Monday, December 19, 2011

I Am A Child Of God

This last week we all got together with some of the youth, and the Relief Society President, to go Christmas caroling to several of the single women in our ward (especially those who we haven't seen in a while, or those who could really use a Christmas song and message).  It was fun, and just so wonderful to go to these peoples' homes, invite the Spirit, and put a smile on their faces.  We're going to do it again this next Tuesday and I get to plan and prepare the list of those whom we are going to visit, as well as the 15-minute program/message we will provide.  I'm really excited for this opportunity again, because I love singing, and I have witnessed how powerful hymns can be for inviting the Spirit.  For example, this last week we had a sweet miracle that involved singing.  
Elder Blad and I had been walking all day in the cold rain...allllll the cold raaaaiiiinnnnn...pretty picture huh?  haha, but it didn't get us down, we were happy as ever! (which, btw, is something we have gotten really good at - fighting discouragement, and having fun/staying possitive even amidst the circumstances that would normal make it nearly impossible to do so).  So we had a full day of appointments - they all failed - and then we were out contacting other potentials and referrals we had, and those went...ok.  Then after trying our most southern potential investigator's address, something happened.  Instead of turning around and going back north towards home, I felt like we would go south just a bit more, down to the tip or our area, and then go up on a different street headed north-east.  Why did I decide to spend more time walking an extra half-mile or so in the rain?  Well, the answer came just as we were headed up that other street. 
A woman spotted us and asked if we had seen a friend of hers who had gotten drunk and was running out in the streets; well we hadn't seen her friend, but she recognized us as missionaries and mentioned that she is a member of the church, too.  Much to our surprise, she told us all about why she hasn't come since she was 8 years-old and how she is so angry with the church, and all of the terrible things that have happened in her life that have made it hard for her to have faith in God.  At one point, she even mentioned how she still knows some of the primary songs. 
When she said this, Elder Blad and I looked at each other, felt the same impression, and began singing.  We sang, "I Am A Child of God," and the woman stood and listened - amazed that we were doing this out at night in the pouring rain.  When we finished, we watched as the once angry woman calmed down and spoke with us rationally.  Now our conversation didn't end up with much foresight of future success, but I could tell in that moment that each of us had felt the Spirit strongly, and that we could each feel God's love for us.  This is the power of music, my voice is a talent and gift I have been given from God, and this is how I am using it in missionary work.
Well, we got to have Zone Interviews this last Friday, and those sure were amazing.  I loved all the trainings we were given, and the 1-on-1 time we each had with President and Sister Wilkey.  I love them so much, they are so amazing, and they truly love us and do so much work for us.
Yesterday we had a "fireside" at a member's home, and it was so different from what I was used to, haha.  We pretty much had the whole ward cramed into a tiny little home and we just had a 5-minute message, some songs, and then a huge was pretty much just an excuse to get together and eat!  Haha, I love the people here, they are so fun and really know how to spend time together - even when there's 60 people in 3 rooms and you have to wiggle your way through a crowd to get anywhere, haha!  I'm so excited for the Ward Christmas party this Friday! it's going to be huge! and so much fun!!!  These people sure do know how to party; I can't wait to tell you all about it!
Have a very Merry Christmas, everyone! Remember who CHRISTmas is really all about ;) 
From Lawrence with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Monday, December 12, 2011

Keeping My Head Above the Water

Well, I feel like I've finally got the hang of things and now I'm just working on improving and doing my job better.  I had been feeling like I had been treading water, and that it was wearing me out, but I was reminded in a letter this last week that "even when treading water, as long as you keep your head above the water, then you aren't drowning."  This helped me so much to tread harder and faster - to keep my head above the water - to the point at which I'm not really treading so much as I am swimming!  and better yet, I'm loving it! :)
I've really been enjoying my responsibilities lately as a District Leader in getting to help all the District members and get to assist them in all ways possible.  Two of my favorite things are going on exchanges -- this gives me the perfect 1-on-1 time with any particular elder to see how I can help him - and then giving trainings during District Meetings.  In all cases, especially lately, I have found how much my communications class in BYU-I, my friends and relationships, and other experiences before my mission, along with all my experiences on my mission thus far, have truly prepared me for the tasks at hand.
So my companion, Elder Blad, is pretty awesome.  I thought that after having such a great trainer as Elder Ahumada, and then training such a great missionary as Elder Busby, that President would have me now with someone much more difficult.  I was wrong, and I have been so blessed to have another wonderful elder with whom I can share all my work, successes, trials, and miracles.  He's great at teaching and mature in his conduct.  He is very focused on the work at all times and he sets a great example for me through his dilligence and obedience.  And amidst it all, we are growing closer all the time and learning to have fun in all the work.  :)

Met the Mayor of Lawrence on PDay

This last week we had a Superblitz in Derry and it was a big success.  We had all the missionaries from our district (all 9 of us) plus our 2 Zone Leaders from Exeter, PLUS 5+ youth helping us out.  We basically split up and went all over Derry starting with an appointment, then proselyting and searching for new investigators, and then caroling.  It turned out to be a good success for the Derry area and the Sisters' teaching pool has increased a bit :)  In fact, one of the new investigators they now have is a man whom my companion, one of the young men, and I contacted while out tracting :)
Also, we have gotten TONS of referrals lately, and most of them have come from one super solid member family, and from a recent convert woman who is still just so pumped to share the gospel with others.  It's so fun having so much to look forward to all the time, and we are currently working on a big activity/lesson for all of our referrals and any other people that members invite.  We're finding that it's quite easy here to have a quantity of people to teach and such, but it's super difficult to find the quality ones.  So we are seeking for the balance, and praying for the guidance of the Spirit in all our doings.
Ok, I gotta run, our investigator that was supposed to meet us here at the library never came (and he doesn't have a phone for us to call) and we have a dinner appointment with Bishop and his family which we will be getting picked up for soon.
From New England with Love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sometimes The Wrong Address Is The Right Person

By the way, did I mention that I've been out for 10-months already?  ya, it was pretty neat, we were in a lesson with a woman (on Nov. 26th) and we were teaching her for the first time, and something came up about the date, and I just realized, "Woah, I've been out for 10 months!"  haha, it was cool, she was excited for me.  It's just fun to see where I'm at from where I was a year or two years ago, and it's so crazy to think that I've been a missionary for 10 months!  It's great to have a solid foundation of experience now, but it's sad to see how fast time is flying and how short these 2 years really are.  Anyways...
So this last week I got to go to Manchester, NH for Tuesday and Wednesday for a MLT (missionary leadership training) meeting.  I was there with 45 other missionaries including the Zone Leaders from Concord and Exeter, all the District Leaders and Trainers in the mission, most of the sister missionaries, and a few select others.  IT WAS AMAZING!  It was basically directed towards teaching us many different principles that we need to work on as a mission, and then we are to go back and teach those things to our districts, companions, etc.  I learned so much about so many great and helpful things.  It was really great getting to spend so much time with President and Sister Wilkey, too.
Oh, and I bet you are all wondering - yes Spanish Sacrament Meeting is interesting.  I love it, but it's hard to stay focused because there's always kids running around and people talk freely, so it's kinda loud too, plus the meeting always started 10 minutes late and a third of the people come during the sacrament.  But it's all the same gospel, and that's what matters to me :)  I'm really loving the Hispanic culture.  It's very different than my own, but overall, the great part is that people are generally more loving/caring/welcoming/selfless and they know how to have fun!
I've also been learning a lot lately about relationships and communication and such.  As a District Leader, I have the opportunity to help others who are struggling in whatever they may be dealing with.  Some issues may be based more personally than others, but in all ways I seek the direction from the Spirit to know what I can do to be most helpful to that Elder/Sister.  It's really amazing to also find how much I must grow in order to be an effective District Leader.  I thought that I was being held to a high standard as a missionary, but then as a trainer I realized I was held to the standard of setting the example for a new missionary; and now I see that I am help to the standard of setting the example for a district comprised of 2 sisters, 5 elders, and a new missionary - my companion - and I see that in order for me to teach, correct, or advise missionaries in my district, I must first be doing those things myself.  In other words, I'm learning not to be a hypocrite, and I'm growing from it, haha.
Oh, so the lady we starting teaching the other week, who is the daughter if a member, came to church for the second time yesterday and then came to the Christmas broadcast!  It was so awesome and she is so solid!  She is loving this Gospel, the things we are teaching her, and the happiness/hope it brings to her life.  Oh and we had a sweet miracle this last week.  Elder Blad and I were walking to an appointment, but we were going to be super early, so we looked at the ward list and decided to contact some people along the way.  As we went to the house of a less-active man, we looked at the mailbox, and his name wasn't there.  I looked at Elder Blad a little disappointed and he said, "Who knows, let's still try anyways".  As we went up the stairs, I had this feeling that my expectations were right, but that something good was about to happen.  We knocked on the door, and sure enough, the man we were looking for had moved a year or so ago, BUT when we offered to share a Christmas message with the man and his family, and quickly invited us in.  It was so great! and it was all in Spanish! The family enjoyed our message, and we even got to share with them more about our church and the Book of Mormon.  We then gave them a copy and they said we can come back next week to tell them more about it.  I was surprised that I was able to do all this in Spanish, cause I've really been struggling with it lately, but the best part for me was when I was testifying about the Book of Mormon; everything flowed so smoothly, they all listened closely, and the Spirit was definitely there.  So that night I relearned that sometimes the wrong address will prove to be the right person - or family :)
Well, I love ya and I'm excited to tell you about what miracles come from working during the Christmas season!
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lawrence, MA. A City of Miracles.

So this last week we went from a teaching pool of 1 investigator, to a total of 9!  Ya, that's right, welcome to Lawrence.  It's been so amazing to get to start teaching some people, and to start teaching in Spanish - which is so much harder after barely using it for the last 7 months.  So each of our investigators has been found in different ways, and I want to tell you about a few of them.

Domincan Thanksgiving 2011
 We met with a recent convert a week ago who said would try to help us find people to teach.  Then a few days ago she called to set a time to teach her mother-in-law (in Spanish).  After we met and taught her, we were walking towards a potential investigator and we noticed an older woman with a few bags of groceries.  It was very cold and she had been walking for a while, and we just so happened to notice her right as she put her bags down to rest for a minute.  We then offered our help, she gladly accepted, and we carried her groceries back home.  When we arrived, we met her husband and son, and ended up teaching them all about forever families using The Family: A Proclamation To The World. The next day we went to a dinner appointment with the other Lawrence missionaries to the house of two investigators they have been teaching for a while (a mom and daughter with her family) (we helped them move into their new home last week).  While they taught the women, we kept the children busy with a few games and then a lesson about how to pray.  Then, on Saturday, we wanted to contact a few of the referrals that a member family had given us (we had gone to their house - 100% Spanish -  a few days before and after explaining our desire to start teaching people, they came up with six names for us!), so we called and they said to come on over at 2:00 and they wanted to help us.  So we went over expecting to get a ride with them to a friend's house, but to our surprise, they brought over their daughter, her boyfriend, and their children, and we had a great lesson all about the blessings that come from being a member of this church, and how they can come to know that it's true.  Then later that night we stopped by the house of one of the other Lawrence missionaries' investigators and ended up teaching a couple who live in the same apartment. 

Elder Blad, My New Companion
So things are really starting to pick up here.  It's tough because we have to walk everywhere (bikes keep breaking and/or getting stolen), and being a District Leader/Trainer is super stressful and time consuming, but it's all wonderful.  I'm working hard, and just trying to keep up with everything, and I'm happy.  I've been studying charity a lot lately because I spoke about it for my last week in Georgetown, and I was asked to speak about it this last Sunday (in Spanish), but then the schedule got changed at the last minute and I'm on the back burner for anytime the bishopric needs a talk on the fly.  But anyways, I'm glad I've been studying charity, because at any time that I start thinking that it's a bummer that I have no time to myself anymore, or that I spend too much time worrying about my new missionary companion or the others in my district instead of my own concerns, I am quickly able to remember Christ and his ultimate example of charity. 

I understand a bit more about the Atonement now, and how He didn't do it at all for himself, but that it was done for you, me, and everyone.  Not once did He allow himself to become too concerned with his own thoughts and feelings as to become selfish or put his needs before others.  His perfect heart full of charity was such that his only concerns were about others - not Himself.  And most of all Christ completed the Atonement - never did He give up - and this is what I am most grateful for during this Thanksgiving season.

From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

iBienvenidos a Lawrence, Massachusetts!

That's right!  I'm officially in Lawrence - the most heavily populated Hispanic area in the mission!  I am the new District Leader for the Methuen District (which covers Methuen, Derry, and Lawrence  - 9 missionaries total).  I also have a new companion - Elder Blad, from Logan, Utah.  There already is another set of missionaries - a trio - here in Lawrence, but they were told to take all the investigators from Lawrence and continue with them, and leave Elder Blad and me to start off fresh and find a new teaching pool - so here we go again, "shotgunning" an area; although this time, I'm the trainer :)
Elder Dusty helping a local weed the
 garden, New England-style.  This must
be why, in Joseph Smith's day, this was
known as the "burned-over" district!
Well, shotgunning and training is A LOT of work - plus it's all Spanish...and both of us are gringos....oh ya, and to to top if off - district leader responsibilities take a lot of time.  BUT, I love it.  I really do.  I'm not complaining one bit, I just love it!  I don't know if I've been this busy before in my whole mission, and just as Dad taught me, "a busy man is a happy man", I find so much happiness in this huge load of work that keeps me super focused.  Plus it's pretty fun living in an apartment with 4 other missionaries, haha.  We have a lot of good times, while still being obedient.
So we tried something new this week to find new investigators.  We went over to a park in North Lawrence, picked out a spot, and drew out the Plan of Salvation with chalk.  It was awesome!  We basically just worked on it untill people came walking by, then we would stop and talk to them about it and try to teach and talk to them as much as we could.  The Spanish was a little tough of a barrier, but we did our best.  Overall, we got 1 new investigator, a bunch of potentials and contacts, and we had fun!
We're also focusing our efforts right now (as instructed in recent Zone Conferences) on teaching Less-Actives and Recent Converts, and then seeking to earn referrals from them - thereby getting solid investigators. 
Being a Trainer again is great - I really get to use all that I learned from training Elder Busby and strive to be a better trainer this time.  And I'm really enjoying being a District Leader, because even though it takes a lot of time, it's worth every minute to get to talk to all the missionaries in the District and seek out ways to help them in their work and their own lives.  I am so blessed to have the opportunity of more responsibility and a new way to serve more.  I'm just loving this work so much, and the continuing to see miracles everyday.  I'm excited to tell you more next time about how we get a teaching pool!
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Address!

Dustin is being transferred this week to Lawrence, MA, a few miles west of Georgetown. 
He will serve as District Leader and Trainer, in somewhat of a "shotgun" assignment although there are other missionaries in the city. 

His new address is:

Elder Dustin Carr
35 Howard Street
Lawrence, MA 01841

More news to come later in the week, he says, via snail mail.

Monday, November 7, 2011

What Happens When Investigators Don't Come To Church...

Well, I'll get to that in a minute, but first I want to tell you about how awesome this last week has been.  Last Sunday I was supposed to give a talk after Matt Wood's farewell talk, but Bishop spoke for a bit and then Matt took 40 minutes, so I got postponed to next week.  No problem though, Bishop's and Matt's words were so inspired and well delivered as they were mouthpieces for the Spirit - I wish you all could have been there - and I'll still get to speak this next Sunday (which could be my last in G-town because transfers are next week- but let's not talk about that).  
Oh, and for anyone else who is wondering, the Nor'easter wasn't that bad for us in G-town.  Other areas more west of us got smashed hard :/  but we were ok.  Only a few inches of snow, not too many trees in the roads, and we only lost power for a few hours.  Yes, the Lord really does protect His missionaries :)
So Sister Wilkey has a nephew who has a wife and 2 kids and they just moved to Gloucester a month ago.  Why am I telling you this?  Because Gloucester is in our area!!!  Btw, Sister Wilkey is the only one from her family who is a member of the church, and she and President Wilkey have been praying for the last 37 years for an opportunity to arise where her family could have the seed of the restored gospel planted.  So last week, we got to meet them, and they are just the sweetest family -- not really interested in the message we have, but still very friendly towards us.  This is a big deal even to be able to associate with them, and to make a little more of a perspective for you, President and Sister Wilkey talked serveral times about it at Zone Conference this last week, and asked the mission to keep us and her family in their prayers -- faithfully hoping that her families' hearts will be softened and that Elder Busby and I will soon be able to teach them.  So if you all could keep that in your prayers it would be greatly appreciated.
Speaking of Zone Conference!  It was such a great one where we spent most of the day centered on Christ and the Book of Mormon -- two of my most favorite subjects ever!  It really built my faith and my testimony and I really learned a lot of new ways to teach people and to go about this work.  Oh, and afterwards we got to have a real Maine Lobsta dinner with some of Matt Wood's extended family!  It was such a fun day!
Well anyways, wanna know what happens when investigators don't come to church?......
All progress ceases.  This is the problem we are currently dealing with.  Because the conversion process has 3 parts (intellectual, social, and spiritual), and church provides the environment for all three of those parts, so church attendance becomes one of the most vital choices an investigator can make.  Maybe we haven't taught this principle clearly enough;  maybe we haven't stressed its importance; but our problem is that we aren't even given the opportunity to do so.  Even amidst all our efforts to contact and teach our investigators, we are having a very difficult time setting appointments with them and having them keep their appointments.  If we don't get the opportunity to teach people of the blessings in store for them, and if they choose not to follow the path to receive those blessings, then all those which God has promised them will be withheld until they change.  Oh, if only heavenly brothers and sisters could see how much we think about and pray for them, how much time and effort we put into planning for them, or how much stress we go through for the eternal welfare of their souls, then maybe they would choose differently next time.  But it is not God's way for them to be compelled, but rather for them to exercise agency and choose freely.
These are the things that I have been feeling and learning recently, and so amidst this difficulty I recommit myself daily to the charge in D&C 4.  I will continue to thrust in my sickle with all my might; I will fill myself with faith, hope, charity, and love - with an eye single to the glory of God; for this is what makes a Missionary, and this is what I strive to live up to every day.
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cali Boy Meets New England Snow Storm

Dusty managed to send off a short snail mail Monday that arrived today, but chances are he's been doing more shoveling and limb removing more than letter writing. Thousands in that area are still without power today after last Saturday's freak snow dump.  Kinda puts a chill on internet access, I bet.

This is a photo he sent last week.  Nubble Lighthouse, ME (Maine, that is), near the York River.  No doubt this lighthouse blends in with its white surroundings now, and Elder Carr is wearing a lot more than rolled up shirt sleeves.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Onward Christian Soldiers, On to Victory!

Last night we stopped by the Wood's home and Dave asked us, "Well boys, how goes the battle?"  And looking back on this last week, we've fought some really taught battles in this war.  From ridiculous investigators to temptations of laziness, and from insane people screaming at us on their doorstep to defending ourselves from our landlord's blood-thirsty rooster, this week we've seen it all.  And so my response to Dave was, "Well, we're fighting hard, but it ain't over yet."
We've recently witnessed how hard the adversary is working on our investigators.  One in particular seems to get it all when we meet with him;  he feels the Spirit, and understands all that we teach.  But the next day, while at home, he'll tell us of all these other scriptures and such that "disprove" the truth.  It's so sad to see that Satan is working so hard on our investigators - working on them when they have no support or strength and twisting ideas/scriptures to make them turn away from the truth.  It's really tough, and quite frustrating do deal with, but I signed up for this fight, so we just need to step up our game and testify as a true Representative of Jesus Christ does.
Topsfield Congregational Church, where Josph Smith Sr and ancesters worshipped and were baptized.
We also got to help a lot at the Wood's this last week with reputtying and painting their kitchen walls.  It's really fun to serve, and every time I do I am just so filled with the pure love of Christ.  And this time, I was filled with gratitude.  I was able to do a lot of wall-puttying and a bit of painting, and I never would have had the skills to offer had I not gotten to work so much on the addition in Sacramento, and for Brian at Roses & Ivy.  I'm so grateful for all the experiences and work that I had before my mission, and for the people who have taught me so much, and prepared me so well, for what I am doing now.
Yesterday was Stake Conference and it was AMAZING!!!  I love every minute of it!  We sat in the front row with Matt Wood, Bishop Capener and Family, and it was definitely the best seat in the chapel!  I learned so much from the speakers, but I learned the most just from seeing the members here in New England all join together - some having to drive over an hour to get there!  The whole Stake Center was filled all the way back through the stage, and there were still others standing!  It really strengthened my testimony of how the church is true no matter where you are, and I was just so happy to see all of the members in the area together and I was so proud to be a part of it!  I love New England, I love the people here, and I am so grateful that I have been "Called to serve the people of New England, with the gospel of a loving God." (Called to Serve, 3rd verse, NHMM)
After a week of many battles fought, I have continually boosted my morale with hymns such as "We Are All Enlisted," to recharge my faith and remind me that:
We are all enlisted till the conflict is o’er;
Happy are we! Happy are we!
Soldiers in the army, there’s a bright crown in store;
We shall win and wear it by and by.
Can't wait to tell you of the battles we will win this week!  "On, then, Christian soldiers, On to victory!"
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Back in Touch Again

This last week was great.  I got to go on another exchange up in Portsmouth with Elder Price and I got a lot of experience finding people just out on the streets; it was fun!  And in the beginning of the week we had a dinner appointment at a family that has been having a really hard time lately, and Elder Busby and I were trying to figure out what to show them, and without even thinking about why, we each felt that we should share the Mormon Message "Good Things To Come".  It was perfect! and it was so amazing because the sister said that before we got there, she had been praying for a message that would be the answer she needed to hear, and that was exactly what she needed : )  We have been so blessed to have been the Lord's instruments in answering her prayer last week. 
Oh and then this last Friday, we had FHE with Matt Wood and his family! it was so awesome!!! It was a huge miracle to finally get to the point of being able to do this with his family, and even better yet, they loved it! and we're doing it again tonight!  Also, Matt Wood asked me to speak with him at his farewell talk in two weeks - I'm super humbled and honored to have this opportunity, he and I have become very close friends.  Well, I gotta run now to a Correlation meeting with our Ward Mission Leader, and then we're going to FHE with the Woods! Wish us luck!

Love you,
Elder Dustin Carr

Thursday, October 13, 2011

No News from Dusty Again this Week...

He must be stamp-deprived or letter-challenged.  We hear he is doing fine, though, still in Georgetown, according to Sister Franklin at the mission office.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The 8-Month Mark Is A Perfect Time For Enlightenment and Revelation

Today marks 8 months for me as a missionary - woot woot!  I guess it's awesome, but it's just sad, too, because that's a whole 1/3 of my mission, and I'm seeing how fast time flies, and I just don't want it to be over that soon!  The best part, though, is that when I think about that it makes me realize how valuable the time is that I have, so it just makes me want to work harder and harder and never waste a single minute!!!

Well this last week has been kinda rough.  We've had A LOT of dropped appointments, and even more rescheduled appointments...that end up falling through anyway.  So that doesn't make things any easier, and it sure doesn't help the progress of our investigators or our area, but it has taught us a lot.

Sunset @ Gloucester Bay
These circumstances, along with a great talk with our Bishop this last week, have really helped us to feel enlightened and receive revelation on what to do for our area.  We prayed a lot about it this week, pondered to ourselves about what we could do, and then last night Matt Wood came and helped us sort out everything (seriously he's the best.  He's such a close friend to me, he really helps us a lot, and he will be such an amazing missionary).  After talking about our area and discussing our investigators, Matt said, "Something has to change here, and it needs to change quick," so we got to work :)  Basically, we realized that we've been striving to much for quantity of numbers and not the quality of the people that those numbers represent.  We've been spending 9 days out of 10 in one area, and don't get me wrong, there are many wonderful people there and they are all special sons and daughters of out Heavenly Father, but generally the quality of the people we find as investigators there turns out to be more of a burden to the ward than a strength.  Basically, we've decided that we need a "teaching pool" of more solid investigators who have more stable lives - people who, upon baptism, will become a great strength and addition to the ward.  Now this doesn't mean that we are just going to forget that area and move on, it just means that we are only going to focus our efforts there on the people we already have (and of course any other referrals we get), but spend the rest of our "finding times" in areas such as Rowley, Groveland, and especially Georgetown itself. 

We are very excited about this change that will take place in our efforts here, and we feel strongly that this is what the Lord would have us do at this time.  With that in mind, we also feel that the Lord is preparing specific people to be put in our path in the areas where we are about to search, so now it's just up to us to rely on the guidance of the Spirit and then find those who are really seeking the TRUTH!

Well I'm excited to get to tell you about all the miracles we will see :)  so till next time.....

From New England with love,

Elder Dustin Carr

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Training By A Special Witness of Christ

Monday we had a Zone Conference in which we were blessed to have Elder C. Scott Grow come and speak to us/train us.  It was so amazing getting to hear from a General Authority for several hours and getting to literally speak to him, work with him, and learn from him.  He taught us a lot about how efficient it can be to seek referrals from Less-Active Members.  We also got to have some question and answer time, as well as listen to one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard.  His teachings have given us more solid ideas and approaches to this work, and his testimony has strengthened me and built my faith so much.  I am so grateful for the blessing of having Elder C. Scott Grow speak to us at Zone Conference, and I am so excited to see the miracles and success that will come through following what he has asked/taught us to do.
Well, Junior's baptism went great.  We had a relatively small crowd, but a powerful service.  It was a great start to his life of growing up in the church, and he is going to go far and do many great things because of the choice he made to be baptized.  This next week we are going to start having FHE with him and his family, and we are hoping to have one of our investigating families join us there.  We're really excited about that! 
Well I am loving it here; the work is hard, but it is always wonderful and worth it.  We see a lot of miracles, and also a lot of things that seem to let us down, but we don't let them get us down, we just keep on working and exercising our faith.  I feel so close to this ward and I have really developed some solid relationships that I know will last past my mission, like with Matt Wood and his family.  I'm so happy here in Georgetown, and I just love this work!  I know that this church is the only True and Living church on the earth.  I know that Joseph Smith was the prophet through whom the Lord restored His church.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the true word of God.  And I know, with all my heart, that Jesus is the Christ; that He died for you and for me, and that there is nothing - physical or spiritual - that His Atoning Sacrifice does not cover.
Stay strong in the faith, and do all that you can to be stronger everyday.
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Progressing Explosions of Progress!

These last two weeks have been CRAZY AWESOME!!!  Elder Busby and I have been so incredibly blessed with so much success from all of our hard work.  Last week, we got 6 new investigators! This Sunday, we had 7 investigators at church! By the end of Sunday, we had 8 progressing investigators! And this next Saturday is Junior Fernandez's Birthday!!!  It has definitely been an exciting few weeks full of miracles and so much more.
With investigator Simon
Elder Busby and I have been learning TONS and growing so much.  We are always setting new goals and striving to do better and better EVERY DAY!  At first I was having a hard time with my own pride and not allowing him the equal opportunity in teaching/finding situations, and I felt terrible about it, but I didn't know what to do.  As I prayed and pondered how I can fix this, I realized that I need to rely on him more.   I have always been able to trust him, and I've always had so much confidence in him, so now I just needed to put that into action!  And so this last week has been really great and I have been able to take from his example and learn so much during all the work we do. 
As we talked this last week about why/how we've been so blessed with all these miracles and how our new investigators have so quickly become progressing investigators, we came up with a three-part formula to missionary success.  First, striving to be 100% Obedient (even in all the little things); Second, striving to be 100% Dilligent (no justifications for wasting 1 single minute of the Lord's time); and Third, having pure Faith that miracles will come through our obedience and dilligence.  :)
I have also learned a lot about Faith recently and how essential it is in this work.  Last Sunday, a young man, whom we didn't know, came to church.  He had come a few times about a year and a half ago, and randomly decided to come back.  We met with him later, and when we asked what sparked his interest in coming back and investigating the church again, he told us a story.  His story was about a recent experience when he had felt the spirit so strong, and it drew his thoughts back to our church.  He is such a solid investigator now and he is growing daily in his testimony.  Having him come to church that Sunday was such a miracle and it really reaffirmed my faith that the Lord truly is preparing people to be ready to recieve His gospel.
Well, we're looking forward to another week full of work, obedience, dilligence, faith, and hopefully more success :)
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Trainer, a Mentor, a Friend.

So I got the call two Saturdays ago to be a trainer, and I was quite shocked, but I didn't question this call from the Lord.  I was pretty nervous and a bit stressed out, but I knew that through my faith the Lord would bless me to be able to succeed in this calling. 
Last Tuesday I said goodbye to Elder Ahumada, and I have to admit, it was HARD.  I'm no good at goodbyes, especially to a friend who I have grown so close too - heck we were with each other 24/7 for the last 4.5 months!  But all is well, and I am happy to see all the blessings that have come from our companionship, the work we did, and the way he trained me.  He has definitely prepared me to be able to train my new "son".  So thank you Elder Ahumada, and I hope you never forget how great the work was here as the Dynamic Duo in Georgetown :)

Carr, Ahumada, Busby...
with apologies to the First Presidency

Well, meet Elder Busby from Tucson, Arizona!  Fresh from the MTC, alive and ready to work, and full of desire to serve.  He went to BYU for a year before his mission and is very well prepared for this work.  He's mature and very mindful of being 100% obedient and dilligent.  (Trying to find a humble way to say it, but he reminds me of myself! haha).  We're already working really well together and learning how to do better and better each day.  It sure is a new thing for me to be a trainer, and I was quite nervous ahead of time (scared about who I would get and such), but the moment it was announced that we were going to serve together, I felt so much peace and reassurance that everything will be ok.  And not only is everything ok, but it's GREAT! 
I'm learning a lot about the example I set and how I can lead, but learn at the same time.  As I studied the white handbook this last week on Leadership, I realized how much humility and love it takes to be an effective trainer.  President Wilkey mentioned that he doesn't like the word Trainer, but rather prefers the term Mentor.  I have taken it a step further to say that I'm not only a Trainer or Mentor, but a Friend, because a true Friend loves and teaches someone as Christ would, and that is what I am striving to do.
Well, Thank you all so very much for my birthday wishes and cards!  I loved getting to hear from you, especially those of you who haven't written me in a while, so thank you so much!  I will try to get back to you all a.s.a.p.  Oh and btw, the storm was nothing for us here in Georgetown, just hard winds and rain, but not that crazy - didn't even lose power :)
So I'm safe and sound and on my feet running to the work!
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Storm Irene Update

This post is written by Dusty's dad:
We received a very nice e-letter from the New Hampshire Mission President last night assuring parents that thorough precautions were being taken and an all-safe phone tree was in place.  The missionaries were directed Saturday to ensure they had on hand all the food and batteries and such as listed on the emergency supplies instructions posted in each missionary apartment.

Missionary car travel is restricted.  Those in coastal and low lying areas (Georgetown is 79 feet above sea level) had already been relocated to higher elevations.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A New Call From The Lord

This week was my last week with Elder Ahumada, and we had the blessing of being assigned to train a new missionary that came in a week early - Elder Cordova.  It was a great blessing, because I learned so much, and I got a lot of experience in teaching a new missionary of all the skills and knowledge that I have gained, and it prepared me for my new calling.
This last Saturday we got our transfer calls, and as Elder Ahumada was thanked for his service and was called to come home, I was given the calling to be a Trainer.
Well I have no time to talk, but I'll hopefully get to tell you all about it next week! 
Love you all!
Elder Carr

Saturday, August 20, 2011

An Elevator That Ends On The Top Floor

This week has been rather difficult, stressful, and frustrating at times, but we have also had many high points as well.  All in all, I see it like an elevator - going up and down all the time - but at the end of each day/week, it ends up on the top floor.
As we did our planning this week, we realized that our area really isn't progressing nearly as much as we have felt like it was, and this became very tough to take in.  As we struggled to brainstorm why things haven't been going so well forward, and how we could improve, my optimism and confidence went way down.  I tried really hard, but as we went about our day, we kept on running into very sad situations (such as an investigator of ours that might have to move south due to a loss of her job and apartment), and I found myself in a rut.  But later we went to a correlation meeting with our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Kufell, and he really had some great advice and words of comfort to help me see our situation in a positive light again.  Plus, Elder Ahumada was really pulling things through that day, and if it weren't for him, we would have totally failed that day.  He and I have really gotten close and we are working SO WELL together.  It's awesome, and we are really enjoying these last fews days together.  It sad to see that he is leaving soon, and he can't stand how everyone brings it up pretty much everytime they see him.  I'm not good at goodbyes, but I guess that's just life, and I gotta get over it.
Well, Zone Conference was this last week was amazing and I loved it a ton.  I really felt like I'm a part of this mission now and that I can connect with all the other missionaries here.  Plus it's just so great to get so much spiritual upliftment from President Wilkey and our other leaders.  Oh and next Zone Conference is going to have a special guest...Elder C. Scott Grow!!!  I can't wait!!!
So even amidst all the stresses and difficulties of this work, we are able to persevere and press onward everyday.  I must say, it's one of the greatest things I'm learning on my mission.  I also find how much it is essential to rely on not only your own strength, but the Lord and my companion as well.  Oh and btw, Josue decided to be baptized and feels that he we be ready by the 27th!  Plus, our Ward is continuing to help us so much more every week and it is amazing how close we are to them! 
So no matter how much the elevator of missionary confidence can go up or down, it always ends up on the top floor when I decide to rely on the Lord and my companion.
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Monday, August 15, 2011

Birthday Request!

Elder Carr's birthday is next week, August 24th.  Flooding his mailbox with birthday cards, letters, pictures, testimonies, notes of encouragement, ANYTHING at all will make his day!  I'm asking everyone who reads this to pick up a pen and paper and write him a letter to say "Happy Birthday!"  Let him know we're thinking of him and care for him and make his day, well, awesome
I hijacked his blog to make the request, so help me out with getting as many letters to him as possible for a great little birthday surprise!  Heck, ask anyone else who knows him to also send a letter!  His address is at the top right-hand column of this blog.  I mean, c'mon, could I make this any easier?!  I gave you the date, the idea, and the address, just find a stamp my friend!  :)
Thank you so much for reading and supporting our missionary son, brother, cousin, grandson, friend.  My love to all, Amber Dudley (Dusty's sister)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mission Calls, Ward Support, and More!

Both Michael Watson and Matt Wood got their mission calls this last Friday, and we got to be a part of all the excitement.  Michael Watson has been called to the Nevada, Las Vegas Mission; and Matt Wood has been called to the Argentina, Buenos Aires Mission.  It's awesome because their calls just fit their characters and personalities so perfect;  the Lord sure does know what He's doing.  I reflected back on the video of when I got my call and recalled the feelings I had at that time and the support of all my friends and family there.  It sure is neat to see that even though I didn't go to Mexico, the Lord had a plan for me, and He has placed me in the New Hampshire Manchester Mission so he can carry out that plan.

Lately we have been doing TONS of "less-active hunting" work.  It basically starts with plugging in every name on the ward roster into my Garmin, assigning each address a color icon according to their status (referral, less-active member, investigator, member, etc.), and then when we are in an area, we can just look at the map on my Garmin and got to every Less-active member and try to contact them.  Often times we find that the people have moved (sometimes up to 20 years ago)  and so we do our best to figure out where they moved to.  We take that information, along with any other updates to any on the ward list data and work with the Ward Clerk to clean up to ward roster, send records to correct areas, and eventually help be more organized and have better ward statistics : )  So anyways, this last couple of weeks we've been doing a lot of that, and last Thursday we some great success.  We actually got to meet with 2 different people who were so sweet to us and really wanted to come back to church; plus we've gotten tons of updates and such for the ward list.  One of the greatest parts about this was yesterday when we got to work for a few hours with the 2nd counselor and the ward clerk on updating MANY things on the ward roster, as well as discuss in depth the needs of our investigators and more; we gained so much respect, support, and trust from the ward for being able to show them all of the work that we have been doing in this area and for helping them so much.

Well I gotta get running, but things have been so great here lately.  It's sad with Elder Ahumada's time coming to an end in 2 more weeks, but we just keep working hard and make the most of every day.

From New England with Love,

Elder Dustin Carr

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


That's right, last Tuesday marked 6 months for me as a servant and representative of Jesus Christ and His church.  And to celebrate, I followed the missionary tradition and burned a tie.  Of course I chose a green one (to symbolize burning off my greenie-ness, lol) (and don't worry, I got the tie from a thrift store for $1).  It sure was fun to celebrate with Elder Ahumada, and it was great to reflect on the past 6 months and see where I've come from and where I am now.  There's so much to say about how I've changed and what things I've learned, but overall, I must say, I am quite well-pleased with the who I am and who I am becoming : )  I do have to admit, though, it's super weird to think that I've already been out for 6 months...that's a whole 1/4 of my mission!!! AHHH!!! TIME REALLY DOES FLY!!!
Well, anyways, at the beginning of last week, we got a call from the ZL's in Exeter stating that President Wilkey felt like Elder Ahumada and I should go on exchanges with other Spanish-speaking Elders this week (which usually doesn't happen only because the main Spanish-speaking Elders are in Lawrence and Methuen and they are not part of our district).  So I was blessed with a full 2 days with Elder Harward!  It was so awesome because we were already familiar with each other from my few days spent with him in Lawrence, and this time we got to work together here in my and Elder Ahumada's area.
At first it was really tough because Elder Ahumada and I have been working super well together lately, things were really going forward in our area, and we had some great success Tuesday.  So Tuesday night we begrudgingly said goodbye and exchange companions.  I didn't realize until the next day, and again during the day after, how much of a blessing it was to get work with Elder Harward for a few days.  Elder Harward has already been out for a full two years, and has extended his mission for another 30 days because he felt that it was something he needed to do.
When Elder Harward and I made our daily plans, we made sure that we had backup plans as well, but even when the first plans and backup plans failed, we still kept working to find people by either searching for less-actives in the area, stopping by old potentials, or just talking to EVERYONE we saw.  I watched very closely at everything Elder Harward did so that I could learn from his example and better my own missionary efforts.  I observed how quick he was to speak to people, with confidence and boldness, and he never just gave them a soft invite to learn or a question meant for a yes/no answer.  He was always able to teach people simply as he talked to them, and he was able to apply the message to their lives and get them to really think about it before they could say "no", or the famous New England line, "I'm all set."
He was so bold, too; he never argued with people, but instead he testified to them, and then invited them to learn more (at one point he even invited a man to repent and come back to Christ, haha, it was awesome!).  I noticed that the things he said, the way he said them, and the way he presented himself, made him be someone that people actually wanted to talk to. 
So I learned a lot from Elder Harward this last week, and as I reflect on the example he set for me in just the 2 short days I had with him, I try to pick out the things I can do to improve my missionary efforts.  Since Elder Ahumada and I have been reunited, there have already been several instances where we have been talking to people, and as soon as they start to argue with us, I simply testify of the things that I KNOW to be true, and leave them with an invite to regain their faith in Christ.  I've finally realized that we aren't out here trying to convince people of the truth, but we are searching for those who are seeking the truth; so why waste the Lord's time with people who don't want to hear His message?  I've also tried my best to not let a moment go to waste; at any time that an appointment fails, or we find we have nothing to do, I am quick to find the next possible solution by stopping by other investigators, less-actives, potentials, or just knocking the door next to the house where our appointment is/was.
I've grown a lot from Elder Harward's example, I've learned so much this past week, and I've seen the success that has come from it.  In fact, we got 2 new investigators just a few days ago.  Oh, and one has been wanting a Book of Mormon for the past 25 years!!!  what an incredible miracle is was that the Lord directed us to where we could find them.
Dusty: blue dots are potentials, red dots are less actives.
Dad: dinner appointments or investigators??
Also, from the early birthday present Mom and Dad sent me last week - Garmin GPS - we've been able to be way more organized, save a lot of miles, and always have something to do.  For instance, we plugged in the names of most of our investigators, less-actives, potentials, referrals, etc., and in this last week we have already been able to contact 3 less active families and invite them back to church.  We also were able to have enough miles to spend all of Saturday, after a ward party in Essex, out in Glocester and Rockport area driving to all the less-actives on the GPS that probably haven't been visited for a LONG time (due to missionaries' mileage limit).
Well, things are really looking up for us out here in Georgetown, and I'm continually learning and growing every day.  One investigator we work with won't be getting baptized on Aug. 6th as planned, so as of now we have no baptismal dates, but we're doing all that we can to keep the work progressing forward and to help people come closer to Christ - our Savior and Redeemer.
Thank you all for your support and prayers.  Times get tough, but it's great to know that I've always got a team of friends and family praying for me.
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Expect, Observe, and Remember MIRACLES!!!

This week has been full of miracles; the kind that I wouldn't have expected, observed, or remembered if I hadn't been taught how to do so by President and Sister Wilkey at our Specialized Zone Training Meeting this last Thursday in Exeter.  

Well, in this training, we learned all about having the faith required to bring to pass many miracles, how to observe them, and the importance of remembering them (journals and such).  We also learned A LOT about a whole new organization system using white boards and funnel shapes to be able to visually map out the conversion, activation, and retention progress in our areas (we learned a format and then were committed to redesigning it to meet the needs of our area).  So in the way of being obedient to this commitment  and diligent in our work, we went straight to Staples after our meetings and searched for white boards.  After a while of searching and working with a sales associate, we found that the prices were far too high for our missionary budgets.  We decided to try laminated poster sheets instead; so we went to talk to the printing associates for help.  Within minutes, we found that the main associate there was a less-active man and he became excited to help us out in getting us the best/biggest sizes possible.  At that time, the previous sales associate came up to us with a large size white board that he said he was able to grab for us for $10.  As excited as we were, we called the Portsmith Elders to see if they would like some as well, and within minutes the employee brought out 2 for each of our areas (4 total).  Then, the man in the printing area used his employee discount and gift cards to buy all 4 white boards for us; and when we asked how much we owed him, he just smiled and said, "good luck with the work!"  And as a way of observing and remembering this miracle, we called it in to our Zone Leaders immediately so that it could be shared with the whole Zone.

So then, the next night, after working so hard to get everything set up and organized, we witnessed to more miracles!  First, at one house, after having a lesson about how we can receive revelation through going to church, we had the opportunity of inviting the father to come to church (he has only gone to church once, a long time ago) and he committed to being there this Sunday!  After that lesson, we had a dinner appointment with a newly married couple, and right as we were leaving, they handed us a bag full of frozen hamburger patties and hot dogs.  Now just the day before, after the Zone Training meeting, there were a bunch of random left-over hamburger and hot dog buns that Sister Wilkey kept trying to get me to take;  as much as I refused, she persisted and said something along the lines of, "you never know when you might get some hamburgers and hot dogs, and then you'll really be wishing you had taken the buns."  Well sure enough, that happened, and as I told the sister about what had occurred the day before, she said, "Wow, I just got the chills,"  and I said, "ya, that's because we just saw a miracle."

Then Saturday came, and it was Elder Ahumada's birthday.  I had been stressing a bit to set up some surprises for him throughout the day, and we witnessed the miracles of two families who surprised us both with their generosity and loving care as they each held a party for Elder Ahumada.  And as we went to the first party during the afternoon, worked the rest of the day, and finished with the other party that night, we both saw the miracles of two families who loved us so enough to do so much for us.

Plus, that night, after Elder Ahumada finished opening up his presents, I got to open up a present of my own.  I got an early birthday present from Mom and Dad: a nuvi 1300 lmt Garmin GPS!!! It's exactly what I wanted, it's the greatest thing ever, and it came at such a PERFECT time for us to be able to really get our area organized and bring forth more successful work.

Oh and it's not over yet.  Yesterday, at church, we had 5 investigators present!!!  It was been a week full of miracles, but it was only possible through our faith and humility in having an open mind to view these miracles.  So I learned that miracles happen everyday, especially little ones that we seem to overlook, but if we are obedient and diligent in things, have the faith that miracles will happen, and are humble enough to witness them, then we will see the hand of the Lord in all things, everyday.  And if we are to remember them, and share them, our faith will grow and we will be able to witness the many miracles which are to come.

Well, I hope the things I have learned this week will be able to help you all to see how the Lord truly is guiding your life everyday.

I know that our Heavenly Father is a God of Miracles.

From New England with so much love,

Elder Dustin Carr

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be.

Last Tuesday, Brother and Sister Dow took us and our investigator to the JSM (Joseph Smith Memorial).  It was such a beautiful day and a wonderful trip.  The moment we stepped out of the car, we heard the music ringing out through the woods (hidden speakers) and we immediately felt the calm, reassuring peace and comfort of The Spirit.  We got to take the full tour of the paintings, history, the Joseph Smith statue, and the memorial itself.  All the while our invetsigator was enjoying learning more about Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the church, the Dow's and I were loving getting to take in the whole experience for the first time, and all of us were growing in testimony of Joseph Smith being a true prophet of God - by which Christ's church was restored in its fullness.

Later, when teaching, we reset his baptismal date for Aug. 6th, and we really think he'll be able to be ready for this one;  especially because he realized that he has some things to change in his life, he wrote down a list of those things, and he has asked us to help him by checking up on his progress every time we see him.

On Wednesday evening, we taught a member friend's dad (with his help) for the first time.  It was probably the most comprehensive 1st lesson about the Restoration that has ever been taught, haha.  But it was GREAT.  The best part was at the end, when the dad said the closing prayer and, at one point, thanked our Heavenly Father for "sending [us] here and keeping [us] here for another 6 weeks."  I felt The Spirit telling me at that moment that this is the reason why I am here, and that this is one of several significant instances when He would testify to me that I am exactly where I need to be.  This is a really big deal for me, especially with how tough times can get along with the certain circumstances that I am in.  Having that feeling, faith, and knowledge that this is exactly where I am supposed to be, is an answer to my prayers and a greater comfort than I could describe.

Another highlight from this week was just yesterday at church.  A less-active family, whom we were teaching for a while, came to church for the first time in 2.5 years.    It was a huge blessing that through all the prayers said by us and others, and the teaching experiences we had, they decided to come back, and their 8-year-old son has decided to be baptized! :)  I told their mother after Sacrament Meeting that as the meeting was beginning, it felt quite empty for some reason, and I couldn't figure out why, but as soon as they walked in, I felt immediately at peace that our ward family was together and ready for the meeting to begin.

Well, everything else here in Georgetown is going GREAT! We have gotten a few new investigators this last week, and we are teaching a few really solid people who have definitely been prepared to hear The Gospel. 

Thank you for all of your prayers, love, and support.  They are much needed, and I feel them helping us every day.

From New England with love,

Elder Dustin Carr

Monday, July 11, 2011

Striving to Reach the Area Profile

Could not write a week ago as PDay was on a holiday = public library closed.  During our planning session last week, Elder Ahumada and I had set the goal of reaching the Area Profile for this week (which was the last week of the transfer) (by the way, we survived the transfers calls this weekend and are now set for another transfer - 6 weeks - in Georgetown) (also, Elder Ahumada will be going home at the end of this transfer, so chances are I'll be here for even another transfer longer to keep a smooth transition of missionaries).  So the Area Profile is essentially just a voice message that goes out from the A.P.'s each week, to the whole mission, updating us on how the mission is doing all around;  in order to have your area (Georgetown) mentioned in the weekly Area Profile, you have to have 4 baptismal dates, 5 new investigators, 6 investigators at church, and 10 or more lessons with a member present.  Believe it or not, this is quite difficult to reach (ya, we're not in a Mexico/South America mission.  This is New England, and it's hardcore).  So we went at this week with that goal, and it was great because it fueled us with TONS of energy.  We were working so hard all week, and striving so much to reach this goal, but what happened was quite interesting.
This last week we did not reach the Area Profile.  We had a very difficult week, with many people flaking out on us, and relatively no members being about to come out with us, and at times it got very discouraging (summer-time vacation/party excuses).  But we did not let this get us down; we worked through all the discouragements and let-downs, and whenever something got tough, we just prayed harder.  Elder Ahumada and I ended up having an awesome week together, and we grew so much.  And although we only ended up with 1 member lesson, and we had to drop the 4 baptismal dates (they aren't ready) and now set new ones, the big success came on Sunday.
Throughout the week of working hard and pushing through these discouraging times, we ended up actually meeting the goal of a total of 5 new investigators, but still weren't sure if they would come to church.  Well, through a lot of prayers, and some Sunday morning wake-up calls, we were blessed to have 6 of our investigators make it to church yesterday.  As they each walked in - one at a time, every few minutes - our faces lit up more and more and we felt the true blessings that came from diligent work and perseverance.
So things are really looking up now.  We have several baptismal dates to figure out, and 6 other investigators who, in this coming week, we look forward to inviting to be baptized.
Until next time,
Elder Dustin Carr

Monday, June 27, 2011


That's right!  I've been out for 5 months exactly now, and for a little over 2 months in the field in an area that we shotgunned with just about no leads, and yesterday we had our first baptism, and we have 4 more dates set for next month : )  (I'm trying not to let myself get prideful of this, I just think it's neat to see the progress that has been made and how The Lord has gotten things from where they were to where they are now.) 

Big Day for Louie Trifone

Marlou Douglas Michael Quinones Fry (a.k.a. Louie Trifone) was baptized and confirmed yesterday after church with about half the ward there to support him.  Louie had asked Elder Ahumada to baptize him and for me to do the comfirmation.  It was a great baptism, and everything went well.  As stressful as things may have been with getting things ready and such, The Dynamic Duo in Georgetown pulled through and held a very smooth baptismal service.  It was such an amazing experience, too; especially when I got to do the confirmation.  It was quite powerful and moving a time, and the feeling of being a part of helping this young boy to make the choice to set his life towards following Christ and his teachings was quite amazing.  I am so humbled to have been trusted so much by The Lord and his Prophets/Apostles, to be sent to this exact mission, and to have been a tool in The Lord's hands in helping to bring his sheep into the fold.
We also had another investigator there at the baptism, and later that day, when we met at his house to talk about it, he was so excited about his own baptism coming up and stated several times, "I can't wait to get baptized now!...It's the dream I've always wanted."  He is so solid, and we are just loving being able to teach someone who is so interested in what the Gospel has to offer him, and who is so humble enough to listen and allow himself to learn.  I finally feel like I get to be myself while I am teaching when we teach him, and it's a great feeling.   : )
Well, just about everything else here is going really well.  We have a lot of other people whom we feel are prepared for the Gospel, and we are so blessed for all the experiences we are having when we get to bring someone closer to Christ.
By the way, yesterday I found this video on, and I think it is very inspirational (yes, I was tearing up).  When you go to and click on the tab "Meet Mormons," where there are a bunch of videos of people listed on the side, one of the latest ones is of a woman who is fighting cancer for the second time and continues to fight no matter what.  Her views and beliefs are so strong, and she's a fighter.  So to those of you out there who are fighting for something, keep fighting the good fight, and never give up.
Well I gotta get going, but I hope you are all doing well and doing something everyday to bring yourself, and those around you, closer to Jesus Christ.
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Temporary Emergency Transfer

This last Tuesday I got called to pack up my bags 'cause I was getting picked up and going to Lawrence for anywheres from 2 days to a week.  So long story short, I got to go on an extended exchange in the Lawrence area with Elder Harwood while helping out dealing with getting a new apartment and such.  I spent three days there on bikes and absolutely loved it!  I seriously fell in love with the place, the people, and just everything about it!  I had several really sweet spiritual experiences that I will hold dear to me for the rest of my mission and my life!  I also learned A TON from Elder Harwood and am so excited to be improving myself as a missionary in all aspects of missionary work.  The best part is that since I'm a Spanish speaking missionary, I am guaranteed to be in Lawrence again at some point in my mission, and I look forward to that a lot.
Also, we now have 4 investigators with baptismal dates.  One is this weekend (not sure who is baptizing him yet, but I'll let you know), and the other three are next month.  I'll let you know how it all goes!

Well sorry to be so short, but I gotta run!

From New England with love!

Elder Dustin Carr
Notice anything cool in the lumberjack's right hand?  :)  ya we got the cops called on us for this, I guess some paranoid people thought we were going to burn it when the cops came, one of them ended up joining us for a picture :P

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Three Nephites of Georgetown are serving just as Ammon did

C'mon, do you really need a caption for this?
So we've had an interesting change of events this week which I'll get to in just a minute.  But first...We went on exchanges with our Zone Leaders this last week, and it was amazing!  I got to have Elder Urrieta come with me to Georgetown, and we had such an amazing day.  After our District meeting (which was amazing as always), we headed out with Matt Wood (who is so helpful in our lessons - he is so well prepared to serve!) to teach Louie Trifone.  We had an awesome lesson with Louie about Tithing, the Word of Wisdom, and the Law of Chastity (kept brief of course).  Then we headed home before getting smashed by a random storm that came out of nowhere (branches were litterally falling in the street as we were trying to drive back).  Yes, we made it home safely.  So then Elder Urrieta and I went to a lesson with Dave Cody.  He explained that he feels like things are being rushed a bit, so we are going to push his baptismal date back a few weeks until he is able to feel comfortable with the commitment of baptism.  It's all good though, everyone has their agency, we won't force people into baptism, and we'll continue to help him to help him prepare himself for this sacred covenant.  Afterwards, we went to Haverhill (where we actually spend most of our time), and had an incredible lesson with the Fernandez family with help from Brother Kuffel.  It was such an amazing lesson in which we learned a lot about teaching people - not lessons.  The spirit was so strong in that home that evening, and we all felt our words and thoughts directed by the Spirit as we focused on discussing the Gospel of Jesus Christ rather than the need for the Restoration.  We look forward to teaching them more this week and helping them come closer to Christ.  So that exchange was just amazing - absolutely amazing.  I learned so much, and I was so spiritually lifted, and rejuvenated towards the work.
Msn Pres w/Elders Ahumada, Morales, Carr
Friday morning, we finished the exchange, and Elder Ahumada and I were discussing the things we had done/learned when all the sudden, we get a call from President Wilkey (yes we freaked out a bit).  He started off with a little joke (he's always so lovingly humorous) and then declared that we are getting a new companion - Elder Morales!!!  We were so excited! We were literally jumping, running around, and yelling with excitement, because of how awesome this Elder is.  We met Elder Morales a few weeks ago, and he had just been out for a few days and then was at our district meeting.  After meeting him, both Elder Ahumada and I said to each other how much we want him to be in a trio with us.  And lo and behold, he gets emergency transferred to none other than the dynamic duo in Georgetown!  So now we are a dynamic trio!  or as Elder Morales says, "Los Tres Nefitas!" (the three Nephites).  So anyways, we just love Elder Morales.  He's from Guatemala originally, and has only been in the mission field for a few weeks now.  Also, he speaks way more Spanish than English, so I'm learning a lot!
Now for the best part.  "The Three Nephites of Georgetown" have had some amazing service opportunities this last weekend.  We got to help out Matt Wood with a huge project with the Boy Scout troop that he used to be a member of.  Every year they do a massive can/bottle drive fundraiser and it takes a lot of work (they end up getting $3K+ every year).  So Matt asked us to help, and we had a full day planned to go to the Joseph Smith Memorial, but that fell through (blessing in disguise), so we were able to help.  Long-story-short, we worked in our proselyting clothes in a fairly dirty environment, and we still worked hard and fast the whole time.  It was so fun, and all the people (who were originally not so fond of us) grew to like us so much as we worked.  I learned so much while I was working (pretty much running around, sorting bottles and such on tables, and filling in wherever I was needed), and felt so many great feelings.  As I worked, I felt so incredibly happy.  I know that service can bring happiness, but this just strengthened my testimony sooooo much more.  We felt as Ammon did - offering to serve simply to serve, and not for any reward.  Also, as I served, I felt the pure love of Christ in my heart, and I just felt so much love for the people I was working with, for the people of Georgetown, and for the people of New England.  I felt that love that comes from a knowledge of people being more than just strangers, but rather of them being my heavenly brothers and sisters.  We found how true it is that as we serve others, we are in the service of God.  And all of this brought me true happiness.

Howdy, Doodys!

In the way of other news, (not sure if I told you yet) we had a miracle this last week with Sister Doody being able to get a new job so that she doesn't have to work on Sundays, and so she can come to church!  And we have met with her friend, Blanca Rodriguez, and Blanca's son, Josue, and we are currently teaching them.  Also, Josue came to church yesterday and loved it and looks forward to coming to mutual and church regularly! 
Elder Ahumada, Elder Morales, and I have been witnesses to so many miracles and blessings as we strive to serve and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.  In all instances, we are brought to humble gratitude for the Lord's loving care in helping us to move the work forward.
From New England with love!
Elder Dustin Carr

Monday, June 6, 2011

OUR FIRST BAPTISM!!! ...well...almost...

This last Friday was Luke Capener's baptism.  He is the Bishop's son, and as a tradition in their family, the missionaries come and teach their child before he/she is baptized, so we met several times over the last few weeks and had some great teaching experiences with Luke and the Capener family.  So we joked about the being our first baptism, but it doesn't really count (not that numbers matter anyway).
Speaking of baptism, Dave Cody and Louie Trifone are still going strong and progressing well.  We are really looking forward to Dave's baptism on the 18th, and Louie's on the 25th.  Plus Dave came to Luke's baptism and really liked it, and this Saturday we are planning on going up to the Joseph Smith Memorial with him after his interview! We're way excited!

In other news, we had a great day on Tuesday!  We had a few stop-by's to make and an appointment at 5:00.  After the first few stop-by's with no one home, we decided to tract the neighborhood a bit, and as we stood at the car, preparing to leave, I noticed an older man and woman in their yard.  It wasn't any big impression, but I felt that we should go talk to them.  Long-story-short, we got to teach them the lesson of The Restoration, and invited them to church!  Then later, we were a little early to our 5:00 appointment, so we went out again to knock some doors.  No one was home at the first 2, but at the 3rd one was a really sweet mom of 3 children who had some great questions for us, and we had a great time talking about the gospel with her and inviting her to church.

No, not looking for gold plates. It's a Mutual work project.
Well none of them ended up making it to church yesterday, but that's ok, we'll try again this week :)   So we continue to work hard everyday - striving to be more obedient and diligent all the time - and we are frequently seeing the miracles that the Lord is blessing us with each week.
Oh and I know you all heard about the tornado, but don't worry, we're fine.  We are the closest area to where the tornado was, but it still didn't even come near us, it was a good hour away.  New England weather sure is crazy, haha.
Well, until next time!  From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr