Monday, November 21, 2016

Sister San Diego

Dear Family,
I was about to go on an exchange with Sister Chang (Jung)!!!
That morning (Saturday, having woken up in La Jolla) Sisters Miole,
Pitcher, and I accidentally missed a call from President Schmitt. Not
thinking much of it (HA) we went on the exchange anyway! Sister Chang
and I finished studies then realized that we had also missed a call
from President Schmitt... Ha... Ha! The Santee sister called asking us
if President had gotten in touch with us... We asked what was up but
they didn't say anything... EVENTUALLY MY FRIENDS! President did call
back and told us that Sister Guest and Sister Davis in Chula Vista
needed an emergency exchange. I informed President that for whatever
reason I had packed clothes enough for 3 days that morning. He asked
us to call Sister Whitcomb and council with her for a moment to hear
her thoughts then call him back. As we informed Sister Whitcomb of the
situation and what we were thinking of doing (Myself going with Sister
Guest in Chula and Sister Davis going with the Santee Sisters) she
paused and said "I don't feel good about this but I think it's just me
feeling motherly and protective." My heart kind of smiled as she said
it, then from her lips came (again) prophesy. "Sister Carlson, I feel
prompted to say that these last 6 weeks have been hard and will
continue to be so. Sister Chang can testify that I have slowed down,
but you and I need to run to the end. Double the work. Double the
effort."
I smiled as I looked up at her calendar see our 18 month mark for that
very next day (the 13th) and the drawn in airplane on the 29th.
I love Sarah Jane Whitcomb.
Sister Chang was awesome!!! She listened to all my concerns with
leaving the mission soon and my past week's hardships. She's a
fantastic missionary and had me laughing all morning.
The rest of my Saturday in Chula Vista was incredible. Sister Guest
and I hit it off talking about our missions and seeing where our paths
had bumped into the others. Sister Guest then told me her story of
surviving cancer TWICE! WHAT AN INCREDIBLE LADY!!!!! I then told her
about some of my experiences living in a hospital and becoming very
aquatinted with God. We talked and talked and talked and talked and
talked and talked some more! We spoke of everything under the sun.
That night we KEPT TALKING! And it was so easy. There was so much to
say :)
Basically. I LOVE Sister Guest with all of my heart. She has felt
misunderstood at times but honestly I can't even describe this... That
same motherly protection Sister Whitcomb spoke of earlier? Sister
Guest is an INCREDIBLE missionary and just needed a GOOD friend. She
told me she's never really had one of those before.
Sunday,
Right before sacrament meeting in the Chula Vista YSA Ward... We
walked up and spoke with some random individual.. WHEN ALL OF THE
SUDDEN! That love I had for Sister Guest quite literally exploded and
I was VERY overwhelmed with God's love for my companion. I wanted to
tackle her to the ground like I would Sister E in an embrace, but I
knew she didn't like being touched so I just bowed my head a cried.
During the meeting itself, Abide with me tis eventide played and my
tears continued.
I heard in my head:
"Peace I leave with you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let
it be afraid"
The Bishop stood and offered up these words at the close of the
meeting: "God is into the details. He knows where you are at right
now. Stay and love those whom you have been called to serve."
That night Sister Guest and I cried and cried and cried and cried in
the car together as I told her what I wanted to do.
So I asked my Mission President the next day if he would let me stay
in Chula Vista... And not just for the rest of my mission, but for the
rest of hers.
Sister Guest ticketed to leave for home at the end of December.
EXTENSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I asked President President Jon Schmitt to let me stay he paused
and looked at his calendar.
"Sister Carlson, as a Mission President I only have the power to
extend you to the 10th of December. The Mission Department? A few days
more than that... You will need the permission of the General
Authorities."
My resolve did not change.
"I will write them a letter immediately. But first, you need to call
your parents and ask them if that would be alright..
And sister Carlson. Be aware that the answer is mostly always a never."
THANK YOU FAMILY!!!!!
President called me a few minutes ago to inform me that he
received an answer from Salt Lake City today about my extension.
He said a brother by the name of McConkie called him a
moment ago and said:
"Now President! We've already told you, this is
never allowed. But... when the Brethren looked at your request, they
agreed without any hesitation.
She can stay."
I want to leave you all with my testimony.
This work is mighty and it is HIS. I LOVE being a missionary. I've
said it time and time again... But it is the work of and almighty God
and it is to change the world. He is at the helm. I LOVE my companion
and I KNOW I am where I need to be.
Keep running!
-Sister Carlson