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!