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 DearElder.com 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

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