Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Week 72

Hello people!! What a wonderful week this week has proved to be. This might be a short email, so if you usually stop reading around now feel free to keep going! So we had some cool miracles this week. Rosalie, our Jewish investigator, prayed for the first time this week about the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ. She told us that she felt good when she prayed and we were able to testify to her of the spirit and how we receive answers to prayers. She came to church for the first time too!!! AND she stayed for 2nd hour! AND she PARTICIPATED! BOOM! So that was cool. On Friday we had a Zone Training that followed up for the MLC we had last week. It was super powerful and the spirit of the Lord was there in abundance. We all received revelation and inspiration for how we can improve and how we can be better. What a wonderful gift from Heavenly Father. That same day we had a member make the whole zone a cake! I think there is a picture of it with this email. It was so cool! It had a Zia on the top and then all around the sides were the doors that we knock on as missionaries. The member used to own a bakery in Salt Lake City. It was amazingly good and the zone was super happy! Ok so I have more miracles to talk about. So we went by a YSA to start the morning off on Saturday. He actually has a couple kids so not quite a YSA anymore but he told us about his neighbors. We deiced to go talk to them. When we knocked on their door they immediately let us in! We were able to teach about the Restoration and Book of Mormon. We were able to give their information to the Sisters who cover the family ward in that area. It was awesome! And a pure miracle from the Lord. He truly led us to those people who need what we had. Later that day went by Jennifer and Domonic. They just got back from a Doterra convention in Salt Lake. We told them to go to temple square and they did!! They showed us pictures of them standing outside the temple! It was so cool and amazing! Not only that but Jennifer told us that next year they are adding time to their trip so they can spend a day their. Jennifer and I are pretty much best friends now. They both came to church this week! Jennifer for the second time and Domonic for the first time! They stayed all three hours and participated! It was a miracle and so cool! If I was telling you this story in person I would be out of breath. Imagine that. Overall we had 5 people come to church this week. That is the most since I was in Belen almost a year ago. It was so cool to see people progress. Yesterday was probably the best day. It was missionary monday. When the whole mission goes to the temple!!! The temple is so wonderful and peaceful. It is truly the house of God. If you don't believe me go to the closest temple to you. Just walk around the outside and touch the outside of the building. Think of your Savior and His love for you. I promise you will feel the truthfulness of the temple. And the holiness that is there. We also got to clean the temple! I got to see the bride room which is something I would never get to see otherwise. We were in the temple for a total of 7 hours. Wonderful. Beautiful. Celestial. I love you all!! Hope this week is the best of your WHOLE LIFE! You are in my prayers. God loves you!
Elder Carruth 

Week 71

Well hello there people. Hope today finds you doing wonderful things and enjoying life. If not then know that I love you and think you are great! And that I know you can do wonderful things. This last week was full of miracles and ended with a ginormous miracle. Like proof that God exists miracle. The hand of the Lord is in this great work. So let me tell you all about everything! Or at least some about some things. So the first really awesome thing that happened this week was we had a mid-month MLC with a General Authority. Elder Pearson of the Seventy came to our mission to visit with just the leadership. (If you don't know what the Seventy is or what they do, this website will help.) He talked to us for 4 hours. The spirit in that meeting was incredible. My testimony was strengthened. He talked a lot about our divine identity. How was are children of God and how we want to get back to live with him. When we understand that God is our Father, we immediately want to follow Him and His son, Jesus Christ. This Friday we get to train the missionaries of our zone on the things we learned. It will be wonderful. So a really cool miracle we had this week, not the ginormous one, was when we went to teach Chris. He is a less active member in the YSA. When we got there we found Alana. Chris's friend. She is not a member of the church but wanted to learn and so we were able to teach her the restoration and the spirit was powerful. It was a cool miracle to be able to help her feel the spirit and invite her to come participate in the blessings of the gospel. It was a cool experience. Ok are you ready for the ginormous miracle? Since like 3 of you are probably still reading this far into my email only you will feel the strength and testimony this story brings. We are teaching a guy named Jim. He is a wonderful son of God. He has been meeting with the missionaries for well over a year now. He has his choice of the true church narrowed down to 2 churches. Ours and another one that I won't mention. Honestly he is leaning towards the other one. He has been taught all of the lessons and has read the entire Book of Mormon and a lot of Doctrine and Covenants. On Tuesday, we went over there and made him a promise. We promised him, as representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ, that if he would live the gospel for 3 weeks, coming to church, reading the scriptures, praying daily, following all the commandments, etc, that he would get his answer at General Conference. He accepted our invitation. We went back on Friday. He had been keeping the commitment. Friday was the day that we met with Elder Pearson so we were on a spiritual high. We immediately applied the things that we learned in MLC to Jim. We taught his about his Divine Identity and how the spirit talks to us. He told us that he has a new desire to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. He told us that he doesn't get the warm fuzzy feelings at the other church like he does at ours, even though he believes their doctrine more. We testified to him again that he would get his answer at conference if he kept on the path he was on. We also extended a baptismal date of October 8th to him, the week after conference. He accepted! It was so cool to watch the spirit work on him. That in itself is a huge miracle from God. BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE!! WAY MORE! He came to church on Sunday which is good. We noticed someone on the stand that we didn't recognize. Well it turns out that it was Elder Torres of the Area Seventy. President Guffey, our mission President, has been talking about him a lot since he lives in Albuquerque. Elder Torres got up and talked about receiving revelation at church. He promised all of us that if we would be sitting down 10 minutes early for church that we would receive the revelation we need for our lives. He also testified of baptism and how the windows of heaven open at baptism. As soon as the meeting ended our Bishop and Elder Torres came right to us and Jim. Elder Torres shook our hands and then talked to Jim for 5 minutes about what he was feeling. Jim told him that he was preparing to be baptized on the 8th and Elder Torres really committed him to that. It was so cool and powerful and really had an impact on Jim. So we are having a baptism on the 8th of October! Be excited!! That is the wonderful thing about having faith in Christ. Through Him all is possible. Without Him, all is pointless. I want to extend a promise to all of you, members of the church or not, that will help you grow your faith in Christ. If you will simply allow the missionaries to share their message with you, just listen to the message they share, it will strengthen your faith in Christ. You will be blessed for heaven. We as missionaries truly represent the Lord Jesus Christ, having been set apart by His Authority to represent Him. This is His work. And He loves you. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Elder Carruth

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 70

Elder Carruth says time goes fast when you are on a mission!

Holy Moly 70 weeks ago I was at home. 34 weeks from now I will be back home! That is plenty of time so it is ok. I notice an interesting change in what member have started asking me. Instead of asking "How long have you been out?" they are now asking "How long do you have left?" It is a subtle but very big difference. 16 months ago today I entered the MTC and my life changed forever. I can't really believe where I am today and all of the things that I have been able to accomplish with the help of the Lord. This last week was amazingly good. Elder Rayl and I are doing awesome together and are working super hard. Not just hard though we are working super smart as well. This is probably the most diligent I have been my whole mission. We are seeing a ton of miracles from it too. Good things happen to those who follow the Savior! So last week we had a really awesome miracle. Since Elder Rayl and I cover the YSA branch now we can go anywhere in the Stake. We have about 8 wards to choose from to work in at any given time. We prayed one day of where we should go. We decided to go to Ventana since it just recently opened up to missionaries. Even if we couldn't find YSAs we could hopefully help the sisters start their work their. Well we were able to get in contact with a less active member who our branch president asked us to go by. We set up an appointment. That was miracle number one. We knocked on two doors after that. The second door answered and it was a YSA! Her name is Danielle. She is very happy with her current church but told us we could come share with her if she could share with us. She also said she might be open to baptism is God told her it is true. Which is good cause we know that God will tell her that it is true. Cause it is true. Anyway that was a huge miracle for us to start the work in the YSA! We are super excited. Are you ready for miracle number two?!?! So do you remember Margo? She was the lady who randomly stopped her car and told us she appreciates what we do. Well she dropped us this week. BUT! We were able to talk to her daughter, who just so happens graduated from high school this year, which means she is a YSA, and she wants to hear the lessons from us! It was so cool!! Like super cool! The Lord is blessing us so much right now. We are so excited for this week. So many miracles are happening. So Jennifer came to church this week! And it was an amazing sacrament meeting. Two of our young women did a duet of Come thou Fount. One played the harp and both of them sang. It was incredible the spirit that was in the room and Jennifer totally felt it and recognized it! It was amazing. We also had an investigator named Jessica come to the YSA. When I saw them walk in I almost cried. I was so happy to have someone at church and I could truly feel of God's love for them. It was a sweet experience for me. We taught a few lessons last week too. This week should be better on the teaching part hopefully. This Friday Elder Pearson of the 70, he spoke in April conference 2015, is coming to our mission to do a MLC. I am pumped to be there! It is going to be incredible I can already tell! Anyway that is all from me this week. I love you all!
Elder Carruth

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Week 69

I am losing track of what week I am on... It all feels like one really big and exhausting week. Full of joy and miracles from heaven of course. This week was the last week of the transfer! It also happened to be a holiday weekend. Wanna know a fun fact about New Mexico? Everyone leaves for the holidays. No one comes here for the holidays. People wanna get away. But no one wants to get away to New Mexico haha so this place is like a ghost town. All of the people we are teaching were out of town so we only had one lesson this week. But that is ok! Because the work of the Lord will always go forward. So lets talk about transfers. We got wrecked during transfers. We almost lost half of our zone! But that is awesome because change is good and I like meeting new missionaries. Not all of them are new to me but most of them are. So one of the missionaries that got transferred was my companion. Elder Campbell headed one zone over to the north side. My new companions name is Elder Rayl. He is a new Zone Leader so I am training him to be one. It is awesome! He is a stud. Great missionary and super sincere in all that he does. I am going to learn a ton from him I can already tell. We are going to work super hard and find the miracles that the Lord has prepared here. Another cool thing is that we now cover more than just the Volcano Cliffs Ward. We also now cover the YSA branch in the stake. YSA is the Young Single Adults. That should be interesting. I haven't had a strong desire to serve in the YSA but I am up for the challenge! We are starting from scratch so pray for us! Yesterday we got to take two greenies with us for the day because they were going down south to be trained. So from about 8 AM to 2 PM we had two brand new Elders with us. We worked in splits so I took Elder Dixon to a lesson with Rosalie. Rosalie is doing good. She had a recent tragedy in her family and since then has read 150 pages of the Book of Mormon. She told us she finds comfort in it too which is awesome! Elder Dixon was awesome as well he will be a great missionary and a leader in no time. That is pretty much all that happened this week. This next week is going to be legit though! We are going to tear it up and have a blast doing it! BOOM! Love you all!

Elder Carruth

Week 68

Another week has come to an end here in New Mexico! I feel like it has been a lot of weeks now. But there are lots left! More people to help and sweat to shed! BOOM!! So this week we were able to accomplish a lot. And we saw some cool miracles as well. Last Pday we took the zone out to Laguna Burger. It is out on the To'hajiilee Navajo reservation and they have really really good green chile cheeseburgers. The zone has been begging to go all transfer so we finally organized it. It was a ton of fun! We got to talk and share stories and I cut Elder Phillips hair with my knife. All good things. It was a good activity. On Wednesday we were able to meet with a guy named Jim. Not sure if I have talked about him much or not. He has investigated the church for a few years now off and on. We just recently started meeting with him after a few months of no missionaries. He has narrowed his search for a church down to 2. Jehovah's Witnesses and LDS. We talked a lot about the Apostasy, which he believes, but he doesn't know if the restoration has happened yet. I thought about it and if the restoration has not happened then it wouldn't matter what church we joined since they would all be fundamentally false. So it was an interesting time to ponder. He is a really great guy. I loved him as soon as I met him. We became friends right away it is kinda cool how that happens sometimes. Thursday was a really good day! I must tell an embarrassing story. We were helping the Hawthornes remove a giant swamp cooler, one of my pictures is me standing next to it. Swamp coolers are New Mexico's version of AC. They require water and a fan that spins. Basically it humidifies the air and pumps it into your house and cools its down. If the humidity of the air outside is above 30%, they do nothing. Which is why they are awesome in New Mexico and terrible in Washington haha. ANYWAY! I was in charge of using the sledge hammer to destroy the electrical box. I had cameras on me... 4 people watching.... I geared up big and.... WHIFFED!!!! It was pretty hilarious actually. I didn't miss again though and vengance was mine haha. It was a good day. On a missionary note we had a sweet miracle that day too. We were walking to our truck when a woman named Margo stopped in the middle of the street to tell us she appreciates what we do. we quickly exchanged info and gave her a call. When she called us back she asked us if we were Mormon or from the Church of Latter-day Saints. If you don't know they are the same. After explaining to her that Mormon's do in fact believe in God, she set up a time to meet with us. When we did we has a wonderful lesson about the Book of Mormon. We explained how it does not replace or take away from the Bible, but simply is a separate witness that Jesus is the Christ and that we have Prophets on the earth today. The Bible and Book of Mormon were written at the same time period, by prophets called of God, simply in different places in the world. Both point to Christ as our Savior. What a wonderful gift from God to allow us to learn more about his Son and about the Plan of Salvation. God loves us. The next day we got to move an upright piano down a flight of stairs. I pinched a nerve in my shoulder which was uncomfortable for a couple days. We also got to go on exchanges! Elder Phillips joined me for the day in Volcano Cliffs. We got to teach Jennifer and Domonic. It was the second time ever the Domonic joined us. We focused on the Plan of Salvation. The spirit was there and every time one of them shared their thoughts or idea it was always doctrine. They already believe the truth. They are truly prepared to have the gospel. Even if they don't know it yet. They are coming to a baptism tomorrow! That will be so awesome! Baptisms are so powerful. Last week was a really great week for us. The Lord showered us with blessings and we were able to help people draw closer to their savior. God is great. Jesus is the Christ. His church has been restored. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Elder Carruth