Monday, December 30, 2013

Let him paint

What a TREAT it was to talk to you all on Christmas. I was so strong the whole time, and then I got home and cried. Don`t worry...I miss you all.

A few things that happened this week were...

First, last Monday we went to a town about 30 minutes from my area with our zone, and a few members of our ward had gathered clothes, hot chocolate, fruit cake, toys, and a bunch of other cute little things to take to kids that live way out in the middle of nowhere, and don`t really have a Christmas. It was SO much fun! We sang, and the stake primary president talked, and then she said..."And now we will have a special message about Jesus Christ from the Sister Stone." Surprise! But it was so sweet, and such a special opportunity for me to share with all these little kids how much their Heavenly Father loves them, and wants them to be happy and always remember that.  

On Saturday we had a baptism for Sister Sadit! She is the sister who has been listening to the missionaries since July, and has been assisting the church for almost a year. Last week she got married, and this week she got baptized! It was so sweet because her husband is a returned missionary, but hasn`t been going to church for the last...5 years or so, and he showed up to the baptism, and to church for her confirmation the next day. When she shared her testimony about how happy she was to finally get baptized we were all crying. What a blessing for her and her family!

Funny moment that happened with Sister Sadit.
She doesn't have a ton of time, so for her baptismal interview we went to her house, and the Elder interviewed her in their living room, but as you know, the baptismal interview is personal, and we couldn`t all be in the room, so we were walking out, and her chubby little nephew was sitting on the couch watching TV and didn't want to leave. Lucky for me there is a little pastry shop next door to her house, so I said..."Hey Carlos, let`s go." And he looked at me and said..."Where are we going? I want to watch TV!" I quickly thought of the pastry shop and said..."Do you like cake? We are going to go buy some cake to eat right now" HA! Don`t worry I was sick so I didn't eat any...but we were in divisions so I ended up having to pay 7 soles for a darn lemon pie for the chubby little nephew.

This week has been quite the emotional roller coaster...but that`s how a mission is supposed to be, so I know that I am here for a reason. Slowly but surely I am understanding my purpose, and learn each day more about why I am here. I can`t believe how fast the time has gone, knowing that I am more than half way done scares me a little bit, but don`t forget who your master is. Don`t forget who is helping you paint your picture of life. Let him paint, be humble, and your picture will be more beautiful and profound that you could ever try to draw on your own.

Love the Lord, and trust Him.


Sister Carli Stone

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Remember what you wil give HIM this Christmas

Merry almost Christmas family and friends!
From your letters, pictures and cards it looks like everything is going well back in America, and everyone is enjoying this beautiful holiday season. I´m glad you all got my letter. Sorry I only sent one, I´m learning to be frugal with my mission funds here. Haha.

This week was a week of miracles...just like every other week of my mission, but this week I set a goal to search for miracles...and I found them. Right where my Heavenly Father placed them. I love when you search for someone all week...feel prompted to walk down a random street (that was completely out of you way) and find your lost investigator...buying cake. (My kind of man!) Just kidding I promise I´m not flirting with my investigators. I just said that cause I like cake.

Speaking of cake...Yesterday I was deathly ill from about 4am until 9am in and out of the bathroom, curled up in a little ball on my bed. We called the bishop, he came over to give me a blessing, and I stood up, and off the church we went. Wow! I love the Priesthood. Just a few of the miracles I saw this week. And the reason why I said "speaking of cake" is because the reason I was sick is because I ate some cake on Saturday night that the Young Women made with fondant, and I ate a bunch of it...come to find out the fondant here is made with ceramics and stuff...and they forgot to tell me, so I was basically eating pottery I guess. Anyway...I´m feeling much better. Still don´t really have any desire to eat, but that will probably change with our millions of dinner appointments these next few days.

Yesterday we went out contacting with a little boy in the ward who is 10 years old because he wanted to learn what a mission was like. He brought his hymn book, his scriptures and his backpack, and he was sharing his testimony, and praying with us in the street and everything. It was so much fun. When we were with him, we knocked on a door and were talking to a little boy for about 10 minutes, we were telling stories, and cracking jokes, and he would not smile for the life of him so we told him we were going to sing a son.  We gave him a little hymn book to follow along, and we sang "I´m a child of God". I look over after the first line, and he is singing along with was so cute. Children learn in such a different way than adults do, and it was just another testimony to me of how much our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love children. Be patient with them, and love them!

Remember your Savior this Christmas, and remember what you want to give HIM this year.


Love you all SO much!
Can´t wait to talk to you all on Wednesday morning!

Monday, December 16, 2013

"Milagros...que bonita!"

Oh my dear family!

This last week we were in Arequipa for our leadership conference, and President Zobrist made some big changes in the mission. I`m so excited to see what will happen with his visions, and see how the missionaries will be fueled in a different way.  When we were in Arequipa my companion had probably one of the most hilarious days of my whole mission.

Last week after I wrote you, we went to T.G.I. FRIDAYS in the mall and I ate sour cream for the first time in 9 months. I was almost crying...It was delicious. Afterwards we went into the Plaza de armas to take some pictures, and it ended up being probably the funniest biggest disaster since my swine flu experience in the concubine at the MTC.

So we`re walking around enjoying the cute little Christmas decorations in the plaza, and I see some girls dressed in their Peruvian dresses holding a little of course I ran over and asked them if I could take a picture with them. I pick up the lamb, and it starts peeing on me. I start dying laughing holding it out in front of me like some sort of sick child. The girls are just standing there smiling and they look at me and say, "It`s okay, this is good luck. It`s a lamb of God." Classic. Afterwards my companion wants to take a picture so I pass her this little lamb, and it starts pooping on her. I was trying to take the picture, but she freaked out and threw the baby lamb...but gets better. While this is happening a creepy man comes up to me and whispers in my ear asking my name...I stepped back, pointed at my name tag and said, "Hermana Stone" and he smiles and says..."Milagros...que bonita!" hahaha...THEN at the same time of all this is going on, a little old catholic man is dancing around me in circle with a picture of Mary and baby Jesus asking me to take a picture of him. I can`t wait to watch a replay of this day in my movie in heaven. You are all invited to watch too.

This week we have been working even more with the less actives...and I can see a change in them. I love it. I have been studying a bunch of stories about Christmas to share when we visit, and I feel SO much the love of my Heavenly Father at this time of year. This definitely will be a different Christmas than the others that I have had, but I don`t have to worry about anything but my Savior and that is quite refreshing to me.

Yesterday was our ward primary program and I got to play the piano. It was hilarious and adorable, and I just LOVE these kids so much. They all dressed in white, and there was a bunch of them that memorized their little parts to share. They have such a special little spirit and testimony that just glows. You can`t help but leave a meeting like we had yesterday just beaming with joy and love for the Lord and his creation of little children. 

Right now we are working with a few young men that are preparing for baptism.  One of them is named Hector, and the other is named Rivaldo. They are neighbors and play in a band together. They came to church last week and asked us if they could be baptized. Ha. You can only imagine the response of a missionary when we hear that. Right now we are teaching them the discussions to prepare them a little more, because they have all the desires in the world.

Our convert from last month John received the priesthood a few weeks ago, and yesterday was blessing and breaking the sacrament. It is such a feeling of joy for me to see young men using their priesthood, and being instruments in the hands of the Lord.

I love you all! Can`t wait to talk to you next week.
I will send you a separate email to let you know when I can talk...and yes, I can use Skype! Horray!

-Hermana Carli

Monday, December 9, 2013

Big poster in Heaven!

Hello my lovely family! Sounds like you are all enjoying the Christmas season at home. Truth be told the Christmas thing is tough here because it is nothing like home. BUT...that being said...I am excited to shed layers and eat fruit cake this year with my brothers and sisters here in Tacna PERU.

This week we have been working a lot with the members of our ward here in Para Chico, and I love getting to know them better, and hear about their lives. President Zobrist came to visit Tacna this last week and told us that just as important for him as baptisms, is reactivation. We taught a lot of lessons with less actives, and new members and it is such a miracle seeing the progress that these members make when they remember what it is like to feel the spirit, and the love of our Father in Heaven in their lives again. I find so much joy seeing the changes that they make, and the love they have for their Savior once they remember who He is, and what He did.

I am so beyond grateful for my Father in heaven. I cannot even write in words the love I have for my Heavenly Father, and here in my mission I have learned more than ever in my life the love that He has for me.  Humility is hard, but there are not very many things in this life that are easy...and He would never give us something we could not handle. Of course it requires help from Him, but He is so generously willing to give that help.

I am learning so much at this time in my mission. I know that the Lord sends trials because He wants us to rely on Him. I know that He sends difficulties, because He knows we can handle them, and that we can grow from them.  Sometimes I imagine my Heavenly Father with a big poster board that has my whole life written down...and next to it a list of trials, blessings and opportunities...then I imagine Him working with my life, and putting the trials exactly where they are needed, and the blessings equally placed exactly where Hermana Carli Stone needs them.

Take time to study the scriptures. I know that the Lord speaks through his prophets to His children now through the scriptures. I finished the Book of Mormon again this week, and I once again have received my personal witness that it was written for us, by prophets who heard the voice of Christ, who saw Him, and who spoke with Him.  He loves us, and He lives.

Have a wonderful week. Study hard for finals all my dear friends, and remember the reason we have Christmas. Remember the Savior, His sacrifice, and His love for you. I love the story from the Christmas devotional yesterday from the General Primary President where she talked about the little boy John, and told him that Jesus died for Him. He did. He died for you...because He loves you.

This month I am trying to walk with Christ. I am reading the New Testament to understand better His life, and the attributes that He had that made Him the perfect Savior that He was.

Love you all more than you know.


Sister Carli Stone

Monday, December 2, 2013

Stuck in the sand on P-day! this week was about...1000 times better than last week. I`m continuing to grow, and learn each day...and I am so grateful for the love I feel from my Heavenly Father everyday. It`s tough seeing the family all together for Thanksgiving, and missing all the good stuff at home, but it`s okay cause for Thanksgiving I was on exchanges with a sister from the States and we ate bananas and Nutella from my package and went back and forth saying things we were grateful for. It was so fun.

Mom asked me a bunch of questions last week and I think I will just answer those for you, because the weeks seem to fly by, and I hardly remember what happens when I sit down to write.

We definitely do NOT have seasons here in PerĂ¹. Not even a little bit. Haha everyday we wake up, and everyday the weather is the same. It`s about 75-80 degrees and sunny. My companion doesn't like the sun so it`s pretty hilarious when we walk out the door everyday I just throw my hands in the air and say..."AH! How beautiful is this day!" and she gives me the death stare. .

Thanksgiving was a normal day of`s not a holiday here so nothing happened. Transfers were yesterday, and my companion and I are staying here in Para Chico together for Christmas.  Our mission president doesn't like changes very companion has been in Tacna for 9 months.
We have time to exercise everyday for 30 minutes in the morning and I`m doing pretty good about doing my exercise.  I have a jump rope so I use that everyday, and run in circles in our room while my companion lays on the bed bending her legs every 30 seconds. And I just I get double exercise.

The people here don`t eat fruit or vegetables...just rice and chicken and potatoes and you understand my problem. Haha. We have a Pensionista so we talked to her last week, and asked her to feed us more fruit, and less fattening morning we have a fruit salad instead of rolls with eggs, and onions.

I DID get my birthday package! I was basically crying with everything I pulled out of the box and screaming of happiness. I ate the whole bag of mint M&M`s in our planning's embarrassing.

Last P-day we went to the beach.  The beach is about 30 minutes from where we are, so our ward mission leader took me, my companion, and the other two sisters in our zone.  It was probably one of the most hilarious moments on my mission. His car can`t drive and sand...and he forgot until we were in the middle of the beach...STUCK for an hour and a half. At first we thought it was funny, and we all got out and helped him push from the back...(the first picture I sent) but unfortunately that didn't last too long and we were legitimately STUCK until some other guys came over to help. It was QUITE the p day...but I just couldn't help but laugh the entire drive home in my clothes and shoes covered in sand. Ha.

We ordered a jersey for our zone before transfers last week, and we got them on we took pictures of our whole zone together before transfers and everyone was making fun of me cause I was using the bow that I got from the wrapping of my sweater in my package, and used it all day so I could feel like I was in the fall spirit. .

Sorry this letter wasn't super spiritual...but you can get a feel a little better of what my mission is like.  I learned a TON this week in my personal study time, and I have such a hunger for more knowledge of the gospel.  I know that our Heavenly Father only wants the best for us...and he will NEVER give us a trial we cannot learn and grow from. He knows what  He is doing, and He has a bigger plan that we have for ourselves.  Trust Him.

Love you all!
Hermana Stone