Monday, February 20, 2017

Week... SOMETHING! I forget!

My dearest family, friends, acquaintences, annnd the rest of you,
Someone once told me (actually, lots of people) that the days in the mission field are like weeks, and the weeks are like days. Maybe I´ve said this before in a previous email, but in my experience, that statement is FALSE. A better way to put it is: the mission is like one day, punctuated with lots of little naps.
LECCION DE LA SEMANA: NEVER judge someone based on the rumors you hear about them. For real. Give them a chance to prove themselves.
Everyone expressed their condolences for me when I received the news that Elder Gallegos was coming to Palmas to be my companion. I heard ALL the rumors. I was prepared for the worst. The thought came to mind to be really hard on him, to act like the captain of a tight ship and go head-to-head on every conflict.

Thankfully, I didn´t do that. After some prayer and scripture study, I concluded that a peaceful approach is normally better than going to war. And GUESS WHAT? E. Gallegos is quite possibly one of the most productive missionaries I´ve ever encountered! I felt unworthy to work with him after two days, but little by little I´ve been working to adopt some of his good habits. What´s more - we have a great relationship. Every morning he irons one of my shirts and I polish his shoes. Honestly, I don´t know where the rumors came from. Things are great and we´re working hard.

  • We had a great lesson with Jesús (our less-active friend)! He was expressing some hard feelings he was having and told us a story about something that happened between he and his ex-wife. At the end, E. Gallegos ceded the response to me, and, treading very carefully by the Spirit, I shared a scripture and told him, in essence, that he needed to move the doctrines from his head to his heart. He told me later that that was exactly what he needed to hear. Great feeling :)
  • Samuel, the partner of Yara (our investigator) accepted a visit, and in this visit he commited to get married to Yara and be baptized at the end of March! We´ll see how he follows through, but it was great to finally find him.
  • Abel came to church (last week)! This week, our neighbor, Angélica, came to church with the help of a member. We had already left her because she wasn´t progressing, but I think she made friends with a hermana in our development! Woohoo! ALSO, miraculously, Hna. Dulce was able to come to church! Her work called and told her there was nothing for her to do that day, so she attended with her kids. And, perfectly, the Sacrament Meeting was themed around MARRIAGE. BOOM. Miracles everywhere.
  • We forgot to pay the light bill and they cut our power X) That was a mini-crisis that we managed to solve before we had to buy candles.
  • We found Paul Mai Lopez and his family in the street and committed them to baptism during the first visit!
  • I got a new assignment from Hna. Reynoso to check with ALL the elders in the zone regarding their progress with the language and report on their progress.

That´s all for this time, folks! We´re super busy and super excited! Thank you so much for all your letters and support.
Much love,
Elder Carson


Hna Yuri, Abel, and Arely!! They came!! :)

Bye Elder Salas!!

New companion - he be so fly! But he don´t speak no English.

Monday, February 13, 2017


How´s it going, everyone?
I´m coming to all yall from CANCÚN, the real Sin City of the world, where we, as missionaries, are fighting the battle for righteousness!!! WOOHOO! Yeah, cheesy.
LECCIÓN DE LA SEMANA: Spiritual power is real, and its effects are very observable. To obtain it requires time, effort, and something we all know as faith.

We had intercambios (exchanges) on Tuesday, and it was great, because I got to be with my friend Elder Salas for a whole day, learning from his good example. He´s actually heading home this next week because he´s already served his two years and learned what he came to learn. I could sense spiritual power in almost everything he did. He was confident with those we taught. He extended bold invitations, listened well, and adapted the teaching to the needs he perceived. He jumped on unexpected opportunities to teach while walking down the street. I would have felt inadequate serving even one day with him, but he treated me with the same love he showed for others. In the morning, we had the best training session of my entire mission, where he taught me what it means to listen and ask questions with the Spirit.

The point is not to pay tribute to an elder, but to explain what spiritual power LOOKS like in the context of missionary service. The truth is, all of us can have spiritual power, regardless of our current calling in life. It comes little by little as we strive to be worthy (keep the commandments), have a relationship with our Heavenly Father (read the scriptures and pray regularly), and have our hearts constantly attentive to the influence of the Spirit.

While with Elder Salas, we passed a woman filling a bucket of water outside her house. He offered to help her carry it, even though she refused about a thousand times. He ultimately helped her, despite her fussing, and as a result, we went into her house and found a big family that was eager to listen to us! It was so cool!! Later, E. Salas told me that you can tell the difference in the face of the person if they´re annoyed by your offers to help or if they´re simply embarrassed.
Elder Melena and I were using the lists of members in the ward to find inactive families to visit, and we arrived to the house of one family miraculously in time to help them move out! They were literally just starting to carry their things out of the apartment! That was a cool experience because I felt guided by the Spirit to a SPECIFIC place at a SPECIFIC time. It´s not always like that, I know, but this time it WAS. AWESOME. :D
There were a bunch of kids in the street who wanted to talk to us. They were super enthusiastic and all of them wanted us to stay and talk, but we had an appointment and had to go. We gave them all our pamphlets and even a couple Books of Mormon and hurriedly tried to jot notes of where they all came from so that we could pass by later. It was fun - I don´t know if their families will have quite as much enthusiasm, though! We´ll see.
Yesterday, before Coordination Meeting with the Ward Mission Leader, we had an activity, courtesy of Elder Salas, where he taught the Relief Society how to make ties as gifts. We sat in because that, there, is an invaluable skill in the mission. It´s actually a simple process. With these extended PDays, we´ll probably have the time to make at least a few!

Today before lunch, Elder Melena and I went out to explore a sinote that we´d heard about in the area. We hadn´t heard about it before because the majority of the people don´t know it exists, but our Zone Leaders pointed us to it as something to do. It was really cool! We walked for a while on this jungle trail and came upon a swampy pond with a big-ole cave next to it! Peering in, we found a bunch of bats dangling from the roof of the cave.
TRANSFER NEWS: I´m staying in Palmas!! WOOHOO! I actually love it here, so I´m happy :) E. Melena, on the other hand, is off to Valladolid, and I´ll be receiving an Elder Gallegos - fresh from Isla Mujeres. I´ll update you on him next time!
That´s all for this week, friends! Next time you hear from me will be the Monday AFTER this coming Monday. Between now and then (and afterwards, I suppose) I wish you all the "interminable felicidad" that we read about in Mosiah 2:41 :)


Cheeses with Elder Salas XD

When you´re the only one looking at your camera..........

Relief Society needs some relief cuz they be workin´ so hard with those ties.

With two hours more of PDay, I decided to make a chess set. Yes, those are Goku Dolls accompanying the baby Jesus. I bought them for 2 pesos.

Who´s that cave-explorer extraordinaire???

Make that TWO extraordinaires!

We found Fer and Juan at the Bishop´s house having music practice!

Elder Melena showin off his rad skills.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 11 in the Field!

WOO We`re gonna type this one at LIGHT SPEED - I hope you`re all buckled in.
LECCION DE LA SEMANA: After all we can do, the Lord still gives agency to those around us. We went to the max this week in our efforts. We made bunches of calls in advance. We talked to people in the street (although not as many because we were rushin house to house). We ate EVERYTHING that the members gave us, and that`s hard to do. But, come Sunday, we had a grand total of ZERO investigators attend church. It surprised me that not even Marvel came - she`s potente - but, like it does, I`m sure life happened and she decided to stay home last minute.

The point is certainly not to discourage, but to lend thought to the concept. This ability to make decisions is something sacred that we all have. It is the only thing we have to give in return for what our Heavenly Father gives us, and even when we truly give it, the blessings we receive are so much greater than the sacrifice. This week, my investigators used their agency to stay home. But this week, I used my agency to serve the Lord and His children. What did you use your agency for?

  • We had a generation reunion! It was such a blast! I walked into the stake center and saw Elder Chamberlain for the first time in while, and we practically jumped into a grand bro hug. Then he stole my nametag. The bum. But it was great. I was equally excited to see my big sister Hna. Flores, although the reunion was obviously a little different. We shared fotos, ate food, and listened to some wise counsels from President Reynoso.
  • We had a baptism in the ward! Angel, the 18-year-old son of our ward mission leader, finally decided that he was ready to take the dunk. The Spirit was super strong during the service, and at the end, Angel, himself, bore a powerful testimony. We and the other elders in the ward sang a himn. One of our investigators, the partner (unmarried) of Hna. Dulce, was there. It was AWEEEESOME.
  • We had to leave Abel, which was a little sad :( He had finals in soccer this Sunday, so he didn´t come. The good news is, those games are over, so we expect that he`ll come to church next week.
  • Both Cristina`s family and the non-member husband of an hermana in the ward rejected the baptismal invitation! Woohoo! Failure! My dad always told me to fail fast and learn. We`re making sure to do pleeeenty of that!! I feel sad for them, but were gonna echarle ganas more than ever this coming week to help them!
  • I started a Book of Mormon challenge from Presidente! I`m gonna read the whole thing before next month, highlighting in red all the names of Christ, and in blue doctrines and principles. So far, I`m getting done with 2 Nephi!
  • I LOVE FAST SUNDAYS HERE!! Everyone - including the kids and the tired moms - get up to share their testimonies. Some are short and some are long, but they`re all - for the most part - true and edifying. :)
  • GUYS. Next Pday (actually, every last Pday of every transfer) is this Saturday. That means there are two pdays this week and NONE the following! Just so ya know.

That`s all for today folks! It`s been good hearing and learning from you. Dedicate yourselves to serving those around you this week. There exists no situation in which love cannot heal, mend, fortify, and connect. Lose your life in Christ, and He will give you life to your fullest potential.
Elder Carson 


Arely (8-year-old sister of Abel) demonstrates simplicity and ultimate sophistication in her depiction of her family and the local missionaries singing a himn. Also, I`m the one with red pants. 

Everyone at the table gave their food to us.

"President`s looking!"

"President`s not looking!" That`s the assistant, Elder Carlson (Car-L-son), over Hna. Flores` shoulder.

Sunsets like these EVERY NIGHT, boyzzz


Great place to be.

Oh yeah, and that one popular sign! There`s a line of pasty-whites behind the camera.

​ The happy companionship.