Monday, July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017 -- One Year Older and Wiser Too . . .?

Hey Everyone -  I'm one year older and wiser too..... hopefully. I had a great week filled with lots of missionary work, birthday celebration, and hot summer days!!

James is doing amazing. He passed his baptismal interview with flying colors and can't wait for his baptism on Wednesday!

I had a great birthday. Elder Rice I went to this place called Blaze Pizza with Taylor and my birthday twin Stephanie. We had a good time laughing and eating some dang good pizza. It was pretty neat because I celebrated my birthday with them last year as well. I also celebrated with some members that live in the north country of New York.

One cool experience Elder Rice and I had this past week was when were were working in some of the suburbs of Troy. We were trying some potential investigators. After we got done, we started walking to our car when I had a thought to try this house where we had tracted and talked to the lady before. She was nice but said she had a problem with Joseph Smith. I brushed the thought off and continued to the car and got in. As I was sitting there thinking about it more, I decided we should go try the lady. We knocked on the door, Vanessa answered, and we stared talking. Our conversation turned to the gospel and then she invited us in. We went in and basically taught the Restoration and how she could gain a testimony of Joseph Smith through the Book of Mormon.  It went really well. It just goes to show how listening to the little thoughts that come through the Holy Ghost can make a huge difference in life. This is the Lord's work and he directs it continually.

The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.

Have a great week everyone, Elder Carlile
20th Birthday

Tracting With Elder Rice on a Hot Summer Day

Brother Stevens

July 3, 2017 -- A "Sweet" Week and a Baptismal Date

Hey hey hey everyone!!! Boy has a lot changed this week!! One of the biggest changes has been getting a new companion on Wednesday! His name is Elder Rice. He's fresh out of the MTC and I get to train him for the next two transfers.... I'm excited. I get to teach him how to missionary!! He's from Palmdale, California and grew up in the Church. He's about 5 foot 8 so there is a huge height gap between us:) He enjoys music and can play the piano. He went to BYU for a semester and is going into their mechanical engineering program, so we get along. He is a really genuine guy and has a good heart.

One cool experience for this past week -- we started teaching this lady named Shannon. Elder Rice and I taught her about the Restoration on Wednesday. It was Elder Rice's first lesson in the field so he got off to a killer start. She was very receptive to the message. She wouldn't let us leave until she fed us some of her cheesecake. So we got to eat a sweet treat to go along with the sweet message of the Restoration of the Gospel. It was pretty neat how we found Shannon. Elder Thomas and I were doing service at some apartments. It was a food pantry that branched out to the people in the apartment building once a week. We give them fresh fruit and vegetables. Anyway, this one lady name Shannon came down to get her food. She was in a wheelchair because she lost her left leg and asked if someone could help carry her bags of food upstairs. Elder Thomas and I volunteered. As we walked up to her room, we talked with her and got to know her a bit. The conversation turned to her talking about how she is looking for direction in life and doesn't know where to find it so we told her we could come back and share a message that would help her find her way. She was very open to it and was very thankful for our kindness to her. It's still so sweet to see how the Lord places his prepared children in the missionaries paths. We just need to be ready for it.

Another really sweet thing that happened this past week is James chose a baptismal date!!!!!!! He's going to be baptized on the 12th of July and I can't wait!!!! Overall, it's just been a sweet sweet week.

The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Elder Carlile
Albany District

Meeting Up With Elder Rasband

New Companion -- Elder Rice

June 26, 2017 -- That Water Is Really COLD!

What's good with it everyone!?! This week has been amazing and exciting!! I found out that I'm going to be training a new missionary to end off the mission and I'm super excited. Sadly, Elder Thomas is leaving Troy. It's been such a great six weeks with him. I've gained a great friend for life.

LORELEI GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!! It was a great baptism. There were lots of ward members there to support her in the wonderful choice she made. All went smoothly except the water in the baptismal font was cold because the hot water hardly comes out. After Lorelei came out of the water she yelled, "THAT WATER IS REALLY COLD!!" Luckily I wasn't the one baptizing her. Elder Thomas endured the coldness with her. She has a ton of enthusiasm and she is going to be a great member. I was able to confirm her a member of the Church on Sunday and that is always a special experience.

We tracted into this super cool family this past week. They were very friendly and let us right into their home. We taught them the Restoration and they were super excited to read the Book of Mormon. The people that we taught consisted of a great grandma, grandma, mom, and two daughters, so we taught four generations in the same room. Now, when they get baptized, the two daughters will already have an easy four generations done:) We are going back tonight so we will see what happens. I feel like the Lord has been to generous in blessing Elder Thomas and me in Troy. I really love doing His work and I can't wait to continue doing it with just a wee little missionary for the next two transfers.

Fun fact of the week. Uncle Sam is buried in Troy. Elder Thomas and I visited his grave this past week. His real name is Samuel Wilson. It was pretty cool.

The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Elder Carlile
Uncle Sam's Grave

Lorelei's Baptism

Friday, June 23, 2017

June 19, 2017 -- We're Just Trying To Be The Best "Angels" We Can

Good afternoon everyone!! Things have been going pretty good this past week. A lot has happened as usual. The temps were a little on the hotter side this week but nothing too bad.
I had a CRAZY COOL tracting experience this past week. So I was on blitz with Elder Gubler and and it was a rainy day. We were tracting in the boonies of East Greenbush, just south of Albany. I knocked on a door, the lady who answered took a look at me and then excitedly said, "Are you an angel? I hear angels are really tall!" I honestly had no idea how to respond to that so the words that ended up coming out of my mouth were, "kind of." Continuing her excitement, she invited us in out of the rain and instantly introduced us to her family. They were all very warm and friendly to us and were very interested in what we were doing.  So, naturally, we taught all of them the about the restoration of the Gospel. When we invited them to read the Book of Mormon they were more than willing to check it out. As we were talking after, the mom was telling us that she had prayed for angels to come into her life. Overall, it was neat experience. It blew me away because we really didn't have to say anything to get in her door, she just let us in because of who we are. It just goes to show you that the Lord is preparing people to accept the gospel, they just don't know where to look until two angels come knocking on their door :) 

Our Ward had a BBQ on Saturday and it was a huge success!! Two of our investigators showed up to it and had a really good time. James, our really solid investigator, came with his two high school aged sons. We had a good time playing baseball and basketball with them. Ivy came with her two daughters as well. It was a good chance to have them meet some of the ward members.

Lorelei is doing great. She is all set and ready to get baptized this Saturday!!!!! She is super excited and we are as well.

Church on Sunday was good. James, Lorelei, and Ivy were all there!!! There's not many things more exciting to missionaries then having your investigators show up to church. On top of all of that, I was one of the speakers in Sacrament Meeting. It was on a talk from this past  General Conference by L. Whitney Clayton. It was nice because when we would invite our investigators to church I would just say that I was speaking. Elder Thomas is speaking next week and so we're going to keep that up.

Oh I almost forgot! When Elder Gubler and I were on blitz we found this Snapper turtle in the middle of the road!! How crazy is that!
The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Elder Carlile

Adventures With A Snapper Turtle

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

June 12, 2017 -- Troy Is So "Lit"

This week has gone by so fast I can't even remember what happened, so I'm going to do my best here.

I'll start with the weather. The week started out rainy but by the end of the week it was hot and sunny, so there were lots of people to talk to while we were out.

Lorelei is doing great!!! She found out the coolest thing last week!! While she was on the phone with her mom, they were talking about how Lorelei is planning on becoming a Mormon and Lorelei's mom told her that she's a Mormon. Lorelei had no idea! Now her mom is going to come up for Lorelei's baptism on the 24th of June. I  can't wait to meet her.

James is still going strong but he chose to move his baptismal date to August. He wants his friend who lives in Salt Lake to be able to fly out for his baptism. She had a big part in introducing him to the church so he wants her to be there. Sadly Elder Thomas won't be here in Troy that long, but he understands.

Oh, one really cool thing. . . we are teaching this guy named David and this past week had a lesson with him. We were talking to him after and he told us that he played college football for Virginia Tech. He played D End and he is HUGE. He said he could bench 550 lb. It blew Elder Thomas' and my mind.

Well that's all folks. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good!
Elder Carlile
Troy, New York

Two "Cool" Dudes

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 5, 2017 -- Missionary Work Is Music To My Ears

Hey hey hey my peeps!! Troy has still been treating me well this past week. 

Elder Thomas and I have been teaching a lady named Lorelei. She is coming right along and has a huge desire to be baptized at the end of this month. Her story is pretty cool. She met with the missionaries a couple of years ago but, for some reason or another, she slipped through the cracks and lost contact with them. About a month and a half ago, the missionaries in Troy were riding on a bus and Lorelei came up to them and invited them to meet with her again. It's really neat to see how the Lord puts people in our path who are ready to accept the gospel. Heavenly Father really is the one controlling His work. We just need to prepare ourselves to be tools in His hands. She had a problem with smoking so, about two weeks ago, Elder Thomas and I did the 15 step step program with her. It is a program that some missionaries made in the 70's and it guarantees to crush someone's smoking habit in a week. It totally works too! So we did that program with Lorelei and now she is smoke-free and doesn't have the cravings anymore. She came to church yesterday on Fast Sunday and she absolutely loved it. Toward the end of sacrament meeting, she leaned over to me and said, "can I go up there and speak?" I said yes and explained the purpose in going up there. As soon as she got the chance, she bolted up there to bear her testimony. In my mind I was thinking, "this can either go really well or go south real fast!" Thankfully Lorelei did really well. She bore her testimony of the Word of Wisdom and the blessing of increased heath and energy. She also talked about how thankful she was to have met the missionaries again. She has been one of the most humble people I have taught on the mission!

Elder Thomas and I were out talking to people on the streets and we saw a guy across the street sitting on his steps playing the guitar. It has always been my dream to teach someone who was playing a guitar on the street, so we crossed the street and started talking to this guy about guitar. His name was Matt. He asked if one of us played and of course I said yes, so he asked if I wanted to play a song. Again I said yes and played a song. Afterward, we offered to share our message with him and he was open to hearing it. He went and grabbed us some chairs and we taught him the Restoration right there on his porch. It went really well and Matt was excited to check the Book of Mormon out that we left with him. He's such a cool open-minded guy and I can't wait to teach him again. There are a lot of those people in Troy. I'm grateful that I was able to meet Matt and have one of my biggest missionary dreams come true of teaching a guy playing a guitar! Missionary work is music to my ears!
Well, those are some of the cool things that happened this past week. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good. Have a great week everyone!

Elder Carlile

Troy Scenery

Monday, May 29, 2017

May 29, 2017 -- I "Tire" Of All This Nonsense

Hello everyone!! Troy is still treating Elder Thomas and me well! We have had a great week as far as missionary work goes. We've been teaching, talking with people on the streets, doing service, blowing out a tire, and most importantly having a good time while doing it!!

I'll start with the tire story. It was about 6:30 at night and Elder Thomas and I really had to go to the bathroom.  We decided to make a quick stop at McDonalds to use their restroom. While I was making a left turn I miscalculated and clipped the curb. We parked and then I noticed that the check tire light was on. I immediately thought "oh crap, the tire is flat" and sure enough it was. So Elder Thomas and I went to the restroom in the McDonalds, came back out, then started to change the tire. Elder Thomas started to jack up the car and then the worst happened. The jack screw that jacked up the car bent and the whole thing fell over. Now I don't know if we were just idiots in jacking up the car or it was just a one in a million chance that the jack bent, but either way, we were in trouble. We had a solid appointment set with Ivy at 7:00 and, by the look of it, we weren't going to be able to make it. I thought about having Elder Thomas just lift the car with his Offensive linemen strength but that would be too easy..... just kidding, but I had a prayer in my heart that some how we would be able to get the whole situation figured out.  All of a sudden, this guy pulled up in his pickup truck and offered to help. Mark was his name and his timing was impeccable. He had a jack in his car so we got the car jacked up and the tire changed. We thanked Mark and got on our way and made it to Ivy just on time. This was definitely a miracle. Sometimes Heavenly Father works through other people to bless us and this was one of those times. 

Ivy is super sick. She is a young Mom and has two girls. We had an awesome lesson with her on the Book of Mormon. Again, she was very open-minded about what we taught and said she would read the Book of Mormon! I know I felt the Spirit strongly when I was in the lesson. At the very end of the lesson Ivy said, "Ya know you guys are pretty dope." For all you non-hood people out there, dope means awesome. I can't wait to keep teaching her about the restored gospel.

James is totally golden. He came pre-prepared and is ready to be baptized. Yesterday after church when we were talking about the baptism date, he told us he wants to push it back to later June so his friend from Utah that introduced him to the Church can be at the baptism.  But, in his words, he said "I'm here to stay."

The work is going well and I couldn't be more grateful that it's the summertime!!

The sky is blue, the Church it true and life is good.
Elder Carlile
Troy, New York

Oops -- First Flat Tire