Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 5 in Cancun!

Hola, Friends!

Much love to you all this Christmas season. I hope you all got fat with candy and presents but that you remember the true meaning of all this. It feels good to give, doesn´t it? And our Savior gave us the greatest gift of all.

LECCION DE LA SEMANA: Stay out of the comfort zone. FLEE the comfort zone. The comfort zone is death, and we cannot grow when we are stuck in its ruts. I have already felt the temptation to develop habits as a missionary that would prevent me from growing. Things like talking to people in the street only if they meet certain criteria of readiness. The Lord is gonna prompt me to talk to a busy, grumpy, and rich guy surrounded by other people someday, and when that day comes, I need to be ready.

Even our Savior progressed when he stepped away from safety and into the immense pain of the Atonement. I invite you all to compare Matthew 5:48 with 3 Nephi 12:48 and ponder what that might entail. Also, consider what habits you have developed to stay comfy and think about things you can do to stretch yourself. Pray to know your weaknesses and to have experiences that allow you to grow. The Lord will round you out and craft you into the person He intends for you to become.

  • We had a Christmas Dinner as a ward, and Miguel Angel came! It was awesome - we gave him a tour, showed him the baptismal font, and introduced him to members. He found out that he used to work with one of the brothers in the ward! 
  • My companion and I sang a rendition of Homeward Bound in front of everyone at the beginning of the Christmas dinner.... first time I´ve ever tried THAT... XD It was lots of fun.
  • We passed a primary school of kids dancing to All I Want For Christmas is You in English. Made my day x)
  • We tried to make a piñata with Hna. Elizabeth for Navidad, but I have no experience and it turned out pretty ugly! Woohoo! What´s more, her son arrived halfway through the process, and he makes piñatas for his job.... He picked up our piñata to inspect it and half the little colorful papers fell off. We died laughing.
  • There´s a blessed bench next to the statue of Guadalupe, I swear!! We´ve contacted three people on that bench and they´ve all agreed to fixed appointments! One of the latest was Cristina, a girl who saw us pass and had a feeling that we were going to return to talk to her.... how cool is that?? Turns out, her WHOLE FAMILY is interested in our message! (Fingers crossed...)
  • Kids like blowing stuff up here. It´s like their favorite pastime besides futbol. They throw M80s out there like candy and run around screaming when they go off. My companion and I have had to dodge the little grenades-for-kids on more than one occasion.
  • We saw two drunk guys fighting (FROM A DISTANCE, MOM) on Christmas night... it was a little scary, and we got out of there as quick as possible when one dude got his machete... it´s sad that there´s this kind of violence in the world. That´s one reason we´re out here - to bring light into the lives of those unfortunate victims of poor family circumstances. 
That´s it for this week, guys. I love you all. Stay righteous and remember who you are (mom mode activated). I wish you all a wonderful, happy New Year!!!
Elder Carson 


Christmas Present from the Stake President´s Family!! WE LOVE LOS RAMÓN!!
My friend, the iguana, otra ves. This time, he´s trying to be sneaky and blend in with some leaves... not so fast, Iggy!
.... our handiwork. (alternative title: what happens when you give a gringo a piñata) 
Our friend, the pro, correcting our handiwork. 
What happens when you forget the water for your oats. 
THE ZONE! This was a happy birthday photo for the Hermana front and center. 
Practicing for the performance en la casa. :) 
The little kids outperformed us by a longshot! 
Fernando y Juan remind me of my brothers, mostly Oli. Guess what they´re playing? It starts with M and ends with -inecraft!
They had to pause... I love them X)

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 4 in the Field!!!! (right? I think?)

Hola, friends, Romans, countrymen, 

This week was great! We had lots of fun times to celebrate the season and I got to meet more of the wonderful people of Cancun!!

LECCION DE LA SEMANA: Communication is clave. I always knew this conceptually, but I never truly understood it at an emotional level until the mission. Within the ward, we have to maintain constant communication with our leaders, or things fall through and the work doesn´t get done. It´s a HABIT that needs to be developed, and that takes time. I was talking to some Hermanas who have had a lot of success in their ward, and they told me that the communication they have with members is SPECTACULAR. They have a designated period each night for calling each family or individual who is going to accompany them the following day. The members expect and respond to these calls. 

Also, don´t forget communication with God. We should always have a prayer in our hearts - a constant link to the greatest source of inspiration and direction and wisdom couldn´t possibly do you harm. I apply this when we contact in the streets as much as possible, and I feel the guidance of the Spirit in who to approach, and how. 

When we are in a habit of repenting frecuently and communicating our desire to improve always, that is when we RETAIN a remision of our sins and qualify ourselves to eventually enter into God´s presence. 




  • We´re teaching a family of recent converts and trying to really strengthen them. RCs can be extremely helpful in missionary work. Anyway, Hna Erika is a single mom with a Get-Things-Done attitude and a spunky attitute that reminds me of a dear friend of mine (hi Alisha Clayson!!) Her sons, Fernando and Juan, are like my own brothers, good-hearted, sweet, and also whiny, at times X) They always hug me when we come over. 
  • We try not to talk to all the millions of Jehovah´s Witnesses unless so prompted by the Spirit, because they don´t want to listen. Only talk. One woman just quoted scriptures at us for about half an hour..... Lots of people confuse us for Witnesses. We frequently have to explain.
  • We have an investigator named Alejandra who has been taught all the lessons about four times but can´t progress because she doesn´t want to marry the guy she lives with. We´ve tried lots, but we think it´s up to the Hermanas in the ward to show her how much she´s loved. Pray for her, guys!
  • We are teaching another sister (lots of sisters because the men work all hours of the day to support their families - we teach on the porch or just inside with the door open) named Sandra. She confided in us this last visit that she knows everything we teach is true, but she can´t convert because her spouse and his family dont want her too... again, prayers are necessary. 
  • We had a SUPER FUN Christmas multi-zone activity where we broke piñatas and ended up with way too much candy. Great food, great people, and a great devotional by our beloved President and his spouse. 
  • Our Stake president is great. He lives right across the street from our house and makes sure we have everything we need. He graciously gifted us a plunger (....) and, just yesterday night, brought us each slices of OREO CAKE :DDD.
  • I missed home one time this week. We were using the Reference Manager program online last Thursday in an internet Cafe. There were two youngins next to us playing a match of Halo. I thought of all the good times playing online with my brother Stoney, and that was a little difficult. Refocused afterwards and we´re all good now :) 
  • President Reynoso attended our ward yesterday!! And, he attended Gospel Principles!! (Which I taught, having been notified by my companion only five minutes earlier that I would be teaching...) Talk about pressure. It was great though. I tried to talk as little as possible by asking questions, and the members took up most of the time. There were a few mintues at the end where I wasn´t sure what to say, but President Reynoso and his wife swooped in to save the day. Afterwards, President gave me a big hug and told me I did great. Whew. Love that guy. 

Merry Christmas to all. You are wonderful, and I love hearing from you. I hope your holiday is filled with all that gooey happiness. 

Elder Carson


Choppin' grass with a machete. Not the most efficient, but it feels really cool.

La Guadalupana otra vez, with a little me in front. 

We built a fence for a less-active Hermano. (in 30 minutes!! Woohoo!) 

Thank you Hno. Santiago Pech!! You da bomb!! (Took us out of our zone - with permission - to a restaurant a little closer to the beach. Still didnt see the water though....) 

Up close: main dish. See those purple things?? That´s what we call pulpa. Not bad at all. 

Haha.... this ice cream honestly made me feel a little touristy.

All smiles.

A dashing choir at the Christmas Activity. 


My family sent me food. It was wonderful. Still is. I don´t eat THAT fast.... 

Monday, December 12, 2016

WEEK 3 IN THE CAMPO-FIELD-THINGY (I just can't English)

Hola, dearest friends,

This week has been wonderfully uplifting, inspiring, difficult, easy, hungry, full to the brim, and all sorts of everything. I want to share a LECCION DE LA SEMANA because out here in the campo-field-thingy, there´s less dedicated study time and more DOING. Having a single leccion de la semana will give me more time to tell you what´s actually happening around here. I hope. 

LECCION DE LA SEMANA: Patience is infinitely important. 
My companion is wonderful. I love him. BUT he definitely bugs me at times. He likes to make the decisions, and that poses a problem to a new missionary whose primary learning mechanism is making decisions and experiencing the consequences. I had one day where I reacted to this conflict in a rather typical manner (my parents could tell you about it), and I gotta say, that was not a great day. We didn´t have as much success and we couldn´t agree on what to do or how to do it. I went to bed that night feeling rather gross. The next day, though, I determined to change my approach. I was reminded of Bishop Payne and how he wished all us priests a hard companion so that they would learn how to deal with conflict. I asked myself what the Savior would do, and then spent the day LISTENING to my companion, asking questions, respecting his experience, and offering relatively humble suggestions. It was hard because I wanted to see things done my way, but when I had the patience to put off my desires for the greater good - to have the Spirit in the companionship - we were able to teach in unity and have more success. 

Think about it, guys. Where do you find yourselves impatient? Dedicate yourself to being patient for ONE WEEK and compare your experience with the norm. If you feel like it, shoot me an e-mail with your results. :) 


FIRST BAPTISM, YO! Her name is Gabby, she´s fifteen, and despite the fact that she was already baptized (discovering only recently that her records magically don´t exist), the Spirit was super duper strong during the service. She was glowing when she came back into the room.

We´ve been drenched with rain twice now!! Turns out, the weather is just as mercilessly unpredictable as I had heard! The first time, the storm brought us to the door of Miguel Angel, a promising investigator who´s read a ton of the Book of Mormon already (I think I told you last time). The second time, we had just finished a correlation meeting with the ward mission leader, Hno. Angel (lots of Miguels, Angels, Miguel Angels, Miguel Lopez Angel Cortezes...) and we had to sprint back to the casa to make it home on time. 
Just... why.

WELCOME TO ANIMAL PLANET. Lots of creatures here, of all sorts. 
Roosters everywhere!! Also, dogs and cats that look like they´re starving.

Big ol´ iguana under a crack in the sidewalk. 

Found in a dirty dish when we woke up.... que triste.
Not pictured: locusts six inches long, THE SPEEDY GECKO (DARN IT, IM GON´ CATCH ´IM), the cucaracha, and A TARANTULA that we found sticking outside an investigator´s house. I didn´t have my camera, unfortunately. BUT I touched it. 

AND NOW, for the food network.
Things I´ve LOVED here:
  • Carnitas
  • Pombasas (sandwich things)
  • Pozole (like... soup with... stuff?)
  • Mexican Pizza
  • American Pizza (thanks, Hno. Santiago Pech)
  • Calgos (soups)
  • Canchas (the bread they drive around selling out the backs of their cars)
  • Pastel de tres leches
Things I have neutral or slightly negative feelings for (de verdad, I haven´t hated anything I´ve eaten):
  • Chapulines (just.... look it up)
  • Chiles Rellenos
  • Agua de Jamaica.

Love you all,
Elder Carson.
La Guadalupana... She´s a God thingy?? I don´t understand it yet.
You can play I Spy in the stores.
I think this dude´s famous (the one on the wall, too).

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 2 in the Field, Yo

Mis amados amigos, 

I have way too much to write for the time I have, so we´re going to have to shave it thin today and save the rest for dinner table conversation in two years. You can hold me to that. 

LECCION 1: Would the Lord send a general authority to some random stake in Cancun to console a newbie elder who´s feeling a tidbit overwhelmed?? Apparently, the answer is yes. We had a conference with Elder Pieper, President over all of Mexico in the church, and he gave us great advice about sticking to CORRECT PRINCIPLES and ditching opinion-matter when we teach. Afterwards, he chose a handful of elders to interview personally, and I was one of them!! Wow, I needed his council. He sat me down for a short get-to-know-you session. He listened to my concerns and worries, and assured me that I am doing great for a guy with two weeks under his belt in the field. It was a short meeting, for sure - the dude´s busy - but I´m positive it was heaven-sent. I was feeling overwhelmed, and after that meeting, I was almost completely at peace with my situation as a missionary. 

LECCION 2: Don´t shut out the shut-outs. Please. We visited Miguel a second time (the one without legs), and talked to him about his life. We shared a brief message, but mostly we were just trying to get to know him. At one point, he pulled out his old, beat up guitar an played us a BEAUTIFUL mexican ballad. Turns out, he´s got an amazing voice. We sang along as best as we could, enjoying his talent in his quiet (and tiny) little corner of the universe. Just goes to show that everybody is special, and when you take the time to realize that, you´re left with these wonderful memories and relationships.


I´m gonna cut the lessons short today. Sorry guys. Time budgeting is a thing and I´ve got like ten minutes. I´ve been asked to include a few day-to-day details, because I tend to wax a little philisophical and leave out names and places and other things that you want to  know.

  • We´re teaching these two kids named Pablo and Julian. They like to skate. We joke around and treat them like pals because that´s how they relate. They seem super enthusiastic to learn about the Gospel, which is awesome, of course. I don´t know how many youth in America want to sit down and deliberately talk about religion. X)
  • We found a guy named Miguel Angel (different Miguel) and, before our first appointment, he read to JACOB in the Book of Mormon, which is more than the members will do a lot of times!! Haha. Seriously, this is what they mean when they say our job is to look for the CHOSEN ones. 
  • We set up an appointment with a taxista who had a vision....? I wouldn´t be surprised if he was drunk. The people here luuuurve their 5 o´clock. (and their 5:00 is all day). But here´s to hoping.
  • We´re teaching these two little girls named Frida and Rosa to read. Their wonderful spirits, but MAN, they get distracted easily. It´s a good opportunity, though, to learn a little Spanish from their workbooks.  
There´s way more to tell, but alas, the time has come. Like I said, you can interrogate me about it in a couple years if you´d like X) 

Love all of you. Each and every one.

Elder Carson

TONS of cool grafitti here - but it bugs my OCD that someone colored the eye of the tiger completely white.... 

Poverty, yo.

Wealth, yo.

Our neybuh-hood.

Our church building. Ward: Chac Mool

Behind the church. Basquetbol. That was this morning. I didn´t know it was possible to sweat so much...

After playing, we all went into this room in the church where the air-conditioning units are. Ahhhhhhhhhh..... I forgot what cold is.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 1 In The Field!


There ain´t a ton of time today, so I´m gonna try to keep things to the point. 

LECCION 1: Through contacting, I have learned that there are three types of people in this world: Those with headphones, those without headphones, and those with invisible headphones. Just ponder that for a second. 

LECCION 2: God loves EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US. Elder Melena and I were out and about the other day and we came across a old old man with no legs, practically no vision, and no family. He lived in a concrete cube smaller than my bathroom back home. He was wearing scraps and said that he didn´t have time to talk to us because he had to get himself into his wheelchair to go and beg for food all day, or risk not eating. 

This man's name is Miguel. 

I asked him if we could say a prayer with him right then and there, but he really had to get going. I expressed to him the sentiment that God loves each one of his children, and that, through faith, we can overcome the plights that life brings us. I really felt that. With my whole heart. He seemed taken aback and then asked if we could come back and visit him sometime. That´s the plan. Thursday. 3:00. 

LECCION 3: The Spirit has real power to guide. Wow, he does. Elder Melena and I were looking for a contact in a neighborhood (which they call super-manzanas - super-apples...?) and we turned down a street with a dead end. Feeling doubtful, I said, "let´s go, E. Melena, this doesn´t look like the right way." But he kept walking. I followed, thinking it might be a prompting he was receiving. Turns out, it was. At the VERY LAST HOUSE, scrunched up against this cement wall, there was an open door with a man standing inside. We asked him if he knew where this certain contact lived. He didn´t, but as we started speaking with him, we realized that he was super open to the message of the Gospel. Religion had never played a huge part in his life, but he invited us back to teach him the lessons! Yay!


Lots of other stuff happened this week, guys. For real. Honestly, it´s been one of the craziest weeks of my life. It´s hot, tiring, frustrating, and oh-so-worth-it. I love every second of it, if only looking back at the end of the day. 

I want to share a few of the things I love about the mission so far:
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the feeling that both my Heavenly Father and my Savior are proud of me. 
  • The knowledge that my family (both now and in the future) will be blessed by my service and growth. 
  • A great companion. It was hard to say goodbye to one of my best dudes, E. Chamberlain, but E. Melena has been so patient and encouraging with me. He has his weaknesses, but he is willing to work on them alongside me. 
  • Personal Study Time. Oh, how I love you, E.P. It´s a chance to rest my introverted tendencies while still feeling spiritually nurtured. 
  • Writing!! HELLO EVERYBODY! :D I love doing this because it helps me remember the good things about life. Also, I still haven´t missed a single day writing in my journal, and I gotta say, I´m a little proud of that. 
  • SLEEPING IN A HAMMOCK, MY GOODNESS. It´s awesome - no two nights are the same because you find different positions to lie in. Like last night, I started diagonally and then somehow ended up with my feet way above my head. It´s fun. 
  • Plain water isn´t a thing here. Everyone makes fresh agua de piña or agua de manga and it´s HEAVEN SENT.
Okay, and now for some things that make the mission.... well, adventurous, let´s say: 
  • Trying to cross the street with a giant piece of plastic garbage tied around your legs because it´s alive and wants to kill you.
  • Trying to cross the street in general because traffic lights are a myth and everyone thinks their Civic is a Formula 1 racecar.
  • Cold showers! Yay!
  • I´ve forgotten what it means to have water pressure.... 
  • When EVERYONE gives you ten servings of food because they assume that nobody else does. And you´re expected to eat all of it. (Actually, I don´t mind that; it´s all amazing.)
Finally, thank you all for the birthday wishes. It truly was amazing. AND I got to extend my first baptismal invitation!!! (SHE SAID YES, GUYS). We´re working towards the 5th of January. 

Love all of you.

Elder Carson


 BACKYARD!! Prime hunting ground for the evasive gecko.....

One of the CCM group - these people are unforgettable.

Another of me and the comp. Just look at that smile!

Public transport! You have two options - this is more expensive but we use it to get to the church building. The other one - los cambis - are little vans with no seats that you pile into with a bunch of sweaty people to cross town. Great place to spread the Gospel because no one can escape... That´s a joke...

​For all you Americans... This is what an Internet Café looks like!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Week 6!! Welcome to Cancun!

Hola, amigos!!!
Thanks to everyone who´s written me - I really appreciate the love you show, and it always makes me smile.
This week is a little different because I´m writing y´all from an internet cafe near mi casa en CANCUN. That´s right! My first area! I don´t know where exactly in the ciudad I am, but I´ve heard that we´re about 15 minutos from the beach!
LECCION 1: True friendship doesn´t come easyy. You´ve got to talk. You´ve got to struggle. You´ve got to confide. This last week en el CCM has been so spiritual and wonderful, but also super sad because el distrito had to go our separate ways. I feel so close to each and every member of the district, and I think it´s because we were all equally dumbfounded and humbled by the process of missionary work for six weeks. All the while living in close quarters with one another. 
The last night in the CCM, after our Sunday devotional, Hna Herman suggested that we have one final prayer together before going back to las casas. So we knelt. Right there, in the dark, on the sidewalk, wind blowing rather furiously. It was cold and uncomfortable, but I felt such a strong comraderie with my fellow servants of the Lord. By the end of the prayer, ALL of us were crying, and some of us were all out sobbing. But it was a good sort of pain, becuase we know we´re all going on the Lord´s errand, and we´re doing it for His children. 
So, choose your friends wisely, and treat them like real friends. Trust in them. Confide in them. Build them up with the Gospel. Develop a relationship with them. 
Choose Christ. Do all these things for your brother who did them all for you. He suffered and died to Atone for the sins of the world, and while he did so, I´m positive that he thought of you. When He thought of you, He couldn´t stand the thought of you not being able to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father, and that thought gave Him the strength to continue. For you. 
LECCION 2: BE HUMBLE. There´s always more to learn. ALWAYS. I got out to the field yesterday. I thought I was doing pretty well in the CCM - I thought I was already a stud missionary. Turns out, it´s easy to talk to people when you know they´re not real investigators and when the appointment is already set up by your maestra and when you don´t have to think about what happens if you fail. Real investigators aren´t necessarily going to stick with you through a bad lesson and then hand you nicely-packaged feedback so you can come back and try again and do it better. They might stick with you for ten minutes (out of respect), but you probably won´t ever see them again. 
This is the same thing that happens in all aspects of life. Sooner or later, we´re going to have to take what we´ve learned in school or at a job and we´re going to have to apply it in a way we´ve never had to before. That´s intimidating. Sometimes the stakes are high. But, as we learn in 2 Nephi 32:9, we can consecrate our acciones unto the Lord (that includes the things we do in pursuit of our righteous desires) and, when we do so, we are assured that it will be for the benefit of our soul. Even if we fail (which we will. A lot.) we will learn and progress spiritually, which is all that matters in the end. 
We´ll cut it off at two this time because I only have like ten minutes to tell you about the happenings of the last twenty four hours. 
Yesterday, I got up at 1:15am and got ready to leave the CCM. We (E Chamberlain, Hna Flores, another Hna, and I) piled into a van and were shuttled to the airport around 2:30. Two faculty members helped us get our baggage taken care of and then said adios. Our plane left at 6:00, and suddenly we were in the air, headed to our home for the next 17-22.5 months (BTW, I´m already more than 5% done with the mish, which seems nuts. Makes me sad, honestly). 
We were received into paradise. We flew directly over the resorts, islands, and other tourist-y things. The ocean was amazing. The sunrise was amazing. All of it. Amazing. 
Our mission President, his wife, and the assistants were waiting at reception. They cheered and held up signs for us, and they proceeded to help us get our luggage to the car. We filled up every seat in that little minivan with adult human beings in a hot, humid climate (seriously, guys). It was nuts. 
We were driven to the Mission Offices, which are next to a church building in the city. We took photos with the President and his wife, and were then invited into the buiding to eat. To our surprise, upon opening the door, we were met by a zone of beaming missionaries singing Called To Serve!! My smiling muscles ached after that. 
Anyway, we were given the rundown and assigned trainers. Mine´s name is Elder Melena. He´s great, and I love him already. He´s super helpful and super native, which means I get to learn Spanish reeeall fast. 
Together, we took a taxi to our casa, which was about five to ten minutes away. We proceeded to do a few basics - unpacking and ironing the folded clothes. Then, we went out to work. 
Turns out, none of the investigators E Melena planned to see were in when we came to their houses, so we contacted a little and he introduced me to some of the ward leaders. Let me tell you, YOU DONT KNOW FEAR UNTIL YOUVE TRIED TO GIVE SOMEONE THE MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGE OF THEIR LIVES IN A CASUAL SITUATION IN A LANGUAGE YOU REALLY DONT KNOW THAT WELL. Super scary. But, we did it. 
Later that day, I shared a spiritual thought with a family from the ward. Everyone seems super friendly and supportive of the new missionaries. 
We passed a lot of groups of kids playing futbol in the street, but we weren´t allowed to play with them. It´s one of our presidents rules (probably good, considering my history with futbol). 
That was it. We went home and I slept in a hammock. Now, today, we have some appointments. I´ll tell yáll about it next week. 
Mucho amor, 
Elder Carson

My new companion, Elder Melena!!! :D
E Pearson saluting a piece of dirt of the wall as we pack up.
No no, Elder

Monday, November 21, 2016

I made it!!!


I don't have time to really write you guys right now, but they told me to log in and let you know that I made it to Cancun in one piece! 

I love it already!! President and Sister Reynoso seem very loving and dedicated, and the place is beautiful, of course. Stepping off the airplane, I felt like I was entering a paradise on Earth. Also, we had an amazing welcome from the other missionaries.

I'll write you a real email my first pday :) 


Elder Carson

Week 5!!!

Alright, amigos, this is it. One more week!! The next time you hear from me, I'll be under the Cancun Sun. 

Tons of stuff happened this week. I'll see how much I have time to type. 

LECCION 1: The Lord will magnify you when you strive to be exactly obedient. I will say, it's hard to be the guy who's always like, "cmon guys, we gotta...." you know. The fun-spoiler. But I've really been trying with my companions to be an example of exact obedience for the district, and one result is that we've had some AMAZING lessons. 

First, with Regina. Our goal was to teach about la Palabra de Sabiduria, and she followed along pretty well. At one point, she expressed some concerns over her ability to fulfill the commandment. She wasn't sure whether God could work a miracle in her life. A thought came to mind, and I opened up to a scripture that my companions had been talking about earlier that day. Mormon 9:18-21. LITERALLY PERFECT RESPONSE. She declared right then and there that she had experienced something unusually strong and that she knew Joseph Smith was a prophet. We had no trouble with the comitting her to live la Palabra de Sabiduria. 

Next, we taught about the Ley de Castidad. Her main concern was that she wouldn't be able to raise a righteous family because of the mistakes in her past. We talked about repentance and then I promised her as a servant of the Lord that, through her faith, she would experience that great change of heart that lets you know that you are forgiven completely. After the lesson, she pulled me aside (Hna Zuniga) and told me that it was the FIRST TIME she had ever felt that sort of power behind a missionary's words as a teacher. I was so grateful that the Spirit had put that power behind my iffy Spanish!!! El don de lenguas is reall!

LECCION 2: Time passes according to your attitude. I know a lot of guys who say it feels like we've been in the CCM for eternity, but honestly, I feel like I got here yesterday. I love every minute of service, and I'm learning SO MUCH. It's great. Learning's great. The Gospel's great. (If you read that in Donald Trump's voice.... I did too).

LECCION 3: The natural man really is an enemy to God. And to happiness. I was thinking during personal study that it's crazy how our natural minds want to insist on being alone in this life. Like Laman and Lemuel when they make fun of Nefi for trying to build a ship. ITS NOT JUST HIM PEOPLE. We have the most powerful being in the universe on our side, and if we cling to that belief, we are empowered to do amazing things. 


Since I'm leaving this next week, I want to take a sec to pay tribute to the missionaries in my district: 

E Chamberlain - Prime Chamberling - keeper and tamer of wild, magical beasts - preachin what he knows with an extra-terrestrial charisma - future star explorer and space pirate. 

E. Pearson - straight outta the 50s - dancin like a grandpa and keepin the collective groove alive - layin down the beat of the Gospel with his mighty pen-tapping skills - hes alive, man.

E. Hassard - workin haaaaarrrd, straight off the farm
got that straaaight faaaaace, and simple taste 
speakin so well,
makes our mouth go sour, 

preachin out the word with that p-p-p-p-power, 
teachin all teh people like king Ben from the toweeeerrrr

E. Ellsworth - A true man plucked from the college scene - working and studying like the great erudites of ancient times - a skilled craftsman of the celestial work. 

E. Johnson - The leader of us all - The great, the happy, the huggable, the hungry - the only one of us who can pull off being slightly inappropriate and still spirichal - He's..... EL GATO GORDO GUAPO!!!!!!! *Self-proclaimed title

E. Christiansen - Futbol extraordinaire - ready to juke out all the unbelievers with raw testimony and focus - He wont deal with your nonsense - success is written in his DNA. 

E. Fillingim - He is our rock, built upon The Rock - Defines strength in all facets - physical, mental, spiritual, and indeed, heart - Gonna give it all to Tennessee cause hes the only 10 I see! ;) 

E White - A free spirit and truly the artist among us - words flowing life the Amazon, cutting through a jungle of confusion and change and keeping us all tethered until we reach the open peace of the sea. 

Hna Herman - Like the mother duck, she chastises and corrects, but without fail demonstrates genuine concern for us - Her heart fierce, she defends her friends as a valiant warrior of the faith. 

Hna Flores - The senior citizen and big sister among us, shes the only one with the guts to be the Chicken Wing Queen - Cancun-bound, she'll bring the party off the beach and into the hearts of the investigators. 


We had a gastrointestinal plague spread through the district immediately after my companion opened a package containing a pillow in the shape of the rainbow-poop emoji. We think it is probably of Satan. 

We taught Priesthood, and despite the fact that we used our lesson-prep time to administer blessings to the sick, the Lord helped us and the lesson went fantastic. 

We got our travel plans from Reception!! Our maestras were literally crying because they say we're an amazing district and all the new districts are looking difficult. They might kidnap us and keep us here..... 

Our old zone leaders who were a week ahead of us left.... that was sad. They were great examples to us all, but I know they'll do great in the field. We are officially the old geezers of the CCM.

We found out that the doorbell in our casa is a plug-in speaker.... you can only imagine the pranks, given all the outlets next to the bunk beds.... belts were a-flyin. 


Don't know when my next Pday is, so keep a steady eye on the horizon...

- Elder Carson

Totally not posing... "Why, good sir, this is a mighty fine breakfast!"

Looking out from the temple doorstep on our second trip!
.... Um? 

Thanks, Grandma Sorensen for the donuts!!! :) 


I'm leavin on a jetplane! Cancun-ready!! 

I woke up and he was there...