Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sister SanDiego

Why poop n' paint you ask?
Because yesterday we painted someone's house then went to the goat farm to scoop poop. It was a good day.
Got milk? Feed those baby goats. feed um.
Quite the week and we're in store for another one. WOOOOO! Sister Wilson once said that a mission is like a pressure cooker for growth. I conquer. So much stress it's fantastic! (She actually just said that today so... wait till the end of this email.)
Wednesday morning we headed over to a potentials house named Libra. We drove up to find a bunch of moving trucks and no Libra. We asked them though if they needed any help and the woman (Paula) waved us in. No questions asked. She explained what she needed us to do. We agreed, drove home for a minute to get into some appropriate clothes then called the rest of the zone over. The woman Paula told us first thing how the previous night she had prayed specifically for mormon missionaries. TADA! Then I started singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (why?.. I don't know) And Paula started crying. She told us that song was sung at her mothers funeral. She asked us great questions and we shared with her our testimonies. Leave it to say, it was a fantastic opportunity and they are willing to hear more. Missionary work is life.
Alex with the dreads!
Once upon a time, we had a fantastic pass off lesson of the Lake Hodges sisters. They found this cool painting man named A. Picture the perfect restoration lesson. That was it. he said in reply to us challenging him the BoM: "I don't think I could read the entire thing tonight, but I could probably get half way through it." Oh A.
W passed his baptismal interview! We were on exchanges that day so I congratulated him the day after. Turns out there's going to be a million people there. We're going on exchanges the day before. Good times. Stress City. But it's okay because I love the kid.
So many other fun times this week but alas.. no time.
What will I do then? Quote Sister Wilson because I couldn't have said it any better and in fact, the one exchange we went on together, we talked about this the entire time:
"I want you to know that to me, being a returned missionary will mean EVERYTHING. I have served my Father with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. I have gone out of my comfort zone day in and day out to represent my Savior and help others know of His love. I have prayed more, cried more, laughed more, and loved more than I ever have. I have been yelled at, made fun of, and had doors slammed in my face. I have watched people turn their lives in a complete 180. I have watched people repent and become clean. I have helped people who were rejected by their families enter into a covenant with God that they knew was right. I have understood the gospel and the Book of Mormon more in 18 months than I ever had in 23 years. I have abandoned everything and everyone at home to focus on my Savior and his message 24/7. I have given it my ALL. I will go to my grave telling every man, woman, and child that they should, no, that they NEED to serve a mission. That's how much this means to me! This means everything to me. There will not be a day in my life that I won't think of my mission. I have worked hard to join the greatest club in the Mormon church....that of an "RM". I want you to know that being a returned missionary means the world to me!!"
there she goes. Amen. Till we meet again to her AND Sister Weidmann. 
-Sister Carlson

Sister SanDiego

"hmmm where to start... I've been here a week yet it's felt like a
month but at the same time everyday feels like 30 minutes. When ya'll
dropped me off that cute Polynesian sister showed me around and sent
me into a few rooms where I received a TON of paper work, keys, tags,
books etc. I felt so shell shocked I just smiled and responded to
everyone that said "WELCOME TO THE MTC!" They give you a little bright
orange dork dot to put on your tag the first day so everyone knows
your lost and that they need to talk to you... At the end of my little
tour my host dropped me off at my class room and that's where I met
sister Cortello. She's like this bright been of sunshine that's super
spunky and can't stop giggling (from salt lake, going to San Diego).
We both watched orientation videos, laughed, then where escorted back
to class where I met my companion! SISTER WHITCOMB!!!! I thought she
looked a lot like Jenny when I first saw her! I thought "dang.. I just
left my family and here lies my new best friend" and she really is! We
both hit it right off :) she's the best. I'm so thankful no joke. We
have so much in common and we both have the same sense of humor, It's
great! (she's from Massachusetts, going to Sand Diego with me)  The
last sister in our district (room) is sister Parker! She's soooo
sweet. And she knows ASL! :D (from... Oregon, going to Washington DC
North Mission)"
My first words home ;)
Hmmmm, the love for my MTC sisters is never ending, it keeps growing.
Love, LOVE them.
Sorry time!
N. Once upon a time there was a man with this name. Back a few
months ago, Sister Stewart and I were on splits with Hermana Short and
we went to one of our YSA's homes for dinner. Long story short we had
this EXTREMELY spiritual lesson with this older Jewish gentleman named
N. Fast forward to last week!
Sister E and I received an unexpected impression to go see Spencer (our YSA).
Who was there? Nick.
He stopped us as we were about to leave, and said "sisters, I know you
are here for me, now share the message you were sent here to give."
Had we prepared a lesson? Nay. SPIRIT!
We shared what we had learned from General conference. Sister E talked
about sanctifying oneself and I talked about the atonement and Jeffery
R Holland's talk. Nick then goes on to bluntly say that he knew this
Church was true.
20 minutes prier to us arriving, N had canceled on the Carlsbad
missionaries because he was too tired and too scared. He said he was
scared of commitment but having missionaries just come by exactly when
he needed it... He knew it was true. He told us that he had actually
watched General conference and the way I spoke reminded him of Jeffery
R Holland.. And then I died. There is no better compliment. Funny that
I should receive it twice in one week.
Well. That's N. I'm a fan, he's a cool guy that knows the church is
true and committed to take the leap of faith and be baptized.
Exchanges this week! Here we are speaking of my MTC sisters and BAM! I
had the privilege of being in the presence of the wonderful Sister
Cortello! We had good times here in Poway and Ramona. G was
extremely sick but he told us some pretty fun stories. I've said this
a bunch, but G is my dad--young version. I don't know what it was
that G was talking about, but I told him that my dad liked to do
similar things and he told sister Cortello: "I am looking forward to
the day that I can meet this girls father. I don't think I've ever
said to anyone HA". Greeeg. We met this cool woman named Gidget in
Ramona. Prepared. Loved the restoration and has family that's Mormon
President Schmidt, wife and two of their four children.

Mission President's devotional was fantastic. I sang a duet with Elder
Sanchez and there were probably 500-600 people there. Not enough room
in the church! I was fortunate enough to get a seat by sister Starr
and my heart sang just as much as my voice. Good night! One of our
returning less active members, Jessica, came  I would love to tell you
more about her... But alas. There is no time. Next week!
Some of my studies this week:
Obedience (of course) and faith. How the two are tied together as well
as happiness.
Some Hughes from my studies:
D&C 6 33 Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that
shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good
for your reward.
36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
To even first try to do good: 24 And see that ye have faith, hope, and
charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.
"We just need to be doing the good things long enough"
Prophetic promise:
May we choose to build up within ourselves a great and powerful faith
which will be our most effective defense against the designs of the
adversary--a real faith, the kind of faith which will sustain us and
will bolster our desire to choose the right. Without such faith, we go
nowhere. With it, we can accomplish our goals.
Our mission goals!
Mission song: "Faith hope and charity, virtue, humility, qualifies you
for the work. Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God
and great shall be your joy!"
I re-read some of my mission prep notes and found this:
Mission prep: be happy and fun! Let others see you being happy.
Increase of faith=increase of happiness.
To increase our faith, we must increase our faithfulness ;) obedience!
It all ties together so one of the first small simple things I'm going
to focus on is increasing my faith.
I would commit you to do the same :)
Have a good week!! I love you all.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Memoir from Mar C

6th Ward Talent Fair

Cupcake Wars
My cupcake recipe was a combination of carrot cake and applesauce. The best part was the cream cheese filling in the middle of the cupcake, and the cream cheese frosting on top. Of course I had to drizzle carmel and sprinkle sugar pecans on top of the frosting. Yum!
(Next time I think I'll add some kind of pudding instead of applesauce)

Crowd favorite!

These cupcakes won 1st in the Vintage category. They are called Pina Colada Cupcakes. 
Made by Betsy Croft.

Rock collection display by Jim Robertson

 These two darling sisters were one of my favorites that participated in the talent program!

Sister San Diego

MLC! Fantastic, as always. They just keep getting better. We discussed
a lot about Leadership, love, obedience, and what we can take from
General conference!
Some thoughts from MLC and my studies:
Obedience is everything. If we didn't have obedient missionaries, we
wouldn't have a mission. Exact obedience is where miracles stem from
(conversion being one of those miracles) and as long as we are trying
our very best to be our very best, God will help us. This is his work,
not ours. I Loved what President Utchdorf said about obedience! Some
items that came to mind from Uchtdorf's talk:
As you increase in faith, you must also increase your faithfulness.
There is nothing Good, unless you do it.  if our faith does not change
the way we live, our religion is vain. Obedience is the life blood of
faith. Commandments. Not bending twisting and pounding us into
something we are not, but to Discover what we truly are made of. We
are created by our mighty God. We are literally his spirit children.
Obedience is a liberating path to home. He will carry us home. We just
have to catch the wave! And I recognize that as a leader I am standing
at the front of this vision. A culture of obedience. I will do
everything in my power to set the example and lift the other sisters
around me, not only in preparation for Jeffery R Holland, but for
setting this standard to continue year round.
God is Good. God is always Good :)
After MLC, Sister E and I taught more on Love during our Zone meeting.
The spirit was even stronger the second time around. Maybe because I'm
the one testifying of God's character instead of just listening. "In
learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn". Oh Tarzan.
A BABY GOAT DIED! We had a funeral. Hermana Hansen was literally on
the verge of tears. All is well though, the siblings survived.
Speaking of Hermana Hansen she's a hoot n' a half! New to the zone and
I love her. She's part Japanese so I'll always start speaking to her
in Japanese and she actually knows quite a bit. Party!
Went on an exchange with Sister Sanputhorn!
Sister Sanputhorn and I had a great time here in Mt. Woodson and of
course the best part about an exchange is when you can help a sister
see and be a part of a busy, successful day! We added an investigator
named Fernando and explained to him truly what baptism was and after
the explanation, he wanted nothing more than to learn more :)
Our Power hour (with a member present ha!) was full of great contacts!
We gave out many copies of the BoM and invited everyone to be
baptized! We gave out many referrals and continue to hear positive
feedback from the other missionaries about everyone's progression!
Sister Sanputhorn is awesome. She's actually best friends with one of
my trainer's Sister Saedan! The day was full of Thai speaking and
strolling down memory lane. I loved it and I love her. Sister Saedan,
yes. We talked about you a lot ;)
My Birthday was incredible. One I shall never forget! It was spent
with Sister E whom I love! We were able to go to the temple. One of
the most spiritual experience of my mission. Let's just say President
is amazing and I thank him.
Random memory from the day:
Sis Wilson texted us in the middle of weekly planning Wilson: welcome
to the old ladies club ;) life is great 20+
Sister E response? "yes, welcome on board my friend! Take a seat, pick
up an oar, and start rowing to your 21st century."
Didn't make too much sense but I couldn't stop laughing for a few minutes.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes and for the gifts. I feel the
love and am grateful! Thanks Sis Stew for the cake! Family for the
package. It was just a great day!
Interviews were this week with President. That man. Him and his wife
are two of the greatest people to have walked the earth. Sister
Schmitt and I had a lengthy discussion as well. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH MY
HEART MAY BURST! Huh... I think i've said this before.. Repetition
brings conviction! Get it. Got it. Good.
Today, we went to the institute yet again for music auditions. I'll be
singing again at this next Mission President's Devotional in Santee!
It means I was able to hang with Sis Purcell and Whitcomb for a bit
this morning.... Love. Love love love.
Jeffery R Holland coming. I've never been more excited for anything in
my entire life. He is MY missionary. Where MY personal conversion
story began. At a time in my life when I wasn't too sure about things,
I KNEW that he was truly a man called of God. I still to this day know
that he knows without a fiver of doubt that God lives. While I no
longer depend on his testimony like I once did, he has still literally
answered every soul searching question I have ever had, through every
General conference. My love for him is unmeasurable. I. Cannot. Wait.
Again, thank you for all of your support! I feel your prayers.
-Sister Carlson
                                                                    New Birthday Outfit

                                                             Twenty is old, new dentures.

Poway San Diego, California

Missionary Leadership Conference

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sister San Diego

We're teaching everyone's significant other.
Where love is.... There God is also.
From everyone's emails to me this week, sounds like General Conference
was just as much of a revelatory experience for y'all as it was for
BUT! Before I get into the gold, let's talk the work:
W  (Dating one of our members: S) He's still excited and
prepared as ever for his baptism this month! I've spoken of him in the
past. He's our Spock. He knew that Joseph Smith was a true prophet but
still had a few questions about him translating the Book of Mormon, so
we took him to the Mormon Battalion! We watched the 60 minute Joseph
Smith movie with him and bore powerful testimony of Joseph Smith at
the end. He doesn't have questions anymore.
At least about that... Everyday, he'll text us another really random
doctrinal thing. Not that he's bothered by it, he just goes deep. So
we answer simply. Ha!
We're preparing him for the temple! So! We took him to the temple and
talked about missionary work happening on this side of the veil, and
the other. He can't wait to perform baptisms for his deceased family
members :)
We have a few other less active members that have never gone to the
temple that we're helping prepare to go! Exciting stuff!
M(Dating a returning less active member: A) accepted the
invitation to pray! Up until this point, he's been atheist most of his
life so that was a big step. Funny how seeing him get fired up for the
gospel is igniting Allison's flame!
EHEM... The other day we pulled up to this left turn lane, and to our
right, was a girl yelling and screaming in her car. Our windows were
rolled up, but... We could tell she was mad. Whoever she was talking
to on the phone hung up and she continued screaming. Sister E slowly
rolled down her window and asked if she was ok. The gal then punched
her dashboard, pieces flying, then sped away. I said a little prayer
in my heart that "if it be your will, put her back in our path". An
hour later we found her storming up the stairs of his random complex
we decided stop by. Woof. We followed her up, but her roommates said
she wouldn't come out of her room. So we wrote her a quick note about
not being alone, stuck it on her windshield, and left.
We received a text the next day. Guess who? Her! She thanked us for
our kind words and said it made all the difference in the world. God
is good.
Her name is Z.
D finally popped up on our radar again! We had dinner with him
yesterday with the members that live below him, the Mahelona's! Chava
told me that she wants to travel the world with me after the Mish. Ok
Chava. Why not. Their children make me smile so big, made me kind of
miss family Ward. All is well. Daniel said he's still interested, just
has had a lot happen to him in the last few weeks. His parents both
are having medical problems. Guess what we're teaching next? Plan of
General Conference!
Oh my goodness. I don't what it is about watching as a missionary, but
it's completely different. Especially when your companion is straight
out of the Book of Mormon and can't sit down after having stood for
president Monson. Her eyes would glow with compassion and love for him
and each of the apostles as they approached the podium to declare
their messages to the world. Some of my favorite things from the
conference didn't even happen while we were watching! During the
Sunday two hour party time in between the morning and afternoon
sessions, a few of our members told us that they received the
confirmation to serve a mission! One of the most tender moments
happened while we taught an investigator about prophets. We had
brought Valissa with us (recent convert) and she bore a powerful
testimony about the prophet. Up until this point, she had been running
on faith when it came to believing President Monson was a true
prophet. But as she prayerfully prepared for this coming conference,
she kept this question in her heart. Sunday morning, she received an
undeniable confirmation that President Thomas S Monson was in fact a
true Prophet of God. I cried. Valissa.
It hit me this week that I love this area so much... I've come to know
such incredible people. MY HEART!!! Ah.
We've been listening to some incredible talks in the car via sister
Stew's jump drive. Ha! Find them. They have changed my life and
The conversion story of a Catholic Priest -Carpenter
Sleeping Through Gethsemane -Diana Houlscher
Why 1820 -Hyrum Smith
Cast Not Away Therefor Your Confidence -Jeffery R Holland
Profile of a Prophet -Hugh B Brown
Last but not least, yesterday we had MLC.
INSPIRED! Sister Pilkington emailed me the other day and told me to
read this talk about Christlike Leadership. Guess what we talked about
half the time? Ha :) ya that talk.. Thanks Suzie ;)
"Jesus: The Perfect Leader"
My heart swelled as we talked about loving others and seeing people
for who they truly are. We all know people are "children of God", but
do you believe it?
A correct understanding of our heavenly heritage is essential. Your
spiritual DNA is perfect.
We are ALL refugees. But God loves us!
1st commandment - love others with all thy heart might mind and
strength. 1st truth- God loves us with all his heart might mind and
strength. How could he not. God cannot desert us. He never has. He
never will. Do the best we can to live the gospel, tomorrow will be
magnificent. Why? Because our Heavenly Father wants it to be. HE WANTS
Now. Share this knowledge with those you love!
Well. Yes. General conference. MLC. I'm on cloud nine. And I'm not
coming back down :)
Have a good week!
-Sister Carlson

Sunday, April 3, 2016

April Weekend

Jen at her Missionary Reunion with some of her Florida Sisters. 

Julz and Jen at the new "Saturday's Warrior" Movie.