Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sister San Diego

Again my friends, welcome.
I understand this might be quite the contrast from my last week's
email, but ALL WILL BE WELL!
Mental Illness.
Depression.
Anxiety.
Fear.
It's just been the theme for these past few days of my mission.
But before I dive into that topic...
The work here is still progressing. Onward we go! P(investigator
from Turkey) in our last appointment closed with a prayer and as she
concluded, looked up with a smile to say "I want my little girl to be
just you 3 when she grows up!!!" My heart exploded. To top it off, she
mentioned how in one of her classes, she had invited her fellow
students to be baptized.
"Are you baptized?"
"...no"
"Why not?"
"not too sure.."
"You should get baptized"
"... Hm well okay!"
We love P.
I also decided to pull a Sisters Wilson and E moment a few days ago. I
came to the realization Sunday evening that we had nearly reached the
Standard of Excellence. The only thing that was missing? Setting just
one more person on date for baptism. AND SO! We texted our Korean
investigator, K, to ask if he would prepare himself to be baptized
on October 22nd.
"Of course! Tell me how I can prepare for baptism in our meeting tomorrow."
We love K.
One more miracle that leads nicely into our topic of the week.
Exchanges.
Now. Think of this. Poway. One of my favorite places. Sister Whitcomb.
One of my favorite people. What do you get when you put the two
together? A VERY excited Sister Carlson. I could hardly SLEEP the
night before. As we walked up to the old granny flat behind the
Romero's home, my heart soared. Comin' home. The flying in my chest
continued as my dearest friend, Sister Whitcomb and I locked eyes to
share with the other our testimonies of the Restored Church. Many a
tear was shed. The day was spent crying, laughing, and listening. All
3 commenced at our last appointment of the day. We were surprised to
find ourselves desperately calling upon the powers of heaven for a
return missionary that had nearly lost her life the year prior. As we
searched her eyes, no hope was found. I will never forget the image of
Sister Whitcomb pouring out her entire soul to this crushed
individual. I saw The Savior then. Reaching, praying, pleading. Like a
broken vessel.. We all may be.
I love the Lord and the strength and encouragement he gave me this
week. Especially the strength I found while he worked his great
majesty though Sarah Jane Whitcomb. She doesn't know this, but I
needed that exchange more than anything, especially to get me through
the next few days.
A.
Our investigator struggling with depression and anxiety. Studying to
be a doctor at UCSD. As we met with her yesterday, I again found
myself searching, finding, praying, and pleading. It was as if life
repeated itself but this time, the rolls were switched. I was in
Sister Whitcomb's seat and heaven was now working through me. A
couldn't see how anyone could love her let alone God.
I now want you all to know that YOU. ARE. LOVED. Your value is
determined by God and it's infinite. It doesn't go up. It doesn't go
down. It is ETERNAL.
A trail isn't really a trial unless it's unfair.
I know that if you were the only person to have ever lived on this
earth, the savior would still have come to perform the atonement, just
for you. We are ALL broken to one degree or another. BUT HEAVEN IS
CHEERING YOU ON! God wants you to be happy, to find joy. That's why he
exists! Please, don't forget about him, his son, and don't you forget
who you really are.
If anything know that I love you.
-Sister Carlson



Sister San Diego

Things to help you smile today:
~~~I'm sure I've mentioned this in a previous email.. but Sister Davis
makes loud noises in her sleep. ALAS! Things have changed. Sister
Pitcher and I discussed something Sister Mae at the MTC had taught us"
Consecrating and dedicating" ones dreams. Sister Davis has been trying
it out and now she's PREACHING the gospel every night. "AND THAT IS
WHY YOU NEED TO COME TO CHURCH!"
It's fantastic.
~Right in the middle of a lesson with one of our recent converts
(C) a young lad came storming into the room yelling "WHERE IS THE
BEACON?!?"
A moment of silence. The small child then left the room. C: "It
does kind of smell like beacon..."
~~~You may have noticed, but we're using Facebook now. After about a 3
day period, Sister Pitcher received 984 friend requests. "What order
of Nun are you Sister Pitcher?" They ask. Sister Pitcher hid her face
in her arms and stated "I just want to be a normal nun..."
~~~We had a dinner appointment with the one and only Lei Ma. She told
us she would be picking up a pizza from Costco. The thought flashed
through my mind "Wait... She rides a scooter."
Yes. Lei folded the Pizza AND BOX to shove inside her small scooter's
carriage compartment.
~~~Another dinner appointment! The two things in this world that
Sister Pitcher is allergic to: blue cheese. Chocolate.
While finishing up a piece of corn bread, Sister Pitcher tour apart
the remains and asked "This is fantastic! Is there something else in
it?"
Sister Fisher's reply? "WHY YES! Blue cheese"
~~~While eating breakfast in the morning, Sister Davis made herself a
breakfast burrito. Previously, Sister Pitcher and I had chopped up a
bunch of potatoes but left half of them uncooked to save for later.
Sister Davis devoured an entire breakfast burrito with raw potatoes
inside. We didn't notice and she didn't say anything until the last
few bites. Sister Davis: "This tastes strange".
Sister Pitcher and I glanced over then found ourselves on the floor of
the apartment not being able to breath.
LAUGHTER!
That is missionary work.
But now I'll actually talk about the work.
THE WORK! Ah :) The work.
YESTERDAY! We saw so many miracles. Let's get a little pretext here:
Sunday NONE of our investigators came to church. Keep in mind some
formers and other non-members came, but hey, hard day.
P! A gal from Turkey randomly came to the YSA Ward sacrament
service. She came and left early but as we followed up with her the
next day, she described how everything the speakers had said were
"written for me. It's like they knew exactly who I was and what I
needed to hear. I want to know what makes this church different."
As we taught her the truths of the restoration, all of her questions
were answered. She readily accepted baptism and we set a date with her
for the 8th of October. As our meeting concluded, she stood and said
"All of you are so beautiful! It shines through you to me. Thank you"
A! A also randomly (Heh... I saw randomly... But you know what I
mean "The Lord doesn't do random") went to the family Ward in
University City. She had looked it up on google and just went by
herself. The sisters in that Ward called us up, we called up A,
then we were meeting with her at the institute! A explained how she
had never been religious but knew that her LDS friend back home had
something she wanted. As we got to know A more, my heart hurt with
the story of her past. As I described Heavenly Father A commented
"hmm that's nice, never had one of those."
The room fell to a silence as A read the promise in the Book of
Mormon. She understood then continued reading the blessings in the
last paragraph of the introduction. Finishing it's last words, she
looked up with wide eyes. "So Jesus.. He's coming back?"
Sister Pitcher looked her square in the eye with the reply "Yes. Yes he is."
She ALSO readily accepted the invitation to follow the savior's
example and be baptized on October 8th.
We love both A and P so much.
I'll close with M. She's been less active her entire life but as
we met her in a crowded place, noise and ruckus all around, the spirit
told her heart our words were true. She told us she wanted her family
to be sealed in the temple, tears falling from us all.
It's not necessarily about holy places. It's about holy people.

The field is white. I love this work more than anything.

-Sister Carlson

Sister Whitcomb





Zone Conberence



Sister San Diego

Let's start from square one ;)
Last Tuesday, Sister Davis and I arrived at our Mission President's
home! It was fantastic (maybe not the hike) seeing so many familiar
faces! Hermana Shields, Sister Stirland, AH! So many fantastic
missionaries.. As President stood in front of his house, he began to
announce who would be training who. Eventually he called Sister Davis
and I up, looked me in the eye and said "We have another Sister that
knows sign language!"
I could have actually died and gone to heaven. I turned to see this
beautiful blond Sister give a quick salute before I stopped her
signing with a hug. Sister Schmitt laughed at my response. I WAS JUST
SO EXCITED!
I LOVE Sister Pitcher. As we drove to the institute to meet with
W, Sister Pitcher explained that before her mission she danced and
was studying news media. I. Could. Not. Stop. Laughing! Talk about a
celestial trio... Her reaction to seeing the San Diego Temple made my
heart sing.
The music in my soul continued as the evening fell. (I might have been
verbally singing a lot too...MIGHT) After having finished accounting
to the Lord what I had done with his Son's name that day, I lifted me
head to see the silhouette of Sister Pitcher kneeling with perfect
posture, signing her prayer to the Lord. I lowered my head again in
tears to thank my God for the Little Angel, Sister Pitcher.
And an angel she is! She knows why she is here and is 3 times the
missionary I was a year and a half ago. Hit the ground running, she
did. Her first day, she invited a part member family's husband to be
baptized with so much power and authority. I cried ha! Ah :) aah :)
AAAAAAH :) I can't stop smiling! She's fantastic. Sister Davis and I
are so blessed.
She calls me Qui gon Jinn, Sister Davis Obi Wan, and herself Anakin.
Again. I laughed so hard I couldn't stop.
This week really has been soooo chock full of Deaf Culture and sign
language. Sister Pitcher was raised in the Deaf Community with a
mother that teachers Deaf children in North Ogden Utah. As we all sat
down for District Meeting, Elder Cross' face lit up as more than half
the room could now carry a conversation without english words. I was
kind of getting emotional (not to sure as to why) THEN to top it all
off, Elder Cross stops before I could leave and signs "Sister Carlson,
you have the facial expressions of a Deaf person. I always feel so at
home around you. You remind me strongly of my Mother."
Tears.
During companionship inventory, Sister Pitcher made the same remark. I
reminded her of her mother.
SIGN LANGUAGE!
It's fantastic...
Speaking of which Sister Pitcher and I contacted a few ASL students
yesterday on Mesa College campus. Divine.
Now that I'm thinking about it, I really am in heaven. Someone made
the remark this week that "Mormons earn brownie points to heaven." But
in all reality we don't "earn" our way to heaven. We PRACTICE heaven.
Christ already paid the debt in full, and for that, I will be
eternally grateful. I marvel that he would extend his great love unto
such as I. Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
It is wonderful to me :)
I'm excited for this new transfer. I'm excited to work along this
Angel of a Missionary. I'm just so excited. I. LOVE. THIS. WORK.
-Sister Carlson







Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sister San Diego

I am unsure if any of you would know what StarCraft is.. Besides my
dear siblings and Whitney Clan.. ALAS! As Sister Davis and I finished
teaching our 40 year old, professional accountant of an investigator
(and I mean she looks the part; perfect home, perfect husband, perfect
attire) she states:
"Well sisters... It's late, I'm going to go kill some Zergs."
...Kill what?
Kind of taken back I ask "Wait like.. StarCraft?"
Her reply? "Yes, it's the perfect game for an accountant."
I am such a big fan of Tawn. 20% cooler for sure. 😂
School going well? I see mom's peaches and wish I could try one!!!
REMEMBER W!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???!!!!!!!
Now a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am
SO proud of this girl.. Wow. I might actually start crying just
thinking about her progress.
Her baptism was a sweet experience. She came about an hour early so we
could meet with her and as she put it "wind down" from the day's
events. It was a storm. That's a story in of itself that would take
more than I have time to write down. JUST KNOW that God is soooo good
and she is a TROUPER!
The service itself was incredible. After the Birds (senior couple)
gave an amazing talk on baptism, I stood to sing "Be Still My Soul".
My dear former companion, Sister Essymba attended the baptism with one
of her new investigators! From her smile, I could tell she liked the
choice in repertoire. Nearing the end verse, Wadia silently bowed her
head and sobbed. I. Love. That. Girl. After coming back out of the
water, she embraced Gabriel, then turned to the crowd with a HUGE
smile on her face, giving a rejoice filled wave.
Sister Davis did an incredible job teaching the Restoration with me.
Everyone could feel the spirit. It was so palpable!
The few days from her baptism to confirmation were spent in
anticipation and excitement. ON THE DAILY Wadia would say something
along the lines of "I CAN'T WAIT TO RECEIVE MY GIFT!!!"
After her sweet blessing on Sunday, I stood to bare my testimony.
I looked down at W and poured out my heart. I don't really
remember what was said but of course the tears again came. As I walked
back down the isle to take my seat, Wadia JUMPED UP and much like our
first lesson, walked across the room to embrace me while I'm wiping
away allllllll the tears. This time in front of an entire
congregation.. TUDO BEM!
Remember Nick?
Think waaaaay back to Poway when I was with both Sisters Stewart and
'Eukaliti. N was a good Jewish family friend to one of our YSA's
(Spencer) in Mt. Woodson. Spence had signed up to feed Sister Stew and
I dinner (heh.. Also Hermana Short) behold! N was there. We taught
the restoration and that was one of the strongest experiences on my
mission I can remember "opening my mouth" and "It shall be filled". I
literally remember having nothing to do with what was coming out of my
mouth. After the lesson, I can remember Nick just looking at me with
this wonder and saying "There is something different about the way you
just spoke to me. I could see it in your eyes" Spirit of God Nick..
About 4 months later, Sister E and I were on the complete opposite
side of town when all the sudden we felt prompted to go visit Spencer.
Who was there? Nick. We again had no idea what we were there for or
what we needed to say. I was again used as an instrument. Nick took
another hard look at me then made the comment that he had just watched
general conference and that the way I spoke reminded him of Jeffery R
Holland. (I know, what? Best compliment ever). He went on to explain
that he had started taking lessons from the missionaries in Carlsbad,
but 5 minutes prior to our visit, canceled on them. "And here you
are".
As Sister Davis would say, the Lord doesn't do random.
The Sister Training leaders called a few days ago to tell me Nick had
been baptized in Carlsbad and was enjoying life as a Mormon.
Nick though...
WAH my heart.
REMEMBER L!? Our exchange miracle with Sister Whitcomb. Also
agreed to baptism and I CANNOT WAIT!
Well.
Keep the water running.
There have been so many miracles this week................ BUT THERE'S
NEVER ENOUGH TIME! What is up with time. Time! time..
I don't know how Sister Whitcomb does it. Nope.
I love you all :)
Wait, oh ya..
TRANSFERS WERE TODAY!
Sister Davis and I will be training a new missionary here in the La
Jolla YSA and SD7th wards!
We meet her in a few hours. And from what it looks like, Sister
Stewart taught her in the MTC! Ah, I can't stop smiling.
KEEP WORKING HARD! IT'S NOT OVER TILL IT'S OVER!
-Sister Carlson







Sister Stewart teaching at the MTC





Sister San Diego

James J Hamula states:
Obedience/Diligence - permit us to gain knowledge and intelligence.
The call to be obedient and diligent is the call to gain light and
knowledge. You choose the degree to which you will be obedient and
diligent.
You can't just breath in once and hold it. To gain light you must
continue breathing. The harder you work, the brighter your light will
shine. What will you do to LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE?!? :)
From Gerb: (thank you)
Roald Dahl: "If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your
face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." SHINE ON!!
I LOVED meeting with Sister Schmitt this week. She came out teaching
with us! It just so happened to be the day that we had 6 set
appointments. As we walked on to UCSD campus, I soaked in the company
of this fantastic woman.
We had amazing lesson with a potential investigator named Diana who
accepted the invitation to be baptized. Our recent convert Mason was
able to come with us and he almost started jumping out if his seat as
she agreed.
The best part of the day was just sitting and counseling with Sister
Schmitt. I think it's been about a year since I've had the opportunity
to just talk with her one and one and OH MY GOODNESS. I love her to
death.
It's been a fantastic week.
We have to go with Wadia now :)
Chow!



Sister San Diego

One time, Sister Davis and I street contacted this man... And he
almost died because of it.
Life goes on.
HOW HAS YOUR WEEK BEEN?!? Full of miracles? I would hope so. Sorry
family that school had to start. UCSD doesn't start for another
month... We wait. Watching. The Club Rush will be amazing
#LDSINSTITUTEBOOTH! Huzzah!

BEN! Yes. Ben. At the end of a looooong day, Sister Davis and I were
driving in the car. I said yet another prayer in my heart, asking my
father to direct our path. I had the impression to "just keep doing
what your doing." (Blessings for planning). As we arrive at our
destination, we discover that the complex the man we were assigned to
visit WAS LOCKED! Not again. We got out of the car anyway. Walk off
the frustration. Across the street was a young lad. Maybe 20. With
being pretty far from said man, traffic, evening time and every other
reason in the world not to talk to him, I hollered at him. Wow, eye
contact was made and he came jogging over to us. Nearly hit by a truck
in the process. He kind of just shrugged it off then laughed at the
situation. I started laughing with him. "What can I do for you
ladies?" We asked him why he was walking around by himself. "I'm not
actually sure. I have a friend who lives down here in PB." He goes
onto explain that again, wasn't certain why he was wondering the
streets but had previously discussed the reason for life with his
friend and was thinking about it. With further inspired questions, he
informs us that for the first time in his life, he had prayed to God
just a few days prior.
What?
We taught him the restoration and invited him to read the Book of
Mormon and follow the Savior's example to be baptized by proper
authority. He agreed without hesitation and thanked us. As we gave him
a copy of the Book of Mormon, he handled it with care as if it were a
jewel.
I love this work.
We passed him off to the Torrey Pines Sisters. In God I trust :)
I hope he lets that Book change him. Much like it changed me.
SPEAKING OF PEOPLE WHO AGREE TO THINGS WITHOUT HESITATION!
W!
Alright. Our area is on fire. Hold onto your chairs, or tile, or grass
(whatever your sitting on) JUST HOLD IT!
I'm going to share with you my love for this Brazilian investigator of ours...
Then everyone else in-between!
For those who are just logging into "Sister Carlson Emails"
In our first lesson with Wadia, she agreed to baptism before I could
finish the invitation. Her willingness to follow her savior has always
been so strong, AND BACK THEN, it brought me to tears. She stood,
walked across the room, and embraced me as I sat there overcome with
the spirit.
Over the past 2 weeks, W has progressed in this gospel SOOO much,
the tears just keep coming. Our lessons consist of multiple Portuguese
speaking Recent Converts and Members that all testify of their savior
to her in her own language. She is constantly texting us questions and
if we haven't reached out to her yet that day, she'll send the usual
"I love you, work hard today Sisters".
She comes to Institute every Tuesday without fail. If she has a
question in the middle of the lesson, she'll pass us a sticky note.
Everyone knows and loves her at church and when we discussed her
baptism this past lesson, SHE ASKED IF WE COULD MOVE UP HER DATE. "I
don't want to keep waiting".
She came to the Mission President's Devotional and told us after the
fact she had chills the entire time. As we introduced her to
President, he smiled and said "I've heard so many good things about
you!"
W looked at us and then in front of my dear Mission President
POUNCES on me with a kiss on the cheek.
W.
#Brazil
Father. I'm slowly but surely learning Portuguese. HA! Haaaaaa I love this work.
J!
Came to church on her own. In the middle of Sunday school she
announces "Hello I'm J and I'm not a member."
Think tall, blond, Olympic athlete build. J.
We asked her if she would like to meet with us. She accepted. We met
her 3 times last week and she told us that she would gladly be
baptized once she knows this is true. She's almost through 2 Nephi...
I could keep going. There are SO many prepared people out here! But
alas... Time. There is never enough.
I'll end with President. He randomly showed up to Zone Meeting. Milagros.
I've been overcome with the thought of going home recently. So what
does the man do? Hush my fears.
He read:
John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh
harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the
fields; for they are white already to harvest.
You have 4 months left Sister Carlson. Lift up your eyes.
President: "Go finish."

Sprint to the end my friends. It's not over till it's over. I came to
a tender realization this week as my sweet companion practiced asking
inspired questions... ON ME! Not role-playing one of our investigators
as usual
"What REALLY makes Jessie Carlson happy, excited, joyous in the Gospel?"
Through tears I gave my answer, what came next caught me off guard..
"SISTER CARLSON! You are a CONSECRATED missionary.. And you love the Lord"
With a pause she then asked, "What will you do to achieve what your
heart desires most?"

I leave that question with all of you.
What will you do to achieve what your heart desires most?

Set goals and make plans.

For me? It's doing my best to be and instrument in the Lord's hands.
Alma 29:9 reads
"I KNOW that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do
not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded
me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in
the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my
joy."

RUN! HAVE JOY WHILE YOU'RE OUT OF BREATH! HA!
I love you all :)
Have a good week!

-Sister Carlson






Friday, September 2, 2016

Relief Society Stake Retreat 2016 at Heber Valley Camp

 Lakeside 6th Ward sisters

Tying blankets for the refugee families.

Friday night fireside.

 Keeping warm.

 Zip line challenge course.

Brave Debbie Manning.



Kathy Dalley and Lara Hinckley getting ready to do the giant swing.



 We had two cabins, this was the party cabin.

In all we had a great time. It was nice spending time in the mountains with just the gals!