Sunday, March 25, 2012

A great week!

This last week has been great.  Not really with tons of success, but just cool experiences, which I have such a hard time expressing through email, but I'll try.  First off we haven't really been able to meet with our investigators recently.  They've been really busy and stuff, so that’s been trying but Elder Head and I are getting through it.

So let’s start with Sunday. We had a goal of at least two investigators last week, and we had only been able to find one by Sunday, so we spent the hours after church finding until our last appointment for the night at 7.  And we found... a lot of diddly squat!!  Just a plethora of slammed doors.  Not my idea of success.  But that's cool - nothing that much out of the norm.  So eventually it came time to travel to our next appointment, and about fifty feet from the front door, this lady across the street yells “Hey I know them”.  Which isn't uncommon either, so we kinda glanced over, thought she wasn't talking about us and kept on walking.  Then she left her friends and ran after us and shouted "hey wait up"...  I guess she was talking about us.  So we stopped and she caught up and was like “Do you remember me (to Elder Head)?”  Turns out she worked at a Duane Reade (Pharmacy here in NY) and he had contacted her when he was serving in the East Bronx.  A long way from where we are now.  He eventually remembered her as well, and she was like "Hey I want Bible studies now!!"  And then she asked if we could come to the Bronx.  We said “no, but there are missionaries there who could pass by” and she was like “No I want you two”.  "Could I come over here once a week and you could teach me?"  And we were like of course!!  So we exchanged info, and parted ways.  But it was just way cool to have that experience, especially for Elder Head.  Just shows that no matter what we do, the Lord has a way of making sure all those who need to receive the message, receive it.

After this experience we met a couple other people and so in the coming weeks we should be able to find a few new people to talk to, which is awesome.  And we had a great training from President Smith about teaching, and then yesterday we applied the model he gave us in one of our lessons, and it was just AWESOME!!  The model was [Observe and Listen --> Discern --> Talk], which was a great help for us, and the lesson with the family was great.  We found 2 news as well. 

That’s about all I got for now.  It's good to hear the all is well back on the home front.  Just let me know if I missed anything, or if you've got any comments or concerns.

Love, Carson

P.S.  I added a photo of the member I mentioned last week - the one who reminds me of Grandma Dilling (if she were Hispanic).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Members Love The Missionaries

Hola Familia,

Bueno, para empezar. Voy a decir que... No lo creo que Sarah escribio esa parrafo por si mismo.  La gramatica que uso, y las palabras vinieron de un nivel mucho mas alto do lo que ella hubiera aprendido en high school.  algunas de las palabras aun yo no las sabia.  Para de todos modos de diverti leyendo su carta en Espanol. 

Well things here are going pretty good.  It was cool getting a letter from all of you.  I'll start off by saying I'm gonna get a new camera, because I always hold the button down half way and make sure that the camera gives me the green light saying it's focused.  So I'm assuming that something isn't working as it should be.  So I'll go ahead and do that today, and let you know what it cost next week.

I guess I'll start off answering your questions.  There’s approximately 12 Wards (1 stake) in Manhattan alone.  Then there are five in the Bronx, and I know that there’s a Queens Stake, and a Brooklyn Stake.  So the church is pretty big here, but it really appears small in comparison to how many people are living in this city.  One of the Elders in my District got a letter from his dad with the statistic for how many people live in his area.  Apparently in the skinny part of the island over a distance of 25 blocks or so, approx 400,000 people are living.  Crazy right?  As for Christina’s questions, the ward I'm in right now is super awesome.  The members are so supporting of the missionary work, and that’s just so awesome, because not many wards are.  We're gonna have an activity on the 25th.  It will be a Movie night.  We're inviting members to come see a movie, and their ticket is a non-member or less-Active member, so hopefully we can get some good success from that.  We're gonna watch The Testaments.

From the sounds of your letters everyone back home is doing great.  Hopefully Sarah gets that job at Spruce It U.  It'd be a lot of fun, and when I was there I got $12/hr.  But maybe they'll pay her more, who knows. 

As for me, things are going great.  We had a pretty good week, still not a whole lot of new investigators, but we're happy and finding some success from our knocking, and finding efforts.  A couple of cool things happened this week.  First off Elder McMullin came back with his Family for a visit, and I met his parents at church on Sunday, which was kinda funny because His mom already knew who I was.  She was like “wow, you’re Elder Dilling” (apparently when you search "New York New York North Mission" My Blog comes up) so she'd read that a little bit, and it was kinda cool to meet them.  We haven't really had any really cool spiritual experiences lately, but we've had some more success with our finding efforts as I said... Just a few less people said “no” to us or ignored us through the door.  These are all good things that lead to success sometimes faster than others, but that’s cool. 

I just have a quick story to let you know how the members feel about us.  We were walking to an appointment the other day, and this member (her name is Hermana) was walking towards us and the first thing she said was "What happened on Friday?!?" (We hadn't stopped by) She then went on to talk about he she had cooked for us and stuff and expected that we were coming over, even though we hadn't made any appointment with her.  We were actually trying to give her a break and not be a burden on her.  That obviously didn't work; she then said that she expects us to come over every Friday.  We were just so impressed by her love and desire, and we also felt so bad for not having gone over.  But we figured that since we hadn't made an appointment with her she wouldn't do anything like that.  But it just goes to show how much the people here love the missionaries, at times too much, but you need not worry, I'm being well fed here.  We have dinner appointments like 3 or 4 times a week. And the occasional lunch appointment too.  Just another side note, I was thinking about this member and the thought just came to my mind about how similar she looks to Grandma Dilling, I have a picture of her, but I want a better one.  If Grandma Dilling were Hispanic, this would be what she looks like.  I'll get a better pic when we go over on Friday.

But yeah, as I said things are going great here in the Campo Misional.  Hope everything also continues to go well for you in Calgary, and that the weather gets better.  It's been like 20 everyday for the last week here.  Spring has definitely arrived early.

Love Carson

P.S. As for Dad’s School question, I'm currently leaning towards BYUI, to at least get my associates, but then after that I'm not entirely sure.  But I'm still allowing staying in Calgary to be an option.  I'm trying to be fair about it, but I think I'd be happier at Idaho.  We'll see though, I know I've gotta decide soonish, and that'll definitely be a question on my mind during this coming conference.  For now though I'll focus my efforts on what’s at hand.  It'll all work out whatever I do.  I've also been thinking of some other career paths I might pursue.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Something Great is in Store

Hola mi familia,

 All is well here in Manhattan. First off, what do you want me to do about my camera?  Should I for sure go ahead and buy a new one?  If so, how much should I spend?  I might just break into that cash that I have saved up.  What do you think? 

 Anyways, it's good to hear that all is going well with you back home.  Unfortunately I can’t really say the same for us here in my area.  We haven't really been able to find any new investigators these past few weeks and it seems that every time we try and do some finding we really don't find much.  Then to top it off, most of our present investigators are dropping off the face of the earth, or just not keeping their appointments.  In spite of all this I feel that Heavenly Father is trying to teach me something, I'm just not all that sure what thing is yet.  I just wish it would be a little clearer sometimes.

 This week was pretty good in other ways though, Elders Hill and Bartlett are doing great together and they've brought a great spirit with them to the area.  It's been a lot of fun with them.  Yesterday we went and did some service at a local garden.  It reminded me of my days at Spruce it Up.  (Which, by the way I suggested to Sarah that she put in an application there.)  All we did was shovel mulch into buckets and then carry said buckets about 100 meters to the garden, dump the bucket and then another missionary would spread it while I went back to get some more.  I'll tell you what.. My back was KILLING me this morning when I got up.  I think I'm gonna need a massage and a chiropractor when I get home.  Also I might need a new retainer.  Mine is getting pretty old and has a couple holes in it as well as a few cracks.  But I still wear it as often as I remember.  (most nights.)

 We also had a great lesson with one of our investigators named Hector.  But he goes by Daddy Rane.  Don’t ask me why.  Anyways, we went over there with the plan of dropping him because he hasn't been progressing and ended up giving him a baptismal commitment.  Not a date.  (because he's got a long way to go), but a firm commitment to which he said he wanted to work towards, so we're excited to keep working with him.  Aside from that, Elder Head and I are convinced that the Lord is preparing us for something big because of our lack of success in finding new people to teach.  I can hardly wait.  Things are still going great regardless. 

Anyways, just let me know about the camera and stuff and I look forward to hearing back next week.

Love, Carson

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

As for the mission it's going great

Hey Family.
Well, thanks for emailing me this week, you’re definitely doing much better than that other missionary’s family, you've only missed twice, but that doesn't mean you get to slack off. 

As for the camera situation, I'll see what I can do.  My camera is having a tough time focusing, so if you want to send me the Pentax that would be awesome.  I know you don't use it that often... jk.  But I'll go look into another camera.  I don’t know what’s up with mine.  Is it the majority of the pics?  If so, I’ll definitely need to look into a new one.   I'll also try and get more pictures.  I just don't really like doing it, you know me.  I like pictures of things, not people.  I don't know why though, I'll try and change that.  That way you can get rid of the bad and the ugly part.
As for the mission, it's going great.  Jesse's still doing alright, not progressing super fast or anything, but he's there and he's working towards it little by little.  Then there are the other three.  We haven't had an opportunity to meet for like 2.5 weeks.  It’s been pretty tough here recently.  Also Elder McDaniel and McMullin went home today, I'm definitely sad to see them leave as they were both great missionaries and I learned a lot from them both.  I am definitely planning to keep in touch with them.  They were pretty excited to go home and see their families again, but still worked hard and were just great.  But it's time to move on and just "Put [my] Shoulder to the Wheel."   To replace them we got Elder Hill and Elder Bartlett (the one who I lived with already for two cycles) also, Elder Hill is from Elder Hulmes home ward, which is pretty cool. 

But yeah, that’s about all the news I got for y’all this week.  I hope everything continues to go well.  Good luck with the advertising thing.  Till next week.
Love Carson.

P.S. That’s so awesome that Jared is planning on a mission I'll have to write him a letter and just get in contact with him.  Maybe he has an extra camera ;)

P.S.S. Just a second note since I have some more time.  Since you asked about rats, I am happy to report that we don't have any.  We work very hard to keep our place clean and clutter free.  Also, I've gained a little bit of weight.  I think like 10 pounds over the course of my mission and thankfully it's not fat! Yay!
As for the memory card, when I send it, it gets wiped in customs.  Remember the one I sent you last Christmas...?  You could definitely send me a hard copy of photography tips.  That might be help me to remember what I need to take pictures of.  I'll even post it on my wall to remind me every day... ;)  ha-ha.  Anyways, that’s about it for now once again hope all continues to go well.

Much Love, Carson