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!

Letter from Carsten - Decmeber 31, 2012

December 31, 2012
The week Katie was confirmed, and we met a stray Husky dog

So as usual things are crazy. Katie was confirmed yesterday, and tonight's Christmas eve! this week reed was sick again so we didn't get to do much, but Thursday we had a great planning session nd started the area by scratch by dropping everyone and finding all new people! which has paid off, because we keep receiving ridiculous and awesome referrals! so that's really nice, haven't had to knock too much yet, i still hate that :P anyways, things are good. it snowed the other day, that was a pain for the biking stuff ha ha, so i bought myself some long johns today cause my legs get COLD! but i have a sweet jacket. the only thing i need are some ear muffs, Walmart doesn't sell em, can you believe that? i was disappointed in them ha ha.

So weird story this morning after shopping, there was this stray miniature husky. it was brilliant white with pretty gold eyes, and it was so nice! well, it followed us home and we couldn't let it suffer in the cold, so we let it in and gave it water. we spent 2 ish hours with it and never heard it bark or growl, and it sniffed around but didn't tear up anything or eat any scraps by the garbage. it was the most well behaved dog iv ever seen! well, we called tons of people, and eventually the husband of the manager of the building took it to his house, hes a dog lover. so hes gonna take care of it till someone shows up, or just keep it ha ha. we both really wanted to keep it ha ha it was the nicest thing ever! sad to see it go.
that's the story. I gotta go now bye love you all!

Letter from Carsten - December 24, 2012

December 24, 2012
The week we baptized Katie Bustamante and Christmas!

What the what its Christmas tomorrow? and in Latino culture today?! i swear a couple days ago it was just Halloween, things have flown by for sure. Were stoked to open all our presents in the morning and then go to Norman Ovando (awesome member)s house and skype/call home! so excited :) Have questions prepared to ask me or something, cause as soon as i call ill probably forget whats happened in the last year and have nothing intelligent to say over the phone. haha you know me :D

So yesterday we had our 3rd baptism in a row of Katie Bustamante, the daughter of Rosa who got baptized recently. Katie went through a lot of trials and finally took the plunge! ha ha. and on top of that Isabel was confirmed as well, which was also awesome. so we were pretty stoked. The only problem with her is that now today or tomorrow the electricity will be shut off, the gas was already shut off (they are freezing in that house) and then at the end of the month they are homeless anyways aha, so that's not good. but shes doing everything gods asked her, so some miracles bound to appear real soon. just keep praying for her with us!

Other than than not much happened this week, Elder Reed was suuuuper sick and so i left the apartment 2 times to work, and both we had to do exchanges. but another thing i forgot to mention is Tuesday we got to go to the temple in Santa Monica! it was amazing :D i learned even MORE this time, and it was a really good spiritual recharge. but then that night we went Christmas caroling, and that's when reed got mega sick lol. were hoping I'm not next!
Anyways, i love you all very much :)

Letter from Carsten - December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012
The week we baptized Isabel Chavez and confirmed Olivia Bustamante

So yesterday our investigator Isabel Chavez got baptized! We first met her about a month and a half ago but she was super prepared for the gospel. shes had some of the craziest challenges iv ever seen but she overcame everything that Satan threw at her and got baptized anyway. she cant work cause she has a young daughter and lives alone, her 8 y old son has some bad behavior disorders, and she just moved to palmdale so she has no friends and her family don't like her and reject her. The day of her baptism she was told she has a few weeks to be out of her house, she got kicked out for not paying rent and got the electricity turned off too. So can you say trials? We can, goodness. But for the good part, she got baptized! and now has a lot of strong friendships in the ward, 2 one of which had her over at their house many times so we could teach her and gave her food, and another family that took her to church, then took her home for lunch, then took her to her baptism, then invited her to their dinner with us, and then offered her to live with them temporarily in their extra room. for real!!!!! instant blessings upon doing what god asks, and now she has a place to live, lots of good friends, friends in the ward for both the kids, and next week the gift of the holy ghost! so there have been a lot of miracles with that. pretty cool huh?
(Holiday cooking)

Olivia got confirmed yesterday too, which was awesome too. and next week, if all goes according to plan, we got ANOTHER baptism with Katie Bustamante! so things are freaking awesome here! Decembers the best month for missionaries.

love you all and have a good week :)

talk to some of you like...next week!