Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Week 32

Hello everyone from back home and abroad!! This is going to be a slightly shorter email this week. I have a bunch of stuff to get done today and my comp and I both need haircuts. So please forgive me in advance. We got a few new investigators this week! We have been trying to apply the training we have received from Elder Bennett a couple weeks ago and it have been providing miracles and incredible success. We are seeing really cool things happen as we knock on doors all day long. Our teaching pool is slowly but surely filling up and allows us to spend more time teaching and less time finding which is the goal. We were able to help out at the food pantry a lot this week so that was awesome! I love being able to see people and talk to new people. And I love being able to help out when I can. I think it is great that we can work with another religion and be happy and friends. They sure do love our help when we are there and are very nice to us. Anyway the weather got really cold here last week and my hands were dying. Randomly one night one of the members of our bishopric knocked on our door and gave me a pair of gloves! It was so nice of him and a huge blessing because my hands were feeling it for sure. This ward is just awesome. I got the chance to have my first district meeting with my new district. I didn't know what to expect but it was really powerful. I love having a district full of sisters because they have incredible testimonies and bring an amazing spirit to meetings like that. I am excited to continue to lead this district as best as I can. Friday night was the ward Christmas party and in the hall way I got attacked by my Bishop to give a talk on Sunday. I can't say no to that so I accepted. About Halfway through Saturday I got my topic and Sunday morning during studies I prepared it. It was about 7 minutes long and I thought I did ok. I don't really remember anything that I said. So hopefully it was good. Our investigator MaryJo and all 3 of her kids came to church for the first time! They got to hear me speak! It was great! We talked to B, the 10 year old, and he loved church a lot. Unfortunately yesterday MJ texted us and dropped us. She said she prayed and doesn't want to visit. It was hard to see someone that ready for the gospel not accept it. But I know that her heart was touched by the spirit. She will be ok. That was pretty much my whole week! Hope all is well at home and abroad!! Love you all!!

Quotes of the Week:

"Christ is the light for our mist of darkness."
 "Discouragement will slow progression as fast as sin."
"Don't be afraid to fail forward."
"Faith comes only through humility."
"We don't love people because they are lovable, we love them because we are able to love."
"Fear comes from focusing on ourselves."
"Conversion cannot occur through passive reception."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:
District meeting wins this week. As I was preparing it I got prompted on what I needed to train about. When we started talking about that in the meeting the spirit was really strong and the discussion was really great. I knew I was following the spirit and helping my district. 

Miracle of the Week:
Gloves!!! Oh how I needed a nice pair of gloves and Brother Stoddard helped me a ton. It was a mini miracle that made missionary work much easier and more delightful. 

Spiritual Thought of the Week:
So my talk was on Luke 2 and I loved how the shepards made haste to go see the Savior. Once they were there and they saw what the angel told them they immediately went out and shared it with everyone. It is a testimony to me that we must share the gospel. It brings us joy and it will bring others joy as well. 

Pic: Coolest mailbox ever.

Elder Carruth

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 31

Welcome to the first day of my 6th transfer! I have been here for forever it seems like. I am not getting transferred and neither is my companion. 7 more weeks together!! Time to change the world!! This transfer has an extra week since the last one was only 5 weeks. Christmas messes timing up. Anyway with the new stake that was created a week ago my district got mixed up as well. Instead of having one set of sisters and one set of elders I will now have 2 sets of sisters. Relief Society!! It will be an interesting change for sure but I am excited and look forward to continue my leadership here in Panorama Heights. Since the other sisters live farther away we will also be getting a car. We won't use it much probably but it will be nice to have. This week was a pretty good one for the work. We had a lot more lessons and had a lot of success talking to people. The highlight of the week for sure was our Zone Conference with Elder Randall K. Bennett of the 70. He spoke last general conference. We got to sit and listen to him train us for 7 hours last Tuesday and it was amazing. The spirit was incredible and he really changed my whole mission. I received personal revelation for me and for my area. He focused a lot on being bold and direct with people. And teaching simply and quickly. It was a powerful day and I hope I can continue to carry that spirit with me though out the rest of my mission. After the end of conference I got to see one of my favorite missionaries and he gave me a big hug. It was awesome and it was just a great day all together. We helped at the food pantry again last week and it is so fun. People are so grateful for all the help especially this time of year. We were applying what we had learned in Zone Conference and it was really working well and the success was coming. Elder Bennett is clearly a servant of the Lord. Later that day we had a lesson with MJ. She is really doing well. We taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ as well as the Priesthood and she accepted a baptismal date in January!! Most likely she will move before then but it was still awesome! We also had the chance to give her a blessing and will give her another one tonight. It was a great night. The spirit was strong. We got a couple new investigators this week. One of them has a wife who might be a member and that would be really awesome. Hopefully we can teach them this week again. Zone training last week was awesome. We had a review of Elder Bennett's training and it was almost as inspiring. The zone leaders randomly called on both of the District Leaders to go up and role play with them. I think we did pretty good actually and they told us they did that to help us gain more district trust. It was good. We went on a mini exchange on Saturday for about 4 hours. Elder Worley came to Panorama with me and we tracted for almost all of that time. The last hour we battled hail and freezing rain. We knocked on doors soaking wet and it was great. People thought we were crazy but that is how important this message is. Nothing is more important in this life than hearing about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing will bless your life more or help you find more joy than that. The water on the ground was freezing as we were walking. It was interesting for sure and a long hour. That was pretty much my whole week!! Hope all is well with all of you!!! Love you all!!!!!!

Quotes of the Week:
Left them at home I am sorry. Next week for sure!! 

Spiritual Experience of the Week:
Zone Conference wins for sure. It was a whole day of revelation and spiritual boosts. It was so incredible and motivating. I can't wait till an Apostle comes to the mission.

Miracle of the Week:
So last week I sent a picture of my bike tire blowing up. Later that same day we got a call from a member who told me he would fix it. In less than an hour I had a new tire and he paid for it all. It was a huge miracle!! A huge blessings from the Lord that allows us to work faster.   

Spiritual Thought of the Week:
I was reading in 2 Nephi 27, comparable to Isaiah 29 in the bible, about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. I realized that the whole purpose of the Book of Mormon was to end the great Apostasy and restore the knowledge of Jesus Christ to God's children. It was really cool revelation to me. With the Book of Mormon we can come to a fuller knowledge of Christ and His teachings and enjoy the blessings of the gospel. 

Love you all!!!
Elder Carruth

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Week 30

30 weeks have come and gone and it goes so fast!! Crazy!! It is almost Christmas time!! Can't believe it. This week was a pretty slow one but one of miracles and exciting things! And next week will be exciting too! It is always a good day as a missionary. Last week we had a service project at St. Vincent's food pantry. We were in charge of helping people get there food to their cars and stuff. It was a lot of fun! And I love being able to meet and talk to all kinds of new people and help them. We only got bashed once too which is nice. Apparently we are invited to help every week so we are going to start doing that more often. I really enjoyed it. So I had a humbling experience this week. We were tracting in the middle of the afternoon and we decided to do 3 streets. The first one was really successful! We talked to a lot of people and had good conversations with them. As we started the second street I was excited to continue success. The first guy on that street was extremely rude. Like for no reason. So I may or may not have been a little sarcastic back to him. Apparently sarcasm is something I do a lot. Most of you probably know that already. Anyway as soon as we walked away from him not only did my companion yell at me but the spirit did too. I have not felt that bad in a long long time. The rest of that street was terrible. Doors slamming and people yelling. It was tough. I knew that the only way to fix it was to go apologize to the first guy. Oh how I did not want to do that. My pride was real that day. But the spirit convinced me and I went out of my way to apologize to the person who was just as rude the second time around. I felt better though and the following street was again filled with success. It was a humbling experience where I learned a lot about how to represent the Savior. Later that night we taught MJ about the plan of Salvation. It was powerful and the spirit was strong. I loved it and hope to get her to come to church soon and progress her to baptism. We went on exchanges last week with the Cabezon Elders. I went to Cabezon with Elder Jones. He has been out for 18 months. He struggles a little with the work and loves excuses but he works hard. I enjoyed working with him. We had a 2 hour long weed pulling party with the Chamisa Sisters and I enjoyed getting to know them as well. They are in the other district so I don't see them very often. It was a good exchange. District Meeting last week was pretty good too! I loved it. We talked a lot on focusing on the needs of people and not just teaching lessons. It was good and the spirit was there for sure. So Saturday was an interesting day. We started by tracting and dropped by a less active sister. When we told her we couldn't come inside because she was a lone she was angry. She immediately called our ward mission leader to complain and tell him that he is changing the rules. No amount of us telling her that our rules come from the Prophet and Apostles would change her mind. It was funny to listen to her throw down on our ward mission leader. After that we were riding bikes when my back tire decided it wanted to explode. Like legit explode. There is a 2 inch gash in the tire and the tube is destroyed. It is great and we have been walking ever since! I hope to get it fixed today I just need a new tire. Saturday night was the adult session to the multi stake conference. Elder Bennett of the 70 was presiding and elder Jones of the 70 was there too. That place was packed. 3 stakes of adults. We had to sit on the stage by the time we got there. Yesterday for the normal session we had to go to the local hockey arena to fit everyone. A new stake was created and the stake presidency for Rio Rancho was reorganized. It was so cool to watch the growth of the church. I was happy to be a part of it. That is about all for this week! Love you all!!  

Quotes of the Week:

"The scriptures open the window of revelation."
"Don't let the things you own own you."
"Heavenly Father will always go after the one."
"Success comes with invitation."
"If you wait, the opportunity will pass."
"Out of the death of One was born the power of everlasting life for all."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:
So last week during one of my studies I was pondering on the things I had read. Suddenly I found myself thinking about one of the Sisters in my District. I didn't know why, but I was thinking about things that could be said in a blessing to her. Early this week, that same sister called and asked for a blessing. In the room there was a Zone Leader, an Assistant, me and my companion. When we asked who she wanted to give the blessing she didn't hesitate before choosing me. It was a testimony for me that the spirit had prepared me for that blessing and the same things I had thought about before came back to me in the blessing. It was a sweet experience. 

Miracle of the Week:
We were knocking doors one day trying to finish a neighborhood we had started a while ago. We had one street left. We started up one side of it and by the end I was ready to be done. No one was interested or home even. Both my companion and I got the prompting to finish the other side of the street. So we did. There we found 2 people who are ready for the gospel. 2 people who took Book of Mormons and invited us to come back. It was a miracle to me and also direct fulfillment of my Patriarchal Blessing. 

Spiritual thought of the Week:
So Elder Bennett focused on the fact that success is not in the converting of people and friends. Success is found in the invitation. It is so true. All we need to do is invite people to hear about the gospel, or invite them to church or activities. The result of that is based on their agency and has no effect on our personal success. We need to not fear to invite others to take part in this gospel. It changes lives. It blesses families. And it heals broken hearts. I testify of that and of the fact that our Savior lives. He loves us and wants us to return to live with Heavenly Father again. 

Pic: The face you make when you tire explodes.

Elder Carruth 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week 29

Hello friends, family, people I know and love how are you? I am doing pretty good! This week was a test of a week for sure! The Lord wanted us to learn something and I sure hope we learned it because the whole week was a struggle. But even in the hardest weeks there are miracles and blessings everywhere. Last P-Day we had a zone wide turkey bowl! It was a mix of football and soccer and basketball. It was pretty fun and a killer workout. I think every muscle was sore after that. Good thing this is a bike area and we got to ride around and work out more!! Wednesday was a pretty interesting day. I was struggling to find some motivation so I decided to say a prayer and plead to my Father in Heaven for strength through the Atonement. As soon as we walked outside I felt encouraged, uplifted and motivated to share the gospel. It was a sweet tender mercy from the Lord and a blessing to me. It didn't come, however, until after I left the apartment. So often we pray for things and wait for the result, instead we must ask and the result will come. It was a really sweet tender mercy from the Lord. Later that day we talked to someone who was pretty drunk. She kept calling herself and angel. Finally at the end she grabbed my hand and stared into my soul and said "When I first saw you.... it was like a magnet.... I could just tell... you are an angel too!!!" It was great. Thanksgiving was this week! What a good day. We were not allowed to knock on doors all day so we spent time visiting members and eating food. We had 2 dinners that day. Some missionaries had like 6 so it was ok. We a really cool miracle that day that I will talk about later. It is interesting to me being a missionary because all the days feel the same. I knew it was thanksgiving and I often thought about my family that day. But while we were working it felt like a normal day so it was easier to be away for the holiday. The mission is full of mini blessings and miracles, you just need to look hard enough. District Meeting on Friday went really well! I got to talk about testimonies and how important it is in our work. My zone leader said I did a good job so that made me feel accomplished. We had a lesson later that day with an older guy named David. Halfway through the lesson he fell asleep. The member we were with decided we should say a prayer and quietly leave. In that prayer the member released David's spirit to the spirit world. It was interesting. Not sure if we will ever see David again in this life.  Sunday was a great fast Sunday. It was the first one in this new ward so I knew I had to bear my testimony. Before the meeting started one of the Deacons in the ward came up to me in the hall and talked to me for 30 minutes. We talked about life and where we came from and all kinds of things. Eventually I asked him if he was going to bear his testimony and he told me he didnt know. So I decided to give him so encouragement. When I went up to bear mine I personally invited him to bear his in front of the congregation. It was funny and two people later he got up and followed through with my invitation. He sat next to me in Priesthood so I have a new friend now. I might pick on a new youth every month and get them all to bear their testimonies. After we got home from church I really did not want to go knock doors. It was close to dinner and we would have to ride all the way to the edge of our area. We went anyway. We only talked to 7 people but the last one we talked to was really interested in learning and invited us back the following Sunday to talk to her about it. It was a miracle from the Lord brought about through diligence and obedience. That was pretty much my whole week! Hope you all are doing awesome and fantastic! Love you all!!

Quotes of the Week:
"Families are the treasure of heaven."
"Sometimes we must endure the darkness to truly appreciate the light."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:
In the midst of my struggles last week I finally humbled myself enough to get a blessing. Probably 5 weeks overdue. During that blessing I felt the approval of the Savior and the comfort I needed to press on. I received revelation that helped me continue the work and brought me a new sense of peace. It was a sweet experience and one I am grateful for. 

Miracle of the Week:
Going back to Thanksgiving. We were walking to go see a member of the ward who just recently moved in. The ward council asked us to go check on her. She lives in an adult community that is locked from the outside. The only person we know to let us in was not available so we had no choice but to walk back home. On our way we met a woman who just so happens to be the sister of the person we were trying to see. Two phone calls later we were inside of her apartment and with tears in her eyes she told us how much she needed to see us. Since then blessings have poured out from heaven for her through the Bishop and the Relief Society. It all started with the willingness to talk to a stranger on the street. There is no such thing as a coincidence. It is a miracle, a tender mercy from heaven to one of God's children. I am so grateful to have been a part of it. 

Spiritual Thought of the Week:
While studying 2 Nephi 7, verse 2 stuck out to me. Our Savior will never abandon us. He is always there for us and through His Atonement we can be brought back to the presence of our Heavenly Father. It is when we struggle the most that we reach out for the outstretched hand of our loving Savior. 

Pic: Thanksgiving at Bishop's house!!

Love you all!!!

Elder Carruth

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week 28

At least I think it is week 28. Correct me if I am wrong. Hello from a cold and windy Rio Rancho! What a great place to be and to work. This week has been a pretty long one but also one full of lessons and learning for my companion and I. Last Pday was pretty awesome. We had sports as a zone and we played floor hockey. It was really fun and quite the exhausting workout. Today we are having the turkey bowl in honor of thanksgiving. Football is also pretty fun to play with a zone. I love that our zone is so small. It allows us to get to know everyone personally and I am so grateful for that. Wednesday was a pretty great day. We knocked on doors all day long pretty much. We picked a whole street to knock and we did! We ended up talking to 25 people and got a couple people to invite us back. One of them was named S. He didn't seem too interested when we first contacted him but after I bore my testimony he invited us back. We taught him for the first time yesterday and it was a pretty good lesson. His heart softened as the lesson progressed and that was cool to see. We had interviews with President and Sister Miller last week and I absolutely love them both. As soon as I sat down with President he told me how many great and wonderful things he hears about me everyday. How my Zone Leaders love me and think so highly of me. I told him not to believe everything he hears and he told me he only listens to half of it and it is still great. It made me feel really good though and like I was capable of being a missionary. Made me feel successful. Later that night we dropped by MJ to see if we could set something up. When she saw us she was excited and immediately invited us in. It was so cool to see her happy to see us! We are so excited to teach her. It will have to wait till after the holiday though. She will get baptized. I had my first district meeting last Friday. I was a little nervous because this is a new district but I was also excited because I had an awesome plan. The spirit was awesome and I got a lot of participation. Afterwards I talked to each companionship about it and the sisters told me that they couldn't stop talking about it and it was really powerful. That made me happy and I hope it helped my district. I love being able to present trainings to the district to help us all improve as missionaries and servants of the Lord. So Saturday was the day we planned to have be the most successful day of the mission. We had 6 lessons planned and 4 new investigators set up. We fasted. We were exactly obedient. And absolutely NOTHING worked out. We taught 1 lesson that day. I really felt discouraged. But I learned a lot that day. I received revelation. Here is what I learned. 1) Some people are not ready for the gospel. 2) We cannot control the agency of others. 3) Being obedient for one day does not qualify us for an outpouring of blessings. 4) Heavenly Father answers prayers. So the big news of the week happened on Sunday. We didn't have 3rd hour because there was a tri-ward meeting instead. As we gathered together the Stake President informed us that they were splitting a ward and realigning the boundaries of the other wards. The Western Hills Ward was formed from the Cabezon ward as well as a little part of the star heights ward. It is so cool to see the growth of the church! The cabezon elders now cover two wards. We lost a small chunk of our area to the cabezon ward to make it all work. Our area is even smaller now. The exciting thing is in two weeks the is a tri-stake meeting. New stake is going to be formed. That is going to be so exciting and cool and I hope it doesnt mess with anything in this area. That is pretty much my whole week! Hope all is well at home and wherever you are when you read this! Love you all so much!!!!!!!! 

Quotes of the Week:

"Let faith fortify your footsteps."
"Forever is composed of nows."
"We are living eternity."
"happiness is the object and design of our existence and will be the end there of if we pursue the path that leads to it."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

I think District meeting was the best event this week. The spirit was so strong and it motivated me to work hard and be diligent. I love the spirit. It is so peaceful and uplifting and encouraging. 

Miracle of the Week:

Saturday, being the terrible day that it was, also had a miracle. After dinner I said a quick prayer that we would be able to find 1 person who would invite us back. Over the next 30 minutes we talked to 14 people, which is a lot. The very last person we talked to invited us back. Not sure how interested he is, but he invited us back and that was a huge miracle to me and an answer to a prayer.


Love you all!!!

Elder Carruth 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Week 27

Hello from snowy and freezing Rio Rancho New Mexico! That is right I am now serving in the Panorama Heights Ward in Rio Rancho. This place is great. I am going to miss Belen like crazy. I had my goodbye tour after emailing last week and it was pretty tough for me. It was hard for me to say goodbye to so many amazing members of the church and such a great ward. And it was really hard for me to say goodbye to the people I helped come unto Christ. C and K and C are examples to me of what can happen when you follow Jesus Christ. I love them so much and will miss them. But for now I must move forward and serve the people here. This week has been a super long one for me. It was full of blessings and tender mercies though! And I know that the Lord is watching out for us. My new companion is named Elder Mosher and we are working well together! He has been out for about 3 months and has had some rough companions. Our first day together we knocked doors for a couple hours and talked to a lot of people. It was awesome. This area is a bike only area. Our map is tiny. 15 minute bike ride will take you to any edge of our area. Hopefully I can lose some weight here! That is a minor goal of mine haha. I truly am so excited to work in this area and to be in the ward. My district here is 3 companionships. Spanish Sisters and 2 sets of English Elders. Our whole zone is only one companionship bigger than my last district. We will all get to know each other really well haha. My first morning in Panorama was pretty tough. Not used to being here. But I solved that with 4 hours of tracting! It was great and we talked to a lot of awesome people! One of which is named MJo. We knocked on her door one day and she told us we could come back the next day. So we did with our Ward Mission Leader. Honestly I wasn't expecting her to even be home but she answered the door and invited us in! The spirit was super strong in the lesson and she is obviously ready for the gospel. She has 3 boys and the oldest is excited for primary. It was an amazing lesson and a tender mercy from the Lord. We have an investigator named M. He has been meeting with missionaries for a couple years now and knows he needs to get baptized. He has a couple fears though so we promised him that if he came to church he would get answers. And for the first time in a few months he came to church! It was awesome and I am excited to meet with him tonight. So last Friday was my 6 month mark of being on my mission. It is really crazy and kind of scary to think that I have spent 1/4 of my time out here already. I know it will only go faster from this point on and I know I need to work as hard as I can while I still can. It was a great day though! We had Zone Training and then Zone lunch together. It was awesome to sit down with the whole zone and just hang out for an hour. Later that day we were riding our bikes when we saw 3 guys pushing a car up a hill. We immediately dropped our bikes and ran across 5 lanes of moving traffic to help them. It was awesome and they were really grateful! On Saturday we met with a woman named Amber. She has 1 boy and one on the way. She is in her late teens or early 20s and invited us in to learn about the gospel. She has been searching for  a church for a while now and the spirit in the lesson was strong. She is another person who is ready for the gospel. The Lord truly has blessed us with being able to find people who are ready to hear the gospel and to get this area headed in the right direction. Hopefully we can get her husband involved as well. I was really excited to go to church on Sunday so I could meet the ward. This ward is pretty awesome and gives Belen a run for their money. I am gonna say they tie though so I can keep my friends in both places haha. We are going to be getting our ward boundaries changed next Sunday. I think our ward will be getting bigger so we can stabilize our primary. Yesterday was a day where the Lord puts you to the test. From sun up to sun down it snowed all day long. And a lot of snow too. We got on our bikes, zipped up our coats, and headed for the streets. It was cold and exhausting work but we were diligent. The Lord blessed us with an unexpected lesson and a little time out of the cold. He also blessed us with a random member of a different ward giving us a ride to dinner when we were walking. Little things like that can go unnoticed if you don't pay attention. The Lord is always there to look out for us. Even when all we see is ice and snow. Anyway I think this is the longest email I have ever written. I love you all! Keep being awesome and your support does not go unnoticed by me. 

Quotes of the Week:

"Men and angels are coworkers in this great work."
"We are here to offer eternal salvation."
"The future is as bright as you faith."
"True disciples of Christ will always have trials."
"Look to the next life, not this one."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

Yesterday I had the opportunity to give a blessing to a less active member of our ward. She has been pretty stressed out lately and has a lot to deal with. After the blessing she looked up at me with tear filled eyes and said "That was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you so much." It was a really cool experience for me and one in which the spirit helped me.

Miracle of the Week:

The miracle this week was us being able to find two people who have truly been prepared to receive the gospel. It is amazing to listen to their stories and see how God put people in their path that made them interested in the gospel. I am so excited to teach them.

Pic: The work never stops! EVER! 

Elder Carruth 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Week 26

Hello from my last week in Belen! Actually it is my  last day in Belen too. What an adventure I had here. But the Lord needs me elsewhere and tomorrow I will be transferred to a new area and a new companion. Pray for me! It is crazy for me to think that I have been out here for 6 months already. 1/4 of my mission already over and done. It is going by so so fast. So last P-Day was pretty amazing. I was having a pretty rough day and wasn't in the mood to be nice to people. We were having a district lunch at the stake center and I was sitting in a room with a Spanish elder just talking when I got summoned to the gym. When I walked in I saw the most thoughtful thing anyone has done for my on my mission. I saw a pinata. It was in the shape of the pony that my brother in law drew of me. It was exactly like the picture. And it was exactly what I needed from a loving district. It totally turned my day around as I beat the life out of the pinata. It was filled with tootsie pops. I kept the head for memorabilia. I started a new study plan last week and I love it. I spend 15 minutes in Preach my Gospel and 30 in the book of Mormon. The last 15 minutes I spend in the Doctrine and Covenants or Jesus the Christ. It has really helped my bring the spirit into my study sessions. And it is a great way to start the day. I really have learned so much already just from the first few chapters of the Book of Mormon. On Thursday I got a call from President Miller. It scares me sometimes when he calls not going to lie. But all he wanted was to tell me that I am getting transferred but I am still going to be a district leader. I love being a district leader and getting to serve missionaries so closely. I love it. So I have started saying my goodbye tour. It is hard for me to say goodbye to people. These wonderful people in Belen have helped me so much and I feel so blessed to know them. Yesterday we had a lesson where our investigator read Moroni 9. That is a pretty interesting chapter that we don't usually read to people. But it was a testimony of the spirit that he still wanted to meet with us. Funny story of the week was a homeless guy talked to us while he was smoking weed. He told us that he loves us a lot and offered us some weed a couple times. I love Belen. Always keeps you on your toes!! I love you all!!

Quotes of the Week:

"You don't know how strong you are until strong is all you have left."
"Don't commit assumicide."
"Today's trial is tomorrow's testimony."
"The ten commandments are not multiple choice."
"Sincere testimony plants the seeds of conversion."
"Be you, by open, be interested."
"Life is designed for us to always be carrying a load."
"Don't let Satan tempt your into being too busy."
"The things of God can only be learned through the spirit of God."
"Be active in the gospel not just in the church."
"The only place you find success before work is in the dictionary."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

So last night we had a lesson where I felt prompted to give a promise. After I did I started to bear my testimony. As I did, I felt heat radiate off of me. I felt hot and as soon as I was done it went away. It was a really special experience and one where the spirit testified through me. 

Miracle of the Week:
I haven't cried yet! Saying goodbye sucks.

Elder Carruth 

Week 25

Well this week was a pretty ok one! Nothing spectacular happened but we are continuing to work really hard! And the blessings will come from it I am sure! Last P-day was interesting. Since we got to go to the temple last week we had a short P-day. Not enough time to get to everything we needed to do. But this week went by really fast so that is nice! Everything seems to be going really fast. We had a mega meal last week at the Segrest's. Pizza and wings and potato skins. All homemade and amazingly delicious. We had a really good day last week where everything that we planned for actually happened. That doesn't happen much in missionary life but we taught all the lessons we wanted to and had a great day. I went on exchanges last week with the spanish elders. I hung out in Tome with Elder Valladolid. We battled some rainy weather but had a pretty good day overall. I love going on exchanges and learning as much as I can. We went to a baptism last week. I love baptisms so much. There is just a special spirit that is there that inspires us to work and be servants of the Lord. It is crazy to me to think that we are in November already. Time is really flying by out here. That is pretty much our week! Transfers is next week so we shall see what happens. Emails will be one Monday! Love you all!

Quotes of the Week:

"No good thing comes without work."
"If you are doing something good, Satan will drop a refrigerator in your driveway to stop you."

Spiritual Experience of the Week
So yesterday morning I finished the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time. And all day yesterday I have a special spirit with me. I felt so happy and motivated to work and I loved it all. I know that is because the Book of Mormon is true and that through reading it we can become happy in this life. It truly is the word of God that we can learn from. I love it so much.

Miracle of the Week:

We went by one of our investigators yesterday who we haven't seen in a while. While we were there his wife sat down with us and participated in the lesson and seemed to enjoy it. It was a miracle because we really have been struggling for new investigators! It was awesome!

Pic: Big paw print when I was on exchanges.

Elder Carruth  

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 24

Almost a quarter of the way through the mission! Hard to believe huh. Only have to read about 75 more emails from me! Lucky ducks. Anyways this week was a pretty quick one. It was all a blur I don't really remember a lot of it. That is why I keep a journal. We got new housing inspectors this week. Retired military people. Lets just say that when my bed wasn't 100% smooth after I made it she told me the Savior would be ashamed to live there. This will be interesting over the next few months. It is good though it will help us keep a clean apartment and I like a clean apartment. Last week I decided to buy a jacket since the weather is colder now. Well lets just say good thing I did because later that day we tracted in the pouring rain for about 2 hours. People have a lot more sympathy when you come to see them soaking wet. But still no one wanted our message. I was glad I had a coat though. We were able to see G last week! Elder Steffensen and I found him and haven't been able to see him at all. Finally we caught him and he really is open to hearing our message. He knows that the end is near and wants to explore his options. We are meeting with him tomorrow as well. Hopefully things go well. We had exchanges last week too! I got to go with a Zone Leader up to ABQ and pretend to know Spanish. It was a lot of fun though and I learned a lot from Elder Edwards. The highlight of the week though for sure was going to the temple yesterday. We get to go every 6 months so it is a special treat. The spirit in the temple is amazing and peaceful. I encourage everyone who can to go to the temple as much as time permits. The blessings there will strengthen your weaknesses. It truly is a house of the Lord. That was my week! Pretty quick one this week. Love you all!!

Quotes of the Week:

"Forgiveness is too precious a pearl to be cast at the feet of the unforgiving."
"Grudges only divide."
"Christ will never forget those he suffered for."
"Charity without action is dead."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:
While I was on exchanges we were teaching a lesson in a members home. The member spoke both English and Spanish and would occasionally translate things for me so I would feel included in the lessons. 95% of the lessons went in one ear and out the other because I can't speak Spanish. However, there was one story that I remember. The member was telling a story about his grandma. All of it was in Spanish. About halfway through the story I realized that I was understanding the whole story. After the lesson I retold the story to my companion and he said "I didn't know that much Spanish until 6 months into my mission." I had the gift of the interpretation of tongues and it was amazing. It was the coolest thing I have ever experienced on my mission. 

Miracle of the Week:
Our investigator J was going to get baptized this Saturday. Unfortunately his parents are not supportive and he is a minor so he has to get consent. We his mom was talking to one of her coworkers about how is J goes to church when they all go out of town that she will know he is really devoted and not just going through a phase. How do I know this? Well his moms coworker is in the stake presidency. So we are really excited for this miracle to unfold of the next few weeks.

Pic: Me and elder Bennett outside the temple

Love you all!!

Elder Carruth

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 23

I think Elder Carruth forgot it rains here....he sent several rain pics this time.

Hello everyone from way far away! This was a great week here in Belen. We are finally seeing the blessings that come from diligent hard work and faith. Last P-Day was a blast. After emailing we met up with the rest of the district and the sisters planned a bunch of awesomely hilarious games to play. It was so relaxing and the perfect way to recharge for the week. Eventually we had to turn back into missionaries though. We rode our bikes a lots last week and my legs and butt are finally used to it. We have been riding in the mornings around the parks and places like that trying to find people out to talk to. We have been fairly successful with that and we have seen blessings come from it. We dropped another investigator this week. He didn't want the gospel he just wanted friends. He is a really nice guy though. We met with C this week and had a throw down lesson with him. We have been trying to discover why he won't come to church at all and we finally found one of his concerns. My companion and I bore testimonies of the restoration of the priesthood to him and by the end of the lesson he committed to really pondering and praying to know if these things are true. The spirit softened his heart in that lesson and it was amazing to see that. Our other investigator Cr made us a deep fried turkey this week! It was delicious and I got to learn how to butcher a turkey since my companion didn't want to. It was a good life experience. I went on exchanges with the Valencia Elders on Friday. I went to Valencia with Elder Kirkham. He is an awesome Elder who is very diligent and persistent. I learned a lot from him and it was a really fun day. At dinner that day we were with a member who knew someone I knew from WA! It was so crazy and such a small world. It made me happy. We got a new investigator on Saturday named B. He was a referral from the Tome Elders and seems fairly interested in the message we share. It was nice to finally have someone new to teach and visit. It was a tender mercy from the Lord. We are having a baptism on Halloween. Jacob decided to move his date up and he really wants to get baptized! It is awesome to see the spirit testify to him. Yesterday we had a cool miracle. We walked to a members house about 2 miles away from our apartment. On the walk back the clouds rolled in. We ran to a bus stop and the second we got there the heavens opened and we got 1/2 an inch of rain in 10 minutes. And hail too. Big hail. It was a miracle that we made it to the bus stop before it rained. The Lord was looking out for us for sure. Anyway that was my week! I love you all!

Quotes of the Week:

"It is better to be trusted than loved."
"Trials either open your heart or close it."
"We are called to share the gospel not to debate it."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:
The lesson with C was awesome. The spirit was guiding myself and my companion to say exactly what he needed to hear. He felt the spirit for sure and is committed to finding the truth.

Miracle of the Week:
The sisters had a baptism last week and J skipped his lunch to come to it. Afterwards he told us that he got his answer and that he didn't want to wait to be baptized. It was a miracle and a blessing for the hard work we have been doing this transfer.

Pic: New Mexico has no drainage. After the rain the street was flooded. 

Love you all!!

Elder Carruth 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 22

Hello amazingly awesome people who read my emails! Or at least look at it before you delete it! I hope all of you had a great week. This week for us was another faith tester. We still are struggling to find people to teach and it makes for some very long days and discouraged Elders. We have high hopes for the upcoming week though. Last P-day I won a game of slaughterball against the whole zone. That was awesome! I don't usually win. My arm is pretty tore up though. Last Wednesday our bishop invited us and the Spanish Elders over for dinner and told us to wear our service clothes. We didn't know what we were getting in to but turns out we were unloading a hot tub. A BIG Hot tub. We had 8 people there and we had to pick it up off the trailer and then carry it to the other side of the house. It was tough and only minor injuries occurred. It was worth the pizza for dinner though. We knocked on a ton of doors last week since we have no people to teach. We talked to all kinds of people. Some are nice and some aren't so inviting. But it is what has to be done to find people. We are hopeful for this week to be more successful. We have some good goals and plans to make this week awesome. Last Friday was a great day. We had Zone Conference!! It was awesome!!! First off we had to drive 45 minutes to get there and one of our members told us that traffic would be terrible since it was the last day of the balloon festival. So we rallied the district and left and hour earlier than normal. After not hitting any traffic my district was all at the building an hour early! So we went and partied at McDonald's for an hour. Zone conference was all about planning and making sure we are preparing for the battle we face everyday. It was just what we needed to here. Halfway through the conference they do a 5 minute role play where they call up a random companionship and make them role play something for 5 minutes in front of 3 zones, about 75 people. Well guess who got called up?! Yup that's right! The Belen Elders. When the AP chose us I looked up at him and said "Well we used to be friends." That got everyone to laugh so they were all on our side after that. Those 5 minutes were really like 5 hours but we got a lot of compliments and even President said we did great. So it all worked out. We all walked away from Zone Conference with a new motivation to do the Lord's work. On Sunday we met with one of our newest investigators who was introduce to us by a member of our ward. His name is Jacob. After teaching the Restoration he accept a baptismal date of November 7th! We are so excited for him! He loved coming to church and feels that this is right. Yesterday we got to put Zone Conference in to action as we had weekly planning. We were really diligent and immediately saw blessings. We have a lot of hope for this week. Love you all!!

Quotes of the Week:

"Spirituality and covenants are not stagnate." 
"Your eyes only show your limitations."
"Most people get ahead in the time others waste."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

We were in a lesson with one of our progressing investigators. He doesn't come to church though and we were trying to find out why. Right when we asked him the spirit prompted me as to why he was hesitant. I talked with my companion right after and he agreed. Since the spirit told me that, we can now make plans to help him overcome that obstacle. It was awesome.

Miracle of the Week:
A few weeks ago we got a referral from the mission office. We tried to contact them but couldn't find his house. Yesterday we got a text from a member who said they wanted us to come over and teach that referral! It was so awesome and a huge tender mercy.

Pic: Zone conference. This is the Los Lunas Zone.

I love you all!!

Elder Carruth 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Week 21

Not sure where the glasses came from.....

Hello from overcast Belen!! That is right it is overcast and glorious out here. In the 70s for a few days. Proof that the Lord loves us. The work has been picking up a little bit this last week. Week 1 of a transfer is always the longest and hardest to get through. We are still trying really hard to get more people to teach. We are struggling and having a hard time not getting discouraged. But we keep trying to be obedient and diligent. We have 3 new missionaries in the district this transfer. I have met them all and they are all awesome! I am excited to serve with them for the next 6 weeks. One of our really progressing investigators dropped us this week. It was kind of heartbreaking and we really had to fight the discouragement. But we are still optimistic! We know that there are great things to be done here in Belen and we are going to continue to work hard! Last Wednesday we were out riding out bikes and we didn't have any success. When we got back home we sat down and talked about why things felt off and we weren't having any success. We decided that we became complacent and content with where we were and we were getting lazy. That lit a fire under me because I refuse to work anything short of my hardest out here. We immediately made a plan to become more effective and efficient. The blessings poured out of heaven and we felt the approval of our Heavenly Father. We received 2 referrals later that day. Hopefully we can continue to work hard and find people to teach. It was nice to see October come. The weather has been perfect and I love that before this month ends I will get to go to the temple. I have missed the spirit that is there and I am so excited to go back! That is the place to be. I had a cool experience this week. We were knocking on doors and on one a man came outside. He told us that he was a preacher from another church in the area. As soon as I introduced us he began to grill me with questions about Jesus Christ. Question after question trying to either find something to argue with or find me crossing myself. Unfortunately for him, I answered every single question as fast as he could ask them. The spirit really helped me through this one. By the end he nodded his head and shook our hands. The spirit confounded him and he agreed with what we were there to teach. It was a cool experience. General Conference this week was simply amazing. I loved all of it so much. I don't think I have appreciated conference as much as I do as a missionary. It is a spiritual boost and makes us all want to baptize the world! I loved Elder Holland's talk. It was very bold and I love that. I also loved Uchtdorf's talk Saturday morning. All of conference was amazing and most of my quotes this week are from it. That's about all I have for the week! Love you all!!

Quotes of the Week:
"Involve the Lord in everything."
"Goals reflect your desires."
"Desire is measured by action."
"Don't complicate the simplicity of the Gospel."
"Living the gospel doesn't need to be complicated."
"The Holy Ghost gives customized counsel."
"Your direction is far more important than your speed."
"Self control gets stronger as you use it."
"We don't marry perfection, we marry potential."
"Reach up, not across."
"There is a difference between hearing and understanding."
"The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice."
"Faith does not begin at birth or end at death."
"Commandments are not stumbling blocks to happiness."
"Faith and doubt cannot exist at the same time."
"If you quit now, someone else will have to painfully learn what you already know."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:
Conference for sure. It was just a pure outpouring of the spirit as the Prophet and the Apostles gave us such amazing counsel. The spirit testified of their callings and their messages. I loved conference so much.

Miracle of the Week:
We were knocking on doors and we came to one where this lady came out saying "I have been praying all day for someone to come help me." She needed help taking her spare tire out of her car so she could recover some makeup that fell. She was so excited to see us. We talked to her about the Book of Mormon and the Gospel for a while and left her with the invitation to read. She has a lot of potential.

love you all,

Elder Carruth

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Week 20

Already week 20 can you believe it? Crazy that I am already into my 4th transfer and by the end of it I will be at my 6 month mark on my mission. It goes by way too fast out here. This week was a pretty stressful one. Which goes great with the last like 3 weeks so its keeping consistent. So last week we had a crazy sketchy experience. We were riding bikes and came up to this guy who was covered in blood and all scratched up. He yelled at us to call the police and so we did. Just up the street were some angry gang members who didn't look to happy that we were there. So we decided not to hang around. We went back a few minutes later and there were 3 cop cars and an ambulance. New Mexico is just full of awesome surprises. Part of main street was closed off this week too with caution tape and a lot of police cars. Don't know what happened but it didn't look too inviting. Anyway back to mission stories. I got to interview someone for baptism this week! It was awesome! And he passed and I also got to attend his baptism! It was a very spiritual experience and I loved being there. All of our main investigators are still moving forward one step at a time. Hopefully we will have some new investigators this week. I am not getting transferred and neither is my comp. 6 more weeks in Belen and I am excited!! Anyway short email I am out of time. love you all!!

Quotes of the Week:
"Are you giving least to those that matter most?"
"Have the faith to be brought."
"we don't choose when God gives us revelation."
"Let Heavenly Father make today better than yesterday."
"Our actions are evidence of our beliefs."
"Choose to believe not to doubt."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:
The spirit at the baptism was amazing. So peaceful and calming. I love baptisms so much.

Miracle of the Week:
We have been really needing new investigators. Yesterday we got a call from a member to come teach someone and he is awesome!! It was a blessing from the Lord!!

Love you all!!

Elder Carruth 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Week 19

When Elder Carruth gets sick...the garbage grows very fast.

Hello from Belen! RAINY BELEN! It was such a blessing to get some rain yesterday. My companion and I went for a bike ride in it since we are both from Washington. The weather here is supposed to be much cooler this week and I am excited for that. I don't like how it is dark when we wake up now though haha not used to that at all. Anyway this week was a pretty tough one for us. A lot of our appointments fell through and we struggled to find people to teach. We worked really hard though and the blessings will come this week. I am confident. It is already the last week of the transfer now! Week 6! It goes by so fast it is crazy. We will find out this Saturday who is getting transferred and who is not. That means P-day is Monday next week. Everyone thinks I will be getting transferred and I am starting to believe them. I don't want to ever leave Belen. I love the people here and the ward is amazing. It will be hard to say goodbye. Hopefully that won't have to happen in a week haha my companion and I have been spending a lot more time on our bikes. I lost 4 pounds in the first 4 days of having them haha I will be skinny in no time! We get to talk to so many people when we are on bikes and it makes me feel more like a true missionary haha. We had a cool experience this week. One of the members in our bishopric invited us over to meet and teach one of his friends from work. It was just a short overview of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon but it was powerful and I felt so trusted by our ward member. It was a cool experience and I hope we get to meet with them again soon. That was pretty much it this week! It was pretty tough and slow so not much to report on. I love you all and hope you all have the best week this week!!

Quotes of the Week:

"Increased vision brings increased motivation."
"How does your attitude effect how you look at the commandments?"
"Sometimes just passing the test isn't enough."
"If you have time for golf you have time for Christ."
"The most important commandment is the one you struggle with."
"Humility is the fountain of all virtues."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

We had a lesson with P last week where he told us that he does not intend to join the church. Right when he said that I got a strong spiritual prompting to not stop teaching him and that he needed the gospel. Right when we left the appointment I asked my companion what he thought and he got the same prompting that I did! It was so cool and I love that we have unity in our companionship. I am so happy that the spirit testified so strongly to both of us. 
Miracle of the Week:
We were knocking on doors one evening decided to try one more. When the lady opened the door she smiled really big and came outside. Usually this means people are going to argue or bash with us so we got prepared. That didn't happen though! She said she knew about the Book of Mormon and that she was going to Salt Lake in a couple days! She asked us what to look at at temple square and how to spend her time! It was so awesome. And the best part was she invited us to come back to talk to her next week. It was a tender mercy from the Lord.

I love you all!!!

Elder Carruth

Week 18

Hello everyone and all!! This week here in Belen was a little bit of a struggle. We had some dropped appointments and then I went and got sick. But it was also full of miracles and blessings and I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father and his outpouring love. Last P-day we went to this pizza place called pizza 9. It was pretty much amazing. Definitely rivals Dion's. During P-day sports I managed to win a game of Slaughterball which is nice. I am pretty sure that my arm is going to be permanently damaged after my mission. I just can't stop myself from playing and going 112% all the time! Last Wednesday was a day that I call "Diligence Testers" where the Lord tests to see how hard we really wanna work. Almost all of our appointments fell through that day and it was just tough. But we had an awesome service project with Rio Communities. We helped them with a food drop. It is the 2nd time that I have helped with this and we invited the Spanish Elders to join us. It was so much fun! We get to talk to hundreds of people and smile at them all and give them food! It was great and everyone there was in a good mood. We had a visit of love with the Spanish Elders at the end of that day so that made it all better. Thursday was a polar opposite day though because had a lot of lessons and they all went awesome! We met with C and he is doing really well. He accepted a date to be baptized on the 17th of October! I am so excited for him. We also had a lesson with P. He told us that he didn't want to go to church or get baptized because he already got baptized. BUT he also told us that he has seen the Priesthood work for one of his family members! He told us "He was really sick and the doctors told us he wouldn't make it. Then a couple Mormons came in and put their hands on his head and he walked out the next day! Unexpalinable." It was super cool because we started talking about that authority and he told us that maybe he does need to get baptized. It is amazing to watch the spirit work in people! The church has to be true! On Friday I went on exchanges with the Valencia Elders. I went to Valencia with Elder Lester. He has been on his mission for about 3 months and is an awesome person. He is very diligent and hardworking as well and I enjoyed the time I had with him. Saturday morning I woke up with a sore throat and stuffed nose. I was not happy at all because I never want to take a day off from missionary work. I am here to serve the Lord not to sleep. So I decided to work all day Saturday anyway and when I got up Sunday I regretted it. I managed to go to church but had to call President's wife to ask for the day off after. I needed the rest and was able to work a full day yesterday. The Lord blessed me with not getting a fever and I am grateful for that. Sunday was my 4 month mark! Crazy to think that I have been here that long already. Feels like yesterday that I was in the MTC pretending I knew everything. Yesterday was a good hardworking day and we were blessed to find someone who is awesome! Her name is Cl and she was blessed as a baby but never got baptized. She told us to come by anytime and that she has been looking for the right church! It was a sign to me the we were where the Lord wanted us to be and that He is always preparing people. We got to dig another Dog Grave yesterday. It was an interesting experience. I have dug 2 now for the same people. I can only imagine that I will have more to do before I leave Belen. Anyway I love you all!! Thank you for your support! 

Quotes of the Week:
"Doubt kills more dreams that failure ever will."
"Endure to the end is enjoy to the end."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:
Thursday night I was really struggling to feel the spirit and it was making me feel completely unworthy and inadequate. I prayed that sometime on Friday I would have a really strong spiritual experience so that I would know that I am worthy and doing good things. During district meeting I felt to spirit stronger and longer than I have in a very long time. It was a clear answer to me that Heavenly Father loves us all and will always answer our prayers. 

**NEW** Miracle of the Week:

We have a less active member named S and her Husband Cr is getting baptized next month. They told us to meet them at walmart this morning and so we did. When we got there we saw S with 2 brand new bikes and pumps and locks and everything you need. It was amazing and so nice of them to do that. It was a miracle because we have been looking for bikes for a while now. I am so grateful for them.

Pic: Me and my new bike! I is Sick! AND.....a sign on a door that we knocked on just so I could take a pic of the sign.  Awesome.

Love you all!!

Elder Carruth 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 17

Hello everyone!! I am sorry but this will probably be a shorter email as well. I am running late for our district lunch and I am the one who set it up! haha anyway this week was really good! we got another investigator to accept a date for baptism and his name is C. He has been taking the discussions for 2 years and finally has decided to get baptized! He is pretty cool and full of great stories! Last week we had a couple really interesting moments. One of them was watching a car chase as we were walking home to our apartment. It was only a street away from us and there were lots of police cars haha. I got to go on exchanges last week too with Elder Evans in the Tome area. I got to pretend I knew Spanish. It was a lot of fun though and I enjoyed my time with him. Our last appointment we walked up to the porch and there was a dead pig carcass on a lawn chair. Interesting to say the least haha. I love the are of Belen so much and the people here are amazing. The spirit is strong and constantly guiding us to those who are ready for the truth. This week we have a lot of potential investigators that we are going to start teaching. Hopefully they are ready as well. Yesterday I got attacked by a pitbull. Scary... Really scary. Didn't get bit though. I did kick it once before the owner grabbed it bit I almost lost a leg for sure. Dogs around here are terrible and I hate it. Anyway I love you all! I promise more next week from me! 

Quotes of the Week:

"Revelation requires action."
"Every child of God deserves to feel the spirit."
"Our only fear should be losing the spirit."
"True disciples of Christ serve those around them."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

I had the chance to give a blessing to my companion. He was struggling a little. When I started the blessing I received strong and direct promptings and knew exactly what Heavenly Father needed him to here. The spirit was strong and I am grateful for it. 

Love you all!!

Elder Carruth

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Week 16

Elder Carruth's caption to this pic "I thought this was cool. And yes there was a train coming and yes we almost got hit and yes we are still alive."  I think he was channeling the questions he thought I would ask when I saw this!  Melinda

This week was pretty crazy! We had a lot of people drop us and we also dropped some, but the Lord has been blessing us like crazy! We have a lot of referrals and also some new and progressing investigators! I love it! We had a lesson with a new investigator named Allen. He had a ton of questions and the lesson was all over the place! We called him today to set something up and he said he had a lot more questions from the intro to the Book of Mormon! We will see how that goes! We got to go on exchanges last week with the Zone Leaders! It is a little nerve wracking when the Zone Leader comes to your area and you are in charge the whole day. But it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot from Elder Bracken. When we were on exchanges we had a lesson with a new investigator named Curtis. He basically told us that he was there to learn and wanted to know what our message was! It was really good and I thought the spirit was super strong. Hopefully we can meet with him this week too and get him to church. It is crazy to me to think that September is already here and that I have been here for almost 4 months. Time flies when you teach the Gospel! Sunday was really good. The whole church block was all about protecting our homes. It was really cool! And the spirit was there as well. Yesterday we got to take the Manazno Sisters on a tour of Belen. They cover the whole stake so they were down here for the day and we introduced them to some of the YSA people that we knew. It was a good day. I know this email is short but I am out of time! Love you all!!

Quotes of the Week:

"Choosing not to decide is deciding."
"Let God's promises shine on your problems."
"The only thing fear fears is love."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

Before church on Sunday I decided to say a specific prayer for one of the members of my district. I fasted and went to church. Right at the end of church I got the answer I had prayed for! The spirit testified to me that I had received my answer. It was an amazing experience and helped me to grow my testimony of this gospel. I know that it is true.

Love you all!!!

Elder Carruth

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Week 15

Typical David face, no?  This wonderful woman was just baptized and was happy!

Hello everyone from everywhere!! This last week was pretty stressful and hard for me. But blessings are everywhere if you look for them! We had transfers last Tuesday and I got a new companion named Elder P. He is pretty awesome and we work really well together. I am excited to see what we can accomplish over the next couple months or so. Most of last week consisted of dropped appointments and dropped investigators. We ended up dropping or being dropped by 4 people. Our teaching pool is pretty small now and we really need to find new people to teach. We went to a leadership meeting up in ABQ on Wednesday so I could learn how to be a District Leader. There is a lot to do. Lots of responsibility. But I am so up for the challenge and I love it already! I love being able to work so closely with the 9 other missionaries in my district. I got to interview someone last week too! My first one! I also got to go to her baptism which is even cooler. I love having this opportunity to serve as a District Leader and to help as many people as I can. We had a cool experience where one of our investigators told us that he was thinking about getting baptized. It was awesome because he doesn't come to church but he does come to all of our baptisms and he loves them. The spirit has softened his heart and he told us he is thinking about becoming a member. I can't wait to teach him soon. On Friday I had the chance to hold my first ever district meeting. I am in charge of presenting about an hour of training most fridays. I was pretty nervous but it went really well! The spirit was super strong and everyone came up to me and said it was great. I am excited to continue to learn and grow in my calling. On Saturday we got to go to the baptism of the person I interviewed. Her name is M and she is fantastic. Her whole family was baptized my first transfer here and now she is too. I was so excited for her and loved watching her make those covenants with Heavenly Father. Sunday was a great Sabbath day. First of all President and Sister Miller came to speak in our sacrament meeting along with K our Recent Convert! They all did amazing and K totally called my out by name for getting mad at her for texting us at like midnight once hahaha it was great. It was nice to see President too. That is pretty much our whole week! Hopefully this next week is full of miracles and adventures. Love you all!

Quotes of the Week:

"Transformation is not a future event."
"Write your own story."
"You were born an original, don't die a copy."
"Every sinner has a future, every saint has a past."
"Don't look back, that's not where you're going."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

Yesterday we were contacting and we prayed to be able to find someone to teach. We really need new people. Elder P received a prompting to knock on a door. When we did the person answered and told us he had always wanted to talk to us to find out what we really believe! It was so awesome because he genuinely wants to learn. We set up an appointment at the church for Wednesday. The appointment is at 10 in the morning so we were really struggling to think of a member to come with us. Elder P said a prayer and during it the spirit prompted me to ask a member of our ward. He works for the Facilities Management so everyday of the week he is in a different church building working on them. We called and found out he would be in the Belen building on Wednesday and would love to join us! He is so awesome and so is the spirit! I love moments like these. 


Me and M right after her baptism.

Love you all!!!!

Elder Carruth  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Week 14

Note:  Last week I tried to edit some of the personal info out and found it left out a lot of good stuff.  This week I am replacing people's names with letters and leaving it at that - Melinda

Hello everyone!! What a great week I had here in Belen. First of all we got transfer news. On Friday night we got a call from President that went like this: "Elder Steffensen I am calling you to be a Zone Leader and Elder Carruth I am calling you to be a District Leader. Do you accept?" We answered in unison with a yes and I am now the District Leader here in Belen. It is crazy for me to think that I just finished training and now I am the District Leader. The Lord has a lot of trust in me and I hope I can magnify my calling. We had a really good week besides that too. We took C with us to go see B. B previously told us that we don't know the blessings of not smoking because we never smoked. So we decided to take C since he has had that in the past. The whole lesson was just C testifying of the Book of Mormon and how it helped him to stop smoking. It was incredible! We never prompted him to say anything he just did and it was great. At the end of the lesson B accepted a date for September 26th. We recently got 21 new ward missionaries and there were lots of them at the Ward Correlation meeting last week! The ward is really pushing for missionary work and it is fantastic. I love it so much and the members are really supporting us. I hit my 3 month mark last week! To celebrate I helped an investigator named JR to dig a 2 foot deep post hole to fix his fence.The fence is fixed now! And it looks good. JR and his mom and wife all are agreeing to get baptized, but they never come to church. His mom knows the spirit and knows it is true and wants to get baptized but never comes to church. I am worried we might have to drop them soon. I hope not though. Last Saturday was a crazy busy day! And an amazing one too. We got up early and went to help the Elders Quorum move a part member family. it took us three hours and my muscles were very sore after. But it was great work and fun to get out of the tie for a while. Right after that we went to K's Baptism!! C baptized K last weekend and it was amazing! K was really nervous but felt really good afterwards and is speaking in Sacrament next week. She is an inspiration to me and has a life of happiness awaiting her. Speaking of speaking in sacrament, I had the chance to give a short talk yesterday. My topic was "How individual family members aid in the cause of Zion" and I got a lot of compliments after. I didn't think it was that great but it was good enough. The whole meeting yesterday was really spiritual and I loved it. Talking all about families and marriage. It was really good. Tomorrow I will get a new companion and then start my life as a District Leader! Keep me in your prayers! Love you all!!

Quotes of the Week:
"The Book of Mormon is the gate to lasting conversion."
"People don't join the church because of what they know, they join because of what they feel."
"Replace your doubt with faith."
"The Book of Mormon is a pure vehicle of the spirit."
"We cannot please God without patience."
"Patience means delaying immediate gratification for future blessings."
Spiritual Experience of the Week:
Obviously it has to be the baptism of K. My most recent convert baptizing my now most recent convert. It was really special and the spirit was strong. There were 104 people there, most of which were K's family and not members. It was amazing to see the support she had. This baptism meant a lot to me because K is 16, the same age my mom was when she got baptized. Without that decision I would not be here serving and never would have met K. Because of my mom's choice, I have the everlasting and true gospel in my life. And now I can share it will the people of New Mexico. Now K can give that same option to her children. 
Baptism :)
Love you all!!
Elder Carruth

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 13

Does anyone sense a theme here......

Last week of training!!! After this week I am officially a normal trained missionary. We had an interesting conversation with President Miller today. He met my companion and I in Los Lunas to deliver a package to me and this is the conversation that followed:

Me: How are transfers going?
President: They will be awesome. I will call you Friday or Saturday.
Elder Steffensen: You mean the Zone leaders will tell us Saturday night?
President: No. I will be calling you Friday or Saturday. Both of you.

And then he drove away haha if you don't know the only reason President calls you before transfers is to tell you that you will be training a new missionary or you are being called into leadership like a District Leader or Zone Leader. Anyway this last week was really good! We set a companionship best of 17 investigator lessons! The work here in Belen is really increasing and moving forward. I love being here and the people, both members and not, are all amazing and only sometimes crazy. My testimony for not doing meth has increased for sure. So last Pday we went to the Zoo! It was so much fun and I got to see all kinds of animals. Apparently Albuquerque has one of the nations best zoos and it was a blast. All the Elders in the district went together and I have lots of pictures. We went to Tucanos after for dinner. Never been there before but it was amazingly delicious. Expensive for sure haha but good. Last week we had a great lesson with Kendall who is getting baptized this Saturday. I got to go on an emergency transfer with Elder Evans this week. My companion went up to Albuquerque for a training meeting. Elder Evans originally got called to Guatemala. But after serving 6 months there got sent home with malaria and typhoid and parasites and a couple other awesome stories. He got reassigned here and has been here for a few weeks. He is a Spanish Elder. During studies we got a knock on the door. It was 2 female Jehovah Witnesses. I was excited because I have always wanted to talk to them and see what they believe. When I answered the door they said "Se habla Espanol?" And all I could do is point to Elder Evans and sit in quiet. He talked to them for 45 minutes about lots of things. At the end they gave us a couple pamphlets but refused to take ours. They said they were going to said English people back to talk to me. I am excited for that. Last Saturday there was a funeral in our ward. It was a sudden death and sad. But the services were really good and uplifting. We found out that the Bishop really loves us because he called 16 new ward missionaries on Sunday! Now we have a ton of people to come teach with us!! I was so excited. Besides that not much else happened. The week went flying by. Next week is transfers so Pday is on Monday. Please hold any mail till I email next week and say whether I am staying here or leaving. Thank you for all your support! 

Quotes of the Week:

"Live the way you want your family and friends to live."
"Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

Yesterday we met with someone who was really upset and is really struggling with some of his problems and addictions.  I got a really strong prompting to share something with him that was really bold and upfront and basically calling him to repentance. I pondered the prompting for a few minutes and decided it came from the spirit so I said it. A few more promptings came right after that and I boldy told him what he needed to do and how he needed to change his thoughts. I have never been so bold before but I knew the spirit was there. He ended up agreeing with what I had to say and that he would try the things I gave him to do. I really felt guided and prompted on what to say and I know that the spirit was helping me. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and that we are happiest when we follow the teachings found in the Book of Mormon. 

Me and a frog I found.
I love you all and appreciate everything you do for me. Have a great week!!

Elder Carruth 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Week 12

Hello from the flaming pits of New Mexico! I mean that in the nicest possible way of course. It is just a little warm down here still. This week went by slower than normal because we had a lot of people cancel on us. We ended up having to just go drop by some people randomly and hope they were home. It wasn't a bad week at all just a slow one. I feel like July went by really fast. It is hard to believe that is is August already! I had a little girl try to throw an angry kitten on me last week. We were visiting her older sister who recently got baptized. The little girl kept tormenting the kitten and then tried to throw her on me. I wasn't about to take claws to the face though so I tactfully avoided it. We got caught in the rain TWICE last week. The rain here is different than Washington rain. It is thick and comes all at once for 15 minutes. It just pours and pours and then the sun comes back and it gets humid. Apparently New Mexico is having the wettest summer in a long time. I feel blessed because it keeps the heat at bay.We had to go home and change because we were soaked. We got a ride the second time though so it was ok. We have an investigator named Kendall. She is 16 and amazing. I don't know what I have said about her already or not but she is getting baptized on the 15th. She is super ready and really excited for it. She wants one of us to baptized her but hasnt told us which one. I would love to be able to do that for her but really just want her to get baptized and receive the blessings for it. She wanted to bear her testimony on Sunday but pulled me to the side before church and said she was nervous. I told her I would go with her. As soon as testimonies started she poked my shoulder and asked if I was going up there. I did and she followed and gave an amazing testimony. She will make an awesome member. I went on exchanges last Friday with Elder Goff. I stayed in Belen and we worked hard. He started his mission here so we went to see some of the families that he knew as well as teach some of our current investigators. It was really fun and I love going on exchanges. I decided to try BBQ sauce again since I haven't in months. I became allergic to it last summer and haven't had any since. I tried some at dinner thinking that since it was homemade there was a better chance that it wouldn't hurt me. I was wrong. I am almost positive now that I am allergic to molasses. That is the only thing in it that it could be. It was really a dumb choice cause right after that we had to go to Chuck's baptism. I fought the sickness all night but the baptism was awesome. The spirit was super strong and Chuck had a huge grin all night. Kendall came to the baptism and told us that her testimony grew and that she was super excited for her baptism. I am so proud of Chuck and Christy and their progress in the church. Their lives have changed for the better and they are completely new people. We got to confirm Chuck on Sunday and they have already come teaching with us. They are fantastic members of the church. Yesterday was a super fun day. We had a service project and helped with a food drop. Basically we helped sort food and helped people get it to their cars and stuff. We were there for 2 hours and it was a lot of fun. There were lots of smiling faces. Anyway that is about all from this week. Hope everyone is doing well! Love you all!

Quotes of the Week:

"You're here to change the world not to be changed by the world."
"It isn't a sin to be weak."
"How do we go from where we are now to where the Lord needs us to be?"
"The Lord wants to bless you with more than you could ever sacrifice."
"Don't be too busy to study the gospel."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

There is an investigator named Alex. He almost got baptized a year ago but fell away and sunk into depression when life events happened. Recently he has been opening up to us and telling us that he has been praying a lot and getting really upset that he wasn't getting answers. He really wanted to know if God was real. I got really bold with him and told him that the only way you can get answers to your prayers is if you try to do what God wants you to do. You can't expect to get answers when as soon as you are done praying you ignore God at every turn. He told us that he has been feeling that he needed to come to church. After explaining that that is an answer to a prayer, he came to church on Sunday. After Sacrament he gave me a hug and said he would be back next week. The spirit really was there to help him and comfort him. I am excited for him to continue to learn and grow.

Love you all!!!

Elder Carruth