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