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Thursday, January 01, 2009

December 1st email

Dear Family,

Okay, so this week I did two things I've never done before in my life: Go into a Catholic mission, and set up the altar in a Catholic mission. We're volunteering through December with the Mexican theater here, El Teatro Campesino (founded by Cesar Chavez) for their musical La Virgen del Tepeyac, which they are putting on at the mission. It's all in Spanish, but I'm pretty sure it's based on Mormon doctrine. Just kidding. We help set up and take down the props as well as the things on the altar. Lots of fun. We get many strange looks, and several people have asked me why I'm there. I just smile and pretend I don't speak English or Spanish. It should be good, especially in such a Catholic town, so people can see that missionaries are regular people. Also, my fake German accent is improving.

One thing is for sure, your testimony has to be strong here. Mostly people have misconceptions about Mormons. For example, we asked if we could put some pass-along cards at a restaurant here, but were rebuked by a Catholic manager who said our cards advertised something exactly opposite of what she believes. The cards had a picture of Jesus on them. Huh?

The members here are awesome. I've never depended on church so much to uplift my spirits. Missionaries are like celebrities at church, in that everybody knows our names, but we don't know theirs. We have a great ward mission leader, whose grandson happens to be Austin Collie, so we always get updates on BYU football. Sounds like they blew it pretty bad against Utah.

As for Christmas presents, CDs are nice. Possibly the Prince of Egypt soundtrack and the Braveheart soundtrack. Other than that, just good food, I guess. The church members load us up with food, but often it is just their expired home storage. Also, no peanut butter. For some reason everyone thinks we need peanut butter. We have literally 8 jars of it in our cupboards. 8! And I know someone out there is thinking it would be just hilarious if they sent me some more peanut butter. Don't do it.

I love and miss you all, especially during the holidays. A lot of the people around here remind me of certain people back in Provo. It's more weird than comforting.

Happy holidays! Enjoy the coming snow for me!


-Elder Karlsven

P.S. If anyone wants to email Kamalei on his mission, his email address is

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