February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014

Hola Querida Familia!!!
Mom, seriously thank you so much for sharing that blog post with me. Super cool and such a fun read. Wow, Sister Colvin has had some crazy adventures in her life! I can't believe that. I'm sure she and Sister Rogers did such an amazing job with their talks. 
Wow. We have seriously had such a crazy week (When do we have a NORMAL week????!!!). First, I want to tell you two stories I forgot to include in my email last week haha.
Last Sunday, I was still sick and I was taking some medicine...I had to leave sacrament meeting for a second to take it and went into the bathroom. Well...somehow when I shut the door...I locked myself in. The whole door was jammed, including the lock, and I didn't even lock the door haha. I waited until they started singing a hymn and tried to get out...but no luck. Oh man haha. Finally the meeting ended and Hermana Cueva knocked quietly on the door. I explained to her that I was stuck, and two members came to help me out. We were supposed to teach Sunday School....but I was stuck for 40 minutes hahaha. Finally Hermano Josue karate kicked the door and I made it...we totally busted the door though. The whole ward knew and it was sooo embarassing hahahahahaha.
Also last Sunday we taught O the word of wisdom. He was super cool about it and accepted everything immediately. The only thing he had in his house was tea. Well we were just talking about it and he said he would get rid of it, when his two year old grandson walked in grabbed the tea packets and said "que es esto?"... which means what is this.... and then started ripping them apart. We all started laughing so hard and O said "That takes care of that problem!" So awesome.
Monday...was rough. We had to pick up Hermana Mendoza for work visits then we had a cita with the S family. We found out that their marriage wasn't valid on Friday and that they couldn't get baptized this week. J was married 26 years ago and got divorced in the same year but never had the divorce registered. Soooo...he is still a married man. It's a complicated process and he has to go to Lima and get a divorce AGAIN before he can marry S....keep them in your prayers please.
Tuesday we had District meeting, then we had one lesson, then we had to take Hermana Mendoza BACK to Huaraz. As soon as we came back FROM Huaraz, Elder Dorado called us to tell us we had a meeting with President Archibald in Huaraz on Wednesday....so off to Huaraz again. We spent the whole week in Combi haha.
Wednesday was AMAZING. I can't tell you how much I needed to have that training from President Archibald. He came again because he is doing mission-wide interviews. We had a really great morning of training. He taught us about how we need to improve our study time and ASK QUESTIONS about the scriptures. We analyzed the first page of first Nephi and learned SO much, it was really awesome. Then we talked about the importance of knowing everything about Preach My Gospel and that it was written by the prophets, so they literally were able to see how the Book of Mormon and early church missionaries taught, and what the world would be like for us today. It was really cool. After our capacitation he started our interviews... he came down and said "Hermana Carr, you're first", and we headed to the Stake President office. I said the opening prayer in English and it was really awkward...I can't remember how to pray with other people in English haha, but that's okay. We talked about my area, what I should do with the S family, and how to improve my contacting skills. Then he asked me if he could do anything for me personally... I told him that I was doing really well now, but that the first transfer was really difficult for me. He looked at me and smiled and asked "and why do you think that is?" I thought for a moment and told him exactly how it was... that until then I didn't know what homesickness was, I couldn't understand any Spanish when I showed up and I was on the outskirts of the mission. That really I felt a little isolated. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and told me that he knows perfectly how it was for me, and he knew it would be that way. Then he told me "Hermana, I hope you realize that this is a testament of just how much the Lord trusts you. What you did was three times harder than what other missionaries normally have to deal with. BUT, only you could do it. Only you, and he knew that, and I know that" He told me that I was the only sister that could come open a new area without knowing any spanish, especially in the furthest area from the mission. Mom he basically said word for word what you said to me. He told me that the Lord trusts me and knew I would be obedient even on the edge of the mission. He told me that the Archibalds love me and know how hard I'm working. We also talked about what I have learned from Hermana Cueva and how I need to teach it to other missionaries. It was just a really positive experience for me. 
Friday we had a service activity in Santa Cruz. It's about an hour from Caraz. We went to work in the field of some new converts. A very humble couple that wanted the missionaries to come to their home so that they would be more blessed. They were SO sweet, made us a really delicious meal by burying and cooking food in the dirt hahahah...it was so good. They were so worried about us and caring, it was just really sweet.
Saturday was the best day of my mission. Period. We weren't able to baptize the S parents, but we were able to have O's baptism. O is an amazing man. 70 years old, with the strongest hope and faith of anyone I have ever known in my life. At his baptism, all of my district came and we were all able to bear testimony to O. He was crying. I was crying. The power of the spirit there was so strong and for the first time, I understood what the scriptures mean when they talk about the joy that comes from bringing one soul unto the Lord. It was a beautiful experience and his wife's name is in the temple now. We are going to get this family sealed. O is an amazing example of love and faith and I feel so blessed to have been part of his conversion...because Mom and Dad, he really is a convert, not just a baptism, and I feel sooooo happy about that.
I love each of you so much. This IS the work of the Lord and it DOES change lives. Oscar is my shining example of that. In the two weeks that I have known him, he has gained so much hope about his wife and just about his life in general. He is teaching his children all about what he has learned and LOVES the Book of Mormon. As do I. This is the Lord's work and the Lord's church. I love you guys and I can't tell you how much your support means to me. 
Love always,

picking corn for the service activity

O's Baptism

Hermana Carr

February 18, 2014

February 17, 2014

Hey Family-
Sorry you had such a stressful week without Dad, but Im glad that everyone is safe. Jakey I hope you are feeling better!!! If it makes you feel better, I was SICK...SICK...SICK this week too haha.
Oh man, this was one of the craziest weeks of my mission. One of the worst and one of the best haha. A week of miracles tambien. All in all...well lets just spell it out day by day, yeah?
Monday, Pday. We went to Punto Olympica and as you can see from last weeks pictures, it was ABSOLUTELY amazing. Beautiful. It was so much fun and I had a blast talking to everyone in my zone, we have some new people in the zone since the last transfer and the bus ride was a blast getting to know them. All of the gringos are from Arizona and Utah...except for me and Elder H, he's from Nebraska... I know, who the heck is from Nebraska haha...we had some fun conversations on that one. Well after that the bus left our district in Carhuaz and we ate with the Carhuaz elders, then we headed to Caraz...had internet, and had a lesson at the S home. J wasn't there, but S, M, and J jr. were. S began to tell us that her husband said that they didn't have any money to get the documents together for their wedding. She was near tears. We decided to say a prayer and then I opened up to Nefi 3:7. You all know that scripture. I testified to S that the Lord doesn't want her to wait to repent and get married, that He ALWAYS provides a way for His children to keep the commandments. I told her that the Lord provided a way for Nephi and that He would for her too. We then talked about Nephi and how he obtained the plates...how he had to sacrifice a ton and work hard to get them. We applied this to S and laid out a plan to do everything possible to make things happen. We finished up and she went searching, and so did we.
Tuesday, we get up at 6:30, throw on some clothes and race to the S home. By miracle we scraped some money together and S and J headed to the hospital to get their health certificates, and then S headed to her hometown to get her authenticated birth certificate. We had District Meeting and had made chocolates for the elders for valentines day. they were super excited and it was awesome. Then we went and visited O, our rockstar investigator. O is progressing rapidly and he is so cool. He has a huge testimony of everything and he always says I AM GOING TO GET BAPTIZED ON THE 22nd and that he wants to share everything with his children. We also had Noche de Hermanamiento...by MIRACLE... J decided to come! It was super awesome.
Wednesday, Hermana Flor decided to make a special dish for Hermana Cueva... direct recipe from her mom. A bean mash with mystery meat...yum. Then that night S prepared dinner for us to celebrate that she got her papers. Then they began to tell us a story about how at the hospital they were going to have to pay 110 soles for stupid health tests to get their certificates, yeah they didnt have the money for that of course! But by MIRACLE one of the doctors said that he would fill out the certificates for them for a cheaper price and they didnt need to get the tests. So yes...WE WERE GONNA HAVE A WEDDING!!!
Thursday. Sick. As. A. Dog. Oh my gosh. I had a fever and everything and was stuck in bed all day. I felt bad, but I think Hermana Cueva was happy because she just studied and watched all of the book of mormon cartoons haha. I felt awful. We were able to go out and teach two lessons in the evening and head to our ward mission meeting. Elder G was super cool and gave me a blessing.
Friday, WEDDING DAY. Still not feeling too good, still in bed, D starts banging on the door frantically. Her cousin had just arrived at the house in the middle of the night with a really bad head wound. He is also S's nephew. Ambulance comes, S and her family race over. We arent sure if we are going to have a wedding. But then S  calls at 10 asking if we are still coming to her house to help her get ready. So we head over to the house and so does Hermana M and we help her with hair and make up then we all race to the stadium. All of the youth were there selling heart baloons to help them pay for their temple trip to Lima, Maria is going and I am so excited. The wedding was actually really cool for being a civil, free service. I havent ever been to a civil wedding, let alone a mass wedding, but it was great. All of the couples got their special moment to walk down the aisle, received cake, and there were refreshments and meals for the wedding parties. We left before the free beer was served, dont worry haha. That night there was a little reception at the church where we were able to bear testimony on eternal families. S stood up and bore the most POWERFUL testimony. She choked as she said that she learned about the Gospel trhough Hermana Carr and Hermana Cueva... I was crying too...and then she said that she is HERE IN THE GOSPEL, and this is WHERE SHE IS GOING TO STAY.  It was a beautiful day and J and S are getting baptized this week along with O... please pray hard for these three, ESPECIALLY J.
Well those are those most important events that happened. We also had a night when it was raining so hard that the power went out. it was fun to give glowsticks to the Castillo family.
I love you guys so much and I hope you had a Happy Valentines Day. Dad I hope you make it up to Mom for being gone this week! I know this Gospel is true and I am so grateful to be here in Caraz, despite the sickness and the hard days. I am learning so much here and my testimony and ability to speak both grow every day. This Gospel is true and this work is SO important. Continue to be awesome member missionaries and spread the gospel with your example and your words. You are all the best and I am SO grateful for my family. I am thinking a lot about the temple this week and eternal families, and each time I bear my testimony on those things I cant help but feel so much gratitude for my parents and the decision that they made to be sealed in the temple. Thank you for giving me the privilege to be born in the covenant. I dont think I can ever truly express how much that means to me.
Love you and hope you have a fantastic week,

Hermana Carr
 Welcome to Caraz!
 When the power goes out you're so happy mom sent glowsticks!
 Selling balloons on Valentines Day to earn money for a youth temple trip to Lima
 Hermana Cueva and Me- she goes home in a few weeks and I will miss her so bad
Me and Cute Maria

February 10, 2014

This week for P-day we went to a place called Punto Olympica. It was abosultely gorgeous in the mountains. We took the same tour bus we took to Chavin and it was a blast. We got to hike to a waterfall, see some of the BLUEST lakes of my life

Hola mi familia!!!
Thanks so much for writing, I hope you are doing well! Brett, sorry you've been sick, I hope you get better real quick and get that Stake President interview ASAP. I CANT WAIT TO HEAR WHEN YOU GET YOUR CALL TO CUZCO!!! haha. That will be awesome. Kacey, thanks for the love you shout out. Jakers, Im really sorry about your game but you put up a good fight, and hey, you aced Math is Cool for your last year and that is AWESOMEEEEE! And thank you for the random quote, it was a really great one and I love it! Heyro TJ, Im glad that you had an awesome week! I forgot to tell you that Javier LOVES HIS CAR. Seriously, the sticker is on his new bike and everything, thank you for being so thoughtful in sending that for him!!! Mom, thanks for sharing with me about those talks and your thoughts, I love hearing them. And its so true, I LOVE the people of Caraz. I know Im going to bawl like a baby when I have to leave. Dad, have an awesome week in Arizona and say hello to all the cousins for me. Please take TONS of pics and of the temple, I WANNA SEE!!!!

This has been an AMAZING spiritual week for me. I seriously feel so blessed and it is amazing to see my growth in just the last couple of months.

Like always, we have been working very hard with the S- family. Maria and Juan Carlos are doing great, they have great support in the church and are growing so much in the Gospel. And Hermana Sheila, man, she is practically a member without the baptism...she just needs to get baptized and she is SET. She has so much faith in the Lord and such as strong testimony of this Gospel. We are still working really hard with Juan. We had a great family home evening with them where we just talked and got to know them really well and then we taught the plan of salvation. I think that really brought things into perspective for him. Then last night we had an amazing lesson with him and the whole family. I had the strongest impression to make a promise to them, in a way that I have never felt before. They are facing some really delicate really tough job problems right now, and it is a huge trial for their family. I felt inspired to promise Juan that if he gets married on Friday and baptized this February together with his wife, they would find a solution to the problema and see the hand of the Lord in their life. It was a really spiritual experience for all of us I  think, I had so much fear to say it but I instantly felt calm and knew that if Juan does his part, it is going to come true. I love that family SO much.

This week we also were able to find an amazing investigator who is quickly progressing in the Gospel. His name is Oscar. I have never felt the Spirit so strongly in my mission as I did in his home. Oscar is a man in his sixties who takes care of his little grandson and lives with his daughter and her son. When we went to visit him for the first time, I had the strongest feeling to ask him about his wife, right as we were about to begin the prayer. I was about to ask him when Hermana Cueva asked if he wanted her to ask for something specific in the prayer. His eyes welled up with tears as he told us about his wife who past away two years ago, and how he has been struggling so much with this trial. The spirit instantly filled the room and as the prayer was offered all I could see was him being sealed to his wife. We had an amazing lesson with him that night about the Atonement and eternal families. We returned three more times this week, each time just as spiritual as the last. There is a special spirit in his home and I have never met somebody more prepared to accept the Gospel. He understands the scriptures, and already has a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. He is progressing well and he accepted a baptismal date for the 22nd. We are working hard with him and have had the opportunity to also know his daughter and begin teaching her as well. I just feel so strongly that his wife has been WAITING for him. They had a beautiful marriage and six kids and you can tell he loves her and misses her so much. I think the knowledge of eternal families has helped him SO much. He is the sweetest man and I always want to go to his house because the spirit is ridiculously strong there.

I love you guys so much. I hope that I say it enough, and show it enough, but I don't think I do. This Valentines Day I'm really just thinking about how much I love my family and friends back home, and how much I love the people that I am working with here. The Lord is helping me to see a Little of what He sees, and to love a Little like He does. I know that our Padre Celestial loves ALL of His children. All of us are SO special to Him. Please remember every person you meet is a child of God. Spread the love and serve others this special week. And remember how much I love you, always. Each of you means so very much to me, and I'm not just saying that. I pray for your welfare and safety, and mostly that you will always stay strong in the Gospel. This is where happiness lies.
Hermana Carr

February 3, 2014

Service in Yunguay
On top of the world

The "S" family-


Hey family!
Glad you are all doing well and are safe and sound! Jake, TJ, Mom and Dad, I'm glad you had so much fun in Bend this weekend, it looks like a blast! Haha Momma, just make sure Dad doesn't pick up and move everyone to Bend while I'm gone okay? haha. And Im sure your cake is going to be wicked cool, the envy of all the scouts... you're creative and I think it will be awesome...I mean you could always make a beehive cake and pass it off as a western theme...its outdoorsy! haha. I love you tons and don't worry, the Solis update is coming. Jake, sounds like you had a wicked awesome week. I WILL be gloating about the Seahawks in my district today haha. And dude, way to go with your basketball game! Seriously! Keep it up and win the championship!!! Sorry you couldnt go snowboarding but it sounds like you did a ton of really cool things anyway, and I'm glad you got to eat some Peruvian food and live my life for a meal haha.
This week was a little crazy. We started off Monday with CAMBIOS...transfers. And yep, Hermana Cueva and I are still together and still in beautiful Caraz. We have officially been in the area longer than anybody else in my district. All of the other elders in my district have new companions. Its now Elder Dorado with the new Elder Garner from Arizona, Elder Larsen with new Elder Aldena from Chile, Elder Flores with new Elder Sacul from Guatamala, and Elder Arnett with new elder Ortega from Bolivia. Crazy, we have a totally new district, but I'm excited because the new elders are way cool!
We had a lot of citas fall through this week, so we haven't been able to find a ton of new people to teach which was a bummer. We were able to find one really cool family though that used to be neighbors with the Castillo family. They are awesome. I don't think the mom is married, but she has two sons in their twenties that have really good questions and are sincerely trying to find the truth. They are really good people and are reading the Book of Mormon. They work on Sunday so we are going to teach them about the Sabbath this week and hopefully they will come to church and continue to develop a testimony.
We are continuing to work with the S family. Sheila is getting all of her documents together and prepping for their wedding. She has such a strong testimony and love for us, she keeps me going through the weeks. She is wonderful. We have been reading the scriptures with them and this last lesson she had another blessing of health. It was beautiful. Elder Garner gave it and it was super powerful, and luckily her husband was there. He promised a lot of blessings to Sheila if she joins the church and is faithful, it was really a beautiful spiritual experience and I pray that it touched Juan's heart. We were able to find Jaime this week too and we are teaching their whole family together this weekend. Since our training with P. Archibald I have just been thinking SO much about the importance of temple covenants for these families. I just want the S family to have the blessings of eternity so much.
We have been working a ton with menos activos, and I love seeing those that progress. We have been working with this couple, Josue and Amanda. At first Amanda had the desire to return to church and Josue was kind of wishywashy. Well now Amanda has school and hasn't been coming to church again, but Josue is advancing in the Priesthood and receiving a calling in Young Men's presidency. It is AMAZING to see his transformation and I feel so blessed to have helped them to remember the importance of their covenants. We are still working with Amanda, but I have faith we can help them get to the temple too. There is also a family in Cabina, I want you to pray for the L family. They are great people... but I think the dad has an alcohol problem...okay I know he does. They want to go to the temple, and they were doing so good and all of the sudden this Sunday they didn't come and when we went out to visit them, it was just the Hermana and she was heartbroken. We had a very direct lesson with him about how his actions have consequences and how he is hurting his family. It was really powerful and I think that we are going to be able to help them.
Something that I've been studying is the POWER OF THE SCRIPTURES. Read the talk by President Packer from this conference, and 2 Timothy 3. Its really cool. More than anything I have learned the power and importance of the scriptures. They really are the word of God and how we learn his will for us generally and individually. I know that the scriptures are true. Read them, ponder them, pray for understanding. Every time I read the same passage I pull out a different application and its awesome. The scriptures are a real, powerful, testament that the Lord is our Savior, God is our Father, and this is His Gospel. I love each of you SO MUCH. Brett, I am seriously so stoked for you to turn in your papers. You are all the best, I couldn't ask for better friends and family supporting me along the way. Thank you for everything you do and for your prayers.
Hermana Carr
Carlos and me on the way to his baptism.