help a youth fill out his mission papers, which was awesome! But yeah, that's the best I got! haha love you all!


Letter from Carsten - February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013
The week we set a baptismal date

Well, it was a good week, and we had a lot of good experiences, like setting an amazing baptismal date with a woman named leticia. she has changed a ton since we first taught her, now she is really interested, and is excited about her baptismal date! so thats sweet.

We had a tough time this week tho finding our investigators, we had like 90 percent of all appointments fall through, but we stayed dillegent. we were out in the street all day every day talking with everyone or knocking or finding, but none of our investigators are going anywhere right now just cause we didnt teach them haha. like 3 we resheduled 3 to 4 times and then they just cancelled. but Elder Neff and i are doing well at being very obedient to the rules, Elder Neff helps me out with that a lot. and things are great!

So yeah, thats the week! have a good week everyone!

Letter from Carsten - February 4, 2013

February 4, 2013
The week I had a bike accident!

So, i had a bike accident - I was riding on the sidewalk behind Neff (btw i freaking hate riding on the sidewalk, more so now) and Neffs large. well i looked down for a second, and looked back up and there was a giant light post in front of me. well, i rammed into it super hard haha, it just hit my shoulder softly, but the bike took a lot of the shock from it, its still perfectly workable, but the fork holding the front tire is super bent back haha. I'm pretty sad i messed it up. but yeah, forgot to mention that, so now you know!
PS:  Pam and Dad, the bikes doing really well, I'm super blessed to not have hardly any problems with it, while all the other missionaries here have crappy bikes, and they fall apart all the time. and i try to keep it lubed and checked up, but its getting a little unresponsive, even after i align the gear and stuff, and i was wondering if i could take it into the bike shop one of these days if it gets any worse to fix it up a little better by someone that knows what they are doing. but idk how much it would cost, and i don't want to just do it without asking. so just lemme know what you think :).

Letter from Carsten - January 28, 2013

January 28, 2013
The week we were robbed!

This week was crazy busy! which was great. First off, we had a super awesome exchange with 2 special missionaries. Elder Maxwell (yes mom, my MTC companion!!!) and Elder Rockhill (who's amazing) are on special assignment to do special exchanges with the entire Spanish speaking mission to help us be more awesome. And it was amazing! i was with good old Elder Maxwell again, a full year and a half after we were last together, and it was amazing! We had lots of miracles and found a lot of super amazing people to teach. IT was absolutely amazing.

Also another cool experience, we have these awesome investigators named Nazario y Rosalba Palomo, they are an older couple, and were referred to us by the bishop of Palmdale 1st ward. And they are amazing! they want to be baptized, and they love us coming over, they always read their reading we leave, and ask good questions and are great. So Saturday we had Hno y Hna  Olivas come with us, cause they are similar and same age and situation, just super solid members. So they because best friends and it was awesome! and yes, it is the olivas that are my family! if i haven't explained yet, my step dad Steve has a brother named mike, who married the daughter of Hno y Hna olivas! so i eat dinner all the time in the house where my aunt was raised, and now they are helping us with this awesome investigator family. They came to church too and loved it! and the olivas were with them in all the classes to help them feel good, it was sick! so things are awesome.
Now for the weird weekly story. last night we come home and I'm like hey Neff, why is the door unlocked? did you leave it again? and he said he didn't think so. well i just assumed he forgot again. so we go out back and put away the bikes. and then we had a good planning session, and figured out the next day, and then he goes hey, lets get some music going i need classical now. and so we go to hit the ipod, and its not there! which is weird, and i stand up and say dude, the ipods are not where we left them, did you move them? he said no, and that's when we figured out that we had been robbed! haha pretty weird huh? too bad they didn't know the missionaries don't have a darn thing of value haha. so we checked the apartment, our cameras were fine they didnt find them, and my gps was still there, so all they took was the 2 ipods haha. but they did look through Neffs camera bag and my suitcase, but that was it! and then neff saw police lights outside, so we went out and talked to the policeman and had him come look at what happened, turns out he was there for the same thing the same way to someone else in the complex, they were robbed ipods and a PlayStation. so yeah, there will be a fingerprint technician coming soon, but the cop was really cool and it was just an interesting experience! so yeah, no worries (especially you mom) alls well, no harm, no more ipod but its whatever! haha and yeah, that was the crazy week!
Have a good week love you all!

Letter from Carsten - January 21, 2013

January 21, 2013
The week we met a "Born Again Christian"

So as a companionship, Elder Neff and i have learned how to enjoy finding, and that if you think it'll be fun and successful, it will. and if not, it wont. and that's the whole equation.

So we have been continually finding and knocking and contacting, and we have found a lot of cool people from it. We taught this one referral named Leticia, shes really cool and wants to learn about the Mormons. and she has a lot of big hard questions, Tuesday night we were asked allllll about polygamy, it was a fun challenge. and we found this cool older couple too and the he cried after we said the opening prayer cause she felt something super special. that was cool, and then we taught them the Restoration and asked them to ask god if the stuff was true and they said they would! so that was cool.

And we taught La familia huereca, the daughter rose is a cool youth in our wards girlfriend. we taught them for the second time scrips out of 2 nephi and asked them to be baptized, and the dad was like no we have all been baptized before and we don't want to be playing with the things of god. well we taught them a bunch of things, and then asked them if they had received the gift of the holy ghost by the laying on of hands directly after baptism, which of course they said no to, and so we explained how baptism without that is pointless, and shard acts 19:2-6 with them which talks about people being baptized AGAIN by proper authority, and then receiving the gift of the holy ghost by the LAYING ON OF HANDS. and it was cool, he changed from no absolutely not to, if it were that i were wrong about this, i would want to be the one to baptize them. so that was really cool.

Then we went on a blitz and the second door we knocked Elder Calder my friend was like i am so sorry, but i really need to use the restroom, and she was like ohhh yeah come in please! and at first she was super nice, but then we ended up being stuck in the for 2 and a half hours. she is a born again christian and taught us all sorts of things about how the father son and holy ghost are one individual being (see Mark 13:32, how could the father know, but the son doesn't? cause they are separate) and that you have to baptize in the name of Jesus and not the name of the father and the son and the holy ghost (as it says in Matt 28:19) so she was nuts and wouldn't let us even speak really. but it was a fun experience nonetheless haha.

So its been a good week! a stressful one but a good one! love you all have a good week!

Letter from Carsten - January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013
The week with my new companion, Elder Neff

So i got a new companion! His name is Elder Neff from Camas Washington, hes 6 foot 5 and has a year on the mission. And he love to work! which is exactly what i needed as a companion, cause with elder reeds sickness, i was getting sick of the apartment.

So now things have picked up a ton! we work all day long and are super busy!

Last night we went and taught the girlfriend of a youth in our ward Armando, his girlfriend is named Rose. So we ended up teaching in Spanglish to her and her parents and sister and 2 other people that were there, and it was awesome! they loved it and agreed to read tho BofM and pray about it, and apparently were asking Armando all sorts of questions after we left so that's super awesome!

Anyways, i love you all very much. but i want to play basketball. bye!

Letter from Carsten - January 7, 2013

January 7, 2013
The week of Transfers

Transfer meeting tomorrow!!! We are stoked.

We know that Elder Reed is leaving, and that he is going to car and going to be district leader again.

And then, tomorrow we find out where he goes, and who i get as a new comp, we will see what happens!

But I'm glad I'm staying here in good ole Palmdale. this areas pretty slow right now, but its got tons of potential, so were gonna resurrect it and get lots of awesome people to teach.

Anyways, that's the whole thing! love you all have a good week!