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