Monday, January 25, 2016

Here Ye, Here Ye Mortals of this Church

Friends! Family! People of my life that I love!

Hi. :)

I must say, each week I feel like I am getting better and better in learning the area and people and also in knowing how to help the work progress.  I am always thinking about what will help the members and people in the area.  We are trying to meet with the ward mission leaders and other ward leaders to find ways to motivate the members in assisting us with the work...We are useless without them!

For example, Bishop Root (he is a very young bishop of one of our family wards) and his wife helped us get a new investigator, Holly.  Holly's kids are in the same class as the Root kids.  Holly was telling Sister Root about some hard things happening in her life.  Sister Root suggested that she get a priesthood blessing and meet with the missionaries...So that's exactly what happened!! Holly is our new investigator! We taught her the message of the restoration and I am excited to continue to teach her.  She has met with the missionaries a little before, but didn't progress cause she wants to be a part of all religions and doesn't believe in just ONE true church.  Let's hope and pray that she will feel the Spirit testify of the truthfulness of this church.  But back to my original point, we would not have found Holly without the Roots!

Bishop Root's son, Bryce, is getting baptized next month and they requested that we teach him the lessons.  Bryce is just about as crazy as a 7 year-old can be, but I love that kid.  I love the whole Root family!! You can definitely feel the Spirit and see how the gospel blesses their home.

Lots of this week consisted of knocking on doors of less active members and no one answering, but there were also so many successful moments too!

On Wednesday there was a worldwide missionary broadcast...Man, some great things were said!!  We heard from Elder Anderson, Elder Bednar, Elder Oaks, Sister Oscarson, and some other general authorities.  The focus/topic of the broadcast was, "Teach Repentance, Baptize Converts."  If I could make you watch it, I would.  But I will just share one specific thing I learned.
Elder Oaks said, (Imagine him kinda pounding on the pulpit (sorta like Elder Holland, but Elder Oaks. haha))

"Proclaiming the gospel is the most important thing work anyone can do in mortality."

THE MOST important work...for ANYONE!

This does not mean you have to serve a mission.

This does not mean you need to wear a name tag every day.

This means that if you are a mortal, proclaiming the gospel is a duty of EVERY member of this church.

I'm pretty sure all y'all are mortals, so this applies to you.

I just want to stress member missionary work...You must do the finding and teaching by example and word...You/We ALL are full-time missionaries for our entire life.

Without the gospel, our lives are nothing.  It is the center to everything we do.  Jesus Christ is the center.  We need to show and share this amazing gift with the people we interact with.  It can be easy... The Lord didn't say, "Open your mouth and you won't be scared." He said, "Open your mouths and they shall be filled." (D&C 33:10)  Share with someone how the gospel is helping you.  We have a promise that the Lord will help us if we only try.

There is my gospel rant...ha  I love it. I love Jesus.  And that is why I am here.

On Thursday we had more training by President Winder for the new missionaries.  There's so much to learn and apply! I love applying though.  It feels so good when you feel yourself improving by applying.

My favorite day this week was Saturday.  People were actually home and that means they answer their doors! haha We were successful in visiting with lots of less actives.  My favorite was when we pulled over to play basketball with some boys in the ward, who are in a part-member/semi-active family.  I challenged the boys to make sure to be at church and to be there on time to pass the sacrament.  See, sharing the gospel can be done in a fun setting too--even while playing basketball! :)

Everything else is going very well.  We have another YSA baptism coming up this Saturday!

Oh just so you know, I have had potatoes for dinner 14 times out of 27...That is more than half, people.  haha I decided to keep a tally now.  It's great.

This week I am ponderizing D&C 43:16.

And ye are to be taught from on high. Sanctify yourselves and ye shall be endowed with power, that ye may give even as I have spoken.

In order to receive teachings and power from the Lord we must sanctify, or make holy, our lives. Everyday we should try to think of something we can do to be more holy.  

The gospel is great! God is good! 

From Idaho to you,


Sister Carling

Sister Eas is starting to teach me some Polynesian dancing. :)
 Sister Eas is also teaching me how to play the 4 string guitar, which is 
tuned like a pretty much a giant ukulele...haha

Sista B!!

Happy Birthday Dad!!
Dinner pic from Sister Gail Minor.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Bonker balls, Bingo, and Baptism!

Well hello!

This week was so busy, but at the same time, not as productive as last week.

Monday nights are family home the singles ward!  Have I mentioned that I love serving in the YSA ward?? Well I do.  We played soccer while in Bonker Balls.  Great excuse to change into jeans. :) haha I also wore my new pink camo shirt that I just bought at Cabela's. (My area pretty much has everything.  Even Cabela's:)

On Wednesday, after our district meeting, we served at an assisted living place to help them make Valentine's Day crafts and also play Bingo.  Made. my. week.  I just love them old folks!  We also visited Esther, our 103 year old investigator, and she told us she "will not become a Mormon." Ooooh well....Sadly, 103 year old ladies are pretty stubborn with their ways and thoughts.

On Thursday, my dear friend, young women's leader, and previous neighbor from Arizona, Terri Riggs, took Sister Eas and I to Outback Steakhouse! What a treat!  I love her! Thank you Sister Riggs!! 

We also had a special zone training by President Winder about faith.  You would think that someone who has grown up in the church and been taught it for 19 years would know all there is to know about faith, right? Wrong.  My perspective was changed!  Faith is like when Moses stepped into the water to part the sea.  He had to get his feet wet before the water would part.  It is ACTION.  As a missionary, I can show my faith by acting, hoping and knowing that the Lord will help me as I do all I can.

Friday, we served at Idaho Youth Ranch, which is a thrift store.  It is a fun lil' experience.
That night there was a YSA fireside, and because one of our YSA investigators went, we could go!  Get this though--there were FOUR general authorities there! 3 members of the 70 (Elder Martino, Elder Anderson, and Elder Alder) and 1 member of the presidency of a quorum of the 70 (Elder Swarez).  Elder Swarez walked in during the middle of the meeting so they changed who was presiding.  That was neat.

Saturday was Jezrael's baptism!  Jezrael is funny.  Let me say a few funny things he did.... When he changed into the white jumpsuit, he felt like a ninja.  Sister Eas and I did a musical number (she sang, I played).  When we finished Jezrael started clapping. No one else joined in clapping.  You'd think he would stop and feel awkward, right? Nope.  He kept clapping. haha  When he got into the font he waved to everyone in the mirror.  After he was dunked he told the Elder Dolan, who baptized him, "You're good at that."  Later, a high council member presented him a few things, one thing being a framed picture of Jesus.  Jezrael said, "I'm gonna have to get that signed." Ohhh my, Jezrael.....He is too funny....I'm so happy for him and I know that he is going to do some awesome things.  Sister Eas and her previous companion started a tradition to do a "Victory Swing" after every baptism.  So we did that at a park!
(It looks like his arms are around us, but they are just resting on the glass....haha Just thought I'd let ya know.)

After the baptism, a couple of our YSA friends parked in front and behind our car.....I was able to easily squeeze out of there though. #Skill
At the park!

Saturday night and Sunday morning there was black ice all over! It has been snowing, but not cold enough for it to stick around, so everything is just WET....wet + cold = black ice. We taught a lesson with some elders at a church building. Afterwards, when they hopped on their bikes and hit the asphalt, one elder totally biffed it.  We were all laughing, then my companion slipped.  It's crazy how slick the ground was!! I, myself, thankfully have not slipped and hit the ground....yet... (*Knock on wood*)

Sunday, we went to the assisted living "Twig" sacrament meeting.  (For those not in my home ward, a "Twig" is too small to be a branch, so it is called a "twig." ;)  Sister Eas and I did another musical number.  We didn't get an applause that time. haha

Every day, in the mix of all of these things, we are also making visits to less active members and recent converts.  Sometimes we get good visits, other times no one answers the door.  Either way, the work is moving along in Boise!

My ponderize scripture this week is D&C 123:17

Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. 

We must be CHEERFUL and work to do everything in our own power!  It's amazing to see the hand of the Lord in each of our lives when we actually look for it.  He loves us!!!

From Idaho to you,


Sister Carling

Monday, January 11, 2016

Seeing the Progress Begin...

I've officially been a missionary for ONE WHOLE MONTH!
One long month.
One FANTASTIC month.
One month of so much growth and learning.  17 more great months to go!!

This week has been full of progress and miracles!  Now that I'm getting more into the full swing of things.  I feel like I can help this area in being successful.  I know how cliche it is to hear missionaries talk about "miracles," but it really is awesome to see the Lord's hand in every aspect of everyone's lives! The miracles are little, but little bits add up! Our mission has a vision to "Pray for and expect miracles," and so that is what we do!

Because Sister Eas and I cover 3 wards, sometimes it is hard to keep track of the people and areas, and because I'm just learning it all, I get very scatter brained!  So....during our weekly planning we came up with great ideas, with help and inspiration from the Spirit.  We've started to focus on one ward per day.  As we focus on the people in each ward for the full day, we see success and progress!  Another inspired idea that helps us as missionaries is to use the members of the wards A LOT.  In my home ward, I have had some awesome examples of how to utilize the members. (Thanks Elder Lithgow and Foulger! Also, congrats to Taylor Lithgow on getting hitched! haha)  I know that we will see success as we do this.  I'm still meeting the people and trying hard to learn about all of them.  Meeting the people is my favorite part of it all! Every person is unique and I can learn from everyone.

We are having lots of success in our YSA ward! Our investigator, Jezrael, is getting baptized this Saturday! That kid is awesome.  He is , and has a desire to follow God and he knows that God has a plan for each of us.  It is great working with him.

Rossalyn--also in the YSA ward--is very willing to obey the commandments.  This week we taught her the word of wisdom.  We were worried that she would maybe struggle with drinking coffee.  She has a baptism date in a couple weeks, so it is important for her to stop asap.  After we taught the what the word of wisdom is, out of the blue she said, "I hate coffee."  Wow! One day she drank it and decided she hates it.  The Lord as been working through her!!

Chrys is an amazing progressing investigator.  The sad part is that she can't get baptized yet because she is on probation for a while.  Every time we teach her a lesson, she commits herself to living that principle or commandment before we even ask her to! Chrys has seen how the gospel blesses families and she wants to have that happiness for her and her kids...She sure is on the right path doing the right things, that is for sure!

Remember how last week I mentioned that we also cover an assisted living place? Yeah. 

Well we have an investigator, Esther, who is 103 years old.  AWESOME, RIGHT?!  Right now, she is mostly curious about the church and Book of Mormon, but I really hope to help Esther spark a realization of the importance and truthfulness of the gospel!  Her fellowshipper, Carolyn, is another old lady who lives there.  Imagine trying to teach to 2 (very) old ladies......Their eyes were closing and they would start to fall asleep. I couldn't help but laugh.  I love my old lady friends!!

Good news! I have had more than just potatoes this week! ha  The people are so good about taking care of my special gluten-free needs.  I haven't gotten sick..yet! #knockonwood  haha

Sister Eas and I are having lots of fun while the work moves forward.  We did some service and fed some calves! I love putting on my jeans and boots.  It makes me feel like myself! haha

The weather here has actually been pretty nice!  All of of the snow is melted and gone.  It got to about 45 degrees this week.....not bad for this Arizona girl in Idaho!

I am starting the habit of ponderizing (because I recently read that general conference talk).  I invite you to join with me! (Specifically you, family. Do it with me!)  The scripture I am ponderizing this week is Alma 26:22 

Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; ...yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance. 

We can be great missionaries as we do these things! I know that as I create habits of repentance, faith, good works, and prayer, it will become a part of who I am, which will bring a greater lgiht to my life, which will help me be an example of JOY to those around me.  It's amazing how living like Jesus Christ makes us truly happy.

This missionary work is awesome! Miracles happen! And God is good ALL the time!!!

From Idaho to you,


Sister Carling

 Baby cows!
We get free Dutch Bros!
(We get smoothies and hot chocolate....don't worry, no coffee;)

  1 month mark!


Sister Beauchamp and I are in the same zone so we get to see each other a lot! We've started working out in the mornings together. :)  We also decided to match at our zone meeting on Friday.

Monday, January 4, 2016

This Really Is the Land of Potatoes!!

First week in the field.  WHOA. I love it!  This week mostly consisted of knocking on doors of less active members and no one answering....  Because I am the designated driver I need to get to know the area.  It is super big because we cover a YSA ward which consists of 2 stakes.

All of the residential streets have ice on the sides and so I am constantly (purposefully) sliding on it, or trying to crack the ice.  I have not slipped......yet! I get really distracted with it. haha Even my companion (from Hawaii) finds it funny. 

This week in Idaho was apparently abnormally cold.  One night (the coldest night) we were driving by the temple and decided to get out and take a few pictures.  For some reason, I just had to pick up some snow......People. when it is 9 degrees, after you pick up the snow, your hands don't warm up right away. That was not smart of me.  Thaaankfully our car warms up pretty fast! Also this week it's supposed to warm up to the 40s...Boise really isn't that terrible!! 

Remember how I said my first meal in Idaho was potatoes??? Well so was every other meal for the rest of the week!  5 out of 5 of my first meals were POTATOES. I don't mind it, I just think it's hilarious, and that's what everyone's default meal is when they have to think of a gluten free meal.  I wrote a poem about it...maybe I will send it next week. 

I am SO excited and happy to be serving in a YSA ward! It's like home for me and we get to do a bunch of activities with them! :)  We also have 2 baptisms scheduled for YSA.  One of our wards also covers an assisted living community!!! YSA + old people = My favorite. haha Seriously though...I couldn't be happier. :)

I live in a lovely home with Brother and Sister Andres.  They are super nice and great at taking care of us missionaries.

New Years Eve was my Christmas! Brother and Sister Riggs who came from Arizona, had 4 boxes for me from home!!! What a happy night! Thank you family!!!!

Church yesterday was quite a long day.  I finally got to meet people in the wards and introduce myself and bear my testimony.  There is so much work to be done, but it can't be done without the help of the members!! I am anxious to work will all of the great people here.

Sorry this email is so scatterbrained.....I need to figure out how to manage my email time and figure out what I'm going to say. haha

A scripture that I have been ponderizing is Moroni 10:23. "If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me."  We can do ALL things!! I am trying to develop the spiritual gift of exceedingly great faith.  As a missionary, this is so important. I can develop that faith by acting on all spiritual promptings I receive.  As each of us strive to show our faith by ACTION, the Lord will bring so many blessings and miracles to us!

Well I've used up all my time! I promise I will get better at this! 

From the Land of Potatoes to you,


Sister Carling

 New Years Eve!!
Just received boxes from home brought by the Riggs.
Thanks Kent & Terri!!