Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy New Year 2016!

Old Williamsburg Colonial Christmas Eve Drum and Fife Performance/Event

Christmas Eve Candle Ceremony at Williamsburg 


I remember my first P-day at the MTC. What an incredible, crazy, whirlwind of an 18 months it has been. 

Yesterday before church I had my exit interview with my mission president. We talked a lot about the spiritual truths the Lord has taught me about the gospel, about myself and all the Christ-like attributes He has helped me develop. Basically my goblet of gratitude is over flowing. 

I was asked to bear my testimony in sacrament yesterday. Something that before my mission, I NEVER did. I don't know why...I think felt I a little inadequate, like I didn't know how to put my feelings into words or that I didn't know enough. Now I realize, I think we all feel like that.  

There are things that I still don't comprehend about the gospel. I do know that the gospel works!! I know that Jesus is the Christ; the Savior and Redeemer of the World. I know that He loves me. He wants what's best for me. And he is going to be there every step of the way with me. I know He suffered for not only my mistakes and sins, but my sorrows, my trials, my pains and afflictions. I know that because He loves us He has made it possible for us to have his authority on the earth and that that all began in the spring of 1820 when a young boy had a question and had the courage to say a prayer and ask our loving Heavenly Father. I know that Joseph Smith saw our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know that he translated the Book of Mormon through the Power of God and that the accounts in the Book of Mormon are all true. I know that God answers prayers. I know that He wants us to be successful and eternally happy and He has given us every resource we need in order to reach our full potential. I know that faith and repentance change lives and that we can become better every day! 

I am living proof of imperfection but someone strengthened, uplifted, and forgiven through the atonement. I testify that because of Jesus Christ, there are no real endings. I love this gospel and I am so grateful for the time I have had to dedicate my life to the One who gave his life for mine.

Signing off for the last time,

Sister Camille Amber Carlson

An image of a road combined with a quote by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “Hope on. Journey on.”

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It's Christmas Time!!!


 We wandered around the campus of CNU last week.  SURE a pretty campus! 

Exchanges with the Hermanas.  Sometimes members give us so much food, they can save it for leftovers!  These containers come in handy and we always have one in our purse, just in case!

 When retired less actives put this on their door when you were supposed to have a lesson with them.... :(

  Missionary Christmas Conference

President and Sister Baker

Sunrise on the Virginia Beach

We found a cute hide out spot! IT WAS FREEZING! but sooo pretty.

  A caroling we fav!!!

Dear journal,

This week is Christmas. CHRISTMAS!!! 2015 is like over. Next week I go home from my mission. I'm going to be in STINKIN UTAH WITH MY STINKIN FAMILY. NEXT. STINKIN. WEEK.  WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT??? So happy! 

These last few weeks of my mission have been loads of fun. The trio life is bueno. It's kind of weird to think about what it was like when I only had one companion to love and I get to have TWO! We are doin' work in the News! 

We set two of our investigators with a baptismal date for January 23rd. Then, the Dad of the two came to church and totally loved it. He wore a white shirt and everything. In Sunday school we were learning about Faith in Jesus Christ and the teacher asked him a question and he said that "Faith in Jesus Christ helps us change and do things that will make us a better person, and others will be able to see that change in us." Oh, hey, hi, future bishop! So cool. 

We went on exchanges with the Hermanas this last week and I accomplished one of my bucket list items called "eat at Abuelitas." Abuelita is this 86 year-old lady in the Spanish branch that feeds the missionaries every week. THE FOOD IS BOMB. It's like the thing to do when you serve in Newport News to go and just eat your weight in food...the portion sizes they give ya are like massive. So ya. Did that. Had to take like a 30 minute break after to pull ourselves together to go out and proselyte. Good times though. 

We have been caroling all the days. SO FUN!!! Seriously people like, cry. It's so cute. I've started doing this thing that returning missionaries are supposed do now.  It's called My Plan. It is a handbook to prepare missionaries for adjusting and their life after their mission. It's SWEET! I still don't feel like my mission is coming to an end. It's preeetttyyy surreal. My Plan walks the missionary nearing the end of the mission goals and stuff. It also has you do things like sign up for Institute. HA, HA. So ya Wednesday nights...I'll be hittin' up the institute for "The Restored Gospel and World Religions" class. Yeah!  Anyone want to join me??? :) 

We had the Christmas conference this past week too. We watched the Muppets Christmas Carol....................................................................................that's a "one and done" movie. 

I'm exited to Skype my fambizzle this week. Haven't seen them in like...ever.

- XOXO, Sister C

Monday, December 7, 2015

Zone Meeting!

..OH Hello Hi!

It's the first week of my last transfer. FOUR WEEKS YALL.  We got our transfer call on Saturday and we are going to be staying here in Newport News and I'll be in a trio adding Sister Zander until I leave in 24 days.
This week was sawwweeeet.

First there was getting our car serviced......I'd rather have my dad take care of that.

Then there was some good lessons with our investigators. Who are probs getting baptized literally the day after I get home.

Then we went to MLC. where we talked about a lot of good stuff.

On Thursday we legit spent all day weekly planning, studying, and preparing trainings for zone meeting. and then a cute family had us over for dinner. Then we came home and planned more for Zone Meeting.

On Friday..we had zone meeting. Sister Johanson and I trained spiritual creations of baptisms and a case study that we read as a mission.

The new Christmas initiative is alive and well!

Lots of good videos on's my favorite!

XO, Sista C

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tomorrow is December 1st.......................WHAT???

A Nature Walk on Thanksgiving Day!

Beautiful Virginia!

Making Christmas Cookies

Sister's Christmas Tree

Ya, I have brown hair. 

Failed attempt at watching the sunrise!!!

Happy Christmas season!!

It has been a great week! I can't remember very much of what we did this last week because I left my planner back at our apartment...

We went on exchanges with the Hermanas! That is always a good time.

The night before Thanksgiving we found a Christmas tree in our apartment! Bonus!!!  
We put that up real quick.

Thanksgiving was good! Some sweet members took us out to this really nice restaurant in Williamsburg called Seafare. Yum!

On Friday night some members of our ward invited us over to make Christmas cookies to deliver to people (pictures above)...I LOVE CHRISTMAS---and the spirit of giving!

Saturday...I died my hair BROWN. Yep, I sure did.  I have gotten a lot braver on my mission so I thought I'd try it for now.

This morning we went to try and watch the sunrise in Poquoson for a sisters pday...but it was so rainy and cold...and there was no sun to rise, really.  We were all bundled up trying to stay warm, as you can see in the pics above. :)

This morning we went out to breakfast at this yummy delicious place called First Watch and the cutest little old couple paid for our meal!!!! Seriously made our day. 


-Xo Sister C

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hola, Hola, Hola!

Happy last week of November!

This week has been full of miracles and just good stuff! 

On Wednesday we had a leadership meeting with Elder Arnold. It went well... we were feeling pretty spiritually drained to be honest. Haha. But it was good. Wednesday night we had a meeting with the Stake President, President Baker, and all the Ward Mission Leaders in the Stake with the Zone Leaders in the Stake for a training for the ward mission leaders which was good. It's always good to have a Ward Mission Leader who knows what he's doin'! :) 

The rest of the week we had some good lessons. We went on exchanges with the Gloucester Sisters and while I was gone, Sister Johanson and one of the Gloucester Sisters were tracting and totally found a less active/part member family that wasn't on the records!! The non-member is the wife and she was super excited to see them and said that she had always been interested in learning more about the church and getting involved with feeding the missionaries and everything--so she signed up to feed us right then and there! I was stoked to hear about that! 

And then last night we taught another less active/part member family and the husband became a new investigator and agreed to baptism! BOOYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. 

Seriously-I can just tell how worth it the end of my mission is going to be :) I've loved the whole thing but man...miracles are happening as I'm staying dedicated and enduring to the end. The church is true y'all. Love it. Love it, Love it!

Have a GREAT-ful week! :)

Xo, Sister C

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Autumn in Virginia

Raking leaves with a helper

William & Mary Campus

Sisters Specialized Training

Ha, Ha!

So basically this has been the coolest week of my entire mission! First of all I can't believe that it is November 17th. Time is going quickly. I'll start by talking about what is most on my mind- The General Authority Tourrrr!!!!! So sweet. Ok ,so Mervyn B. Arnold came and visited my mission..I think I am still trying to process it all because I don't even know how to describe it. He started out the day with all the missionaries in Virginia, split into 3 parts-all the mission leaders were with him and President Baker in the cultural hall and then the all other sisters with his wife, Sister Arnold, and then...all the other elders went...somewhere... idk. Ha,ha. He started talking to us, telling us that he didn't come to our mission with any kind of agenda, topic, or outline but that he would take what we said as leaders the mission most needed to hear. Talk about faith to follow the spirit! We talked about so many things in the leadership meeting and he portrayed it perfectly when it came time to have everyone else in there. All throughout the conference he was so straight forward and just wanted us to be honest. He created such an open atmosphere and made it so easy to receive revelation! He made it so every single missionary got to participate in some way. Every time he was about to say something important he would say "write this down!" here are some of my notes....

-There is not a part of God's vineyard that has a hole

-Never make any excuses for anything ever

-Never talk negatively about anything or anyone.

-When was the last time you made cookies for your bishop?

-The only way we're gonna win this is to love love love love love love love love love love love the tar out of em!

-When you came into this mission, you promised to give Him your will

-Those that are for us, are much greater than those that are against us

-The greatest motivator is love- *with tears in his eyes:*'ve got to learn how to succor people

-Go home with no regrets- GIVE IT UP AND GIVE IT TO GOD

-If there's something you have done in your past and you've repented of it, don't. look. back.

-(In speaking of marriage) Go home and find your best friend who is going to be steadfast to you and the Gospel.

-It's better to be HAPPY than anything else

-Strive not to be seen, but for others to see Christ in you.

-The closer you get to God, the less relevant time is.

-Sometimes we are going to have "broken bow" experiences like Nephi. Are you going to sit on a rock and cry about it, or are you going act?

-You're poor if you DONT pay tithing.

-Sometimes he answers no because he knows better :)

After the conference, he interviewed all of the leaders in the mission. If my mission wasn't already made, that interview made it. it was the coolest experience so far in this whole experience. He asked me about my family. He asked me how long I had left on my mission. I told him about a month and a half. He told me how grateful he is for all the hard work I have done and told me how much I still have left to do! He said don't let up a single bit! You keep moving and working and becoming. He asked me if I had any questions and I sat there for a moment and almost said nope and walked right out! But then the spirit was like Sister are sitting across from a General Authority who just asked you if you had ANY questions. So, I said yeah, whats the best advice you could give to me right now? He said: Never lose sight of your potential. Don't let anyone or anything get in the way of what you want to do with your life. So many missionaries go home and forget who they had in mind for themselves. They forget about all the goals and plans they had. I can see so much potential in you, but you are going to have to work for it! Will you do that for me? 

Me: Yes sir. 

Elder Arnold: I want you to read your patriarchal blessing every week. Will you do that? 

Me: Yes sir.

And then as I was leaving he said: One last thing Sister Carlson, please thank your parents for me and give them my love and the love of the brethren, for raising such a steadfast, strong young woman. Will you do that? 

Me: I will!

XO, Sister Carlson

Monday, November 9, 2015


 Sister Carlson with her new Companion, Sister Johanson
likely the last companion of her mission 

President and Sister Baker at Zone Conf. last week

The silly Zone Leaders with puppies!

 Elders Tolman & Archer are 2 of Cami's favorite people and they are her new Zone Leaders!  They are super valiant missionaries and a lot of fun too.

These pics were sent to me by a member on Saturday of the new companions.  
Looks like they are getting along just fine!  Sister Johanson is from Highland, Utah.

I was just about to log off when I realized I haven't even written an email for this week!

This week has been good! 

It was crazy on Thursday knowing that my brother was getting married! 

Last Monday we really just hung out at home and wrote letters and that kinda stuff. pretty low key. 

Tuesday we had a few hours of conference calls to get through. Sometimes that is a real test of my attention span! 

Wednesday we went to MLC (Mission Leader Conf.) which is always super fun! 

Friday we had Zone Meeting- Sister Johanson and I gave a training on helping others make and keep commitments and follow-up which was great! We had a lot of fun doing that- President and Sister Baker came to our zone meeting pressure!! Ha,ha. Nahh, they were awesome. They are always so great to be around. 

Saturday we helped with the food order for the stake which I always love doing!!! It's pretty sweet how it all works. Saturday night our ward had a fish fry which was good- some people that we had invited actually came!!! we were stoked! 

Tomorrow we are doing a training on Divine Nature at the Sisters specialized training. Next week we have a mission tour with Elder Arnold. 

Lots of fun things going on!! :)

Have a blessed week y'all!!

xo, sister c