Monday, January 26, 2009

Good Times

South Texas

Dear Family & Friends,

This week was great! Yesterday we had an investigator who is Jewish attend Sacrament meeting with her kids!
We have transfers on Wednesday. It's really up in the air as to who will go or who will stay.
This past week was full of ups and downs. One of the former bishops of the ward passed away from cancer on Tuesday, and on Friday, services were held at the chapel. He was pretty young, only in his early 50s, but the funeral was very upbeat and the family seemed happy.
Yesterday we were at this apartment complex going to meet an investigator, and while we were waiting for her, there were these Cuban guys next door blasting some salsa music and BBQing and stuff. The one guy who lives there recognized us and BBQ'd us some food! I don't know how we scored that!
Mom, I got the package you sent with the journal and candy and stuff! Thanks!
The weather here has been great. Today (P-Day)we went frisbee golfing at this course in Ingleside. It was a super nice day and very scenic and we had a really really fun time. I'm hoping that I stay here at least one more transfer, because we have a lot of really good things going and I'm really starting to love it here. We'll see what happens,I guess.
I love to hear from everyone who writes, keep sending me letters, it's helpful. Pray for us to keep finding people to teach, too.
Elder Carreon (Ryan)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Missionary work in South Texas is great!

More of the Gulf

Beautiful View

A New U.S. President and a Prayer Request

Dear Family & Friends:
So today we have a new U.S. President! Even though I'm basically missing some of the historical stuff going on right now, (I don't watch TV) I know that I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do at this point in time.
This week was pretty cool. We had our interviews with Mission President Miller. Mine went very well! I also got a letter from our recent convert in Brownsville. She is doing amazingly well. Every letter I get from her is amazing. She just got called to be a Primary teacher for the 4-5 year olds and her mom is the Relief Society secretary. She keeps saying that she want to go on a mission, and in July she will be 21 and have one year in the church and be eligible to go!
This past Sunday I went with Elder Hartner to the Spanish Branch in Corpus because he had a Spanish investigator that wanted to attend. The Spanish guy had a lot of opposition to overcome just to get to church! That morning, he had four flat tires, and when he went to turn on his air compressor, it caught on fire! He didn't have much gas in his truck, so he had to syphon gas from something else (some kind of yard equipment, I think) to get enough gas to make it to Corpus and back. Thankfully, he was able to make it.
Apparently Portland is a very diverse place. So far we have met four people from Germany, two people from Korea, and people from Spain, Mexico, Poland, Sweden, France, and Japan! It'll be interesting to see who pops up next.
We have transfers next Wednesday. I think I'll probably stay and Elder Veater will go, but who knows. Elder Valentine from Elma, Washington said that his hometown was super flooded with all of the snow melt. Is Seattle flooding at all?
if you could all do me a huge favor and pray that a recent investigator comes to church Sunday and that her husband's heart is softened, we missionaries would appreciate it. Also, Elder Valentine and I are going to sing in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday, so pray that we'll do well!
I hope all is well. Thanks for the letters and packages. They are great to receive!
Elder Carreon

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Portland, Texas

City Across the Bay

Street Scenes

South Texas Humor

Winter Texans and Missionary Work

Dear Friends and Family:
Already I am facing transfers in two weeks, and we think that one of us will most likely go to a new area, but you never know until it happens! We got a new Ward Mission Leader yesterday. The old one is in the Navy and will be speniding the next six months in Bahrain and then will move with his family to San Diego. Unfortunately, that happens a lot in this Ward since it's pretty heavily attended by Navy people. The new guy looks like he's going to be awesome and do some great things for the work around here.
This week was really really cold. We keep having bi-polar weather. One day it will be 75, and the next day we get a cold front and it will be in the 40s. I'm also surprised at the number of winter Texans, people from other parts of the country that come to South Texas to spend the winter because it's a lot warmer here.
Every other Tuesday we usually try and go to this place called the "Big Fisherman," but lately it has been super super packed with the line around the corner because a lot of winter Texans have come into town.
The missionary work has been going pretty well. Although some people won't even give us the time of day, there are still a lot of really nice people. We are actually talking to this one Jewish lady that used to live in Arizona and knew a lot of LDS people. She said she is facing lots of persecution here in town. She had a lady tell her she was going to hell because she's Jewish, and the staff at the school that her kids attend wouldn't let her take her children out of school for a Jewish holiday because they "never heard of it." She said that she is willing to give our church a try. She also said that one day she decided that she was going to wear her Star of David necklace, and while she was at Wal-Mart, a member of the church came up to her and commented on it and that they had a really friendly conversation! Anyway, keep the missionary efforts in your prayers.
Thanks for the letters and such, I very much appreciate them.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Elders Clarke and Carreon

The Beautiful Gulf

The Bay

Texas State Aquarium and Bilingual Scriptures

Hello Everyone:
This week was great. Yesterday we went to the Texas State Aquarium! It was way awesome. They had a really cool dolphin show and some other cool exhibits. Our New Year's was pretty fun, too. We had to be in before 6 p.m. for saftey reasons and so we just sat around and talked and played cards and stuff for a few hours with some othet missionaries. New Year's was surprisingly quiet in Portland. Other than that, this week has been pretty normal. Yesterday we talked to this guy who had a dead pig hanging out of the back of his truck. I guess they had just killed and dressed it and were letting it air out or something like that. The weather here has been really weird lately. It was 80 the other day and then all of the sudden, this big blast of cold air came and it got super cold for the rest of the night. Someone once told us, "If you don't like South Texas weather, then just wait a minute!" It's a very true statement! I also got this really cool biligual Bible the other day when we were in Corpus. It has Spanish in one column and English in the other. It's a really nice addition because a lot of the time, we have to carry around both sets of scriptures because sometimes we teach in Spanish and sometimes we teach English. I hope you enjoy all of the pictures I sent. The other memory card never did turn up huh? Oh well keep hoping. I hope you all have a great week.
Elder Carreon

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Feliz Navidad

Elders of South Texas enjoy the Holidays

Asking Santa For People to Teach

Christmas Morning

A Brand New Year

Happy New Year. My companion and I both had to give talks in church on Sunday. We only had a few days notice, but there was hardly anybody there anyway because most people were out of town for the holidays. The ward is super tiny already, and plus with the holidays it wasn't very full. Never-the-less, we both felt it went pretty well and were grateful for the opportunity to speak.
We had Zone Conference this week on Tuesday. It was awesome. Santa came and we did a gift exchange. We also had a musical devotional and it was great to have the missionaries from the Corpus, Sinton, and Laredo Zones all together.
Christmas Eve a bunch of families from the ward got together and went caroling for a few hours. it was so much fun! Christmas Day we went over to the Dement Family's house. They have tons of kids, and so we played with them and helped them put together their Christmas stuff. They were all really excited to see what Santa had brought for them. We then went over to the retirement home down the street and went caroling and finished our day at another member's house for dinner. It was a very fun Christmas. Tell everyone thanks for the gifts they sent me! I hope that all is well and that everyone has a safe and fun new year!