Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sister San Diego

I have knocked on deaths door. What others might say was a miracle is
my reality. I am a living witness that Jesus is the Christ. His
Priesthood Authority HAS been restored. It is the reason I live and
continues to be the reason why I will go to my grave declaring his
gospel. I needed to brief reminder of that knowledge this week...

On Thursday morning, as the Sister Training Leaders pulled up in their
car, early of course (needing to have risen at 5 a.m... Sorry) I
thought to myself that what was about to happen wasn't really for me.
I embraced my closest friend Sister Sarah Jane Whitcomb. Just that
week as mentioned in my previous email, the two of us had stayed up
for heaven knows how long on our exchange discussing the miracles of
our missions. I went on and on about Hillary, Westin, Jessica etc..
She spoke of Stacy. Stacy, much like myself, was blessed to live by
the Priesthood Authority then was baptized a member of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am amazed and honored to have had
the chance to sing to her. The day after our exchange, Sister Whitcomb
and Sister Purcell were informed that Stacy English had passed away. I
came to this knowledge a few days later. And as I stood there, holding
my dearest friend, I could, if only for a moment feel how exhausted
her soul was. At the time, I didn't know how much I myself would need
(as Sister Clayton would say) that "transfer of virtue" for the next
day's news.

The meeting in itself with Elder Arnold of the 70 and his wife was
incredible. Things like that are meant not only to change my mission
but to change my life. It worked. Highlight? Singing Consider the
Lilies of the field with Sister Whitcomb accompanying me. (As to why
we had all woken up so early, bless our companions)
When the song finished, Elder Arnold locked eyes with me then waved
for me to come. My heart skipped a few beats as I obeyed. He then
asked me to sing without the piano. What? I know. I once again obeyed.
He then asked Sister Whitcomb to play without me singing. As we
finished he stood, tears in his eyes. "Thank you, that is one of my
all time favorite songs."
Take away from this mission tour:
The music of having the Holy Ghost with you at all times is the most
beautiful thing you could ever imagine.

As heaven would have it... We taught by the spirit a member in our YSA
Ward Friday evening. I relayed to her my medical past (wasn't sure why
at the moment) and testified powerfully of the power of the priesthood
and what we learned from Elder Arnold.

After the dinner appointment, my companion and I drove to our church
building in PB. Something that we had not previously planned on doing.
As we pondered and prayed what God was wanting us to do, we synced our
iPads. 1 unread email. I opened it and read that my last Grandfather,
Ralph Carlson, had passed away.
I read with wide eyes. After a few minutes of silence, tears came. My
Grandfather was not a member of this church. My heart hurt.

As to fill my head with something else, anything else, I marched out
the front door, angry. I had silently decided sometime during my
mission that I was going to be the one to teach that stubborn old man
and invite him to follow the savior's example and be baptized by the
proper authority. Just as we were about to leave, who would drive up
other than Bishop Walton of the family Ward. My Dad's best friend's
look-a-like. In every way he reminds me of Randy Christiansen. All the
way down to him sadly loosing a daughter. He told us he wasn't sure
why he was there but after taking one look at me knew why.

Once again, hands were placed on my head and I was able to hear the
voice of my Father in Heaven offer words of comfort and council.
"Mourning is okay. You will have the weight lifted from your
shoulders. It is a blessing to more fully understand the atonement.
(Bishop's daughter Ella) You will be comforted especially in the quiet
moments that bring you to your knees. Your grandfather was a good man.
Reflect often on the lessons he taught you throughout your mission and
in years to come."
My Grandfather taught me Grit. True Grit.
In fact he named his son (My father) after John Wayne ha! He was a
World War 2 Veteran and fought on D-day. I know that by his example, I
am and will be a better person.

I know he is learning of the Gospel surrounded by loved ones. No better place.

I know this is Christ's church. The restoration is a fact. I couldn't
strongly testify of this during a talk I gave in the family Ward on

After my blessing and after having given our Bishop's banana bread,
Bishop Walton held my hand a moment longer and asked "Sister Davis..
can I hug your companion?"
With a serious face, Sister Davis replied:
"No Bishop, I'm here to protect my companion!!!"
We all laughed for days.

I love this work. So many other miracles were seen this week but
alas...The time is far spent.

Maybe in my next email I'll share with you how on fire the work is ;)

I love you all. I love the Lord.
Keep your head up and be grateful for all the God has blessed you
with. The air in you lunges, the feet on your legs. There is so much
to smile about!

-Sister Carlson