Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June 27, 2016 -- One Week Wonder

Have you ever looked back on a week and said, "Did all that stuff happen in just this one week?"  Yeah.... it's been crazy, but crazy good. Teaching, service in a soup kitchen, Zone Conference, painting a kitchen, Amish donuts, doing some more service, playing the bongos, more teaching, putting up Hill Cumorah Pageant flyers, and I even got my eye brows plucked for the first time (shout out to Stephanie for doing an awesome job). I know it's a little weird but you never know what something is like until you try it. Anyway, there just seems to be something for missionaries to do around every corner.

Tasha is doing great! We had a great lesson with her this past week. We were able to reset a baptismal date and she continues to progress towards that. Since she came to church this past week, there has been a total change in her. It just goes to show you how the Spirit truly is the teacher and she was able to feel that unique spirit in church. It is a dedicated building where the Spirit can reside.

Anyway things are going good in Oneida. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.

Till next week,
Elder Carlile

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 20, 2016 -- Up, Down, and Everything In Between

Holy moly it has warmed up this past week. Let me just say that the farmer's tan and the collar tan are real. These are some of the sacrifices that missionaries have to make -- pasty white biceps and necks.

My theme that I have been focusing on this week is service. King Benjamin teaches in the Book of Mormon that serving others brings happiness -- small or big acts of kindness that you give freely to others around you. This can be teaching others about the gospel of Jesus Christ, smiling at someone and saying hello or what's up, getting donuts and taking them to a friend and visiting for a second, just being there to listen and many many more things. I always think of what my Aunt Alli taught me. If you take a spoon and hold it in front of you looking at it on the inward side then you will see yourself upside down. If you take the spoon an look at it on the opposite side with it pointing outward then you will see a normal upright reflection of yourself. When we focus only on ourselves then we will find sadness, darkness and life will just seem out of whack. If we focus outward on other people, then we will find peace, joy, laughs, smiles and true satisfaction. "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." That may be hard to believe sometimes but I know that it's true. 

I got a new companion this past week. I picked him up in Utica on Wednesday. His name is Elder Burton. He is a fun easygoing guy and likes to have a good time. He loves to do missionary work and we have been teaching a lot since he got here. I'm super excited to see what this transfer has in store for us.

We have seen so many amazing things happen this past week but the one I want to talk about is what happened yesterday. TASHA CAME TO CHURCH!!! We have been teaching her ever since I got here and this is the first time she has gone. Barbara, her Grandma who joined about a year ago, brought six of her other primary age grandchildren so there were a lot of people there. Elder Lee had to hurry and fill up another tray of water in the middle of the sacrament because of all the people. It was a good problem to have. Tasha loved church and was very surprised how well her three kids did in primary. We look forward to continuing teaching her about the gospel.

It has been a good week overall and I am excited for this next week. It looks super busy but for a missionary busy is good.

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

Elder Carlile
Elder Burton Has Arrived

Monday, June 20, 2016

June 13, 2016 -- We Found Sasquatch!!!

Last Monday, Elder and Sister Lee, a senior couple that works in the office, got a bunch of missionaries together and took them on a hike to Bald Mountain and then took us all to their cabin for a BBQ. The hike was amazing!! It's in the Adirondack's (which are huge by the way). I took over 60 pictures and made some crazy videos and we even found Sasquatch!!! I took a picture and got him on camera (see below). The BBQ was delicious. We had hot dogs, burgers, potato salad and many more yummy things to eat. Overall the company was good and the hike was flamazing -- definitely the best P-day activity I have ever done. 

The coolest thing happened to Elder Smith and I this past Tuesday. We were on our way into Subway to get some lunch when a lady stopped us. She looked like a mess but she asked us if we were church people. We said yes, of course, and then she asked if we had a second to talk. We said yes and found a place to sit down and talk. She started telling us about the situation she was in. Let me just say it was a rough high stress situation. Elder Smith was able to relate to her and that really brought comfort to her. After about a half hour of talking, we were able to counsel her on the best direction to take. Most importantly, we encouraged her to pray and talk with her Father in Heaven. We testified that she had a Father in Heaven who loved her perfectly and that he wants to communicate with her. She felt a lot better after our talk and we said a prayer with her and went our separate ways. I know that the Lord sends his children in need to us missionaries because of the experiences we have had in our lives. We are prepared to help these people to connect with their Heavenly Father.

Last night I said goodbye to Elder Smith. He is heading out of the mission at the end of the transfer this week. I will always remember the laughs and the funny videos that we made together. Through thick and thin we stayed together in the past 7 weeks. I love you man.

Since I will not be getting a new companion until Wednesday, my temporary companion is Elder Wright. My new companion that I will pick up on Wednesday is Elder Burton. He will come back to Oneida with me. I'm excited to see what this next transfer holds in store.

The sky is blue the Church is true and life is good.
Elder Carlile
Bald Mountain Hike


June 6, 2016 -- Weddings and More Weddings

Spring is such a beautiful time of year in New York. I can't tell you how many amazing sunsets I have seen in the past week... well maybe I can.... it was 7. This week has yet again been packed full of so many different things.
There was another wedding for someone in the ward this past week. They had it at Verona beach. Elder Smith and I were able to kick it a bit with Brother Turbee and the Branch peeps. We all had a good time at the wedding. I promise that Elder Smith and I are drinking lemonade in the one picture I've attached.... it's definitely not anything else.... The view of the beach was great and it was a good chance to talk to some people about our Church since the majority of the people that were there weren't members.
Wayne continues to amaze me. He is truly on of the elect. He's a person that the Lord has prepared to receive the gospel. He has never missed a commitment that we have given him. He has read up to 1 Nephi 10 since last week and continues to read and ask great questions about what he is reading. He is a very kind man and is truly searching for truth. It's so exciting to see his faith and relationship with God grow little by little as he meets with this missionaries and reads the Book of Mormon.
President and Sister Rogers made a visit to the Oneida Branch this week with some of their family that is in town. Their small grandchildren sang a song in Sacrament Meeting and it was wonderful.

This will be Elder Smith and my last week together. He will be going home at the end of the transfer with all the departing missionaries. I am so grateful for the time I have been able to spend with him in the mission. He has become an even better friend of mine in the past transfer. Through thick and thin, we have been by each other's side. I'm going to miss you man. Since all the departing missionaries go to the temple two days before the transfer, I will have a temporary companion for those couple of days. It's going to be Elder Wright. He is the shortest Elder in the mission so I will be sure to send a pic of us next Monday.

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

Elder Carlile
Verona Beach
Drinking Lemonade With Brother Turbee