Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Worth It

This week's blog post is dedicated to all those who are preparing to serve a mission or who are facing a decision regarding their faith or discipleship.

This week in sacrament meeting we heard a talk from a young woman preparing to leave on her mission. I remembered preparing to come out here and serve. In my final talk in sacrament meeting (My wonderful bishop asked me to give several) I listed a few of the sacrifices that we make to serve the Lord. So did this young sister. We wake up at 6:30 every morning, talk to strangers, get doors slammed in our face and meet with our fair share of disappointments. She had a testimony already of the beautiful eternal principle of compensation. The Lord never ask us to do anything that He doesn't make worth the sacrifice. And we owe Him everything for what He has already done for us. We are eternally in His debt.

I also have a testimony of that principle. I know that The Lord asks us to do hard things because He love us. It is ALWAYS worth it.

I have never been as happy as I am today. As I am when I see that we have been guided by the spirit to be exactly where we needed to be and to say exactly what someone needed to hear. 

The Lord pays us in happiness. He gives us what we work for - and in that way we always get what we really want. It isn't because we earn our reward. It is because we show what we really want by the spirit we decide to follow. The Lord has already paid the price - but will we choose to take the gift that He offers?

I know that making the choice to serve the Lord sometimes goes against what I would naturally do - what sounds easy or fun or smart. But that is why we have to have the faith to do hard things. Not blind obedience, not being led by a blind guide, but the will to be true to the light that you DO have - even if you don't understand everything right now.

We receive no witness until after the trial of our faith. But I promise you that the witness comes. It always comes. You will never know unless you ask the Lord by trying it out and praying for answers. 

It is so worth it. And really, what do you have to lose? You have everything to gain.


Sister Caroline Faulkner

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Letters From the Field

We received this email from a member in Caroline's previous ward. As her sister, I read it and knew exactly that they were talking about the Caroline I know. You may recognize some of these attributes in her too. 

If you have something nice to say about a missionary in your ward, or stake - let their families know. It was so nice to hear how Caroline is doing from someone who is there with her.

Dear parents of Sister Faulkner (I still don't know her first name!),

I wanted to tell you how impressed I was with your daughter and her service in Moses Lake 10th Ward. I was one of the fortunate ones who got to know and work with your daughter. I wanted to tell you a little bit about her time here and the impression she left.

When she first arrived in Moses Lake, she was ready to go. I have never seen a missionary as excited and fearless as she was. I have seen plenty of excited missionaries, but none as comfortable as your daughter in relating and talking to complete strangers about the Gospel. I know that at first, her brand of humor slightly worried her dear companion. My first night out with them happened to be near Christmas time and my neighbors' houses were decorated festively. After leaving my home and walking out into the street with them to knock on a neighbor's door down the street, I heard your daughter say quietly to her companion in all seriousness, "Ugh! That guy is still over there and he won't stop staring at us." I looked up to see who she was talking about. The only "person" around was a lighted, giant, blow up toy soldier on the neighbor's lawn with his facial expression stuck in a smile. Before I could chuckle, I heard Sister McMurtrey sigh and say, "We talked about this Sister Faulkner. You can't be weird in front of the investigators." But then Sister McMurtrey laughed and I realized it was the first time I heard her actually laugh since she had been in Moses Lake. I think your daughter was a breath of fresh air for her dear companion and it seemed to me, their work became a little more enjoyable because of your daughter. She has a real talent for relating to people and letting them see that faithful followers of Christ can have personalities too.

I also appreciated your daughter's ability to balance the funny with the sincere. In fact, what I most admired about her was her knowledge of the scriptures and gospel principles. If not for this, I probably would not have been impressed to write to you. I wish I had a real example of this, but I don't. All I can say is that in lessons, street contacts, and church meetings, your daughter could always be counted upon to give an on point example from the scriptures or explain a difficult principle in easy to understand terms. And she did so with excitement and real testimony. It was a real honor to be with a missionary that emanated her beliefs as she spoke. She was never stale. I felt the Spirit so many times as I heard her speak and I know investigators did too.  

Thank you for raising such a good girl. She is really making a difference in Washington and I hope the people in Walla Walla know how good they have it!


I have chosen to keep this person anonymous until I receive an okay from them.

Monday, May 19, 2014

So Nice They Named it Twice

Walla Walla has been an adventure thus far, and it will probably continue to be one. I'll probably be here for at least two transfers since Sister Owens is training. Several of our investigators are doing much better this week and we've found some new people to teach. Soon we are going to get some of them to church. 
Note: Easiest way to help people to come to church is to be their friend so they do not have to be alone in a new place. Another is to invite them on a tour of the church building with their friend so that they have an opportunity to see that it isn't scary or weird. So that they feel comfortable.
Many concerns that prevent people from trying things out or continuing to learn about the restored gospel are social concerns. If you can help people feel loved, they have an easier time trying things out.
You have to be NICE. Luckily, Walla Walla is famous for being nice. The members here have been really kind to us and have done a lot to reach out to the people coming into the church. I am very proud of them.
Sister Owens and I are really enjoying the work here. People refer us to their friends and neighbors - even when they aren't interested. Sometimes, those people even say that we can come back. We love these people. We want to help them.
I am going to bring up a point that I brought up in one of my very early blog posts. It has meant a lot to me recently. We are not out here for us. We are not out here to force our faith on the unsuspecting people of Walla Walla. It wouldn't be worth my time and there is nothing for me to gain in that. We want to invite others to come to Christ because we know how much that has meant to us. I cannot express in words what it has meant to me- so all I can do is invite others to try it and feel it for themselves. That's why we are here. Because we want to serve God's children and we love them. Don't you dare let anybody tell you otherwise.
Luckily, most people recognize that.
The message we carry is a message of love. Christ's love. The most powerful love there is.

Also new favorite breakfast food is a burrito made of Nutella, Greek yogurt and frozen fruit. It's the best.

Sister Caroline Faulkner
Have a Walla Walla Wonderful Week.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day​

Yesterday was Mother's Day and I got to call home- which was a good experience. My family ha been a really great support to me while I've been out here. Thank to all of you who write me and who read my blog and who pray for my companion, the people we teach, and for me. I feel that strength.

One person who has given me a lot of help is my particularly stalwart older sister Lisa who has been faithfully updating this blog and helping people to get in touch with me. All I can say is thank you and also: 

Walla Walla Zone has more sisters than it has Elders. Which is exciting. We have a lot of fun. I love this Sisters in our zone. Here we are.

People in Walla Walla also tend to have really nice yards with creeks running through them and little artificial lakes that make me jealous. So I awkwardly took a picture with one or two of them for your benefit. The things I do for you people.

 This weekend was the hot air balloon festival. This is the one we saw. It looked a lot cooler in person.

Also- this is a little piece of Walla Walla for you. It' an Alligator made of doughnut and frosting given to u by one of the recent converts in our ward. 

I was moved by the story of Hannah this mother's Day and by her testimony of God' love. It inspired me to remember that "after much tribulation... cometh the blessing". The Lord is aware of our faith, our desires to serve Him, and our needs. He wants to help us. Sometimes that means that the blessings we want right now have to wait. But God promises every blessing to the faithful.


Sister Caroline Faulkner

Monday, May 5, 2014

Walla Walla Wonderful

I wonder if  we brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in Walla Walla what would happen? It would be wonderful. We are working on it.
You should see the trees and the flowers and the mountains and the streams. Those things are wonderful.
The most wonderful thing about Walla Walla has to be the ward I am serving in, though. We have a great ward family that has been waiting for sisters for while. They are so excited to come out with us and feed us and build up their little piece of Zion we can barely handle their excitement. We've got 10 year old girls asking if they can come teaching with us. How adorable is that?
We have met lots of great people. I feel that some of the people that we are teaching are having a bit of a hard time dealing with their last set of missionaries getting doubled out- but we will continue to work with them and help them.
Mother's Day is this weekend- the day when missionaries call home. That will be a fun experience.
These are some of the cool things that I've seen this week.

I love you all.
Remember who you are and what you stand for Mosiah 18:9

Sister Caroline Faulkner

P.S. Shout out to Sister Reyes for teaching me enough Spanish to Open My Mouth and share a little bit of my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to people who only speak Spanish. I've had a chance to talk to 5 people in Spanish this week and two of them said that we could send the Spanish speaking Elders to visit them!! That was really fun and exciting. I am having a blast.