Monday, October 31, 2011

October 24, 2011 E-mail

Well... eveything that could go wrong did go wrong this week. That's probably an exaggeration. But... really. Tuesday, our heater broke in our apt, so we've been freezing at night this week. Wednesday and Thursday Sister Lieber and I were sick, so we had to stay in for most of the day. Thursday we found mice in our apartment. And to top it off... yesterday the back winshield of our car got demolished by a tree! (or so we think. Some people reeally don't like mormons around here) Yep, it's been a rough week. But we're doing alright. We've been able to laugh most of it off. Especially our window being totally blasted away. I guess I should probably explain about that a little better. So we were at dinner at a members house last night. And when we came out, the first thing we noticed was that there was a huge stick lying behind our car that we didn't think was there before. And then we noticed the back window was totally shattered and laying in the backseat of the car. At first I thought someone had smashed it. But if they were trying to do damage to our car they probably would have done more than that. So what we think happened was a branch broke off of the tree we were parked under and hit the window. So now we have a cardboard box and some garbage bags over it until it can be fixed tomorrow. Our car fits right in with the other ones around here now! So anyway... I meant to take a picture of it and accidently started a video, so I'll send that.
Well really nothing else too exciting happened here. Our teaching pool is pretty small right now. We do have one guy who wants to be baptized on Nov 6th! his name is Leo. He's had a lot of deaths in his family in the last couple of years and knows he needs to turn to God to help him.
We do a lot of service for less active members here. I don't know if i've mentioned that before. We've been helping sister kelly a lot lately. She's a deaf woman who is about to have a baby. We've been helping her set up her nursery which has been a lot of fun... probably my favorite service we've done so far.
Everything else is going really well... I never know what to write in these letters. The days are long and for the most part spent trying to find people to teach. I love when we do get to teach someone, which isn't very often. It's that hour or so that we teach that really makes the whole day. That and spending time with the members here. I absolutely love our ward. It is seriously the oddest mixture of people, but they are so awesome. Getting to sit down with them in their homes and just hearing their stories is the best. I feel like i've met more people in the past 8 weeks than I have in my whole life combined.
I'm learning so much out here and I love it. I can see the changes that have happened in me in just the few short weeks I've been here. It's really incredible. I've gained such an appreciation for the book of mormon lately too. I don't know how anyone could read it and not feel that it's the word of God. There are tons and tons of churches out here, (the Nigerians all like to start their own religions. it's a booming business!) and it's all because everyone wants to interpret the bible differently. With the Book of Mormon along side the Bible, theres no room for different interpretations. We have the gospel in it's fullness because of the book of mormon. I'm just realizing more and more what a blessing it is to have additional scripture. We would be so lost without it!
So that was my week... hopefully one of these days my emails will be longer than a couple paragraphs!
Have a good week everyone!

Oh... the pictures I've attatched...
The video is of our car, obviously
Theres a picture from a creepy graveyard we walked through that had graves from the 1700's
Theres a couple pictures of me sister lieber and sister hirt at rita's. It's this ice cream place that's famous across the mission. Sister Hirt was a temple square missionary who we had as a companion for 5 days my first week here... I don't think I mentioned her ever.
Then theres some pictures from the MTC... Me and sister bishop and shackleford and some of my MTC district.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 17th 2011 E-mail from Carly

Hello Everyone!

It was a good week. I'm going to try not to talk about my investigators so much in my letters. I just get so excited about them, and well... to be honestly my day is filled with nothing but teaching, so I really don't have much else to talk about.
Well.. firstly, we had zone conference this week. There was a pumpkin carving contest and sister lieber and I didn't win. I was not happy. haha. I'll send pictures of our pumpkins. Someone carved the prophet and won. How is that Halloween related? It's not. In my opinion, they should have been disqualified. But anyway. Zone conference was good. I love love love our mission president and his wife.
I found a homeless guy sleeping in our apt building a few days ago. I love Baltimore.
Well yesterday while we were out knocking I got into my first bible bash. If you can even call it that, we didn't bash, we left after just a few minutes. So.. we knocked on a door this woman let us in, and immediately this guy comes out and asks " so tell me what you believe." I think they were mennonite, but I'm not sure. But this guy obviously takes every opportunity he can to get missionaries into his house and rip them to pieces. We started a little bit of the lesson of the restoration, talking about how parts of the bible have been changed or taken away. He started going on about the dead sea scrolls, and how the bible is still in it's perfect form, blah blah blah. He went on asking about other things I don't have time to write about. He was just incredibly rude, told us we were part of a cult ( Betty, I don't want your opinion on that) He also thinks that we believe that we are buying our salvation by knocking on doors? That we think by being missionaries it ensures our salvation? I have nooo idea what he was talking about. I just told him the spirit wasn't there and so we needed to leave. He got REALLY mad about that. He just screamed at us "Don't let them fool you!" as we were leaving. The whole thing ruined my day yesterday, but when I think about it, it's really funny to me now. He was CRAZY. I was reminded of Christ's words to Joseph Smith about the different sects of religion. " they draw near unto me with their lips , but their hearts are far from me." That pretty much sums up this guy entirely. He thinks he is close to Christ. But no one who truly understood their savior would EVER do something like that to another christian. I may not believe what other's believe, but I know many people believe in the same savior that I do, and I respect that. I wouldn't ever try to demolish someone's belief in Christ. It was a reallly good learning experience for me. There were so many things I wanted to say to him, but I just tried to be kind. I'm don't have the right to speak my mind when I'm wearing the Savior's name.
I had another really cool experience with this less active woman we visit, Sister Broussard. She's in her late 70's I think, her husband died about a year ago after a 50 some year marriage. She's really been stuggling to understand why God would leave her alone and put her through all the hard things she's been through. She dosn't think that God loves her. I guess the missionaries here have been working with her for a long time, trying to get her to understand that God does love her. We had a lesson with her last week. We just read the BOM with her, somewhere in first nephi. During this lesson she just started crying and told us her prayers had been answered. We stopped by to check on her yesterday, and she told me that I had said one thing in which her prayer was answered. She couldn't remember what it was exactly a week later and neither could I. But It helps me to understand just a little bit of why I was sent here. The Lord can use us as instruments to bless the lives of all his children when we are following the spirit. There are things that one person can say that will touch us in ways that no one else can.
Well I'm running short on time... We never have much time to email. I'm really beginning to love it here and love the people, and love what I do! Serving a mission is definitely the oddest experiences I've had in my life so far, but in the best way possible.
Til next week!
Oh, btw, I bought a card reader so I will slowly start sending pictures home every week! This week is sister lieber and I carving pumpkins...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11, 2011

Hello hello. Sorry I didn't email yesterday, the library was closed for columbus day. It was a pretty decent week. we decided to drop most of our investigators because they weren't keeping their appointments. So we're starting over! We've had a hard time finding new investigators. We've started teaching this kid Devin. Sister Lieber taught him a few moths ago, but dropped him because he wasn't progressing.He called the mission office on tuesday last week and asked if we could come by. It was a really odd situation, but we went anyway So Devin is 15 years old, grew up baptist but converted to catholocism about a year ago. He's got a ton of questions about how we interpret scripture compared to how the catholics interpret scripture. We try not to answer them, firstly because thats not our job to resolve all of his questions and secondly because he asks the most bizarre doctrinal questions that we really don't know much about. His issue is that he doesn't understand revelation. At all. He's trying to prove through logic and historical accuracy which church is the right one. I don't know if he believes fully that the catholic church is true, which is why I think he wanted to talk to us. He's crazy. Haha. So yeah, our goal is just to try to get him to understand that he can receive an answer for himself, he's not going to get it through studying history.We're going to ask him today to baptized on the 30th of this month, so we will see how that goes!
We have found a couple new people this week who I think might be promising. We were outside a couple weeks ago talking to.people when we met this guy Clinton. His car had started smoking and so he pulled off the road into our apartment complex, and we just happened to be there. We ended up getting his phone number, but when we looked at it later, we thought for sure it was fake. 333-7722. Haha. So we kind of shrugged it off, didn't call him for about a week. Eventually we just decided to try it in the rare chance that it was real. I was totally floored when he answered the phone. So we're supposed to see him tomorrow, He seems genuinely interested, which is all I can ask for.
We met another lady named Kim the other day.We were out knocking a street pretty late, about 8:30 or so. No one was answering their doors, or they would just stare at us through their window and tell us they weren't interested. We were just about to leave when when saw a woman come out her house. So we went over to talk to her and she let us in! She's so awesome. She pretty much just sat us down and told us everything she believed. And it's exactly what we believe! She's looking for truth. She believes in the apostacy, she just didn't use that word obviously. That was definitely a huge eye opener for me to meet her. Here sister lieber and were knocking this street thinking that there was absolutely no one who was going to listen to us, and God dumps Kim in our laps. Litterally just hands us this woman who is totally ready to hear the gospel. He was definitely showing us how much faith we lacked. But yeah, Kim is great. we don't have a return appointment with her yet, but i'm sure we'll see her again.
Well I think that's about all I've got for this week. We're hoping this upcoming week will bring lots of new people who are ready for the gospel. Take care everyone


Monday, October 3, 2011


Well this week hasn't been too exciting. Our investigators don't want to keep their appointments. They call us half an hour before and cancel It's really frustrating. I've been here two weeks and I haven't met 4 of the people we're teaching. We had quite a few doors slammed, I got chewed out by a couple of drunk guys, and to top it off it's been raining all day, every day.

There has been some good though. Conference was definitely the hilight of the week. Mainly because we didn't have to spend all day struggling to find someone to teach. Last night we taught the guard for our apartment complex ( we live in a gated community). His name is Kingsley, he's from Ebu. From what I understand he doesn't go to church, but he knows the bible front to back. And the way he interprets it is pretty much exactly how we interpret it. He's great. If he just reads the book of mormon, I think he's totally be ready for baptism in a couple of weeks. The problem is he said he's "not going to read it unless the spirit directs him to". He doesn't do anything unless he's directed by the spirit, or so he says. I don't think it'll be a problem though.

We taught Leyla again, she's one of my absolute favorite people we're teaching right now. We brought a member with who speaks Russian ( she's from Russia, I don't know if I mentioned that last time), and he kind of destroyed our lesson. I don't think we got 5 words in. It's been quite some time since he served his mission, so he's a little rusty in teaching. He started talking about the restoration and I think it just confused her. But I don't think it did too much damage, she'll be alright. She still wants to see us, so thats good.

I think I mentioned Joe and Tyese in my last letter. Tyese converted about a month ago and her husband Joe has been taking the discussions since then. Yesterday Tyese told us Joe wasn't interested anymore, which was totally devastating. He's sooo close. He's been reading the book of mormon and thinks that it's right in line with the bible. Unfortunately he's beeen "researching" about the church on the internet, I'm not sure exactly what, but he has a hard time believeing Joseph Smith was a prophet because of some of the things he read. UGH! I just wish he would of watched Elder Callisters talk yesterday. Totally would have demolished all of his concerns. I just don't get how someone could totally believe the bible, believe that moses parted the red sea or that noah survived on an arc with all these animals, yet they can't believe that Joseph Smith was able to translate ancient Egyptian into English. People are stubborn. Someday, Joe will get there. Hopefully sooner than later.

Well I think that's about it... like I said, this week hasn't been too exciting. The ward here is absolutely amazing and I think that's what helps me get through the days. They're all ridiculously nice to us and so willing to give us referrals and come teaching with us.

I hope everyone is doing well. I haven't really heard from anyone since i've been here, so I hope you're all still alive!

Have a good week!