Monday, July 25, 2016

I Am Nothing

Oh my GOODNESS, this week was a ROLLER COASTER!  So many feels right now.  I'd say that I have learned and grown the most from my whole mission in the past one week.  Lots happened, but I want to talk about the highlight things that I learned.  I feel like I was hit with a spiritual fire hose this week! It's the best!!

Wednesday night there was a YSA fireside with Hank Smith, Michael McLean, and Brad Wilcox.

I wish I could tell y'all everything I learned but I will just give you highlight phrases that I got in my notes. :)

Hank Smith: (Hank is sooo funny and an amazing speaker!  This was the first time I have heard him, but I'm pretty sure he's going to be like the next John Bytheway. haha  I am looking forward to hearing more of his talks in the future!)   He talked about when Christ's apostles were on the ship in the storm and when they saw Christ walking on water, the first thing he said was, "Be of good cheer!"  What? That would be hard to do when you feel like you're about to DIE in this storm.  His motto was, "Be of good cheer! It's not a pep talk, it's a commandment!"  Life is hard, but even during our deep trials, we can "be of good cheer."

Michael McLean: After quoting Christ saying, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?

Michael said, "The greatest intelligence in the universe did not flee because he could not sand to see His son suffer, but He did it on purpose because He had faith that His son could do it on His own.....  When you feel left alone and abandoned maybe that's because the God of the universe has faith is you."

Funny story! After the fireside, we got to meet all three of these fantastic speakers.  We were with Rosselyn! She still has her neck and back brace on.  Michael McLean said to her, "What happened?! What'd you do??"  Without hesitation she replied, "I jump off bridge."  The way she said it was hilarious and adorable, so we started laughing!  Then she says, "What? I don't want to lie to people!"  Then Michael just walked away. hahaha  That was FUNNY.

Brad Wilcox....Ohhhhh man.  I've got lots to say about what I learned from him.
"Grace is not the Atonement. 
Grace is the power that flows from the Atonement.  
Grace is Christ's extended arm.  
Grace is not the absence of commandments.  
Grace is the presence of His power."
That is a very brief summary of some things he talked about.

Okay, now I've got to add some details from the rest of this week.

I got to go on exchanges with my missionary grandma, (my trainer's trainer:)  Sissa Ray! I  replaced her in this area 7 and a half months ago, and she served here for 7 and a half months too!  It was fun to be with her for her to visit people in the ward and people that she taught.  We taught a lesson to Elijah and set a baptismal date for August 27th!!!  The kid absorbs everything like a sponge and has such a great understanding when we read the scriptures.  I love that kid!!

We also visited Rosselyn, because Sissa Ray was the first sister that taught her.  Rosselyn's family is taking English classes and it's so cute for them to try to tell us the words they are learning with their thick Spanish accents. :)

Yesterday at church Bishop Root (one of my favorite people) asked me to share my testimony in sacrament along with an invitation, because it is my second to last Sunday in the ward.  Can I just say, I was a mess!!! I felt like I was giving another farewell, leaving home!!!  I have loved this area so much.  It has become my home, because my heart is definitely here.  I'm excited to find somewhere else in Idaho that will become another home to me!  I gave an invitation to the ward, and I want to give the same invitation to you:

Find one person or family on your street or in your neighborhood to fellowship.  Love them. Serve them.  Become their friend.  LOVE THEM INTO THE GOSPEL!  Invite them to meet with the missionaries. :)  Love works!!

Okay, now on to the part that I have been most excited to share about.

Ponderize: 2 Nephi 25:23
For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

On Thursday night, there was another fireside with Brad Wilcox for our family stake.  I'm pretty sure this changed my life.  He helped me gain a greater understanding of the Atonement and grace.  

Brad went through each word of the last part of the scripture giving it different emphasis and a whole new perspective of the scripture!  I really really wish I could send you everything he said, but I'm out of time, so I will share my favorite part.

In this scripture we see the word "WE"  By grace WE are saved after all we can do.... Maybe WE isn't in reference to all of us people as a whole, but WE as in ourselves with Jesus Christ.  Without him, I am not worthy.  Without him, I can do nothing. Without him, I AM nothing... But TOGETHER, with Christ, WE are worthy, and WE can do anything, and WE are saved.   This is a lesson that I have been learning over the past two weeks.  It was emphasized more after this fireside.

I love my mission.  I love all the areas that I have been able to grow.  I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and all that He has done and continues to do for me.  Without him I AM NOTHING!

From Idaho to you,


Sister Carling

Brad Wilcox, Michael McLean, and Hank Smith! Great men!!

Sissa Ray, my mission grandma!

There was a big huge fire in the foothills!

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