December 22, 2014

Dec. 21, 2014


I hope you all are having a WONDERFUL Christmas week. I miss you and wish I could be there...but at the same time this Christmas, I'm learning so much more about my Savior. I love the simplicity of Christmas as a missionary. I think last year I was overwhelmed with homesickness that I didn't get to appreciate this time. Being able to share tarjetas de He is The Gift has been awesome. We've been able to bear testimony of Christ in a way that you just can't do any other time of the year. Even amidst the rejection, people have at least accepted cards...and I'm praying that they will feel the Spirit and watch the videos...then come closer to the church.

This was a crazy week for us. I feel like we can't catch a normal week around here haha. We were so busy that we weren't able to visit any companionship this week.

Tuesday...was a miracle day. Seriously, I still feel so blessed that the Lord helped us out. We had our Reunion de Distrito. Monday we were supposed to have a cita with Olyver, but he never showed up...and his phone wasn't working. He was supposed to get baptized on Saturday, but we didn't have any way to contact him or teach him, or set up a baptismal interview before Saturday. So Tuesday we prayed hard and went on the search for his house. We had an Hermana that was kind enough to accompany us on the search. When we tried to find his house before, we weren't able to...nobody was familiar with his neighborhood. We had some limited information, and with that we went to the outskirts of our gigantic area. By some miracle, we found the house. By greater miracle, Olyver, was actually home. He normally is working nonstop and never at home, but on a random Tuesday at 3 in the afternoon we found him, we taught him, and we set up his baptismal interview. It was awesome.

Wednesday was our annual Christmas Multizona with President Archibald. I was sooo excited because our Zone was paired up with Los Olivos!!! So I got to see all my friends from Los Olivos, including Hermana Gomez. We were also with Las Palmeras, so I was able to see Hermana Kim too! It was so awesome to be able to catch up with them and see them. Each zone performed a skit and a musical number, we made gingerbread houses, we had a delicious was awesome. President gave an amazing Christmas message, and a blessing on all of us that was exactly what I needed to hear. The best Christmas gift was just being able to spend that day with my favorite companions from the mission. 

Saturday Hermano Olyver got baptized. He's like the boy version of Carmen haha. He came to church on his own, he had desires to serve Christ and change his life from the get go...and you could feel it as he bore his testimony and smiled wide the entire time. I feel so blessed to have been an instrument in the Lord's hands to have some small part in helping him get baptized. 

This week is a special week for all of us. Like you gave your talk in Sacrament meeting mom, I just want to remind everyone that this is a time about something greater than presents under the tree or gingerbread cookies haha. Christ is the reason we are able to be together as a family during the holiday season...not to mention for eternity. Christ is the reason we can receive the gift of eternal life, the strength to move forward each day, the ability to repent and grow closer to our Heavenly Father. Without our Savior...there would be no Christmas...without the Atonement and Resurrection...there would be no Savior, and consequently no Restoration. I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ. He lives. He's conquered death and sin, and through Him and His restored gospel, we can be made whole.

I hope you have an amazing Christmas with Tyler and his family. I'm so excited to see you and spend a part of the day with you on Skype. 

Love you tons!
Hermana Carr 
O's baptism

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Dec 15, 2014

Hey family!

 Mom great job on your classes! Seriously I'm so proud of you, and I'm glad that you're done with school now so that you can relax a little bit! I don't know how you do everything you do and still prepare the perfect relief society lesson! (Kelsie told me it was amazing this week!). Glad that you guys are helping Shannon and Tyler get all settled in and that Jake had an awesome birthday! I can't believe everyone is already coming home, time flies so fast. TJ, sounds like you're getting into airsoft guns! How cool is that?! TJ, now that I'm in Lima I don't see very many cool animals...just a lot of hairless dogs haha. But there are lots of animals in LA SELVA, the jungle that's like 15 hours from where I live. Jake, glad you had such an awesome birthday, so jealous you went to Anthony's! And Kacey, you're going to have to help me with my hair and makeup when I get home! I think I've forgotten how to do it haha. Sister Janney wrote me and told me that you're looking more gorgeous every day! I love you all tons! 

This week was a good one! We've worked through some difficulties and things are looking a lot better. Hermano O. is going to get baptized this Saturday, and I'm super excited for him. I already told you about what a miracle it was that he came to church. I know his baptism is going to be special, he's a lot like C. in the sense that he asks a lot of really good questions and is totally committed to do whatever the Lord tells him to do. Last night we had a Noche de Cine and watched the Testaments. At the end I got up to close the meeting and I saw that he was crying when Christ appeared to the people in the Americas. I felt the spirit stronger than ever when we watched that part, and it was just really special for all of us that were there. 

Wednesday I had a work visit with Hermana Hewitt from Utah. She's finishing her mission in two weeks, so I don't really know what I was able to do to help her, but we had some great conversations to help her stay motivated until the end. I had a really special feeling going back to San Diego. I felt the spirit more strongly there than I had in a while, more than anything confirming to me that I did a good job when I was there. It was overwhelming. I just felt so much love for the people there, and I think I've forgotten what that feels like for a while. I want to have that feeling again. I was able to see S., A. and N., L. and R.'s kids. Mom, they were so excited about the Christmas package. I wish you guys could have seen their faces when I walked up to their house! They couldn't believe it was actually me, they thought they wouldn't ever see me again! (PS, Nicole asked when I'm going to come back to Peru with my family so that she can meet them haha SO cute). E. was there, the girl that almost got baptized when I was there, and backed out last minute. We shared the HE IS THE GIFT video with them. And there was such a special Spirit. Eli told me that she wants to go back to church. I was so excited for her. I felt the spirit so strongly that this time she's going to get baptized. Funny enough, I ran into her AGAIN today when I was leaving the clinic to come to internet... I think the Lord is trying to tell us both something. I really hope she gets baptized soon. Then Carmencita accompanied us to all of our lessons in the afternoon. Mom, you know how you call Kelsie...SUNSHINE wherever she goes? C. is like the peruvian version of Kelsie... she just brings joy to everyone around her. It was so great to be with her again. It was a wonderful, tender mercy to be able to visit them. I also ran into Cy, she and her daughters aren't going to church right now but we had a good short talk in the street and I'm praying that they go back. Being in San Diego reminded me of the love that I had for the people there, I think that was the closest I ever got to feeling true CHARITY. I want to feel it again and I'm striving now to feel that way here in Puente. 

I love you guys and I hope you have a wonderful week. I know that this Gospel is true. I feel it in every fiber of my being, and my testimony increases every time I talk about my Savior or about the Restoration. I'm so grateful that we have the truth at this time on the earth. Share  the Gospel with your friends, it's the best Christmas present you can give. And it's so much easier to share during this time when everyone remembers Christ's birth! 

Con cariño,
Hermana Carr 
Hermama H. C. and Me

December 13, 2014

Dec. 7, 2014

Hey family!

JAKE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You're officially going to be a TEENAGER! That's so weird haha. I hope you have a good one, buddy!

Sounds like you guys had a crazy week. I'm sorry to hear about Tyler's accident, and Mom I hope you're feeling better. JAKE way to go in wrestling! Seriously, awesome. Congrats to the Proudfoots, and I'm glad that Brother Colvin is doing okay. 

Mom, work visits are seriously the best. They make me feel like I'm actually helping the sisters out. But I'm not over ALL the sisters in ALL the mission. We're 6 STL. I'm just in charge of three Zones, Puente Piedra, Trebol, and Prolima (San Diego!!!!). I'm stoked because this week I get to go to San Diego and see Carmen! And Rafael and his family! I'm so excited. 

This week was a crazy one. It was a lot better than the last few weeks though. The first two weeks here I was having a really hard time adjusting, in truth I think I just needed to stuff a whopping pie of humble pie in my mouth and get over myself haha. Once I did that, my companion and I were able to work some things out and everything's going a lot smoother. 

Wednesday I went on a work visit with two sisters in Trebol. It was a really positive experience. It helped me realize that we really have the gift of discernment for the sisters under our stewardship, because last minute we decided to do splits in trios, and that I needed to visit that companionship. One of the sisters is a newer north american and she's been having a really rough time. She told me everything and we worked through how to help her feel like she's making a difference. I told her a little about my first months in the field and what a challenge it was for me...I've always found it so interesting that the Lord uses OUR challenges to bless other people later. It always makes me think of Mosiah 24. The Lord has been so merciful to me, and I'm grateful that He feels that I'm worthy enough to be an instrument in His hands. 

Thursday we had a training mulitzona with President Archibald. It was awesome. We talked a lot about Christ's organization of the primitive church and how it's been restored today. Then we talked about our sacred covenant as missionaries. How we've SET OURSELVES APART from the world. We read in the Old Testament in Numbers 6 about the Nazarites. It was really interesting. President talked about how we need to give our whole souls into this and that we need to be obedient, because we've made sacred vows with the Lord to set ourselves apart from the world, and we did it out of our own free will. It was a really shaking but really good lesson for everyone in the room. 

While we were on our work visits, Hermana Aliaga called me and told me that M. decided to get baptized on Saturday! Midweek miracle! M.l is an 11yr old. Her sister recently got baptized, but M. didn't want to. Her mom called Hna. Aliaga and told her that M. changed her mind and was telling all of her friends. M. is a really sweet girl, she's  got a huge heart. We became fast friends the moment I came to this area. Her baptism on Saturday was simple, just with the missionaries and her family because she's very shy and didn't want people to come. But it was sweet. 

Hermano O. is progressing a TON. He's going to get baptized on the 20th and he's doing everything he can on his part to reach that goal. He also wants to serve a mission! Awesome. 

We're still looking for a family that's going to progress to baptism. I'm super excited for Hermana Gomez, because she's been telling me about some miracles that are happening with people that we contacted and worked with together. We planted a lot of seeds in the three months that I was in Proceres, and now it looks like she's going to harvest a lot of the results. It makes me so happy. 

I love you guys! I hope you have a wonderful week. Thanks for all of your support and love!!! 

Hermana Carr 

Nov. 30, 2014
Querida Fambam.

Sounds like you guys had an epic Thanksgiving! I'm so glad that you were able to spend it with Julian and year I'm going to be home for Thanksgiving SI o SI! It's been way too long since I've had cranberry salad haha. I'm excited about Tyler's family and our grandparents moving up! I hope everything went well with the move. Mom, slowly but surely I'm figuring things out. My assignment isn't a big's actually the fun part about my area. I get to work with tons of different sisters, and it's kind of fun to break up the routine! We're planning on making the pie for District Pday. Hermana Degn is super stoked for me to save her a piece haha, so thanks mom (Hna. Degn's in my zone again! SUCH A BLESSING). I still don't know what the rules/schedule is for the Christmas call, so I'll update you on that as soon as I know. The Stokers are in my prayers, I hope it wasn't anything serious! Jake I'm glad that you had success in your sports. TJ, I can't believe how tall you are!!! Thanks for your love and your hope, I hope we find people to teach too! Thank you, I love you all tons!

This week was a crazy one haha.
Monday, we had Consejo de la Mision, I think I already told you that...then on Tuesday Elder Hafen came and spoke to us which was awesome.
Tuesday night we left for my first work visit. I went to Trebol to work with Hermana Hernandez and it was great. It's always nice to get a fresh perspective on how to work in different areas and with different people. I learned a lot from her and was sooo grateful for her pensionist...her pensionist is a health fanatic and so she didn't serve me any rice and we actually got to drink pure WATER haha. I was so happy. It was a lot of fun and a really good opportunity for both of us to learn how to change our tactics. It was cool to see how the Spirit was helping me notice things that I could help her with.... the Lord always qualifies those whom He calls.

Thursday we had District meeting. We practiced working more with the Spirit and how to help people accept baptism during the Restoration. It was really good. It was happy Thanksgiving because Hermana Degn gave me a Thanksgiving hug haha.... that was about the extent of our holiday celebration. But I was thinking about all the the things I'm grateful for the whole time. The Lord has blessed me so much. 

Saturday we had a baptism! It was a little strange because it was a convert of Hna. Aliaga and Hna. Villatoro, and I had only visited her twice before her baptism. I don't think I helped very much in her conversion process. Her name is M. and she's a very special person. Every time I'm with her I feel the Spirit, and it was a great opportunity to be a part of her baptism. 

Sunday was a miracle day...because we found O. again. Here's the story...he lives in the far limits of our area, and we weren't exactly sure where (I don't think you understand what I mean when I say my area is HUGE).... his cellphone was shut off the whole week and he didn't show up for our appointment. I was praying all week that he would come to church on Sunday. As I sat at the piano, I saw him come in at the end of Sacrament meeting...but he still showed up! We found out that his phone is dead and that he was sick and that's why he didn't show up. But he had been reading in the Book of Mormon and still wants to get baptized. After church we had another lesson with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was fantastic. 

Things are moving slowly but surely. It's costing me a lot to figure things out in this area...and how to work effectively with my companion, but I know that the Lord is guiding and helping me through this. 

I wanted to invite you guys to also visit and share or The video has the same impact that BECAUSE OF HIM had. You guys need to share it on your facebook, because the idea is that everyone in the world sees it before Christmas!

I love you guys and hope you have a wonderful week! Enjoy your first week with family close by! 

Love you,
Hermana Carr 

Nov. 23, 2014

Dear family,
HAPPY THANKSGIVING. I'm so grateful for each of you. Thank you for your support and your love. It's been too long since I've been home for Thanksgiving! Three years is a long time, but mom thanks for sending me everything to make pumpkin pie At least I'll have something to celebrate, even if it's a little late haha. Thanks for your spiritual thougt as well.

Well... I guess if President sent you a letter, you all know I had cambios this week. It came as a complete shock to me, and to be honest I was kind of sad! I love Hermana Gomez, and just when everything was starting to happen...I got transferred. I was in even more shock when it was announced that I'm the new sister training leader. I know President's mentioned things about how I need to be a leader for others, but I never expected to be called as a sister trainer...the crazier thing is I'm the only gringa...North American that's been called to the position. I'm now in an area called Puente Piedra. It's super big. My companion is Hermana Aliaga. She also has 14 months in the mission. There's a lot to take in and figure out, and I'm feeling kind of overwhelmed...but I'm trying to do my best and be happy. I'm trying to be a good example for the other sisters and figure out how to help this area progress. I left Hermana Gomez in Los Proceres, and now she's training a gringa! We had an interesting conversation about our three months together. We didn't have any baptisms...but we learned and grew so much together, we learned how to be more obedient, more diligent and to work better with the Spirit. As we noted those changes, we also noted that I was the only new STL called, and she was the only Hermana called to train a new missionary. The Lord knows what He's doing, and I'm trying to trust in Him even when I can't see what He sees in me. 

This was a crazy week. It was full of me trying to figure out the area, get to know investigators and members, try to work with my companion. It's always a little rough at the get go. We had a cool experience though on Sunday that I want to share.

On Sunday at 6:30am, my zone leader called me to inform me that I was giving a talk. Awesome. I put something together real quick and then we went to church. I was the first to speak. During the Sacrament, I was at the piano, and I was thinking about the Atonement. I found myself reading the lines of THERE IS A GREEN HILL FAR AWAY in Spanish. I like it better in Spanish than in English. It's really pretty. As I read, the Spirit whispered to me that I needed to change my talk. I got scared. I can whip something out of the air in English, but it's still hard for me to do in Spanish. But I decided to go with it. I ended up talking about the Restoration and the Atonement, and how they're connected. I invited the members to follow Elder Ballard's invitation to invite their friends to learn about the Gospel before Christmas. I felt the Spirit so strongly as I spoke, and the other Elders got up and testified of what I had said. It was a cool experience.
Then we found out that there was an investigator that showed up to church. It was a young man named Oliver, that nobody knew. We talked to him for a moment and found out that he showed up on his own. He stayed for the whole 3 hours. We had a lesson with him after church and he explained to us that he's never gone to a church, but that he's always been trying to find out how to become closer to Christ. He told us that on Facebook he found the LDS pages and started researching the church and watching church videos. He told us he knows the church is true and he wants to know how he can join. We shared the message of the Restoration with him and he's going to get baptized on December 13th. 

Yesterday was Mission Council. I was super scared to go haha. I didn't know what it was, but it ended up being a very spiritual experience for me. It was interesting to be there with the Zone Leaders of the mission and President and Hermana Archibald. All of our discussions were exactly what I needed. I did a lot of self reflection and figured out a lot of things that I need to do better. It was an amazing opportunity. But that's why I wasn't at internet yesterday, we have a short pday today

This morning Elder Hafen of the 70 came and spoke to our mission. He talked about the Atonement. He talked about how it has 3 blessings. The blessing of redemption from physical and spiritual death. The blessing of STRENGTHING us in our weaknesses and trials. The blessing of PERFECTING us. It was a really great talk and I wish I had time to share everything with you. I just want to invite you to study the Atonement this week. If there's anything to be grateful for, it's our Savior, Jesus Christ.

This week I've been humbled. I don't know how to explain just how small I feel. But my heart is also full of sooo much gratitude. I'm grateful for a Heavenly Father that knows who each of us are. I'm grateful that He puts people in our paths to strengthen our testimonies and help us along the path. I'm grateful for the Atonement of my Savior, that if I do my part, He can redeem me, strengthen me, and perfect me...I couldn't do anything without Him. I'm grateful for a family that has always been deeply rooted in the Gospel. Thank you for everything you've done for me. I'll never be able to express how much love and appreciation I have for each of you. 

I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving. I hope Tyler and his family, and Grandma and Grandpa get to Spokane safely and settle in quickly. I'm excited to have them close!

I love you all and I'm so grateful for you

Hermana Carr 

Pizza Hut!!!

Christmas tree in Plaza Vea
My favorite district

Goodbye Zona Los Olivos!

Nov. 16, 2014

Holaaaaa Familia!

Sounds like you've had a great week! I'm glad Stake Conference was so great and that you all enjoyed it. Kacey, glad everything is going well! Good luck with your tests and drive safe! JAKE, way to go in wrestling! Sounds like your killing it in all your sports. TJ, I'm glad you liked the talk. Dad, thank you for sharing your home teaching story. I know that she felt the spirit. The spirit always testifies of the first vision, no matter what. I'm glad you were able to have that experience. You're a great example to me. Mom, you're so right about tithing...we teach a new lesson that's not in PMG about tithes and offerings and it's one of my favorites. I love sharing tithing stories from our family. Sacrifice really does bring blessings, and I want to share a little bit about that with you guys today. 

As you know... I've completed two transfers in Proceres, and we haven't really had any measurable success. It's been ROUGH. My district is the best, I have tons of fun with the missionaries, I have a good ward, a good comp, we just never were able to have success. Luckily I had my interview with President Archibald last Friday and he gave us some tips that really changed everything. 

This week we've been praying to the Lord every night to bless our imperfect efforts with our 10 maneras (our mission has been focusing on FINDING and we have to come up with 10 finding activities that we use every week). President told me to apply these finding activities with faith that the Lord would fulfill President's promise of starting to baptize again. He told me that doing this would be like showing Him that the offering is on the table. He blessed us with a lot of tender mercies. On Saturday after a finding activity, we had a church tour with a family that we've been working with for a short time. They hadn't come to church the week before, and we felt like it might have been because they felt a little unsure about what we do there. We called them up on Saturday and asked if we could give them a tour, and they said yes. We showed up...and there were a ton of members with their different activities and cleaning the church... we were freaking out a little because we wanted to have a spiritual experience. The members that were cleaning the sacrament room were really awesome and cleaned it up fast so that we would have the room all to ourselves. Pretty soon the A. Family showed up. We went into a room and started with a prayer. Then it was like there wasn't anybody else in the building. Children running around and playing in the halls didn't distract from the spirit we felt as we showed them different rooms and talked about different paintings. As we were about to enter the sacrament room, we stopped by the painting of Christ in Gethsemane. We testified of the Atonement and the importance of covenants. It was an amazing experience, and the family all said they felt a lot of peace and were interested. 

Other of our 10 maneras is that we have a table with candy and pamphlets every Wednesday in a busy intersection. A lady came up and started talking to me, I knew I recognized her from somewhere, but I didn't know from where. She was really sweet and invited us to come visit her. We went to her house two days later, and I realized that I had always seen in her in our neighborhood. We went to visit her and she told us her life story and the hopes that she has to come closer to God. She told us that she´s seen us multiple times, and that we´ve talked to her boss (she's like a nanny housekeeper), but we never had the chance to talk to her...she told us that when she saw me at the table, she knew it was her chance to talk to us. I don't know why I keep letting that happen... it happened with L. it happened with C., now with Y. She's a really great lady. We had a small first lesson with her, but this week we're going to teach the Restoration and I know she's going to get baptized. 

Sunday came around and the miracles flowed like crazy. We had Hermana Lind with us for Sunday, she finished her mission this week. We had the A. Family, Y. and her son D., and J....the PF that we're trying to baptize, all showed up to church this week. I was in awe. It had been a LLOONNGGG time since I've had INSACs like that! I was ecstatic, seriously. It was a great day.

Sunday night we went to visit the A. family for a moment. We were going to have Noche de Hogar, but they ended up sharing some really cool things with us. The Dad knows the church is true. He described to us how he felt at church today, that he felt an energy through his whole body, and that as he was talking to the members he felt like he could do the things that they do. It was amazing. The mom is a little bit harder to crack, but she told us she feels peace, and we're trying to help her recognize that comes from the spirit.

Please pray for each of these families. I am SO excited and have so much hope for the coming weeks. I think we're going to have some Christmas miracles in Diciembre! 

I love you guys! Thanks for your support and your prayers. 

Hermana Carr 

Barrio Los Proceros  Me. Hermana Gomez, Elder Aravena, Elder Arnett

My Penionista and her family

Hermana Lind came with us for the weekend

Nov. 10, 2014

Dear fambam, 

This week I'm feeling a lot better. We still haven't seen any concrete success, but I just feel at peace and finally feel like I have some answers. I just have a few stories to share with you this week. 

On Friday, we had our training meet with President Archibald. It was a Multi-zone conference and afterwards we had interviews. We learned a lot during the whole training meeting. Tons about how important PEOPLE SKILLS are and how to contact people, teach people, and really just build relationships in general. After the meeting, we went and ate lunch at our pensionist's (Siempre rico) and had to head back to the stake center again for our interviews. As we were waiting for our turn, I was able to play the piano and de-stress for a little while until Hermana Archibald showed up from looking at some Elder's apartments. I chatted with her until President came in and it was my turn. The first things he said to me were basically what I told you he said in my letter last week.. He asked me how I was doing and I told him that I was flat out stressed. He asked me why...and I told him that I haven't baptized for 16 weeks...a record, and not a good one in a mission that'st striving for weekly baptisms. He told me that he knows it doesn't feel good, and we started talking about a lot of things. He shared a story with me about when he was in the mission and how he went over six months without baptizing, then in his last three months of his mission, he baptized over 50 people. He smiled at me and told me not to worry, that there was still plenty of time. He gave me some tips to overcome my challenges and reminded me that I'm progressing a ton and that the Lord is proud of the work that I'm doing here. It just felt good to talk with him and feel better about the Lord's expectations and how I can meet them. 

We're working with a different kind of family right now. It's a lady named M., and her cousin M., with her daughter A. who's Kacey's age. They're really sweet ladies and I just feel the Lord's love every time I enter their home. We've visited them twice, only to get to know them and teach them little principles. They're amazing. Tonight we're going to share the message of the Restoration with them, and I know that the Spirit is going to be soooo strong because it was so strong when we went to visit them and talk about something as simple as prayer.

Yesterday I had an interesting experience. We had a training meeting at the stake center with all of the bishops and stake president until late. So we went to wait for our bus and it never came, we called our leaders and they told us we should take a taxi because it was getting close to the time when we needed to be in our apartment...there was some mis-communication and they had already gotten home. Well we flagged down a few different taxis, but I didn't feel good about getting into any of them...then one pulled up and we decided to enter. The man was super friendly and we started talking all the way to our neighborhood. As we started talking he opened up to us and told us that he had recently separated from his wife. Then he started talking about his son with Asbergers. I told him that I know a few people with Asbergers and he opened up even more to us. He trusted us a lot as he explained some things, and even though it was late and I was tired I was able to testify of the Gospel and Atonement to him and take down his information for the missionaries to visit him. When we got out of the car, he was super grateful to us for our words and our kindness. I just felt that we had done something as the Lord's servants that evening. 

Hopefully I'll have more stories for you all next week! Can you believe that this is my last week of this transfer?! Time is FLYING. 

I love you all and hope you have an awesome week! 
Hermana Carr