Monday, April 17, 2017
My dearest comrades:
I write to inform you that the mission of this past week was executed successfully, and that all prized objectives (new investigators, lessons taught, service rendered) were recovered. The sun tried to hinder our advance, but we emerged victorious over all.
LECCIÓN DE LA SEMANA: Service really does open hearts. This week was tough, but we pushed through, staying consistent with the little parts of missionary work so that the results would show. On top of those things, we decided to make a concentrated effort to help a brotha out - or, even better, lots of brothas.
In one incident, we visited with a family of new investigators (the family of Victor Hugo) who had previously commented on the difficulties they were having paying for the various parts of life. We brought tortillas, beans, cream, cheese, and eggs to their house and got cooking. The product - valeadas, a simple but tasty and traditional dish of Honduras. The recipe was courtesy of my dear son, elder Coello, and they turned out well. The wife of Victor, who had never up to that point opened her mouth to say a word in our direction, finally seemed to accept our presence and started asking us about missionary life. After eating our food, we sat down and had a activity with all the little chamacos (kids) about the Holy Ghost and its importance. She participated and laughed and stuff! It was awesome.
Last week on PDay, after writing, the six elders of Palmas went to the cave to check out the view! There were lots of bats and it smelled bad! Fun stuff.
During the week, E. Coello wanted to test my ingenuity, so he locked the keys (accidentally) in the house. I guess my ingenuity wasn't quite up to par, because I ended up having to call the zone leaders, who (fortunately) have copies of the house keys. We had a nice little reunion and were able to sleep in our house that night.
One of our investigators, Felipe Rodriguez, gave us some food to eat when we visited him a few days ago. Included was a plate of peppers that I assumed to be tame (because they weren't habanero). HA. Not tame. Definitely not tame. I discovered that it is VERY different to eat a SALSA made from pepper than to CHEW a pepper straight-up. They were only serranos, but they were pain-flavored serranos.
Whaddya know? after that, I got a throat infection and had to go to the doctor. She found a weird white thing in my mouth... I think it was an alien. Anyway, she gave me like six medicines that all taste like the lost hopes and dreams of small children. Now I'm all better :D
Elder Coello wanted to test my emergency response skills, so he left a pot of beans cooking while we went to visit someone in the morning (I had no idea) and when we got back, the house was filled with smoke! It was awesome. And, just to be a punk, the alarm decided to sound just AFTER we opened the door. It still smells bad, but we're recovering. I love my little hondureño companion. Haha.
That'll be all for this week. There were a lot of other cool things that happened, but I'll leave it for fireside discussion when I get back. I hope you're all enjoying your lives over there in the states. I've got the good end of the deal right now!! Bwahaha! Stay strong and spirichal - the best life is the faithful one.
Annnnnd it's not the computer - it's definitely the card-reader.... aghhhhh. No photos this week! That's alright - y'all need a break from my face anyways XD
Posted by Jason Carson at 4:24 PM
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
What? Did you hear that? 20 WEEKS IN THE FIELD, BABY. Now there's something to celebrate.
Let me put it another way: I'm gonna complete 6 MONTHS in the mission TOMORROW! That's nuts. How has the time gone so fast? I feel like I just said goodbye to all you goofballs!
Lots of fun stuff happened this week. I´ll try to give you a good review.
LECCIÓN DE LA SEMANA: When we pray, we pray for OPPORTUNITIES, not solutions. In my experience here in the mission, it has been the case 100% of the time that, after asking for a blessing in prayer, it is necessary to DO SOMETHING to receive the blessing. If we don't take the opportunity God gives us, we can't expect that everything will be perfectly fine.
Just a few days ago, Luis, our new convert and son of Marvel, accompanied us to visit Ernesto, another 12-year-old in the ward. We had to travel a ways to get to the kid's house, and after finishing the lesson, Luis had about 45 minutes before he needed to leave for school. He was worried about having enough time to get all the way ready, so I stopped him right there in the road and said a prayer with him. I prayed that he would be able to arrive home with enough time to get ready and still make it to school before the bell. To tell you the truth, I was worried, too. I didn't want to make Luis late for offering his time so selflessly (see the first point below), but I tried to have faith.
Just then, a little bus passed. I had the distinct impression that THAT was the opportunity God had provided, so I stopped the bus and we all got on. Turns out, I had exactly enough money to pay for the two of us, and my companion had just enough to pay for himself. We made it to Luis's house on time.
When we got to Luis's house that morning, he was fast asleep, having forgotten his commitment to join us. :) Hno. Paul, however, let us into the house, and we started rocking his hammock back and forth. It was hilarious to see the look of confusion on his face when he woke up to see the missionaries standing above him.
Paola (daughter of Hna. Arely) got baptized! She's only 8 years old, but she still needed to be taught by the missionaries because TECHNICALLY her parents aren't members. The service was beautiful, and at the last second, one of the young women in the ward asked if my companion and I could sing a special number as she played ukelele. It actually worked really nicely. :D
Samantha (granddaughter of Hna. Flor de Lis) also got baptized! She got baptized the day after Paola because it was the only day her dad could come. Because it wasn't ward night, almost nobody could come, but I learned that a small, family service can be just as touching as a service on Ward Night.
We found a dude who, by coincidence, has done construction work on the Mexico City Temple! What's more, he lives super close to us! His name is Felipe Rodrigues - he's a big, husky guy with tattoos and everything, but he's friendly and wants to learn about the gospel.
Hna. Dulce and her whole family need to get baptized again! I don't know what happened, but the other ward elders went looking for their records and... they don't exist! So that´s going to happen this next week.
Hno. Rolando, our ward mission leader, invited us to breakfast the other day. We went to a really tasty taco joint. Just so you guys know - Tacos here are nothing like Taco Bell. Not even close. They're incredibly delicious and NOT hard-shelled.
There's more to tell, but a lack of time prevents me from telling it. Alas, this session of reflection has come to a close. I wish you all a merry week. As the weather gets nice over there in the states, it's getting rather hot, here XD. Here's to hoping your missionary in Cancún doesn't melt.
Until next week,
Welp.... My SD card reader is being a little tonto, so this week I don't have pictures. Sorry, friends. I'll try a different computer next week!
Posted by Jason Carson at 7:01 PM
Saturday, April 8, 2017
HELLO MY FRIENDS. I AM ELDER ROBOT CARSON.
Hehe. This week has been absolutely WONDERFUL and full of surprises! I am astonished every day by the wisdom with which God directs his servants, the prophets, as well as local church leaders and mission presidents.
LECCIÒN DE LA SEMANA: Trust is one of our most valuable assets, and it feels darn good to have it. This past week, unfortunately, it fell upon me to inform President Reynoso of some frituras (wrong-doings) that had occurred at the had of a certain missionary. It was a little uncomfortable to approach him, but he was very supportive and thanked me for standing up for what's right.
As a result of what I said, there were emergency transfers in the mission, and I got sent BACK to Palmas. I was surprised - I had been super ready to embrace life in the new ward, Cancùn - but I was super happy to be able to go back to the investigators and awesome members of Palmas.
Apparently, President was worried about me, so he called me and told me that if anyone tries to call me a tattle, he'll go to war XD Later, the bishop of the ward called me (because he had been discussing the problem with President) to congratulate me for being open. In that moment, all my worries and stresses disappeared. The elder involved in the incident had gotten mad at me for exposing him, but I realized that I now had the trust of three VERY important people in the work - President, the bishop, and God, and I couldn't help but feel grateful to my Heavenly Father for prompting me to do the right thing.
I hope that as we go about our daily lives, we can all recognize the importance of trust. Having trust amongst friends is great, but the trust that matters most is between us and God. That relationship is irreplaceable. I can tell you all that it's WORTH IT to do the right thing, even when someone might get mad. The Lord will build you up as others try to tear you down.
This week, on Monday, President trained all of us trainers in preparation to receive our new companions. When the new missionaries arrived, we sang to them, and I was reminded of my own first day in the field. I got assigned Elder Coello as my new companion - a missionary fresh from Honduras - and have been working with him since then. He's AWESOME (his accent and all) and he already extended his first baptismal invitation! The only thing is he likes to sleep, but I can understand that XD I only have to turn on the lights and start singing hymns in the morning... bwahahaha
I HAD TWO DAYS OF HOT SHOWERS. That was a blessing from heaven, let me tell you. I wasn't expecting it, either - we got to the house in Cancùn Ward, I stepped in the shower and turned on the water, and BAM - gloriously warm liquid poured out upon me. I almost melted.
I SAW THE OCEAN. But only from a distance. We were riding the bus, which mounted a bridge juuuuuuusst tall enough to see between two tall hotel buildings, where a tiny sliver of glittering water shone majestically. Ahhhhh. :)
President Reynoso accompanied us to an appointment this week! One of our investigators, 12-year-old Aleyda, was going to get baptized this past week, but she was fearful of ruining her relationship with her Catholic father. President and his wife wanted to go to try and encourage her. I think she was a little intimidated, though XD President can be very direct. haha. Soo she didn't get baptized this week, but we`re still working with her and her family.
One visited one investigator named Hugo in his taco stand and had a quick lesson. At the end of the lesson, we were teaching him how to pray, when suddenly, he just WENT for it! Right there, without even having to invite him! It was awesome XD We set a baptismal date and are returning on Wednesday to continue teaching.
I listened to the story of how Hno. Pech met his wife..... again. I think it's the fourth time. I love the guy to death, but MAN, he can go for an hour telling it, and he's ALWAYS equally excited.
I have lots of other things to talk about, but the time's just about up. I hope you guys loved conference as much as I did - it was super uplifting and gave me the confidence I need for these coming weeks. Remember what it means to be a disciple of Christ - we're ALL IN.
Stay strong and hungry, my friends.
Four generations of excellence: Elder Vargas (my dear gran-pappy in the mish - he just went home), Elder Melena (papi), yours truly, annnd mi chan hijo (hooray, Maya!)
Back in the homeland... :) Always happy feels in Ciudad Natura.
Posted by Jason Carson at 8:49 AM
Hey, guys, guess what????
We got the news about transfers ANNNNDDDD..........
(buhm bumh buhm... suspenseful music..... buhm buhm BUHHHMMM)
I'M GETTING TRANSFERRED! The assistants called to let me know that I'll be TRAINING a new missionary in the Cancún Stake! I told them "what the heck? I'M a new missionary!!" That's a joke. I told them thanks and that I'll give my best and all that sweet stuff.
I'll be in the Cancún ward, which was the first ward ever established here in the city. It's also the ward CLOSEST to the ocean, which is definitely a change. Zona Hotelera will be in my area! Apparently, we eat there every Sunday with some members. Awesome, huh? I got a little rush when they told me that. I know, I know... careful, Elder.
More importantly, everyone tells me it's one of the strongest wards in the mission, which means we'll have plenty of support as we open the area.
Okay. That's the news. And now, for the weekly review.
LECCIÓN DE LA SEMANA: There's a GARGANTUAN difference between "inner" commitments and "outer" commitments.
Following up with a reference, we passed by the house of a less-active member a few days ago, and the person who opened the door looked nothing like a member of the church. They told us that, although they had been baptized, confirmed, ordained, and SEALED in the temple, that they had no interest in attending church meetings or accepting visits. They reluctantly chatted with us for about five minutes, and then hinted for us to get going. They had been offended by a member, and consequently decided that the church must not be true.
Friends..... please remember that when we make covenants - when we attend church, study the scriptures, and say our prayers - we are not doing it for the members. That would be an "outer" commitment - a commitment to maintain a good image. We make promises with GOD. We talk with GOD. We act for GOD, and He is the only one we are accountable to in the end. When we accept that - when we jump social, physical, and mental hurdles to keep the commandments - THEN we have truly made an inner commitment.
Make inner commitments, and let the strength of your image equal the strength of your character.
ANDREA GOT BAPTIZED!! WOOO!!! Everything I said about the Lord paying triple last week also applies to this week - lots of things went wrong, but we kept the faith and had a beautiful baptismal service. The only thing is the water-level was a little low. I think her dad got a little exercise lowering her to the point of complete immersion XD
Ana Camas, one of our investigators, came to church last week even though she had the flu!! Que potente, ¿no?
We did exchanges with the elders of Leona Vicario because they are coming to Palmas to be the THIRD companionship of the ward! We helped them all day to get to know the area, and they slept over at our house.
We went house-hunting, and found a new apartment in Prado Norte for the new elders.
While on exchanges, we went to the house of a young less-active, Samuel, who started laughing when he saw my companion's face and couldn't stop for LITERALLY half an hour....... LOLZ.------------------------
Here's the happy family!! :D Doesn't her dad look like a psychologist?
Fer and Juan and the rest of the gang at the bishop's house for music lessons! I gotta say, the bishop can SHRED. XD
MUSICAL POSE. My companion's a drummer.
Posted by Jason Carson at 8:36 AM