Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 29.5 in the field!!!

No, not week 30 - not yet. There’s still a day left! Bwahaha I know I’m evil for ruining the fun, but exactness is important, right??

LECCIÒN DE LA SEMANA: You want to see God in your life? Be an act-er. An act-er is someone who doesn’t stop at just EXPRESSING your ideas. An act-er moves swiftly from theory to reality and has an incredible potential to bless the lives of others. I would like to point out a few great act-ers of whom I’ve taken note:

  • Hna. Livi. Wow, this sister has no fear. She’s been rejected about three times by everybody on her street, but she PERSISTS in inviting them to Family Home Evenings to learn about the Gospel.
  • Elder Vega. I talked a little about him last week. He’s only been a member for a year-and-a-half, and here he is in the mission field. The man’s a tank - he extends invitations fearlessly and understands the scriptures better than many life-long members because he dedicates himself to study. 
  • My little brothers! Stoney, from what I’ve heard, is doing wonders at church and in his academic life. Oli is getting INVOLVED with cello and rugby teams and lots of other things, I’m sure! And Bertie, well... he’s really cute. :)

Sometimes it’s confusing to just GO without thinking too much, but if you’re doing good things and keeping the faith, God will be with you, and He will direct you towards the future He knows you can achieve. I see and feel it every day here in Cancùn. BE AN ACT-ER!!

  • I’M LEAVING THE CITY - today, the assistants called to let us know about the transfers. I’ll be going to Chetumal, which is on the border of Belize. I’ll be serving as a Zone Leader with Elder Sanchez! Super excited!!!
  • We helped the neighbor of our recent convert, Karolina, resolve some of her questions about the church. Apparently, her preacher had been telling everybody that the Mormons invite demons into their services.... Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought not. 
  • I got mad! It was amazing - I don’t think I’ve ever gotten mad before in the mission. But, then again, I’ve never encountered someone who tried to personally insult us on the basis of the Book of Mormon (which he had never opened). We ended the conversation quick, and E. Coello felt the same, so we said a prayer to calm ourselves. Prayer works, people!
  • We visited the ex-husband of Nely (Sergio), and he, too, accepted a baptismal date! He wants to leave behind alcohol (like many), but unlike many, he said he’s willing to go to church meetings, activities, read and study the Book of Mormon - all that’s left is the follow-through. The hard part. But I think he’ll do it.
  • We went to the doctor for E. Coello’s knee! He said it didn’t hurt that bad, but (feeling like my mom) I insisted that we go to the consult, because knee-problems are the NUMBER ONE reason that missionaries go home. They gave him a bunch of medicine and told him to go to a radiologist if things get worse.
  • Played basketball with the assistants, Elder Drew and Elder Carlson (...coincidence?). They’re both super tall, so they gave it to us baaaaaaad. But it was fun! :D
That’s all, folks!! You can expect a good letter next time, because there’s nine days between now and then. I love you all, and I thank you for your sincere correspondence. :) Remember: that good thing you thought about doing? JUST.....DO IT! (Shia Le Bouf)

Rayjan - A truly photo-worthy pre-schooler.
Amezcua Aguilar family - one of the friendliest (and most sarcastic) of our member families.
Hno. Williams. The great, the wonderful.
They said "POSE!", and the result was a perfect description of the relationship between Julian and I. Luna Miranda Family.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 29 in the field!!!

Hola mis favoritos <3 


It’s so great to hear your updates each Monday! Watch out, because the Carson family is having WAY too much fun - whether it be here in Cancùn, speaking Spanish and servin the Lord, or in Bolivia, bread-winning and looking scruffy (my dad), or at home, wrestling with an army of happy little cousins (mom), or lady-killin like a priesthood-worthy boss (Stoney). My other two brothers are growing up so well and being really cute :) Stay tuned - they’re gonna rock the world.


LECCIÒN DE LA SEMANA: This week, I learned how to be a better instrument in the hands of the Lord, and amongst all the little things I’ve picked up in eight months, there are several essencial points I wish to mention:
  • FIRST, be worthy. The Spirit does not dwell in unholy temples. Never fear repentance (nor your ecclesiastical leaders) - it is a gift, not a punishment.
  • SECOND, consecrate yourself. Start with a prayer, whatever it is that you’re doing, and don’t get off your kness until you feel something in your heart.
  • THIRD, have no fear. It is surprisingly essencial that we act on the FIRST prompting and trust that everything else will work out. Too much analysis causes paralysis.
  • FOURTH, glory to God. Give Him all the credit (in prayer) when things go well. It’s a catch-22 situation: WE want te feel fulfilled for the good things WE do, but in order to acheive that, we have to be willing to humble ourselves and accept that it’s not really us. It’s the Spirit, acting through us.

If we consistently strive to follow these steps, we will lose ourselves and find God in our lives. He wants to manifest Himself to us - we just have to be willing to do what it takes.




Last Monday, I bought a pineapple on our way home, and we had a fruity feast for dinner. Ahhhhhhh you should all taste Cancùn pineapples.....


We went on exchanges with our district leaders! I went with E. Vega, and let me tell you, that kid inspires me. He’s only been a member for a year and a half, and four months of that time have been in the mission field. He shared his testimony with me that missionary service is a blessing to the individual as well as the family - HIS family is now preparing to be baptized this next week, and I could feel the joy in his voice as he told me.


We also went on exchanges with our Zone Leaders. E. Mun came to our area and stuck with me, visiting our investigators. It was a blast to see how he works, but we almost got home late because at the last minute we realized that the house keys were with E. Coello XD A Jehovah’s Witness taxi-driver drove like a madman to help us get to the house of the other elders on time. Talk about good-samaritanship.


We found several families! In particular, our visit with Hna. Elena and her family inspired me. Her son, Dylan, has a rare degenerative disease and is progressively losing his functional abilities. The doctors said he wouldn’t live past 15, but he’s going on 18! They surprised me with their kindness and faithfulness towards us and God despite the hard circumstance.


We buried Hna. Livi’s dead dog..... that’s not a service project I thought I’d have in the mission...


NELY CAME TO CHURCH! It was such a blast of joy to see her family arrive, all dressed up nicely. they stayed for all three classes and told us they plan to come next week, too :) They can get baptized next week if they follow through with that committment!!


That’ll be all, amigos. REMEMBER: this next week will be transfers, so PDay is THIS SATURDAY, not next Monday. Get your letters in early XD haha.


Love you all. Be instruments in God’s hands. I’m here to tell you there’s nothing better.


Elder Carson





The gang just keeps getting better. PURO PALMAS.
Cool tie, cool wheels, happy elder. :)
Dramatic sunset photo-shoot...?

Week 28 in the field!!!

Why hello! Thanks for tuning in to the Elder Carson channel!

This week was a fiasco. We had a ton of potential and a LOT of falling through of appointments. BUT this elder isn’t discouraged - no no no. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22!! :D

LECCIÒN DE LA SEMANA: We do what we do to find joy. That is the end goal, right? I mean, "men are that they might have joy," so if we’re not happy, we should be DOING something about it!

The reason I bring this up is because it’s easy to get lost in the numbers of missionary work (and life), especially if that’s the existing culture in your mission (or job, or school, etc) when you arrive. Others might look down on you for not moving mountains, and President might share stories of all your friends who are out there baptizing families of 10. But that can’t get to your head, or you’ll crash.

I was feeling a little desperate at the beginning of this last week for that very reason. Our investigators hadn’t been coming to church, and baptismal dates began falling through. One day, though, we took a trip to the mission offices for an interview that E. Coello had with President. While he was in the interview, I got talking with the secretaries, the assistents, and Hna. Reynoso. It surprised me how relaxed and motherly she seemed!

Suddenly, the mail guy arrived, and announced that he had a package for a certain Elder Carson. WHAT? All my friends in the office laughed and cheered at the coincidence, including Hna. Reynoso. My family had sent me a load of goodies, and after opening it, I passed around american treats. In that moment, I could feel the love of my family, my friends, the mission president’s wife, and of God. It was a truly happy moment, and I realized that life’s too short to doubt God’s plan. We can’t get down when things don’t happen on our time schedule. Don’t worry. Be happy :D


Simple pleasure 1: I love watching the kids here with their seasonal hobbies. During the holidays, it’s fireworks. During the springtime, they play a game with spinning-tops (called trompos). These days, in the summer, I’m seeing a lot of kites being flown. These things are made out of sticks and garbage bags, and they fly 200ft in the air! One kid told us that he made his in 15 minutes!!

Simple pleasure 2: I’ve come to love a certain berry that grows on about half the trees here in the spring and summer! It’s pinkish-reddish, and it tastes like roasted marshmallow! No kidding! Every once in a while, we stop to rest in the shade for a minute and pick a handful.

The Pech twins, Elmer and Helaman, helped us with some investigators. The two youngins are a little rebelious, and inicially they rejected the twins’ invitations to go to the young mens activities. But the twins were SUPER PERSISTENT and FEARLESS in sharing their testimonies, and at the end of the visit, our investigators agreed to go and make friends with the quorum!
The other elders in our ward had a baptism - annnndd the girl had a fear of water. Man, that was a first. Let’s just say that the priest who baptized the gal had to try about three times to get her under the water, and it looked something like a wrestling match. DONT WORRY THOUGH - the girl was super happy afterwards! :D
We went to contact a referral, and the woman told us she wasn’t that interested. But, noticing a lawn that needed care, we set to work, cutting grass and trimming her tree. Afterwards, without an invitation from us, she said, "well.... I’m available on Saturday... if you guys could come and share your message, it would be great!" CHARITY NEVER FAILETH, YO.

That’ll be all, friends. We had a lot of fun this week, despite the setbacks. I hope you all are taking advantage of every moment of your life here on Earth - it’s a beautiful world and a beautiful time we live in. Keep the commandments. Be happy. :)

Elder Carson

Remember the seven dwarves? Which one do you think my companion is?
"Circus in town?"
They`re called capulines.
Got down to studying Maya - "The Other Side of Heaven"-style!!

Week 27 in the field!!!

Mis queridos amigos,
I’m SO happy! My mission is a brand new adventure every day, and I’m learning so many things that I will take with me all my life. You’ll have to forgive my worsening english - it’s an inevitable consequence of my self-imposed Spanish immersion. Apart from these weekly letters, I don’t even use my native language. But yeah. Definitely learning more than I’m forgetting.
LECCIÓN DE LA SEMANA: When you trust God completely, you don’t hesitate to do His will.
This last week, my companion and I wanted to change some things. We hadn’t had much success the two weeks before, and more than anything , we wanted to be instruments in the Lord’s hands to guide His children towards eternal life. We decided to focus on following the Holy Ghost, and the result is that we offered a boat-load of service to the members (see below). We had so much fun doing it - service offers quite the variety of activities - and there was a notable difference in the way the members treated us. in one afternoon, we received THIRTEEN REFERRALS, just from following promptings we received.
Remember Alma, when he left the city of Ammonihah discouraged? He was prompted to return, even after all his failed attempts to spread the Gospel, and he HURRIEDLY rushed to obey the Lord’s command.
I have a testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that if we will only listen to that still small voice, the rest of the things we’re juggling in life will work out. We never need to stress about things we can’t control when we follow the promptings of He who is always in control.
Due to the lack of success we had seen, I asked President Reynoso for a blessing, and he made time in his schedule to attend to me. I felt the love of my Heavenly Father through His chosen servant, and that day, we found a FAMILY of investigators!!
... That family is made up of SEVEN people! Nely, the mom and queen of the household, is the neighbor of Hna. Ana and Hno. Efraín, who we had already taught before. She has FIVE kids, four of which are of-age to baptize. Mario (18), Juliana and Julieta (twins - 12), Antonio (10), and Luis (7) are their names. They’re SO fun to be around! Unfortunately, there are a few issues between Nely and her boyfriend.... we arrived one day to their house, and she began to cry telling us the details of the situation. I gave her a blessing, and she expressed an unexpected testimony of the power of the priesthood!
Saraí is the girlfriend of Jonathan, a young man in the ward, but fortunately (miraculously) they aren’t living together! We asked permission to teach her because she lives outside our area (the missionaries can’t enter her house because her mom is super Pentecostés) and the zone leaders said yes! She’s already gone to church THREE times and has a desire to be sealed in the temple!! Baptismal date: 9 June!!!
We found a young MARRIED couple (...even more miraculous) close to the house of Hno. Mata (less-active). He had told us that his neighbors "probably wouldn’t" accept the Gospel, and in an effort to show him the power of a sincere testimony, we knkocked on the door in that very instant! Fania and Dany opened up to us and let us in, telling us that they had already taken lessons from the missionaries. What’s more - the husband, Dany, told us that he’s already gone to church three times! They accepted a baptismal date and everything! 9 June baybay! (You can imagine Hno. Mata’s surprise - afterwards, he gave us a few more referrals :) ).
We cut grass for all of Hna. Livi’s neighbors! It was fun because as we went, the neighbor-kids joined us in the service. "Grab a machete and help!" we told them. Our plan was to invite them all to a Family Home Evening that same night, but we got rained out hard-core. Next time!
We painted Hna. Graciana’s house! It was cool. Elder Coello has experience painting houses, so he did the kitchen - I, being a more artistic painter, was assigned to the kids room, where I painted them a family tree and some other little characters. The kids were all behind me giving me suggestions. :) That was today, in the morning. Afterwards, they treated us to empanadas and gave us FOUR referrals.
We went to the church building early one morning to help clean! Elder Coello and I cleaned the baptismal font, and for the first time in eight months (probably longer- ask my parents) I used a lawn-mower!! The bishop got all emotional thanking us, so we had to fend him off with hugs and promises of many baptisms!! haha.
That’ll be all for this week, folks! I love you all. As you pass through difficult situations this week, remember never to hesitate in following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Your life will be filled with love and light.
Yours truly,
Elder Carson
Painting - they had to ask the "tall" gringo to reach above the door.
He just can´t help the panic attacks. The thunder is too scary.
The artist sculpting his finest piece...