Monday, January 26, 2015

One lonely picture of Cami after a hard day's work in the mission field! 

Most weeks seem pretty low key at home in UT, with the usual of people getting engaged/married/having kids....and then there are weeks when your dads truck catches on fire next to your childhood home and people that you don't even know yet at church in Poquoson come up to you at church on Sunday and say "hey I heard about your family and the fire!" HAHAH UMMM WHAT!
(for the record, I had sent one good Sister a message and asked her to go find Cami and tell her in case she heard about it another way first, so this sister walked up on Cami hearing it from someone in the ward and she let her know first that everyone was OK before she showed her our scary pics!) Good times on the mish! Luckily I came home from church and we were doing personal study, and I just so happened to be reading Doctrine and Covenants section 100 that says: [1] "Verily, saith the Lord, [Sister Carlson] your family is well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good; for in me there is all power. [2] Therefore follow me, and listen to the counsel which I shall give unto you. [4] Therefore, I the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls...[15] Therefore, let your hearts be comforted; for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly and to the sanctification of the church." Super grateful for the safety of my family and for the comfort of the scriptures to know that all is well and that they are taken care of because there is a work for me to do "in this place." There were some good times spent in that truck with my deedle...listening to Kenny Chesney and drinking Slurpee's on the way to dance seems to stand out in my mind. :) RIP!! Anyway other than that my week was pretty normal as missionary life gets! 

We had interviews with President Baker which is always so great. He is a good man. It's like 15 minutes of just revelation and happiness. We had some good lessons....still looking for investigators so if you know of any...HMU!! 

Pretty crazy that this is the last week of January! Today we are supposed to get one inch of snow in Poquoson....except its like sunny and warm out soooo.. probly not. This past week I have been thinking a lot about my testimony. I was reading my patriarchal blessing and it says that I have been given a gift which will be made known to me more fully as I go throughout my life, but that I have been given a testimony and how important it is for me to share that testimony with others not only in the way I live but verbally to those around me. Sometimes as a missionary I start to wonder how strong my testimony really is... because my testimony and beliefs are questioned so often by others, but I was quickly reminded of the mercies, love, comfort, divine truth, happiness and safety that comes from living and embracing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was reading in this month's New Era and found something that was just perfect that says: "If you choose to keep believing, even for another day, it will be enough to keep you going until your testimony is stronger. Gaining and maintaining a testimony is a lifelong process that requires faith, scripture study, and putting gospel principles into practice. Keep working on it, be patient, and rely on what you know to be true." I loved that. It was a good reminder that its going to be a loooonnnng while until I have a perfect knowledge of things, but to just keep believing and keep trying. My favorite quote is by Elder Holland and always helps me to keep moving..."Dont you quit, you keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Trust God and believe in good things to come. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come." :) Love you all!

-Sister Carlson

Oh wait! This, just in!  BONUS!!! Sister Brimhall sent this picture just now of Cami and Sister Barfuss.  
She had them over for dinner TONIGHT!  I just LOVE social media, it's almost like being there!  Cami LOVES this area because they get to eat with members every night and she says it's so much more fun to eat with members each night than sitting in their apartment staring at each other. :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cami in Poquoson, Virginia

We don't get to see any of her this week, just her apartment!

Living room

Dresser and closet in bedroom


Hey y'all!

I'm here and happy to report I have accomplished another week as a happy and grateful missionary! I love how much I love this area. 

Last week on Monday we had a super fun day- there are some members in the ward who let us come over on p-days and do laundry and write letters and it felt like I was just hangin' out at home which is always a good feeling! They just had a daughter in the mission field and so they like to take care of the missionaries. :) On Monday night we had dinner with some members in the ward that live on base which was suuuuuper cool- we had to go through security and this big legit looking guy with a rifle across his chest checked our I.D...Ha,ha I was like heck ya this is sweet! I like serving around service men and women. GOD BLESS AMERICA. 

On Tuesday we went and played bingo at the nursing home with like 10 old ladies haha...and anyone who knows me knows that I love old people so that was a good time! We had to literally scream so they could hear...."B89!!!!!!" they kept getting "B" and "G" mixed up.. all is well though, haha. That night we had dinner with the Fairchilds who are super awesome and Sister Fairchild is literally the sweetest person I have ever met! She is so willing to do anything for us. Along with the rest of the ward! 

On Wednesday we went to the Stake center and did family history training because the Stake President wants all the missionaries to be trained how to do it so we can teach others and I liked learning about that! 

On Thursday we had a really good day full of 5 lessons which was super cool! I love to keep busy and workin' hard so it was a good day! 

But basically to sum it up I just love the gospel and Poquoson!!! Here's to another great week! :)

Xo, Sister Carlson

Awesome Sister Tacketts sent us this picture of her taking Cami and her companion, Sister Barfuss to lunch today.  Cute missionaries!!! Actually, I think she was just trying to give me a heads up that today was a holiday and that the libraries were closed and to not FREAK OUT and call the mission home when I didn't hear from her on schedule.  I don't know what the big deal was, I only did that once while Matt was on his mission and now it's the family joke! HA!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cami celebrates the New Year 
by leaving Nags Head!

The Sisters celebrating the New Year!

Cami and Hermana Gray Celebrating!

Cami says Good Bye to a few of her favorite people.  Hermana J. and Valdez

Boy, is Cami going to Miss Sister J!

Hermana Gray & J.

Cami with one of her favorite members in Nags Head and her daughter.

Favorite people!

The caption on this one was 'Saying good-bye to the House.' 

By all means, if you are going to get called on a mission, be sure the go to a 
beach house for 6 months with your own private outdoor shower, which they 
couldn't use! She's going to miss 'the house'!

Hello, all!
Well life is good! I am loving Poquoson and my new comp Sister Barfuss (Yes, you read right, all you Bakerites, I already checked to see if she was related to Kelly and Bruce and she's not. I thought we might have a common connection there, but nope!)  :) the past week has been pretty eventful so I will start from the beginning. 
On Monday, we dropped Hermana Valdez and Hermana Johnson off at the mission home.....that was sad. I miss them both a lot but I am excited for the great things that are instore for them at home in the good ol land of Utah :) 
On Tuesday Sister Endres from Nags Head took us out to lunch at Cafe Lachine for my last day and that was super fun! I am going to miss her and her family a lot! Also on Tuesday, I got a hair cut! Which I swore I wouldn't do on my mission because I trust few people with my hair but a member of the ward noticed my split ends and so I decided that it was time ha, ha. Luckily a different member had offered previously to pay for it so that we could have a missionary opportunity so I was like alright, what the heck! So I did it and I lived! :) I'm happy with it. She took off an needed it. It feels a lot better now :) and it gave the hairdresser lots of opportunities to ask us questions about what we do and who we are and why I hadn't gotten my hair cut in 6 months ha, ha! There are a lot of members that get their hair done by her so hopefully the missionaries that are there now take advantage of that opportunity to share more with her in the future! 
On wednesday...I left Nags Head. That was probably the weirdest thing ever! We had transfer meeting in Portsmouth and we sang "I'll go where you want me to go"...and naturally I started bawling because Nags Head became my home away from home. I filmed everything as we were driving out of Nags head with commentary of all the memories and experiences..Ha, ha that's a good video...but I am already loving my experience in Poquoson and all the people! I am looking forward to good times here as well! The ward mission leader and the ward missionaries and really the entire ward here are super loving and supportive and so helpful to us which makes the biggest difference in the world so I am grateful for that! We get fed every night of the week which has been awesome to be able to get to know the ward members and to be in their homes teaching them and their families lessons and trying to find investigators through them! I am loving it. 
I am the driver and after not driving for 6 months I am a little rusty but I am doing my best! Haha Sister Barfuss is probably like-who is this girl! Anyway....I am looking forward to lots of good things to come this week- we are working a lot with less actives and also trying to find new investigators so its going to be a great week and continuing to have a great start to 2015! 
One of my goals this year is to remember Christ all year as much as I did during Christmas and this morning during personal study I read this little thing called "giving is living" and it says:
"Go spread to the needy, sweet charity's bread,
For giving, is living" the angel said;
"O must I be giving again and again?"
My peevish and willful answer ran.
"Oh no"- said the angel and her eyes pierced me through-
"Just give till the Master stops giving to you"
I think so many times we think that we are doing all that we can do- when in reality there is so much more that we can do! Christ gives infinitely to us and I love that we have the opportunity to give to him as well. I am so grateful for this gospel and for the way it changes lives. This week I have reflected a lot about how much I have grown and changed into the person that Heavenly Father needs me to be and I am so grateful that I can continue to become that person each and every day as I lose myself in this work. Loves to all! Here's to the best week ever! :)
-Sister Carlson :)

Other notes from Sister Carlson:

I am getting a bike for free by the way from a sister in VA beach so we won't need to buy one! The zone leaders are supposed to bring it tomorrow. Hopefully it stops raining by the time we have to give the car to the elders and be on bikes. The members are really good about picking us up and giving us rides, so that is good :)

I don't see the water that much here anymore which is something I do miss about Nags Head! But the more time I spend here, the more I love it here too so I am grateful Heavenly
Father is helping me with that and helping me love each place i go and all the people! 

Pictures of Cami's new digs are promised for this next week. stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cami says Goodbye to Nags Head, N. Carolina! 

Cami and Sister Parker

Cami and the Spencers, some of our FAVORITE people! They are the ones who opened their homes and heart to the missionaries and invited Cami and her companion over to brunch, open gifts, be part of their family and to Skype at their house on Christmas Morning!

The Francis Girls at Church Jan 4th

Selfie with Brother Kelly!  

Cami with Sister Valdez who completed her mission and came home to Taylorsville yesterday!

Cami and the Hermanas after their last lesson together with one of their favorite people. 

Too cool to smile apparently! :)

Cami and families and people she has grown to love.

Duck Donuts! MMMmmmm!

Sister Bowen!

Hey Ya'll!

Sadly this is my last email coming from my beloved Nags Head! On Saturday I got the call from the mission President that I am going to be transferred to Poquoson, VA! Which is about 2 hours away from Nags Head. Two hours too far! Last week was great--two days in a row we volunteered at Endless Possibilities in Manteo. The last time we volunteered, we wove rugs and these past 2 times we learned how to put the string through the loom which is a super long process but it was a cool experience to learn how to do that! Whoever came up with those loom things was a geniussssss. I am feeling a little sad that I am leaving Nags Head because I have been here so long, have sooooo many memories, have made lifelong friends, and that is always hard to let go of. It's kind of like saying goodbye to my family all over again. I am going to miss the ward and people here so much. I feel like I have everything figured out here and know all the inns and outs - which is probably why I am being transferred because Heavenly Father needs me a little bit more out of my comfort zone! ;) But I know that there are such good things waiting for me in the future! I am so grateful that I have gained that trust in my Heavenly Father to know that wherever I am called is where He needs to be and it feels so good to know that I can just trust and follow him and he will take care of me and take me where i need to be! I have today and tomorrow here in Nags head and then early in the morning on Wednesday is when I will be hittin the road! Yesterday in sacrament I had the opportunity to bear my testimony and express my gratitude publicly to the ward and to my heavenly father for giving me the opportunity to serve here and for all of the love and support I have felt! I feel truly blessed. I told everyone it wasn't goodbye because I am going to be back very soon to visit! In my new area my companion is named Sister Barfuss. It is a half biking half driving area so I will be on bike one week and in a car the other! I can already tell that this transfer is going to be full of change and new things but I am more than willing and so excited! I love any opportunity I have to serve and love others! So I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me. thank you for all the love and support! :) BRING ON 2015!!!

Much love, Sister C

Cami's new address is:  

Sister Cami Carlson
547 Wythe Creek Rd. Appt. 22A
Poquoson, VA 23662

Good bye beach house, hello apartment living!  I did a little research on her area and here's what I found out in a nutshell:

Population 12,150 with surrounding York county. (The population of Nags Head was only like 2,700 or something like that!) It became a town in 1952 and an independent city in 1975. Average temp 72 degrees, unemployment rate of 4.5%. It is one of the oldest continuously named cities in Virginia.  It was named by the Native Americans and means ‘Great Marsh’. The Native Americans were hostile toward the early settlers there. The area is 75% Republican and 24% Democrat. The city has a total area of 78 square miles, of which 15 square miles is land and 63 square miles (80.4%) is water. It looks like Cami's apartment is about a block from the water.  It is south of the usual path of storms originating in the higher latitudes, and north of the usual tracks of hurricanes and other major tropical storms. (comforting for me!) However, when in the path of a storm the City of Poquoson is subject to severe flooding due to its very low elevation above sea level. (Not so comforting!) I’m guessing most people are attached to tourists and the fishing industry?  It looks like there is a fun Seafood Festival in October.