ang panunumbalik (the restoration)

Another crazy week!

We had zone conference last week, and also saw many miracles! some were just simple and small miracles, but they were really a testimony to me that our Heavenly Father really hears and answers prayers.

We went on splits last week with Sis Manosig and Sis Spencer. It was really fun to split with Sis Spencer and I learned a lot from her. We saw a lot of small miracles, from someone’s heart being softened just enough to actually listen to our message for a few minutes, to a member passing by as we were trying to figure out how we were going to get home by curfew. The Lord truly provided for us all the day long.

Sis Sumagpao has been sick and we’re not really sure why…still working on it, but hopefully we can get her feeling better soon! so I mostly read the Liahona a lot yesterday and I learned a lot about some things I’ve been thinking about. I love reading the words of the prophets.

Well, Thursday was zone conference, and it was focused on the Restoration. We talked a lot about the apostasy and things leading up to the Restoration. I know when we understand the Apostasy and what happened to the doctrine during that time, it is so easy to see the beauty and truthfulness of the Restoration. We also talked about dispensations. The scriptures are so clear in every dispensation that God’s message to the world since the beginning of time is to have faith, repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost and endure to the end. and that is our same message today! we share the same message all the prophets before us have preached, the same message Jesus Christ has revealed to all people.

The most powerful part to me was during Sister Rahlf’s portion about Joseph and Hyrum Smith. She told many stories about their lives. The Spirit so powerfully testified to me during that portion that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that the stories she was telling actually happened. they are not just made up stories and are not embellished in any way. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today.

Before I left on my mission, I thought I was converted. And I was…but I didn’t realize how much progress I had yet to make, how much deeper and stronger that conversion could become. I know I still have much left to learn and understand, but my faith now is stronger than ever before. I still make so many mistakes and am very far from perfect, but I am working every day to overcome those things and to become more like Christ. I know He lives, and that He atoned for each one of us. That power is real and every person on this earth needs to access it. I have felt that power in my life and that is something I could never, ever deny.

I love you all!

love,

Sister Carr

Part of my area in Almaguer

Part of my area in Almaguer

Almaguer :)

Almaguer 🙂

Guarantee these are the biggest bananas you have ever seen in your life (as long as you haven't been to a tropical country before)

Guarantee these are the biggest bananas you have ever seen in your life (as long as you haven’t been to a tropical country before)

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Bambang

Nichole Kim :D

Nichole Kim 😀

Jefferson, me, Sis Calisaan, Kaye Ann, Aaron

Jefferson, me, Sis Calisaan, Kaye Ann, Aaron

Sis Brown and Sis G went to Manila for fingerprinting...they brought us back krispy kreme :) :)

Sis Brown and Sis G went to Manila for fingerprinting…they brought us back krispy kreme 🙂 🙂

IMG_0206

Me and Sis Maestrado at her last MLC back in June :)

Me and Sis Maestrado at her last MLC back in June 🙂

Me and Warren!

Me and Warren!

Me and Sister Warr :)

Me and Sister Warr 🙂

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mga natutunan ko ngaun

Hello!

We had a great week here in Bambang. I don’t have a lot of time today, but here are some of the highlights–

I saw a huge herd of ducks being herded down the road. they took up half the road. that was something I havne’t seen before, haha.

Also, there is this kid in a house we teach at. his name is “Prince Walt Sidney”. clever 🙂

It was a dooownpour the other day and we were teaching Bro and Sis Delacruz. the…um…daan..oh, the path to their house was super muddy and we were going down and I totally slipped and was covered in mud. hahaha.

We went on splits with Sis Breinholt and Sis elivera. The sister I split with was dealing with some things I struggled with before, and it was an amazing feeling to be able to empathize with her and help her feel she is not alone. I never realized I would be so grateful for a trial I once thought was so hard.

We have an awesome new investigator, Shaina. We set a baptismal date with her in the first lesson. she is so prepared and she came to church on sunday and was so willing to participate in gospel principles class even though she hasn’t even been taught the whole first lesson yet. we are really excited for her. 🙂

We have been working well as a companionship to try to improve upon our weaknesses. doing this has yielded huge blessings. we are seeing many miracles and this area is going to blossom so beautifully. I love to see an area come alive. it has had great success in the past, and I know there are great successes to be had in the future. I am happy to be in this area and helping it to grow.

I have been learning so much about agency and about the purpose of life this week. now is the time for us to act, to change, to grow, to learn, to gain the desire to become like God. I know He lives. I know He is real. We are His children. He gave us agency because without it, there would be no purpose to life. Agency gives purpose to life, but we need to use it wisely to gain the blessings of it. Knowing the purpose of life and knowing God’s plan has given me a huge desire to change and become better. never in my life has the desire to change been so strong as it is now. This scripture has become personal to me recently and this has also become my desire, and I know the Lord will make miracles of my life because of it:

15 And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give upall that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.

16 But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wiltbow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.

I will give away all my sins to know thee,”

Eternal .life is found in knowing our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. (john 17:3) And I know there is nothing that will make our life more profitable, meaningful, or rich as the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love you!

love, Sister Carr

Charity Never Faileth

That was probably the fastest week of my life, and some good things happened! We didn’t work very much because Sis Sumagpao got sick..but we went to MLC in Cauayan on Wednesday and that was the highlight of my week.

I mostly want to focus this email on things I learned at MLC. We had such a great meeting with Pres and Sister Rahlf. I want to share it mostly because everybody struggles with this in one way or another…and if nothing else, just so I have another documentation of it for when I go home. 🙂

The topic for MLC was on Divine Companionships. These things are great because they are eternal truths–and they apply to essentially any relationship we have–mission companions, eternal companions, children and parents, siblings…anytime we have a relationship where we need to learn to work together and love each other. It’s probably one of the greatest tests of life. But it has the potential to yield the greatest blessings if we are humble enough to learn the lessons from those trials.

1) Divine companionships are not found; they are created.

It takes work on both parts. Pres Rahlf emphasized it this way: “Marriage is NOT 50/50. Marriage is 100/100…100% no matter what. we have to be willing to give all to each other and to make sacrifices for each other. Don’t you dare keep score.” (keeping score as in, well I did my part and she’s not doing hers, and I always do this and he never does, etc)

Relationships only really fail when one of the two gives up on it. if there is even a glimmer of desire to hold the relationship together, and they both work on it together, it can become beautiful and happy. lots of times missionary companions have problems and then just kinda bail out by thinking, “I’ll just wait it out til transfers and I”ll be happy once this person is gone and I have a new companion.” but that’s not how it works. happiness is a choice and if we’re not happy with one companion, we probably won’t be perfectly happy with any companion as the fault lies in our own stubbornness to work out the problem…and that doesn’t go away with transfers.

When there is a problem or we are not happy, instead of immediately blaming our companion, we need to self-evaluate as the disciples did when Christ told them that one of them would betray Him: “Is it I?” Most of the time, we are the ones hindering our own happiness.

2) What REALLY creates a divine companionship is Charity.

learning and gaining charity must be a lifelong pursuit.

one of the best verses on charity is well-known and found in Moroni 7:45:

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

If we’re not happy in our relationships or companionships of any sort, this should be our focus. am I willing to endure trials with this person? do I express and show kindness to them? (even when they don’t deserve it?) do I feel envy? (of them or others?) am I prideful? (do I think I’m doing more than them or am better than them?) am I focused on and seeking after my own happiness and benefit or theirs? do I take offense easily or lose my patience quickly? do I rejoice in their successes, or their failures? are we open and honest? beareth, believeth, hopeth all things–no scorekeeping, no giving up on them or yourself, seeing people as they can become rather than as they are,

and endure well together 🙂

pres rahlf said, “You cannot get into the highest degree of the celestial kingdom alone..you have to be a unified celestial couple.”

none of us are perfect, but we can do our best to improve each day. When we focus all our relationships on Christ, and becoming like Him, we can be assured that despite the difficulties, we will be happy–and happy together. and we as families can endure well together and that is the end goal of it all.

so maybe most of this stuff was just for me, but I hope you were able to learn as well. Heavenly Father loves us, and one of the best blessings we can have is a companion.

I have a great companion right now, and I am so grateful for her! and I am grateful to continue to learn about Heavenly Father’s plan for us so that we can experience joy now and hereafter.

I love you all! ay ayaten kayo 🙂

love always,

Sis Carr

napakadaringungu (nosebleed…aka I don’t understand ilokano)

Hello! So much has happened this week!

I was transferred to Bambang! It’s in Nueva Vizcaya, the other side of the mission…the furthest away you can get from the mission home, haha. I am serving in the Almaguer branch! Kind of a bummer–Sister Maddock just left here  (my MTC comp) and so we missed each other again. I haven’t seen her since December. But this is an awesome branch, and I’m stoked to be here.
Bambang is so beautiful! there are mountains and tons of rice fields. It’s so GREEN. The pictures will never do it justice.
Well, the best news ever is that we have AIR CONDITIONING in our bedroom. The rest of our apartment isn’t really that great…but we have aircon and that is amazing. I can sleep at night 🙂 🙂
My new companion is Sis Sumagpao! We are batch going home. She is awesome, and an amazing missionary. I knew her back in Tuguegarao. We are going to have a great time together here in Almaguer!
The other day we went to this compound to teach some less actives. While we were talking to some people, this kid threw a ball and it landed on their tin roof that hangs over their porch. I moved to avoid getting hit by the ball, but was surprised when suddenly the roof was hitting me in the arm. ha. I was lucky it didn’t get me in the face, but I got a cut on my arm. We took care of it with alcohol and a band-aid..it was just really weird to be hit by somebody’s roof.
This area is mostly ilokano…we have an investigator who only speaks ilokano, so we have to have a translator. It’s weird to have lessons where I’m reading from English scriptures, speaking Tagalog, and hearing ilokano in response. It’s kinda like being a brand new missionary again where I don’t know anything and don’t understand a thing. I only know a few ilokano words..but me and Sis Sumagpao are learning 🙂 hopefully this will be my last area, so maybe after 6 months here I will be able to communicate in ilokano as well 🙂
This week I”ve been trying to study extra hard about Jesus Christ and coming to know Him better. I am also working on continuing to become more consecrated. I know that sometimes there are voices in the world who try to destroy our faith. But I know that as we exercise our faith and hang on, and especially as we repent, we can and will experience the power of God in our lives–a power that is undeniable. Repentance binds us to the Lord, because it is the biggest opportunity for us to feel His love and His matchless Atoning power and grace.
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”
His power is real and undeniable–and it is there for every one of us to experience.
I love you!
Sister Carr

paalam ilagan! sulong pa!

mga dearest kaibigan ko!

This week was insane! So busy, with a ton of different adventures, ultimately leading up to today, in which I learned that I am being transferred on Wednesday. It’s so crazy! I feel like my time here in Ilagan has gone so quickly. The mission really is so short, and I’m so happy to be a part of this great work of the Lord.

So the highlights from this week-

–Carlo and Angelo’s baptism! We had a combined service with Ward 2. Their new convert was super prepared and he bore a powerful testimony. Carlo and Angelo are brothers, and they were so happy to be baptized. Angelo is just 12 but he gave such a simple yet powerful testimony. He said, “masarap sa pakiramdam na maging member ng Simbahan na ito.” translated, it’s an amazing feeling to become a member. He was so excited to be baptized and have all his sins washed away. They are such great examples to the people around them.

–We recently learned that this place called Naguilian was part of our area. To get there, we took a trycie down to the river. then we took these little boats across the river and then took another trycie to the place we were actually going. We wandered around there for a while, talked to a bunch of people, taught a lesson to a former investigator, and then got this yummy stuff called ‘scramble’ which is like ice with chocolate and flavoring (it was ube flavored…ube is like…sweet potato…kind of..and very purple). yum 🙂 then we took a trycie, went back across the river, and took a jeep home. it was crazy! but super fun and I had no idea our area was so huge.

–we went on splits with Alinguigan B–Sister Warr and Sis Morente, and then their part-timer Sis Eugenio (she has a mission call to the Perth Australia mission). I went with Sis Warr! It was great, and we saw lots of miracles. We were able to get some true concerns out of one of our investigators, which really was huge for me. Well, the next day, we needed to go to Alinguigan for a few reasons, so we went there and stayed the night at their apartment. It was interesting, but a good experience.

We had a fireside on Sunday. we’ve been trying to put it together for a month. We showed a video called “we are one” and then divided into three groups. We had our ward mission leader teach about home and visiting teaching, we taught about teaching as a calling, and the other sisters taught about teaching in our families. then the bishop spoke on charity and we showed another video. it was great! we even had people come, which made my day. 😀

Vinci (an 18 year old boy in our ward) just got his mission call to Quezon City! We are so excited! he is going to do great. Karl John leaves this week for his mission to Cavite.

Probably none of that really matters to you, but I’m super excited about it, haha 🙂

I just wanted to end with a thought our great bishop, Bishop Pattaguan, gave last night at the fireside: hanggang saan ang willingness natin na gawin? or, until how far is our willingness to act?

having faith is great, but our faith is really only as big as our willingness to act on it. what more are we willing to do? how far are we willing to go in the service of the Lord? He needs us, and our faith can’t afford us to *not* act. Action is what builds our faith, and we need to build it, or we’re going to lose the most precious thing we have.

I know this is the Lord’s work! I am grateful to be a part of it. I will miss Ilagan, but I am excited for the next part of my mission here in the Cauayan Mission.

Love,

Sister Carr