Monday, September 18, 2017

September 18, 2017 -- I'm Coming Home

Well.... this is officially my final email as a full time missionary in the New York Utica Mission so here I go. . .

This past week has been really busy but lots of good things happened. On Wednesday I went to the Hartford Connecticut temple with the Cohoes Elders. A member took us and it was really refreshing. We also had a "come and see" fireside last night. It's a fireside where members invite their friends to come and see what we believe.  They see uplifting videos and hear testimonies from recent converts. I had the opportunity to conduct the meeting.  I was a little nervous but overall the meeting ran smoothly.
The most valuable thing I have gained in the past two years is an increased testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel. It is only through Christ's atoning sacrifice that we are redeemed as true sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. As we strive to keep the Lord's commandments and continually repent when we fall short, we can little by little become more like Him. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored in its fullness through the prophet Joseph Smith. I have stood in the places were God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and where much of the Book of Mormon was translated. I have felt the Spirit testify to my heart of the truthfulness of the Restoration of this gospel. I am so grateful that I am able to live in a time where the fulness of the gospel is on the earth with apostles and prophets. 

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

Love, Elder Carlile
Hartford, Connecticut Temple

Final Albany District

It's Over . . .

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017 -- Palmyra Trip

Boy did this past week get off to a powerful start with the Palmyra trip!! Monday night, Elder Harmon and I drove to the mission home and met up with all the missionaries that are going home in our group. 

 We got up early the next morning and drove from Utica to Palmyra. Our first stop was the Temple to do a session there. Next we went and toured the two Smith family homes just down the road and then on the Sacred Grove. We got thirty minutes to walk, ponder and pray on our own. The Spirit accompanies that grove of trees so strongly. After, we went and saw Alvin Smith's grave (Joseph's older brother) and then went to lunch at this pizza place. I'm not going to lie, I've had SO MUCH pizza in the past two years. I would be totally fine if I didn't eat pizza for at least the next six months of my life. After lunch, we went and toured the Grandin Printing Press where the Book of Mormon was first published. Most of us missionaries purchased a replica of the original copy of the Book of Mormon at their store next door. From there, we went to the Hill Cumorah visitors center and then hiked to the top of the hill itself.... that hill will put ya right out of breath. We then got on the road and drove the thirty minutes to the Peter Whitmer farm and visitors center. While there, we watched two of the new Joseph Smith videos on the Priesthood being restored and and translation of the Book of Mormon. After that, we went to dinner.
During dinner, we got President and Sister Rogers to tell some of their dating stories and other funny experiences. Those continued on the car ride back to the mission home. When we all got back, we were exhausted and pretty much went straight to bed. We got up the next morning and headed back to our areas. Overall it was such an amazing trip. I'm so grateful that I was able visit and stand in the places where Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and where Moroni appeared and taught Joseph. Throughout the day, I felt the Spirit reaffirming the truth and reality of the Restoration and Joseph Smith being the prophet that Christ's church was restored through.

We got some other news this week. Elder Rice will be transferred in a week so we will both be leaving the area of Troy. President wants to send a new missionary with his trainer to Troy because it's a great area to train in. That means that we are going to be very busy this week getting the area info up to date and the apartment ready before I head back to Utah. 

The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Have a great week everyone, Elder Carlile
Palmyra Temple Trip
Hill Cumorah

The Sacred Grove
Group Returning Home Next Week

Leaving a Piece of Me in New York

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September 4, 2017 -- This Week Was The "BoM".com

Hey hey hey everyone!! This past week has been a good one. For the month of September our mission is focusing on flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon. Since Elder Rice and I have been focusing on placing a Book of Mormon in our daily contacting, we have seen lots of blessing come from it!

One night, Elder Rice and I had an appointment with Bert. We got there seven minutes early so we decided to walk around and find someone to talk to. We got out of the car and saw a middle-aged lady sitting on the corner smoking a cigarette. We went to talk with her and then offered to share a five minute lesson on the Restoration and the how the Book of Mormon came to be. She said that she has been wanting to retrieve her relationship with God and that she wants to stop smoking so she was happy to hear our message. We shared the message and left her with a Book of Mormon. We also promised that, if she would read it and rely on Christ, she would not only be able to strength her relationship with God but would also be able to overcome her smoking addiction through the 15 step program we do. We're going to be seeing her this next week.

We have seen other blessings. There have been multiple times this past week when we were walking around at 8:55, five minutes before we going in, and have OYMed a guy on the street who was very open to taking a Book of Mormon and meeting with us at a future time. It's been the "BoM".com!!! I know that the Lord blesses us when we put ourselves in a position to be blessed.

The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good! Have a great week everyone!
Elder Carlile
Book of Mormon Week in Troy

Historic Church

Taking a Lunch Break with Elder Rice

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017 -- Well That Was A Pain In My Neck

Hola everyone!!! Boy has it been an interesting week this past week. It got off to a slow start because I strained my neck pretty bad last Monday and wasn't able to look straight enough to drive for a day and a half.  Unfortunately, my companion doesn't have a licence. I got a priesthood blessing and, as the week went on, my neck healed quickly so I was able to do the missionary work. I am grateful for the power of the Priesthood.

 This past week we had the opportunity to teach a man that recently came out of jail. He was very humble and therefore in a place where he was ready to be taught. His name is Bernie. He is friends with a member of the church and she referred him to us. I was kinda funny actually. She came up to me and asked if I would teach him because I was taller than Bernie who stands 6 foot 4.  She thought he would connect better with a fellow tall man. There are four sets of missionaries in this ward so I was very excited when she asked Elder Rice and me to teach him. The lesson with Bernie went very well. He really wants to put his past life behind him and get a fresh start. Sometimes it's funny how the Lord works through our abilities and talents. For me, all I had to do was be 7 feet tall.

On Thursday we had Zone Conference. It was my last Zone Conference as a full-time missionary.... Even though it was my last Zone Conference it just felt like a normal Zone Conference to me. I had the opportunity to sing a solo before our testimony meeting. Elder Rice accompanied me and I sang the song "If the Savior Stood Beside Me." Don't worry, I didn't cry or anything but I did feel the Spirit flow into my heart as I sang those wonderful words.

Well that's all everyone. Have a great week!
The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Elder Carlile
Last Zone Conference

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017 -- Knock And It Shall Be Opened Unto You

What is good with it everyone!! This past week Troy has treated Elder Rice and I pretty well!! We have seen some sweet miracles!!

Monday night we went tracting. All our appointments fell through so we knew there was something else that the Lord wanted us to do. We prayed, picked a road to tract, and started walking to the end of the street. As we were walking, I had this tiny thought to try a house we were passing by. Just as Joseph Smith taught "If you will listen to the first promptings, you will get it right nine times out of ten," so that's exactly what I did. We went and knocked on the door and Jason answered and invited us into his backyard so we could teach him the Restoration. During the lesson he told us that he has really been wanting to retrieve his relationship with God that he had previously. We went over for another lesson the next day and taught him.  We had a very spirit-led lesson about repentance and forgiveness. I am so grateful that we were led to find him. I am also grateful that I am able to have a member of the Godhead with me at all times. It is the key to missionary work.

On Thursday, the entire New York Utica mission did a car fast were we couldn't use our cars all day. This was so that we would get out of the "car bubble." Unfortunately it rained most of the day so it was HUMID.   Fortunately, though, we had lots of appointments in the afternoon so we avoided the harsher part of the rain in the day. One of the miracles we saw from doing the car fast was a new investigator we picked up named Sashay. We called her Thursday morning and set up an appointment and meet with her later that day. We had a good lesson on the Restoration. We invited her to church and she accepted. She even wanted to bring two of her friends. So yesterday, all three came to Church. She enjoyed it and even said that she started reading the Book of Mormon and enjoyed that as well.
Those are a couple of the cool experiences from this past week. Have a great week everyone. 

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

Tracting in the Rain with Elder Rice

Twinkie Elders (A Pretty Good Likeness)

August 14, 2017 -- Another Week, Another Wonder

This week has been pretty good. The weather hasn't been too hot but is sure has been humid.

Elder Rice and I have been teaching the Munoz family. It's been amazing. They only speak Spanish except for Fernando, their son. He speaks English fairly well. Since we don't speak Spanish, the Lord sent us a Spanish speaker named Austin Quinny. He is a member in our ward and just got back from his mission in Bolivia six months ago. He speaks Spanish very well and the lessons have been going great! We teach a point and he translates what we say to them. It wasn't by chance that Austin's family moved to New York while he was in a Bolivia. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

For P-day today, the Albany/Troy elders went and hiked some really cool waterfalls not too far from Troy. There were some really amazing views and thankfully no one got hurt!!

The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Everyone have a good week, Elder Carlile

Hiking the Waterfalls by Troy, New York

August 7, 2017 -- Trip To Albany

This week has been pretty good. Overall, the missionary work is going well. For P-Day today, we elders visited Albany. We went to the New York State Archives and held a first edition Book of Mormon that they have. It was very neat! After that we went and visited their State Capitol Building. It's very unique and took forty years to finish because of how costly it was to build. We had a great time on our trip to Albany.

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

Have a great week everyone, Elder Carlile
P-Day Group Headed to Albany

Frist Edition Book of Mormon

New York State Capitol Building

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July 31, 2017 -- Hey, We're In A Pickle

Hey everyone hope all is going well. This past week has been pretty good. The weather hasn't been to hot luckily and Elder Rice and I have seen some cool miracles.

One crazy thing that happened this past week was on Wednesday night. Elder Rice and I were driving back home and it wasn't quite 9:00 when we usually go in. As we were driving, I had a little thought to try the Munoz family. We have not been able to get in contact with them in over a month. Because it wasn't quite time to go in, we tried them. As we pulled up, we saw them standing outside. We went and talked to them and they told us they were in a pickle. Luckily Fernando, the son, was there since the parents only speak Spanish. The people they were staying with had told them to move out. They had an apartment to move into just a mile away but no way to get their stuff there.   The friend that had a truck had bailed on them. I called Brother Silver and asked him for a HUGE favor. I asked him if he could bring his truck and help this family move into their new apartment. Fifteen minutes later, he was there and ready to go. He even brought his wife to help. Two hours and four truck loads later, the Silvers, Munoz family and we missionaries all got the job done. In addition,  the Silver's invited them over for dinner and a lesson that is going to happen later this week. The Silvers are amazing members and I am so grateful for how willing they are to help. We are now teaching the Munoz family. The mom and the son had met with missionaries when they lived in Texas. The mom's uncle is actually a member there so they have some connections to the Church. That's our miracle for the week. I know it is important to listen to the quiet promptings of the Holy Ghost. If I hadn't, Elder Rice and I would have missed out on this neat opportunity.

I went on an exchange with Elder Waechtler in Cohoes this past week and, for our morning program, we got up early and went mountain biking. It was sick!!! The weather was perfect and it was super foggy. We had a good time

Well, all is good in the hood. Have a great week everyone. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Elder Carlile
Elder Waechtler

Mountain Biking in Cohoes with Elder Waechtler

July 24, 2017 -- We're All Tools . . . In The Lord's Hands

Hey hey hey everyone. It's was a pretty good week last week. Elder Rice and I saw some cool things happen. 

Elder Rice and I went to return and report this past week. Return and report is a meeting the mission president holds one month after the new missionaries get to the mission to make sure they are doing good and to give us all additional instruction. The meeting was on Friday but we drove over to Utica Thursday night and stayed in the mission home with all the other trainees and trainers. It was sweet, President Rogers reserved the queen sized bed for me to sleep in. So, for the first time since I've been in New York, my feet weren't hanging off the bed!!!! The meeting was really rejuvenating. It was hard to say goodbye to Elder Turner. It was the last time I'll see him as a missionary.

Last night, Elder Rice and I had a really cool experience. We got a text from a former investigator named Sara. She was all set to get baptized about a year ago but she got scared and canceled her baptism 15 minutes before. Elders have tried to meet with her since then with little success. Anyway, we get a text from her last night in all caps that said, "I NEED A BLESSING NOW." We were in a lesson so we wrapped up the lesson and hurried on over to her house and gave her a blessing. She struggles from various health challenges so we gave her a blessing of healing and comfort. After the blessing, she was very thankful and said that everything in the blessing was exactly what she needed to hear and she felt a ton better. We then sat down and had a Spirit led conversation about her working towards baptism. She wants to take it step by step starting with coming back to church. We are going back to do the 15 steps to stop smoking program with her on Wednesday. As she brought up some of her concerns, scriptures came into my mind that answered her questions and calmed her fears. Before we left, Sara said she feels like she has been waiting for us to help her move along the path. I can't wait to continue to teaching her. The more experiences I have being a missionary, the more I come to know that I am just a tool in the Lord's hands. He is the grand master of his work.

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

Have a great week everyone,
Elder Carlile
Queen Bed Heaven

Goodbye to Elder Turner

July 17, 2017 -- All Is Good In The Hood

What is good with it everyone!?! This week has been amazing!! It almost felt like Elder Rice and I were floating on a cloud all week -- at least that's how it felt most of the time.

James got baptized this past week!!!! The baptism went perfectly! There were tons of ward members to support him and the water was warm this time. James' two boys were there plus his friend that introduced him to the church.  And to top it all off, the refreshments were delicious thanks to the Relief Society. He was confirmed on Sunday and all went well with that also. I asked him how he was feeling after he was confirmed. He smiled and said, "I feel great." He is so solid.

Elder Rice and I have been teaching this really cool guy named Jay. He has an awesome story. I found Jay about a month ago when Elder Sutton was on exchange with me in Troy. We saw this rough looking guy with long hair and a scruffy beard waiting at the bus stop. I started talking to him and he didn't look happy. Over the course of the conversation he opened up and told us his story about how he found God.  After about a ten minute conversation with him, we read him Ether 12:27 and left him with a Book of Mormon.  He sincerely said he would read it and got on his bus.  I didn't think we would see him again because he didn't give us his address.  He said he was hardly at home.  One day, about a month later, Elder Rice and I were driving in Troy and I saw Jay.  So we parked, went up to him and taught the Restoration. As it turns out, the night we gave him the Book of Mormon he started reading it and loved it. He said he feels the Spirit when he reads it. As we've continued to meet with him, he has told us more of his story. He admitted that the day we talked to him at the bus stop wasn't the first time we had talked to him that day. I don't remember this but he said that morning in south Troy Elder Sutton and I had offered to talk to him about the Book of Mormon and he told us to get lost in some words a little less kind than those. I hardly remember the people who tell us to get lost but Elder Sutton and I were working in south Troy that morning. It just goes to show that the Lord is preparing people to hear our message all the time. Sometimes people have to be invited to hear the gospel multiple times before they will hear it. In Jay's case it was only two, but by the second time, he said he felt like God was trying to send him a message that he should read the Book of Mormon. So that's what he did. I know the Lord is at the head of his work and guides us each and every day if we will just strive to serve him.

Well, as I like to say, all is good in the hood. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Have a great week everyone,
Elder Carlile
James' Baptism

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017 -- One Year Older and Wiser Too . . .?

Hey Everyone -  I'm one year older and wiser too..... hopefully. I had a great week filled with lots of missionary work, birthday celebration, and hot summer days!!

James is doing amazing. He passed his baptismal interview with flying colors and can't wait for his baptism on Wednesday!

I had a great birthday. Elder Rice I went to this place called Blaze Pizza with Taylor and my birthday twin Stephanie. We had a good time laughing and eating some dang good pizza. It was pretty neat because I celebrated my birthday with them last year as well. I also celebrated with some members that live in the north country of New York.

One cool experience Elder Rice and I had this past week was when were were working in some of the suburbs of Troy. We were trying some potential investigators. After we got done, we started walking to our car when I had a thought to try this house where we had tracted and talked to the lady before. She was nice but said she had a problem with Joseph Smith. I brushed the thought off and continued to the car and got in. As I was sitting there thinking about it more, I decided we should go try the lady. We knocked on the door, Vanessa answered, and we stared talking. Our conversation turned to the gospel and then she invited us in. We went in and basically taught the Restoration and how she could gain a testimony of Joseph Smith through the Book of Mormon.  It went really well. It just goes to show how listening to the little thoughts that come through the Holy Ghost can make a huge difference in life. This is the Lord's work and he directs it continually.

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

Have a great week everyone, Elder Carlile
20th Birthday

Tracting With Elder Rice on a Hot Summer Day

Brother Stevens

July 3, 2017 -- A "Sweet" Week and a Baptismal Date

Hey hey hey everyone!!! Boy has a lot changed this week!! One of the biggest changes has been getting a new companion on Wednesday! His name is Elder Rice. He's fresh out of the MTC and I get to train him for the next two transfers.... I'm excited. I get to teach him how to missionary!! He's from Palmdale, California and grew up in the Church. He's about 5 foot 8 so there is a huge height gap between us:) He enjoys music and can play the piano. He went to BYU for a semester and is going into their mechanical engineering program, so we get along. He is a really genuine guy and has a good heart.

One cool experience for this past week -- we started teaching this lady named Shannon. Elder Rice and I taught her about the Restoration on Wednesday. It was Elder Rice's first lesson in the field so he got off to a killer start. She was very receptive to the message. She wouldn't let us leave until she fed us some of her cheesecake. So we got to eat a sweet treat to go along with the sweet message of the Restoration of the Gospel. It was pretty neat how we found Shannon. Elder Thomas and I were doing service at some apartments. It was a food pantry that branched out to the people in the apartment building once a week. We give them fresh fruit and vegetables. Anyway, this one lady name Shannon came down to get her food. She was in a wheelchair because she lost her left leg and asked if someone could help carry her bags of food upstairs. Elder Thomas and I volunteered. As we walked up to her room, we talked with her and got to know her a bit. The conversation turned to her talking about how she is looking for direction in life and doesn't know where to find it so we told her we could come back and share a message that would help her find her way. She was very open to it and was very thankful for our kindness to her. It's still so sweet to see how the Lord places his prepared children in the missionaries paths. We just need to be ready for it.

Another really sweet thing that happened this past week is James chose a baptismal date!!!!!!! He's going to be baptized on the 12th of July and I can't wait!!!! Overall, it's just been a sweet sweet week.

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

Meeting Up With Elder Rasband

New Companion -- Elder Rice

June 26, 2017 -- That Water Is Really COLD!

What's good with it everyone!?! This week has been amazing and exciting!! I found out that I'm going to be training a new missionary to end off the mission and I'm super excited. Sadly, Elder Thomas is leaving Troy. It's been such a great six weeks with him. I've gained a great friend for life.

LORELEI GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!! It was a great baptism. There were lots of ward members there to support her in the wonderful choice she made. All went smoothly except the water in the baptismal font was cold because the hot water hardly comes out. After Lorelei came out of the water she yelled, "THAT WATER IS REALLY COLD!!" Luckily I wasn't the one baptizing her. Elder Thomas endured the coldness with her. She has a ton of enthusiasm and she is going to be a great member. I was able to confirm her a member of the Church on Sunday and that is always a special experience.

We tracted into this super cool family this past week. They were very friendly and let us right into their home. We taught them the Restoration and they were super excited to read the Book of Mormon. The people that we taught consisted of a great grandma, grandma, mom, and two daughters, so we taught four generations in the same room. Now, when they get baptized, the two daughters will already have an easy four generations done:) We are going back tonight so we will see what happens. I feel like the Lord has been to generous in blessing Elder Thomas and me in Troy. I really love doing His work and I can't wait to continue doing it with just a wee little missionary for the next two transfers.

Fun fact of the week. Uncle Sam is buried in Troy. Elder Thomas and I visited his grave this past week. His real name is Samuel Wilson. It was pretty cool.

The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Elder Carlile
Uncle Sam's Grave

Lorelei's Baptism

Friday, June 23, 2017

June 19, 2017 -- We're Just Trying To Be The Best "Angels" We Can

Good afternoon everyone!! Things have been going pretty good this past week. A lot has happened as usual. The temps were a little on the hotter side this week but nothing too bad.
I had a CRAZY COOL tracting experience this past week. So I was on blitz with Elder Gubler and and it was a rainy day. We were tracting in the boonies of East Greenbush, just south of Albany. I knocked on a door, the lady who answered took a look at me and then excitedly said, "Are you an angel? I hear angels are really tall!" I honestly had no idea how to respond to that so the words that ended up coming out of my mouth were, "kind of." Continuing her excitement, she invited us in out of the rain and instantly introduced us to her family. They were all very warm and friendly to us and were very interested in what we were doing.  So, naturally, we taught all of them the about the restoration of the Gospel. When we invited them to read the Book of Mormon they were more than willing to check it out. As we were talking after, the mom was telling us that she had prayed for angels to come into her life. Overall, it was neat experience. It blew me away because we really didn't have to say anything to get in her door, she just let us in because of who we are. It just goes to show you that the Lord is preparing people to accept the gospel, they just don't know where to look until two angels come knocking on their door :) 

Our Ward had a BBQ on Saturday and it was a huge success!! Two of our investigators showed up to it and had a really good time. James, our really solid investigator, came with his two high school aged sons. We had a good time playing baseball and basketball with them. Ivy came with her two daughters as well. It was a good chance to have them meet some of the ward members.

Lorelei is doing great. She is all set and ready to get baptized this Saturday!!!!! She is super excited and we are as well.

Church on Sunday was good. James, Lorelei, and Ivy were all there!!! There's not many things more exciting to missionaries then having your investigators show up to church. On top of all of that, I was one of the speakers in Sacrament Meeting. It was on a talk from this past  General Conference by L. Whitney Clayton. It was nice because when we would invite our investigators to church I would just say that I was speaking. Elder Thomas is speaking next week and so we're going to keep that up.

Oh I almost forgot! When Elder Gubler and I were on blitz we found this Snapper turtle in the middle of the road!! How crazy is that!
The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Elder Carlile

Adventures With A Snapper Turtle

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

June 12, 2017 -- Troy Is So "Lit"

This week has gone by so fast I can't even remember what happened, so I'm going to do my best here.

I'll start with the weather. The week started out rainy but by the end of the week it was hot and sunny, so there were lots of people to talk to while we were out.

Lorelei is doing great!!! She found out the coolest thing last week!! While she was on the phone with her mom, they were talking about how Lorelei is planning on becoming a Mormon and Lorelei's mom told her that she's a Mormon. Lorelei had no idea! Now her mom is going to come up for Lorelei's baptism on the 24th of June. I  can't wait to meet her.

James is still going strong but he chose to move his baptismal date to August. He wants his friend who lives in Salt Lake to be able to fly out for his baptism. She had a big part in introducing him to the church so he wants her to be there. Sadly Elder Thomas won't be here in Troy that long, but he understands.

Oh, one really cool thing. . . we are teaching this guy named David and this past week had a lesson with him. We were talking to him after and he told us that he played college football for Virginia Tech. He played D End and he is HUGE. He said he could bench 550 lb. It blew Elder Thomas' and my mind.

Well that's all folks. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good!
Elder Carlile
Troy, New York

Two "Cool" Dudes

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 5, 2017 -- Missionary Work Is Music To My Ears

Hey hey hey my peeps!! Troy has still been treating me well this past week. 

Elder Thomas and I have been teaching a lady named Lorelei. She is coming right along and has a huge desire to be baptized at the end of this month. Her story is pretty cool. She met with the missionaries a couple of years ago but, for some reason or another, she slipped through the cracks and lost contact with them. About a month and a half ago, the missionaries in Troy were riding on a bus and Lorelei came up to them and invited them to meet with her again. It's really neat to see how the Lord puts people in our path who are ready to accept the gospel. Heavenly Father really is the one controlling His work. We just need to prepare ourselves to be tools in His hands. She had a problem with smoking so, about two weeks ago, Elder Thomas and I did the 15 step step program with her. It is a program that some missionaries made in the 70's and it guarantees to crush someone's smoking habit in a week. It totally works too! So we did that program with Lorelei and now she is smoke-free and doesn't have the cravings anymore. She came to church yesterday on Fast Sunday and she absolutely loved it. Toward the end of sacrament meeting, she leaned over to me and said, "can I go up there and speak?" I said yes and explained the purpose in going up there. As soon as she got the chance, she bolted up there to bear her testimony. In my mind I was thinking, "this can either go really well or go south real fast!" Thankfully Lorelei did really well. She bore her testimony of the Word of Wisdom and the blessing of increased heath and energy. She also talked about how thankful she was to have met the missionaries again. She has been one of the most humble people I have taught on the mission!

Elder Thomas and I were out talking to people on the streets and we saw a guy across the street sitting on his steps playing the guitar. It has always been my dream to teach someone who was playing a guitar on the street, so we crossed the street and started talking to this guy about guitar. His name was Matt. He asked if one of us played and of course I said yes, so he asked if I wanted to play a song. Again I said yes and played a song. Afterward, we offered to share our message with him and he was open to hearing it. He went and grabbed us some chairs and we taught him the Restoration right there on his porch. It went really well and Matt was excited to check the Book of Mormon out that we left with him. He's such a cool open-minded guy and I can't wait to teach him again. There are a lot of those people in Troy. I'm grateful that I was able to meet Matt and have one of my biggest missionary dreams come true of teaching a guy playing a guitar! Missionary work is music to my ears!
Well, those are some of the cool things that happened this past week. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good. Have a great week everyone!

Elder Carlile

Troy Scenery

Monday, May 29, 2017

May 29, 2017 -- I "Tire" Of All This Nonsense

Hello everyone!! Troy is still treating Elder Thomas and me well! We have had a great week as far as missionary work goes. We've been teaching, talking with people on the streets, doing service, blowing out a tire, and most importantly having a good time while doing it!!

I'll start with the tire story. It was about 6:30 at night and Elder Thomas and I really had to go to the bathroom.  We decided to make a quick stop at McDonalds to use their restroom. While I was making a left turn I miscalculated and clipped the curb. We parked and then I noticed that the check tire light was on. I immediately thought "oh crap, the tire is flat" and sure enough it was. So Elder Thomas and I went to the restroom in the McDonalds, came back out, then started to change the tire. Elder Thomas started to jack up the car and then the worst happened. The jack screw that jacked up the car bent and the whole thing fell over. Now I don't know if we were just idiots in jacking up the car or it was just a one in a million chance that the jack bent, but either way, we were in trouble. We had a solid appointment set with Ivy at 7:00 and, by the look of it, we weren't going to be able to make it. I thought about having Elder Thomas just lift the car with his Offensive linemen strength but that would be too easy..... just kidding, but I had a prayer in my heart that some how we would be able to get the whole situation figured out.  All of a sudden, this guy pulled up in his pickup truck and offered to help. Mark was his name and his timing was impeccable. He had a jack in his car so we got the car jacked up and the tire changed. We thanked Mark and got on our way and made it to Ivy just on time. This was definitely a miracle. Sometimes Heavenly Father works through other people to bless us and this was one of those times. 

Ivy is super sick. She is a young Mom and has two girls. We had an awesome lesson with her on the Book of Mormon. Again, she was very open-minded about what we taught and said she would read the Book of Mormon! I know I felt the Spirit strongly when I was in the lesson. At the very end of the lesson Ivy said, "Ya know you guys are pretty dope." For all you non-hood people out there, dope means awesome. I can't wait to keep teaching her about the restored gospel.

James is totally golden. He came pre-prepared and is ready to be baptized. Yesterday after church when we were talking about the baptism date, he told us he wants to push it back to later June so his friend from Utah that introduced him to the Church can be at the baptism.  But, in his words, he said "I'm here to stay."

The work is going well and I couldn't be more grateful that it's the summertime!!

The sky is blue, the Church it true and life is good.
Elder Carlile
Troy, New York

Oops -- First Flat Tire

Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22, 2017 -- It's All Good In The Hood

Boy has it been a crazy awesome week!  A wide variety of things have happened --things like going to the Temple, to getting lost on my way to Albany, and everything in between.

Elders Gubler, Shore, and I went to the Palmyra temple on Monday with Brother Walton (a super awesome member in Liverpool). Man, if had to describe the whole experience in one word, it would be refreshing. The Spirit I felt while there was so refreshing. That trip was our last hoorah as a trio since transfers were the next day. 
So I got to Troy on Wednesday. It has been a blast the past five days! First off, there are tons of cool people to talk to in our area. Troy is kind of like a sub city to Albany. Troy definitely has its ghetto places and there are tons of black people and you know what that means. . . STREET BALL PROSELYTING!!!! We live in a suburb just outside of town so mom you don't have to worry about us getting shot or robbed or something. We have a car but we use the bus and walk around Troy most of the time. The car is mainly for going to church and P-day stuff. Overall, I love this area so far. Since it is springtime, everyone is out walking and usually in a better mood.

Elder Thomas is awesome!! I love him so much!! He is from Scottsdale, Arizona, just outside of Phoenix. He has been out for three months. He is a solid 6 foot 3 guy and played Offensive Tackle on his football team in high school. He is good one too. He got offered scholarships from multiple D1 college football teams including some from the Pac 12 but he chose to turn them down so that he could serve a mission. He is a good easy going guy and is very relatable. He likes to joke around and so we have been having a good time the past five days.

One night, Elder Thomas and I were tracting this one street and we saw a women sitting on the stairs of her apartment using her phone.  So, being missionaries, we decided to OYM her. As the conversation rolled on, she told us that her boss is a Mormon. She works in an oral surgery clinic. On top of that, she was open to hear our message so we taught her the Restoration right there. The lesson went really well and she said she was interested in learning more. Her name is Ivy by the way. We teach a lot of restoration lessons in a week but this one seemed different. Ivy is super open-minded and respectful in listening to us and she really wants to learn more about Jesus Christ. We are going back to teach her this week so we'll see how it goes.
Another person we are teaching is James. He is super solid and golden. Apparently he just showed up at church three weeks ago and said, "I want to join." He has a friend in Salt Lake that is an amazing member missionary who started sharing the gospel with him and he was hooked. This friend was actually passing through town for business yesterday and she came to church with him. It was cool to meet her and hear her side of the story. James is going to be baptized on June 10th and coming along great. We, and his son Levi, got him moved into his new place and this past week. I can't wait to see how this changes his life.

Overall things are going good in the hood. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good!

Till next week, Elder Carlile
Palmyra Temple Trip

Transfer to Troy, New York

New Companion -- Elder Thomas

May 15, 2017 -- Off To A New Adventure

Hey everyone!! I don't have too much to say but a lot of changes are coming up this next week. I am going to be leaving Liverpool for Troy this next week to join Elder Thomas. The area is citylike and there are some ghetto areas but I'm not worried. I don't know much about my new companion but I've heard good things. He is about 6 foot 5 with a lineman build so I think it's safe to say that people won't be messing with us as we're walking the streets with our commended height of 6 foot 9. It's hard to be leaving a companion as good as Elder Shore. I have thoroughly enjoyed the past six weeks spent with him. I'm going to miss all the people I've been serving around like Elder Vorkink and Elder Gubler..... well actually I won't be missing Elder Gubler since he is going with me to serve in the Albany Ward.

Well that's all folks. Hope you enjoy the pics. They were taken in Syracuse when Elder Shore and I blitzed an area there for the day.

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

Saying "Goodbye" to Syracuse

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May 8, 2017 -- I'm A "Fanny" of the Past Week

This past week had as many ups and downs as the temperature did. Some of the ups were going to MLC, blitzing Utica (where Elder Turner is now serving,) teaching people about the restored gospel, and most importantly we did it in style with our fanny packs!  All in all there are many stories for this week. 

To start with, I'll get the sad story out of the way. About a week and a half ago, the Priests in the Liverpool ward went on splits one night with Elder Shore and me. I went with Trevor. He's 17 and planning on serving a mission. Anyway, we had about twenty minutes before our next appointment and we decided to go tract.  At the second door, we knocked and a man named Norm answered. We started talking about religion and he talked to us about his problems with the Catholic Church. He didn't agree with some of the doctrine and was looking for peace in life so naturally we were eager to tell him about the restored doctrines and that's what we did.  Twenty minutes later we had to get to our appointment and Norm was very interested, so we left him with the Book of Mormon and a pamphlet and set up a time to come back the next week. I felt very good about teaching him and couldn't wait to teach him more. So this week we went back to teach Norm. As we were walking up to the house, I could see a little red bag hanging off the door with something in it. As I got closer, I could see it was the Book of Mormon in the bag with a note expressing that he was not interested in meeting with us. My heart dropped. It turned a somewhat okay gloomy morning into a depressing morning. I have never had anyone hang the Book of Mormon on a door in a sack for us to take back. That's something I've only heard President Rogers talk about when he was a missionary in Germany. I guess there is still a first time for everything in missionary work. When we went back for lunch, I decided to drown my sorrow in Stewart ice cream. It helped a little bit but I am thankful for the chance I have to deal with rejection on a mission. Even though I don't enjoy it in the moment, it has helped me to grow.

Now onto the happier stuff. . .

On Tuesday we went to teach Al, an investigator who has been meeting with the missionaries off and on for the past 12 years. In the past couple of lessons we have really touched on baptism. He says he believes the Book of Mormon to be true and every time he comes to church he feels much better when he leaves. He is starting to recognize that is a big part of receiving answers from God/Holy Ghost. We came to him with a beautiful copy of his teaching record. We made a new one for him since his old one shouldn’t be shown to any investigator. We had a great lesson with him. Bringing his teaching record really hit home for him. He set a baptismal date for June 17. It may have to be moved to the first week of July but we shall see. His difficulty is getting to church. I learned once again the importance of always bringing up baptism in every single lesson. We are there for a purpose. It is very important as missionaries to always remember this, because when an entire mission forgets this lesson, we stray away from baptisms. 

 This week we also taught a man named Bryce. He is studying to be a priest and he wants to learn all about religions. Last Saturday we were walking in the park and we saw a man and women talking with people about religion. We thought he was a Jehovah Witness and we smiled as we walked by. We took a few more steps and then we heard "What is that you are holding in your hands?" "The Book of Mormon" we responded.  Turns out he was not a JW but a man of great faith studying to become a priest. We set up an appointment to meet at the library two days later. And he came! People here in Liverpool have a high commitment level. Most people do what they actually say they are going to do!  That means less people want to meet with us, but those who do are solid. Bryce was trying to ask loaded questions about things like not adding anything to the Bible from Revelations. We had brought a member with us, Bro Bailey, and he was so helpful! I love having members teach with us. Bro Bailey is the member who actually texts the elders and offers to come out with us on certain days. We then make a special effort to make something happen. About one hour before the appointment, Bro Bailey texted to ask if we could come to a home teaching visit with him. In return we asked him to come to our appointment with us. It was amazing to see how it all worked out. As twenty-year-olds, we could not do this work on our own. I am so grateful for the heavenly help we receive on a daily basis.

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

Elder Carlile
Fanny Pack Fun

Book of Mormon "Bagged"

Liverpool Sunset