Monday, December 19, 2011

Working With a Few Cool People

Well, I'm glad you liked the Photos.  First off the short guy is Carlos.  He's one of my two recent converts.  The Five elders with me are Elder Hulme, Elder Anderson, Elder Smith, Elder Peterson, and Elder Kropf.  That’s my current district.  And since that picture I've given myself a haircut.  So you don’t need to worry about that.  The family with the two girls is the Sanchez Family.  They're one of my favorite families, but the night we took the picture was unfortunately the night we helped them move out of the ward.  But they're super cool.  I love Mexicans; they're awesome, and way chill.  When we took the pic at Tom's, we ate there too, but the inside is nothing like the prop on Seinfeld.  But we did find that Pass-A-Long card on the wall.  The long really cool advent calendar that was spread along the wall in one of the pictures I sent was actually from a friend of Elder Hulme.  But I did get Grandma and Grandpa Smigel’s advent calendar.  And I wrote them back.

But yeah, things here are really going awesomely right now.  We're working with a few cool people, but unfortunately a few of our people have kinda dropped off the face of the world it seems.  So yeah, it's slowed down a little, but that’s alright, because it gives us time to focus a little more on contacting and finding people to teach.  So that’s good.  We're working with this one guy named Ramon.  He's an older Puerto Rican guy who's kinda home bound right now, which is hard on him, but we're hoping that eventually he'll be able to get baptized.  I was told that as long as he can make it to the church for his baptism then it's cool.  He's gonna be getting another surgery on his leg soon, and he's hoping that after that he'll be able to walk, even if it's with the help of a walker.  But yeah, he's one of the cool people we're teaching, and then we're also teaching Mark and Angel, who are also both way cool, and things are going well with them.

So that’s about my life right now.  Yesterday we had a Christmas program with half of the mission, because the Church doesn’t want us having whole mission wide meetings, so that was cool.  But it would have been better if the whole mission had been able to be there like last year.  While I'm on the topic of Christmas, unfortunately I still can’t give you a firm plan for our Christmas Day phone call because our day still isn’t completely planned.  But I'll let you know for sure next week.  Plan for around 3:00 your time though.

I hope all is well, and that you all have a great week.

Love, Carson

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some Pictures Finally!

Alright family,  I don't have a ton of time today but I just wanted to at least let you know what has taken place this transfers and also Grandpa Smigel asked me in a letter to tell you what I wanted for Christmas chocolates.

So first Transfers.  Elder Hulme and I are staying together for a forth cycle which is cool.  Even though I wanted to leave and see something new, I didn't want to leave and meet new people, so I am more than happy to stay here again.  As for the chocolates,  I love the chocolate dipped pretzels, and the ju jubes (chocolate dipped - especially the red ones.), and finally of course the toffee, that's a given.

Anyways, so we're doing awesome,  unfortunately one of our investigators moved to the Dominican Republic without telling us and they won't get back until January. On a high note though, Alejandro is now ready to progress.  He's finished with the stuff that kept him from coming to church on Sundays and now he is able to come to church and everything, which is awesome.  The other day Angel came to church (one of our 17 yr old investigators) which was awesome and we're gonna meet with him and Mark, his neighbor, tonight after our P-Day is over.

I sent some pics for you as well, and Mom Elder Hulme is in a couple of them, but it's not just the two of us (actually I think one of them is).  So now you can stop harassing me for them.

Brunilda's doing alright.  She didn't do her reading, but we're gonna go and see her on Friday, teach her the Plan of Salvation and extend her a date.  We are also going to extend dates to Alejandro, Mark and Angel.  So this cycle should be way super awesome!!!!

But yeah, as I said I really don't have all that much to say this week unfortunately.  My Spanish continues to improve and I'm doing my best to learn three new words a day.  I'm also still trying to write in my journal more, even though I'm still not that good at it.

We're also going to be having the Christmas party for the mission soon.  I believe it is next week, but that's about all I've got for this week.

I hope all is going well and that you have a great week.
Love, Carson

P.S.  Where's my letter Sarah?  I thought you said you were going to send one today.  Well I'm still waiting, and Frankly I'm a little disappointed..  JK :)

My current district: Elder Hulme, Elder Anderson, Elder Smith, Elder Peterson, Elder Kropf and Elder Dilling

                       This is the location of Monk's Cafe from "Seinfeld"

Baptism Day with Carlos

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas in the Big Apple

Hey everyone!!

So things here in the Big Apple are really good.  The Last two weeks have just been really good for Elder Hulme and I.  So transfers are next week, the 7th of December.  As for the questions about my Christmas Day phone call, I'll have to get back to you on because I'm not sure what’s happening with transfers yet, so I'll let you know within the next few weeks.  You might have to remind me though!

Anyways, for your other questions:

1.       What is Christmas in New York like? 

Well, to be honest I really can’t remember.  Mainly because the last one was my first cycle, and everything was new to me.  But it's definitely different here in New York.  For one thing, people don’t have houses to decorate, so they normally just put a bunch of wrapping paper on the door.  The other day I saw a giant tree of lights that someone set up in the courtyard of a building.  That was pretty cool.  Maybe if I remember I can get a picture of it.  Tomorrow we're going to put our Christmas tree up, and so that’s one thing I guess, but really it's a lot different than back home.

2.       Are you able to speak with more people during the Christmas season?

I'd probably say no.  Mainly because there are so many people here in New York, that there are always people to talk to.  I would imagine though that people become a little more accepting of things pertaining to Christ, because the holiday is all about him, but in reality, I don’t think it's possible to try to not run into people and stuff.  That’s one thing that really makes this mission unique.  Especially here in the city.

3.       When are transfers and if you could choose, where would you like to be transferred?

As I said, next week is transfers.  If I had to be transferred, then I would want to either go to Manhattan or the other side of the Bronx, mainly because I want to stay here in the city.  But then again, if I were to go upstate I'd want to go to Stanford Connecticut, because I've heard it's pretty cool over there and it's a bit bigger of a city so it'd probably be a little bit faster.  But we'll see what the Lord has in store for me on Monday.

4.       What was a spiritual experience you had this week (or in the last couple of weeks)?

And finally the spiritual stuff.  So yesterday we met with one of the people who attend the English class we help teach.  Her name is Brunilda and she's from the Dominican Republic.  Anyway, we started teaching her about the restoration of the Church and it went really great.  We taught up to the Great apostasy and then decided to watch the restoration video with her to explain the Joseph Smith story and all that.  While we were setting up the DVD she brought in a fan because the room was pretty warm.  So we started to watch the movie and she asked us if we were cold, and that if we needed to we could move the fan.  We said we were fine (because we were) and she said she was as well, but then about 3 minutes later she asked us again and we answered that we were fine, but she said “no you’re not”.  She told Elder Hulme to turn the fan a little so that it wouldn't blow on us and consequently her either.  So Elder Hulme moved the fan and we finished watching the movie.  When the movie finished (she didn’t want it to end) she mentioned how she was feeling all goose bumpy and that the reason she asked us to move the fan was because she wasn’t sure if it was the cold air from the fan or something else.  She said when we moved the fan it continued so she decided that it was God touching her, and after she shared that with us we talked about the Book of Mormon a little.

She shared with us that her and her husband have been having some problems, and that she really hoped things could change and so we promised her some blessings.  We're just really excited to continue teaching her and helping her progress in the gospel and all that, but it was just a really cool lesson.  Beforehand I really didn’t think that she would be all that interested, but that thought has changed.  She is so prepared for this gospel, and I'd sure appreciate you including her in your prayers so that she can work things out with her husband.

Anyways, I hope everything is good and that you have a great week. 

 Love you all!