Monday, September 18, 2017

September 18, 2017 -- I'm Coming Home

Well.... this is officially my final email as a full time missionary in the New York Utica Mission so here I go. . .

This past week has been really busy but lots of good things happened. On Wednesday I went to the Hartford Connecticut temple with the Cohoes Elders. A member took us and it was really refreshing. We also had a "come and see" fireside last night. It's a fireside where members invite their friends to come and see what we believe.  They see uplifting videos and hear testimonies from recent converts. I had the opportunity to conduct the meeting.  I was a little nervous but overall the meeting ran smoothly.
The most valuable thing I have gained in the past two years is an increased testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel. It is only through Christ's atoning sacrifice that we are redeemed as true sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. As we strive to keep the Lord's commandments and continually repent when we fall short, we can little by little become more like Him. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored in its fullness through the prophet Joseph Smith. I have stood in the places were God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and where much of the Book of Mormon was translated. I have felt the Spirit testify to my heart of the truthfulness of the Restoration of this gospel. I am so grateful that I am able to live in a time where the fulness of the gospel is on the earth with apostles and prophets. 

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

Love, Elder Carlile
Hartford, Connecticut Temple

Final Albany District

It's Over . . .

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017 -- Palmyra Trip

Boy did this past week get off to a powerful start with the Palmyra trip!! Monday night, Elder Harmon and I drove to the mission home and met up with all the missionaries that are going home in our group. 

 We got up early the next morning and drove from Utica to Palmyra. Our first stop was the Temple to do a session there. Next we went and toured the two Smith family homes just down the road and then on the Sacred Grove. We got thirty minutes to walk, ponder and pray on our own. The Spirit accompanies that grove of trees so strongly. After, we went and saw Alvin Smith's grave (Joseph's older brother) and then went to lunch at this pizza place. I'm not going to lie, I've had SO MUCH pizza in the past two years. I would be totally fine if I didn't eat pizza for at least the next six months of my life. After lunch, we went and toured the Grandin Printing Press where the Book of Mormon was first published. Most of us missionaries purchased a replica of the original copy of the Book of Mormon at their store next door. From there, we went to the Hill Cumorah visitors center and then hiked to the top of the hill itself.... that hill will put ya right out of breath. We then got on the road and drove the thirty minutes to the Peter Whitmer farm and visitors center. While there, we watched two of the new Joseph Smith videos on the Priesthood being restored and and translation of the Book of Mormon. After that, we went to dinner.
During dinner, we got President and Sister Rogers to tell some of their dating stories and other funny experiences. Those continued on the car ride back to the mission home. When we all got back, we were exhausted and pretty much went straight to bed. We got up the next morning and headed back to our areas. Overall it was such an amazing trip. I'm so grateful that I was able visit and stand in the places where Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and where Moroni appeared and taught Joseph. Throughout the day, I felt the Spirit reaffirming the truth and reality of the Restoration and Joseph Smith being the prophet that Christ's church was restored through.

We got some other news this week. Elder Rice will be transferred in a week so we will both be leaving the area of Troy. President wants to send a new missionary with his trainer to Troy because it's a great area to train in. That means that we are going to be very busy this week getting the area info up to date and the apartment ready before I head back to Utah. 

The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Have a great week everyone, Elder Carlile
Palmyra Temple Trip
Hill Cumorah

The Sacred Grove
Group Returning Home Next Week

Leaving a Piece of Me in New York

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September 4, 2017 -- This Week Was The "BoM".com

Hey hey hey everyone!! This past week has been a good one. For the month of September our mission is focusing on flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon. Since Elder Rice and I have been focusing on placing a Book of Mormon in our daily contacting, we have seen lots of blessing come from it!

One night, Elder Rice and I had an appointment with Bert. We got there seven minutes early so we decided to walk around and find someone to talk to. We got out of the car and saw a middle-aged lady sitting on the corner smoking a cigarette. We went to talk with her and then offered to share a five minute lesson on the Restoration and the how the Book of Mormon came to be. She said that she has been wanting to retrieve her relationship with God and that she wants to stop smoking so she was happy to hear our message. We shared the message and left her with a Book of Mormon. We also promised that, if she would read it and rely on Christ, she would not only be able to strength her relationship with God but would also be able to overcome her smoking addiction through the 15 step program we do. We're going to be seeing her this next week.

We have seen other blessings. There have been multiple times this past week when we were walking around at 8:55, five minutes before we going in, and have OYMed a guy on the street who was very open to taking a Book of Mormon and meeting with us at a future time. It's been the "BoM".com!!! I know that the Lord blesses us when we put ourselves in a position to be blessed.

The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good! Have a great week everyone!
Elder Carlile
Book of Mormon Week in Troy

Historic Church

Taking a Lunch Break with Elder Rice

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017 -- Well That Was A Pain In My Neck

Hola everyone!!! Boy has it been an interesting week this past week. It got off to a slow start because I strained my neck pretty bad last Monday and wasn't able to look straight enough to drive for a day and a half.  Unfortunately, my companion doesn't have a licence. I got a priesthood blessing and, as the week went on, my neck healed quickly so I was able to do the missionary work. I am grateful for the power of the Priesthood.

 This past week we had the opportunity to teach a man that recently came out of jail. He was very humble and therefore in a place where he was ready to be taught. His name is Bernie. He is friends with a member of the church and she referred him to us. I was kinda funny actually. She came up to me and asked if I would teach him because I was taller than Bernie who stands 6 foot 4.  She thought he would connect better with a fellow tall man. There are four sets of missionaries in this ward so I was very excited when she asked Elder Rice and me to teach him. The lesson with Bernie went very well. He really wants to put his past life behind him and get a fresh start. Sometimes it's funny how the Lord works through our abilities and talents. For me, all I had to do was be 7 feet tall.

On Thursday we had Zone Conference. It was my last Zone Conference as a full-time missionary.... Even though it was my last Zone Conference it just felt like a normal Zone Conference to me. I had the opportunity to sing a solo before our testimony meeting. Elder Rice accompanied me and I sang the song "If the Savior Stood Beside Me." Don't worry, I didn't cry or anything but I did feel the Spirit flow into my heart as I sang those wonderful words.

Well that's all everyone. Have a great week!
The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Elder Carlile
Last Zone Conference

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017 -- Knock And It Shall Be Opened Unto You

What is good with it everyone!! This past week Troy has treated Elder Rice and I pretty well!! We have seen some sweet miracles!!

Monday night we went tracting. All our appointments fell through so we knew there was something else that the Lord wanted us to do. We prayed, picked a road to tract, and started walking to the end of the street. As we were walking, I had this tiny thought to try a house we were passing by. Just as Joseph Smith taught "If you will listen to the first promptings, you will get it right nine times out of ten," so that's exactly what I did. We went and knocked on the door and Jason answered and invited us into his backyard so we could teach him the Restoration. During the lesson he told us that he has really been wanting to retrieve his relationship with God that he had previously. We went over for another lesson the next day and taught him.  We had a very spirit-led lesson about repentance and forgiveness. I am so grateful that we were led to find him. I am also grateful that I am able to have a member of the Godhead with me at all times. It is the key to missionary work.

On Thursday, the entire New York Utica mission did a car fast were we couldn't use our cars all day. This was so that we would get out of the "car bubble." Unfortunately it rained most of the day so it was HUMID.   Fortunately, though, we had lots of appointments in the afternoon so we avoided the harsher part of the rain in the day. One of the miracles we saw from doing the car fast was a new investigator we picked up named Sashay. We called her Thursday morning and set up an appointment and meet with her later that day. We had a good lesson on the Restoration. We invited her to church and she accepted. She even wanted to bring two of her friends. So yesterday, all three came to Church. She enjoyed it and even said that she started reading the Book of Mormon and enjoyed that as well.
Those are a couple of the cool experiences from this past week. Have a great week everyone. 

The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good!!
Elder Carlile

Tracting in the Rain with Elder Rice

Twinkie Elders (A Pretty Good Likeness)

August 14, 2017 -- Another Week, Another Wonder

This week has been pretty good. The weather hasn't been too hot but is sure has been humid.

Elder Rice and I have been teaching the Munoz family. It's been amazing. They only speak Spanish except for Fernando, their son. He speaks English fairly well. Since we don't speak Spanish, the Lord sent us a Spanish speaker named Austin Quinny. He is a member in our ward and just got back from his mission in Bolivia six months ago. He speaks Spanish very well and the lessons have been going great! We teach a point and he translates what we say to them. It wasn't by chance that Austin's family moved to New York while he was in a Bolivia. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

For P-day today, the Albany/Troy elders went and hiked some really cool waterfalls not too far from Troy. There were some really amazing views and thankfully no one got hurt!!

The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Everyone have a good week, Elder Carlile

Hiking the Waterfalls by Troy, New York

August 7, 2017 -- Trip To Albany

This week has been pretty good. Overall, the missionary work is going well. For P-Day today, we elders visited Albany. We went to the New York State Archives and held a first edition Book of Mormon that they have. It was very neat! After that we went and visited their State Capitol Building. It's very unique and took forty years to finish because of how costly it was to build. We had a great time on our trip to Albany.

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

Have a great week everyone, Elder Carlile
P-Day Group Headed to Albany

Frist Edition Book of Mormon

New York State Capitol Building