Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 30, 2016 -- Everyone Is Dancing, Happy Wedding

This week was so busy that I can hardly remember what happened. It has been super hot and the humidity is real. I have enjoyed the bright-looking days though so I can't complain.

President Rogers came with us to see Wayne this week. He tries to go out and work with all his missionaries when he gets the chance. During the lesson, Alma 30 was shared about how we have all these things to prove that there is a god. It changed Wayne's whole perspective. Now he is taking on the mindset of God is there until proven otherwise. On one of our other lessons this week, he decided that he needed to read the whole Book of Mormon. He has been hesitant to read it in the past because of how long it is but his faith is growing and continues to grow as he keeps the commitments Elder Smith and I give him.

We also had a wonderful lesson with Tasha this past week. Elder and Sister Lee came with us to do the lesson. Elder and Sister Lee are one of the office couples and they are serving in the Oneida branch while they are here. They came so they could meet Tasha's kids because Sister Lee does primary in the branch. Tasha has been hesitant to come to church because she is worried that her kids will misbehave. The Lees were great with Tasha's kids and now she is going to come to church this next week.  I am looking forward to that.

We had a wedding in the Oneida Branch this past Saturday. Brother White and his girlfriend have been coming to the branch for the past two years and they finally decided to get married. Now that they are married, Sister White wants to take the missionary lessons so she can get baptized. The White's goal is to go to the temple and be sealed as a family. They have one primary-aged girl named Honesty and they also have a new baby that is 2 weeks old. I am super excited to be a part of bringing their family closer together.

I have been able to see the blessing of the Lord's hand in the mission work this week and am super grateful for it. The sky is blue, the Church is true, and life is good.

Until next week,
Elder Carlile
Summer Tracting in Oneida

Happy Wedding in the Oneida Branch

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016 -- Check That Off My Bucket List

This week has been pretty great. Spring had taken its full effect in the beautiful country of upstate New York. I thought Utah got green in the spring... I was dead wrong. You can look out and see all the rolling hills in Oneida. Don't get me wrong, it still doesn't beat the mountains in Utah, but I sure do enjoy it.

Berla and Steve took Elder Smith and I out to dinner as the Turning Stone buffet. Boy let me just say the food was wonderful. They had everything from meat to Chinese to seafood and so much more. Elder Smith and I didn't eat all day in preparation for this. It was a dinner full of tasty food and good company.
Elder Smith and I were able to meet with Tasha. We were not able to meet with her at all last week because she was sick with a nasty flu. We are glad she is over it now though. We had planned on going and teaching more about the plan of salvation with her but during the lesson the Spirit took over. She opened up and shared her mourning about a child that had passed on very young. Elder Smith and I felt that we should turn to Moroni 8 talking about the salvation of little children. As we read the scriptures the Spirit filled the room. Tasha said she got the chills and instantly recognized that it was the Spirit comforting her. I am grateful that I was able to be a part of the Lord's comforting Tasha in that very moment. It's a most worthwhile feeling when one of God's children sees the truth of this gospel.

On a different note, Elder Smith and I were trying some former investigators one day when we pulled up at this house on the outskirts of Oneida that had tons of different animals. As we were walking up to the door, this peacock started following us.  We walked to the door where the guy let us. We talked for a little bit and as we were leaving a he told us to watch out for that peacock because he's not to friendly. As we started walking out to our car, the peacock continued to follow us. It would get closer when we turned away from it and then back off when we turned around. It followed us to out car in the road. I was standing by my car door and the peacock was right next to me. I needed the peacock to move so that I could get in the car door so I kicked at it, didn't actually hit it, to scare it.  It puffed up and jumped like three feet in the air using it's wings making an angry peacock sound. I hurried in the car door and then drove off quickly. The peacock started trying to chase us. Elder Smith and I started busting up laughing as we thought about what had just happened. Now I can check getting attacked by a peacock off my bucket list.

Anyway the sky is blue, the church is true, and life is good.
Until next week,
Elder Carlile

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 16, 2016 -- I Can't "Express" How Grateful I Was to Have "Panda"

This week got off to a great start with our Zone training meeting in Utica. As a joke, Elder Smith and I both bought a fake pair of glasses and wore them the whole meeting and then the rest of the day because we wanted to look smarter:)  

On Wednesday we had to make a trip out to Albany for some mission busyness. When we found out that we were going to go to Albany, Elder Smith and I instantly knew what that meant............... LUNCH AT PANDA EXPRESS!!!!!!!  I haven't had Panda in over 8 months so let's just say it was about time to get my Panda fill. I was so excited that I took like five pictures of all of us eating there.

Teaching Wayne had been amazing. He is super logical with a sincere desire to find truth. Sometimes he ask questions that I don't think that most members of the church have thought to ask yet.  I love it though because that means that Elder Smith and I really have to be know our doctrine. He always keep the commitments we give him like reading in the Book of Mormon, reading a conference talk, or praying. We are really just trying to focus on building his faith.

Elder Oaks said something this past general conference that really stuck out to me.  He said, "Our efforts to improve our observance of the Sabbath day pose a less stressful example of opposition."

I have tried to improve my observance of the Sabbath the past two Sundays and noticed a tremendous difference.  In doing this, I have been able to focus on the positive and more spiritual side of things, and the number of spiritual experiences I have had has increased greatly.  I know that the opposition is there but yet I still feel happy.  I know that it all starts with giving your best effort to improve the Sabbath day.

Love, Elder Carlile


Zone Training May 2016

Looking "Smart" at Panda Express

May 9, 2016 -- Mother's Day for Missionaries

Boy has it been an exciting week for Elder Smith and me -- Mother's Day, Elder Smith's birthday and we picked up a new investigator.
There is this man named Wayne. He met with missionaries over a year ago and has expressed interest in meeting with missionaries again. He is an older man that is intuitive and very friendly. The missionary that met with him a year ago got special permission to come up with his companion and meet with Wayne and us so he could "pass the torch on to us." The lesson went super well. Wayne has a lot of good questions about the gospel. He accepts the Book of Mormon and loves it when we us the scriptures to answer his question. The Spirit was strong during the lesson as we turned to the scriptures and testified of what we read.
Later that day Elder Smith and I went to Berla and Steve's to celebrate his birthday with a wonderful steak dinner with really yummy sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. The company was wonderful as well as the food.  Elder Smith and I were sure thankful for the hospitality of Berla and Steve.

Mother's Day was greatly anticipated. The Elders in our branch decided to throw a surprise lunch after church. We had sandwiches and lots of desserts. We went to Berla and Steve's house to call home. I was so excited to see my family again. I enjoyed talking to Katie now that she is home from her mission. I was only a little jealous of their trip to California. I miss being around them but I know that I am meant to be in Oneida, NY right here right now in the Lords service. Being able to skype with them makes them not seem so far away. It's weird to think that I've already made 2 of the 4 calls home in my mission. Time flies when your busy.

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

Love, Elder Carlile