Thursday, December 26, 2013

It was a very good Christmas!!

 A Very Merry Christmas for our family this year!!

Our family had a wonderful Christmas Day.  We were able to wake up in the morning and open gifts with our two children here at home.  Santa was very good to them once again this year.
We have two sister missionaries currently serving in our ward. One is from Idaho and the other is from Utah.  We were able to have them over to our house on Christmas morning so they could use our computers to Skype with their families.  They were each able to spend about an hour talking and visiting with their families. It was the first time their families had seen their daughters face or heard their voices in over six months and we were thrilled that we were able to help them have that time together.  We knew that our time would come later that day!!
Our beautiful daughter and handsome son on Christmas Eve
Picture perfect
All day long we anticipated the call from our missionaries.  We prayed that the Skype would work properly and that we would be able to connect with them.  It's such a blessing to have the technology that we have today where we actually get emails weekly instead of waiting weeks or even months for a letter to arrive in the mail.  We get to see their faces and hear their voices on the computer screen instead of going two years or 18 months without that blessing like many missionary families have done in the past.  This is truly an amazing age that we live in. 







Sis C's companion Sis. B hopped in the video for a few minutes so we could meet here and get a quick picture. Her companion is a native Filipino, but our daughter says she speaks very good English and the two of them get along really well.  We spent an hour talking with AJ. It was Christmas Day for us, but it was the day after Christmas for AJ since she is 16 hours ahead of us. She shared with us what life is like as a missionary in the Philippines.  She pretty much walks every where she goes. Sometimes if she and her companion need to get somewhere far away they will take a Jeepney, which is a small bus.  It cost more money to ride a Jeepney, but it's faster.  They also travel by Trike which is a motorcycle with a side car. She says those are real cheap to travel in, but also a lot slower and have less room.  As far as the housing, she lives in a 2 bedroom apartment. It's very small and she cooks on a range top. She has no microwave or oven and only a small Rev (refrigerator).  She eats mainly vegetables and rice, and noodles. She says she eats a lot of apples and hard boiled eggs.   She says the Philippines don't really have any regulations on building homes like we do in the USA so most of the homes in her area are built out of whatever materials the people can find.  Most homes are built out of bamboo with thatched or tin roofs and they have dirt floors. It's not uncommon for large families to live in a one room house.  The sanitation laws are non existant also. She didn't go into too much detail for us on this topic, ( I don't think she wanted us to be freak out), but did say that she takes two baths a day just to stay clean.  There are no public bathrooms, so she said that it's not uncommon to see people going to the bathroom in public.  That was shocking to her when she first got there in the "Pines', but now she says it's just the way it is.    The television stations don't censor news reports like they do in the USA, so during Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in November the news was reporting and showing all the destruction and casualties on t.v.  She said it was very sad to see all the bodies of men, women and children who had been killed by the storm.  When destruction like this happens she says the bodies of the deceased can lay in the streets until they are able to be collected and that can take days.     We asked what the population was of the area she was in, she didn't quite know but she said she was told that if you took all the islands of the Philippines ( there are 7,000) and put them together they wouldn't even be as large as the state of Arizona, and that for every 1 person in the state of Utah there are 3 Filipinos.   We didn't do the math, but we figured there was a lot of people in the Philippines and it's very crowded.   We asked our daughter if she was happy, and she said she was and that although the culture still seems very strange to her she loves the people of the Philippines.  They are a warm and loving people, always smiling and she is blessed to be there serving them.


Hermana Carr called us Christmas Day as well and we were able to spend an hour talking with her.  She called a few hours before her sister AJ.  Sarah is serving in Yucatan and it's only 2 hours ahead of California time. She was able to call us from a place called the House of Prayer.  It's the building where they meet for their church meetings.  Sarah is in a small town and she says the streets are mainly dirt or cobblestone and the houses are mostly cinder block. She has only been there a few months, but she absolutely loves it in Mexico.  Her companion is Hermana N. and she is from Southern Mexico, but lived in the United States for about 9 years so her English is very good.  Sarah says that Hermana N is very patient with her as she struggles to learn the language and communicate with the people.  Sometimes Sarah gets frustrated because she wishes she could understand more, but Hermana N. just tells her to be patient and the language will come.  Right now the weather is pretty good she says, but in a few months it will be blazing hot and the sunblock she has will be useless. She took SPF 30 with her, but says she'll need like SPF 1000..Haha!  We told her we would send her the strongest SPF we could find.   She is loving the food.  She says they eat a lot of tortillas and a soup made out of black beans and meat.  She adds a little chile and lime to it and it's delicious.  The people like to feed the missionaries and Sarah says they feed them A LOT of food. She feels bad, but sometimes she just has to tell them that she is full otherwise they would keep putting food in front of them.  She says the Mexican people are wonderful and have been so welcoming to her.  The area she is in right now has never really  had sister missionaries so right now she and Hermana N. are somewhat of a novelty.  Being a missionary is hard work. She is up at 6:00am goes about her days teaching and doing what she can to serve the people and like her big sister in the Philippines walks most every where she goes.  It's the hardest thing she's ever done, but she says it's the most amazing and wonderful experience she's had in her life so far.
We enjoyed our time talking with our missionaries and told them how much we loved them and how proud we were off them.  We tried very hard not to keep telling them how much we missed them, they know we do and we didn't want to make them too homesick.  Of course there were tears shed as we had to say good-bye, but before we let them go we had them bear their testimonies to us in their new languages.  It was wonderful to hear them speak in Tagalog and Spanish. AJ sounded like a pro and Sarah while she struggled a little bit sounded great to us. Her companion gave her a big thumbs up.  We recorded each of them speaking and will post it to the blog soon.  
We had a wonderful Christmas and continue to be so grateful for the many blessings given to our family by the Lord each and every day.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Week 27 in the "Pines" and Week 3 in "Mexico !!

The days are slow, but the weeks fly by!!

This is a saying that our daughter in the "Pines" told us one time in a letter.  We didn't really get what she meant then, but we do now.  Sister Carr has just passed her 6 month mark on her mission, and Hermana Carr just passed her 2 month. 
It still feels like both of them just left, and yet it feels like they've been gone forever. How can that be?
By this time next year we will be welcoming home Sister Carr from the Philippines and Hermana Carr will only have 4 months to go.   I know I probably shouldn't be counting the days already, but with Christmas approaching it's hard not to be a little sad without my whole family together.  I continue to be grateful that our girls are having this opportunity to go and serve the Lord and the people of the Philippines and Mexico, but look forward to the day when I will see their beautiful faces, hear their laughter and all my children are again under one roof.
Next week is Christmas and we will get to skype with both of them.  We are super excited!!!!
They both have been having wonderful experiences. Here are some excerpts from their lastest letters.


FROM THE PHILIPPINES

HELLO THERE MY BEAUTIFUL FAMILY!!!!!
  
BOY DO I MISS YOU GUYS. I AM STRUGGLING WITH HOMESICKNESS, I AM PRETTY SURE IT IS THE TIME OF THE YEAR. I KNOW IT WILL PASS. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SO SO SO SO SO MUCH FOR MY CHRISTMAS PACKAGE!!!! IT MADE ME CRY. HONESTLY, I JUST CRIED WHILE I OPENED IT. BUT I LOVE EVERYTHING IN IT!!!!! I LOVE MY JOURNAL!!!! IT IS SO CUTE AND OF COURSE MY CAMERA!! PLENTY OF PICTURES COMING YOUR WAY!!!! 

PLUS ALL THE FOOD YOU SENT ME.. OMG!!  THOSE JOES-JOES ARE LIKE CRACK!!!! I AM OBSESSED WITH THOSE. WE ARE SAVING THE CARR-MEL APPLES FOR CHRISTMAS EVE!! I AM EXCITED. PLUS WITH MY CHRISTMAS PJ'S!!!!!!! 

SO FOR CHRISTMAS SKYPE... I CAN SKYPE AFTER 10am  HERE SO I WILL BE ON BY 11:30am PINE TIME!!! YAYYYY  I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!

ANYWAY,  EVERYTHING IS GOING REALLY WELL.  MY AREA IS REALLY REALLY HARD. WE ARE REALLY STRUGGLING, BUT AT THE SAME TIME WE ARE REMAINING HOPEFUL. 


SISTER LANI WHO CAME TO CHURCH WITH US YESTERDAY.  SHE IS AN INVESTIGATOR WHO LIVES RIGHT NEXT TO US...LUCKY HER!!  SHE IS VERY NICE, VERY RECEPTIVE AND SHE SAID SHE HAD A REALLY GOOD EXPERIENCE AT CHURCH!!!

SO THE LANGUAGE IS COMING ALONG VERY WELL.  OF COURSE I STILL HAVE A LOT TO LEARN BUT I CAN EASILY HOLD A CONVERSATION WITH SOMEONE AND TEACH THEM THE FIRST LESSON.  I AM A PRO AT TEACHING THE FIRST LESSON!!! HAHA 

WELL NOT MUCH TO REPORT THIS WEEK.  JUST A LOT OF WALKING AND FINDING.   SISTER B.  AND I GET ALONG REALLY WELL AND HAVE A LOT OF FUN. 

TOMORROW IS OUR CHRISTMAS CONFERENCE AND SO NEXT WEEK I WILL SEND YOU PICTURES!!!! 

GPA...I LOVE YOU
MOM...I LOVE YOU
DAD...I LOVE YOU
SARAH...I LOVE YOU
KATE...I LOVE YOU
MATT...I LOVE YOU

HAVE A GREAT AND SAFE WEEK!!!! 

MAHAL KO KAYO!!

MAHAL,
 SISTER CARR
 
 
 
Sis. C ( 2nd row, 4th from left) with other sisters from her mission.  She looks so happy!  We are grateful for Sis. M for posting pictures on the mission blog.  Now that our daughter has a new camera we are hoping for more pictures to come our way soon!


 
 
FROM MEXICO

Hola mi familia bonita!
 
So, this week has been much much MUCH better! I am loving Hunucma! The people here are seriously so nice. The members are completely amazing and so enthusiastic about helping with missionary work! They contact less actives and help teach lessons, we just need to get more references. That´s a big challenge here. Another big challenge is getting the investigators to keep commitments. We have so many people that say they believe and agree to go to church and do all these things but nada...It´s tough. It´s really tough and we fast and pray that we will be able to know what we as missionaries can do to help them. But I am very blessed to be serving in such a humble area. There is a member here that reminds me of mommy!!! Her name is Hermana Elsy. She´s AMAZING! She has three daughters who are all very sweet and her husband, Hermano Diego, is awesome! We spend a lot of time at their house either teaching or eating! Haha. The people feed us A LOT here! So I might come back fat, haha! I´m gonna try really hard not to though! The food is actually very good! It´s a lot of chicken and fish and black beans and like a soup kinda thing. Honestly, most of the time I don´t know what we´re eating. I just put chile and lime on it and call it a day. Haha, oh and we eat a ton of tortillas! Tortillas for dayzzzz!!!! But I love them, so it´s great!
 
As far as the language goes, poco a poco (little by little). I am understanding a little bit more everyday. I am truly grateful for the gift of tongues! It´s real and I receive help every single day! I am more willing to talk in lessons too. Even if I can´t understand, I at least like to bear my testimony at the end. My testimony is still a powerful tool and I am very grateful to have it and share it. There have been times where I am understanding and Hermana N. will look at me and I can continue from where she left off! That´s the best, when I feel like I can contribute! I can´t do it everytime. There are times when I am completely lost and she looks at me and I just smile. I smile and wait for her to realize that I have no clue what´s going on or what we´re talking about. Haha, Hermana N. is very patient with me and I am blessed! She helps me so much and pushes me to do more everyday! 
 
 
Now SKYPE! I am soooooo excited to talk with you! I have an hour to talk with you all on the 25th! I don´t have a specific time so if you could do me a favor and find out what time I need to call so that I can call with AJ, that would be awesome! I would love to talk with her too! However, it might be too late because we need to be in the house by 9:30pm. And we don´t leave the house until 4:00pm on Christmas so if you could just keep skype open the whole time and look for my call, it would be much appreciated. Haha. I´m really sorry I don´t have more detail. We are still trying to find out whose laptop we can use, etc. Oh, and I don´t have an account, so if you could please make one for me and send me the info, that would be a huge help!
 
But yes, overall I am doing much better! Please tell the Lambriggers I say hi! And tell Randi I say HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!! I love you all so much! I don´t need much right now, but I am SO excited to get your package! We go to Merida on the 23rd so I´m hoping to get it then! Please know that I love you and I love my Heavenly Father! This is His work and I am so grateful for how He blesses me and all of you! I love you will all my heart!!!! Please stay safe and I´ll talk to you soon!!!!
 
Con Amor para siempre,
 
Hermana Carr

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Week 25 and Week 7

The Holidays are upon us!

 As our family celebrated Thanksgiving here at home, our two missionaries celebrated in their own way in their different countries.
This was the first time our family hasn't been together for the holidays. I have to admit it was very hard for me, but we invited the sister missionaries in our ward to share Thanksgiving dinner with us and it was wonderful to have them with us.
We received our weekly email from our daughters and was so happy to once again hear about their week.



ABA (OMG) another super fast week! Can't believe another transfer is over this week LOCO!!! Anyway this week was AYOS!!!!  

First, we celebrated Thanksgiving!! I made Chopsuey and Sunday potatoes and we had rice, we bought a roasted chicken and ice cream haha, it was a Filippino Thanksgiving!!! Doesn't beat being home pero we made it fun! 

Secondly, Sister Caunca and I found out that one of us will be transferring this week. So I will be getting a new companion and maybe a new area...we shall see! 

Thrice!!! We had 5 investigators attend church yesterday!!! It was awesome. Brother Melbert and his wife Janet( who is a less active) attended church with their kids!! Also last night, Sis Caunca and I extended a baptism date for Brother Melbert for Dec 21. He accepted and is a little sad he has to wait so long but that is the date the Lord picked for him. It's a little sad that one of us wont be able to see him get baptized pero we are just excited that it is happening!!! 

I loved the pictures you sent me Mom!! All of my girlies...including you mom, look so Maganda(beautiful) I miss them all so so much!!! please tell them I love them and miss them!!!

And GRABE  Dad your beard is FANTASTIC!!! This is the first time that I am really seeing it and I LOVE IT!!!! All of you look so great!!!!! Katie & Mom you look Gorgeous and Matt you are a stud!!!

I am glad to hear that everything worked out with my accident. I was a little worried.

Anyway...sorry not too much to report this week. 

I just want to encourage you all to keep strengthening your relationship with Heavenly Father!!  Alam ko na totoo yung ebanghelo na ito!!!

My family...I love you and miss you all so much. I think of you everyday and pray that you are always safe happy and healthy!!!!

Oh! so here is something that you can do for me...go to Jolibee and either have a mix-in (if thy have them there) or a chocolate sundae and think of me!! I eat one almost every week after zone studies!!! haha !

My beautiful family, thank you so much for your love and support. I am grateful for all of you and I love you so so so much!!!!!

Be safe in all that you do and have a great week!!! I love you I love you I love you!!

Mahal, 
 Sister Carr
 
 
And Hermana Carr writes....... her first full week in Mexico



Hola Familia!
 
I hope you all had a wonderful week! Thank you for sending the picture! I loved seeing you all so happy!
MATTHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡FELIZ CUMPLEAƑOS!!!!!!!!!! Sixteen, that´s crazy! I hope you had the best day! I miss you and am so proud of you! You´re a priest now, that´s awesome!
 
Can you believe it´s December already? I can´t! That´s nuts! On the 16th of this month, I will have officially been out for two months! Wow! So this week has been good, a lot of learning! It´s been tough because I can´t understand much, but I want to talk. But it´s hard to do that, when I can´t understand what´s happening. Luckily all the members here are SO NICE! They understand I am learning and are so patient with me. I´m so grateful for that!
 
Guess what I did! I bore my testimony in Spanish yesterday during testimony meeting! It was short and simple and I was terrified, but I did it! And I´m so happy! The members are so supportive and willing to help us whenever we need it. They treat us like family and it´s making everything so much easier. It´s still a bit overwhelming. I miss being able to know what´s going on, but I know that will come with time.
 
It´s kinda cool, I am the first American sister missionary to be in Hunucma in a very long time! I feel like a pioneer a little bit. It´s kinda fun to know you are making a difference, but a little scary too. Me and Hermana N. laugh a lot because we get whistled at by the men, but they are harmless. They call me guera, which means white girl. It just makes me laugh because it´s true. I don´t mind. Everyone here is really nice. They have a tough time keeping commitments, but we´ll get them there, I know it! I invited some to baptism and he accepted! YAY! He is scheduled for the 4 of January! He needs to some make some changes before his baptism, but with the help of the Lord, we´ll do it!
 
Oh, by the way, Hermana N. has been out for about 5 months now. She left in July. And we get along great. She is teaching me a lot!
 
Just know that I am safe and working hard. I need a lot of help, and it´s been REALLY hard, but the Lord gives me strength. I know I have a mission to serve, and I´m going to serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength! Thank you so much for your e-mails and for your love and support! Katie, you crack me up with your e-mails, keep sending them please! Haha, I want to hear from all of you! I love you all SO MUCH! Please be safe and have a wonderful week!
 
Con todo mi amor siempre,
Sarahbeara 
 
Hermana Carr and her companion and some local children

Missionary apartment....it's VERY white.

Instead of a bed the missionaries sleep in hammocks. This is one thing that our daughter was very excited to experience.

 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mexico Bound !!

Hermana Carr leaves for Mexico !!

Well, Hermana Carr's time at the MTC is coming to an end.  She leaves Monday to fly to Mexico. We received her flight plans and an email from her today letting us know that she will call us Monday morning when she gets to the airport.  We are so excited to talk to her before she boards the plane to leave for the next 17 months.
While she writes that she is nervous to get out in the mission field, she is also super excited.


 Mi Familia, 

Hi there! So this week has been really good, but also sad. It's tough knowing that I have to say goodbye to my district and my whole zone for that matter. It's nice that Hermana Winn and Hermana Ludlam are going to the same mission, so we'll be together, but I will miss everyone else so much! They have become my family. But I am super excited to go the the field. Yesterday was in-field orientation and I loved it! We learned so much and I got to spend the day with RACHEL! She leaves for Kentucky on monday too, so she was at orientation. I saw her on tuesday earlier this week at devotional and we screamed and hugged and just freaked out. I was beyond stoked to see her! Then spending yesterday with her was bomb. I seriously love her so much! Her companion is awesome too.
 But yeah, in-field was amazing! So spiritual, but super long! It was from 8:30am-5:30pm! Long time, but like I said, really really good! I got to meet Elder Christensen from the District. He's way cool. He taught one of our lessons about goal setting and then later Hermana Winn and I just sat and talked with him for a little. He served in San Diego so he told me how much he loves Southern California and wants to live there eventually. I told him I was from Huntington and we bonded over our love for California. He told me he's going to LA for a wedding in December and I got super jealous. But yeah, he's a super cool guy! After orientation, I am definitely more excited to head out to the field. I'm still totally nervous, but I know it will be ok. I just have to be flexible and give myself time to adjust. Your Dear Elders help me so much to focus on the Lord and I thank you for that!

I sent you pictures of my flight plan so you can see what my flight numbers are and what time I leave. I'm thinking I might call twice, once in Salt Lake and once in Houston. I'm thinking of calling around 10:00am and then again between 5:30-6:00pm. Is that ok? I want to talk to all of you, so look for my call! 

Oh! And thank you for the package! I love it! Anything Trader Joe's is ALWAYS welcome! But it's also tough because I was losing weight and now with all the good food that we can keep in our apartment, come 9:00 at night we go crazy! haha. But it's so good!
Family, I love you all so much! I miss and think about you every single day and can't thank you enough for all the support and love you give me! Please keep encouraging me to do the Lord's work! I know the Lord needs me as a servant, but I also know it's really hard to serve. But I must keep in mind that if it wasn't easy for the only perfect missionary, why would it be easy for me? I must do as Christ did and move forward in faith and in love. If I do this and look to Him for help and guidance, I will not fail. I know this. I have such and testimony of this and I can feel how I am being converted to this. I am so blessed to be a missionary. I know that as I teach, I will be taught and edified. God is real. He loves us and wants us to live with Him again. Christ is the Redeemer of the world and through Him, all mankind may be saved. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It was translated by Joseph Smith, a true prophet of God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of Christ once again restored on the earth. Of these things I have NO doubt. I love my Heavenly Father and thank Him everyday for my many blessings. I thank Him for you all! I love each and every one of you with all my heart! Remain faithful and loving and He will bless you! 

With all my love forever!
Sarahbeara


Hermana C. and her fellow Mexico bound missionaries

Hermana C. pointing to her home for the next 17 months.

Enjoying lunch with some fellow MTC missionaries

Hermana C. and Sis. N, these two sisters have been best of friends since middle school. One going to Mexico the other to Kentucky. They are going to do great things for the Lord!



Our next update on Hermana Carr will be when she is in Mexico!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Being a missionary parent is not for the faint of heart!!

One daughter endures Typhoon Haiyan(Yolanda) and the other endures another week in the MTC.

This week has been a stressful one for me. I stayed up late Thursday and Friday night tracking the largest typhoon in recorded history as it barreled down on the Philippines. I prayed that our daughter would be kept safe and that the area she was in wouldn't be affected too  much by the storm. 

Even once I knew the storm had passed and we had gotten word via the mission blog that all the missionaries in Urdaneta were safe, I stayed up late on Saturday trying to read as many updates as I could find on the internet about the amount of damage that had been done.
 I was thankful that Sister Monahan, the mission President's wife, had posted on the mission blog that all the missionaries were safe, but I knew I wouldn't be able to rest until we personally heard from AJ.
The news was reporting that there thousands of  people missing and I knew from conversations I had had with other missionary parents that many missionaries were missing too. 
The typhoon hit the city of Tacloban and the surrounding area the hardest and many of those who were missing were from that area. 

While my heart aches for those who have lost loved ones, I'm grateful to know at this time that ALL the missionaries through out the Philippines have been found and are safe. Now the missionaries, along with the people of the Philippines will roll up their sleeves and work together to rebuild what was destroyed.
It will be a long road to recovery for the Filipino people and we will continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. 


 Hello there family! Don't worry I am safe and well. We actually really haven't been hit. We had some strong winds and that is about it.
Everything is going well with me. Sis Caunca and I are keeping busy! We only have 1 baptism this month cause Brother Melbert didn't come to church yesterday, so we had to push it back. I will keep you posted of course on what happens.

Oh!! And I get to call you guys in a couple of weeks!!! YAAAA I am so excited!!!



Here are some things I wanted to tell/ask you:
-i love to cook, i am a chef now
-mom i used your conversion story this week!!
-how are the Rices? everybody? how are the Zechs?
-i wanted to tell you Dad that i am really proud of you!!! reading Preach My Gospel and the handbook! you are awesome!!

Well I got to go!! I love you all have a great week and be safe!!! 
I love you I love you I love you!!!!

Mahal,
Sister Carr

PICTURES!!!!
 
Sis. C crossing a bridge. Not sure where this is at, but it looks like it's out in the middle of nowhere

Eating Balut!!! She says she has a video of her eating it. I can't wait to see that!!

Sis. C and Sis. M

Sis. C loves the Filipino children

Sis. C and Sis. T

The missionary tag

Not sure where this is at, but we are assuming this is a picture of Urdaneta. Unfortunately AJ doesn't always give us much information about her pictures.


 


Our daughter that is still in the MTC wrote us about her week. She writes that she struggles with the language a bit, and wants to be a perfect missionary now. The hardest part for her is being patient and learning things a little at a time.
Sarah has always been a perfectionist. She hates when she feels like she's not doing "good enough". She is her worst critic.  We know that while she continues on her mission she will not only learn patience and acceptance for others, but for herself too.  A mission teaches the missionary that to be a strong servant of the Lord you must first accept your weaknesses, be patient with yourself and have faith in the Lord that he will make you strong.
We know Sarah will be a wonderful missionary. She has such a good and loving heart. We are so proud of her!
 

Hello Family! 

So this week was really good! It was also SUPER tough! On Monday, I went to Salt Lake with another Sister in my district to get visas. It was fun because we took a train and were reminded that there's a world outside the MTC. But by the end, I was ready to get back to the MTC. I got my visa though, so that's good!  We left around 10 in the morning and got back around 4 or so. Really simple, so I was grateful for that. 

This week was hard because I felt like I'm not getting the hang of teaching. I keep having a hard time just getting my mind right, but it's difficult. It's the language mainly. I'm so focused on myself and how I'm using Spanish rather than on the person I'm teaching. But at the same time, if the person can't understand me, how can I teach? It's hard to find a balance. Plus at west campus it's super hard to focus because we are surrounded by 20 billion people every second. Everyone is doing different things and it's hard to find a place where me and Hermana Winn can sit together and focus. My teacher even said that that could make a huge difference, so she's seeing what can be done about that. It would be great if we could study in our apartment, but they tell us not to cause they think we'll get distracted. I feel like we would be so much more productive! So we'll see. I know that I have to take responsibility for myself and find a way to study what I need to study. With faith, I know that Lord will help me. 

I'm trying to apply that faith to everything. My major issue is wanting to be a great teacher and missionary right now, and it's not going to happen. The MTC is the place to make all the dumb mistakes and find out how much you suck, so then you can start getting better. That's kinda a harsh way to put it, but it feels like that sometimes. I want to be super good and teach with the spirit and be able to baptize EVERYONE, but the Lord humbles me more often than I would like and reminds me that this takes work. I'm going to be working constantly for the next year and a half and, although that scares me, I always know this is where I need to be. I just need to keep chugging along and rely on the Lord. I know with all my heart this gospel brings and will bring joy to many people's lives and that's why I'm here. I love God and I want others to know how much He loves us. 

So, I thank you all so much for how you support me. Your encouraging words remind me that the Lord has called me as His servant. I cannot thank Him enough for the wonderful family I have been blessed with! 

Katelyn: I'm so incredibly happy to hear that you are doing better! Keep working hard at work and doing what you need to be doing and you'll be just fine. I miss you every second, but I know that the Lord is watching over our family. 

Matthew: Where are you bro?! Why haven't I heard from you? I need to hear what's going on with you! C'mon man. Get it together and write me ya goof. 

Mom and Dad: I miss you so much! I'm praying for all of you and I'm praying for AJ! I know she'll be safe. The Lord is watching over all of us. Oh! I saw Hunter! He's doing well! And he says Hi! And that's super cool about Candise's call. She'll be great! I'm loving my doTerra kit by the way! I use it all the time! And I got my bag! So we're good there too. I can't think of anything I need, but if I do I'll let you know. 

Well, I have to go. I love you with all my heart! This IS the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the only way to find happiness in this life and in the next. Although life is hard and we don't know everything, we have our agency. Faith is a choice we make. We choose to believe that Christ is our Savior and to follow His teachings. I know He's my Savior. I choose to believe and follow Him. And I choose to serve Him. Please continue to do the same, and He will bless our family. 

I love you all sooooooooooooo much! 

All my love forever,
Sarahbear :) 

PS: L Tom Perry comes on Tuesday for our devotional! YAY!!!!! I'll write you all about it! 

PPS: I've seen Krin Peterson too. Awesome dude. He told me mom that you wrote him. That's funny and super cool of you. Love you all!




Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sister Carr and Hermana Carr Mission update!!

Sister Carr is liking her new area. She wrote this week and filled us all in on what is going on with her and her new companion. 
She didn't have time to send pictures this week, but promises that she'll send them next week. 


Well Hello there my family! This week was a really fast week! I can't believe it is pday again!!! goodness time is flying!
 
Everything went really well with Brother Jesus and his baptism! The Spirit was there and I am just happy I had a part to play! This transfer is going to be busy considering we have 2 more baptisms this month woo hoo!!! Sister Luce will be baptized on Nov 16 and Brother Melbert will be baptized on Nov 30!!!! Sis Caunca and I are so excited!!! Both of them came to church yesterday and Brother Melbert even paid tithing!! Both of them are great examples to their families and are really doing what it takes to strengthen their testimonies.

It's is amazing how different the people here in Mangaldan are compared to the people in Urdaneta. Now I am not comparing my areas, I like both of them for different reasons however, I can tell that Satan is really working hard on the people in Urdaneta because that is where the temple is being built. It is amazing the difference.
 
So mom you asked me what Sister Caunca would want for Christmas. She loves Snickers!!! However our next transfer is on the 6 of Dec and so we might not be companions anymore. Pero do you think you could send a Long Beach California shirt, size medium, for Sister Merrill? I think she would really like that. Oh and I wanted to add a soccer ball and pump as well as the large bags of Christmas candy like the ones that have Snickers and Milky Way and Reeces to my wishlist!! If that is ok?  (: 

Sarah! put me on your email list you turd, and my shoes and tights look good on you. Thanks for taking them...pero yea you do look really cute!!! I miss you and I am way proud of you!! <3

Katie...kate kate kate I miss you!! I hope you are doing well and I am so incredibly proud of you!!! Have a GREAT first day of work! 
 
Please be safe in all that you do and have a great week!!! I love you all very very very much!!!! 
 
 I love you I love you I love you!!!!

Mahal,
Sister Carr

P.S.  Sorry guys the computer is taking forever and I only have 10 minutes left so next week. short email and lots of pics I promise!! Dad I thought of you the other day as I watched a Mormon message about fathers, it is so good you should watch it. It is one of my faves. I think it is entitled father but I am not sure.  It starts out with a Dad and he says "I am awake" haha I know it is not very helpful but haha try to watch it if you can find it. 

Mormon messages are awesome!!!!

Oh and I am glad you guys had a fun and safe Halloween!!! If you have pics I would love to see them!!

Well, I love you both very very very much. I pray & think about you everyday!! I love you with all my heart and I hope you know that!!!!

I love you I love you I love you!!!!!!! 

Mahal,
Sister Carr
 
 
Hermana Carr was able to send us some more pictures this week.  She took the time to write each of us a letter and shared with us some of her experiences from her week.
 
 
Mom and Dad,
I miss you sooooo much!! I miss everyone, but the MTC is great! I can't tell you how wonderful I think  my teachers are and how great my zone is. Everyone is so friendly and supportive. It's definitely difficult though. It can be hard following such a strict schedule. I am trying to be as obedient as I can, but sometimes I still miss the mark. I know that I don't need to be perfect as long as I'm trying my best.
How's everyone at home? I think about you guys and AJ all the time.  It's been tough being away from home. I miss coming into your room and sitting on your bed and just talking to you guys. I miss giving Daddy back rubs while he sits at his desk ( I never thought I'd miss doing that...Haha!)

I love getting your dearelder letters. I hope and pray for them everyday. They are a huge moment of joy during my busy day!
So guess what? We are being moved tomorrow to the West MTC Campus. It's by the BYU football stadium. It's supposed to be super nice so I'm super stoked to see what it looks like. It's supposed to be just for Spanish speaking missionaries, so that will be super cool. I need to be speaking more Spanish outside of class. Maybe being surrounded by a whole bunch of Spanish speakers in our dorms will be nice. 
It's kind of funny, the longer I'm here the harder the things get, but at the same time the easier it gets too. I know God is helping me to build my testimony and become truly converted to Him. It's quit a process, but the blessing are incredible. 
Tonight, I was sitting in class just about to cry because of how much we are asked to do ( language study, planning, teaching, ...etc) and I was doubting if  I even have the ability to do it all. I couldn't shake this awful slump that I had fallen in to. I had thoughts of giving up and coming home. 
I decided to say a prayer and ask God for help. I told Him I couldn't do this without Him, I needed Him. I wanted to be the missionary that He needs me to be, but would need His strength to do it. 
 
After my prayer I felt comforted and rejuvenated and knew that God had heard me and answered my prayer.
I was reminded of why I want to be here and why I want to be a missionary. The Lord needs me as his servant and I want to do my best for Him. 

I love you all so much! I am so grateful for all  your love and support that you give me each and everyday.  It means the world to me!! I'll talk to you again soon!

All my love, 
Sarah


Hermana Carr and her Zone

Hermana in front of the temple

We sent Hermana Carr her favorite Harry Potter blanket. She is moved into her new dorm room at the MTC.

Hermana Carr and her companion

Missionary training is hard work!!

It's good to read about the experiences our girls are having while on their missions. As they face trials and challenges we can see that their testimonies are strengthened as they rely on the Lord to face and overcome those challenges.

Our two children here at home are doing well. Our daughter has started a new job this week and is really enjoying it. Our son is finishing up his high school football season and is looking forward to a  break from the strenuous practice schedule.

As we approach Thanksgiving this month we are reminded that our family has so many things to be thankful for. We have truly been blessed by the Lord.