Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 26, 2016 -- Sometimes Things Get "Heated"

It's been a cool week. Literally it cooled down a lot this past week. That's okay with me though because it means that the leaves are going to change soon. . . very soon.

The missionary work has been great this past week. We started teaching a lady named Marie. It's really neat how we found her. It was one of the first days that Elder Rasband was here and we decided to go tracting. It was his first time. We said a quick prayer in the car asking the Lord to guide us to those ready to receive the gospel and then we started tracting South St. We walked up to the first house and knocked on the door. I can only imagine what Elder Rasband was thinking tracting his first house. We knocked and Marie answered the door and we had an awesome conversation about religion. We had to get going so we left her with a Book of Mormon and plan to go back later. That was how we met her and luckily we found her on our first try. Thank the heavens. That rarely ever happens. Anyway teaching her has been great. She has a ton of questions and shares a lot of the same views that the Mormon church does. She is a Mom and has been through a lot in life but has still remained a kind-hearted person.

Margaret is doing great. We continue to meet with her and she continues to read the Book of Mormon and coming to church.

The most painful decision Elder Rasband, Younger, Baker and I made this week was at our ward mission leader's house. After dinner, we were challenged to eat a habanero pepper. We all took a bite of our peppers and things got a little heated. All of us were crying it was so hot and then laughing at each other because we were all crying. We all ran into the kitchen and started chugging milk. The burning sensation went away after about 15 minutes but we sure felt the hot pepper in our tummies for the rest of the night. It's amazing how the IQ in the room goes down the more Elders you have. 

I know that the Lord is the one who forwards his work. We just have to choose to be a part of it. If we will seek his guidance in how to do his work, then we won't fail. People might reject the gospel but his work will continue. Those we are meant to find as missionaries are those who are ready to accept it.

I'm looking forward to conference this weekend and I will miss Mom's conference breakfast, but the spiritual feast will be good none the less.
The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.

Elder Carlile
Boo Hoo!
Habanero Pepper Challenge


Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016 -- Hump Day!!!

This past week has been up, down, and all around (pun definitely intended).  One thing that I learned is Nathan Wawro just got called to my mission and will be arriving in November. We graduated high school together. I'm super stoked!!

We had a Zone Conference on Wednesday. They taught about planning and working with ward members. The biggest surprise was at lunch time. They had half of the missionaries go get food and the other half go to the relief society room to get a flu shot. They gave us no warning that this would be happening prior to the Conference. Alot of the missionaries weren't too happy about that. 

Friday morning Elder Rasband and I had some appointments fall through so we decided to track a street with the 30 minutes we had. A couple of people answered but things didn't seem too promising . . . just a house that reeked of weed and people that were either not home or too Catholic to listen. As we walked up to one of the last houses on the street, I thought to myself is this really where the Lord has people that are ready to act on the gospel? Knocked on a door and again the lady was comfortable with her faith but we continued to talk with her. As we talked, she talked about her daughter that was going through a rough time in her life. We asked if we could come back and teach the daughter about Christ's gospel. She optimistically said yes and that she would want to sit in as we taught her daughter. She started telling us that she had a friend that was Mormon and has seen the Hill Cumorah pageant. Anyway, Elder Rasband and I will go teach her and her daughter this next week.

Later that night, the Capners had Elder Rasband and me over for dinner. We had Cafe Rio style burritos that were to die for. If there is one food that New York is lacking, it's Cafe Rio or anything remotely close to it. Like seriously, I've been dying on the inside for the past year for some Cafe Rio. Let's just say I was in food heaven that night. On top of that, they had made a huge sign that said "One Year" on it because it just so happened to be my one year mark.  After dinner I ran through it with a sparkler in each of my hands.

Aside from being sick the past two days from a lame cold, it's been a great week. I am grateful for the past year I have had in the mission field. I have grown in ways that I never thought I would. The lessons I've learned couldn't have been learned any other way. Aside form everything I learned, the most important thing I have gained is a closer understanding of and a relationship with my Heavenly Father. Very simply, He knows me perfectly and the greatest act of love He has done for me is sending his son, Jesus Christ, to atone for me as well as everyone who has, does, or will live on this earth.

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

Monday, September 12, 2016

September 12, 2016 -- Mean, Green, and Ready To Work

Holy moley it's been a crazy good week! To start with, I got my new trainee. Wednesday was our transfer meeting and since I was training I had to be in the Utica building at 9:30.  That meant that I had to leave Elmira at 6 for our 3 1/2 hour long drive.  Wednesday morning Elder Hubbell and I woke up to the Elmira Central elders in our apartment saying, "We need to get going -- why haven't you been answering your phone?" Elder Hubbell and I had forgotten to plug in the phone the night before and it had died. We set our wake up alarm on the phone so we slept in. I jumped out of my bed to get ready realizing that it was 6:40. Let's just say that it was probably the worst morning ever to wake up late. I drove the soccer mom van to Utica and I was driving as fast as tiwi would let me. Tiwi is this tiny box in all the mission vehicles that monitors our speed so we don't drive to fast. Luckily we made good time and I was able to get there at 10, so I only missed a little bit of the trainer training. It was fun to see all the mission buddies at transfers. I said goodbye to Elder Hubbell and sent him on his way to Scotia.

My new trainee is Elder Rasband.  He is some distant cousin to the apostle but he has never met him. He is from Clearfield, Utah and graduated high school this past year. He grew up in the Church and comes from a good family. He is about 6'1" but doesn't look like it in our pictures together. We get along pretty well. Luckily he can take my teasing well and even dish it back out. Don't worry though, I'm not teasing the new greenie to much. He is adjusting well to the missionary life. We have been teaching alot which has been great for him as he develops his teaching skills and gets comfortable.

We had a neat lesson this past week. One of our investigators was feeling like the LDS church wasn't the right direction. Anyway, long story short, we shared Alma 32 where it compares faith to a tree. We talked to her about how to know it is true. We have to be doing the three simple things -- going to church, reading the scriptures, and praying. She had a total epiphany and told us that she would start doing those things more consistently. It's the little things we do every day and week that make the biggest difference. That is how we nurture our tree and keep it growing.

One of the greatest parts of the week was on Sunday. We had four of our investigators come to church. One of the biggest struggles in this mission is getting investigators to church because a lot of them don't have cars. Luckily, the Elmira ward is awesome about giving rides to people and we were able to coordinate some rides for two of our investigators. The other two investigators drove themselves because they owned their own cars.

Anyway, it was a great week. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Until next week,
Elder Carlile
Elder Rasband

Rocking the Soccer Mom Van

September 5, 2016 -- Life Is So Good It's A Blur

So..... we got transfer calls last night. Elder Hubbell will be leaving Elmira and be going to Scotia and serving with my MTC companion Elder Harvey. I will training a new missionary in Elmira!!! I'm super stoked!!! It's been a good transfer serving with Elder Hubbell. I'm going to miss the kid but I know I'll see him again. All the Red Robin trips with the other Elders where we had a few too many fries are going to be missed. 

Church was amazing yesterday! Bri came to church. We have been teaching her along with her family for the past little bit. She had a good time at church. We went to the high school-aged Sunday School class with her, so that was a nice change up from the gospel principles class we usually go to. Elder Younger and I had the chance to teach the Teachers and Priests some mission prep during the third hour. It was funny to see how uncomfortable some of  the Priests got when we were role playing some teaching situations.

We had our last district meeting for this transfer on Tuesday. We did a fun activity called scripture basketball with the 42 basic points of the gospel. We had two teams. I would say a point of the gospel and they would have to find it in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Then the winning team would get a chance to shoot on a nerf basketball hoop I had set up. Anyway we all had a good time.

To be honest I can't remember the past week too well. It just seems like a big blur. I know I saw the Lord's hand in the work, I just can't quite remember the specifics. Good thing I have my journal entries.  I'm excited to see how this nest week goes.
The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.

Elder Joshua Carlile
Elmira District