Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall is Beautiful!

The fall in New York is beautiful! Everywhere you look there are mixtures red, orange, yellow, purple, and green on the trees. You could say the leaves are about as interesting as some of the people here in New York. Along with fall comes New York's famous apple cider and apple cider doughnuts. They are delicious! Fall is probably the best time of the year in New York.

 Now on to Fereza. She is our investigator that is getting baptized next week. She has been seeing the missionaries for about 8 months. Elder Skouson and I have been teaching her for the past 4 weeks. In those 4 weeks, we have gotten to know her and her wonderful family. She, along with her parents and brother, are so kind to us missionaries. They are from Guyana and came here to New York about 4 years ago. She will be the first in her family to get baptized and I'm so excited for her.

Love, Elder Carlile

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Adjusting to Mission Life

I'm going to start off by telling you a little about my area. I was assigned to open the Rotterdam/Schenectady area. We are located a couple of miles northeast of Albany. We are a walking mission but we do have access to cars from the other elders in our district. The neighborhood Elder Skouson and I live in is a little rough. The apartment we live in is nice but the rest of the neighborhood is pretty trashed. There are a lot black and Indian people. There are a lot of broken homes in the area around us. When I walk around the streets, it just feels like there is no hope. I think that is why Elder Skouson and I are here... to restore that hope and help people turn their lives around with the gospel. We are also trying to reactivate some members in our area. The neighborhoods around us are more middle class, it just varies depending on where you go. 

Because we are opening a new area, we do a lot of tracting.  It's fun to go and connect with the people. I connect with a lot of the black people because I play basketball. They love how tall I am.  They are always wanting me to dunk it for them, so I do. Elder Skouson and I have played basketball a couple of times while we were out tracking and it's been pretty fun. 

I had the chance to go to stake conference last week and I made some cool connections. Many members and missionaries knew Chris Miles while he lived here in Albany this past year. I wish I would have had the chance to see him and his family here in Albany but they moved out west a couple of months ago.  I just barely missed them. Brother Fredette is actually in the stake presidency there. He is Jimmer Fredette’s dad. This past pday I had the opportunity to play basketball with a couple of other missionaries in the same gym Jimmer grew up playing in.  That was pretty cool. Those are just a couple of the connections I've made in the Albany First Stake. 

The work is great.  We had and investigator named Fereza commit to baptism on October 30th so I'm looking forward to that. I'll tell a little more about her in next week’s email. 

Finally I want to talk about my companion Elder Skouson. He is an awesome guy and a great example of trying to be obedient to the mission rules. He is from Enterprise, Utah and has been out on his mission for a year and a half. We are simalar in personalities. We are both introverted, easy going, and like to laugh every once in a while. We have already seen the blessings from striving to be obedient and will continue to do so. The Church is true, the sky is blue (most of the time), and life is good. 

Love, Elder Carlile


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Week One - Rotterdam

Tuesday we got up at 3:00 in the morning and headed to the Salt Lake airport. It was hard driving past all the places that I call home on my way to the airport. Our flight left for Detroit at 7:30 and landed at about 12. We had a 2 hour layover in Detroit. We then got on our flight to Syracuse at 2:30 and arrived at about 4 where we met President and Sister Rogers at the airport. We got our luggage and went to the mission home for the night.

The next morning we got up and went to the mission office where we did some orientation. We then went into the chapel to be assigned to our companion and area. I got paired with Elder Skouson. He is a great trainer. The area we are assigned to serve in is the Rotterdam area. It is a brand new area that Elder Skouson and I are opening up and is a suburb of Schnectady. It is located just northwest of Albany.

After the meeting we had lunch and I met the Armstrongs niece Sister Blomquist. After the lunch all the missionaries packed up and went to their new areas. When I arrived at the new Rotterdam apartment I unpaked and got to know Elder Skouson a bit more. We checked out the area in the next couple of days. We live right by the ghettos and it just seems like the people have little hope where we are. We are going to change that though.

During the rest of the week Elder Skouson and I have had the chance to get to know the members in the Schenectady ward we are in, watch general conference, and get to know our area better.

I've attached pictures of President and Sister Rogers and also my companion, Elder Skouson.