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Monday, November 03, 2008

If You Could Hie to San Jose -- Oct 27, 08

Family,

So throughout my mission I will be able to use the mattkarlsven@myldsmail.net email address. I can only send emails to immediate family members, but anyone can email me, and I will get back to them as long as they give me their address and are willing to wait for a real non-virtual letter.

This week has been good. I have trouble distinguishing between days because we do mostly the same things on each. I just remember people we talk to.

We taught my first real sit down lesson the other day to a girl named Micaela from Mexico. We brought a ward member, former bishop Hill, and the lesson went really well. We started with the first lesson, and then she asked us why people pray to Jesus and not Heavenly Father. So we went in that direction the rest of the lesson. The Spirit was really strong, but she was still hesitant when we asked her to pray at the end of the lesson. I could tell she was uncomfortable praying in front of others, so I asked her to pray as soon as we left and she said okay. It's a very different feeling teaching a lesson with the Spirit there in the MTC as compared to investigators. In the MTC, a lesson like the one we gave Micaela would have left everyone bawling. But you have to be more patient with investigators to help them understand.

Let's see, we tracted to a home the other day that was full of drunk guys. But they were the friendly type of drunks. Drunk people are a big waste of time to talk to about the gospel, but for entertainment purposes, they're great.

But I'm getting pretty tired of drunk people pretty quick. After it gets dark here (around 6 or 7 pm) everything shuts down except for the few bars in town. One of note is called "Mom and Pop's Saloon." What? Is this like a family restaurant/place to drink your troubles away? So yeah, at night this place is pretty boring and lame. What this town needs is some good church mutual nights, or a nice late-night service project. We're working on that.

I'm getting better at tracting and street contacting. Now I just treat it like a regular conversation and then bring the gospel into it. Example:

Me: Hi, how are you doing?

Person: Oh. Hello, fine, thank you.

Me: Do you live around here?

Person: Yeah, just down 4th street.

Me: Oh yeah? My buddy and I just moved in on 3rd. Nice town.

Person: Yes, it is. I've lived here for 15 years and it's great.

Me: So you're good for getting baptized on the 12th then?

Person: Excuse me?

Me: Alright great. See you then!

And that, my friends, is how you do missionary work.

In response to Dave's question, no I wasn't able to bring along the 40 lb. prayer rock he sent me in the mail. It's in some bushes outside the Dan Jones building at the MTC.

It's too bad I missed Weston's blessing. I'm glad you all had a good time though. But probably about the same time this was happening, I was eating a baked potato and ribs at a member's house. Mmm, mmm, good.

We're trying to think of new ways to talk to people about the church and the gospel. One is to set up a booth with a sign on it saying "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" on it or something and then have some of our materials there to give to people and answer people's questions. Another is to start teaching a class a couple times a week where people can come with questions that can be answered through the scriptures (e.g. Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where do I go after I die? Do robots go to heaven? What about a robot with a human brain? etc.). I'm trying to think of other things we can do just to meet people in a relaxed setting. Any other ideas? Seriously, anyone got anything? Dave and Brigette (or anyone), what are some ways you've gotten word out about your businesses?

We had exchanges with the Spanish speaking missionaries a while ago, and it was a lot of fun. The Spanish speakers were always friendly and thrilled to hear me struggle to say a few things in Spanish. I mostly just played with their kids. Also, lots of Mexican food. Very good.

Well, the library is about to close so I should wrap it up. I hope you're all well and preparing for a safe, wholesome, happy Halloween. Limit your candy-corn intake or you'll regret it later. I speak from experience.

Bye for now!

Love,

Elder Karlsven

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