Monday, February 29, 2016

February 29, 2016 -- Drenching Rain

This past week in Oneida has definitely had its memorable moments. Elder Misustin and I had the opportunity to do some service in a soup kitchen. It is located at a Methodist church on the main street in Oneida. It gives us a good opportunity to serve around other good people that have a similar belief in Jesus Christ. I also appreciated serving food to all the wonderful people who came to get a meal. Watching them light up when you hand them the plate of food is what makes it all worth it. 

The weather has been all over the place this week, as usual. Wednesday night Elder Misustin and I  were walking around trying to OYM people, as we missionaries like to call it, when all of a sudden out of nowhere it started pouring rain. Elder Misustin and I started booking it back to our apartment so we would not get soaked but after about a minute it didn't matter. We were drenched!  So we did what we could and enjoyed it. I may have even splashed in a couple of puddles while yelling "I love being a missionary" but that's just me being weird.

Last night Elder Misustin and I were faith walking. We felt like we should start tracting this one random street so we went and knocked on the first door. A guy answered and we asked if we could share a message about Jesus Christ with him. He said yes but was pushed for time. Elder Misustin and I hurried and taught a shortened version of the Restoration. He seemed to like the message so we got his number and will be meeting with him in the future. It goes to show you, that when you are striving to go where the Lord wants you to go as a missionary, He will lead you to His children that are ready to hear the gospel. The Church is true, the sky is getting more blue and life is good.

Love, Elder Carlile
PS  Here is a random picture from this week

February 22, 2016 -- Crazy Weather

The weather has been all over the place in the past two weeks. It has ranged from -20 to 50 degrees. It has snowed, rained, frozen over and then melted. The weather just needs to make up its mind.

We were advised to not go out tracting doors and street contacting when it was in the -20's on Sunday, so Elder Misustin and I went to some set appointments, did some area bookwork, and maybe took a little nap. I had the opportunity to speak in Church on obedience. I focused on increasing our love so that we have a greater desire to keep the commandments. I thought love would be the perfect focus since it was Valentines Day.
Elder Misustin and I are teaching someone named Tasha.  She is a mom and has 3 wonderful little kids. She has been meeting with the missionaries for about 2 months and she is progressing wonderfully. Unfortunately she broke her wrist and is going to be in a hard cast for 6 weeks. She lives with her grandma and uncle, who are both newer members of the church. Whenever we go over to teach Tasha they always join in. Tasha is recognizing the Spirit when we teach her and when she reads the Book of Mormon. I can't wait to see where her life is going to end up in the next couple of months.

Till next week,
Elder Carlile

Monday, February 22, 2016

February 8, 2016 -- New Week in a New Area

This past week has been an eventful one. It was full of goodbyes and new faces but that's part of being a missionary I guess.

I said goodbye to all the members and missionaries in the Binghamton ward. It was hard because it seemed like I just got to the Binghamton ward yesterday. It's weird that you can come to love people so quickly. The hardest part was saying goodbye to Elder Ayre. We became best friends in the past nine weeks. We worked hard and had good time doing it. Really though, I have never laughed so hard or been so tired than this past transfer. He's a good man. I know I made a friendship that is going to last. We said goodbye to each other but we both knew that that goodbye was only temporary.
My new companion's name is Elder Misustin. He is from Logan Utah. He has been out one more transfer than I have. He is hard working and has a great desire to do missionary work. I'm super grateful for that. Those things are really the most important things to have in a companionship.
Oneida is definitely smaller than Johnson City but I love it! I compare it to Heber City only a little bit smaller. There are many beautiful fields and rolling hills. Our area covers Oneida and the neighboring towns. Our apartment is in the main city of Oneida. I fit pretty well in the apartment except for the basement cellar where the washer and dryer is.  But that's ok, I can live with that. For the first time in my mission I'm in a car area! I can't wait to get working hard to find those ready to accept the gospel in Oneida.
Being in a branch is great. I already know most the member's names after one Sunday. I have never been in a branch before in my life so it was a little different at first.  But after sacrament meeting on Sunday, I really felt the branch unity that you don't always get in big wards. I was welcomed with open arms.
Until next time,
Elder Carlile

February 1, 2016 -- Last Week in Johnson City

Well on the newest episode in the life of Elder Carlile.  Jay came to church and he loved it! He said it was a good place to feel relief from the world. It just adds to my testimony that church gives us a rest from our worldly troubles. All the members were super warm and welcoming to him which was great.  There was a good amount of fellowshipping going on.

Transfer calls came in this week and I'm going to..... ONEIDA. It's a super small town in between Syracuse and Utica but only 30 minutes outside of Utica. So I get to look forward to my first rural area of the mission after spending so long in bigger cities. It's a small branch there so that will be a change up from my first two areas where there were pretty big wards. My new companion has been out a transfer longer than I have so we're going to party and find the elect. I'll be sad to say goodbye to Johnson City but more importantly I'll be sad to say goodbye to Elder Ayre. It's been a good nine weeks with Elder Ayre and I have probably never laughed harder in my life. I taught him how to be the most bomb missionary ever and he really just only taught me how to cook barbeque chicken. Just kidding! He taught me a ton about missionary work and I'm grateful from the opportunity to learn from someone who is as knowledgeable and dedicated to the use of missionary skills. I'm really going to miss the missionaries in this unit too because we've all had to help each other pull through. The sisters have been so awesome at serving us and the elders have made preparation day basketball a pretty good competition. This will be my first ward that doesn't have 4 sets of missionaries every Sunday but instead only has one and I'm in it!

Otherwise, it was a pretty good week and I'll be sad to say goodbye to all of our investigators but I know that the work will still progress with them. It'll be exciting to see what happens this upcoming week. In the meantime the church is true, the sky is blue and life is good. Speaking of weather - it's been a little chilly lately. Last week got down to below zero with windchill but this week it is bumping back up to 60.

Keep on keepin' on,
Elder Joshua Carlile