Thursday, November 28, 2013

Week 10

Hey family I am on kind of early because we are traveling to Amankese today for a zone activity!!  So I am on If you want to talk I know it is very early and this keyboard I am using is terrible so if my spelling and things are off I apologize haha!!!  Mom and Dad thank you so much for the emails I love how you tell me what is going and what you are thinking, the drama, the everything it helps me feel like I’m home with you!  As well thank you for the pictures I was able to look at dropbox yesterday and saw the sunset pictures and Colby with Cami I love them so much they load fast over email so I can see them so please keep sending them!!
Mom and Dad I really love the emails and how in depth you go please keep doing that and mom please keep sending the dear elders with them please I save them all and re read them I really love doing that!   Mom I would love if you wrote down movies for me we need to see please do that for me I would appreciate it, I know I have asked you to do a lot but know I am sure grateful for everything you are doing for me!!:)  I love you both so much!!!  As well mom I am sorry I haven't put any pictures up the internet is to slow but hopefully this Wednesday or Sunday we will see just know that I am happy and safe!!:)

Hey so I have some time haha I swear I think I am either getting faster at typing haha or the time is getting longer!!  As well the weather has been great I can feel myself adjust haha I love it the other day I didn't even sweat in the morning!!! OH YEAH!!! That reminds me this week I wanted you to know that I will have to dip into my personal money a little because this week our branch went to the temple! So my companion and I gave some money to our recent converts that really wanted to go we only gave about 15 us dollars away is all but to see the joy and appreciation of the people I would have gave them 100 us dollars to see that joy and that love and appreciation for when they got home! This puts me to tears writing this because I love missionary work and I love the temple!  So know that you have helped people get to the temple from home and the people who are supporting me as well have helped members get to the temple you are doing missionary work back home!!:)  Anyway one of our converts didn't want to walk alone in the dark by this park so we woke up at three a.m. and walked her to the members and I didn't even sweat haha it was great! Sometimes I don't even sweat when I’m ironing any more haha!  I can feel myself getting used to the heat though and its weird before I used to just keep sweating after I sat down but now when I sit down and wipe the sweat away I usually stop sweating its cool to feel myself adjust!  I can eat fufu now and banco and actually enjoy it and want more of it haha!!:)  When I go home I am going to be freezing!!!  I am actually getting cold at night with my fan as well haha so I have had to use my blanket and turn my fan down sometimes haha so the lord is helping me adjust I am so grateful for it! 
I don't think I will ever get fully used to it it’s just so hot here everyone sweats!! Make sure future missionaries know how important hanker chiefs are I love mine they are so important to wipe the sweat away!  I love the people though they are so much fun and they are always laughing!!  The lot we live on though we stay in a person's home that we are leasing and they are way nice people they have a bunch of kids!  But sometimes they come in our house and we let them watch movies on our portable dvd player and they love to do that it’s kind of fun just a bunch of little kids on the floor surrounding a dvd player they come to church with us too and they aren't members so it’s nice!!!  The other day they were watching tom and jerry haha it is so hard to not just go out there and watch with them haha but I just get bits and pieces and do the lords work!! I have to say I have almost fully lost myself in the work I can feel I am almost there!  It is weird because all I care about is how I can better myself to teach more effectively to be diligent, and to love the work to the best of my ability!
Hey is Colby still working out!??  Mom I seriously love that idea of you keeping a record of the movies we need to watch so please keep doing that!! As well take a lot of pictures on Grandpas birthday, and thanksgiving please I would love that!  Thank you for sending the dear elders as well I save everyone and love them so please keep doing so maybe when I get home we can make a missionary scrap book for stuff like that mom!! Dang make sure Colby knows how proud I am of him I am so proud of him!  Dang I write a lot but seriously all I care about is my family!!:)  I love my dad and mom so dang much haha so much and am so grateful for the both of you!  As well I have been blessed with such a great brother in whom I love a ton!!:)  
This work is not easy but I love it so much!!  I just feel so grateful all the time for my family and for this gospel!!  You know some people complain about washing their clothes by hand and some complain about our living conditions but the way I see it is we know what we are going back to so just be grateful and just try to help your family know and understand how blessed we truly are!!   You know just a quick memory I remember my first Sunday here and as I rode my bike into the church there is no parking lot and there was no cars and I was like is anyone here haha and I went in and the chapel was full! The members will walk 5 to 20 miles to come to church rain or shine! Talk about fully converted!  It makes me feel so ashamed to know how selfish I was and to think about i took for granted this gospel!!  We have been blessed with so much but you know to us it seems like a sacrifice but to the members here it’s a privilege!   This gospel is true my testimony has strengthened every day of the truthfulness and fullness of this gospel I am so humbly grateful for my heavenly father blessing my family with the peace, and happiness we have in our home and more importantly the love we have for one another!!:)  Today gosh I am so grateful for my first area too and my companion the lord really has blessed me and knew that I needed to be here in Oda I remember mom in your email you said the lord knows you need to be in
Oda you might now know why now but you will in the future!! Well I truly know that the lord knew that i needed to be here gosh I am so blessed!!  my companion and I were talking last night on the bed for about four hours haha and he said when he walked into the room he knew I was his companion and as well I remember looking over my shoulder and seeing him and thinking man if that guy is my companion that would be crazy and sure enough he was haha the lord always has a plan for us he knows us and he loves us!!  Well I have written a lot today I love you all so much! 
Enjoy a milkshake for me please!!!!:)  I love you all sooo much!!!!!!!:)
Elder Carson

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

week 9

Wow I can't believe another week has gone by just looking back on the weeks is crazy they just seem like a big blur!!  I really love this mission I just love to meet new people and to share with them the happiness of this gospel!!  I loved your emails thank you so much again for taking the time to share with me some things back home I know things probably don't change much but when you’re in this whole new world, man it worries you sometimes haha but thank you again!
Cami is such a stinker I love hearing her stories they always make me laugh!  Dang I pray every day for her and I really have a good feeling about her for some reason!  I can't wait to have another mountain dew too I will probably say "I love you” as well haha except instead of dancing with it I will probably start bawling with gratitude haha:)  It’s amazing I have wrote in my journal things I won't take for granted ever again and that’s one of them, there are things on there that back home I would have never thought of but when you get here you are just so full of gratitude!!  You will have to let me know when that rec building is finished and how it is, I’m curious to know what it will be like!  You know don't worry about sharing too much the more you share the better I know holidays are coming up and yeah I will be honest it brings back some homesickness but overall I want to know everything!!  TAKE A LOT OF PICTURES and send them to me please!  I got all of my packages this week; I got the one that was sent from October 9 haha thank you mom I loved it so much! My favorite CANDY awwwww it was such a treat tonight I’m going to buy a big coke and eat my candy and drink my coke and watch the restoration video haha that is my treat!  I loved the pictures though whenever you send a package please send photos and take as many photos as you can! Wherever you go take photos!   Anyway I got a total of 7 packages this week holy cow you guys are spoiling me!  First I got grandmas package with peanut butter holy smokes thank you so much that food sealer works perfect and it was so much peanut butter ehhh it is so good! As well I think all the Christmas packages are here too there was 4 from you guys and 1 from grandma!:)  Thank you so much you are spoiling me!  As well I sent some letters back and some I wrote like last month so bear with me haha Elder Clark gave me some stamps! 
 Mom I’m happy for your calling that will be nice to have a little older kids!  You’re a great teacher and the Lord knows that with your great personality and love you can really influence a lot of people!  If you need help with anything, like what to say or anything let me know because I can try my best here on mission to help you! I seriously just want to help everyone it’s so cool I’m always asking people for my help I love it!!:) Dad thank you for letting me know how cami and grandma and grandpa are as well it gives me peace here on the mission to know everyone is okay!! Anyway I love you all so much thank you for the emails!!:)
So anyway transfers were this week and it was kind of a dead week to say the least for my companion and I let’s leave it at that we didn't work as hard as we should have due to transfers and due to the Neilsons coming down for apartment repairs and our water...which we have its sooooo nice!!  But are numbers weren't the greatest but my companion and I were just like lets not talk about it and work extremely hard this week so I’m excited to work hard! I feel adjusted, I feel confident, I overall am starting to feel like a Ghanaian!  So yeah transfers were this week and we lost Elder Clark and Elder Botkin so now we have Elder Dike from Nigeria in our apartment and he is a really nice missionary that I get along with very well! It’s funny the Africans always tell me how much they love me but i'm really striving every day to adjust myself to be like a Ghanaian so I can get along with the people, my investigators, members just basically everyone in Ghana!  Its hard right now because we don't really have anything I can just talk about so I’m learning about things that I can relate to them with!!  But I am still here in Oda with Elder Dranii and we were happy about that Oda is getting bigger due to our missionary efforts we now have split the districts so that’s why my companion is dl so its growing fast and we should be splitting the branch soon too so our work is really paying off! But the Christmas transfers are on the 18th due to missionaries going home and traveling so I pray that I will stay here in oda but it looks I may leave unless they let me and dranii stay together one more transfer! So I think I will just give him his Christmas packages and then with a new companion just get to know him I guess but I’m so excited to talk with you all!!:) 
Hey with thanksgiving share everything and have a great time!!:)  Grandma sent me some potatoes and gravy so I will buy a chicken and some fried rice haha and eat it with potatoes for thanksgiving but have a great time and take a lot of pictures for me!! 
The gum you sent me I love sharing with the kids they love it mainly because it’s from America they have stuff very similar here but to know it’s from America it’s a whole new thing haha and the glowsticks they like it for a minute and then it gets old for them haha but I took some too my recent converts who I just baptized and her three daughters and little boy and they loved it so it was kind of fun to see them smile and laugh with them!  I sure love them her name is Beatrice and dang she is like my second mom here! Every time we go into her home she always yells Carson and Mate haha she doesn't know dranii's name lol and gives me a hug so it’s fun she always feeds us banco and rice all the time she is awesome I love her!!:)  So Justin Beiber came on the other day and dang it made me miss cami so much ha I started to tear up!!:) 
It’s so hard right now in the cafe a boy is playing video games on the first xbox haha so they basically have everything from home here just a lot older and slower but they have all our movies everything!! 
This week was kind of cool because there was an open house in Asmankese that I traveled to with Elder Dike yesterday and for basically three hours we just invited people to the church and walked them to the church for this open house it was really fun we had a great turn out!!  A Great experience!!  I guess transfer weeks go slow sometimes because on Tuesday we found out who were leaving and so we spent the day with them and then on Wednesday they travel to Accra which is 5 hours away from us so my companion went with them and then Thursday and Friday the Nielsons came and spent three hours repairing things in our apartment so we had late days and then Saturday I went to Asmankase for the open house and then got back late again so it was kind of just one of those weeks we just forget about but we were still able to make the most of our days and see recent converts and to meet some new people!
Next week I will be able to tell you more about some of our investigators!!

This week was Gideon's birthday and the poor kid has no family I feel so bad for him just this 17 year old boy that stays with friends and aunts and his aunts didn't even know it was his birthday!!  So I bought him three seasons of the walking dead and we had a candle that we lit on some crackers and we had as much fun as we could with him us missionaries he loved it he said he was way happy so it made me happy!! I love giving though I get packages and I share my peanut butter and I share candy it’s kind of fun.
The biggest challenge that we face here is everyone is very religious! Jesus is everywhere and there are churches everywhere!! Presbies, pentacost, methodist, jehovah witnesses, 7 day evangelist, church of Christ everything so everyone is a member of these churches and know of Jesus but the bad thing is their pastors say to never talk to us or to never go near us haha so we face that a lot here and we pass JW's  Jehovah Witnesses all the time doing missionary work as well hahah it’s kind of funny but they are nice to us, only because they know we will finish them with scriptures haha!!:)  It really reminds me of joseph smith and what he was facing so we are always praying for heavenly father to soften their hearts because they are very stubborn people who really believe in god and Christ we talked to one lady who believes in trinity which is god the father, god the son, and god the spirit are all one haha and I was like so you mean to tell me Jesus talked to himself on the cross or when he was baptized that other voice that said this my son in whom i am well pleased was just another person and she was like oh oh oh oh uh uh uh I don't know but there all one haha I was just like wow but they are stubborn people we already reached our goal of two baptisms this month but next month I want to baptize three people that I think we can baptize but we will see!! 
As well something in my planner when we were visiting the Beatrice family the boy was misbehaving so Beatrice went and grabbed the willow haha and threatened him it was so funny he took off running and my companion grabbed him so Beatrice could beat him but she never did she is to kind! It reminded me of the story of grandpa telling the boys to grab theirs!!!
I want you to know that I am safe and praying for you everyday, I think about you all the time and love you so much!! Thank you again for the Christmas packages and other packages I loved them so much thank you for everything I truly have been blessed with a great family in whom I love dearly!!!  I am okay though I am always thinking about safety dad and always listening to the spirit so don't worry everything is super safe here!! I love you all so much  I will talk to you soon just a couple more weeks!!!YESSSSSSSS!!!! I love you all SOOOOO MUCH!!:)
Me-Dowo Paaaa
I love you all so much!!:)

Elder Carson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 8

So I actually got your letter mom from October 9th haha and the package hasn't come yet but what do you do!  Elder Clark said one of his packages came three months after it was sent but most get here on time so lets pray that the Christmas one will get here on time!!  I loved the letter mom and I love the dear elders it helps me sometimes to just look back on them and read them, it feels like I’m talking to you sometimes!!
Dad I can't believe you don't have snow yet?? Hopefully in December it just dumps on us so you can go sledding but as wells so it feels the reservoirs!  Cami's comment made me laugh I love to read things that she says or that you guys say it always makes me smile! I read in one of my dear elders dad and you said mom is ornery as ever haha and I can just imagine you typing that and laughing while you type it haha it made me laugh this morning!:) That’s good the dodge is done though that means I will have a Cummins when I get home haha just kidding but it will be nice to have that done so you can tow the trailer to the hills this winter!! Dad keep taking Grandpa out like that I always love those memories when I think back on us going shooting or going to the hills I just cherish those now that I’m here they are just perfect memories I can't wait to come home and be able to go shooting and to go to the hills again ha it will just be so nice to have cold weather!!  Dad thank you for teaching me to be mature and to think about situations and sacrificing so much for me to be here on this mission I truly appreciate it and truly am just full of gratitude for my parents and family I love you dad so much thank you for everything!!:)

So this week was great we had the opportunity to go to the temple it was well needed!  I love going through sessions and sitting in the celestial room and just have a great conversation with my heavenly father!  As I was there I really had a spiritual experience I just sat in the celestial room and the spirit testified to me that what I am doing is right!  That I am supposed to be a missionary in Ghana Africa and things were going to be okay!!  This brings tears to my eyes as I type this because I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and the comfort it has brought me here on this mission!!  The temple is so beautiful though and it’s cool because we got to watch the old film and really makes you grateful for the new one! I was able to take some photos and I will try to upload them soon but this computer won’t let me haha they are just old, slow computers!!  It was nice to see president hill too he is a great guy!  He is a really intelligent guy holy cow he has wrote books that church has asked him to write and he is very smart but he is still very new you can tell!  He is only two transfers ahead of me so he was like we are learning together but it was nice to sit down with him and he said I look great and I’m adjusting very well and I am going to be a great missionary!! As well we had a meeting about what we can and shouldn't eat haha which was helpful as well sister hill and sister wall taught us how to make bisquick and other things so now I can make pancakes but in the bush we don't have the luxuries the Accra missionaries have!  I really love it here though it has just humbled me, which I have read in the scriptures is so important to have humility in your life and I sure needed it!  I love the scriptures I look forward every morning to reading them and just learning this week I read in Alma and gosh he is the best missionary there is I just strive to be as humble, and confident as he was he was a great man!!

I have to say this basically feels like home now!! I love Oda and our branch they are such sweet people that would do anything for you!!   If I left Oda tomorrow I would be very discouraged and probably be emotional because I love the people here!  It still hasn't sunk in yet and I don't think it will you kind of just lose yourself in the work and forget that you’re in Africa!  It’s so weird to adjust because really for the first time I don't think about myself I think about how I can better myself in order to bring my brothers and sisters back to my heavenly father!  At times I’m not thinking and its weird haha I sometimes don't like it because I’m like awww I should be thinking something but really its going well!!  It’s so fun I can feel myself adjusting to the food and to the people it’s almost just like I feel like they are my people!  I catch myself talking English like them and it’s really cool!  At times your head feels like you have to change who you are but really you don't have to, over time the culture will just grow on you and change you for the better is what I keep telling myself!!  I just have to be patient I just want to be Ghanaian already haha and my companion is Fijian but he is basically Ghanaian and he always tells me to just take a step back and be patient and everything will come!!  He is a great man though I really have grown to love that guy 
So mom for your questions the best thing this week was the temple and the spiritual experience I had in there but the second would be a Ghanaian woman asked my companion and I to attend like a baby tradition!  So Tuesday morning we woke up at five and went to her house!  What Ghanaian woman do when they have a baby is keep it in the house for two weeks!  When it has been two weeks they invite family members and friends to attend what is like a baby blessing!  Well what they do is the father usually will get a glass of water and a glass of alcohol or beer!  Well then they give the baby a name and a blessing but in the blessing they give it a drink of water, and mumble some words in twi and then they give it a drink of the alcohol.  What this represents is the difference of good and bad and for the baby to differentiate the difference of the good and the bad it was really neat!  Then they get the baby and introduce it into the sunlight for a couple minutes and everyone takes pictures!  It was a really neat experience!

Me-Dowooo Paaaaaa

I love you very much!!!!!

Elder Carson

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week 7

Awwww another week has gone bye!!!! They are going by faster and faster I swear before we know it I will be calling you!!:) 

Hey!! I read a talk about gratitude and I am so full of gratitude sense I got here but what I really wanted to express was how grateful I am for all three of you !! This mission is a family affair and we are going through this together I know its not easy on you either but one thing I have learned is you just have to trust in the Lord and pray faithfully every day and he will provide a way baby!!!  I am so grateful for you all I love you all very much!!
Oh there was an eclipse here yesterday and it kind of got dark in the middle of the day it was pretty sweet mainly because it cooled down for a couple hours haha but it was kind of cool!!

Hey I love your emails thank you again for sending me emails I really like reading them haha they make laugh and helps me know that you are safe!!  I really like how you go into detail and tell me everything its very hard sometimes but when you go into detail and tell me how your feeling and what your thinking and what you think about my emails and pictures it helps me a lot!!
So another week wow!!  Mom that's so cool you went to that baptism I'm so proud of Brandon that really is a neat story I really have seen that as well the happiness that baptism brings into a person, and families life this gospel is so true and its the only way we can have true happiness in this life!! Dang I sure miss trunk or treat  mainly just the cinnamon roles and chili haha rice and beans is all good though haha:)
Im glad you liked those pictures that sister Nielsen took haha I almost made her not send them because I thought they might be gay and my companion was giving me a hard time lol but I'm glad I sent them I sure love you guys!!  Things are so good here I have to say I'm settled in and its starting to just feel like home!!  I have been here a month and the people think I have been here for years they say the way I speak the twi and my English is changing already to their culture way fast!  A Ghanaian who lives with us Elder Andoh said with the rate I'm going I should be able to speak fluently twi by the end of my mission dang me and that kid get along great!!  My companion and I are getting along great we sit and talk every night, me, him and Elder Andoh just sit for an hour eating our food and talk every night about home and things we are going to do haha we get a long great!! 
Dang this week ha there is so much to write about in such a short amount of time!!  It is getting hotter here haha its getting into hammer time or something like that and holy cow its super hot haha the Americans we just have sweat lines on our butts and in our white shirts all the time haha but its just part of the work baby, I'm getting such mean tan lines though haha my arms are just dark and my face just burns all the time haha but its so much fun to ride around and talk to people and learn ha I really have been loving it!! 
This week we killed and ate a full pig lol I have pictures and I will try to upload them on Sunday but we will see haha!!  It was crazy we just had this pig in a bag and it started to try to get out and Elder Andoh an African just started beating its head with a rock and then knocked it out kind of and slit its throat haha that was a whole new experience so I now know how to kill a pig and clean it out and cook it baby it was a lot of fun!  We got our district and ate it Saturday night after the baptism and played ludu and ate pig and yams(potatoes basically)  It was a blast!!  Little Elder Ridenour was like haha after we slit the pigs throat he was like I don't think I feel like pig anymore haha but he ate it and we had a good time!!  So yeah we baptized two more this Saturday and awww I did the baptisms and they didn't fill the font up all the way lol so I had to baptize a guy three times and a girl twice lol but then the others I only baptized once haha but it was a great time and us missionaries presided the meeting due to the branch pres being gone and our branch is kind of small so that was different but we did a good job and you could feel the spirit!!

I love our branch so much though ha its so funny I just think sometimes here I am in Africa with everyone being black and my big white face is just right in the middle haha its kind of funny!  It really hasn't like kicked in yet though I must say it feels like I'm going home soon ha its a weird feeling but I really love Africa it really is a whole new world though!  Its hard to put into words how people live here and how we eat, and buy food but its just like Africa haha and it really is just starting to feel like home!! 
Some things that I have faced is people yelling at me to go back to my country and people sometimes swerve at me with their cars but really they won't do anything!  Things are safe I have so many experiences where the spirit is just like woah don't go over there or woah don't do this at this time!  One time a guy was yelling at me and calling me so I asked him what he needs?  He yelled your serving God right so come? Well the spirit was like don't go over there just keep walking, well as I started to walk away he started yelling go back to your country nobody wants you here boy and my companion stopped and wanted to beat him but I just pulled him and said lets go haha but just know that I'm safe and always listening to the spirit!!
One thing that has really strengthened my testimony while I have been here is as soon as you learn to put your trust in the Lord and in the spirit things just go so much smoother!!  Its not easy sweating very very hard every day and eating food that is way different but when you pray with true faith that you seriously want the strength to get through the day happy and with charity the Lord will always somehow give you the strength to do so!!  I have put myself in his hands and put my family back home in his hands and I know with all my heart that he will bless you all!! I am so thankful for fasting as well!!  I can feel your prayers and your sacrifice while I'm here just know that I'm working very hard everyday to honor my family and my Heavenly Father!! 
I saw my first green momba actually today on the walk over to the cafe gosh they put raddle snakes to shame they are just evil looking snakes ha but that was my first one I saw since I have been here and my companion that was only his first too and he has been out a year now so its a rare thing so dad don't worry ha I'm safe and doing well!! 
Well I feel like I wrote a lot haha but just know that I miss you all so much and I am so grateful for your sacrifice for allowing me to be here and experience this culture and the joys of being a missionary!!  I love your emails and am so grateful for the emails and letters!!:)  I sure love you all so much please if there is anything I can do here let me know! Let me know things you really want me to answer and I will try my best!! Well family until next week it will go by fast!!:)  I love you all so so so much and think of you all every day!!:) 

I love you very much
Elder Carson