Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sister San Diego

It was pointed out to me recently by a good friend that I begin all of
my emails with:
"This has been the craziest week of my mission..."
LOOK AT ME! Well you can't actually see me right now, BUT IF YOU COULD!
I. Am. Totally. LIVING! ALIVE! ME!
Hmm well almost. I actually almost physically died this week. Quite
the story to tell. Everyday is a story worth telling ;)
Where to begin...
I was blessed to finish my exchange with SISTER CHANG! But this time
in Chula Vista! The entire day was spent laughing and the both of us
pointing out how much Chula reminded us of Poway. POWAY! While I'm on
Same time of year. Same living space. Same bed. EVEN the same desk.
Heavenly Father has a sense of humor. I followed my Mother to Mt.
Woodson now, Sister Davis is following hers ha! Anywho. sister Chang!
Ah :) such a good lady. I learned so much from her. She just showed so
much love and compassion and showed it by working her absolute
Thanksgiving! It was prime. Prime RIB! Juuuust kidding we totally had
Turkey. This fantastic family, namely the Macias' had us over along
with another family that really needed the love. What's amazing is
that the Willcox's invited a non-member friend to the dinner and we
were able to teach him!!! Thanksgiving Miracles.
I've never really read a missionaries email about departures. Mainly
due to the fact that when missionaries attend departures, they
normally depart. HAHA! All is well, go against the grain sometimes.
Life is short ;)
I can't even put into words...
That morning, we attended a temple session with our Mission President
and his wife. Getting to see President and Sister Schmitt dressed in
white.. Again I can't put it into words. I'm sorry that this email
will do no justice to the experience I had and the spirit that was
felt. I will forever remember walking into to Celestial room and
in-sequentially walking into Sister Schmitt's arms. I was somewhat
alarmed as she began to sob and whisper "thank-you"s into my ear. I
know my Heavenly Father loves me. WHY? Because he gave me President
and Sister Schmitt. Even more than that, every SINGLE person I've come
to know and love on my mission. I smile at the thought of Sisters
Cortello, Whitcomb and I beginning this journey together, then having
the opportunity to discuss our stories there at the end. I love them
both with all of my heart.
We might have basked a bit TOO long in the temple. On the way to the
Mission Home, we realized we had 5 missed calls from President and
Sister Schmitt. #woops. HA!
What a grand time we had at the Schmitt's :)
The highlight of the evening was definitely the testimony meeting.
Each and every missionary that stood touched my soul. Sister Whitcomb
and I honestly didn't have a dry eye that entire hour. It's again so
sacred that I don't have words to express...
I am just so thankful for everyone that was there and for all of the
hard work. One moment that I will never forget was dear sister Heap
from the 7th ward standing to tell me I did make a difference in one
Young Women's life. I truly felt leaving La Jolla that I had come and
gone without having made the difference I wanted to make in the family
Ward. But as Sister Heap shared her testimony, it all just kind of
sunk in that I had truly done my best and it was enough. More than
enough. As sister Whitcomb would say "I am a miracle." I am. I
shouldn't be here. But I am.
President and Sister Schmitt's words will forever fill my mind:
Sister Schmitt- "You love your mission because you love Jesus Christ.
He is the good in everything and everyone."
President Schmitt-
"Enduring to the end.
Pray that you are faithful until you're safely dead.
When I'm weary, I remember him. Always when I remember him, that gives
me strength.
Take time to go to gethsemane on a daily bases.
This is real life.
Don't take the temple for granted
Don't go back,
Go forward in faith.
You do NOT go back. You go forward. You remember the blessings and press on.
On the savior's behalf, we thank you.
We love you forever.
Doesn't matter where you're at, we want to keep the relationship with
you forever.
The restoration is happening and you've been a part of it,
He will come and reign forever and ever
So go home and be faithful forever and ever.
We love you."
Saying Goodbye to Sarah Jane Whitcomb was one of the hardest things
I've ever done. BUT! I know I will see her again :)
Family and family. For you are all family to me..
I love you.
I know this is the true Church of Jesus Christ.
I am so happy to still be serving a mission.
Christ's love is truly what is lighting this holiday season. It's
ultimately all about love. God's love. The Savior's love. Your love.
"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever"
Go out and serve this Christmas season. If you haven't already, check
out Mormon.org and get involved. You can make an eternal positive
influence in someone's life today. There is a shortage of "I believe
in you"s in this world.
-Sister Carlson
P.S. I realize I didn't explain my previous health comments. I was
pretty sick Sunday.. Thought I was going to need to go to the Hospital
ALAS! Sister Schmitt is an ER doctor and the best Mission President's
Wife around ;)
ALL IS WELL! I am well. All will be well :D

Getting ready for departure.

Sister Whitcomb and I at the MTC
May 2015