Monday, October 28, 2013

Chased by a PIG!

Happy birthday KK! Last week was a little harsh, but don`t you think I forgot you. I love you so much. SO incredibly grateful for your example to me...and your email last week. Haha. Hope you have the best day! So fun to see pictures and videos of the family this week. 

Man...writing the family is always so stressful because I have so much to say. First of all...Back in Arequipa for the leadership counsel with President Zobrist. Today has been such a blast. My companion and I along with the 6 elders in Tacna drove in on a bus leaving at 10pm last night, and got here in Arequipa at 5am this morning. President gave us permission to go into the city and do something fun. And the 5 gringos thought it would be funny if we toured the biggest catholic cathedral in PerĂ¹. Hahaha. It was an interesting experience. Afterwards we went and rode Go Karts. It was so hilarious. Our travel to Arequipa is always a good time.

So... remember Jorge? He`s great. This week we were teaching the restoration and he asked me, "What was the name of your first prophet? Will Smith?" Haahha. I was dying...trying so hard to hold it together. He`s also black, and doesn't like white I`m having a tough time winning this man over. But he feeds us up a STORM! And I am never hungry when he feeds me. Last week he brought out a plate of like...6 sandwiches, and as soon as he left the room I started grabbing them and stuffing them in my backpack...trying to manage my weight here. Haha

Also...this week we were contacting in this farm area place, and I just want you all to know how awesome my mission is. We weren't running away from were being chased by a PIG, and running for our lives through this dirty muddy field, laughing our heads off. I just love this darn country soo much!

The Sunday school president in our ward is crazy, but in the funniest way, and we were having ward counsel yesterday talking about how we can reactivate families and he stands up...(picture this man who is like...60 years old, with hairs growing out of every part of his face that he could possibly grow hair...) and says..."There is something else very important that each of your are some how forgetting....SUNDAY SCHOOL!" The entire ward counsel starts busting up laughing...and this poor man doesn't quite know he is crazy yet, so he sits down totally satisfied with his comment and we were all just dying. I know that probably wasn't funny to you guys, but use your imaginations.

I have a TON of awesome pictures of Peru for you guys right now, and the internet place we are at doesn't have a place to plug in my camera. I`m so sad. Next week you guys will have a bunch of fun pictures.

Okay...sorry this was such a pathetic letter. I promise I am having spiritual experiences and learning a ton. This week my companion and I were teaching a lesson to our ward mission leader and his family (he is preparing for a mission) and we shared with him a video of the hastening of missionary work right now and I was sitting there in tears. Wow. It is such an amazing feeling knowing that I am in the thick of it all. When I think about the fact that I am an instrument in the hands of the Lord right now in the last days as he is bringing the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people I just don`t ever want to come home. But don`t worry I love you all so much...and I will come home one day. 

Remember that we can all enjoy the blessings of missionary work...and this is our responsibility as members to bring the gospel to each and every person. I get some wonderful letters from Sandy Bertha through dear elder and I just love her example of a member missionary. She has an awesome missionary experience each week to share!

Love you all so much! Reach out, and share with others what makes you SO happy!



Monday, October 21, 2013

"Life is to be enjoyed, not endured"

Okay...I am going to start this email by giving a embarrassing shout out to my sister Katelyn Stone Hunt who has not written me in over a month. I am waiting to hear how you have been and I miss you and Marcus a ton! Thank you! Secondly...So proud of Chan for dating up a storm in Provo. Haha...I wouldn't expect anything less from a Stone. I think about you a ton Chandler, and appreciate that you can understand the pains I feel here with the language and the 3rd world county thing. Summerella is the prettiest of the Stone girls and so proud to call her my sister. Colton is growing up so much with his very own instagram, and I can`t wait to see him pass me up cause I promise I haven't gotten any taller here...but I feel like a giant so that will be fun to come home and be small little Carli again. Mom and Dad you both know that I miss you I`m sure. I hope you can feel my prayers for each and every one of you in these specific stages of life. I am brought to tears when I think of the blessings that Lord has given me in my life, and the amazing family, ward, friends, home and country I have had. I can`t thank each and every one of you enough for the examples of love and faithfulness you have shown me.

This week was good...tough, but I learned a lot. I hope I am humbling myself enough to learn every thing that the Lord wants me to learn everyday here in PerĂ¹. This Saturday I had my first baptism...that didn't show up for his baptism. It was rough. It just made me so sad to think that this brother isn't enjoying all the blessings that he could be at this time in his life. He had his interview and everything, and Saturday night we waited for an hour and half calling him a million times and he just never showed up. We passed by his house Sunday morning and he wasn't there. We haven't been able to get in contact with him yet, but we are going to stop by later tonight after Pday.

But...there are a lot of wonderful things happening in my area right now, and I am so thankful that the Lord is blessing my companion and I with people to teach. We have a goal to better enjoy our missions.  I have a quote from President Hinckley that says, "Life is to be enjoyed, not endured." and so we decided we could incorporate that into our missions.  We have one investigator named Nicolas. He is 12 years old, and a literal TWIN to Colton. I was almost crying teaching him the other day cause not only does he look and dress like Colton, but he acts just like him. He is the sweetest little boy, and is a champ at soccer.

A few days ago my companion and I were walking through the park and felt super strongly that we should talk to this guy that was sitting alone on a bench. And WOW...that was a prompting from the spirit. Come to find out, his wife is a less active member, and she was baptized in Lima, and hasn't been to church here yet in Tacna. We told him that he needed to get baptized, receive the priesthood, and he could bless his family, his home and his children.  He told us that he would come to church with his wife and learn more...and yesterday he walked in with his family wearing a shirt and tie!! Tonight we are going to have a family home evening with them. I'm so grateful for the promptings of the spirit. I know that there was a reason that we needed to talk to this man at this time...and he will bless his family in a HUGE way with the priesthood.

We are working a lot with the less actives in our area and strengthening the ward.  A few weeks ago we had a family night with a inactive brother who hadn't been to church in 2 years. At the end of the lesson he started talking about music and how much he loved the hymns at church and how much he missed the music, but that he wished we could use the organ...I looked at him and said..."Well, you are in luck. I play the piano every Sunday." He hasn't missed church in 3 weeks, and bore his testimony in a baptism we had last week. WOO! I love miracles and I love the work of the Lord.

I know that this is the Lords church...I know that this church was restored through Joseph Smith. I know that through him we also have been blessed with the priesthood of God on earth again.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week.

Monday, October 14, 2013

"We are following the prophet"

Okay...truth circle. I`m a little bit sick right now. I have a little FOMO!!! So jealous thinking about all you guys in Utah doing the whole "homecoming game thing". Ah. I love BYU...I`m so glad they won too! I said a few weeks ago about the joys and sorrows...I will appreciate those moments so much more after my mission, because I have been left out. Haha...and everyone who knows me knows that I love to be in the middle of it all...but I am so happy that everyone is healthy and safe and doing well.

This week we had such a MIRACLE happen. I have realized that they come every single day of the mission, but only when I am looking for them. Our sweet little investigator Brenno was baptized on Saturday. He has been going to church since he was 7, but never had permission to be baptized. My companion and I felt super strongly one day as we were planning that we should work on getting permission for him to be baptized, so ALL last week we were searching for him. His mom was in town for the weekend from Lima (MIRACLE!) and we literally walked up and down the street that he lives knocking on every single door asking if anyone knew his family...and some how NOBODY knew who he was. Friday, (after spending the entire week visiting every member of his family that we knew in the ward, and calling his cell phone 15 times) we were contacting on a street corner and who walks up behind us?...Yes, Brenno. We looked at each other practically in tears and told him we had been looking for him all week. Right in that moment we told him that we felt that this was his time for baptism...his eyes started watering and he said he wanted to be baptized THE NEXT DAY! We called the zone leaders from a public phone and told them to meet us at the chapel in 10 minutes to interview him. He passed his interview and was baptized the next day. He was glowing. So sweet. He is 16, and his parents are both members, and his dad is a returned missionary, but is extremely inactive right now. But he was overcome with the spirit and crying and everything the moment that his son came out of the waters of baptism. Wow. Such a miracle for that family.

This week we also had a conference with President Zobrist, and I had a super cool interview with him. I have NO doubt that we are called to the mission we are called for our mission president because he has already helped me SO much in my mission, and I still have a ton to go, and a lot more to learn from him.

My companion and I also planned a training for all the sisters this week, and it went super well. It was so fun being able to plan a training and it was really cool to be able to receive revelation for the sisters in this area, and teach them new things, and see how they are each doing individually. We also made hamburgers and banana splits and played signs and did some anti stress exercises to make it more fun. Haha. I will send a picture to you of all the sisters in Tacna. They are all so awesome.

Okay...last thing. This week my companion was looking at pictures in the Ensign and saw a picture of the prophet where he looked a little bit heavy, and she said..."Look...President Monson is fat too. If anyone makes fun of us for gaining weight we can just tell them that we are following the prophet." HAHA. I love my companion. Always makes me feel better about the 19,000 pounds of rice that we eat everyday. SO LUCKY! P.s. I don`t think I will ever be eating rice again after my mission.

Oh...and LAST thing. My companion and I completed with our baptism goal for this month...and we are only on the 2nd week of the month! Our bishop took us out to a super nice Chinese restaurant for a celebration and I got to eat....FRIED RICE. Que suerte!! Haha.


Monday, October 7, 2013

I got my buttermilk syrup! conference. I could spend the whole email talking about how much I absolutely LOVED conference! With every talk I heard I was just reminded of the truthfulness of this gospel, and the fact that we were listening to the words of Prophets and Apostles of GOD! Wow. How lucky we are to live in this time when we can listen to the counsel from our Father in Heaven directly through his servants. I absolutely loved what elder Ballard said about missionary work, he said to the missionaries, "You are called as a missionary to talk to people...don't act like it's some sort of burden." Ha. But I have to say that I was weeping in Elder Hollands talk. Wow. That talk was definitely written for a few people that I know.

Last week was SUCH a blast in Arequipa. The mission home reminds me a ton of grammy and grandpa's house and I felt like I was in Modesto. There were 6 of us sisters so we got to sleep in the mission home, and the elders got sent off to some hotel. We woke up to president making french toast and buttermilk syrup. I was in heaven! I thought it was all for us, and then the doorbell rang and in walked 38 elders...but it was okay, cause I got my buttermilk syrup! Ha.

This week was awesome. We had 3 BAPTISMS on Saturday! It was incredible! The three girls we baptized, (Maria Gracia, Ivone, and Karry) were all so excited, and SO prepared. I know that God was preparing them for us to teach...and I will never forget seeing their faces after they were baptized. They kept thanking us, and hugging us and it was just the sweetest thing ever.

I just loved this week so much...and I'm excited to see what the next week brings. It's like a mystery what will happen, who we will meet, who we will teach, and how we can help them.

Love you all so much!! Enjoy your week...and remember...Every member a missionary! Please help the missionaries in our ward...I promise they will appreciate it more than you know. We are all in this together! (high school musical throwback)

Ps...If you were wondering, Saturday I got to watch conference in English with the white elders, and one white sister in Tacna...and Sunday we watched in Spanish. It's cool to watch it in Spanish though cause I receive more revelation when I am listening to the topic rather than every word. OH...also...did mom join the Tabernacle choir...cause her TWIN was singing in the choir. I almost cried when I saw her on Saturday and I jumped out of my seat and ran over and stared at the screen and all the elders thought I was crazy! Then I said..."Elders....I think that was my mom. I`m serious." Soo....let me know if you moved to Utah.