Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 8th, 2012

Hello from Naperville, Illinois!
Well I have survived my first week in the mission field and I absolutely love being here and serving the Lord.  I arrived on Monday morning before noon with a group of 15 missionaries. As we came down the escalator there was President and Sister Doll, and 3 assistants to the president(one concluded his mission wednesday, that's why we had 3) Elder Swenson and Elder Buckway are the assistants to the president. We got our luggage loaded it up and we were told we were going into the city. They handed us a Book of Mormon and some cards and we were off on the "L train".  It was such an amazing experience.  I met a lady named Grace who had all kinds of questions about Jesus Christ. She accepted a Book of Mormon and said that she would read it. We had a good discussion until my stop where we were all getting off to go to lunch with President and his wife. We ate Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. Holy cow talk about filling.  I have actually had Chicago Deep Dish 3-4 times this week because I'm new and the members that we ate with got it in honor of me being new :)  After lunch  we explored downtown Chicago. It is so beautiful there. It is kept pretty clean and it was good to see the city.  The day seemed so long, but went by so fast. Being up at 3 in the morning and then gonig to bed at 10:30 at night makes for a long one. I think I'm still trying to recover my sleep.
Tuesday was the big day! I met my first companion and trainer for the next 12 weeks.  Sister Hatch from Boise, ID.  She is competely amazing I absoluetly love her! She has been such a support to me and not being afraid to try new things. However, door knocking is still a little intimidating for me, but I'm working on it.  She has such a outgoing personality and illuminates as we share the gospel with those we come in contact with.  Tuesday afternoon we went out and knocked on some doors.  We met a lady who is absolutely great.  She said to come back and teach her after schools out, she's a special education teacher.  We all were crying on her door step as we talked about life after death.  She was truly amazing and I can't wait to teach her.  I also left her with a Book of Mormon for her husband. She said she had one, but I gave her one so both her and her husband can read together.  I hope that she reads and discovers the truth contained.
Wednesday and Thursday we did a little tracking and had dinner with members. Out here it's really hard to track during the day. Nobody is home! The best hours are between 3-6.
I hope you all listened to General Conference. If you didn't you better take time to listen or read it from  It was so amazing! The Lord knows what we need to hear individually and what we need to hear that may help others.  This conference was so centered on the Doctrine of Christ, our homes/families, the Holy Ghost, and other things.  I love how everything that was taught had an application to it. They aren't just telling us what we need to be doing with our lives, but they are giving us direction on how to impliment it into our lives. They are really called of God. And their purpose is to teach and relay the messages of our Heavenly Father that we may know how to gain salvation.  Take their words to heart and live them!!
Did you see the MTC choir.  I knew missionaries that were singing it was so great! They sounded so amazing and the spirit was so strong when they sang. I love the gift of music in my life and how I am able to learn and feel through it.
President and Sister Doll I absolutely love already!  They are both very sweet and care alot about what is happening in the lives of each of their missionaries.  They each took time to talk to us individually as missionaries when we arrived and wanted to know about us and up front what could they do for us. There loving presonalities shine through.  I will actually only have them until July and then we will be getting a new mission president, President and Sister Fenn from Utah. So I'm going to enjoy this time that I have to get to know and work under the direction of President Doll.
The area out here is beautiful and completely green.  The people also have really big houses and I would say probably a lot of money.  I haven't seen a house smaller than the Farley's old house yet. So that's pretty big for me. 
I love you all and hope that you are doing well.  Thank you to those who have writen I have loved hearing from you!  The rest of you I'm asuming you've written, but it's waiting to be mailed, but you keep forgetting to put a stamp on it and put it in the mailbox :) 
I love serving the Lord and being a missionary.  I am his servant and he is using me through various ways to bring the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to this area.  I hope that I can share his message by the spirit that it may touch their lives and go to their heart to know of the truth and all that our Heavenly Father has in store for us individually. I know that this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and redemer.  As this weekend is Easter I hope that you all reflect on the Life of Jesus Christ and all that he did for you and how it continuely blesses your life.  He came to this earth and lived a life that set the perfect example for us to follow. He came and established his church, just as we have today, with the proper authority to act in his name.  He lived for us, he suffered for us, he died for us, and he rose that we may one day rise again.  How marvelous and grand is the love of Jesus Christ. If you do not know of his love or question that he did any of this for you, please get on your knees and sincerely ask your Heavenly Father to know. He will let you know and you will feel the love of the Savior in your life.  (Read Alma 34in the Book of Mormon) I know that he is my Savior and he knows what I feel and that he is there for me always. I am never alone.  John 14:18 "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." Allow him to be apart of your life and to come into your life that you may have pure joy and a remission of your mistakes/sins/transgressions in life.  His grace and mercy is infinite!
I love you all very much and pray for you.  Thank you for all the prayers in my behalf and all the loving support that you give.
Much love,
Sister Carlton

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