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