Monday, February 24, 2014

Goodbye to Tacna....

Hello my dear family.

Sorry I`m writing so late`s not like you will read this anyway you crazy party people.

Hope you`re enjoying the sunshine...because I am here in the rain. Yes, it`s true. I got transferred from Tacna back to Arequipa this morning. Now I will be sister training leader of the sisters here in Arequipa. I love Arequipa...this will always be my mission, but oh man...I don`t even know how to describe the love I have for Tacna.

Yesterday I was a disaster. I went up in Relief Society to make an announcement, and I couldn't even hold it together. I just stood there and bawled. I honestly didn't even have words to describe the love that I have for my ward in Para Chico. I was there for 6 months...and I will never forget that area. I truly feel that I learned and grew more in the last six months of my mission than the last 19 years of my life.  I will always be grateful for the love that the members of my ward, and everyone in my last area gave to me. They all came up in a line to give me hugs at the end of Relief Society and I just sat there and cried into their shoulders...I couldn't even thank them enough for the love they had shown me. Ah! Charity at it`s best!

Enough of the sadness...I`m back in Arequipa! My companion here in super sweet. Hermana Canales from Lima. I`m excited to be back here, and work with a different group of sisters. Today I met my soul sister who is one of the sisters in our training zone, and we sat and talked for like 30 minutes about our life plans...(which happen to be exactly the same).  The calling I have as sister training leader has helped me so much, and I have just loved getting to know each of these sisters and help them in different ways. I`m sure you have all had experiences at one time in your life where you have sacrificed something to help someone else, and then thought..."Wow, they didn't even realize what I did." And think that your work goes unnoticed...but I promise you, that in one moment or another the good will come back to you, and that you will realize that you truly did help, and you really were a light in someones path.

The mission is awesome. I am loving each and everyday. I love everyone I meet here in PerĂ¹....and I will never ever forget the experiences that I have had here in my mission.  I will probably end up finishing my mission here in this area, but only the Lord knows where I need to be, and who I need to help. I know that there are people here in Arequipa that need me right now.

Enjoy your week!

Love you all!

Pictures next week....I'm short on time.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happier than ever!

Ohhhh hello everyone I just love you all so much. I had some of the most hilarious emails ever this week, and I was laughing out loud reading them and all the elders were looking at me like some sort of crazy person. Thank you Chandler, Katelyn, Marcus and Summer for all emailing me. The Stone family is still funny. (Thank goodness)

This week was incredible! (Very soon I will start running out of words to describe my happiness in the mission).  Right now I`m just glowing and laughing and so happy that I can`t even type. I just love this work so much. (And also this kid next to me that`s playing some war game is a super intense gamer...and that`s pretty funny too.) So...Saturday Edison, and Carlos both got baptized! It was SUCH an amazing baptism. I think it was my favorite baptism of my whole mission.  My companion sang "Savior, Redeemer of my soul" with an elder from California that is a professional opera singer. I couldn`t even play the piano because the spirit was so strong. I was literally sitting at the piano giggling because it was SO amazing. I am so blessed to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost each day of my mission.

Oh...haha. This week we were in divisions, and I bought these little popsicles for me and the sister I was with to eat when we were walking cause it was so hot outside, and when I was JUST about finished she said...I don`t think we should eat these...I`m pretty sure they made them with dirty water. Well...sure enough...they were made with dirty water, and I got a parasite...but I took all my pills that the nurse told me too, and I think I killed it. It was the most horrible and painful thing ever. I don`t know how I will ever give birth. for P-day we are going to a country club to play tennis, and eat BBQ. Even since my little chat with my zone we are on fire! Haha. This week we are ordering matching T-shirts too. Oh...and the other big news. The whole mission got cell phones this week. Wooo! Our zone leaders called and asked if we could wrap them up so that we could give them to the zone as a gift, and so they brought over 6 cell phones yesterday and Santa Carli wrapped them all up.

Anyway...that's about it for this week. Oh...last  P-day President Zobrist came down to Tacna and we ran into him in shorts and a T-shirt walking in the mall with his wife and his daughter Carly. He took us to lunch at a super cute little cafe, and we just talked and laughed and he kept calling his daughter Carls, and Car and Carligirl and I was just dying. It was pretty funny.

Keep the faith!

love you forever,

Hermana Stone

1. Baptisms--Carlos is the guy with glasses, and Edison is the tall one on the right. Love them!
2. Santa Carli wrapping all the cell phones for our zone. Merry CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Obedience brings blessings!

Wow. Where do I even start? This week was great!

First of all...Remember our wonderful Edison? he called this week saying he had to work with his dad in another city, and he was SO sorry, but he asked if we could plan everything for his baptism next Saturday. MIRACLE!

Then...we had another reference from a family in our ward who came to church last Sunday, and he asked if we could visit him...and he turned out to be the most amazing investigator I have had in my entire mission. When we taught the Restoration he cried and said..."Wow. I have found what I have been searching for my whole life...I`m sorry I`m crying right now but I just feel so good...I can`t even describe how happy I am right now." The next day we taught him the Plan of Salvation, and half way through the lesson I asked him if we understood or had any questions and he said..."No. It`s perfect. It makes so much sense. I don`t have one doubt." We challenged him to be baptized this week, and he said..."I would love too. You told me my answer would come as a feeling, and I have that feeling...I`m ready." We were both practically in tears. I promise you that obedience brings blessings.

Also...I am so awkward. Yesterday in sacrament meeting I was playing the piano, and after the announcements I started playing the sacrament hymn. I did my little introduction (like normal) and then when I finished I started the song over again...(like normal) and started singing in English along with the music as I was playing (like normal)....but NORMALLY everyone else is singing too...and I was about one line into the song when I realized that NOBODY was singing and EVERYBODY was looking at me. I stopped playing and looked silently at everyone....(I felt like I was in some sort of movie)...the sister directing looks at me laughing and says..."You`re playing the wrong song." HAHAHAHAH. It was so uncomfortable for everyone. I looked at the little number board, and down at my hymn book and started busting up laughing...(which pretty much gave everyone else permission to laugh too) so we were all dying of laughter...and there went the beautiful spirit of the sacrament.

Man...I know I say this every week, but I just love my mission so much. I could be a missionary forever. This is the most amazing time in my entire life, and never have I felt the spirit so strongly, and the love of my heavenly father so deeply in all my life.

Remember who you are and the potential you have.

Con mucho amor,

Sister Carli Stone

Ps. My pensionista made me Kraft mac and cheese yesterday. Could she BE any cooler?

The other picture is from our ward activity on Friday. We have 17 investigators there...SUCCESS!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Turn to Him

Hello family and friends!

This week was busy, and wonderful. Full of spiritual experiences and miracles. I love this gospel so much. Each day my love my Heavenly Father, and his son Jesus Christ grows, and I realize how extremely blessed I have been in my life. 

I was in divisions this week with a new sister who has 2 weeks in the mission, and we went to visit a little old lady and her husband who have been members of the church for about 3 years.  When we got there she told us that she had a reference for us. Reference of GOLD! This kid is awesome. His name is Edison. He has 19 years, and has been to church a bunch of times. He told us he wanted to get baptized, and that he knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is true. We set a baptism date for this next Saturday, and told him that he needed to come to church this week (yesterday) so he could be prepared. But then he started putting up a wall, and using a bunch of excuses for why he couldn't come to church.  We testified to him of the importance of the sabbath day, and fasted and prayed like crazy that he would feel the importance of this sacred day, and yesterday HE CAME TO CHURCH! We both started crying of happiness the moment that he walked in. It was so wonderful that all of this happened in divisions because we always pray that the sisters will have a spiritual experience and see miracles in divisions, and as we were leaving this new little sister from Lima looks over at me and starts crying and says..."You are a wonderful missionary Sister Stone. I learned so much from you in these divisions, I know that I can be a great missionary too." It was such a sweet little moment.  

The pictures I sent you are from our P-day last week. We played spoons, and out of the 16 missionaries in my zone...I WON! Everyone was teasing me saying that it was because I play the piano and have quick hands. Thanks for the piano lessons mom and dad! Ha.

I am so thankful today for my Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for answers to prayers. I know that only the Lord knows what is best for us, and even though in the moment it may not seem like what we want, our Heavenly Father is so much more powerful, and He can help us, guide us, and truly protect us from the harms of the temptations of this world. Turn to Him. Repent. Ask for forgiveness. Our God is so merciful, and willing to forgive us for our short comings.

Love you all! Thanks for your love, and examples always.

Sister Carli Stone