Friday, September 21, 2012

Hogar Dulce Hogar

Well.. I'm officially home. (well I've been here since monday.)  Just wanted to throw out a quick thanks to anyone who followed my blog/mission.  It was definitely a worthwhile experience, and I wouldnt change it for the world. 

Thats about it though.  Thanks Again, Carson

Friday, September 14, 2012

Coming home early!

Yesterday we received an unexpected phone call from President Morgan, Elder Dilling's Mission President.  He informed us that Elder Dilling's Visa expires Sept 18th and this was overlooked by Salt Lake Mission Headquarters.  So this means Elder Dilling will be coming home on Monday Sept 17th!  We are excited to welcome him back and be with him again!

The Dilling Family

Quite a Few Investigators

Yonkers is a pretty nice area, although I'll admit I've never actually seen the front of my building.  We always enter through the garage and then get to our apartment from there.  I've never even been into the courtyard.  But life is going pretty good.  It is definitely getting a little harder to focus on missionary work, but be assured that I'm not letting that natural man win.  I'm working very hard to stay focused on what I'm doing here, and things are going quite well.

We have quite a few investigators right now that are all doing pretty good.  This one family in particular is really awesome.  We just refer to them as Marta and family because it's her kids, her brothers and sisters, and their kids and husbands.  All in all we generally have about 8 people in that lesson every time we go to her house.  She was found by the sisters when one of their members called them and said he wanted the missionaries to visit his sister (who was having some health issues for which she has successfully been treated and is now recovering).  So we've been teaching them a number of times, and they've come to church a few weeks which is cool because it fills our chapel to capacity pretty much every time they come. 

Just a quick note about my chapel...it's in a rented building.  The church is working on getting an actual building, but it hasn’t happened yet.  Also it has many problems; the biggest one being that every time it rains outside, it also starts to rain inside.  The other day we went to the church and ended up collecting enough water to almost entirely fill one of those big garbage cans.  It was ridiculous!  So yeah, the church is working on that, and I'll definitely get some pics of all that.

Anyways, so we've been working with them, and I definitely feel that they'll eventually get baptized.  It might take a little while, but I can really feel of the generosity and desire to learn.  Also, about three weeks ago after one of our lessons they made some food for us (and them) and then we were talking about food and what we like and stuff, and I made a comment about a type of Mexican food that I hadn't tried and wanted to try called Mole (Mole-eh).  Then the other day when we went by we finished our lesson and they informed us that they had made us some Mole just for me.  That was way awesome, and I'm definitely going to miss them when I leave.  But till then I plan on continuing helping them receive and understand the gospel. 

But yeah, that’s about it for that.  We've also got some other pretty cool investigators who we're teaching, and the work here is going way good.  As for your other questions, I’m loving driving again. It's one of my favorite things to do, not really sure why, but I just really enjoy it (that, and listening to music).  But driving in Yonkers is definitely different than driving in Peekskill.  There’s a ridiculous amount of parallel parking and it's just not fun when two people pull up after and block you in a really tight space.  But that’s just how it is I guess.  Oh, and it's also not fun when you get robbed. 
 
As for the Broadway Play, it was SO SICK!!!!!!!!!!  I went into it thinking that it'd be a decent play, but it was just great.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.  It's pretty close to the movie if you've seen it, but they both have their really cool parts.  I don’t really know what else to say though.  I really don’t have a future as a reviewer because I can’t write a whole lot about it.  But it was way awesome!

As for Hugh Hanneson I'll keep an eye out for him.  I've had a couple elders tell me he says hi because his ward is in my mission.  I've actually even served in his stake when I was in Peekskill, but never have I actually met him for myself so that'll be cool.  And as for this whole preparing my room deal, what are you doing?  Just putting my stuff back inside it?  Also I asked this a little while ago, but do you know what my topic will be for the homecoming talk?

Anyways, that’s about all I've got for now.  I hope you all have a wonderful week and I'll talk to you next week which is also my very last P-Day in the mission.  Possibly my last email....

Much Love, Carson (Currently known as Elder Dilling but who is actually named (refer to the beginning of sentence)).  haha

Till next week...

Monday, September 10, 2012

A quick update

(Email from Sept 5, 2012)

I'm doing well.  I really don’t have a whole lot to update for this week, but I hope your week is good. 

Also, I'm going to go see a Broadway play today.  Not the one I really wanted to see, but we're going to “The Newsies” which will be pretty awesome. 

Hope all is well in Canada with school starting.  And have a great week.

Love, Carson

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Just doing what the prophet asks

First off, life continues to go well.  I'll admit the news about my home coming talk on October 21st is unexpected.  And as you know I always get nervous about talks, and as I read that I'm already a little nervous.  I mean, it'll be fine, but the feeling of knowing I have to give a talk just won’t seem to leave me.  No matter what the topic is, which is a good question.  What is my topic going to be? 

As for our investigators, they're all progressing pretty well.  We've still been finding a few news, and meeting with our current investigators who for the most part are all pretty solid.  The other day two of them expressed their desire to be baptized, so that's really awesome.  Now we just need to help them get prepared for these things.  As for your question about whether I'll have any before I leave, I'm pretty sure I will, but that's never really been the most important thing for me.  Of course I want to baptize, and that's pretty much my purpose as a missionary.  I'm just trying my best to do what the prophet asks, and then if someone happens to make that choice, it's just the icing on the cake. 

And that’s sweet about the business.  Maybe with that money you could purchase a new GPS for me when I get home.  Just kidding, but I had the rather disappointing experience the other day of having my GPS stolen from our car.  I guess I forgot to lock the car, and within the 2 minutes that the locks close themselves someone came and stole mine, and the churches GPS that wasn't working.  And then when we were coming home, I went to grab a piece of gum from a pack I keep in the car and found out that he stole that too!!!!!!!  I couldn't believe it.  It was ridiculous.  The worst part too is that all my stuff was put away.  The only way to know I had a GPS was the mount on the window.  So that really stank up my day yesterday.  But I've filed a police report and maybe if God feels inclined to bless me so, I'll get my GPS someday.  But yeah, that was something very unfortunate that took place.  Amazingly though, he didn’t take my RayBans that were sitting on top of the GPS in the armrest compartment.  So for that I'm very thankful.  As you can now tell, Yonkers is a pretty ghetto place, with lots of crime. 

Also this morning we found a full bag of weed in the dryer we put our clothes in.  It was pretty funny, so we disposed of that, but it gave us a good laugh.

Not much has happened aside from that though, so I hope that you all have a great week, and enjoy your last days of summer.  And I'll try and find out what’s up with my arrival/leaving date.  I'm surprised you don't know yet.

Love you all, Carson

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Consistently Happy and Content

Wow, that’s quite the story with the wheel and stuff.  It's a good thing you weren't driving on the freeway and had it fall off.  Hearing that reminds me of when I was driving to Great Falls with Jaren and his sister and one of the tires exploded!  Luckily we still had a rim to ride on until we came to a stop.  I couldn’t imagine losing the entire tire!  That could have been bad.  But I'm glad you’re all fine and that you all enjoyed your trip to Utah.  

I've been good here in Yonkers.  We had an amazing week with a ton of new investigators (probably more than I've had in like 5 months combined) and also a bunch of people came to church…the main reason being that we found this family who became news, and came to church.  So that’s pretty sweet. 

Aside from that we've just been trying to find people to teach and stuff.  The hardest part in that is finding areas of denser Spanish concentration, but we're still working hard to find people and help the ward members here.  If I didn’t mention before, my companion has been here for 3 months (in the field) and is a really hard worker and he just has probably one of the most sincere desires I've seen to share the gospel and do missionary work.  It's great.

As for specific events and stuff from this week, I’m drawing a complete blank.  At times I feel like I could copy an email from a previous week and it would pretty much encapsulate what I did this week.  Mainly because I'm just out here doing more or less the same thing everyday.  Wake up, study, Find new people, teach said people and visit members, go to sleep, and repeat.  Now that doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing on paper, but it is amazingly really fulfilling, and you go home every day feeling very content.  Sure, some days are tougher than others, but it's all great in the end, and you feel happy.  Sitting here thinking and stuff, I can’t think of a specific time in my life where I've been consistently this happy and content, which surprises me, seeing as I generally see myself as a content happy person, or someone who doesn’t really get down all that easily.  But it's awesome. 

Anyways, I’m back to the library computers, so I’ll try and get some pics to you soon, but I'm not sure when exactly that will happen.  I hope that all continues going fantastic for you, and that you all have a great week.  Hopefully no more wheels threaten to fall off the van (maybe that’s a sign that instead of a renovation you should buy a new family car).  After all you only have 2 kids living at home now.  Maybe it's time to get a nice SUV or crew cab truck. 

But yeah, that’s about all I've got for this week.  If you have any questions about my area next week, let me know.  But till then, I still love you all and wish you the best for this next week (I think it might even be the last week of summer for Christina and Daniel).

Love, Carson

Hello Yonkers

(Email from Aug 15, 2012)

Well, where to begin?  Everything with Alex is going great.  He's still progressing and stuff but couldn’t make it to church because he was visiting his cousin in the hospital.  And as for Wanda we've been struggling to get ahold of her.  We haven’t been able to see her since our first visit, and I don't think I will ever see her again.  But I'll get back to that.  Summer has been treating me not too bad.  Everyone is away on holidays it seems, but life is going well.  As for who is more receptive, I think that would change more depending on who has been in New York, and who hasn't.  The people who haven't been changed by the New York way of life are much more receptive.  This place really does change people.  It's hard to explain by email, but the newer people are normally much more receptive.  And as for a specific group, pretty much everyone is receptive.  It’s as you said, an "individual thing” although some are nicer than others, or reject us differently. 

Sounds like Dad’s bike trip was pretty fun.  That’s one of the things I really miss.  I really want to go ride a bike, but I can’t here because of the rules.  Traffic is pretty crazy, and I bet if we had bikes they'd have a lot more missionaries getting injured.

And as for Elder Hill’s family, they have your number and should call you soon.  But I'll email Hill and remind him to send his parents a reminder.  By the sounds of things they are planning on meeting you at Sarah’s game in Orem.

I'll keep my eye out for my updated VISA card in the mail, thanks.  While on the subject of mail, don’t send anymore stuff to Manhattan.  I have been transferred to a new Area!!!!!!! WOOO HOOOO!  Well, I’m pretty excited because I really wanted to get a fourth area, and I did.  I'm now serving in Yonkers.  It’s awesome.  Kinda like the city but with a car.  Sweet eh?  And even better, I'm DRIVING!!!  YEEHAW!!  It’s going to be awesome.  My new companion is Elder Hurtado  (pronounced Oortado).  He's from Mexico, from a state about 15 hrs from the border, and he's way awesome!! He has two younger siblings a guy and girl, and I'm super excited to be able to work with him for this last little while!  Elder Colton’s new companion is awesome as well.  It's none other than my favorite missionary Elder Bartlett!   While I'm sad to be leaving him, I'm excited that Elder Bartlett is taking my place.  They’re gonna tear the area up.  And so am I here in Yonkers.  I don’t have a lot to say about my new area, but finally I have another large apartment, so that’s nice.  For the last 14 months I've been living in tiny apartments.

But yeah, as for Sarah and the date she was asked out on, I don’t think she should turn it down, just have fun and make the best of it, who knows maybe she could learn Spanish from him.  From my experience, Mexicans are really funny, and awesome people, sometimes it just takes them a bit to open up.  But I love them.  They're one of my favorite peoples.

Anyways, that’s about all I got for now.  As for Broadway shows, I'm not so sure I can get permission, but it's not really all that high up on my priority list of things to do, so we'll see.

Hope you all have an amazing week and best of luck to Sarah in her games in Utah.

Also I met a member here who knows the Amaya family from the Elbow River Branch, so if you ever meet Marisol Amaya tell her your son met Sis Caycho.  It was kinda cool to meet her on Tuesday.
 
Much Love, Carson

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Here's a short one...

Hey everyone!  This is gonna be a short email today, since I really don't have much time.  But everything is GREAT!!!!  Alex was finally able to make it to church, and he said he enjoyed it, and also we've been able to find a couple more people to start teaching!! Finally! 

But yeah, that’s good to hear that everything is going well for you guys, and that you’re having a good summer.  What is this class that Mom is planning on possibly teaching?  And that’s cool to hear about the school thing.  I’m still waiting to hear back about my other VISA which they're trying to extend, so we'll see how that goes.   

As for the Olympics, not much is happening where I am.  It’s on in all the bars, but I don't really hear much.  How’s Canada doing?  But yeah, that’s about all I’ve got time for today.

Love Carson

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Touched by the Spirit

 I don’t really have anything new to report.  Once again Alex didn't make it to church.  But this time it was because he didn’t feel comfortable going without a white shirt and tie, so we're gonna try and find one for him for next week.  We also had a cool experience with him on Monday.  We had a set appt, and just before, he texted us telling us he had to run out to do something.  So I was like Darn!  We won’t have time tomorrow (Tuesday) therefore we must meet today, so we went by anyways, and he told us he only had about half an hour.  We had planned to watch the long restoration movie with him, but obviously half and hour isn’t long enough for that, so we chose to talk with him about what we discussed in District Meeting earlier that day which was the Atonement.  It was good, and we could definitely feel the spirit.  But eventually the half hour ran out and we wrapped up our lesson.  At which point he asked, is that it?  And we responded, well you only had a half hour right?  He thought for like 5 seconds and then said well I can go later, so we kept on teaching and had a really great lesson with him.  It was really cool to see the spirit touch him and see how his desire to listen and learn affected him. 

Also I don’t know if you remember the movie “Wanted”, the one with Angelina Jolie and the curving bullets?  Anyways, a few weeks ago I dodged the talk bullet, but unfortunately it curved around and still hit me.  I spoke in church this past Sunday.  My topic was Repentance, and I focused more on the joy we receive through repentance, and used the story found in Alma 36 of Alma's conversion.  It went well I guess.

And yeah, aside from that we had a funny experience tracting.  We were knocking doors and this lady let us in.  Elder Colton walked into the family room first and went to greet the man sitting on the couch and as he reached his arm out, the man turned his head and hawked a big loogy right onto the lap of a girl sitting on the other couch.  It was so funny.  It turned out the guy has Alzheimer's disease, so I kinda felt bad for him.  And we spent the rest of the lesson somewhat fearful of being spat on, because he supposedly does it quite often... So yeah, that’s my funny experience for the week.  Aside from that I don't really have much to add.  Have a great week, and I look forward to hearing from you next week. 

Love, Carson

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Three weeks of updates

These posts are from the past three weeks (Elder Dilling's parents = Procrastinators):

July 18, 2012
I’m glad you all enjoyed yourselves in Waterton.  My week here was pretty good, definitely better than the last one. By that I mean we've been able to teach more people, and our finding is having more success.  Amazingly we had two people invite us into their homes this week as we were knocking doors.  THAT NEVER HAPPENS!!  So that was pretty sweet.  The first guy was an English speaker who was really more interested about getting his questions answered than finding the true gospel of Jesus Christ, so we did our best to invite the spirit and testify, and who knows, maybe something will come from it.  Then the other guy was a young 19 year old Dominican who invited us to come in as we were knocking doors later in the day, so we only had like 15 minutes with him, but he said he'd come to church this week which would be legit.  His name is Eddy, so maybe you can keep him in your prayers.  And then once again, Alex failed to make it to church on Sunday.  His excuse being that he had bad food poisoning.  So we'll let that one slide.  Thats a good excuse.  He's gonna come this week though.

Aside from that all is more or less the same.  The New Mission President is great.  His name is President Morgan, and he's great.  I'm definitely glad I get to have two mission presidents.  We had interviews on Monday after district meeting.  It was nice to get to know him a little more, and talk with him on a more personal level.  Speaking of district meeting, that reminds me about something.  It was way awesome.  Elder McCullam, the other district leader and I made a district meeting together, and using chairs we made a maze in the gym, and had a few missionaries go through it blindfolded in the dark, and gave them each two "guides" one good and the other bad.  They had to make it through the maze of life with their help, but the end was completely blocked, and without the help of the atonement they couldn't make it to the end, so the Missionaries had to come in and introduce them into the celestial kingdom only if they accepted baptism and stuff.  It was way awesome, and after we just shared a few words of encouragement about how we are here to help people in the world to the final goal.  It was a lot of fun, and everyone seemed to enjoy and learn from it.

Aside from that nothing super special has happened this week.  it was good though, and Elder Colton and I continue working and pressing forward.

I love you all and Happy belated birthday Sarah!
 
Carson

July 11, 2012
Thanks for the email everyone... haha, jk.  I'm here early so it doesn't surprise me that you haven’t sent it yet. 

Anyways, this last week has been pretty sweet.  We're still struggling to find new people to teach, and Alex still hasn't come to church, because he slept in again.  But life's good and we're having fun.  How’s Waterton?  Where have you gone hiking?  Have you hiked Crypt?  How was the fly fishing?  Did Daniel enjoy himself? 

But yeah, so most of this week was pretty normal.  But we had a really great lesson with Alex yesterday.  It wasn't really anything special.  We just went over everything we'd taught him and made sure he understood everything, and just wanted to get a feel about where he was progression wise, and he's doing great.  At the end, he asked us a few questions, one of them being about hair, tattoos and earrings (his ears are pierced).  We clarified that he was looking for what the bible and stuff taught, not what we thought.  When we explained how our bodies are temples and what the prophet today had counseled he was like "Ok, I'll take them out and throw them away then".  He'd tried to take them out a few days before, but someone told him they looked weird so he put them back in, but he just made the decision right there on the spot.  It was way sweet.  He is such a great example to me about following the counsel of God and the Prophets.   

Then we had another cool thing happen yesterday.  So during our studies and stuff one of the English elders called me and asked me to speak to this Spanish lady who was trying to talk to him.  I talked to her and she asked for the address and time of the church, and if missionaries could come by her house.  So I took her address down too.  But after I realized afterward that her address didn’t really make sense because the street numbers on that particular street don’t go that high up, so I though “shoot, I must have misheard her”.  But it was ok, because there was a street nearby that did have numbers that high, so maybe I did just mishear her.  Anyways, so the day progresses, and comes to an end.  And I call the sisters because the address the lady gave me was in their area.  When I told them the address that I'd heard, they were like "NO WAY!"  Apparently they had been walking down that street earlier and Sister Sanders looked at a building off to the side and saw this building 31 25 (it's two buildings rolled into one) and felt something say she needed to go knock that building soon.  The address I'd gotten was 3125, and because of that I thought it didn't exist.  But it does!  So she was saying how she'd never really seen the building before and stuff, and how weird it seemed.  That was really cool.  I called Elder McCullam back (he put the lady on the phone to begin with) and told him about the exchange with Sister Sanders, and then he commented back to me how he had felt prompted to go into CVS (a pharmacy) right when he found that lady.  He said that almost right when he went in she talked to him, but he doesn't really speak Spanish so he called me.  And yeah, so as you can see, the Lord has a way of really making sure that people get found, and he can work through many different means.  I'm sure if it had happened differently it may not have worked out the same, and stuff, But God really knows what he's doing, and I can testify that he knows each and every one of his children perfectly.

So yeah, that's the cool stuff that's happened this week.  Aside from that it's all more or less the same.  If you’re still in Waterton, tell everyone I love and miss them, and if you write back today maybe I'll still see it, so feel free.  Till next time. 

Love,Carson

July 4, 2012
Where to start?  Many changes have taken place in the last week.  Elder Colton and I are still the same, and as you know we have a new Mission President.  But first I'll start off with investigators. 

It almost seems like we only have one, because we can’t get a hold of the others.  The one is Alex.  He's SOO Sweet!  Just a great kid.  20 years old, likes basketball, and movies. And he is getting ready to go to school in September.  Unfortunately it’s even been hard to meet with him, but yesterday we had a great lesson on the Plan of Salvation, which I think he understood pretty well.  He shared with us a great experience he'd had with prayer too.  So the last time we were there, he said that he was feeling confused and didn’t know what he was really doing here.  I can’t remember the word he used, but that more or less explains how he felt.  And then yesterday when we went there, he explained how he prayed, and he just felt like something was taken from him, like his worries.  It was really cool, and it opened up a great opportunity for us to testify about the power of prayer and how he'll get his answers.  It was a great lesson, and he's committed himself to come to church this Sunday.  So that ought to be great.  But yeah, Alex is awesome. 

Aside from that, like I said President Morgan has arrived.  He's from Sandy, UT and has 5 sons, three of which have served missions.  One leaves in September, and the other is 16 and will be here until he goes out as well.  So Saturday was the first day we met him.  He came to a baptism we had in our district.  It was actually kinda funny, because that very morning, Elder Hill and I were joking about my Blog and how we both thought that President Morgan had found it and read it.  So after the baptism everyone was chatting, and he mentions how he had "Read my Blog a little" and knew about when I first came down to the city over a year ago and all.  It was really quite funny, and I looked over at Elder Hill and we both just grinned.  But yeah, I'm super excited to work with President Morgan.  From what I can tell, he's going to be a fantastic mission President.  And I'm glad I get to serve with him for these last 10 weeks.  Elder Hermosa (one of the AP's) told me yesterday that Pres. Morgan had told him he had 11 weeks yet, so when he talked to me he cut a week of his 11 because I go home earlier.  So that was fun to hear I guess. 

As for my Birthday it was really good.  We started off our day with a Blitz, and I got a couple little things from some other missionaries in my district: a Canada Dry, a stain remover (because I always drop stuff on myself), some Fruit Gushers, and a Sudoku book (because I really enjoy Sudoku for some reason).  But yeah, so we had the blitz and then a member fed us dinner, and I don't know how, but she remembered it was my birthday and made me a cake, and a really special meal that she only cooks on special occasions.  I didn't even know she knew it was my birthday.  But I definitely appreciated it a lot.  And finally after the baptism I opened your gift because it came the day after my birthday.  And it's really funny getting gifts from Canada, because you have to write on the side what it is.  So when I saw "polarized glasses" I was like “hmmm, what does that mean?”  Then when I opened the package and saw the writing on the glasses case I was like NO WAY!  And then when I opened the package.  I was even happier.  You were definitely right in your letter.  I can’t really use them here.  But I am wearing them right now, and I love them.  It's amazing how much of a difference they make.  They just sit nicely on your face, and they're comfortable in seconds. Quality really does make a difference.  So, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE RAYBAN AVIATORS!  The Eatmores are great too.  But the glasses are sick.  They're even mirrored just like I would have wanted.  So that’s awesome. I'm even more excited to wear them back home and stuff.  I also bought another new hat with some b-day money.  So I'm gonna send a good pic of both of my hats and some other stuff.  But yeah, that's about it for now.  Hope all continues going well for you, and that you enjoy yourselves in Waterton.  Say Hi to everyone else for me too.

Love, Carson

July 4, 2012
Pday’s good.  We got permission to watch the fireworks tonight, so that’s cool, and we are having a zone party with lots of volleyball.  Way fun.  Enjoy bears hump.  Thanks for the extra email.  Thats cool about the dogs who chase the deer away in Waterton. 
 
Love, Carson

June 26, 2012
Well last week I forgot to let you know that transfers were changed to P-Day this week.  So if you get this email between now and 2 your time, feel free to write back.  I'll probably be on the computer.  Otherwise, I'll catch it next week.  This week has been pretty good.  Had lots of meetings, and I got kinda sick, but all in all it wasn't bad.  After Wednesday... um, I really can’t remember anything special happening since last Wednesday.  We're teaching this SUPER cool guy named Alex.  He's way legit, and prepared.  He's doing all the reading, expresses the desire to come to church, but hasn't made it yet.  He will though.  But yeah, because of the Yankees game, we had to do laundry on Friday, and the Laundromat wasn't working till 1:30 in the afternoon, so as our laundry was washing we gotta watch the first half of the Germany game.  It was SOOO sick.  Especially that goal by Lahm at 39'.  But that's all I saw.  Since Friday we've done a whole bunch of street contacting.  Elder Colton really seems to enjoy street contacting, while it's really not my favorite thing to do.  But it was fun, and we talked to some cool people.  Nothing specific came from it, but lots of people now have the means of contacting us when something touches them in the future. 

In case you were wondering why I'm writing on Tuesday this week, it's because President Smith is leaving, and to accomplish transfers and everything P-Day temporarily got moved to today.  And next Tuesday I'll get to meet President Morgan.  So that should be sweet.

Oh yeah, there was one thing that happened this week that I can’t believe I almost forgot about.  Friday night I got a call from my Bishop, which doesn’t happen very often, and I just thought it was about the baptism that was gonna happen on this coming Saturday.  But I was wrong; he was actually calling to ask me to give a talk because one of his speakers had fallen through :(.  He also asked another Elder to speak, and when his last speaker fell through, he asked one of the sister missionaries to speak as well.  So we all prepared talks for Sunday.  And mine was gonna be EPIC!!!!  Anyways, so I prepared it on Saturday, and on Sunday we went to church, and when we arrived we were told the Stake President wanted to talk to us, so we were like “alright, what’s up?”.  We spoke with him, and SURPRISE, we were getting a new Bishop so we didn't need to talk.  WHEW dodged that Bullet (temporarily).  I'll still probably be speaking sometime in July.  But til then I'm safe.

Aside from all that though, my week has really been pretty slow.  Also I'd add some pics, but unfortunately I forgot my cord to my camera, so I don’t have anything to upload it with.  Till next week...

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

Carson

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Converting Yankee Stadium

June 20, 2012 (Part 1 of 2)
Well New York is Sweet.  I haven't had a chance to convert Yankee Stadium yet, seeing as I'm not going until later today.  And the high for today is going to be 94!!!  Freaking crazy right?!?  Summer has definitely arrived.  As for our cheap tickets, there's a member in the Bronx who works there, so we worked through her, or better said, she was kind enough to help us out.

As for speaking with people it's still been pretty tough.  We tried to talk to Josue this week, but because his mom works so much, it's hard, because we can’t pass by unless she's home.  So we're still working with him.  Also we met this new guy named Alex.  I can’t remember if I mentioned him last week, but he's really cool.  He was gonna come to church on Sunday, but he forgot to set his alarm, and slept in even though we went looking for him and stuff. 

I'll answer some more of your questions after the game, because we don’t have a ton of time right now.  But just in case I don't get time I wanted to jump on and send off a quick email.  Talk to you more later.

June 20, 2012 (Part 2 of 2)
Well the Yankee game was Sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  There were like 8 home Runs!  It was ridiculous!!!!   But sadly the Yankees lost to the Braves.  10-5 :(   As I said it was sweet.  Derik Jeter, the Captain of the Yankees hit a Home Run off his very first pitch.  It was sooo Sick!!  The Stadium went wild!  IT was SO hot though.  As I said earlier, 94 Degrees, but it felt more like 1000.  But it was so worth it.  I kept my hat clean too, because it's got a white brim.  I'll send some pics home next week.   Also I got up on the Jumbo Screen Two Times.  It was so sweet.  I've never been on a Jumbo Tron before!    Funny story, when the camera turned to us the second time the guys sitting front of us turned around and were like; "you know it's kinda sad.  We didn’t recognize ourselves.  We saw the screen and thought hmm, we recognize those guys”.  We were literally 12 inches behind them.  The Stadium’s crazy expensive though.  Like 7 dollars for a pop, and it's like 6 for a tiny hotdog.  I only bought a drink, but it was a great investment because otherwise I would've died...  Not really, but it wouldn't have been fun.  Also your comment about the Yankee Phraseology took me a second to understand, but I got a good chuckle out of it.  I found out that there's a Canadian on the Yankees team.  So that made me proud.  It was a pretty enjoyable game.  I'm definitely more appreciative of what baseball is now.  Not as good as a Hockey game, but better than Golf.

So yeah, that’s about it for the game.  I'll send some pics next week.  Until then, I love you all, and hope you have a great week.

Love, Carson

Time is going lightning fast

(Email from June 13, 2012)
WOOO Go Germany!!!!!!!!  As for the Euro Cup you'll have to keep me updated on Germany. I saw some bits of the games while doing laundry this morning, but very little.

This week has gone by at lightning speed.  I honestly can’t believe it's Wednesday again, and that my Birthday is only 16 days away.  Crazy stuff.  Also before I forget, Happy early Fathers Day!!!  And I hope you enjoy your anniversary trip to Vegas.  I have included some photos.  The first one is one I found in Jesse's house on the front of a photo album he has.  I'm pretty dang sure you'll recognize the place (Waterton).  The second one is me and my reaction when I saw a Tim Horton's cup in the US, and the third is what I did with my air conditioner because I sleep on the top bunk.  It works!!!  

Anyways, this last week has been pretty good.  In response to your question, no we haven't seen Josue yet, but we're going to hopefully see him before the weekend.  Recently the weather has been pretty cloudy, and a little bit chillier, but it's nice.  I'm not excited for the summer because it gets so freaking hot here.  You sweat like 3 pigs! It's ridiculous!  As for special testimony building experiences, I really can’t think of anything off the top of my head.  This week has been pretty normal.  I guess something that was cool was something that happened yesterday.  So after service we went to go look up one of our investigators that we're having trouble getting in contact with.  We got to his house, and no one was home, so we decided we'd knock his building, and after climbing to the fifth floor of his building I checked my pocket to get my planner out, and.... nothing.  I'd forgotten my planner, so no big deal, Elder Colton should have his... haha not...Neither of us remembered our planners.  So we're like ahh shoot, we have nothing to write down the names and numbers of the people we find, so we scrap the knocking idea, and go to look up the other investigator we have who turned out to be sleeping, so we were left with nothing.  Luckily I had a Ward list with me, so we went and looked for some less active members/members we didn't know in our area, and found this one less active about fifteen minutes before our last appointment who introduced us to her nephew who isn't a member, and she told him that he should go to church.  And he was like “sure why not?”.  So that was pretty cool, even though we didn't have our stuff.  Heavenly Father was able to lead us to find someone else that we can start teaching and we have a lesson with them on Friday.  I'm excited to start teaching (his name is Alex).  His Aunt Francisca who is less-active will hopefully reactivate herself to be a good example.  So I guess that could be my testimony building experience.  God always has a way of making the work progress, and even when our human faults cause problems, he makes a way of getting through them.

Aside from that things have just been normal.  I'm still alive, and I'm gonna go to a baseball game next week, and I'm excited for that.  We got some sweet tickets again for $50 and it should be good.  I even bought a Yankees hat the other day to wear to the game.  The hat is way awesome looking too.  I'll put a pic up next week. 

One really cool thing about Todd's mission call is how he'll really get to leave the world.  It's SOO hard to completely leave the world here.  By which I mean that there are so many signs and advertisements and stuff here, that I know all the movies that came out, and all that stuff,  whereas he gets to go to a place where he won’t see like any advertisements and stuff like that.  That’s the one thing I wish I could have happen.  As you can see though, I'm just rambling on because I don’t have anything to write about.

So I guess the best thing to do is finish here. Enjoy your trip, and good luck to all in whatever you’re doing.  I love you all,

Carson

Good Ol' Waterton

Memories of Canada

Now I will survive the heat!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New York is where I'm supposed to be!

Well I'll start off I guess by saying Congratulations to Todd [Carson's cousin].  He's going to a decent mission, and he'll have a great experience, but it won’t be anything like New York!!!! I actually know a little about Vanuatu because a Sister missionary who flew out with me was from there. It was actually pretty funny.  She thought that the buildings in the MTC were big, so you can imagine what Vanuatu will be like.  Also, she barely spoke a lick of English when she got here. So "Good luck with the people there Todd".  I don't know what they speak though.  I think it's kinda like French, but I'm really not all that sure. The Sister’s last name was Nalawas.  So if he meets any, maybe it'll be her. When does he report to the MTC?

So I'm just sitting here thinking a little about what Todd is going to experience over the next couple years. And a little about how cool it would have been to get to live on an island in the middle of the Pacific, or enjoy the old castles and stuff of Europe or maybe live in a jungle in South America.  All that stuff would've been so sweet, and maybe I would've taken more pictures. But I can’t help but feel like this is really where I belong.  There's a phrase President Smith used in Zone Conference yesterday.  It was something that I think President Packer said at the New Mission President training.  "Missionaries are not called to Missions; Missionaries are called to Mission Presidents".  And thinking on it that way is really cool.  One thing I’ve really come to realize is that it really doesn't matter where you’re called.  When you really devote yourself to the work, the love for the people and the place really comes into your heart.  I know when I first got my call I was a little disappointed, and the only thing that really made me excited was to learn Spanish. But I can in all honesty say now that this really is THE BEST mission ever, and I really don't have any desire to serve anywhere else.  I'd like to travel, but that’s about it.  I'm a New York, New York North Missionary, and I can bear testimony this is where the Lord wanted me to be.  I remember walking out of my apartment about 3 months ago, and getting this overwhelming feeling of “this is where I'm supposed to be”.  It was really cool.  Plus, when you want to come here in the future, you've got a great tour guide who knows the subway lines pretty well, and can get you around the island no problem... :-) but yeah, congratulations to Todd, he'll have a fantastic experience, and his mission will be super great.

Anyways, just a quick correction to your email Dad.  Moroni doesn’t have 48 chapters.  It only has 10... I believe you were referring to Alma.  Haha.  But yeah, I really love those chapters as well.  Especially verse 17.  It's so good, and it's not only Moroni.  In verse 18 it refers to every other great prophet and missionary in the Book of Mormon.  As for great spiritual experiences this last week, I can’t think of anything so special.  I re-read the talk from Elder Rasband in the October 2010 Conference, which was really good.  You should read it (and Todd should as well).

Life for me is going pretty well.  Elder Colton and I are having a little more luck finding people, and the work is getting a little better. One of the people we found is this young kid named Josue.  We first found him at the movie night we had back in March, but then last contact and couldn’t find him.  But the other day we had a bunch of stuff fall through, so we decided to take a dinner break.  First we stopped by the chase bank, and as we were leaving we ran into Josue.  Or better put, he stopped us and reminded us who he was, and gave us his address and stuff, so we went by and taught him the other day.  He's 12, and reminds me a lot of Daniel.  He's also really smart and understands pretty the Book of Mormon pretty well when we read it with him.  But yeah, he's just one of a few people we've found recently that are really awesome.  And I'm really excited for the future, and what is to come.  I really want to get at least one more person baptized before I go home.  But most of all I just want to get this area pumping a little more.  And I'm excited to be with Elder Colton to do this.  He's seemingly fearless.  He just does the best he can, and doesn't really care if he can’t say it very well, but he'll always try, which is so sweet as a trainer.  And it allows him to learn quickly too.

So yeah, that’s more or less life at the moment. I really can’t think about much more to write about.  Life's great, and I'm healthy more or less.  I'll have to lose some stomach fat when I get home, but that's about it.  My limbs are still skinny as twigs. Anyways, I love you all very much.  Till next time,


Carson

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Still Working Hard


Alrighty, well like you, I really have no idea what to say or put in my emails anymore.  I feel like more or less it's always the same stuff time after time.  But I guess I'll start off by saying that I have included some pics, so you can check those out. 

As for the work here, it's been super tough.  People just don’t seem to want to listen to us.  We've been knocking doors, and no one is really interested in anything, which makes it hard for us to find investigators.  On Thursday I was kicked out of a building for the second time.  That almost never happens.  But this lady using a very "colorful" vocabulary impolitely asked us to leave.  It was very unpleasant.  She didn't actually kick us out, but she called the Superintendent and he quite politely asked us to leave to which we most graciously obliged.  He was much nicer about it.  Since then we've spent a lot of time doing finding activities, mainly looking up past investigators and knocking buildings, because that seems to be the most effective way of finding here.  Elder Colton my Companion from Arcadia, California has decided rather quickly that white people are very rude, and really don’t like us. 

But we've also found some people that seem like they'll have some possible potential.  Hopefully in the coming weeks we can add a few more people to our sadly low teaching pool.  I feel pretty sad for Elder Colton to have to begin his mission with the lack of work we have going on.  But I guess it'll teach him what the low is so he can appreciate the highs to come a little more.

As for spiritual experiences this week we went to a funeral.  I know, not your typical spiritual experience.  But this one was really different.  The father of one of our members passed away, and he was Catholic, so most of the service was a Catholic service.  It was interesting during the Priest’s "lecture" the people were talking and stuff, and the spirit really wasn't there.  They were reciting the rosary and stuff, and it was just really different and didn’t really seem all that special or spiritual or anything.  But it was still a good service.  Afterwards there was a "second" service, meaning that one of the members of our Bishopric stood up, and we had our own service.  We started off with a song, which brought the spirit instantly, and then the missionaries did a special number.  "Nearer My God To Thee".  The Bishopric member said some words, and we sang a couple more songs.  The whole time, the people were practically silent.  No one was talking like when the Catholic Priest spoke, and the Spirit was there so strong.  It was just a real testimony builder about the church, and its truthfulness.  It was really quite a cool experience.

But yeah that’s pretty much my week, lots of finding, a cool funeral experience, and life’s good.  Hope you enjoy the pictures, and that everything continues to go well for you back in Calgary.

Much love, Carson

P.S.   Dad will have to teach me more Portuguese once I get home.  The Book of Mormon helps, but I really don’t know how to pronounce or conjugate words, but I will one day.  J

City Artwork

Manhattan Temple

Elder Head and Elder Dilling on a service project 
Welcome to my chapel in Manhattan

9/11 Memorial


My Zone

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Another Transfer Week


(Note: This entry is from Elder Dilling’s May 23rd email)
So transfers have once again come and gone.  The opening sentence of Dad's email to me was perfectly fine.  Many people here actually tend to say "mijo".  Mas sim pai voce estava bom.  How was my Portuguese? I've been reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese a little when I have the time.  Pronunciation is the hardest part for me.


Anyways, all is pretty good here.  I liked your opening paragraph, because my spiritual experience this week was gonna be just that.  So on Sunday I was doing my studies after church, and since I've been trying to finish the Old testament before I get home, I found myself in Isaiah (I've been bogged down there for like 3 months).  And I came upon a couple of verses that I liked a lot:

Isaiah 55:10-11
  
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Now you must understand that very few are the scriptures in Isaiah that I understood.  So yeah.  Anyways, I just kinda pondered that scripture a little bit, and applied it to myself as a missionary.  And just how most Spanish people will let us in because we're sharing a message about Christ, and because we speak the word of God.  So because of that last verse I just thought about how even in those hard times when the success we want (whatever it may be) isn't coming, there really is a purpose in the work and everything we do and say as representatives of Christ will fulfill its purpose.  It won't "return unto me void".  And this is more or less what the spirit brought to my mind.  It was pretty cool, just a nice little pat on the back with a "just keep doing what you’re doing, it's good."

As for your question though about me in comparison to my district, my area is struggling the most.  But I'm excited for the future.  And I'm gonna get at least one more baptism before I go home.  Now for what has gone down this last week as well.  On Saturday we had a somewhat surprise conference with Elder Rasband who as it turned out, served here when he was a young missionary, and also served as a Mission President before being called as a General Authority.  He just talked to us about his experiences here, and told some cool stories.  It was really pretty cool.  Then on Monday we got the call that Elder Head was leaving and going upstate.  And that I would be getting a "new" companion.  My companion’s name is Elder Colton.  He's from The LA area, and I'm pretty excited to get to serve with him.  But not only that, if you couldn't tell by the "new" I'm TRAINING!! crazy.  I can’t believe I’m gonna be training for the second time.  I feel like I just barely got away from my last greenie.  But nonetheless I'm excited.  He seems way cool, and I'm just way excited to have a companion that'll help me "finish strong".  Not that I'm getting trunky or anything.  It'll just help me stay focused.  I'm also gonna try not to tell him when I'm finishing.  But we'll see how long that lasts for.  I'd send a photo, but I forgot my cord today, so that’s not gonna work out till next week.  Thanks for the pics though, I was kinda forgetting what Canada looked like, especially the mountains.  All I see all day are 5 story buildings. 

But yeah, my journal writing is better.  I've written every day since the beginning of March.  I just need to work on the subject matter now.  I have trouble writing about more than the surface stuff.  But all in all it is pretty good.  Anyways, that’s about all I've got for this week.  I'll let you know how training is going next week. 

Much Love, Carson

Thursday, May 10, 2012

People Waiting to Hear the Gospel in New York City

This week has been suuuuuper legit!!!!   Not to say that we got a lot of news, and that we found a really awesome prepared person, which we did, but that it's just been a good week.

So I guess I'll start off with Last Thursday which involved going down to Central Park to do some volunteering.  The Revlon Run & Walk (a women’s cancer fundraiser) took place this weekend, and on Thursday I and twenty other missionaries went down to Central Park to unwrap medallions for the people involved.  Over the space of about 4 hours, the 21 of us opened 15,000 medallions, and so we all got an idea of what it's like to work in a factory, and how to get carpel tunnel syndrome.  But it was fun just chillin’ in a tent with the other missionaries and talking and unwrapping the medallions.

Thursday wasn't the only day we helped with this Revlon event.  On Saturday we had the privilege of waking up at 3:30 and going down to...TIME SQUARE!!! woot woot!!! It was way cool.  That’s where the start of the event took place, and we were in charge of making sure the different teams got their signs.  Some of which had pretty funny names.  The teams are groups of people who raised donations and participated in the run...normally a family or group of friends.  So yeah, a few of the names were: Friends on a Mission, Yushka Babushkas, Breast Friends and Black Girls Run NYC.

It was a lot of fun.  All the missionaries from Manhattan were there, and so that went until 9 in the morning, and after we went to lunch with some of the other missionaries and I got this super delicious steak burger with spicy guacamole.  It was SOOO good, and pretty fairly priced.  Then the rest of that day was pretty slow because of how tired I was, but I can definitely say I slept well that night...

Then nothing much happened until Monday, which turned out to be a great start to this week.  On Friday we received a referral through the Sisters in my District, which they received from the Ward Mission Leader in the Bronx, who happens to work right next to our chapel.  Anyways, we made an appointment with him, and saw him on Monday.  His name is Francisco.  He's Dominican, speaks pretty good English, and has had some health issues but is doing well now.  Anyways, so we went over, and got to know him a little, and found out that he's wanted to get back into a church.  He grew up Catholic, but doesn't agree with it.  And he really likes the Ward Mission Leader from Olmsted (one of the wards in the Bronx), who's name is Brother Mota.  He likes how much Brother Mota has changed since joining the church, because before, Bro. Mota was a big drinker, and now the Gospel has had a strong influence on his life.  So that's how Francisco got interested in the church and stuff.  It was just so cool to see how the Lord is helping us, and giving us those little things to say “Good job, just keep going, there are people here who are waiting for the gospel”.  He also committed himself to going to church on Sunday which is always super awesome.  So thanks to all of you for your prayers.  They're definitely being answered.  But it would still be nice if we could change that free agency a little bit.  But yeah, that's about it for me.

Love you all, and I'm excited to talk on Sunday (Mother’s Day),

Carson

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

One of the best weeks...

Hey Y'all!

So the week went pretty good.  We had one of the best weeks we've had in a while.  So that was way sweet!  But it didn't start out the greatest.  The day after I wrote you and told you about the lady we gave the blessing to, I called her to try and set up an appointment before the weekend.  So I called her and I was super excited to get to meet with her again.  She answered her phone, and I said “Hey how’s it going”...and then when I asked if we could come by on Saturday, and she said “well, I prayed and God told me that I need to return to the Catholic Church...please don't come by.  I'll give you a call when I want you to come back”.  At that point it felt like a semi had slammed into my chest and I was like NOOOOOO (in my head of course) and It just sucked so much!!  She wrapped up the conversation quickly so I couldn't say much, and then once she had hung up, the NOOOOOO became audible.  Then when I told Elder Head, he did about the same thing.  It just was not any fun, especially after we had just finished talking about how awesome she was, and making some sweet plans to help her progress.  Then to put the icing on the cake we ran into another of our investigators a few days later, and he informed us that he was going back to the Dominican Republic, and that he leaves tomorrow.  So two of what I thought were our best investigators have just fallen through our hands.  Not a very fun thing if I do say so myself.

But hey aside from that life is great.  You know what they say “when life is going great Satan works his hardest”.  So that must mean things are going pretty good if Satan's gonna work that hard to make me lose two investigators in one week.  But yeah I really don’t have a whole lot to talk about this week.  Oh, I found out yesterday that my Support Card for my mission was compromised (someone copied it), so I had to put a freeze on my account, and it was just a hassle, so I lost my funds temporarily.  Luckily they were able to release some funds so that I could buy my metro card this morning, but yeah, that's a little annoying.  And as for the weather here, it's been pretty bipolar.  It's rainy and muggy one day, then sunny the next.  Currently is raining.  Once it stops and gets warm it makes the heat suck even more because it gets super humid and disgusting.  It would be great though If I weren't a missionary and didn't have to wear a white collared shirt. 

So today Elder Bartlett and I are gonna go down to Macy's because he needs to buy some new shoes with a little more ankle support, and his companion didn't want to go.  So that should be fun.  It's cool, because normally we can’t go south of 59th street, but Macy's in on 34th street. 

Oh, and also this last Sunday we had this great 5th Sunday lesson from the bishop about media and sharing the gospel.  And after when everyone was leaving I walked out the back of the gym, and turned the corner, and found a bunch of members surrounding this lady that had strait up passed out in the middle of the hallway, and unfortunately no one caught her.  So she fell pretty hard, and it took about 2 minutes to pull her out of it, and it was pretty crazy.  She was so out of it, and I'm pretty sure she might have a small concussion.  Luckily she seemed pretty good by the time I actually left the church, and the Relief Society sisters where doing a great job of watching over her.

But yeah, that's about all I've got to say for this week.  I hope all continues to go well, and that you have a super awesome week.

Love, Carson