He is the Gift!

minamahal kong pamilya….:) my beloved family!

well, this is it! I only have one week left, but I know there is so much that will happen this week. We will be really busy and I am so excited to just work and work. We will be using every minute the best we can. So many miracles have been happening here. I know the Lord is guiding this work.
Being a missionary at Christmastime is the BEST. No better way to feel the real Spirit of Christmas than to testify of Him to all I talk to. Pleaseeee watch the video at the bottom of this email! it is so wonderful and this is the message we are sharing with everyone right now (and what all the missionaries are doing all over the world right now).
as an update on Lovely, she is doing great and making progress. She has been reading the Book of Mormon and seriously thinking and praying about our message. She has not received it yet, but we know she is starting to feel it. We had an amazing lesson yesterday and Sis Romano really discerned her thoughts, which had a powerful impact on the lesson. We are doing all we can to help her and encourage her to find out for herself, and she is well on her way to doing so. It is such an amazing thing to see.
We shared with her about why we celebrate Christmas, since she was asking if we do, since other religions don’t. We read 3 Nephi 11 together and testified of Christ’s birth, and more so about His Atonement and the way He provided us to return home to our Father’s presence. When we taught her the Restoration lesson the other day, I don’t know if she felt the Spirit as much as I did as we taught about the First Vision, but I know that it is true and I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.
We went to the Career Workshop on Wednesday and took some time thinking about the future….it’s confusing. ha. but it’ll work out. We were the first group to get to use the new 12-week (which we smashed into 7 hours) Self Reliance program by the church. it is awesome and I learned so much. I look forward to studying that book more when I go home and becoming more self-reliant.
Besides that, I really felt the Lord’s help as we tracted and we tried to talk to as many people as possible. Sometimes it is hard but the Lord enables us to do more than we think. He really makes miracles out of us and does so much infinitely more with our little efforts.
I studied about the baptismal covenant this morning. I studied a talk on the sacrament from one of the sisters who spoke last conference. She described the baptismal covenant this way:
Take Upon us the Name of Christ– “That means we must see ourselves as His. We will put Him first in our lives. We will want what He wants rather than what we want or what the world teaches us to want.” (Pres Eyring) Is this something we are trying to do? is this an active pursuit in our lives?
Always Remember Him–“That means we will constantly look to the Savior’s example and teachings to guide our thoughts, our choices, and our acts.” Do we remember Him in this way?
Keep His Commandments–‘ Obedience to the commandments brings the power of the gospel into our lives and greater peace and spirituality.”
I reflected during sacrament meeting yesterday on the impact the sacrament has had on my life in the past 18 months. yesterday was the last time I had the sacrament as a missionary, since we have a conference this week. The Spirit testified to me so powerfully that because of the sacrament, I had become the person I now am; because of the sacrament I was able to continue those weeks I thought I couldn’t; because of the sacrament I was able to become a successful missionary. I know of the power of the sacrament, because it gives us access to the full measure of the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is the power of our baptismal covenants–that we can receive healing, strength, peace, forgiveness; that we can start over; that we can look forward with faith and hope in the future. It is all about the Atonement. I hope the sacrament continues to become a more cherished and sacred thing in each of our lives, because this is really what enables us to grow and progress in life.
I am so grateful for all Jesus Christ has done for me. I know He is the Son of God and that He is our Savior. I know He is the Gift! He is the Light and Life of the World. What a privilege to serve Him. How blessed we are.
I love you all! mahal ko kayo lahat.
Sister Carr
#ShareTheGift
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My area...Anao and Quiling. I really love rice fields and how everything reflects off of them. :)

My area…Anao and Quiling. I really love rice fields and how everything reflects off of them. ๐Ÿ™‚

me, Sister Lasay, and Tatay Nicacio :) :) :)

me, Sister Lasay, and Tatay Nicacio ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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kasipagan=miracles. (diligence=miracles)

Hello!

This week had a lot of punted moments, but we were more than compensated by some amazing miracles!
this week we got really punted in Gabit, and we started tracting. we tracted a girl named Viel, and she was shy but we had a good first lesson with her. A few days later, we were doing studies and hadn’t planned to return to her that day. but during my personal study, I felt like we should go back and see her. we did, and sister Romano really wanted to invite Viel’s sister to the lesson. we asked if she could, and Viel just said that her sister was busy. But later on in the lesson, her sister came out and we hurried and invited her and she joined. her name is Lovely. As it turns out, she has been long-time searching for the true church and has attended many other sects. she has been taught by missionaries previously before, but the missionaries got transferred or something and they kind of disappeared and she wasn’t able to continue. she asked, “What makes your church different from other churches?” and we explained some of the concepts of the restoration and that we want to share this message with her in full. we promised her she would find the truth and learn it for herself. We testified that this is the true church and we felt the Spirit testify of our words. It was a powerful experience to know that there are prepared people and that the Lord will lead us to them, and also that we really are His hands and His emissaries.
it was also a testimony to me that sometimes, as companions, we don’t necessarily receive the same revelation as we do complementary revelation. this has happened many times on my mission–I feel to go somewhere and my companion has another specific but related thought, and it always ends in a miracle. how blessed we are to have that kind of revelation that leads us to trust in each other and rely on each other. nobody receives all the revelation. we need each other to do His work.
We had many challenges this week and ended up walking a lot, since our area is a large, rural area, but that miracle and other small tender mercies made this week so rewarding. Sometimes I feel like the day ahead will be difficult, but I always know by the end of the day I will feel grateful for that day and all that has occurred.
We have been trying to be more bold in our testifying and being more direct about the message of the Restoration. We are trying to teach so people cannot misunderstand. We are trying to teach so that they can know that w have what they need. I love feeling the Spirit testify to me of things I am saying, even if the other person doesn’t receive it. I am so sad when other people don’t understand what we are trying to give them, and I grow more and more grateful each day for the Plan our Father has created for us and for His Son.
I know as we strive to pray more and more sincerely in every prayer we offer, over time we will gain a more complete knowledge and understanding of who our Heavenly Father is and how beautiful His plan really is for us all. I have experienced that, even more so this week, and there is no better feeling than to know everything is in His hands, and that He really is concerned about each of us. He is in the details of our lives, and we are ‘engraven upon the palms of His hands.’
I love you!
Sister Carr
Me and Kakay :)

Me and Kakay ๐Ÿ™‚

Sis Romano and I by a little teeny papaya tree :)

Sis Romano and I by a little teeny papaya tree ๐Ÿ™‚

mga pinasasalamatan ko :) (things I am grateful for)

Hello!

This week was crazy and so full of miracles! The Lord is blessing us abundantly.
We had 7 investigators at church and 3 less actives! I think that is a record ๐Ÿ™‚ we have been working really hard to get people to church and focusing on that commitment in lessons, and I know the Spirit has been helping us to be bold in helping them understand the importance of commitments and church attendance. there’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing investigators come to church ๐Ÿ™‚ it means they are on their way to greater blessings.
so something funny from relief society yesterday (it might not be funny to you..but it’s taglish so..we’ll try) –the lesson was on ‘Where Your Treasure Is” and the sister teaching was talking about how we need to not let worldly things interfere with our more important spiritual pursuits. She said, “masarap ang buhay sa mundo… eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow, patay ka!” haha. (Life is so good on earth…eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow, you’ll be dead!) (not quite the same as just saying ‘we die’) hahaha.
We had splits with our sister training leaders on wednesday in Gamu. It was weird to be back in Gamu (that’s where I had splits in my second area) and that Sis Brown is my STL now instead of the other way around, but she is doing so great and I enjoyed our split.
We worked really hard the rest of the week. We decided to knock on a door in Anao as we were heading to Quiling. we spoke with a man who is of a less well-known religion, but he began talking to us about how he believes in the King James version of the Bible, and about William Tyndale and the Reformation. We were excited, and we started discussing the Reformation with him and affirming that we believe it is really important. He was a little surprised that we agreed with him that we believe it’s not just ‘baptized, you’re saved’ and that we believe in enduring to the end. He said, “even if you serve God from 10 years old to 80 and then stop before you die, it’s not enough. so many people just retire from serving God because they don’t understand it.” it was a great conversation. We had the chance to testify to him that we believe int he reformation, but we also believe in the Restoration of complete and whole truth. He said, “Restoration?” and we testified that it is like the completing factor of everything he just told us. Hopefully he will read and pray about the pamphlet we gave him. He is a really good man.
we also got to teach a whole family! that has hardly ever happened to me on my mission, but we asked them about their vision and goals as a family and they both really want a stable, happy family. they both come from broken families and really want to avoid that. we got to testify to them that this message will enable them to create the home they have envisioned, and even more than that.
I know the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses lives! it is so simple and so beautiful. We just need to do our part, and the blessings flood in.
I studied gratitude this morning. (happy thanksgiving, pala) I have really been striving to understand the power of an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and it really is powerful. it is the gateway to feeling God’s love and grace more completely in our lives. Even during the darkest of times, we can still feel His love and have confidence that He has a perfect plan. When we feel most anxious, discouraged, or without hope, perhaps instead of telling Him all that is in our hearts (though that is a very good thing) offering up a prayer of only gratitude. IN doing so, our fears, worries, concerns, anxieties and sorrows fall away and are replaced with peace, hope, and light. I know this because I have felt it and tried it. You learn there is so much to be grateful for, for things that are unchanging principles of truth, that we can cling to in any circumstances.
I love you all and I love this work. it is hard, and taxing, but feeling the strength of the Lord at the end of each day knowing I have done my best is one of the most satisfying feelings. I know this is His work.
I am grateful for all of you and for the chance I have to be here. I am grateful for Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I am grateful for the chance to begin again each day, and have a clean slate each week when I partake of the sacrament. I am grateful for the light of the gospel and for the perfect plan of my Father in Heaven.
love always,
Sister Carr
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Our Manila Miracle :)

kamusta kayo mga kabsat?

ย I’m getting better at understanding Ilokano, so that’s pretty exciting. speaking it is a different story, but at least I can kind of get an idea of what people are saying in ilokano.
I feel like it’s been a long time since I last emailed since we spent a couple of days in Manila this weekend. kaya I mean that’s why I don’t really remember what happened when we worked last week. I just know we worked really hard.
(warning: this will be a long email. but it’s worth it, I promise)
I mostly wanted to talk about our experiences in manila, though, because we experienced a HUGE outpouring of blessings from our Heavenly Father. I know it happened because all of us have spent our missions doing our best to be diligent and obedient and to love the Lord and the people, and doing our best to try to help our mission progress and become strong.
On Friday morning, Sis Paetau and I traveled from Roxas to Cauayan via bus and jeepney. we met 11 of our other batchmates there (all sisters) and I ate froot loops at the mission home ๐Ÿ™‚ and then we went to the airport to fly to Manila. after we arrived, a van took us to immigration where we spent a good almost 5 hours in immigration getting our exit clearance stuff taken care of. finally we got to the Mall of Asia (which is a massive mall in manila) and we got to spend some time there. Sister Pace and I had mexican food (as close as it gets) and jamba juice, so it was definitely a success. they had pretty lights up everywhere as well for Christmas.
the next morning, Saturday, we were taken to the airport again around 7:30am. we made our way through the maze of the airport and just waited for our flight…and then we learned the flight to Cauayan was cancelled due to the weather. we all celebrated because we were hoping we could go to the Manila Temple. ๐Ÿ™‚ so we called the mission office and they tried to get us to fly into Tuguegarao instead. We went all the way around the airport again and had tickets to fly to Tugue and then waited some more. We chatted with some nice people from Utah, with another mission president who was flying back to his mission with his family, ate a lot of really expensive airport food and then learned our flight to Tuguegarao was cancelled as well. now we really celebrated because we thought maybe we would actually get to go to the temple. by this time it was about 12:30pm and we were told to wait until a van picked us up to take us to the Victory Liner bus station so we could take a bus to Cauayan.
At 1:30 the van came and we went to victory liner. about 2:45 we learned our bus would not be leaving until 8:30pm. so we called President Rahlf and received permission to go to the Manila Temple.
The whole ride there was so exciting. None of us had been in over a year and we all had been wanting to go so badly. When we walked into the temple, the peace we felt just walking inside brought us all to tears. I may have never been happier in my whole life. We got there in time to attend the 4pm session, which gave us the perfect amount of time to prepare and then take pictures after before we had to get on our bus.
When we were getting ready, I heard someone say, “Sister Ramos is here!” And I turned around and there was Sister Ramos, my first STL who I have looked up to and tried to be like my whole mission. She and her husband had intended to go to an earlier session but ended up coming to ours. We hugged each other so tight and just cried.
It was an amazing experience inside the temple. I know that peace, true peace, where every burden is lifted and every confusing thing in your heart is eased– is ONLY found in the temples and ONLY found in living the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was the most amazing experience and I realized how much I had yearned to go to the temple, and how much more meaningful our temple experiences would be if we always yearned that much to attend. If we always went seeking that peace that cannot be found anywhere else.
I also learned that when we are focused on the temple, every temptation, enticing or appealing thing the world has to offer loses all of its appeal. the second we knew we were going to the temple and we knew we would be able to feel that peace, nothing else mattered but going there. nothing would deter us, delay us, or sidetrack us.
we should yearn to return not only to the temple or to the Celestial Room, but to the presence of our Heavenly Father in the Celestial Kingdom. if that is our focus and we eagerly anticipate and yearn to feel that peace and joy that surely only comes in His Presence–the things of this world will lose their appeal, and no temptation will be able to distract us, deter us, or prevent us from entering there.
May we all focus more on the temple and more eagerly anticipate returning to our Heavenly Father again.
“Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, but to be spiritually-minded is life eternal.”
It is worth every effort and every sacrifice. this weekend I experienced absolute joy, and I hope you will all have many chances to experience it as well.
love always,
Sister Carr
us in front of the airport

us in front of the airport

picture from the temple

picture from the temple

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Roxas :)

Hello!

I am now settling into my last area–Roxas ๐Ÿ™‚ (ro-has, like the spanish pronunciation). I am in Isabela again (same province as Ilagan) which I am enjoying. It is hotter here than in Bambang, but much less hot than when I left Ilagan!
My new companion is Sister Romano! I have been released as a Sister Training Leader and I am Sis. Romano’s second companion. Her trainer followed her up, but I guess I am technically her follow-up trainer as well. She is so good and her testimony is powerful. I already love working with her in this area.
This week will be busy, because the foreigners going home in december will all be flying to Manila on friday for fingerprinting. it will be exciting and fun, but I can’t believe it’s our turn to do that.
I have loved meeting new people in this area. There are some pretty inspiring people here. I love to see how the gospel is blessing the lives of people. We are teaching a man who has some sickness and he can hardly walk…but his faith is burning bright. He said, “Before the missionaries taught me, I just wanted to die. But now I have a desire to continue living.” He testified how if he hadn’t gotten sick, he probably never would’ve investigated the Church because he felt he could do things on his own. We also taught a blind woman, who is a long-time member and receives a special sacrament each sunday since she can no longer attend church. She loved just listening to us read to her from the Book of Mormon and her faith was so evident.
I have been thinking so much about how we come to a point in our lives when we start to feel like we can do it all on our own. Sometimes we even start to think of religion or God as a crutch, that was nice to have while we needed it but now we can walk on our own and we don’t need it anymore.
The truth is, we can’t afford to think that way. On our own, we are not strong. We are nothing. We are so small and so weak, yet are so strong in our own eyes that we can’t even recognize it.
32ย Can a maid forget her ornaments,ย orย a bride her attire? yet my people haveย forgottenย me days without number. (jeremiah 2:32)
I read this verse on sunday and it really struck me. Christ has suffered all things for us; we are engraved upon the palms of His hands; we are the work and glory of our Father. We are never forgotten of Them, yet how quickly They are forgotten of us. How foolish are we to forget Them–They who sustain us, ever bless us, and have provided the way for us to become more than we could ever imagine.
I know Christ is not a crutch. He is our foundation. We can only find temporary and worldly success on our own. I want to try so much harder to not forget Him. I want Him to be the center of my life, because I know there is no other way.
I know He lives!
love,
Sister Carr
quotes I wanted to share from my personal studythis morning:
“What God requires is the devotion portrayed by Jesus.” -Elder D. Todd Christofferson
” The gospel is a plan of freedom that that gives discipline to appetite and direction to behavior.” –Pres Hinckley
“We can expand our freedom by perfecting our obedience.” -Elder Christofferson
“We are not obedient because we are blind; we are obedient because we can see.” -Pres. Boyd K. Packer

november na..

Hello, everyone!

Our week was absolutely crazy this week and we really didn’t get to work that much. I had a lot of great experiences, though.

ang balita ko ngayon (my news today) : I am being transferred on Wednesday! I will have one more area for one cycle. I am so excited, and I have loved my area here in Almaguer. I will miss so many people but I am so grateful I could get to know them and do my best to serve them. I know I have done my best to love and to help the people here move closer to Christ. I have made many mistakes along the way, but have grown closer to my Savior in that process as I have tried to overcome those and press forward. I will also miss my companion, Sister Lasay, because she has become one of my best friends and every day helps me to learn and be happy.

We stayed at the mission home until Wednesday (and a lot of doctor and hospital visits and tests), and then we had zone conference on Thursday, but Sis Lasay’s stomach hurt really bad again from 2pm until 3:30am. But we were able to work on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚ she is doing much better…we think she has a parasite, but she has medicine now. today we went to Banaue Rice Terraces again!

Although it was weird not working, I learned so much from the Rahlfs when I stayed there with them. They are so busy but always have such a great attitude, and I really saw how strong they are and how their faith carries them. How much stronger we would all be in our daily challenges if we all let our faith inย  Jesus Christ carry us. So often we become discouraged and allow that to diminish our faith. We must be strong and hold our heads high with faith that anything that is wrong now will be okay in the end. And it is, and we can be happy because of that hope; because of Jesus Christ.

Zone Conference was wonderful, as always, and was focused on becoming a successful missionary. It gave me good time to reflect on my mission and where I stand currently. I know I have become successful in many ways, but I need to keep improving. I got some good direction on what I can do to improve and I hope to continue to progress.

We had a special area broadcast by several general authorities and Elder Dallin H. Oaks.ย  Such an inspiring broadcast. Each of the preceding speakers (Elder Robbins, Bishop Causse, Elder Ardern…) testified of the importance of Elder Oaks’ message and that he has been called of God and sustained as a prophet, seer, and revelator, and that we need to pay careful heed to his message because he knows what will come and what we need to do to be prepared. It is so powerful to not only hear the words of a true, living prophet, but to hear others remind us of their divine calling and ministry. I know Elder Oaks is an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that the words he spake at general conference and the broadcast were the words of Christ. I know we have a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and if we will but heed and live their counsel, we will be strengthened, uplifted, protected, and guided. We need them. The words of the living prophets have inspired me time and time again and helped me understand my purpose and my identity as a child of my Heavenly Father, and who He is.

I love you all so much! I wish you all could know and feel the love and joy I feel being a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I love Him and I love His work. I am so grateful to be here and I know now more than ever that this is His truth on the earth, that He lives, and He loves us and wants us to return home again.

love always,

Sister Carr

we had zone conference...sister jensen was there :) this is my favorite picture ever. :) haha :)

we had zone conference…sister jensen was there ๐Ÿ™‚ this is my favorite picture ever. ๐Ÿ™‚ haha ๐Ÿ™‚

home away from home–the mission home!

Hey! kamusta na kayo lahat?

We are in the mission home again because sister Lasay is sick! she needed a checkup here in Cauayan and Bambang is four hours away, so we took a bus up here last night. it felt like the longest bus ride ever, and the bus we took was packed beyond capacity for a while, but I guess that’s normal. we aren’t sure how long we will be here, but at least by Thursday we will be back in Bambang because we will have zone conference. ๐Ÿ™‚
so this past week went pretty well–
First, I will just reiterate how awesome Tatay Tapec is. He is one of the strongest members in the branch and he is so fast to respond to the promptings of the Spirit. I don’t know how many times he has come along in his tricy at exactly the right time. We never have to walk home in the dark because he is always available to take us home. The other night, I started feeling sick and we were walking somewhere and he happened to come along and we didn’t have to walk. Yesterday, we were getting ready to go to cauayan and we needed some medicine that Sis Guttenbeil and Sis Hamblin picked up for us, and he had crossed paths with them and helped them make the trip much faster. I hope one day I can be the kind of person who can respond to promptings the way he does. We truly have more influence than we think in our own spheres of influence–and acting on those small promptings we receive enables us to greatly bless the people around us. I think acting on the Spirit becomes less a challenge because it just becomes a way of life instead of, “Was that the Spirit? Maybe it was…maybe not…”
when we do our best to be worthy to listen to the Spirit, we truly become the hands of the Lord in the lives of others. We don’t have to hold a position of influence to be an influential person. It is, after all, “by small and simple means” that “great things come to pass.”
I went on splits with Sister Guttenbeil on Wednesday. She is from Tonga. We had a great time. We worked hard, found a new place in her area with a lot of houses, and were able to find people we haven’t seen in a while. Sister G is only one batch behind me, and she is an awesome missionary.
well, this week will be crazy and crazy fast–between being here in cauayan, service project on Wednesday, zone conference on Thursday, and Banaue next Monday–so fast. I can’t believe it, but there are going to be so many adventures in the next few weeks, and I am happy to continue serving the Lord.
I love you! and I love this work, and I love the Lord.
Sister Carr