Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Hey Guys,

As you are probably wondering we had a typhoon come through. I was really scared for this one because I heard something about it and everyone was like whatever nothing big. Well Saturday came and my companion got up at 6 to do laba. I slept in till 6:30. It was great. So we woke up and i noticed it was raining. Ok no big deal. Just a little rain. We got a text at 7 saying that we needed to stay inside all day for our safety. Well that put a big dent in what i was going to do. So I decided to do laba myself. 2 hrs later all my garments were done and 2 of my shirts I had left over. When I was finished i walked back into the main room and my companion was not there so i went to the bedroom to find him taking a nap. So i decided to clean my desk and pack up some stuff I wasn't going to use for a while. It was much needed. We went to the store and bought some food and then came back. I did some studying and then we decided to clean a little more. It started to rain harder and harder so we had to move the desks away from the window. It was leaking. Well it became night time and it still was raining and getting harder. It was a boring day but it went by too fast. I really needed it though. Oh did I mention that the power went out at like 8 in the morning? So it was pitch black by like 6. I decided to use the candle that I had instead of my flashlight. I got caught up in my journal and the we went to bed. We got a text saying to stay awake if we can so I laid in bed for a while. Our apartment flooded a bit prob like 3 in of water. only like a 1/4 in was inside though so it was good.

I have a new companion his name is Elder Reyes. He is really good at working hard. I knew I was going to have hard companions to get along with I just wasnt expecting it to be so soon. So its been a fun really rough first week. I think i have gone to bed praying the hardest this past week than I think I ever have.

Nothing new really happened this week. Besides transfers and the typhoon and church. We didnt really teach a lot. Only a few lessons. Have 2 people with baptism dates and the dates are right after this next transfer so we'll see what happens with that. 

Oh something big POPE FRANCIS came to the Philippines!!!! It was super cool to hear him talk. He said some things that are really important. He talked about families being the center of our homes. Its neat because that is exactly what we teach in our church. Except we add on the part that it is so we can learn and grow and help each other in the gospel. Become what heavenly father wants us to be. And the family is the basic unit of how we can do that. So awesome.

I lost my tie clip this week for real. We were walking down the street and i looked down and it wasnt there. Ugh. It was more sad that it was something that my dad had given me and told me to remember what it said on it than actually loosing it. sentimental value. So i resorted to using one that i got a while ago when i was like 8. lost that one too. that one was my favorite though. it was the nike swoosh with the angel moroni on the end blowing his trumpet. UGH trials we have to face in life. 

This week I have really learned to rely on the lord for a lot of things. Mainly having him there for us to talk to each and every time we need him. When we struggle and when we succeed he loves to hear us. 

I would challenge you all at the end of each day to kneel and talk to heavenly father. He really loves to hear us. He loves to help us with our our struggles and with anything we need. He loves us so much. 

A quick scripture to show how prophets have a sense of humor. In Alma 44 Moroni was fighting the lamanites  He basically tells the lamanites that if they dont stop fighting then game on and we are going to defeat you. something like that . I found it really funny. The goal this month in our mission has been relying on the powers of heaven. I encourage you do do that . However you feel is necessary. Do it. It works. 

Love Always,
Elder Carlton


So this week has been a week of craziness. It started on Monday. We had sunlight for the whole day. then it was sunny all week long. We took our laundry to the laundry lady. We don't have time to spend doing laundry by ourselves. It normally will take like 3 hrs do do it all. So we sacrificed a little money and got it done. Then to top it all off we had amazing lesson that night with a family about families and how they can be together forever. Well it turned into the mom getting upset about her son doing some things that weren't the best and... Lesson went down the drain. The rest of the week was a lot better. We had zone conference about recognizing the spirit and then found out that transfers were changing from the end of this week to tomorrow so it was a stressful few day leading up till now. Trying to visit all the people we wanted to remember. So, fun days for us. I found out last night that I am staying another transfer here in this area and my companion is transferring out. He was very sad. I taught him a lot while we were together.

I made chicken nuggets the other night. It was super expensive but it was so good. 

So investigators.

We had amazing week with the spirit working with us. We were able to teach lessons and have our investigators really understand what we were teaching and then to have our testimonies really testify was beyond amazing. Although we only taught 12 lessons we were really thankful that the spirit was with us during the time of need in our lessons. Having the spirit is something that can also warn of danger. We had planned to teach a lesson with a group of people this past week and so we went to the lesson. As we entered the walkway to the group of houses I got this feeling to leave. I ignored it at first and thought "Why leave? We are supposed to be teaching them." We continued to go in more. We walked into a group of women. NO male to be seen. Second some of them were not fully dressed and then to top it all off, there was a woman showering. She was behind a board but her head and  shoulders were visible. I had the same prompting come back even stronger. LEAVE NOW. So i told my companion about it and i got out as soon as possible. The spirit will testify of all things that are good. If it is bad it is of the devil. If it makes us have to second guess our self it is not good.

While studying the scriptures this week  I learned a lot. I was reading in The Book of Mormon, in Alma about the resurrection and how everything will be restored to its perfect frame.
Here in the Philippines there are a lot of birth defects that hinder the way people move. So this scripture really was a hit to the head of how exciting it is for all of us to be able to become completely restored to the best we can be. Then I thought of my dad and how he loves this scripture a lot and how he will have a full head of hair when he is resurrected.(bringing back the glory days)  hahaha. 

I grow a new love each day for the time I have to serve the people here. I got bored one night so i calculated how many hours I have left till i come home. After taking out eating and sleeping and down time I came to realize that I only have 5000 hours to bring people closer to christ. So im working harder to bring people closer to Christ. 

One last story about being diligent. So we were going through the area book ( the book that tells where the area is, people, records, and so forth) and we found 15 records that had not been completed... One of those was for a young woman who was going to the temple that day. Long story short, we got a call from the temple that her record number was not in the computer so she didnt get to go. So we spent the whole day doing our best to get everything filled out for all the records. 
So i learned to do my best and always finish a task thoroughly so others dont have to fix stuff that you didnt do. 

Anyways. I love this gospel and am thankful for all of the things I have gotten to do here.

Love ya

Elder Carlton

Fun facts

we made cookies in a toaster oven

I am staying for 6 more weeks


So to start this letter let me tell you about Christmas and New Years eve.

Christmas- we had the opportunity to visit the other elders in my district and we spent Christmas going to a wedding and a baptism. What better way to spend Christmas than to witness the real meaning of having someone take the first step to enter the kingdom of heaven. It was an amazing thing to witness. I had a powerful witness of the real meaning of Christmas  It was by far my favorite one by far. The no presents thing was a big change  but i got a present that i will cherish forever. I got to talk to my family for while and to tell them about how awesome I am and how much i am loving it here. The work of the lord never ends so we were out working on Christmas day. In the Philippines Christmas is celebrated for like 3 months but when it comes to Christmas day it is just like every normal day. all the stores are open and everyone is doing everything normal. for me it rained on Christmas eve. Like poured rain. If it were snow we prob would have gotten like 5 feet. We visited a member of the other ward with the other missionaries that night and we ate and had a great time. I got a recipe for myself. pretty excited about that. So yay me!

New Years. So New Years eve was on a Wednesday this year. So on Monday the lord really wanted to test my patience level and see how willing i was to focus on the work. I was really excited to email everyone and tell you all how Christmas went for me. Well that didn't really happen. Instead I was given the challenge that every computer i went to the internet would not work for me. I got a little frustrated but I was willing to be ok with not letting everyone know about how awesome my day was. So Monday we had a zone activity and then a brown out. no power. So much fun. We were traveling back on the jeepney and the cover would not stay down so my back was drenched and then to top it all off the jeepney broke down. So when we got to the jeep terminal there were no more rides going back to our area. So we went to the Allen Elders apartment and spent the night there. We got up in the morning to leave but we got a text from the Zone Leaders telling us that we were not to work that day (tuesday) so instead we tried to email but it didnt work again for me. I was  only able to email my mission president. On our way to email I was told that we were in a typhoon again. It was only a signal 1 so just a lot of rain enough to flood the city. haha. So I had a little bit of fun playing in the flood. Oops. Well the water came up to my knees and i was having a blast till we got a text asking if any of the missionaries had been through the flood water. Yeah didnt cross my mind how dangerous it was till then. So when i got back I showered and cleaned up. We ate lunch and then we traveled home. We spend a lot of time searching for people and trying to make everyone have a good new years. New years for us consisted of us looking around the block and seeing 54 massive speakers surrounding our house, and deciding that we were going to leave. So back to Allen we went. We had a good time with the Elders there and when midnight was near fireworks galore. bigger than the fourth of July  It had to have been like double the city fireworks. To top it off everyone bangs what ever they can. So my ears were shot. If I would have had money I would have carried on the tradition of my father. throwing plates off the balcony. I guess it was a good thing I didnt have money. 

So there are the two events of the past two weeks. On Friday I went on splits with the zone leaders (zl's). It was a blast. The ZL I went with was like a foot taller than me. We had a lot in common so we got along really well. He is always super happy which is awesome. It makes it really easy to talk to people. We rocked the exchanges. I was doing pretty well with the language and we committed 3 less active families to come to church. Well all three families showed up. well all three families but not the whole families. But it was ok. Little by little.

So our investigators- We have currently 8 new investigators and 3 families. We gained another one last night. They are doing all really well and we are progressing with them pretty well, except none of them will come to church. So our numbers we report at the end of each week look really bad. But we are doing work here. I will be sad to leave all our investigators and less actives and recent converts we have here in this branch. 

One last thing. I am approaching the end of my first 12 weeks. Can you believe that it's been that long? I found out that one of us will be transferring from this area. I will be really sad if I transfer. I love this area so much. More importantly the people here. I was told that as I loved the people I would find ways to help everyone of them. I have seen that work time and time again. It is so amazing how simple that phrase is and how it is so true. 

I am so greatful for the opportunity to be able to let all of you know how i am doing. It really makes me reflect on how much I have learned and how much I have grown. It also gives me a break from going nonstop. I think almost every night i will be saying my prayers and i will fall asleep during them. I can tell those are the days that I gave it my all.

I am loving serving a mission more and more each day. Watching people smile and seeing them happy each time we visit makes all the rainy days seem like sunny days. 

Love you all,

Elder Carlton

Fun Facts:

It rained for 10 days straight saw sunlight for the first time yesterday
I played in nasty flood water. oops
I cant seem to escape the mosquitoes at night so i wake up bitten to death
I am going to learn how to cook filipino food this next week
I eat rice for every meal mostly
I love getting letters

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


So to start off, I am doing well. So here's how the storm went down.

Tuesday- we heard from someone on the street that there was a typhoon coming that was going to be worse than the one last year. My companion and I looked at each other and both went uhhhhh that’s not good, so we started to prepare some stuff just in case and broke down our money into small bills to make things easy to buy. Everyone knows how I like to be prepared and have a plan to execute so you can only imagine what I doing. 

Wednesday- we continued our day and we got some things to continue to prepare. We heard that the storm was going to hit us tmrw so we freaked a little and were wondering what to do. 

Thursday- It was a cleaning day and transfer day announcements so we got a text saying that who was transferring and then a few min later a text came saying that there was a typhoon in the distance and for us not to worry about it and we would be told what to do if something were to come of it. So for us so we had studies and then started to clean a little. At 12:30 we get a text saying that we all need to evacuate to our zone meeting areas as soon as we can. So I packed everything I possibly could in one bag that was of importance to me. I had bought a sundong and brought that with me. Remember this for later. We were in the middle of making lunch so we packed as much as we could and ate really quickly. We didn’t know if we were going to be able to come back ever so I packed my bags and set them so someone could grab them if they needed too.  So we left and went to Catarman which is 2 hrs away from our area. 500 pesos later and we were there. We got a brief rundown of what was going on and what was going to happen. We played games in the church that night, all of us elders and sisters. Then the elders slept in the church building and the sisters went back to their apartment. lol. Make the sisters freak out a little.

Friday- it was super windy today, which normally never happens at all. So it was nice to have that sort of cool day. We bought some emergency snacks to add to our emergency food, so we had enough to eat for a week. lucky us!! Friday night families from the wards around the building started to come and stay the night. It was the safe shelter for us. The sisters slept there too. We played games that night and we had a great time. This night started our first time without power. 

Saturday- we weren’t allowed to leave the building at all. So we played games and we talked and grew closer together as a zone. It was a lot of fun. At this point it was super windy again and it was starting to get dark outside. The stake president was a news man so we were pretty up to date with everything. not as much as I would have liked but every 4 hrs I got an update on the location of the typhoon. not my 5 min updates that I like. haha. 

Saturday night- As a mission we decided to fast and pray that the storm wouldn't do too much damage to the area and that we would be watched over and protected. So we started our fast and then later that night at about 8 we got an update saying that the eye of the storm had been lost and nobody knew where it was and that it was not coming toward us anymore. Yeah the storm was supposed to wreck our area pretty bad. We were supposed to get the worse of it. But through our fasting and prayer the typhoon turned into something totally strange. Changed its course and nowhere near us. 

Sunday we had church, everyone was at the church building so why not. It was so neat to hear all the miracles of how fasting and prayer works. Someone said that the missionaries have special powers and god answers their prayers before everyone else. I laughed at it and thought it was pretty funny but true. lol.

Monday- we didn’t get permission to leave till about 12 on Monday so we packed up all our stuff and partied. joke. but we got ready to leave. We went back to our area to assess the damage only to find out that a tree had landed right in front of our house blocking our entrance to get in. so I grabbed my sundong and started hacking at the tree. Made a pathway to the door and we went inside. It had flooded in the apartment so it was a little wet but it wasn’t bad at all. If the tree had been over maybe 2 inches it would have crushed the front part of the house. So we were watched over and blessed because of that. We were too tired to do anything so we went to the Allen elders apartment and slept there. There were 4 sets of elders there. It was a lot of fun. I came up with the genius idea to get water. Their apartment is on the 3rd floor so we took a rope and a water jug, guess what we did. yeah my genius skill came into play pretty well. haha. Mind of an engineer at work. hahahahaha. so we hauled water up for showering and for cooking.  The people around us were like what are they doing. crazy boys, but it worked really well. better than walking up 3 flights of stairs. We spent the night Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday. haha. then we worked Friday and Saturday. Sunday I had to give a talk. I did pretty well, better than week 1!!!!! So I’m slowly getting the language, starting to understand a little bit more than last week. 

Sunday we watched the Christmas devotional. It was so good. I really liked how they talked about how Christmas is the time for expressing love towards others. I didn’t really think if hit so much like that but now I totally see how it is. Being on a mission has changed the way I see serving others. Instead of making it a way of oh I’m going to help them I now look at I love this person so much I want to make their burdens lighter so I am going to help them the best I can and make life easier for them by serving them. 

These past few days have been really good for me as I work on my goals this month of being patient and loving others. My companion and I have been butting heads a lot. I want to work work work and he’s more of the opposite so its been a good test of patience for me. We were in the middle of companion study and I was sharing something I had learned and he got up and walked into the other room and started to spray the ants on the wall. totally not relevant and something that could have waited but I was patient and not quick to get upset. I learned that this is how Christ would have acted. instead of getting upset like I wanted to and go off about how its rude to leave, I was patient and waited till he came back and continued where we had left off. It was a really good companion study and I learned a lot that day. 

So I hope everyone has enjoyed my super long email. I know that the Lord answers prayers and that he is watching over us. Even if we feel he is not. He really loves each of us and is with us each step of the way through whatever struggles we go through. We had a mission tour yesterday and I learned that the lord is with us in our struggle to find those that are wanting or needing to hear the gospel. He is preparing everyone and it is our job to have the courage and faith that with the Lord’s help we can and will find those ready to hear the gospel! It is a message worth hearing. It has blessed my life and has helped me through all the things that I have struggled with. EVEN FINALS. I know that god lives and he loves us. He has sent us to Earth to learn and to become more like him. We have to work for our eternal salvation. It isnt just given to us. (James 2:18)

I love all of you and was happy to see 43 emails from everyone asking about me. it made me feel loved. Goodluck to all of you that have finals. I hope you did your best. That’s all that matters. 

Elder Carlton.

Last min thoughts

not a ton of damage in my area. so no service projects.  a few pieces of a roof flew off and a few power lines now. 

A typhoon is just like a tornado but with lots of rain. that’s what I experienced. other parts of region 8 got hit with a 4 meter wall of water. so I was lucky

I wasn’t as scared or as nervous as I thought. I was at peace most of the time and knew I was being watched over and knew that if I were to die it would be the best time. Automatic exaltation!!! jk. but I knew everything was going to be ok.

I will be celebrating the real meaning of Christmas this year without any presents. so I’m kinda excited about that. 

It takes 5 weeks for packages and letters to get here