Friday, July 13, 2018

Year 2, Week 37


In 1 Samuel 18, we learn about David, who was praised for his power, influence, and bravery. King Saul was envious of David’s reputation amongst the people of his kingdom, and was visited by that "evil spirit" which tempted him to kill David with a javelin. 

When we harbor feelings of envy, we become vulnerable to the same evil spirit that visited King Saul. We may not be tempted to kill, but we may gossip, slander, punish, ignore, and otherwise injure the person who we envy. 

I suggest the following to any person struggling with envy: METACOGNITION. THINK ABOUT YOUR THINKING. Analyze the time you spend comparing yourself with others. When you open your mouth, do you talk about others who aren’t present in the conversation? How can you change your focus? 

Kneel down. Pray for a witness that you are a precious son or daughter of God, and that He wouldn’t replace you with anyone. I testify that He will come to you and will say as he did to Ammon: "‘Be comforted.’ And they were comforted."

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Lots of fun happenings this week! We held the leadership conference, which was an incredible opportunity to hear the talents of our mission leaders. 

Elder Godina and I had our first week working together! These past days, we have been SPOILED with miracles - we have found three new families to teach, one of which is composed of Mom, Dad, and TEN CHILDREN. Talk about future Mormons... 

Our new Zone Leader gave a great presentation in which he datailed the goals and plans we have for this month to give more than last month!! Our goal is 212 baptisms, and if we have more than 107, we’ll break our record for the THIRD TIME IN A ROW! 

I’m so happy to be here in the field, even if I have less than three months left! Next week, we’ll be travelling to Felipe Carrillo Puerto to help out the missionaries. SO EXCITED!

Love you guys!
Elder Carson

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Saying goodbye to three of my companions now returning home!! Tears!!!!! X´)

Professional photography, as always.... NEW COMPANION, ELDER GODINA!!!

Leaving behind Elder Marquez in the mission offices... it´s your turn!!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Year 2, Week 36


HELLO MY FRIENDS!!

LECCIÓN DE LA SEMANA: The central theme of my studies during the last several days has been "the Lord’s promises". I searched through the standard works in order to discover more about the nature and the extent of His promises. 

The Lord has said, "Yo, el Señor, estoy obligado cuando hacéis lo que os digo; mas cuando no hacéis lo que os digo, ninguna promesa tenéis" (D&C 58:31-32). If we keep the commandments and live virtuous lives, the Lord will ALWAYS fulfill the promises He makes us, be it through the scriptures, through His holy prophets, or through a patriarchal blessing. 

I thank the Lord for sharing with me the precious promises He made with ancient prophets. I also thank Him for the personal consideration He has given me through my patriarchal blessing. It brings me peace to know that I can count on Him through the uncertainties of life. 

I invite all of you to BECOME FAMILIAR WITH the promises of the Lord through diligent scripture study. As you do, you will feel the same peace that I have felt, and you will be filled with a sense of purpose in your life. 

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This week has been nuts!!! Everything from bus-tickets to PowerPoint presentations has been the essence of our work. A lot of good erasers were spent in the logistical planning of the transfers. 

We had a few days before coming to Cancun to work in our area. We enjoyed Sacrament Meeting in Valladolid, and were blessed to find lots of new investigators that evening! Our dear district leader, knowing our situation, offered to do divisions to better take advantage of the time we had. We also found Fidel’s family! This good man has been busy - at about 40 years old, he already has 10 CHILLUNS. That’s a lot of diapers. They accepted baptismal dates, and referred us to their cousins (who happen to be their next door neighbors) - another large family that accepted a baptismal date. Our next lesson with them will probably have to be in the local auditorium (so that they all fit).

WE HAVE 102 BAPTISMS THIS MONTH, AND MORE TODAY!!! We’re all celebrating the new record, but we’re also conscious that the devil will be working hard to distract us from the coming month! Now that we broke the record, we’ve got to buckle down and focus in on July!!! President promised to buy pizzas for the Leadership Council next week as a book-end to the festivities. 

That’s all for this week! This next transfer, I’ll be working in Valladolid with Elder Godina! Expect photos next week!! 

Love, 
Elder Carson

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Surprise selfie with Elder Jensen in the offices!!!

A kind sister let us pick from her coin-collection! I liked this Mexican coin because it depicts Quetzalcoatl - a Mayan god.

The guayas are my new addiction... O.O But they´re healthy, don´t worry.

Year 2, Week 35


We went on tour again this week!

LECCIÓN DE LA SEMANA: Don’t get frustrated for things that are outside your control.

Yesterday, we travelled to Tulum to help out the sister missionaries, annnnnnd after two hours, nobody showed up like we had planned. Then, after returning to Carrillo Puerto, we ate quickly and went to see an investigator who was..... not home. Haha. THEN, after packing our things to go to Valladolid, we got to the bus station only to discover that the last van had already left! There was one taxi available, but there weren’t enough passengers to make a profit, so the driver politely declined service.

Sigh.

My companion and I had a conversation about how things sometimes don’t go as planned. We came to the conclusion that all these things would be for our good (D&C 122:7) and that we should look for the opportunity that God was giving to us.

I can promise you all that as you strive to have a good attitude about the unexpected changes in your plans, you will see the hand of the Lord protecting and guiding you. You may not always understand at first the nature or purpose of your trial, but you will enjoy life more DESPITE those trials.

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This week passed faster than a startled iguana. I somewhat remember ending up in Bacalar and almost entering a Menonite colony by accident. I remember finding a miracle in Jardines Ward (where i served before) with a young sister who desperately needed the Gospel in order to continue on as a mom of her infant children. I remember challenging a new missionary to give a District Meeting in the absence of the normal District Leader and being impressed by his confidence.

It is honestly a great blessing to be able to serve with these incredible missionaries. I am constantly blown away by there efforts and acheivement. It looks like we’re going to break last month’s record of baptisms.

This week’s going to be calmer - we’ll be in our area the first half, and then it’s off to Cancun to help the office-workers organize transfers.

I LOVE LIFE!!! :D

May you all have lots of good food and miracles this week!

Love,
Elder Carson

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My friend Isidrio from Jardines!!

Right now in the ciber-café. 

If I go into photography, food-photography will be my only option, because this sandwichón still looks delicious.

Year 2, Week 34


Howdy-doo, friends!!! 

LECCION DE LA SEMANA: I want to share with you some things I have learned throughout the course of my mission about REVELATION. For those who are scratching your heads because you’re not sure what that means, "revelation" is direct communication from God to YOU. You can begin receiving it TODAY, and you can receive it every day of your life.

To receive clearer/more frequent revelation, you can do the following things:
-          Pray and ask God for it.
-          Repent of your sins.
-          Place yourself in a calm and peaceful environment.
-          Ask God SPECIFIC QUESTIONS.
-          Have the habbit of recording the thoughts and feelings that come to mind as you seek revelation.
-          Present your decisions, goals, and plans to God so that He can help you fine-tune them.
-          READ THE SCRIPTURES.
-          Act on the revelation you receive WITHOUT HESITATION.
-          Understand the fruits of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22
-          Thank God for the blessings you receive as you follow the promptings of the Spirit.

My opinion is that you can never receive too much revelation. Learn to procure and act upon it, and you will live with the calm assurity that your life is in harmony with the will of the Lord.

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This week, Elder Marquez and I travelled to Felipe Carrillo Puerto, to José Maria Morelos, and to Chetumal. It was a crazy whirlwind and a blur, but it was also full of miracles and tender mercies. My favorite part was being with the missionaries with whom I have spoken on the phone and helping them resolve the difficulties of their investigators.

President was injured two weeks ago and wasn’t able to travel, so he asked me and my companion to give the Zone Conference in Chetumal. It was fun to put on aprons and pretend to be Sister Reynoso when it would have been her turn to present. The missionaries got a laugh out of it and ultimately learned a lot. The rain let up just long enough to let us do our unity-building relay-race with them!

With hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, it seems that we are going to achieve 100 baptisms for the SECOND TIME IN A ROW this month! We’re working hard to over-achieve and reach 125, because the velocity with which we move isn’t so important as the DIRECTION in which we’re moving.

Valladolid is home sweet home!! I’m happy to be here, even if only for the weekend. Next week, we’ll be in Chetumal again to work in the zone, finding new people to teach and baptize in JULY.

Love you guys!!  Check out the photo of our little convert!!! :)

- Elder Carson

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THERE HE IS!!!! 

Presenting...... *buhm, bumh, BAAAAAAAHHM*...... CHETUMAL!!!!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Year 2, Week 33

HEYYY MY FRIENDS!!

LECCIÓN DE LA SEMANA: We can achieve anything we want to if we are DILIGENT AND FEARLESS.

My mission president shared with me the story of his daughter, who once wanted to go to a high-reputation school but had no money. With her grades in hand, she marched into the main offices of the school and asked for an audience with the president of the school. With a little verbal maneuvering, she was able to meet with him, and, staring straight into his eyes, told him the following: "look, I have no money, but I´ve heard that your school is the best school in the country, and I promise you that if you´ll give me a scholarship, I will have a 100% grade average and will be the best student you have ever had."

She was admitted to the school with a scholarship.

Be brave. Be fearless. Aim directly where you want to go and don´t ever waver.

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This week, we had the leadership council, in which elder Marquez and I set the missionaries loose with a relay race to show the importance of UNITY!! They loved it, and I discovered that the sister missionaries are way tougher than the elders.

We also had zone conference in Valladolid, which was fun as always. Lots of inspiration came to my mind about how to help my investigators resolve their doubts and come unto Christ by baptism.

WE HAD A BAPTISM!! (see photos).

My companion and I may or may not de-stress after long days by eating fresh-baked (fattening) bread.... ymmmmmm...

I´ve gotta keep things short, so that´ll be all, friends!!!

Love,
Elder Carson

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María is the favorite of all the Relief Society!! They love her!!!

Year 2, Week 32


The summer heat is real here!!! Iiiiiiiiiiii wanna soak up the suuuuuuuuuuunnnnn.....

LECCIÓN DE LA SEMANA: Meeting your goals is all about STRONG and STEADY. About a year ago, the area presidency raised their expectation for mission performance to 100 baptisms per month. Since then, we fought and fought and fought to have more success preaching the Gospel. We worked together as a team and established Zone, District, and companionship goals to reach the vision of 100. Just this last month of May, WE DID IT!!! On May 29, 2018, the 100th convert was baptized in the mission, and I had the joy of witnessing it. I want to share with all of you my joy and enthusiasm that comes from hard, consistent, STRONG and STEADY work! I KNOW that God will help us acheive our righteous goals if we will but have faith and produce good works.

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VALLADOLID IS BEAUTIFUL! I love being here. There’s a tradition of Pork and Beans every Monday, which is delicious, and there are a ton of other fattening foods, too. I asked President why he was so kind and thoughtful as to send me here, and he responded, "I want you to ROLL home to Utah." HAHA!

REYNA AND WILBERTH WERE BAPTIZED! I’ve never met such intelligent kids in my whole mission! they did all their homework and memorized everything in preparation for their baptismal interviews. Their parents, though non-members, were very excited for their littluns.

Yesterday, Elder Marquez and I noticed some needs in Tizimín, and we travelled about an hour north to help them. THE LORD BLESSED US and we were able to witness the goodness and strength of the elders who serve there. In total, we placed 7 baptismal dates.

I’m SO HAPPY TO BE HERE!!! Everyone tells me I’m an oldy in the mission, but I feel as green as ever! I love to preach the Gospel. It’s a universal solution to the problems we face in life. I have seen lifes change as my investigators leave behind bad habits, sacrifice certain pleasures, and align their lifestyle with the will of the Lord. Sometimes they have doubts, but when they choose to move forward, they see MIRACLES!

That’s all folks! Have a great week for me!!

Love,
Elder Carson

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They had trouble looking at the camera, buuuut.... since when have my photos been very professional?? XD

When your mission president takes you to the Hotel Zone as a goodbye surprise for the departing missionaries....

A photoshop painting that I recently bought for the house in Valladolid.

Elder Marquez and I!!!! WE´RE SUPER BUDDIES!! XD

Beautiful Valladolid Center Square...


Year 2, Week 31


Oops.... Sorry for not sending the draft I wrote last week... HA. I’m definitely still alive!!

I DON’T HAVE MUCH TIME, SO WE’RE GONNA KEEP THINGS BRIEF.

LECCIÓN DE LA SEMANA: Don’t compare yourself to others! After arriving here in Valladolid, I had a sit-down lets-start-this-transfer-well pep-talk with my new companion, Elder Marquez. Let me just say, if there’s anyone who knows how to give a good pep-talk, it’s this guy. He’s a former soccer fanatic and team captain, so it comes naturally to him. As we talked, he was receptive to the Spirit and offered me a piece of advice - that I don’t measure what I can do based on what others are doing. All this week, I’ve been putting it in practice, and I can testify that it has brought me peace, joy, and energy to work HARD.

We should all strive to recognize our divine nature. We are all children of God, and therefore we inherit His divine attributes. I invite you all to ponder your talents and weaknesses WITHOUT comparing yourselves to family and friends. If you will add this to your daily prayer and scripture study this week, you will discover something mind-blowing about your potential that you might not currently see. I would be interested to hear what it is that you discover!!! 

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This week, I said goodbye to my friend, Elder Vergara. He did a crazy-good job here in the mission field, and now it’s on to the next mission! President brought us out to the Hotel Zone (which is typically a restricted area) to take pictures by the beach, and he brought us out to eat at Sirloin Buffet. YUM!

VALLADOLID! What can I say. It’s an absolute beauty. I’ll make sure to share with you the pictures I’ve taken next week (sorry - I forgot my camera cord in the house). The people speak Maya and are SUPER humble. My companion Elder Marquez and I have gone to some villages in our area where the people live in stick houses and don’t speak Spanish. Hax tzút’c.

THE FOOD IS GONNA MAKE ME GORDITO, IT’S SO GOOD!!

That’s all for now, folks! I hope you all have a wonderful week! LOVE YOU!

Elder Carson