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