Letter from Carsten - July 23, 2012

July 23. 2012
The week of 2 baptisms and Transfers

So last week i was writing my emails, hoe de doe de doe, and i went well, anything else to write? NOPE! and i logged off and left. But it had skipped my mind that i didnt write my big family email to everybody, so oops!

From last week, we had 2 baptisms! Freddy and Jacki Moreno, 2 kids ages 11 and 8. they are the best kids ever! super smart, super obedient, and they LOVE church! their mom was already a member. so they were super excited to get baptized last week, and this week they got confirmed too. but it was my first time actually doing the baptism! i baptized jacki, it was really cool. so that was great haha, the only bad part is that on wednesday they have to move to georgia for work for their dad. so they wont be able to stay :( but at least we were able to baptize them and now they have the info for the other ward as well.

This week, we had ANOTHER baptism for Barbara Penate, the daughter of Irma, who was baptised a few weeks ago. Barbara decided she wanted to be baptised as well, and she studied everything very well. next week she will be confirmed. so that was super cool!

Also, Transfers are today! i am staying here, along with Elder Gabriel for one more. Everyone thinks i will be leaving next transfer cause we are getting 16 new missionaries in the mission. But yeah, im staying another here, and im getting a good friend Elder Fike in the district, he is one of my favorite missionaries ever. so that will be really cool :)

Other than that, i cant really remember much else to report!
Love you all, have a good week!
(Elder Fikes and I at the Temple)

Letter from Carsten - July 9, 2012

July 9, 2012
The week of 2000 water baloons

Well, Irma was confirmed on Sunday. BY ME! It was super scary, especially since i had been super busy and scatterbrained, and forgot that i had to do it. so i borrowed a missionary handbook in Spanish and figured out how to do the prayer really quick. don't think i messed it up TOO bad, the important part is that she has the gift of the holy ghost now. The other cool thing, her daughter, who i didn't think would want to get baptized for a while, told me that she wants to get baptized soon! That's always a good thing to hear from an investigator. But yeah that was good.

On Wednesday we had our sweet district BBQ -  i made steak quesadillas, the best thing i have ever made. anyways, that's really the whole thing this week!

Oh, and also, today were having a sweet zone activity! Its a giant water balloon fight!!! we already filled up just about 2000 balloons, we are gonna destroy! So that'll be fun haha.

Okay -  that's all i got,
love you people!

(I'll post the name of this family after Carsten lets me know who they are)

Letter from Carsten - July 2, 2012

July 2, 2012
The week of Irma's baptism
Hurray Irma got baptized! Were super excited for her - she was so ready its not even funny. She was prepared from the start. now next week she gets confirmed, and hopefully we will get to teach her daughter and husband too. we will see what happens there - but she is super happy. I took pictures - I'll have Mom post them as soon as I get them to her.
And The Moreno's came to church! She is the mom - a member and very nice. Her husband isn't interested right now, but says he doesn't care if we teach and baptize the kids (ages 8, Jackie, and 11, Freddie) and these kids are AMAZING! they are the best behaved kids iv met, they are super smart and always ask great questions. and they got to go to church for the first time and absolutely love it! Jacki already has her mind made up that she wants to be a teacher in the church. And during sacrament, i passed notes to them and we had a question and answer thing over the notes, it was really fun - they rock. should be baptized on July 22nd.
And Jose Ulin should get baptized this month too (we hope) he's awesome! His wife is a member. So yeah! things are going really well.
We also had a sweet missionary activity where we shared a lesson and then played volleyball with the ward, which was really fun! that was Saturday. Next week we have a zone conference with the new mission pres and then interviews with him too - so things should be good!
That's all i got!

Letter from Carsten - June 25, 2012

June 25, 2012
The week of Elder Gabriel's BIRTHDAY
Well, what more can i say other that, things are going very well in the hood! We have a few baptismal dates, one of which is this Sunday! Her name is Irma, and she is SUPER golden. She even went to the bishop just to ask how long she needed to get baptized. Its perfect. we are stoked. And we should be setting a few more dates here soon. But yeah, the work is great, and lots of people like to listen to us, probably cause my companion Elder Gabriel is from Mexico and clicks with like everyone! Hes good, we are doing well.

(Elder Gabriel with his Birthday Cake - just before it went all over his face)
It was Elder Gabriel's birthday on Thursday, so we went to our favorite family, la Familia Navarrete to have a second dinner and some cake and party - it was way fun, and the best part was Elder Gabriel getting cake shoved ALL over his face and white shirt!

(This is what birthdays look like in the mission field)
The missionaries and members here are a lot of fun.. Oh and we also got to go to the temple on Tuesday, which was a wonderful experience. i learned a LOT there, more than i usually do which was awesome. we had a really smart guy give us a talk before we did a session, and i learned a lot. can't wait to go back and learn some more. it was a great experience tho.

So on Friday, our new mission president steps off the plane and officially becomes the new president of the Cali San Fernando mission! I'm gonna miss President and sister Martin a lot, they have been incredible to us, they are basically like our mom and dad out here. No idea what to expect with the new guy, and Pres Martin says he isn't telling him ANYTHING good OR bad about the missionaries - he will have to figure it out for himself! But it will be cool, we have a farewell training from the Martins on Tuesday, and soon after interviews, and a mission wide zone conference with President Hall. It will be crazy times!

Anyways, that's about all i can think of going on here!
love you all, have a good one

Letter from Carsten - June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012
The week of the robbery

This week went by suuuper fast! and you know what that means, means we were super busy! This area is awesome - we have TONS of investigators, knocking is actually semi-effective, we set baptismal dates all the time, we get lots of food, we live in the same complex as 2 cool missionaries in our district, and we played succor today. i love it.

Elder Gabriel is my comp, hes from Mexico and has only 3 months so far on his mission, he's a greenie. but you wouldn't know it! hes a really good missionary and he follows the spirit very well. and he can connect with the people well, because he is funny and hes seriously always laughing! He's a freaking paisa. so that's pretty cool, we have a lot of good work and people genuinely interested in the gospel, just yesterday we set a date for the first of July! shes only been investigating less that 2 weeks and her baptism date is in less that 2 weeks haha that's sweet. her daughter should follow right after her, and maybe even her husband. her name is Irma. We have some other good investigators too, ill give more info on em as more things happen.

The area is super sketchy here. 3 days ago, Elder Shuar got robbed. He was borrowing elder Bentons bike, and they locked it and went to their apartment for a few minutes, and when they came back they left his comps bike, but stole the one he was borrowing from Benton haha it was pretty funny. the missionaries around here are awesome tho.

(my bike)
Yesterday, i ate cow tongue for dinner, and it was actually great! halfway through they were like dude i think this is cow tongue. and i just pretended it wasn't until i finished it. but it tasted great haha. just like regular beef!

So being on bike is really fun actually. I like to ride, the only sucky part is that its wayyyyy too hot here to ride bikes. it gets sweaty quick. but guess what i had to do to my bike :) i wrapped the whole thing, as much as i could, in plastic wrap and then duck taped over all of it. so now its got duck tape everywhere and it looks ghetto, that way it wont get stolen. cause its a freaking nice bike! i changed the seat too, the seat was super nice and they will steal it right off with the quick release. so i changed it for a crappy extra one laying around, so it looks terrible, but it rides like new. :D and we have 2 u-locks, which they cannot cut. i put mine on my front tire so they wont take it. (that has happened to elders a lot here too) its funny!

(Brother Carlon with family)

In other news, on Saturday i managed to get a ride and we went back up to Leona valley to see the baptism on an investigator from my last ward. His family were members, but we taught him when i got there and we just helped him quit smoking. That was awesome, and now he got baptized, and next month he will baptize his son when he turns 8. its sweet. Brother Carlon is his name. I got to see some good people there too that i missed. it was awesome.

(Brother Carlon and his wife)
Well, cant think of anything else to write, tho I'm sure i forgot something important - Oh well! love you all!
Con Amor,