Monday, October 31, 2016

Memoir from Mar C

Trick or Treat

Jess took this picture of me two years ago. I was just getting ready to go back to work to help the kids cross the street from school.
I think they really like it when I dress up for Halloween. And, it happens to be one of my favorite Holidays.

My new cape for 2016.

 The ladies I work with in room 7 at Amelia Earhart Elementary.

A Bountiful High Graduate and one of the funniest people I know. 
She also has excellent penmanship!

 Julz wanted to dress up like her dad this year.

The greatest neighbors for the last twenty years!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Jess comes home in five weeks!

Sister San Diego

Story time.
We haven't had story time in a while.
EHEM! Once upon a time,
we lost our phone.. then we lost our car... THEN WE LOST OUR MINDS!
BUT! All is well, the Sister Training Leaders swooped in and saved the day ;)
Sisters Whitcomb and Chang!!!! They've been driving us around all day.
Don't worry... We didn't really loose the car. The temple just stole
How has everyone been doing?!?!? :D
This week we had a bit of a laugh as we walked upstairs from the
institute. We knocked on the door to find Elder Bird taking a video of
the street. "Sisters, the President just drove by."
"WHAT? We missed President Schmitt?!?"
"Not the President of the Mission. The President of the United States
of America."
Turns out Obama was our neighbor for a few hours. Who would have thunk.
The entourage of policemen on motorcycles was endless.
We then taught Grace about ETERNAL FAMILIES! Wow. I've never had such
a hard time trying to tell another human being about my family getting
sealed in the temple. My words just couldn't make it out because the
tears kept getting in the way. THE SPIRIT! My chest was on FIRE.
My love for Grace has expanded so much this week! Wednesday we took a
trip to the Mormon Battalion! As the Joseph Smith movie ended, I once
again felt impressed to just flat out ask Grace if she knew if Joseph
Smith was a true prophet of God. She AGAIN answered with a solid YES.
We're so excited for Grace :)
It was such an amazing experience! I'm so humbled and grateful to have
had the chance to teach the both of them. Watching these two commit
their lives to God and step into the waters of baptism... There really
is no greater joy. Tears (surprise surprise) spilt down my face as A
came back up out of the water with a HUGE smile on her face. I've
never seen someone give up so much of their past life to follow the
example of the Savior. She has overcome immense trials.. I just...
Couldn't stop SOBBING. The tears continued as the Zone Leaders gave a
presentation of the Restoration of the Gospel. Elder Taunauta (from
Tonga) bore a POWERFUL testimony of the Book of Mormon and the room
seemed to warp time as his words suddenly sent me back a few months to
being with my companion Sister 'Eukaliti. Honestly my heart broke and
I missed that TONGAN so much. I will forever be influenced and changed
by her faith and friendship. Ofa atu punk..
Aly thought that she would be cold after having been in the water so
she bought a onesie specifically for her baptism. She also got a tie
for K as a baptism gift. Heeeee :D
Their confirmations were fantastic. A's mentioned not letting the
past define her but refine her. K's talked about dating.. We all
smiled :)
As A sat back down next to me, I turned my head with a big smile and
whispered "YOU'RE A MORMON NOW A"
It took everything Kristine and A had not to cry. Laughing.
I also went on member splits to the Linda Vista 1st family Ward with
WADIA! We accompanied P as she's transitioning from YSA in
preparation for her daughter, Mira's arrival. We discussed faith in
Sunday School and I had the chance to bare my testimony on the faith
of a missionary. Everything we do is led by faith. I talked about how
we fasted and prayed to find more people to teach. What happened?
P, A, K, and Grace happened. All within that same week.
The teacher looked at P and I and smiled saying "I'm glad you found her!"
P embraced me and responded "we found each other."
I love this work. More than anything.
Keep the faith my friends. Always fast and pray for missionary
opportunities. God will answer you prayers. Why? Because he wants you
and others to be happy. Nothing will bring you greater joy in this
life than missionary work :)
-Sister Carlson

18 Attachments

Sister San Diego October 18th

I'm a mixed bag of emotion!
One of these being sadness. So many fantastic missionaries left The
Great California San Diego Mission today. I am humbled and honored to
have known them. BUT It's not like they're actually dying. All is well
;) A especial thank you to Sisters Stirland and Purcell! You two changed
my life for the better! Thank you. Just.. Ya, thank you so much.
All the other emotions I can't really describe. Excitement?
Anticipation? ALL OF THE ABOVE?!? Yes. Mhm. I WILL sprint to the end
these last 6 weeks of my mission and work my absolute hardest. This
transfer WILL work wonders for both me and those whom I teach. I LOVE
being a missionary more than anything in this world. I thank my God
everyday for allowing me to be here and to participate in his great
work :)
Speaking of the work, let's just jump right in!
So I haven't raved and ranted too much about our investigator G,
but G!!!! We were introduced to G through the Assistants to
the President. We've now been teaching her for about 3 weeks and MY
GOODNESS! She brightens our day :D
She will CONSTANTLY have these incredible questions to ask that are so
"How does the Plan of Salvation effect your personal lives?"
"Why did you decide to serve a mission?"
"What story in the Book of Mormon helped change your life?"
We can't get enough of them! It's so much fun to teach her. Yesterday
at our lesson with G, I felt the need to straight out ask her if
at that time she knew the Book of Mormon was true. She answered with a
solid YES and reconfirmed that she was ready for baptism. We'll be
going with her this week to the Mormon Battalion! G for G. She
truly has drawn closer to the savior and it's exciting to watch!
We had to push K's baptism back a week. BUT! The priesthood is real
and after having received a Priesthood blessing from Elder Bird, K
re-committed these past few days to never touch the stuff again!! We
had to explain the situation a couple of times to a few different
individuals. I could hear sister Pitcher in the back seat texting our
leaders saying: "Coffee... AKA the devil..." đŸ˜‚Sisters Pitcher and
Davis fill my days with laughter. Really. If you could sit and watch
our trio interact for only a few minutes, there would be a huge smile
on your face. I love these sisters. They took the set-back like
A few more things to laugh about:
As we drove up to visit one of our less active members named Kim, we
were surprised to see her wearing a tutu.. "HELLO GIRLS! I'm going to
be a fairy this Halloween!" Tis the season ;)
During one of our Power Hours at Mesa College, Sister Pitcher was
accidentally throwing pass-a-long cards at people.. "WAH! I'm so
sorry!". Within that same hour, we were able to accomplish our goal of
handing out AT LEAST 3 Book of Mormon's and inviting someone to be
baptized! To close it off, we were able to converse with two Deaf
student's heading to class! They weren't quite ready for the gospel,
but both Sister Pitcher and I LOVED the opportunity.
The best memory of this week will have to be the image of Sisters
Davis, Pitcher and I traveling through UCSD campus trying to find
Aly's apartment while holding a huge Pizza. We brought along one of
Aly's main fellowshippers Kristine (Miss Pilkington's look-a-like) and
she pranced along side us while wearing no shoes #YSA. We were
startled to find in our ventures a tall tower on campus with the 7
deadly sins flashing across the top of it's peaks in neon bright
lights. We gazed up with puzzled looks. Just then Aly came flying
around the corner and directed us the rest of the way to her home. She
actually lives in the great and spacious building.. HA!
Once there, we sat and planned together Aly's baptism and set up a
time for her to be interviewed. SHE PASSED YESTERDAY!
She also dyed her hair blue and wants to wear a One-zee (no idea how
that's spelt) to her baptism. Aly. Coolest med student you'll ever
A came. G came. Kwon came. AND P CAME!
It was one night I will NEVER forget. My heart nearly burst just being
in the same space with the other missionaries in general, but then
having everyone we invited show up?? Tears. My heart sung as the
recent converts stood to bare powerful testimonies that Jesus IS the
Christ and that this IS his Church. How grateful I am that those
emotions in my chest could then make their way out through my voice.
Singing with Sister Cortello was amazing, I LOVE baring my testimony
in music. There is no easier way for me. I'm so happy that she and I
with Sister Whitcomb could share our souls this way at our last
Mission President's Devotional. Those things change people's lives!
Mine will never be the same and I'm glad.
After the devotional concluded, A hugged me and asked me to adopt
her, G cried and thanked me, and K gave me a firm handshake. As
I walked up to P, she stated "There really IS a General inside of
you. You commanded the room with your voice. I could see your lips
move but the song of an angels is what was heard."
While speaking she handed me a note that read:
"Moroni 6:2 Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came
forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto
the church that they truly repented of all their sins."
With an arrow pointing for me to flip the paper to it's opposite side,
I continued reading:
"I'm ready to be baptized."
She hugged me as I sobbed.
I love the Lord. I love this work.
Fire came as President spoke directly to me that night "He will carry
you home." That he has and that he always will. In God I trust.
Let the Lord carry you home friends! We are strangers here :)
-Sister Carlson
P.S. Getting to see all of our investigators meet President Schmitt
was hilarious. P started talking about transfers in front of him
and didn't realize he was the one in charge. He soon told her that he
was and she flipped. "YOU CANNOT MOVE THESE GIRLS! Sister Carlson HAS
to sing at my baptism!"
"I know, I know! She has to sing at my funeral!"
He walked away telling her he still needed to pray about transfers..
Alas. We all stayed ;)
 Hanging up Christmas lights.

Sister San Diego October 11

My apologies! Today we spent half of the day at the SDSU Institute in
preparation for the Mission President's devotional this Sunday! Sister
Cortello and I will be singing "Nearer My God to Thee" with Sister
Whitcomb once again on the piano. I love these two sisters more than
words can describe and am so thankful they were willing to sacrifice
the time to have one last go at these Devotionals. Ah.. My heart.
Bitter sweet.
This week was a madhouse of events. I probably won't have the time to
explain.. Nor do I want to re-live any of it. BUT! God is so good. He
is always good. This earth is stuffed with heaven. Even amidst all the
trails, there was still so much to laugh about. As always. When can
you not find me laughing or singing? HA.
Some smile worth moments:
More often than not, Sister Pitcher and I will both know the sign of
something, but will forget the English word attached to the sign. We
are each others interpreters in these hiccups of life :)
We have been teaching Sister Davis a lot more sign language. In the
middle of zone meeting, there was this awkward pause and we look over
to see Sister Davis signing "awkward" vigorously. Sister Pitcher and I
COULD NOT stop laughing :) These sisters..
My favorite moment? While walking down the sidewalk for power hour,
Sister pitcher exclaimed "Sister Carlson! You just need to go home and
eat Sister Stewart!... Wait.."
What? I know. I was crying, I love my daughters.
Amazing as always. I love President and Sister Schmitt so much.. They
truly have become one of the biggest strengths in my life.
The Work!
While sitting with K a few days before his baptismal interview, he
approached us with his head hung down.
"K! How is your scripture reading going?"
"Your morning prayers?"
"Just fine."
"Word of Wisdom?"
"........ I made two violations..."
Ah K. He was so sad about it but recommitted to live the Word of
Wisdom for the rest of his life and especially the week before his
baptism haha! Ah. K :)
A  had us over for dinner the day before another surgery
of hers.. She BEEMED at us as she explained that she was so proud of
the 3 of us and knew that she didn't need to know EVERYTHING in order
to join the church. Her home is always a safe heaven. She does so much
for other people when she herself is going through so much trauma. I
LOVE A so much...
I have found it strange how much my heart has expanded for others over
the course of my mission. Yes it's hard because in so doing, it breaks
over and over again. BUT IT'S SO WORTH IT!
My entire soul caught on fire this week as A told us that she wanted
to get married in the San Diego Temple one day.
I cried for about 5 minutes straight. I love A.
P had a huge crisis a few days before her baptism. Per usual for
Sister Carlson's mission, all is well. We invited her to a Fireside
put on by the Linda Vista 1st Ward. After the service, we were able to
sit down and talk with her. She again bore the sweetest testimony and
apologized profusely for not getting baptized on Saturday. Because of
the situation, we passed her off to the family Ward sisters. I love
and trust all of them so much and am not worried in the slightest. I
know everything will work out for the best!
I've been pondering so much about my Heavenly Father this week. He
loves us A LOT when he asks us to do hard things. It's makes me so
grateful for the savior.
The most perfect person was asked to do the hardest thing in the
world. The Atonement.
I was confused as I thought "Wait.. So the more righteous we are, the
harder are life will be because God trusts us?"
You know what, maybe it is harder. But it's easier to bare.
Come what may and love it!!!
Sorry for my scattered thoughts.. We're about to head to a BBQ for the
last P-day of the transfer :)
I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Thomas S. Monson"
"Life by the yard is hard. But life by the inch is a sinch."
I love you my friends! Live simply~
-Sister Carlson

Sister San Diego October 4

WOW this week...
WOW WOW WOW WOW. Also known as the Word of Wisdom. But this week
meaning WOOOOOOOOOOW We had so much going on I don't even know.. what
to say anymore... I wish I could just somehow put you all in my head
and you could see what the mission life is like for Sister Carlson. It
would be a grand adventure.
How about we do a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc..?
Yes? yes.
Club rush at UCSD. Oh. My. CRAZY! HAH! It was like living within the
movie Monster's University.
Courtesy of Sisters Purcell and Whitcomb. They were the two sisters
that put this idea in my head ;)
Basically, we were able to go onto campus and proselyte if we had a
member of the LDSSA handy. Shout out to Ana Katz for setting the
entire thing up. Woof she's an amazing RM. We went Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, and let me tell you some thingsss:
Okay, first of all. The YSA's in our ward are incredible for being
willing to come out and help.
SECOND. We had a blast. The first day we took a friend named Dillin
and he basically stood on the corner handing out flyers while shouting
INCREDIBLE!". We then took Wadia with us and instead of just handing
out the flyers to random students passing by, she went straight up to
the different clubs and sororities ad invited them all to institute.
One booth asked her if she was a chemical engineer and to their
surprise she smiled and said "YES!" They exchanged flyers. One of my
favorite memories will be Kristine Osborne coming out with us. She's
basically Sister Pilkington reincarnated... She would sing and dance
while handing out the flyers. No shame. She actually ran some people
Ah. La Jolla YSA. My smile is infinite.
Sister Davis named the dog underneath our apartment Lucy. It's a
nick-name... Love-hate relationship.
Ah K. He's is the Korean we are teaching. Yesterday he walked up to
our lesson looking a little sick. We asked "K. Are you sick?"
"I am sick... I've been throwing up all day."
"...K! What are you doing? Go back home, go go go go.."
"No.. I need to prepare for my baptism."
K though. After teaching him the Word of Wisdom, we moved his date
up to the 15th of October. He's ready :)
A! Ah this girl... Makes my heart throb I love her so much!!! We
took Aly to the Mormon Battalion Sunday after Conference with
Kristine! After we took a tour, we reserved a movie room to watch the
film about Joseph Smith. As we all bore testimony after the movie
commenced, to our surprise Aly wanted to bare her testimony as well!
"I'm obviously new to this entire religion thing.. but HERE WE GO!"
She shared with us her heart. "I never thought God existed because of
the life he gave me... But I've been loving the things I'm learning."
The atonement is so real. After teaching her about repentance last
week she texted us that night with a "I love you all. And I WILL
Aly :)
Okay so pause for a second. Take a deep breath. Now continue reading...
We saw SO many General Conference miracles! All of our investigators
with a date came to hear the Prophet's voice! AND THEY DIDN'T COME
ALONE! P brought a good friend of hers from Turkey. We had to go
one member splits to teach everybody! While we were reading with Pelin
the baptismal interview questions, Sister Pitcher was in the other
room teaching the Restoration! Ah... I am SO proud of Sister Pitcher.
I'm such a fan!!!!!
As we finished going over the questions, P bore the most powerful
testimony on following the commandments of God. Might just have been
one of the sweetest experiences of my mission... brought me to tears.
"If God tells you to do something, DO IT. It's not about you, but it's
all about you." I cried and cried and cried.. The tears continued as
P asked Mason to baptize her. He was SO honored. We taught him how
to baptize after K's lesson at the temple...
She then insisted on buying a white dress for her baptism. We told her
that she could honestly wear anything she would like but "NO! White"
haha! Ah... P. After her baptismal interview, She came out beaming
and explained that she had used some of my "teaching skills" to
explain to Elder Webb the commandments.
I love this work.
My favorite talk from General Conference?
Ronald A Rasband.
"Do not forget. Please. Do. Not. Forget..."
It was a huge answer to prayer. My Father in Heaven knows me and KNOWS
that I needed to hear it.
"The Lord loves those whom he chastens" and oh boy is that true.
I will NEVER forget my mission and these people I love so much. I love
the Lord. And I love all of you.
Please. Don't forget about your Savior..
-Sister Carlson