Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Good, the Bad, the Chickens, and Music

Well unlike last week, this week felt very eventful full of craziness! Good and bad.
This week, it seemed like everyone who had a baptismal date, dropped us....So as of right now, we don't have anyone ready. :( But even with all the disappointment, a lot of good happened this week too.
Monday: As a district, we hiked Camel's Back in Downtown Boise.  It's a pretty hipster park.  At the top, there was a dude chilling with his dog, listening to music, and enjoying the view.  We struck up a conversation with him and eventually led it to a gospel discussion.  We invited him to come to church with us.....and HE CAME!  After we talked to him, we saw this other guy twirling sticks.  We went over to him and asked him to teach us.....and he did! Eventually we had a gospel discussion with him.  He's a total hippie too.  Long hair, doesn't shower, tie die shirt, "Love, peace, etc...."  He was awesome!!!
Tuesday: We had zone conference! I happened to provide all of the music: prelude, opening and closing hymns, and both musical numbers. haha For the two musical numbers I played the piano for some elders that sang.  It was amazing.  They both did a great job. It made me so thankful for the talent that I have because it invites the Spirit.  Being able to invite the Spirit to meetings really warms my heart and I love it. 
Wednesday: We went on exchanges! I was in Meridian for the day. In the evening, I was back with Sister Richards.
Thursday: Oh man..
In the morning, we got a call from the Spanish elders informing us that Rosselyn (my recent convert) was in the hospital because she jumped off a bridge.  They were on their way there to give her a blessing.  That's all we knew, so immediately, we left to the hospital.  It seemed so unreal!! Rosselyn is one of my favorite people I have had the opportunity to teach on my mission!  I would have had NO idea that she struggled with these problems.  She hurt her neck, back, liver, and spleen, but most of the damage is in her neck.  The first two vertebrae are fractured. If they had been damaged any more she would be dead.  Thankfully though, she is doing okay.  She told us what happened.
Since she was 16 she has struggled with thoughts of hurting herself.  She's never done anything though.  This week has been super stressful for her.  (I'm sure some of her stress came because her parents and grandpa are in town from Venezuela and she is having to provide for them.)  I admire her, because she turned to the Lord.  She went to the temple to pray and find strength.  She then went to Lucky Peak to read her scriptures.  But SATAN IS STUPID and got in her head way too much.  She decided to jump.  I know that God protected her though.  There was a man there who saw her jump and swam out to save her.  She has said that she has learned the value of life.
Her parents, who don't know English, of course are struggling. They have been meeting with the Spanish elders. Rosselyn is the one who told them that these are trials we have to go through, but they need to trust in the Lord.  The next day when we visited her again, her dad brought out his Spanish Book of Mormon to show us.  He showed us 1 Nephi 3:7 and some other verses in the chapter that we couldn't understand because it was in Spanish.  We shared that with Rosselyn. She asked us to share another scripture so we shared Ether 12:27.  Her dad came over with his Book of Mormon to open up to whatever scripture we had.  Then HE read it to her and asked for a pen to mark it with.  It made my heart so happy to see how the gospel is helping them, and also to see the excitement he is having!  Good is coming from the trials!!
Friday: We visited Rosselyn again.
We went to lunch with Sister Riggs! Always so good to see her!
We spent our whole afternoon and evening at the church building to weekly plan, have dinner, and then after, have a lesson.  For dinner, I brought some gluten free "Just add water" pancakes.  The kitchen doesn't have any frying pans, so I used a sort of cookie sheet to cook them on......They did not turn out the best, but they were still edible! haha
That evening, we had a lesson with Robert.  Robert has been less active for a long time but he has such strong desires to come back to the gospel and repent!  We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.  When we taught repentance, he admitted to some things that he has done, but hasn't told is Parole Officer.  Right then and there he made the decision that in order to repent he needed to call his PO.  He called his PO in the middle of our lesson!!!  He's getting it! It shows that he is ready and trying to repent.  That was cool.
Saturday: TOSHA GOT MARRIED!!!!!!!!
I appreciated the pictures that people sent me! Especially, pictures of me. haha
We visited some people that Sister Richards taught earlier in her mission.  One of the families had chickens, and again, I can't resist chickens. haha It's just part of who I am, I guess!
Sunday: I performed 2 musical numbers--1 in the Elders ward, Savior Redeemer of My Soul, and 1 in my YSA ward--I did my own rendition of Joseph Smith's First Prayer.  
Monday: Happy Memorial Day! For P-Day, we just played sports at the church building with our zone.  And I got a hair cut!!  Well, just a trim. :)
Ponderize: 3 Nephi 10:6
O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart.
In these verses, the phrase "As a hen gathereth her chickens...." is repeated 4 times! The first time He said, "How oft have I..." The second and third time He said, "How oft would I..." and the fourth time he said, "How oft will I..." Chirst will always rescue us! NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES WE MESS UP, HE WILL ALWAYS RESCUE US.  We have to have faith and repent and turn to Him.
From Idaho to you,
Sister Carling

My "ghetto ratchet" pancakes.
This chicken is named Ash.  I have never seen a white and gold colored araucana chicken before!
Sister Richards and I
 Danny--the hippie at Camel's Back! He's so cool!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Fun fun fun with Miracles and More Miracles!

This week was full of fun and miracles!!!  Let's start with the fun and then move on to the miracles...

Sister Richards and I love being outside in the weather (as I have mentioned lots before). :)  We set up a hammock that I was given behind our church building in some trees.  We had a very nice time studying. We also laughed. A lot.  I'm actually really funny sometimes.  I made Sister Richards laugh so hard that she peed her pants! hahaha  (She did jump out of the hammock in time though. Haha) 

We also did some service at a house with a sheep, chickens, and calves! We had lots of fun chasing chickens and sheep! :)  I tried to do a throw-back when I was 7 years old and do tricks with the chickens.  They wouldn't cooperate.  I did get a chicken to stay on my head though!

First miracle of the week:
The people we live with had to kick us out by today because their sons are getting home from their missions soon.  Our stake has been looking for housing for us since February, but for some reason, no one is volunteering!  We've been praying and fasting that we will be able to find someone to house us.  Our mission office sent us on a hunt to find housing for us.  We stopped by one ladies house to ask her.  That didn't work out.  I decided to drive to our ward mission leaders house.  But! He wasn't even home.  As we were walking back to our car, a lady in the ward, Sister Rotz, (who was a previous prospect for housing) was walking by. We stopped her, explained our situation, and immediately she said, "Come live with me!" MIRACLE! We immediately walked to her house and figured out how we would set everything up.  She then made the comment, "Now I now why I went on a walk later in the day."  It just shows how the Lord is taking care of us.  If she hadn't walked by we wouldn't have thought to ask her if we could live with her.  Soooo on Saturday, we packed, moved, unpacked, and got all settled in. We now live in our area, which is a huge benefit.  It's so nice!!

Second miracle of the week:
Sister Richards and I were wanting to work on our tracting/contacting skills.  I knew we needed to try something different because what we were doing wasn't very effective.  We asked some elders what they do to find success in contacting and they gave us some advice.  We decided to put it to the test.  We went to contact a referral from some members in our ward.  Just to put it very briefly, we talked to the lady and she said we could come back and teach her!!! New investigator! :)

Third miracle of the week:
Rosselyn, our recent convert, brought her friend to church for us to teach.  In the chapel we taught him lesson one, invited him to be baptized, and set a baptismal date for June 11th! He said yes!!! That was so neat!!

God is blessing us so much.

This week we also taught a less active teenage girl.  She has lots of doubts, but she has no desires to change.  In the end, she's not ready for us to come back because he heart is pretty hard.  She is a struggling teenager with lots of emotional issues.  There was one point in our teaching when she asked who we were in high school, or basically what type of stereotypical teenager we were. I'm not sure where she was going with that, but then she asked if we had ever had depression issues.  I'm going to be honest...I've never struggled with depression. I, personally, don't know what it is like.  When I told her no she said, "How the heck are you alive?" She found it so surprising that I survived high school being happy, I guess...
This is something I have wondered about myself.  Why or how did I stay happy through my life up to this point.  I thought about what I was supposed to say, and I'm sure my thoughts came from the Spirit. 

I am happy because I know who I am.  

I am a Daughter of God.
I can be healed and strengthened through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I have potential.
I am loved.
I am special.

The way other people view me doesn't matter.  Because I love other people, because I know who they are, I am happy.

I never knew how much I took advantage of this knowledge.  Growing up in the church, in Primary, in Young Women's, going to girls camp, etc... I've always been told who I am and I guess it's something I have taken advantage of.  I knew it was an important knowledge, but I don't think I ever realized how much that knowledge effected my attitude and behavior.
My understanding and testimony of this truth has grown.  I am a Child of God!

Ponderize: Peter 1:4
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

This world is pretty messed up, but we have a divine purpose to fulfill.  Don't let the corruption in the world distract you from who you are.  Remember, you are a Child of God!!

From Idaho to you,


Sister Carling

In my hammock

There is a chicken on my head, while I am also wearing a chicken hat. Haha

Feeding a baby cow...It was born less than 24 hours before!

Sheep. We chased that thing dowwwn.

I also chased that big rooster down. Wahoo! haha

Monday, May 9, 2016


Good things are happening here in the Boise West area! 

We met with Elliott this week (again outside at a park:)  We, again, discussed baptism, because this week he was supposed to pray about it......We set a baptismal date for June 11th!!!! He also came to sacrament meeting yesterday! It is so exciting. :)

We started teaching Destiny, 9 years old, who is Holly's daughter.  She wants to get baptized too! Holly doesn't want to rush her into it but we are working on setting a baptismal date for her. :) We also had a nice Mother's Day dinner with Holly.  I admire the love that Holly has for her children.  She loves them more than anything and all she cares about is that they are happy and taken care of.  I also love the Spirit that we feel there as we have started teaching the kids, too. The gospel blesses families!!!

Funny story!

We stopped by our YSA Elder's Quorum President's house to drop something off for him.  He wasn't home, but his roommate, Jason, was.  After we finished our business, we noticed a cute, comfortable looking porch swing.  We sat in it for a couple minutes enjoying the nice weather.  When I decided to walk to the car I could not find the keys. 

Me: "Sister Richards, do you have the keys?"

Sister Richards: "No, I'm not driving. Why would I have the keys?"

I approach the LOCKED car, and notice the keys on my seat.......... Well that's a problem.

Me: "Sister Richards, do you have the phone?"

Sister Richards: "Yes, in my scripture bag."

*We look in the LOCKED car and see her scripture bag........* Well that's a problem.

We knock on the door again and Jason is confused why we are still at his house.  It's not like we have other phone numbers memorized so we have to figure out how to get President Winder's phone number.  Thankfully, the missionaries in the YSA stake are in the directory.  We call 3 companionships and no one answers.  We leave voicemails hoping and waiting for someone to call us back shortly.  Eventually some elders call us back, we get President's number and explain our situation to him.  He connects us to the vehicle coordinator and explain the situation to him.  Jumping to the end, we ended up sitting on that porch swing for an hour and a half until someone came to rescue us to get the extra set of car keys. haha What a great adventure. :)

Today is transfer day........Saturday we got transfer calls..... SISTER RICHARDS AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER!!!! She has one more transfer (6 weeks) left until she goes home.  I get to be with her for her last transfer and I get to stay in the Boise West stake!!!!! We are so excited. :)

Ponderize: Alma 56:47-48

...They had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.  And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.
Because it was Mother's Day, all of the talks in sacrament were about mothers.  It was interesting because one guy in our YSA ward that spoke didn't ever really have a mother in his life.  He was raised by his dad. He said out of anyone, he didn't feel qualified to speak about mothers.  But, nonetheless, it was a great talk.  He talked about the sons of Helaman.  He pointed out that in the letter that Helaman wrote to Captain Moroni, Helaman mentioned (more than once) how great the faith was of these young men because of their mothers.  It was so important that the young men gave credit to them.  This week I also did a Personal Progress value in Faith where I read that scripture and discussed the importance of a faithful mother.  
I'd like to give credit to my mom for the things I have learned from her.  My testimony and knowledge of the gospel is the way it is because of the way my mother raised me.  I am so grateful! I love you Mom!

From Idaho to you,


Sister Carling

 We parked next to a corral and a horse stuck it's whole head in our car.

Here is a picture of us chilling on the porch swing waiting to be picked up and rescued because I was clumsy enough to lock my keys in the car..... P:

We did weekly planning outside again in the wonderful weather! The glass bottle sodas make it a little more exciting. :)

At our dinner appointment, they pulled out this lil' machine (I can't remember what it's called) that emits electricity. If you hold on to it, it makes your hair stick up and you can shock people, too.

Monday, May 2, 2016

My Kind of Weather!

I think everything wonderful that has happened this week has been outside.  I am seriously obsessed with Boise weather. :)

On Tuesday we mowed and edged Holly's lawn with Mason Smith.  I kinda forget how much I kind of enjoy mowing/edging lawns.....but then again, the weather here is perfect.  Imma just say I love mowing lawns in nice weather. haha 

We had a lesson with Jezrael and Elliott at Albertson Park.  That park is so beautiful and full of wild life, yet it's even full of wildlife and it's in the middle of Boise! (Almost downtown)  There are squirrels, deer, geese, rabbits, ducks....Cool stuff!  In our lesson, we taught the Doctrine of Christ (Faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end...)  We focused a lot on baptism because we want Elliott to head that direction.  He would like to get baptized, but he said maybe in a different church.  He doesn't want the label of "Mormon."  We've explained the difference between us and other churches and our authority....he just has to pray about it.  He also feels good when he reads the Book of Mormon! We have committed him to continue to pray and read about baptism.  Hopefully good things will come.  The best part about meeting at Albertson park is that it is full of nature....We sat on a rock next to a pond under some trees...but it was funny because right behind us some roosters started crowing! haha  Elliott was like, (to the roosters) "Can't you see we're trying to have a serious conversation!" You tell that rooster Elliott....... :) 

Later in the week we had a lesson with just Jezrael.  This kid! We have fun with this kid.  He needs lots of push to be obedient with certain things though.  Sometimes we are pretty hard on him, but it's because we love him so much that we want him to choose the right! I want him to go to the temple!!! It takes work though, and Jezzy has to do it himself. I can't force him... #Agency.  This meeting was fun because we walked around the park FULL of geese.  We were chasing geese.  Let me tell you, experiencing spring is AMAZING!!! Seeing cute lil' baby geese waddling around is great.  There were also a bunch of mama geese laying on eggs, which is cool.  We climbed on top of "The World's Largest Butt Cut Flare Ponderosa" tree stump.  There was a mama goose sitting on her eggs there.   We also chased a couple of deer.  Oh, I also forgot to mention this is the last time we're meeting with Jezzy for a while because he's moving to Spokane for the summer, but will be back every once in a while.  Imma miss him!

On Thursday we did our weekly planning, but instead of staying cooped up in the basement we live in, we did in a grass field behind our church building. GORGEOUS! The breeze was nice, the sun was out, there were some clouds, we stopped by a gas station and got some pop... Now that's what I call spring!!

TODAY was such a fun P-day!!! Sibyl Spjute and Billy Jo Hess (two fantastic ladies in our ward) drove us up to Idaho City to give us a tour of the tiny town.  Idaho City is an old mining town that really captures the history of Idaho.  The cemetery is like in a forest. That was cool.  They've also got so many classic/vintage buildings and shops.  I LOVED IT!!!  Sibyl and Billy Jo made us a picnic lunch then bought us ice cream in an old ice cream parlor.  Again, the weather was absolutely gorgeous.

Ponderize: 1 Nephi 15:8

"Have ye inquired of the Lord?"

Super simple.  We should be inquiring of the Lord more often than we probably do.  I know I need to.  He knows what's best, so we need to talk to him in all of our decisions!

From Idaho to you,


Sister Carling

After we mowed Holly's lawn with Mason Smith!

Jezzy, Elliott, and us in Albertson Park

Us and Jezzy on top of the ponderosa

Jezzy messing with the mama goose


Sibyl Spjute, Billy Jo Hess, Me!, Elder Bean, Sister Richards, 
Elder Lamb, Elder Atkins, Elder Edralin