Thursday, September 24, 2009

Scott arrives in Taiwan

Late Wednesday night, September 23, 2009, Scott arrived in Taipei, Taiwan to begin his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was able to call me yesterday (Tuesday afternoon in LA) before he boarded the plane to Taipei. We had a nice talk for about 25 minutes. He sounded so good!!! He had a great experience at the MTC and was really excited to get to Taiwan. He said he spoke with the airline's workers at the check-in desk as they were all Chinese (it was a Chinese airline). He spoke it fine, but had a lot of trouble understanding them, so he reverted back to English. He knows it will take awhile to get used to the accents and the speed in which they talk. He bore his testimony to me in Mandarin and it "sounded Greek to me!" He was with his MTC companion, Elder Adam, and their two roommates, one of whom is the son of the ex-Governor of Utah (Mike Leavitt) - he's also the former Secretary of Health and Human Services in George W. Bush's presidency. I don't know if I ever mentioned that, but I know Scott did.

At LAX, Scott also spoke with a police officer that was waiting for her flight. She had heard about our church but didn't know much, so he explained things to her. He is excited to go teach more.

He said his P-day (preparation day - basically a day off to do laundry, relax, write letters, etc.) is on Wednesdays. That's Tuesday for those in the US. It's somehow nice to know that Scott is on the same time zone as we are. I liked that with David, too. I hope that won't bother me when we move.

Just now when I spoke with him, he still sounded good, but very tired. I also got to speak with his mission president for a couple of minutes. All is well. (Arvid and I met his mission president and his wife last month when they were here for training. They're from Utah and he is a teacher in the Alpine School District. Nice people.)

Write to Scott! He would love hearing from you!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Scott at the Provo Temple

I "hijacked" this photo from Elder Alex Nightingale's blog. Too bad they're parting ways this week. I may not see any more pictures from Scott! Alex is leaves for Singapore Sunday, Sep. 20, another branch member Liz Clark (in the front row) leaves for Taichung, Taiwan on Monday and Scott leaves for Taipei, Taiwan on Tuesday. The three entered the MTC together on July 8. Bon Voyage!

If you go to Alex's blog, you could click on this picture and actually SEE it as it comes up in a large format. His blog address is:


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September15, 2009

Yeah!! I'm so excited to be going soon! I have about 8 days now. Then on to the plane, and in Taiwan!

... one thing that I've been thinking that I need when I teach. I'm only a small 19 year old, but I know if I'm humble the Lord can make me strong. I might not be the smartest person, or the best scriptorian, but I hope I can help others know of the truth through my own testimony.

We had Elder Hinckley (President Hinckley's son, if you didn't know that, but you probably did) come for the MTC Devotional on tuesday and he talked about a lot of different things, but probably one of the things that stuck the most was a short line he said. "Pay attention to your mission president, but special attention to his wife." It just made me rethink about how important women are in our lives. I'm pretty sure lots of the General Authorities wouldn't be where they are now without their wives. It's also really cool to see how important women are on a personal scale for the Temple. So I guess I just really need to thank you again Mom for all the things you've done for me and helped me grow up. And thanks too Dad for the example and kind guidance you've shown me during the years. I read something in an Ensign yesterday that showed me what kind of parent I need to be. It said to not control your kids, but to guide them to eternal life. I've never felt controlled by you two, but always guided to do the right choices always.

Arvid is flying in to Taipei for business the day before Scott arrives. Regarding this, Scott writes:

That would be soo cool to see you though Dad! I would love to run into you accidently on the street. I'll deffinitly keep my eye out for you while there! I'm glad to hear that all things are going good :) Not to stressful is it?

I'm so excited to go. I can give both lessons in Mandarin now, but my Plan of Salvation one is deffinitely better than the message of the Restoration, but they'll both get better and I still have to remember that I don't know much at all still. Thanks for the advice. I know I need to work hard and I'll do my best to serve the lord and not waste his time.

Hey, I need to go now, but I want to let you both (and Ryan) that I'm always thinking of you and that I love you all!

Elder Scott Carlson, 孔长老


The Carlson boys, David, Scott and Ryan. As this picture was taken, David had been a returned missionary (from the Taiwan Kaohsiung Mission) for 11 days. Scott had been set apart as a missionary for about an hour. It was nice for the 3 brothers to be together for a little while at least!

On July 8, 2009 Scott and Alex Nightingale entered the MTC. Alex and his family, from Australia, are in our branch in Hong Kong. They said goodbye to Alex in HK and we got the honors of escorting him into the Mission Field. After all the goodbyes, Arvid, Ryan and I took them to the MTC (Ryan drove!) for the now-famous "drop-off." No more big, showy farewells. We literally dropped them at the curb and said "So long!" Note the casual clothes - I'm even wearing jeans.

I was able to snatch this picture up of Scott and Alex in the laundry at the MTC - taken sometime in July or August. Alex has an extra memory card for his camera and sends it home every so often for his mom to download pictures. She sends it back, and so on. Lucky them!

More pictures will be posted as I receive them.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September 8, 2009

Wow!!! Ryan broke something again? Well, I guess our family was due sometime... David or Ryan was the last thing broken right? I still have my perfect streak... but then again I'm not playing rugby or doing other crazy stuff... but hey, I'm on a mission. That's pretty crazy I think... giving up 2 years of my life in my prime ages... but hey, It is totally paying off and I love it here. Please tell Ryan I miss him and I hope he gets more girls going after him because of his sweet tackle and injury... haha... actually take back the girl part. He's already got enough running after him.

I can't believe I'm leaving in 15 days! I'm sooo excited! Part of the reason is that I get to bike again, another is that its my companion's first time out of the country (hehe I get to see him get culture shock), but a main part is just serving the people. There's something about going the extra mile to help someone that just makes you love the person. I was at the Church's Referal Center taking calls today, and This one guy called for a Together Forever DVD. He said he found the pass along card on the ground, so he called for it. He's blaming himself for being a bad husband. He said his family is falling apart because he's not a good husband. I sent him the DVD and moreover I talked to him about how our church and Jesus Christ could help him with his family. Family really is one of the core things of the church. I've learned that from both of your examples. After talking to him a bit how missionaries could help him find more happiness in life, he asked if we prayed for people over the phone... I would've been more surprised, but this was my second prayer I've given someone over the phone. The Spirit is so powerful. Even over phones. I really felt it and I wished with every part of my soul that I could help him, but in reality I'm a few thousand miles away from him and I'm just a small 19 year old. It's really neat to witness how much the Spirit is the helper and not the person. I really hope what I said to him helped him. But the thing I took away from that phone call was that it's possible to love someone even though you don't know them. I'm really excited to teach the Chinese people. I don't know them, their culture too well, but I know I have something that's personally helped my life.

I'm doing great though :) This mission is awesome.

I really hope things are going great for all of you though! I love my family :)

Elder Carlson

Thursday, September 10, 2009

August-Sept. Update

Hi Everyone,

I'm so tardy on updating Scott's blog, but no worries, he is doing fabulously! The following are excerpts from his letters the past month. Enjoy!

Aug. 11

So two days ago, We were "SYL"ing (Speak Your Language) at dinner and so everything we said had to be in as much chinese as we knew. I wanted to know the word for chicken, so I stabbed a piece with my fork and asked my table "Zhe shi shei?" (This is Who?)... I asked people who the Chicken used to be instead of what it is. We got a good laugh at that. And then, at night, apparently I sleep talk a little in Chinese. One of my roommates has a "General Authority" voice that he uses every once in a while and my companion said that he was using it as he was sleep talking. It's fun!

Yesterday my companion and I watched a talk from a Richard G. Scott on the Importance of Prayer. It was so amazing because it talked about what I needed to know. God answers our prayers, but not like we'd think he would. He talked about how we'd get an answer by a feeling, through someone else, or by being prompted to open to a scripture and get an answer that way. IT IS SO TRUE. Just about 3 days ago, this was wild. I was reading in Preach My Gospel on the Book of Mormon Chapter. On the last section, it talked about Moroni's Promise. It said that even us as members should pray about things in the Book of Mormon to keep our testimonys powerful. I did, and I expected a feeling, or maybe a thought, but instead, my eyes were directed to the other column of the page on Moroni 10:3-5. It said "My Son, have faith in Christ" and it talked about what I needed to hear in that verse. What I should work on in my life. Anyways, it was just cool to have that experience.

I hope you have a safe trip to Hong Kong this week. Be safe!

Aug. 18

I'm starting to have a great time with my companion and I found the trick to it. Charity. If you just have charity and love the person, stop noticing faults, and serving them NO MATTER what they do or not do, you'll find love and you'll care about them even if they're hard to get along with. So things are great between Elder Adam and I. We're starting to work well with each other.

I love the temple so much! It's just amazing the stuff in it. And how it focuses on the Atonement (or so I've been told). It just has really cool symbols and I learn to appreciate it more and more as I go.

Things are going great! Elder Adam and I taught our first lesson in Chinese this Saturday and I almost taught David, but got a room switch so I would teach someone else, because I dont think David would like that too much.

Haha, so you're still not over Jetlag? Dang. I mean... bu hao yisi! It's the chinese way for saying "I'm sorry/that stinks".

Aug. 25

I really think these past 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) have been the hardest so far. Saturday my companion and I didn't do very well during the teaching practice in Chinese. We just didn't feel like we answered their questions and understood them. Their chinese was SOO fast and hard to understand, but I guess that's what the field will be like. But at the same time, I think yesterday was one of the best days too in a way. I guess God really had to shake me for me to understand how good it is to give service and love everyone you meet. Over the past few years, I haven't been good at that. I used to do it alot as a kid, but these days, I feel like I've been slacking. So yeah, Sunday was a big waking up for that and it feels so great serving. Taking trays, checking up on the new Missionaries (OH YEAH! We're the old group of missionaries now. We're 7 weeks in and they're on their 2nd week now... SO OLD!!), and just doing things to help others out. Our district has been getting sick, and I was privilaged to be able to give a blessing and anoint a blessing for another person in my district. It was a great experience...

But wow! Can you believe that in 12 days, I'm 1/12 done with my mission??? THIS IS INSANE! I guess I'll really have to go to work to catch up and so I can actually work more in the field. I really love it here. I gain so much testimonywise.

I had such a good experience listening to a talk by Elder Holland on missionary work. It was sooo cool! He talked about how we all can't expect NOT to have our own Gesthemanes... Like sure, Christ did pay for our sins, but if we really want to reach salvation and exaltation, we have to have a taste of what it was like for the Savior. It was interesting. He related it to how we can't all meet up in a Football Stadium and Shout: "I'm saved! I'm saved!", but we really need to put in our own effort and works in order to be saved. It was awesome!

Sep. 1

Our MTC devotional was amazing! On Tuesday, we had Elder Richard G. Scott come to talk, and about 10 minutes into his talk, he decided to scrap it and just talk to us about something pressing on his mind. He bestowed on us the Gift of Tongues and then proceeded to talk about the Holy Ghost and how we MUST listen to it. It really felt like he was talking to me because so much of what he talked about applied to me at that time. After sharing many experiences of his own with the Holy Ghost, he talked about how he also knew for a fact that Satan is real. His influences are much more real than we'd imagine. He told us to always use the power of prayer and power of the priesthood we are given in order to defend ourselves. The other really cool thing he did was that he said "As an Apostle of Jesus Christ, and I don't use that lightly, I bestow upon you a shield of protection". It was a physical and spiritual protection he gave us that worked according to our faith and diligence. It was a really memorable talk.

Other than that, Elder Adam was sick all week, so one night he couldn't sleep, so we got up at 12 at night and had to go to the doctor. I felt SOO rebelious. 12 o' clock? I felt like I needed to repent. Well, ok not really, but it felt weird. I just found that funny :)

Hope things are going great for you mom! I really appreciate everything you do! If you ever need to send something to me or get a message to me quick, you can always use and I'll get it the same day. It's free too :)

(Scott always writes other things, too - like answering things in my letters. I don't include everything. It's usually things like this below:)

So maybe you're really busy with seminary or something, but I hope things are going great for you! I heard that H1N1 is going around and I really hope Ryan is getting paranoid and wiping down everything. I really pray you all don't get sick. But other than that, how have things been going?

Hey, well I need to go! I'll send grandma a message right now.

Love you all!

Elder Carlson