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

May 1, 2017 -- Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree

I looked out the window and what did I see................. Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!! That's right, the trees are starting to bloom and the temperature has been what I would call perfect for missionary work -- not to hot and not to cold, right around 70 degrees.

 The work had been going very good for Elder Shore and me this past week!! We have been able to find a lot of new people to teach in the past three weeks. We had a pretty cool experience finding two of the people we are teaching. Their names are Lisa and Phyllis. Well I wasn't actually there when they tracted into them. Elder Shore was with a missionary from Syracuse and I was with the other missionary from Syracuse. They were blitzing our area. I went for the second lesson and when we pulled up to the house I thought it looked familiar. Then it hit me. Elder Turner and I had tracted this house a couple of months ago and everyone rejected us. At this specific house, a guy answered the door and we had a good ten minute conversation about religion but he ultimately turned us away. This made me curious to meet Lisa and Phyllis for the first time. As it turns out, the guy that Elder Turner and I talked to didn't actually live in that house but was just visiting his father who lived there. Lisa and Phyllis take care of the father because he's really old. Lisa and Philly are doing great! We have met with them three times now and they are just starting to get into the Book of Mormon. I thought this was so cool because, by the time Elder Turner and I were done tracting that street, I never thought I would be back again and now we are teaching two people there. I know the Lord led Elder Shore there to find those people.

Another experience that stands out the most this week occurred on Saturday. We had the Liverpool elders with us that day. Our blitz/exchange ended at 6:00. We had a great working day with them. After six, Elder Shore and I just hit a wall. We didn't want to do anything. Our plans: to tract. Our appointment that night cancelled so we had a lot of finding ahead of us that night. After some prayer, we forced ourselves to go and knock on doors. I did my best at the doorsteps to be in a great mood. It was just one of those days. After an hour or so of that, I had a thought that we should go and try some potential investigators. So we prayed for some guidance and a guy named Kevin popped into my head. He was a potential investigator Elder Turner and I had met. He was really interested in the Book of Mormon at the time. We had  already stopped by multiple times but he wasn't home. But this night he was and we were able to teach him the message of the Restoration and picked him up as a new investigator. After we were done teaching, I felt so much better. Teaching the gospel always puts me in a better mood, especially when it is a good lesson. Heavenly Father answered my prayer.
Well I really cannot complain about this week. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.

Have a good week, Elder Carlile
Liverpool Elders - May 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 24, 2017 -- Wow, Has Another Week Already Gone By?

This week was a busy one as always. We had Zone Conference, two blitzes, Stake Conference and many many more things that I can't remember right now. The weather has been warm and so many more people have been out to talk to. Plus, people are so much nicer and willing to listen to what we have to say in the nice weather, so I'm praying that it keeps up.

Yvonne grows spiritually more and more by the week. I have always heard that after people are baptized naturally over time they just start to have a brighter and brighter countenance and that's exactly what is happening with her. She is a totally different person from two months ago. Her faith and determination is much greater. She just seems to glow when we go over to meet with her now. She says she has a lot more patience. She can feel the difference with the Holy Ghost in her life.

At Zone Conference, I was able to get a neat picture snapped of me with four of my current and past companions (with the exception of Elder Vorkink who was technically a companion to Elder Shore and me for a day and a half). It brought back a flood of good memories that I have had with all of them over the course of the mission.

We are teaching some great new people in Liverpool so it should be fun to see where it goes. Hopefully there will be more to report on with them next week.

We saw a lady on the street this past week. She was cleaning out her car and we started talking to her about family history. Anyway, she was asking me something about being a missionary and my response surprised me a little bit. In response to her question, I said something like "I've been out for about 19 months and I have loved every second of it." I know it's kind of a cheesy response but it surprised me. First, I never though I would be one of the "seasoned missionaries". Time has flown by too fast. The second reason I was surprised was that, just like most missionaries, I have definitely had my ups and downs on my mission. But as I look back, the overall feeling of my experiences as a missionary are positive. I feel like all my experiences have made me grow a lot and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to grow in times where I may have felt that He should have intervened by ether answering a serious question I have or by taking away a trial that I was going through. In the words of President Hinckley, the trick in the train ride of life is to thank the Lord for the ride.

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

Have a great week everyone, Elder Carlile

Syracuse Zone (April 2017)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 17, 2017 -- "Sweet" Is the Word of the Week

If I could use one word to describe this past week it would be sweet!! I choose sweet because of all the candy (of course), the missionary work, and a humongous rich chocolate cake that made me never want to eat cake again!!

I'll start with the cake. The scouts held a spaghetti fund raiser dinner at the Liverpool chapel and the missionaries were invited to it, so we went. During the dinner they did a cake auction. A very generous member there came up to us and said he wanted to get us a cake.  Being normal missionaries, naturally we said yes. So he got us a humongous rich chocolate cake that was drowned in caramel and surrounded with Twix and Snicker bars on the outside. We ate it the next morning and couldn't even get through one piece! I'm telling you this cake was thick and rich. It tasted amazing but, man, I don't think I'm going need to eat chocolate cake for a LONG time. I really love the members in this ward!!

Other exiting news for this week is Cathleen got confirmed a member yesterday!! Yvonne, her mom, was confirmed last week and now they're both loving the companionship of the Holy Ghost! We went over there yesterday to help Yvonne and Cathleen hide some Easter eggs for little Munch, Cathlyne's 1 1/2 year old. We had lots of fun with that and then watched "The Testaments" to top off the Easter celebration! They really enjoyed the movie. When we were heading out, we talked with Yvonne and she said that Cathleen was happier that day then Yvonne had ever seen her. This gospel really brings a lasting happiness that no other thing in this world can bring. I am so grateful that I have been able to be a part of their conversion process.
The sky is blue, the Church is true, and life is good.
Elder Carlile
Easter 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10, 2017 -- Taking The "Yolk" Upon Yourself

This week I really had to take the yoke upon myself....... well more like slam the yolk on my companion's head...... literally. The primary had Elder Shore and I come to their singing time to play Egg Roulette. The primary kids would sing a song and, if they sang loud enough, Elder Shore and I would pick an egg from the egg basket and SLAM it on each others head. There was a fifty fifty chance that it was either a hard boiled egg or a raw egg. I definitely can say I never thought I would be doing this as a missionary but we did it anyway. It was so much fun! By the end of it all, we both had egg all over our hair and running down our faces. The primary kids loved it though! Elder Shore got the worst end of the deal. Out of the eight eggs I smashed on his head, six of them where raw. I only got four raw ones out of the eight...... Lucky me. It was the most entertaining primary meeting I've ever been to in my life!!

So this past week was transfers. Let me tell you it has been a crazy past five days. Elder Turner went to Utica to be the Assistant to the President and Elder Shore came here to join Elder Vorkink and me in a trio. As it turns out, another missionary went home from the mission so they sent his companion to come be with Elder Vorkink.  So we were only in a trio for a day and a half. We definitely made the most of it though! Missionary work with three people is a blast!! Tracting, teaching, talking to peeps on the street, you name it it was fun. We even went to Sonic twice in one day. One trip for happy hour and another trip for their half-price shakes on our way in for the night. Elder Vorkink got his new companion, Elder Gubler, at MLC in Utica on Friday and now both areas in Liverpool are back to normal.

My new companion, Elder Shore, it a great guy. He is from Pocatello Idaho, where they announced the new temple, and has been out for 21 months. He is a very kind person and I can't wait to serve this whole transfer with him.

Yvonne got confirmed this past Sunday. Cathlyne was very sick so she will be confirmed next Sunday. Yvonne asked if I would confirm her and I gladly accepted. After she got confirmed, the Spirit hit her like a train. We were sitting in the chapel and she leaned over to me and said, "I feel like I'm on a cloud and all my pain is gone." She had been in a ton of pain for the past three days with her liver challenges. Ah, it was such a great day. She later bore a super powerful testimony about gospel principles and about her whole experience joining this Church. It was perfect because our investigator Dawn was there at church for the first time and saw and heard the whole thing. The theme of church seemed to be on receiving a witness from the Holy Ghost.  It was perfect for her since that is right where she is at, trying to receive her own answer about if this Church is the true church. There were just so many blessings yesterday at church and, on top of it all, the weather was super warm and nice.

The sky is blue, the Church is true, and life is good. Have a great week everyone!!
Elder Carlile
Our Trio

Sonic Run

Second Sonic Run

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April 3, 2017 -- One More Crazy Week For The Books

What's up peeps!!! This past week was Crazy with transfer announcements, General Conference, lots of traveling and even a baptism. So a lot of change is going to happen this next transfer in the mission and the area I'm serving in. Elder Turner is going to serve as the Assistant to the Mission President!! It's great because I'll still get to see him all the time. I will be getting Elder Shore as my new companion. He is a wonderful missionary from what I've heard, so I'm pretty excited about that. Here is where it gets crazy. The other set of Liverpool elders' area is getting closed and we are taking it over. Elder Vorkink is one of the elders serving there and he is going to join Elder Shore and me.  So we will be in a trio. I've never served in a trio in my life but it sounds like it's going to be a party. We are going to be super busy since we'll be teaching all the investigators from each area. I'm so pumped!!!

On Wednesday Elder Turner and I went and worked with the Pulaski elders from our zone for a day. I went with Elder Crandall and Elder Turner went with Elder Misustin. Working with Elder Crandall again brought back some good memories of when we were together in Elmira. We went and taught this young family for the first time. We taught them about the restoration of the gospel and it turns out that the father had gone to the LDS church as a kid but got pushed away because his mom was opposed to it. The lesson went very well. They were so humble and recognized the spirit that was in the room as we taught. That night, as we were hanging out with the Pulaski Elders in their apartment, I realized that I had or was currently serving with every one in that room. That was a neat realization.

YVONNE AND CATHLEEN GOT BAPTIZED ON FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! The baptism program was great. A bunch of ward members showed up to support them in this wonderful decision they made. It's almost seemed surreal since missionaries have been working with them for the past two years. There were times it seemed like they were not going to make it because of the great opposition they faced and we almost wanted to give up.  But, as they continued to read the Book of Mormon, little by little they gained enough strength to overcome their opposition.

General Conference was amazing!!! I can't believe that it was my last one I will watch as a full time missionary. I always feel so filled and peaceful after watching conference. We watched conference in at the Liverpool church building. I can't wait for the Ensign magazine to come out so I can read and study the talks. Since we didn't have our first session of conference until noon on Sunday, our good friend Pasture Yost invited us to come to one of his church services at the Lutheran Church. We went and, for the first time in my life, I experienced church in a place other than the LDS Church. It was a very different experience than what I'm use to but the people where very warm and welcoming to us.

Besides that, the weather has been getting warmer finally. I'm just praying that it will stay this way. Then I will have survived my two winters in New York. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.​​
Elder Carlile
Yvonne and Cathleen's Baptisms

General Conference Group

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March 27, 2017 -- Busy, Busy, Busy

At the end of last night night I laid in my bed, let out this huge breath of relief, and relaxed because this past week was crazy busy.  But I wouldn't have had it any other way.

On Wednesday, we had our Zone Conference that got pushed to this week because of the huge storm last week. It was on "Follow the Spirit." Our training was focused on following the Spirit in our teaching. We did a sweet object lesson. We got a bunch of the small Gatorade bottles and taped a piece of paper around them that said, "Quench your thirst, not the Spirit!" I think it helped give the zone a little energy pick me up since we did our training right after lunch. Overall, I enjoyed all the training that was given at Zone Conference and felt uplifted after it was over.

After the Zone conference, we had some Elders from Cortland blitz our area. The next day President came and took all of us out to lunch at this really good pizza place called Gino and Joe's, and it was super good. He went with Elder Turner and Elder Birch to a teaching appointment while Elder Barchie and I went tracting. After that, we all met back at our apartment, the Cortland Elders headed off, and President Rogers stayed to weekly plan with us. I've never been so nervous to weekly plan in my life! It went well though. He really didn't say much during it and at the end he reassured us by saying we seem to know what we are doing.

The most exciting news of this week is that Yvonne and Cathleen are getting baptized this Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Elder Turner and I have been going nuts!!!!!! They are super ready and prepared and Yvonne it determined to not let anything get in her way! They went to the Relief Society dinner and broadcast and then church the next day. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!

Last night we had a "Why I Believe" fireside in the Liverpool church and it was "HUGE." It's something that Elder Turner and I have been putting together for the past six weeks. We did it so members could invite their friends to come see what they believe in a non-threatening way. We invited the surrounding wards to come as well. The fireside consisted of videos about the church, testimonies from converts who have recently joined the church, Elder Vorkink's song "Thy Will be Done," and President Rogers speaking at the end. We got a lot of positive feedback from the people. Dawn, one of our investigators, loved it and made a family connection with one of the members that was there. I guess it's a small world. We are planning to do another one in a couple of months.

Anyway that was our week and it just flew right by.  The sky is blue, the Church is true, and life is good.

Have a great week, Elder Carlile
Object Lesson

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017 -- Now That's What I Call a New York Storm!

Hey Peeps!! This past week was wacky!! On Tuesday, this HUGE storm called a nor'easter came in and dumped two feet of snow on us. We were on lockdown for a couple of days. We couldn't use our cars since the roads where so bad and we could only go to appointments with people if they were within close walking distance. 
Wednesday morning we grabbed our shovels and went around our neighborhood to help some people shovel their driveways. It was pretty bad. Some cars were completely covered in snow so you could hardly see them and there were some snowbanks that were taller than me! Shoveling driveways was a great chance to "practice what we preach" and go serve the people. After a couple of hours, we went back into the apartment and did some paperwork.... that got boring really fast. Elder Turner and I thought we were going to go crazy after being cooped up in the apartment for two days. We were both excited to get back to the normal missionary work when the weather finally cleared up.

The most Exciting news of this week is that Yvonne and Cathleen are for sure getting baptized next week!!!! They have been meeting with the missionaries for two years now and Yvonne is so determined and ready to receive this huge blessing of baptism in her life. Unfortunately, the man downstairs is working on the double to stop her in her tracks. On Sunday, she was driving to church when her car broke down, so she had to get towed and wasn't able to make it to church. That's not going to stop her though. She is holding to her faith in God and the great truth is Light always overcomes the darkness.

Well those are some of the crazy things that have happened this past week. I hope you all have a great week! The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.

Elder Carlile
The Big One!!

"Look Mom, No Legs"

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 13, 2017 -- Life Is A Blur In Missionary Life

At the beginning of the week, Elder Turner and I got to go to a District Meeting all the way up in Pulaski. The best part about it was that I got to see two of my past companions. They're actually serving together right now so I had to get a pic with them when the DM was over. Fun fact about the picture is that they are both wearing ties that I traded them.

So one of the cool opportunities that I had this past week was going to a hospital in Syracuse to give a member in Pulaski a blessing. Since we are the closest Elders to the hospital in Syracuse, we get to go assist the members whenever they need a blessing. The man had just had heart surgery where they replaced his heart valve with a cow heart valve. How weirdly cool is that? Anyway, we gave him a blessing for his recovery and went on our way. We took some pics of Syracuse when we were in the parking garage.

We went and blitzed the AP's in Utica this past week. I went with Elder Chidister. One neat experience we had was when we were teaching this guy named Nick about the restoration. It was a very powerful lesson where things just seemed to go smoothly. At one point during the beginning of the lesson, Nick said out of the blue, "Have I met you two before, you both seem very familiar." He brought it up again at the end of the lesson. No, I've never met Nick before, but I sometimes wonder if there are people that I knew in the premortal life that I was meant to find and teach. Anyway it was a great lesson.

Those are just some of the tidbits from this past week. I hope you all have a great week. The sky is blue, the Church is true, and life is good.
Elder Carlile
Pulaski District Meeting

Syracuse at Night

Syracuse View from Hospital

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March 6, 2017 -- This Week Was "Sick"

This week was Sick... literally. I was out for three days this past week. I thought I was home free but I was dead wrong. On the bright side, while I was out, Elder Turner went through the whole Area Book and found lot of people to try. The first half of the week was a blur but the second half of the week was pretty good. We had MLC in Utica which was a good chance to see some old mission friends and also to make some new ones.

The highlight of this past week was yesterday. YVONNE FINALLY MADE IT TO CHURCH!!!!!! She said she was coming and so Elder Turner and I sat there waiting for her to come before sacrament meeting started. Sacrament meeting started and she didn't show up. We were both pretty disappointed but then after the sacrament was finished the chapel doors opened and she walked in. It was just like a dramatic movie scene entrance. She definitely faced the opposition getting to church that day. Among other things, her daughter and grandson woke up with the flu bug but Yvonne got them taken care of and hurried her way to church.  Elder Turner and I could hardly contain our excitement!! She came to church and loved it. Church attendance is the only thing that has kept Yvonne back from being baptized. Hopefully she keeps this up so she can enter the waters of baptism at the end of the month!! 

I forgot to mention it last week, but sadly I hit my first animal when I was driving. It was a possum and I didn't see it until it was too late. Luckily it was a quick death for him..... He's in a better place now. It was my first roadkill in the mission.

Have a great week everyone. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
Elder Carlile
MLC - March 2017


A Little P-Day Bowling

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 27, 2017 -- The Sun is Shining!!

HOLY CRAP the best miracle of this week was the weather. It was between 60-70 for like three days. It felt like spring!!!! On Friday it hit 71 which set the record for warmest day recorded in the month of February in Syracuse. I had the short sleeves on and Elder Turner and I were able to go running in shorts and t-shirts. We also had to make a trip to Sonic during happy hour to cool off with some limeades. Life was good. Not only that but people were actually out and were a lot more pleasant than usual. I just wish that the weather would last but I'll take what I can get.
So we got some new missionaries in the ward this past week. One of the them is a brand new missionary named Sister Thompson and the other missionary who came is Elder Vorkink. He is from the best place on Earth... Orem, Utah!!! He went to Mountain View so maybe he could have made a better choice there... Just Kidding.  He is a great guy though and can shred it on the piano!
A little update on some of the people that we were teaching. In this past week, Yvonne's motivation to work towards baptism skyrocketed. She is ready.  The only thing standing in her way is her coming to church more often. She has a lot of health problems which make it hard to get to church. She definitely is going to get baptized one of these days though. Unfortunately we had to put Jean, the British lady, back into the Lord's hands last night (drop). She loved having us come over but she just was not ready to give up her Methodist church. We encouraged her to continue reading the Book of Mormon and said we would be back in three weeks to see if anything changed.
Something cool that's happening soon is the Palmyra Face to Face with Elder Holland. They're performing a song Elder Vorkink recorded for the youth theme this year. It's call "Thy Will be Done." Our mission president tried everything he could so that Elder Vorkink could go and perform it at the event, but sadly it's not going to happen. You should all go check out his song though. Orem represent!!
Anyway the work continues to go on. Things are going pretty good in New York. The sky is blue, the Church is true and life is good.
 Have a great week, Elder Carlile
Sunshine in Liverpool!!

Missionaries in the Liverpool Ward

Monday, February 13, 2017

February 13, 2017 -- Missionary Life Is A Roller Coaster

What's up peeps!! Man, to be honest, I've never had so many ups and downs in one week in my life. To start, the weather has been pretty pathetic for a Syracuse winter... that is until yesterday. It started snowing and has rarely taken a break since then. Good thing I've got my winter boots!
Elder Turner and I gave out training this past week at the Zone Training Meeting. We gave on finding with a focus on working with members and talking with people instead of at people. It went really well and it was a big relief when the training was over with. I've attached a picture of my Syracuse Zone.

So this past week it has seemed like almost all our investigators either needed to be put back into the Lord's hands for a time because they are choosing not to progress or they have been impossible to get in contact with. So we have been doing a ton of finding during the best time of the year to find..... winter. By the way, that was sarcasm. But it's all about the attitude. Anyway, some Elders were blitzing us. A blitz is when a set of missionaries come and work in our area for the day. Elder Anderson and I had planned to find all day. It had been a pretty good morning but we were now in what I sometimes call the dead part of the day. That time between 2 and 4 where your body just says I want to sleep. We decided to go tracting so we prayed and drove to a street that we thought looked good. Knocked on the first door... no answer. Knocked on the second door and this Vietnamese women answered the door. She didn't speak English so she got her husband. When he came to the door he instantly invited us in. We sat down with him and taught him about the Restoration. He didn't understand all of what we taught him but he loved what he understood and told us of his deep love for God. His and his family are Catholic and he reads the Bible almost every day. When we gave him a Book of Mormon to read, he was very thankful. We told him we would come back with a Book of Mormon in Vietnamese so he would have an easier time reading it. It really surprised me how happy Giing (Yong), that's his name, was. He just had the biggest smile the whole time we were teaching him. I can't wait to go back and teach him again!
We went and did service at a pancake breakfast at Pastor Yost's church. Pastor Yost is a great friend to all the missionaries that come through this neck of the woods. He is a Pastor over a Lutheran Church and one of the most Christlike men I have ever met.

Elder Turner has been a trooper this past week. He got sick but still stuck it out and worked through it. He's doing a lot better now but unfortunately I'm starting to feel a little sick today. The struggles of missionary life. When your comp gets sick you're destined to get sick too, it's inevitable. Oh well, life goes on.

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

Have a great week!  Elder Carlile
Syracuse Zone (February 2017)

Pastor Yost

February 6, 2017 -- MLC Training

February 2017 MLC Training

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 30, 2017 -- Let's Give This Door a "Shot"

So I came up with a new tracting approach this past week since we do that a lot. "Hi have you ever met a 7 footer before?" Most people say no and I introduce myself. It's a great ice breaker and makes it easy to transition into inviting them to hear our message.

The biggest news this week was the new changes they have made to the missionary schedule. They did a worldwide mission broadcast and announced the changes there. Basically the changes they made are now lunch is only 30 minutes, we can plan in the morning instead of the night if we want, and now we only have to study for 30 minutes on P-day. Nothing huge but just some minor adjustments.

So this past week Elder Turner walked up to this door when we were tracting. We heard this guy yelling at his dogs. I knocked on the doo,r the guy answered with one hand around his back, and I invited him to hear our message. He seemed a little on edge but declined hearing it. When we walked away, Elder Turner started freaking out and said he had a gun around his back. I started flipping out as well. I had no idea he had a gun from my angle. He must have been a part of some drug deal gone wrong or something. All is well though. I'm still alive and kicking and I know the Lord is protecting me.

Besides that, things have been pretty good in Liverpool. The weather hasn't been too bad but seems to be going down hill. The pic of me in a Captain America hoodie was when we were doing some services at a Thrifty Shopper. The picture of Elder Turner and I in the suits what when we decided to go for the GQ look.

The sky most definitely is not blue, the Church is true, and life is good.
Elder Carlile
Elder "GQ" Turner and I

Captain America at the Thrifty Shopper

View from my Liverpool Apartment