Monday, May 22, 2017

Idahome 💗



As I come to the close of my mission, I've had time to reflect back on the lessons I have learned and ways that I have changed.  First off, I am in LOVE with Idaho.  It it home.  God couldn't have chosen a better state fit for me and He knew that I needed the people here.  I love the people and place of Idaho!

I want to list some of the greatest lessons I have learned: 

It's all about the people! That was my focus last week, but as I go through the rest of the things I have learned it comes back to this! Everything God has done, does do, and will do is for His children!  Christ loves us individually so He suffered for us individually.  He desires the salvation for the individual so we as missionaries and members of this church are to reach out to the people one by one! 

I love people!  Again, I have learned how to love the individual so much more than I can imagine.  I didn't think my heart could get so big!!  The people I've taught--Jezrael, Crazy Dave, Rosselyn and the Osuna family, the Ashby family, Seth and Kayla, Evelyn, LaDene, Kenny, and on and on...--my companions, the members,  fellow missionaries, and more... I JUST LOVE GOD'S CHILDREN!  I've found that when you get to know other people you become more like Christ, just by knowing them because Christ knows us all perfectly... And a cool thing happens...You automatically grow a love for them.  It's the best thing ever! 

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know and love me. I've received answers to questions, personal revelation and direction, promptings of the Spirit, feelings of truth.  I know it.  I know they are there and are beyond real. 

There is POWER in the Book of Mormon.  I have committed to myself that I will read the Book of Mormon every day for the rest of my life, because I need that scripture power.   It's a real power that you can feel!   I call it a Power Book. I love the Book of Mormon! 

There is so much joy in sharing the gospel. I talk about this one all the time... I've never been so happy in my life as I have been on my mission when I see other people invite Christ into their life, keep the commandments, and gain a testimony themselves.  Change--or an even better word: repentance--brings happiness.  I remember when I heard that CJ (first area) was baptized I started jumping up and down, shouting for joy, and shedding tears of happiness.  I remember when I heard for the first time Jezrael bear his testimony to his nonmember family and my heart wanted to explode.  I remember seeing Jackie and Brittnee enter into the waters of baptism and the Spirit filled the room--Hulk strong.  I remember Crazy Dave went from recently out of prison to becoming a service missionary and wearing a name tag just like mine saying, "Elder Hochstetler."  I remember...........so much more......  That joy has been the greatest gift to me. 

Lastly, but not least, I have learned and began to more fully understand the simple, yet detailed doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By coming to understand it in depth, I have been able to teach it clearly and simply... I have found a passion for teaching the gospel and I am really going to miss teaching it 24/7... But it's not the end! I am excited to continue to teach it to friends and my future children, and anyone that will listen.  This is salvation!!
 
Ponderize: Alma 26: 30-31, 35-37
And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.

Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.

Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.

Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.

I know, that's a lot of verses....But to close my mission, this is how I feel.  I can feel fruits of my labors and they are joyful.  God knows and loves His children.  We have the way salvation.  Let's rejoice!!!

From Idaho to you,

XoXo

Sister Carling



Us
Big Jud's! An Idaho special restaurant. So yum.
Mission Prep kids! 

The Moorhouse Family <3

Service at Idaho Youth Ranch

Dorthy and Harvey



Tony and Michelle Schmutzler and Buster.



Kassy came to church!

Delmar and Luann Gray <3


Service at the Famous Potato Marathon! It's an Idaho thing.







Monday, May 15, 2017

It's All About the People

The past couple weeks I've pinned down lesson I've learned over my whole mission to a simple sentence: It's all about the people.  It's all about God's children.  Every touching, exciting, spiritual, shout-for-joy moment on my mission is all about lifting God's children up to the higher path toward heaven.  I think this week there were several different experiences that can be pinned down to that.

First off, remember Carson, my 9-year-old investigator back in Hazelton?  We'd invite him to be baptized and he'd always say, "I'm still thinkin' about it."  Well I found out this week that he was baptized last Saturday!!!!! 😄 I was SO happy and excited when I found that out.  It was one of those moments where I thought, "This is what it's about.  It's all worth it."

We worked more on setting goals with Kenny.  Love that guy.  The ultimate goal is to "Return and Receive" by making all the covenants in the temple.  On Tuesday night he texted us and said, "I got my limited use temple recommend. Aren't u proud" Yes Kenny! So proud!!! The Boise temple is closed for cleaning and re-opens on May 23rd, my last day (really, half a day) proselyting as a missionary.... So before I get dropped off at the mission office next week, we're going to do baptisms for the dead!! I am so proud of him!

We were driving down a street contacting some less-actives.  I saw a kid pushing a wheel barrow and I thought to stop and talk to them.  I've been working on acting on every prompting I receive from the Holy Ghost, whether it sounds or seems weird to do.  So I turned around and pulled over.  We started talking to the grandpa who was outside and turns out he's (in his own words) "jack-Mormon."  Then his grandson, Brendan came out and they were saying how he "is nothing" yet, or doesn't have a religion.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and committed him to read the introduction.  Then he asked when we were gonna come back! YES!  So, we set a return appointment.  Yay for spiritual promptings! 

My favorite highlight lesson of the week: Evelyn!
We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ: faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  Once we said the word baptism, while introducing the lesson, she was asking what it was.  It was cool because we gave her the pamphlets in Chinese to help her understand in her language.  She was able to translate what it said in Chinese to English just about word for word.  It helped her understand different concepts better.  We explained that baptism is like a contract for special promises we make.  We invited her to be baptized!! She said she didn't wan't to "sign a contract" and go back to Taiwan and explain to her family what she did without them knowing.  We assured her we want her to be baptized there (she leaves Idaho next week) and continue meeting with the missionaries and even introduce her family to the gospel too!  My favorite part, again, was her closing prayer.  She said, "Help me to be ready for baptism when I go back to Taiwan and help that I can share with my mom and brother what I believe."  SHE BELIEVES IT!!!!  I know it was not a coincident that she came here to Idaho to stay with a member family to be introduced to the gospel so she can then go home and share it with her family.  God works in mysterious ways, but His ways always work! They are amazing and always very planned out!

Okay, now for a fun story... :)

I ANSWERED THE PHONE TO JASON GRAY!!!!

We had Mother's Day dinner at Delmar and Luann Gray's house. (Jason's parents, whom I LOVE!)  Delmar and Luann were outside sending their son and grand kids off.  Right in front of me sat Luann's phone.  All of a sudden there was an incoming call from JASON GRAY.  Here's what went on in my head: It's Jason! I can run it out to Luann real quick or I can answer it and give it to her. Ah!  What do I do?! Okay, I'm gonna answer it!
Me: Hi Jason!
Jason: *Whispering to his daughter Alice* Say Happy Mother's Day.
Alice: Happy Mother's Day!
Me: Hey Jason, this is a sister missionary, your mom's outside, let me get her.
Jason: Oh okay!

Really not that exciting, but I can say I did it! haha!  Jason Gray and his daughter wished me a happy Mother's Day! ;) haha

Speaking of Mother's Day it was so fun to talk to my mom and family.  It was all super casual because I get to see them NEXT WEEK! Seriously, like wut.

So, here goes my last week.......!!!!  I cannot wait for what's ahead!

Ponderize: 1 Thessalonians 5:19

Quench not the Spirit.

This one's easy. haha  In our district meeting there was a training on acting on promptings from the Holy Ghost.  It's something I have already been working on... But I loved how simple this scripture is. The footnote on "quench" says, "Extinguish, hinder, suppress."  Don't extinguish, hinder, suppress the Holy Ghost! He's only helping you.

From Idaho to you,

XoXo

Sister Carling


 The Boise Capitol downtown!

I love Sister Marshall!

For Mother's Day we wrote a song for our Mother's but also sang it for the mothers of missionaries in our wards and also made these pretty flowers...
Credit goes to Sister Marshall for her crafty creativity!

My final district meeting with an awesome district.
Elder Towers, Elder Jones, Elder Jackson, 
Sister Gainer, Sister Ely, Sister Marshall and Me!!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Progression in the Growth Zone

There's lots of great, random things to talk about this week but I don't have much more time... Hopefully I can fit as much info in.

Let's talk about the weather.  Finally, the weather reached the perfect temperature! It was warm and sunny (70s-80s) most of this week and only a couple days not so nice, windy and cloudy (50s-60s).  We took advantage of the sun and did studies and planning outside.  In result, I did get a little sunburned... But it was worth it. :) 

We visited the Brown family who's kids make us feel like super-stars.  They are less-active but SUPER cute and enthusiastic.  They had a baby duck and chicken, so we were holding them and the chick pooped in Sister Marshall's hand.  The duck was rested on the back of my neck in my hair and then it pooped on me too!!! Not very nice.... haha But, it was great because in the end we set up weekly FHE with the family.  :)

There's a lady who we visit twice a week--LaDene.  I just love her.  She stays at home most of the time due to health conditions, but last week she was telling us about all of her financial issues and how she can barely pay all of her bills.  I said to her, "LaDene, you need to pay tithing!" Of course, she couldn't see the logic behind that, but I bore testimony about the blessings that come.  So this week when we returned she said she's adjusting her budget, taking some expenses out and she is going to pay tithing.  YES!! That was great news. :)

We taught Kenny a lesson about making goals to help him progress in the gospel, eventually to the temple, and for other ways in life.  We also challenged him to bear his testimony on Sunday.  He did it, and he did great!! But then he called us out and challenged us to do it too... Can't say no to that. haha It was awesome.  Kenny is so funny!

We had another great lesson with Blaine.  I love that he shows true desires to fully apply the things we teach him.  Last lesson we talked about the power in reading the Book of Mormon every day, so he put it to test.  He has been doing it and has seen blessings!  This week we talked about obedience, but there were many tangents about Patriarchal blessings, gathering the House of Israel, the temple, and other great things...I just love seeing the gospel in action in his life.

We taught Evelyn the Plan of Salvation!  Again, she asked great questions and absorbed it like a sponge.  Before the closing prayer she told us that she prayed this week to help find her charger that she lost at BSU.... and she found it!! That made me so proud!! :)

Ponderize:  D&C 19:37
And speak freely to all; yea, preach, exhort, declare the truth, even with a loud voice, with a sound of rejoicing, crying—Hosanna, hosanna, blessed be the name of the Lord God!

I heard a couple quotes that I really liked this week.

One was at our stake coordination meeting, our high councilman said, "We don't want people to say, 'Every time I'm around Mormons they try to convert me.' They should say, 'Man, every time I'm around Mormons they try to invite me to do everything with them.'"  I loved that!!

Another thing someone said in gospel principles: "There is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone."  How true!

We have to speak out, love people into the gospel, and grow!


From Idaho to you,

XoXo

Sister Carling

 

Exchanges!


 

Planning in the sun.  :)
 

This is Evelyn! <3

Monday, May 1, 2017

Probably the lamest update I've had...

I'm kind of at a loss of what to say today because I didn't plan this out like I usually do.  There is a reason though! This morning we moved houses, so I've just been busy packing and cleaning...

Nothing very eventful happened this week...At least not that I can think of, other than moving!

We taught Evelyn more basic doctrine... She amazes me on how well she absorbs and comprehends everything, especially considering that she has only been in America for a month! She remembered every detain we taught her about the godhead from the lesson before.  She also said another very sweet prayer.

We taught Dorthy and Harvey Olsen the Restoration and invited Dorthy to be baptized but she said she's not ready to commit to that yet.... We're working on it!

We've met with all of our bishops for referrals of less-active people to visit so we've been spending lots of time trying to see those people.

Ummmm.... I seriously don't got much else to say.

Ponderize: D&C 15:6
And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.

I've been slowly pushing my way through the Doctrine and Covenants... This week I read this and I find it interesting that the Lord tells us that MISSIONARY WORK is the one thing in life that will be of the most worth to us!  So, I think it's great advise for anyone who is looking for someway to feel fulfilled. Sharing the gospel brings peace and happiness.  I know this to be true!!


From Idaho to you,

XoXo

Sister Carling

Just a selfie while packin' up our room.
 

This was the Elders at our last preparation day at the Gray's house.  
Enjoying the sun for once! Like, 20 minutes after this it was raining again.... haha #Idaho
 
 
This is our new house we moved into today.  I'm excited
 to live with the Fish family!
 

Monday, April 24, 2017

A First Prayer

This week was full of some awesome lessons.
 
First off, on Wednesday we went to the temple as a zone! I love being at the temple!  I admire President and Sister Bartlett because they go to every temple session for the every zone in the mission.  That's a lot of temple time!!  I also love being in the Boise temple because I always run into people I know, which definitely makes me feel at home.
 
We found a new investigator, Evelyn! She is an exchange student from Taiwan!! She has only been here a couple weeks (living with a member) but her English is really good.  She said she went to a Christian church at home, but I think their definition of Christian is different because she has a totally different understanding of God.  We had to start from the very very basics. I think this is the first time on my mission teaching someone without some sort of basic Christian background or knowledge.  She is very willing to learn and wants to feel the truth for herself.  After we taught who God and Jesus Christ are, we taught her about prayer and invited her to pray. She told us we need to teach her how, so of course we did.  She was so willing to say a prayer right then!  Let me tell you, it is one of the sweetest things to hear someone pray for the first time.  The Spirit was strong and her heart is ready! She is so cute and it's fun to learn about life in Taiwan!
 
We also taught Tyler, our 18 year-old investigator the Plan of Salvation.  He still needs to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, but he is understanding and learning!
 
We ate dinner with the Mello's and Kenny...They made homemade ramen! (Rice noodles for me)  I haven't had ramen in over a decade!!!!! Oh, it was so good but I stuffed myself full.
 
This weekend was stake conference and we heard from the Boise Temple President and Matron, President and Sister Belliston as well as our mission president, President and Sister Bartlett.  A recently returned missionary and a soon-to-be missionary bore their testimonies too. I realized then--I mean it really hit me--that there are some amazing people here in Idaho whom I love, but I won't be here forever teaching the gospel with Christ's name on my chest.  I mean, of course I know I'm coming home soon, but it hit me more so then... I've got to do more than I ever have these last few weeks! --ONE month left today!!!! 😱
 
 
Ponderize: 1 Nephi 17:50-51
50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.
51 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?
This week I read this chapter in the Book of Mormon and in the margin I wrote a principle learned from this scripture: "With God, we can do things we've never done before."  Nephi had never built a ship. But he knew that he can do all things that God commands him, as he testifies throughout his whole account.  With God, we can accomplish the impossible!
 
 
From Idaho to you,
 
XoXo
 
Sister Carling
 
 
Our zone at the temple.

 
I forgot to attach this one last week.  Comp study at the park,
practicing #PRINCEofPEACE approaches.
 
Mission prep youth! I love teaching mission prep!
 
Just us.
 
Super bright rainbow yesterday! <3