Letter from Carsten - Januray 23, 2012

January 23, 2012
The week of Zone basketball

Dear Family,
We seem to have less and less time every P-day. Today we have an appointment at 4pm.This weeks been really good - we've had a pretty successful week, and were starting to find lots of really solid awesome people that are actually prepared.
So were kinda prioritizing who we teach. We were teaching Rene, one of our best investigators, and right before we teach him and his wife this guy calls him and started making fun of him for listening to us and telling him he shouldn't. So theres always opposition, and its super annoying. Were hoping every things okay, but you never know how it goes.
We found this guy named Jose, and he is AWESOME! He opened up to us and told us all these awesome stories about how he became religious, and his thoughts, he's a really smart realllllllly humble guy, and he is always really appreciative of everything we do for him, its pretty cool. So he is awesome.
And lately when we go knocking, we've found some good people to teach, which is nice. usually its not very fruitful. so we are counting our blessings. We had a bunch of people at church! Two less active families that we've been working with forever, and Rene and his kids. that was really awesome, so things are really turning around for the better. 
The district is awesome, we are all super close. We have a lot of fun as a district all the time, and get along well. On Wednesday we had district meeting on the roof of the target parking garage. (see pictures below)
And today we all got together with some others from the zone to play basketball. It's raining outside! its awesome, I miss the rain. So overall, things are great!
Hope you all have a good week! love you,
Con Amor,
Carsten's California Mission ACTION shot
Carsten's District Missionary's
District Meeting on top the Target Building

Letter From Carsten - January 16, 2012

January 16, 2012
The week of the Apple Store

Hey family how are you?

This weeks been a good one - Today we played indoor soccer for the last time -  we had a really fun time. Our awesome investigator Rene came too! He was good.. He's older tho so he hurt his ankle  which sucks. But he'll be okay. We had a lot of fun.
I think the Apple Store doesn't want me on their computers much longer, so this will be quick lol.
This week we taught a miracle lesson with The Lopez family, it was awesome. He's never wanted anything to do with us but recently called us to schedule an appointment with us. And it went really well, he asked lots of questions and was really cool, he has lots of potential. and is really important to his family to learn.
We also found a really cool young family that kept talking about never having the opportunity to talk to the missionaries. so that was really cool too.
Other than that, not too much - just having a great time and excited for next week!
I love you guys, hope you all have a great week!
Con Amor,

Letter from Carsten - January 9, 2012

January 9, 2012
The week of Paster Bob and Paster Stephen

Dear Loved Ones,

How goes the life? Great I'm sure. I'm currently in an Apple store writing my emails. its freaking me out cause there's sooo much awesome technology, i don't know what to do in here! I like technology! Maybe the mission will get I-Pads soon. it would be extremely efficient, honestly. I wouldn't be surprised.
Today's been good, we played basketball for 2 hours, and then have been cruising the mall looking for hat stores, ate some really good burgers, its great. my district is awesome, we have a lot of fun. And soon we will go do some shopping.
(one of  their investigators during the holidays)

As for mission life, its been good. its a little tough lately cause we haven't been able to find ANY of our investigators, everyone is being really sketchy. So its tough to teach lessons when we spend the whole day driving from place to place. but nonetheless we have fun with it, and when we do get in its always a really super awesome lesson. so, its a little tough, but we have this plan to go reactivate all the less active members in our area (there are many) so that should be good and get us a lot of referrals.
I still love Elder Marçal, the man is great. We get along well, and we teach really well together. He brings some good new fresh ideas to the area, its been really nice. and he's a smart guy. I'm glad he's around, its good.
(Carsten's new companion Elder Marsal - yes we've told Carsten his tie is WAY to SHORT)
The other day we were walking to our car and some crazy raspy voice yells HEY ELDERS, GET OVER HERE RIGHT NOW so obviously, we immediately head over there to figure out who the heck knows we are elders. And its some (maybe homeless) bearded man, and his friend who was similar. He said their names were Pastor Bob and Pastor Stephen, although i highly doubt it. But they invited us to a homeless person lunch at their Lutheran church, which we didn't go. But they were crazy, and talked to us about some bible stuff. it was a pretty silly experience. They were super funny though. 
Later we went to an investigators house, and her roommate was there. He was trying so hard to bible bash with us, it was funny. When they bible bash they speak for a solid 3 minutes straight till the point where you forget the subject, and then when you return to what your talking about with a simple straight to the point answer, with bible references, they get all upset and go on talking for another 3 minutes, its hilarious. They just get so mad, its ridiculous how little people really know about the bible, but they still love to bash. We just answer the question, say something that will make them leave. Then we taught our investigator after a prayer to bring the spirit back. It was good tho, cause it showed her the difference. The spirit of contention is of the devil, but as soon as he was gone and we had prayer the spirit was strong, and everything taught actually made sense. so it was cool, she got to see the light and the difference between the truth, and bible bashing.
It is so ridiculous how true this church is, i love it. there is sooooooo much physical evidence, as well as tons of obvious evidence in the bible, but we don't teach anyone that. Cause if we did we would be like any other church. Instead we teach the simple truths, and ask them to have the faith to ask God themselves if this is the truth. Its as simple as that. And then when you know its true, its really fun to start and learn about all the concrete evidence of the truth and fullness of the church. its so fun to discover this stuff. But yeah, we've been having a lot of fun, and working real hard.
Other than that, i can't think of much more. Just living the life as always. It's always interesting here, and I'm having a good time.
I love you all, and i hope you have a good week!
Con Amor,

Letter from Carsten - January 3, 2012

January 3, 2012
The week of the new companion - Elder Marsal from Brazil
Dear Family,

Well, its been a stinking crazy couple of weeks! First of all, sorry i didn't write last Monday, we literally ran out of time because of transfers. and yesterday all the computer places were closed. So we are here today getting emails done finally. so much to do.

First of all, i have a new companion! his name is Elder Marsal. He's from Brazil, and lives in Utah, and is totally awsome and hilarious! He's re ally smart, a good teacher, and we get along great, its amazing. Right away we clicked and so were good friends. From the beginning we have taught smoothly together, its nice. He is very knowledgeable on the bible, and i am with the Book of Mormon so we make a good team. He is extremely good at soccer, and does lots of cool stuff, including speak Portuguese. So yeah, this transfer will be a good one.

(My Christmas Tree)
I miss Elder Troy very much, but that's life in the mission.

As for Christmas and new years, they were good! Christmas we had a bunch of dinners with different families and had a really fun time. And new years was fun too. We were tracting after dark and we looked at each other and went wait....what night is it? And then we realized it was new years eve, so we were like dannnnnnng we need to get home soon, its gonna get dangerous on the streets soon. So we went and visited this lady we teach really quick, and then we both just got a huge feeling like omg we need to go home right now. so we got outta there and drove home really carefully, and just spent the night reading or whatever in the apartment. went to bed at a normal time haha. i like sleeping, and we cant afford to stay up anyways, so it was okay. i had a good time.

As for the investigators, there isnt much new going on, since it was the first week as a companionship things were a little slow. but i feel like a lot is about to happen, and were almost always busy. But other than that i dont remember what else there is to say haha, just that im busy and happy and learning and teaching a ton! things are great :)

Love ya all, have a great week :)
Con Amor,
Elder Ellsworth
(p.s. i started P90X last night! danggg its crazy hard, i loved it! i liked that it was just simple things like different push ups and pull ups but arranged in such a way to do a lot of work. it was awesome! im excited about it :) so im a P90X guy officially now. its pretty legit stuff)
Here are a few pictures of Carsten with some of the other missionaries in his area

No letter this week December 26, 2011 - Transfer Day

It was SO AWESOME talking to Carsten on Christmas day. There won't be an e-mail today because it's transfer day. His current companion Elder Troy is being moved to another area to be District Leader. He's been such a great help to Carsten the past few months helping him get settled in his first area and helping him tons with his Spanish! Carsten had nothing but GREAT things to say about him!

Elder Troy & Elder Ellsworth
December 2011