Friday, April 27, 2012

Fellowship = missionary work

Sorry guys, this week is gonna be a smaller email.  It's not that I don't love you or anything; I just really don't want to be writing an email right now.  So this last week was pretty...well really slow (just not a very good week).  We got to Sunday and only had 1 lesson with an investigator which kinda sucks.  So we started this Monday off with a very fixed determination that this week would be better.  And so far it has been. 

We had a really cool experience on Monday.  But first I'll go back a little bit.  There's this recent convert named Elleris.  He lives in my area, but the missionaries who baptized him taught him in their area because the person who owned the house he lived in didn't want him to have us over.  Anyways, fast forward to about 3 weeks ago, and he invited us over to give a blessing to the lady he rents a room from.  It was cool, but I didn't really think much of it. Then as I said, on Monday we were doing a couple of look-ups, and we had one in the same building as Elleris (pronounced Eh-yer-ees) and knocked on the door of the look-up.  By this time we'd both forgotten which was Elleris' door and the Landlady who Elleris rents from answered the door, and invited us in.  We talked to her a bit and shared a super awesome restoration lesson that started off kinda crazy, but turned out to be really good.  I think she has a really good chance of progressing, especially because she lives with Elleris.  He's a super member missionary - always trying to share the gospel.  So yeah, it was just super cool to meet her and based and what other people have said it was lucky that she let us talk to her.

As for the question about the spiritual experience, I went to the temple today...need I say more??? JK the one above was that one.

As for that little message you asked for, I guess as a missionary it'd just be about really being a friend to those who are newly baptized or have left the church for one reason or another, and always trying to help them and stuff.  That’s one of the biggest problems I've seen as a missionary, and one of the biggest causes for people leaving the church.  People just don't know how to help new Members, and because of that they leave.  Hope this helps.

By the way I'm very jealous about that knife throwing thing that Daniel got to do.  But I've been practicing on my own... not that you want to hear that.  In my last pad I made this super thick cardboard dartboard thing, and I'd practice throwing my knives at it.  I must say, I got pretty good.  I'd be even better if I had a legit throwing knife though (hint hint wink wink).  Maybe then I could kill the few mice that plague us...and... yeah, that’s it.  Just wanted to add that.

So, unfortunately that’s about all I've got for you today. Hope all continues to go well and stuff, I love you all.  Til next week,


Friday, April 20, 2012

The Black Plague

Well hey there,

It's been a little bit of a tough week.  The Black Plague came to our apartment.  And the reason I call it the Black Plague is because it came when we found some mice (the Black Plague was was carried though Europe on rats).  But that mouse problem is taken care of.  We caught and killed three of them, and they shouldn't be bothering us anymore.  So yeah, that can count as my funny story I guess.

We haven't been able to find much since last week, we did a look up a past investigator named Martha who we had a great lesson with.  She is this older Dominican lady who has had a lot of challenges with her kids and her health.  We had a really good lesson with her about faith and perseverance, and WOW…she's such an amazing example.  She referred to Job, and all that he went through, and how he didn't complain and then said that what she's going though is nothing compared to him, and she knows that God won’t ask more of her than she can support, and we pretty much just got to know her, and who she is.  It was what I thought was a really good first lesson, and I'm excited to go back by her house and get to know her a little more, and teach her how the restored gospel can really bless her life and her family’s life.

Another cool kinda funny thing that happened was on Saturday.  One of the Elders (Elder Hill) in my District turned 20 on Sunday.  For his birthday he wanted to go out for dinner on Saturday night as a District.  He and I were on a bit of a split so that Elder Head and Elder Bartlett could buy him a gift.  We went knocking and hadn't had much luck, when one of the other missionaries gave us a call and said that the line at Dallas BBQ was huge, which sucks, because we didn’t have all the time in the world.  Anyways, on our way out of the last building Elder Hill said a prayer asking that we could get a reservation.  He finished his prayer and we left the building, and not 75 feet from the building he got a text saying that we had received a reservation for 8:00 (twenty five minutes from then).  When we got to Dallas BBQ and saw how packed it was we were amazed.  So lesson learned…God answers prayers.  No matter how silly they may sound. 

So yeah, that’s about it for this week.  I hope all continues to go super well, and I love you all.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Best District

Good to hear that all is great in Calgary, and that your Easter was good.  Mine just felt like another day for the most part, although I got to go give a blessing to a less-active member in the Sister’s area who was pretty cool.  He injured his foot in a NYPD basketball tournament.  We talked to him about the NYPD and learned all sorts of cool new facts, but I won’t bore you with those. 

I really don’t know what to write about this week.  I guess I could start off by saying that transfers have come and gone, and I'm staying here in North Manhattan with Elder Head which is way legit.  We're both excited about it, and things are going pretty great.

I think I mentioned last week that Jesse's wife passed away.  That was sad, but we got to go to the viewing yesterday which was nice.  Strangely, Jesse was in one of the happiest moods I've seen him in.  Not because his wife passed away, but I think he feels a little less burdened. And he's happy he can focus a little more on helping strengthen his family.  It was really cool talking to him about that for a few minutes while we were paying our condolences.  So yeah, he's doing well, but aside from that, we've really been struggling to find people to teach and our investigators aren't really progressing.  So we're working hard to find some people whose lives the gospel can change.

Aside from that, nothing super special has really happened since the last time I emailed you.  Elder Head and I caught some-kind of bug for a few days, but we're feeling much better now, and life is just great. 

I guess I can think of a couple of things.  So on Friday we had a blitz in the Sister’s area, and half way through, this Catholic procession of some kind went down the street right near us.  Something new I learned was that Good Friday is a pretty big catholic celebration. It was pretty weird, and kinda creepy.  I'm gonna stick up some pics too.  So you can enjoy those to make up for my lack of words this week. 

I also went on a split with Elder Bartlett, and had a good day with him knocking doors and stuff (lots of doors to knock here).  We also went to the George Washington Bridge and took a few pictures.  It was kinda creepy standing on it, because every time a semi-truck drove by, the bridge seemed to shudder.  Not what you want to feel 300 feet off the ground.  But it was cool…I'll put the pics up for you. 

But yeah, sorry I don’t really have all that much to report this week.  Life is great.  Hopefully I'll have more next week.

Love, Carson

Monday, April 9, 2012

Conference was the best!

Well, I guess I'll start off by saying I'm glad you enjoyed the pics.

This last week has been pretty sick.  Of course the best part was Conference.  I couldn’t say I had a favorite session this year.  I loved them all so much.  Some talks spoke to me more than others, but I really enjoyed all of them.  I think my favorites were the very first talk (Elder Packer I think) and the talk from Elder Bednar during the Priesthood session.  Oh, I also liked the talk by President Uchtdorf.  He gave a really cool talk with a short sermon involved.  I wrote it down word for word.  "STOP IT" Like I said, it was a cool talk.  He was just talking, from what I perceived, about Christlike love, and how we really need to refrain from judging others because they aren't at the same level we're at.  This is something that can be hard.

It's also the same topic (more or less) that I trained on at District Meeting on Monday.  We talked about Judging and Love, and just how we need to refrain from the one.  Or in the words of Elder Cook "Have the courage to refrain from judging."  And really allow the other to penetrate who we are, and how we view those around us.  It went very well, seeing as I didn't think it was going to be all that great.  But it was.  So YAY!!

On another note, we had something sad happen on Monday.  Our investigator Jesse's wife passed away Monday morning after a difficult fight with cancer.  So we tried to see him Monday.  He wasn't home, but we did get a little time to talk to him yesterday, and from what I could tell he's holding up pretty good.  Elder Head and I were just broken hearted when we found out.  I'd barely met her, but I could tell that Jesse really loved her.  And he was talking to us about how he wished there had been more he could've done while she was here.  Se we unfortunately didn't have much time, but we talked with him and reassured him that he will see her again, and be able to be with her.

And then aside from that the rest of our investigators aren't doing much.  So we've continued our search and we're gonna keep looking for those people that are ready for the gospel. 

Also I'll add a few more pics that I stole from Elder Head.  Plus transfers are next week.  So we'll see what happens...

Anyways, I love you all very much and I look forward to next week’s email.

My District at a member home

My District

Me riding the Subway

New Yorkers like to put stickers on their doors

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

All is well...

(Email from March 28, 2012)  I guess to start off with I'll say that all is well.  This last week passed by super fast, and it's been a really good week too.  Not much happened between Wednesday and Sunday, but Sunday was sweet.

First off we had Testimony meeting and it was a pretty typical Spanish Fast and Testimony Sunday - not a moment of silence. Anyways, there's this one guy in our ward named Oscar, a way cool Dominican about as tall as me, which is not normal. He's just a really funny and cool guy. So he went up and started to bear his testimony and stuff and this is what he said. "Que bonito, soy bonito" (Meaning: What is beauty? I am beautiful). Then he made it spiritual by adding, "Soy Bonito porque tengo el evangelio de Jesucristo en mi Vida", which was great (Meaning: I am beautiful because I have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life).  It made everyone laugh.  It was good.

Later that night we held a movie night, as a way of finding more people to teach. We told members to bring their friends to come and watch "The Testaments" Which was sooo good. We had a member bring her neighbors which were way cool, and so now we're hoping to be able to teach them soon. Her neighbor’s son who is twelve made a really cool comment. One of the Sister Missionaries asked him what he thought about the movie and Jesus Christ and stuff and he said "He was here" Referring to Jesus, which was way cool. I talked to him a couple of minutes later, and he was just sitting quietly reading the Book of Mormon. It was a really good activity, and now we're working on meeting with all the people that came.

Aside from all that though, things are going well. We found some pretty cool investigators yesterday. It was actually a really good first lesson. We just got to know them, and shared a scripture with them about Christ and how he can bless us and what not. It was just a super great first lesson with them. And that happened last night, so not all that much has taken place since then. I'll send you some pics of me that were taken with the new camera. Hopefully they're not blurry.

But yeah, all is well here. I'm still alive, and now I'm gonna go play basketball.

Love, Carson