Monday, December 11, 2017

Year 2, Week 9

President called me last Satuday night to tell me that my transfers were changed! I would no longer be staying in Playa del Carmen with my dear buddy Elder del Toro.

And where do you think I went? Well, back to my homeland of Cancún, of course! This time, I’m assigned as Zone Leader in Kabah Stake, where Elder Walk and I are serving in Kukulcan Ward. President, his assistants, and the secretaries are all in our zone.... O.o It’s a little bit of pressure, admit, but I’M SUPER PUMPED. So ain’t nobody gonna bring us down!

We’ve been focusing on the church’s LIGHT THE WORLD initiative. The members are very excited to participate with us, and we’re using that positive energy to bring the Restored Gospel to as many people as possible! I have a personal goal to share the initiative with 50 people every day, and so far so good.

To start off the new transfer well, Elder Walk and I made a bunch of lime pies (Elder Carson’s signature) and rallied some members to help us share it all with the neighbors. The idea is to establish ourselves well with those closest to us. How can we expect to find new investigators miles away if we don’t even know the name of the guy next door?

We’re trying to infect the zone with the same enthusiasm. Sometimes the missionaries seem to be sleeping (even while they’re walking in the streets!), so we helped them set goals to talk with as many people as possible. I’ve carried over some old ideas from Playa and Chetumal to help them be more obedient, as well. We send them questions from the scriptures at 6:25am, and the first ones to answer win points towards a prize at the end of the 6-week period!!

If you guys have more ideas, let me know! Yall are more creative than I am!! :)

I’d just like to share with you guys my testimony. Christ lives. HE LIVES. We would be able to see him and feel the marks in his hands if he weren’t physically distant. He is a person, like you and me, with a body of flesh and blood. He is my Savior and my mentor in this great work.

Remember Him this Christmas, and do your part to LIGHT THE WORLD!

Love,
Elder Carson


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Elder Walk and I chillin in the Ciber-café right now!!

Zona Playa!! We had this greeting-party set up outside the church to raise awareness of the program.

Christmas time in Kukulcan!


Year 2, Week 8

HELLO MY FRIENDS!

I feel like 3.25 seconds have passed since I last wrote you. This week has been rather fun, seeing as we had to find a new house to live in. Lots of miracles in the process.

TRANSFERS NEWS: ....... Everything stays the same, folks! I will have my second Christmas and New Year’s here in Peten Ward with my buddy Elder del Toro, and I couldn’t be happier! This transfer, I will also complete 15 months in the mission. Terrifying.

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Questions!

Q: Most dangerous mission day?
A: Uhm. We’re mostly protected. There was one time that we had to stay indoors for two days for a  shooting in Cancùn, but that’s the only danger I remember! All the tropical storms have evaded us. There was a recent Pink-Eye pandemic in the whole peninsula, but it didn’t get to me!!!

Q: Best day ever?
A: Today, just like every day!!! :D Seriously, one of mym favorite experiences was a mass-baptism we had here in Playa. Seven personas. In one part, a brother baptzed his two parents. Intensely spiritual.

Q: Goofiest person you’ve met?
A: Miguel. In my current ward. He’s crazy, and he falls asleep (hardcore) in the lessons we invite him to. Fortunately, everybody loves him, so it provides a little bit of humor.

Thanks for tuning in! Love you all! The church is true and the Lord is good. Missionary work is the greatest blessing in my life. I hope you’ll all committ to share the Gospel with a friend this week.

Love,

Elder Carson

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Elder Erickson - Ready for Rain

Zona Playa del Carmen!!!!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Year 2, Week 7

SO MANY THINGS TO TALK ABOUT.

This week....

- I had my 20th birthday. I thank you all sincerely for sending me good wishes. I hope you all receive (edible) blessings for that.

- I had an appointment in the Immigration offices in Cancun that I forgot until the night before. I think I broke a world record getting from our house to the mission offices. 50 minutes.

- CONFERENCE AND LEADERSHIP COUNCIL WITH ELDER PINO OF THE SEVENTY.

- Marlon’s baptism!!!!!

... and much more. BUT I wanted to write you all personally, so I used up my time... O.o

I hope you all have a blessed week.

Love,
Elder Carson (Your favorite Mexican-boy missionary)


Monday, November 20, 2017

Year 2, Week 6

Well then!

I never thought I’d have to put on my "deal or no deal" face, but Sister Reynoso told me to do just that with the owner of our house. The owner didn’t want to accept responsibility for some pre-existing damage, so I had to pull out the receipts, call other missionaries, aannnnnnnnnndddd LOTS of other fun stuff.

Remember. Everyone is a child of God. Deep breaths.

More than mundane details, this week was FULL of miracles!!! Elder del Toro and I found THREE complete families (father, mother, children), and one of them went to church without any help. It was one of the happiest feelings when I saw them all getting out of their taxi dressed up Sunday-style. The dad’s name is Rodolfo, and the mom is Rosi. They have angelic qualities, honestly.

We also taught Pablo and his family. After teaching somewhat of a mix between the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation, he said, "well I don’t know about my family, but I’ve already decided to go through with this." Awesome. The family was a referral from a member in Cancun.

During an activity with the Relief Society, we were able to get 23 referrals in 20 minutes. The sisters were super excited to tell us about their friends and family who are "probably ready" to accept the Gospel! We told them to bring their friends to church while we work to set formal appointments with all of them. XD

ANND as part of the Christmas program we’re organizing, we talked to the councilor in the stake presidency about options for food. He said "I’m so glad you came to my family to ask about this. We’ve wanted to give a gift to the missionaries for many years now. We’ll make all 28 of you dinner, and we’ll bring you piñatas to break, too."

*jaw drop caused by pure generosity* That’s pioneer-calibur faith and devotion there.

Anyway, I’m happy, and the Christmas spirit is here (in rain-form instead of snow). I hope this week is an excellent week for all of you. May you all be showered with buckets of fun and blessings.

Love,

Elder Carson

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Year 2, Week 5

Hey, family!!

Things are very very VERY wet here in Playa del Carmen!!! We’ve had a ton of rain, to the point that E. del Toro and I took off our ponchos because they weren’t helping much. We got wet, but it was fun and we sang himns loudly as we walked to our appointments.

I thought it was touching this week to see how some neighborhood kids helped a new member family. They had just come down from Veracruz to make a living, but their new house didn’t have ANYTHING - electricity, water, gas, NADA. We rallied up some ten-year-olds on the same street, and they came ever-so willingly to help us clean the front yard by cutting the grass, collecting stray garbage, and stuffing the yard-waste in trash bags. As a result, we have FOUR different families of references to contact! The Lord blesses us when we work together with our brothers and sisters to "bring to pass much righteousness."

We’re working hard to train the Elders and Sisters of the zone. We did a small study of their teaching-skills by inviting recent-converts to pretend to be investigators while we observed with a criteria sheet. Then, we visited their areas to help them based on their needs. Our goal is that each companionship learns to teach like the sons of Mosiah, with "power and authority".

Elder Pino, of the Area Presidency, is coming down on the 22nd of this month for a special conference. We’re preparing the missionaries to behave like adults so that the wrath of President Reynoso doesn’t descend upon them. We are also responsible for organizing the Christmas program for Playa and Cozumel - Himns, talks, theatre??, piñatas, food, etc. Lots of details to put in order, but it’s gonna be FUN! Anyone who says the mission isn’t fun... hasn’t come down to the Cancún México Mission!

I’m super happy. You guys have inspired me day by day to be better and ACHIEVE MORE. Life is an incredible opportunity that God has given us, and every day should be filled with love and with the Spirit. These two things can exist despite hardships. I hope this week treats you all well.

Love,
Elder Carson


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My companion was full of the Spirit when the gringos arrived.

Birthday party with investigator family!! Estas soooolas mañanitas....

Making trophies for the Zone... dundies​!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Year 2, Week 3

I’m alive!!

That’s something to be very grateful for. I’m proud to say that I’ve put "calender-watching" behind me, and I’ve come to deeply appreciate every day of my mission. No two days are alike - when we follow the promptings of the Spirit, He guides us to new places and new people who need the light of the Gospel.

I liked this quote from Elder Holland:


I feel small, sometimes, when I think of what God and my Mission President expect of me, but I know that by doing everything I can and relying on the Savior, He will transform me and make me capable of the task at hand.

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Economic / cultural questions! :D

Q: How do most people live where you are? Is there much affluence? Poverty?
A: There are many people who can’t afford to put their kids in school. That’s the most notable thing for me, because it’s a destructive cycle - without an education, it will be much harder for the kids to put THEIR kids in school, and so on throughout the generations.
On the other hand, there are plenty of people who obviously have a lot more than I ever did, despite economic differences between America and Mexico. Where I live is like the "California" of Mexico - everyone comes to start their business and find their niche.

Q: How are homes different in Mexico versus Other places you have lived?
A: I feel "one" with the jungle in my home here. I have four walls, but I don’t feel insulated from nature like I do in the states. Everything is cement, there are cockroaches, and in a flood, the water would easily enter the house and bring garbage/dirt with it.
BUT if we think in terms of what really makes a home home, things are excellent. The members are loving and the family is everything to them.

Q: Have your "American" views changed in light of living outside of your own culture?
A: I have lost my appetite for "things", really. I don’t care much about having a big house or a big lawn anymore - I’ve seen how these people get along, and it makes me realize that humility brings out the best in people. My career will be more focused on what I want to learn and accomplish in the world rather than "making it big".

Love,

Elder Carson


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Hna. Amparo - she was doubting her baptismal date just one week before, but we had an excellent lesson with the her and the Ward Mission Leader that convinced her.

Lil´ Fernando. The kid´s smarter than I am.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Year 2, Week 2

Howdy yall!

Things are gettin WEIRD here! I had begun to think that I was Zone Leader of the Twilight Zone.

LECCIÓN DE LA SEMANA: Opposition is real, folks. That’s what I have to say. Allow me to list some strange occurrences that have (coincidentally?) preceded our six-person baptismal service today:
  • Some elders saw demons in their house and we had to go rescue the two of them at 1:00am with President’s first councilor (who lives close to us).
  • Yesterday morning, other elders woke up to find their house flooded to KNEE LEVEL.... it hardly even rained that day....
  • Several elders and sisters suddenly got sick.
  • Some loco started calling the sister missionaries and making threats.
The adversary works hard to make sure we don’t have success in this work, but I have a testimony that light ALWAYS conquers dark, and that when we stand with God, nothing can stop us from succeeding.

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More questions, because that was fun :D

Q: What have you learned about Mexican culture that you think is really interesting?
A: They don’t shy away from expressing their thoughts. It’s funny (and endearing) when they say things like, "not to brag, but I’m basically the best chef here in this neighborhood," or, "which one of your companions are we talking about, the chubby one or the one who looks like skin and bones?"  And nobody gets offended!

Q: What have you learned to live without?
A: Tech. The mission is the best Facebook there is, because we see more faces and read more books than ANYONE :D That, and the mountains. I always used them (and Siri) to help me with my terrible sense of direction.

Q: How have your social skills developed?
A: I’m not afraid of talking to people or expressing an opinion that might not be popular. I ENJOY being social. I’m more direct when something needs to be done. I’ve learned to be more humble and trust the judgment of others (when the situation is appropriate). I embrace the idea of making decisions based on correct principles. I talk openly with President and with my companions about problems. Among other little things. I’m still an awkward turtle with phone calls.

Q: What does a typical day as a zone leader look like?
A: It’s more improv! We do our planning as normal, but then the elders and sisters start calling us and we have to go on splits and do 3 things at once. Lots of technical problems come out of the woodwork (things I talked about above) and we have to communicate a lot of stuff to the assistents and to President. We end the day talking with the District Leaders about the challenges they’re facing and how we can help them, etc. In short: more craziness.

Q: What  do you do for fun or to just relax and destress on a daily basis?
A: I bought a giant new journal with blank pages (instead of lines). I’ve been combining my love for doodling with my somewhat-obsessive need to reflect in 4K-clarity the mission experience in a journal, and those 10-15 per day prove critical for my sanity. :)

Keep sending questions! I love knowing what you want to know!! There are so many things that happen in the field, it’s hard to keep track until someone reminds me!! I love you all and hope you have an excellent 9 days beating the adversary and achieving your goals.

Love,
Elder Carson


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