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!

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!!!!

Sister Carr

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!!!!

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!!!!!!! 

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, 

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.