Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Week 11

This week was a pretty decent one. Not super fantastic but not super rough either. Last Tuesday there was a death in our ward. One of the sons of one of our members passed away. He was actually going to the YSA branch so it hit the sisters pretty hard. It was a sad way to start the week but we were able to give lots of blessings to people and hopefully help them. We got approached by a 10 year old Jehovah's Witness last week. They parked right next to us when we were walking and he hopped out and gave us a pamphlet. He looked really confused when I gave him a Mormon.org card. It was funny though and made the day better. We have an investigator named Kendall. Not sure if I have talked about her yet but she is 16 and been coming to church for months. She even went on trek. She told us this week that she has no more concerns and is getting baptized on the 15th!! She already has her whole program planned and is telling everyone. She is so awesome and so ready for this. Chuck is getting baptized this Saturday! He is really excited and kinda nervous as well. His friend Ian can't come to baptize him and that really upset Chuck. But he understands that waiting another month would be really tough on him so he decided to let the Bishop do it. I am super excited for that this weekend. I went on Exchanges with Elder Feuz last week. He is one of my Zone Leaders. I got to control the area again and I think it went really well! We had a lot of fun and saw a lot of people. Hopefully I made a good impression. This is going to be a short email because I have little time. On Sunday I had my first taste of truly authentic New Mexican food. Our investigators made us fresh fry bread and red chili and potatoes. It was delicious but I like green chili more than red. That is pretty much it! Hope all of you are doing well! 

Quotes of the week:

"The righteous will be called upon to face trials."
"We must all walk through Gethsemane."
"Pleading for the light is what started this dispensation."
"The Lord helps those who are willing to change."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

After the death of the member the sisters in the YSA branch were pretty upset. They asked us to come give them blessings. As we started our drive to them I kept thinking of one of the sister in particular and what her blessing could say that might help her. I thought about her the whole drive to their apartment. I really felt like I needed to be the one to give her a blessing. When we got there she asked me to give her a blessing and it confirmed to me that the spirit was preparing me to do that for her. That blessing was one of the most powerful blessings I have ever given anyone before. The spirit really helped me to do that and I was so grateful for the opportunity. 

No picture this week! Sorry!! 

With Love,

Elder Carruth

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Week 10

What a crazy intense week! We went on exchanges last week right after pday and I got to drive!! Finally got to drive I have missed it. I got to take over the area for the first time and I did really well! Elder Morris and I had a really productive day and had a ton of fun together. I hope all exchanges are like that. Elder Morris is an inspiration to me. He has had a crazy hard life battling cancer and stuff and he is an amazing missionary. He is a spanish elder so it was fun watching him try to read scriptures in english haha. We met with Kendall last week and she is progressing still. She is 16 if I have never mentioned her before. She is ready to get baptized and is more active than most the ward. She actually asked us if she was allowed to bear her testimony even though she wasn't a member. She just needs to get over a few concerns and get baptized.We had a service project last week out at a farm in ALBQ. We got to shovel horse poo for literally 2 hours haha it was actually pretty fun and I enjoyed meeting the district a little better. It was a good way to bond. The rest of that day was tough though. The Lord put us to the test. Cheryl, Armando and Isaiah came to church! Only Isaiah stayed though but he had a great time! He wants to get baptized soon and I hope they all can. I finished the Book of Mormon last week for the second time in my life. The whole rest of the morning I was on a spiritual high as the spirit testified to me of the truthfulness of the book. I know that it is true and that this is the restored church back on the earth. If you are looking for happiness and peace in life, read the Book of Mormon. I promise you that you will find the comfort and peace you are searching for and the spirit will tell you that it is true. We had a ward service project on Saturday at a local park picking up weeds. We had a huge turnout and it only took about an hour! It is a great way to start the day if you ask me. And any excuse I can get to get out of my shirt and tie is awesome haha. We met with April last Saturday as well. This is the first chance we had to actually teach something. Turns out she is Atheist and grille us for two hours about all kinds of stuff and how she didn't believe anything we said. She had all these problems with what we taught. BUT she also told us she loves having us over and feels really good when we come by. So she feels the spirit just doesn't know that is what it is. She will be a work in progress I think. We will have to see. Sunday was awesome! Our less active named Craig got the Aaronic Priesthood last week so he could bless the sacrament this week! I got to be on the stand with him and help him as he did everything for the first time. It was a very special experience for me and I loved it so much. Yesterday we got the best news ever. Remember the picture I sent last week of Christy getting baptized. We were still waiting on Chuck to hear back from the first presidency to see if he could get baptized too. Yesterday we got a call from out mission president. CHUCK IS APPROVED AND CAN GET BAPTIZED!!! We were all so excited and Chuck was really excited too! He is aiming for August 1st to get baptized. I can't wait for that! He is so awesome and is ready for this commitment. That is my whole week! It was a good one if you ask me. Thank you to everyone who writes me and reads my letters home! 

Quotes of the Week:

"Become obsessed with the gospel."
"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."  
"The gospel of Jesus Christ is inexhaustible."
"Walk what you talk."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:
A week ago we tracted into a woman named Louise. She goes to a local Christian church and we thought she was pretty engrossed into it and didn't want to change. She accepted a Book of Mormon though and said we could come back. We came back on Sunday and taught her the Restoration. While we were talking about the Book of Mormon I felt prompted to bear my testimony. The spirit was strong as I shared what I know to be true and how it can bless her life. At the end of the lesson she got emotional and told us that she has been Christian her whole life but has never felt the fire and she feels far away from God. She wants to be closer and we promised her that the Book of Mormon is the answer. The Lord truly does prepare people to teach. 

Me and Elder Bennett and a mini pony of course.

Love you all!!!

Elder Carruth

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Week 9

Welcome everyone who has newly been added to the email list. I apologize for not adding you sooner. This week was pretty awesome! I decided that I hate Pday on Monday. Made the week take forever to get to today. But I guess I only have to deal with that once every six weeks. We have 2 new missionaries in our district now! That is really exciting and they are both awesome people. I am excited to get to know them more. Last week we were driving and my companion looked out the window and said "AWW POOR CAT!!!" When I looked over all I saw was a tumbleweed. We decided that he needs to get glasses... And he is the designated driver so I am a little fearful now haha the day before Christy got baptized we went to see them and she told us that she was full of a lot of anger and hate and didn't want to get baptized feeling like that. We told her to go to the temple and to feel the spirit on the grounds. The next day we got a text saying how peaceful the temple was and how much better she felt after letting everything go. It really helped my testimony of the temple grow and how the spirit that is there is stronger than anywhere else and we should all strive to go there as frequently as possible. Christy did in fact get baptized!!! My first baptism!!! She was baptized by a close friend of hers and it was amazing. The spirit was strong and she was all smiles the whole time. Chuck was pretty excited too and he can't wait to get baptized soon too. Hopefully August sometime. I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost at the baptism and people said I did a great job so that made me feel good. Two days ago I got to stand in the circle as Christy received the greatest gift shes ever received, the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was an amazing experience and is helping me see the fruits of my labors out here. One of our less active members got the priesthood on Sunday! That was super cool and I love being able to watch him come back to the church and thrive in it. We met with Brent yesterday and his heart is definitely softer than before. He broke down and told us that he really wants to join the church but quitting smoking is so hard. I made him a strong promise that he would do it if he managed to read the Book of Mormon and rely on that for help. He committed to do that and pray for a date to get baptized. Hopefully he will continue to progress again and he will get baptized soon. On Sunday we helped the sisters go to a referral we gave them. We told them about a mean dog so they were freaking out a little so we walked them to the door to protect them hahaha besides that not much else happened. The work continues here and I am loving every minute of it. The church is true. Thank you everyone for your support!

Quotes of the Week:

"What would you give up to know God?"
"Don't let the decisions of others define your salvation."
"Spiritual light is within reach of all of God's children."
"Selective obedience brings selective blessings."
"Only the gospel can unite people in peace."
"There is no such thing as blind obedience."
"We make mistakes when we stop thinking about Christ."
"God's commandments are strict but not restrictive."
"You will come to find out that what appears to be a sacrifice will prove to be the greatest investment you will ever make."
"Everything you do sends a message."
"Flood the world with the Book of Mormon."

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

Besides the baptism we had a cool experience. We went to see one of our less active and when he opened the door he said that we were inspired. He told us that he was praying for us to come over. We didn't really have a strong prompting. We actually planned to see him the night before. But it showed me that the spirit will guide you even in the softest and subtlest ways.

Love you all!!

Elder Carruth 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 8

Melinda's Note:  I think the rain picture is him bragging that we HAVE NO MOISTURE HERE!

The last week of the transfer is finally over! My companion and I are both staying in Belen. That's not surprising since I am still being trained though. Everyone in the district is staying too which is even better! All except for 1 sister who finishes her mission this week. The sister she is being replaced by is coming straight from the MTC so I won't be the greenest missionary in the district anymore! That is exciting. We got a couple new investigators this week. Glen is a comedic writer and is interested in seeing what the church is all about. We have seen him a couple times now and he is hilarious. Cheryl is a referral and recently had a family tragedy. She had lots of good questions about the Book of Mormon and she really wants us to teach her grandsons about the plan of salvation. They both play baseball so I see some new friends coming my way. We are meeting with them tonight after Pday ends. I got to go on exchanges with the Zone Leaders on Friday. I went to their area and it is a Spanish area so I got to pretend all day long that I know Spanish. We talked to 1 English person the whole day but I really enjoyed being up there with Elder Bracken. He taught me how to look at things a little different and it really helped me. I also almost walked through a black widow web. I have seen a few of those bet there were a lot when I was on exchanges. The 4th of July wasn't super exciting. We went to a BBQ with some members for dinner and then got home before all the explosions began. Fireworks and alcohol don't mix at all. We were supposed to baptize Brent that day but he slipped up so we have to wait. He actually got really offended that we couldn't baptize him and last time we saw him he told us we had eating disorders and that we should go without food for 2 weeks before getting baptized. Justification doesn't work in the gospel though. I hope he will calm down and remember that the Lord is asking him to do stuff not imperfect missionaries. On a lighter note we have a baptism for Thursday that will for sure happen!!!! My first one!!! Christy is getting baptized by one of her good friends and I am so excited to go. Christy and Chuck were the first people I ever taught on my mission. They will make amazing members. Yesterday was my birthday and I am now officially 21. It was a great day and lots of people wished me well. A less active had us over for dinner and made me chicken Alfredo with garlic bread and strawberry cheesecake. She made me my own mini cake and they all sang to me. They are one of my favorite families here they treat the missionaries so well. I am grateful for them. My old Ward Mission Leader had us over for brownies to celebrate as well and that was the last thing we did. It was a great birthday. Pday will be on Tuesdays again starting next week until next transfer where its on Monday. I hope everyone has a great week! Thank you for all the well wishes and support!!!

Quotes of the Week:

Unfortunately I left my old planner at home and so I have no quotes. If I remember next week there will be tons of quotes haha sorry for the disappointment!

Spiritual Experience of the Week: 

While I was on exchanges we met with a man named Manuel. Again I had no clue what was being said because I don't know spanish. The whole time we were there I thought that we needed to give him a blessing. I don't know why but just did. Eventually we stood up and did just that. My companion received the same prompting and we gave him a blessing. I loved how the spirit touched me even though I had no clue what was wrong or that anything was even wrong to begin with. The spirit prompted both of us and I am so thankful it did. The church is true.


Me and a mini strawberry cheesecake. 

Love you all!!!!

Elder Carruth

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Week 7

This week went by faster than ever. I feel like they all are gonna go by super fast and then BOOM I will be going home. The heat has been pretty manageable. At least it is consistent. It is monsoon season so we get thunder and rain almost every night. It is pretty cool and reminds me a little of home. Last Wednesday we met with Kendall and her family and taught them the Plan of Salvation. At the end of the lesson we got Kendall to commit to being baptized on July 18th and her mom was way more interested than we thought! She didn't commit to anything but she seemed like she wanted to know more so hopefully we can get her on date soon too! They are awesome people and Kendall is a great example for her family. We have this awesome potential named Glen. Elder Steffensen knew him before but we couldn't remember where he lived. We were knocking on doors tying to find him when we hear "ELDERS! ELDERS! HOW ARE YOU?!" And it was Glen! He is so cool. We tried to go see him the next day but he was busy. We gave him a pamphlet to read and hopefully we can see him soon this week. I got a haircut and it was awesome to feel the breeze on my head. Unfortunately the sun got to my head too and burned it up bad. Sunscreen is almost as necessary as water here. We have a baptism on the 4th this week! Brent has been keeping the word of wisdom for 2 weeks and he will be baptized! I am so excited for him! And it is my first baptism. I won't be the one in the font with him but it still counts! We are hoping to have 7 baptisms this next transfer! That is so crazy! And an amazing way to start my mission. July is shaping up to be the best month ever. We will almost have a baptism every week! We took a tour of the upstairs and attic of the Stake Center this week. It was pretty fun and I only bled once on my leg. I have pictures though and will send one home this week. We met with Chuck and Christy last week and took a couple members with us. They got along really well and by the end they were sharing tearful testimonies! It was awesome and the spirit was there for sure. Chuck and Christy are ready to be baptized. Just gotta wait on a couple more things.We had Stake Conference this weekend which means we got to see our mission president and his wife!! They are the best people and full of Christlike love. I love seeing them so much. Elder Frost of the 70 came to conference and he spoke about keeping the Sabbath day holy. It was really good and powerful. While at conference I had 2 people come up to me and say "Hey Elder Carruth I was looking for you to say hi to you." TO which I have to awkwardly reply "Thats awesome who are you?" One of them was the daughter to the Williams, the people who dropped me off at the MTC. I think it was their daughter anyway. And the other was the oldest Hanagan daughter who was Visiting teaching companions with my grandma for a long time. It is so cool to see people who are looking for me and I have no clue that they even exist. I truly believe I am in New Mexico for a reason. Last night we bought shakes for the sisters and went and visited them. We have 2 sets of sisters in the district and they are awesome. Sister Stokes heads home next week. She will be missed. She told me that I was her favorite and she is the one who created "Elder Carruth Moments." Anyway thats my whole week! Hope my emails are exciting and not boring people to sleep! hahaha hope everyone has a great week!

Quotes of the Week:

"You don't always have to feel the spirit to know it is there."
"Light is more powerful than darkness."
"Satan will tell you 10 truths if he can tell you 1 lie." 
"It's one thing to know the church is true and another to be true to the church."
"Every time you shed tears, remember, the Savior shed them too."
"Satan can reproduce any feeling except for peace."
"We accomplish the most when we feel the least qualified."
"Event + Response = Outcome"

Spiritual Experience of the Week:

JR and his family have met with us twice before. The first time was not super great and they couldn't understand why they needed to be baptized again. We asked JR to pray and he said next time. Eventually that next time came and we decided to reteach the restoration with the pamphlets and focus on Apostasy and Priesthood. The lesson went so amazing and it just flowed perfectly. The spirit was there and by the end of the lesson they committed to baptism! It was so amazing! JR said the prayer and after he was done he yelled "OH MY GOSH I SAID THE PRAYER!!" He was so excited and I can't wait to meet with them again. 

Pic: Me in the attic of the Stake Center.

Please don't forget to bear your testimonies on Sunday! Its my birthday so you can't say no. I know that when we share testimonies we help life and edify each other as well as help strengthen our own testimonies. You can do it.

Until next Week!!!!

With love,

Elder Carruth 

Week 6

What a hot week here in Belen. Like 106 degrees hot. I am not used to that at all but I am SOOOO grateful we have AC in the apartment. This week went by pretty fast. I feel like every other day is Sunday out here. Is that because I wear a tie everyday? Maybe... haha Last Wednesday we helped a family set up for their wedding. My companion and I were digging holes in the ground to bury some giant spindles to make tables. Talk about some hard work. I was sweating after 10 minutes and we were there for three hours! We found a frog though so it was worth it. Chuck and Christy took us to dinner that night and they are just incredible people. They are fixing my watch for me cause the battery died. They are also feeding us again tonight! They are an inspiration to me and I can't wait to see them get baptized. On Saturday we helped Chuck dig a fire pit. That was pretty fun and then Christy made us breakfast after. Did I mention they are awesome? Brent is doing good as well. He stopped smoking and needs to be smoke free now or we will have to move his baptism again. I know he can do it though. He is doing awesome so far. There is a funny saying that the Los Lunas sisters started called "An Elder Carruth Moment" which is where you see and animal and freak out and take a picture with it. I love animals especially all the ones I don't usually get to see like llamas and baby turkeys. Thats pretty much it for the week! The church is true and Heavenly Father loves all of you! I hope everyone has a great week!

Quotes of the Week:
"Every convert is a great and serious responsibility."
"Have the spirit in mind, God knows."
"When you are motivated by love, no sacrifice is too great."
"You have to go through the wilderness before you get to the promised land."
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
"There is a great purpose to our struggles in life."
"Life is fragile, handle with prayer."

Spiritual experience of the Week:
When we were teaching Brent last week he looked me dead in the eye and said "What is the worst thing you have ever done?" Without even blinking I told him that we focus on the Atonement and how we can be clean through Jesus Christ and how we don't talk about past issues like that. The next day on Sunday the member we took to the lesson came up to me and told me that my response was really powerful and full of Christlike love. Looking back at it I know that the spirit filled my mouth and all the words I said were from the spirit. I knew exactly what to say and didn't think twice about saying it. The spirit will always help.

With love,

Elder Carruth