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!
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.


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