Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Week 39- First week of training!!!

Hey Family!! Thank you for the emails, I love hearing how your weeks go!  Dads email made me laugh, Colby keep working hard brother, Mom I’m sorry you didn't qualify but you finished strong.  Thank you for the pictures and the email I loved it, I can’t believe all that stuff happened at the school that is crazy!!  I sure miss my family, I just have to get to my half way mark and then I will be coming home...can’t wait!!:) 

This week was good my new companion is Elder L from South Africa, I didn't get the DRC guys but my companion is really sweet...scared out of his mind but really cool guy!! I will write more next week about everything but USA beat Ghana 2-1 baby it was so wild the people here worship soccer, every night everyone is in the streets watching a game.  Let’s say after the game we had to lay low but Ghanaians are so sweet they don’t mind they truly are peaceful.

Well I need to get out and work. Family I truly miss you every day, I can't wait to see you and give you all a hug again.  I am so proud of my family, and proud to be a Carson.  We have such a great family with so many great memories.  I feel so blessed and with whatever trial I face I always try to count my blessing, and I realize how blessed I am to have such a great family!!  I will write more next week. Miss you all, and am so glad you are all happy and doing well!!

I love you all tons!!!!

Elder Carson

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Week 38- I'm a Trainer!!!!

Hey Family!!!! I can't tell you how good it is to hear from you, I always look forward to Monday and reading how my family’s week went.  It sounded like you guys had a pretty normal week. Dad it sounded like you had a pretty normal week, it seems that is how summer goes, It amazes me how this mission really gets you prepared for life, I look at you Dad and realize you have never really had 'you time' but you are always doing things for the family, Mom as well but I feel this mission is preparing me to not think about myself anymore and about what I want to do. I’m sure that felt nice Dad to be back in the air again.  Mom it sounded like Cindy is struggling, I always hate hearing that (I am glad you tell me everything though) but she will be in my prayers.  There is one thing I have learned since I have been out here, the Lord will show us our weakness.  My favorite scripture is Ether 12:27 all we have to do is live our lives according to our Heavenly Father's commandments and he will give us the strength to bear our burdens.  He won't take them away but he will make our  burdens light, we have to trust in him always and allow ourselves to be instruments in his hands.  My words of advice, there are a lot of people we dislike in our lives, people that hurt us, people that  lie and make our names bad, and many other things, but one thing I have learned and bear testimony too is SERVE THEM!  Serve the people that hate you, serve the people that you dislike and those feelings of bitterness will go away, the lord wasn't lying when he said love your neighbor, and love your enemies.  I will share with you an example.  As I have been proselyting there are some people that slam the doors in our face and tell us they don’t like us, but what I have learned is to just ask them if we can do anything for them.  We had one women in my last area who we contacted and she was just insulting us telling us how stupid the church is and how dumb we are and how we are being brainwashed and before we left we asked her if we could do anything for her, you could see her bitterness go away and now she personally went out of her way to greet us.  Another one is this week, an investigator that the other missionaries in the apartment are preparing for baptism and I had the opportunity to meet, well I accidentally said something that insulted her, not knowing it.  Well the next time we went to see her she didn't really mind me and was kind of rude it made me mad but on Sunday I was like no I need to be an adult here, so I pulled her aside and apologized even though I wasn't in the wrong, and you could see her whole domineer to me change, she now wants me to bring my new companion over to her house and see her often. I hope that helps.  Proud of you mom! 

President told me that I am going to be training.  He told me that my English is very clear and proper haha not all hicked up lol and so I should expect a missionary from the Democratic Republic of Congo, our first in the mission who only speaks French and I will help him learn English, he is in Provo mtc right now learning English.  President must trust me to open up this new area and to train, I'm super stressed out right  now but excited to tackle this challenge, it will keep me busy and by the time I am done with this kids training I will be at one year baby!!!!!  This week was super fun we had ZTM on Tuesday and after went to this pizza place it was so dang good, it was amazing and then there was a KFC right next to it so we got some real ice cream cones, holy cow I was in heaven.  We went to this store called melcolm it is like a target basically it was amazing, I was so dang happy!! Then we had a great week and contacted a bunch of people, I guess that’s the benefit from opening a new area, you start fresh, so I have a lot of work to do, I will see this week if any of them are serious.  The area is super safe.  I feel safer in this apartment then I have in all my other ones so don’t worry.  Oh yeah you will never believe what I drank this week, a real freaking Mountain Dew, it was so sweet haha I got sick after I drank it but it was so dang good, some store has so many American things, they have Idahoan potatoes and real peanut butter and Nutella I may be spending some money there haha!!

Mom I am excited for the opportunity you have to give a talk at church.  Mom just tell the ward how grateful and appreciative I am for the support, the prayers and all the letters that are sent my way.  Really this brings tears to my eyes, but I love my Dad so dang much.  I have had no better example in my life than him; he has taught me so much on how to be a man and how to stand for what I believe in.  Which leads me to what I want the ward to know, is everyone is watching the church and watching what we do, I know I wasn't the best at this but be an example, let your faith shine and let everyone know that we belong to the lords church.  Romans 1:16  I am not ashamed of this gospel and I will let it shine.  Be a great example to all!  I love my dad happy fathers day!!

Well Family I love you three so much.  I can’t wait for the day when I come home and am able to give you all a hug again.  It’s amazing how much I miss you but I am super happy and enjoying this experience, I wouldn’t trade it for anything!!  Mom Dad and Colby I love you three tons!!!

Love you guys so dang much!!!

Elder Duke

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Week 37- Opening a new area

Family!!! It was so good to hear from you this week.  I have been missing you guys a ton and I couldn't wait to email you!  It sounded like you had a great week; I know the last week of school usually goes by pretty fast.  You were able to get some riding in and see some beauty is a little different here haha it really is nice here but you have to find the beauty of it.  Dad you sound like you are busy, I always admire how hard you work, I don't know how you have the strength to do that.  Mom I am excited about your marathon just have that confidence always I know you can do it!  You will have to find things to keep you busy this summer!  I really miss you guys but I am doing great and I always love hearing how you are doing, I am so thankful that you are all healthy and doing well.  Cami is so dang funny, I miss her but am glad she is doing well; keep her in our prayers always!!  

This week was a great week!! I was with Elder Jones the whole week and we got rained out one day and then another day had some things come up so are numbers weren't too hot but we finished it strong by baptizing E!! The only bummer thing was, I wasn't able to witness the Baptism.  President called me Friday evening and told me that they were expecting 13 new missionaries this transfer but now there are 16 so he said we have enough to split some areas, and he needs me to open one of them.  He wants me to get to know it as well as I can before transfers.  He as well told me my new companion is Elder Zollinger, from Malta, Idaho.  I can't believe it, it’s been so sweet, we have been together for a couple of days now and have just talked each other’s ears off about everything, I love this kid!!   I hope we stay a whole transfer together but I think the reason President did this, especially since he mentioned the new missionaries coming in, I think he wants me to train and open this new area with a new missionary, we will see I’m not usually right when it comes to these things but who knows! I am excited to work with Zollinger for however long we got.  I called Elder Jones though and he said E's baptism was great, he said he was just glowing and had a huge smile on his face, I will send you a picture of us the night before I left.  He is a bike mechanic and was working but stayed late so we could learn and then we just said our goodbyes and that was that, I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father preparing him, this is the lords work!  This week though at mommy G we had a ton of fun!  She fed us so much fufu and Banku this week with cow leg as meat haha, Ghanians they eat cow leg here all the time and they always have to eat some sort of meat with their meals, it’s funny.  Well G is sad that I won't be there to baptize her daughter-in-law, and her son, I am as well but it’s important that they make this decision not of me but for them, they are and they have strong testimonies that is actually the girl that posted on my Facebook, we are always saying gay haha I love Facebook it will be great to be able to stay in contact with my Recent Converts!!   
I forgot my Apartment now in this new area is really nice, we have running water and it’s just a nice apartment, it will be nice to always have a shower consistently and not have to shower out of a dang bucket anymore, haha it’s all about the memories.  We stay in a Muslim community but it’s a super safe compound where a bunch of people stay so there are always people there looking after it.  We are serving in Darkoman which is Kaneshie and it’s a big ward in a stake center here.  So we are going to really strive to work with members and get them excited about missionary work.  I am excited for this new area, it seems like we are going to have a ton of success here.   The Area is safe so there are no worries there, I have everything I need as well!  
This week though, I was just thinking about how children live here and how children live in the U.S.  When you see real poverty and see the way children live here it breaks your heart.  You know I think about the things that I used to complain about back home, like it’s too cold in this AC car and other stupid things, while kids are complaining about what they are going to eat the next day, or how they are going to pay for school.  The other day as well I saw a little girl just squatting taking a dump in a bucket outside in front of everyone...this is normal and I was just like kids back home would never do that. We are so blessed and we truly have never gone, gone without, at least I haven't and I am so full of gratitude.  So maybe we can just think about all of our blessings, I know we do though, but I am so blessed to have such a great family, I love you guys so dang much we have a great family with great memories! 

Well this week was great! Thank you for the emails, I again love to hear from you!! I love you three so very much and am so proud to be a Carson!  Dad, Mom, and Colby know I miss you and think of you every single day; you are always in my prayers!

Love you guys bunches!!
Elder Duke

Elder Carson