Saturday, January 29, 2011

First letter to Home: Day 4 @ MTC

iHola my Familia!
Ok so basically, the MTC is God's second greatest gift...well maybe not that much, but it is pretty awesome!  I love it here!  I don't have much time, so I'm going to have to be breif, and I'll send pictures in the mail to mom and dad today if I can.
Gosh it is crazy out here, seriously every single minute it spent studying or something, not a single minute is wasted.  Today is my first P (Preparation) day, and from here on out, it will be on Saturdays.  I will have more time to write next time. 
ANYWAYS!  I love the MTC. I'm learning SOOOO much!  My companion, Elder Stevenson is AMAZING! and we were definitely meant to be companions, he and I work so well together and we really pull each other along.  The food is great here, but we definitely have too many therefore we are forced to eat everything ; )   My district rocks!  we're like an 8-person family!  I love my classes (even though some are like 5 hours long!)  and I'm learning soooooo much Spanish!  I've already learned how to pray, bear my testimony, and more!  The schedule is so intense here that we spend 6:30am - 10:30pm moving/studying/working non-stop.  sS yes, we are all VERY tired, ha ha. 
Well I gotta run, but just know that I'm doing great here! and I'm loving every minute!   
Feel free to write me anytime, and you can use dear elder too (it's free and easy).
Love you all!

Early Airport Goodbye

Mom & Dad took a calm and composed Dust... er, Elder Carr to the Chico Airport on Wednesday, January 26, at 5am.  Setting apart the previous evening was a wonderful experience.  Packing until 1am... not so much.  His smile matched the brightness of his tie. 
Leavin on a Jet Plane - from Chico, Ca
We watched his prop plane go up, up, and away enroute to SLC via SF.  Oldest bro, Tim, and wife Michelle, with their little ones Bryson and Bailey, met Elder Carr at the Salt Lake Airport.  Then a shuttle ride to Provo and the adventure began!

My wardrobe selection for two years.

Last Sunday in Chico

We were able to be together in Chico to hear Elder Carr give his farewell talk in church.  He spoke on overcoming trials through our faith and how our faith is strengthened by doing so. 
Dusty and cousin Jacob

Grandma and Grandpa Brown
Dusty with his favorite sister
A final request for a mom-made dessert: Brownie Delight!  Layers of brownie chunks, whipped cream, toffee bits, chocolate sauce--a whole lotta goodness in one dessert bowl!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Elder Dustin Carr has been called to serve in the Mexico Tampico mission.

   To my friends and family who are reading and following my blog.  Since I am not able to keep up a blog myself while on my mission, I will have my Dad and my Sister, Amber, take that job.  The idea is that they will post the weekly letter I send to my family as well as pictures.  My intent in this blog is to bring you along with me through my mission and the experiences I have that help me to grow.  I hope that as you read about the things which I am experiencing, you will find your self gaining a stronger testimony and a desire to be a better member missionary, or to serve a mission yourself.  With that said, I would like to start by sharing the day I opened my mission call...

September 15th,

   This morning, my roommates and I went to work out.  It's Friday, and I don't have any classes today, so it's the perfect time.  I finished a few minutes before them and decided to get the mail.  I had just sent in my mission papers a week and a half ago, so I figured there was no chance that they could come till next week.
   Also, I knew that mission calls (at least up at BYU-I)  typically come on a Thursday, and since I didn't get it yesterday, I figured it hadn't come yet.  But little did I know, no one got the mail yesterday.  I turned the key, opened the box, and there it was; a large, thick, white enveloped addressed: ELDER DUSTIN CARR.

   I was in shock! I could not believe it.  I help it in my hands for a minute - breathless - speechless. I ran around the courtyard yelling, "I GOT MY MISSION CALL!!!"  Then I noticed another envelope, yellow and of regular size address to me as well, but in the top corner is said: TRAVEL INFORMATION.  I ran back to the weight room and grabbed my roommates, and their shock was just as entertaining as mine.  I quickly gave the envelopes to Jake and asked him to hide them.
   The rest of the day I spend texting/calling/facebook messaging all my friends and family to let them all know that I would be opening my call tonight at 7:00 at Alpine Chalet's lounge.  It was killing me.  My biggest task was just focusing and being patient.  I made a poster for people to write down their guesses as to where I was going.  They got to guess where I would be going if it was foreign as well as domestic.  People we constantly asking where I hope to go, and I simply replied, "I doesn't matter, because I know that it will be the place the Lord wants me to be....but if I got to pick, I would just like a Spanish-speaking mission."  I did have a feeling, though, that I would be going foreign due to the "Travel Information" letter.  I had so much energy today, it felt wonderful.  Every minute felt like an hour, but then, all the sudden, it was 6:45.
   I started organized people and getting my computer set up to skype Dad.  Friends started trickling in, and before I knew it, it was 7:00.  My poster of guesses was filling up, but as I looked them over, I couldn't sense where I would be going.  I had a few friends taking pictures and Chelsie was filming the event with my camera.  Several friends offered their phones, so I was able to have my family on the line, as well as my friend and roommate from previous semesters, Ryan Plumb.  I tried to count how many people were there, but I lost the number after 40.  Even my Bishop and his wife came!  So with all phones in place, my dad on Skype, and all my friends and role-models surrounding me, it was time to open my call.
   Jake brought in the two envelopes and handed them to me.  I put to yellow TRAVEL INFO. envelope on the table, and held the white, large one, from the missionary department, in my hands.  It felt so heavy.  I announced that I was about to open my call and the room went silent.  I thanked everyone for being here and supporting me, and then I proceeded to open the envelope.  My hands were sweaty and shaking from my excitement, I could barely open the envelope; but when I did, I pulled out the letter, and began to read.

   Dear Elder Carr:  You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  You are assigned to labor in the Mexico, Tampico Mission.

   And in that very moment, I KNEW that it was the place Christ had called me to serve.

   I ended phone calls, thanked everyone for coming to support me, and said goodbyes.  Sister Sevy (Bishop's wife) came up to me and asked me what I'm feeling right now.  Without hesitation, I answered, "Love."  To which she replied, "That is Christ's love."  I felt so much love, Christ's love.