Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I was sitting in church on Sunday and this sweet mom sent this picture to Steve and I.  She was on vacation in Hags Head from Utah and she sent us and Sister Garvin's Mom this picture.  Bless her!
 This is the cute little deli that the missionaries eat at for free,  The people aren't members of the LDS Church but they love to feed the missionaries anyway! Bless them too!
Cami and Sister Garvin are right on the beach and they have pulled all of the Elder's off Outer Banks for the Summer so just the Sister Missionaries there to spread the gospel.  They have a Chevy Cruze to drive and they also have these cute beach bikes!
Cami and her New Companion and Sister Trainer-Sister Garvin

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mission-Week 1-Kill Devil Hills, No. Carolina

Heeeyyyyy ya'll!!


This is Sister Carlson reporting from Kill Devil Hills in the Outer Banks of North Carolina!...I think! Haha there are a lot of different cities on the Outer Banks but I am on the little Island outside of North Carolina. Kill devil hills is kind of a weird name but it was founded by pirates so that is pretty cool! I can't believe that I am in the mission field. I'm still in shock. The biggest lesson I have learned since being here is that its okay to cry. Haha I am already an emotional.....VERY emotional person and there is a lot of adjusting to do on a mission. I understand now why people say that a mission is hard. I never really understood that but I learn every day how much Heavenly Father loves us and expects us to have faith through our trials and I am so grateful for that. On Wednesday of last week is when we left the MTC. We flew from SLC to Atlanta, and then to Norfolk Virginia. Our mission president, President Baker and his wife along with the assistant to the president missionaries were there to greet us and help us with our bags and they took us to a church where dinner was waiting for us. THANK GOODNESS. We had dinner, interviews with the president, and then drove like an hour and a half to a hotel where we spent the night. The best part is that we each got a queen bed to sleep in for the night. That was the best thing that could have ever happened. I slept sooo good...which was much needed after waking up at 2 am! We woke up Thursday morning and went back to the church for transfer meeting, which is where we meet our companions and my companion is Sister Garvin! She is from Provo, UT. She has been out for 15 1/2 months....so a lot longer than me haha but it has been good because she pretty much knows the ins and outs of missionary work. And she is okay with the fact that I cry a lot so I am grateful for that haha!!! After meeting our companions, we had a member that drove us back to our house and the drive from the church in Chesapeake was 2 hours away from my area so I definitely fell asleep on that car ride!! Everything on the island is very coastal which I love. We had a dinner appt. with a less active family on Friday night and they took us to this place called Winks...its this little hole in the wall place and it was SO GOOD! its in the back of this like super market thing and they have fresh shrimp and really yummy desserts and we ate it right on the beach road over looking the ocean. I currently have 9 mosquito bites.... so that's fun haha! I am going to get some good repellant today. The place where we live is a dentist office on one half, and then our house is in the other half. My comp said it was the 3rd dirtiest house she has ever lived in when she got there but they got it all cleaned up in the transfer before me so I was thankful for that :))) anyone who knows me knows that I struggle with bugs and so im SUPER glad they got that taken care of. We drive a Chevy Cruze which is great. It has good A/C so that has been great. The weather has actually been really nice. It is starting to get more humid as the days go on though and my comp said that August is the hottest month of the year! So giddy up! ;) Haha in all honestly everything really is good. It's strange how much I have been learning about/thinking about the pioneers unconsciously this week. I knew that it was the 24th, but I have just been thinking about so many people who have gone before us and who have provided a way and that had it SO much worse. It is so important to endure to the end and to trust in God's will for us. We have to be willing to accept what he has in store for us even if it is hard. The church, although not as known here on the Outer Banks, is still just is true and I love it so much. It can get us through any trial or struggle or concern. I hope that everyone can have a missionary moment this week and remember to be bold and never be afraid to stand up for who you are, and what you believe in! We have a quote on our fridge by Elder Holland that says something to the effect of: "Missionary work is not easy because Salvation is not a cheap experience. If it was never easy for Jesus Christ, how could we ever expect it to be easy for us?" I think that is so great to think about and really can be applied to anything in our lives. I love you all so much and love hearing from you each week! I'm sorry if I don't email everyone back but know how much I love, miss and care about all of ya'll!!


Take care!


Love, Sister C :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

 Cami with President Baker and Sister Baker on Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Cami meets her Sister Trainer, Sister Amber Garvin

I'm going to give President Baker a mulligan on knowing which one my daughter is because they got 14 missionaries in one day.  I don't know how anyone could possibly keep track of that many missionaries, let alone the entire mission full of missionaries.  To his credit, he does figure it out by the end of the note which gives me hope!

Dear Brother and Sister Carlson,

Sister Baker and I were delighted to welcome Sister Caldwell to the Virginia Chesapeake mission yesterday.  She arrived in good spirits and has been assigned to her first proselyting area.  She is assigned to labor in the Nags Head Ward of the Chesapeake, Virginia Stake, and her trainer is Sister Amber Garvin.  I have attached two photos of Sister Carlson: one with her trainer, and one with Sister Baker and me.

Sister Carlson’s address is:

1024 Colington Road S-2
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

Thank you for sending us such a fine missionary,

President Baker

Virginia Chesapeake Mission
1115 Cherokee Road
Portsmouth, VA 23701
(Mission Home Address)

The really funny thing about this is that I've been following Sister Garvin's blog for a couple of months now.  I feel like I already know her!  Cami is her last missionary before she comes home. Her Mom manages her blog and she is amazing too.  She manages like 8 different blogs and one of them is on preparedness!  Talk about a tender mercy.  Crazy life's coincidences?  I don't think so.  She's in good hands!  If you'd like to follow and get to know Amber, her blog, it's at: sisteramberinvirginia.blogspot.com.

If you Google Map her location, you can see that she is on almost a jetty looking piece of island out in the Atlantic Ocean.  Who would do this but me, right?  I'll be watching the hurricane reports.  I looked at the street view, and it looks so pretty.  I can't wait to hear from her tomorrow! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cami and her cute and very fun companion Sister Fife

 Goldfish in her Box of Sunshine from the Howell Family!

A gal in Cami's Zone at the MTC

 Cami's companion in their room.  
Lucky for them, their room for 6 is a room for just the 2 of them!

Don't know how you'd fit 6 girls and all their luggage in here, 
maybe they won't have to find out.

 Another gal in Cami's Zone

 1st night in the MTC

 Temple Day/P-Day

 Cami's favorite instructor.  Sister Merriman

 The view from their classroom

 Trying to stay focused for 7 hours of classroom time 

Hi everyone!

I can't believe it's already P-day again?! What THEEEEE. Last p-day of the MTC too! That's even crazier....This week has been a great one! Every week on pday we are supposed to email our branch president and let them know how we are doing. Last week since I had only been here a few days, I didn't have much to say to him but I just told him how thankful I was to be blessed with such a great district and strength and comfort from my Father in Heaven. I really have felt so comforted!! I pretty much just told my Pres. that I was doing good and loving it. That was on Friday when I wrote him for pday and by Saturday we had taught like 4 or so lessons already and I noticed that I was struggling a little with teaching. My issue was that once I started talking about the gospel, I never stopped to ask the investigator anything about how they were feeling or ask them any questions and I would just go on and on and I could literally see the investigators eyes glaze over. It was more like me lecturing them rather than having a conversation with them and I just was not being myself. On Saturday we got permission to check our emails to see our branch presidents response to any questions or concerns that we might have had. It's so crazy because in my reply all he talked about was how to teach by the spirit and to just be myself rather than trying to be someone that I'm not and I hadn't even mentioned anything about it to him or that I was struggling with teaching. When I read his response I was just in awe. it was such a testament of how much God is in our lives. He blesses us with what we need most at that time and my branch president's advice on teaching was what I needed whether I knew it at that time or not. Teaching ever since then, has become one of my favorite things. I love to watch the Lord work in other people's lives. it has been incredible to not only see the change in myself, but to watch everyone in my district change into the missionaries and just people in general that God wants them to be. The MTC is just the coolest place and the spirit is so strong. Every day this week has been amazing...I think Tuesday was my favorite though! Me and Sister Fife started off the day with some service...I have to admit I was not the most excited person on earth for service but it ended up being the funnest thing...I don't know if it's because we had been cooped up in a class room constantly learning for the past few days or what but me and Sister Fife cleaned bathroom floors for our service and the floor was all wet and we were just dancing and singing and laughing our heads off! It was seriously so much fun! After service I got the beautiful little blue slip that tells me there is a package waiting for me at the post office! I was like...are you sure you have the right Sister Carlson?!?! Hahaha!!! My young womens leader Jenn Howell is just the sweetest person alive and sent me a box of sunshine and it really made my day and my Mom also stuck a present and a letter in there and it was just a great unexpected surprise! after getting my package we went to the field by the temple and played kickball with our zone and it was just a greeeeat time! Me and Sister Fife were the only sisters playing amongst all the super competitive Elders haha but it was just so fun and felt so good to be outside ...despite the 104 degree heat!! Thursday was in-field orientation which is where we just have class for like 8 hours on how to be prepared for the field. It was a long day but I'm so glad that they do that because I really learned a lot! Thursday night was probably the most spiritual experience I have had in my entire life. First of all, not only do I have the best district, but my teachers are just incredible. Soooooooo out of this world spiritual. Sister Merriman is one of those people that just carries the spirit with her and everything she says is so profound. She showed us a Mormon Message called "The Will of God" (everyone should def watch that) and now more than ever being in the MTC I have never been so touched by the Spirit of God. Even though I have only been out a week, I have seen such a change in myself and I am so grateful to be here. I think about how excited and blessed and happy I am every day. It's the best. I don't think I have ever been happier. Crazy to say this but next week I leave the MTC! we leave on the 23rd which is this coming Wednesday! So crazy. I never thought I would be that missionary that had to wake up for my flight at 3:30 in the morning but guess what I am :))))))) hahaha. Next pday I will be in Virginia, Woo Woo!!!! Wish me luck. Have a great week! Love you all!

The most love, Sister C :)

Friday, July 11, 2014


Well SUPRISE it is already p-day! Did you guys miss me during the 24 hours that you didn't hear from me?!? Hahahah. Wow the MTC... What a place! This is just incredible. Like how could the church not be true with all of these people everywhere! I don't think I have ever seen so many people in my life! Things are going so great.

As far as learning/teaching I am not very stressed. I prayed a lot before coming on my mission that I would be ready for the work load and the spiritual load that I would have to bear as I prepare to go into the field but emailing right now and trying to compose all of my thoughts is like the most stressful thing I have done since I have been here!!

My companion is Sister Fife and she is from Heber Utah. She is really nice. I got very lucky with her and we teach really well together! We are getting along great which is awesome because she is also going to Chesapeake! There are 8 people in my district. 5 are going to Chesapeake and 3 are going to Fort Collins, Colorado. Me and Sister Fife are the only Sisters in our district and we definitely do most of the talking in class ha, ha! The room that we are in has 3 bunk beds so there is room for 6 Sisters but we are the only ones in there so that is WAY NICE.  We are loving that. We might get more sisters next week though...we don't really know! 

I want you to know that I am healthy, safe, and loving every minute of my mission already! I know this is what I am supposed to do and I am so grateful to have such an amazing support system!

I have seen so many people that I know just in the 2 days that I have been here it's so crazy!! I saw Dekker, Colton Chronister, a friend from high school named Elder Ulrich who is going to like Taiwan…and KC Christofferson! It's a small world here. My Residence hall where I live is way nicer than I was expecting! The only complaint that I have is that it smells like hamsters hahahah!!!! Literally like we have a pet hamster! Something to remember I guess :)

The bathroom situation is good, everyone on the same floor shares the same one and it's really clean and nice. I took my first shower last night and the water pressure is so strong it left red marks like all over my body hahahah! The beds are great, a lot better than I was expecting. Everyone says that they just re-did all of the sister residence halls though so I think the boys still have bad beds haha! 

Class time is awesome. Sometimes it can get really long but the material and salvation of souls is so important it’s impossible to not pay attention because the spirit is helping you so much. I have great teachers too so that helps. They both served in California. I haven't been too sleepy at all!

I don't think I will be able to get a pic with Colt because he is at the West campus he was just here for p-day so I am sorry!! I should have thought of that. My typical day...wake up, pray, get ready, breakfast, class for like 4 1/2 hours, lunch, more class with our district…then we will have workshops on teaching and stuff with everyone that just got to the MTC and stuff! 

I am really trying to be patient and love everyone and see them as God sees them. That's something that I have really been praying for especially with my comp before I came and Heavenly Father is definitely helping me out with that! On my first night we had our first lesson. Like, HI--welcome to the MTC!!!! They just throw you right in--but it was such an amazing experience. 

Yesterday we had our second lesson with the same investigator and then today we had a 3rd lesson and we are feeling good about the place that our investigator is in. FYI the investigator is just a MTC teacher that they have act like an investigator and that is going really well. I never thought about how hard it would be to put all my thoughts together about the gospel and tell them to someone on the spot and have them make sense...let me just say right now that is hard.

People told me the mission is hard and I didn't really know what they meant by that but now I do. It is mentally exhausting. I am constantly thinking about how I can better myself so that I can better my comp, those around me, and my investigators.

Since I have gotten here it has been all about converting ourselves before we go out and try to convert others and I would just like to share something that was so profound to me.

Yesterday…or whenever that was, we watched a video and Elder Holland was the one narrating it and something that he said really struck me. Me and my comp were kind of having a hard time teaching our investigator because he wouldn't really commit to anything we would ask him to do and then right after that happened we watched this video and Elder Holland said: 

'You may want your Investigator to try harder...well, Heavenly Father wants you to try harder. You may want your investigator to pray more or read their scriptures more..Heavenly Father wants you to pray more and read your scriptures more. You must fully convert yourself before you can convert anyone else."

I loved this. My district teachers are incredible and every time I come to them with a question they will never answer it because they want me to learn it for myself rather than just telling me and giving me the easy way out. I am so grateful for that. I have done so much growing and I am so grateful for this gospel in my life. I know that I am fully converted and that this is the most important work on earth. THIS GOSPEL IS BEYOND TRUE. Last night we met our branch presidency- our president is President Mangum and his wife and then Brother and Sister Ogden and Brother and Sister Jackson. My comp and I were also made Sister Trainer Leaders last night which was an unexpected honor! We are excited about that. I hope you all have the best week! I only have one more p-day before I am tearin’ it up in VA so I will talk to you guys next week!

 I found out that I will fly out to Virginia on July 23rd. That is a Wednesday.

Love you all SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!

XOXO, Sister C :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dekker quickly became our hero as he posted this picture on FB just about 24 hours after we had dropped Cami off at the MTC.  He had given Cami his room and she went and found him--Knowing that we needed to know she was happy & LOVING IT! 
Bless these two!!!! :)
Cami on day 2 of her mission at lunch at the MTC with her companion, 
Sister Fife from Heber City, Utah

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

June 9th, 2014 
A day we had long planned for...somewhat dreaded--but were excited for. 
Cami was READY to serve the Lord!
And she's off...