Sunday, June 30, 2013

Finally!!    Pictures of our Missionary!!

After some serious whining to my daughter about her not sending us any pictures from the MTC (I know that was selfish on my part, but I needed to see her sweet face) Sister Carr finally sent us some pictures this past week!!

Sister Carr with some other Sisters going to the Philippines

Sister Carr and her companion Sister Ianuzi

Beautiful Sisters

Happy Are We
Sister Carr with her District
Sister Carr wrote this past week that all is going well. She is happy and really enjoying her time in the MTC. Her companion is Sister Ianuzi, she's from New York. 
AJ says she really likes her companion and that she and the rest of her district all get along really well.
 She has requested that we send her a package. So this week I put together a pretty sizable package with some of her favorite treats, a few things she needed, and some 4th of July goodies that she can share with her District. She should get it on Monday, so I'm looking forward to her next email to let us know how she liked it !
Another Sister Carr gets her call !!!!

And the blessings just keep coming........ Family and friends were able to celebrate with our daughter Sarah as she opened her mission letter.
She has been assigned to the Mexico Merida Mission. She will be serving for 18 months. She will prepare to teach the gospel and serve in the Spanish language and will enter the Provo MTC on October 16, 2013 to begin her mission!!

Merida Mexico is located in the Yucatan Peninsula, along the Gulf of Mexico.

Sarah is so excited and we are so excited for her!! We have a little more than 3 months to help Sarah prepare to leave. We only had 6 weeks with AJ.  I'm glad we have more time so hopefully it will be a little less stressful.

Our family has been so blessed!!!

The Twin-kies

Mom and Dad with our newest missionary

The Family (minus one)

Sarah and Granny

Watch for more updates as we keep everyone up to date on our family happenings.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sister Carr is doing well in the MTC!!!

Best Friends meeting in front of the Provo Temple
After struggling with some serious homesickness the first few weeks Sister Carr is doing well in the MTC and continues to learn and grow in the Tagalog language.

Her best friend Em, who attends BYU, was at the Provo Temple for a ward activity and spotted Sister Carr in the field having some free exercise time.  An unexpected meeting resulted in a joyous, but short visit for the two of them. As you can see on their faces, they were excited to see each other.

We haven't received any pictures from our missionary yet of her in the MTC so you can imagine my excitement when Em texted me this picture of she and Sister Carr.

The last email we received from Sister Carr was on Saturday and much of it was in Tagalog with a few words here and there in English.  She wrote that she has come out of the shadows of homesickness and is doing really well. She loves the MTC and the Elders and Sisters in her district. She is learning tons, having fun and growing stronger in her testimony of the gospel each and every day.

She is looking forward to getting to the Philippines and serving the Filipino people. She won't be leaving the MTC until late July so she still has some time left. By the time she leaves she will have spent 9 weeks in the MTC. I'm sure she will be more than ready to leave!!

On Another Note!!

There will be another Sister Carr heading to the mission field. Our daughter Sarah will be receiving her mission call any day now.  We are extremely proud of her and excited to have another missionary serving. Once we know where she will be going we will be sure to share the news so stay tuned!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Sister Carr has been in the MTC now for over a week. We received our first letter/email from her last Saturday and she said homesickness had set in, but that she was dealing with it.
 On Sunday night we received a call from her and her District President letting us know that she was really struggling. We had a few minutes to talk to her and she explained that she didn't think it was going to be as hard as it was to be away from home and all her friends and family. She has been trying to focus on the work that she is doing, but her thoughts kept coming back to home and it was making it very hard to stay focused on what she was learning. 
After talking with AJ, we spoke with her District President for a few minutes as well and he counseled her to be patient and give herself some more time to adjust to the changes and he would meet with her regularly to check on her progress. She agreed to be patient and give herself more time to adjust. 
We received an email the next day, Monday, and she said that after a good nights rest she was feeling better and was going to work harder at getting through her homesickness. She will continue to meet with her leaders there in the MTC on a regular basis and exercise her faith in the Lord. She said that even though she is having a difficult time right now she knows that serving a mission is the right thing for her to be doing.

I, myself have never served a mission. I can only imagine how challenging it must be. These young men and women, at a time when most young adults are focused on themselves, sacrifice 18 months to 2 years of their lives to selflessly serve others. They receive no financial benefits for their service, but the blessings and the experiences they receive are priceless. 
Many are sent to different parts of the world where they immerse themselves in the language and the culture of the people they are serving and they form relationships that will last a lifetime. 
My prayers and love go out to these missionaries as they tirelessly seek to do the Lord's work and serve His children.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

MTC Day June 5, 2013 

Well, Sister Carr has officially entered the Mission Training Center!!

We drove her up to Utah on Monday and was able to spend a few days visiting with family and friends, finish up some shopping and enjoy some time with her alone before we did the big drop off at the MTC curb.

On Tuesday, while finishing up some shopping we stopped by the Sister Missionary Mall (it's actually a small boutique) to try and find another skirt. This is a great store! There are tons of skirts, blouses, accessories, bags and pretty much anything else you can think of for your sister missionary. I wish we had a store like this in Southern California.
While we were there we met a young return sister missionary that worked there who served her mission in Cebu Philippines. She spent time talking with AJ and gave her some great advice and shared with her some of her experiences while serving her mission in the Philippines.

I had heard from other parents who have missionaries serving that the hardest part of sending your missionary out was the dreaded "drop off" at the MTC.  I often chuckled to myself when I heard this thinking that I would be much better about holding it wouldn't be that big of deal. We are sending our child out into the world to serve others and teach the gospel. It was "only" for 18 months!
BOY WAS I WRONG!!!!  When we woke up Wednesday morning there was immediately a feeling of anticipation. We knew that in a few short hours we would be saying goodbye for 18 months. AJ was quiet most of the morning as we went to brunch. We took her to Chipotle, one of her favorite places to eat.  Afterwards we drove to the Provo Temple, took some pictures and enjoyed the beautiful weather. There were lots of other families at the temple with their missionaries, taking pictures and hugging their missionaries as they prepared to send them off for 18 months or 2 years.
It was comforting to see that we weren't the only family going through this experience.

Mom and AJ

Dad and AJ

                                                                                                                                                                                              As we drove up to the MTC, I could hear AJ in the backseat starting to sniffle. I didn't want to turn around in fear of completely breaking down myself.
Driving into the MTC

There were Host sisters and elders waiting on the curb to welcome the incoming missionaries as we drove in.

Host missionaries

We were greeted by Sister Ward who was going to Korea for her mission. She greeted AJ with a smile while Brennan got AJ's luggage out of the car. I could see the tears in AJ's eyes as she turned to give her Dad a hug.
Sister Ward greets Sister Carr as she gets a hug from her Dad
After several hugs and kisses we got back in the car and started to pull away from the curb. Taking one last look back as Sister Carr walked away I was overcome with happiness and sadness all at the same time. By the time we made it to the end of the parking lot I was in full blown tears. I couldn't control it. For the remainder of the day the tears came and went freely.
I couldn't shake the feeling of loss, even though I knew exactly where she was and that she was safe and beginning something that would be one of the best experiences of her life.
I was reminded that this is what she has been prepared for and that it was time to let her go and let her follow the Lord's plan for her.

I know that AJ is going to be a wonderful missionary and I can't wait to read all about her experiences and share them with my family and friends.

If you'd like to write AJ her MTC address is posted here as well as her email address. She would love to hear from all her family and friends!!