Monday, September 22, 2014

Support and Love

This week I discovered that I can see Mt Rainier from our area if you go out in the sticks – which is exactly where we were this week. I got some great pictures. It's especially cool because my Mom was hiking around the base of the mountain this week, so she walked through our stake boundaries. I like to imagine that she's in this picture. Just WAAAAAY too small to see.

I've been thinking a lot this week about all of the people I have at home supporting me. My mom have been a huge help, not only financially (though that contribution has been significant) but also emotionally. I remember that she was on a boat almost the entire time that I was in the MTC, but I still got 3 letters from her there. She sends me packages, she writes me frequently and I know she prays for each of her children every day. I know that missionary moms go through a lot.

My Sister, Lisa, has also been a huge help. She has emailed me more faithfully than anyone else, I think. And she updates my blog every week. Even with three kids (one a new baby) and preschool and responsibilities. She's been great.

I am so grateful for the letters I get from friends at home and family members. It means a lot to us when we get mail. It also means a lot to know that you are praying for us. I know it makes a difference.

I am grateful for all of the people who have contributed to my personal conversion. Their example is part of my testimony, in a way, that I can share with people.

This week is a great opportunity to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Please take advantage of this opportunity to be uplifted and to help others are we here from living Apostles and Prophets in General conference. The Women's broadcast is this Saturday evening, and the other sessions are next weekend.
Don't miss it.

Thank you all for all that you do!


Sister Caroline Faulkner

Thursday, September 18, 2014

"You can do it now!"

The Elders left us conference CDs from last October. We found them in the car, and we have been listening to the talks in the car this week.

I was particularly touched by one form the Priesthood Session by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf called "You can do it now!"

In this Talk, President Uchtdorf reminds us that "our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward."

I love that, because sometimes we think that we are too fallen to be saved, too filthy to be made clean, and too lost to be found. Such thoughts of self-doubt cast doubt on the Savior's ability to heal us. Remember how important that faith is.

We have to have the faith. The first step is to believe that through Christ we can be cleansed from all sin.

We got to go to the temple today. That was a great blessing. I always find peace and strength in the temple.I come away with a renewed desire to follow my Savior and do my best as His messenger.

Being a missionary is the coolest, because we get to go out and remind people that they can get up again. We get to encourage people to rely on Christ and let them know just how much He wants to heal them.

The members continue to give us the names of their well loved friends to go and visit, which is nice because people appreciate our message a lot more when it comes from a person of who's love for them they are already sure. The members also continue to give us food. We got a cantaloupe, some tomatoes, a sweet pepper, an eggplant, and new drinking glasses this week.
I tell you, people love sister missionaries. It's really not fair how kind they are to us, not that I'm complaining. It's pretty nice.

I have to include a shout out to my brother and sister-in-law- who just had an anniversary. Congratulations!

Also, I am going to have some pictures soon because my wonderful father is sending me a camera. I am so spoiled.

I cannot express my gratitude to all of the people who've given me such support and so many prayers, and such love that my cup runneth over with blessings. Thanks to all who take such good care of me. Know that I thank my Heavenly Father for you and I ask Him to watch over you.

We are looking forward to a beautiful Autumn season here in the Yakima Valley. Be strong. Go read that talk, it's great.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Yakkity Yak (Don't talk back!)

Welcome to Yakima, land of the fruit, home of the goats.

We love Yakima. Once again, I've been doubled-in to an area that's had Elders for a considerable amount of time. This are hasn't had Sisters for 15 years. The ward is so excited to have us here! And, we are so excited to be here.The weather is just starting to have a tinge of that beautiful crispness that tells us Autumn is on its way. With Autumn will come Apples, Halloween, Colorful leaves, and shorter days. I love Autumn so much. 

The people here have been exceptionally kind to us. The members here have been really good about sharing the restored gospel with their friends, and they are excited to invite us to meet their loved ones. We are so grateful for the effort and courage on their part. There are few things that can make me as happy as a person anxious to share the gospel with his/her friends and family. 

People here have also been kind enough to give us pears, plums, apples, and peaches. Blessings have been poured out upon us here. We get to eat with members every night, which brings joy to my soul, because we get to come into their homes, meet them and feel of their spirits and encourage them as they participate in this great work of salvation.

We have probably received more mail this transfer than any other apartment in the mission- all thanks to you wonderful people who are so kind to us. It helps that Sister Allred and I both had birthdays. I promise to try to write to the people who wrote to me, be patient with me, please!

Speaking of Birthdays, I would be highly remiss if I did not mention that my oldest Nephew Carter had a birthday very recently, and that I hope that it was full of greatness.
One of the packages we received this week contained DVDs of Mormon Messages- which makes me so glad because I rediscovered this video that made me cry tears of joy. (And if you know me, you know that I don't cry too often... I'm a tough girl)

My message this week is that there are indeed good things to come. I know that. If we keep pressing forward and refuse to give up, then there is help and kindness waiting around the bend. 

Sometimes our Heavenly Father asks us to wait and be patient for a little while until we are humble enough or the circumstances are right for the blessing. Sometimes we didn't know it, but the trial was a blessing. I have seen that so much being doubled in. When we have no idea what we are doing, and we feel so inadequate, we learn to rely on Christ. We learn that we don't have to be good enough because He is good enough. Sometimes we get so frustrated with ourselves because repentance and learning and healing take time and we want them to be immediate, or we become depressed because we wonder "If help hasn't come yet, who's to say that things will ever get any better" I testify that help and healing and confidence and answers come in time. Ether 12:6 tells us that a witness comes only after the trial of our faith. 

That is the way it HAS to work. We can't have all of the answers now, or it wouldn't be a real test. It's kind of like when I knock on somebody's door and they refuse the Book of Mormon because they don't want to add to the Bible. We could talk scriptures and logic and history forever but the real answer that has to come first is the one that the spirit gives when you read for yourself. Conversion comes first, then answers. Not the other way around. You have to have faith first, then things work out. If you try to switch up the order you will not find yourself becoming what God wants you to be. 

I promise that there are good things to come. Until then I remain your devoted friend,

Sister Caroline Faulkner