Sunday, September 13, 2015

Back to School

I really don't plan to post much more, but I wanted to post today.

I've been home from my mission for almost three months now. School started the last day of August and I love it. I needed something to do. I need to be learning. I love the classroom environment. I like studying and I enjoy being around so many young people who have plans to make this world a better place. That's one thing I love about BYU. I feel that we have vision for the future. On the signs at the edge of campus you can read the words "Enter to learn, go forth to serve." The point of learning is to build character and to serve others. I love the environment we have on campus.

I've discovered hat I've forgotten how to have a normal conversation with people. I always said that that wouldn't happen to me. It has. I hope that I'll get that skill back in the future. School is a good place to learn.

 Today my stake had a returned missionary fireside. I thought it was going to be uplifting and encouraging. I think it was meant to be. It ripped my heart out just a little bit. I thought about the people that touched my life and that I had the opportunity to touch. I ached for those experiences. I felt my spirit groan for those people whom I saw feel the spirit. I saw them feel the truth. I saw them come to know for themselves, but they aren't currently choosing to live according to that light that they received. That breaks my heart. I know there is much ahead of me, and I can't afford to look back.

I keep in contact with several of the people I met in Washington. I even got to visit a few of them on the way to visit my sister a couple of weeks ago. It was good to see how well some of them are doing. I pray for them. I've said this before, but if you've been taught by missionaries, somewhere they are praying for you. They love you, even if you haven't heard from them in years.

 This is the beginning of Sister Owens' last transfer, and Sister Allred goes home one transfer after that. It blows my mind that they are going home so soon. I remember serving with them when they were so new out.Sister Allred will be the last of my companions to leave the mission field.

 I've come back to a BYU with a different culture. So many women have served missions. I don't have numbers for this year, but in 2014, 19% of the female students here had served missions, and 56% of the student body. That's almost 1 in 5 of the women here. I see people who served in my mission just about every day.

Now, if you haven't served a mission-or if you aren't of my faith, don't think that that means that BYU is not the right school for you. I find us to be a fairly inclusive community. That's part of why I love it here.

Yours always,
Caroline Faulkner




Sunday, June 21, 2015

Home Again

P-Day, mission home, airplane, airport. "welcome home" posters and cheering family and friends, the hot desert sun. A whirlwind of places and uncontrollable events found me back into the swing of things. I found my family, my house, my car, my friends... not quite the same as I left them.

It is strange being filled in on events that you missed. There is a little difference in the culture, or the status quo. It's hard to describe, but it's like my little society evolved and changed without me. People got married and people got divorced. Some are more active in their faith, some less.All of the babies I left behind are not toddlers, and many new babies have been born. Momentous life events happened and I wasn't there to change with everyone else. I can't just go in and interact quite the way that I always did. I have to adapt to a social climate slightly dissimilar from the one I had left. All of this change is not bad, nor was it entirely unanticipated. It is not surprising to find that life in the desert has continued on without me. It is only slightly difficult to get my bearings.

My little brother, Jordan is attempting to introduce me to the music that I have not yet been exposed to. It's a difficult process. Jordan likes Metalica and some new jazz-punk rock fusion called Ska. I'm sticking to my folk and soft rock for now.

I will be reporting on my mission in Sacrament meeting today. I've had my talk written for a while, and I'm not really nervous about public speaking at all anymore. I think it's going to go okay. Let's just hope that I get up there and deliver the same talk that I wrote.

I have to thank everyone who came to greet me at the church yesterday. I felt very loved. We have a great ward.

I've discovered that movies are a struggle. I have a hard time sitting that long. I still like them, and I am catching up on a few that I missed. It's just strange to go from such a busy schedule to almost no schedule at all.

It is good to see my family again. I can;t thank them enough for all the support they've given me.  I could never have had this experience without their support. It has meant the world to me.

You may not hear from me much this summer. We are going to be off and away to many places. So, if I don't get another post, thanks to everyone who's been reading and following me on this adventure. I love you and I am grateful for your prayers.

Love,
Caroline

Monday, June 15, 2015

Wrapping Up


This week was full of miracles. A dear sister that I have been teaching since December is closer than ever to baptism. She has a date and I think that she is going to make it. We were sick this week, and we rested a lot, but the time that we went out was highly productive. We still got a lot of work done and we got to visit many wonderful people and invite them to come closer to Christ. Even the time that we spent down helped us. Because of Sister Gresham's physical health challenges, she really needed a break to heal. I think Heavenly Father made us sick so she would be more inclined to rest.

A young woman who has been coming to church for several weeks has decided to take the missionary lessons.

We are pretty excited about that. Transfer calls came this week. Sister Moetala is going to Moses Lake. She is doubling-in to my first area. I got to give her a list of people that I'd like her to check on. I hope that it helps them. Sister Gresham is staying here and receiving the sister that Sister Owens just finished training. Sister Owens is going to be a Sister Training Leader with Sister Allred as her companion. I am filled with Joy.
It was hard to say goodbye to all of the people that I have loved and worked so closely with for almost 8 months. I kept it together though. I was pretty sad yesterday. Today I am doing okay. I've pretty much accepted that it's my time and I'm not upset about it anymore. I'm all packed. We cleaned our apartment really well this morning. My bags weigh far less than the 50 lb limit. Tonight I will go to the mission home with all of the other departing missionaries. The Sisters will sleep there tonight and we will fly out the next afternoon. Normally the missionaries get to go to the temple on Tuesday Morning, but some of the missionaries are flying out really early, so we don't get to go. Luckily our zone went last week.
I trust Sister Gresham with this area without hesitation. She is a hard working missionary and she loves the people we are serving, I have no doubt that many good things will continue to happen here.
I am sad to leave the mission, but I know that the Lord has a plan. Today I was reading Alma 29, where the prophet Alma writes that he wishes he were an angel and could just cry repentance all the time. He reminds himself, however, that the Lord made him the way he was and gave him the calling that he had for a reason. He makes the point that it is important to work hard in the responsibility that God gives to us and be happy in that. I was impressed by verses 9-10:
"9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."

I suppose that I can be happy with the time that the Lord has given me. I will do my best to share the gospel throughout my life in many different church callings and life experiences. It is all going to be okay.
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen."- 1 Corinthians 16:23-24
"We also bear record; and ye know that our record is true. I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name." 3 John 1:12-14

Love,

Sister Caroline Faulkner

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Coming Home



Sometimes when people tell me stories I worry when I hear them tell me that they were alone. Then I remember that most people can be alone for a little bit and it's not a problem. I also worry when I think about staying in one place for hours at a time. I have a little alarm in my head that goes off when I've been talking to someone for almost an hour and I need to leave. I don't know how I developed this sense, but it will be useful in school, I guess.
We went to the temple today. That is always a good experience. I need the peace that we get there. Especially because preparing to go home is a pretty stressful experience. I got to see some members of the ward I served in in Walla Walla. That was exciting as well.
I had my final interview with President Ware today. I really admire our mission president. He's been a really good influence in my life and his example. I can tell that he and Sister Ware really love the missionaries in our mission. He shared a scripture in 2 Corinthians 5:

"6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
He talked about how we don't get to know what's going to happen or how it's going to go (even when we have plans) but we can be confident and trust God, who lets us learn by experience. Our Father in Heaven gives us the Spirit to be with us even though we don't get to be with Him in this life.

I have really come to terms with going home. I was kind of worried about one of our recent converts, but he's doing better and I think with that I can work as hard as I can this week and then leave in peace. I have no regrets. The stress is taking a physical toll on me though. I think I'll get through.
President Ware told me that when you are missionary you have one purpose. We "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." When we are returned missionaries we have many more purposes, though that purpose is still included. We also have family, school, work, preparing for future covenants, family history and other church callings. We have more to juggle and we have to remember that not every priority is most valuable all the time. I respect that.
The work is going well. I will miss this area. I've been here so long. But I would trust either of my companions or both with it. I have confidence that the people we baptized here will endure to the end.

I suppose I'll see most of you soon. I get home Tuesday the 16th. My homecoming talk is on the 21st at 11:30 (I think). Everyone is invited.

Thanks for your love and support.

Love,
Sister Caroline Faulkner


Monday, June 1, 2015

Baptism Blue



 I always wear blue to baptisms. This week we also wore confirmation coral (why not?) to celebrate Laura's baptism! She's been  ready for a long time, so we were really excited for her. I am grateful for every person that I've been blessed to be able to teach in the past 18 months. I love each of them. Some of them didn't really need us, they were well fellowshipped by the members, they learned from attending church and personal scripture study long before we ever met them. Laura is one of those. I am grateful to have been able to be a tiny part of this process for her.

I've finally come to terms with the fact that I have to come home soon. I go to the mission home 2 weeks from today. That is pretty staggering. Sometimes I still have little mini silent freak-out moments. My companions usually notice and ask me if I'm okay. No. I'm not okay. I'm going home! But I prayed about it, and I know that if the Lord wanted me to wear this little black nametag for the rest of my life He wouldn't set it up this way. Also, how would I finance that? I couldn't.
I don't think I have any regrets. Not because I'm a perfect missionary, but because of the atonement. I try to repent really, really frequently.

We'll hope for a miracle and we'll plan on wearing blue one more time together this transfer. One of the people I taught that we gave to the family ward Elders in Prosser is supposed to be baptized on the 13th, so we will hope to be able to go up for that. We'll bring one of our investigators. It will be a good experience.
I gave you some pictures of my companions and I. The Young Women back home sent me Twinkies dressed as missionaries. They were both cute and delicious. 







​Thanks to everyone for your love and support. Have a wonderful day. Share the Gospel.
Love,
Sister Caroline Faulkner

Monday, May 18, 2015

Changes in the Mission

Our mission is splitting next transfer. I won't be a part of that, but our mission is making a lot of changes right now partially in preparation for that split. One of our zones had to split in half because the mission is going to split right down the middle. Our mission has about 220 missionaries in it, I think. When it splits we will be really small for a few weeks until the transfer comes and new missionaries will come in. Lots of missionaries will have to train.
Tomorrow is my last Zone Conference. In our mission we have zone conference every other transfer (or once every 3 months) and all the missionaries who will finish their missions before the next zone conference are asked to give a departing testimony. I had forgotten that this included me until a couple of days ago. This will be no problem. Anyone who knows me knows that I am never short of words to say (sometimes that's a good thing. Sometimes it's not.) Still, I'm nervous about the idea of it because I don't want to face the fact that I'll be leaving soon. I'm getting pretty good at not thinking about it.
At Zone Conference, all of the mission cars will be outfitted with little monitors called TIWI. These monitors will make sure that we aren't abusing the mission cars or endangering ourselves or others with unsafe driving. We are a little behind. Many missions in America got this technology a long time ago.
Speaking of technology, I am reminded that our mission still doesn't have iPads. I am okay with that personally, though the thought of what they can do for our studies is intriguing. I also like the idea of showing any Mormon message to any person at any time. That's okay. I get along just fine with my hard copy scriptures.
Sister Moetala, Sister Gresham and I are a very musical companionship. We have taken to singing primary songs and hymns to people as we teach. I like it. There is a powerful spirit associated with the hymns. If you need a change in your attitude or your emotional well-being try changing up the music that you listen to. It works wonders for me. We have the Spirit more in our companionship when we are playing reverent, uplifting music that points our hearts to Christ.
Keep the faith, my friends. I love you all! Stand fast in the liberty wherin God hath made you free!
Love,
Sister Caroline Faulkner

Monday, May 11, 2015

El Dia De Los Madres

Yesterday was mother's day. I got to give a talk in church about how you don't have to be perfect to be a good mom. I think that we need to address this in our culture. Moms tend to judge themselves very harshly and blame themselves for the poor choices or circumstances of their children. Children, too, will sometimes look back at their parents with indignation because we feel that they ought to have done a better job.

The truth is very few parents wake up in the morning thinking "What can I do to ruin my family today?" Most of us are well-intentioned at the very least and each of us falls every day to human weakness. We have a bad habit of judging ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions. I am grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ which has the power to fill any open heart and heal any wound. Christ has the power to consecrate our afflictions for our gain (2 Nephi 2:1) and He has the power to make us better and more capable human beings in time. We need to be more understanding of ourselves and others without condoning sin.

I think that mothers and missionaries sometimes fall for the same ruse. We see the calling to represent the Savior, and we see the expectations so far beyond our reach. We allow Satan to misdirect our attention. When we focus on the fact that the gospel of Jesus Christ centers on our faith, and our desires to do what is right (Alma 41:5, The living Christ, 2 Nephi 31:19-20 Moroni 4:3) we see that Christ's power to save us doesn't come after we meet someone's expectations. It comes when we have faith and we show Him that we are willing to keep his commandments to the best of our abilities. Therefore we can't be upset when our abilities, or the abilities of another person, do not match up to what we want them to be. Jeffrey R Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles said:



I think we need to be more loving. I really need to work on charity and humility (as always) I love the people we are serving, but I need to learn to be more compassionate in word and in action. That is my goal for the rest of this transfer and for the rest of my life.

I've really been working on my Spanish. We have a new investigator who doesn't want to go all the way to the Spanish branch in Pasco, and her kids speak English. We have been trying to take Spanish speakers with us, and I am working on learning how to teach better in Spanish. I can teach (very simply) the first three missionary lessons in very poor Spanish, but I'd like to be able to testify better. We'll see how this goes.

Yesterday we got to talk to our families. It was really good to see them. I am so grateful to them for helping me and supporting me here. It means so much. I know that your testimony can grow just as much in other ways because I've seen the powerful testimonies of my sister and my mother (and other wonderful people in my life) but I am infinitely grateful for the opportunity to serve.

Love,

Sister Caroline Faulkner

Monday, May 4, 2015

May The Fourth Be With You

I apologize for the speaker who talks over the song a little bit. He's very good at not being distracting, though. I commend him for his many years of practice.



Today I hit 17 months. I can't believe that it's been this long. It doesn't feel like that long at all.

Someone asked me yesterday if I would have any regrets if I knew I was going to die tomorrow. I told him that the thing missionaries regret when they go home (which we like to call "dying") is not being bold enough with people or not giving our all to the Lord. I don't have any regrets right now, I feel that I am doing my best and I am patient with my shortcomings. I am not worried about it. This week begins my last transfer, and I want to make sure that I give everything that I can and that after this time is over that I continue to give all that I can to Christ in building His kingdom. It isn't over; it's just the new mission field.

I'm staying here in Richland (that will be 7.5 months in this area) and I get to continue looking out for our recent converts and investigators here. I have come to love them so dearly. Sister Gresham and I will be receiving another Sister Missionary in our companionship (we will be a trio). You never have more freedom as a missionary than if you are in a trio serving in a young single adult congregation. You can go anywhere. We cover two stakes worth of area. It blows my mind. The Sister that's coming was Sister Owen's MTC companion.

In case anyone is keeping track, Sister Owens hit her year mark this last month. My little baby is growing up. Now she's almost finished training her companion. They grow up so fast.





I've had this song stuck in my head for a little while now (since they played it in conference). It’s absolutely beautiful. We've got to love our Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

It's true that we can trust our Father in Heaven to pave the way before us as we go about His work. HE will take care of us and He will make us into something far greater than what we are on our own.

I got a letter from my Mom and a package from my trainer on the same day – Two letters from two "Mom"s on the same day. I was exceedingly blessed. Especially since Mother's day is coming up. My trainer reminded me that even though it's a little bit frightening towards the end to deal with the work and prepare to leave, it works out okay as you do your best to focus on the Savior. That's my plan.

I hope that you all have a beautiful day and you go forth with faith.

Be strong,

Love Sister Faulkner


Monday, April 27, 2015

What marvelous light I did behold

This week we read President Eyring's conference talk in our companionship study. I think that we may use this in the future to teach about the law of the fast. It was a really powerful. It's amazing to hear about the sacrifices that people make to serve God and their brothers and sisters all over the world. I want to have that kind of Christlike love and dedication. I realized that the fast has been implemented as a way of taking care of the poor since Old Testament times. That seems to have always been a part of Christ's church. It makes sense. When we fast we give up two meals that someone else can eat.




We had a really beautiful family get baptized this weekend. I love them so much. Their member friends in Oregon sent a referral. We got a text "Go visit these people. Here is their address" We went and found that they were ready and excited to accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We come to love people so much as we watch the truth change their lives. I am excited to come back in a year and be there with them when they are sealed in the temple for time and all eternity.
I love my companion, Sister Gresham. She is so determined to serve, though she deals with a lot of physical challenges. Sometimes she is in pain. I try not to let her get too broken. She is really determined to serve, though.
I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As I watch people come closer to Christ I am filled with joy. When I watch them give up it breaks my heart. We see a lot of both. The scriptures show us that this path has never been without opposition. The scriptures also testify of the peace and the limitless joy that fills us when we are about Christ's work. This work has also brought me low many times. I have felt a minute portion of Christ's love for these people, and with that comes a tiny, tiny portion of His sorrow for them when they choose not to come to Him. We feel so little of His infinite love, and so little of His infinite pain, but it is enough to overwhelm a person with joy or anguish from time to time. I've learned that there is more joy than sorrow, though. We don't experience anything anywhere near what He did, but what we do feel changes us.
I love this work!!!
Alma 26 is Ammon'swords about his mission. I feel just what He feels. 
This link has some verses highlighted that meant a lot to me this week.

Thanks for your love and support. Share the gospel.

Love,

Sister Caroline Faulkner

Monday, April 20, 2015

In Summer!

Summer is a miracle! The days are longer, it's not as cold, people are outside walking around at all hours of the day. Being a missionary in the summer time is pretty fantastic- also we start harvesting all sorts of delicious fresh fruits very soon.


In Summer, you can knock on people's doors at night, and they don't get mad because it's still light outside so they don't feel like it's all that late. There are also frequently families together at home.
Technically, it isn't Summer yet. It won't actually be Summer until the day I give my homecoming talk in church (June 21st everyone is welcome) but it feels like summer, so I'm happy. We also have many beautiful flowers and these magical floating fuzzballs – that I've been told come from cottonwood trees – everywhere. Although no one has been able to point out which tree that is yet.
We have two really golden people getting baptized on Saturday. They are some of the most prepared people I've ever met. It's pretty cool.

A recent convert in the Branch gave his farewell address. It was really cool. He is on fire and it is great to see a recent convert doing so well. It's a testimony that even though it's hard for a lot of converts to hold on - they can make it. He is helping his family to come closer to Christ as well. He goes to the temple this week. We are so excited for him. There wasn't a dry eye in the room.

I heard from the Pendleton Sisters that the gentleman I taught that got baptized in Walla Walla is still active. He got baptized August 23rd. He's doing really well. That brought me more joy than I can describe.

 I just got a letter that a family I started teaching while I was in Selah is getting baptized May 9th.I am excited to be there for them on that day. I've also heard that they young man that got baptized after I left is still doing really well.
I don't use names because I don't want to share them, not because these people are not precious to me. I hope that you all know that. I love these people so dearly it's hard to describe.
Have a wonderful week!
Love,
Sister Faulkner



Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Greetings!

There are certain occasions that open people's hearts to the Holy Spirit and turn their thoughts toward Christ. In a world who's values are growing farther and farther from the commandments of God and a culture that tries to persuade us to turn our heads and deny the miracles and grace of our Father in Heaven, Easter is a bright light, and a needed reminder of God's love and His plan for His children. I know that most of these holidays came out of some pagan tradition and I've decided that I'll take anything that points people to Christ and use it for His work.
Honestly, I don't think that most people have forgotten what's right. I think that the media and the internet have a tendency to make the minority appear to be the majority (aside from all of the beautiful, useful things that they can be used for). Still, with Babylon screaming in your face day and night, it's good to have an excuse to talk about our Savior's love and our Father's plan.
Sister Gresham and I have been taking full advantage of the Easter season to share our message of the restored gospel. It was easier this year because General conference happened this weekend as well (another one of those occasions that we love to use to help people feel the Spirit and see how God works in our lives today.)  We've loved inviting people to watch as living prophets and apostles testified of the living Christ- just like prophets and apostles did anciently.
We also enjoyed Easter candy, flowers, and sunshine.
I love springtime. I love that the days are getting longer and that more people are outside. I love being the Lord's missionary- especially at Easter and at conference. We love watching conference and getting rebuked by the apostles and Spirit. Now I have all sorts of goals for the next few months. I have all sorts of new ideas about how the Lord needs me to be a better missionary and what He wants me to change. I've learned that there is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone. I think that's why we have transfers. Once you get comfortable, it's time to have a new growing experience.
Christ lives!! Have a wonderful week!!
Love,

Sister Caroline Faulkner

Monday, March 30, 2015

Deja Vu

Here I am training again. Once again, it's my favorite calling. My new companion Sister Gresham is back out after a stint at home working out some health challenges, and she's super prepared. I love how well she knows the lessons, and how ready she is to teach and talk with everyone. She has no fear. Part of that might come from her bubbly and outgoing personality.


She is from California, where she was a theater student – similar to most of my group of friends back home. We get along pretty well.
She'd served in Richland before, so she's already familiar with the area.
One of our investigators got baptized this week after a long period of meeting with missionaries. She fought so hard for this, so we are really very happy for her. It was one of the sweetest moments watching her get what she had been working so hard for and thinking of how pleased our Father in Heaven is with her.




Sister Gresham and I got moved into an apartment that Elders lived in before but has been vacant for 3 months. The water is still a little brown sometimes, but we found crazy stuff in there like a sign that says "No girls allowed," and a beard hat. We took pictures with some of those things. The water is still brown sometimes, but it's getting better. We have been taking advantage of the food they left behind- Pop Tarts and frozen burritos. Yum.



Somehow I thought training this time would be very similar to the first time – but it's not. I have so many plans to do things differently this time, and of course my companion is very different. I love all of my companions so differently.
Training is still my favorite. I love helping new missionaries get the hang of things and helping them become comfortable in missionary work.
We are working hard to get everyone to conference so that they can have revelatory experiences listening to the living Apostles. The women's broadcast was amazing.
Check out this Easter Video: 

Happy Easter! Remember He lives!
Love,

Sister Caroline Faulkner

Monday, March 23, 2015

Musical Chairs

This has been the craziest transfer I've ever seen. It's interesting that the people we thought would get baptized this coming weekend are not getting baptized this weekend, and another investigator who wasn't ready 6 weeks ago is bound and determined to be baptized this weekend. You never know what our Father in Heaven is planning.
Speaking of not knowing our Father in Heaven's plans, who would have thought that I would lose Sister Allred to Kennewick mid-transfer? (Technically we are kind of still companions- we are just on a really long exchange). We didn't know what was going to happen at transfers. I certainly didn't expect the call that came.
Sister Allred is going to East Kennewick, Sister Standing is going to another area in Kennewick (her old area is getting doubled out) I am staying here in Richland but I'm being released as a Sister Training Leader to train a new missionary. One of the Sisters who I am currently serving as a Sister Training Leader is going to be my new Sister Training Leader – but all the way from Pendleton, Oregon. That will be a long drive for exchanges. This also probably means that I'll be in Richland for 7.5 months. That's 3 months longer than I've served in any other area, and the entire remainder of my mission. It also means that I was only ever a Sister Training Leader in one area.
Is that difficult to wrap your head around? It is for me too. I think I am going to draw it out in a chart today just to visualize it.
I am really pleased that I get to train again. Training Sister Owens was one of the greatest periods of growth I've ever experienced and one of the happiest times in my life. I have a big long list of things that I want to do better this time.
Transfer day is like a gigantic game of musical chairs. So complicated. So crazy. So inspired. I know that these assignments really do come from our Father in Heaven. He knows where we need to go and who we need to help, and who we need to meet.
I have to say that I am grateful to all the members who help out with the work. I know that even if we had been doubled out, the sweet sister we love so much would still be baptized on Saturday because the members love her as much as we do.

Have a great week!
Love,

Sister Caroline Faulkner

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Power of the Priesthood

We have an investigator named Joy. She's been trying to quit smoking for YEARS. She's been close before, but I think that she is really going to make it this time. She got a priesthood blessing yesterday. She hasn't had a craving since. She Really wants the blessings of living the Word of Wisdom (The Lord's law of health given to the Prophet Joseph Smith) She wants to be baptized. She wants the blessings of the temple. I know that she can make it because she's shown so much faith and desire. I am grateful to know that the power that Christ gave to His Apostles to perform miracles according to our faith is on the Earth again today. I've seen it at work so many times throughout my life and especially here in the mission field. I know that Heavenly Father has the power to heal Joy of this affliction.

I've always loved people the most when they've struggled. I'm not sure why that is, but my time here in the mission field has given me a different perspective on overcoming addiction and how much Christ loves repentance. I know that He enables us to escape. I don't think I realized before how difficult it is to overcome something like that, though. I've worked with a lot of people trying to overcome addictions to a plethora of substances and behaviors, and I've learned a lot about Christ's power to free me from my personal struggles and sins. It's tough! I haven't done anything as hard as overcoming an addiction to tobacco. (I can definitely see why the Lord advised Joseph Smith against it). I know that Christ has power in our lives according to our faith to overcome our weaknesses and give us His strength. He has descended below all things and He knows what it is to overcome such an addiction. I know that nothing pleases our Father in Heaven more than a repentant child. I think that it is very important to Christ that we respond with love and understanding when we see someone struggle, and that we try to be His hands in helping them to succeed as much as we can.

There is something joyous and exciting about claiming freedom from the past, from our mistakes and shortcomings. That's what repentance is beginning to mean to me.


Our mission president advised us to put away our worries and distraction and put them in a box. We need to let Christ take care of them for us. This is my box. I decorated it.



We are trying a new experiment. President wants to see if Sister Training Leaders can train a new missionary and fulfill their leadership assignment without a Sister Training Leader for a companion. In preparation for that, Sister Allred and I are splitting up for the next two weeks. We will still sort of be companions, and we will counsel together for the needs of the sisters, but we will work with other sisters in their proselyting areas. We'll see how this works. I am pretty excited about it.

I am grateful for a mission president called of God to direct the work of our mission. I know that our Father in Heaven directs this work, and He allows us to participate because He wants us to learn and grow. It's pretty awesome.

A sweet sister in our ward gave us flowers. I almost killed mine, but I brought them back to life. You can see that Sister Allred's flowers are doing better than mine.




Fear no man. Trust in The Lord.

Love,

Sister Caroline Faulkner

Monday, March 2, 2015

March Forth

The last two weeks have been marked by a number of experiences where the Lord led us exactly where we needed to go. I am gaining confidence that if I pray, the Lord will show us by the Spirit where we need to go. We were led to  people we were looking for even when we didn't know their addresses (sounds like Selah all over again), and we were led by the Spirit to be exactly where the Lord needed us at exactly the right time a few times this week. I love those miracles because it reminds us that we can trust the Spirit to take us where we need to go and we can have confidence that the Lord leads His work.
We had an exchange this week with some of the Sisters nearby and we decided to give it the theme "Confidence in Christ." I think it is important that we remember that we are representatives of Christ, not college students. We can be bold when we invite people to change because we love them and we were sent to them by God to help them come closer to Him. We can also have confidence as we trust the Spirit. It isn't about trusting in ourselves or having confidence in our own abilities. That's pride and it's a sin, but we can have confidence knowing that the Lord has power to make up for our weaknesses (Ether 12:27) and that His strength is sufficient to do His work (Alma 26:12). When we have humility we substitute God's power for our own (That is really hard to do). In order to do that we have to be doing things His way (Doctrine and Covenants 121:36-45) We have to be giving our will to our Father in Heaven, and we have to be giving our all (Helaman 10:4-5) As we proclaim His word with unwearyingness, we can be promised His help to do anything that is necessary. It isn't our power that gets it done. It's His power, which He allows to work through His children when they do their best. We are still sinners. We mess up all the time. We make mistakes. When we make mistakes we can repent and do better with His help. It's really about asking for help by giving Him our will. Then we can be permitted to do His work. I love that all that we have to do is really, really want to serve Him and do our best. Then His grace can reach us because our hearts are ready to accept His help and we have the faith to be made whole. The best part is that even when we have trouble giving our best, or desiring to serve God we can pray for help and He will change our hearts (Mosiah 5:2).

I had a lot of pictures that I wanted to show you today but I left my camera at home, so you will have to wait until next week.
I went to the dentist – I had a broken filling. That was fun. I did that on the 10th, and it was one of the more difficult dental experiences I have endured in this life. I'm grateful to Dr. Larson, though who really helped me out. He showed great mercy.

It needed a lot of help and we are watching it right now to make sure that it doesn't need a root canal. I liked Dr. Larson because he helped me for free (which I didn't deserve at all) and he showed me the x ray so I could know exactly what has been going on in my tooth before and after and what I need to do to take care of it. He showed me the x-ray and explained where the root was, where the filling was, and what was happening when it was causing me pain. I think that I will always ask my dentists from now on to explain what is going on in my mouth. Thank you to all dentists who look out for missionaries. You people are the best.
Thanks to all who support us. Thanks to you all who pray for the missionaries. Those prayers are much appreciated.
Love,

Sister Caroline Faulkner

Monday, February 23, 2015

Glorious

God's work and His Glory is to bring to pass the Immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39). To me this means that glory lies in the salvation of God's children. Some things that are therefore extremely glorious are:
Repentance,
The temple,
Humility,
Missionary work,
Family prayer and scripture study,
Ordinances of salvation (like baptism),
A life spent in humble service of God

I love this. To find glory we can't be seeking our own power or influence. We have to be trying to serve and lift others. We have to call repentance. Sometimes people talk about the glory of the world. That's not the kind of glory that we want. That's fake cheap glory that is found in:
Acceptance,
Affluence,
Fame,
Positions,
Promotions,
Recognition,
Ability,
The list goes on.
I am grateful for a Father in Heaven who is able to remind us of what is really important.
I am really trying to work on charity right now. I need to feel more love for people and feel an urgent need to help them come unto Christ. I think that it's impossible to do this work without love, and that is something that we can all improve on. I need to remember how very much Heavenly Father values every single one of His children. Doctrine and Covenants18:10 reminds us "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God.". He weeps with us when we are sad. He rejoices with us when we are happy. We matter to Him. That is why we need to cry repentance unto every person. It's glorious.
Love,

Sister Faulkner