I have been feeling really weird lately because everything feels...normal? Life here, in Mexico, feels normal? Well, there's still moments where I'm like, 'Ok, what's happening.' Like when I'm hugging a toothless hobo or someone's showing me their dismembered baby doll and witch collection (I'll be sure to have pictures next week). Yet, I haven't been as shocked at the thought that I'm in Mexico just livin life like normal. I feel like the main reason for this is that I've gotten a lot closer with the people and more comfortable in the work.
The ward is amazing and there are so many members who are so willing to help us out. We've been having a lot of awesome ward activities that focus on missionary work and inviting people to church. Last night we watched Conozca a los Mormones and ate some delicious movie snacks(con mucho chile, claro). The members' willingness to fulfill their responsiblities as missionaries definitely encourages us to work as hard as we can, too. This week we found a ton of new investigators and they all seem really excited and ready to learn more about the gospel! With all these new, amazing, prepared people and an awesome ward to help out, great things are bound to come!
I'm also pretty excited for Dia de los Muertos!! Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays and Mexico goes above and beyond!!! It's basically 3 solid days of craziness. Decorations have been up for weeks, I've already eaten un buen de Pan Muerto, and I am so excited for this weekend (even thought I'll probably be inside). I'll make sure to document my experiences in detail and have photos for next week.
Well, just some final thoughts on the week: Deep fried ice cream is amazing (especially free). For your own well-being please find some immediately. Also, people here just love taking selfies with gueros and I don't think I'll ever be able to return to life in the states where I'm just 'normal'.
Homework this week is to read Romans chapter 8. Literally blows my mind at how much doctrine, peace and power is packed into one small chapter. Definitely worth the read.
Anyway, love you all and hope you have an awesome week! If you have any questions about my mission or Mexico, I would LOVE to talk to you about it!
paz y bendiciones,
Here is Carson's update on the hurricane.
" I forgot to mention the whole hurricane thing in my blog post, but it didnt do anything here. We haven't even gotten rain! I was a little bummed because I love all the chaos of it, but I figure it's a great blessing!"
This week has been amazing! I sure am loving life here in good ole Mexico City. I have definitely been super blessed to be here having amazing experiences with amazing people!
So, we have another trainee in our ward. He's fresh out of the MTC and full of energy. He definitely changed my perspective. For a while I kind of felt like the only new kid. Now, there's two babies in Pantitlan! I try to help him out as best I can, but a baby can't teach another baby too much and I'm still a baby. And this kid is hilarious! He just says the randomest of things in Spanglish and I die laughing everytime! Elder Kleven loves messing with him (it's really easy to do too). He's always telling him the wrong stuff and pulling pranks on him during meals. Luckily, he loves it and jokes with us right back. It has been a fun week and I can't wait for the next couple months with him.
This week was also amazing with our investigators as well. We have a couple investigators that have big families, yet their enitre family hasn't really been too interested in talking with or even meeting us. We've been incredibly blessed this week to have their families open up to us and particpate in lessons. It's incredible having 6-8 people during a discussion and really engaged. Seeing families united together listening to the Gospel is an incredible spiritual experience. And they are truly concerned for us and care of us with so much love...and food. LOTS of food. We watched Meet the Mormons with one family and they even invited friends, too! It's awesome to get to spend so much time with such great people.
We had an extra special experience with one of our investigators this week. She has been investigating the church for over a year now waiting for an answer. We've been working really hard with her, especially with reading the Book of Mormon. Last week she told us that she felt she needed to be better about observing the Sabbath. Yesterday, we walked by her business and it was closed! Everytime we walked passed we were estatic. She has always worked on Sundays after church. We went to visit her and she told us that she feels amazing after her decision to close. We shared some scriptures of encouragment and after she got pretty emotional. She explained that she feels better now than ever before and knows that the Lord is blessing her and her family. She even told us that she knows that the church is the right path for her. It was probably one of the best, most rewarding moments of my mission so far. THIS WHY I AM HERE! THIS is an example of how the Gospel can bring more happiness, TRUE happiness. It's an incredible thing to be a part of.
WOW, anyways....quickly now: 1) Food has been extra amazing this week including a KitKat cake, hot chocolate that tastes like Christmas, AND the best tasting meat I have had here in Mexico (maybe even in the States). 2) We're teaching a guy from Wisconsin who prefers English, we get along great 3) Finally...most importantly...8 VASOS DE AGUA!!!
It has been an incredible week and I know I have tons more ahead! I hope everyone is doing good, I love hearing from you! Enjoy Halloween season, it's one of my favorites. Celebrate by accussing someone of being a bruja or something... Yeah, that.
Below are pictures from last weeks bus tour. As you can see, he is still all Carson!
I don't have too much time to write, but it has been a very busy week. We have 9 new investigators this week and have been teaching TONS of lessions. We even had a baptism this week! I wasn't the one who baptized this time, but I did do the confirmation! It was terrifying! Somehow I was able to make some sort of sense during the blessing. A lot of people in the ward told me my spanish was very good. I definitely needed the assurance that I have improved. That same night I gave a lession on the scriptures in a ward Noche de Hogar. It's been good to have experiences like these to force me to practice different kinds of spanish.
This week also marks my first completed cycle in the mission field. Every cycle lasts 6 weeks. Seems crazy that I've already been here that long! It's also really weird because every other companionship in our district is changing. A lot of people are going home too this week. It's been hard to see so many people go, our entire zone is super cool and everyone's super friendly. Last Monday we had a 'Funeral' for our zone activity. It was for an elder who is going home on Wednesday. We went all out for it and had an entire service and viewing. It was pretty amazing.
A lot of other amazing, random stuff happened this week. On Tuesday, some of our investigators gifted me a backpack! It's super nice and thoughtful because I've had the shoulder bag so far and it was killing my back. The backpack is kind of reggae or something, so I guess I'm into that now? It's definitely something I'll treasure for a while. On Wednesday our investigator that cuts hair was teaching her brother and his girlfriend how to and wanted to use us as teaching tools. It seemed a little scary, but luckily it turned out fine. The final super cool thing was that today we went to the Centro again! This time we took a tour bus around the city. We met up with Elder Kleven's other son or 'trainee' he had about a year ago. My 'brother.' He was fun to talk to and it was awesome to see most of the city. We even had Carl's Jr. when we got done.
Anyway, it's crazy how much things are changing and how much stuff has already happened in my first couple months. In 2 weeks or so I'll complete 3 months already! Sometimes it's hard because everyone else seems to be finishing up. I feel like they're all seniors and it's the end of senior year. Then there's me...the only freshman. LUCKILY, there is supposed to be a TON of new missionaries coming tomorrow. And one of them will be in the same ward as me! Two babies in the same ward! It'll be interesting.
Have an amazing week! Watch a scary movie or something this time. If it's good write it down and tell me in two years!
Just a note. Carson says he has lots of pictures but will have to post them next week. Also,he wanted me to encourage everyone to check out the talks from General Conference if you haven't done so already. Just click on the link below and let us know which are your favorites!
¡Hola mis queridos amigos!
So there were two main themes from this week: Food and General Conference. Not a bad combination at all! I was physically and spiritually stuffed, that's for sure. First of all, the food. I've already said the food here in Mexico has been great so far, but this week I was treated to a LOT of more familiar types of food. Like, Krispy Kreme donuts, hamburgers, Peach Rings (literally almost cried of joy for these), and wonderfully fluffly pancakes. All provided at random times by amazing members and investigators. Their thoughtfulness and love definitely filled me with gratitude and prepared me for General Conference weekend. I also tried some new things. Now don't judge me too harshly. But, I despise corn. I'm sorry, I do. It's just terrible. Well, anyway, I tried elote this week week which is basically cooked corn with lime, chile, and other stuff. It wasn't as toxic as I was expecting, but I claim that it is the power of God that allowed me to endure such a trial. It was a very spiritual experience.
Anyway, the REAL spiritual experience was the amazing opportunity we had to hear from true prophets of God this weekend. It's weird to think that last General Conference I was actually at the Conference Center...in Utah...which is in the United States and not Mexico. Weird, right? Well, I was able to watch all four sessions and the Priesthood session, too. ALL in Spanish. I was probably able to understand 70% of what was going on, which isn't too bad. I'll have to see justhow accurate I was when the talks come out in a month or so. Regardless, I was still able to learn a tremendous amount and I felt the Spirit sooo strongly as inspired men and women, called of God, taught sacred Gospel truths and invigorated my spirit. Definitely make it your goal to eventually watch ALL of the talks. Each one is powerful, uplifting, and important for us to learn and grow from.
I loved them all of course, but Elder Holland's talk in particular was incredibly powerful to me. Probably because I was able to understand this one better than most. For I definitely know the words ¨mom¨ and ¨Jesus Christ¨ in Spanish. I can only imagine every other Elder in the field writing about this exact talk, and writing to their dear mothers just how grateful they are for them. However, I can honestly say I have the most beautiful and loving mother in the world. I can never truly express my incredible gratitude and love I have for her. Her example has always been a source of inspiration in my life and will be forever and forever. She makes me laugh, cry, roll my eyes, and fills my heart full of love. I can't wait to tell my kids, ¨Your grandma's crazy, but she is the best mother in the entire world and I love her with an infinite love!¨ I know, I know, I already know that my family is already shaking their heads with all this ¨lovey-dovey mama's boy stuff¨ I'm in Mexcio, get over it! Earlier this week I studied a bit more about the Mother Mary. She's kind of a big deal in Mexico, you know. Anyway, Christ's love and respect for His mother is incredible and her love for Him is overwhelming. Elder Holland explain's that a mother's love is closest to the Christ-like love which we all hope to achieve. I know I have felt Christ's love from my dear mother and I hope to have that same capability. Thank you mom, and all the other incredible moms in my life! Dad, I love you, too! You'll just be mentioned in a different email!
Well, another great week here in Mexico! Make sure you catch up on Conference, thank your amazing moms, and stay away from that evil corn-stuff!
To email Elder Foust, his address is: firstname.lastname@example.org