Sunday, March 25, 2012

Almost through at the MTC

Hello Everyone!
Oh my goodness can you believe it I am almost done at the MTC.  I have had such a wonderful experience and can't wait to go forth and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people.  This is not my work; it is the work of the Lord.  Our Heavenly Father desires that we come back to Him and it is only through the gospel of Jesus Christ that we can.
This week has been full of adventures and change.  On Thursday my companion went home. She wrote to us and let us know that she was doing well at home.   I am now in a tri-companionship.  We have had our challenges as we have been trying to adjust to each other and the differences of companionships.  I think I caught a glimpse of what it will be like when I switch companions.  In class we have been learning a lot and studying a great deal.  As I have been studying the Atonement, it has helped me to renew the important role that our Savior Jesus Christ has in our lives.  Because of the Atonement we can change and return to our Heavenly Father, if we do all that he asks of us.  Quote from Brad Wilcox, "You are saved by grace, but have you been changed by grace." (Probably not exact, but close enough, I don't have it right with me).
Yesterday for MTC Devotional I sang in the MTC Choir.  We sang "Consider the Lilies".  It totally applies to everyone’s life.  NO matter who we are, through Jesus Christ we can be healed, if we trust him, and our hearts can be turned to gold.  It doesn't matter who you are HE LOVES YOU!!!  The other great thing about devotional is.....Elder Dallin H. Oaks (one of the 12 Apostles) spoke.  It was also being broadcasted to other MTC's throughout the world.  He talked about how to receive the spirit and how to keep the spirit.  He mostly related it all to the sacrament.  If we are living our lives in a way that we can always partake of the sacrament we can always be worthy of the spirit to be with us.  It is great that we have the opportunity to repent each day of our lives.  We are not perfect, but we should all be striving to become like Jesus Christ.  Through our efforts and daily repentance He will help us to change and allow for his spirit to be with us.
I really enjoy having gym time, and it will be very different once I get out into the field. I try to get a mile run in every time I go, but there are times I just don't have the energy to run.  However I love playing 4-square and volleyball.  The group that plays together we have a lot of fun and total fun and games. I can see why they say to exercise, it's a great way to release and prepare for the day.
I GOT MY TRAVEL PLANS!! I leave Monday morning, March 26 at 4 AM from the MTC.  I fly out of SLC around 7 and will be in Chicago by noon.  I can't wait to serve the people in the Chicago mission.  Who knows where I will end up, but where ever it is I know it's where the Lord wants me to be.
I Love you all dearly and hope that things are going well with your life and families.
I want you all to know that I know that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. That his true church has once again been established on the earth to bless the lives of his children that they may return to the presence of our Heavenly Father once again. I challenge each of you to read the Book of Mormon and to do as it says in Moroni 10:4.  It doesn't matter how many times you have read it or if you already know it's true.  It is still okay to ask to have the reassurance and to be guided by the spirit to know of the truth continually.  It's not a onetime answer.  I know that through faith all things are possible.  I know that we can't go through this life doing it on our own.  It's hard enough as it is, so come unto Christ.  Rely on him and cast your burdens at his feet.  He will lift your load and help you through all things.  He suffered and died for us that we may.  As Elder Holland said in conference a couple of years ago, “None were with Him."  Don't leave him out of your life.  He needs to be a part of it.
Take care and I hope to hear from some of you soon.  I would like to also know what is going on in your lives.

Sister Carlton

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mailing update

If you plan to write or send packages to Kjersti at the MTC, remember she will be leaving on Monday, March 26. All mail will be forwarded to her but it will take longer to get to her. It is suggested to mail to the Illinois address beginning Tuesday, March 20th. She LOVES receiving mail!!

Wednesday 3/14/12

To all,

Can you believe I have already been here one week! I have had the most amazing week! And of course it has had its challenges. I feel like I have learned so much, but I have so much more to learn too. My companion Sister Katoa is Tongan and from Salt Lake City. She actually went to elementary school at West Kearns :) I learned so much about the trust that my Heavenly Father has for me. There have been times that are challenging, but through it all I have had so much excitement and joy in my life. Amazing how that works! Today is my preparation day and I am excited to have the time to do those things that are necessary to prepare me for the week to come (wash clothes, write letters and clean dorm room). Things are very fast paced and there isn't always time to do that which is needed during the week. Today started with the best thing ever....going to the temple! LOVE IT!!! It's interesting too, because today was the mark of 2 months from when I went through for the first time.
We are organized in districts. My district is AMAZING. We get along so well and have such a wonderful spirit in our classroom. 3 of the elders are from Utah and the other 2 are from Detroit and Twin Falls. The other 2 sisters are both from Utah. It was been a joy to grow together and learn from one another. I want each of you to know that you have a loving Heavenly Father!! He cares so much about us and wants the best for us that He gave us life and a world to live on. Not only that, He restored the gospel of Jesus Christ here upon this earth that we may know his plan and find joy and happiness in this life and the life to come. If you ever question God's love for you, please kneel down and pray to know. He will be there listening and let you know if you do it with a sincere heart and with real intent to know what you are asking.
I wish I could describe everyday. It feels like each day just runs together. Our teacher asked us if we had learned something and who from and when. We only could remember we had learned it. So much going on but so wonderful. There are several Sisters and Elders(other missionaries) that I have seen or run into that I didn't even know were here. My district keeps telling me I know everyone. I just laugh. I think often how great it is that the Lord has called all of us at the same time to teach His children in various parts of the world. In our residence hall we are getting two new sisters that will be going to Germany. They will arrive today (Wed.). I hope they love it as much as we have loved being here.
I love what I am doing and I know that there is great joy in serving the Lord. He wants his children to come unto him and partake of the blessings that he has for each of us.
I love you all and appreciate the prayers and the support of me. Those of you that I have received mail from, I really appreciate it. Especially the box from Apt. ABC my district likes it too.
I know this is the work of the Lord and he loves each of us very much. He is there waiting with our stretched arms for us to come unto him and feel of his love.

Sister Carlton

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Imagine me, a missionary traveling through the land

March 4, 2012 at Salina Kansas Stake Center
President Sterling Knapp and Sister Carlton after being set apart as a missionary. 

March 5th, 2012 at Carlton Residence
4:30 AM packed and ready to load the car for departure

March 5, 2012 Great Bend Kansas Airport
Jerry Phillips, Ramona Phillips, Travis Youngers, Nancy Douglas, Sister Carlton, Alicia Carlton,  Mom, Brian Carlton
Farewell from the BIG GB Airport


The BIG Great Lakes plane with 2 passengers
 (Mom & Sister Carlton)

March 7, 2012 at Provo, Utah MTC field
 Results of jumping in the air, wait....I already landed.

Mom and Sister Carlton before the drive across the street to be dropped off at the curb with LOVE.
Mom, Sister Carlton, and Uncle Ben 
We're next to cross the street to enter the MTC and proceed as directed.

This is it, I made it...peace out Mom.
I love you all and thanks to everyone for helping me get here.

Elders escorting me with my head held high, no tears, being strong,  and realizing this is IT.